I have noticed an increase in the number of blog posts about terrorism. Being susceptible to peer pressure, I feel the need to follow this path as well.
The difference between a random act of violence and terrorism is that some person or group will claim responsiblity for what has happened. The act of violence is done as an instructive excercise. The group wants to make a point and wants to make it loud and clear.
After every natural disaster or calamity that inevitably befalls our planet, it is a disgrace to hear influential Christian leaders claiming responsibility for the event. “The Typhoon was God’s punishment for your slip into worldly ways!” Even horrendous acts of Terrorism are re-claimed for God. “God allowed the extremists to kill 12 people because…….”
Deep down, much of Christianity believes in a Terrorist God.
The temptation here is to take the escape hatch in the word much and avoid a bit of self-reflection. I would discourage the cowardly exit. The word much probably includes you dear reader. I know it includes me.
The tension I feel when I read the Bible is largely due to the fact that I read the Bible with the hermeneutic of a Terrorist. I believe in Hell. I believe in a god who throws people into hell if they won’t meet his demands. In fact if you really think about it, Love begins to look a lot like Hate. But deep inside I feel something is not as it should be.
The Bible is loaded with words that have meanings. What we will understand from those words is largely determined by whether we start reading with the mindset of a Terrorist or whether we start reading with a new kind of mindset.
The church would have us believe that without God we do not understand love and cannot love. We are asked to believe that by some miraculous way of thinking God’s action of throwing trillions of people into hell is loving. God’s inability to save people who don’t bend to his Terrorism demands a sure testimony to the world that the God of Christianity is not very strong.
I choose to believe that when the Bible says the word Love, I have the ability to understand what the word means. I choose to believe that salvation doesn’t mean being saved from god’s Terrorists activities. I believe salvation is largely a salvation from childish ways of thinking – ways of thinking that keep us trapped in Hell.
Yes I do believe in Hell…….but not the hell of the Terrorist God.