Say “Terror” and all kinds of pictures spring to mind, many photo-shopped and many unrecognizable. Black men were supposed to be a terror to Caucasian women, but the rape and incest was coming from White men. Hooded Klansmen, nationalist talking heads, any nation teeming with swords and not food, and masked religious people calling for America’s death are all cut from the same cloth. Let me clean up the montage just a little. Suicidal killers seem to be a Jewish invention. There may be other individuals who thought and followed through on the thought “Let me die with my enemies” but Samson, the first real and successful strongman, was a Hebrew. The ability to silence one’s neighbour has been the tool of bad actors from earliest times.
To the guillotine
God did not silence Satan. God locked up – first prison on record – some of the angels in thick darkness, rendering them useless to Satan. God did not execute the leader of rebellion in heaven. He wisely removed him from his court: flung him far away, from heaven to earth. Our modern cosmology allows us to think of heaven and earth as neighbours, but to the ancients they are distant realities. The terrorism of some nations is cleverly hidden behind platitudes and empty gestures: saluting, parading, slogans, maxims, and punchlines. The backstop is always going to be: worship the state or die.
For as the heaven is high above the earth, [so] great is his mercy toward them that fear him. KJVPs 103:11
Killing offenders and the innocent in the attempt to be right, both the sacred and the secular worlds have been terrorizing people with loss of liberty and life, the very things both the secular law and sacred conventions guarantee to all.
One nation cage
Our greatest word-worker is Paul, a man who terrorized the church to the nth degree. If a man like that can tell you that the whole of his heritage, up to being confronted by the Risen Christ, seems like rubbish, do we not need to make a similar leap? People are afraid of being sent to prison: it is supposed to be a good thing to be chastened and corrected, but the state does not guarantee anyone’s safety, even in prison. How deluded can people be in thinking that throwing the book (Bible and law) at someone can be a reliable means of realizing God’s will! We should never alloww ourselves to be trapped in a patriotic maze, especially when the nation is one huge cage for demonic ventutres.
Mobs that call for blood
Forgive me for thinking that the nations teeming with guns and violent mobs are capitalizing on the potential to silence people who ask questions and people they think are undeserving of the common rights and privileges. If you can incite a mob to kill and maim you are in very bad company. When you can no longer incite a mob to follow you blindly you are a toothless terrorist. When people reject the priorities of their only guide (Moses/Jew, Constitution/Americans, Jesus/Christian, etc.) they are in very bad company. This helps us understand why the American death trap persists – scapegoating the unpatriotic and unbaptized by forcing people to fear expressing their opinion even dispassionately. To express ones views passionately is an invitation to the assassins.
No-one can terrorize a worshipper of the true God. One may think that Elijah’s fear of Jezebel points to the contrary, or that the sword wielded by secular power should scare people into doing the right thing. That did not work at Sinai, when the the people said “yeah” and did not follow through. It did not work in Babylon when only three Hebrew individuals refuse to worship a false God. If you were not one of the guilty before God would you be stoning and hanging people? Since we know that God has no interest in condemning anyone – we are all born into – what would appropriate chastening look like, and there is no law to be applied to those who have escaped the terror of sin and death.
We find no-one saying “I love the law” except the songwriter with a fried-conscience in Psalm 119. If you love the law, then you ought to love its consequences. But how can you, knowing that where you are not could not be possible if the law had its way? We can treasure thge glorious freedom in Christ or revel in terrorizing our peers with our denial of our stated treasures, namely, sin, law, and death.