A recent post someone put on my Facebook timeline said something about Jesus telling us to love our enemies, and how this includes the I.S terrorists (or militants as the media call them) - instructing how we should pray for our enemies while they decimate Christian families and cut their heads off. Sure we should definitely pray for them, only before killing them all with hellfire missiles.
I don't think Jesus is the sort of person who would expect us to sit idly when it comes to the innocent being slaughtered by demon-possessed types energised on the blood of martyrs. Sure He said they would seek to kill us because we identify with Him, and some would succeed, but I don't believe that we are required to fatefully wait for martyrdom in the face of impending slaughter. In fact I think Jesus would be tempted to slap people who advocate a non-violent response when our brothers and sisters in Christ are being murdered.
The book of Proverbs says that the wise see danger ahead and take steps to avoid it. God has also given His children signs of warning and portent and He expects us to take heed of these, and take measures to avoid perilous scenarios, where we can, as we see them unfolding around us.
We are expected to discern the times, to be sober, vigilant and awake like the wise virgins. As we forecast the weather we should also observe the signs of the times to predict the spiritual climate that looms before us.
We should be looking at prophecy and matching up cues in the events of our times with scripture to predict and forecast their potential fulfilment. There's a pretty decent 'in the last days' checklist of descriptives and qualifiers that we should be looking for in the Bible – eg. in the last days people will be lovers of themselves… future wars, preconditions of wars and participators in them are even described in the Bible. So we won't be ignorant when His return draws near.
The striking thing that hit me a while back was how recently many of the religious minorities in Iraq were basically forced to flee their homes to the mountains, and some were remarking that they were taken by surprise and had to flee suddenly with only the clothes they were wearing. Looking form the outside in, didn't they see any of this coming? Some died of thirst and I wonder if that could have been prevented with a little preparation come news of the encroaching terrorists?
The term normalcy bias is applicable when people are so familiar with the every day mode of living that it is difficult to comprehend their way of life being drastically upended or imperilled – simply because such a scenario is out of the sphere of everyday experience. And when real dangers loom, ones which actually threaten to cripple or topple our society, people clamber on unassumingly.
Westerners are particularly vulnerable to normalcy bias due to our dependence on technology and estrangement from more basic agricultural modes of sustenance, which our grandparents were more familiar with.
If our sometimes tenuous support structures were ever undermined there could be widespread catastrophe… power grid failure, terrorism, economic collapse, epidemics, chemical or biological attacks, nuclear threats, natural disasters… all of these can put our day-to day-technological and consumer-based society on its knees if not cause total failure, and would lead to social-breakdown and anarchy were events of significant severity or magnitude to occur.
We only need to glance at current events to see this on a micro level: social unrest in Fergusson and the Ebola outbreak in Africa are examples - I'll obliquely add that these are only the contractions. So be prepared and keep looking up for our redemption is near.
Amos Sale grew up in Auckland and recently moved to Wellington to assist his girlfriend with her youth ministry. Amos enjoys learning about history, politics, philosophy and biology and he likes sci-fi and action movies. Amos has a passion to defend the Christian worldview and value system against its enemies and detractors by any means he can, and to encourage others to seek out an experiential encounter with God. He is recently been engaged.
Amos Sale's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/amos-sale.html