In the hipstery corners of the internet, it’s en vogue to decry the decrying of the Paris attacks since we have not decried the dozens of terrorist attacks that have happened around the World before Paris. Now there’s a stack of people wishing they had been decrying those attacks before anyone else had started decrying them. Even now as I write this, I’m trying to out-meta all other meta commentary going on about Paris. Why? Because at this point, being the snarkiest, and most cynical voice online is the best way to get credibility, and if you’re the first? The world bows to your majesty.
Well, not really. But that emptiness, that void of substance behind the 14 minute hashtag trends and profile pic filters, has been the extent to which the majority of people intervene in any of these various crises. For most, clicking “like” and then going back to this is par for the course. But that’s not even what I’m actually about to complain about.
I suppose I understand the sentiment. Radical Islamic terrorists are devout, religious zealots. It’s easy to see how Religion as a category can be tainted by the evil done in Islam’s name. But there is no wisdom in the assumption that Religion is to blame.
Islam, Roman Catholicism, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Westboro Baptist Church, Secular Humanism, Atheism, Pastafarianism, and Scientology among others, all have one thing in common.
They do not liberate us from Sin.
Sin born in the hearts of those men is what caused the violence in Paris, and Syria, and Beirut, and Sudan, and Somalia, and Baghdad, and Lebanon.
All false religion fails to deliver its people from sin because it attempts to make its members earn their right to paradise. So they proceed to work themselves up the endless stairs. That’s when Evil is born. Men (and women) pursuing goals set by some false system of belief, a good that is not ACTUALLY good, a peace that is not ACTUALLY peace, a Utopia that is no such thing. In and of themselves, these goals only led to more carnage. Lenin, Pol Pot, Castro, Kim Il Sung, pursued their dreams of Utopia. Osama Bin Laden pursued a world ruled by what he believed is the greatest source of good. Were any of these men wrong? Were any of these men evil?
If your worldview doesn’t allow you to call something evil, then you have no basis to decry anything. Anything goes. Which means that worldview is worthless. A worldview that only says “music, kisses, life, champagne and joy!” has no ability to discern or correct. It is worthless and makes simple consuming and copulating animals out of responsible moral agents.
The only source of transcendent meaning, and therefore, the only worldview providing the capability to uphold good instead of evil, is the one found in the Bible. The alternative is a quagmire of opinions, apathy, or worse. You might object, saying “But Bible believers have been responsible for numerous wars all over the world, over thousands of years!”. If that’s you, consider the following.
As long as people exist, evil exists in this present world. In civilizations where the Bible has played a central role as a foundational philosophical source, peace has been cultivated. No, they didn’t start out that way, and no, they didn’t always stay that way, but as a general rule, Western civilization became more and more peaceful. When a Western nation strayed out of line (usually motivated by some sort of dehumanizing, anti Christian, philosophy), other western nations would rise up and punish the aberration. Of course, if the Nation volunteers to deny the truth of Christian goodness, pain follows.
France is at a crossroads. It may follow the cries of her Philosopher/Artist/College Professor/Student/Barista or, maybe, it can listen to that old, dusty whisper from Jerusalem.
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NASB95)