What a tragic weekend we have faced. I my heart goes out to all of those who are suffering right now. Not just in Paris, but in Syria, Libya, Beirut, and every other location that has been recently rattled, attacked, and terrorized by ISIS. It didn’t take long and the backlash from these recent events started to take shape. We learned that at least two (at the time of writing this blog) of the attackers in Paris posed as refugees from Syria. This morning, I learned that the attackers may have been using the PS4 gaming system to coordinate the attacks. As these news reports started to fall in, the inevitable replies from Americans (and Sony itself) started to come in. Sony replied that they do not condone such actions, they are concerned about the safety of their gamers, etc, etc, etc. Why did Sony feel the need to reply in such a way? Fear. They were afraid that because someone abused their system that someone, somewhere might think Sony is okay with it. They were afraid someone might boycott their system because some jihadists used it. (That would be like Ford having to come out and apologize because a ISIS video showed them standing in front of an F-150.) Numerous groups here in states are showing concern about what to do about the 10,000 Syrian refugees that are headed here. I even received information about the supposed cities that they are headed towards (not sure if this is accurate as I honestly didn’t care enough to research it). Why? One word. Fear. Terrorism is meant to incite fear. It parlays onto the biggest fear man has, death.
We are afraid, no, terrified that the worst possible thing that could happen to us is death. And sadly, our media feeds upon it. It is like a zombie. It craves those ratings. It knows that it cannot pull the ratings in with stories about bunnies the way it can lure us in as we see chaos on the streets. (Think of the car wreck that is in the ditch. You always have those people that slow down to see what is going on. They don’t slow down to observe the beauty, but they do to observe death and destruction).
A few years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to the term “worryganda.” It is a word he coined. A clear play on the terms “worry” and “propaganda.” The media creates fear or at the very least sensationalizes it so much to the point that we permit fear to rule our lives. It moves us to vote certain ways. It moves us to make often time irrational decisions.
But, we don’t have to let our lives be ruled by fear. Paul wrote, “to live is Christ and to die is gain (Phil. 1:21).” For the believer in Christ the worst thing to happen to us is not to die a physical death, but to die a spiritual death. Jesus himself stated that we ought not fear man that can only destroy our bodies but to fear him capable of destroying both body and soul in hell (Matt. 10:28).
But, what does this mean in light of our present distress? I am not saying that we should open our borders to the terrorists. I am not saying that we shouldn’t be concerned about our health, or our well being. I am saying that as a Christian, a terrorist should have no control over me because I have no reason to fear him. God is with me. And if God is with me, who can be against me? (Rom. 8:31). Tonight I will pray for those suffering. Tonight I will pray for my nation. And tonight I will sleep soundly. And why not, is that not what we teach our children? “… if I do before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.”