by Barry Newton
While I could agree with the news commentator regarding the horrors of terrorism, his identification of the problem could not have been more misplaced nor more short-sighted.
Speaking with passion he decried the evil of a terrorist who would place his religion above his allegiance to his country. In his view, if citizens would honor their country above all else, then there would be no home-grown American terrorists to attack us. How dare someone serve an authority higher than our government.
I would hope that my fellow Christians would immediately perceive that not only is such an analysis superficial in seeking a peaceful solution, but because it failed to identify the real problem, such a policy contains a lot of blowback.
First of all, if a country’s own policy should be held higher than religious teachings then the foundation has just been laid to justify German participation in the Holocaust.
Not only this, but a significant step would have been taken toward abolishing our freedom of religion, as all recognized religion would ultimately be shaped in the image of governmental policy.
If honoring God should be trumped by civic allegiance, then Peter’s rhetorical comment was misplaced: “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than God, you be the judge.” (Acts 4:19)
The fundamental problem of terrorism lies not in honoring God above one’s social commitments. Rather, the error exists in serving the notion of a god who would promote terroristic activities. It is in serving Christ and God supremely that our social commitments are firmly shaped in love.
by Barry Newton