John Bunyan once said, “it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” So in the past couple of weeks I have been without words and feeling a bit exasperated about all that I have been witnessing on the world stage. Yesterday’s reading from Jeremiah 7:1-11 has awakened the Holy Spirit and I am no longer without words. Part of that reading is,
“Put not your trust in the deceitful words:
This is the temple of the LORD!
The temple of the LORD! The temple of the LORD!”
Only if you thoroughly reform your ways and your deeds;
if each of you deals justly with his neighbor;
if you no longer oppress the resident alien,
the orphan, and the widow;
if you no longer shed innocent blood in this place,
or follow strange gods to your own harm,
will I remain with you in this place,”
The scourge of terrorism is an awful thing. The killing of anyone innocent or not can never be condoned. The scripture says, “vengeance is mine, I will repay says the Lord.” God is the judge not us. No matter how perfect we believe our judgement it is forever flawed. As followers of Christ we are called to be peacemakers not war mongers or war makers. Mahatma Gandhi said, “an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind,” and so it does. Therefore our bombs and missiles in Israeli hands are in fact weapons of terror just as much as the Katusha rockets of the Palestinians.
One of the best quotes of the 1960’s and 1970’s was, “fighting for peace is like fornicating for virginity.” It’s a fools errand and like the sage wisdom of the Prophet Jeremiah,
“But here you are, putting your trust in deceitful words to your own loss!
Are you to steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury,
burn incense to Baal,
go after strange gods that you know not,
and yet come to stand before me
in this house which bears my name, and say:
“We are safe; we can commit all these abominations again”?