Friday, November 02, 2001

naming the enemy

Muslims are not our enemy. But I think we owe it to ourselves and to them to ask who or what our enemy really is in this situation. (And I don't mean a glib answer like "Satan is our enemy!" While that is true, it doesn't tell us much.)

Is the enemy just Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda terrorist network, and other organizations allegedly involved in the Sept. 11 and subsequent terrorist attacks?

Is the enemy fundamentalism? If so, does that apply to other "flavors" of fundamentalism?
Is the enemy extremism in general?

What is the spiritual component to what we have been seeing before and after the attacks? What should we be praying for?

Some people are saying that we brought the attacks on ourselves because of our politcal or economic policies, in backing Israel despite its troubled relationship with the Palestinians that has led to a yearlong intifadah, and in propping up corrupt foreign governments because of their benefits to us in terms of trade or political leverage, even in the face of horrendous human rights. Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell went as far as blaming homosexuals and abortionists. What should we as a church be repenting of?

I don't know about anyone else, but I find it troubling to hear people wishing Osama bin Laden the most exquisite deaths imaginable and gloating over the probable soteriological sceniarios now being played out by the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks. My wife and I pray daily for the people in Afghanistan and for the Taliban, for their repentance and for revival in that nation.

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