Shootings and bombings at what is often referred to as “soft targets” are becoming more common around the world. Soft targets are often refer to places where people gather with no or very limited security, and especially with unarmed security. These can include sporting events, malls, and even our local place of worship.
We have seen in the headlines recently of the bombings of churches throughout Africa, the Middle East, and one that has been the hardest for me is the bombing of the Pashawar Church. The pastor in this community has been a friend on LinkedIn for a couple of years, and often shares the blessings God is pouring out in the community. The latest news is almost 150 people dead on the spot and hundreds injured It is clear that this was a terrorist attack, simply based on the fact it was a Christian Church, and the individuals that bombed did not agree with the teaching/preaching of the church.
Not every bombing is carried out by terrorist, some are carried out by disgruntle employees, upset family members, or even Christians that feel they are trying to make a point such as the bombing of the abortion clinics a few years back. Hurting or killing people is never right, and even becomes more heart breaking when it is done in the name of any religion.
The statement I often here is, it can’t really happen here! Often the statement is followed by the question “Can it?” Sadly the answer is yes; there are dangerous people within our own communities that have been plotting and planning to carry out an attack, whether it is for revenge, to honor their God, or they are simply mentally ill and not thinking with a healthy mind. Whatever the reasons, they have guns, bombs, or have developed another method to harm or kill.
What can we do? I believe as a Christian community we need to stand for what is right and accomplish something that NO other group can:
- We need to become PRAYER Warriors. Not only for our family, local church, but also for the Body of Christ worldwide. That God will pour out his blessing on those that are standing strong for the faith, even in these perilous times.
- We need to become vigilant (watching). As individuals we need to be watching for situations where we could be harmed, and report it to the authorities.
- We need to become informed. One of the saddest situations within the church today is that individuals are not informed of the persecution and oppression happening around the world. Sadly, being uninformed is a dangerous place to be, because it opens the door for such things to happen here.
- We need to Show love to the community and hurting. Most importantly we need to show love for those that oppose us. Christ set the example, Paul showed us how to accomplish it, and we need to live it. I don’t like terrorist (just like you) but I also don’t like bullies.
My son Ethan who serves as Assistant Director of Through HIM Ministries is a Disaster Management student at Ohio Christian University, and we were talking about this very same issue. He stated that part of coping with a disaster is to: (1) prepare for the “what if,” (2) pray that it never happens, (3) be prepared to respond if it does, (4) show everybody the love of Christ regardless of who they are, (5) and keep moving forward in Christ through the tragedy for the Glory of God.
Sadly, the moral of this blog post is … churches are soft targets and sadly it is probably going to get worse worldwide. It becomes even more important for us to be informed, prayed up, and focused on sharing the Gospel, because God is coming back and it is only a matter of time.