I hate to say it like this, but murder isn’t anything new. Ever since Cain killed Abel, mankind has had to deal with it.
And can you guess what’s probably the number one reason a person would murder another human being?
If you guessed religion, you’re absolutely correct. In some form or fashion you can trace the root cause of many murders to some sort of religion.
It’s why Cain killed Abel. Abel’s offering was accepted by the Lord, and Cain’s wasn’t. God warned Cain about the sin which was creeping around his heart, and his need to master it or it would master him.
Well, he didn’t, it did, and Abel was killed.
In 1095 a series of wars were waged, lasting several hundred years, involving hundreds of thousands of people; the Crusades.
In the name of their pope, “Christians” waged wars against the Muslims who occupied ancient Israel. Much blood was shed for God, King, and Pope; including the blood of thousands of Jews.
Nations were pillaged, land confiscated, women raped, as the Crusaders marched from Constantinople toward the Holy Lands.
In the “name” of religion.
It’s happening today.
Each day it seems as though there’s another story regarding ISIS, Sharia law, and things pertaining to Muslim terrorists. American troops are on foreign fields fighting a war that can be traced back to a disagreement about religion.
Like I said, there have been many wars fought over religion; man’s attempt to define God apart from His own personal description as revealed in His Son, Jesus.
“Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father?” (John 14:9 ESV)
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” (Hebrews 1:1-3 ESV)
Back in the early days of the church, there was a young man named Saul. Well educated, highly indoctrinated, and an asset to any community. A Pharisee of Pharisees, having studied under one of the greatest teachers of the law and who was always held in highest esteem, Gamaliel.
Saul was an up and comer, totally ready to take on any and all heretics, and defend the righteous name of his God.
I don’t recall him ever wearing a black hood, though.
A man with a mission: get rid of all the people who didn’t believe like him.
He was present when Stephen was stoned to death; holding the coats of those doing the dirty work.
But later, as he traveled up to Damascus with signed documents authorizing him to jail anyone he found in the Way, something strange happened.
He came face to face with the God He thought he was defending.
And as he picked himself up from the ground, asking for someone to lead him by the hand since he was temporarily blinded by a bright light, the fight was removed from his soul, replaced with a newfound understanding of God’s love and power.
Read all about it in Acts 7-9.
So now I’m wondering; are the wars which are presently being waged throughout the world, the religious wars, too big for God to handle?
Could there possibly be a few Sauls among them?
And if God is allowing them to wage their murderous acts of terrorism in the name of their god, then how will this all end?
Is the war about religion, or maybe something else?
And what if the Almighty intervened and wiped out all the bad guys? He is capable of such a feat. But would anyone want to acknowledge the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus as the true Champion?
I’m not discounting the heroics and bravery of our men and women in uniform. I have the deepest respect for them.
But sometimes during the course of war, God is needed to intervene. Why, King Hezekiah was surrounded by almost 200,000 Assyrians. One night an angel, one angel, walked through the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 men.
That’s what I call intervention.
But is our nation ready to rely on divine assistance to keep our loved ones safe?
What saddens me, is that when all of this is said and done, this religious war, this nation won’t be any closer to the truth.
May Heaven help us anyway.