Media comments on the terror attacks in Manchester and London have expressed right grief but also confusion and error. How does the Bible help us to think about these things?
The media has said these are terrible actions. The Bible agrees. These attacks are shocking because unsuspecting people have been suddenly killed. As those who love others, we are very sad.
The media has said that the terrorists are especially bad people. The Bible teaches that the root of these actions is sin. Sin is the attitude in all humans that we know better than the Living God and that we can decide the best way to live. Sin separates us from God and lies behind the actions that hurt each other (Romans 1 verses 18-32). These terrorists are like the rest of us in this regard.
The media has said seeking revenge is wrong because it will make us like the terrorists. The Bible says seeking revenge is wrong because God has put governments in charge to keep order and punish wrong (Romans 13). The Bible also tells us to trust God to punish on his judgement day (Romans 12 verse 19). Like the terrorists, we will face judgement day too. We can only be ready by trusting in Jesus.
The media have said the security services have let us down – they did not stop suspicious people who later did such harm. The Bible says we wrongly trust in what we do and what we make to keep us safe (e.g. Isaiah 30 verses 1-5). But no government, no policeman, no secret services can protect us against all danger. We are glad for the work of government and police but when we realise again how vulnerable we are, we should remember again to trust the God and Father of Jesus.
The media has said that Islam is basically like Christianity. Comparing the Bible and the Koran shows this is false. At the most important point of our belief the Koran says we are wrong. The Bible says that Jesus died on a cross for sin (1 Peter 3:18); the Koran says that he did not die and the Jews lied when they said they killed him (Koran 4:157).
The media tells us what matters is if a Muslim is peaceful or violent. The Bible says that what matters is whether or not you know Jesus, the Prince of Peace. The Koran says Jesus was a prophet (Koran 19:30) but ‘no more than’ that (Koran 5:75). It denies that he died for our sins. The Bible tells us Jesus is the only way to life with God (John 14 verse 6; Acts 4:12). We should seek to be good neighbours and fellow-workers with Muslims we know, being friendly, learning their names, talking with them. Most of all, we should pray that they would come to know the Prince of Peace, Jesus. Do you know a Muslim?
Please pray for them now.