Once again all the world is awash in a sea of violence, turmoil, terror, and war. Well, perhaps not all the world, as there may be a handful of people living peacefully on some island off the north coast of Antarctica, but even here it is only a matter of time when the people of a nearby island find a reason to invade and enslave their neighbors. Nothing new here. Murder, violence and war has been the story of mankind, starting the day after Adam and Eve were booted out of the Garden. The world’s first crime scene was the goat field where A & E’s son, Cain, offed (slew) his brother, Abel, during a jealous snitfit.
This first murder was simply a precursor to the violence and death that is the distinction of all of the human history: murder, war, and violence are the norms of human experience. Today’s gut wrenching and terrifying Islamic Jihadism is just another variation of past evil “isms.” It is no different than Nazism, Stalinism, Mao Communism, Militarism, Colonialism, and every other gang and tribe warring in all of history – that has sought to destroy or enslave other people. Humanity has always been engaged in ongoing, never-ending battles for survival. If a people wish to survive and live free, they have no choice but to defend themselves against those who would destroy them. Sometimes, the good guy wins, but sometimes he loses. No guarantees here.
In order to wage an effective battle against today’s breed of evil-doers, certain realities need to be recognized: Number one is to set aside any thought that the bad guys can be talked out of their intentions, that appeasement and “understanding” can change their evil ambitions. The evil-doers are motivated by their own lust to rule, to dominate, and to destroy anyone who opposes them. The Jews of Europe did nothing to warrant their annihilation by Hitler: it was Hitler’s evil credo of a “Master Race” that sent the Jews to their death. The Islamic Jihadists are not our enemies because we have meddled in the Mid East; we are their enemies because we do not follow their god, Allah, and because we resist their vision of a world ruled by Islamic law – Sharia – as prescribed in their holy book.
A second necessary reality is that only a full out effort stands a chance in defeating evil-doers. The evil doer is invariably committed to their cause unto their death: half measures and treaties only work to prolong the conflict. What did it take to defeat Hitler? Full out invasion, relentless bombing, and the sacrifice of millions of lives. What did it take to make the Japanese finally surrender? Two atomic bombs, without which the U.S. might have lost another million lives. Today, we are again in another life and death struggle against another evil “ism”and we have no choice but to fight full out for our survuval.
You ask, “When will this plague of never-ending murder, violence, war, and death ever cease?” To answer this question it is necessary to understand what the basic nature of man is, what is it in mankind that propels one nation against another, one tribe against another, one person against another, one brother against another? The root cause of all this turmoil is man’s innate flawed character: he is born with a selfish nature that drives him to put his needs and wants above others. He wants, he takes. You hurt him, he will hurt you back. He heeds no authority but his own. He is a rebel. He is driven by lust for power, possesions, and pleasures.
You object. This certainly doesn’t describe you, you say. You are a good citizen. You give to the poor. All true, but do you always act in kindness? Do you suffer a wrong without lashing back? Do you ever insult or belittle another person? Have you ever struck another out of anger? Every time you act out of your selfish nature, you are demonstrating that you are not much different from the bad guys but only by a lesser degree.
You want peace on earth, goodwill to men. Well, you can start by seeking to change your basic selfish nature, by becoming a giver and not a taker. This change cannot be done by yourself. You can try good works, reform, being nice, but all this won’t do it. The change you need, we all need, is only possible by the supernatural force of Gods love and grace. He can, and will, give you the power to resist your selfish nature. Just ask Him for this gift. You can then be a part of the solution to mankind’s basic problem and not a part of it. Too good to be true? Perhaps, but what is the alternative?