This isn’t apologetcis, or theological study. It isn’t fiction, and it isn’t to teach. This is me going back to why I started writing in the first place, in order to get out my emotions, sort out my feelings.
Because confusion about the depravity of man, though always realized, is thrust into full shocking comprehension when yet another terrorist takes as many lives as possible before gladly accepting death. And those left behind to view the horrors wrought are forced to sift through the detritus in hopes of eventually emerging with some comfort. But for the non-Christian, there is none. Is that shocking? Let me say it again. For the non-Christian, there can be no concept of justice, and there will be no catharsis.
The victim’s families are fully aware that it was this person’s intention to die after the mission, this jihadist action. It was a suicide mission, and for who knows how long, this man has been taught that how he went out was the most honorable way to do so. That it was preferred, and revered, and not only would he be held in high esteem back here among the living by his cohorts, but his holy book and spiritual teachers had already convinced him that paradise awaited. That dying for the cause is in fact the only sure way to reach paradise. If you are aware of this only as a concept attributed to right wing Islamophobia, consider these Quran and Hadith Verses:
Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.
And there is the type of man who gives his life to earn the pleasure of Allah…
I would love to be martyred in Allah’s Cause and then get resurrected and then get martyred, and then get resurrected again and then get martyred and then get resurrected again and then get martyred.
Allah guarantees that He will admit the Mujahid in His Cause into Paradise if he is killed
seeking death at places where it can be expected.
Nobody who enters Paradise will return to this world even if he were offered everything on the surface of the earth except the martyr who will desire to return to this world and be killed ten times for the sake of the great honor that has been bestowed upon him.
they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth… and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme.”
As the Ayatollah Khomeini put it, “The purest joy in Islam is to kill and be killed for Allah.”
At a youth convention in 1999: “Fighting for freedom, fighting for Islam, that is not suicide. They kill themselves for Islam.”
This means that,
a) Islam is correct, and these people doin fact reached paradise this way, or
b) (atheistic view) since there is no God, no trial can be held, the jihadist got what he wanted, there will be no justice, and even retribution against other extremist factions will only result in the deaths of either innocents, or those who would gladly seek death for their beliefs. Therefore there is no healing. No peace. No life after this, and only confirmation of how meaningless life is. The reaction to this mindset is either a high degree of self-satisfaction or self-destruction. Or,
c) The bible is true, and the God of the bible is real. And in it, God states that judgement is His and His alone. Which means those who do believe in the word of God can in fact take comfort that final judgement rests upon Him. It will give the hearts involved, and those who sympathize, a very real peace about how judgement is handled in the end. And simultaneously, affords that same individual an opportunity to be thankful for their own grace. The process of healing, even this way, even inundated with gospel truth, will still be long and arduous. But there is comfort in Him, and in that truth. Comfort rather than utter helplessness. And hope in God is the precise thing that will give the desperate rest.
The reason why these Jihadists are prone to homicide has nothing to do with genetics, desperation, or suicide. It is the ideology that promotes martyrdom by promising paradise to those who lose their lives for Allah. Meanwhile, any attempt to protect citizens from this dangerous mindset in the west will be met with screams of racism, bigotry, Islamophobia, and right-wing hate. Never mind the actual teachings of Muhammad, or the scriptures of Islam, or the countless examples of terror perpetrated on not only the Muslim world, but the world over, or the rapes, or the sympathy for barbaric sharia laws. But to educate people of this is to be hated, when it is in fact a hatred of hate, in other words love, that drives the desire to teach, and to save, and to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
I have already seen in the aftermath, countless watered down, desperate attempts to categorize this attack with the socially accepted narrative of the day, and each one has been a cop-out. I do not doubt the sincerity of grief, or sympathy. But they would not use that grief to acknowledge truth, for fear of offending. So to read their thoughts, one might think, perhaps it was Militant Jews? Perhaps it was Militant Catholics? Perhaps Militant Buddhists? But that doesn’t matter. Writings infused with allusions to inclusiveness, and judgement for those who don’t agree. But we all kind of know who it was, don’t we? We may not say it, but we all kind of know. And we all kind of know why. Do we have an honest conversation about it? Or do we post a prayer for France (which of course we should be praying for them), change our profile pic to an Eiffel Tower, and content ourselves to be distracted by the next sensation, or scandal, or fad, so that we do not have to consider it. Perhaps a sports team, or some funny videos, or political scandal. But in 9 days, or two weeks, or a month, it will happen again, hopefully next time with a gun so we can quickly blame those to divert focus from the truth (and because blaming a truck is silly). And we will all kind of know who did it. And we will all kind of know why.