More than three million people gathered in Paris and around France for a peaceful march to stand in opposition to terrorism and to show world unity. This march comes after the horrific terrorist attack on the satirical publication Charlie Hebdo magazine last week in Paris that left twelve people dead.* Sadly, Paris also saw more terrorism later in the week when four hostages as well as a police officer were killed. We are saddened by these tragic attacks and our hearts go out to the family and friends of those who have been killed.
From a biblical perspective we understand that death and suffering entered into the world because of sin, but those who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior look forward to the hope of His return and living with Him where there will be no more pain, death, disease, or suffering. I encourage you to read Dr. Tommy Mitchell’s article “Why Does God’s Creation Include Death and Suffering?” for more answers on this subject.
Where Can True Unity Be Found?While we certainly understand the world wanting unity at such a troubling time, the sad reality is that there won’t ever be true unity in a sin-cursed world. You see, Scripture says that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) and Genesis tells us that man’s heart is wicked from childhood (Genesis 8:21). Sadly, “an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil” (Luke 6:45). Without the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit at salvation, we will only continue to produce evil.
We also must remember that we are in a spiritual battle, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” A spiritual battle can’t be fought with human weapons, only spiritual ones (Ephesians 6:13; 2 Corinthians 10:3–5). Sadly, while the world wants unity, they are starting from the wrong foundation in trying to achieve it. True unity can only be found in Christ.
The Bible Is Our Ultimate AuthorityNow, many of the people who are rightly decrying this violence are some of the same people who deny God’s Word—such as atheists. But the only reason that we can ultimately say that what the terrorists did was wrong is because we have an absolute authority. If there is no ultimate authority, then why can’t everyone simply do what is right in their own eyes? Without the Bible as your authority, you have no foundation from which to denounce terrorism as an evil. But when we start with God’s Word as our ultimate authority, we can say that terrorism is wrong because God commands us not to murder (Exodus 20:13). Also, terrorism is wrong because each person is specially created in the image of God and therefore each person has inherent value and worth. Scripture clearly links creation in God’s image to the command not to murder (Genesis 9:6).
What this world really needs is unity on God’s Word! We need to acknowledge God as our Creator, recognize that each of us has a sin nature, and that we need salvation through Jesus Christ and sanctification by the Holy Spirit to conform our desires to God’s Word. Unity through Christ is the only way that this sin-cursed world could ever see true unity (Ephesians 4:11–16).
I encourage you to pray for the French during this tough time. Pray that they will come to understand their need for a Savior and the true unity that Christ brings.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.
*This is not the place right now to offer commentary on the magazine’s content, which could be blasphemous and vulgar. There are other matters to consider at this time.