Remember that time when you got mad at your little brother because he was using one of your things?   

And you yelled at him and pushed him and he looked at you and sneered and said, “Well, if that’s the way you want to be about it?  Take this!” and then proceeded to throw your favorite Lego on the floor and stomp on it?

And then things got really ugly and Dad had to step in?

Retired General David Petraeus spoke last night here in West Michigan and I heard part of it on the news last night.   In it, he describes the events of  Paris and the surrounding reactions and such as “potential game changers.”

Sort of like that moment when your snotty little brother purposely smashed your Legos?   It went from a squabble to all out fighting and got ugly real fast.

The Devil is sort of like your little brother.   No, I did NOT say that your little brother is the Devil.   The Devil, in the events since last Friday, has basically said to the world and said to Christians everywhere,  “So, you think this is bad, then take THAT!”

He elevated his game and it’s a game changer.    And I’m not just talking what ISIS did in Paris, I’m talking about the seams that it has “popped” in the Christian world response to it all.   ISIS is a tool of the devil and the way that the world has responded unfortunately shows that we’re more like the big brother who either pounds on the little brother or goes and whines to Mom,  “Mom, Jimmy stomped on my Lego airplane and broke it!”

So how do we respond?   How do we react to what has happened?   Do we whine and cry and pull back and fight?

Or do we react with over sensitivity  and irrationality?

What would Jesus want us to do?

I know he wouldn’t want us to be the big brother that pounds on the little brother – even if the little brother deserved it.   That’s the role of God and of divinely appointed governments to measure out and administer punishment and consequences.

If we react with the same snarling revenge filled attitude and actions as the obnoxious little brother, then we’re no better than them and we did exactly what they wanted us to do.

So how do we react?   How do we deal with the questions, the uncertainties and the mess of it all?

I’m going to leave it with that question and then links to some of the better opinions and articles that I’ve read about it recently.   I hope you’ll read them and then respond in the way you feel God is calling you.

I think that it’s not an exaggeration to say that the future of the church, the future relevance of the church in life in the first world is in many ways at stake based on how we respond.

TJV 

Links to read:

John Pavolvitz – he’s written a couple of thought provoking pieces since Paris happened.

Jeremy Courtneyt – “The world is scary as hell.   Love anyways.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/11/17/the-world-is-scary-as-hell-love-anyway/

Chris Marlow – http://chrismarlow.me/2015/11/a-response-to-paris/

Ann Voskamp – http://www.aholyexperience.com/2015/11/when-you-want-to-live-love-large-in-a-world-with-terrorists-a-movement-of-giftivists/

Sarah Bessey – what to do when you don’t know what to do – http://sarahbessey.com/ordinary-work/