Thoughts to Ponder are my musings regarding community, things of the Spirit, and living as a Christ-follower. I don't offer the words of a professional or an expert; just a fellow traveler and explorer. Please don't take my musings more serious than I do. I've discovered a long time ago that I do not hold the keys of knowledge or wisdom. If I did, I misplaced them somewhere...typical.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Walking Dead

In Khost, Afghanistan they have a name for them: "The Walking Dead." They are also called "Osama bin Laden's children." These names are given to the nearly two dozen suicide bombers who entered Khost from Pakistan's North Waziristan territory. Most are orphans from war. They are schooled in anti-Western madrassas and they usually smile for a video testament in Pakistan before embarking on their final mission to destroy themselves and to take as many possible with them. Some are blessed by Ayman al-Zawahri, bin Laden's lieutenant.

What leads a person to this ultimate act of hatred toward people he may never have met before? What leads a person to destroy citizens, non-combatants, even children, in the name of God; to actually target innocent bystanders? They may not see themselves as haters at all. They may even believe their actions are loving and beneficial. They believe the world will be a better place through their destructive actions.

There are others throughout the world who could wear the label "walking dead." No, they don't strap bombs to themselves and intentionally detonnate among crowds of people. But they are dangerous to themselves and to others. They have been deceived and duped into believing a lie. When they go, they usually take others with them. Who are they? I have seen some who have been labeled as "clergy killers" but the group is much larger than just those who focus on being hyper-critical of preachers and ministers.

To cover the larger group I would use the term "spirit crushers." These are angry people who feel the need to criticize, complain, berrate, and attack any perceived threat to their happiness. You know the person: she may be your employer or supervisor, he may be your dad, or your spouse, or a co-worker. It could even be a preacher or church leader. This person is never happy, never pleased, always complaining and always criticizing. Their blood pressure is probably very high. They are well on their way to a short and miserable life-span.

They are destructive and self-destructive. But they can't see it. They crush and destroy the innocent by-stander--but what is really sad is how they destroy themselves. They desperately want things to go their way because they think happiness will finally come to their lives. But they've bought into a lie. They are the walking dead, they are "Satan Be-elzebub's children."

Now here is the danger: we can see these people and identify them. We can fight back with the same ferocity and ugliness they extend toward us. But such is not the way of Jesus. Those who fight the dragon face the danger of becoming the dragon themselves.

Paul and Jesus has given us effective counter-terrorist strategies:

You have heard it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell
you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be
sons of your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:43-45)

Do not repay anyone evil for evil...Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' says the Lord. On the contrary: 'If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.' Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:17a, 19-21)

And always, we must take a good dose of humility. The painful truth is: the nature of those who are "walking dead" is denial. They do not realize they are so destructive. They feel innocent. Which leads to the sober realization: "I could be one of the 'walking dead' and just do not recognize it."

So, as we encounter these "walking dead" we must learn to respond graciously and in the spirit of Jesus. We must constantly be examining our own actions towards others--perhaps even open ourselves up to trusted friends for candid conversation and evaluation.

1 comment:

Brittany said...

Heeeey, Dad!

These blogs really make me think. I don't really know what else to say about it. Everytime I read something like this, I have to sit back and examine myself, my actions, my personality.

Thanks for make me think and I love ya!