last place I expect the Bible to be quoted is on a pro-terrorist
website. And yet, in
response to last week’s massacre at a school in
, we find a website
close to the most extreme Chechen commander quoting Matthew
For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the
measure you use, it will be measured to you.
justification for the slaughter of more than 350 innocent civilians
and children? For the
devastation of a school and a community? According to the website,
“Yes,” – for that’s but a small number in comparison to the
42,000 Chechen children of school age that the website claims have
been killed by what it calls “Russian invaders” or the 250,000
Chechen civilians who have died in the battles between the Chechen
rebels and Putin’s forces. The
site maybe fails to mention the 175 years of blood feuding between the
two countries – yet that time period in itself demonstrates how
difficult a problem it may be to solve.
the Bible to say “you had it coming to you” seems to be very much
a misconstruction of Jesus teaching.
The website quotes three texts in the Gospels where Jesus
points out the dangers of judging others. What
the site fails to do is point out the context, and outrageous
hyperbole of Jesus to “take the plank out your own eye before taking
the speck of dust out of your neighbours.
course, that kind of idea would not fit in with terrorism, or war of
any kind. It would make us
conciliatory, thinking of others before ourselves – and that is not
the way to win.
winning is not necessarily what terrorism is all about.
Lawrence Durrell is a British novelist who spent much of his
childhood in the Mediterranean, especially
. His classic novel, “Bitter
Lemons” is an account of the Eoka uprising in
, under the British. This is what he wrote about the terrorist
primary objective is not battle. It is to bring down upon the
community in general a reprisal for his wrongs, in the hope that fury
and resentment roused by punishment meted out to the innocent will
gradually swell the ranks of those from whom he will draw further
seems a fairly accurate description.
It also means that Presidents and Generals charged with
countering terrorism find a hard task on their hands.
How to deal with the terrorist while not feeding hate and
resentment amongst the groups the terrorist hopes to recruit from.
easy task -- and while
most of us have little option or influence in what action takes place,
we do have options on dealing with similar issues in our own lives.
You see, the Bible text quoted by the terrorists was one that
really is talking most about living in peace with our neighbours,
doing good to those who you might be expected to do harm to, and
allowing God to make the final judgements, if and when they are
if you think Jesus doesn’t understand about such things, remember he
grew up in a world of oppression by Roman armies, or terrorism from
Jewish Zealots, and an atmosphere of distrust in government, local and
was in that atmosphere of distrust that he spoke these words:
"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even
'sinners' love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who are good to you, what
credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect
repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to
'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. 35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without
expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and
you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the
ungrateful and wicked. 36Be
merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will
not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure,
pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into
your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to
That seems almost the opposite of the terrorist manifesto.
It’s hard. It’s
challenging – but if it can work in individual situations then maybe
it can work in the world of international terrorism as well.
By the time this went to print the website www.kavkazcenter.org
was no longer on line therefore we reference this article to a
secondary source quoting the site.