Marines.Together We Served

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Say What?

         Here we go again!

         Last July I wrote an article entitled, “Closet Terrorist?” It was sort of a tongue-in-cheek poke at the Department of Homeland Security’s definition of a terrorist. According to them, I am a terrorist. Or I’m at the very least someone they need to keep an eye on. The following paragraph is taken from that same article so you can see for yourselves the absurdity of who they decide is a potential terrorist.

         “Some of those identified loosely as potential terrorists by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are: 1) American military or retired military members, especially those who have been in combat (law enforcement personnel also qualify); 2) Americans who believe in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, particularly the 2nd Amendment – the right to bear arms; 3) Americans who are subjectively classified as “right-wing,” or “far right-wing;” 4) Americans who identify themselves as Christian – particularly Evangelicals; 5) Americans who regard themselves philosophically and politically as being Conservative; 6) Americans who believe in the sanctity of life and are opposed to abortion; and 7) Americans who see a danger in an overgrown and out of control federal government (this can also include state and local governments).”

         Every one of the above seven statements identifies me precisely. So, I guess that makes me a terrorist!

Listen, I love my country. But I am sick of the foolishness that passes as “representative government” today. And I make no apology for my beliefs.

We are in serious trouble when our own government cannot tell the difference between a patriot and a terrorist!

Adding insult to injury, I read an article today that exacerbates this problem of identifying a terrorist – in this instance, identifying someone who is deemed a “religious extremist.” And this comes from our own military!
“An Army Reserve unit undergoing training on religious extremism recently in Pennsylvania was told by an Army instructor that Evangelical Christians, Catholics, Mormons and Orthodox Jews are on the same level with Hamas, al-Qaida and the Ku Klux Klan.

“The training was part of the Army Reserve Equal Opportunity program. The slide that listed examples of ‘religious extremism’ put Evangelical Christianity as the first entry and included the Jewish Defense League (JDL), Catholicism and even ‘Islamophobia’ alongside the Muslim Brotherhood, Sunni Muslims and Hamas.” (http://godfatherpolitics.com/10256/army-training-session-lists-evangelicals-catholics-mormons-as-extremists/)

Once again, I am clearly identified. I am an Evangelical Christian. That makes me a “religious extremist” by definition. Okay then. So be it. But if believing that Jesus Christ died for my sins and rose again, conquering sin and death, and offering me eternal life with him, and wanting others to know this wonderful truth makes me a religious extremist in the eyes of the military, then I am guilty as charged.

Consider this: If my faith in Jesus does not affect my daily thoughts and actions, then it’s not worth a plug nickel! This is not about simply “going to church and being a nice person.” I’m not the slightest bit interested in that. Instead, it’s about falling in love with a God who loves me in spite of my sin-blackened heart. This same God had a plan to save me from sin and death. That’s what Jesus did. He gave me a new heart made clean by the blood of Jesus.

Nearly 41 years ago as a sergeant in the Marine Corps I came to the stark realization that I was a sinner and in need of a Savior. I made my choice there and then to live for him, and as the Lord would give me opportunity I would tell others about Him. That’s what I do. I’m just a messenger. Or put another way, “I’m one beggar telling another beggar where the food is!”

Though it saddens me to think that my own government labels me as a potential terrorist, and the military construct has now determined that I am a religious extremist, ultimately none of this bothers me because what truly matters is what the Lord thinks about me. And he says in the Bible that as a believer in Jesus I am “a new creation,” “a child of God,” “redeemed of the Lord,” “washed in the blood of the Lamb,” “saved,” “a friend of God,” “joint-heirs with Christ,” “the salt of the earth,” and “beloved of God” among the many other names and titles placed upon anyone who accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior.

The kids sang in our Easter program last week: “Everybody ought to know who Jesus is!” I couldn’t agree more!

Let me conclude by saying that this terrorist/religious extremist has but one desire, and that is to lovingly introduce you to Jesus. More than anything he wants you to know him.

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