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Christian Terrorists?

Palouse region of Idaho Credit: Charmar/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Palouse region of Idaho Credit: Charmar/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Just before Christmas I had a coffee break with a good friend. He is not a Christian, and I am. Somehow religion came into the conversation and he said something I have heard before; words like ‘Sure, there are Muslim terrorists, but there are also violent Christians who persecute us.’ I started to argue, but then I realized, he might be right about Christians. And I will let the Muslims answer for themselves.

There are some very violent people in the world who claim to be Christians.

About two years ago I drove to Portland Oregon for some training. I could have flown, but I like driving, and because I live in western Canada, I drove to the U.S. border in northern Idaho. I arrived in the evening and it was obvious that I wasn’t driving much further in the darkness. I was hoping for a motel room about an hour down the road but they probably thought I was visiting friends in the area.

Usually border agents are friendly with me, but the two I met on the American side were angry and hostile. They checked my truck and my papers like I was a criminal. I can still remember them glaring at me. Now I know; it’s a good thing I didn’t have a Bible in sight or tell them I was a Christian.

That might have got me arrested.

Eventually they gave up and let me go, but I knew something was wrong. Now I know, northern Idaho is famous as a home base for white supremacist groups like the Aryan Nations who apparently want an all-white and “Christian” nation in the region. Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, was a friend, and Ruby Ridge is there.

A side issue is Bountiful, on the Canadian side of the border, the local base for the FLDS, which is a Mormon polygamous group famous for abusing women and children. Their supreme leader and prophet is Warren Jeffs, who is in prison for life for abusing children. At least one of his many wives was twelve years old.

So I was profiled. At that border crossing, a Caucasian man of my age, in an old pickup truck, looks like a criminal or a terrorist. Things only get worse if that man says he is a Christian. The local groups all claim to be devout Christians.

That means my friend was correct, at some times and in some places. Some terrible people identify as Christians and they spread their evil ideas in in their church worship services. Jesus promised us “Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?” (Matthew 7:15 and 16)

Who knew; that prophecy is now causing problems at border crossings. Christians can tell the truth, but there are other words and fake ‘truths’ and we might lose the argument. I couldn’t change my friend’s ideas by talking. Did you know that living like a Christian, walking the talk, is one of the greatest things we can do, an argument that can never lose? Our greatest assignment is so humble.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no Law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 15: 22 to 24)

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