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Holding Fast to Christ (11 of 18)
What makes this message even hard to preach is that
our minds are understandably still preoccupied with
the terrorist attacks. Four out five Americans tuned
in to hear the President's message to a joint session
of Congress on Thursday night. It was a message that
stirred up pride in our country and a firm resolve to
face the crisis of terrorism. But there is also a
sense of foreboding as we wonder what's going to
One thing is for sure - religion is back in the news.
Islamic fundamentalism is linked to the mindset of
those suicide terrorists who hijacked our airplanes
and caused the deaths of more than six thousand
people. Apparently, these terrorists did this
unspeakable act in the name of their god. They are
hailed as martyr-warriors of their religion.
You may remember that when Ayatollah Khomeini issued a
verdict in 1989 sentencing Salman Rushdie to death for
writing a The Satanic Verses, a novel some viewed as
blaspheming Islam, that Khomeini promised paradise in
the next world to whoever executed Rushdie.
You also are probably aware that some Palestinians are
raising their children to believe that the most noble,
the most spiritually worthwhile thing they can do with
their lives, is to strap bombs to themselves and blow
up as many Jews as possible.
We know that there are Jewish leaders who, in the name
of God, claim title to Palestinian land and believe
they have the right to bull doze down Palestinan homes
and add to their own settlements.
Christianity has its own history of violence in the
name of God. On March 10, 1993 a Christian anti-
abortion radical assassinated Dr. David Gunn, a 47-
year-old doctor at an abortion clinic in Pensacola,
Florida. It was done in the name of God.
How can religion become so toxic?
Well, there is a clue in the Scripture before us today
from Coloss ...
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