This past week the world has been focused on Paris, where Islamic terrorists murdered 17 people, 12 of them at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices. Sunday, world leaders linked arms as million protested the killings. Tuesday, Hebdo released its first issue since the slaughter. As you probably know, the attack of Islamic extremists was provoked by a cartoon in the satire newspaper that mocked the prophet Mohammed, a capital offense in Muslim controlled lands. Yesterday, Hebdo, which normally prints a mere 30,000 copies weekly, published more than 3 million issues. Did free speech prevail, in spite of terrorism? Is Hebdo to be admired for having the courage to poke Islam in the eye, and then, after a massacre of its editorial staff, return with yet another drawing of Islam’s founder?
Of course, what the terrorist did was completely barbaric and reprehensible. No sane person could condone such inhumanity. But who is Charlie Hedbo? It’s a small, ultra-leftist, minor weekly with limited readership and an atheistic agenda. The same 3 million copy printing that was lauded this week as a courageous display of free speech, bragged that they had more people on the streets of Paris defending them than those attending Mass in the city’s cathedrals. In addition to caricaturing Mohammed once again, the paper also depicted Catholic nuns discussing oral sex and suggested that Muslims, Christian, and Jews were all part of cabal to control the world. So much for taking the moral high ground in response to their tragedy.
What’s happened with our world when intentional anti-religious offensiveness is celebrated as bravery? Some see this not so much as a free speech issue but a matter of poor judgment, using infantile satire in a repugnant way for shock value. Understand, that Hebdo is no friend of Christianity. Their mockery of Islam has nothing to do with theology. Those who died didn’t believe in anything, and that’s the saddest postscript to this disheartening story. The people at Hebdo who perished in cold blood, didn’t give their lives for believing in God. They died in defense of a free press. That’s a good cause, but it’s not a stairway to heaven. Respect them as journalists, but don’t enshrine them as martyrs.
An encouraging word: WALK IN HIM
Following Christ is not easy. Paul commanded the Colossians (2:6) to be faithful and “as you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.” Walking in Him means taking upon ourselves His humility, righteousness, selflessness, and authority. “Walking in Him” isn’t just being a meek and mild Christian. It’s also claiming His power to heal, deliver, and set free those whom Satan has bound. Think today all the ways you can walk in Him to witness, love, and live. This walk may also take you places you wouldn’t want to go, suffer things you’d rather avoid, and step from your comfort zone to experience new faith. The next twenty-four hours do your best to walk in Him and be amazed at what happens.
Bob Larson has trained healing and deliverance teams all over the world to set the captives free and Do What Jesus Did (Luke 4:18). You can partner with Bob and support this vision to demonstrate God’s power in action by calling 303-980-1511 or clicking here to donate online.