How quaint. How provincial. How parochial the words sound. So what other words could we use to describe the unspeakable wickedness and evil we have witnessed in Paris this day? Words fail if we cannot use these.
I would like to be able to say that those responsible were just misguided people—sick. I would like to. It would be easier to draw that conclusion than the conclusion I’m forced to. The mind behind the wanton killing in Paris uses people as weapons—lives evaporated in a catastrophic blast. It uses innocents as targets to punctuate a message of religious hate.
What is the end game? After the suicides and murders, when the bloody victory is won, what is the prize? A placated, fearful population forced to its knees at the feet of a demon god.
It is time we peeked behind the curtain to see what is pulling the levers that unleash smoke and thunder. This is not mere human hatred. This is the spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places; forces that laugh as heartily at a world war as at the circumstances that cause it. This is an audience of demonic spectators that is amused at human death and laughs at the comedy of fear. This is the Satanic spirit that seeks to draw worship to itself. Nazi atrocities, Stalinist purges, the Cambodian killing fields, Cultural Revolution and Rwandan genocide are merely opening hymns. This is the man of lawlessness no longer restrained.
That is the evil behind the curtain.
Who are the pawns in the spiritual game? Young men, some still teenagers, most in their twenties. We are told many of them are disaffected young people looking for something to believe in that is bigger than themselves. If true, then the pattern of Rwanda and some of the other violent movements of history is being repeated. The parasites of spiritual evil find vulnerable hosts to feed on; to drain life from; to use up and discard. The zeal of the young is enticed by power and hatred and used by demonic masters.
You know what I would like to see? More young men who find inspiration and power in Jesus. Forget about the abuses of institutional religion. Forget about the compromises of self-serving church. Forget about the manipulations of contemporary bunk-shooters that use faith as a means of gain. Rather, look for Jesus, the God-man of 2000 years ago. Follow the captain of heavenly armies and take up the weapons of the Spirit. Become followers of the Prince of Peace; expediti* of a rediscovered faith who willingly expend their lives for love, kindness and forgiveness; ambassadors of the Kingdom of Heaven. May young men and women see Jesus, the Nazarene carpenter/rabbi and lay down their lives for him, counting their freedom as rubbish. May they surrender the intoxicants of this age and be filled with the Holy Spirit. May they see in Jesus a hero, and strive to be like Him.
The world needs a different kind of army, not armed with assault rifles and explosives but with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law; and against them sin, wickedness and evil will not prevail.
* The term originated with the military machine that created and ruled the Roman Empire. It was used in reference to certain crack army corps, at the special disposition of the emperor, organized and outfitted to get on their feet and into action effectively and fast.