I work for the Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration, a federal agency whose mission is to “protect the nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce.” The agencies Vision Statement is: “Provide the most effective transportation security in the most efficient way as a high performing counterterrorism organization.” Our tasking is established in federal law and the majority of our security procedures are transparent to the public. The public complains about certain security requirements and I know sometimes things are not as we would like them, but I also know there are bad things happening in the world that require good people to take action, Good People Like You!
Personal security measures for federal employees in my position include minimizing social media information and not disclosing our position or employment with the agency. This is to reduce our identification and potential to be a target of terrorists like ISIS/ISIL, Al-Queda, etc. So why would I publicly expose myself like this?
In reality my employment is of less consequence in making me a target than my faith and religious convictions, for I am a Christian, which makes me an infidel and an enemy to everything the Islamic radial terrorist groups believe. My faith in Jesus and his teachings say I am to shout this to all corners of the world and spread the gospel which is counter to my agency’s guidance to minimize social media exposure. Islamic extremist terrorists are targeting Christians daily and each day somewhere a Christian is refusing to renounce Jesus only to be killed. These people have faith that many lack. Can you imagine being faced with the choice of life or death based on acknowledging Jesus Christ as your savior? It puts a whole different outlook on just how committed you are in your faith.
The strongest opposition to terrorists is not our government or military, it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Christianity is the strongest counterterrorism force on the face of the earth and Jesus was the first counterterrorism expert in our world.
You may be saying, how do you make that statement and what do you base it on? I imagine some people will think I am stretching to draw this conclusion, so let me break it down for you.
At the core of this whole discussion is determining what terrorism is. Terrorism is acts or threats that create terror and terror is nothing more than FEAR.
Let’s look at the example of Saul of Tarsus (who later becomes the Apostle Paul). Saul targeted, hunted, killed, and imprisoned Christians (Acts 8:1-3 and 9:1-2) because they believed Jesus was the Messiah (the Son of God). Out of fear for their lives and arrest by Saul, believers scattered and went into hiding. Saul was by definition a state sponsored terrorist and religious extremist of his day, he hunted and persecuted Christians instilling fear in them (remember Fear=Terror).
Now let’s look at counterterrorism which is defined as activities that are intended to prevent terrorist acts or to eradicate terrorist groups.
In our example of Saul, we see where Jesus intervened to prevent Saul from taking further terrorist acts and eradicate this terrorist group activity by changing Saul’s heart (Acts 9:3-19). So here we have an example of Jesus’ direct intervention and counteraction of terrorism. So yes Jesus was a counterterrorism expert.
But it doesn’t stop there, remember that the whole purpose of Terrorism is to create FEAR. Most of our fear regarding terrorist acts has to do with the potential loss of life and many people fear death because they fear the unknown.
This is where Christians become the strongest warriors against terrorism, because when we believe in Jesus, we do not have to fear death. We know what comes after this mortal life because of the promise that has been made to us of everlasting life (John 3:16) when we believe in Jesus.
But it doesn’t stop there, let’s take a look at some counterterrorism related Bible verses:
• And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)
• So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrew 13:6)
• Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalms 23:4)
• for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7)
The Bible is full of verses like these, the only thing we are to fear is our own failure to follow what God is calling us to do. As Christians we have nothing to fear from terrorist or death.
I work for a counterterrorism agency but I believe in and live for Jesus, a counterterrorism expert. The simplest counter action to terrorism is the removal of its core element – FEAR. Never forget that as Christians we are given strength from God to have confidence in him and not fear anything in this world. I do not lightly dismiss the threat of terrorism for the loss of any life causes someone pain; but I have eliminated fear from my life by my faith in an everlasting life, and so can you. We as Christians are the strongest counterterrorism force in the world, we are called to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.