Deadly Terrorist Attacks: The New Normal

Posted on June 29, 2016


By David Ettinger

Common Occurrences
turkeyOn Tuesday, June 28, 2016, a trio of suicide bombers blew themselves up in Istanbul, Turkey’s Ataturk Airport, resulting in 41 deaths and 239 wounded. This attack comes only 16 days following the Orlando nightclub shooting which killed 49 people. Both acts of terror were influenced by Islam.

That these attacks were so near in time, though distant in location, is telling. That they were Islamic-related is even more telling. It tells us two things. First, it tells us that Islam – the “extremist” branch of it – has tentacles reaching around the world, hence no place is safe. Second, it tells us that these terrorist attacks cannot be stopped, can be successfully executed at will, and that the duration between them will diminish.

In short, deadly Islamic-influenced terrorist attacks will become more frequent to the point where they will be regarded as common occurrences.

Why These Killings Are Different
Mass killings have always plagued humanity. Of more recent vintage was the bloody ethnic and tribal violence in Africa, and what was once known as Yugoslavia.

Throughout the 1990s, I was fascinated by the sheer numbers of death being perpetrated because … well, I’m not really sure. In 1994, international headlines were dominated by the bloodshed occurring in the African nation of Rwanda. Ongoing hostilities between two rwandatribes – the Hutus and the Tutsis – reached their satanic boiling point, resulting in the mind-boggling murder of 800,000 human lives during a 100-day period from April 7 to mid-July. In the 1970s, these same two tribes fought in the nation of Burundi, where “only” 500,000 people were slain. I researched the history of the Hutu-Tutsi war, but couldn’t figure out why they hated each other so much.

Also getting its fair share of headline allotment during the 1990s was the Yugoslav wars which raged on multiple fronts: the War in Slovenia (1991); the Croatian War of Independence (1991–1995); the Bosnian War (1992–1995); and the Kosovo War (1998–1999). These bloody affairs resulted in a “mere” 140,000 killed and 4 million displaced. Again I did my research, kind of got a grasp of what had been going on for centuries, but was no closer to understanding what was so important to each side that only the obliteration of the other would satisfy them.

One thing the above horrors have in common is that they were regional – they were centered in one particular part of the world with no potential for spreading. And this is where the current wave of Islamic-inspired terrorist attacks is different. Adherents of extremist Islam – and in some cases not so extremist – believe, based on their two books, the Koran and the Hadith, they are mandated to spread Islam to the ends of the earth. They will not rest until this is accomplished. And so long as they believe this, Islamic-motivated terrorists attacks will: continue; become more frequent; occur in more and more locations; and claim many more victims per episode.

Christians Shouldn’t Be Surprised
dark-cloudIf you read your Bible consistently, none of what is happening should surprise you. In Matthew 24 Jesus, when asked “what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age” (v. 3) reveals what will transpire in the end times. He tells us that: many false messiahs will come onto the scene (v. 5); there will be wars and rumors of war, in other words, the prospect of war will constantly hang over humanity like black, low-lying storm clouds (v. 7); that different nations will be in constant hostility against one another; and that “kingdom” will be pitted against “kingdom” (v. 7). In modern terms, this probably means coalitions of nations against coalitions of nations. It will be nothing but war, war, war, and bloodshed, bloodshed, bloodshed.

Even more frightening will be the condition of the human race. In verse 12, Jesus delivers this tragic summation: “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” The picture Jesus paints here is of a global society completely out for its own gain and survival, its basic humanity eroding to the point where the bloodshed suffered by others will not make a dent in their conscience. This coldness will serve to encourage the propagators of terrorism in their acts of murder, and such acts will be regarded as perfectly normal.

However …
Glory be to the Lord Jesus that there is always a “However!” In verses 13-14, Jesus tells us, creation“but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

The word “saved” refers to the soul, not to human life, and this is the great and wonderful news. Yes, the world is heading toward its showdown with its Creator, but until then, you and I have been recruited into God’s army. Our weapon is the Gospel, and we are to “unleash” it in love upon anyone God brings to us. May you be the best soldier of Christ you can in these dark days, remembering that you are privileged to be living in the most amazing time of human history!