Interestingly, the extended version even more strongly evokes the notion that the world should take a very strong stance against the kind of violent evil that cruel Muslim terrorists like Usama Bin Laden represent. It raises the question of whether we in America are doing enough to put such wicked people into an early grave.
~ Ted Baehr, reviewing the Extended Edition of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
(click here to go to where these words come from)
Why am I bringing up Ted Baehr’s words on the 15th anniversary of 9/11?
Because I believe that, when it comes to responding to terrorism, as Christians our desire should not be to “put such wicked people into an early grave” but to, first and foremost, pray for terrorists’ conversion.
Saul persecuted Christians, and if Christians had put the man into an early grave God wouldn’t have been able to change his heart and bring good out of the evil he had been doing.
“It was for this purpose that I went to Damascus with authority and orders from the chief priests. It was on the road at midday, Your Majesty, that I saw a light much brighter than the sun, coming from the sky and shining around me and the men traveling with me. All of us fell to the ground, and I heard a voice say to me in Hebrew, ‘Saul, Saul! Why are you persecuting me? You are hurting yourself by hitting back, like an ox kicking against its owner’s stick.’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked. And the Lord answered, ‘I am Jesus, whom you persecute. But get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant. You are to tell others what you have seen of me today and what I will show you in the future. I will rescue you from the people of Israel and from the Gentiles to whom I will send you. You are to open their eyes and turn them from the darkness to the light and from the power of Satan to God, so that through their faith in me they will have their sins forgiven and receive their place among God’s chosen people.’
~ Acts 26: 12 — 18
Reading about Saul’s conversion, I am reminded of Iluvatar’s (God’s) words to the Ainur (angels) after Melkor’s (the Devil’s) failed rebellion in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion:
…no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined.
Terrorists are human beings created in the image and likeness of God, not demons in human form. (Genesis 1:27) And unless we, Christians, acknowledge that, can we say that we are morally superior to the terrorists we are fighting against?* In the words of Sirius Black:
We all have light and dark inside of us. What matters is the part we choose to act on.
Thinking about the conversion of sinners, I am reminded of this scene in the anime series Eureka Seven:
0:40 — 1:50:
The Bible tells us that good will ultimately triumph over evil.
If you feel like life is hopeless.
If you feel like life is a story that won’t have a happy ending.
This is (basically) how the story ends:
*Moral superiority: The belief or attitude that one’s position and actions are justified by having higher moral values than one’s opponent.