by Bob Dasal<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> Christian Love in a World Full of Hate
Christmas 2001 finds our nation at war. The president of the United States tells us it is a different kind of war than we known before. It's a war on terrorism that has its roots in religion gone bad. On September 11th, 2001 we all witnessed the tragic and horrifying results of religious wickedness. The people responsible for the bombings on the Pentagon and World Trade Center teach a perverted version of their religion, breeding a hatred that results in evil.
The evil events of September 11th changed our worldview, but the Christmas message of peace, hope and love remains the focus of Christmas. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, was born into this world filled with hate to become the full and complete expression of God's love! Faced with overwhelming hostility, He loved the world to the utmost.
How Christians should respond to present circumstances is a personal struggle for all of us. Charles Beaty helped me tremendously. Charles Beaty, 34, and his wife Christy, were missionaries with the International Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. He died October 2nd, 2001 after a two-year battle with cancer. In the last days of his life when the terrorists struck, he witnessed a world seemingly going mad. He responded with love and prayer. Before his death, he mobilized thousands of Christians for missions by using every day to share his passion for reaching the world with God's love.
On his personal website at: www.ObeyTheRightThirst.org, Beaty reflected on how to respond to the horrors of September 11: "The events of the past few weeks have us all thinking, ‘what is happening? How will this change our world?'" he wrote. "When faced with violence, it is very human to react out of fear, particularly with acts that have no ‘face.'
"[But] let's look to God in our fears. He will come through! Find peace and comfort in God. Live in peace, as you should, with Him at your side."
Beaty initially experienced the same shock many Americans felt, followed by the same anger and desire for retribution. Then the Lord reminded him that all people are made in the image of God and that stereotyping Arabs and Muslims as terrorists and blaming them for the Sept. 11 attacks is sinful.
"Terrorists take many forms," he wrote. "Let us, especially those of us who claim to belong to Jesus, repent of such thoughts. Let us commit to the renewal of our minds to be like that of God's."
He closed one of the final devotions with this prayer: "My heart is prone to evil, Lord. I need your direction through the Guide You have sent me. Help me to love my neighbor as myself. Help me ... to find and fight evil where it exists in this world. May Your love overcome evil in my heart."
Charles Beaty never stopped praying, because he knew that's where the power to love comes from.
Bob Dasal is editor-in-chief of Pulpit Helps.
Information about Charles Beaty from Baptist Press