From Jim O'Brien
September 23, 2016

Hi Friend,

Coexistence With Terrorists

It's always fascinating to see a car with the bumper sticker that reads COEXIST. What a simple concept. The driver has found a way to tell the world that he just thought of something that totally escaped George Washington. Valley Forge was useless. Why would those silly Revolutionary War soldiers leave farm and family and walk barefoot over frozen ground to gain freedom? If they had only thought of coexisting with the British tyrants.

Too bad Winston Churchill never saw that profound bumper sticker on the rusting fender of the '86 Datsun with no muffler and two missing hubcaps. He could have learned to coexist with Hitler.

Most of us think that if we treat the other guy nice then he will respond in kind. That works most of the time and it would work all the time if evil did not exist. The paradox of our time is the refusal to admit that evil people exist even while we lock our doors at night.

The sticker really announces that the guy driving the car is naïve. The deeper question is how do you coexist with a terrorist. Ronald Reagan said that it's easy to have peace. You can have it in the next second. All you have to do is surrender.

Jesus could have had peace with the world. The Father could have had peace with Lucifer. Would we be better off had they chosen to surrender?

At the Last Supper Jesus gave final instructions before sending His disciples into the world. One of the curious things He instructed them to do was to purchase a weapon. Jesus told them "if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one." (Luke 22:36) For a private citizen a sword was a weapon of self-defense, much like a gun is today. It wasn't for killing chickens and butchering cows.

A few years ago I was in a discussion with a church leader who adamantly maintained that Jesus commanded Christians to be pacifists. Scripture did not deter my friend from holding on to his cherished belief. It made no difference that it was a Passover Service when Jesus instructed the disciples to buy a sword or that it was customary for Peter to carry the sword he used on the Roman soldier. The sword didn't suddenly appear-it was always there. Peter had it with him at the Passover service.

Then I realized that the real motive of the church leader was control. He wanted dependent members rather than self-sufficient. Defenseless people don't resist, therefore they are easier to control.

We could coexist with Muslims or other tyrants-if we just submitted to slavery.

It's hard for Christians-and Americans-to understand that individual rights are at the core of the 10 Commandments. Thou shalt not steal was not written to protect the people in power-nobody can steal from them. The Commandments are a protection for average citizens from those who abuse power. The man who owns nothing has no rights. It is the 8th Commandment that confers rights upon every citizen.

For example, in Egypt today the average citizen has no legal right over his own property. As a result, over ninety percent of the businesses operate illegally. Owners intentionally keep their businesses small to avoid attention from the government. In short, the tyranny of the Egyptian government has found a way to stifle economic growth.

Do we need reminding that Pharaoh owned everything in Egypt? That Egypt is a metaphor for sin that Christians must reject?

The shame of 21st Century Christians is that we have lost an understanding of the Rule of Law. When Christianity gave up a commitment to the Law of God and rejected the Old Testament we began a national downward spiral. America lost her way when we forgot that the Ten Commandments are made for the common man.

Until next time,

Jim O'Brien