On the heels of the tragic massacre in Norway, the internet and media have been abuzz with warnings about the potential threat of “Christian extremists.” Typical is an article from domestic terrorism expert Daryl Johnson entitled, “Christian Extremism from Timothy McVeigh to Anders Breivik.” (Yes, you read that title correctly.) He begins by stating, “Those two jihadists—two right-wing reactionaries, two terrorists, two anti-government white supremacists, two Christians—have a lot in common. . . .” Two Christians?
Johnson alleges that, “[McVeigh’s] idealism of a golden-age white America was the Christian translation of al-Qaeda’s idealized caliphate.” He further claims that, “Islamists who may want us harm need only sit back and enjoy the view. They might as well have outsourced the job to their Christian brethren, with plenty of assists from mainstream conservatives.” And this is meant to be taken seriously. Indeed, it is meant to serve as a warning.
Of course, we have known for years that Christianity played no role at all in Timothy McVeigh’s demented, murderous mind (he was, in fact, a self-professed agnostic), while it is becoming increasingly clear that a living, Christian faith (as opposed to a European, cultural Christianity, completely unrelated to faith) was something of no real importance to Anders Breivik. And Christian thinking or ideology certainly did not fuel his savagery.
But falsely branding McVeigh and Breivik as “Christians” is not the real problem. The problem is when people of genuine Christian faith are labeled “Christianists,” the semantic equivalent of “Islamists,” the current way of describing Islamic terrorists who allegedly distort and pervert Islam. We are now the perverters of the Christian faith, not Christians but “Christianists.” Apparently, if you take your faith seriously enough to allow it to influence your worldview, and if you seek to live in accordance with that worldview, you are a Christianist.
In keeping with this, the JoeMyGod, gay activist website posted a link to my recent Townhall article about Anders Breivik with the heading, “Michael Brown: American Christianists Will Suffer Because Of The Norway Killer.” Similarly, my article drew the attention of RightWingWatch.com, a website which also warns of dangerous “Christianists” like me.
Well, as one of those targeted “Christianist” leaders, having written two books calling for a “Jesus revolution” in the society and in the Church, it’s time to let the cat out of the bag. You had better believe we are serious, and you had better believe we are coming your way. And be assured: We are armed to the teeth. (I’m not talking about non-Christian murderers like McVeigh and Breivik; I’m talking about Bible-believing, truly committed, followers of Jesus.) Are you ready to hear the truth about us “Jesus revolutionaries”?
I should tell you first about our weapons. We begin with prayer. That’s right, prayer. We gather to pray in small groups or large groups or simply by ourselves, in the privacy of our homes. We ask God to show us our sins and our faults, to forgive us and change us. And we pray that He will carry out His will in our country and that He will have mercy on our nation. Oh yes, we are dangerous.
But that’s just the beginning. We have a weapon that the apostle Paul called the “sword of the Spirit,” better known as the Bible. We read the Scriptures and love the Scriptures and seek to model our lives according to the lofty ethic of the Scriptures, and if we see you, we might just quote a passage from the Bible to you, like John 3:16. Be on your guard!
And there’s more. We try to infiltrate the inner-cities and tell gang leaders about God’s love and His purpose for their lives. We launch adoption movements to provide homes for unwanted children. We are the first to show up at disaster sites such as Joplin, Missouri after the tornadoes or New Orleans after Katrina. And we are the biggest contributors to organizations like World Vision that feed the hungry around the world. What a scary bunch we are.
As American citizens, we also take our moral and social values into the voting booth, and we do our best to be a public and private influence for the good. In the words of Jesus, we seek to let our light shine. And just as our society has room for gay activists campaigning for same-sex marriage and aggressive atheists fighting to remove all traces of religion from the public square, we believe it has room for us as we stand up for the rights of the unborn, for freedom of religion, and for traditional family values. What an ominous agenda we have.
And one last thing: We are not going away. If you curse us, we will bless you. If you hate us, we will love you. You have been forewarned.