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Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.

1 Timothy 4, 1

Another suicide bomber claims dozens of lives, scream the media, perhaps in their desire to depress the oppressed even further. It is strange how the media ignore the fact that every day hundreds die in interminable wars in so many different parts of the world (some of which have been going on for decades), that every day hundreds die in famines, that every day hundreds die in road accidents, and that every day tens of thousands die ‘naturally’ from illness and old age. And it will be so until the end of time, just as every day tens of thousands will be born. But none of this is ‘newsworthy’.

The Western media, conveniently placed at a distance, also ignore the fact that dozens die every day in suicide bombings in Iraq. Perhaps they ignore this because they would not have occurred, had some oil-hungry Western countries not invaded that wretched country in the first place. Despite their detailed reports on certain tragedies, they do not ask one question, probably because it is too theological in its significance. This is: What evil spirit lies behind the desperate actions of such suicide bombers?

The first examples of organized suicide bombings were perhaps those of over sixty years ago off the coasts of Japan. Then, kamikaze suicide pilots, whose aim was to kill as many Americans as possible, flew into warships, creating mayhem. Ironically, they were in fact hastening the American decision to drop Atom Bombs on Japan, bringing far greater death than ever they had imagined. The second wave of examples of suicide bombings has occurred over the last forty years or so. These suicide bombings have been carried out by Palestinians, or other Muslims, and belong to a worldwide wave of terrorism.

Both these examples have taken place in Non-Christian cultures. The first was among Shintoist Buddhists, the second among Muslims, aggrieved about the theft of Palestine from its native people. Of course, there have been other examples of suicide bombings, as in the recent Hindu-Buddhist civil war in Sri Lanka. Significantly, this too took place in a Non-Christian culture.

Of course, we do not wish to suggest that those religions and cultures commend bloodshed. They do not. However much they may use the cloak of their religion, the fanatical bombers do what they do in the name of nationalist terrorism, not religion. Nevertheless, there is one vital difference between all Non-Christian religions and cultures and the Christian religion and culture. This difference lies in the destiny of the founders of these religions. Notably, the destiny of Christ (like His origin) was quite different from that of Buddha, Mohammed, or any Hindu sage. Whereas they all died, Christ did not.

The very concept of suicide bombing is a sign of Antichristianity. For Christianity - and I mean real Christianity, not the murderous banditry of Crusaders in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, or of settlers in North America and the Pacific - is not about suicide. Indeed, it is not about death; it is about just the opposite - victory over death, called Resurrection. And if Christ be not risen, then our preaching is vain, and your faith also is vain (I Cor 15, 14). Resurrection is the meaning of the victory-sign of the cross, the meaning of the Christian Faith. ‘In this sign thou wilt conquer’.

Christ’s ‘suicide’ on the cross led to the restoration of his own life and that of millions of others. The bomber’s suicide on the street, in the office, in a car, in a train, in a bus, leads to the destruction of his own life and that of dozens of others. We hear the glee of the demons as they capture the soul of the suicide bomber, their glee at the deaths of dozens of victims, and their glee at the sorrow, fear and anger of the millions. The suicide bomber’s mission is death; Christ’s mission is life - victory over death.

There can be no starker opposition between the authentic Christian Faith and every single other religion, philosophy and ideology of this world. Whereas authentic Christianity is about defeating death, the wages of sin, all other systems, however interesting and wise, contain within them the seeds and cult of death. And the evil spirit that lies behind the desperate actions of suicide bombers is the spirit of the devil, of him who rules in that kingdom of death, which we call hell.

For a hundred years and more, the ideological leaders of humanity have done their utmost to preach the death of God. In so doing, they have preached the death of humanity. God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that they may turn and live (Ezekiel 33, 11). God does not kill humanity: nobody kills humanity, except humanity itself.

Fr Andrew

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