We look aghast at the news of terrorism, mayhem and violence in the world.  It isn’t just in far away strange countries anymore. The violence and killing is here!  It  is on the streets of our nation’s capital.  Killing in the name of terror is in the parking lot of the shopping mall.  Hate and violence is in our neighborhoods and even next door.  Why?  What’s driving it.

Kelly McParland in looking at  the terrorism in Africa and France observes;

 Most Canadians can’t comprehend organizations like ISIS, al-Qaeda or Boko Haram, which ruthlessly employ murder and mayhem to halt any movement towards democracy, tolerance or individual rights, which serve as the very foundations of western culture. While determined to stop the spread of extremism, Western authorities remain uncertain on how to go about it. They hope that in a country like France, with a determined government, professional police force and reliable institutions, some headway can be made. In Nigeria, which has none of these assets, westerners can’t even pretend to know what to do. So they don’t.

It’s that admission of hopelessness that is behind the differing reactions to the atrocities in Paris and Baga. In France we think we can help. In Nigeria we have no idea how.

Why an atrocity in Paris is different from an atrocity in Nigeria, National Post,  Kelly McParland,  January 15, 2015

Rex Murphy ponders why the world reacts differently to the terrorism in France and in Africa.  Is Kelly McParland’s theory correct?  We think we know what to do in France but in Nigeria we don’t.  Common sense tells us that often there is a big difference in thinking you know what to do and actually knowing what to do.

If you know the cause of a problem you have important insight about what to do about it.  There seems to be as many theories of the cause of terrorism as there are terrorist groups.  Amy Zalman in her discussion of what causes terrorism argues;

 In fact, the question, “what causes terrorism?” is not quite the right question to be asking, because we will never be able to answer it. We cannot say that the presence of one factor provokes terrorism in the same way that we can say with scientific certainty that certain toxins cause diseases.

The Causes of Terrorism by Amy Zalman, Ph.D. http://terrorism.about.com/od/causes/a/causes_terror.htm

If we cannot say ‘scientifically’, sociologically or politically with any certainty what the root causes of terrorism are, do these theories really give us any great insight as to what to do about it?   And there is the real problem for all who simply wish to live free and peaceably – you cannot effectively deal with something you don’t understand.

The answer is spiritual.  Terrorism is evil.  Evil wears many faces and belongs to all sorts of religions.  Evil is an atheist, a theist, a pagan and an agnostic.  Evil is an equal opportunity killer and hates all races, creeds and colors.  Evil wears military ‘camo’ and religious vestments.  Evil rides a horse and drives a tank.  Evil sits behind a desk, speaks in corporate board rooms and lectures in universities.  In all ways, in all manifestations, evil has one telling mark – it devours!

The Holy Bible tells us plainly what is happening and gives us the history of it;

 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.. . . Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. (Revelation 12:7-9,12)

Scripture tells us what is happening right now and what we can do about it on a personal level;

 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. (1 Peter 5:7-9)

And who we can follow to victory and safety;

“Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:31-33)

Sadly, many prefer putting up with evil and terrorism.