We all gasped in disbelief when news of the attacks in Norway began to filter in through the news services. First, a massive bomb explodes outside the offices of Norway’s Prime Minister. Video from the scene showed gaping holes in office buildings surrounding the plaza in Oslo.
Then, word came of gunmen on a nearby lake island randomly firing on young people attending a summer youth camp.
Details were sketchy. The death toll at the bombing site seemed amazingly low — seven dead — and at the island site, unbelievably high. How could a gunman or gunmen continue to shoot unabated for almost an hour and a half? Was there no security? Where were the police? Was this another Mumbai-style attack staged by teams of terrorists? At first report, the Norwegian police said the death toll on the island was approaching 100!
Soon enough, more than one Islamic group claimed responsibility for the attacks. Yet, news coverage seemed rather lacking, both in information and intensity.
When the Oslo police finally reached the lake island, the lone gunman almost eagerly laid down his weapon and peacefully surrendered to the first policemen who approached him. To their surprise, he was a blond-haired, blue-eyed Norwegian. Apparently not a Muslim terrorist.
As details began to emerge, we learned that, indeed, eight had died in the bombing. The death toll on the island dropped to 68, with some still missing. In all, one man took the lives of at least 75 innocent Norwegians and one Dane. The senselessness of this tragedy is undeniable and almost overwhelming.
In a macabre way, though, the thing that seemed most important to the international press was that the suspect was not Islamic. Rather, they gleefully reported that he was a right-wing nut job. And, of course, in the press, “right-wing” also translates “Christian.”
So, that’s what the media around the world began to breathlessly report: that the unspeakable tragedy had been perpetrated by a “Christian fundamentalist.”
In reality, though, despite the international headlines, the one thing that’s missing from Anders Breivik’s profile is any direct connection with Christianity. But that’s a minor detail as far as the global media is concerned.
In case you have some doubts, the very foundations of Christianity preclude the possibility of any such thing as ‘Christian fundamentalist terrorism.’ I’ll tell you why this week.
But the Oslo massacres are just one incident in an ever-growing catalog of evil that is engulfing our planet. The Apostle Paul warned that these days would come and he described them in remarkable detail. The fact that evil men and seducers continue to grow worse and worse — despite man’s efforts to stem the tide — is proof positive that man didn’t author the Bible. God did. And it confirms the veracity of the Bible’s prophecies.
In case you didn’t know, I spent a decade of my early ministry working on American college campuses with Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC). Some of you have written to ask what I think about CCC’s recent decision to change its public name to “Cru.” After some reflection, I decided to respond on the show this week with a story entitled, “What’s in a Name?”
By the way, don’t forget in these last days that there IS power in a name — the name of Jesus! Don’t be afraid to call upon that Name or to proclaim that Name to others. It is the only Name by which we are saved.