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Points to Ponder: Dare to be Free

Points to Ponder
Dare to be Free
By Pastor Whitmore
Weekly Contributing Writer

The morning after the Boston Marathon bombing, the Today Show opened their live coverage of the scene with the ominous screen graphic: "Terror in Boston." For some reason, the media needs to package the news for the effect. The effect of course is fear. As more and more of these random acts of evil occur, the rush to pass laws and add layers of security procedures pours into the American psyche.
I can't help but think that the terrorist plot of September 11, 2001 succeeded and continues to bear fruit. We keep responding to a minority of thugs by giving up our liberties for fear of them. It seems that our nation is slowly moving toward a police-state culture.
While a college student, my date and I enjoyed an evening at the BWI Airport; walking the concourse, watching planes take off and land. Since "9/11," and "We will not forget," no one can just enjoy the airport so casually ever again.
Then because one dorky guy tried to ignite a shoe bomb, everyone has to take off their shoes at the security gate. Add to that all the restrictions on shampoo and deodorant bottles. I bought a sealed bottle of water from an airport snack bar, but when I went to the security gate, the TSA guard had to throw it away, We are officially afraid of water in a whole new way. "Just in case" is our mantra now.
Now, the Boston Marathon has been bombed. In our open society, this event is a highlight of what the United States is about: Freedom. And so, the "land of the free and the home of the brave" is becoming neither.
You can't even go to Six Flags or Hershey Park without a bag search. I guess a metal detector and wand will be next. And how "brave" are we now, as we keep chipping away the liberty we have for so long taken for granted? One crazy person's evil actions can turn our whole nation in a cowering response to fears both real and perceived.
How many memorial services will the President fly off to as, yet again, one or two wicked persons act out? Most law-abiding citizens can not get the attention of the President, but one evil guy with a gun or a bomb can. We are allowing the few with evil intentions to redirect the course of this country. Let's STOP IT ourselves.
What do we do?
"Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; for the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught." (Proverb 3:25-26)
It's as basic as going back to the days of the American Revolution. A rag tag group of poorly clothed, often shoeless, citizen soldiers wrested control of this land from the world power of that day. Now once again, we are in a war for independence from the power of evil.
This war does not require being armed with guns. It's about being armed with GUTS.
Many are already asking about next year's Boston Marathon. How can it be secured? How can we lock down and protect so expansive a course and so many people? The race already had heightened security this year; even bomb-sniffing dogs. Many say it's impossible to secure. Secure from what?
There is something greater at stake here than the security of persons. We must protect our Freedom. The only way we can do that is to dare to be free. Evil keeps winning because we allow terrorists to terrorize us.
On September 12, 2001, I looked up at the empty sky. I wanted so much to get on a plane and dare to fly somewhere. What makes us a different nation from every other is that we are a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Dare to not be scared. As FDR said, "There's nothing to fear but fear itself."
As the Bible assures us, fear is not of God. Therefore its hold upon us can be broken.
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." (II Timothy 1:7)
Yes, evil men with guns and bombs will continue to exist. But their power is in how we respond. Just as soldiers risk their lives on battlefields, we each must risk our lives on the spiritual battlefield where fear is the weapon.
How easily the fear of losing our lives stops us from living our lives. Evil reigns when we surrender to it.
"He Who is in you is greater than He who is in the world." (I John 4:4b)

Hilltop Christian Fellowship, 12624 Trinity Church Drive, Clear Spring. Listen to Rev. Whitmore on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs at 10:45 a.m. & p.m. & Wed at 10:45 a.m.

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