Belgian-Luxembourg Conference Responds to Brussels Attacks

The following statement has been issued by the Belgian-Luxembourg Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in response to bombing attacks in Brussels today.

Brussels Shocked by Attacks.

Today (Tuesday 22nd of March) Brussels is shocked by a series of terrorist attacks. Dozens dead and a hundred wounded after two explosions at the Zaventem international airport and an explosion in the Maelbeek metro station. The metro station is located in the European district, near the European Parliament.

The regional headquarters of the Adventist Church in Belgium and Luxembourg is located in the center of the Belgian capital. None of the staff of the Belgian-Luxembourg Conference or their families were affected by the attacks. "But obviously our concerns and prayers go out to the victims and their families," said Jeroen Tuinstra, conference president, "We are shocked by these attacks. Violence in whatever name of God, can never be excused. At the same time we must be careful to now treat a particular ethnicity or religion differently. Among the victims are all persuasions present, Muslim, Jew, Christian or Atheist. "

The world headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church expressed its support in a statement this morning. "Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Brussels who have sustained terrible explosions causing death and destruction. One of those blasts was very near our Seventh-day Adventist headquarters for that region. I have prayed for the people of Belgium and for our church members who can be a spiritual strength to others in this very difficult time,” said Ted Wilson, president of the world church.

The regional headquarters in Europe in Bern also noted: "Firm and unconditional is our condemnation of all acts of terror, violence and oppression. May weapons, hate and violence cease! No religion is responsible for terrorism. People are responsible for violence and terrorism. We are all brothers and sisters, children of one same Father."

The Adventist Church in the Netherlands also showed her compassion by a press release from its president, Wim Altink: "We are shocked and horrified by a series of bombings in Brussels. We show our sympathy with the victims and all Belgians. We have expressed our support to the president of the Adventist Church in Belgium. Our prayers and thoughts are with them all."

Meanwhile the Belgian Interior Minister, Jan Jambon has announced three days of national mourning.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7379
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Seriously! Is anyone really shocked? I would be shocked if there are no more of these scenes.

Yes, the victims come from all different religions - because the terrorists don’t care who they blow up; however, how often do we hear of Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, terrorists blowing up airports, planes and trains? How many religions reward suicide for whatevedr reason? Isn’t it about time we acknowledge that there might be something about the Islamic religion that accepts this kind of carnage? Where are the Muslim voices protesting this stuff?

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Rhetorical questions here:
Who did it?
Why are they blowing up Brussels? The EU’s support of US imperialism and intervention?

Nice that SDAs are promulgating platitudes without any weight, without calling out the real terrorists.

Ken,
This might just be payback for the apprehension, a few days ago, of that terrorist who was involved in the Paris tragedy.

I am not shocked at these events. It is only going to get worse, Society is getting more perverted and depraved every week.

Interesting that the Belgian-Luxemburg conference says:

but the regional European headquarters in Bern says:

Is this violence in the name of God or not? Why are we being coy about this?

Muslim terrorism is explicitly religious in motivation; the terrorists say that they are terrorizing in the name of Allah and Jihad. That terrorism is incompatible with Islam is not true, as Muhammad himself personally committed much violence, looted caravans, beheaded his enemies, solicited murders, and is believed to have said, “I have been made victorious through terror.” Bukhari 4.52.220. The Muslim terrorists are copiously supported by the source documents of Islam, the Quran and the hadith (Bukhari being considered the most reliable compiler of the sayings of Muhammad).

So why does the official Adventist Church feel the need to publicly support the fiction that Islamic terrorism is not related to Islam? There is nothing in the faith and practice of Seventh-day Adventism the requires us to support this fiction. Quite to the contrary, the fiction that Islamic terrorism is not Islamic is necessitated by the ideological demands of the secular utopian fantasy of multi-culturalism. In other words, it is secular utopianism that demands this fiction, and utopianism is a very serious heresy and departure from the Christian and biblical worldview, which holds that human society is broken by the Fall of mankind, and hence there can be no perfect human society this side of the eschaton, of God doing away with sin and sinners and making a new, perfect, sinless world.

Moreover, the last I checked, Seventh-day Adventists believe that the medieval Roman Catholic Church was anti-Christ and beast power because the church controlled the kings of Europe, i.e., it was a church-state combination. Well, Islam is a mosque-state combination, a religio-political combination in which the religious elements are bound up with a jurisprudential/political/imperial project much more tightly than the Roman Catholic Church was ever tied to the civil governments of medieval Europe. Shouldn’t we be taking the opportunity presented by savage acts of Islamic terror to point out that a religious-political combination, like the Islamic caliphate that these terrorists are trying to revive, would be a terrible thing? That the terrorists are trying to establish a caliphate that could only be a persecuting power because it would be a religio-political combination? Isn’t the occasion of Islamic terrorism the perfect opportunity to engage in some civics education?

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This is our generational understating of right and wrong.

I do not think OT Priest, Prophet, or King would support a non-violent religion. To the contrary, they prayed God will destroy their enemies. Israel composed songs over the death of 1000’s of Egyptians, creating a perpetual Passover celebration of the bloody slaughter. I don’t think religious leaders during the US Civil War, while both sides were praying for military victory, would embrace a non-violent God.

Do you think Jeremiah was ashamed to say this? “This is what the LORD says: “Bodies will be scattered across the fields like clumps of manure, like bundles of grain after the harvest. No one will be left to bury them.” Jer 9

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Number of refugees arrested in the U.s on terrorist-related charges since 2001: 10

Number of natural-born U.S. citizens: 220

Chances of an American charged with Islamic State-related terroristm in the past two years was a convert to Islam: 2 in 5

Number of people killed by political or religious extremists on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001: 93

Percentage of these deaths attributable to far-right-wing political extremism: 52

*(March 2016 Harper’s Magazine)

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I would say that this is more than generational understanding. This is Christian understanding. Jesus overturned the OT view of God by his life death, and teachings. It was he who said, " My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight." It was he who healed the ear of one of his captors, and told Peter to put away his sword, saying, " He who lives by the sword will die by it. "

Jesus is the clearest unveiling of what God is like. Those who kill in God’s name are at odds with him, and who God really is. I would think that our understanding of God is not simply shaped by our point in time, but who Jesus is…one greater than the OT priests and prophets.

Thanks…

Frank

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Every decent human being on the globe is against terrorism. However, terrorism is not confined to any one religion or political cause. In these dark days, it is unwise to stir up anger and hatred against any race or religion. Let the authorities do their work to combat this evil. Our role is to support and care for victims of terrorism and work for peaceful solutions.

I have social relationships with people from several different faiths (including Muslims) and I see God working in and through them to help and heal others. Let’s channel our anger and disgust into productive actions. Rene G.

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“At the same time we must be careful to now treat a particular ethnicity or religion differently.”

Why? How many non-middle easterners were involved in 9/11? How many US carrier planes have been brought down by non radical Islamic terrorist. How many other “religions” were involved in Paris and Brussels? The “political correctness” is blinding common sense. No, not all Islam is radical But all these radicals find their primary source in Islam/middle east.
But to be “non-judgmental” grandmothers, children and the rest line up in US airports daily like sheep for inspection because we so fear the concept of common sense profiling.
Simply no discernment.

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What are we to do in these difficult times?

Romans 12: 1,2 The Message Bible has the best answer for me:
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life- your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life- and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on
God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

Many have asked how should Adventist Christians respond to what happened terrorists are trying to do all over the world? Our response to current political turmoil of our nation and the war on terrorism ought to be clear…
This is a time for a mighty baptism of God’s love. Romans 12:21 says, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” There is no person on the face of this earth that we have the luxury of hating and no person that we can rejoice when they fall into misery. .we need to speak up.
As the night grows darker, the saints need to grow brighter. The only thing that will overcome an idea is a better idea. And that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I challenge you to move out of your comfort zone and into your neighborhoods to share the love of Jesus. Oh, that we would live the truth, tell the truth, speak the truth, believe the truth, love the truth.
We need to trust God. He will see us through this. His anchor will hold in the storm. Proverbs 18:10 says, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” Psalm 20:7 says, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.” America may go to war with manmade weapons, but our safety and ultimate victory comes from the Lord.
We also need to gather and pray. Gather your family and pray. Go to your neighbors and pray. We need pray for God’s kingdom to come and God’s will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. God’s word says, “I exhort therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, then giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty, for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.” (1 Timothy 2:1). We need to pray for and we need to work for peace.
All the prayer in the world is not going to do any good unless we repent. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” We, as a nation, must repent. We, as Christians, who have stood back in apathy and allowed our nation to slide into a cesspool of immorality, need to repent for our sins, as well.
We need to reach out in love. This is an opportunity for all of us to share the love of Jesus with everybody — whatever their race, whatever their nationality, whatever their religion. We need, with all of our heart and soul, to preach the glorious Gospel of Jesus to a lost and dying world. If all we’re doing is enjoying our pursuit of happiness, we’re just making America a better place to go to hell from. Each of us needs to go to our family, neighbors, friends, coworkers, and business associates — and get them to consider Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior…
We need to help them understand that there’s a God in glory who rules over all and come what may, “neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor powers nor things present nor things to come nor height nor depth nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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There is actually a fair amount of Hindu terrorism in India, directed primarily at Muslims.

To address some other points made by others, the claim is that if we say Islam is not responsible for the terrorism, this is disproven by the religious motivations of the attackers.

It should not be a foreign concept that people who claim to be acting in the name of a given religion are not actually in accordance with said religion. This is the central point of the protestant reformation, which may be something some here are familiar with.

To say that papal behavior in the 13th century was not in accordance with Christianity is not to “pretend that it wasn’t religiously motivated”

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There have been so many insightful responses here that I have nothing to add.
I would like to pass this thought along while we might be discussing concepts of heaven by various religious groups.
Recently we had a Spectrum blog on The New Jerusalem written by an SDA pastor-biblical professor.
When speaking about “Heaven” by the many Islamists that are interviewed by American news media they are to have reported.
One gets 70 Virgins when doing great spiritual acts. Such as blowing up infidels.
It is interesting that ONLY the men get the 70 women to wait on them.
There is no report that ANY woman can have 70 Virgin Men wait on them.

It is a Male-Dominated, Male-Only religion.
How is the SDA church any less? Only in the fact that we are a little kinder to women, but still male dominated in our thinking. And we allow for Families in Heaven without servants and slaves.

If we are going to preach the Gospel to Islam, we really do need to change so we can have something to say.

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In time of pain, future is too terrifying to contemplate, the past painful to remember, pay attention right now to prayers and condolences to those mourning for their losses for their hopes for loved ones return crushed walk away beyond grasp.
Please join me in prayer.
HELP US, LORD! Everything spinning out of control, and there’s no peace in sight but you. Gratefully, we know that putting our trust in you is the most productive thing we can do. For when we aren’t in control anymore, you still are. We place all that’s happening right now to Brussels Attacks in your hands and ask you help them the living, the dead and the wounded help them sort out solutions to the chasm of their mourns, losses and pains. For we know, in Jesus Christ, all things are possible in peaceful found way. Amen