Even before I learnt that the main target of the Paris massacre was a theatre until recently owned by Jews, I had been wondering whether we Westerners were reaping the consequences of ‘dancing with the devil’.
That so many civilians enjoying an evening out should suddenly find themselves face to face with a virtual firing squad almost defies the imagination. But there was evidently an elephant in the room, a great unmentionable that dare not speak its name.
London Mayor Boris Johnson referred to the perpetrators – Islamic State terrorists – as a ‘death cult’, which it certainly is. But what commentators seem deliberately to have missed – along with the Bataclan concert hall’s Jewish connection – was the link between such evil extremism and the dark nature of the concert that claimed most of the lives lost last Friday night.
The Eagles of Death Metal band had apparently just started a song called Kiss the devil when the gunmen opened fire and the auditorium morphed into the devil’s domain. Fantasy became reality, with one witness describing it as “hell”.
There was mention of prophecy in the Mail on Sunday, who recalled their “prophetic” report in May headlined “Med boats’ secret cargo: jihadis bound for Britain”. The same paper also reported the “chilling prophecy” of a controversial film about a terrorist rampage in Paris – about to open in French cinemas – that has now had to be withdrawn twice in the wake of the actual thing happening instead. (It was also due to be screened earlier this year, but was pulled following the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine and Jewish supermarket.)
Hardly anyone in the media talks of biblical prophecy, however. Yet that would shed an awful lot of light on this dark subject! Just one example of this is that the world would be full of violence – as in the days of Noah – in the time immediately preceding the return of Jesus to set up his kingdom of peace.
Politicians have referred to the Paris massacre as an ‘attack on civilization’. But my response is: what civilization? We seem obsessed with dark and lurid fantasy, and with images of violence in our living rooms. We congratulate ourselves on our culture of ‘freedom’, bought at a great price in two world wars and, before that, with the blood of Christian martyrs who went to the stake for the cause of publishing God’s Word, now discarded and thrown to the winds, only to be replaced by moral relativism where there are virtually no rules for living; where we promote death (through abortion and euthanasia, for example) and set about ‘redefining’ marriage, family and society as a whole.
Homophobia and Islamaphobia are among the many politically-correct don’ts to have replaced the Ten Commandments. As I write, a highly respected Northern Ireland preacher is facing trial on allegations of breaking the latter rule. It’s possibly only a matter of time before we are denied the freedom of saying that Jesus is the only way to God (a claim he made about himself) for fear of offending other religions. But our civilization was built on this very statement! We believed him, because he was totally authentic, and rose from the dead. We don’t have to force anyone else to believe him; we simply declare the truth about him.
Tragically, however, our moral defences are down, our walls have been breached, and the foundations of our Judeo-Christian civilization have been undermined. That is why we are wobbling as a society in grave danger of collapse.
I can’t speak for France and the rest of Europe, but as far as Britain is concerned, time is running out. The iconic Big Ben clock, which has become a symbol of the UK throughout the globe, has recently undergone repairs amidst fears that it is rapidly becoming beyond repair. It is, of course, part of the complex comprising our famous Houses of Parliament, which is itself in danger from crumbling foundations with talk of MPs possibly having to move out. Even some of our great houses, so loved by tourists, are under threat for lack of finance.
We were once a great nation sending missionaries around the world to share the life-changing (indeed, nation-changing) good news about Jesus. But now we have thrown out what was once most precious to us. Jesus told us to build on the rock. But we have built on sand.
Instead of building on the rock that has stood the test of time, the sure and certain foundation that is Christ, the certainty of his resurrection from the dead and his coming again to set up an everlasting kingdom, we have built on the shifting sand of appeasement, uncertainty and short-term comfort.
We need to repent and return to the Lord!
Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon, and Peace in Jerusalem, available from olivepresspublisher.com