'They shall not hurt nor destroy . . .'

Bringing a spiritual perspective to world events and daily life.

Where does the thinking come from that motivates an act of terrorism? Certainly not from God, who made creation good and perfect. Is violence motivated by cultural hatred or by paramilitary training in the name of a religion that believes destruction can be God-impelled and therefore justified? No. Does evil belong to certain people? To certain groups and cultures? No again. The motives to do evil arise from something impersonal -- from what is termed in the Bible "the carnal mind" (Romans 8:7).

Terrorists may believe they can carry out destructive strikes despite all preventive security measures. But this is not true; terrorism is not impossible to conquer, nor is ignoring it possible. "Error of any kind cannot hide from the law of God," wrote the woman who discovered Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p. 95). Every positive human effort to secure an orderly and harmonious society is, of course, important. And the social, political, and cultural issues behind acts of terrorism must be addressed. But these steps will not, of themselves, provide the ultimate answers. Cultural and social problems will never be solved merely through diplomatic efforts.

Divine help is necessary to overcome violence and achieve peace. One more important question: can working with God truly destroy evil? Yes. The good that is from God, who is Love, is infinitely greater than the forces of evil. Whatever is against God has neither authority nor ultimate power. Turning in prayer to God who is all-power, and insisting on seeing His great love for all made plain in our lives, move us down the road of genuine peacemaking.

At the beginning of the Christian era, Jesus Christ proved in all types of situations that divine goodness has the power to destroy evil. And Jesus taught others to follow him. One of those followers, Paul, wrote, ". . . the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; . . . casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (II Corinthians 10:4, 5). The ultimate proof that God's power destroys evil was Jesus' resurrection.

The prayer that contributes to stopping terrorism also helps to solve the problems that motivate it. That prayer, founded on the understanding that there is one Father over all, is greatly strengthened through the conviction that God empowers our prayers. Telecommunication is unlimited in that one individual -- a TV newscaster, for instance-can speak to millions. Similarly, there is no limit to the effective prayer of one individual on behalf of the world. Your prayer can benefit and uplift collective human consciousness.

Ending such a big, global problem as terrorism may seem unlikely, if not impossible. But according to the spiritual fact that God created us to do only what He Himself motivates, such an end must come. Through prayer and contemplation of this truth, freedom from the domination of evil must be gained, step by step.

We're destined to achieve a world state of affairs in which there is no longer a single person who is willing to carry out a terrorist act. Reaching this goal involves an unknown amount of time. But undeniably it is attainable, through the power of divine Love. There is no other genuine answer.

As Isaiah promises, "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (11:9). Whether Muslim, Jew, Christian, Hindu, or other, every individual exists within the one family of man, under the fatherhood and motherhood of one God. At some time and in some way, every nation and culture, that is to say every individual, must and will know and understand the divine source of life that is God. Every individual must express only his or her original, spiritual nature, always obedient to the ideas and rules that come directly from our creator.

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