Our sympathy and our prayers go out to all those involved in the Bali massacre. Doubly shocking has been the realisation that such an atrocity could be carried out in such an idyllic island paradise. The bombing had great similarities with that at the World Trade Centre just over a year ago, and Muslim fanatics are obviously to blame.
Whether the bombers are linked to the Al-Qaeda network hardly matters, but it emerged after 9/11 that Osama Bin Laden is a wealthy man with a vast following, that he and other Muslim terrorists are financially supported by almost every Muslim nation, usually at the level of the ruling families, and that he in turn funds Muslim fundamentalism in every corner of the globe, including Africa and Asia.
In the light of all that, is it not obscene how far Western leaders went out of their way after 11th September 2001 to say that Islam is a wonderful peaceful religion, and that the fanatics were not typical Muslims? President Bush was no doubt aware that there are now more Muslims than Jews in America, and others were just afraid or wanted to appear tolerant. They turned Islam itself into the biggest beneficiary of 9/11, winning converts the world over. We showed at the time that Jihad is the sixth pillar of Islam, and described the warped Muslim idea of the paradise which supposedly awaits those who die as 'martyrs' fighting the enemies of Islam.
The World Trade Centre was an ideal target, full of Western money interests and people (and some innocent Muslims and Arab money as well, but that did not seem to matter). But the Bali massacre fits the pattern: it was carried out on a mainly Hindu island in a largely Muslim archipelago, which gives scope for political destabilisation, and, especially in the targeted night-club scene, it is a decadent New-Age Westerners playground, a sort of permanent 'Club 18-30', with sun, sand, sea and sex.
It was very sad to see images of a group of Western survivors mourning the dead by sitting round in a circle with candles on the beach chanting the Hindu "Om" word of power. Hindu 'gods' will neither save nor comfort, and New-Age spirituality is an empty shell. These young people have never heard the Gospel preached with power and conviction at home.
After 11th September, our friends at the Capitol Hill Prayer Alert observed that Americans and their leaders were strong on praying "God bless America," but weak on repentance. Only God in Jesus Christ can save and deliver, and He looks with sorrow and anger on our sins, which are so wide and so deep: Perversion, injustice, corruption, disobedience, blasphemy, greed, idolatry, betrayal and the shedding of innocent blood are bringing the wrath of God on Britain, America, Australia and all the Western World. We shall be powerless before Al-Qaeda until we repent at an individual and corporate level.
On 2nd November, in Westminster Chapel, we shall be praying for national repentance in our land, and focusing on the holy name of God. Please join us as we cry out for God of His grace to have mercy and grant repentance in our land. And may He, of His Fatherly goodness, have mercy on those who died in Bali and comfort their families, drawing them to Him, the source of all comfort.
READ: Job 1:21,19:25-27; Psalm 39; Psalm 90; Eccl 7:4; Jer 31:13; Matt 5:4; John 11:25-26; 1 Cor 15:12-58; Rev 14:13,18:8
PRAY: For God to comfort those bereaved through the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ; for national repentance; for a realisation that the things of this world are vanity, and that our salvation lies in the Lord of heaven and earth. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt 6:33)