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What do Jesus, Lincoln, Churchill and Bush have in common? Lets start with Jesus. Luke 11:14-23 describes Christ doing exactly what the other three all had to do. Ironically, He faced identical opposition reactions as the other three did. All were warned of, confronted and then worked to defeat an evil endangering many, and all, at some point in their battles, were accused of being evil for doing so! Jesus, and His opposition, the Scribes and Pharisees, had to deal with the evil of demon possession ravaging the people. Christs opposition agreed this was a real danger, as they too saw cases of the possessed, superhuman strength as with the man of Gadarenes, who broke chains meant to hold him. Yet when Jesus successfully cast out demons, they claimed He casts out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of demons. Does the technique seem familiar? Today, as in Lincoln and Churchills day, we face a many headed evil. Ours is radical Islamic terror, Lincolns was the evil of slavery and the grave possibility of the destruction of our nation should it divide. Few if any of Lincolns political critics would have cheered the destruction of our nation, or even the complete victory of slavery, yet his approval ratings were low. Righteousness is not always determined by polls. The problem for many was the cost in both dollars and lives. Yet Lincoln was criticized as being evil, with some saying he was more so than the evil we faced. Over 600,000 died in our civil war. Few, if any, of President Bushs critics would cheer victory by the Islamic terrorists because it would end everyones freedom. The problem is they deny that the terrorists have any such intention as the destruction of all non Muslims. Such naivete in the face of evil is often deadly, as evidenced by the millions who died in WW II. The results of evil in all three cases was on display for all to see. The eventual outcome, with evil unchecked, was warned of by those fighting against it. The problem came from those in denial. Jesus, quoted by both Lincoln and Bush, responded to His critics, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against a house falls. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?...21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. 22 But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils. 23 He who is not with Me is against Me and he who does not gather with Me, scatters. The passage continues with wisdom about rebuilding and replacing the spirit of evil with that of Christ, lest the enemy return with far worse stuff and the end result becoming worse than the first. It could have happened in Lincoln or Churchills day, or today with Bush. They were all branded as warmongers and extremists. In all three cases millions were liberated from evil and the consequences of inaction would have been millions enslaved, tortured or killed. If, (we pray not when ) the nuclear goals of the Islamic terrorists are achieved, President Ahmadinejad of Iran and the leadership of Syria, have promised to unleash them on Israel and the U.S. The horror of a large city totally consumed for a 1-3 mile radius in a nuclear inferno with a million or so dead or wounded, would make the large economic/political shockwave of 9/11 seem like a pebble in a pond. The time for uniting against this common evil is now, before it is too late. The consequences of not doing so will be no victory at all. Western civilization as we know it will be truly brought to desolation. Liberals and other opponents of Bush and Blair and the war on terror need to, like Chamberlain and opponents of Churchill at the beginning of WW II, understand that life and liberty are at stake. Though they waited until it was almost too late to back Churchill, liberals in the U.K. set differences aside and war time posters showed them shoulder to shoulder, arm in arm. Thank God they won the day and I pray we do the same. Roger A. Richards, Jr. Warrensburg First Baptist Church

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