downloadThe most recent “terror” attack took place on London Bridge last week. Reports[1] claim three Muslim men jumped out of a van wearing hoax bomb vests and coldly started slashing people with their knives. Witnesses confirm they walked towards people shouting, “This is for Allah.” One twenty one year old girl lay helpless on the ground while being stabbed fifteen times crying, “Help me, help me.” She’d made the heroic move to run and try to help others who’d been attacked.  As heartbreaking as the story is, according to Peace Lab and others, there have already been over 500 other “terror” style attacks in just 2017.

Most of these “terror” events unfold in like form. A group of men, often from the Middle East, proclaiming radical ideologies, put on a mask, locate a group of unsuspecting innocents (usually women and children), then proceed to plow them down with a vehicle or weaponry, and subsequently commit suicide to evade any true accountability or prepared confrontation. In other well-published feeds, the aggressors wear masks and stand over handcuffed innocents before slashing their throats. For emphasis, allow me to outline this consistent theme… Multiple men, wearing masks, unsuspecting innocents, prepared weaponry, surprise assaults, shouting Allah, and ending in suicide. Friends, may I suggest we use a new word when describing this atrocity? Instead of calling it “terror” can we begin calling it cowardice? I mean, that’s really what it is. A man who harms a twenty one year old nurse is no man at all. They do not deserve the respect offered by the essence of fear. I’m going on record requesting everyone (regardless of political station) stop using the word “terror” and start using the word “coward” when describing these weaklings who make a mockery of morality.

Instead of calling them “terrorists” let’s start calling them “cowardists.”

The men and women I talk to aren’t “terrified” at all of these puppets so why do we keep empowering them by calling it terror? In fact, the reason these marauding “mini mice” choose unsuspecting women and children is because they wouldn’t dare approach a handful of real men. I don’t care what neighborhood in America they chose – urban, suburban, east side, west side, name your color or you creed, if they walked down a city street making threats at our children, it’d be “game over.” Further, every time they send a suicide bomber to a Christian Church in Egypt, the church has even more people in attendance the following week. The faithful certainly aren’t scared off!

Interestingly, people from every spectrum of life agree on the tenant, “Thou shall notbpanews_f6f8ea1d-890b-487d-ba52-4c568b464ec2_1 murder. ” (Ex 20:13) So even earth’s most liberal personality will consent that “tolerance” only goes so far, especially when it comes to innocent children being mutilated by masked scoundrels. On that one point of agreement, let’s turn the tide on these cowards and call them what they really are. Label them “coward” [cow•ard] noun, meaning lacking courage or excessively afraid, in such a way that every time they jump out with their knife, or hurl their Hertz truck through a crowded street, they can view their own distasteful headline with disdain. Broadcast the word so it prompts shame in their little bunkered holes and secret laboratory basements. Instead of Terror Alert Level call it Coward Alert Level! Imagine how it would hurt their brand image and recruitment policy every time scrolling lower thirds said “Coward Attack.” Most of the worst crooks and criminals in history even used their own name… these guys are simply lurking in the shadows like sewer rats.

Most of the worst criminals in history were even willing to use their own name… These guys simply lurk in the shadows like sewer rats.

Many remember F.D.R’s famous inaugural phrase, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” But often forgotten is the context of a world in between two massive world wars and a nation in depression. Roosevelt continued, “Nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

A few years later the masterful C.S. Lewis was questioned about a Christian’s response to violence and war. In his gentle genius Weight of Glory he informed students that warfare doesn’t change the mortality rate (it’s still 100%). No, war just makes us more aware of death and what we stand for. We tend to forget about cancer at sixty or paralysis at 75 but they’re still coming. His point was that (violence) forces even the stupidest of us to deal with life and the afterlife. To decide upon our conviction, what we fear, what we love, and ultimately why we choose to live our life the way we do.

Lewis went on to provide his position on how to respond to evil, warning the students of three dangers. First Lewis said not to get overly excited and forget the studies (typical of a scholar), next was to not get frustrated when hearing bad news. Finally, was a warning that speaks to our present scenario, “The third danger,” Lewis says, “is fear…”[2] Lewis portended that violence could paralyze into fear. Instead, according to Lewis, if we accept the reality we’re all going to die anyway, we can stand boldly for righteousness while we live.

The moral man and woman must be bold and clear when entrenched against evil. Pray heartily for the leaders in each nation who must address these pervasive evils (1 Tim 2:1-3) and be clear about the wickedness and cowardice of those mocking your morality, peace, freedom, love, and true God. Edmund Burke’s fateful words ring true today more than ever, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”


[2] “Learning in War-Time,” The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1965 (53)


Posted by Anthony Wood

Anthony is Pastor of Mission Bible Church in Tustin, CA, and has authored the books Defining Church & Defining Family. He’s married to Bre, and they have three children. More @AnthonyGeneWood

One Comment

  1. Coward is a true assessment. If they had to face torture instead of a trial and imprisonment they would surely think twice about committing these atrocious acts.

    A biblical word for them would be evil or wicked.


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