The 2nd toughest thing about insider attacks

English: "The Judas Kiss", (Mark 14:...

On August 23, CNN reported on stats from the Pentagon that numbered 32 insider attacks resulting in 40 coalition deaths in 2012. Last week the media also told us about a newly commissioned Afghan police officer who upon receiving his weapon during the ceremony immediately started shooting the people who were there to honor him. Beyond a doubt, the most serious aspect of insider attacks is the loss of life.

The most significant secondary trait of insider attacks is the distrust it creates among the coalition forces toward the Afghans in general. How are our troops supposed to fight next to somebody who may not even be on our side? Eerily, our experts who are training these men and women could very well be equipping their own murderers. That’s enough to put a damper on any sense of camaraderie. There are many, many Afghans who are grateful for the coalition support and are willing to risk their own lives for the good of their country. They must realize that the coalition forces cannot fully trust them because of the deception of the enemy.

Church is a difficult community to get right. We trust in Jesus Christ for our salvation, but our life to the fullest extent is closely linked to the community of believers that we’re a part of. The tag for Evangel Baptist Church, where I serve as Outreach Pastor, is Ordinary people with an extraordinary God. If we’re ordinary, that means we’re like everybody else. Christians aren’t superhumans. We have lots of problems! Our difference is that we know we’re fallen and we go about life being transformed into being more like Jesus and less like people without hope. That process only works if you’re real enough about who you are to allow the rest of the community to help you be transformed through the power of the Holy Spirit.

It’s tough to do when you’re not sure who’s there to help and who just doesn’t get it. Many Christians are so used to posing – showing to the world how things are great even though they’re not – that they’ve forgotten how to be broken like ordinary people. Those who don’t know how to be up front about their struggles tend to show contempt for those who do. That’s when insider attacks happen in the church. Christians turn their fire on those whom they’re supposed to support. The New Testament book of James (the oldest book of the New Testament) hits the problem of rumors and contempt within the church head on:

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. (James 3:9-10, NIV)

Furthermore, when an atmosphere is created where people aren’t sure how their weaknesses will be accepted, they’ll cease from offering their problems to the group. There is something about turncoats that revile us. Benedict Arnold’s name is an insult in the U.S., just like Judas is pretty much everywhere. What must Jesus have felt when Judas kissed him as an act of betrayal instead of as paying homage to his King? Jesus had known what would happen long before that moment, yet he still had chosen Judas to be a disciple. Maybe we should be prepared for a similar situation? The reward is worth the risk.

Because there is no trust, there is no healing. The Enemy loves it when we live scared. Take a risk and be ordinary. There may be some who don’t get it, but I’m sure there are many more who will. It only takes a few people to creating a trusting atmosphere where the effects of sin can be overcome by the power of Jesus living.

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6 thoughts on “The 2nd toughest thing about insider attacks

  1. Your next to last paragraph raises something I have often pondered. Christ knew all things via his divine nature and He must have known Judas was to betray Him, indeed He made that plain at the last supper when He told the Disciples that one among would betray Him, yet still Judas was chosen. The betrayal was an integral part of the Redemptive plan, but even if Judas had had a change of heart then God would have found another way to sacrifice His Son for our sake.
    Now for your substantive point about insider attacks. I would like to put a slightly different spin if I may. Each and every one of us at one time or another attacks Christ at some time or another, and usually more than once. Why do I say this, because He died for the sin of the world, my sin, your sin and it was our sins which held Him on the cross because of His love for me, and every time I sin I crucify Him afresh, and he bleeds to cleanse me again, and he forgives me again.

    • Brilliant! Yes, we are traitors to our own Savior when we continually choose to sin. Yet he forgives us. And, God would have forgive Judas if Judas had asked. That’s the only difference between Judas and Peter. They both let Jesus down, but Peter repented and allowed Jesus to change his life. Thanks for the great comment Frank!

  2. “Many Christians are so used to posing…” That is an excellent description. Do you think this posing is the result of buying into the lie once we accept salvation then we must show perfection? And, where did that lie come from that so many hold on to?
    Keep the Faith!

    • Karin, I believe this is the Pharisee thing all over again. Perfection is both addictive and contagious, and I’m not talking about the biblical perfection. The NT word doesn’t mean the absence of mistakes, but the consistent, pure drive to become all that God has made us for: to love and honor him with our lives. A college professor noted that in this sense his pen is “perfect” until it runs out of ink and can no longer fulfill what it was created to do. But, I digress.

      I agree with your estimation of the problem. People believe the lie that they must be perfect (our modern understanding of the word) following salvation because there are those who don’t get that Jesus died to make them pure, so they take pride in showing the world that they have it all together – all on their own. Or, that Jesus gives them a higher status than the rest of us. It’s addictive because it’s hard to shake. It’s contagious because it’s very difficult to be vulnerable around people who aren’t. So the whole crowd hides their true selves.

      The lie of perfection comes from people who have a hard time believing that God accepts them as they are, but it also come from not believing that fellow Christians will accept them for who they are either. People keep hold of the image of perfection out of fear of having to deal with their problems and out of fear that their social status will take a hit.

      Sorry for the chapter response. I obviously have a heavy heart for this. Great though, Karin!

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