Fear In America:Terrorism and Impending War's Impact

Connection magazine talked with people in Northeast Ohio about coping with fear in America, and their answers may surprise you.
by Mykol Kirksey Lewis

When Pastor Leon Forte of Adullam Ministries, (now Grace Christian Center), in Athens, Ohio, taught on the power of prayer, as illustrated by Jesus in Matthew 6:6-15, he emphasized that our prayers must be fueled by our faith in an Almighty God and an awareness of who our enemy is and how the enemy operates. One of his chief points was that Satan uses fear to cripple a believer's faith, which could render one's prayers ineffective. Pastor Forte contended that FEAR was no more than an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. In other words, don't believe what you see nor what you hear, believe what God says is true.

What is a believer to do when fear is not based upon false evidence, but real impending danger? It is not as easy to walk by faith and not by sight when you are being bombarded by news reports, from every form of media, that a full-scale war is not only eminent, but also unavoidable. Although redundant, the fact remains that life in America, and worldwide, has not been the same since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Like the generation past that will never forget where they were and what they were doing the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, this generation will never forget where they were and what they were doing when the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center leaving New York devastated and the world in shock.

A year has come and gone since the attacks; flags are still flying and feelings of patriotism have not wavered. However, there are fewer public acknowledgements of the Sovereignty of God by our leaders, there are fewer candlelight vigils for those lost in the tragic events, and there are fewer prayers in public places for our leaders to make the right decisions.

King David was well acquainted with the perils of war. In Psalm 91, he affirms his trust in the Almighty; "?I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God in Him will I trust?thou shall not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day," (verses two and five emphasized, KJV).

How are today's believers coping with the reality of terrorism at home and the daily reminders that America may soon be in a war that will cause all other wars to pale in comparison? And, what about those on the other side of faith? How are those who do not follow after Christ coping with the situation? When asked how they were coping in the face of terrorism and war, believers, and the unchurched alike, of various age groups, had responses as varied as their ages and religious backgrounds.

For Katie Cooper, a wife and mother of three who attends Olmstead Family Ministries in Olmstead Falls, the answer is simple and personal: "I don't worry about that type of thing. It's not my primary concern. I focus on where God has me today." In response to what allows her not to worry; Katie attributes her peace to her relationship with Christ. Byron Waldorf, a pediatric pharmacology staff member at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital and former Jehovah's Witness, offers a simple response as well; "It hasn't effected me much. When your time comes that's it. My life perspective deals with whatever comes. Some things you can make happen and some things are inevitable."

Widow, Anna Marie Fletcher of Faith Temple Baptist Church, a Cleveland inner-city ministry, has lived through World War II, the Korean War, the Viet Nam War, Desert Storm, and other American military entanglements. She has seen and survived a great deal of America's tragic events. "I remember what it was like for young soldiers coming home from wars and how their families felt. I'm worried about the young men and women who will have to fight. It's different now with all the chemicals and germ warfare. This war will be more deadly." With her concerns aside for the troops, Mrs. Fletcher isn't worried if the world should end tomorrow because; "My soul is right with God."

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