In order to preserve civilization, decisive action against ISIS and affiliated terror organizations is not optional. Can we forgive our enemies, as Jesus mandated, and crush them at the same time? What is the best possible role that America can play in the war against ISIS and its comrades in cruelty? What would be the consequences of non-action? Is this a war that involves only Arab nations? Would Jesus go to war against Satan’s representatives? This article attempts to answer these questions from a biblical and common sense perspective.
None of the 21 Coptic Christians who were beheaded by ISIS denied Christ. Neither did any of the 30 Ethiopian Christians who were just executed. The last words of one of the Coptic Christians was a loud, “Jesus!” This is quite a different stance than that taken by ISIS deserters who disguise themselves as women in order to escape the cult.
We’ve witnessed Americans beheaded by ISIS on television. Tens of thousands of Christians and those of other faiths have been beheaded, sold into slavery and burned alive, killed and had their organs harvested, buried alive, and have been otherwise tortured to death by those who proclaim themselves to be followers of Muhammad. We’re even talking children’s heads on sticks and children buried alive.
Increasingly, the focus is on Christians. Over 200 Christians were kidnapped not too long ago from northern Syria. Their destiny on this earth is not a mystery. A female American missionary is now awaiting her fate. Perhaps, she has already met it, but the video has not yet been edited to maximize recruitment potential. Hundreds just drowned in the Mediterranean, trying to flee Libya and ISIS. Every day we hear of new atrocities that are unimaginable to any civilized person.
As with members of other cults, the ISIS terrorists hold beliefs that defy rationality. Most recruits lack education and are desperate for employment. They are easy conduits of extreme Islamic ideological nonsense. Here’s an example of the nonsense: the barbarians believe that they are ushering in Armageddon and a new kingdom in which Muslim men and burka covered, uneducated, and mutilated women will be the only inhabitants. Although Arab opposition is thankfully increasing, ISIS is still “purifying” North Africa, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and parts of other nations; and we see the advancing darkness in Europe and England, as well. Little light presently shines in Europe. There are over 600 “no-go” zones in France. These are neighborhoods that administer Sharia law and don’t allow non-Muslims to enter. England also has such zones. According to our own State Dept. and other sources, even in America, terrorist cells exist in all 50 states. CNN reports that the FBI has just warned of possible imminent terrorist attacks in Southern California. Of course, most terrorists have entered America through our porous southern border. Some are now returning Americans who have trained with the terrorists. Of course, there are countless ways to enter our country. And as baffling as this may be, Americans are not even allowed to venture into some terrorist training areas in the United States. Why aren’t we destroying the compounds and imprisoning the terrorists?
The stated mission of the Islamic terrorists is to “cleanse” the world and establish what they call a “caliphate,” or a government ruled by a “caliph,” which is a successor to Muhammad. If they were ever successful, there would be no one left to kill except themselves. This could – and probably would – be accomplished through the continued enforcement of Sharia. What a blessing to the world it would be if the terrorists did this now, as they are doing now to some degree to their own men and women.
WHAT ARE AMERICA AND THE CIVILIZED WORLD DOING ABOUT TERRORISM?
With a tidal wave of barbarism crashing against the shores of civilization, the civilized world has erected few tetrahedrons, pretending that our oceans and ghost soldiers from the past can protect us. As Germany was in 1932 and 1933, so is now the occupied territory of ISIS. However, without the intervention of righteous men and women, 1938 and 1939 will likely be upon us soon, even coming to a mall near you. There’s a saying, “Don’t stumble over what’s behind you.” Is America doing that? While our president courts a relationship with the biggest sponsor of terror in the world, Iran, it would seem so.
Every year, women are killed in the U.S. by a relative in the name of family honor. Though these murderers have not bought into our cultural values, or even into our laws to maintain order, we have accepted their right to live and believe as they wish. In the Old Testament, God allowed “aliens” (non-Jews) to become Jews, but he also required that they live and believe as Jews (Exodus 12:48). All other nations of the world presently require, or have required until now, that immigrants pledge to abide by the laws of their new country. Considering that ISIS and its affiliates could be defeated relatively quickly by a united front of civilized nations, it’s surprising that this isn’t happening. So the answer to the question, “What are America and the civilized nations of the world doing about the advancing evil?” is “not much.”
HOW SHOULD CHRISTIANS RESPOND?
Concerning the slaughter of tens of thousands and potentially millions of innocents, what should followers of Christ do? Our State Department stated that the answer is to give more jobs to terrorists and potential terrorists. Is a worldwide jobs program the answer? Osama bin Laden was a multi-millionaire, and his followers were not interested in gainful employment. And “Jihad John” comes from a rich family in England, graduated from a university in London, and claims that he was discriminated against for being a Muslim (he’s the man in the black costume that speaks to the camera before he beheads someone). Therefore, a jobs program is not the answer. How incredible that a representative of our own State Dept. would make such a suggestion.
There is precedent for Christians uniting against darkness that seeks the destruction of Christianity, all Christians, and the rest of a population. Alfred the Great was a Christian who inspired professing Christian warriors to push back the Viking rebels who had destroyed monasteries and killed priests. And Charlemagne was a Christian who also united professing Christian soldiers to stop France and the rest of Europe from being taken over by Islamic terrorists who were invading their lands. Even now a small band of Christians have formed an army to fight and kill jihadists who attack the holy sites of Syria.
Fortunately, many of the Arab nations have begun to fight back. Jordan struck hard after a Jordanian pilot was burned alive, as seen on a You Tube video. Egypt joined the fray when the 21 were martyred on the set of what was made to look like an ocean shore. Now an Arab coalition is forming with Saudi Arabia taking point. Saudi Arabia has been striking hard at munitions targets in Yemen.
America has been giving token support to the fight in a “blue room” coalition of 60 nations. America provides minimal air support to these Arab nations. Just as America did not back the millions of Iranian demonstrators who longed for democracy, so now America does not provide even small arms to the only Christian hold-outs in Iraq, the Kurds. America is involved in the fight, but only at a “containment” level, which is not working.
More to the biblical point: What is the mind of Christ in this situation? Is there a difference between how a nation should respond and how an individual should respond? Jesus said to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43). Are we to love and forgive the ISIS terrorists? As our enemies increasingly focus their efforts on Christians in general and on the “little Satan,” Israel, with the long range view (and delivery system) to the “great Satan,” the United States, we might want to keep in mind that there is a difference between loving our enemies and allowing them to destroy all that is noble and good. Both Parts I and II will address these issues.
As Christians should we forgive the savages? Should we fight against evil? Should we do both at the same time and forgive evil of this level of degradation? Perhaps, there is a difference between our responsibility as individuals and as a nation. Jesus always stood strongly against the kingdom of Satan. In Matthew 11:12 Jesus said, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” It appears that Jesus wants us to stand against Satan and do our best to establish His kingdom here on earth, as He “draws all men to him” (John 12:32). As the terrorists would have it, there will be no men or women to be drawn to Him. That time will come eventually, of course, but such timing is not in our hands. What’s in our hands is to press forward to establish His kingdom.
Part 2 will examine the importance of hating evil while loving people and will begin to expand upon the necessary response of righteous men and women, as a nation and as individuals.