15 Sep One Christian’s response to ISIS
This truly is one of the hardest conclusions I have had to come too. It took several years of paying attention, hours of research, prayer and conversations with people of differing opinions to come to this point. The subject: what is the Christian response towards ISIS?
First it is important to remember that when dealing with individuals and faith based subject matter, there are many opinions that are neither right nor wrong. People interpret cultural/political groups as well as the Bible’s text all very differently. Christians in America are faced with a dilemma on this topic though. The struggle between being the humble, selfless forgiving martyr and being the protective, frugal freedom loving Patriot. On one side, the Bible tells us to empathize and encourage. Hebrews 13 tells us to remember those who suffer and John 16 tells us to take heart in the one who has overcome evil. On the other side, Hebrews 11 gives us a call to abhor wrongdoing and administer justice and correct oppression. We also see many instance in the Bible to specifically stay away from false teachings.
So how do we move forward? First we need to be able to educate. ISIS came out of al Queda; a more liberal sect of radical Islam in their interpretations. Once we understand this, we see why they carry out the violent genocides that they do on women, children and gay men and women. Then we need to educate that there are many peaceful Muslims who practice their religion. ISIS is made up of radical extremists who hate freedom and carry out terror attacks on innocent lives. And while Islam and Christianity don’t go together, Muslims can live freely in America, practicing their religion as long as they abide by our democracy.
Once we have done a good job of educating ourselves and those around us, we can begin to discuss ways to counter act Radical Islam. One way that I believe we can do this as a Nation, is to use the shame tactic. In many Middle Eastern communities there are stories about a man who gives another his outer coat to wear. In this Middle Eastern culture unlike America; this is a disgrace on the one who takes the coat, not the one who gives it. We need to get to the table and discuss is there a way to use their cultural interpretations against them in hopes they will see their flaws. Another action to take as the body of Christ, is to really act out the “In the world, not of it” directive. We need to run out and love on Muslims living in our communities. Our goal should not to directly convert them by our words, but by our actions of love. Love does. The hope is that this will influence many converts and it will be visible to the radical extremist groups bent on terrorism.
Finally it is important in my opinion that all options be kept on the table. If it does not work to educate, shame and love; we must be ready to have the next conversation. The question needs to be asked: is ISIS made up of people who have completely given themselves up to evil? If so, is war our only option to protect our right to freely worship in the United States? These are conversations that we must have and have honestly and thoroughly. God calls us to abhor evil and prevent it from entering our homes. I am of the opinion that allowing this radical group of terrorists to reign genocide in America is not an option. We must lead as Christian in America. Condoleezza Rice said it best for me, “We must lead because if we don’t, one of two things will happen. No one will lead and there will be chaos or someone will fill the vacuum who does not share our values.” We must be willing to take that seriously and address evil as it is.
American I believe are weary. Christians in America I believe are even wearier. Both groups are exhausted by this groups depraved attacks on innocent lives. We must be willing to educate on another, use the resources we have to shame our attackers and love our practicing Muslims neighbors. If these do not work, I advocate that we continue to do love to others; but that we meet at the table and discuss our role as leaders in a world that needs a light. Leaders who abhor evil and stand for goodness. God’s goodness.
Christian response to ISIS
· American Christians wear two hats
o Selfless, long-suffering forgiver
§ Empathize and Encourage(Hebrews 13- remember those who suffer; John 16- Take heart in the one who has overcome the world)
o Protective, frugal freedom loving Patriot
§ (Hebrews 11- a call to abhor wrongdoing, administer justice and correct oppression; the Bible tells us to not be led astray by false teachings that ensnare us.)
§ Uphold justice and stay Informed
§ First understand the history of the nation/ideology. Then change it. They have morphed out of al Qaeda who were ironically too liberal for their most radical Islamic interpretations.
§ An Islamic value system such as ISIS will erode the American culture and tear apart Christian values. The only way to stop this from happening, is to stop it at our gates; Islam is not a religion of peace. Blatant misrepresentation. Injustices to Christians, women and gays
· Differentiate between ISISand Muslims
o ISIS- Radical terrorist group that beheads innocents for pleasure
o Muslims- a people group that worship differently than Christians
· Democracy and Islam are incompatible with each other
o Rapes, sexual assaults, child beheading. Genocides
· Radical Islam is not compatible with the American democracy
o Christian love and liberal peaceful Muslims are compatible
· Shame and love them?
o Take off the outer cloak- shame on the one who saw, not the one who took it off
o In the World, not of it; run out and show love
· Is ISIS too Evil?
o ISIS is purely given up to evil
o Creates a weariness in Christians, Americans alike
o But we must lead: if we do not there will be chaos or someone will fill the vacuum that does not share our values
o A legitimate argument can be made for war
o House votes to keep US troops deployed against ISI