Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Christian Response to ISIS


I’ve been asked by many people, “When are you going to blog about ISIS?” And my answer thus far as been, “Probably never.” Even though I have quite a few thoughts on Christians and violence, I
 Isis fighters, pictured on a militant website verified by AP.

don’t have much wisdom for how nations should fight against other (aspiring) nations, or the best tactic to rid the world of terrorists.

When people asked another question: “What should we do with ISIS,” I’m always reluctant to answer until I know what they mean by “we.” Does it refer to our American identity or our Christian one? The two are not the same; they are very different. Strangely, Christians in America often use “we” to refer to their national identity rather than their Christian identity. North Korean and Saudi Arabian Christians rarely confuse the two.

I don’t know what to do with ISIS. The current crisis defies simple answers. So I will give neither a patriotic nor nonviolent tirade about the most effective solution to the problem. Instead, I’ll offer a few thoughts that I can ground in the biblical text with a good degree of confidence.

First, destroying ISIS is not the same as destroying evil. America could nuke every terrorist to hell and Satan would walk away untouched. Satan doesn’t need ISIS. Perhaps he’s using them, but I  suspect he’s putting more energy—as an angel of light—into moralistic, consumer driven, power hungry religious movements that are covered in a thin veneer of Christianity. Or, Satan could use the false notion of “world peace” to steal what belongs to Christ. In any case, our real fight is NOT with flesh and blood. We cannot fight a non-flesh and blood enemy with flesh and blood weapons. It doesn’t work. You can’t hit him. Fighting against evil

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