When looking for a Christ-like approach to everything that has been happening since Cain’s murder of his brother Abel up to the recent ISIS attacks in Dallas, Yemen, Kuwait, Libya, Copenhagen, Chattanooga, Brussels, Ankara, Egypt, Beirut, and Paris, what should our Christian response be?
I’ve seen everything from “kill them all”, to “close our borders to any and all refugees”, to “just love and be happy”, to “just concede and don’t bother them and they’ll leave us alone.”
There is so much I want to say – starting with my belief that each of these statements is based on either ignorance, fear, or naïveté. I want to make 5 seemingly unrelated points, yet when combined, form a solid policy for moving forward.
1) Just to start, I want to point out that as Americans we have seriously underestimated and mercilessly bashed the French ever since they refused to back President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld’s ill-advised 2003 foray into Iraq, when, in fact, they exhibited a much more mature understanding of foreign policy and cultural awareness than our leaders. The French, our oldest ally, without whom we would not exist as a nation today. The French, who have many times firmly stood shoulder to shoulder with us in the face of threats and hostilities. The French, who gifted us one of our greatest symbols of liberty – the Statue of Liberty, which stands tall in the New York Harbor – even in the midst of the 9/11 attacks. The French, who despite our rude and petulant behavior and attitude towards them, still love, appreciate, and stand with us.
French President Francois Hollande states that this latest attack will result in merciless retribution on the part of France. It is time for us to once again stand with our French brothers, as we once did. In our abdication of leadership in this area, they will now necessarily step into the void to lead the world against this cancer (as interestingly, Putin has as well – despite his ulterior motives). The least we can and should do is stand with the French.
2) There are many good, kind, and wonderful nominal and moderate Muslims, and I count many of them as dear friends and a few as family. However, as a religion, Islam is a religion of death, violence, and subversion whose intent it is to conquer the world by the sword mercilessly spilling blood until all bow the knee to Allah and Muhammad. We can deny either of these seemingly conflicting points because of fear, ignorance, or naïveté, yet all one must do is really get to know some of the gentile and kind-hearted people, and then also study and understand the Koran and Hadith to understand that both statements are true. What we then understand is that many times Islam is not truly a religion followed, but a cultural and societal agreement that binds people who are otherwise peace-loving and generous. However, when followed as a way of life and religion according to the Koran and Hadith, Islam turns into a destructive bloodthirsty world-conquering strategy straight from the pit of Hell.
3) The call to “kill them all” is frankly ignorant and hateful and not at all reflective of Christ or responsible world leadership. Check your motives and your heart. It’s seriously off-kilter and dangerously reminiscent of the same worldview we claim to fight against. This is yet another philosophy straight from the pit of Hell.
4) The admonitions to “just love and be happy” or even to “just concede and leave them alone and they’ll leave us alone” are very naïve. Ignoring the problem or pretending in a Pollyannaish way that it doesn’t exist is just as dangerous and ill-advised as the above. Concession never results in peace – it results in oppression and subversion.
5) We were born into a world at war. It is a war of God versus the forces of evil lead by Lucifer and played out by his demons and human forces. The only hope is Jesus.
As Christians, what should our response be to these recent incidents? We love and pray, and open our hearts and homes to these who are suffering under the sword. We help those who are homeless and driven out of their homes by war. We lead them to the foot of the cross and pray that the light of Christ is revealed in their hearts and minds.
Yet we maintain vigilance and are prepared to stand in the gap to resist the Devil and his forces by fighting evil and warring against the culture of death. This is not fear. It is wisdom and responsibility.
We do not live in paranoia and fear. But we do live in a state of alertness and vigilance, loving and living with kindness and goodness, yet prepared to meet out wrath to those who come against us with intent to maim, kill, and destroy.
It doesn’t have to be one or the other. It can, and must be, both.