Sep 222014 1 Response

A Christian Response to Islamic Terrorists

There is a competition currently taking place in the Middle East.

It’s a battle of the most gruesome extremes. Several Islamic terrorist groups are competing with one another for recruits. Much like American universities compete with one another over outstanding athletes or top-ranked scholars, these groups are competing for the allegiance of young men and women. (See: A Dangerous Assumption About God’s Will)

Their desire is to grow their ranks so they can expand their impact around the world.

The method of this competition is to be the most radically barbaric group in the region.

To me it is a race toward becoming the worst of humanity. It is the most evil of pursuits.

To them, it is a sign of strength. They want to be the most brutal in order to appear to be the most formidable opponent of the West.

What is a Christian response to this competition?

We understand a framework in which nations should respond. While we might disagree on the specifics (i.e. should their be boots on the ground), we know that good nations cannot sit idly by and watch these groups terrorize the people of the world. Someone must act. (See: Christianity Today’s Article “Why ISIS Must Be Stopped”)

But what is an individual to do? How does an individual Christian respond?

Our response should mimic their actions, but with one important difference.

In the same way that terrorists are using every resource they have to promote fear and evil, Christians should use every resource available to us to promote love and good.

Just as terrorists are trying to sabotage this world for evil, a Christian’s job is to sabotage this world for good.

Consider, in the Middle East terrorist groups are:

  • Brainstorming ideas of how to create evil
  • Identifying weak spots where they can more easily gain access to important places
  • Gathering money to finance their missions
  • Communicating their passion in hopes of convincing others to join them

So shouldn’t we be:

  • Brainstorming ideas of how to create good
  • Identifying weak spots where we can more easily gain access to places of influence
  • Gathering money to finance our mission
  • Communicating our passion in hopes of convincing others to join us

This isn’t the task of nations. They are charged with fighting evil through traditional means. They should be considering military offensives, economic sanctions, and diplomatic opportunities. (See: My First Response to a Natural Disaster)

Yet individuals, especially Christian individuals, have different responsibilities. It is our job to promote good even as militaries fight evil.

Years ago there was a show on television called The Mole. A group of contestants were charged with completing tasks, but one person within the group was secretly working as the mole. His job was to secretly create havoc and harm other contestants. Of course, a key element of the game was to go undetected. The mole desired to create as many problems as possible with as little fanfare as possible.

The role of a Christian is very similar. We are called to create as much good as possible with as little fanfare as possible.

How are you working for the good of others?

What are you doing that will have a positive effect on others but will never be known by anyone?

How are you secretly making life better for your spouse, child, co-worker, friend, opponent, or enemy?

If people found out everything you have done, would they be shocked by how much good was created?

Imagine if your country dropped you behind enemy lines in the middle of a great battle. Your task was to sabotage as much of the enemy’s plans as possible. You would spend every minute trying to accomplish as much as possible.

According to C.S. Lewis, Christians live in “enemy-occupied territory.” This world is not our home. God has dropped us behind enemy lines in order to sabotage this world for good. (See: How to Pray in the Dark)

A Christian’s response to Islamic terrorists is to use the method of Jesus. It is the way of love. To an unbeliever, it is a ludicrous assumption. How could love make any difference in the midst of so much evil? Yet to the one who has received the grace of God, there is no other way.

For more, see:

How We Respond to Suffering

God Controls Our Darkest Days

One Response to A Christian Response to Islamic Terrorists
  1. […] Thankfully we have a model for how we should respond. The passion we would have if an Islamic terr... kevinathompson.com/churchs-response-charleston-shooting

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