The battle against ISIS and other Islamic terrorist organizations can only be meaningfully fought and won by the Christian church, and not by national military forces, especially those operated by the United States (1).
Am I calling for a 21st century Crusade? Hardly. Allow me to clarify by allowing God to speak through the apostle Paul:
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places… and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:10-12,17).
The church needs to combat the spiritual wickedness of Islam by leading Muslims to Christ, one person at a time.
In the teachings of Muhammad, Satan has left his flank susceptible to attack by acknowledging the holiness of the Bible and the prophethood of Jesus Christ. By portraying Jesus as a mere rasul, or messenger, the devil intended to diminish Christ’s stature as the Son of God and Lord of all creation, but he unintentionally left open a door to evangelism. Muslim militant forces charge forward using secular-style propaganda, social engineering and shock psychology, but their guard is extremely vulnerable on the spiritual front.
The true Jesus Christ of the Bible has already won the war, and His disciples are called to proclaim His victory so that many more may share in it for eternity. Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. Truly, Christians are called to love their enemies, and there is nothing more loving than sharing the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.
Paul hunted down and tortured Christians before he was awestruck by the glory of the Lord and brought to salvation in Christ. Paul was a terrorist before he was an apostle.
Given their respect for scripture, it’s very possible that radical Muslim terrorists are closer to salvation than secular humanists! So I urge my Christian brothers and sisters not to hate Muslims – not to chant for building high walls (2) and droning by Hellfire missiles – but to preach the gospel to every creature, for whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.
Politically conservative Christians (as distinguished from doctrinally conservative Christians) bolster Muslim propaganda when they insist that the United States is a Christian nation. Regardless of the beliefs purportedly held by certain “Founding Fathers” and the standing POTUS, the United States today is decidedly unchristian and lost. To conflate the disgraceful behavior of popular culture with Christianity is to serve Islamist ideology, going back to the Quran itself.
The Bible recounts many nations and cities that built defensive walls, including Jerusalem. Even the book of Revelation describes the holy city coming down from a new heaven, the new Jerusalem, with “a wall great and high.” But note this well: the gates of the holy city are always open. “And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Revelation 21:25-27). The question that none of us can answer is, Whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life? That’s some “extreme vetting” of the faith that we can’t conduct ourselves. We can only pray without ceasing that God’s will be done: that none should perish, but all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Not all will be saved, but we can yet hope for all those we encounter. Keep those gates open. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Upon the rock of faith Christ will build His church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it!