They haven’t kidnapped one of my daughters yet. If they did, what would I do?
Cry out to God, ask others to join me, pray for their persecutors, bless them (Luke 6:28), and hope to God she is released. So I (and you) need to be interceding for the persecuted around the world, remembering those who are ill-treated (Heb. 13:3).
Jesus said, “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust” (Matt. 6:44,45). ISIS murderers get water from heaven on their gardens and sun on their patios. Call it the kindness and mercy of God.
What about those with loved ones who are beheaded? Should they forgive them? Yes, but don’t be naïve about it. Hezekiah was foolishly vulnerable with the envoys from Babylon (2 Kings 20), not an historical friend of Israel, and his descendants were disciplined. Our national leaders remain naïve about the Muslim threat.
Muslims were rejoicing when the Twin Towers went down, and some of them lived in the States. Do we still treat them as allies? Do we say their religion is peaceful? Read their book. I’ve got it on my shelf. It encourages killing infidels—more than once. And if you’re not worshiping Allah, you’re the infidel.
Of course, we know peaceful Muslims who are scandalized by ISIS. Wish they would speak out. Their quietness leaves more room for the rowdies.
Jesus was brutalized and murdered by people who had it wrong. His first order of business from the cross was to forgive them. It deeply impacted a centurion. Luke tells us later than “a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7). Quite a revival! It was likely not unrelated to the way Jesus and His disciples accepted suffering and death, which I am sure my daughters would.
At the same time, Jesus boldly stood up to the religious leaders when it was time to talk. He called them names that were not close to endearing, like hypocrites, blind guides, and white-washed sepulchers. They were the walking dead. He chided them for feeding off the people rather than feeding them. Truth was told.
The silence of peaceful Muslims is puzzling, if not telling. Other cultures would call out their own who cross the lines. Their fear of their brothers tells us much about their faith, which I discovered from personal conversation with them is not faith but fate. “Insh Allah”, the will of Allah, overrules everything, like predestination taken to an insane conclusion, leaving no room for faith under the ironclad will of a distant deity. Should we trust the peaceful ones? Not if they remain silent. They vote with closed lips.
At the government level, the strategy is quite different from a gospel response. I don’t bear the sword, but government does. “Would you have no fear of him who is in authority…If you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; he is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer” (Rom. 13:3,4). God is forgiving, but He is also angry. Government leaders are terrorists of a sort: “For rulers are not a terror to good conduct but to bad” (3). Go ahead, government; you have permission from God to terrorize them.
We are required to protect our own, using every means conceivable to guard our borders and our people overseas, and we make no senseless overtures with the enemy, especially when he is walking our streets.