GOVERNMENT AND THE ISIS CRISIS

 

Christians are called to extraordinary love, including those who hate us: “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them” (Rom. 12:14). Then Paul says, “Never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God” (19). The next paragraph says that government, not individual Christians, does execute God’s wrath on evildoers (13:4). That would include dangerous Muslims.

 

While Christians love their enemies, government is instituted to protect us from our enemies. Government is concerned for the proper ordering of its society. That is not the church’s function. It is called to proclaim the gospel. Good government enhances that possibility. We are to pray for government leaders “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life” (I Tim. 2:2).

 

Government bears the sword against those who threaten such security. “For rulers are not a terror to good conduct but to bad” (Rom. 13:3; I Peter 2:14). Government is responsible for terrorizing terrorists. The government that does not guard its citizens is not fulfilling its God-appointed assignment to hold evil in check. “He who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment” (Rom. 13:2). Individual Christians must be careful not to call down God’s judgment in a knee-jerk reaction against evil, but government is expected to—by the Judge Himself!

 

If terrorists surrounded my house, I would pray. But I would also call the police and hope they arrived in time to do their God-honoring duty by protecting its citizens from evil and carrying out God’s wrath on evil people (13:4). Muslim terrorists are servants of the devil. Their book tells them, not once but a multitude of times, to “kill the infidel”, which means all non-Muslims. (I have the Koran on my shelf). Mohammed was a killer. Jesus, prophetically called the Prince of Peace, never killed.

 

Jesus exposed the strategy of Satan (and of radical Muslims under his authority), “to kill, steal and destroy.” ISIS does this proudly in the name of Allah. They are the most obedient Muslims. If all Muslims obeyed the Koran, they would do what ISIS is doing, and some of them no doubt silently favor ISIS. A precious few are raising strong objection—most are perhaps afraid to. Those who do not favor ISIS are likely most open to the gospel, because they are ashamed that some people are actually doing what the Koran is telling them to do. And some former ISIS killers have come to faith in Jesus!

 

Government does not preach the gospel—Christians do. So we love Muslims and pray that they do not obey their Koran but instead come to obey the Word of God, which tells God’s people to love enemies.

 

The only way I would take in Muslim Syrian refugees would be to put them alone in a separated area, where they could not pose a security threat. Government must protect its people and its borders, which are divinely assigned (Acts 17:26). Allowing such refugees to mingle in our society is naïve and criminal. I do not understand why the United States does not declare war on ISIS for its multiple acts of war and do whatever is necessary to eliminate it. ISIS has threatened to do in America what it is brutally doing in the Middle East. Christians would have more favor with Muslims if our government rose up and stopped ISIS cold (like France began to do). That is what government does. Read the Book! (Romans 13:1-7).

 

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