Islamic State vs. Kingdom of God
“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
`Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.
They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.’”
(Revelation 12: 10 – 12 NIV)
I have just read an article on the internet by Graeme Wood from the National Journal - February 17, 2015 entitled What ISIS Really Wants. It is very frightening, but confirms what I have thought was happening but did not want to admit. This article is quite long and detailed and has obviously entailed many, many hours of work. Mr. Wood cites sources and interviews that validate his work. It cannot be logically disputed.
In short, what Graeme Wood is reporting is that ISIS is the true expression of the seventh century expression of Islam. What ISIS is doing is what the prophet Mohammed and the commentators and interpreters of the Koran immediately after it was written did during the initial expression of Islam.
We have closed our eyes to facts and have expressed because of modern day requirements of political correctness that Islam is a religion of peace and desires to live peaceably among the rest of the world population and leave everyone else alone to do whatever they wish and worship in whatever way they desire. This is only true of those who do not follow the true teachings of Mohammed. Those Muslims who live among us in peace are those who are living their religion in a way that has evolved from the original teachings so that they can go about their lives in what might be termed a normal manner. They have assimilated into Western or modern society and have separated their religion from their day to day lives. The religion of most Muslims who live in the west or in first world situations has been relegated to the Mosque and to some modes of dress in public.
What ISIS is expressing is the original teachings from the Koran including crucifixion of apostate Muslims and slavery of those they encounter in the territory they are conquering. The only real difference between what happened in the seventh century and what is happening today with ISIS is that in the seventh century the weapons were swords and today the weapons are automatic rifles. Even the leaders of Muslim organizations the Western world considers terrorists are calling for the Muslim world to rise up and defeat ISIS.
We call “radicalization” the education of young Muslims to join with ISIS in the battle to take over the world. It is radicalization. But we must be honest and admit that the call is to what are the basic teachings of Mohammed and the Koran.
What is the answer? What is the proper response of the Christian? I believe the proper response called for by followers of Jesus Christ is to go back to our basic teachings of Jesus just as ISIS has gone back to the basic teachings of Mohammed. I have for a long time been considering the development of Islam a Satanic reaction to Jesus’ work. When Jesus came to earth He became the full revelation of God to us. Jesus’ way of love expressed the love of the Father for the world. Jesus taught a way of love that did not condemn others but provided a way of salvation for them. Jesus’ death and resurrection provided the way for us to find and develop a love relationship with our loving heavenly Father. The way of salvation is the expression of God’s grace to accomplish for us what we could not do for ourselves. Jesus’ obeyed all of the Law of Moses and fulfilled the Law of Moses by dying as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. In terms of the Jewish leaders, Jesus was crucified by them because they wanted to see Him eternally cursed. (Actually He was condemned by the Jewish leaders and crucified by the Romans because the Jewish leaders did not have the authority to crucify.) The resulting crucifixion, however, completed and nullified the Mosaic sacrificial system and fulfilled the Mosaic Law. This became the central controversy between the Jews and the early believers. The Jews wanted the Gentile believers to become Jews before they could be considered Christians. In other words, they insisted on obedience to the Law they could not obey and never had been able to obey. They denied grace and insisted only on obedience to the Law.
The development of Islam by Mohammed was a direct reaction of Satan to the love of God expressed in grace through faith in Jesus Christ. In Islam there is no grace. Only obedience to the law is demanded. Punishment for disobedience is severe, usually involving stoning, amputation, or crucifixion. So the very basis of Christianity was denied by Islam.
The answer is cited in the above scripture. We must live the life of Christ by our example and by our testimony and not be afraid to die for our faith. In other words, let Christ live in and through us.