USA (MNN) — Islamic State is taking lives in the most barbaric ways. Beheading Christians, burning people alive, selling the organs of those they capture, and selling young girls to the highest bidder. Why are they doing this? It’s not because these individuals have offended them, have attacked them, or threatened them. They’re being attacked because members of these terrorist groups want everyone in the world to bow to them and their god.
I’ve heard some pretty outlandish things. First, a U-S State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told one news network that the west needs to go after the root causes that leads people to join groups like ISIS and Boko Haram. She says if we could improve the governance of their countries, improve the grievance process, and provide job opportunities that would address the problem.
Following the three day White House Summit on Violent Extremism, President Barak Obama said the world needs to end the cycle of hate by expanding human rights, religious tolerance and peaceful dialogue. He also suggests that Western nations must show that they “welcome people of all faiths,” at a time when “extremists” are saying that Western nations are “hostile to Muslims.
I do believe both of these individuals have a point, but not what you think.
First, let me address Marie Hart’s comments. She’s right, we need to address the root of the problem to fix the ISIS problem. But, the root problem isn’t the lack of jobs, or poverty. If that was the case India would be the home of great bands of terrorists and the homeless in the United States would be nothing more than urban terrorist thugs. The key to getting at the root cause is seeing what is at the heart of this issue — evil hearts.
What do I mean? Man without Christ is evil. As we look at these world events, the only thing that can describe the problem is that it’s utter evil. Where does that come from? A person who is separated from Christ. Satan is the master of using evil to accomplish his purposes.
Secondly, I believe President Obama is correct also, but his assessment is a bit off. I believe we should do more than just bomb the Muslim terrorists and and leave. I think as Christians we have a responsibility to do something for these people. But the first thing we need to do is to tell them about Jesus.
When the Bible says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness in high places,” we now see what that’s like first hand. We’re seeing people who are blinded by the faith of ‘another gospel.’ We’re seeing people who are searching for truth, only being blinded by the lack of truth taught by a book that’s not God’s spoken Word.
So, what’s the answer? I believe the answer is to start praying for Muslims to see and understand who Jesus is. Many Muslims believe Jesus is a Holy Prophet. Because of that, Christians need to leverage that. If they believe He is holy, why don’t they know more about Him. How will they learn more about Him? By reading the Gospel. How will they read the Gospel if they don’t have access to it.
Today, Muslims can access Scripture in more ways than ever before. They can access it in text on websites in their own language (https://www.biblegateway.com/versions/). It’s also available to people who would rather listen to it (http://www.bible.is/).
What’s the bottom line? Only Christ can change the ISIS problem. Only God can limit the evil man does to each other. Only God changes hearts. Pray earnestly every day that God will do this in the hearts of Islamic State terrorists and others who don’t know they Savior.