When I look at newscasts and think about the horrific problems millions of people face because of violence in the countries where they live, I am compelled to wonder how we can make effective changes so that innocent people do not need to flee their homes. How do countries, who open their doors to refugees, help these violent countries develop justice, liberty and equality?
Violence arises from faulty thinking. To think we have a right to attack another person is faulty thinking. Some of this thinking stems from faulty ideologies, some from purely selfish thoughts (I want what you have) and some from the inability or lack of inclination to control violent impulses. God expects us to control our violent impulses, and if we can’t, He has directed civilised societies to create legal systems to deal with people who are a threat to others. Human beings have known from the beginning of time that murder is evil, and there is no doubt about it, we will all stand before our Creator and give an account for the things we have done in this life.
Anyone who has the mistaken belief that in our world today a deity would want them to murder another person, has definitely accepted an ideology that is based on faulty thinking. And yet a large number of the people who are displaced in the world today have had to leave their homes because this type of faulty thinking is being acted upon with, at times, genocidal outcomes. This faulty thinking says, “These people don’t agree with my ideology, I have the right to kill them.”
How do sane, rational people deal with this form of faulty thinking? How should the rest of the world attempt to prevent wholesale murder on the scale we are seeing being perpetrated by IS? I believe we have to directly attack this faulty thinking and it is imperative that this attack comes first from within the community that has given rise to these murderous people.
Outsiders simply pointing out to these people that their thinking is faulty will not prevent the insane violence that is being spread through hate. These murderers claim their scriptures tell them that people who don’t believe in the things they believe in are not only deceived, they choose to be deceived, and therefore their blood is on their own hands. We hear the occasional cry of defence from Muslim leaders who maintain murder is not part of their religion. And yet every day for the last 20 years we hear about Muslims killing people.
If this is not an integral part of Islam, then the leaders need to stand up and say so, loud and clear. They need to teach their children that killing someone else, for any reason other than defending oneself or one’s community, is murder – plain and simple! And they need to educate their young men to think differently. Hate is not conducive to world peace. But perhaps this is what they are actually all about. Their ideology may be based on the idea that the Mahdi will come to a chaotic world filled with hate and violence. They may mistakenly believe they are agents of some twisted sort of good/god.
There is no denying the fact that the majority of people who have found it impossible to stay in their own countries have fled to countries that were founded on Christian principals. Christians can attack the faulty thinking that has led to so much violence and human suffering. We need to attack from the front with prayer. Prayer is our most powerful weapon and we need to use it now, because this is a spiritual battle and we are called to arms. As Paul wrote to the Ephesians:
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the world’s rulers, of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Eph 6:12)
Christian communities have no problem identifying and condemning murder. Jesus has not given us a mandate for attacking other people, even if they disagree with us and hate us we are commanded to love them and pray for them. The Christian faith is based on peace (Luke 1:78-79), love (John 13:35), forgiveness (Mat 6:12), charity (Mat 25:35-40) and equality (2 Cor 8:13-14). These are the standards the leaders of the Christian church should be setting for their people. God has not called us to be prosperous in this world, He has called us to take up the cross and follow Him (Mark 8:34). Christian leaders around the world today need to speak out about these standards and demand them of their people. All those people who claim to be followers of Christ should be showing love to their Muslim neighbours. We need to be the ambassadors of Christ in the 21st century world.
If these standards are also claimed by other faiths then let their leaders stand up and be counted. Let them speak out and tell their people that this is what is expected of them. If these are not the standards set by their faith, then this faith should be seen for what it is, nothing more than a group of murderous people with faulty thinking. Any faith that promotes violence and hate is a false, evil religion, because we know that God is Love (1 John 4:8).
Why should the rest of the world stand by and pick up the pieces as country after country is racked by the ruinous doctrines of an evil religion. If murder and violence are not part of the doctrine of Islam then let the leaders shout it from their minarets. There are innocent men, women and children who have been born into this faith who have no freedom to choose to look rationally at it and reject it. Apostasy is another choice that is punishable by murder. Outsiders cannot reform Islam, it is up to Muslims to show the world that they really are promoting a religion of peace, if this is indeed what they claim. But this is not what is evident from 1400 years of history.
I can only hope that I am wrong, that I have looked at this situation and missed something. But I simply have to look at the news to see that even if a small number of misguided people are promoting violent aggression in the name of Islam, it is enough to cause immense and unpardonable suffering. Christians around the world need to identify this faulty thinking with compassion and attack it with prayer. This is a call to every Christian in the world today to become an agent of change. Pray brothers and sister, pray like you have never prayed before. Pray for the souls of the lost and deceived, pray that they will see the Light and come to the only true God, their Creator.
Christians of the world must unite and attack this faulty thinking on the spiritual level. The Body of Christ needs to be an agent for change in the world today. Christian people all over the world need to dedicate some time to prayer. We have the most powerful weapon in all the world and we can use it for God’s glory. We need to show the world “proof of our love” so that the Lord Jesus Christ is glorified (2 Cor 8:2-3). Brothers and sisters let us pray.
“Father, let those people who have been born into countries where faulty thinking is the norm hear Your Truth. Lord, open their hearts and their minds to the Truth of Your gospel and bring them into Your Kingdom. Father let them hear about the great love You have for them. Let them truly understand that You sent Your Son to die for them, that they might have eternal life. They have been told that they will live in paradise because they are prepared to kill for their god. Break down this false hope Lord and open their eyes to Your Truth. We know it is only in and through the Lord Jesus Christ that we can be granted the gift of eternal life. Father, reach out to them now we pray and touch them mightily. Amen.”