The world is being shaken by ISIS.
ISIS is beheading and crucifying men, women, and even toddlers. They are locking people in cages and burning them alive, they are raping women and children and selling them. They want to conquer the world. On June 24, the UN and Iraq’s Ministry of Migration and Displacement released statistics on how many people have been displaced because of ISIS- more than 1.2 million since January, the numbers are not clear.
How do we react to this as Christians? What should we do?
For a year and a half in Iraq, ISIS has been painting the Arabic letter N “nūn” ن for Nazarene on Christians homes to mark them for execution. ISIS uses ن as a mark of shame. We are retaking it and wearing it as a mark of pride to stand with our persecuted family. Christians are wearing this symbol ن on shirts, necklaces, bracelets, stickers, etc.. I took a black shirt I had and painted ن on it in red.
ISIS parades prisoners in orange jumpsuits, creating slick Hollywood style videos of mass executions. Christians are also showing unity with prisoners of ISIS by wearing orange shirts and tying orange ribbons to cars and around trees. Many are hoping to spark a conversation.
We need to raise our voices!
Why are churches not standing up? Why are we not using the freedom we have to protest? Why are we staying silent while our brothers and sisters are being slaughtered?
There are social protests often in Portland. We should be making noise about what ISIS is doing to Christians. I’ve read about calls for a big protest march in Washington D.C. That would be wonderful. In the mean time, let’s raise our voices wherever we live. Image if churches all over joined together in protest rallies to let our leaders know that we are not okay with their lack of decisive action.
Hebrews 13:3 says, “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” Why is the Church not doing this together? Shouldn’t churches be coming together to stand with our persecuted brothers and sisters?
Jesus said to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
But how can we really love them? They are killing God’s people. We have to remember we are all sinners, and God’s forgiveness is for everyone.
Romans 5:8-10 New International Version (NIV)
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
Romans 8 is always one of the first passages of scripture that comes to my mind, when I hear what new horrors ISIS has committed.
Romans 8:34-39 New International Version (NIV)
34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Apostle Paul is one of my heroes.
His life is a favorites to read and study in the Bible. The story of his conversion on the road to Damascus, from being a persecutor of Christians to becoming a great witness for Christ, amazed me. Paul went from being Saul of Tarsus, persecutor of Christians, to the Apostle Paul who eventually was beheaded for his faith in Jesus. He faced many trials and persecution in his life, but he never lost his faith, he remained faithful to death. God used him to make a difference in the world, even though for a long time he did terrible things to God’s children.
Revelation 2:10 New International Version (NIV)
10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.
A letter from The People of the Cross to ISIS.
I saw this video earlier and it made me cry. I have now watched it so many times, I still cry every time I see it or read it. If you haven’t seen it yet, it is worth your time.
Here is the link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSv4vBcFyvo
A Letter from the People of the Cross to ISIS
The world is talking about you
Your apocalyptic dreams and spectacular sins
Are now awakening the middle east
In your holy war, come to holy ground
Come children of Abraham come
The people of the cross gathers at your gates with a message
Love is coming after you.
Like a rush of wind grazing over the pacific
From hills of the mount of olives to the desert winds of Jordan
From the cedars of Lebanon to the silk roads of the East
An army comes. With no tanks or soldiers
But an army of martyrs faithful unto death
Carrying a message of life
The people of the cross
Comes to die at your gates.
If you wont hear our message with words
Then we will show you with our lives
For every throat you slit and every woman you rape
For every man you burn and every child you turn to dust
There is blood on your hands brother
But Come Brothers Come
Come with your bloodstained hands,
Come with your eyes full of murder for the people of the Cross,
Come lay your guns and your knives at the foot of the cross
A love that is overdue and overwhelming
Breathes through your cities
Though your sins are like scarlet
They can be washed white as snow
Though you call yourselves servants
He will make you into Sons
Where can you run from His love?
Even the darkness cannot hide you
Come Brothers Come
There is the sound of a rushing rain
To remove your sins and bind your wounds
You die for your god but our God died for us
The King of Kings comes to be the sacrificial lamb
Slain on the altar where we should have been
Jesus Christ, Isa Al Masih
Walks through the Middle East
There is forgiveness tonight oh brother
There is healing for your sins oh brother
We are no different.
Apart from Christ, we are no better than the worst jihadist
Christ has been crucified once. and for All.
To make sinners like you and me into brothers
All of us have sinned.
We all deserve death because of our sins.
In our sins we are no different from anyone else.
Jesus died on the cross an innocent man taking our sins.
He took our place.
In Him we have forgiveness, redemption, love, freedom and grace.
Genesis 50:20 New International Version (NIV)
20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
God bless us all,