Things I Think
1. I have a bunch of questions from readers to what the “Christian” response to ISIS should be.
The personal response is to pray for your enemies. The state, however, has a different responsibility.
“For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.”(Romans 13:2–4 ESV)
If any state had the moral compass left to call “evil” what it is and decided to use the sword to wipe these demons from the face of the earth, I’d say “God bless them”.
The problem is that the last state moral compass broke about 1945…
2. What we’re seeing from ISIS is what we’ve already seen in Mexico. When evil is given free reign it feeds on itself and becomes empowered by hell. My apologies for holding to ancient supernatural mythologies about the powers of darkness…actually, I don’t apologize at all. You scoff at these things to your own peril.
3. Another reason why my Facebook feed drives me nuts…a post about a cage full of children that ISIS intends on burning alive is followed by another by someone claiming that “all people are basically good”. No they’re not…some people are just like their father, the devil and all people are victims of the Fall. Deal with it.
4. I’ve also been asked if this verse refers to those killed by Islam;
“Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”
(Revelation 20:4 ESV)
The answer is … it refers to those who have been killed by anyone for the sake of Christ. A lot of folks have lost their lives at the hands of different entities for Jesus over the centuries.
5. The Achilles heel of narcissistic Christian leaders is their complete inability to take responsibility for specific actions and apologize to specific people from the heart…even when it would benefit them to do so. True repentance to a narcissist is like Kryptonite to Superman…
6. You could eliminate every professional sports “all-star” game except baseball’s and no one would notice…
7. Romans 14 (and other passages) tell us that there will be division in the church over secondary issues. They also tell us that one of the ways we fulfill the law of love is to love each other by accommodating each other despite them. I’m not good at accommodation…thus, I’m not good at loving as I should be.
8. Who among us is observing Lent this year and why? Why not?
9. I wonder if I’m in the last generation that marks the change of seasons by when the pitchers and catchers report…
10. There is a part of me that thinks the articles detailing the evil that Islamic extremists are committing are just this weeks social media excitement to too many…and we’ll be back to being outraged by some celebrities behavior tomorrow. All that we care about is that we are continually fed something to be outraged about and we truly care about little other than that.
Yes we are celebrating Lent, as a call to prayer, a time of breaking strongholds, a time to allow the power of the Gospel to take supremacy over our careless drift into destructive vices and most of all as a time to reflect, worship and draw near to God
Yes! Pitchers and catchers! However, while the Phillies pitchers and catchers begin training this Thursday, the forecasted high in Philadelphia that day is 18 degrees, with a low of 0. Ugh!
What we fail to see about ISIS is that this is their response to what they see as our infractions against their lives. From their point of view we have been imposing ourselves upon them over and over. Unlike the restraint that is upon Christians they practice what many people here want to practice. The “kill them all” impulse lives within us and is incited by their actions however there is a restraint in us that currently is not at work in them. Americans would love to slaughter Muslims right now, many Americans would love to eradicate every vestige of Islam from the earth. Their cruelty is inciting us. What we fail to do is to fully ask or try to understand why they are doing these horrendous acts. I am not calling for understanding as a means of toleration. I am simply saying that we want to do the same to them but we know the outcome of such things will ring through centuries and make endless enemies.
The response of our faith is to find a way to make peace and wage peace. But right now we just want to find a way to stop these demonic acts.
I understand what you’re saying…but this group is not interested in peace.
They are interested in mass murder to bring on the apocalypse.
I highly commend this article:
A lot of good thoughts from BD. As Christians, our response should be to try to find a way to make peace. Unfortunately, I think that may be impossible with some. We acknowledge that there have been some things done wrongfully (or at least could have been done in a better manner) that have raised the ire of Muslims in the Middle East. However, even if every step taken by the infidels were to be morally perfect, I fear some of the extremists would still find fault and would continue to pursue their heinous acts. Finding peace with some may be impossible. We need to try, yet at the same time, the innocent need to be protected. Not an easy balance to navigate.
In response to #7
Some of us in His family are certainly tougher to love than others but if Christ is exalted King…… we don’t have the freedom not to love one another. Some of us may not like how our brother down the street does ministry,his blog, personality, or even preaching style but if we live by Ephesians 5:21 with respect to secondary issues, who says we need to divide?
We don’t need to, but we do.
My own attitudes need a lot of repentance in this area…
I’m all for “waging peace” as a Christian.
The truth of the matter is that in the case of this group, they consider peace to be abhorrent.
We have a problem these days recognizing that some folks didn’t grow up on Mr. Rogers…there is evil in the world and it has to be met as such.
Americans would love to slaughter Muslims right now, many Americans would love to eradicate every vestige of Islam from the earth
I completely disagree…and sort of shocked to see this coming from BD
I stop trying to understand after the first head is lopped off. You are wasting your time trying to understand that. It’s just evil. Enemies of God.
I’m getting concerned about internet mobs. Large groups of anonymous people can do a ton of damage without much effort. It’s scary to watch.
No lent for me. I have no historical connection to the practice. It would be insulting to those who do hold it dear for me to go on a diet and blame it on Lent.
All-Star games were supposed to be for the kids. Then money got involved, and kids don’t have enough money. I love the idea of all the best getting together to put on a show for the fans, but we all know that isn’t the case anymore.
I think baseball is mostly dead. For me anyway. I’m a Dodgers fan 🙂
“I’m getting concerned about internet mobs. Large groups of anonymous people can do a ton of damage without much effort. It’s scary to watch.”
People who had no voice and no power now have both… learning to use them judiciously is the next challenge.
It will take some time…
I don’t know that they had no voice and power. They could be anyone. But they are basically acting like terrorists.
The blog always slows down on holidays…which tells you how many people read from work. 🙂
No holiday for me 🙂
I don’t practice lent simply due to my understanding that: each day of our lives, we are to put on the whole armor so that we can stand and not be overtaken by that which is not of Him. As for worshipping and praise, our lives are to be lived in such a way that mirrors or emulates–a living sacrifice of One who has born that great gift given to us at the Cross of Calvary. So, for me–lent is not relevant, nor holier than any other day of the year. Every day is holy and every day is given as a sacrifice and praise to Him.
As for understanding other groups such as those who perpetrate such evil in order to find a way to make peace with them, I think this should always be our first agenda seated upon that which also lends wisdom to also understanding that as Michael put it:
“If any state had the moral compass left to call “evil” what it is and decided to use the sword to wipe these demons from the face of the earth, I’d say “God bless them”.
” When evil is given free reign it feeds on itself and becomes empowered by hell. My apologies for holding to ancient supernatural mythologies about the powers of darkness…actually, I don’t apologize at all. You scoff at these things to your own peril.”
Lest we forget — and history repeats itself. God hates the workers of iniquity.
Psalms Chapter 5 (KJV)
3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct [my prayer] unto thee, and will look up. 4 For thou [art] not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. 5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. 6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.
Yes, we should as much as possible be at peace with each person, and when this is not possible to do and the lives of others or ourselves are or is in peril, we are to take up a defense to protect the innocent, the oppressed, and all that stands in the way of assuring safety from that which is evil and relentless in denying the need for such peace and safety among all nations, regardless of ideologies, philosophical, political, cultural, religious, and ethnic differences.
Just make sure that what we are defending is what truly are the issues that are being defended. That in in itself can be the spoiler of it all IMO. War is no picnic and no one really wins—-yet for a season, until He returns, it does provide some relief to those who would have been totally annihilated. Has any read the book: “Unbroken?” The movie was good, but the book exceeds it in helping us to understand the depth and breadth of what war does to so many during and long afterwards.
Refusal to declare acts of Islamists terror groups evil.Sadly many people live in a bubble.Progressive liberals and many Christians are hoping that Isis and the rest of them will just fade away.Another group of Christians would like to restart the crusades… most of that talk comes from Facebook armchair warrior’s mostly.
I say that we (the civilized world) join together and beat the crap out of them until they beg for mercy and then make peace with them.
Actually, I would rather the US stay out of it and let the rest of the world handle it – our presence always pisses people off and sometime causes damage and set backs.
the problem with mld’s preference in letting the others handle ISIS is that the rest of the world won’t act unless the US is involved. The big guy(s) on the block embolden the littler ones. I agree with a unified front along with involvement from Muslim countries like Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.
While im Not reading and posting from work; or sitting and posing as
Lounge chair critic…, yet trying to be active while reading and attempting to respond by typing while on a treadmill…. poses a bit of a challenge…
Perhaps I should wait until I switch to the bicycle to comment further
Good to see you, Sister!
Gee, I hope Calvin’s Corner isn’t taking the day off!
We recorded this morning…it’ll be up this evening.
The US toppled (Iraq, Libya) or destabilized (Syria) the dictators that kept the radicals in check. We directly or indirectly armed the radicals. We had more than sufficient ground forces to repel isil at the Iraqi border, and sat and watched them roll in. The countries in the region are well aware of our deceit, and are less than excited about cleaning up our mess.
War is the health of the state, and it’s a racket. Oppose it.
Really appreciate your words today on Isis … Fully agreeing with your position on the states/ govt authorities biblical responsibility to combat those who are workers of evil
Thank you, my friend…I’m glad you stopped by.
Michael- good to be here…
It’s been too long away
Been reading here and there
Caught a little on Calvin’s corner
Really liked the article on requirements for a pastor
Makes so much sense-
Steve Wright, if you disagree with what BD post about many Americans wanting to destroy all things Islam, you must be reading different posts than I am. I read comments on some articles and all there is posted there is stuff about wanting to get rid of the “Muslim” president (their words) and all of the Muslims.
I think many people are fed up with the evil acts of some Muslims, and they feel helpless to do anything about it, so they’d just as soon destroy the whole if them.
Oh, I’m still working on the holiday…that’s why I’m posting here as I am working. 🙂
It is insane to make the statement “All Americans want all Muslims Dead!” I am an American and I don’t want all Muslims dead. I also think any person who wants to wipe a people out solely because of their belief system are WRONG! I am an American and I want all people, what ever flavor, who unmercifully burn people in cages, imprison & mutilate women, murder children, cut peoples’ heads off and brag about it DEAD! I don’t care what flag they choose to hide behind. What these insane ISIS members are doing is unacceptable and unjustified!
London and Steve,
I do think that the absence of the modifier “Many” or “Some” would have clarified the statement. I consider myself a tolerant man and a fair minded man. However I must admit that the ire I feel at ISIS rises ever time I see a veil, a mosque or a prayer rug. It is not praiseworthy, but these vile monsters are creating what they fear most.
watched the IPPPA all-star game/match…it was riveting excitement…back and forth each point, fearlessly & aggessively attacking, sneaky shifts in strategy…
but what else does one expect from ping-pong? 😉
I totally agree with your #30 BD.
I also used “many” and “some” intentionally.
Also, I’m finding myself with the same feelings at times. Not so much with individual Muslims I know, but the theory of Islam at the moment. It’s hard to maintain a high level of tolerance in the midst of such evil as we see going on.
The whole situation in the middle east is very disconcerting to me. I know it’s not going away anytime soon.
The Islamic radicals have declared war on us and anyone else who doesn’t submit to their god of course deserves to be burned alive in a cage, have their heads chopped off, their wives and children raped, etc.
How many murders take place in America each and every week?
How many weapons are available for said murders?
How many Muslims are killed each week in America directly, simply for being a Muslim?
On the rarest of occasions we have some lone crackpot like we saw last week…rarest of occasions. Murder though is commonplace.
And the claim expressed was “slaughter Muslims”
I don’t pretend to judge the hearts of 300 million people, especially based on a few facebook posts…but when I hear a claim that has zero evidence in the stats to back it up, I speak to my disagreement of the claim.
Oklahoma is probably the most politically conservative state in the Union. Obama did not win one single county in the state in either election (not even in the heart of OKC or Tulsa)
It also is definitely anti-Muslim, the first state to go on record with an anti-sharia law (though the court tossed it out) And is the poster-child for all the islamophobia watchdogs
And they have lots of guns too. And a few murders each week too.
No connection whatsoever….and before someone says “yeah but there aren’t any Muslims in Oklahoma” think again.
“Slaughter” Muslims?? Yeah, I disagree…and I post as much “anti-Islam” stuff on facebook as probably anyone around here..mainly news stories to spark a thought in my thinking, yet unChristian American friends…most of whom, like the majority of America join the chorus of “Christians are just as bad as Muslims and all religions suck”
There is true evil in the world, I do believe that. ISIS only cements that belief further.
My Belief System includes the premise that all men and women are capable of great good and great evil….some more good than evil, some more evil than good…and some are downright evil as exampled by ISIS and others similar to them (Hitler is another example).
I grew up SB and didn’t participate in Lent either, but it really is more than a “diet”.
For me at least, it’s about participating in a tradition that millions of Christians throughout centuries have practiced. It makes me feel connected in some way.
I never really got how giving up chocolate (or whatever) made any difference to my spiritual life, and certainly not how it made any difference in the world. I thought it made more sense to add something, like charity donations, or volunteer work.
Your comment about “dieting” made me think about what kinds of non-food related thing I could put aside that would allow me to have structured time to work through the Lent devotional I got this year (from Sam’s of all places). Decided that what I will do is give up a game I like to play on my computer and instead use that time for reading, prayer, etc.
I may have said this a week ago, but I give stuff up for Lent only every other year so it is not legalistic (or if it is, it’s only every other year.) i rarely give up a food … I have too many ‘go to’ substitutes.
I think the point of Lent is to ponder the thoughts of Jesus in those weeks before the cross. In Luke 9 it speaks of Jesus setting his face towards Jerusalem. He realizes the time has come.
“When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.”
The KJV states it – ” he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,’
I love the passage in Isa 50 “therefore I have set my face like a flint,”
This is my goal – I use Lent to accompany Jesus to the cross – well, actually, I stop at the foot of the cross. During Lent, I try to find a way to walk with Jesus.
I will never understand this, these 21 people were slaughtered by a bunch of creeps and some of the true believer pack feel this is necessary to state right away.
Pulpit & Pen @PulpitAndPen · 11h 11 hours ago
New post at P&P: Coptic Christians are Not Christians, Evangelical Leaders Need Reminded http://pulpitandpen.org/2015/02/16/coptic-christians-not-christians-southern-baptist-leaders-need-
Your 9, there will always be a remnant.
I agree and I’ll be writing about it in the morning.
James White pulled the same crap.
It will take that long to stop cursing…
Brian – those guys are idiots.
I can’t keep track of who is who.Are JD Hall – Pulpit & Pen and IMB and David Platt, are they all SBC?
Is Pulpit & Pen just reporting what IMB is saying or are they agreeing?
I gave up Lent for Lent.
In response to#5. Two men come to mind when I think of narcissistic leaders in the scriptures, King Saul (1 Samuel 18:7) and Diotrephes (3John1:9-10). Both these men had two things in common, they both tried to lead God’s people through fear and both were unteachable. Ultimatley they both ended up hurting those that loved them the most, including their families.
I believe the above accounts are in scripture partly so that we as undershepherds can learn how not to lead His people. Ultimatley whatever our character flaws……….they are amplified when we stand in positions of authority including behind the pulpit.
May the Lord keep us teachable.
I think i recall you once worked at a bank and some lady had made trouble for you with your employer because you were on this blog during working hours…LOL
The lady seemed to have had a vendetta against you or this blog at the time and wanted to inflict damage.
So I guess you understand more fully than most the reality of your statement. 🙂