Tonight, I watched a news piece on 60 Minutes about a Muslim extremist in Great Britain who appears to be recruiting young Muslim men to the work of ISIS…in a veiled sort of way, in order to avoid being charged as a threat. He’s incredibly shifty. And brilliant.
The news reporter interviewed one of his disciples, and he was frightening. He spoke with cold, calculating conviction of how everyone must come under the rule of Allah, and that radical Muslims are on a mission to enforce that rule, by any means necessary.
The greatness of social media (that gives you the privilege of reading these wonderful words of wisdom I write) is being used with creativity and laser-focus to inspire, motivate, and openly recruit to the cause. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but this not simply a conspiracy. It is people determined to impose their beliefs on others…to use their ideology to manipulate and overpower…and to strip people of their freedom to choose their own path.
They do this in the name of God (Allah). They do it out of absolute determination to be obedient to their scripture and tradition. They do it because they wholeheartedly believe their way is better, even if it must be forced on others by power.
Don’t misunderstand. I believe everything about what they are doing is wrong. It stands as the antithesis of what I believe about my God, his word, and the life of Jesus. I guess that’s why I’m troubled about something…
There’s a new book that’s out, that’s written by an author I have always respected, teamed with another author who is, at best, questionable in his analysis of American history and the role of Christianity in our national past. (The accuracy and reliability of his books and presentations have consistently been called into question by some of the most respected historians, both Christian and non.)
This is what a recent promotional campaign has to say about the book:
Based on shocking new research and compelling interviews, the newly released book combines unique insights and cultural analysis to demonstrate the moral and spiritual underpinnings that made the United States great, its decline over the past forty years and a detailed road map for the future.
“Unless we invite God to be at the center of our process and operate in strict accordance with His principles, we are doomed to continue our downward slide,” [the authors] write. “Because He has proven Himself to be a merciful ruler, though, if we will humble ourselves before Him, there is hope. The book will describe the radical action Americans must take in partnership with God to restore the nation.”
This does not rank up there with the radical evil of the Jihad of extremist Islam, but it shares some of the same philosophical attitudes. The attitudes that followers of Jesus should flee from.
There is nothing about the life and teachings of Jesus that resembles force, coersion, manipulation, or domination. The only “overpowering” Jesus ever used involved love, compassion, forgiveness and grace.
The “radical action” American Christians must take in partnership with God to restore our nation is the action of humility, not power. Grace, not force. Love, not fear.
‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6