We, in the West, have been appalled at this statement of ISIS for the Christians in Iraq. We are hearing of horrible reports from those involved: mass shootings, be-headings, rape, pillage, and plunder. In reading these reports, it does not sound far from the Crusades of a millennia ago. 1000 years and there are still accusations of “infidel” and the need to remove them from the Earth.
Since 2001, good, God-fearing, church-attending folks have railed against the Muslim community without regard to whether or not they have known them for years! During one discussion, at church, about race, religion, and the right response, I found many who harbored such ill-will against all things middle-eastern. Mind you, Jesus was a middle-eastern person too! Despite this fact, most in the “fly-over states, took strong positions. I would expect this from a non-believing community. I do not believe our Christian community should have been taking that position.
See what they have done?!?
The argument, today, is that our response is now justified because of what we see happening. Let’s get in our time machine and go back to 2001. Were we not saying the same thing? Our policies on terrorism are much the same: convert, leave, or die. Of course, we would not say publicly they would die, but our minds sure did! How many of us are appalled at what is happening in Iraq and Syria to Christians have shown the same sentiment toward the Muslim community here during a difficult time in our country?
World War 2
Let’s get in our time machine again and go back to 1942. During this year thousands of Japanese Americans were imprisoned because of a feeling stemming from Dec 7, 1941. We incarcerated and tortured these poor folks for simply having a distinct facial feature about them. Many Americans worried that citizens of Japanese ancestry would act as spies or saboteurs for the Japanese government. Fear — not evidence — drove the U.S. to place over 127,000 Japanese-Americans in concentration camps during WWII
In the 1950’s, during the McCarthy era, thousands of Americans were accused of being communists or communist sympathizers and became the subject of aggressive investigations and questioning before government or private-industry panels, committees and agencies. The primary targets of such suspicions were government employees, those in the entertainment industry, educators and union activists. Suspicions were often given credence despite inconclusive or questionable evidence, and the level of threat posed by a person’s real or supposed leftist associations or beliefs was often greatly exaggerated. Many people suffered loss of employment and/or destruction of their careers; some even suffered imprisonment. Most of these punishments came about through trial verdicts later overturned, laws that were later declared unconstitutional, dismissals for reasons later declared illegal or actionable, or extra-legal procedures that would come into general disrepute.
Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. Matthew 7:5 NLT
What can we do?
What is going on in Iraq and Syria is horrible and insidious. However, before we cast our ballots let us not forget where we too have trod. Many have felt the same way concerning terrorists in our country. We wished them to leave, convert, or find misfortune. Before we try to ride the high horse of spirituality and say that misfortune is better than killing let us not forget more words of Jesus concerning what you think being so similar to what you do. Sin is sin. We should confess ours before touting a position we so recently valued.
- Pray for those who profess Christ as Savior that they would have clarity and wisdom in their decisions.
- Provide funds and materials as possible through a variety of benefactor agencies.
- Prepare for the possibility of persecution in our own country.
- Position yourself with God so firmly that there is nothing less than upright in your life.
- Protect your children through education and spiritual development.