Thursday, April 23, 2015

Opposing Terror As a Follower of Jesus

As a follower of Jesus, I am committed to live my life in full devotion to God, loving Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. I am likewise called to love all others as I love myself, even my enemies.  Loving someone who has by their own word identified themselves as one's enemy does not mean standing by idly while they commit atrocities that are unconscionable. For that reason, I believe the time has more than arrived for all people who love good and hate evil, to at the very least, speak out regarding the endless slaughter of people who refuse to bow to the will of ISIS.  This week, more Christians were killed by the ISIS onslaught, not because they were actively engaged in combat against ISIS, but because they refused to bow to ISIS, pay tribute to ISIS or renounce their faith in Jesus Christ.  I was particularly moved by the words of Coptic Christian Bishop Antonios, who issued the following statement, which appeared on another website, speaking on behalf of the Ethiopian Church regarding this evil action:

"[W]e continue to look at these events with the eyes of faith. The chain of martyrs has not finished, and will accompany the whole history until the end. Christians do not seek martyrdom, they want to live in peace and joy. But if martyrdom comes, it is comforting to see that it can be accepted with the same peace which was accepted by the Copts who pronounced the name of Christ and they relied on Him as they were being slaughtered. The Church has never complained of martyrdom, but has always celebrated martyrs as those in whom, while they are being killed, the great and consoling victory of Christ shines."

What a powerful testimony! Sharing the way of the Cross, which calls Christ followers to resist evil, yet to remain composed, courageous and resolute when evil rails against us!  I love my enemies enough to not sit by silently while they decimate whole cities, countries and regions!  I believe we must stand with our courageous persecuted sisters and brothers in prayer and advocacy! We must speak out against the great evil that is causing such pain and terror! We must spur our government to action and persuade all nations who truly value justice to stand against anyone who would force their will and their ways on others by the sword.  

Let us pray for peace, but let us also work for justice and not be known as the generation who silently ignored a holocaust by submerging themselves in entertainment and self-absorption.  Consider what you should do in response to this greatest evil of our generation.  As for me and my house, this communication is just the beginning!

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