I love this straight shooting from Matt Heerema.
If a head of state asks “Christian, how do you feel about housing Syrian refugees?”, our answer ought to be “I will gladly lay down my life for theirs!”
And he is right. But he goes on:
If you are a head of state, however, you must worry about a vast array of things, including the safety of your citizens, the integrity of your economy, the security of your borders…
This is what many are not understanding right now: the separation between what I should do and what my government should do. While the people might offer to take in refugees, our government needs to be thinking first and foremost about the safety of it’s citizens. It has been shown that between one and three of the Paris attackers snuck in with Syrian refugees. No one is suggesting that all Syrian refugees are terrorists, just that the government needs to make sure before we let them into the U.S. when ISIS is already threatening to attack us in similar fashion.
A country that has redefined “bigot” to be anyone that disagrees with someone’s life choices, America needs to look good and hard at what ISIS has been doing through the Middle East. As we bring Christians one-by-one into the spotlight and ask them about their beliefs on sexuality, already knowing the answer they’ll give, and berate them for being so inhuman, so unloving, so intolerant, our fellow humans in ISIS are dragging gay men out of their homes and dropping them off rooftops, stoning them to death, and killing them in horrible ways.
The times that I have been called a bigot are countless. Called so for my faith. Called so because I disagree, silently and vocally, with someone’s life choices. To not see this word used against those that are dropping gay men off rooftops but instead against those that disagree, without even considering violence, shows how ass backwards our country, our media, our fellow men and women have gotten.
A Christian disagrees because he loves you and doesn’t want you to continue on a path he knows leads to Hell. To quote Penn Jillette, reknown atheist:
If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell and people could be going to hell—or not getting eternal life or whatever—and you think that, well, it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward. . . . How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?
This is how the Christian thinks, how the Christian lives. While many in America are getting more and more hostile towards us. While it is becoming more and more unpopular to share our faith. While we know that our livelihood is on the line, we share our faith because we believe that, through Christ, eternal life can be had. To not share that would be hate. I would die to see a gay man come to Christ.
But these radical Muslims of ISIS are killing everyone that disagree with them and doing so without shame. They are taking gay men to the rooftops and dropping them to their deaths in front of an adorning crowd below. They are chopping the heads off of Christians and Muslims that don’t agree with them. And while doing so, they are documenting it all on video and in photos and sharing it online.
I have seen ISIS called many things in the media, but it seems that one word is reserved for Christians alone: bigot.
The Nazis and the Khmer Rouge went to great lengths to hide their crimes against humanity. Instead, ISIS posts its many crimes on social media for global distribution with seemingly no thoughts for the consequences.
The mistake some make when viewing ISIS is to see it as a rational actor. Instead, as the magazine documents, its ideology is that of an apocalyptic cult that believes that we are living in the end times and that ISIS' actions are hastening the moment when this will happen.
We live in an increasingly secularized world, so it's sometimes difficult to take seriously the deeply held religious beliefs of others. For many of us the idea that the end of times will come with a battle between "Rome" and Islam at the obscure Syrian town of Dabiq is as absurd as the belief that the Mayans had that their human sacrifices could influence future events.
First, what world does this author, Peter Bergen, live in that is increasingly secularized? Has CNN fired all the Christians that worked there? Does he choose to surround himself with only liberal atheists? Last I checked, some 75% of Americans call themselves Christian. Over 1.5 billion people around the world call themselves Christian. Around the same call themselves Muslim. That’s over half the world’s population right there, Peter, that are not secular. Maybe the media in America is, by and large, secularized today, but the population most certainly is not. If you cannot “take seriously the deeply held religious beliefs of others,” it sounds like you need to work on your tolerance— which today means accepting all opposing viewpoints as truth— and stop condescending.
What consequences will ISIS have for beheading hundreds, thousands of people and posting videos of their acts online? The media is shirking away from showing the “offensive” images that caused the mass murder in Paris last month. The media is shirking away from showing the “offensive” images that caused the killings in Denmark over the weekend. The President of the United States of America refuses to call these men and women Muslim and even refused to call the victims of 21 beheadings Christian, even though that was the key defining trait that got them killed. Estimates show that we have killed some 6,000 members of ISIS in our bombing raids, while they have grown to over 150,000 strong. Us killing them is only making them stronger!
I had talked with many friends a couple years back about the dire situation in Syria, that it was a powderkeg waiting to blow, that if we didn’t do something, it would blow. My guess at the time was too small. I said that it would end with the destruction of Damascus and the country that once stood in Syria would become a training ground for Al Qaeda. Well, it did blow, but the rebels got much bigger and blew out the east of Syria to start their conquering of Iraq to reform the caliphate.
When Peter writes “The mistake some make when viewing ISIS is to see it as a rational actor,” he condescends to the point of not understanding, making a big mistake. Can we look back at Hitler and see rhyme and reason in what he did? Some of it. But some of it so horrific that many cannot see the rationality. Most cannot see the eugenics experiment that he was conducting to cleanse the German people and form the Aryan race. That starting with the weak, the insane, the handicapped was straight up logic from a Darwinian worldview. They were a burden on an already bad economy. The mistake that Peter makes here is that ISIS is a rational actor, but you must understand their ideology to understand their reasoning.
Instead of saying that Islam is a peaceful religion, you should be looking back at Islam historically. Look at what they did to Spain when they conquered it. Many revisionist historians say that the citizens of Spain lived happily and safely under their Muslim rulers, but the fact is they were forced to pay the jizya to show their subjection to Islamic law and to receive protection. The Muslim leaders took woman as sex slaves left and right, forcing them into marriage. Happiness is not the word that I’d use to describe Muslim Spain. And Spain wasn’t the only one to be conquered by Islam before the Crusades we called to push them back and defend those under the oppressive rule of Islam.
The first war that America fought after the Revolution was with Islam. After our ships being attacked by Tripolian forces again and again, Thomas Jefferson “asked the Muslim ambassador what the new country of America had done to offend them, he reported to John Jay, March 28, 1786”:
The Ambassador answered us that it was … written in their Qur’an, that all nations who should not have acknowledged Islam’s authority were sinners, that it was their … duty to make war upon them … and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners.
Jefferson’s response was not to claim they were not Muslim, but to buy a Quran so that he could understand them. Jefferson rose a navy specifically to go after and end this threat to America.
You can look at the large, 1400 years of Islamic history and see the actions of ISIS repeated time and again. This isn’t the first time this has happened. The history of Islam is war.
So are all Muslims like this? No! There are many moderate and liberal Muslims, especially in America, that don’t follow the historical, warring views of Islam. Just like there are groups of Christians that don’t follow the largely peaceful history of Christianity. But to quote Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham:
Many people in history have used the name of Jesus Christ to accomplish evil things for their own desires. But Jesus taught peace, love and forgiveness. He came to give His life for the sins of mankind, not to take life. Mohammad on the contrary was a warrior and killed many innocent people. True followers of Christ emulate Christ—true followers of Mohammed emulate Mohammed.
That is why saying that there are radicals in all faiths in only partly true. Radical Christians kill people. Radical Muslims don’t. Those that follow Mohammed do kill and do so in abundance.
Understand the rationality of those that seek to kill you. Instead of condescending— “rational actor”, “cult,” “difficult to take seriously the deeply held religious beliefs,” “absurd”— to those that you don’t understand, try to understand them. We are not going to dismantle their new caliphate if we just call them barbaric as we drop our bombs on them.
Maybe you’ll see me on the evening news
Maybe you’ll see me with a bag over my head
If that’s the case, then I’ve met my doom
If that’s the case, then my comrades are dead
And I don’t hate my enemy
I hate the cloud he’s brought over my land
There’s no virtue in killing a man
Neither is there virtue in being afraid to stand
But I saw the black coats forming lines
They hit our beaches running
We’re on our knees but not to pray
You’re the only reason I stayed
In this coward’s melee
I’d rather die than live without mercy and love
Sing while the city decays
We’d rather go up in flames
Lest we betray thy names of dignity and love
Last month I pre-ordered the vinyl of one of my favorite albums, The End Is Not the End from House of Heroes. This album has consistently been in my playlist for nearly seven years. It is kind of crazy to think it’s been that long and it still ranks as one of my favorites. Last year they crowdfunded another album and one of the stretch goals was to do a vinyl runoff this album. Kind of a brainless choice for me.
This album contains a lot of songs set in World War II and the Cold War era, including Code Name: Raven, By Your Side, Journey Into Space, and Baby’s a Red.
Sitting here this morning, I cannot help but think of my Christian brothers that were just beheaded in Libya by ISIS. “I don’t hate my enemy, I hate the cloud he’s brought over my land. There’s no virtue in killing a man, neither is there virtue in being afraid to stand.” These men stood by their faith until they could kneel before His eternal throne. So many in the American leadership and media are afraid to stand for those that died in the Paris shooting last month or the Denmark shooting this month. Too afraid to stand for the freedom of speech. Heck, while Jesus was on trial, Peter denied any association with Christ.
Sometimes our wish to appease those that hate us— so as to not be hated, or to just survive— prevents us from standing for something good and true. When the nation of the crescent comes for our heads, will you stand for something or take knee before them to keep your head?
★★☆☆☆ Lose Control
★★★☆☆ Leave You Now
★★★★☆ In the Valley of the Dying Sun
★★★★★ Code Name: Raven
★★★★★ By Your Side
★★★★★ Journey Into Space, Pt. 1
★★★☆☆ Sooner or Later
★★★★★ Baby’s a Red
★★★★☆ Field of Daggers
★★★★☆ The Young and the Brutal
★★★★☆ New Moon
★★★★☆ If (Acoustic)
★★☆☆☆ Serial Sleepers (Acoustic)
Militants from Islamic State have burned 45 people to death in the western Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi, according to the local police chief.
Col Qasim al-Obeidi said the motive was unknown but he believed some of the victims were members of the security forces.
He has pleaded for help from the government and international community and said the compound, which houses the families of security personnel and local officials, was now under attack.
Pray for our leaders, pray with the Christians in the crosshairs, and pray for an end to this jihad.
“I have not spoken with [the president] about the reaction to the remarks, but I know that there is a failed presidential candidate and an RNC chairman from the past who have criticized us,” Schultz said. “But I don’t have a response to either of those two people.”
This is what is called an ad hominem argument, Mr. Schultz. You might think you can just blow off the remarks of anyone that disagrees with you or the president, but to do so is pure and utter arrogance.
Today at the National Prayer Breakfast, the President implied that what ISIS is doing is equivalent to what happened over 1000 years ago during the Crusades and the Inquisition. Mr. President--Many people in history have used the name of Jesus Christ to accomplish evil things for their own desires. But Jesus taught peace, love and forgiveness. He came to give His life for the sins of mankind, not to take life. Mohammad on the contrary was a warrior and killed many innocent people. True followers of Christ emulate Christ—true followers of Mohammed emulate Mohammed.