At the time of writing this article, another American aid worker has been reportedly executed in a barbaric manner. Pictures in today’s media abound of many people being brutally executed.
Where on earth did I.S.I.S. come from? Were they tucked away in the corners of the Arab Spring? Was it while the world was watching the Syrian civil war or maybe as Iran was developing nuclear capabilities? No doubt about it they were growing and gaining momentum while the rockets were flying haphazardly into Israel from Hamas mortars. With the cover of all this regional strife this group of militant extremists picked up on their opportunity to evoke horror and terror into the hearts of all who stand in their way.
I.S.I.S. is an acronym for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. It is no surprise and it is no secret that this is exactly what this murderous group wants to accomplish, it is their evil agenda. They want to establish their personal ideology, their belief system by force.
They are literally terrorizing the Mid East forcing millions of people from their homes and with the threat of death…forcing the conversion of anyone who does not hold to their extremist ideals, Jews, Christians and even fellow Muslims. They are violently taking control of towns and villages and they are killing anyone and everyone who disagrees with them regardless of their age and gender.
You must wonder at those who say that we should not intervene. From partisan politics to the every day there are those who disagree with using our military forces to stop this evil that is spreading through the Mid East. But my concern is not political…there will always be the divide…the difference of opinion. But make no mistake, this is most certainly a widening humanitarian disaster that is happening right before our very eyes in our generation, under our watch. And we say every year about this time… “Never Again! Never Again!”. We will not soon forget the haunting look of those British and American civilian workers…before they were brutally slaughtered…
A question to ask ourself is…Are we okay with this? Are we content with knowing that these atrocities are happening in the far reaches of the world? Do we just simply shake our heads and say it will never happen in our native land? We cannot be so sure.
This is troubling on many fronts…Wednesday, October 22, 2014 will forever be marked in our national collective memory as the day the centrepiece of our democracy was attacked and terrorized by a single gunman. Just two days before a car was deliberately rammed into a group of our Canadian soldiers killing one. Again we will not forget Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent.
The reality of evil in this world knows no boundaries, borders or continental divides. It is everywhere in the very heart of humanity. Nor is it bound to any one generation or people group. It is in the heart of all mankind, in every generation in every culture.
I did not grow up in the 1930’s and 40’s when Adolf Hitler was marching through Europe intent on making a certain kind of society, thinking that bloodshed, massacres and a holocaust were the tools necessary to accomplish such an evil atrocity. I have read with sadness that many just sat back and allowed it to happen. And of course in retrospect…with over 60 million lives lost it is probably the worst atrocity in the history of humanity. And to think that many just simply sat back thinking that there was nothing that could have been done.
There are some definite similarities between this I.S.I.S. group terrorizing the Mid East and the terror Hitler inflicted on the world. We know that Hitler had a distorted view of God…in a 1922 speech he wrote: “…my feelings as a Christian point me to my Lord and Saviour as a fighter.” He even claimed in his Mein Kampf, Hitler’s personal manifesto where he outlines his ideology and his plans…that his movement was indeed the will of God and “We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideas of Christianity…in fact our movement is Christian.” Later he would also turn against Christianity and saw it undermining his belief in the “survival of the fittest.” Wow! Even in the name of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace…a distorted obsessive militance is garnered.
It is no secret that I.S.I.S. is murdering anyone who disagrees with their stated theology, their beliefs ideology. They believe that they are doing Allah’s will by exterminating all those who disagree and have their own belief systems. And again, Christians, Jews and even other Muslims are not exempt.
It is also no secret that Hitler hated the Jews. He did everything in his power to get rid of Jewish people. He claimed that the Jews were responsible for World War 1 and the economic collapse. Both of course are untrue. I.S.I.S. also hates the Jews. Their desire is to exterminate the Jewish people. I have read of other similarities as well…such as just like I.S.I.S., Hitler started with a small army…but by the end of the war it took nearly the entire world working together to defeat him. Hitler said he would go so far and stop…this group, I.S.I.S. has stated that it will do what it has to in order to go the entire distance to accomplish their goals. Pledging jihad against the Jews, they want to destroy Israel whom they believe is the small satan.
So what do we do? Do we keep quiet hoping that the armed forces of various countries working together will defeat this terrorist threat while we cower quietly in our corner of the world? I would suggest that we can do four things:
KNOW…There is no point burrowing our heads into the proverbial sand. This problem will not go away on its own. It has been picking up steam and it seems to be widening every day. We should begin by knowing the facts. Know also that the propensity for evil in the human heart is the same today as it was in previous generations. There will always be men like Hitler and groups like I.S.I.S. who are following the dictates of their own heart. “The human heart is the most deceitful above all things, who really knows how bad it is?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
ACT…Do something. Write our politicians of every party to persuade them to act on behalf of people who are oppressed…to face this terror head on. It requires countries like our great country who have historically taken a stand against oppression in years gone by to take a stand today against this evil oppression before it is too late.
PRAY…I realize not everyone who reads this blog believes in prayer…but the one true God is fully aware of this evil wave of violence just as He has always been aware of evil in this world in every generation since the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden. It is not hidden from Him. And when we call out to Him in faith He hears our prayer. And we need to pray for those who are running from I.S.I.S. Pray for courage for those who are facing this enemy. We need to pray that this evil movement of terrorism would be stopped. We need to pray also that hearts would be changed.
SUPPORT…stand behind our armed forces, and our government who is taking a bold stance to stand up against this evil tide. Simply because it is the right thing to do.
Comments, questions and discussion are always invited…David can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @PastorDavidVirr…or just call 519-449-5315