This article written in the Huffington Post makes an interesting point regarding both the fear propaganda aimed at the Muslim community, and Christian hatred perpetuated by said fear.
While it is true that ISIS consists of extremist Muslims, and they are initiating acts of terror throughout the world, it does not mean that an entire faith should be punished, terrorized, victimized, and segregated for the actions of a few. While we really don’t know who is a terrorist or not, there are more effective measures that we, as Christians, can take in regards to this very real issue.
First of all, not all Muslims are terrorists, but we do know that all ISIS terrorists are of Muslim faith- and of a very extreme faith. Media and politics have generated this fear propaganda (which they are known to do), and then they wonder why so much violence against certain groups exist. Various news organizations are known be tainted by various political beliefs generating this fear propagada, and their reporting reflects their own political bias. However, that being said, the most effective form of communication comes from passion, belief, and using your “voice” for persuasion. While it can bring about change for the betterment of society, it can also be used for evil, and in this case, evil is being perpetuated in making a nation fear a certain religious group by creating an unfair generalization.
The truth is always found somewhere in the middle.
Are we, as Christians, to have a spirit of fear? If you go to your Bible, you will note that God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of a sound mind (2 Timothy1:17). It tells us that God gives us a spirit of love and power as well. The Bible also commands us in several scriptures to “love our neighbor as ourselves”. It is obvious by the actions of some that they may not love themselves that much if fear is motivating them to harm another. Their actions are not that of God who commands us to pray for one another including those we feel are our enemies or who persecute us (Matthew 5: 43-48).
Anyone can come to know Jesus, but are we being examples of God’s goodness when we choose to persecute or harm others? Historically, what has this fear proven? Absolutely nothing but hurting and causing harm to other people. The end result are people looking back, thinking that the actions were unjust, and repayment or atonement. Yet, we don’t seem to learn anything from our actions, because the same fear still feeds the same actions.
If you are a Christian, you know that there is nothing to fear- that God will protect you. You also know that God frowns upon violence against another person, and hatred- whether it is overt, or in your own heart. There is nothing “Christian” about that, and what examples are we being of the Jesus that is supposed to be within us? How are we drawing others to Christ when we aren’t displaying godly characteristics to begin with?
What Should our Actions be?
Our actions should reflect the love of Christ at all times. Even though the actions of the members of ISIS are horrible, there is nothing in the Bible that says to hate them. Pray for them that their eyes may be opened. Pray for them to have an encounter with Jesus and that they will repent for wrongful actions committed against others.
Do not harbor hatred in your heart. According to scripture, hatred is the same as murder (1 John 3:15). Hatred is the opposite of love, and you cannot expect for your prayers to be answered when we hate another person. Love also cannot be in operation. The most effective prayers come from a place of love and compassion- not hatred.
Hatred only breeds more hatred, violence, bitterness, anger, racism, and fear. It is not productive, but destructive, and accomplishes nothing.
The Muslim faith does pray to Allah- a god different than what we deem to be Lord. Their faith is different. While it is not the Christian faith, Muslims to not deserve to be persecuted in any way. We become “up in arms” at the Christian persecution around the globe, but are somehow okay with persecuting Muslims in our own backyard. Neither case warrants persecution- no matter how you justify it.
If you are concerned with terrorist attacks, pray to God that these people will be revealed before they act and be brought to justice. God reveals all things that are hidden. If God reveals to you (and you MUST hear God’s voice before you act) that a person is a terrorist, you must have solid (not circumstantial) evidence, and go to your local authority. Please, do not persecute an innocent person, and if you do, be sure to quickly repent. Do not “profile” either, as sometimes these methods are unfair and promote segregation.
Show the love of Christ to Muslims- don’t be afraid of them. Many of them are refugees, and can use some comfort in a strange place. Jesus never discriminated between the believer and non-believer, but showed compassion to everyone. Let Jesus be your guide in your own behavior towards others.
Let’s stop the hate, as God never stood for hatred but love. “Christianity”, due to the actions of a few, has now become synonymous with hatred, bigotry, and violence, which is not a true representation of the faith, but the presence of fear and ignorance. Jesus should be our example, and the Bible our guide. In it, we will come closer to the truth, and reflect the glory of God’s love for all of His children.