Wednesday, September 3, 2014

ISIS, Just One of the Faces of Evil

Thugs, Murderers, Barbaric Humanity in Action   

 Evil is all around us.

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956 

Today the world stares at evil as personified in ISIS and their barbaric, savage acts. All over the news we see and hear of the butchery of these savages bent on an ideology that promotes the destruction of all who they believe are infidels and to willingly do this in obeisance to their religion of hate. Satan is the mastermind behind all things false--all things deceptive. What the true God of Heaven is allowing mankind to see is the outward manifestation of what evil truly is. During WWII Hitler and his barbaric Third Reich also personified evil through his inhumane butchery of man, woman, and child alike--any human being that did not conform to his definition of the superior race was a target. Today, we have ISIS targeting anything that will not conform to Islam.

Satan we are told in Scripture masquerades as an Angel of Light. The Apostle Paul spoke of this shape-shifters ability to deceive when he wrote: "...For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works," (2 Corinthians 11:14-15 NKJV). As Satan is, so Satan does. What is stated is that there is a deception Satan proffers that can take a person or a nation and deceptively blind them into thinking they are the righteous. In Islams case murder is justified if it is directed toward the one goal of transforming the world under the banner of its authority. Lying, stealing, and killing are all justified if done in the name of Allah. Two Islamic terms, Jihad and Taqiyya are doctrines of evil that justify inhumane actions. Jihad is a declaration of holy war against the infidel or the non-Muslim; while Taqiyya is the justification of lying to keep clandestine ones true identity or intentions. It has been used in both sects of Islam Shia and Sunni. Satan offers to the Muslim peace to all of the same identity and belief but murder to those who will not conform. 1 

Recognizing True Evil 
Today many are confused because the Koran teaches both peace and murder. Taqiyya is used to conceal this fact. But as I said earlier, ISIS is today's face of evil just as the Nazi regime was during the 1930's and 40's. The savage butchery of ISIS militants toward Christians and non-Muslims is shocking and to some disbelieveable. Could humanity really be that evil? Here is some more deception for you. There is a distraction that exists wherein we can look at the evil of ISIS and say to ourselves, "I am sure glad I am not like that person." That is a true statement for the majority of humanity. And it may even serve to self-justify our own intrinsically evil actions. So beware. In the Bible Jesus told a story of two men. One was a self-confessed sinner while the other was very religious. Both went to the same temple to pray. The story goes like this:

"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.' And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." (Luke 18:10-14 NKJV) 

When the Lord looked at the two He singled out the one willing to confess his sin. This one, He says, went down to his house justified. True Evil is born in the heart. If a man lies to his friend he betrays him. If a student cheats on a paper she betrays both herself and her teacher. These simple sins come from the heart. In another place, Jesus also said, "And He said, "What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man." (Mark 7:20-23 NKJV) Make no bones about it, in Jesus' list ISIS and you and I are all implicated under evil. So what then can we do?

How can Evil be Overcome? 
The Bible again teaches that we Christians are to "Overcome evil with good," (see Rom. 12:21). Generally speaking, doing good to another shows to them that they do not have to live the way they do. It also appeals to their conscious where the Lord works in convicting one of sin. In ISIS' case one may ask how could we win them over? Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty was interviewed by Sean Hannity a day or so back and he stated that he believed they may be beyond conversion. He speaks the mind of how most Americans feel. Sean went on to ask what we could do, and Phil said, "convert them or kill them." Point blank he stated the only way to eradicate some evil is capital punishment.

The difference between doing good to a mean person and doing good to a jihadist may be that there is hope with the former because he may not have an ideology that drives his bad behavior. The latter does. And since the ideology is driven by a superiority complex doing good would most likely show weakness. It's like doing nothing to them. Resistance is what ISIS must be shown. On a spiritual level if Christians resist the devil and he flees; we fight our warfare with the whole armor of God, especially the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, and prayer. In the physical realm sometimes evil must be stopped by direct intervention. Murder is sin. In war there is murder and because of this many are pacifists choosing rather to let another fight their battles. So we must ask the question, can murder ever be justified? Rarely. If the death of one could prevent the death of thousands, then yes a case can be made. Is this not what Jesus did? And it was on the Cross before His death that He asked the father to forgive their sin. His death was worth it to bring salvation to the world, (see John 11:49-50, 18:14).

In our history world empires have come and gone. War has always taken its toll. But we have learned that sometimes it is necessary. ISIS is only one face of evil in this world and it shows us what evil looks like when full grown and having been left unhindered. We also see the sin of ISIS in the death of the unborn, the rape of the innocent, the murder of the store keeper, and the hatred of a rebel. Someone once said, "But for the grace of God, there go I." I say the same.

Today I am thankful for my relationship to Jesus Christ. When I knew there was no hope ahead in my life and that my own evil sinful behavior was killing me with it's lies I fell on my knees and I went before the One who said, ""Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool, (Isaiah 1:18 NKJV). It was then and there that He washed away my guilt and took the penalty and power of sin away. I can boldly say today, I am Christian! I am a servant of the most High God. I will live my life to bring glory to the God who loves at all cost. I will wear my armor and I will fight the good fight. My Lord is my guide and my my ever present help in times of trouble. Friend, He can  be yours too. As long as you are reading this, there is hope. Why not ask Him about it?

God Bless

1 - For a deeper understanding see -