Terrorism, Islam and the Gospel
Terror attacks that used to shock us are now common news stories, yet they still leave us sad, stunned and confused.
Sadly, terrorism these days is immediately associated with Islam and this brings a huge amount of hatred towards Muslims. Whether these associations are true or not is another matter, however, if the answer to terrorism is the Gospel, then hatred is not the way to bring resolution.
As Christians we need to show love to all people, including those of other beliefs. We need to get to know them, ask them questions about their faith and share the truth of the Gospel with them.
There are many stories of Muslims and people of other faiths coming to Jesus through Christians doing just this. One of our staff has spent much of his life working and living with those committed to the Islamic Faith. He says:
“It may sound strange but most terrorists are motivated by fear. Fear of death, fear of betrayal by their comrades or fear that their sacrifices, even the ultimate self-sacrifice of their life may not make them acceptable to God. Fear manifests itself in bizarre ways — through hatred or anger, etc. Each of which are fear by another name.”
When considering the power of positive change through love rather than fear, the story of a former self-confessed terrorist, Solomon* comes to mind:
“Steeped in radical Islamic jihad from an early age, my overriding aim in life was to purge all non-Muslims and non-Islamic influences from Muslim nations to liberate them from these pagan influences. To that end I planned and conducted terror operations in the Middle East, Southeast and Central Asia.
It was only when I began to be personally convicted of all the blood I had shed that I started to realise the awful truth about my selfish sacrifices. My practice of jihad and willingness to give my life and take the lives of others was a vain attempt, based on fear, at propitiating (paying for) my own salvation through selfish-sacrifice.
Fortunately, I realised that this macabre form of religious altruism was cursing me and my jihadist colleagues and the lands we were supposed to be liberating by the blood we were spilling.”
Unfortunately, many of Solomon’s jihadist colleagues in Daesh or Islamic State continue with these vain attempts to gain peace and paradise.
Solomon is my friend. Every time we meet, Solomon hugs and kisses me. He says, “I want you to know that I love you my brother. Once I feared and killed people like you, but now I am filled with the love of Christ for you and my fellow men.” You cannot beat your enemy with bombs or money. Perfect love casts out fear.
As followers of Jesus let’s be committed to 3 things…
- Prayer for the Gospel to spread like wildfire in countries where Islam is the most influential religion.
- Learning more about the religion of Islam and the politics of the Middle East.
- Not allowing our minds to fall into the trap of believing that every Muslim is a terrorist. Let’s not allow ourselves to hate or fear an entire group of people.
Jesus Christ changes lives! He once took what would be the equivalent of a “terrorist” (Paul, who was killing Christians) and turned him into one of the Gospel’s all time greatest proclaimers.
If He did it back then He can do it again!
*Name and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of the individual.*