This is for Christians. I say this again, this is for Christians. If you are not a Christian, this might sound crazy, but I do want to challenge you that you might find some reason from these thoughts.
Surely most of us are highly concerned about radical Islam, especially since 911, the Boston bombing, the London attacks, and now the attacks in France. Let’s not forgot that most of the western news coverage is focused on western societies and that most of the atrocities in this world go unnoticed. This week a Muslim radical group killed around 2,000 people in Nigeria in one attack. 2,000! Did you even hear about it? Whole non-Muslim villages are being wiped out in Iraq and in Syria. More Christians are being murdered for their faith than any time in human history. And it’s not just from Muslims. It’s estimated 70k Christians are in labor camps in North Korea and many of them are executed. There are also radical extremists in India who burn churches and kill Christians, and communist nations such as Cuba, China, and North Vietnam persecute Christians. But right now, yes, most attacks are from those of radical Islam. But let’s not act surprised that something unusual is happening. Every decade the world faces crises. Can you imagine being faced with what Hitler brought to the world? Seventy-five million people lost their lives! There has also been genocide in the last decade in Darfur and almost 1 million lost their lives in Rwanda in 1994. The truth is evil is always going to be here. But yes, right now in the last decade, radical Islam is leading the way for most of the violence in the world.
People want to know, what is the real Islam? I have been working with Muslims for 15 years and I tell you this, there is no straight answer. I ask these questions to my Muslim friends. I go to Mosques and talk to Imams. I go to Mosques to listen to their speeches after a situation like France happens. I listen carefully. I want to know too. I have read the Quran, and it is difficult to understand. I talk to very highly educated Christians who have studied the Quran. I have even talked to many former Muslims about their thoughts. I hear from some that the radical Islam is the true Islam and vise versa. The truth is, it all depends who you ask. Muslims are not in agreement of what the true Islam is. So know this, not all Muslims believe in the radical Islam you are seeing so much of. Is it a huge problem in the world? Absolutely. But in my experience, most are sweet and loving people who want peace. So who are the true Muslims? I’ll leave that up to them. But again, this doesn’t mean all Muslims want radical Jihad.
So how do we as Christians respond to radical Islam around the world? There are so many opinions out there in the media. Is the solution really to kill as many of them as possible like most of the media and political experts suggest? People who know me, know I have so much respect for the military and believe that military is necessary, so please know I am not a passivist. Although military means is far from perfect and innocent, they protect us in so many ways and save the lives of so many. But to think we can just kill all bad people is just illogical. If anything, it only feeds radical Islam.
If we are Christians, should we not look at the biblical answer to this situation? Maybe Jesus’ solution is too radical? Maybe his solution to us is just too scary for us to accept. Surely he wouldn’t expect us to follow his example? But if we are Christian, should we not look to his example. If you read the New Testament, you cannot deny what our response to radical Islam is supposed to be from this radical statement from Jesus in Luke 6. Jesus said “27 Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” In Luke 23, Jesus is asking the Father to forgive the very people who are murdering him “34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” He is loving the very people who are killing him!
Jesus is about radical love. It is a love that is so difficult to understand, but maybe we can get a glimpse of that love if we love our enemies. Maybe it is a love that you have never felt, but its there. It is a love that can only come from the relationship you have with Jesus. The answer to radical Islam or anything else that is evil is to radically love. Anything other than this is an UNBIBLICAL RESPONSE.
I want radical Islam to end just as much as anyone, but what is the practical solution? Let me ask you this. What is the better solution in how we treat Muslims? Ignore them, hate them, marginalize them, have prejudice against them? Wouldn’t this just add to the problem? Or would it be better to love them? Serve them? Help them? Share the love of Jesus with them? What will be the greater outcome? I would say even most rational people and even non-religious people would say that this is a far better solution. Of course there are some who are always going to be radical Muslins no matter what we do, but hate is only going to add to the problem.
Want another solution? Give to missions. Encourage your church to give far more to missions. Start a non-profit that gives to missions. I am connected to so many friends who go to the most dangerous places in the world to love Muslims with the love of Jesus and see so many Muslims embrace this love. And I have many friends who were former Muslims who are now loving people with the love that they found. And we are not just talking about moderate peace-loving Muslims. We are talking about terrorists who are turning to love and in turn reaching other terrorists. Terrorist cells reaching other terrorist cells! I could give you numbers that would blow you away. We are talking hundreds of thousands of Muslims embracing this love. You want to know where some of the fastest growing numbers of people following Jesus is? Afghanistan and Iran! That’s right (You won’t hear that on the news). Why are so many receiving this love? Because Christians are loving Muslims and God is working among them. These Christians are truly unseen heroes! These are people willing to give their life so people can experience His love and they are truly having a great effect on the world because they chose to love.
If we do not love Muslims, we will reap the consequences. So I call on you to go love Muslims. Do you have any Muslim friends? Are you praying for Muslims? Or do you hate Muslims? How about this. Instead of picking up a gun (figurative statement), go buy a broom. Go serve them. Offer to clean their yard. Instead of ignoring them, go befriend them. Invite them over to your house and make them dinner. Instead of looking at them with suspicion, shower them with love and kindness. Get to know them. Try to understand them. Create a trust between us and them. Share the love that is inside you!
3 Replies to “THE CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO RADICAL ISLAM”
I love this, brother. Love, love, love, love this. Keep writing…your heart has so much to share that we need…your words matter so much.
Kyle, What a great message to me and all of us. You are right – Jesus is right that only loving our enemy will bring peace. Yes, we may have to defend ourselves or others if there is a attack. An those who bring violence against others must be held accountable for those actions. But, we must always rely on the Lord to help us to choose the path of Loving All Peoples! Thanks for your leadership by being a voice for the truth.
I love your heart,
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Thanks, Kyle. Good stuff. I’m reading a book called The Crescent through the Eyes of the Cross right now that offers a helpful nuanced perspective on variations within Islam, as you’re alluding to here. Like you, my Muslim friends are peace-loving, sweet people, and the do not claim radical Islam as their own.