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February 8, 2015

Map of the “caliphate” proposed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria a/k/a the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Author and Source Debora Cabral (CC-BY-SA- 4.0)

A man was burnt alive this week. ISIS murdered Lt. Muath al Kasasbeh, a captured Jordanian pilot, by placing him in a cage and setting him alight. A slick video (since verified) was then released [1]. Jordan is a member of the American-led coalition against ISIS.

The world is still grappling with how best to deal with the so called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria a/k/a the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and respond to this travesty.  The question arises what role  Christians – especially American Christians – should play in the fight against ISIS.

Clearly, the shameful act was intended to provoke horror. It has done that. And, like other acts of terror and barbarism, it was intended to provoke fear. I would hazard the guess it has done that, too.

The savage event has not, however, provoked surprise. Nor is it likely to produce surrender. Since ISIS does not understand the concept of mercy, the so called Islamic State can hardly expect the rest of the world to fall to its knees and beg for that.

Christians though should fall to their knees in prayer. The world is facing a great evil, a contagion that must not spread. Our brothers and sisters abroad are in grave peril, if not yet martyred for their faith.

We should be under no illusion that safety and security are guaranteed within our borders. We have seen recruits flock to ISIS from all corners of the globe, much as rats to the Pied Piper. That is not a reflection of ISIS’ powers of persuasion, as some suppose, but the power of hate.

Whatever the name adopted, whatever the execrable doctrine espoused by a group like ISIS, it will draw those who thrive on hatred and contempt for humanity.

Christians were not meant for peaceful and quiet lives. True, Christ assured us of inner peace (John 14: 27). But inner and outer peace are distinct.  Christ, also, promised us the sword — whether we want it or not. For some of us, that may well mean martyrdom. For others, it could mean military service. Our sons and daughters are already at the front.

There are many ways to serve God and man.  Whatever we do, as Christians, we must not stand on the sidelines in this fight.

“ ‘Do not think not that I am came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword’ ” (Matt. 10: 34).

Father, we kneel before You, lost for words at the evil in this world. The story is as old as the Garden of Eden. And yet You made us for just such a time. Help us to know how we can be of help. Give us strength and courage to do what is right. And give us the peace that passes understanding…in the knowledge that the battle against evil may rage, but the war over sin and death has been won.


[1] NBC News, “Burned Alive: ISIS Video Purports to Show Murder of Jordanian Pilot” by Cassandra Vinograd, 2/3/15,


  1. “Whatever we do, as Christians, we must not stand on the sidelines in this fight.”

    Yep…great point. So, why do we?

    • I don’t know, Wally. Many times Christians circle the wagons. They attend a church, send their children to a Christian school, associate with other Christians, and rarely interact with non-believers, except on the most superficial terms. I guess it’s safer that way. But anywhere you look, the world is so desperately in need of Christ.

      Thanks for the comment. I can always use the encouragement.

  2. Extremely well stated article. I love the prayer at the end.

  3. Lord, show us the power of prayer against the wiles of the devil. Help us remember that we fight not against flesh and blood but spiritual wickedness. And open our eyes to see those who are suffering around us and touch our hearts with their pain that we might be motivated by your love to get out of our Christian biospheres of protection and do what your love in us demands. Amen.

    Very provoking article, dear Anna. Thanks.

    • Thank you, Michael. I am grateful for your very perceptive prayer. If we are to demonstrate that love is more powerful than hate, we must step out of those “biospheres of protection”, as you call them.

  4. Pertinent post, Anna… We know how it ends, but these are serious times! ♥ ❤

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