Telling the Truth about ISIS
October 9, 2014
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
The following article was written for Evangelicals Now and published in their news publication for October 2014. Observing the conversation regarding the abhorrent evil that is ISIS, I have come to two conclusions. One, worldview matters. Two, some, even when their worldview is patently failing, will continue to stick their head in the sand. ISIS is such an obvious evil that is hard to find sufficient adjectives to describe its horror. None of rational turn of mind will deny that evil. The challenge is to interpret it within a framework that makes sense. Whence this evil? Who are these people? Why do they act this way? Out of the answers to such questions will be formed a practical policy to defeat the evil itself. It appears that the secular worldview with relation to ISIS is that these are not the true representatives of Islam, and that the motivations for their actions are largely political. The solution, therefore, is to form a more effective representative government in Iraq, and to come together with a multinational alliance (including prominent Muslim countries) to defeat the evil. However, while “the more the merrier,” and any rational person would surely agree that not all Muslims behave like ISIS – anymore than all Christians behave like the Ku Klux Klan – the challenge is a little matter called truth. The reality is that ISIS is Islamic. It is deeply Islamic. In fact, the case could be made that it is far more Islamic than the more moderate versions. The reason why such a statement is important is because of this matter called truth. For a peaceful world, we want Christians to be more Christians. And we want Muslims to beless Islamic. We want Christians to take seriously Jesus’ command to love your neighbor, and his example of foot washing, service and self-sacrifice to save other people. We want Muslims to ignore as much as possible (indeed entirely, if that were possible) the teachings and example of Mohammed, and of the actions of pure Islam pursuing Caliphate by war. This truth is seldom spoken. Why? Because it is an inconvenient truth. What it denies is the whole basis for relativism in our world. The universities are beginning to realize this and looking for ways to engage theology and ideology – knowing now that it cannot simply be ignored, or that ground will be ceded to the extremists. Let us hope that the move to proclaim England as a Christian country – at least in the sense that its values are originated in Christian ones – and that America was founded on a similar set of assumptions, mixed with Enlightenment rationalism and mercantile ambitions, is not too little too late. To play the game of Western moderation, kindness, democracy, you need a worldview that will accept it. That worldview is not extremist Islam, or Islam in its extreme. It is time to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). Even if it is an inconvenient truth.]]>
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
To receive God Centered Life devotionals directly in your inbox, as well as other resources, enter your email address in the form at the bottom of this page and click "subscribe."