The title is tongue-in-cheek. I do not condone the actions of ISIS, but I do want to reveal the effect they have had on American culture in recent weeks. While many have shuttered all over the world of the terrorism of ISIS, below are some observations of why I am glad ISIS has gained media attention.
1. No more religion of peace. Think about this: How many times have you slightly regurgitated in your mouth whenever someone brings up how they believe Islam is peaceful, whether in a witnessing encounter or on the news? Now we have the ammunition needed that reveals otherwise! And even if someone does have the audacity to insist that Islam is a religion of peace, or tries to differentiate between ISIS and what Islam “actually” teaches, it now takes almost nothing to prove them wrong. After all, what motivates these men other than the Quran?
2. The real enemy is now obvious. I have open air preached in many places, and one of the worst rebuttals I receive concerning Christianity is that it is a dangerous religion. This, of course, is due to our evolutionary/humanistic professors that hate anything to do with Christ. But now, since the appearance of ISIS, a genuine enemy is now in the forefront of the media, making Christianity seem as menacing as a 3rd grade class at recess. And guess what? Humanists are terrified! Even atheists on social media are now confessing the tragic mistake they have made at making Christianity “dangerous” (although not all).
3. The line between Islam and Christianity has been drawn. How many times have people attempted to unite Islam, Christianity, Jews together? How many times have we heard the ridiculous notion that Islam and Christianity worship the same God? How many attempts have their been to associate Christianity with Islam as being just as much as a terrorist threat? The thick line has been drawn in the sand by the blood of innocents. Even atheist comedian Bill Maher recently revealed in an interview with Charlie Rose why Islam is not like Christianity.
4. Christian persecution is now in the spotlight. Though this grieves me at my core, how many times has the media blatantly ignored the slaughtering of professing Christians overseas? Now that ISIS is on the scene, although media paints over the Christian persecution by calling them “religious minorities,” it nevertheless is gaining media attention now like never before. And even if mainstream media covers up the reality of what is going on, it is spreading like wild fire through social media.
5. The homosexual agenda has not received much serious consideration lately. Sure we are still bombarded with news flashes about it, but with ISIS on the screen beheading Americans (now recently a British native), the “intolerance” of American Christians are no longer drawing up the majority of headlines! Also, the next government movement to approve equality legislation is fading to the background of importance. And now, the liberal media can focus the majority of its propaganda efforts to erasing their past association with this religion, and polish their reasons why we should still allow this ideology to thrive in our homeland in the first place without hurting their own political influence in the process. Have fun with that.
6. Imprecatory psalms make more sense now. When reading the psalms, some couldn’t fathom uttering the words “break their teeth” (Psalm 58:6) or praying that God would make the children of the enemy to be fatherless (109:9). Even the heavenly martyrs no longer sound strange when they cry out for God to avenge them (Rev. 6:10). But now, when we see the savagery that is being displayed by Islam, and the ruthless nature it displays toward its enemies, imprecatory prayers don’t seem to be all that unreasonable or unloving anymore. Although our first desire should be reconciliation and salvation for our enemies, to desperately cry out that God would exact judgment upon a wicked organization such as this has now become a viable option in our prayer.
7. We now know how strong “strong delusion” can be. Depending on your eschatological position, many will differ on this point. But the point that I am trying to make is that the amount of folks that defend Islam despite the clear evidence that they are not a peaceful religion is absolutely flooring! Feminist, homosexuals, and even conservative “Christianity” stands up for this religion even though Islam condemns them all! If we want to know how strongly deluded people can be when Antichrist is revealed, this is just a taste, if not the actual flavor, of how much deception mankind is willing to accept (see 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 to gain a principle understanding of what I am trying to get at).
8. Christians in America are counting the cost more. Persecution has come to America in the usual form of legal ramifications by policemen telling us not to preach, a homosexual couple becoming irate because a professing believer refuses to bake a cake or take a picture at their wedding, or by various other means concocted by the world. But now that we have Muslims in America marching in support of Hamas, ISIS, and Islam, we are now thinking far beyond legal consequences and contemplating dying for Christ. This form of meditation, if you are a genuinely believer, will only lead you to follow hard after Jesus, preach with urgent boldness, and cling tighter to His grace to preserve you in times where it might actually cost you your life to follow Him. May we count it a privilege to not only suffer for His name sake, but if it is His will, be executed for His glory.
Once again, in stating that I am thankful for ISIS, I do not literally have joy in my heart, nor am I praising Jesus for the terror this group of people brings to the world. The title is tongue-in-cheek, and this list is just observations from my own perception. The evil that ISIS is accomplishing in the world makes my list nothing to be truly thankful for. However, we must also remember that God is completely sovereign in the affairs of man. Whether it is a nation of people coming against another in judgment, or a widespread revival of a nation of murderers, God will bring His purposes to pass, and we can be confident that He is good despite the evil that ISIS brings to the world. And even though legal persecution in America may continue, the homosexual agenda may thrive, liberal media may control the airways, and many will still attempt to equate Christianity to being as dangerous as Islam, we can be confident that the gospel is always the power of God to salvation and can slice through the Gordian knot that western culture has twisted itself into. May we continue to trust Him for His grace and goodness, and truly be thankful for the things we currently have, meanwhile praying for our brothers in sisters overseas (and in America) who are suffering for the gospel of Christ. Let’s use Islam and ISIS as a springboard to harpoon the truths of salvation into the hearts of man. May the lamb of God receive the reward for His suffering.