Word from Syria is that 150 Christians have been kidnapped by the Islamic State. This is not a war isolated to the Middle East. We must be viewing this as a war against Judeo-Christianity itself.
Unlike any other threat that has faced Christians in the recent past, the Islamic State possesses traits that make them impossible to leave up to the governments of the world alone. They are scattered, but not disorganized. They have ever-changing borders, but more importantly they have affiliates outside of their established borders that mean any organization can sympathize and participate.
“The threat posed by the IS exceeds in complexity anything we’ve dealt with since the Cold War.”John McLaughlin - USA TodayTheir growth is happening in the shadows, meaning that it is extremely challenging to keep them from growing dramatically. Nobody knows how many people are coming over to help them fight, but we have the opportunity to help those who are fighting on the other side.
SOLI founder Matthew VanDyke is one of a growing number of outsiders who are going to join those in harm’s way in the Middle East. Based in New York City, his organization is currently operational in Iraq to assist Christians in the fight against ISIS.
It is common for Christians to wonder whether or not they are called to participate. To what level one participates is a personal question ranging from constant prayer for those who need help against the Islamic State all the way to the people who are called to join the fight directly and take up arms. Throughout the Bible, God’s people were called on to go to war. The Islamic State represents a danger to the Judeo-Christian world in ways that people often underestimate, which is why there are many who are feeling the urge to do something about it.
We pray for those who are fighting, those who cannot fight, and those who must face the threat of the Islamic State directly. Most importantly, we pray that all who are faced with persecution or death will remain true to their faith and keep Yeshua as their Lord and Savior, even unto death.
Here’s a video detailing our stance on the matter:
We have no way of knowing what groups of people are giving their allegiance to the Islamic State. They do not need to be directed by the group. In fact, they don’t even have to be in contact with them at all because the message is clear and does not require formal training or equipment. Anyone can do the bidding of ISIS by attacking synagogues, killing Christians, or simply sharing their message of hate to anyone who will listen.
The world is growing disenchanted with the secular solutions that the governments of the nation are offering. Our ignorance to the ways of the Islamic world had us cheering on an Arab Spring that yielded worse conditions for the people. These were not general uprisings against oppression that the media billed them as but rather the installation of religious governments that have sent their respective countries into chaos.
I’m not here to lay blame on the situation, nor am I here to ask Christians to have anything but love and compassion for our friends of the Muslim faith. This is not a call to fight Islam. That type of war is a different one for Christians, a battle for the souls of those we can help through the Word of God by telling of true salvation through our Lord and Savior, Yeshua.
What we’re talking about today is whether or not Christians should get involved with the physical battle that is taking place in the Middle East, Africa, and parts of Asia where the Islamic State and their affiliates are drawing swords against our brothers and sisters. We must assume the United States, the UN, or a coalition of forces will not get involved beyond aistrikes and arms. It will be a long time before we see boots on the ground, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Just as the Islamic State is getting new fighters every day from foreign land, I believe that some people are being called to become defenders in these lands. So, the question is this: should outside Christians join the fight? To me, it’s a personal question. It comes down to prayer and feeling the direction that the Holy Spirit gives us. If you have the means and the calling, I see no reason to not participate.
Even if you’re not able to fight, we must pray for them in their quest to protect our Brothers and Sisters caught in harm’s way. This is only going to escalate. It’s not getting better. Every report of a town taken back from the Islamic State is burying other stories that show gains they’re making, people they’re killing, and strength that they’re gaining. Pray for the people. Pray for the warriors fighting them.
Pray for the Christians who have heard the call and taken action. This is not a problem that governments will solve. We cannot sit back and do nothing. Spread the Word.