Friday, April 3, 2015

Heart Check

If you're not aware that there's a modern holocaust against Christians going on across northern Africa, Syria, Iraq, and into central Africa, well, you're not paying much attention to the world.  Of course just yesterday, the nominally Somali terrorist group Al Shabab attacked a college in Kenya, apparently killing 147.  Reports are that they went into dormitories and, at gunpoint, demanded the captured prisoner recite verses from the Koran.  Muslims were released and Christians executed on the spot. 
Reuters quoted a spokesman for al-Shabab’s military operations, who admitted that “we sorted people out and released the Muslims.” Local news sources cited over 70 wounded. Kenyan government forces reportedly rescued over 500 from the standoff.
And only people living under a stone are unaware of the February Isis massacre of 21 Christians in Libya in a recruiting video that was more like a glitzy production number, mixing music over the blood stained waters of the Mediterranean. 

None of this is news.  But there are a couple of things I heard of that tweak my heart.  Things that make me resolve to try to be a better man on this Good Friday; perhaps the most somber day of the Christian calendar.

The first isn't in the Mideast or the Horn of Africa.  It's in Pennsylvania.  Lancaster County.  Amish country.  Does everyone know that after the Amish school house massacre in 2006, that just as the community tried to smother all of its own with love, tried to ensure every parent that lost a daughter that day was given as much love and support as people can give, they also reached out in compassion to the family of the murderer?
On the day of the shooting, a grandfather of one of the murdered Amish girls was heard warning some young relatives not to hate the killer, saying, "We must not think evil of this man."[14] Another Amish father noted, "He had a mother and a wife and a soul and now he's standing before a just God."[15] Jack Meyer, a member of the Brethren community living near the Amish in Lancaster County, explained: "I don't think there's anybody here that wants to do anything but forgive and not only reach out to those who have suffered a loss in that way but to reach out to the family of the man who committed these acts."[14]

A Roberts family spokesman said an Amish neighbor comforted the Roberts family hours after the shooting and extended forgiveness to them.[16] 
Do you have that in your heart?  Could you forgive someone who murdered your child?  I don't think I could - absolutely not that fast.  The parents of the school house murderer, dead by his own hand like most mass shooters, have a horrific burden to bear.  Not only did they lose their child, their child stole the live of other people's children.  Could you go to the parents of the person who killed your child and offer compassion? 

Second, go back to the Mideast; go back to the 21 Coptics on the beach in Libya.  The Coptic Christians whose sons and brothers were massacred by ISIS are praying for the salvation of the ones who killed their family
Invited to pray for his brothers' killers, Beshir prayed: "Dear God, please open their eyes to be saved and to quit their ignorance and the wrong teachings they were taught."
Could you do that?  Do you have that in your heart?  As followers of Christ we're called to be like him.  Love our enemies.  Pray for them.  God wants that none should perish.  In the spiritual sense, ISIS are prisoners of war; albeit a spiritual warfare and not the kind of war they think of.  They are following an evil, even Satanic doctrine.

It has been said that faith has an easier time surviving horrible times than affluence, and that the biggest problem Western Christianity has is exactly that - our affluence.  People draw on their faith when they're in trouble; when the doctor calls and the test results aren't good; when they can't make the rent or mortgage; bad times.  When things are good, we think, "I've got this".  It's saying I can't handle the boat unless the seas are perfectly glassy, or drive the car unless the road is perfectly smooth, level and straight.


  1. Great essay. I love the "gun stuff" and the tech stuff of your blog, but thanks also for posting about the persecution of our brethren in the Middle East, and about our calling in Christ. Your blog is kind of a "one stop shop" for all the things that are important to me.

  2. Time for "Crusades, Part Deux"!

  3. That which is allowed will grow. While I don't want us to send troops to Africa I do believe there are a lot of things we could do to help stop this which we simply choose not to do. I am really not a "turn the other cheek" kind of person. If you killed my child the BEST you could hope for is that I remained calm until I was able to return the favor. I am pragmatic and results oriented so it is likely I would indeed not act out but still plan to revenge the act.

  4. American Christians are the whiniest Christians on earth. Maybe people would take them more seriously if they bore what "persecution" they face with a little more grace and chutzpah.

  5. Kind of like telling a rape victim to lay back and enjoy it.

  6. I understand the urge to forgive, to be "Christ-like". Unfortunately (for me, perhaps?), I believe the meek wlli inherit a rather small portion of the earth, just big enough to hod their remains.

    I could never forgive any individual who kills children, but when we get to muslims, we are dealing with an entirely different situation. Their determined, methodical murder of children, rape, abuse, selling, enslaving, and murder of women and some female children puts them beyond the pale. Not just undeserving of forgiveness, but deserving of extermination.

    Anyone who professes to be a muslim, who cleaves to islam, who is a true muslim who follows the commands of the qu'ran, is deserving of the same death they mete out - or wish to, or agree is acceptable to mete out - to Christians and other infidels.

    There is evil in this world. True evil. It does not merit forgiveness, and it will not stop its horrible acts if every Christian on Earth prayed for its soul. Evil has no respect for goodness. It feels no remorse. Only fighting it and exterminating it at its source will stop it. That includes orthodox islam.

  7. Realizing that my comment may seem "over the top" to many people, good, forgiving, Christian people, folks who may be unaware of what islam allows, encourages, and commands, please go to this article and read it. Remember that the father -an imam -_bought_ his way out of serving his sentence, something that is perfectly acceptable in Sharia. This was completely acceptable to all true, orthodox muslims.

    Read this - knowing that this was his own daughter, a small and innocent child. Think of her suffering during and after, and then ask yourself if you still feel I was too harsh and critical of islam and muslims.

  8. RegT, I certainly can't answer for anyone but myself, but I don't have any problems with what you say being over the top. It's basically my view. I'm the one who said "they're following an evil, even Satanic doctrine". I don't see anything more evil than being Satanic.

    But in some sense, there's a difference between "Islam" and individuals. Islam is Satanic, but individual Muslims are individual people and scripture says that God wants no one to perish. It says we're to love our enemies and to pray for the lost. Both of those sound like individual Muslims to me.

    Ever heard Brigitte Gabriel talk on how she grew up hating Jews, and then, after being injured in a bombing was taken to an Israeli hospital. Their overflowing love and care for all patients got into her head and showed her she was given wrong doctrine. She's now passionately Christian, pro-Israel and anti-Muslim.

    Ever hear the guy who's father was the head of Hammas, who left them to become an Anti-Muslim crusading author?

    Anyone ever tell you that Christianity is sweeping Iran? That there are more Christians in China than people in the US?

    Of course thinking of praying for animals like the ISIS murderers is tough. In the overall sense, if people aren't challenged by their faith, maybe they should check to make sure they're not dead.

  9. I usually agree there is a distinct difference between an ideology and the individuals associated with it. Others have insisted that there are more "good" individual muslims that members of ISIS.

    With islam, the situation is different. Per islam itself, you are not a muslim unless you adhere to _all_ of the commands in the qu'ran.

    In my obscure little blog, I posted an article on "ggod" muslims (

    They themselves state that you cannot call yourself a muslim if you do not follow the qu'ran. Now, I have no desire to insist that those who do _not_ behave as ISIS does - a group that honestly and openly behave exactly as the qu'ran commands them to behave - stop calling themselves "muslim". Yet that is precisely what other muslims insist they must do.

    If my religion called upon me to sodomize nine year old "wives", mutilate the genitals of newborn female infants, kill my daughters who dress Western or date boys who are not muslim, I thin I would choose to reject it.

    If _somehow_, somewhere in the trash that is the qu'ran I found some bit of writing that caused me to think that piece of the book, that sura had real value, I would still renounce islam for all of the evil it encompasses and command me to do.

    Even if I renounced the killing of infidels, the rape, enslavement and abuse of infidel women, the beheading of Christian CHILDREN, I could still be one of those pleasant, personable, muslim next-door neighbors who beats his wife, removes the clitoris from his infant daughter, and goes on to murder his teenage daughter when she exchanges her burka for a pair of Guess jeans.

    Why would a person of decent morals, who rejects all of those evil commandments, who truly loves his wife and children wish to identify as a muslim? Arab? Sure. Iranian? Certainly. Syrian, Jordanian, Malaysian? Why not?

    But if you call yourself muslim, then you are telling me you are capable of doing every evil thing the qu'ran insists you _must_ do. Even if you are currently indulging in taqqiya, and pretending to be a nice guy who thinks that your infidel neighbors are acceptable to you, and you don't dance in the streets every September 11th.

    That is why I cannot credit the notion that individuals should not be "tarred with the same brush" simply because they identify with that particular group. Not when the group are muslims - which means they are declaring they believe in islam and will follow the qu'ran faithfully.