Update: Photojournalist James Foley, missing for more than a year in Syria, appeared to be the man beheaded in a video released this past Tuesday. ISIS has claimed responsibility. As if we needed further reminders, this horrific act and untimely death remind us of the true nature of evil.
I hit my knees in prayer on Friday in my office. I received an email newsletter from Joel C. Rosenberg describing the circumstances in the Middle East as President Obama decides to send airstrikes in against ISIS. The horror of what is occurring to Iraqi Christians and Kurdish Muslims is breathtaking. Crucifixions, beheadings, genocide…
What causes these things to happen?
Existence of true evil.
In spite of belief to the contrary, evil does exist. Evil comes from the influence of Satan but finds its fruition in the heart of men and women who take that influence and justify whatever their heart’s desire.
Man-made ideas exalted against God.
Mohammad claimed to have visions that made him recognized as a prophet. Since the 7th century, these man-made ideas that masqueraded as revelation have led to the unspeakable horror that jihadist Muslims unleash today. It is terrifying what the persuasion of a man can start.
People who do nothing to stop the actions of evil people.
Prayer is primary. “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:4, 5). Making moral choices based on God’s Word is crucial, from individual decisions to the policies of government to the stance for righteousness our churches take.