Sunday night at church I met a man who is a former missionary in Muslim countries and is now living in Grand Rapids. He teaches math at our community college and remains in contact with his indigenous brothers and sisters in Iraq, Syria, and Mali.
He said several of his Christian friends have been killed by ISIS, but that others immediately step forward and take their place. He mentioned Benjamin Tessougue, a Malian who broadcast this message over the radio after receiving his second death threat from ISIS (If you have read Tertullian’s Apology , you will recognize a similar defiant love in Benjamin’s message). This broadcast seems to have impressed the ISIS members, and Benjamin believes they are now protecting his life. I post it here to encourage us to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters and to remind us how to be a faithful presence in our culture.
To ISIS and their friends, as well as my friends who love and follow Jesus:
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Majestic, I congratulate you on threatening me, and on beating and killing unarmed Christians. You recognize that your great danger comes, not from French, German and Malian soldiers. They will merely kill your terrorists and bomb your strongholds. Your greatest danger comes from Christians who will destroy you and your ideology of hatred by ideology and actions of love.
2 Cor 10:3-5 says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…”
We have been taught by Jesus to “not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12: 20). You have no chance to hold out against God’s power exercised in love through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Your people seek martyrdom and death by bringing death to others. We do not seek death but we do not run from it or from you. We are the people of whom it shall be said “And they have conquered by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death” (Revelation 12:11).
We have a 2,000 year history of defeating our enemies through love. The Roman Empire pitted its might against us and we conquered them with love. Everyone of us they killed brought more people into God’s Kingdom. Idolatrous warriors of Ireland and the Vikings once terrorized Europe, killing, plundering and enslaving the helpless just like you do. They were brought to their knees and were transformed through the God’s power expressed through Christian slaves who loved their captors and introduced them to the Power of Jesus. We have learned to say with the prophet Isaiah, “only fear God, and you need fear no one else.”
When you are hungry, we will feed you. When you are imprisoned for your crimes, we will visit you. When you are hated by all, we will befriend you. When you beat us we will pray for you and when you kill us we will ask the Eternal God to have mercy on the killers of His children. That is the Jesus way, the way of the Caliphate that will last for Eternity and be ruled by Jesus.
You can bow to Him now, or you can bow to Him later, but rest assured, you will bow to Him.
When you learn someday to truly respect and fear the Eternal God, you can turn to God the Merciful and ask Him to forgive you for Jesus’ sake and you will not be the first murderers and criminals He has taken into His arms and welcomed home.
In the Name of God the Merciful, I ask Him to be merciful to you as He has been to me, to change your cruel hearts, as He has changed mine, to forgive your evil ways as He has forgiven my sin.
May the Eternal God of Justice and Mercy be forever praised.
Image by Almandillo. Via Wikimedia Commons. Used by permission.