Holy War

© Very Rev. Curtis I. Crenshaw, Th.D. (26 Feb 2015)

Some years back I watched a sci-fi movie where earth was invaded by a fleet of alien ships from outer space. Nothing any country on earth did militarily made any difference; the aliens were too much for us. Finally, the US President asked by a radio device what the aliens wanted; surely, we could get together and meet their needs without all the bloodshed. (The old liberal solution for everything: talk it to death.) The response was one sentence and ominous: “We want you dead.”

Likewise, our President and other left wing liberals, along with most conservatives, do not understand ISIS or Al Qaeda, or other super-committed Muslims. Since the West does not think in terms of a holy war, they assume the East does not as well. If we could just reason with them to see what they want, maybe we could give it to them. But ISIS and other Muslims are engaged in a very offensive religious war (as if there were any other kind), and nothing will satisfy them except our death. They think their god wants us infidels converted or dead, and there are no other options. I’ve even read recently where they say we must have Sharia Law or no other law, for there are no other options. We Christians should be saying something similar: either God’s Ten Commandments or no other law, for there are no other options.

Every once in a while I think I’ve heard the ultimate in liberal ignorance and arrogance, until this morning (26 Feb 2015). Marie Harf, Deputy State Department Spokeswoman, said something like this:

“What makes a 17 year old pick up an AK-47 instead of starting a business? We need to get to the root of the problem. We (USA) need to help Muslim young men find jobs, help them improve their government, . . .”

In other words, the lack of money is the root of all evil, contrary to St. Paul who said who said “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Tim. 6:10). And then we see the arrogance of so many people in the USA: We can improve their government—but who will improve ours!

We in the USA do not have a commitment to anything to the death, but we want convenience, peace, prosperity, sex, drugs, and other idols. We panic when any of these gods is missing. It does not compute that someone could actually believe in Allah and the Koran and be willing, indeed, excited, to die for their false god and idols. We would not even die for our little children, and we murder them by the millions in abortion mills when they interfere with our lives. We want war at a distance, through drones, bombs, but no boots on the ground (I’m not arguing for that), because our commitment is so minimal.

We can see how minimal our commitment is when an American is beheaded and Obama, the leader of our country, says a few nice words, and then plays golf. Some were incensed at his cavalier attitude, but then what do we want to give up? Definitely not TV.

Am I saying that if we engage in military action things will get better here in America? No, I’m not saying use or not use military force, but I’m screaming that we need genuine Christians to pray and worship, witness to others, and understand that we’re engaged in a holy war, with the Church versus Islam. Consider how many Christians have been martyred recently by ISIS, heads cut off, and crucified. Bill O’Reilly was incensed that they murdered them simply because they were Christians, which means Bill does not understand the nature of the war. It is Satan against Christ, Satan’s minions against the disciples of the Great King. Bill thinks the war is only unrighteous humans (ISIS) against the righteous Americans. Why would any civilized people decapitate Americans, decapitate Christians, burn their own religious Muslims at the stake, crucify women and children? “There is no logic to this,” Bill maintains.

But Bill, they interpret the Koran literally, and they think they are pleasing Allah in doing so. I’m not saying they are right, but how many Christians take the Triune God and the Bible that seriously? It has often been said that one is not prepared to live until he is prepared to die. ISIS followers are prepared to die for a false god and heinous theological error; why can’t we Christians die for the true and living God and His infallible written word, the Holy Scriptures? In our hypocrisy, we get on our high horse about those savages who murder innocent people, especially those who behead Christians (and we should), but in our hypocrisy we overlook or justify the millions of babies we chop to pieces and throw in the garbage cans, and call that “pro-choice.”

This holy war is not being fought with the proper weapons:

4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. 7 Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even so we are Christ’s (2 Cor. 10:4-7).

Let us not forget the battle is not to the strong humans and not to those who have much military might, but it is to the Sovereign King of Kings who can wipe us out in a moment or give us a revival that has never been seen on planet earth:

15 And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, and said, “Strike this people, I pray, with blindness.” And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha” (2 Kings 6:15-18).

We are not having Elisha’s result because we are not walking humbly with our God. This ideological battle cannot be won by the secularists because they deny it, because they don’t understand it, and because they hate the Triune God.

So why does ISIS not stop? Why are they so committed to our destruction? Why do they sacrifice themselves in death for their cause? It is not money, women, or murder that drives them, but it is pleasing to Allah, they think.

Why is it that they are willing to die—all of them—including those in Iran? What logic is there in total self-destruction, like lemmings over the cliff? Are they mad? Young people join them to have a cause, to have fellow believers committed to something because toys, drugs, and sex do not satisfy. That is all the West and the Church of the West has to offer them. People will die for a cause if they think it is right. They have a sense of mission, of doing something to help the world.

And there is another matter that drives them immeasurably: their view of end times, what we call eschatology. They believe that according to the way they interpret the Koran, what they call literal (!), demands that they give themselves for Allah and his cause. They think the anti-Messiah (we say antichrist) is due to come to earth to stop all the ways, and that is coming is real soon. And guess who will lead the armies of heaven to set up a kingdom and rule it? Jesus, yes, you heard me correctly, Jesus! Of course, it is not the Jesus of the Bible who is creator and equal with God the Father, savior of the world! Rather, he is under Mohammed, of course.

Their eschatology drives them, and even if they sacrifice their whole countries and all the people in them, they do it for Allah! Talk about commitment. . . That level of commitment is what the West does not understand, and they think that end time talk is just plain weird.

But consider that these radical Muslims have an eschatology of victory, and they are willing to sacrifice everything, to “pledge to each other [their] Lives, [their] fortunes and [their] sacred Honor.” If you think you’re going to win in the last inning, and you are playing in the eighth inning, nothing matters but winning and going all out for Allah. That is why if (when) Iran obtains nuclear weapons, they will use them, for their eschatology demands it. It does not matter that they will be annihilated also, for Jesus will come and make everything right.

But most Christians today, especially those called dispensationalists, have an eschatology of defeat, thinking that Jesus will come back in the next few years, and they are not willing to sacrifice anything. They also interpret their holy book, the Bible, literally. According to these people, we lose, so why worry about anything. They have a defeatist attitude.

But the Lord Christ has asked the Father for the kingdoms of the world, and God has granted them to Him and us; therefore, let us fight with an attitude of faith and hope and victory. Though we do not know when the Lord Jesus will return (and no one does), yet we are to engage the cultures of the world for Him. I’ve read the end of the Book, and statements about the end in the Book, and we win! Here are some of them:

8 Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. 9 You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.'” 10 Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him (Psalm 2:8-12). (Jesus has all the kingdoms of the earth now.)

And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. (Rom. 16:20) (We crush the kingdoms also, in this life, by the power of the gospel.)

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matt. 28:18-20) (Jesus rules the world and expects His followers to conquer by the Gospel.)

If He owns it all, we must take it for Him by spreading the good news. For centuries Christians have tried to evangelize Muslims, but their culture and strong stand against anything Christian has stood in the way. Now we have the opportunity to evangelize them here, on our turf, in the USA. Let us not squander it, for this is how we’ll win the war with them. We serve “The Blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.” (1 Tim. 6:15-16). AMEN. ω