Evil in the Flesh

pb-121213-egypts-copts-03.photoblog900Religious extremism is evil. Look no further than ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) or ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).

Last Sunday, 21 Egyptian Christian hostages were executed by militants allied with ISIS. The Coptic Church confirmed the 21 hostages are believed dead. Believers were martyred because they were, “The people of cross, followers of the hostile Egyptian Church.”

As a Christ follower (a person of the cross), I’m deeply saddened by these brutal attacks. Savage acts ought not happen nor should they be permitted. Life is precious, sacred and valued.

Pray for the families as they grieve.

Pray for the people of the cross in that region.

Pray for leaders across the globe as they engage this terrorism.

Pray for the deliverance from evil.

Live as people of the cross.

2 thoughts on “Evil in the Flesh

  1. Tom Bagby

    Well said; since many do not see your blog, I hope you will comment on this subject in the Church Services.

  2. Rett

    Hi Brad.

    Thank you again for helping lead the memorial service for my Grandfather last week. I still feel really embarrassed that I didn’t immediately recognize you.

    When I hear the words “religious extremism” rather than “Islamic extremism” I can’t help but desire to know what is meant. The charge “extreme” has no context without the prespective from which it is levied being known. For instance, there are certainly people today who would consider you and I “religious extremists” for mere fact that we are Christians who actually still believe in and uphold the authority of scripture. As Ben Afleck recently stated in his viral video, “Christians are just as dangerous as Muslims.” You and I know that’s ridiculous, as it would be utterly ridiculous to compare the most “extreme” examples of Christianity with people who fly planes into buildings and slaughter millions of innocent people.

    As I have been very vocal about as of late, I believe religious pluralism is very much being asserted when people refuse to admit that Islamic theology is the source of Islamic terrorism and instead insist that Christianity share in the blame for all of these acts by asserting “religious extremism” to be the problem. The underlying assumption, all religions are equally valid and valuable, and thus it is an unpardonable sin to demonize one while pardoning the other, no matter what the truth may be.

    I’m not saying there aren’t peaceful muslims, I know for a fact that there are. Just like I know for a fact there are violent “Christians.” What I am asserting is that when Muslims take up the sword, they do so because of Islamic theology, not inspite of it. The converse is not true when we bring up the KKK, the African slave trade, or horrible deeds that happened during the crusades, none of which can be justified by a right understanding of scripture. Conversely, it is the peaceful Muslims who are at odds with the later writtings of Muhammad. That beach in Libya where these beheadings took place is the same beach Muhammad executed thousands of Jews. The truth is Muhammad went from peaceful prophet to a man of war, not the other way around. As long as the secular West refuses to acknowledge Islamic theology as the source of Islamic terrorism, it will be utterly incapable of protecting us from this ISIS threat. But I don’t think the secular West will even feel pressured to acknowledge that if the Church is borrowing from their vain philosophies and describing this threat in their terms.

    Don’t take this as a personal slight. I don’t believe at all you meant to assert religious pluralism in using the terms “religious extremism.” It is very easy to accept the terms and conditions worldly philosophies relentlessly seek to impose on us. We all do it, and thus we are all called to renew our minds daily. And of course, I have no idea the context in which you meant “religious extremism.” I just know that in a particular context, it is a Pastor’s duty to promote a certain extremism and radical devotion to Christ and his Word, and I know that the world will always detest such.

    Thank you for joining in the public condemnation of this horrible act. I appreciate your blogs whenever I come across them.

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