A story just released on the Times of India news site alleging the beheading of 4 Christian children in Iraq for refusing to convert to Islam.
Here is an excerpt of the story:
“ISIS turned up and said to the children, 'You say the words that you will follow Mohammed'. The children, all under 15, four of them, said ‘no, we love Yeshua, we have always loved we have always followed Yeshua, Yeshua has always been with us.’ They said: 'Say the words.' They said 'No, we can't.'
They chopped all their heads off. How do you respond to that? You just cry."
How does one respond to that? Take a minute to read the story (link in the text above) if you have not done so ready.
I believe undoubtedly that the response should be one formed in Love.
This doesn’t make sense. Many would agree that the people responsible for these killings are exactly the kind of Hell deserving terrorists that justify the coming of God’s wrath upon the earth. You know what, these guys don’t deserve mercy, don’t tell me these kinds of people can be forgiven and even accepted into the Kingdom of God. Justifiable responses to this kind of brutality would be anger, rage, hate, condemnation, revenge!
But that is not the way. So, I say again: The response should undoubtedly be one formed in Love.
Here’s why: Because of the children's love for God.
I cannot help but put myself in their shoes, and when I do so, all I can feel is Love for Yeshua. An inkling of hate, an inch of doubt, and I would have done what my captors were asking of me.
But I am now overwhelmed. The Spirit of God has taken over, I remember those precious scriptures we memorised in secret…“blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you.”… “Love your enemies”… “But rejoice…as you share in Christ’s sufferings”… “but even if you should suffer…Have no fear of them, nor be troubled.”…“for when I am week, then I am strong.”
It’s as if a flash of lightning has struck me in the heart and opened my eyes to the wonder of these words. I see now, I know now. I am on my knees before the captors, but bowing only to my Lord. I hear their spitting anger and rage, I feel the bruises on my body from stone and rifle…but as if only an echo, far away. Time is slow. This moment is captured in eternity. The sword of hate hangs above me, but I could stay here. I could stay here in this moment, this moment shared by thousands more. Christ is with me as I have never known before. Oh, my dear enemies, if only you knew this Joy.
In loosing my life I have found it, in death I have life. My body has gone, my spirit is alive.
How else can one respond? Let’s honour the death of these martyrs, not with revenge, but with an imitation of their unyielding faith and love.
See: Matthew 5:11, Matthew 5:44, 1 Peter 4:13-14, 2 Corinthians 12:10, Matthew 10:39, Matthew 16:25