7 Browley Street, Moss Vale NSW 10am Sunday Worship Service

Highlands Post Column Nov-2014

Highlands Post (Outreach Media)

It’s hard to get too worked up about the fate of an ISIS soldier. He’s a bloodthirsty killer and a fanatic with whom you can’t reason. Most of the world has quietly agreed it’s best to hunt him down and have him killed efficiently. And just how cruel and dangerous ISIS is can be seen by the willingness of the Western media to endorse this plan.

Beheadings, and crucifixions, the mass slaughter of people because of their ethnicity or religious belief – all these are part of the sweat and grime of war for ISIS. Then, when a town falls and there’s a lull in the fighting it’s time for raping and maiming to make it clear to the beaten and conquered all that Allah requires. And women are to be treated with special severity. Passed around as war trophies amongst the ISIS soldiers for amusement or sold in the marketplace for just a few dollars, their fate is grim.

Yes, it’s hard to get too worked up about the fate of an ISIS soldier. But if you are worked up it’s most likely a mixture of loathing and fear. And whilst the loathing is obvious, the fear is complicated. Can we contain ISIS? Who in our country is sympathetic to them? Am I safe? What if this terrorism becomes commonplace in our country too? And could the battle with ISIS lead the world into a larger war?

But the ISIS soldier creates another kind of fear – a fear that perhaps our confidence in human nature has been ill founded. If I were in a different situation, could I be like the ISIS soldier? Am I really better than he?

Jesus never let his hearers sit comfortably with self-confidence before God. He kept unsettling them with impossibly high standards. His standard for the ISIS soldier is, frankly, very difficult. It goes something like this. Because ISIS have declared themselves to be our enemy, we therefore, need to love them and pray for them. The words come from Jesus’s famous Sermon on the Mount where He says, “I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).

So, Jesus actually requires us to get worked up over the ISIS soldier. He commands us to find love in our hearts and pray for that soldier and really mean it. Remember, Jesus loved his enemies enough to die for them at the cross. And this included us too. Whether your enemy is ISIS or someone at work or your next- door neighbour or even a family member, we can’t just take Jesus’s love but not give love to others regardless of what they might have done.

Ian Brunton

Leave a Reply

Sermons News

Visit Us

7 Browley Street, Moss Vale NSW

There is not points to locate on the map