I am probably not the person who should be writing this blog concerning Isis. I find that my opinion about Isis does not come from a long debated or informed study of the issues, but rather I am more reactive than I am responsive. My reactions are just that: A reaction to the latest threat or news of Isis and their evil being carried out on the innocents of the world.
In addition to that, my reactions run from the peaceful, informed words of a Jimmy Carter to the wildly uninformed male bravado of a Donald Trump. At one moment I want to do all for peace and understanding. And then I want to bomb the hell out of them. I think there are more of us feeling this confusion than we want to let on. So what do we do when our feelings run so deep and so far afield of what should be a more proper response to this most difficult and threatening evil?
I think there are three questions that need to be asked and answered.
ONE: I think the first question is a Faith question that needs to be answered by the leaders of the world’s religions. My suggestion would be something like a Vatican III, where the Pope gathers all the Faith leaders to a summit to discuss what should be the religious response to the evil that is being wrought upon the innocents of the world by these so-called religious zealots.
TWO: I think the second question is a political question where all the political leaders of the world, including those in question, gather to discuss and debate a political and/or military solution to the evil of Isis. We simply must come to some kind of consensus about how we are going to proceed with this battle.
THREE: The third question is much more personal and involves you and me. If we are honest with ourselves we know that within the human heart lingers the real possibility of evil but can become cultivated into a darkened evil in which genocide of people different from us becomes a real possibility, even something we understand as good.
So, that means we all need to look within and start becoming a Christian in deed, not just words alone, a Christian who reaches out to uplift the world and not just a bumper sticker Christian. It is time we all put ourselves to the old Gandhi test. Remember the story: Gandhi stayed with a Christian for six months to see if he wanted to become a Christian. Unfortunately after that six months he stayed a Hindu because he didn’t see anything attractive about being Christian. We all need to start living in such a way that others will want to become Christian people – they will know we are Christians by our love.
Seeing Gandhi live, the Christian missionary E. Stanley Jones asked him: “Mr Gandhi, though you quote the words of Christ often, why is it that you appear to so adamantly reject becoming his follower (Christian)”? The latter’s reply was clear: “Oh, I don’t reject your Christ. I love your Christ. It is just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ”.
So we need to put away the bumper stickers and start living as people filled with the love of Christ. Whatever the answer is at least part of it from our perspective must be our living out this part of the Prayer… “Thy Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.”
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