"Convert Them or Kill Them" - Phil Robertson on ISIS

For those of you who may not be aware, in Iraq and Syria there presently exists an armed uprising by an Islamic army/terrorist organization that refers to themselves as "The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria."

The number one goal of ISIS is to create an Islamic theocratic state, first starting in the Middle East, and eventually spreading across the globe. They hope to cause all men and women to live under the teachings and governance of Islamic law as interpreted through their religious leaders.

Ideally, they wish everybody would convert to Islam through their preaching. You may not know it, but Islam has their own missionaries. They actively try to convert people to Islam, much in the way we as Christians have missionaries and evangelists that go around the world sharing the gospel.

However, in regard to the form of Islam that ISIS practices, whoever resists their preaching must ultimately be executed, for such a person would have no place in a nation governed by Islamic law. Even Muslims who don't interpret Islam in the exact same way they do must ultimately convert and submit to their particular views, or face possible execution.

ISIS is terribly pragmatic in the implementation of their faith in the establishing of an Islamic government, and they are pretty straight forward in their approach:

Convert them, or kill them.

ISIS ultimately views America as an enemy in their struggle, and a result, we've landed in their crosshairs. They view us as a threat to their cause, their lives, and they believe we must be dealt with.

Many of our political leaders are presently scrambling for a solution to this problem. They realize that ISIS ultimately can't be negotiated with, because there is nothing to ultimately negotiate over. ISIS wants an Islamic state, not only in the Middle East, but ultimately across all of the world. They will be satisfied with nothing less.

While Washington, DC seeks for a present solution to this great problem, this topic has become a hot point of discussion in the media. Everybody is being asked to weigh in on where they stand, and what they see as a solution.

There is one brief interview recently conducted that sticks out in my mind, and I believe it to be indicative of the attitude that prevails amongst most Christians in America.

A few days ago, the controversial Duck Dynasty reality TV star and "patriarch" Phil Robertson appeared on Fox News, and was interviewed by commentator Sean Hannity. When Hannity asked Robertson about his thoughts on the ISIS crisis, Robertson briefly said the following:

"I'm not giving up on them, but I'm just saying, either convert them or kill them. One or the other."

I find Robertson's solution to the problem of ISIS to be rather revealing, and troubling at the same time. I fear too many follow his line of reasoning, and it goes along the following lines:

We know Jesus Christ has called us to fulfill the Great Commission, that is, to take the Gospel to all the world, and make disciples of all nations. We know all men are in need of our risen Lord and Savior. We know ISIS acts the way they do because like us, they are sinners in need of a Savior. We know they need to be born again, and apart from such, they will continue on in their present spiritual condition.

But in desiring to see all men saved, we recognize an immediate problem with groups like ISIS. They have no interests whatsoever in the Gospel message. Indeed, not only are they uninterested in hearing the Gospel, they are outwardly hostile to Christians, and are engaged in actively persecuting and murdering anybody who follows Christ. They simply will not tolerate the existence of Christians in their Islamic theocratic state. They don't believe in co-existing.

Being that there seems little hope in converting groups like ISIS, we quickly realize there only remains one practical means of stopping them from advancing, and that is to declare war against them, and kill as many of them as we possibly can. Our solution is ultimately this:

Convert them, or kill them.

But if you stop and think about what I just said, you will realize that our philosophy towards ISIS of converting them or killing them is the exact same philosophy that they are using in regard to us.

ISIS sees America as "the Great Satan" and believes we are beyond hope of being converted to Islam, and that we are actively trying to interfere with their mission of establishing an Islamic theocratic state. Likewise, we as Christians in America see ISIS as the embodiment of evil, inhuman, and demonic. And as such, we believe there are few practical steps we could take that could ever result in their conversion. They are beyond being saved it seems. Feeling hopeless and fearful in regard to stopping the jihad they are waging, we feel the only hope we have in stopping them is to declare war on them and kill them before they kill us.

Therefore, both of us agree the only solution to our problem is to kill the other group.

And while such may be the theology of Islam, carefully searching the Scriptures, I have a hard time believing such is also in keeping with the theology of Jesus, and the faith once and for all handed down to the saints.

The teachings of Jesus demand that we pick up our crosses instead of our swords, and follow Him. It demands that we love our enemies, even at the cost of our own lives. And if we literally give our lives over to death for the sake of Christ, we are to consider ourselves blessed. A resurrection awaits us. A kindgom has come and has been established that will know no end, and it conqurers and establishes justice and peace in the world through the weakness and foolishness of the cross, instead of the might of brute military force.

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