Islamist Beheading is a Theological Problem.
Why do Muslims kill Christians, and cut off people’s heads?
“This is just what we do.” –Oklahoma Muslim to co-worker he was reportedly promising to behead, and put the picture on Facebook.
“Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.” –Jesus of Nazareth, recorded in John 16
Why do Muslims kill? As Jesus said in the quote above, it is because they think in doing so, they earn merit with God. You cannot ultimately defeat such twisted beliefs with bullets and bombs, but only with spiritual truth and power.
Everyone—and I mean everyone—knows we are flawed. We casually throw around phases like “to err is human,” and “nobody is perfect.” We do our best to suppress the reality of that true spiritual guilt (atheism, agnosticism)… or we craft a set of beliefs to minimize, rationalize, and supposedly pay that debt ourselves (nominal, and manmade religion)… or we accept the true God’s revealed solution to our brokenness.
There are two paths of salvation: Do, or Done.
Manmade religion and irreligion are worshippers of “Do.” There is a set of rules to be followed, and tasks to be completed, to earn salvation (whether defined in spiritual terms, or via mere earthly accomplishments—environmentalism, social campaigns, business success, charity work, etc.).
The Bible and Christianity have a very different message: Yes, you are guilty, and there is nothing you can do to wipe away the stains of your failures and rebellion against the Creator, but… God has done what you cannot do. He has paid your debt, and “Done” everything needed to earn salvation for you. He offers all of this as a free gift—a gift that transforms those who receive it, from the inside-out.
“God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” –Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, chapter 2
Islam says: “Achieve.” Christianity says “Receive.” The god of the Quran says: “You please me by killing or subjugating, to display my power to those who don’t believe.” The God of the Bible says: “You please Me by sacrificing and dying, if you must (as I did for you through my Son, Jesus), to display My measureless love to unbelievers.”
The solution to the “problem” of Islam—and all forms of manmade religion and irreligion—is the Good News of Jesus. Muslims (and others) need to hear of the Father Who loves them right here and right now, and Who has guaranteed their eternal salvation by His own sovereign hand. They need to experience God’s love—and they need to see it, through the sacrificial actions of Christians.
Christian, how will you show love for your neighbor today?