Radical jihad and the God who can save us

I went into a store over the weekend where I do business frequently, and the owner asked me to come over and talk to him and another customer. He asked me, “What do you think about the Paris jihad?” My answer was simply: “100% predictable.”

It was, but my thoughts on this particular terrorist attack go so much deeper than that, and my sorrow is so much greater than that answer conveys.

It is horrific and infuriating to hear that 129 human beings were obliterated in cold blood and hundreds more were injured in seven separate attacks by evil barbarians. But it isn’t shocking anymore. Even the declarations of the attack as “an act of war” don’t convince me that the West finally has the resolve to win this global third world war. In fact, I believe it is only the Islamic jihadists who are at war. Westerners are merely playing the role of the paralyzed, politically correct sitting ducks.

It shows in our tepid responses: endless candlelight vigils, ‪ heartfelt social-media hashtags and lifeless phrases like, “I stand with Paris.” I’m sure the Islamic State is really quaking in fear. But the more quickly we can offer these perfunctory acts of compassion, the sooner we can get back to Candy Crush. Face it. The West, in general and as yet, has no overwhelming will to fight ISIS. Nor do Americans in particular, and I don’t just mean President Obama and his band of progressive elites. I mean the Americans who elected Obama, the same ones who barely look up from their iPhones when he refers to ISIS as “the JV team” or declares the terrorist group “contained” mere hours before the Parisian bloodbath (Candy Crush, remember? Or was it Subway Surfers?).

These are the same Americans who also stand behind Hillary Clinton, one of the most thoroughly corrupt and dishonest politicians in modern history, because they think it would be “awesome and historic” to elect a woman to the White House. Never mind that this same woman, as Obama’s secretary of state, is complicit in the rise and metastisization of the Islamic State, blatantly lied about an Internet video causing the Benghazi terror attacks and has publicly stated that when it comes to curtailing negative free speech about Islam in America, we need to “to use some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.”

Meanwhile, unvetted Syrian refugees have just arrived in New Orleans. Via Top Right News:

The 10,000 Syrian refugees are first flown to the United States, according to the French news wire Agence France-Presse, with the State Department paying the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for the airfare.

Then, once the refugees arrive in the country, they could be dispersed across the 180 cities listed above, where they are to aided within the first 30 to 90 days in settling and finding employment in the area.

After approximately 90 days, refugees are no longer eligible for the State Department-funded support that they were receiving through migrant and refugee services. However, they are able to join support programs through the Department of Health and Human Services.

Additionally, it is unclear how much the screening process for the 10,000 Syrian refugees will cost American taxpayers.

The State Department spent $1.1 billion resettling people from around the world in the country last year. That’s about $16,000 per person.

And as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal noted in a letter to President Obama, the state knew nothing about this in advance, stating, “As with former immigration crises and federal relocation policy, Louisiana has been kept in the dark about those seeking refuge in the state and it is irresponsible and severely disconcerting to place individuals, who may have ties to ISIS, in a state without the state’s knowledge or involvement.”

So much for the Paris jihad changing the president’s mind about bringing unvetted Syrian refugees to the United States. Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisor, even confirmed to NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Obama has “no pause” about the refugee plan. Where’s all the overwhelming American outrage?

And when one, eight, 20 or 100 of these refugees eventually turn on Americans and start slaughtering us in the streets, will the progressified drones among us finally wake up? Or will they continue to hold to their pie-in-the-sky visions of “welcoming to our shores” unlimited numbers of illegal immigrants? Will they just mindlessly regurgitate the propaganda that the real enemies are the “Islamophobes” and mindlessly affirm Obama’s clarion call before the UN in the wake of the Benghazi terrorist attack, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam?”

Scripture doesn’t say that, by the way. It says it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. The LORD of hosts has sworn: “As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.” (Isaiah 14:24)

This is why we must have a firm handle on the truth: It is Jesus Christ who is Lord and Savior. He is God incarnate, the second Person of the Trinity, sent by the Father to die and rise again from the dead, to be both our High Priest and the simultaneous sacrifice for our sins.

It is Jesus alone who is the way, the truth and the life, and He is the only mediator between God and man. No man comes to the Father but by Him. He is the Word of God, the promised Messiah, the Lamb of God, the Bread of Life and God’s final prophet. As Hebrews 1 tells us, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.

And yet, despite its glorious roots in biblical thought and practice, and despite its many Christian revivals, the West has increasingly rejected the one true God in our day. Christianity is almost dead in Western Europe, where churches stand empty. Evangelical Christianity in America, while statistically more robust than in Europe, is also waning. Where it hasn’t been fully doctrinally liberalized, it is increasingly shallow and/or entertainment-obsessed. These trends have made us both soft and weak. And when the church is soft and weak, its light and its witness are diminished — and the surrounding culture suffers. “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” (Matthew 5:13) Such is true of 2015 America.

If we are to win the war against radical Islam, we must fight back with the resolve to win. But we need something beyond a solid foreign-policy strategy, a sound and strategic war plan, a tough border policy and a conservative president and Congress who can implement it all — though we certainly need all those things.

We in the West have acted like spoiled brats long enough. Away with our suicidal self-autonomy, moral decay and wanton sinfulness. God has given us so much, but we have been unthankful. We have spat upon His mercy. And we forget that He owes us nothing – no protection, no military victories, no safety, no security. We enjoy those blessings at His pleasure, and given our utter, widespread rebellion against Him, we should not be surprised if He takes it away.

But we must also remember the flip side: His unending graciousness, love and mercy. If we will repent of our sin and return to Him, asking Him for forgiveness and placing our faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, perhaps He will relent and again have mercy on us as a nation. And this repentance must begin in His church.

We must spend less time fearing our enemies and more time fearing the Lord. Lest we forget, He is the only One who can “relent from sending calamity,” as Joel 2:12-13 state:

“Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.

Beyond mere temporal protection, however, we must remember that God must be feared because eternity lies ahead of us, an eternity in which He will consign each of us to either heaven or hell. And hell is a far greater danger than any earthly terrorism can pose. “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)

The Islamic terrorists know who their god is – but do you know yours? Which God will you serve? Yourself? The gods of false religion? The gods of your imagination? Or will you serve the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who made the heavens and the earth?

The Scripture is sure. As the Lord has purposed, so shall it stand. The question now is: Where will we stand?