A Paradigm for War
January 9, 2015
Terrorist activity has parts of Paris on lock down today. A friend of mine, who lives in Paris sent out an email saying: “Terrorists 10 miles from our home. Pray!” He continued saying,
“We believe it is imperative that the entire western [culture] comes to terms quickly with the true message of Islam, which is nothing less than utter domination of the world.”
His comment reminds me of comments I heard on a recent trip to London and Poland, in which I heard people express deep concern over the lack of foreign policy and weak leadership in America. It is a fact, western culture in general has not come to terms with the true nature of Islam and the new paradigm of war that is needed to do so.
The Old and the New
The traditional paradigm of warfare with national armies squaring off against one another is an old paradigm. Terrorism operates according to a new paradigm and its players are defined almost wholly by religion or philosophical affiliation instead of by nation. Military strategists realize this and have adapted to some extent, but the average person on the street in the United States has yet to understand and develop the proper perspective. Most of us fail to understand how important it is for the mass of the people to grasp this. If an army’s philosophy and world view is not constantly nurtured in the upcoming generation, the army will run out of support in a generation or two. It is always “the people” that provide the foundation of support that is needed to finish a war (see previous article: Finish the Job). Without the support of the people, the result is a kind of détente instead of a victory.
Our enemy has a long-term strategy and is training its children in its religious philosophy of war and world conquest. As a result, their masses support their vision. Yet in America, we have failed miserably when it comes to imparting to the upcoming generations the philosophy that is needed to respond to the paradigm of warfare that we are facing. Political correctness, which has found wide acceptance in our culture, including our churches, is the enemy’s strategy to eliminate the principles of freedom from the minds of the people. The views promoted by political correctness sound quite noble, but are actually a hypocritical one-way street designed to neutralize any resistance to the evil that is advancing upon us.
Who is the Enemy?
It is not politically correct to say so, but the primary religious enemy being referred to is Islam. Someone is always quick to respond, “No, Islam is not bad, it is just the radical jihad types that are the problem.” This response is false and it is an example of how political correctness keeps us from addressing the real problem. And if we don’t address the problem, how can we find the solution?
Though many Muslims are moderate and do not actively support the jihadists, most do not actively resist either. Such a position is what is known as tacit consent. "Tacit" is defined as: implied or indicated by an act or by silence, but not actually expressed. In other words, by failing to name the true problem and resist it, many Muslims (and many Christians as well) actually provide a kind of support for the Islamic jihadists and their efforts to establish a world caliphate.
The Nature of Islam
We are engaged in a spiritual war that manifests in the natural and this is why we must understand Islamic the religion to fight the war on terror. The true nature of Islam or any other religion can be easily discovered using a simple concept presented by Jesus Christ:
"A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher." (Luke 6:40 NASB).
All we have to do is look at the teacher who founded Islam to see its true nature. The brutal actions and ideology of conquest seen in today's radical jihadists are nearly identical to Mohammed's in the 7th century. Groups like ISIS are simply disciples of Mohammad who have been fully trained and are like their teacher.
The Nature of Christianity
Jesus’ life and teachings are in stark contrast to Mohammed’s. Jesus taught truth, honesty, and respect for life. Instead of conquest, Jesus gave us a dominion mandate, telling us to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, teaching them (not forcing them) to observe all that Jesus commanded (see Mark 16:15, Matt 28:18-20). But we also see in this command that Jesus gave no politically correct “equal status” to other religions. Jesus was clear and consistent on this. He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father but by Me” (John 14:6).
Our job is to prepare the way for the return of Jesus and His complete dominion on earth and we must come to terms with the fact that this precipitates war. Whether it is categorized as spiritual, political, or military warfare, it is warfare nonetheless. Actually it is all the above. American Christians must shed the separation mentality and bring out our secret weapon: the gospel message of the coming kingdom of God and begin to present it as a real goal. As good stewards of the manifold grace of God, our actions and words must demonstrate nothing less.
As Christians, we primarily seek to win the hearts of our enemies through the truth of gospel message. But within that spiritual context, Christianity has a clear militaristic element. There are multiple scriptures that speak of Christians as soldiers and refer to our spiritual weapons of war. Paul told Timothy that no soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of this world, so that he may please the One who enlisted him as a soldier (see 2 Tim 2:4). This speaks to the issue referred to above as a warfare paradigm. Most American Christians don’t really understand that we are at war and that we need to be engaged accordingly. Again, those who refuse to acknowledge a problem will never find the solution. Those who will not call it war will never be prepared for the battle.
The People and Religion
In this war, there can only be one objective - to win. Right must triumph over wrong; good over evil. Herein lies the crux of the matter. Who will define what is evil and what is not? There is no such thing as a philosophical vacuum; there is no such thing as neutrality. The religious philosophy of the people will determine the long-range philosophy that civil government operates by. The twisted interpretation of the First Amendment called, “separation of church and state” which is constantly thrown at us, is nothing more than an anti-Christian strategy designed to keep Christians and Christian values out of government.
Like it or not, the paradigm of war in our world today is defined by our religious beliefs (or lack thereof). As Christians, we must loose ourselves from the entanglements of political correctness and all self-defeating worldly philosophies. We must see ourselves as soldiers in active service. We must put on the urgency and commitment that comes with the state of declared war and restore the Kingdom paradigm of Christian dominion in the church and in the generation to come.
So what is "biblical" dominion? Good Question. That will be the topic of the follow up to this article.
Brought to you by Purpose Ministries
(c) copyright 2014, Brad Sherman
Permission to use with citation granted