Why does the church remain silent in the face of genocide perpetrated against Christians in Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Nigeria, Pakistan, and other Islamic nations? Such silence violates many biblical admonitions:
- Amos 5:14-15 Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts…
- Isaiah 1:16-17 …Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.
- Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. Ephes. 5:11
- "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'” (Matthew 25:40-43)
However, we find many excuses, even “biblical” ones, to justify our inactivity. We’ve all have heard it said,
- Well, I’m not going to look for a job. Instead, I’m trusting that God will find me one. After all, we do the works He has ordained for us to do (Eph. 2:10).
Dr. Joel McDormun presents several reasons why the Evangelical church has been silent in the face of this present genocide. Here’s one of those reasons:
- Believe the world will inevitably come under the grips of tyrannical one-world government, and the Middle East in fire and blood, and this is the God-ordained way it should be.
Well, this genocide might certainly be ordained by God, but everything that happens has also been ordained by Him (Eph. 1:11). This doesn’t mean that He has caused everything. But certainly, at the least, He has allowed them! This is an unavoidable conclusion in view of God’s attributes. If He is all-knowing, then He knew beforehand what would happen. If He is all-powerful – and He is – then He could have stopped it.
To illustrate this principle, God knew all about Hitler before He came to power, even before he was born. Also, He had the power to stop him, but He didn’t. However, troubling this conclusion might be, it is an unavoidable conclusion. Although we can’t understand this in its entirety, God has His reasons.
However, there are things that we do understand! Simply because God allowed (ordained) Hitler, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t resist him and other forms of evil. Even though God allows injustice, genocide, and other horrors, our role remains clear – to challenge and expose these evils!
What does it mean to trust God? To trust in His Word and to do what He tells us to do! Therefore, trusting isn’t a matter of sitting back and waiting for a job to magically come to us. Instead, trusting involves doing and taking full responsibility for the things we are instructed to do, trusting that our Lord will work through our efforts and intentions.
Trusting doesn’t mean giving up on the world because it is evil or because we are nearing the end. Instead, even more, it means shining the light of His wisdom and mercy through our lives.
Some pastors are afraid that taking “political” stances detracts from the presentation of the Gospel. Columnist Cal Thomas had wrongly taken issue with the late Chuck Colson of Prison Fellowship regarding his activism:
- Real power doesn’t reside in Washington. Real power is Christ within you. Surely the Gospel is a more effective tool than the Republican or the Democratic Party. Just one example: More babies are being saved through pregnancy help centers than through anything Washington has done.
Yes, I agree that our main priority should be Gospel and saving souls. However, demonstrating our love for our brethren is central to the Gospel and evangelism:
- "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35)
If we are concerned about transforming lives, we have to show the world our love for our brethren. How else can they take us seriously! Such love is not expressed through neglect:
- "My prayer is…that all of them may be one [in love], Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:20-21)
By failing to speak up for our persecuted brethren, the world will wonder about our love and doubt the Gospel message.
Let us therefore pray that the Lord will use us accordingly. Also, we cannot close our ears to the cries of the brethren. We might want to familiarize ourselves with the issues. Raymond Ibrahim writes extensively on this subject.
You might also want to share these links and talk to your church leadership about promoting this issue.