Last night, as I knelt to pray, I went through my usual litany of things that were burdening my soul. I pray daily for myself, for my daughter, for my church and her staff, for my friends and family and people I love and hold dear. I pray for this country, that she'll come to her senses and have, if not a Spiritual Awakening, then at least an awakening of true Patriotism and national Pride. I pray that she'll hearken back to a day when even elementary school kids knew what it was to truly be American and not some multi-cultural menagerie. As a pundit once said "It's the Melting Pot...when are you finally going to melt?"
I pray each day for doors to open for me to pursue the gifts and talents God has blessed me with. I pray for people I have yet to meet, who need Jesus Christ and for whom I pray I will be ready when that not-so-chance meeting occurs.
I pray protection over my daughter as she faces a world I was never facing at 14. I pray for wisdom to be better at being her dad than I am today, and better still tomorrow.
Last night...in the midst of my prayers...I prayed for my enemies.
And my heart broke.
Last night I prayed for the millions of people trapped in a devilish, horribly enslaving, Hell-birthed lie covered in the thin skin of a religion known as Islam.
Make no mistake...Islam is in no way a path to God. Allah is not God. He's not the same God by a different name and he's not a deity and he isn't holy. Muhammad was no prophet except a prophet of Satan. The system of living that the Koran forces on it's adherents is slavery and it's hopeless. Jesus was no mere prophet and He certainly wasn't subordinate to a pedophilic, murderous, marauding brigand. This will offend some folks at first. I offer no apology.
Islam is a culture all it's own, not merely another religion. And it's adherents are trapped.
They are trapped by a lie so evil and so fully deceptive that they don't know any different. 80% of the Arab world is illiterate. 60% of all Muslims fall into that same category. (Not all Muslims are Arabs) They don't even know the content of the book they so violently defend except for what some hatred-spewing Imam tells them. In the 14th Century when Wyckliffe produced the first English Bible, he was outcast by the Catholic church. Why? Because prior to this there had been no English version and the people had to totally trust in what the priests were saying. They could not double check. If they had, there would have been a reformation a long time before 1495.
Think of the Muslim world in that way. The people can't read the Koran so they have no idea if the Imams are telling them the truth. Sadly...they are. The Koran is an evil book full of evil deeds and commands to do evil, horrible things to anyone who doesn't follow the religion of the moon god Allah.
But here's the heartbreaking, sad, soul-crushing truth. They can't read a Bible either.
And it's not just because it's outlawed and forbidden...that's never stopped a hungry soul in the past and it never will. God makes a way to get His word to a soul who seeks it.
They can't read anything. And because of this they are enslaved. Enslaved to a system of lies that steals their souls and is the antagonist in a great spiritual battle for humanity.
Last night, God did what God and God alone can do. He broke down my own defense against a terrible intruder and showed me how He sees this enemy. He permitted me to see them as the human souls they are.
The world looks different when viewed from the cross.
And so last night as I prayed for protection for my daughter and for my nation against this invading force of pure antichristic evil, I began to weep and then I began to beg God to set these people free. They are deceived and trapped. And while I do believe there is a culture at work that strips virtually all humanity from them and that is infinitely dangerous, (Who rapes a corpse...as has been widely reported happened to the body of Ambassador Stevens after his body was retrieved from the Embassy compound?) the truth is that the majority of the people of the Muslim world are not full of the evil we see. They live in a culture of silence and they don't get outraged at the acts of their neighbors. To me this is cowardly and I can't understand it. But the truth is that they are heading toward the same horrible Hell as all who die without Jesus Christ and my silence at their demise is no different than their silence at the attacks of the radicals in their midst.
In fact...if I truly believe what I claim to believe...it's worse. It's worse because I know the truth and they don't.
And so last night as my heart broke and tears began to fall I begged God to open their eyes and set them free. I asked that the Spirit of Truth...the very Spirit of Jesus Christ Himself who is "The way the Truth and the Life" would penetrate the spirit of deception and evil that is Islam.
It's a hard, tempestuous prayer because my heart tells me that things will only get worse in this epic battle between good and evil. So how does one love the foot soldiers of the enemy? Only through the love of Jesus Christ. And so now, in addition to my prayers for my family, myself, my nation...I am determined to pray for my enemy. And to love them where I am presented the opportunity. I won't be foolish...Dietrich Bonhoeffer would warn us against that. But I will be loving and I will be their friend in my prayer closet.
Those who know me and know my often-extreme views know this is a big deal. I'm not given to grace where my very country and freedom is at stake. But somehow I have to separate the sin from the sinner...as we Christians claim to be so good at. If all I do is pray for them, that's more than I've been doing. I know that I will never change Islam. It is what it is and it is evil. But I can pray for it's captives and love them in their chains and trust that Jesus will use what I offer in what way He sees fit to set a few of them free.
Somehow I have to learn to keep my guard up, my heart open, and my head bowed.
Because the world looks different when viewed from the Cross...