This week I have been greatly grieved by the hatred and murderous rampage of the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS). I had sat down to write out the testimony of a young man who I saw baptized on Sunday because his story brings hope and redemption to the grief we all feel. However, as I started to write I realized my husband had just updated his blog with this testimony. I thought he did a better job than I could so here is what he wrote:
Wolves are unthinking, dangerous animals always running in packs with a bent toward harm, pain, and bloody meals. I am watching across the hot, dry plains of Syria and Northern Iraq aided by Aljazeera news from my more comfortable spot in North Africa and my heart aches with the haunting sight of wolves ravaging helpless sheep by the thousands. I yank at my chain like a sheepdog distraught that I feel impotent. But can I do something?
Just this Sunday we held a baptismal celebration for a previously viscous wolf. His name is Salah Adeen. He used to run with that pack that I am watching on TV wave the black flag of Islam. Were it not for the grace of Christ he would be dead or dying now on that hot, dusty plain. Last year at this same time he was in Libya doing training with the Al Qaida branch in North Africa. He was being taught how to use automatic weapons and RPG’s in the dessert. In his merciless depraved heart was a plan to die in Jihad in Syria.
Sunday he sang next to me an Arabic song called, The Great Potter. It says, Oh Great Potter I am in your hands as clay And make of me in the end That which appears best in your eyes I give myself withholding nothing I trust in your grace and your hands
I realize at that moment, Salah Adeen still wet from his baptism, that this wolf, having had his faith in Islam so shaken by the fury of hate that he saw in Benghazi, had been miraculously remade into a harmless and kind sheep. He was not just a cleaner wolf but was, in fact, an entirely different animal.
But he is not a helpless sheep. Though recently fired from his job, counted as dead by his family, and gang attacked in his tight-knit Sunni neighborhood, he finally has a Shepherd, a Shepherd who gave His life for the sheep. A well known fact about shepherds is that they are for the sheep and use deadly force against wolves.
History has proven that radical Islam (better to call it simply “Islam” and everything else “Islam-lite”) has been used of God to turn many to Christ. The great majority of Muslims in the world have been taught and really believe that their religion is peaceful. Two men, Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran with his Islamic Revolution and Osama Ben Ladin with his 9-11 attacks in NYC, have been used of God to turn millions of Iranians, Arabs, and other Muslims away from Islam. But what happens when these millions walk away disgusted at the only religion they’ve ever known? At that moment, the proclamation of the Gospel will do its job of birthing saving faith in the hearer.
What can I do? I will pray and speak the Gospel. Our prayer as we groan over this massacre of sheep: Lord, Shepherd of our Souls, shake the millions of Muslims world-wide with this gruesome sight! Shake them to shame to wake up from this wolf-producing religion. Shake missionaries awake in the West to mobilize that the millions fleeing Islam will flee into the arms of Christ! Strengthen and encourage national Christians in the Muslim world to be bold with the message of Christ! Prepare them for the pain of testifying to wolves! Cause your Word to run and remake these wolves into sheep of your pasture!