October 30, 2019
1 Timothy 2:1-6 is a well-known scripture passage I’ve referred to many times in the GHPL. I’ve quoted it below in a different translation (NLT) than I usually use (ESV or NIV) to try to bypass the familiarity that sometimes causes us to pay less attention:
“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For, [t]here is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave His life to purchase freedom for everyone.”
Al-Baghdadi, the violent caliph of Islamic State, is dead and ISIS is temporarily in disarray. The US has pulled out of Syria, abandoning the Kurds who have now been pushed out by Turkey, and in the chaos, some ISIS fighters have escaped. Others, including 6 adult Canadian males, are being held in prisons formerly run by the Kurds. What will happen to them? Should Canada repatriate them to prevent them being tortured and killed? Former Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale has said ISIS members “have a constitutional right to re-enter the country, but the government of Canada does not have a legal obligation to facilitate their return.” But now we have a new government. If they show up at a Canadian embassy and are repatriated, can Canadians anticipate “peaceful and godly lives marked by godliness and dignity?” Now read the scripture passage again with this scenario in mind.
After the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre, a Christian Canadian global expert on Islam wrote that Christians are uniquely qualified to take the lead in de-radicalizing terrorists because (1) we understand the power of religious ideology and (2) because we offer a greater power than terrorism – personal relationship with the Prince of Peace. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Muslim now atheist, repeatedly encourages Christians to reach out to Islamic terrorists. And Mubin Shaikh, a Sunni-Sufi Muslim who left terrorism training, pursued de-radicalization, and now works for Western governments against terrorism, recommends that Canada not repatriate its citizens fighting for terrorist organizations because the Canadian government and security services do not yet have the capacity to do “proper threat assessment” and appropriate counselling that addresses the role of ideology.*
*Read Shaikh’s October 2019 report, “ISIS Repatriation in North America: Importing the Threat or Dissipating the Danger?” All quotations come from this article.
- Canadian terrorists to meet Jesus as Judge and Savior (please read Jn 5:22-27.)
- God to choose our new Minister of Public Safety and for divine wisdom for the Minister
- Discernment to replace naivete in our security and police forces and judiciary
- Our government and public service to work together to protect Canada’s peace
- Christians called to assist in de-radicalizing Islamic terrorists to take the places prepared in advance for them (Eph 2:10, Mt 5:9)
Photo by Brian Dawson