We hear a lot in the news about how Islam is a "religion of peace" and how most most Muslims are "moderate" which means that they are non-violent. This may be true. When 100 people (both Muslims) and Christians boarded an inflatable boat to make voyage across the Mediterranean, all of the Muslims would probably have been categorized as "moderate/non-violent/peace-loving" people.
- There is no evidence that any of the 15 Muslims who threw 12 Christians overboard were associated with any terrorist group.
- There was no conflict between the Muslims and Christians until the boat began to sink.
- The Muslims threw the Christians overboard because they prayed to God and Jesus instead of "only to Allah".
- The Christians made no attempt to attack the Muslims.
When people face life and death situations, their true beliefs surface and politeness is thrown overboard. Therefore these 15 Muslims, spontaneously radicalized and started throwing Christians overboard one-by-one. "When 12 migrants were mercilessly thrown overboard, the other Christians formed a human chain and protected themselves against the attackers by clinging to the dinghy."
Christians, it is time for us to be united. We live in an increasingly anti-Christian world. It is time for us to form a "human chain" with all genuine Christians around the world and cling to Christ. Dividing along denominational lines or non-essential doctrinal distinctives (calvinists vs. charismatics etc.) is a luxury that we can no longer afford. Nearly 2000 years ago, Christianity began in a time and environment when it was literally "open season" on Christians. During that time the Christians' statements of their core beliefs such as the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed were short, simple, and tended to unify Christians. However, when Christians not only had religious freedom but also their churches were sponsored by the governments, they had the luxury of much longer, complex, and exclusive doctrinal statements (such as the Westminster confession).
It is my hope and prayer that Christians will once again return to a simple but robust faith in Jesus Christ and that we will be able to be united in life. One of the founding fathers of the USA, Benjamin Franklin, said, "We must indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately"
Jesus Prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, shows us just how much Jesus longs for his followers to be united.
John 17:20-23 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me."
Christians, we may never agree with each other. We might not even like each other. But, Jesus Christ commands that we love each other. Like it or not, we are all in the same boat. As a Christian, I do not hate the 15 Muslims who killed 12 of my siblings in Christ. By their hateful actions they only prove Jesus' words true.
“I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith. For you will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God. This is because they have never known the Father or me." (John 16:1-3)
On the Cross, "Jesus said, And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice." (Luke 23:34)