The reign of the ‘god of this world’

“In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”  2 Cor 4:4

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”  Isaiah 5:20

From Thursday’s New York Times (caution: difficult reading ahead):

QADIYA, Iraq — In the moments before he raped the 12-year-old girl, the Islamic State fighter took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. Because the preteen girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the Quran not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it, he insisted.

He bound her hands and gagged her. Then he knelt beside the bed and prostrated himself in prayer before getting on top of her.

When it was over, he knelt to pray again, bookending the rape with acts of religious devotion.

“I kept telling him it hurts — please stop,” said the girl, whose body is so small an adult could circle her waist with two hands. “He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God…”

Tragically, it is — drawing him closer to the ‘god (lower-case “g”) of this world,’ who is running amok in our day.  Anyone who can look upon the atrocities of ISIS, or the holocaust of unborn children in the West, and state that evil doesn’t really exist–that the term is merely a social convention based on outmoded religious beliefs–is indeed “blinded.”  Fatally so.

There are many who look upon ISIS and others, like the Westboro Baptist Church, and conclude the problem is faith itself.  Sadly, they too lack discernment.  The Enemy is shrewd — whether you serve him directly or become spiritually indifferent as a result of those who do, either way he draws souls away from the salvation Christ came to offer.  Those who believe the elimination of ‘religion’ is the path to peace don’t realize that the evils of the linked article is the default setting of a world that is enslaved by sin.  They literally risk throwing out the baby–the Christ child, the only hope of redemption–with the bathwater.

But for those of us with “eyes to see” and “ears to hear,” we know there is only One solution for this.  While it may eventually involve physical confrontation, far above the mere dabbling with airstrikes and symbolic but ineffective gestures, the real solution involves seeking to draw near to Jehovah, our creator, sustainer and savior.  It involves praying for the Spirit to bring revival — and not just in America.

The battle lines are being drawn, both abroad and at home.  May the God (uniquely capital “G”) of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Peter and Paul watch over us.  Our nation does not deserve it, but unlike those who serve hellish spirit the Times unwittingly wrote about, we serve a God of love, mercy and grace.

And the battle ultimately belongs to Him.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”    Ephesians 6:12-13

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