Defenders of the Cross
By Hal Lindsey
On May 3rd, two young Muslim men, wearing body armor and carrying assault rifles, rolled up beside a police car guarding a Garland, Texas “free speech” event. They got out of their car and opened fire. They wounded an unarmed Garland Independent School District security guard.
The police officer in the vehicle, a 60 year old Garland traffic cop, was armed only with a 45-caliber Glock pistol. But he quickly killed both terrorists despite their body armor and superior weapons. For his security, and that of his family, authorities haven’t released his name. But he did a heroic job.
Earlier that day, the Muslim men had pledged their allegiance to “Amirul Mu'mineen,” a reference to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS. Baghdadi considers himself the leader of all real Muslims, a caliph. That’s why he changed the name of ISIS to “the Islamic State.” That’s why he began to say that he is a direct descendant of Mohammed, an essential qualification for being caliph.
Because the terrorists, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, had pledged themselves to Baghdadi, ISIS claims credit for the attack. We don’t know yet if they were getting their specific orders from ISIS, but we do know that their “mission” in Garland was consistent with previous ISIS threats against the United States. Those threats are, in fact, a form of command and control for the lone wolf ISIS-wannabes out there, and for that reason should be taken seriously.
ISIS released a statement describing Simpson and Soofi as “soldiers of the caliphate.” Then they addressed what they apparently see as “Christian America.”
“We say to the defenders of the cross, the U.S., that future attacks are going to be harsher and worse. The Islamic State soldiers will inflict harm on you with the grace of Allah. The future is just around the corner.”
Christians define grace as “the free and unmerited favor of God.” We don’t see it as the enabler of violence or harm. We find grace at the very cross they ridicule. It is at the cross where the miracle happens. Unrelenting justice and loving mercy come together there, and touch the world with perfect grace. It’s going to get tougher to follow Jesus as we draw nearer the end – but the reward is great.
Those who equate Christian fundamentalists with Muslim fundamentalists need to look hard at these opposing concepts of grace. To call them the same is to call hot the same as cold, darkness the same as light, good the same as evil, and love the same as hate. Those who say such things have no idea what they’re talking about. Keep following the King Jesus, who alone leads in true grace.