The Word on the Week


“All human conflict is ultimately spiritual”. I cannot remember who said it but it does ring true. What we believe ultimately governs our actions. Sometimes secondary causes get in the way but in the end of the day our lives will show whether the heavens were empty – there is no one there and we went it alone or, God is sovereign and “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give an account” (Hebrews Chapter 4 verse 13).

The high court in London this week ruled that a radicalised schoolgirl be removed from her parent’s home which was full of terrorist propaganda including pictures of beheadings, bomb-making materials and instructions as to how Jihadists should hide their identity. The girl exhibited similar emotional harm to those who were sexually abused. The judge said “The violation contemplated here is not of the body but of the mind”.

This 16 year old has been prevented from following others who have gone to Syria to join ISIS as a jihadi bride.

An extreme case? Perhaps but the ISIS followers of Allah are simply pursuing their cause in their time honoured way, not by intellectual battles but by well orchestrated intimidation, now made easier via social media graphically portraying executions.

The effectiveness of their efforts hit the front pages of our press today showing the steps the Macedonian authorities had to take to control the influx of Muslins desperate to reach Western Europe. They came in their thousands from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq paying dearly to mafia groups at each stage of their journey and facing an uncertain future.

St Paul made the same crossing to Macedonia in response to a vision of a man calling on him to ‘come over and help us’. This was the confirmation they needed and after a few days they joined a prayer meeting where St Paul preached the Gospel (the first time it was heard in Europe) leading to the conversion of an immigrant from Asia called Lydia and her household Acts Chapter 16 verses 9-15).

The message could not be more different from that of the Jihadist. It speaks of Jesus, who led a perfect life, and died a sinner’s death, before rising to reign eternally, so that faith in his death in our place and the gift of his Spirit brings us into his kingdom forever.

Jesus has done the work. He went to Calvary. Ours is the little journey of faith to serve a living Saviour, sharing his love with others. This led to St Paul getting beaten up the next day and thrown into jail where God carried out an even more spectacular conversion (Acts Chapter 16 verses25-34).

All human conflict is ultimately spiritual. Jesus said “You are either for me or against me” (St Matthew Chapter 12 verse 30). It’s your call!