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Summary: Of course there are a few subtle differences on tactics but on the two key points I agree with ISIS. Loyalty to God always comes before loyalty to my country. I believe in destroying the enemies of God. Shocked? Read on....

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Things you don’t expect a vicar to say: I agree with ISIS.

Of course there are a few subtle differences on tactics but on the two key points I agree with ISIS.

- Loyalty to God always comes before loyalty to my country.

- I believe in destroying the enemies of God.

Let’s start with the second because it is probably more controversial. I believe in destroying the enemies of God.

It’s only on the tactics that I disagree with Isis.

Cutting people’s heads off is a remarkably ineffective way of reducing the number of God’s enemies.

We Christians tried it during the crusades. Hundreds of us went to the middle East to kill as many of the infidel as we could. And it didn’t work. 800 years later, and we in England may have forgotten the crusades, but they have not forgotten them in Middle East. Mention the word “crusade” in Syria or Iraq or Egypt, and you will provoke a visceral hatred. 800 years after murdering, burning and cutting the heads off thousands of middle eastern Muslims there are more Muslims in the middle East than there were then and they still resent the crusades.

Cutting people’s heads off is a remarkably ineffective way of reducing the number of God’s enemies.

My dear friends in ISIS - do you really think that murdering people in Paris makes them more likely to worship your God. Having people been flocking to the Mosques since you committed those terrible murders? No - they have been singing John Lennon's “imagine” - a song that is about as atheist as you can imagine.

It’s a bit like the hydra in Greek mythology: if you remember the story, every time you cut it’s head off, 7 heads grow up in it’s place.

Cutting people’s heads off is a remarkably ineffective way of reducing the number of God’s enemies.

So how else can you destroy enemies?

To paraphrase - “I destroy my enemies by making them my friends”

Jesus tells us “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”. [Matt 5:44 see also Luke 6:27]

Today is the feast of Christ the King - and yet what do we hear in our Gospel reading - but of the King Christ about to be killed on a Roman Cross. “are you a king?” asks Pilate “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over." [John 18:33, 36]

The Roman Empire was one of the mightiest Empires ever ever known. Apart from Persia and a few German barbarians they controlled almost all the known world. They built the largest city ever - Rome with a million and a half people. Many had tried to rebel against them and they had crushed every single rebellion. And here is Jesus - a captured King about to be crucified. helpless - without a sword or a soldier. And yet within less than 300 years, he will have conquered the whole Roman Empire. What is even more remarkable is that Jesus will have conquered the whole Roman Empire without killing a single one of his enemies. Many of Jesus’s followers will have died to win this great victory. But not one of their enemies will have been killed. And so the whole Roman Empire submits to Jesus.


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