By Mike Urton
Over 120 dead in Paris: another terrorist attack committed by Muslims who are loyal to ISIS. Reactions are many: anger, sadness, outrage, confusion, despair, fear. What do we do now? How should Christians respond? Ephesians 4:26 tells us “In your anger do not sin.” Anger and outrage are appropriate responses to a tragedy such as this because they are, at least in part, a cry for justice. They are a cry that wants those responsible to receive a just penalty for the atrocities they committed. But how can we express this anger and not sin? How do we deal with it in a God-honoring way?
One way is to support our government leaders as they now make decisions on the appropriate course of action to take. Paul writes in Romans 13:4 that our leaders “bear the sword” and that they are the ones who God has given the task of visiting “punishment on the wrongdoer.” President Obama, Prime Minister Cameron and, especially, President Hollande have very trying and difficult decisions to make in the days ahead. We can support them with our prayers for godly wisdom on how to act justly in the aftermath of this tragedy.
But what about the rest of us—those of us who hold no government office? Many of us may be tempted to somehow take out our anger on Muslims in our community. Perhaps we are tempted to an increased suspicion and mistrust of Muslims, or tempted to listen to those voices in our society who will justify our fears. These are human reactions and in many ways understandable. But the second great commandment calls us as followers of Christ to something higher and better: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39) Yes, these were ISIS Muslims who committed these horrific acts, but most Muslims do not embrace their Islamic radicalism. Your Muslim neighbor probably wants nothing to do with ISIS and is feeling increasingly isolated by every act that ISIS carries out that causes non-Muslims to view them with greater suspicion or even to shun them completely. As I took to Facebook today I saw Muslims friends who desperately were trying to distance themselves from the attackers by expressing their support for Parisians and posting their thoughts on what Islam should be and what Muslims should do. Instead of giving a Muslim co-worker the cold shoulder or exchanging angry words with a fellow student, as Christ-followers, let’s press in with his love for Muslims we know. At the end of the day, regardless of the political outcomes, Muslims still need Christ.
More Muslims are coming to Christ right now than at any other point in history.  Myriad Muslims are turning from their religion because of the horrors committed by groups like ISIS. We must not let fear keep us from being a part of the greatest harvest of Muslims that the Kingdom of Jesus has ever seen! Let us remember: “God has not given us a spirit of fear. But he has given us a spirit of power and love and self-control.” (I Timothy 1:7)
Further Reading on ISIS:
What Do We Say About IS, ISIS or ISIL by Roy Oksnevad http://commanetwork.com/dig_deeper/digging-deeper-4/
Making Sense of ISIS by Paul Martindale http://commanetwork.com/dig_deeper/making-sense-of-isis/
 Types of Muslims in the Modern World: The Many Voices of Islam http://commanetwork.com/types-of-muslims-in-the-modern-world-the-many-voices-of-islam/
 A Wind in the House of Islam by David Garrison http://commanetwork.com/a-wind-in-the-house-of-islam/
 Thousands of Muslims In Northern Iraq Converting to Christianity After Witnessing ISIS Horror, Ministry Reveals: ‘They’re Just Sick of Islam’ http://www.gospelherald.com/articles/59309/20151030/thousands-muslims-northern-iraq-converting-christianity-witnessing-isis-horror-ministry.htm