Tomorrow Western leaders will gather in Wales to consider what to do about a well- funded, media-saavy, ultra-violent group of terrorists that brainwash and recruit angry disillusioned young men from all over the world to travel to Iraq and Syria to form a caliphate. The terrorists call themselves ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) or ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant). The Levant is a region of the Middle East, that includes Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Cyprus and southern Turkey.
Their goal is to first conquer these countries and then to dominate the rest of the world by birthing a world-wide caliphate. What's a caliphate? In Arabic that word means "succession" because this state would be led by the successor to Muhammad, the world's new supreme religious and political leader. ISIS/ISIL is a radicalized extreme form of Islam and, according to their plans, only Muslims faithful to their brand of Islam will survive ISIS's world "cleansing". Once accomplished, everyone will live under Sharia, a strict form of Islamic law. Echoes of Germany, Russia, and Japan in the last century. Power corrupts and ISIS/ISIL is drunk on it. ISIS/ISIL seems to have taken Westerners by surprise--but is God surprised? And how should Christians think about ISIS/ISIL?