Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Kingdom

I have a new favorite movie.

The Kingdom

The movie stars Jennifer Garner and Jamie Foxx, and also has a cameo by my main man, Tim McGraw. The story centers around Federal investigators trying to bring down a terrorist cell while also navigating a political firestorm after an attack on an American compound in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It's a Hollywood take on terrorism, no doubt. But it also paints a true-to-life image of radical Islam. The first 5 minutes of the movie is a look at the history of Saudi Arabia. The last 5 minutes is a deep-breath look at our future. It's definitely worth seeing.

It seems I've been bombarded lately with the reality of "Jihad." According to Wikipedia, "Jihad" comes from Arabic, meaning "to strive."

At the core of all religions, we see people striving to reach God. It breaks my heart that so many in our world are trying to earn their ticket to eternity. It's in the Southern good ol' boy who tries to do the right thing. It's in the corporate girl who tries to buy God's favor by giving to good causes. It's in the tough cop trying to bring a bit of justice to his city. And we see it in the Muslim teenager who will volunteer to blow himself up.

But my comfort comes in knowing my Father has reached out to me. And my Father is King.

A couple of months ago, my friends went to a seminar at Covenant. From what I understand, much of the night was spent hearing from an ex-Muslim converted to Christianity and being very honest about the Islamic "agenda," particularly in America. One story was told about an American child who befriended a young Muslim boy. In the middle of playing one day, the Muslim child turned to his friend and said he commented no matter how much he liked his friend now, of course, one day he would have to kill him. And such is our reality.

The statistics are surprising. Americans are being converted to Islam at an alarming rate and it's just plain sad. Sad and scary.

I went to Forest Hill Church this morning. It's a great church. Relevant and refreshing. I was thrilled to find the Pastor speaking on Jihadism. He spoke fairly extensively on the pillars of Islam, the Nations most affected and the difference between the Sunni and Shi'a views of Jihad. And why it matters to us. As Americans and as believers. It was amazing. One of the passages he quoted is from 2 Peter 3.
"Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming."

Growing up, I had an all-consuming fear of Jesus coming back. Terrified actually. Of course, this was mostly due to bad doctrine I heard the few times I went to church. I was striving.
But perfect love casts out fear- so when I became a believer my freshman year of college, God began to change my heart and head. I now long for Jesus' return. And I pray as He taught us.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.