I just wanted to post a link to an interesting story I read about European Converts to Terrorism. I found it to be very informative.
I think the first thing that runs through my mind when I read stories like this is fear. Then unfortunately my fear is followed by anger, I think this is a defense mechanism. I say this because I feel like these emotions are fairly typical of Westerners; however the fear and anger, over time, become hate. We want to feel safe in our own country and these people are being brainwashed to hate us from the time they are small children. They have suicide bombers, they treat women horribly and many people have lost family members to the war. They make it very easy for us to hate them.
However I think somewhere along the way we as Christians decide that "they" being Muslims are not worthy of the gospel. Now we don't actually say that but it can be seen in our actions towards them or lack there of. It can be seen simply when you watch how people react when you begin talking about Islam or ministering to Muslims. I don't say this to bang on the Church or Christians, that is not my intention at all. I say this because I don't think we even realize that we are doing it. Somewhere between fear and hate we dehumanize Muslims. This is why we are not devastated by the fact that people send themselves straight to hell by blowing themselves up in the name of a god who doesn't exist. This is why we don't long for a better life for Muslim women and education for Muslim children. It's why we want to segregate ourselves from them so that we can feel "safe".
Don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with wanting to feel safe; it is just not our end goal. Our end goal is to establish a Kingdom filled with people from every tribe tongue and nation.
So my hope is that God would remind you (as He so graciously does me all the time) what He saved you from. That He would remind you that you were dead in your trespasses and a child of wrath until He decided to make you alive. That you had no "redeeming qualities" that caused God to choose you. You did not choose to be born into a Christian home or in a country where people have the freedom to preach the gospel without fear of persecution. It was out of His great love and mercy that He decided to breathe life into you. That He has made you a minister of reconciliation and called you to go and make disciples. That we are commanded to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.
Have a great fourth of July weekend.