An Open Letter to ISIL/ISIS From the Desk of a Minister of Jesus,

As-salamu alaykum (peace be with you). Truly, I mean that. However, if I am completely honest, those words are hard to swallow. But nobody said the way of Jesus would be easy. I know you do not rest in the compassion and grace of my Savior, Jesus the Christ, but I wonder do you even know Him? Do you know your enemy?

You see, when I say it is hard for me to wish you peace, it is because you have declared war against my friends, my family, and my God. You and you alone choose to be my enemy. You claim to be a religion of peace yet, through acts of cowardly terrorism you instill fear in the hearts of people to fulfill your so-called Jihad. You behead innocent American journalists and murder thousands, maybe millions, of Christians throughout the world. It is hard to fathom a “religion of peace” so intent on the brutal slaughter of those with whom you simply disagree. It angers me but at the same time brings me heartache and sorrow.

When I think about this, though, I can’t help but wonder what your zeal could do if you really got to know Jesus. While I am filled with righteous indignation, I still petition God that there might be one like the apostle Paul among you. One who is zealously persecuting those who follow Jesus out of a mistaken sense of justice, who will see the error of his ways, repent, and turn the world upside down for the Prince of Peace. I write this letter with a heavy heart and tear-filled eyes because, I admit, I am afraid. I do not fear for my own life. For, I stand ready to lose my life for the cause of Christ.

No, my fear is for the hearts, the minds, and the influence of my children, their friends, my own friends, my family and the world as a whole. You see, part of Jesus’ mission was to teach the world to love, which He showed us perfectly by taking on all of the sin of every person in the world forever and dying so that we do not have to carry that guilt. So, I ask, do you even know Him? I cannot understand how you can hate someone so much for following Love. Now, more than any other time in my life, I am seeing my world in total disarray. My heart hurts because my children have yet to live in a day where the world has known peace. We have literally been at war somewhere somehow for as long as they have been alive. I want my kids to know peace, to know love…to know Jesus. That is why I am raising my children to love, to have compassion, and to do good to all people. I am teaching them to be merciful and humble and to serve all of humanity regardless of race, creed or faith. My hope is that they will learn to look at the character of a man and seek ways to encourage him and themselves at the same time. I teach them this because it is what Jesus did. He was accused of being a drunk and a sinner because He associated with sinners. He was accused of blaspheming Jehovah because through Him were great works done for all mankind. He was labeled a fraud but still He loved.

So I ask again, do you know Him? Do you want to? I want you to know Him, to really give Him a chance. I want you to truly know peace and love. However, I have read from your holy book. I know that you have been trained and taught that we hate, so you hate. You call us unfaithful and, as a result, we merit death. However, death in this temporal life is nothing to face with fear. It is appointed to every man to die once and then the judgment. While you are promised things of temporal satisfaction – virgins and power – Jesus would offer unto you an eternal life of glory and redemption, one that neither you nor I deserve.

As I write these words, I hope and fervently pray you will take them to heart. Though, I know most of you will not. Hate is deep within you and your heart has become cold. Your mind has been made up that war is inevitable. While that is not what I want for anyone, it is what you and your caliphate have declared. You have threatened not only American Christians but Christians the world over and for that I cannot stand. I am reminded of wise Solomon who wrote that there is a time for everything, a time for peace and a time for war. I must remind you if it is war you seek, my God is greater, higher and stronger than any other. History declares it time and time again, that He has overthrown the strongholds of His enemies. This is a battle your people have long fought and have always lost. You didn’t win before and you won’t win now. Not by any power that I or any military possess, but by God’s providential hand of protection, we will be victorious. That is because the God that the people served then is the same God that we serve now. He is the constant Victory in this fight. So while you strap bombs to yourselves, your women and your children, I remind you that my people, those who are called by the name of God’s begotten are armed with an unshakeable and unbeatable faith. For at the core of our belief is love, and the ever-present reminder “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

While some might believe we cannot fight, I remind them and you that as His children of promise, we must! While the victory is already promised us, we must still fight. So since I must, I will. Allow me to speak with boldness. If you read the pages of God’s Word, you will know you cannot win. But if you still want this fight, okay, we are ready. I am ready… so ready that I will lead the charge. I want you to know what I will command my fellow soldiers of Christ to do, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your countrymen, your sons and daughters, your wives and homes. (Nehemiah 4:14)”  

I stand before you in the spirit of the prophets and as the mouthpiece of my God, the most High and in the name of Jesus the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I have nothing to fear from you. Nothing. For truly, my God has not given me a spirit of fear but of POWER!

I will not fight for my own glory; I will fight for the ones I love. I will not fight because I am angry or because I hate you, because I don’t. I will fight because of love; love for God and for my family and because I do not want them to have to fight. I will do all I can to bring peace in the future even if it means a fight now.

I still contend that you do not know your enemy and I want you to. I want you to know His saving grace. I want you to know that He died on a cross carrying YOUR sin and YOUR shame. I want you to know that death could not hold Him and He is now reigning in heaven. I want you to know that He promises, if you obey Him, He will give you an eternal home in heaven with Him. I want you to know that Jesus, the Christ, is the your only hope for paradise after this life, for there is no other name under heaven by which men can be saved. My heart breaks that you don’t know the enemy you have chosen. As long as you are against Him, He is your worst enemy because He has already won. But as long as you live, there is hope. He wants to be your Lord, your Savior and your Peace. He died to be that for YOU! I want you to know Jesus, and the terrifying truth is, whichever way this pans out, you will know Him. I just pray you choose to know Him before it’s too late.

Signed In Love,

Andrew Chavarrilla