What Jesus said about the Islamic Extremists

Jesus is God-made-man, so he knows the whole future. When Jesus was teaching the disciples, he had in mind the whole future of the Church. Therefore, His teachings take account of future situations, including ours today.

What would Jesus say about Islamic extremists who kill in the name of God? He spoke to this point, rather precisely.

[John 16]
{16:1} “These things I have spoken to you, so that you would not stumble.
{16:2} They will put you out of the synagogues. But the hour is coming when everyone who puts you to death will consider that he is offering an excellent service to God.

Jesus said “synagogues” because at the time there were no churches. So synagogues is a figure for houses of worship more generally. There were some early conflicts between Christians and Jews. But in the history of the Church, we have not had much trouble from the chosen people. So I would not take the term “synagogues” literally.

By saying “the hour is coming”, Jesus was referring to the future. And Jesus says “everyone” because he is referring to many diverse future situations.

Christians have been persecuted, at times, by secular society. But in this particular future scenario, Jesus is referring to believers who put Christians to death. For He says that each one who murders a Christian considers that “he is offering an excellent service to God”. Jesus predicted that Christians would be put to death by believers (of some type).

Now this passage can be interpreted and applied to a number of different situations, including the time of the distant future, when the Antichrist tries to cause the whole world to worship himself. In that time of the distant future, the followers of the Antichrist will kill Christians while claiming that it is a holy act. But that is not the situation today. The Antichrist is not in the world today.

Today, the conflict between Islamic extremists and non-Muslims fits this prediction of Jesus quite well. The Islamic extremists think that it is their duty before God to kill Christians, Jews, and other non-Muslims, if they refuse to convert to Islam. As for the moderate peaceful Muslims, the extremists consider them to be apostates, as if they had abandoned Islam entirely, merely because they do not follow the extremist version of Islam.

I believe that many non-Christians are in a state of grace, and therefore on the path to Heaven, because they love their neighbor. So the victims, in this prediction of Jesus, are not only Christians, but persons of good will more generally. These extremists kill good people because they refuse to convert to a false version of religion: extremist Islam. And they commit these murders in the name of God. They literally believe that they are “offering an excellent service to God.” The prediction of Jesus has come true; it is unfolding in our lifetime. And it will get worse before it gets better.

{16:3} And they will do these things to you because they have not known the Father, nor me.
{16:4} But these things I have spoken to you, so that, when the hour for these things will have arrived, you may remember that I told you.

Why do the Muslim extremists kill in the name of God? It is because “they have not known the Father, nor me”. They kill in the name of God because they do not know God. They do not truly know God as the moderate peaceful Muslims know Him. They do not know God as the devout Jews know Him. They do not know God as faithful Christians know Him. They do not even know God as all persons of good will implicitly know God, by loving their neighbor.

For by loving his neighbor, anyone — even an atheist or an agnostic — can implicitly know and love God. But these Muslim extremists, by hating and murdering their neighbor, only prove that they hate God.

{2:9} Whoever declares himself to be in the light, and yet hates his brother, is in the darkness even now.
{2:10} Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause of offense in him.
{2:11} But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness, and in darkness he walks, and he does not know where he is going. For the darkness has blinded his eyes.

{3:15} Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer. And you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding within him.

{4:20} If anyone says that he loves God, but hates his brother, then he is a liar. For he who does not love his brother, whom he does see, in what way can he love God, whom he does not see?
{4:21} And this is the commandment that we have from God, that he who loves God must also love his brother.

When the Muslim extremists shout “God is great” before killing innocent persons, they are not worshipping God. For they are not speaking about the greatness of God. What they really mean is “I am great”. They think that they are doing something great. It is self-exaltation, not religion. It is the idolatry of corrupt power, not the worship of a God greater than oneself.

These are the people we will be fighting during World War 3 — extremist Muslims. They think themselves to be unstoppable because they think they are providing an excellent service to God by killing the innocent. In truth, they are rushing along an excellent path to Hell.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and
translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

See a list of my books and booklets here.

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