Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, was captured after he was charged by federal prosecutors in both New Jersey and New York with planting a series of bombs across the two states, including a pressure cooker bomb that exploded on West 23rd Street in Manhattan on last Saturday injuring 31 people.
It is very sad that the USA has seen a series of large-scale attacks, including mass shootings in Orlando, Florida, and San Bernardino, California, over the past year. This naturally brings negative emotions towards these haters seeing all the innocent people that have suffered from their attacks.
And a close examination into the personal journal carried by Rahami, at the time of his capture shows how he viewed God as a tyrant and he was merely doing His will: “I pray to the beautiful wise ALLAH. To not take JIHAD away from me. I beg [unintelligible] for shahadat [martyrdom] and Inshallah [God willing] this call will be A[n]swered.”
Does God use force to convert people?
God created humans with the freedom of choice which means they can choose to love or hate Him. The Lord wanted to create beings with free choice because only creatures with freedom could have a real loving relationship with Him. You can’t hold a sword and ask someone to love you.
The Lord showed His love to us by His sacrificial love of redemption “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). It was divine love that conceived the plan of atonement and salvation in the beginning (John 3:16).
Love seeks to save but hate seeks to destroy.
Jesus lived under an oppressive occupying Roman government which used torture and murder to keep the Israelites under their subjection. The Israelites considered the Romans their enemies and they hated them.
In spite of that, Jesus taught the people saying, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).
What Jesus here commands He Himself did; for when He hung upon the cross, He prayed for His crucifiers saying, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34) and in this He has left us an example, that we should follow. Likewise, the first Christian martyr Stephen while he was being stoned, prayed for his persecutors and murderers, and said, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge” (Acts 7:60).
The Apostle Paul also reiterated the same principle, “If thine enemy hunger, feed him: if he thirst, give him drink” (Romans 12:20). True, the actions of an evil man may be hated, and just anger should be expressed against him, and yet this person should be loved and pitied.
This breathes out the true spirit of Christianity. The is directly opposite to what the Scribes and Pharisees taught; who harbored revenge and anger to all that did not agree with them. The haters set to crucify the Messiah and bear the guilt of shedding innocent blood for which they will be judged at the Day of Judgement.
Some find it difficult to reconcile the idea of the eternal love of God with divine wrath. But divine wrath is God’s resentment to sin, which will ultimately end in the complete removal of sin from the universe. And all those that chose to alien with sin after given enough chance to repent, will inevitably be part of God’s wrath (Rom. 1:18).
For the difference between Old Testament wars and Jihad check the following link: