God’s Counter to Terrorism

Why do the nations conspire
   and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up
   and the rulers band together
   against the LORD and against his anointed, saying,
“Let us break their chains
   and throw off their shackles.”

Psalm 2:1–3

Peace is a person. Without Him, individuals and nations can only relate from self-interest—in self-preservation and self-promotion—resulting in conflict.

In 1988 the U.S. was searching the world for an effective strategy for countering militant Islam. This led them to a New York city policeman who had come to know Peace. By listening to and following Jesus in this role, Jamie Winship helped end gang violence, dismantle a Chinese gambling ring and catch a kidnapper for whom the police had no leads.

Such successes brought Jamie to the attention of the CIA. After hearing how Jamie achieved these results, the agent who interviewed him said,

I don’t like your process, but obviously you know what you are doing. Can you do this among militant Muslim groups overseas?

Jamie replied,

What’s the difference between militant Muslims, the gang leader and the Chinese lady? They are all human beings, aren’t they?

The agent concluded,

Here’s what we need, because we don’t know how to do this. Can you infiltrate a militant Muslim organization and pacify them?

Jamie replied,

“Oh yeah. Absolutely!”

Jamie wasn’t the first person the CIA approached with this question, but he was the first to say “Yes.” (Jamie tells this story in this 5-minute audio clip from this 45-minute video.)

Learning to listen to Jesus among Muslims wasn’t as simple for Jamie as he had anticipated. As he explains in his article in the International Journal of Frontier Missiology Winter 2008, It took five years of living among Muslims before God broke through Jamie and Donna’s own prejudices and initial, ineffective ministry approach:

Our (initial) missionary strategy was this:
get a group of Muslims together,
tell them that the Qur’an is from hell,
that their prophet is not a prophet,
that he’s really a pedophile, and
that he’s deceived by Satan.
After that we would invite them to come to church with us.

After five years of such fruitless “ministry,” Jamie met someone who was highly effective at leading whole Muslim households and communities to Jesus. Jamie’s first response was to try to prove that such an approach must be flawed:

My motivation [was to show] that what he was doing was wrong, or syncretistic, or whatever, so I could go back to being content that we weren’t seeing anything happen.

Instead Jamie saw God work powerfully through this model (see the details in Jamie’s IJFM article).

However even after abandoning this initial counter-productive ministry model, Jamie found that simply trying to follow another person’s effective ministry model didn’t work for him. Then another friend urged Jamie:

The problem is you keep telling God what He can do and what He can’t do. Stop telling Him that. Ask Him what He wants to do and do whatever He says.

In his IJFM article, Jamie identifies this as the pivotal step for their fruitfulness among Muslims:

  • after abandoning ineffective ministry patterns
  • and embracing effective ministry principles
  • Jamie returned to his fruitful “formula” as a policeman—simply listen to Jesus and follow Him:

So we started to change, and in that year, my wife and I led more people to Christ than in all our previous years of ministry.

Note that Jamie’s approach to “pacifying” militant Muslims

is not promoted or endorsed by the CIA or any government agency.

Yet as U.S. agents in the field work, Jamie and Donna were bold in discipling other U.S. agents to also become effective kingdom agents—to:

  • find their identity and peace in Jesus,
  • abandon ineffective methods,
  • embrace fruitful principles, and
  • listen to and follow Him wherever He calls them by name out of the sheepfold.

With this foundation the teams supervised by the Winships became increasingly fruitful in leading militant Muslims to become unstoppable disciples—empowered to multiply with inner peace from the Prince of Peace.

These two 5-minute audio clips (taken from this full 45-minute video) show how this works in practice:

Although the Winships have turned their CIA work over to others, their teams and others like them have continued and grown, and—as of 2019—have started 80 movements among militant Muslims (defined in this context as 3,000 or more believers, in three or more generations). You may enjoy other parts of Jamie’s story in this hour-long video.

This is just one of the ways that God is quietly countering terrorism: working through Kingdom agents—serving in some even cases as covert U.S. agents—to bring militant Muslims, atheists, Hindus, etc. into their true identity as champions of the Prince of Peace.

You won’t see the quiet spread of God’s kingdom in the news, just as no one foresaw how suddenly the Iron Curtain would fall. Perhaps God orchestrated the collapse of Communism in part to fuel our faith for what He is doing now. In just 25 years the number of Jesus movements has grown exponentially to more than 1,000, engaging roughly 1% of the world population in rapidly multiplying churches.

The Global Picture today

  • 20% of the world lives in one country that is aggressively employing cutting-edge technology to suppress and eliminate Christianity and Islam. Seventy ago this same country expelled all missionaries (including my own grandparents) and everyone despaired, yet when the Bamboo Curtain fell we found that believers had multiplied perhaps 100-fold. Persecution and oppression drove the believers to rely on the Holy Spirit and they multiplied. Some large Jesus movements were multiplying rapidly there before the current persecution broke out.
    God is now preparing to demonstrate that His Spirit is more powerful than the latest technology.
     
  • 20% of the world lives in one other country which contains half the population and complexity of all Unreached and Frontier People Groups. In recent years this country has almost totally eliminated residency visas for foreign religious workers in an attempt to eliminate this perceived “Western influence.” Yet God has focused extraordinary prayer on these groups and raised up many movements, including some of the largest Jesus movements in the world:
    The Bhojpuri movement
    Luke 10 movements spreading from village to village
    – and many other movements that can’t safely be promoted publicly.
    God is preparing to demonstrate the power of His Spirit over this nation’s effort to suppress the gospel.
     
  • An overlapping 25% of the world lives in Islamic communities that honor Jesus but view Christianity as a competing threat. Through dreams, visions and Jesus movements,
    God is preparing to demonstrate the power of His Spirit over militant Islam.
     
  • An overlapping 7% of atheists claim that God doesn’t even exist. Yet over the past 30 years, the foundations of materialistic and atheistic worldviews have been severely undermined.
    God is preparing to demonstrate His glory among the fields we consider the hardest soil.

Today, global prayer networks such as the International Prayer Council and collaborative learning networks of movement practitioners such as the 24:14 Coalition and No Place Left are facilitating the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham that all the families of earth will be blessed through his seed.

The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
   the Lord scoffs at them.
He rebukes them in his anger
   and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
“I have installed my king
   on Zion, my holy mountain.”

I will proclaim the LORD’s decree:
   He said to me, “You are my son;
        today I have become your father.
   Ask me,
        and I will make the nations your inheritance,
        the ends of the earth your possession.
   You will break them with a rod of iron;
        you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

Therefore, you kings, be wise;
   be warned, you rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear
   and celebrate his rule with trembling.
Kiss his son, or he will be angry
   and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
   Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 2:4–12

Your Own Identity and Peace with Jesus

In what appear to me as possibly the “birth pains” Jesus described before the end of the age and His coming (Matthew 24:8, 14). In the meantime we have the privilege of stepping into all Jesus and the Holy Spirit have empowered us for as His Witnesses who listen to His voice and follow Him into the greatest harvest in history!

These two additional 5-minute clips (also from one of the 45-minute videos of Jamie mentioned above) point the way for you also to become a Kingdom agent in your own context:

Jamie and Donna have distilled their experiences into two practical training series, both intended for individual and group use:

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