No Tolerance for Corrupt Leaders and Prophets
Reports of ISIS recruiting young people in the United States and Europe to join their cause are shocking. The recruiters troll social media sites to identify and then attract vulnerable youth.1 While targeting young people is not new in our society, someone having the ability to convince them to leave home and travel to the Middle East to fight a terrorist war frightens us––exactly the outcome ISISwants.
Each time an ISIS recruiter pulls a Western youth into the fight, it is a double blow to Western culture, thought, and identity. ISIS recruits away from that which they find repugnant to fight on their behalf. The student book writer states that we manipulate others because “we seek to influence others to make ourselves feel better about our own decisions; to serve the causes that are most important to us; or even to bring increased power, prestige, or money to ourselves.”2 All of those reasons ring true for ISIS recruiters targeting Western young people.
These recruiters know how to identify youth who will respond to manipulative tactics to garner their support and participation. Many of us use social media every day. It is part of society’s fabric. Each new development in technology attracts younger and younger people. Interacting with today’s youth through their preferred means of communication may not be about just attracting young people to our churches. It may be about defending them against evil reaching into their lives.
- What makes a young person vulnerable to manipulation? How can adults better educate themselves on communicating and relating with children and teenagers?
- Why does a terrorist successfully recruit young people? What makes a terrorist movement attractive to a young person?
- What groups other than terrorists target young people for their own gain? What can the church, and society as a whole, do to protect young people from such manipulators?
Reverend Katie Shockley is a licensed local pastor and serves as pastor of Community United Methodist Church in Copeville, Texas.
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