Posts Tagged With: Islam

Of NASCAR and Nukes: What of Islam?

Americans, broadly speaking as a culture, tip-toe like chubby Athenians at the Old Country Buffet of news and philosophy. We fill our plates with some CNN, a bit of Fox News, a spoonful of Rush Limbaugh, NPR, and for dessert whatever the latest rage is on The New York Times best-seller list. We’re airport news-stand learners.

The once great pillars of intellectual and theological depth in our colleges and churches have been traded for “if it feels good do it” – just ask the average Vanderbilt University senior some basic questions about their world, or the average evangelical to articulate a Christian worldview.

Sex with every other person on campus? Yes, please! Detailed statistics on every member of the Boston Red Sox for the past 58 years? Oh my, yes! Critical thought and a mature understanding of society and life? Well, I do read Time at the doctor’s office… whenever NASCAR isn’t on the TV in the corner.

This ought not to be so for Americans – a once educated and formidable people.

Yet this ought not to be so for Christians, especially. We are entertained to death, and frankly, we have little patience to wade in above our ankles when it comes to the difficult work of analyzing and understanding our world and the doctrine of Scripture. It’s all too confusing and crazy – who can keep up with it all? Let’s keep things light!

I like Budweiser!

The Bachelorette!

Obamney!

Facing Koranic, Radical Islam

What does this general unwillingness (or inability) to think critically look like when we examine the relationship between the average American and the bogey-man of radical Islam? Ugly. It’s not a simple challenge.

On the one hand the left wing types generally give radical Islam something of a pass. They are too busy today in their own jihad against Christianity in the West to worry about their kids being beheaded tomorrow.

On the other hand, the right wing types many times would deal with the problem through neo-colonial shock and awe. We see too often the broad-brushing of the Middle East as “the bad guys” so that we can then send our overpriced firepower “over there” to keep us safe “over here.” This is pure Bull-oney, blind pragmatism, and a failed foreign policy, empirically – not to mention at best quasi-constitutional.

Yet Christ’s people ought not to make sense to this secular left-right paradigm. We ought not to be either coddling Islam as if it were an equally valid expression of culture, nor should we be trying to make friends and influence people through deadly drone strikes at Afghani wedding parties.

The Military Church

So what are we doing in evangelicalism? I remember a year or two after we invaded Iraq again, my church brought in a member of the Israeli Mossad pretending to be a Christian convert from Judaism. He preached for an hour about Israel’s special right to be protected by the United States, and very much praised the military, our President, and us churchlings for our unquestioning support of all things war+Israel. After all, we know that God is on our side, right?

I was mortified, but not because of him. Him I could explain. It was the atmosphere of “us vs. them” in the church which made me sick. An atmosphere which mimics the right-wingers on talk radio which barely disguise their most patriotic desire to see the Middle-East dealt with by nuclear glass parking-lot creation.

Out with the Great Commission and up with the conquest of the Muslims! I’m surprised there wasn’t an Army recruiter in the lobby afterwards.

And isn’t this the atmosphere in conservative evangelical churches throughout the land? We salute the new-Christ made in the image of Uncle Sam, and turn to catch a few hours of Sports Center.

What of the wars, though? America has bombed, subverted, toppled, and destroyed Muslim countries for 70 years now – how’s that going for us?

Most of us have also heard the frantic reports of Islam taking over western Europe by sheer breeding capacity. The average Muslim family in western Europe has an average of over 6 children, while the natives top out at about 1.8. Within 40-50 years at this rate, Europe will be a brown, Muslim continent.

I say good. What’s the matter with that? God will make His Church in the beautiful brown and olive people of Europe and dispose of the spoiled, death-loving whites. And what about it? We’ve squandered our heritage as a Christian culture (speaking of the west in general), and we’re dying out accordingly.

Meanwhile today, Muslim countries are the least evangelized in the world. We would much rather send our teenagers on a short-term missions trip to the Bahamas than lose their lives for Christ in Karachi.

So let me see… we will send Americans to Muslim lands as long as they are authorized to kill them to keep us safe over here, but when it comes to missionaries who are authorized to be killed for the sake of the elect, we can’t get volunteers. Well, I shouldn’t say no volunteers. Those who study the numbers report about 1 evangelical missionary for every 1,000,000 Muslims in the world.

Hypocrisy.

And it stems from an ignorance of Scripture. An ignorance of the Author of the Scripture and what He demands. An ignorance of Church history and all that has happened in the cause of Christ. An ignorance of how the world works. A messed-up, self-esteem centered public education system. An unwillingness to interpret the cosmos according to the lens of Jesus Christ crucified, buried, and resurrected for the salvation of Muslims who might cut your head off.

The Biblical Church

…obeying the Lord Jesus Christ for 1,980+ years.

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (NKJV)

…making every effort in prayer, in fasting, in sacrifice to bring the gospel to our Muslim neighbors, not settling for simplistic “us vs. them” tribal mentalities. Not settling for MSNBC and Fox as our source of worldview. Not settling for church gatherings which look entirely like ourselves – but instead loving some ethnic flavor in the mix.

Let’s be different. Let’s be biblical. Let’s step out of political Christendom and into Christianity. Let’s love those wild sons of Ishmael and give them Christ. Let’s refuse to be understood by the left-right politics in America. Let’s love like Christ.

Thanks for reading,

-Justin

Categories: Comparative Religions, Interpreting Christian Hypocrisy, Understanding the Culture | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Not World Peace?

Let’s interpret the lack of world peace…

I hear that all religions are essentially the same, moving us towards the same goal or god.

Is that so?

The road to world peace seems to be simply to forget our differences and all hold hands under the banner of love and mutual interest in peace. The United Nations, the World Council of Churches, the Trilateral Commission, and every college professor alive seems to all be geared towards getting everyone together under one big, happy tent of peace and endless joy. What’s the problem?

The problem is that Truth divides. Why? Truth divides because what we believe matters, immensely. Like, beyond description it matters. To compromise Truth is to lose Truth completely…

Simply put…

Let me make it as simple as possible, so simple I open myself up to seeming to be simple. It goes something like this:

All of the false, man-made religions which leave people ultimately undone by the justice of God are philosophies which keep people in the dark, including the many counterfeit forms of Christianity. Again, to put it simply: man is at war with God, and one of our favorite ways of fighting God is to create our own religious systems, to try and earn our way back to Him. This is the root of all war and strife in the world – we are fighting God so of course we fight each other. We are a warlike race. We have been so bold as to declare war on God, on His earth (through greed and environmental rape), on the animal kingdom (in misusing and depleting them), and on each other in endless wars of aggression between individuals, communities, companies, schools, states, countries, and tribes. It all originates with war against God through false religion. The simplest way to see that all false religion is truly false is to spot the common thread:

ALL OF THEM END UP SAYING IT THIS WAY: you must do something in order to get what you need, be it salvation, enlightenment, good feelings, nirvana, academic acclaim, etc etc etc whatever one may call it.

Almost there!

Are you a Buddhist? Roman Catholic? Jehovah’s Witness? Atheist? Self-religionist? Muslim?

I'm sure we're all going to end up in the same place by different paths! Yeah... about that destination.

Agnostic, Pentecostal, hedonist, Baptist, dog, cat, or mouse who thinks you must do something in order to earn something from God or to earn your goodness in the world? (Hint: we all are like this by nature – self-deceived and dead). You (and I) need a strong gospel…

There is only ONE TRUTH, ONE WAY out of all of the religions, philosophies, ideas, and daydreams – the way of Jesus Christ. In Him, and in Him alone is there a different conclusion from all the others. In Him it is not you must do in order to get what you need. No.

In Jesus it is simply: He has done it all for you. He accomplished it…

He has decided to create, He has decided to initiate, He has built and made

and started and begun and assured

ALL

that is necessary to bring men out of darkness, out of rebellion against God, out of their deep, dark pits of sin,

HE

has done it, start to finish – it is accomplished, it is finished, τετελεσται, and He has guaranteed our perfect, seamless, airtight, complete redemption by dying in the place of the enemies of God.

HE

raised Himself from the dead three days later, He then ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father, ruling the cosmos in Sovereign power. No one will unseat Jesus from the throne of the universe. No one will defeat Him. No one can fool Him –

-He is God-

So… simply put, it is an insult to God to claim any contribution to your religion or salvation. All we can do is receive what Christ has done for us on the Roman death cross in dying in our place for our sins – yet even that trusting in Jesus and receiving His payment for our sins is a gift of grace to us who on our own are totally incapable of believing in Him. That’s how bad off we are. That’s how bad we need a Savior. We need Jesus.

Paid in full. Nothing to add.

And… it is therefore impossible to have peace with those who do not believe in these teachings of Christ’s Sovereignty and perfect gift of salvation which cannot be earned, cannot be bought. There you have it, world peace is only possible through all knees bowing to Him, the King. So, what are you waiting for?

The alternative is no world peace

…as humanity struggles to be king through false religion and individual accomplishment… Oh, and to those of you who believe that abolishing religion is the key to world peace, I’m right there with you. I’m with you as long as the we agree the Abolisher is Jesus, and He has promised to do so when He returns in glory to announce the consummation of His eternal, unchallenged reign. When that happens, all falsehood will cease, everyone who has loved Him will have peace, and all who have set-up a religion or philosophy which is against Him will then lose everything in judgment… just to put it simply.

Which kingdom are you in?

Life or Death

Thanks for reading,

-Justin

Categories: Comparative Religions, The Message of the Bible, Understanding the Culture | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.