Friday, April 29, 2011

Islamization & Dechristianization: A Tale of Western Suicide

Islam may still be a faraway religion for millions of Americans. But for Europeans it is local politics. The 15 million Muslims of the European Union (EU)—up to three times as many as live in the United States—are becoming a more powerful political force than the fabled Arab street…the Muslim birth rate in Europe is three times higher than the non-Muslim one. If current trends continue, the Muslim population of Europe will nearly double by 2015, while the non-Muslim population will shrink by 3.5 percent.
Notice, the above quote says “if current trends continue.” The trends of which the article speaks have to do with demographics. The fact is, Muslims in Europe have a much higher birth rate than non Muslims there. And it seems beyond dispute, that the incredibly low birth rate among native Europeans is now irreversible. What is in dispute, is whether or not the Muslims in Europe--with more arriving daily--will continue to have a high birth rate. There are studies which seem to suggest that they will not. However, “if current trends continue” it seems “Eurabia” will be a fact of life in a new world order.

Despite being labeled as “alarmists” and “racists,” more and more people are speaking of the “Muslim problem” in Europe. As Muslim immigrants continue to pour into Europe, and as they gain citizenship and political clout; it is with good reason that many Europeans are becoming increasingly uneasy. Great Britain has already capitulated into allowing sharia law--in civil cases, not criminal--in Muslim enclaves.

ISLAMIC law has been officially adopted in Britain, with sharia courts given powers to rule on Muslim civil cases. The government has quietly sanctioned the powers for sharia judges to rule on cases ranging from divorce and financial disputes to those involving domestic violence.
Rulings issued by a network of five sharia courts are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court.
This cannot be a prudent development for it goes against biblical principles of government. “You shall have the same law for the stranger and for one from your own country; for I am the LORD your God” (Lev 24:25). Such concessions will only continue as the Muslim population increases in viability--and as is often the case, volatility. Now, I know that it is considered irreverent to the extreme to say such things, but as Christians who are “salt and light” we must be more concerned with truth and accuracy than political correctness and popular pablum.

Christianity--the Bible--isn’t silent or neutral in matters of immigration, law, and religion. Scripture, in no uncertain terms, speaks forcefully to these things. And so does Islam. But whereas the “Christian” West is increasingly distancing itself from, and is indeed hostile towards, the tenets of scripture--that is, it is dechristianizing; much of the Muslim community unapologetically adheres to the teachings of Islam. In other words, the massive Muslim migration is by design.

To those in Western democracies, these accommodating actions appear, on the surface, to be little more than harmless civil gestures, respecting the needs of a growing religion in their midst…Little do they realize that this strategic pattern of demands is part of an insidious, 1,400-year-old proscription for Muslims that originates in the Koran and the Sunnah, the deeds of Mohammed. It is the Hijra or doctrine of immigration. Modeled by Mohammed's migration from Mecca to Medina, this immigration is not to a romanticized melting pot wherein newcomers gratefully search for opportunities for a better life in liberty and freely offer their talents and loyalty to benefit their new homeland. This is immigration for Islamic expansionism employing ethnic separatism to gain special status and privileges within the host country. Hijra is immigration designed to subvert and subdue non-Muslim societies and pave the way for eventual, total Islamization.
This isn’t to suggest that all Muslim immigrants, without exception, are purposefully practicing “the hijra.” But aren’t the effects of hijra increasingly evident? It seems those in institutions of cultural power and influence: government, education, and media; are willfully ignorant of the insidious nature of hijra. This boggles the mind! It is inexcusable. It is as Francis Schaeffer would say, the suicide of reason. Thus the Church, as is always the case, needs to behave as a “watchman on the wall.” We must give warning to those who are asleep in the night. Yet, I fear the church is too preoccupied with soothing the sleeper to awaken him. Perhaps the watchman himself shamelessly sleeps at his post. I pray God’s people will be roused from slumber and become like “the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1Chr 12:32).

We need understanding and discernment of our times. We need biblical wisdom and the conviction of moral certainty. We know that tough, painful days--maybe years--lie ahead of us. But we should not despair. We should not lose sight of the sovereignty of God. Perhaps God will use adversity to our advantage, and our advantage to His glory.

We can rest contentedly in our sins and in our stupidities…But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world…No doubt Pain as God’s megaphone is a terrible instrument; it may lead to final and unrepented rebellion. But it gives the only opportunity the bad man can have for amendment. It removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of a rebel soul (CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain).

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Selective Indignation Gone Wrong: Dialoguing with an unhappy gay rights advocate

The following is a partial transcript of an online exchange. A Christian mother was expressing to me how thankful she was to be able to home school her two daughters, in light of the godless philosophies behind government schools. For whatever reason, an advocate for the homosexual agenda needlessly and publicly accosted her. I felt it incumbent upon me to respond to this individual, not just in the mom’s defense, but to put forward a biblical worldview.

I share this with you because homosexuality and “gay marriage” is the hot button topic of the day, eclipsing even the problem of abortion. To our detriment, many within the institutional church are no longer standing on the authority of scripture. I pray this dialogue will prove beneficial to you in formulating your own biblical answers to this cultural dilemma. For clarity, his words are bold and italicized.

I'd rather my child be in a school…than be alone with a bigot for any length of time. Hate and disdain are not tolerable.
Well, then, you must find living with yourself nearly unbearable; for I find your speech to be both hateful and disdainful. (But I suspect over the years, you’ve developed a high threshold of tolerance for your own hate and disdain.)

Jesus himself offered this to the scorned, 'Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man.’"
Jesus did indeed say this. He was referring to the blessing of the godly being persecuted by the ungodly. Ungodly people often revile godly people. The Bible, in both Testaments, is filled with such occurrences.
And ungodly people hate and insult godly people to this very day--right here in the United States. For example, sometimes when a godly person quotes the Bible about a moral issue--say homosexuality for instance--ungodly people will often call them names and insinuate that there's no place for people like them in "civilized" society. [Some will go so far as to infer that godly folks are unfit for the company of children!]
Though such comments may be emotionally hurtful to the godly, Jesus says, paradoxically, the godly are blessed at such moments. This being the case--I have a feeling I may be very blessed today.

You can't change your race (and why would you want to??) a handicap isn't a personal choice, that is also the case with homosexuality.”
This is little more than a red herring. Choice has nothing to do with the matter. We’re not speaking of genetics. We’re speaking of ethics. Whether or not a person is born a homosexual has no bearing upon the question of morality. God defines--not man--what is moral. Morality is absolute and unchanging because morality is predicated upon the character of God, not the genes of man. Genetics and ethics are categorically disparate.

Hating people based on their color of their skin, or their sexual orientation is wrong.”
Here we are agreed. It is wrong to hate people based upon race or sexual orientation. But why do you equate biblical morality with hate? Why is believing homosexuality to be sinful [which the Bible, in no uncertain terms, teaches] virtually the same as hating homosexuals--in your mind?
The Bible teaches homosexuality is a sin. I believe the Bible to be the authoritative word of God. This does not make me a homophobe. I do not hate or fear homosexuals. Neither do I condone what God condemns. I also believe fornication is sinful. God condemns it. Does this mean I hate or fear my next door neighbor who is living with his girlfriend? No.
I find the comments you have offered--the usual arguments marshaled against orthodox Christian morality--to be fundamentally emotional rather than rational. Arguments which appeal to one’s emotion rather than to one’s reason often become quite shrill; and consequently, they tend to be logically fallacious.

Self - righteous people make me sick. They are the ones who are calling out everyone else's sins, but never see their own filthy condition.”
Just a few observations. 1) How does believing homosexuality to be sinful [based upon the clear teaching of scripture--not personal opinion] make one “self-righteous”? Believing the Bible and submitting to it is not at all the same thing as being “self-righteous.” However, to hold one’s personal, moral opinion in higher esteem than God’s word is the epitome of self righteousness. Who could possibly be more self righteous than the one who elevates oneself to the position of judging God and His word?
2) Doesn’t the statement, “self-righteous people make me sick,” smack of self righteousness? I mean…how self righteous does one have to be to make such a mean-spirited, high handed blanket statement? How superior to others must one feel to write such a sentence? The blind hypocrisy of the “enlightened” is breathtaking! I am reminded of what was said to the atheist, Christopher Hitchens: “Your moral outrage against Christianity is almost puritanical!”
3) I notice you use the phrase, “filthy condition,” for those you deem “self-righteous.” To place someone in the category of “filthy condition” is to make a moral judgment. The question is: By what standard? By what standard are these people “filthy”? What is the basis for such a moralistic judgment?
You have no qualms of making moral judgments and pronouncing people “filthy.” What you reject is God’s word as the standard for making such moral judgments and pronouncements. You see, you make moral judgments all of the time. It is impossible not to. But when you reject God’s word and replace it with your own personal opinion, you lose the only absolute moral standard for making such judgments. “Filthy” then, is arbitrary; and morality is meaningless.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Unity and Diversity in America

Now the whole earth had one language and one speech…And the LORD said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” (Genesis 11:1,6-7). Is that which unites us as Americans greater than that which divides us as people?

There was a time I would have answered this question with a simple “yes.” But now, I’m not so sure. From the time of our founding we Americans recognized the tension between unity and diversity. Our national motto, proposed for the first Great Seal of the United States by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson in 1776; is “E Pluribus Unum.” The motto literally translates: “Out of the many, one.” The unity and diversity referred to in 1776 had to do with a unified republic composed of diverse, sovereign states.

Without delving into Civil War history or presenting the issues and intricacies of federalism, and at the risk of oversimplification; suffice it to say we remain one nation composed of fifty individual states. But what truly unites the people of a nation? As we think about the things which truly unite a people, let us honestly face whether or not these dynamics of unity are being weakened and strained. I do not say this list is exhaustive and I present these for your consideration in no particular order.

The first thing which fosters unity among people is language. From the biblical text above, we find the one distinguishing characteristic of the unified people of Genesis 11 was that they had “one language and one speech.” To bring disunity to them God simply introduced diversity into their speech. The oneness of the people was thwarted by unknown tongues. Confounded language brought confusion, disruption, and disunity. Unified language unifies people. Divided languages divides them. (This isn’t to suggest that the division from divided language cannot be overcome, but to say forthrightly that divided speech is a hindrance to unity, not a help to it.)

The second unifier of people is shared history. It is rather difficult for me to see how Americans can enjoy the fellowship of shared history when so many have no shared history to speak of, and those who actually do have what could be a shared history are totally ignorant of it. How many today in America are utterly in the dark when it comes to our country’s past? It is as though much of our citizenry was indeed born yesterday. They have no idea how we as a nation arrived to where we are today. Ignorance of the past can indeed be easily overcome. But not the way we’re educating our students today. History is being revised before our very eyes but most are too historically illiterate to recognize it. Revisionists are stealing our shared history.

What other shared things serve to unite a people? Religion comes to mind. It is indisputable that the early Puritan founders of our country were united in the Christian faith. This is hardly the case in America today. The once ubiquitous Christian consensus is now gone. How can a nation given to the privatization of religion--and its offspring known as self-styled spirituality--coupled with the influx of false world religions and cults; bring about the unification of a people? The nebulous god of Pluralism cannot see beyond the superficial and is therefore impotent to secure true and lasting unity on any conceivable significant level.

Common ethnicity unites. Despite the best, albeit misguided, efforts of the multiculturalists; people remain naturally tribal. One may question whether such inherent tribalism is the result of sin or not, but the fact remains that homes and neighborhoods, for the most part, remain ethnically homogeneous. It is my estimation that the unity of America is being sorely tested as many folks are identifying themselves, not as simply “Americans,” but first and primarily as Brown, Black, and White Americans. The “race card” is being played more today than at any other time in my lifetime. This is not a show of unity, but disunity.

A common enemy or threat, perceived or real, will also unite a people. Remember how the shared tragedy and common enemy of 9/11 united our country? Remember how short lived that unity was? Also, there is the idea of commerce. This is perhaps little more than interdependent self interest, but nothing unites a people like a robust economy and living the good life. Right? Well, not exactly. People in America are not of one mind as to what a nation should do with its wealth--or its poverty. Finally, a common vision, philosophy or worldview unites a people. But as I stated previously, one can see Americans dividing over philosophical differences. We have the phenomena of “red” and “blue” states, which when analyzed, is actually little more than rural versus urban America; all of this manifesting in the unending culture wars.

It is often said that diversity strengthens us. This is true, but only of a certain kind of diversity; perhaps a diversity of talents, skills, trades and the like. However, the story of Genesis 11 forcefully belies the secular mythology of a “strengthening diversity.” The biblical reality is this: Unity strengthens a people whereas diversity weakens them. Is that which unites Americans greater than that which divides us? I suppose time will tell.

But my hope for the future is not in a united, United States. Rather, my hope is in a united Church of Jesus Christ. Are there divisions in the Church? Of course. There always has been. But what unites the Church? Jesus Christ Himself. Is what--or shall we say “who”--unites the Church greater than that which divides her? Without question: YES!
I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. (John 17:20-21)