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Tuesday
Sep 19th

How Should Christian’s Respond

Article 9 in a Series

CrossThe previous articles focused on some of the differences between Islam and Christianity, and why those differences matter. Islam’s ideology is both contrary to and incompatible with Christian doctrine and principles. Principles that form our society’s very foundation. This article looks at how we, as Christians, should respond to this threat—and by extension to any other threat. The difference comes down to Jesus and His teachings, and that is where we’ll start.

Jesus of Nazareth

Jesus continues to influence the world in ways that few others have ever done. Volumes were written by the early church fathers and are still written about Him today; about His life, His teachings, and their life lessons for us. His life and death are corroborated by non-Christian sources as cited in article 6. It comes down to who is He, what He promised, and what He called us to do. We’ll look to the Bible for answering these questions as it contains His word.

Who Is Jesus?

There are many passages that could be cited to answer all three questions, but Jesus himself provides the answers. These quotes are simple and go straight to the heart of the matter in each case.

Jesus said to him [Thomas], “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” John 14:6-7[1]

God is the only way to truth and life, and Christ is One with the Father which is why His promise matters.

What Did He Promise?

Jesus said to her [Martha], “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.” John 11:25-27

We have His promise of eternal life when we give ourselves to HIm. God’s word is eternal, spoken one time for all time, and He cannot lie.[2]

What Are We Called To Do?

There are two parts to this answer. The first is the way and the second the end.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” Matthew 7:24-7

We are to both listen and do. But what are we to do? Two final short passages.

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

“For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:20

We are to do good works aligned with the Father’s will, and develop the characteristic of righteousness. Righteousness is defined as the quality of being morally upright—virtuous. We are to become good.

Therefore, any response should include:

  • Turning toward God
  • Learning who He is through study and having a personal relationship with Him
  • Choosing to follow Him
  • Fulfilling our purpose, which includes standing for the Christian principles we are to believe and follow

A Response to Islam

So what can we do? First, Islam is an ideology, in many respects similar to the fascism and communism that were beaten in the twentieth century. So some of the same approaches and tactics should be effective against Islam as well. This is where most solutions I’ve seen focus. While it is a start, such an approach ignores the religious component that Islam has but these other ideologies did not. Without incorporating a spiritual aspect into any response we will simply not address the cause, but only some of the effects. This will at best lock us into a stalemate that is never fully resolved. We should attempt to formulate something better.

These responses are predicated on the fact that there are both spiritual and temporal aspects to this war. In addition, there are things that can be done at the individual level, and others that must be done by organizations that support our society (such as our government, military, and first responders). But even then, in the end it is our responsibility. As power ultimately rests in us as a people, we alone are responsible for holding our elected leaders and supporting organizations accountable for both the actions they choose to take—and those they do not.[3] This article focuses on individual responses. Organizational responses can be found in many other sources including Micheal Flynn’s The Field of Fight[4] and Sebastian Gorka’s Defeating Jihad.[5]

Individual Responses

These are arguably the most important actions to be taken. We both transform ourselves, and through that transformation exert pressure on our leaders to simply do the right thing. If we fail to get these right, little else will matter. They are a necessary part of the solution that must be supported by the organizational responses.

Spiritual Aspects

  • Pray - Pray for our nation, our leaders, and our people. But also pray for Muslims, that they will truly find Christ and come to know and turn toward Him.
  • Study - Know your faith and your story, how Christ has made a difference in your life. In the words of Thomas Aquinas, we are not called to prove the faith, but to defend it.

One of the greatest tools we have is the Qur’an itself. Many choose to leave Islam after reading it, and to question its contents. Islam does not allow its followers to question any part of the Qur’an. High illiteracy rates, the availability of few books if one can read, and the fact that only about 20% of the world’s Islamic population’s native language is Arabic contribute to the problem. What many of Islam’s followers understand about Islam comes from what the imams teach. Christianity offers hope and salvation, Islam offers only despair and uncertainty.

  • Live - Live as we are all called to live, by showing Christ to others through our actions, and if we need to do so use words. If you have Islamic neighbors or co-workers, reach out to them. We share the same nature, and many of the same concerns. As Islam is all, there are many ways leading to discussing Islam’s principles. Two basic concepts will help in Muslim outreach.
    • o Have a basic understanding of their culture.
    • o Don’t be afraid to discuss religion, but know what you believe, why you believe it, and voice it. Otherwise you will be perceived as either weak or a hypocrite. Remember, you are not speaking with someone who does not believe, but instead believes they already know something about God.
  • Act - Demand accountability from our religious leaders, churches and synagogues, and religious organizations. Simply ask that they speak and teach God’s truth - the full truth - and act upon it. Those participating in the inter-faith discussions that sparked this series risk building one-way bridges away from the very faith they profess to believe.

There is a connection between faith and governance that the preachers of the First and Second Great Awakenings understood, spoke, and acted upon. That truth needs to be restored to our pulpits and charitable organizations today, and we are responsible for holding our leaders accountable.

Temporal Aspects

  • Educate - This cannot be stressed enough. It is essential, and it must be an education in both reason and faith as both are needed for us to complete what we were created to do. Unfortunately, that education will not be found today in our educational institutions, media, or leaders. This too is up to us. It is a big effort, but others have gone before us and have already blazed the trail. It is one of the reasons I first began to write. To find such sources and share them with others.
  • Stand - Stand and act for what you believe. If you are not willing to stand, why should anyone else? It is often hard, especially in today’s culture, but things will not change without acting on what you believe—without doing. The last election was only a reprieve and not a victory.
  • Engage - Get to know your local, state, and federal political representatives. They are there to serve you.
    • o Most know nothing about what we’ve discussed in this series.
    • o Islam is making active outreach efforts to your state and local representatives. You need to do the same.
    • o Write, call, and visit them. Respectfully share your concerns.
    • o Get to know your local law enforcement members. If you see something that doesn’t look right, let them know.
    • o Resist the building of new mosques by using the law, and if your elected officials will not enforce the law, replace them with elected officials who will.
    • o Demand to know about refugees resettled in your area.
      • The State Department has testified that these meetings are open. Make sure that your local officials know about these meetings and attend.
      • Voice your concerns about refugee relocation to your state coordinator who oversees the refugee resettlement program.
      • Refugee resettlement increases demand for various local services. You and your local officials have the right to know. It’s your money.
      • Demand the voluntary agencies (VOLAGs) bringing refugees into your community make themselves available at public meetings to explain their programs and how they fit into the overall process.
    • o Demand accountability of your elected officials. Rep. Diaz-Balart has again introduced a bill (this year it is HR 377) whose goal is to have the Muslim Brotherhood declared a terrorist organization. This would go a long way to routing out these individuals from our government and other positions of power that previous administrations has allowed to happen. Demand your representative support the bill, or explain to you why they are unwilling to do so. Urge them to bring the matter to a vote.
    • o Demand our federal government return again to requiring our elected officials to pass a basic background check in order to sit on committees receiving national security related information. Not doing so today when our principles are under attack is insane.

As this article is being written, the violence in Charlottesville, VA is occurring. That violence is an example of mindless hatred that should be condemned. Violence that is supported by groups oriented toward division and control. Through their actions, these groups prove they represent the same side, a side supporting evil—Satan. So this series will end by discussing some things we should not do.

Dan Wolf is a researcher, analyst, and author. He has written three books examining the relationship between faith, freedom, virtue, and charity. Together these form the cornerstone of our purpose, and our society’s foundational principles derived from those relationships. Links to his work can be found at the Living Rightly website.

 

[1] All Bible passages are from the New American Standard Bible.

[2] The full quote is from Titus 1:2. ‘[I]n the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago.’

[3] Wolf, Dan, A War For God, pp. 257-8, living rightly publications, 2017.

[4] Flynn, Micheal T., The Field of Fight, St. Martin’s Press, 2016.

[5] Gorka, Sebastian, Defeating Jihad, Regnery Publishing, 2016.

 



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