Wednesday, August 03, 2005

An Unapologetic Apologetic

Among all the threats and attacks on the gospel currently in the world, is there any more formidable than that posed by Islam? Whole nations lay under Islam's sway. Christians in lands such as Indonesia and Sudan are regularly persecuted and driven from their homes, while Muslims freely migrate and populate Western nations. Given that the birthrate among Muslim women tends to be double and triple that of those in the Western nations where Christianity has historically been strong, one wonders how these nations will look in the next few decades? Since the London bombings, Muslim clerics have become further emboldened to declare that the fault for these crimes lies not at the feet of the ones setting off the bombs or those who inspired their hatred, but the British government for supporting the war in Iraq. They are predicting more acts of this nature. If you are in the U.S. or Britain, you should feel a sense of a looming crisis coming our way.

George Grant believes the conflict of Islam is the greatest of the church's battles. The author of the book Blood of the Moon (Understanding The Historic Struggle Between Islam And Western Civilization), Grant posted this on his blog the day of the London bombings: "The reality is that the greatest human conflict of the past century has not been between Communism and Democracy. It has not been between Liberalism and Conservatism. It has not been between Socialism and Capitalism. It has not been between Rich and Poor, Proletariat and Bourgeoisie, Industrialism and Agrarianism, Nationalism and Colonialism, Management and Labor, First World and Third World, East and West, North and South, Allied and Axis, or NATO and Soviet....The most convulsive conflict of past century—and indeed, the most convulsive conflict of the past millennium—has undoubtedly been between Islam and Civilization; it has been between Islam and Freedom; it has been between Islam and Order; it has been between Islam and Progress; it has been between Islam and Hope; it has been between Islam and the Gospel. While every other conflict pitting men and nations against one another has inevitably waxed and waned, this furious struggle has remained all too constant. The tension between Islam and every aspiration and yearning of man intrudes on every issue, every discipline, every epoch, and every locale—a fact that is more evident today than perhaps ever before."

Yet perhaps what makes Islam particularly threatening to the gospel currently is the sympathy the faith of Mohammed enjoys. Even in the countries where Muslims have carried out terrorist activities, leaders such as Bush and Blair continue to maintain that Islam is a good and peaceful religion. How can one explain that while court decisions have removed Bibles from public schools and are removing the Ten Commandments from our public places, that same government can supply Korans to Islamic militants being held in Guantanamo Bay? How is that attendance at mosques is increasing in the U.S? Bottom line, why is Islam being looked more favorably upon in many quarters in our land than Christianity? It has to do with apologetics.

The science of defending the Christian faith is known as "apologetics." Apologetics comes from a Greek word that means "to speak on one's own behalf," such as the defense offered in a courtroom. Simply speaking, just as countries have failed to protect themselves from the bombs of the Muslims, all-in-all the church has failed to defend itself and promote the gospel against the Islamic insurgency. Though many others, the aforementioned George Grant being one of them, have much more to offer in way of apologetics against Islam than I, please allow me to stress here the need to practice apologetics within the Christian church. Islam is making great inroads in the West because professing believers, spending more time watching the evening news than reading their Bibles and history, do not see the true dangers of the religion of Mohammed. I offer the following apologetic point with the hope it may help some within the sleepy, evangelical church to awaken by shining some light on the darkness of the religion symbolized by a sliver of a moon. In my mind this point may be the only one that carries enough threat to awaken fellow Christians.

Remember, before, during and after the Crusades there was Jihad. If you have ever spoken to a Muslim who is trying to show you the superiority of Islam over Christianity, he will quickly bring up the Crusades as evidence of the church's hypocrisy in its abuse of Muslims. One only needs to consider the timing of the movie Kingdom of Heaven to see how the Islamic apologists have won the culture war here. Why did Hollywood produce a movie portraying the Crusades, the regrettable action of the Catholic church to take back militarily the Holy Land from the Muslim Turks in the eleventh through thirteenth centuries, during a time that Muslims through the 9/11 attacks, Madrid and London bombings, Sudanese and Indonesian wholescale persecution of Christians, etc., are clearly the ones on a "jihad" or holy war? Don't hold your breath waiting for the movies showing the beginning of Islam.

We need to remind the people sitting in the pews that Islam began with tribes devoted to Mohammed warring against and defeating the inhabitants of Mecca in 630 A.D. This was then followed by waves of fierce Arabic warriors devoted to Mohammed sweeping into power over Christianized lands in all of Northern Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe over the next century. In every place they conquered, the inhabitants were forced to recant the Christian faith and swear allegiance to Allah and his prophet Mohammed or face the sword (Note: My apologies for this misrepresentation - in some areas they spared you the sword and let you practice Christianity if you paid a tribute to Allah). Only the victory by Charles Martel in the Battle of Tours in 732 A.D. prevented the complete conquest of Europe by the Muslims. So while we can acknowledge the abuses and misguided nature of the Crusades, let us remember that Islam began by jihad, and those following Mohammed 1400 years later continue it upon the "infidel" lands of our day.

Those in Western government and media who have kidded themselves into thinking that Islam is peace-loving and Muslims want democratic rule need to point to one nation where Muslims have been or are in power these past fourteen centuries and that has been the case. Think of it - in Iraq we are trying to force upon them by military might freedom of democratic rule, a political fruit that our largely Christian forefathers yearned for and bore. We may have swept out one demon in Iraq named Sadaam, but time will show that seven more wicked will go in and live there, and the last state of Iraq will be worse than the first (see Matthew 12:45). Surely many individual Muslim citizens exist that are not terrorists, but as the "nice laddies" who blew up subways in London showed, Islam as a worldview is an oppressive and violence-spawning religion. "By their fruits you shall know them," the Lord said.

The average American Christian needs to wake up, for not a movie but a war is coming to a neighborhood near you unless God intervenes. George Grant predicts in the same blog article cited above that unless something miraculous happens, what took place in London will become a common occurrence in Dallas, Atlanta or Chicago. How many more suicide bombers have to kill our troops, or will have to explode in our neighborhoods, before we recognize this truth about Islam?

In another attempt to get your attention, one glorious day we will see the Lord Jesus Christ cast the false prophet Mohammed, who dared deny the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord, into Hell where he will burn in torment forever. If that thought does not absolutely delight you but rather offends your interfaith sensibilities, I cannot apologize but merely point out that it proves you have already been lost in the apologetics war. Go read Psalm 139:19-24 over and over again until you can truly pray and sing it sincerely. I just hope it does not take someone you love sizzling in a terrorist (i.e. Islamic) attack to get you to do it. Until the Christian church starts praying with far more earnestness for Islam's absolute demise, the crescent moon will continue to rise.

2 comments:

Sal_et_lucis said...

That was a great post, Mr. York. One thing I might add...
Mr. York correctly states that, "Given that the birthrate among Muslim women tends to be double and triple that of those in the Western nations where Christianity has historically been strong, one wonders how these nations will look in the next few decades?"
However, not only do Muslim's raise more children that the average US citizen, they also make sure that those children are strong supporters and defenders of the Muslim religion. It is common for a Muslim child to memorize a vast majority of the Koran, and to spend many hours a week attending indoctrination classes given by a Muslim cleric.
Sadly, all American ask of their children is that they "be good" (whatever that means) and that they go to church. What would happen if Christians had the same zeal for Christianity that Muslim have for Islam?

Jared said...

Amen. Thanks Barry.