Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Building Bridges – but what kind of bridges?

Building Bridges – but what kind of bridges?

When it comes to sharing the Gospel with Muslims, we find that Muslims comprise at least 39% of all un-evangelized people of the world. Only 1% of mission force is directed to reach them. Most of the work by some nowadays is directed towards Muslims to make them feel at home in their own religion in the name of ‘tolerance’ and ‘love’. Indeed many of such churches, their mission committees quote the scriptures as ‘Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love’ (1 John 4:8).

I desire that many friends who are trying to ‘create peace between faith’ will realize that Love will not be satisfied with anything less than the total salvation of its object. I have seen again and again in my past 40 years that the matter of salvation of Muslims is totally ignored for the sake of and in the name of ‘multi-culturalism’, ‘multi-faith societies’ and multi faith trends with the idea that all roads lead to God.

‘Creating peace between faiths’ is very good but is it possible without watering down the status of Jesus? I wonder what happened to the peace Jesus talks about and claims to be the giver of it. No matter how much we try to bring peace between faiths and people, if we keep Christ, the original source of peace, out of it, there can be no peace.
And what do you do when one finds that the people who are teaching how Islam is peaceful, behind your back support militant Islam? The predicament is not the people, but Islamic ideology. It has 2 faces both the peaceful and militant and Muslims use both of them as the case may be. When we look at the Qur’an, the Ahadith, the schools of thought and classical commentaries, we find both trends used and being used even today.

One of the top methods that the majority of Muslims have used is not only their insistence that Islam should always have the upper hand but profess it through a military type of radicalism. I can quote to you from the Arabic Qur’an and what Muhammad has said and from the classical Muslim era, people like Urwah ibn Zubayr (d. 712), Wahb ibn Munabbih (d. 728), Ibn Ishaq (d. 761), al-Waqidi (745-822), Ibn Hisham (d. 834), al-Maqrizi (1364–1442), and Ibn Hajar Asqalani (1372-1449) and you will be surprised at how the 2 faces of Islam, its jurisprudence and communities have been used in expansion of Islamic empires and are used today to renew and restore the zenith of the Islamic empires. In the West, today, those Muslim tactics amount to hypocrisy, manipulation and unprovoked attacks.

Having said that, as Christians, indeed we should be peaceable to our neighbors, including our Muslim neighbors, in-spite that Islam has exclusivity that ‘al-Muslim akhwal Muslim, a Muslims is a brother of a Muslim.’ Let us not ignore the matter of salvation of Muslims for the sake of and in the name of ‘multi-culturalism’, ‘multi-faith societies’ and multi faith trends with the idea that all roads lead to God. If we really love Muslims, then we have to share the love of Jesus with them, by telling them that He is the only way to have the eternal life.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Why is Islam spreading fast in the USA?

Why is Islam spreading fast in the USA?
1. Islamic Da’wa (Islamic evangelism). Islam is a “works religion”, Muslims believe they will get into paradise by winning non-Muslims to Islam. They marry Christians and Jews to eventually convert them to Islam, although they don’t tell them up front, nor do they tell them that they must raise their children as Muslims, even if she remains a Christian or Jew.
2. Islam is a community oriented system, especially when Muslims are in a minority in a new country. Leaders convince followers to unite and do good so to entice the non-Muslims around them, to ultimately convert them to Islam.
3. Islam is seen as dealing with every aspect of a Muslim’s life, religious or political. Thus while Christians may be hesitant to share their views, Muslims feel obligated to share their faith anywhere.
4. Muslims are allowed to lie for a greater purpose, the ‘domination of the world for Islam’ and so they hide the points of weaknesses in Islam.
5. Also to be an instrument to fulfill what Muhammad predicted that his community will over populate the
world through propagation. Muhammad advised, “Marry beautiful women, especially those women who will bear you lots of children”.

Pastor Terry Jones and the burning of the Qur’an

An Opportunity lost
Well, we heard it all - Pastor Terry Jones and the burning of the Qur’an. We thank the Lord that he did not follow the conviction and withdrew from it. However, I believe he could have used the opportunity while announcing his withdrawal to remind the media of the atrocities against Christians that are committed day and night in Muslim majority countries. Churches are burned down and even members killed and their Scriptures are destroyed. The Pastor could have easily reminded the media asking ‘where are you when such things happen? Why don’t you report them? I am calling on you to look into your conscience and ask yourselves which side you are on.’

This would at least been heard in the media somewhere, but Terry did not use such an opportunity. Let us please pray for each other, that whenever we all are given such an opportunity, we may glorify Him, use the Lord’s wisdom and be counted to say words that will be a warning and loving too. (Ezekiel 3:18)

Be warned of the ‘Interfaith’ delusion that is about in the USA

We are living in a time where in the name of tolerance we try to find
something good anywhere and everywhere and whatever the situation may be. Mindful people claiming to be from various faiths in the USA, have established themselves into what is known as Interfaith dialogue. On the surface, when you look at it, you find that in the forefront Judaism, Christianity and Islam as ‘Abrahamic faiths’ and not as Judeo-Christian faith is presented. They claim that ‘The Torah, the New Testament, and the Quran all contain exceptional teachings instructing us to love God, to love one another, and to care for all people.’ Then they go a little further, stating that it is ‘crucial… that we honor both the universal as well as the particularly exclusivist teachings of each of our faith’s traditions.’ (http://www.countercurrents.org/falcon150910.htm). Although as a Christian, I have no problem with such statements, what I find is that many Muslims on these “Interfaith committees” are actually using the forum to their own propagation agenda, while the prominence of salvation through Jesus is shunned by them and many of the pastors and reverends attending these meetings just keep quite in the name of so-called ‘tolerance’ not even pointing out their reservation of the matter.

In these interfaith dialogues while it is talked how badly Muslims are treated in America, we hear rarely Muslims and other raising their voices on what goes on in Muslim majority countries against Christians, in losing their lives and belongings. In fact in the name of ‘Interfaith’ Muslims hold meetings in churches and synagogues to convince non-Muslims how good the Islamic ideology is. They go to the extent to invite attendees to perform some of the rituals and even are given Islamic polemic material showing that it is not Christianity, but Islam that should be followed.

As far as being loving and kind to each other that is indeed Biblical, but to allow a Muslim on a church platform to go on to do Islamic evangelism, is not Jesus, but Muhammad who is presented to be followed. Such a notion is a total negation of the gospel which declares that Jesus is the only way unto Salvation.

If you love Jesus and accept him as the only Savior, then it is of utmost importance that you, as his follower, should draw a line and state – this far is fine, but not beyond Biblical values. State clearly indeed I have to love as the Lord loves, but when it comes to the matter of Salvation, even God has drawn the line. There is only one name under heaven through whom we can be saved. He is Jesus. Be warned. The Scriptures is quite clear and warns us of ‘no other gospel’ to be accepted.

Resurgent Islam has adopted Muhammad's season of diplomacy

In the USA, instead of a military attitude the resurgent Islam has adopted Muhammad’s season of diplomacy from his Meccan period. Although traces can be found of militant Islam and of terror, Muslims are using, in the forefront, all legal means to spread their ideology. Financial aid in the millions is given to Islamic organizations and secular Universities and colleges by Saudi Arabia and Gulf states to enlighten people in the USA to see Islam as the best way of the Abrahamic path. Muslim organizations are using every available source from IT to PR. Packages of pro-Islamic books and media materials by the thousands are provided to libraries, teachers, State officials and Representatives. Many Muslims have made contacts with influential people at Radio, TV and newspaper mediums and seek their help to give a peaceful picture of Islam. Several Muslim organizations, such as CAIR, ISNA and MSA are campaigning against those Non-Muslims who want to expose the hidden face of Islam and Muslims. Indirectly some Muslims are trying to replace America’s freedom of speech with hate-crime bills. They are relentless in the nomination of Muslim sympathizers and Muslims in political and religious offices. They are getting involved in demonstrations on immigration issues, as well.

On a Christian response, the Church in America is divided into two extremes from hatred to totally unconditional love. There are ‘Christians’ who believe that Islam and Muslims are not included in ‘The Great Commission’, thinking God has finished with them. On the other hand there are those who are so ‘loving’ that they do not want to share Jesus in the name of interfaith slogan of ‘co-exist’, thus compromising the gospel. Their doctrine seems to be that Islam or any other faith can be accepted as a way to God. In both cases it is obvious that their ‘will and affections’ are set upon their fallen nature and thus they have become an offense to Christ. Both of these courses lead to spiritual ruin because the first group has totally closed the door of salvation on Muslims and the other in their compassion has gone too far to even offend God by showing an attitude that is contrary to the Gospel. (See how Carter Conlon, co-pastor of David Wilkerson, explains in his sermon “When Compassion Offends God”. http://jgospel.org/faith/sermon/when-compassion-offends-god-carter-conlon.c15451.aspx).

There are, however, a portion of Christians in between these two extremes that believe in loving the Muslims ‘the God way’ and are willing to take a stand for the uniqueness of the message of Christ and assurance for all, including Muslims. They use the utmost of their abilities to share the love of Christ with Muslims through friendship, and meaningful dialogue.