Sunday, August 08, 2004

Taking religion seriously

Terry Mattingly's "Get Religion" blog ( today presented some interesting thoughts about commitment to faith. Terry pointed out that the one thing today's media and government sources don't want to do is to suggest Muslim terrorists might be working from their faith construct. Nearly everyone in the "politically correct" crowd says terrorists do not reflect true Islam. Instead, terrorists, we are told, represent the lunatic fringe -- the "fundamentalist" version of Islam.

What a crock! Islam is not now and never has been a "peace loving" religion. The Qu'ran is filled with surahs suggesting the "infidel" (that's us, folks) must be converted or killed. When Islam rose and began its conquest in the 700s, its means of conversion was not persuasion -- it was the sword. Now I'll admit that some misguided Christians also used the sword. Charlemagne "converted" thousands with a sword held to the neck of his defeated enemies and they responded, "No one ever explained the gospel to me so clearly." Most early Christians carried the Christian message with the understanding that "faith comes by hearing" (Romans 10:17). Islam over ran Arabia, North Africa, much of the Middle East, and eventually Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire fell to its armies. Islamic rulers permitted Jews and Christians to coexist with them as long as they paid an annual indemnity and did not proselyte or evangelize. Many nominal Christians soon found social and economic advancement came only with conversion.

Today's Islamic terrorists are not interested in merely influencing western policy. Sure, they don't want the west supporting Israel, paying bottom dollar for oil, and keeping infidel troops in Muslim lands. They do want to take their false religion to the western world. They are being remarkably successful at it, too.

The point I really wanted to make is the fact that most Americans can't see the source of the real threat because secularism, naturalistic worldviews, and compartmentalizing of the faith has crowded out genuine Christianity. Christianity, for most of us, requires little commitment and certainly no sacrifice. Today's version of Christianity appeals to the "me-ism" of the day in spite of all the talk about "it's not about you!" For most church attenders, it is all about them. Even conservative Bible-believing churches with expectations don't really expect genuine discipleship. They teach it is "nice for nice people to be nice." If you attend, cough up for the coffer, and maybe get your weekly dose of therapy in a small group you are a "real Christian." As long people feel good and "feel God" (meaning that the bass is so loud it vibrates your bones) then they are happy in their nice churches.

If Islamic "fundamentalists" can commit religious suicide to further the interests of their god, what should Christians -- who know the one true God -- be willing to give up for Him? That's something to think about!


Carla said...

So true. Reality is that Islam has not changed ... its believers see themselves as promoters of their religion ... the same should be true of all Christians. The difference is that in Islam there are 'no holds barred' on the means that may be used to attain this objective. Both religions teach that their religion is the only true religion. But the difference comes in the means that may be used to get others to accept these beliefs.

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