26 December 2016
Please bear with me on this article. I have wrestled over writing on this particular topic for the simple reason that it can easily be misunderstood and misconstrued.
What I am about to present is not new. In fact, it is an old story dating back to the persecution of Jews (Hebrews) several thousand years ago. Many Christians would like to believe such persecution of believers is only occurring in isolated areas around the world, but certainly not here in America! The truth is Christians are an ever-growing target for all sorts of groups.
The Islamic faith makes no bones about being at war with Christians, as well as their intent to wipe out all Jews and Christians. While in Bahrain in the Persian Gulf on military assignment, I decided to request a visit with a Muslim cleric (an Imam) in order to hear about their beliefs first hand. We discussed many things during the hour or so that we met. The cleric gave me several books on Islam, which included a copy of the Koran in English.
Later, when I had time to study the Koran without interruption, I discovered that there was a very troubling verse in the first Surah. These seven verses are to be memorized by every Muslim, and is recited during the calls to prayer. Verses 6&7 reads, “Guide us to the Straight Path; the Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace (those who follow the Prophet Mohammed), not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians).” This was taken from, The Noble Qur’an, an English translation of the meanings and commentary. I have three different copies of the Koran, so to be fair, the only version that pinpoints Jews and Christians in the footnotes from the seventh verse is the version the Imam gave to me. Muslims believe that they are to conquer the world for Islam. Make no mistake: This is their goal.
Another group that is targeting Christians is atheists. To be clear, atheists are often defined as, “People who do not believe in God.” This is incorrect. Atheists don’t believe in God (or any god) because a true atheist believes there is no God to believe in. The word atheist is a Greek word literally meaning: “No God.” These folks are organized and are working very hard to disrupt any expression of the Christian faith, specifically, so as to cause people to see Christians as hateful, intolerant, bigoted, and a host of other negative descriptions in an attempt to discredit those who would follow Jesus. Much damage has been done by atheists in the academic, political, and medical fields. There are attempts, some successful, in removing any reference to Christ or the Christian faith in the founding of America and the subsequent emergence of the United States from school books and text books. In the medical field, the value of human life has been assaulted – particularly the unborn. Abortion is the tragic outcome of reducing humans to animals, instead of recognizing that each one of us is the handiwork of God.
And a third group that is at war with Christians are those who typically look for a scapegoat to blame for the ills of a nation or the world. The finger is frequently pointed at Christians as the culprits for whatever ills are being experienced in a country or across the globe. This was a common approach by the Romans in their quest to rid the Roman Empire of Christians and their witness for Jesus. The Emperor Nero, had Rome burned, and then placed the blame on Christians, who were rounded up and thrown in the arenas for sport. Today, you can hear on the news how Christians are being blamed for the troubles America is having with Islamic terrorists. “If only Christians wouldn’t be so exclusionary,” these accusers say, “then we could all get along with Muslims, and they would like us.” If only that were true! The fault for the recent attacks by Muslims across Europe and here in the United States is laid at the feet of Christians. This is simply a “Roman Redux.”
So, here’s my antidote for all this Christian blaming. First, stop being so surprised when you’re attacked for your faith in Jesus. Did Jesus not say this would happen? Yes, of course he did. Second, be open about your faith in Jesus. Nothing is more powerful than a solid reason for your faith. The church in America became rather timid following World War II. There was a concerted onslaught against our secular and religious beliefs from the Mainstream Media, Hollywood, and a Democrat Party that has clearly lost its way. I mentioned a few months ago why I could not vote for Hillary Clinton or any Democrat. My differences of belief with Democrat positions and policy notwithstanding, I was appalled to witness the Democrat National Convention in 2014 vote to exclude God, or any reference to God, from their Platform. I watched this travesty in fascination and horror, as thousands of Democrat delegates, by voice vote, let it be known that God was not to be included in any of their doings.
Speak of your love for Jesus with a holy boldness, telling others how much Jesus loves them, and what Jesus has done in your life. After all, you are God’s messenger.