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January 2004


 

Islam--a Raging Storm

 

Almost every day a news story comes on TV of another "suicide bombing". I always think that the fanatic wearing the bomb is the only one committing suicide. The victims are all murdered with malice and aforethought. We all shake our heads in disbelief that someone would board a bus full of innocent children and their parents, and attempt to murder them. We can't help but think that we could be somewhere like an airport or a mall, and suddenly suffer the same violent end. These same terrorists live in our midst. We are not isolated any longer. We need to remove our ostrich necks from the sand!

Along with the many peace-loving Muslim immigrants into our Western countries, also enter the Islamic terrorists. Our freedom allows them to isolate themselves with their own language and culture and even their own secret terrorist cells. Even though they hate Christians and Jews on instructions from the Koran, our ideals do not permit us to racially or religiously profile them. We value our freedom too much.

According to the Islam religion, the ones committing these horrendous crimes are viewed as "martyrs" and their surviving families often receive large cash rewards and high esteem in their homes and neighborhoods. The surviving Islamic family feels very proud and righteous. They cry out, "Allah be praised!". The victims' families are left to weep with justified anger and bitter tears, asking the same question over and over, "WHY?"

Along with the bombings, we see documentaries about the lives of Muslim women. I recently watched one where a teenage son was a hero in his village because he shot down his mother in cold blood. Her crime? She was selling home-made trinkets at the local market to earn some money!

She had left the home without the permission of a man and was acting "independently". Her death was proudly held up as an example for the village. The son had acted "righteously" according to the Koran, and received no punishment whatsoever, only congratulations! What he did was viewed as righteous. No other Islamic woman would dare try to be her own self after that!

We know we have cultural differences which we should all respect, but imagine life as a woman where you have no ability to be your own person, even in the smallest details. You could not leave your home without permission from your husband. If you did go out, you would see life only through a thick veil obscuring your face and your vision. If you were a more modern Muslim woman, you might have your face unveiled, but you would still be garbed in a hot, black garment from head to toe, making you anonymous and drab.

If your husband was displeased with you, he could divorce you with a few words, but you wouldn't have that same privilege. You must remain in the marriage no matter what. Also, he could take several more wives, and you could raise no objections. It's hard to comprehend that a large portion of the world's population lives this way! God created woman as a helpmate to man, but He gave her a mind and a heart, and a place of honor in the church and the home. She is allowed to use her God-given intelligence. Submission is not inferiority!

As Christians, how are we then to view the Muslims and the religion of Islam? Are we to blindly accept the smiling assurances of our politicians who keep telling us that Muslims are a peaceful people, and their religion is one of peace?

Well, that would be great if it were only true! If anyone wants to know what Christians stand for, they have only to check out our Christian handbook, the Bible. While parts of the Bible may be open to individual interpretation, still our basic Christianity shines through. We all seek to have the peace of Christ. Our battles are of a spiritual nature against the forces of darkness. We are warned to watch out for false prophets, and false teachers, who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. This is perhaps the biggest problem facing the Christian Church today--failure to discern the false, and stand up for the true!

Many Christians have gotten all "new-agey", wanting to avoid doctrinal truth to facilitate peace at any cost. This has led to acceptance of false doctrine within the church and outside the church. Rather than being Christian warriors standing up for Bible truth as God would have us do, some have become accepting wimps, never criticizing anything.

Into this climate of non-criticism comes the influx of the Islam religion. As Christians we must have a love for the Muslim people, the same as we would have for any other unsaved persons. We should look at them with the hope to evangelize them, and introduce them to a saving faith.

At the same time, we should not be ignorant of their beliefs. We need to educate ourselves so we can be effective when we witness to them.

As most of you know, our 28 years of ministry has been to the cult groups, the counterfeiters of Christianity. We stand up to their twisted doctrines and patiently correct them from the word of God. Rather than rising up in hatred for the cult members, we seek to win them with the love of Christ. This love is not some wimpy acceptance of false doctrine, but involves some pretty plain talking if the need arises. This is done in love, with their eventual salvation in mind. Our reliance is on the work of the Holy Spirit. Over the years we have seen God bring to their remembrance discussions from years past, that finally bore fruit. Many former cult members are now our brothers and sisters in Christ, changed for all eternity!

As Christians, our responsibility is to bear witness for Christ. Our personal testimony cannot be argued with, and we are all able to do at least that much. Following the Bible example, we need to add to our personal testimony, persuasion, being able to reason with our potential converts. We can't do this, if we don't know where they are coming from doctrinally!

For example, if a Jehovah's Witness, or Mormon at your door expresses their belief in Jesus Christ, do you just accept that statement and feel you have met a fellow Christian, and let them leave as lost as they arrived? Or have you taken the time to find out that to a Jehovah's Witness, Jesus Christ is the Archangel Michael, a secondary god, and merely a good man on earth? Have you learned that to the Mormon, Jesus Christ is the spirit-brother of Lucifer, the devil? Both groups give false definitions of the Godhead, the Trinity. You need background information to witness effectively, just as the Apostle Paul did.

The same principle applies to the Muslims and the religion of Islam. They profess respect for Jesus Christ (although lesser than their prophet Mohammed). They deny the Deity of Jesus Christ, viewing him as merely a prophet and good man. Yet, you can both speak on the subject of Jesus Christ! We can all learn to share our faith, but it takes some effort on our part to prepare.

For some time, we have looked for a short book, not too tedious, on the subject of Islam. It is just a "primer", but we need to begin somewhere to reach these folks with the gospel message.

"Islam, A Raging Storm" by Dr. Shelton Smith describes the chosen book this way:

"Although Islam had already attained a position of dominance in several dozen countries in other parts of the world, and even though the Islamic presence had become more noticeable in America in recent years, it was on September 11, 2001, that the attention of the nation was first riveted on Islam.

On that day Islamic invaders attacked America, killing thousands of innocent people, professedly in the name of Islam.

In Islam: A Raging Storm Dr. Shelton Smith examines the religion, its history, its philosophy, its teaching and its practices. In a thoroughly analytical expose Dr. Smith carefully documents the issues with Islam now facing our world...".

We hope Christians will read this 54-page book to equip themselves for the days in which we live. We feel certain God will bring those of the Islamic religion across all our paths! Our order form is in the middle to the magazine.

 


 

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