Theology and ideology are back, and as usual, not at all in a productive way. In America, now that the presidential election is upon us again, Islam has returned to the political landscape of Republicans and Democrats.
Republicans occupy territory from a pretense of cautious optimism to extremists who would drive Islam from U.S. soil at the point of a rifle. The Democrat’s theories occupy territory from Pollyanna hopes that Muslims will play nice in America, to deceitful deviants hell-bent to advance Islam at the expense of shredding the Constitution. We have an impossible compromise that continues to bob up to the surface of the American conscience, each time resurfacing closer and higher than the last.
For Christians watching the encroachment of Islam further into American society, the immigration of Muslims is often looked at as a threat to Christian liberty. Absurd double-standards in recent LGBT case-law have Christians wary of asserting their rights to religious liberty. Right-wing pundits have demonstrated Muslim baker’s rejection of participating in homosexual union ceremonies without consequence, while Christian bakers are crushed with 6-figure fines. Christians must acquiesce to religious liberty being squashed while Muslims enjoy Leftist media and federal government favored status.
Recently, President Obama has rallied to the cause of radical Muslims, against the interests of local politicians. CAIR activists recently failed in their attempt to defeat Irving TX Mayor Beth Van Duyne’s support for superiority of American law over foreign law (i.e. Sharia). The Daily Caller described it,
In March of this year, Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne made national news by pushing a Texas legislature bill, “American Laws for American Courts” which would stop judges from using foreign law in their rulings. She vocally opposed Sharia mediation at a local mega-mosque too.*
Having lost to Van Duyne, a CAIR activist family sent their 14-year-old son Ahmed to school with a disassembled alarm clock in a black briefcase. Irving school officials rightly investigated the bomb-looking case, discovering the electronic timing device (some reports state it was “beeping”).
Just three weeks into high school, he secretly carries in a device that any TSA agent at airport security would think is a bomb. Then provokes police to get arrested, leaving the cuffs on just long enough for his sister to snap a photo.*
Obama contacted the young man, inviting him to the White House, but that will have to wait until his visits to the founder of Google and UN officials are out of the way. Meanwhile the leftist media have found their “anti-darling”. Presidential hopeful, Dr. Ben Carson, asserted that he would not support a Muslim being president due to the incongruences between Islam of the Qur’an and the U.S. Constitution. Following Carson’s answer on a Sunday morning TV show, the press pummeled Carson with the out-of-context 8-second sound bite. Once again, America’s never-ending appetite for U.S./Muslim conflict was fed.
Extremely little can be understood of the roots of conflict between Islam and the American way of life by looking at right-wing memes and websites, the leftist media or government policies. The media stokes conflict to get income-producing “clicks” and ratings. The government officials stoke the fears of their base to get votes and donations. And none of it serves the cause of Christ. If you are a Christian in America, learning to have a biblical and historical perspective is valuable. For Christians, a thoughtful perspective is an excellent tool to figure out (1) what is really happening, and (2) what should I do about it. If you’ve read the Bible, you’ve read the instructions that will make the situation yield the outcome that a responsible Christian should be invested in.
The waves of immigration in Europe and North America mean different things for each continent. Having abandoned a sizable amount of the Christianity that carried them through two millennia, Europe will
have to find their solutions with fewer and more secular tools. For the U.S., we still have a large and vibrant Christian base, and God has already given us the tools to secure the outcome He wants. One of the first things Christians should do is remind themselves of what God has told us He wants, and also what He says will be. There are important answers in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24-25, also Mark 13 & Luke 21).
In context with 2015’s massive people-movement, Olivet makes undeniable sense. Muslim immigration is not just an immediate, temporal reality. It is also the fulfillment of prophecy. People from Syria and Iraq are pouring into Western lands, having only known a society where Christians are scorned and annihilated. With freedom comes the opportunity to know a world where people are much freer to worship. The Gospel can finally be preached to these, thanks to their immigration to the West. Recall what Jesus prophesies in Olivet:
Matthew 24:14 (NLT)
And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.
The world has seen centuries of refugee crises where people fled from war and oppression. It has come time and again as humanity has attempted to solve spiritual and religious differences with secular means. Jesus prophesies this in Olivet, as well:
Matthew 24:6-8 (NLT)
And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.
One of the constant complaints of non-believers is that they don’t know when prophecies will be fulfilled. From a Biblical perspective, Christians know that our sovereign God will fulfill prophesy when He chooses, according to His plan. Anyone who claims to know when the final fulfillment of prophesies will come is either ignorant or deceitful.
Matthew 24:36 (NLT)
“However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.
In the meantime, Christians have an excellent opportunity to fulfill the “Two Greats”: the Greatest Commandment and the Great Commission. Our assignment is clear, and God makes His expectations clear:
Matthew 24:37-39 (NLT)
“When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes.
America will have a struggle as the great Muslim immigration of 2015 comes. There is no doubt that absorbing these new people into the resource base of the American tax-payer will strain an already overburdened system. The Constitution that has assured Christian freedom of worship will be threatened, and it will have to be staunchly defended. Though the media may hate it, the Carson doctrine of not allowing Islam to defeat the Constitution is correct, but it will undoubtedly be challenged.
Still, Christians can have continued confidence in God’s plan through the process. We’re biblically admonished not to worry (Matt 6:25-34). We also see His plan working. Led by Muslims like Dr. Zuhdi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, the culture of American Muslims is growing substantially less extreme and political, setting the stage for greater opportunity for Christian evangelism. Jasser offers a hopeful outlook on Muslim integration into the United States culture:
In his latest book, A Battle for the Soul of Islam, Jasser provides readers with insight into “political Islam,” a phenomenon he considers the greatest threat to global security. Despite the foreboding subject matter, Jasser assures that readers will come away hopeful, knowing that there are Muslims who “love America” and cherish the Constitution. Says Jasser: “Political Islam needs to be defeated.”**
Despite descending from cultures suffocated by Islam’s pervasive indoctrination, the power of God that can be demonstrated by a free people still overcomes. One famous case of this can be found in the son of a founder of Hamas. Mosab Hassan Yousef was his terrorist father’s heir apparent, but was eventually overcome with disgust at the violence of Islam. It was at that point that the Gospel was presented to Mosab:
It was after a chance encounter nine years ago with a British missionary that Mr. Yousef began exploring Christianity. He found it “exciting”, he said, and began secretly studying the Bible, struck by the central tenet “love your enemies”.
Nevertheless he does not advocate the “collapse of Islam”, but rather for people to acknowledge that after 1,400 years “it’s not working any more”.
He said: “It’s not taking them anywhere. It’s making them look ugly.”***
Europe has an opportunity to return to God for the solution to their Muslim immigration crisis. As for American Christians, we cannot fail to make a vigilant stand for the Constitution and our faith. Doing the work of both of these assure our success of fulfilling the “Two Greats”. The refugee crisis will also test our dedication to faithfully accepting God’s plan and not worrying about His provision. It’s worthwhile for Americans to remember that, from a global perspective, “The 1%” has an annual family income of just $50,000. What really is “enough”?
Jesus’ prophecy, our opportunity and God’s solution have been written down for 2000-years, and as Yousef’s testimony illustrates, God’s plan is working. Despite the petty squabbles in America, or the insane violence in the Middle East, humanity’s plan doesn’t win; God’s does. If you really want to know where Love Wins, it is unfolding right in front of us. It is coming Westward, and apparently according to His plan.
I encourage you to read the Olivet Discourse in the Bible, Matthew 24 & 25. I look forward to seeing your feedback.
Works Cited ***Elsworth, Catherine, et al. "Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of Hamas leader, becomes a Christian." The Telegraph. 08 24, 2008. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/palestinianauthority/2613399/Mosab-Hassan-Yousef-son-of-Hamas-leader-becomes-a-Christian.html (accessed 09 23, 2015). **Gabbay, Tiffany. "A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith." The Blaze. 06 15, 2012. http://www.theblaze.com/books/a-battle-for-the-soul-of-islam-an-american-muslim-patriots-fight-to-save-his-faith/ (accessed 09 23, 2015). *Gordon, J.D. "Did America Get Trolled By Ahmed And His Clock?" The Daily Caller. 09 21, 2015. http://dailycaller.com/2015/09/21/did-america-get-trolled-by-ahmed-and-his-clock/ (accessed 09 23, 2015).