Religion


I want to share an excerpt from a book I have just finished reading, “Secret Believers” written by Brother Andrew and Al Janssen.

Part two of the book offers some insightful information and a challenge to its readers.  I shall quote from pages 250-251.

As I travel through the Muslim world, I see and hear vociferous anger against Europe and North America.  The problem is that Muslims look at the West and think they are viewing Christianity, and they want nothing to do with it.  In their minds, religion is not separated from culture and politics.  So when the United States invates Iraq, most Muslims view it as Christianity attacking Islam.  When they turn their satellite dishes to our media, they see and hear popular entertainers, often wearing big gold crosses while dressed in the most suggestive clothing and singing lyrics that promote violence and sex, and they think they are viewing Christian behaviour.  It doesn’t matter if you or I protest that this isn’t real Christianity.

‘Allahu Akbar,’ which really means ‘Allah is greater than deity’, is preached five times a day from millions of minarets around the world.  By their declarations they proclaim that Islam is the only solution to all societal problems – moral, political and cultural.

Of course we protest and declare that in democratic societies there is freedom of thought and expression, but Muslims are not impressed.  Our decadence speaks far louder than any words.  I’m sure some of you think we are living authentic Christian lives because we are not behaving like the culture at large.  But the challenge to imitate Christ takes us to a much deeper level.  Listen to the apostle Paul: ‘But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people’ (Eph. 5:3).  ‘For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.  Having nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them’ (vv. 8-11).  That’s the challenge.  I’ve already asked the question:  Are we seeking to win Muslims to Christ?  It won’t help to preach the gospel to them if they can’t hear us because of what they see and hear from our culture.  We need to repent of the activities and behaviours that dishonour our Lord Jesus.  I know there are individual Christians who are taking a bold stand against western culture, but the reality is that too many Christians watch the movies and television shows and listen to the songs that celebrate our self-centred decadence.  The divorce rate among Christians is no better than that of the society as a whole.  If our morals are the same or only marginally better than the society at large, what message do we have for 1.2 billion Muslims who, at least outwardly, uphold a much higher moral standard? 

Many Christians conclude we need a revival.  I’m afraid that is not the answer.  Revival only fills pews.  Something far more powerful is needed – a cultural reformation.  True surrender of our lives to Jesus means we change our way of living.  When enough Christians do this, societal structures will change dramatically, based on the Word of God.  We will address poverty and crime and take care of the sick and infirm and address loose living and decadence.  The church in the West has shed too many of its responsibilities; it is no longer the guardian of morals.

How do we do this?  Paul instructs us: ‘Be imitators of God…and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us’ (Eph. 5:1-2).

We will be unable to win anyone to Christ, until we live lives based on true Christianity.  We will never win Muslims to Christ until we, as Christians stand up for righteousness. 

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”  Matthew 6:13-14

C.

I’ve been reading quite a bit online, regarding End Times, and to see scripture being played out right before my eyes…excites me to the very core! 

While I am saddened at witnessing the depravity of my own generation, I am also full of joy at the anticipation of Our Lord’s return.

A new low occured in my neighbourhood recently and I thought I would share…

Christmas is an Australian Tradition, one that has always been associated with the birth of Christ – noted as being a religious occasion.  During the week before Christmas, at a prominent local shopping centre, Christmas Carolers were required to leave the complex after complaints that their songs were of a “religious nature”!

How ridiculous!  I must say, while I was shocked that this could happen at all, I was also not really surprised.  It won’t take long for the proclaimation of Christianity to be totally banned.  I think many will be taken by surprise at the swiftness of censorship.    

It does amaze me, however, that our stores may be filled with genuinely offensive, provocative images, depressing or suggestive music and all the new age and alternative religious material you can imagine (including psychic booths and tarot card readings), but we can’t have “tidings of comfort and joy” at Christmas! 

I emailed the centre’s management to register my disgust at their decision to appease the “offended” few, though I am prepared for this sort of thing to become more and more common in our country.  With the Australian “She’ll be right” attitude, I expect that objections to censorship decisions will eventually cease and Christians will be forced into the shaddows. 

Bring it on!  May the coming of Our Lord draw ever nearer, swiftly.

C.