The nation’s headlines of late are filled with stories devoted to the building of Islamic Mosques or Cultural Centers, bonfires where Korans are going to be burned on September 11, and the relationship between America and Islam.
I live in Murfreesboro, where an Islamic Cultural Center and place of worship has already been approved for construction. Arson has already been perpetrated against those beginning that construction. There has been considerable debate also over this proposed contruction.
I have to admit, that I am sorely disappointed at how many self-professing Christians are acting in response to this larger issue of Islam. Let me state at the outset that I am a Christian in the historic sense and believe the Bible is the infallible and authoritative word of God.
Therefore, I unashamedly believe that God sent his only Son, Jesus Christ to save sinners and redeem all of creation. Every human being is a sinner and so we must all face Jesus Christ when he returns. Either we will face Jesus Christ as our Savior, if we repent and trust in him now, or we will face him as our judge to be comdemned to hell for all eternity to pay for our sin against God.
So according to the Bible, those holding to Islam will not be saved but will be condemned to hell.
Yet, I think the public response by some who identify themselves with the Christian faith I hold, is lacking. It is lacking love.
I have to wonder whether the agitation of some to have Koran burnings is helpful for our Christian evangelism to Muslims in the United States or helpful for our Christian brothers who live in Muslim dominated countries. I believe the disrespect is shows Muslims will only harden their hearts more to the gospel and endanger our brothers in Muslim dominated lands.
Would we want Muslims in other lands celebrate their faith by burning available copies of the Bible?
Biblically, I am aware of what takes place in Acts 19:18-20, where those who formerly practiced the black arts burned their books after they came to faith in Jesus Christ, but I have to ask myself whether this text is descriptive (telling us what happened) or proscriptive (commanding us what to do), and I land on the former of the two.
What do Christians have to fear from the Koran? I am optimistic that if Christians will open their Bibles, respect those they evangelize, love them as their neighbor (Matt 22:39) or love them as their enemy (Matt 5:43), the message and love of Jesus will tower over all obstacles including Islam.
In fact, part of the problem surrounding this issue is this: Many self-professing Christians have no desire to follow Jesus’ teaching concerning love for our neighbors and enemies. Many of these self-professing Christians would rather Muslims be relegated to other parts of the world so they will never have to encounter them. Some Christians seem to have no concept that Jesus came to seek and save the lost, and we are to follow in his footsteps.
Furthermore, Christians need to wake up. This nation is no longer a “Christian Nation.” And if we advocate against the freedom of Muslims to build houses of worship and succeed, then Christians will likely be the next target in an ever-growing secular country. We will shortly find ourselves on the outside being denied city and county approval to build structures where we can come to worship.
I am aware of what could potentially happen down the road decades from this day. Because America is a representative democracy, we could eventually be a nation filled with Muslims. And one day if our nation is filled with Muslims, the laws and look of our nation could dramatically change. Sharia Law could one day be the law of this land. Well, I think we have to live with this tension.
Friends, the answer is not a politcal one. The answer is a Christian one. If every self-professing Christian in this nation would take up his cross to follow Jesus and observe all that he commanded us, the chances of this reality, that some fear so much, would probably never come to fruition.