Thoughts to Ponder

Radical Islam?

You hear a lot about radical Islam these days. Our President, who is a professing Christian, tells us that the enemy is radical Islam, not Islam as a whole. He even goes so far as to tell us that Islam is a peace loving religion.

Over and over we hear on the news that the terrorist who are out to kill us are a small faction of Islam who have hijacked this peaceful religion for their own purposes. We are told that Islam is a peaceful religion and although there are jihad passages in the Koran they are superseded by the peaceful passages and only the radicals use them to justify terrorism.

What is the truth? Well all you have to do is read the Koran for yourself and you will know the answer. Are there peace loving Muslims? Of course there are, but so what? Does that prove that their religion is a peace loving religion? No, it only proves that they don't understand their religion. You can find the same things in almost any religion. You can find Catholics who don't believe in transubstantiation, yet the Catholic Church teaches it. You can find Christians who don't believe that Jesus lived a sinless life, but if He didn't the whole foundation of Christianity crumbles.

The point is that just because a person believes something does not mean that their religion teaches it. So you can find 'moderate' Muslims who do believe in living a peaceful life along side of other people of other faiths. That does not change the fact that the Koran calls anyone who is not a Muslim an Infidel, nor does it change the fact that the Koran teaches that the Infidels should be killed where ever they are found unless they convert.

If you truly want to know what Islam is like all you have to do is look at the countries which are run by Muslims. Look at Sudan, look at Saudi Arabia, etc... You won't find tolerance for other religions, you won't find freedom for believers of other religions. What you will find is murder, beatings, rapes, and property confiscation of those of other religions. You will find the death penalty for anyone who coverts from Islam to any other religion.

Do the religious leaders and the political leaders really believe what they tell us about Islam being a peaceful religion? Do they truly believe that the majority of Muslims would like to live in peace with us? Or are they just being politically correct? Can't they see the people dancing in the streets when a Christian or a Jew is killed? Can't they hear the deafening silence coming from the 'moderate' clerics when innocent people are killed by these so called 'radical' few who have hijacked this peaceful religion?

Believe it or not, my concern is not with Islam as a whole, but rather with how people view it. We know that there is a one world religion coming. We know that the leader of that one world religion will be the mouth piece for the anti-Christ. These things are clearly spelled out in the Bible. Yet people seem to ignore all the signs around them that this is getting closer.

How can there be one world religion when there are so many different religions which are all so opposite of each other? Well if you have been watching and reading lately you will know that the world's religions are getting closer together all the time. Let me quote four brief stories which show what I am talking about:

Orthodox Jewish rabbi Yechiel Eckstein has lectured in new-evangelical schools and has been praised by Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and Paul Crouch for his ministry of building bridges between evangelicals and Jews. Eckstein defends the ancient Pharisees who Jesus said were of their father the devil, but he says Jesus never said those words recorded in John 8:44. Eckstein in 1994 plainly said: "But I'm not a Christian, I'm a Jew…I'm still a rabbi…" He frowns on evangelism of Jews and says Jews can be saved without Christ. He is president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, and calls himself a bridge-builder. Recently, 2,000 Christians and Jews met to pray for the peace of Jerusalem at First Baptist Church, Raytown, the largest Southern Baptist Church in Missouri.

The latest Alpha News reveals ever-closer ties between the growing Alpha phenomenon and the Roman Catholic Church. A recent sermon exalted Mary, not Christ. The Pope's June encyclical on Europe concluded: "There must be entrustment to Mary. The whole Church looks to Mary." The papacy now has its own Alpha office. Alpha founder Nicky Gumbel says "the differences between Protestants and RCs are totally insignificant compared to the things that unite us."

The World Council of Churches has extended an invitation to Roman Catholics, Pentecostals and Evangelicals to meet and consider new ways in which they might better work together in the future. According to an Ecumenical News International report, leaders from several WCC member churches and agencies issued a report on November 24, 2003, calling for representatives from the RCC as well as Pentecostal and Evangelical churches to meet prior to Nov. 2004 "to discuss forming a new network of relationships." The WCC is looking for new ways to "reconfigure the ecumenical movement" in order to create a broader umbrella of ecumenism with churches and agencies not currently affiliated with the WCC.

Fuller Seminary has received a $1 million grant from the Justice Department to help fund a project aimed at calming relations between Christians and Muslims, seeming to promote the idea that the two are equally acceptable religions. Its proposed interfaith code of ethics rejects offensive statements about each other's faiths, affirms a mutual belief in one God, and pledges not to proselytize. Nearly 100 retired SBC missionaries signed a plea in June asking Christian leaders to refrain from making inflammatory public statements about Islam which would harm missionary work in Muslim lands. An SBC spokesman said "for Fuller to declare that Christians and Muslims worship the same God would be a radical departure."

You might be wondering what this has to do with 'radical' Islam. It has everything to do with it. Every time a news program characterizes Islam as a peaceful religion which has been hijacked by extremists, or a politician claims that Muslims are just like us and love peace, but that their religion has been taken over by a small radical faction, or when a religious leader claims that the ties between Christianity and Islam should be strengthened, people listen and start to embrace what they think is the peaceful side to Islam. They want to believe that Islam is no danger to them so they are quick to embrace the peaceful side of Islam and hope that it will win out over the radical side.

The effect of this is that the one world religion gets closer to acceptance by even Christians, most of whom are naive and biblically ignorant.

Islam is a false religion which worships a god other than the true God of the Bible and we should not embrace it as an equal religion, whether the people are peaceful or not. Judaism today is a false religion, which rejects their own Messiah, we should not embrace them as an equal religion. Yes they are God's chosen people and we should pray for them and respect the fact that our Bible came through them and in fact our salvation came through them, but we should reject their 'way' to heaven and tell them that the only way is through the Messiah that they have rejected. Catholicism is a false religion, which teaches that what Christ did on the cross was not enough, that each of us must pay for his or her own sins in purgatory and which claims to sacrifice Jesus over and over again during every mass (although they use different words to say so). We should not embrace Catholicism as an equal religion. The list goes on and on, the Mormons, the Jehovah's Witness and countless more are not equal religions to be embraced. These false religions should all be rejected and we should stand firm in telling them and the world that the only way to heaven is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

The one world religion is coming and it is God's will that it does come, but we, as Bible believing, born again Christians, should not embrace it or be a party to it. We have seen the Light and we must walk in the Light.

2 Cor. 6:14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?

When we embrace these false religions, either by accepting them as equals or by refusing to take a stand and speak out, we are being bound together with them. The time is quickly coming when an article like this will land a person in jail. In the name of tolerance we have opened our arms to false religions and accepted them as just another way to God. They aren't, they are part of the wide road that leads to destruction. By accepting them and not telling them the truth, we are patting them on the back as they walk, or sometimes run towards an eternity in hell.

Yes we should be tolerant of all people's beliefs, to the extent that they have the right to believe what they choose, but tolerance is wrong when it is accompanied by acceptance. There is one God and He has revealed Himself through His word, any other god, no matter whether worshipped in peace and love or in violence, whether worshipped in formal rituals or pagan rites are all just other names for the devil.

The time is coming, and the signs are all around us, when the only religion which will not be tolerated is fundamental Christianity. In fact most Christians would rather be called anything these days other than a fundamentalist. The only intolerance which will be tolerated will be the intolerance of the 'intolerant' biblical Christianity.

Will you stand for Christ, proclaiming Him as the ONLY way to heaven and to a relationship with God the Father? Or will you dance down the wide road of destruction with the billions of believers in the one world religion? The cost could be substantial but the eternal reward will make the cost seem insignificant.

Matthew 10:28-39 "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. [29] "Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. [30] "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. [31] "So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. [32] "Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. [33] "But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. [34] "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. [35] "For I came to set a man against his FATHER, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; [36] and a man's enemies will be the members of his household. [37] "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. [38] "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. [39] "He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.

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These devotionals are written by Ralph Dettwiler, and reflect his views.

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July 2004