Vol: 149 Issue: 28 Friday, February 28, 2014
There is sometimes a surprisingly fine line that manifests itself between what is true and what is propaganda or political correctness.
Take, for example, the question of Islam and terrorism. To some, because the Koran preaches conversion or death, that defines all Muslims as either terrorists or potential terrorists.
As I noted earlier, it is a fine line. It is a truth that Islam preaches conversion at the point of the sword. Most Islamic states include the sword in their national symbols. There are more than a thousand ways to say ‘sword’ in the Arabic languages.
But that is not the same as saying that ALL Muslims are terrorists. Not all Jews are pro-Israeli, either. In fact, the Kedash party in Israel is sending its Knesset representatives to the World Court to protest AGAINST Israel’s fence. There are Jewish religious and political parties in Israel who oppose Israel’s existence as a Jewish state.
To say that not all Muslims are the enemy SOUNDS naive, or worse, an attempt to be politically correct. But not all Muslims interpret the Koran the same way.
It isn’t that surprising; not all Christians interpret the Bible the same way.
There are Christians who oppose the state of Israel on religious grounds, like the mainstream Churches who teach replacement theology. To them, the State of Israel is just another country with no more spiritual significance than India.
There are also Christians who, reading the same Bible, believe Israel is the most important country on the face of the earth and that the ingathering of the Jews is evidence of the soon return of the Lord.
To argue that all Muslims support terror, or even that all Muslims believe that the purpose of Islam is forced conversion is to deny the evidence of the differences that exist under the banner of Christianity.
Strict Calvinists do not feel a particular need to lead people to Christ. They believe that since it is predestined anyway, why bother? Very few mainline churches proselytize.
Yet there are Christians who read the same Bible and believe that it is the duty of each Christian to lead another to Christ. Both exist simultaneously, and to the non-Christian, especially a non-Westerner, there is no real difference between them.
This is not a defense of Islam. The Allah of Islam is NOT the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, neither does Islam recognize the Lord Jesus Christ.
All that being said, not every Muslim is a terrorist. There are schools of Islam that embrace only the peaceful aspects of Islam — those same schools of Islamic thought made the Islamic Middle East the most advanced culture of the 10th century. That isn’t propaganda, it’s history.
Nevertheless, it poses a real problem for America.
It is not hate speech to speak the truth, provided the truth you speak is true.
The problem is, while every Muslim isn’t a terrorist, we are at war with Muslim terror. And the danger is, that in our efforts to safeguard the rights of the non-terrorist Muslim, we open a door to terrorist attacks from Islamic terrorists.
There is considerable objection from many quarters, (including this one) about the depth, scope and inherent dangers of anti-terror legislation, such as the Patriot Act.
On the other hand, there is that whole question about non-terrorist Muslims.
Is it possible in the US to outlaw a religion? If so, then preaching that religion would be a crime. The Constitution would have to go out the window. And if a religion can be outlawed, Christianity would not be far behind.
But it seems possible that the only way to win the war on terror will be to shred portions of the Constitution. Listen to the politicians competing for the nomination. They don’t want to fight terror directly, they want to legislate it out of existence.
They promise to end the war on terror by rescinding the Patriot Act, raising our taxes and bringing the military home from Iraq.
Having accomplished that, what will they do if we are attacked again? History says they will immediately legislate something.
The point is, we are facing an enemy whose religion, by its very existence, is a threat to national security. In very real terms, it is the religion itself that is the enemy.
But America is a nation founded on freedom of religion. It is a conundrum.
In studying the prophecies of the last days, we find national representatives of Israel, national representatives of the Gentile world, national representatives of the Islamic world, (Gog-Magog Alliance, for example) but no existing national representatives of Christianity.
And no suggestion of a national superpower apart from the revived Roman Empire.
The Apostle Paul wrote to Corinthinians about what he called a ‘mystery’. In Scripture, a ‘mystery’ is a new revelation from God.
In arguing against the heresy that there is no resurrection from the dead, Paul writes;
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-53)
In his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul explained that the Church was to;
“wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the WRATH TO COME.” (1 Thessalonians 1:10)
“For this we say unto you BY THE WORD OF THE LORD, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17-17)
Following Jesus’ Seven Letters to the Seven Churches in the first three chapters of the Book of the Revelation, beginning in Revelation 4:1 we read;
“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, COME UP HITHER, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.”
The Church is never again mentioned. Christians from that point forward are ‘Tribulation Saints’ — all of whom, it seems, are martyred.
Something has to explain the absence of the United States as a major player from the final hours of human history. Thoughout the Cold War, the only possible scenario was a nuclear war which would have destroyed the planet. And America faced no other risk to its national security apart from Communism.
I wish I could explain exactly what happens to America in the final hours of the last days that explains its absence. America is undergoing something of a spiritual revival, while at the same time, one senses a developing spiritual civil war between Christian America and the forces that represent abortion, gay rights, the porn industry, etc., etc.
At this point in history, there are dozens of ways one can reasonably guess America could collapse as a global power, from America’s spiritual civil war to Islamic terrorism to political implosion and absorption by the coming global government. (Every candidate for the White House has affirmed his faith in the UN as part of his particular election platform.)
Or, the Church could hear, ‘Come up hither’. That would explain everything, too.
Note: Today’s Letter was written pre-Obama. It is interesting to look back and fill in a few of the holes in the ‘mysteries’ as they unfold before our eyes. Alf Ceniga looks at “The Problem with Israel” and explains where the real problems lie.