As nations such as Canada, Great Britain, the Netherlands (and many others in Europe) have become more secular, they have demonstrated a willingness to embrace virtually anything – anything except their traditional Christian foundations. In fact, they now regularly repudiate those foundations, promoting abortion, legalizing homosexual marriage, and changing their traditional legal codes. And accepting the falsehood that all beliefs are equal and that truth is relative, they have even been willing to incorporate Islamic Sharia law into their legal codes in order to protect the special practices of some Muslims living among them. This has energized many Muslims in those countries and they are displaying a new boldness that is vocal, visible, and demonstrably assertive.
Each year, nearly 5,000 Muslim “honor killings” occur across the world (a practice whereby parents kill children who allegedly bring “dishonor” on Islam by dating non-Muslims, wearing western garb, converting to another religion, etc.).
Dozens of those murders are committed in Europe, but in many of these formerly Christian nations, those who commit the “honor killings” (i.e., the murder of their own children) often go unpunished since the death of their child was “required” by Islamic law (now included in the legal law of the land). Additionally, many public personalities across Europe who criticized Islam have been murdered, causing Parliaments in the Netherlands and other European countries to forbid criticism of Islam in an effort to prevent further murders. These nations, having given up precious ground, are now having difficulty retaking it.
Historically, on this continent Christian America adopted an open free-market approach to all religions from the beginning. American Christians then (and now) were not fearful of other religions. They were confident that Christianity would prevail on its own merits and they therefore followed the Biblical precedent set forth in both the Old and New Testaments of simply presenting God’s word in a straightforward manner, expecting that the Holy Spirit will confirm His word in the hearts of hearers. Christians believe that on a level playing field, Christianity will always prevail through the voluntary choice of the people.
As a result, Christian America welcomed all religions, with Muslims arriving here by 1619, Jews establishing their first synagogue in 1654, and Buddhists, Hindus, and others also being present from the early days. Significantly, only America extended (and continues to extend) a free-market religious tolerance to others while still preserving the core societal values of our Christian heritage. But the culture has begun to shift. The level playing field is being eroded. As in Europe, Christianity is being knocked down and Islam elevated.
For example, a federal court of appeals ruled that public schools in nine western states can require a three week indoctrination to the Islamic faith
in which all junior high students must pretend they are Muslims and offer prayers to Allah (students are further encouraged to take Islamic names, call each other by those names, wear Islamic garb, participate in Jihad games, and read the Koran during those three weeks). Yet that very court also ruled that it was unconstitutional for those same students to voluntarily mention “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. Likewise, a federal court on the east coast ruled that public schools may display Islamic holiday symbols but not Christian ones. And the University of Michigan recently spent $25,000 of taxpayer money to install foot-washing facilities to accommodate the religious practices of Muslim students but made no similar expenditure on behalf of students from any other religion.
As a result of such actions, many Muslims are exercising a new boldness in America. In fact, Muslim “honor killings” have now arrived in the United States (most recently in Texas); and just a few weeks ago, direct action was taken to prevent the honor-killing of a 17-year old Muslim girl in Ohio who converted to Christianity and, in fear of her life, fled from her parents to Florida.
American Muslims have also enjoyed the direct support of President Obama. In April of 2010, he traveled to Egypt where he told the Muslim world that America no longer considers itself a Christian nation. He later traveled to Turkey and announced that America was one of the largest Muslim nations in the world (despite the fact that 78% of Americans claim to be Christians but only 1% claim to be Muslims). Then in May 2010, President Obama refused to invite Christian and Jewish leaders to the White House to participate in the National Day of Prayer (as former presidents have done), but in September, he did invite Muslim leaders to the White House for a special Muslim Ramadan celebration to commemorate Allah delivering the Koran to his prophet Mohammed.
Heartened by this new encouragement, Muslim leaders called 50,000 observant Muslims to come to the Capitol on Friday, September 25, 2010 for a day of Jummah (Friday congregational prayer). The sponsors promised that from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m., “the Athan [the call given five times each day for Muslims to participate in mandatory prayer] would be chanted on Capitol Hill, echoing off of the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and other great edifices that surround Capitol Hill.” The goal of this event was that “the peace, beauty and solidarity of Islam will shine through America’s capitol.” In fact, the website for this unprecedented event proudly and unabashedly declared, “Our Time Has Come!”
As Bible-believing people, let’s pray – and please encourage others to participate with you, that America’s heart will turn back to God. We know that our contest is with spiritual forces (Ephesians 6:12), and we firmly believe that He Who is within us is greater than any other god or force (1 John 4:4), so I encourage you to fill America with prayer to the True God this coming Friday.
P. S. This call for Christians to pray this Friday is not a prayer “competition” between Christianity and Islam, nor is it a spiritual Christian “jihad” or “holy war” (what an oxymoronic term – a holy war!). After all, in I Kings 18, Elijah encouraged the prophets of the god Baal to take more time in their praying; he didn’t object to their prayers, he just wanted to make sure that he was able to make his own prayers to the True God. This Friday offers a similar opportunity for those who fear God and believe His Scriptures to offer up their own prayers to Him.