Category Archives: Worldview

Worldview Matters: Truth or Consequences?

Some say we should just ‘Coexist;’ live and let live, that all religions lead to the same place. But they can’t all be true… can they? Our worldview directly impacts how we live. We should at least consider why we believe what we believe. Unlike Christianity, world religions claim that humans can work, control, or […]

CultureWatch: The Collapsing Christian Worldview

On a regular basis, sadly, I find myself in debates with fellow believers who seem woefully clueless as to the biblical worldview. They seem to just regurgitate pagan thinking, beliefs and practice, yet still somehow think they are being good Christians.

worldview 1Too many Christians simply think and act like those in the surrounding culture, and they seem blissfully unaware that they really should not be doing this. But I am not alone in seeing such worldly Christianity out there – unfortunately researchers keep finding the same thing. Let me discuss one of the latest bits of research on this.

Summit Ministries started in America in 1962 and was led for nearly fifty years by David Noble, a champion in worldview studies. It has been the premier worldview course in the US with tens of thousands of young people profoundly impacted by it over the years.

And George Barna has been engaged in Christian research for almost as long, gauging the state of play of American Christianity. Now Summit and Barna have teamed up to measure just how much of a biblical worldview American Christians actually have. Sadly, the findings are not very encouraging.

A quick overview of the findings has shown that among practicing Christians:

-61% agree with ideas rooted in New Spirituality.
-54% resonate with postmodernist views.
-36% accept ideas associated with Marxism.
-29% believe ideas based on secularism.

Wow, that does not sound very good. But first a word about how the research was gathered. The researchers say this:

Research with practicing Christians (who go to church at least monthly and consider their faith very important in their life) included 1,456 web-based surveys conducted among a representative sample of adults over the age of 18 in each of the 50 United States. The survey was conducted in March 2017. The sampling error for this study is plus or minus 2.4%, at the 95% confidence level. Minimal statistical weighting was used to calibrate the sample to known population percentages in relation to demographic variables.
1Barna has tracked beliefs that make up a “biblical worldview” since 1995, with the data included in this article (17% of practicing Christians have a biblical worldview) coming from an OmniPoll conducted in an online study of 1,066 U.S. adults in July of 2015. Barna defines “biblical worldview” as believing that absolute moral truth exists; the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches; Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not merely symbolic; a person cannot earn their way into Heaven by trying to be good or do good works; Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; and God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today.

So let’s look at the findings a bit more closely. Consider the issue of the “New Spirituality”. This would include things like the New Age Movement, alternative religions, such as Eastern religions, as well as various aberrant Christian teachings. Here is what the researchers said about their findings:

Practicing Christians find the claims of New Spirituality among the most enticing, perhaps because it holds a positive view of religion, emphasizes the supernatural and simultaneously feeds into a growing dissatisfaction with institutions. For instance, almost three in 10 (28%) practicing Christians strongly agree that “all people pray to the same god or spirit, no matter what name they use for that spiritual being.” Further, the belief that “meaning and purpose come from becoming one with all that is” has captured the minds of more than one-quarter of practicing Christians (27%).
The New Spirituality worldview has also inched its way into Christian ethics; one-third of practicing Christians (32%) strongly agree that “if you do good, you will receive good, and if you do bad, you will receive bad.” This karmic statement, though not explicitly from scripture, appeals to many Christians’ sense of ultimate justice. For example, another Barna study found that 52 percent of practicing Christians strongly agree that the Bible teaches “God helps those who help themselves.”

While practicing Christians have long tended to hold a range of views regarding politics, economics and the like, the research results were also quite worrying in terms of all those flirting with or adhering to the tenets of Marxism. The authors found this:

Marxism as a worldview stands in opposition to the economics of capitalism and falls more in line with socialist or communist political ideologies. Marxism, though, is also founded on an irreligious—or even religiously hostile—foundation. Though not a single practicing Christian says they would actually vote for a communist party candidate (0%) and only 3 percent for the socialist party, some of the key economic and political tenets of a Marxist worldview are supported by practicing Christians, though less so than other worldviews.
For instance, only one in nine (11%) strongly agree that “private property encourages greed and envy.” This is more pronounced among practicing Christian Millennials (20%) and Gen-Xers (22%), who are four to six times as likely to believe this when compared to Boomers (4%) or Elders (5%). For socialists, reigning in greed is the purview of the state, and 14 percent of practicing Christians strongly agree that “the government, rather than individuals, should control as much of the resources as necessary to ensure that everyone gets their fair share.”
In total, Barna found that 36 percent of practicing Christians embraced at least one of the Marxist statements assessed in the research.

The idea that there is no real objective truth is a key tenet of postmodernism, not biblical Christianity. Yet incredibly it seems that many practicing Christians have abandoned biblical absolutes for the relativism of postmodernism:

Almost one-fifth of practicing Christians (19%) strongly agree that “no one can know for certain what meaning and purpose there is to life.” A similar perspective also resonates with many Christians when it comes to views of morality: Almost one-quarter of practicing Christians (23%) strongly agree that “what is morally right or wrong depends on what an individual believes.” Less educated Americans (high school or less) are more likely to affirm this view than their college-educated counterparts (31% compared to 21%).
As a whole, more than half (54%) of practicing Christians embrace at least one of the postmodern statements assessed in the research.

By way of summary the researchers say this about their findings:

“This research really crystalizes what Barna has been tracking in our country as an ongoing shift away from Christianity as the basis for a shared worldview. We have observed and reported on increasing pluralism, relativism and moral decline among Americans and even in the Church. Nevertheless, it is striking how pervasive some of these beliefs are among people who are actively engaged in the Christian faith,” Brooke Hempell, senior vice president of research for Barna, says.
“What stood out most to us was how stark the shift was between the Boomer and Gen-Xer generations,” Hempell remarks. “We expected Millennials to be most influenced by other worldviews, but the most dramatic increase in support for these ideals occurs with the generation before them. It’s no surprise, then, that the impact we see today in our social fabric is so pervasive, given that these ideas have been taking root for two generations.
“The challenge with competing worldviews is that there are fragments of similarities to some Christian teachings, and some may recognize and latch on to these ideas, not realizing they are distortions of biblical truths. The call for the Church, and its teachers and thinkers, is to help Christians dissect popular beliefs before allowing them to settle in their own ideology,” Hempell says. “Informed thinking is essential to developing and maintaining a healthy biblical worldview and faith as well as being able to have productive dialogue with those who espouse other beliefs.”

Orthodoxy – right thinking about God – is essential for the Christian. Yes as this research shows, plenty of Christians are not really thinking at all, let alone thinking rightly. Throughout Scripture we are told about the importance of right belief and right teaching.

And believers are also told not to let the world shape our thinking. As Paul put it in Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Yet sadly far too many Christians are doing just what Paul warned against. They are thinking just like pagans, and wondering why they have so little impact and influence on the surrounding culture. But if we think and act just like the world does, how can we expect to change it?

Let me conclude with a few brief quotes from some important Christian thinkers who certainly saw the vital importance of the Christian worldview. First, two quotes from Charles Colson:

“The world is divided not so much by geographic boundaries as by religious and cultural traditions, by people’s most deeply held beliefs – by worldviews.”

“The church’s singular failure in recent decades has been the failure to see Christianity as a life system, or worldview, that governs every area of existence.”

And as Francis Schaeffer reminds us, we need both orthopraxis as well as orthodoxy:

“As Christians we are not only to know the right worldview, the worldview that tells us the truth of what is, but consciously to act upon that worldview so as to influence society in all its parts and facets across the whole spectrum of life, as much as we can.”

http://www.barna.com/research/competing-worldviews-influence-todays-christians/

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The post The Collapsing Christian Worldview appeared first on CultureWatch.

Information Enigma: 21-minute video explains intelligent design

WINTERY KNIGHT

Can random mutation and natural selection create new functional information? Can random mutation and natural selection create new functional information?

The video is here:

I have read and listened and watched a lot of material on intelligent design, but I have never seen so much value packed into such a short lecture. I really hope you’ll watch this and that it’s helpful to you.

Summary:

  • the big question when discussing the origin of life: where did the information in living systems come from?
  • Until 530 million years ago, the oceans were largely devoid of life
  • In a 10 million year period, many new forms of animal life emerged
  • New biological forms of life require new information
  • the discovery of DNA shows that living systems work because cells have information that allows them to build the components of molecular machines: cell types, proteins, etc.
  • can random mutation and natural selection create new functional information?
  • normally, random mutations tend to degrade the functionality of…

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Albert Mohler Blog: “Will Beauty Save the World?”

In this essay, Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. reflects on the nature of true beauty in the Christian worldview. Mohler writes:

“The Christian worldview posits that anything pure and good finds its ultimate source in the self-existent, omnipotent God who is infinite in all his perfections. Thus the Christian worldview reminds us that the “transcendentals”—the good, the true, and the beautiful—are inseparable. Thus when Psalm 27 speaks of the beauty of the Lord, the Psalmist is also making a claim about the goodness of the Lord and the truthfulness of the Lord. While we distinguish God’s attributes from one another in order to understand them better, we must also recognize that these attributes are inseparable from one another.”

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Human Identity in Crisis

Things have changed. The “Four Spiritual Laws” or “Evangelism Explosion” no longer work for many. People are losing their identity. They long for human rights and personal dignity, but these things only come from God the Creator, whom they reject. The Gospel is still the answer, which they unknowingly long to hear. The God who created us in His image restores our fallen identity by the death of His Son, who stood in our place to bear our sin and has become, by grace, our new identity.

 

A few weeks ago Rush Limbaugh announced that the fastest growing crime in the West is identity theft. It is true that we hear a lot about illegal hacking in the news cycle, as individuals, businesses and even nations have their deepest secrets exposed. But the real crime is the theft of the source of human dignity, namely, the Creator. The removal of God from cultural consciousness, eliminates the true source of human identity. According to a recent study, 91% of adults agree that “the best way to find yourself is by looking within yourself” and 86% say that “to be fulfilled in life, you should pursue the things you desire the most.””[1]  The radicals smell imminent victory. Progressive professor Mark Tushnet, of Harvard Law School declares: “The culture wars are over; they lost, we won….taking a hard line (“You lost, live with it”) is better than trying to accommodate the losers.”[2] There will be no accommodations or exceptions.

In once “Christian” Scotland an evangelical youth group from Texas offered a free concert in a shopping center. National newspapers compared this to Nazi or ISIS indoctrination.[3] In these conditions, we are losing the Christian identity of our Western culture but we are also losing our individual identity.

In these new conditions, liberated from God, people believe they can create their own identity–males who think they are female and females who believe they are males, or a 58-year old husband and father who now is sure he is a six-year-old girl.True human identity now depends on how we individually define ourselves sexually.[4] And just recently Hugh Hefner, creator of Playboy, confirms this, declaring the victory of the sexual revolution that he helped begin in the 1960s.[5]

At truthxchange we have often focused on the rise of homosexuality and the presumed right of same-sex attracted people, some within the church, to self-identify as “gay” and to practice homosexual sex legally, thereby denying the image of God as male and female. (See our conference, October 7-9, 2016). However, this is not the only problem. One of the major causes of identity loss is the massive fixation on pornography-even in the Church!

The statistics for Christian men between 18 and 30 years old are particularly striking: 77 percent look at pornography at least monthly; 36 percent view pornography on a daily basis; 32 percent admit being addicted to pornography (and another 12 percent think they may be).[6] In 2016, the Barna Research Group discovered that nearly 40% of “practicing Christians who actively seek out porn” feel comfortable with how much porn they use. Only “1/3 of practicing Christian porn users” say they “feel a sense of guilt when they use porn.” In the culture at large the results on teenage sexting are equally disconcerting for the rising generation. “Teens and young adults [are] coming of age in a culture…that encourages and rewards the pornographic impulse.” The rising new identity is pornographic.

A sensitive article evaluating the Barna report makes some valid points:

  1. Pornography isn’t going away anytime soon;
  2. Our moral trajectory is convoluted.”Teens and young adults surveyed said it was worse to not recycle (56%) than to look at pornography (32%)”;
  3. Porn destroys sex and marriage. “[P]eople’s perspective on the purpose of sex is moving away from “an expression of intimacy between two people who love each other” and toward “self-expression and personal fulfillment…”;
    4. Deception is deadly.Barna found that “if you use porn often, you’re more likely to feel okay about it.”

If porn destroys marriages, what will happen to the general moral tenor of our society? The young people of today will become the public officials of tomorrow, brainwashed into serving their desires and fantasies and unable to make sound judgments.

The Bride of Christ must be above reproach. She must offer wise and serious marital counseling for those caught up in this perversion, and intentionally teach her children from their earliest age to avoid this satanic trap.

Things have changed. The “Four Spiritual Laws” or “Evangelism Explosion” no longer work for many. People are losing their identity. They long for human rights and personal dignity, but these things only come from God the Creator, whom they reject. The Gospel is still the answer, which they unknowingly long to hear. The God who created us in His image restores our fallen identity by the death of His Son, who stood in our place to bear our sin and has become, by grace, our new identity.

[1] The Barna Research Group’s 2016 survey, The Porn Phenomenon.

[2] Laurie Higgins, “Harvard Law Professor to Conservatives: You’re Losers, Live With It,” BarbWire, (June 30, 2016).

[3] http://www.wnd.com/2016/07/christian-youth-choir-likened-to-nazis-isis/#!

[4] See a very useful article on this report by Gareth Kell: http://theaquilareport.com/12-observations-after-reading-the-porn-phenomenon/.

[5] http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2016/07/10/hugh-hefner-declares-victory-sexual-war-republicans/.

[6] A 2014 survey, Proven Men Ministrieshttp://www.charismanews.com/us/45671-shocker-study-shows-most-christian-men-are-into-porn

Dr. Peter Jones is scholar in residence at Westminster Seminary California and associate pastor at New Life Presbyterian Church in Escondido, Calif. He is director of truthXchange, a communications center aimed at equipping the Christian community to recognize and effectively respond to the rise of paganism. This article is used with permission.

3 Differences Between Christianity & Other Religions

Religion

dunningsclass.com

If there’s one thing to which human history overwhelmingly testifies, it is that we are fervently religious creatures. Among the rocks and rubble of human cultures throughout the millennia is evidence of the pursuit of spiritual things. As humanity, we have exerted extraordinary effort into the worship of figures such as Ra, Gaia, Dazhbog, Zeus, Aphrodite, Shiva, Vishnu, Izanagi, Izanami, Ahura Mazda, and gods of our own understanding. We’ve worshiped rocks, stars, trees, comfort, the dead, the living, and even ourselves. The world has seen her brahmins, caliphs, Siddartha Gautamas, and Joseph Smiths. We are natural-born worshipers.

And you’ve probably heard it said before. “When it comes down to it, most of the world religions are pretty much the same.” But is that true? For example, Judaism, Mormonism, Islam, and Christianity; they propose a problem with the world, a solution, and the worship of a deity. Other religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Shinto, Rastafarianism, Wiccan, and Neo-Paganism feature categorically similar threads.

Nevertheless, while many of the world’s religions have similar features, biblical Christianity differs radically from them all. There are a handful of things which put it in a category of its own. Without understanding these differences, we cannot properly comprehend Christianity.

Here are three major differences between Christianity and other religions:

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Dangers and Consequences of Christian Universalism

Dangers and Consequences of Christian Universalism (Part 1)

Rajkumar Richard

Christian_UniversalismSome Christians, who endorse Universalism a.k.a. Christian Universalists, vociferously claim that all people (irrespective of spirituality and/or morality) are heaven-bound. They believe in the following:

(1) Christ’s atoning death is for the salvation of all mankind.

(2) The historical-grammatical interpretation of the Bible is incorrect e.g. ‘Hell’ lacks context; there is no literal (physical) hell.

(3) One cannot comprehend truth (resorting to relativism or uncertainty). God can do anything.

(4) God will annihilate the unbelievers after their death (Annihilationism).

Christian Universalists need not believe in all the reasons presented above. They could believe in one or a few.

Christian Universalism negates the fundamental tenets of Historical Christianity.

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Dangers and Consequences of Christian Universalism: Cultic Status & Hellfire (Part 2)

Rajkumar Richard

ChristianUniversalism2See Part 1
Can a Loving God Send People to hell?

Does God take pleasure in the death of the wicked? No (Ezekiel 33: 11). Does God desire that all be saved? Yes (1 Timothy 2: 4; 2 Peter 3:9). Has God done everything for man to believe in HIM? Yes. So, can a loving God send people to hell? Yes! But the question is not fully correct! God does NOT send people to hell. Instead, people choose hell.

C.S Lewis said, “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.” 1 Another perspective is from William Lane Craig, “The exercise of saving faith is not a work we perform for salvation, but merely the allowing of the Holy Spirit to do His work in us. Far from making unreasonable expectations, God is ready to equip anyone for salvation. We have only not to resist.” 2

Man decides his eternal destination, and God allows it.

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John MacArthur: Science Has Nothing to Say About Creation; Darwin Was an Agent of Satan

In a recent sermon titled, “The Eyewitness Account of Creation,” John MacArthur challenged every Christian who believes in evolution.

Preaching out of the early chapters of Genesis, MacArthur showed how God alone was witness to the beginning of the universe. He emphasized the Biblical account over scientific theories, like evolution, “The Bible is not theory, it is not, as such; it is history, it is fact, it is reality, it is truth.

MacArthur illustrated this point,

“If God came to you and said, ‘I made everything in six days.’ 

What would you say? ‘Well you see God there are some things you need to know about science.’”

MacArthur continued to poke holes in the credibility of evolutionary science,

“Science came into existence as a result of creation. Science has nothing to say about creation. All science is based on observation, verification by repetition. You observe it, you verify it by repeating it. Creation had no observers. It can’t be verified because it can’t be repeated. It is not observable; it is not repeatable. It did not happen according to any laws that we know about. It did not happen by a way that is predictable, repeatable, or fixed. In a word, creation was a massive, supernatural miracle. And if you just let it be what it is, you’re going to get science out of it; and science belongs out of it.”

Later in the sermon, MacArther reminded his listeners how God might respond to those who believe in evolution, quoting Job 38:

“Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know!”

MacArthur ended by exploring what God’s priority was in the act of creation:

“What is the reason for the creation? What is God’s priority in His creation? What’s His purpose? Why did God create this entire world?”

Listen to Ephesians 3, verse 9, here’s the answer: ‘To bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things.’ Why? ‘So that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord.’

 Do you understand what you just heard? He created all things so that He might through the church manifest His glory to the angels in accordance with His eternal purpose. What’s His eternal purpose? The whole creation exists so that God can redeem humanity, take His redeemed church to heaven, and by that redeemed church give testimony to the angels of His mercy and grace and redemption. All of creation exists so that God could redeem sinners to take them to heaven for His own eternal glory.”

Watch John MacArthur’s message here:

The post John MacArthur: Science Has Nothing to Say About Creation; Darwin Was an Agent of Satan appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.

Men Loved Darkness Rather Than Light: Because Their Deeds Were Evil

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

prayer-pic-11

I asked the Lord during prayer time why it is that the world hates Christians more than any other faith.  I heard Him in my heart confirm this passage of Scripture to me:

“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).

I knew it was Him telling me this. It completely explained the hatred, the killing, and the total intolerance of the message of the Gospel to those who reject it.  The message of the Gospel is that we are sinners and are in darkness. Jesus asks that we acknowledge that we are sinners, and that we need Him as our Savior. Repent and believe – that is it. But men loved darkness rather than light.

The left wing tolerance of radical Islam

I have wondered for a very long time why…

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William Lane Craig debates atheist Lawrence Krauss: Does God Exist?

WINTERY KNIGHT

British Spitfire and German Messerschmitt Me 109 locked in a dogfight British Spitfire and German Messerschmitt Me 109 locked in a dogfight

Here is the video from the third debate from Dr. William Lane Craig’s speaking tour in Australia.

Format:

  • William Lane Craig (15 min)
  • Lawrence Krauss (15 min, but was actually 21:40)
  • Moderated discussion
  • Question and answer

Dr. Graham Oppy, the moderator, is a well-known atheist philosopher. He let Dr. Krauss speak for 21 minutes and 40 seconds, which is why my summary of Krauss is so long.

The video:

Summary

After careful consideration, I decided not to be snarky at all in this summary. What you read below is what happened. There may be some small mistakes, but I will fix those if people tell me about them. I also included some quotes and timestamps for the more striking things that Dr. Krauss said.

The debate itself starts at 4:50 with Dr. Craig’s opening speech. He does use…

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Video: What’s Your Worldview? By James Anderson at Ligonier 2016 National Conference

The Domain for Truth

Dr. James Anderson is a Christian theologian, philosopher and apologist who teaches at Reformed Theological Seminary.  I appreciate the fact that he’s a Presuppositionalists and has written many scholarly journal articles in addition to his wonderful interactive book What’s Your Worldview? by James N. Anderson which I have reviewed on this blog in the past.

I was glad to hear that Ligonier Ministries has given him the opportunity to speak at their 2016 National Conference.  This is wonderful and somewhat of a surprised for myself, given how RC Sproul doesn’t necessarily think highly of Presuppositional apologetics.

Below is the video of Dr. Anderson’s presentation.  It is under 20 minutes in duration so worth the watch.

If you enjoyed it, again I would recommend you to consider his book “What’s Your Worldview? by James N. Anderson.”

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Albert Mohler Blog: “Everything That is Solid Melts Into Air — The New Secular Worldview”

This post is the third in a four part series on the relationship between secularization and the sexual revolution. Mohler writes:

“The story of the rise of secularism is a stunning intellectual and moral revolution. It defies exaggeration. We must recognize that it is far more pervasive than we might want to believe, for this intellectual revolution has changed the worldviews of even those who believe themselves to be opposed to it. Everything is now reduced to choice, and choice is, as Taylor reminds us, central to the moral project of late modernity, the project of individual authenticity.

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NTEB: Super Bowl 50 Filled With Illuminati And Pro-LGBT Imagery Dominates Halftime Show

Source: Super Bowl 50 Filled With Illuminati And Pro-LGBT Imagery Dominates Halftime Show

In these photos you can clearly see the obelisk-shaped platform combined with a cross, and a throng of people rushing in to symbolize the global embrace of the One World agenda.

Continuing in a vein that has now become firmly entrenched over the past few years, the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show was a non-stop cavalcade of pro-LGBT and Illuminati imagery pushing a One World sensibility. Everything from rainbow-colored everything to the stage itself forming a cultic New Age cross whose center was a swirling chaos of confusion, the message was driven home. Super Bowl 50 was for the One World generation.

pro-lgbt-illuminati-cold-play-beyonce-images-on-display-super-bowl-50

In these photos you can clearly see the obelisk-shaped platform combined with a cross, and a throng of people rushing in to symbolize the global embrace of the One World agenda.

cold-play-pro-lgbt-images-on-display-super-bowl-50

No longer are these shows about the music, it is all about the “message”. All these people are waiting for now is the appointed “messenger”. Antichrist. That’s what this unsaved world can expect to receive. But to us who are saved, we are waiting for the “blessed hope” promised to all born again, blood washed believers.

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:13 (KJV)

Herescope: Christ or Allah

Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?

This is eternal life, that they may know You,
the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

—Jesus, John 17:3, NASB
A Gutenberg Bible (Source)
By Pastor Larry DeBruyn

For demonstrating solidarity with Muslims by wearing a head scarf and stating that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, a Wheaton College professor was recently placed on administrative leave by that evangelical Christian institution. This incident again raises issues about the compatibility of Christianity and Islam. With Pope Francis, Christians are stating both religions worship the same God, and that between the deities the Bible and Koran reveal there’s no essential difference (Or for that matter, with the God of Judaism either.). The reasoning promoting sameness might go something like this:

  • Judaism is monotheistic;
  • Christianity is monotheistic;
  • Islam is monotheistic;
  • Therefore, all three religions worship the same God.

But before dealing with the question as to whether Muslims and Christians worship the “same” God, some preliminary points need to be made regarding the issue.

Love
Both Jesus and Paul ordered that Christians are to love, pray for and do good to all people, neighbors and enemies (Luke 10:27). Counteracting the established attitude of His day—“You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy”—Jesus said, “But I say unto you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43-44). The Apostle Paul added that Christian believers are to “do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith” (Galatians 6:10; Compare Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14.). So the Christian faith gives no warrant for its believers to hate and do violence toward those people whose religions do not agree with theirs.

Unfortunately, Christian history informs us that Christians have not always acted the way Jesus tells them to, whether to those inside the church or outside the faith (e.g., martyrs, Crusades and Counter-Reformation, etc.).[1] So all confessed Christians should share Miroslav Volf’s belief that, “Commitment to the properly understood love of God and neighbors makes deeply religious persons… into dedicated social pluralists.”[2] Even though their faith differs, Christians are to seek to peacefully coexist with Muslims. But the overriding question becomes, will Jihad and the Islamic vision of a worldwide Caliphate or Christian Dominionism allow for it?

(Source)

The Crusades
In an effort to seek some moral equivalency between Christianity and Islamic terrorism, some news commentators attempt to make an analogy between the Christian Crusades of the past and Islamic Jihad today, as if what the Crusaders did then provides understanding, if not justification, for what Islamic Jihadists are doing now. But between the two there is no equivalency, either historical or moral.

First, the historical circumstances are different. This is the modern world and not the Middle Ages (1096-1290). Though Christians used the sword back then, they do not appear to be doing so now. (To this point, it should be pointed out that the United States is not a Christian nation, either politically or morally. Where in any of this nation’s founding documents do you see Christ’s name mentioned? Do you think that the moral filth promoted in and by our culture arises from a “Christian” nation?) Furthermore, to the extent that Crusaders used the sword then they disobeyed Christ even if the goal was to liberate Christian holy sites from Muslim control. We should also note that today Islamists, not Christians, are pursuing Jihad. Islamic extremists are decapitating Christians. Christians are not decapitating Muslims. And finally, the goal of radical Islam is to establish a world government on earth (a Caliphate) governed by Shariah law as codified from The Quran and Muhammad’s sayings (i.e., the hadith). The difference between the Crusades on the one hand and Jihad on the other is that of liberation as opposed to domination. When the kingdom comes then let Jesus bring it. Until He does, we are to remember what Jesus told His disciples.

My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.
—John 18:36, NASB

In short, there is no moral equivalency between the Christian Crusades of the Middle Ages and Islamic Jihad today.* This having been stated, we turn now to the question: Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?

(Source)

The Question
On the dedication page of Allah: A Christian Response (the book which stimulated the Wheaton professor Larycia Hawkins to take her public solidarity-stance with Muslims), Yale theologian Miroslav Volf dedicated his book as follows:

To my father, a Pentecostal minister who admired Muslims, and taught me as a boy that they worship the same God as we do.[3]

In asserting some sort of solidarity between the Gods (i.e., Christ and Allah, and by implication, Jehovah too), Volf is not alone.[4] In 2009, in a document titled A Common Word Between Us and You, scores of Muslim leaders and scholars sought reconciliation with Christians for purpose of mutual understanding and peace between the great monotheistic faiths descended from Abraham; Judaism, Christianity and Islam.[5] In response, numbers of Christian leaders, in a full page advertisement that appeared in the New York Times, responded to the overture by publishing a document titled, Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to A Common Word Between Us and You. The document’s signatories included such well known evangelical and emergent church leaders** as Leith Anderson (President of the National Association of Evangelicals), Bill Hybels (Founder and Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church), Tony Jones (Emergent Village), Brian McLaren (Author, Speaker and Activist), Bob Schuller (The Crystal Cathedral), Rick Warren (Saddleback Church), George Verwer (Operation Mobilization) and Jim Wallis (Sojourners).[6] Further, in a recent translation of the Bible into Arabic, Wycliffe Bible Translators have substituted name of Allah for God.[7] All of which is to say the Wheaton professor’s stance only spotlights again an issue (called a “conversation”) that has been simmering among Christians, evangelical and liberal, for some time.

Semantic Game—does “similar” mean “same”?
Some evangelicals equate that because Christianity and Islam are monotheistic faiths (belief in one God), Christians and Muslims worship the same God, the synthesis being labeled, “Chrislam.”[8] Mega church leader Rick Warren called the merger the King’s Way.[9] Advocates for the fusion of the faiths view that any differences between the two religions are but superficial. So to promote an ecumenism between the two faiths, the word “same” is skewered to mean “similar.”[10] The Gods both faiths espouse are thought to be “sufficiently similar” so as to be understood as identical.[11] The difference between the Gods therefore becomes one of semantic metaphor (i.e., depending upon what the meaning of “is . . . is.”). So to promote similarity, ecumenists appeal to the “nobler side” of the two faiths; that is, the common ground of religious experience or feelings for which metaphors give vague expression.[12] This of course, is mysticism, and entails all devotees—whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, etc.—worshipping at the shrine of shared religious experiences.[13] Any cognitive differences between various faiths are lost in the sea of subjectivity or existential dump. After all, in the cosmos “sufficiently similar” experiences of God in the immediate can only mean that all religions worship the “same” God in the ultimate; never mind that Yahweh told Israel, “you shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3; See Deuteronomy 6:4-5.). Should it be accused that Christians break the 1st Commandment by worshipping a god besides Yahweh, it should be stated that Jesus declare Himself to be the “I am” of the Old Testament (Compare Exodus 3:14 with John 8:24, 28, 58). According to Holy Scripture, to worship Jesus Christ is to worship Jehovah. But the converse is not true. To worship Jehovah, but reject Jesus, is not to worship Christ.

So the gods are all believed to be the same because religious experiences of worship are similar. One can only wonder whether this subjective template works in real life. For example, in the counterfeiting industry, whether it be fake dollars, brand name products, art, and so on, whether “sufficiently similar” qualifies as “same.” I don’t think so, and neither does the law! We turn now to the impassible gulf which exists between the Gods of Christianity and Islam.

Gutenberg Bible (Source)

Who God Is
Of His being, the New Testament declares, “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16). Love defines the essential inter-personal nature of the Triune God out of which all His actions and relationships arise.[14] But loving is not a separate activity of God, but rather is integral to all that He does! Out of love God created the universe and in love He rules and judges it. In all of this, God loves personally, this heavenly love being mirrored in the most sensitive of human relationships—the earthly love of family and other people created in the image and likeness of God. So whether to Israel or the church, Scripture pictures God as either married or betrothed to His people (Isaiah 54:5a; Revelation 19:7; Ephesians 5:25-32). In God’s family, believers are His “children” and His “sons.” As the Apostle declares,

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage [i.e., ‘slavery,’ NASB] again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
—Apostle Paul, Romans 8:14-15, KJV

Because humans have been created in God’s image, we desire to be accepted and loved. But because Islam denies the Trinity, the religion possesses no ontological basis for affirming God is love. In its view, God is essentially will. So in comparing the Christian God to Islam’s, Samuel Zwemer (1867-1952), noted scholar of and missionary to Muslims, commented:

The human heart craves a God who loves; a personal God who has close relations with humanity; a living God who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities and who hears and answers prayer. Such a God the Koran does not reveal.[15]

Zwemer then takes this theological observation a step further by noting that, “A being who is incapable of loving is also incapable of being loved.”[16] This essential difference causes fallout between what the two religions believe about and how they practice their distinct faiths.

(Source)

Submission
Because Allah is not love, there can be no reciprocal love between subject (God) and object (humans) and vice versa, only submission; and that is the meaning of the distinctive name Mohammed chose to promote his religion. “The word Islam… means ‘submitting [oneself or one’s person to God]’.”[17] In other words, a Muslim is one who submits, period. Because ideas have consequences, the role of submission colors the whole fabric of the Islamic way of life, in everything from the way women dress to saying Daily Prayers to practicing The Five Pillars and to being governed by Sharia law (i.e., living in strict agreement with and submission to the law contained in The Quran and hadith, Mohammed’s sayings).

The Muslim religion is one of will, not emotion, of action, not affection. The essence of being a Muslim is submission to Allah and observing Islam’s Five Pillars (e.g., profession of faith, prayer five times daily, alms giving, fasting during Ramadan, and pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime). Even the head, face, and body coverings worn by Muslim women communicate submission to Allah, their husbands and governing authority. Islam expects veiled women to submit without equivocation to their husbands and the state. If anyone, male or female, does not submit they are considered kafirs (unbelievers) or apostates, the latter category possibly being punishable by death.

So having studied Islam for several years, Marvin Olasky noted that the “father-son” relationship existing between God and Christians is unknown to Muslims. Islam means “submission,” and the Islamic model of the divine-human relationship is therefore that of “master-servant,” a relationship that becomes mirrored throughout the Islamic world.[18] In comparison to Jesus’ command to Christians to “make disciples of all nations,” the order for Muslims is to make subjects of all nations, and Bill Warner notes that, “political Islam has subjugated civilizations for 1,400 years.”[19] Dominion theology, it seems, is not only the “domain” of some Christians. In short and in contrast to Christianity which is based upon love, grace and faith, Islam is a religion based upon submission, laws and works, and these beliefs affect behavior. So it becomes difficult to see how two polar approaches to God and life can derive from the same deity. In their beliefs, observations and applications to life the religions are neither similar nor same. So in his argument that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, Miroslav Volf admits :

In addition to contesting the Trinity and the incarnation, Muslims also contest the Christian claim that God is love—unconditional and indiscriminate love. There is no claim in Islam that God “justifies the ungodly” and no command to love one’s enemies. But these are the signature claims of the Christian faith. Take redemption of the ungodly and love of enemy out of the Christian faith and you un-Christian it.[20]

(Source)

Worship
The evangelical church today has demeaned worship to mean feeling good about ourselves and God, something Ralph P. Martin called “the tyranny of subjectivism.” This is the level at which evangelicals find “sameness” in the worship of God. But worship is not whipping up enthusiasm to give people a psychological boost. As Martin tells readers, “God’s love expressed in Christ’s cross, suffering, and victory is no cheap idea or sentiment.”[21] So in its simplest understanding, worship is the acknowledgement of the “worth-ship” of God. But who are Christians to worship?

To cut to the point, Christians worship, as Jesus affirmed, the Triune God who in the being of His divine essence eternally subsists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). As regards worship of the Triune God, Scripture informs us that the heavenly reality of it accords with “the seven Spirits” before the throne who direct worshippers to give glory, honor and praise equally to the Throne-sitter and to the Lamb (Revelation 5:6, 11-14; See Hebrews 1:6.). In and by the Holy Spirit Christians are to worship the Lord Jesus Christ who is ascended to the right hand of Majesty on High (Hebrews 1:3; 8:1). It is He to whom the Spirit bears witness (John 15:26). As one theologian, with whom I disagreed on many issues while he was yet alive, bluntly stated, “Worship, if done in response to anything other than the mystery of God in Christ, is idolatry.”[22] So the worship of the church on earth ought to mirror the Christ-centric worship the Bible describes as taking place in heaven. This brings us to the heart of the matter concerning whether or not Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

In contrast to orthodox Christians, no Muslim would ever confess “Jesus is Lord” (1 Corinthians 12:3) or worship Him as God (John 20:28; Jude 24-25). Granted, Jesus is declared to be a high ranking prophet by The Quran, but Islam considers it blasphemy to believe He is God (See John 10:30-33.).[23] Therefore because they do not worship the Lord Jesus Christ, Muslims, as well as Jews, do not worship the same God as Christians.*** We worship the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:9-11), and one day so will the rest of the world. Muslims cannot, do not and will not worship “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). To imagine a hypothetical, but straightforward, conversation between a Christian and his/her Jewish or Muslim friend, the Christian might ask, “Do you worship Jesus Christ?” If the answer is: “No!” (And invariably if the Muslim or Jew is informed regarding his or her faith, the answer will be, “No!”), then the only response of the Christian can be, “Then we do not worship the same God for I worship the Lord Jesus Christ and you do not.”

The resurrection of Jesus Christ (Source)

Conclusion
When this impasse is understood, the best we can do therefore, is peacefully agree to disagree and let God sort all this out in the end, something that, personally, I am comfortable with (Revelation 20:11-15). Hopefully, neither religion will fanatically demand that its devotees can nowise tolerate or abide the others’. Meanwhile, Christians ought to understand that as the Apostle John stated,

We are in Him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
—Apostle John, 1 John 5:20b-21, NASB

It is evident that Christians (some deliberately, many mistakenly and others naively) are equating that because Christianity and Islam are monotheistic (believing in one God) faiths, they worship the same God. To the contrary, in that Christians worship Christ and Muslims will not, we do not worship the same God.

Endnotes
[1] See John Foxe, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, W. Grinton Berry, Editor (Fincastle, VA: Scripture Truth, n.d.). To this point, historians note that during the 20th Century greater numbers of people were put to death in the name of irreligion (i.e., Hitler, Stalin, etc.) than in previous centuries. People, it appears, have far more to fear from the state than from the church.
[2] Scot McKnight, “The ‘Same’ God? Volf Speaks,” Jesus Creed, December 16, 2015 (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2015/12/16/the-same-god-12/). In his blog post McKnight references Volf’s book (p. 32) on this point.
[3] Miroslav Volf, Allah: A Christian Response (New York, NY: HarperCollins eBooks, 2011) Front Matters, Kindle Sample (http://www.amazon.com/Allah-Christian-Response-Miroslav-Volf/dp/0061927082/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1450723872&sr=1-4#reader_0061927082).
[4] Miroslav Volf, “Wheaton professor’s suspension is about anti-Muslim bigotry, not theology,” The Washington Post, December 17, 2015 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/12/17/wheaton-professors-suspension-is-about-anti-muslim-bigotry-not-theology/).
[5] A Common Word Between Us and You (Jordan: The Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, January, 2009). A copy of the document is available at: http://www.acommonword.com/downloads/CW-Booklet-Final-v6_8-1-09.pdf.
[6] Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to A Common Word Between Us and You. A copy of the advertisement is available at: http://www.yale.edu/divinity/news/071118_news_nytimes.pdf. Joe Schimmel of Good Fight Ministries, has produced a DVD with the title, The Submerging Church. In the presentation, he draws attention to evangelicals and emergents who attempt to merge Christianity and Islam. For a cameo from the video, see http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=9076.
[7] Michael Carl, “Wycliffe Defends Changing Titles for God,” WND Faith, February 2, 2012 (http://www.wnd.com/2012/02/wycliffe-defends-changing-titles-for-god/.) Carl notes: “Involved is the removal of any references to God as ‘Father,’ to Jesus as the ‘Son’ or ‘the Son of God.’ One example of such a change can be seen in an Arabic version of the Gospel of Matthew produced and promoted by Frontiers and SIL [i.e., Wycliffe’s Summer Institute of Linguistics]. It changes Matthew 28:19 from this: “baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”; to this: “cleanse them by water in the name of Allah, his Messiah and his Holy Spirit.”
[8] Rob Kerby, “What is ‘Chrislam’ and who preaches it?” beliefnet: Inspiration. Spirituality. Faith. (http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2011/10/what-is-chrislam-and-does-anybody-really-preach-it.php).
[9] Rob Kerby, “Internet spreading new accusations connecting Rick Warren with ‘Chrislam’,” beliefnet: Inspiration. Spirituality. Faith. (http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2012/03/internet-spreading-new-accusations-connecting-rick-warren-with-chrislam.php#ixzz1oDUUhV8S).
[10] Recognizing that the postmodern mindset argues about what the meaning of “is” “is,” the noun same deserves a dictionary definition: “Same = one in the same “ 1. Being the very one: IDENTICAL. 2. Alike in kind, quality, quantity, or degree. 3. Conforming in every detail….” See Webster’s II New College Dictionary (Boston/New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995): 977.
[11] In a war of meanings, Volf advocates that “sufficiently similar” nuances “same.”
[12] Scot McKnight, “The ‘Same’ God? Volf Speaks,” Jesus Creed, December 16, 2015 (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2015/12/16/the-same-god-12/).
[13] Rapprochement between Christianity and Islam may be found at the level of the experiential-expressive model of religion which theorizes there’s “a common experience of the divine which is nevertheless expressed in different terms and concepts.” This approach, hypothesized by neo-liberal George Lindbeck (1923-    ), is both ecumenical and mystical. Lindbeck’s experiential-expressive approach “interprets doctrines as noninformative and nondiscursive symbols of inner feelings, attitudes, or existential orientations.” See Michael J. Vlach’s review of Lindbeck’s book The Nature of Doctrine: Religion & Theology in a Postliberal Age (Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster Press, 1984). Review online at the Theological Studies website (http://theologicalstudies.org/resource-library/book-reviews/322-the-nature-of-doctrine-george-lindbeck).
[14] I would argue that absent the Trinitarian understanding of God, there exists no ontological reason for believing that God is love (e.g., Jesus to the Father, “You loved Me before the foundation of the world,” John 17:24, NASB). A divine monad is incapable of love for in eternity past there was no one interpersonally to love.
[15] S. M. Zwemer, The Moslem Doctrine of God (New York, NY: American Tract Society, 1905): 111.
[16] Ibid.
[17] H.A.R. Gibb, Mohammedanism: An Historical Survey (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1970): 1.
[18] Marvin Olasky, “Brutality and dictatorship: How Islam affects society.” World: Special Issue, November/December, 2001, 19. The whole issue was devoted to the religion of Islam.
[19] Bill Warner, “A Short Overview of Sharia Law,” Political Islam, February 23 2009 (http://www.politicalislam.com/a-short-overview-of-sharia-law/).
[20] Volf, “Wheaton Professor’s Suspension,” The Washington Post.
[21] Ralph P. Martin, The Worship of God (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1982): 5.
[22] Ibid: Quoting J.R. Neuhaus, Freedom for Ministry (New York, NY: Harper and Row, 1979: 105.
[23] In that Jesus was the Prophet of God who Moses predicted would come, I choose to believe Jesus’ claim that He and the Father are one in essence. To Jews and Muslims I would respectfully say that you cannot both affirm Jesus was a true prophet and not believe what He said about His relationship with the Father; that is, that they are one. The Jews who heard Jesus make this claim understood it, for they picked up stones to stone Him “for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make yourself out to be God” (John 10:33).

*Ed. Note: It should be noted that over the past ten years this blog has published numerous articles warning about the Dominionist goals of certain sects within evangelicaldom including International House of Prayer (IHOP) and the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), as well as Reconstructionists and Neo-Calvinists. These groups aim to create a Christian nation and forge a world “kingdom” ruled by their elite leaders, often done under the guise of being “missional,” and based upon enacting their various mystical millennial eschatologies. See Herescope posts such as: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/09/who-invented-dominionism.html; http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/08/denying-dominionism.html; http://herescope.blogspot.com/2010/05/mainstreaming-dominionism.html; http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/09/documenting-dominionism.html; http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/09/apostolic-dominionism.html; http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/08/c-peter-wagner-spins-nar.html. See also: http://apprising.org/2011/01/26/what-is-dominionism/ and http://www.discernment-ministries.org/ChristianImperialism.htm and the six part series that begins at http://herescope.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-passion-of-presence.html.)

**Ed. Note: For further reading on these common ground efforts, see the following Herescope posts: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/11/rethinking-peace-loving-god-and.html; http://herescope.blogspot.com/2009/01/new-global-civility.html; http://herescope.blogspot.com/2009/02/manifestos-declarations-and-covenants.html; and http://herescope.blogspot.com/2008/01/rick-warren-brian-mclaren-at-davos.html.

***Ed. Note: For further reading see the excellent book Idolatry in Their Hearts by Sandy Simpson & Mike Oppenheimer which explains the troubles with using names for God that arise from other religions, and how this these other names are currently being adopted in evangelical mission work. http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/idolatrybook.html

Source: Christ or Allah

Barna Update | New Post-Christian Stats & Ranking by Cities

2015 Sees Sharp Rise in Post-Christian Population

Is America a post-Christian nation? Not quite—but in just two years, the percentage of Americans who qualify as “post-Christian” rose by 7 points (from 37% in 2013 to 44% in 2015), bringing the number very near the halfway mark.

Across the United States, cities in every state are becoming more post-Christian—some at a faster rate than others.

What cities are the most “post-Christian” in 2015? How have the rankings changed since 2013—and where does your city fall?

Read the research here >

CredoHouse: The Sword or the Cross? How Islam and Christianity Grow

Doctrine drives all religions, theistic and non-theistic. God makes for a more compelling religion. Following God’s will, sacrificing for God, hoping in God compels believers to change the world according to what they deem as pleasing God.

The Cross and the Sword: How Christianity and Islam Spread

Buddhism, which knows of no God, enchants many westerners yearning for religion without worship and contemplation without prayer. The lands where it is established, such as Thailand, find no reason to spread it abroad. There is no God to serve. Buddha is a sage, not a savior. The Four Noble Truths are not a gospel that sets you free to serve the one who saved you. Hinduism sports gods aplenty, but none compel conversion or mission. Judaism worships the God of Abraham and Moses, but lacks any missionary motive. God will judge Jews by one standard and Gentiles by another. Conversion to Judaism is rare. The bloodline ensures its survival—and against all odds, as history teaches us. Evangelism is unneeded.


Muhammad and Jesus shook the world and shake it still.
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Muhammad and Jesus shook the world and shake it still. Muslims and Christians seek God’s will for all of life and for the entire world. At the center of their faith is a personal being who is due worship and sacrifice. This God is the source of hope, in this world and the next. Islam and Christianity are the two great missionary religions, but their missions do not agree. Their deities are not in accord. Their creeds contradict each other. Their vision for the world cannot be aligned with any other religion. Islam’s greatest competitor is Christianity. Christianity’s greatest competitor is Islam. Ecumenical solutions are impossible, even absurd. Allah is not the Trinity. Jesus and Muhammad did not serve the same God, teach the same principles, or enflame their followers in the same way. This chasm cannot be bridged.


One cannot be both a Muslim and a Christian. Christ-lam does not exist.
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One cannot be both a Muslim and a Christian. Christ-lam does not exist. Each religion demands the all of its followers. Christians ask, “What would Jesus do.” Muslims ask, “What would Muhammad do?”  For Christians, the answer comes from the Bible. For Muslims, the answer is found in the Koran. Doctrines found in each text differ: on God, morality, salvation, and the afterlife. Given this unbridgeable gulf, how does each religion envision redemption and plan its mission?

Islam claims to abrogate Christianity. The Koran is the final revelation and Muhammad the last and greatest prophet—“the seal of the prophets.” Jesus is venerated by Muslims, but not worshiped as the crucified and risen God-man. Muhammad announced that there was one God who commands all to be brought into submission to him. Islam means submission. It does not mean peace. Muslims are part of the “house of submission” and infidels (all non-Muslims) are in “the house of war,” having not submitted to Allah. This is the charter of its mission. Six elements make up its method for world domination.

The Muslim Means of Growth

#1 Ambition

First, Islamic ambition may be unrivaled in the world today. A passion for personal salvation fuels the aspirations and actions of the loyal and serious Muslim. No Muslim is assured of paradise on the basis of the love and grace of Allah. Muhammad is not a mediator between Allah and man, but a stern prophet, warning the lukewarm of eternal damnation. Good works are the basis of earning paradise. Nothing changes in the person who becomes a Muslim by reciting: “There is one God and Muhammad is his prophet.” One is not born again or given a special spiritual standing with Allah. That comes through works, and one can never work enough. Dying in jihad is the only way to guarantee paradise, which includes endless sexual fulfillment for men. Women are not considered, spare the virgins specially created by Allah to make the afterlife a perpetual orgy for those men deserving of it. Earthly women are not specifically mentioned as inhabitants of paradise.


Muhammad is not a mediator between Allah and man, but a stern prophet[…]
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#2 Procreation

Second, Islam grows through procreation. It encourages large families. Taking child brides (as did Muhammad) and Islam’s endorsement of polygamy (as many as four wives) furthers this goal. Since Allah has made wives subject to their husbands, they have no say about having children. A woman’s worth mostly consists in bearing children, particularly boys. The Muslim husband can demand intercourse whenever he pleases. Thus, all these factors scream: procreate prodigiously.  And they are.

Muslims parents have Muslim children. One is born that way. Even if a Muslim man is married to a Christian woman, the offspring are automatically Muslims. But Muslim women are forbidden from marrying Christian men, since this forfeits the power to make more Muslims through procreation. Jihad has many dimensions, including biological jihad. Muslims are not reticent in admitting this. Because of low birth rates in Europe and the United States, Muslim have reason for their hope in out-populating the infidels.

#3 Immigration

The third method for forcing “the house of war” into “the house of peace” is immigration. If you want to understand Islam, look to Muhammad, its founder and model. Muhammad failed to win over his native people in Mecca after receiving the revelation from Allah. He failed as an apologist. Undeterred, he immigrated to Medina, where he established military and political hegemony. Having consolidated his power, he besieged Mecca, destroying its idols, demanding his version of monotheism, and declaring himself as the supreme prophet of Allah. From Mecca, he launched his mission to subjugate the world through military conquest coupled with immigration and fueled by procreative zeal.


Theocratic Muslims have already infiltrated the military and the civil government of the United…
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The ancient strategy still works. Muslims immigrate to the land of the infidels, have many children, and demand their rights as citizens under cloak of multiculturalism. As their numbers increase, they demand special provisions for their dietary code (halal), their financial codes, and their family code. They establish their own Islamic education. When their numbers reach a critical mass, they seek to impose sharia law, not only on their community, but on the nation. Already, American courts are admitting Muslim law into their proceedings. Theocratic Muslims have already infiltrated the military and the civil government of the United States.

#4 Indoctrination

Fourth, Islam grows through indoctrination. Odd as it seems to non-Muslim westerners, the religion of Muhammad—like Muhammad himself—does not encourage critical thinking about religion. Muslims will do apologetics with infidel when they are in the minority. They seldom use it otherwise.


Muslims will do apologetics with infidel when they are in the minority.
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Their religion claims to cover all of life: worship, warfare, diet, finances, the family, and education. Islam knows nothing of the separation of mosque and state. Thus, everything must be submitted to Allah, who is a sovereign who brooks no reasoning with him. Reformation is impossible, unless this means that moderate Muslims return to Islam’s theocratic and missionary heartbeat. The truth revealed by the angel Gabriel to Muhammad in early seventh century in Arabia is the final word.[1]

Islamic purity is policed by its penalties for apostasy. No Muslim may freely de-convert. When a young Islamic scholar in Egypt came to the rational conclusion that Islam was false and Christianity true, his own father tried to shoot him. Mark Gabriel, once a professor of Islamic history at Al-Azhar University, is living proof of Islamic intolerance and intimidation. Courageously, he writes of his experiences and about Islam in his many books, including Jesus and Muhammad. Death is the penalty that sharia law demands for the apostate.

#5 Persecution

Persecution is the fifth means of Islam’s propagation. Religious freedom is alien to the Koran, the hadith (sayings and life of Muhammad), and to Islamic history. Muhammad killed as many of the unconverted polytheists as he could and killed many Christians and Jews who opposed him. But in the Koran, Jews and Christians are called “the “people of the book.” They are spared death by either converting or by accepting their state as a subjugated people called dhimmis. To call them second-class citizens is an understatement. Dhimmis are under the authority of the Muslim leaders; they must pay a poll tax to the Islamic government every year; their worship and religious activities are severely limited; and they must not proselytize.[2] They are called “protected people” not because the Muslim state protects them from outside threats, but because being a dhimmi protects one from Muslims who are bent further persecuting dhimmis or murdering them. Jews and Christians who neither convert nor accept dhimmitude are executed. This is the triple choice Islam threatens when it is in control. Stoning, beheading and crucifixion are commonly the means of murder, just as the Koran teaches. So it continues today. These are not the aberrations of Islam; they are of its essence.


Stoning, beheading and crucifixion[…]are not the aberrations of Islam; they are of its essence.
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#6 Armed Military Conquest

Armed military conquest is the sixth primary means by which Islam aims to conquer. The previous five methods are all aspects of jihad, the struggle against the infidels. But the jihad of the sword was the means by which Islam established itself in the early seventh century. Had not Charles Martel stopped them at the Battle of Tours (734), Islam might have conquered the Franks and all of Europe, in addition to its other conquests in Arabia and Africa. Europe was still in its sights, since the globe must be put into submission to Allah. Melanie Phillips discusses the strategy for England in Londinistan.[3] Much of the Koran addresses the means and methods of war, including the taking slaves, taking wives, execution, and dividing the plunder.

The Christian Means of Growth

Christ and Muhammad have little in common, either by life, by lip, or by legacy. Jesus was not a political figure, although some wanted him to be an earthly King. He commanded no armies. He drew no sword. He conquered no one. As the Lamb of God, he submitted himself to death on a cross, Islam to the contrary. Instead of bringing a new law to terrify people into obeying, Jesus offered what Muhammad could never give.[4] He offered his life to atone for sin and to reestablish shalom with God Almighty (1 Timothy 2:5). Salvation cannot be earned. It can only be received through faith in Christ (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9). Jesus Christ commissioned his followers to teach the nations to obey him and to baptize converts (Matthew 28:18-20). In light of this, consider the method that the Bible sanctions for the growth of Christianity.

#1 Ambition

First, Christian ambition is rooted in gratitude to God and love for God and others (Matthew 22:37-40). If the Gospel is appropriated for what it is, Christ-followers do not work to attain salvation, but work out their salvation in relation to God.

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose (Philippians 2:12-13).

Christians should yearn for God to be honored in all the earth as sinners turn to a faithful Savior for new life and direction. Their motivation is to seek first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33) and to glorify God in all things (1 Corinthians 10:31) through the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8).

#2 Persecution

Persuasion is the second method of propagating Christianity. While the Bible proclaims Christ as having all authority in the universe, it never advocates its advance through coercion or intimidation. Persuasion, rather, is its means of seeking conversions. Consider Paul’s words to Timothy:

And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:24-26; see also 1 Peter 3:15-16)

The Bible is warm toward family and children (Genesis 1:26-27; Psalm 127), but childbearing is not considered the main means of kingdom advance. Conversion advances the kingdom and builds the church. Conversion is between God and the individual.

Christians have violated this charter throughout history, but their acts have no biblical warrant. Further, unlike Christianity, Islam has advanced through coercion and intimidation from its beginning, throughout history, and today.

#3 Education

Third, Christianity, from its inception, has zealously desired to teach its doctrines and practices to the world. No religion has placed more emphasis on teaching and learning than the religion of Jesus. Creeds and confessions have helped anchor the faith in clear, compelling statements. Christians love the Bible and desire that all sixty-six books of the Holy Bible be understood and applied far as the curse is found (Matthew 28:18-20). It is no accident that Christianity inspired the university, contributed much to western political theory, and is found in nearly every aspect of western civilization.[5] Even opponents of Christianity had to take its teachings seriously in order to oppose it.

#4 Suffering

Jesus was the suffering servant (Isaiah 53). He taught a doctrine of suffering, as does the whole Bible. This is the fourth Christian method. Christianity is manifested to the world through Christ-sanctioned suffering. Islam denies the well-established fact that Jesus was crucified in ancient Palestine in about 30 AD. For Islam, this is no way for a prophet to die. It is shameful. Muhammad, on the contrary, was a victorious prophet and king. He enforced Islam and conquered his enemies. But there is no Christianity without a cross and no Christian discipleship without the cross. As Jesus said:

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? (Luke 9:23-25)

Martyrdom for Islam means dying in a jihad battle. The Christian martyr is one who dies for his faith.  The Muslim kills for his faith. Consider the witnesses in Revelation:

When he [Christ] opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. (Revelation 6:9)

They triumphed over him [the Beast] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. (Revelation 12:11)

The first Christian martyr was Stephen, who was murdered while defending the gospel before hostile Jews. Stephen, like his Lord, cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” (Acts 7:60)

This strange doctrine of suffering flows from Jesus himself. He submitted to death in order to defeat death. He rose from the grave as a vindication of his sacrificial offering of himself for his blood-bought brothers. As Justin Martyr wrote, “The blood of the saints is the seed of the church.” Christians should be willing to die for Christ. God forbid that they kill for Christ. We wield the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12), not the sword of man.

The ultimate battle for the hearts and minds of God’s creatures is a spiritual battle, which requires spiritual weapons.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5; see also Ephesians 6:10-19; 1 Peter 3:15-16)

The Future of the Two Great Missionary Religions

Despite its desperate ambitions, its shrewd methods, and its theocratic determinations, Islam will not prevail among men and nations of the earth. “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it” (Psalm 24:1). All of it is God’s; none of it is Allah’s. Islam will take lives, coerce conversions, make martyrs, and scream its supremacy. God knows what its numbers and influence will be before the glorious Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Whatever the force of Islam, Jesus promised “the gates of Hades will not overcome” the church (Matthew 16:18). All will be held accountable to the crucified and risen King, as Paul declares:

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. (Philippians 3:20–21)

The Apostle Peter exhorted his listeners in the same spirit:

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. (Acts 3:19-21)

The Apostle Paul echoes this:

For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead. (Acts 17:31)

Our earthly future belongs to the battle between Christianity and Islam, between those who wield the sword and those who wield the Word. Those marked as Christ’s own must use the means of the Master to propagate “the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people” (Jude 3). They can use no other, come what may.


  1. Spencer, Robert. “Is The Islamic State Islamic? Of Course It Is.” The Daily Caller. June 3, 2015. Accessed July 22, 2015. http://dailycaller.com/2015/03/16/is-the-islamic-state-islamic-of-course-it-is/. ↩
  2. Ibrahim, Raymond. Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, 2013. ↩
  3. Phillips, Melanie. Londonistan. rev. ed. (Encounter Books, 2007). ↩
  4. On the stark difference between Jesus and Muhammad, see Gabriel, Mark A. Jesus and Muhammad: Profound Differences and Surprising Similarities. (Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House, 2004). ↩
  5. Schmidt, Alvin J. Great Divide: Failure of Islam and Triumph of the West. (Boston, MA: Regina Orthodox Press, 2004). ↩

The post The Sword or the Cross? How Islam and Christianity Grow appeared first on CredoHouse – Making Theology Accessible.

Storing up Wrath

Why would a man lack any fear of God? I believe it’s because we insist on telling a sinful world that God loves them and has a wonderful plan for their lives. This is the “gospel” according to the contemporary Church. We give the world a choice: Do they choose God’s wonderful plan, or is their own life’s plan more wonderful? Please go to, http://www.FreeWonderfulBook.com  Listen or read freely on line. 

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Southern Seminary: Worldview and the importance of first impressions

**Editors Note: Dan DeWitt recently wrote a worldview novella for young readers called The Owlings. You can read and excerpt of the book here. You can also purchase a copy of his book here

. . . Every person has a worldview and every worldview is a story. The secular worldview is based on a belief that the cosmos is all there is, or ever was, or ever will be. It’s a story that started by chance, is governed by nothing, and is heading nowhere.

On the other hand, the Christian narrative begins with the belief summarized in John’s gospel, “In the beginning was the Word . . . and the Word became flesh.” The Christian story is simply better, and to borrow a pet phrase from Henry Kissinger, “it has the added advantage of being true.”

Like Dawkins, I think explaining fundamental concepts about the nature of reality to children is a must. But I have a very different worldview than Dawkins. I think that reality is best explained by a God who is there and who is not silent: a Creator who has revealed himself in human history.

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NTEB News: A Jewish Christian Exposes The Hebrew Roots Movement Cult

by NTEB Feature Story Contributor Geri Ungurean

Are you in the Hebrew Roots Cult? Come out from there and experience freedom in Christ!

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:28,29

Most people who know me know I am a Jewish Christian. When I think of myself, I am Christian. I am a follower of Christ. The fact that I was born a Jew remains until my final breath; I did not cross over some line to become a Christian while leaving my Jewishness behind. It’s quite impossible to do that. I am a Christian who also happens to be an ethnic Jew.

I met another Christian Jewish woman years ago. She attended a Messianic congregation and was shocked and appalled that I did not. I told her that I’ve never felt the Lord urging me to do that. I find it clannish. I don’t want to only worship with other Messianic Jews. I want to worship with the Body of Christ. This woman was not happy with my reasoning, but I felt a conviction about my decision. I did not feel the need to hold onto Jewish customs. I felt free. Free to worship my Savior!

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One of the most ironic things that happened to me on Facebook was being repeatedly thrown out of Messianic groups. I thought that the group members would be like me – Jewish Christians. I was sadly mistaken. They spoke of Torah observance, the Jewish feasts, the keeping of the Law etc., etc. There was an occasional mention of Yeshua, but no emphasis on salvation through Christ alone. And most of the time I was the only Jew in the group!

I would remind them that believers in Yeshua are under the Covenant of Grace. I would say that Yeshua did not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it.

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17).

The leaders of the group would wholeheartedly agree with me, and use that Scripture to support and defend their doctrine. I used it to show them the legalism and hypocrisy they were preaching.

The prophets of God in the Old Testament cried out in the lands to which God sent them, “REPENT and turn from your wicked ways.” Invariably they were stoned or thrown out of that land. People knew that they were guilty as charged, but loved the darkness more than the light.

Do we actually believe that God thought that we are able to keep all of His Commandments? His Commandments were given to Moses to:

Show that God is holy.

His standards are perfection.

Man is not able to keep all of His Commandments.

Jesus brought the Commandments to a whole new level. He said in Matthew 5:27-28:

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Clearly, our sin begins in our hearts. God sees this sin in us. For God to reconcile us to Himself, He had to deal with this sin, which separated us from Him. He sent His own Son—the Word made flesh—Jesus.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

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The PERFECT SINLESS SACRIFICE was the Son of God, Jesus. His death was the ONE Atonement for all sin. It was His blood spilled for us that brought us forgiveness. God sent His Son so that whosoever believes in Him would be reconciled to the Father and have eternal life. GLORIOUS!

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

So my question to the leaders of the groups was why would you want to go back under the Law that brought death, when you have been given the better Covenant of Grace by which the Spirit gives life? That was usually when my expulsion took place. One leader wrote to me privately, saying that I must have a demon and he would pray for me!

Are these modern day Judaizers? I would say that is accurate, except for the fact that most are not Jews. Are they dangerous? Most assuredly so. The teachings of these groups diminish the finished work of Christ on the Cross; making Him a liar. They are in essence saying “Christ lived and died as an example to us, but we must keep the law to be saved.” HERESY!! We are not able to keep the whole Law of God!

We are all precious to the Lord. It doesn’t matter from where we came; what matters is will we repent and trust Yeshua for the forgiveness of our sins? I was a born a Jew—so what? God’s plan from the beginning was that salvation would be offered to the whole world. And read about the partial hardening of the Jews (Romans 11) to make way for the Gentiles to come into the Kingdom. We are all blessed!

Are you in the Hebrew Roots Cult? Come out from there and experience freedom in Christ!

You will want to keep His Law. Our good works after we are born again in Him come naturally out of our grateful hearts to the Lord.

Our good works before we are born-again are as follows:

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away”(Isaiah 64:6).

JESUS IS OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

SHALOM!

The post A Jewish Christian Exposes The Hebrew Roots Movement Cult appeared first on Now The End Begins.

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