Where We Go From Here
Denatured Christianity, stumbling over itself to defend the goodness of God, is no match for the militant Islam of our new age. The multi-cultural trash that issues forth from so many American pulpits every Lord’s Day is dishonoring to Jesus Christ. In fear of offending men, it strives to raise Mohammad and Beyondo to a par with Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God.
As Jews of ancient times protested their innocence, Americans now can’t believe they deserve chastisement or even a really bad day. That some unidentified, nonentity group would be raised up and enabled to strike them so hard is unthinkable. The World Trade Center attack was a spiritual affront to America.
Entrenched national policy demands the absolute separation of church and state. Everyone agrees, sophisticates and hicks alike. Matters of faith are relegated to superstition and myth. The godlessness of the educational establishment is echoed by present-day false prophets, the political enterprise, the entertainers, the comedians. No one is ready to confess the possibility that the God of heaven was challenging the religious fairy tale that Americans have accepted in their apostasy. No god, no problem. God as only a personal Sunday habit for weaklings and traditionalists is actually no help at all.
The Need To Think Straight From The Right Starting Point
Assumption of innocence and virtue is the wrong starting point when attempting to honestly discern the reason and meaning of judgment. This notion of blamelessness, however, is the standard position of most Americans, Christians included.
Aren’t we the home of freedom? Isn’t America the world’s champion of liberty? How can terrorists be called freedom fighters? The offense of this news service transgression is overwhelming to most patriots. How can Kamikaze extremists, suicidal maniacs with a death-oriented worldview, gain a place at the table of heroes? How can one religious fanatic be categorized with honor while abortion clinic demonstrators are throttled by new regulations or arrested?
How can this be happening to us? Isn’t America loved by everyone in the world? Doesn’t everybody dream of coming to America? What is it that could generate such hatred and violence? What have we missed or not been told? Where do we go from here?
Why It Happened
In The New Yorker, Ali Salem, a sixty-five year old Egyptian playwright told a reporter, Americans enjoy life and they are proud of their lives, they’re boastful of their wonderful inventions that have made life so much easier and more convenient. It’s very difficult to understand the machinery of hatred, because you wind up resorting to logic, but trying to understand this with logic is like measuring distance in kilograms. These are people who are afraid of America, afraid of life itself ... These are people who are envious. To them, life is an unbearable burden. Modernism is the only way out, but modernism is frightening. It means we have to compete. It means we can’t explain everything away with conspiracy theories. 1
From a foreigner and a Muslim this is a surprisingly accurate analysis. Strictly from a humanistic standpoint, this brusque paragraph reveals exactly what ails the heart of the third-world religion of Islam. Envy is the engine that powers these revolutionaries. Fear and resentment is their fuel. These, mostly dirt-poor, nations are mired in poverty because of these deadening attitudes, their lack of dependability in commerce and the absolute inability to compete in the world. In his EWR Newsletter, Richard Maybury says that poor nations are that way because no one in the world is foolish enough to risk any capital investment in them. 2
The quote from the New Yorker contains a lot of the truth, but there is much more to the matter if we believe the Bible. The people of Islam are afraid of life itself and seem incapable of producing and competing, thus their frustrated leaders have begun to lash out, but the more basic problem is in the Christian Church. It is the Church that is in need of renewal if it is to do combat with this horrible world-wide idolatry. The upside to it all is the fact that the Triune God is dealing faithfully with His Church. He is waking up the neglectful remnant that has been called to Christian dominion.
My people are foolish, they know Me not; they are stupid children, and have no understanding. They are shrewd to do evil, but to do good they do not know. [Jer 4:22] While this was God’s description of Israel of old, it fits well the people of the U.S. who enjoy so many of the residual benefits of having been a Christian nation. The diagnosis fits. Even the American church is no longer in shape for battle. She has played the harlot for too long, seducing partners, consorting with an ecumenical jumble of doctrine to attract and excite men, while forgetting her God. Her modern corporate practices having increased her numbers, have also left her with little real faith and no respect. The nation is characterized by apostasy and cynicism. Popular Church leaders are unable and unwilling to state the truth when the few are presented with the opportunity. Mealy mouthed platitudes and embarrassing apologies make up their pronouncements. A call to repentance and covenant obedience is not mentioned. Billy Graham, speaking at the National Cathedral in September 2001, murmured that he didn’t know why God allows such terrible things to happen. This kind of evasion won’t do. We’d better find out why.
What It Will Take
A thorough grasp of the Word of God and the serious way of living that characterized the early generations of American settlers is demanded by the present threat. The clear and unashamed proclamation of Christ and Him crucified must be heard. A return to an acknowledgement of the absolute sovereignty of God would mark the proper starting point with which to understand and tackle the looming threats and problems that beset us.
Bright Note Of God’s Caring
When we are chastised we are treated as a beloved son, not allowed to wander as unidentified bastards. [Heb 12] Our first encouragement should come from the realization that God still has interest in us as a people. He has determined to stop us in our tracks, awaken us to our sin and redirect us in our basic pursuits. Our gifts of abundance and world domination should be used to spread the gospel of Christ and His righteousness, not the false hopes of Humanism.
Our prayer should be that Americans be caused to remember their spiritual roots, that they might again seek the Lord in truth. Finding common ground with the Muslims will not solve our problems and will further dishonor our Savior, Jesus Christ.
The dusty landscapes of Afghanistan silently describe the grinding poverty of a people dedicated to the idolatry of Islam. The true and living God, not Alah, has ordained war and famine for Afghans for decades. Lying centuries behind in development the country has less than six operating factories of any kind. 3 Can more be said about a people’s religion and its inevitable product of culture? Will American Christians be able to read the obvious handwriting on the wall, or will it take more shocking disasters to gain the needed revival? Pray that our gracious God will give grace and insight, that He will turn hearts to Christ and that His glory will be seen in this crucial time.
Rev. Dale K. Dykema
- Quoted by Jeffrey Goldberg, Behind Mubarak, THE NEW YORKER, Oct. 8, 2001, p.55.
- Richard Maybury, U.S. & World Early Warning Report. Sept.2001.
- Ahmed Rashid, The Taliban, Exporting Extremism, FOREIGN AFFAIRS, Dec.1999, p.35.