I’d like to make a few statements about my thinking concerning Islam.
1) Just as there are many who call themselves “Christian” but don’t actually follow the teachings of Christ and the Bible, there are many people who identify as Muslims but do not fully embrace all Islamic teachings.
2) Christians must show love and compassion to all people including Muslims. When a Christian encounters a Muslim person on the street, at work or school, or in the neighborhood, he should seek to develop a relationship with him or her and show the love of Christ and the Gospel with that person.
A Christian should not feel hindered in declaring Biblical truth. I have had a number of occasions to speak with Muslims about spiritual things and all these conversations have been kind and friendly. On several occasions the conversation became something of a debate because we fundamentally disagreed about things that matter. My intention every time has been twofold: first to communicate the truth of the Bible and second to show the love of Christ through my kind treatment of the person.
3) There are a fairly large number of Muslims who believe in Jihad and Sharia Law and desire to spread Islam through the entire world by force, immigration, and deception. The number of Muslims holding these beliefs appear to be in the tens of millions and may be in the hundreds of millions. These are the people often termed “radical Muslim”.
4) While the majority of Muslim people are not currently “radical” they have the potential to be radicalized through the teachings and influences they receive.
5) Islam, as all religions, must be open to criticism. Islam is not a race but a religion and it is not just a religion but an entire world view and culture for many people. There are certainly variations within Islamic culture but many factors also unite Muslims.
When a person’s religion becomes his culture his whole identity becomes tied to that religion. Traditions, family values, morality, loyalties, bias and prejudices are all connected through the religious cultural training. This complicates the matter of sorting out dangerous people because in a world dominated by political correctness and multiculturalism – both dangerous ideals designed to destroy individualism and freedom – to appropriately criticize any element of Islam is considered an attack on the entire culture of all Islamic people and is therefore a sin on the same level as racism.
This is a problem because race, religion, and culture are three distinctly different things. Racism must be vehemently opposed but culture and religion must be carefully analyzed and sometimes passionately criticized. Both humans and nations must make determinate decisions about things that are right or wrong. Government does this every day of its existence. When a government says that it is illegal to kill a person, they have made a moral decision. Not everything government does is moral, some of it is just practical, like the speed limit, or even political. Neither the government nor individuals are always right in determining right and wrong, but both are endowed by God with the responsibility of judging right and wrong.
6) While I don’t know the answer to the problem of radicalization or the terror it leads too, I do believe that all nations have a responsibility to protect their own people. If any group of people seeks to hurt the members of a country, the government of that country has a God given responsibility to protect its own people.
7) Finally Christians must step back and see the big picture. On the one hand we know that Satan desires to create chaos and hatred, to destroy and kill, and to do anything which leads people away from true faith in Christ. One of his great tools is religion. He has perverted Christianity so that the vast majority of people in the world who claim the name “Christian” are not by any Biblical measure truly Christian. Satan also uses many other religions to kill and destroy and lead people away from Christ.
But on the other hand we know that God is Almighty and in control. We can depend on him and we must not allow our faith to be shaken. The world is a wicked place and the Bible tells us that at some future point tribulation is coming. Regardless of God’s grand timeline, our time is one of change and much evil. Things will not continue as we have become accustomed here in America. Persecution of true believers may come. Loss of freedom or Constitutional government may come and to a large degree has already come. Do not be overwhelmed or troubled. The opportunity to represent Christ and the Gospel will be on the rise. To God be the Glory.