Sunday, January 18, 2015

Humans propose but God will decide.

I've read two political commentators who advanced the same interesting explanation for our world's recent troubles. Their explanation is that for several centuries after the beginnings of Islam in the Seventh Century A.D. as the Christian calendar dates it, Moslem attackers were very successful in conquering the areas around them. Starting in what is now Saudi Arabia, they expanded the Caliphate, the area ruled by Islam and according to its law. For a time they reached into Spain and other parts of Europe. That was where El Cid made his name, the Spanish warrior who led a successful fight against Moslem invaders from North Africa. Part of Eastern Europe also were under their rule. That is why there are still Moslems on Bosnia, and other parts of what was once Yugoslavia, and the Eastern parts of what was the Czar's Russian empire and then the Soviet Union. There was a time when the Islamic rulers of the Middle East reached that far. Then the tide turned, Christianity or at least nominal Christian powers and rulers beat them back. Then after the Renaissance, and the great advances of European civilization up to the Industrial Revolution, Europe returned the 'compliment' by invading the Middle East, with Napoleon Bonaparte taking Egypt. So by the reckoning of some Islamic thinkers, history has 'gone wrong' and they need to set it right. Their view is that Islam is meant to rule the whole world and they have to make that happen. So if they mean to keep making that happen the rest of the world has a fight on its hands. What some people, myself included call the 'free world' is going to have to resist the attempts by militant Islamists to impose a world wide caliphate or Islamist state on us all. If these commentators are right then we can expect more of the sort of attacks that we've seen in Paris and Sydney recently, and in Canada when a soldier on ceremonial duty was killed. Now some of the left respond to this by carping about the attempts of Christians to impose their beliefs. It is true that some vile things were done by the conquistadors in South America. There were also the Crusades, which caused great bloodshed and by some accounts atrocities also. That response by the fashionable left was predictable. They will try to say that 'religion' as they call it, will always cause conflict. But is the Christian approach, the GENUINE Christian approach, ever as barbarous and the behaviour of the Daesh (or IS) invaders in the Middle East, murdering children because they refuse to renounce their beliefs? Whatever has been done by Europeans calling themselves Christians, the way of Jesus was to spread the WORD, the GOOD NEWS, not to commit wholesale genocide. And here is a critical point. Jesus in person told his followers that if a village would not receive them in His name, then depart from it and shake the dust of it from their feet. He did NOT say to kill them all, as have some of the barbarians claiming to represent Islam in Syria and Iraq today, or the thugs who attacked the World Trade Centre towers, or who bombed busses in England or firebombed a night club in Bali. Jesus said to leave them, and go on elsewhere, NOT to threaten them with death if they will not convert. And Christianity, by the authority of the Bible, does not mandate death for people who renounce the Christian faith. THAT IS THE DIFFERENCE. So I defend Christianity, asserting that it does not have the record of bloodshed and cruelty that other belief systems have employed in attempting to spread their influence. I have this confidence also. Though shocking things may yet happen, the TRUTH will triumph. Jesus will prevail, and His Word will be heard all over the world. Come again, Lord Jesus. The world waits in pain for the return of its Saviour.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

It's come to us.

It's come to us.

Just before Christmas, we had a terrorist incident in Sydney, N.S.W. the capital of my home state. It had to happen, we're part of the world that the militant Islamists have directed their hate against. An individual entered a café and held people hostage for hours before finally shooting two of them fatally, a lawyer and the café manager. It caused huge grieving in Sydney, as the press reported; and made the news overseas, I've been told. It came a bit close to home, as well. My wife and I don't live in Sydney but four of our children do, and one of our sons and his girlfriend have been in that café where it happened. We're thankful they weren't there that day, needless to add. But I'm struck by the way some people are still trying to minimize the influence and significant role of militant Islamism in this thing. I don't say "Islam" because I know well that many practicing Muslims do not involve themselves in, or sympathise with, this terrorist and hostile behaviour of that sort. But it is futile at least and blindly stupid at worst to pretend that Islamism, militant fanatical offshoot of Islam is not anything to do with it. It is. The gunman involved forced some of those he was holding at gunpoint to display an Islamist flag in the café window and invoked the cause of Islamist retribution against the west for fighting against the cult that calls itself Islamic State. So militant Islamism is involved, it is not just a case of one person being disturbed as the apologists have tried to argue. This attempt at playing down the terrorist danger is akin to the appeasement of Hitler that the leaders of Europe engaged in, in a futile attempt to stop a war. It's like the proverbial ostrich burying its head in the sand. The hope seems to be that if you ignore the thing it will go away. That's part of the problem the western world has in facing and dealing with this business. Some people, the 'new age' quasi left are trying to tell us there is no threat here and we should not act as though there is. If I was more paranoid I would suspect them of trying to undermine the resolve of the western world, specifically Australia here, to face the danger and recognize it. My question: what do they hope to achieve, and how long do they think they can keep insulting peoples' intelligence and keep credibility.
I hear that the surviving Boston bomber is going on trial. What sort of things are being said about him? Are people trying to claim he is a victim?