THE GOSPEL UNDER ATTACK

July 24, 2017

 

The last words of Jesus Christ prior to His ascension embodies what has become known as the “Great Commission”:  “…and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). This command was initiated in Matthew 28:19-20 and well-illustrated by the missionary travels of the Apostle Paul.  Christian evangelism has always been viewed as a threat by other religions even though it is never accomplished by violence or force but rather through the vehicle of teaching and preaching.  The majority of the book of Acts is dedicated to Paul’s endeavors to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Not once did he threaten anyone with brutality or demands of departure from their religion, but he did exercise the practice of gentle persuasion on every possible occasion.  For those efforts he was met with false accusations, cruelty, bloodshed and even torture.  There is an intense hatred toward the message of grace because it allows no individual to glory in themselves.

The church I pastor strives to take the “Great Commission” seriously.  With the realization that it’s impossible to individually “go into all the world”,  we can remain obedient by sending missionary ambassadors as our representatives (see Acts 13 for a Biblical prototype).  Today (July 22nd) we received an email from a missionary in Scotland who we financially support.  It read in part: “Yesterday I received a letter from the UK Home Office stating that they were not going to approve a visa for our nine month old daughter, Graycee.  Basically, the letter stated that we have fourteen days to get her out of the country or they will take action to have her removed, and if they do we will face a ten-year ban on entry into the United Kingdom.”

Obviously, whoever (and there is a face behind the whoever) issued this mandate realizes this family is not going to abandon their baby; consequently, it’s a convenient way to eliminate a voice for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  By some strange order of events a family who entered the UK legally has effectively been ordered out.  They have broken no laws nor represented any kind of threat to the nation.  Their income is rooted in American churches, hence they are not a drain on the British welfare system but rather a contributor to the local economy.  Conversely, the UK has tolerated untold numbers of Muslim immigrants (many illegal) who are often incapable of self-sufficiency.  Multitudes are jobless, pay no taxes and continue to siphon from the entire governmental system.  Accompanying the economic toll is a religion that endorses and even encourages terrorism until Sharia law is the dominator.

In the name of political correctness a significant number of Muslims have been integrated into government jobs.  Celebrating diversity can be dangerous.  At this point it may be speculation to assume that the “whoever” behind the bureaucratic mandate is a Muslim or a liberal, but the odds are extremely slim that the invisible regulator is a conservative Christian.

As we watch the cultural deterioration of Europe, America should take heed.  The justification for unwarranted immigration is: “America has always been a land of immigrants.”  A cornerstone of common sense is…two things that are different are not the same.  The immigrants of yesteryear journeyed to this country to become Americans; even though they retained many of their cultural distinctives, there was no doubt about their proud loyalty to the Stars and Stripes.  They did not flood this nation with a hatred for it and with a determination to radicalize it to their suiting.  They assimilated –they acquired skills, they worked, they learned English and immersed themselves in the American culture.  The average high school football team often had names representing a dozen or more ethnic groups.  They were not isolationists defying entrance into their neighborhoods, but rather saw themselves as threads of a fabric that constituted a quilt of unity.  They attended different churches, lodges and service clubs; they enjoyed a thousand different appetites in food, music, recreation and vocations, but one similarity overshadowed all differences.  When Old Glory was raised at a rodeo, ballgame, school, lodge or a parade, virtually all had experienced at one time or another or even repeatedly a lump in the throat, a thumping in the chest, or a tear down the cheek as with hand over heart we acknowledged our privilege to live in the greatest country on earth.  No one apologized for “God bless America” when it was abundantly clear He had.  When immigrants or citizens by birth spoke of God, there was no doubt which God they recognized.

In 1959 Somalia expelled the last Christian missionary while others had been martyred.  The following decades have experienced a long list of civil wars, murderous warlords, incredible poverty and almost nonexistent healthcare.  Islam is the primary religion.  Is Europe on the same path?  One of my old mentors used to say:  “The only thing that men learn from history is that men don’t learn from history.”

 

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