There’s an excellent article today by Ryan Mauro on the comparative growth rates of Christianity and Islam, and also on the quality of the faith of those who believe. If you live in the West you’re probably under the impression that Islam is growing by leaps and bounds. It is – in the West, because of immigration and high birth rates, but that is not the case in the rest of the world.
Indeed, in the second and third world nations Christianity is growing at unparalleled rates, though it’s underreported. That is one reason why so many Islamists are alarmed and are resorting to increasing levels of radicalism and violence to maintain their “market share”, as it were.
Too, the article points out, many of the Muslims who immigrate to the West become lax toward their religion. Muslims in America now fall behind Evangelicals in considering their sacred book literally true.
Now couple that with the fear and coercion that drives many Islamic cultures, in which no deviation from, nor even questioning of, Islam is tolerated, under penalty of death, and you begin to see that Islam’s numbers do not necessarily reflect heartfelt belief.
In contrast, Christianity has been growing like wildfire around the globe. Africa is now half Christian. China probably has 120 million Christians, despite decades of brutal persecution. I am convinced that the global church will teach us in the West the meaning of enduring adversity without compromise.
It’s all very encouraging. The Kingdom is growing, not only within us as the Lord cleans us up and raises us to greater levels of glory, but also in numbers of precious souls who are coming out of darkness and into His marvelous Light. Keep this in mind as you daily hear of the horrendous atrocities coming from these dark regions. The cost is great, and when one part of the Body of Christ suffers the entire Body suffers. But the rewards are far greater still.
Let’s continue praying for the faithful witness of our brothers throughout the world, for their comfort, and for the abating of the brutal persecution that they face, as much as is possible.
Love and blessings in Him.
News comes today that five Christians from World Vision relief services were killed execution-style in Pakistan. Two days previous some two hundred Christians – men, women, children and infants – were brutalized and slaughtered in central Nigeria.
In Pakistan, these Christians were delivering much-needed charitable services to the population. Their crime was not subscribing to the dominant religio-political ethos, Islam.
Central Nigeria is the fault line between the Christian south and the Muslim north. Christians there have been counseled by church leaders not to go on the offensive, and not to seek vengeance, but that they do have the right to defends themselves against attack (I think that’s a balanced reading of the New Covenant, but of course in specific circumstances the Lord can direct otherwise as He chooses). Despite this peaceful stance, the Muslims struck at night and hacked away.
It’s hard to imagine this level of persecution. I remember in my readings of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs that it all seemed so removed from reality and was hard to relate to. Boy was I wrong. It’s happening right now, on our watch. In fact, the number of Christians killed for the faith is at its all-time highest levels.
We need to cling to our assurance that the Lord works all things for good for those who love Him, because it is true and we need the strength it imparts. Here are some good things that I would like to see come out of these horrors:
- That the Body of Christ would draw together worldwide in the unity of love and faith, and become more powerful in intercession.
- That those facing brutality would be comforted and made strong.
- That at the proper time a way of escape would be made for them.
- That a mighty witness to Jesus would arise from the resolve and the principled response to evildoing.
- That the consciences of both evildoers and the ordinary people trapped in evil cultures would be smitten by these evil deeds done to peace-loving people, causing doubt in the existing structures and preparing for the implantation of the Word of eternal life in Jesus.
The world has become a smaller place due to modern communications, transportation, economics and the reach of terrorism. It’s hard on us, but in the strife the Lord is using the interactions of cultures to spread the Gospel. While this is the most martyr-prone era in history, it also is the greatest era of conversions in history. And especially in bedarkened lands, the Lord is backing up the human witness with all manner of dreams, visions and visitations. This mighty advance of the Kingdom is exactly why satan is raging so violently.
The devil’s time is short, so let us encourage ourselves in the Lord, resolve not to waver, and take this Gospel wherever we can, in season or out, whatever the cost.
Peace be upon our departed friends for a race well run, and comfort to their loved ones.
(12/16: added Monckton-Gore file.)
Pardon another enviro piece, but I’d rather see our hard-earned money go to families, churches, and the Gospel than to chasing CO2 dreams. Again via HotAir.com.
First, a great interview by Lord Monckton, a gentleman with a lot of class. That rarity in today’s superheated political environment, coupled with his command of the facts, makes him hard to refute. I bet the woman went away with some things to think about.
And if you think it unfair that Monckton confronted a poor laywoman who couldn’t possibly keep up with him, take a minute and a half and consider THIS standing offer by Monckton to debate the Great Gore himself, and then give THIS shameful episode, in which Gore ran the other way when Monckton showed up, a quick read. (One can understand Gore’s reticence, when he regularly comes out with absurd statements such as the earth’s core being MILLIONS of degrees.)
And it causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark on their right hand, or in their foreheads,
even that not any might buy or sell except those having the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of its name.
Here is the wisdom. Let him having reason count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. And its number is six hundred and sixty-six. – Rev 13:16-18
We are living in historic times, times that were written of long ago in the Bible. With increasing rapidity, a new world order is coagulating before our eyes.
It began with the League of Nations after World War I, progressed with the Religious Humanist Manifesto of 1933, resumed after World War II with the birth of the United Nations, was supplemented by the rise of multi-national corporations, was again confirmed by the (this time Secular) Humanist Manifesto of 1963, and has made massive headway with the rise of political correctness, multiculturalism and globalism. And now, finally, the environmental movement intends to carry the ball over the goal.
Charles Krauthammer, one of our most consistently incisive commentators, has penned an brilliant piece entitled The Environmental Shakedown, in which he observes that Green is the new Red. What Communism, capital C, could not do, environmentalism is doing. Simply switch the driving ideology from class warfare over to saving our beloved planet, and you neutralize opposition. There will be no control you cannot implement.
One of my greatest passions is the church. Anyone who has been saved by Jesus should care deeply about the house of God, which is God’s family and the Bride of the Lamb, right?
So how are we doing? From my American charismatic perspective, not terribly well.
Let’s take the one mark that should stand out above all others: love. Is love simply awash in our corporate gatherings? Maybe your experience is different than mine – I hope it is – but I see a lot of people out of church, and I see a lot of hurt people alienated from church.
I just devoured a small book by the late Derek Prince, entitled Protection From Deception. In it, this great elder of the church made the following bombastic statement:
From my experience I would say there is no greater problem in the church today than personal ambition in the ministry.
Wow! I haven’t come across that degree of honesty on this subject anywhere else, ever.
I envision the problem as a board game, “Careers in Christ”. It’s what burned me royale so many years ago, and I still haven’t forgotten. It’s what happens when church leaders put their own aggrandizement above the health of the Body and start abusing the sheep in order to protect their own interests. Read more…