Friday, September 26, 2014

A Sober Moment: Some Critical Insights on the Manifestations and Principles of Islam

by Dr. Wilfred A. Bellamy Ph.D.

We must step back. In considering Islam we are too close to the immediacy of the news to think objectively about what is actually taking place in the world. We are confronted with manifestation and principle and it appears to me that we confuse the two.Let's look first at manifestations. The familiarity of the West with Islam tends to center on the various upstart events of the late 20th and now the 21st centuries. 

Places of which many had never heard are now in the news because of the comparatively sudden appearance of hostile and often brutal terrorists such a Al Quaida, Boko Haram, ISIS, and a plethora of sub-groups in countries such as Yemen, Somalia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, and more front-page nations such as Iran, Iraq, Syria and Nigeria. 

The manifestations swamp us with horror, fill us with alarm, and may cause us to faint. Who can remain stoic while heads roll and girls are raped and murdered? 

When we are consumed by manifestations we lose sight of the principles that lie behind them. They are not the accidents of history. They are part of the plan and purpose of Islam from the beginning. We must face the truth ... Islam is the enemy of the Christian, not because I think it so but because the Quran says it is so. Simply stated, if you are not a Muslim,  you are an infidel regardless of your track record. It is therefore the duty and the responsibility of the Muslim to eliminate anything that is infidel from society and in its place establish the Caliphate, the Muslim dominated universe.

The principles of Islam call for a dual thrust of its religion, emphasizing that it is not only a path of faith but a way of life. Those who follow the way of life, the five pillars of Islam, and other defined behaviors, are presumed to have faith. It is the only way of salvation for them.However, caution is required here. When we regard Islam, or attempt to, by pursuing its theology, we find ourselves in the swamp. The reason for this is simple. While there is an erstwhile theology that speaks of benignity, the truth is that the theology is driven by an over-arching mentality that connotes domination, conquest, and ruthlessness.

The so called "moderate" Muslim is seen to be benign. That means we can talk with him, persuade him in a kindly godly fashion, even minister to him, share the Gospel with him, and help him in his understanding of whom we are as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. We may even appear to be seeking greater understanding ourselves. The scenario is very pleasant. It belongs to the "angel of light." But what of the "raging lion seeking whom he may devour?" The benign Muslim has no choice but to obey his roaring when the tide turns and the upstart movement begins its devastation. He must rally to the cause or be silent. This explains why the Muslim community as a whole -- the majority -- has not already risen up to condemn by every possible means the dastardly behavior of their terrorist brethren.

If there were no historic precedent, one might imagine that what is happening in the world today is new and has no predecessor. But that is simply not true. The leopard has not changed his spots and the motive that drove that conquests of the earlier centuries (notably the 7th and 8th) is still the same motive today with more sophisticated and devastating expression.

If we are realistic in our objective understanding of the truth, we will now turn to our resources as believers and utilize them. We are reminded that "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." We have read the end of the story. The Book of The Revelation assures us of the triumph of our Lord Jesus Christ and the consummation of His Kingdom. We have the God-given gift of prayer that allows us intimate union with the Father, and we have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, "strenthening us with might in the inner person." Shall we not hold fast to these turths and exercise them? Surely this is a time when the enormity of the opposition is overwhelming save for the assurance that there is victory in Jesus. We are satisfied that this is not the opportunity for theological debate, but a call to the church to lay hold of our resources for the battle is the Lord's and not ours

-Dr. Wilfred A. Bellamy, a former missionary to Nigeria, an ordained minister in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, and a teaching fellow at Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brooksville, FL.

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