Could it be that Christian Jihad is the only way to stop the blood-seeking radical, Islamic movement? A revival of bedrock Christianity, such as the brand of faith seen in the book of Acts, is our only hope of stopping the advance of violent anti-west radicals. This Christian response may require the mobilization of Christian missionaries that are willing to risk their lives for the cause of Christ.
Most Americans are only starting to wake up to the fact that modern Islam is planning a sinister plot to take over the world during the next two decades. The term “jihad” is used for their aspirations. It has two meanings to Muslims:
• An individual's striving for spiritual, self-perfection,
• A Muslim holy war or spiritual struggle against infidels.
Fortunately, most dictionaries give a third meaning to this Islamic word. The definition, found in the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, essentially calls any crusade or struggle a “jihad” – with the idea that this war carries with it great intensity and focus. It some ways, Christians must fight radical Islam with their brand of bold Christianity. Simply put, we must return to our roots!
An understanding of democratic freedom, personal rights, and the Judeo-Christian system of law are all apart of the gift that Christianity contributes to every society that accepts it. In other words, Christian evangelism and foreign missions must penetrate Islamic or “veiled” nations if lasting, cultural change is going to occur. Last week, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council wrote a persuasive article putting forth the thesis that lasting social change in Iraq may be impossible without the change of worldview that Christianity and its missionaries could bring to the people.
Ironically, an article written last week by Graeme Wilson for London's Daily Telegraph reported that younger Muslim Britons are becoming more radical in terms of an anti-west mindset. This proves Dr. Perkins’ point. According to the article, older Muslims in the UK have been proud to assimilate into the warp and woof of the society. Unfortunately, second generation UK citizens and younger immigrants have embraced a worldview that pits their faith against all western nations. Growing numbers of radical young Muslims celebrate Al Quaeda and want to set up self-ruling enclaves within the UK where Sharia law would supersede the laws of England.
If English Muslims can reject the freedoms of England, how much more might the concept of democracy be rejected as the attractive democratic concept is fleshed out in practical terms.
The events I have just described beg the question “Is Islam really a religion of peace, or are there two faces of Islam?"
I would like to suggest that the average westerner has not fully understood both the violence and the complexity of the Islamic worldview. Politics and faith are inextricably connected in the mind of an Islamic radical. There is no comparison with the conservative Christian involvement in American politics. In Christianity, governments are charged with waging wars, while individuals are called to a lifestyle of personal peace and non-violence. Conversely, many Muslims have taken up the call to personal violence as an act of their faith. Therefore, suicide bombing, rioting, persecution of non-believers, and other atrocities are all part of personal choices that radical Muslims make.
Many people in the U.S. and the UK have not yet come to grips with the idea that many of their Muslim neighbors have not caught the vision of freedom that our nation espouses. Growing numbers of Muslims residing inour homelands do not share our views on women's rights, social justice, or racial tolerance.
So what do we do? How do Christian nations conduct their own jihad? We should draw a line in the sand – defining our unique national cultures, while resisting the encroachment of unbending, imperialistic Muslims.
More specifically, we need to understand that we are conducting an ideological, spiritual battle. I am not suggesting that Christians arm themselves physically or become suicide bombers. Quite the contrary! I am recommending that we recognize our enemy and fight ideologically before we get embroiled in direct physical conflict.
In the West, we must avoid backing down from the intimidation of radical Islamic groups. Freedom of religion is a major tenet of our nation which should not be violated. On the other hand, we must resist the attempts of one group to dominate the cultural landscape of nations which have given them refuge.
In third world nations, where Islam is just starting to make inroads, we need to send aid and Christian missionaries. The gospel of Jesus Christ must be preached once again without compromise. The statistics say that large numbers of Muslims are converting to Christianity all over the world (perhaps the greatest conversion rates since the religion’s conception in the 7th century). With their conversion, former Muslims are dropping the notions of physical jihad and violent attack of infidels.
How do we win this fight? We must focus upon elevating the poor. Remember that at the core of Christianity the gospel offers good news to the poor. Most modern mission efforts reflect this core value by serving targeted communities with practical solutions to economic, health, or environmental problems. A final word of practical advice is appropriate here. Churches and denominations should attempt to dovetail their efforts as much as possible with the huge aid packages that western nations are giving around the world. This coordination could multiply the impact of our efforts.
In summation, it’s time for Christian nations to unashamedly preach the gospel. We need to strengthen Christian commitment within our own countries, while sending missionaries to foreign lands. This non-violent jihad must be won all around the world. Let’s roll!
Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.
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