In recent years, the news has brought us reports of Christians around the world who are being beheaded and burned alive. Others have been imprisoned merely for preaching the Gospel or not being a Muslim.
In times past, Christians have been burned at the stake, sawed in two, and crucified. They have been shot, fed to lions, and forced to choose between their faith and their freedom. Many were gassed along with the Jews for harboring their Jewish neighbors.
The Bible teaches that in the last days, evil, including every kind of persecution will continue to grow.
Even as we watch acts of terrorism on the evening news in Europe, the Middle East, and here at home, we often feel somewhat insulated. Most of us, probably, can’t imagine beheadings or people being burned alive here. But what if we were faced with the choice to stand up or betray Christ in the face of intense persecution?
And is there another kind of invasion going on? One that appears benign, but may be just as insidious?
Leviticus 11 & 12
Islam, Christianity & Cultural Invasion
Little Things & Big Things
Chapter 11 contains all the dietary restrictions God set for Israel. They were being taught to obey God in the daily details of life. That’s a tremendous truth for us, as well.
In Luke 16.10 Jesus was talking about how we use our resources, but the principle is the same. He said:
“He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.”
If we’re not faithful in the little details of life, we won’t be faithful in the big things.
The dietary laws, also, served to set them apart from the world around them. What sets you and me apart from those around us? What should set us apart?
Is it that we attend church on Sundays? I know many unbelievers who attend church every Sunday. They check off that religious box on their to-do list and think they are good to go for the rest of the week.
Is it that we don’t party or run around? I know people in cults who don’t drink or live immoral lives.
Is it because we call ourselves Christians? Or own a Bible? Or have joined a church? Or prayed a prayer once?
What really sets us apart?
Jesus said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn. 13.34-35).
And in Matthew 7.16 He said, “You will know them by their fruits.”
They should know us by our fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control) and by our love for one another.
Paul said Christians are to:
“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2.14-15).
I have to admit there are times when I don’t look any different from the world around me. What about you?
These restrictions, also, helped keep them culturally unique, separate from the pagan nations around them.
That thought grabbed my attention because of something I read about Muslims in Dr. David Jeremiah’s book What in the World is Going On?. Dr. Jeremiah quotes an Iraqi Christian by the name of Georges Sada. Mr. Sada says, talking about the words Fatah and Jihad, “… these doctrines express the belief that Allah has commanded them to conquer the nations of the world both by cultural invasion and by the sword.”
Did you get that phrase “cultural invasion”? He goes on, “In some cases this means moving thousands of Muslim families into a foreign land—by building mosques and changing the culture from the inside out, and by refusing to assimilate or adopt the beliefs or values of that nation—to conquer the land for Islam. This is an invidious doctrine, but it’s … being carried out in some places today by followers of this type of Islam.” Continue reading