We are presently living with two primary opponents to our biblical faith. One is Islam, and the other is secular relativism. I do not include other opponents like Hinduism or communism in China because these other "isms" are not nearly as consistent in their opposition nor as effective. Indeed, the Chinese churches continue to expand rapidly. We are also finding very good expansion in India. Where Islam prevails, the church is facing a much greater struggle. In cultures where secular relativism prevails, the struggle is also very great. Israel is a key to God's plan to break through for the kingdom in these struggles.
The Spirit of Islam
Islam's beginnings and early history are so filled with the spirit of Anti-Messiah that it cannot be reformed into a moderate religion. Islam's affirmations deny biblical truth. It denies that Yeshua is the Son of God, that Isaac was offered by Abraham on the altar (they claim it was Ishmael), that Israel is a chosen nation and that the Bible is trustworthy. From its inception, the sword was a primary instrument for spreading Islam. It is a religion whose first 300 years were awash in blood. (It is the opposite with Christianity whose first 300 years were marked by Christians laying down their lives for their faith and never taking up the sword to defend or spread the faith.)
Islam is monotheistic but slanders God by teaching that God desires violent barbaric behavior. Islamic eschatology (doctrine of the last days) predicts that at the end of the age the Islamic faithful will be empowered to kill all the Jews and Christians. ("First we will come for the Saturday people and then for the Sunday people.") There are moderate Muslims, but any hope of their reforming this faith into a moderate religion is unrealistic wishful thinking.
Secular relativism opposes biblical faith in a much different way. Having gained control of the major culture-forming institutions of Western societies, secular relativists seek to trivialize the faith of Christians and Jews. They deny the existence of God and his Law. By imposing a skewed interpretation of the separation of church and state, they seek to divorce civil law from morality. The moral consensus of the people is the basis of law; this same moral consensus is based in the people's world view. Believing Jews, Christians and others have a common moral consensus.
The courts are now used to marginalize and privatize faith and to destroy the connection of civil law as based on this consensus. If our faith is merely for private life, there is no message for the society. Martin Luther King based his leadership of the civil rights movement in biblical morality. Secular relativism would have provided no basis for progress. Of course, if all religions are equal, then all are trivialized. Secular relativism asserts with intense religious fervor that all religious views are equal.
There are some within the secular relativism camp who claim that preaching from Romans 1, which condemns homosexual expression, is a hate crime. A court in Sweden has upheld such an argument. Don't disturb the secular relativist with the evidence of history! I recommend Rodney Stark's magnificent book, Victory of Reason. Stark reveals a greater truth: a moral, humane and prosperous society with the advance of science only happens in societies influenced by a biblical world view.
Secular Relativism Confronts Islam
When secular relativism confronts Islam, it must believe that underneath the bravado of Islamic leaders, we will find reasonable men who want to have material prosperity for their families and nations. The Marxist explanation of human behavior, that material deprivation is the root of all conflict, still dominates the discussion. The problem is not thought to be in the world view of Islam. Never ending dialogue with Islamic leaders is embraced. Dialogue, negotiation and compromise must somehow work in spite of the very statements to the contrary made by Islamic leaders. The secular relativist therefore defends the Islamic leaders who hate and despise them. At the same time secular relativists portray evangelicals to be like al Qaeda. They do not perceive the incoherent anomaly.
Secular Relativists Do Not Play Fair
Secular relativists will not dialogue fairly with Christian intellectuals, but must slander, misrepresent and dismiss them as those who seek to establish an authoritarian theocracy which would destroy civil liberties. An honest dialogue will expose secular relativism to be irrational and without supporting evidence. Secular relativists oppose the humane influence of Christianity in our society at every level of our culture: media, art, literature, government and education.
The foundation of secular relativism is based on one premise they hold to be absolute truth. That is, the Darwinian theory of macro evolution is absolutely true in its assertions. All can be
explained as a product of time plus chance plus matter. Even a non-religious (scientific-philosophical) assertion of intelligent design as the key concept to explain the origin and development of life on earth is opposed with all the might of media propaganda and court litigation. This demonic stronghold of the mind is defended at all costs. They cannot open the door, not even a crack, to the possibility of God. Yet the evidence for intelligent design is overwhelming, and the incoherence of naturalistic evolution is equally overwhelming.
A Biblical Response
We have embraced a faith relationship with God the Father through Yeshua the Messiah. Our world view is without any competition for its majesty, coherence, and supporting evidence. If you would like to see a forceful presentation of the biblical world view and its evidence, do purchase my book The Biblical World View, An Apologetic. It is available here on our website and through Amazon.com. I think it will encourage you. The evidence for our faith in God, in Yeshua and His resurrection, and in fulfilled prophecy is wonderful.
In the midst of world conflict, we find little Israel. The Jewish people testify to the biblical worldview by practices that are rooted in the Bible. Keeping the Sabbath tells us that God created the heavens and the earth and rested on the seventh day. Every time a Jew lights Sabbath candles, he proclaims that God exists and that God expects our obedience to His standards. The regathering of our people to their ancient land is one of the greatest demonstrations of God's sovereignty in history. Though many of the Jews living in the land of Israel are themselves influenced by Western secular relativism, God has decreed that Israel will be His instrument in destroying all false "isms." This is why Israel is in the center of world controversy. As Walter Kaiser, the president of Gordon-Conwell Seminary, stated some years ago, "God will yet have His victory in space time history through His work though Israel."
This will only happen with the prayers and witness of the whole church. I invite you to join us in concentrated intercession for our troubled but gloriously destined country. Through Israel, God will demonstrate to the whole world His eternal truth. All competing truth claims will be shown up for what they are: The teachings and doctrines of men.
Dan Juster is the director of Tikkun Ministries International, a Messianic Jewish ministry. He is an author and has been in Messianic Jewish ministry since 1972.
This article originally appeared at tikkun.tv.
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