By Weylan Deaver
The church of Christ and the gospel it seeks to uphold and defend are under attack from all directions. If we take seriously what the Bible teaches about Satan’s efforts, this should come as no surprise. If we realize that every Christian will be called on to suffer persecution of one brand or another (2 Tim. 3:12), we should be expecting it.
In point of fact, the “schemes of the devil” (Eph. 6:11) are so clever that we can even expect the unexpected. Have you ever been astonished at the palpable reluctance of the American media to criticize Islam? For example, on May 22 two Muslims plowed into a young British soldier in London in their car, then got out and attacked him with knives and a meat cleaver, nearly beheading the corpse. The murderous Muslims shouted “Allah Akbar” (Arabic for “God is great”) and recorded on camera a hateful speech before police arrived. In the recorded rant, one of the Muslims, hands covered in blood, said: “We swear by the almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone…You people will never be safe. Remove your government, they don’t care about you…You think politicians are going to die? No, it’s going to be the average guy, like you, and your children.”
By now, American journalists and politicians should readily acknowledge the undeniable pattern emerging from a growing string of tragedies. In 2009 a Muslim soldier murdered thirteen and injured over thirty while shouting “Allahu Akhbar” at Ford Hood in Killeen, Texas. Yet, the Obama administration insists it was simply a case of workplace violence. On April 15, 2013 two bombs went off at the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring 264, perpetrated by two foreign-born Muslim brothers. Yet, on May 23, 2013 President Obama boasted of his tenure, “There have been no large-scale attacks on the United States, and our homeland is more secure.” It seems we are doomed to the delusion that the religion of Islam is not an existential threat to American life.
Thus, to return to the late case of the murdered British soldier, consider how it was reported in America on the evening it happened (according to a newsbusters.org piece, “Networks’ Evening Shows Don’t Name Islam in London Terror Attack,” by Matthew Philbin). Brian Williams of NBC news said the killers vented “their message about religion and politics,” while NBC correspondent Michelle Kosinski remarked that one of the murderers “made a long political statement…”. Over at CBS, reporter Charlie D’Agata observed, “Witnesses said that the men shouted ‘god is great’ in Arabic during the attacks,” but there was no effort by CBS to emphasize or lay blame on Islam as a motive. At ABC news, Diane Sawyer said “officials in the United States and the United Kingdom are studying the meaning of this tape,” while ABC news reporter Lama Hasan said authorities were trying to learn “whether or not one of [the attackers] is of African origin with ties to terrorist groups.”
Even though one of the killers, moments after the murder, looked at a video camera and said, “We swear by the almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone,” (which is what the Koran demands), our naivety knows no bounds. Leftist Americans scratch their heads and wonder what could have motivated such a grisly attack. Though a picture emerges, each new attack is met with an unwillingness to connect the dots.
Islam represents everything an increasingly godless American culture claims to hate. Islam puts to death adulterers and homosexuals, where godless liberals celebrate a sexual free-for-all where anything goes, and perversion is placed on the pedestal of respect. Islam calls for women to be covered, while the irreligious celebrate nakedness (in print, on film, in public). Islam opposes the consumption of alcohol, while America consumes it in volume. Islam opposes pornography while the Left supports it. Islam calls for everyone to submit to Allah, while godless liberalism refuses to submit to any lawgiving deity. Islam calls for a world ruled by Islam, whereas cultural leftists decry any organized religion. Islam says the Koran is ultimate law, but Leftists seem to recognize their own lusts as ultimate law, and the U.S. Constitution is respected by neither as the country’s highest authority. If truth be told, America’s constitutional republic and an Islamic society are definitionally incompatible. But there is none so blind as he who will not see.
Disparate as liberalism and Islam are, you would think liberal American journalists and Hollywood-types would be first in line to criticize Islam every chance they got. You might think the Left would see Islam as its greatest enemy. All things considered, Muslims should be coming under ever-increasing scrutiny and condemnation by the Left, since their respective worldviews are so diametrically opposed to each other. Or, are they?
It might be suggested that the Left is afraid to criticize Islam due to the latter’s obvious violent inclinations. While that is doubtless so in many countries, Islam in America has not reached a level of influence to scare us into submission. Muslims represent a small minority of our population. There must be another, more relevant answer. Why do American Muslims want to live in a country whose culture and governmental institutions stand in the way of the Koran’s influence? And why does our liberal American society seem so reluctant to offer criticism of Islam, when it stands for so many things liberals have a visceral reaction against?
Perhaps the answer lies in what they both have in common. The American Left hates the church of Christ. Islam hates the church of Christ. If there is one thing a godless worldview and an Islamic worldview have in common, it is this: they both fundamentally oppose the gospel of Christ. They both hate the Bible and the truth it contains. Think of it this way. By rejecting the truth of the gospel, liberalism embraces a worldview authored by the devil (who is the “father of lies,” John 8:44). By rejecting the truth of the gospel, Muslims also embrace a worldview from the same author. So, though they at first seem inherently different, liberalism and Islam both stem from worldviews issued from the devil. Both mindsets ultimately come from the same place! And the devil knows, whether it helps liberalism, or whether it helps Islam, it will make things harder on the Lord’s church. Since preventing men’s salvation seems his chief concern, Satan cares not from which direction the hindrance comes. In the case of American liberals, the devil has made for them a strange bedfellow, indeed.