Islamic Extremeism and The Anti-Christ
by Dan Juster, Director, Tikkun Ministries International
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By Daniel Juster
President Obama has launched a war against the Islamic State (in the Levant), ISIL. The world has recently been riveted by the absolute cruelty, including torture, murder by beheading of men, women and children, and forced conversions to their version of Islam. Though attacks are taking place in Iraq and Syria, the threat is felt by Jordan, Israel, Lebanon and other Middle-Eastern countries.
Obama has also let it be known that ISIL is not Islam, but something totally aberrant, which he refuses to call Islam. Yet ISIL claims to be Islam and to be based upon the Islamic texts and examples of Mohammed and his early followers. Their territorial advances have shocked the world. Christians, Yazidis, Kurds and Shiites have been slaughtered and have fled from the historic towns where they had been rooted for centuries. Similar cruelty has been shown by Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al Shabab in Somalia, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
A New Evangelical Weakness in Response
A Christian theologian wrote to me objecting to my characterization of Hamas as a terrorist group that is of the same essential nature as ISIL. Its crimes have not gained the attention of the world since they do not generally do public beheadings and are more sophisticated in propagandizing for world opinion. Yet Hamas hands are deeply stained with Israeli blood from decades of terrorist attacks on Israel. Hamas hands are also stained with Palestinian blood having tortured and executed its Palestinian rivals in Fatah as well as countless internal opponents. Hamas focuses on the liberation of Palestine, meaning the destruction of Israel. But as a Muslim Brotherhood group, they (like ISIL) envision a world-wide Muslim-dominated future where all are submitted to Sharia law (civil and religious law based on the Koran and the other historic Muslim texts). Any group that murders civilians is terrorist and deserves to be categorized with all who do likewise. Referring to them as 'militants' is simply a lie. There are no excuses. Even some of the groups that operated in pre-independence Israel, such as Irgun, fall into that category. A small number of Evangelicals are waffling on this, due in part to an anti-Israel bias.
Tolerant, Peaceful and Loving Islam?
President George W. Bush encouraged us to believe that Islam is a peaceful, tolerant, and loving religion. Surely Mohammed must have taught something like the Sermon on the Mount and the love of one's enemies, right? Not so!
Jihadist insurgentd in Iraq
(wikiphoto by Menendi)
Honest students of Islam have documented clearly that Islam has its origin as a violent, beheading and oppressive religion and has continued in this vein throughout most of its history. Refer to Dr. Andrew Bostom (in his definitive The Legacy of Jihad) and Dr. Mark Durie, the Anglican scholar of Islam who resides in Australia. The West has lost confidence in its own biblically rooted values. It fosters immorality and may not have the backbone to face what we are up against. The West is under judgment!
However, the primary issue is not sociological or political but spiritual. Islam is of the spirit of Anti-Christ. John clearly tells us that those who deny that Yeshua was the incarnation of God (has come in the flesh) are of the spirit of Anti-Christ (I John 4:3). This is a foundational confession of Islam, written on their Mosques: "God has no son." This was Mohammed's response to Christianity. Did he have an adequate presentation of the Gospel? We do not know. Joel Richardson and Wallid Shobat have made a strong case that the final Anti-Christ system will be Islamic and that the Anti-Christ will be a Muslim. The jury is still out on this, but they have a significant point.
The answer to jihadist Islam is not bombs or armies, though these may be partly effective for protecting our citizens in the short-term. The answer is the Gospel presented in its fullest power. Things may look dark, but God is arranging a confrontation, connected to Israel and to the Church. This confrontation, I believe, will lead to a great disillusionment with Islam and the outpouring of a spirit for evangelism that we can hardly imagine. In spite of how the situation looks now, I believe we will see a massive turning of many Muslims to Yeshua. The levels of prayer needed for this are unlike anything the world has yet seen. Muslims need Messiah to deliver them from the bondage of Islam and into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
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