free web stats Lost in the Eternity of the Here and Now: The 4th, Freedom, and Radical Islam
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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The 4th, Freedom, and Radical Islam

As a child the fourth of July was a time of friends, family, and fireworks. I still have fond memories of giant get-togethers. It was a warm summer evening. Lightning bugs spotted the dusk-lit field of high grass. The silhouettes of my father and friend in the distance were barely distinguishable. The rhythmic chirp of crickets, the lulling sound of locusts in the trees added to the children’s anticipation. Suddenly a loud BOOM breaks into the night. The sky explodes in a myriad of colors raining down against the backdrop of the Milky Way. Things were simpler then. A child can occupy his time with fantasy and expectation, a simple night of fireworks and watermelon.

This year, perhaps for the first time, I have come to a place of understanding concerning the freedom that we enjoy in this country, or at least I am beginning to. My classes in preparation for my upcoming trip to Oxford have required me to read about Baptist heritage and church history. It is true, in America we take for granted the freedom we enjoy. We are so far removed from the tyranny against which our predecessors fought that the matter becomes academic, if even that. Most people, including myself before recently, had no real idea what that freedom cost. Men have died just for voicing their opinion, daring to be different, daring to challenge the establishment who they feel is in error. In America we can say whatever we like and not fear repercussion, yet this was not always so. The pages of history are stained red with the blood of countless martyrs whose deaths paved the way for our modern concept of freedom. Ultimately, this freedom originates with God himself through the infinite sacrifice of his son. His death provided the means and grounds for all freedom, yet men have tried to corrupt even that, as though they could.

Currently the world is engaged in an epic war. Many people are hesitant to call it a war. Political rhetoric and ideological presuppositions blind so many people to the immediacy of the threat we face. This enemy has been called many things. Whatever his name, he is the same. He is an enemy of freedom. He is an enemy of hate. He is evil.

Radical Islam threatens to destroy the freedom we now enjoy, the freedom bought with the blood of millions. “Oh, you’re just being reactionary. Islam is not a threat. You’re just some right-wing, conspiracy theorist, religious fanatic, nut-job.” Am I? Again, we have isolated ourselves and are wandering about in a dazed stupor. Look at Europe. France has been overrun by radical Islamic youths who rioted in 2005, burning hundreds of cars and pillaging the streets. Two cars filled with propane, gasoline and nails were disarmed in England LAST WEEK! Others tried to drive their explosives-laden cars into the Glasgow airport THIS WEEK! The populous in Iran is rioting, burning gas stations. Militants in Iraq are BEHEADING people (Berg and Pearl) and dumping their bodies in dark allies! Radical Islam is the threat of our day. It seeks to enact Sharia law in Western nations. It seeks to enslave the peoples of the free world under their authoritarian, religious rule; the very thing our ancestors fought against.

Jesus said to love your neighbor1. He also said to turn the other cheek2. This leaves Christians in a precarious spot in the modern world. Are Christians to stand against evil, tyranny and oppression, or should their submissive actions act as a witness to the lost? Should Christians take up arms against radical Islam? Should a Christian join the military? These are all difficult questions.

As I ponder the lives of those lost who gave of themselves for my freedom I have a hard time standing idly by and watching evil encroach. Do I pray for my enemies? I do, though admittedly not often enough, not at a level appropriate to my other rhetoric. Do I love the enemy? I do, but how is that love actualized? How can I ask so many qualifying questions regarding the clear teaching of Jesus regarding this issue? The answer is simple. Jesus was not talking about what we face now. He was talking to Jews who would encounter other Jews, and perhaps even gentiles. Jesus was talking about singular encounters. Today we are dealing with a false religion (Islam) whose political ambitions are built into the religion itself, almost from its very inception. Today, that ambition has been realized with the blind hatred of anything that opposes it, or even appears to. Radical Muslims kill anyone who disagrees with them, be it Americas, British, or even their own people who are not “Muslim enough.” They cannot be reasoned with. They will not even sit down to reason! Giving the Palestinians the Gaza Strip and the West Bank has brought nothing but further death and destruction. They will not rest until Israel is destroyed, and the entire Islamic world is behind them with Iran’s president the chief talking head. People who are willing to kill themselves in order to kill others are not reasonable. They are clinically insane, spiritually dead, and not who Jesus was talking about.

We cannot allow radical Islam to spread. The war path of the Muslims in the 8th century and following led to the loss of a large portion of Europe, Persian, and northern Africa. With today’s technology the effects are a million times more grave. The people committing these acts are among us now. The 9/11 attackers all lived in America for years! If we do not stand and fight, there will be no one left to spread Christianity. The land of the free will be no more unless the home of the brave stand and fight.

All of this has particular meaning for me. In less than five days I will fly into London. Though America has been insulated from this chaos, it will not remain so forever. I honestly pity anyone that wakes America. We were the sleeping giant in WWII. And though our government and military might is being employed around the world, the American people are largely asleep. When America awakes, the burning fires of freedom for which those faithful many have spilled their blood will kindle into a firestorm unlike any the world has seen. In those days I fear for those Muslims who are not radicalized living in our country. When cars start exploding in our streets our people will not sit idly by like Europe has while the enemy slowly erodes their culture. And even if I am wrong, I know that those of us who live in Texas will all take up arms and fight back. God help those who seek to steal our freedom!

Happy Independence Day 2007.

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