by Linda Harvey 12/23/15
The whole world waits this week for the advent of Jesus, for healing by the baby in the manger who became the Prince of Peace – because our divisions remain wide, our differences dramatic.
And that’s true even among professed Christians, some of whom have foolishly donned the Muslim hijab as a stand against the “oppressed.”
As a chorus of voices decries “hate,” it’s time to search our hearts while we use our heads. If we are Christians, that begins with a review of what the Lord already taught us about disputes and division.
Our leftist political leaders and many in the media ponder, “Why do they hate us so much?” Hillary Clinton thinks it’s Donald Trump’s fault, that he’s “ISIS’ best recruiter.” Attorney General Loretta Lynch promised to prosecute those whose rhetoric was too anti-Muslim.
Lynch has not promised to protect those inundated by hateful rhetoric from “LGBT” sympathizers and radical feminists, a daily occurrence for us pro-family and pro-life advocates.
Perplexed about the growth of ISIS and jihad in general, many assent to American guilt and assume we are obligated to modify our behavior based on the enraged reaction of those who want to set off bombs, shoot up company Christmas parties and fly planes into buildings.
There is another possibility. Unjustified hate is common to the human race, and we should expect it and prepare adequate emotional, political and spiritual defenses against it.
America may no longer be a predominantly Christian nation, but the words of Jesus should still convict many of us: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first” (John 15:18). Christ revealed the reality of unjustified hatred and that we should expect this in the course of living a fully engaged Christian life.
And He should know. Crucifixion is a horrendous death, yet it’s what the Creator of the world suffered at the hands of His creatures. It’s a daunting vision of what peace may have to look like before the world finally understands.
America is not perfect, but neither are its citizens hateful. It’s just that sensible Americans want safety for their families. It’s not “Islamophobic” to evaluate oppressive ideas and reject them and even go the next step – withhold hospitality to those with a “jihad orientation.”
Psalm 94 lifts up the cry of the oppressed: “How long, Lord, will the wicked, how long will the wicked be jubilant? They pour out arrogant words; all the evildoers are full of boasting.”
Nowhere does Christ say, “And even if some don’t recognize Me as Savior and preach a false faith, it’s important for you who say you love Me to show respect to their beliefs and bow before their demands.” This would not be the message of the Christ of the Bible.
But back to why they hate us. Another reason might be lack of respect. We are acting like pathetic weenies who don’t know what we believe. Jihadists at least have a clear vision.
Avowed Christians are busy fawning before this false, oppressive and barbaric faith. Christian college professor Larycia Hawkins has now thankfully been put on leave from Wheaton College after she pledged to wear a hijab to stand in “religious solidarity” with peaceful Muslims because we “worship the same God.”
Where does a faculty member at a Christian college get such outrageous ideas? Islam is far from Christianity. Allah never had a son named Jesus, and in Islam, there is no crucifixion of Christ for the sins of believers, so to claim compatibility is to profess not just theological ignorance but a cold heart toward our resurrected Lord and His marvelous work of salvation.
That salvation is open to Muslims, too, by the way. There’s nothing exclusive in the claims of Christ. It’s only humans themselves who choose to shut themselves off from salvation by unbelief or false faith.
Sadly, Muslim communities are bastions of isolation, limiting access of especially women and children to different ideas. There’s nothing per se wrong with headscarves, but to do so in honor of Islam (which means “submission”) is to honor its false god and assent to its anti-freedom, un-Christ-like ideas.
The hijab to me represents the oppression Islam inflicts on its women.
By contrast, professors like Hawkins seem to be bypassing great opportunities to witness to Muslims about the Gospel. Why not proclaim that, unlike Allah, the one true Almighty God gives everyone free will, which is why our culture, founded on Judeo-Christian principles, starts with religious freedom as a basic premise?
Why be defenders of alleged “victims” who really aren’t? Hawkins and some of her students rush to the side of people who may be condoning the murder of innocent Americans in their workplaces, as they shop, or even children at school.
The silence of moderate Muslims is truly deafening. As they enjoy the benefits of American life, could they not find the human rights’ conviction to speak out and police their own?
So, we don’t need to figure out why they hate us. We know why.
Jesus told us. They love the darkness and their sin more than the light (John 3:19). Darkness can take the form of idolatry, jealousy, pride, needing approval from a peer group ( instead of God), covetousness, or sexual sin.
What is the answer? Later verses in Psalm 94 provide the reason for our hope: “Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers? Unless the Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. … But the Lord has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.”
As we celebrate Christmas, let’s remember that Allah will bow before Jesus, and so will we all.
Jesus rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove the glories of His righteousness.
And the wonders of His love. Have a Merry Christmas.
Linda Harvey is president of Mission America and hosts a talk show on Salem affiliate WRFD in Columbus, OH.