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Before I get into the main subjects for today, let me give you a heads up. In about 10 days our annual Spring Share-a-thon will begin. It couldn’t be at a more opportune time since there has been a drop in Monthly donations since Christmas. We really need this Share-a-thon to boost our financial support. We are grateful for the sacrifice that many of you make to keep this ministry on the air.
The main subject I want to talk about today is a report from Barna Research about what Americans think about Islam. But before I get into that I want to take a moment to talk about an example the attack on Christianity by the news media.
David Wise went to the Olympics to represent the US in the Half Pipe Skating and won the gold medal in Freestyle. He is a dedicated Christian and wants to be a pastor. NBC, when reporting that he was a Christian, described his lifestyle as an “Alternate “ Lifestyle. We have come a long way in this nation when being a Christian is considered an alternative lifestyle.
This term has usually been used to describe the homosexual lifestyle. It means that the life style is outside of the mainstream. It means the the lifestyle being discussed is not the norm, but is an alternative to the normal.
This is an attempt to put this label on someone who stands out in the community as a dedicated Christian. This just proves that Christianity is under attack and is becoming more and more bold. We probably have not seen the end of this.
Let’s get into the BARNA STUDY on ISLAM in AMERICA. I am going to focus on how the clergy Views of Islam.
According to the survey, pastors of mainline denominations tend to have a more favorable perception of Islam compared to other Christian leaders, with 68% reporting either a somewhat or very favorable perception of the Muslim faith.
When almost seven out of ten members of the mainline clergy has a somewhat or very favorable perception of the Muslim faith we are in big trouble when it comes to getting this message out. This means that seven out of ten preachers don’t see Islam as a danger to our faith or to our liberties.
I must admit that this report doesn’t surprise me, but it does make me sad. We are not talking about fifty-fifty, we are talking about a strong majority of the pastors saying they don’t see a problem with Islam.
I can only guess who these “mainline” denominations are. They are probably Catholics and Protestant groups like Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc.
Non-mainline and Southern Baptist pastors have the most negative perceptions of Islam, with 85% and 92%, respectively, telling Barna Group they have either somewhat or very unfavorable perceptions of Islam.
These are the groups that are more dedicated to their Bibles and to the preaching of the Word of God. Because of this they see that the Bible says one thing and Islam says something completely different. Among this group nearly nine out of ten say that they have an unfavorable view of Islam.
Let’s look at violence and Islam:
Much of Americans’ concern over Islam has been a perception of violence. While more than half of American adults (53%) believe Islam is essentially a peaceful religion, a substantial minority—more than one in four of all Americans (26%)—associate Islam with violence, saying “Islam is essentially a violent religion.” Another one-fifth of respondents say they are not sure how to answer this question, which underscores that even while most Americans have come to a point of view on Islam, the jury is still out for millions of others.
When ask to respond to the statement “Islam is a violent religion” 52% of evangelicals agree. Among those people with no faith, agnostics, 20% said they agreed with the statement. Among all who claim to be born again Christians, only 32% would say that Islam is a violent religion. Collectively, among all American adults, only 26% agreed with the statement.
When it comes to the question, “Can there be Peace?” three-quarters of all Americans (75%) believe “peace between Christianity and Islam is possible,” and that optimism plays out among the various demographic breakdowns as well.
I don’t see how peace can be made between the tenants of Christianity and the tenants of Islam. I am not saying that it cannot be made between Muslims and Christians. What I am saying is that true Christianity and True Islam cannot find peace.
True Christianity claims that it is exclusive. The Bible says “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6.
True Islam claims that it is exclusive. Their creed is “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet.” Christianity would reject the prophet Muhammad. Islam says that the only way to salvation is their way.
How can you have peace between these tenants? Have you seen the bumper stickers that say coexist? They use the symbols of various religions to spell the word. What they don’t understand is that Christianity and Muslims both claim to be the only way to heaven.
The difference between Islam and Christianity is in what they do with those who disagree with them. Islam makes them slaves and eventually puts them to death if they don’t convert. Christianity uses the spoken word, preaching or witnessing, to try to get those who disagree with them to convert, but allows them the freedom to believe what they believe.
When it comes to extremism, nearly seven in ten Americans (68%) agree that extremists have unfairly distorted people’s perceptions of Islam. The propaganda of Muslims and many non-Muslim leaders in the West tries to get us to believe that just a few of the Muslims have destroyed image of Islam.
Those of you who follow this ministry know that this is a lie. The propagandists know that if a lie is told often enough it is accepted as the truth. That is why they keep telling it in spite of the evidence to the contrary.