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Posted: March 21, 2006

     More than 10,000 Muslims took to the streets of London on Saturday, February 18, to protest the publication of a dozen Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. The protest was mild compared to protests elsewhere this month where hundreds have been killed and many more injured. Protests where Christian churches, shops carrying Danish goods, hotels catering to Europeans and Americans, Western embassies and consulates, and U.S. military bases have been attacked, looted, and torched throughout the Islamic world.

     Those involved are under death threats from the followers of the "Religion of Peace." A Pakistani imam has put a bounty of one million dollars and a new car on the head of the cartoonist who is in hiding. Representatives of The Organization of the Islamic Conference, a 57 member Muslim voting block, have asked the United Nations to take measures against what they call "Islamophobia." And ex-President Bill Clinton, speaking in Pakistan February 17, said "I strongly disagree with the creation and publication of cartoons that are considered blasphemous by the Muslims around the world…I thought it was a mistake."

     The firestorm of protest began after Imam Ahmed Abu Laban, leader of the Islamic Society of Denmark, took the cartoons on a tour of the Middle East in December. The cartoons, which were originally published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten last September, have since been reproduced in a number of other European newspapers and media outlets in a gesture of solidarity over the issue of free speech. Many of those publishers have been threatened as well.

     Ironically, the American media, bastion of free speech and champion of the right to publish anything and everything, has refused to publish the cartoons. The same American media which doesn't hesitate to publish blasphemous images of Jesus Christ and ridicule Christianity, has a new-found concern for religious sensitivities. Why, I even saw NBC blur one of the offending images in a report about an Italian government official who revealed one on his t-shirt on Italian television.

     Personally, I don't think the American media really cares about religious sensitivities. I think the American media is afraid of the reactions of certain groups. After all, it's one thing to stand by your free speech principles when ridiculing and offending Christians. It not like they're going to blow up your offices, slit your throat, or put a bounty on your head. The worst they might do is boycott your advertisers, cancel their subscriptions, or send a stern letter to the editor.

     Of course, this whole fracas once again illustrates the difference between Islam and Christianity. Christianity is based on faith, whereas Islam is based on force. It is the blood of Christ and not the blood of our enemies that takes us to heaven.

     Though we live in a time of "wars and rumours of wars" (Mark 13:7), we must understand that we are actually involved in a much greater battle than what meets the eye, or at least the evening news. Ephesians 6:12 tells us: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

     Now, don't get me wrong. I fully support using our military and security forces to defend against those who would destroy our way of life and take away our freedoms. And, I fully support using the courts and the ballot box to turn back the tide of secularism and political correctness that threatens to wash away our religious freedoms and godly heritage. However, I realize that those things will never win the war in and of themselves.

     The reason they won't is because the real war is a battle between competing belief systems and opposing worldviews. It is a battle for both the heart and the mind and, ultimately, for the very soul of every man, woman, and child. The real war is a spiritual war.

     The efforts of Islam to supplant Bible Christianity and the secular media's attempts to marginalize and muzzle true Christians are but two of many battle fronts in a much larger war. Actions such as the death and destruction spawned by these 12 cartoons, as well as the hypocritical, gutless refusal by the American media to show them, are but skirmishes along these battle fronts.

     The opening shot in the real war was fired ages ago in Lucifer's heart when he said, "...I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High." (Isaiah 14:13-14). Another shot was fired in the Garden of Eden when this same Lucifer said to Eve, "Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" (Genesis 3:1)

     So, how do we fight this spiritual war? Do we take up arms, stage violent protests, and kill those who disagree with us and oppose us? Or is there a better way? The answer, of course is found in the Word of God. After all, 2 Corinthians 10:4 says "...the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds".

     In other words, we battle with spiritual weapons. We target our enemies through prayer (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:28). We overcome them by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11). We wield the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12) against them. And, we bombard our enemies with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:2).

     Have you trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior? If not, why not do so today?

     If you have, then remember to "...follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:11-12)" "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. (1 John 5:4)"      And while you are at it, pass the Danish, please!

-Pastor Al

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