Text Size: Zoom In

The Power of “Group Think”

Photo by: syrialooks

Yesterday, I read an article in USA Today about a Christian leader who removed his name from a group that supports the rights of Muslims to build mosques in their communities.

The article went on to explain that the person was responding to those who felt that the Interfaith Coalition on Mosques crossed the line from defending religious freedom to promoting Islam.

The leader in question is quoted as saying to the Associated Press, “”I don’t agree with that perception but it’s widespread and I have to respect it.”

Reading the article left me with a number of questions and the awareness that I don’t know enough to have a strong opinion about whether the group really had crossed the line between defending religious liberty and actually promoting another religion. The man who was pressured to the point of removing his name made it clear that he had no intent of promoting the other faith.

Reminds me of the often quoted statement, “I don’t agree with what you’re saying, but I’d die for your right to say it.”

Seems to me that those who believe the Gospel of Christ can be among the first to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Our history of being a minority people should also tell us something about how to act, now that we are temporarily in the majority.

Violating a foundational principle of Christ to flex the muscle of “group think” or “political pressure” might feel good for the moment. But is it wise? In the end, don’t efforts to protect spiritual interest through political strategies end up creating a backlash that is as counterproductive as trying to ban books or movies that insult the Name we are trying to honor?

Seems to me that if we, as followers of Christ, are rightly seen as unfair, fearfully protective of our faith, or unwilling to extend to others the civil rights we enjoy, we will do far more damage to our reputation than being good neighbors to those who don’t yet bow before the Cross.

Vote on whether you think this post is something you'll be thinking about:
Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up (+46 rating, 52 votes)

60 Responses to “The Power of “Group Think””

  1. davids says:

    This is a tricky subject, because some will argue over the facts (“if the organization was trying to promote Islam, then…”), while others will argue over the principle – which I believe is what Mart is trying to get us to focus on.

    The question is basically whether we (Christians, not US citizens) should accept the rights of others to promote thier faith? This is only a question in places that have a Christian majority that can influence the question.

    What will bring more glory to Christ? Do we try to protect those not yet confirmed in the faith or do we try to win others to the faith?

    Too many non-believers and “Christians in name only” believe that our faith is one of persecution and judgement. They really have no idea or understanding of God’s grace through Jesus Christ.

    I believe that our efforts to evangelize to the great majority must take precedence over our efforts to defend against the efforts of other faiths.

  2. BruceC says:

    Guess I’m the first to comment, or so it seems.
    Having difficulty getting the site to load; so I may not be the first.

    I asked myself this kind of question years ago. Happened when a well known TV preacher decided to run for the GOP nomination. I thought “If God called you into the ministry as you have stated; then why are you running for POTUS?” It was about the time the “Christian Right” was flexing its political muscle and pundits were talking about the “evangelical vote”.
    I don’t recall anywhere in the NT where Christ taught us to change the world through politics by standing as the “body of Christ” and forming a voting bloc at the polls. He said to preach the Gospel to all nations. Nations change when its people change; one at a time.
    IMHO; we as individual Christians must do what is right before God; and not get political as a group as I fear that a backlash against the faith could occur and it would turn many unbelievers off. Salvation cannot be forced upon a person by political means.
    Do we form groups and protest against sects that call themselves Christian when they plan to put up a building? As far as a mosque goes; there is where the water starts to muddy. There is evidence that some of the activities at these places seems to support the radicals. Like the “Ground Zero Mosque”; sometimes things just seem to be in bad taste to Christian and non-Christian alike. I think that if a person wants to get on a petition against a plan for a religious organization’s building; he should do it as an individual without invoking the Name or cause of Christ. Also it must be done for the right reasons and have firm legal ground; such as building codes, etc.
    We ehjoy freedom of religion; so how can we deny others the same right. Look at the world that Paul preached to.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  3. poohpity says:

    When I read this post Micah 6:8 came to mind, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.” I have to ask myself if I believe God is God and I want the ability to worship who I want to worship would it be fair/just to not allow someone else to do the same. If God wants me to show mercy is it just to those who show me mercy or is it to everyone especially those who have wronged us, not saying that Muslims have harmed us. Those who want to please God will live in a humble relationship with Him and allow God to be God. He requires us to do good not fight battles that belong to Him for people hearts. At times I think we do more damage than good.

  4. marma says:

    I really like Mart’s last paragraph about extending rights which we enjoy to others. Otherwise, we would be hypocrites. So far, I like the responses, too. Davids has a point; easy with this subject to get off on specifics rather than the principles.

    I think that BruceC and Poohpity agree that politics to support our faith should not be our goal, rather to “live peaceably with all men” as much as we can, and to not allow the name of Christ to be sullied by our (believers’) actions. Our (wrong) actions do more damage, I think, than any building of a Mosque can do to the furtherance of the Gospel.

    We need to seek God before we align ourselves with any cause, no matter how just it may seem on the surface. Sometimes we jump in with both feet without considering and thinking and praying. Big mistake.

    I also think there is a big difference between not inhibiting liberty and backing a cause. One word I forgot to mention is “wisdom.” That is readily available to believers; all we have to do is ask for it and will keep us out of trouble.

  5. marma says:

    My thoughts came out kind of random. Sorry about that.

  6. dinakar says:

    My daughter is doing her school final and I have limited TV viewing for her to one hour a day. This seems unfair to her “How come you watch TV when ever you want and I watch only for an hour” is her response. By rules it seams quite unfair but both of us know there is more at stake here than just a rule.

    I am sure this issue which has been brought up has more to to with it than just rights & freedom and I do not think it is about protecting our faith either.
    Hinduism Jews Sikhs and many more religions have found a place in the US without this kind of a controversy.

  7. Mart De Haan says:

    We’ve had problem the last couple of days with some of our sites. Sorry for the problems loading page. Our Web team is trying to find a solution.

  8. kadoshkudus says:

    We, Christians, are minority in our country here, and facing strong resistance from the majority. Obtaining permission to build a church is almost a miracle here. I hope “this unfairness” are not found in “Christian” countries like yours.

  9. dussmiller says:

    I do not understand what point Rev De Haan is making

  10. pegramsdell says:

    I am thinking that God does not ask us to defend Him or even to talk about religion with people. He said to go out and preach the gospel. The good news. That Jesus saves and heals. God is more than able to speak for Himself and defend Himself with other gods and religions and He will give us the words to say at the right time.

    Just because I don’t protest at abortion clinics doesn’t mean I am for abortion.

    I believe we must be lead by The Holy Spirit in everything we do and say. He loves everyone. And only He knows who is going to be saved. We must be obediant to His leading and love Him first and our neighbors next.

  11. Mart De Haan says:

    Behind all of my posts I’m trying to drive for Christ-centered wisdom. In this case, thinking of our goal, as the people of Christ, we will be known for something. What do we want it to be. i.e. In our desire to point all to Christ, do we want to be known for our love or our fear?

  12. SFDBWV says:

    Once again, a book can be written on this subject. To try and reduce my thoughts into a small package will be difficult.

    In my opinion, we live near the end of the age. Because I believe that I can clearly see the rise of the coming storm.

    People of God will be hunted down and killed (Beheaded) for their faith in Christianity or in Judaism.

    Because I believe this, am I able to seperate my emotions from seeing the religion of the anti-christ coming into power, from my American idea of religious freedom?

    Yes folks, religious freedom is a unique American concept. Adopted by other countries but it all began here in the American revolution. Whether agreed with or not, it was for the worship of Christ, not every religion in the world.

    Go to any Islamic country, and Christianity is sometimes tolerated by a few but to convert from Islam to Christianity is a death sentence.

    For Islam to gain a foothold into our communities, may at the outset seem that we are being tolerant, but we are inviting the fox into the hen house.

    Look at what that religion teaches, and what it has caused in the lives of any who oppose it.

    The countries that are now Islamic were at one time…not.. controlled by insane religious clerics. However once the cancer of Islam is in the house it is just a matter of time before the cancer spreads.

    To the end result of running the country.

    We seen the fall of Iran, we are perhaps seeing the fall of Egypt and Tunisia to the dark power of Islam.

    Most people like to ignore the horrors of an Islamic Indonesia…Of the horrors of Islamic Africa and the continuing murder of countless Christians.

    I have not ignored these stories, even though the press of the world gives more attention to whether a mosque should be allowed to be built in NY, rather than the genicide of Christians in Islamic countries.

    Having said all of this, what leader of either Christian groups or of political factions here in our own country want to be associated with such a dark and evil religion as is Islam?

    One of the problems I see, is that from reading the OT. There is not tolerace of religion. OT prophets and people were sent time and time again to cleanse ther country of idolatry.

    How did God have Elijah deal with the priests of Baal? As well as how did God deal with Ahab and Jezebel?

    So as Christian, I am trained by both the OT and the new concept of being a follower of Christ.

    Interesting though that Jesus also said there is a time to take up the sword. Luke 22:36-38.

    Troubled times, we must put forth the Gospel of Christ, while being wary of the dangers of this world and dealing with those dangers as they come against our efforts. Without seeming to be intolerant ourselves.

    I admit I am intolerant of any faith other than Christianity,with the exception of Judaism. Because they have a destiny with Christ. Intolerant because I see them as false and pitted against my own beliefs. Intolerant because Jesus said there is only one way. I am commanded to not accept the religion of others. Can a man not be burned by taking fire to his breast?

    No, I see the use of our political concept of religious freedom as a backdoor to the destruction of our country as a Christian nation, by our enemies both political and religious.

    Peter thought he was willing to die for Jesus, until his moment came….Are we willing to die for Christ?

    If you are willing to die for Christ, then there has to be someone willing to kill you because of Christ.


  13. NanGoodwin says:

    First post–‘most of what I know,(biblically speaking) I learned from RBC booklets’…Thanks, forever.
    loved this concept of mart’s, so seldom heard or expounded on in churches I grew up in. Was always “us vs. them.”
    I don’t see Jesus taking on any (and there were so many in that politheistic society) of the false religions during his earthly ministry. could this be a clue as to how we should also conduct ourselves? Makes me think of that bromide, “when all else fails to present the Gospel, preach.”

  14. NanGoodwin says:

    Hmmm, I hope i didn’t give the impression I don’t value preaching. But our lives are to be the first message, right?

  15. chfranke says:

    You and I are on the same track. The key difference is I do not acknowledge Islam as a religion.

    In April of 2008, Pat Robertson made a statement:

    “Well, we’ve been saying it, but it looks like the political correctness in our society won’t let you say it. They make fun of people who speak out boldly against Islam. But I want to say it again, and again, and again: Islam is not a religion, it is a political system meant on — bent on world domination, not a religion. It masquerades as a religion, but the religion covers a worldwide attempt to exercise power and to subjugate the world to their way of thinking.”

    The warning of Mr. Robertson has, in my view, been drowned out as insensitive and intolerant. He is no longer given the press coverage he once had. I’m sure that even mentioning his name here will weaken my credibility, but I think he is making a clear, truthful statement.

    Islam fails every measure I use to determine whether a belief is a religion or not. We must use our critical thinking to see this and not be bullied by people who promote or support Islam as otherwise.

    I know this is a strong statement and doesn’t fit in with Mart’s mission to be a peacemaker in this world but I also know he respects the rights of all of us to express our views openly. Thank you, Mart.

  16. dja says:

    Amen, Steve. Thank you for taking the time to write out your thoughts on this topic. I knew what was in my heart but could not get it out as clearly as you did. Again, thank you!

  17. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you Della, you are welcome..

    Chuck, you and Pat are right. Islam is a cult, of mind and life control. Bent on the destruction of everything good and decent in the world.


  18. Mart De Haan says:

    Wisdom is always about the goal. Where are you headed? What are you trying to accomplish? What will you end up being known for, by the very people who desperately need our Savior?

  19. Mart De Haan says:

    At times, I so want to “pull the plug” on this blog. Today is one of them. But I also have come to love this group, and I know that in so many ways we share mission, values, and a place in the family of God.

    What I realize right now is that “pulling the plug” or beginning to censor the comments written here would only separate us, and raise the temperature of the debate rather than enabling us to weigh the ways of a Christ-like Spirit.

    Yes, one day He will wield a sword. One day he will bring his enemies to judgment. But not yet. Until now his ways are the ways of rescue.

  20. wpleasant says:

    Group efforts to impose religion have on balance in history caused much more harm than good in the long term. On the other hand I see no problem in a person or persons, Christian or otherwise who happen to be in law enforcement, exhausting all efforts within the law to investigate, arrest, prosecute, and if convicted, incarcerate any group or individuals, who in the name of religion, conspire and plan to kill, harm, or even harass to the point of breaking the law, the innocent. It is unwise to try to artificially try to suppress another person’s belief and faith in order to enhance our own in a culture and community outside the church. The early church was not popular, but made tremendous enroads in a variety of pagan cultures because, like the Christians at Antioch, their behaviors, backing their words, were perceived as “Christlike” or Christian in the eyes of many non-believers who knew of Jesus Christ, if not having a belief in Him.

  21. poohpity says:

    Hate is hate and some hate can be caused by fear. Oppression of any kind even with religious freedom is hatred because of fear. I guess I do not understand where God’s will for our lives involves hatred of any kind. Hate and Christianity really do not belong in the same sentence but it is there. It would seem that we do not really understand God’s will for our lives and His ultimate power over everything.

  22. bubbles says:

    I was concerned you were going to pull the plug a few days ago.

    THANK YOU for sharing your honest thoughts. Thank you for providing this place where people can discuss and share. . . even when horns lock.

    I can only imagine the amount of time you spend on this site. I do not comment often, but I visit here daily and enjoy reading what you have to say. Your thoughts on prayer have been especially encouraging and have deepened my understanding. Sometimes I ask questions here that I would be afraid to ask other places. Thank you for this safe place you have created that allows us to share our hearts, thoughts, and questions.

    Your thougths are always encouraging and thought provoking. Thank you for your work here. Thank you for sharing your great wisdom. This site means a lot to me.
    I always look forward to what you will write about next. This site is a blessing.
    Thank you, thank you for what you do here.

  23. poohpity says:

    Even children can see when we are being hypocritical. Do not do as I do but do what I say. We profess to want the freedom to practice our faith yet we do not want others to do the same. I guess that goes back to “Walking the Walk” or “Talking the Walk”.

  24. chfranke says:

    This is a wonderful blog. I appreciate so very much all of your efforts to keep this up and going. The thought that I might have contributed to your decision to end it is abhorrent to me. I learn so much here. And even on this issue I am eager to learn more.

    If you or others think I am being intolerant or demonstrating hypocrisy or hate, tell me clearly so I can understand it. Because I still have questions.

    So I’m going to risk asking more questions here.

    For example, Mart says: “Wisdom is always about the goal.” My response is: Our goal is giving everyone the right to choose Christ. The goal of Islam is to demand that everyone choose Allah which denies the everyone’s right to choose anything else.
    My question is: How can those two goals be compatible?

    Mart says: “Where are you headed?”
    My response is: I am headed toward heaven, where I will enjoy an eternal presence with a personal God. A Muslim’s response would be “I am headed toward heaven, where my fleshly desires will be eternally met.”
    My question is: Isn’t the schism here obvious?

    Mart says: “What are you trying to accomplish?”
    My response is: I am trying to point out that even Christ said that in the end times there will be wolves in sheep’s clothing.
    My question is: How do we deal with the wolves who move in next door? Love them as individuals, yes, but don’t we need to ring the alarm bells, too?

    Mart says: “What will you end up being known for, by the very people who desperately need our Savior?”
    My response is: If things come about as I foresee them, then I will be seen as a prophet.
    My question is: If I sincerely feel that God has created me to sound the warning, then am I not being used by God to create His ultimate good?


  25. poohpity says:

    Chuck, please accept this as feedback and not as an attack. Although it is very helpful to understand what Islam teaches. the goal to me is to love those who hate or persecute you. (Matt 5:43). Where are you headed? Are we headed down a path that leads to hate or to spread the Gospel of Christ? Hopefully we are trying to accomplish the goal of the beatitudes of Matthew 5. So we really have to look in our hearts and see what is there. Are we being any different than the Islam faith if we do not allow them to practice what they believe and hate or have contempt for them for not doing as we do?

  26. SFDBWV says:

    Mart, everytime you bring up Islam, there are people including myself that just are not going to see Islam as anything other than an evil.

    Whether people write about it or not they feel that way.

    I pity the people who are trapped in the world of Islamic control, but not telling them the truth about the religion that keeps them under the heel of oppression, is not the answer.

    They live under fear every hour of their lives, fathers and or brothers in these countries have their daughters or sisters killed if the daughter or sister has disgraced the family in any way.

    Sorry to say that just because these people have moved to the USA or Canada, that these killings do not still take place, they do.

    Family members tell on each other, even unto the execution or public beating of another family member.

    Christianity may have its problems but I know of no churches today, that execute people.

    Islam, it is said, is the fastest growing religion in the world….

    Should I be silent about the dark and evil side of this religion, while weak or misguided people go pell mell into hell because they are decieved by the lack of enlightenment.

    Paul was not silent when he brought the Gospel to foreign lands. He was beaten for exorcising a demon out of a slave girl who told fortunes…He was not silent, he was bold and took action.

    The anti-christ will decieve many. The truth should never be silenced…never.

    What do I want to be known for?…For being a bold Christian, not setting on a fence about issues, while extending love to all.

    If you think that by my exposing Islam for its evil, is not an expression of love and concern for the people who are suffering under it, or may be decieved by it, you are mistaken.

    How many good Christians sat silent in Germany as Hitler and the evil of Nazi Germany took tens of millions of people to their graves?

    Wisdom is about the goal????

    Where am I headed? What am I trying to accomplish?

    I am sorry you are so frustrated and angry with my thoughts about your topic.

    But you ask, and these have been my answers.


  27. chfranke says:

    Thank you for your comments. I know your heart and agree that we need to love Muslim individuals and everyone else for that matter, including our enemies. But it seems to me that there are times that require us stand up against practices that will ultimately lead to destruction.

    You ask: “Are we being any different than the Islam faith if we do not allow them to practice what they believe and hate or have contempt for them for not doing as we do?” It’s a dilemma, isn’t it, especially when I cannot accept Islam as a faith to start with.

  28. Mart De Haan says:

    Chuck, the issue is not a question of your heart or sincerity– which I’ve seen with deep appreciation many times over the months as we’ve worked through difficult issues together.

    A prophetic voice also certainly has its place.

    But in Bible times prophets were usually sent to their own people calling them back to their God. When prophecies were declared against enemy nations, it was often to reassure the Jewish people that their enemies would eventually fall under the judgment of God.

    In the present conflict, voices of two religions, intermingled with political and military overtones, are accusing each other of being evil and dangerous. From a distance, the other side sees the West as being a Christian nation characterized by MTV, BayWatch, Dallas,and an endless series of moral and material excesses.

    How then we make it clear that followers of Christ have a voice that distinguishes us from those who are only focused on national, political, and military victory?

  29. Mart De Haan says:

    Steve, I didn’t mean to ignore you, while trying to reply to Chuck. I’ve got a hunch that we all know how those who are living among Muslim people in an attempt to show the love of Christ would answer your questions.

  30. Charis says:


    On “pulling the plug”

    I wondered if that might happen and I wouldn’t blame you. You have a lot of other responsibilities and ministries. Please keep blogging even if you eliminate comments,

    but if you get that “pull the plug” urge again how about trying an intermediate step first?

    How about limiting comments to once daily? Seems to me it was like that when I first started posting here (somehow I was blocked from logging in to post more than one time a day). The discussion would be slower and perhaps more thoughtful (if we know we have only one opportunity for the day). Perhaps the opportunity for members to sleep on their next response would help?

  31. poohpity says:

    I really like the story of how Paul tells the people of Athens about the unknown God. It was done with respect and love. Acts 17:16-34 He used examples they understood and found common ground. He also began by building a case for the One true God. I do not believe anger, hatred and/or finger pointing would have helped his message toward a decision for Christ.

  32. poohpity says:

    Charis, the comment guidelines at the top are already not followed by everyone.

  33. pegramsdell says:

    The fear of The Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Fear of The Lord is to hate sin and evil. To love God we must hate evil and sin in our lives and repent.

    God is so good, I wish the whole world could see that and be unified as brothers and sisters. With God as our Father. That’s what I’m praying for.

  34. poohpity says:

    Chuck, we stand against those practices by not doing them ourselves.

  35. sawaybon says:

    Mart’s comment, “From a distance, the other side sees the West as being a Christian nation characterized by MTV, BayWatch, Dallas,and an endless series of moral and material excesses”, really struck a chord with me. I see this, because I now live among “the other side”, serving Christ in a Muslim country. That is exactly how they view the West and equate it with Christianity, until they see how much I love them and accept them as created in God’s image. This must be done on an individual basis; otherwise, you are lumped in with the group of “infidels”, and it is too easy to lump them in with the group of “Islamic extremists”. That is the danger of “Group Think”.

  36. BruceC says:

    I believe that the only two true faiths in the world are Judaism and Christianity. One has excepted the Messiah; the other has not yet, but will.
    All the others are false and devices of the enemy, satan. But based on our laws; people are free to worship the earth, sun, dead relatives, etc., etc. We have many cults in our land right now; do we refuse them the right to believe as they wish? Only when they break our laws or become a threat to society do we step in. Believe me; a close govt. eye is keeping watch on people who adhere to a radical belief.
    But at this same time I see God’s plan unfolding before our eyes. Persecution in the past has made the church grow and get stronger. I also can see the very real possibility of the alignment of nations spoken of in Ezekiel 38 and 39 coming about.
    The main goal of Islam; a theocracy, is the extermination of Israel, and its most devoted followers usually fall into that group. But at the same time we must remember that the battle is the Lord’s. Things will all happen according to His will, not ours. We as Christians already know the outcome and our future. Christ wins and we will reign with Him.
    Can any person or group thwart that? The strongest weapon we have is the reflection of the light of our Lord Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.
    He said that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church. Let us praise Him for that!
    Meanwhile keep our brothers and sisters in the Coptic Church in Egypt in prayer and also all who dwell in the mid-east.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  37. dja says:

    Bruce, I am praying for those in the Coptic Church in Egypt and others in the middle east. I would ask that you would pray for my friend’s daughter, Becky, who is living in Egypt right where all the turmoil is. Becky has been trying to get out, but has not been able to, and now, her Mom has lost communication with her. Please pray.

  38. poohpity says:

    Wow, BruceC, I learned something new today “Coptic Church” never heard that before but now I know, thank you.

    Will be in prayer for Becky and all the others in harms way in Egypt and the surrounding areas also for the lines of communication to be open for her family to find out whether she is OK.

  39. rxman says:

    I agree with some of the commentators in that it is so often “us” against “them”. What is it we are trying to accomplish? Is it to prove that we are right and they are wrong or are we weeping over every lost soul and praying that they are somehow moved by the Holy Spirit to repent and call on the name of Jesus.

    As Paul said to his fellow Jews, he would just as soon lose his salvation if it meant that they would come the the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. How many of us would go that far?

  40. marma says:

    sawaybon– I have lived overseas and found that Americans were painted with the same brush and that people in other countries may not get that Americans can be of many different faiths or religions.

    I think those countries that have a national religion may think of America as a Christian nation, and if they think some of those tv shows beamed there from here are Christian, then, wow, what they must think of us.

    We have to remember that these are people and they need to meet us personally and we them so they can see the real deal.

  41. marma says:

    I want to relate an incident that happened this week at my work. One of my coworkers, though not a believer, is devoted to his wife and family.

    A fellow stopped by to ask him to do some sports activity at lunch, and my coworker responded that he didn’t do things at lunch anymore, he ate lunch with his wife. The fellow said, “Don’t you see her at night? Most people don’t want to spend time with their wives.” or something to that effect.

    I wish I could give you his exact words and inflection–he said it in such a way to imply that my coworker was goofy and that the norm was to spend as much time away from the little woman as possible to be a normal man/husband. My coworker didn’t respond to that and they parted more or less amicably.

    My thought on hearing this was, that fellow is evil to make such a statement that could serve only an evil purpose in my coworker’s life. On reflection I believe that as scripture says he is a tool of the devil as are all those without Christ. That guy probably doesn’t think of himself as the devil’s tool; I’m sure I never did before I came to Christ.

    We wrestle not against flesh and blood. The destroyer wants to destroy, and I don’t think he cares who he uses or how he does it. Yet, we still look at flesh and blood as the problem. If any had a reason to think they were fighting against flesh and blood, it was the persecuted first century believers. Yet, they knew better. On the other hand, Paul said that government–even what we would call an evil government–had a purpose–to restrain evildoers.

    We are called to pray for Christians everywhere, to practice our office as a priesthood, as I heard someone say this past week. There are only so many hours in a day. Why don’t we do that? We owe our fellow Christians that much. Do we not think God would not send help just as he did for Peter and Paul, and for Daniel?

    I appreciate the debate. It is good to talk these things out.

    Love you all, and may His grace sustain you.

  42. djc1063 says:

    Overcome evil with good. Love conquers all. No one can come to Christ unless God draws him/her. Are we learning and understanding the lessons that God is teaching us in our own personal lives. The main one for us all is to “get over yourself” (pride). It’s the one test I’ve taken over and over again probably thousands of times and still take on occasion. We are the body of Christ, but He is the head. Are we doing what He is telling us to do, or do we think that we know better how to handle the evil in the world? In our free society we have to be willing to let others be free even if it’s the opposite of what we believe. God didn’t force us to follow Him. We just need to enforce the common law when it’s broken by someone or group. In the fullness of time, Jesus will come again. Will He find us faithful? To what? Walking in the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit. Until that fullness of time, we’re all tried in the fire and purified like gold or we’re burned up. Sure makes sense to me now that I’ve lived long enough to have experienced that fire many times. Sorry for the long post. Feel like I need to write a book. There’s that pride thing rearing it’s ugly head as if “I” had all the answers. I’ve never done this before. Just felt compelled to write. Hope it makes sense.

  43. djc1063 says:

    Thought all that would’ve taken up more space.

  44. SFDBWV says:

    My wife Glenna, before we were married, lived for almost 10 years in Saudia Arabia.

    One of her daughters and husband are now living in an Islamic nation.

    Every time Glenna sees the Islamic world on the TV or in newspapers, she is reminded of how awful it was to live there. How glad she is to be back in the good ole USA and safe from the evil spirit of that part of the world.

    She lived in an *western* compound, inside a protected area for *foreginers* to live.

    If she left the compound she had to wear a burka…the traditional female attire that covered her completely and hid her face.

    As Mart and others have attested to, the native people there thought everyone in America lived like the people on the “Dallas” TV show.

    The native people were like you can imagine anywhere, some hated Americans, some wanted to be like Americans. Those that could sent their children to America to be educated…and breathe the fresh air of freedom.

    She never felt safe, and learned to hate being there.

    Her daughter and her husband are, as I said, living in a different Islamic nation. They are there as *Missionaries*.

    Of course it is illegal to have Christian missionaries in Islamic countries.

    So they have had to enter the country under false pretenses, live in and amongnst the people as one of them…And one on one, present the gospel of Jesus Christ from the first 5 books of the Bible…As the Muslim believes that part of our scripture to be true.

    If their cover is exposed, they will be deported or worse tried in an Islamic court and imprisioned for attempting to convert Muslims to Christ.

    There is no earthly enemy more dangerous to freedom than Islam.

    Should I be happy and pleased to see that *religion* get a foothold into our communities and into the influence of our lives?

    Just because I am first a Christian, and am to love all men, and a champion of freedom for all who seek it….Am I to be pleased when my Christianity and my willingness to share freedom is used against me, in order to pervert and change all the world around me?

    I am not happy nor pleased at the rise of Islam, I see it for what it is…evil.


  45. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Good afternoon!

    Of all the countries in the “western world” I guess mine is well on the way to becoming the first “multi faith” state in these end times.

    The only way we can live together here is to let tollerance and multi culture become the norm.
    We have had our race riots and terrorism (Mainly based around Catholic and Protestant in Northern Ireland).
    The only way forward for us as a society is to embrace multi faiths and culture.
    Christianity has failed us as a nation! I am sorry to say that, but it is true.
    The difference between us and “the others” is Jesus of Nazareth, Messiah, who died for us and rose again and is our friend and brother for ever. A God in whom we can have a personal relationship.
    I thank God that christianity is no longer the “main stream” religion here as it releases us to preach the gospel as it was first intended and not as anpolitical ambition.
    The central Mosque in Birminham is the largest in Europe and I am proud of that fact as is shows that God is moving in our land and that the end times are here now!


  46. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    sorry, below has the corrected spelling.

    I thank God that christianity is no longer the “main stream” religion here as it releases us to preach the gospel as it was first intended and not as (a) political ambition.
    The central Mosque in Birminham is the largest in Europe and I am proud of that fact as (it) shows that God is moving in our land and that the end times are here now!


  47. BruceC says:


    I have to kindly disagree. Christianity doesn’t fail. It’s the people that fail to live up to what Christ wants them to be. People fail Christ.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  48. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Point taken Bruce, but the world will see christianity, with a small c, as failing. They can only compare “like for like” and as a “like for like” religieon we have failed.

    Just watching BBC news and strange things happening in Egypt.
    Never sure which is more up to date, BBC News or Bible Prophecy!


  49. SFDBWV says:

    Della, we here at my house add Becky as well as all the Coptic Christians and freedom loving people of Egypt, to our prayers….

    When the end comes, will we recognize the signs? Will we be ready? Will we have done all we could have?


  50. stormebringer says:

    First, there is no “religious right”. That is a tag that the media and anti-Christian politicians formulated to marginalize Christians and moral Americans.
    Second,it is always ironic to find Christians who demonstrate prejudice against their brothers and sisters in Christ in order to be gain acceptance from those who embrace a secular world view. Quite often, I fear, we are guilty of watching too much television news and not reading the Word of God.
    Mart, unfortunately, you have taken a political position in the name of condemning a political position.
    Jesus threw the money-lenders out of the temple. In anger. Solomon’s problems came from marrying into other religions (concubines and wives). Israel was weakened and condemned of God for making treaties with nations who worshiped false gods and idols.
    As one person on here noted, Islam is not so much a religion as it is a political philosophy calling for either the proselytizing or the death of non-believers. Islam is the only theocratic form of government operating among nations (Sharia Law). Women are stoned and mutilated, people are tortured and many randomly killed all over the world in the name of Allah/Islam and yet we hear no outcry from Islamic followers.
    I have Muslim friends. They are good responsible professional people. However, even these friends hate Jews and the American bill of rights.
    There is little resemblance between Islam and Christ’s teachings. We should not hate them but we should never embrace their activities or grant them moral equivalency with God’s plan.
    Allah is one more attempt by the enemy to imitate God and supplant Christ.

  51. Mart De Haan says:

    Stormebringer, if the LORD appeared suddenly to us as he did to Isaiah (Isa 6), do you think we would still be focused only on the sins of our national and political enemies?

    National security, and the just enforcement of laws that protect our civil rights is a responsibility of government. So the issue is not about being tolerant of criminal behavior.

    The issue is more a matter of our attitude and whether we treat others the way we wanted to be treated in matters that our Government permits. The issue is not whether we believe such behaviors are right, but whether we will extend others the freedom to i.e. believe in or reject Christ (along with the personal moral choices that cannot be rightly and fairly criminalized and enforced without violating precious freedoms for which we are accountable to God.)

  52. BruceC says:


    The “opinions” of this “world system” do not matter. We are not out to please the “world” and its ratings; we are to please the Lord. The secular and unbelieving world will always rate Christianity as a flop because they rate it according to their own worldly standards. We are told to make diciples “of” all nations, not to make all nations diciples. That will never happen. Christ himself said that the narrow gate will be taken by few that leads to eternal life; but the broad way that leads to destruction will be taken by many.
    No news media outlet will ever be more accurate than the prophetic Word of God. Everything He does is in His time, on time, and all the time.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  53. poohpity says:

    When we have done all that we could do. I guess we then have to ask ourselves how many people have I shared the good news with? If we have negative opinions with different peoples then when we approach them with the gospel and they sense the negativity then the Words we share of God’s love will be hard for them to hear because they will feel the hate and contempt. What will we then say to the Lord when we stand before Him? I did not share the good news because they are evil and sinful. I could not get close enough to them because they do not share the same things I believe in so I did not feel that I should approach them or even want to be around them.

  54. poohpity says:

    Psalm 23, says, “I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

  55. Regina says:

    Good Evening All

    Mart said, “Seems to me that if we, as followers of Christ, are rightly seen as unfair, fearfully protective of our faith, or unwilling to extend to others the civil rights we enjoy, we will do far more damage to our reputation than being good neighbors to those who don’t yet bow before the Cross.”

    Totally agree with this comment.

    Sunny and Low/Mid 70’s in Texas today! ..beautiful!

  56. foreverblessed says:

    I was thinking about my choir director, he said that when at the academy of music, when he performed in a concerthall, his teacher had put a small boy in a front row, he was swinging his legs in a wrong rythm. He did that to teach his pupil to stay focused on the music, and not be distracted by all sorts of people who could be listening to him in the concert hall.
    Stay focused on Jesus, stay in His love.
    Stay lovingly, and as Pooh wrote about Paul and the Greek, he sought a way to bring the gospel to them. He did not say how evil they were in following all sorts of gods. Neither did he say how evil these gods were. Even if that is right.
    He told them about how wonderfull Jesus is, and that through Him the way is open to our Father is heaven. Paul started to sing in prison! Despite all the evil around him, How full of love for Christ he was.
    What is our mindset?

    And thanks djc1063 for commenting!

  57. poohpity says:

    The goal is as Jesus said in Matthew 9:11-13, But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?”
    12 When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” 13 Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

    I was such scum and am glad that I found the Doctor and I believe that I was no better off than someone with Islam as a sickness. It was those who felt self righteous that Jesus had the hardest time with.

  58. phpatato says:

    chfranke says:
    January 28, 2011 at 2:22 pm
    This is a wonderful blog. I appreciate so very much all of your efforts to keep this up and going. The thought that I might have contributed to your decision to end it is abhorrent to me. I learn so much here.

    Ditto for me!! Please forgive me if I became a stumbling block to you because of any comments made by me….

  59. plumbape says:

    SFDBWV says:
    September 30, 2009 at 6:16 am
    Glenna has family that has gone to an Islamic country as missionaries. They have found the people there to be very kind and helpful, generous and friendly. Of course like everywhere else there are some who are not.

    If I had to voice an enemy to Christianity, my first responce would be the spirit of the anti-christ. The scripture tells us he has always been in the world.

    I have learned that his spirit lives in every country, all over the world. The idea that our enemy is only the faces we see on the news as Islamic fundamental extreemists, is very inacurate.

    The battle is spiritual and our enemy is not our neighbors but the spirit that controls them.

    Only through changed hearts can our enemies become our friends.

    We can bring a message, we can live an example, but only the power of God through the live changing grace of Jesus Christ can change a heart.

    The people of Nineveh were the hated enemy of Israel, yet God showed mercy upon them because of their hearts. We all are enemies of God when we are in sin, only the power of Christ can renew our hearts and save us from judgement. In the same way.

    I cannot make atonement for my past sins in that I can make restitution to God. Jesus did that for me. A debt I could and can never repay.

    Jesus made restitution, Jesus paid the debt, I will forever owe my eternal destiny to Jesus of Nazareth.

  60. poohpity says:

    In Romans 12 it says we are to be at peace with others as much as possible leaning toward doing good to those who do ugly to us. This is the personal responsibility that those who belong to Christ would do well in showing. Abhor what is wrong/evil but cling to what is good but I think that is directed to an individual’s life and what we allow into our hearts and minds. If we allow ugly/hatred into our hearts and minds that is what will come out of our mouths. As a man feels in his heart it will pour out of the mouth. Thank you Ape. That reminds me that Jesus died for every person alive on the face of the earth so do we draw them near to that sacrificial love or push people away from it.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.