by Ron F. Hale
American Christians are bombarded by a host of -isms (multiculturalism, moral relativism, postmodernism, etc.) and can fall prey to confusion over the one true God that Scripture reveals. Do Christians and Muslims worship the same creator God that spun the stars across the galaxies and so loved the world that He gave His only Son?
In his latest book, Dr. Charles Krauthammer (writer, commentator, and psychiatrist) introduces us to a mental disorder known as solipsism, and said, “…it is the belief that the whole world is ME (emphasis added).” Most people with this problem reside in mental institutions.
He parallels the mental malady of solipsism to its more common problem of “plural solipsism,” with this being the belief that the whole world is “like” me (emphasis added). He shares how this mirror-image fantasy is a radical denial of the “otherness” of others and a blinding belief in “common humanity.”
Krauthammer explains, “Its central axiom is that if one burrows deep enough beneath the Mao jacket, the shapka or the chador, one discovers that people everywhere are essentially the same.”
“They are just like us,” can become a common thought; and, for that reason, we do not judge them by what they do (by their works), but we naively trust our warped sense of “plural solipsism” and live unguarded from those who plot to fly airliners into our tall towers, detonate themselves or place bombs among crowds of innocents.
It can lead government leaders, policy makers, educators, and pastors to conclude that Americans and Muslim jihadists both strive for freedom, economic justice, religious liberty, love of children; therefore, they are just like us.
We see it lived out in the life of Nidal Nasan, as he killed 13 American soldiers at Fort Hood while shouting, “Allahu Akbar,” the Jihadist battle cry that means “God is great.” In the aftermath of this brutality, our military leaders have downplayed his religious motivations by classifying this savage attack as “workplace violence.”
Nasan’s very own business card indicated that he was a “Solider of Allah.” How did Nasan’s supervisors not see that? Or, were they more fearful of being pegged as Islamophobes?
Some will idealistically declare that Islam and Christianity worship the same God. I contend that a Muslim mullah will never be heard publically avowing:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek (Romans 1:16 NKJV).
Jesus Christ is God, the second person in the Trinity.
Jesus is the Way, Truth, and the Life!
In some Islamic states, that mullah would quickly die a horrifying death at the hands of a fanatical mob.
Some Christians are entertaining the idea of using the name of “Allah” for God. Bishop Muskens of the Netherlands (2007) caused controversy when he contended that calling God “Allah” would be customary in Christianity within a century, and this would lead to a blending of Islam and Christianity.
The Ten Commandments of the Old Testament begin by focusing on our relationship to God and goes on to say, “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who taketh His name in vain” (Exodus 20:7 KJV).
The law of God is telling us not to conscientiously or unthinkingly use the name of God in empty and hollow ways, thereby, taking his name in vain. When we despoil his name by diminishing his character to fit other belief systems, then we profane His holy name.
As pluralism and political correctness coil around our culture like a giant invading Burmese python (now found in Florida), please remember that our nation was not founded upon the precepts of Sharia law. The sentence of death has never been imposed on Americans choosing to leave Christianity like those leaving Islam. Why?
The reason lies in the fact that we are a different people! There -- I said it.
We are different because the values and beliefs of our founding Fathers were different. Our early founding documents and speeches gave respect to the God of Abraham, Moses, and the Apostles of the New Testament while valuing true religious liberty. Whereas people in some early American colonies were forced to attend church and pay clergy salaries with their taxes, this has not happened since the forging of our constitution and bill of rights. We are free to worship God with all our hearts or not to worship God at all. Ultimately, we are free from a state-run Church or religion that makes serious demands on our ethics and earnings.
Yes, my God is different from their god! Our ways of worship are different.
However, I should respect and strive toward the highest good for all people within our sweet land of liberty! While at the same time, I should never be blinded to our differences and the actions of some leaders and their radicals within certain groups.
Freedom can never be left unguarded, unchecked, and unnerved!
© Ron F. Hale, February 7, 2014