Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Challenge of Humanism: Ancient Origins To Prophetic Fulfillment

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Where does Humanism originate from?

Lamb & Lion Ministries conducts a number of Bible conferences in the Dallas, Texas area each year. Our June 2011 conference theme was Christianity Under Attack.

One of our speakers was Dr. Ron Rhodes, the president of Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries. He's a prolific author of more than 50 books. He holds a doctorate in systematic theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, and he specializes in the field of Apologetics. He also serves as an adjunct professor at several seminaries. Dr. Rhodes' topic at our conference was "The Challenge of Humanism and Atheism" (watch).


The Challenge of Humanism


Ancient Origins of Humanism

First of all, I want to let you know that Humanism is nothing new. It's nothing new. In fact, there are seeds of Humanism even back in biblical times. Now, let me clarify, it is true that the religion of Humanism founded on the Humanistic Manifest I, II, and III is fairly recent, but in terms of the seeds of Humanism it goes way back to biblical times. For example, in Genesis 3:4-5 we read, "You will be like God, knowing good and evil." Now, who said that? Satan through the serpent said that. Think about that for a minute. Where do you think Humanism comes from then? Satan.

It's my belief that Satan is a master marketer. He's the one behind all of the false religions and cults. His goal is to draw people away from the Christ of Scripture.

To achieve drawing people away from the God of the Bible, Satan's got different religions that appeal to different demographics in our society. For example, if you want to become a god ruling your own planet, he's got Mormonism for you. If you are one of those people who likes to declare your reality and by positive thinking you can call your world into being, well maybe the New Thought Movement is for you. Or, if you are the type of person who would like to do away with death and disease and suffering and that kind of stuff, well Christian Science is your ticket. You see, Satan has come up with all kinds of counterfeits in order to draw different parts of our society away from Jesus Christ.

Humanism is one of Satan's masterpieces. It's the one that has the broadest mass appeal. For that reason, we need to be aware of it as Christians.

Genesis 11:4 reveals the Humanist's motive, "Come let us build for ourselves a city and the tower whose top will reach into heaven. Let us make a name for ourselves." That Tower of Babel statement demonstrates the Humanistic tendency towards self-exaltation, this idea that we can become our own gods.

Judges 21:25 explains their moral relativism, "Every man did what was right in his own eyes." We see that behavior even back in biblical times. Likewise, Isaiah 5:20-21 reads, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil. Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness. Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter." Instead of black and white categories, everything merges into a gray zone. That again is moral relativism, this idea that there is nothing absolute that we need to pay attention to.

Then, of course, there's the warning from the Apostle Paul in Colossians 2:8, "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deception philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Humanism Prophesied

A second point I want to make you aware of is that Scripture actually prophesied end time Humanism. Would you agree with me that we are living in the end times? Yes, I think that we are, and one of the things that we are seeing is this rise in Humanism. I'm thinking of 2 Timothy 3:1-5 which reveals, "Realize this that in the last day's difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God." Doesn't sound too good, does it?

Notice in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 the three loves: 1) lovers of self, 2) lovers of money, and 3) lovers of pleasure. Lovers of self is another way of describing Humanism. Lovers of money is another way of describing Materialism, which I might add is part of the Humanistic worldview. Lovers of pleasure is another way of describing Hedonism, also known as Hefnerism, and this is part of the Humanistic worldview as well. These are three of the most prominent philosophies of our day and they are complementary.

Now, here is the thing, when you compare this with the signs of the times that Jesus gave us in the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 and 25, can there be any doubt that we are living in the end times? I think that it's very clear that we are. I believe that Scripture indicates that end time Christians are going to be challenged in standing for Christ. So, will you stand with me in standing strong for Jesus Christ as we continue to live in the end times?


Time For Self Examination

Why should Christians engage in self-examination? Why do I ask this? The first response of most Christians when responding to Humanism is to launch right into Humanism and debunk it. Well, we do need to do that, but we first begin with our own house. I say that because I believe that the Christian Church and Christianity and individual Christians and Christian organizations have become tainted by Humanism. They have. We have witnessed the enemy within the gate. So, before we can become effective witnesses reaching the world and standing against Humanism, we need to make sure we've got our own act together. Does that make sense? Scripture says, "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith." Test yourselves.

Ideally, I would like to ask about 100 questions to help you engage in self-examination, but we don't have the time for that. Here then are just a few:

  • Am I willing to take an unpopular stand because it is right?
  • Do I tend to look the other way when people use the Lord's name in vain?
  • Do I talk about Creationism freely, or am I intimidated into silence?
  • Am I unreservedly committed to living as a biblical Christian when it comes to the issue of sex, or do I buy into moral relativism?
  • Do I sometimes have a tendency to measure myself and my own goodness against other people instead of God's absolute righteous and holy standard?

You will be a better witness against the satanic lie of Humanism when you've removed all its trappings within your own life.


Resource
Christianity Under Attack 2011 Conference DVD Album

Christianity Under Attack 2011 ConferenceThe Christianity Under Attack 2011 Bible Conference takes an in-depth look at some of the attacks on Christianity. Learn how to counter these attacks in this 6-part conference album!

  1. "The Challenge of Islam" - Kerby Anderson
  2. "The Challenge of Humanism and Atheism" - Ron Rhodes
  3. "The Challenge of Evolution" - John Morris
  4. "The Challenge of Apostasy" - James Walker
  5. "The Challenge of Government" - Frank Wright
  6. "The Promise of Victory" - David Reagan

Order your copy for $25 today!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Challenge of Humanism: Contrasted To Christianity

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Does Humanism and Christianity share any common beliefs?

Lamb & Lion Ministries conducts a number of Bible conferences in the Dallas, Texas area each year. Our June 2011 conference theme was Christianity Under Attack.

One of our speakers was Dr. Ron Rhodes, the president of Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries. He's a prolific author of more than 50 books. He holds a doctorate in systematic theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, and he specializes in the field of Apologetics. He also serves as an adjunct professor at several seminaries. Dr. Rhodes' topic at our conference was "The Challenge of Humanism and Atheism" (watch).


The Challenge of Humanism


Humanism's Belief For Humanity

In Humanism there is no divine purpose for humanity.

Listen to these words from the Humanist Manifesto II: "We can discover no divine purpose or providence for the human species. While there is much that we do not know, humans are responsible for what we are or will become. No deity will save us. We must save ourselves. We are all alone in this great big universe. No ultimate purpose whatsoever."

In keeping with this, Paul Kurtz who is a very famous Humanist who wrote a book called Forbidden Fruit, the Ethics of Humanism put it this way. Notice the derogatory terms that he uses to describe the Christian belief. "The Theist world is only a dream world. It is a feeble escape into a future that will never come." He goes on, "Promises of a mortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful. They distract humans from present concerns, from self-actualization, and from rectifying social injustices. There is no credible evidence that life survives the death of the body. We continue to exist in our progeny and in the way our lives have influenced others in our culture."

Notice how this concern about eternal damnation is said to interfere with self-actualization. I almost find it comical. A judge before whom we must appear in the afterlife to give an account for our actions, yes, that might interfere a little bit with your present, sinful lifestyle. That's really what he's saying. It's all about relativistic ethics.


Humanism's Source for Moral Values

In terms of ethics, Humanists affirm that moral values derive their source from human experience. Ethics are autonomous and situational, needing no theological or ideological sanction.

When I was over in London I rode a lot of those double-decker buses, and on one of those buses there was a sign that read, "There is probably no God, now stop worrying and enjoy your life." The timing was kind of interesting because I was over in London when bombs went off there resulting in one of those buses getting blown to smithereens. I don't know if that billboard was on that particular bus, but it makes me wonder.

The bottom line is that Christianity and Humanism are diametrically different from each other. In terms of source of moral values, Christianity is based on the Bible, whereas in Secular Humanism it's based really upon Humanist Manifesto I, II, and III.


Christianity vs. Humanism

Theology — Christianity teaches theism which is the idea of a personal Creator God. Whereas, Secular Humanism believes in Atheism.

Philosophy — Christianity holds to supernaturalism which is the idea that there is a supernatural God who can do miracles and intervene in a miraculous way in our lives. Whereas, Secular Humanism believes in naturalism which is the idea that nature accounts for everything in our universe.

Ethics — Christianity believes in moral absolutes. In other words, ethics that are true for all people and in all ages. Whereas, in terms of Secular Humanism, they believe in moral relativism. Humanistic ethics basically says you can have your own ethics and I can have mine. What works for you is fine. What works for me is fine. We are a law unto ourselves is basically their system of thought.

Biology — Christianity teaches Creationism. Whereas, in Secular Humanism we find Evolution.

Truth — In Christianity the modus operandi is faith and reason. Yes, we have faith in the Bible, but God gave us reason to read it. "Come let us reason," God says. Whereas, in Secular Humanism they say that they are only interested in human rationalization.

By the way, does human rationalization alone produce a Humanist's view of truth? I don't think so. In fact, I think that Evolution and Naturalization involves a whole lot more faith. That's why one of my good friends Norman Geisler wrote a book called I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist. So, whether they want to admit it or not, Humanists do have a faith system. There's a whole lot more evidence that supports the Christian viewpoint than their viewpoint. Our faith has evidence to support it, but their faith does not.

Education — Christianity is value based, whereas Secular Humanism is valueless.


In the last part on this series with Dr. Rhodes concerning the challenge of Humanism, we'll look at its origins and then how Humanism fits into end time Bible prophecy.


Resource

Christianity Under Attack 2011 Conference DVD Album

Christianity Under Attack 2011 ConferenceThe Christianity Under Attack 2011 Bible Conference takes an in-depth look at some of the attacks on Christianity. Learn how to counter these attacks in this 6-part conference album!

  1. "The Challenge of Islam" - Kerby Anderson
  2. "The Challenge of Humanism and Atheism" - Ron Rhodes
  3. "The Challenge of Evolution" - John Morris
  4. "The Challenge of Apostasy" - James Walker
  5. "The Challenge of Government" - Frank Wright
  6. "The Promise of Victory" - David Reagan

Order your copy for $25 today!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Challenge of Humanism: Faith in the Anti-Supernatural

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Is Humanism in truth its own religion?

Lamb & Lion Ministries conducts a number of Bible conferences in the Dallas, Texas area each year. Our June 2011 conference theme was Christianity Under Attack.

One of our speakers was Dr. Ron Rhodes, the president of Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries. He's a prolific author of more than 50 books. He holds a doctorate in systematic theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, and he specializes in the field of Apologetics. He also serves as an adjunct professor at several seminaries. Dr. Rhodes' topic at our conference was "The Challenge of Humanism and Atheism" (watch).


The Challenge of Humanism


Humanism as a Religion

Humanism is indeed a religion. It's a religious system. In fact, back in 1961 it was declared a religion by the Supreme Court.

Julian Huxley predicted that Humanism would be the ultimate religion of the world. Now, let me tell you why that bothers me. Since Humanism permeates our public schools, and because Humanism is a religion, it's fair to say that our public schools are institutions that indoctrinate our kids into a false religion. I want to be fair. We also have some great teachers that teach English and Math and a lot of good stuff. I'm not belittling them or standing against them at all. But, the fact is we've got school systems that are teaching a false religion. And, guess who's paying for it? You and me! My dollars are being used in order to support a building that is built that has false religion within its walls. I don't know if that bothers you, but it bothers me. That's one of the reasons why we need to be involved in the political process and make sure that our voice is heard when decisions are made about school curriculum. Believe me, it can be done.

The bottom line is that Christianity indeed is in the crosshairs. So, I raise this question, will you stand with me? It's my prayer that you will.


Humanism's Belief in No God

What do Humanists believe? What is this religion? What are some of the doctrines of this religion?

Let's begin with the fact that Humanism is anti-supernatural. One of the books that they've come out with is Humanist Manifesto II, and it's one of the best summaries of this doctrine of Humanism. Listen to what it says, "We find insufficient evidence for belief in the existence of a supernatural. It is either meaningless or irrelevant to the question of the survival and fulfillment of the human race. As non-theists we begin with humans not God, nature not deity."

Why is this beginning point so important? Well, if you begin on the premise of anti-supernaturalism, isn't that going to affect everything else you believe in? Isn't that going to set the stage for multiple denials of Christian doctrine? Yes, it is. The fact is an anti-supernatural belief is foundational to Humanism because everything else proceeds from this keeping that there is no God.

James Hitchcock says in his book What is Secular Humanism? that groups like the American Humanist Association are not Humanists just in the sense that they have an interest in humanities, or that they value man over nature. It's their self definition that God does not exist. They promote a way of life that systematically excludes God and all religion in the traditional sense. Man for better or worse is on his own in the universe. Man marks the highest point to which nature has yet evolved. He must rely entirely on his own resources.

Notice the phrase Hitchcock uses, "way of life." You see from the moment that they get up until the moment they go to bed, Humanism effects everything. Their denial of God affects everything. It affects the words that they speak to other people. It affects their behavior. It affects their morality, or lack thereof. It effects how they interact with the world. You see, their way of life is governed by their claim that there is no God.

Isaac Asimov is a good example of this. He was a very popular writer and scientist. He once said, "Emotionally I am an Atheist. I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist. But I so strongly suspect He doesn't that I don't want to waste my time." Now, of course, Isaac Asimov is no longer an Atheist. The moment that he died he witnessed the utter calamitous collapse with perfect clarity of Humanistic Atheism. I suspect he now wishes he'd taken the time. In any event, he goes on to say, "The universe can be explained by evidence obtained from the universal alone. No supernatural agency need be called upon." In other words, Evolution explains where we all came from.

Carl Sagan is another individual with the same view as Asimov. Carl Sagan actually came out with a TV series which was on PBS and followed up with a book by the same name called Cosmos. He said that, "The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be." Where do you think he stole that phrase by the way, or at least part of it? It sounds kind of like the Christian doxology, doesn't it? This is the doxology that talks about the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit who is, and whoever was, and whoever will be. It's almost like he is making the universe out to be God. But, he indicates that there is no deity with whom we need to concern ourselves.

Carl Sagan is now of course no longer an Atheist. You see, the moment he died he witnessed with utter clarity the calamitous collapse of Humanistic Atheism. It is a tragic thing. God takes no delight in the death of the wicked, and neither do I. God doesn't desire any to perish. But, people have chosen the false religion of Humanism, and I must tell you, that if you go into eternity believing that religion you go into a Christ-less eternity that lasts forever. What a horrible destiny.

Even our kids are taught by followers of Humanism that there is no Creator. Humanist Chris Brockman wrote a book called What About Gods? Listen to this. "We no longer need gods to explain how things happened. By careful thinking, measuring, and testing we have discovered many of the real causes of things and we are discovering more all the time. We call this thinking."

What is the implication with Brockman's statement? The implication is that you and I don't think. Those Creationists guys are a bunch of nincompoops. They don't use their brains. They check their brains in at the door. They are holding on to old superstitions. They think they now know the real cause of things, and the real cause of things is Humanistic Evolution.

The philosophy behind all of it is Naturalism which says that all phenomena in the world can be explained in terms of natural causes and laws. This is how one modern science textbooks puts it: "Living creatures on earth are a direct product of the earth. There is every reason to believe that living things owe their origin entirely to certain physical and chemical properties of the ancient earth. Nothing supernatural appears to be involved, only time and natural physical and chemical laws operating within the peculiarly, suitable environment." So, to Humanists, Naturalism explains everything.


In the next part on this series with Dr. Rhodes concerning the challenge of Humanism, we'll look at its view of humanity and its source of moral values. We'll also compare and contrast Christianity and Humanism.


Resource

Christianity Under Attack 2011 Conference DVD Album

Christianity Under Attack 2011 ConferenceThe Christianity Under Attack 2011 Bible Conference takes an in-depth look at some of the attacks on Christianity. Learn how to counter these attacks in this 6-part conference album!

  1. "The Challenge of Islam" - Kerby Anderson
  2. "The Challenge of Humanism and Atheism" - Ron Rhodes
  3. "The Challenge of Evolution" - John Morris
  4. "The Challenge of Apostasy" - James Walker
  5. "The Challenge of Government" - Frank Wright
  6. "The Promise of Victory" - David Reagan

Order your copy for $25 today!

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Challenge of Humanism: Christianity in the Crosshairs

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How is Humanism targeting Christianity?

Lamb & Lion Ministries conducts a number of Bible conferences in the Dallas, Texas area each year. Our June 2011 conference theme was Christianity Under Attack.

One of our speakers was Dr. Ron Rhodes, the president of Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries. He's a prolific author of more than 50 books. He holds a doctorate in systematic theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, and he specializes in the field of Apologetics. He also serves as an adjunct professor at several seminaries. Dr. Rhodes' topic at our conference was "The Challenge of Humanism and Atheism" (watch).


The Challenge of Humanism


The Humanist's Targets

Anybody excited about Jesus? How about the Bible? Are you excited about the Bible? Anybody standing on the promises of God? Then you are a bunch of fanatics. Just my kind of people!

Talking about something a little more serious, I've got to tell you I do believe that Christianity is in the crosshairs today. Today Christianity is under attack and I believe that Humanists and Atheists are on the front lines. In fact, I can tell you that they seek to erase Christianity from our culture today.

What are the targets? Well, the targets would include, for example, Christian holidays like Easter and Christmas and Nativity scenes. You have seen lawsuits launched against businesses because they have a Nativity scene displayed out front.

Christian morality is also under attack. The Christian Bible is under attack. In fact, Humanists and Atheists say that it is a vile book filled with ethical barbarisms. It's an ancient book written by superstitious men and it wasn't even true back in biblical times. To them, it's a false book.

Even Christian crosses or crucifixes are under attack. And, as well, Christians are under attack in terms of the influence that they want to express in schools, education, government, public policy, Hollywood, the media and much more.

You see, the Humanists want to marginalize Christians. They want to make Christians irrelevant in the current dialogue and debate. In the process I believe there have been many denials of Christian freedoms especially at the work place.


Examples of Attacks on Christianity

An example of denying Christian freedoms is a Christian apartment owner that I read about. This Christian apartment owner was actually prosecuted for refusing to rent an apartment to an unmarried couple. Now, this person owned the apartment building, and this is a person of virtue. This Christian wanted to make sure that the people who lived in the apartment building had a clean life and were reasonably responsible people. But, he was prosecuted because he refused to rent to an unmarried couple. To put it a little more strongly — he was prosecuted for not allowing a couple to go in there and commit fornication within the walls of the building that he himself owns.

Christian freedoms are under attack. Another example, I'm thinking about the sixth-grade elementary school girl who gave an oral report on the Bible. Now, you know sixth graders can be excited about things, right? So, she brought some extra copies of her book report and any student who wanted it she gave a copy right after class. Well, shortly after, a teacher barged in and escorted this young girl to the principal's office and she was interrogated by school officials and denied the right to call her mother. Now, do you think that she's remembered that ever since that happened? And, do you think she's going to remember that her entire life? I think she will.

It gets worse. I'm thinking about the six year old student I read about. The six year old students were taught to bring in their favorite books for show-and-tell. They had show-and-tell back in my day and that was back in the days of Moses. I remember very clearly how excited we were to share the things that we brought to school. Well, here we have this little six year old student who brought the Bible because the Bible was the most important book to this child's family. He brought the Bible in and then he was told to take it home because it was against the law because you can't mix religion in the school system. Do you think that he has remembered that and will remember that for the rest of his life? I think so. This is the denial of Christian freedoms.

I'm also thinking about the graduating senior who had perfect grades. She had a 4.0 average, and yet she was denied the right to give an address to her graduation class. Why so? Well, because she had a sentence in her speech that gave credit to Jesus for bringing meaning into her life. Sharing the religion of Humanism at a graduation, that's okay, and any other false religion, that's okay, too. But, you've got to keep Jesus out of the picture. That bothers me.

I'm also thinking about the church school run by a Christian preacher who was ordered to close it because the teachers in the school program did not have a state certification. Now, this is not a religious certification or a spiritual certification or a biblical certification, this is for a secular state certification. If you don't have a state certification they will close you down. That's basically what happened. This was a preacher with a conscience. He felt that he was doing the will of God in setting up this church school. After all, he just wanted to train his young people in Christian doctrine and Christian virtues. That's what we need, isn't it? And yet, society and the government officials came against them. In fact, during a prayer vigil for the school, the local sheriff and his deputy showed up and took them off to jail and then padlocked the church.

It's so obvious to see that Christianity is being attacked in the media. I'm sure that you've seen on the big screen and on the small screen how Christians are often made to look like imbeciles. Very often on news programs you will find Christians referred to as the "Religious Right." That's a term that implies that all of us Christians are intolerant, backwoods fanatics who don't use their brains. Meanwhile, the Humanists are portrayed as enlightened intellectuals.

You see, this is what I'm talking about concerning the denial of Christian liberties. I think it's going to get worse. It's going to get worse, and I tell you what, the middle ground is going to get smaller. You will either stand for Jesus Christ or you won't. Will you join me? Will you stand for Jesus Christ in the midst of the onslaught?


In the next part on this series with Dr. Rhodes concerning the challenge of Humanism, we'll look at its foundational core belief.


Resource

Christianity Under Attack 2011 Conference DVD Album

Christianity Under Attack 2011 ConferenceThe Christianity Under Attack 2011 Bible Conference takes an in-depth look at some of the attacks on Christianity. Learn how to counter these attacks in this 6-part conference album!

  1. "The Challenge of Islam" - Kerby Anderson
  2. "The Challenge of Humanism and Atheism" - Ron Rhodes
  3. "The Challenge of Evolution" - John Morris
  4. "The Challenge of Apostasy" - James Walker
  5. "The Challenge of Government" - Frank Wright
  6. "The Promise of Victory" - David Reagan

Order your copy for $25 today!

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Challenge of Government: Counter Strategies

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Lamb & Lion Ministries conducts a number of Bible conferences in the Dallas, Texas area each year. Our June 2011 conference theme was Christianity Under Attack.

The United States of America was founded upon Christian principles, and throughout the history of our nation our Christian heritage has been respected by our government officials, until the middle of the Twentieth Century. Since that time Christianity has come under increasing attack from government officials at all levels, but particularly from those in our national government. To put this trend in perspective, we invited to our conference Dr. Frank Wright who is the president of the National Religious Broadcasters. As such he is on the firing line in the battle to protect freedom of expression for American Christians. For 25 years he worked with the ministry of Dr. James Kennedy. Dr. Wright's topic at our conference was "The Challenge of Government" (watch).


The Challenge of Government


Lessons Learned

What lessons can we learn from this system of opposition that we have seen over and over again a thousand times? What can we learn in terms of our mission to advance truth and bring the mind of Christ to the culture?

First, realize that in dealing with step one of the Politics of Opposition that being ignored is not all that bad of a thing. When they ignore you, when you can fly a little bit under the radar screen, you can accomplish a great deal. When you are engaged in cultural reformation it may not be a great idea to hold up a flag and wave it in front of your enemy and tell them what you're doing. It might be a good idea to go about the business of proclaiming truth in attempting to transform the culture without so much fanfare.

Second, remember that attempts to marginalize your viewpoint are really a sign of weakness on their part, and it really becomes a platform for a response from you. When they try to say your views are out of the mainstream, that's an opportunity to respond.

We could all learn from a technique that I learned from Dr. James Kennedy many years ago that he called the Judo Technique. Like in all forms of martial arts, taking Judo as an example, what's typically done is you attempt to use the force of your opponent's blow to throw them off balance and use their energy and force against them to defeat them. Likewise, Dr. Kennedy used to talk about using the Judo Technique in using the force of your opponents blow and turning it against them. So, when someone attempts to assign you to the fringes of the debate, you respond by saying, "I'm glad you said that my viewpoint is not widely held, because that reveals to me you don't even understand the foundation of what I'm trying to say. Let me stop for a moment and explain to you what our viewpoint really is and then you might be able to make a decision about whether you want to oppose it or not."

When someone comes at you and says your viewpoint is fringe, what's the motivation that's driving them? It's their pride. So, they act condescendingly as though they understand Christian truth, though they really don't. You can turn that against them and make your case as persuasively as possible, having disarmed your opponent. In this way, when one tries to dismiss somebody as being on the fringe of an argument, that's nothing more than a high school debate team tactic. It's easily overcome as long as you can forcefully proclaim the truth.

Third, remember that the attacks against the factual basis of your viewpoint are also an opportunity to speak truth to a culture that doesn't believe in truth. I don't want you to miss this point. The culture out there today says, "We don't believe in truth." They don't believe truth even exists. But, when you argue for the factual basis of what you believe and they say that factual basis is false, in the world of logic they are arguing that since your position is false then something else must be true. They are arguing that they do in fact believe in truth. They are really undermining their own position when they do that. The very argument that your viewpoint is not true therefore presupposes another viewpoint that is. This is an important advantage.

Fourth, when someone declares the debate to be over, recognize that you have won an important victory. We saw this in a lot a ways certainly in the Global Warming debate. When Al Gore stood up and said, "Listen! The debate is over." You knew for sure it was not over. When anybody says the debate is over you can be sure it is not. It means that they are trying to get away from the strength of your argument and are trying to declare it something beyond debate.

Fifth, we need to recognize that the onset of ad hominem attacks is the first sign that the opposition has become fearful of the strength of your arguments. When they begin to attack you, it's a sign that they recognize the strength of your argument and are becoming somewhat desperate in their efforts to restrict it. This is a signal that they are fearful of your ideas and they must strike at your personal credibility in order to undermine it.

Some who have been around long enough remember the Clinton days and poor Paula White and the accusations that she made against former President Clinton. Here lies a good example of this ad hominem kind of approach. It wasn't until Paula White's assertions became more credible and could no longer be ignored that the ad hominem attacks began. What they used to call the "Clinton attack machine" went into action. It was then that James Carville went on national television and essentially called Paula White "trailer park trash." Shameful! Shameful, but reflective of the fact that they couldn't argue against the facts any longer and had to attack this poor woman who was standing against the most powerful man in the world.

Sixth, we need to recognize that attempts to both restrict and prohibit the advance of your ideas signals the onset of full combat. We can't just deal with all of this intellectually. We are now at the place where all of these attacks are going to demand from the people of God a response. When the attacks shift from the ad hominem to efforts to restrict and prohibit, we're engaged in a great battle not just to defend our ideas, but to defend our very liberties. We must defend the First Amendment which guarantees us the right to free speech and free exercise of our religion.

It wasn't too many years ago that there was a Weather Channel commentator named Heidi Cullen who argued that meteorologists who don't agree with the Global Warming consensus should have their credentials revoked. That's what I call prohibiting the expression of your ideas! You're a meteorologist. You spent who knows how many years, probably 10-12 years in school, studying all this to earn a doctorate of meteorology, and then she comes along and says, "If you don't accept the Global Warming consensus your credentials should be completely revoked." She's not dealing with the ideas or the facts surrounding the ideas. She's just trying to take you out. Here is a signal that significant damage is being done by your stance and is viewed by the other side as something that must be contained and must be prohibited.


The Final Strategy

I hope you can also see how the Politics of Opposition has been used against the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the ages. It fits perfectly. Initially, the Gospel was ignored, and yet it spread exuberantly. Attempts were made by religious and political leaders to marginalize the Gospel by declaring it a small splinter sect of misguided people whose views no reasonable person held. That's the same thing as marginalizing.

They attacked the factual basis of the Gospel from the very afternoon of the day Jesus rose from the dead. "He didn't rise from the dead. They stole His body. The Bible is not true. It's full of errors." The factual basis of Christianity has been attacked since the afternoon of the day Christ rose from the dead.

And, after centuries of argumentation during which the Gospel encircled the globe, skeptics of the last century also attempted to declare the debate as being over. How did they do that? They kept declaring that God's dead. "Hey, God's dead! Didn't you all get the message? The debate is over. God is dead. Christianity is a falsehood based on false premises."

The only strategy remaining is to silence Christians by making it illegal to share the Gospel.


Resource

Christianity Under Attack 2011 Conference DVD Album

Christianity Under Attack 2011 ConferenceThe Christianity Under Attack 2011 Bible Conference takes an in-depth look at some of the attacks on Christianity. Learn how to counter these attacks in this 6-part conference album!

  1. "The Challenge of Islam" - Kerby Anderson
  2. "The Challenge of Humanism and Atheism" - Ron Rhodes
  3. "The Challenge of Evolution" - John Morris
  4. "The Challenge of Apostasy" - James Walker
  5. "The Challenge of Government" - Frank Wright
  6. "The Promise of Victory" - David Reagan

Order your copy for $25 today!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Challenge of Government: Opposition Strategies 6-7

Watch MP3 PDF

Lamb & Lion Ministries conducts a number of Bible conferences in the Dallas, Texas area each year. Our June 2011 conference theme was Christianity Under Attack.

The United States of America was founded upon Christian principles, and throughout the history of our nation our Christian heritage has been respected by our government officials, until the middle of the Twentieth Century. Since that time Christianity has come under increasing attack from government officials at all levels, but particularly from those in our national government. To put this trend in perspective, we invited to our conference Dr. Frank Wright who is the president of the National Religious Broadcasters. As such he is on the firing line in the battle to protect freedom of expression for American Christians. For 25 years he worked with the ministry of Dr. James Kennedy. Dr. Wright's topic at our conference was "The Challenge of Government" (watch).


The Challenge of Government


Step #6: Restrict Your Ability to Advance Your Viewpoint

Ad hominine attacks are followed by something far more ominous, and I believe that's exactly where we are today. The next step in the Politics of Opposition is to restrict your ability to advance your viewpoint.

A dramatic example of this comes from the world of broadcasting. It's the so-called Fairness Doctrine, which I won't go into a lot of detail about it except to say that the government in days past looked at the limited spectrum available for broadcast and said, "You know, we have a compelling government interest to insure that every viewpoint is heard." And so, the Fairness Doctrine is kind of an equal time requirement. If you advocate on a position of substantial public importance — an idea that was deemed to be controversial — then you had to make equal time available for an opposing viewpoint. That doctrine reigned in radio and television for 30 or 40 years before it was repealed, but there have been repeated attempts to bring it back. Even though it's sort of struggling in our day because its opponents have been successful in labeling it a policy not worthy of support in light of our free speech protections, it still seems to rear its ugly head over and over again.

By the way, I hope you can hear the two problems with the Fairness Doctrine. The first is on determining matters of substantial public importance, and secondly on determining what's a controversial viewpoint. Who makes this determination as to which matters are of substantial public importance? The government does. Who decides that your viewpoint is controversial? The government. And so, you have the government so controlling the marketplace of ideas that your viewpoint is restricted because you have to give up half your time to make opposing viewpoints heard as well.

Now, I will say that back in the day of limited spectrum with what the FCC calls "spectrum scarcity," this might have been a reasonable public policy at one point, but today with radio, television, satellite, wireless, cable and all the other means of distributing content electronically, you cannot argue that there is spectrum scarcity. Nor can you argue that there's even a viewpoint that's not being heard because of all of these media.

And so, the Fairness Doctrine has been widely discredited. But, you need to understand what it is at its essence — it's an effort to restrict your ability to proclaim the things that you believe are true. It's declaring Christianity to be controversial, and having made that declaration, who is not waiting in line from the ranks of Islam, or Eastern Mysticism, or rank paganism, to say, "I have an opposing viewpoint and so I would like to bring my opposing viewpoint to your TV show or radio program or whatnot."

By the way, which doctrine of the Christian Church is not controversial anyway? Might that be the deity of Jesus Christ? No, everybody agrees on that. Oh, wait a minute, no, they don't. How about the Resurrection of Jesus? How about the Virgin Birth? Pick any Christian doctrine you can think of and someone is going to say, "I find that to be controversial and I demand equal time."

So, you can see what they are trying to do with the Fairness Doctrine. It's purpose is to squelch you. It's an effort to restrict your ability to communicate and to constrain your ability to speak truth into the marketplace of ideas.


Step #7: Aggressive Effort to Legally Prohibit Your Views

Finally, in our seven steps into the Politics of Opposition, number seven after the efforts to constrain your freedom to express your ideas is followed closely by an aggressive effort to legally prohibit them. That's what stands immediately in front of us in our generation. Here the force of law is applied to stop you and give warning to others who might be of like mind to you. The recently enacted Hate Crimes legislation is the very tool that they will use to accomplish that end.

So, let me recapitulate here if I may the seven steps in the Politics of Opposition. First you are ignored. Then you are marginalized. Then the veracity of your argument and the factual basis is challenged. Next you are attacked personally, not your veracity by your integrity. Then you are restricted in your ability to advance you ideas. And, finally, you are prohibited from promoting the ideas that you hold as truth.


In the last part on the challenge of government, Dr. Wright shows how we can counter the Politics of Opposition, turning evil into good.


Resource
Christianity Under Attack 2011 Conference DVD Album

Christianity Under Attack 2011 ConferenceThe Christianity Under Attack 2011 Bible Conference takes an in-depth look at some of the attacks on Christianity. Learn how to counter these attacks in this 6-part conference album!

  1. "The Challenge of Islam" - Kerby Anderson
  2. "The Challenge of Humanism and Atheism" - Ron Rhodes
  3. "The Challenge of Evolution" - John Morris
  4. "The Challenge of Apostasy" - James Walker
  5. "The Challenge of Government" - Frank Wright
  6. "The Promise of Victory" - David Reagan

Order your copy for $25 today!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Challenge of Government: Opposition Strategies 1-5

Watch MP3 PDF

Lamb & Lion Ministries conducts a number of Bible conferences in the Dallas, Texas area each year. Our June 2011 conference theme was Christianity Under Attack.

The United States of America was founded upon Christian principles, and throughout the history of our nation our Christian heritage has been respected by our government officials, until the middle of the Twentieth Century. Since that time Christianity has come under increasing attack from government officials at all levels, but particularly from those in our national government. To put this trend in perspective, we invited to our conference Dr. Frank Wright who is the president of the National Religious Broadcasters. As such he is on the firing line in the battle to protect freedom of expression for American Christians. For 25 years he worked with the ministry of Dr. James Kennedy. Dr. Wright's topic at our conference was "The Challenge of Government" (watch).


The Challenge of Government


Step #1: Ignore Your Viewpoint

The first step in the Politics of Opposition is a simple one, and that's quite simply to just ignore your viewpoint. They won't even condescend to acknowledge your idea. In fact they believe that the very act of acknowledging you would give your position more recognition than it deserves. And so, you are summarily and rather haughtily dismissed. We see Atheists practice this principally as it relates to believers, dismissing them altogether and not even being willing to entertain their ideas.


Step #2: Maginalize Your Opinion

Step two is to marginalize your opinion by characterizing it as being out of the mainstream. How many times in Washington D.C. have I heard the word "mainstream?" As far I can tell that stream flows pretty far to the left in Washington D.C. It's not down the middle.

Here your opponents will do something different than ignore you. They sort of shake their heads by saying only those on the fringes of the debate hold the opinion that you hold. In other words, you are way out there on the margin and not worthy to even be really recognized. And so, they just label you as a fringe type of a person and accompany that with the appropriate winks and nods and all sorts of condescending looks. They'll say, "These people are just a little extreme. That's what you Christians all are. Do you know that you're an extremist?"

He was condemned for saying this, but I love Barry Goldwater's comment all those years ago in which he said, "Extremism in pursuit of virtue is no vice." So, extremism in pursuit of truth is not vice.


Step #3: Attack the Factual Basis of Your Opinion

The third step in the Politics of Opposition after having tried to ignore you and then having tried to marginalize you, they'll then attack the factual basis of your opinion. They'll declare, "You've got your facts all wrong." Recognizing that they can no longer ignore you or marginalize you, they will begin to contend with you. However, they will not contend over the perspective you're advancing, but over the foundation on which it rests. So, they are going to say to themselves, "If we can destroy or discredit the factual foundation, then your viewpoint that you are trying to advance goes along with it." In this way your antagonists hope to argue that your stance is not worth considering because it's just factually way off base and therefore it's not worthy of consideration.


Step #4: Dismiss Your Ideas

Step one is to ignore. Step two is to marginalize. And, step three is to attack the factual bases of your idea. But, when the efforts to undermine your factual basis begin to fail, they begin to challenge you in a different way — by dismissing you and by dismissing your idea as though the debate over it is over. The opposition will declare the matter has been resolved and you're on the losing side.

With the wave of their hand they invoke that favorite mantra, "The debate is over in this matter. Don't you know?" Here are some of the other words they will use to accompany this dismissal: "history has shown," "experts agree," "choose your experts," "it's now beyond dispute," and "this matter has been long settled." That's the rhetoric of dismissal. They'll declare, "These things that you bring forward are from of old and they've already been dismissed and discredited a very long time ago." So, they attempt to dismiss your ideas. Their too subtle point being: "That you are a member of the latter day Flat Earth Society and that your ideas are so out of touch and have long been discredited so we can ignore them."


Step #5: Ad Hominem Attacks

Having declared the debate over and yet still seeing your persistent efforts to advance truth in the marketplace of ideas, your foes will eventually draw the next arrow from their quiver. Here begins the ad hominem attacks. Ad hominem means, "against the man." These are the personal attacks.

You've brought your ideas forward and they've attempted to ignore them, to marginalize them, to attack the factual bases, and to dismiss the ideas as the debate being already over. Now, they are coming after you.

These personal attacks are shaped like this initially: "no serious person believes that," "all reasonable people agree," and "reputable experts are of the same opinion." You get the flavor of that? What they mean by this is that you are not a person to be taken seriously. You're not a reasonable person. In fact, you are a little disreputable. Well, all Christians are in that class, aren't we? We are in the class of the disreputable, according to the eyes of the unbelieving world.

By the way, these attacks generally begin with sort of a rhetorical flare using the kind of phrases that I just used, But they quickly descend into rank name calling, casting aspersions on your character and your integrity and even pelting you with epithets. So much for their greatest mantra — tolerance! They have very little tolerance for us Christians. How mean-spirited the nature of these attacks are once they begin.

These personal attacks are all designed to accomplish one thing — to divert attention away from your viewpoint and to you. They realize they are losing ground on the idea you're advancing, and so they try to undermine your personal credibility.


In the next part on the challenge of government, Dr. Wright explains the Politics of Opposition's strategies six and seven.


Resource

Christianity Under Attack 2011 Conference DVD Album

Christianity Under Attack 2011 ConferenceThe Christianity Under Attack 2011 Bible Conference takes an in-depth look at some of the attacks on Christianity. Learn how to counter these attacks in this 6-part conference album!

  1. "The Challenge of Islam" - Kerby Anderson
  2. "The Challenge of Humanism and Atheism" - Ron Rhodes
  3. "The Challenge of Evolution" - John Morris
  4. "The Challenge of Apostasy" - James Walker
  5. "The Challenge of Government" - Frank Wright
  6. "The Promise of Victory" - David Reagan

Order your copy for $25 today!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Challenge of Government: Politics of Opposition

Watch MP3 PDF

Lamb & Lion Ministries conducts a number of Bible conferences in the Dallas, Texas area each year. Our June 2011 conference theme was Christianity Under Attack.

The United States of America was founded upon Christian principles, and throughout the history of our nation our Christian heritage has been respected by our government officials, until the middle of the Twentieth Century. Since that time Christianity has come under increasing attack from government officials at all levels, but particularly from those in our national government. To put this trend in perspective, we invited to our conference Dr. Frank Wright who is the president of the National Religious Broadcasters. As such he is on the firing line in the battle to protect freedom of expression for American Christians. For 25 years he worked with the ministry of Dr. James Kennedy. Dr. Wright's topic at our conference was "The Challenge of Government" (watch).


The Challenge of Government


Advancing Truth

I'm going to attempt to do something that I hope will be beneficial for all of us as it has been for me as I've considered and studied this. I'm not going to give you a report about what's going on in Washington D.C. so much as I will touch on a few legislative items at the end that I think bear on our ability to freely proclaim the Gospel of Christ.

It was Winston Churchill who once said, "the farther you look back the farther forward you can see." In other words, history is prologue to what is coming next. I believe that we live in a day when we must look back to clearly see what lies ahead, especially as it relates to the halls and the corridors of power which in Washington D.C. is comprised of the three branches of government: the Executive Branch which is led by the President, Congress, and the Courts. All three of those branches today are impinging dramatically on our religious freedoms.

I also think it's important to look back because in my opinion the days ahead for us are fraught with danger. I'm no Jeremiah, and I'm not here to deliver a Jeremiad so that we'll be wringing our hands in fear and trembling. I'm not of that camp. But, I believe the greatest danger maybe is if we sit on our hands and do nothing. There are other dangers as well, and I want to speak on some of those.

You could argue that we live in the time most significantly fraught with peril, perhaps more than any other time since the founding of our country. And yet, with that danger we see the seeds of opportunity as well. I'm persuaded that the Church is to advance truth, which is what we really are all about, isn't it?

Jesus stood before Pontius Pilot who asked Him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" And Jesus answered, "For this reason was I born. And for this reason have I come into the world" (Jn. 18:37). What? Jesus is telling us the very reason He was born and the very reason He came into the world. What did He say? "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."

The mission of Christian broadcasters is the mission of the Church of Jesus Christ — to advance truth. Truth is the Gospel and the person and work of Jesus Christ.


The Politics of Opposition

I'm persuaded that in order to advance truth we have to have a healthy respect and understanding for its foes — those who oppose truth. As someone whom I've known for many years in Washington D.C. once said, "It's good to read the Bible everyday to know what God is thinking. And, it's good to read the Washington Post just to get the opposing viewpoint." That's not really very charitable is it to our friends at the Washington Post? But, the principle is a good one. We need to know how the opponents of truth respond to our message in order to do a better job of proclaiming our message. If we aim to proclaim truth, we must carefully study how our adversaries work.

In my years of working on Capital Hill I've observed a standardized approach used by many who contend with us in the market place of ideas. It's a predictable methodology that I see unfold almost every day of the week. It's what I call the Politics of Opposition. In this seven-point framework that I'm going to give you, you will see the principle way that ideas are opposed in political, legal, and legislative arenas, and also just in the marketplace of ideas which is the very place that we are trying to advance the Gospel of Christ. More than that, you'll see the principle way that truth is opposed in almost every forum you can imagine.

I want to quickly walk through the seven stages of the Politics of Opposition. Then I want to apply them to our battle to bring the Gospel and the mind of Christ into the culture. That's what's needed, isn't it? To proclaim Christ, but also to bring the mind of Christ to the institutions of our culture.

It was Abraham Kuyper who said that, "Only Jesus can say there isn't one inch in all of creation that Christ cannot say 'mine.'" It's all His. He is sovereign. He is sovereign over the Church. He is sovereign over the culture. He is sovereign over government, business, law, and education. All of it is submissive, or should be, and one day will be under the sovereign reign of the King of Kings.

I want to apply these coming points then to our effort to advance the Gospel in the culture and against the opposition that we see. I want you to keep in mind as I begin that I'm speaking primarily about a strategy. This is a plan of oppositions and not just some random thing that happens. This strategy is employed by those who stand in opposition to public policy questions and also values and ethics and even truth itself.


In the next part on the challenge of government, Dr. Wright explains the Politics of Opposition's strategies one through five.


Resource
Christianity Under Attack 2011 Conference DVD Album

Christianity Under Attack 2011 ConferenceThe Christianity Under Attack 2011 Bible Conference takes an in-depth look at some of the attacks on Christianity. Learn how to counter these attacks in this 6-part conference album!

  1. "The Challenge of Islam" - Kerby Anderson
  2. "The Challenge of Humanism and Atheism" - Ron Rhodes
  3. "The Challenge of Evolution" - John Morris
  4. "The Challenge of Apostasy" - James Walker
  5. "The Challenge of Government" - Frank Wright
  6. "The Promise of Victory" - David Reagan

Order your copy for $25 today!

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Challenge of Islam: Compared to Christianity

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How does Islam and Christianity compare concerning it's claims to the character of God, Jesus, sin and salvation?

Lamb & Lion Ministries conducts a number of Bible conferences in the Dallas, Texas area each year. Our June 2011 conference theme was Christianity Under Attack.

One of our guest speakers was Kerby Anderson. Mr. Anderson is the National Director of Probe Ministries International. He holds masters degrees from Yale University (science) and from Georgetown University (government). He is the author of several books. He serves as the host of a radio program called "Point of View" which is broadcast nationally. Mr. Anderson's topic at our conference was "The Challenge of Islam" (watch).


The Challenge of Islam


The Character of God in Islam

Look at the nature and character of God. Have you ever heard anybody say that Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Have you heard sitting Presidents say that? Let's talk about that for just a minute.

First of all, Islam denies the Trinity. I want to suggest to you that one of the greatest doctrines under attack in the 21st Century will be the doctrine of the Trinity, because first of all the second largest religion in the world rejects the Trinity.

Have you ever been at your home and heard a knock at the door and you see as you look out there two young men in white shirts with bicycles? You know what I'm talking about here? That's one of the fastest growing religious cults in America. Do they deny the Trinity? These Mormons say all sorts of people can become gods.

Ever had another knock on the door and you look out and you see some people holding Watchtower material? Do they deny the Trinity? The Jehovah's Witnesses are one of the most aggressive evangelistic groups out there.

Have I made my point? I think it's absolutely essential that every Christian in America and around the world in the 21st Century knows how to defend the doctrine of the Trinity. But, with Islam, right off the bat you can see that we disagree, because Allah is supposed to be alone. God in Islam is not to have a partner. The worship of anybody else other than Allah is known as "shirk" or idolatry, so right off the bat Muslims would disagree that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

The character of God to Muslims is that Allah is transcendent, he is distant, and he's unknowable. As a matter of fact, he is unpredictable and he's capricious. This description is very different than the God of the Bible.

God in Islam or Allah reveals his will, but not himself. He reveals his will through his prophet Mohammad. He reveals his will through the angel Gabrielle. He reveals his will through the Koran. But, you cannot know him personally. Is that the God of the Bible? Not exactly.

In Christianity, can we call God our Father? The Lord's Prayer tells us to pray, "Our Father who art in Heaven." Can we have a personal relationship with God? Yes, we can. So, are we talking about two different individuals here? I think that we are.

One of the things that I found so interesting while working on my book that I document a study that at that time was done with about 700 former Muslims who had converted to Christianity. The updated study is up to almost 900 former Muslims who have converted to Christianity. The pollers asked these former Muslims what caused them to leave Islam and become a Christian. Their number one reason was the love of God. If you are a Muslim you don't have a personal relationship with God. You don't feel the love of God. As a matter of fact, you fear Allah and you're not sure of your salvation. You are not sure that anything you do will actually merit salvation, unless maybe you are killed as a martyr in a jihad or something like that.

Muslims have this hunger to know God, but there's never a way that this hunger can be fulfilled. So, I would suggest that you talk to your Muslim friends talk about the love of God. For a Muslim it seems a bit strange to talk about the love of God. That I can know God personally is a strange concept to them, but in their heart often times they desire that personal relationship. That's really one of the most effective witnessing tools today, because Muslims see Allah as the master and not their father. But, Christians can call God what? "Our Father."

Just look at the differences between Jehovah God and Allah for a minute when people claim Christians and Muslims worship the same God. Allah in the Koran is a Unitarian monotheism, but in the Bible Yahweh is a Trinitarian monotheism. Islam is a master-slave relationship, whereas in Christianity it's a father-son or father-daughter relationship.

In the Koran Allah determines all. If you are ever with a Muslim they will say a phrase "Insha'Allah" when something happens. That means "Allah wills." You fall down a flight of stairs — that's Insha'Allah. I am blessed — that's Insha'Allah. You know Allah determines everything, but then ultimately he is the author of both good and evil. Whereas in Christianity recognizes that God is sovereign, but He's given us free will and He's the author of good.


The Jesus of Islam

How about the person and work of Jesus? Well, here again, something very important to know about the Koran is that it right out denies that Jesus is the Son of God. They deny the Resurrection. Islam instead claims that Jesus will return one day to establish Islam universally.

When witnessing to a Muslim, I think that it's important to begin to help them understand who Jesus really is. Many Muslims have said that they can actually find Jesus in the Koran, and some Christians have used the Koran to lead Muslims to the Lord. It is a controversial tactic and I'm not suggesting we always want to do it.

It's interesting that if you just look at the Koran you learn a lot more about Jesus than most Muslims know, because in the Koran it says Jesus was sinless, He was born of a virgin, He's a prophet, and He's the Messiah. They just don't believe He's the Son of God.

That gives you a lot to work with when witnessing to a Muslim, doesn't it? You now know the starting point.

Get this, later on in the Koran Mohammad is actually told by Allah to confess his sins, so Mohammad is sinful, whereas Jesus is sinless. Bringing this point up has been another tactic that has been very, very useful for Christian missionaries in Muslim countries. They'll begin by asking, "Would you not like to know more about this sinless prophet Jesus?"

There's also a place in the Koran where Muslims actually are encouraged to read the before books. What are the before books? Those are the books about Moses and the book about Jesus. They believe that Moses was a prophet and that Jesus was a prophet. Mohammed actually encourages them to read the before books and so the missionaries ask, "Would you not like to know more about this sinless prophet named Jesus? Well then here's the Gospel of John." This has been a very effective technique to begin to open the door for them to read the Bible.


Salvation in Islam

What about sin and salvation in Islam?

Muslims really deny the Fall. They say Adam and Eve fell, but God forgave them. They really don't believe in the sin nature the way Christians do. They in a sense believe that you can work out your own salvation. There's an image that's given in the Koran that's kind of like a fulcrum or a balance sheet of the good works and the bad works that one does. They hope that their good works will outweigh their bad works, and ultimately they'll be saved. What an incredible evangelistic opportunity to share the grace of God, isn't it?

Back to that seminary study where they looked at 700 former Muslims and now 900 who had converted to Christianity. Do you remember what the number one reason was for why they converted? It was the love of God. Do you know what the number two reason was? It was the assurance of their salvation, because a Muslim never knows if he or she is going to be saved. Christians can believe in the finished work of Jesus Christ and know that we have been saved. Agreed? That's a very powerful witnessing technique, and when we come to the end of it all we have to teach the fundamental issue is salvation. The Bible states that it's impossible to be accepted by God on the basis of works. Only by God's grace can we be saved through faith, and really only if Jesus is divine can He provide a sacrifice sufficient for the sins of the world.

One of the most significant verses to share with a Muslim is Ephesians 2:8-9. When you witness to a Muslim friend, let them know what we are saved by. It is grace, and not by works. I think that's a very powerful way to share the Gospel.


Not the Same

Again, we have people saying that Christianity and Islam are basically the same, but they are as different as they can possibly be:

  • Islam believes in an absolute, single entity of God. Christianity believes in God in three persons.
  • Islam believes that Jesus was a major prophet, but not God. Christianity believes that Jesus is the second person of the Trinity.
  • Islam believes that He did not die on the cross and rise again. Christianity teaches that he rose from the dead.
  • Islam teaches that the Bible is corrupted. Christianity teaches that the Bible is the Word of God.
  • Islam believes that humans are good by nature and that they can save themselves. Christianity believes that we are sinful by nature and we are saved soley by grace.

Islam and Christianity are about as different as night and day.


Resource


Christianity Under Attack 2011 Conference DVD Album

Christianity Under Attack 2011 ConferenceThe Christianity Under Attack 2011 Bible Conference takes an in-depth look at some of the attacks on Christianity. Learn how to counter these attacks in this 6-part conference album!

  1. "The Challenge of Islam" - Kerby Anderson
  2. "The Challenge of Humanism and Atheism" - Ron Rhodes
  3. "The Challenge of Evolution" - John Morris
  4. "The Challenge of Apostasy" - James Walker
  5. "The Challenge of Government" - Frank Wright
  6. "The Promise of Victory" - David Reagan

Order your copy for $25 today!

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Challenge of Islam: Historical Inaccuracies in the Koran

Watch MP3 PDF

Are there historical inaccuracies in the Koran?

Lamb & Lion Ministries conducts a number of Bible conferences in the Dallas, Texas area each year. Our June 2011 conference theme was Christianity Under Attack.

One of our guest speakers was Kerby Anderson. Mr. Anderson is the National Director of Probe Ministries International. He holds masters degrees from Yale University (science) and from Georgetown University (government). He is the author of several books. He serves as the host of a radio program called "Point of View" which is broadcast nationally. Mr. Anderson's topic at our conference was "The Challenge of Islam" (watch).


The Challenge of Islam


The Koran Versus the Bible on History

Let's talk just for a minute about how to deal with Muslim ideas, what the differences between Islam and Christianity are, and how you can witness to your Muslim friends, neighbors and co-workers.

Firstly, it's important I think that you point out the differences between the Bible and the Koran. There's a fundamental principle that you learn if you've ever taken a class in philosophy, and it's the Law of Non-Contradiction. If "A" is true, the opposite of "A" cannot be true at the same time and the same way. So, if the Bible says one thing and the Koran says something completely different from it, they both can't be true. Does that make sense? They both could be false, but they both cannot be true. I think this point is very helpful in witnessing to Muslims, because Muslims very early on after Mohammed died began to realize that some of the things he taught were actually contradictory to the Koran.

Very early on Muslims came up with the idea that the Bible had been corrupted by the Jews and Christians. Of course, the problem with that claim is that there's absolutely no evidence of that. As a matter of fact, there are places where Mohammad actually endorses the Bible, and the Bible he endorses in the Seventh Century is the same Bible exactly we've had since the First Century, so when could that corruption have actually taken place?

It's important to recognize that just from an apologetics point of view (defending the Christian faith), that the Bible is confirmed by history and archaeology. Archaeology, the archaeologist's spade, and the historical tools ever show that the Bible is true.

By contrast, history can show that the Koran is false. For example, one of the classics is that the Koran teaches that Jesus did not die on the cross. That's a pretty big difference from what the Bible teaches, isn't it? Muslims will say that Jesus didn't actually die on the cross, but an imposter died on the cross instead. Jesus eventually died, of course they'll say, but He's going to return again. Islam believes in the return of Christ, but they believe that He's going to come and destroy all churches, all crosses, and all pigs. He'll eventually die and be buried next to Mohammad. That's certainly a little different than what the Bible teaches, isn't it?

You can see right off the bat that there are differences in the two accounts. They both can't be true. One of them by definition has to be false.

Another historical event that Islam gets wrong is its claim that the Samaritans tricked the Israelites at the Exodus. That's kind of a problem in terms of just basic interpretation, as the Samaritans didn't even exist until post-Exile.

They also claim that Alexander the Great was a Muslim who worshipped Allah.

Well, we could go and on with all sorts of different examples of historical inaccuracies that I think illustrate again how the Bible and the Koran cannot both be correct at the same time. One of the points that I love to use with a Muslim student is to ask, "Do you not understand that your Koran and our Bible disagree? They both can't be true." Then I go to with, "Let's now see what history and archaeology say about the truthfulness of the Bible." After that I'll ask, "What does that say about your Koran?" Now, I wouldn't say that overseas, as you could get killed asking that, but over here student sometimes are much more open to that kind of discussion.


In the last segment on the challenge of Islam, Kerby Anderson compares and contrasts Islam and Christianity's claims to the character of God, Jesus, sin and salvation.


Resource


Christianity Under Attack 2011 Conference DVD Album

Christianity Under Attack 2011 ConferenceThe Christianity Under Attack 2011 Bible Conference takes an in-depth look at some of the attacks on Christianity. Learn how to counter these attacks in this 6-part conference album!

  1. "The Challenge of Islam" - Kerby Anderson
  2. "The Challenge of Humanism and Atheism" - Ron Rhodes
  3. "The Challenge of Evolution" - John Morris
  4. "The Challenge of Apostasy" - James Walker
  5. "The Challenge of Government" - Frank Wright
  6. "The Promise of Victory" - David Reagan

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