I usually look forward to the National’s Rex Murphy’s commentaries on Thursday evenings, but missed the last one. Too bad, although I have the full comment. It’s worth reading: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/11/26/rex-murphy-what-the-tolerant-must-tolerate/
Rex Murphy reminds us of the of the insults and sacrilege that Christians and Christianity endures. A fraction of that directed at Islam would raise riots in the Islamic world. Few Islamic countries tolerate even a Christian presence, let alone Christian influence.
While many consider the Arab Spring will bring a liberating democratic sweep across the Arab world, Naguib Sawiris, an influential Egyptian Christian, is pessimistic. Peter Mansbridge’s One on One interview,
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/11/21/naguib-sawiris-video.html, with him this weekend is as enlightening as Rex Murphy’s commentary was incisive.
Both Israel and Isalm claim Abraham as their ancestor. If there is to be an ultimate battle that will bring about the closing of this age, it will be the culminating anger of Ishmael against Isaac. The seething anger in the Arab world against Israel and her western support has a spiritual dimension that exceeds any injustice, real or perceived, between Israel and Arab claimants of Palestinian lands.
God has kept his promise to both Israel and Ishmael in blessing their descendants. But God will judge all human leadership that He provides, including Islam, for its abuse of power.
Egypt is the largest Arab nation, and the Muslim Brotherhood—in the past a radical version of Islam—has been building its political base underground for eight years supported by other Arab nations. It is rumoured to sweep tomorrow’s Egyptian elections. If so, the current military dictatorship is likely to give way to a Muslim theocracy with little regard for other faiths.
The same process could occur in other uprisings in Tunisia, Libya, and Syria, with similar rumblings in other Arab states. While the majority of Muslims would like to live in peace and security—like most of us—to raise their families, militant Islam intimidates them and opposes the west—or any infidel that refuses allegiance to their version of God.
That a democratically elected Middle East will be friendlier to the West, or, perish the thought, might seek friendly relations with Israel, is unlikely. Even an elected government can still stifle freedom of speech and religion. And as the west strays from its Christian roots, it becomes more vulnerable to pagan decline and the inroads of other faiths with their pernicious brands of reform.
The future without God frequently looks bleak at both the personal and political level. But whatever the future, the Christian can face it with confidence knowing his trust in God will never be misplaced. That God will intervene in the affairs of this world on That Day is the Christians’ hope and security. See my Christmas offer on Guess Whose Coming to Reign.
I liked Naguib Sawiris’ response when Peter Mansbridge asked him if he was afraid. He responded that he wasn’t afraid because he trusted God; that a Christian who fears denies the faith he claims!