The Muslim Brotherhood is launching a political party in America for the purpose of electing Muslims and influencing legislation that is favorable to Islam. This development should come as no surprise: the number of mosques in the United States has escalated 74 percent since 2000. The government of Turkey is building a $100 million mega mosque in Maryland. There are now 66 mosques in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.
According to a recent survey, 98 percent of mosque leaders say Muslims should be involved in American institutions, and 91 percent agree that Muslims should be involved in politics. We should expect to see a growing number of Muslim candidates for office, and a growing number of Muslims who will support them financially.
Islam is not the only non-Christian movement to make headlines today, as this is “Humanism at Yale Week.” Monday was “Ask an Atheist” day; Tuesday was “Catholics & Humanists Together”; today features “Atheism, Storytelling, and Advice for Christians Who Wish to Talk to Non-Christians.” Chris Stedman, Assistant Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University, is the speaker. Ironically, both Yale and Harvard were founded by Christian ministers to train Christian ministers.
Should believers be angry about these developments? Or should we view them as opportunities for the Kingdom? Cultural advances by atheists and non-Christian religions are obvious symptoms of the declining Christian influence on our culture. But I believe they are also an amazing opportunity for the gospel, for two reasons.
First, growing secularist and anti-Christian movements are a wake-up call for believers to pray. Those who founded our nation and its earliest academic institutions were clearly shaped by the Judeo-Christian religious tradition. That worldview is in jeopardy today more than ever before. It is imperative that believers humble ourselves, pray together, seek God’s face, and turn from our sins—now (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Second, the growth of atheist and other non-Christian populations in America means the world has come to us. Believers at Yale have an organized, accessible opportunity this week to share their faith with atheists. An Islamic political movement gives Christians in public service occasion to share Christ with Muslims of great influence.
In Acts 1:8, Jesus commissioned his followers to “be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” In Acts 8:1, “there arose . . . a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria.” Verse 4 adds, “Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.” And so Acts 8:1 fulfilled Acts 1:8.
Does Jesus want to redeem the faith challenges of our day in the same way? How will you go about “preaching the word” today?