Challenges to World Christianity – My Response

Last week I asked what you thought was the greatest challenge facing Worldwide Christianity in the next fifty years.  I found it interesting that nearly all the responses were related in some way to Islam.  Here is a portion of my response as given to the original question posed by my professor.

 “I believe the greatest challenge facing the global body of Christ is the advance of Islam and our response to it. While many Christians are quick to note the physical threat of this religious advance, few of us are preparing to respond to it from an apologetic perspective. The sword cannot be our only response, because it is the least effective. The church must strategically mobilize to respond with the sword of truth, or we are in the same danger our forefathers faced in the Middle Ages.”

What do you think?  Agree? Disagree?  How do we best prepare to respond to Islamic advance?

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8 thoughts on “Challenges to World Christianity – My Response

  1. I totally agree. Swords only cause blood which only leave stains and resentful people. Though, I do not agree with the idea that we need to be apologetic. Religion, or beliefs, should not require apologies. If you claim that you believe in something, then that is it. You should never have to provide excuses for it. The thing about christians is that they tend to see the world from only their point of view. If they could just turn around for a minute and see things from an Islamic point of view, then maybe differences and ideas could be settled on different terms rather than the sword. Then again, maybe Islamic people need to do the same.

  2. Our churches are weak in apologetics in general. Many don’t know what they believe, much less possessing the ability to contrast the tenants of another religion. Therefore, we could be defeated before the threat actually arrives. The threat is not merely from terrorists and extremists, its from moderate muslims who are law abiding citizens finding pockets of converts in our country. This will continue to be a trend as emigration both to the U.S. and Europeon countries sees a stream of migrating muslims, the likes of which we have never seen. I have heard that it is on the rise even in South America.

    Christians are going to have to stop being intimidated by people who are different. If and when we are able to strike up conversation with a muslim, we will need to have a humble disposition. We can share with confidence what we believe without being obnoxious. It most likely would take time to break into the world of a muslim. Most live within the social boundaries of their families and religious community. My muslim neighbor convieniently keeps me at a distance though I attempt to show gestures of kindness when I have the opportunity. When the conversation has led to spiritual matters, I have been careful not speak too quickly. He is strong in his opinions and I try not to allow the conversation to evolve into a political argument.

    Our churches need to realize that the mission is here and now. We are a part of that mission. All peoples are coming to us. Its time we stop complaining about emigration and start recognizing God’s sovereign plan. These people are coming from countries where our missionaries have trouble just getting their foot in the door. When they come here, we’re already in the house! Just a while back, my wife had a muslim ask her for a comparison of what Christians and muslims beleive. These things don’t happen by accident. We need to realize who we are as Christians and that God is giving us an opportunity to be His missionaries.

    TBH

  3. Thanks for the comments, guys. I’m limited in time to respond now, but hopefully will get back before the week is over.

    Any others with thoughts are welcome to join in!

  4. Esthetic,

    Thanks for your visit and comment. I agree that it is profitable to understand the beliefs of others.

    Also, by apologetics, I am not referring to apologizing for our beliefs. My reference is to “apologetics” which is the study of presenting a sound and reasonable explanation and defense of your beliefs. I agree one should not have be “apologize” in the sense of admitting their beliefs are wrong.

    Travis,

    I’d say we’re in agreement. Much of what you have written is what I would have said had I taken the time to flesh out my brief response. God is bringing the mission field to us. The great question is are we ready and what will we do about it?

  5. I think one of the biggest challenges to Christianity is the love of self. My Bible doesn’t say, “Love thyself with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” It seems we have embraced the cultural trend that says our worlds should be about how to get what we want, when we want it. Inherent in this attitude is the idea of self preservation. It opens the door to compromise. If we can’t handle being criticized, how can we think we would die for our faith? The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve. James 1:27 – Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. How many of us visit the forgotten…those who we know may not be able to repay us for blessing them with money, time, resources, or simple kindness? God is able to make all grace abound toward us…so we are blessed with abundance…FOR EVERY GOOD WORK. I believe wholeheartedly that God wants to bless us, but many of us forget those last four words. As Christians, we are “little Christs.” Are looking to serve others or are we only interested in serving ourselves? If self gratification and self preservation are at the forefront of our mindsets, we will ultimately be broken down because we will be prone to compromise.

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