I am currently on an around-the-globe
trip, going from the West Coast, to Down Under, Singapore, London,
and then home again.
From the vantage point of this journey, the one striking and
overwhelming image I get is of two runaway trains moving in
opposite directions. And yet, in some strange way, they are about
to cause a global collision.
Let me explain.
On one train, Islamists are violently demanding that the West
bow to them as they seek to take the world back to the Arabian dark
ages of the 7th century.
On the other, humanists, atheists, greens, and extreme liberals
are pushing the West to abandon its historic morals and
Judeo-Christian ethics. They demand that the West embrace a world
of homosexual marriages, nature worship, environmental extremism,
Although I am a trained social anthropologist who is supposed to
make sense of such things, I must confess that I am baffled on this
front. How can two extreme movements, heading in opposite
directions, be so perilously close to an unprecedented
The one thing that both runaway trains have in common, however,
is their hatred of Christians. To both, Christians represent a
threat - although different types of threats.
To Islamists, the threat is theological. Christians believe that
God became man, died on a cross to redeem the world, and rose again
to justify everyone who would believe in Him. Every day, Muslims
are turning their back on Islam and embracing the redemption that
only Jesus offers. Through those conversions, the biggest fear of
Islamists has come upon them.
To atheists, humanists, and environmental zealots, the threat is
to their own consciences. They were created in God's own image, and
Christians represent a "photograph" of the life they were meant to
lead. The liberal extremists cannot escape that image, and it
burdens their inner guilt.
Thankfully, where social anthropology fails me, the Bible never
does! It is only biblical knowledge that can make sense of the
The Bible tells us that when sin increases, grace also abounds.
Although I can't promise Christians an easy time in life, based on
Scripture, I can certainly assure them that God's grace and light
will shine brighter through them as the darkness increases.
Many of my friends would explain the current events in the world
as the great "falling away" that will occur before the return of
Christ. Certainly they have every reason to believe that. But I am
in the business of reminding them that, regardless of this turmoil,
our call is to lift up Jesus to all. And through lifting Him up,
some may come to believe and be redeemed.
Not only is our God in control of history, He is the author and
finisher of history. Therefore, He will have the last
So, my friends, get busy lifting up Jesus. Take courage and look
up. For the day of your redemption draws nigh.
Michael Youssef, PhD is an Egyptian-born American and
founding rector of The Church of The Apostles. His messages are
broadcast 3,800 times a week into 200 countries through Leading The
Way Ministries. He holds a PhD from Emory University in Social
Anthropology. His blog: www.michaelyoussef.com. Follow
on Twitter: @MichaelAYoussef.
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