Um…All Due Respect, Mr. President…

President Obama, speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast today said the Christians should not “get on their high horse” about Radical Islam, because–after all–“During the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ”. He said that, in “our home country Jim Crowe [laws] and slavery were all too often justified in the name of Christ”. He spoke of the sinful tendency within all of us to “pervert and distort” our faith.

I have several problems with this line of reasoning. In many instances, I’ve tried to ‘officially’ stay out of the political realm, but this is one of the increasing number of instances in which politics crosses over into the ‘faith’ realm, and I cannot keep silent about times like that!

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (one of the few Pastors who stood up and publicly opposed Adolf Hitler) wrote, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless.  Not to speak is to speak.  Not to act is to act.”

So, I must speak.

1) The Crusades. 

These are often brought up as the reason we shouldn’t confront Radical Islamic Terrorism–because, ‘after all, the Crusades happened’. But anyone who will actually read history will find that the Crusades happened in a defensive way–in other words, the Crusades were launched to STOP ISLAMIC AGGRESSION which had taken over large parts of the middle east and Europe. Yes, the Crusades were ugly. Wars always are, but the Crusades–to stop Islamic Aggression–would never have happened if Militant Islam hadn’t first waged a relentless and savage ‘jihad’ against western Christians for over 400 years. (a good resource is here:

2) Militant Islamic Terror 

This is STILL going on–this isn’t ancient history! To try to make a’moral equivalency’, as the President did, between today’s Islamic Terror and the Crusades and the Inquisition (which, incidentally was WITHIN the Christian Church) is utterly RIDICULOUS! The Islamic Terrorists are beheading, raping, kidnapping, blowing up, and now BURNING ALIVE those who are against them. They are throwing suspected homosexuals off the roofs of buildings! They are stoning to death (exclusively) women caught in the act of adultery. They are practicing female genital mutilation!  Seriously?!

Let me repeat: This is not Ancient History–this is TODAY! (And that doesn’t even get to the ‘less radical’ elements where women cannot be seen in public with any part of their bodies exposed, must not drive, go to school, be seen with any man that she’s not related to…)

3) The Broad Brush

The President is famous for his refusal to call the reality of what is happening ‘Islamic’ because it might appear to impugn the rest of Muslims–the ‘Moderates’. Yet, it is very clear: Whether accurately or not, the Islamic Terrorist are committing the barbaric atrocities IN THE NAME of ISLAM, supposedly at the teaching of Mohammed! The President wants to give the benefit of the doubt (hence his meetings with and support of groups like the Muslim Brotherhood).
Interesting, though, that the President–who doesn’t want to ‘paint with a broad brush’ about Islam just did that very thing about Christianity.

4) Positive Influence of Christianity.

Reverend Franklin Graham reacted to the President’s comments:

“Today at the National Prayer Breakfast, the president implied that what ISIS is doing is equivalent to what happened over 1,000 years ago during the Crusades and the Inquisition,” he wrote. “Mr. President – -Many people in history have used the name of Jesus Christ to accomplish evil things for their own desires. But Jesus taught peace, love and forgiveness. He came to give His life for the sins of mankind, not to take life.

“Muhammad on the contrary was a warrior and killed many innocent people. True followers of Christ emulate Christ – true followers of Muhammad emulate Muhammad,”. 

As much as some would like to lecture on ‘the sins of Christianity’, the truth is that Christianity, more than any other world religion, has led to more people being freed, more liberty being realized, more education, better health, more freedom for technological advances, more upward mobility, more advances in the sciences, and more economic opportunity for more individuals all over the world than any other religion. This was true from the time of the Pilgrims, and onward–perhaps until recently. Just look at history and compare the lands in which Islam has dominated. Compare what life is like there.

There is no comparison.

5) Practical Reality.

The reality in all this is that Radical Islamists are seeking to expand their influence. ISIS (or ISIL), Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al Shebob, Boko Haram, Al Queda, and yes–the Muslim Brotherhood and CAIR–these are all moving forward with an agenda: To expand their influence throughout the world. Some of them (the most radical) have made their aims very clear: Islamic domination. They are not interested in ‘democracy’ or ‘a melting pot of ideas’; they want victory! Some of them will stop at nothing to gain that victory, and have said so repeatedly.

And therein lies the President’s very real problem: As much as he would like to take a ‘hands off’ approach, and remain aloof and uninvolved, he cannot do so.

6) His Job.

One of the President’s chief duties, as Commander-in-Chief, is to direct the military to protect Americans, American interests, and American Allies. These extremists groups are very clearly threatening all of the above. We are not actively engaging in any real way to fight back against these Radical Islamic Terrorists…and, as unfortunate as that is, I personally believe that we must do so.

The President is in a difficult position, and we must all pray for him. He has difficult, important decisions to make every day, and these effect all of us, and many Billions of people around the world.

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”

(1 Timothy 2:1-2)

I would like to ask us all to Pray–for the President, His entire Administration and all the leaders in our government. Pray that they would see this threat for what it really is, and that they would know the best way to stand against it.

Let’s pray, also, for ourselves. Ultimately, as Christians, we continue to want to spread The Gospel of Jesus Christ through love, through His Word, and through good deeds. We need to make sure that we are seeking Him first, allowing Him to change us, and yielding to His will. I am convinced that His will, at times, calls us to take a serious stand against evil, but we must do so humbly, yet firmly.

And I believe that–here, now, TODAY–this is evil.

Published by Pastor Dave Johnson

Follower of Jesus, Husband to Lori, Proud Father to 6 great kids, Co-Pastor of Kalamazoo Community Church. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan.

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