Christianity in Today's AmericaTweet
Posted 9/26/14 at 12:05 PM | Michael Youssef
Many people—religious and non-religious—are asking questions about a word they hear the media use when referring to ISIS and other Islamist jihadists. That word is apocalyptic, which is used when specifically referring to the fatalism of Islamists.
People wonder, why do so many Muslims (both Sunni and Shiite) operate with such an “apocalyptic,” end-of-world mindset?
Our secular society, however, coupled with the media’s carelessness, is bandying about words like apocalyptic without using them properly and without explanation. That creates a great deal of confusion for some, many of which just throw up their hands in resignation and say, “I don’t understand this.”
But for those who want to understand, I am offering this 2-part column, taking excerpts from my newest book, Jesus, Jihad, and Peace. I hope this will put things into perspective, so when the media says that an Islamist entity (such as ISIS, al-Qaeda, Iran, etc.) operate with an apocalyptic vision, you can make sense of it. FULL POST
Posted 9/19/14 at 4:33 PM | Michael Youssef
Today, many people are wondering if ISIS will ultimately destroy Western civilization. But before I address that question, we need to take a little journey to discover what Western culture has done to itself.
Beginning with the age of reason in the 17th century, Western culture built itself on the foundation of reason and objective truth.
In the 1960s, however, Western culture underwent a radical transformation. A new way of looking at reality—focusing on the inner, subjective experience instead of objective truth—profoundly affected the baby boomer generation.
In 1967, Dr. Timothy Leary toured the U.S., speaking on college campuses with a psychedelic light and sound presentation called “The Death of the Mind.” He urged students to experiment with LSD, start their own psychedelic religions, turn off their rational minds, and reach out to the universe with chemical-altered feelings to “run on, tune in, and drop out.” FULL POST
Posted 9/5/14 at 1:35 PM | Michael Youssef
Whenever prophetic voices rise to explain world events from a non-secular perspective, those voices are minimized as “fringe” and “lunatic.”
But that is simply an occupational hazard of offering a prophetic voice. They will be beaten to a pulp by competing godless voices until they give in or give up.
For example, consider today’s voices in the wilderness that connect this country’s moral collapse to the twin scourges of terrorism and financial indebtedness. Anyone that connects our current struggles to our own spiritual and moral vacuum will be labeled a “nut.” I mean, who wants to hear about such things, right?
But even a cursory look at biblical prophets during times of crisis will quickly reveal how the godless voices of their day attacked them. FULL POST
Posted 8/28/14 at 12:07 PM | Anthony Horvath
Most observers of Richard Dawkins are not surprised to hear that he has said something outrageous. More and more, even his fellow atheists are surprised when he says something sensible. The latest row is over his comments suggesting that people have a moral obligation to abort a child diagnosed with a defect (in particular, Down Syndrome). Again, even his fellow atheists were put off by this, since the party line on abortion it is morally neutral, and a woman can get one or not get one, as she pleases.
The reactions, from both foes and fellow travelers, imply that the crux of this issue is that Dawkins is being rude. From this perspective, there are certain things you don’t say in polite society, even if you think them, and Dawkins has found one of them (again). The problem, you see, is one of decorum and Dawkins’ irascible personality and a violated social contract.
Dawkins, however, insists that what he is saying “simply follows logically from the ordinary pro-choice stance that most [of] us, I presume, espouse.” He sympathizes with his critics, but notes that their point is “an emotional one not a logical one.” And oh, by the way, what he is saying is not in the slightest “advocating a eugenics policy.”
Never mind that he is rude. Is he wrong? He has invoked logic, implying that there are propositions, premises, and inferences not far back from his comments. Moreover, he expects that his own fans share these foundational views and is more than a little surprised that they have not taken them to their logical conclusions. And what views might these be? FULL POST
Posted 8/1/14 at 5:09 PM | Michael Youssef
The Bible is full of individuals who accomplished mighty things through their commitment to a cause and through God’s power working in them. Moses, Joshua, Gideon, David, to say nothing of a handful of Galilean fishermen, turned their world “upside down.” Often their world was controlled by a great foe, like mighty Egypt or the Roman Empire.
Sadly, the most that many Western Christians can accomplish today is to join a big stadium filled with screaming young people listening to upbeat music. When the music stops, they go back to their pampered lifestyle and whine about what they’re not getting from life.
Of course, there are some exceptional young Christians who seek God and His will with all of their hearts. They genuinely want to make a difference in the world. But for the most part, Western Christians lack a total commitment and a definable strategy to turn the world upside down like our Christian forbears did.
In the meantime, however, anti-biblical forces have taken the “change the world” baton from Christians. But not only have they taken it, they are using it to beat Christians on the head, sending them scurrying in fear and intimidation. FULL POST
Posted 7/10/14 at 11:20 AM | Michael Youssef
The ISIS, which has conquered vast portions of Syria and Iraq, has now declared itself to be the new Islamic caliphate. There has been no caliphate (an Islamic state led by a “successor” to Muhammad) since 1916, after the end of more than 400 years of Turk-enforced rule over a resentful but helpless Arab world.
Since then, most Sunni Muslims have informally recognized the legitimate successor of the prophet Muhammad to be the king of Saudi Arabia, whom they call the “Guardian of the Two Holy Places.”
But in recent years, many rival factions have risen across the Islamic world, each claiming to be the one to bring about the legitimate succession. FULL POST
Posted 7/1/14 at 10:56 AM | Michael Youssef
As we pause to celebrate the birth of this blessed nation, many among us are sad and even disgusted over what has happened to it.
Millions of Americans who have known “the old America”—the one they were born in and grew up in—feel a deep disappointment that their grandchildren will not grow up to know the country that valued morality and biblical ethics.
From the White House to the schoolhouse, we see forces that reject biblical values. From our government, we even see the outlawing of the name of Jesus from public prayers, especially from the military, which owes all victories to Him.
And there are also those, such as my family and me, who immigrated to this blessed land and long for the original America—the America as envisioned by the founding fathers.
I came to this country because, as a boy living under the tyranny of dictatorship and socialism, I longed to be free. I read the writings of America’s founders and dreamed of breathing the air of freedom—the air that was purchased with the blood of many American patriots. FULL POST
Posted 6/20/14 at 3:34 PM | Michael Youssef
Let me just say that President Obama is probably not a Muslim, but not a Christian, either. Most likely, he’s agnostic. Politics is his religion.
That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t possess strong loyalties. Many people are afraid to discuss those loyalties, however, lest they be branded some type of crazy “Obama is a Muslim” truther.
But let me throw out twenty “dots” and see if you can connect them into a pattern:
For those who know me, it won’t come as a surprise when I say that I love the Muslim people. I grew up with them, and I have spent lots of time and money to share the love of Christ with them. But this article isn’t about how we should feel toward Muslims. FULL POST
Posted 6/16/14 at 11:05 AM | Michael Youssef
“Bodies are scattered all over the streets,” is how an Iraqi pastor described the situation in Mosul, Iraq, the country’s second-largest city.
It’s nearly impossible to square this Islamist takeover of Iraq—accomplished through beheadings, burnings, and slaughter—with the euphoria that some in the Bush administration felt immediately after the 2003 invasion.
Of course, that euphoria didn’t last long. Bush refused to play military expert and allowed his generals to make the decisions, and the Iraq War turned into a long and bloody struggle. But General Patraeus’s surge worked, and Iraq then experienced a short period of peace.
Since then, however, hope for Iraq has evaporated. Of the 1.4 million Christians who peacefully existed in Iraq before the American invasion, there are less than 300,000 remaining. FULL POST
Posted 6/2/14 at 11:46 AM | Michael Youssef
Now that Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has won a decisive victory in the Egyptian presidential election (held May 26-28, 2014), the pro-Islamist Western media—such as the BBC and CNN—are downplaying his impressive win.
Western media outlets cannot help themselves. They are smitten with their grievance over what they call “the ousting of the first democratically-elected Egyptian president.” Although the election of Mohamed Morsi (Sisi’s predecessor) was full of irregularities, they are wedded to the narrative that their guy was “wronged.”
But consider the following:
The Western mainstream media largely ignored all those realities. Then, when turnout during the recent election was lighter than expected, the media ignored the reality of the reason behind that as well. FULL POST