Christianity in Today's AmericaTweet
Posted 8/26/10 at 8:01 AM | Michael Youssef
I often find it amusing, enlightening and equally frustrating to read some of the Arabic/Islamic press. They have a knack for turning truth on its head. And when that happens, one gets a unique perspective. The brouhaha over some Islamists' take on Obama being Muslim or not Muslim is absolutely fascinating.
One writer who lives in the United States writes in an Islamic website explained to Arabs, in Arabic, her perspective on the questions over whether Obama is a Muslim or not.
She emphatically declared that he is not a Muslim in the truer sense of the word. Then she proceeded to explain to her Arabic readers about the Unitarian Church and many "other Christian denominations," referring mainly to mainline denominations, and why Muslims should be supportive of them.
She said they are not like those "traditional Christians" who believe in the divinity of Christ. They, like us "Muslims," believe that Jesus was just a good prophet: 'To be sure, they do not believe in Mohammad as the true prophet of Allah, but we can get along with them."
This concept reminds me of an Arabic saying, "Me and my brother against our cousins; but my brother and I and my cousins against our enemies." FULL POST
Posted 8/19/10 at 11:52 AM | opinion
Whether to build a 15-story mosque and Islamic Center two blocks from Ground Zero is not an easy call.
Many have rightly said the debate over the mosque’s location is not chiefly a matter of religious liberty. After all, those behind the Cordoba Initiative, as it is being called, have a right to build the mosque on the private property in question. And, in one sense, there would be no better snapshot of our religious liberty in action than a mosque two blocks from the site of the 2001 Islamic terrorist attacks. Of course, that very liberty is something that profoundly separates America from much of the Muslim world.
Some, like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and others have said, the matter of the mosque’s location is more a question of wisdom. Just because they can, doesn’t mean they should.
But perhaps even more so, it is a matter of Love.
In the wake of the tragedy of 9/11, moderate Muslims worked to distance themselves from the radical Islamic attackers, standing on the long-repeated claim that Islam is a peaceful and loving religion. If this is true, now is the perfect opportunity to prove it.
Though the Qur’an does not contain the command to “love thy neighbor,” as do the Christian scriptures, it does enjoin Muslims to “do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans…the neighbor who is near of kin, the neighbor who is stranger” (Qur’an, chapter 4, verse 36). In keeping with that injunction, the group Muslims for Peace has chosen the motto, “Love for All, Hatred for None.” They believe that Muslims should be the most loving and understanding people of the earth, especially to non-Muslims. FULL POST
Posted 8/18/10 at 8:27 AM | Michael Youssef
While traveling to Australia and England this summer, I was amazed, but not surprised, at the fever-pitch level the so-called "environmentalists" have reached. Every second word on television is "environment" ... "green" ... "mother earth." Every second commercial boasted that their product is "earth friendly."
It was not surprising, therefore, for me to pick up the Herald Tribune (the global edition of the New York Times) on Monday, July 26 to find that every second editorial was about how sad they are that the U.S. Senate decided against taxing Americans more for gas and electricity.
What most of the non-discerning Christians have failed to do is understand that this "environmentalist fever" is truly a religion. Just like the pagans of old worshiped the nature gods Baal and Ashtoreth, those folks are worshiping Gaih (mother earth).
But there is something that is overlooked by many, if not most, believers. There is a powerful parallel between Israel of old falling for this form of idolatry and of the well-meaning Christians of today. They too have drunk the "Kool-Aid™" of modern-day idolatry and fallen into false worship of the gods of nature. Even after the published evidence of how those earth worshiping "environmentalists" falsified data at the University of East Anglia in England, secular-humanist evangelists continue to mislead simple Christians with their earth worshiping. FULL POST
Posted 8/17/10 at 2:36 PM | Michael Youssef
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways; then, I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14)
We know this verse well. We hear it quoted often when America faces challenging times – as we are today. This promise, spoken to the nation of Israel, reflects the heart of God that we see throughout Scripture.
Our God is a merciful God. He desires to hear from us and He provides many opportunities individually and nationally to return to Him. He delays His righteous judgment and allows everyone the opportunity to repent and turn to Him. He is a most merciful and gracious God.
Yet, this same God is a God of justice. Mercy and justice are two sides of the same coin. They go together. You cannot have one without the other.
And, so, we face a challenge today like none I have experienced in my lifetime. We are beginning to see the justice of God poured out on America.
We have experienced a string of natural disasters this decade that have had devastating impact. We have been at war for the past decade – losing the lives of our nation’s best men and women. We are facing mind-boggling financial challenges, our freedoms are being taken away by a power-hungry political class, and we seemed even powerless to stop an oil leak off our coast. FULL POST
Posted 8/16/10 at 1:14 PM | Michael Youssef
When President Anwar Al Sadat of Egypt came to power in 1970, he was hell-bent on erasing the memory of his powerful predecessor, Ghamel Abdel Nasser. This desire, combined with Sadat’s feelings of insecurity and inferiority, drove him to coddle the Jihadists, thinking that they would be good to him if he released them from prison and recognized them as major players in his new structure.
Tragically Sadat underestimated—or conveniently ignored—an overriding characteristic of Jihadists: their respect of power and decisiveness. They detest weakness and compromise. They view anyone who is anxious to ingratiate himself to them as weak and, more importantly, confusing—especially if they believe they are being used as pawns in a political scheme.
And so, for Anwar Sadat, the “tiger” he thought he could unleash on his enemies to serve his own political purposes turned out to be the very tiger that devoured him.
If Barack Obama thinks that he can domesticate Jihadists by throwing them a bone or two, he will wake up one day and realize that he, too, has committed Sadat’s fatal mistake.
Endeavoring to domesticate and coddle the sworn enemies of the United States could completely backfire on the current American Administration. And, since these radical extremists do not distinguish between the Americans and their elected officials, it is the American people who will fall victim to their terroristic plots. FULL POST
Posted 8/13/10 at 11:01 AM | Michael Youssef
All around us we see the work of Satan. He tempts us to sin. He plants seeds of bitterness, hate, and envy in hearts. He deceives us with his subtle lies and half-truths. And we only have to look as far as the news to see the results on a global scale: Hatred and anger incite countless skirmishes around the world. Greed and selfishness fuel corruption, leading to worldwide crises. Extremists are persecuting Christians for their faith in Jesus Christ, even in democratic nations founded upon Christianity. Satan's campaigns are weakening our religious freedoms. While we must take responsibility for our own actions, we can almost always trace the original source of our contention to the plans of Satan.
As long as we live in this world, the devil can and will try to pull us down. The good news is that we can learn to fight him and not give in to temptation. But it is a growth process as we learn about our foe and as we discover how to overcome him.
There are seven main points to consider in our continuing battle with Satan:
Walking in each of these areas will bring peace and joy into our lives, knowing that the devil cannot bring us down. The first point, remember the victory is ours, points to Jesus' victory on the cross when He declared, "It is finished" (John 19:30). He completed our salvation and has provided everything we need to live victorious lives, and we are now seated "in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3). FULL POST
Posted 8/12/10 at 8:17 AM | Michael Youssef
Have you ever asked yourself this question?
"Why are we having more debates on 'racism' today when we have the first black president in our history?"
There are several reasons that I, an African-born American, can offer here.
America is in trouble not for lack of "a dialogue on racism," but because we are running away from God.
Recently former congressman and former college football star J.C. Watts, a black American, was asked about the race issue. Here is how he answered it: FULL POST
Posted 8/11/10 at 9:34 AM | Michael Youssef
Islam is a religion and political system steeped in revenge and retaliation. Christianity is a religion steeped in spiritual renewal, based on a personal relationship with God through Christ.
Historical & Theological Quick Facts
In dealing with Islamic terrorists, several historical and theological facts must be recognized:
– Islam and Christianity do not worship the SAME God. Islam, Judaism and Christianity are all monotheistic – they each advocate the reality of one god. The only trait Allah and Jehovah hold in common, however, is this: God is Creator of all.
– Islam and Christianity differ greatly in beliefs about Jesus. Muslims regard Christians as blasphemers for proclaiming that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. They regard Muhammad as the only true prophet. Christians, in turn, regard Jesus as divine and the savior of all mankind; they regard Muhammad as a misguided come-lately religious man.
– Islam and Christianity have historically used very different means to further their cause. Islam advances on the groundswell of power. It seeks submission, humiliation and conquest of all who do not believe in Islam. Christianity, in sharp contrast, advances on the groundswell of personal conversion. It seeks the renewal of the human heart, which in turn, will result in obedience to God’s commands. FULL POST
Posted 8/9/10 at 12:01 AM | Dale Garris
“Andthe Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Get you up from among this congregation,that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces. AndMoses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar,and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonementfor them: for there is wrath gone out from the Lord; the plague is begun.
AndAaron took as Moses commanded and ran into the midst of the congregation; andbehold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and madean atonement for the people.
And hestood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.” Numbers 16:44-48
There is a very serious word from the Lord for the Churchhere – one that, if ignored or dismissed, will result in tragic consequences.
Immediately prior to the above passage, Korah, Dathan andAbiram had risen up against Moses. They feltthat Moses had taken too much authority upon himself and they were not willingto submit themselves under his leadership. His ways were too severe and harsh. They had just finished burying a man whomMoses had commanded them to stone to death for simply gathering sticks on theSabbath. Moses said God told him to havethe congregation stone this man, but of course, the only one that heard Godspeak was Moses. FULL POST
Posted 8/6/10 at 12:38 PM | Deborah J. Dewart
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Have you ever signed on a petition on your way in or out of the grocery store? You might want to think twice after reading this article!
Thousands of Washington State voters were alarmed in May 2009 when their governor signed legislation dubbed “everything but marriage,” granting expanded benefits to state-registered domestic partners. Many rushed to sign Referendum 71: “Preserve Marriage, Protect Children.” If they could gather enough signatures quickly, the new law would appear on the November ballot and perhaps be overturned. FULL POST