Dennis Campbell
March 19, 2004
It is time to tell the truth about this conflict
By Dennis Campbell

Being President must be the most difficult job in the world. The responsibilities, pressures and conflicts are enormous, the consequences of actions staggering, the push and pull of myriad groups and ideologies and forces overwhelming.

To be a practicing Christian and be President must be enormously more difficult. For example, if one is a Democrat and wishes to be President he must support such non-Christian positions as abortion and homosexuality, while trafficking with those whose outright hostility to the faith is palpable.

And then, for political considerations, a Christian President makes a remarkable statement such as this: "The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace."

That is from a speech by President Bush at the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C. Now, as a professing Christian surely he knows this statement is not entirely true. While there are individual Muslims who are peaceful and tolerant, extremist fundamental Muslims clearly are consumed by violence and repression.

In fact, the Muslim who equates the war on terrorism with war on Islam is correct: It is precisely that.

We are witnessing in these remarkable times a monumental battle between opposing worldviews. One has resulted in the blossoming of democratic principles, prosperity and freedom in the western world, and another in misery, poverty and brutal oppression.

On one side is a culture whose foundations were Judeo-Christian, although Europe has largely forsaken its heritage and America is in the process of doing so. It was the firm and fast Christian faith of our Founding Fathers that allowed this great Republic to come about, with its guarantees of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

It is Islam that has kept the Middle East in unending strife and turmoil and misery. The result of Islamic rule today? Look at the brutality and barbarism of Iraq, Iran, the Sudan.

Scripture counsels that we will know the nature of people "by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit...."

The desirable fruit, according to Scripture, is ", joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." Does that sound like Islamic fundamentalism? How was that reflected in the sight of Palestinians dancing with joy after receiving news of the World Trade Center attack?

Please do not bring up tiresome complaints about the Crusades and the Inquisition, which were the abuse of Christianity for political purposes, or about Mississippi Christians lynching black people, which clearly was antithetical to Christianity. We do not measure something by its worst adherents, but by its best.

The heart turned toward Christ has been conquered not by force and violence and intimidation, but by the love of God. Said the Apostle John: "We love Him because He first loved us." The guide for the Christian, the New Testament, teaches us to love our neighbor as ourselves, to put the interests of others above our own, and to live peaceable lives as much as we are able.

And the Old Testament? Those who call themselves Christian acknowledge it as the Word of God, but bow to One who came to show us a better and more peaceful way.

But that which guides Islam, the Qur'an, is filled with admonitions to kill and plunder the infidel, and the spread of this religion was done not by a loving God wooing the hearts of His children, but by the sword of Mohammed. There was nothing peaceful about it. The message was simple: Convert or die.

So yes, this is a war between one civilization built on those principles that had as their culmination our own Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and a civilization built through the shedding of blood and the tyranny of those who despise freedom.

Holy Scripture tells that at the end of the age there will be tribulation that "has not been since the beginning of the world...." Perhaps we are witnessing the start of those days, but in any event it is time to tell the truth about this conflict: It is between two great opposing forces, one representing good and one representing evil.

We must not forsake the battle, for our foe is implacable and relentless, and the stakes are the very existence of life and civilization as we know it.

© Dennis Campbell


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