With resurgent Islam extending its power throughout the world—whether through immigration, procreation, litigation, intimidation, or terrorism—the Church must respond for the sake of truth, righteousness, and, indeed, civilization. Of course, truth and righteousness are already in short supply in the West. Decadence is proceeding apace, and unless there is spiritual awakening in the land, Islam will reign by default. The only hope is a rebirth of holiness, a rediscovery of spiritual boldness, and a renewal of spiritual power. Of course, in all this, the Church must lead:
First, repentance must once again characterize the people of God. This will not be easy since, as Reinhold Niebuhr observed, “Proud men and successful civilizations find it difficult to know God, because they are particularly tempted to make themselves God.”1
Second, the Church must invest herself in the good work of making disciples as well as converts. For one thing, the Church must once again catechize believers in the faith.
Third, individual heroes of the faith must step forward, for God still searches for a man. A man, that is, who will “stand in the gap” (Ezek. 22:30 NIV).
Fourth, the people of God must once again walk in the power of the resurrection of Jesus and embrace the sacrificial way of the cross. Such was the selfless witness of the early Church.
Fifth, Christians must come together as a body to meet the challenge. Not dwelling on the issues that divide them, believers must remember Jesus’ prayer that they “may be one” (John 17:22).
Sixth, godly confidence must displace fear and doubt. The Bible promises that Christ’s kingdom will prevail, and the Lord repeatedly counsels His followers, “Fear not!”
Thus prepared, and filled with the Holy Spirit, the Church can begin to meet the challenge of Islam effectively. Here are some possibilities which a local congregation might use:
- Courses of study on the scripture, history, and current manifestations of Islam.
- Intentional outreach and direct evangelism so that Muslim neighbors may learn of Christ.
- A network of similarly motivated pastors and churches for mutual support and counsel.
- Use of various communication resources. Using the Church’s wealth of talents, contacts, spiritual gifts, and platforms.
- Earnest prayer. The Church’s most potent weapon.
The power of a holy, obedient, prophetic, and praying Church is incalculable. Nothing could match the splendor and fruitfulness of a repentant and revived body of believers. In reality, the spiritual vacuum now tormenting the West will be filled by something—if not with the glory of the living God, then with oppressive secularism or Islamic legalism. Yes, to meet these adversaries, it will take sacrifice, not only of resources, but also of comfort and safety. But sacrifice is the watchword of a people who meet, with all hopefulness, at the foot of the cross.2
1 Reinhold Niebuhr, “The Christian Church in a Secular Age,” in Christianity and Power Politics (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1940), 212.
2 “Resurgent Islam and the Challenge to the Church,” Kairos Journal KJOP-01, 2006, 14.