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Christianity And Islam…..And Why Islam Is Growing Faster

6 April 2015 3 Comments

Hi Everyone,

Recently I posted a blog about Islam being the faster growing religion in the world.

Len Savill, a truly faithful evangelist and man of God in Auckland NZ who works with Matt Old to run Go International, wrote back to me.

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“Julian, here is a bit of context to the the research that showed that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the worldRavi

Yesterday, I was listening to a lecture from Ravi Zacharias (right), the excellent apologist and evangelist.

He was sharing a discussion he had with a Muslim individual who pointed out that Islam was the fastest growing religion in the world. Zacharias responded to the effect that it was the fastest growing forced religion in the world and that if the leaders would take their feet off the neck of their people, its growth would cease.

Indeed, in many countries, compliance with Islam is the law and failure to comply results in death. Indeed, if someone converts to another religion they are killed if they do not manage escape.

The essence of Islam is submission–indeed the word Islam means submission.

Many “converts” are added through forced compliance.

In Islamic countries, failure to comply with Islam results in death. Conversely, Christianity is a religion of freedom. Christianity does not force converts.

Indeed, we know that it cannot. Christianity is a religion of love. John 13:34-35 says “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

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This is my reply to Len.

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Hi Len, I can’t agree with Ravi completely. By observing Isis and the other radical and extreme elements of Islam, it’s easy for Ravi to make a case.

However, the radical extreme end of Islam is a relatively small compared to the whole of Islam and in no way representative of all of Islam.

In NZ, Islam is booming and there are no threats to submit. I have travelled through the middle east and in talking to the ordinary man on the street, I found no evidence of threats or forced submission or threats of death.

I found it hard to conclude that Ravi’s response was little more than grasping at straws.9:11

In fact, it’s more than that. His answer is representative of most of the Western Church which continues to make Biblical sounding excuses for its failure to evangelise and to justify the same.

I believe Islam is growing for two reasons: 1. they are evangelising and 2. they are radically committed to their cause.

Where are the radical Christians today?

We all know Islam is a false religion.

However, this is not how it’s being perceived by the lost world.

They perceive Islam as being a religion which really believes what it preaches.

When the lost world observes Islam, they see a group of radical people who believe in their God so much that they are prepared to die for him and give their lives for him i.e. fly planes into buildings.

This is what is attracting the lost to Islam. Did you know what Islam recorded its biggest spike in memberships straight after 9/11?

When the lost world observe us, they observe no such commitment.

They perceive us as believing little, and standing for little.  They conclude our God must be little, and so want little to do with him.

They see us as a group of people who are too afraid to tell anyone else about what we believe.

Why would anyone want to join such a religion?

If Ravi admitted all this, and that we are a religion which has stopped evangelising, he would have to start evangelising himself, which is something 98% of Christians, including Ravi, are too fightened  to do.  Evangelism on one level has a lot to do with bravery.

How do I know he doesn’t engage in evangelism?

I met Ravi in Christchurch at a conference about 15 years ago and asked him outright if he engaged in personal evangelism.

I remember distinctly that his answer was long winded. I concluded that he didn’t engage in personal evangelism. He is like so many leaders – they talk about it, preach about it, write about it, exhort others to do it…….BUT they don’t do it themselves!!

As for  quoting John 13, I don’t think the 98% of the Church who are living a non-evangelistic lifestyle are living this out at all.

Think about it.

If we truly loved our fellow Christian, (and I am speaking to christian leaders now) we’d love the people under our care enough to lead them into doing the priority of the will of God which is to evangelise the world.

To lead fellow Christians into doing His will is to lead them into loving God (John 14:21) and loving their neighbour.

But 99.9% of Christian leaders are not doing this.

example is not...On the contrary,most  Christian leaders, as well as not leading by example in evangelism,  are subtly and unwittingly leading their people away from doing evangelism.

The are busy concocting elaborate, subtle, and Biblical sounding excuses (e.g. “the best way to win the world is to say anything about Jesus, but to just love them in practical ways” or “Our church wants to evangelise the world, but we are not ready yet. We have to spend a few more years discipling them, then they will be ready!” ), justifying why they don’t do evangelism themselves.

This is what Ravi (unwittingly) did in his answer above so masterfully.

But in reality, Ravi is effectively giving the Western Church yet another excuse not to evangelise.  What he is telling the Church is:

  1. “BLAME ISLAM FOR CHRISTIANITY NOT BEING THE FASTEST GROWING RELIGION ON THE WORLD!”
  2. “DON’T TAKE  UPON YOURSELVES ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CHURCH NOT GROWING!”
  3. “CHRISTIANS, YOU ARE DOING JUST FINE! DON’T CHANGE A THING!”

Worst of all, because he is a prominent leader, most listening will swallow what he says hook, line, and sinker, and not give his argument serious thought.

They will smugly clap, smile, justify themselves, and go back to their non evangelistic ways.

What Ravi has done is taken their eyes off the real issue, and made Islam the scape goat.

Ravi, of course, wouldn’t be aware that this is what he is doing.  Make no mistake, Ravi is a true man of God.  What we have to realise is that the devil can work through anyone.

Don’t be fooled.

If he worked through Judas back then, one of the Apostles who walked and talked with Jesus, he can work through Ravi, and any other leader today. It matters little to the devil how prominent they are.

On the contrary, the devil targets leaders (Ephesians 6:12) which is what my book is all about.

He targets them because it’s through them he can reach the masses to stop them evangelising.

Here’s a link to the latest updated and edited version of my book Len: https://drive.google.com/drive/#folders/0B7xzcZRi29iKYVJzQlQ4TVltSHc

Feel free to distribute this to others so that they can be made aware of the deeper issues and what is really going on under the surface of the Christian Church.

P.S If Islam means “submission” Christianity is also about submission, surely?   Jesus requires that a person, if they want to be his disciple, make him Lord at the point of conversion. If they don’t there are dire consequences.

Just a thought.

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  • Darryl Knappen says:

    Excellent points Julian. When I first heard that reasoning from Ravi on the radio I said, “That makes sense,” without giving it much more thought. But, you are correct, if the Christian Church was serious about following the Savior to the end in all things, Christianity would look like it did in the first 2 centuries.
    My own boldness in sharing seems to be growing. I was at the VFW the other day sitting next to a 50′ish gentleman and asked to hear his story. He said his business partner died, in a car crash, he was drinking and smashed his pickup into a semi truck, died instantly etc. I then said, “Where is he now?” His response, “He was cremated.” I said, “I’m not asking about his ashes or bones, I’m asking about his soul, where is he now?” He said, “Well I hope he’s in heaven.” My response: “Why would you think that?” This opening allowed me to share the gospel with him and I encouraged him to view Biblein11.org/CC. I hope to see him again as a regular at the VFW and follow up. This afternoon I will be in the local hospital waiting room to visit with anyone who wants to talk about eternity. What a joy.

    Darryl

  • Julian Batchelor says:

    Hi Darryl,
    So great to hear from you!
    I would like to post your questions to the man at the VFW to all. I think it was an evangelism master class. What is VFW?
    I was SO encouraged reading what you wrote! Awesome!

  • Darryl Knappen says:

    The VFW is an acronym for Veterans of Foreign Wars. They have posts all over America where veterans can hang out and drink at the bar, play bingo or dance etc. It took a good deal of Holy Spirit power to overcome my ultra conservative upbringing to actually sit in a bar to witness to people but that has been a rich source of contacts for me. I even had the chance to do a funeral for one vet friend I met there and the gospel was heard by 200-250 non-believers as a result of me being asked to do it. What a privilege. Feel free to share any of this.
    Talk to you soon.
    Darryl K.

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