Maybe you've seen this?
One downside to such a video is there is a vague reference to "research" and "data" and it also piddles with the idea that "population" equals "culture." If anyone can produce the studies it proposes, I'd love the link. But until then...
I direct you here for some statistical (and perhaps boring) references to Fertility Rates. Most striking to me is the chart relating GDP numbers against fertility rates - basically the poorer the country, the higher the growth rate. Awesome, no wonder America is dying off, we are a bunch of "rich" Americans.
It can be quite scary to see things change and to feel helpless to stem the tide of life. But that is the world we live in, is it not? And the scares never stop (at least, from a xenophobic stand point) - it seems all of time has been a battle between the civilized and the uncivilized. Rome had its barbarians. Islam has had its infidels. Hindus have their untouchables. America has their... And now, the question seems, if Christianity is so great (and our God so powerful), why would Muslims seem to be "winning" the culture war? (by the way, I purposely interchange the term Christian and American for my purposes here, because the video presupposes the two are interchangable).
Maybe because Christianity's goal was never to duplicate a culture? Christians have set too low of a goal for what our Jesus is trying to accomplish. I don't think Jesus ever wanted us to replicate the culture of any particular nation (hellooooo, Judiasm is "dying") - but instead replace the culture of every nation with that of the Kingdom of God.
How much has culture co-opted God's plans here in the United States? Any nation (except a communist one) will appreciate good moral religious adherents of any type. In a way, governments needs religion to keep people docile. Marx called religion the opiate of the masses (and thus looked disfavorably on them as a tranquilizer of sorts). I don't know if Islam is better suited for that role, but it sure wasn't Jesus' attempt. Personally, the idea of a non-state/cultured sponsored Christianity is quite a thrilling prospect.
Don't get me wrong, it is "scary" (to me) that our world is going to look different. There are a lot of unknowns and honestly I don't know very many Muslim friends. But the ones I DO know are far from the "agenda" of the Muslim world to breed out Christianity. They are regular folks like you and me, actually. As Christians, the Gospel is good news for everyone. We have a spirit of adoption, not a spirit of fear. Thats why I laugh at propoganda films. Because you can't scare me into being a better Christian - folks have been trying that for years. I've been loved into being faithful.
And yes, it saddens me that we've come to this (the whole Christianity not showing the "fruits" we'd expect from the one true religion). I'd love for Christianity to be everything it can be (since it is based on that guy, Jesus) and care for the poor, help the blind see, set free the oppressed, and declare the year of the Lord's favor (Luke 4). But have we succeeded in doing that? Has Christianity "failed" to live up to God's standard?
I hate that America is no longer as "Christian" as it used to be. But how good was that, really? The "Good ole days" are always better than how things are now.
I'll say this - Jesus has never failed to live up to his promises. And I can only hope these "muslim nations" this video talks about will be more tolerant of non-muslims than Christians have been to non-Christians.
I would suggest exactly what the video suggests - be fruitful and multiply AND share the Gospel with everyone (not just Muslims).
But don't do it so you can "fight" their culture or because you are scared of them. Do it because you have experienced the Risen Christ and know within your heart that the love of Christ should and will change the way you interact with everyone (especially those who are different than you).
How extreme are Jesus followers? They love their enemies. Not convert, not kill, not breed out, not ignore, love. Lovelovelovelovelove.
Quite frankly, thats "scary." God help me - Jesus help me - when I fail to live by your standards.
I'm always saddened when I see these reactionary videos/sermons/etc. against another culture/religion/etc. Christians as a whole have a big PR problem.ReplyDelete
I would suggest exactly what the video suggests - be fruitful and multiply AND share the Gospel with everyone (not just Muslims).I'm always leery when the be fruitful and multiply bit is thrown out as a solution for the church.... It can be very painful, annoying, or offensive to those in the church who are childless. As it is, the church doesn't have much of a place for the childless (esp. childless couples). This sort of thinking just underscores the general feeling that the childless aren't as good or wanted or useful as those with children in the church.
How extreme are Jesus followers? They love their enemies. Not convert, not kill, not breed out, not ignore, love. Lovelovelovelovelove.Amen!
Christianity as the "one true religion" may be a flawed belief and statement. I think Jesus says he is the way, the truth and the life and that no one's comes to the Father except by Him. That doesn't mean that I have to go to the "Christian" church in the "Christian" nation to come to Jesus does it? I'll answer "no" for myself.ReplyDelete
With that said, I want the world to look vastly different...but maybe I just need to look at it with new eyes... It can look different if you look at it through the lens of the Kingdom of God and HIS power. You look at it with the eyes of possibility, with the eyes of hope, with the eyes of Love...like you said. LOVE-agape-not lusting for what I want love- is the TRUE religion, because God is LOVE. Does that mean that whoever loves, is reflecting and maybe even knowing God regardless of their background or religion...well maybe so...
Let the world adopt a state religion, or a new world order, or whatever it wants to do...we have a new order that is a new kingdom and it is not founded on the same powerbroker, institutional forces that drive governments and financial institutions. It is collateralized and defended by a bunch of rag tag matyrs and thieves that aren't even worthy to receive the grace they gotten...It is lead by the powerless and served by the powerful...the upside down kingdom... It doesn't even fit in a world where there are Christian nations and left wing conspiracies. Those things don't matter to the upside down kingdom. What does matter is only one thing...Love...in me because Jesus died and lives again in me killing my self and resurecting my soul filling it with life that I don't deserve. It now has to flow out of me and every other crazy follower of His and like a weed fill every crack and crevace until it's all over everywhere...
Anonymous - thank you for calling me out. I meant to include a part about how being "fruitful" and "multiplying" does not have to be limited only to childbirth.ReplyDelete
There is a wealth of Christian tradition surrounded by fruitful and multiplying Christian practices that don't involve sex (thankfully).
Sorry I missed a golden opportunity to stand up for those who are of sacred worth!
As a newly married (and still childless) pastor, I've tried to stay mindful of how we speak about singleness and childbearing for two reasons:
1.) I've been single the majority of my life. It would be a shame to say I could not fulfill God's will in that singleness.
2.) As a minister, I often get comments concerning the progression of my personal life. The people mean well, but the comments come off as a back-handed compliment. For example, before I was married folks would say, "oh, one day you'll be married and you'll be a real minister." and NOW that I'm married, I'll be holding a baby or talking to a child and get the, "when are you expecting? Once you are a parent you'll really understand."
Like I said...they mean well.
Also, see links under 'Demographic Jihad' at the Religion of Peace™ Subject Index.ReplyDelete