October 8, 2012
The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked; no one who treads on them knows peace. Isaiah 59:8
About a year ago, at the beginning of what is now being called the "Arab Spring," and against the solid advice of some Daily Devotion readers, I spoke in favor of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. I gave them the benefit of the doubt when they said they were embracing a path of harmony and peace between Islam and Christianity.
Subsequent events have proven two things: I can never make a claim to having the gift of prophecy, and when I'm wrong, I'm really wrong.
Today, it is clear that from the president on down Egypt is placing painful and dangerous penalties upon anyone who acknowledges the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. It is equally obvious that when Islam calls for religion to be respected, theirs is the only religion that qualifies. That means they can laugh at Christianity, but no one dare point to their flaws and failings. They can put pressure on you to convert, but you dare not do the same to any of them.
They can tear up your Bible, but you dare not desecrate their Qur'an.
Wait, that's not entirely right. Ahmed Mohammed Abdullah, who goes by the name of Abu Islam, is a television personality. He is a television personality, at least, in part, because he is part owner of the mega-conservative television channel Al Uma.
Not so long ago, Abu Islam went on TV and tore pages out of a New Testament and promised that he would, in the future, do worse. Amazingly, an Egyptian court has decided to put him on trial for having violated Egyptian anti-blasphemy laws.
To you and me tearing a Bible apart might seem like a black-and-white case of intolerance. Not to Abu Islam. He was not practicing contempt of religion. Indeed, to his way of thinking, you cannot show contempt for the Christian Scriptures. After all, he says, since there are different translations of the Bible, there is no such thing as a real Christian holy book.
It almost sounds as if Isaiah knew Abu Islam when he wrote, "The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked; no one who treads on them knows peace."
Well, the Lord will deal with Mr. Islam in His own way. For now, I can only say there is little room for peaceful co-existence when Christians burn Qur'ans and Muslims tear Bibles apart. I think the Savior who lived and died to win our salvation understood that.
Maybe that is why He said, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5:44b).
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, send Your angels to watch over Your persecuted saints. Keep them safe and able to witness to the salvation they have been given in Jesus. If possible, let a witness be made that will show others the error of their beliefs. This I pray in the Name of Jesus, who showed us how to love our enemies. In His Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries