Last November, I debated with a radical jihadist who believed that Christianity is a weak and immoral religion that deserves to be superseded by Islam using whatever force necessary. The man believed that 9-11, the London and Madrid subway bombings, as well as all the other means that terrorists use to assert their ideology are morally justifiable.
The man then asked me why our government does not negotiate with Bin Laden who “offered a peace treaty.” When I asked him what would happen if the West did, in fact sign a treaty with Al Qaeda, he said that the treaty would last for five months, then they would offer Islam again, and, if it is refused, they would break the treaty and continue to use force. In this man’s mind, if the entire world came under the rule of Islam, then that would be a validation that his religion is, indeed, the right one. I replied that it is not realistic to believe that 2 billion Christians are going to be persuaded to deny their faith and that Western governments will fight to defend themselves. I then told him that even if he was able to establish a world wide theocracy under Islam, that it isn’t over until it is over.
What did I mean by that? It is hard for us to imagine our nation being overrun by foreigners of a different faith. We are the most powerful nation in the world and we also have one of the largest population of Christians in the world.
Not so fast. What I am describing has happened before. It must have seemed like the world was ending when the largely Christian Roman empire was overrun by the barbarians. The most powerful empire in the world with the largest Christian population in the world fell seemingly overnight. But did the gospel stop there? No! An amazing thing happened. The barbarians eventually embraced the faith of the people they conquered.
The same thing happened at the turn of the first millenium. Ireland at that time was one of the most Christian nations that the world has ever seen, but when the Vikings came and destroyed their villages and raped their women, it must have seemed like the world was ending to the Irish monks who were captured and enslaved by the Vikings. But, then, an incredible thing happened. The Vikings embraced the faith of the Irish. History credits this to the faithful witness of the Irish monks who lived out the values of Jesus before the eyes of their captors.
No matter what happens in this dark, cruel world. The cause of Christ will carry on as long as there are Christians who are radically faithful to the teachings of Jesus. As the Apostle Paul said, “The Word of God is not chained.”
Do I fear that the Western world may be overrun by Islam? You bet I do. But, as a Christian, I know that no matter what happens, God is in control and His purposes will prevail no matter how dark it seems. In the end, I know who wins.