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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pew Study: Millions To Leave Christianity For Islam

by JASmius

If you pulled the camera back in the pic above, you'd see the man on the left has impaled the man on the right through the heart, killing him instantly, and the sword is the only thing holding him up.  If eyes had been included the man on the right would have little "x's" through them.

Genocide is the only way in which the global Muslim population will increase by tens of millions at Christianity's expense, although I don't think that's the paradigm from which Pew is operating:

The results of a new study show a changing global landscape when it comes to religion, with Christians and Muslims projected to have nearly the same number of followers by 2050.

The Pew Research Center study also shows a startling figure for Christians: More than 106 million people are projected to leave the faith between 2010 and 2050, with only 40 million expected to enter. That's a net loss of 66 million people.

Many of the people who leave their Christian faith could be leaving religion altogether, with the projected change in religiously unaffiliated people at 61.4 million.

I will grant Pew the fertility argument.  Muslims breed like cats, while Western fertility rates are subterranean and heading even further south.  Christianity is depopulating itself, and over the space of decades those divergent fertility rates can make a huge overall difference in respective population size.

But they (Pew) have a significant problems with their "study": They don't understand a bloody thing about Christianity or Church history.

First, they don't understand what a "Christian" is.  They see it as a cultural term; somebody who, for example, attends church services twice a year, on Christmas and Easter, not of his own accord but going along with his family or friends or because that's what his parents always did, etc. would be classified by Pew as a "Christian," despite lacking any life evidence of devoutness and having the morals of a snapping turtle the other 363 days of the year.  Such people could indeed "leave Christianity" and "convert" to any number of false religions and "convert" right out of them in turn, or "leave religion" altogether.  But in reality, they were never "Christian" to begin with.

The Apostle John, as it happens, addressed this issue in his first epistle:

Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. [emphasis added]

Jesus Christ Himself gave a sneak preview of this phenomenon in Matthew 7:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘LORD, LORD,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven will enter.  Many will say to Me on that day, ‘LORD, LORD, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

So what is the biblical definition of a Christian?  Someone who has admitted he/she is a sinner, confessed those sins to God, accepted Jesus Christ into his/her heart as his/her LORD and Savior, and surrendered his/her life to Him.  Such a person is indwelt and sealed by the Holy Spirit as proof of this transformation, and really is a Christian and will, by definition, never "leave the faith," because such a thing is not possible.  Which is why the only two paths by which the trends Pew is conspicuously rooting for are demographics and nuclear jihadism.

Oh, and one other point: If there is one word that descriptively encapsulates biblical Christianity, it is this: counter-intuition.  "'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,' declares the LORD."  "And He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me."  The Crucifixion looked like the most crushing of defeats, when it was, in fact, the greatest of epic victories; the difference was in having all the information, and knowing the true nature of the battlefield, and who the enemy really was.

This, through God's limitless grace and empowerment, is why, paradoxically, true Christiandom has never thrived or grown faster than when under ferocious persecution.  The Roman Empire spent three centuries trying to eradicate Christianity, and instead spread it throughout their territory and beyond, such that Emperor Constantine, in one of the most famous examples ever of "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em," called off the dogs and made Christianity the official religion of the Empire.

That was when the Church started going downhill until, ultimately, the Reformation a millennium later.  For it is prosperity and tolerance and "good times" that have been the biggest threat to the Church down through the centuries, creating distractions and competition for believers' attention and practical allegiances and endless opportunities for the flesh and pride to insinuate themselves and lead us astray into sin (Yes, believers still sin; for which purpose God gave us 1 John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  A useful reminder that keeps us humble, if we let it.)

That's not to say that James 1:2-4  should be misinterpreted as an exhortation to masochism.  No rational person wants to suffer.  But the true Christian knows that God allows trials into our lives for the purpose of maturation, growth, and learning to trust in Him in even the darkest, bleakest circumstances.  And, most importantly, as motivation to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that, in the words of the Apostle Paul, "I would wish to God, that whether in a short or long time, not only you, but also all who hear me this day, might become such as I am, except for these chains."

Lastly, True Messiah also has a word for for jihadists and their Christian martyrs:

Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him Who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
In God, Whose Word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?

Exit quote (updated) from Stephen King's The Stand: "God [not "Allah"] always wins.  Like the Seattle Seahawks,"

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