Monday, February 13, 2006

Denmark and the Muhammad Cartoons

These are not the best of times for Denmark, a small country that little deserves the hubbub and threats resulting from a Danish newspaper's publication of cartoons with uncomplimentary characterizations of Islam's prophet Muhammad. Though publication of the cartoons may not have been the most intelligent of decisions on the part of the newspaper, it seems unfortunate and unfair that radical Islam should blame the entire Danish nation for these cartoons. Committed Christians throughout the world should pray earnestly during this stressful time for this small country of fewer than six million people. It may be that the situation will turn out to be an eye-opener for a notably calm, peaceful and tolerant country that almost overnight has become the object of scorn and threats. We fear the situation is being used by radical elements of Islam for their own nefarious purposes. We are reminded that Denmark, whether wisely or unwisely, has in recent years generously allowed extensive immigration of Muslims. Its current Muslim population is more than three times that of the number of members of Danish evangelical free church denominations (170,000 Muslims compared to approximately 50,000 free church adherents). It is a fact of history that God can use difficult times like these to awaken people to their spiritual need even as the worst of times can bring out the best in God's people.

PRAY for wisdom on the part of the Danish government as it attempts to weather the political turmoil and possible economic fallout from this crisis.

PRAY that the Spirit of God will brood over the land and revive the church in Denmark, using the current tensions to prod the Danish people to a life-changing awakening of personal faith in Jesus Christ that will turn the country away from the devastating effects of entrenched secularism.

PRAY that Danish believers with a genuine personal faith in Jesus Christ and an unyielding commitment to Him will find kind and effective ways to demonstrate the truth of the Gospel and the love of God in everyday contacts with their Muslim neighbors.

PRAY that there would be an increased interest in Christ on the part of moderate Muslims who look at the idiocy perpetrated by their radical brethren in the name of Islam and wonder about their religion.

PRAISE God that history is not--as some may think--proceeding willy-nilly and purposelessly into the future. Rather, as predicted in the Bible, it is moving inexorably toward the end times and the return of the Lord Jesus Christ in power and glory. Maranatha--even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!

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