Does America Hate God? Sound Off!!!

“No, I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure he’s not too thrilled with us though!” Mark Forrest– from Tarpon Springs, Florida

“I don’t think they do but morals and values are lacking in many but just by choice of denying the truth and God’s existence.” Elizabeth Hinga Mwangi — an educator from Kahawa, Nairobi, Kenya

 “No. Too many don’t understand God. He is not vengeful, not close minded, not mean. He-she-it loves us all. No matter what! If America hates God it’s because of the crazy evangelists that use His name to push their agenda. It turns off so many people!” Beth Sawyer Egan a retired musician living in Union Springs, Alabama

“America doesn’t hate God. But I hate people who use God to advance political agendas that are antithetical to the supposed teachings upon which their religion is based. I am just a man. I don’t pretend to know the answers to the profound questions of creation etc. and I am suspicious of those who claim to. Hate God? No. Hate exclusionary group think that holds one group of acolytes better than another (or themselves right and all others wrong)? Most definitely.” Danny Ingram — a Washington, DC music legend

“I’m an American, and I don’t hate God. I continue to be amazed by those who claim to be God’s followers while presuming to impose their narrow limits on God’s love and mercy for us.” Nancy Kane Maginn — friends with Dany Ingram

A Firewall is Needed Against Militant Islam

by Archbishop Council Nedd II

What’s a firewall? It’s an impenetrable barrier meant to stop an undesirable action.

In politics, consider the example of the 1988 United States presidential race.  After several embarrassing defeats in early primaries, then-Vice President George H.W. Bush’s campaign manager announced to staff and supporters that South Carolina and its influential primary would be the firewall for the Bush campaign.

With workers and volunteers focused and dug in, working harder than ever so their candidate would prevail, the firewall succeeded and Bush handily defeated his challengers.  The rest, as they say, is history.  Bush went on to win his party’s nomination and eventually became the 41st president of the United States.

Similarly, for human rights reasons, it is necessary to build a firewall to stop the international expansion of radical Islam.  Wholly different from peaceful followers of the Muslim faith, the adherents of radical Islam threaten the free expression of faith worldwide because they refuse to tolerate any religious views but their own.

The firewall should be on the African continent.

Most of the world now knows about the radical Islamist organization Boko Haram. It is responsible for kidnappings of young girls and the killing of thousands of innocents in the name of Allah. They recently kidnapped the wife of Cameroon’s vice prime minister! Likewise, the world watched with a mix of horror, amazement and fear as the ISIS army recently blitzkrieged through Iraq and Syria.  Entire towns were slaughtered in the quest to establish a new and unimpeded Sharia law-based caliphate.

By many estimates, Nigeria and Syria may be lost to radical Islam.  That doesn’t mean curtailing radical Islam is still not a cause worth fighting for elsewhere.  A firewall can still be erected, and is worth the effort.

It’s not a holy war, but a rational response to a humanitarian crisis.

Kenya should be that firewall.

A massacre at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya in September of 2013 was perpetrated by an Islamist group equally as treacherous as Boko Haram or ISIS, the Somalia-based Al-Shabaab.  It frightens not only Kenyans, but Christians such as myself who track the spread of radical Islam as I minister my faith in countries with sizable Muslim populations.

Why should the Christian world care about the spread of radicalism into Kenya? What might happen if Kenya is overrun?

If militant Islam spreads into Kenya, nations throughout the rest of the continent are likely to be lost in relatively short succession. South Africa may hold out, but it would eventually succumb as well.

We are already witnessing something akin to the genocide of Christians around the world.  If things continue on their current pace and the entire African continent is lost to intolerant radicalism, we might find that even the America we know will become isolated and under a full assault within the span of a generation.

If we who purport to be Christians truly believe in the faith of our fathers, we should take a stand for our brothers in Christ and defend our historic and God-given faith. Throughout history, Christians have rallied when our faith was under fire.  This is such a time.

Again, this is not a call to holy war.  It’s not a modern-day crusade.  It’s the need for tolerant people to collectively say “no” to radicals who want to impose their will upon others by any and all means — including heinous acts of violence.

When Boko Haram launched Christmas Day attacks on churchgoers, when ISIS wiped out a 2,000-year-old Christian community and when Ethiopia, one of the most storied of Christian nations, is now 55 percent Muslim in part due to forced conversions, it’s time to act.  When a British soldier can be slaughtered in the streets of England by Islamists trying to make a name for themselves, it’s time for Christians to say “stop right there!”

Africa, and Kenya in particular, must be the firewall that prevents radical Islamist expansion.

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Archbishop Council Nedd II is a member of the national advisory council of the Project 21 black leadership network. He is also the founder of In God We Trust, an organization established to push back against the secular tide in this country that is seeking to remove God from the fabric of American life. Comments may be sent to Project21@nationalcenter.org .

Published by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints permitted provided source is credited. New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21, other Project 21 members, or the National Center for Public Policy Research, its board or staff.

Western Churches Neglect Causes of Radical Islam’s Rise In Africa

by Archbishop Council Nedd II

afhayeenka-al-shabaabHow did radical Islam become a legitimate threat in sub-Saharan Africa?

Should we care? Perhaps, because one possible reason stretches beyond the African continent. It may eminate from our own houses of worship.

After the recent shopping mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya by the Muslim terrorist group Al Shabaab, counterterrorism experts fear increased collaboration among the growing ranks of religious radicals in Africa operating across borders in vast, poorly-policed regions.

While terrorism experts are concerned with expanding radicalized Islam, my own leadership role in the Christian community has me preoccupied with how historically Christian areas and formerly majority-Christian countries are now under constant threat from al-Shabaab, Boko Haram and al-Qaeda in the Islam Maghreb.

It’s too soon to declare African Christianity dead, but it’s certainly ailing — and the West is to blame.

Christians went to great lengths to “civilize” Africa, and part and parcel of that process was bringing Christianity to sub-Saharan Africa.  But since then, the Church of England and the Episcopal Church in the U.S. ostensibly have abandoned proselytizing in Africa.  Most mainstream Western Christian denominations, in fact, now look with disdain on those still adhering to the very same faith churches once taught.

The Episcopal Church, for example, no longer adheres to the doctrine of the Bible as the inspired word of God.  The Western evangelical church in particular proclaims an overly-feminized form of Christianity in which men cannot act as men and women assert a theology that gives them dominion over men.

This “enlightened” West no longer honors the God-given roles and distinctions between men and women.  Actually, it demonizes them. This is why Christianity lost its appeal in, and its hold on, Africa.

The Western church no longer builds up men for the Body of Christ.  When the church prefers to place women in masculine roles, while discouraging men, the blessings of God vanish and it creates a vacuum.  When the Christian ministry becomes an occupation for those liking pretty buildings and beautiful vestments rather than a vocation to serve God, it’s no wonder serious Christians scoff and look elsewhere.

The Christian church in Africa and around the world has left a gap that Islam is filling.

Men clearly need the civilizing influence of women, but they also must remain men. The church is too involved in a feminizing process.  Wanting to love and serve God should not be at the expense of God-given manhood.  I am an unapologetic Christian, but I know that nothing in Islam requires or expects men to deny their manhood.  Islam does quite the opposite — encouraging separate manhood and womanhood.

Almost 100 years ago, English writer and lay theologian G.K. Chesterton said that most men in his day were reduced to Victorian lapdogs when it came to Christianity.  What might he say today?

There are now Christians who change the word of Jesus in the Lord’s Prayer to “Our Father and Mother who art in heaven” and the nature of Jesus in the Holy Trinity.  Is there little wonder why there aren’t more men in church and why men seeking God might turn away from modern Western Christianity?

Why would a man want to be part of a faith in which they are to be seen and never heard?  Couple this with the general depiction of Christ as sort of a pansy with well-manicured nails and a perfectly-trimmed beard. It is not is no surprise men are uncomfortable with this, and subsequently are unwilling to become churchmen.

In my lifetime, Ethiopia, one of the most storied Christian nations, took the path of India. Once majority-Christian, it is now divided into Eritrea, which is majority Muslim, and Ethiopia, which may be at least half-Muslim.

If people are genuinely concerned about the spread of Islam and subsequent radicalization, they should consider the Christianity they practice and teach.  Pastors no longer proclaim the Gospel, but instead favor of gay marriage or the prevailing populous cause du jour.

Don’t worry about Islam. The imams are doing their job.  It’s the pastors and priests who aren’t doing theirs.

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Archbishop Council Nedd II is a member of the national advisory council of the Project 21 black leadership network. He is the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Missionary Church in the United States and the Archbishop of Abu Dhabi. Comments may be sent to Project21@nationalcenter.org .

Published by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints permitted provided source is credited. New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21, other Project 21 members, or the National Center for Public Policy Research, its board or staff.