What I Think of This Headline

“It truly a shame that in the wake of the most recent terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, that the left is calling it an issue of gun control, rather than calling it what it is. What happened in San Bernardino is a terrorist attack perpetrated by radical Islamist.”

“I am also appalled by the left saying that the various calls for prayer by people of faith isn’t enough. All of those who said that prayer isn’t enough, I have one question for you, how much time have you spent in prayer asking for God to soften the hearts of the Islamic terrorist? How much time have you spent on your knees asking God to bring this to an end? You can’t complain that prayer isn’t working if you are not actually praying yourself”

“The Bible is clear that in Deuteronomy chapter 32, one person praying can put a thousand dark angels to flight; two people praying fervent prayers can put ten thousand to flight, so imagine the power of all the people of God praying to God for peace and for the welfare of this nation.”

“If you haven’t tried prayer, don’t knock it.”

 

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.

# # #

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.

Our Faith and Heritage Has Held America Together in Crisis

by Archbishop Council Nedd II

In November of 1861, as the nation faced the prospect of a long and bloody civil war, a lone preacher from Ridleyville, Pennsylvania wrote to Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase with an idea.

The Reverend M. R. Watkinson proposed that America’s currency be used to remind its citizens of our common religious heritage and the divine inspiration that gave birth to United States.  Secretary Chase agreed, and “In God We Trust” was added to the design of the two-cent coin in 1864.

Today, America faces new challenges concerning our national safety and unity.  We must contend with an unpopular war oversees, crises in health care and education and a government that seems more concerned with trivial partisan matters than in solving real problems.

Secretary Chase and the Reverend Watkinson realized back then that the true strength of the United States was its unique commitment to being “One nation, under God.”  Today, however, there are people among us who are determined to subvert religious expression and undermine our common heritage and national unity.

Instead of celebrating the religious convictions that inspired America’s founding and helped build the shared heritage that still binds our people together, these radicals are attacking them.  Under the guise of promoting “liberty,” they are pitting American against American in a ruthless attempt to ban all recognition of God from public life.  They lobby to change our currency.  They push to ban prayer in schools.  They fight tooth-and-nail to tear down a picture of the Ten Commandments from a courthouse wall.

Instead of using their considerable energy and organizational skills to solve real problems, they attack Christian groups that serve the poor by administering government grants.

These soldiers in the army of political correctness claim religion is divisive and hurtful.  Yet it is they and their dangerous fanaticism that seek to devolve and divide our nation into primitive tribes of squabbling special interest groups.  America is a religious nation founded on religious principles.  That is a fact.  Our belief that there is a higher power than politicians or government is a unifying force.  It is a heritage that we are obligated by our creator to defend.

It is time to push back against these radicals and their ridiculous ideas.  We must stand up to the militant left and its efforts to divide our great nation by banning the public recognition of God. For too long, anti-religious radicals have been awarded too much respect.  Their arguments are no longer the kooky ideas thought up by out-of-touch college professors.  The anti-religion lobby in the United States is large and growing.  Its influence has spawned an entirely new vocabulary of hate speech such as “Jesus freak” and “Christofacists.”  Bigoted comments are also directed at our Jewish brothers and sisters on so-called “progressive” online forums.

This contempt for people of faith and America’s roots is tearing our nation apart.

Over 150 years ago, America faced a great challenge.  Our leaders rose to the occasion by placing their faith and the fate of their nation in God’s hands.  Will our leaders do the same today, or will left-wing interest groups succeed in dividing our nation even further?

#  #  #

Project 21 member Council Nedd II, the bishop of the Chesapeake and the Northeast for the Episcopal Missionary Church, is the honorary chairman of In God We Trust (http://www.ingodwetrustusa.org) – a group formed to oppose anti-religious bigotry.  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 or the National Center for Public Policy Research.