So, it seems the Mayor of Macon, GA has converted to Islam. In our increasingly Islamic-friendly environment, this news in itself is perhaps not too surprising, nor indeed is the fact that it was reported by a major news network. Whenever I come across things like this, however, like many people who know anything at all about Islam, I am curious to know why he converted. Was there something in the Qur’an that convinced him that Muhammad had written under divine inspiration? Did he listen to a particularly articulate Imam who explained to him the benefits of Islam over against the Christian faith with which he was raised? Well, let’s let the Georgia mayor speak for himself:
Why does one become a Christian? You do it because it feels right. … To me it’s no big deal. But people like to know what you believe in.
Wow! I don’t know about you, but I think we need to review our evangelism techniques. Maybe the Bereans got it wrong! Perhaps instead of searching the Scriptures to determine the truth of what Paul preached, we should search our emotions to determine if it feels right. Of course, I am being facetious. There are a couple of things I would like to note about this statement, however.
First of all, the concept of turning to Christ because “it feels right.” Feels right to whom? To the natural man, dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1)? To the natural heart which is deceitful and desperately sick (Jeremiah 17:9)? The last place one should turn to determine truth is one’s heart, especially when God has provided objective truth in the form of His creation, His Scriptures, and His Son. That doesn’t mean that Christians cannot feel deep-seated conviction about the truth of God’s existence and His Word; but such conviction is a fruit of regeneration, not a prerequisite for regeneration.
Second, notice what he says next: “To me it’s no big deal.” Aha! Here we have what I believe is the major problem with most post-moderns: they don’t care. Changing one’s religion is like changing socks: if the old ones fall out of fashion, or they don’t fit any more, you throw them out and get new socks. No big deal. If you discover that, after being raised in a Christian household, your ancestors were actually African Muslims (one might be tempted to ask what they were prior to being Muslim–a little church history goes a long way) and Islam “feels right” to you, then just convert. It’s no big deal. It’s not like we’re talking about objective truth, or life-or-death issues, after all. I mean, all roads lead to God, Allah, The Supreme Architect of the Universe, whatever, and the Bible and the Qur’an and the Book of Mormon and The Bhagavad Gita all teach the same thing anyway, as long as you’re a nice person… blah… blah… blah…
Religious apathy, particularly among the religious, is one of the hallmarks of spiritual decay I see in this country. It has already happened to a large extent across Europe and the UK and it is sad to see. But this is what happens when Christians fail to bear testimony to the truth that is within them, when they are willing to capitulate to the world on every front where they should be standing firm on God’s Word, showing the world that we are different. In other words, if the world can’t look at the church and see it as any different from their local cigar club or fraternity, why should the world bother? If the church refuses to proclaim God’s truth and call sinful mankind to repent, why should the world think there is any danger? Why should the world think it really matters whether one claims allegiance to Jesus, or Allah, or Vishnu when the church is willing to let sinful men continue to believe the lie and feel comfortable in their delusion?
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)