For this reason, we pause, even as time shifts. We remember. We reflect. We honor. And we see from a different perspective.
The world has drastically changed since Sept. 11, 2001. Nations, governments, economies and leaders have all risen and fallen in dramatic fashion. Perhaps nothing has been more sweeping in the past 10 years than the Islamic surge that’s changed the global spiritual climate and literally transformed nations. While radical Muslims grabbed headlines with terrorist plots, the Islamic world continued to expand via sheer wealth and numbers. Europe’s Muslim makeover—in both population and influence—showcases not only how fast things can change, but also how prime the U.S. is for similar transformation.
Many American believers react to this Muslim movement with either fear or hatred: fear because they’re seeing an anti-Christian sentiment grow in our own culture, which continues to downplay fundamental Islamic beliefs; and hatred because they view all Muslims as part of the rising antichrist spirit that governs Islam. But neither is a right response—which is why I pray the 10-year milestone of 9/11 will be a wake-up call for the American church regarding Muslims.
This month, amid the 9/11 reflections and lingering misunderstandings of Islam, Charisma is highlighting how God has responded since 9/11. The truth is, God has His own Muslim movement going on. Our special report (p. 34) reveals how Jesus is breaking through barriers no missionary could cross and revealing Himself through dreams and visions to those who claim to oppose Him. (That quickly changes.)
This isn’t just good news, it’s the glorious method of a God who trumps any tragedy or opposition with His eternal plan of redemption. We can easily forget this if we only listen to reports of “the enemy” progressing and how we’re losing the culture war in places such as the U.S. and U.K. Keep in mind, Muslims aren’t the enemy; that title belongs to Satan, the “god of this age [who] has blinded the minds of unbelievers” (2 Cor. 4:4, NIV). Though the antichrist spirit is at Islam’s core, our response to individual Muslims must be modeled after Jesus: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt: 5.44).
As we love and pray for Muslims, we’ll face persecution (as any Muslim-turned-Christian can attest). Jesus didn’t just mention this, He promised it. We may be only now getting a taste of this in the U.S., but that will change, as it did on Sept. 11, 2001.
We’ll never forget 9/11; we can’t. But let’s also not forget how God responds to the enemy’s attempt to destroy—and how the church, in turn, is called to respond. May the next 10 years see a church exploding with Muslims whose hearts have been captured by Jesus.
CONTRIBUTING TO THIS ISSUE …
In the world of Christian fiction, Carol Johnson is a living legend. Don’t believe us? The veteran editor helped to develop the genre and even has an award named after her (the Carol Award) honoring the year’s top Christian fiction author.
Upon believing in Jesus as His Lord and Savior in 1975, Muslim-born Christopher Alam was confined in a mental asylum for his faith. Shortly after, he was arrested, imprisoned and threatened with execution for preaching the gospel.