I am burdened that Christians & the Church respond biblically & with discernment concerning the horrendous events in Christchurch on Friday, March 15th, 2019.
Let me address three points: 1. The media have made this to be a specific attack on Muslims rather than an attack on immigrants, as detailed in the terrorist’s manifesto.
2. The nature of the call to tolerance & to avoid extremist viewpoints also has significant ramifications for the Church in the last days.
3. Where was God when these events were happening on Friday?
Firstly, we need to understand that despite what is being stated, this was not an attack specifically on the Muslim community. The “manifesto” that the attacker published stated clearly that his attack was related to immigrants & to preserving the culture of nations & cultural identity. He especially stated in the “manifesto” that his only issue with Muslims was with white westerners embracing Islam, which is an eastern religion. He chose the mosques because his rationale was that was where he would encounter the greatest number of immigrants in one place.
Why is it important that we understand this? Because the media worldwide are promoting this as an attack on the Muslim community & there already is a huge outpouring of love & acceptance & sympathy for the Muslim community. This is right in itself but it is greatly adding to an already growing acceptance of Islam as a faith that has a place in what was once a Christian nation. Added to that is the increasing error coming out of the Church where deceivers, like Brian Houston & others, have said that Allah, the god of Islam, is the same God as the God of the Bible. The Pope’s embracing of Islam as a faith & Muslims as brothers as part of the (One World) Church, is also part of this agenda.
Despite what the Koran says, there is a corresponding move within Islam where Christians are being seen also as brothers, but unenlightened brothers who will spend time in hell before going to be with Muslims in paradise with Allah.
The One World Church is advancing at breakneck speed.
Secondly, we need to discern what is biblical tolerance & love & that which is the counterfeit, seeking to silence the voice of the Church.
It is interesting that two things have been repeatedly stated with increased emphasis & intensity since Friday, especially by our Prime Minister in particular, but also by other voices. The first thing stated is that we must be tolerant & that we must show love to people whose beliefs & convictions are different from our own. And that is clearly true as we see in God’s Word. We are to love our neighbours as ourselves & to bless our enemies, for example. Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:1: First of all (as of first priority) I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for ALL people.
The second thing stated so loudly since Friday is that there is no place for extremism or extreme views in our country & extremists will not be tolerated.
At one time tolerance used to mean you are perfectly at liberty to have your views & I am perfectly at liberty to have my views. People who were seen as intolerant were those who did not respect the rights of others to hold to their own views.
Today, tolerance means you have a right to hold to your own views as long as your views don’t clash with the popular voice of society. A person is intolerant if he doesn’t accept the popular views of society & he is intolerant if he refuses to bring his views into line with the popular voice. Also, an extremist is seen today as someone who holds steadfastly to views that are contrary to what society holds to & to what society wants to hear.
My earnest warning is that the event in Christchurch will be used to further call the Church into a place of unbiblical tolerance. There will be a call to the Church that it is intolerant to hold to the Scriptures as truth, that it is intolerant to preach the true gospel, that it is intolerant to declare that there is only one true God & that Jesus is the only way to salvation & to freedom from sin & judgment. As part of that, the great concern is that the gospel will be further watered down & made even more of a social gospel than it is today based on social concern, not truth.
Beyond that, the writing is on the wall prophetically, that those who continue to hold to the truth of Scripture, that those who continue to declare that there is only one true God, the God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, that those who continue to declare that there is salvation only in Jesus, that there is salvation in no other name, they will increasingly be labelled extremists & their message will be called hate speech. I use the term increasingly because it is already happening.
A number of years ago, two ladies in their sixties from our Church, had a meeting with Murray McCully who was then Minister of Foreign Affairs. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Israel & New Zealand’s position in regards to Israel. They had an intensive discussion with Murray McCully including presenting him with detailed Scriptural & historical evidence to support their viewpoints. His response to their Biblical position & to their Biblical viewpoint was to tell these “senior” ladies that they were extremists, not that that they held to an extreme view, but that they themselves were extremists.
Thirdly, where was God when these events happened on Friday? The clear answer is, where He has always been, on His throne, ruling over the nations with the earth as His footstool. Our nation has repeatedly chosen to deny God & to deny His place in the land, including now declaring that New Zealand is a secular nation. We have removed Him from our government, from our laws, from our schools & universities, from family life & from the moral fibre of our nation. God hasn’t moved, we have. Today, we bear the consequence as a nation of being left to our own devices & choices & opening themselves up to the very things God protected us from when He was honoured amongst us.
See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:25-29)
As has been said since Friday, New Zealand has lost it’s innocence & things have forever changed in our nation.
Although the following verses were God’s Word to Israel, I believe that they have an application to us today on the basis that Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:11: Now these things happened to them (Israel) as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.
If my people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. (2 Chronicles 7:14-15)
Come Lord Jesus by Your Spirit to this nation. We ask for the outpouring of Your Spirit on this nation. We ask for rain in the season of rain & we ask for Your promises for this nation to be fulfilled, for Your names sake. Lord, treat us according to Your mercy & Your grace, not according to our sin. Our burden is to see this nation again lift up & exalt the name of Jesus & to see an ingathering of genuinely born again souls in these last days.