Islam and the secular state
This is in response to an article by Tom Dick. I don't have the link to the original article, but my response is self explanatory.
Interesting article. I reckon he's both right and wrong.
He's right in saying that the church should have more to say in our society. To raise it's voice against wrongs in our society. But it seems to me that according to him the only wrongs the church is to speak against are the ones he approves of! The church should not speak according to what the bible teaches, but what the majority of Australians approve of, as in his comment that, according to a Fairfax poll, 69% of Australians support same sex marriage so the church should also support same sex marriage. Which negates his point about the church speaking out against wrongs in our society!
Secondly, he underestimates the effect of Islam on society. He does not even mention the supremacist nature of Islam, the way it does not recognise the legitimacy of the secular state. This is totally different to Christianity, which does recognise the legitimacy of the secular state, as can be seen in Matthew 22:15-22 and Luke 20:19-26 - "...give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God". See also Romans 13:1-7.
The effect of this is that Christians will operate as part of our democracy and try to influence it by democratic means, just as all other citizens can and do; Islam will try to impose Sharia law on all. You only have to look at the Islamic State and Saudi Arabia for examples of this.
There are of course many ordinary Muslims who are only too happy to become part of a democratic nation and contribute in ordinary ways, and who don't particularly want to impose Sharia law on anybody. But the very nature of Islam makes it very difficult for them to assimilate fully. You can see this by the fact that it is often the second generation of Muslim migrants that gets 'radicalised'.
Dick says that Muslims will only make up about 4.9% of society. That is more than a million people, and that number can cause significant social disruption and breakdown of social cohesion. You only need to look at the problems many countries in Europe with similar concentrations of Muslim population have to see the truth of this.
So I agree with Dick that the church in the West needs to get its act together, but it needs to do this by becoming more faithful to the Bible rather than less faithful to the Bible.