Disinherited, the Enemies of the Lord Perish
The new edition of the authoritative World Christian Encyclopedia says its sources report that starting around 2002, Iran’s Islamic rule has inspired the quiet spread of small underground Christian fellowships with thousands involved – some say a million – despite the fact that those forsaking Islam face prison, even death. This has been discussed in niche Christian circles online, but that’s about it.
Jenkins is iffy on the extent of Christian growth, since hard evidence is lacking, but is confident about Islam’s collapse due to an important opinion survey in Iran last summer by a Dutch organization.
What is happening? Only 78% of the Iranians sampled believe in God in any sense, and just 32% consider themselves to be Shi’a Muslims any longer. A mere one-fourth expect the coming Imam Mahdi (messiah), a fundamental tenet of Shi’ism.
“The vast majority of mosques are all but abandoned, even during great celebrations” on the Islamic calendar, Jenkins reports.
His sardonic comment: “Forty years of ruthless theocracy will do that to a country.” In the vacuum there has been an upsurge of individualistic or non-orthodox spiritual ideas and practices (think “nones” in Iran), and revival for the personalized spirituality in Islam’s Sufi movement, as well as secretive Christian outreach.At last, it’s time for reporters to look abroad, with decline of Islam in Iran a brewing story by Richard Ostling
The Perfect Islamic Theocracy is dying, after 40 years of crushing all dissent.
The Old Secular Theocracies are largely – but not completely – dead.
What will come after them?
Christians will decide if they will inherit or not. And their view of the Law of God (authoritative or not?) will exactly match their say in the future (determinative or irrelevant).
Take God’s Law-Word seriously, and He will take you seriously.
Fling it aside, and He will fling you aside.
Pick and choose what you will obey, and He will fling you aside.
Totally ignoring God is the same as selective obedience.
“Same difference” you might say.
You don’t get to decide what Commandments are in effect, what parts of His Law-Word are in force.
A Word of Advice
Forget the Christian professional class: a.k.a. the compulsive, multi-generational failures the churches — laity and clergy alike — has raised up above our heads.
Don’t trust the pastors, or the priests, or the denominations, or the seminaries, or the deeply religious universities.
Why worry about apostate, dead, powerless denominations? They are as irrelevant as the Second Temple, and for the same reasons.
Bring power down to the ordinary believer, who publicly recognize Christ as Lord, and has earned a good reputation among believers and unbelievers alike.
And don’t despise the stranger, the unbeliever, among you. He also is made in the image of God, and has the God-given right to his own life, liberty, and property.
When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.Leviticus 19:33-34, English Standard Version