Things are real bad when we see apostasy amongst our church leaders. And things are real bad when we see dhimmitude embraced and accepted by our church leaders. But things are even worse yet when we see church leaders succumbing to both.
When Christian leaders appease, accommodate and submit to Islam, as well as sell out the very heart of the gospel and thumb their noses at the Word of God, then you know the church is in big trouble. And this is happening often in the Western church.
It is as frightening as it is deplorable. Consider a perfect example of this which has just come to light from the People’s Republik of Sweden, arguably one of the most PC nations on the planet. Given what a basket case the country is, it is perhaps not surprising that the church there is in such a mess as well.
The headline is scary enough: “Swedish Archbishop prefers Allah”. Here is how the news report covers this story: “Today it was announced that the Church of Sweden’s new archbishop is Antje Jackelén. But who is the church’s new top leader, who has chosen part of the Muslim prayer call as her motto?”
It continues, “Like kings, all bishops have their own motto and Jackelén chose ‘God is greater’. If that sounds familiar, it may be due to the fact that an Arabic translation renders it as ‘Allahu akbar’. There are those who believe that her choice is far from random – but very deliberate.
“Many have been taken aback by the theological opinions Jackelén revealed during a questioning in Uppsala on October 1. The candidates for the highest position in the Swedish church were asked if they thought Jesus presented a truer picture of God than Muhammed. With her evasive answer Jackelén suddenly emerged as the bishop who couldn’t choose between Jesus and Muhammed. This provoked strong reactions on some editorial pages.
“Kyrkans Tidning thought that the bishop’s answer might indicate that Christ is being relegated to the margins of the Church of Sweden and Dagens Nyheter encouraged the candidates to show some theological backbone. The editorial writer at the newspaper Dagen wrote that it is time to accept the idea of a split within the church – between Christians and those who think all religions are equally good.
“The bishop of Lund’s preference for Allah has prompted one of the church’s most preeminent theologians, professor Eva Hamberg, to leave her post as a member of the church’s theological council in protest against bishop Antje Jackelén’s failure to stand behind the Church of Sweden’s profession of faith. As a reaction to what she calls ‘the inner secularization of the Church of Sweden’, she has also renounced her position as priest and her membership of the church.
“In a number of interviews Hamberg has expressed her disappointment that not even the top leader of the church will clearly profess a Christian faith but wavers between Jesus and Muhammed. It is not only Jackelén’s motto and her unwillingness to put Jesus ahead of Muhammed that has evoked strong feelings among many committed Christians.
“During her questioning in Uppsala, the new archbishop also said that the Church of Sweden has more in common with other religions than with other Christian churches, that the Virgin Birth must be understood metaphorically, that hell doesn’t exist and that the Biblical texts should not be taken as truth.”
This story is a real shocker, but it is sadly becoming more and more typical of so many churches in the West which are well on the way to giving up the ghost. Many churches are surrendering to the spirit of the age, to rampant secularism, militant atheism, and moral relativism.
And as we can see here, many are bowing before a false political ideology: Islam. This is nothing more than dhimmitude in action. Dhimmis are found all over the West, but the most appalling place to find them is in our churches. This is capitulation of the highest order.
As Bat Ye’or has put it in her important new book, Understanding Dhimmitude (RVP Press, 2013), “It is within the Christian world, in its religious, political, intellectual, and economic spheres, that the system of dhimmitude developed and grew as a culture characterized by surrender and passive submission, imposed by leaders won over to the service of Islam by ambition and financial interest.”
People may scoff and argue that in the West Christians are in the clear majority, with Muslims only being a small minority. But two responses can be offered here: demographics alone is rapidly changing all that. Moreover, recall that many lands which were once Christian are now Muslim.
Says Ye’or: “Today there are less than twenty-five thousand Jews living in the Arab and Islamic world, and the Christians who formed the majority of the inhabitants of all these areas are today but frightened, shadowy communities – even the five million Copts of Egypt.”
So what has happened before can surely happen again. And when this surrender comes at the hands of major church leaders, then you know the handwriting is on the wall for Western Christendom. That is, of course, unless we snap out of our slumber and fully reject the straitjacket of dhimmitude.