Thursday, February 19, 2009

Widgets

Soil Getting Rockier: UK Muslim Population Explosion

We've had much conversation over time about the "rocky soil" countries. This is a reference to Jesus' Parable of the Sower, in which the term is used to describe hearts in which the Word of God doesn't take root. Jailbreaker likes to expand the parable to refer to countries in which the gospel has had little impact.

But this stunning article in London's Times Online indicates that Western soil will soon be growing rockier far more rapidly than we perhaps anticipated:
The Muslim population in Britain has grown by more than 500,000 to 2.4 million in just four years ... The [Muslim] population multiplied 10 times faster than the rest of society ... But while the biggest Christian population is among over-70s bracket, for Muslims it is the under-4s.
The implications of this phenomenon for British society are legion, but those are for another blog. I want to address it in terms of what it means for Christians who live in the West. Europe is in the midst of a massive demographic shift, and as those "under-4s" grow up, it will become far more pronounced. It's projected that within the next few years, Brussels, Antwerp, Amsterdam and Rotterdam will become majority Muslim. This is unlikely to shift back anytime soon, since one of the reasons the Western church hasn't grown is that Western Christians don't have children at nearly the rate they used to.

So assuming this trend is (1) going to accelerate and (2) going to make its way across the Atlantic, how are we to respond? How would it change our approach to ministry if the majority of our fellow citizens were not even nominally Christian? Or, to quote the Jailbreaker:
Imagine a time in America when we enter an age where, just as Jesus predicted, God’s people are hunted down and killed. No more First Amendment Clause to protect our right to freely gather and worship as we please; no more tax-exempt status for church property or Christian organization budgets; no more “full-time” Christian workers receiving a salary for their labor; in short, no more tolerance for God’s people and a great increase in hostility toward us.
Now, I am not suggesting that your Muslim friends and neighbors are secretly plotting your demise. Rather I am saying that change is coming to the Western civilization--the bosum in which the church has nestled--perhaps in ways we have not yet begun to anticipate.

Ultimately, we must be prepared to answer the crucial questions: Who are we as Christians? How will we prepare our children to live and minister in the society they will inherit? When all the supports are stripped away, what do we truly believe about Jesus Christ and His gospel?

2 comments:

  1. Islam is a fantastic response to the Christian community.

    We are supposed to be light and salt in the world. here in a so-called christian country most christians are undercover while muslims walk around boldly and blatently as muslims.

    we're supposed to believe in a monothiestic God yet we only pay lip service, and often not even that, as we pursue our idols.

    we talk about dying for Jesus while they die for their twisted beliefs.

    there are so many ways where Muslims are to Islam what christians should be to Jesus. if we had taken the gospel into the world instead of the world into the church do you think Islam would have ever survived?

    Islam is happening, it's going to be bloody, and the church deserves it.

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  2. Well, okay ... fortunately the church doesn't get what it deserves. I guess I'd rather keep the focus on what we can do to repair & prepare the church. We still have a ministry in the world beyond waiting for the end of it.

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