by Chris Reeves
Synopsis: Chris considers two recent news reports that are relevant to Christians: the relentless violence associated with Islam and marital happiness that comes from holiness.
Various members of Islam make the point that their religion is "peaceful." After all, the basic definition of the word "Islam" in Arabic means "peace." So, why is it that so many Muslims around the world persecute those who claim to be Christians? Persecution by some Muslims is undoubtedly a strange way to show their "peace," but that is precisely what goes on every day around the world. The following account of violence happened on May 16, 2019, in Kiamaiko, Nairobi, and was reported by the group, International Christian Concern:
Nearly two weeks ago, a disagreement between Muslims and the local community in Kiamaiko, Nairobi, culminated in a mass attack by young Muslim men. The mob injured several Christians and destroyed the property of four churches: Kingdom Gospel for All Nations Ministry, Evangelical Victory Church International, End Time Army Church, and Kale Heywot Church. The dispute arose on Thursday night, May 16, when a Muslim group in the city was holding an outdoor debate. Some locals from the community complained about the noise and large crowd that had formed and called the police. The police came and confiscated the group's sound system and dispersed the function due to the public disturbance. The local Somali Muslim population then assembled into a mob. The next day, the mob destroyed much of the four churches, and attacked local Christian-owned shops.
One member of the Kingdom Gospel for All Nations described the horrific attack this way: "The hatred reached a climax last week when a group of Muslim adherents stormed our church building armed with stones, machetes, and petrol."
Friend, true peace is not found in violence. The true peace that comes from following Jesus Christ (not Mohammed) is kind, good, and loving toward others (Gal. 5:22; Jas. 3:17). This peace is shown even in the face of religious, political, or personal disagreements. Jesus told Peter to put up his sword (Matt. 26:52). All those violent persecutors today who claim to practice a "peaceful" religion would do well to do the same: Put up your sword (and your stones, machetes, and AK-47s too)!
An op-ed article in theNew York Times appeared on May 18, 2019, and confirmed what Christians have been saying for years: you'll be happier if you'll be holier. If you live by the holy principles found in God's word, your marriage, your family, your personal life, etc., will be happier. The recent op-ed article was done by three professors who researched the "happiness factor" (my term, CR) in marriages and found that "73% of wives who hold conservative gender values and attend religious services regularly with their husbands have high-quality marriages." Also, "highly religious relationships are about 50% more likely to report that they are strongly satisfied with their sexual relationship than their secular and less religious counterparts."
Of course, much of the reaction to this study on social media by non-religious people was negative and unhappy. (This alone would seem to validate the report.) Many tweeted that this research was not valid and that conservative, religious wives were not really happy at all. Nevertheless, we know the truth of the matter, and we knew it long before this study appeared. God said long ago in his word that we will be happy when we follow His word: "Happy is the people that is in such a case; yea, happy is the people whose God is Jehovah" (Ps. 144:15) and "He that gives heed unto the word shall find good; and whoso trusts in Jehovah, happy is he" (Prov. 16:20).
"Muslim Mob in Kenya Destroys Churches and Christian Shops."Christian News Network. May 29, 2019. https://christiannews.net/2019/05/29/muslim-mob-in-kenya-destroys-churches-and-christian-shops/.
Elizabeth, Lindsay. 2019. "New York Times Says Religious Conservative Wives Are the Happiest, Social Media Completely Loses It."Faithwire. May 22, 2019. https://www.faithwire.com/2019/05/22/new-york-times-says-religious-conservative-wives-are-the-happiest-social-media-completely-loses-it/.
Author Bio: Chris preaches for the Warfield Blvd. Church of Christ in Clarksville, TN. His website is thegoodteacher.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.