Friday, March 12, 2010
A Few Thoughts on "Jihad Jane"
It strikes me that as our country becomes less Christian, the more we are going to have of people whose families used to be Christian looking for something solid to anchor themselves to.
Our hedonistic secular culture is, ultimately, spiritually bankrupt. People are looking for something greater than themselves to dedicate their lives to. Of course, we who know Christ know the truth and the power of the words, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no man comes to Father except through me." Christ is the way. However, the former witnesses of Christ, including some parts of the Holy Catholic Church, have been taken over by the "smoke of Satan" which has brought with it all the evils of the secular culture.
As author Thomas C. Reeves wrote in his 1996 book The Empty Church: The Suicide of Liberal Protestantism: "And so the mainline churches wane - disheartened, aging, increasingly irrelevant, all too often satisfied to serve as a sort of sanctimonious echo of National Public Radio or the left wing of the Democratic Party. For a variety of reasons, many liberal Protestants, especially church leaders, have endorsed a view of reality and a way of life that have helped produce a society that is breaking up. And they have become part of the problem."
The same thing can be said of liberal Catholicism.
We must face facts. As Southern Baptist Convention President R. Albert Mohler has said of liberal protestantism, "As the boundaries between liberal Protestantism and the secular culture vanish, there is little reason for anyone to join one of these churches." Read that quote again and replace the words "liberal Protestantism" with "liberal Catholicism." Same result.
As Christianity becomes more irrelevant and both religious and secular culture become more decadent, more and more people will be foundering for direction in their lives. Unfortunately, I can see how fundamentalist Islam can be attractive. It has a simple theology that even a child can grasp: "There is One God, Allah is His Name, and Mohamed is His Prophet." It has clearly defined rules. And it has enough religious truth in it to be dangerous.
All the great heresies have taken real religious truth and distorted it to one degree or another. Hillare Belloc was right when he wrote that Islam is really a Christian heresy. Jesus is declared to be a great prophet but not God incarnate. Our Lady is declared to be a pure vessel who gave birth to the prophet Jesus while a virgin. For someone lost in the dark pit of our evil culture, and who does not have the Christian gospel preached to them in a way to make them want to take up their cross and follow the Master who leads to the only way to heaven that there is, Islam may seem very attractive. We must never forget that John Walker Lynd, the American arrested fighting for the Taliban, was raised in a family which was nominally Catholic, but was a broken home where his parents had divorced and the father had abandoned the mother for his gay lover. As our culture deteriorates further, brothers and sisters, I fear that we can expect more "boys and girls next door" to become jihadists.