Michael Youssef - Understanding and Responding to Islam
Good morning. Thank you, Bob Lupine, for that introduction. Thank you, Dr. Johnson, for inviting me. I am so honored to be here with you, and my time is limited, so I am gonna come out of the chute telling you something that might surprise you. I fear Islamic jihadis less than I fear the Christian church departing from biblical orthodoxy, for I am gonna show you and I can prove to you historically that every time the church of Jesus Christ departs from living under the authority of the Scripture, Islam expands.
From the very beginning Islam was founded on the corpse of a church that was plagued by unfaithful Christians who were unfaithful to the Word of God. The church in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th century succumbed to Arianism, Nestorianism, Sabellianism, and more importantly, which has impacted Muhammad, is Ebionism. Islam not only had risen and expanded as a result of unfaithful Christians, but Muhammad, the prophet of Islam himself, was initially discipled by a heretical monk, and Ebionite monk. For example, I'll give you one example just from history. I could give you many more to show you that whenever the church of Jesus Christ departs from the truth Islam expands.
In the 6th century there was a heresy that flooded North Africa, the church of Augustine. That heresy was known as Montanism. At the core of it, it has many other things, but at the core of it that movement said that the canon is not closed, that God still speaks today with the same authority as he did through the men and women who authored the Word of God under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. On one stage the church of North Africa, 5,000 dioceses, that is, tens of thousands of churches, and here's how it happened. When the Arab armies arrived and invaded North Africa, a Christian land, in the middle of the 600s Christians did something what some of those proponent of Chrislam today did, and they said, "Can God be speaking to us in a fresh word from Arabia"? And within a short period of time all the churches, vast majority of them at least, turned into mosques.
You see what I mean by my fear of the church departing from biblical moorings. Fast forward a few hundred years when the Turks expanded Islam all the way to Austria. It was on the corpse of a heretical, weak, nonbiblical church. And I must tell you that as I look around today and I see the church is plagued by universalism, heterodoxy, hyper grace, emergent church, the insider movement, Chrislam, I grieve more and become more concerned about this than I am about Islamists, what they call third jihad. For I believe like one of those leaders of the third jihad. He said, "This third jihad is marching into Europe and North America. It should be a cake walk in comparison to the previous two jihads".
Just let me give you a quick historical background because you must understand that these modern-day jihadis, these jihadi warriors, interpret the Quran, and they are not just extremists as they have been described. They are fundamentalists. They're going back to the fundamentals of Islam, but there are basically three stages in the life of Muhammad, and that's why you need to understand that to understand where we are today. The first stage, and each one of them, by the way, they're represented in the Quran. Each one of them has their own favorite interpreters. The Quran in the early days of Islam was more than one. There were lots of Qurans until one of the caliphates came and burned the others and kept this one. The early years of the life of Muhammad he was discipled by his wife's cousin, a monk, Ebionite monk.
That's a Christian heresy that is the descendant from the Judaizers. At that time Muhammad saw his mission as getting his polytheistic Arab people to believe in both the Old and the New Testament and teach them to move away into monotheism. That pagan tribe, of course, his own tribe, fought him hard, but he wanted to turn from paganism to believe in the one true God of Moses and Jesus, the God of Abraham. Then comes stage two in his life. The monk who has been training, been discipling him, died, and when this man died he left Muhammad bereft, bewildered. He was depressed. He did not know which way to turn, especially in the face of his pagan opposition from his own tribe.
So he consulted some Christian leaders. There's some historical evidence that point to the fact that he invited some Christian leaders into Arabia to just tell him who is Jesus, and they sat there in front of him, debated the divinity of Christ. And so in the end out of depression he began the second stage, and he said, "I will decide who I am". And so as he began to contemplate come the second stage. In the second stage he began to see himself not only as the enforcer of the Old and New Testament but as equal, that Moses is a prophet of the Jews, Jesus the prophet to the Christians, therefore he is the prophet to the Arabs. At that moment he believed that he was really preaching the same message to the Arabs that Moses preached to the Jews and Jesus preached to the Christians. And so he called his tribe to turn to the one true God, the God of Abraham.
The opposition was fierce, so there came the third stage. And the third stage, which is of uttermost importance for us today because most of the stuff that is being interpreted by the jihadis comes from those words in the Quran that came during that time. Everything you see or hear on the news regarding Islamic violence goes back to that third and final stage of Muhammad's life, and it began by 623 A.D. After their initial acceptance of him the Jews of Arabia turned against him and turned on him and rejected him, and that's when the trouble began. He killed the men of the tribe of Qurayza or Qurayza, as some people pronounce it, and sold their women and children into slavery. Up to this point Muhammad followed the Jewish customs. He prayed three times a day facing Jerusalem, toward Jerusalem when they prayed.
Saturday was the day of rest, obeying the Ashura which Leviticus 23:27, the 10 days of fasting, using the Jewish shofar for call people to prayer. But after that rejection by the Jewish tribes of Arabia he immediately changed all that, and the prayer went from three times to five times. Facing Jerusalem turned to facing Mecca. Saturday changed to Friday. Fasting changed from 10 days to the full month of Ramadan, and the shofar gave way to azan, or the call to prayer. After Muhammad became successful in defeating his richer clan of his tribe he vigorously and victoriously declared himself he's no longer equal to Moses and Jesus. He is the third, the last, and the final revelation of Allah that must be enforced, that all the prophets that have come before him, if there is something contradictory for what he said, then their teachings is to be suspended.
Any book, namely the Old and the New Testament, which he commended for people to read, if there is a contradiction, he said, then it must be rejected because it must have been falsified. And this is the amazing part, but we're not dealing with logic. By that time there were 250,000 copies of the New Testament translated into 7 languages. Just figure how can anyone go around, collect that many copies, and falsify them because Muhammad said so? But the good news is this. The good news is that the gospel of Jesus Christ is making headways on a daily basis and so many people are turning to Christ. Nonetheless, I need to tell you that this is globally well funded by some very wealthy Arab families, a movement that will not quit anytime soon.
In fact, I believe now that they're being challenged they've become more dangerous. The current Islamic mindset is this. Since Allah has given his last and the best and the final word to Muhammad, all previous revelations must be either surrendered to Islam, which itself means surrender. It does not mean peace. Trust me. President George W. Bush was mistaken. In the case of refusal to surrender on the part of the people of the book, the Christians and the Jews, that they can become a dhimmi and pay a jizya.
Now the word "jizya" in Arabic really means like a penalty, but they call it the form of taxation, but the word literally means a penalty. It's a punishment. It's a proof that Islam is superior to Christianity and Judaism, and therefore you have to pay hefty taxes on top of the taxes that you pay. One of Islamist satellite television that I used to watch which is now defunct after the revolution in Egypt, I was watching where the imams were talking to each other about the 2 billion dollars that America pays Egypt every year. And one of them put it this way. He said, "You know, this is really a jizya for the Americans to pay us, the Muslims". He said that "because America is an infidel nation and if they want to avoid terrorism, they better keep paying," paying what they call jizya as a protection money to stop them from terrorism, and here's the interesting part.
During the 12 months of Islamist rule in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood, the American administration, increased its aid to Egypt, which now discontinued it since they have a secular, a non-Islamist government. So what is this third jihad? I'm just giving you this as a bit of irony. What is this Islamic third jihad? Well, the first jihad I already told you about took place in the middle of the 600s, the early 700s, where Muslim forces came from Arabia, invaded Christian lands. Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, all of North Africa, they were all Christian lands, and they subjugated them, reaching all the way to Spain and knocking on the door to France.
During that time they have perfected that concept of a dhimmi. That is a second-class citizen. That is a subjugated Christian and a Jew by paying that protection money, that jizya. The second jihad is when the Turks overran Constantinople and reached all the way to Austria. At that time the Ottoman Empire expanded and reached almost half of the world's population. Today all the Islamic literatures that we can get and all the strategy papers that we get our hands on talking about this third jihad, in the third jihad they say will not experience as much bloodshed as the first two jihads, and this is how they think. Given the birthrate of the Muslims in Europe coupled with very hefty financial investments by the Qataris and many other Arab countries and wealthy Arabs, it reaches to the trillions of dollars right now, the optimistic projection is that by 2025 many of the European nations will be under Islamic control.
Just an example, one example, there are 5 million Muslims in France right now, and the birthrate goes between 3 1/2 to 4 children on the average while the birthrate among the French is negative. And so you do the math, and you figure out the numbers. But what is the Christian response? Well, in my limited time I feel I need not to leave you with such a bleak picture. I wanna tell you about what God is doing in the Muslim world. Among many things that God had led me to do in my spare time and as a labor of love, I founded a 24/7, gospel-preaching satellite television. Some members of the NRB are on that channel, KINGDOM SAT, which started with 1 satellite.
Now we're on eight satellites, including Arabsat. But what we are seeing right now, some remarkable, remarkable things happening in the Muslim world. Now let me hasten to say there are many other wonderful satellite, Arabic channels that are operating. Some are polemic. Others are pre-evangelism. But our vision was to be a teaching satellite channel, and we're seeing thousands of Muslims who have seen visions and dreams of Jesus turning to the teaching channel and learning about the very Jesus who appeared to them in a dream and says, "I love you, and I died for you".
One very important last word. There is a fallacy, a fallacy, I really wanna call it deception, in the West and among many Christian churches today. First was in the mainline denominations and, alas, in many evangelical churches now. They say that if you speak the truth about Islamic ideology that means you are unloving toward Muslims, and that's why I call it deception. In fact, the term "Islamophobe" was really concocted by the Muslim Brotherhood apparatus in the United States in order to shame the West and particularly Christians into accepting not only Muslims, which we do and we love them and that's why we work hard and spend money and time and effort.
Why do we do this? Because we love them with all of our hearts, and we long for them to have the best that we have, namely Jesus, the Christ. But this deception from the pit of hell says that if you really love me you must love my ideology, and the sad thing is it is the same kind of deception that is coming from the homosexual marriage lobby. It's the same deception. You cannot love me. I had debates with some of those folks when I used to belong to a mainline church, and I said, "I have nothing but love toward you. I would serve you in any way I can". No, no, no, no, you can't say that. You do not love me if you don't my lifestyle. And you see, that deception runs the gamut today in the Christian Church, all the way from accepting Islam as truth equal to Christianity, to some even put it in some churches in Canada and the United States a little bit above Christianity.
And that gamut runs all the way to Chrislam, where the Qur'an, in many a pew next to the Bible, where the preachers invite imams on a regular basis to speak. I asked one of those people one time, I said, "Have you ever been invited to speak in a mosque"? They said, "No". I said, "Because they would never allow you to do that, but you, like a blind sheep, allow them to come and to slaughter your people". Just, they say, as you call Judeo/Christian, now you must call it Chrislam. That is why I call it a deception. The challenge for us Bible-believing, orthodox Christians is to be able to articulate the Christian faith lovingly, thoughtfully, but most certainly truthfully, namely that there is no name under heaven given to man by which they must be saved.
That is the message that must never be compromised. For I told you that one of their strategies, which is same as homosexual lobby, is to shame Christians into believing that you cannot really love them until you love their ideology. If you do not accept their belief system you are unloving. You're a judgmentalist. You're a bigot which is their favorite word. Well, you figure this one out because it's something like the kettle and the pot kinda comes to my mind here. We have nothing to be ashamed of when we say, "I love you, and I love you deeply but not your false religious system, and that is why we are offering you to come to the one who can save you eternally".
This will happen, my beloved friends, this will happen when the Christians in the West get on their knees, repent of our compromising, and seek the Lord with all our hearts, for if we continue to depart from living under the authority of the Word of God we will be caught between the Islamists on the one hand and the sexual perversion on the other hand. And Satan will not only eat our lunch but our dinner as well. May the Lord give us the spirit of repentance.