Whether in politics, in our culture, or in our religion, appeasement has become the byword of this generation. Webster's dictionary defines the word as "To pacify; to dispel anger or hatred; to make quiet; to calm; as to appease hunger or thirst; to reduce to a state of peace; to still; as, to appease the tumult of the ocean, or of the passions." In other words, to appease is to use diplomacy and compromise to forestall a confrontation.
We are seeing appeasement today, almost everywhere we turn... on the world stage, our government seeks to placate potential enemies by surrendering our national sovereignty and defense; culturally, we have yielded moral ground to segments of society that threaten to disrupt the foundations of our character and conduct; and religiously, we are allowing other gods to usurp the supremacy of YHWH, and diminish the Authority and Victory of Jesus.
This infection of appeasement has now reached a stage I never thought possible. The Southern Baptist Convention, the US’s largest Protestant denomination, is now helping to build mosques. Yes, you read that correctly. Don't believe me? Here is a direct quote from BaptistNews.com: ... a legal dispute between a Muslim community and a New Jersey township is showing a different side of inter-Christian relationships. Baptist and other Christian organizations accustomed to cultural and legal sparring have joined the fight for the construction of a new mosque. “It’s good when we can join hands with … folks we are sometimes on the other side of,” said Brent Walker, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. Those folks include the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and the International Mission Board, both agencies of the Southern Baptist Convention. The National Association of Evangelicals is also supporting the mosque-building case.
Apparently, it is in the name of religious liberty that the Southern Baptists (along with other evangelical groups, Jews, Buddhists, Hare Krishnas and Sikhs) have determined that it is a Constitutionally-guaranteed right to build mosques -- even though there is the potential that American legal institutions are beginning to come under threat from Islamic codes and sharia law.
So, here is something I think we better consider: Have our denominations and churches become "American" first, and "Christian", secondly? As Bud Ahlheim, a writer at Pulpit and Pen, recently wrote, "Proclaiming there is no other name under heaven by which men may be saved seems uncannily hollow when you’ve just joined hands to help build a Christ-denying mosque. Once again, Christianity becomes just another flavor of religion to an onlooking world and our witness as Southern Baptists diluted by our religious liberty defenses." Sadly, one has to ask, "Are these Christians still willing to make that proclamation? Or has the Church decided that the way to peace is to appease the Islamic faith -- and thereby attempt to pacify and calm their anti-Christian rhetoric and beliefs -- by declaring that we all worship the same God?"
The most recent example of appeasement in history led to genocide and world war. Less than 80 years ago, the world attempted to appease Hitler and we know that was a mistake. The 1938 Munich Agreement was a settlement permitting Nazi Germany's annexation of portions of Czechoslovakia, and it started Hitler on the road toward the extermination of over 6,000,000 Jews. I fear that the American Church may be traveling that same road. By choosing appeasement towards a faith whose radical elements have sworn death to our nation, and who have demonstrated their willingness to generate their own genocide of Christians and Jews, the Church is treading on dangerous ground. They may think they are exemplifying American Christian justice and grace, but I have to wonder if any of the leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention have stopped to seek God's will in this matter.
What has God told us in His Word? Pastor John Rothra, a Baptist preacher himself, has written an excellent article concerning this subject. He points to the Book of Judges as a guide to what God thinks when we choose our own path, rather than the one He has commanded.
Joshua had just died. There was no single military leader, but instead each tribe was responsible for conquering their respective regions. God was to be their king and they were to be God’s people. You will remember that God instructed them to destroy all the native inhabitants and to completely conquer the lands God promised them through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But Israel decided on its own, that this was too harsh an action. Rather than conquer the enemy, some tribes chose accommodation, peace treaties, enslavement, or mutual cohabitation.... in other words, appeasement. That might have seemed more humane to the ancient Israelites (and to us today), but it was not God's will.
There will be those who will concentrate on the fact that this is a problem of the American Church, and I cannot deny that. But as my wise husband pointed out to me, satan has been trying to destroy the relationship between YHWH and those whom He calls His own since the beginning. We see that in the ancient Book of Judges. And it only took a century after the Church was founded for the Enemy to infiltrate it and try to utterly destroy it. But the seeds were planted and it was the will of God that faith in Jesus should spread to the ends of the globe. The devil is still trying to destroy the Church by any means he can. Today, when people (and the Church) seek to mirror the world, we see that we will do whatever we must to ease the conflict among us; to pacify our enemies; and to obtain peace and conciliation.
But I have to add another aspect of this apostasy, from my spiritual warfare perspective. You will recall that in Ephesians 6, Paul warns us that we are fighting against various ranks of the Enemy's army. They are spiritual and not made of flesh and blood; they have specific assignments, such as the Prince of Persia in Daniel, Chapter 10. Among the Rulers, Powers, World Forces, and Spiritual Forces are the retinue of satan's false gods who are assigned to battle against God's people on earth. Allah is a very real entity, and just one of those Rulers who is in dedicated conflict with the Most High God. We must not lose sight of that fact!
We must face the reality that we can't have it all -- we can't profess faith in YHWH, the One True God, and yet help to build houses of worship to a false god. We can't let political correctness and religious liberty supersede the position of YHWH. We can't profess to be part of God's Church, yet put our own desires to be magnanimous and inclusive before God's will. That is merely a form of self-idolization, and results in the lukewarm Laodicean Church. And what does Jesus say He will do with that Church? He will spew them out!
That is the warning that I think all Christians must take seriously! Is appeasement of our faith pleasing to God? What is He more interested in ... His Church gaining political power, influence, and unity among all religions and false gods -- or seeing that we are committing ourselves to preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ? The last time I checked, Islam rejects the deity of Christ. How can appeasing that religious philosophy be, in any way, pleasing to my God?
Galatians 1:10 "For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ."