Monday, August 1, 2011

Ramadan, Belial, and the Persecuted Church


This year the Islamic holiday of Ramadan runs August 1-30. According to Wikipedia:
Ramadan (Arabic: رمضان‎ Ramaḍān, Arabic pronunciation: [rɑmɑˈdˤɑːn]) (also Ramadhan, Ramadaan, Ramazan) is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 to 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating and drinking[1] during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and submissiveness to God. Muslims fast for the sake of God (Arabic: الله‎, trans: Allah) and to offer more prayer than usual. Compared to the solar calendar, the dates of Ramadan vary, moving backwards by about eleven days each year depending on the moon; thus, a person will have fasted every day of the calendar year in 34 years' time. Muslims believe Ramadan to be an auspicious month for the revelations of God to humankind, being the month in which the first verses of the Qur'an were revealed to the Islamic prophet, Muhammad.
Sadly, some professing Christians around the world, including some noteable false teachers, believe it is somehow in keeping with the Christian faith to celebrate Ramadan. This is just one of many unbiblical efforts (such as Chrislam) to harmonize the false religion of Islam with Christianity.

The apostle Paul warned against such sinful, ecumenical efforts in his second letter to the Church in Corinth.
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, "I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)."
According to the above passage of Scripture, Christians are not to enter into spiritual enterprise with followers of other anti-Christ religions such as Mormonism, Jehovah's Witness, and Islam, to name a few. This would include any ecumenical prayer effort since the one, true God does not hear the prayers of the wicked (Isaiah 1:10-20).

Paul writes, "What accord has Christ with Belial." The term "Belial" is an ancient word used for Satan. The word's most literal translations are "worthlessness," "destruction," and "treacherous." Paul makes it clear that for a Christian to join hands or link arms with followers of false gods, such as the god of Islam, is to engage in worthless, destructive, and treacherous activity that furthers a satanic agenda.

Instead of searching for streams of commonality with practitioners of anti-Christ religions, instead of blaspheming the one true God by perverting prayer and worship through ecumenism, I want to encourage readers of this blog to follow the lead of Christian organizations like Open Doors USA. According to Open Doors USA:
With the start of the month-long Islamic fast called Ramadan that begins Aug. 1, Open Doors USA is launching a 30-day campaign urging Christians in the West to pray with persecuted believers in Muslim-dominated countries.

During August most Muslims will fast from dawn until dusk, seeking to shed their sins through acts of restraint. They believe this is a time of purification accomplished through good deeds and self control.

To guide Christian’s prayers during Ramadan, Open Doors USA is offering a Ramadan Prayer Calendar. The calendar has multiple prayer points designed to help Christians pray with persecuted Christians around the world during the 30 days.

“Ramadan is a time when Christians are especially isolated in some Muslim-dominated countries,” says Open Doors USA President/CEO Dr. Carl Moeller. “This is why it is so important for us to unite in prayer with persecuted Christians throughout the world. I urge you to use the Open Doors resources to pray with our brothers and sisters.”
In an effort to assist Christians in praying for the Persecuted Church during the Belialian holiday of Ramadan, below you will find a list of the thirty largest Islamic countries. Pray for persecuted Christians in the Islamic country corresponding with the day of the month.

And here are some suggested topics for prayer:

Pray the Lord will provide physical and spiritual protection for His Church.

Pray persecuted Christians in Belialian nations will persevere through whatever trials the Lord allows.

Pray persecuted Christians will be faithful to proclaim the one, true gospel of Jesus Christ, regardless of the personal cost.

Pray for Christians, both here in the USA and in Belialian nations who have compromised the gospel and shipwrecked their faith by entering into spiritual enterprise with worshipers of false gods. Pray the Lord will graciously bring them to repentance.

Pray for revival in Belialian nations. Pray that many will flee from the worship of the false god of Islam, repent, and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

And here is the list of the largest Belialian nations:

August 1 - Indonesia
August 2 - Pakistan
August 3 - Bangladesh
August 4 - Egypt
August 5 - Iran
August 6 - Turkey
August 7 - Sudan
August 8 - Algeria
August 9 - Morocco
August 10 - Iraq
August 11 - Afghanistan
August 12 - Malaysia
August 13 - Saudi Arabia
August 14 - Uzbekistan
August 15 - Yemen
August 16 - Syria
August 17 - Kazakhstan
August 18 - Niger
August 19 - Burkina Faso
August 20 - Mali
August 21 - Senegal
August 22 - Tunisia
August 23 - Guinea
August 24 - Somalia
August 25 - Azerbaijan
August 26 - Tajikistan
August 27 - Sierra Leone
August 28 - Libya
August 29 - Jordan
August 30 - United Arab Emirates