“And the light shineth in the darkness;
and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:5
The unfolding of some recent events has startled, even shocked the unbelieving world. The Palestinian mandate given to Hamas in a ‘democratic’ election just was not supposed to happen. A few cartoons published in an obscure Danish newspaper starts an international earthquake with many aftershocks. How strange are the times we are living in! What does this all mean?
Many in the West have championed the noble ideals of democracy as a means to free the enslaved people of the world from their tyrants. Democracy is the instrument of world salvation they say. Democracy is the way to achieve peace. Look at Afghanistan! Look at Iraq! What great strides are being made, and there are. Anytime people have been freed from the tyrants that held them in chains, there is a cause to rejoice. But in Afghanistan and Iraq, outside force was used to topple the evil, and at great cost, even today. And many brave men and women have paid for it with their lives. Let us be reminded that the restraining force is still in Iraq and Afghanistan, holding back the Taliban, Al Queda, and every manner of terrorism that rears its ugly head. The real test will come when that restraining force is lifted.
And then we have the Palestinian election, where evil was allowed full sway, and evil won the day. Hamas is a terrorist organization and the democratically-elected leaders of the Palestinian people. No international watch dog group has challenged the legitimacy of the election process. But, this was not supposed to be the outcome of democracy at work!
Democracy was at work once again in Denmark, when the Danish newspaper Jyllends Posten published caricatures of the Muslim prophet Muhammed, one of which portrayed him as a bomb wearer, one showed him turning Muslim males back from paradise because there were no virgins left there, and there were others. Freedom of the press, a cherished and protected right in most of Europe and most of the Americas, has found no home in most Islamic nations. These countries are united in their protests against the cartoons, calling upon all Muslims and nations of the world to join them in their cause to punish the newspaper. Muslim extremists are using force and scare tactics to force the Europeans to cave in.
In an unprecedented show of European unity, other EU newspapers stood behind Jyllends Posten and published the cartoons in their countries as well. European newspapers are filled with editorials about how the appeasement of Muslim extremists fuels evil and threatens our way of life. After all, democracy itself is threatened, and it is. The EU has threatened to go to the WTO over the boycotts of European goods ordered by Muslim countries. European Commission Vice-president for Justice and Security Affairs, Franco Frattini, conceded that the Danish newspaper may have been “imprudent” in publishing the cartoons, but then went on to state, “However, one of the founding principles of our Europe is freedom of expression, including the right to criticize.” “It should be crystal clear to all”, he went on, “that violence, intimidation, and the calls for boycotts or for restraints on freedom of the press are completely unacceptable and will not bring about a constructive discussion between communities”.
Democracy is not the savior of the world and it cannot be. People can not be saved by a political system. Democracy does not have the power to completely eradicate evil. Democracy does not have the power to restrain evil. The power to save people and destroy evil belong to God Himself.
When brought before King Agrippa for trial, the Apostle Paul recounts his conversion and his encounter with Jesus Christ.
“At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”
Let there be light!