London Journal – Friday, October 10, 2008

I have been to the Tower of Babel and am in ideological shock.

Today we two attended an International Conference on Political Islam, Sharia Law and Civil Society. This was sponsored by the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britian. The speakers and panelists pointed out, among other things, the wrong of the Muslim practice of killing apostates and the alarming advances Muslims have made in introducing some aspects of Sharia law in the UK. These concerns were described from the viewpoint of a deep commitment to basic human rights.

The organizers and speakers of the day were, upon their own admission, humanists, secularists and atheists. That explains my allusion above to the Tower of Babel. These well-meaning reformers and protectors of individual rights are going about their work with no reference to God. Wait! Let me correct that. They are going about their work, and attempting to reach the sky, with a total disdain for God and religion in all forms. Religion, including Christianity, is the enemy of all we hope to accomplish, the speakers said.

So I am ideological shock. Never before have I been in a public meeting where Christians are regarded as the enemy, unthinking, gullible, the perpertators of lies, and teh chief hindrance to the forward progress of humanity.

Richard Dawkins, well-known strident British atheist was one of the presenters. My desire to hear him in person was one of the reasons I went to this Conference. With color slides and bitring satire he blasted the work of a prominent Muslim writer who is a creationist, and Dawkins made it quite clear that conservative Christians are just as anti-intellectual, deluded and dangerous as the Muslim author.

I found myself in the position that Christians experience often in our multi-philosophy world: I was in agreement with many of the statements of concern for human rights, but I approach the whole subject from a totally different worldview and truth view than do the atheists and secularists.

On lunch break I began talking with the chap behind us in the meal line. He is a sharp, likeable young adult who works for the Underground of London (the subway system, that is!) I mentioned that I am a Christian and am trying to process what I am hearing today. He said that he is an atheist. I told him that I agree with the overall concern for fairness and equality in society and government, but that I approach the whole subject with different assumptions and worldview. He respected what I said, and we had a profitable, mutually respectful converation. He mentioned something about further contact, so I gave him my “business” card.

We left the Conference before it was over, to go to a prayer gathering in a home. At this meeting the believers talked about submitting ourselves fully to God so that he can use us in his purposes; shared about the challenges and needs in their lives; mentioned the names of friends with whom they are having spiritual converstions; expressed their special concern and support for the believers who go to Speakers’ Corner every Sunday to engage others in conversation about the good news about Jesus; and then prayed about all of these areas.

The contrast between the first and second events of the day left me with much to ponder and with a renewed appreciation for the truth claims of the Bible, the love and mercy of God, and the necessity of believing friends to lean on.


3 Responses

  1. i posted this on my blog, thanks for the report.
    allyson at

  2. Due to travel problems I missed the conference. I am disappointed that it descended into a polemic against religion in general as the conference was supposedly about the muslim menace and the introduction of sharia law.

    Islam is not about personal choices within the framwork of a belief, it is a totalitarian system that stifles all thought and subjugates believers and non-believers alike.

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