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Edouard de Lamaze, president of the Observatoire du Patrimoine Religieux (Observatory of Religious Heritage) in Paris, is sounding the alarm about the rapid erosion of France’s cultural heritage. “One mosque is erected every 15 days in France,” he said recently, “while one Christian building is destroyed at the same pace. It creates a tipping point on the territory that should be taken into account.” Yes, it should be taken into account by anyone, Christian or non-Christian, who is concerned about the future of France. But it isn’t.
According to the Catholic News Agency, “Lamaze’s appeal for increased awareness came after a fire destroyed the 16th-century Church of Saint-Pierre in Romilly-la-Puthenaye, Normandy, northern France. The fire, deemed accidental, took place on April 15, exactly two years after the blaze that devastated Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.” What’s more, “Lamaze told CNA in an interview that in addition to one religious building disappearing every two weeks — by demolition, transformation, destruction by fire, or collapse — two-thirds of fires in religious buildings are due to arson.”
All this was going on, Lamaze noted, against a backdrop of incomprehension and indifference: “The current minister of culture is seeking to establish a protection charter, but the situation is extremely serious and, alas, I don’t see any real awareness growing, nor any sense of responsibility in the face of this crucial challenge for our national heritage.”
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2021-05-09 06:28:592021-07-15 10:22:10‘One Mosque Is Erected Every 15 Days in France, While One Christian Building Is Destroyed At the Same Pace’
David Carlin: The decline of Christianity is found not just in those who claim no Christian faith, but also in those who claim to be liberal Christians.
Modern history (by which I mean the history of the western world since about the year 1500) tells many stories. I suspect that these many stories are subplots in one big story, and for years I’ve been trying to guess what this one big story may be. My guess (but it’s only a guess) is that the one big story is the story of how the western world has been trying to get rid of Christianity.
The story begins with the Protestant Reformation. None of the reformers intended to do away with Christianity. Just the opposite. Regardless of anybody’s intentions, however, a divided Christianity would be easier to destroy than a united Christianity.
This divided Christianity led in the 16th and 17th centuries to the rise of skepticism, especially in France. But skepticism, while it continues even to the present day to erode Christianity, is too purely negative a thing to replace the old faith. And a replacement is needed. You can’t just get rid of Christianity and leave the world with nothing to believe in.
Skepticism was succeeded by a more positive thing in the 18th century, Deism, which professed to hold on to the good elements of Christianity (afterlife, morality, etc.) while getting rid of its bad elements. But Deism was too “thin” a thing to replace Christianity. Besides, it stopped well short of the ultimate aim of anti-Christianity, namely the complete eradication of the old religion.
Deism helped bring about the French Revolution, which showed for the first time that a powerful state could be used as a tremendous anti-Christianity machine.
In the second half of the 19th century, there was a great intellectual movement on behalf of agnosticism. But agnosticism was simply another name for the old skepticism, still too negative a thing to get the anti-Christianity job done.
In the 20th century, two gigantic anti-Christianity movements took the stage, and each of them came to control an enormously powerful state: Nazism and Communism. The former intended to get rid of Christianity while thinly disguising its intention; it deceived many Christians who wanted to be deceived. The latter didn’t stoop to disguise; it was quite frank about its intention. Both of them did great damage to Christianity, and when they failed (Nazism in 1945, Russian Communism in 1991) they left behind them a Christianity that had been greatly weakened.
In the postwar period (1945-present) the western liberal democracies (U.S.A., U.K., France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, the Scandinavian countries, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, Spain [after Franco], Portugal [after Salazar]) have been subject to a non-statist kind of anti-Christianity. These countries all experienced, some of them sooner, some of them later, the growth of an anti-Christianity public sentiment.
These countries all experienced the gradual asphyxiation of Christianity by the gradual growth of anti-Christian feelings. For decades the state played little or no part in this smothering process – though this has changed recently.
This liberal-democratic, anti-Christianity got a tremendous boost beginning in the late 1950s and early 1960s with the coming of the sexual revolution. This “revolution” was about sex – but it was about much more than sex. Sexual restraint and even downright chastity had been an essential element of Christianity from its beginning in the first century AD. Get rid of Christian sex morality, and you’re well on your way to getting rid of Christianity altogether.
Once the average person decides that Christianity has been wrong about fornication, adultery, homosexuality, abortion, etc. for almost 2,000 years, it will be relatively easy for that person to believe that Christianity has also been wrong about many other things – including all the articles of the Nicene Creed.
Many would-be Christians – I have in mind “liberal” Catholics and Protestants – believe it is possible to have a “new and improved” Christianity that embraces and endorses the values of the sexual revolution. They are mistaken – as certain a priori considerations should have persuaded them decades ago, and as experience has abundantly demonstrated over the last fifty years.
Throughout the western world (the world that used to be called Christendom), including the United States, Christianity is in steep decline today. Evidence of this decline is found not just in those who claim no Christian faith (the “Nones”). It is also found in those who claim to be liberal Christians – which means that they have dropped most of Christianity’s orthodox “baggage.” And it is also found in those who, while claiming to be orthodox, really don’t take their orthodoxy seriously.
Does one have to be an atheist to be anti-Christianity? Strictly speaking, no. For instance, the Deists of the 18th century were anti-Christianity without being atheists. But if you want to get rid of Christianity, it helps to be an atheist. A lot, because atheism is the most thoroughgoing kind of anti-Christianity. If you want to get rid of the old religion, why not go all the way? Why not destroy the very foundation of Christianity?
Does one have to be a supporter of abortion to be counted among the haters of Christianity? Yes. For the right to abortion – and not just the legal right but the moral right as well – is essential to the sexual revolution. If we don’t have abortion as a back-up when mistakes are made or accidents happen, how can we have a moral regime of sexual freedom?
Practically speaking, we can’t. Think about it. If abortion were to be banned throughout America, the next thing you know we’d have people recommending chastity. And once people recommend chastity, guess what? – they’ll start recommending Christianity.
Well, we can’t have that, can we? And therefore we must make sure that abortion is legal and is considered to be morally unobjectionable. Indeed we must make it a praiseworthy thing – the kind of thing which, like public education and police and fire protection, everybody who needs it should have free of charge.
For what it’s worth, that’s my reading of the last 500 years.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00The Catholic Thinghttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngThe Catholic Thing2020-08-08 06:21:592020-08-08 06:36:37The Decline of Christianity Since the Reformation
The fact that Gabriel Said Reynolds, who demonstrates here that he is either abjectly ignorant or willfully dishonest about Islam, is a professor of theology at Notre Dame shows how much our nation’s universities (and the Catholic Church) are dominated by fantasy and wishful thinking rather than being willing to deal with unpleasant realities. Reynolds is an academic laden with honors, employed at Notre Dame and published in the New York Daily News, not because he speaks the truth, with which he is either unacquainted or unwilling to disclose, but because he tells people what they want to hear: that Islam, if only it were properly understood, is actually a religion of peace. How it came to be that so many Muslims misunderstand the religion they follow so devoutly, he does not bother to explain.
Meanwhile, would the New York Daily News ever publish a comparably lengthy theological defense of Christianity? Not on your life.
Anyway, to make his case that in Islam, vengeance belongs to Allah alone, Reynolds quotes a number of Qur’an verses, but he doesn’t even mention or attempt to explain away others that disprove his case. There is actually a great support, passed over in silence by Reynolds here, in the Qur’an and Sunnah for the death penalty for blasphemy. It can arguably be found in this verse: “Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment.” (5:33)
But if you don’t think that verse justifies killing those who insult Islam, there is this: “Those who annoy Allah and His Messenger – Allah has cursed them in this World and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them a humiliating Punishment” (33:57)
Yes, he has cursed them both in this world and the hereafter. What does a curse in this world look like? Muslims are told to fight such people: “If they violate their oaths after pledging to keep their covenants, and attack your religion, you may fight the leaders of paganism – you are no longer bound by your covenant with them – that they may refrain” (9:12).
Not only that, but the Qur’an explicitly says that Allah will punish people by the hands of the believers: “Fight them; Allah will punish them by your hands and will disgrace them and give you victory over them and satisfy the breasts of a believing people, and remove the fury in the believers’ hearts.” (9:14-15)
There is more in the hadith. In one, Muhammad asked: “Who is willing to kill Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?” One of the Muslims, Muhammad bin Maslama, answered, “O Allah’s Apostle! Would you like that I kill him?” When Muhammad said that he would, Muhammad bin Maslama said, “Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Kab).” Muhammad responded: “You may say it.” Muhammad bin Maslama duly lied to Ka’b, luring him into his trap, and murdered him. (Bukhari 5.59.369)
“A Jewess used to abuse the Prophet and disparage him. A man strangled her till she died. The Apostle of Allah declared that no recompense was payable for her blood.” (Sunan Abu-Dawud 38.4349)
Why doesn’t Gabriel Said Reynolds mention any of those passages?
“What radical Muslims get wrong about the Koran: Vengeance is reserved for God alone,” by Gabriel Said Reynolds, New York Daily News, March 1, 2020:
In the name of Allah, militant Muslims continue taking up arms against people they consider threats to their faith and way of life. But does it make theological sense for humans to pick up swords and guns to exact retribution in this life?
The Koran, the book those same Muslims purport to revere, says no….
The irony of blasphemy laws, and the tragedy of these attacks carried out in supposed defense of Islam, is that the Koran time and again insists that it is God’s right, and God’s right alone, to exact vengeance.
Allah does not need Muslims to step in and punish those who insult Him. In fact, Allah does not want Muslims to do so. The God of the Koran is clear: He is the only avenger of Islam.
The case of blasphemy laws in Islam is particularly peculiar in light of the example of Muhammad himself. The Koran describes how the unbelievers in his native city of Mecca disputed his claims of prophethood and insulted him.
Koran 68:51 describes how they accused him of insanity: “Indeed, the faithless almost devour you with their eyes when they hear this Reminder, and they say, ‘He is indeed crazy.’”
The Koran does not respond by demanding that the blasphemers be killed for their insolence. It simply affirms the claims of Muhammad.
Elsewhere in the Koran, the voice of God counsels Muhammad to be patient when faced with opposition. Koran 16:126 alludes to some persecution or affliction which Muhammad has suffered from the unbelievers.
The next verse, in response, suggests that Muhammad could strike back in moderation, but should simply endure the persecution patiently: “If you retaliate, retaliate with the like of what you have been made to suffer, but if you are patient, that is surely better for the steadfast.”
This does not mean that the idea of vengeance is foreign to the Koran. The question the Koran poses is not whether offenses against Islam and Muslims should be avenged, but who should do the avenging.
And the answer is consistent: “God.”
Remarkably, and if only Boko Haram and other Salafi-Jihadis would listen, the Koran even teaches this lesson specifically about Christians. In Sura 5, God asks some questions of Jesus about those who followed him, but Jesus does not demand that the wrongdoers be punished.
He leaves their fate in God’s hands: “If Thou chastisest them, they are Thy servants; if Thou forgivest them, Thou art the All-mighty, the All-wise.”
The same lesson is taught about Muslims who are unfaithful to the laws of Islam. In chapter 5, verse 95, the Koran describes the laws of the pilgrimage to Mecca (known as the Hajj). But as for he who breaks the rules, the Koran gives no worldly punishment: “God will take vengeance on him, God is all-mighty, Vengeful.”
So what does divine vengeance look like in the Koran? Allah punishes those who offend Him in hell. The Koran not only describes paradise in vivid colors (as a place with food, drink, and women), it also describes hell in gruesome detail.
Angels of punishment will strike the damned from the front and the back. The damned will be condemned to drink boiling water and eat from a tree named Zaqqum whose fruit is like the heads of demons.
The Koran clearly considers this punishment enough for an unbeliever. Whereas the standard schools of Islam teach that someone who leaves the religion, an apostate, is to be killed, the only punishment for apostasy spoken of in the Koran is hell: “’Did you disbelieve after you had believed? Then taste the chastisement for that you disbelieved!’” (Quran 3:106).
The Koran also teaches that God need not wait for the afterlife to punish unbelievers. He is the lord of the universe and can intervene when He chooses.
A number of chapters in the Koran tell a series of tales, dubbed “punishment stories” by scholars, in which unbelieving peoples are punished for rejecting the prophet who is sent to them. Among these prophets are Biblical figures including Noah, Lot, and Moses, and others who seem to come from Arabian lore with names like Hud, Salih, and Shuʿayb.
In each story it is not the Prophet but God who intervenes….
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2020-03-05 07:07:492020-03-05 07:12:29Notre Dame Professor Gabriel Said Reynolds falsely claims that Qur’an teaches only Allah should take revenge
A taxpayer funded public school in Maryland instructed its students:
“Most Muslims’ faith is stronger than the average Christian.”
“Islam at heart is a peaceful religion.”
Jihad is a “personal struggle in devotion to Islam, especially involving spiritual discipline.”
“To Muslims, Allah is the same God that is worshiped in Christianity and Judaism.”
“Men are the managers of the affairs of women” and “Righteous women are therefore obedient.”
Imagine the shock when 11th-grader at La Plata High School, Caleigh Wood, revealed this to her parents. More students and more parents need to actively need to get involved as Caleigh Wood did. She bravely stood up for her rights as a Christian. She stated that, as part of an assignment, she “was also required to profess in writing, the Islamic conversion creed, ‘There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.’” For refusing to concede to the sharia and standing “firm in her Christian beliefs”, Wood was punished for it and given a failing grade for non-compliance.
Her case has now gone to the supreme court. “The Thomas More Law Center has submitted a petition asking the high court to take up the case of student Caleigh Wood.” Its president, Richard Thompson warned:
Under the guise of teaching history or social studies, public schools across America are promoting the religion of Islam in ways that would never be tolerated for Christianity or any other religion.
Jihad Watch reported on May 19th that a Washington school district was caught promoting Islam for Ramadan through a CAIR initiative. Now lawyers have sent a cease and desist letter. Islamization happens rapidly if unnoticed and unchallenged. Parents need to be paying attention to what their children are being indoctrinated with and taught in schools.
“U.S. SCHOOL FAILS CHRISTIAN STUDENT FOR REFUSING ISLAMIC PRAYER”, World Net Daily, May 19, 2019:
The declarations could have been made by an imam in a mosque sermon.
“Most Muslims’ faith is stronger than the average Christian.”
“Islam at heart is a peaceful religion.”
Jihad is a “personal struggle in devotion to Islam, especially involving spiritual discipline.”
“To Muslims, Allah is the same God that is worshiped in Christianity and Judaism.”
“Men are the managers of the affairs of women” and “Righteous women are therefore obedient.”
The problem is that those statements were part of the instruction in a public school in Maryland, and one of the students in the classroom now is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to condemn such religious lessons funded by taxpayers.
The Thomas More Law Center has submitted a petition asking the high court to take up the case of student Caleigh Wood.
“As a Christian and 11th-grader at La Plata High School in Maryland, Caleigh Wood was taught that ‘Most Muslims’ faith is stronger than the average Christian.’ She was also required to profess in writing, the Islamic conversion creed, ‘There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.’ Ms. Wood believed that it is a sin to profess by word or in writing, that there is any other god except the Christian God. She stood firm in her Christian beliefs and was punished for it. The school refused her request to opt-out or give her an alternative assignment. She refused to complete her anti-Christian assignment and consequently received a failing grade,” the legal team explained Wednesday.
Lower courts have given a free pass to the school district to teach Islam, and so TMLC filed the request with the Supreme Court to decide “whether any legal basis exists to allow public schools to discriminate against Christianity while at the same time promote Islam.”
“Under the guise of teaching history or social studies, public schools across America are promoting the religion of Islam in ways that would never be tolerated for Christianity or any other religion,” said Richard Thompson, TMLC’s president.
“I’m not aware of any school which has forced a Muslim student to write the Lord’s Prayer or John 3:16: ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,’” he said.
“Many public schools have become a hot bed of Islamic propaganda. Teaching Islam in schools has gone far beyond a basic history lesson. Prompted by zealous Islamic activism and emboldened by confusing court decisions, schools are now bending over backwards to promote Islam while at the same time denigrate Christianity. We are asking the Supreme Court to provide the necessary legal guidance to resolve the insidious discrimination against Christians in our public schools,” he said.
Unresolved include whether or not schools can make preferential statements about one religion over another, and whether students may be required to assert religious beliefs with which they disagree.
And how do those concepts align with “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”?
The Charles County public schools and officials are defendants.
The filing explains the lower courts, despite the First Amendment’s requirements, “upheld the ability for [the school] to denigrate Petitioner Caleigh Wood’s faith and require her to write out statements and prayers contradictory to her own religious beliefs.”….
EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2019-05-23 08:07:592019-05-23 08:09:50Maryland School Denigrates Christianity, Promotes Islam -- Case gone to Supreme Court
Just recently, when perusing news stories, I happened upon a most heartbreaking story headline. It proclaimed “London’s iconic red buses to declare glory to Allah.” After getting over the initial shock I was a bit embarrassed. Considering the massive evil in-roads the devoted Muslims have made making deep intrusions into British society for decades, I should not have been shocked one little bit.
The dangerous habit of western societies to sacrifice their own well-being just to appease those who have pledged to convert them or destroy them is miles beyond stupid. Britain’s largest Islamic charity says it wants to “break down barriers” and portray Islam positively by launching a new advertising campaign which will slap the phrase “glory to Allah on the sides of London buses. Muslims reading the advertisements are told to “gather the rewards of Ramadan,” that they must donate Islamic relief. That is a Muslim organization which used to have an account with banking giant HSBC. The accounts were closed due to major “concerns that cash for aid could end up with Muslim terrorist groups throughout the world.”
Public transport has been chosen for the Islamic re-branding in London, Manchester, Leicester, Birmingham, and Bradford. All of the locations have large growing bigoted Muslim populations. That the announcement of the new campaign came a day after London “foolishly” crowned it’s first Muslim mayor Sadig Khan. Islamic Relief called it a “nice irony” that the two events coincided. “Uh yeah” Imran Madden, a British traitor “cough” convert to Islam and director of Islamic Relief’s United Kingdom branch said, “there is a lot of negativity around Muslims at the moment involving things such as counterterrorism issues. “We want to change for the better the perception of Islam. The London bus campaign is about breaking down barriers and challenging misconceptions.”
I could only laugh at Mr. Imran Madden’s little message about changing the perceptions of Islam. Because, if Muslims were serious about changing the perception of Islam, they would have to stop being Muslims. Because Muslims are instructed in the little quaran’ that it is permissible to be cruel to non Muslims. Whether it is through DHIMMI status, where in Muslim cultures, non-Muslims are not allowed to build new places of worship, not possess arms; they have to allow Muslims to participate in their private meetings. That is only three out of the 20 major restrictions against non-Muslims who reside where Muslims have taken over.
Ironically, Christian groups have fared less well when it comes to advertising on London buses. For example, Former London mayor Boris Johnson stepped in to ban a positive message by a Christian organization in response to a pro-homosexual advertising Campaign. After it is all said and done, Christian groups have for many years been denied access to purchase advertising space on London buses and elsewhere.
The sad thing about all of this that for too long, Christians have been a soft touch in London, throughout Europe, Africa and America. Unfortunately, Christians have bought into the misnomer that loving your neighbor and turning the other cheek means allowing yourself to be abused and pushed around.
Both Great Britain and the United States at one time were greatly influenced by Christian principles. Thus both nations were blessed beyond compare. In fact, at one time the saying was “the sun never sets upon the British Empire.” Her land holdings spanned entirely around the globe. Before the ascent of the United States, Great Britain was the standard of the world. But something very foolish happen in 1957. Stupidity overtook wisdom and England gave up it’s major Seagate, the Suez Canal which opened the door to the ultimate destruction of British invincibility. At the same time the Brits turned away from the God of Christianity as fast as someone turns their nose away from a bottle of bleach. Thus the decline of Britain became etched in stone.
In life, if you move your feet, you lose your seat. Or if you give up your God given wisdom and authority, someone else becomes the boss. It is plain to see that the good elements that paved the way toward building the great city of London and the once mighty empire of Britain have been replaced. In their place are the deceptive, brutish and nation killing elements that are disintegrating one of the greatest civilizations in human history. In many cases, both the British and Christians have no one to blame but themselves for the horrors British society is experiencing today. Gosh do I miss the likes of the Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher.
Until Britain and the United States decide to stand up for themselves and reconnect with the principles and the influences of the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob they will continue to be torn down by the followers of the death God of Islam.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/god-save-america-e1463308174367.jpg384640Ron Edwardshttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRon Edwards2016-05-15 06:29:432016-05-15 06:30:02When Christianity is Removed All Hell Breaks Out
I am a fan of the Divergent film series. The Divergent series is based on the Divergent novels by the American author Veronica Roth. The films show a world where people are divided into distinct factions based on “human virtues.”
The series focuses on those forms of governance that control the people for the greater good. It is about power. The power to control, the power to enslave and the power to create fear.
The power of human virtues were displayed this past week in black and white. The differences between Christianity and Islam are stark and undeniable. While Pope Francis was delivering his Easter ‘Urbi et Orbi‘ message, the Islamic State was busily crucifying Christians, slaughtering non-believers and Muslims alike.
What a stark contrast in human virtues.
One religion, Christianity, praying for the protection of those oppressed, the other, Islam, oppressing those who do not fully embrace it.
Anyone acquainted with history knows that it’s [Muslim attacks on Christianity] happened before. Once robust Roman and Christian North Africa, the birthplace of Clement of Alexandria and Origen, Sts. Cyprian and Augustine, Felicity and Perpetua, lacking a strong secular state after the fall of the Western Empire, disappeared under Muslim assault. Except for their moral and intellectual achievements, in today’s North Africa those great figures might as well never have existed.
[ … ]
[President] Obama often says that ISIS [the Islamic State] isn’t an “existential” threat. By that, he may mean that terrorists and their armies are, for now, too small to conquer or destroy us. But there are many ways to be destroyed – and one of them is by undermining those very “values” the president thinks are “right.” Sometimes the undermining comes, unintentionally, from the very people who think they are defending them.
Other nations may explain their values as they will. We Americas know – or used to – whence they come: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that men have been endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
To better understand how truly divergent Christianity is from Islam please watch the following videos. One of Pope Francis delivering the Easter message, the second of the Islamic State delivering its Easter message:
Pope Francis delivering the Easter Urbi et Orbi on March 27th, 2016:
Islamic State video released in the wake of the attack on Brussels on March 22nd, 2016:
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/Indian-Catholic-Priest-Crucified-by-Islamic-State-on-Good-Friday.jpg350620Dr. Rich Swierhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngDr. Rich Swier2016-03-29 07:30:572016-03-29 09:22:42Divergent: The Crucifixion of Christianity by Islam [+Videos]
Why the wrong answer is killing the West, including America
Wheaton College Professor Larycia Hawkins, poster-girl for the Same God Question.
Introduction: An Epistemological Malady
In his 2010 book, Revelation: Do We Worship the Same God? , Mark Durie addresses what is at stake when it comes to the “Same God Question”:
The traditional Islamic view is that if you want to know what the God of the Bible is like, then read the Koran. Not only must Muslims believe that ‘we worship the same God’, but this message is always a central component of the presentation of Islam to Christians and Jews.
[This ‘Same God’ message] provides the lynchpin of Muslims’ efforts to convert the ‘People of the Book’ to the faith of Muhammad. In addition, this belief, once accepted, can lead Christians to support Islamic perspectives in ways other than conversion. For example, embracing this Islamic doctrine wins a measure of respect and even support for Islam from Christians.
(Mark Durie, Revelation: Do We Worship the Same God?, pp 75-76; emphasis added.)
Durie’s clarity on the importance of answering properly the “Same God Question” makes our study of this question essential. In fact, I would argue that the “Same God Question” is equally important for atheists and agnostics to ponder. Some are understanding this, in spite of their predisposition against Christianity. For example, the high-profile atheist Richard Dawkins recently expressed his concern over the decline of Christianity, stating “Christianity might be a bulwark against something worse.” His analysis will almost certainly cost him some allies on the Left. Consider these observations:
“There are no Christians, as far as I know, blowing up buildings,” Dawkins said. “I am not aware of any Christian suicide bombers. I am not aware of any major Christian denomination that believes the penalty for apostasy is death.”
In a rare moment of candor, Dawkins reluctantly accepted that the teachings of Jesus Christ do not lead to a world of terror, whereas followers of radical Islam perpetrate the very atrocities that he laments.
Because of this realization, Dawkins wondered aloud whether Christianity might indeed offer an antidote to protect western civilization against jihad.
The flip side to Dawkins’ point is that Western Civilization might indeed be warranted in protecting Christian culture against Islam and jihad.
This is such an obvious set of considerations and conclusions — all of which stem from a correct answer to the Same God Question — that it is astonishing to be confronted with the writings of those who have never considered this issue, or who have answered The Question incorrectly.
Perhaps nowhere do we find a better expression of the general lack of awareness — and even admission of lack of interest — concerning this pivotal question than in Rod Dreher’s December 17, 2015 post, “Muslim God, Christian God”. I am thankful for his honesty in this article, even if I am deeply disturbed by it.
Dreher’s grappling with The Question was prompted by Wheaton College’s suspension of a professor over this very issue. Dreher cites Wheaton’s statement (emphasis added):
On December 15, 2015, Wheaton College placed Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Larycia Hawkins on paid administrative leave in order to give more time to explore theological implications of her recent public statements concerning Christianity and Islam…
[Her] recently expressed views, including that Muslims and Christians worship the same God, appear to be in conflict with the College’s Statement of Faith.
And so, we launch into the theological deep-end, with the “Same God Question” finally being brought out into the public square. You can read the whole thing, which for all its obvious sincerity is hopelessly muddled, but I think that’s part of Dreher’s point.
I commend Dreher for his public honesty, especially this section (emphasis added):
To be honest, I’ve never thought at all about whether Muslims pray to the same God as Christians. The Catholic Church teaches that they do, and that was my belief when I was a Catholic, though I never gave it a minute’s thought.I don’t know what I believe now, to be honest. We know that Muslims do not pray to the Holy Trinity — but this is also true of Jews.
Don’t Christians (most Christians) believe that Jews pray to the one true God, even if they have an imperfect understanding of His nature? If this is true for Jews,why not also for Muslims, who clearly adhere to an Abrahamic religion? This is why my tendency is to assume that Muslims do pray to the one true God, even though they have a radically impaired view of Him.
But how far do we go with that?
How far indeed!
The early Christian Church fathers would (and did) have plenty to say about this, including a vigorous denial — based on the Hebrew and New Testament Scriptures — of the statement that Islam is an “Abrahamic religion.”
More from Dreher:
I’m not sure what I think. I mean, I assume, in charity, that people who intend their prayers to be to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are praying to the true God, whatever they lack in theological understanding. But again, I’ve not given this much thought.
How about you?…
Again, I appreciate Rod Dreher’s honesty, and I think a great many people are in the same boat as he. They don’t know what they think, and have never given it much thought.
Dreher confesses one or the other epistemological malady five times.
Five times. In three paragraphs.
In our age of genocide against Christians by Muslims in Africa and the Middle East, the global war on Christians by Islam, the collapse of Christianity in Europe, and the global rise of Islam and stealth jihad everywhere, for sincere Christians to not have ever thought about the “Same God” issue, and to not be sure what they think about it, is deeply, deeply troubling.
Yet as we see from the constant stream of statements from Christian bishops, leaders and writers urging “greater solidarity with Islam<“, embracing Muhammad as “a prophet” who “brought love, peace, and much more” to the world, and similar affirmations, the avoidance of The Question is an epistemological malady not merely of the average Christian in the pew, but of church educated, elite and shepherds as well. Political leaders look to such positions as grounding their policies towards Muslims and the religion of Islam in general. And the public policies justified by such Islam-embracing pronouncements provide an open door for Islam to advance its influence and control throughout the West. Indeed, this has been going on for decades now.
This must be addressed, and reversed, if Western leaders are to stand a chance of articulating a coherent policy to protect and preserve our civilization, and see it through the new century.
Dreher asks on his blog, “How about you?” Therefore, I decided to put some effort into this, especially as my own 2010 book deals with the “Same God” question at some length.
The answer to this question has, I believe, not only temporal but eternal implications, which is why I opened Chapter 1 of my book, Facing Islam — On Religious Dialogue — with this quote:
“Can any one of us be silent if he sees that many of his brethren simultaneously are walking along a path that leads them and their flock to a disastrous precipice through their unwitting loss of Orthodoxy?” — Metropolitan Philaret of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, 1969
Of course, in the context of this article I am speaking of Christian “orthodoxy” with a lower-case “o”. So, from a theological position, I will be appealing to traditional Christian foundations common to Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Protestants, Coptic Orthodox (and shared by Oriental Christians), and Islam’s position vis a vis Christianity.
Next up, Part 2: Allah’s Theological Jihad against Christianity
An old 1960s U.S. Army buddy, acclaimed life coach and author Steve Chandler sent me a copy of his latest book, “Crazy Good.” In his book, Steve points out that embracing a victim mindset has extremely negative consequences; is not empowering and actually weakens you.
The validity of Steve’s statement is well documented. This is a truth the Left does not permit us to say. If Steve were to state this truth on stage speaking to a black audience, liberals would call him a white racist and me an Uncle Tom for standing up and applauding in agreement with him. How dare this white dude advise blacks to abandon their victim mindsets. Off with his head!
Folks, not only has the Left banned speaking the truth in our country, they are striving to make it illegal. Yes, they want to throw your derriere in jail for disagreeing with their anti-God and anti-American agenda.
Nothing sticks in my craw more than allowing Leftist thugs to run the show, beating up on hard working decent Americans, attempting to force them into submission. My early years living in the projects of east Baltimore taught me that if you give bullies an inch, they will take a mile.
Thank God GOP presidential contender Dr Ben Carson is standing up to despicable liberal operatives in the mainstream media, determined to silence him from sounding the alarm regarding the devastating consequences of cradle to grave welfare (government dependency).
Political experts continue to scratch their heads, puzzled why Dr Carson and Trump’s stars are soaring higher and higher in the polls. It “ain’t” rocket science. The American people are sick of being bullied by Leftists. Americans are thrilled that Dr Carson and Trump are standing up to Leftist bullies in the media and Democratic Party. Both Carson and Trump are fearlessly speaking truth and offering solutions most beneficial to America. Liberals hate it!
Frankly, going into another rant listing Obama’s assaults on freedom and America is too emotionally draining and depressing. Lets just say things are pretty bad when killing babies for profit, killing cops, hating achievers and blacks hating whites are the new celebrated norms. Who could imagine a day would come in America when people are jailed and businesses are closed for not gleefully blessing same sex fellatio, anal sex and same sex cunnilingus?
However, due to my faith, I remain extremely hopeful. Dr Carson and Trump’s popularity point to a growing once silent majority committed to turning our country around. In skirmishes across America, we are winning victories against PC. Parents are pushing back against liberal school boards’ vile intentions. http://fxn.ws/1L6C3zS
Despite Obama and his MSM operatives best efforts to convince Americans that man is smarter than God, polls confirm a majority of Americans smell the stench of our rotting culture. http://bit.ly/1MvPKoa
Folks, we need to stop being so passive and aggressively educate and take back the hearts and minds of our kids. On a road trip visiting relatives in five states, I was stunned by how well Leftist media and public education had transformed the yoots (youths) in my family into brain-dead liberal zombies. They believe white cops murder blacks. Opposing Planned Parenthood equals hatred for women. Republicans are rich, racist and mean. Democrats truly care about them. I had a tough time controlling my gag reflex.
Insidiously, dumbed-down by public education on purpose, most youths are clueless regarding their rights written in the U.S. Constitution. They have no concept of the sacrifice and price our founders and patriots paid for freedom. Thus, it has little value to them. Just as Esau foolishly gave away his birthright for a bowl of beans, many millennials gladly surrender their freedom to government in the name of fairness (social justice) and the promise of security.
Ben Franklin said. “He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security.”
So what is the solution? How do we rescue the hijacked hearts and minds of America’s youths? The answer is we follow the lead of Dr Carson, Trump and my favorite candidate, Ted Cruz. Stop allowing the Left to dictate our behavior. Don’t jump on the bandwagon with Leftists criticizing a conservative for speaking truth unfiltered through PC. Boldly push back against PC. Liberals taught our kids lies causing them to hate their country. We MUST counter the lies with the truth about this remarkable, unique and God inspired experiment called America.
Rush Limbaugh is doing his part by publishing a best-selling series of patriotic children books. I am extremely excited and honored to be involved in launching the American Pride Calendar and coffee table book. A father bought several copies because his 10 year old son said it was the best thing he ever read.
To my fellow Christians, branch out of the pews and into the political arena. And for crying out loud, VOTE!!! Prayer is wonderful. But it is time to do something. The Bible says faith without works is dead! More Christians are beginning to realize our government’s and MSM’s War on Christianity; a special shout-out to the ministries of John and Matthew Hagee. Religious freedom rallies are popping up around the country.
Our nation did not reach its current level of debauchery over night. But it is not too late to rescue this stolen generation and generations to come. Committed to fighting with my articles, songs and appearances until God takes me home, I am in this to win it. Raise your hand if you are with me. Wow, I see a lot of hands. Praise God!
RELATED VIDEO: Woodlawn official trailer:
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/woodlawn-the-movie.jpg271640Lloyd Marcushttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngLloyd Marcus2015-10-20 05:57:042015-10-20 05:57:04Game Plan for Taking Back Our Kids
Last week I appeared on Newsmax Prime, hosted by JD Hayworth and Miranda Khan. We discussed how the West in general, the Obama administration in particular, not only ignore but exacerbate the plight of Mideast Christians. The six-minute clip is above.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/obama-islam.png436620Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2015-08-21 06:16:332015-08-21 06:16:33VIDEO: The Obama administration's anti-Christian, pro-Islam bias explained by Raymond Ibrahim
Al Azhar—arguably the Islamic world’s most prestigious Islamic university—continues to incite Egypt’s Muslims against Christians. Most recently the university was exposed distributing a free booklet dedicated to discrediting Christianity, chock full of direct attacks on Christianity in general and the nation’s Coptic Christians in particular.
Christianity is referred to as a “failed religion,” while Islam is hailed as the true and superior religion.
Because the “seeds of weakness” are inherent in Christianity and the Bible, says the booklet, Islam was easily able to supplant it in the Middle East.
The below article, by the ever-incisive William Kilpatrick, is written for a Roman Catholic audience, but the questions raised apply to all Christians. Secular leaders, too, can profit by his patient reasoning. Part One of a Three Part Series.
In a speech to Egypt’s top Islamic authorities,President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi called for a “religious revolution.” Why? Because he believes that Islam has problems: “That corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the centuries … is antagonizing the entire world.” He continued: “Is it possible that 1.6 billion people should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants…?” He then warned the assembled imams not to “remain trapped within this mindset” but to “reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective.”
However you interpret el-Sisi’s remarks, it’s clear that he believes the problems of Islam are not the fault of a tiny minority. He seems to think that a great many are to blame, and he particularly singles out Islamic religious leaders, whom he holds “responsible before Allah” on “Judgment Day.” And, most tellingly, he refuses to indulge in the this-has-nothing-to-do-with-Islam excuse favored by Western leaders. Rather, he states that “the entire umma [Islamic world]” is “a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world” because of “the thinking that we hold most sacred.”
By contrast, after his visit to Turkey, Pope Francis compared Islamic fundamentalists to Christian fundamentalists and said that “in all religions there are these little groups.” A little over a year ago in his apostolic exhortation, he joined the ranks of those who say that terror has nothing to do with Islam by observing that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.”
So the leader of the largest Muslim country in the Arab world thinks that the entire Islamic world is suffused with dangerous and destructive thinking, and the leader of the Catholic Church thinks terror is the work of a few misunderstanders of Islam.
Or does he?
It’s very likely that when world leaders say that terror has nothing to do with Islam, many of them do so for reasons of state. In other words, they are afraid that if they say anything else they will provoke more violence.
Is this the case with the Pope? My guess is probably not. The Pope does not seem the type to dissemble. He, along with many of the bishops, seems to genuinely believe that Islam is a religion of peace that has been hijacked for nefarious purposes.
One of the unspoken hopes of Church and secular leaders is that by saying Islam is a religion of peace… eventually even the Islamists will believe it and begin to act peacefully.
Still, even if many prelates do entertain doubts about the peaceful nature of Islam, it can be argued that the present policy of saying positive things about Islam makes sense from a strategic point of view. A great many Christians live as minorities in Muslim lands, and the wrong word might put them in danger. After Pope Benedict’s Regensburg reference to the violent nature of Islam, Muslims took out their anger on Christians living in their midst. And things have worsened since then. Christians in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Pakistan, and elsewhere already live at peril of their lives. Why make it any worse for them?
There’s another argument for this power-of-positive-thinking approach, although it’s an argument that’s best left unsaid. One of the unspoken hopes of Church and secular leaders is, undoubtedly, that such an approach will set in motion a self-fulfilling prophecy. Keep saying that Islam is a religion of peace and eventually even the Islamists will believe it and begin to act peacefully.
Of course, jihadists aren’t the main target of this strategy. Even if hardcore Islamists remain unmoved by this flattering of their faith, the tactic will—or so it is supposed—have the merit of reinforcing moderate Muslims in their moderation. If Catholic prelates were to start criticizing Islam itself instead of the terrorist “betrayers” of Islam, they would risk alienating peaceful Muslims. A hardline policy might even have the effect of pushing moderates into the radical camp. Better, from a strategic point of view, to stress our commonalities with Muslims. If they see us as a brother religion, they are more likely to protect the Christians in their midst.
Whether or not this is the reasoning at the Vatican, I don’t know. But such a strategy is not without merit. In Islam, blasphemy and slander are taken quite seriously and any criticism of Islam or its prophet can be construed as blasphemous. Slander is defined even more loosely. One of the most authoritative sharia law books defines it as “saying anything about a person that he would dislike.” That covers a lot of territory. So the argument that drawing attention to the violent side of Islam will only incite further violence is a compelling one.
On the other hand, there are good reasons for questioning the Church’s accommodative approach. The primary and most practical one is that it doesn’t seem to have worked. The let’s-be-friends approach has been in place even since Vatican II, but other than dialoguers congratulating themselves on the friendships they have made, it hasn’t yielded much in the way of results. Christians in Muslim lands are less safe than they have been for centuries. So, for that matter, are Muslims themselves.
What’s wrong with the diplomatic approach? Well, look at it first from the Islamic point of view. Islam is a religion that respects strength. It was spread mainly by the sword. To say that it is a peaceful religion might elicit reassuring responses from those Muslims who, like their Western counterparts, are constrained by diplomatic protocols, but from others it elicits scorn. The Ayatollah Khomeini put it this way: “Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those are witless.”
Muslims of Khomeini’s ilk don’t care whether or not others think of Islam as peaceful, they only care whether God is on their side. A weak response from the enemy, whether on the battlefield or from the pulpit proves that he is. Appeasement on the part of prelates reinforces the conviction held by many Muslims that Christianity is an inferior religion, not worthy of respect. By the same token, it reinforces the belief that Islam is the superior religion, deserving of special respect. “Allahu akbar” doesn’t mean “let’s dialogue”; it means “God is greater” and its specific meaning to Muslims is that their God is greater than your god. Duke University recently reversed its decision to allow the Muslim Student Association to chant the call to prayer from the massive chapel bell tower, but if the decision had held it would not have been seen as a sign of Duke’s commitment to cultural diversity but as a sign that it is on the road to submission. Duke was founded by Methodist Episcopalians and was originally called Trinity College. The Muslim call to prayer includes the words “Allahu akbar,” and the Allah they call upon is decidedly not a Trinity.
Islam, which considers itself to be the best religion on the planet, is also the touchiest religion on the planet. The way you show Islam respect is not by treating it as an equal but by treating it with deference. Not doing or saying anything to offend Muslims might seem like a wise strategy, but once you adopt it, you’re already on a slippery slope. Islam has an insatiable appetite for deference, and there is no end to the things that offend Muslims. The word “Islam,” after all, means submission, and that, ultimately, is how non-Muslims are expected to show respect. Catholics who are worried about offending Islam might note that in Saudi Arabia the mere presence of a Catholic church is considered offensive. Will the wearing of a cross by a Christian student at Duke someday be considered intolerably offensive to the Muslim students? How much of your weekly salary would you be willing to wager against that eventuality?
Muslims who are disaffected from Islam aren’t likely to convert to another religion which proudly proclaims its commonality with the faith they would love to leave.
Of course there are many Muslims who are tolerant and open-minded, but in much of the Muslim world they keep their open-mindedness to themselves. What about them? The Church’s current “diplomatic” policy runs the risk of increasing their sense of hopelessness. Islam is an oppressive religious and social system. Many Muslims feel trapped by it. President el-Sisi acknowledged as much when he urged Egypt’s imams not to “remain trapped within this mindset.” When Christian leaders won’t acknowledge the oppression, it reinforces the “trapped” Muslim’s belief that he has nowhere to turn. The problem is compounded when Church leaders insist on expressing their respect for Islam and their solidarity with Islamic religious leaders. Muslims who are disaffected from Islam aren’t likely to convert to another religion which proudly proclaims its commonality with the faith they would love to leave.
The current approach is unlikely to win over many Muslims. At the same time, it’s likely to alienate a lot of Christians. For one thing, it does a disservice to Christian victims of Islamic persecution. As I observed in a previous column:
Such an approach also tends to devalue the sacrifices of those Christians in Muslim lands who have had the courage to resist submission to Islam. It must be highly discouraging to be told that the religion in whose name your friends and relatives have been slaughtered is prized and esteemed by the Church.
That’s not to say that Church leaders shouldn’t exercise discretion in what they say. During World War II, Vatican officials understood that saying the wrong thing about the Nazis could result in retaliation against both Jews and Catholics. On the other hand, they did not go out of their way to express their esteem and respect for Nazis and thus risk demoralizing Christians who lived under Nazi control. In order to protect Christians and Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe and later in Communist-controlled Eastern Europe, the Vatican did exercise a degree of diplomatic caution. But that diplomacy was based on an accurate understanding of Nazi and Communist ideology. It’s not at all clear that today’s Church leaders possess a correspondingly clear-eyed understanding of Islamic theology/ideology. The current outreach to Islam seems to be based more on wishful thinking than on fact. And, as Pope Francis himself observed in Evangelii Gaudium, “Ideas disconnected from realities give rise to ineffectual forms of idealism” (232).
“Ideas disconnected from realities” is a good way to describe the Church’s Islam policy. That policy does not seem to have done much to prevent persecution of Christians in Muslim lands. How about Catholics who do not live in the danger zones? Catholics who live in the West and rely on the Church for their understanding of Islam can be forgiven if they still remain complacent about the Islamic threat. That’s because there is absolutely nothing in recent official Church statements that would lead them to think that there is anything to worry about. Lumen Gentium? Nostra Aetate? The Catechism of the Catholic Church? Evangelii Gaudium? All discuss Islam, but not in a way that would raise the slightest concern. The Catholic who wonders what to think about Islamic terrorism and then consults his Catechism only to find that “together with us they adore the one, merciful God” will likely conclude that terrorists are distorting and misinterpreting their religion. Confident that the Church has spoken definitively on the matter, he’ll roll over and go back to sleep.
It’s ironic that a Catholic can get a better grasp of the Islamic threat by listening to a short speech by Egyptian President el-Sisi than by listening to a hundred reassuring statements from Catholic bishops.
Conversely, Catholics who do not rely strictly on the Church for their assessment of Islam are in for a bout of cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, they know what the Church says. On the other hand, they can read the news and note the obvious discrepancy. As time goes by and as car bombings and beheadings occur at more frequent intervals in the West, dissonance is likely to be replaced by disrespect. Church officials who keep repeating the one-sided narrative about “authentic” Islam will lose credibility. Catholics won’t necessarily lose their faith, but it will be sorely tested. At the least, they will stop trusting their bishops on this issue. The trouble with “ideas disconnected from realities” is that they eventually do bump up against realities, and when they do, the bearers of those ideas lose respect. A good case can be made that Catholic leaders should pursue a policy geared toward weakening Muslims’ faith in Islam (a proposition I will discuss in the next installment), but the current policy seems more likely to undermine the faith that Catholics have in their shepherds. It’s ironic that a Catholic can get a better grasp of the Islamic threat by listening to a short speech by President el-Sisi than by listening to a hundred reassuring statements from Catholic bishops.
Of course, it’s not enough to simply criticize the Church’s current policy without proposing a viable alternative option. That’s something I propose to do in my next column.
Editor’s note: In the image above, Pope Francis meets with the Grand Mufti of Istanbul Rahmi Yaran during his three day state visit to Turkey last November.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/pope-francis-grand-mufti-e1433410225942.jpg339640Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2015-06-04 05:31:352015-06-12 08:39:46Needed: A New Church Policy Toward Islam by William Kilpatrick
We learned on April 2, 2015 that 148 Christian students were killed at a college campus in Kenya, some of whom were beheaded. We learned in the same month that another 30 Christians were singled out for massacre in Ethiopia. As with the 21 Coptic Christians, Christians were separated for slaughter from those of other faiths. As with other pogroms by ISIS, many of our leaders will not acknowledge that these Christians were killed by Islamic terrorists or even that it’s Christians who are targeted. Presumably, out of fear to name the enemy, the terrorists often go unidentified (and for other obvious PC reasons), as does the religion of the murdered (PC does not favor the defense of Christians, at present). Imagine if George Washington had refused to state that the enemies of the revolutionaries were the soldiers of King George III of England. Imagine if the faith of almost every signer of every major document upon which America is founded were not a Christian, what would this nation look like, if it still existed?
Part One addressed the extermination of tens of thousands of innocents by ISIS, the justification of these horrors by the Islamic terrorists, and some of what America and the Arab world is presently doing to fight the barbarians.
Let’s address the importance of both loving people and hating evil while responding as righteous men and women. Based on this scriptural foundation, Part Three will offer a plan of action for America.
The bible speaks to this conundrum. Let’s first consider that if we cannot separate God’s hatred of evil from His love of people, the answer seems to be that we should fight against evil, as we did in WWII.
We know that God is “one God.” God cannot be divided into parts. For example, we cannot separate God’s justice from His mercy, or His hatred of evil from His love of people. All of God is everywhere. He is indivisible. Therefore, the more God transforms our character into His image, the more we will both love justice and hate evil. Proverbs 8:13 states, “The fear of the Lord [standing in awe of God] is to hate evil.” Many other scriptures state that God’s essence is love. From this essence naturally proceeds hatred of evil. If we love God and the tens of thousands of present day innocent martyrs, we must also hate evil. Psalm 85:10 & 13 states that God’s love, faithfulness, righteousness and peace are inseparable and that His righteousness “goes before him.” Psalm 89:14 combines God’s justice with His righteousness, love, and faithfulness.
Although no one knows what the present policy of America toward worldwide terrorism is (our lack of a clear policy is an embarrassment), the policy seems to be to “contain” evil. This strategy is not aimed at stopping or destroying the threat of the mass murder of millions upon millions. To most Arab nations’ dismay, we are negotiating with Iran that will surely obtain nuclear weapons, right behind the nearly completed rockets that can deliver nuclear bombs to the USA. We have already given Iran what it values most: time; and we have no policy toward Syria, except to renege on our commitments to fight Assad.
If a group of gang-bangers were murdering people in your neighborhood, would you call the police? Romans 13 supports calling the police, as such peacemakers are ultimately appointed by God for our safety. Hebrews 11:34 even speaks of heroes who “waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” These heroes led the destruction of cultures that sacrificed their children in the fire to gods of wood and stone.
Citing a proverbial saying, Jesus told us to be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves,” (Matthew 10:16), meaning we must discern the poison in the snake while preserving the simplicity of the dove (Adam Clarke). What is called for with ISIS is to not be naïve, regarding the poison of the snake. As Proverbs 4:18 advises, we are to “guard our hearts” with all diligence. And Romans 13 states that our own rulers are established by God to be His representatives who do “not bear the sword for nothing” (vs. 4). Our policemen and, by implication, our armies are for our protection. The Constitution of the United States agrees.
We know that Jesus had the discernment to know when to outwardly love and when to vehemently defend and protect. Christ declared that the converts of the hypocritical religious teachers of His day were “twice the sons of hell” as were they, the teachers, (Matthew 23:15). Christ hated the demons that He cast out. And though He taught us to “turn the other cheek,” when He was struck at His illegal trial, He said, “Why did you strike me” (John 18:23)? Christ was not naïve, nor was he afraid of confrontation.
Because of the evil in the world, in His human form Christ was a “man of sorrows.” Today He weeps for those who suffer at the hands of the terrorists (see Isaiah 63:9). I believe that He even weeps for the terrorists until He finally turns them over to a “reprobate mind” (Romans 1:28), which I believe has been now been done with, at least, most of the terrorists. I’ve seen some former terrorists, now turned Christians, interviewed, allowing that not all terrorists have been turned over to a permanently depraved mindset. At this point, if Christ does not weep for them, we also need not weep.
Therefore, we see that at the same time that Christ loved people, He hated evil. Christ was the most loving and most joyful man that ever lived. He performed His first miracle at a wedding and celebrated life. As the voice of wisdom personified states in Proverbs 8:30-31, so believed Christ: “I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world, and delighting in mankind.” Yet He must have spent hours weaving the whip with which he drove the financial schemers out of the temple, as zeal for God’s house “consumed” Him (John 2:15-17). Therefore, it is possible for all of us to continue to celebrate life and the wonders of God’s creation while feeling the pain of God’s oppressed and rendering justice upon those who have inflicted it. Several scriptures speak of evil people falling into the pit that they have dug for others, and Proverbs 1:18 states, “These men lie in wait for their own blood; they waylay only themselves!” If Christians can hasten their doom in order to rescue and protect themselves, all the better. The Old Testament is full of accounts of believing Jews destroying nations that sacrificed children to their false gods. The barbarians are training young children to pull the trigger on innocent captives, as we’ve seen on the news. These children will never even graduate from elementary school, let alone adopt a value system of respect for all people. From a neurological point of view, their brains are literally being wired for murder and little else.
Based on Christ’s love of people and hatred of evil, it is likely that Christ would condone all efforts to stop the murder of innocents. Even if all world events fall into a pattern to bring about end time events or into other unknown purposes of God, because we cannot fully understand the pattern or His purposes, we must live our lives one day at a time and respond to evil as righteous men and women have responded since the world began.
THE RESPONSE OF RIGHTEOUS MEN AND WOMEN
The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 2:9 that we are to love people, but we are to love with wisdom and knowledge, not being naïve. There is a horrific and ultimate destination for evil doers where “the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:48). Clearly, there is also a time and season for all things, a time to kill and a time to heal (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 3).
As alluded to in Part I, in Romans 1:28, the Apostle Paul states that God gave some people over to a “depraved” or “reprobate mind.” In the realm of sin, the atrocious acts that we witness via television are the “end of the line.” The ISIS terrorists who call themselves warriors for Muhammad are evil incarnate and are probably closer to the edge of hell than even Paul could have imagined. All or almost all of them have been given over to a reprobate mind.
Psalm 73:18 speaks of evil people standing on a “slippery slope.” Jesus refers to those who do not build the foundation of their lives on Him as building on “sinking sand” (Matthew 7:26). He also said that way to destruction is a broad road, but the way to eternal life is down a narrow road and through a small gate (Matthew 7:13). The barbarians are traveling down the broad road to eternal destruction.
Peter said that God did not spare from hell the angels that rebelled; nor did He spare the evil people in Noah’s day, nor the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Peter even described false teachers as “brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish” (2 Peter 2). Again, hear this: Peter says that some people are “born to be destroyed.” This from one of Christ’s most devoted and loving disciples. One of the most famous representatives of Christ in the history of the world. A man of love and peace.
Jesus, our loving Lord and Savior, stated that in His time, all sin would be forgiven except “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 12:31). There are debates about what this sin is, and I have an opinion. But my opinion doesn’t matter in this discussion. Whatever the sin was (or is) could not exceed the sin being committed by the most ruthless barbarians ever known in history, savages that put to death the followers of Christ, Jews, Muslims of slightly different beliefs, and people of any other faith than theirs.
Psalm 1:6 says, “For the Lord knows the way of the godly, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” There is no doubt. Even Jesus and the New Testament that emphasize the grace and love of God speak clearly to the need to combat evil, unless otherwise individually spoken to, as God does speaks to each of us individually, e.g., you may be chosen for martyrdom (John 10:4, 27). For more scriptures that point us to the same conclusion, see Part I.
Innumerable surveys and polls are available on the Internet. A recent ABC News poll concluded that 83% of all Americans identify themselves as Christian. A 2014 Gallup survey stated that 76% identify themselves as Christians. In 2013 80% of Americans thought the bible was “sacred literature” (down from 86% in 2011; 8% thought the Koran was sacred) (Barna study, 2013). Whatever brand of Christianity Americans subscribe to (and there is a wide variety, indeed, with many not attending church), the morality represented by Christian beliefs is still the bedrock of what many would say makes America “good,” in spite of its many flaws. Therefore, one can argue that the response of righteous men and women is dictated by the scriptures already cited.
RESPONDING AS INDIVIDUALS
What about our attitude as individuals? If someone is chosen for martyrdom, God would want us to forgive our murderers, as He forgave His murderers on the cross. Also, consider the relatives of the victims. Will they find inner peace in any other way except through forgiveness? Of course not. Nevertheless, when the killer of their son or daughter is executed or falls in battle, these same relatives might obtain some satisfaction, knowing that God’s justice has been accomplished.
The best course of action in regards to our personal vengeance is to leave it alone. Romans 12:17 says, “Leave room for God’s wrath; vengeance is mine, says the Lord.” If we don’t “leave room” for God’s wrath, but execute our own personal judgment, we risk that God’s judgment may not prevail or, perhaps, will be less severe. This point of view is proposed by Proverbs 24:17, which states, “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him.” Most of us would prefer that evil doers suffer God’s judgment, rather than our own. Again, on an individual basis, scripture seems to teach forgiveness, along with trust in God. If we trust in God, His justice will be accomplished. Therefore, as individuals we are to forgive our enemies, especially as God supernaturally enables us to do so. I’ve seen relatives of murdered sons and daughters many times speak on the news of forgiveness. This does not discount that some men have been personally called to fight against ISIS, having no affiliation with any nation. In fact, I’ve also seen one such mercenary interviewed on cable news, and I’ve seen ads on the Internet, seeking to recruit mercenaries. See several websites that suggest how you might help to rescue Christians who face starvation and extinction.
RELATED VIDEO: A message to the Islamic State from The People of the Cross
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/islamic-state-with-flags.jpg356640Chet Weldhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngChet Weld2015-05-23 14:30:412015-05-23 14:44:29Defeating ISIS: A Biblical View of America’s Role [Part 2]
The most revered woman in late 19th-century America is someone you’ve probably never heard of: Fanny Crosby.
Even if she is barely remembered today, the songs she wrote are still sung every week from coast to coast and around the world.
She was born Frances Jane Crosby in Putnam County, New York, in 1820. She died in February 1915, just a month short of her 95th birthday. And what a long life of achievement it was!
She earned great fame and appreciation for her charitable work in inner cities, especially when she nursed the sick during New York’s terrible cholera epidemic in the late 1840s. Thousands fled the city, but Fanny stayed behind, contracting the disease herself but later recovering.
She probably holds the record for having met more US presidents than any other American, living or dead — an astounding 21, or almost half of the 43 men who’ve held the office. She met every single one (in some cases after they served in the White House) from John Quincy Adams to Woodrow Wilson. She was also the very first woman to address the US Congress.
Her memory was legendary. By age 15, she had memorized the first five books of the Old Testament, the first four of the New (the gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John), the books of Proverbs and Song of Solomon, and many of the Psalms.
By age 20, Crosby called herself “an ardent Democrat” at a time when Democrats supported smaller government while their main opponents, the Whigs, endorsed a national bank, federal infrastructure spending, higher tariffs, and other interventions. At least one of the more than 1,000 poems she wrote took aim at the Whig presidential candidate in 1840, William Henry Harrison. An abolitionist through and through, the slavery issue pushed her into the Whig camp a few years later. But when Democrat Franklin Pierce won the White House in 1852, she wrote, “The election’s past and I’m pierced at last. The locos have gained the day.” That was an allusion to the Locofocos, the most libertarian wing of the Democratic Party.
Fanny Crosby was clearly a woman that people wanted to meet. The reason? She was the best-known hymn writer of her day. She wrote about 9,000 hymns in her lifetime, a record no one else has ever approached. America’s Protestant churches by the late 19th century were filled with music from the creative mind of Fanny Crosby. Some of her hymns are well-known and still widely sung, from “To God Be the Glory” to “Blessed Assurance.”
What made Fanny’s life so remarkable was the handicap she endured and overcame: total blindness. At the age of just six months, treatment for an inflammation of her eyes blinded her for life. She could never see, but in a very poignant way, she never looked back, either. Throughout her life, she inspired others with her hard work and personal initiative. She even learned to play the piano, organ, harp, and guitar, and became a respected soprano singer. She was popular as much for her perseverance in the face of a horrific obstacle as for all the many good deeds she performed.
How’s this for a sunny perspective in the face of adversity? “It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God,” she once observed,
that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things around me.
Crosby was reported as saying had it not been for her affliction, she “might not have so good an education or have so great an influence, and certainly not so fine a memory.”
Fanny Crosby set a personal goal of bringing a million people to Christianity through her hymns. Whenever she wrote one, she prayed it would bring women and men to the faith, and she kept careful records of those reported to have been converted through her works. She also wrote four books of poetry.
America is a country with a history of heroes, but it seems at times that we’ve forgotten more than we’re producing. Maybe there’s a connection there. If we forget our heroes, how can their examples serve as inspirations?
In honor of her 85th birthday in 1905, “Fanny Crosby Day” was celebrated in churches all over the world. In May 1911, at age 91, she spoke to 5,000 people in Carnegie Hall after the crowd sang her songs for 30 minutes.
Through her powerful example and exemplary character, she became one of the most admired women in American history. If she had only kept quiet about her faith, complained about her plight as a blind person, or declared a right to a federal handout, maybe the writers of our history texts today wouldn’t ignore her.
Lawrence W. (“Larry”) Reed became president of FEE in 2008 after serving as chairman of its board of trustees in the 1990s and both writing and speaking for FEE since the late 1970s.
EDITORS NOTE: Each week, Mr. Reed will relate the stories of people whose choices and actions make them heroes. See the table of contents for previous installments.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/Fanny-crosby-e1432403552724.jpg317640Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngFoundation for Economic Education (FEE)2015-05-23 13:52:592015-05-23 13:53:41Real Hero Fanny Crosby: Blind but Not Disabled by Lawrence W. Reed
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/maxresdefault-7.jpg360640Bill Finlayhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngBill Finlay2015-02-28 10:03:342015-02-28 10:06:25We take aim at Nasty Nancy's attack on Chris Kyle and Christianity
There is grave danger in statements supporting moral equivalency and religious relativism. What happens is horrific behavior is excused because you have a certain recalcitrance in admitting the existence of evil.
President Barack Obama had the chance to affirm our Judeo-Christian faith heritage at the National Prayer Breakfast just days after the world was exposed to the savage and barbaric actions of ISIS in the burning to death of the captured Jordanian fighter pilot. But he did not.
As we reported yesterday, instead the Islamapologist-in-Chief attempted to find moral equivalency between the brutality of ISIS and Christianity, saying that violence rooted in religion isn’t exclusive to Islam, but has been carried out by Christians as well.
“Unless we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” Obama said. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”
Obama also denounced Islamic State terrorists for professing to stand up for Islam when they were actually “betraying it.” “We see ISIL, a brutal vicious death cult that in the name of religion carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism,” he said criticizing them for “claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions.”
Now, being a simple student of history, I’d like to share a simple analysis — and please, I ask all the Islamapologists reading this to sit down and take a deep breath.
First of all, Pope Urban II called for the Crusade in response to Muslim brigands and raiders who were attacking Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land. I find it rather odd that Obama would refer to something that is over 900 years old in order to make a statement of relativism. The sad truth is that no one is running around in Knights Templar white robes declaring “God wills it.” However, the same enemy that Pope Urban II saw as a threat exists to today and still declares, “Allahu Akhbar.”
As for the Spanish Inquisition, consider that this came after the expulsion of Muslim domination on the Iberian Peninsula for some 700 years.
As a matter of fact, Islamists still refer to Spain as “Al Andalusia” which means to this day still consider it Muslim land — after all it was part of their caliphate conquest. Good thing ol’ Charles “The Hammer” Martel turned back an invading Muslim Army in 732 AD at the Battle of Tours — just as was done by the Venetian fleet at Lepanto in 1571 — just as done by the heroic European Knights at Vienna in 1683. Yes, the Inquisition was horrible and severely affected the Jewish population in Spain. It was however, an overreaction to ensure that Catholicism reigned superior and was never again subjugated as it had been under the Moors of North Africa.
I found it interesting that Obama failed to mention the exchange between the Dey of Algiers and Thomas Jefferson concerning the attacks of American vessels and enslavement of Americans by Muslims, the infamous Barbary Pirates. The Dey of Algiers conveyed to Mr. Jefferson that they were only carrying out the dictates of their prophet towards infidels, kafirs. Interestingly enough, hundreds of years later, the Maersk Alabama and Captain Phillips had to deal with the same — Islamic piracy. Back then Jefferson sent the Marines. And thank God a sharp thinking U.S. Navy Commander made a decision to give the green light to the exceptional U.S. Navy SEAL snipers in the case of the Maersk.
You see religious relativism in this case dismisses the actions of ISIS who is actually more closely following the exploits of Mohammad.
If you study history and begin at the Medina phase, approximately 622 AD, you’ll find a murderous warlord who used terror and “religious manipulation” as he led almost 25 combat raids, the first being the Nakhla raid, circa 622 AD. This all came after the “peaceful” first phase of Islam, just 12 years in length.
The world has been exposed to the brutality of militant Islam for some 1400 years – a theocratic-political totalitarian ideology that spread by way of the sword, not peaceful proselytization. Hence why the flag of Saudi Arabia has a koranic verse above the sword of Mohammad.
And if you understand the Koran and the hadiths you’ll find the history laid out here corresponds to a shift in the verses and traditions towards violence — which the latter verse under the premise of “nakeesh” (abrogation) supersede the previous “peaceful” verses — yet all are still held in equal regard as the words of Allah as revealed to Muhammad.
Lastly, as we shared yesterday, Obama should be careful in equivocating slavery and Jim Crow to the actions of ISIS — after all it was those righteous Democrat Christians who supported such heinous actions as lynchings.
I have a simple recommendation for President Obama — don’t attend any more National Prayer Breakfasts. The angst created by these ill-conceived words is just not worth it — better to just not be there, than to be there and call into question your loyalties to the Judeo-Christian faith heritage of America.
Obama once again attempted to lecture us and failed miserably. ISIS is Islamic, they are militant Islamists and they represent an evil that came from a man who went rogue and used a religious belief as a means to an end — power. Now, that should have been the crux of Obama’s comments, but I suppose those “undisclosed” Muslim leaders with whom he met had a different idea.
Mr. President, true, you are not running again, and true, you did win twice. But even truer, you are damning your reputation as a president and may never hold any regard or esteem of the American people. Then again, perhaps that was always your aim, as you fundamentally transform our beloved Constitutional Republic.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com. Image via Townhall.com.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/APTOPIX-Obama-Prayer-Breakfast.jpeg426640Allen Westhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngAllen West2015-02-07 12:52:032015-02-07 12:52:03Obama revealed his true colors at Prayer Breakfast, and true ignorance of history