Archive for the ‘Islam’ Category

Daveed’s Stud Pose

First off, let me mention that I’m very proud of my friend, Daveed. When I first met him, he was a Muslim and well on his way to being a radical one. Since then, by the power of the resurrected Christ, he’s become a Christian. Praise God! This whole process has given him something of a unique perspective on radical Islam, both domestic and international. You can read all about his experience in My Year Inside Radical Islam. A couple of years ago he also authored a book about how America is not winning the war on terrorism called Bin Laden’s Legacy.

Alright, enough pluggin’ his written work. How about Daveed’s recent work on CNN ? Dig this:

A discussion worth watching

As it comes to the content of that discussion, I admit that I know virtually nothing. Even so, one thing stood out to me that seems quite helpful. Daveed distinguished between “radicalization” and the willingness to engage in violence. These two things are most certainly distinct and need to be understood as such.

Let me illustrate how important this distinction is. I would be (and probably should be) viewed as a radical Christian. (more…)

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Heidelberg Catechism #44

Q. Why does the Creed add, “He descended to Hell”?

A.  To assure me in times of personal crisis and temptation that Christ my Lord, by suffering unspeakable anguish, pain, and terror of soul, especially on the cross but also earlier, has delivered me from the anguish and torment of hell.

Theological: Our theological instructors (Ursinus & Olevianus), in their pastoral wisdom, skipped over the controversy surrounding this passage; so will I. (more…)

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Richard Dawkins

So I picked up Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion last week at the public library. (Nah, I wouldn’t pay for that book, not unless I wanted to do some serious study of it. At this point in my life, that seems quite unlikely.) He has a section near the beginning of the book in which he addresses hypersensitivity to people’s beliefs. I have a couple of observations on this particular section.

First, I quite agree with the idea that it’s silly that we have to tip toe around articles of faith. If someone is going to profess a faith publicly, then that faith is subject to public scrutiny. (more…)

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The Qur'an

As I expected, posting on the burning of the Qur’an struck a nerve. A couple of friends have been doing some thinking here and here. Their thoughts are worthwhile. There’s another stone I hoped to turn over today. That is, a lot folks who don’t know about different religious traditions have a tendency to lump them all together. They say things like, “Religion has caused more bloodshed than anything else in human history.” I suspect that no religion, not even blood-thirsty Islam, can hold a candle to the religion of the state (Communism) in the 20th century. But I digress. These types of folks look at the worldwide bloodshed caused by Islam, shake their heads and say, “That’s just religion for you.” In some cases the ignorance typified in such comments is invincible by human means. In other cases, people simply don’t know and are not closed to learning. In such cases, the ignorance can be alleviated with some sound instruction.

What I am attempting to do in this post is to contrast the Christian takeover of Europe with the Muslim takeover of the Middle East and the northern parts of Africa. What I’m not attempting to do is say that everything done in the name of Christ is fuzzy bunnies, and that everything done in the name of Allah bloody carnage. I want to leave the reader with a distinct notion of the way Christianity spread, and I want that notion to be in vibrant contrast to the notion of the way Islam spread. These origins are important, as they necessarily reverberate and echo down the corridors of time, influencing the later practitioners of each religion. Christianity is what it is partially because of how it started and how it spread. Islam is what it is for the same reasons.

The Bible

CHRISTIANITY: The main figure in Christianity is Jesus Christ. He’s the one who died a sacrificial death to redeem the world to God. He suffered to remove human suffering. He gave himself up to be tortured and murdered for the life of the world. Christianity started with self-sacrifice for the sake of others in execution of Jesus of Nazareth ca. AD 30. From the time of Christ’s resurrection, Christianity was persecuted, first by the Jews, later by the Romans. It was not religio licita (a legal religion that was free from official Roman persecution) until AD 313 and was eventually received as the official Roman state religion in AD 380. As Rome fell and the Barbarian tribes swept into Europe, there were wars, some of them involving Christological conceptions (Arianism) and blood was indeed shed. But more profoundly impactful were the great missionaries of the 5th, 6th, and 7th centuries. I’m not going to tell the stories, but they’re worth knowing. They’re worth retelling to your children, and they again to theirs. They’re stories of selfless heroism in service to Christ and to humanity. These missionaries gave their lives to extend Christianity through preaching and service. Many of them left their homes and families and went to distant countries and lands. They poured themselves out peacefully to serve Christ. St. Patrick, usually associated with Ireland, was actually English. Columba is associated with Scotland, but was Irish. Aidan is associated with England, but was Irish. Augustine of Canterbury is associated with England, but was Italian. Boniface is associated with Germany, but was English. You get the idea. Christianity is spread through preaching the Gospel, Baptism, the Eucharist. It takes lives dedicated to serve others to spread Christianity. HUBBA HUBBA!

ISLAM: The central figure in Islam is, of course, the prophet Muhammad. He was born, by Western (read: Christian) reckoning in AD 571. Maybe another time I’ll contrast the personal lives of Jesus and Muhammad, but suffice it to say that in 622, Muhammad fled from Mecca to Medina. In Medina, he basically took over, raised an army and, in 630, he waged war on Mecca. He took over Mecca and established Islam as the super-dominant religious, military, and social force in all of the Arabian Peninsula. Muhammad died two years after the conquest, in 632. The prophet died, but his conquest went on. There were conquests basically non-stop until ca. AD 750 (and they continue to this day). See the map to cover this time period. Also, see Wikipedia’s article for a lot more information.

Muslim Conquests to AD 750

These conquests were not “go preach the Word and serve people for Allah,” they were filled with violence and forced conversions (at the end of a sword). These conquests were “convert or be killed in the name of Allah.” Note the contrast of origins: Jesus was a selfless servant, one who gave his life for the world. Muhammad was a warlord, extending his rule through violence. Note the development: Christianity was under persecution for 300 years. Islam was the persecutor from the time of Muhammad. Note the takeover: Christianity flourished by the work of selfless missionaries. Islam flourished by murdering all that stood in its way.

Now, I submit that these two very different origins and expansions ought to be enough to show that Islam is vastly different from Christianity. It is enough to prove that not all religions are the same and cause bloodshed after the same fashion. I also submit that the subsequent developments of both Christianity and Islam are deeply influenced by the events outlined above. So, here’s a question for you: Which religion would you rather have take over your neighborhood? Maybe a more important question is which religion is responsible for creating the blessed society in which your neighborhood exists?

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Let me start off by saying that I believe Islam is of the Devil, but that I do not support burning the Qur’an. I’m far more committed to the first statement than to the second. Here’re a couple links to the story: Yahoo! and The Guardian. At least The Guardian tries to give both sides.

Okay, you read ’em? Good. So here’s what makes me want to blast off and being chewing my own arm to remain sane. The “Religion of Peace” is historically a blood-thirsty, take-dominion-by-the-sword, death-to-the-infidel religion. Say it ain’t so. It’s so. Islam started that way. Islam has grown that way. Islam is still that way. Now, your Muslim neighbor maybe friendly as the day is long. Love that neighbor, speak the Gospel to them and pray for them. However, two things must be noted about westernized Muslims: 1) They don’t accurately reflect historic Islam any more than the lesbian, eskimo, bishop lady down the street at the United Methodist Church accurately reflects historic Christianity. 2) Sleeper Muslims will, of course, not draw any attention to themselves – they’d be mild, liberal Muslims, that is, until it’s time to massacre the infidel. Don’t forget outright lying is permissible to Muslims in such cases. The policy and varied uses of Taqiyya make Islam (and Muslims) inherently untrustworthy.

Piss Christ

Now, Islam is what it is. My problem is the self-deception of the West (“Religion of Peace” and all) and, even more, with the talking heads that continually tell us that Islam is our friend, while Islam overruns the West. The bleeding hearts come out with “righteous indignation” when someone talks about burning the Qur’an (which, again, I’m against), but are silent about those that threaten death to the guy who threatens to burn a book. The desire to pander to and ingratiate ourselves with Muslims worldwide is like putting the noose around our own neck.

Bomb Head Muhammad

Piss Christ is “art” and provokes an outcry. Bomb Turban Muhammad is a cartoon and provokes riots and murders. Where are the bleeding hearts when threats of murder and murderous actions occur? They’re opposing the burning of a book.

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