Islam In Its Own Words

quran

PREFACE

Because of personal circumstances I have had the privilege to personally know several Muslims and become very close to them.  I actually housed one and consider her like a daughter to me and she considers me like a father to her.   She is a very sweet young lady and so is her family.  I have also met many other Muslims and become quite close to them.  All the Muslims that I personally know quite frankly are very kind likable people.  In fact publishing this is quite hard because I do not mean to characterize them and their personal lifestyle with the following quotes provided from the Muslim tradition found in the Qur’an and Hadith (roughly speaking a highly respected collection of historical and commentary notes surrounding the time of the writing of the Qur’an).

In my personal experience, the Muslims I know don’t know their holy book any better than many American “Christians” know the Bible (Yes, that is to be a rebuke to self-proclaimed Christians who don’t read the whole Bible).  And so I say this at the preface to provide instruction for how one should engage in profitable dialogue with a Muslim.  My goal in this post is to educate.

At the forefront, I believe Mohammad was not a prophet of God but rather far from it.  His personal life is not what God would consider a moral life nor are his teaching in the Qur’an that he attributes to God.  He is wrong on many accounts concerning historical events, the Christians’ belief in the Trinity, and so on.  Rather he was a very influential and powerful general and had tremendous success in conquest.

Below is simply a list of quotes with a few comments of clarification on certain points that I have found very disturbing.  Quotes that are not only disturbing for me but I believe would be to many Muslims if they knew their religion approved such things.  I share this in hopes that Muslim people would question whether they really want to follow this man or rather reconsider what they really believe.  My hope and prayer is that many will read this and begin to study and read the teachings of Jesus Christ and come to see Him as the one and only Savior of the World.

The Quran on affirming that the first 5 books of the Bible, Psalms, and the Gospels are all the words of Allah.

Sahih International

All food was lawful to the Children of Israel except what Israel had made unlawful to himself before the Torah was revealed. Say, [O Muhammad], “So bring the Torah and recite it, if you should be truthful.”  Sura 3:94

Sahih International

And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah (the first 5 books of the Bible); and We gave him the Gospel (the first 4 books of the NT in the Bible), in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous.  Sura 5:47

Sahih International

And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient.

Sura 5:48

Sahih International

And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ. Sura 6:91-92

Sahih International

So if you are in doubt, [O Muhammad], about that which We have revealed to you, then ask those who have been reading the Scripture before you. The truth has certainly come to you from your Lord, so never be among the doubters. Sura 10:94

Sahih International

And We sent not before you, [O Muhammad], except men to whom We revealed [the message], so ask the people of the message if you do not know.  Sura 21:94

Sahih International

And certainly were messengers denied before you, but they were patient over [the effects of] denial, and they were harmed until Our victory came to them. And none can alter the words of Allah . And there has certainly come to you some information about the [previous] messengers.  Sura 6:34

Sahih International

For them are good tidings in the worldly life and in the Hereafter.  No change is there in the words of Allah . That is what is the great attainment.  Sura 10:64

Sahih International

And recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book of your Lord. There is no changer of His words, and never will you find in other than Him a refuge.  Sura 18:27

My comment on this is, if you are a Muslim have you read the Bible which your own prophet claims to be from your God.  And if you are a Christian, you should see that Islam has nothing to offer for misunderstands much concerning the Scriptures.  Thus Islam is a self-refuting religion.

The violent Text in the Quran that seem to encourage violence and war.

Quran (3:151)- “We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve for what they have associated with Allah of which He had not sent down [any] authority. And their refuge will be the Fire, and wretched is the residence of the wrongdoers.”

Quran (9:4-5)- “Excepted are those with whom you made a treaty among the polytheists and then they have not been deficient toward you in anything or supported anyone against you; so complete for them their treaty until their term [has ended]. Indeed, Allah loves the righteous [who fear Him].

And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”

Quran (4:74-77; 89, 95)-  “So let those fight in the cause of Allah who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter. And he who fights in the cause of Allah and is killed or achieves victory – We will bestow upon him a great reward.  And what is [the matter] with you that you fight not in the cause of Allah and [for] the oppressed among men, women, and children who say, “Our Lord, take us out of this city of oppressive people and appoint for us from Yourself a protector and appoint for us from Yourself a helper?”  Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah , and those who disbelieve fight in the cause of Taghut. So fight against the allies of Satan. Indeed, the plot of Satan has ever been weak.  Have you not seen those who were told, “Restrain your hands [from fighting] and establish prayer and give zakah”? But then when fighting was ordained for them, at once a party of them feared men as they fear Allah or with [even] greater fear. They said, “Our Lord, why have You decreed upon us fighting? If only You had postponed [it for] us for a short time.” Say, The enjoyment of this world is little, and the Hereafter is better for he who fears Allah . And injustice will not be done to you, [even] as much as a thread [inside a date seed].”

“They wish you would disbelieve as they disbelieved so you would be alike. So do not take from among them allies until they emigrate for the cause of Allah . But if they turn away, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them and take not from among them any ally or helper.”

“Not equal are those believers remaining [at home] – other than the disabled – and the mujahideen, [who strive and fight] in the cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred the mujahideen through their wealth and their lives over those who remain [behind], by degrees. And to both Allah has promised the best [reward]. But Allah has preferred the mujahideen over those who remain [behind] with a great reward”

Quran (9:20,29) –  “The ones who have believed, emigrated and striven in the cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives are greater in rank in the sight of Allah . And it is those who are the attainers [of success].”

“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

Quran (9:30) – “And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!”

Quran (9:38-39, 123) – “O ye who believe! what is the matter with you, that, when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place.”

O you who have believed, fight those adjacent to you of the disbelievers and let them find in you harshness. And know that Allah is with the righteous.”

Quran (17:16) –  “And when We wish to destroy a town, We send Our commandment to the people of it who lead easy lives, but they transgress therein; thus the word proves true against it, so We destroy it with utter destruction.” 

Quran (18:65-81)“And they found a servant from among Our servants to whom we had given mercy from us and had taught him from Us a [certain] knowledge.

Moses said to him, “May I follow you on [the condition] that you teach me from what you have been taught of sound judgement?”  He said, “Indeed, with me you will never be able to have patience.  And how can you have patience for what you do not encompass in knowledge?”  [Moses] said, “You will find me, if Allah wills, patient, and I will not disobey you in [any] order.”  He said, “Then if you follow me, do not ask me about anything until I make to you about it mention.”  So they set out, until when they had embarked on the ship, al-Khidh r tore it open. [Moses] said, “Have you torn it open to drown its people? You have certainly done a grave thing.”  [Al-Khidh r] said, “Did I not say that with me you would never be able to have patience?”  [Moses] said, “Do not blame me for what I forgot and do not cover me in my matter with difficulty.”  So they set out, until when they met a boy, al-Khidh r killed him. [Moses] said, “Have you killed a pure soul for other than [having killed] a soul? You have certainly done a deplorable thing.  [Al-Khidh r] said, “Did I not tell you that with me you would never be able to have patience.  [Moses] said, “If I should ask you about anything after this, then do not keep me as a companion. You have obtained from me an excuse.”  So they set out, until when they came to the people of a town, they asked its people for food, but they refused to offer them hospitality. And they found therein a wall about to collapse, so al-Khidh r restored it. [Moses] said, “If you wished, you could have taken for it a payment.”  [Al-Khidh r] said, “This is parting between me and you. I will inform you of the interpretation of that about which you could not have patience.  As for the ship, it belonged to poor people working at sea. So I intended to cause defect in it as there was after them a king who seized every [good] ship by force.  And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared that he would overburden them by transgression and disbelief.  So we intended that their Lord should substitute for them one better than him in purity and nearer to mercy.”

Quran (47:3-4) – “Those who reject Allah follow vanities, while those who believe follow the truth from their lord. Thus does Allah set forth form men their lessons by similitude. Therefore when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners,”  

“But if it had been Allah’s Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of Allah,- He will never let their deeds be lost.”

Quran (48:17, 29) – “There is no blame for the blind, nor is there blame for the lame, nor is there blame for the sick (that they go not forth to war). And whoso obeyeth Allah and His messenger, He will make him enter Gardens underneath which rivers flow; and whoso turneth back, him will He punish with a painful doom”

My personal comments on this passage:

 Contemporary apologists sometimes claim that Jihad means ‘spiritual struggle.’  If so, then why are the blind, lame and sick exempted from Jihad?  This verse also says that those who do not fight will suffer torment in hell.

“Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard (ruthless) against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves”

My personal comments on this passage:

In other words, the Quran teaches Muslims to treat other Muslims with mercy and kindness but not so with those who are not Muslims.  They are to be treated harshly or painfully.

Quran (61:4) – “Surely Allah loves those who fight in His way”

Quran(61:9): “He it is who has sent His Messenger (Mohammed) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam) to make it victorious over all religions even though the infidels may resist.”

Quotes from the Hadith I truly do not know what to do with.

Bukhari (52:177) – Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say.  “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.”

Bukhari (52:256) – The Prophet… was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The Prophet replied, “They (i.e. women and children) are from them (i.e. pagans).” In this command, Muhammad establishes that it is permissible to kill non-combatants in the process of killing a perceived enemy.

Muslim (1:30) – “The Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people so long as they do not declare that there is no god but Allah.”

Muslim (20:4696) – “the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: ‘One who died but did not fight in the way of Allah nor did he express any desire (or determination) for Jihad died the death of a hypocrite.'”

Muslim (19:4321-4323) – Three separate hadith in which Muhammad shrugs over the news that innocent children were killed in a raid by his men against unbelievers. His response: “They are of them (meaning the enemy).”

Muslim (19:4294) – “When the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) appointed anyone as leader of an army or detachment he would especially exhort him… He would say: Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war… When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them… If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them.

Tabari 7:97 The morning after the murder of Ashraf, the Prophet declared, “Kill any Jew who falls under your power.” Ashraf was a poet, killed by Muhammad’s men because he insulted Islam. Here, Muhammad widens the scope of his orders to kill. An innocent Jewish businessman was then slain by his Muslim partner, merely for being non-Muslim.

Tabari 9:69 “Killing Unbelievers is a small matter to us” The words of Muhammad, prophet of Islam.

Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 992: – “Fight everyone in the way of Allah and kill those who disbelieve in Allah.” Muhammad’s instructions to his men prior to a military raid.

Far from being mere history or theological construct, the violent verses of the Quran have played a key role in very real massacre and genocide. This includes the brutal slaughter of tens of millions of Hindus for five centuries beginning around 1000 AD with Mahmud of Ghazni’s bloody conquest. Both he and the later Tamerlane slaughtered an untold number merely for defending their temples from destruction. Buddhism was very nearly wiped off the Indian subcontinent. Judaism and Christianity met the same fate (albeit more slowly) in areas conquered by Muslim armies, including the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Europe, including today’s Turkey. Zoroastrianism, the ancient religion of a proud Persian people is despised by Muslims and barely survives in modern Iran.

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, openly sanctions offensive Jihad: “In the Jihad which you are seeking, you look for the enemy and invade him. This type of Jihad takes place only when the Islamic state is invading other [countries] in order to spread the word of Islam and to remove obstacles standing in its way.” Elsewhere, he notes: “Islam has the right to take the initiative…this is God’s religion and it is for the whole world. It has the right to destroy all obstacles in the form of institutions and traditions … it attacks institutions and traditions to release human beings from their poisonous influences, which distort human nature and curtail human freedom. Those who say that Islamic Jihad was merely for the defense of the ‘homeland of Islam’ diminish the greatness of the Islamic way of life.”

The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives.

Some of the Companions of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Qur’anic verse: (Sura 4:24) “And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess.” (Abu Dawud 2150, also Muslim 3433)

There are several other episodes in which Muhammad is offered the clear opportunity to disavow raping women – yet he instead offers advice on how to proceed. In one case, his men were reluctant to devalue their new slaves for later resale by getting them pregnant. Muhammad was asked about coitus interruptus in particular:

“O Allah’s Apostle! We get female captives as our share of booty, and we are interested in their prices, what is your opinion about coitus interruptus?” The Prophet said, “Do you really do that? It is better for you not to do it. No soul that which Allah has destined to exist, but will surely come into existence.” (Bukhari 34:432)

As indicated, the prophet of Islam did not mind his men raping the women, provided they ejaculated within the bodies of their victims.

“We went out with Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) on the expedition to the Bi’l-Mustaliq and took captive some excellent Arab women; and we desired them, for we were suffering from the absence of our wives, (but at the same time) we also desired ransom for them. So we decided to have sexual intercourse with them but by observing ‘azl (Withdrawing the male sexual organ before emission of semen to avoid-conception). But we said: We are doing an act whereas Allah’s Messenger is amongst us; why not ask him? So we asked Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him), and he said: It does not matter (Sahih Muslim 3371)

In fact, female slaves were traded like any other simple commodity by Muhammad and his band of devoted followers:

“Then the apostle sent Sa-d b. Zayd al-Ansari, brother of Abdu’l-Ashal with some of the captive women of Banu Qurayza to Najd and he sold them for horses and weapons.” (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham/Hisham 693)

“…and then we attacked from all sides and reached their watering-place where a battle was fought. Some of the enemies were killed and some were taken prisoners. I saw a group of persons that consisted of women and children [escaping in the distance]. I was afraid lest they should reach the mountain before me, so I shot an arrow between them and the mountain. When they saw the arrow, they stopped. So I brought them, driving them along” (Sahin Muslim 4345)

The same hadith goes on to recount that Muhammad personally demanded one of the captured women for his own use:

I drove them along until I brought them to Abu Bakr who bestowed that girl upon me as a prize. So we arrived in Medina. I had not yet disrobed her when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) met me in the street and said: “Give me that girl.” (Sahih Muslim 4345)

The prophet of Islam and his companions used war to collect women for personal sexual use and for trading. Unless she was arbitrarily declared as someone’s wife, the woman became a sex slave. In no case was her fate tied to anything that she had personally done, nor was she given a choice about her future.

CLOSING REMARKS

This ends the list of quotes from the Qur’an and Hadith.  It is possible if not likely that this post will incite some to slander, anger, or other responses to be dealt out on me personally.  I would like to just ask this one question, “Is it right to be angry with someone for merely bringing attention to what a religious system teaches by quoting from their own valued sources.”  I am not spinning Islam into something it is not.  Nor am I condemning wholesale every Muslim as a terrorist.  I am merely pointing to the source and asking others to see it also so that we all can be informed what Muhammad and his religion taught.  Islam was founded by Mohammad and the Qur’an so it is certainly pertinent what they say.  Then let the people decide whether they want to follow it.  But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD!

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What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality?

Here’s a really good lecture given in Chicago concerning the issue of common debate in our culture.  Kevin DeYoung directs his address to those who believe the Bible to be the final authority in all matters.  In other words, his address seeks to correct the revisionist while also pleading with those sitting on the fence to have a stance.  I highly commend this video to you!

Blessings,

Stephen

Israel and the Land.

I have pondered this for a couple of years now.  I am wondering if any of you could help me out with this question.  It concerns Israel and the land.  I don’t doubt Israel being a unique people group that God has made promises to and will keep.  I don’t doubt a future for them.  My hope is that someday God will bring about a great revival once again in the Jewish people.  However, in my study of the covenants, people, and the land I do not understand the insistence that 1947 is somehow the fulfillment of that.  Or that Israel is currently entitled to the land now.  And here’s where my pondering begins. In the Pentateuch  God makes the promise with the Patriarchs of land, seed, blessing.  Throughout the Pentateuch we see God’s providence in bringing this about for the people of Israel.  When God is beginning to bring them into the land he warns them, that if they insistently rebel against Him, He will discipline them.  He doesn’t break the covenant.  But if they disobey this is what He says, He will do:

But if in spite of this you will not listen to me, but walk contrary to me, then I will walk contrary to you in fury, and I myself will discipline you sevenfold for your sins. You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters. And I will destroy your high places and cut down your incense altars and cast your dead bodies upon the dead bodies of your idols, and my soul will abhor you. And I will lay your cities waste and will make your sanctuaries desolate, and I will not smell your pleasing aromas. And I myself will devastate the land, so that your enemies who settle in it shall be appalled at it. And I will scatter you among the nations, and I will unsheathe the sword after you, and your land shall be a desolation, and your cities shall be a waste.

Then the land shall enjoy its Sabbaths as long as it lies desolate, while you are in your enemies’ land; then the land shall rest, and enjoy its Sabbaths. As long as it lies desolate it shall have rest, the rest that it did not have on your Sabbaths when you were dwelling in it. And as for those of you who are left, I will send faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies. The sound of a driven leaf shall put them to flight, and they shall flee as one flees from the sword, and they shall fall when none pursues. They shall stumble over one another, as if to escape a sword, though none pursues. And you shall have no power to stand before your enemies. And you shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up. And those of you who are left shall rot away in your enemies’ lands because of their iniquity, and also because of the iniquities of their fathers they shall rot away like them.  (Leviticus 26:27-39 ESV)

We this promise come true throughout the rest of the Old Testament.  Whenever Israel insist in rebellion God takes a wicked nations, destroys their land, temple, etc. and uproots them from the land.  And should they repent of their sin then God says this:

“But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers in their treachery that they committed against me, and also in walking contrary to me, so that I walked contrary to them and brought them into the land of their enemies—if then their uncircumcised heart is humbled and they make amends for their iniquity, then I will remember my covenant with Jacob, and I will remember my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land.  (Leviticus 26:40-42 ESV)

We see this also throughout the O.T.  Israel wakes up from a stupor of Idolatry and confesses their sin and God amazingly turns the hearts of wicked kings to bless Israel.  So let’s flash forward to the New Testament.  The long awaited Messiah, the fulfillment of ALL the covenants in right before their eyes, and the leaders and the people reject Him.  This would be a good place to read the parables with this all in mind.  They will begin to make a lot more sense to you with this history in mind.  Scriptures aren’t in a vacuum; they always have a context and history behind them.  Here’s example of what I am talking about.

And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’ But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.  (Matthew 22:1-10 ESV)

In the Old and New Testament God the King continued to send “servants” or prophets to the people who had the land “farm.”  Israel the tenants continued to kill of the kings servants.  The last one was Jesus.  As a result Jesus says that the King will be angry (sound like Leviticus 26:27?) and will destroy their city and give the land to someone else( sound like Leviticus 26:31-33?).  Then after some more parables, Jesus gives his woe cries against the leaders of Israel and the nation saying:

Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.  (Matthew 23:32-36 ESV)

What generation would fall into “this generation?”  The generation Jesus was speaking to of course.  Well Jesus is making some bold prophecies here! Did any of them come true?  Well, if you know your history you know what happened to the generation Jesus spoke to in 70 A.D.  Israel as a nation was scattered into their enemies land.  Their city was burned and destroyed.  And their temple demolished.  All as God in Leviticus and Jesus promised.  So here’s my question.  Why then do we now insist that Israel has rights to the land when they have yet to repent?  They have not received the Messiah.  In fact, they think less of Jesus than the Muslims.  Both wrong I may add, because Jesus is God and the Messiah.  But back to the question, what has Israel done, that we believe would remotely fulfill what God, who is currently disciplining Israel, calls them to?  There’s the question, your thoughts?

Preachers Threatened with Arrest for Preaching Jesus.

“What shall we do with these men?…But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.”  -Acts 4:16a, 17

“So they called them an charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.  But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right to listen to you rather than God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”  -Atcs 4:18-19

And so the story goes that these men and many more would not, no, could not be silent for they could “…not but speak of what they had seen and heard.”

I wish this were always true for me.  I mean, that I was so filled with passion and zeal that I could not be silent about my Jesus.

The Christian life today (in the western world) is becoming more and more parallel to the that of the Christian life of the early church.  In Acts, the disciples were met with threats for spreading the gospel in the streets not only from the common people of the city but also by the authorities.

Today, a father and son doing the same were met by the local police with the same threats.  The only difference today is whereas Peter and John had the support of the local church (Acts 4:23-31) for what  they were doing, we cannot say the same is true today. (Link to video here)

And Rob Bell is not the only one.  He is among  many other confessing Christians who portray anything outside friendship evangelism as simply rude and unloving.

Many Christians are told to “preach the gospel and if necessary use words.”  Along with these ideals are making sure when one “has to” use words never to use the words: sin, wrath, hell, judgment, penalty, death, etc.  Instead we are to use exclusively words like: love, peace, hope, etc.

There are at least two major problem with these ideals.

First, sharing, teaching, preaching, telling the gospel requires words because the very definition of “gospel” is “good news.”  It is impossible to share news without words.

Second, excluding words such as “wrath” eliminate for the sinner a reason to being saved (not to mention exclude in the gospel what the person is being saved from).

I am not opposed to frienship evangelism.  I think there is a place for it.  However, I don’t think it is always the best method for all circumstances (i.e. airplane ride, dieing person etc.).  I am also bound by Scripture; which sees a place for passionate filled saints to preach the gospel in the streets, whether culture sees it acceptible or not.

And finally, when you do proclaim the gospel, please don’t eliminate words that would defeat the very purpose of sharing it.

Let us stand with the Apostle Paul who has seen the risen Christ and could not be silent of Him thereafter.  And let say with him:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it (the gospel) is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes… -Romans 1:16 (parenthesis added by me)

America a Muslim Country?

According to this source President Obama has gone on the record in stating that he believed America could be considered (past tense mind you) “one of the largest Muslim countries.” This is interesting.  America should not and cannot be considered a “Christian Nation” according to our President but he has no problem considering it a Muslim one?  Is this a double standard?  I believe so.  Of course one could argue he doesn’t mean by what the nation stands for but merely by the population of Muslims in the country.  But this is what I mean by a double standard.  Because, should the same standard be applied to American concerning Christianity, he would have to say that America is indeed a Christian nation.

With the recent emergence of President Obama’s Muslim roots, it seems America has been duped by their television sets.  Now I am not saying whether he is a Muslim or not.  I will say this.  The church he was attending and the pastor he was being discipled under was in no way a Christian church.  They were a ethnocentric church who denied the trinity and gospel.  My opinion is President Obama is your typical American who is truly uncommitted to any religious system.  He may be a very religious person like many of the people I witness to in downtown chi-town.  But this is more often than not some religion each individual creates that is safe and comforting to them.

The President has also now announced the month of June 2009 as, “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.” We are still waiting to hear of the month dedicated to monogamous marriage.  However, those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender may be to bigoted to allow that to ever happen.  There are now 6 states that allow homosexuals to marry.  However, this has caused an uproar in the state of New Hampshire where the polygamist has cried out that if homosexuals are accepted why not them?

All this has reminded me of the book of Judges.  Now I know that America is not Israel.  So please do not misunderstand me.  However, God’s laws and decrees have not changed.  They cannot.  And what we are seeing happening in America is what happens to every culture that does not fear God.

Men do what is right in their own eyes.

I used to think that was saying a really bad thing about those people because they were trying to be evil by doing what was opposed to God’s law.  However, I have recently seen this verse in a completely different light in the last few months.

When it says, “that men did what was right in their own eyes,” it means that the people were legitimately trying to do what was “right.”  That’s not where the problem was.  The problem lies in where they allow their standard to be for discerning what is right.  That is “in their own eyes.”  Oppose to doing what was right in “God’s eyes.”

You see, the large majority of people, I believe, are more often than not trying to do what they believe is right.  The real problem is men know not what is right (Ephesians 4:17-18).  Jeremiah says that men’s hearts are “desperately sick.” And finally that men hate God (Romans 8:7).  So the only answer to their problem is the one thing they hate most.  And so, they are doomed to never know.  For they don’t know the answer and are unwilling to know it!

Unless…

We tell them.  They may very well hate us for it.  But if we truly care for them and love them, we will tell them.  And please beloved brothers and sisters don’t be shocked when they hate you.  Because they hated Christ as well.  Jesus told us for this reason they will also hate us.

One more thing.  if your purpose for telling them is based upon a love for man rather than a love for man being fueled by a love for God’s glory, you are guilty of humanism.  But I’ll leave that to another post 🙂

Blessings,

Stephen