Thursday, February 22, 2007

Imitatio Christi

Christ carrying His crossThe other night at the Charlotte Courthouse demonstration I engaged in a lengthy discussion — well, an argument, really — with a Presybterian minister. I’ll call him “The Rev”, since I never caught his name.

The Rev counts among his friends a number of residents of the Jamaat ul-Fuqra compound in Red House, and he thinks that they are being unfairly maligned when we associate them with terrorism.

I pointed out that their founder and leader, Sheikh Gilani, is on record as supporting violent Jihad against Americans, and that members of the group have been convicted of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, fraud, and firearms violations, among other things.

But it was his contention that such things had nothing to do with the people in the Red House compound. I got the feeling that he considered the Muslims of America to be a big-tent organization, with room for peaceful Muslims here and terrorists there, a group that has something for everyone — with the possible exceptions of homosexuals and pig farmers, of course.

He has worshipped with these folks, taken meals with them, and coached their children. He knows that they are good people, and that they came to Red House so that they could practice their faith in peace. He said that it was wrong for me to judge people whom I have never even met.

I told him about some of the history of the Red House Compound — its use as a safe house for fugitive felons, the firearms stockpiling and subsequent arrests — but he waved that away impatiently. “You haven’t even met these people,” he said. “How can you justify going around spreading all this fear?”

Another participant in the discussion pointed out that the Koran explicitly prescribes violence against non-believers. This made The Rev especially voluble.

“Christianity has had its share of violence! The Bible has its own violent verses — ‘dash the babies’ heads to pieces’ and so on.

“Christ’s message to us is that we must love one another, and that love includes our Muslim brothers and sisters. This attitude of suspicion and hate is what’s wrong with the world today.”

After I came home, I thought about what The Rev had said, and I spent a little time looking up some of the violent verses in the Bible.
- - - - - - - - - -
The passage he referred to may have been from Hosea 13:15-16:

Though he may flourish among his brothers, the east wind, the wind of the LORD, shall come, rising from the wilderness, and his fountain shall dry up; his spring shall be parched; it shall strip his treasury of every precious thing. Samaria shall bear her guilt, because she has rebelled against her God; they shall fall by the sword; their little ones shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open.

Or it might have been Isaiah 13:15-16:

Whoever is found will be thrust through, and whoever is caught will fall by the sword. Their infants will be dashed in pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished.

For additional violence, consider the peculiar revenge that Elisha took on the obnoxious little boys, from 2 Kings 2:23-24:

Then he [Elisha] went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!” When he looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up forty-two lads of their number.

You have to really comb through the New Testament to find anything violent (except for the violence that was directed against Christians by their persecutors, of course).

The verse that is most often cited in this regard is Matthew 10:34:

[Jesus said,] “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

But only a superficial reading would take this to be a prescription for violence. The next two verses make it clear that Christ was predicting internecine — even intra-family — conflict between those who believed in him and those who didn’t:

“For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.”

The Koran, on the other hand, is rife with violent passages. Yoel Natan has compiled a selection of 164 verses explicitly directing the believer to wage violent jihad against the infidel. And those are just from the Koran itself, and not from the Hadith or the Sunna.

Here’s a selection:

2:190-191 …fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you… And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.

8:12 When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.

8:39 …fight with them until there is no more persecution and religion should be only for Allah

9:29 Fight those who do not believe in Allah…nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.

25:52 So obey not the unbelievers and fight strenuously with them in many a strenuous fight.

47:4 …when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners, and afterwards either set them free as a favor or let them ransom (themselves) until the war terminates…

If you compare these passages with those from the Old Testament, you’ll notice a big difference: the violence in the Koran is normative, while the violence in the Bible is descriptive. The scripture of the Christians and the Jews tells stories about violence, but the Koran requires believers to practice it on behalf of Allah.

In 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, and 2 Chronicles one can find descriptions of hideous carnage, but no directives from God to the Israelites to inflict the carnage.

The prophets repeatedly describe what is to come — the wages of sin to be meted out to the House of Israel. They do not direct God’s chosen people to commit such violence.

The exception is to be found in Joshua, which describes the occupation by the Israelites of the Promised Land; their instruction is to drive out the Canaanites.

But — and this is crucial — once the land is occupied by the tribes of Israel, there is no further divine mandate for slaughter. God did not order His chosen people to convert pagans to Judaism at the point of a sword, nor to kill those who refuse to convert. Judaism was never an expansionist religion, except via the command to “be fruitful and multiply.”

The core message of the Koran, on the other hand, is that all infidels must be converted, killed, or subjugated. Any redaction of this message would leave a lot of blank spaces in the holy text. One can always hope for a modern, enlightened reinterpretation of the book, one that removes the imperative for violence, but it’s very difficult to see how this could be done.

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The history of Christianity includes many instances of barbarism and violence, but such acts were never carried out at the behest of Scripture, but always in spite of it. No Crusader could cite chapter and verse to justify a particular bloody act. The members of the Inquisition believed themselves to be engaged in a holy and righteous cause, but they would have been hard-pressed to point to a passage of the Bible that required them to behave as they did.

Christ carrying His crossAnd what would Jesus do? If He had lived during the time when the Legions of the Prophet swept through the Holy Land, what action would He have recommended to His disciples?

“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” doesn’t work here, since, to a Muslim, Ceasar and God are the same person. The temporal and spiritual realms are not distinct; the political order is coterminous with the leadership of the True Faith.

Many modern mainstream Christian leaders seem to think that their religion requires them to kneel before any violent group and bare their necks to the sword. But if Christians in 732 and 1683 had followed this playbook, Christianity would no longer exist.

Christ commanded us to love our enemies, but does He require us to choose between abjuring Him and committing suicide?

Another side of Christ can be found in Matthew 21:12-13:

And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘my house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.”

A robust resistance to the unholy is incumbent upon all Christians, since the Kingdom will never flourish in a land of brutality and slaughter. It is time to overturn the tables of the beheaders and the seats of those who make the bomb belts.

The people The Rev broke bread with in Red House may be sincere, or they may be cynical manipulators. But, in any case, they are the smiley-face multicultural front for a group that is insidious, violent, and dangerous.

If Christians refuse to look this truth squarely in the face and deal with it, then Christianity is on its last legs.

Thanks to Ben of the 910 Group for help with the Koran research.


Subvet said...

I always take the quoting of violent passages from the Bible with a grain of salt. Elisha cursing the children for example. It sounds absolutely horrible but if anyone in modern America went through the wrong side of town, being called "Baldy" by a gang of toughts might be a prelude to having your butt whipped or much worse. As an example; a few years ago a man in Philadelphia was killed by kids ranging in ages 10-14. He'd annoyed them by chewing out one of the miscreants who'd mouthed off to him. A pair of female bears would have come in handy there.

We just don't know what exactly was going on when those verses were promulgated. Likewise with the verses from the Koran. I've read apologists who cite that as bad as Muhammed was,he actually improved life for women and infidels living under his rule. That reasoning gets a lot of traction with some. Had it been someone else (the thinking goes) they'd have been much worse off.

But we DO know what life is like in Muslim dominated countries today. Barbaric, backwards, violent and short. Anyone know of a Muslim country where peace & light flourish in the lives of all? Thought not.

Going with what happens today, not several centuries ago, we'd be idiots to blindly trust the followers of the pedophile prophet.

Just my opinion.

Indiana Juho said...

Actually, the Bible requires Christians to stay faithful and not renounce faith even at the risk of death in persecution. For example, in Luke 21:16 "And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death." and in Rev 2:13 "and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith". You asked it, so that is what the Bible says. However, I think it is permissible for a Christian nation to defend itself, "for he beareth not the sword in vain" (Rom. 13:4).

kepiblanc said...

Perhaps the good Presbyterian minister should refresh his Martin Luther :
On War against the Turk .

Charles Martel said...

We need to develop a Christian warrior ethhic in the West. An unapologetic, self-confident and courageous warrior ethic. Without it the West, and with it all of civilization, will perish.

I got into a similar discussion with my brother in law the the other day. He told me that we will prevail by bringing people to Christ one person at a time. And I told him that the descendants of Christians who practiced this approach today in the Middle East, Indonesia and North Africa are called Muslims.

The light of Jesus Christ is only know today because courageous men were willing to fight to protect Christiandom from the Islamic onslaught.

I'm not a biblical scholar, but I just know there is a biblical justification for a Christian warrior ethic. And if not in the bible, the Catholic catechism provides more than enough justification for defending oneself, one's loved ones and one's country.

Paul said...

The Rev was probably referring to Psalm 137, specifically the last verse. This is a Psalm of great depth. The Rev needs to spend some time reading Francis Schaeffer.

Psalm 137
1By the waters of Babylon,
there we sat down and wept,
when we remembered Zion.
2On the willows[a] there
we hung up our lyres.
3For there our captors
required of us songs,
and our tormentors, mirth, saying,
"Sing us one of the songs of Zion!"

4How shall we sing the LORD's song
in a foreign land?
5If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
let my right hand forget its skill!
6Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth,
if I do not remember you,
if I do not set Jerusalem
above my highest joy!

7Remember, O LORD, against the Edomites
the day of Jerusalem,
how they said, "Lay it bare, lay it bare,
down to its foundations!"
8O daughter of Babylon, doomed to be destroyed,
blessed shall he be who repays you
with what you have done to us!
9Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones
and dashes them against the rock!

Papa Ray said...

"We need to develop a Christian warrior ethhic in the West. An unapologetic, self-confident and courageous warrior ethic."

There are several subsets of America that still have the Christian Warrior ethnic, though it has been diluted over the last several hundred years.

But in America, today, those subsets, groups, sections (or however you want to say it) are looked on with distain, revulsion, ethnic slurs and even crude humor. They are called and classifed racist, extremists and worse.

There is no place for them in modern America which is run, modeled and policed by the liberal socialists and their imitators.

Texans have been one of those subsets that have been the target of all of what I mentioned above, and within that group, a subset that is kin to others in this Republic, the Rednecks bear the brunt of the ridicule.

Since I count myself as a member in good standing of the Texas Rednecks Association, I on one hand resent the ridicule but on the other hand, could give a rat's ass less.

We as both Texans and Rednecks have a deep Christian Warrior ethic that goes back hundreds of years. We definately are unapologetic, self confident and sometimes way too courageous.

We are prepared for the unthinkable, the unbelievable and we still remember how to live without electricity and the help of the state.

We will survive. We will prosper, no matter what befalls this Republic.

Papa Ray
West Texas

Yoel Natan said...

Thanks for reference my 164 Jihad Verse list! :)

Francis W. Porretto said...

"If Christians refuse to look this truth squarely in the face and deal with it, then Christianity is on its last legs."

Thank you for this, Baron. It's a major bone of contention between persons such as myself, who believe that Christians can and must defend themselves and their societies against Islamic incursion, and Christians who hold that the Redeemer's command to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" forbids such a defense.

The heart of the "Golden Rule problem" lies in its implementation: How am I to know what Smith would have me do unto him? Since it's a perfect Kantian categorical imperative, I must assume that Smith lives by it as well: that what he'd like me to do unto him is what he's currently doing unto me. Thus, the Golden Rule functions both normatively, and as a simple heuristic for appropriate behavior.

Our faculty for violence was given us for a reason. Some of its uses are good, and others are bad. But God wastes not; He did not equip us with any of our abilities to no purpose whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

Charles Martel,

We need to develop a Christian warrior ethhic in the West. An unapologetic, self-confident and courageous warrior ethic.

Sounds good. Where, when, and how do we start?

Ben said...

You have been confronted with argumentum tu quoque: "You're one, too.," even if true, it does not diminish the evil of the person casting it.

Unlike Christianity, Islamic scripture contains generally applicable & interminable commands to engage in Jihad, genocide & terrorism. Use your favorite search engine to find and read the following: 8:39, 9:29, 8:67, 47:4, 33:26, Bukhari1.8.387 and Abu Dawud38.4390 . The above referenced ayat & ahadith are available in Powerpoint presentations you can attach to email. You can download them from Crusader's Armory.

abuTrevor said...

An excellent article, Baron. It's very important to counter the dangerous belief that "all religions have violence in them".

SouthernFriedBear said...

We need to develop a Christian warrior ethhic in the West

We have one... just seems forgotten sometimes.

Revenge and murder are forbidden, not self defense.

PapaBear said...

Luke 22:
[35] And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.
[36] Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
[37] For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.
[38] And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.

When Jesus was preparing His Apostles at the Last Supper, He did not intend that they go on vulnerable to any highway robber they might come across.

Turning the other cheek is not the same as submissively baring your throat to the wolves of the world

Rumpole said...

Luther's doctrine of the two kingdoms helps this discussion. The kingdom of the right is church on earth made up of all believers. It is governed by grace, love and all things Godly. The left hand kingdom is the world as it is. It is governed by logic, power, force and all things material. The kingdoms can not be combined. "If my kingdom was of this world.." Christianity has strugled with this over the years with the Pope appointing political leaders, Calvin establishing his New Jerusalem in secular Geneva and the current movement to have a so called Christian legislative agenda to use earthly power to advance faith. Luther once said "I would rather be governed by a competent Turk than an incompetent Christian". A radical thougth for his time and perhaps ours, but Biblically sound.

Always On Watch said...

An excellent and thoughtful posting! Thank you for taking the time to do this research.

Yorkshireminer said...

Dear Baron,
do we need a Scriptural justification to defend ourselves, from a totalitarian fascistic political system, strip away the religion and we are left with a dark age version of the Nazis.

cold pizza said...

Charles Martel raised the idea, so bear with me on this essay:

On Being a Christian Warrior (part 1)

Baron Bodissey, in his blog entry “Imitatio Christi,” made reference to the cultural differences regarding violence as taught by Christians compared to those ideas taught by Muslims. The point being that violence in the Christian (and Jewish) scriptures are descriptive, that is, stories of violence, while the violence in the Koran is normative, a direct requirement that those who profess belief in the Koran are required the practice violence, or to wage jihad, against the infidel, the unbeliever. Contributor Yoel Natan, on his website, lists 164 versus from the Koran that explicitly call for violence against unbelievers.

While the Christian scriptures do not call for Christians to take up arms and go a-conquering for their Lord, neither do they call for us to kneel meekly on the ground waiting for the axe to fall. The high ideals of Christ-like love and charity towards others does not mean surrender to those who wish us (and our families) harm.

Confusion arises because most people don’t really understand what it means to be a Christian. There are ingrained images of meek Christians being forced into the arena of ancient Rome, “being fed to the lions” as it were. However, there is an essential difference between being persecuted as a matter of state politics, no matter how unjust, versus being attacked by an outside invading force.

For people living under a political rule, unless they are slaves within the system, there usually exists an option to emigrate. In the case of Rome, emperors used the threat of Christianity to unite disparate factions of the political system together, giving Rome a common enemy and providing a scapegoat to divert attention away from the empire’s failings. The strength of Christianity was evident in its ability to survive in Rome, despite the persecution, and to thrive in other areas of the world where the upstart religion wasn’t seen as a threat to the established political base.

More to follow....

cold pizza said...

On Being a Christian Warrior (part 2)

Christ recognized the distinction between the kingdom of men on earth and the Kingdom of God in heaven. But just because His kingdom was not of this earth did not mean that He did not recognize the need for earthly kingdoms to exist or to govern.

Christianity was not meant to be a conquering religion because one cannot force another to have love and charity—these ideals have to be internalized before they can be efficacious. Christianity is predicated on the idea of agency and accountability. We are free to choose for ourselves who (or what) we will serve, knowing that eventually there must be an accountability taking place. All will stand before God to be judged.

The idea of the Christian warrior, while rooted in the crusades, does have latter day merit, if one can distinguish the motivation from the action. Motivation in Christianity has to boil down to faith in God and Christ and a trust in the exalting principles of the gospel. There must be recognition of the underlying brotherhood of man and great sorrow when all other attempts at peaceful settlements have failed, for Christianity IS a religion of peace for those who fully practice it. There is a peace of mind that comes from knowing one is reconciled with God’s will, which is NOT concerned with conquest and loot. God’s will is that we learn to follow the example of Christ, to learn to love and forgive our fellow beings, knowing that with the same critical eye we render judgment, we will in likewise be judged.

Can one love and forgive one’s enemies, while engaged in battle with them? As a practicing Christian who served in the military for over 20 years, I believe we can. Many of our current enemies, the radicalized Islamists, have known no other ideas other than the radical ideas they’ve been subjected to since birth. For all intents, they’ve lost the agency to think and act “outside the box.” Many of these most dedicated young men have offered themselves up as cannon fodder because they recognize the hunger in their souls to prove themselves before their God. No man is evil in his own eyes. I would that there could be some other course, but since they are unable to change and are acting according to their own levels of agency, my agency means I must put myself between them and those they would harm.

More to follow….

cold pizza said...

On Being a Christian Warrior (part 3)

I recognize their humanity and I weep for the lives that could have been, as I know God must sorrow to see what His creations have become to each other. But I also recognize I have a duty to defend the principles of freedom, including the freedom to worship in a manner which I believe is acceptable to God.

It is for my family and my friends, for my countrymen and the principles of liberty and agency that I take up arms in defense. It is for faith that all men should be free to worship according to the dictates of their own hearts that I take up arms in defense. It is on behalf of those who rescued the world from great evils over the last century, who have no strength remaining, their fight having been fought, that I take up arms in defense. It is for those who have no appreciation of the freedoms they enjoy, who feel the need to criticize, bicker and demean all that is good which surrounds them, even for such as they will I take up arms in defense, for they really have no clue and I do not hold them accountable, in the hopes that someday, they will get a clue.

The sins of the fathers MUST be visited upon the children, for the children learn to repeat the sins of the fathers. If any are to be saved, the generation that promulgates violent jihad must be eradicated. Not for revenge. Not for glory. Not for conquest. But so that future generations, who are willing to live together in peace, are given that opportunity.

Oh thus be it ever, when free men shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation
Blessed with vict’ry and peace, may the Heaven rescued land
Praise the pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just
And this be our motto, in God is our trust
And the Star Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave
-Francis Scott Key


Baron Bodissey said...

Yorkshireminer --

I don't need a scriptural justification to defend our way of life. But I need to learn to argue effectively with those who frame the issue in scriptural terms.

The "suicide Christians", that is.

freecyprus said...

Problem is, the majority of Christian leadership of most denominations caught the same liberal coward suicidal disease which is afflicting the rest of western society. Christ in the New Testament speaks in parables to drive his point home, passages such as "if your right eye offends you, pluck it out", or "turn the other cheek" are meant to challenge the hearer to maximum saintliness, but are NOT to be taken literally, which is why the early Christians recognized the legitimacy and necessity of violence by the state to protect the citizens, whether capital punishment or armies making war, regardless of how many liberal theologians try to misrepresent their views.

A return to a vibrant, practical Christinaity in touch with the real world is desperately needed. For example, metaphorically speaking, it's a fact of life that if someone kicks you in the balls, if you don't kick him right back, he'll likely do it again to you and most likely to other people. So, the return kick should be delivered, but not motivated by vengeance, but the desire of the initial kickee avoding incurring further sin to his soul by a repeat performance, or victimizing other people, and this is done by the return kick making him realize that in general, kicking people in the balls is a bad idea. Of course, one should always thoroughly explore whether this could be achieved in other ways beforehand, but if not, it's got to be done. In any case, the approaches other then vigorous self-defense have failed to have any effect with the muslims for centuries now.

In following the injuction to "love your enemies", one has to remember the Christian meaning of love - and I believe Peter in an epistle, speaking of love, says fathers discipline the sons they love. Love isn't letting the kids skip school, and eat all the candy they want. Further you have a Christian obligation to protect the vulnerable, you cannot "turn the other cheek" for another person, that is just an excuse for cowardly, immoral conduct. Letting your enemy commit violence against your friends does not show Christian love, neither to your friend, whom you owe protection, nor to your enemy, who needs to be corrected, with words if he will listen, with actions if he won't. Mercy is powerful, and has its' place when it is likely to be effective, but unconditional mercy applied not wisely on a case by case basis, but summarily to all wrongdoers and at the expense of their victims, is not mercy but injustice, and 90% of the time not committed out of a naive concept of saintliness, but simply cowardice.

Basically, the problem is that a large number of Christian leaders have gotten used to capitulating reflexively on issues and then misrepresenting the New Testament to make a virtue of their cowardice. For example, Ratzinger send the US bishops a sealed directive that catholic pro-abortion politicians must not be allowed to cynically claim affiliation to the catholicism which they don't adhere to in order to get votes, and therefore should be denied communion. Well, the democrats threatened to take their tax exempt status away and the bishops immediately capitulated. Their cowardly decision to enable child sexual abuse rather then confront and discipline the perpetrators reveals the same mindset, and you can bet mercy and forgiveness figured prominently in the justification of their vile actions. And I bet a lot of pedophiles come across as very charismatic and “nice” people.

You can't expect a group of people that don't understand the necessity of defending Christian ideas and demanding moral conduct in their priests to understand the necessity of protecting the vulnerable from violent predators. Hey, an altar boy gets raped by a priest, a Christian gets killed by a muslim, let’s just "forgive" the perpetrator instead of defending the victim, we can feel safe we won't be targeted AND we can feel SUPER righteous. Well, it doesn't work that way, you have a duty to contend for the faith and the vulnerable. But they sold out a long time ago, and they got the honored place at feasts they wanted, and that was all they cared about when joining the church. I suspect other churches have similar problems amongst their leaders.

Basically, the minister you spoke about is doing the equivalent of a rabbi socializing with SS leaders, because they didn't yet do anything bad to people he knows personally, and he is SEVERELY derelict in his duty as watcher of Christ's flock in not being aware of the hundreds year historical record of muslims plundering Christ's flock. He is "forgiving" something it is not his place to forgive because it wasn't done to him personally, and getting puffed up with self-righteosness in the process.

Muslims are in error as to the nature of God and guilty in condoning the viscious crimes of Muhammad against Christians and others and adding to them. The loving thing to do, and the minister's duty as a preacher of the gospel, is to point that out. But they would respond with hate and violence. So the minister misleads them by condoning, not challenging, their false beliefs and wicked acts, so essentially he sells out the Gospel he vowed to preach in the name of “love”. The guy is a first rate pompous coward and pharisee. Plus he also sounds like and idiot in not knowing the Old Covenant has been ABROGATED by the New Covenant revealed by Christ, so that the passages in the Old Testament he refers to are historical. I don’t need to personally know any SS officers to know their conduct was wrong and they were immoral.

I think the violence which follows a preaching of the Gospel to the recalcitrant immoral (such as the muslims) is what Christ referred to when he said that he came to bring a sword on earth, not peace, and he warned his disciples to be worried if all men like them and they do not meet violent opposition to their message from wicked men, because it means they are not preaching the gospel properly and sticking up for the defenseless and thereby drawing the wrath of the powerful and the wicked. That guy is a first rate false prophet and a Pharisee, and I have no doubt he gets along great with the followers of the anti-christ. Birds of a feather flock together. He is serving the same guy, but he puts on the uniform of Christ to sow confusion among Christ’s flock.

Profitsbeard said...

As an agnostic, I have instincts, grown from several billion years of biological common sense, to answer any attempt by intolerant, imperialistic theocrats to enslave or destroy this hard-won being and intelligence that the Great Mystery has cast into our human form.

Our immune system is 'Bible' enough for me as a model for what needs to be done in natural response to the expansionistic terrorism of the warlord "prophet"'s minions from Mecca.

Jesus's parents didn't wait around to let Herod's soldiers disembowel their child, but hot-footed it to Egypt.

(And I suspect that carpenter Joseph would have even taken a two-by-four to a centurion's head if he had tried to kill the infant Jesus in some border oasis.)

Christ's message is profound.

Mohammmad's mundane.

I'll fight to prevent the retrograde Islamic impulse from levelling the world backward to one of cowing, unskeptical slaves.

And reducing humanity to a type of mindset that would not be able to comprehend Jesus' saying:

"It is not what goes into your mouth, but what comes out of it that makes one 'unclean'."

Islam is still in the cago cult / zombie zone of fearing pigs and dogs and women's blood and aims at killing all who dare say "I think otherwise."

I think otherwise.

Darrin Hodges said...

After the screening of "Islam: what the west needs to know" last Thurday in Sydney I posed the following question to the audience, knowing that at least half of them were practising Christians: "Does anybody think that today's church would be capable of defending the gates of vienna (as in 1683)?"

They all agreed that it would not.

Anonymous said...

FAO Cold Pizza,

Great essay, mind if I borrow it? There's a couple things I'd differ on, but on the whole it looks pretty spot-on.

Unknown said...

Hello. This is the "Rev", or Sam Weddington whom you seek to discredit in this blog. Just wanted to let you know that I was referencing Psalm 137:9. I could go on with the list, but I won't waste your time. Also, by the way, I am well read on Martin Luther. I would simply point out that Luther was also an Anti-Semite, and as such, he had little to say that was positive about other faiths (thus, we are "Reformed, yet still reforming" Ecclesia Reformata, Semper Reformanda; Luther wrote the pamphlet "On the Jews and their lies" in 1543, an almost proto-nazi handbook). In the end, we will all choose to believe what lies in our heart of hearts. I stand with Christ's teachings to love one another, and to pray even for my enemies. I wish you all a good day, and I pray without ceasing for you.
-The "Rev", Sam Weddington

Baron Bodissey said...

Sam, Glad to have you here.

In what way did I seek to "discredit" you? Have I misquoted you, or misrepresented your views, or changed the meaning in any significant way of what you said that night?

If so, please give me the details, and I will update my account.

If not, then I think you are in conversation with people who simply disagree with you.

Unknown said...

When I refer to "discredit", what I meant was that, judging from the article and the response to it, me and my theological position is being dismissed and discredited and nothing more than an extension of liberal Protestant theology and Christian pacifism. I will commend you for quoting our conversation correctly. However, what I really took issue with was your assertion: "...with room for peaceful Muslims here and terrorists there...." You know, as well as I do, that in our discussion I maintained that I do not believe that the people who live in Red House have any connection with terrorism. You may think that I am picking at words, but it is in the detail of words that meaning and resolution can be found. I have done research on this community and others. I realize that there was a couple arrested at this community a few years ago on gun charges. However, it takes more than a handgun charge to make one a terrorist. I would just point out that I have had people under my pastoral care that have run afoul of the law as well. In the end, what I believe is that the people of this community genuinely seek to live their lives peacefully. While some may seek shelter there under false pretenses, this does not adequately represent the truth of the community's religious commitment. I would also point out to those who would respond to those who would charge me with "pie in the sky" liberalism and pacifism that I am not a pacifist. In fact, I count myself one who very much believes that the secular, civil order is needed to maintain control over the evil tendency towards disorder and destruction that lies in the hearts of people living in human society (i.e. to give short leash to the "sinfulness" of human beings in the city of man, to borrow from St. Augustine from whom Luther borrowed his two cities metaphor). However, it is my belief that the secular order's power to maintain order and establish laws is predicated upon God's law of justice and compassion, and as such, all such use of force must be exercised with an eye towards equity, fairness, and the establishment of truth. It is to this end that I support the members of this community to whom I credit the attempt to live their lives in accord with their own religious conscience and under the rule of law of the "city" in which they find themselves. Thank you and I will still be praying for you.

cold pizza said...

mrsmith, if there's anything you can use, feel free.

I believe we have each been given a portion of Divine light by which to make our way in this dark world. When we each contribute from the light we have been given, we can each see further together than we can alone and facing the dark. cp

Anonymous said...

Strong echoes of the Silmarillion there. Nice. Thanks CP. I'll tidy that up and post it tonight (GMT)

Dan tdaxp said...

This ties into my thoughts on early Christianity as an insurgency, especially the section on Islam.