The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.
– Barack Obama
These now famous words of the President of the United States were spoken at the U.N. General Assembly September 25, 2012.
This author is of the opinion that French Magazine Charlie Hebdo’s satirical depictions of various religions and leaders are often disrespectful and over the top. I also completely agree that in a free world they did, and always will, have the right to express their views without fear of reprisal and death.
In the free world and in the Christian schools and seminaries of the United States are found works that examine every religion and religious leader known to man. It is because we can examine the lives and teachings by which we are guided that we can also avoid spurious, false and dangerous religions and false teachers.
The list is enormous and it is not biased by anything except the desire to compare what emerges as true and what is simply falsehood and potentially dangerous. In schools where the Bible is the guide the scrutiny is even greater. In fact, even Christian leaders come under heavy scrutiny including the Pope. It is not for satire, but for far more serious purposes to wit:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (2Tim 3: 16)
In Biblical Christianity God is said to have many prophets, but only one begotten son. To this day he is slandered and his followers are scoffed at, maligned and killed like so much refuse. Christians being taught to turn the other cheek do not resort to violence nor strike out against their persecutors – how convenient for the violent. How convenient for Islam!
Exposing and becoming familiar with the false religions of our world does not give us a platform from which to slander, but a foundation on which to stand against dangerous and harmful falsehoods.
Acts of gross violence committed by Islam, whether extremist or not, have spurred deep and pervasive studies into the roots, history and practices of Islam. It is the same scrutiny used to uncover falsehoods and extremes in any religion. Why should the Koran and all of Islam be exempt from such scrutiny? It is not exempt in a free world.
The list of the questionable in religion is enormous. We have scrutinized ancient movements and modern teachers. Some of the matters uncovered are significant while others may just raise a caution flag, let’s view just a few.
Freedom to question and scrutinize is why we want to know why Rick Warren is so confused about homosexuality being a sin. It is also why we question Joel Osteen’s decision not to use common biblical terms like sin, judgment and hell in his sermons. It is no witch hunt it is a quest for the truth.
We know the Jehovah’s Witness “New World Translation” of the bible is filled with errors that a novice in the study of the Greek language could ascertain.
We know that the entire narrative of the book of Mormon is highly suspect and the golden plates that they were said to be delivered on are conspicuously missing.
We know that while some religions are wrong others may have started right and simply went wrong such as the Jim Jones movement of the David Koresh movement. We could include the Spanish Inquisition in this category.
We know that being an ancient and much revered religion counts for little. Error is ancient as man and idolatry is as persistent as time itself. Ancient Aztec and Inca religions were well accepted in their day, but chose to sacrifice humans to perpetuate their error. Little wonder they don’t exist today.
Under this kind of scrutiny we have found that the Koran is a highly questionable revelation based on the life of a man who was like any other man, a sinner, with a history that leaves much to be desired. To us – he is no prophet at all.
It is the honest examination of the book and the man that draws us to make these conclusions not just an aversion to Muslims or Islam. This kind of scrutiny is what separates those in the free world from those who are driven by deadly ideologies passing themselves off to an unsuspecting world as a “great religion.”
History has warned us that just as a single man can slide into deadly error and entire nation and a good part of the entire world can go the same way. Nazism, Communism, Mao-ism, Kim Jong-ism; attest to the kind of truth that must not be ignored.
The only enduring, life affirming religion man has ever seen, turns out to be no religion at all, but a body of believers touched by the Savior of the world who said…
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (Jn 10: 10)
In our confused world we are constantly making the decision to label those who attack and kill others in the name of Islam “extremist” or “radical.” The compunction to apply this label in most cases is naïve and dishonest. The truth is that it is the book that Islam uses as it source that calls for the death of all who will not become part of Islam. Muslims are just Muslims, no more and no less, it is the source of their guidance that decides whether they are extremists.
To the degree they take seriously the right to kill unbelievers in Islam is the degree to which they are extremists. This arbitrary line between the so called “moderates” and “extremists” may be only a single day apart.
What magical invisible line keeps a moderate Muslim from becoming an extremist overnight? In fact, there is no line imagined or real. If the moderate decides to get serious about the Koran today he or she will be an extremist tomorrow.
Mohammed has been dead since the seventh century. There is little chance he may feel any insult from the living. But reality begs us to consider that Christ and his Father, the Almighty Creator of all life is not a God who is dead and he is not the God of the dead.
I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. (Mt 22: 32)
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