If Jesus Doesn’t Know the Hour, Is He God?

Question posed to me by students studying apologetics:

“This is a question a lot of Muslims ask because they don’t believe in the Trinitarian attribute of our God and like to use Matthew 24:36 to “prove” that the Son and the Father are not one, but completely separate. So the question is, after reading the verse, how can Jesus the son be God the Father if God is omniscient and all knowing but Jesus does not know the hour and God knows the hour?”

This is how I answered:

The answer is based in what scholars have dubbed “the hypostatic union”, whereby Jesus Christ was both fully God and fully man. He walked and talked as a man, mourned as a man, suffered as a man, yet as God He was prayed to, worshiped, etc. We could certainly do a trinity, or deity of Christ study if need be, using John 1:1 (theos en ho logos), or in John 8 (before Abraham was I am) or Isaiah 7 (Emmanuel meaning God with us). In Micah He is called the everlasting father, etc.

But the emptying of himself on earth is described in Phil 2 “Who, being in very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man,he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death.”

Another example is in Hebrews 2 it states that “He was made for a little while lower than the angels.” We can infer from all this that Christ, during His earthly ministry, healed and did miracles by the father’s power, or the power of the Holy Spirit rather than His own. Therefore, having to live a perfect life as a man, He did this so perfectly or “fairly” may be a better term, that He did not know the day nor the hour.

If you are looking for a less intense, down and dirty answer, we’d simply refer to Revelations, which is a go-to place to witness to Mormons as well as those who practice Islam, since the deity of Christ is often attacked.

Ask, who is this that says in Rev 1:11 , “I am the alpha and omega, the first and last.” The Mormon, or Muslim will say that refers to God (or Allah they may say). Then ask, what about here in Rev 21:6, “I am the Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end.” Who is that? They will say, God.
Then we refer to rev 1:17-18. “I am the first and the last, He that liveth, and was dead, and behold I am alive forever more.” Who is this? They will say, that is God, to which you reply, “When did God die?”

Also, on a side note, The Quran of Islam states that God departed the law and inspiration to the bible’s profits, that he sent down the law of Moses, and the Gospel of Jesus, (Sura 2:87; 3:3; 4:163; and 5:46),  and that the word of God cannot be altered (6:34, 6:115). However, most Muslims will state that the bible has been corrupted and that the Quran must be trusted over the Christian bible. The real question is how can the Muslim trust the Quran, if in its very text it states to trust the gospels, and Allah’s words cannot be changed. Another way to state this is in a simple proof which the text bears out:

1 – If the Bible is true than the Quran is false
2 – If the Bible is false, than the Quran is false
3 – Therefore, the Quran is false

Please feel free to comment, and let me know if you have any additional thoughts in regards to this question.

If you are interested in my Christian Fiction, The Last Saint, please check it out here or on Amazon. 

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Genetics and Evolution

With molecules to man evolution hanging on the possibility that despite the complexity of DNA, mutations must somehow add to the genetic make up of an organism over time, the theory is truly struggling. Genetics is NOT a friend to evolutionary theory. Ignoring the magic elixir of “time” that evolutionists add to the mix in order to devise an acceptable probability ratio, we must conclude firstly that enough mutations will slowly (or quickly) transform one kind of animal into another (I sometimes can’t even believe this still needs to be discussed).

A couple of short points: You have heard of a gene pool, yes? This is an invention, a constructed idea of early population geneticists who were dedicated to Darwinism. The problem they faced is that most genetic mutations aren’t catastrophic in nature. They instead degrade, and interact with other nucleotides, to create a long term minimal effect. Genes are poly-dimensional, working many different ways as a language. Imagine a book that could be read forwards, and backwards, and using every other word, and using a cipher. This is the type of complexity we encounter. It is well known in genetics that one nucleotide, since it doesn’t affect enough of the whole organism, would not be enough to be selected or mutated beneficially to bring about a change. Rather, we know that several nucleotides would have to be changed productively at once. The gene pool constructs a visual that sells well, promoting the idea that out of this “pool” nucleotides can be mutated to change the overall composition of the organism over time without consideration for those other nucleotides it affects.

In other words, the ripple effect from being a multi-purposeful nucleotide would create so much “noise” and would affect the overall organism so little, that there is almost no correlation between that one nucleotide changing, and the betterment of the animal as a whole. You are talking about an almost atomic level of change.

We must therefore conclude that large “chunks” must change to create any real progress. So we must analyze this possibility.

Mutations within the human genome have been scrutinized and analyzed, and it has been found that most of the mutations are not “noisy” enough by themselves (changing a letter in a DNA strand, like a typo in a book) to be selected by mother nature to pass on, whether good or bad. These mutations are neutral, or un-selectable, and therefore cannot occur with enough impact to change the organism, regardless of time. Geneticists realize that most are neutral, and that because of this there would be no reason for  this information to be passed on to further a species up the evolutionary chain.

Furthermore, if we consider the ratio of beneficial to non-beneficial mutations, the vast majority are on the negative side. One experiment reviewed 10,000 mutations, and could only list 4 beneficial ones, which later all proved to be a net loss of information. Any that are actually considered beneficial mutations are usually in the neutral range anyway! This even further reduces the chance of benefit occurring, and being passed down.

Remember, evolution requires a high rate of beneficial mutations over time to succeed. This is not observably the case on any level.

There is so much more we could discuss, but this is a blog, and I just want to offer a sense of the trouble actual genetic science delivers to the evolutionary theory. Two more final notes. One is that considering that all of these nucleotides are multi-functional, if you do actually come up with a beneficial mutation that helps the organism in one way, there is no possibility that that change has also somehow benefited the way it is used in all of its other ways. It would disrupt how the information was read in all of its other variable forms, and therefore would only be beneficial in one sense, but damaging in all others.

Secondly, genetics ignores in its models the very real, and very detrimental concept of “fitness valleys”. Consider this: If 99.9996% of all mutations are either bad, or neutral, and those are occurring all the time, can you suppose a timeline whereby the positive ones somehow surpass the overall effect of all the negative ones to essentially make the organism healthier and more complex?  Food for thought.

6 E’s of authenticity

Frank Turek at Cross Examined teaches 6 evidences to consider that give us confidence in the authority of scripture, all starting with the letter E for easy remembering:

1 – Early testimony – As I stated yesterday as an example, the first writings of Buddha are approximately 400 years after the actual life of Siddhartha. By contrast, the New Testament was written before 70AD, many books completed only 17-21 years after the resurrection. This adds great veracity to the historicity of the text.

2 – Eye-witness testimony – Frank teaches that after extensive study, and just as one example, if we take the book of John and Acts, therein can be found over 140 details that could only be eye-witness details. On a side note, many of these are in Genesis as well, proving the authenticity of it too, such as the verified price of a slave at that time matching Joseph’s sale price.

3 – Embarrassing testimony – Would writers of their own story include Peter denying Christ 3 times? What about the Lord they followed and loved calling Peter Satan? “Get behind me Satan.” Or would it describe how the men ran and fled, and the women stayed on the scene of the crucifixion? Or that they were the ones who discovered the missing tomb, in a time where there testimonies were not held in as high of esteem as a man’s. These are in there, not because they help the story, but because they are true.

4 – Excruciating testimony -If you have read Fox’s book of Martyrs, you know the horrible details of the brave Martyrs following Christ, and spreading Christianity to the civilized world. The apostles were boiled, crucified, even upside down, and this was the same group that days before were running away, fleeing, unsure of why they followed Jesus, and fearing the repercussions of such a choice. What made such men do a complete 180, and declare Christ even in the face of death?

5 – Expected testimony – The story of Christ fulfills hundreds of prophecies! From where He was born to how He would die. Emmanuel that was promised in Isaiah 7 was expected, and what was expected was fulfilled. For a great example, please re-read Isaiah 53.

6 – Extrabiblical testimony – We have 10 ancient non-Christian sources, such as Josephus, which describe the basic phenomenon of Christ’s story. You can conclude that even those books that are not canonized scripture agree on the historical Jesus, His plight, and His following, lending veracity once again to the true narratives about Him.

For more from Frank Turek, and other great apologists, visit www.crossexamined.org. Also, he released a great book which I highly recommend called “Stealing from God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case”.

Islamic Extremism Part 4

As I try to wrap up this series, the next incident occurs, in Ohio this time. “A suspect was shot dead by police after he allegedly plowed into pedestrians with a car and then stabbed multiple people with a butcher’s knife at the Ohio State University campus in Columbus, Ohio, this morning, the university said.” – ABC News.

The name and identity of the attacker has just been released as I write this, one Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a Somali Islamic refugee.

When I wrote about the terrorist attack in Nice, France, I make reference to the politically correct challenges of realizing who conducted the action, knowing without being allowed to say, what faction or religion was tied to the event. We all kind of know, be we all kind of aren’t allowed to say anything. Well, when the assailant drove his car into a crowd, and then hopped out with a knife, stabbing at shocked pedestrians, we kind of knew. But of course, no one could say.

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We said as a final part to my series on Islamic extremism, we would  examine why extremist beliefs are found to be prevalent in Islamic countries. If you are just joining us, I am sure you consider this a bold statement, however, it is based off Part 3. Read that first before complaining. Also, I have already addressed the difference between the God of the Bible, and the god of Islam. The short version is, the Bible clearly teaches the trinity, and that Christ is fully God with us, while Islam teaches that Christ was not God or was even divine, didn’t die on the cross, and wasn’t resurrected from the dead. The Law of Non-Contradiction would stipulate that these are clearly not the same gods. For more on that, click here. Put another more blunt way, in Islam, their god asks you to die for him, while in Christianity, He loved us enough to come die for us. As proof, let us review some  Quran and Hadith Verses:

Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.

And there is the type of man who gives his life to earn the pleasure of Allah.

I would love to be martyred in Allah’s Cause and then get resurrected and then get martyred, and then get resurrected again and then get martyred and then get resurrected again and then get martyred.

Allah guarantees that He will admit the Mujahid (inner-struggler) in His Cause into Paradise if he is killed (we must ask why the inner struggle would result in death)

seeking death at places where it can be expected.

Nobody who enters Paradise will return to this world even if he were offered everything on the surface of the earth  except the martyr who will desire to return to this world and be killed ten times for the sake of the great honor that has been bestowed upon him.

they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth… and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme.”

As the Ayatollah Khomeini put it, “The purest joy in Islam is to kill and be killed for Allah.”

At a  youth convention in 1999: “Fighting for freedom, fighting for Islam, that is not suicide. They kill themselves for Islam.”

Back on task, let us look at Islam through the lens of history. The angelic visit for Muhammad happened supposedly in the year 610, when Gabriel appeared. After many years of meditations and visits, Muhammad recited to his band of followers the words he claimed to hear (many were from visions and trances, and many contemporaries believed him to be possessed by demons). This means that the very angel that appeared to the virgin Mary and told her that her son would be on the throne, and be called the son of the Most High God has allegedly revealed new revelation 600 years after revelation was closed and reinterpreted the bible to inform Muhammad that Jesus was not a deity. As a Christian, I am reminded of Paul’s words in Galatians 1:8 “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” Interesting to note that the revelation of Islam and Mormonism both appeared from an angel, as if Paul knew full well what dangers lie ahead.

Another not so small difference between the Gospel of Christ and Islam is the works vs grace component, which like most of the world religions, is in glaring opposition in regards to a means for salvation.

Note that there is no historical evidence of this Gabriel visitation, eye-witness accounts etc, and unlike the bible, the Quran is a revelation from one mind alone, therefore unable to be verified by historical texts and witnesses, not to mention the revelation is the result of no biblical prophecy, and instead stands in violation of biblical commands. This is compared to Christ who fulfilled many.

The prophet, Muhammad, conducted himself according to his beliefs, for what we believe determines how we behave. Jesus did the same, as He healed, taught, preached, blessed, and sacrificed Himself for the world. Muhammad’s actions were quite different. The goals being conquest, a political state based on Islam, which was quite definitively an earthly kingdom. If you are curious, there was a consequence for not wanting to pursue this same goal, if you practiced Islam, as many Syrians are finding out. Dr. Nasr Farid Wasel, former Egypt Mufti, said that all scholars agree that the punishment for rejecting Islam is death. The punishment is indisputably mentioned in the Hadith: ‘whoever changes his Islamic religion kill him.’

So did Muhammad pursue military conquests? Some would claim that Jihad is about the ‘inner struggle’. But facts regarding Quran content are as follows; In Bukhari (Hadith) 97% of the Jihad references are about war and 3% are about the inner struggle. At least 75% of the Sira (life of Mohammed) is about Jihad, and very little of it is about actual religion. Due to abrogation, as well as cultural differences, there is a great disparagement between Islam of the Quran & Hadiths (sayings & conduct of Mohammed), and the Islam as defined/practiced by your Muslim neighbor, American convert, or Muslim group living in the West.

So for insight into the extremist beliefs of those members of Islam that conduct themselves according to the beliefs and actions of Muhammad himself, and not the westernized idea of Islam, let us consider that conduct here, as compared with Christ:

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In 626 AD, Jewish tribes were exterminated.

Rape of the married women captives was condoned, often in front of the captured or dying husbands ([Sahih Muslim, Book 8, number 3371]; [Sura 4:24 -Also (forbidden are) women already married, except those (captives and slaves) whom your right hands possess. Thus has Allah ordained for you];  [In regards to finishing inside a victim of rape, a response of Muhammad’s as opposed to disavowing the rape of women – “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 (withdraw before finishing). No soul that which Allah has destined to exist, but will surely come into existence.” (Bukhari 34:432) -] ).

The ransom and beheading of prisoners was common.

In the last Jewish tribe in Medina (Banu Qurayzah), Mohammed decapitated 800-900 men in front of their families. This was 627 AD.

“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)

635 Muslims besiege and conquer Damascus
636 Muslims defeat Byzantines at the Battle of Yarmuk
637 Muslims conquer Iraq at the Battle of al-Qadisiyyah
638 Muslims conquer and annex Jerusalem
638-650 Muslims conquer Iran
639-642 Muslims conquer Egypt
641 Muslims control Syria and Palestine
643-707 Muslims conquer North Africa

Spain 711
Battle of Tours, France – 732
Moors 711 – 1492
1009 Destruction of the Church of the Resurrection by al-Hakim
1012 Beginning of al-Hakim’s oppressive decrees against Jews and Christians
1055 Confiscation of property of Church of the Resurrection
1071 Turks invade Palestine
1073 Conquest of Jerusalem by Turks
1076 Almoravids conquer western Ghana
1094 Byzantine emperor Alexius Comnenus I asks western Christendom for help against Turkish Seljuk invasions of his territory
1095 Pope Urban II launches the first crusade; they capture Jerusalem in 1099
1193 – Buddhists
1389 – Kosovo

1453 – Constantinople
1683 – Vienna
1917 – Israel – 1917 (Balfour Dec)
1922 – Armenians
Europe today (“Londonistan,” OIC, Sharia law)

780 years of the Reconquista

Over 17,000 terrorist attacks since 9/11 in New York.

Pursuit of Caliphate – Europe, America.

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This sampling of history, which is not taught when the west learns of Islam, may start to provide an inkling of where the extremist ideals originate. At some point, one is forced to honestly ask, are the peaceful tenants of Islam truly following the teachings of Muhammad at all?

 

 

 

Quick Warning on New Ageism

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I am seeing this a lot lately. A feel good platitude. A slogan. A new age, anything goes, faux-zen-enlightened bumper sticker. Upon close examination, it doesn’t hold water. I hope those who consider their salvation can think past this, and truly don’t hang their eternal souls on the slogans of new age inclusiveness. Especially since this mess of a poster violates the law of non-contradiction about six ways from Sunday. Unfortunately, most people will grab such slogans, like “the bible was just written by men”, or “God can’t make a stone so big He can’t lift it”, or “separation of church and state”, and compile them as a world view. They will then comfortably walk through life, believing wholeheartedly in a world view they spent no time investigating. H.G. Wells said this about our contemporary lives as it concerns people’s resounding inaction regarding the preciousness of life:

“But in these plethoric times, when there is too much coarse stuff for everybody and we struggle for life takes the form of competitive advertisement and the effort to fill your neighbor’s eye, there is no urgent demand either for personal courage, sound nerves or stark beauty, we find ourselves by accident. Always before these times the bulk of people did not overeat themselves, because they couldn’t, whether they wanted to or not, and all but a very few were kept “fit” by unavoidable exercise and personal danger. Now, if only he pitch his standard low enough and keep free from pride, almost anyone can achieve a sort of excess. You can go through contemporary life fudging and slacking, never really hungry nor frightened nor passionately stirred, your highest moment a mere sentimental orgasm, and your first real contact with primary and elemental necessities the sweat of your deathbed.”

If we research, even lightly, the veracity of this poster’s statement, we will find it severely lacking in truth. Without even addressing the glaringly obvious, commandment-breaking image of putting one of the million false Hindu gods on an even plane with Jesus Christ, God and Lord, creator of all things, we will ask were they all merely teachers of love? Does this discount the necessity of judgement, and offer only pleasure with no recognition of sin, and therefore render our desperate need for grace and Christ moot?  There is a flood to square with, as well as the destruction of Sodom, and the Canaanites, and the existence of hell. Does escaping the reality of a promised judgement for sin require us to simply pick a teacher/deity we like, and try to be loving?  And if you have been following along on my series, you know by now that other gods, other religions, don’t come close to the loving God of the bible. For more on that, please read through that, but one quick example for you is in the year 627; Muhammad decapitated 900 Jewish men in front of their families, and ordered troops to rape women, and enslave them. This was the last Jewish tribe in Medina. Ransoms and beheadings were common place. So judging by these actions, as well as other conquests in the name of Allah, to say nothing of polygamy, and the consummation of a marriage with a 9 year old, was Muhammad a teacher of love, like our feel-good poster suggests? Or were his actions self-serving?

What about Buddhism? Very zen and peaceful, yes? The value of human beings must be quite high in their thinking, right? An interesting story, since we are on the subject, has to do with the killing fields of Cambodia. The maimed and injured were pouring in to medical camps run by Christian missionary volunteers. The country was filled with Buddhists, but Christians were there in droves helping the wounded, ministering to the sick and dying. The Christians asked the local doctor why the Buddhists, considering their peace-filled worldview,  weren’t here helping any of the refugees, and why was it only European and American Christians. He said it was because in Buddhism, it is believed that karma determines your fate, and that these suffering people must have earned these troubles in a past life. It was their Karmic fate that brought them to this, not the sin of a fallen world. So they felt no obligation to help or “love” as our poster suggests.

Perhaps we can find love of people in a place that favors Hinduism, such as India? India, where rats swarm crops, decimating sometimes up to 50% of the food grown for the citizens there. The result of course is famine, and the poor health of India’s massive population. But in years past, they have continually chose not to exterminate these rats. Why? Because in their religion, these rats may be the reincarnated ancestors of peoples’ families, so their lives are important as well. As we zoom out and logically consider this world view, we can ascertain that these rats are being given equal consideration and worth as the human beings in Hindu culture. Even at the expense of their lives.

Does this reflect the same love as our Creator God? A love so great that He declares He knows every hair on your head? That He made you in His image? He came to earth to die for you? Do you sense your value as a son or daughter of the Lord, as compared to other world views? It is interesting that for all the bumper sticker slogans we have, when you get down to it, there is one God of love, and there is the harsh reality of other religions, and how much they devalue life. In these others, upon actual examination, you will find the worth of people on par with animals (Hindu), left to the fate of the universe (Buddha), solely dependent upon the whim of a conquesting god (Islam), or completely fluid based on moral relativism (New Age). The truth is much more beautiful, and hopeful, and yes, loving, then the slogan. But, this does not dismiss us from having to consider the truths of a holy God. That with perfect love, we must also examine perfect judgement. Both infinite attributes of a perfect Creator. So again we say, “determine your salvation with fear and trembling” – Phil 2:12

Islamic Extremism Part 3

When the world’s intelligence agencies arrive at the 15-25% of Muslims who are supporters of extremist thought, we must ask ourselves what constitutes extremism. As mentioned in Part 2, to have a barometer at all in regards to extreme action, evil, and sin, we must have an objective standard of good. As a Christian this standard is derived from the Word of God. With only moral relativism as our guide to determine what is right and wrong, we would be reduced to mere opinion, and those who carry the biggest stick will ultimately determine the rules for those around them. This is precisely why America, and before that England, were founded upon common law, and God given rights.

That being said, if we use this as a basis for what is right in God’s eyes, rather than man’s eyes (Judges 17:6 In those days … every man did that which was right in his own eyes),  we can determine what is extreme, or evil. The most obvious one is of course blatant terrorist acts, such as the planes crashing in to the towers on 9/11, the Fort Hood shooting, suicide bombers, the Boston bombing, the truck crashing through pedestrians in Nice, and many others. This is out-and-out murder, and it is quite obvious this behavior should not be condoned, which most American Muslims do not. However, it is interesting to note that though most Muslims are not terrorists, terrorists garner much of their support from governments and citizens who support them. These would be people who believe in Sharia law, and condone things such as suicide bombers, and honor killings.

For reference, here are a few key rules of the legal system of Sharia:

  • Theft is punishable by amputation of the right hand (above).
  • Criticizing or denying any part of the Quran is punishable by death.
  • Criticizing Muhammad or denying that he is a prophet is punishable by death.
  • Criticizing or denying Allah, the god of Islam is punishable by death.
  • A Muslim who becomes a non-Muslim is punishable by death.
  • A non-Muslim who leads a Muslim away from Islam is punishable by death.
  • A non-Muslim man who marries a Muslim woman is punishable by death.
  • A man can marry an infant girl and consummate the marriage when she is 9 years old.
  • Girls’ clitoris should be cut (Muhammad’s words, Book 41, Kitab Al-Adab, Hadith 5251).
  • A woman can have 1 husband, who can have up to 4 wives; Muhammad can have more.
  • A man can beat his wife for insubordination.
  • A man can unilaterally divorce his wife; a woman needs her husband’s consent to divorce.
  • A divorced wife loses custody of all children over 6 years of age or when they exceed it.
  • Testimonies of four male witnesses are required to prove rape against a woman.
  • A woman who has been raped cannot testify in court against her rapist(s).
  • A woman’s testimony in court, allowed in property cases, carries ½ the weight of a man’s because she “might forget”.
  • A female heir inherits half of what a male heir inherits.
  • A woman cannot drive a car, as it leads to fitnah (upheaval).
  • A woman cannot speak alone to a man who is not her husband or relative.
  • Meat to eat must come from animals that have been sacrificed to Allah – i.e., be “Halal”.
  • Muslims should engage in Taqiyya and lie to non-Muslims to advance Islam.
  • A woman captive of jihad may be forced to have to sex with her captors (now owners).

According to latest intelligence, 50% of the 200 million Muslims in Indonesia believe in strict Sharia law. 65% of the 80 million Muslims in Egypt want strict Sharia law placed in every Muslim country. 76% of Pakistan’s 179 million Muslims wish to place Sharia law in all Muslim Countries. Bangladesh is home to 150 million Muslims. 25% of them have said that suicide bombings are sometimes justified. With as much respect to peaceful Americans I can muster, I must logically conclude that this mindset is extremist in nature. If someone disagrees, I would be curious to hear the reasons why. By the way, 82% of them want strict Sharia law, and more specifically stated that honor killings of Muslim women can sometimes be justified. There are 54 million in Nigeria for Sharia, 62 million in Iran, 23 million in Turkey. All of Afghanistan (99%). In Jordan, Hamas, the anti-Israeli terrorist organisation has a 60% approval rating. I could go on and on (video summary by Ben Shapiro, and article), doing this with each country where Muslims have a majority. If we look at facts, determine our criteria to define extremism based on freedom, love, and grace, or more specifically on an absolute moral law regarding how to treat one another, as you can see we arrive at far more than 25% of the Muslim world who adhere to extremist beliefs. We are in fact in the 100’s of millions, unless someone wishes to defend Sharia as normative behavior.

The question isn’t whether or not Islam is violent. The question is, what do its followers believe? Because, as we know from teaching creation vs evolution, what you believe determines how you behave. A much more poignant and divisive question might be, why do so many believe this way? Where does this teaching stem from. For that we must compare Islam to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and determine just how so many are being influenced by what they believe to support evil. Again, I do not mean to be insulting, and if someone wishes to defend these actions as not evil, I am all ears. But my ardent wish is that Muslims will see the love and power of Jesus Christ through the gospels, and turn from Islam to the one true savior. I know this isn’t a popular notion here in America, and is looked at with disdain, and narrow-mindedness. But truth is difficult, and I don’t follow Christ because it is easy. I follow Him because it is truth. Christ Himself stated in Luke 12:51, “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division.” The truth is divisive, and as stated in part 2, tolerance can be a disguise for indifference.

In the final Part, we will examine why these beliefs are prevalent. Does Islam and the Quran promote such extremist thinking?

 

Islamic Extremism Part 2

There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, and over 8 million in the United States of America. To marginalize their numbers, or their hearts and beliefs, especially in a democratic republic that touts the civil liberty of freedom of religion, would be to fail in our mission to be the light of the world, a beacon on a hill. Prejudices, intolerance, hate, these are characteristics of fallen man, and are present throughout all of human history. This is why living in a republic can alleviate some of the failures of man, since governance is dictated by law, not by mob rule, public opinion, or dictatorial fiat.

Regardless of how well we have traditionally achieved following it, the law states that we do indeed have a freedom to practice religion, regardless of who agrees with it, as long as that religion is not infringing on the rights of others. It is this author’s opinion that the vast majority of Muslim Americans think this way, respect this approach, and the insinuation that all Muslims are prone to terrorism is a hurtful insult. In speaking with friends, or to the public, there is always tension between those who presume Muslims are all violent,  and those who may know some personally, fully realizing that the family or friends they know do not fit an extremist reputation. So do we… should we… have the uncomfortable conversation about where this reputation comes from?

The reputation comes from the same place that America’s reputation comes from when Europeans are asked about us. Known as silly, rude, debaucherous, self-entitled, America’s reputation comes from the loudest of us. Those that make the most noise, make the most ruckus, and in turn are highlighted most in the media and on-line. In a most similar fashion, the reputation of Muslim extremism comes from those acting out, in obviously horrible ways, according to their interpretation of Quran, their holy book they revere and follow. Only the events that spawn from these extremist individuals and groups are more than loud bravado. They are terrorist events.

Now, it is argued over how many of the 1.6 million Muslims could be considered extreme. If you listen to Hollywood, those who choose to terrorize wouldn’t fill a AAA baseball stadium. But latest intelligence reports suggest that between 15-25% of the Muslim community is extreme in its thinking. This means that between 240,000,000 and 400,000,000 people exist in the world that are dedicated in though and action towards the destruction of the Western World, i.e. those who are not Muslims, infidels, such as Christians, Jews, and others. In many cases, extremism is directed towards other Muslims who do not share the same brand of thinking, who do desire peace, but who are not spared.

400,000,000 people. I dare say this is more than can fit in a stadium. It is in fact more people than all of those who currently reside in the United States. So yes, I agree that this does not reflect the silent majority. But as always, we must look back through history and honestly discuss the reality of silent majorities. For example: Germany’s peaceful majority were not able to prevent the deaths of 60 million in WWII, 14 million of whom died in concentration camps (over 6 million Jews); Communist Russia’s peaceful majority were not able to stop Russia from killing 20 million of its own people; Communist China’s peaceful majority were not able to stop the killing of 70 million people; Japan prior to WWII had a peaceful majority that were not able to stop the slaughter across south eastern Asia of 12 million souls; Korea 3 million, Iraq 900,000, and Cuba, Syria, and so on, and so on…

But what criteria do I decide as an individual, or we as a country, that a certain mindset is “extremist” in nature. An excellent question. The answer if you are an atheist is, absolutely none! There is no logical means to determine an objective moral law in regards to anyone’s behavior if there is no standard. This is the true danger of moral relativism. Those who are in charge determine what is right and wrong. And depending on who is in charge, and how they feel about various issues, right and wrong can sway with the times, with mob rule, with the desires of the human heart, until even suggesting a society base its laws upon an objective morality would be an exercise in futility. Do you care for an example? In Turkey, this very week, a new bill proposed by the Turkish parliament will allow those who rape underage children to be pardoned for the crime as long as they marry the victim after the act.

Without a moral standard, who can clearly state that this is wrong? That this isn’t just how a certain pocket of people evolved, and within the borders of that sovereign nation, they have the freedom to conduct their society as they see fit? If this disturbs you, that means you have the sense of an objective moral law written on your heart. It is there, and according to the bible, it is written there by God. He has given us a standard, through His word.

This is the difference between freedom adjudicated via our God given rights,  versus freedoms granted to us by leaders, or by false teachings. We’d better be sure of whose morality we are approving. I would reiterate that the reputation of some does not give us the right to paint all with the same brush. But is it fair to ask tough questions? To point to obvious truths? To existing deviations from an objective moral standard? Some would declare this to be bigoted. Racist. But how long can the malignant growth of evil continue to not be challenged under the guise of kindness, before the voices of the suffering, and the dead will be heard? If your cry of tolerance keeps you from acknowledging evil, then your tolerance is simply disguised indifference.

In the next part, we will discuss, using an objective moral standard, what behaviors are extreme, and where they stem from.

For the Islamic Conflict Part 1,   click here. 

For Islamic Terror in Nice,  click here.

For “There is only One Race” is Racist, Click Here.

For God vs god (Biblical vs Quran), Click Here.