I don’t spend much time looking at blogs but chanced on one the other day by a Campbell University Divinity School professor who, in winding up a blog about the volatile rhetoric connected with non-Muslim’s ideas about Islam (Christians should be nicer), had this to say as his last paragraph: “There may be no tears in heaven, but the Spirit of God on earth, I'm convinced, must be weeping.”
I felt moved to respond thusly: “From the last paragraph, may one conclude a sort of ambivalence on the part of God?” The professor, of course, has no knowledge of what or who concerning Heaven at this time but if God is there and not weeping, why would he, as Spirit in the world, be weeping here? Makes no sense, in other words.
I continued with this: “For words of genuine vituperation, John [the Baptist] set the stage early with this in John 3: “John would say to the crowds that were coming out to be baptized by him, ‘You children of serpents! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?’ (ISV).
But for outright chewing-out in no uncertain terms, check into Matthew 23, virtually the whole chapter, and find out how delicately Jesus tip-toed around the sensitivities of his hearers – hypocrites; twice as much a son of hell; blind guides; blind fools; strain at gnats, swallow camels; full of greed and self-indulgence; whitewashed tombs; full of dead men’s bones; wickedness; snakes; brood of vipers. And that was just one sermon. Imagine his lecture when Jesus lashed animals and men from the temple, that ‘den of robbers’ thing.
The modern-day vituperations pale in comparison with what Jesus had to say, and this is just a small example. Islam is evil…from its roots it’s evil. This is not a condemnation of Muslims, only of their religion, used now as before for purposes of satisfying the mandate of the Koran…kill the infidel.
Someone else reading the blog had this to say to me: “Do you have any Muslim friends? Do you know someone who is Muslim? Most Christians would never be able to separate their ‘religion’ from who they are as a person. So to say that you don't condemn Muslims, only their religion, is too easy. You obviously hate Muslims. Why not be honest?
Matthew 23 was directed at the self described religious faithful by an insider, a member of the family. In other words, it is a word to those who think they have sole possession of divine insight. Perhaps we should all recognize our own hypocrisy before using Jesus' words as justification for our own tirades against others.. The blogger’s name was Scott, someone I don’t know and I’m sure doesn’t know me. Of course, I had already said I didn’t mean Muslims themselves as evil, only their religion, which, indisputably even by them, calls for death to the infidel whenever and wherever possible. Not good enough for Scott!
So…I simply parsed his response:
Too easy? I find it very easy. I condemn Islam for just what it is – evil, and I’m being very honest about it. I made it plain that I was not speaking of Muslims, so your self-righteous escapade into passing judgment and thereby becoming God in your own eyes is very amusing. I don’t know you from Adam but I absolutely refuse to genuflect before you, your claim to Godhood notwithstanding.
Scott: Matthew 23 was directed at the self described religious faithful by an insider, a member of the family. In other words, it is a word to those who think they have sole possession of divine insight.
Okay…so Jesus was hard on the Jews for their wrong-headedness about doctrine and subsequent behavior…called ’em snakes. I’d hate to guess what he’d say to the imams today. After all, they’re just part of the family, aren’t they? You know – Ishmael and his gang…Abraham’s own. As to divine insight…yours or mine?
Scott: Perhaps we should all recognize our own hypocrisy before using Jesus' words as justification for our own tirades against others.
Naw…I’ll recognize yours, but you just leave my hypocrisy alone. And if Jesus could launch into a genuinely good tirade, I feel free to do the same, even using his very words. In Matthew 11, he condemned whole towns, put ’em on a par with old Sodom. The problem with a lot of folks is that they don’t understand that Jesus was as much blood-and-guts as he was sweetness-and-light. I kinda like that. Needless to say, this parsing was not posted on the blog as a response…probably too offensive to both Scott, perhaps a minister, and the professor.
In especially the mainstream denominations that are losing membership in huge numbers, the going thing is to accept that Allah of Islam is just an appellation for Almighty God of the Holy Scriptures. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Islam was concocted by Mohammad who lived 570-632 AD, an illiterate polygamist (probably 12 wives officially, one marriage consummated with a nine-year-old), who somehow co-opted Bible names and events, had someone write his words, created Islam and made Allah the god involved, a figment of his imagination.
There’s nothing wrong with pointing this out, especially at a time when Americans are in the crosshairs of the jihadists, who get their marching orders, including suicide/homicide bombings of women and children, from the Koran. The ministers and academicians who teach that Islam is to be respected as a religion in the same sense as Judeo-Christianity do a disservice to both God and country, as well as the students/congregants who are exposed to them.