Daily Archives: March 1, 2012
The rhetoric against Islam has been growing louder recently. Some of our guys burned some Korans by mistake, apparently, and the usual ultra-overreaction among Muslims has transpired. (But it’s okay for Muslims to burn Bibles.)
Every time this happens it reminds me of what Jewish non-believers did in reaction to the teachings of Jesus and the apostles. There were so many incidents in which those Jewish non-believers went stark raving crazy and instantly wanted to kill and maim and butcher and slander and what have you. They eventually had their way against the Lord. They were responsible for killing many followers of Jesus in those early days. The Gospels and Book of Acts are filled with such incidents. The Lord called the ringleaders children of the devil, and He meant that literally.
Of course, what has often been lost in the conversation is the fact that our Lord Jesus had a perfect Jewish ancestral pedigree, as did all the apostles and every single member of the early community of saints. I remember the humorous anecdote of a friend after his Bible study. He overheard the conversation of two ladies brand new to the preceding knowledge:
“How could Jesus be a Jew when His mother was such a good Catholic?”
They were all Jews (Yes, including Mary). The Lord’s community was a purely Jewish movement then; there were no Gentile converts to the Way of the Lord for about seven to ten years after the Resurrection. Claims of anti-Semitism against the Jewish religious idiots who were responsible for all the carnage are therefore completely disingenuous. The greatest obstacle and problem the apostle Paul ever had, of course, were not Roman government authorities or crazy Goyim, but unbelieving Jews who considered followers of the Lord the vilest creatures on the planet.
This is how many Americans view Muslims. They see them as vile perpetrators of an evil false religion responsible for the deaths and mutilations of thousands. I am certainly not here to defend Islam. Islam in general hates Christianity. It hates Christians. One may not see this underlying hate until something is done to bring it to the surface. The guy in Florida threatens to continue burning Korans as a way to bring attention to the plight of persecuted formerly Muslim Christians in Iran and elsewhere. Conversion to Christianity is anathema to Muslims and those who are doing it are paying dearly. We in the West have concentrated our efforts in this area on the Iranian Christian leader, Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, a former Muslim who remains under a death sentence for converting to Christianity. But there are a great many Muslims who have decided to follow Jesus, certainly in the hundreds of thousands and most likely more.
Rather than attack Islam, I think the better thing to do is shine a light on Christianity. Most “Christians” are not real Christians, and this is why a mere cultural war between these two religions will go nowhere and never has. Real Christianity transforms hearts. Real Christianity is a wholesale turning away from all that opposes the Lord. It is a one hundred percent embracing of Him, all He stands for, and all He teaches. When the early converts actually obeyed the Lord Jesus regarding their conversions and discipleship, incredible things happened. The Book of Acts happened. Miracles happened. They were filled with the actual Spirit of the Lord Jesus and began doing what He did.
Most Christians do not do this. Most Christians do not want to do this. Rather, they find a way not to do it. They find a way to make fun of it, and discount it, and reject it.
The Koran contains many passages about killing infidels and etc. But at least the strict practitioners of Islam actually do what the Koran commands them to do. Can Christians say the same? Do Christians really believe and practice what the Bible teaches?
Of course not. If all Christians did, the effort against Islam would not be fought with weapons of war and hateful rhetoric. This obviously does not mean we should not defend our country! It does not mean we should not fight for freedom. But the Lord stated very clearly that the highest form of freedom is spiritual freedom. He also taught us that we should fight for the liberty of whosover wants it, in that the kingdom of our Lord Jesus is for everyone, regardless of nationality. If we practiced real Christianity, we would not see Muslims as evil incarnate. We would see them the way the Lord sees them, the way He sees us, as those in need of life. That’s what the preaching of the Gospel is supposed to be about, right? Go into all the world and make disciples? Preach about the Lord and the way of salvation for all?
This is exactly what is happening in Muslim countries. Pastor Youcef found salvation after his family was witnessed to by former Muslims who had found the Lord, after they had been witnessed to, etc. Indigenous Christian ministers fighting an underground spiritual war in Iran and the Muslim world are not fighting against Islam; they are fighting against the same forces all real Christians fight against.
But unreal Christians fight in the natural. Rather than love our enemies, as the Lord directly commanded, and which results in salvation for our enemies, false Christians spew hate and wish violence against Muslims for their hateful and often murderous ways.
What self-respecting Christian would ever even think of sharing heaven with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?
I seem to recall something in Scripture about a certain future apostle who hated Christians and wanted to kill them all. What ever happened to that guy?
Have we forgotten what the Lord Jesus said as He hung in excruciating pain and abject misery on the cross?
“Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” [Luke 23:34]
Have we forgotten what Stephen said as big jagged rocks hurled like baseballs were tearing his flesh and shattering his bones?
“Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” [Acts 7:60]
Ask yourself what it was that had so incensed the murderers of our Lord Jesus and Stephen. Ask yourself what Pastor Youcef thinks about Muslims even as he sits in jail, separated from his family, with a death sentence hanging over his head. Is he possibly embarrassed by the activity and beliefs of faux Christians who act not from love but hate?
The more fake Christians shine a light on the unchristian dictates of Islam, the more God will shine a light on the unchristian dictates of fake Christianity.
And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’ Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.”
He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” [Mark 7:6-9] 
The tradition of the unrepentant Jews was in part a murderous tradition. How is it any different from the murderous traditions of unrepentant Muslims and Christians?
© 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 1 of 2]
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.