Monday, September 19, 2005

Jay Smith - Islam and Christianity: Clash of Civilizations in a Multicultural Age

The other night, I went to First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood to hear a presentation by Jay Smith whose is a missionary to Muslims. His particular approach is to debate with them in London and in other (mostly university) settings as opportunities arise. Some of his material can be found at http://debate.org.uk.

Like most Americans, my knowledge of Islam is fairly modest. The other day I was sharing with a friend about this lecture and mentioned that I went in knowing just three things about Islam: (1) not all Muslims are Arab (2) Muslims hold to the Five Pillars of Islam (monotheism - Allah, prayer, charity, observing Ramadan and the pilgrimage to Mecca) and (3) the countries with large Muslim populations are actually Asian countries.

What follows are the notes I took from the presentation.

The situation in London

He began the talk by saying the Islamic groups in London are probably more outspoken than most other places. Over the years, he has befriended some of the people he has debated while others hold hatred for his views.

He mentioned he often goes to "Speaker's Corner" in London to debate with Muslims there usually on Sundays at 4pm. He invited the audience to see him there should they visit London!

In 2002, he got to know a student through debate. Smith found out that student eventually left London to go to Syria to learn Arabic. He would next see a photo of this student on a newspaper in 2003 when that student blew himself up in Tel Aviv.

Smith went to Speaker's Corner the following Sunday and held up the newspaper and asked how many people here support what this man did?

30 raised their hands.

Smith asked, how many would do what he did right here in London?

15 raised their hands.

Thus, the news of the London Underground bombing came as no surprise to Smith. All the bombers in that attempt and in the failed attempt that followed were all citizens of the UK and not foreign terrorists.

In a survey of Islam in the UK taken shortly after 9/11 showed that 15% were radical, 70% nominal and 15% liberal.

The serious readers of the Koran were considered radical. (ed. note - I think this is unfortunate terminology because I don't think of Christians who are serious readers of the Bible should be considered radical). The nominal Muslims were generally non-readers of the Koran. The liberal Muslims were the one who proclaim that Islam is a "religion of peace."

Islam around the world

Smith then gave some quick facts and figures about Islam for our audience: over 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, 700 million can be found in Indonesia, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh and 1 million in London.

He believes that the large numbers in the UK as compared to the USA is intentional because church attendance in the UK is only 5% thus would be more ripe for the spread of Islam. Islamic missionary strategists know that English is become the world language so they need to reach the English world and the UK was more open than the USA for evangelistic efforts.

Smith discussed why there is such hostility to the West and the USA in particular. He mentioned five factors: (1) moral decline of the West is due to the US (2) democracy is incompatible with Islam beliefs (3) usury is a terrible sin and capitalism is a form of usury (4) all of the above mentioned is sustained by the US military and (5) the West is Christian and Christians have corrupted Scripture thus the West is corrupt.

The poll taken shortly after 9/11 was taken again a year later in 2002. The radical portion in the UK grew to 25%. The poll hasn't been taken since but unofficial estimates put the radical group at over 40% today.

History of Islam and the Koran

Smith then moved onto some historical aspects of the rise of Islam.

Muhammad lived in the 7th Century and he received visions from Allah which came to be the Koran text. Smith cited that the oldest biography of Muhammad was about 200 years after his life. Also, the oldest commentary of the Koran was 300 years later. Thus, the time between the actual events and these significant writings is a bit long and thus Smith contends weakens the claims of historicity.

In debates with Muslims, the question often came up, where do you find "Peace" in Islam?

Smith then quoted several passages from the Koran that are used to justify violence. He added that some of the peaceful passages are often mixed with violent ones.

ed. note - I tried to jot down all the verses from the Koran he cited but he spoke fast and I didn't catch all the referencees. I've only list the ones I've been able to confirm by checking an on-line English translation of the Koran.

Smith cited: Sura 9:5, 9:29, 5:32.

The first half of the Koran is from the later Medina part of Muhammad's life. The second half of the Koran is from the earlier Mecca part of his life. For a brief explanation of this see here. The Medina passages are regarded as having precedent over the Mecca passages. 149 verses in the Medina section can be considered as "Sword" verses.

Al-Qaeda is a very violent sect within Islam that cites the "Sword" verses. A 2004 poll showed support for Al-Qaeda in Turkey at 31%, Morocco at 45%, Jordan at 55% and Pakistan at 65%.

Smith believes the "nominals" who used to not read the Koran are now doing so and are adopting the radicalized form of Islam.

Smith's Experiences

Smith says that Bush and Blair can't say the things he is saying because it would be politically incorrect.

He believes Islamic ideology can only be defeated by another ideology and he believes the Christian Gospel is the best idea. He mentioned that Jesus confronted opponents directly. He cited that St. Paul confronted opponents directly.

He mentioned that before St. Paul became a missionary for Christianity he was Saul who was a devout persecutor of Christians. He asked us to pray that there would be an Islamic Paul.

Smith briefly shared that he has met two young men who were very strong Muslims of good reputation who recently became Christians who might be Paul's who can reach the Muslims.

One of them had read an article by Smith and received the Gospel of John to read. He read how Jesus responded on the Cross. He thought about how Muhammad lead military campaigns. Because of this tension, he became a Christian.

The other man Smith met used to watch videos of Smith and then teach Islamic youths that Smith was wrong. He was working in a Mosque when he heard a voice saying, "This is Jesus, follow me." He eventually became a Christian.

Q & A

Q: How does someone in LA respond to Islam?
A: Be friends with Muslims but don't be shy about discussing the differences between Islam and Christianity. Don't be afraid to dialog with the ones who have questions. It makes you learn your Christian faith more when they ask you about your faith. Ask them about why they believe what they believe.

Q: I heard there was some old Koranic texts found in Yemen. What do you know about them?
A: In the 1970s some old texts were found. In the 1980s, 2 German scholars were invited to examine them. The texts seem to be at variance to the Koran as currently configured. Smith has met one of these scholars and that scholar isn't a Christian but one of the leading experts in ancient Middle-Eastern languages. Unfortunately, his findings haven't been yet published and that scholar is fearful about doing so.

Q: Isn't some of the injustices that Muslim societies have suffered part of why they hate the USA?
A: It is a factor. But a lot of people around the world hate America. But only the Islamic ones do suicide bombings. Thus, more is at work than just economic and social injustice. A belief system is in play and the major factor.

Q: How much truth is in the Koran?
A: Scholars are doing source criticism of the Koran. It is quite possible that some sections of the Koran are Jewish apocryphal literature in Arabic. Poetry is about 30% of the Koran and some poems are incredibly similar to some Christian hymns that pre-date the Koran.

Q: Where do you think we will be in 10-20 years in regards to Islam?
A: Military forces isn't going to solve it. Certainly military action and law enforcement might stop some of the terrorists but what has to be defeated is the ideology that breeds the terrorists. They use their scripture to defend their actions. Christians should encourage them to re-assess their scriptures and begin to consider what the Bible has to say.

Q: What is this we hear in the media about 70+ virgins will be the reward for suicide bombers?
A: It is a debated interpretation of Suras 55 and 56.

Q: How to witness to a Muslim?
A: Just like anyone else. Tell them you believe in Jesus and the Bible. It they are open, they will ask you all sorts of questions about it and you should go get answers for them.

UPDATE: I've posted a follow-up post on this post. To see it click here.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I saw Jay Smith speaking a while ago. As an atheist student in London, reading Islamic studies, I would be interested to know what your reaction to what he had to say was. How accurately you think he represented the Qur'an, for example. You raised doubts about his characterising religious behaviour in terms of radical/liberal/nominal depending on reading of the text, could you elaborate on this perhaps. Finally, where do you see al-Qaeda fitting into worldwide Islam and how representative would you consider the views of the likes of bin Laden to be of the views of most Muslims around the world? I hope you find time to respond to my comment.
Thanks
George

Rene said...

Hi George!

Thanks for dropping by this blog outpost and sharing some observations. It seems each day I get a hit via a google search for Jay Smith.

Thanks for your questions. I promise to write a blog post sharing about them. Alas, I've been under the weather the last several days and only now heading back to normal.

My first reaction is that since you are in London, I would really like to hear *your* impressions of Islam. Here in Los Angeles, I have relatively little contact with Muslim people and so what I know is limited to what I hear in the popular media and my modest knowledge from what I have read and heard in personal research. Since it sounds like you may have met actual followers of Islam, your observations could be enlightening.

Anonymous said...

I have worked with Jay, and am currently producing a TV series on his work, which is almost ready to air
He's not afraid of controvesy, that's for sure, and hallelujah for that!
:)

Anonymous said...

I did a Google search for Jay because he hasn't posted a video in YouTube for nearly a month (today is August 20, 2007), so I was hoping I wouldn't read about some misfortune befalling him. While most - maybe all - ex muslims, conceal their identity for fear of muslim reprisals, Jay is well known and would be an easy target. So his YT fans get antsy when he's away for so long.

Navcity said...

Jay Smith failed TWO PHds. I've met him on occassions and he spews all kinds of vile nonesense. I refuted his claims on one of his Youtube videos so he subsequently took the video (and my comments down).

I suggest you read "A Short History of the Arab People" by Sir General John Glubb, himself an imperialist evangelical christian but he presents a very balanced historical acount of Islam

Rene said...

Thanks for your comments.

I have only heard Jay Smith speak that one time so I can't say I know much about him beyond that.

It would seem that your objection is that he doesn't give a fair representation of the history of Islam?

Perhaps, Smith's perspectives are skewed and I'd like to know in what ways you think so.

I'd be curious to know if you feel that Bernard Lewis gives a fair accounting of the history of Islam?

I recently came across his Atlantic article, the Roots of Muslim Rage.

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/199009/muslim-rage

I suppose the history of Islam will be the subject of some debate as to how violent it was or was not. But, in the current world, there is unquestionably, a part of Islam that is very violent. And any defense of that is problematic.

dhuffer said...

I saw Jay smith just about a month ago. when he was in Hagerstown MD. It was my first time hearing him speak.. And it just confirmed what I had been thinking all along.
I like the fact that he pointed out

IF a Muslim follows the Koran to the letter. IT IS INDEED A VIOLENT IF A MUSLIM SAYS THE KORAN IS NOT VIOLENT THEY ARE NOT FOLLOWING IT.

Just as an example people who say it is "OK" to be gay. And call them self's a christian are wrong.

I think Jay smith was spot on when I saw him

Francis said...

I think it is interesting that you do not want to be called a radical Christian. I am from the same denomination as Jay and have heard him speak on several occasions. To me it is an honor to be a radical Christian because it means I believe the truth and I will not back down from it.

Rene said...

In current language, radical Islam is associated with taking the Koran seriously and supporting terrorist activity. As such, I think the term "radical" is very loaded.

Skeptics of Christianity often argue that Christianity with its adherence to the Bible is just as violent and dangerous as radical Islam. We who hold Scripture seriously know this is NOT true!

Thus, as a practical matter, because of this mistaken connection to radical Islam that supports and participates in terrorism, I don't like the term radical Christian.

The Raging Gaijin said...

Hello Rene,
First I'd like to thank you for positing the question on your blog, and in such a peaceful manner in accord with the teachings of Jesus. Praise be to God for our fellowship!

As a resident of the SF/Bay Area, I have to say my interactions with members of the Islam faith have been quite peaceful and very enlightening. The members I spoke with follow the moderate path, and see the extremist actions of other followers of Islam as unscriptural according to the Quran.

Many members of Islam follow hadiths, which are oral traditions from their fathers, written down and added onto the teachings of the Quran. However, just like the Bible teaches us not to follow the traditions of men, (Mark 7:8&13, Mat. 15:3, Col. 2:8, Gal. 4:3) so to does the Quran (Surah 6:114-116, 16:105, 31:6, 17:73-77, 18:27, 3:78, 5:104). We are told by God to "Come out of her, my people..." (Rev. 18:4) to avoid the syncretism that has become Church doctrine, so even Christians may fall prey to traditions that become doctrine. (Sun worship, fertility goddess worship, pagan gods such as dagon/molech/baal, astrology, and idolatry are examples seen in the Catholic Church today. Pray for them.)

No matter what the faith, we will find extremists. Even in the Christian faith we see men and women preaching a doctrine of hatred and intolerance, whereas Jesus taught us to love our brothers, sisters, and enemies, as well as forgive as we hope to be forgiven. (Even to forgive our enemies!) We also know of the actions of the zealot lot, killing doctors who perform abortions, protesters writing epitaphs of hatred towards people who follow alternative lifestyles or practice another faith. (This is not to say I condone the actions of the sinner. We are not guardians, for our walk with God is our own. Yet by intolerance and hatred, we deter many from the Faith.)
So to do we see the same in Islam, especially when it is an aid to bring those who do not read God's Books, but instead rely on the teachings from the pulpit for their Word.

The differences between a true christian and a true muslim are no thicker than a line drawn between them. It is unfortunate that many have fallen prey to the perspective of the media and the doctrine of hate from Christians when it comes to the Muslim faith.

Would you be surprised if you found out the Quran teaches to worship God, and only God? To follow our beloved Prophet Jesus, the Messiah, the Gospel made flesh? To love and forgive your brother and enemy, to practice charity?
Would you be surprised if the Quran taught to read the Bible as well?

I personally see a difference between a muslim and Islam, though many Islamists feel my point of view is heresy as I do not follow the hadiths. Yet as well, I see a difference between a christian and a Christian, for many reject the teachings of Jesus and hold a hard heart to anyone outside of their faith.

Am I an Islamist or Christian? No, I am a believer. I pick up my cross daily and struggle with my own carnal heart, yet I do submit to God, and God alone, while following Jesus: the Messiah, the Gospel made flesh, and his teachings. If at Judgement God wishes to bestow upon me the title of Muslim, I would accept it graciously! Yet I am still a sinner and do not deem me worthy of such a name.

As for Mr. J. Smith, his works bring great sadness to my heart. I have come across his videos quite a bit on YouTube and have been involved in quite lengthy discussions with those who follow his teachings. We will know them by the fruit of their works as taught to us in the Scripture, and from what I've seen Mr. Smith preaches a doctrine of hatred, intolerance, and anger towards any of the muslim faith; contrary to the teachings of the Messiah. I do ask that we pray for him, for God can choose to soften his heart and bring him back to the righteous path.

If you would like more information on the righteous path of the believer, I recommend hitting YouTube and searching for Whereistruth for her lessons. Or feel free to e-mail me if you wish. I do follow the Word of God found in both His Holy Books, and enjoy the chance to fellowship and study the lessons found therein.

Peace be unto you.

Anonymous said...

Hey all!

This is very interesting. I write as a Christian who actually attends speaker's corner quite regularly. I know Mr. Smith.

First of all, he hasn't failed two Phd's. He has taken longer than usual to complete his first Phd due to his teaching schedule. It would be nice if people stopped spreading mis-information.

I understand that many Muslims have issues with what Mr. Smith says, as it is difficult to look critically at one's own faith. But, I do believe, if something is true, it will reveal itself to be that no matter how much scrutiny is applied to it. History will bear it out. So then, why not examine the history of Islam, to see if it is true?

I am under the impression that questioning Islam, the Qur'an or Mohammad is Haram (forbidden) in Islam, ergo, what Mr. Smith has to say is shocking to many Muslim.

I do want to address the methodology of Mr. Smith. It is biblical. We see Jesus confronting the religious leaders of his day (Matt.21:12-16, Luke 19:45-47 and Mark. 11:15-19). His whole life was a religious critique! You always need a critique/accountability. I believe Mr. Smith looks to keep Muslims accountable to their faith, to help them see their faith with new eyes (every faith needs that).

Cheers,

JT

Anonymous said...

16 million unitarian Christian has been exterminated in Europe by the Trinitarian Churches in past thousand years. if you put attrocities commited by all other religion in one side, and than put attrocities has been commited in the name of Christianity on other side, surely, Christianity would out weight all of them. These Attrocities has been supported by the god of the Bible:

In the Old Testament:
Let us look at Deuteronomy 13:6-9 "If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying: Let us go and worship other gods (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other, or gods of other religions), do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people."
Also let us look at Deuteronomy 17:3-5 "And he should go and worship other gods and bow down to them or to the sun or the moon or all the army of the heavens, .....and you must stone such one with stones and such one must die."
: 2 Chroicles 15:13 "All who would not seek the LORD, the God of Israel, were to be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman."

In the New Testament by Jesus and Paul:
Jesus:
Note: Please pay close attention to my red emphasis below.
Let us look at what Jesus said in the New Testament in context:
Matthew 15:1-9
1 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked,
2 "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat!"
3 Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?
4 For God said, 'Honor your father and mother' and 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.'
5 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, 'Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,'
6he is not to 'honor his father' with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.
7You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
8 " 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'"
There are few points to notice here:
1- Notice in verse 3, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for breaking the Commands of GOD Almighty.
2- In verse 4, he used the cursing of parents' punishment as an example. The context, however, is not limited to just this example!
3- In verses 7,8 and 9, he used a quote from the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament, to further prove that they are not following the Commands of GOD Almighty.
4- Jesus clearly had a problem with them not following the punishment of death for cursing the parents or any punishment of death that is commanded in the OT for this matter! In fact, Jesus himself said:
"Do not think that I [Jesus] have come to abolish the Law (the Old Testament) or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke or a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law (the Old Testament) until everything is accomplished. (Matthew 5:17-18)"
"Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 'The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.' (Matthew 23:1-3)"

This clearly means:
1- Jesus absolutely approved and commanded the following of the OT's Laws regarding apostates!
2- The fact he commanded death penalty for cursing the parents clearly proves that he also approves of killing apostates as clearly shown in the OT verses above!

Paul:
Let us look at Romans 1:20-32 (from the New Testament) "20. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
21. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools
23. and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
24. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
25. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.
26. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.
27. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
28. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.
29. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,
30. slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;
31. they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
32. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them."

Also psychics must be put to death. Let us look at Leviticus 20:27 "And as for a man or woman in whom there proves to be a mediumistic spirit or spirit of prediction, they should be put to death without fail. They should pelt them to death with stones. Their own blood is upon them."
The above verses clearly show that the Bible doesn't tolerate apostates. Jesus did honor the Old Testament's laws and ordered his followers to follow the Old Testament until the day of Judgment:
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law (the Old Testament) or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke or a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law (the Old Testament) until everything is accomplished. (Matthew 5:17-18)"
Christians always say as an excuse that an Old Testament law does not apply to them. According to Matthew 5:17-18, we clearly see that Jesus honored the Old Testament, and forced Christians to follow the unmodified laws of it that have not been replaced by newer ones in the New Testament. The Old Testament as we clearly see above orders the immediate killing of apostates/renegades. The New Testament as we also clearly see above, orders the death of the apostates/renegades. And according to Matthew 5:17-18 above, apostates/renegades in Christianity must be put to death simultaneously.

Also, during the middle centuries when the Church used to rule over everything, the minority Christians and the Christian Scientists were slaughtered and put to death by the majority ones just because the Priests and Ministers of the High Church decided to call as "heresies" or "apostates". The Bible does give clear authority to the Priests and Ministers to call someone an apostate:
"The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment. (1 Corinthians 2:15)"

2- What about the NT verses of "love your enemy"?
Let us look at what Jesus said:
Matthew 5:42-44
43 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?
47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Some Christians argued that Jesus' commands about loving your enemy abrogated the Old Testament's Laws of punishment. Like much of Christianity, this is all a bunch of man-made gibberish nonsense, because
1- We already saw how Jesus in Matthew 15:1-9, above, praised the Old Testament's Laws of punishment, and he even rebuked those who didn't follow those Laws.
2- The verses of Matthew 5:42-44, above, do not abrogate Jesus' praises of and demands to follow the Old Testament's Laws of punishment, because they simply talk about one's treatment to his/her enemy. The punishment of the guilty has nothing to do with these verses, because these verses are talking about your personal relationship with people and how you should deal with those who have animosity toward you, while the OT's Laws of punishment are talking about punishing someone for disobeying GOD Almighty's Divine Commands.
In the Old Testament:
Let us look at Deuteronomy 13:6-9 "If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying: Let us go and worship other gods (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other, or gods of other religions), do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people."
Also let us look at Deuteronomy 17:3-5 "And he should go and worship other gods and bow down to them or to the sun or the moon or all the army of the heavens, .....and you must stone such one with stones and such one must die."
: 2 Chroicles 15:13 "All who would not seek the LORD, the God of Israel, were to be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman."

In the New Testament by Jesus and Paul:
Jesus:
Note: Please pay close attention to my red emphasis below.
Let us look at what Jesus said in the New Testament in context:
Matthew 15:1-9
1 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked,
2 "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat!"
3 Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?
4 For God said, 'Honor your father and mother' and 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.'
5 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, 'Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,'
6he is not to 'honor his father' with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.
7You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
8 " 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'"
There are few points to notice here:
1- Notice in verse 3, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for breaking the Commands of GOD Almighty.
2- In verse 4, he used the cursing of parents' punishment as an example. The context, however, is not limited to just this example!
3- In verses 7,8 and 9, he used a quote from the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament, to further prove that they are not following the Commands of GOD Almighty.
4- Jesus clearly had a problem with them not following the punishment of death for cursing the parents or any punishment of death that is commanded in the OT for this matter! In fact, Jesus himself said:
"Do not think that I [Jesus] have come to abolish the Law (the Old Testament) or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke or a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law (the Old Testament) until everything is accomplished. (Matthew 5:17-18)"
"Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 'The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.' (Matthew 23:1-3)"

This clearly means:
1- Jesus absolutely approved and commanded the following of the OT's Laws regarding apostates!
2- The fact he commanded death penalty for cursing the parents clearly proves that he also approves of killing apostates as clearly shown in the OT verses above!

Paul:
Let us look at Romans 1:20-32 (from the New Testament) "20. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
21. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools
23. and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
24. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
25. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.
26. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.
27. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
28. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.
29. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,
30. slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;
31. they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
32. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them."

Also psychics must be put to death. Let us look at Leviticus 20:27 "And as for a man or woman in whom there proves to be a mediumistic spirit or spirit of prediction, they should be put to death without fail. They should pelt them to death with stones. Their own blood is upon them."
The above verses clearly show that the Bible doesn't tolerate apostates. Jesus did honor the Old Testament's laws and ordered his followers to follow the Old Testament until the day of Judgment:
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law (the Old Testament) or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke or a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law (the Old Testament) until everything is accomplished. (Matthew 5:17-18)"
Christians always say as an excuse that an Old Testament law does not apply to them. According to Matthew 5:17-18, we clearly see that Jesus honored the Old Testament, and forced Christians to follow the unmodified laws of it that have not been replaced by newer ones in the New Testament. The Old Testament as we clearly see above orders the immediate killing of apostates/renegades. The New Testament as we also clearly see above, orders the death of the apostates/renegades. And according to Matthew 5:17-18 above, apostates/renegades in Christianity must be put to death simultaneously.

Also, during the middle centuries when the Church used to rule over everything, the minority Christians and the Christian Scientists were slaughtered and put to death by the majority ones just because the Priests and Ministers of the High Church decided to call as "heresies" or "apostates". The Bible does give clear authority to the Priests and Ministers to call someone an apostate:
"The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment. (1 Corinthians 2:15)"

2- What about the NT verses of "love your enemy"?
Let us look at what Jesus said:
Matthew 5:42-44
43 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?
47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Some Christians argued that Jesus' commands about loving your enemy abrogated the Old Testament's Laws of punishment. Like much of Christianity, this is all a bunch of man-made gibberish nonsense, because
1- We already saw how Jesus in Matthew 15:1-9, above, praised the Old Testament's Laws of punishment, and he even rebuked those who didn't follow those Laws.
2- The verses of Matthew 5:42-44, above, do not abrogate Jesus' praises of and demands to follow the Old Testament's Laws of punishment, because they simply talk about one's treatment to his/her enemy. The punishment of the guilty has nothing to do with these verses, because these verses are talking about your personal relationship with people and how you should deal with those who have animosity toward you, while the OT's Laws of punishment are talking about punishing someone for disobeying GOD Almighty's Divine Commands.

Loving God of the Bible?


“And Moses said to them: “ Have you kept all the woman alive?
Now therefore Kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman (female) that hath known man by lying with him. But keep alive for yourselves all the girls and all the women who are virgins“.
Numbers 31:17-18


APOSTASY: “…….neither shall thine eye pity him (the apostate), neither shall thou spare him, neither shall thou conceal him:

“but thou shalt surely kill him: thine hand shall be first upon him TO PUT HIM TO DEATH… Deuteronomy 13:8,9


“And He smote the men of Bethshe’mesh, because they had looked into the ark of the Lord, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men; and the people lamented because the Lord had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.”
1 Samuel 6.19

“When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand and taketh him by the secrets: Then thou shalt cut of her hand, thine eye shall not pitty her.” Deuteronomy 25.11-12



“When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye anything?” And they said, “Nothing.”
Then said he unto them, “But now, he that hath no purse, let him take it, and likewise his bag; and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one!” (Luke 22:35-36)




But those my enemies, who would not that I reign over them, bring them hither, and slay them before me (Luke 19:27)

“And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out…And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” Matthew 5:29-30


“And after all this if you do not obey me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sin. Leviticus 26:18

“Then if you walk contrary to me, and are not willing to obey me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sin.
Leviticus 26:12

Rene said...

My comment's policy is based on the sensible ones listed by Jon Weisman's over at his baseball blog .... http://dodgerthoughts.baseballtoaster.com/

With modifications to his list:

Thank you for not ...
1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
6) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) being annoyed by the existence of this list
10) commenting under the obvious influence
11) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

The latest comment violated a few of the above rules but I'll leave up there as an example of what not to do.

In brief, my response to the above commenter is that indeed bad things have been done in the name of Christianity and those aren't defensible.

However, the fact is that in Bagdad or Kabul, one does not have to worry about suicide bombers in the name of Jesus.

Anonymous said...

the never ending muslim ramblingsof two posts above mine only show the constant attempt that muslims pursue to prove that jesus did not give a new covenant based on love. They deny that jesus forgave the adulteress and they pick and choose words on the new testament to prove that jesus wanted his followers to follow the OT law to the letter. This is not the place to refute those flawed interpretations or mis-interpratations in detail But suffice to say that if one accepted the new covenant that jesus again and again proclaimed in the gospel that it would be impossible to accept the message of the quran based on harsh punishments, war and retribution. Since muslims claim to accept jesus as a prophet the only possibility they have to justify muhammad's message is to claim that jesus said something entirely different from what most people can read. Jesus died praying for his tormentors, this is terribly challenging to someone who follows a man who had his critics murdered for the slightest offence.

KeiiArz said...

This is a short response to The Raging Gaijin :

Misguided and puffed up 'Christians' may preach a message of hate and intolerance but they cannot use Scripture to back up their claims without twisting it or appealing to the Old Testament. Some falsely professing Christians may even kill others in the name of Jesus but we know they are not of God. Liberal and nominaln muslims on the other hand wrong when they say fundamental muslims incorrectly interprete the Qur'an when infact it is they who are in error. Do you know that if a worldwide islamic kaliphate is established a holy war can be and probably WILL be declared to bring all infidels (unbelievers) in submission to allah? Islam seriously is a problem. I come from a country with half the population Christian & the other half muslim. There is constant unrest in the North (the islamic region) as Christians are seen as a threat. They are persecuted and killed for their faith. A fundamental muslim CANNOT peacefully reside with unbelievers. It is impossible because their faith demands otherwise. Yes, countries like the UAE appear liberal but I would like to watch a Christian openly declare the gospel of Jesus Christ and see what happens. Muslims more than any other religion are hostile to evangelists. They are highly intolerant. You can be friends with a muslim-even a nominal muslim, but bring up the discussion of Christianity and watch them turn on you. Ofcourse this is not always the case but I put it to you that it is the most prominent reaction.

I think Christians need to leave the comfort of our homes and evangelise especially to muslims. Yes, I will say it. I believe Islam intrinsically is a threat. We see it as a joke now but do we have any idea the slavery our children will be under if Islam takes the power seat? Do it for the glory of God and out of brotherly love and concern for he lost's souls. If you fear persecution, you, your children or both will suffer the persecution later. And don't let me get started on what you will say to God when you stand before him.

DO NOT FEAR THOSE WHO KILL THE BODY BUT ARE UNABLE TO KILL THE SOUL; INSTEAD FEAR GOD WHO IS ABLE TO DESTROY BOTH SOUL AND BODY IN HELL!!! Matt 10:28

4give any grammatical errors.

Jakariya khan said...

Islam is not a threat, its a solution. currently west is going through worst spiritual hunger. Islam can fill that hunger. George bernard shaw in his book "The genuine Islam did say: "If any religion has a chance to conquer in England nay Europe within the next hundred years, that religion is Islam.

"The extinction of race conciousness as between muslim is one of the outstanding achievement of Islam, and in the contemporary world there is, as it happens, a crying need for the propogation of this Islamic virtue."

Civilization on trial page 205, by A.J Toynbee New york 1948

Anders Branderud said...

I want to comment about “Matthew 23:1-3”:

Le-havdil, Ribi Yehoshua ha-Mashiakh (the Messiah) from Nazareth taught this in NHM 23:1-3:
”Then Yehoshua spoke to the qehilot and to his talmidim saying, ”The Sophrim and those of the Rabbinic-Perushim sect of Judaism who advocate that Halakhah must be exclusively oral sit upon the bench of Mosheh. So now, keep shomeir and do concering everything – as much as they shall tell you! Just don’t imitate their maaseh because they say but they don’t do.”
The Rabbinic-Perushim taught that one should follow the mitzwot (directive or military-style orders), and Ribi Yehoshua taught that one should listen to that. The Rabbinic-Perushim advocated Halakhah (oral Torah).

The problem is that most people fail to distinguish between the historical Ribi Yehoshua and his pro-Torah-teachings; and the redacted “gospels” of Christianity.
A logical analysis (found in www.netzarim.co.il (Netzarim.co.il is the website of the only legitimate Netzarim-group)) of all extant source documents and archeology proves that the historical Ribi Yehosuha ha-Mashiakh (the Messiah) from Nazareth and his talmidim (apprentice-students), called the Netzarim, taught and lived Torah all of their lives; and that Netzarim and Christianity were always antithetical.

The original words of the pro-Torah teacher Ribi Yehoshua were redacted by Roman Hellenists, and the redaction is found in the “gospels”. J…. is described in the “gospels”, and le-havdil the teachings of the historical Torah-teacher Ribi Yehoshua from Nazareth are found in the reconstruction (using a logical and scientific methodology to create the reconstruction), Netzarim Hebrew Reconstruction of Hebrew Matityahu (NHM).

The historical Jew Ribi Yehoshua is not the same as the Christian "J...." The historical Ribi Yehoshua was a human.
Anders Branderud

Anonymous said...

Not a single word of sword has been used in Quran. I marvel on the knowledge and intentions of Christian missionary leaders. What type of prospective recruit they idea to have?

Anonymous said...

38:3 (Then he said): Bring them back to me, and fell to slashing (with his sword their) legs and necks.

54:29 But they called their comrade and he took (a sword) and killed (her).

8:12 I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.

These certainly seem like "words of sword"

sah2009 said...

"certainly seem" are contradictory statement.Pl be firm when ever using a world sword, dagger or spear as all could slash and perish. first i was not inclined to verify the surah and ayah given.However i reproduce the translation of the ayah by professor Ahmed Ali.And once again i would say its a great sin to distort the meaning of Quran and ethically to non-Muslims to quote correctly otherwise they would tarnish the religion for which they are doing it all.

38:3
1-Sad: by the Quran, full of Admonition:(this is the Truth).
2-But the Unbelivers (are steeped) in Self glory and separatism.
3- how many generations before them did We destroy? in the end they cried (for mercy) when there was no longer time for being saved.
4.So they wonder that a Warner has come to them from among themselves and the Unbelievers say,this a sorcerer telling lies.
54:29
26-"Tomorrow they will know who is the impudent liar!
27-We shall send the she-camel to try them.
28-Tell them that the water is to be apportioned between them (and her);and every turn of drinking will be fixed(for each)."
29-But they called their commander, who seized and hamstrung her.
30-How was then My punishment of which they had been warned?
31-We sent a single blast against them, and they were reduced to husks of a decayed fence.
8:12
12 - And the Lord said the angels:"I am with you; go and strengthen the faithful. I shall fill the hearts of infidels with terror.So hit them on their necks and every Joint,(and incapicitate them),"

Rene said...

One of the goals of this blog is to provide a forum for thoughtful discussion of important topics. This post has probably generated the most activity of anything on RR.

Translations into English of sacred texts is an important scholarly task. In the case of the Christian Scriptures, there is a wide range of translations available. Briefly, the translation approach runs from more literal (NASB) to more paraphrase (NLT) with probably the most popular being the one that tries to hit the middle ground (NIV).

I have found this web page that presents the Koran in three English translations.

http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/quran/

In some cases the translations are the same and in other cases not.

There is a Wikipedia entry...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_translations_of_the_Quran

I encourage all who opt to post comments to cite the translations they are using as the latest commenter has done.

I have to say I haven't always done so when I have cited Christian and Jewish Scriptures. I'll try to do so more consistently going forward.


Thanks!

sah2009 said...

Thanks for guidance.Best thing is to read Quran in Arabic.A little struggle and you will be nearer to Quran to contemplate.Its a miracle but truth as well that Koranic text are understood every where in the Arabic Speaking world. If God's Prophet Muhammad peace on him, if come today he would be understood by town and village people equally throughout the Arabic speaking world,after a period of 1400 centuries though.Even Shakespeare's original works are out of apprehension for all the English speaking Britishers generally, what he wrote 200 years ago. Hardly few professors not more than 5 would understand what was written by him.We recite Quran Kareem daily in worships and read in the morning as well, our native language has now more than 60 percent of Koranic words in our daily life.Bellow is a search direction at google.com. Anyway i am thankful to you for clarification.May Allah guide us all for the seeking of truth.Amen.

PDF Holy Quran(Arabic) Translated in English by Yusuf Ali (Free Download) This PDF doesn't consist the Arabic text, it only has the English Translation (Download Quran in English)

sah2009 said...

i brows this blog in order to know latest activities of Mr. J Smith.On youtube i have watched him struggling with Adnan Rashid and Shabbir Ali. I admired him most.Are there some new videos of him on internet? Youtube just doesn't show any new videos of 2010. Can some one guide me how i lay my hands on his new videos of 2010 debating with Muslim clergies or any news about his latest activities.

sah2009 said...

Jay Smith though a Christian Missionary but I love and respect him. I am a Muslim and I marveled him debating with Muslims.Muslims are devoted people and no match is found in any contemporary religions. I have not seen his new videos on youtube and I hope and pray for his good health and happiness. Where ever he be may Allah give him health and power to debate with us.

shakeel ahmad hashmi said...

Last week, President Obama fulfilled a campaign promise and killed Osama bin Laden. Well he didn't actually do the killing himself. It was carried out by a very brave and excellent team of Navy SEALs. Not only does Mr. Obama have the overwhelming support of the country, I think there are millions who gladly wish it could have been their finger on the gun that took out bin Laden.
When I heard the news a week ago Sunday, I immediately felt great. I felt relief. I thought of those who lost a loved one on 9/11. And I was glad we finally had a President who got something done. This is what I had to say on Twitter and elsewhere on the internet in that first hour or two:
I want to point out that Barack Obama took two years to do what Bush couldn't do in over seven. That's the difference between STUPID in charge and SMART in charge. STUPID pursues two reckless wars, lets OBL escape from Tora Bora, keeps looking for him in caves and invades the wrong country. He bankrupts us to the tune of $1.2 trillion for the Iraq War (it will eventually actually be over $3 trillion), and worse, he cost us the lives of almost 5,000 of our troops, not to mention hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan – and, after all that, he STILL couldn't bring the perp to justice. In fact, in 2005, Bush closed down the CIA station that was devoted to looking for bin Laden! What does SMART do? He sends in a small elite strike force, no troops are killed, and the perpetrator is stopped for good.
I was thrilled that the Osama bin Laden era was over. There was now an end to the madness.
Being near Ground Zero that night, I decided to head over there and join with others who saw this event as a chance to have some closure. On 9/11, Bill Weems, a good and decent man I knew and worked with (we had just recently completed a shoot together in Boston), was on the plane that was flown into the Twin Towers. I dedicated 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' in part, to him.
But before leaving to go to the former World Trade Center site, I turned on the TV, and what I saw down at Ground Zero was not quiet relief and gratification that the culprit had been caught. Rather, I witnessed a frat boy-style party going on, complete with the shaking and spraying of champagne bottles over the crowd. I can completely understand people wanting to celebrate – like I said, I, too, was happy – but something didn't feel right. It's one thing to be happy that a criminal has been captured and dealt with. It's another thing to throw a kegger celebrating his death at the site where the remains of his victims are still occasionally found. Is that who we are? Is that what Jesus would do? Is that what Jefferson would do? I was reminded of the tale told to me as a kid, of God's angels singing with glee as the Red Sea came crashing back down on the Egyptians chasing the Israelites, drowning all of them. God rebuked them, saying, "The work of My hands is drowning in that sea – and you want to friggin' sing?" (or something like that).
I remember my parents telling me how, on the day it was announced that Hitler was dead, there was no rejoicing in the streets, just private relief and satisfaction. The real celebration came six days later at the announcement that the war in Europe was over. THAT'S what the people wanted to hear – not just the demise of one evil madman, but the end to all the killing.(excerpt taken from Michael Moor)

Shakeel Ahmad Hashmi said...

post under name :shakeel ahmad hashmi" has not been written by me. Someone also copy and pasted with my picture.