Truth is Truth

"You, O LORD, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me." - Psalm 40:11 This is a sometimes monthly column concerning the truth of Christ Jesus and the issues that face our world as published in various newspapers and journals by Pastor Dave Seaford. You can return to the home page of the church by going to:

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Location: Redway, California, United States

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Radical Islam vs. Radical Christianity

Over the last several years the word “radical” has taken on a harsh and sometimes profoundly negative connotation. The word itself comes from a Latin word which most literally means: “the root of”. So to say that something is “radical Islam” is to say that it is purely rooted in genuine Islamic beliefs. To say that something is “radically Christian” is to say that it is purely rooted in genuine Christian beliefs. So our use of the term “radical” may or may not be negative but should be considered carefully before applying its real meaning to any group.

I have heard commentators and pundits over the last 5 years (the time since 9-11 and the world trade center disaster) say that the root of the problem that “caused” 9-11 is “radical Islam,” and if “good Muslims” or those rooted in “real Islam” would just rise up and put these people in their place everything would be all right. On the other side I heard a report this past week quoting Rosie O’Donnell saying that “Radical Christianity is just as dangerous as Radical Islam.” I know, you are probably hearing me snicker between the lines. Forgive me for not putting a lot of weight in Rosie’s theology, but her comments about “radical Christianity” should be taken about a seriously as any comments I might make on lady’s fashions in Paris this year.

It seems that Rosie, like millions of others know the humanist talking points and are quite comfortable spouting them off, but the veracity of the verbiage and the notoriety of the speaker does not always equate to the accuracy of the message. Such is the case here with Ms. O’Donnell.

For years secular humanists and other critics have equated “radical Christianity” with the Crusades and the dominate rule of Constantine. Since this has become accepted thought both in our culture and with many others around the world, these events have been successfully packaged as “radical Christianity.” This being the case “radical Christianity” has been easily accepted as inappropriate, evil and now “dangerous.”

Allow me to say up front that the Crusades were wrong. That said, it should also be emphasized here that the Crusades and what happened during the Crusades, in no way represents Christianity, nor any form of orthodox Christian teaching. Because something is done in the “name” of something, does not make it necessarily representative of that something. The Crusades were very clearly anti-Christian. Herein lies the fallacy concerning the premise set forth by Ms. O’Donnell and so many other media elites, that seem to have messages of tolerance for everyone except Christians. I am convinced that this trend will continue and that Christians who are not “rooted” deeply in their faith will find it difficult to accept and live with the persecution that may well be coming as we experience more and more of these attacks. So far in this country most of the attacks have been verbal, but there is no promise that these restrictions will be maintained in the years to come. Many will find that statement difficult to digest here in the perceived safety of the good old USA, but many others of us having traveled around the world, well outside of this safety net, can attest to the very thin line that separates “us” from “them”.

We have now begun to indoctrinate our government workers with much of the tolerance propaganda. We are training our teachers, prison workers and many others in the area of religious tolerance that “only seems to flow one way,” which is never, it seems, in favor of the Christian faith. Following is a short article by Rick Mathes, a well know prison ministry servant of God. As you read it be prepared for the “rest of the story.”

Allah or Jesus?
by Rick Mathes
Last month I attended my annual training session that's required for maintaining my state prison security clearance.
During the training session there was a presentation by three speakers representing the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Muslim faiths, who explained each of their beliefs.
I was particularly interested in what the Islamic Imam had to say.
The Imam gave a great presentation of the basics of Islam complete with a video. After the presentations, time was provided for questions and answers.
When it was my turn, I directed my question to the Imam and asked:"Please, correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that most Imams and clerics of Islam have declared a holy jihad [Holy war] against the infidels of the world. And, that by killing an infidel, which is a command to all Muslims, they are assured of a place in heaven. If that's the case, can you give me the definition of an infidel?"
There was no disagreement with my statements and without hesitation, he replied,
I responded, "So, let me make sure I have this straight. All followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not of your faith so they can go to Heaven. Is that correct?"
The expression on his face changed from one of authority and command to that of a little boy who had just gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
He sheepishly replied, "Yes."
I then stated, "Well, sir, I have a real problem trying to imagine Pope John Paul commanding all Catholics to kill those of your faith or Dr. Stanley ordering Protestants to do the same in order to go to Heaven!"
The Imam was speechless.
I continued, "I also have a problem with being your friend when you and your brother clerics are telling your followers to kill me. Let me ask you a question. Would you rather have your Allah who tells you to kill me in order to go to Heaven or my Jesus who tells me to love you because I am going to Heaven and He wants you to be with me?"
You could have heard a pin drop as the Imam hung his head. Chuck Colson once told me something that has sustained me these 20 years of prison ministry. He said to me, "Rick, remember that the truth will prevail."
And it will!

Now you may be asking yourself if Rick’s statements are correct concerning what “real Islam” teaches. He is correct. The Koran in Sura 9 specifically calls on all Muslims to kill Christians and Jews everywhere. Please understand that this is a tenant of their faith. This is what Muhammad said was the way to assure heaven and to cleans the world of infidels. As Ergun Caner, ex Muslim, has said: “this is what ‘good Muslims’ do”! If they profess to believe and live according to the Koran, this theology of death is a cornerstone of their faith.

So let’s compare: Good Christians love their enemies (The Bible - Matt. 5:44, Luke 6:27) and good Muslims kill those who are not “believers” in Islam (The Koran - Sura 9). Thus radical Christianity teaches love and radical Islam teaches murder. Hey Rosie, which is more dangerous?

It should be clear that with regard to Muslims, we can tolerate ourselves to death. The truth is that love will prevail, and will prevail sooner if we do not try to equate love with a tolerance of genocide theologies. Whether it is Nazism or terrorism, whether it is a cleansing of inferior races or perceived inferior religions, hatred and murder are not acceptable as methods to cleanse the world of all that are not like any particular group. Christianity or Islam, there is a “radical” difference.