Sunday, January 8, 2017

The god who hates

It is Sunday morning, and my church has cancelled services, as have most of the churches in the area due to the weather.  I have just read Raymond Ibrahim's article at the American Thinker entitled Muslim Persecution of Christians. Ibrahim points out that Muslims hate Christians because Christians rejected Muhammad's religion of hate in favor of the religion of God, which demands love. Part of that hate is generated by a gross misunderstanding of Christian religion, and I suspect goes back to the Council of Nicea wherein the doctrine of the Trinity was ratified by the Bishops, and Gnosticism was rejected. Ibrahim writes:
How much hate must a woman have to enter a church, smile in the faces of Christians, pretend to be worshipping alongside them -- here’s a similar example from Turkey -- and then knowingly leave a bomb precisely where it would kill mostly women and children? How much hate must a man have for people who are peacefully praying that, in order to kill as many of them, he is willing to kill himself?
The answer is an unfathomable -- and, to Western and Christian minds, unbelievable -- amount of hate. Yet, the wonder isn’t that the church was bombed but rather that many are surprised by it. After all, many Muslim scriptures, clerics, mosques, schools, satellite stations, and Internet sites -- even the ministry of education -- openly incite hatred for Egypt’s indigenous (but “infidel”) inhabitants: the Christian Copts. Among other forms of animosity, they teach that Muslims must hate -- and show that they hate -- Christians, even if they are their own wives.
Worse, they teach that the most abominable crimes in God’s sight -- “worse than murder and bloodshed” -- take place inside churches: there, Christians flaunt their rejection of Islam’s core doctrine of tawhid (“monotheism”) by ascribing partners to God (shirk) via their worship of the Trinity. This is why some of Islam’s most revered ulema (scholars) describe churches as “worse than bars and brothels” and “dens of iniquity” which “breed corruption throughout the lands” (see Crucified Again, pgs. 32-36).

Muslims for some reason, I suppose lack of imagination, believe that the One, True, and Living God could not be at once experienced by humans as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To believe that our God could not at the same time be in the Heavens, and on the earth, while inspiring people everywhere with his love is to think that God is too small. God is not in a box. He is not only in Heaven, which is a convenient construct for limited humans, but rather God is everywhere, at all times, in all places, always the same. God was there at the beginning, but so was his plan for salvation through Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. All three are but manifestations of Him. They are different ways of experiencing Him.  God will be there at the end because he is already there, waiting for us to arrive.  God truly is the alpha and omega.

The greatest gift, of all the many I have received from Him, is love.  In turn, I must try to love my fellow man (and woman) as he has loved me.  Of course this does not mean romantically, but rather to attempt to understand, to empathize, and to do my best to help my fellow creatures.  Remember that Jesus performed the ultimate act for us.  Though innocent, in the real sense of the word, and not just legally innocent, he died for us, to take our sins and wash us clean, then rose from the dead to show us that death had been conquered for all time, for all people.  This was how much God loved us, that He would die for us, since we were incapable of reconciling ourselves to Him otherwise.

Why couldn't we reconcile ourselves?  Because there is no man who is perfect.  We all deserve to die, and so sacrificing ourselves does nothing.  Whether we die sooner of later makes no real difference since we are all under sentence of death.  Only God Himself could come down, live the perfect life, and die to atone for our sins.  Nothing less would do.  Nothing more was needed.

So, where do the Gnostics, who now call themselves Muslims, go wrong?  By trying to pin down where God is.  I do not pretend to understand the Trinity, because being a limited human being, I can not.  I just accept that it is so.  I accept it as a matter of faith, and I accept it as a great, most generous gift.  It is a gift so magnificent that I can only call it Grace.  But the Muslims insist that God can not be both Father and Son simultaneously.  But as we have seen, why couldn't the God of Creation, who made everything that is, and everything that is not (for there are many things that COULD have been had not He discarded them) also put a back door, so to speak into physics to allow Him to be everywhere all the time?  I see miracles happen daily, and those miracles would not happen without divine Providence.

Whenever Muslims kill Christians for their faith, eulogies for the latter -- including for St. Peter’s 28 slain -- often invoke the words of Christ: “The time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God” (John 16:2). Not only is this verse prophetic; it’s key to understanding why Christians are under attack throughout the Muslim world: Their persecutors truly “think they are offering a service to God” by killing Christians. And they believe this, not because they are “radical” or have “perverted” the teachings of Islam, but because the impostor god of Islam tells them so.
Muslims will only stop hating and killing Christians when they finally abandon the god who hates and accept the God who Loves.  But, while the God who Loves, directs us to pray for them, to proselytize to them as best we can, he does not expect us to go about unarmed and incapable of defending ourselves.  You need to carry a gun with you even in church.

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