Tag Archives: truth

Healing Our Deep Divisions

Our deep divisions come from an impoverished anthropology.

We must reaffirm that all persons we encounter are made in God’s image with vocations of worship and work, play and rest, mutual self-donation and personal flourishing.

Our new anthropology must embrace created dignity, sin-infected depravity, gracious new creation in Christ and the restoration of all creation, as we enjoy God’s eternal reign.

Class and culture, gender and race are transformed with this new vision.

Transforming our society begins with love and truth.

Love: I desire and act for the good of others.

Truth: I assume responsibility for my decisions while recognizing larger influences I may not always control.

As we pray and work for justice, Pastor Chris Brooks’ words resound:
”We must confront individual iniquity and institutional injustice.”
”Poverty is not permanent.”

Poverty, racism, sexism, classism: all can be overcome with unselfish actions rooted in love and truth.

A free society is a virtuous society.

A virtuous society is built on timeless truth.

And it all begins and ends with self-donating love.

And that love is Triune.

 

 

Telling the Truth: A Public Conversation

Telling the Truth about Islam, Part 1
As several nations face the scourge of Islamicist terror, telling the truth about Islam has never been more important. After the 9/11 attacks in the USA, Western elites have been falling all over themselves separating the “religion of peace” from radical groups that “pervert” a distinguished monotheistic religion.

It is time for the truth.

Yes, most Muslim neighbors are peaceful people. The same can be said of people of all faiths or none in most circumstances. Most people do not murder in pursuit of power. Yes, there have been historical moments when Christian nations have made war on Muslim nations. And, yes, there have been tragic errors in Israel’s pursuit of security amidst scores of nations and millions of people desiring her destruction.

Qualifiers complete. It is time for truth.

21st century Islamist terrorism is consistent with a conquering ethos that dominates Islam from its inception to its current forms. From the conquest of the Arabian Peninsula by Mohammed’s armies in the 620s to the Ottoman expansions into the 17th century, Islam fosters political, military and social domination, allowing Christians and Jews limited freedoms as second-class citizens and violently persecuting all other religions as a matter of policy.

10-10-732 and 9-11-1683

On October 10, 732, the Frankish troops of Charles Martel repulsed the Umayyad cavalry in a field between Tours and Poitiers. The century prior to 732 was one of unabated Islamic conquest. On September 11, 1683, the army of the Ottoman Empire was defeated at the gates of Vienna (in large part thanks to valiant Polish cavalry), ending centuries of Ottoman conquests in Asia Minor and Eastern Europe.

Crusaders and colonizers: it is complicated.

Politically correct historians and cultural commentators enjoy lambasting Western oppression of Islamiclands, citing the Crusades of 1096-1291 and the European race for Africa and the Middle East between 1870 and 1940 as proof that modern Muslim anger is justified and the West is getting a taste of its own medicine. The Crusades represent a complex series of events originating in both Eastern and Western Christian imperial aims. These included protecting pilgrims and reconquering lost territory. Add to this mix the promises of material and spiritual honor and a toxic mix of motives and methods emerges. After 1291, no Christian presence remained in the Holy Land apart from small religious enclaves.

The colonialism of the 19th and 20th centuries was the result of the vacuum left with the end of the Ottoman Empire. There is much indefensible oppression and one must separate the economic and political power games of Western nations from the humanitarian and spiritual goals of Christian missionaries – they were often at odds with each other. By the 1970s, however, no Western nation controlled Muslim territory and the emergence of OPEC and the untold oil wealth ended the ability of Islamic regimes to blame the West for their economic problems. As one Imam in Cupertino CA recently said, “Given the wealth of many Muslim nations, there should not be a single poor Muslim in the world.” (Name withheld for his personal protection.)

And there is Israel.

The birth of the modern State of Israel in 1948 is considered a great evil in the eyes of global Islam. Extremists deny both the existence of Israelite presence in ancient times and the severity of the Holocaust! They avoid the uncomfortable facts that the Mufti of Jerusalem supported mass extermination in 1941, encouraging Hitler with his plans for the Auschwitz and Saschsenhausen death camps. Moderates claim that this tiny state is a Western colonial imposition and now an “apartheid” oppressor of Palestinians. A few brave Muslims work for peace at the risk of their lives. Israel’s support of religious freedom, the presence of a million Arab citizens and a vibrant democracy and economy do not matter – she must be eliminated. Every radical Muslim group repudiates Israel’s right to exist.

How then shall we live?

Islam is organically incapable of fostering an egalitarian democracy. The Qur’an has no texts allowing for the equality of all citizens in a Muslim nation. Reform groups that catch media attention either repudiate foundational Muslim texts or act as a cover for extremist agendas.

Americans and all lovers of liberty must face the truth about Islam. In next week’s essay, we will explore positive attitudes and actions for a better future.