Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Real Answer to Islamic Jihad

There are now daily articles from many different on-line media organisation reporting on atrocities committed by Muslims against those who do not accept their faith. Most of these do not get reported in the main news media. You can see some examples here, here, here, and here. (You may also find this interesting).

All this is gruesomely relevant. Our politicians and media seem to be in denial about this kind of thing. While this does not of course mean that all Muslims want to commit atrocities like these, we should not forget that the Koran encourages Muslims to do this sort of thing to their enemies. "When ye encounter the unbelievers, strike off their heads, until ye have made a great slaughter among them" (Koran, Sura 47:4). There is no ethic of "love your enemy" in Islam.

Just because not all Muslims want to make war on non-Muslims in this way does not mean that Islam as a religion does not teach this. Islam is not a religion of peace. It divides the whole world into the House of Islam and the House of War. The Koran teaches that the Muslim's duty is to conquer the House of War, by force if necessary. The Koran recognises that war is hateful to Muslims but it still recommends it: "War is enjoined you against the Infidels; but this is hateful unto you: yet perchance ye hate a thing which is better for you, and perchance ye love a thing which is worse for you: but God knoweth and ye know not" (Sura 2:216). Yet the same Sura says "Let there be no violence in religion" (256).

Some Muslims have claimed that the command to fight against infidels only relates to defensive war, but this a modern interpretation, and not universal, and the history of both ancient and modern Islamic States contradicts this interpretation. A well attested hadith states that Mohammad said "I am commanded to fight against men until they bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that Mohammad is God's messenger; only by pronouncing these words can they make their property and blood secure from me" (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 1, Bk 1, no. 24).

The Koran contradicts itself. Muslims will doubtless choose which bits they will prioritise and how they will interpret the conflicting statements. Apparently, the peaceful statements came first, the violent ones later. But as I understand it later revelation modifies earlier revelation. The hadiths are very important for Sharia law, more important than the Koran in many respects. However these conflicts are interpreted, the violent interpretation of Islam is a legitimate interpretation, not a misunderstanding or a corruption of Islam.

The real issue though is not Islam but Christianity. God has used Islam throughout history as a stick to beat the apostate Christian nations of the West with for their apostasy. It is no different today. The West is apostate from the Christian faith. If the Western nations do not repent and turn back to God, and this means returning to God's law as the nations' standard of justice and man’s rule of life, God will continue to beat them with the rod of Islam and other rods of judgement (Rom. 1:18–32). This repentance will not happen until the Church once more starts teaching God’s law to the nations (Mt. 28:18–10). But the Church has largely abandoned this mission and replaced the biblical gospel with pietistic and sacramental mystery cults that are antinomian (i.e. they do not teach the abiding validity and relevance of God’s law) and useless to the world. The answer lies with the Church therefore. Judgement must begin with the house of God (1 Pet. 4:17). The Church must repent of her apostasy and return to God. When she does, and when she starts to provide a model for the world to follow in the way she herself lives as a true community, a true society of faith with a social order that conforms to God’s will as revealed in his law, that witness will start to have results, and we shall again begin to see the discipling of the nation. Unless and until this happens, the Western nations, which now suppress the truth in unrighteousness, will continue to experience the judgement of God upon their ungodliness and unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18).

The Great Commission is the only real answer to Islamic Jihad (and to all the other problems besetting our world). But Christians must dispense with the fake pietistic version of the Great Commission that has been peddled in the Churches of the West for so long and embrace the biblical vision of discipling the nations. That means not merely making individual converts but making Christian nations. And that inevitably means teaching God’s law to the nations:
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Is. 2:2–4).
“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Is. 8:20).
“He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgement in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law" (Is. 42:4). 
"The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable.” (Is. 42:21).
“Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgement to rest for a light of the people” (Is. 51:4).

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