P.Allan“France’s deadliest terrorist attack in modern memory unfolded with chilling precision here [in Paris Wednesday] as gunmen speaking fluent French burst into a satirical newspaper’s weekly staff meeting and raked the room with bullets, leaving behind what one witness described as ‘absolute carnage’ . . . After shooting dead their final victim, the exultant killers calmly fled the scene, sparking a manhunt that extended across this capital city and deep into its suburbs . . . the three masked assailants . . . carried out the assault shouting the Arabic call of ‘Allahu Akbar,’ or ‘God is great,’ amid the gunfire” (Washington Post, Wednesday, January 8).

This is a religious war. I’ve been saying that privately for weeks.  Yesterday South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsay Graham said it on radio.  This war is  not primarily about who gets to rule over what people and land.  Nor is it primarily about dictatorship or democracy or dollars.  It’s primarily about a theological worldview.

USA Today published this article by Anjem Choudary, a Muslim cleric in Britain  . . .

“Contrary  to popular misconception, Islam does not mean peace but rather means submission to the commands of Allah alone.  Therefore, Muslims do not believe in the concept of freedom of expression, as their speech and actions are determined by divine revelation and not based on people’s desires . . . In an increasingly unstable and insecure world, the potential consequences of insulting the Messenger Muhammad are known to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

. . . Muslims consider the honor of the Prophet Muhammad to be dearer to them than that of their parents or even themselves.  To defend it is considered to be an obligation upon them.  The strict punishment if found guilty of this crime under sharia (Islamic law) is capital punishment implementable by an Islamic State.  This is because the Messenger Muhammad said, ‘Whoever insults a Prophet, kill him.'”

Last October the Washington Post reported, “Iraq and Syria, Choudary says confidently, are only the beginning.  ‘The Islamic State’s signature black flag will fly over 10 Downing Street, not to mention the White House.  And it won’t happen peacefully, but only after a great battle that is now underway . . . We believe there will be complete domination of the world by Islam.'”

Muslim terrorists are driven by Islam.  “Divine revelation.”  “The potential consequences of insulting the Messenger Muhammad.”  “The honor of the Prophet Muhammad dearer to them than parents or themselves.”  “Whoever insults a Prophet, kill him.”  Islamists consider blasphemy (defined as an insult to the Koran or to Muhammad) a capital crime.  Not all Muslims hold these views; but, as Dr. Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote in his blog, ” . . . the western world now finds itself at war with at least a very large sector of Islam.”

The Christian worldview is driven by Christ.  Mercy.  Grace.  Truth.  Love.  These are vital virtues in a Christian worldview, because they are Christ’s virtues as the Son of God.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,
even when we were dead in our trespasses,
made us alive together with Christ—
by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:4,5)
.

For the law was given through Moses,
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1:17).

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in  him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

Listen to Jesse Johnson, Teaching Pastor at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, Virginia, contrast Christianity with Islam . . .

Islam teaches violence, while Christianity teaches forgiveness. I’m not referencing fringe Islamic groups, but mainstream governments and mainstream cultures. Countries run by Islamic law foster violence and are democratically unworkable, whereas countries run by Christian law…

Well, it should dawn on you that there are no countries run by Christian law. Because Christianity is a religion built upon an individual’s relationship with God through Christ, not on a way of structuring a society. Because the focus is on the individual, nations with a Christian heritage produce individual and civic freedoms.

 And listen to Dr. Al Mohler contrast Christianity and Islam regarding blasphemy . . .

Islam considers blasphemy a capital crime and defines blasphemy as an insult to the Quran, to Islam, and most specifically and personally, to the prophet Mohammed. Christianity also has a concern about blasphemy, but as a spiritual crime—as a sin against God, not as a matter of civic law.

As a matter of fact, Christians recognize that Jesus Christ himself suffered insults and blasphemy on our behalf. Further, Christ deterred the church from pursuing violence when he told Peter to put his sword away. Christ did not revile those who blasphemed him by calling for violence, but rather he accepted the blasphemy as part of the suffering he was called to endure. That is a stunning difference between blasphemy in the Christian worldview and the understanding of blasphemy in the Islamic worldview.

Theology matters.  The Western world has forgotten that.  “Being  basically rational and secular in their own worldview, Western elites find it almost impossible to understand the radical actions taken by Islamic terrorists” (Al Mohler).  And even when we acknowledge religions “[w]e value relativism so much that we have lost the ability to say that some religions are enemies of both truth and freedom” (Jesse Johnson).

American government is an example.  President Obama seems to go out of his way to avoid the word “Islam.”  He and others in his administration seem to assume that ultimately everybody is rational and secular.  Therefore, we should all be able to sit around the table and reasonably negotiate peace.  But if the Islamists’ worldview demands world-takover for the honor of Mohammad—and killing whoever dishonors him—reasonable negotiations for peace are doomed.  The sizable segment of Muslims we call “radical extremists”die for their theological worldview and kill thousands in the name of their god.  A culture like ours, foolishly determined to equalize all faiths and brainwashed by our society’s leaders into shutting up faith in the ghetto of church or synagogue, doesn’t understand.  Drones kill individual terrorists; they can’t kill a theological worldview.

This is the world where we live.  Growing numbers of Muslims, driven by the theological worldview of Islam, increasingly terrorizing the world in a death-drive to honor Muhammad.  Western nations, with leaders weakened by a growing secular worldview, in the dark and on the defensive, trying to survive with “reasonable discussions”.  Thousands of Western world citizens reportedly are going over to ISIS to fight with them or be trained by them to fight back home.  And far too many Christians thinking theology is for Sunday morning church, not what we live for 24/7.

In this world where we live,
theology matters!

 

<b>Paris Shooting</b> At Charlie Hebdo Magazine Office Leaves At Least 12 ...

*Note:  Content for this post drawn from the following blogs where complete posts by Dr. Al Mohler and Pastor Jesse Johnson are available.
http://www.albertmohler.com/2015/01/08/theological-extremism-in-a-secular-age/
http://thecripplegate.com/the-ineptitude-of-moral-equivalence/

 

 

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