(CCU Faculty) Mike Lux, blogging in the Huffington Post, announces he has found the “Ultimate Contradiction-in-Terms: Right-Wing Christians.” Lux shakes his head and condemns those of us who claim to follow Jesus Christ and still vote for an occasional Republican. Here's the oracle in full.
Lux begins this attack on people like myself by relating a debate between Glenn Beck and leftist-evangelical Jim Wallis. Wallis won the debate of course because he “actually knows something about the Bible.” Beck and his hero, Ayn Rand, enthrone “selfishness as the ultimate virtue.” (Lots of “ultimates” in Mike’s Luxicon.)
But it gets worse. Conservative Christians manage to “ignore the literally many hundreds of Biblical quotes about social justice.” And still worse, we turn Christianity into “a religion solely focused on one very selfish goal: whether they get into heaven or not. That's it, that is the entire goal and purpose and meaning of their faith.”
Where to begin? For starters, Mike, citing Glenn Beck and Ayn Rand as holding the flag for conservative Christians is like using Rosie O’Donnell to shill your diet plan. Beck is a recent convert to Mormonism and before that a lapsed Catholic. Rand is a militant atheist. Try taking on real conservative Christians instead of your men and women of straw.
Next, since I “actually know something about the Bible” I have read the verses on social justice. And the Left is the greatest enemy of social justice in the history of the world. Left-wing governments have murdered more of their own citizens as a matter of state policy then all other governments in the history of the world combined. (You would claim no connection to the genocidal Stalin or Mao but I can connect you to them a lot easier than you can connect me to Ayn Rand.)
As for hypocrisy I claim no ability whatsoever to be able to compete with the Left. You sit comfortably in the richest nation in the history of the world and hold in contempt the economic conservatives who created it. You freely write your ad hominem screeds and hold in contempt the political conservatives who created that freedom. And you condescend to us religious conservatives who proclaim the eternal Gospel of Jesus Christ who made Christian culture possible.
Since I am one of those cretins who “refuse to help the oppressed” let me tell you what my house is like. It is a place where the third-world poor and the oppressed in America, eat my food, sleep in my beds, drive my cars, and weep on my shoulder, EVERY SINGLE DAY OF MY LIFE. Multiply my story by thirty million and you get some idea what the “religious right” is all about. I would appreciate not being trashed by people whose idea of compassion is to vote to take my money away and give it to politicians they like. When it comes to giving one’s own money to help the “poor and oppressed” we troglodyte conservative Christians outgive you “compassionate” Leftists by more than three to one. (That's from Who Really Cares by AEI scholar Arthur Brooks, featured speaker at a Centennial Institute forum in Denver just this morning, as it happens.)
“Getting to heaven” is not the only goal of my life. But Jesus said, (I know this because I actually read my Bible) “What does it profit a man if gains the whole world and loses his soul?” (Matthew 16:25) So apparently He is quite concerned about whether or not we go to heaven and you should be, too.
And I would like to ask one final question. You talk about people who really read the Bible and who “take the Bible seriously.” Why is it that more than 75% of the people who do so vote like I do? We read the Bible differently from you, Mike. Is it possible we read it better? (Or actually read it at all?)
So I will continue to live in the “ultimate contradiction” of being a Christian conservative until you can come up with something more than left-wing sloganeering. And in the meantime, if you want to know more about me you will have to go to someone besides Glenn Beck or Ayn Rand.
(CCU Faculty) How do you know if a prophet is from God? By his fruit! If his fruit is love and joy he is from God. If his fruit is hate and terror, he is not from God. “By this is my Father glorified," said Jesus, "that you bear much fruit, and prove to be my disciples. Just as the Father has loved me, I have also loved you; abide in my love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full” (John 15:9,11) Paul elaborated on this, writing that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
Jesus also said, “By this all men will know you are my disciples, that you have love for one another.” Jesus taught us “love your enemies.” On the other hand, the Qu’ran teaches Muslims to “take not My enemy and your enemy for friends, offering them love, though they have disbelieved in the truth” (60:1) Many Muslims I have met are filled with hate. They are taught to hate their enemies, to hate unbelievers.
Jesus loved sinners, “God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” But the Quran says that “Allah does not love sinners” (2:190,276; 3:57,140; 4:107; 5:87; 7:55; 42:40) and “Allah does not love unbelievers” (3:32; 22:38; 30:45).
Jesus told the Pharisees, “I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you.” The same can be said of Muslims, unless they show the love of God by the fruit they show in their lives. The New Testament says, “Beloved let us love one another, for love is from God. He that loves is born of God and knows God; he that loves not, knows not God, for God is love.”
Jesus told his followers, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” Telling his disciples of his death and resurrection, “your sorrow will be turned to joy…your heart will rejoice and no one takes your joy away from you…ask and you will receive, that your joy may be made full.”(Jn16)
On the other hand, Islam teaches terror: “We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve.” (3:151) “I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them." (8:12) “strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies” (8:60) “And those of the People of the Book…God did take them down from their strongholds and cast terror into their hearts” (33:26) “And kill them wherever you find them…such is the recompense for unbelievers.” (2:191)
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life,” “I have come that they may have life,” and “Come to me, that you may have life.” On the other hand, Mohammad brought death. He often called for the death of others. He led his followers into battle, killed his enemies and divided the spoils of war with his troops. His followers (at least those who take his teachings most literally) have brought death throughout the centuries. “Allah loves those who fight” (61:4)
How can you show yourselves to be followers of God? According to Jesus, you should “love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other…”
Radical Muslims often say, “We love death more than life.” Christians should bring life to those who are dead in their hate. We should “speak the truth in love,” not fearing what Muslims will do to us in return, for “perfect love casts out all fear.” We must be willing to die, to prove our love. After all, they are willing to kill to prove their hate.
Having read this, if someone is filled with hate and wants to kill me for having written it, he is not of God. However, if the reader is instead filled with love and a desire to bring love and joy and life to those filled with hate and terror and death, then he is very likely born of God. By their fruits you shall know them.
(CCU Faculty) Yesterday while picking up my son and his buddies from a local shopping center, I ran into a student of mine who is preparing to be a missionary to the Muslim world. We briefly spoke about his experiences on a recent trip to the Middle East and his plans for the future. While driving the teenage boys back to their respective homes, one of them asked why someone would want to convert Muslims into Christians. My son’s buddies were not raised in Christian homes, but attend public high school, as does my son. We try to use opportunities like this to share Christ with our kids’ non-Christian friends.
My response was that if Christianity was the true religion and one which promoted peace rather than violence, wouldn’t it be a good thing to convince others to believe in it. My son’s friend told me that all religions were really the same, and that it wasn’t important which religion one believed in. I then asked, if he had ever heard of a Methodist terrorist or a Presbyterian suicide bomber. He answered that there must be some of them out there, which reminded me what they are teaching our children in their “politically correct” public schools.
Are all religions really the same? Are the teachings of Mohammad morally equivalent to that of Jesus? Jesus said to turn the other cheek, while Mohammad taught retribution. Jesus went peacefully to the cross, while Mohammad led jihads and conquered most of the Arabian Peninsula. Christianity was spread peacefully by preaching, while Muslim armies conquered the Middle East, North Africa, Spain, central and south Asia. Christian martyrs were thrown to the lions or burnt at the stake for their faith, while Muslim martyrs died in jihads against the infidel or blew themselves up in cafes and at weddings.
Hollywood can make movies like "The Last Temptation of Christ" and "The Life of Brian," Broadway can produce a play depicting a gay Jesus, an “Artist” can put a crucifix in urine, yet Christians respond with peaceful protests. However Salman Rushdie wrote a few words in a book and got fatwas issued by Muslims world-wide, death threats forced him to live the rest of his life in hiding. Why don’t these movie producers and “artists” treat Mohammad the same as they have Jesus?
In the wake of Rushdie’s words about Mohammad numerous bookstores were firebombed, as was a newspaper which supported Rushie’s freedom of expression. The result was that few bookstores even carried the Rushdie book. Even several British nationals in the Middle East were kidnapped, until the British government handed over the blasphemer. A press release from the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran declared “Even if Salman Rushdie repents and become the most pious man of all time, it is incumbent on every Muslim to employ everything he has got, his life and wealth, to send him to Hell.” Throughout the late 80s and early 90s hundreds died in Muslim violence against Rushie’s book. The current Ayatollah and Supreme Leader of Iran recently reaffirmed to the world that the fatwa against Rushdie was still in force.
When Danish cartoonists drew images of Mohammad in 2005, Muslims throughout the Middle East rioted and burnt down Danish embassies and western cultural centers, resulting in the deaths of over 100 people. Many of the cartoonists now live in hiding. Last month a Muslim assassin was captured by Danish police in the home of one of the cartoonists, attempting to break into the “panic room”, installed by the cartoonist for his own safety. Theo van Gogh produced a documentary on the treatment of women in the Muslim world. In response the imam of the largest mosque in The Hague declared him a ‘criminal bastard’ and called for divine retribution. Shortly thereafter, while bicycling through the streets of Amsterdam, he was shot dead and beheaded by a Muslim man.
Why is it that most Muslim countries have blasphemy laws, some even calling for the death penalty for defaming Islam, the Koran, or Mohammad? Why is it that Muslims now demand blasphemy laws in Western countries? Why have many of these formerly tolerant Western nations complied and now limit freedom of speech to their citizens, prosecuting them for “defaming Islam”? Why is it that I will come under great criticism (not only by Muslims but also by Christians) for even writing this? I have been told over the years by several of my foreign students, that my life would be in danger if I continued to teach about Islam the way I do.
Even Muslims recognize the difference. Several times I have heard Muslims say, “I am not a Christian who would turn the other cheek.” One of my former students went into Military Intelligence and was assigned to interrogate Muslims incarcerated in the “War on Terror”. He told me that several of his Muslim prisoners told him, that if he were a true Christian, he wouldn’t be in the army. Several times I have been told by Muslims, that Christians are taught peace and submission while Muslims are taught war and conquest. This was because Allah intended Muslims to rule over Christians.
Scholars often point to the different roles of the founders of these two religions. Jesus led a small band of Jews, who were subdued by the mighty Roman Empire and put their hope in a spiritual kingdom. Mohammad was the sheik of Medina, who raided caravans for their booty and became the ruler of a vast earthly domain, imposing his religion on its populace. Those who continue to insist that there is no difference between these two religions are either deluded or attempting to delude others.