Monday, September 13, 2010

Questions for Moderate Christians

An email from ACT of Middle Tennessee asks me to ask moderate Muslims some questions. Here is a sampling:

Where do you stand on these passages from the Koran?:

-- Surely the vilest of animals in Allah’s sight are those who disbelieve. (8.55)
-- The unbelievers are your inveterate enemy. (4:101)
-- Mohammed is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another. (48:29).
-- The true believers fight for the cause of God, but the infidels fight for the devil. (4:76)

Where do you stand on these sayings of Muhammad?:

-- Allah's Apostle said, "You (i.e. Muslims) will fight with the Jews till some of them will hide behind stones. The stones will (betray them) saying, 'O 'Abdullah (i.e. slave of Allah)! There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him.' "
-- Mohammed said, "Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him."
-- Muhammad said: "Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war, …"

Where do you stand on the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, which all 67 Moslem-majority countries have subscribed to, which makes Islam legally superior to all other religions; which makes all human rights subject to Sharia. Sharia law, of course, provides for the legal subordination of non-Moslems to Moslems and of women to men. It mandates death for apostates, blasphemers and homosexuals. It defines jihad as making war on non-Moslems.

These are good questions to ask moderate Muslims. Here are some questions I would like to ask of moderate Christians:

Where do you stand on this teaching of St. Paul:

“For you, brothers, became imitators of God's churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those churches suffered from the Jews, who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to all men” (1 Thessalonians 2:14-15)

Regarding the status of women, where do you stand on these teachings of St. Paul:

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church… Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their husband in everything. (Ephesians 5:22-224)

Where do you stand on this teaching of Martin Luther:

Jews are “venomous beasts, vipers, disgusting scum, canders, devils incarnate. Their private houses must be destroyed and devastated, they could be lodged in stables. Let the magistrates burn their synagogues and let whatever escapes be covered with sand and mud. Let them force to work, and if this avails nothing, we will be compelled to expel them like dogs in order not to expose ourselves to incurring divine wrath and eternal damnation from the Jews and their lies” (On the Jews and their Lies).

Where do you stand on the teaching of Pope Clement VIII (1536–1605):

"All the world suffers from the usury of the Jews, their monopolies and deceit. They have brought many unfortunate people into a state of poverty, especially the farmers, working class people and the very poor. Then, as now, Jews have to be reminded intermittently that they were enjoying rights in any country since they left Palestine and the Arabian desert, and subsequently their ethical and moral doctrines as well as their deeds rightly deserve to be exposed to criticism in whatever country they happen to live."

Where do you stand on the following affirmation of Christianity as the one true faith:

“Yes, Christianity is the one true religion. That may sound awfully dogmatic and narrow-minded, but the simple truth is that Christianity is the only true religion. Jesus said that He alone was the way to the Father (John 14:6), that He alone revealed the Father (Matt. 11:27; Luke 10:22). Christians do not go around saying Christianity is the only way because they are arrogant, narrow-minded, stupid, and judgmental. They do so because they believe what Jesus said." (Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry, CARM)

Where do you stand on the Pledge to the Christian Flag,

“I pledge allegiance to the Christian Flag and to the Savior for whose Kingdom it stands. One Savior, crucified, risen, and coming again with life and liberty to all who believe.” Is liberty to be reserved for Christians alone?

These are all good questions. Let me know what answers you receive when you ask them.

5 comments:

Karen said...

Sigh. Do you think we'll ever learn? Do you think people will ever get that we all collectively created the world the way it is and that only by respecting and loving each other as human beings not defined by some "box" like nationality or religion can we make it better? That no ancient text is 100% "right"?

Raksha said...

Some Christians would have two sets of answers to those questions: (1) the public relations or tolerant and reasonable answers; and (2) the in-house or "esoteric" version which expresses their true intolerance. I'd like to be a fly on the wall at one of Sarah Palin's home church prayer circles when they discuss this list. It's the only way I'd ever hear the truth from them.

Oh wait...you said moderate Christians!!! What on earth was I thinking?

--Linda

Barzilai said...

You don't judge a tree by it's leaves, but by it's fruit. Language is an imperfect reflection of intent. Behavior is the only reliable evidence of belief. In the case of Islam, it appears that the vast silent majority subscribes to the literal meaning of those words.

Paul Oakley said...

@ Barzilai - Language may be an imperfect tool, but, to use the metaphor you chose, language too is a fruit. And quite frankly, I don't care what a person's intent is. If someone injures me, the best of intentions is no protection to me. I am just as injured. So the fact that "language is an imperfect reflection of intent" is totally beside the point.

Barzilai said...

Paul, I'm sorry, I must have been obscure to the point of utter meaninglessness. Let me try again. I disagreed with Rami. My point was that while certainly the Bible contains many statements that could be read as legitimizing crusades to either convert the heathens or kill them, (and allow slavery, and require the execution of men who engage in homosexuality,) that's not how it's done now. Christianity in it's current form does not countenance that kind of behavior. It abhors it. Islam, as the majority of its contemporary adherents understand it, still now does advocate the sword as a medium of spreading the religion (and executing homosexuals and the institution of slavery in the Sudan and Saudi Arabia).