Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Secular Anti-Islamic Materials - A Few Thoughts

There are a number of secular anti-Islamic materials that circulate. These materials, in my exposure, include only a small number of legitimate criticisms of Islam. They tend to focus on aspects of Islam that they believe will shock their fellow secularists and liberal Christians, especially Shariah.

Perhaps these materials may serve a useful purpose in terms of helping secularists realize that Biblical Christianity is not the thing they should most fear. There is less shocking to them in our demands on modesty and our prohibitions of illicit sexual relations. They may not like what we have to say, but Islam's offense to them is - on many points - more severe.

Whether they serve that useful purpose, or not, I do not know. That purpose, however, is not enough of an incentive for me to promote them.

In principle, such materials should be similarly opposed to Christian views (I mean, Biblical Christianity, as distinct from modern Rome, liberal Protestantism, or any other of a myriad of groups that call themselves Christian). The Bible prescribed circumcision for the Jews - a practice that some liberals today view as shocking and barbaric.

The Bible, moreover, teaches that the world was formed by God in six days (days having a length of an evening and a morning), and that man was formed from the dust of the earth, with woman being formed from the man's rib. The Bible promotes male headship and glorifies patriarchy, even in the very prologue itself.

God did not pick a gender-neutral language in which to communicate truth about himself, and explicitly refers to himself using male descriptions, as the dominant form of description of God. He is our Husband, we are his bride. There is God the Father and God the Son, but there is no "God the Mother" or "God the Daughter."

The Bible provides strict penalties for a variety of sexual crimes, including things like adultery. The Bible likewise does not teach that the kind of "religious liberty" that is en vogue in modern Western society.

The Bible describes God as authorizing the genocide of the Canaanites, as well as the elimination of the royal families of several of Israel's kings.

There are numerous things that shock and offend modern Western secularists in the Bible. I've named only a few.

So, if I appeal to modern Western secular sensibilities for the rejection of Islam, what have I done? I've appealed to a rule that also rejects Christianity. As far as I'm concerned, that's an inconsistency that I cannot live with.

There are, of course, other secular criticisms of Islam - such as scholarly criticisms of Islam's historical and textual claims. Those criticisms of Islam appeal to things like the historical evidence. Those criticisms, therefore, appeal to a standard that I can adopt as a useful tool. After all, the historical evidence is not contrary to the truth - even if the historical evidence is not always complete.

Primarily, though, my rule of faith is not even the historical evidence, but the Word of God. My rule of Faith is the Scriptures themselves. They teach me what I should believe about God and how I should act on the basis of that belief. They inform my sensibilities.

They are the reason I reject Islam, and the primary reason anyone should. If you reject Islam for the wrong reasons, you are simply changing your affiliations. Instead of the section of hell that includes Muslims, you will be in another section (not that hell really has sections).

Playing musical chairs in hell, though, is a trivial accomplishment. It is a far, far better thing to embrace the one and only means of salvation: Christ Jesus, the Son of Man and Son of God, the Word made Flesh, the Rock of our Salvation and Creator of the world.

If you repent of your sins and trust in him alone for salvation, you have good reason to be confident that he will hear your prayer, have mercy on you, and rescue you from the judgment you otherwise deserve.


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