Islam needs a Reformation, unlikely though that is
What may be a surprise, especially to those who haven’t completely read the Old Testament, is that the Bible is every bit as violent as the Koran. There are thirty six (36!!) different offenses in the Bible which qualify for capital punishment. Here are a few of them; — cursing parents, working on the Sabbath, premarital Sex (girls only), disobedience (boys only), worshipping any god but Yahweh, witches, loose daughters of clergy, girls who are raped within the city limits, blasphemers, anyone who proselytizes Yahweh worshipers to a different religion, men who lie with men, adulterers, men who lie with beasts.
(References: Leviticus 20:9 — Exodus 31:15 — Deuteronomy 22:20 — Deuteronomy 21:18 — Deuteronomy 17:2-5 — Exodus 22: 18 — Leviticus 21:9 — Deuteronomy 22:23-25 — Leviticus 24:16 — Deuteronomy 12:6 — Leviticus 20:13 — Leviticus 20: 10-12 — Leviticus 20:15)
It’s in the Bible. God’s word! These are commandments, NOT suggestions. So, in the last two thousand years how many children who have cursed their parents has Christianity put to death? I believe the correct answer is …. zero. In America, Christianity has killed people for only one of the above offenses; about 20 people were executed for witchcraft in Salem, MA., and that was about 325 years ago.
The most logical question to ask is, “Why aren’t Christians faithfully obeying God’s commandments in the same manner and fervor as Muslims obey the Koran? Are we less faithful?” The answer to that can be found in The Reformation.
THE CHRISTIAN REFORMATION
My intent is not to turn this into a doctrinal essay so, I’ll keep this brief … a view from 50,000 feet. None of what follows is a criticism of Catholicism. Rather, it is an indictment of human nature when fallible and weak humans are given unlimited power.
In the 1,500 years prior to the Reformation there was but one church – the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). How, what, when, and where to worship and believe was determined entirely by a small group of elite leaders, culminating with the Pope. Popes eventually became as powerful, if not more powerful, than kings. Corruption became the norm. They lived in splendor, and the people in squalor.
And then one day, along came Martin Luther – and he changed everything. Albeit, not without much violence and bloodshed — for those in power never ever give up their place in the universe without first inflicting even more pain and horror than ever before on the poor souls under their thumb. Reformation and suffering work in tandem.
At the heart of the Reformation was the desire to answer four basic questions;
—- 1) How is a person saved?
—- 2) Where does religious authority lie?
—- 3) What is the church?
—- 4) What is the essence of Christian living?
The answers to those questions — which changed everything by uprooting the monolithic power of the RCC — is summed up in the 5 “Sola” declarations;
—-1) “Sola Scriptura” (Scripture Alone) —- Affirms that the Bible alone is the sole authority for all matters of faith and practice.
—-2) “Sola Gratia” (Salvation by Grace Alone) —- Affirms that salvation from God’s wrath is by God’s grace alone. Grace is the sole efficient cause of salvation which raises us up from spiritual death to spiritual life.
—-3) “Sola Fide” (Salvation by Faith Alone) —- Affirms justification is by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone. Nothing man can do on his own will save him.
—- 4) “Solus Christus” (In Christ Alone) —- Affirms that salvation is found in Christ alone. His sinless life and substitutionary atonement alone are sufficient for our reconciliation to God the Father.
—- 5) “Soli Deo Gloria” (For the Glory of God Alone) —- Affirms that salvation is of God and has been accomplished by God for His glory alone.
HOW THE REFORMATION SET US ALL FREE
Ok, great! So, what does this all mean? I’ll tell you. Hold tight and read carefully for comprehension because this is extremely important.
1)— The Reformation laid down once and for all the right and obligation of the individual conscience, and the right to follow the dictates of that individual conscience. Do you grasp what this means? In one word ….. Liberty! We in the West talk a good talk about “liberty”, but too few realize and understand that they owe their liberty to this event.
2)— Individual conscience allowed believers to reconsider how the Word of God was received, and its effectual operation in their lives. For the first time in hundreds of centuries people of faith could read for themselves how God chose to reveal himself in the written Word which, according to 2 Timothy 3:16 is as follows; — “All Scripture is INSPIRED by God ..”. No longer did they have to believe that every single word of the Bible was dictated by God (as Islam believes about the Koran) which only an elite clergy could interpret.
3)— By understanding that Scripture was inspired, and not dictated, this allowed believers to “re-interpret” Bible verses and even entire passages without fear that they were altering God’s Word
4)— The ability to “re-interpret” Scripture without fear of being banned as a heretic led to an avalanche of scholarly work. New ideas, previously suppressed by the brute authority of the RCC, now flourished in vast abundance. Human brains, previously dormant for 1,500 years, were once again put to use. (See “Special Note” below.)
5)— One of the very most important of these (many) new ideas was that God works differently in different eras. God is not like a rigid stone but, rather, has a heart of flesh. So, while the death penalty for many sins may have been sufficient and necessary at one time during the Age of Law, that same death penalty was totally unnecessary in the Age of Grace.
THAT, dear friends, is why Christians no longer kill adulterers. And, as the lack of all of the above is why Islam still does.
This picture may suggest the reason why Russia is not overrun and is rarely the victim of ISIS attacks. I'm sure that the ladies are lovely but this is a War between Freedom and Slavery, Life and Death. I guess they missed that meeting?
The neurotic generation
There is something worse than ignorance, and that is unwarranted fear.
A new study concludes that Millennials should be renamed the “anxious generation.” This is matched by my experience as a teacher of two decades. Even in this short time I’ve noticed students in the past few years have tended to be more neurotic, and emotionally delicate, than any I’ve ever encountered.
When people get heated about imaginary threats — when they constantly cry wolf — that not only gets trying, it generates stress and anxiety. When the tenth fire alarm drill blares in one day but everything is obviously fine, in fact better than ever, it becomes galling and one simply ignores the alarm.
Those who think each fire alarm might be real are in genuine emotional distress.
In 1978 Jim Jones convinced over 900 members of his socialist People’s Temple to commit mass suicide in the jungle of Guyana. Jones’s idealism was a large part of what made him so lethal. He really believed his propaganda. It was regular for Jones to play his emergency recording at the Temple compound, “White Night! White Night! Get to the pavilion! Run! Your lives are in danger!”
The People’s Temple teaches us something about the danger of being in a constant state of tension, afraid that the end of the world may come at any moment.
While many nations now enjoy prosperity unprecedented in history, for many people in those nations the early twenty-first century brings with it freezing despair and lack of confidence that this prosperity can continue much longer. Increasingly these days there have been louder cries that societal collapse is coming.
According to Gallup polls Americans are pessimistic about the future. A Pew survey of 47 nations found a general increase in the percentage of people citing pollution and environmental problems as a top global threat.
Given the overwhelming media prevalence of what Bjørn Lomborg calls ‘The Litany,’ maybe it should not be surprising that people are anxious.
“We are all familiar,” says Lomborg, “with the litany of our ever-deteriorating environment. It is the doomsday message endlessly repeated by the media, as when Time magazine tells us that ‘everyone knows the planet is in bad shape.’ We have heard the litany so often that yet another repetition is, well, almost reassuring.”
At the 2015 Paris Climate Conference President Obama offered his version of the Litany: “a glimpse of our children’s fate if the climate keeps changing faster than our efforts to address it. Submerged countries. Abandoned cities. Fields that no longer grow. Political disruptions that trigger new conflict, and even more floods of desperate peoples seeking the sanctuary of nations not their own.”
It is hard to think beyond the clanging and relentless deluge of fire alarms from important people.
As perception of danger increases people will worry more, leading to more enthusiasm for reporting the concern, and so to more fear. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, over 13 percent of the population are on antidepressants and the number is climbing.
It is difficult enough to question, let alone resist, an idea taught to the exclusion of others from kindergarten through university, printed in newspapers and magazines, and seen and heard multiple times each day on television and radio.
Young people are particularly at risk from this epidemic of fear. They are the first generation raised from cradle to grave on a constant diet of global warming fears.
And they are afraid. Very afraid.
A recent study finds millennials are more anxious and depressed than any generation since measurements began in the 1930s. They are being force fed lies. And so we find in the first quarter of the twenty-first century we live in a world where many people find it difficult to disentangle reality from fantasy. Could constant cries of environmental disaster blasted into their ears play a role?
Bear in mind that net warming anomaly the alarmists claim causes these upheavals amounts to a minuscule 0.6–0.8 °C in 100 years. Never mind that the very best climate models simulate two to three times observed warming and that none predicted that for about 20 years there’s been no warming trend apparent in NASA’s satellite records, the most reliable because the least contaminated and least “adjusted.”
“How extraordinary!” said the political scientist Aaron Wildavsky, “The richest, longest lived, best-protected, most resourceful civilization, with the highest degree of insight into its own technology, is on the way to becoming the most frightened.”
We seem to have arrived.
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in). GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.
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