Muslims claim a “religion of peace”. Is this true, or a sham?
Some say that only the fundamentalist Muslims are violently opposed to other religions, not all Muslims. This might be true in the sense that all belief systems have their ignorant. But, the concept of fundamentalism deserves a closer inspection.
Most definitions of the term “fundamentalism” are basically described as a strict adherence to certain theological doctrines, in reaction against Modernist theology. The term was originally coined by its supporters to describe what they claimed were five specific classic theological beliefs of Christianity, and that developed into a Christian fundamentalist movement within the Protestant community of the United States in the early part of the 20th century.
The term usually has a religious connotation indicating unwavering attachment to a set of irreducible beliefs, but fundamentalism has come to be applied to a broad tendency among certain groups, mainly, although not exclusively, in religion. This tendency is most often characterized by a markedly strict literalism as applied to certain specific scriptures, dogmas, or ideologies, and a strong sense of the importance of maintaining in-group and out-group distinctions, leading to an emphasis on purity and the desire to return to a previous ideal from which it is believed that members have begun to stray. Rejection of diversity of opinion as applied to these established “fundamentals” and their accepted interpretation within the group is often the result of this tendency.
Jihad and its interpretation and application in Islam is a classical example.
We will shortly look at Jihad. First, two statements from the Bible, that in 1 Timothy 3:15-17, states it is the Word of God.
We observe that Muslims acknowledge Jesus as a prophet [of God] but somehow ignore the words of this same Jesus in John 14:6: “… I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man come unto the Father, but by me.”
Acts 4:12 states, “… Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”.
Phillipians 2:9-11 states, “… Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him [Jesus Christ], and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Now then, even just the meaning of Jihad seems to contrast the Muslims claim for a “religion of peace”. Within the context of the classical Islamic law, it refers to struggle against those who do not believe in the Islamic God (Allah) and do not acknowledge the submission to Muslims.
Muslims and scholars do not all agree on its definition and so is often translated as “Holy War”, although this term is controversial. According to the Dictionary of Islam and Islamic historian Bernard Lewis, in the large majority of cases jihad has a military meaning. Javed Ghamidi states that there is consensus among Islamic scholars that the concept of jihad will always include armed struggle against wrong doers. It was generally supposed that the order for a general war could only be given by the Caliph (an office that was claimed by the Ottoman sultans), but Muslims who did not acknowledge the spiritual authority of the Caliphate (which has been vacant since 1923)—such as non-Sunnis and non-Ottoman Muslim states—always looked to their own rulers for the proclamation of a jihad.
Others have given the word wider definitions. Many observers, both Muslim and non-Muslim, talk of jihad having two meanings: an inner spiritual struggle (the “greater jihad”), and an outer physical struggle against the enemies of Islam (the “lesser jihad”) which may take a violent or non-violent form.
Using international news reports as a measurement of relief work provided [i.e. love and compassion demonstrated] after events such as big natural disasters, is it hard to find evidence of Muslims reaching out to other people with different convictions; whereas organizations that are based on Christianity are commonly found to assist physically and financially without remuneration to people of different colour or creed.
Observe the sharp contrast of at least the Jihad commanded in Islam, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (The preaching of which in Islamic states will get a Christian killed by Muslims).
Some argue that Christians demonstrated their violence against Muslims with the “Crusades”. Such people should perhaps make a more thorough study of this and start with these facts:
Innocent III was Pope from 1198 – 1216 A.D. It was under his leadership that the papacy achieved the peak of its authority and influence. It was the period when the dark ages reached its darkest hour. He believed in the unique authority the pope held as the “vicar of Christ”, or “Vicarius Filii Deii”. (So, the pope was Christ’s only representative on earth?) He was to say that Christ said, “Put away the sword, but I say, Take up the sword!” This was said in connection with the so-called crusades and the punishment of heretics, many of whom were put to death for questioning the authority the pope gave himself, irrespective whether they repeated the teaching/precepts of Jesus Christ. Millions of Protestants were murdered by the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants also rejecting the wicked RCC system of making money from “purgatory” that was claimed could be lessened by paying them for it. There were even package deals offered by the RCC for pre-meditated sin!
Don’t confuse “Denominations” with Christianity! Read more about the Roman Catholic Church in “Church part 2” on www.gospel-truth.co.za.
Purgatory denies the Scriptural fact that the sacrifice of Christ on the cross alone is necessary for the purging of sinners from their sins. The Father placed on Jesus Christ all of our sins. It is the rejection of this fact that keep people in their sins. Heb 1:3. Also, Col 1:20-22 says: “And God purposed that through (by the service, the intervention of) Him [the Son] all things should be completely reconciled back to Himself, whether on earth or in heaven, as through Him, [the Father] made peace by means of the blood of His cross. And although you were estranged and alienated from Him and were of hostile attitude of mind in your wicked activities, Yet now has [Christ, the Messiah] reconciled [you to God] in the body of His flesh through death, in order to present you holy and faultless and irreproachable in His [the Father’s] presence”.
Then also, contemplate the scriptures such as Rom 5:9; 8:29-39; 1 Thess 5:9; Heb 7:25-28 (Jn 1:17;16:9); 10:10-17 to see that the RCC is not propagating here the teaching of Jesus Christ (Gal 1:6-9; 1 Jn 2:4).
Read more about this in the meditation “Church part two” in www.gospel-truth.co.za.
As opposed to the propagated peace of Islam, we read from just four more books in the Bible, as God’s Word, the following:
4. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6. And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7. That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9. Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
1 Thessalonians 5:3-23:
3. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
7. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
8. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
10. Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
11. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
12. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
13. And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
14. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
15. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
16. Rejoice evermore.
17. Pray without ceasing.
18. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
19. Quench not the Spirit.
20. Despise not prophesyings.
21. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
22. Abstain from all appearance of evil.
23. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the [second] coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
3. We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
4. Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,
5. For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
6. Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:
7. As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
7. Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.
8. For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
10. That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11. Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
12. Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
13. Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
14. In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15. Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16. For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17. And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
18. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
19. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;
20. And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
Then, in just the beginning of the gospel John, we read about Jesus Christ:
1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
More can be found on www.gospel-truth.co.za. There are some 70 short meditations, such as “Who is Jesus Christ” and “Mohammad and the Qur’an vs Jesus Christ’s passion for the lost”.
Read it and be truly blessed in Jesus Christ.
And God’s peace which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts in Christ Jesus – Phil 4:7. (Peace: That tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is)