The common religious “logic” these days is that all religions are different versions of the same thing – and attempt to be right with the one God. Whether Christian, Muslim, Jew, or whatever else, we’re called to “coexist” with an understanding that none of these expressions are wrong, and that they are intrinsically the same.I spent some time reading the Koran tonight. Just chapter 9. I admit to not being well-versed in this text … I had just heard that chapter 9 would be an interesting read. And, I’ve been encouraged to consider this book as a set of sacred texts that are just another version of the eclectic enterprise that is human religion.
But is it?
9.5 – “Slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush.”
9.14 – “Fight them! Allah will chastise them at your hands, and He will lay them low and give you victory over them.”
9.29 – “Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah.”
9.30 – “Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah … Allah (Himself) fighteth against them. How perverse are they!”
9.31 – “They have taken as lords beside Allah …the Messiah son of Mary, when they were bidden to worship only One God.”
9.33 – “He … sent His messenger … that He may cause it to prevail over all religion, however much the idolaters may be averse.”
9.36 – “Wage war on all of the idolaters.”
9.41 – “Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed.”
9.73 – “Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites! Be harsh with them. Their ultimate abode is hell.”
9.80 – “Ask forgiveness for them (O Muhammad), or ask not forgiveness for them; though thou ask forgiveness for them seventy times Allah will not forgive them.”
9.111 – “Lo! Allah hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs: they shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain … Rejoice then in your bargain that ye have made, for that is the supreme triumph.”
9.113 – “It is not for the Prophet, and those who believe, to pray for the forgiveness of idolaters even though they may be near of kin (to them) after it hath become clear that they are people of hell-fire.”
9.122 – “And the believers should not all go out to fight. Of every troop of them, a party only should go forth, that they (who are left behind) may gain sound knowledge in religion, and that they may warn their folk.”
9.123 – “O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto Him).
These texts are a far cry from the Biblical call to love my neighbor. To turn the other cheek. To not live (or die) by the sword. To pray for and extend forgiveness. To be the servant of all. To sacrifice.
With all due respect … we are not family. The God depicted in these texts is not the God that was revealed in Jesus the Christ. It is ignorance of both sets of texts to tell me they should be compatible.
(These texts are also obvious examples of how violence and terrorism can be extrapolated easily from the Islamic texts. I know many Muslims claim that their faith is peaceful. But you have to be theologically creative to purge the obvious violence from these teachings.)
The practical, relevant difference between this text and the Bible should not be missed: As Christians, we are to serve, love, and pray for those who don’t believe as we do. Our hope is that we “might win some” (1 Cor. 9:22). So, yes, Christians are the ones, the unique ones, who are called, and even equipped by the Holy Spirit, to COEXIST with all peoples. We don’t believe in universal salvation … but social cohesion, mutual honoring, and a peaceful society?
My family is all in.