Saturday, December 11, 2004


It’s a sad thing when the people of a religion – that supposedly worships, honors, and adores a great and magnificent, almighty God – has to resort to defending their faith by killing others.

Again, over and over, I must ask the same question when reading about something like this: What kind of a God is this? Is it an act of forgiveness and love to Him to execute judgment on His behalf by killing a person (or group of people) and rendering them unable from that point on – as a result of their death – to receive in their spirit the opportunity to be redeemed from their sins (if that be the reason the person or group killed them) by such a great and mighty God, if they so choose to acknowledge such sin and acknowledge Him, in this lifetime?

If the person (or group) started off serving the one true God – well they’ve certainly strayed “from the straight line on this short run” (~SM). They’re definitely not serving Him now, but rather using His name as an excuse to do what they’re doing.

If revealing the hypocrisies and the shames, oppressions, and the scandalous, barbaric customs of a religion – that is practiced in some part of the world – causes the people in that religion to resort to this kind of hatred and violence in its defense, then I ask… Who is this God?
Where is this God? Is He sleeping? Can He not defend Himself?
Is there not someone in the Islam religion who can stand up and say, “Yes, this exposure must be acknowledged and I wish to say that I am aware of these practices. They happen in insert place here. Please do not get the idea that this is how all Islamic believers behave. We condemn this sort of practice for it is a shame and a scandal… a smear… to our belief. May Allah forgive these people, who practice such things, for their presumptuous ways and deliver them from whatever torment they have gone through that causes them to behave this way. So that no more people will be robbed, injured, or die by their hands.

Are people of God (Allah) in the Middle East afraid of men who claim to be servants of Allah and who bring terror to the hearts of the people by threatening their lives, the lives of their families, and loved ones?

Do you think Allah approves of this terror by these men? Then call on Him for deliverance! Has anyone in the Islam religion prayed for deliverance?

If anyone dared to rise up in the name of Christianity/Catholicism/whatever religion and in the name of God or Jesus to kill masses of people or target certain individuals for death, then I would personally rebuke them and would hope the people of God, as a whole, would rebuke them. I would hope as a whole, the people of God would recognize that it is not the spirit of God that encouraged this behavior.

For an individual – or group of people – to start a war and kill others in the name of God is completely presumptuous. The fruits of this kind of action are suspicion, contention and division. Last I read, these are not the fruits of the Spirit.

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (GA 5)

13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. (JA 3)

The following story is a sad thing to read because the moral of the story here is that if the truth is brought to light, then someone who does not want the world to hear, know, or witness that truth will seek to kill the one who brought the truth to light.

Nov 2, 2004

The film Submission told the story of a Muslim woman forced into an arranged marriage who is abused by her husband and raped by her uncle. It triggered an outcry from Dutch Muslims.
Submission was the name of a movie that was filmed by a 47 year old Dutch man, Theo Van Gogh, who was the great-great-great-grandson of the brother (also named Theo) of Vincent Van Gogh.

This movie was the first of what was to be three installments showing the different aspects of Islam. This first movie focused on the woman’s role. The second movie was to focus on the man’s role. However, it was never finished. Van Gogh was shot dead by a 26 year old Islamic man of both Dutch and Moroccan nationality.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a liberal Dutch politician who had been a former Somalia refugee, originally wrote the movies. In 1992, she fled an arranged marriage, renounced the Islamic faith of her birth, and studied political science in the Netherlands. She was raised as an upper class Muslim and made it her plight to expose the practice of oppressing the Muslim women.

Both Van Gogh & Ali received death threats after the first movie was shown. Ali has been under police protection since this occurrence, but Van Gogh was unfortunate enough to ride past the 26 year old Islamic boy dressed in a Moroccan jallaba who slit his throat and shot him.

What I wish to point out right now is that I do not believe that Islam is a religion that is oppressive by nature.
And I want to make it clear that I do not believe that everyone who practices the Islamic faith wants to kill anyone who does not believe as they do.
However, I do believe that a small portion of those who practice Islam wants to kill anyone who does not believe as they do.

I believe it because I witnessed it on TV, September 11, 2001.

Yes, it is true that the United States – the Western culture – permits broadcasts over the TV and radio that may be taboo in some parts of the world. We show nudity, we speak profanity, we practice what we want. We allow basic freedoms and some advanced ones. We are blessed in many ways. Our dollar is stronger than many countries’ currencies. We trade goods with many nations around the world. And people seek refuge and sanctuary within the borders of our nation. Maybe all of these are reasons to envy the United States of America… and to hate us enough to want to bring us down wherever we are on this God-given Earth (“Kill all Americans”). Perhaps this land is full of things that can lead a person astray. But the simple fact is: a person is led astray by their own doing. THEY HAVE CHOICES.

- I can CHOOSE, by my own free will – not by force – to watch or not watch certain television programs and movies.
- I can CHOOSE, by my own free will – not by force – to listen to whatever music I want to.
- I can CHOOSE, by my own free will – not by force – to listen to or read someone’s garbage (i.e. a story, a speech, a teaching, a sermon, a review, an interview, a political debate).
- I can CHOOSE, by my own free will – not by force – to wear whatever clothing I want to.
- I can CHOOSE, by my own free will – not by force – to not gamble when I am in a casino.
- I can CHOOSE, by my own free will – not by force – to not hang out at a strip club.
And more importantly,
- I can CHOOSE, by my own free will – not by force – to serve God and choose a religion (if I want) that may closely follow Him as I believe.
- I can CHOOSE, by my own free will – not by force – to marry, when to have the marriage, and who it is I will marry.
- I can CHOOSE, by my own free will – not by force – to vote for whomever I want to serve in the offices of the Government to run this country.

The beauty of Democracy, Freedom, and Liberation is that people are not forced. They are not oppressed. They are given the freedom to choose. They are liberated from oppression. They practice a form of choice: Democracy. And because they get to choose, there are so many choices made available to them. There is good and bad – however one wishes to classify the choices. They are there, set before you, and you can choose to get involved or to stay away.

And isn’t that just like God? He gives a choice… ALWAYS:

26 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; 27 A blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: 28 And a curse, if you will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which you have not known. (Deu 11)

19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live: 20 That you may love the LORD your God, and that you may obey his voice, and that you may cleave unto him: for he is your life, and the length of your days: that you may dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. (Deu 30)

8 And unto this people you shall say, Thus says the LORD; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death. (JE 21)

12 There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (PR 14:12 & 16:25)

The world was not fortunate enough to see the next two installments of the three films that Ali wrote. We were only given the first one – an incomplete look at an entire picture of a life she wished to share with the rest of the world. What a shame. She dared to speak up about a life she existed in and escaped from only to have it literally shot down by an individual who represented that very life. What irony.

If a man, who was molested by a priest of the Catholic church, wrote his story and had someone like Van Gogh – a bold and outspoken proponent of free speech – to film the story for the world to witness… I truly do not think that anyone would threaten death on both the formerly molested man and the filmmaker. The movie is an unkind truth of something occurring in the religion that needs to be exposed. It does not mean that the Catholic people are all wicked and perverse. It means that the “heads”… the officials… of that Church need to get on their faces before God and seek Him to expel this wickedness from among their midst. Seek Him and His truth.

For those who serve God and pray – it is a truth that is exposed that should cause all the people of God to fall to their faces and seek Him. To see this kind of behavior going on “in the name of God” – whether it is molestation by church officials or physical, verbal, emotional, or spiritual abuse in the form of religious rituals – is a slap in the face to the people of God and should show them how much more He is needed.
So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. (IS 59:19)

It is not right. And the point is: The people of the faith of Islam need to stand together and expose the abuses that are done in the name of their religion. If you adore your God, then you would expel the filth from His midst. Whatever is done in secret will be exposed. It is better that the House of God exposes the secret than for the world to find out by accident or by force. In the process, it is not right for the world to condemn the whole for a handful.

God exposes. He does not cover up. He will expose things He does not like in whatever fashion He chooses. That is why it is said of God, “He reveals the deep and secret things: he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.” (DA 2:22)

8 For you were sometimes darkness, but now are you light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever does make manifest is light. 14 Wherefore he says, Awake you that sleeps, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light. (EP 5)

Exposure brings shock and after the initial shock, the feelings start to form. Usually it is anger that comes next for having been "found out" or having something shameful brought out into the light. That is natural. But rather than get angry about it and start killing people, how about pray about and let that exposure do some benefit... especially if its initial purpose was to do harm. God can turn anything around to His glory.

But because God teaches us through His word about "making things manifest" and "bringing things to light" and "revealing things"... that He is a revealer and wants things in the open... Because of all these things, I find it hard to accept the hijab (the veil on a Muslim woman's face). Purity should not be hidden. And if you examine this ritual behavior, it should tell you some things about how things are dealt with in the Islam faith by those who practice wearing the hijab. It says, "If something is to become pure, then the first thing that should be done to it is to hide it away from the things that would cause it to be influenced into impurity...or that would cause impurity in others." If one of the purposes of the hijab is to prevent another man from becoming aroused at the sight of the woman's face, then it removes the blame of the sin from off of the sinner and places it onto the one who is attempting to become pure. She was not the one who became aroused - he was. So why should she be ashamed? She did not force him to be aroused. He saw her face and it caused him to think things he should not.

Same with her clothes. If her clothes cling to her curvacious form and are brightly colored in hues of the morning sunrise, then why should she be ashamed because God made her body so deliciously curved? Is it not His design? He was upset she covered up with fig leaves - how much more she's wearing some dreary black straight robe? How boring. God is not boring. He's alive with life. And there are things in this world that are designed by man outside of God's design. One of them is that darn hijab and the other is that boring black straight dress.

Women are built to be appealing to men. That is a natural course of life. But with everything there should be moderation and temperance. There are boundaries. If a man and woman step outside of those boundaries, then yes, they should be rebuked. But they should also be given the opportunity to repent if they truly are sorry. People can change and God knows this - that is why He designed the ultimate gift of love: the sacrifice of His Son on the Cross. The Perfect Sin Offering. The Lamb of God.

Why do you think He forgave the thief on the cross who simply wanted Him to remember his name? He honored the thief with more than just remembering his name - such a small request. He honored the thief by giving him entrance to the Kingdom at His side and letting him know this would happen while they were yet waiting for their physical bodies to die.

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