Friday, October 13, 2006

It Doesn't Matter Whether Or Not Islam Is A "Peaceful" Religion

There's been a big flap in the media and on the internet over the past, say, five years about whether Islam is a peaceful religion or a violent one. It's a big enough debate over which to start a war. Even two of them. But I think the proposition is a fallacy, with too many people drawn into the debate. Debating this point using blanket statements only serves to add fuel to the fire.

Islam, not unlike Christianity, is not a cohesive whole, perfectly unified in its doctrines among its followers. It has sects and "denominations", if you will. They even war against each other in the name of Allah. My lifetime has seen this type of thing most strongly with the Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland. Hardly the best representation of Christianity.

Many point to the blood thirsty madmen who call themselves clerics that spew forth hatred, blood and death toward Israel and America and are on a rampage to conquer the world with the sword in the name of Allah, commanding all infidels to conversion or death, as evidence that Islam is violent. Do such evil men exist? Sure. Others point to millions of everyday people who claim Islam as their religion, who just want to live life and feed their families and carry on their traditions without problems as evidence that Islam is peaceful. Do such people exist? Sure. Their religion is viewed both ways by those who profess to be Muslims. I've heard several former Muslim religious leaders, now converts to Christianity, who testify that they were taught, and ended up teaching, that Islam conquers with the sword and that it is every Muslim's duty, according to the Koran, to kill non converting unbelievers. I've heard others who deny this claim.

What is true is that there are individuals within Islam that are violent or peaceful. I've known a number of Muslims in my life, and none of them have ever bombed my house, coerced me into conversion, held my family hostage at gunpoint. I've known people who have lived in Muslim countries, missionaries included, and they speak of the common people in peaceful terms. I've been invited to dinner, even as a stranger, into the house of a Muslim. He was more generous than most Americans. If these people were being unfaithful by not trying to kill me, if they were being disobedient to the Koran, then thank God for unfaithful Muslims.

But the real issue is that because Islam doesn't recognize Jesus as Lord, and denies that His Word is truth, it is not a true religion. It will not be able to stand. There is no Holy Spirit guiding its followers in its practices and worship. Its people cannot be unified forever. As Gentiles, they will in due time be converted to Christ (as I believe the bible teaches) before this world ends. They will be converted by the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and not by the sword of the Pentagon.

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