Although I agree that there are many branches of practice in Islam, I can’t get past verses like the following. I spoke with a friend of mine today who is a Muslim from Senegal and he told me that Senegalese Muslims are not like Middle Eastern Muslims, they are much more tolerant.

I loved our conversation today, but I am intrigued by the verses below that seem to contradict a passive/tolerance of non-Muslims. Help me understand. I am not trying to propagate hatred of Muslims, but am trying to inform what the Qu’ran teaches.

A lengthy post at Pedestrian Infidel is helpful in understanding what the Qu’ran does teach (well worth the time to read).

Sampling of verses found at Pedestrian Infidel’s site:
Qur’an 9:123 “murder them and treat them harshly”
Qur’an 3.28 Let not the believers take the unbelievers for friends rather than believers; and whoever does this, he shall have nothing of (the guardianship of) Allah, but you should guard yourselves against them, guarding carefully; and Allah makes you cautious of (retribution from) Himself; and to Allah is the eventual coming.
NOTE: By ‘guarding carefully’, a Muslim should deceive the infidel. Acting as a friend is fine as long as it is to benefit the Muslim and protect Islam.

Qur’an 3:56 “As for those disbelieving infidels, I will punish them with a terrible agony in this world and the next. They have no one to help or save them.”

Qur’an 4.89 They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah’s way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.

Qur’an 5:51 “Muslims, do not make friends with any but your own people.”

Qur’an 5:72 “They are surely infidels who say; ‘God is the Christ, the Messiah, the son of Mary.”

Qur’an 8:12 cp. 8:60 “Instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers”; “smite above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them”

Qur’an 2:191 “…kill the disbelievers wherever we find them”

Qur’an 9.33 He it is Who sent His Apostle with guidance and the religion of truth, that He might cause it to prevail over all religions.

Qur’an 2:193 “And fight with them until there is no persecution, and religion should be only for Allah”

Qur’an 8:71 And if they intend to act unfaithfully towards you, so indeed they acted unfaithfully towards Allah before, but He GAVE YOU MASTERY OVER THEM

Qur’an 8:55 Surely the vilest of animals in Allah’s sight are those who disbelieve.

Qur’an 22:19-22 “fight and slay the Pagans, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem” “for them (the unbelievers) garments of fire shall be cut and there shall be poured over their heads boiling water whereby whatever is in their bowels and skin shall be dissolved and they will be punished with hooked iron rods”

Qur’an 48:13 Those who “believe not in Allah and His Messenger, He has prepared, for those who reject Allah, a Blazing Fire!”

Qur’an 3:54 “‘Lord, we believe in Your revelations (the Torah and Gospels) and follow this Apostle (Jesus). Enroll us among the witnesses.’ But the Christians contrived a plot and Allah did the same; but Allah’s plot was the best.”

Qur’an 8:12 “Your Lord inspired the angels with the message: ‘I will terrorize the unbelievers. Therefore smite them on their necks and every joint and incapacitate them. Strike off their heads and cut off each of their fingers and toes.”

Qur’an 8:58 “If you apprehend treachery from any group on the part of a people (with whom you have a treaty), retaliate by breaking off (relations) with them. The infidels should not think they can bypass (Islamic law or the punishment of Allah). Surely they cannot escape.”

Qur’an 8:7 “Allah wished to confirm the truth by His words: ‘Wipe the infidels (non-Muslims) out to the last.’”

Qur’an 8:39 “So, fight them till all opposition ends and the only religion is Islam.”

Qur’an 8:59 “The infidels should not think that they can get away from us. Prepare against them whatever arms and weaponry you can muster so that you may terrorize them. They are your enemy and Allah’s enemy.”

Qur’an 8:60 “Prepare against them (non-Muslims) whatever arms and cavalry you can muster that you may strike terror in the enemies of Allah (non-Muslims), and others besides them not known to you. Whatever you spend in Allah’s Cause will be repaid in full, and no wrong will be done to you.”
Qur’an 9.29 Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.

[HT: eyesallaround]

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This post has 3 Comments

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  1. I guess that goes to show that the real followers of Allah are the terrorists. What can peaceful Muslims be thinking when they read the Quran?

  2. What of the verses in the books that came to be called “bible” and their calls for bloodshed and even genocide? Was Abrahem, and his faiths sources of war-mongering??

  3. Good questions, anonymous! I have thought about those. Just a quick history, there was a man named Marcion who believed that the God of the Old Testament (containing the stories of Abraham) was a God of war while the God of the New Testament was a God of love. I deny this. This would be saying there are two wills with God or that he is schizophrenic.

    What helps in thinking through how to interpret the Bible correctly has to do with the fact of progressive revelation. That is, all of history points to Jesus Christ and the climax of history is found in his life, death, and resurrection.

    With that said, I want to say that:
    1) Before anything else is said, we must understand that all men are wicked. They are enemies of God. There was only one man who was perfect, Jesus. Therefore, we must know that any good thing from God is a gift while any evil that befalls us is deserved.
    2) God used Israel to chastise the other nations for their wickedness. This is found in Gen 15.16 where God tells Abraham that the land that they are about to inherit from God is inhabited by wicked men called the Amorites. There iniquity was not yet complete…when it became full, God sent Israel into the country to punish them.
    3) This kind of punishment has changed as nations have raged against nation and clear political-socio-economic states have become clearer. Instead of one ethnic group destroying another one, there are governments that have been established (by God) to keep wickedness in line. This is why Christians do not think that people will be won by killing them. There is an inner reality that was supposed to be made clear from the external. That is, people are at war with God…

    Does this help? I feel the tension you feel bbut know that God is not duplicitous.

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God’s Broad Shoulders

One of the fascinating aspects of my profession is that I come in contact with a lot of Christians who want to engage with their faith in a deep way. Rather than being content with showing up on Sunday or being CINO (Christian In Name Only), these folks want to understand the Bible better and tease out the implications for their lives.

On the flipside of this, many of these same people are afraid to engage with their doubts in a deep way. It’s almost as if, doubts and questions are treated from a distance–“I don’t struggle with this, but…”

The biggest breakthrough in my own journey of faith came through (and continues to come through) engaging my doubts and questions as my own. They are not theoretical. They are honest struggles: problem of evil is the perennial one. I was in the throes of one of these bouts several years ago when a friend told me, “God can handle your doubts.”

I have used this same bit of advice for my struggling friends and self. If truth is not relative. If God is truth. Your doubts and questions will not overthrow this objective, transcendent truth. It’s not as though you are the first to struggle with doubts and fears and pain. The heavens will not collapse under the weight of your doubts. You won’t come up with a question that will cause God to close up shop. You can honestly engage with your doubts and fears and pain and suffering without having to be quick to give the typical and trite answers to matters of faith.

Go ahead, roll your burdens on God. He’s got broad shoulders.

Blow the Roof Off

Reading through Os Guiness’ new book, Fool’s Talk, for an Honors Seminar I’m leading on the art of persuasion. It is EXCELLENT.

I find that too many apologists take the defensive in explaining the Christian worldview. That has a place, but I would recommend that after you listen and listen and listen some more to the person you are engaging in dialogue, that you take the offensive. Of course, this is not being offensive, but taking the offense in showing the foolishness of the worldview. At some point the team has to score. If they only have defense, they will not score (okay, for the nay-sayers, the defense can score on a take-away…but even then there was an aggression to get the ball and not merely to prevent…BTW, prevent defense is such a great way to lose a ballgame, isn’t it?).

Here’s a juicy quote that I have underlined in the book:

From Jesus onward, the dynamic is crystal clear in Christian proclamation. “The tree is known by its fruit,” Jesus said–not by its seed (Mt. 12.33). If you had tried to persuade the prodigal son to return home the day he left home, would he have listened? If you had spoken to him the day he hit the pigsty, would you have needed to persuade him? Always “see where it leads to,” St. Augustine advised when dealing with false ideas. Follow it out to the “absolutely ruddy end,” C. S. Lewis remarked with characteristic Englishness. “Push them to the logic of their presuppositions,” Francis Schaeffer used to say. Too many varieties of unbelief are halfway houses. Too many unbelievers have not had the courage or the consistency to follow their thoughts all the way home –Fool’s Talk, p.118 (emphasis added)

Modern-day Power Encounters

I remember reading in my Perspectives Class on world mission a phenomenon called “power encounters” whereby a missionary would directly confront the idols of the day in some bombastic way to show the futility of such idols. For example, tearing down a totem pole or cutting down a tree (if these were the items of worship) in an area. While the confrontationalist in me loves the idea, I wonder how much was missed in these opportunities to really get to the heart of idolatry–namely, through teaching that idols are nothing (1Cor 8.4). Yet for those who worship an idol, it is very much a real thing.

I am currently reading Roland Allen’s formative text on mission, Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or Ours, and have been immensely helped (in tandem with Lesslie Newbigin’s The Open Secret). Regarding the moral and social condition in which Paul preached, Allen makes this side comment:

Incidentally I should like to remark that in heathen lands it might still perhaps be the wiser course to preach constantly the supremacy of Christ over all things spiritual and material, than to deny or deride the very notion of these spirits. Some of our missionaries know, and it were well for others if they did know, that it is much easier to make a man hide from us his belief in devils than it is to eradicate the belief from his heart. By denying their existence or by scoffing at those who believe in them we do not help our converts to overcome them, but only to conceal their fears from us. By preaching the supremacy of Christ we give them a real antidote, we take them a real Saviour who helps them in their dark hours” (pp.28-29)

Allen brings balance. Too often preachers can assume they are preaching the supremacy of Christ, but they never pinpoint what exactly he is supreme over. Put another way, we preachers can preach rather generically. “Jesus is Lord over all!” We declare full throttle. Yet those listening have not been helped.

What is he supreme over?

He is supreme over your doubts of salvation. Your incessant anger. Your slavery to lust and pornography. Your boring and romantic-less marriage. Your bad parenting. Your disobedient children. Your greed. Your self-doubt. Your self-aggrandizement. Your obedient children. Your good parenting. Your healthy marriage. Your pure eyes. Your self-control.

He owns you. Therefore, the world doesn’t revolve around you anymore. Instead, he sets you free to think of others. Even more, he empowers you by his Spirit to think of other more highly than yourself. Your fears that you will be passed over for the job promotion. Your self-righteousness toward your unbelieving neighbor is set under his lordship in such a way that you no longer possess the answers, but are possessed by One who does. You cannot gloat that you understand the world en esse. Rather, you are saddened by the way the world actually is.

So, Christian, we need a modern-day power encounter. Not where we smash totems. But by understanding the world around us and helping others see our need for a Savior. We limp forward together. We bind up wounds together. We use the splint our arm is wrapped in to bind our neighbors’ arms. Thereby we see that instead of hiding the idol in shame, our neighbor is free to admit the idol and know that he will not be condemned but helped.