Thursday, June 26, 2014

Archbishop of York attacks religious brainwashing


The Archbishop of York doesn't like the word 'radicalised', so he has called on all religious leaders to ensure that young Britons are not "brainwashed" into fighting and killing in the name of their faith. Dr Sentamu told Sky News:
"I don't want to use the word radicalising. I think it is brainwashing. We don't want our young people to be brainwashed believing really a lie, that by fighting and killing another person your religion becomes better. All religious leaders, whatever tradition they come from, have got a duty to work together to make sure that our young people are not being brainwashed into some kind of nonsense."
His Grace was struck by the first comment on this in the ensuing chat thread:
"I went to a catholic school, ok it was some years ago, but they brainwashed all the kids, or at least they tried, we were taught some nightmarish stuff, hate protestants, too many to put on here, but one sticks in my mind, I actually felt sorry for some of my friends because they were not catholic, we believed they would never know god because they weren't catholic, all religious schools try & brainwash the kids, we have to separate schools and religion, all it did for me was turn me against the church, it's all about controlling people, people are far too educated these days to fall for the churches rubbish. OH' and the begging bowl and the usher telling my dad, silver only today, I hate them. Richest business in the world, keep them all out of schools. They teach segregation."
Extremist atheists and secularists will aver that all religious indoctrination is 'brainwashing' that inflicts harm on children. Professor Richard Dawkins is persuaded that sex abuse does "arguably less long-term psychological damage" than being brought up in the Roman Catholic faith. He told Mehdi Hasan on al-Jazeera:
"There are shades of being abused by a priest, and I quoted an example of a woman in America who wrote to me saying that when she was seven years old she was sexually abused by a priest in his car. At the same time a friend of hers, also seven, who was of a Protestant family, died, and she was told that because her friend was Protestant she had gone to Hell and will be roasting in Hell forever. She told me of those two abuses, she got over the physical abuse; it was yucky but she got over it. But the mental abuse of being told about Hell, she took years to get over."
Accepting that religious 'radicalisation' is concerned with returning to the fundamentals or roots of one's faith, the Reformation was a radical pursuit. Martin Luther was a radical. His Grace is radical. Pope Benedict XVI was radical. Of course there are degrees of radicalisation, and His Grace isn't nearly radical enough for some (neither was Luther; nor was Pope Benedict XVI). But Dr Sentamu is concerned with the radicalisation which inspires killing in the name of God. The problem is that Mohammed did precisely that.

Of course, the vast majority of British Muslims are congenial and peaceable. They would quote from the Qur’an passages like Surah 2:190: ‘Fight in the way of God against those who fight against you, but do not begin hostilities, for God does not love aggressors’. The Archbishop of York would approve of that. The problem is, there are a few other British Muslims who prefer 'martydom', certainly the 400 or so about to return from Iraq and Syria, where they have been contending for their faith in the name of Allah.

And they would say to those who appeal that Islam means 'peace' are quoting out of context. Surah 2:190 is taken from the sixth year of the Hijrah, when the Muslims of Arabia were a strong and influential community, but not supreme. Mohammed ordered them to defend themselves against Meccan attacks, but not be aggressors because they had a treaty. Many of them were exiles from Mecca, where the Pagans had established an intolerant autocracy, persecuting Muslims. When they tried to assert their rights, the result was bloodshed. This surah was therefore concerned with a specific period of self-preservation; it is not a blanket command regarding all acts of violence. Being bound by context in time and space, there are many who do not consider it to be an eternal injunction.

Mohammed used what today would be termed 'murder', 'aggression', and 'terrorism' in order to propagate his beliefs and spread his ideology. (Qur'an 8.17; 33.26; 8.67). He raided towns without warning, killed unarmed men who had gone to the fields and markets on their daily business, captured their wives and children, and is said to have distributed the younger women among his soldiers while always keeping the prettiest ones for himself and having sex with them in the same day he murdered their fathers, husbands and loved ones. These are not fables, nor are they the bigoted musings of those who may be termed 'Islamophobic', but it is history as recorded in the Qur’an and the Hadith. This is the biography of the 'prophet’ who sets the example for today’s Muslim youth, for many are taught by unenlightened imams for whom this Mohammed is considered the template for perfect manhood.

Political Islam (or 'Islamism') demands the use of terrorism because it is intrinsic to its ideology. They are fused, contiguous and inseparable. Islamism is the terrorist; brainwashed Muslims are the victims. But the assumption that an adjustment in vocabulary can persuade the Islamist to adapt to Western values is a delusion. Both sociological manifestations rely on a degree of religio-cultural brainwashing. The two systems are antithetical: they cannot co-exist; one must give way to the other. But only one is prepared to be radical in its propagation, offence and defence.

94 Comments:

Blogger seanrobsville said...

Coercion, intimidation, thuggery and outright terrorism are intrinsic and essential features of Islam.

Islam is so intellectually moribund and ethically repulsive that it cannot compete for followers in a free marketplace of ideas, but must eliminate its competitors by whatever means may be necessary.

If you took the intimidation out of Islam, it would disappear in a couple of generations.

26 June 2014 at 10:08  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

I suggest that the vast majority of muslims know nothing about the Bible, Christianity and most importantly, Jesus Christ. That is in my opinion the most urgent task for the Christian Churches.

26 June 2014 at 10:26  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Islamism is the terrorist; brainwashed Muslims are the victims

So true.

26 June 2014 at 10:44  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

It's interesting that if you compare the three religions that trace their origin to one founder - Buddhism, Christianity and Mohammedanism - the founder of Mohammedanism was the odd man out.

Whether you accept their teachings or not, there is no doubting the sincerity of both Buddha and Christ. For the sake of his beliefs, Buddha renounced his princedom to live as an impoverished monk, and Christ died in agony on the cross.

Only Mohammed ended up materially better than he started. He enriched himself from loot and plunder, and captured a hareem of wives and concubines.

So a cynic might be tempted to question whether Mohammed's 'religion' was in fact a scam; an enormous, deliberately contrived confidence trick designed to feather his nest.

26 June 2014 at 10:50  
Blogger Roy said...

If we expect Muslims to renounce (or at least re-interpret) those parts of their scriptures that are or could be used to justify terrorism, shouldn't Christians do the same with parts of the Old Testament?

After all, weren't Moses, Joshua and Samuel guilty of war crimes? If we attempt to justify all their actions then how can we condemn Mohammed, or even Osama bin Laden?

26 June 2014 at 11:02  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Your Grace states

"But Dr Sentamu is concerned with the radicalisation which inspires killing in the name of God." But the name of which 'God'?? The one whose name dare not be mentioned even by Dr Sentamu, when it screams out to be stated?

"Of course, the vast majority of British Muslims are congenial and peaceable." But is it 'Intrinsic' to that belief/condition or is the environment they find themselves in here and their inferiority in numbers at the moment the reason? They appear less 'congenial and peaceable' and more vocal and assertive when outnumbering non muslims in areas of GB they dominate!

"This surah was therefore concerned with a specific period of self-preservation; it is not a blanket command regarding all acts of violence. Being bound by context in time and space, there are many who do not consider it to be an eternal injunction. But they don't see it as that, do they? The commands of Allah via Mohammed are eternal and absolute hence why slavery continues in areas, though they see their slavery as different to the old westernised version, do they not?"

His/Her sacred book will tell the muslim: “Prophet, make war on the
unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home: an evil fate (Surah 9:73)” ...Islam declares perpetual war between believers and unbelievers.

“The true believers fight for the cause of God, but the infidels fight for the devil. Fight then against
the friends of Satan” (Surah 4:76). Therefore, the Muslim who doesn’t fight is hardly
worthy of the name or to be called one:

Those that stayed at home were glad that they were left behind by God’s apostle [Muhammad], for they had no wish to fight for the cause of God with their wealth and with their persons. They said to each other: “Do not go to war, the heat is fierce.” Say to them: “More fierce is the heat of
Hell-fire!” Would that they understood! (Surah 9:81)

However the command to make war against Jews and Christians is clearer in other portions of the Qur’an, which tie this obligation to their supposed disbelief in what was revealed to them.

“Fight against such of those to whom the Scriptures were given as believe neither in God nor the Last Day, who do not forbid what God and His Apostle have forbidden, and do not embrace the true Faith, until they pay tribute out of hand and
are utterly subdued” (Surah 9:29.

And similarly: “Muhammad is God’s Apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another” (Surah 48:29).

This isn't old Ernst making this up but their own words of encouragement from Allah himself via The Prophet?!

Muslims everywhere almost all view the Qur’an as literally and eternally true, including its exhortations to violence so are expected to follow it to the jot and tittles!.

Everywhere around the globe, all sects of Islam teach that the Qur’an is the perfect word of Allah, valid for all peoples and all times.
In fact, Muslim tradition goes even further, holding that the Qur’an is eternal and uncreated, and that it resided in heaven with Allah before he began to reveal it to Muhammad and was not composed by human authors.

When people like try to state a falsified practice of a theological version of “moral equivalence, we come severely unstuck and our current arguments against extremism lacks authority or relevance.”

“While the Crusaders may have fought with the cross on their shields, they did not—
could not—cite words from Jesus to justify their slaughters.” unlike the Islamist who do... or “Israeli commandos do not cite the Hebrew prophet Joshua as they go into battle, but Muslim insurgents can readily invoke the example of their Prophet, Muhammad, who was a military commander himself."

What would Mohamed do in the same situation of his followers today?

Need I ask Dr Sentamu or even, am I allowed to?

E S Blofeld

26 June 2014 at 11:03  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Roy said...That made Ernst gasp in awe at the depth of reasoning

If we expect Muslims to renounce (or at least re-interpret) those parts of their scriptures that are or could be used to justify terrorism, shouldn't Christians do the same with parts of the Old Testament? (Koran = All Within Absolute Eternal/FOREVER VALID ACTIONS. Bible = Progressive Revelation in History)

After all, weren't Moses, Joshua and Samuel guilty of war crimes?(Were the Nuremberg Trials and the Courts therefore guilty of murder and hatred against/towards war criminals?. What is WAR and is it's reasons and conclusion ever acceptable to the defeated fella?)

If we attempt to justify all their actions (Who here is, fella?) then how can we condemn Mohammed, or even Osama bin Laden? (Seriously? One was discriminate against a specific regional enemy at a specific time put down on paper as historical evidence of the action taken whereas the other is eternal and against all who are NOT of their ilk for all time as stated in writing by Those TWO , who cannot be named. CAPICHE!!!)

STREWTH

Blofeld

26 June 2014 at 11:20  
Blogger Peter said...

All religions are brainwashing. Except teaching the truth of Anglican denomination.

26 June 2014 at 11:25  
Blogger Len said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

26 June 2014 at 11:31  
Blogger Len said...

One[just one] of the differences between Islam and Christianity is that God (the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob that is) has provided a solution to the predicament that fallen man finds himself in and that solution is to be found only in Jesus Christ.There are hundreds of Bible Scriptures confirming Christ as the Messiah that God promises His salvation to come through.
Now Islam derives its 'authority' from the Word of God but then denies that very same truth revealed within the Word of God .
Islam was conceived by one man who himself admitted had no idea (initially) where these 'revelations' he was receiving were coming from?.
If one studies the Koran and the Bible side by side it is very soon revealed that 'Allah' and the God of the Bible are total opposites.
So the Bible reveals Jesus alone as being the pathway to salvation.

26 June 2014 at 11:34  
Blogger Roy said...

E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Roy said...That made Ernst gasp in awe at the depth of reasoning

To compare the executions following the Nuremberg Trials with the deliberate and indiscriminate slaughter of men, women and children is ridiculous. How can anyone possibly criticise the behaviour of Mohammed while ignoring the behaviour of Moses? What justification is there for the actions described below?

Numbers 31:13-18

And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp; and Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle; and Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord. Now, therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known a man by lying with him; but all the women-children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

Boko Haram in Nigeria would probably approve of the testament of the captured girls.

26 June 2014 at 11:43  
Blogger Ivan said...


For every hundred or so persons, there are three to five elements that lack empathy and a moral sense, the pathological ones. It seems to be part of a Darwinian endowment or due to Original Sin. The Muslims do not have a preceptor such as Buddha or Jesus Christ, (as pointed out by seanrobsville) to show them the right way, but are burdened instead with the character Mohamet. Telling the truth about about the murderer-rapist-serial child molester, will go a long way to countering the tendency to succumb to brainwashing. By and large Muslims are idiots, and the only way to prevent their going the wrong way is to get the truth in first. But along comes the secularists who demand perfection of Christians before any useful work is performed. It is these people more than anyone else, who are making life difficult for everyone.

26 June 2014 at 11:52  
Blogger Busy Mum said...

People of 'no faith' such as the commenter quoted are also guilty of brainwashing children into believing that there is no God and no hereafter. If God and heaven and hell turn out to be true, won't the atheists running our education system be guilty of the most awful psychological abuse ever? The effects will be felt to all eternity.

26 June 2014 at 11:58  
Blogger Busy Mum said...

Roy@11.43
Your question is ably answered by Sidney Collett in 'The Scripture of Truth'. I have the 7th edition published in 1912.

I'll give you the benefit of a few remarks taken from the answer:

'That passage contains one of the most solemn warnings against immorality to be found in the Bible: and far from even recognising acts of impurity, show Israel's God to be a God of awful purity....
In Numbers 25 we read that the men of Israel had previously committed whoredom with these daughters of Moab; and as judgment always begins at the House of God (1Peter4v17) we are told that every man of Israel found guilty of this horrible crime was salin without mercy.
But Numbers 31 shows that although in the case of the Midianites judgment was delayed - as it often is in the case of the wicked (Eccles 8v11), nevertheless, when it did come, it came with relentless severity....from v 18 it seems clear that every grown woman was guilty, none but 32000 little girls - women children - remaining pure and these God saved from the general destruction.......who shall say that God in His mercy toward these innocent little girls did not purposely bring them thus into association with His people Israel, in order that they, having seen the judgment that fell upon their own people for their wickedness, might grow up pure and useful members of society....moreover, who was to look after these 32000 helpless orphan girls if God's people did not? Were they to be left to starve and die? or to be taken up by some other heathen nation and learn a life of shame, like their ancestors?"

26 June 2014 at 12:11  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

"Brainwashing" used to mean something that was done by force, or under duress, to an unwilling victim by a captor or other authority figure. But in the case of the recruitment of young Muslims in Britain to go and commit war crimes in Syria, the brainwashees are under no compúlsion at all, are they? They are volunteers. In other words, they are not victims, they are perpetrators. They have no excuse.

26 June 2014 at 12:12  
Blogger Ivan said...


Hi Roy, my comment just appeared after yours. I would like to make it clear that I was not referring to you.

26 June 2014 at 12:39  
Blogger John Thomas said...

"cannot compete for followers in a free marketplace of ideas" (Seanrobsville); I guess this is right ... and yet, and yet ... there will be some (many?) in the West who say they freely chose Islam - was there not, a few years back, a lot of converts from white upper-Middle Class homes, celebs, etc.? It must have some appeal to some ...
And one thing has always made me wonder: Just why, if Islam is violent and all lies, has it managed to last for centuries? We normally think that falsehoods are revealed as what they are, if we only allow time ...

26 June 2014 at 12:44  
Blogger Len said...

Where does this brainwashing/ radicalization process start with Muslims? I would say through the Media.
There is constant anti Israel propaganda being initiated by the Media on a worldwide scale.And we are seeing [almost constantly] one ethnic/religious group being attacked by another.
There are Muslim clerics screaming out their messages of hate on the internet(and elsewhere)and we have a declining Christian moral foundation in the West and this has led to a further decline in any sort of respect the West has in the eyes of Muslims.

When we add to this the 'gagging order' of political Correctness and the unwillingness of the West to get drawn into another long drawn our intervention in areas of conflict then we cannot be too surprised to see radical Islam seizing upon what they see as weakness due to the West`s moral ineptitude. Muslims see their 'Sharia law' as halting this degeneration inflicting our/their society.

But the real power behind radical Islam is a spiritual power opposed to the God of the bible and intend to make all submit before it willingly or not!.

26 June 2014 at 12:56  
Blogger bluedog said...

So, Your Grace, Dawkins reports a comment by an American interlocutor, 'But the mental abuse of being told about Hell, she took years to get over.'

Your communicant finds this parable unconvincing and almost certainly a fabrication for a very simple reason. Presumably since humanoids first spoke, parents have recognised that if you say 'No' to a child, it's natural curiosity will lead it to do exactly what you forbid. But on the other hand, if you say, 'Don't go outside, the bogeymen will get you and eat you', the child stays inside.

Is an explanation of Hell any different? In this context, it's just a standard control technique, not greatly different to the one described above. One is tempted to speculate on the personality defects of Dawkins' children, if any.

26 June 2014 at 13:09  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

The problem in all this is the understanding of what is classified as "brainwashing". After all, one man's brainwashing is another man's teaching of truth.
Sadly, in trying not to come across as anti-Muslim ++Sentamu has actually muddied the waters a whole lot more. Additionally, because society (or at least those who move, form and inform society) do not view secularism/atheism as being able to brainwash they will be learning all the more towards removing religion from the education system.

Interesting thought to consider:
Is being told that 1+1=2 until we accept it to be true brainwashing?

26 June 2014 at 13:25  
Blogger Busy Mum said...

Bluedog - Dawkin's children, if you mean all those children throughout the UK who are being taught not to believe in any God, are experiencing severe personality defects - this is taken from today's school news bulletin....

"A poll of more than 1,000 heads by the school leaders’ network, The Key, found 64% saw pupil depression as a concern.

In total, 80% of secondary school heads expressed concern about self-harming.

The Key says delays in getting young people referred to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (Camhs) is of particular concern.

The survey of 1,131 head teachers also found:

41% expressed concern about eating disorders among pupils in their school (32% in primary schools and 55% in secondary schools)
51% expressed concern about self-harm among pupils in their school (33% in primary schools and 80% in secondary schools)"

And I daresay this is only the tip of the iceberg....

26 June 2014 at 13:33  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

Youthpasta@13:25

Is being told that 1+1=2 until we accept it to be true brainwashing?

No, this is:-

“You are a slow learner, Winston."
"How can I help it? How can I help but see what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four."
"Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”
― George Orwell, 1984

26 June 2014 at 13:34  
Blogger Preacher said...

Muslims are raised from the cradle to follow their faith obediently & without question. The results of any 'Apostasy' are clear from the start, so there is no choice but to obey.

For some young men, the radical teaching & exhortation to kill & destroy eventually has a mesmeric & desensitising effect that their 'leaders' can use to their advantage.

While in the West, many of our Churches & ministers have opted to edit out the heart of the gospel for fear of scaring the sheep & causing them to leave the flock - no sheep no wages for the Shepherds.
Result: sleeping sheep being led to the slaughter, or in this case Judgement & being cast into the pit alongside the shepherds.

God's judgement is perfectly & justly balanced by His love & mercy in the sacrifice of the Lord God incarnate in Jesus Christ. Saving believers from the sentence they deserve.

But the FULL gospel must be given, not an edited version. We cannot preach the love of God & the cost of redemption without the need of exposing man's eternal danger of facing God's Wrath on the day of judgement, rather than His mercy through Jesus Christ to those that repent & change the course of self destruction that they themselves have set.

These are the truth & the facts. accept them or reject them, we are free to choose, but we are not free to change them.

26 June 2014 at 13:45  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Meanwhile, back in Khartoum: Meriam Ibrahim, her husband, and their two small children are being held in a police cell. She is now being charged with attempting to leave the country using false documents. What seems to be happening is that the Sudanese authorities have refused (either tacitly or explicitly) to issue her with a valid Sudanese passport, but since she is a Sudanese national it is illegal for her to travel using a passport or travel warrant issued by a foreign country, in this case the newly independent South Sudan. On this new charge, she is facing a possible seven-year jail term, according to the Mail Online:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2669300/Another-cruel-twist-knife-Sudanese-mother-Meriam-Ibrahim-faces-SEVEN-years-jail-trying-flee-country-hours-death-sentence-marrying-Christian-dropped.html

26 June 2014 at 13:50  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Uncle Brian @ 13.50

Then the next step must be inundate them with e-mails demanding he release asap. At least now her life is not in danger.

Of course whilst she appears to us as a "person", an individual with a family that we can relate to, there are countless thousands of persecuted Christians, and other minorities, throughout the ME now, who are at best statistics to us, unknown. Yet each is a precious human made in the image of God. What a bloody mess it all is.

26 June 2014 at 13:58  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

The pinnacle of Buddhism is enlightenment.

The pinnacle of Christianity is sainthood.

The pinnacle of Mohammedanism is jihad.

Within the Mohammedan community you have no status, no respect and no authority until you've killed a few kuffars (bonus points if they're Jews)

26 June 2014 at 14:01  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

bluedog,as you know, Happy Jack is a Catholic. He was raised one and instructed as a child in his faith in the late 1950's and early 1960's by members of religious orders. Jack can therefore understand this:

"But the mental abuse of being told about Hell, she took years to get over."

A Christian believes Hell is real and any religious instruction or parent will instil an awareness of this in the young. One should never "get over" it.

However, being told a dear friend is in Hell simply because she was not raised as a Catholic would, undoubtedly, leave a mental scar and quite possibly turn that person away from her faith. If a child is taught God is so indiscriminate in His judgement then that's not a God Jack would follow either.

Looking back, Jack's early religious education did focus and place emphasis on man's fallen nature and the reality and certainty of Hell without an acceptance of Christ. Or, perhaps as a child, this is what Jack heard most. Very scary stuff indeed - but, for all Christians, it is "reality" unless one believes in universal salvation.

At the time, it was pre-Vatican II remember, an emphasis was placed on strict adherence to the 'rules' and 'regulations' of the Catholic Church. As a child, this fear of Hell somewhat crowded out the Love of Christ. That said, Jack did grow up with a deep love of Jesus, without fully comprehending what He had done for us. And, in truth, the fear of Hell and God's justice was a great motivator to discover more about God, His Love and Mercy and to welcome Him into my life.

It is only later in life that one begins to understand one's faith in its fullness.

"Is an explanation of Hell any different? In this context, it's just a standard control technique ..."

It's much more than tales of bogeymen! Jack has to say he was never raised to "hate" non-Catholics but, again looking back, was given the idea that they could not reach Heaven without converting.

Simple ideas given to children can stay with one a lifetime if they are not enriched later in life. There's a very fine line between "brainwashing" and instruction about what lies behind our material reality.

Fortunately, we as Christians can refer to our Holy Book and learn about Jesus Christ, the man as well as God incarnate. We discover the Gospel of loving our neighbour, forgiving grievances held and respecting secular authority.

Islam, it would appear, cannot because of its 'Prophet', the way he conducted himself and the prescriptions in the Koran.

26 June 2014 at 14:10  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

Violent verses in the Old Testament are a descriptive account of historical incidents, not a prescriptive exhortation to attack unbelievers in the future. Moses, Joshua and Samuel were not guilty of war crimes. They were acting within the laws of their society and time period. The language of the New Testament is radically different because it proclaims the teachings of Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace:-

“You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:43-45)

What a contrast to the teachings of the Religion of Peace:-

"fight those who do not believe in Allah" (Qur'an 9:29) "strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them" (Qur'an 9:73) Muhammad is the apostle of Allah. and those who are with him are strong against disbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other (Qur'an 48:29)

The Qur'an’s violent verses - unlike their Old Testament counterpart - use language that transcends time and space, inciting believers to slay unbelievers today no less than yesterday. How fortunate we all are that the vast majority of Muslims in the UK are congenial and peaceable and how grateful we should be to their Imams and groups like the MCB who must be explaining to them that Allah always means the opposite of what he says.

26 June 2014 at 15:11  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

I should also add that due to the high esteem in which jihadists are held by their communities, it will be the returning ISIS fighters who become the leaders of British Muslims in the coming years, rather than the stay-at-homes of the MCB etc.

"And gentlemen in Bradford now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here.."

26 June 2014 at 15:58  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Meanwhile Amnesty International says Europe is riddled with ‘Islamophobia’. Sorry, silly Jack, that should read ”anti-Muslim bias” where Muslims who openly show their faith suffer widespread discrimination.

26 June 2014 at 16:53  
Blogger John Thomas said...

"man's fallen nature" (Happy Jack). Of course, man's fallen nature is freeing, and the source of freedom (as Jack probably knows), since when you know there is something bad about people, there is A) a reason for the way things are which fits with experience, unlike the bogus Humanist's 'People are naturally good' stuff (source of the evils that come via Utopianism) and thence B) there is the possibility that REAL goodness can be restored, and add this to Jesus' promise ("real, new, life through Me")and bingo! All is well!
Pity no one answered my question about the unending, un-exposed nature of ongoing lies/badness ...

26 June 2014 at 17:06  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

I am somewhat encouraged by the fact that the issue is at last receiving a higher degree of exposure than in the past; pity it has to be for the price of so many lives abroad.

It's also good to see sensible and intuitive comments here to HG's post. He has consistently beaten this particular drum and now I perceive a shared understanding emerging on here at least, that this Country may at last be awakening to the sleeping crisis within us as a nation.

Let us all hope and those that pray, Pray, for commonsense to prevail

26 June 2014 at 17:16  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

John Thomas,
"Just why, if Islam is violent and all lies, has it managed to last for centuries? We normally think that falsehoods are revealed as what they are, if we only allow time ..."

Happy Jack did not answer this question because, in general terms, if we knew the precise and workings of God in every situation we would have to be Him. In more specific terms, Jack believes Len gave an answer:

"But the real power behind radical Islam is a spiritual power opposed to the God of the bible and intend to make all submit before it willingly or not!"

It's a wicked world and perhaps Islam is to be a judgement on the decline in the West of Christianity and the grave offences we daily made against God. Alternatively, it is also possible radical Islam is serving as a wake-up call and offering us an opportunity to amend our ways.

26 June 2014 at 17:22  
Blogger Sister Julian said...

How strange that the god who teaches violence, subjugation and jihad should be the god who attracts and the God who speaks of love your neighbour and preach the Gospel of peace is ignored. There is something so horribly wrong about this. I noticed today that nearby cafe/takeaway is closed 'for the holy month of Ramadan' How many nominal Christians even know when or what Lent is, let alone entertain any though of giving up anything, financial or any other way?

26 June 2014 at 17:59  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

@ Deadnaught
"I perceive a shared understanding emerging on here at least, that this Country may at last be awakening to the sleeping crisis within us as a nation.

Even if all the normal people woke up to the menace, the politicians would still ignore it. To accept the reality of the situation would require resolute and determined action of a distinctly politically incorrect variety.

It's far easier to ignore Mohammedanism and leave it for future generations to sort out.

26 June 2014 at 18:07  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

the vast majority of British Muslims are congenial and peaceable

● [8:39] Make war on them [the unbelievers] until idolatry is no more and Allah’s religion reigns supreme.
A preacher “at a mosque in the East Midlands is caught on film, praying: ‘God help us in our fight against the kafir, in every field, in every department of life. We beg you to help us fight against the enemies of our religion.’”
Nicholas Kafouris left a primary school in Tower Hamlets because of “the ‘racist’ and ‘anti-Semitic’ behaviour of Year 4 pupils. The predominantly Muslim youngsters openly praised Islamic extremists in class and described the September 11 terrorists as ‘heroes and martyrs’. One pupil said: ‘Don’t touch me, you’re a Christian’ when he brushed against him. Others said: ‘We want to be Islamic bombers when we grow up’, and ‘The Christians and Jews are our enemies—you too because you’re a Christian’.”

From Qur’an to mosque to schoolroom, the message is the same and it isn’t one of congeniality and peaceableness. Taken together with the treatment of Christians and other minorities in Muslim countries, there is every reason to suppose that a Muslim Britain would not be a congenial and peaceable land for non-Muslims. The sooner the latter reject the concept of Islamism and see that Islam itself is the terrorist ideology, the better.

26 June 2014 at 18:33  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

It is instructive to note that the Dawkinists continue to use the growing sense of unease and concern about Islam as a stick with which to beat Christianity. They fail to see that their' own best defence from Jihadist savagery comes from a strong Christendom.

Why is that?

I have a hypothesis but I don't think I dare put my name to it

26 June 2014 at 18:42  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

PS if all religions and philosophies are memes that evolved by natural selection, then if Islam wins, why would it matter? Why fight evolution?

26 June 2014 at 18:52  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

seanrobsville Can't argue with what you have said but think Churchill summed it up nicely:

“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”

26 June 2014 at 18:52  
Blogger John Malcolmson said...

John Thomas 12:44

"Just why, if Islam is violent and all lies, has it managed to last for centuries?"

It has lasted for centuries in regions of the world in which power accrues to the strongest (i.e most violent) tribe or faction. In contrast, as Western democracy, with its Christian foundations and consensual rather than confrontational traditions, becomes more and more diffident and more and more ready to appease those who would destroy it, there is avery good chance that it will establish itself here for centuries to come.

26 June 2014 at 19:22  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

@ Jay Bee:
Who said that 1+1=2? By who's understanding does this become truth?
Obviously, from a perspective of understanding what numbers are and how they interact we can understand the logic of 1+1=2, but the point I was trying to make was that we have an educational system that teaches certain things as fact that are all taken from a certain point of view. Very little about what is taught is objective. Therefore, can we ever say that children are not being "brainwashed", given that they are being fed subjective truth?
Who are we to say that democracy really is the least worst method for society to live by? Who are we to say that bullying is a bad thing? Look at Sparta, an empire that did quite well for a time by not living to those standards. Everything, pretty much, is subjective. So does 1 plus 1 really equal 2?

26 June 2014 at 20:06  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

A picture I just found, posted on a comments thread at the Harry’s Place blog. It was new to me, though I don’t know about other communicants. It looks like something that needs to be spread around a bit.

26 June 2014 at 22:13  
Blogger bluedog said...

RSA @ 18.52 said, 'PS if all religions and philosophies are memes that evolved by natural selection, then if Islam wins, why would it matter? Why fight evolution?'

The critical insight. Human society and achievement is not a matter of a permanent and gentle uptrend, there have been and will be periods of brutal regression. Islam, in comparison with our current Judeo-Christian order, is clearly a highly regressive force.

At some point our society must decide to fight fire with fire, otherwise we will succumb. We need to become Reconquista Spain, not Constantinople. Only lacking is the leader with courage, vision and conviction to admit to the problem and effect the solution.

26 June 2014 at 22:57  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

[9:111] Allah has purchased of the faithful their lives and worldly goods and in return has promised them the Garden [Paradise]. They will fight for His cause, slay, and be slain. Such is the true pledge which He has made them in the Torah, the Gospel and the Qur’an. And who is more true to his promise than Allah? Rejoice then in the bargain you have made. That is the supreme triumph.

Now that the Archbishop of York has taken the Church of England into new territory by describing Allah’s true pledge as ‘really a lie’ and ‘some kind of nonsense’, it’s to be hoped all the bishops join in the fun and get the bandwagon rolling.

26 June 2014 at 23:04  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

Youthpasta@20:06

What is truth? What you or I might regard as subjective truth another might deem to be factual and indisputable. Whether teaching amounts to brainwashing or not depends not so much on what is being taught but on the way it is being done, since it is possible to teach something as true when it isn't, yet the teacher could be guilty of nothing more than being sincerely wrong.

Children are not being brainwashed if they if they are free to examine, question or even reject what they are being taught. If they are only allowed to examine and question it would suggest indoctrination, since they are clearly being steered into acceptance of some norm or value. Brainwashing happens when certain values and beliefs are continually drip-fed over a long period and every hint of dissent is crushed and punished.

As for whether bullying is such a bad thing. Don't look at Sparta. Try the Nazis instead. They regimented and even militarised their youth in a way that ensured the weak were mercilessly trampled on. That didn't work out too well in the end did it. So I'll stick with democracy but you don't have to.

So to answer your question does 1 plus 1 really equal 2? I'd say that with smoke, mirrors, sleight of hand and crafty tongue you can, pretty much, make it equal to whatever number you like.

26 June 2014 at 23:51  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Just ending a fascinating and inspirational week at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, with a banquet in the school of divinity. The motto of the University is 'Dominum Illumina Tio Mea' (God illuminate my reason.

This great centre of learning was founded by men (yes, men) who believed that the Christian religion was (A) true and (B) foundational to all forms of true knowledge.

We have pissed on all that.

There is no administrative solution to the fact that we have given our (i.e. western Civilisation's) sworn enemies carte blanche to take over. We return to Christ or we are displaced. But this won't happen.

Liberal secularism is blinded by its hatred of Christianity to the real nature of the Islamic threat and also does not have the resolve to do what is necessary (treat Islam the same way they treat Biblical Creationism)

Oh dear I'd better shut up or I'll be arrested-they know where I am through my emails, I have only been in Oxford since Sunday but am getting adverts for Oxford arts events.

27 June 2014 at 00:32  
Blogger Maxine Schell said...

Roy said,
"After all, weren't Moses, Joshua and Samuel guilty of war crimes? If we attempt to justify all their actions then how can we condemn Mohammed, or even Osama bin Laden?"

As Christians, we do not follow or worship Moses, Joshua or Samuel, but Jesus Christ.

27 June 2014 at 05:40  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Maxine

What you write in response to Roy's simple but fatal error is fair enough but IMO missed the point slightly.

The Jehovah-sanctioned violence including occasional genocide in the Old Testament cannot be seen as arbitrary or 'Samuel going a bit too far'-it WAS God sanctioned.

It is terrible,,but no good denying it it is in the Bible. I believe that-with difficulty and a heavy heart- we can argue why these limited historical tribal genocides were necessary. I do not propose to attempt that argument here, but I have seen it made.

HOWEVER and this point has been made by other posters, the OT violence was LIMITED and HISTORIC. It was specifically commanded by Jehovah in order to establish and maintain the kingdom of Israel in order that Jehovah's plan of human salvation through Jesus could go ahead. This is the whole context of the OT.

I am not at this point even asking Roy or other atheists to repent and accept Christ , although I wish they would. I am merely asking them to recognise some simple historical facts. To 'do the math.'

The violence in Islam by contrast with that of Moses, Joshua, Samuel etc is NOT limited in time or locality like the conquest and defence of Israel. It is integral, exemplified and commanded by the founder of Islam, ongoing, global and continuing. Its purpose has always been to take the whole world for Islam.

This is set out plainly in the Quaran, as is the use of immigration as a tool of conquest.

The wuestion you have to ask yourself Roy is this. Are you yoing to allow your Dawkinist hatred of Christianity, which you detest but can live with, blind you to the growing threat of Islam, which ifcit continues to grow at the peesent rate you won't be able to live with?



27 June 2014 at 06:19  
Blogger The Explorer said...

John Thomas @ 12:44

"Falsehoods are revealed as what they are if only we allow time."

1. "Ye shall be as gods," is older than Islam, and that belief still has a respectable currency that shows no sign of going away any time soon.

2. In 'LOR' Frodo regrets that Gollum was not killed, and Gandalf suggests Gollum still has a part to play.

It may be that Islam has a part to play at some point in the future, with the last events that will bring history to an end.

27 June 2014 at 08:45  
Blogger David Hussell said...

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27 June 2014 at 09:09  
Blogger David Hussell said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 June 2014 at 09:09  
Blogger David Hussell said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 June 2014 at 09:11  
Blogger David Hussell said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 June 2014 at 09:13  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Rambling Steve,

I shall try posting again after the self inflicted disasters above.

Steve, I am glad that your studies at Wycliffe Hall were rewarding. It sounds like a good place to stay for a week. I shall see what courses they offer in that place of such historic importance to all English protestants. Having just finished my theology degree, I shall need an occasional mental and spiritual workout.

27 June 2014 at 09:36  
Blogger Roy said...

Rambling Steve Appleseed said:

I am not at this point even asking Roy or other atheists to repent and accept Christ , although I wish they would. I am merely asking them to recognise some simple historical facts. To 'do the math.'

I am definitely NOT an atheist and am a Christian. However I think that people who attempt to justify Old Testament massacres by saying "it was God's will" do damage to Christianity because unbelievers will naturally react by that Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all equally bad and the only difference between them Jews and Christians today generally ignore the violent parts of their scriptures or at least are not inspired by them.

When I am asked to justify the violent parts of the Old Testament I generally point out that people like Moses, Joshua, Samuel etc. were not only religious leaders but also political ones and directing the affairs of nations it is sometimes necessary to choose the lesser of two evils.

Few people, whether believers or atheists, would dispute that the right side won the Second World War. I would say that we were on God's side in that war. Nevertheless, although I appreciate the bravery of our airmen and think that members of Bomber Command should have received campaign medals long ago, I would acknowledge that innocent civilians, including women and children, in towns like Hamburg and Dresden suffered terribly at our hands.

I would go further than that and would acknowledge that the German soldiers, although not "innocent", fought bravely for their country and that the deaths of large numbers of them were sad and regrettable, although necessary. Some former British soldiers who had fought in that war (all the ones I knew are dead now) also held similar views, at least in their old age.

Therefore I think that the deaths of the Canaanites etc. at the hands of the Israelites were also regrettable and although it was natural for the Israelites to celebrate their victories there is something distasteful about their attitudes.

What is worse, however, is when some Christians see nothing distasteful in it and give the impression that they regard the Canaanites and other ancient foes of the Israelites as sub-human. After all, that is not how we regard the Germans and Japanese today despite the terrible things they did during the War.

27 June 2014 at 10:44  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Archbishop Sentamu will be flattered to see that his
British jihadis brainwashing shock is on the front page of all the best papers.

27 June 2014 at 10:57  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

Explorer@8:45

It may be that Islam has a part to play at some point in the future, with the last events that will bring history to an end.

There are some who think that it does. Other brutal empires have fallen but Islam has not and this causes them to wonder why God puts up with it.

Daniel 11 contains the prophecy about the rampage of Antiochus Epiphanes but verses from 36 onwards seem to point to the future end times when another ruler will appoint himself as God Manifest. "He will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign god and will greatly honour those who acknowledge him. He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the land at a price." Daniel 11:39

One way of attacking the mightiest fortresses is from inside the defences.

27 June 2014 at 11:07  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Jay Bee @ 11:07

That's the sort of thing I had in mind. And however symbolically one interprets 'Revelation', it does imply that the focus for the Last Days (whenever those may occur) will be The Middle East.

27 June 2014 at 11:16  
Blogger Len said...

'Someone' will sit in the Temple calling themselves God or 'as' God we already see this in the head of the RCC.

Imagine a heretical Pope forming a union with Muslims and apostate Christianity.

What a thought?.

27 June 2014 at 12:05  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Not all religious brainwashing is bad, look at the Mormons, they are shining examples of disciplined clean Christian living.

27 June 2014 at 12:11  
Blogger IanCad said...

Len, wrote:

"Imagine a heretical Pope forming a union with Muslims and apostate Christianity."

I wondered when this would come up.

Let's see. What is there in common?

Intercessory prayers.

Immortality of the soul.

An eternal, ever burning Hell. A place of the most diabolical torture. Embraced both by Rome and Mecca, as well as misled Protestants who, also, may have in them a sadistic streak.

Purgatory.

The necessity of good works to attain salvation.

A dictatorial form of church administration.

Veneration of Mary.

Prayer beads/Rosary beads.

Repetitive prayers.

The same God. (According to John Paul 11.

27 June 2014 at 13:22  
Blogger Len said...

Ian Cad, there`s some(keep this under your hat so`s not to upset the Catholics or the Muslims) there`s some that say that the RCC invented Islam to destroy that 'heretical sect' the Christians....

27 June 2014 at 13:52  
Blogger IanCad said...

Uncle Brian


That picture is priceless!

Thanks.

27 June 2014 at 13:58  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Ian C:

Do you think Christ believed in the reality of Hell?

27 June 2014 at 14:01  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

The problem with Hell is that you've got at least five gods all wanting to control admission criteria.

The Catholic god wants to torture all non-Catholics, the Protestant God wants to torture all non-Protestants and those Protestants who aren't Protestant enough.

The Sunni and Shia allahs want to inflict eternal ISIS style atrocities on Shias/Sunnis and all kuffars (especially Jews).

Then you've got the Church of England god who wants to turn the thermostat down to a more comfortable and energy-conserving setting, send the instruments of torture to the council's metal recycling facility, and convert the property into an interfaith outreach centre complete with creche and foodbank.

27 June 2014 at 14:17  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Ian C:

PS: Gregory Boyd, whom I read with caution, has a view of Hell based on Barth's 'das Nichtige'.

Removed from the Source of Life, unredeemed souls dwindle into a sort of nothingness not unlike annihilation. It's a sort of middle way between the traditional view of Hell and Annihilationism (which Boyd rejects).

27 June 2014 at 14:17  
Blogger IanCad said...

The Explorer

Would our altogether lovely Jesus endorse Hell (The Grave) as a place of never ending torment?

A diabolical, seething cauldron of fire. A place where torture is practised as vocation by the imagined fiends who dwell in such depravity.

Further held to be on show for the redeemed of the ages to view at will, and thus, to increase the ardour of the saints.

When? When? When? will this grotesque pagan invention be excised from the minds of the followers of Christ?

Utter blasphemy. To slander our Creator so.

27 June 2014 at 14:21  
Blogger The Explorer said...

"Fear him who can destroy both body and soul in hell."

Christ's own words, according to Matthew.

27 June 2014 at 14:26  
Blogger The Explorer said...

seanr @ 14:27

A sixth view is that those who demand their freedom from God will be given their wish.

And since we were not intended to be autonomous beings, the result will be hell.

27 June 2014 at 14:28  
Blogger IanCad said...

Sorry, The Explorer but I just missed your last post.

Hang Gregory Boyd; Barth may be a good guy, but we have the Bible. No need for interpreters.

We choose. Life or death.

Now, we have been here before.
No need for texts, they've been cited many times here.

27 June 2014 at 14:29  
Blogger John Thomas said...

The traditional idea of Hell, and Purgatory, involves the idea of people who have chosen to do bad things recveiving punishment. Das Nichtige sounds no fun, but not really too bad ... -Is it so far from Universalism, in which everybody gets saved eventually (so, no real justice then, ever). And the idea that Jesus is just TOO loving to endorse any real punishment is not so far from the old "God loves us SO much, he'll just forgive us anything, really [OK chaps - go on doing it, whatever it is you want]". Divine righteousness and justice fade, and a kind of eternal ammoralism triumphs, Hitler and St. Francis receive the same things (which, in reality, condones, and thus encourages, this-worldly evil).

27 June 2014 at 14:35  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Ian C

No need for interpreters?

'Life or death' is itself an interpretation.

27 June 2014 at 14:36  
Blogger The Explorer said...

John Thomas @ 14:35

das Nichtige (which I'm merely citing, not endorsing) is a very long way from Universalism (which Boyd rejects outright).

das Nichtige is a form of eternal death against the eternal life of the redeemed.

The redeemed, after all, go on to new experiences. The unredeemed merely dwindle.

27 June 2014 at 14:42  
Blogger IanCad said...

The Explorer wrote:

"---a form of eternal death against the eternal life of the redeemed."

You're getting there! Now, take one deep breath and say "Eternal Death"

That means dead. Good - or should I say - bad, and dead.

That's it. Finished. That's all she wrote.

No writhing in the flames or parching for a drink.
No devils poking you with spears.
No half-human denizens. No nothing.

But, as the redeemed will arise to life eternal so will the unsaved, in the great day of final judgement know that by their own choice they have forefeited the joy of being with Christ and the saints in heaven.
What an appalling punishment that will be.

27 June 2014 at 15:18  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Hell ?

I'm with view touched upon by The Explorer @ 14.28.

So hell is a place where autonomous individuals live lives that they themselves make miserable because they choose to separate themselves from God, the source of all life and goodness. In that place they create hell through their attitudes and behaviour.

C.S.Lewis has the idea in "The Great Divorce". Where's Rambling Steve, as he's just spent a pleasant week studying Lewis ?

Maybe this version of hell appeals to me, culturally, and so I accept it ? Doesn't prove it does it ? Ultimately only God knows and decides, not us humans, and I'll just accept that.

In Jerusalem it was fascinating to look down into the "gahenna" valley - hell - the narrow, steep sided defile of a valley, into which the city cast out its rubbish, so fires would break out spontaneously in the summer heat. Today it's a pleasant green "finger" of countryside running right up and into the heart of the old city adjacent to the ancient walls of the temple area - a Town Planners dream layout - laughing at my inability to switch off !

27 June 2014 at 15:27  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

IanCad at 13:58

You're welcome, Ian! Make good use of it!

Out of curiosity, I note that in your earlier comment (at 13:22) you list "repetitive prayer" as one of the things SDAs disagree with. But how do they reconcile that with Matt 6:7-13?

Regards
Brian

27 June 2014 at 15:51  
Blogger Preacher said...

Going off topic for a mo' the way I see the warning of judgement & the fate of the lost (whatever Hell may actually be) is summed up by Jesus in Matthew when He says "I have come to save the sinners, not the righteous" & continues "It's the sick who need a physician, not the well". He also later states "You have heard it taught that whoever commits adultery is condemned, but I tell you that whoever looks at a woman with lust has committed adultery with her in his heart".
Paul sums it up in Romans, with a quote from Psalms, 'There is NONE righteous, no not one, ALL have fallen short of the glory of God'.

This begs the question, Who then need Salvation?.
Answer: Everyone!.
Paul even refers to himself as 'The chief of sinners'.

I don't presume to know what Hell is like or what it consists of & by God's mercy I never will.
But for Christ to suffer such appalling agonies & death to save us from it I can conclude that it is a terrible eternal fate.
Yet the key to it's avoidance is freely available to all who want it. By God's grace we are free to choose our own destiny.

27 June 2014 at 16:01  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Explorer

'Life or death' is itself an interpretation.

Hmm....did someone mention Brainwashing?

27 June 2014 at 16:07  
Blogger IanCad said...

Uncle Brian,

Isn't a free press wonderful?

Certainly, The Lord's Prayer cannot be considered repetitive.
It is an example of the manner.
The caution in Verse 7 not pray "As the heathen do" is clear instruction to keep away from mantras. Constant echoing of which can lead to trances or hypnotic states.
As particularly evidenced in the Eastern mystical religions.
And, I have to say, in the Hail Marys.

Ian.

27 June 2014 at 16:39  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Ian C @ 15:18

Sorry for delay in replying: computer crashed.

"That's all she wrote."

By 'she' I assume Ellen G White?

I don't feel constrained by what she said, but I DO feel constrained by what Christ said, and the evidence is that Christ spoke of Hell as a reality.

Re pagan origins of Hell, there isn't that much emphasis on fire in either the 'Odyssey' or the 'Aeneid'.

Where you really get emphasis on fire is in the Koran, which takes a Christian idea and embellishes it.

27 June 2014 at 16:54  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

IanCad

Trances and hypnotic states? Caused by repeating the Hail Mary? Hmmm ...

In the meantime, I see it's getting on for 5 o'clock in the UK, so for the time being, Shabat Shalom!

Regards
Brian

27 June 2014 at 17:01  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

David Hussell said:

"hell is a place where autonomous individuals live lives that they themselves make miserable because they choose to separate themselves from God, the source of all life and goodness. In that place they create hell through their attitudes and behaviour. "

Sounds very much like Earth doesn't it?

27 June 2014 at 18:13  
Blogger IanCad said...

The Explorer

"That's all she wrote."

By 'she' I assume Ellen G White?


No, No; Just an Americanism. Nothing to do with EGW.
Bob Brinker quite often uses it when he signs off on his radio program.

A casual look at the art illustrating Hell makes it sure look firey to me.

And, I infer, you are saying that Christianty was a bad influence on the Muslims?
They took a rotten idea and expanded on it?

27 June 2014 at 18:32  
Blogger The Explorer said...

When Sartre said Hell is other people, he was probably on to something.

Remove the redeemed, and that sounds about right as a definition.

27 June 2014 at 18:33  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Actually, that's pretty much the idea expressed in the Aeneid - that souls who have been bad, but not THAT bad, in life get purged of all memory of mortal life and sent round again for another go. Basically, life on earth, with all its separation from God and trials and tribulations, is Purgatory. We are all effectively living in Purgatory, and may have had many previous lives of which we have no memory. To escape the cycle we need to lead a good life, whilst hell is this life but with no possibility of escape.

Personally, I find that idea very thought-provoking. Whether or not one believes in reincarnation per se, the idea that mortal life and Purgatory involve the same separation from and striving towards God is, I find, rather compelling - a sort of Hell-on-earth scenario.

27 June 2014 at 18:36  
Blogger IanCad said...

Uncle Brian

In no way did I mean to be insulting to Roman Catholics.
I fully recognize the profound reverence in which they are held.

Surely God judges the heart?

However, vain repetitions are warned about in Matthew 6:7
Trance like? Well, generally, probably not, judging by the speed in which they are most often said.
But when repeated by the hundreds surely the essence of the gospel must be lost.

Sundown about 9pm here.

Shabat and Shalom to you too My Friend.

Ian

27 June 2014 at 18:48  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Ian C @ 18:32

For Islam, of course, Christianity is a perversion of Allah's original message: which had to be re-delivered by Mohammed.

Christianity has certain terrible doctrines such as the Trinity (Father, Son and Virgin Mary) and the ridiculous idea that Christ was crucified.

Christ, however, will return at the end of time to establish Islam and abolish the Cross.

What infuriated Mohammed was the suggestion that Islam had distorted Christianity, rather than the other way round.

27 June 2014 at 18:55  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Darter @ 18:36

Very interesting post.

I wonder if Virgil got the idea from Plato: forgetting the past by drinking the waters of Lethe.

27 June 2014 at 19:02  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Explorer,

I'm sure that is where he got the idea from.

Whilst Virgil was primarily writing poetic propaganda for the Augustan regime, his work gives a good insight into the religious beliefs of 1st century Romans, many of whom became the first Christian converts.

The biggest struggles and tensions in early Christianity were between those who approached Christianity from a Greco-Roman Platonic and Neo-Platonic background and those from a Jewish background - look at the tensions between Paul, who appealed to Greek and Roman converts, and Simon-Peter, who headed what might be called the Jewish group, in Acts and the Letters. Judaism itself had sects influenced by the Classical Platonic philosophy of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Neo-Platonism prevailed in Christianity, and the time of the Fathers is very much influenced by their attempts to explain Christianity within the prevailing philosophies of classical Greece and Rome, and these in turn have dominated Christian exegesis down to the present day. Christianity very rapidly lost its prevailing Jewish character with its expansion through the Roman Empire, and it is from this melange of Christian and Greco-Roman philosophies that many groups such as Gnostic Christians emerge. A prime example are the Marcionites, who at one point in the 2nd century outnumbered Catholics; Marcionites were Christians who, following Marcion, believed that the Old Testament God of Israel was the Demiurge, or evil creator God, whilst Jesus was a product of the Cosmic God - very much like the difference between Eru Iluvatar and Morgoth in The Lord of the Rings. Another major sect, the Sethians, believed that the God who created Adam and Eve was evil, and the serpent in Eden was a heroic figure who saved mankind with knowledge and brought them closer to the true God.

In the Platonic philosophy which so influenced Christianity, this life on earth is flawed and the duty of religious souls is to escape it and return to God. He'll-on-earth, viewed in that context, becomes very real.

27 June 2014 at 19:23  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

That's something for modern Young Earth Creationists to contemplate; throughout the vast majority of Christian history the story of the Creation in Genesis and the fall of man was interpreted allegorically in Neo-Platonist terms; the point of the story was not that it was a literal account of the creation of the world day by day, but that it recounted the separation of man from God, which was the key point of the story. If, as a Christian, you read the book of Genesis and come away determined to prove that the world was literally created in 6 days, you've rather missed the point.

27 June 2014 at 19:50  
Blogger Roy said...

Since the subject of this latest article in His Grace's blog includes the word "brainwashing" I think that Christians ought to be careful not to brainwash themselves.

In my first comment I mentioned some immoral acts that seem to have been approved of by the writers of the Old Testament. Instead of admitting that those verses pose a problem for Christians some commentators said that the action mentioned must have been OK because they are in the Bible just as fanatical Muslims use the Quaran to justify various crimes.

Rambling Steve Appleseed, whose comments I usually find interesting, accused me of being an atheist and being motivated by a "Dawkinist hatred of Christianity, which you detest" and that hatred made me blind to "the growing threat of Islam"

As I explained I am a Christian. Furthermore my friends know I certainly do not approve of Richard Dawkins and that I am not blind to the threat of Islam.

Militant Muslims are forever jumping to conclusions and regard anyone who disagrees with anything they say as being the enemy.

Rambling Steve Appleseed ought to know better than to imitate militant Muslims.

27 June 2014 at 20:44  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Roy

I am sorry that I incorrectly identified you as an atheist. I willingly retract. But the argument you made on the 26th is one that Dawkins and chums have been using for a decade since the 'religion's misguided missiles' letter after 9/11 that is seen as the starting gun for the 'New Atheist' movement.

A key part of their strategy is to look at Islamic violence and smear Christianity with it. 'Read the OT-they're all the same-haven't got a leg to stand on'

If you use arguments that are routinely used by Dawkinists, and do so without qualification, you might occasionally get mistaken for one.

But accusing me of 'imitating militant Muslims' is IMO at least as unfair as my assuming that someone using one of Dawkins' favourite arguments might, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, be a sympathiser.

Your comments yesterday are understandable and I sympathise, but again the Canaanite genocide is regularly used to argue that Jehovah is wicked. He is not. Trying to tiptoe around or deny the God-sanctioned Canaanite genocide is a tempting course of action but ultimately weak. God decided that this ethnic group and its cultural heritage, which included child sacrifice to Molech was so irredeemably wicked that He determined that ending their line was the only way to go. In His sovereignty he had so arranged things that this particularly depraved nation would inhabit the particular piece of real estate, located at the geographical centre on the old world between Africa, Asia and Europe, that was required for Israel.

Please note, I am not relaxed about this, I appreciate how shocking it is. I think its meant to be shocking. I have no intention of developing this argument further here: there are some useful essays on Answers in Genesis and John Piper.

The point I was trying to make is that the OT violence, however appalling by modern western standards (much less so by the standards of that era) was strictly LIMITED in time and location whereas Islamic violence is in the DNA of the Quran is sanctioned to be global and until the end of time or the whole world has been converted to Islam, whichever is the sooner. There is a really, really big difference even if you own the shocking Canaanite 'kill them all' genocide.

I hope that makes my view clear.

David Hussel: Re C S Lewis's views on hell, yesterday I had the good fortune to hear Michael Ward discussing The Great Divorce. It was Lewis I think more than anyone else who popularised the idea that 'the gates of hell are locked on the inside' and that finally impenitent sinners voluntarily chose exile from God as they would rather suffer hell than give up their sin.

I don't think this can be the whole truth but there is a lot of sense in it, for example see John 3:19 'This is the condemnation, that he light came into the world but men would not come to the light because their deeds were evil.'

But Lewis wrote elsewhere that as much as he would wish to get rid of the doctrine of hell, he did not see how he honestly could in the light of the sayings of Jesus on the subject. He wrote I think in the Problem of Pain of the moral necessity of retribution for the finally impenitent and I cannot but agree, with much trepidation as a wretched sinner myself.

Anyway, this could go on all day but I need to get to my orchard after a week away in Oxford. An architecture student nephew is coming today to help me build a compost toilet, so I'd better clear off. But I am full of C S Lewis' thought after a week in Oxford and have just started a new blog at http://narniaonsea.wordpress.com and may be spending more of my web time there than here for the next few weeks or months.

kind regards

28 June 2014 at 06:39  
Blogger Roy said...

Thanks Rambling Steve for your response. We understand each other better now.

As you probably know Dawkins's arguments about that aspect of the Old Testament aren't original. Other people including, I think, Thomas Paine, said similar things a long time ago.

In fact, not much of Dawkins work is original but he is a good writer and has easy access to the media which is always ready to help him disseminate his opinions.

Regards,

Roy

28 June 2014 at 10:17  
Blogger Sidney Deane said...

"These are not fables, nor are they the bigoted musings of those who may be termed 'Islamophobic', but it is history as recorded in the Qur’an and the Hadith."

And a history that you presumably deny took place.

Why?

1 July 2014 at 13:23  

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