Formerly the Thinking Catholic Strategic Center
Francis X. Shannon, Tuesday, March 08, 2016
The Bible is fairly brimming with parallels – and ironies. One of the most ironic – in fact, the most basic and essential – is the Old Testament prophecy made New Testament fulfillment, the word made flesh, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the new Adam, restoring us to the graces of our Heavenly Father.
In recent years there’s been a growing and increasingly troubling mindset in some quarters of Christianity. Some in positions of leadership and prominence, so possessed by the demons of “political correctness,” have thought it a good idea to water down and corrupt the Gospel message of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by attempting to blend it with Islam. They seem to have the proverbial good intentions, those same stones, as literally as proverbially, with which the road to Hell is paved.
Probably the most openly flagrant expression of the blasphemy of “Chrislam,” as it’s called, is The Yale Covenant, nothing less than a complete and appalling vacillation of Gospel values and the basest betrayal of centuries of martyrs’ blood. In 2007, The Yale Covenant listed among its inaugural round of signatories pastors and theologians from across the denominational board, most prominently Rick Warren, founding pastor of the Saddleback Church and author of The Purpose Driven Church; Robert Schuller, founding pastor of the now-defunct Crystal Cathedral and former host of the Hour of Power television show; as well as Leith Anderson and Don Argue, current and former presidents, respectively, of the National Association of Evangelicals.
And it’s not just evangelicals who bear the blame for The Yale Covenant. Two alleged “Catholics” who’ve signed on are Francis Schüssler Fiorenza, professor of Roman Catholic Theological Studies at Harvard Divinity School, and his wife, Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, a “feminist theologian,” also at Harvard Divinity School. Francis Schüssler Fiorenza, incidentally, was originally Francis Fiorenza before marrying Elisabeth Schüssler, who he met while studying in Germany.
Sancte Francisce Castrato, ora pro nobis.
The Yale Covenant opens with a preamble which includes an apology to and a plea for the forgiveness of Islam. It quotes Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:5, “First take the log out your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye,” followed by, “we want to begin by acknowledging that in the past (e.g. in the Crusades) and in the present (e.g. in excesses of the “war on terror”) many Christians have been guilty of sinning against our Muslim neighbors. Before we ‘shake your hand’ . . . we ask forgiveness of the All-Merciful One and of the Muslim community around the world.”
Excesses of the “war on terror”? Following such logic, the signatories to this “covenant” would have Jews apologize to Germany for the Allies’ defeat of Hitler’s Nazi regime in 1945. In the thirteen years since the 9/11 attacks, nowhere on record can be found any apology by any Muslim for the almost 3,000 lives ended that day. The signatories of The Yale Covenant, however, would surely be among those who regard Islam as a “religion of peace.”
Something The Yale Covenant neglects to mention is the historical fact that the Crusades were a purely self-defensive response to savage and barbarous Islamic aggression.
The Yale Covenant concludes with, “[W]e must engage in interfaith dialogue as those who seek each other’s good, for the one God unceasingly seeks our good.”
The breathtaking naivete of The Yale Covenant was perhaps surpassed – or at the very least matched – by a statement by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, in June of 2013, during a visit to a Staten Island mosque.
“We love God,” said the cardinal, “and He is the same God.”
The Qur’an, the “sacred scripture” of this religion of peace, contains at least 109 verses charging Muslims with waging war on infidels – nonbelievers – for the purpose of instituting global Islamic rule under Sharia law, the law of the Qur’an. Among the verses are commands to chop off heads and fingers and and to kill infidels wherever they hide.
"I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve,” declares the Qur’an in 8:12. “Therefore strike off their heads.”
“The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger,” it states in 5:33 of the Qur’an, “and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off.”
“Fight those who believe not in Allah,” encourages the Qur’an in 9:29, “nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book.” “People of the Book” is an Islamic reference to Jews and Christians, about whom the Qur’an further declares in 4:89, “[T]ake not friends from their ranks . . . seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and . . . take no friends or helpers from their ranks.”
In the Hadith, a writing separate from the Qur’an that is considered an account of the deeds and sayings of Muhammad, 53:177 states that “the Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him’.”
Religion of peace?
From merely a practical and political perspective, those like Dolan, Warren, Schuller, et al. would naively seek peace with those who are sworn to either converting or striking dead every last follower of Christ and child of Israel. They’d effectively lay bare – in quite literal terms – every Christian and Jewish throat to the mercy of an Islamic blade. Worse, from a spiritual and theological perspective, they’d seek to blend Christianity with Islam.
So how does one reconcile the truths of Jesus Christ and His Gospel with Islam when the Qu’ran vehemently denies every tenet of Christianity? While Islam regards Jesus as a great prophet, it claims in strongest terms that “Allah” had no son. It denies that Jesus died on the Cross, that He rose from the dead, and it denies the Holy Trinity.
“[D]o not say, "Three"; desist . . . Allah is but one God,” states the Qu’ran in 4:171-172, denying the Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – followed by a denial of truth of Jesus as the Son of God. “Exalted is He above having a son . . . sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.”
The Qu’ran doubles down on its denial of the Holy Trinity in 5:72-73, saying, “They have certainly disbelieved who say, ‘Allah is the third of three’."
“The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary,” claims that same pair of verses, “was but a messenger of Allah and His word.”
Regarding the Crucifixion of Christ, the Qu’ran declares in 4:157-158, “and they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them.”
And by logical extension, if, according to the Qu’ran, Jesus did not die on the Cross, and thereby wasn’t dead, then there was so subsequent resurrection from the dead.
The Qu’ran is, of course, the words of Mohammed, a mere man. More weight, surely, should be placed on the words of St. Paul in the third chapter of his epistle to the Romans: “For what if some of them have not believed? [S]hall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid. But God is true; and every man a liar.”
The bottom line is this: the Bible is the Word of God, not the Qu’ran. The Qu’ran contradicts the Bible, and God never contradicts Himself - ever.
While there most assuredly is a foundational basis for Christianity in Judaism – the foundation, in fact – there isn’t the slightest contribution to Christianity to be found in Islam. Islam, remember, didn’t exist until more than six centuries after Jesus suffered and died on the Cross, was buried, and rose from the dead. The Bible – Old and New Testaments – in the form with which we’re familiar, was in textual existence for over three centuries before Islam. The Old Testament itself existed as a codified text for centuries prior to the birth of Jesus. Any elements of the Old or New Testaments to be found in the Qur’an could very easily have been gleaned by Mohammed before he wandered into his cave and allegedly met the angel Gabriel – yes, conveniently enough the same angel Gabriel that visited the Virgin Mary prior to Jesus’ conception. This so-called “religion of peace” is nothing more than an Achmet-come-lately cult of death-worshippers, and should properly rank as history’s biggest sham.
Judaism is the foundation of Christianity. For there to be a New Testament, there must be an Old. Again, the Old Testament has prophecy, the New Testament is fulfillment; Word made flesh; original sin and the loss of paradise by Adam and Eve, and ultimately our redemption and restoration to grace by the paschal sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
So is there a role for Islam? Certainly, but it’s not a pretty one, it’s not foundational to Christianity, and it’s most assuredly not a role justifying the watering-down of the Gospel message of our Lord and Savior.
Is there a connection between Judaism and Islam? Surely. The Old Testament is abundantly clear about that. Abram made a covenant with God, according to God’s promise in the fifteenth chapter of Genesis, “Look up to heaven and number the stars, if thou canst . . . So shall thy seed be.” But despite God’s promise and covenant, Abram allowed himself to be tempted by his wife, Sarai, who was beyond childbearing years, and accepted her offer of her servant, Hagar the Egyptian, as a concubine. Just as Adam, despite the word of God, accepted forbidden fruit from the hand of Eve, so did Abram. The result was Ismael – a bastard – the illegitimate child of Abram and Hagar, and the father of those who would come to be called Arabs. The Lord promised Abram, with regard to Ishmael, that He would “increase, and multiply him exceedingly.” The Lord’s assurance, however, came with a dire warning, one that’s borne the bitter fruit of truth over the centuries. “He shall be a wild man,” the Lord told Abram in Genesis 16. “[H]is hand will be against all men, and all men's hands against him: and he shall pitch his tents over against all his brethren.” “But my covenant,” the Lord continued in the seventeenth chapter of Genesis, after changing Abram’s and Sarai’s names to Abraham and Sara, “I will establish with Isaac, whom Sara shall bring forth to thee at this time in the next year.”
So while the Lord increased and multiplied Ishmael exceedingly through his descendants, His covenant with Abraham is through Isaac, continuing through the centuries and to this day with the children of Israel. Ishmael, through his Islamic descendants, continues to be “a wild man . . . his hand against all men . . . pitch[ing] his tents over against all his brethren,” as demonstrated by jihadist terrorism and the ongoing struggle over the Holy Land that the Lord bequeathed to the children of Israel, as if there’s some sort of Islamic “acting-out” stemming from a centuries-old, cultural inferiority complex.
For Christianity, any significance or relevance with regard to Islam is after-the-fact at best. All things, it’s said, happen for the manifestation of God’s will. So with the covenant established with Abraham, why would the Lord allow relations to occur between Hagar and Abraham, begetting Ishmael? Why would the Lord “increase, and multiply . . . exceedingly” such a “wild man” whose “hand will be against all men”? Could the purpose be eschatological? Certainly, especially with so much going on in the world – particularly with regard to Israel – the fulfillment of end times prophecy could well be the purpose of the Ishmaelite legacy. Anyone well-versed in the Bible, especially Revelation, Ezekiel, and Daniel, might reasonably see the pieces falling into place, most especially in the years since Israel was reestablished as a nation in 1948. Those descended from Ishmael are the Cain to Israel’s Abel. To this very day, they bear a cultural “mark of Cain.”
For Islam to be sold as being in any way a complement to Christianity is ludicrous. Worse, it’s the most flagrantly blasphemous of heresies. “[W]hether prophecies shall be made void,” St. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:8-10, “or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.” That which is perfect. Jesus Christ is perfect. The Gospel – His Word – is perfect. Our Lord and Savior is the perfect fulfillment to Old Testament prophecy. Mixing Islam with Christianity is nothing more or less than the pollution and corruption of that which is perfect. The spring of living water of which Jesus spoke in the fourth chapter of the Gospel of John is purest water. There could be no adding to it that would amount to anything but corruption.
The Book of Revelation, in the closing verses (18-20) in chapter 22, addresses this most abundantly: “For I testify to every one that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book: If any man shall add to these things, God shall add unto him the plagues written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from these things that are written in this book. He that giveth testimony of these things, saith, Surely I come quickly: Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”
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Respond to This Article Below The Last Comment
Date: Tue Mar 08 21:59:05 2016
Location: Round Rock, By God Texas, USA.
I must say, the last paragraph completes our journey. Yes, Lord Jesus, come quickly!
We must not be lukewarm... or cold... we must desire to be passionate for and about the truth...only found in the culmination of God's sacred covenant... the gift of Jesus Christ, his Annunciation, Birth, Life and total abandon to drink the cup of The Cross... then his resurrection and promise of eternal life for all who call upon the most Holy Name... Jesus Christ be praised forever.
There is no quarter... there is no retreat... there is no option but eternal life through Jesus Christ, the ONLY son of the Living God... the great "I AM"...
Date: Wed Mar 09 14:14:52 2016
The God I worship is kind, forgiving and full of love. He gave me free will, reason and intellect. He wants us to love and glorify HIM but does not tell us to behead, rape or torture those who do not do so. He warns us against the corruption of children, while Muslims make these poor souls sex slaves to old men. He tells us that there is no marriage in heaven, Moslems preach that you will get 72 virgins and young boys to enjoy. Jesus created a magnificent honour to His Blessed Mother, St. Joseph did not hit her. Joseph did not take many wives, his only wife was Mary and he honoured Her and loved her. If someone can tell me what we have in common with pagan Muslims I would love to hear it. The only things we have in common are that we were all created by God and that he loves us. Please explain how rape, plunder and beheading and wanton taking of lives is compatible with Christianity?
Date: Mon May 09 09:26:22 2016
From: Francis X. Shannon
Location: Wesley Chapel, FL / US
Thanks for your comments! As the author of the above piece, feel free to forward it to anyone you think may need to read it.
Date: Sat Jul 09 2016
From: Vic Biorseth
Galatians adds to and confirms the last paragraph.
Don't look now, but the Koran presents another Gospel of Jesus Christ. Islam's new gospel insists that,
and more. Paul said that even if another Apostle - even if he, Paul himself - even if an angel from heaven - preached another gospel, other than what had already been preached, let him be accursed.
So - let Islam be accursed.
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Never be lukewarm.
Life itself demands passion.
He who is indifferent to God has already forfeited his soul.
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In America, religion is not mere window dressing and citizenship is not a spectator sport.
Do not allow our common destiny as a whole people to just happen without your input.
Seek the Truth; find the Way; live the Life; please God, and live forever.
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