January 5, 2016

Radical Christianity?

We’ve all seen one of these. The anti-Christian memes that have stated that Islam isn’t the only religion to be filled with radical quacks that resort to violence to push their ideological religious agendas or their religion in general. This is then coupled with a picture of either the Salem Witch Trials or the latter Crusades with people being tortured or executed in cold-blood. True Christians are having their reputations unceremoniously dragged through the mud and are being murdered in character in these memes. I lament the deafening silence from an uncertain Christian section so I end it tonight. 

This meme is clearly a false representation and purposeful mischaracterization of Christianity. It is done to create a false image of Christianity that is subsequently easier to tear down and dismantle because it has obvious moral flaws. There is a name for this in logic (or lack thereof).

It is called a straw man fallacy.

I also see many who are not sure how to respond to this type of falsified attack on the Christian faith and belief system. I myself was guilty of this lack of reaction also when seeing these types of mischaracterizations. I was paralyzed in fear of being wrong. I was doing nothing (1) for fear of not knowing how to properly respond with a presuppositional Christian apologetic and (2) I lacked the true understanding of Islam not having studied it in detail. These two hurdles have been overcome and I now present a succinct response. I will back up everything I say about Christianity and validate my statements about Islam also if need be.

In short this attack on Christianity being compared to Islam by framing them both as violent is a “straw man” which is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent's argument (Christian's), while actually refuting an argument which was not advanced by that opponent (Christianity is unjustly violent). This argument creates the illusion of having completely refuted or defeated an opponent's proposition by covertly replacing it with a completely different proposition (i.e., Christianity is violent exactly like Islam, that's a bad thing) and then to refute or defeat that false argument or "knock down a straw man" instead of the original proposition.

This failure of logic in an argument needs to be recognized when it’s being put forth and refuted. It needs to be turned around on the constructor of the "straw man". To allow an argument like this to stand on its own flawed merit after having been put forth by an enemy of the cross of Jesus Christ is to allow a massacre of the truth. It allows the uneducated person the ability to tear down a false Christianity they think Christianity is and meanwhile real Christianity is wrongfully maligned. Worst of all is painting the Lord Jesus Christ in a bad light comparing murders and thieves to Jesus. It is incumbent upon Christians to frame the discussion / debate correctly and set detractors straight so they at least have a proper avenue to the truth uninhibited by anti-Christian prejudice and bias.

The bottom line is this. 

If the true tenets of Islam are followed in the Qur’an, Hadith and Sira…they unmistakably lead to violence. Case-in-point: Greater than 50% of the Hadith (Muhammad’s biography which Muslims imitate...is inclined towards violent behavior). Conversely, if the tenets of the Bible and the example of Jesus Christ are followed they lead to peace and kingdom. That is why anywhere Jesus went during His life, the Kingdom of God encroached in the form of truth, enlightenment and the reversal of the curse in things like healing of the sick and infirm and other miracles. 

There was virtually no implications of violence in Jesus earthly ministry other than passing references to the fact that a man is obliged to protect his family and an implication that there is a time to use a sword (Peter at Jesus' arrest). That is not to say violence will not be forthcoming in the Last Days or End Times. There will be a second coming and upon Jesus’ arrival there will be pronounced violence in the form of God’s judgment. 

Therein lies the dividing line.

Violence as spelled out in the Islamic holy writ is fundamental to Islamic doctrine and Islamic behavior when emulating Muhammad. The Muslims are encouraged to pursue Jihad until all are in submission to Allah…or those that do not covert are dead. Christianity requires that in nearly all circumstances Christians are to be non-violent except in areas of protection of self or family, in just war situations and/or serving as one who bears a sword for his nation (a soldier).

Christian judgment emanates from God and is earned. Judgment is not based on the indiscriminate whims of capricious beings like men but on the divine understanding and judgment of an omniscient Judge. As I said, violence in the form of God’s judgment is justice in action and is earned by the perpetrator of the wrong that incurred the judgment.  

So a true Christian is one who adheres to the true teachings of Jesus Christ in the Scripture, follow his perfect example and love God with all their heart. The end result of obeying and following Scriptural teaching is invariably to become peaceful and perpetuate the Kingdom in one's behaviors.

Conversely, this also means that Christians that indiscriminately killed during the Crusades and tortured women as witches in pre-Colonial America [feel free to quote me on this]…were not Christians regardless of what they chose to label themselves as or considered themselves. This includes the Popes in Europe and others in high ecclesiastic positions in early America.

Hence the intent captured in this statement often errantly attributed to Mahatma Gandhi:

“Oh, I don't reject Christ. I love Christ. It's just that so many of you Christians are so unlike Christ.”

Which is to say, to the observer of Christianity, men may call themselves Christian but they either poorly reflect the image of Christ or don’t reflect Him at all in their behaviors (they're not Christian).

As Jesus Himself said in Scriptures:

Matthew 7:16 ~ “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?”

To group all self-proclaimed “Christians” into the category of “Christian” without actually observing their attributes and then making blanket or generalized fallacious statements is to make oneself publicly ignorant. It is the same as me saying that all anti-Christian zealots are militant hateful people. They’re not. They’re usually just misguided and uninformed, not hateful. By educating them we potentially allow them a path to our faith to make them our brethren.


Ichabod America said...

The difference is, when Christians did it, it was over in the 12 hundreds, and was done by the Catholic church, which does not represent most Christians.
Islam on the other hand, has practiced murder, beheadings, rape, child rape and forced marriages, forced conversions, and terrorism since its inception over 1400 years ago and THEY STILL PRACTICE IT TODAY!.
THAT is the issue you ignore, that is what you wish to cover.
And it isn't just "a few radical extremists", it is all muslims and has been for over 1400 years.
I expect that you will delete this comment though, too much TRUTH in it for your taqiyya to handle.

Anonymous said...

You stupid, stupid person. I have no words. Isis and other extremist groups are not acting on behalf of all Muslims. Other Muslims are killed in the attacks! The majority of Muslims do not see these groups as real Muslims. To suggest that all Muslims are terrorists is absolutely ridiculous. I am not a Muslim but I know that you are absolutely crazy and most Muslims are much better people than you are

Ichabod America said...

You know how to insult. Good for you.
So tell me, when was the last time a muslim turned in a terrorist cell or even a single "jihadist"?
Tell me, when was the last time muslims went into a village that was destroyed because the inhabitants were Christians and rendered aid?
When was the last time the muslims donated money to aid groups to help Christians and churches devastated by muslim terrorists?
When was the last time muslims marched and protested the muslim jihadists/terrorist that they claim make up only a tiny fraction of muslims?
I agree, not all muslims are terrorists nor support them, but if they do not help stop islamic terrorism, if they do not aid in the apprehension of muslim terrorists, if they do not expose jihadists sneaking into nations under the guise of "refugees", and if they continue to call the the extermination of the Jewish people and the nation of Israel, then although they my not be terrorists, they are a part of the problem. Most muslim aid islamic terrorism by the money they give to mosques tied to terrorism, businesses tied to terrorism, and as I said, if they are not in the fight to stop or end islamic terrorism, then they are part of the problem.

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