My Public Spanking on Islam & Terrorism

Still waiting on those marauding bands of Presbyterians to overrun us...

It’s been a fascinating weekend for me, and a true learning experience. Actually, more like a public spanking, to be honest ;0)

After the San Bernadino attacks, an article I wrote on Islam was published in our local paper. 

The article received several comments at the Naples News online site, as well as on my website and my church’s site. Most were supportive and thanked me for writing the article. But several on the newspaper’s site were highly critical of the commentary. Here is a link to my commentary that appeared in the paper: FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCES.

In addition, I had posted on Twitter earlier about peace coming in our world only when the Prince of Peace comes…something to that effect. What surprised me was the responses on Twitter from white supremacists, who took my statements about peace as admonitions against any military or armed response to the terrorist attacks. Of course, that was not at all what I was saying, but it didn’t stop them from spewing their hatred. 

When you actually see someone say in print we should just “kill all the Muslims”, it is jarring to say the least! While I won’t honor racist comments with a respectful answer, I would like to respond to the other critiques. 

One commenter asked isn’t it hypocritical for me to point out the evil in the Quran, while ignoring all the violence sanctioned by God Himself in the Old Testament?

Yes, the Bible has lots of violence, but much of it is only describing what people are doing outside of God’s will. That’s the first mistake people make, not realizing God was not always “prescribing” the violence, just “describing” what happened in many cases.

But there are times in the Old Testament that God specifically told Israel to utterly destroy other groups in battle. However, these battles were ones of “self-preservation”. If Israel did not destroy the other tribes, those tribes would have destroyed them. In fact, there were several times when Israel’s leaders didn’t obey God fully and left part of the tribe alive, only to have those survivors come back and attack Israel later.

We see that scenario reflected in our war with Radical Islam today. If we do not destroy the terrorists who are attacking us, they will surely keep coming. It has been this way for thousands of years in the Middle East, and it remains so today.

The other main difference is that when God sanctioned violence in the Bible, it always had limits. You could only kill in that one circumstance. But Islam’s calls to violence are without time limits and against anyone who would not submit, forever. 

For example: as a Christian, I can’t take a passage from the Bible and rightly use it as a call to kill someone today: it always had boundaries around it specific to one people at one specific time in history. In contrast, the calls to violence in the Quran are against ALL people for all ETERNITY. That’s why a radical Muslim fundamentalist can feel justified in killing us today, because there’s no limits on the number of infidels he can kill. 

Not only is he allowed to keep killing, he’s encouraged to do so by his holy book!

Another criticism was that there’s no moral high ground for Christians since people do awful things in the name of Christianity as well as Islam. They cite the madman who attacked a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic, killing several. So Christianity’s hands have just as much blood on them, right?

Wrong. The difference is that our holy book (the Bible) speaks against the very thing that happened in Colorado. That madman may think he was acting for God, but God specifically says in His Word that he’s wrong. While I stand for the human rights of unborn babies, there’s no justification for murdering clinic workers. So Christianity bears no responsibility for that horrible act because it’s against everything we teach and stand for. 

For example:

I may rob a bank today and tell them that you sent me there to rob it. However, that in no way makes you responsible. Dropping your name as I run out the door is just my way of shifting blame. In the same way, madmen dropping the name of God doesn’t make Christians responsible for their actions. However, when the Quran sanctions and even encourages taking innocent life in the name of Allah, then those Muslims who hold to a literal interpretation of the Quran must take responsibility for those actions.

Bottom line: there is a huge difference in what Islam and Christianity teach. Maybe I’m missing something, but I haven’t heard of bands of marauding Presbyterians running rampant in our land…

What I would encourage us all to do is to avoid the tactics of demonization. We of course know not every Muslim supports terrorism, so we shouldn’t demonize them all for the acts of a few. But in the same way, we need to stop demonizing anyone who speaks the truth about the violence sanctioned in the Quran. 

Sure, we can keep pretending Islam is at heart a religion of peace. But that statement is simply not accurate. There are Muslims who are peaceful and live peaceful lives, but their holy book is in direct conflict with that peace. Many Muslims are completely ignorant of some of the things found in their holy book (just as many Christians are ignorant of theirs).

Islam, when lived in complete obedience to the Quran, is a violent faith bent on dominating the world and annihilating unbelievers. 

Last night in his address to the nation, President Obama spoke of the threat being only from those who have a “poisonous interpretation” of the Quran. But in truth, no interpretation is needed: one only has to read it to see the violence it supports. The poison is in the text, not the interpretation.

Sorry, it’s there in over 100 hateful passages of the Quran, in black ink on white paper. 

This is a painfully hard truth. We can pretend otherwise and continue to live in a “happy place” of our own creation. Or we can embrace the challenge of this generation and fight against a foe that seeks to destroy everything we cherish as a free society.

It’s your choice. And as the old knight in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” admonished…”Choose wisely”.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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5 thoughts on “My Public Spanking on Islam & Terrorism

  1. Pastor Gipson: there’s a thin line between fundamentalist and fanatic. The literal mindedness of readers of parables may do experiments with rattlesnakes and believe Jesus was giving farming instructions when speaking of the sower who went out to his fields. Literal mindedness was something I had to contend with daily as a teacher of literature. If your heart is set on a literal heaven and hell, it does not logically follow that there are literally such places.

    My heart is set by Matthew’s sermon on the mount. Sometimes people seem to never get past the exciting _stories_ in the Old Testament and believe that they are called to whip a whole army with the jaw from an ass’s head or slay a giant with a slingshot. But the loving response of a soul seeking earnestly for truth is never to judge another, especially not another’s religion, by a literal interpretation of their holy books.

    The Koran has many passages that seem nearly identical to the bible and describes a wonderful Paradise prepared for those who love Allah, a beautiful garden beneath which pure waters flow. Allah many times prescribes mercy and forgiveness, and only sometimes sternness, very like “our” Old Testament God. It is terribly uncharitable to lump all Muslims in with terrorists. Perhaps a better order for the sentence is to suggest there are many, many more good Muslims than there are terrorists. And a few Americans who are, too.

    One thing we Americans should take literally is “Thou shalt not kill.” No one anywhere guilty of any sin is worth sacrificing one’s eternal soul for by becoming a killer. We must be better than this. Killing the barbarians has never worked. Don’t believe the lies about “holy wars” in human history. Every single one involved personal choices to perform barbaric acts against individual human beings. It’s always done in bad faith. When you see medals and certificates awarded to individuals that we have been trained to call “heroes,” be skeptical. Welcome the refugees.

    • I’m sorry, John, but I couldn’t disagree with you more.

      It is not surprising that passages in the Quran sound like the Bible. The Quran was written around 500 after Christ, so the idea of heaven was nothing new. But the key differences in the two faiths are how you get there. And this difference makes all the difference in how we live.

      The same Jesus who taught the sermon on the mount taught that both heaven and hell are real places. I contend that if you wish to be consistent if He was wrong about heaven and hell then He is also wrong in the sermon on the mount. To choose to believe one part without the other is intellectual silliness.

      You scold me for taking the Quran literally, but that’s exactly what the Muslim extremist is doing. To take either book and water down it’s teaching to mere symbolism is foolhardy on both parts. If Jesus had just admitted His teaching was merely “figurative”, He could have saved Himself a trip to the cross. And it was the very literal belief in His resurrection that sentenced all the Apostles (with the one exception of John) to death. To contend it was all symbolic in light of their sacrifices is insulting to the heart of Christianity.

      And quite simply, you take the 100+ threats of violence and death toward nonbelievers in the Quran as “symbolic” at your own peril. Evidently, there’s a few Muslims who take it all quite literally.

      You also say “it is terribly uncharitable for me to lump all Muslims in with the terrorists”. Yet a simple reading of my article shows clearly I did the exact opposite. In this article and in FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCES, I make the specific point we only need fear those Muslims who take the Quran literally. So you knowingly set up a “straw man argument”, trying to paint my remarks as hateful.

      Finally, you make it clear that people who would serve in a military exercise, whether in the Old Testament or in the present day Middle East, are not “heroes”. Shame on you, for it is because of these heroes you have the right to speak your mind.

      Continue on with your present line of thinking, and it will be interesting to see how charitable Sharia Law will be with your freedom of speech.

      But other than those things, I thought your comments were terrific ;0)

      God bless,

  2. Thank you for your unequivocal blog and video. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO tired of those in what I call “milque-toast” Christianity, who fear the backlash of speaking the TRUTH vs those who solely stand on the Truth of Jesus Christ and declare it lovingly and honestly with clarity. The Salvation and personal transformation of jihadists is only at the feet of Jesus, as is with everybody. Would I be convicted and sentenced to death as a Christian? You bet, because I daily feed, immerse myself in the fragrance of Christ.
    Happy Chanukkah and Merry Christmas to you and your growing family.

    • Thanks so much, Nellie! Appreciate your support, and keep being a light for Christ in a dark world!

      God bless,