Dear praying friends,
Prominently and in the public eye we today have a President, a former Prime Minister and a purpose-driven Pastor all claiming allegiance to Jesus Christ. In this newsletter and enclosure you will read much about them and their common ‘vision’ for the future. Are they speaking and behaving, as true men of God ought to? It’s enlightening to note what C H Spurgeon wrote about Psalm 26:4-5 and its author, David – “So far from being himself an open offender against the laws of God, the Psalmist had not even associated with the lovers of evil. He had kept aloof from the men of Belial. A man is known by his company, and if we have kept ourselves apart from the wicked, it will always be evidence in our favour should our character be impugned… True citizens (of heaven) have no dealings with traitors. David had no seat in the parliament of triflers… We must needs see, and speak, and trade with men of the world, but we must on no account take our rest and solace in their empty society… as this vanity is often allied with falsehood… The congregation of the hypocrites is not one with which we should cultivate communion; their ultimate rendezvous will be the lowest pit of hell”. Social and political goals should never cause us to trifle with or compromise the uniqueness of the Person and work of the only Saviour of men, the Lord Jesus Christ – to do so is a mark of ‘sitting with vain persons’ (v 4) and ‘sitting with the wicked’ (v 5) – such intentions do not reveal men after God’s heart. May we all, like David “walk in His truth” (v 3).
Your servant for Christ
Pressing on in Poland
Those with good memories and a long association with ‘Take Heed’ might possibly recall that back in June/July 1993 I had the wonderful privilege of travelling to Poland under the auspices of Slavic Gospel Association in the company of SGA’s Brian and Phyllis McFarland and 2 young Christians called Gillian Stewart and Philip Valleley. My brief whilst there was to speak on a range of topics/cults at a 2-week youth camp based at an evangelical Church in Swinoujscie. I included a report on that trip in my September 1993 ‘News From The Front’ under a series of headings – ‘The Timing’; ‘The Team’; ‘The Trip’; ‘The Topics’; ‘The Tourists’; ‘The Task’; ‘The Thoughts’ and ‘The Thanks’.
Under ‘The Thoughts’ I wrote this – ‘… I remember too with affection Dominik, Radek and Kaasha who came to be referred to as the 3 rockers. When they arrived at the camp they obviously felt uncomfortable but as the days passed it was wonderful to see God softening their whole attitude and by the end of the camp they had developed a keen interest in spiritual matters…Please remember these young folks as they return to non-Christian difficult home situations’.
Just a few years later Dominik demonstrated that a true work of conversion had taken place in his life when he travelled to Northern Ireland to pursue theological studies at the Irish Baptist College – I well remember taking him one Saturday to Windsor Park to see Linfield play Cliftonville at football – for those not familiar with the Northern Ireland situation that would be the equivalent of taking him to see Rangers play Celtic in Glasgow. I think the chants and attitudes of the rival fans probably made a greater impact on Dominik than any of the sporting action. When Dominik successfully completed his studies he then returned to Poland.
What an absolute thrill and joy it was then to receive a letter from Brian McFarland at the end of June to tell me that in the wake of his retirement from SGA he and Phyllis had made a weeklong trip to Poland to visit Dominik and his family. Dominik is now married to Izabela and they have 2 children – Jakub (James) 4 and Emilia almost 2. Dominik is now the assistant Pastor of Bethany Church in Szczecin in Poland. How humbling and yet encouraging to read of how this young man, one of the ‘3 rockers’ has, by the grace of God, had his life totally transformed and is now serving Him so faithfully in such a spiritually dark country as Poland. Returning again to my 1993 report under ‘The Thanks’ I wrote this – ‘Thanks to Pawel and Ania [the host pastor and his wife] for their hospitality’. In 1995 the need of finance for a car for Pawel became a matter of great urgency and thanks to the generosity of ‘Take Heed’ supporters we were able to meet that need and more. Almost £2400.00 was passed to Pawel to enable him to purchase a people carrier and an additional sum of £500.00 was also given to SGA to help finance a particular project of their ministry.
At the end of 1999 Pawel moved to serve the Lord by working for ‘Friends of Israel’ based in St Petersburg. Subsequently it was a great shock to learn of Pawel’s sudden and unexpected death just before the end of 2002. Prior to his own conversion he had been a user of alcohol and drugs and sadly they had left their mark in his body. Again I made known to supporters of ‘Take Heed’ what had happened and as a result of their gracious generosity a gift of £3500.00 was passed to Pawel’s widow Ania.
In her letter of thanks Ania wrote – ‘… We are very grateful for your love and memory…I am also very grateful to everyone for their financial help…Now we are living in the south of Poland in a small town called Pszczyna… The boys have also found many new friends here. Timothy now is 18 years, Jonathan 15, Gabriel 14 and Jonah 9’.
In Brian McFarland’s June 2009 letter he also wrote – ‘… Timothy Rabinek is now working full time with ‘Friends of Israel’ (like his father) and is currently running Christian camps in Ukraine. The church [in Swinoujscie] continues to go well with one of the former young people now the pastor. It is encouraging to know that around 12 young men who attended camps over the years are in full time ministry. God continues His work. What a joy to see and hear of the blessings from His hand’. To those sentiments I would simply add a very hearty ‘Amen’!
Although Brian has now retired from SGA he has set up a small business called “Created By Design” – ‘specialising in graphic design for brochures; magazines; reports; advertising; exhibition display; identity.’ Should anyone require help in these areas Brian can be contacted through the business web site of www.createdbydesign.org
In Cairo President Obama betrayed Jesus Christ when he claimed to be a Christian
On Radio Ulster’s ‘Sunday Sequence’ programme on Sunday morning, 7th June 2009, there was an item analysing the speech delivered by President Barack Obama at Cairo University on the previous Thursday, 4th June 2009. What was interesting was that the guests who were interviewed by presenter, William Crawley basically represented Jewish and Palestinian opinion – there was no Christian analytical input into the programme. As a result the programme focussed very much on the possible political ramifications of the speech for the Middle East area and Israel in particular. I want in this article to look at some of the spiritual ramifications of this speech, particularly as they impact upon the line in the speech when Barack Obama declared, “I am a Christian”. To do this I’m going to pose some questions, then look at some specific extracts of this speech by Mr Obama, this self-proclaimed “Christian”, comment upon these extracts and show how such extracts do represent a betrayal of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Question 1: Would a true convert and faithful disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ describe writings, other than the Bible, as being ‘Holy’?
Speech extracts :
As the Holy Koran tells us,
“Be conscious of God and speak always the truth.”…
When the first Muslim-American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same Holy Koran…
The Holy Koran teaches that whoever…
The Holy Koran tells us, “O mankind!…
As you can see, on these four occasions during his speech, Mr Obama referred to the Muslim Koran as being ‘HOLY’. Christians of course regard the Bible as being ‘HOLY’ for a number of very good reasons. Firstly, the SUBJECT of the Bible is ‘HOLY’ for the SUBJECT of the Bible is none other than God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Temporal history began with God as Creator [Genesis 1:1] and it will climax with God as Re-creator [Revelation 21:5]. What is the supreme attribute of this God revealed to us in the Bible? When Isaiah had his vision of God as recorded in Isaiah chapter 6, one of the seraphim “cried unto another and said, HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is the Lord of hosts” [v 6]. Peter told his readers “But, as he who hath called you is HOLY, so be ye holy in all manner of life. Because it is written, be ye holy for I am HOLY” [1st Peter 1:15-16]. In particular, the Bible draws pre-eminent attention to God the Son just as He Himself did as He instructed two disciples on the road to Emmaus “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them, in all the scriptures, the things concerning himself” [Luke 24:27]. When Mary was told by Gabriel that she would give birth to a child, Gabriel said to her “thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son and shalt call his name Jesus…also that HOLY thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” [Luke 1:31&35]. Then secondly the SOURCE of the Bible is ‘HOLY’. Very simply we read in 2nd Peter 1:21 “Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the HOLY Spirit”. Writing to young Timothy, Paul said, “From a child thou hast known the HOLY scriptures… All scripture is given by inspiration of God” [2nd Timothy 3:15-16]. The thrice-HOLY God, by the work of God the HOLY Spirit, was the SOURCE of the Bible. Thirdly, the STRUCTURE of the Bible is ‘HOLY’. By the STRUCTURE I mean every word that makes up the Bible. In Proverbs 30:5 we read, “Every word of God is pure” – the word for ‘pure’ literally means ‘tried and found to be without dross or error’ – and that perfectly reflects the Holiness of God who, like His Word, is totally ‘without dross or error’. Of course His Word does contain references to some very unsavoury and unholy things but because He is HOLY and so, intellectually speaking can be viewed as ‘total truth’, so can His HOLY Word likewise be viewed as ‘total truth’ and so it is rightly described as ‘pure’. True and faithful Christians know, that of all the written materials in the world, the Bible alone is ‘HOLY’. No true and faithful Christian should ever refer to any other book as being ‘HOLY’ – particularly one that denies both the deity and the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, as is the case with the Koran. In the introduction to his book ‘The Muslim Christ’, Samuel M Zwemer wrote, ‘Islam is the only one of the great non-Christian religions which gives a place to Christ in its book…the Koran alone gives Him a place, but does it by displacing Him. With great regret it must be admitted that there is hardly an important fact concerning the life, person and work of our Saviour which is not ignored, perverted or denied by Islam’.
For any professing Christian, including President Obama, to refer to the Koran as being ‘HOLY’, a book that denies truths about the Lord Jesus Christ that form the very foundation and bedrock of Christianity, that equates to a betrayal of Jesus Christ
Would a true convert to and faithful disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ give credence to any story that reduces Him to the level of a mere ‘prophet among prophets’, elevates a mere creature to a level greatly above Him and in a spiritual context declares non-Christians to be children of Abraham?
Speech extracts :
All of us have a responsibility to work for the day… when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed (peace be upon them) joined in prayer.
In this portion of his speech, Mr Obama, supposedly a Christian, has set his seal of approbation and approval upon an incident known fully to Muslims as ‘Isra and Mi’raj’ – an incident also referred to as ‘The Night Journey’. Sura 17 in the Koran is titled ‘Al Isra’ or ‘The Night Journey’ and it opens with these words ‘Glory be to Him (Allah) who made His servant (Mohammed) go by night from the Sacred Temple (Mecca) to the farther Temple (believed by some Muslim scholars, though not all, to refer to Jerusalem) whose surroundings We have blessed, that We might show him (Mohammed) some of our signs’. It is clear from what Muslims claim happened that their Jesus is merely ‘a prophet among prophets’ and that in fact Mohammed is the pre-eminent one. In his book ‘The Muslim Christ’ that I have already quoted from, Samuel M Zwemer quotes a Muslim account of this incident. In his pre-amble to the account Mr Zwemer wrote ‘The Transfiguration of Jesus Christ is surpassed by the story of Mohammed’s ascent into heaven, where he had personal communication with all the previous prophets, and leaving Jesus far below in the second heaven, himself mounted to the seventh, where, according to Muslim tradition, he ate and drank with God’. Mr Zwemer then quotes the following account of this journey as given in Mishkat-ul- Misabih (A collection of Muslim Traditions by Sheik Wali ud Mahammad: Study of the Mishkat-ul-Misabih is viewed by many Muslims as being central to the understanding and practice of Islam.)
‘Whilst I (Mohammed) was sleeping upon my side, he (the angel Gabriel) came to me and cut me open from my breast to below my navel, and took out my heart, and washed the cavity with Zam-zam water, and then filled my heart with Faith and Science. After this a white animal was brought for me to ride upon. Its size was between that of a mule and an ass and it stretched as far as the eye could see. The name of the animal was Buraq. Then I mounted the animal and ascended until we arrived at the lowest heaven and Gabriel demanded that the door should be opened. And it was asked, “Who is it?” and he said, “I am Gabriel”. And they then said, “Who is with you?” and he answered, “It is Mohammed”. They said, “Has Mohammed been called to the office of a prophet?” He said, “Yes”. They said, “Welcome, Mohammed: his coming is well”. Then the door was opened; and when I arrived in the first heaven, behold I saw Adam. And Gabriel said to me, “This is your father Adam, salute him”. [Cecil – I’m just a little bit curious as to why Gabriel would command anyone to ‘salute’ Adam when we keep in mind the devastating consequences of his ‘original sin’] Then I saluted Adam and he answered it and said, “You are welcome, O good son and good prophet”. After that Gabriel took me above and we reached the second heaven; and he asked the door to be opened, and it was said, “Who is it?” He said, “I am Gabriel”. It was said, “Who is with you?” He said, “Mohammed”. It was said, “Was he called?” He said, “Yes”. It was said, “Welcome Mohammed; his coming is well”. Then the door was opened; and when I arrived in the second region, behold I saw John and Jesus (sisters’ sons i.e. cousins). And Gabriel said, “This is John and this is Jesus; salute both of them”. Then I saluted them and they returned it. After that they said, “Welcome good brother and Prophet”… Then I entered the seventh heaven and behold I saw Abraham. And Gabriel said, “This is Abraham, your father, salute him”; which I did and he returned it and said, “Welcome good son and good Prophet”. After that I was taken up to the tree called Sidratu’ l-Muntaha; and behold its fruits were like water-pots and its leaves like elephant’s ears. And Gabriel said, “This is Sidratu’ l-Muntaha”. And I saw four rivers there; two of them hidden and two manifest. I said to Gabriel, “What are these?” He said, “These two concealed rivers are in Paradise; and the two manifest are the Nile and the Euphrates”. After that I was shown the Baitu’ l-M’amur. After that, a vessel full of wine, another full of milk, and another of honey was brought to me, and I took the milk and drank it. And Gabriel said, “Milk is religion; you and your people will be of it”.
Later in his book Mr Zwemer wrote – ‘Every detail of the life of Jesus Christ has been imitated and parodied by Mohammed’s later biographers and admirers [p 161]… Jesus Christ is supplanted by Mohammed not only in Moslem tradition and in the hearts of the common people who are ignorant and illiterate. He is supplanted in the hearts of all Moslems by Mohammed. They are jealous for his glory and resist any attempt to magnify the glory of Jesus Christ at the expense of Mohammed’. [p 166] This supposed event, known as ‘Isra’, is a very good example of the Muslim Jesus Christ being ‘supplanted by Mohammed’. Would the real Jesus Christ, when confronted by someone who denies both His deity and His death, really refer to him as a “good brother and Prophet”? Would the real Jesus Christ, who according to the Bible is seated in heavenly splendour at His Father’s right hand (see Hebrews 1:3), really have remained at a lower heavenly level whilst someone called Mohammed ascended to a higher heavenly level to commune with Abraham and with God? Would the real John the Baptist be comfortable to be on the same level as Jesus Christ having previously said “He (Jesus) must increase and I (John) must decrease” [John 3:30]. Would the real Abraham refer to a non-Christian like Mohammed as a “good son and Prophet” when the Apostle Paul made it very clear that the spiritual sons and daughters of Abraham are Christians – we read this in Galatians 3:26-29 “For ye (Galatian Christians) are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus… There is neither Jew nor Greek… for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise”. Mr Obama, by parroting this idea of the ‘common Abrahamic spiritual family’ of Jews, Christians and Muslims, is advancing a false notion so avidly promoted and pursued by non-Christian sources such as The Vatican and The Tony Blair Foundation. Rick Warren serves on Tony Blair’s ‘Advisory Council’ and of course ‘prayed’ at President Obama’s inauguration.
I posed the question – ‘Would a true convert to and faithful disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ give credence to any story that reduces Him to the level of a mere ‘prophet among prophets’, elevates a mere creature to a level greatly above Him and in a spiritual context declares non-Christians to be children of Abraham?’ By very publicly setting his seal of approval upon the Muslim story of ‘Isra’ President Obama has done all of these things and this constitutes a betrayal of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Would a true convert and faithful disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ state that America and Islam share values for justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings?
Speech extracts :
I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world… one based upon the truth that America and Islam… share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.
On the eve of His own betrayal, arrest, mock trial and crucifixion the Lord Jesus told His disciples, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you… I have chosen you out of the world therefore the world hateth you… The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me they will also persecute you” [John 15:18-20]. The Lord had previously dealt with this question of the world hating His followers when in the Sermon on The Mount He said, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy; But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who deceitfully use you and persecute you” [Matthew 5:43-44]. The Lord Himself demonstrated a very practical example of this when, having just been betrayed by Judas, we read, “And behold one of those who were with Jesus [from John’s account we know this was Simon Peter] stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear. Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into its place; for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword” [Matthew 26:51-52]. From Dr Luke’s account of this incident we also learn, “And he [Jesus] touched his ear and healed him” [Luke 22:51]. Commenting on this verse in his Study Bible, John MacArthur writes, ‘The miracle is also unique in that Christ healed an enemy, unasked and without any evidence of faith in the recipient’. History attests to the fact that America has overwhelmingly been a ‘Christian-friendly’ environment and indeed a ‘diverse religious-friendly environment’. Christian and non-Christian have been afforded equal rights to practice their chosen religion. In many and diverse aspects of life, Christian and non-Christian have shared in the Nation’s progress. Christian and non-Christian have been treated with equal tolerance and dignity [racially this equality of tolerance and dignity may have been a somewhat slow and tortuous process but the very presence of President Obama in the White House shows just how far this process has come]. This American ethos is due very much to the Christian influence amongst America’s ‘founding fathers’ who enshrined such Biblically influenced ‘principles’ into the Nation’s Constitution. Do we really find such ‘shared common principles’ prevailing in the Muslim areas of the world? In one simple word the answer is a resounding ‘No!’ The over fourteen hundred-year history of Islam attests to a virtually continuous violent campaign to Islamise the whole world and this campaign continues today. ‘Infidels’ [Non Muslims] are viewed as ‘lesser beings’ and the Koran positively sanctions unfriendly attitudes towards in particular Jews and Christians – ‘Believers, Take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends. They are friends with one another. Whoever of you seeks their friendship shall become one of their number. God does not guide the wrongdoers’ [Sura 5:5]
As we have already seen, Christ commanded His followers to “Love your enemies” – what a contrast to Islam – ‘Let not the unbelievers think that they will ever get away. They have not the power to do so. Muster against them all the men and cavalry at your command, so that you may strike terror into the enemy of God and your enemy’ [Sura 8:60]. ‘Make war on them: [Non Muslims] God will chastise them at your hands and humble them’ [Sura 9:14]. ‘I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their fingers’ [Sura 8:12]. In recent years there has been an increasing litany of such violence against many ‘Infidels’ and in particular Christians. The Barnabas Fund web site carries reports of many such distressing incidents and these can be accessed by sorting through their archive reports. Previous articles that I myself have written have also dealt with this global increase in Islamic militancy. As for the ‘tolerance and the dignity of all human beings’ not only does Islam deny these to ‘Infidels’ it also denies ‘dignity’ to their own Muslim women. On a very basic level, not I hasten to add that I’m in any way approving of polygamy, Muslim men can have up to four wives but a Muslim woman can only have one husband. A Muslim man can divorce a wife by simply making a verbal statement to that effect – a Muslim woman has no such right of divorce. Sexually speaking, Muslim wives are regarded as no better than a ‘field to be ploughed’ whenever or however the husband wishes – ‘Women are your fields: go then, into your fields whence you please’ [Sura 2:223]. As well as the Koran, Muslims also rely heavily on the Hadith, a record of Mohammed’s words and deeds recorded by various Muslim authorities. One such highly respected source is the nine volumes by Sahih Al-Bukhari. In Volumes 1, 2 & 7 we learn how Mohammed said, ‘I was shown hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers are women’. In Volume 2 we are told Mohammed said to women, ‘I have not seen any one more deficient in intelligence and religion than you’. In Volume 3 we are told that Mohammed asked some women ‘Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half that of a man?’ The women said “yes”. Mohammed said, ‘This is because of the deficiency of the woman’s mind’. [Source for quotes ‘Islam Unveiled’ (p 31-32) by Abdullah Al-Araby].
Robert Spencer , one of the bravest and most informed writers on Islam, edited a large book called ‘The Myth of Islamic Tolerance’, a compilation of 58 articles by various other equally informed authors. In one of his own contributions entitled ‘Islamic Tolerance: Myth and Reality’ Mr Spencer wrote on pages 36-44 – ‘The almost universal prevalence of the myth of Islamic tolerance today has led to a strange phenomenon: non-Muslims hastening to assure the public that the Islam of the terrorists is not the “true Islam” which is they maintain a benign and tolerant thing [The view expressed by Mr Obama in Cairo] … Even stranger are instances when Western non-Muslims have taken it upon themselves to lecture radical Muslims about their supposed misuse of their faith [There are good examples of this by Tony Blair, George Bush and Bill Clinton in the DVD ‘Islam: What the West Needs to Know’]. In November 2003, two American converts to Islam, Jeffrey Leon Battle and Patrice Lumumba Ford, were sentenced to eighteen years in prison for trying to join the Taliban and wage jihad against their fellow Americans. At the sentencing, US district judge Robert Jones scolded Ford: “You do not represent the Muslim faith. Muslims do not engage in the activities you engaged in. You are an insult to that faith”. Such assumptions of course mesh perfectly with the image that many Muslims try to create for themselves in the eyes of the West… no amount of evidence seems to shake the power of the myth of Islamic tolerance in Western public discourse… A typical example came when Bill Graham, Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, called for building bridges of understanding to Muslims as a response to terrorists “exploiting Islam as a pretext for violence”… However the preponderance of Qur’anic [Koranic] testimony favours not tolerance and harmony between Muslims and non-Muslims, but just the opposite… All this leads to the Qur’an’s notorious verses of jihad… In the end, it is the will of Allah that Islam will triumph over all other religions… This is tantamount to a declaration of war, and its spirit pervades the entire Muslim holy book. So far is the Qur’an from modern notions of tolerance and peaceful coexistence that it even warns [as has already been quoted from the Koran] Muslims not to befriend Jews and Christians… This is the Qur’an that pious Muslims cherish and memorise in its entirety… It is nothing short of staggering that the myth of Islamic tolerance could have gained such currency in the teeth of the Qur’an’s open contempt and hatred for Jews and Christians and incitements of violence against them – and a testimony to the ease with which one can convince himself of the truth of something in which one wants to believe, regardless of evidence to the contrary’.
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, director of the Barnabas Fund, in his book ‘Global Jihad: The Future in the Face of Militant Islam’ wrote on page 61, ‘Muslim attitudes to violence are grounded in classical Islamic theology as derived from the Qur’an, hadith and shari’a, as well as by the normative example of Mohammed and the experiences of violent conflicts in the early history of Islam’.
Dr John MacArthur in his book, ‘Terrorism. Jihad and the Bible’ wrote on page 48, ‘The truth of the matter is that Islam today is the most powerful system on earth for the destruction of biblical truth and Christianity. Islam is the main persecutor of Christians all over the world. Thousands of Christians are dying under Islamic persecution, especially in the Middle east, Africa, Indonesia and other parts of Asia’.
R C Sproul in his book, ‘The Dark Side of Islam’ which details conversations he had with Abdul Saleeb [a pseudonym] a Middle East Muslim who converted to Christianity, records these comments by Abdul Saleeb on page 91, ‘Islam divides the world into two segments: the House of Islam and the House of war. The goal of Islam is to dominate the world: the House of Islam must conquer the House of war. In a sense it is similar to the Great commission of Jesus Christ; take the gospel to the end of the earth. The radical difference between the Great Commission of Jesus Christ and the mission of Islam is that Christians are not justified in using violence in spreading the message of Christ, but Muslims believe they are justified in using violence to spread their message’.
It would serve President Obama (and the rest of the world) well to take the time to read these and other such well-researched materials and not simply join the choir of those singing the praises of a peaceful and tolerant Islam that is merely a product of deadly, misguided wishful thinking.
For President Obama, a professing Christian, to publicly declare that America and Islam share common principles of tolerance and dignity to all human beings, this represents a betrayal of Jesus Christ and the principles He taught His disciples to adopt towards those opposed to them
There have naturally enough been many and varied reactions to President Obama’s speech in Cairo but one of the most interesting, in the light of what I myself have written, was a 9th June 2009 article in The Washington Times by Frank Gaffney Jnr. Mr Gaffney in his time served under President Ronald Reagan and in the run-up to the last Presidential election raised queries about Barack Obama’s American citizenship and his eligibility to run for the office of President. I know nothing of Mr Gaffney’s spiritual standing but was intrigued to see some of the points he made in his article such as – What little we know about Mr. Obama’s youth certainly suggests that he not only had a Kenyan father who was Muslim, but spent his early, formative years as one in Indonesia. As the president likes to say, “much has been made” — in this case by him and his campaign handlers — of the fact that he became a Christian as an adult in Chicago, under the now-notorious Pastor Jeremiah A. Wright.
With Mr. Obama’s unbelievably ballyhooed address in Cairo Thursday to what he calls “the Muslim world” (hereafter known as “the Speech”), there is mounting evidence that the president not only identifies with Muslims, but actually may still be one himself. Consider the following indicators:
Mr. Obama referred four times in his speech to “the Holy Koran.” Non-Muslims — even pandering ones — generally don’t use that Islamic formulation.
Mr. Obama established his firsthand knowledge of Islam (albeit without mentioning his reported upbringing in the faith) with the statement, “I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed.” Again, “revealed” is a depiction Muslims use to reflect their conviction that the Koran is the word of God, as dictated to Muhammad.
Then the president made a statement no believing Christian — certainly not one versed, as he professes to be, in the ways of Islam — would ever make. In the context of what he euphemistically called the “situation between Israelis, Palestinians and Arabs,” Mr. Obama said he looked forward to the day “. . . when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them) joined in prayer.”
Now, the term “peace be upon them” is invoked by Muslims as a way of blessing deceased holy men. According to Islam, that is what all three were – dead prophets. Of course, for Christians, Jesus is the living and immortal Son of God… Whether Mr. Obama actually is a Muslim or simply plays one in the presidency may, in the end, be irrelevant.
What is alarming is that in aligning himself and his policies with those of Shariah-adherents such as the Muslim Brotherhood, the president will greatly intensify the already enormous pressure on peaceful, tolerant American Muslims [Cecil – whilst there may be peaceful, tolerant Muslims in America and elsewhere, as we have already seen there is no such a thing as a ‘peaceful and tolerant Islam’] to submit to such forces – and heighten expectations, here and abroad, that the rest of us will do so as well.
I think many of the points made by Mr Gaffney could be viewed simply as suggesting that Mr Obama, despite being a professing Christian, had in his speech in Cairo, betrayed the Jesus Christ that he claims to be a follower of. It was somewhat ironic that just two days later, at the 65th anniversary celebrations of the D-Day landings, Mr Obama in his speech in Normandy said the following about Nazism –
‘We live in a world of competing beliefs and claims about what is true. It’s a world of varied religions and cultures and forms of government. In such a world, it’s all too rare for a struggle to emerge that speaks to something universal about humanity. The Second World War did that. No man who shed blood or lost a brother would say that war is good. But all know that this war was essential. For what we faced in Nazi totalitarianism was not just a battle of competing interests. It was a competing vision of humanity. Nazi ideology sought to subjugate and humiliate and exterminate. It perpetrated murder on a massive scale, fuelled by a hatred of those who were deemed different and therefore inferior. It was evil’.
It’s very unfortunate that Mr Obama fails or perhaps chooses not to see that his comments, that I have highlighted in bold, find suitable application to the totalitarianism and ideology that is Islam. Barack Obama appears to be very affable and is certainly very articulate and unfortunately my experience has been that those who ‘preach another Christ and have received another spirit and another gospel’ [2nd Corinthians 11:4] very often possess these qualities and that makes them all the more dangerous to the true cause of Christ.
If Mr Obama is a Christian, and on the evidence it is very debatable, he is not one who honours the God of Heaven, Father, Son and Holy Spirit by linking the Lord Jesus Christ to Mohammed and to the religion of Islam that he founded, in which His deity and death are denied.
John wrote, “The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world” [1st John 4:14] – Mohammed and Islam deny this truth. The Lord Jesus said in John 5:23, “He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father who hath sent him” – Mohammed and Islam do not ‘honour’ the Biblical Lord Jesus Christ and His Heavenly Father. Islam is not tolerant of any view that challenges their teaching on their god, Allah, and it sanctions violence against any who do challenge it. Likewise the one true God of Christianity, whilst He does not tolerate any view that challenges His uniqueness and glory [see Isaiah 42:8] does specifically forbid any violence against those who oppose Him as we have already seen from Matthew 5:43-44.
No faithful follower of Christ would ever then seek to align Christianity with Islam as that would represent a gross betrayal of God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ and this is precisely what Mr Obama did in Cairo. One final thought – perhaps you’re wondering who the Samuel M Zwemer is that I have referred to in the course of this article. From the Internet we learn the following –
Samuel Marinus Zwemer was born on April 12, 1867 in Vriesland, Michigan. Zwemer received an A.B. from Hope College in 1887, an M.A from New Brunswick Theological Seminary in 1890, a Classical Literature degree from New Brunswick Theological Seminary in 1890, was ordained by the Pella, Iowa Classis in 1890, received a D.D. from Hope College in 1904, an L.L.D. from Muskingham College in 1918, and a D.D. from Rutgers College in 1919. He was a member of the Arabian Mission (1890-1913) where he met and  married fellow missionary Amy Elizabeth Wilkes on May 18, 1896. He also served in Egypt (1913-1929).
His tenure as professor at the Princeton Theological Seminary lasted from 1929-1952. Besides his many duties he had time to write over fifty religious books and hundreds of articles, founded the Moslem World, a missionary periodical, and served as its editor for thirty-five years. Zwemer retired from active work on the faculty of Princeton College Seminary at the age of seventy, but continued to write and publish books and articles as well as doing a great deal of public speaking. Zwemer died in New York City on April 2, 1952 at the age of eighty-four.
Unlike President Obama, Dr Zwemer was a ‘good and faithful servant’ of the Lord and in the preface to a 1981 reprint of his book ‘The Moslem Doctrine of God’ we read this fitting tribute to his fidelity as a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ –
‘The late Dr Samuel M Zwemer was among the world’s greatest Islamic scholars. He was expert in Arabic and its literature and in the Quran (Koran), in the Traditions, in the commentaries, and, by long residence among Muslims, in the customs and mode of thought of the Muslim peoples… What he demonstrates so successfully (in his book) is that the whole Faith of Islam is not another way to God, but the way to another god.
With chapter and verse from the books which the Muslims themselves most revere he proves conclusively that Allah is not another name for our Holy God, but a different being altogether. And this Allah is not the deity of a Sunni or Shiah or Wahabi sect, but the object of devotion of them all’.
When it comes to the subject of ‘Islam and Christianity’ it would serve Barack Obama well to spend time studying the writings of such a man who, unlike the President, was fully aware of the differing eternal consequences between the two competing religions.
Dr Zwemer, as a true Christian, knew clearly the answer to the rhetorical question posed by Paul in 2nd Corinthians 6:15 “what concord [literally ‘sounding together’ like musical instruments] hath Christ with Belial”? [a name given to personify a system of impure worship]
Durham’s ‘Grand Canyon’: Well Mr Dawkins ‘pick the bones out of that one’
The following intriguing article titled ‘The Durham Grand Canyon: Flooding after heavy rain carves vast trench in farm land’ appeared in the Mail Online of Wednesday 22nd July 2009.
This is part of what was reported – ‘On Friday night (17th July), it was a perfectly ordinary, perfectly flat, cornfield. By Saturday morning, it was riven in two by a vast trench up to 100ft across, 15ft deep and 200 yards long. The enormous gully – so big that locals have called it ‘the Grand Canyon of Durham’ – is believed to have been formed in a matter of minutes when millions of gallons of floodwater from surrounding farmland suddenly tore through the soil towards the River Wear. Simultaneously, the high waters of the Wear had broken the banks at exactly the same point – and in an instant, a new tributary to the river was formed. Luckily, no buildings were near enough to be affected. Now the floodwater has drained away and the river has returned to its normal level, an almost empty canyon remains, with just a trickle of water at the bottom.
It is an extraordinary illustration of the power of nature – and shows that enough water, flowing with enough force, doesn’t need decades to carve a path through the earth. There was speculation that the flood had exposed the original course of the Wear, which was altered by monks in the 15th or 16th century. But Durham University geomorphologist Jeff Warburton, 47 – who lives a couple of hundred yards from the new canyon – said it was not the ancient river bed, simply a new gully formed by a vast amount of water’.
The rest of the report also includeds several stunning photos of the trench carved as well as a helpful location map. Answers in Genesis have posted a short article in the wake of this event and I partiicularly like the closing portion of this article that reads –
‘Ken Ham has related standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon with an evolutionist who said, “A lot of time and a little bit of water caused this.” He replied, “A little bit of time and a great deal of water caused it.” Having seen the power of running water in County Durham, it should not be a problem for anyone to believe that the worldwide global Flood sent by God can explain so many of the geological features that we see’.
In the book ‘in six days: why 50 scientists choose to believe in creation’ we read this on page 295
‘There is impressive evidence that the fossil deposits and rock strata were formed catastrophically. There are also many indications that there were not millions of years, or even thousands, between various rock units. The rock sequence in the Grand Canyon is a case in point. Not only can it be shown that each of the rock units exposed in the walls of the canyon must have formed very rapidly under catastrophic watery conditions, but there are not significant time gaps between the various rock layers. Thus, the total time involved to put in place some 4,000 feet (1,200 metres) thickness of rock strata is well within the time constraints the Bible stipulates for the flood event’.
This particular article was written by Dr Andrew Snelling who holds a B.S. (hons) with first class honours in geology from the University of New South wales and a Ph.D in geology from the University of Sydney. He is the author of a number of technical papers dealing with origins issues and, in particular, radioactive dating problems.
In conclusion, perhaps you are a bit puzzled by the title of this article where I have written ‘Well Mr Dawkins “pick the bones out of that one”’. This actually takes me back to my unregenerate days when a great deal of my life was taken up with sporting pursuits and one of the games I was heavily involved in was field hockey.
I initially played for the team on the right wing but ‘with maturity’ moved to play centre forward and, though I say it myself, I was a goal-scorer/striker of some modest distinction. My ‘career’ probably spanned just over 25 years and over that time I made many very sporting friendly-rivalries – particularly with the goalkeepers of opposing teams. On occasions when I scored what might perhaps have been termed a somewhat ‘spectacular’ goal, if I was on friendly-rivalry terms with the keeper I’d just scored against I might have jokingly said to him as he picked the ball out of the net – ‘pick the bones out of that one’.
The August 2009 Evangelical Times, on page 2, and under a heading of Athesist Camps’ reported as follows – ‘The Daily Telegraph reports that Richard Dawkins has helped set up an atheist summer camp where children will be taught rational scepticism and sing John Lennon’s Imagine… The camp is for children aged 8-17 and will rival traditional faith-based breaks run by Scouts and church groups. The children will be given lessons in… evolutionary biology… All 24 places at the camp, which runs from 27-31 July have been taken’.
With sovereign and impeccable timing, it’s as if the Holy God of Creation is saying to Mr Dawkins, ‘With recent events in Durham I have just scored a spectacular goal against your foolish, atheistic thinking on origins – now – pick the bones out of that one’. How true are the words of 1st Corinthians 1:20 “Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?”.