In light of the most recent terror incident in Boston, questions arise again regarding Islam, and in many cases religion or faith in general.
At the onset of the Boston Marathon bombing, pundits, bloggers, the general public on Facebook, and other media were quick to try and guess the religious and political persuasion of the bomber or bombers. Those on the left were quick to say it had the hallmarks of a “right wing white supremacist” Christian group, and those on the right were quick to say it looks like the work of Islamic terrorists. I honestly had no clue, although, I must confess that I did harbor a slight fear that it might be a so-called “Patriot Christian.”
As I quickly uttered the question of God, “Father, what’s wrong with these people,” I received a very quick and simple answer. “It’s about the blood Eddie, it’s always about the blood.” I then asked, “What?” The reply I heard was, “It’s about whose blood is being shed.” I was stunned at the simplicity and yet the power in that simple response.
Here is what I believe God was saying and what I want to pass on to you. God speaking to Moses as recorded in Leviticus said the following: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.”
What has always stood out to me are the words, “the life of the flesh is in the blood.” I think we take the significance of this for granted. Blood equals life and the shedding of blood equals death.
How does this relate to the Islam, Christian or terrorism discussion? It is the view of the shedding of blood that separates the true faith from a false faith in the living God. The false faith, by the way, is not limited to Islam. There are those who call themselves Christians whose faith is just as off base as the religion of Mohammed. The difference can be summed up in 6 words, two sets of three words actually. These words are: pride vs. humility, selfishness vs. sacrifice and hate vs. love.
Christianity is characterized by humility, sacrifice and love. The religion of “The Prophet,” and in Allah, is one of pride, selfishness and hate. Islam and some so-called Christian groups, such as Christian Identity, are rooted in an attitude of self-service and superiority. Interestingly enough, however; these religions of superiority always feel the need to eliminate the lesser infidels.
Let’s look at this more closely. In Christianity everything begins with the humility, sacrifice and love displayed by Jesus.
…the payment that freed you was the precious blood of Christ, the lamb with no defects or imperfections. 1 Pet. 1:19 (God’s Word Translation)
Jesus was the ultimate example of how the faith in the true and living God should be lived. His life was one of humility, self-sacrifice and love. I cannot stress that enough. His followers should not be different.
In his work Apologeticus, Tertullian stated the “The blood of the Martyrs is the seed of the church.” The Church of Jesus, the Messiah, was birthed and is built upon the blood of Christ.
This is born out in the following:
These are the people who are coming out of the terrible suffering. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb. Rev.7:14 (GWT)
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Rev. 12:11 (NKJV)
It is not only Christians to whom this is attributed.
Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted,[f] were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise. Hebrews 11:35a-39 (New King James)
Remember to whom this was written and when. While this verse is often attributed to Christian saints and martyrs, it is clear from the time and context in which this was written about Hebrew believers.
Look at all of this in contrast to Islamic teaching.
“Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors. And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith.” [Al-Qur’an 2:190-191]
“But if they cease, Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah; but if they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression.” [Al-Qur’an 2:192-193]
“Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just.” [Al-Qur’an 60:8]
Some Muslim apologists want us to believe that these verses speak of the compassion of Islam and that it only speaks of self-defense. But no, it states clearly: “Fight all who fight you, in the cause of Allah.” It goes on, “If they fight you, slay them.” What does it mean by fighting? The compassion apologists claim can be found in the following statement: “If they cease, Allah is often forgiving until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah.” This means that Allah is “often forgiving” of those who are fighting you only if they cease fighting and quit causing tumult and oppression. If they do not cease, the prophet clearly says to slaughter of those people.
Clearly, these two religions differ greatly and their ideologies and teachings are often at odds with one another. How should Christians defend their faith against those who oppose it? Well, I believe that Christians fail to make the case for The Faith in two ways. First, Christians are often afraid to directly confront those with a false religion and call it what it is. We have accepted the lie that we are “intolerant” if we disagree with their words and ideas. We have become deceived into thinking that acceptance is love. Secondly, there are those who want to confront Islam with an attitude that is similar to the attitude that characterizes Islam—the attitude of pride, selfishness and hate. We cannot win over those who do not share our faith with attitudes like “our religion is better than yours,” “I or we are the chosen,” or, “I hate you and all who look and think like you.” Those were sins of the Jews. They thought they were chosen because of their righteousness and that they were special. In Deuteronomy 9 God spoke to the Jews through Moses, reminding them over and over again that He had not chosen them because of their superiority— they were in fact to be a witness. Many still have not gotten that message, and sadly, it appears that neither have many Christians.
We cannot fight for our faith with the weapons of this world. We cannot win by using either of the above approaches. The weapons of our warfare are those of the Kingdom of God. We must have total confidence in the power of God, His Spirit and His Word. That confidence comes from an understanding of and confidence in The Blood of the Lamb. May we never forget that. It is then that we WILL become those witnesses.
Eddie Huff is a former missionary and licensed minister with an undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University. Eddie studied theology in the M. Div. program at Melodyland Theological Seminary in Anaheim, CA. Eddie is also a financial services representative as well as a writer and public speaker living in Tulsa, Oklahoma.