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Location: MInneapolis, Minnesota, United States

I am now a simple Grandpa who's life is made richer as each grandchild is born. My wife and I have raised five children and the 30 year love labor of raising them has begun to yield sweet fruit..... And then there are fruits of 30 years in ministry ... I am a satisfied old man full of the joy of the Lord.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Pope Is Right

If I was wondering if Islam was a violent religion (and that is a ludicrous thought in light of what is going on world wide) I can be sure of it when I see the over-the-top reaction of Islamic people to the Pope talking about his religion to an academic semi-private meeting. He was clearly making the point that Christian conversion cannot be forced.

The Pope quoted a 14th century Byzantine emperor in saying,
"Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death."
And in context he also mentioned emperor Palaeologus opinion of,
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."
Let's see... did Mohammed actually teach to use the sword to spread the faith of Islam? Let's check their holy book.
"Fight and slay the pagans (infidels) wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war." - Sura 9:5

"Prophet, make war on unbelievers and hypocrites, and deal rigorously with them." - Sura 9:73

"Let not the unbelievers think 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... Prophet, (Muhammed) rouse the faithful to arms! If they (the non-Muslims) incline to peace (accept Islam) make peace with them." - Sura 8:59

"If they reject your judgment, know that it is Allah's wish to scourge them for their sins." - Sura 5:49

"Believers (Muslims), take neither Jews nor Christians to be your friends: they are friends with one another. Whoever of you seeks their friendship shall become one of their number, and God does not guide (those Jewish and Christian) wrong-doers." - Sura 5:51
This seems to settle it for me. Jesus never taught any such thing like this. You cannot make a man believe in your faith by violence. He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword. If Mohammad brings a deeper revelation and is supposed to be the last prophet then I just don't get it. This is a step backwards, not forwards.

The Pope, as well as all who do not believe in Mohammed, do not need to apologize for using reason. We are free to think things through and accept or reject. Does Islam mean to take this freedom to think and speak my thoughts away from me?

BTW. This particular emperor had great reationships with the Ottoman empire. Go figure.

I have not been posting much lately. But this got me to finally say something once again. Maybe I will continue for a season.


Anonymous Becky said...

This whole thing really burned me up. All you have to do is study the history of Spain to realize that the Pope merely stated a historical fact about the way Islam has been spread.

7:57 AM, September 20, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On Hugh Hewitt's show a Roman Catholic leader mentioned that the preceding Pope emphasized the commonality of Beliefs and the current Pope emphasizes the distinctions.

Offended that someone calls them violent, they respond with violence, and even have a "Day of Anger"(BBC WorldNews). Oh the comedy(not humor), how gravely ironic.

The Logos (in this case aka "reason") is the age-long issue. But the present *effective* Muslims are more like the original barbaric Mohamedeans than the Byzantine Muslims. The truth derives in both reason and revelation. I like sprucegoose's comment on revelation.

Complete global chaos is knocking at the door again. The prophetic puzzle pieces continue to illuminate and allign. Whatever the fascinating cause, the current situation is political tolerance and obliviousness to the explosively determined extent of this powderkeg. Politically, "they" must be completely conquered. Maybe a strong decimation will do the trick. But I don't see any potential fortitude other than the half-way-decent, internationally-lame War on "Terror". (Glad it's upgraded/updated to "Islamo-fascism".)

I think of the "Restrainer" and "peace and security,... suddenly..." and "rumors of wars". I think of how it looks like the Muslim world will team-up with the future Vatican, while it *hates* it, and then the Muslim world will succeed the Vatican prior to Armageddon. Observing the bridge to these things will be fascinating if not also tribulating. Of course, personally (versus politically), the Christian responds that "they" will be conquered by our martyrdom et al., ...if (politically) conquered much at all in this world.

Extra comment. Although I believe that the Koran is ultimately internally irreconcilable, I wonder about consistent treatment of the text of the Koran, specifically context, juxtaposed with the treatment of the Bible.
I wonder if there exists a pro-Muslim argument restricting the Koran's violence passages to particular historic circumstances or historic contexts or particular wars. Other than altogether discounting comments by Muslims, I have heard no apologetic. It sure seems like these violence verses are continually imparative and broadly applicable.

This is in contrast to verses from the OT that could be extracted out of context to misrepresent the Bible, calling on the Chosen to wipe out everybody and everything, not considering how the they are specifically contained to historic wars yada yada. ...Not to mention spiritual differentiations explaining New Covenant warfare. Nonetheless, sprucegoose's comment on his posted survey of the Koran is great, as usual.

3:11 PM, September 20, 2006  
Anonymous Blue said...

The Catholic faith has been one of the most intolerant and violent religions in history.

What are its fruits? The Crusades, the Spanish Inquisitions, flat earth, anti-science...

And the Pope dares to "judge" Islam? What a sick joke.

11:00 AM, September 27, 2006  
Anonymous Enlightenment said...

Speaking of Muslims and the "war on terror"...

One thing that struck me as odd in the days after 9/11 was Bush saying "We will not tolerate conspiracy theories [regarding 9/11]". Sure enough there have been some wacky conspiracy theories surrounding the events of that day. The most far-fetched and patently ridiculous one that I've ever heard goes like this: Nineteen hijackers who claimed to be devout Muslims but yet were so un-Muslim as to be getting drunk all the time, doing cocaine and frequenting strip clubs decided to hijack four airliners and fly them into buildings in the northeastern U.S., the area of the country that is the most thick with fighter bases. After leaving a Koran on a barstool at a strip bar after getting shitfaced drunk on the night before, then writing a suicide note/inspirational letter that sounded like it was written by someone with next to no knowledge of Islam, they went to bed and got up the next morning hung over and carried out their devious plan. Nevermind the fact that of the four "pilots" among them there was not a one that could handle a Cessna or a Piper Cub let alone fly a jumbo jet, and the one assigned the most difficult task of all, Hani Hanjour, was so laughably incompetent that he was the worst fake "pilot" of the bunch. Nevermind the fact that they received very rudimentary flight training at Pensacola Naval Air Station, making them more likely to have been C.I.A. assets than Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. So on to the airports. These "hijackers" somehow managed to board all four airliners with their tickets, yet not even ONE got his name on any of the flight manifests. So they hijack all four airliners and at this time passengers on United 93 start making a bunch of cell phone calls from 35,000 feet in the air to tell people what was going on. Nevermind the fact that cell phones wouldn't work very well above 4,000 feet, and wouldn't work at ALL above 8,000 feet. But the conspiracy theorists won't let that fact get in the way of a good fantasy. That is one of the little things you "aren't supposed to think about". Nevermind that one of the callers called his mom and said his first and last name, more like he was reading from a list than calling his own mom. Anyway, when these airliners each deviated from their flight plan and didn't respond to ground control, NORAD would any other time have followed standard operating procedure (and did NOT have to be told by F.A.A. that there were hijackings because they were watching the same events unfold on their own radar) which means fighter jets would be scrambled from the nearest base where they were available on standby within a few minutes, just like every other time when airliners stray off course. But of course on 9/11 this didn't happen, not even close. Somehow these "hijackers" must have used magical powers to cause NORAD to stand down, as ridiculous as this sounds because total inaction from the most high-tech and professional Air Force in the world would be necessary to carry out their tasks. So on the most important day in its history the Air Force was totally worthless. Then they had to make one of the airliners look like a smaller plane, because unknown to them the Naudet brothers had a videocamera to capture the only known footage of the North Tower crash, and this footage shows something that is not at all like a jumbo jet, but didn't have to bother with the South Tower jet disguising itself because that was the one we were "supposed to see". Anyway, as for the Pentagon they had to have Hani Hanjour fly his airliner like it was a fighter plane, making a high G-force corkscrew turn that no real airliner can do, in making its descent to strike the Pentagon. But these "hijackers" wanted to make sure Rumsfeld survived so they went out of their way to hit the farthest point in the building from where Rumsfeld and the top brass are located. And this worked out rather well for the military personnel in the Pentagon, since the side that was hit was the part that was under renovation at the time with few military personnel present compared to construction workers. Still more fortuitous for the Pentagon, the side that was hit had just before 9/11 been structurally reinforced to prevent a large fire there from spreading elsewhere in the building. Awful nice of them to pick that part to hit, huh? Then the airliner vaporized itself into nothing but tiny unidentifiable pieces no bigger than a fist, unlike the crash of a real airliner when you will be able to see at least some identifiable parts, like crumpled wings, broken tail section etc. Why, Hani Hanjour the terrible pilot flew that airliner so good that even though he hit the Pentagon on the ground floor the engines didn't even drag the ground!! Imagine that!! Though the airliner vaporized itself on impact it only made a tiny 16 foot hole in the building. Amazing. Meanwhile, though the planes hitting the Twin Towers caused fires small enough for the firefighters to be heard on their radios saying "We just need 2 hoses and we can knock this fire down" attesting to the small size of it, somehow they must have used magical powers from beyond the grave to make this morph into a raging inferno capable of making the steel on all forty-seven main support columns (not to mention the over 100 smaller support columns) soften and buckle, then all fail at once. Hmmm. Then still more magic was used to make the building totally defy physics as well as common sense in having the uppermost floors pass through the remainder of the building as quickly, meaning as effortlessly, as falling through air, a feat that without magic could only be done with explosives. Then exactly 30 minutes later the North Tower collapses in precisely the same freefall physics-defying manner. Incredible. Not to mention the fact that both collapsed at a uniform rate too, not slowing down, which also defies physics because as the uppermost floors crash into and through each successive floor beneath them they would shed more and more energy each time, thus slowing itself down. Common sense tells you this is not possible without either the hijackers' magical powers or explosives. To emphasize their telekinetic prowess, later in the day they made a third building, WTC # 7, collapse also at freefall rate though no plane or any major debris hit it. Amazing guys these magical hijackers. But we know it had to be "Muslim hijackers" the conspiracy theorist will tell you because (now don't laugh) one of their passports was "found" a couple days later near Ground Zero, miraculously "surviving" the fire that we were told incinerated planes, passengers and black boxes, and also "survived" the collapse of the building it was in. When common sense tells you if that were true then they should start making buildings and airliners out of heavy paper and plastic so as to be "indestructable" like that magic passport. The hijackers even used their magical powers to bring at least seven of their number back to life, to appear at american embassies outraged at being blamed for 9/11!! BBC reported on that and it is still online. Nevertheless, they also used magical powers to make the american government look like it was covering something up in the aftermath of this, what with the hasty removal of the steel debris and having it driven to ports in trucks with GPS locators on them, to be shipped overseas to China and India to be melted down. When common sense again tells you that this is paradoxical in that if the steel was so unimportant that they didn't bother saving some for analysis but so important as to require GPS locators on the trucks with one driver losing his job because he stopped to get lunch. Hmmmm. Yes, this whole story smacks of the utmost idiocy and fantastical far-fetched lying, but it is amazingly enough what some people believe. Even now, five years later, the provably false fairy tale of the "nineteen hijackers" is heard repeated again and again, and is accepted without question by so many Americans. Which is itself a testament to the innate psychological cowardice of the American sheeple, i mean people, and their abject willingness to believe something, ANYTHING, no matter how ridiculous in order to avoid facing a scary uncomfortable truth. Time to wake up America.

1:56 AM, October 27, 2006  

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