Sunday, May 8, 2016

Crucifixion in Islam: As Christians ascend their Golgotha, the Great Winnowing accelerates

Islam's fixation on crucifixion reveals much about the false religion of Muhammad, and leaves no excuse for Christians who have yet to renounce the "Same God Heresy."

By Ralph Sidway

Orthodox, Coptic and Oriental Christians celebrated Pascha (Christ's Resurrection) on May 1 this year. That means we celebrated Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) on Sunday, April 24, commemorating the entire following week — Holy Week or Passion Week — leading to Jesus’ crucifixion, death and burial, and ultimately to his resurrection.

Without minimizing or shying away from Christ’s horrific sufferings, the Orthodox services offer beautiful and moving hymns in praise of Christ and the means of His sacrifice for our salvation: the “Precious and Life-Giving Cross.”

For some profound reflections on the Cross, you may wish to go here or here. (There are of course many superb resources on numerous Orthodox websites.) What I would like to concentrate on instead is the practice of Crucifixion itself, and then look at some implications of this horrific method of torture and execution.

In one of the meditations on the Cross linked to above, the author provides this excerpt from Martin Hengel’s book, Crucifixion:

Crucifixion satisfied the primitive lust for revenge and the sadistic cruelty of individual rulers and of the masses.  It was usually associated with other forms of torture, including at least flogging.  At relatively small expense and to great public effect the criminal could be tortured to death for days in an unspeakable way.  
Crucifixion is thus a specific expression of the inhumanity dormant within men which these days is expressed, for example, in the call for the death penalty, for popular justice and for harsher treatment of criminals, as an expression of retribution.  
It is a manifestation of trans-subjective evil, a form of execution which manifests the demonic character of human cruelty and bestiality. (p. 87)

Screen capture from a recent Islamic crucifixion in Yemen.
It is all too common to view the practice of crucifixion as a form of torture and execution from antiquity which hasn’t been used in nearly two millennia, yet this is hardly the case. 

In fact, crucifixion is a standard means of execution in Saudi Arabia, and there is a growing movement among Islamists (ISIS and others) to bring back crucifixion as the preferred means of punishment for a variety of crimes, including apostasy from Islam, “fitna,” which is a pliable term which can refer to unbelief or mischief-making, or anything which goes against Islam and Shariah. This is explicitly taught in the Qur’an:

The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this: that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off… (Qur’an 5:33).

Ominously for Christians, strongly associated with fitna is “shirk,” the associating of partners with Allah. Believing Jesus to be the Son of God is, for Muslims, one of the worst forms of shirk, and is therefore punishable by death, including crucifixion. (There is a dark irony here, as Muslims do not believe Jesus was crucified, yet they prescribe crucifixion as punishment for Christians.)

And fight them until there is no fitna and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah. And if they cease – then indeed, Allah is Seeing of what they do. (Qur’an 8:39)

In one of the authorized hadiths, Muhammad himself said:
“I have been commanded to fight against people so long as they do not declare that there is no god but Allah, and he who professed it was guaranteed the protection of his property and life on my behalf except for the right affairs rest with Allah” (Sahih Muslim 30).

Obviously, if Muslims take these open-ended commands from the Qur’an and the hadiths seriously, their fight against fitna — and against Christians — could go on for a very long time indeed. It certainly seems to be increasing in intensity, as attested by reports from Islamic countries, some highlights of which are referenced below.

By the description of crucifixion offered by Hengel, Allah is "primitive, sadistic, cruel, evil, demonic, bestial."

Sometimes, the zealous Islamists get a little too excited, and have a hard time prioritizing between crucifixion and beheading, one of Islam’s other favorite forms of execution, as in this recent story out of Saudi Arabia, where a man convicted of murder was beheaded first, then crucified. Obviously, he didn’t suffer from the crucifixion at all. Perhaps it was done as a crime deterrent.

Lately, the Saudis seem to be showing signs of restraint and moderation, having recently delayed the executions of seven men sentenced to death by crucifixion.

In August and September 2012, reports from multiple media agencies in Egypt pointed to Muslim Brotherhood operatives crucifying opponents of Egypt’s MB president Muhammad Morsi. There were charges of “hoax” which were repudiated by Raymond Ibrahim, who also cited video footage of an Islamic crucifixion of a man in Yemen.

In 2008, reports out of Iraq of atrocities committed against Christians included accounts of children as young as 10 years old being crucified.

Nomikos Michael Vaporis, in his landmark book, Witnesses For Christ: Orthodox Christian Neomartyrs of the Ottoman Period 1437-1860, reports that crucifixion was one of the many forms of execution used by the Muslim Turks, although most martyrdoms during the Ottoman oppression seem to have been performed by beheadings.

The horrific image below is of a row of at least eight Armenian women crucified during the 1915 genocide perpetrated by the Muslim Turks.

Still from the film, Auction of Souls, which depicts real events during the Armenian Genocide, as witnessed by a survivor, Aurora Mardiganian, and related in her memoir, Ravished Armenia.

In her memoir, Ravished Armenia, Aurora Mardiganian described being raped and thrown into a harem. From a wealthy banking family, she was just one of thousands of Armenian girls to suffer a similar fate. Many were eventually killed and discarded.  In the city of Malatia, she saw 16 girls crucified, vultures eating their corpses. “Each girl had been nailed alive upon her cross, spikes through her feet and hands,” Mardiganian wrote. “Only their hair blown by the wind covered their bodies.”

I could go on and on with photos, citations and links, but you get the idea: Islam shows remarkable continuity and consistency throughout its savage history.

At this point I believe it is worth repeating portions of the quote from Martin Hengel’s book, Crucifixion:
Crucifixion satisfied the primitive lust for revenge and the sadistic cruelty of individual rulers and of the masses…  Crucifixion is thus a specific expression of the inhumanity dormant within men… It is a manifestation of… evil, a form of execution which manifests the demonic character of human cruelty and bestiality. (p. 87)

For emphasis, let’s look at this in list form:
  • primitive,
  • lust for revenge,
  • sadistic,
  • cruel,
  • inhuman,
  • evil,
  • demonic,
  • bestial.

Yet crucifixion is one of the top two explicit forms of execution commanded in the holy book of Islam, the Qur’an itself, as well as in the life and words of Muhammad. And, consistent with centuries of Islamic practice, crucifixion is being mandated and practiced increasingly today both by official courts in Islamic countries, by the Islamic State and other jihadist groups, as well as by Muslim mobs in Egypt and elsewhere.

What does this reveal to us?

For Christians to affirm the 'Same God Heresy' is to blaspheme the True God...

It should be clear to anyone with eyes to see, that the Allah of Islam — who, speaking through the Qur'an, mandates crucifixion for Christians, and denies that Jesus was crucified, denying also that Jesus is the Son of God — cannot be the same as the True God worshiped by Christians. By the description of crucifixion offered by Hengel, Allah is "primitive, sadistic, cruel, evil, demonic, bestial."

What this further means is that Christians need to cease flattering and patronizing Muslims by affirming the Islamic claim that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. This does not help Muslims, but instead serves to reinforce their false beliefs, while putting Christians in jeopardy of committing blasphemy and apostasy.

For Christians to affirm the "Same God Heresy" is to blaspheme the True God, for the characteristics, commands and teachings self-revealed by Allah through the Qur'an and through the life and example of Muhammad, prove Allah is not the True God, but rather some perverted, demonic being.

Instead, Christians need to develop a heart for Muslims who persist in spiritual delusion, and offer to them the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and pray that the Lord would deliver them from the lie of Islam.

If we truly love our Muslim neighbors, we will wish salvation for them, and salvation means "to know the True God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent" (cf. John 17:3).

Jesus is "the Way, the Truth and the Life", and "no one comes to the Father but through [Him]" (John 14:6).

There is another implication to the centrality of crucifixion in Islam.

By espousing the Same God Heresy we side with Judas against Jesus. We 'kiss' our Christian brethren, lamenting their suffering, yet conspire with Islam to affirm its most subversive dogma.

While Christians in the West continue to support the Same God Heresy, our Christian brothers and sisters in the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, Indonesia, and throughout the Islamic world are being persecuted to near extinction by Muslims. Christians are bearing their cross, ascending their Golgotha, and we betray them by siding with Islam.

Do we really wish to be defending Islam by affirming Allah is the "same God" when Islam is crucifying our brothers and sisters?

Not only does the Same God Heresy make us blasphemers of God, but it also makes us betrayers of our fellow Christians. By espousing the Same God Heresy we side with Judas against Jesus. We "kiss" our Christian brethren, lamenting their suffering, yet conspire with Islam to affirm its most subversive dogma.

Christians who hold the Same God Heresy - wake up!

It is way past time for you to repent of this wicked blasphemy, and cling to Jesus Christ in repentance, faith and love. Let us love Him and be faithful to Him, all the way to our death, regardless of the cost, so that we are not found to be ashamed of Him at His coming.

Do you not know we are living through apocalyptic times?! 

How many signs — earthquakes, meteors, the moral perversions surrounding us, the love of many growing cold — do you need to wake you up to the fact that now is the time to confess Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the Living God! Now is not the time to cringe in fear, not daring to offend Muslims or political overlords. Hear the Lord's own words:

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved." (Matthew 24:9-13)

Today's "Same God" advocates are the false prophets the Lord warns us about.  They are offended by Jesus, ashamed of Him, and they try to "save their life", to gain favor and influence with the world by espousing the Same God lie. But the Lord tries to warn them and us all to hold fast to our faith in Him to the end:

He said to them... "Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:34-38)

There is a Great Winnowing which has begun, and we must resolve to persevere in faith and love until the end. Now is the time to prepare to be a faithful confessor and witness of Jesus Christ. Now is the time to heed the words of St John the Forerunner:

"His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.” (Luke 3:17)


Expanded from an earlier version of this article, originally published in April 2013 at