Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Wheat and the Tares

"Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?" He said to them, "An enemy has done this..."

Perhaps the strongest refutation of the belief that the Allah of Islam is the same True God worshipped by Christians comes from one of the Lord’s parables:

Another parable He put forth to them, saying: 
“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn".’”  
Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”  
He answered and said to them: 
“He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.  The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 
"Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.  The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. 
"He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"   
(Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)

When considering this parable in regards to Islam, the tares, or weeds, those similar in basic appearance (i.e., in general monotheistic belief) to Christians, are the followers of Muhammad, who claimed to bring the “Religion of Peace”, yet who used warfare and bloodshed to expand its reach.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Turkey assigns permanent imam to Hagia Sophia to lead daily prayers...

...Turns clock back to 1453 in second conquest of Constantinople. This is effectively a re-conversion of Hagia Sophia back into a functioning mosque after over 80 years.

"Observers are warning about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s increasingly neo-Ottoman stance..." 

This new move by emboldened Islamic supremacist Erdogan will certainly have an impact on Turkey's relations with Russia, as Russia recently urged Turkey to return Hagia Sophia to the Orthodox Church.

Might this be an unfolding of Elder Paisios' prophecy of a war between Russia and Turkey?

Hagia Sophia gets permanent imam as tensions rise in Aegean
Ekathimerini, October 22, 2016:

Dark clouds over Hagia Sophia...

A few months after a controversial decision by Turkish authorities to allow readings from the Quran to be broadcast from Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, reports on Friday said Turkey had decided to appoint a permanent imam for the venue.

According to the Anadolu state news agency, the country’s religious affairs directorate and the mufti of the Fatih district have agreed to assign a permanent imam who will lead five daily prayers, instead of the current two.

Friday, October 28, 2016

American Mideast Coalition of Muslims, Christians, Yazidis and others endorse Donald J. Trump for President

True moderates, including moderate Muslims, endorse Donald Trump and his policies on the Middle East and national security:

"Where Obama has shunned moderate, secular voices in the region and has partnered with radicals (such as the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamist regime of Iran), Donald Trump promises to do exactly the opposite: to support the moderates and oppose the radicals. This change in direction was endorsed vociferously and cheerfully by the participants – Sunni and Shi’a Muslims, Assyrian, Chaldean, Coptic and Maronite Christians, Yazidis, Kurds, Jews and Africans."

American Mideast Coalition Endorses Donald J. Trump for President in Washington DC. October 17th
New English Review, October 21, 2016:

Professor Walid Phares, national security advisor to Donald Trump, speaks to the AMC.

On October 17th, 2016, over 250 leaders of numerous diverse Middle Eastern communities in the United States gathered in Washington DC to endorse Donald J. Trump for President of the United States.

Warmly received were Donald Trump’s foreign policy and national security advisors General Bert Mizusawa, Professor Walid Phares and Attorney Joseph Schmitz, who explained the nuances of Trump’s foreign policy toward the Middle East and Africa.

Also present were a number of foreign dignitaries including, Serbia’s Ambassador Djerdj Matkovic, Filip Jasinski (First Counselor of the Polish Embassy), Yasser Elshimy (Policy officer at the Egyptian Embassy), Mohamed Bahzad (Kingdom of Bahrain Embassy), Khaled Darief (Libyan Embassy), Karl Lagatie (Belgian Embassy), Gregor Csorsz (Austrian Embassy) Mamad Talibov (Azerbaijan Embassy) as well as Caroline Hurmdal, Chima Pavan and Ben Norman (UK Embassy). They were introduced by Mideast Hispanic Women for Trump Astrid Mattar-Hajjar.

Numerous community leaders recounted the foreign policy failures of the Obama/Clinton years and expressed their support for the direction Donald Trump will take as President. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Islam Wants to Conquer the World, and the West Is Letting It

“The problem is that Muslims aim for expansion... The whole history of the Islamic presence in Europe is an attempt to conquer it.” — Cardinal Raymond Burke

A brave and clear warning from one of the top Roman Catholic prelates, who urges vigorous proclamation of the Christian Faith.

See also: Bishop Mark of Berlin: A Voice in the Wilderness

Top Cardinal: Islam Wants to Conquer the World, and the West Is Letting It

by Nick Hallett, Breitbart London, October 8, 2016:

The ultimate goal of Islam is world conquest and the “supine” West is only helping it achieve that aim, a senior cardinal has said.

Speaking in an interview with Italian newspaper Il Giornale, Cardinal Raymond Burke accused Westerners of being too weak to acknowledge the incompatibility of Christianity and Islam.

“It is clear that Muslims have as their ultimate goal conquest and power over the world,” the American cardinal said. “Islam, through sharia, their law, will rule the world and permit violence against infidels, such as Christians. But we find it hard to recognise this reality and to respond by defending the Christian faith.”

“Many people do not understand what Islam really is,” he added. “They create these slogans: we all believe in the same God, we are all united by love and so on. It’s not true.”

He also said that modern Christians are often unwilling to proclaim their beliefs, and should not be afraid to convert people of other faiths.

“Christians have neglected a fundamental truth: there is only one Saviour of the world: Jesus Christ. We must not proselytize, imposing Christianity, but if we believe in Jesus it is our duty to bear witness.

“I think that this witness is not very strong, even in countries that were called Christian once upon a time, such as the European nations.”

Friday, October 7, 2016

Fr. John Whiteford: 'The Immoral Policy of the United States Government in Syria'

A fearless and righteous statement from an Orthodox Christian priest in the United States; Fr. John Whiteford is speaking truth to power here, and rightly condemns the immoral, hypocritical and deceptive policies of the U.S. government in Syria. 

The same condemnation can be (and has been) made of U.S. policy towards Egypt, which resulted in the overthrow of the stable and lawful Mubarak government and the institution of a Muslim Brotherhood sharia regime so vile and repugnant that the military had to topple it to protect its citizens from Islam. In the Egyptian protests which led to Morsi's ouster, Obama was condemned as a supporter of Islamic terrorism, and Putin was seen as the defender of Christians. (Christians in Egypt continue to be persecuted by Muslim mobs and officials, and discriminated against by Egyptian law, but at least it is not the all-out jihad which existed under the Morsi reign of Islamic terror.)

The same condemnation can be (and has been) made of U.S. policy towards Iraq and Libya. Time after time, United States policy in the Middle East and North & Sub-Sahara Africa has been a primary causal agent of the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) and other Islamic jihad groups, and the spread of Muslim persecution and genocide against Christians.

The government of the United States of America has the blood of tens of thousands if not millions of Christians on its hands. Electing the chosen successor to the current administration in Washington would be to perpetuate a U.S. foreign policy which is just as evil in its intent and blood-soaked in its effect as is the Democrats' pro-abortion position, which was cheered by thousands at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

"I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement." (Rev. 17:6)

The Immoral Policy of the United States Government in Syria
by Fr. John Whiteford, October 6, 2016

I feel compelled, as a Christian and as an American citizen speaking only for myself, to condemn the policy of the United States government which has been to overthrow the Syrian government by arming and funding a radical jihadist insurgency. This has fueled and exacerbated a conflict which has witnessed the deaths of nearly half of a million Syrians, produced five million refugees, seven and a half-million internally displaced people, and has brought untold misery upon many millions more who have suffered either directly or indirectly as a result of this shameful policy. [1]

I cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that our government continues, with our tax-payer dollars,  to fund and arm those who are raping, murdering, and displacing Christians (who represent about ten percent of the overall population) and other religious minorities in Syria. [2]

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Why Christians and Muslims Worship Different Gods

"While some similarities may exist between the Christian and Muslim conceptions of God, it is certain that the Christian who prays 'Our Father, Who art in Heaven' each day is not praying to the same God as the Muslim who prays 'There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.' This is because they are not worshipping the same God." —Fr. Brandon O'Brien


The 'Same God Question' is at the heart of any Christian consideration of Islam and how to respond to it and to our Muslim neighbors. Dr. Mark Durie offers this cautionary instruction on the matter:

"It is quite clear that the Injil, as described by the Koran, is nothing but a ‘different gospel’. The prophet Isa (Jesus) of the Koran is a product of fable, imagination and ignorance. When Muslims venerate this Isa, they are far removed from Yeshua, the Jesus of the Bible and of history... For most faithful Muslims Isa is the only Jesus they know. But if you accept this Muslim ‘Jesus’, and his ‘gospel’, then you also accept the Koran, and you accept Islam... 
"By Islamicising [the true Jesus of the Gospels, the Jesus of history] and making of him a Muslim prophet who preached the Koran, Islamic orthodoxy would destroy Christianity and take over its history. It does the same to Judaism... 
"The traditional Islamic view is that if you want to know what the God of the Bible is like, then read the Koran. Not only must Muslims believe that ‘we worship the same God’, but this message is always a central component of the presentation of Islam to Christians and Jews. 
[This message] "provides the lynchpin of Muslims’ efforts to convert the ‘People of the Book’ to the faith of Muhammad. In addition, this belief, once accepted, can lead Christians to support Islamic perspectives in ways other than conversion. For example, embracing this Islamic doctrine wins a measure of respect and even support for Islam from Christians."
(Durie, Revelation - Do We Worship the Same God?, pp 50-51, 75-76)

In a landmark article by Fr Lawrence Farley, which I feature here on this blog, we find the following observations:

Islamic worship does not, in fact, connect the Muslim worshipper with the one true God of the Christians... 
Despite their shared theoretical monotheism, Christian and Muslim worship does not focus upon the same God, and (more importantly) the objective and spiritual reality present through their worship is not identical. 
In Christian assemblies, Jesus Christ is present, for He has promised to be present whenever two or three gather together in His Name (Matthew 18:20). In Muslim assemblies, Christ is not present in the same salvific way.  
Rather, just as the early Christians said that the demonic was present in the sacrifices of the pagans, that same terrible reality is present now liturgically in Muslim assemblies...

Which brings us to the below important article, which provides a thorough discussion of dogmatic, scriptural and spiritual differences from a specifically Roman Catholic perspective, pointing out the dangers which stem from Rome's excessively deferential consideration of Islam. By affirming Islam in its Lumen Gentium and Nostra Aetate, the Papal church stands on the cliff of apostasy.

Here, at least, is one Roman Catholic writer who, along with the rightly respected William Kilpatrick hopes to restore Truth to Rome's discussion of Islam. May Truth prevail in Rome.

Why Christians and Muslims Worship Different Gods
by Fr. Brandon O'Brien, Crisis Magazine, September 5, 2016:

On August 30, Cardinal Raymond Burke sparked a debate about the relationship of Islam and Christianity with regard to their worship of God. It is a debate that has been addressed before, and in an interview he stated: 

“I don’t believe it’s true that we’re all worshipping the same God, because the God of Islam is a governor. In other words, fundamentally Islam is, Sharia is their law, and that law, which comes from Allah, must dominate every man eventually. And it’s not a law that’s founded on love.” 

In addition to remarking on the different conceptions of the nature of God, he also noted a difference in the Divine Will as well: 

“How can the God that we know, a God fundamentally of love, St. John says ‘God is love,’ be the same God that commands and demands of Muslims to slaughter infidels and to establish their rule by violence.”

It would appear that Burke’s view is inconsistent with the Church’s recent teachings on the areas of agreement between Christianity and Islam. According to Nostra Aetate, the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, “[Muslims] adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to men.” However, it is obvious that Nostra Aetate is not as clear as it would appear initially.

The brief treatments of Islam in both Lumen Gentium and Nostra Aetate contain not a single reference or footnote to support them. It is usually the practice that Church documents contain references from Scripture, the Church Fathers, St. Thomas Aquinas, or previous documents to reinforce their teaching and assert its continuity with Divine Revelation and the magisterium. The Second Vatican Council’s analysis of Islam is completely lacking in this regard. In fact, as if making an attempt at circular reasoning, the Church has largely only been able to refer as far back as these two passages from Lumen Gentium and Nostra Aetate in subsequent documents concerning Islam. 

This shouldn’t be surprising since the dearth of writings on Islam by the saints of the Church in the thirteen centuries between the founding of Islam and the Second Vatican Council would actually contradict what Lumen Gentium and Nostra Aetate proffer.