The Koran Commands Genocide (And the Bible Does Not)

Matt_5_43_44The Koran commands Muslims to kill non-Muslims. This is an undisputed fact, and some recent graffiti on three Indiana churches confirms this. Indeed, one of the churches had the words “Qur’an 3:151” spray-painted on it. This particular passage reads “We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve for what they have associated with Allah of which He had not sent down [any] authority. And their refuge will be the Fire, and wretched is the residence of the wrongdoers.”

Nassim Khaled, a volunteer at the local Islamic Center, said, “We condemn this, and I read the verse, most importantly what it showed me is the ignorance, who actually misquoted or misinterpreted the Koran.” Right, and perhaps Islamic State, Boko Haram, al-Shabaab and other Muslim groups who enjoy striking terror “into the hearts of those who disbelieve” have misinterpreted the Koran too. Frankly, there are so many passages in the Koran which command the killing of non-Muslims, I wonder if Mr. Khaled has ever read the Koran. After all, Muslims are commanded to do the following:

*Behead and cut off the fingertips of non-Muslims (Koran 8:12)

*Fight and force non-Muslims to pay a tax because they don’t believe (Koran 9:29)

*Annihilate towns which reject Islam (Koran 17:16)

At the very least, Mr. Khaled hasn’t read Surah 4:95. This passage says non-violent Muslims are less worthy in Allah’s eyes. Incidentally, if Jihad only means “spiritual struggle,” why are the physically disabled given an exemption from fighting in this passage? Clearly, Jihad is about killing for Allah.

Christians, on the other hand, have been commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31), and love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-44). Now, some people will say, “But didn’t God command the killing of the Canaanites in the Old Testament?”

Yes, He did, but these commands were given to a particular people (the Israelites) at a particular time (after their exodus from Egypt) for a particular purpose (to take the land of Canaan) because it had been promised to them and the people of Canaan were extremely wicked (Deuteronomy 9:5). In fact, the Canaanites were burning their children alive (Deuteronomy 12:29-31). God wanted the Canaanites gone, because He didn’t want their evil ways to influence the world (Exodus 34:15-16). Unfortunately, the Israelites didn’t completely obey Him. They were eventually corrupted by the Canaanites. They began worshiping false gods and murdering their children (Jeremiah 32:35).

What about God instituting the death penalty for homosexuality (Leviticus 20:13)? Well, God is holy. The Bible says “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). If you sin just one time, you’re guilty before God (James 2:10). The good news? Jesus died for our sins (Romans 5:8), and we can have eternal life through faith in Him (John 3:16). Likewise, by the shedding of His blood, Jesus did away with the Old Testament (Luke 22:20). He initiated a new agreement, also known as the New Testament, and the old agreement is obsolete (Hebrews 8:13). In the New Testament, the harsh judicial punishments against sin are gone.

Sadly, unlike the obsolete Old Testament verses which command violence, the passages which command violence in the Koran are largely open-ended. They are commands for all Muslims to obey for all time. So, with all due respect to Mr. Khaled, he’s the one who has misinterpreted the Koran.

A Foundation of Sand

Matt_7_24_25World-famous biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins has had a rough few weeks on Twitter. It began in late July, when he tweeted the following about rape:

How charming. Now, with all due respect to Dr. Dawkins, if you’re an atheist, what’s right and wrong would be decided by personal opinion. Without God’s absolute moral standard, what’s good and evil would be a matter of personal preference. Why would we trust the opinion of Richard Dawkins over the opinion of a rapist?

After all, according to Dawkins, all of our thoughts are the result of chemical reactions in the brain. Indeed, several years ago he said “Why do we vent such visceral hatred on child murderers, or on thuggish vandals, when we should simply regard them as faulty units that need fixing or replacing?” In other words, we shouldn’t punish criminals because they have “mean” atoms. It’s a good thing Dawkins is an academic and not a defense lawyer.

Yet, one wonders, why would Dawkins have more “moral” atoms than a rapist? I mean, if evolution is all about passing our genes on to the next generation, why would a hardcore evolutionist like Dawkins say that rape is a bad thing? It certainly increases the odds of passing someone’s genes on to the next generation, so what’s the big deal?

Unfortunately, Dr. Dawkins’ no-good, terrible Twitter experience continued in August. On the 20th, he tweeted this about aborting babies with Down syndrome:

What a teddy bear. Of course, his opinion shouldn’t have surprised anyone. Indeed, Dawkins has said in the past that “If you can breed cattle for milk yield, horses for running speed, and dogs for herding skill, why on Earth should it be impossible to breed humans for mathematical, musical or athletic ability?” (Cited in Hilary White, Anti-religion extremist Dawkins advocates eugenics: says Nazi regime’s genocidal project ‘may not be bad’,, 21 November 2006). I guess he doesn’t think Down syndrome babies are good for the gene pool. He would’ve been a hit in 1930’s Berlin.

That said, Dawkins tried to justify his belief by saying the following:

So, if the majority of people agree murdering Jews, homosexuals and the physically disabled is right, does that make it acceptable? If the majority decides what’s right and wrong, Dawkins has no basis for condemning what went wrong in Nazi Germany.

Regardless, while many people were rightly outraged by Dr. Dawkins’ comments, they missed the forest for the trees. Jesus said that “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall” (Matthew 7:26-27). As an atheist, Dawkins has no basis to say that anything is objectively right or wrong, whether it’s rape or abortion. His foundation is built on sand.

Sorry Mr. President, the Islamic State Speaks for Islam

Matthew_7_15_20The other day, President Barack Obama took some time between rounds of golf to say that the world was “appalled” by the murder of American journalist James Foley. While the actions of Islamic State, often called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), have been appalling, they’re far from surprising.

After all, Muslims are commanded to “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day…(even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued” (Koran 9:29). On top of that, the Koran records Allah saying “I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them” (Koran 8:12). When Muslims cut James Foley’s head off, they were simply being obedient.

Surprisingly, Obama added that “No faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day.” Why is that surprising? Well, considering that the Koran commands the massacre of non-Muslims, Obama doesn’t think Allah is just. This is strange, because Obama has previously said that “The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam.” Admittedly, calling Muhammad’s god unjust might not qualify as slander, but it’s definitely intolerant.

Regardless, Obama made it clear that Islam wasn’t to blame for Islamic State’s genocidal rampage. He maintained that “ISIL speaks for no religion.” Agree to disagree, Mr. President. In light of what the Koran teaches, they’re being consistent believers. Muslims who aren’t murdering non-believers in the name of Allah are being disobedient. Of course, it’s possible that non-violent Muslims believe Allah meant it when he said “Let there be no compulsion in religion” (Koran 2:256). Still, how can they dismiss the commands to kill non-Muslims? Besides, why would Allah say there isn’t compulsion in religion, but command the murder of non-Muslims? This is an obvious contradiction. If Allah commands contradictory things, how can anything Allah says be trusted?

That said, while Islamic State has promised to raise the flag of Allah over the White House, Obama is positive this is all one big misunderstanding. With all due respect, lecturing practicing Muslims on how they should interpret the Koran is condescending and laughable. Perhaps he just doesn’t want to admit he’s wrong. Indeed, Obama said a few years back that “Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.” Islamic State, like Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Lee Rigby’s murderers, the brothers Tsarnaev and many before them, shows otherwise.

The best way to spot deception is to look at the fruit it produces (Matthew 7:15-20). If people are killing in the name of Allah, and the book which supposedly contains the words of Allah backs this up, it’s obvious the problem isn’t a small minority of extremists. The problem is the belief itself.

Rock the Boat

Matthew_21_12_13These days, being polite is a big deal. After all, no one wants to hurt anybody’s feelings. Everyone just wants to get along, or something like that. Unfortunately, this attitude has invaded church pulpits across the United States.

Recently, research guru George Barna discovered that most conservative pastors in the US aren’t interested in rocking the boat. Apparently, “Many theologically conservative pastors agree the Bible speaks to key issues of the day, but research indicates only a handful of them say they will speak to it.” Call me crazy, but every now and then, it’s good to have a little holy boldness. Certainly, Jesus thought so.

Indeed, Jesus frequently spoke about the issues of His day, and He didn’t pull punches. For example, in Mark 12:14-15, Jesus was asked “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Shall we pay, or shall we not pay?” He didn’t duck the question. He responded “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Mark 12:17). Although most people wish He gave a different answer, He at least gave an answer.

Likewise, in Matthew 19:3, Jesus was asked “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” He said “what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:6). This didn’t satisfy the Pharisees, who responded “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” (Matthew 19:7) Jesus answered “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery” (Matthew 19:8-9). That’s not exactly what they wanted to hear, and it definitely flies in the face of popular opinion to this day.

Ultimately, you’re either for Jesus or against Him (Matthew 12:30). If pastors don’t deal with the significant issues of our day, churchgoers will accept what the world says about them. Silence on homosexuality, fornication, pornography and other sins will be interpreted as support, and supporting sinful behavior leads people trapped in lifestyles of sin away from Christ. Isn’t the truth of the Gospel more important than a preferential tax status? Jesus never backed down from causing a commotion, and He wasn’t interested in cutting deals. Just ask those moneychangers (Matthew 21:12-13).

The Bible says “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). It’s time to stop making everyone happy. It’s time for some holy boldness.