Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

“Jihadi John”: “I will go back to Britain… and will carry on cutting heads off”

This was a recent headline to a story, August 22, 2015 9:49 pm By Robert Spencer.

What kind of mind set will explain such a horrible act of cutting off the head of another human being—in this case, one who is not a Muslim.  What is the inspiration for bragging about cutting people’s head off and killing them? How can people even threaten to do this to anyone?

The words of Jesus gives a beginning point to consider such terrible deeds.  He was talking with people who were seeking to kill Him.

“Jesus answered: If God were your Father, you would love me, because I came from God and only from him. He sent me. I did not come on my own.  Why can't you understand what I am talking about? Can't you stand to hear what I am saying? Your father is the devil, and you do exactly what he wants. He has always been a murderer and a liar. There is nothing truthful about him. He speaks on his own, and everything he says is a lie. Not only is he a liar himself, but he is also the father of all lies.”   (John 8:42-44)

Later just before  the Last Supper Jesus had with his disciples, we find these words about the person who would betray Jesus to be killed.

“Even before the evening meal started, the devil had made Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, decide to betray Jesus.” (John 13:2)

A short time later we read:

“Right then Satan took control of Judas. Jesus said, "Judas, go quickly and do what you have to do."” (John 13:27) 

The devil or Satan can influence people’s decisions.  If the devil or Satan can influence Judas to do such a terrible deed to bring about the death of Jesus, what about the people who delight in cutting off the heads of people?   What about the group of men who were put into a cage and lowered into the water to drown? Videos were taken of the men in the crate to see their drowning deaths. What would make a man behead a soldier on a street in London that happened recently?   How can people plan and carry out such evil plans against non-Muslims, or against Muslims of a different sect?

Jesus speaks of the devil as a murderer from the beginning.  He is also a liar and the father of all lies.  Is it not interesting that Mohammed gave permission to some men to lie to a man Mohammed wanted dead. (The Life of Mohammed, p.367)  They killed him.   Jesus also condemned lying and hating. Is it not also interesting that Muslims are given permission to lie if it will help them bring about  their goals in spite of the morality of the goals. 

Jesus did many awesome miracles in the lives of people healing their blindness, leprosy, deafness, muteness, lameness, blood issues, and raising the dead.   These expressed his person, his power, and his compassion.  But also, he told people how to live.  Read his teaching in the Sermon on the Mount.

“You know that our ancestors were told, "Do not murder" and "A murderer must be brought to trial."  But I promise you that if you are angry with someone, you will have to stand trial. If you call someone a fool, you will be taken to court. And if you say that someone is worthless, you will be in danger of the fires of hell.”   (Mt. 5:21-22) 

Jesus goes to the central issue:  what is in your heart.  It is inconceivable to think of being a follower of Jesus  and hating someone you do not know simply because he is not a believer.  How is it possible to hate a stranger enough to murder him?  He has never done anything to you.   There are beheadings going on in the Muslim world.  Where does such hatred come from?  The reason for such action is found in the Qur’an and the words of Mohammed.   If the god of Islam has commanded this action, what kind of god is he? 

How is it possible to go from Yahweh who loves his creation, his people, and commands no murder to an alleged god who orders that jihad must be carried out against non-Muslims, or Muslims of another sect?

The obvious answer is that they are not the same God.     Yahweh does not contradict Himself.   Yahweh does not lie.  “God is no mere human! He doesn't tell lies or change his mind. God always keeps his promises.” (Numbers 23:19) There is no way that Yahweh changed from commanding no murder to the Muslim position of murdering non-believers.

“Anyone who keeps on sinning belongs to the devil. He has sinned from the beginning, but the Son of God came to destroy all that he has done.   God's children cannot keep on being sinful. His life-giving power lives in them and makes them his children, so that they cannot keep on sinning.  You can tell God's children from the devil's children, because those who belong to the devil refuse to do right or to love each other.   From the beginning you were told that we must love each other.   Don't be like Cain, who belonged to the devil and murdered his own brother. Why did he murder him? He did it because his brother was good, and he was evil.  My friends, don't be surprised if the people of this world hate you. Our love for each other proves that we have gone from death to life. But if you don't love each other, you are still under the power of death.  If you hate each other, you are murderers, and we know that murderers do not have eternal life.” (1 John 3:8-15)

Evil people are following the devil.  They are the devil’s children.  There is no reason that Cain killed Abel except Cain was evil, belonging to Satan.  A claim that killing innocent people is an obedient act to God  is false and is really an act that indicates the person belongs to the Devil. 

“My dear friends, we must love each other. Love comes from God, and when we love each other, it shows that we have been given new life. We are now God's children, and we know him.  God is love, and anyone who doesn't love others has never known him.  God showed his love for us when he sent his only Son into the world to give us life.   Real love isn't our love for God, but his love for us. God sent his Son to be the sacrifice by which our sins are forgiven.  Dear friends, since God loved us this much, we must love each other.”  (1 John 4:7-11) 

Consider the words of the Apostle Paul concerning Satan.  “And it is no wonder. Even Satan tries to make himself look like an angel of light. So why does it seem strange for Satan's servants to pretend to do what is right? Someday they will get exactly what they deserve.”  (2 Corinthians 11:14-15) 

The story of “Gabriel’s” revelation to Mohammed is suspicious.  In the Bible stories about Gabriel,  the angel does not threaten anyone,  is very assuring, and has a message that involves the prophesies of the Old Testament,  this is, the birth of the forerunner of Jesus, and the birth of Jesus Himself.

In the story of Mohammed that Gabriel chokes Mohammed and  demands him to do something his followers claim Mohammed could not do—read.  But according to Mohammed’s biography (The Life of Mohammed, p.106), Mohammed said, “so I read it, and he departed from me.” A little later on the same page this Gabriel is seen by Mohammed on the horizon and wherever he looks Gabriel is there.

In the Bible, Gabriel tells Mary that her son would be the Messiah, the Son of God.  The Muslim god tells Mohammed that Jesus is NOT the son of God.    Yahweh does not change his mind, but the Muslim Allah seemingly changes for almost anything Mohammed wants.

Let’s compare the story of revelation between the Bible and Mohammed.

“Moses went up the mountain to meet with the LORD God, who told him to say to the people:  You saw what I did in Egypt, and you know how I brought you here to me, just as a mighty eagle carries its young.   Now if you will faithfully obey me, you will be my very own people. The whole world is mine,   but you will be my holy nation and serve me as priests. Moses, that is what you must tell the Israelites. After Moses went back, he reported to the leaders what the LORD had said,   and they promised, "We will do everything the LORD has commanded." So Moses told the LORD about this.   The LORD said to Moses, "I will come to you in a thick cloud and let the people hear me speak to you. Then they will always trust you." Again Moses reported to the people what the LORD had told him.   Once more the  LORD spoke to Moses: Go back and tell the people that today and tomorrow they must get themselves ready to meet me. They must wash their clothes   and be ready by the day after tomorrow, when I will come down to Mount Sinai, where all of them can see me.   Warn the people that they are forbidden to touch any part of the mountain. Anyone who does will be put to death,  either with stones or arrows, and no one must touch the body of a person killed in this way. Even an animal that touches this mountain must be put to death. You may go up the mountain only after a signal is given on the trumpet. After Moses went down the mountain, he gave orders for the people to wash their clothes and make themselves  acceptable to worship God.   He told them to be ready in three days and not to have sex in the meantime. 

On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning. A thick cloud  covered the mountain, a loud trumpet blast was heard, and everyone in camp trembled with fear. Moses led them out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was covered with smoke because the LORD had come down in a flaming fire. Smoke poured out of the mountain just like a furnace, and the whole mountain shook. The trumpet blew louder and louder. Moses spoke, and God answered him with thunder. The LORD came down to the top of Mount Sinai and told Moses to meet him there.” (Exodus 19:3-20)

There are several issues here. 

First, all the people had experienced the mighty deliverance from slavery in Egypt.  They had experienced the works of Yahweh, and now Yahweh revealed Himself to the nation.  All the people were at Sinai and experienced the presence of Yahweh.     This is the foundation for Israel and it involves the whole nation.   There are other prophets in the Old Testament but their message is a call to return to the law given at Sinai. If someone doubted the past experience, it could be confirmed by people who were there.   The prophets of the Old Testament called the people back to this great revelation.   There are no contradictions between their message and the Law given to Moses. 

In contrast to this, Mohammed is said to have received a revelation beginning with  some angel alleged to be Gabriel  and more revelations given by Allah, but many of his “revelations” contradict (reject) the  revelations of Yahweh. 

Moreover, the story of Mohammed involves his being in a cave alone. There were no witnesses to back up the story.  He can claim anything and there is no standard for comparison or evaluation.  No one can contradict him since there were no witnesses and no standard of the law.  Moreover, many things Mohammed claimed to be from his god are contradictory to the revelation of Yahweh to the Nation of Israel which relates to the conduct of all mankind. 

Second, the commandments given to the people were life affirming.  They were designed to give joy and peace to the people.  In obeying the commands of God  goodness and joy would be part of their lives.  God brought them out of slavery to freedom.  This freedom is supported by the commandment—Do Not Murder.   Yahweh is Lord of the earth and his command is—do not murder.    All people are to be honored as the creation of Yahweh and no one is to be murdered.  (It is sad that slavery is still condoned in Islam.  Mohammed had slaves, slavery still exists in some Muslim countries.)   More serious is the jihadi attitude that one must kill non-Muslims or different kinds of Muslims who do not believe the same way.

Third, these commandments relate to all people.  None are more special than others.   People who claim to be the best of people are usually the worst of people.  The commandment, “do unto others as you would have them do to you,” gives honor to others and  keeps peace among people. 

In conclusion,   evil is real, the devil is real, and people give themselves to evil.  Jesus came to deliver us from evil and the devil.  He is the Savior. Jesus warned his disciples, “the time will come when those who kill you will think that by doing this they are serving God.  People will do these things to you because they have not known either the Father or me. (John 16:2-3) There is only one source for the evil that people do—Satan.

-- Dallas M. Roark