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Earlier Christians on Islam

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By now many Christians will have heard of Churchill’s scathing words on Islam. He was not, to my knowledge, a believer, though he was Christianised. Yet, his words are worth repeating because they are true and accurate:

“Indeed it is evident that Christianity, however degraded and distorted by cruelty and intolerance, must always exert a modifying influence on men’s passions, and protect them from the more violent forms of fanatical fever, as we are protected from smallpox by vaccination. But the Mahommedan religion increases, instead of lessening, the fury of intolerance. It was originally propagated by the sword, and ever since its votaries have been subject, above the people of all other creeds, to this form of madness. In a moment the fruits of patient toil, the prospects of material prosperity, the fear of death itself, are flung aside. The more emotional Pathans are powerless to resist. All rational considerations are forgotten. Seizing their weapons, they become Ghazis—as danger­ous and as sensible as mad dogs: fit only to be treated as such. While the more generous spirits among the tribesmen become convulsed in an ecstasy of religious blood­thirstiness, poorer and more material souls derive additional impulses from the influence of others, the hopes of plunder and the joy of fighting. Thus whole nations are roused to arms. Thus the Turks repel their enemies, the Arabs of the Soudan break the British squares, and the rising on the Indian frontier spreads far and wide. In each case civilisation is confronted with militant Mahommedanism. The forces of progress clash with those of reaction. The religion of blood and war is face to face with that of peace. Luckily the religion of peace is usually the better armed.”

(Churchill, ‘The Story of the Malakand Field Force’, [1898])

These words of Churchill ring true at every level, especially because he saw Islam in action himself. Note his warning that peaceful Muslims (now called ‘moderates’) can swing from ordinary life to raving violence with hardly a moment’s notice; lovely neighbours turn into radical murderers. It is what the West has discovered in the past decade, though governments, in their fear, refuse to face it or inform the public, who are being conditioned to accept sharia and Islamic medievalism. If he were alive today, Churchill would not spare the sensitivity of Muslims to criticism; he would advocate the strongest of actions to keep out the migrants whose only aim is violence and taking what they can get from Westerners who wear the king’s new clothes.

Churchill also said:

“What the horn is to the rhinoceros, what the sting is to the wasp, the Mohammedan faith was to the Arabs of the Soudan—a faculty of offence or defence. It was all this and no more. It was not the reason of the revolt. It strengthened, it characterised, but it did not cause.”

(The River War [1899])

“It was not the reason of the revolt”! Westerners spout the ‘reasons’ for the rise of Islamic violence given to them by Islamic activists, without actually investigating what is said. They do not understand that Islam needs no external reasons to be violent and murderous. The ‘reason’ is Islam itself, whose existence depends on drinking the blood of free peoples… and in the case of ISIS, they are guilty of literally drinking the blood of victims. This is because Islam is godless, its wickedness is within itself, always ready to erupt and destroy what it can. It is the action of Satan, whose hatred for peace, goodness and the true God, is working through ignorant people kept in darkness by Islamic rule. Interestingly, in his own time and expressing the truth about Islam, Churchill was, just like us, named a “dangerous radical”!

(https://winstonchurchill.hillsdale.edu/churchill-on-islam/  ).

In ‘The River War’ Churchill said what we see today:

“How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apa­thy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property—either as a child, a wife, or a concubine—must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.”

Few, if any, statesmen would tell the people these unpalatable truths about one of the most vicious systems on the planet. Whilst this is his general assessment, he also had words of praise for individual Muslims who acted truly as soldiers of the Queen. “Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die…”. He was referring to Victoria. We still have loyal Muslims in the police and forces, but, sadly, some now resent our current Queen and country by revolting and killing others. Very few at the moment, but as Muslims can change in an instant after a very short demand by jihadists, these numbers may well change, as they have done in other countries.

Do not think Churchill was just a gung-ho loyalist; his books tried to be fair to both sides, Empire and Islamic. Where praise was due, he gave it. Yet, he fought Muslims in extreme places over 100 years ago. We can do the same today, but with extreme caution. Why? Because, Churchill was speaking about a far-off enemy. Today, the same enemy is not just at our gate – it is within our city and destroying it from within. It is this changeability on which my attitude is partly hinged; the other part is that God hates heathenism and paganism, and we have no right as believers to accept what God does not.

Some who oppose Islam are not Christians, but they speak out against it more vociferously, speaking the truth! Christians should not deliberately put themselves in danger for the sake of it – but we must all speak out when such a vile pretend-religion blasphemes against the Lord and physically threatens our lives.

Did the Reformers Oppose Islam?

“None of the Reformers interacted with Muslims. Muslims were an external threat, both geo-politically and theologically”

(https://network.crcna.org/global-mission/reformers-and-islam  )

That was the general view of the Reformers, back in the 16th century. It has ALWAYS been the view of anyone who thinks clearly and logically, and who has an eye for history. Yet, modern politicians, with their usual arrogant ignorance, think they know it all and that history must be wrong! Even though everything people in the past warned against continues and grows worse in our day.

Oddly, Luther, early on in his teachings, was more sympathetic to Muslims than Calvin. On the other hand, Luther remained very Romanised for a long time, though he came to Christ. The difference was that Luther believed Muslims and Christians worshipped the same God, but Muslims worshipped badly. Thus:

“Muslims, Jews and some heathen worship the one eternal God, the wise and just Creator of heaven and earth to whom all human beings owe obedience.” (Allah, 65)

Muslims were lost, he said, because they did not believe the Gospel. This is very true, but it is very poor scriptural logic! EVERYONE is lost if they do not believe the Gospel. Islam is NOT about the same God as the biblical, Christian God, even though Arab Christians call God ‘Allah’. The Muslim Allah has the same name, but he is NOT the same as the Christian God/Allah. Same name, wrong God! This is not surprising since Mohammed admitted to being taught by a jinn (demon).

Calvin, too, believed Muslims were ‘cut off from the church’ by not accepting the Gospel. I am uncomfortable with that – because in Calvin’s day ‘the church’ was symbolised by Rome, a structural hierarchy and human edifice, rather than the spiritual Church of Jesus Christ. But, he got it right about Islam:

“So today the Turks, although they proclaim at the top of their lungs that the Creator of Heaven and earth is God, still, while repudiating Christ, substitute an idol in the place of the true God.”

(Calvin, Institutes, Book 2: 6:4)

Yet again, Luther said:

“Muslims destroy true religion by denying Christ as God’s Son and his sacrifice.”

(Luther, ‘War Against the Turks’, 1529)

As I have shown in my assessment of the 95 Theses (A-397), Luther seemed quite confused in his ideas at first, so I am not surprised if he did not quickly find reality in this matter. Calvin was more strident:

“The Christian faith is impugned by the wicked which pretend not to come unto God and by the Turks, the Pagans, and Jews. They blaspheme with open mouth…they be utterly cut off from the Church – like rotten members. Their resisting of the Gospel and their striving to abolish the Christian Religion – is no great wonder to us…”

(Calvin, ‘Sermons on Deuteronomy’, 13:1)

Both Luther and Calvin, however, praised the ‘Turks’ (the name given to Muslims of any nation at that time) for their simple way of life…

“The modesty and simplicity of their food, clothing and dwellings and everything else, as well as the feasts, prayers and common gatherings of the people that prevail under Ottoman rule, are nowhere to be seen among us.” (Allah, 66)

I think it is wrong to praise ANY godless cult that blasphemes the true God, for ANY reason. At that time Muslims were simple in lifestyle, but they worshipped the moon-god, Allah, not the Arabic-Christian version of God, also named ‘Allah’. Even an axe-murderer can live simply! As for feasts, as one modern critic shows us, Ramadan is a time of extra-special murders for Muslims, who think they can thereby curry even more favours from Allah for brutally killing others. On the other hand, Luther was right to say such devotion was not found amongst Christians… just as it is hardly seen today. But, devotion alone is not necessarily a mark of truth.

Even so, there is another caveat – Muslims do what they do out of ritual habit, not out of a genuine decision to worship. If you live in an Islamic country you are brought up in complete Islam, with no exceptions. If you do not show what is required you can be beaten or killed. This is why Muslims pray five times a day – they are brainwashed.

“The Reformers rightly critiqued Islam for repudiating the Christian Gospel while at the same time respecting Muslims for their simplicity and devotion.”

(Quoted in https://network.crcna.org/global-mission/reformers-and-islam  )

I cannot say likewise, for the devotion shown by Muslims is cultural, not inner conviction, except for the conviction drilled into them by Islam, not by God. I cannot bring myself to respect any part of Islam or any practice. It is my view that we can respect people as people, but not as Muslims, for God hates the worship of false gods. Some might say that if Muslims do not hear the Gospel, how can we condemn them? My answer is as simple as the devotions shown by Muslims…

The Lord says in His word that He elects those who will be saved. They are saved by His mercy and grace. And no-one who is elect can possibly be unsaved. Thus, logically, if a Muslim is to be saved it will be on God’s terms, not ours. That individual Muslim WILL hear the Gospel and WILL respond with repentance, thus being given salvation by the Lord. What if huge numbers of Muslims do not hear the Gospel? That is the Lord’s prerogative – they will enter hell in huge numbers. I do not say this with pleasure or mirth, but with an honest examination of scripture.

So, some are compelled to preach the Gospel to Muslims. They do it, I hope, because they have been commanded to do so by the Holy Spirit. If they do not have this command, they put themselves in mortal danger for no purpose. This task is not given to me, but I know that some are thus compelled. On the other hand, I am compelled to live peaceably with Muslims as far as I am able, and am comfortable to do so. But, if Muslims attack us or blaspheme the Lord, I will not be so amenable. Everything I have said above can be found in scripture.

What about this:

“While always being willing to speak of the hope we have in Jesus Christ, we also seek to learn and grow in our relationships with Muslims. As the Spirit leads, more and more Muslims will come to know Jesus Christ in this way. In the 21st century, let us hold onto doctrine, but let us pour our hearts into relationships. Let us see Muslims less as an external threat and more as an opportunity for witness and dialogue.”

(https://network.crcna.org/global-mission/reformers-and-islam  )

Can you see anything wrong with the above statement, though it might appear to be acceptable at first? For example, if God commands us to have nothing to do with paganistic/heathen cults and adherents who regularly blaspheme against Him (as in 2 Kings), we may not “grow in our relationships with Muslims”. There should be NO ‘relationships’, except in the very superficial everyday matter of civil courtesy.

Harsh? It depends on your view of God and His divine authority. Put it this way – Muslims deny Christ is the Son of God and co-equal, and so also deny the Fatherhood of God. Indeed, claim this truth when amongst Muslims and you will probably end up severely beaten or dead. Try to discuss it and most will just walk out in a tantrum. As for not seeing Muslims as an external threat – they ARE a threat, mortally and spiritually, increasingly.

Yes – witness to Muslims if God prompts you to witness; enter into discussions if so prompted. But, not on equal terms, for nothing in Islam is equal to scripture or to God or to the Gospel. Yes, every Muslim needs Christ, but relatively none will come to Him in salvation. That is why witness should be to individual Muslims, IF God prompts you to witness to that person, at that time, in that place. Many who witness do so via emotion and a false sense of holiness. We should only witness to those God leads us to, not otherwise. If it is otherwise, we witness wrongly and there will be no result.

Calvin and Islam

I find it tiresome to make this comment – but by quoting Calvin I do not thereby accept everything he said, nor am I a ‘Calvinist’. I speak as I do not because of Calvin, but because I have come to my own conclusions when reading God’s word. Thus, if anything I say coincides with anything said by Calvin, it is only that – a coincidence. Though I happily coincide if what Calvin says is scriptural.

For this reason I can say that even if my attitude towards Islam is coincidentally like that of Calvin at any point, it really is only coincidence, not because I follow Calvin blindly, as do so many ‘reformed’ men.

Two immense historical moments also coincided when Calvin was preaching – the Ottoman Empire was coming into its full ‘glory’ at the same time the Reformation began to change Europe. I think it is not being esoteric to suggest that this is NOT a coincidence. Rather, it was Satan’s way to disengage nations from God’s movement to save souls in large numbers. This is entirely reasonable as an argument.

Calvin saw the spread of the Ottoman Empire as “a great threat to Christianity” (https://theologyandthecity.com/2015/01/02/john-calvin-on-islam/) - and he was right. “In The Institutes (2:6.4), he notes that while the Turks claim a belief in God as creator of heaven and earth, their repudiation of Christ is as unto idolatry.”

“[The Jews] at length fell away to gross and foul superstitions betraying their ignorance, just as the Turks in the present day, who, though proclaiming, with full throat, that the Creator of heaven and earth is their God, yet by their rejection of Christ, substitute an idol in his place.” (Institutes 1960:348)

AND

“the Turks deny God openly, for to know God is to know our Lord Jesus Christ” (Calvin, Sermon on Micah 4, 1550)

AND (1559)

‘Calvin states that due to the Turks’ unbelief in Jesus as God (and subsequent insult to the Father because of this),

“the Turks adore and worship a devil under the name of God”.’

And so:

“We see the evolution of Calvin’s thought as it relates to the Turks, an unambiguous rejection of both Jew and Turk alike.”

Indeed, the same denunciation is for ANY religious beliefs that deny Christ as the Son, Who alone is the Saviour leading us to God the Father. Calvin saw both Romanism and Islam being dual enemies of God:

“Calvin’s “five solas,” manifests itself heavily upon his view of the Turks. Calvin held a strong view of the Bible (both Old and New Testaments) as the only Scripture of God. Anyone who rejected it, namely the Turks, were “devils, for they do not keep themselves in the bounds of Holy Scripture.” Calvin saw the prophecies of Daniel as relating to and fulfilling within his own historical context, and thus “Mahomet” (Muhammad) and the Pope (both the office itself and, specifically, Pope Paul III, who ruled from 1534 to 1549) are “the two horns of the Anti-Christ and the two legs correspond with Islam and the Papacy”

(SD 1987:162)

This idea is made more interesting by the fact that Rome and Islam collude together concerning the world and its people. As I have suggested elsewhere, I would not be surprised if Islam handed over its supposed authority to the popes, who they hope will administer Jerusalem. Calvin did not appear to be too alarmed, though, for he saw in Daniel the triumph of God over His enemies. Of course, this is not of much help today when more recent migrants enter Europe ostensibly to rape, steal and kill in the name of Allah! Whilst we might agree with his prophetic interpretation, we will still face a tsunami of Islamic hatred and murders in our very midst.

“[The Jews] at length fell away to gross and foul superstitions betraying their ignorance, just as the Turks in the present day, who, though proclaiming, with full throat, that the Creator of heaven and earth is their God, yet by their rejection of Christ, substitute an idol in his place.” (Institutes 1960:348)

“Dr. John Calvin nevertheless did not hesitate to brand Mohammad -- as a false-prophet. For in Deuteronomy 13:1-8, God warned His People: “If there arise among you a ‘prophet’ or a ‘dreamer of dreams’..., you shall not hearken to the words of that ‘prophet’ or that ‘dreamer of dreams’.... And that ‘prophet’ or that ‘dreamer of dreams’ shall be put to death.” This, Calvin applies among others also to the founder of Islam (whom he regarded as a false-prophet).”

(Prof. Dr F N Lee, Lecturer, Church History, Queensland Presbyterian Theological College, Australia, 2000)

“And when we see ‘false-prophets’ step up..., let us not cease to yield this honour still to God “that we hold ourselves to His Word and start[le] not from it by any means! ... In these days...we see that such as call themselves ‘Christians’ and take that title most upon them – are the worst enemies of God that a man can find. For the [confessedly unitarian] Turks [or Moslems] and Jews [or Judaists] are not more fiery and venomous at this day against God – to deface the whole doctrine of salvation -- than are the [allegedly trinitarian] Papists...” (Lee)

AND

“When we see ‘false-prophets’ step up... we must not fail...nor make a stumbling-block of it to step aside or start[le] away – but overgo [or overcome] it, through the power of faith... They could find it in their hearts to mingle Mahomet’s Alcoran and all the dotages of the Heathen and all the superstitions of the Papists, with the pureness of the Gospel -- and to make a medley of them... That was the ‘Gospel’ of Mahomet – to turn all things upside down, and to bring all things to confusion...”

Then, Calvin makes a point few Christians today understand:

“Although the Heathen keep still their dotages; although the Jews [alias the Judaists] be wilful in maintaining these false expositions of the law; although the Turks hold still their Mahomet’s Al-Coran; although the Papists be still entangled in their superstitions – all is one! For they [all of them maintain or] hold fast this principle, that there is a God.... Meantime, they...worship a puppet, and... have transformed the Majesty of God [viz. the one and only true Triune God] -- though their intent was to worship the living God.... The Papists do, who protest that they worship God the Maker of heaven and earth. And likewise the Turks, who say the same thing. And so also do the Jews [alias the Judaists] -- notwithstanding that they abhor Jesus Christ...” (Lee)

Followed by

“And therefore let us mark well, that we must hold us to the Pure Religion... An hypocrite that would devise a new religion, as it were to set up a [Romish] Popedom... or to bring in the Al-Coran of Mahomet -- such a one ought now to be put to death, without forbearing. For so has God ordained!”

For anyone with a deeper understanding of scripture, Calvin makes a vital statement – that Romanism and Islam are one and the same. They might teach different things, but everything is subsumed by their idolatry and defiance of the Lord.

Islam steals the true meaning of Deuteronomy 18:15, by saying the Prophet to come was Mohammed. (Sayed Rashid Ahmed, ‘Mohammad in the Quran’). Calvin retorts:

“As Mahomet says that his Al-Coran is the sovereign wisdom, so says the Pope of his own decrees. For they be the two horns of Antichrist.... Moses spoke not in his own person -- but by theauthority of God. He adds: ‘God came from Sinai; His coming forth was from Seir; He showed Himself upon Mount Paran.’ Here Moses sets God’s presence before the eyes of the People, after the same manner that it had been known upon Mount Sinai at the time of the publishing of the Law... For Mount Paran and Mount Seir were near to Mount Sinai.”

(J. Calvin: Op .cit., pp. 666 & 1186).

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)

“Jonathan Edwards knew more about Islam than most intellectuals of his day. He owned a copy of the Quran, read dictionaries and encyclopedias of religion that discussed Islam, and wrote several thousand words of commentary on its history and theology in his theological notebooks. The religion and its major actors played significant roles in his History of the Work of Redemption. His settled views of Islam were not original; they seem to have derived mostly from secondary sources written by Reformed polemicists, and much of his writing against it was a function of his lifelong war with deism. Yet he raised questions which now seem prescient, accurately forecast that Islam would be one of the three most important religions geo-politically in the twenty-first century—along with Roman Catholicism and something like evangelical Protestantism—and constructed a theology of religions that can be helpful as we think of Islam today.”

(Gerald McDermott, Abstract, ‘Jonathan Edwards and Islam’, Yale University)

Jonathan Edwards, founder of Princeton University, warned that Islam would rise against the Church in the end times (‘A History of the Work of Redemption’). Pages 375-376 read thus:

"It seems as though in this last great opposition which shall be made against the church to defend the kingdom of Satan, all the forces of Antichrist and Mahometanism and heathenism will be united: all the forces of Satan’s visible kingdom through the whole world of mankind. And therefore it is said, that ‘spirits of devils… [shall] go forth unto the kings of the earth, and of the whole world, to gather them together to the battle of that great day of God Almighty’ (Rev. 16:14). And these spirits are said to come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet; that is, there shall be the spirit of Popery, and the spirit of Mahometanism, and the spirit of heathenism, all united. By the beast is meant Antichrist; by the dragon, in this book, is commonly meant the devil, as he reigns over his heathen kingdom; by the false prophet, in this book, is sometimes meant the Pope and his clergy, but here an eye seems to be had to Mahomet, whom his followers call the great prophet of God. This will be as it were the dying struggles of the old serpent, a battle wherein he will fight as one that is almost desperate.”

Note what I have also said – that Rome and Islam will unite in an attempt to finally obliterate genuine Christian faith and Christians. Edwards added ‘heathenism’, which I heartily agree with, as atheistic wickedness spreads like cancer, usually via movements such as evolution (which IS a movement – scientism - and not scientific endeavour). Whilst we see and hear the roaring of Islam, we should also note the last statement above: “This will be as it were the dying struggles of the old serpent, a battle wherein he will fight as one that is almost desperate.”

Edwards could see what most cannot see today – that Islam is already a dying, almost spent, force. Its fragmented armies drive onwards like the Nazi war machine during its collapse, screaming and fighting as if there were no tomorrow… and in the case of Nazi Germany there was no tomorrow, only defeat. The same ignominious end will come to Islam, as well as to its co-partner, Rome.

Edwards saw the battle against Islam won by the Church of God, which will have “complete and entire victory over their enemies” (P377). Satan resorts to violence and censorship, but “The devil is utterly baffled and confounded, and knows not what else to do… He now sees his Antichristian, and Mahometan, and heathenish kingdoms through the world all tumbling about his ears. He and his most powerful instruments are taken captive. Now that is in effect done which the church of God had been so long waiting and hoping for, and so earnestly crying to God for, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true!’ Now the time is come.” (pp377-8)

And so Edwards, way back in history, foresaw the rise AND fall of Islam, Rome and heathenism.

I could carry on quoting other earlier Christian thinkers of Islam but perhaps you now get the gist of their thoughts. That is, Islam is a last-ditch attempt at destroying Christians and the Gospel, though he knows he cannot destroy God Himself! Islam will join even closer with Roman Catholicism, aided by the prevailing heathenism, also fostered by Satan.

Thus, our own fight against Islam is nothing new. Islam, along with Rome, will disappear as God finally removes the current influences of Satan and moves the universe towards the actual final day of current existence. Then comes Christ and the Day of Judgment, when Muslims, Catholics and all who defied or rejected Christ, will be judged to hell. And that, friends, will be the end of the matter. Until then, though, Christians must stand firm against Islam and its puppet politicians, and will even suffer. But, the end is coming for Mohammed’s dream. 

© June 2018

Published on www.christiandoctrine.com

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