Daily Wisdom

February 04, 2006

The Good, The Bad & The Beautiful

Judaism... The Good
There is no doubt that Judaism is a good religion. Israel was founded as a theocracy, that is... a state which is governed by immediate divine guidance or by leaders who are regarded as being divinely guided. When Moses brought the Hebrews out of Egypt to "the promised land" of Israel, God sought to speak to the them directly, but it was too much for them to handle.

17 Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God; and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. 18 And Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and the smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. 19 And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder.
-- Exodus 19:17-19

18 Now when all the people perceived the thunderings and the lightnings and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled; and they stood afar off, 19 and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will hear; but let not God speak to us, lest we die.”
-- Exodus 20:18-19

As a result, Moses became the intermediary between God and Man. Through Moses, God gave the Hebrews the Ten Commandments, which formed the basis of 'the Law'. Moses established a Hebrew nation which was founded on 'the Rule of Law'. The Law was generally fair... "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth". There were laws for health and sickness. There were laws for worship. There were laws for crime and punishment, some of which may seem harsh by today's standards. As originally established, Israel was a nation whose religion and laws were as one. There was no such thing as a 'secular state' those thousands of years ago.

Today, Israel is a much different place. It can be considered a secular state inasmuch as the laws regarding crime and punishment are completely separated from the laws of worship, which are considered the sole province of religion. There is a clear separation of religion and state. But Israel today is still governed by 'the Rule of Law'. It is no longer a theocracy, but rather a democracy. In fact, it is the only established and flourishing democracy in the Middle East.

Israel has been blessed by God in abundance. In truth, the Jews have made the desert bloom...

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing.
-- Isaiah 35:1-2

Christianity... The Beautiful
And from the root of noble Judaism, another flower blossomed... Christianity. Jesus of Nazareth takes Judaism to a new, higher plateau. His followers are admonished to no longer merely obey the 'letter of the law', but the 'spirit of the law' as well.

Moses told us, "Thou shalt not kill". Jesus tells us, "But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to the hell of fire." -- Matthew 5:22

Moses told us, "Thou shall not commit adultery." Jesus tells us, "But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." -- Matthew 5:28

Moses told us, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." Jesus tells us, "But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." -- Matthew 5:39

Moses told us, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy." Jesus tells us, "But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." -- Matthew 5:44

Jesus teaches us that it is not the outward appearance of holiness that is important, but the deepest inner intents of the heart. It is not the physical which is important, but the spiritual.

Obviously, it is not easy to be a Christian. Those who seek to follow Jesus must become his 'disciples'. The word disciple comes from the same root as 'discipline'. In other words, those who seek to follow Jesus must become disciplined... not an easy task by any means. And it is clear that many so-called Christians have fallen short of the mark. Indeed crimes of the worst sort have been committed by so-called Christians, or in the name of Christianity.

But the same could be said for most any religion. Therefore, let us look not at man's failings. Rather, let us look at the ideal of Christianity as proposed by Jesus himself, in its raw and unblemished state. As such, what Jesus proposes is of incomprehensible beauty.

Jesus proposes a world in which people do not allow even wicked thoughts to take root. Rather, the Christian is told to recognize evil thoughts at their outset and try to banish them before they lead to something worse. The Apostle Paul says...

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
-- Phillipians 4:8

Jesus proposes a world in which people transcend their baser animal instincts. When attacked, our animal instincts tell us to fight back. Instead, Christians are to turn the other cheek and to pray for their enemies.

God has blessed Christians in general and Christian nations like America. In an ideal world, all people would be "true" Christians and fighting would come to an end.

Of course, this is not an ideal world. Not all people are Christians, and not all who call themselves Christians are "disciplined". But things could be worse...

Islam... The Bad
From Judaism and Christianity sprang forth another religion... Islam. But rather than a flower, Islam is a weed in God's earthly garden. Islam has shown again and again that not much good comes from it. Most who encounter it suffer in one way or another.

Islam is a religion of violence. Although some call Islam a religion of peace, it is no such thing. Islam was conceived by a warrior whose visions were often to come during the midst of battle. The grand strategy of Islam is world dominance. Those who follow Islam envision the ultimate subjugation of the entire world in an Islamic Caliphate to the exclusion of all other religions. If necessary, Muslims believe this vision must be realized through acts of violence or war. If they cannot convince non-Muslims to convert peaceably, they have no qualms about forcing their beliefs on others through use of the sword.

And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter,... but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.
-- Koran, 'The Cow' 2.191

So you did not slay them, but it was Allah Who slew them, and you did not smite when you smote (the enemy), but it was Allah Who smote, and that He might confer upon the believers a good gift from Himself; surely Allah is Hearing, Knowing.
-- Koran, 'The Accessions' 8.17

So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
-- Koran, 'The Immunity' 9.5

And do not kill any one whom Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause...
-- Koran, 'The Children of Israel' 17.33

And apostles before you were certainly mocked at, but I gave respite to those who disbelieved, then I destroyed them...
-- Koran, 'The Thunder' 13.32

And when We wish to destroy a town, We send Our commandment to the people of it who lead easy lives, but they transgress therein; thus the word proves true against it, so We destroy it with utter destruction.
-- Koran, 'The Children of Israel' 17.16

And there is not a town but We will destroy it before the day of resurrection or chastise it with a severe chastisement; this is written in the Divine ordinance.
-- Koran, 'The Children of Israel' 17.58

It should be noted that in the Koran, there are more than 70 passages where the word 'destroy' or 'destroyed' are used in the context of "We destroy" or "We have destroyed". Islam glories in destruction. Islam is a religion of "destroyers".

Islam is intolerant. Sharia law teaches that there are only three choices for Muslims when dealing with non-Muslims. 1) The non-Muslims can be converted to Islam, 2) the non-Muslims can be killed, or 3) the non-Muslims may be allowed to live in subjugation to Islam if they pay tribute or taxes to Islam. That's it. Those are the alternatives. In Islam, there is no such thing as 'freedom of religion' or 'diversity'. In fundamentalist Islam, there is no separation of church and state. Mullahs or Talibanic imams rule with ultimate authority.

Fundamentalist Islam represses women. Muslim women are forced to wear burkhas or, in more moderate Muslim societies, head scarves at a minimum. The education of women is frowned upon, or in exteme cases, forbidden. Women are generally not allowed to attain positions of responsibility (i.e., in government). Women may be beaten at the discretion of their husbands or fathers. Women are punished or put to death even in cases of self-defense.

What Next...?
So what must be done in the face of attempted world domination by Muslims? What do we do when confronted by a violent, intolerant, repressive religion that seeks to eliminate all opposition, by force of arms if necessary? Well, that's another story for... next time.


At 2/05/2006 1:45 AM , Blogger camojack said...

Actually, Christianity is just another name for Messianic Judaism...and vice-versa.

At 2/06/2006 1:53 AM , Blogger radar said...

I intend to link you to a post tomorrow concerning Islam on my blog. This is a terrific posting to share!

At 2/06/2006 7:34 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Thanks radar.

At 2/06/2006 11:12 AM , Blogger cranky old fart said...

I assume you are aware of the blog "Liberty and Culture", which has dealt, and does deal, with the issue in some depth?


At 2/06/2006 4:04 PM , Blogger Kajun said...

Reminds me of the motto: "The only good Indian, is a dead Indian heard in this country for many years.

At 2/06/2006 6:58 PM , Anonymous Hankmeister said...

Thanks Hawkeye, there's a lot to celebrate. My wife is a Hebrew Christian, a completed Jew who found Messiah Jesus. I'm a Gentile Christian who thoroughly appreciates God's redemptive work among all peoples, particularly the Jew to whom Christ is the "stumbling stone."

The Jew pursues salvation as if by the Law of Moses or by mere fact of being a Jew; whereas the Gentile pursues salvation as if by the "sacrifice" of good works.

Yet God has declared "all your righteous deeds are as filthy rags", "it is better to obey than to sacrifice", and "it is by grace through faith alone that you've been saved, not by works of 'righteousness'. Salvation is a gift from God."

Jesus Christ is the Great High Priest. He is the completion of the Law of Moses. The blood of bulls and goats offered in faith may for a time cover for sin under the Law, but it is the blood of Christ which TAKES AWAY sin - causing us to be born-again by the power of Christ's resurrection unto an eternal hope. He has taken our certificate of debt and nailed it to the Cross.

Muslims have little to no concept of the need to be redeemed from the corruption of sin.

Of course I preach to the choir here. God bless.

At 2/06/2006 7:37 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

No, actually I was not aware of the "Liberty and Culture" blog. I'm pretty busy with a full time job, and trying to write for this blog, and have a family life, etc. But thanks for the link. I found it very interesting.

At 2/06/2006 7:53 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Read you loud and clear buddy. I've been tempted to say the same thing lately. But, on second thought, that's not really the answer... and not very Christian either.

These people are a product of their culture. We must blame Mohammed himself for starting this blasphemy. And then we must blame the Saudis for pushing Wahabbism(sp?) which created people like Osama bin Laden and others. And then we must blame those who inflame the masses and incite those who go out and riot.

Let's face it, these recent riots were not spontaneous. If they were, they would have happened back in October when the cartoons first came out.

No, these were staged events. Plenty of Danish and Norwegian flags to burn. And I don't know if you noticed, but almost all of the signs those Muslims were walking around with were done in the same handwriting... (one guy made 'em all). What does that tell ya?

At 2/06/2006 8:13 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Wow! That's terrific. I've had several Hebrew Christian friends over the years and they were always SO dedicated to YESHUA MASHIACH.

I believe these Christians are blessed in very special way. After all, God sent the Messiah to Israel first, and only then was the door opened to us Gentiles.

I agree with everything you said, and yes... you are preaching to the "choir". (But don't ask me to sing a solo.)

God Bless You and Yours...


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