Can God be blasphemed?

With reference to the events in Paris with Charlie Hebdo, (link) Love your enemiessomeone wrote that only the God of the Bible gave the command that blasphemers should be stoned, the Koran is silent about it. In Leviticus 24:10-16 God does say the blasphemer must be stoned.

The principle about when the Old Testament laws should be applied in our times is that if a law is not repeated in the New Testament, it no longer applies today (link). The blasphemy law of the Old Testament is not repeated in the New Testament. Jesus did warn that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.1 Yet there is not a word about stoning, burning or punishing.

In Islam blasphemy is impious utterance or action against Allah, Mohammad or anything to do with Islam. The Quran and the Hadith condemn blasphemy, but they don’t specify a punishment for it. Contrary to the claim that Allah did not wish worldly punishment for blasphemers in the Koran, the opposite happens in real life.

Examples

  • Salman Rushdie wrote the book, Satanic Verses, published in 1988 in the UK. The Muslims were angry, because Rushdie wrote a novel about the verses that were removed from the Quran because they said the devil deceived Mohammed to include them.2 So they bombed many bookshops that sold his book, and Khomeini issued a fatwa to kill Rushdie.  He was protected by the police, but had to move many times.
  • There were threats and protests against the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten for publishing cartoons lampooning the Prophet Muhammad in 2005.
  • There was the massacre at Charlie Hebdo on 9 January 2015, and a previous attempt to burn down the building.
  • At least six churches have been looted or burned in Niamy, Niger. There were also protests in Karachi (Pakistan), Khartoum (Sudan) and Algiers (Algeria). This was in response to Charlie Hebdo’s latest edition with a picture of a weeping prophet Muhammad.3  Nobody knows why the Christian churches are burned for what Charlie Hebdo depicts.

Why do Christians not retaliate when their Lord is insulted? It is because Jesus taught us that we are to love our enemies.4 Even when the Pharisees and others did their best to insult Jesus and curse Him, He still prayed, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ 5

Conclusion: God does not need His followers to protect His honour and name. He will not use His followers to defend Him. They are needed to spread the message about the Kingdom. God is unassailable in heaven, eternal, glorious and everlasting. Sticks and stones cannot hurt God.

NB! Please note the difference between the God of the Bible and Allah. The God of the Bible is a Trinity, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Islam denies it, because their ‘God,’ Allah, does not have a son. They are not the same.

References

  1. Matthew 12:32
  2. Wikipedia, The Satanic Verses Controversy.
  3. BBC News, 17 January, 2015.
  4. Matthew 5:43-46
  5. Luke 23:34a

The French massacre and Richard Dawkins

It was sad to read about the death toll in the latest revenge of Allah against anybody who dares to deride Islam or its people.1 Twelve people were killed and seven injured when at least two masked attackers opened fire with assault rifles in the office of the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, in Paris. 1

The latest tweet on their account was a cartoon of the Islamic State militant group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghadi. The magazine was fire bombed in November 2011 after it carried a caricature of the prophet Muhammad.

Nobody trifles with Allah. Let us compare it with what Richard Dawkins wrote about the God of the Bible, ‘The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous, and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a mysogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.’ 2

Of lately Islamic State, Boko Haram and others have been in the news. We read about some of the atrocities, like beheading people, abducting schoolgirls, etc. Will Richard Dawkins now write something about Allah?

The chances are pretty slim. The followers of Allah don’t take kindly to insults. They act, behead, burn down and riot. Dr Dawkins insulted God without fear, because there is no command in the Bible to take revenge on somebody who insults Him. With Allah and the Muslims it is different.

In case people object that the atrocities are done by fanatical groups, the Islamic State and others take the cue for their actions from the Koran. They claim that they are true to the teachings of Mohammed

So to summarise: It is highly unlikely that Richard Dawkins will dare to publicly insult Allah.  Don’t expect bravery from him.

References

  1. BBC News, Charlie Hebdo: Gun attack on French magazine kills 12, 7 January 2015
  2. R Dawkins, The God Delusion, Bantam Press, 2006, p 31

God, Allah, Isis and Boko Haram

The world at large is very hostile to the word ‘religion.’ After all, is it not the source of trouble in Bible Koran differencemany countries at present? ISIS and Boko Haram decapitate people, abduct and rape girls, and kill people without mercy. At present, especially Isis (Islamic State), is a real threat.

In popular literature, it is mostly ‘religion’ that is at fault. The word includes all types of religious faiths, like Christianity, Islam, etc. Yet if we look closely at what is happening in the world, it is mostly adherents to Islam that use suicide bombers to kill civilians, and commit other atrocities. If Christianity is so dangerous (according to atheists like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Michael Shermer, etc), why is their barbarity so conspicuously absent in the news?

Isis and other Muslim groups are doing what Allah commanded them to do, ‘…I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite you above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them. This because they contended agains God [Allah] and his messenger [Mohammed]: if any contend agains God and his messenger, God is strict in punishment.’’ 1

Muslims are told to fight, ‘O believers, fight the unbelievers near you, and let them find you harsh, and know that God stands with the pious.’ 2    NB!  The God of the Bible (with His Son, Jesus) is not the same as the ‘God’ of Islam, Allah, who has no son.

More people than we can count quote the Old Testament and say that the God of the Bible is such a Tyrant. Look what He did (and they support it by very childlike exegesis). Yet the question is, where are the belligerent Christians who kill people left, right and centre? You don’t find them, because Jesus said, “‘Put your sword back in its place, …for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?'”  3

God, the Creator and Owner of the universe, doesn’t need His followers to infiltrate and conquer the world. The Holy Spirit is the ‘secret agent’ that efficiently convinces people of guilt in regard to sin, righteousness and judgement. 4  God does not need to be upset if people insult Him, because nobody can depose Him. He is patient and wants everybody to come to repentance.5

What is the moral of the story?

Anybody who writes about the dangers of ‘religion’ and does not distinguish between, for instance Christianity and Islam, obviously doesn’t know the subject. He does not realise that there is a vast difference between the Bible and the Koran.

The Bible cannot be equated with religion. It is about reality. It is about God who is busy gathering citizens for His new, eternal heavens and earth. The citizens will love and obey their perfect leader (God), as part of His big family (the recipe for a successful Kingdom).

We as believers in Jesus should never be ashamed of our Gospel. It is true, powerful and wonderful good news that changes people’s lives.

References

  1. Abdullah Yusuf Ali, English Translation of the Holy Qur’an, Islamic Propagation Centre International, 2008, Surah 8:12-13
  2. The Qur’an, Tarif Khalidi, Penguin Books, 2009, Surah 9:123
  3. Matthew 26:52-53
  4. John 16:8-11
  5. 2 Peter 3:9
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