"Now in our 25th year of standing for truth!"
Eric & Melanie Barger
Update December 4, 2007
The Foolishness of the Yale Proposal
I CAN'T SIGN THE LETTER
Peace at the cost of absolute truth is conciliation with a lie
By Eric Barger
World peace. What an idea! Everyone would certainly like that. After all, we represent the Prince of Peace don’t we? However, it is a theological misconception to believe that we are here solely to make peace. Jesus never said that. In fact, he proclaimed the opposite in Matthew chapter 10.
Jesus told His followers: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” (Matt. 10:34) This is just after His proclamation that “...ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake...” in verse 22. Though He proclaimed that peacemakers would be blessed in the Beatitudes of the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 5:9), He never came close to intimating that we'd bring ultimate peace or be accepted by the world because of Him. Quite the opposite is true.
What liberal theologians have ignored and what we must remember is that any peace which results from the compromising of absolute truth isn’t really true peace at all. Such would be a counterfeit based on falsehood. I believe this is why Jesus clearly points out that the world will always be at enmity with His teaching and His true people. Though world peace sounds wonderful, if it results from unholy conciliation then count me out. If for no other reason, this is why I cannot sign “the letter.”
I am referring to a document produced by the Yale Center for Faith and Culture titled “Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to a Common Word Between us and You.” (Read document here.)
“A Common Word” claims “for the first time in recent history, Muslim scholars from every branch of Islam spoke with one voice about the true teachings of Islam.” For an in-depth exploration of the accuracy and validity of that statement see the companion article “Their God is NOT Our God.” (Read article below.)
BUT WHAT KIND OF PEACE?
To those unaware of the history and doctrine of Islam the Yale letter may sound like a great idea. Even though it is an incorrect assumption that secularists love to repeat, the public’s perception is that religion has been the source of the majority of wars. And of course, almost everyone is aware that Christians and Jews seems to be at odds with Muslims. However, before anyone gets to excited about joining in with the Yale mistake let me add my two cents as to why this is not only a fruitless adventure but a perilous one at that.
On a purely human level, it is indeed the civil thing to do to attempt to find common ground with adversaries. However, there are circumstances and reasons that often negate such exploration. Absolute truth would head that list. So, with that as a basis, here are two reasons that neither I, nor any Christian leader should sign the Yale letter.
Reason number one: Biblical Christians have no basis for dialog if the entire discussion is not based in objective and historic truth that both sides agree on as fact.
Reason number two: Biblical Christians cannot compromise if in so doing one capitulates concerning tenets of faith that are immoveable. In other words, doctrine and standards of faith must override our human inclination to try and come into a neutral agreement with the opposition be they secular or religious.
It is for both of these reasons (and perhaps more) that you will not find informed Bible believers signing “Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to a Common Word Between us and You.”
When I first heard of the Yale letter and saw the list of signers, I was frankly shocked but somehow not extremely surprised. One could certainly expect a group of liberal theologians to concoct such an idea. The list also included representatives from the Emergent camp and several notable neo-Evangelicals, the usual suspects who continue to prove almost daily that they hold no esteem for the Bible. However, as I read down the list of signers, my heart sank. Previously strong Evangelical leaders - men whom I thought had discernment and who have claimed their basis for life is rooted in truth - how could they be so far from reality on this? I pondered just how many of these men might have signed this love letter to the Muslims but were simply just ignorant without apologetic understanding of the doctrines and history of Islam. You would think that a little research might have prevented some of them from this regrettable alliance. I also wondered whether those who conceived of and signed the Yale document had bothered to pray and seek God about what they were about to do? Did it not matter that while defending authentic Christianity, countless missionaries have lost their lives because of the evil edicts of Muhammad? Didn't anyone bother to point out that no matter how inviting the ovation offered by the Muslim clerics may appear on the surface that the real nature of Islam is displayed by the salvage manner in which people are treated in Muslim nations when they happen to infringe on Sharia Law? I suppose that when one considers the heresy regularly being preached by many who’ve adhered to the Yale letter it shouldn't shock us. As Rush Limbaugh would say, it's "symbolism over substance."
True to their lack of convictions this bunch of milk toast, self-proclaimed Christian leaders espousing Rodney King “why-can’t-we-all-just-get-along?” theology have made the decision that toiling over doctrine and truth is somehow less important than public perception. Well, they certainly aren’t speaking for me or for millions of other bible believers either. Grovelling at the feet of Islam isn’t going to win Muslims over – even if it really was the right thing to do. It is sickening and each of the signers to the Yale letter - including Robert Schuller, Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Leith Anderson, Jim Wallis, Richard Mouw and two prominent Assemblies of God bible college presidents - should fall on their knees in shame and beg Jehovah God for forgiveness.
Christians and Muslims in Dangerous Dialog...
THEIR GOD IS NOT OUR GOD
A Biblical and Historical Rebuttal to “Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to a Common Word Between us and You.”
By Eric Barger
This document is in response and protest to the “Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to a Common Word Between us and You.” (Read document here.) a document produced by Yale Center for Faith and Culture in November, 2007 and signed by a large number of Christian leaders.
The Yale document is in response to “A Common Word Between Us and You” (Read document here.) produced by over a hundred Muslim clerics and intellectuals. It is a call for dialog between the two religions.
At the very beginning of “A Common Word Between Us and You” truth and history give way to the oft-used Muslim talking point that their God is actually our God. This is simply and absolutely not so. I will substantiate this below. A survey of history, Islam, Judaism and Christianity all disprove this, the very basis of the Muslim letter.
HISTORY AND TRUTH
In my previous commentary, “I Can’t Sign the Letter” (see article above), I mention that there are at least two reasons why no Christian leader should participate by signing the Yale letter. Let me restate the reasons here.
First, Biblical Christians have no basis for dialog if the entire discussion is not based in objective and historic truth that both sides agree on as fact.
Second, Biblical Christians cannot compromise if in so doing one capitulates concerning tenets of faith that are immoveable. In other words, doctrine and standards of faith must override our human inclination to try and come into a neutral agreement with the opposition be they secular or religious.
The second paragraph of the Muslim document (below) presents a void that cannot be crossed by biblical thinkers who care for God’s word as well as historical truth. “A Common Word Between Us and You” states the Muslim position – or at least the perception they wish to project concerning who God is. The Muslim world refers to their god as Allah and the clerics who constructed the letter proposing dialog with Christians contend that Allah is the same God that Christians worship, namely Jehovah.
“The basis for this peace and understanding already exists. It is part of the very foundational principles of both faiths: love of the One God, and love of the neighbour. These principles are found over and over again in the sacred texts of Islam and Christianity. The Unity of God, the necessity of love for Him, and the necessity of love of the neighbour is thus the common ground between Islam and Christianity.”
These statements are not based in truth but instead is actually common and widespread Muslim propaganda. Note the statement that both Christians and Muslims love “the One God” so without even reading the rest of the document its very basis is historically fallacious. Though the introduction page of the Koran that I own states that Jehovah and Allah are one in the same but that the Bible has been altered to convolute this fact, it is no stretch to wonder how anyone calling himself a Muslim cleric doesn’t actually know this is false. From this, it is obvious from the Muslim viewpoint which side must bend to arrive at “common ground.”
IGNORANCE OF THE BRETHREN
The Yale letter states, “As members of the worldwide Christian community, we were deeply encouraged and challenged by the recent historic open letter signed by 138 leading Muslim scholars, clerics, and intellectuals from around the world. A Common Word Between Us and You identifies some core common ground between Christianity and Islam which lies at the heart of our respective faiths as well as at the heart of the most ancient Abrahamic faith, Judaism.” In reality however, Islam disdains Abraham. We see the historic inception of the Arab world takes place with the denial of Ishmael as the child of blessing in Genesis 16. Would any honest Muslin look back adoringly and claim alignment with Abrahamic roots? In reality, Islam claims that it was Ishmael and not Isaac who Abram took up the mountain to become the sacrifice. Ishmael is but the out-of-wedlock bastard son of Abraham’s (then Abram’s) faithless sexual fling with his wife’s handmaiden, Hagar.
Genesis 16:11 says, “And the angel of the LORD said unto her (Hagar), Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.” But the passage continues, “And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” This, my friends, is a prophetic picture of the attitude, turmoil and lifestyle of the Arab world since long before Muhammad’s time.
Islam’s roots may have ties to Abram but not to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Genesis 17:19-21 clears up that misconception once and for all…all who will believe the Bible that is. “And God said (to Abram), Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.”
ISLAMIC HISTORY 101
In reality, Muhammad was a persuasive political and military leader in his day. Claiming he was troubled by the variance of idols that were worshiped in conjunction with what is now known as the Kaaba Stone (a meteor) in what is now Mecca, Saudi Arabia he set out to enquire through prayer which god was really “the” god to serve. During several encounters which he and his followers had in a cave near Mecca Muhammad proclaimed that “an angel of light” had spoken to him that he was to lead the people to serve but one god and bring restoration of spiritual truth (does this sound at all like what Mormonism’s founder claimed as well?).
Being that there were an estimated 360 nomadic tribes who bartered and found haven at Mecca due to its geographical position those tribes brought not only items to trade but also idols or religious icons which they stationed around the Kaaba there in ancient Mecca. In 629AD, approximately 20 years after receiving the “revelations” in the cave, Muhammad attacked Mecca (breaking the peace pack he had forged with local leaders just one year prior) and cleaned house at the Kaaba. Gone were the idols of all other gods but his. And who exactly was his god? Why, the god of the Quraysh tribe, that’s who. He proclaimed that his birth tribe’s own god was the Allah (or “god” in Arabic) to be worshipped and it was either conform, flee or die. Who was this “Allah” and could it have possibly been Jehovah? Keep reading.
The universal symbol for Islam is a crescent moon. This symbol appears on mosques worldwide and on the flags of many Muslim nations such as Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey. The moon god, symbolized with the crescent can be easily traced as far as 2500 years before Muhammad. It was a powerful and common symbol in pagan worship that has endured for nearly four millennia. According to Mark Hall of the University of Pennsylvania, worship of the god of the crescent can be traced to ancient Harran and Ur where it first received the title it is still known by today. The name of the pagan god of the Quraysh tribe, the god Muhammad installed by the sword, the god whom millions have died because of, the god of Islam – its name is “Sîn” !!! (See Mark Hall, A Study of the Sumerian Moon-god, Sin, PhD., 1985, University of Pennsylvania, “Archaeological photo gallery of the Arabian Moon-God” from www.bible.ca) Though Muslim apologists try desperately to skirt this issue, claiming that Christians simply do not understand and are looking for a tool to bash Islam with the fact remains that they cannot wiggle out of the crescent, its origins and inherent paganism. However, this is hardly a case breaker. Comparing the texts of Islam against those of Christianity and Judaism is far more damaging to the Muslim assertion that their god is the same deity as ours.
Common sense tells us that if indeed the god of Islam is also the God of Christianity and Judaism then the Koran, the allegedly perfect and inspired text of Islam, would perfectly harmonize with the Bible. But an investigation of this proves otherwise.
Surah (Koran chapter) 4:142: “The hypocrites seek to deceive God, but it is He who deceives them.”
Surah 8:30: “They schemed—but God also schemed. God is most profound in His schemings.”
Surah 8:12: “God revealed His will to the angels, saying…I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their fingers”
It would seem that their god is a deceiving, scheming terrorist - the opposite of Jehovah.
How can a Christian find common ground with Islam when the Koran mocks the Trinity of God?
Surah 5:73: “They do blaspheme who say God is one of three…for there is no Allah except one Allah.”
Surah 5:116: “And behold! God will say: O Jesus the son of Mary didst say unto men, ‘worship me and my mother as gods’ in derogation of Allah?
Not only does the Koran not teach of the same God that Christians and Jews worship but the Koran also speaks of a different Jesus than the Bible! The Koran teaches that Jesus was indeed born of a virgin. He is mentioned 97 times in its pages. However, the Jesus of the Koran is viewed as but a prophet on the level of Moses or Muhammad. Note as well that the Jesus of the Koran did not die on the Cross but was replaced by another individual.
Surah 4:157: “That they said in boast ‘we killed Christ Isa, the son of Mary’…but they killed him not, nor crucified him.”
The Jesus of the Koran is an imposter and not God incarnate. Again, how can a Christian who knows the truth about the origin of the Muslim god and the Muslim Jesus ever consider aligning with such teachings?
Perhaps worst of all is the fact that these Christian leaders who proceed to engage themselves with this unholy dialog have and will continue to do incalculable damage to the cause of evangelizing the lost. No doubt from the promotion of this perceived alignment of Christians and Muslims claiming “common ground” the lost people could certainly deduce that if the Muslim God is also the Christian God then Islam is a viable alternative for eternal life.
In fact, if there was any way to be saved and redeemed from our sins but by the blood of Jesus Christ then the God of the Bible is by far the most heinous god of all! What loving father would send his son to die such a horrible death for nothing and to pay a price that didn’t need to be paid? Isn’t this the real bottom line? Either Jesus is the only way or He isn’t. Christians cannot be faithful to the God and His Bible and also think kindly of Islam, its demonic Allah and false prophet Muhammad.
Just as compelling from the Muslim viewpoint is the question, how can Muslims entertain the idea of dialog and common ground with Christians for to do so is diametrically opposed to their own religious writings!
Surah 5:51: “Believers, take neither the Jews nor the Christians for your friends. They are friends with one another.”
Surah 109:1-6: “Say: 'Unbelievers, I do not worship what you worship, nor do you worship what I worship. I shall never worship what you worship, nor will you ever worship what I worship. You have your own religion and I have mine.'"
Surah 5:59: “Say: 'People of the Book, is it not that you hate us only because we believe in Allah and in what has been revealed to us and what was formerly revealed, and because most of you are evil-doers?' Say: 'Shall I tell you who will receive a worse reward from Allah? Those whom Allah has cursed and with whom He has been angry, transforming them into apes and swine, and those who serve the devil.”
Surah 4:101: “The unbelievers are your inveterate foe.”
It is the ultimate in foolishness to believe that those committed to Sharia Law with its floggings, lashings, amputations and executions will magically be tolerant of Christians, Jews and others. According to the Koran, there can never be compromise with an infidel and that is exactly what Islam sees all those outside their belief system as - infidels. You are either a member of the “house of peace” (Muslim) or a member of the “house of war” (everyone else). Live and let live is not now and has never been a Muslim edict. Just speaking out is enough to bring the wrath of Islam down on a person.
Surah 5:36: “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Apostle, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land.”
Surah 9:5: “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans (infidels) wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity (following the Five Pillars of Islam), then open the way for them.”
Surah 8:60-61: “Against the infidels make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies of Allah... Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you. But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah.”
Once again, “peace” means conversion to Islam and nothing less.
PURPOSED DECEPTION? THE TROJAN HORSE OF “PEACE”?
I perceive that the 138 Muslim signatories of the document which started this debate are either (1) liberal Muslims who do not believe the Koran and are MINOs (Muslim in name only) (2) Are merely trying to bolster the public image and acceptability of Islam or (3) involved in a finely tuned campaign of deception to draw unsuspecting evangelicals and others into an unholy alliance to further the chief goal of Islam – religious, political and practical world domination. That’s no overstatement. This is what Muhammad taught and what some 60 countries in the world are today operating by. Dare I say, it is the ultimate in foolishness to align with Muslims if we care to also align with Jehovah God. We also have great reason to believe that much of the talk about peace, harmony, unity and brotherhood we hear coming from Muslims today may be a ruse for the Koran expresses that they have perfect right before Allah to deceive the infidels if it is for the furtherance and good of Islam.
In the geopolitical atmosphere today, it is expected that common ground be found. Otherwise, one is painted as a bigot or separatist. But is being a separatist always bad? No, not if truth is the highest objective. This is why the prophet Elijah challenged hundreds of false prophets of Baal and Asherah. Truth was at stake and the real God showed up in an awesome display of power. The Bible is replete with accounts of those who either withstood following other gods or failed and capitulated.
What common ground could the Allies have found and what compromises with Hitler would have been beneficial? What common ground did Kennedy find with Khrushchev and Castro in 1962? What common ground did Washington find with Cornwallis? What common ground does the temple of God have with idols? (II Corinthians 6:16)
World peace will indeed be wonderful. But it will only be authentic and lasting once Jesus returns in power and glory. Have the Christian signers of the ill-conceived Yale document noticed that for the past 5,000 years there has been a consistent void between Jews and Arabs? All of the diplomacy and peace talks are in reality just so much hot air for without one side or the other giving up essential, immovable beliefs no common ground will be found. Only for a short 3 ½ years will Antichrist accomplish the much sought after goal of world peace but then it will only be but a short-lived deception. If there was common ground to be explored, don’t you suppose that the Israelis and Palestinians (and the rest of the Muslim/Arab/Persian world, not to mention so many U.S. Presidents and UN officials) would have found it by now? Certainly. But because these religions serve two uniquely, different masters who both require complete obedience they have not, nor will they find common ground.
A wise and dear friend of mine once told me that purity is the resistance of compromise. This is true in every area of our lives whether it be our morally and ethics, our personal, business or professional life or in our interaction with family and friends, etc. It is certainly true when considering absolute truth and the doctrines that Christians have given their lives for over the last 2,000 years.
Daniel refused to bow down and worship (compromise) with foreign gods. So did Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. In turn, God Almighty protected, blessed and filled them with power. They were men of purity. Through all the trials of refusing to budge on what they knew was empirically true, God was doing something else behind the scenes. He was building no-compromise character in them and forging a testimony that would affect the eternal destiny of billions who would read of their exploits. These things will not be said of the politically correct and misguided signers of the Yale letter of compromise. I suggest they would do well to read Paul’s warning to the Colossian church.
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
- Colossians 1: 8-9
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"The Golden Compass"
Anti-Christian author Philip Pullman's "The Golden Compass" opens in theaters this Friday (Dec. 7). Be sure and warn your friends and family that this movie is NOT a harmless children's film but the work of an avowed atheist. Pullman has stated that his intention is to "kill God."
New Line Cinema has invested $180 million in the project and are poised to begin work on a sequel depending on how well the first movie does in the coming weeks. Not supporting this movie at the box office is critical. Let's send the signal to them not to bother with a second Pullman film.
Read and then forward my article "The (Evil) Mind of Philip Pullman" by clicking here. - EB
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