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1.05.2005    |    "God is angry with Aceh people"
The full quotation (via the Washington Post) is
"God is angry with Aceh people, because most of them do not do what is written in the Koran and the Hadith," the collected sayings and actions of the prophet Muhammad, explained Cut Bukhaini, 35, an imam. "I hope this will lead all Muslims in Aceh to do what is in the Koran and its teachings. If we do so, God will be merciful and compassionate."
It would be easy for non-Muslims to scoff at this. This is primitive; this assumes God to have the role of cosmic disciplinarian, ever at the ready to smite those who don't follow all of His picayune rules. Yet there is, at least, half a point.

Firstly, however, one large point of error. The Koran, and the derivative teachings of Mohammed, are wrong. Those who persist in error are, themselves, doomed to error and likely damnation. When I write "wrong", I don't mean to say that everything in the book is wrong.

There are many points that any Jew or Christian would agree with; things such as charity and love of neighbor. The Koran is wrong in one vital thing: it denies the Incarnation of God; it denies that Jesus put paid to the sins of all.

The second point, the half a point in which the imams are right, is that, yes, God has shown us His wrath when we, His people, stray from His laws. But, as they say, "that is so Old Testament." Yes and no. Jesus Christ, paying with His life, becomes our new high priest. Jesus Christ has also subsumed the Law, the detailed living instructions similar in kind to those of the Koran/Hadith.

In its place, we Christians know that our new covenant is expressed by Jesus in Matthew 22:
36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"

37 Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

38 This is the first and greatest commandment.

39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Something the imams did not just forget -- something their faith rejected out of hand 1400 years ago.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.