tml> Biblical Ethics and Islam
  1. Introduction
2. The Bible on its own terms
3. The Koran on its own terms
4. Contrasts between the Bible and the Koran
5. Holy War in the Bible, Jihad in the Koran
6. Christian expansion, Islamic expansion
7. The ministry of the Prince of Peace
8. Questions from the audience
   
Biblical Ethics and Islam

Love of Hard Questions Seminar #220
21 April 2002
5. Holy War in the Bible, Jihad in the Koran


Okay, let me jump in real quickly, and this will be very quickly and the contrast between Holy War in the Bible and Jihad in the Koran. And I’m learning how to say this more and more succinctly. Why were the Jews called to wipe out all the Canaanites? Does that ever bother you, men, women, and children? Why did he call him to do it? In a nutshell, and of my three volume set, my third volume is a whole tracing of the war between Christ and Satan, from Genesis to Revelation. From the outset, the devil comes through the ancient serpent to destroy the man and the woman made in God’s image because they’re to be stewards over the planet, which means stewards over him, the rebellious Lucifer. And he doesn’t want to be under their authority, and he still wants to upend God’s authority. So he wants to kill the image-bearers of God.

And after that, Yahweh promises that the seed of the woman will crush the head of the serpent, and that’s the first prophecy of the Messiah. And if you look at the faithful lineage, and the unfaithful lineage, in Genesis on following, the devil is always seeking to destroy the Messianic lineage. Why? If he destroys the Messianic people, the Messiah won’t come and won’t crush his head. He almost succeeds with Noah. By the time of Noah one man, with his wife, his three sons, and their daughters-in-law are the only ones who are still believers.

Now, Noah we learn between Genesis and Second Peter, preached for 120 years that the flood was coming. Do you know how many converts he had? None. And Peter calls him a preacher of righteousness. So that should be an encouragement to all preachers regardless of their sense of progress. [audience laughter] But look at the patience, 120 years and no one would accept it. Then, by the time of Abraham, by 18 or 1900 B.C., he is likely the only non-syncretist alive who hasn’t taken Yahweh down to the level of the pagan deities and made them equal.

Syncretism, a modern way of speaking about this, is all paths lead to the same God. And He is the only one, in all likelihood, Melchizedek, a little shadowy figure, would be the only partial exception, and Job, depending when Job lived. And we know with precision that Job lived some time between 1000 and 2000 B.C. so I can’t get much closer than that.

But Abraham, around 1800 B.C., likely the only non-syncretist alive, and God says, through you I will bless all peoples, and God purged the planet through the flood, but it didn’t purge the human heart. Noah got drunk as soon as the wine fermented, and sin was still there, it’s a condition. And so with Abraham he basically says, I’ll give you a land but it will be 400 years. Your people will suffer, but the sins of the Amorites, one of the Canaanite tribes, has not yet reached its full measure. He gave the Amorites and the other Canaanites 400 years to repent of their sins.

What were their sins? An idolatry, sorcery. The belief that the sun and the moon and the stars were gods and goddesses who controlled our lives fatalistically and they needed a sorcerer to help us divine how not to be slammed by the deities. So sorcery number one, in other words God’s not good, we’re fatalistically driven.

Number two, sacred prostitution. This was the male chauvinistic enterprise of women and men prostitutes for married men to have sexual jollies outside of marriage. It’s a chauvinistic and destructive enterprise. Read about a prostitute under every spreading tree in the land of Israel by the time that they were given over to paganism.

And then the third crucial sin that the Canaanites practiced was child sacrifice, the height of what these demonic deities would require of them. And those doctrines are demonic, because if they’re practiced it will wipe out humanity, and the Messiah won’t come.

And so God says to Abraham, I’m going to set you aside. And when you come in, and now this is up to Moses, and Joshua, when you come in the land, don’t get rid of the Midianites. Don’t go to these other people, even the Edomites, but get rid of only the Canaanites, the Gergishites, there are seven tribes, I can’t remember them all. But get rid of these seven tribes, because I’ve given them 400 years and they won’t repent. And if you don’t, he says in Deuteronomy, they will become thorns to your side and lead you into paganism. And Psalm 106 says they did it and led you into sacrificing your sons and daughters in the fire to the demons.

And so basically, the view was, they’re a society with whom God has been incredibly patient. He now says you’ll be my judges, but you won’t be judges in self-righteousness, because you’re just as stiff-necked and stubborn as anyone. But because of your forefather Abraham, who believed against all belief and if you follow me I will teach you to judge between sin and righteousness. And you must drive out all the people and kill them all, because if you don’t kill the whole culture, it will turn around and kill you.

Now in having done this, notice that many Egyptians were free to come out with the Jews. Notice too, that when the Jews came to Jericho, Rahab and her family joined them, and Rahab is the great grandmother of whom? Boaz, Obed, David, the Messiah. So being Jew is not being racial. It was saying yes I’ll be a part of the chosen people.

But she said that everyone in the city knows what Yahweh has done for you, and yet she’s the only one who wanted to give up false gods and join Yahweh’s army. So you see incredible patience. Was there any more patience that God could have shown to the Pharaoh time and time again? So what happens is, it says there’s a time when patience comes to an end, when sin will be judged because people don’t want God’s righteousness.

So the reason the Jews came in to take over the land with a piece of mostly uninhabited land, full of child sacrifice that no one else wanted, far from the metropolitan center of Babylonia, and a place for a remnant people on the planet for whom the Messiah would come, destroy all these people and then you have your land. And it’s under God’s calling. No raping, no pillaging, no selfish aggrandizement. It’s land that was promised years before, Abraham already had a legal stake in it, but it’s because I have given these people a chance to repent and they have not done so.

So that’s the nature of Holy War. Never again and the Jews will never be in the offensive. All the rest of their wars were defensive. And it’s based on the understanding that if the Jews didn’t have a land, Satan, through pagan nations would destroy the Messianic lineage. And he came close. He drove them out of their land, out of their temple, he was dancing at the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 586 B.C. God then had fun by having a Hebrew slave become the prime minister of Babylon for seven years in protecting the Jews. That was Daniel.

You come to the day of Jesus, and what does Satan seek to do through Herod, destroy all the two-year old boys to kill the Messiah. When Jesus is baptized he goes out to the wilderness and what does Satan seek to do to the Messiah? To get him to kill himself. Then the devil does kill Jesus through Judas, his betrayal, on the cross, but--well I don’t know if you should have pity for the devil, but poor Satan. He hadn’t read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, so he didn’t know what was going to happen. That Jesus was going to rise again.

So Jesus rises again. We are the believers in the Messiah and where is Satan’s warfare now? Against the believers in the Messiah, because we will preach until the gospel is heard by all people, and then Jesus shall return, and when he returns, the first thing the devil will see coming out of heaven is a heel against his head. That’s forensically been taken care of on the cross, but the actual sealing of the abyss is in the Second Coming and the release of salvation. So, and there are tremendous ethical constraints, and God is saying I will have you do this to get rid of sin in the world so that you can live at peace and you have no self-righteousness, no rape, no pillage.

What is the source of Jihad? It was not a theological understanding. What happened with Muhammad was when he was in Medina and had no money, guess how he made money? He started raiding the caravans that as a young man he had protected. Didn’t have success immediately, but he then had success. He became phenomenally wealthy. They were allowed to rape any woman who didn’t convert to Islam, and they did all this pillaging, and he had so much power and military might, that when he went back to Mecca they surrendered to him. And then he purged every Jew and every Christian out of Arabia within a very short period of time. You either converted or you were killed, and that was Jihad.

NEXT
  1. Introduction
2. The Bible on its own terms
3. The Koran on its own terms
4. Contrasts between the Bible and the Koran
5. Holy War in the Bible, Jihad in the Koran
6. Christian expansion, Islamic expansion
7. The ministry of the Prince of Peace
8. Questions from the audience