A NEW NORMAL (Or is it a life of depravity and self-indulgence?) by Donald R. Fox


(Or is it a life of depravity and self-indulgence?)
Donald R. Fox

On September 11th, 2012, a new NBC show will air on television. It is titled “A NEW NORMAL." Different is the new normal as a long-term couple of Bryan and David look to create a new type of family." Reference: http://www.nbc.com/the-new-normal/ Yes, it is about two homosexual men who will create a new normal family. How silly and degrading it is to change a normal society based on God- given commandments to the infatuation and lusting of men with men. Homosexuals do that which is not natural. It is called sodomy. The definition of sodomy is “abnormal sexual intercourse." Men who perform this unnatural act are called sodomites. This anomalous act is very unpleasant to think about. It is degeneracy, is it not? Do we remember Sodom and Gomorrah?
I will suggest that this new TV show will be a fallacious family orientated show. It will be funny, cute and a charade of family wholesomeness. If there is crudeness, it will be camouflaged with cuteness. It will be propaganda at its very best. The brainwashing of our families is in great damage. The aim of “A New Normal” will be to redefine traditional values. Therein is the peril to our society and our families.

For a long time now, the show business community has been producing propaganda to change America. This deliberate indoctrination by way of movies, TV sitcoms, etc. with an abundance of smuttiness has saturated our citizenship. I have great fear and anxiety for our nation if it continues to reject God Almighty. Statistics say that a very small portion of our population is homosexual and lesbian oriented. Propagation tools to spread garbage to the public are readily available. Vulgarly and coarseness are the new norm. At the highest level of our government, leaders have joined this drive to transform our once God fearing nation. Shamefully many in our government have turned their back on the masses and our national heritage. I pray that our motto will always be, “In God We Trust."

Can anyone identify a nation, a civilization that thrived throughout the ages that practiced and condoned homosexuality? Why do we as a nation desire to destroy ourselves because of sinful debauchery? The following is copied and pasted from James Burton Coffman’s commentary on Romans. See: http://www.studylight.org/com/bcc/view.cgi?book=ro&chapter=001

Romans 1 Verses 26, 27
For this cause God gave them up unto vile passions: for their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working unseemliness, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile passions ...
These words affirm the judicial nature of the penalty enforced upon ancient apostate nations which overstepped the hidden boundary between God's mercy and his wrath and were "given up." This is the second time in this section that the fact of God's judicial sentence has been mentioned, and here the emphasis is upon the cause of it, "for this cause" stressing the overflowing nature of their sins. See under preceding verse.
In these verses, and preceding, sexual deviation is brought to attention, not merely as sin, which it is, but also as punishment for sin, Rom. 1:26 dealing with the female deviate, and Rom. 1:27 with the male. How is sin the punishment of sin? In the light of these verses, the debaucheries of the depraved are in themselves a punishment well-suited to the crime of turning away from God. The horrible lusts mentioned here, burning with ever greater and greater intensity, descending constantly to lower and lower levels of uncleanness, and, at last, leaving the sinner consumed by an insatiable lust, cause this terminal condition to be one of utter pitiableness and misery. This is what is meant by the statement that such persons receive "in themselves" the reward justly due their conduct.’

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:26-32 KJV)

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (I Corinthians 6:9-11 KJV)


Turn the Hearts of the Fathers By Steve Stevens


Turn the Hearts of the Fathers

By Steve Stevens

During a recent conversation with a man who had devoted his life to preaching the truth for over 50 years, we talked about growth in the congregations where we are respectively located.  I made an observation about how we had a lot of visitors coming even for Wednesday evening Bible Study.  However, they were all mothers and their children – no fathers.  He confirmed this observation in the congregation where he preaches, and then told me of another conversation he had just a few days earlier with another preacher that echoed the same reality. As I drove home that evening I recalled reading a bulletin article that referred to the religious life of children in America, and how it was the father’s example that was the key to how the children would practice their religion regardless of how strong the mother’s religious influence was in the family.  This is not written to minimize the worth of godly mothers, but it is set forth to emphasize the importance of fathers being godly also!
In Luke 1:17, the angel Gabriel stood in the temple after telling Zachariah that he would have a son and said:  “And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”  Part of the mission of John, the Immerser, was “to turn the hearts of the fathers.”  Where were the hearts of these men, and what were they doing that required such an effort?  Let’s turn back to the last book of the Old Testament and see where the hearts of the fathers had been for the last 400 years.
In Malachi 1:12-13 two points are made.  The fathers found the worship of God contemptible, meaning worthless.  From this attitude they justified robbing God of his unblemished sacrifices and offered him only the torn, sick and maimed.  Do not the actions of many fathers in our day who find religion and going to church worthless mirror this attitude and action?  Furthermore, in place of a spiritual life, do we not see satisfying of physical pleasures instead of nurturing and admonishing their families in the way of the Lord?
Malachi 2:14-16 reveals that the fathers were divorcing the wives of their youth, the mothers of their children, and their companions in life.  The Lord God of Israel saith “that he hateth putting away.”  Given the divorce statistics in our country it is evident that the fathers of today are still practicing this God-hated action all too freely.
Malachi 2:17 gives a third insight into the hearts of the fathers.  These men professed that “every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them . . .”  When one thinks of the movements within our society today that seek to call evil good and claim that God has delight in these abominable practices it is not difficult to realize that history is repeating itself in our generation.
The last verse of Malachi [4:6] reads:  “and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”  Four hundred years later, there were hearts that still needed turning by the preaching of John, the Immerser.  It has been over 1900 years since John came, heralded his message, and prepared the people for the coming of the Lord.  Many fathers’ hearts have been turned to serve God in that time.  Many more need to turn from their evil attitudes and actions and obey the law, commandments and statutes of the God who will judge them for all eternity.  As a father, where is your heart in your relationship to God?  Isn’t it time for you to turn your heart back to God and back to your children who need you to show them how to live a Christian life?  Ponder seriously the words of Dennis Rainey when he said:  “Every dad is the family role model, whether he wants the job or not.”

"THE GOSPEL OF JOHN" What Is Truth? (18:37-38) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE GOSPEL OF JOHN"

                       What Is Truth? (18:37-38)


1. When Jesus appeared before Pilate, the subject of truth was discussed...
   a. Jesus claimed to bear witness to the truth - Jn 18:37
   b. Pilate raised the perennial question: "What is truth?" - Jn 18:38

2. Today, many people sound a lot like Pilate...
   a. A Barna Research Group survey on what Americans believe asked the
      question, "Is there absolute Truth?"...
      1) Sixty-six percent of adults responded that they believe that
         "there is no such thing as absolute truth; different people can
         define truth in conflicting ways and still be correct"
      2) Seventy-two percent of those aged 18 to 25 expressed this belief
   b. In a series of more than twenty interviews conducted at random at
      a large university, people were asked if there was such a thing as
      absolute truth - truth that is true across all times and cultures
      for all people. All but one respondent answered along these lines:
      1) "Truth is whatever you believe"
      2) "There is no absolute truth"
      3) "If there were such a thing as absolute truth, how could we know what it is?"
      4) "People who believe in absolute truth are dangerous"
   -- Info from http://www.christianity.co.nz/truth1.htm

[What is the Christian perspective regarding truth?  Is truth whatever
you believe?  Can we know what is absolute truth?  Let's first summarize
two basic views regarding truth...]


      1. Commonly called the "correspondence view" of truth
      2. A statement is true if and only if it corresponds to or agrees with factual reality
      3. This view presupposes a law of logic called the law of bivalence
         a. Any unambiguous, declarative statement must be either true or false
         b. It cannot be neither true nor false; nor can it be both true and false
         c. E.g., the statement "I am standing in front of you"...
            1) Is true only if, in fact, I am standing here in front of you
            2) Must be either true or false, it cannot be both true and false
      4. The correspondence view of truth holds that propositional or
         declarative statements are subject to verification and falsification
         a. A statement can be proven false if it can be shown to
            disagree with objective reality
         b. E.g., the statement "The world is flat"...
            1) Is either true or false, it cannot be both
            2) Photographs from space have falsified flat-earth claims
      -- This view of truth was held by the vast majority of
         philosophers and theologians throughout history until recently

      1. Commonly called the "relativistic view" of truth
         a. What is true depends on the views of persons or cultures
         b. Not on whether statements correspond to objective reality
      2  For a statement to be true simply means that a person or
         culture to believes it to be true; people with this view of truth say things like:
         a. "Well, if that's true for you..."
         b. "We can't judge other cultures"
      3. Poet Steve Turner wrote a parody of this attitude and called it
         "Creed". In part he said:

         I believe that each man must find the truth that is right for him.
         Reality will adapt accordingly.
         The universe will readjust. History will alter.
         I believe that there is no absolute truth
            excepting the truth that there is no absolute truth.

      4. When truth is deemed dependent upon the person or culture
         holding the belief, anything can become "true"); for example...
         a. One person can say "Jesus is Lord" and another can say "Allah is Lord"
         b. Both statements will be true, if they accurately express the
            sentiments of the speakers
         c. This view seems to advance tolerance and civility, but it
            does so at the expense of logic
         d. The very definition of "Lord" precludes the possibility they are both "Lord"
      5. Those who say there is no absolute truth make decisions every
         day based things they believe are true or false; for example...
         a. They turn on a light believing in the reality of electricity
         b. They drive a car believing in the effectiveness of the engine
         c. No one flying would want to be directed by a navigator who
            did not believe in the truth of his instruments
         d. No one undergoing brain surgery would want to be operated on
            by a surgeon who did not believe that some things about the
            brain were true and some not true
      6. If there are no absolutes, there is no right and wrong
         a. I can kill you, steal from you, lie to you, and you can't
            say it is wrong
         b. Because if I believe I should do such things, and succeed,
            then it works for me and it has become my personal truth
            (and who are you to judge me?)
         c. "In the absence of truth, power is the only game in town."
            - Richard John Neuhaus
      -- Despite its absurdity, this view of truth has become the
         darling of all who want to be free to "do their own thing"

[Christians have historically affirmed the "correspondence view" of
truth.  For good reasons, because it is consistent with...]


      1. True (alethes) - "unconcealed, manifest...actual, true to fact" - Vine
      2. True (alethinos) - "denotes 'true' in the sense of 'real, ideal, genuine;'" - ibid.
      3. Truth (aletheia)
         a. "objectively, signifying 'the reality lying at the basis of
            an appearance; the manifested, veritable essence of a
            matter' (Cremer)" - ibid.
         b. "subjectively, 'truthfulness,' 'truth,' not merely verbal,
            but sincerity and integrity of character" - ibid.
      -- When the Bible speaks of truth, it describes that which
         corresponds to reality, what is factual and absolute, not relative

      1. God is a God of truth - Deut 32:4
      2. Jesus is the truth, and full of truth, and spoke the truth - Jn 14:6; 1:14; 8:45
      3. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, and guided the apostles
         into all the truth - Jn 14:17; 16:13
      4. The Word of God is truth - Jn 17:17
      5. The judgments of God are according to truth - Ps 96:13; Ro 2:2
      6. Christians should walk in the truth as revealed by Jesus,
         including the standard of morality He taught - cf. Ep 4:17-32; 5:1-17
      7. Christians should patiently teach others the truth - cf. 2 Ti 2:23-26
      8. Many will turn their ears away from the truth - cf. 2Ti 4:1-4
      -- Much more could be said, as the Bible reveals so much about what is truth


1. What is truth...?
   a. Truth is what is real
   b. God is real, and reveals what is real
   c. God is truth, and what He says is the truth

2. Call yourself what you may, but you cannot be a Christian unless...
   a. You hold the correspondence view of truth
   b. You believe in moral absolutes of right and wrong
   c. You accept Jesus and His Word as the ultimate source of truth,
      especially in regards to morality and salvation

For those willing to accept Jesus as the ultimate source of truth, they
will be greatly blessed... - cf. Jn 8:31-36

"THE GOSPEL OF JOHN" That The World May Know (17:20-23) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE GOSPEL OF JOHN"

                   That The World May Know (17:20-23)


1. Shortly before His betrayal, arrest, and crucifixion, Jesus prayed to His Father...
   a. For Himself - Jn 17:1-5
   b. For His disciples - Jn 17:6-19
   c. For all His future believers - Jn 17:20-26

2. His prayer is truly remarkable...
   a. It has been called "The Lord's High Priestly Prayer"
   b. It is truly "The Lord's Prayer", a title normally given to the
      sample prayer found in Mt 6:9-13; Lk 11:2-4

3. We learn what weighed heavily on our Lord's mind, knowing that
   "the hour has come"...
   a. He sought to be glorified by His Father
   b. He was concerned for the well-being of His disciples
   c. He wanted His followers to be one, even as He and the Father were one - Jn 17:20-23

4. It is our Lord's concern for unity that I want us to examine in this study...
   a. Why was unity so important to Jesus?
   b. What has Jesus done that it might be accomplished?
   c. In our religiously divided world today, how can we maintain unity
      among those who believe in Jesus?

[As we look closer at our text (Jn 17:20-23), we are immediately impressed with...]


      1. Without unity, it is difficult to persuade unbelievers that
         Jesus came from God
         a. Those in the world care little about doctrine and theological distinctions
         b. But in a world with racial, ethnic and cultural divisions,
            unity can capture their attention!
      2. This is not to say that doctrine is not important!
         a. Jesus had already emphasized the importance of abiding in
            His word - Jn 8:31
         b. But the proclamation of truth must be accompanied by unity
      3. When we are united in Christ, it gives credence to our claims
         a. That Jesus was sent from God
         b. That as the Son of God who rose from the dead...
            1) He lives in our hearts
            2) He has transformed our lives by the power of His resurrected life!
      -- Which is why some have referred to unity as "The Final Apologetic" (Schaeffer)

   B. "THAT THE WORLD MAY KNOW" - Jn 17:23
      1. Jesus again emphasizes the power of unity among His disciples
         to convince an unbelieving world!
      2. Not only that they may know God sent Jesus...
         a. But that God has also loved them! - Jn 3:16; 1Jn 4:9-10
         b. Indeed, even as God loves His only begotten Son ("as You have loved Me")!
      3. What a powerful message we have to share with the world!
         a. God loves them even as He loves His Son!
         b. But to convince the world of such love, unity among disciples is imperative!

[In light of Jesus' prayer for unity, no true disciple can be content
with religious division as it exists today (cf. 1Co 1:10).  Paramount
in our discipleship should be efforts to eliminate any kind of
religious division that is contrary to the will of Christ!

But how can we be one, even as the Father and the Son are one? 
Here are some thoughts on...]


      1. "Glory" which He had received from the Father - Jn 17:22
         a. Which He had given to His disciples
         b. Which enabled them to be one just as He and the Father were one!
      2. What is this "glory" to which Jesus refers?
         a. It may involve the idea of Jesus abiding in us
            1) I.e., the glory of Jesus abiding in us even as the Father abides in the Son
            2) Through such abiding, we may be made perfect in one - Jn 17:23
         b. Certainly without abiding in Jesus, we can do nothing - cf. Jn 15:4-5

   [Whatever the "glory" refers to, we should note that true unity
   comes from Jesus Himself; with this in mind, note the following...]

      1. As Paul expounded in Ep 2:14-16
         a. The division between Jew and Gentile ended at the cross
         b. Jesus died to make it possible for us to be one body! - Ep 4:4
      2. When we come to Christ through obedience to His gospel, we are
         united with all believers in His one body!
         a. We are baptized into one body - 1Co 12:13
         b. Thus we begin the Christian life united with all believers in Christ!

[When it comes to "attaining" unity, Jesus accomplished the unity for
which He prayed!  Our challenge is "maintaining" this unity if we wish
to honor Jesus' prayer...]


      1. Unity is impossible without adherence to the same standard
         a. Unless there were standards regarding weights and measures,
            confusion and division would result every time we went to the store
         b. Religious division occurs because people accept different standards of authority
            1) Some accept the authority of a pope, presbytery, prophet, or preacher
            2) We cannot maintain the unity for which Jesus died unless
               we can agree on the same standard
      2. For Christians our standard of authority must be that which...
         a. Originated from Christ - cf. Jn 8:31; Mt 28:18
         b. Was delegated to His apostles - cf. Jn 13:20; Mt 28:20; Ac 2:42
         c. Was proclaimed and written by His apostles - cf. 1Th 2:13; 1Co 14:37
      3. Taught by His apostles, we must be careful to...
         a. Observe ALL that He has commanded - Mt 28:20
         b. Not allow traditions of men to make void the commandments of God - Mt 15:3-6
         c. Not teach as doctrine the commandments of (uninspired) men - Mt 15:9
      -- The "apostles' doctrine" (i.e., the New Testament) must be our
         standard of authority, even as Jesus acknowledged when He
         prayed "for those who will believe in Me through their word"
         (i.e., the apostles' teaching) - Jn 17:20

      1. As Paul instructed the Philippians - Php 2:2-5
         a. There is no place for selfish ambition or conceit
         b. We must esteem others highly, and look out for their interests
      2. As Paul wrote to the Ephesians - Ep 4:1-3
         a. We must manifest lowliness, gentleness, longsuffering, forbearance in love
         b. With such diligence, we "keep" (maintain) the unity of the
            Spirit in the bond of peace
      -- Without this "mind" of Christ, we will misuse the word of God
         and destroy the unity Jesus attained through His death on the cross!

[With His doctrine before us, His mind in us, we can maintain the unity
Jesus attained.  With lives transformed by His teachings and His
attitude, we provide visible proof to the world that Jesus did come
from God and that the Father loves them also.

Finally, some thoughts about a providing a "visible" unity 
("That The World May Know")...]


      1. It is in the context of the local congregation that unity will be most evident
         a. For that is where interaction of Christians most often occurs
         b. Note that the warnings against division were often
            addressed in the context of the local church 
             - e.g., 1Co 1:10-13; 3:3-4; 11:18
      2. Therefore unity truly begins "at home"
         a. We may rightly deplore the religious division elsewhere
         b. But our first concern must be preserving unity in our own
         c. How sad when those who condemn religious division in the
            denominations can't even preserve unity in their own congregation!

      1. In the New Testament, each congregation was self-governing and
         a. Governed by a plurality of elders (bishops, pastors) whose
            authority was limited to the flock of God among them - cf.
            Ac 14:23; 20:28; 1Pe 5:1-2
         b. There was no authority above the local congregation other
            than that of Christ and His apostles
      2. It was only after the apostles died that things soon changed
         a. "During the second century A.D. churches came to have a
            single bishop, and then that bishop came to exercise
            oversight over nearby rural churches as well as the city
            church so that his ecclesiastical territory became known as
            a "diocese" or "see" ("eparchy" in the East).  Bishops of
            churches that had been founded by apostles were said to be
            in succession to the apostles, and hence their teaching was
            held to be authentic and their authority collegial.  By 400
            A.D. in the West, the bishop of Rome began to assume
            extraordinary authority above other bishops." (Holman Bible Dictionary)
         b. "Ignatius shows that in the early second century the office
            of bishop over the elders had developed, but Lightfoot has
            shown that it was not so in the first century." (Word Pictures, A. T. Robinson)
      3. Such changes were not only unscriptural, but set the stage for
         denominational division
         a. Churches were expected to line up under one bishop, patriarch, or council
         b. Rather than let the Lord Himself judge each church (cf. Re 2-3),
              religious hierarchies began determining which churches were faithful
         c. This has led to the denominational division so rampant
            today, and which presents a religiously divided picture to the world!
      -- As long as the denominational practice of organizing churches
         under some hierarchy above the local church continues,
         religious division will remain!


1. No true disciple of Jesus should treat religious division with nonchalance...
   a. It is contrary to our Lord's prayer for unity - Jn 17:20-23
   b. It is condemned by Paul as a manifestation of carnality - 1Co 3:3-4

2. Unity among disciples of Christ must be a primary concern, for Jesus...
   a. Died on the cross to attain unity
   b. Believed it to be "The Final Apologetic" to convince the world that He came from God

3. Since Jesus attained unity through His death, our task is to maintain it by...
   a. Following the doctrine of Christ as communicated through His apostles
   b. Displaying the mind of Christ as we interact with one another in our local churches
   c. Honoring the New Testament pattern of church organization, which
      is designed to slow the growth of religious division whenever it occurs

It is not always possible to avoid religious division (cf. 1Co 11:19),
but may we do all we can to preserve the unity we enjoy in Christ!

Fort Hood and the Quran by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Fort Hood and the Quran

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan “cleaned out his apartment, gave leftover frozen broccoli to one neighbor and called another to thank him for his friendship—common courtesies and routines of the departing soldier” (Baker and Blackledge, 2009). Shortly thereafter, he opened up on his fellow Fort Hood soldiers, killing 14 (a pregnant mother was among those killed) and wounding many others. Mainstream media outlets, and even some Muslim groups, were quick to assure Americans that the incident had nothing to do with Hasan’s religious views (“U.S. Muslims...,” 2009; “Military Experts...,” 2009; Brown, 2009).
This almost irrational refusal to link terrorism with Islam is apparently widespread even among mainstream Muslims (“U.S. Muslims...,” 2009). Nevertheless, some Muslims appear a little more willing to entertain the possibility that perhaps Islam and the Quran are responsible for the terrorists’ behavior: “For too long, we Muslims have been sticking fingers in our ears and chanting ‘Islam means peace’ to drown out the negative noise from our holy book. Far better to own up to it” (Manji, p. 78).
Own up to it, indeed. It may well be true that the vast majority of Muslims disapprove of the wanton acts of violence by Islamic terrorists happening around the globe. But the Quran—the holy book of Islam that 1.3 billion Muslims believe to be the word of God—is replete with explicit and implicit sanction and promotion of armed conflict, violence, and bloodshed by Muslims. Difficult to believe? Then read for yourself the following sections of the Quran from the celebrated translation by Muslim scholar Mohammed Pickthall:
Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then making fast of bonds; and afterward either grace or ransom till the war lay down its burdens. That (is the ordinance). And if Allah willed He could have punished them (without you) but (thus it is ordained) that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He rendereth not their actions vain (Surah 47:4, emp. added).
Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors. And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers. But if they desist, then lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrongdoers. The forbidden month for the forbidden month, and forbidden things in retaliation. And one who attacketh you, attack him in like manner as he attacked you. Observe your duty to Allah, and know that Allah is with those who ward off (evil) (Surah 2:190-194, emp. added).
Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not. They question thee (O Muhammad) with regard to warfare in the sacred month. Say: Warfare therein is a great (transgression), but to turn (men) from the way of Allah, and to disbelieve in Him and in the Inviolable Place of Worship, and to expel his people thence, is a greater with Allah; for persecution is worse that killing. And they will not cease from fighting against you till they have made you renegades from your religion, if they can (Surah 2:216-217, emp. added).
Muhammad was informed that warfare was prescribed for him! Though he may have hated warfare, it was actually good for him, and what he loved, i.e., non-warfare, was actually bad for him! And though under normal circumstances, fighting is not appropriate during sacred months, killing was warranted against those who sought to prevent Muslims from practicing their religion. Killing is better than being persecuted! A similar injunction states: “Sanction is given unto those who fight because they have been wronged; and Allah is indeed Able to give them victory” (Surah 22:39, emp. added). In fact, “Allah loveth those who battle for His cause in ranks, as if they were a solid structure” (Surah 61:4, emp. added).
In a surah titled “Repentance” that issues stern measures to be taken against idolaters, the requirement to engage in carnal warfare is apparent:
Freedom from obligation (is proclaimed) from Allah and His messenger toward those of the idolaters with whom ye made a treaty: Travel freely in the land four months, and know that ye cannot escape Allah and that Allah will confound the disbelievers (in His guidance). And a proclamation from Allah and His messenger to all men on the day of the Greater Pilgrimage that Allah is free from obligation to the idolaters, and (so is) His messenger. So, if ye repent, it will be better for you; but if ye are averse, then know that ye cannot escape Allah. Give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful doom to those who disbelieve. Excepting those of the idolaters with whom ye (Muslims) have a treaty, and who have since abated nothing of your right nor have supported anyone against you. (As for these), fulfill their treaty to them till their term. Lo! Allah loveth those who keep their duty (unto Him). Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful (Surah 9:1-5, emp. added).
The ancient Muslim histories elaborate on the occasion of these admonitions: “[T]he idolaters were given four months’ respite to come and go as they pleased in safety, but after that God and His Messenger would be free from any obligation towards them. War was declared upon them, and they were to be slain or taken captive wherever they were found” (Lings, 1983, p. 323).
Later in the same surah, “Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the religion of truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low” (Surah 9:29, emp. added). “Those who have been given the Scripture” is a reference to Jews and Christians. The surah advocates coercion against Jews and Christians in order to physically force them to pay the jizyah—a special religious tax imposed on religious minorities (see Nasr, 2002, p. 166). Muslim translator Mohammed Pickthall explained the historical setting of this quranic utterance: “It signified the end of idolatry in Arabia. The Christian Byzantine Empire had begun to move against the growing Muslim power, and this Surah contains mention of a greater war to come, and instructions with regard to it” (p. 145). Indeed, the final verse of Surah 2 calls upon Allah to give Muslims “victory over the disbelieving folk” (vs. 286), rendered by Rodwell: “give us victory therefore over the infidel nations.” That this stance by the Quran was to be expected is evident from the formulation of the Second Pledge of Aqabah, in which the men pledged their loyalty and their commitment to protecting Muhammad from all opponents. This pledge included duties of war, and was taken only by the males. Consequently, the First Aqabah pact, which contained no mention of war, became known as the “pledge of the women” (Lings, p. 112).
Additional allusions to warfare in the Quran are seen in the surah, “The Spoils,” dated in the second year of the Hijrah (A.D. 623), within a month after the Battle of Badr:
And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah.... If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them.... And let not those who disbelieve suppose that they can outstrip (Allah’s purpose). Lo! they cannot escape. Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others beside them whom ye know not.... O Prophet! Exhort the believers to fight. If there be of you twenty stedfast they shall overcome two hundred, and if there be of you a hundred stedfast they shall overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they (the disbelievers) are a folk without intelligence.... It is not for any Prophet to have captives until he hath made slaughter in the land. Ye desire the lure of this world and Allah desireth (for you) the Hereafter, and Allah is Mighty, Wise. Had it not been for an ordinance of Allah which had gone before, an awful doom had come upon you on account of what ye took. Now enjoy what ye have won, as lawful and good, and keep your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful (Surah 8:39,57,59-60,65,67-69, emp. added; cf. 33:26).
Muslim scholar Pickthall readily concedes the context of these verses:
vv. 67-69 were revealed when the Prophet had decided to spare the lives of the prisoners taken at Badr and hold them to ransom, against the wish of Omar, who would have executed them for their past crimes. The Prophet took the verses as a reproof, and they are generally understood to mean that no quarter ought to have been given in that first battle (p. 144, emp. added).
So the Quran indicates that at the Battle of Badr, no captives should have been taken. The enemy should have been completely slaughtered, with no quarter given. This very fate awaited the Jewish Bani Qurayzah, when some 700 men were beheaded by the Muslims with Muhammad’s approval (Lings, p. 232). Likewise, members of a clan of the Bani Nadir were executed in Khaybar for concealing their treasure rather than forfeiting it to the Muslims (Lings, p. 267).
Another surah describes how allowances respecting the daily prayers were to be made for Muhammad’s Muslim warriors when engaged in military action:
And when ye go forth in the land, it is no sin for you to curtail (your) worship if ye fear that those who disbelieve may attack you. In truth the disbelievers are an open enemy to you. And when thou (O Muhammad) art among them and arrangest (their) worship for them, let only a party of them stand with thee (to worship) and let them take their arms. Then when they have performed their prostrations let them fall to the rear and let another party come that hath not worshipped and let them worship with thee, and let them take their precaution and their arms. Those who disbelieve long for you to neglect your arms and your baggage that they may attack you once for all. It is no sin for you to lay aside your arms, if rain impedeth you or ye are sick. But take your precaution. Lo! Allah prepareth for the disbelievers shameful punishment. When ye have performed the act of worship, remember Allah, standing, sitting and reclining. And when ye are in safety, observe proper worship. Worship at fixed hours hath been enjoined on the believers. Relent not in pursuit of the enemy (Surah 4:101-104, emp. added; cf. 73:20).
These verses show that the Quran implicitly endorses armed conflict and war to advance Islam.
Muslim historical sources themselves report the background details of those armed conflicts that have characterized Islam from its inception—including Muhammad’s own warring tendencies involving personal participation in and endorsement of military campaigns (cf. Lings, pp. 86,111). Muslim scholar Pickthall’s own summary of Muhammad’s war record is an eye-opener: “The number of the campaigns which he led in person during the last ten years of his life is twenty-seven, in nine of which there was hard fighting. The number of the expeditions which he planned and sent out under other leaders is thirty-eight” (n.d., p. xxvi).
What a contrast with Jesus—Who never once took up the sword or encouraged anyone else to do so! The one time that one of His close followers took it upon himself to do so, the disciple was soundly reprimanded and ordered to put the sword away, with the added warning: “all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Matthew 26:52). Indeed, when Pilate quizzed Jesus regarding His intentions, He responded: “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36)—the very opposite of the Aqabah pact. And whereas the Quran boldly declares, “And one who attacks you, attack him in like manner as he attacked you” (Surah 2:194; cf. 22:60), Jesus counters, “But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also” and “love your enemies” (Matthew 5:39,44). The New Testament record presents a far higher, more noble and godly ethic on the matter of violence and armed conflict. In fact, the following verses demonstrate how irrevocably deep the chasm is between the Quran and the New Testament on this point:
[L]ove your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? (Matthew 5:44-46).
But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful (Luke 6:27-36).
What an amazing contrast! The New Testament says to love, bless, do good to, and pray for those who persecute you. The Quran says that “persecution is worse than killing” (Surah 2:217)—i.e., it is better to kill your persecutors than to endure their persecutions!
The standard Muslim attempt to justify the Quran’s endorsement of violence is that such violence was undertaken in self-defense (e.g., Surah 42:41). Consider the following Muslim explanation:
At the time when this surah (Surah 2—DM) was revealed at Al-Madinah, the Prophet’s own tribe, the pagan Qureysh at Mecca, were preparing to attack the Muslims in their place of refuge. Cruel persecution was the lot of Muslims who had stayed in Meccan territory or who journeyed thither, and Muslims were being prevented from performing the pilgrimage. The possible necessity of fighting had been foreseen in the terms of the oath, taken at Al-Aqabah by the Muslims of Yathrib before the Flight, to defend the Prophet as they would their own wives and children, and the first commandment to fight was revealed to the Prophet before his flight from Mecca; but there was no actual fighting by the Muslims until the battle of Badr. Many of them were reluctant, having before been subject to a rule of strict non-violence. It was with difficulty that they could accept the idea of fighting even in self-defence [sic].... (Pickthall, p. 33, emp. added).
Apart from the fact that the claim that Muhammad’s advocacy of fighting was justifiable on the ground of self-defense is contrary to the historical facts (since the wars waged by Muhammad and the territorial expansion of Islam achieved by his subsequent followers cannot all be dismissed as defensive), this explanation fails to come to grips with the propriety of shedding of blood and inflicting violence—regardless of the reason. Muslim scholar Seyyed Nasr seems unconscious of the inherent self-contradiction apparent in his own remark:
The spread of Islam occurred in waves. In less than a century after the establishment of the first Islamic society in Medina by the Prophet, Arab armies had conquered a land stretching from the Indus River to France and brought with them Islam, which, contrary to popular Western conceptions, was not, however, forced on the people by the sword (2003, p. 17, emp. added).
In other words, Muslim armies physically conquered—by military force and bloodshed—various nations, forcing the population to submit to Muslim rule, but did not require them to become Muslims! One suspects that, at the time, the distinction escaped the citizens of those conquered countries, even as it surely does the reader.
True Christianity (i.e., that which is based strictly on the New Testament) dictates peace and non-retaliatory promotion of itself. The “absolute imperative” (Rahman, 1979, p. 22) of Islam is the submission/conversion of the whole world. In stark contrast, the absolute imperative of New Testament Christianity is the evangelism of the whole world, i.e., the dissemination of the message of salvation—whether people embrace it or not (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-47). Absolutely no coercion is admissible from the Christian (i.e., New Testament) viewpoint. The Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and all other violent activities undertaken in the name of Christ and Christianity have been in complete conflict with the teaching of the New Testament. The perpetrators acted without the authority and sanction of Christ.
Islam seeks to bring the entire world into submission to Allah and the Quran—even using jihad, coercion, and force; Christianity seeks to go into the entire world and to announce the “good news” that God loves every individual, that Jesus Christ died for the sins of everyone, and that He offers salvation, forgiveness, and reconciliation. But, each person has free choice to accept or reject without any retaliation by Christians against those who choose to reject. Jesus taught His disciples, when faced with opposition and resistance, simply to walk away: “And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet” (Matthew 10:14). In fact, on one occasion when a Samaritan village was particularly nonreceptive, some of Jesus’ disciples wished to command fire to come down from heaven to consume them! But Jesus rebuked them and said, “‘You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.’ And they went to another village” (Luke 9:55). Muhammad and the Quran stand in diametrical opposition to Jesus and the New Testament.
If the majority of Muslims were violent, that would not prove that Islam is a religion of violence. The vast majority of those who claim to be “Christian” are practicing a corrupted form of the Christian faith. So the validity of any religion is determined ultimately not by the imperfect, inaccurate practice of the religion by even a majority of its adherents, but by the official authority or standard upon which it is based, i.e., its Scriptures. The present discussion in the world regarding whether or not jihad includes physical force in the advancement of Islam is ultimately irrelevant (cf. Nasr, 2002, pp. 256-266). The Quran unquestionably endorses violence, war, and armed conflict. No wonder the Muslims who perpetrated suicide bombings, America’s 9/11, and yes, the Fort Hood massacre, manifest a maniacal, reckless abandon in their willingness to die by sacrificing their lives in order to kill as many “infidels” (especially Israelis, Brits, and Americans) as possible. They have read the following:
Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks.... And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He rendereth not their actions vain. He will guide them and improve their state, and bring them in unto the Garden [Paradise—DM] which He hath made known to them (Surah 47:4-6, emp. added).
O ye who believe! Be not as those who disbelieved and said of their brethren who went abroad in the land or were fighting in the field: If they had been (here) with us they would not have died or been killed.... And what though ye be slain in Allah’s way or die therein? Surely pardon from Allah and mercy are better than all that they amass. What though ye be slain or die, when unto Allah ye are gathered?.... So those who...fought and were slain, verily I shall remit their evil deeds from them and verily I shall bring them into Gardens underneath which rivers flow—a reward from Allah (Surah 3:156-158,195, emp. added).
Even if the vast majority of Muslims in the world reject violence and refrain from terrorist activity (which is, seemingly, the case), it is still a fact that the Quran (as well as the example of Muhammad himself!) endorses the advancement of Islam through physical force. While Muslim apologist Seyyed Hossein Nasr insists that “the traditional norms based on peace and openness to others” characterize true Islam and the majority of Muslims, in contradistinction, he freely admits that at times Islam “has been forced to take recourse to physical action in the form of defense” (Nasr, 2002, pp. 112,110). This concession cannot be successfully denied in view of the Quran’s own declarations. Hence, the Muslim is forced to maintain the self-contradictory position that, yes, there have been times that Islam has been properly violent and, yes, the Quran does endorse violence, but, no, most Muslims are not violent, and then only in self-defense. As reprehensible and cowardly as Islamic terrorists have shown themselves to be in recent years, an honest reading of the Quran leads one to believe that they, at least, are more consistent with, and true to, their own Scriptures—as revolting an idea as that may be.


Baker, Mike and Brett J. Blackledge (2009), “Fort Hood Suspect Said His Goodbyes Before Rampage,” The Associated Press, November 6, [On-line], URL: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091106/ap_on_re_us/us_fort_hood_shooting.
Brown, Matthew (2009), “Muslim Organizations Condemn Fort Hood Attack,” The Baltimore Sun, November 6, [On-line], URL: http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/faith/2009/11/nidal_malik_hassan_allahu_akba.html.
Lings, Martin (1983), Muhammad (Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International).
Manji, Irshad (2005), “When Denial Can Kill,” Time, 166[4]:78, July 25.
“Military Experts Discuss the Attack at Fort Hood” (2009), New York Post, November 8, [On-line], URL: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/06/AR2009110602072.html.
Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (2002), The Heart of Islam (New York: HarperCollins).
Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (2003), Islam (New York: HarperCollins).
Pickthall, Mohammed M. (no date), The Meaning of the Glorious Koran (New York: Mentor).
Rahman, Fazlur (1979), Islam (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press), second edition.
Rodwell, J.M., trans. (1950 reprint), The Koran (London: J.M. Dent and Sons).
“U.S. Muslims Condemn Attack at Fort Hood” (2009), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), November 5, [On-line], URL: http://www.cair.com/ArticleDetails.aspx?ArticleID=26126&&name=n&&currPage=1.

The Holy Scriptures--Indestructible! by Wayne Jackson, M.A.


The Holy Scriptures--Indestructible!

by  Wayne Jackson, M.A.

The Word of God “lives and abides.” Thus wrote Peter, the inspired apostle of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:23). To buttress this claim regarding the enduring nature of the sacred Word, the divine spokesman quoted from the Old Testament prophet, Isaiah (40:6ff.), declaring: “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory thereof as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower falleth: But the word of the Lord abideth for ever” (1 Peter 1:24-25). Men come and go. Generations vanish. But the Holy Scriptures march on triumphantly.
There is a saying: “Homer must be handled with care.” The allusion, of course, is to the compositions of the blind poet of ancient Greece. The implication in the proverb is this—Homer’s works have been treasured and preserved cautiously for centuries. And yet, in spite of this meticulous care, only scant copies of Homer’s writings survive. There is no complete copy of the poet’s works prior to the thirteenth century A.D.—more than 2,000 years after the Greek writer lived (Schrivener, 1883, p. 4). By way of vivid contrast, the Bible, though viciously opposed and oppressed across several millennia, is reflected in thousands of Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, and even today continues to be the best-selling publication in the world.


Biblical antagonists have a long and violent history as they have sought, frequently by force, to eliminate the sacred Scriptures from public access. Reflect upon the following examples of malevolence toward the Creator and His Word.
When the noble Hebrew king, Josiah, was killed in battle, his son Jehoahaz came to the throne. He reigned but three months before Pharaoh-necoh of Egypt put him in chains and transported him to the land of the Pyramids. A brother, Eliakim, was placed upon the throne; his name was changed to Jehoiakim. Jehoiakim began to reign when he was twenty-five years of age. He taxed the Jews heavily on behalf of Pharaoh. He strayed from the Lord and immersed the nation in idolatry (2 Kings 23:28-37). The prophet Jeremiah was commissioned by Jehovah to write a sacred scroll, which threatened divine destruction unless the king and his people repented of their wickedness. Jehoiakim treated the matter with absolute contempt. After briefly listening to the message being read, he confiscated the scroll, cut up the leaves with a knife, and cast them into a fire (Jeremiah 36). But the Holy Word was not to be dismissed so easily.
After the death of Alexander the Great, the Greek empire was divided into four segments (cf. Daniel 8:8), and the Jewish people fell under the control of a remarkably evil ruler whose name was Antiochus Epiphanes. Antiochus, known popularly as “the madman,” launched a bloody persecution against the Hebrew people. One aspect of his vendetta was an attempt to destroy copies of the Jewish Scriptures. An ancient document records this episode:
And [the officials of Antiochus] rent in pieces the books of the law which they found, and set them on fire. And wheresoever was found with any a book of the covenant, and if any consented to the law, the king’s sentence delivered him to death (The Apocrypha, I Maccabees 1:56-57).
The historian Josephus commented upon this event: “And if there were any sacred book of the law found, it was destroyed, and those [Jews] with whom they were found miserably perished also” (Antiquities, 12.5.4). The heathen plan backfired, however, for it was this very persecution that generated more intense examination of the divine Writings. Out of this circumstance the genuine books of the Old Testament canon were formally separated from contemporary spurious documents that feigned inspiration (McClintock and Strong, 1968, 2:76).
Following the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth from the dead, Christianity was introduced into the Roman world. It spread like wildfire in the stifling environment of ancient paganism. Not many decades passed before Rome came to view the Christian system, with its New Testament Scriptures, as a threat to the security of the empire. And so history repeated itself. A determined effort to eradicate the Bible from antique society was initiated by the Roman ruler, Valerius Diocletian.
Diocletian occupied the Imperial throne from A.D. 284-305. In A.D. 303, he inaugurated a series of merciless persecutions upon those who professed the religion of Christ. Hurst noted:
[A]ll assemblies of Christians were forbidden and churches were ordered to be torn down. Four different edicts were issued, each excelling the preceding in intensity. One edict ordered the burning of every copy of the Bible—the first instance in [Christian] history when the Scriptures were made an object of attack (1897, 1:175).
Of course, as every student of history knows, events changed radically when Constantine the Great came to the Roman throne in A.D. 306 at the age of thirty-two. He solidified the Western empire by the defeat of his rival, Maxentius, in A.D. 312. The following year Constantine (in concert with Licinius, emperor in the East) issued a decree that granted legal protection to Christians. A form of this document is found in Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History (Book X, Chapter V). Once more the sacred Scriptures could find their way from places of seclusion and exert their benevolent influence.


If one method of opposition fails, then another must be employed—so surmised the apostles of paganism. Julian, a nephew of Constantine, came to the Roman throne in A.D. 361. When Julian was quite young, his family was murdered by wicked churchmen, into whose hands he was thrust for care. This circumstance, together with his early exposure to pagan philosophy, led him to renounce Christianity at the age of twenty (though it is doubtful that he was ever sincerely disposed toward the religion of Jesus). The year he assumed Roman rule, at the age of thirty, he openly declared his hostility to the Bible (hence he became known as “Julian, the Apostate”). Three centuries of bloodshed had not enhanced the cause of heathenism. Persecution had merely accelerated the spread of the Christian cause. Julian thus determined that he, with logical argument, would destroy the influence of the Scriptures.
There had been earlier attempts to meet Christianity head-on in intellectual debate. Celsus (c. A.D. 178) had written a treatise called “True Discourse,” which was “the first literary attack upon Christianity” (Cross, 1958, p. 256). Similarly, Porphyry (c. A.D. 232-303) authored several books against the Scriptures. These efforts, however, were isolated, and largely stood in the shadow of the violent persecution of those early centuries. Now, in a period of greater tranquility, Julian would renew the assault. Shortly before his death, he wrote a bitter attack against Christianity, the only remains of which are to be found in a refutation produced by Cyril of Alexandria (c. A.D. 432). The “Apostate” merely regurgitated the arguments of Celsus and Porphyry in a modified form, expanded somewhat by his larger acquaintance with the Bible (Schaff, 1981, 3:75). While this literary effort was doubtlessly effective with some, a skeptical historian, Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), penned this curious remark: “[T]he Pagans...derived, from the popular work of their Imperial missionary [Julian], an inexhaustible supply of fallacious objections” (n.d., 1:766; emp. added). “Fallacious objections?” Strange but powerful words from an infidel! Nathaniel Lardner (1684-1768), in his renowned work, The Credibility of the Gospel History has shown that Julian, in his vitriolic narrative, actually provided a number of incidental admissions that confirm the truth of most of the leading facts of Gospel history (see Schaff, 1981, 3:77-79).


The Bible has had to survive not only the persecution of its enemies, but also has had to weather the opposition of its so-called “friends” as well. Though some historical revisionists attempt to exonerate the Roman Catholic system of efforts to suppress the Holy Scriptures, the plain facts are undeniable. On numerous occasions in centuries past, church authorities had committed the Bible to flames under the guise that the translation was vulgar. The Fourth Rule of the Council of Trent stated that the indiscriminate circulation of the Scriptures in the common vernacular would generate “more harm than good.” Therefore, those reading or possessing the Bible “without...permission may not receive absolution from their sins till they have handed [copies of the Scriptures] over to the ordinary” (Schroeder, 1950, p. 274).
“Persistent effort was made by the Romanizers to suppress the English Bible. In 1543 an act was passed forbidding absolutely the use of Tyndale’s version, and any reading of the Scriptures in assemblies without royal license” (Newman, 1902, p. 262). Thousands of copies were burned. “Of the estimated 18,000 copies printed between 1525-1528, only two fragments are known to remain” (Thiessen, 1949, p. 84).


As a result of the tyrannical power of the Roman Catholic Church, the Protestant Reformation was born. A by-product of the Reformation was an emphasis upon the use of the individual mind for personal Bible interpretation (as opposed to the dictums of the priesthood). While this spirit was admirable, some took it beyond the bounds of legitimacy, virtually deifying human reason. The movement was distinctly identified when Johann Selmer (1725-1791) began to argue that biblical events must be judged in the light of human reason/experience, and so, the reality of Jesus’ miracles was called into question, Christ’s deity was denied, etc. The rationalistic disposition grew rapidly in the fertile fields of the German universities, and perhaps reached its culmination with the publication of Friedrich Strauss’ Life of Jesus (1835), in which the author undertook to show that the Gospel accounts were mere “myths” (Hurlbut, 1954, pp. 178-179).
In France, Rationalism found a champion in Francois Marie Arouer—popularly known by his pen-name, Voltaire—a deist who produced several volumes brimming with hatred for the Bible. No one in Europe did as much to destroy faith in the Word of God as Voltaire. France rejected the Scriptures, tied a copy of the Bible to the tail of a donkey, and dragged it though the streets to the city dump, where it was ceremoniously burned. But, as Coffman notes, “since that time, the government of France has fallen thirty-five times” (1968, pp. 343-344). Voltaire predicted that within a hundred years of his death (1778) Christianity would be swept from existence and pass into history (Collett, n.d., p. 63), yet two centuries have come and gone, and today, rare is the person who owns a copy of Voltaire’s writings, while almost every home is adorned with a Bible. The Encyclopaedia Britannica notes that Voltaire was “inordinately vain, and totally unscrupulous in gaining money, [and] in attacking an enemy” (1958, 23:250). Indeed! His final days were spent in agony. As an ex-Catholic, he loathed the idea of not having a “Christian burial.” He even signed a confession begging God to forgive his sins—which his biographers claim was insincere (Brandes, 1930, 2:328-329). When the composer Mozart heard of the skeptic’s death, he wrote: “[T]he ungodly, arch-villain, Voltaire, has died miserably, like a dog—just like a brute. That is his reward” (as quoted in Parton, 1881, 2:617).
In America, the battle against the Bible was led by men like Thomas Paine and Robert Ingersoll. Paine (1737-1809) came out of a Quaker background, and gained considerable prominence as a result of his writings (e.g., Common Sense) advocating America’s independence from Britain. Eventually he went to France. There he yielded to the influence of French deism, and so composed his infamous tome, The Age of Reason, which was a passionate attack against the Bible. His qualification for such a task may be illustrated by the following admission. In discussing a passage in the book of Job, Paine says: “I recollect not enough of the passages in Job to insert them correctly...for I keep no Bible” (n.d., p. 33). Again: “[When] I began the former part of The Age of Reason, I had, besides, neither Bible nor Testament to refer to, though I was writing against both...” (n.d., p. 71). So much for “scholarship.” Paine died a bitter and lonely old man, having lost most of his friends due to his political views and his hostility towards Christianity (Cross, 1958, p. 1005). His trifling little volume is mostly ignored today. In this writer’s city (Stockton, California) of more than a quarter-of-a-million people, the public library’s only copy of The Age of Reason has been checked out sixteen times in the past ten years!
Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) was a politician who gained his real fame as an agnostic lecturer. He toured the country blasting the Bible. Quite the eloquent speaker, he was paid as much as $5,000 for some of his speeches, and thousands thronged to hear him rail against things holy. His “Mistakes of Moses” was a popular presentation. William Jennings Bryan once quipped that it would be much more interesting to hear Moses on the “Mistakes of Ingersoll.” Ingersoll had been greatly influenced by the writings of Voltaire and Paine (as well as others), and initially was a deist. Eventually, he evolved into a full-blown agnostic (Larson, 1962, pp. 76-77). Ingersoll was enamored with Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, and argued that Darwin’s discoveries, “carried to their legitimate conclusion,” destroy the Scriptures (as quoted in Larson, 1962, p. 223). Ingersoll’s influence pretty much died when he did. I phoned a major Barnes & Noble distribution center and inquired regarding Ingersoll’s books. Not a solitary volume was carried in their inventory! It is a fact, though, that the views of Voltaire, Ingersoll, etc., have influenced some religionists of our era. Modern theological liberalism is so doctrinally nebulous that now even skeptics are warmly regarded. A few decades ago, Dean Shaller Mathews of the theological department of the University of Chicago asserted that the days are gone when men like Robert Ingersoll would be regarded as anti-Christ (Horsch, 1938, p. 7).
Yes, its critics wax and wane, but the Bible abides. It will outlast them all. In the words of John Clifford:
Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith’s door
And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime;
When looking in, I saw upon the floor,
Old hammers worn with beating years of time. “How may anvils have you had,” said I,
“To wear and batter all these hammers so?”
“Just one,” said he; then said with twinkling eye,
“The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”
And so, I thought, the anvil of God’s word
For ages skeptics’ blows have beat upon;
Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard,
The anvil is unharmed—the hammers gone!


Apocrypha, The (1894), (New York: Thomas Nelson & Sons) revised edition.
Brandes, Georg (1930), Voltaire (New York: Frederick Ungar).
Coffman, Burton (1968), Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (Austin, TX: Firm Foundation Publishing House).
Collett, Sidney (no date), All About the Bible (London: Revell).
Cross, F.L. (1958), The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London: Oxford University Press).
Encyclopaedia Britannica (1958), “Voltaire,” (London: Encyclopaedia Britannica).
Eusebius (1955 reprint), Ecclesiastical History (Grand Rapids,MI: Baker).
Gibbon, Edward (no date), The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (New York: Random House).
Horsch, John (1938), Modern Religious Liberalism (Chicago, IL: Bible Institute Colportage Association).
Hurlbut, J.L. (1954), The Story of the Christian Church (Philadelphia, PA: John C. Winston).
Hurst, John F. (1897), History of the Christian Church (New York: Eaton & Mains).
Josephus, Flavius (1957), The Life and Works of Flavius Josephus (Philadelphia, PA: John C. Winston).
Larson, Orvin (1962), American Infidel: Robert G. Ingersoll (New York: Citadel Press).
McClintock, John and James Strong (1968, reprint), Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Newman, A.H. (1902), A Manual of Church History (Philadelphia, PA: American Baptist Publication Society), Vol. II.
Paine, Thomas (no date), The Age of Reason (Baltimore, MD: Ottenheimer).
Parton, James (1881), Life of Voltaire (Boston, MA: Houghton-Mifflin).
Schaff, Phillip (1981 reprint), History of the Christian Church (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, reprint).
Schrivener, F.H.A. (1883), Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament (Cambridge, England: Deighton, Bell & Co.).
Schroeder, H.J. (1950), Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent (St. Louis, MO: B. Herder).
Thiessen, H.C. (1949), Lectures in Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).

The Case for Christianity by Robert C. Veil, J.D.


The Case for Christianity

by  Robert C. Veil, J.D.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: A.P. auxiliary writer Robert Veil, Jr. formerly served as a district attorney for the Washington County State’s Attorney’s Office, and previously maintained an active private law practice. He graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law, and currently preaches in Martinsburg, West Virginia.]
To “make a case” for something is to explain convincingly why it is true or to be believed. This may be done in any number of ways. It involves looking at the evidence in support of something, and considering its implications. This may also involve considering arguments opposed to it and analyzing what, if any, validity they may possess.
The case for Christianity is strong and convincing. Studying the arguments in favor of Christianity with an open mind can be a faith-building and truly life-changing experience. Such an analysis provides hope and encouragement not only as to this earthly life, but into eternity.
Christianity, as a system of belief, is far and away superior to the religions and inventions of man. It holds up extremely well by comparison. Consider a few of the major areas in which the case for Christianity is so clearly convincing.
First, Christianity makes sense. It makes good sense, not only from a theoretical and philosophical standpoint, but in a very tangible and practical way. Christianity, unlike manmade systems, is a religion of reason and common sense. It presents the honest student with a logical, reasonable way of life. Paul said, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2). The word “spiritual” in verse 1 translates in the American Standard Version a word meaning “of or belonging to the reason.” That is, it pertains to our faculty of thinking, our reason. It is translated in the KJV and NKJV with the English word “reasonable.” The footnote in the NASB suggests the word “rational” and Young’s Literal Translation has “intelligent.”
The Gospel appeals to our understanding. It is a system of belief based, not solely upon emotions (although there is an emotional element), but upon careful thought and reasonable conclusions. “For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles—if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)” (Ephesians 3:1-4). By reading and considering what the inspired apostle wrote, one can discern or perceive that it makes sense—that it contributes to an understanding of the mystery of Christ.
Second, the God of the Bible is infinitely above all of the gods of human creation. One of the tell-tale characteristics of the various religions invented by men down through the years is how their gods tend to reflect and look like the people and cultures who created them. They are of human origin, and they look all too human. As Robert Milligan observed long ago, “Like people like gods is true to every earth-born system of theology.”[1] Even the most enlightened cultures have created gods who pale by comparison to the God of the Bible. Quoting further from Milligan:
Take, for example, the theology of the ancient Greeks, the most enlightened, elevated, and refined heathen nation known in history. They excelled in all of the [civilized] arts…But, nevertheless, their theology was but a transcript of depraved and fallen humanity. In it is clearly seen every element of man’s [sinful nature].2 Uranus, the most ancient of their gods, is said to have hated and imprisoned his own children. Saturn made war against his father Uranus, and also attempted to devour his own male children. But his son Jupiter drove him from Crete into Latium, where, for a long time, he remained concealed from his ambitious and revengeful offspring. In Greece was also worshiped Venus, the goddess of licentiousness; Bacchus, the god of drunkenness; and many other gods and goddesses of like character.3
Third, Christianity is beneficial to mankind. Wherever its influence goes, mankind benefits. Cultures touched by the influence of Christianity tend to fare much better than secular societies, so long as they persist in their adherence to Bible principles. A few examples will illustrate this point:
a) Women. Unlike the creeds of men, the Bible is filled with noble women. Eve, the mother of all living; Abigail, the beautiful, intelligent, and wise wife; Esther, the queen who saved her people; Ruth, the loyal friend; Lydia, an example of hospitality, and the first Christian of Europe; the widow, whose lowly mite was the greatest contribution of them all; and Mary Magdalene, loyal to the Savior to the end. These, and scores of others, illustrate how women are depicted on the pages of the Bible. Their character is described in admirable and lofty terms. Their conduct is presented in a manner consistent with their good character. Anyone (man or woman) can read their life stories and be inspired to imitate them.
Also, the doctrine of the Bible with regard to women elevates them to a high, imitable standard. Consider the “worthy woman” as described in Proverbs 31:10-31. In summary, she is rare, valuable, trustworthy, profitable, beneficial, vigilant, efficient, hard-working, well-organized, supervisory, wise, strong, perceptive, capable, compassionate, brave, well-endowed, supportive, optimistic, kind, hard-working, revered, and praiseworthy. That is a far cry from the way women are depicted in the creeds and doctrinal statements of manmade religions. Such depictions would have been revolutionary in manmade works only a few generations ago.
This lofty ideal is often overlooked or misunderstood in the culture. I remember the first time I heard a college professor refer to the apostle Paul as a “misogynist.” At the time, I did not even know what the word meant. When she said it a second time, I made a note of it, and later looked up the word. It means a hater of women. When the instructor repeated her statement a third time, I questioned her openly in class. I asked her what proof or evidence from Paul’s writings she had for such a statement. Of course, she was unable to produce any, and simply talked around the question. I met with her in her office after class, and pointed out what her word actually meant. I then quoted for her an actual statement of Paul, very much on point: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it” (Ephesians 5:25). She conceded that perhaps her statement was a bit extreme. I agreed. The inspired writings of the apostle Paul, together with the totality of the Scriptures, have done more to elevate and exalt women over the history of mankind than all feminist and other writings combined. If you are a woman, the Gospel calls you to a life of dignity, value and appreciation!
b) Men: When you stop and think about it, Christianity is the one thing which can give meaning and purpose to the life of a man (Ecclesiastes 12:13; Job 28:28). It confronts him with the lifetime challenge he needs in order to find ultimate fulfillment and happiness.
The Bible presents man made in the very image of God himself (Genesis 1:26-27). Many religions hold their gods at arm’s length, something to be feared, even disdained. Yet the Bible describes the creation of man in the “likeness” of God, in his “image.” In many ways, man is comparable to God. He is capable of great accomplishments, wonderful love and mercy, inventive prowess, and great progress. Christianity calls man to actually be more like the God who wants man to imitate him. It is one of the rare systems of belief which encourages men to assume a higher standard of living. If you are a man, the Gospel calls you to a higher plane of love, leadership, and respect for others.
c) Children: Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven (Luke 18:16). Has it occurred to you that being childlike in heart is requiredto be a Christian? Amazingly, God not only cares about and protects children, but requires his followers to imitate them.
This is one of the reasons why Christian people have such great natural abhorrence toward the common practice of abortion. They have seen in the Word of God a glimpse of the precious value of a child. They see the child’s personhood, moral value, personal worth, and, most of all, purity. The child, yet unborn, is the ultimate image of hope, promise, and prospect for the human family. Christianity does not underestimate children. It embraces and looks to them with admiration. If you are a child at heart, the Gospel calls you to a life of purity, innocence and happiness.
d) The poor, the oppressed, and the down-trodden: The Bible shows us God’s concern for the needy (Leviticus 23:22; James 1:27). This concern, reflected in the ancient harvesting laws for ancient Israel, is alive and well in the Christian dispensation. All around the globe, churches of Christ are actively sheltering and protecting the needy, as envisioned and planned by God. “The poor you have with you always,” but only in Christianity do we find a completely workable plan for caring for them. Take away the compassionate principles of Christianity, and the poor become hordes to be manipulated, abused, and ultimately destroyed. If you are a widow, an orphan, poor, weak, oppressed, neglected, prejudiced, or under-privileged, the Gospel calls you to a life of honor and respect.
e) The imperfect, the mistaken, the lost: The church is not a haven or country club for the perfect, but a hospital for the forgiven. “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (Romans 5:6-9).
When Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, he knew they were ridden with problems. Yet, because of the influence of the Gospel in their lives, there was great hope. “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God(1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
Christianity is the one system of belief which can make you a better person! It appeals to your higher nature. It calls you from a life of sin and slavery to a life of forgiveness, justification, and hope. It bespeaks a way of life far above anything you have imagined before.


The case for Christianity is strong and convincing. This cannot be truly said of the dreamy confusions of Mysticism, the vacuum of Buddhism, the rituals of Hinduism, or the ravages of Islam. Christianity appeals to one’s heart and soul, one’s higher being; it appeals to the truth.
The next time you or someone you know begins to doubt the value of Christianity, or is tempted to feel like one religion is as good as another, remember what Christianity is. Remember that it makes sense, and that it makes people better, more like the amazing God who created them.


1 Robert Milligan (1868), Reason and Revelation (Cincinnati, OH: R.W. Carroll & Co.), p.31.
2 The phrase “sinful nature” is here used not to describe an innate or inherited tendency, or “original sin”, but a typical and universally observable feature of adult people everywhere, (Romans 3:23).
3 Milligan, pp. 31-32.