Thursday, November 4, 2010


To friends, indifferent strangers and enemies alike, I present the following reflection on one piece of totally erroneous "truth" making the rounds on the Internet.
When you receive something by email, or run across something on Google, use your brains and make common sense judgements about what you have received...even from relatives, friends, indifferent strangers and enemies.  
We forge ahead:

I quote you the opening sentences of an email I just received:

I believe that this is what America should do.
Does anybody know how Ishmael was conceived as per the Bible?  His mother pretended to Abraham that she was Sarah, an act of deceit at the outset.  And then Mohammed was begat on the succeeding generations from Ishmael.
I have met a few Muslims in my life. They don't believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  They believe that marrying multiple women is okay.  Their new law, the Sharia, is intolerant of other religions.  They believe that women are inferior to men.  They believe that killing Christians earn them Virgins in the afterlife.  Their way is the only correct belief.  And yet we are helping them in Iraq and Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and other Middle East countries, and yet they won't allow our troops to bring Bibles?  The answers are very obvious; those who are against the Bible and don't believe in Jesus Christ are lost and in the dark.  For the Bible preaches that no one comes to the Father but through Jesus Christ.  The Moslems and other non-Christian nations in the world (Japan, China, North Korea, Thailand, etc...) can't deny the existence of God because the Bible teaches that "For the truth about God is known to men instinctively."
  Click here to read the Biblical account of how Ishmael was born.  I will addrress the veracity of the last sentence below, towards the end.

I do not want to believe that I received this from a person whom I trust and respect.  She was a student in the mission school where I was the Director.  True, that was over 40 years ago.  I wonder what happened in between.

The answer to the first interrogatory sentence, according to this email, as highlighted above, is viciously erroneous.  Ishmael, the son of Hagar, the maid of Abram and Sarai, was not the result of his mother deceiving Abraham.  He was born of congress between Hagar, his mother, and Abram, the husband of Sarai.  This relationship was consummated in sexual contact on the suggestion of Sarai, who was barren and wanted Abram to have a descendant.  So the story goes, Sarai became bitter and mean towards Hagar and so Abram told Sarai to dismiss the maid and her son.  The two of them left.  There came a time during their flight from Sarah and Abraham (God changed their names to this) that they nearly died.  As Hagar was preparing to die, God intervened and blessed them.  He promised a rich and vast descendancy to Ishmael, just as he had promised Abraham.  Not only was there no deception on Hagar's part, she and her son received blessings and a promise of prosperity and great descendancy from God Himself.

I want to know who gave the author of the email the right to "BURN MY BIBLE?"

The mean spirit and narrow-minded tenor of the first two paragraphs is akin to burning the Bible, an act just as malicious as burning the Koran.  Twisting the stories of the Bible to the degree shown above is, in my opinion, blasphemous and sacrilegious.  Using a twisted version of a Bible story to feed hatred and prejudice aimed at a whole population is the worst kind of personal attack.
To single out the Muslims in this fashion shows a particularly deep dislike of a nation that exists because the head of the descendancy received a special blessing from God.  This is a nation mainly composed of the descendants of Abraham, just as we are.  They are different than we are.  The have different beliefs than we do, but they are children of God, just as we are.  
It is also true that they have a different world view than we do, but it is always better to negotiate rather than to condemn in hatred.  It is always better to bring the God of Love to the table with us, rather than to bring the sword of hatred and reviling.  To single out the Muslims because they do not believe that Jesus is the son of God, and is, indeed God, is to forget that there are many religious people in this world who believe in the word of the Bible but who do not believe that Jesus is the son of God.  The Jewish people do not believe that Jesus is the son of God.  There are many people in the world who don't believe in God, period.  To single out the Muslims for these reasons doesn't prove anything but that the writer has a personal problem with Islam.

Is that a reason why my Bible is being burnt here?

Sharia is called "their new law..."  It is not a new law.  It is the law of the Koran.  It is intolerant to non Muslims, but it is also extremely strict for Muslims.  Islam permits polygamy, but within bounds.  Muslims may not practice polygamy in countries where it is forbidden.  So they may have something to say about that, right?  They are great believers in theocracy, and we are not.  In a theocracy, many of our "freedoms" do not exist.  So our soldiers cannot carry their bibles into Muslim countries.  We do not allow their Koranic law in ours.

Is that a reason why the author of this article burnt my Bible?

More flames -- "The Moslems and other non-Christian nations in the world (Japan, China, North Korea, Thailand, etc...) can't deny the existence of God because the Bible teaches that 'For the truth about God is known to men instinctively'."
Nowhere in the Bible, King James Version or any other, is it written as is quoted above.  Nowhere.  What does appear in some writings is that the splendor of the world around us can lead us to the knowledge of the existence of God.  It is not said that the "truth about God is known instinctively."  It is taught by the Catholic Church that humans are endowed with a natural attraction to know the existence of God.  It is taught that knowing the existence of God and further and deeper truths about Him are rendered easier by outside help, like parental teaching, Bible reading, etc.
Furthermore, human beings can, and do, deny the existence of God all the time.  How can the writer of this email say that human beings cannot do that?  They do it every moment of every day, directly and indirectly, in words and in actions.  Retracing my steps, the author of the email includes "Moslems" in the list of people who can't deny the truth about God.  They don't deny the existence of God.  Seriously now, who do you think Allah is?  Is that the truth about God?  Who knows?  Does the author of this email know the truth about God?  Oh, perhaps Allah is a false God, and not the real thing?  Oh, before I forget, who might "Yahweh" be?  The Bible cannot be quoted as it has been in this email.

Stop burning my Bible.

It sends me through the roof when people wring falsehood out of sacred items.  I get perturbed when sacred objects are used to destroy good will and love among people.  The Bible is a Sacrament of Love, not a weapon of mass destruction.  If you are going to quote the Bible, do it correctly, word for word and in the proper context.  It is a sin to make the Bible say something that you want it to say, rather than to quote it accurately and in context so that what it is truly meant to say is apparent to the reader or the listener.
Do not burn my Bible,and do not cry at my funeral.

Post a Comment