1960 MY APPEAL TO ALQAEDA
I woke up early the other day- around 1 am [I have had this problem for years].
Right before I woke- I had one of those dreams that you feel are significant.
I was with a friend- Huey- and we were on top of a building.
To get down you had to climb down a rope from a tree- Huey jumped on the tree and almost killed himself- he managed to escape but hurt himself real bad.
Later that day- in ‘real life’ [no more dream] he called me- he had some ride he needed or something [Huey is one of those guys that always has something going on- but seems to never accomplish anything. A few months ago he asked if he could store some of his stuff in the room at my house- I use the room for the homeless guys. Sure enough- he’ll come by late at night- needing something- I felt I needed to learn some patience with my buddy].
The phone he was on was breaking up bad- but I told him quickly about the dream- that he needs to be careful about something [you know- I thought maybe it meant danger- not an actual fall!].
So I haven’t seen him in a couple of days- but wanted to know how he was.
His brothers- who I’m doing the halfway house with- haven’t heard from him.
So I’m walking to my van at the mission- and I see Huey for the first time since the dream.
‘Hey- how you doing’?
He was in severe pain- maybe a broken rib.
I just fell off of a pier and hurt myself real bad.
I told him ‘didn’t you remember the dream’.
Listen to my dreams.
Okay- not really.
The point is God uses us- all of us- in community.
That means in the bible the various gifts of the Spirit- they are intended to function this way.
We have [in modern church] more of an individual style of the gifts.
Maybe we attend a church- or go to some function- and often times we want to hear what God said – ‘thru the prophet in the house’ type of thing.
But actually these types of scenarios lean too heavily on one person.
You might have a gifted young man- a real go getter- maybe the pastor of a church.
Okay- good- but if the format is trying our best to hear God- mainly thru the speaking gift of one person- then thats limited- it really is not the way ‘church’ was done in the bible.
Okay- enough of that.
I have a couple of things I want to write on- but can’t do them both.
I want to write a post- just to Al Qaeda.
Yes- not one of those ‘got ya’ type titles- but a real life post to members of Al-Qaida.
What would possess you to do such a thing?
This last year I have had a lot of web hits from countries where many Muslims live.
My blog changed a function a while back.
It shows me- not on the site- but in the private section- how many hits we get.
A while back I stuck a thing on the site to see what countries view- but I realized the hits were much more than what that Fidgit thing was showing.
We were goin up a few hundred every couple of days.
Grant it- that’s not much- but it’s more than I thought.
We just passed 37,000 hits the other day.
So- I also noticed that the posts where I mention Islam- or some type of political thing- they get the most hits.
So- being I already said this much- might as well make this the Al-Qaida post.
I’m grateful to have Muslim friends who read the site- I’m grateful if some are Al-Qaida.
My appeal- what I try to do over the years- is to simply see both sides of a thing- to try and understand the others view- and then do my best to present the Christian idea.
Now- when I was talking to a friend the other day- Islam came up.
I told him ‘did you know that Muhammad- the founder of Islam in the 7th century- had many of the same protests that other Christian groups would later voice too’.
I explained that Muhammad’s rise in defense of the poor and down cast [by the way- that’s actually a biblical characteristic of prophets- in the bible] were similar to Christian movements that would rise later on- like the Salvation Army.
I went on to show that he also felt like the growing use of statues in Christian worship was a violation of the commandment that says you should not make images/idols.
Now- to my Catholic friends- I have taught the entire history of the use of art- and yes- statues- in Christian worship.
I have also taught against the Iconoclasts- those Protestants who destroyed the statues in the Catholic churches- during the times of the Reformation [16th century].
So- I’m not ‘Catholic bashing’ at all.
The point is- Muhammad had some of the same objections- based on the bible- that later Protestants would have.
Gee John- I never knew this? That’s why I teach it- it helps to have less of a negative view of Muslims as a whole.
So- after I try to look at some of the good things that Islam has done [Hamas- in the Palestinian area. Why do they garnish so much support among the populace? Because they start hospitals- they feed the poor- they start welfare programs for the kids. Do they do this as some sort of trick- a way to gain the hearts and minds of people? No- they do this because it’s a basic tenet of their faith].
Okay- then what do I say to any Al-Qaida on the site?
I say that the historic divisions- the things that divide the East from the West- many of them are actual misunderstandings.
Yes- some of the religious objections were misunderstandings.
The classic one.
Muhammad believed that the Christians worshipped 3 Gods- what we call the Trinity.
But he thought the believers worshipped God- Jesus- and Mary-the mother of Jesus.
That’s of course not the trinity- this is simply a misunderstanding.
Christians believe that there is one God- in 3 persons.
Those persons being the Father- Son and Holy Spirit.
But the biggest thing I like to show my Muslim friends- my friends form other faiths- is that the message of the Cross- it’s one of grace.
Christians believe that Jesus kept all the commandments of God- then he died to pay the price for our sins.
As Christians- we don’t teach against the 10 commandants- but we don’t use them to gain acceptance with God- the acceptance we have with God comes because of the death of his Son on our behalf.
In actuality- this message is a great relief for all people who live ‘under the law’.
That is- if your Muslim- if your Al-Qaida- you too can take this.
Yes- Jesus died for you too.
That’s the appeal I make- I’m not asking my friends from other faiths to convert- if they want to- fine.
But that’s not my appeal.
I’m saying to all my friends- this message of the Cross- this is for all people.
Heck- if you want to stay Muslim- stay- but just accept the reality of this post.
Yes- Jesus is spoken about much in the Quran.
The prophet Muhammad respected Jesus.
Jesus can become- should become- all that he was intended to become- that is he died for you guys too.
Right now in the Muslim world there is a movement going on- it’s highly debated in Christian circles.
The movement is many Muslims are receiving Christ in this way- and staying Muslim.
Yet- they are accepting the Christian view of the death of Christ on their behalf.
As somewhat of a scholar type guy- yeah- I see where the objections arise.
But as a real world person- who is glad that I get many readers from countries where I know many Muslims live.
To you- go ahead- accept the benefit of Christ’s death and resurrection.
Many Muslims have already done this- many more will.
If you want to keep the other good points of Islam- fine.
But don’t see acceptance thru your ability to keep the law- no one can ultimately live up to that standard.
Jesus was the only one who never sinned- his death on our behalf allows us to come into the presence God.
He died for all- Muslims- Jews- Hindu’s’ the list goes on and on.
In today’s world- many of the objections against Christianity are really objections against Western Imperialism.
A thing I too reject.
That’s not the heart of the Christian faith.
You can receive Christ- and keep objecting to all the political ideas of the Western world.
Heck- Jesus railed against the money changers [the rich capitalist pigs of the day].
In some ways- Jesus was the ultimate Revolutionary who spoke truth to power.
Yeah- many radical’s- even Al-Qaida could respect him for this.
That’s my appeal to Al-Qaida today.
Glad some of you might read- keep reading- that’s the point.
NOTE- There is a famous prophecy about Jesus in the bible- it says ‘Gentiles shall come to your light- and kings to the brightness of your rising’.
This also applies to the ‘rise’ of the church- the people of God.
But in context- the gentiles are all the nations [even various religions- some are called Denominations] that are not Christian- not considered benefits of the Covenant of God.
The apostle Paul teaches us that we are all now part of the covenant of hope- we all now benefit from the promises of God [Ephesians].
The point being- the bible speaks about other groups- other nations- seeing the reality of Jesus and his kingdom- and that these too will come to the ‘brightness of his rising’.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] - I have posted lots.