Fearing the Man from Nazareth

by Rebecca Bynum (August 2013)


Something the most vehement non-Muslim defenders of Islam often tell me is they have no fear of the consequences of Islamization, either for themselves or for their descendants, whatsoever. The idea of misogynous, homophobic, antisemitic, anti-American communities proliferating on American soil while openly seeking the overthrow of the Constitution is not a cause for concern. They believe Muslim societies can easily co-exist in a secular world, despite ever mounting evidence to the contrary. These people wear their lack of concern as a badge of honor – as evidence of superior tolerance and thus of superior moral sensibility.

Instead, what they often tell me (usually in highly hysterical tones) is that their greater fear – much greater fear – is of Christianity and Christians.

Buried in this fear is the unrecognized admission that the only thing strong enough to oppose the belief system of Islam (the life and teaching of a seventh century Arab warlord) is its opposite, i.e., the life and teaching of a first century Jewish carpenter. For them, the actual teachings of Muhammad may be safely ignored without engendering inner turmoil, but the teachings of Jesus cannot be so easily put aside – they must take up arms in opposition. And thus they must side with and defend that which they undoubtedly believe to be false, that is, Islam, rather than deal with the simple lessons of the Gospel: that God is good, that morality is real and that death is not the end. This is the true threat to their peace of mind, a threat to everything they think they know.

Indeed, all sincere seekers of truth must eventually grapple with the man from Nazareth and decide for themselves if he spoke the truth or was the greatest liar the world has ever known. This is what the enemies of Christianity want to avoid – a personal confrontation with the Nazarene fisherman. It is much easier to throw some lightly considered saying of Jesus back in the face of Christians (on turning the other cheek, for example) than to really delve into the parables or the Sermon on the Mount.

Much has been written about the fact that we live in the afterglow of Christian civilization, that the moral worldview we think of as being inborn is actually an effect of the Christian substructure our civilization is built upon. Nothing makes this clearer than the experience of observing the worldview and moral structure of Islamic belief and Islamic societies. It is a completely different way of looking at the world and man’s place in it. The morality of Islam is a complete inversion to Christian morality, the morality we think of as natural with or without Christ.

The real nature of morality has been and continues to be studiously avoided on both sides of the Islam debate. It is easier for many Islam critics to focus on the unjust political side of Islam and pretend that morality and religion are beside the point. As Pamela Geller often says, “I don’t care if you worship a stone, just don’t stone me with it.” Or, Bill Warner: “Religion is just what you do to gain heaven or avoid hell,” the implication of both statements being that religious belief concerns no one but the believer and can therefore be safely ignored. Only that which is political needs to be dealt with. Politics is something we’re comfortable with. Religion is something we think we’ve left behind, or is something so personal, we’re afraid to discuss it in the public arena.

Unfortunately, even in this age of relativism, religion, morality and spirituality must all be dealt with – openly and publicly. All the great conflicts of history have been essentially moral conflicts between two levels of spiritual perception. Those who are unsure of right and wrong have no defense against those who are absolutely certain of the rightness of their cause and the purity of their motives.

Christians are taught to serve God by serving man, Muslims are taught to serve God by serving Islam at the expense of man. Has there ever, in the history of humanity, been a more clear-cut moral difference?

The world our proliferating atheist class would build, one in which there is no God and therefore no moral structure to the universe, could never sustain freedom for long. In that world there is no reason why some men should not tell others what to think, feel, say and do. Where God’s will is not thought to exist, there is no brake on human will and no moral restriction on coercion – for one’s own good, of course.

On the other hand, if it is understood that God himself respects the free will of his creatures (within a morally structured universe), then and only then, will men consistently respect the free will of other men. Order can be maintained through inner restraint rather than the outward restraint of law and social coercion. The only way that the present trend toward increasing coercion can be inhibited is through the realization that true morality results not from societal form, but from the guidance and insights originating from spiritual forces within each human being.

Our entire world of finite reality is ultimately dependant upon a greater infinite and eternal reality – the observable universe is but a tiny sliver of the totality of existence. Therefore our personal reality is likewise dependent on something greater and it is this very dependence which causes rebellion in the ego-self. The ego, like Lucifer, demands total freedom – demands the place of God. Those who take up arms against religion want to be dependent on nothing and responsible to nothing beyond their own selfish ego. They demand the impossible – to take the place of God.

Islam likewise takes the place of God, so its non-religious defenders would rather battle for a totalitarian system of draconian social control than admit the possibility that they may have been wrong, that there is a God to whom they owe their existence, and thus their allegiance. They would rather cling to the delusion of ego-freedom, rather than grasp true freedom by accepting their sonship with God – discovering one's natural place in the universe as a child of God – not as a slave, not as a subject – as a child.

Though God in his absolute form is unchanging, his material creation is nothing but change – growth and decay. We have a firm place to stand only when touching that absolute, eternal and infinite being which lives within and whose voice never stops speaking to us.

Therefore, religion must also change. We cannot fight an unchanging belief system by becoming mired in the past ourselves, trapped in an unbending doctrine. It takes faith to follow the Master into the future and to expect that his other children will hear his voice and likewise follow him in their own ways. We cannot fight a system that cruelly forces conformity by forcing conformity of another kind – either by enforcing a creed or by indoctrinating children in unbelief.

No man, no “scientist,” no “prophet” no “politician” has the right to force conformity of thought, speech or action on free human beings. Forced conformity is immoral because and only because God has given us freedom that no man has the right to take away – no man had the right to play God. True religion is the only thing strong enough to protect freedom, and freedom cannot be maintained when belief in God is undermined. The thought-speech slavery of political correctness is but a tiny foretaste of what is to come.

Tolerating injustice is itself morally corrupting, but allowing an unjust system like Islam to take root within the post Christian world will inevitably lead to the kind of moral confusion Bat Ye’or has so ably described as the mental conditioning of dhimmitude which precedes the actual imposition of dhimmi status by many years. Those who claim we should not deal with Islam in its religious and moral dimension do nothing to prevent this moral confusion. Morality must be clear, but it must also be forward looking; religious understanding must evolve or it will slowly perish, taking freedom with it. 

One thing is certain, religion cannot be safely ignored.

 


Rebecca Bynum's latest book is Allah is Dead, Why Islam is Not a Religion.



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