“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 27, NO. 33&34 – SENSE AND SENSIBILITY
In today’s atmosphere of anti Muslim sentiment, have we stopped to ask this question: Where have the Muslims been all this time? Where were they in World War II, or during the cold war? Did they suddenly come on the scene out of nowhere? No. They have been around since Abraham, although not organized until Muhammad came along. He was born 570 AD but traces his linage back to Abraham through Ishmael and Esau. So there were centuries in the land of Ishmael that were preIslamic.
In the years following the arrival of Islam, a monotheistic religion which believed idolatry to be wrong, wars between the polytheistic Meccans and Muhammad’s army were fought. The Quran, written by Muhammad, became the Bible of Islam.
It is interesting that a time in the history of Muhammad, the Jews and Christians was one of mutual acceptance. However, the Jews rejected the idea that Muhammad was a prophet of God. Jews and Christians living in Muslim controlled lands were left to worship as they chose, as long as they paid their taxes. In the coming centuries the tension would increase and the well-known crusades took place, which spread over a few centuries in which millions on all sides died.
While there were battles between the Jews, Christians and Muslims, history does not record a worldwide jihad like we see today. Of course, “worldwide” did not mean then what it does now. While the battles are still religious and political, they are more ideological than territorial.
So why are there Islamic terrorists all over the world today? It is not because of the Quran or Muhammad. It is based on several social factors, and like Jews and Christians, when such factors challenge their belief, they seek a source to validate their actions. Christian extremists kill abortion doctors. In the 1970s in West Virginia, a Christian (?) blew up a bridge to keep the school busses from taking children to school where controversial books were to be used. . The cause for violence is always aggression and fear. The fear of losing something. The fear of change. That’s why Christians killed each other during the Reformation Period.
There are radical Jews, and they are seen as a pariah by other Jews, but they read the same scriptures, but do not act the same..
A radical Muslim can turn to the Quran and find justification for their hatred and anger. Radical Jews can do the same, as can Christians. It seems there are less Jews and Christians who do that than Muslim’s, but it is important to know it is the radical, fundamentalist ones who do, not all of them.
If we were to base our actions on the actions of those in the Bible, people who “heard” the word of the Lord,” we could do as they did. In the Quran 9:5, which is a seventh century book, it says, “Slay the idolaters wherever you find them, arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. Make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites.” Just the kind of thing a radical Muslim needs to validate violence.
In I Samuel 15:3, Samuel, speaking for the Lord tells King Saul, “Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy them. Do not spare them: put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.” You may remember that Saul spared the king as well as everything “that was good.” This brings the wrath of God upon him. Because he did not commit complete genocide, Saul has disobeyed God.
Throughout history, “Amalekite” became the “tag” for anyone believed to deserve “holy” killing. During the Middle Ages, the Catholic popes called Muslims “Amalekites” as a way to justify killing them.
According to Penn State Professor, Philip Jenkins, the Puritans (Europeans) used the I Samuel passage to justify killing native Americans, even saying not to would be disobeying God. In Rwanda in 1994, Huta preachers used I Samuel to justify the total slaughter of the Tutsi’s.
Remember Mit Romney? He’s a Mormon. Remember the anti Mormon sentiment in churches many years ago? Remember the Texas Baptist preacher who got in hot water by calling Mormonism a cult. He also said he would hold his nose and vote for Romney.
If you want, you can look for yourself at the violence in the Book of Mormon on the internet, or read the book. I have looked at the statements on the net, and I find them to be just the same as those who look at the Old Testament and insinuate that because violence is there, it has to be the way modern Jews and Christians act. This is also true with those who read the Quran and insinuate that all Muslim’s act out the violence seen there.. Do some of them? Yes.
I never heard any of the Book of Mormon’s violence mentioned during the Romney campaign. And I’m glad. I don’t know any Mormons who take the book’s violence as a directive for their lives. There may be some, but I haven’t heard of them. I’m pretty sure, despite being a Mormon, Mr. Romney received more votes from conservative Christians than did President Obama.
Scott Peck, who may or may not be considered an authority on human nature, says that fundamentalism in any form, religion, government etc., is a sign of immaturity. I would agree with that, though I might be so arrogant as t say a sign of ignorance, which is the quality of immaturity.
A truth: You find what you are looking for. If you want to find violence in the Bible, or the Quran or the Book of Mormon, you can find it. If you look for the good in those books, you will find it, as you can in all such ethical and moral documents. However, the real issue is, as Jesus said, the fruit that springs from what is read and believed. It will either be good or bad. He also said the fruit we bear would be the telltale sign of who we are. Regardless.
CONCERNS: Gary Overstreet had successful triple bypass surgery and will spend some time in rehab. Continue to remember Garrett Lee Williams’ friend, Hannah. Joni Beach’s mother and father, her aunt, Pat Voss and her niece, Jamie Cole. Also Jim Hunter, Wayne Phlegar, Bill Albert’s son, David, Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, Sandy Blanchard and those caring for her. Sandy is from the congregation where Del Bolin grew up. She has cancer and has lost her sight. Kim (Hall’s) friend, Mary (MS) Sandra Anderson, Gil Richardson, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Jenni Cullum and her friend, Sean, Mary and Jim Smit and Tim Elder.
OUR DAILY BREAD: NOV. 16-21
Monday: Isaiah 6:1-13
Tuesday: Matthew 13:1-23
Wednesday: John 6:1-15
Thursday: Luke 15:11-32
Friday: Genesis 39:1-23
Saturday: Psalm 66:1-20
OUR DAILY BREAD: NOV. 23-28
Monday: Hosea 11:1-9
Tuesday: Matthew 10:24–39
Wednesday: Exodus 16:1-36
Thursday: Luke 7:36-50
Friday: John 13:31-38; 18:15-27
Saturday: Psalm 103:1-22
As noted in last week’s order of worship, Roger Fisher’s brother, Woody, died on Monday, November, 2. He had suffered for several months with complications, including diabetes. The funeral was in West Virginia. We extend once agin our sympathy to Roger in the death of his brother.
Today, Nov. 15, is Super Sunday. This was not listed in the order of worship for last Sunday, so those of you receiving this via email, please note it and plan to stay for the fellowship meal following the service
STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING
A couple of business items need to be addressed, so we will have a meeting of those steering committee members available on Sunday after the meal.
Not in time for this bulletin or the Order of Worship, a new printer will be purchased. We have been using refilled printer cartridges and the print heads may be at fault. However, in trying another one, there was no improvement. A brand new cartridge could be tried, but if that didn’t work, that cost could have been added to a new printer. So a new one will be in use by next week.
Thanks to Scott Blessing for filling in for Keith last Sunday while they were in West Virginia. We are blessed with several talented speakers
KARISSA AND JEFF
Keep in mind that Kirissa and Jeff Forsyth need a place to stay for a few months until he finishes his training and they relocate to Winston-Salem, NC. Their lease runs out before they are ready to move. If you know of someone, or can help, let them know.
Stephanie was in Las Vagus last week presenting her research on cancer at a medical convention. The trip was paid for by both Carilion and the Jefferson School of Medical Science.
Jack is spending a few days visiting the Naval Academy.