Last month we published “Yea or Nay on the Ground Zero Mosque”. Thanks to each reader and each commenter.
On August 3, the Landmarks Preservation Commission of New York City gave mosque planners a green light. Opponents are promising a continued fight in the courts, and union workers are vowing non-cooperation in the construction.
That’s the news. Here’s one important take away. As some of our commenters noted, America’s pluralistic heritage means we practice freedom of religion, as we should. That does not mean, though, that all ideologies are equal in the outcomes they deliver in a society. Some ideas produce more justice, others more corruption; some more poverty, others more wealth. Some systems lead to more wisdom, others to more folly; some lead to greater wellness, others to more disease. Some to life, others to death.
An ideology that glorifies death sets itself in opposition to the Bible, which clearly regards death as an enemy.
He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. (1 Corinthians 15:25-26)
Jesus Christ “abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. (2 Timothy 1:10)
Life flows from God. Thus the Judeo-Christian worldview of the Bible celebrates life. Because we are made in the image of God, every individual has intrinsic worth and a God-given right to life. All human life—from conception, at any level of society—is sacred.
What’s more, all people, not just Bible believers, are hardwired for life and intuitively regard death as an enemy.
Jihadists, however, are groomed to deny their natural hardwiring in favor of death. As bin Laden said in his Declaration of War, “These youths love death as you love life….”
Middle East expert Walid Phares writes in Jihad Against Democracy that Jihadists “are in love with death” but they also worship the concept of killing for the sake of ideology.
The gospel gives life; jihad delivers death. For a clear example of the contrast, note the physical symbol of each. Jihad’s symbol is the sword, conquering the world for Allah. The symbol of Christianity is the cross, the Son of God giving himself that others may live. Jihad calls her sons to kill for Allah to achieve salvation. Christianity’s God sends his only son to die for our salvation. He died to save his enemies, even Jihadists. Jihad says that righteousness is achieved by works: entering paradise by killing infidels. Christianity teaches righteousness by grace: salvation by faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross. And Christ called his followers to love their enemies, even those who would kill them.
The real struggle, the battle for individuals and nations, is one of ideas. Only truth can win freedom and peace.
- Darrow Miller and Gary Brumbelow