Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Answering the charge of “rape” against the doctrine of God’s effectual grace (Part 2)

See Part 1,here..

Colin Smith wrote three articles on Islam and the doctrine of Qadr. (قدر Predestination; Sovereign Power; “measure”, “muchness”; and we get the Farsi words for “power” (قدرت) and authority اقتدار and “so much”, “much-ness”, “measure” قدر , almighty/absolute powerful one قادر مطلق , and “able”/powerful one” قادر , from this Arabic word.) Smith points out that in Islam; there is no real basis for Allah to predestine or elect or chose someone for salvation in Islam. Since there is no incarnation or atonement, and all humans are basically good, Islam has no foundation for its Predestination, except the capricious will of Allah. Because Allah just decides to forgive, without justice done against the sin, Islam also denigrates the Holiness and justice of God. In a practical way, it seems that since theoretically, a Muslim receives Allah's acceptance by faith plus good works, then it is based on the faith plus good works of the human; so one could also say it is based on the innate goodness of the person who does Allah’s will; that that is the basis. Yet, in the end, Allah decides, even the person keeps all the rituals, and obeys the Sharia law can be sent to hell. Serious Muslims who take their sin seriously have tortured souls; because there is no assurance; and they can never cleanse their hearts by external rituals.

Part 1:  Predestination in Islam – The Doctrine Stated

Part 2: Predestination in Islam – "Analysis of Norman Geisler's approach"

Part 3 of “Predestination in Islam” – "A Reformed Critique"

Smith writes, “It is not the fact that God is able to decree a man's path and predetermine his final destiny that is the major theological problem with the Islamic view; rather it is the fact that God appears to do this without any reason or motive for so doing.” Predestination in Islam: "A Reformed Critique", blog, 03/25/2007 - Colin Smith

God’s love demonstrated in the incarnation, and His substitutionary atonement provide the reason and motive for God’s Predestination in Christianity. Islam, by rejecting the incarnation and the atonement on the cross, have gutted the most amazing truths of God! They have no God of real love; and they have denigrated God’s holiness, because in Islam, “Allah just forgives when He wants to”, without any justice/punishment/blood sacrifice for sin. That is capricious and arbitrary because justice is denied and the holiness of God is trampled under foot. Islam does not have a high view of God’s holiness. That is why many men don’t see anything wrong with lusting in their hearts and they blame their lusts on women. Over the years, I have heard many a Muslim man say to me, confessing that they had sex with loose American college girls, “Allah knows I am weak; and I need the woman; Allah is forgiving.” And “Western woman, with her nakedness and showing too much flesh; it is like putting a juicy steak in front of me and saying, “You cannot eat!”

In Islam, Allah is merciful and compassionate, based on His will, not His nature. Allah does loving actions to those who love him first, but Allah is not love by nature. Allah loves those who love him and obey him, but the God of the Bible loves sinners; enemies, ungodly, and the helpless ones. (Romans 5:5-10) Allah in Islam, is not love by nature. Islam does not have a verse like I John 4:8 or John 3:16 or Romans 8:39 or Romans 5:5-10, that God loves sinners and that Christ voluntarily gave his life for them.

John 10:18 is one of the most important verses to know in witnessing to Muslims, because Muslims charge that “it is unjust for you Christians to say that God forced Jesus to pay for the sins of others.” John 10:18 demolishes that argument: “No one takes My life from Me, I lay it down on My own initiative, I have authority to lay it down and take it up again.” The Father did not “force” Jesus; rather God the Son voluntarily out of love chose to come and be incarnated and freely gave His life for us on the cross. Beautiful!

Even when a Muslim seeks to obey all of Allah’s laws and will, the fact that there is no guarantee of Allah’s acceptance, produces a guilt and psychological pressure in the serious Muslim’s mind and soul. Allah chooses whoever He wants, but one can never be sure if He is chosen; and in fact, it feeds into pride and Pharisee-ism, because they can boast of their good works and inherent goodness to earn rewards of eternal life.

Because Islam teaches that all people are innocent and sinless at birth, and have no doctrine of inherited sin or total depravity, based on Surah 30:30; Islam gives serious Muslims the idea that they can earn their way to God by faith and good deeds and obedience and that they have the innate power to discipline themselves, leading to paradise; but still with one caveat, . . . Ensh’allah. (“If God wills.”) Many Muslims have said to me over the years, “Even if I keep all of the laws of Allah; He can still send me to the hell-fire if He wants to!”

This “pure and upright nature” is called “fitrah” فطره or فطرت , from Surah 30:30.

Smith points out, “In Islam, since all men are born with a pure fitrah, there appears to be no reason why God couldn't tell the jinn and the devils to leave His creation alone and allow all men to follow the way of truth leading to Heaven. Perhaps this is really why Muslims are not encouraged to think too long and hard over the doctrine of Qadar: the picture it paints of God is not at all flattering. Rather than a loving God who sacrifices His Son to allow some of those justly condemned to go free, the God of Islam is a capricious God who takes a group of innocent people and sends some to rot in Hell, and others to follow Him to Paradise.” (see here)

In Islam, humans are innocent in a sense, because they have innate power within themselves to reform themselves; and yet they are not innocent in another sense. To be fair, Islam does teach that humans sin; and they don’t believe those that go to hell are innocent. Muslims don’t believe that polytheists and “kuffar” - infidels, blasphemers, Christians who say that Jesus is the Son of God and God incarnate, atheists, agnostics, adulterers, murderers, thieves, are innocent. At times, Islam seems to affirm an inherent nature of sin in the human race. Muslims do admit that man sins, is unjust (Surah 14:34; 33:72); and is ungrateful (14:34; 100:6), quarrelsome (16:4), and rebellious (96:6). Surah 16:61 even says, “If Allah were to punish men for their wrong-doing, He would not leave, on the (earth), a single living creature . . . “ But in the end, Islam seems to teach that man can clean himself up by discipline and reform himself by faith in Allah and the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, and by doing the rituals and obeying Allah’s laws.

However, Islam does not teach that human hearts are by nature sinful and from the root evil and that we need a savior, someone to pay the just penalty (justice/wrath) for our sins. On the issue of the sin nature of man, and his need for a savior, this is where there is a disconnection with reality and a contradiction. Muslims do not see the need for the atonement, because they do not believe in the sinful heart and nature of man.

In Islamic teaching, humans are not “dead in trespasses and sins” and are not “by nature children of wrath”. (Ephesians 2:1-3) Muslims need to read the gospels and the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 5, 6, and 7 and Mark 7:14-23 and Genesis 6:5, that says, “every intention of the thoughts of the imaginations of his heart is only evil continually.” Islam says you can clean up your life by discipline and following the Islamic rituals.

In Islam, the basis for Allah’s predestination is His capricious choice, but in Christianity, the basis of God’s election is His love that He demonstrated in actually saving sinners. (Ephesians 1:4-5; 2:4-9) “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) The basis for God’s judgment or reprobation of others is His justice. (Romans 9:14-24) God’s love is not a sentimental, mushy feeling. It certainly includes emotions, but is much more; it is action oriented and flowed from God’s nature and He expressed it supremely and ultimately in the incarnation and the atonement. The incarnation of Christ (Hebrews 2:14-17), and the substitutionary atonement of Christ on the cross actually objectively saves people from all nations, tribes, tongues, and peoples. (Revelation 5:9; 7:9; see this bottom line of the drama of redemption - Genesis 3:15; 12:3; 22:18; 49:10; Psalm 2, 67; 96; Isaiah 49:6; Romans 15:20-21; Matthew 28:19; Luke 24:44-49)

Islam has no objective basis for election because it has nothing that objectively demonstrates God’s justice and love at the same time. The cross was where God objectively showed His holy love and His holy justice at the same time, by God Himself, the Son of God, willing to come and voluntarily become flesh and lay down His life for His elect people.

As Charles Wesley wrote in his famous hymn, “Amazing love, how can it be, that Thou my God shouldst die for me!??” It is very interesting that he and his brother John were Arminians theologically, yet the truth of how Biblically sound that Reformed theology is, could not help but be expressed in this song.

The fourth verse of this great song expresses the truth of God’s effectual grace in awakening and regenerating the dead sinner:

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
fast bound in sin and nature's night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray;
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
my chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.

All true Christians (Reformed and non-Reformed)are grateful for this effectual grace that changed our wicked and lustful and prideful and selfish hearts, so that we no longer hate God, but now we love God, because He first loved us. (I John 4:10, 19) “Rape”? No way.


steve said...

It’s ironic that a Mohammedan would presume to compare sovereign grace to rape when you consider the fact that Islam not only has the custom of honor-killings, but honor-rapings (i.e. gang-raping a girl/woman who “shamed” her family, even if she was the innocent victim).

Viisaus said...

I have read that the Islamic ideology concerning the treatment of conquered infidel populations - i.e., the "dhimmis" - is quite consciously informed by terms of sexual aggression and oppression.

To put it succinctly, traditional Muslim jurisprudence declared that dhimmis must remain "weak as women".

They had to be made constantly aware that they were at the mercy of their Muslims masters who could "slap them around" and in other ways abuse when they saw such infidels behaving in too uppity manner.

For example, in pre-modern Islamic countries the leader of dhimmi community often annually came to present a humiliating annual monetary tribute to a Muslim cleric, who then in return punched him to a face.

Ken said...

Yes, those are realities in the Muslim world and all throughout Muslim history.

Islam cannot change the heart, and so it cannot make a better society.

It produces lots of pride and violence and hypocrisy and hiding of sin, because of eastern ideas of "saving face" and shame and defending one's honor.

The raping of women in jails before their execution, honor killings, female circumcision; treatment of Christians and Jews as "dhimmis" and wars that Islam started against the Byzantines and Persians and Hindus is a shameful history.

They are not taught to confess their sins much or repent over secret hidden sins.

I am grateful the Grandverbalizer19 sometimes speaks out against violence and hypocrisy from other Muslims; but I pray that God will open his heart to repent and trust in Al Masih (The Messiah) for his salvation from the just wrath of God against sin. (2 Timothy 2:24-26; Acts 16:14; Ephesians 2:1-9; John 3:36; Romans 1:18; Mark 7:20-23; Matthew 5:22-30; John 14:6; John 3:18; Revelation 20:10-15)

steve said...

Ken said...

"I am grateful the Grandverbalizer19 sometimes speaks out against violence and hypocrisy from other Muslims..."

But isn't that rather disingenuous on his part? He has no voice in the Muslim world. He's just an American kid who converted to American-style Islam, and speaks out from the safety of his American surroundings.

Effective criticism must come from the top down. From political and religious representatives in positions of power and prestige throughout the Muslim world.

He doesn't have the luxury of defining or redefining Islam to make it more humane or democratic. Islam defines him. So he can't disassociate himself from the institutional violence and hypocrisy of his adopted religion. It's a package deal.

Let him go to Saudi Arabia, stand on a street corner with a megaphone, and see what happens to him when he tries to paddle his libertarian form of Islam.

Ken said...

There is a lot of truth in what you write in your last post.

I don't know if its disingenuous of the GV19, - he follows more of a Sufi version of Islam. Sufis are mystics, searching for experience, the love of Allah(because there is not much in doctrinal Islam), connection with Allah, and rebelled against the dry, legalistic version of what Islam really consistently is, according to Muhammad; like the Salafis, and Wahabis and Taliban) (GV19 called the Salafis heretics in one of his posts I read.) But Sufis are considered heretics by Salafis and Wahabis.

This is from what I can tell; I haven't read all of his stuff.

Many of the Sufis were persecuted by Muslims authorities in history. One of the famous Sufis in Iran was executed for his Sufism - the founder of the "An al Haqq" group.)

I don't know how old GV19 is or how he came to Islam, (but he does seem to be a convert from a western background); but every thing else you wrote there seems right.

Muslims should try and improve Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran, if Sharia law is so great. Don't bring it to the USA! Europe is in deep trouble now as it is with all the pro-Sharia movements and pressures and no moral absolutes or backbone to stand up against it.

Those countries are run by Sharia law (for the most part); and look at their treatment of woman, violence, hypocrisy, etc.

Salafi ("the predecessors", "pioneers"; getting back to Muhammad and the Khalifs and Companions of the prophet) and Wahabi and Taliban Islam and Jihadists seem to be more consistent in following the original Islam; but Sufis do have a long history of a "nicer" version of Islam.

traever guingrich said...

i think charles started as an arminian but became reformed later in life (much to the dismay of his brother). you can see it in the lyrics in many of the hymns he wrote. but i'm not sure how many were penned after he was converted. however, correct me if i'm wrong. it's hard to find much documentation on it.