Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Happy Mardi Gras!

One more day of partying before Lent begins tomorrow. Lessez les bons temps rouler!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Let Mercy be the Measure

"In the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Matthew 7:2)

Once, back when I had a job that paid very little money, I backed into someone else's truck in the parking lot of the place where I worked. My car was so beat up that you really couldn't notice that it had been hurt. But the truck -- it belonged to the owner, and it was a very nice truck. I went to find him and tell him, hardly knowing where I would find money to pay the deductible on my insurance, but knowing I had to try. The damage to his truck was not so much, less than the amount of my deductible. But that meant I would somehow have to find all the money myself, and I did not know how. But the owner knew my paycheck. He knew whether I could afford to pay. And he told me: Don't worry about it. He would pay for the repair himself. That kind of money was a little enough thing to him. Before that day, I had never really appreciated the owner of the company. After that day, I loved him for his kindness.

In that case, the mercy that I was shown actually cost the other person some money. But in most cases, what does mercy really cost us? Are we really any poorer for forgiving another person? What have we lost when we forgive somebody?

Consider this: we love best those people who have been merciful to us. Maybe we made a mistake, and they never told a single soul. Maybe we said an unkind thing that we regretted, and they never repeated it. Maybe they had a chance to make life difficult for us because of our faults, and they passed up that chance. Haven't we loved them for it?

Consider this: we will never be loved for long by someone who is not merciful. We make mistakes. We are short-tempered and self-centered more often than we realize. We are impatient and insensitive. We are ignorant and apathetic towards things which should fill our heart. We need forgiveness continually. Someone who does not forgive will soon become impatient with us.

Consider this: we will never find another person that we love for long if we are not merciful. We will become angry and resentful. We will harbor bitterness and suspicion. Our long memories will whisper poison into our hearts that will kill our love. Malice and rage are only a short step away from the one who does not have mercy towards others.

Mercy is characteristic of the wisdom from heaven. "The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy." (James 3:17)

Mercy is a gift of God's Spirit. "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully." (Rom 12:6-8)

God, in his mercy, has loved us. He has washed us clean. We who were orphans in this world, he has adopted as his own. We who were strangers, he has welcomed to his table. We who were needy he has helped. This is love: that God loved us first. As his children, it's not for us to be small-minded and worldly, grudging others the same forgiveness we have received, as if we who have received favor had somehow deserved it.

Few things are more difficult than forgiving when we are wronged. Few things are more valuable.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Essential Bible Verses for the Overwhelmed

  1. My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34)
  2. Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)
  3. He restores my soul. (Psalm 23:3)
  4. Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit. (Zechariah 4:6)
  5. Be still, and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)
  6. Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5)
  7. Cast your anxieties on him, for he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
  8. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything. (Philippians 4:5-6)
  9. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. (Revelation 21:4)
  10. To him who overcomes, I will give of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.(Revelation 2:17)
  11. I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. (Isaiah 43:25)
  12. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Update: More here, collection of notes for hard times

Grandma moves in: keeping peace at home

My mother moved in this past Friday. In case anyone is interested, here are some of the new rules it's taken to keep the peace with an extra person here (in roughly the order they were introduced):
  1. Although I telecommute, I really do work with real deadlines and real projects. Interruptions need to be kept to a genuine minimum.
  2. The children's assignment grades and school report cards are between them and me, even if they are good grades. It's a matter of their privacy.
  3. Everybody keeps the door shut when going to the bathroom; it's a house rule.
  4. Everybody has their own spot at the table, including Grandma. Nobody gets displaced. If someone wants their usual spot, the person who has it (Grandma) has to get up or, better yet, have started at their own place to begin with.
  5. Grandma does not parent the children or send them to fetch for her. If she needs something, she goes through Mom.
  6. Everybody has a place to sleep at night. We sleep there, not the couch.
  7. Regular baths/showers are required here.
  8. Everyone gets a turn at the TV. It does not stay on news programs all day.
  9. When in the public areas of the house, we wear things that cover us decently for being in public.
That's what I've had to establish so far. On that last item, at the hospital my son did see (as he puts it) "Grandma's wrinkly white hiny" at one point when she was up from bed in a hospital gown. He seemed horrified. My suggestion for the news flash was "Boy sees grandma's wrinkly white hiny. Scarred for life." His was "Boy sees grandma's wrinkly white hiny. Nausea and vomiting mistaken for flu." Erm, it really was the flu. Honest. As much as I wish that Grandma's w.w.h. weren't behind some of the new rules, check out #3, 6, and 9. You know what they say about common sense ...

Missing the days when I could concentrate on more edifying things. Hope they'll be back soon.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Notes and Such

There was more interest in the last post than I expected, so I'm going to go ahead and chase down the references there so people can have page numbers or chapter and verse, things like that. I've got most of them but on instances when I don't remember a name it can take awhile longer to find a passage, I've got a few more to go. When I get them all chased down, I'll update the original post and leave a note at the top of the blog for anyone who's interested.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Islam, Christianity, and a moral morass that must be slogged through promptly

I will wrap up my current Mohammed series here. The main temptation to continue the Mohammed series is that many of the important things about Mohammed are completely unknown to most Christians. I had considered one more post about the history of Mohammed. But so many ancient accounts were, in my mind, candidates in the sense that people should be aware of them, and there was no compelling reason to choose one and exclude the others. I decided instead to simply show you the list of things I had considered relating. The following items are taken from these well-regarded Islamic sources:

I.I. = Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah, page numbers listed according to A. Guillaume's translation as The Life of Muhammad, Oxford University Press, Third impression 1970.
Q = Qur'an, surah and verse listed
Hadith and Tafsir references are listed longhand

  • Mohammed orders the assassination of Asma, daughter of Marwan, who was then killed in her house at night. Mohammed praises her killer. (I.I. pp. 675-676)
  • After some of the Aus tribe had assassinated Ka`b on Mohammed's orders, the rival Khazraj tribe wanted to have equal claim of service to Islam and so named Sallam in the Khaybar as another enemy of God. Asking and obtaining Mohammed's permission to assassinate him, they killed him in his bed at night. (I.I. pp. 482-483)
  • Mohammed orders the execution of two slave girls who had sung satirical songs about him1 (I.I. p. 551)
  • Mohammed orders the execution of a man who had said (before Mohammed's rise to military power) that the Qur'an was full of fables of the ancients (I.I. pp. 136, 162-163, 360)
  • Mohammed claims beautiful girls from among the conquered women as his own property (I.I. p, 466, p. 490, pp. 516-517)
  • Mohammed's male followers lust after their female captives but wonder if using them would diminish the ransom; they take their proposed solution (coitus interruptus) to Mohammed. Mohammed comments on how God's will for a conception affects the effectiveness of contraception.2 Sahih Muslim collection of hadiths: Book 8 #3371, which is in chapter 22
  • Mohammed establishes the principle that captured women do not have the right to refuse sexual relations to their Muslim captors and it is legally and morally permissible to use them as the conquerors please (Q. 4:24, see also I.I. pp. 516-517)
  • Mohammed is poisoned by a woman he had enslaved after having her husband, father and uncle killed; noted as a contributing cause to his death (I.I. p. 516)
  • Mohammed's profits from the ransom of hostages taken by the Muslims (I.I. p. 309, pp. 311-314))
  • Mohammed's profits from plunder in raids and conquests (I.I. p. 321, p. 360, p. 438, p.466)
  • Mohammed orders his followers to burn down a hospital/shelter. Although the people who instituted the hospital/shelter had invited Mohammed to pray there, they were considered schismatic. (I.I. p. 609)
  • Mohammed is defeated in battle and is himself injured3 (I.I. p. 380)
  • Mohammed vows by God to bring slaughter on the Meccans (I.I. p. 131)
  • Mohammed, attracted to his adopted son's wife, his attraction is known. This led to his adopted son divorcing his wife so that Mohammed could marry her.4 (Q. 33:36-37, and the Tafsir Al-Jalalayn's comments on Q. 33:36 and 33:37; I have also seen Zamakshari's comments on Q. 33:37 cited but have not been obtained access to Zamakshari in English)
  • Mohammed orders the massacre of all men of a particular Jewish tribe, and the enslavement of their women and children (I.I. pp. 465-466)
  • Mohammed's night journey to heaven and his wife Aesha's comment that he remained physically in place all night, that it was not a literal physical journey (I.I. pp. 183-184)
  • Mohammed orders the execution of someone who had formerly been his scribe but had left Islam (I.I. p. 550)
  • Mohammed and the so-called "Satanic verses"5 (I.I. pp. 165-167, see also notes there)
  • Mohammed's plans for the conquest of Syria (I.I. p. 652)
  • Mohammed's instructions to his followers regarding the conquest of Egypt (I.I. p. 4)

Is This Fair to Mohammed?
It is a fitting and pressing question whether these examples are a just representation of Mohammed's life. But before even attempting an answer, the question has an assumption that deserves notice: it assumes that the examples above include many examples of wrongdoing, things that are morally repugnant. Already we have a problem. According to Islam, none of the examples above include any wrongdoing by Mohammed or anything morally repugnant; they are holy examples that, under the right circumstances, can and should be repeated. I have written before that our "cultural diversity" has so far amounted to hoping that everyone is alike, and has not yet come to grips with the fact that different people have different ideas of right and wrong.

So again, is this fair to Mohammed? While I seek to make people aware of some very deep-seated differences between Christianity and Islam, the examples above are inevitably those which show the differences. Here are other examples that could have been chosen:
  • Mohammed abolishes the practice of female infanticide
  • Mohammed turns Arabian tribes from worship of rocks, stones, and idols
  • Mohammed insists on chastity amongst his unmarried followers
  • Mohammed insists on faithfulness within marriage
  • Mohammed unites warring Arab tribes under one banner and one brotherhood with a common culture, a common cause, and a common goal
  • Some sections of Mohammed's Qur'an are considered poetic masterpieces in Arabic
  • Mohammed's system of laws bring first "rule of law" to even the most savage of the Arab tribes
  • Mohammed prohibits the prostitution of female slaves
  • Mohammed gives Arabia something it had scarcely had before: pride
Now the question remains: what is a fair assessment of Mohammed? I will mention that, when the life of Mohammed is summed up by the ancient Muslim biographer Ibn Ishaq (author of the main ancient biography), his summary of Mohammed's life counts Mohammed's battles and raids and how often Mohammed himself joined in the attack. While that is not an assessment of his life, it was considered an acceptable way to summarize it.

I will also mention that a just assessment of Mohammed cannot have me, or you, or some other bit player as the final arbiter. I would submit that for Christians, the answer is to turn to Jesus' teachings and apply them here as best we can, as should be our practice in all things. If someone accepts Jesus as the word of God, then Mohammed must seem no prophet at all; Jesus' actions and teachings call many of Mohammed's actions and teachings evil, and Jesus' teachings on love of God, neighbor, and even enemies show Mohammed for a false prophet, as Jesus prophesied would come after him. After Jesus' powerful miracles to heal the sick and raise the dead, and even return to life himself, Mohammed's career of raiding and plunder cannot seem holy.

For Muslims, they allege that they accept Jesus as a prophet, and if it is so then they should check Mohammed's teachings against Jesus and see whether it is possible that Mohammed is really a prophet. Many things which Muslims have been taught about Christianity are not true; following Christ would never lead someone to be a polytheist.

Haven't Christians Done Wrong Things?
Anyone who is paying attention can tell you that Christians have done wrong things, so that should hardly be a question. It is, at best, a reminder: we have at times turned aside from following Christ and have been false to our religion.

But many use the argument that Christians have done bad things in order to silence Christians about the evil coming from Islam. But being silent about evil would be betraying our faith again. Our faults should teach us compassion for the evildoer, and humility about ourselves, and an appreciation of the deceitfulness of sin -- but it should never teach us to turn a blind eye to sin.

The objection that Christians have done wrong things too is also sometimes meant as something like this: if morality is a game of moral one-upmanship, then you've already lost. Well, bless you if that is your thought, Jesus has taken care of that for me. But just entertain this thought for a moment: what if morality has other purposes besides our nauseating games of moral one-upmanship? What if morality is for protecting the innocent and strengthening the good? What if morality is really about what is right and good? It may be true that if morality is a game of one-upmanship then we may as well stop now; but if morality is defending the good from attacks against it, then we ought to put aside our convenient moral confusion and get started.

Some things that Jesus said come to mind at a time like this:

He who is without sin cast the first stone.

In the account of the adultress, would the right response be, "I am sinful therefore I cannot execute you" or "I am sinful therefore I cannot say adultery is wrong"? We cannot refuse to call wrong "wrong" and evil "evil".
First remove the log from your own eye, then you can remove the speck from your brother's eye.

We should always check ourselves first, and re-check ourselves again. But that does not mean that we are not allowed to notice anything besides ourselves. One benfit of straightening out our own house, so to speak, is that we are in a better position to help other people. Taking the log out of our eye first does not nullify our obligation to help others, it just makes us more credible and more helpful.
Do not judge, lest you be judged, for with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.

Though it may not be a precise fit to the circumstances, we are inevitably reminded of this verse and ought to give it fair consideration even if the context is not a perfect fit. We Christians do not have a problem criticizing our own past when it contains unholy things; I do not see why we cannot condemn the same thing in other people which we condemn in ourselves. We are not asking for a double-standard, one for ourselves and one for someone else. We are not asking that the world ignore the wrong that has been done in the name of Christianity. It is on that basis that we can plainly condemn the wrong done in the name of Christianity that we can also, without hypocrisy, ask that the world plainly condemn the wrong that has been done in the name if Islam.

A Solution?
When viewing atrocities or objectionable histories on the Christian and Muslim record books throughout time, there is a difference that we are at risk of missing: whether those things are considered to be right or wrong, native to the religion or alien to it. Mohammed himself was the one who brought violence to Islam, and as the founder he cannot correctly be accused of hijacking the religion; it would have to be someone else's in order for him to hijack it. If someone were to argue that, on the Christian side, the worst evildoers ever to disgrace God's message by distorting it for their own purposes are no different than Mohammed, that may be logically valid but it is not an impressive defense of Mohammed.

The solution, in Muslim minds, is to use their favored tool (warfare) and conquer the Christians. But military conquest is not the purpose for which Jesus sent out his followers. Jesus sent us to teach repentance and forgiveness in his name, and to keep to all that he taught and make all nations his disciples. The solution, to a Christian, is to bring the Muslims to a true knowledge of God, and of right and wrong, so that they can see the evil which is being called good in Islam, have the log taken out of their eye, repent and believe the truth -- and know the love of God, who calls out to them as their Father. The solution is for us to become evangelists again, and complete the Great Commission.

1 - There is a distinction to be made between assassinations and executions. Since Mohammed had seized control of the city at this point and become the de facto government, it seems more reasonable to reckon these among the executions than among the assassinations.
2 - By modern standards this would count as rape, though under Islamic law it does not count as rape because captured women and female slaves do not have the legal right of refusal.
3 - By Jewish/Christian standards, this would imply that Mohammed was not a prophet because the real prophets knew whether or not God was on their side and would not go up against an enemy when God was not with them. Mohammed explained this in terms of God's testing.
4 - Interestingly, his adopted son Zayd had been one of Mohammed's slaves. While Mohammed kept slaves up to the day of his death, he had freed Zayd and adopted him as a son. By Christian standards, of course, desiring another man's wife is sinful, needing repentance.
5 - The "Satanic verses" are not about the Rushdie book of the same name. It dates back to a much-disputed event in the life of Mohammed. According to the earliest records, a short part of the Qur'an was "revealed" but was quickly replaced. The replaced verses had permitted limited idolatry to continue. It was alleged that Satan had dictated that part and Mohammed had not realized that his source of revelation for those veses was Satan. This episode of the Satanic verses is removed from later manuscripts of the biographies of Mohammed, though the early textual evidence supports its authenticity and there are other early witnesses to this.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Posting / Flu

Sorry about not posting. I've come down with the flu. My children had it last week but I thought I'd missed it. I hope to be back again in a couple of days.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Mohammed and the assassination of Ka`b b. Al-Ashraf

This account of the assassination of an early "enemy of God" is taken from the early orthodox Muslim biography of Mohammed, the Sirat Rasul Allah. Translation by A. Guillaume, Oxford University Press, 3rd printing 1970 as The Life of Muhammad.

Ka`b b. Al-Ashraf [skipping Ka`b's Jewish tribal affiliations], when he heard the news [of the polytheists killed by Mohammed's troops at a recent battle] said, "Is it true? Did Muhammad actually kill these whom these two men mention (i.e. Zayd and `Abdullah b. Rawaha). These are the nobles of the Arabs and kingly men; by God, if Muhammad has slain these people 'twere better to be dead than alive." [translator's note: literally, the inside of the earth is better than the outside]

When the enemy of God [by which they mean the Jewish man Ka`b who objected to his polytheist friends being killed by Muslims] became certain that the news was true he left town and went to Mecca ... [skipping details on where he stayed, and his poem of lament for the dead in which he praises their generosity and help to the homeless, plus other poems by other people, and Ka'b's follow-up poem on the increasing hostility and dangerousness of those who had converted to Islam].

Then [wake up, this is considered quite an insult by the Muslims] Ka`b returned to Medina and composed amatory verses about Ummu'l-Fad'l al-Harith. [It's longish, it's in the footnotes if you want to see it.]1 Then he composed amatory verses of an insulting nature about the Muslim women. The apostle [by which they mean Mohammed] said -- according to what `Abdullah b. al-Mughith b. Abu Burda told me -- "Who will rid me of Ibnu'l Ashraf?" [that means K`ab, who is son of Al-Ashraf] Muhammad b. Maslama, brother of the B. `Abdu'l-Asshal, said, "I will deal with him for you, O apostle of God, I will kill him." He [Mohammed] said, "Do so if you can." So Muhammad b. Maslama returned and waited for three days without food or drink, apart from what was absolutely necessary. When the apostle was told of this he summoned him and asked him why he had given up eating and drinking. He replied that he had given him an undertaking and he did not know whether he could fulfil it. The apostle said, "All that is incumbent on you is that you should try." He said, "O apostle of God, we shall have to tell lies." He [Mohammed] answered, "Say what you like, for you are free in this matter."

[The rest of the account relates how they succeeded in killing Ka`b by deceit and treachery.]

1 - Ka`b's poem about the woman in question, the only "amatory verses of an insulting nature" which are recorded in the account:
Are you off without stopping in the valley
And leaving Ummu'l-Fadl in Mecca?
Out would come what she bought from the peddlar of bottles
Henna and hair dye
What lies 'twist ankle and elbow is in motion
When she tries to stand and does not
Like Umm Hakim when she was with us
The link between us firm and not to be cut.
She is one of the B. `Amir who bewitches the heart
And if she wished she could cure my sickness.
The glory of women and of a people is their father,
A people held in honor true to their oath.
Never did I see the sun rise at night till I saw her
Display herself to us in the darkness of the night.

Friday, February 10, 2006

The mission field: my family

I'd blogged before here a kind of modernist parable of the parachutist, which was about how my Christian walk was too much talk and not enough walk. I know a lot of other people who are in that situation and have voiced their own frustrations to me.

As I was saying in the comments section of that post, God has made plain to me that my first mission is to my own family. (I'm a convert, for those who don't know.) I don't know what anybody else's first mission is, but mine is to my own. For years now, every time I study or pray on the subject, the same answer fills my mind without wavering: tend my children, put my home in order, reach out to my extended family. I have a few other things going as time permits -- but they are not allowed to lessen what I do for my children and home. For years I have been reaching out to my mother and have not really figured out an effective way to get through to her; now circumstances have fallen out so that she will move in with me. Her bitterness and anger (which contribute to other family members' unwillingness to be more involved with her) are because she has never known joy in life, or peace, or forgiveness, and has hardly known how to love. She has a lot of very ingrained destructive habits and mannerisms. The only way it will ever work is if she truly starts over when she moves in here. It's as if she'd have to start her whole life over ... I know the phrase "born again" has picked up fundamentalist overtones so that some Christian camps hesitate to use it. But there it is, she has to start over from square one like an infant and build a whole new life, this time building on a different foundation. Don't get me wrong, her following Christ is not a prerequisite for me to take her into my home. It's just the only real hope she has.

As for the legacy I leave my children, I want them to know the faith -- and I want them to build the habit of living it. How tempting is it to say, "Oh the young Christians today don't live their faith like they believe it. How are they any different than the non-Christians of their age?" But if I'm not setting the example of how to live it, how can I possibly voice a complaint? Could they say, "Oh our mother doesn't live her faith like she believes it. How is she any different than the non-Christians of her age?" So I am working hard, striving toward it as a goal, to have my own family well in order, and reach out to my own, and then my neighborhood. My own sinfulness keeps getting in the way. If I am faithful with small services, larger services will come. If I am not faithful with what has been given to me, what right do I have to ask for something else? As much as I long to do some worthy service, the one set in front of me is a dirty job, one where I'll really have to confront my own sinfulness. But it's possibly the most worthwhile job I will ever do. And if I'm not faithful at what is right in front of me, I have no business seeking to go beyond it. So if you learn the basics before you go past them, and if reaching out to the world starts at home, then it's time for me to figure out how in the world to reach my mother.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Second Chances (Personal)

Hi all

Today makes two weeks that my mother has been in the hospital. I'm making preparations for her to move in with me whenever they finally release her, since it is clear that she is not capable of taking care of herself, certainly not right away and possibly never again. Your prayers have been appreciated. Continued prayers are also appreciated.

Take care & God bless

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Mohammed and the Treasure of the Nadir Tribe

This account of the treasure of the Nadir tribe is taken from the early orthodox Muslim biography of Mohammed, the Sirat Rasul Allah. Translation by A. Guillaume, Oxford University Press, 3rd printing 1970 as The Life of Muhammad.
Kinana b. al-Rabi, who had the custody of the treasure of B. al-Nadir, was brought to the apostle [by which they mean Muhammad] who asked him about it. He denied that he knew where it was. A Jew came [alternate reading: was brought] to the apostle and said that he had seen Kinana going round a certain ruin every morning early. When the apostle [by which they mean Muhammad] said to Kinana, "Do you know that if we find you have it I shall kill you?" he said Yes. The apostle gave orders that the ruin was to be excavated and some of the treasure was found. When he asked him about the rest he refused to produce it, so the apostle [by which they mean Muhammad] gave orders to al-Zubayr b. al-`Awwam, 'Torture him until you extract what he has,' so he kindled a fire with flint and steel on his chest until he was nearly dead. Then the apostle delivered him to Muhammad b. Maslama and he struck off his head, in revenge for his brother Mahmud.

I expect probably two more examples along these lines (variety of topics) before I actually get around to any commenting. The examples are necessary before the commenting because many Westerners are not aware of much history besides European and American history. Some of the key events in the histories of other cultures are completely unknown to many of us.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

From the early Muslim biography of Mohammed: Muhayyisa and Huwayyisa

This account of the brothers Muhayyisa and Huwayyisa is taken from the early orthodox Muslim biography of Mohammed, the Sirat Rasul Allah. Offensive content warning (for peace-loving people). Translation by A. Guillaume, Oxford University Press, 3rd printing 1970 as The Life of Muhammad.
The apostle [by which they mean Muhammad] said, 'Kill any Jew that falls into your power.' Thereupon Muhayyisa b. Mas`ud leapt upon Ibn Sunayna, a Jewish merchant with whom they had social and business relations, and killed him. Huwayissa was not a Muslim at that time though he was the elder brother. When Muhayissa killed him Huwayyisa began to beat him, saying, 'You enemy of God, did you kill him when much of the fat on your belly comes from his wealth?' Muhayyisa answered, 'Had the one who ordered me to kill him ordered me to kill you I would have cut your head off.' He said that this was the beginning of Huwayyisa's acceptance of Islam. The other replied, 'By God, if Muhammad had ordered you to kill me would you have killed me?' He said, 'Yes, by God, had he ordered me to cut off your head I would have done so.' He exclaimed, 'By God, a religion which can bring you to this is marvellous!' and he became a Muslim.
Children of the West, play the PC game at your own risk -- but play with your eyes open. I could continue this vein a post a day for months from official and ancient Muslim sources until everyone were tired and sickened by it; there are more godly and more edifying things to discuss so I might do a few more though not many. But please friends, it's time everyone did their homework on Islam. Our job as Christians is to teach the truth about God: that God is love and that he has reconciled the world to himself in Christ. If we forget this and look for peace outside of Christ, we should ask ourselves if Faust ever actually got a receipt.