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The crew of the aircraft carrier "Abraham Lincoln" had been away from home a long time - deployed at sea for over nine months - the longest deployment of its kind since the Second World War. In January of 2003 they were scheduled to be headed back home after service in Afghanistan. Didn't happen. They were ordered to turn around and head for Iraq. But now - with the major hostilities over in Iraq - finally, in May, they were headed home. The day before they docked in San Diego, where many would have their reunions, President Bush landed on the deck of the "Lincoln" where he later addressed a cheering throng of crewmembers. As he thanked America's military for their sacrifice and service and applauded their victorious efforts, the President received thunderous applause and even standing ovations. But the response was never louder, never more enthusiastic than when he said three little words: "You're homeward bound."
You know, there is something uniquely powerful about that word "home." The airmen and sailors aboard the "Lincoln" could hardly think of anything else as they neared port. College students count the days before a break when they can be "home." Travelers like me do everything possible to get "home" as soon as we can.
And deep down inside the soul of each of us is a longing for home that is hard to explain and even harder to satisfy. There's this spiritual homesickness - you can call it restlessness or incompleteness or just the absence of inner peace. Some who feel like they've never had a home think that they would have peace if they could find a home. But then those who've had a fair amount of love and acceptance are strangely homesick in their soul, too.
Thankfully, the Bible reveals to us seekers where our heart's home really is. God says in Colossians 1:16 that we were all "created by Him and for Him." A love relationship with our Creator is Ultimate Home. Problem: the Bible goes on to say that "we all, like sheep, have gone astray. Each of us has turned to his own way" (Isaiah 53:6). There's the problem. You and I were created to live for the One who made us, and we've chosen to live for ourselves instead. Which has left us - again in the words of the Bible - "without God and without hope in this world" (Ephesians 2:12).
We're hopelessly away from the One who is our Home. So there's never enough love, never enough answers, and never enough security. But God wants you back. He paid the ultimate price to make a way for you to come home. In our word for today from the Word of God in 1 Peter 3:18, He says, "Christ died for our sins - the righteous for the unrighteous (that's Him for us) - to bring us safely home to God." Jesus left His home in heaven to come here to die for every wrong and selfish and hurting thing we've ever done, so He could forgive you and give you the relationship you were made for, that you've been looking for so long.
But Jesus doesn't force His way into your life. You have to reach out and hold onto Him like He's your only hope - because He is. This very day, you can tell Him, "Jesus, You died for me and now you're alive again - and I'm Yours." If you want to begin this relationship that begins life as it was created to be, then I want to send you my booklet about it called "Yours For Life." Just let me know that you want it.
You've been gone a long time. But Jesus right now is standing at the door, waiting to welcome you into the love that you were made for. Today, finally after a long, long search, you can be home at last. Ron Hutchcraft
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A man was driving along a freeway when he noticed a chicken running along side his car. He was amazed to see the chicken keeping up with him because he was doing 50 MPH. He accelerated to 60 and the chicken stayed right next to him. He sped up to 75 MPH and the chicken passed him up. The man noticed the chicken had three legs. So, he followed the chicken down a road and ended up at a farm. He got out of his car and saw that all the chickens had three legs. He asked the farmer "What's up with these chickens?"
The farmer said "Well, everybody likes chicken legs. I bred a three legged bird. I'm going to be a millionaire."
The man asked him how they tasted.
The farmer said "Don't know, haven't caught one yet.
It's one of today's most compelling news stories, yet it's all but ignored by most of the international media. I'm talking about the growing persecution of Christian minorities in the Islamic world.
It briefly made headlines last month when machete-armed Egyptian fanatics attacked worshipers in three Coptic churches in Alexandria and murdered one aged man at prayer. Then of course, there was March -- when an Afghan man escaped a death sentence for the "crime" of converting to Christianity. But how many people heard about the recent arrest and jailing in Saudi Arabia of a group of Filipino guest workers for holding Christian prayer services in the privacy of their home? Or who knows about the three Sunday School teachers charged in Indonesia last year with the crime of "Christianization" and summarily sentenced to three years in prison?
The story is similar wherever Sharia -- orthodox Islamic law -- reigns supreme. From Pakistan to Darfur, Christians have become regular targets for Islamic gangs who shoot at worshipers, then torch their houses of worship.
Even in Islamic countries not strictly run by Sharia law, pressures mount on local Christians to leave the homes they've known for centuries. Iraq's Christian sects, among the oldest Christian communities anywhere in the world, have been directly targeted by terrorist bombs, and Christians are now high on the list of those fleeing Iraq's sectarian strife. Thirty years ago, Lebanon was 60% Christian. Since then, an estimated 3.5 million Christians have emigrated, reducing the country's Christian population percentage to barely 25%. And in the Palestinian territories, direct and indirect pressures have also led to an increasing Christian exodus. One striking result: Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus and once a predominantly Christian Arab community now has an overwhelming Muslim majority.
Few people seem prepared to connect the dots. Some American evangelical groups like the Washington-based International Christian Concern try to raise the alarm. And America's Copts, especially those based in the New York area, actively lobby against the legal and social discrimination that face their Egyptian co-religionists. Yet most mainstream church groups seem to ignore the threat.
During certain periods, Islamic countries did allow "the peoples of the book" to live in relative peace among them. But the rise of Islamic extremism is silencing even voices of limited tolerance. More than 800,000 Jews were forced to flee the Islamic world between 1948 and 1955. Unless there is an outcry against the new wave of discrimination now facing Christians, these ancient communities are also doomed to disappear.
No person in history has honored women more than our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherever His Word is taught and becomes a part of the culture, there is a simultaneous raising of the honor shown to women. I am afraid that as our nation moves away from God's standards, we will see a reversal of this. May God save us from that ever happening! For now we thank God for the opportunity to honor our women. May God be pleased to bless the honoring of His Word, and thus the honoring of our women and our little girls.
What Should I do When Muslims Tell me the Bible has been Corrupted?
Christians are often thrown off guard by Muslim objections; they are so different from what we are used to hearing. Muslims claim, e.g., to "believe in all the prophets and all the Scriptures," but when you challenge them to read the Bible, or you appeal to its authority, they put you off, saying "Jews and Christians have changed the Bible." As a new missionary, I would appeal to the manuscript evidence for the Bible's authenticity. But that did not seem to faze them in the least.
The first step in dealing with this objection is to understand why Muslims make such a claim. Bear in mind that it is not that they have studied the textual history of the Bible and found it wanting. Indeed, to a Muslim the very idea of textual criticism of a "revealed book" is totally unthinkable, and therefore misunderstood. No Muslim would dare attempt to study the text of the Qur'an in that way! They claim that the Bible has been corrupted because they have been told this by their Ulema (scholars). And when they read the Bible, comparing its teachings with those of the Qur'an, which they believe came direct from heaven, it is obvious that, despite some similarities, the two books are fundamentally at odds. Add to that several Qur'anic passages that seem to speak of the perversion (tahrif) of the previous Scriptures (e.g. 3:37; 4:46), and the writings of some Western biblical critics which seem to confirm it, and Muslims feel they have a strong case for believing that the Bible is corrupted.
Incidentally, the Qur'anic passages that speak of "corruption" never say that the biblical text itself has been changed; what they do say is that some people have corrupted the Scriptures by misquoting them--i.e. "with their tongues." The clear implication is that the text has not been changed. In fact, numerous passages speak highly of the Scriptures and even claim that the Qur'an confirms them (e.g. 3:3). This claim, however, presents Muslims with a dilemma: they must believe that our present Bible has been corrupted, or else they must acknowledge the truth that the Qur'an does NOT confirm the Scriptures. It is either the one or the other.
So then, how do you handle this objection? First of all, relax! Do not let such groundless charges throw you for a loop. It is important, first of all, to affirm as forcefully as you know how, and as often as needed, your certainty that the text of our present Bible is unchanged from the original manuscripts. Let Muslims know that their claim is entirely without foundation; there is no other text that they can point to as the real text. It is here that you can bring in the manuscript evidence to show that our present Bible is the same as the Scriptures which existed in Muhammad's time. But do not be under any illusions: your Muslim friends are not going to drop this belief easily. They must hold that the Bible is corrupted if they are to continue to believe in the Qur'an as the Word of God. For further help with this objection I recommend the excellent book, The Qur'an and the Bible in the Light of History and Science, written by my colleague, Dr. William Campbell, and distributed by this office.
Romans 5:9-11 “Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement”
Yesterday we looked at the MUCH MORE of verse 9 and the MUCH MORE of verse 10. These are comparisons of not just more, but of MUCH more.
In verse 9 Paul compares what God has done in the past with what God is going to do in the future. In the past God has justified us by the blood of Christ. Much more then, Paul says, in the future God is going to save us from wrath through Him.
In verse 10 we have a different comparison. Paul makes a comparison between our past and our present. What kind of people were we in our past? And then, what kind of people are we now? In the past we were enemies of God! If you want to be encouraged today, you just let this truth grab a hold on you. Think of it! Everything God did for you, God did it for you while you were an enemy of God! That is the time Christ died for you. It was while you were an enemy of God that you were reconciled to God by the death of His Son. So, if God did all of that for you while you were an enemy—what do you think He will do for you now that you are no longer an enemy? You are now reconciled to God. You are now right with God—you are at one with God. Well, we are told what it is that God will do. Much more then, we shall be saved by His Life.
As we talk about the saving life of Christ, we need to be careful not to get confused. Some false teachers say that the death is Jesus is not so important. They say people should not spend so much time talking about His death. They say that the important thing about Jesus Christ was his life. They say His life was such a good example that all we really need to do is follow His wonderful example. My friend, I need to warn you that this is false teaching! Please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that Jesus’ life was not a good example—it most certainly was. But what I am saying is that we cannot be saved by following that example! At least we cannot be saved in the sense of being made right in God’s sight, or being justified. We are justified BY HIS BLOOD. Chapter 5 of Romans is a transition chapter. You may have a car and there is a transmission in your car. There are times you need to shift gears to get your car to go where you want it to go. Paul is shifting gears in chapter 5 of Romans. I said yesterday that there are 3 kinds of salvation Paul deals with in the Book of Romans. There is justification which in my case is salvation past. If you have not been saved, then it is not salvation past for you. But for me it is a salvation in the past. There was a time I was a lost sinner deserving of hell and on the road headed there. I was dead in trespasses and sins. But then there came a point in time that I acknowledged my sin and trusted Christ to save me. At that point I was quickened—I was made alive in the Spirit—I was born again. I was declared righteous and justified by His blood. So for me, that salvation is salvation past. But Paul is shifting gears here. He has finished his teaching on the doctrine of justification, and soon he will be teaching us the doctrine of sanctification. Justification is our standing before God and it is a finished work. Sanctification is a process of growth. It is not a finished work, but a continuing process. This is the salvation present. This is the salvation verse ten is talking about when it says we shall be saved by His life. There is a terrible danger in confusing these different works of God in salvation. I did not mention it yet, but there is still another salvation which is altogether in the future. It has to do with the glorification and salvation of our body at the resurrection when Christ comes to establish his 1,000 year kingdom on this earth. So we have salvation past which is justification. That salvation deals with the penalty of sin. There is a salvation present which is sanctification. This salvation deals with the power of sin. There is a salvation future which is glorification. This future salvation will remove us from the very presence of sin. What a wonderful day that will be!
But let me get back to the danger of confusing these separate works of God in salvation. When people start talking about being saved by following the example of Jesus rather than being saved by the blood Jesus shed as He died on the cross as a substitute for sinners, then they are denying the very heart of the gospel. There is a movement today to try to get people to imitate the life of Christ. There is a man, Keith Sheldon I believe was the name, who wrote a book called, “In His Steps.” It is a very good book to get us to thinking. It is a thought provoking book. But let us be very careful when we read something like that that we do not get the idea that somehow if we follow the example of Jesus closely enough we will in this way get to be right with God. That can never happen. I see a lot of signs with a WWJD. It stands for a slogan saying, “What would Jesus do?” It is popular with church youth groups. The idea is that we should not just do what ever we feel like doing. It would be better to ask the question of what Jesus would do if He were in the same situation you are in. And then when you figure out what you THINK Jesus would do, that is what you should do. Well, friends, I do not want to shoot that down completely because I do think there is real value in the teachings of Jesus and in the example Jesus gave us. But HERE IS THE DANGER. It is easy for our wicked sinful hearts to get the idea that if we follow the example Jesus set—if we do what He would have done in that case then we are acceptable to God by the good life we live. That can never be!
Here are two basic weaknesses of trying to follow the example of Jesus. The first weakness is in YOU—you are the weak one. You simply cannot do it! It is one thing to try to guess what Jesus might have done if He were living on earth today, but it is altogether another matter to actually do it! But Jesus is not walking on the earth in his own flesh today—so whatever you might guess is still only a guess. The more you study the life of Christ in the New Testament the more you will understand of the character and attitudes of Christ. So I can admit that it can be an educated guess—but still it is only a guess.
The second weakness is that following the example of Jesus—even if you could begin to follow Him in such a way that you finally were following Him perfectly, that good life that you had started now to live could never cancel out the sins you have already done. So my warning to you is that you should never attempt to accomplish with the life of Christ and the example of Christ that which can only be accomplished by the death of Christ and His shed blood and His resurrection. Don’t ever let the attempt to live a life like Christ lived become a substitute for the gospel. If you are to be saved in the sense of having your sins forgiven and being declared righteous in God’s sight, then you need a slaughterhouse religion. You can only be justified by His blood. The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.
As we come to the doctrine of sanctification we are talking about becoming more like Christ. After we have been justified by His blood and we are children of God there is a place for studying the life of Christ and the example of Christ. There might even be a place for trying to figure out what Jesus would do so long as we realize that what we are doing is only an educated guess. But the real power for living the Christian life does not come from trying to do what we think Jesus would do. It does not come from trying to imitate the life of Christ. The real power for living the Christian life comes from Christ Himself. This is what it means to be saved by His life. It does not mean justification. It means real progress in the process of growing more like our Lord in sanctification.
So this is the MUCH MORE of verse 10. If God did everything for you that you needed to be done for you, while you were still an enemy of God, then my friend, you can be sure God will do much more for you now that you have been reconciled to God. God is going to bring present tense salvation into your life. God has started a work on you, but He has not finished it yet. Everything God starts, God finishes. So be encouraged my friend by this MUCH MORE of verse 10.
Much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved—it does not say by trying to figure out what Jesus would do and then attempting to do it—it does not say by imitating His example—but it DOES SAY we shall be saved BY HIS LIFE.
This week the film adaptation of Dan Brown's controversial book The DaVinci Code opens in theaters worldwide. Despite the fact that the book is a work of fiction, it has caused many to question the authenticity of God's Word. No doubt the book will continue to be a popular topic of conversation, particularly in the coming weeks. Therefore it is important for us, as Christians, to be prepared to answer questions about our faith.
It is easy to see why this book made all the "best seller" lists. It's an engaging, fast-paced thriller with an exotic mix of secret societies, mysterious assassins, intrigues involving famous historical figures and controversial institutions, all linked together with a delicious series of secret codes and riddles to figure out. And behind it all emerges the most astonishing "conspiracy theory" anyone could possibly imagine.
Entertaining fiction has captured our imagination ever since Homer's epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, so many centuries ago. In addition to challenging entertainment, a well-written historical novel is often an enjoyable sugarcoated way to experience a glimpse of history. However, that presumes that the thread of the fictional story is entwined within a tapestry of competent historical research.
Beyond simply twisting history to suit his purposes, Dan Brown's book raises many questions concerning the reliability of the Bible, the true nature of Jesus Christ, and the origin of Christian beliefs. These issues are not incidental to the novel: they are central to its theme and constitute an intentional attack on Jesus Christ personally and on His church.
The fundamental theme lying behind the entire chain of events is the infamous Merovingian Heresy: that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a child that ultimately resulted in the bloodline of the Merovingian kings of medieval France and which still continues behind the intrigues throughout the Europe of today. Although numerous scholastic rebuttals easily shred the many twisted and contrived allusions that are fostered to support Brown's engaging tale, serious foundational issues remain to unsettle any thoughtful reader.
The book raises the questions: Who was Mary Magdalene? How do we know that Jesus wasn't married? Why do we rely on the four Gospels and reject others? How and why were they chosen? What were the Gnostic Gospels and why were they - and the "lost books of the Bible" - rejected? Was there an editorial conspiracy within the early church? Does the Priory of Sion really exist? What is its agenda? And is there a "Merovingian" agenda behind the "New Europe"?
On the positive side, the popularity of the novel The DaVinci Code has opened doors for meaningful and constructive discussions regarding the foundations of the Christian faith and the reality of just who Jesus Christ really is. But, as always, we need to be prepared. We need to be in the scriptures, daily studying God's Word. If you would like to learn more about the DaVinci Code and related topics such as the Gnostic gospels we encourage you to check out our in-depth briefing titled The DaVinci Deception.
My early zeal for studying the Scripture was dampened many years ago as I encountered what is often called "textual criticism." I was surprised to learn that it was naive and unlearned to regard the Book of Isaiah as actually written by the prophet Isaiah, as was commonly thought.
With its 66 chapters, Isaiah is the longest prophetic book of the Old Testament. Most scholars agree that the book falls naturally into two major sections, Chapters 1-39 and Chapters 40-66.
The first section has a distinctive style which changes noticeably in the final section. It is easy to remember since it parallels the Bible itself, with 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. (But don't make too much of this; the chapter divisions, as we know them, were added in the 13th century.)
The Deutero-Isaiah Theory
The "textual critics" have insisted that the Book of Isaiah is a compilation of two different writers, each calling himself Isaiah but writing at different times. This "Deutero-Isaiah" theory is surprisingly prevalent in many modern ("liberal") commentaries. (There are some that even advocate a three-Isaiah theory.)
The first section of the book deals with God's approaching judgment on the nation of Judah. In some of the most striking passages in all the Bible, the prophet announces that God will punish His people because of their sin, rebellion, and worship of false gods. While this section includes many references to the coming Messiah, including His virgin birth and his rule on the throne of David, the style of this section is distinctive and certainly fits the subject matter.
The last section, in contrast to the first, is noticeably different. It emphasizes the Messianic expectation and an ultimate comfort for God's people. (Most of Handel's Messiah was drawn from this section of the Book of Isaiah.) The heart of his stunning prophecy occurs in Chapter 53, as Isaiah presents the role of the coming Messiah in its highest point. Some call this passage the "Holy of Holies" of the Old Testament. The Servant's suffering and death and the redemptive nature of His mission are clearly foretold. Although mankind deserved God's judgment because "we have turned, every one, to his own way," God sent His Servant to take away our sins. According to Isaiah, it is through His suffering that we are reconciled with God, since "the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."
It is principally on the basis of the stylistic changes between the two sections that critics have developed the Deutero-Isaiah theory. Those who assign Chapters 40-66 to a "Second Isaiah" point out that the two major sections of the book seem to be set in different times. Chapters 1-39 clearly belong to the eighth century b.c., a turbulent period in the history of Judah.
But Isaiah 40-66, according to these scholars, seems to be addressed to the citizens of Judah who were being held as captives in Babylon about two centuries after Isaiah lived and prophesied. These scholars also point to the differences in tone, language, and style between the two major sections as proof that the book was written by two different authors.
The Traditional View
There are, however, conservative scholars who insist the entire book was written by the famous prophet Isaiah who ministered in the southern kingdom of Judah for 40 years, from about 740-700 b.c. They point out that the two sections of the book have many similarities, although they are dramatically different in tone and theme. Many phrases and ideas that are peculiar to Isaiah appear in both sections of the book.
A good example of this is Isaiah's unique reference to God as "the Holy One of Israel." The appearance of these words and phrases can be used to argue just as convincingly that the book was written by a single author.
In the second section of his book, Isaiah looked into the future and predicted the years of the Captivity and the return of the Covenant People to their homeland after the Captivity ended. If the prophet could predict the coming of the Messiah over 700 years before that happened, he could certainly foresee this major event in the future of the nation of Judah.
The style of each section deliberately matches its subject matter.
The Valley of Doubt
Doubts about the authorship and authenticity of any book in the Bible can have tragic consequences for those who are attempting to take the Bible seriously. As I look back on my own spiritual journey, I recall the many years that these views introduced a subtle doubt in my mind and hampered my real growth in the Word.
Is there a way to resolve this without getting drawn into the distressing debates and arrogant displays among erudite scholars and "textual critics"? Indeed, there is. I only wish I had discovered it earlier in my own travels through God's wondrous Word.
The Discovery in John 12
What a precious chapter! It has many marvelous insights, but among the dearest to me personally are verses 37-41:
37] But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: 38] That the saying of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? 39] Therefore they could not believe, because that Isaiah said again, 40] He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. 41] These things said Isaiah, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.
In this passage we first encounter a quote, in verse 38, familiar to many of you, that begins the famous chapter of Isaiah 53. This would be in the section attributed to the "Second Isaiah."
In verse 40 we have a quote from Isaiah Chapter 6 (v. 10), as verse 41 also highlights what occurs when Isaiah beholds the throne of God. This is, of course, in the first section of Isaiah.
Oh, how I am grateful for verse 39! Notice that John tells us that "that Isaiah said again" when he links the two passages and, thus, the two sections and attributes them both to "that" (same) Isaiah! If you take John seriously, and recognize the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, then you need not doubt the authorship of Isaiah - both "sections."
It is fascinating to me to notice that there is no heresy - or controversy - that hasn't been anticipated by the Holy Spirit within the Scripture itself. If we recognize the reality that we have 66 books penned by 40 authors over thousands of years that are an integrated whole, and that every detail has been the result of careful and skillful engineering, then there is no need to stumble over the erudite skepticism and arrogance by scholarship falsely so called.
Isn't God wonderful? If we would just learn to take Him at His Word.
[TBC: We have previously noted that when it comes to Islam, the courage of satirists and other "iconoclasts" fails. Their lack of courage also opens up society to further incursions by Muslims who have repeatedly stated that their sole goal is worldwide domination and the submission of all.]
Dhimmi-nized Scared Westerners single out one religion for kid-gloves treatment [Excerpts]
When Matt Stone and Trey Parker, creators of the noxious South Park, see a taboo, they hasten to break it. So they were sure to weigh in on the controversy over those Danish cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad . . . . But at the climax of the two-part series -- in which the politically correct citizens of South Park literally buried their heads in the sand so as not to offend Muslims by seeing something they did not approve of -- the show's network Comedy Central blacked out the depiction of Muhammad. And yet, the network left in a blasphemous scene involving Jesus, the American flag, and President Bush.
Comedy Central could have axed the entire show and initiated a policy of respecting all religions. But instead, the network made Islam off-limits for satire, while letting Christianity be fair game . . . . They acted out of sheer fear. They knew they had nothing to fear from offending Christians, but that Muslims really might kill them.
This same fear is shaping the depiction of Islam throughout Western culture. On university campuses, Christianity is routinely criticized, while Islam is treated with kid gloves. The Jesus Seminar casts doubt on the Bible, but there is no Muhammad Seminar to cast doubt on the Quran. A trendy European jeans company emblazons its products with anti-religious symbols and slogans. While there is a line insulting Christianity and a line insulting Hinduism, there are no plans for an anti-Muslim line. The motive, again, is simple fear. But fear is an appropriate motivator for the infidels, according to Islam.
It has to do with the concept of "dhimmitude." According to the fear-based spin, Islam is a religion of tolerance. Historically, when Muslims would conquer an infidel nation, the inhabitants would be encouraged to convert to Islam. Polytheists, if they refused to convert, would be killed. But the monotheistic "people of the Book" -- namely, Christians and Jews -- could retain their religion, as long as they accepted the status of "dhimmis." This entailed paying a special tax, which was really tribute money to Islam, accepting second-class citizenship, and following special laws limiting the practice of their religion and keeping Islam as supreme.
Today, the Muslim conquest of the West is carried out not only by the terrorist sword but by immigration. And Muslims, empowered by democracy and multiculturalism, are implementing the principles of dhimmitude in their new homelands.
Western nations are accepting dhimmitude even at the expense of traditional liberties. Notice how, in the Danish cartoon controversy, the rioters demanded that non-Muslims obey the Islamic law against religious images. Increasingly Western nations, in a misguided push for multicultural sensitivity, have passed "anti-vilification laws" that forbid "offending" Muslims.
Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci criticized Islam in her book The Force of Reason. Muslims in Italy filed charges, whereupon she had to flee to America to avoid prosecution. In Australia, two Christian pastors were convicted of violating the anti-vilification law when they read some of the scarier parts of the Quran in public and taught that Islam is a false religion. Canada has taken the extraordinary step of allowing Muslims in that country to be governed by Islamic law (Shariah) when it comes to disputes over property and family issues, including marriage and divorce. This means that women coming to what they thought was a free country with a legal system that protects individual rights must submit to an Islamic council, whose rulings will be enforced by Canadian courts.
Islam becoming a privileged religion over all the rest makes dhimmis of us all.
(Veith, WORLD Magazine, May 06, 2006, Vol. 21, No. 18). -----------------------------------------------------------------------
Teenager killed his sister for living a Western life From Roger Boyes in Berlin
AYHAN SURUCU was so angry when his sister started to wear make-up and date German men that he put a gun to her head at a bus stop and killed her.
The 18-year-old Turk fired three bullets into her brain and calmly walked away.
Boys at a nearby school, attended mainly by the children of immigrant Muslim families, cheered and applauded when news of the murder reached them.
The so-called "honour killing" of Hatun Surucu, 23, last year shocked Germany and sparked intense debate about a conservative Muslim immigrant community at odds with a secular society.
That anger was rekindled yesterday when Surucu, a minor when the murder took place, was sentenced to nine years and three months by a Berlin court, considered lenient by many Germans.
His brothers, Alpaslan, 25, and Mutlu, 26, were acquitted because of lack of evidence, at which friends and family in the courtroom cheered. The prosecution had sought life sentences for their part in the murder of their sister.
The state prosecutor had demanded that all three brothers be convicted. Ayhan, the youngest, had confessed to pulling the trigger but according to the prosecutor the two others had stood guard and obtained the murder weapon. They denied any involvement.
The evidence of a crown witness, a Turkish girl who wore a bullet-proof vest when she stood in the witness stand, was deemed yesterday to be too flimsy for a conviction. Only Ayhan, 19, was jailed after admitting that he wanted to "wipe the stain from our family".
There are 40 "honour killings" a year in Germany and most of them result from the failure of an arranged marriage, which are illegal in the country.