Tuesday, January 02, 2007

1 Chron 12:32 Report, 16: Abusing Advent III: Iranian Mahdism's Christmas Day 2006 message to the Christian, Anglophone West

It seems that Advent, sadly, is fast becoming the preferred time to make counter- [or even in some cases, anti-] Christian pronouncements!

Today's example -- excerpted from an Iranian official web page, "The World Toward Illumination" -- allows us to bridge to examining a key example of the Islamist global vision, rhetoric and agenda.

The opening words of the page are a classic of turnabout rhetoric -- accusing your opponents of pursuing your own agenda while presenting yourself as the antidote:

Man's effort to procure the facilities needed in his life, is as old as history. In today's world, science and technology have helped human societies to achieve many of the amenities. But mankind has not yet been able to eliminate poverty and remove the unequal distribution of income in the society, because of the unjust world order imposed by the so-called big powers, which by monopolizing science and technology terrorize weaker nations and plunder their wealth and natural resources. The cold and calculating domineering powers impose on the weaker nations, the methods of production, consumption and technology that are to the benefit of capitalists. In the weird system of today’s powerful counties, moral and spiritual values have no place and are seen as undesirable liabilities that prevent these powers from reaching economic welfare and what they call true prosperity. However, the exploitation of the weak, the unjust system of distribution and denial of the rights of nations, will end with the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (AS). In the government of the Imam man will witness real economic welfare throughout the world without any discrimination. The main issue in his global government is carrying out social justice and one of the main products of social justice is a highly developed economy that leads to the blossoming of moral and spiritual values as emphasized by the dynamic teachings of Islam.

The eschatological framework is worth highlighting, as it brings out the underlying agenda of Middle East and global conquest implied in the above:

In our discussion of the world in the last days of the earth we had said in our previous editions of this programme that no source has pointed to the exact date when the Savior will appear and only God knows about the exact timing of the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (AS) . . . . Imam Mahdi and steadfast devotees will gather in Mecca . . . . After his appearance the Imam would remain in Mecca for some time, and then go to Medina. According to narrations Sofyani, a descendant of the Prophet’s archenemy Abu Sofyan will seize Syria and attack Iraq and the Hejaz with the ferocity of a beast . . . . many incidents take place in this line and finally Imam Mahdi sends troops who kill the Sofyani in Beit ol-Moqaddas, the Islamic holy city in Palestine that is currently under occupation of the Zionists. . . . Another beautiful moment of the Savior's appearance is the coming down of Prophet Jesus (PBUH) from heaven. Hazrat Mahdi receives him courteously and asks him to lead the prayers. But Jesus says you are more qualified for this than me . . . Imam Mahdi will be the leader while Prophet Jesus will act as his lieutenant in the struggle against oppression and establishment of justice in the world. Jesus had himself given the tidings of the coming of God's last messenger and will see Mohammad's ideals materialize in the time of the Mahdi. The seat of the Mahdi’s global government will be the city of Kufa, where his headquarters will be the Sahla Mosque, presently outside the city that was the home of Prophet Idrees or Enoch long before the great deluge of the times of Prophet Noah. From here he will dominate the east and the west to fill the earth with justice.

This picture dovetails well with Islam expert, Dr Patrick Sookhdeo of Barnabas Fund's outline of Islamic eschatology, as summarised here:

Muslims believe that Jesus will come back to earth as a Muslim, will marry and have children, then die and be buried near Muhammad. Some traditions assert that at this second coming He will destroy every cross, kill all Jews, convert the Christians to Islam, and reign as king of all Muslims.” [A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Islam, Christian Focus/Isaac, 2002., p. 22.]

In this context, it is also worth the time to cite certain historically and strategically important excerpts from the Last [but one?] Surah of the Quran "handed down," No 9:

5: But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. [This is the infamous Sword Verse that takes precedence under the doctrine of Abrogation, over a hundred more irenic passages in the Quran; mostly from the earlier Meccan period. It implies a global agenda of conquest, which led to the -- to the too often unrecognised, unacknowledged, unrepented of -- classical and modern history of Islamic imperialism and supremacism.]

[. . . . ]

29: Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. [This is The Verse of Tribute, which is a cornerstone of dhimmitude, in which non-Muslims under Islamic rule are subjected to harsh, Apartheid-like conditions that deny their basic human rights.]

30: The Jews call 'Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah's curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!

31: They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of Allah, and (they take as their Lord) Christ the son of Mary; yet they were commanded to worship but One Allah: there is no god but He. Praise and glory to Him: (Far is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him).

32: Fain would they extinguish Allah's light with their mouths, but Allah will not allow but that His light should be perfected, even though the Unbelievers may detest (it).

33: It is He Who hath sent His Messenger with guidance and the Religion of Truth, to proclaim it over all religion, even though the Pagans may detest (it).

Many points in the above are worth a comment; but in the interests of brevity and focus, let us highlight a select, telling few:

1] Observe the key turnabout rhetorical tactic: presenting Islamic imperialism and an agenda of global conquest as a socialist-style "liberation struggle" against Western domination in the name of "justice." [This is an all- too- familiar tactic of would-be world conquerers in the past Century: Hitler and his Axis associates used it, and so did the Marxist-Leninists. Its best refutation is the fact of oppression that resulted wherever these ideologies predomninated. For all its flaws and sins -- which are legion -- the West has in the past Century been demonstrably the lesser of evils. It is not irrelevant to note that, materially (indeed, arguably, largely) through the prophetic impact of the Judaeo-Christian message, has a centuries-long track record of being open to criticism, repentance and reformation from its worst evils.]

2] Next, observe the actual CURRENT declared agenda of global subjugation under Islam: "the unjust system of distribution and denial of the rights of nations, will end with the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (AS) . . . The main issue in his global government is carrying out social justice. " In short, as the further excerpt on the Islamic eschatology shows:

"Imam Mahdi will be the leader while Prophet Jesus will act as his lieutenant in the struggle against oppression and establishment of justice in the world . . . The seat of the Mahdi’s global government will be the city of Kufa, where his headquarters will be the Sahla Mosque . . . From here he will dominate the east and the west to fill the earth with justice."

3] As the Quran's Surah 9 affirms, this is all under the doctrine that Islam is to be advanced by the sword, which is exactly what history abundantly affirms. (In that context, "oppression" really means, government that is not under Allah's religion, laws, prophet and warriors.) But then, under Allah's government and religion, non-muslims are to be subjected to discriminatory adn confiscatory taxes and other steps to ensure that they are not only under subjugation but feel themselves hopelessly subjugated. It is but as short step from that to the Apartheid-like status of dhimmitude that Bat Ye'or so abundantly has documented. Is that what "justice" means?

4] We hardly need to pause to note on the misrepresentation of Jewish teaching in Surah 9, nor the distortion of the doctrine of the Trinity. We need only observe that it is a sad – but telling -- comment that Allah's Prophet, reciting what was “handed down,” does not get basic, standard Jewish and Christian Theology straight. [Cf this discussion on the nature of the Trinity and its rationale, and this one on the authenticity of Paul's theology, as these distortions are often raised by Islamic Apologists.]

5] It is worth noting the spiritually diagnostic attempt to deny the Deity of Christ [that is what "son of Mary" implies, cf. Quran, Surah 4:48 and 171, and 5:116; briefly discussed here] and to "demote" him relative to the Mahdi, the "true" Saviour figure in the Islamist eschatology being presented. Thus, it is fair comment to now point to 1 John 2:18 - 28, and 4:1 - 3 and invite comparison with the Islamist teachings above.

6] Further, let us put all of this in current context: this is under an Iran that ever since 1979 has been using murderous terrorism as a major tactic to advance its Islamist agenda, is now credibly pursuing nuclear weapons, is led by a man who has repeatedly denied the fact (much less the significance) of the Holocaust, and in the next breath has set out to wipe Israel from the face of the Map.

7] Finally on this, Mr Ahmadinejad evidently expects the Mahdi to appear soon, and so the article's references to the Mahdi possibly appearing in the spring may therefore be highly significant.

Against that backdrop, we need to consider again the attitude of denial here in the Caribbean and in the wider world highlighted in No. 10 in this blog series:

. . . the real potency of the Islamist threat lies not in that threat itself, but in our persistent wishful thinking, self-doubt and attitude of denial in the face of mounting danger. In short, we have got to first resolutely face the truth about ourselves and the tidal wave of secularism, apostasy and amorality from the North (i.e. within the gates of Western Culture), before we can do something about the rising invasion from without. After all, an enemy who freely walks and talks among us in culturally nuanced accents as one of our own, is always far more dangerous than one not yet fully within the gates . . . .

[W]e must first of all state the obvious truths of the gospel that those who would impose an atheistic, amoral spirit on Caribbean and Western Culture are all too eager to suppress. For, we are not an atheistic civilisation; we are a Christian civilisation that -- through our own apostasy, lust and greed for riches through exploiting our brothers, and resulting failure to rise to deceitful challenges from within -- have been bewitched, lassoed and saddled by those riding on a tidal wave of secularism, apostasy and neo-paganism.

Then, we can rise to our own Blonie Fields moment [i.e. a time of Spirit-given refreshing and breakthrough] . . . .

So, now, again, we must face the challenge that we are in a time of kairos.

May God grant us courage to face and then address the true gravity of our global situation, and rise to the opportunities that God had graciously given us:

[1] The spiritual tidal wave of aggressive, secularism-driven de-Christianisation from the North

[2] The tidal wave of Islamist militancy from the East, now amplified by the rise of Mahdist eschatological speculations.

[3] Our own opportunity to become a critical strategic force in the church's global mission of witness, disciple-making and peaceful reformation.


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