Saturday, October 06, 2007

Matt 24 Watch, 32: More from El Faisal's Media Blitz

Mr Trevor William Forest, aka Sheik El Faisal, a radical Islamist advocate, was recently deported to Jamaica , after serving four years on charges relating to stirring up race hate and inciting murder through his sermons and tapes etc, in the UK.

Over the past several weeks, he has had several TV appearances in Jamaica, especially on Mr Ian Boyne's Religious Hard Talk programme. During these sessions, he has laid out several grave accusations against the Bible, the Gospel, and Church leaders.

It is worth noting that, on the reports of his sessions with Mr Boyne, he has apparently not been asked to specifically answer, point by point, to the evidence that led to his conviction, which evidence is not widely known in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. It is therefore worth the while to again pause and excerpt remarks on some of that un-answered evidence from a key article in the August 27, 2006 Gleaner:
el-Faisal urged Muslim women to "bring up your male children in the jihad mentality."

"So when you buy your toys for your boys you buy tanks and guns and helicopter gunships and so forth. The way forward can never be the ballot. The way forward is the bullet."

"How wonderful it is to kill the Kuffar [unbeliever]. You crawl on his back and while you push him down into hellfire you are going into paradise."

Another of his jihad tape contains the words: "So you go to India and if you see a Hindu walking down the road you are allowed to kill him and take his money, is that clear?" [According to a BBC report, they were sold "at specialist Islamic bookshops" (itself highly telling!)]
On the significance of this evidence, let us observe from a Feb 24, 2003 Guardian of the UK report on his trial, that:
[An] Old Bailey jury found El-Faisal guilty of three charges relating to inciting racial hatred as well as three charges of soliciting murder. He was remanded in custody for sentencing on March 7. El-Faisal had denied five charges of soliciting the murder of non-believers, Jews, Americans and Hindus, and four charges relating to inciting racial hatred . . . .

Tapes of El-Faisal's study circle lectures, given around the country, went on sale at specialist bookshops. In them, he was heard calling for the death of nonbelievers, and making references to training schoolboys to shoot Kalashnikovs.

He was heard quoting the words of Osama bin Laden and backed the use of nuclear and chemical weapons. On the cover of one recording was a picture of the burning World Trade Centre . . . .

El-Faisal told his audiences: "You have to learn to fly planes, drive tanks and you have to learn how to load your guns and to use missiles."

In another reference, he said boys of 15 were soldiers and asked them: "Is it sensible for you to be a soldier and you don't know how to shoot a Kalashnikov?"

El-Faisal promised that those who died during a holy war would not feel pain and would go to heaven, where they would be given 72 virgins.

"We believe in the bullet not the ballot,"
he told them. In another speech, El-Faisal told youngsters: "People with British passports, if you fly into Israel, it is easy ... Fly into Israel and do whatever you can. If you die, you are up in paradise.

"How do you fight a Jew? You kill a Jew. In the case of Hindus, by bombing their businesses."

Such are quite grave matters, and it is reasonable that Mr El Faisal should not be further entertained as a pundit on Jamaica's airwaves until he gives us good reason to conclude that he is not a destructive extremist. (NB: Further material below from his August and October TV appearances shows a basic problem with civility towards, and even basic respect for those with whom he differs.)

Nor, is brushing aside such evidence while attempting to put on
Mr Garvey's mantle as a victim of racially or religiously or politically motivated persecution, good enough. (Cf. here a reported remark in his late August interview, to the effect that "I am not the first Jamaican who is deported for preaching.")

Having noted this unfortunately highly material issue of character and intent, let us now pass on to a select few of the main accusations and claims he has to make regarding the Christian Faith and its leaders:

1] [Aug:] On the Incarnation: Christianity is very blasphemous . . . . preachers should not lie to people that Jesus is God. That God came from belly of a woman! It is beneath dignity of God to "beget" beneath dignity to procreate:

It is blasphemous, rather, to utterly distort, misrepresent and try to stir up hostility against the teaching of the Bible concerning the Incarnation of our Lord and risen Saviour, and to accuse others of "lying" -- i.e. willful, knowing deception -- when they are actually only accurately and honestly teaching what they can plainly see from the C1 NT:
LK 1:26 [c. 60 AD] . . . God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin . . . [whose] name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you” . . . . 30 But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High . . . 35 . . . "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

LK 1:38 "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.
In short, the explicit, eyewitness lifetime record of the NT is that Jesus was born of a virgin, miraculously.

Mr El Faisal's utter distortion of a Holy and loving act of the Son of God, by humbling himself to become a servant and suffering Saviour [cf. Phil 2:5 - 11 and Isaiah 45:18 - 23], in fact, directly traces to Mohammed's plainly erroneous teaching in the Quran, 600 years after the fact:

Q4:171: “O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not "Trinity" : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son . . .”
This plainly utterly misunderstands and misrepresents the NT and the Creeds.

2] [Aug:] Citing his mother, now an Islamic convert, after forty years of service with the Salvation Army, on the Trinity: She cannot believe how she was deceived . . .

Rejection of a distorted form of the concept that God is manifested as complex rather than simple unity
is a hallmark of the Islamic objection to the Christian faith and the plain teaching of the Bible on the subject.

So, we should first note how the Quran unfortunately misrepresents then rejects the actual biblically anchored doctrine:

YUSUFALI: Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin Most heinous indeed.

YUSUFALI: And behold! Allah will say: "O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah'?" He will say: "Glory to Thee! never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart, Thou I know not what is in Thine. For Thou knowest in full all that is hidden.
It is well worth citing Phil 2:5 - 11, an early hymn cited by Paul in the 60's AD, by way of sharpest contrast on both substance and attitude:
PHP 2:5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

PHP 2:6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,

PHP 2:7 but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.

PHP 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death--
even death on a cross!

PHP 2:9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,

PHP 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

PHP 2:11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
[NB: If you want to examine the grounds of the Trinity as a matter of theology and philosophy [Cf. 1 Peter 3:15], the above linked article on the Shamrock principle, may be a helpful, theology 101-level place to begin.]

3] [Oct "debate" with Adegold:] Slavery and Christian Faith: Christianity was introduced by slave masters . . . . European slave masters also shoved Christianity down our throats – they also threw human excrement down our throats:

Of course, the attitude problem pointed out above, comes out even more forcefully in that telling comparison on excrement that Mr El Faisal makes. This last statement is utterly uncivil, and is grossly disrespectful. Indeed, it shows just how well-justified are those who have, on inspecting the evidence of this gentleman's prior behaviour in the UK and in Jamaica, have refused to publicly debate with him.

Further, given that arrogance and thinly veiled hostility and grossest disrespect just shown, it is in order to note an obvious direct rebuttal: the Islamic faith's founders were an active and leading part of a slave-holding society themselves, so hot sauce for the goose is hot sauce for the gander too.

For instance, just what was the status of Mary the Coptic slave-girl from Egypt, one of Mohammed's concubines?

(Also, the Trans-Sahara and Trans-Indian ocean slave trades are every inch as much a part of history as the trans-Atlantic slave trade. We could add, that "those pirates" who "robbed I" and "sold I" to the English man's "merchant ships," were often Muslim Arab or Berber traders or arabised African tribesmen. Similarly, slavery was officially abolished by Saudi Arabia only in 1962. As headlines repeatedly reveal, it still continues in the Islamic state of the Sudan.)

But, that is just "you're just as bad."

The better answer is that until men whose hearts were softened by the gospel rose up to object and campaign against it, slavery was a universal oppressive phenomenon backed up by the power centres of many societies across the globe. In short, the abolition of the slavery system and its vicious trade were in material part yet yet another result of the many reformation and liberation struggles that stemmed from putting the Bible in the hands of the ordinary man some 500 years ago. (cf also here, on the roots of modern liberty.)

Further to this, in fact it was the same Dissenter/ Evangelical Christians who first effectivley preached the gospel to the slaves of Jamaica, starting with Black American preachers, George Liele and Moses Baker.

4] [Oct;]: The Cross and the Gospel -- Christians believe God committed suicide as he died on the cross. If God was in grave for 3 days who was in charge? Was the world put on autopilot?

Here, it is helpful to first note that the Quran denies the historical core of the gospel:
Q 4:156 -158: “they killed him [Jesus] not, nor crucified him . . . . Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself.”
By contrast, here is the authentic 55 AD record of the official, 500-witness-anchored testimony of the earliest Christians from the 30s AD on:
“By this gospel [we] are saved if [we] hold firmly to the word . . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures [and was seen by over 500 witnesses, including the 12, James and many others, most then being alive] . . . . if Christ has not been raised [from the dead], our preaching is useless and so is [our] faith . . . [we] are still in [our] sins.” [1 Cor. 15:2 – 5, 14, 17.]
So, whose report should we believe? The direct eyewitnesses and the subsequent millions of us who have experienced the power of the risen Christ in our lives? Or a man who misunderstood and rejected their testimony, 600 years later? Or, the latter's sadly ill-spoken spokesman in our day?

The sensible answer is too obvious to directly state.

As to the polemical objections on who was in charge while Jesus was in the grave, Phil 2:5 - 11 is sufficiently plain: the TRIUNE God was, and is in charge. So, when our Lord emptied himself of all but love and came, loved, bled and died then rose, the universe did not have to go on autopilot. (In short, the perceived contradictions arise from the Islamic misunderstanding, not from the actual Biblical record. It is not wise to set up and knock over straw man misrepresentations of a case.)

As to the notion that God "committed suicide" on the cross, this is just another crude, unworthy and contempt-filled distortion. Jesus surrendered himself to the power of wicked and cruel men, who unjustly put him to death by nailing him to a cross between two murderous rebels, as though he were the ring-leader of their insurrection -- suicide, this plainly was not. But in so surrendering himself, he made an atonement for our sins.

Here is Hebrews on that:
HEB 1:1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven . . .
And, Isaiah 53, in a magnificent prophecy made 700 years before the event:
ISA 53:3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

ISA 53:4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
ISA 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

ISA 53:6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

ISA 53:7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.

ISA 53:8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
And who can speak of his descendants?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was stricken . . . .

ISA 53:10 Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

ISA 53:11 After the suffering of his soul,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
So, now, whose report -- and whose Spirit -- will we believe, and why? END

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