Friday, November 17, 2017
Most Muslims are peace-loving people. Yet, the Muslim religion has terrible elements of violence built into it. In the Quran, all the references that talk about friendliness, tolerance and acceptance of others came before those that command and commend violence. In Muslim theology, if there is a discrepancy between two different verses in the Quran, the earlier is cancelled by the one that came later. For example, “There is no compulsion in religion” (2:256) came earlier than and was cancelled by “Fight and slay the infidels” (9:5).
On September 11, 2001, Muslim fundamentalists hijacked four airplanes. More than 3,000 people were killed in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania. The World Trade Center was demolished, and part of the Pentagon, the United States defense building, was damaged. Though people in the United States, Europe and many other parts of the world were outraged, some Muslims danced with joy and triumph.
Any religious system that sanctions violence and promotes murder and religious cleansing is fundamentally incapable of civility and unable to help people spiritually.
Almighty God, Creator of humans in your own image, I approach this subject with a heavy heart. Some people see such insane acts of murder as part of their religious duty. They are disillusioned and abused by Satan, the enemy of God and of humans.
Arise, O God, and deliver them from the grip of the evil one. Free them from the shackles of Islam. Don’t let them go to eternity with blood on their hands. Change their hearts by your love and power. Make them new persons through the cross. Fill them with your love.
We pray for the families of those killed or injured and maimed in acts of violence in many places around the world. O God, fill the emptiness in the hearts of the bereaved by your presence. Help them receive Christ in their lives. Give them grace to forgive those who have so violently inflicted such cruel losses.
In the name of Christ who forgave us and teaches us to forgive others. Amen.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth… Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God (Matthew 5:5, 9, NIV).