All who wish to understand more about Islam, as much as you may be learning about Islam here (and I thank all my readers), need to read Marvin Olasky’s article, Islam vs. Liberty, in the September 10, 2011 issue of World Magazine. Reference is provided to obtain via the Internet at the end of this piece.
The article is the more lucid clarification of the differences between Christians, Salvation, Islam, Works and Freedom, providing the essential knowledge we should all have, whether we agree or not. Is it a life eternal with God (or Allah) by Grace or by Works? By God it is by Grace. By Allah it is by Works.
Now I am about to take some liberty and summarize as best I can this article. It is lengthy (as I know some of my blogs can be for which I apologize and ask for you indulgence) so read the article itself, if you have the time and patience, or this summary (or both).
Olasky points out that liberty, freedom, only enables humans to break Allah’s rules, thus it should be forbidden. It is the rules that enable Allah’s leash to control the Muslim population and emphasize dominance, even tyranny, as a means to insure total obedience, and thus always be ‘good’ according to the rules (Sharia or Islamic Law).
Some of the differences noted (quotes are Oslasky’s – with every attempt by me to have them correct):
- “The verdict of Scripture (the Bible): Apart from God’s Grace we go our own way.”
- Recognize ‘original sin.’ Man is born with a sinful nature
- Only Christ meets the standard of perfection
- Do not believe by ‘works’ alone, obedience to a set of rules, everything will be made correct.
- “God cares about what’s in man’s heart – and liberty reveals it.”
- God’s Grace changes people. People have to accept their sinful nature to then change.
- “God values heart obedience, which shows when we are free to disobey.”
- Christ was punished for the sins of man; God’s attribute as Christ taking our place and punished according to our crimes (sins) against God.
- The final Victory will come when Christ returns
- Pluralistic societies are fine.
- Separation of Church and State
- Freedom of religion
- Justification by Faith
- Do not recognize ‘original sin’; assumption – humans can be sinless.
- The rules for moral living are provided by Allah (via Muhammad); “we are naturally capable of following all of them.”
- Liberty is not compatible; ‘Liberty, for what, to disobey Allah’s rules?”
- Allah’s rules are a test for entry into heaven
- Allah uses Biblical characters as examples of persons of “strong character, which enable them to obey the rules.”
- Christ is a prophet, but not “our Redeemer.”
- Man is good, but will stray if given freedom.
- Follow the Rules; “rules will save them.” Many dos and don’t are available.
- The Rules (Sharia) are specific
- Societies must unite religion, civil law, and governance, all combined (tawhid), under the Rules of Allah
- No separation of Mosque and State
- Religion restricted within the borders of an Islamic State, for which there is to be no competition with Islam.
- “Man’s might will make Islam supreme throughout the world.”
- Spreading Islam serves the greatest good; any suffering as a result is justified.
What Olasky finds troubling is reflected towards the end, “Devout Muslims and Devout Christians can agree and work together on some things but are worlds apart. What hope for peace do we have?” (The italics are mine.)
He also notes that the Bible has been criticized for centuries. There are libraries filled with texts of support and criticism of just about every word, date, place, author, person, and more from the Bible. The Bible has survived all attacks. Yet “criticism of the Quran has not gone far enough.” Olasky answers the ‘Why’ of this statement by saying, “Because writers who pursue such questions lower their life expectancy.” That in its own right is a dénouement of any potential for objectivity, human rights, and freedom of thought (denial of liberty anew) inherent in Islam. The fear of criticism, the call that such is ‘persecution’, suggests a concern that the Quran will not hold up under strict scrutiny.
There are those that suggest anyone can be good without God. They are the Humanists, of which many are atheists (if not all). For the Muslim they are born good. Worldly influences that encourage or endorse freedom can only change their focus and total obedience from Allah and the Rules, lessening (I would presume) their opportunity at heavenly virgins or an eternal life in Paradise as the Quran (and Hadiths, etc.) defines it. Freedom can make them less good. The evils of temptation! Christians recognize humans cannot be good; they are inherently bad, subject to temptations. Free or not, temptations abound. Some sins are more deadly than others (like Sloth, Gluttony, Pride, Lust, Envy, Anger, and Greed), but they are all bad in God’s eyes. But forgiveness has been provided, conditional, a choice, freedom to decide, when one recognizes their condition, their addiction to temptation, and chooses (there it is again – freedom) to repent and change.
To close with an Olasky quote, “The difference between the two religions is profound.”
With a heart for God. May you find your focus. Grace and Peace.
Islam vs. Liberty– http://www.worldmag.com/articles/18544