In the pieces, UI – Part 119 –Liberty, A No No and UI – Part 96 – No Freedom for a Muslim, the essence is freedom is anathema to Islamists, but also if one claims to be Muslim, as one who must abide by the Quran, freedom is a negative for all of the religion of Islam. Muslims do not believe in ‘original sin.’ They are born without sin, so they claim. Thus the influence Freedom or Liberty can have on the Muslim mind is to disrupt his (or her) inherent goodness. The goodness, the sinless baby, will be conflicted by exposure to the wrongs in the world as a result of freedom. Fear of the impact caused by Freedom is shown by, and used as the rational for, attacks on the West and Western ideas in Muslim dominated (controlled) areas, as well as the West. Eliminating freedom enables the purity of Islam to fill all corners of the world. When this is accomplished and All are for Allah then there will be peace. This is the expression of the Quran, and challenging what is written is forbidden, even applying logic or doubting is simply not permitted.
The Pure Muslim Society
Consider the purified Muslim world, the ultimate Umma. The governance of the world united (tawhid) in government, civil laws and religion. The only faith is in Allah. The rituals of the Quran, the rules, are the laws of the land. There is no homosexuality, no Christian, no Jew, no non-believer, no pornography, all are born pure and sinless. The influence of an outside non-Muslim, non-Islamist world is gone, eradicated. Honor of family and parental control and influence is assured. Independent thinking is no more. All has been revealed.
The above is a world without freedom. The negatives of freedom are apparent. Freedom is embraced in a secular society. A secular society without God can exist unabated, except for the hearts of man who see the light that God shines upon them. The secular world knows ‘good’ yet allows ‘bad.’ It is the call of the non-believer that what is right for them is their choice. Man controls his destiny and man accomplishes what man achieves because of man. Man’s interpretation of ‘good’ may be a ‘feel good’ experience, even if only of short duration. God has no influence. Guilt becomes secondary. The ‘me’ society is born of the conviction that all is possible without having to rely on God. If you choose God you do so independent of society as a whole, keeping quiet and objecting less to the standards of life man may choose for himself, in deference to what Biblical proclamations suggest.
What Jesus Knew
Jesus Christ knew this. He did not, even as man-God, attempt to unite governance of a people and their faith. Yet he wanted man to be good, to know God, and to have a relationship with God. Did Jesus prefer Freedom over total obedience to God? In three of the Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke, it is stated by Jesus, “Give to Caesar what is Caesars and to God what is God’s.” (Matt 22:21, Mark 12:17, Luke 20:25). This may not have been a statement about freedom, but it suggests governments, societies, may be overseen by man, and that man’s laws can be different from God’s. There is freedom and liberty in this concept. The hope for mankind is ‘good’ will prevail.
Jesus knew man was not born ‘good.’ This is in total disagreement with Islam. Man was born with a sinful nature, the Fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden the example to us all of this inherent flaw in our DNA. Given ‘free will’ God has allowed evil in this world, evil caused by freedom and liberty. Jesus saw the world as light and darkness, or as good and evil. In John 11:9 he is quoted, “Are there not 12 hours of daylight? A Man who walks by the day will not stumble, for he sees by the world’s light. It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light.” A simple statement, yes, but poignant at the same time. If man’s heart is filled with the Spirit of the Lord he sees and is guided by what is right. It is when his heart is darkened and influenced by temptations he turns from God, in denial possibly, but sinful nevertheless. Are we being tested by Freedom every day? Would you prefer the test, or not? Can you decide for yourself?
A few years ago my wife and I traveled to Prague. What a great city. Beautiful, untouched by WWII. The architecture and history were exciting. We walked often from Wenceslaus Square down a boulevard and then through a narrow passageway to a large open market and shop area. Many would stop at the Old Town Hall Tower and watch the Astronomical animated clock. The animated characters appear on the hour. During the day it was bustling with street vendors, performers/entertainers, staged events, open air dining, shoppers looking for attractive prices or premium wares, and many families with children and babies in strollers mingling and mixing with the crowds. There were no indications of what happened at night. At night signs were brought from cellared bars and entertainment centers where all manner of prurient desires could be met. Nudity, perversions, prostitution, and more was available by night. Never to be noticed in daylight. It was an example of the contrast offered by Jesus.
Face Your Temptations; They are Unavoidable
Yet the opportunity to face your temptations is presented in the Bible, the document relied upon by Christians. In so doing it is recommended you resist. What is most interesting is the introduction of the Holy Spirit, the spirit of God that dwells within believers. That Spirit, once seated in the heart of the believer is as God speaking directly, as a reminder of the path of righteousness (not perfect for humans) and the guarantee of salvation for those who received the Grace of God through the Cross. Freedom remains; it is not to be restrained.
Jesus spoke (John 15-16, 19) to non-believers, “You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. But if I do judge, my decisions are right because I am not alone. I stand with the Father.” And when questioned about the Father, Jesus noted the oneness with God, “You do not know me or my Father, if you knew me, you would know my Father also.” The most clarifying point made is that Christ was not of this world, as he thus informed his believers, they too should not see the world as their standard. (John 8:23). Adding emphasis to this passage Jesus later stated, “When a man believes in me…when he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me.” (John 12:44-45)
What freedom allows is for the devil to battle with Christ until victory is achieved. Sin remains in the world. It is the evil nature, the sinful nature of man who wants to eliminate God from our presence. Christ told us so, “you are determined to kill me (God), a man who has told you the truth….” (John 8:40) The determination to kill God is that of the evil devil, the father of lies, using man’s free will against man, for Satan’s desires. But that will not happen. Why, because, a quote, “He who belongs to God hears what God says (the Holy Spirit present). The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” (John 8:47) Jesus also provided comfort that the Spirit would guide the believer, (John 16:13), “When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.” Thus the nature of God was complete, unified as the initiator of all things, the implementor and the sustainer. The primary attributes of God were made known to man and understood by those who accept the substitutionary sacrifice made freeing man of the Rules, the Laws, to thus obey God in thanks, in repentance, acknowledging our inherent sinfulness, and following what is the truth. Believers, as Christians, follow God even while walking in the field of freedom amongst weeds planted by bad seeds. “In this world (living in the freedom fields) you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
As for eliminating ‘freedom’ from this world, from a Christian perspective, Jesus spoke, “My prayer is not that you take them (believers in Christ) out of this world (or eliminate the freedom to be tempted) but that you protect them from the evil one.” (John 17:15). As believers, having faith in the Risen Lord, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth, your word is truth.” (John 17:16-17)
We are aware of the enmity, hatred, Muslims have for Christians and Jews. It is clearly stated in the Quran, Sura 60:4, “We disbelieve in you and there has arisen enmity and hatred between us and you forever until you believe in Allah alone….” ‘Them’s fightin’ words’, many would say. But this demonstrates what Christ said, that those not of the Lord will resist the truth. The Quran, in the minds of many, is a book of denial of the truth of God. It even suggests it corrects the Bible, taking those most righteous as prophets they follow, or sinless people (characterized by the Muslim concept of birth without original sin), Christ an example, with which Christians would agree. Born without sin would make all Muslims, at birth, Christ-like, with which Christians would not agree. Other than Christ, we are all (including Muslims) sinners.
If a Muslim is without sin let them cast the first stone. And this they (the Islamists) may believe as they do cast many stones in the form of rockets, planes turned into weapons, car bombs, bus bombs, men, women and children as bombs, and more, destroying worship centers of other faiths as well as the worshippers themselves. They cast real stones at adulterers condemned to die. I personally see the actions of the Islamists as a fear and denial of the truth. The truth will destroy the Quran. Any attempts to be critical of the Quran too often result in personal attacks or fatwa’s against the author or critic. There is a need for a close and detailed examination of the Quran for the entire world to read and decide for themselves. Today any effort would be met with resistance tantamount to war by the Islamists (some refer to as Islamofascist.) What about the moderates? They might allow doubt and debate, even thoughtful consideration given the texts, but few speak out, and many do not want to be shunned by family or ridiculed by others (other Muslims) and will not say what is in their heart or on their mind.
The Eden Complex
Muslims claim they are born without sin. Their nursery must be Eden. When they leave the crib the corruption caused by freedom fills their lungs, even in places as restrained as Saudi Arabia (as much as they try otherwise to stifle the air of liberty). The culture of Islam as dictated by the Ulema and the Islamists seek a return, I would imagine, to Eden. It is their paradise. When All is for Allah will all be as the Garden where eternal life was possible? The only problem – when they arrive will they be free of the taste of liberty? Will they want to make choices for themselves? Will they discover the reality of free-will, their DNA infected. Or already have the seeds of the plague begin to grow within the walls they are attempting to build, wanting freedom to reign, the paganism it causes, the immorality, elsewhere, not in their Eden. There are closets in the Muslim world where hiding from their sinful nature only keeps ridicule from others at bay, not the eyes of Allah. Muslims are sinners too. Sorry about that.
Freedom is not a problem for Christians. Freedom is a problem for Muslims. If you want to be set free, allow God to enter your heart and live not of this world but of His world. Accept the pluralism that exists and be an example by living as Christ-like a life as possible, having accepted your sinful nature, repented and allowing the Spirit of God to fill your empty vessel and become a ship for love and hope in the world.
Grace and Peace.