UI – Part 325 – Rebirth or Enlightenment for Islam
The History of the Christ Followers – The Enlightenment
The Bible is a guide for everyone. It became the foundational document to follow when the New Testament was recorded. The birth, life, sacrificial death, and resurrection of Christ and the coming of the Holy Spirit provided the gateway for salvation to all mankind. The Word is divinely inspired and enables a relationship with God. Read his Word and know He is speaking to you.
The growth of the followers of Christ led to the spread of the Word. The Church of Rome became the center for Christian history in the form of the Catholic Church. The Vatican became the Smithsonian, a warehouse of historical artifacts and documents that provide the looking glass into the past and the history of Christianity and the basis for the faith of billions.
The Catholic Church took their own approach to the catalogue of history and became the mouthpiece for God, as they interpreted the Bible, the Word of God. The codex of Scripture was compiled and promulgated by Christ followers who became scholars as well as devout companions for the Lord. They were members of the Universal Church and members of the hierarchy. As most people were illiterate the scholars of the Church, the Priests, made the Word known to others as orators, teachers and lecturers, interrupting the Bible as they saw fit. Time passed and there were Priests that did not always agree with each other. They accepted Christ as the way to the Father, but other elements from the texts were often used to gain control over the populace. That was not God’s intent. The sinful nature of man is ever present to abuse God’s commands choosing their personal idols.
Martin Luther is credited with breaking away from the dictates of the Catholic Church by interpreting the book of Romans, primarily, as a command to the people to choose freely. They were encouraged to read the Bible, the Word of God, themselves. The printing press helped make that possible. By reading the Bible they had a direct link to their Lord and Savior. The Priest was not the one to forgive sins, that was accomplished on the Cross for those who accept Christ. They could confess their sins directly and seek repentance on their own. An intermediary was not necessary. It was as a rebirth, the enlightenment, where the shackles placed on the Catholics were lifted enabling freedom of thought, independent thinking, respecting the gift of intellect provided by God to volunteer for their faith.
Can a Rebirth or Enlightenment Happen for Muslims?
What is there that can possibly change Islam making it more tolerant, less superior, openly accepting of the right of others to proselytize, able to accept the constitutions of countries which have no intentions of applying Sharia Law, able to erase the call to have enmity and hatred towards Christians and Jews until Islam is worldwide, welcoming towards women as equals, women and men able to walk side by side, hold hands and attend schools in the same classroom (mosques too), and so much more?
After WWI, The Great War, Turkey’s President Ataturk in what seemed an instant modernized the center of what once was the Ottoman Empire. Tailors came from London, Hong Kong and the West to make clothing and suits more like you would see in a Sears or Montgomery Ward catalogue. The white tunics and turbans disappeared. Hijab and Burkas were hung in closets to gather dust and decay. Bankers wore suit and tie. Women wore dresses, skirts and blouses. They remained Muslim, but few felt compelled to attend their mosque or conduct daily prayer rituals. The economy grew. Tourism grew. A society that was non-productive began to contribute to the world. Imports and exports grew. Similar changes took hold in Afghanistan and Iran. French and British colonization brought to dark areas the light of progress. The basics of education became reading, writing and arithmetic. The dictates of Muhammad or Wahhabism were muted and the call to fight for an ideological expansion and take-over of the world fell silent. This was a form of rebirth. As part of that change the political aspect of Islam, a theocracy, was abandoned in those areas.
However the trend has been curbed. Afghanistan has been wrapped in the shrouds of the Taliban and the teachings of Wahabbism as acid is thrown on young school girls. Islamic police appear out of nowhere to punish those not adhering strictly to an ideology they may not wholly subscribe too, and reminded however that Islam is Islam. The 1979 Iranian Revolution brought a Shiite cleric into power, the Khomeini arriving on a magic carpet of promises that soon after were denied. The strict code of life of Islam was restored. Dissidents spoke and then were never heard from or seen again. A democracy was touted as a theocracy was installed. Secular countries where tyrants or despots like Saddam Hussein, Mubarak and Ghadafi kept the radical Islamist contained, experienced unexpected change on the wings of an Arab Spring arrival that has led to chaos. Dams have burst with waves of blood thirsty, fanatic, Allah-demonic, Quran bearing, warriors focused on achieving the demands from the texts of Islam, a worldwide Caliphate. The debate rests with who is the more devout and loyal, the victor beheading the loser with his sword of justice. The example is Muhammad.
It is hard to image modern moderates taking the dais in a mosque or madrasa in the Middle East and having the charisma to change 300,000,000 fanatics (and there may be more in a population of 1.6 billion Muslims) into wearing suit and tie and having a board room dialog on the future of Islam. Those same moderates would be talking about work and productivity. Just how they would convince a 1400 year old society whose leaders and scholars prefer 7th century control, order, habits, systems and punishment to give up their manhood and be equal to a skirt is difficult at best to comprehend. That is what is necessary, though. Even with oil, which the Sheiks consider a divine blessing to Islam provided by Allah, little has been done to modernize, yet much has been done to spread the ideology, dogma, laws and life-system of Islam. The goal remains – an all world Caliphate, whether using terrorist tactics, or da’wa (subversive tactics) to achieve the same end.
A New Covenant
Christians had a New Covenant provided by God that made all men (and women) right with God through the sacrifice Christ made taking the punishment for the sins of mankind. He overcame the sins of man, the temptations of Satan, and death, arising as he did to be with God anew. Salvation assured, no more wars were needed. The New Covenant is the Good News reflected in the Gospel and the New Testament.
But that is not what Satan accepted. He would continue to fight until end times. Is the beginning of the portrait of end times now being witnessed? Has the canvas been prepped with gesso and the first applications of vibrant oil paint haphazardly spread? Without a new covenant for the Muslim, for the world of Islam, separating mosque and government, we are certainly seeing armageddon micro bursts. The moderates will have to find a living savior to bring the Muslim world out of the ages of darkness in which it has languished and into the light of humanity, kindness, peace, and love if the world as a whole is to survive. Otherwise the final canvas will remain all black.
Host Countries of immigrant Muslims can do their part by insisting Muslims give up the Quran for the Constitution of their new home. That would in a significant way help the moderates blaze a new path for the tolerant followers. The Constitutions of the free world, a love for God and a tolerant spirit, may become the make-up of a new covenant for Muslims, but then it would not be Islam.
Grace and Peace