Thomas E. Snodgrass | Virginia Christian Alliance
Open Letter, June 21, 2017 sent by mail to: Letter To Presiding Bishop Of Episcopal Church Michael B. Curry.
He is the Chief Pastor and serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society and chair of the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church.
The Most Reverend Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church
815 Second Avenue
New York NY 10017
Re: Continuing Murder of Christians by Muslims
Dear Bishop Curry:
The purpose of this letter is to urge you to state a definitive ecclesiastical position for The Episcopal Church in the United States of American against the continuing murder of Christians by Muslims worldwide.
In my opinion as a Christian, all Christians, and especially the organized church, have responsibility to intercede when our fellow Christians are undergoing the persecution that Christ foretold in Luke 12:51: “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.”
As well as foretelling the coming of Mohammed and Islam in Matthew 7:15: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves” and in Matthew 24:24: “For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones.” [Underline emphasis added]
Furthermore, as a 30-year veteran of military service who lived in Peshawar, Pakistan for 15-months, working seven days a week with Pakistani military intelligence and actually supervising Muslim soldiers, I have a unique perspective regarding Islam and Christianity. As a consequence of this unusual, eye-opening experience, I believe St. Thomas Aquinas perfectly stated the situation and the clear duty of the Christian church.
“He (Mohammed) seduced the people by promises of carnal pleasure to which the concupiscence of the flesh urges us. His teaching also contained precepts that were in conformity with his promises, and he gave free rein to carnal pleasure. In all this, as is not unexpected; he was obeyed by carnal men. As for proofs of the truth of his doctrine, he brought forward only such as could be grasped by the natural ability of anyone with a very modest wisdom. Indeed, the truths that he taught he mingled with many fables and with doctrines of the greatest falsity.
He did not bring forth any signs produced in a supernatural way, which alone fittingly gives witness to divine inspiration; for a visible action that can be only divine reveals an invisibly inspired teacher of truth. On the Contrary, Mohammed said that he was sent in the power of his arms – which are signs not lacking even to robbers and tyrants. What is more, no wise men, men trained in things divine and human, believed in him from the beginning (1). Those who believed in him were brutal men and desert wanderers, utterly ignorant of all divine teaching, through whose numbers Mohammed forced others to become his follower’s by the violence of his arms. Nor do divine pronouncements on part of preceding prophets offer him any witness. On the contrary, he perverts almost all the testimony of the Old and the New Testaments by making them into a fabrication of his own, as can be seen by anyone who examines his law. It was, therefore, a shrewd decision on his part to forbid his followers to read the Old and New Testaments, lest these books convict him of falsity. It is thus clear that those who place faith in his words believe foolishly.“ [Underline emphasis added] – Summa Contra Gentiles, Book 1, Chapter 16, Art. 4. Footnote: 1. Sura 21:5, Sura 44:14; Sura 16:103, Sura 37:36.
It seems impossible that a notable of the Christian Church like St. Thomas Aquinas could look at Islamic jihadist terrorism and see is as it truly was, and yet another notable of the same Christian Church like Pope Francis can look at essentially the same Islamic jihadist terrorism eight centuries later and see it as he wishes it were.
“ . . . our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalizations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.” “APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION EVANGELII GAUDIUM OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS TO THE BISHOPS, CLERGY, CONSECRATED PERSONS AND THE LAY FAITHFUL ON THE PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL IN TODAY’S WORLD”
The Pope’s statement is a foolish, uninformed, counterfactual assertion. Islamic jihadist terrorism did not begin on 9/11/2001. It has been reoccurring for fourteen centuries and the Vatican was sacked as a result of Islamic jihad in 846 A.D.! Here is just one example of numerous Islamic suras that contradict the Pope.
Quran 9:29: “Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day [Islamic final eschatological victory] and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger [Muhammad] have made unlawful [that is, do not practice Islamic Sharia jurisprudence] and who do not adopt the religion of truth [Islam] from those [Jews and Christians] who were given the Scripture [the Jewish and Christian Old & New Testaments] – fight until they give the jizya [Muslim extortion-submission tax on non-Muslims] willingly while they are humbled.”
The Pope as well as many authorities in the Episcopal Church continually make another foolish, uninformed, counterfactual assertion about Islam misleading Christians that Allah and Yahweh are the same god. Anyone even passingly familiar with both the Bible and the Quran knows this contention is preposterous! (Please see “Which God?: Jesus, Holy Spirit, God in Christianity & Islam” by Dr. Mark Durie, an Australian Anglican theologian for detailed, documented proof.)
Matthew 5:43-45: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
Quran 2:190-194: “Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors. And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah [disbelief, i.e., worshiping others than Allah] is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al-Haram [Grand Mosque of Mecca] until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers. And if they cease, then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] worship is [acknowledged to be] for Allah . But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors. [Fighting in] the sacred month is for [aggression committed in] the sacred month, and for [all] violations is legal retribution. So whoever has assaulted you, then assault him in the same way that he has assaulted you. And fear Allah and know that Allah is with those who fear Him.”
One need not be a religious theologian to comprehend that ‘a god’ cannot possibly be the same ‘deity’ when that ‘divine source’ issues completely contradictory instructions to followers on how to behave in exactly the same circumstances.
Since Abraham is claimed by Muslims to be the patriarch of all three religions, consider how Islamic theology depicts Abraham counseling Muslims to embark on eternal hatred of any persons that do not believe in the ‘Islamic Allah god’ alone, which naturally refers to Christians, Jews, and believers in other faiths. This Quranic portrayal of Abraham is totally contrary to the Judeo-Christian concept of that patriarch, thus invalidating the Islamic claim of shared Abrahamic lineage.
Quran 60:4: “There has already been for you an excellent pattern in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people, ‘Indeed, we are disassociated from you and from whatever you worship other than Allah. We have denied you, and there has appeared between us and you animosity and hatred forever until you believe in Allah alone’ except for the saying of Abraham to his father, ‘I will surely ask forgiveness for you, but I have not [power to do] for you anything against Allah. Our Lord, upon You we have relied, and to You we have returned, and to You is the destination.’” [Underline emphasis added]
Mohammad would have people believe that Allah told him through the Angel Gabriel that, 2600 years before Mohammad lived and proclaimed the existence of Islam, Abraham was instructing future Christians and Jews to practice Islamic submission to Allah. Moreover, should wayward Christian and Jewish ‘descendants of Abraham’ not follow his instructions to serve the Islamic god Allah, then the ‘true heirs of Abraham’ (that is, Muslims) will be justified in loathing those who will not submit to Allah through the practice of Islam until they do. Thus, according to the Islamic Quran, sharing Abrahamic origin really means that the religious patriarch Abraham was prophetically admonishing all his spiritual progeny to disavow the covenants they would make with Yahweh in favor of eventual submission to Allah.
But St. Thomas Aquinas is not the only Christian Church notable to see Islam clearly, Catholic Cardinal Raymond Burke, an American and former head of the highest court at the Vatican, said that Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God. In an August teleconference about his latest book, as reported by EWTN’s National Catholic Register [http://www.ncregister.com/blog/joseph-pronechen/cardinal-burke-speaks-on-attendance-drops-iturgy-ad-orientem-and-islam1] Cardinal Burke makes the point that the fundamental theologies of the two religions preclude Allah and Yahweh from being the same deity because Allah “is a governor,” and Islam is Sharia, the law “which comes from Allah” and which “must dominate every man eventually.” Whereas, in Christianity God is the creator of reason and the “giver of revelation,” and His law is written “on our hearts” and “we’re given a divine grace to live according to that law.” “This is not true in Islam,” said Cardinal Burke.
Another contemporary Christian scholar, Jesuit Father Henri Boulad, has stated that seeking to defend Islam at all cost is betraying the Truth. In an interview with the National Catholic Register [http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/jesuit-scholar-seeking-to-defend-islam-at-all-costs-is-betraying-the-truth], Egyptian Greek Melkite Jesuit Father Boulad explained the evidence that Islam is inherently violent, not “the religion of peace” as falsely claimed.
Here are clear statements of the Koran itself cited by Father Boulad:
“Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.” Koran 2:191
“Make war on the infidels living in your neighbourhood.” Koran 9:123
“When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them.” Koran 9:5
“Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable.” Koran 3:85
“The Jews and the Christians are perverts; fight them.”… Koran 9:30
“Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam” Koran 5:33
“Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water; melt their skin and bellies.” Koran 22:19
“The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them.” Koran 8:65
“Muslims must not take the infidels as friends.” Koran 3:28
“Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an.” Koran 8:12
“Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels.” Koran 8:60
Given everything I have outlined above, St. Thomas Aquinas clearly states the logical case and imperative for Christianity. The more than a millennium of assaults launched against Christianity by the heresy concocted by the wolf in sheep’s clothing and false prophet Mohammad, as prophesied by Christ, was addressed directly by St. Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas maintained that forceful resistance of evil is a right and obligation of Christians.
“Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another’s life, the common good of the family or of the State.” Catholic Church Catechism (cf. #2265)
By Aquinas’ Christian standards, leaders of contemporary Christian churches are derelict in their responsibility to shield followers from the Christian heresy that is the false prophet Mohammad’s Islam, which is murdering Christians to perpetrate the heresy. It is the clear case where the Christian shepherds have a divinely mandated responsibility to protect their flocks from ravenous wolves. But they are failing.
Please put The Episcopal Church in the United States of American on record against the continuing murder of Christians by Muslims worldwide, which is clearly a crime against humanity. The Episcopal Church must stop pretending that Islam is something it is not, an Abrahamic religion that shares a common patriarch with Christianity and Judaism. But most importantly, the Episcopal Church must NOT continue to live in fear of speaking the truth about Islam and in fear of defending persecuted Christians from Islamic theologically driven violence.
Thomas E. Snodgrass
CC: The Rt. Rev. Kirk Smith
The Rev. Pierre-Henry Buisson