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Apostasy in the Bible and the Koran

June 19, 2016 Leave a comment

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone is entitled to freedom of religion. One may leave his religion and adopt another one or one may have no religion at all. One’s religious beliefs and practices are a matter of one’s own personal choice. Article 18 of this internationally accepted document says:

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. (Article 18, Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

This concept of freedom of religion is found in the Koran as well as in the Bible. In the Koran, it says:

There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. And he who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah hath grasped a firm handhold which will never break. Allah is Hearer, Knower. Allah is the Protecting Guardian of those who believe. He bringeth them out of darkness into light. As for those who disbelieve, their patrons are false deities. They bring them out of light into darkness. Such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein. (Koran 2:256,257, Pickthall)

and:

Say: (It is) the truth from the Lord of you (all). Then whosoever will, let him believe, and whosoever will, let him disbelieve. Lo! We have prepared for disbelievers Fire. Its tent encloseth them. If they ask for showers, they will be showered with water like to molten lead which burneth the faces. Calamitous the drink and ill the resting-place! (Koran 18:30, Pickthall)

The Bible, likewise, permits one to choose whether he wants to worship and serve God or not. In the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses set before the children of Israel a choice. He told them that their choice had benefits or consequences depending on what they choose.

15 Behold, I have set before thee this day life and death, good and evil. 16 If thou wilt hearken to the commands of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to love the Lord thy God, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His ordinances, and His judgments; then ye shall live, and shall be many in number, and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all the land into which thou goest to inherit it. 17 But if thy heart change, and thou wilt not hearken, and thou shalt go astray and worship other gods, and serve them, 18 I declare to you this day, that ye shall utterly perish, and ye shall by no means live long upon the land, into which ye go over Jordan to inherit it. 19 I call both heaven and earth to witness this day against you, I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse: choose thou life, that thou and thy seed may live; 20 to love the Lord thy God, to hearken to His voice, and cleave to Him; for this is thy life, and the length of thy days, that thou shouldest dwell upon the land, which the Lord sware to thy fathers, Abraam, and Isaac, and Jacob, to give to them. (Deuteronomy 30:15-20, LXX)

Jesus, in the Gospels, never told His followers to coerce someone into accepting the Gospel. These were His instructions regarding those who rejected His teachings:

And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city! (Matthew 10:14,15, NKJV)

Jesus basically told His disciples to leave them and stop talking to them. If they choose eternal damnation, that is their free choice to do so. In Revelation, it says that the Holy Spirit and the Church (the bride) invite people to eternal life, but the choice lies with “whosoever will” and is not a coerced decision. It is a free choice.

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:17, KJV)

However, there are those who leave the community of believers or who start practicing idolatry. There are instructions in the Old Testament regarding what to do to the idolaters. The punishment is stoning to death.

And if there should be found in any one of thy cities, which the Lord thy God gives thee, a man or a woman who shall do that which is evil before the Lord thy God, so as to transgress His covenant, and they should go and serve other gods, and worship them, the sun, or the moon, or any of the host of heaven, which He commanded thee not to do, and it be told thee, and thou shalt have enquired diligently, and, behold, the thing really took place, this abomination has been done in Israel; then shalt thou bring out that man, or that woman, and ye shall stone them with stones, and they shall die. He shall die on the testimony of two or three witnesses; a man who is put to death shall not be put to death for one witness. And the hand of the witnesses shall be upon him among the first to put him to death, and the hand of the people at the last; so shalt thou remove the evil one from among yourselves. (Deut. 17:2-7, LXX)

One must realize that this type of punishment was already being practiced for certain offenses in ancient times. What God was doing was simply regulating the already existing practice of stoning to death. The witnesses were to be the first to stone the idolater. So, if anyone bore false witness regarding someone practicing idolatry, he would in effect be guilty of murder. If his witness was true, then he would not be guilty of murder. He would simply be performing his duty to God and the community of believers.

Idolatry, however, continued to be practiced by some ancient Israelites without any punishment being inflicted upon the idolaters by other members of the community. (See Judges 2:13; I Samuel 7:3,4; II Chronicles 15:8.)

In the Gospels, we receive the commandment from Jesus not to pass judgment on others.

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. (Matthew 7:1,2, NKJV)

He told the Jews who wanted to stone a woman for adultery to let the one without sin cast the first stone.

So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” (John 8:7, NKJV)

Both in the Old and New Testaments there is the teaching that everyone is guilty of sin.

For there is not a man who will not sin. (I Kings 8:46, LXX)

For there is not a righteous man in the earth, who will do good, and not sin. (Ecclesiastes 7:21, LXX)

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23, NKJV)

Even in the Koran, it says that we would all be guilty before God if it were not for His mercy. If God were not patient and forbearing towards us, no one on earth would be left alive.

If Allah were to take mankind to task for their wrong-doing, He would not leave hereon a living creature, but He reprieveth them to an appointed term, and when their term cometh they cannot put (it) off an hour nor (yet) advance (it). (Koran 16:61, Pickthall)

The sin of idolatry includes the sin of greed or covetousness. St. Paul calls a covetous man an idolater.

For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. (Ephesians 5:5, NKJV)

Sins can be committed in one’s heart as well as outwardly. Even the Koran teaches this.

Forsake the outward sin, and the inward; surely the earners of sin shall be recompensed for what they have earned. (Koran 6:120, Arberry)

Therefore, since we all sin whether within our hearts or in deeds and words, no one is qualified to pass judgment on someone else and no one is qualified to cast the first stone at an idolater.

The practice of stoning people to death was abrogated by Jesus. (See John 8:7; Koran 2:106.)

In the New Testament, apostates were not stoned to death. They simply were disfellowshipped or else they were allowed to leave of their own accord.

But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner — not even to eat with such a person. (I Corinthians 5:11, NKJV)

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. (I John 2:19, NKJV)

In the Koran, there is no punishment prescribed for apostates, except for the punishment awarded to them by God after they die.

Whoso disbelieveth in Allah after his belief – save him who is forced thereto and whose heart is still content with the Faith – but whoso findeth ease in disbelief: on them is wrath from Allah. Theirs will be an awful doom. That is because they have chosen the life of the world rather than the Hereafter, and because Allah guideth not the disbelieving folk. Such are they whose hearts and ears and eyes Allah hath sealed. And such are the heedless. Assuredly in the Hereafter they are the losers. (Koran 16:106-109, Pickthall)

The Bible, likewise, says that there are eternal consequences for apostates.

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: but that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. (Hebrews 6:4-8, KJV)

For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.” (II Peter 2:20-22, NASB)

The Koran says the apostate has “chosen the life of the world rather than the Hereafter.” The Bible says that the greedy Christian has abandoned the faith.

But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (I Tim 6:6-10, NASB)

Greed and covetousness which are forms of idolatry can result in a believer’s apostasy. St. Paul warned the Christians in the church in Corinth not to be deceived into thinking that one can enter the Kingdom of God without abandoning idolatry and covetousness.

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (I Corinthians 6:9,10, NKJV)

People who want to continue in idolatry might receive a strong delusion from God so that they do not want to change their beliefs.

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (II Thessalonians 2:11,12, KJV)

The Koran, likewise, speaks about God sealing the hearts of unbelievers.

As for the disbelievers, Whether thou warn them or thou warn them not it is all one for them; they believe not. Allah hath sealed their hearing and their hearts, and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be an awful doom. (Koran 2:6,7, Pickthall)

Satan, whom St. Paul calls “the god of this world,” is instrumental in blinding people to the truth of the Gospel.

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. (II Corinthians 4:3,4, NKJV)

So, since people who are disbelievers or apostates have become blinded to the truth, believe a lie due to a strong delusion that God has sent on them, and have sealed ears and hearts, one should leave the judgment of apostates to God and not inflict any temporal punishment on them.

Another passage in the Koran which deals with the subject of apostasy is in the Fourth Surah. It says:

O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His messenger and the Scripture which He hath revealed unto His messenger, and the Scripture which He revealed aforetime. Whoso disbelieveth in Allah and His angels and His Scriptures and His messengers and the Last Day, he verily hath wandered far astray. Lo! those who believe, then disbelieve and then (again) believe, then disbelieve, and then increase in disbelief, Allah will never pardon them, nor will He guide them unto a way. (Koran 4:136,137, Pickthall)

Here, it says that we should believe in God, His messenger, the Scripture which He has revealed to His messenger (the Koran), and the Scripture which He revealed aforetime, that is, the Bible. Furthermore, we must believe God’s angels, the other messengers of God (Moses, David, Solomon, St. John the Baptist, Jesus, etc.), and the Last Day. Otherwise, we will “wander far astray.”

Some Muslims want to stone apostates thinking that that is the true Islamic punishment for apostasy, but the whole idea is rendered absurd by Koran 4:137. If someone believes, then disbelieves, that person must be stoned according to their way of thinking. However, the verse says “then (again) believe” indicating that the apostate would still have to be alive after having been stoned to death. Then, the apostate disbelieves and increases in disbelief. The Koran says, “Allah will never pardon them, nor will He guide them unto a way.” No temporal punishment is indicated in these verses. They lack forgiveness from God. Therefore, the punishment for apostasy is from God on the Day of Judgment and not from man.

It says in the Koran that we should believe in God’s messengers. St. John the Baptist is one of God’s messengers. He is among the righteous.

And Zachariah and John and Jesus and Elias. Each one (of them) was of the righteous. (Koran 6:85, Pickthall)

(And it was said unto his son): O John! Hold fast the Scripture. And We gave him wisdom when a child, and compassion from Our presence, and purity; and he was devout, and dutiful toward his parents. And he was not arrogant, rebellious. Peace on him the day he was born, and the day he dieth and the day he shall be raised alive! (Koran 19:12-15, Pickthall)

St. John the Baptist was a “prophet of the righteous.”

And the angels called to him as he stood praying in the sanctuary: Allah giveth thee glad tidings of (a son whose name is) John, (who cometh) to confirm a word from Allah lordly, chaste, a prophet of the righteous. (Koran 3:39, Pickthall)

St. John the Baptist said these very important words when Jesus came to him for baptism.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29, NKJV)

According to the Koran, St. John the Baptist is “a prophet of the righteous” and therefore a messenger of Allah. The Koran says that if we do not believe the messengers of Allah, we will “wander far astray.” St. John the Baptist said that Jesus is the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” Therefore, it is important that we believe what St. John the Baptist said about Jesus. Otherwise, we will “wander far astray.”

I have pointed this out so that one can see that there is more than one way that one can become a disbeliever or an apostate. Here are a few videos about this subject of apostasy by some Muslim religious leaders and scholars.

There is another passage in the Koran that deals with the issue of apostasy. It is in the Fourth Surah.

Why should ye be divided into two parties about the Hypocrites? Allah hath upset them for their (evil) deeds. Would ye guide those whom Allah hath thrown out of the Way? For those whom Allah hath thrown out of the Way, never shalt thou find the Way. They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): but take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (from what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks; – except those who join a group between whom and you there is a treaty (of peace), or those who approach you with hearts restraining them from fighting you as well as fighting their own people. If Allah had pleased, He could have given them power over you, and they would have fought you: therefore if they withdraw from you but fight you not, and (instead) send you (guarantees of) peace, then Allah hath opened no way for you (to war against them). (Koran 4:88-90, Yusuf Ali)

Here, Muhammad tells the Muslims that the hypocrites whom God had upset because of their evil deeds should not be taken as friends until they repent and amend their ways (“flee in the way of Allah”). This is kind of like disfellowshipping as St. Paul said in his First Epistle to the Corinthians. (I Corinthians 5:11) It says that they will try to get the Muslims to “reject Faith, as they do,” but do not allow that to happen. Muhammad said that if they turn renegades, that is, start fighting against the Muslims, then “seize them and slay them wherever ye find them.” Here, killing those who reject faith is sanctioned only in self-defense in warfare. If the hypocrites or apostates join a group between whom and them there is “a treaty of peace,” the Muslims cannot fight them. If they approach the Muslims in peace “with hearts restraining them from fighting” the Muslims “as well as their own people,” then the Muslims are not allowed to fight against them. If they send the Muslims guarantees of peace, the Muslims are forbidden to fight against them. “Peace is better.” (Koran 4:128)

This passage is talking about killing apostates who have engaged in war against the Muslims. It is not talking about killing someone because of apostasy. God will judge the apostates at the Last Judgment after the resurrection of the dead.

According to Shabir Aly, a Muslim scholar, Koran 4:89 which I just cited in the passage above was used by ancient schools of fikh to justify the killing of apostates in Islam but he does not think that that verse is sanctioning that practice. (For those who are not familiar with Islam, the schools of fikh determine sharia law. There is more than one school of fikh. So, there is more than one version of sharia law.) Here are two videos where Shabir Aly talks about this passage and the subject of killing apostates.

Here is another lecture on this subject by a Muslim.

Despite these moderate voices on the subject of apostasy, there are still some who take a more hard-line extremist position on killing apostastes.

There is more than one view regarding the subject of killing apostates among the Muslims. I hope that the moderate view will prevail among the Muslims. We Christians do not kill those who apostatize from our religion.

One more thing to mention regarding this subject. I do not think that a Muslim who converts to Trinitarian monotheistic Christianity has really apostatized from Islam. In the Koran, Trinitarian monotheists are called “believers.” (Koran 30:2-5) There are Muslim commentators on the Koran who even acknowledge this fact. (Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall is one such example. Also read the annotations for Koran 30:2-5 in The Study Quran.) If a Muslim believes that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, would he not be believing what the Koran told him to believe? (Koran 3:39; 4:136,137; John 1:29) If he is baptized and receives communion with Christians, would he not be obeying the Koran? (Koran 3:84; 5:110,111; 43:63; John 3:3-5; 6:49-58; Matthew 26:26-29; 28:19,20; Mark 16:16; Luke 22:17-20; I Corinthians 11:23-26) So, I do not think that a Muslim has really apostatized after becoming a Christian.

To conclude, I would like to say that any forced belief is not a genuine belief. People need to be free to think and form opinions and beliefs without coercion. The Koran speaks about false faith. (Koran 2:8-12; 49:14-16) The Bible does also. (James 2:26) One does not acquire genuine faith through coercion. The Koran encourages people to gather evidence and use one’s mind when determining what to believe and what not to believe.

Bring your proof (of what ye state) if ye are truthful. (Koran 2:111, Pickthalll)

Most of them follow naught but conjecture. Assuredly conjecture can by no means take the place of truth. Lo! Allah is Aware of what they do. (Koran 10:37, Pickthall)

And pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning). (Koran 17:36, Yusuf Ali)

Do they not travel through the land, so that their hearts (and minds) may thus learn wisdom and their ears may thus learn to hear? Truly it is not their eyes that are blind, but their hearts which are in their breasts. (Koran 22:46, Yusuf Ali)

And they have no knowledge thereof. They follow but a guess, and lo! a guess can never take the place of the truth. (Koran 53:28, Pickthall)

A coercive belief system or religion is not only guilty of violating the 18th Article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but it also produces followers who are not genuinely sincere in the beliefs to which they are being required to subscribe. People need to be free to believe or disbelieve. Doubts concerning one’s faith can be healthy. People need to be able challenge beliefs. In this way, they can strengthen the ones they already have or grow in knowledge and wisdom. I never would have converted to Orthodox Christianity from Protestantism if I had never started challenging my long held Protestant beliefs. I was able to change my faith because I live in a country that permits people to change their faith. The radical Islamic extremists who want to coerce faith out of people and market their extreme versions of Islam are discouraging the use of reason and the establishment of facts gathered from research. Such things are encouraged by the Koran as the five verses cited above clearly show. Coerced religion is un-Islamic and I am an Orthodox Christian who can clearly see that.

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Categories: Islam Tags: , ,

Eternal Treasure

June 5, 2016 Leave a comment

One of the things that I have noticed while reading the Koran is that so many of its teachings are similar to those found in the Bible. Whenever one sees a power hungry Muslim who is trying to justify his quest for more political power with the Koran and the Sunna, one wonders how other-worldly in its outlook the Koran actually is. Well, it is definitely very other-worldly like the Bible. In this blog, I am going to compare one of the teachings of Jesus with similar teachings found  in the Koran.

Jesus said:

19 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21, NASB)

Jesus, in effect, tells us that our true treasure is in heaven, not on earth. Whatever we acquire in this life, we cannot take with us when we die. St. Paul said:

6 But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. 7 For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. 8 If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (I Timothy 6:6-10, NASB)

Later, in that same chapter, he also said:

17 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. 18 Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed. (I Timothy 6:17-19, NASB)

The basic idea being taught in these three passages of Scripture is that we should focus on acquiring eternal wealth and not the temporary wealth that we cannot carry with us after we die. The only thing that I can carry with me after my death is the record of my good deeds which God will bring to my remembrance on the Day of Judgment. I will be rewarded on the Last Day for the good that I have done and not for the wealth that I have earned.

The Koran has similar teachings. In the 17th Surah, it says:

If any do wish for the transitory things (of this life), We readily grant them – such things as We will, to such person as We will: in the end have We provided Hell for them: they will burn therein, disgraced and rejected. Those who do wish for the (things of) the Hereafter, and strive therefor with all due striving, and have Faith,- they are the ones whose striving is acceptable (to Allah). (Koran 17:18,19, Yusuf Ali)

In the 42nd and 75th Surahs, it says:

Whoso desireth the harvest of the Hereafter, We give him increase in its harvest. And whoso desireth the harvest of the world, We give him thereof, and he hath no portion in the Hereafter. (Koran 42:20, Pickthall)

Nay, but ye do love the fleeting Now and neglect the Hereafter. That day will faces be resplendent, looking toward their Lord; and that day will other faces be despondent, thou wilt know that some great disaster is about to fall on them. Nay, but when the life cometh up to the throat and men say: Where is the wizard (who can save him now)? (Koran 75:20-27, Pickthall)

Then, in the Bible there is the parable of the rich man.

And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully.  And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:15-21, NKJV)

The Koran has similar moral instruction in the 89th and 100th Surahs.

And as for man, when his Lord tries him and [thus] is generous to him and favors him, he says, “My Lord has honored me.” But when He tries him and restricts his provision, he says, “My Lord has humiliated me.” No! But you do not honor the orphan and you do not encourage one another to feed the poor. And you consume inheritance, devouring [it] altogether, and you love wealth with immense love. No! When the earth has been leveled – pounded and crushed – and your Lord has come and the angels, rank upon rank, and brought [within view], that Day, is Hell – that Day, man will remember, but what good to him will be the remembrance? (Koran 89:15-23, Sahih International)

Truly man is, to his Lord, ungrateful; and to that (fact) he bears witness (by his deeds); and violent is he in his love of wealth. Does he not know,- when that which is in the graves is scattered abroad and that which is (locked up) in (human) breasts is made manifest- that their Lord had been well-acquainted with them, (even to) that Day? (Koran 100:6-11, Yusuf Ali)

For those who have never read or studied the Koran, I have provided these comparisons so that they can see that the Koran encourages people to seek after eternal wealth by doing good deeds just like the Bible does. Both essentially say that we need to be rich toward God.  I hope that people are edified by this blog.

Virgin Jihad

June 4, 2016 Leave a comment

In our secular American culture, sex sells. There are so many advertisements which display a sexy woman in them in order to keep men watching the ad. The car companies and the beer companies are particularly good at that. Look at the car commercials. There is a sexy woman in just about every one of them. The same is true about the beer commercials. Hollywood in its movies promotes sex. Sex outside of marriage is considered acceptable in our secular society and sex without commitment is depicted in many films. A man and a woman make love without being married. This is considered acceptable and is promoted in our secular media. When someone has a different view about this subject — a conservative religious view, that person usually becomes ostracized by the ones who are practicing the dictates of secularism, but what about virgin jihad?

In the Epistle of Jeremiah, the pagan polytheistic Chaldean women reproached women who failed to be chosen by a man for sexual purposes.

The women also with cords about them, sitting in the ways, burn bran for perfume: but if any of them, drawn by some that passeth by, lie with him, she reproacheth her fellow, that she was not thought as worthy as herself, nor her cord broken. (Epistle of Jeremiah 43)

That is how people are today. You must get laid or else something is wrong with you. In Exodus it says:

Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil. (Exodus 23:2, KJV)

Just because everyone else is doing something which is wrong does not mean that what they are  doing is all right.

Fornication, adultery, and rape were capital offenses in the time of Moses. (Deuteronomy 22:16-27) If those Old Testament laws were implemented today in our 21st century American society, how many people do you think would be stoned to death? Maybe at least half of the senior class at your local high school would never graduate from high school because they would have been executed. One of our former Presidents would not be helping his wife run for the office of the Presidency if those laws were applied to him.

The Lord is clear. He says:

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:21-23, NKJV)

St. Paul tells us that one of the things that is clearly God’s will for each of us is that we abstain from sexual immorality. Sexual immorality is very broad in its scope and includes adultery and fornication.

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality. (I Thessalonians 4:3, NKJV)

St. Paul also warns Christians not to be deceived. People who practice adultery and fornication will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the Kingdom of God. (I Corinthians 6:9,10, NKJV)

For the unmarried man or woman, chastity can be difficult to maintain in our secular society. St. John of the Ladder in his book, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, says:

A chaste man is someone who has driven out bodily love by means of divine love, who has used heavenly fire to quench the fires of the flesh. (The Ladder of Divine Ascent, “On Chastity,” by St. John of the Ladder, page 171, translated by Colm Luibheid and Norman Russell, Paulist Press, New York, New York, copyright 1982 by the Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle, ISBN: 0-8091-2330-4)

Replace lust with love for God. Instead of sin, practice obedience to God and doing good.

There are some young people who still want to save themselves for marriage. They should not be ostracized and ridiculed. Remember that fornicators will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Here is a video of a young girl who has decided to wait until marriage before having sex.

I think that the young lady has made the right choice and people should respect her choice.

In the Koran, it says:

And those who do not invoke with Allah another deity or kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed], except by right, and do not commit unlawful sexual intercourse. And whoever should do that will meet a penalty. Multiplied for him is the punishment on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein humiliated – except for those who repent, believe and do righteous work. For them Allah will replace their evil deeds with good. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful. (Koran 25:68-70, Sahih International)

And go not nigh to fornication; surely it is an indecency and an evil way. (Koran 17:32, Shakir)

The word translated “unlawful sexual intercourse” in the 25th Surah and “fornication” in the 17th Surah is the same word, zina. Zina means sex outside of marriage. So, any kind of sex outside of marriage, whether it be pre-marital or extra-marital is a sin according to the Koran. The Bible, as we have already seen, teaches the same thing.

Here is a video of a young, practicing Muslim woman.

I think that it is a sad commentary on Western Christianity that so many young church-going men and women have already had sex before marriage. Maybe, the problem is the theology. Many people have bought into the doctrine of easy-believism. They think that being saved by grace has granted them unlimited permission to sin.

“Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26) If someone does not truly believe the words of Jesus in St. Matthew 7:21-23 and those words of St. Paul in I Thessalonians 4:3 and I Corinthians 6:9,10, then, of couse, he or she will think that it is all right to fornicate with someone or commit adultery with another person’s spouse. Therefore, such a person is merely professing faith in Christ without truly  possessing faith in Christ.

As I have already said in a previous blog, the Gospel is the life and teachings of Christ, not three or four Bible verses and a prayer. We need to believe and practice the whole Gospel. We are saved by God’s mercy, but we must still be busy climbing the spiritual ladder of obedience to God.

Then, of course, among the Muslims,  there is virgin jihad. Now, watch this video.

Way to go, girl! That definitely looked like a fitnah! Put the jihad on him!

I would like to encourage all of the single men and women reading this blog to abstain from sex until marriage. The Holy Prophet Elijah, the Holy Prophet Jeremiah, the Holy Prophet Daniel, St. John the Baptist, Jesus, and the Most Holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary never had sex. If they can go without sex for their whole lives, then you should be able, with God’s help, to do the same until marriage. Pray, fast, and replace lust with love for God.

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