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Corruption in the Earth

Shall We treat those who believe and do good works as those who spread corruption in the earth; or shall We treat the pious as the wicked? (Koran 38:28, Pickthall)

In the Koran, there is an expression that occurs frequently: “corruption in the earth.” In this blog post, I intend to go through the Koran and explore the meaning of this expression. There are many different acts that can be classified as corruption in the earth.

First of all, let us look at Koran 5:32. In it, we can see that there are certain acts mentioned in the Torah which are classified as “corruption in the earth.”

For that cause We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind. Our messengers came unto them of old with clear proofs (of Allah’s Sovereignty), but afterwards lo! many of them became prodigals in the earth. (Koran 5:32, Pickthall)

This verse says that God decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter (i.e., murder) or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind. Murder was punishable by death in the Torah. Therefore, it is reasonable to say that all other sins and crimes that are punishable by death in the Torah are “corruption in the earth.” Many of these sins are also mentioned in the New Testament and in the Koran. The death penalty for all of these sins and crimes has been abrogated in the New Testament and in the Koran. The Koran confirms the Old and New Testaments. (Koran 5:48)

I have already listed these sins in a previous blog post, “The Death Penalty in the Torah and Koran 5:32.” Here, I will mention them again along with verses from the New Testament and Koran. I will mention them again here and elaborate on some of them.

All forms of idolatry are corruption in the land. (Exodus 22:20; Deuteronomy 17:2-7) Idolatry includes offering sacrifices to pagan gods. Human sacrifice to a pagan god, which is also murder, is idolatry. (Leviticus 20:2-5) Since the death and resurrection of Jesus, God has abolished all animal sacrifices. (Psalm 39:6-8, LXX; Daniel 9:26,27; Hebrews 10:5-13) Idolatry includes covetousness and greed. (Colossians 3:5) Jesus said:

You cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24, NKJV)

Mammon is money. Those who serve money, that is, live passionately to acquire more and more of it, cannot serve God. It is possible for one’s desires to become a god to someone, too. In the Koran, it says:

Have you seen the one who takes as his god his own desire? Then would you be responsible for him? (Koran 25:43, Sahih International)

These desires could not only be desires for material things, but also sexual desires. Lust can become a god to someone.

For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. (II Peter 2:18,19, NKJV)

Jesus said:

Most assuredly, I say unto you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. (John 8:34, NKJV)

Think about porn addiction. People who are addicted to porn are addicted to lust. Eating food offered to idols can be idolatry. (I Corinthians 10:19-21; Koran 5:3; 6:121)

Idolaters will not inherit the kingdom of God. (I Corinthians 6:9,10)

Spreading idolatry is also corruption in the earth. (Deuteronomy 13:1-10) Promoting greed and lust would be spreading corruption in the earth, since greed and lust can become gods to someone.

Blasphemy is corruption in the earth. (Leviticus 24:11-16) Many people use profanity and blasphemy without giving much thought to what they are saying. I am thinking here about the typical “cuss word” expressions that punctuate many people’s conversations.

Various sexual sins are corruption in the earth. These include fornication (Leviticus 21:9; Deuteronomy 22:13-24), adultery (Leviticus 18:20,29; 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22), rape (Deuteronomy 22:25-27), incest (Leviticus 18:6-18,29; 20:11-12,14,17,20,21), sodomy (Leviticus 18:22,29; 20:13), and bestiality (Exodus 22:19; Leviticus 18:23,29; 20:15,16). Having sex with a woman who is having her menstrual period is also corruption in the earth. (Leviticus 18:19,29; 20:18) In the Koran, it says:

And they ask you about menstruation. Say: It is a discomfort; therefore keep aloof from the women during the menstrual discharge and do not go near them until they have become clean; then when they have cleansed themselves, go in to them as Allah has commanded you; surely Allah loves those who turn much (to Him), and He loves those who purify themselves. (Koran 2:222, Shakir)

Think about the society that we live in today and how it has become so accepting of immorality. I have watched some TV shows on Netflix. I have noticed how the film industry has made fornication appear so acceptable. Supergirl fornicates with Mon-El. Mon-El fornicates with Eve. The Flash fornicates with Linda, Patty, and Iris. I saw one episode of Deep Space Nine and Captain Cisco was fornicating with the lady captain of a cargo ship.

This practice of fornication has become so acceptable that many men and women today live with each other outside of wedlock. They even attend church together!

Foretune-telling and sorcery are corruption in the earth. (Exodus 22:18; Leviticus 20:27) Sorcery is listed by St. Paul as one of the works of the flesh. (Galatians 5:19-21) St. Paul said that people who practice any of the works of the flesh will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The Koran says:

O ye who believe! Strong drink and games of chance and idols and divining arrows are only an infamy of Satan’s handiwork. Leave it aside in order that ye may succeed. (Koran 5:90, Pickthall)

The occult flourishes so much in Western society. People play with ouija boards and check their horoscopes. Some people are more heavily involved in the occult.

Giving up one’s children to serve a political leader is corruption in the earth. (Leviticus 18:21,29) Kidnapping and abduction are corruption in the earth. (Exodus 21:16, Hebrew; 21:17, LXX)

In some ways, public education tends to indoctrinate children into accepting the politically correct ideology propagated by the mass media. The mass media often teaches that what has been deemed historically morally right is now morally wrong and what is morally wrong is now morally right. In a way, through public education parents have surrendered their children to the state. Of course, most people cannot afford to send their children to a parochial school. So, this is a reality that many must continue to live with.

Striking one’s father or mother is corruption in the earth. (Exodus 21:15) Reviling one’s father or mother is corruption in the earth. (Leviticus 20:9) Refusing to obey one’s father or mother is corruption in the earth. (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)

Honor thy father and thy mother. (Exodus 20:12, KJV)

Disobedience to a priest or political leader is corruption in the land. (Deuteronomy 17:12)

The Koran says:

The messenger believeth in that which hath been revealed unto him from his Lord and (so do) believers. Each one believeth in Allah and His angels and His Scriptures and His messengers — We make no distinction between any of His messengers – and they say: We hear, and we obey. (Grant us) Thy forgiveness, our Lord. Unto Thee is the journeying. (Koran 2:285, Pickthall)

The first generation Muslims and Muhammad obeyed the commandments given by the messengers in the Bible. Disobeying the non-abrogated commandments in the Bible is working corruption in the earth. Jesus is the High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. (Read Hebrews 7.) Anyone who disobeys Jesus’ commandments or encourages others to disobey His commandments is working corruption in the earth.

Working on the Sabbath, that is, Saturday was classified among the sins which merit the death penalty in the Torah (Exodus 31:15; 35:2; Numbers 15:32-36), but now is not even classified as a sin because the whole law regarding observing the Sabbath has been abrogated. Sunday is the day of rest now. (Colossians 2:16,17; II Thessalonians 2:15; Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 16:2; Revelation 1:10)

The Koran mentions other sins which it classifies as “corruption in the earth.”

Destroying crops and animals is corruption in the land.

And when he goes away, he strives throughout the land to cause corruption therein and destroy crops and animals. And Allah does not like corruption. (Koran 2:205, Sahih International)

People in a seventh century agrarian society depended on local agricultural produce more than people do today. Many agricultural products in the United States and Canada are imported from other countries. So, because of this dependence on local agricultural produce, the destruction of crops and cattle would severely harm the people in a seventh century city or town. The moral corollary is: any activity, therefore, that deprives someone of his livelihood or sustenance is corruption in the land.

In the Bible, it says:

He that taketh away his neighbour’s living slayeth him; and he that defraudeth the labourer of his hire is a bloodshedder. (Sirach 34:22, KJV)

People need food in order to survive and a means of obtaining it through good, lawful work. So, anyone who deprives another person of such necessities of life is working corruption in the land.

Starting wars is working corruption in the land.

Every time they kindled the fire of war [against you], Allah extinguished it. And they strive throughout the land [causing] corruption, and Allah does not like corrupters. (Koran 5:64, Sahih International)

Jesus said that the peacemakers are blessed and will be called the sons of God. (Matthew 5:9)

I look at the news and I see how war has caused so much suffering in the world. People who start wars are spreading corruption in the earth. Wars cause famine and sickness. Look at Yemen. Look at how much harm has been done to the Syrian and Iraqi people because of war.

Not helping fellow believers causes the spread of corruption in the land.

Lo! those who believed and left their homes and strove with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah, and those who took them in and helped them: these are protecting friends one of another. And those who believed but did not leave their homes, ye have no duty to protect them till they leave their homes; but if they seek help from you in the matter of religion then it is your duty to help (them) except against a folk between whom and you there is a treaty. Allah is Seer of what ye do. And those who disbelieve are protectors one of another. If ye do not so, there will be confusion in the land, and great corruption. (Koran 8:72,73, Pickthall)

Doing evil causes corruption in the earth.

And do not cheat the people of their goods. Do not act wickedly on the earth, causing corruption. (Koran 26:183, Qarai)

People who commit genocide are working corruption in the earth. That is what Pharaoh was doing to the Hebrews.

We narrate unto thee (somewhat) of the story of Moses and Pharaoh with truth, for folk who believe. Lo! Pharaoh exalted himself in the earth and made its people castes. A tribe among them he oppressed, killing their sons and sparing their women. Lo! he was of those who work corruption. (Koran 28:3,4, Pickthall)

Transgressions increase corruption in the earth.

Remember God’s bounties, and do not act wickedly, spreading corruption. (Koran 7:74, eclectic translation)

Who transgressed in the lands, and increased corruption therein. (Koran 89:11,12, eclectic translation)

(I looked at the literal Arabic on corpus.quran.com and various translations on  www.quranwow.com  and then pieced together some “eclectic translations” of the verses cited above.)

We often think of sins, such as drunkenness and debauchery, when we think of transgression, but there are doctrinal transgressions as well. Spreading various heresies, such as Tritheism, Adoptionism, Sabellianism, and Arianism, is transgressing.

Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds. (II John 9-11, NKJV)

People who break a treaty are working corruption in the earth.

And He misleads not except the defiantly disobedient, who break the covenant of Allah after contracting it and sever that which Allah has ordered to be joined and cause corruption on earth. It is those who are the losers. (Koran 2:26,27, Sahih International)

Abusing God’s gifts is spreading corruption in the earth.

And [recall] when Moses prayed for water for his people, so We said, “Strike with your staff the stone.” And there gushed forth from it twelve springs, and every people knew its watering place. “Eat and drink from the provision of Allah, and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.” (Koran 2:60, Sahih International)

So fear Allah and obey me. And do not obey the order of the transgressors, who cause corruption in the land and do not amend.” They said, “You are only of those affected by magic. You are but a man like ourselves, so bring a sign, if you should be of the truthful.” He said, “This is a she-camel. For her is a [time of] drink, and for you is a [time of] drink, [each] on a known day. And do not touch her with harm, lest you be seized by the punishment of a terrible day.” But they hamstrung her and so became regretful. And the punishment seized them. Indeed in that is a sign, but most of them were not to be believers. (Koran 26:150-158, Sahih International)

God’s gifts are our natural resources. If we abuse them, ecological and environmental damage will be done to our planet. If we destroy our planet, we destroy people’s livelihoods.

The heaven of heavens belong to the Lord: but He has given the earth to the sons of men. (Psalm 113:24, LXX; Psalm 115:16, Hebrew)

Those who reject the truth regarding Jesus’ created humanity are corrupters.

Lo! the likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, then He said unto him: Be! and he is. (This is) the truth from thy Lord (O Muhammad), so be not thou of those who waver. And whoso disputeth with thee concerning Him, after the knowledge which hath come unto thee, say (unto him): Come! We will summon our sons and your sons, and our women and your women, and ourselves and yourselves, then we will pray humbly (to our Lord) and (solemnly) invoke the curse of Allah upon those who lie. Lo! This verily is the true narrative. There is no God save Allah, and lo! Allah is the Mighty, the Wise. And if they turn away, then lo! Allah is Aware of (who are) the corrupters. (Koran 3:59-63, Pickthall)

Monophysites are corrupters. They affirm that Jesus has a divine nature and deny that He has a human nature. Dyophysites are not. On the opposite end of the heretical spectrum from the Monophysites are the Ebionites. The Ebionites deny that Jesus has a divine nature. Jesus’ humanity is created. His divinity is uncreated. The two natures are joined together without separation, division, mixture, or change. They are joined together by diffusion, not confusion.

St. John the Theologian, a very close friend and disciple of Jesus, wrote:

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (II John 7, NKJV)

Turning people away from God’s path is working corruption.

Lurk not on every road to threaten (wayfarers), and to turn away from Allah’s path him who believeth in Him, and to seek to make it crooked. And remember, when ye were but few, how He did multiply you. And see the nature of the consequence for the corrupters! (Koran 7:86, Pickthall)

For those who disbelieve and debar (men) from the way of Allah, We add doom to doom because they wrought corruption. (Koran 16:88, Pickthall)

St. Paul said in his Second Epistle to Timothy:

Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was. (II Timothy 3:8,9, NKJV)

But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. (II Timothy 3:13, NKJV)

The Church is the pillar and ground of the truth. (I Timothy 3:15) Jesus promised that the Gates of Hell will not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18) The Koran says that God is setting those who follow Jesus above those who disbelieve in Jesus until the Day of Resurrection. (Koran 3:55) We need to look at the Church Fathers and other sources of Holy Tradition and apply the principles of universality, antiquity, and consent in order to make sure that we have the truth. God has guided the Ecumenical Church Councils into truth, just as He guided the Council of Jerusalem in the first century. (See Acts 15:22-29.) So, the doctrinal decisions of an Ecumenical Church Council are infallible.

Breaking kinship ties is working corruption in the earth.

Would ye then, if ye were given the command, work corruption in the land and sever your ties of kinship? (Koran 47:22, Pickthall)

We are supposed to love God more than our own families. (Matthew 10:37,38) We still need to maintain our kinship ties. Believing men and women are supposed to give aid to their widowed relatives. (I Timothy 5:16) We should help our other relatives who need help, too.

This is a list of sins mentioned in the Bible and the Koran which are classified as “corruption in the earth.” God does not want us to work corruption in the earth. When people commit sins like these and even promote them, they are destroying the moral foundation of society.

There has been much corruption wrought in the world. All of this corruption that has been wrought in the world needs to be stopped. The Sword of the Spirit (that is, God’s Word) is our offensive weapon. (Ephesians 6:17) The Gospel of Peace is what we need to spread. (Ephesians 6:15) Our defensive weapons are faith, love, and the hope of salvation. (I Thessalonians 5:8)

Let us not be corrupters. Let us be people who want to reverse the spread of corruption in the earth. Reading the Bible is a good place to start. Reading the Koran which confirms the teachings found in the Bible is also a good thing to do. Applying the teachings to our daily lives and striving to serve God instead of our own carnal desires should be our daily objective.

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