Friday, January 3, 2014

Reza Aslan: Twisting Christian Scriptures for the Sake of Allah

Creative Writing Professor Reza Aslan
Reza Aslan is an associate professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside. He claims (endlessly) to be a scholar of religions. However, his writings show that he is doing what nearly all Muslim apologists in the West do: he is trying to make Muhammad sound more like Jesus, and Jesus sound more like Muhammad, in an effort to make Islam more palatable to Americans and Europeans.

In his book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, Aslan argues that Jesus was a violent jihadist, who wanted to mercilessly kill the Roman occupiers of Israel. Faced with clear commands of Jesus to love our neighbors (Mark 12:28-31), to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48), to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9), and not to defend Christianity through violence (Matthew 26:52), Aslan is forced to radically reinterpret or dismiss Jesus' words.

The following video shows Aslan at his best (or worst!), twisting Jesus' calls for peace into a call for the annihilation of non-Jews.

9 comments:

Adamski Bosh said...

Although it's ridiculous to say Jesus was a zealot (Jihadi warrior), I dont think it stacks up to say he instructed the swords in order so he was to be countered as a criminal - as he therefore 'would have been a criminal' (I assume), and in any case, this point isnt emphasized in the NT and in any case he was in the process of being arrested anyway. The carrying of the swords also wasnt mentioned at the Sanhedrin trial of Jesus... so was it all done just so he could teach a lesson to Peter on the problem of 'living by the sword' ?

bob said...

“In his book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, Aslan argues that Jesus was a violent jihadist, who wanted to mercilessly kill the Roman occupiers of Israel.”

Another point that might draw attention to the rather large hole in Aslan’s hypothesis is from Matthew 22:21 (and in Mark 12:17; Luke 20:25) where Jesus says, “Render therefore to Caesar [the head of government] the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s”

Rome was the government of that time and place under God.

Likewise the soldiers [Roman] asked Him [Jesus], saying, “And what shall we do?” so He said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone [for no reason] or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.” Luke 3:14.

Jesus, God manifested in the flesh (1Timothy 3:16), is Himself telling the Roman soldiers to be “content with your wages”

Jesus, the Creator (John 1:1-14), was never anti-government since it is God Himself who appoints all earthly government.

Romans 13:1-7 teaches,

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

Therefore, whoever resists the authority [temporal government] resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgement on themselves [for criminal behaviour].

For rulers [civil authorities] are not a terror to good works [abiding by the law], but to evil [crime]. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.

For he is God’s servant to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword [law enforcement] in vain; for he is God’s servant, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.

Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’s sake.

For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers [public servants – judges, magistrates, police] attending continually to this very thing.

Render therefore to all their due; taxes to whom taxes are due (Matt 22:21); revenue to whom revenue, respect to whom respect.

As it says in regard to Jesus in Isaiah 9:6...

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder.

...and Psalm 2...

“The Lord [the Father] has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for an inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potters vessel.’”

“Now therefore, be wise, O kings [worldly leaders]; be instructed, you judges of the earth [meaning earthly judges, magistrates etc.]. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry”

...and Revelation 12:5...

She bore a male Child who was to rule all the nations with a rod of iron.

When the stubborn disobedient Jews did eventually rise up against the authority of Rome, God judged them accordingly and they were punished with defeat and an exile that lasted for 2000 years; which brings to mind Psalm 2, “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry.”

bob said...

At the end of the day, Reza Aslan is just another one of the many people throughout history who have shaped Jesus into an idol of their own invention through the misinterpretation/distortion of God's word.

His Jesus is not the Jesus of the Scriptures (God was manifested in the flesh. 1Timothy 3:16; John 1:1-14) but just an ordinary created man, which is an idolatrous, blasphemous invention.

Aslan's Jesus, like the Islamic Jesus and the many other unscriptural versions of Him does not exist, except, at best, in the person of the Devil himself.

Many of his arguments, which are also used by assorted antichristian propagandists and atheists etc. and which are nothing new or original, have been thoroughly dealt with by the church fathers, scholars and reformers of the past, who, through the correct reading, interpretation and understanding of the meaning of the Scriptures as intended by their Author, the Holy Spirit, have already destroyed these arguments hundreds of years ago.

As with all of these unscriptural books about Jesus and His life, Aslan’s book reveals more about the author than than about his subject.

Jyrki Suhonen said...

I am not interested in Jesus.

In fact, i'm an atheist. Jesus said, i i've been told, turn the other cheek.

No way, not me. I am for the Floridan "castle law".

Though i cannot use that law because i'm from Finland.

Make no mistake. Finns do not allow muslimn scum at their neighborhoods.

bob said...

Jyrki,

“In fact, i'm an atheist… Make no mistake. Finns do not allow muslimn scum at their neighborhoods”

Fair enough, but there have been many throughout history that had the same sentiment only to find that their own countrymen, neighbourhood, and then the nation itself, converted to Islam. And atheism has more often than not been a handicap rather than an advantage in defending against Islam.

The following picture is from both biblical and secular study:

Starting with the biblical:

The intentions, goals, ambitions and overall agenda of Islam equate to those of the Assyrians in the Old Testament, who God used as an instrument of his wrath and who were also subsequently punished themselves.

“Woe to Assyria, the rod of my anger and the staff in whose hand is my indignation. I will send him against an ungodly nation, and against the people of my wrath I will give him charge, to seize the prey and to tread them down like mire in the streets. However, this is not his intention (nor is the Assyrian aware that he is doing this at my bidding), neither does his mind so think and plan; but it is in his mind to destroy and cut off many nations.” Isaiah 10:5-7

The Assyrian himself says:
“By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I am prudent; also I have removed the boundaries of the people, and have robbed their treasuries; so I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man. My hand has found like a nest the riches of the people, and as one gathers eggs that are left, I have gathered all the earth; and there was no one who moved his wing, nor opened his mouth with even a peep.” Isaiah 10:13, 14

But God says:
“Shall the axe boast itself against him who chops with it? Or shall the saw magnify itself against him who saws with it? As if a rod could wield itself against those who lift it up, or as if a staff could lift up, as if it were not wood!” Isaiah 10:15

“For yet a little while and my indignation against you (Israel) shall be accomplished, and my anger shall be directed to destruction (of the Assyrian).” Isaiah 10:25

From the secular:

Today’s ‘Assyrian’

Mohammed was the supreme master of complete war and has had no equal to this day. His understanding of the use of force was sophisticated and subtle. Physical violence was only a small part of his understanding of war. That is why comparisons make him superior to military men such as Julius Caesar. Other military geniuses established empires, but none of them had a process for war and empire that lasted for fourteen-hundred years and is still going strong.
Mohammed’s profound insight was not just the waging of physical war but war of the mind, emotions, culture, politics, and religion. There is no aspect of being human that Mohammed did not use for war. Money, salvation, sex, culture, religion, destiny, family, immigration, legal codes, government, power, deceit, racial pride, tribalism, community, fear, propaganda, diplomacy, spy-craft, philosophy, ethics, and psychology were all used for jihad. Jihad was not holy war but complete and total civilizational war.

bob said...

Continued...

Islamization of a culture:

The Sira (Biography of Mohammed’s life) gives a dynamic picture of how Islam enters a culture. When Mohammed started preaching in Mecca, there was no animosity. Islam was portrayed as a logical continuation of the native Arabic religions. Then Islam claimed to be a “brother religion” to Judaism. Next it became not just a better religion but the best, and all of the other religions were wrong. Islam was publicly confrontational, attacking every aspect of the host culture. Hostility developed between Islam and the Meccan culture of religious tolerance. The Meccans tried to placate the Muslims, but there could be no compromise. Islam turned increasingly to violence that culminated in a treaty of war with new allies in Medina.

When the Muslims immigrated to Medina, the Immigrants were peaceful. But when the Jews said that Mohammed was not a prophet in the Jewish tradition, Islam became hostile. Islam was the better religion; and if logic did not show that, then forceful arguments would. Up to this point, the process of Islam in Medina was the same as in Mecca. The Immigrants were very poor and there was little growth of the religion. In Medina Mohammed found a way to obtain money and settle old scores with the Meccans who had never submitted to Islam. The solution was political – Jihad against the Meccans, the Jews, and their neighbours. By Jihad, political Islam conquered all of Arabia in nine years (From: Mohammed and the Unbelievers. For more information visit www.cspipublishing.com [Center for the Study of Political Islam).

Atheism as a defence against Islam.

There are some who believe that the promotion of universal atheism is a means by which Islam can be defeated.

Two points that refute this notion:

• As described above under ‘todays Assyrian’ Islam can permeate and influence every facet and level of a society, that is, socially and politically etc. It uses many other systems and means of conquest besides religious indoctrination; so what people don’t believe in is irrelevant.

• But the main reason that atheism is no defence, is that, because it denies God and Christ, it is actually part of the antichrist itself (which includes Islam) and therefore cannot but help other elements of that system, which it does in the following manner:

Wherever atheism abounds, Islam has easy entrance, since atheism (and evolutionary humanistic teaching) is actually holding the gate open by undermining or removing vital defensive knowledge and creating a largely ignorant, blind and defenceless population.

The antichristian world system (called Babylon in Revelation) as a whole cannot and will not fight against itself.

“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation... And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?” Mathew 12:25, 26

The following quote from Richard Dawkins:

“I have mixed feelings about the decline of Christianity, in so far as Christianity might be a bulwark against something worse.” The Times (UK), 2 April 2010

Adamski Bosh said...

Well said Bob.

william t said...

I have to agree with reza. When I read my whole bible the lord Jesus ultimate action to consummate human history is to wage a holy war against all the nations that will come against Israel. Zechariah 12. Where i disagree with reza is that Jesus wanted to destroy the romans. It is clear in the bible that every nation that the Lord judges are all muslim nations. I wonder whether reza has thought that through

bob said...

Correction:

The Line in my first comment concerning Luke 3:14 should read:

Likewise the soldiers [Roman] asked him [John the Baptist], saying, “And what shall we do?” so he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone [for no reason] or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.” Luke 3:14.

And the following line should read:

John the Baptist, a servant of Jesus (God was manifested in the flesh. 1Timothy 3:16), is telling the Roman soldiers to be “content with your wages”

John’s authority (in speaking the words of Luke 3:14) is solid, since Jesus Himself says of John, “For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist.” Luke 7:28