Tell the Ghosts
Remember playing cops and robbers, reading about Nancy Drew and the thieves she was trying to catch, hearing stories about St. George and the Dragon? Good vs. evil – always the same theme. Now our heroes are dysfunctional and confused, with angst and self- flagellation the norm; we have preferences now, not morals.
No culture can long stand on such a floppy foundation. We know, deep in our hearts that some things are eternally wrong, forever evil to the core, but flinch not when nail children to crosses. Don’t bat an eye when they claim the right to beat their wives. Turn the other cheek -- in a misreading of Matthew -- when your neighbors are blown up on their way to work. If your sense of good and evil is still functioning, you spend a lot of time cringing, both at the atrocities that are being perpetrated, and at the lack of concern most display at the news of them. Oh well.
Let’s look at this a little closer -- rummage in the basement a bit. Maybe we’ll discover some answers deep in the dusty bottom of an old chest…
Allah’s devotees just blew up the Gate of the Gods in the ancient city of Nineveh. Nineveh -- where Jonah was supposed to be going before he dug in his heels and the whale swallowed him -- Nineveh, the biggest city of the ancient world, the capital of Assyria, whose armies didn’t lose a single battle for 200 years, but whose leader Sennecharib, in 701 B.C. tried, with 185,000 soldiers, to take Jerusalem, and instead met the Angel of Death (Isaiah 33). Nineveh, whose history goes back at least to 1,800 B.C. and yet a bunch of renegade, inbred barbarians just had the audacity to attempt to erase its memory. How dare they? History is hard to come by, and always precarious, so destroying any part of it, distorting any shard, is anathema. The future is iffy enough, let’s at least keep a hold on antiquity. But no. Not only are these terrorists driven to kill the present; they must kill the past. Not only do they want to murder love and justice, but truth as well.
ISIS, with the help of uncounted other militant Islamic groups, has destroyed not only artifacts and ancient ruins, but living societies as well. Like a swarm of ants the refugees from this destruction are surging throughout Europe -- but I use the words “refugee” loosely for these people are mostly young men -- men who feel entitled to rape European women and young girls, feel inclined to defecate on the streets, and demand to be fed and provided for in whatever manner they desire. Then, of course, they blow things up, as in Paris and Brussels.
When Muslim radicals (Radical only because they take seriously their holy book.) aren’t busy screwing up Europe, they are terrorizing the people of their own countries. Christians who are lucky are allowed to leave, but over 500 Christians were recently murdered in Palmyra -- crucified, beheaded, burned alive, or drowned in cages. Women and girls were sold as sex slaves. ISIS has even crucified Christian children.
Okay. We know all this. So what’s my point? For several decades now we’ve been able to indulge the idea that evil is behind us, that the destruction of Hitler, the collapse of the Berlin wall, the demise of moral strictness have leveled awfulness forever. We’ve been so indoctrinated with evolutionary thinking that we just assume that the history of man will continue on an ever-upward trajectory -- we are now tolerant (As if it were merely intolerance that killed six million Jews.), we no longer think in terms of good vs. evil, so there will be no more war, no more judging, no more hurt feelings. The Age of Aquarius is at hand.
And then the Twin Towers came tumbling down and we didn’t know how to react. Let me make a suggestion, one that has grown rusty with neglect, but one that needs a good oiling. We need to look squarely at evil and quit trying to pretty it up. It’s bad enough that we won’t call terrorism Islamic. It’s even worse that we won’t admit what Islam is.
When was the last time you took the idea of Satan seriously? The devil has become nothing more than a man in red tights and those are a dime a dozen these days. Big deal. Well, he is a big deal. He is the ruler of this world and his other name may well be Allah.
Oh, it may be that Allah is just a general in Satan’s demon armies, but if so, he’s an important one; he’s no Screwtape, no Wormwood. He’s heading up a key strategic plan to foil God’s plan.
Don’t roll your multicultural eyes at me. I know things demonic when I see them. Satan is the father of all lies and it is Allah who urges his followers to deceive in order to spread Islam by stealth. It is the devil who introduced death to this world -- read Genesis 3 -- and Allah demands death -- the death of anyone who doesn’t see him as god. See Isaiah 14: Satan sees himself as a viable competitor of God Almighty and he has no patience with those who merely see him as an errant angel. The arrogance of Satan is legendary; the arrogance of Allah as well. Allah wants humans to see him as the creator, but you’ll notice that he didn’t show up until the middle of the seventh century A.D. -- 4,700 years into documented human history. Jesus Christ, as the Messiah, as the second person of the Godhead, was here from before the beginning.
I suspect that Satan thought he might be winning until he began to see the amazing changes Christianity was making in the world. It was evident that he was losing control. So, Islam to the rescue! Within a hundred years the followers of Mohammed, prophet of Allah, had slaughtered their way through most of what had once been the Roman Empire. If it hadn’t been for Charles Martel (732 A.D.) and the Battle of Tours, Europe would have been totally Islamic -- and therefore backward and hopelessly poor -- for the last fourteen hundred years. Satan almost had his way.
Most human beings at most places in most time periods have seen murder as wrong, torture and cruelty as horrible and evil, lying and deception as anti-God. These things are written on our hearts. Cain knew right away that his murder of Abel would get him in trouble. We recognize injustice from a very early age -- picture a two-year-old pouting her way through a that’s-not-fair temper tantrum. No one has to teach her about fairness -- she knows in her heart what that is.
And yet we have close to two billion people on this planet who have been taught the opposite:
- That it’s good to beat the victim instead of the perpetrator.
- That killing people -- as torturously as possible -- for preferring God over Allah is a noble thing to do.
- That raping little girls -- forcing marriage with these babies is just fine.
- That teaching your young men to blow themselves up, to promise them sex for so doing -- that this is heroic behavior.
- That lying is a good thing.
- That brutality and disrespect is desirable demeanor.
Islam is the reverse of Judeo-Christian beliefs. And, whereas Satan is only an errant creature and not the opposite of God, his methodology is the opposite of God’s, and, coincidentally identical to Allah’s. Let’s dust off that old idea of a fallen angel rebelling against the God who made him, and let’s compare him head-to-head with the god of the Muslim religion and when we’re all done with that, tell me that Islam is a good religion. Tell me, and the ghosts of the 270,000,000 people Allah has killed. Tell the nine-year-old girl who’s being raped by her fifty-year-old husband that Islam is all about peace. Tell her. I dare you.
Deana Chadwell is an adjunct professor and department head at Pacific Bible College https://pacificbible.edu in southern Oregon. She teaches writing, logic, and literature. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.