Islam, Refugees, And JesusErwin W. Lutzer | December 21, 2015
Selected highlights from this sermon
How should we respond to the wave of Islamic immigration to Europe and the United States? We must recognize the political and revolutionary aspect of Islamic doctrine, and insist that our governments take precautionary measures to protect citizens from jihadists.
But, as individuals who follow Jesus Christ, we cannot turn to hate. Let us befriend the immigrant and the stranger. Let us love, and may we share Christ with those who so desperately need Him.
Hi! Erwin Lutzer here! I want to thank you so much for taking out some time as I share my heart with you regarding the topic of Islam, Refugees and Jesus.
Now you might wonder why I’m speaking about this, and so let me explain. I’ve always believed that as a pastor it’s my responsibility to help people to understand what I call the controlling realities of our culture. And surely there is no topic that has gained as much interest recently as this topic of immigration and Islam and of course, we have the words of Jesus. And how should they be applied, if at all?
Also, I want to say that if you disagree with what I have to say, that’s perfectly fine. I think that we have to create an atmosphere in which disagreement is acceptable where we can interact, talk with one another, and better understand where we are as believers, and where we are in terms of the history of our wonderful country of The United States of America. So, thank you so much. I’m just sharing my heart with you today, and so let’s move on.
I want to, first of all, say a word about Islam. You know, of course, that there is always controversy. Is it a religion of peace or is it not? There’s no way that I can discuss all the issues that pertain to it, but what I would like to do is to simply point something out. Frequently when we quote the Quran, our Muslim friends say to us that we are taking the commands of the Quran out of context. Now I want to be sure that you understand this. I believe context is incredibly important. I don’t want to be quoted out of context. We should never quote anyone out of context, but at the same time I’d like to share with you a verse or two from the Quran in context.
So I brought my copy of the Quran, and before we get to the topic of immigration, after all I am speaking about Islam and then immigration, just a word or two about the Quran in context. I’m reading today from the fifth Surah (Surah chapter 5), and the reason is because oftentimes I’ve heard it said, “Oh, Islam is against terrorism. Muhammad said that if you kill one person, in effect you are killing the whole world.” You’ve heard that quotation surely. Well, what I want to do is to give you the verse from which it comes in context. This is what is says in Surah 5, and I’m beginning in verse 32: “On that account we ordain for the children of Israel that if anyone slew a person, unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land, it would be as if he slew the whole people.”
I have to tell you that that quote actually comes from the Jewish Talmud. You know, when Muhammad created the Quran—when it came to him—it had bits and pieces of other traditions. That actually came from Jewish tradition.
But does this mean that Islam is against terrorism? I don’t think so. First of all, it says, “Unless there is murder and mischief in the land,” and certainly bombing ISIS would qualify as mischief in the land, but that’s given to the children of Israel. That’s what it says right here.
Let’s read verse 32: “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and his messenger and strive with might and maim, for mischief throughout the land is (Here’s the punishment.) execution or crucifixion or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exiled from the land.” This is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the hereafter.”
You’ll notice that in context, what the Quran teaches is that that which was acceptable for the Jews, and even there, there was an exception, notice that the command for the Muslims, for those who are creating mischief in the land, or are unbelievers, is execution, crucifixion, the cutting off of the hands, the feet, etc.
I simply mention that so that we understand that what ISIS is doing is not contrary to the Quran. It is really in line with the Quran. And that’s why, whether it is ISIS or Hamas or Boko Haram, and all of these other terrorist groups, they are deeply rooted in the commands of the Quran.
Now what I’d like to do is to speak briefly about Islam in America. In my book, The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent, I point out that in 2004 the FBI actually uncovered the plans of the Brotherhood for America. It was a secret document. What’s interesting is there’s no reference to terrorism because terrorism can have a backlash. We think of Boston. We think of San Bernardino. And we see the negative effect of terrorism. But what it talks about is civilizational jihad. That means that Islam should infiltrate every major industry, every major part of American life, and of course, I illustrate that in my book. But I’m going to refer now to only one kind of infiltration, and that is our educational system.
You know that Saudi Arabia has given multiplied millions of dollars to set up various chairs in our major universities. They are called inter-faith areas of study. And of course, in charge are always Muslims so that they can teach our people, our children, all the wonderful aspects of Islam. But I’m even going to be more personal right now, and I’m speaking to you grandparents and you parents. Have you been looking at the text books that your children have been using in school? Let me suggest that you do that with a great deal of care.
This is from The World History and Geography—The Middle Ages to the Exploration of the Americas. This is a seventh-grade textbook. You’ll notice on page 74 it says, “Christians and Jews were allowed to practice their religion freely under Islam.” Really? There is so much that I could say, but I have to hurry on.
Page 79 gives a summary of Muhammad’s career, but it does not really reflect his actual history. I don’t have time to go into everything, but look at page 85. Concerning the Sharia Law, “Sharia Law is declared to be the only acceptable form of government in Islam,” which is, of course, true.
Page 88 (Can you believe this?): “Islam improved women’s rights.” This, of course, if I might put it very plainly, is a whitewash of Islam. No such wonderful comments are made about Christianity. Be sure to look at your seventh grade textbooks.
Let me give you another example (not to spend much time on it) but this is Discovering Our Past, A History of the World in Modern Times.” Again, seventh grade! What you find is that it says on page 107: “The Quran forbids murder, lying and stealing.” Have you ever read the Quran? By the way, I think it’s a good idea if we do, because we understand it better. I tend to agree with Martin Luther who believed that the Quran should be translated into German, and that the Germans should read it because he said, “The moment you read it, you know that it’s a book about laws. It is not the book of God.” Well, you’ll notice that it defines Islam in very positive terms.
Rebecca and I have a friend whose name is Laurie Cordoza Moore. She lives in Tennessee, and she has been part of a textbook controversy. And she told us that in the textbook arena there, there was a Muslim who said, “I’m going to make sure that all textbooks give a positive view of Islam, and if anyone disagrees with me, I’m going to call him Islamophobic. I’m going to call him intolerant and a racist.” Is there anything worse today in America than being called those names? I don’t think so. And so I’m simply urging you to make sure that you check on the textbooks of your children.
Now, before I talk specifically about immigration, I’d like to talk about the general immigration strategy of Islam. For example, it says in the Quran, “Whoever leaves his home as an immigrant to Allah and to his messenger, if death overtakes him, he will be rewarded.” Did you know that there is an actual strategy in Islam that goes back to the Quran about Muslims infiltrating other nations with the intention of bringing jihad and the religion with them?
And so, if I might put it very clearly, the Islamic strategy can be given like this. First of all, you immigrate. Next, you procreate, and we know that Muslims have big families, and I’m not criticizing them for that because after all God told us to multiply and to replenish the earth, but unfortunately Europeans and Americans often have smaller families, if you’ve seen the demographics. But first of all, you immigrate, you procreate, you legislate.
When Rebecca and I arrived in London (Oh, it must have been eight or ten years ago), we saw there on the newsstands, right there, it said, “Sharia Law Practiced in 87 Conclaves in England.” I have no idea what the number is today. So there is going to be this insistence on the practice of Sharia Law.
Could I give you a parenthesis? Sometimes I hear people say, “Well, I know a Muslim who is not in favor of Sharia Law.” Of course! And I know Jewish people who are not in favor of the Torah or the Ten Commandments. Islam is Sharia Law. That’s what it is.
Now, of course, most Muslims are more tolerant oftentimes because they do not even attend the mosque. They are non-practicing. Others do attend the mosque, and they are not committed to world domination. I’m not painting here with a broad brush. I’m simply saying that the essence of the teaching of Islam is immigrate, procreate, legislate, and then dominate.
In the book that I referred to that I wrote, The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent, there’s a quote here that I would like to give you because it really does illustrate Islam in America. By the way, I remember seeing a sign in a demonstration near Detroit (a Muslim demonstration) in which it had on the sign, “We will use the freedoms of the Constitution to destroy the Constitution.”
But this is from a man whose name is Abu Allah Maud Adid. I hope that he forgives me for mispronouncing his name, but I have done the best I could. “Islam is a revolutionary ideology, a revolutionary program to alter the social order of the whole world, and rebuild it in conformity with its own tenets and ideals. Islam wishes to destroy all states and governments anywhere on the face of the earth, which are opposed to the ideology and program of Islam, regardless of the country of the majority nation which rules it.” They propose to, for Islam, set up a state on the basis of its own ideology and program regardless of the nation that it may be in. This is from a book entitled, Jihad in the Case of Allah.
So much for immigration in general. We could talk about Europe in more detail when you think of what is happening in the Netherlands and so forth. But now, to our immigration questions specifically!
Back in February, and you can certainly check this on the Internet, ISIS predicted that it would send 500,000 immigrants to Europe in order to destabilize Europe, to cause mayhem in Europe. These cruel people, these cruel jihadists take people, force them to go into boats, and those dear people have to go God knows where. And we all know the stories.
If your heart has never been broken because for what the immigrants are going through, you ought to take some time and look at some of the YouTube videos even of the suffering of these dear people, many of them not having enough food to feed their children, and so forth. It is truly tragic.
Now some of the nations are taking them in certainly, especially the European nations. We think, for example, of Germany, and perhaps I’ll refer to Germany in just a moment, but ISIS also predicted that it would be its way of getting into Europe by sending jihadists. And that is certainly happening. I think we saw that even in the Paris bombing. Eighty percent of the refugees that arrived in the German city of Munich were men. In fact, on YouTube I even saw some women who were interviewed and asked the question, “How do you like it if your men leave you and go to another country?” and they were very upset that they had been abandoned. But they know that the purpose of it all is to bring jihad to Europe. So immigration from Islamic countries (Syria, for example) into Europe, the purpose is jihad immigration. There’s no question about that.
Now, sometimes when they arrive in Europe they are very ungrateful. And I’m not making this up. You can find this on the Internet. You see them, for example, trashing even some of the things that they find in other countries. You just look and see what they did to one of the islands of Greece when they were passing through. People ask the question, “Why is that? Why is it that they often demand their rights and indicate that they are unsatisfied even though, in some instances in Germany people are actually asked to leave their apartments in favor of the immigrants? It’s because the Quran taught: “We are the best of all people.”
So I need to emphasize that oftentimes in Islam what you have is this feeling of superiority, and that other nations should serve them. This is very important and you can go online and you can find instances also. I suggest that you look at the crisis in Germany regarding rape, for example. And that whole discussion needs more time than I want to give it right here. Germany’s rape epidemic! There are reasons for that. Terrible reasons I might say, but nonetheless the rationale for it all is there.
Now what about the United States of America? The head of our FBI, our director, said that it is not possible to properly vet all the Syrians that are going to be coming to us and have to come to us. The reason is obvious. Many of them come without any documentation. Some destroy their passports, I am told, on the way to Europe or perhaps also to America, so how are we to welcome them here when obviously there could be some huge security risk?
It’s not just the director of our FBI but others also have said that there is no way to properly make sure that what we are allowing into the country will not be jihadists among other people who are going through a lot of suffering and who simply desire a better life. It’s very difficult to make that distinction.
There is something else also. The more that come in, even though they may not be jihadists, they will have children who ultimately might side with Islam’s worldwide views and goals. This is a huge issue.
Now, what about Jesus? You know, Jesus, of course, was someone who exuded a great deal of compassion. I love the stories of Jesus; the way He even spoke to sinners. He forgave them. He took little children on His lap. It would be very easy to say that we should be governed by the compassion of Jesus, and we should allow into our borders as many people as we possibly can. The reason that I disagree is this: It is not really the responsibility of the government to govern its policies by compassion. What if we’d have fought World War II and the prevailing philosophy would have been compassion?
I believe that Jesus desperately wants us, and if we represent Him well, we will be compassionate as Christians to our neighbors, to our friends, and to anyone that we can help. But that doesn’t necessarily make good government policy. And I’m willing to take a page or two from Martin Luther’s book on this point. Luther pointed out that the philosophy and the ethics of the state is very different than the individual ethic of the Christian. The state’s primary responsibility, in my opinion, is to protect its citizens, so I don’t think that compassion should be the governing prevailing worldview that influences what our government does.
Of course, where we can vet people, where we can see their history, where we can have good reason to think that they are indeed not just immigrants but actually refugees from a persecuted country, that’s one thing. But why so many men disproportionately? What’s going on here?
I hope that our government is on the side here of great caution and only allows in those who we can properly assess so that we here in America are not welcoming into our borders and across our borders, whether from the south or across the ocean, people who intend to destroy us. It is difficult, I know. It is not easy.
Now, I want to conclude with a couple of words. First of all, as Christians regarding this crisis we must realize that hate and anger are never proper responses. Hate and anger! I like what Eric Metaxas says. He says, “If you become a hater or if you become angry you aren’t worshipping Jesus.”
You know, Jesus came to a world in which He was crucified. And you and I know that we are losing our freedoms and who knows where all this is going in our country by the time our grandchildren become adults? So fear and anger are not proper. The Muslims that live near you almost certainly are moderate. You can befriend them, and as a result of building those bridges, help them to understand America better, and best of all, to understand the difference between Jesus and Muhammad because the difference is very stark—two opposing points of view. And Jesus, of course, coming to earth, representing God because He was God, came to redeem us! What a message we have!
In my book that I referred to earlier I give ten examples of conversion stories. Every conversion story has love at its base. Muslims say, “I met a Christian who loved me, and I couldn’t figure out where the love was coming from,” and as a result, a relationship was built.
I’m not saying that we should simply love Muslims so that we lead them to Christ. That might be our dominant goal, but even whether they believe of disbelieve, our responsibility is to love, to care, to sacrifice.
God has brought many Muslims to our communities here in America, and I hope that it is the church being the church, stepping up, befriending them, defending them at times because they themselves often feel under persecution because of what Islam is doing around the world. We are the ambassadors of peace. We are the ambassadors of hope.
Now, from my heart to yours, I believe the day may be coming in America, and this also should deserve a larger discussion, when the church is going to have to stand alone. We won’t be able to depend upon our politicians, our government, the media. It’s going to be us and God. I pray that if and when that happens, we’ll represent Jesus Christ well, showing His love, showing His compassion, and representing Him in a way that is glorious.
You and I have only one life to live. May we live it for Christ no matter what happens in the future. After all, we do believe, don’t we? But the future is in His hands.
Thank you so much, and God bless you. And do have a blessed day.