Immanuel Can wrote:
If I break into your bank account and empty it, I'll need to use your name to get the job done. It doesn't mean I had any right to use your name in the first place.
have no idea what you are trying to say here
Wow. It took you long enough to ask.
that millions of americans regard US involved in middle east as god's work is undeniable - do you dispute that
I would doubt your hyperbolical "millions," and suggest that you adopt a more skeptical view of the media on that point. But numbers wouldn't really matter, now would they?
Much more importantly, the fact that "millions" believe anything does not necessarily dignify that belief: it has to be a true reflection of what the ideology the claim tells them to believe. If they are disobeying
the ideology, then they are not representing it at all.
And that's the point of the banking analogy. I can clean out your bank account "in your name." But you will be mad as anything if I do, because I really don't have any right to use your name that way, do I? Only if I am genuinely acting on your behalf -- that is, if you have given me a letter of authority and asked
me to bring you the contents of your bank account -- do I legitimately use your name.
You can't blame an ideology for what people who disregard and disobey
it do. You can blame it only for what they do when they are actually obeying it.
That's just fair.
simply knowing that someone labels themselves a muslim or a christian does not tell me anything about their willingness to use violence to promote religious goals
Then it's because you have no knowledge of their ideology. If the "goals," as you say, are "religious," then they must reflect the precepts of that religion, no? If they do not, there's no sense in which you can call the perpetrator of the violence "Muslim" or "Christian." What you would have to say is the they were a violent person
, whose religion actually played no part in their violent actions. For if their religion was all the while forbidding
them to do violence, how can you justify any claim that they acted "religiously"?
So you have to know what the religion instructs them to do before you can rightly judge the role it may or may not have had in the choices they made. And wanting to know the answer, I have read the Bible and the Koran, and have had discussions and debates with proponents of both sides. Have you?
- and the only way we can judge a doctrine is by its actions -
BUT they have to be the actions "of the doctrine," meaning that the doctrine in question has to approve or conduce to them, or they are not the "actions of the doctrine" at all. Common sense, that.
it is absurd to say "when christians commit violence they do so against the teachers of christianity, but when muslims commit violence its because their doctrine requiers it"
Read the books, then tell me that. You're simply wrong. But you'll never know if you don't look. That's all I can tell you about that.
Christ did indeed say, "by their fruits you will know them." Right on. But also note in the context that he was talking about how to tell the difference between those who say
they love God and those that really do
. So He was inviting you to do exactly what I'm inviting you to do; judge the adherents of the religion by what they do. In fact, take a look at the whole passage to which you alluded so briefly, Matthew 7:
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will know them by their fruits.
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
So you're quite right: Christ Himself says you can know who is a real "Christian" and who is not BY WHAT THEY DO. He invites you to do that. He welcomes the test. As the Bible says elsewhere, "if they do not conform to this word, it is because they have no dawn" (Isaiah 8:20)
. Lovely metaphor, that. Anyway, it means that whether in the OT or the New, you are most heartily welcome to judge Christians as Christians by what they do.
And please, please...do judge Islam by what it does. Please do.