Muhammad’s pedophilia and the prowling PC Patrol
Don HinklePathway Editor
June 19, 2002
It is a tragic day in America when someone proclaims the exclusivity of Jesus Christ and has it deemed "hate speech."
Unfortunately that day has come and gone as left-wing activists and the Politically Correct (PC) Patrol – led by much of the news media – hustled to defend Muslims following Jerry Vines’ sermon at the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) Pastors’ Conference in St. Louis June10.
Vines, pastor of the 25,000-member First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Fla., former president of the SBC, and widely considered one of the greatest preachers of this generation, has been vilified in recent days for calling Muhammad, the founder of Islam, a "demon-possessed pedophile." He has also been criticized for declaring that other works-based religions, like Islam, are not equal to Christianity.
I realize some people feel Vines could have made his point in a more diplomatic manner, given the secular setting of the Pastors’ Conference (about 70 members of the news media attended and many others picked up the story from reporting provided by the Associated Press), but it is important to understand the context in which he made his remarks. Vines made the comment about Muhammad while starkly contrasting him with Jesus. Here is the entire quotation so that the proper context is understood:
Pluralists "would have us to believe that Islam is just as good as Christianity, but I’m hear to tell you ladies and gentlemen, that Islam is not just as good as Christianity," Vines said. "Christianity was founded by the virgin-born Lord Jesus Christ. Islam was founded by Muhammad, a demon-possessed pedophile who had 12 wives, and his last one was a nine-year-old girl.
"And I tell you Allah is not Jehovah either. Jehovah’s not going to turn you into a terrorist to try to bomb people and take the lives of thousands and thousands of people." (Vines’ sermon can be heard at http://video02.sbcannualmeeting.org/pc.htm. Click on "Monday." The sermon was delivered at 7:25 p.m.)
The response from the theological and political left was swift and predictable, reflecting the moral relativism and religious pluralism Vines’ so courageously spoke against in his sermon.
Virtually every major media in the country pounced on Vines’ remarks as soon as they were made. From CNN’s "Crossfire" to the New York Times, a steady stream of criticism has been directed at Vines. I have read numerous accounts of Vines’ remarks and all but two excluded the entire quote, particularly the statement, "Christianity was founded by the virgin-born Lord Jesus Christ." One can only speculate whether that important part of the quotation was intentionally left out, or whether it was an honest oversight. To be honest, given the number of reports I’ve read, it does not speak well for the news media’s credibility.
Omission of that quote moves Vines’ remarks out of the context in which it was intended. Vines was not launching a pre-emptive strike against Islam, but rather was demonstrating the stark contrast that exists between the heretic Muhammad and the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jack Graham, SBC president and pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, defended Vines, saying his statements were "accurate" and emphasized that the SBC is not battling Islam.
"Our enemy is Satan, not any other religion," Graham told his church congregation June 16. "Our issue in life is not Muhammad or any other religious leader, it’s Jesus Christ."
Of course the secular news media did not interpret Vines’ remarks as a contrast between Muhammad and Jesus, which opened the door for them to do what they do best – seek out their liberal pals to do their dirty work.
Robert Parham, executive director of the Baptist Center for Ethics, an organization funded by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF), called Vines’ remarks "hate speech." CBF is a group of disgruntled former Southern Baptists who left the SBC to start their own, moderate organization. The CBF’s "political front organizations," like the defunct Mainstream Missouri Baptists and the renegade Texas Baptists Committed, have tried to seize control of state conventions loyal to the SBC. They so bitterly divided churches in Texas and Virginia that new, conservative, pro-SBC conventions had to be formed. For example, the new Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC) has grown to more than 1,100 churches in less than three years and some observers believe within a few years the SBTC will be the same size as the moderate Baptist General Convention of Texas.
Meanwhile, Ralph G. Neas, president of People for the American Way, called on President Bush to "not embrace leaders (like Vines) whose message is based on sowing intolerance." People for the American Way, a liberal lobby in Washington, claims to champion "toleration," that is until someone speaks against abortion, euthanasia and homosexuality – all of which it supports.
Rudy Pulido, pastor of Southwest Baptist Church in St. Louis and president of that city’s chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch following Vines’ sermon that the SBC is too concerned with politics. Yet Pulido’s organization has supported the distribution of pro-homosexual books in the children’s sections of public libraries and threatened Southern Baptist churches in Texas who opposed such efforts with legal action. Americans United also support the ordination of homosexuals into the gospel ministry and giving same-sex unions the same legal standing as heterosexual marriages. It opposes school prayer and the teaching of creationism or intelligent design in public schools.
Pulido, who has been active in Missouri CBF activity, has twice referred to Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) leaders as "the Taliban" in his church’s newsletter and has supported the trustees who voted to remove control of five MBC entities from Missouri Baptist churches by becoming self-perpetuating. Counted among Pulido’s Americans United board of directors is James F. Hornback, a signee of the Humanist Manifesto II and an officer in the American Humanist Association (AHA). The AHA, a blatantly atheistic organization, supports euthanasia, homosexuality and abortion on demand.
Salam al-Marayati, director of the Muslim Political Affairs Council in Los Angeles, said in response to Vines’ sermon that, "There has been a pattern of escalating hate speech toward Muslims, with people saying that Islam is an evil religion." Al-Marayati was picked by House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) to serve on a 10-member congressional commission reviewing U.S. policies on terrorism in 1999. Gephardt ultimately withdrew the nomination after protests from Jewish groups who said Al-Marayati’s writings seemed to justify acts of terror against Israel and the United States.
Omar Ahmad, president of the Council on American Islamic Relations, called Vines’ remarks "reckless Islamophobic statements." Islamophobic suggests that Vines – and Southern Baptists or anyone else who holds to the exclusivity of Christ for eternal salvation – suffers from a mental disorder stemming from fear of Islam. (Don’t hold your breath if you are waiting for an apology from Ahmad.)
Nothing could be further from the truth, as indicated by Vines’ original remarks (as brazen as some people felt they were) and his tempered, subsequent statement made to his congregation prior to morning services June 16:
"I have a 20-year record in Jacksonville as a pastor who loves people. I love Muslim people. I have found many of them to be kind, gentle and loving people. Our First Baptist Church reaches out to our Muslim friends through our international ministry, which ministers to people of all cultures and faiths in the community. Many Muslims have come to our church to hear of the love, joy, peace and saving grace available to all in Jesus Christ."
Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, characterized Vines’ words as "hate-filled," adding, "This is the kind of bigotry that requires a clear statement from the top leadership of the SBC."
How about from the top leadership of the Christian church – Jesus Christ? It was Jesus who declared, "I am the way, the Truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me."
So where is the bigotry in Vines’ remarks?
The Hadith, a respected source for Islamic teaching among Muslim clerics and followers, confirms Vines’ assertion that Muhammad was a pedophile. The Hadith verifies that Muhammad married the nine-year-old daughter of a friend.
As far as being "demon-possessed," a passage from the Hadith, volume 1, book 1, chapter 1, indicates that Muhammad himself believed he was under demonic influence.
"It’s simply a matter of quoting (Islamic) sources," said Emir Caner, who along with his brother, Ergun, have written a new book, Unveiling Islam: An Insider’s Look at Muslim Life and Beliefs (Kregel Publications). Emir is assistant professor of church history and Anabaptist studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., while Ergun is assistant professor of theology and church history at Criswell College in Dallas. Both were Sunni Muslims who became Christians in 1982.
"The comments in question cannot be considered bigotry when they come from Islamic writings," Ergun said at a press conference at the SBC meeting.
Vines told his congregation June 16 that his comments were based on the Caners’ book.
"If I have misread this information, I would be glad for Muslim scholars to explain their own documents to us all," he said, echoing what the Caner brothers had said previously when the controversy first arose.
For their part, the congregation at FBC Jacksonville has stood solidly behind their pastor and opinion polls in Jacksonville have been running about 75 percent in support of Vines.
One Islamic group purchased a full-page advertisement in the Florida Times-Union newspaper in an effort to pressure Vines into a meeting.
"I do not have much time to attend meetings, appear on TV programs or do extensive interviews," Vines told the congregation during his pre-sermon statement that was repeatedly interrupted by standing ovations by those who nearly filled the 9,200-seat sanctuary. "I have no plans to speak to this matter further."
From my perspective (unlike some of those criticizing Vines, I was in attendance and heard his comments), he simply told the truth based on the information he had. Some think Vines’ tone was a bit stringent, but given the context in which his remarks were made (comparing Muhammad to Jesus Christ) how could any Christian blame Vines for so forcefully pointing out that there is NO comparison between a pedophile and the sinless Son of God?
Amazingly even the conservative National Review Online missed this key point in its eloquent, but partly inaccurate analysis of the controversy.
The only thing Vines violated was one of the key tenets of the relativistic bull espoused by the theological and political left — and in particular too much of the news media. That tenant is this: Since all cultures (multiculturalism) think differently, then no one culture (particularly my own) can have a monopoly on truth. Therefore, any criticism by one culture against another is seen as intolerant and will be held up to public ridicule and perhaps violent retribution. (Agape Press reported Monday that a Christian radio station in Mississippi had already received a threatening phone call from someone claiming to be Muslim. The call was traced to a public phone booth.)
It wasn’t too long ago (June 2000) that the news media was ranting about the SBC overwhelmingly approving a change to the Baptist Faith & Message article on the family, calling for wives to graciously submit to their husbands. Following Vines’ comments the media never hesitated in defending a religion in which its holy book, the Qur’an, sanctions wife beatings: "As to those women on whose part you fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them, refuse to share their beds, beat them" (surah 4:34).
Media hypocrisy aside, clearly there are moral, law-abiding Muslims living in America and not all support "jihad" in its military form and are faithful, loving spouses to their wives.
However, Islam clearly espouses military "jihad." As the Caners point out in Unveiling Islam:
"Talking heads on television continually pass along the politically correct notion that jihad means "internal struggle for piety" and not military engagement. Yet it does not require a cleric’s teaching to see that the Qur’an promises Paradise to those who die in battle for Islam more certainly than it promises salvation to anyone else.
"The Hadith makes it transparent that jihad has as its primary characteristic a bloody struggle involving military battles," they write, citing Hadith 1:35: "The Prophet said, ‘The person who participates in (holy battles) in Allah’s cause and nothing compels him to do so except belief in Allah and His Apostles, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to Paradise (if he is killed in the battle as a martyr).’"
Just who is it they are supposed to fight?
Why the infidels, of course, or anyone who opposes Allah. Western Civilization, now often being ignored – or ridiculed — in too many of our universities and high schools, seems to have forgotten or chooses to ignore such a fact. That is amazing considering that Muslims continue to slaughter thousands of Christians in the Sudan, oppress women’s rights and behead homosexuals. Perhaps one of the more outrageous examples of Islamic contempt for Western religious traditions exist in Saudi Arabia, where leaders deny American military personnel the freedom to worship Jesus while serving as the main deterrence in their country to Saddam Hussein’s aggression. It should be noted that not one single Islamic nation is a democracy – a key point in understanding America’s continued support of Israel.
Muslims are known for their openness to discussing theological matters. Southern Baptists need to take full advantage of that opportunity by sharing with them the love and grace offered through a personal relationship with Jesus. The Vines’ sermon should be a call for Southern Baptists to recommit themselves to evangelizing Muslims and to pray for a mighty outpouring of God’s Spirit upon us all.