Despite Pope Francis representing the last of the “Seamless Garment” wing of the Catholic Church as propagated most famously by the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin that in and of itself is anti-Christian, calls for Christianity to accept Islam, and its prophet, wholesale simply are not going to be heeded. (At least those of us who know history hope they aren’t.) Those who came before us, and who fought Islam during the invasions that led to the Crusades and lived during the time of Christian renewal in the 13th century were quite clear on why this is the case in theological terms:
- The Divinity of Christ is denied in Islam.
- The reward that Muhammad promised his followers is carnal in nature, not eternal, and not spiritual.
- Islam has always been spread by the sword, coersion and by making demands of host peoples, not by persuasion, and living by example.
- Sexual deviance, violence, and crime is acceptable against those who do not believe.
- Muhammad brought forth no supernatural signs.
This is not to be disrespectful in any way to the followers of Muhammad, but is the truth of his being according to those who determine what a prophet is in Christianity. None of that has changed. Christians sacrifice on earth in order to receive ETERNAL LIFE in Heaven, not 72 virgins, and the carnal delights promised by a warlord – and at its core, that is what Islam is, and how followers are recruited and kept.
Of course, there is much more to Christianity, true Christianity, denying the authenticity of what so many Christian martyrs considered to be a heresy at best, an anti-Christ abomination at worst. There is the reality of the veneration of a book that tells followers that living in a way that is exactly the opposite of what Christ asked of His people cannot be supported. There is also the treatment of women as something less than livestock when the Gospels are full of stories of Christ’s special attention to women, as well as the Resurrection story, where news of His rising from the dead was delivered to women for them to spread the Good News. At that time, the word of a woman talking carried the same weight as that of a child. As Christianity grew and developed, scores of women have risen to the ranks of the most respected followers due to their piety and commitment to Christ, even some producing and being the recipients of supernatural signs. Other aspects of the non-Christian attributes of Islam wander into much deeper theology, and accusations of Islam being foretold in the Apocalypse. That is best explored on one’s own.
That does not change that the requests and demands of Christians to placate and even cave into Islamists reflect the basest ignorance of history and of a “religion” that was suppressed from widespread world-wide view for a time. One 20th century historian, Hilaire Belloc, believed this to be the case, and his prediction of the resurgence of Islam in 1929 is coming true:
We shall almost certainly have to reckon with Islam in the near future. Perhaps, if we lose our Faith, it will rise. For after this subjugation of the Islamic culture by the nominally Christian had already been achieved, the political conquerors of that culture began to notice two disquieting features about it. The first was that its spiritual foundation proved immovable; the second that its area of occupation did not recede, but on the contrary slowly expanded.
In my own youth the decaying power of Islam (for it was still decaying) in the Near East was a strong menace to the peace of Europe. Those old people of whom I speak had grandparents in whose times Islam was still able to menace the West. The Turks besieged Vienna and nearly took it, less than a century before the American Declaration of Independence. Islam was then our superior, especially in military art. There is no reason why its recent inferiority in mechanical construction, whether military or civilian, should continue indefinitely. Even a slight accession of material power would make the further control of Islam by an alien culture difficult. A little more and there will cease that which our time has taken for granted, the physical domination of Islam by the disintegrated Christendom we know.
With unlimited funds thanks to access to oil revenue, and a fairly unfettered supply of arms that Islamists, and the Islamic state are constantly able to commendeer or purchase, Islam as a global force is far more dangerous than ever. And without the recognition that the war they fight is holy in the minds of Islamists, and the only way they were pushed back from Europe in centuries gone by was by INVOKING Christianity, not laying down in the name of Christ, we in the west are facing an uphill fight.