Sir Isaac Newton was born in 1642, the same year Galileo died. His mother was widowed twice, resulting in him being raised by his grandmother. He was sent off to grammar school and later went to Trinity College, Cambridge, 1661.
A contemporary of Robert Boyle, Sir Isaac Newton became a mathematician and a natural philosopher, discovering the laws of universal gravitation and formulating the three laws of motion, which aided in advancement of the discipline of dynamics. Newton was a discoverer of calculus and helped develop it into a comprehensive branch of mathematics.
During the Plague of 1665-66, Newton moved to Woolsthorp, Lincolnshire. He was honored to occupy the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics, 1669, and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society, 1672. Newton was given the position of Master of the Mint, 1699, and in 1701, entered Parliament. He constructed one of the first practical reflecting telescope. Using a prism, Newton demonstrated that a beam of light contained all the colors of the rainbow. He laid the foundation for the great law of energy conservation and developed the particle theory of light propagation. In 1703, Sir Issac Newton became the president of the Royal Society, and served in that position until his death.
Newton wrote one of the most important scientific books ever, “Principia,” 1687, in which he stated: “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. … All variety of created objects which represent order and life in the universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, whom I call the ‘Lord God.’ … This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of His dominion He is wont to be called ‘Lord God.’ … The supreme God exists necessarily, and by the same necessity He exists always and everywhere.”
Newton wrote in the last query of “Optics, or, a Treatise of the Reflections, Refractions, Inflexions and Colours of Light” (1704, London, 1730, 4th edition, quoted in Sullivan, p.125-126): “Now by the help of these principles, all material things seem to have been composed of the hard and solid particles, above-mentioned, variously associated in the first creation by the counsel of an intelligent agent. For it became him who created them to set them in order. And if he did so, it’s unphilosophical to seek for any other origin of the world, or to pretend that it might arise out of a chaos by the mere laws of nature; though being once formed, it may continue by those laws for many ages.”
Newton wrote in “Principia,” 1687: “From His true dominion it follows that the true God is a living, intelligent and powerful Being; and from His other perfections, that He is supreme, or most perfect. He is eternal and infinite, omnipotent and omniscient; that is, His duration reaches from eternity to eternity; His presence from infinity to infinity; He governs all things, and knows all things that are or can be done.”
Newton was quoted in “Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton” by Sir David Brewster (Edinburgh, Thomas Constable and Co., 1855, Vol. II, 354): “God made and governs the world invisibly, and has commanded us to love and worship him, and no other God; to honor our parents and masters, and love our neighbors as ourselves; and to be temperate, just, and peaceable, and to be merciful even to brute beasts. And by the same power by which he gave life at first to every species of animals, he is able to revive the dead, and has revived Jesus Christ our Redeemer, who has gone into the heavens to receive a kingdom, and prepare a place for us, and is next in dignity to God, and may be worshiped as the Lamb of God, and has sent the Holy Ghost to comfort us in his absence, and will at length return and reign over us.”
Sir Isaac Newton wrote in “Optics,” 1704: “God in the beginning formed matter in solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, movable particles, of such sizes and figures, and with such other properties, and in such proportion to space, as most conduced to the end for which he formed them.”
Sir Isaac Newton devoted more time to the study of Scripture than to science (as cited in Tiner 1975): “I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily.”
Sir Isaac Newton stated: “We account the Scriptures of God to be the most sublime philosophy. I find more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history whatsoever. … Worshiping God and the Lamb in the temple: God, for his benefaction in creating all things, and the Lamb, for his benefaction in redeeming us with his blood.”
Captivated by Bible prophecy, Sir Isaac Newton wrote “Observations on the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John” (published in 1733), in which he stated: “Daniel was in the greatest credit amongst the Jews, till the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. And to reject his prophecies, is to reject the Christian religion. For this religion is founded upon his prophecy concerning the Messiah.”
He concluded his introductory chapter: “Daniel is most distinct in order of time, and easiest to be understood, and therefore in those things which relate to the last times, he must be made the key to the rest.”
In his Preface to “The Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse” (Published 1733), Sir Isaac Newton quoted a letter to Richard Bentley, dated Dec. 10, 1692: “When I wrote my treatise about our System I had an eye upon such Principles as might work with considering men for the belief of a Deity and nothing can rejoice me more than to find it useful for that purpose.”
Sir Isaac Newton wrote in “Observations on the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John,” (published 1733): “The Book of Revelation exhibits to us the same peculiarities as that of Nature. … The history of the Fall of Man – of the introduction of moral and physical evil, the prediction of the Messiah, the actual advent of our Savior, His instructions, His miracles, His death, His resurrection, and the subsequent propagation of His religion by the unlettered fishermen of Galilee, are each a stumbling-block to the wisdom of this world. … But through the system of revealed truth which this Book contains is, like that of the universe, concealed from common observation, yet the labors of the centuries have established its Divine origin, and developed in all its order and beauty the great plan of human restoration.”
In “Observations on the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John” (published 1733), Sir Isaac Newton wrote: “The folly of Interpreters has been, to foretell times and things, by this prophecy, as if God designed to make them Prophets. By this rashness they have not only exposed themselves, but brought the Prophecy also into contempt. The design of God was much otherwise. He gave this and the Prophecies of the Old Testaments, not to gratify men’s curiosities by enabling them to foreknow things, but that after they were fulfilled they might be interpreted by the event; and his own Providence, not the Interpreters, be then manifested thereby to the world. For the event of things predicted many ages before, will then be a convincing argument that the world is governed by providence.”
In “Observations on the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John” (published 1733), Sir Isaac Newton wrote: “For the prophets and apostles have foretold that as Israel often revolted and brake the covenant, and upon repentance renewed it, so there should be a falling away among the Christians, soon after the days of the Apostles, and that in the latter days God would destroy the impenitent revolters, and make a new covenant with his people. And the giving ear to the prophets is a fundamental character of the true church. … For as the few and obscure Prophecies concerning Christ’s first coming were for setting up the Christian religion, which all nations have since corrupted, so the many and clear Prophecies, concerning the things to be done at Christ’s second coming, are not only for predicting but also for effecting a recovery and re-establishment of the long-lost truth, and setting up a kingdom wherein dwells righteousness. The event will prove the Apocalypse, and this Prophecy, thus proved and understood, will open the old Prophets and all together will make known the true religion, and establish it. … An angel must fly through the midst of heaven with the everlasting Gospel to preach to all nations, before Babylon falls, and the Son of man reaps his harvest.” (referencing Revelation 14:6)
The “Encyclopedia of Philosophy” described Sir Isaac Newton: “Newton himself was a student of Old Testament prophecies and believed in the Scriptures as inerrant guides.”
In his book “Chronology,” Newton studied the sequence of historical events and inserted a geometric diagram of Solomon’s Temple, giving the lengths of the Temple in relation to the measurement of time. This was in accordance with the Renaissance view that the Temple was a microcosm of God’s creation embodying the order of the universe.
Economist John Maynard Keynes purchased all of Newton’s known manuscripts and personal notes at auction. After studying them, John Maynard Keynes wrote of Newton: “He regarded the universe as a cryptogram set by the Almighty, just as he himself wrapped the discovery of calculus in a cryptogram. … He looked on the whole universe and all that is in it as a riddle, as a secret which could be read by applying pure thought to certain evidence, certain mystic clues which God had laid about the world to allow a sort of philosopher’s treasure hunt. …”
Regarding the Bible, Newton wrote: “The system of revealed truth which this Book contains is like that of the universe, concealed from common observation yet the labors of the centuries have established its Divine origin.”
Newton (as cited in Tiner 1975): “Atheism is so senseless. When I look at the solar system, I see the earth at the right distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance.”
Newton wrote in a “Short Scheme of the True Religion” (Sir David Brewster, “Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton,” Edinburgh, Thomas Constable and Co., 1855, Vol. II, p. 347-348): “Opposite to godliness is atheism in profession, and idolatry in practice. Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind, that it never had many professors. Can it be by accident that all birds, beasts, and men have their right side and left side alike shaped, (except in their bowels); and just two eyes, and no more, on either side of the face; and just two ears on either side of the head; and a nose with two holes; and either two forelegs, or two wings, or two arms on the shoulders, and two legs on the hips, and no more? Whence arises this uniformity in all their outward shapes but from the counsel and contrivance of an Author? Whence is it that the eyes of all sorts of living creatures are transparent to the very bottom, and the only transparent members in the body, having on the outside a hard transparent skin, and within transparent humours, with a crystalline lens in the middle, and a pupil before the lens, all of them so finely shaped and fitted for vision, that no artist can mend them? Did blind chance know that there was light, and what was its refraction, and fit the eyes of all creatures, after the most curious manner, to make use of it?
“These, and suchlike considerations, always have, and ever will prevail with mankind, to believe that there is a Being who made all things, and has all things in his power, and who is therefore to be feared. We are, therefore, to acknowledge one God, infinite, eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, the Creator of all things, most wise, most just, most good, most holy. We must love him, fear him, honor him, trust in him, pray to him, give him thanks, praise him, hallow his name, obey his commandments, and set time apart for his service, as we are directed in the Third and Fourth Commandments, for this is the love of God that we keep his commandments, and his commandments are not grievous (I John 5:3). And these things we must not do to any mediators between him and us, but to him alone, that he may give his angels charge over us, who, being our fellow servants, are please with the worship which we give to their God. And this is the first and the principle part of religion. This always was and always will be the religion of all God’s people, from the beginning to the end of the world.”
Sir Isaac Newton stated: “There is one God, the Father, ever-living, omnipresent, omniscient, almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth, and one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. … To us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him. That is, we are to worship the Father alone as God Almighty, and Jesus alone as the Lord, the Messiah, the Great King, the Lamb of God who was slain, and hath redeemed us with His blood, and made us kings and priests.”
Sir Isaac Newton died March 20, 1727.
Newton stated (as cited in “The Religion of Sir Isaac Newton,” Frank E. Manuel, editor, London, Oxford University Press, 1974, p. 112): “And when you are convinced, be not ashamed to profess the truth. For otherwise you may become a stumbling block to others, and inherit the lot of those Rulers of the Jews who believed in Christ, but yet were afraid to confess him lest they should be put out of the Synagogue. Wherefore, when you are convinced, be not ashamed of the truth, but profess it openly and endeavor to convince your Brother also that you may inherit at the resurrection the promise made in Daniel 12:3, that ‘they who turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars for ever and ever.’ And rejoice if you are counted worthy to suffer in your reputation or any other way for the sake of the Gospel, for then, ‘great is thy reward’!”
In 1988, an FBI source inside the Muslim Brotherhood revealed that the Islamist group’s proxies in America had a six-phase plan to “institute the Islamic Revolution in the United States.”  Among these front groups was The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a think tank committed to the “Islamization of knowledge.” This ideology, as Professor Vali Nasr writes, entails the subordination of scientific inquiry to “the mere implementation of the assorted teachings of the Shariʿa.”
Over the last three decades, IIIT’s part in the Brotherhood’s plan has met remarkable success. The institute has made itself an indispensable resource for Islamic studies scholars: It has provided funding for over 70 active researchers based at institutions across America (see appendix); it has spent millions of dollars on endowing chairs in Islamic studies; and it has publicized the research of hundreds of like-minded academics at its Summer Institute for Scholars.
IIIT’s activities are integral to the Brotherhood’s broader strategy of inciting an international Islamic revolution. As an official IIIT handbook notes:
At a time when we are forced to fight and defend ourselves on political, economic and military fronts … (these efforts) can be accomplished by developing (the Ummah’s, that is, the Muslim community’s) ideological power and the power of the “islamization of knowledge (sic)” to effectively harness its full potential.
In other words, the long-term success of the Islamists’ revolution is dependent not only on success on the battlefield and at the ballot, but also on the cooptation of education in order to foment popular sympathy for the Brotherhood’s objectives.
While IIIT’s actions are ostensibly nonviolent, it has not hesitated to cultivate ties to international terrorists. In 2002, an anti-terrorism taskforce raided the IIIT’s office. Based on the evidence obtained in this investigation, U.S. Customs Service Special Agent David Kane said in a sworn affidavit that IIIT co-founder and former vice president for research, Jamal Barzinji, was “not only closely affiliated with PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] . . . but also with Hamas.”
Furthermore, IIIT provided donations to the front organization of convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami al-Arian, formerly a professor at the University of South Florida. Al-Arian subsequently wrote a thank you note to IIIT, in which he emphasized that his organization and IIIT are essentially a single institution rooted in “an ideological and cultural concordance with mutual objectives.”
While IIIT is unapologetic about its links to violent Islamism, it is less forthright about the sources of its generous revenue. It is clear that the Brotherhood provided the start-up money for IIIT in 1988, when the aforementioned FBI memo notes that the organization had almost “unlimited funds” at its disposal. That was 30 years ago. Nevertheless, today, IIIT’s assets appear undiminished. Yet IIIT’s website does not solicit donations; indeed, a search for “donate” on the site returns no relevant information.
This raises the question: Who is supporting IIIT today?
We cannot know for sure. However, we do know that IIIT has never shirked its loyalty to its parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood. IIIT’s website boasted—in a post that has now been removed—that two of its officials, Hisham Altalib and Abubaker Al-Shingieti, met with the leader of the Brotherhood and then-president of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, in New York on September 24, 2012. Morsi “welcomed the participation of IIIT in the reform of higher education in Egypt.”
Furthermore, IIIT has cultivated relations with the wealthy Qatar Foundation, an arm of the Qatari government. Qatar is one of the world’s foremost state sponsors of international terrorism. Moreover, the state enforces its conception of the Shariʿa at home. Its laws prescribe death for apostates and Muslims who commit adultery with non-Muslims; uphold the incarceration of men found guilty of homosexual relations; and sanction one of the world’s most extensive and brutal human-trafficking systems.
Qatar has sought to sanitize its illiberal reputation by constructing an “Education City” in the nation’s capital, Doha. Education City is a network of campuses including Islamic colleges and proxy estates for six major U.S. universities: Texas A&M, Virginia Commonwealth, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, Northwestern and Georgetown. The Qatar Foundation covers the expenses for these institutions to maintain their campuses in the country. It has invested over $400 million in Education City.
Qatar has portrayed Education City as a repression-free zone that respects Western norms in a kingdom that otherwise upholds the rule of Islamic law. Yet Islamists with terrorist affiliations, including IIIT’s former director, Dr. Louay Safi, teach there. Furthermore Professor Jasser Auda—an active associate of IIIT with extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood—is also based there.
Yet the six U.S. universities listed above have shown no inclination to repudiate their Qatari sponsors. These institutions legitimize the Qatari regime, sanctioning the presence of violent Islamists in Education City. Their actions are reminiscent of IIIT-funded scholars’ complicity with their own sponsors’ illiberal, “revolutionary” agenda.
For too long, American universities have allowed IIIT to shape the development of Islamic Studies in this country. They have ignored IIIT’s anti-intellectualism expressed in its commitment to the “Islamization of knowledge,” meaning the suppression of scholarship not sympathetic to Islamists. Left-wing activists who censor campus discussions about radical Islamism provide cover for IIIT’s regressive ideology. They further its agenda to suffocate any scrutiny of Islamism and the broader Islamic tradition.
It is time to bring IIIT’s action to light. It is time for parents, students and policy makers to demand that IIIT ends its role in the radicalization of Islamic Studies—a discipline that has long showed itself predisposed to anti-Western agendas. – The Clarion Project
Ryan Mauro is the national security analyst and Shillman Fellow for the Clarion Project. This article was written with the assistance of Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.
Appendix I: Selective List of Professors with Ties to IIIT
(The following list, while not exhaustive, demonstrates the extent of IIIT’s infiltration into American universities.)
George Mason University: Abdulaziz Sachedina: IIIT Chair in Islamic Studies. IIIT funded the position with a gift of $1.5 million.
Cemil Aydin: member of IIIT’s Council of Scholars (now at UNC-Chapel Hill).
Sumayya Al Shingieti: IIIT recognized Sumayya Al Shingieti for completing her Bachelors’ degree in film and video studies at George Mason University and receiving an award for the film she produced.
Shenandoah University: Calvin Allen Jr.: “Dr. Allen signed last year an agreement with IIIT to cooperate in ‘course development, educational programs, and research with a goal of promoting an understanding of Islam and Muslims in America, and Islamic civilization and culture,’ based on ‘the principles of equality and reciprocal benefit.”
Hartford Seminary: Heidi Hadsell: “Professor Hadsell praised the special relationship between the Harford Seminary and IIIT and the continued support that the seminary receives from IIIT, particularly in the area of Imam Training and education, and the study of Christian-Muslim relations in general.”
Mahmoud Ayoub: member of IIIT’s Council of Scholars whose teaching of courses about Shia Islam was sponsored by $35,000 from the Alavi Foundation in September 2012.
Huron University College: Ingrid Mattson: member of the IIIT’s Council of Scholars
United States Naval Academy (Formerly): Ermin Sinanovic: IIIT’s Director of Research and Academic Programs.
Binghamton University: Seifudein Adem is there, as was the late Ali Mazrui, a very radical preacher.
Howard University: Sulayman Nyang (retired from Howard): member of IIIT’s Council of Scholars.
Altaf Husain: IIIT recognized the academic achievements of Altaf Husain for receiving tenure at Howard University.
University of Notre Dame: Asma Afsaruddin: member of IIIT’s Council of Scholars
University of Delaware: Muqtedar Khan: member of IIIT’s Council of Scholars
American University: Mohammed Nimer: visited IIIT with American University students in 2013 to discuss the “Islamic revival and role of Islam in politics of the Muslim world.”
University of Southern California, College of Letters, Arts & Sciences: Mazen Hashem: member of IIIT’s Council of Scholars
University of Maryland: Ahmad Kazemi Moussavi: former Iranian diplomat, has spoken several times for IIIT about Iran. He is no longer listed in the faculty directory on the University of Maryland’s website (here).
Fatima Mirza: IIIT recognized the academic achievements of her for completing her Ph.D. in social work at the University of Maryland.
Charles Butterworth: participated in IIIT’s 2012 Summer Institute for Scholars and the 2011 Friends of IIIT/Iftar Dinner.
Manhattanville College: James Jones – has lectured at IIIT on the challenges of Islam to and in the U.S.
Georgetown University: Jonathan Brown – has lectured at IIIT multiple times and participated in many of its programs.
John Esposito – has lectured at IIIT multiple times and participated in many of its programs.
John Voll – has lectured at IIIT multiple times and participated in many of its programs.
University of Virginia: Rachel Mann – has lectured at IIIT about non-violent activism.
Firas Barzinji – IIIT has recognized his achievements for completing his Masters’ Degree in Business Administration, University of Virginia.
Middle Tennessee State University: Ron Messier – has lectured at IIIT about his book, Jesus, One man, Two Faiths; A Dialogue between Christians and Muslims.
Santa Clara University: Farid Senzai – IIIT recognized the academic achievements of Farid Senzai for receiving tenure at Santa Clara University
Union Theological Seminary: Serene Jones – has attended events with IIIT and has shared her thoughts about her relationship with IIIT (x)
George Washington University: Mohamad Faghfoory – has attended events with IIIT and has shared his thoughts about his relationship with IIIT (x)
Appendix II: IIIT Research Grant Recipients
Florian Pohl is an associate professor of religion at Emory University’s Oxford College and received a research grant from IIIT.
Madiha Tahseen recently completed the requirements for her doctorate in Applied Developmental Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), and she received a research grant from IIIT.
Nazila Isgandarova is the spiritual and religious care coordinator at Ontario Multifaith Council and the spiritual care provider at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and received a research grant from IIIT.
Nermeen Mouftah is a lecturer in the Departments of Anthropology and Religious Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and received a research grant from IIIT.
Oliver Leaman is a professor of philosophy at the University of Kentucky, and received a research grant from IIIT.
Samy Ayoub is a postdoctoral faculty fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and received a research grant from IIIT.
Aasim Padela is the director of the Initiative on Islam and Medicine and an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, and received a research grant from IIIT.
Emad Hamdeh earned his Ph.D. in Islamic and Arabic studies from the University of Exeter and is adjunct professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ; he received a research grant from IIIT.
Sameera Ahmed is director of the Family & Youth Institute (www.thefyi.org), a clinical assistant professor at Wayne State University, a scholar at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), an associate editor for the Journal of Muslim Mental Health (JMMH), and a board-licensed psychologist in Ohio and Michigan. She received a research grant from IIIT.
IIIT Resident Scholars
Asaad Al-Saleh is an assistant professor of Arabic Literature, Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at Indiana University.
SherAli Tareen is an assistant professor of religious studies at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA.
Mustafa Gökçek is an associate professor of history at Niagara University in Niagara Falls, NY.
Abdulaziz Sachedina is a professor and IIIT chair in Islamic Studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.
Nathan J. Brown, is a professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, former president of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), and a scholar and author of six books on Arab politics.
Yahya M. Michot (Belgium, 1952) joined Hartford Seminary in 2008 as a professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations and is editor of the journal Muslim World.
Najib George Awad is a Syrian-Arab Christian theologian and poet. He is an associate Ppofessor of Christian theology and the director of the international PhD program in Hartford Seminary, CT.
Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore.
Mohamed Mosaad Abdelaziz Mohamed is an assistant professor of religious studies at Northern Arizona University.
Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D., is an internationally known interdisciplinary scientist of Palestinian descent, born at sea and raised in the United States.
Abadir M. Ibrahim is a J.S.D. candidate at St. Thomas University School of Law LL.M./J.S.D. program in Intercultural Human Rights and has two LL.M. degrees — one in international law and one in human rights law.
Seifudein Adem is an associate professor of political science and the associate director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies, SUNY Binghamton.
Emin Poljarevic is a visiting scholar at the Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies Department at the University of Edinburgh.
Ahmad Najib Burhani is a PhD candidate in religious studies at University of California-Santa Barbara.
Ahmad Kazemi Moussavi is a professor of Islamic law and modern Islamic developments who currently teaches at George Washington University.
Mojtaba Mahdavi is an associate professor of political science and Middle East studies at the University of Alberta, Canada.
Peter Mandaville is the director of the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies and a professor of government at George Mason University.
John O. Voll is a professor of Islamic history and past associate director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
Abdullah Al-Arian is an assistant professor of history at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar.
Jonathan Brown is the Alwaleed bin Talal chair of Islamic Civilization and director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University.
Louay M. Safi is a professor at the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies.
Ali A. Mazrui, who died in 2015, was the Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities and director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University, State University of New York.
Kamal Abu-Shamsieh was born in Ramallah and is currently a PhD student at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA in the area of the cultural and historical study of religion.
Jasser Auda is a professor teaching at the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies in Doha, a founding member and a member of the executive board of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, a member of the academic committee of the IIIT and a fellow of the International Institute of Advanced Systems in Canada.
Mahmoud M. Ayoub was born in South Lebanon. He received his education at the American University of Beirut (BA, Philosophy, 1964), the University of Pennsylvania (M.A., Religious Thought, 1966) and Harvard University (Ph.D., History of Religion, 1975).
Usaama al-Azami is a PhD candidate at Princeton University’s Department of Near Eastern Studies.
Jacquelene Brinton received her MA. and PhD. from the University of Virginia in August of 2009 in the Department of Religious Studies with a specialty in Islamic Studies.
Carl W. Ernst is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor and co-director of the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.
Katrin Jomaa is an assistant professor at the University of Rhode Island with a joint appointment in the Departments of Political Science and Philosophy.
Mouez Khalfaoui is a junior professor of Islamic Jurisprudence at the University of Tuebingen, Germany (since 2012).
Shahirah Mahmood is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin Madison.
Hamid Mavani obtained his MA and PhD from McGill University at the Institute of Islamic Studies.
Ebrahim Moosa is a professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Notre Dame.
Asaad Al-Saleh is an assistant professor of Arabic, comparative literature and cultural studies in the Department of Languages and Literature and the Middle East Center at the University of Utah.
Christopher B. Taylor is currently a visiting researcher at Georgetown University in the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs.
Sarra Tlili is an assistant professor at the University of Florida in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures.
David Vishanoff is an associate professor in the Religious Studies Program at the University of Oklahoma, where he teaches courses on the Qur’an, Islamic law, Islamic theology and comparative religion.
Jamal Barzinji is the president of IIIT, USA. He was a founder and has served as president of the Muslim Students Association and is a founder of Islamic Society of North America.
Yaqub Mirza is the president and CEO of Sterling Management Group. He is also an advisor to the board of trustees of the Amana Mutual Funds, a member of the board of directors of the University Islamic Financial Corporation and a member of the Board of Trustees of George Mason University Foundation, Inc. He holds a MSc from University of Karachi, a PhD in physics and an MA in teaching science from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Abubaker Al Shingieti is the executive director of the IIIT, USA.
Ermin Sinanovic is the director of research and academic programs at IIIT.
Iqbal Unus is a former director of The Fairfax Institute (TFI), the instructional division of IIIT, where he has also served as director of human development and director of administration since 1989.
Asifa Quraishi-Landes is an associate professor of law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Mohammad Fadel is an associate professor in the faculty of law at the University of Toronto.
Asma Afsaruddin is a professor of Near-Eastern languages and culture at Indiana University.
Andrew March is an associate professor of political science at Yale University.
Muqtedar Khan is a professor of political science and the director of Islamic studies at the University of Delaware.
Kenneth Honerkamp is a professor of religion at the University of Georgia.
Imad-ad-Dean Ahmed is a professor of religion and science at American University and Wesley Theological Seminary.
David Warren is a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Edinburgh.
Abdallah El Sheikh Sidahmed is a professor of economics at El Neelain University in Khartoum, Sudan.
Charles Butterworth is a professor of government at the University of Maryland.
Abdallah Al Arian is an assistant professor of history at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar.
Muhammad Faghfoory is a professor of religion at George Washington University.
Douglas Johnston is the president and founder of the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy.
Ahmed Kazemi Mousavi is an adjunct professor in the School of Languages, Literature and Cultures at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
Norton Mezvinsky is the Distinguished University Professor, Emeritus, at Central Connecticut State University and president of the International Council for Middle East Studies.
Ali Mazrui who died in 2015, was Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities and director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University, State University of New York.
Seifudein Adem is the associate director of the Institute for Global Studies at SUNY Binghamton.
Muhammad Nimer is a professor of International Relations at American University.
Marybeth Acac is a PhD candidate in the Department of Religion at Temple University.
Sherman A. Jackson is the King Faisal Chair of Islamic Thought and Culture at the University of Southern California.
Khaleel Mohammed is a professor of religious studies at San Diego State University.
Aisha Musa is an assistant professor of religion and Middle Eastern and Islamic civilization studies at Colgate University.
Imtiyaz Yusuf is the director of the Center for Buddhist-Muslim Understanding in the College of Religious Studies at Mahidol University in Thailand and a senior fellow at the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University.
 The website http://www.iiit.org/ provides The International Institute for Islamic Thought’s description of its own activities. For IIIT’s association with the Muslim Brotherhood, see FBI Memo, “An Analysis of Religious Divisions in the Muslim Community of Toronto,” 1988. The document was obtained through FIOA by The Investigative Project on Terrorism (www.investigativeproject.org).
 The International Institute of Islamic Thought, “Islamization of Knowledge: General Principles and Work Plan,” No.1 (1988).
 Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr, “Islamization of Knowledge: A Critical Review,” Islamic Studies, 30.3 (1991), 387-400.
 IIIT has established at least three chairs over the last six years at the cost of over 3.5 million dollars. These include The IIIT Chair in Islamic Studies at the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University (GMU), which was endowed in 2012; The Faculty Chair in Islamic Chaplaincy at Hartford Seminary currently—endowed in 2013; and The IIIT Chair in Interfaith Studies at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY—endowed in 2012.
 See the list of scholars who have presented at IIIT conferences since 2009 at The Summer Institute of Scholars webpage on IIIT’s website.
 AbuSulayman ed., “Islamization of Knowledge,” International Institute of Islamic Thought, 1989, 3rd edition, 84-85; see Kyle Shideler and David Daoud, “International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT): The Muslim Brotherhood’s Think Tank,” Center for Security Policy Occasional Paper Series (July 28, 2014).
 “Proposed Redacted Affidavit in Support of Application for Search Warrant (October 2003),” United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, published at The Investigative Project on Terrorism (www.investigativeproject.org). For more on Barzinji, who passed away in 2015, see The Investigative Project on Terrorism’s biography.
 For the letter, see “Exhibit 325,” at the Investigative Project on Terrorism; on the indictment, see The US Department of Justice, “Sami Al-Arian Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Provide Services To Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” Press Release (April 17, 2006).
 See above, n. 1.
 Meira Svirsky, “Brotherhood Influence OP Inside US Academia Success,” Clarion Project (May 5, 2014).
 The direct relationship between the government of Qatar and the Qatar Foundation is noted at the Foundation’s official website.
 See the official report of Human Rights Watch, an organization that usually reserves such criticism for Israel and the West.
 Washington Post, “Texas university gets $76 million each year to operate in Qatar, contract says” (March 8, 2016). The money is paid to the Qatar Foundation, which then gives it to the school of the student.
 The Washington Post, “In Qatar’s Education City, U.S. colleges are building an academic oasis” (December 6, 2015)
 On Qatar’s Education City, see The Washington Post, “In Qatar’s Education City, U.S. colleges are building an academic oasis” (December 6, 2015); on Louay Safi’s position, see his faculty biography at the website of Qatar’s Hamad bin Khalifah University.
 On Auda’s role in institutions in Education City, specifically the new research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE), see the Qatar Foundation announcement concerning “Creating CILE”; on Auda’s ties to the brotherhood, see Ryan Mauro, “US Professors Participate in Brotherhood-Linked Program,” Clarion Project (October 10, 2013); for IIIT’s role in publishing Auda, see here.
Weisman is rightly concerned. Jew-hatred is becoming increasingly popular and moving closer to the mainstream in the US. Extremists on both the Right and the Left are finding it easier to speak in ways that would have been taboo only a few years ago. Anti-Jewish hate crimes have increased sharply in recent years as well. So you would think Weisman would have plenty of material.
But in 1052 words, all he is able to talk about is the so-called “alt-right,” as exemplified by a couple of right-wing conspiracy theorists, Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec.
I am sure Weisman isn’t making up stories about the hate mail he is getting, and that much of it has anti-Jewish themes. But can you write about anti-Semitism without mentioning the Imams who have called for the murder of Jews from their pulpits? Can you write responsibly about it without mentioning the harassment of Jewish students on college campuses by members of organizations like Students for Justice in Palestine, some of whom openly express admiration for Hitler? Can you write about it without discussing the prevalence of Jew-hatred in the black community, and the “intersectional” embrace of Jew-hater Louis Farrakhan by the progressive movement?
Weisman and the Times couldn’t, or didn’t want to. Instead, he praises the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center (which, like him, is blind to left-wing and Muslim Jew-hatred) and attacks Jewish organizations for being – get ready – “focused on Israel!”
If the vinyl banners proclaiming “Remember Darfur” that once graced the front of many American synagogues could give way in a wave to “We Stand With Israel,” why can’t they now give way en masse to “We Stand Against Hate”?
I don’t see a lot of liberal synagogues standing with Israel these days, but that is another topic. Weisman closes with a suggestion for American Jews: they should “[embrace] Judaism as a vital part of America pluralism — and [find] the spiritual meaning in the religion,” which seems to mean that they should replace Judaism with political progressivism, a trend that has been underway for some time among liberal American Jews.
Now let’s turn to another Times staffer, the venerable Isabel Kershner, the Times’ Jerusalem correspondent. In a “news” article in the Middle East section of the paper, she tries to explain why “In Israel’s Poorer Periphery, Legal Woes Don’t Dent Netanyahu’s Appeal.” Recent polls are showing PM Netanyahu’s Likud surging ahead, despite his unpopularity in the trendy parts of Tel Aviv. So Kershner goes to the not-so-trendy Kiryat Malachi (city of angels) where the mostly mizrachi [Jews who immigrated to Israel from the Middle East and North Africa] population supports him. How can it be that they simply don’t care about the corruption investigations underway against “Bibi, as he is lovingly nicknamed?”
One explanation would be that people who remember, or whose parents remember, the treatment Jews received at the hands of the Muslims among whom they lived don’t trust the Israeli Left, which keeps trying to give away parts of the country to the Arabs in the name of “peace,” which the Arabs will never provide. In other words, it is a disagreement over policy, and Bibi (even those who do not love him call him “Bibi”) has managed to stand firm against pressure from the US and Europe to commit suicide. It also doesn’t hurt that he is taking a tough line against Iran, that on his watch the economy has boomed, that he has made some major diplomatic gains for the “isolated” Jewish state, and that he has kept us out of major wars.
The corruption investigations, the details of which have been leaked on a daily basis to the media, have a smell of contrivance about them. It may turn out that some of the accusations are at least in part true, but most supporters feel that these are small matters, no politician is perfect, and his overall performance on the most important issues has been excellent.
That would be the simple answer. It explains why Bibi is popular everywhere in Israel, except among the bitter left-wing politicians that used to run the state and their academic, cultural and media partners. The real mystery Kershner should explore is not why he has so much support in the periphery, but rather, why they hate him so much in North Tel Aviv.
But Kershner misses the obvious, and implies that the answer is to be found in identity politics, the historical grievance of the mizrachim against the Ashkenazi establishment, and perhaps in quaint North African religious beliefs. After describing her visit to the tomb of the Baba Sali (a mystical rabbi revered by the Moroccan Jewish community) and talking about amulets, she might as well have echoed Barack Obama’s 2008 remark that working-class voters “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them…”
But the words of her (very articulate, by the way) interviewees refute this implication:
Like Mr. Begin, Mr. Netanyahu is Ashkenazi, while the current leader of the center-left Labor Party, Avi Gabbay, is the child of Moroccan immigrants. But Netanyahu supporters deride Mr. Gabbay as a political novice and disregard his ethnic origins.
“We are not racists,” Mr. Ayyash [Yehuda Ayyash, 58, a greengrocer in the blue-collar town of Kiryat Malachi in southern Israel] said. “We are rightists.”
And the police investigations of Netanyahu?
“We are all Bibi,” said Erez Madar, 33, a hairdresser in Kiryat Malachi. “Let him have a cigar. He deserves an airplane.”
Indeed, most of us agree, which is why we keep voting for him.
Sometimes people ask me why liberal Americans are often so wrong about anything connected to Jews or Israel, despite the fact that they are seemingly obsessed with these subjects.
Maybe the answer is that so many of them read the NY Times.
WINTERSVILLE, Ohio — One of the nation’s most conspicuous atheist activist groups is seeking to stop an Ohio pastor from holding a voluntary lunchtime Bible study for students at a local middle school.
The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) recently sent a letter to the superintendent of the Indian Creek School District to assert that it is unconstitutional for the district to allow Bobbyjon Bauman of the Valley Youth Network to offer the study during school hours at Indian Creek Middle School.
The group further called the pastor’s gospel presentations “predatory conduct.”
“It is unconstitutional for the district to offer religious leaders access to befriend and proselytize students during the school day on school property,” FFRF wrote. “This predatory conduct is inappropriate and should raise many red flags. The district cannot allow its schools to be used as recruiting grounds for churches during the school day.”
“When a school allows Church representatives to recruit students for the Church, it has unconstitutionally entangled itself with a religious message—in this case, a Christian message. This practice alienates those non-Christian students, teachers and members of the public whose religious beliefs are inconsistent with the message being endorsed by the school,” it asserted.
According to FFRF, the organization had been alerted by a local resident about Bauman’s Bible study, and also reviewed his social media posts, which included a notation on Feb. 23 that 165 students decided to attend that day.
“I shared the gospel with them using Romans 6:23 as the touchstone verse. None of the kids in any of the four Bible study groups even knew what the word ‘gospel’ meant, so I was able to share with them the significance of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ,” Bauman wrote.
“The kids were very responsive to the message and we had 30 of them request Bibles because they didn’t own one, so next week, we will be bringing them Bibles,” he outlined, explaining student interest.
It is not known if the Indian Creek School District plans to respond.
As previously reported, in 1791—just four years after the signing of the U.S. Constitution—Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and vice-president of the Bible Society of Philadelphia, said in expressing his disagreement with deists who were opposed to using the Bible in schools:
“In contemplating the political institutions of the United States, I lament, that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes, and take so little pains to prevent them. We profess to be republicans, and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government, that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible, for this divine book, above all others, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws, and all those sober and frugal virtues, which constitute the soul of republicanism.”
The first textbook used in the American colonies even before the nation’s founding, “The New England Primer,” was largely focused on the Scriptures, and was stated to be popular in public and private schools alike until approximately the early 1900’s. It used mostly the King James Bible as reference, and spoke much about sin, salvation and proper behavior.
“Save me, O God, from evil all this day long, and let me love and serve Thee forever, for the sake of Jesus Christ, Thy Son,” it read.
Noah Webster’s famous “Blue Back Speller” also referenced Christianity, including God-centered statements in reading lessons such as “The preacher is to preach the gospel,” “Blasphemy is contemptuous treatment of God,” and “We do not like to see our own sins.” Webster, a schoolmaster, is known as the “father of American education” and strongly advocated teaching children the Scriptures. Many of the Founders’ children are stated to have learned to read from the primer.
The Church-State separation group also contended that the fact that the Bible study is voluntary—that it is only attended by students who are interested—does not alleviate concerns.
“Please note that it makes no difference that students are not required to attend these preaching sessions. Voluntariness does not excuse a constitutional violation,” FFRF wrote. “The district must immediately discontinue allowing Mr. Bauman, or any other preachers, access to students during the school day.”
Prestigious American university Harvard has suspended a Christian student group that asked one of its leaders to step down after she started a lesbian relationship.
The group, Harvard College Faith and Action (HCFA), informed the unnamed woman—an assistant Bible course leader—that her relationship went against the group’s character standards.
HCFA has now been placed on probation for a year—the first time this has been done to any student group.
Harvard claimed the group’s decision violated its guidelines stipulating that campus student groups cannot discriminate on the basis of “sexual orientation.”
Co-presidents of HCFA, Scott Ely and Molly L Richmond, released a statement about the controversy to explain that the group includes “sexual purity” in its character standards.
“Our theological view is that—for professing Christians who are in leadership—celibacy is the only option outside the bounds of marriage. We have applied and do apply this policy regardless of sexual orientation.”
In an email released by The Harvard Crimson student newspaper, the woman said that she and her partner felt “extremely at peace” about their relationship.
Whilst the group is under probation, it will be barred from student fairs, lose free access to meeting rooms, no longer be allowed to advertise on campus and lose some university funding.
The American Bible Society (ABS) is being criticized for applying restrictive policies on the use of its recently acquired .bible top-level domain name.
The .bible domain has been managed by ABS since 2016 and at least 1,190 groups have acquired the domain name.
Some scholars, however, have raised concerns about how the ABS is running the domain name, with some complaining that the organization had applied restrictive policies that limit a wide range of faiths and essentially exclude any group with a scholarly or secular orientation.
Religion News Service reported that ABS had recently enacted a policy prohibiting registrants from posting any material that “espouses or promotes a religious, secular, or other worldview that is antithetical to New Testament principles, including but not limited to the promotion of a non-Christian religion or set of religious beliefs.”
After scholars with the Society of Biblical Literature, as well as some Jewish organizations, raised their objections, the ABS backtracked and modified the policy to include the participation of Jews.
However, some scholars have complained that the policy reversal did not go far enough. The revised policies reportedly forbid content that “advocates belief in any religious or faith tradition other than orthodox Christianity or Judaism.” It also does not allow “any content that communicates disrespect for God as He is revealed in the Bible” as well as “[a]ny content that communicates disrespect for the Bible.”
“The policy remains at its core insufficient,” said John Kutsko, executive director of the Society of Biblical Literature. “The ABS excludes those critical of religious traditions or views considered unorthodox by ABS, which is basically a good deal of scholarship,” he continued.
ABS said in a short statement that it had met with “complaining parties,” but insisted that it is “complete compliance” with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which manages internet resources and coordinates its domain name system.
In 2013, ABS had stated that it intends “to make .BIBLE domain names available to individuals and groups who have a healthy respect for the Bible.” The group also noted in its ICANN application that it intends to protect the .bible domain from “inappropriate use.”
The Saudi Arabia’s Communication and Information Technology Commission had objected to the application at that time saying, it believes that there is no clear consensus on who or what defines the “bible.”
The commission argued that allowing the domain to be registered would be “offensive to many people and societies on religious grounds.”
ABS said in a statement that its advisory council will review the criteria for membership on the dispute panel at its next meeting, but declined to provide further details.
“They wanted us to learn reading, writing and arithmetic, but it wasn’t No. 1. It wasn’t the most important thing,” Tebow said of his parents. “They wanted to instill love in our hearts, love for God, love for one another. They wanted us to be able to learn a work ethic, a dedication.”
Tebow, 30, did not attend public school until he attended the University of Florida, a college with about 50,000 students.
“I still have such a heart to encourage the homeschool kid,” Tebow told an ESPN analyst. “To let them know that they are loved, and they are special, and they might feel different, and sometimes might feel alone, sometimes might feel afraid. There might be those times where you go through that.”
He said he first had chores on his family’s farm, Bible study, and then academic work.
“I did a lot of different projects on Jackie Robinson, Jesse Owens … because I was so interested in it,” he said. “I also remember doing science projects on why my parents needed to let me take protein because they didn’t understand that protein was a good thing and I needed to take shakes.”
While he was homeschooled, Tebow did play sports with other public school students.
“I went to work on it, and eventually we became friends,” he said. “But people are going to view you as different, and that’s OK. And sometimes I think it’s pretty good to view yourself as different, and that’s OK.”
Tebow’s parents, Bob and Pam Tebow, were his homeschool teachers.
“The amazing thing about homeschooling is that you get to love on your kids, you get to embrace them, you get to believe in them, you get to share that with them over, and over, and over and over again,” Tebow said. “And the chances of them believing it are so much higher, and that’s what we want our kids to be … not be afraid of the world.”
The Daily Mail reports that Elim Church in New South Wales, Australia paid for digital signs which they wanted to display at Erina Fair shopping center. The signs were to read “the greatness of His Power. Jesus is Alive!”
The shopping center manager, however, told Martin Duffy, the pastor of the church, that the word “Jesus” was offensive and would have to be replaced with “Risen Christ.”
But, argued Duffy, “The phrase ‘Jesus is alive’… is the core message of the Christian faith and what Easter’s really all about.”
“It’s a good message. I think there’s a minority group out there that are constantly distorting the message of Jesus Christ. It’s just going on and on,” he continued.
The manager of the shopping center, Lendlease, has since reversed the decision and will allow the word “Jesus” to be printed on the church’s sign.
“It was an error of judgment to ask Elim Church to change its messaging, and we apologise unreservedly,” they said. “Lendlease values diversity and inclusion, and we welcome people of all backgrounds at our shopping centres.”
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — A United Methodist clergy woman in Tennessee has had her ministerial license revoked for officiating a same-sex “wedding” in violation of the UMC’s Book of Discipline.
The Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church withdrew the license of Anna Golladay, associate pastor at both St. Marks and St. Elmo United Methodist in Chattanooga, on Feb. 28.
Golladay said that she knew the Book of Discipline prohibited leaders from conducting same-sex ceremonies, but did it anyway.
“Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches,” section 341.6 reads.
The Book of Discipline also requires its leaders to personally “maintain the highest standards of holy living in the world.”
“If I am going to step out in faith knowing that I am potentially crossing a line based on the rules of a man-made book, I wanted to be intentional about that,” Golladay told local television station WTVC. “I wanted to be sure that it was exactly what God intended me to do.”
“I very intentionally agreed to this wedding because I believed wholly in my call to be their pastor,” she said.
Both congregations are open and affirming of homosexuals.
District Superintendent Randy Martin learned of the matter after being provided with a photo of the event and advised that it was Golladay who officiated the ceremony. Golladay was subsequently contacted about the matter, and as she confirmed that she was indeed involved, he submitted the information to the Scenic South District Committee on Ministry.
The Committee then voted to revoke her license, the announcement of which was made on March 4.
According to the United Methodist News Service, Martin said that Golladay may still continue to be a member of the two locations and is free to be involved in any activities.
One member of St. Elmo, who identifies as a homosexual and is the chair of the Staff-Parish Relations Committee, told reporters that he wants the prohibition removed from the Book of Discipline.
“We do understand that it is in the Book of Discipline, that is was wrong, but the Book of Discipline needs to be changed,” he told WTVC, claiming that Golladay was only doing God’s work.
However, as previously reported, Christians believe that sexual relations between those of the same sex are clearly prohibited by God’s immutable moral laws, and that all men are born with sinful inclinations that are a distortion from God’s original design at Creation. The sinful nature of man is why Jesus said in John 3:3, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
“After Paul had reviewed his catalog of sin and warned that those who give themselves to such sins will not inherit the Kingdom of God, he turned to the Church and reminded Christians, ‘Such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God’ (1 Corinthians 6:11),” writes Albert Mohler, as published on DesiringGod.com.
“This text declares that Christians, saved by the grace of God, are those who have come out of these patterns of sin, who have been justified, and whom the Holy Spirit progressively conforms to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ,” he explains.
Mohler says that this gospel hope of regeneration and rebirth for all men—no matter what the sin—is, of course, not proclaimed by the secular world.
“This message of transformation by the grace of God—the presentation of atonement and redemption in full biblical glory—stands in stark contrast to the message homosexuals are given by the secular world. Therapists, sexologists, physiologists, and sociologists say to homosexuals, ‘This is who you are. Just claim your identity as a homosexual man or woman and press for full rights in the normalization of your lifestyle,’” he laments.
“Christians have no right to excise homosexuality from the Bible, but our ultimate purpose is to move from the diagnosis of sin to the power of the gospel. We are the people who know that Christ has won the victory,” Mohler exhorts.
“The God of the Bible is not only clear in judgment, but powerful to save. The Church must declare without reservation the Bible’s doctrine of regeneration. This is not a self-help program or a mere sexual recovery program—it is a comprehensive program of transformation as the dead are made alive. The old things have passed away even as all things become new.”
Chinese authorities demolished the $2.6 million building of a 50,000-member evangelical congregation in the country’s northern Shanxi province.
The order to destroy the Golden Lampstand Church in the city of Linfen apparently came from China’s top officials instead of the less-powerful local authorities, according to the Christian organization China Aid.
It’s the second large church building to be demolished in the province in the past month.
People’s Armed Police forces used excavators and dynamite to destroy the building in Linfen, which had been financed by the congregation.
The church is among the nation’s unregistered congregations, meaning it is not within the government-controlled system and therefore is deemed illegal by the communist regime.
China guarantees “freedom of religion” in its law but not in practice, as authorities use technicalities such land or building violations to destroy churches. The state-run Global Times newspaper cited an unidentified local official claiming the church did not hold the necessary permits.
“The repeated persecution of Golden Lampstand Church demonstrates that the Chinese government has no respect for religious freedom or human rights,” said China Aid’s president and founder, Bob Fu.
An official at the local religious affairs bureau denied the demolition took place, the Voice of America reported.
China Aid noted that on Sept. 13, 2009, when the building was under construction, church members who slept at the site to guard it were awakened by 400 officials who beat them and razed the building. Thirty of the members were in critical condition.
State media at the time said the church leaders were charged with illegally occupying farmland and disturbing traffic order.
The church’s two pastors were arrested in 2009. Yang Xuan spent three-and-a-half years in prison and Yang Rongli was imprisoned for seven years.
Yang Rongli, who has been under government surveillance since her release in 2016, described the demolition Tuesday to a China Aid reporter.
“The police surrounded the Golden Lampstand Church. Patrol wagons guarded the church. Workers smashed the church’s glass,” she said. “At this point, excavators are digging into the church, but we are not allowed to enter or watch. The village head and the police from the local police station warned all the believers against entering the church. Now, we really have no idea what is going to happen.”