Abbot Tryphon is a priest-monk who is the abbot of All Merciful Saviour Orthodox Monastery on Vashon Island, WA. Orthodox Christian clergy and monastics renounce bloodshed, even in situations where the use of deadly force would be justifiable for others.
It is not Abbot Tryphon’s proper role to do police detective work, much less to fight off Muslim attackers or to use force to stop them from harming the monks under his authority. Instead, it is his vocation to live the Christian faith and to guide others toward it.
If we lived under the rule of law, the civil authorities would track down Muslims and others who violate the law by uttering death threats. Too bad that isn’t the case. We have a government that is gathering and examining vast quantities of data on Americans who are not suspected of any wrongdoing, but its operatives can’t be bothered to investigate and thwart genuine jihadi threats where the law has already been violated. Now the FBI is demanding a back door into all our software. As recent news reports have shown, the Obama administration is solely interested in shutting down Christians, conservatives, and those who uphold the Constitution. Muslims at home and abroad are the regime’s allies in its war against us.
My Personal Commitment to Love Everyone
On Tuesday of this week I posted on my blog, two quotations, one from the Holy Bible and one from the Qur’an. Titled “Qur’an vs. Bible”, I said nothing, letting the quotations speak for themselves. The ensuing firestorm that followed was not unexpected, I will admit, but when I received telephoned death threat of beheading, for “daring to quote the Holy Qur’an without understanding the Holy Qur’an, and disparaging the Prophet”, I decided to pull the posting from my Facebook page.
I am not afraid of dying for Christ, for dying a martyrs death for Christ’s sake, is to gain eternal life. I’ve often thought such a death might be my only way of getting into heaven. However, I do not want to bring harm to my monks, nor do I feel called by God to wage war against the religion of Islam.
I do feel called by God to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, giving witness through my blog articles and through my podcasts on Ancient Faith Radio, of the saving grace that comes with a life committed to my Lord, God, and Saviour, Jesus Christ. I am compelled to share with others the truth that is found in the Orthodox Faith, the very Church founded by Christ. But most importantly, I am compelled to share the love of Christ Jesus, the Saviour Who gave His life for the salvation of the world.
The peace that is mine, living the contemplative life of a monk, is all that I need in this life. The joy that has entered my heart because I have a relationship with a God Who has condescended to join His divinity with our humanity, in the person of Jesus Christ, is all that I could ever want in this life, and I am compelled by love to share this Christ with others.
I did not choose Christ, but He chose me. It is not I who can convert others to this Christ, but the Holy Spirit Who converts. Love is the mark of a Christian, and I believe with my whole heart that I must shine forth the love of Christ in the way I live my life, and in all that I say, write, and do. That others would see anything other than this love, by what I write, is painful to me.
From this day forward, I will write nothing about Islam that can possibly be seen as an attack on this religion, or on the people who adhere to this religion. I will refrain from making any observations that can be seen as critical of Islam. I will, however, continue to bring attention to the suffering of my Coptic and Syrian brothers and sisters who endure persecution, suffering and death, because of their Christian faith.
It is still my prayer that God will open doors that will lead to dialogue and friendship with members of the Muslim faith, and that I will one day be able to count among my friends, an imam. Meanwhile, I will continue to pray for peace in this world, and for a peaceful coexistence between people of faith, regardless of our differences. The bottom line is, we are all creatures of the Most High God, and are loved by God. We are all called to love one another, and to be good to each other. Peace must begin with me.
With love in Christ,
Here are the quotations; judge for yourself:
“So, when you clash with the unbelieving Infidels in battle (fighting Jihad in Allah’s Cause), smite their necks until you overpower them, killing and wounding many of them. At length, when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind them firmly, making (them) captives. Thereafter either generosity (free them) or ransom (them based upon what benefits Islam) until the war lays down its burdens. Thus are you commanded by Allah to continue carrying out Jihad against the unbelieving infidels until they submit to Islam.”
27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. 29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.
32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.