by Edip Yuksel

ISNET Homepage | MEDIA Homepage | Program Kerja | Koleksi | Anggota
| Indeks Antar Agama | Indeks Artikel |


Priests or peddlers?
"When missionaries came to South Africa, we  had  the  land,
they had the Bible. Then they told us, "Let's close our eyes
and pray." When we opened our eyes we saw that we  have  the
Bible,  they  have the land." (Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Prize
winning South African priest).
There are undoubtedly many individuals with high  moral  and
ethical   standards   among  the  clergy  members  of  every
religion. Even among confirmed atheists you  can  find  many
such  laudable  individuals.  However, the overall record of
organized religion and proselytizing  atheism  is  far  from
Politics,  money and religion... History is full of examples
of this trinity, as well as the trinity of  idols.  Religion
is  an  attractive and profitable business for many. You can
preach to others to close their eyes on faith and pay  money
to  your  church, mosque or temple in order to enter heaven.
When the market is good, you can sell  indulgence  and  holy
handkerchiefs.  You  can  learn  about  people's secrets and
crimes through confession and enjoy  the  power  to  forgive
them.  You  can  exploit  their guilt-complex as much as you
can. You become their gods with blackmail in your left hand,
and  forgiveness  in  the  other.  If there are some trouble
makers you can call them heathen and even excommunicate them
in  the  name of the conventional god, or gods. You can even
manipulate  kings  and  queens  to  declare  Holy  Wars,  or
Indeed,  church authorities are highly successful in abusing
the faith of gullible  masses.  They  inherit  thousands  of
years  of  experience.  They  craftily  mix gullibility with
faith, ignorance with divine mystery.
                                  They never asked for money
All the pioneers of monotheistic religions invariably fought
against  their contemporary professional religionists. Moses
against the Magicians, Buddha against the Brahmans and their
caste  system,  Socrates  against  the  Athenian  polytheist
clergymen, Jesus against the Pharisees, Muhammad against the
Arab's theocratic oligarchy.
These pioneers never asked for money for their mission. They
taught that the exploitation of faith is one of the  biggest
crimes.  They  tried  to  open people's minds. They exhorted
them not to follow the religion merely on faith,  but  after
reasoning.  They  defied  the idols which were the means for
every kind of exploitation. Their message shook the  corrupt
establishment.   Worried   about  their  business,  religion
brokers fought against them. Here  is  an  example  of  this
"Then  he  (Jesus) entered the temple area and began driving
out those who were selling. "It  is  written,"  he  said  to
them, "My house will be a house of prayer, but you have made
it 'a den of robbers.'" Every day he  was  teaching  at  the
temple.  But  the chief priests, the teachers of the law and
the leaders among the people were trying to kill him." (Luke
Paul,  "the  Pharisee,  son  of the Pharisee," was the first
Christian to start making  money  and  freeloading  for  his
preaching.   He  was  harshly  criticized for that behavior.
However, he made excuses for himself in 1 Corinthians 9:3-14
. Today's church is following Paul, not Jesus.
                                  When weeds replace flowers
Ironically,  soon  after  those brave revolutionary masters,
their teachings were distorted by their ignorant "followers"
and  the  hypocrites.  Superstitions and lies replaced truth
and wisdom. Weeds replaced flowers. After a long process  of
degeneration  and  mutilation,  they  became  the  norm  and
convention. That is the best time for religion brokers.  The
distorted  religions  with their many idols provide the best
culture for them to breed and grow. Human history is stained
by   numerous   disasters  caused  by  the  powerful  church
                                The holy form of colonialism
The clergy do not need absolute power  to  stain  the  human
history  with  wars and disasters. When they have relatively
less power, they become tools in the hand of  corrupt  kings
and  rulers.  Amawy,  Abbasy and Ottoman tyrants used Muslim
clergy for their corruption and  aggression  for  centuries.
The  British Empire used Christian missionaries as spiritual
conquerors, as angelic reserve forces behind their troops in
Africa,  Asia  and  the  New  World.  This insidious form of
colonialism  was  carried  out  by  Catholics,  Protestants,
Mormons,   with   full   governmental   support.  Massacres,
assimilations,  genocide,   slavery   were   justified   and
consecrated  by  the  corrupt  clergy. The ones that did not
want to participate in this action did no more than  to  say
to the oppressed party, "Turn your right cheek also."
                     The characteristics of nefarious clergy
Today's  clergy is no different than before. They adapt very
well to every condition. In the United States, churches  are
very   competitive  businesses  and  they  are  evolving  to
super-churches. Evangelists now use radio and  TV  to  raise
even   more  money.  Modern  technology  and  psychology  is
employed for this oldest of businesses. The volume of  money
and   assets   involved   annually   accounts  in  billions.
Emotionally exploited  widows  and  elders,  rich  and  poor
reward them generously for their only product: delusion; but
of the "holy" kind.
Related questions
1.  Why do you make profit for your religious service?
    Did Jesus or any of his disciples make money for
    their mission?
2.  Why did you turn your church to "a den of robbers"?
3.  What did Jesus mean when he told to his disciples,
    "You received free, give free..." (Matthew 10:8)?
4.  Jesus was a carpenter and was working to earn his living.
    Why do you not follow him as a role model?
5.  You are obviously following Paul, "the Pharisee, son of
    the Pharisee". He was not shy of telling people that he
    had the right to nourish himself with the milk of his
    flock, that is, his followers (1 Co 9:7).
    However, you have gone even far ahead of Paul.
    He was not charging when he was preaching the gospel.
    He was not making full use of it (1 Co 9:18).
    But you charge all the time.
    Why do you not have some mercy to your flock?
             Images, icons, idols, saints, priests --or God?
"You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not  make
for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above
or on the earth beneath or  in  the  waters  below."  (Deut.
The  Bible  is  full of verses prohibiting use of images and
statues in worship.  Asking  mediation  from  any  image  is
considered  a reproach to God. The first commandment is very
clear in condemning any kind of respect for images.
By asking a rhetorical question, the Bible teaches  us  that
we  cannot represent God with any image, since God is beyond
our imagination.
"To whom, then, will you compare God? What  image  will  you
compare him to?" (Isaiah 40:18)
Psalm 115:4-8    describes  idols  as  deaf, dumb and blind.
Then, it warns those who make them and those who trust  them
of becoming like them. Here are some verses:
"Break  down their altars, smash their sacred stones and jut
down their Asherah poles. Do not worship any other god  ..."
(Exodus 34:13-14)
"Do  not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for
yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land  to
bow  down  before  it.  I  am the Lord your God." (Leviticus
"... Destroy all their carved images and their  cast  idols,
and demolish all their high places." (Numbers 33:52).
"They  worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them."
(Psalm 106:36).
"The arrogance of man will be brought low and the  pride  of
men humbled; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day, and
the idols will totally disappear." (Isaiah 2:17-18).
Also see: Deut 4:16-28, 35;  5:8;  7:5,  25;  27:15;  Isaiah
27:9; Jeremiah 8:19; Micah 1:7; 5:13...
                                 From monotheism to idolatry
However,  today's  churches  are full of images and icons of
Jesus, Mary and countless so-called saints.  If  Jesus  were
back  today  he  would  consider  churches  as the center of
idolatry. A book published by the Jehovah's Witnesses raises
a  sound  question against the idolization of the cross as a
"Even  if  Jesus  had  died  on  a  cross,  would  the   way
Christendom uses it be reasonable? If someone you loved very
much was stabbed to death, would you worship the knife  that
killed  him?  Of  course  not.  It  would  be  an  object of
abhorrence to you. Further, according to the  Bible,  it  is
wrong  to worship anything or anyone apart from God himself.
The apostle John stated: "Little  children,  guard  yourself
from  idols."  (1  John  5:21) Yet, Christendom has made and
idol of the cross." (The Time For True  Submission  to  God,
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1982, p.
               Paul is carving idols by innovating mediators
In the Old Testament we  cannot  find  intercession  as  the
method  for  salvation.  The  doctrine  of  intercession  is
fabricated by Paul and his disciples. None of  the  biblical
messengers  and  prophets  used the names or images of other
prophets or messengers in their prayers. Paul is  the  first
one who created the institution of intercession or mediators
after Jesus.
"For there is one God and one mediator between God and  men,
the  man  Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all
men." (1 Timothy 2:5).
But, the word "one" in Paul's dictionary does not  mean  the
"one"  that  we  know.  When he says "one God," he means the
"one made of three and equal to three", when  he  says  "one
mediator," he means "the Spirit and numerous saints" besides
"...  because  the  Spirit  intercedes  for  the  saints  in
accordance with God's will." (Romans 8:27).
                                             Prayer  brokers
Christendom followed Paul and added numerous idols under the
title of intercessors or mediators. Many so-called  apostles
and saints have been appointed as mediators, it appears that
the Christian churches have turned to Hindu temples.
Previous mediators  and  intercessors,  (i.e.,  dead  prayer
brokers) paved the way for the living brokers. This provided
a very important  tool  for  the  clergy  to  exploit  their
("We just care about the icon." A newspaper clip quoting the
assistant secretary of a Greek Orthodox Church regarding the
stolen "weeping icon" is omitted.)
There  are  many  gullible  people who believe in fabricated
stories.  Fictitious  miracles  are  not   unique   to   the
Christendom;  they  can  be  witnessed  in  every  religious
community. Whenever clergy needs some  advertising,  hearsay
miracles  are  published.  Excited  zealots echo those tales
with uncontrollable exaggerations and distortions.
Nevertheless, here, I want to pull  your  attention  to  the
attitude  of  the  clergy.  The  clip  below  quotes  a very
interesting confession of idolatry by a clergyman: "We  just
care  about the icon." How much did Abraham, Moses and Jesus
care about icons? (The  Arizona  Daily  Star,  December  29,
Related questions:
1.  Why do you display images, icons and pictures in your
    churches? Why do you disobey numerous verses of
    the Bible regarding idolatry?
2.  The Bible sets many examples for us. None of those
    Biblical figures advocate intercession, except Paul
    and his followers.
    What is the reason for this major shift?
3.  Why do you "worship man-made  gods of wood and stone,
    which cannot see or hear or eat or smell"?
4.  As Catholic ministers, how can you claim that you
    possess the power of absolving the penitent?
    Who give you power to require people to confess
    their sins before you? Are you "God" or His sinful
    creature? How can you forgive the crimes or sins
    committed against somebody else?

Moslem Questions on Christianity Edip Yuksel P.O. Box 43476, Tucson, AZ 85733-3476 U.S.A. Tel/Fax: (520) 323-7636

| Indeks Antar Agama | Indeks Artikel |
| ISNET Homepage | MEDIA Homepage | Program Kerja | Koleksi | Anggota |

Please direct any suggestion to Media Team