By Todd Strandberg

The Infidels

I ran across a joke on one site that poked fun at Arabs by telling readers where to be safe from infidels and how to spot them: "Generally, living in the Middle East, you will not encounter infidels. This is because Allah the merciful, the compassionate, the loving, has set apart the sandiest, hottest, most uncomfortable place on earth for his chosen people. Occasionally however, you may spot one purchasing oil for his nation, America. A way to know if the man you see is an infidel, is to look for white skin, blond Hair, calm attitude, lack of turban, lack of suicide bomb, crucifix necklace, and enjoyment of bacon."

Today's politically correct world no doubt frowns on such humor. For some reason no one can explain, humor involving fun-poking at religious, ethnic, or homeland content - other than when directed at Christianity, Caucasians, and America--is considered bad form at best, and hate speech at worst.

Why are Christians so meek?

Perhaps the answer is found in the above statement about political correctness.

In doing some research for this article, I looked up several simple phrases that contained the key word "infidel." I was never able to find a single page written by a Christian who used the word "infidels" to describe the lost world.

When most Americans hear the word "infidel," they usually think of terrorists using the term to vent their hatred on Westerners. But, as part of the American media's bully tactics of using invective against anyone who brings up matters involved in profiling the non-white people of the world, looking at them as potential terrorists, those doing so are publicly castigated as bigoted and dangerous. So, Christians aren't allowed to use such harsh terms as "infidel" when speaking of, for example, Islam.

Islam has no such boundary.

Islam divides the world into the Dar-al-Islam (House of Islam), where the faithful rule, and the Dar-al-Harb (House of War), ruled by infidels. The Moslem belief is that the latter should become the former. These "houses" are in a permanent state of war interrupted only by temporary tactical truces (Hudna).

There is no question as to whether actual war should be waged. The only question is when, and the answer to that is a purely tactical one.

Everyone who is not within Islam must die is the unalterable tenet of the Islamic belief. The intention is to get rid of every "infidel."

The truth is, however, that an infidel is not just someone who denies Allah or the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Its basic definition can be applied to anyone who doubts or rejects central tenets of any religion.

Here are some definitions of the term from the American Heritage Dictionary:

Infidel - One who is an unbeliever with respect to some religion, especially Christianity or Islam. adjective 1. Of or relating to unbelievers. 2. Having no religious beliefs. 3. Not believing in a particular religion, especially Christianity. (Middle English infydel, from old French infidel, from Latin infidelis, infaithful.

From Wikipedia:

An infidel (literally, "one without faith") is an English word meaning one who doubts or rejects central tenets of a religion, especially in reference to Christianity or Islam. When used in an Islamic sense it serves as a translation of the Arabic word kafir (literally "one who denies the blessings of God") referring to all non-Muslims.

First used in Middle English c. 1460 (adj., n.), from the Middle French infidle, and from Latin infidelis "unfaithful," later "unbelieving," In the 15c. meaning "a non-Christian" (especially a Saracen); later "one who does not believe in religion" (1526). Also used to translate Ar. kafir, from a root meaning "to disbelieve, to deny," strictly referring to all non-Muslims but virtually synonymous with "Christian"; hence, from a Muslim or Jewish point of view, "a Christian."

In Christianity:

In Roman Catholic Christianity, the term "infidel" is an ecclesiastical term referring to one who does not believe in the divinity of Jesus or one who has not been baptized. A heretic, in contrast, is an individual who believes in the divinity of Jesus, but also knowingly holds beliefs that contradict Catholic dogma, while a schismatic is an individual who does not hold beliefs contrary to Catholic dogma, but denies the authority of the Catholic Church.

In Islam:

In Islam, the Arabic word kafir refers to a person who inwardly or outwardly denies Allah and/or the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the term is considered derogatory. The term is usually translated into English as "infidel" or "unbeliever." The Turkish equivalent of "kafir" is giaour.

Here are three examples that show the word "infidel" in its usages throughout its diverse history.

1613, Purchas, "The Meizin... prayeth God to inspire the Christians, Jewes, Greekes, and generally all Infidels to turn to their Law."

1704, Hearne, "Of their Skill in Magic much is spoken in Ancient Writers, but for our Part we are Infidel as to that Power, and therefore shall pass it over."

1715, Addison, "A Tory, who is the greatest Believer in what is improbable, is the greatest Infidel in what is certain."

Islam has not cornered the market on the word "Infidel":

Since the word is not connected to any religion, Muslims should be looked at as infidels in the eyes of the Christian world. The Bible is not shy about labeling non-believers as infidels. Scriptures from God's Word make clear the Lord's view of all who reject His instruction manual for man - the Bible.

2 Corinthians 6:15: "And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?"

1 Timothy 5:8: "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."

There should be a two-way street regarding the term, but somehow a gross disparity has developed over the years. Muslims are allowed to assail everyone else as infidels, in a derogatory sense, and Christians seem to be prohibited 'through societal pressures-- from asserting the right to claim Jesus as the one true Savior.

Christians by and large lack boldness. There is a general sense, when it comes to standing firm in the fundamentals of faith, that we need to be doormats for all who hate the truth that Jesus is the only way, truth and life-the only way to God the father and heaven. Christians have allowed themselves to be marginalized; they are usually accommodating even to the point of compromising their own faith.

We are living in a day and age where it is, from the world's point of view, acceptable to embrace every false god and sin under the son. But if Christian dares to speak the name of Jesus, we are ostracized and everyone looks at us like we are a most aberrant type of freak.

Love of God and the Infidel

In the early Middle Ages, Jews were forbidden to have Christian slaves; the laws of the decretals forbade Christians to enter the service of Jews, or Christian women to act as their nurses or midwives. Moreover, Christians, when ill, were not to have Jewish physicians. Jews were ordinarily restricted to certain definite quarters of the towns into which they were admitted, and had to wear certain dress by which they might be recognized.

The reason Jews had these types of rules set against them, terrible enough to make Hitler proud, was because they were viewed as infidels by Christian society of the time. This approach is wrong because it was motivated by hate, and the isolation of the Jews kept them from receiving the truth about salvation through Jesus Christ.

Christians are light to the world. They greatly influenced the pagan Roman Empire by sharing the faith with all who would hear the good news. In the book of Acts, the apostles are encouraged over and over to speak and act courageously, frankly, openly. The single exhortation that is used most frequently is the command to speak of Christ with "boldness."

There is a limit to our love for infidels. If non-believers are not willing to coexist peacefully in a Christian society, they should go live somewhere else. Many Moslems living in Europe feel they have a right to use violence to compel the greater society to bow to their god.

Every Knee Shall Bow

If you are an "infidel," living a "wicked" life by rejecting God's provision for your salvation along with other "heathen," the truth is supposed to prod your conscience in order to motivate you to "repent." Then God will be "faithful" and just to forgive you of your sins, and God will enable you to be "righteous" by the power of His "Holy" Spirit.

That, in a nutshell is the Christian message. I understand that, if you are an infidel from God's holy perspective, you don't believe it. But are you suggesting that the terminology is somehow wrong? Who is more qualified to judge who is and is not an infidel than the one who created us?