Drunk with the blood of the saints

Drunk with the blood of the saints - Graham Ford UK

‘Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, ‘Come, I will show you the judgement of the great whore who is seated on many waters,  with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and with the wine of whose fornication the inhabitants of the earth have become drunk.’  So he carried me away in the spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns.  The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her fornication;  and on her forehead was written a name, a mystery: ‘Babylon the great, mother of whores and of earth’s abominations.’  And I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the witnesses to Jesus.

When I saw her, I was greatly amazed.  But the angel said to me, ‘Why are you so amazed? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her.  The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to ascend from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the inhabitants of the earth, whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will be amazed when they see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come.’ [Revelation 17:1-8]

This striking passage from the Book of Revelation has stimulated a lot of commentary down the centuries as people sought to relate the events of their times to this prophetic image.  Many theories have been put forward as to the real identities that these images of Babylon the Great and the Beast represent.

However, in our own day, as we look out over a world under threat of destruction and upon the brutality that is penetrated upon Christians in their own lands, where over a quarter of the world’s Christians suffer from persecution, some of it genocidal, and where some may be accurately described as endangered species, this image delivers an understanding of these events we must grasp.

The image of the Beast being ridden by the prostitute Babylon the Great looks familiar to the relationship between the Islamic nations of the world and the West, or perhaps even the rich world, the world of cars, electricity, mobile phones and computers – perhaps just modernity. 

Consider these facts: 74% of the world’s oil reserves lie in lands of the members of OPEC and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.  85% of the world’s consumption of oil is by those lands which are neither in OPEC nor the OIC.  Truly, the value creation of economies of the rich industrialised and technologically advanced nations is inextricably linked to their access to the oil resource of the Muslim world.   Money talks and he who has the gold makes the rules.

When it turns out that Boko Haram, the Fulani tribesmen, Al Qaeda or ISIS get their flow of weapons from Islamic governments or their funds from rich Middle Eastern benefactors, the West does – nothing.  Some of the weapons and the ammunition is supplied by Western countries to Muslim nations who then break their End User Agreements, the agreements they made with the suppliers not to sell them to terrorists.  Sometimes it is a Western nation for break their own End User Agreements, most notably the USA.  Most of weapons originate from China who do not seem that concerned about agreements generally, while most of the ammunition appears to originate from Russia and the former Eastern-block countries, who also have little concern.  Arming criminals to murder Christians, it seems, is good businesses.

To be drunk is to continue to do a harmful thing in order to keep out reality, rendering the person incapable and unable to take responsible action.  Those who get drunk do so because they cannot face the reality of the past, nor their fear of the future.   The longer they stay drunk, the worse their future is likely to be, so they have even more incentive to stay drunk.

The West, that is the Christian-influenced nations, has been attacked by Islam for nearly 1,400 years.  It has continuously struggled to find a way to deal with the determination of Islam to dominate and terrorise by force and brutality, with mixed success.  Western governments fear 1.5 billion Muslims rising up against them more than any other threat.  The Victorian stateman Lord Macauley counselled his government not to antagonise the world’s Muslim population, as they were too numerous.  This is clearly the ongoing policy of the Foreign Office and explains much of its perfidious policy towards Israel over the last century, the Balfour Declaration being a rare exception.

Even when the British had won their war with the Ottoman Empire during the First World War, the West still treated Turkey with fear.  When Turkey was engaging in its genocide with their Christian Armenian, Anatolian and Greek populations during and after World War 1, the Western powers did nothing.  The genocide of the Christians in Smyrna in 1922 coincided with a goodwill visit of British and US Navy warships to the port of Smyrna.  Christians were jumping off the jetty into the sea to escape the murderous predations by the Muslims, who had risen up as one man to slaughter the city’s Christian inhabitants.  As the sailors looked on, they were commanded not to offer any help so as not to antagonise their hosts.   They just stood and watched the Christian men, women and children drown.

Today, the world continues its studied indifference to the plight of the Christians, and for the same reason.  Nothing must be done to antagonise their access to their most precious resource.   Nothing bad is going to happen, so they think, if they do nothing, whereas lots of bad things might happen if they intervene.  Nothing to see here – move along.

There are so many cases of this behaviour, it is difficult to know how to document it.  As just one example, the British government has taken virtually no Christian refugees in from Syria, while accepting many thousands of Muslim refugees.  It has even prevented Syrian bishops from travelling to the UK to talk about what is happening. 

The UN appears to now be dominated by Islam in both the General Assembly and in its various function organisations.  Criticism of Israel is often the main agenda item.  Christians go to the back of the queue when it comes to getting refugee status from the UNHCR, as JCM has documented in Thailand and others have elsewhere.

The incapacity, the inability to take responsible action, the fear, the blocking out of reality – these is the intoxication of the modern rich world, the world that could do something about it.  And when Christians do fight back, as happened in East Timor 30 years ago, or is happening in the Central African Republic today, the West roundly condemns these people for defending themselves, ‘continuing the circle of violence’, arguing that it only makes matters worse.  No, they defend themselves because no one else will.  Just like Israel.

The Western church is little better.  Some have tried to raise the profile of their persecuted bothers and sisters in their local churches.  The response is studied silence.  Let’s focus on needs near to home, they say, there is enough need here, we do not have to worry about what is happening over there.  Make too much of a fuss or try to explain why these things occur in terms of Islamic doctrines and the example of Mohammed and you are silenced, these things being regarded as being against the good reputation of the local church, even racist.  I know, I tried it.  Similarly, mainstream denominations do very little, more focused on interfaith dialogue, so called, than practical action or agitating for change.    The Bible tells us in a couple of places, ‘There is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked.’ [Isaiah 48:22, 57:21]   Trying to have a dialogue for peace to achieve peaceful and harmonious coexistence with leaders who are trying to stall for time until they have built up their numbers and strength to the point where they can rise up and wage jihad strikes me as an exercise in folly of the highest order.

However, at the heart of the problem, both the rich nations’ and the Churches’, is a fundamental problem of strategy, or rather a series of fundamental problems. 

Islam has no problem is committing atrocity after atrocity in the name of Allah: after all, Mohammed did, the so-called rightly guided Caliphs did.  Christians, on the other hand, still struggle with the Crusades as a great moral failure, one that the Church will go to any length to avoid.  Never mind that the 20 battles of the Crusades pales into insignificance compared against the 20,000 battles that Muslim forces have instigated down the centuries.  We exercise double standards.    It is bad that Christians did the Crusades, because it conflicts with Christian ethics.  However, because Muslim ethics encourage war against the People of the Book, that then makes their atrocities OK.  At least they are being true to themselves.  ‘To thine own self be true’ is a mantra that justifies an absolute moral relativism, one that prevents any meaningful response to jihad.

The second issue is that the rich need oil, otherwise they become poor again.  The Islamic world has the oil, and is happy to sell it, as it makes them rich.  The Islamic world then uses the money to spread Islam, buy weapons for jihad, and undermine the West.  This has become a little more complicated by Climate Change.  It is now recognised that to prevent climate change the world needs to taper off its fossil fuel usage down to zero over the next 30 years, starting now.  That would mean most of Islam’s oil reserves would stay in the ground, for ever.  And nearly everyone will have to forego cars, heating, plastics and air-conditioning (in many countries, especially the Gulf States, crude oil is the principle fuel powering the electricity generators, and largest use of the electricity is air-conditioning).

No one, it seems, wants to make this change, so either climate change isn’t happening, or if it is it has nothing to do with fossil fuel burning, or if it is to do with fossil fuels then it is going to be beneficial, or if it isn’t going to be beneficial it is too expensive to do anything about, or even if it isn’t too expensive it places the nations that take the issue seriously at a disadvantage to those who don’t.  So, any more to drink, anyone?  The trouble is, climate change will damage the lands of an increasingly Christian Africa and a Christian South America more than anywhere else, while possibly driving the vast Muslim populations of Pakistan and northern India and Indonesia to migrate.  Guess where they want will want to go?  What could possibly be the problem with that?

The third strategic issue is that while birth rates across the world are declining, especially the rich nations, the Muslim population birth rates remain high.  In Europe, the result is that Muslim population is rapidly growing, while indigenous populations are in decline having lost, it seems, the will to endure.  The result is that by the middle of the century, Muslims will be in the majority in a couple of European nations, one of them a nuclear power, and by the end of the century Muslims will be in the majority in many.  In a democratic country, that means the nation’s law making will be driven by Islamic, not Christian, values.  So, what we see in the Middle East or Nigeria today will become the common experience across Europe, with none to rescue here, either.   The result will be a wholesale abandonment of remaining vestige of Christianity and an embracing of Islam, just to survive, with all that comes with it, such as one’s children fighting and dying in the cause of Allah.

Given these strategic trends, it is hardly surprising that the best thing a rich nation can do is stay drunk, or at least act as though they were.  But what of the Church, the bride of Christ, what is she to do?

That is the topic of my next piece.

The Lord bless you all,

Graham Ford
President – Jesus Christ for Muslims