Hi BC, sorry again for the long response time.....
Well I should preface my answer to your points by saying that from the Islamic point of view (and yes, I am a muslim, by the way), the revelations given to Jesus, Moses, in fact all of the other prophets have been changed by man, through mistakes in transmission, forgetfulness, or delibrate alteration. In contrast, a muslim considers the Quran unaltered (in my opinion this is not unreasonable from a historical point of view, although that's another discussion), so naturally if there is an inconsistancy between the Quran and another revelation (the Gospels for example), then a muslim would accept the Quranic account. Notwithstanding the above, from a Muslim point of view, all the Abrahamic religions are really one, as can be seen in 42:13, and other places:
Quran 42:13 wrote:In matters of faith, He has ordained for you that which He had enjoined upon Noah - and into which We gave thee insight through revelation as well as that which We had enjoined upon Abraham, and Moses, and Jesus: Steadfastly uphold the true faith, and do not break up your unity therein.
So with that in mind, moving on to your points:
BlackChakram wrote:The old and new testament express many times that God is in control. That if He wishes for a certain outcome, it will happen. So why would the Quran seem to preach "if you don't defend yourself as a nation, everything God wants will surely be wiped out"? This doesn't seem consistent. Especially when looking at how God allowed foreign nations to conquer Israel and burn their stuff to the ground numerous times.
Predestination, the idea that God has perfect knowledge of not only the past and present but also the future, is an important part of Islam. Like other religions where this plays a part, it can be troublesome to see how humans can have free will if God already knows their future actions - again this is really a separate discussion, but we are told in the Quran that we do indeed have free will, and that God does indeed know our futures, so we must understand that as best we can. So if God is in control of everything, why does he not simply protect the faithful from the attacks of others? Why must they fight to defend themselves, and why is there a danger that the faithful will lose, and that religion will be destroyed? Well maybe part of the answer is that this world is a test - the bad and good things that happen to us (individually and as societies) are tests of our character, our will to do good (Quran 21:35), and we will be judged on our actions after death. After all, it would be easy to live a good life if there were no suffering or hardship, if everyhting was perfect. But that isn't how the world is, and our test is how we respond to that fact.
I suppose the real answer is that God isn't concerned with the victory or defeat of nations - it is of no consequence to Him if all religion is wiped out - there isn't a 'battle' between God and some evil force which God might lose, as God is all powerful. Besides, there is no 'if' for God; the past, present and future of the universe is exactly how he created it and couldn't be any other way.
BlackChakram wrote:In the New Testament, Jesus preaches that the synagogues, churches and etc are no longer necessary because God now dwells within each believer individually. This is why the New testament preaches that at Jesus' death, the curtain in the synagogue cordoning off the holy of holies ripped in half. So why would the Quran go back and place emphasis on the importance of the structure anyways? To do that would cheapen the whole reason Jesus died and somewhat invalidate the fact that he was establishing a heavenly kingdom, not an earthly one?
I think there's more than one level here - yes the Quran is saying that places of worship, and by extension civilisation, is important, but it is what goes on in the churches, mosques etc that is the important bit, i.e. remembrance and consciousness of God, and worship of him to better ourselves. That is what would be destroyed if we didn't fight, and it's in our very best interest to protect this.
As an aside, the Quran does echo Jesus' message of release from the multitude of laws that the previous people had followed. The relevant passage is bolded in the quote below:
Quran 2:286 wrote:God does not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear: in his favour shall be whatever good he does, and against him whatever evil he does. O our Sustainer! Take us not to task if we forget or unwittingly do wrong! "O our Sustainer! Lay not upon us a burden such as Thou didst lay upon those who lived before us! O our Sustainer! Make us not bear burdens which we have no strength to bear!"