Listening to chatter in the media one gets the message loud and clear that ISIS, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Boko Haram, and a host of other violent Muslim organizations do not represent the true teachings of Islam.
On the other hand, Christianity is represented by crusaders who have been dead and buried for a thousand years, or a rogue demented shooter who attacks a Planned Parenthood outlet, so we are told.
Can we find a more objective and accurate measure for “true Islam” and “true Christianity”? Yes, we can. Jesus and Muhammad.
Muhammad was a raider who used the sword to advance his agenda. He killed and beheaded some 700 Jewish men in one episode, taking their wives and daughters as the spoils of war. He taught his followers to kill the infidel, or at least subject them to second-class status.
Jesus was a teacher who insisted that his followers put away their swords, even though his own life was at stake. He taught his followers to love their enemies and to pray for those who persecute them. He left this example for his followers: he gave his own life so that unbelievers can be saved.
To be a radical Muslim is to spill the blood of those who disagree with you. To be a radical Christian is to seal your testimony with your own blood, sacrificially giving your life so that others might live, in order to persuade many to be saved.
Peaceful Muslims are actually reflecting the life and values of Jesus more than those of Muhammad, at least with respect to violence. Murderous Christians are actually reflecting the life and values of Muhammad more than those of Jesus, at least when it comes to wielding the sword.
Jesus surprised his followers with his definition of greatness: “Whoever wants to be great among you will be your servant. And whoever wants to be first among you will serve all.”
Jesus got down on his knees and washed his disciples’ feet. He got up on his cross and died for his disciples’ salvation. He stood up and walked away from his tomb to be his disciples’ Lord.
Jesus speaks for Christianity.
May the Spirit of Christ speak to your heart,