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Why Christianity is a Religion of Peace and Islam is Not - Written on September 11, 2012 at 12:00 am by Gary DeMar

"Abe" 2012/09/12 18:50:46
As we reflect on the anniversary of 9/11, I think it important for us to reflect on the contrast between how the genuine Christian faith is advanced with how the religion of Islam is advanced. Robert Spencer is one of our nation’s most articulate and spot-on critics of Islamic extremism. He is the author of The Truth About Muhammad, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), as well as other books on the relationship between Islam and terrorism. His more recent book, Religion of Peace? Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t, includes a short bio that informs readers that “Spencer lives in a secure, undisclosed location.” The reason for his self-imposed seclusion is because he fears for his life.

Considering what we know about Islamic radicalism in words and deeds, you would think that there would be dozens of authors who would be issuing similar warnings. Sadly, it’s not the case. Instead, we find shelves of books warning about Christian fundamentalism. “In 2006 alone,” Spencer writes, “major New York publishing houses unleashed such titles as”—


American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century by Kevin Phillips.


The Baptizing of America: The Religious Right’s Plans for the Rest of Us by James Rudin.


The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege by Damon Linker.


Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism by Michelle Goldberg.


Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America: An Evangelical’s Lament by Randall Balmer.


Piety & Politics: The Right-Wing Assault on Religious Freedom by Barry Lynn.


Religion Gone Bad: The Hidden Dangers of the Christian Right by Mel White.


American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America by Chris Hedges.


The impression I get from a list like this is that these authors consider conservative, Bible-believing Christianity to be America’s biggest threat. It is not unusual to hear some critics of Christianity point to the Crusades as an example of the violence of Christianity, and yet the study of Scripture and history illuminates the fact that the Crusades were often only ostensibly Christian—ambitious politics wrapped in Christian garbs. The Reformation happened to correct many of the deceptions and ignorances behind many of the ideas and practices involved in the Crusades. Some will then point to examples of retaliatory persecution by Christians in the 1500′s when Christians were still cleansing away from their understanding hundreds of years of humanistic syncretism from the mindset of the Church.


Then again, as I noted in yesterday’s article, it may be that as humanism has taken a renewed stranglehold over the worldview of many in the Church of America, misconceptions about violence’s place in advancing Christianity are misleading many Christians again today, and this has led Jewish people such as Mark Alan Siegel to view Christianity once again as a violent faith. We may well ask ourselves: Have our military operations in much of the Middle East over the last 60+ years been built on some of the same misconceptions as those behind the Crusades?


Make no mistake. Whenever we look into history and see where Christianity truly advanced in the world, it was not by the tip of a sword or the barrel of a gun. It was not accomplished by forcing western culture imperially on third-world countries. God has sometimes been gracious to allow the Gospel to spread in spite of such missteps but not because of them. To think otherwise would be to substitute humanistic methods for the method Jesus prescribed in Matthew 28:18-20.


Whenever Christianity has truly advanced, it has done so by taking root in the hearts of the people of a land, not by forcing external Christian facades on them. (Christianity does not teach, as does evolutionistic humanism, that man is merely the product of his environment.) It was done under circumstances of patient and charitable perseverance through hardship and sometimes even martyrdom. It was the Holy Spirit who moved powerfully in the hearts of people as frail human instruments of God faithfully preached the Word of God. The greatest advancers in Christianity from the Apostle Paul to Augustine to Bradford to Carey, have been those who personally sacrificed to persuade and build. We think, for example, of the ministry of Patrick in the British Isles. What a contrast to the history of Islam, which has almost exclusively advanced and maintained its control by threat of force.


The next time you go through security at an airport, ask yourself why you have to show your ID at least twice, put small bottles of liquid in a quart-size bag, remove every bit of metal from your body and place the whole lot in a plastic container, remove your belt and shoes, take your computer out of its bag and place it into a plastic container, undergo a near-strip search if one of the metal detectors goes off, be subjected to a forensic analysis of your carry-on bag due to a random call out. Is it because TSA suspects that Bible-toting, fundamentalist Christians might hijack the plane or that a group of Islamic extremists who have just prayed to Allah might do it?


Spencer highlights the absurdity of the near paranoia of liberal, leftist, anti-Christian pundits by recounting a story from February 2006 when he and Dr. Andrew Bostom were engaged in “an animated conversation with a liberal writer from New York who is well acquainted with Islamic terror” and now resides in the Netherlands. She “insisted that Christian fundamentalism was just as dangerous as the Islamic variety, and that equal attention should be devoted to defeating both.” As the conversation was winding down and it was nearing dusk, she told Spencer and Bostom “that she had to be going, as she was on a bicycle and couldn’t be out after dark, or she risked being attacked. ‘Who is going to attack you?’ asked Dr. Bostom. ‘Christian fundamentalists?’”


Of course, she had no such fear from Christians. It wasn’t a Christian who shot Theo van Gogh eight times while he was bicycling to work in Amsterdam on November 2, 2004. It wasn’t a Christian who then cut van Gogh’s throat, nearly decapitating him, and stabbed him in the chest with two knives and left them implanted with a five-page note attached. It wasn’t a Christian who wrote the note threatening Western governments, Jews, and former Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali who has been in hiding ever since.


Spencer’s book is a horror and a delight. It’s a horror because it describes the goals and tactics of radical Islamists. It’s a delight because it describes the goals and tactics of radical Islamists and shows that there is no comparison between them and the goals and tactics of Christians.

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Top Opinion

  • Nightmusic 2012/09/12 20:04:10
    Nightmusic
    +3
    Hedonists hate Christianity because it chastises them. If the Muslims ever take over this country, they won't chastise them, they'll kill them. and yet they hate Christians and Christ and Christianity. Probably because they know in their heart of hearts that it's true.

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  • MyPaperBleedsInk 2012/09/23 19:26:48
    MyPaperBleedsInk
    Christianity... a religion of peace? Ahahaha....
    Try death, intolerance, and hatred.
  • "Abe" MyPaper... 2012/09/23 19:32:13
    "Abe"
    "Christians" aren't "blowing up the Middle East" - Muslims are AND the "Christians" are being KILLED~~!! What the hell are you smoking? Must be a Muslim? Buddhist? Hindu? Satanist? Aetheist? Agnostic?
  • MyPaper... "Abe" 2012/09/23 19:33:09
    MyPaperBleedsInk
    Did I say they were?
    But you can't claim christians as peaceful people what with what they do now and have done in the past. Killing in the name of religion happens for every religion.
  • "Abe" MyPaper... 2012/09/23 19:40:54
    "Abe"
    Same old "talking points" ideology~!!
  • amoobrasil 2012/09/16 17:19:31
    amoobrasil
    Brilliant display of writing skills and written communication in the composition of this inquiry!

    The questioner, alas, may fall into a fallacy: comparing extremist Islam with Christianity in the last paragraph--apples and oranges.

    Extremist Christians applaud "conservative" politicians who would enact laws that take food and shelter from the poor and needy, hatefully and cynically blaming the victims by calling them "lazy" and "dependent".

    Extremist Christians have applauded the assassinations of doctors who worked at abortion clinics, justifying their approval by asserting that the doctors are murderers; therefore, they deserve the death penalty.

    Given a more volatile environment, I believe that some extremist Christians would take up arms and murder people they deem to be the enemies of their faith--jihadists, if you will.

    Mainstream Islam is a religion of love and peace. A mullah interviewed on LINK TV stated that reason can take us to the gates of paradise, but only love can transport us through. Please keep in mind that his is the spirit of Mohammed (PBHN).
  • Vision of Verve 2012/09/14 22:58:58
  • "Abe" Vision ... 2012/09/15 23:17:34
    "Abe"
    Well said~~!! :)
  • amoobrasil Vision ... 2012/09/16 17:29:02
    amoobrasil
    The practice of Islam, as is true with Christianity, often shames the religion by violating its core principles of love, forgiveness, and friendship.

    Do you hate Islam? If so, why? (I am not speaking of fundamentalist Islam.)

    And please consider the following comment about fundamentalist Christianity. And let me know in what way such Christianity is based on love and peace (fundamentalist Christians, like fundamentalist Muslims, give lip service to love and peace).

    I found the excerpt at http://www.debunkingskeptics....

    "The benefits of extreme belief systems

    "Now, this is not all bad. There are pros and cons to extreme belief systems such as this. As mentioned above, the Christian faith does give people a sense of purpose, identity, and meaning. It is true that many people have been helped by Christianity and made happier as well. So there are benefits of this faith, even if the doctrines it’s based on are in error. What it does is take the chaos and uncertainty out of life and the world for people, giving them a solid sense of purpose, a definite future in heaven, and a guaranteed outcome in the end.

    "Some people have a need for that. That’s understandable. In general, I think that extreme beliefs appeal to insecure people the most, because it helps make up for an ex...
    The practice of Islam, as is true with Christianity, often shames the religion by violating its core principles of love, forgiveness, and friendship.

    Do you hate Islam? If so, why? (I am not speaking of fundamentalist Islam.)

    And please consider the following comment about fundamentalist Christianity. And let me know in what way such Christianity is based on love and peace (fundamentalist Christians, like fundamentalist Muslims, give lip service to love and peace).

    I found the excerpt at http://www.debunkingskeptics....

    "The benefits of extreme belief systems

    "Now, this is not all bad. There are pros and cons to extreme belief systems such as this. As mentioned above, the Christian faith does give people a sense of purpose, identity, and meaning. It is true that many people have been helped by Christianity and made happier as well. So there are benefits of this faith, even if the doctrines it’s based on are in error. What it does is take the chaos and uncertainty out of life and the world for people, giving them a solid sense of purpose, a definite future in heaven, and a guaranteed outcome in the end.

    "Some people have a need for that. That’s understandable. In general, I think that extreme beliefs appeal to insecure people the most, because it helps make up for an extreme need, and compensates for what they lack. It gives them a sense of purpose, drive, motivation, and even fulfillment that can be an emotional security blanket. However, the flip side of this of course, is that extreme beliefs also close and narrow the mind, causing it to cast judgment on other people as well. In addition, it uses fear to keep you from learning about the values and benefits of other belief systems and views. For instance, Christian ministers use fear to warn that following non-Christian religions and ways of thinking could lead you to Satan’s trap, thus no progress in learning is made. And spiritual / intellectual growth is stinted. So as you can see, there are pros and cons to extreme belief systems that portray the world in black and white."
    (more)
  • "Abe" amoobrasil 2012/09/19 23:08:21
    "Abe"
    "Brilliant display of writing skills and written communication in the composition of this comment"~!
  • synical amoobrasil 2012/09/20 08:25:49
    synical
    +3
    Still not comparing apples to apples. Where in America are there Christians plotting to kill others because they feel offended? The only thing you said was negative was the use of fear by Christians (which is 100% correct) but come on man those women getting honor killed would be thrilled with just fear. You don't see churches beating women to death. So much for women's rights. Talk about hypocrisy. I thought fundamentalist Christians were the hate mongering sexists. But they AREN'T killing women! Seriously
  • Nightmusic 2012/09/12 20:04:10
    Nightmusic
    +3
    Hedonists hate Christianity because it chastises them. If the Muslims ever take over this country, they won't chastise them, they'll kill them. and yet they hate Christians and Christ and Christianity. Probably because they know in their heart of hearts that it's true.
  • "Abe" Nightmusic 2012/09/13 00:30:19
    "Abe"
    +2
    I'd guess you're correct~!!
  • amoobrasil Nightmusic 2012/09/16 17:29:57
    amoobrasil
    Only radical Muslims would do that, just as radical Christians have killed and waged war in the name of God.
  • "Abe" amoobrasil 2012/09/19 23:09:15
    "Abe"
    Time to get off your "soapbox"~~!!
  • Sheila 2012/09/12 19:48:42
    Sheila
    +2
    I found this one to be an interesting comparison. Pretty sure it was Chris Rock who said-- And I definitely am paraphrasing because HE was funny when HE said it...lol...-- Muslims are "called to commit jihad" for Allah, while God says vengence is mine. MY God doesnt need my help..... He is God and can handle it himself.
  • "Abe" Sheila 2012/09/13 00:30:48
    "Abe"
    +2
    Ament to that~!

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