Should Christians Hate Muslims?

hate muslims?

Love Your Enemies?


Christianity versus Islam
“Turn the other cheek” or bombs?


By Grantley Morris


If you are filled with rage
over someone’s actions,
please find comfort
by first reading
Sweet Revenge!






The Bible or the Koran?

Love or terrorism?

Forgiveness or violence?

Jesus (‘Isa) or Mohamad?

It should not surprise us when non-Christians act like non-Christians. The challenge is for Christians to act like Christians. In fact, it is the greatest challenge in the universe.

It is Jesus, not Mohammad, who said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27-28). It is Jesus, not Mohammad, who not only preached, “Turn the other cheek” but lived it unto a torturous death and said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24) and “ . . .  anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:38).

Jesus’ teaching is truly as impossible as it seems. He expects his followers to call upon supernatural power to achieve what is humanly impossible.

It is the Bible, not the Koran (Qur’an) that says, “overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). So it is Jesus’ followers, not Mohammed’s who have the high calling of smothering evil with good and loving their enemies. It should not be Christians who are blinded by hate or rage. With divine love flowing through their veins they should have the spiritual perception to know that to try to come against evil with evil is to become evil.

Again, it is the Bible, not the Koran that says:

    Matthew 26:52  . . . all who draw the sword will die by the sword.

    Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

    2 Corinthians 10:4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

Since only true Christians can be expected to have contact with the supernatural God of the Bible, it makes sense if some Muslims and Bible-rejecting Westerners think violence will further their cause. Whether strapped to one’s waist or dropped by a stealth bomber, it takes little faith to believe in bombs. It is only Christians who can be expected to have access to something far more powerful.

It was Jesus, not Mohammad, who prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do,” as they nailed him to cross (Luke 23:34, KJV). And it was Stephen who revealed the difference between Christian martyrs and Islamic martyrs and the difference between Christianity and Western ways when he prayed, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge,” while being stoned to death (Acts 7:60, KJV).

Islam is not founded upon sacrificial love. So I can understand a few hate-filled people claiming to be true Muslims. I can find no such excuse, however, for anyone responding with hate to Muslim radicals, while claiming to be loyal to Christianity’s Founder who so loved his enemies that he shed his blood for them.

Authentic Christianity

Doctrinally correct beliefs can be life-transforming or as empty as the Bible describes when it sarcastically says, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder” (James 2:19). It takes more than correct beliefs to separate us from the kingdom of darkness.

Faith and doctrine are essential ingredients of authentic Christianity. They are the key that unlocks the door to God, but it is love that reveals whether we have used the key to connect with the true God or whether we have deceived ourselves like so many Pharisees and passionately devout Jews in Jesus’ day.

The heart of true Christianity is love. Just as a heartbeat reveals whether someone is physically alive, so love reveals whether one is spiritually alive. Without supernatural love, “Christianity” is nothing but a rotting corpse.

The Bible insists that being Christian is all about love:

    John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

    Romans 5:6,8,10  . . . when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  . . . But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. . . . when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son . . .

    1 John 4:19-20 We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

    Matthew 5:44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?

    1 Corinthians 13:2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

    Luke 6:37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

    Matthew 6:15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

    Matthew 27:37-39 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ . . .”

    1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

    John 5:42 but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts.

    Romans 12:20  . .  “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. . . .”

    Romans 5:5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

    Philippians 1:9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight

    Matthew 9:13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ . . .

    1 John 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

    1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

    1 John 4:7-9 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

    1 John 4:16-17 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.

What we believe is critical, but to honor God merely with our lips and have hearts that are far from his heart of love, is to invite the judgment Jesus spoke of in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

In Matthew 25:31-46, when Jesus spoke of separating the sheep from the goats, he revealed that eternal judgment hinges on how we have loved. Praying, tithing, Bible reading, and church commitment did not even rate a mention because without love they are nothing.

How Does God Define Love?

So that we don’t delude ourselves, Jesus provided a down to earth, minimalist definition of love. “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12). The “Law and the Prophets” was the Jewish way of referring to all of Scripture. Jesus was declaring that the entire teaching of the Bible can be summed up this way. Yes, the new covenant means that the desire to do this is divinely seeded into our very heart (pertinent Scriptures), but if it is not in our heart then we are deluded if we think we have been spiritually reborn or suppose that in God’s eyes we are any different from pagans.

Straight after Jesus proclaimed that loving one’s neighbor is right behind loving God in order of supreme spiritual importance, a theologian asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” In other words, who am I divinely required to love? This is indeed where the rubber hits the road. Everyone wants a loophole. On another occasion Jesus had blasted the saying, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy” (Matthew 5:43).

This time, to indicate who we are divinely obligated to love, Jesus immediately spoke of a Jew and a Samaritan. They were total strangers, regarded each other as heretics and belonged to communities that treated each other with bitter disdain. And for Jesus, love is not the mere absence of hate. Far more than “live and let live,” love is risking one’s life to comfort a stranger who despises you and who to you is literally a heretic. Love is about taking risks – big risks. It might have been a trap, and even if it wasn’t, there were bandits around. This was not a place to stop. Love is about tending bloodied wounds, giving your donkey to a man who regards you as his enemy, and having to walk. It is trudging to an inn and instead of leaving the rest of his care to his fellow countrymen, taking your hard-earned cash and paying for his full accommodation for as long as it takes. Next to loving the Lord, treating like this those who hate you is top priority with God, taught Jesus.

No matter where you go in the New Testament, faith that connects to the Spirit of Jesus – saving faith – manifests itself in producing genuine selflessness:

    Galatians 5:6  . . . The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

    Romans 8:9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. (Emphasis mine)

    Galatians 5:22-24 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, . . . patience, kindness, goodness, . . . gentleness and self-control. . . . Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.

In listing the fruit of the Spirit, I deliberately left some out to help readers familiar with the list to read it with new eyes. I omitted “peace” because it is typical of the self-centeredness so prevalent in the West today that we tend to think of peace as merely a blissful feeling. In biblical thought, however, “peace” involves living so graciously that you do all you can to make peace with everyone. It necessitates being so filled with the fruit of the Spirit, humble, forgiving, generous, selfless and turning the other cheek that nothing but his or her prejudice could cause anyone to be displeased with you. Here is just a sample of Scriptures affirming this meaning of peace:

    Hebrews 12:14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men

    Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

    Mark 9:50 Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.

    Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

    James 3:17-18 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

    1 Peter 3:11 He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.

When the despised Samaritan heretics treated Jesus and his disciples shabbily, here’s how the New King James Version recounts Jesus’ exchange with his disciples:

    Luke 9:54-56  . . . “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” . . .

For comfort if you find yourself filled with rage or are having difficulty forgiving someone, see Sweet Revenge!

To understand the basics of what it takes to be a genuine Christian, see You Can Find Love.

The key to supernatural Christianity is the central yet often-neglected biblical concept of dying to self. To understand what this means and how it is not as scary as it seems, see Spiritual Secrets.

vengeance

Further Help

  • For help with emotional pain and insight into why God does not prevent sin and the suffering it causes, see:
  • For insight into Christian revenge and the wrath of God, see Divine vengeance against those who hurt you

  • Justice is vitally important to the God of love. For insight, see Love your enemy and heap burning coals on his head!

  • Why is it essential for our own salvation to forgive others? For insight, see To Forgive is Divine.

  • For examples of God’s love for Muslims, see Muslim Encounters with Jesus

  • How could God be fair when some get an abundance and some get a raw deal? See God Isn’t fair?


    vengeance


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