Friday, December 22, 2006

Christians and Muslims: Two Peas in a Pod


During one of Muhammad’s personal conversations, preserved by his Companions, he revealed his accurate perception of the future. Muhammad warned his people that they would follow the same degenerate path tread by Christians and Jews: “Ye will follow them that were before you span by span and cubit by cubit until if they went down the hole of a poisonous reptile ye would follow them down.” (“Muhammad, his life based on the earliest sources”, Martin Lings.)

In keeping with Muhammad’s prediction, Christians and Muslims share a history of poisonous pride and deadly arrogance. For example, they’ve each proclaimed themselves “the only true believers” on earth; they’ve repeatedly engaged in Religious Wars to destroy each other; they’ve persecuted “outsiders” who resist their Christian or Muslim “saviors”; and most certainly, they each anticipate their own exclusivity in Heaven! (The list could include far more historical parallels, and if you’d like to mention them, please do.)

Actually, the Hebrews, as the first monotheists, were the first to behave in ways that bore no resemblance to their Prophets’ teachings. For instance, more than a few Hebrew kings openly practiced idolatry, and many Israelites welcomed those kings. Under their reign, people were free to worship the gods of Syria, which were known to enjoy watching humans mate on hilltops! Such “heathen” practices eventually got the Jews expelled from their promised Holy Land. Ever since, the Jews have worshiped God, Alone, firmly believing, as Moses said, that He will forgive them and fulfill His promises to them. Among the unfulfilled promises is the seldom mentioned prophecy that someday the Jews will become “…a name and praise among all the peoples of the earth” (Zeph. 3:20), the same “peoples” who have arrogantly scorned the exiled Jews!

Shortly after the Jews’ exile, Christians began to argue about their own religious leaders and rules. But, when Christians strongly disagreed, they divided into sects that killed each other — as some were still doing in recent history, even as Muslim sects are still killing each other. Moreover, from early in their mutual history, Christians and Muslims engaged in crusades to conquer the Holy Land, which they each arrogantly proclaimed was theirs, alone!

In more recent history, uncountable Christians were supporters of the Nazi Holocaust, to eradicate Jews and other “inferior people” — a most “unChristian” endeavor, strongly supported by uncountable Muslims. And today, “militant Muslims” are determined to “drive the Jews into the sea,” or “wipe Israel off the map,” as the current ruler of Iran likes to describe his goal.

Through the Koran, Muhammad tells Muslims who are wise enough to listen: “ have divided themselves into factions, each rejoicing in its own doctrines. Leave them in their error…” (The Believers 23:53–54), and wait for God to “…judge their disputes on the day of resurrection” (The Cow 2:113). Moreover, Muhammad reminds believers “…to endure with fortitude and to forgive is a duty incumbent on all” (Counsel 42:43).

Obviously, countless Muslims haven’t followed Muhammad’s teachings, any more than countless Christians have “turned the other cheek” to their “evil” enemies (Matt. 5:39). But, ironically, the Jews have constantly “turned the other cheek” to their persecutors and some have even expressed forgiveness of them, while they’ve silently refrained from arguing with Christians and Muslims and have never been known to kill their fellow Jews whose religious practices differ from their own. So, it can be said that the Jews practice Christianity and Islam, while Christians and Muslims appear to be two peas in a pod!

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