Sunday, September 11, 2011

Christianity and Islam: A Quick Comparison

For weeks now I have had it in the back of my mind to post a blog entry on this topic. And without delving too deeply into the theology of either, let me identify some starting points:

On Your Enemies:

Islam—Kill them in any way possible.

Christianity—Jesus said, in the Sermon on the Mount, "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" (Matt. 5:44)

Regarding Wives:

Islam—You can have several. You may divorce them for virtually any reason. To use western terminology, you can abuse them and not be concerned with the judicial system.

Christianity—Paul wrote, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;" (Eph. 5:25) That's a tall order, by the way.

Sharing Your Faith:

Islam—Submit to Allah, or be an infidel. Infidels must be killed.

Christianity—We are to spread the glorious Gospel message to all the world (Matt. 28:18-20), yet must remember what Christ told his disciples in John 15:18-21:

18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.
The world will hate Christians, but Christians are to love the world.

Political Observations:

Islam—If you know of any country where Islam is the dominant religion (you may go back to the 7th century AD for this one) that simultaneously had a system of government where people had freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and anything resembling full democracy ("full" in this context includes women and those who are not Muslims), please identify that country in the comments below. I'm drawing a blank.

Christianity—America, for instance, was founded on Bible principles applied to law, freedom, liberty, economics, justice, and the like; and it has since become the greatest nation on earth. Other countries which have mimicked our founding political principles have been successful and allowed their peoples a large degree of freedom and justice.

As Perceived by Other Americans:

Islam—Nobody seems willing to criticize Muslims for fear of getting firebombed. Even something essentially harmless, like a political cartoon, is cause for riots.

Christianity—Nobody seems afraid to criticize and mock Christians, knowing that if they are true Christians, they will probably not reciprocate. (That whole "turn the other cheek" thing.)

Anyone have any additional comparisons? I'm willing to update the post if you have a good one.