by Pastor Gordon Brubaker

Christ Meeting the World

"Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them,
for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you."

1 Timothy 4:16


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A Study of Conflicting Beliefs

Session Ten - January 22, 2003
"What about Christian fanatics who want to force their religion on others, how does this compare with Islam?"

The charge made against Christians is that they are intolerant of the values or religion of others. It is often alleged that making converts is in itself a self righteous condemnation against other faiths and cultures, and is a revelation of Christian hatred and bigotry. In 2002 a paper was introduced to the Roman Catholic Church seeking to ban the proselytizing of Jews. It was argued and won that proselytizing is the command of Christ and a Biblical mandate, failing to proselytize is disobedience to Christ and a denial of the Christian faith of salvation through Christ!

Echoed alongside with this is the belief that American culture should not value itself above any other culture. Multiculturalism and the politically correct idealism both hold at its core a disdain of Western Culture at which Christianity stands as the foundation. They hold that Western Civilization has stolen its greatness from other cultures rather than even assimilate and expand from its own history.


What are some examples given of Christian "intolerance"?
Are these valid claims or a reverse discrimination. 
What defines intolerance?

The Crusades. The Inquisition. The Reformation Wars. The Pogroms (organized massacres) against the Jews in Russia and eastern Europe. These were all dark times for those who proclaimed Christianity. Out of these experiences the pacifist movement was born. True Pacifism is a belief in the complete abstinence from violence. It began as a statement that a Christian did not have the right to force their will on another Christian, which took form in protest through non-involvement in the religious wars (Christian against Christian) in Europe. This stand drew extreme persecution of the Anabaptist movement involving imprisonment, torture, loss of property, and occasionally death. Its highest ideal was tolerance of other Christian faiths.

This ideal was spread to America by the Pilgrims and the Puritans who were expelled from Europe for their religious beliefs and desire for a return to a Biblical church instead of forced conversion to the religious traditions of men.

The Anabaptists believed in the free will of mankind, making it a sin to enforce one’s will upon another except for laws that seek the well being of a society – Thou shalt not murder, covet, steal, etc. These are laws the govern the conduct of men in society. But the act of faith must not be imposed. Mankind must come to God the Father by their free will, not because it is imposed upon them. This differs from the strict enforcement of Catholicism, or the predestination of Luther and Calvin.

From this ideal came the First Amendment in the U. S. Constitution, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

It is incredible that today the very religious bodies that contributed to the enactment of the First Amendment affording unique freedoms of expression, both then and now, are today accused of seeking to subvert these very freedoms! These were the Bible thumpers of their day. The religious conservatives, radicals if you will who sought only the right to worship as they pleased without governmental interference! And they sought the same rights for others as well!

Instead those who loudly proclaim today’s "multiculturalism" are those who are attempting to remove Christian influence, speech and thought, from all public forums by the force of government not by the will of the people. They are the same who cry for acceptance of other cultures while denying any validity of their own culture.

ALL CULTURES ARE NOT EQUAL. EVERY CULTURE HAS DISTINCT VALUES – SOME GOOD, SOME BAD! The trial of life is to properly discern the right and wrong of each culture through the pursuit of truth. The crux is the individual’s or the culture’s definition of truth.

In order to discern the truth behind a particular culture is to examine the beliefs and the character of the one on whom that culture draws it point of reference!


Muhammed by his life and writings urged jihad as a strategy for the expansion of the faith. Jesus did not! Instead Jesus taught, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the Sons of God." When crusading against the Muslims, Christians were acting contrary to their Savior and His Word. Muslims fighting against pagans obey their warrior-prophet and his message.


The New Testament does not advocate jihad against any other group! Instead it anticipates persecution only against Christians. Jesus explained to His disciples, "If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you." Acts tells how the Christians rejoiced when they were persecuted. Christians never retaliated, giving their lives for their faith.


The Qur’an and Hadith traditions lend credibility to the militant Muslim who sheds blood for the cause of Allah. Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecy with His own sacrifice upon the cross, taking the punishment for sin upon Himself.


Christians have learned from their history. Muslims continue their onslaught in many nations: the Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Today Islamic militancy continues to gain momentum.


Except for rare exceptions of revenge in Palestinian refugee camps, modern examples of Christian religious "wars" pit Christian groups against each other, not outsiders! Ireland is such an example. Christians do not use war to expand their political or religious boundaries, thinking they are also expanding the kingdom of God. Examples of warfare are against the norm in an otherwise peaceful Christian world. On the other hand, militancy remains the norm in conservative Islam.

THE SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHRISTIANS AND MUSLIMS IS NOT HISTORY BUT THEOLOGY! Orthodox Christians are taught to live at peace by the example and written Word of God. Muslims are taught by the Qur’an and Allah’s messenger to "fight and slay the Pagans wherever you find them" (Surah 9:5).


While America protects religious freedom, Islam has followed the principle that other faiths must be given no encouragement or opportunity to share.


Developed in the seventh century it declares that Christians:

1. "shall not build, in our cities or in their neighborhoods, new monasteries, Churches, convents, or monks’ cells, nor shall [they] repair, by day or night, such of them as fall in ruins or are situated in the quarters of the Muslims";

2. "shall not manifest religion publicly nor convert anyone to it . . . [Christians] shall not prevent any of [their] kin from entering Islam if they wish it";

3. "shall show respect toward the Muslims, and shall rise from seats when [Muslims] wish to sit";

4. "shall not display crosses or books in the roads or markets of the Muslims . . . [They] shall use only clappers in churches very softly."

Today Turkey is the home of the head of the Eastern Orthodox Church, but they are denied permission to develop theological education or buildings for the Orthodox minority. Morocco allows freedom of worship but converting anyone is forbidden!

In contrast western countries in recent centuries have offered increasing freedom and acceptance to Muslims.

"For all their rhetoric about tolerance, not one Muslim-controlled government offers comprehensive religious freedom," Unveiling Islam, page 176.

"To equate all of Islam with religious persecution, however, would be an incredible overstatement. Yet, along with Marxist and Maoist communists and Hindu extremists, Muslims have accumulated a record in modern times as leaders in committing mayhem against humanity. This violence is most often committed by individuals or small groups, but sometimes governments enforce it." Unveiling Islam, page 176.

In Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan, Christians who openly worship Jesus Christ may be killed, imprisoned, forced out of work, or forced to convert to Islam; and Christian centers of worship are destroyed.


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