The Essential Difference Between Christianity and Islam

The essential difference between Christianity and Islam is the difference between Jesus and Muhammad. Jesus was a spiritual leader who laid down His life to save the world. Muhammad was a spiritual leader, who became a political leader, then a violent military leader. Jesus accomplished His mission by dying on the cross. Muhammad accomplished his mission (at least in large part) by ruling by the sword.

There are, of course, great similarities between the world's two largest religions. Both point to a holy book, allegedly inspired by God, for faith and practice. Both call for high moral standards and serious personal commitment. Both share common traditions, since Muhammad learned from Jews as well as Christians. And both have a vision to spread their faith around the world.

But this is where the two faiths diverge. One follows the example of a crucified and risen Savior. The other follows the example of a prophet and military leader.

And so, the biblical verses of violence (as in, "Kill the Canaanites") were limited to a specific place and time, and no such commands are found on Jesus' lips. The Quranic verses of violence (as in, "Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them") do not have such obvious limitations. And so, while many Quranic interpreters and Islamic jurists claim that those verses cannot be applied indiscriminately today, others differ, proudly citing them in their jihadi manuals.

Again, the difference is that of the cross versus the sword. That's why Jesus and His followers never established the death penalty for leaving the faith. Muhammad established it once he assumed military dominance. And the death penalty for apostasy from Islam remains in force in a number Islamic countries today.

In the same spirit, Muhammad beheaded some of his enemies. Jesus forbade His followers from taking up the sword in His defense. The differences are glaring and clear.

Just compare the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels with those of Muhammad in the Hadith. Jesus never calls for violent acts against enemies of the faith; Muhammad often does. That's why there's no gospel (or apostolic) equivalent to the lengthy collection of Muhammad's military raids.

Accordingly, the most tolerant expressions of Islam are found when: 1. Muslims are the minority in a country, as in America; or 2. the Muslim-dominated country is quite secular, as in Indonesia. In contrast, in strictly observant Muslim countries, there is limited tolerance for non-Muslims.

If you don't believe me, try setting up a public Christian mission to Muslims in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan or Afghanistan or Iran. Tell me how many minutes it lasts.

I do commend those Muslims who call for a more tolerant expression of their faith, and they abhor the terrorism carried out in the name of their religion. But if they are honest, they will have to admit that violent Islam has a long and rich history.

To quote the noted Catholic scholar of Islam Samir Kahlil Samir:

I speak about the violence expressed in the Qur'ān and practiced in Muhammad's life in order to address the idea, widespread in the West, that the violence we see today is a deformation of Islam. We must honestly admit that there are two readings of the Qur'ān and the sunna (Islamic traditions connected to Muhammad): one that opts for the verses that encourage tolerance toward other believers, and one that prefers the verses that encourage conflict. Both readings are legitimate.

Thus, acts of violence carried out to advance the Christian faith are the extreme exception to the rule. Acts of violence carried out to advance the Islamic faith are all too common.

When it comes to freedom of religion, a country like America, founded on Judeo-Christian principles, has allowed this essential liberty from the start. And in a country like England, which also has a rich Christian history (despite its current backslidden state), Muslims can practice their religions freely, even proselytizing non-Muslims. In contrast, if Muslims became the majority religion in England, non-Muslims would become second-class citizens, with limited freedoms (like Christians in Pakistan), unless they converted to Islam.

It is true that both faiths seek to spread their message by disseminating information. And both faiths point to the sublime message of their founders. But the message of Jesus leads to liberation while the message of Muhammad leads to subjugation.

Again, I know there are moderate Muslims who seek to reform their faith, and many of them are honorable people. And I know that some of them believe they are being true to the real spirit of their faith.

But there's a reason that, generally speaking, true Christians are persecuted by true Muslims rather than true Muslims persecuted by true Christians. It is the difference between the cross and the sword. {eoa}


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Three Men Get ‘Married’ in Colombia, and There Is No Slippery Slope

In 2016, same-sex "marriage" was legalized in Colombia. One year later, the courts have now recognized a polyamorous "family" of three men. And there is no slippery slope.

As reported by the Daily Mail, "Actor Victor Hugo Prada and his two partners, sports instructor John Alejandro Rodriguez and journalist Manuel Jose Bermudez, have signed legal papers with a solicitor in the city of Medellin, establishing them as a family unit with inheritance rights.

"'We wanted to validate our household ... and our rights, because we had no solid legal basis establishing us as a family,' said one of the men, Prada, in a video published by Colombian media on Monday."

Here in the States, the Associated Press notes that, "More courts [are] allowing three parents of one child." An example would be when a lesbian couple has a child with the help of another man, all three of whom become parents.

And there is no slippery slope.

When candidate Barack Obama ran for president in 2008, he knew he could not reveal his true sentiments about gay "marriage" —this according to David Axelrod—because it would hurt his election chances. And so, he clearly and decisively declared that marriage was the union of a man and a woman. And he said this was his Christian conviction.

Today, a Republican congressman is shot in cold blood and liberal news commentators suggest that we can't forget his record at a time like this. After all, he wanted to pass a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

And there is no slippery slope.

It wasn't that long ago that the Human Rights Campaign felt the need to remove "transgender" from its campaign to pass ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Today, in New York City, you can be fined up to $250,000 for failing to accept the stated identity of a trans employee. And Canada has just passed Bill C-16, which requires it citizens to use whatever gender pronouns a person chooses, as in, "Refer to me as ze and zir rather than he or her."

As the National Post explains, "In other words, failure to use a person's pronoun of choice—'ze,' 'zir,' 'they' or any one of a multitude of other potential non-words—will land you in hot water with the commission. That, in turn, can lead to orders for correction, apology, Soviet-like "re-education," fines and, in cases of continued non-compliance, incarceration for contempt of court."

And there is no slippery slope.

In recent years, the media has pushed polygamy, polyamory and even consensual adult incest, with public opinion gradually shifting towards more acceptance of these lifestyles and acts.

And there is no slippery slope. Or perhaps the slippery slope isn't so bad after all?

That was actually the conclusion of a number of liberal students who challenged a talk I gave at a local secular university: the slippery slope isn't so bad after all.

I was asked to speak on the subject of God and Sex, addressing the question, "Are biblical standards of sexual purity destructive or constructive, helpful or harmful, binding or liberating?" In the lecture, I explained how everything reproduces after its kind. I also explained that we have to look at the trajectory of an idea or action or behavior. Where will it ultimately lead?

When it was time for Q & A, several students began to challenge my talk, claiming that there was no such thing as a slippery slope.

I asked them if they believed in the concepts of "love is love" and "I have the right to marry the one I love." They all said yes, no matter how far it went. Three people? Four? Two adult brothers? And should the government be obligated to recognize all these relationships?

They answered in the affirmative to all my questions, concluding, "Well, I guess there is a slippery slope, but it's not wrong."

And that is where our society is heading. It's becoming increasingly difficult to deny the reality of the slippery slope. The logical next step is to affirm it. {eoa}


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Hypocritical Responses to the Scalise Shooting and the London Mosque Attack

In the last week, America and the U.K. have been rocked by two violent attacks, one targeting a conservative Republican in the States and the other targeting religious Muslims in England. In almost every way, these two horrific events are completely unrelated, and yet the liberal world has found a way of joining them together: The right wing is dangerous!

At first blush, this seems like an impossible conclusion to draw. After all, in the shooting here in America, it was a conservative politician (with his colleagues) who was the victim. In the van-ramming in the UK, it was a Muslim-hating man who was the aggressor. Yet a narrative is emerging that blames the right for both.

With regard to Rep. Scalise, whose condition has been upgraded from critical to serious, MSNBC's Joy Reid said, "[I]t's a delicate thing because everybody is wishing the congressman well and hoping that he recovers, but Steve Scalise has a history that we've all been forced to sort of ignore on race."

But of course. How could we forget that? I guess he kind of deserved to be shot after all.

Reid continued: "He did come to leadership after some controversy over attending a white nationalist event, which he says he didn't know what it was. He also co-sponsored a bill to amend the Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. He voted for the House health care bill, which as you said would gut health care for millions of people, including three million children, and he co-sponsored a bill to repeal the ban on semi-automatic weapons."

Oh, the wickedness of this man! He unknowingly attended a white nationalist event. You should certainly be shot for that. Worse still, he said that marriage should be what it's always been (and what God designed it to be), namely, the marriage of one man and one woman. He probably deserved two bullets for that. And, monster that he is, he didn't agree with Obamacare, which already hurt multiplied millions of Americans, not to mention many health care providers. And he opposed gun-control legislation. This is beyond the scope of wicked.

As Reid concluded, "Because he is in jeopardy and everybody is pulling for him, are we required in a moral sense to put that aside at the moment?"

Can you imagine what the response would be had the victim been, say, a black congresswoman with a left-leaning record? Can you imagine if a TV commentator said, "Yes, we're all pulling for her, but hey, look at her voting record. We can't ignore that, can we? I mean, it's not like some saint just got shot."

The outrage would be enormous and unrelenting, and rightly so. But when it comes to a conservative, well, you know, getting shot is kind of their own fault. Or, in the words of CBS's Scott Pelley, "It's time to ask whether the attack on the United States Congress, yesterday, was foreseeable, predictable and, to some degree, self-inflicted."

Self-inflicted? And this from a long-time CBS news anchorman? To call this shameful would be to over-dignify it.

In England, J. K. Rowling has asked how the killer was "radicalized"—meaning, by right-wing rhetoric—while many on Twitter affirmed comments like this: "Hate preachers like Tommy Robinson and Katie Hopkins need to be held accountable for this also." (To listen to Katie Hopkins for yourself, go here. The voice of Tommy Robinson is more extreme.)

Prime Minister Theresa May delivered a major statement in response to the attack, renewing her government's determination to fight against "extremism of any kind, including Islamophobia."

Of course, what the van driver did was horrific and inexcusable, as he reportedly shouted out, "I want to kill Muslims." And the fact that he attacked men leaving their mosque after prayer makes his crime even uglier. His actions should be condemned in the clearest possible terms, and there is no excuse for his actions.

But why is that the same liberal voices that tell us after every Islamic terror attack, "This is not Islam!" will immediately label an attack against Muslims as Islamophobic? And why point the first finger towards conservative (or extreme right-wing) commentators? Why not suggest that, without all the Islamic terrorist attacks on Brits and Europeans in the last few years, this demented killer would never have driven his van into the crowd?

To the extent that extreme, anti-Islamic rhetoric is spreading through England (or elsewhere), it needs to be confronted and exposed. But to think that this rhetoric arose in a vacuum is to forget the multiple bombings of July 7, 2005, in London, along with the U.K., Islamic terrorist attacks of June 30, 2007; May 22, 2008; May 22, 2013; December 5, 2013; March 22, 2017; May 22, 2017 and June 3, 2017, resulting in more than 90 fatalities and over 1,000 injured. Could this have played a role in the killer's motives?

This is not to justify this murderous act or mitigate the killer's guilt. God forbid. It is merely to contextualize it and ask if Islamic terrorism rather than right-wing rhetoric helped fuel the murderer's fire. Unfortunately, according to the current narrative, Islam is never the suspect, but Islamophobia always is.

This, then, brings us back to the States, where I can hear a sharp-eyed reader raising an objection to my article. "With all respect, sir, you're doing the exact same thing Joy Reid and Scott Pelley did. You're blaming the Muslims for being attacked, just as they suggested that Rep. Scalise's shooting was his own fault, to some degree."

Yes, I saw this objection coming, but it actually proves my point, since it underscores how conservatives are being demonized. Specifically, to compare a conservative Congressman with healthy moral values to a Muslim terrorist is to compare Ronald Reagan with Osama bin Laden, and yet that is the comparison that must be made to sustain the argument.

Of course, it is absolutely wrong to take the law into one's own hands. And, to repeat again, the van driver's actions were heinous, murderous and inexcusable. And the Muslims who were attacked did not deserve to be attacked.

Yet it is striking to see how liberals in America and England can somehow blame the right for both crimes. Yes, a conservative political leader was almost asking for a bullet while the van-driving Muslim killer was provoked to action by conservative voices.

If you think I'm stretching things here, just wait and see. It will get worse before it gets better. Conservatives are the enemy, and the demonization will only increase. Be ready. {eoa}


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How Does Growing Apostasy Prove That Christians Are Getting Closer to the Truth?

There's a bizarre argument I'm hearing these days which basically goes like this. "Look at how many churches are embracing homosexual practice. This proves we're getting closer to the truth." To the contrary, all it proves is that more and more churches are apostasizing. The logic behind this argument is as wrongheaded as it is unbiblical.

First, to argue that greater acceptance of homosexuality by churches is proof of spiritual growth is like arguing that greater acceptance of obesity by doctors is a proof of medical progress. The reverse is actually true.

Second, the Bible often warns us against compromise and apostasy, both moral and creedal. And in every generation, there have been heretics who have departed from the faith. Should we therefore celebrate every heretical doctrine and practice as proof of our spiritual maturity?

Jesus warned His disciples, saying "See that no one leads you astray" (Matt. 24:4b, ESV). He also said, "And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved" (Matt. 24:11-13).

What is to be celebrated, then, is not apostasy but faithfulness, not deception but steadfastness, not moral laxity but moral firmness. And while the words of Jesus may have more specific application to certain times in history, there is certainly a general application to our day, in which "lawlessness" has greatly increased. Today, just about anything goes, and that is not something to celebrate.

Last month, the gay activist organization Faith in America announced its plans to call on the Southern Baptist Convention to remove homosexual practice "from the sin list."

"Ultimately," they said, "we at FIA believe LGBT people should be removed from the sin list. We know interpretations and new revelations come to light. We believe the church will one day stop diminishing the lives of those who are LGBT and we strive to help this come to pass. We are optimistic people and see the glass 75 percent full!"

So, they are encouraged by what they have seen in recent years, as more and more churches in America and Europe are dropping homosexual practice "from the sin list." Soon enough, they believe, the whole church will follow suit. To paraphrase (but in my words, not theirs!), "We're encouraged by the increasing apostasy we see in the church, and we're expectant that one day, the whole church will be completely apostate."

The facts are as follows.

First, as I've stated repeatedly, "no new textual, archeological, sociological, anthropological or philological discoveries have been made in the last fifty years that would cause us to read any of these biblical texts differently. Put another way, it is not that we have gained some new insights into what the biblical text means based on the study of the Hebrew and Greek texts. Instead, people's interaction with the LGBT community has caused them to understand the biblical text differently."

The truth, then, hasn't changed. Instead, some professing Christians have departed from God's unchanging truth because of personal relationships and cultural decline.

Second, most church groups that have removed homosexual practice from the sin list are in numerical and spiritual decline. In contrast, most church groups that are holding to biblical truth and practice, especially overseas, are growing numerically and spiritually.

Third, the embrace of homosexual practice cannot be separated from the larger cultural embrace of the sexual revolution. This includes an increase in sex out of wedlock, babies born out of wedlock, pornography and divorce, along with the embrace of all kinds of sexual perversions. That's why the same society that celebrates same-sex "marriage" is increasingly celebrating polyamory, polygamy and consensual adult incest. (I've documented this in many articles and several books. See, conveniently, the relevant chapters here.)

This points to spiritual and moral regress, not progress.

Fourth, the idea that the whole church will one day embrace homosexual practice is as certain not to happen as the idea that the whole church will one day deny Jesus. Forget about not holding your breath. Don't even think about holding your breath.

It's certainly possible that, in some locations, increasing parts of the church will fall away, and this will be marked by numerous moral and spiritual compromises. But the notion that the whole church will fall away is completely self-contradictory, since if there is a true church, it has been established by Jesus Himself. And it was He who said that He would build His church and that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18b).

But it is not only theologically ignorant to imagine that the church worldwide will one day embrace homosexual practice. It is also missiologically ignorant, since wherever the church is growing worldwide, it is growing with a conservative message and morality.

I truly believe that the leaders of groups like Faith in Action mean well and believe they are doing God's work. That makes their self-deception all the more tragic. {eoa{


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Violent Words Have Turned to Violent Deeds: The Rise of the Radical Left

From violent campus protests to the shooting of a congressman, the violent, radical left is rising. But this should not surprise us at all. The handwriting has been on the wall for years.

What else do you expect when those who believe a child should have a mother and a father are likened to the KKK, Nazis, the Taliban and ISIS? What else do you expect when Christian conservatives have been branded dangerous enemies?

To repeat what I've shared before:

Already in May, 2005, John McCandlish Phillips, formerly a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter, pointed out how newspapers like the Washington Post and the Times told their readers that evangelicals and traditional Catholics were engaging in a jihad against America.

Markos Moulitsas, founder of the radically left-leaning, wrote a whole book in 2010 in which he accused conservative Christians of being the American Taliban, which in turn reflected the sentiments of some Californians who opposed the Proposition 8, pro-marriage bill in 2008 and who carried signs reading: "Prop 8 = American Taliban" and "52 percent = Nazi," which referred to the 52-48 percent vote in favor of Prop 8, and "Don't Silence the Christians, Feed Them 2 the Lions." 

My fellow believers, don't stick your heads in the sand and ignore this.

People don't just hate you. They see you as downright dangerous, and that in itself is dangerous.

Really now, do you think people who compare you to ISIS and the Nazis do not look at you as a real threat? Do you think they can hold up signs calling for you to be thrown to the lions without holding some genuine animosity towards you? And do you think that people who express themselves in such sick and ugly terms would be upset if someone actually did you harm?

To quote again from my previous article, which was published September, 2015, and drew on developments I had been tracking since 2004:

As Maggie Gallagher pointed out earlier this year, those who express extreme hatred towards conservative Christians in America "tend to hold relatively high levels of social power," citing a recent book on "Christianophobia" by sociologists George Yancey and David A. Williamson.

And what does that hatred sound like? Gallagher quoted some of those interviewed by Yancey and Williamson:

         'I want them all to die in a fire,' said one man with a doctorate. 'I would be in favor of establishing a state for them ... If not                  then sterilize them so they can't breed more,' said a middle-aged man with a master's degree. 'The only good Christian is a               dead Christian,' said another under-45-year-old man with a doctorate. 'I abhor them, and I wish we could do away with them,'             said a middle-aged woman with a master's degree. 'A tortuous death would be too good for them,' said a college-educated               man between the ages of 36 and 45. 'They should be eradicated without hesitation or remorse,' said an elderly woman with a           master's degree."

To ask again: Is it any surprise that the violent words of these radical leftists have turned to violent deeds? These sentiments are chilling and disturbing, and they are indicators of what we can expect in the days ahead, with Christian conservatives being the ultimate target.

Remember also that the strategy for years has been one of silencing—not just refuting—the opposition. That's why I've stated for more than a decade that those who came out of the closet wanted to put us in the closet. And that's why, after critics initially mocked me for saying that, they eventually changed their tune. For some time now they've been saying, "Bigots like you belong in the closet!"

A few years ago during a TV interview, I mentioned the comment of a Christian attorney who said, "Mike, it goes one step farther. Those who were once put in jail for their actions will want to put us in jail."

The reaction to that comment was almost hysterical on some left-wing websites: "You're totally crazy man! No ones to put you in jail."

Then, when Kim Davis was jailed for refusing to comply with a judge's order, she was likened to ISIS and her prison sentence was hailed as just. So it looks like some people do want us jailed after all.

I'm aware that some of the anger towards the right has been stirred up by the rhetoric of folks like Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannapolouis. And I fully understand how divisive a candidate and president Donald Trump has been, further stirring the pot.

But does that explain why campuses have banned conservative journalist Ben Shapiro from speaking? Or why students engaged in violent protests against conservative intellectuals like Heather Mac Donald and Charles Murray? Or why, in 2011, the University of Central Florida only allowed me to debate a local professor on same-sex marriage if we paid for four armed policemen to be present?

Today's growing violence comes as no surprise, which means that:.1. We should expose its ugly roots. 2. We should expose its bankrupt ideology. 3. We should call out those who want to silence and intimidate the opposition, challenging them instead to open debate and dialogue. 4. We should determine not to reply in kind.

Violence doesn't stop violence, it escalates violence. And while there's a place for self-defense, there's no place for the rising tide of radical leftist violence. Let's confront it before it gets worse. {eoa}

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