How Selective Tolerance Leads To More Violence

Many Christians are more interested in making lists of all the ways that Islam is wrong and Christianity is right than they are in finding common ground with Muslims.
Is this because Christians are really unable to set aside their religious differences to embrace someone of another faith?
Not exactly.
Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay
For example, most Christians I know fully embrace Judaism. They love the Jewish faith. They use Jewish terms for Jesus and Messiah [“Yeshua”, “Mashiac”, etc.]. They wear the Star of David proudly. They observe the Jewish Passover meal. They even pray for the peace of Israel.
But why?

The Jewish faith denies that Christ is the Messiah. They refuse to accept that Jesus is born of a virgin. They do not believe that Jesus performed miracles. They do not believe that Jesus ascended into Heaven. They do not believe that Jesus is alive today or that Jesus is returning to judge the world.

But none of that matters to most Evangelical Christians today.

They are totally capable of enthusiastically overlooking all of that for the sake of what we have in common with Judaism – which is namely the Old Testament scriptures.

Now, just imagine that the Jews DID believe all of these things. Could you imagine American Christians rejecting the Jewish people?

But they DO reject Muslims who happen to affirm all of these things about Jesus!

Islam teaches that:

– Jesus is the “Word of God”
– Jesus is the “Spirit of God”
– Jesus is “the Messiah”
– Jesus creates life
– Jesus cured a man born blind, and a man with leprosy.
– Jesus gives life to dead people.
– Jesus went to heaven.
– Jesus is still alive today.
– Jesus will come again to judge the entire world.

[See chapter 3, verses 45-55, the Qu’ran]

Can you imagine rejecting someone who believed all of these things about Jesus?

Can you imagine refusing to engage in a dialog with someone who already had such an amazing foundation of faith in Jesus?

Yet, somehow, Christians feel totally ok embracing one faith which denies all of these things about Jesus while rejecting another faith which affirms all of the same things about Him.

Does this make any sense?

Not to me, it doesn’t.

You have a choice. You can either:

A) Keep making lists of all the ways you are right and Muslims are wrong

OR

B) Look for how much you have in common with them about Jesus and enter into a fruitful dialog with a Muslim about Him.

One path will result in more division and violence.

The other path will result in an amazing conversation of Jesus with a Muslim and the opportunity for understanding and peace.

So…what are you most interested in here?

As long as you are only interested in seeking a path for opposition and division, you will keep on making those lists of how “wrong” they are.

But, if you are ready to start seeking a path for peace, and for reconciliation, you will take full advantage of an amazing opportunity to talk with a Muslim about Jesus.

What would a religion of peace really teach you to do here?

If you really belong to a peaceful religion, then take the path of peace: Engage in an open dialog with a Muslim about all that you have in common with them about Jesus.

I dare you.

**

Keith Giles is the author of “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb” and co-host of the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast. He and his wife live in Orange, CA with their two sons and are active in a house church that gives away 100% of their offerings to help the poor in their community.

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  • Bill Scudder

    this author does not know the whole truth about the Muslim religion. They do not believe the whole truth about Jesus

  • And I never suggested that they did. No shock to anyone that Islam and Christianity are different religions with different beliefs. I’m talking about the path Christians choose to take in terms of seeking reconciliation and our common ground which, ironically, is Jesus.

    Do we agree 100% about Jesus? No. But we have a lot in common…more than we do with Jewish people whom most Christians have no trouble overlooking said differences with to choose a path of peace and common ground.

  • Liz Parkinson

    I have talked with Muslims about Jesus, and about Islam and Christianity, and as you say, it is a a really positive thing to do. I have also talked with Jews about Jesus, and about Judaism and Christianity, which is a really positive thing to do. The REALLY awesome thing is when a Muslim, a Jew and a Christian talk together about Jesus, and Allah, Hashem, and God, and start to understand each other and start to respect each others differences. THAT is loving our neighbour as we love ourselves, as directed in Deuteronomy.

  • Amen! Keep up the good work, Liz. That’s beautiful.