Thursday, October 05, 2006

# 169: Christianity as Seen by Other Religions

Is it important for us to be concerned about what other religions in the rest of the world think about American Christians? Absolutely. Even more importantly, how do they perceive Jesus Christ? We Christians are commanded to make Christ our paradigm. Therefore, for those of us who know what is expected of us, it is imperative that our lives openly display what Jesus is/was like. Do we do that? I am ashamed to say that, the unequivocal answer is no.

There are many reasons why we don’t live up to what Jesus Christ required of his followers via the New Testament. I am certain it is a disgrace to Jesus Christ and many genuine Christians as to what is being passed off as Christianity. Even worse than that, there are several thousand varieties of Christianity in America alone. No doubt, most groups are guilty of turning a blind eye on some crucial verses and emphasizing those that are pleasant and easier to implement. That attitude is prevalent in the U.S.; therefore, the theme of this blog is to expose Religion’s Crime Against God.

As I mentioned in the last post, many people, especially Muslims, equate America with Christianity since it is the dominant religion here. But, since everyone in this country has the freedom to worship as they please, there are many others that practice a variety of religions in America. Therefore, since Christians are the majority, religions outside of the U.S. think all the immoral and ungodly things that go on in America are being done, sanctioned, or condoned by the silence of Christians, which is, in a large part, true.

Let me start with the garbage that is ubiquitous on American television. How can anyone who claims to a Christian tolerate such immoral and useless stuff? That is how other religions see Christians. Just look at all the illicit sex that is going on, especially in Las Vegas (Sin City); actually, everywhere in America. Their thinking goes like this: “Is that what Christians do?” Las Vegas is the fastest-growing city in America. Does that tell them something? Then there is all the alcohol that is being consumed, which is a waste of money and creates future health problems and lingering personal difficulties. The most troubling thing is, How can the majority of college students spend the weekends partying until the wee hours of the morning? Many of the students, especially girls, who go to colleges in cities away from their home town leave as virgins and come home with a degree as sluts. The sad thing is that many of these kids come from Christian homes. Do their parents know what type of life they are living on campus? I won’t even mention all the illicit and mind-altering drugs that a large group of American Christians—adults and students—are hooked on.

On another note, other religions see us as the most materialistic and greedy people on this planet. They see us as warmongering, power- grabbing Christians, especially since the Iraq war. It is a shame, but this list can go on and on. Let's not forget all the sports Christians are engaged in. Does God receive any glory whatsoever from all the attention sports receives? It is a disgrace that God doesn’t have as enthusiastic a following as sports has. Would He sanction interest in sports as a Godly activity? Don’t answer that question.

This is the kind of stuff the American Christians engage in on a regular basis. Since we are seen as engaging in all these inordinate practices, some religions tolerate our actions; then you wonder why some, especially Muslims, desire to destroy that immoral and ungodly religion called Christianity.

If these non-Christian religions were given copies of the New Testament in their own languages, they would quickly see what a spiritually logical religion Christianity is. But if one looks at that book through a materialistic viewpoint, that book teaches the road to becoming insane. 2nd Corinthians 5:13. “If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God . . .”

The Christian Old Testament and the first part of the Jewish Torah are almost identical. The main difference is that the Jewish religious community does not accept Jesus Christ as the promise Messiah. They believe Jesus Christ was a fake and that most of the New Testament is nothing more than a fabrication.

If one was to look throughout the complete Old Testament, they would not find one verse that promised the nation of Israel eternity in heaven. They believe that when a person died/dies, that was/is the end of everything. Psalms 49:16-20. “So do not be dismayed when evil men grow rich and build their lovely homes. For when they die they carry nothing with them. Their honor will not follow them. Though a man calls himself happy all through his life–and the world loudly applauds success–yet in the end he dies like everyone else and enters ETERNAL DARKNESS. For man with all his pomp must die like an animal.” [ Emphasis added—the Living Bible]. There are many other verses that say the same. Their rewards were in this world (they were promised a land flowing with milk and honey, the land of Canaan, where the 12 tribes of Israel lived for quite some time).

Since that was/is one of the main themes in the Old Testament, one can see why the Jews live as they do: a desire for earthly power and wealth. Then, when Jesus came on the scene, He came to fulfill/give the spiritual meaning of what the Old Testament taught. Read the fifth chapter of Matthew. His teaching in that chapter was extremely radical. Who could abide with that type of teaching 2,000 years ago, and still today? The New Testament is full of Jesus constantly bad-mouthing wealth and prosperity, and substituting the earthly goodies for a promise of heaven (real wealth) to those that believe in Him. For that reason, one can understand why the Jews believed and still believe that Jesus was/is the false Messiah (Christ) and that Christianity is a religion for fools. All through their history, the nation of Israel was, and, still is, waiting for their Christ that would deliver them from their enemies.

The Jews have even more evidence of Jesus Christ being a false Messiah. Look at the type of ungodly lives people are living who call themselves followers of Jesus Christ. The Jews say, “If He was the true Messiah, He would not allow all these evil things to go on in His name.” They truly are making a point there, although genuine Christians know otherwise.

Jews are playing on both sides of the fence: They renounce the Christian religion as stupid, yet eagerly accept all the money big business/retailers make during the Santa Claus season, etc. And the Israeli Jews accept the money that is donated to their cause–be what it may—given mostly by Evangelical Christians in America.

What can genuine American Christians do to alleviate this misconception of how Americans present Christianity and display what it really is? Not very much. Is that negative talk? No, it is realistic talk. There is one thing a few of us can do; regardless of how senseless genuine Christianity seems through the eyes of the world, we can live as Jesus Christ taught. Remember His words, “My kingdom is not of this world.” The implication is that the world was a foreign country to Him. And if we claim to be part of His kingdom, we should also live life here as if we are foreigners. No doubt, that will not change the world's opinion of Christianity, but that is not the full responsibility of the few that are chosen.

We are so concerned about global warming, and we should be, but an anonymous blogger commented in the last post that the world is getting darker (spiritually) and we can do little to lighten it up. But that does not mean we should slouch on our eternal job, but pray to God that He gives us a passionate intensity—the type the world has not yet seen—to let the world know that in this dark world, He is still active behind the scenes. And as it gets darker, we must maintain our resolve to keep our little lights of holiness, Godliness and goodness continually shining. Amen.

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