Originally posted September 17, 2010. Some re-editing.
After I posted Discover the Networks’ “The Muslim Brotherhood’s Strategic Goal for North America” on my Facebook page, one of my friends–a friend in real life–pointed out that Christianity has history of conquest and forced conversion as well.
I don’t mean to pick on my friend, but I felt it necessary to reiterate my response here (edited):
[In order for an individual to examine the tenets of his/her faith], one must look at the foundational work establishing that faith.
Before the Bible was made available to the everyday Christian, the Church leadership–meaning the Catholic Church–dispensed doctrine interpreted in whatever manner it saw fit. After Johannes Gutenberg, the Bible was made available to all who could read it. It is no accident that Christianity was radically transformed and Reformed after that.
The same is happening to Islam with respect its adherents and its doctrines.
One of the Founders of these two religions commanded his followers to love God with all one’s heart, soul, strength and mind and to love one’s neighbor as self; the other commanded his followers to convert non-believers at the point of the sword or make them pay the unbelievers’ tax.
As each set of followers have become more and more familiar with the foundational doctrines of the two sets of religious belief, they have begun to behave more and more in accordance to those doctrines: one set has become less totalitarian almost to the point of zero and the other more aggressive and violent.
The Bible and the Koran are objective documents with historical contexts readily available in this information age. It is up to the individual to make himself/herself familiar enough with both–if desired–in order to come to a cogent conclusion.
My friend mentions the genocides committed in the name of Jesus. Of course, the crimes of the prior millennium’s Christian missionaries are well-known and acknowledged:
Christian missionaries of Europe fell into error and sin back when they were bent on converting the natives of all lands–not by the act and desire of leading others to Christ, but by making Christianity about something other than Him, His Sacrifice, Resurrection and the purpose thereof. The missionaries bound up Christ in themselves and their own ethnicity.
Those crimes do not take anything away from the quality of the Gospel; they only speak to the quality of the human beings preaching it. Again, were such missionaries following Christ’s teachings or ignoring them when they trampled non-Christian cultures?
This subject reminds me of my repeated assertion that it’s necessary to be able to analyze information rather than simply to gather and regurgitate it. The will and ability to do this has become essential—not just to “win” an argument, but for personal, national, and spiritual survival.
Happy Resurrection Day.
Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.
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