Thursday, February 09, 2006

Interesting Comparison of Jesus and Muhammad

I read the blog, DESIRING GOD, for the first time this evening, and the first post I read was a comparison of Jesus and Muhammad and what it means to follow each one. I found it fascinating, and I would love for anyone with more Biblical knowledge and understanding than I have to comment on this. Here are some exerpts:
The work of Muhammad is based on being honored and the work of Christ is based on being insulted. This produces two very different reactions to mockery. . . . If Christ had not been insulted, there would be no salvation.
I've never looked at Christianity as being based on insults. It continues:
Most Muslims have been taught that Jesus was not crucified. One Sunni Muslim
writes, “Muslims believe that Allah saved the Messiah from the ignominy of
crucifixion.”1 Another adds, “We honor [Jesus] more than you [Christians] do. . . . We refuse to believe that God would permit him to suffer death on the cross.”2 An essential Muslim impulse is to avoid the “ignominy” of the cross.
So Muslims feel that they honor Jesus more than Christians do?
Some scriptural background is given for the basis of mockery in Christianity.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of
evil against you falsely on my account” (Matthew 5:11). During his life on earth
Jesus was called a bastard (John 8:41), a drunkard (Matthew 11:19), a blasphemer
(Matthew 26:65), a devil (Matthew 10:25); and he promised his followers the
same: “If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will
they malign those of his household” (Matthew 10:25). . . .
Read on.

The caricature and mockery of Christ has continued to this day. Martin Scorsese
portrayed Jesus in The Last Temptation of Christ as wracked with doubt and beset with sexual lust. Andres Serrano was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts to portray Jesus on a cross sunk in a bottle of urine. The Da Vinci Code portrays Jesus as a mere mortal who married and fathered children.

How should his followers respond? On the one hand, we are grieved and angered. On the other hand, we identify with Christ, and embrace his suffering, and rejoice in our afflictions, and say with the apostle Paul that vengeance belongs to the Lord, let us love our enemies and win them with the gospel. If Christ did his work by being insulted, we must do ours likewise. . . . It means that a religion with no insulted Savior will not endure insults to win the scoffers.

So what do you think? Read the entire article. I started to quote more of it here, but I think it's important to read the whole post.

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