Does Christianity Give Rise To Violent Extremists?
It has been suggested that Christianity, like Islam, has "ISIS like" extremists in their ranks. In an interview with Megyn Kelly on Fox news, Hassan Shelby, from the Counsel on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) made 3 comparison. Stating that Christianity has Westboro Baptist Church, Anders Behring Breivik, and of course, the Crusades.
I would like to give an answer to those who subscribe to this idea. Mr. Hassan would like to be able to point to Christianity and say "see you are no different" when in fact, Christianity does not produce violent extremists. Christian Doctrine gives no room for Holy Wars or violence of any kind. Those who do so, have not acted according to the teachings of Jesus Christ or His Word the Bible. Even so, lets look at the three extremist mentioned and see if an accurate or reasonable comparison can be made
Westboro Baptist Church
Lets start with Westboro Baptist Church, a group of 40 men woman and children who have made headlines for extremely weird, rude, and obnoxious behavior. To my knowledge, they do not have global domination as their stated goal. They have not beheaded anyone, nor have they organized an army. They do claim the Christian faith and they have indeed taken Christian Doctrines places they aught not go, but even so, those bent and twisted interpretations of Christian doctrines did not give rise to terrorism or violent behavior.
Anders Behring Breivik
Anders Behring Breivik was the 32 year old man who declared war on the Norwegian town of Oslo Killing 98 people before he was stopped. He said he did so to stop the political expansion of Islam. He acted alone and was not part of an organized Christian terrorist cell, He willingly admitted that he was a social and political Christian only, His actions were not motivated by scripture or a deep rooted Christian faith. In other words you can't blame Christianity or her scriptures for his deadly reasoning. His violence was the product of his own twisted mind. For more on Breivik, click on the following link.
The same can not be said for ISIS, their violent action can be justified by their scriptures and was exampled by their prophet. Their violent behavior is not an erroneous understanding or a twisting of their scripture; rather it is a literal interpretation and application of the Islamic faith. Now to be fair, folks who interpret the Bible literally and then turn and live it ofton become extremists, however, they generally become Amish or Mennonites, pacifists who tend to keep to them selves.
The Crusades, on the other hand, is a fair comparison. It stands out as one of the most disturbing events in Christian History. It was a time when Popes ruled and man's salvation was determined by geographical boundaries, good works, and the will of the church. In truth the Crusades were not fought by Christian men who lived according to the Bible, they were unregenerate and depraved men looking for land and glory. The Bible does not now, nor did it then, justify the actions of those carnal and wicked men. It is true that they considered themselves Christians and their actions were condoned by the Catholic leaders of the day. But the violence was not Scriptural and it most certainly was not Christian. In the 500- 700 years that has passed, Christianity has grown up quite a bit. The majority of Christendom has rejected Catholic rule, and we no longer combine church and state. The reformation brought about a purer, kinder, and more personal Christianity. The printing press and the reformation put Scriptures in people’s houses. For the first time, people were discovering the Word of God first hand.
To Christians today, a crusade is nothing more then an opportunity to shower their community with the gospel, or perhaps a food drive for a needy family. Violence is unacceptable and never tolerated. Islam has nothing to fear from the modern Christian. We follow Christ and we love our enemies.
There is No Such A Thing As Christian Terrorism.
There is no such a thing as Christian terrorism. Despite what you may hear, it doesn't happen. Men who use the name of Christ or His Church to justify evil deeds do so from the desires of their own wicked nature and twisted mind.
Islam condones violence in the name of Jihad. It was taught by their prophet and has been practiced throughout the centuries. It always has, and unless they learn from a chapter in Christian history, it always will. It must be said loud and clear, Christianity today abhors violence and is, in truth, the religion of peace.
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