The "Christian Nation" and the war with Islam

As if it isn’t bad enough that many Americans are condemning all Muslims for what a few are doing, you have Christians mixed in with this fine group as well. I take issue with what Americans are saying, but I have to take more of an issue with those who profess to be Christians and are buying into this sort of extremism. Why do I reserve special condemnation for those who profess Christ? I do so because your stance is soundly against the Christian principles you claim to defend and that you say are under assault by these same Muslims.

The problem here is that there seems to be a war of religions or a war of civilizations in the making. But where in the bible do we see that Christians are supposed to wage war against those who seek to harm them? The Christ of the bible, who so many claim to follow, would never sanction such a thing. Did he lead an armed revolt against the Pharisees who sought to persecute him? Did he declare war against the Romans? The answer is a clear no in both cases.

I’m just trying to hold Christians to the scripture by which the claim to live. The truth that many can’t seem to grasp is that there is a distinct difference between being an American and a Christian. The two don’t go together all that well. Christian scripture calls for the believer to have allegiance to Christ over all else. This includes any country or earthly government. Do what you want as an American. The right course of action is open to debate in that regard. But if you are a Christian, the debate is quite settled by scripture. You are not called to slaughter anyone. You are not called to go to war with another religion. Because your kingdom is not supposed to be of this world, now is it?

As if it isn’t bad enough that many Americans are condemning all Christians for what a few are doing … gee whiz … I think it’s wrong to condemn all Methodists for the acts of the KKK …

Thank you for trying to hold us to the letter of the scripture, that’s very kind of you. Turns out that there’s very few US laws that force us to hate ourselves and our brothers. For the most part, a Christian living in the USA gets along quite fine, same with Muslims. To my knowledge, there’s no law anyplace that requires drinking booze or eating pork or having more than on wife.

I guess I need to be clear about what you mean by “many Americans” … here in the West there are very few people who condemn Islam for the acts of a few.

Don’t be so sure. Jesus, from Matthew 10:34 “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”

Would he forgive such a thing?

Said scripture can be(and usually is) interpreted to mean whatever a person or group of people already believe and want to do, thus rendering your demand pretty much useless.

Very few Christians today call for armed, violent war against Islam as a religion.

If you mean “war” as nonviolent evangelism, media, conversion, preaching or verbal conflict, that is different.

Well, not exactly. He wasn’t speaking of actual warfare in that quote, but the division between believers and unbelievers. The sword would cut families apart, for instance, as the husband might come to the Christian faith but the wife might not. It doesn’t mean he kills her, just that he is “cut off” from her.

Remember, this is also the guy who said that whoever lives by the sword, dies by the sword, and healed the high priest’s servant’s ear.

If only there was an electronic encyclopedia you could access to read up on that:

Matthew 10:34–36 describes Jesus telling the disciples that He came not to bring peace to the world, but a sword. Jesus’ sword was never a literal one. In fact, when Peter took up a sword to defend Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus rebuked him and told him to put away his sword, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword” (Matthew 26:52).

Never having read the Bible I found it pretty easy to look this stuff up. If he advocated killing people then he didn’t follow through on it. As I heard the story his death was a self sacrifice to atone for the sins of others.

Just be generous when they pass the pie plate around Sunday morning … $100 bill forgives a multitude of sins …

And yet, one could just as easily take the quote and say that, clearly, it is the “radical Islamic terrorist” who has drawn the sword, so they should perish by it. And Jesus is no pacifist – just take a look at his violent actions against those he considered to be desecrating the Temple.

Finally, we also have to consider that Jesus, in the most mainstream of Christian thought, is of one being with God the Father, so we can’t just dismiss outright the ethnic and religious warfare that God ordered in the OT.

You’re right, but you’re also not right. The context of the quote is indeed that family members will turn against family members, believers against non-believers - but it’s also made clear that, in lines like Matthew 10:21; “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death." or Matthew 10:39; “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” placed directly after the big part about splitting families that he is talking about a sometimes violent and deadly cutting apart here. He is, in fact, literally talking about killing, in some cases.

If you’re referring to the money changers story there was no violence involved unless you consider turning over tables and chasing animals out the door as violent.

Debated already in another thread. Jesus made up a whip and used it. (On livestock only?) The Catholic Tradition is that he whipped people. That’s violence.

there is no mention of anyone harmed or of a whip.

That you keep trotting this out as a violent act is just sad. There is no mention of harm to man or beast. In fact, he freed animals that would have been killed. At best you have PETA’s first member.

I have to tell ya, I went to Catholic school for 13 years and we were ALWAYS led to believe that he was whipping people when he cleared the temple. In fact, I remember at least one piece of art that showed just that. Plenty more if you Google Image search for the cleansing of the temple.

John 2:15. Jesus made a whip out of cords.

There is no specific mention of anyone harmed, but it is Catholic tradition that he used the whip on the moneylenders.

Romans 13:3-4 (ESV):

While Christianity is not an earthly kingdom and thus should not be carnal weapons, Christians nonetheless live in this world and thus are citizens of their respective countries among other social relations they are in. It is in this capacity that Christians may and even ought to wage war to defend their countries and vanquish evil, for the State is an institution whose primary function is precisely to wield the sword of venegeance against evil. Obviously, we are not at war with Islam nor is this war of Christianity against Islam, but the United States and her allies (including Muslims) are waging a struggle against a theocratic variant of Islam.

You have fundamentally misunderstood what is MOSTLY going on.
It is NOT Christians against Muslims. It’s much more one-sided than that.

It is Americans and other nationalities, wanting to believe that Islam is magically bad, and is the cause of terrorism, because it’s much easier to go on the attack when you think that evil can be easily defeated, if we just kill everyone who “looks or sounds like that.”

In other words, it’s not about RELIGION at all, it’s about an all too common desire to find a simple solutions to a much more complicated problem.

No different than the idiocy going on the United States, where some large groups of people declare all Liberals to be inherently stupid or anti-American, or declaring that Conservatives are all racists trying to bring back Naziism.

Actually, most of what is going on against Islam in the West, has nothing at all to Christianity in any way.

That’s correct. There’s no mention of anyone harmed. There’s little chance of a lone person with a piece of rope successfully harming a group of men. He’d be collectively beaten to a pulp.

This story takes place in a room full of money and sacrificial animals. The animals were run off and the money tossed on the ground. The point of the story was the corruption of religion and a protest against it. The character in the story was a prophet/god who healed the sick and fed the poor. It was literally a story of self sacrifice. That is the theme of the religion.

The life of the prophet Mohammad was philosophically much different. It was not one of self-sacrifice but one of conquest and death. There are overlapping aspects of these 2 religions that are peaceful and provide for the common good of its followers but Mohammad’s methods of enforcing them are much different.

In a thread about a current “war with Islam” these philosophical differences manifest themselves in how the religions are enforced. I’ve cited before on this board that over 400 million Muslims currently believe it is acceptable to punish blasphemy and apostasy up to and including the sentence of death. This state of mind is consistent with the large number of religious terrorist groups associated with Islam. No other religion in this century has anywhere near the number of terrorist groups associated with it. No other religion in this century routinely sees terrorist attacks based on these groups. And those attacks are not limited to the hundreds of thousands of people directly associated with specific terrorist groups. The “lone wolf” attacks are outside of these groups which means the influence extends beyond these groups.

To say that Mohammad is a revered prophet would be an understatement. His image cannot be displayed and his name not mentioned without saying “peace be upon him”. It’s just common sense to accept the premise that his most ardent followers will emulate his direct words and actions and that is the driving force behind the large number of terrorists associated with the religion. There is no black and white division of good followers and bad followers. It’s a sliding scale of acceptance of the actions of Mohammad.

Somehow, despite Jesus’s supposed peacefulness (even though all the sources I’ve read indicated he did, in fact, beat the crap out of the money changers), Christian countries are far, far more violent in terms of overseas invasions and conquests for territory over the last few hundred years than countries from any other religion.

What is it about the tenets of Christianity that drive this incredible bloodthirstiness and greed for territory and conquest for Christian-majority countries?