Sunday, February 22, 2009

Christianity Against Islam.

Christians and Muslims have often existed with the burden of great strife between them and their followers. However, countless people do not posses the knowledge to know which is right or wrong, and, as a result, they are lost. Many Christians stand strong in their beliefs; as do many Muslims. Therefore, for a lost individual, it may be hard to comprehend and decipher. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” states Jesus Christ, the Son of the one true God, in John 14:6 of the Bible. However, “Muhammad would scoff at the idea that Islam is merely one path to God.” This is stated in The God Conversation, by J. P. Moreland and Tim Muehlhoff; and it is an immense contrast in the two religions. Christianity, which is lifetime dedication to God’s commands, as well as a relationship with God, is the preferred belief system in my opinion; for it is the only means by which an individual can be saved, the only way to find true acceptance and happiness, and the only religion that has an entirely true message and an entirely true God.

First of all, Christianity is the only means by which one is able to be saved. Salvation is from the Lord; Jesus Christ payed the price of it for us by dying an unimaginable death on the cross. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God,” states Ephesians 2:8. John 3:16, which is perhaps the most well-known scripture passage in the Bible, says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” If one is a saved Christian, he is destined to spend eternity in an uncomprehendably amazing paradise, known as Heaven, with the Savior; and in order to be a Christian, one must specifically follow what Jesus says in Matthew 16:24-28: “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.’” This is a cause and effect statement; and it is truth that is to be followed. A Muslim has no relationship with God, for Islam does not claim Christ as the Savior, and they do not worship the same God as Christians. Allah is their god, and Muhammad is his supposed prophet. It is completely impossible to attain Salvation through a worthless force that exists only in the minds of the spiritually lost and corrupt. 

Secondly, Christianity is the only way one can find true happiness and acceptance. Psalm 13:5 says, “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.” If an individual is without God, he is lost. If one is lost, he cannot discover true happiness. The worthless material possessions of this unforgiving world are unable to bring happiness, for they do not matter on judgement day; they do not determine where one will spend eternity. “In order to promote harmony most people today subscribe to the that all religions are different yet equally valid paths to God,” as J.P. Moreland and Tim Muehlhoff state in The God Conversation. This causes people to be radically tolerant of all beliefs, and, in turn, leads to people becoming lost. Islam teaches that good deeds and a lifetime of service to Allah leads to salvation; Christianity teaches that taking up one’s cross and following God leads to an individual’s eternal Salvation. Muslims commonly become greatly confused and distressed when they contemplate whether or not they will be in Heaven with God at the end if times. Even when a Muslim is strong in his faith and good deeds, he cannot be quite sure of this. Christians are guaranteed eternity in Heaven as long as they are saved and repent. Christians can fellowship with one another and grow together in Christ. Christ is always there for those who find comfort in Him, even when people are cruel, unfaithful and the opposite of trustworthy. Knowing this, a believer can feel a sense of belonging that a lost person may never feel. 

Finally, Christianity is the only religion that has an entirely true message and an entirely true God. In Malachi 3:6a the LORD says, “I the LORD do not change...” Psalm 90:2b says, “...from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Psalm 40:11b says, “...may your love and your truth always protect me.” Every part of God’s Word is truth. God is the one true God. He is the only way to attain Salvation and He is the only way through which one may be blessed, and so on. Islam is an untrue, corrupted religion through which no one can be saved. Jesus was not a prophet, He was the Messiah; Muhammad was no prophet, he was an insane, untruthful human being; Allah is no God, only our God is the true God; good deeds do not pay for one’s salvation, a relationship with God and repentance does. 

Overall, Christianity is the only true belief system in God’s eyes. Islam is nothing but the works of a corrupted individual. As Christians, we are to spread the Gospel and be shining lights for Jesus Christ. We are to effectively bring others to Christ and be missionaries wherever we are, no matter the situation. We are to serve the one true Almighty Savior; the one who said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” 

Monday, February 16, 2009

Draw Peace Deliriously.

As I am writing this, it is almost 3:00 AM on February 16, 2009. I am delirious as all get out, and I am also quite hyper. I do not know why I am writing this. I have no motive, point, or message. One would be amazed by the questionable actions delirious people carry out. I suppose that is my point. 
Let me tell you about my day. I went to church, I ate, I visited with my dear friends, and I became delirious. 
I want to go to wherever the setting of this sketch I just drew is. 
I recently wished a soldier "Happy Birthday" through an e-mail. Along with the birthday wishes, I included a very brief motivational message and point with scripture. I also attempted to express my gratitude towards him, for I cannot begin to imagine what he has gone through and endured while serving his country for almost two decades. Anyone who risks losing their lives for others and for peace is definitely deserving of thanks and extreme appreciation. This is the case for many of the members of the United States Armed Forces and the government (policemen, firefighters, etc.). It would be inconceivably difficult to put myself in their positions for even a split second. May God be with them and bless them always - that is my prayer. Let it be yours. The response I received from this particular soldier was amazing and heart-warming. It was rare and humbling to see what he had to say concerning our Savior, Jesus Christ, and his gratitude for the supporters here at home. I strongly encourage everyone to write a hero of our nation; thank them and put smiles on their faces. It is well worth taking the time to do so.

See what can come from a random, deliriously composed message? 

I am so fat and tired, I can't even think. 

kpb vpv;o jvovj;ojv jg ob

I apologize if you find this ignorant and stupid.

n inoab;ojbe,
Jonathan.



Friday, February 13, 2009

A Disconsolate Truth.

What I am about to use as my illustration is from the movie Hotel Rwanda, which was directed by Terry George. The illustration is a conversation, which took place between Paul Rusesabagina, the Hutu manager of the Hotel Des Milles Collines at the time of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, and Colonel Oliver, who is a Canadian United Nations colonel [based on Romeo Dallaire- the UN commander in Rwanda] at this time as well. But before I introduce the illustration, allow me to describe the circumstances [in the movie] under which this raucous, relevant conversation took place: A French intervention force has entered Rwandan soil, and this brings a peaceful and celebratory state of mind to all who are aware of it. The Rwandans are flooded with hope, that is, until they find out that the so called "intervention" force only arrived to extract all the white (American, European, etc.) people from the country, which, at the time, was already beginning to wreak with the scent of the rotting flesh of the innocent. This conversation between the two respected men came about after the colonel discovered the "intervention" force's intentions- he was the first to know, minus the force itself. He became enlightened about this while talking to the apparent leader of the group of French that arrived at the hotel, at which this entire situation is taking place. Mr. Rusesabagina is standing amongst his family and those he loves, when he sees the colonel make a gesture of grave disappointment, and, shortly after, harshly gait into the hotel lounge. Mr. Rusesabagina's sense of hope and state of content celebration is cut short as he makes his way into the hotel to become informed on the Colonel's unexplainable behavior. He enters the lounge, and discovers Colonel Oliver indignantly defying every rule of correct posture while sitting at the bar. Mr. Rusesabagina then places himself behind the bar. The conversation begins:

Paul: So, Colonel, what can I get you?
Colonel: Well, something strong.
Paul: Scotch?
Colonel: Yeah.
Paul pours two glasses, and looks up after a moment of silence.
Paul: Congratulations, Colonel, you have performed a minor miracle.
Colonel: [sigh] Congratulations?
Paul: Yes, sir.
Colonel: [angrily] You should spit in my face.
Paul: Excuse me, Colonel?
Colonel: [cringing] You're dirt. We think you're dirt, Paul.
Paul: Who is we?
Colonel: The West, all the superpowers, everything you believe in, Paul. They think you're dirt, they think you're dung. You're worthless!
Paul: I'm afraid I don't understand what you are saying, sir.
Colonel: Oh, come on, don't nonsense* me, Paul. You're the smartest man here. You got 'em all eating out of your hands. You could own this freakin' hotel...except for one thing- you're black. You're not even a ****** (inappropriate term referring to black Americans). You're an African. [silence] They're not gonna stay Paul; they're not gonna stop this slaughter.

***

Although this conversation was intense and suspenseful, it holds truth. It is a valid illustration of what is happening in this unforgiving, evil-filled world today. Most human beings turn their backs on the fact, for many are satisfied with their "comfortable" lives. These people have surrounded themselves with the appealing aspects of life, and therefore look away from reality. They, in a sense, have created their own realities, which are, of course, untrue and, in some occasions, unjust. This is entirely unfair, for it is discrimination against humans. Purposefully overlooking those in need and those who are helpless and unfortunate is sinful and wrong in God's eyes. One must have the ability to attempt to imagine himself or herself in an unbelievable situation that is full of desperation to feel true compassion. The devastating reality must be faced- there are people on this earth who look down upon those in need; and who tune them out of their lives and thoughts. This is injustice, in every sense of the word. What on earth ever happened to the United States of America being a nation "Under God?" In the overall justice system and government itself, I see no official or officer making decisions "Under God." I see few Godly policies, and hardly any Christ-like leaders taking stand. If we were a nation "Under God," we would not be of the most selfish, religiously corrupt (compared to how we used to be- truly "Under God") nations of the dominant West. Instead, we would be taking a stand for our Savior, who brought us here in the first place, and we would be fulfilling His commands! This is true for countless nations around the world.

Proverbs 19:17 says, "He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done." The "poor" can consist of every single human being in existence that is in dire need of intervention and help; it can consist of anyone who is hurting, starving, bleeding, and longing for peace. Selfless, compassionate people who love others and overwhelm those is need with a sense of hope are doing good works and honoring God to an inconceivable extent. This is a way of bringing Glory to our Father in Heaven; and it is a method of shining Christ's love towards others. This message is scattered innumerably throughout God's Word, and therefore, we are to follow it and live by it every single millisecond of our lives.

Could you imagine the unbearable, sudden burden of knowing that you and those you love are nothing but a worthless heap of rotting dung and dirt in the eyes of those who are presented to be your only hope of survival amidst such corruption and evil? Most likely, one could not insert himself or herself in such a situation unless they have already been forced into one, which is not the case for millions of able-bodied people on this planet. Everyday, there are human beings hurting; people just like you and me who are experiencing the disconsolate truth that is taking its unfortunate stand everywhere- to street corners, homes, families, hotel rooms, alley ways, mothers, children, fathers and brothers. It is impossible to comprehend. One may be exposed to the suffering of the world, and attempt to grasp the intensity, which may cause them to feel small, and, as a result, they turn away. But this is wrong, no matter the quantity of despondency; for everyone can intervene and bring hope to someone. Anything can be done through Christ, who brings strength to His people. Every fragment of help can cause change and make a positive, hopeful difference. There are individuals crying out from every corner of the globe; however, they may be rejected by someone who has the ability to help because of their "worthless" status, which is derived from the actions of the selfish.

Let this be a message of hope for you, and may you be a message of hope for someone in need. Christ has suffered in the way that innumerable people are suffering now. Let this be our hope and inspiration, so that we may be advocates of intervention and peace.
To God be the Glory, forever and forever.