Tag Archives: Jesus

Wild, pruned or crippled

I was walking through a spring-time city to work this morning, noticing gardens that clearly have been pruned over many years and bearing the beauty of it all. I also walked past some mostly untouched nature and I remembered some gardens I have seen elsewhere in the world.

However this post is not on gardening, but on human beings.

I have seen beauty in wild nature, in ‘untouched’ nature… just as I have in humans that have a somewhat pure hearted wildness to them. They seem to reflect the beauty of a rough diamond, yet sometimes it becomes abundantly clear that some shaping and friction that will duly follow as a consequence of this wildness will have the power to bring forth in them the stunning beauty hidden within, or destroy them utterly.

Jesus speaks of the wine stock, how it must be pruned regularly to bear worthwhile and good fruit. He likens us to that wine stock; He also makes use of the example of clay to illustrate this point, undergoing a process of moulding and shaping, mostly through people God puts into our lives, to bring out Christ-likeness more.

As every good gardener, He knows, how much to cut away, to make providence for a unique taste and quality of its fruit. As every excellent artist He knows, just how much to chip away of the material, to conform it to the wanted image, yet maintain its uniqueness.

I have found that good leaders possess this quality of a good gardener too. They discover the passionate heart and prune it in a way, that it remains uniquely beautiful, yet most effective and useful to the kingdom of God.

However sometimes having the ability is just not enough to be a good gardener as well.

I have also seen leaders, that prune not to conform to Christ, but to mould people as stepping stones to own glory, to push them into moulds of ‘perfect little Christians’ and crippled they souls while shackling their spirits instead.

With skill comes a power, that when abused causes destruction and has an utter crippling effect to the whole person.

How can you and I avoid crippling, yet allow appropriate pruning in our walks with Christ?

  1. I would say as a Christian (a person that follows Christ that HEARS and OBEYS His voice) you first of all should ask for His guidance when choosing a church.
  2. Once you have chosen a church, and are assured that is where God wants you, submit to your leadership and their pruning. Trusting that GOD is in control throughout, knowing what He is doing.
  3. Hold still while being pruned appropriately, if we withdraw from the artist or gardener unfinished or in a moulding/chipping/pruning process, we are bound to get hurt!
  4. Remain teachable. Yes, stay in conversation with God to make sure you are where you should be, that pruning is happening and that your heart remains teachable.

God is not confused, He is not surprised by who you are, He is not even surprised by your own agenda in matters. Trust Him. Submit to Him. His agenda is to prune you… to Christ-likeness… on a daily basis.

This will at times cause spiritual ‘growing pains’. Allow them, embrace them and take them for what they are. Rejoice over correction; celebrate when sin gets exposed, knowing God does so to set you free of it; and continue to seek His face daily in the most intimate possible to you!

May God bless you!

Another way of using Facebook

I have spent plenty hours in my life on Facebook, and I presume, so have you. At the same time, I am a professing Christian and I desire to share the Gospel of Christ.

In the midst of all the turmoil our world finds itself in, I find it shocking how most facebook posts merely satisfy a sickening hunger for sensationalism. Whether it be posts depicting mutilated animals, videos of atrocities of war, posts with photos of parties gone out of hand with people being hectically drunk and obscene… the list continues and I am sure you have your own few you could add.

The questions I need to ask myself and suggest you ask yourself are:

what feelings get promoted by such sensationalism? Is it a hunger to share the Gospel, to pray, to love, … or is it mostly shock, disgust, anger, frustration, fear, hatred, judgmental opinion and a sense of being better than ‘they’ are, …

what do I want others to witness when they think of me (even on FB)? Is it such sensationalism, judgmental opinion, anger and bitterness towards others that act and think otehrwise… or it is a desire for them to seek a loving God, who forgives, reconciles and calls us to love and pray and be the change this world desires.

what can I do about all this? Is it the right choice to just “fast” FB for a while… or should I rather learn to use it effectively for the building of His kingdom on earth? Or do I decide that God has no say in my usage of facebook?

I decided I need to do something about my usage of facebook so it honours God. I do share truth (but never without the necessary love for all parties involved.), I however also decided I would use facebook to witness. So I came up with an idea that I will share with you today, hoping some of my readers here might catch onto it and will follow in a similar attempt.

I decided to post a testimony a day. (Brutally honest and vulnerable at times.)

Yes, I literally have a post on my wall saying “Testomony Day …” and then I testify in short of one thing that God has done for me today.

Some days it is challenging to find a testimony I deem worthwhile, but there always is one. Why? Because I serve a living God with whom I have relationship… and with that there is always something happening.

Why do I prefer to share a testimony a day than other things that cause sensationalism?

I find sensationalism counterproductive. Let us be honest… seeing enough mutilated animals does not promote our love for animals… it merely promotes our hate for people who act like that.

I decided that sharing a testimony a day, is a way of flooding the facebook with testimonies of people like myself, who are fallible, who are imperfect, who have fault; but who none the less can testify of Gods love and patience, grace and forgiveness and how His provision comes through daily.

My prayer is that at least one of these testimonies will make the one of other facebook friend think about whether they can have a relationship with God too, whether there might be a God after all, and perhaps even admit that Jesus might be exactly what they need in their lives. 

For those that are Christians already I pray the posts are encouraging and exhorting to their lives.

Perhaps you will join me with a similar endeavor of using your facebook to witness. If so, let me know about it… share it in the comment section… .

Let’s BE the change, by being a living testimony even in the virtual world.

God bless you!

A thought on why Christmas is special (prophecies fulfilled)

We celebrate Christmas 2013 today. 

If we look to our cities, shops and neighbourhoods it all seems to be about Santa Clause, Christmas trees etc.

However the background is quite a different one. And even though “Christmas” as we know it from its start had pagan roots, Christians all around the world consider it one of their biggest celebrations in the year. So instead of discussing its roots today or ways of celebrating….

When you and I as Christians celebrate this Christmas… let us not only remember the nativity story from Luke chapter 2. Let us remember WHAT was so significant about this man being born. Let us remember the cross of Calvary as well as the crib. Let usremember that he was no ordinary man but the promised Messiah to the Jews that would bring salvation ultimately to everyone who believed in Him. Let us remember how he – until now remaining unprecedented – has fullfilled all the prophecies given about his life. Most of which could not be influenced by himself. Let us remember the power of deliverance, healing, liberty, freedom, peace, love he proclaims and carries within His name.

And Most importantly: LET US PROCLAIM THE GOOD NEWS OF WHO JESUS WAS AND IS!

The below list is not exhaustive… its just something to start you thinking and researching. It is a quoted list… for details to the webpage please see below.

1 Messiah would be born of a woman. Genesis 3:15 Matthew 1:20 Galatians 4:4

2 Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Micah 5:2 Matthew 2:1 Luke 2:4-6

3 Messiah would be born of a virgin. Isaiah 7:14 Matthew 1:22-23 Luke 1:26-31

Messiah would come from the line of Abraham. Genesis 12:3 Genesis 22:18 Matthew 1:1 Romans 9:5

Messiah would be a descendant of Isaac. Genesis 17:19 Genesis 21:12 Luke 3:34

Messiah would be a descendant of Jacob. Numbers 24:17 Matthew 1:2

Messiah would come from the tribe of Judah. Genesis 49:10 Luke 3:33 Hebrews 7:14

Messiah would be heir to King David’s throne. 2 Samuel 7:12-13 Isaiah 9:7 Luke 1:32-33 Romans 1:3

Messiah’s throne will be anointed and eternal. Psalm 45:6-7 Daniel 2:44 Luke 1:33 Hebrews 1:8-12

10 Messiah would be called Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 Matthew 1:23

11 Messiah would spend a season in Egypt. Hosea 11:1 Matthew 2:14-15

12 A massacre of children would happen at Messiah’s birthplace. Jeremiah 31:15 Matthew 2:16-18

13 A messenger would prepare the way for Messiah Isaiah 40:3-5 Luke 3:3-6

14 Messiah would be rejected by his own people. Psalm 69:8 Isaiah 53:3 John 1:11 John 7:5

15 Messiah would be a prophet. Deuteronomy 18:15 Acts 3:20-22

16 Messiah would be preceded by Elijah. Malachi 4:5-6 Matthew 11:13-14

17 Messiah would be declared the Son of God. Psalm 2:7 Matthew 3:16-17

18 Messiah would be called a Nazarene. Isaiah 11:1 Matthew 2:23

19 Messiah would bring light to Galilee. Isaiah 9:1-2 Matthew 4:13-16

20 Messiah would speak in parables. Psalm 78:2-4 Isaiah 6:9-10 Matthew 13:10-15,34-35

21 Messiah would be sent to heal the brokenhearted. Isaiah 61:1-2 Luke 4:18-19

22 Messiah would be a priest after the order ofMelchizedek. Psalm 110:4 Hebrews 5:5-6

23 Messiah would be called King. Psalm 2:6 Zechariah 9:9 Matthew 27:37 Mark 11:7-11

24 Messiah would be praised by little children. Psalm 8:2 Matthew 21:16

25 Messiah would be betrayed. Psalm 41:9 Zechariah 11:12-13 Luke 22:47-48 Matthew 26:14-16

26 Messiah’s price money would be used to buy a potter’s field. Zechariah 11:12-13 Matthew 27:9-10

27 Messiah would be falsely accused. Psalm 35:11 Mark 14:57-58

28 Messiah would be silent before his accusers. Isaiah 53:7 Mark 15:4-5

29 Messiah would be spat upon and struck. Isaiah 50:6 Matthew 26:67

30 Messiah would be hated without cause. Psalm 35:19 Psalm 69:4 John 15:24-25

31 Messiah would be crucified with criminals. Isaiah 53:12 Matthew 27:38 Mark 15:27-28

32 Messiah would be given vinegar to drink. Psalm 69:21 Matthew 27:34 John 19:28-30

33 Messiah’s hands and feet would be pierced. Psalm 22:16 Zechariah 12:10 John 20:25-27

34 Messiah would be mocked and ridiculed. Psalm 22:7-8 Luke 23:35

35 Soldiers would gamble for Messiah’s garments. Psalm 22:18 Luke 23:34 Matthew 27:35-36

36 Messiah’s bones would not be broken. Exodus 12:46 Psalm 34:20 John 19:33-36

37 Messiah would be forsaken by God. Psalm 22:1 Matthew 27:46

38 Messiah would pray for his enemies. Psalm 109:4 Luke 23:34

39 Soldiers would pierce Messiah’s side. Zechariah 12:10 John 19:34

40 Messiah would be buried with the rich. Isaiah 53:9 Matthew 27:57-60

41 Messiah would resurrect from the dead. Psalm 16:10 Psalm 49:15 Matthew 28:2-7 Acts 2:22-32

42 Messiah would ascend to heaven. Psalm 24:7-10 Mark 16:19 Luke 24:51

43 Messiah would be seated at God’s right hand. Psalm 68:18 Psalm 110:1 Mark 16:19 Matthew 22:44

44 Messiah would be a sacrifice for sin. Isaiah 53:5-12 Romans 5:6-8

(list quoted from “Prophecies Jesus Fulfilled – 44 Prophecies of the Messiah Fulfilled in Jesus Christ” By Mary Fairchild)

May you spend these days, becoming LOVERS OF CHRIST and allowing that change within you to change all that is surrounding you to bring light to this world.

Blessed Christmas.

Religious Routine or Adventurous Faith?

I have heard comments like “Christians have no fun”, “all the things that are fun happen outside of faith”, “being a Christian is boring” and many more… you too I presume. And sadly often these comments have a bit of truth – but why? And should it be like that?

Well to tell you the truth – NO, it shouldn’t be like that. God calls us to lead a life in abundance. A life FULL of joy and adventure – an adventure that can only be written WITH Jesus in your life.

But how do we get there? How do we go from routine and mediocrity to abundance and adventure in our daily lives on a daily level?

I hope to lead you closer to that.

Step 1:

Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus? (Romans 10:9) If not so… or if you are unsure study Romans 10:9 until God helps you understand fully…call upon Jesus as your Lord and Saviour.

Step 2:

Do you believe what the Bible says? I mean… do you believe ALL of what it says?

If so… great. If not so – then let us embark on a journey to help you make a founded and solid decision on the matter using scientific proof (please see blog posts on uniqueness of the Bible or check out provethebible.net; www.answersingenesis.org ; www.josh.org ).

If you are unsure… well then let us embark on the adventure of experiencing truth.

Step 3:

Act upon what the Bible says: i.e.

– if it tells you to spend time with God, do so… it might start out as something you are not used to doing…but will after some while be exciting above all!

– if it tells you to pray for the sick – try it. Do it again and again until God moves and the sick get healed.

– if it tells you to preach the Gospel – by all means please do!

– if it tells you that you need fellowship – then you probably do (remember, God has designed you – he should know)

etc. Just act upon what you come to know to be truth!

Step 4:

Challenge yourself to live radically!

Our own mind sets limitations to what we believe God can do! Challenge yourself to experience God radically… to live for God radically… to love radically…

Step 5:

Spend enough time with God to feel His heartbeat and His desire becoming yours. And spend enough time with the people to know their heartbeat and their needs.

Share of what you have – give all God gives to you to others and experience Gods provisions.

And experience the joy of giving it all you have and are and still being filled to the brim and overflowing.

You will never get bored. Not if you follow wholeheartedly… if you act upon the truths revealed to you and open up to God and allow Him be become Lord over every part of your live and being!

Church will not be a place to which you go – you will be the church.

Faith will not be a separated part of who you aim at to be – it will be the core of your being.

Every day life will no longer stand in contrast to Christianity, but will be an expression of it.

Boredom of Christians will NOT be part of who you are… it will be a thing of the past, that sounds abstract and that has proven itself as completely wrong once you follow Jesus wholeheartedly!

I hope you take the journey and stay on it! I’d love to hear all about it!

 

Christmas season – outreach idea

Here we go… I hope you enjoyed my last two posts on this topic. Here is a second idea on how to reach people with God’s love this Christmas season.

Go to: http://www.fathersloveletter.com/ and copy the text in the most common languages of the area you live in.

Print it on beautiful paper, roll the message up and bind a lovely ribbon around it. (You do want to take at least 20 of them… they will be gone quicker than you know.)

rolled up letter

(Sometimes attaching a sweet helps when distributing them.)

Then go out into the streetssmile!… and hand them out as season greetings to people you pass by. And experience the blessing of receiving a smile and knowing you just handed them the key that might lead to life!

Blessings!

What climbing can teach about Faith.

I recently started climbing and bouldering and am enjoying it very much. However the question that determines most of the things I do is: “What does it teach me about God or my Faith?”

Though the below might not be an all inclusive list…it is what stood out to me:

Dependence is what keeps you alive. Even though society tries to convince us that independence is the ultimate goal, here tied to a top rope you learn to treasure the dependence of another person below. Likewise dependence on God is an absolute essential for life!

You only climb ahead when secured. Equipment to be in good shape and order is essential and secures life. Choosing the right equipment is equally important. When you climb you want to make sure that equipment is in place and in good shape. That goes for every walk of our lives…for when it is not…we suffer the consequences. When thinking of it, the equipment represents the basics you have learned in faith…it is your gifting and the anointing combined with the acquired skills. Climbing without being secured onto a rope (i.e. dependence on God and a congregation) and the right equipment will lead to failure.

The rope is you life-belt. It is quite simple… the rope breaks, you fall and possibly die. The rope is a symbol for your personal relationship with God and what you do to maintain and enhance it daily.

You need to put the weight and emphasis where your foot is. i.e. don’t climb primarily by arms strength or you’ll grow tired! This is a wonderful analogy to mission work and/or growth in the congregation. The foot represents the land you can conquer spiritually; the arms are your outreaches. Only when you have taken a solid stand spiritually does an outreach have a long lasting effect… otherwise it is often comparable to a drop of water on a hot plate.

(Foot)hold is only provided once you put your full weight on it. I have often met Christians who barely take in the land given to them, before they move on… it seems they are only on a journey through. However for the land to remain in your possession you need to STAND on your foot. Feel the ground… rely on it to carry you.

Once your foot can reach, your hand can follow. It is when you have taken the land in a spiritual sense (i.e. foot hold), that your arms and hands can reach out in ministry.

Your foot gets you up… your hand keeps you close to the rock. Your taking the land will allow you to advance… your reaching out will keep you close to the heart of Jesus, the Rock.

Think about where you want to go how BEFORE you climb that part. It is vital to know where you are headed to avoid failure and disappointment as well as burn out (the latter goes especially for spiritual matters).

You only concentrate on where you are at that specific moment – it’s of no avail to think of the top. If you do not focus on where you are at that moment, you are losing momentum, concentration and strength. Though this might seem simple and logical I have seen numerous people and Christians for that matter, that focus too much on the end goal to acquire the abilities/skills God wants them to acquire in the here and now. Likewise they disobey God in not doing what they do wholeheartedly and in love.

It is good to take a short rest and breathe once in a while… even enjoying the view. There is nothing wrong with enjoying what you do, finding rest and regaining strength. That goes for spiritual issues as well!

Technique is best trained when bouldering i.e. close to the ground. Bouldering is done in proximity to the ground… it is done without rope or harness to secure you. Your feet and hands are equally trained with your mind and eyes, to find good hold. The spiritual implication this has is: a congregation is a training ground…it is a place to learn technique and skills.

Falling down is part of the deal, but you allow the rock/wall to challenge you and get up and do it again and try to improve on it. Falling is part of the deal…so are scrapes on your knees and the like… so you get up and do it again and avoid making the same mistake twice. Likewise in faith… you will not lead the perfect life… you will at times fail, backslide, get hurt and scraped… but remember… you can get back up… the Rock (i.e. Jesus) challenges you to do so… in order to grow.

No matter how good you get…you never really excel 100% and are still vulnerable and dependent (on the rock, the rope, the equipment, skills, …). It is good to remember this last point. It teaches you humility and respect. And that goes for faith and daily life especially.

So next time you climb… remember these lessons (or at least some of them) and allow God to teach you more on the matter. Or if you haven’t climbed before… why don’t you go and try it… it might teach you on faith through experience and a good, fun workout.

God bless.

Outreach to the wood crafters of Swakopmund

It all started when I had too much time at hand and decided to find out what people really needed. I walked down toward the Mole (that is the beach near the city centre of Swakopmund) and just before arriving there, I stopped at the wood crafters market. The men that work there make wooden souvenirs for tourists to buy and try to make a living of that. Most of them come from Kavango (an area in the north of Namibia), Zambia or Zimbabwe and Congo.

Of course when I arrived I was treated like any customer…asked to come and look at their pieces of art and acknowledge their work. So I did… but not without letting them know that I wasn’t here to buy anything but to talk to them about Jesus.

We talked and shared… about our lives with Jesus. And they voiced their need for Bibles… their need for someone to teach them how to reach out to their (mostly atheist) European customers. I promised to be back.

Next time I went… I brought some Bibles I could get. They wanted me to write a dedication into each one of them. I exchanged cell numbers with Alex (a local there) to keep track of who needs a Bible still and who is to get the next one.

So I went again… and again… sometimes with Bibles (sadly not every time, as I do not have some available every time I go) sometimes just to sit and chat.

One day… Walter (an artist there) invited me…to come on Sunday afternoon and teach them. Spontaneously I said yes. That Sunday after Church I invited JP and Dorette & Leon to come along. All of them were all fired up to the task and we went at 15h to reach out at the wood crafters market.

Inviting people individually we gathered them… and preached on the “Prodigal Son”  – of the 30-40 men and women that came to hear, 8 or more got saved that day!

The Sunday after we went again… teaching on “Why God allows suffering” as that was a topic that came up. We also started bringing our guitars and introduced the song of “Jabulani Africa”. John entered discipleship with Dorette and Leon that day… wanting to be discipled as he is on the verge of being married.

 

The next Sunday we went… we talked about following Jesus. Jesus being LORD and living a sanctified life!  We also talked about baptism. Dominique as well as John decided they wanted to be baptised. We could not agree more. Both do not have a church yet and have a strong faith. So we agreed to go the next Sunday at 12h to baptise them in the sea.

Today is the Sunday of Pentecost and the Sunday of John and Dominique’s baptism. Two men have decided to publicly proclaim their belonging to Christ! Dying to their old self and rising from the seawater clothed in Christ being a new person!

 gathering at the beach   off we go into the water   we baptize in the name of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

   instantaneously glorifying God after rising from the water.

We will continue to go… we intend to start discipling a group there and to help them to learn how to disciple others themselves (for we do not want this reaching out and fellowshipping to be nonexistent once we do not come). We intend to provide more Bibles… and to teach them how to reach out to their customers as they desire to.

Please pray that we will get more Bibles and to gain wisdom to teach to open hearts and open ears and eyes. That more lives will eternally be changed!

Making a living as a wood crafter is anything but an easy task. Many use witchcraft to gain customers and often therefore the Christians amongst them have a hard time to get round financially. Many have problems with alcoholism and need deliverance that only God can give.

Please intercede for these precious men (and women) of God!

May God bless you! And remember… one person CAN make a difference – by BEing the change!

Comparison Christianity and Islam Part 2

The idea behind this post is to educate. Further comparisons will follow in similar fashion.

(Information will partially be taken from: thereligionofpeace.com . That is not to say that I agree with all of their content, but I judge the content in this case as unbiased and a good representation of it.)

Differences Between Muhammad and Jesus

Muhammad…

Jesus…

Said Allah hates those who don’t accept Islam.
(Qur’an 30:4, 3:32, 22:38)

Said God loves everyone.
(John 3:16)

“I have been commanded to fight
against people till they testify that there
is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad
is the messenger of Allah”

(Muslim 1:33)

“He who lives by the sword
will die by the sword.”

(Matthew 26:52)

Stoned women for adultery.
(Muslim 4206)

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”
(John 8:7)

Permitted stealing from unbelievers.
(Bukhari 44:668, Ibn Ishaq 764)

“Thou shalt not steal.”
(Matthew 19:18)

Permitted lying.
(Sahih Muslim 6303, Bukhari 49:857)

“Thou shalt not bear false witness.”
(Matthew 19:18)

Owned and traded slaves.
(Sahih Muslim 3901)

Neither owned nor traded slaves.

Beheaded 800 Jewish men and boys.
(Sahih Muslim 4390)

Beheaded no one.

Murdered those who insulted him.
(Bukhari 56:369, 4:241)

Preached forgiveness.
(Matthew 18:21-22, 5:38)

“If then anyone transgresses
the prohibition against you,
Transgress ye likewise against him”
(Qur’an 2:194)

“If someone strikes you on the right
cheek, turn to him the other also.”
(Matthew 5:39)

Jihad in the way of Allah elevates one’s position in Paradise by a hundred fold.
(Muslim 4645)

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for
they will be called Sons of God”
(Matthew 5:9)

Married 13 wives and kept sex slaves.
(Bukhari 5:268, Qur’an 33:50)

Was celibate.

Slept with a 9-year-old child.
(Sahih Muslim 3309, Bukhari 58:236)

Did not have sex with children.

Ordered the murder of women.
(Ibn Ishaq 819, 995)

Never harmed a woman.

“O you who believe!  Fight those of the
unbelievers who are near to you
and let them find in you hardness.”

(Qur’an 9:123)

“Blessed are the meek, for
they shall inherit the earth.”

(Matthew 5:5)

Ordered 65 military campaigns
and raids in his last 10 years.
(Ibn Ishaq )

Ordered no military campaigns, nor
offered any approval of war or violence.

Killed captives taken in battle.
(Ibn Ishaq 451)

Never took captives.
Never killed anyone.

Encouraged his men to rape enslaved women.
(Abu Dawood 2150, Qur’an 4:24)

Never encouraged rape.
Never enslaved women.

Demanded captured slaves and
a fifth of all other loot taken in war.
(Qur’an 8:41)

“The Son of Man came not
to be served, but to serve.

(Matthew 20:28)

Was never tortured, but tortured others.
(Muslim 4131, Ibn Ishaq 436, 595, 734, 764)

Suffered torture, but never tortured anyone.

“And fight them until there is no more persecution and religion is only for Allah”
(Qur’an 8:39)

“Love your enemies and pray
for those who persecute you

(Matthew 5:44)

Blessed the brutal murder of a half-blind man
(al-Tabari 1440)

Healed a blind man
(Mark 8:28)

Ordered a slave to build the very pulpit
from which he preached Islam.
(Bukhari 47:743)

Washed his disciples feet.
(John 13:5)

What are the Greatest Commandments?
“Belief in Allah and Jihad in His cause”
(Muslim 1:149)

What are the Greatest Commandments?
“Love God and love thy neighbor as thyself.”
(Matthew 22:34-40)

Demanded the protection of armed bodyguards, even in a house of worship
(Qur’an 4:102)

Chastised anyone attempting
to defend him with force.
(John 18:10-12)

Died fat and wealthy from what was
taken from others in war or
demanded from others in tribute.

Demanded nothing for himself.
Died without possessions.

Advocated crucifying others.
(Qur’an 5:33, Muslim 16:4131)

Was crucified himself.

According to his followers:
Had others give their lives for him.
(Sahih Muslim 4413)

According to his followers:
Gave his life for others.
(John 18:11 and elsewhere)

Comparison Christianity and Islam Part 1

The idea behind this post is to educate. Further comparisons will follow in similar fashion.

(Information will partially be taken from: thereligionofpeace.com . That is not to say that I agree with all of their content, but I judge the content in this case as unbiased and a good representation of it.)

Differences Between 
Islamic Teaching and Christianity

The Qur’an

The Bible

External sources (the Hadith and Sira) necessary for translating the Qur’an

Historical context contained
within the text of the Bible

Must know Arabic in order to “fully understand” the Qur’an (according to Muslim apologists)

Universal.  Can be translated into other languages without excessive commentary.

Chronological progression of the
Quran is from peace to violence.

Chronological progression of the
Bible is from violence to peace.

The words ‘torture’ and ‘punishment’ appear six
times more often than in the New Testament.

The word ‘love’ appears five times more often
in the New Testament than in the Qur’an,

Contains not a single original moral value.

The ‘Sermon on the Mount’ and others.

Suffering is an excuse for violent revenge
and establishment of Islam by force

“And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]…and fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah.” 
(Qur’an 2:191)

Suffering builds character

“We also rejoice in our sufferings,
because we know that suffering
produces perseverance; perseverance,
character; and character, hope”

(Romans 5:4)

Emphasis on this World

“And Allah has made you heirs to their land
and their dwellings and their property”

(Qur’an 33:27)

Emphasis on the Next

“Mine is not a kingdom of this world”
(John 18:36, see also Luke 14:33)

Kill, convert or subjugate Christians and Jews.
(Qur’an 9:29)

Share one’s faith with gentleness and respect.
(1 Peter 3:15)

Martyrs as Killers

“Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain”
(Qur’an 9:111)

Martyrs as Martyrs

“As it is written, For thy sake we are
killed all the day long; we are
counted as sheep for the slaughter”
(Romans 8:36)

Killing Apostates

“They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them”
(Qur’an 4:89, also Bukhari 52:260, 83:37…)

Letting God Judge Apostates

“For we know Him that has said,
‘Vengeance belongs unto me, I will
recompense,’ says the Lord.  And again,
‘The Lord shall judge his people'”
(Hebrews 10:25-30)

Punishment

“Let not compassion move you
from carrying out God’s law…”
(Qur’an 24:2)

Mercy

“Love is patient.  Love is kind…
It keeps no record of wrongs”
(1 Corinthians 13:4-5)

Charity and Non-Believers

Mercy toward fellow Muslims – ruthlessness toward unbelievers.  Muslims are warned not to befriend those outside the faith.  They must even ensure that their charity tithe (zakat) does not go toward the needy of other religions.
(Qur’an 48:29, 3:28, Sharia)

Charity and Non-Believers

Christians are specifically told that even
those who hate them are entitled to
kindness and charity.  They should be loved
and cared for as surely as any fellow believer.
(Mark 10:25-37)

The Qur’an does not command husbands
to love their wives, but it does give men
permission to beat disobedient women.
(Qur’an 4:34, Sahih Muslim 2127)

“Husbands, love your wives and
do not be harsh with them.”
(No permission to beat women)
(Colossians 3:19)

Explicitly allows Muslim men to rape their female slaves, even those already married.
(Qur’an 4:24, 70:29-30, 23:5-6…)

Tells masters and slaves to serve
each other as if serving God.
(Ephesians 6:7-9)

Muhammad is the messenger
of Allah. And those who are with him
are ruthless to the unbelievers”
(Qur’an 48:29)

“Do good to them that hate you”
(Luke 6:27)

Allah wills those that stray and are lost
(Qur’an 16:93)

God wants all people saved
(1 Timothy 2:4)

Warns Against Questioning Faith.
(Qur’an 5:101-102)

Welcomes Intellectual Challenge.
(1 Peter 3:15)

Violence as Virtue

“Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye
dislike it.  But it is possible that ye
dislike a thing which is good for you, and
that ye love a thing which is bad for you.
But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.”
(Qur’an 2:216)

Violence as Sin

“Do not take revenge, my friends, but
leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written:
‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy
is hungry,  feed him… ‘”
(Romans 12:19-20)

Hell for unbelief.
Good deeds count for naught
(Qur’an 18:102-107)

Hell for bad deeds and the
failure to do what is right
(Romans 2:6-8, Matthew 16:27, Matthew 25:41-45)

Judging

“Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites!  Be harsh with them…”
(Qur’an 9:73)

Judge Not

“For when you pass judgment on another person, you condemn yourself…”
(Romans 2:1)

Taking wealth from others

“Allah promiseth you much
booty that ye will capture…”
(Qur’an 48:20)

Working for and giving wealth to others

“The thief must no longer steal but must
work hard and do what is good with his
own hands, so that he might have
something to give to the needy.”

(Ephesians 4:28)

Calls down Allah’s curse on Christians
and those of other religions.
(Qur’an 9:30)

Calls down God’s blessing on
those who curse Christians.
(Matthew 5:44)

Arrogance & Privilege

“Ye are the best of peoples,
evolved for mankind”

(Qur’an 3:110)

Humility & Servitude

“If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.”
(Mark 9:35)

“O you who believe! do not take My
enemy and your enemy for friends:
Would you offer them love while they deny what has come to you of the truth?
(Qur’an 60:1)

“Love your enemies…”
(Luke 6:27)

Our Superhero died, and we bolted

We all have Superhero’s … some of them are more obvious than others: rock stars, TV actors, top athletes, the pope, pastors, our fathers … and so did the disciples.

They had wondered the face of the earth for about three years with their master and mentor, Jesus. They had reached situations where there was clearly NO way out… but every time Jesus came through with the solution…always a bit late but never too late it seems.

Let’s look at some of them:

A hungry mass of people (5000 to be exact – counting only the men; add a fair 10000 to get the total) walking after Jesus, waiting for a touch, a word, an encouragement from Him, followed the disciples and Jesus from morning until late afternoon. Jesus is clearly done teaching and the disciples are tired and hungry too, but instead of sending them home it’s suggested the disciples give these 15000 followers something to eat. However a mere 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish will not do. (John 6:1-13) But in the last instant, AFTER the disciples had to settle these masses in groups of 50 (try doing that for a change), JESUS comes through… and SOMEHOW when he breaks the bread and fish… it becomes more. All the people get food until they are FULL and 12 BASKETS full of crumbs remain.

Jesus tells his disciples to row out onto the Sea of Galilee (that is known for fierce storms with immense high waves). (Luke 8:22-25) Whilst He takes a nap in the boat, the disciples enter a storm (one of these fierce ones – and mind me say… these men KNEW how to steer a boat, they were fishermen). Whilst they are fighting to keep the ship OVER water, Jesus continues sleeping. When Peter wakes Him, shouting at Him to make it clear they are about to drown, JESUS gets up, tells the storm to stop, and immediately even nature obeys His command. What a superhero.

When friends during one of His crusades through the country approach Him with the news, that his friend, Lazarus is severely ill and needs His healing powers, Jesus makes His way there (healing many along the way and being delayed). (John 11:1-45) So when He arrives Lazarus is dead already and Martha, one of his sisters approaches Jesus in despair and tells him he’s too late. Jesus is deeply touched by this moment – He even cries. However, again the disciples are to witness yet another miracle, when Jesus tells Lazarus to get up from the dead, and he does.

So here we had only three incidents… one of power over the amount of supplies, one where power of the forces of nature is displayed and one where even Hades seems to buckle under His command. There are even more, when looking at all the healing miracles, but I guess you get my point. Here is a genuine SUPERhero. He was a Superhero to the nation that got touched by His powers, to the people whose lives had been changed forever, to His disciples (for even though they spend time with Him constantly, He never seemed to fail in His superpowers).

Now comes the events around Jesus crucifixion and the disciples for the first time witness a Jesus different from their self made Superhero. Jesus seems to be in despair (they had never seen Him like that before), He talked things they more and more did not understand (about temples being destroyed and rebuilt (John 2:19), Him dying (Mark 10:32-34)) and here HE is, seemingly suddenly powerless when they come to arrest Him, try Him, sentence Him (John18) and crucify Him. HE DIES.

Of course they bolted. Wouldn’t you have? They were scared! They had never seen their Master like that! He didn’t seem to have any super powers any longer, which meant that they as His followers might be in dire straits too. They bolted.

And so would you, and so would I. And so we have.

Often our superhero’s are less obvious... they are our pastors, mentors, parents, friends… and when they mess up, we are quick to drop them. I have seen many leave churches, for their superhero’s were defeated (they were eventually only human) pastors, leaders, mentors. I have seen many, leave a ministry, when their superhero leader of it, fails to fulfil their dream goals.

Following a pastor, a mentor, a leader OTHER than JESUS was never intended. People leave churches, ministries etc due to lack of performance according to their standards. They leave because their focus… their superhero was a human being. Instead of praying for them and giving support.

In the body of Christ, we should never deify people. Unless JESUS is our superhero and the reason why we are in it – all is in vain. I therefore ask you to think and pray about your own life. Change perspective and make JESUS your focus and aim to please HIM instead of people.

May God bless you!