By: Joe Butta and Steve Daskal
CHRISTIAN MESSIANIC ANALYSIS AND APOLOGETICS
In the previous post the following comments were made concerning Biblical Christianity: “The latter [Christianity] emphasizes loving God with all one’s heart, mind, and strength, and loving others as one loves oneself. The latter [also] emphasizes confession, repentance, and acceptance of divine forgiveness. Sin, as understood in Biblical Christianity, is the fallen spiritual nature that we have inherited from our first earthly parents, Adam and Eve. Unlike secular humanists and Islamists, who see humankind as basically good but corruptible, the faith that Jesus inspired and is taught in the Bible insists that we have all sinned and this is due to the sin nature that we inherited.
Biblical Christianity is not a faith based on strict adherence to Mosaic law. It is based instead upon a unique relationship between the omnipotent, eternal Creator God and His people, through whom He would redeem all of mankind from sin. God instituted the Torah through Moses to give the new nation of Israel, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, a standard for living that, if followed, would set them apart from the ruthless, fatalistic, idol-worshipers around them and thereby enable them to be a holy nation — holiness in Hebrew meaning “set apart.”
It is easy today to hear many things from various sources. One of the modern day mantras is that Islam is a Religion of Peace. Upon closer inspection neither Muhammad nor any of his early followers used this argument as they defeated the Polytheists, Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, Buddhists, Hindus and Sub-Sahara African polytheists and animists on the battlefield. 20th Century Pakistani Muslim scholar Abdul Maududi stated the following:
“But the truth is that Islam is not the name of a ‘Religion,’ nor is ‘Muslim’ the title of a ‘Nation.’ In reality, Islam is a revolutionary ideology and program which seeks to alter the social order of the whole world and rebuild it in conformity with its own tenets and ideals. Islam wishes to destroy all states and governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and program of Islam regardless of the country or the nation which rules it. The purpose of Islam is to set up a State on the basis of its own ideology and program.” [CMAA emphasis]
Christians believe that Jesus instituted Communion at the Last Supper. In fact Jesus had just taken the middle matzah called the Afikomen from the single stack of three matzah during the Passover observance. He broke that matzah and then equated that unleavened bread to His body and poured the wine and equated that to His blood.
Seems simple enough but not for many professing Christians. Catholics believe the bread and wine actually becomes the physical body and blood of Jesus and those Christians who do not believe that are denied Communion in a Catholic Church. A local Catholic Bishop may make an agreement with a local Orthodox Bishop to extend Communion to Orthodox Christians. However, Local Orthodox Bishops will not comply. The Orthodox Church does not permit non-Orthodox Christians to take Communion in an Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Church forbids Orthodox Christians from taking Communion in non-Orthodox Churches.
Likewise Catholics are forbidden from taking Communion from non-Catholic Ministers. The Catholic Church considers taking Communion in a non-Catholic or Orthodox Church to be a grave evil and mortal sin. The Catholic Church considers their Bishops and Orthodox Bishops to have a direct line succession going back to the Apostles. Since non-Orthodox and Catholic Pastors cannot claim that line of succession they are considered illegitimate to offer Communion according to the Roman Catholic Church.
There is a difference in worldview between Biblical Christianity and Islam. The major difference at its core is deeply spiritual. This variance is as deep and drastic as the teachings and lives of Jesus and the Apostles as compared to Muhammad and his immediate successors.
All Muslim groups, including the Jihadis, see themselves as good Muslims. This is a most important point. Even the most violent Muslim groups see themselves as good Muslims. They believe they are being obedient to the words in the Qur’an and the traditions of Muhammad. Therefore if any Muslim group, Sunni or Shi’a, deviate or attack another Muslim group then that Muslim group must be bad. If you are a pious and practicing Muslim and other Muslims disagree with your group or attack your group then they must be bad or takfir. This perspective incentivizes the “good Muslims” to attack the bad Muslims. This helps explain how a Sunni Jordanian pilot was burned to death by ISIS. Since ISIS adherents see themselves as good the Jordanian pilot who bombed them could not possibly be a good Muslim. He was then treated as a heretic. Since Muslims who disagree with another Muslim sect are viewed as bad/misguided then this assures unending conflict between Muslims and with non-Muslims. This also helps explain why many Muslims feel they must defend Islam despite the facts. The quote below is often repeated.
If Jesus is who he said he is why then resist his invitation to follow him in word and deed as your Savior from sin unto eternal life?
Hello all. Hopefully many will see this title and either whole-heartedly agree, view this post because they are curious or vehemently disagree because they were not taught to believe this so therefore it cannot be true. In this section we will state what the Bible states concerning Jesus exclusivity to these claims. As we can see below contemporaries of Jesus wrote about him in documents that can be traced to the first century A.D.
SELF ASSESSMENT: WHAT KIND OF A FOLLOWER ARE YOU?
Counterfeit Christianity occurs when people identify with being Christian but then practice and promote a lifestyle that violates the essence of what Jesus taught. Counterfeit Christians have a hard time describing how the Holy Spirit has changed or is directing their life. They are worldly by most accounts—that is they are focused upon worldly pursuits. Evidence of that person’s change in behavior and world view would not be evident. If loving is not a word that would describe the person stating they are Christian then it indicates one who is counterfeit. People who have interests that are more important than Jesus, those who worship possessions, use the Lord’s name in vain, disrespect parents, speak of harming people, lie, steal, have sex outside of marriage, don’t attend Church, and lust after the possessions of others. They generally do not display joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. A counterfeit Christian is not advocating Jesus’ point of view and cannot articulate the concept of Christian Biblical salvation. Counterfeit Christians also identify more with an ethnic, religious or other group affiliation more than Jesus as their main objective. People can see these professing Christians as weak or failed. Christians who are genuine also sin including what I’ve described above. The difference is that Christians who are the real deal are convicted by the Holy Spirit and ask God’s forgiveness and don’t persist in the same behavior.
For Christians, most of us were born into a Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and other Christian denominations. There are far more people who identify as Baptists and “mainstream” Protestant [Anglican-Episcopal, Methodist, Lutheran, Calvinist-Reformed] than there are Eastern Orthodox globally and in the US. The Roman Catholic is still the largest single faith community in the US, and within Christianity globally. Evangelicals are a large body, especially in the US, and growing in Latin America and Africa, but harder to put hard “boundaries” around. Most Baptists are evangelical, and there are Evangelical Lutherans whom most evangelicals wouldn’t acknowledge as evangelical. Then there are the Pentecostal or charismatic churches, which believe that all of the spiritual gifts manifested in the 1st century church still regularly manifest in true churches today – including healing, prophecy, speaking in tongues, etc. Many people lump Baptists, Evangelicals, and Charismatics in with the three main groups of “mainstream” Protestants as all being Protestants, but while they all do share some beliefs, they are as different from each other in practice and theology as Catholics, Orthodox, and Anglican-Episcopal are from each other. Then there are even more “unusual denominations” like the Seventh-Day Adventists.