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The Errors of Radical Christians

The vast majority of Christians approach members of other religions with the acceptance, love, and respect required by the Bible. This is a very important - and very recent - development. During the second half of the twentieth century, the Christian world's conviction that all other religions are completely wrong was largely abandoned, and the view that non-Christians should not be automatically condemned gained the upper hand. Christian writers, researchers, and officials expressed this view regularly. Organizations representing Christians decided to establish a dialogue and cooperate with other religions to find solutions to the world's problems. Fundamentalism made way for acceptance.

However, it is still possible - although not often - to encounter Christian intolerance and even aggressions toward non-Christians. Some religious figures make unfounded allegations against other religions and claim that their followers are destined for Hell. Such allegations create discomfort in the Islamic world. Some Christian leaders continue to make aggressive comments about Muslims, misinterpret the Old Testament, and claim that in the near future a Muslim-Christian war will occur. Or, even worse, they claim that such a war is both necessary and unavoidable.

The Old Testament relates stories from past nations, their wars, and the consequences thereof. Most of these are specific to those times and events. Therefore, such narratives must be considered in the context of those times, and one should refrain from reinterpreting those narratives to support war and conflict.

One of the most fundamental errors of Christian radicals is their belief in Armageddon, which they think will take place before the Messiah's arrival. This unfounded belief violates the morality that Jesus (pbuh) taught to his followers. Even a cursory reading of the New Testament shows that Jesus recommended love, peace, and friendship.

Christians should know that Muslims are also awaiting Jesus' (pbuh) second coming, for this miracle is foretold in the Qur'an and in Prophet Mohammed's (may God bless him and grant him peace) hadiths. Therefore, Muslims and Christians should make joint preparations for his arrival. The best preparation is to adopt the morality that pleases God.

After Jesus (pbuh) returns, he will defeat all atheist ideologies and idolatrous philosophies; such ideologies as fascism and racism will be eradicated; the world will be freed from ethnic violence, tyranny, and injustice; and humanity will experience peace, happiness, and tranquility. Therefore, genuinely religious people who are preparing for this great event should make the necessary preparations, try to prevent all kinds of conflict, and leave all disputes, divisions, and animosities behind.

No doubt, the Christians are the best placed to render invalid all of those opinions and attitudes that seek to prevent a dialogue based on mutual understanding and respect between the two communities. True Christians must reveal such people's errors to them, as well as to society, by reminding them that Jesus (pbuh) commanded his followers to treat all people well, love their enemies, and do good to those who hate them.

In other words, he does not call for intolerance toward non-Christians and does not support those self-proclaimed Christians who seek to turn the world into a great arena of warfare. Such a biased and hateful attitude toward non-Christians, especially Muslims, is the result of misinterpreted Christian teachings and certain irreligious ideologies. Moderate Christians must expose the radicals' views as contrary to Christian teachings so that the Christian community will not be led astray. As we stated earlier, radicalism feeds on ignorance, and Christians are morally obliged to prevent this danger. As the Bible says:

For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men... Show the proper respect to everyone. Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God... (1 Peter, 2:15-17)

All conscientious Christians must shoulder this responsibility, for the war and conflict demanded by radicals will bring great losses, tears, and suffering to both sides. It would be a grave mistake to refrain from taking the necessary steps, when an alliance of all believers could remove this probability. The tensions desired by radicals can be prevented by Muslims and Christians of common sense. Removing the prejudices and creating an alliance of believers will enable them to play a leading role in delivering world peace. In this way, Christians and Muslims will bring peace and happiness to the world, just as the morality ordained by God demands.

Adapted from: "A Call for Unity" by: "Harun Yahya"

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