Following the Orlando mass shootings, some commentators have attempted to paint Christians with the same brush as radical Muslims, citing Christian opposition to gay marriage as being different only in a matter of degree to the Orlando killer’s rampage of gays.
But this claim does not stand up to scrutiny. First, let’s be clear about what we mean by ‘radical’.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, radical means:
very new and different from what is traditional or ordinary
very basic and important
having extreme political or social views that are not shared by most people.
To gain an understanding of what ‘radical’ Christianity and ‘radical’ Islam looks like, we need to go back to their founders.
If we take a look at the lives of Jesus and Mohammed, we see that the values they espoused and the lives they lived were indeed both radical, but they were radical in vastly different ways.
There are number of internet sources and organisations that have drawn together a side-by-side comparison of the lives of Jesus and Mohammed, and the differences are startling. I recommend that you check them out. Some of differences between Jesus and Mohammed include:
Mohammed: Stoned a women for adultery
Jesus: Stopped a woman caught in adultery from being stoned
Mohammed:Permitted stealing from unbelievers
Jesus: Told his followers not to steal
Mohammed: Owned and traded slaves
Jesus: Never owned or traded slaves
Mohammed: Beheaded and killed people
Jesus: Didn’t kill anyone, but was killed himself
Mohammed:Murdered those who insulted him
Jesus: Preached forgiveness
Mohammed: Told his followers to kill the infidel and non-believers
Jesus: Taught people to forgive their enemies and to pray for those who persecute you
Even a cursory glance reveals that the lives of Jesus and Mohammed are utterly different and completely at odds with one other. Likewise, lives lived in radical accordance with Jesus versus those who follow Mohammed’s example lead to vastly different outcomes.
Radical Islam looks a lot like the brutal Saudi regime, ISIS and Islamic terrorism, because this is how Mohammed himself lived.
Radical Christianity, however looks more like the pacifist Amish or the life of a cloistered monastic.
A Christian who murders and terrorizes people cannot be said to a radical Christian, because such actions are diametrically opposed to the values and life of Christ. Whereas killing and terrorism are commonly justified in Islam because these actions reflect the life and teaching of Mohammed himself.