The similarities and differences ofJudaism, Islam and Christianity
To the editor:
When I watched on TV the Tsarnaev brothers walk through the Boston Marathon crowds, I thought of two other men of God that also walked through crowds in their day, Jonah of the Old Testament and Jesus Christ of the New Testament in the Bible. Each of these three beliefs want the same thing, bringing people into their faith.
As I read the book of Jonah, God tells His prophet Jonah, a Jew, “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up to Me.” (Jonah 1:2). Jonah had other ideas and went in the opposite direction knowing “that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.” (Jonah 4:2b). After spending some time as fish bait, Jonah did preach to the people of Nineveh, and the people “…turned from their evil ways, He (God) did have compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction He had threatened.”(Jonah 3:10), just as Jonah feared. Jonah wanted the evil people of Nineveh destroyed and Israel to have God all to themselves but God, who created all people everywhere, wants everyone to know Himself and uses even reluctant prophets to communicate that message.
When Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was questioned by the FBI, he said that the bombings were faith based. When I watched the brothers in the crowd, they did not warn the people of Allah’s judgement on them in order for the people to repent. Their destruction came without warning. I have to ask, “If Allah is God why does he not have compassion on the ignorant as the God of the Bible does?
Jesus, in Matthew 9:35-38 shows us the best example yet. “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When He saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send workers into His harvest field.”
Isn’t it cool that God cares about us enough to send us the very best messenger of all to lead us to God, His only Son? “The Lord …is not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9b).
All of these faiths agree that God doesn’t like evil or sin and will deal with it, and in fact already has. He has given His only Son, “…that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” …Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3: 16 and 18). Please consider these three faiths and decide which offers the only solution for our sinfulness.
If you have any questions or comments, you can call me from 7-10 p.m. at 507-532-3616.
All Bible references are from the New International Version.