I Don’t Promote “Christianity” – I Promote JESUS!

(Dear Muslim Friends, you are always welcome to read every post I make on this blog – it is primarily for you! So. . .read on if you like, but this post is specifically directed to my “Christian” friends who may not agree with or understand my last post.)

Dear Christian Readers,

Some of you may be confused about my last blog post (Am I Trying To Convert Muslims Into “Christians”?). Maybe I can clarify a little bit here.

If I am speaking to someone who self-identifies with being a “Christian,” I am not afraid or ashamed to be known as a “Christian” myself. But in my friendships and conversations with Muslims, I do not promote “Christianity.” I do not promote being or even becoming a “Christian.”

Let me explain before you think me a heretic! I realize that “Christian” is a Biblical word and thus an important word but. . .it is only used 3 times in the entire New Testament (Acts 11:26, Acts 26:28, and I Peter 4:16). Because it is a word used in the Bible, maybe we need to simply define it or redefine it. However. . .

It is my firm opinion that redefining the word “Christian” is a very, very daunting task. Why? Because so many Muslims in the world today equate the word “Christian” with a lot of things that would shock and dismay us. In their minds, some Muslims still equate modern day “Christianity” with the atrocities of the Crusades. Some link “Christianity” to the U.S. military incursions into Iraq and Afghanistan (which many see as “Christianity” attacking Islam) or the killing of Osama bin Laden. Some equate “Christian” with “America” or the West.They think America is a “Christian” nation (my wife and I run into this all the time in the Middle East). They see Hollywood movies and even link “Christianity” to what they see there – violence, immorality, abortion, divorce, drunkenness, drug useage, swearing, lack of care or honor for the elderly, on and on.

Let me ask you, what is a Muslim to think when they see rap singers from Western countries spouting f-words in their lyrics and rapping about doing drugs, beating women, and killing people. . .but also wearing huge crosses? And what is a Muslim to think when they see a very famous American female singer singing sexually explicit lyrics, dancing provocatively, and wearing a cross. . .but not much else?

If you were a Muslim, wouldn’t you ask the questions, “Is that ‘Christianity’?” “Are those people ‘Christians’?”

Just from these few examples of real misunderstandings (and there are more), can you see how the word “Christianity” is not a positive word in the minds of so many Muslims? Can you see how we need to strive to learn how each other thinks about words?

Because of these misunderstandings, I prefer not to use or promote the words “Christian” or “Christianity” with my dear Muslim friends.

So. . .what do I promote?

I promote JESUS. I promote FOLLOWING Jesus. I promote being his DISCIPLE.This is what I believe he wanted.

Depending upon which translation you use, the word “disciple” is used in the New Testament between 230 and 260 times – obviously far more than the word “Christian”!

I share with my Muslim friends that Jesus is calling all of us (no matter what religious label you go by) to be his disciples – to follow him.

Following Jesus means we are willing to: do anything for him, say anything for him, go anywhere for him, suffer any loss for him. To be completely, unreservedly, devoted, dedicated followers of his. To give him undivided allegiance as our savior and our king.

Our Muslim friends are absolutely right when they point out that the Bible does not specifically say that “Christianity is the true religion.” What it does say over and over and over however, is that JESUS is the true path – the bridge – to heaven. Jesus himself said he was the way, the truth, and the life. That no one could come to God except through him (The Gospel of John 14:6). That is what we should promote. Better yet, that is who we should promote!

So I promote being a disciple – a follower – of Jesus. If I must have a label to describe my faith, that is what I prefer.

Finally, let me say that no “religion” or religious rules can cleanse a person’s heart or change them from the inside out. No “religion” can take away all their sins or free them from their fear of the Day of Judgment and Hell.

But someone can. Jesus can.

Following Jesus can set a person free.

Trusting in Jesus’ sacrifice can make a person clean on the inside.

JESUS.

ONLY Jesus.

And that is why I don’t promote “Christianity.”

I. . .promote. . .JESUS!

17 thoughts on “I Don’t Promote “Christianity” – I Promote JESUS!

  1. Islam has taught me that at the end of time it is Jesus – Peace be upon him – whom I should follow or else I will go astray following the Dajjal (anti-Christ) leading me to hell. Islam taught me that it will be Jesus – Peace be upon him – not Prophet Mohammed – Peace be upon him. Why? Because we as Muslims believe that Mohammed – Peace be upon him – is dead, Jesus isn’t.

    • Hussein,

      How thankful I am for your thoughtful response. God bless you!

      Yes, in the end of time, there certainly will be an anti-Christ – a great liar and incredibly powerful deceiver. Jesus gave strong warnings about him:

      Matthew 24:5
      “For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and
      will deceive many.”

      Matthew 24:23
      “At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or,
      ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.”

      Matthew 24:24
      “For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive. . .”

      Other Scriptures speak of this horrible man who will rule the earth for a time (perhaps 3 1/2 years):

      Daniel 7:25
      “He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.”
      Daniel 11:37
      “. . .he shall magnify himself above all.”
      2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
      “Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.”
      2 Thessalonians 2:9
      “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders.”
      Revelation 13:4
      “. . .and they worshiped the beast saying, ‘Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?'”

      I thank God that – just as you said, Hussein – Jesus is very much alive! This beast – the antichrist – will certainly meet his doom at the hands of the real Christ – Jesus Christ:

      2 Thessalonians 2:8
      “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his
      coming.”

      Revelation 19:20
      “But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.”

      Yes, Hussein, let us learn all we can about the real Christ – Jesus – so we will not be deceived in the end by the great and evil imposter!

      • Jesus (Prophet Iesa P.B.U.H) One of the Mightiest Messengers of ALLAH (God) will return to this world and kill Dajjal (Anti-Christ), Jesus is the Messenger but on his return he will be the Follower of Prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H as the FINAL VERSION of ISLAM came on Prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H. Jesus was a Muslim before and he will remain a Muslim forever as Jesus doesn’t associate any partner with ALLAH. And Muhammad (P.B.U.H) was died once but currently u can’t say him dead. The Prophets are Alive after their Death in their Graves exactly in which conditions ONLY ALLAH Knows best.

        • At the Time of Anti-Christ and Jesus… the Muslims will follow the Prophet Jesus which Means the Jesus (peace be upon him) will be the Leader of Muslims at that time and the Jesus will not bring any new version of Islam, means Jesus will not bring new message. Jesus will not act as a messenger but he will be the Follower of Last Messenger Muhammad (P.B.U.H). And Jesus will break the Cross and Taught the Mankind that He always that There is No God But ALLAH and Jesus was only the Messenger of ALLAH and Jesus was only the son of Mary. ALLAH’s Majesty and Honour is Such High to say that ALLAH has a begotten SON is one of the BIGGEST SINS.

          • REMEMBER…. ADAM, NOAH, ABRAHAM, MOSES, JONAH, DAVID, SOLOMON, JESUS… MUHAMMAD (peace be upon them all) were all the MESSENGERS of ALLAH.. they all were Muslims, they All Preached “None has the right to be worshipped except ALLAH”… These Messengers were the GUIDES sent by ALLAH.

            ONLY ALLAH is the SAVIOUR, GOD, HELPER, PROVIDER, SUSTAINER, CREATOR, KING of All KINGS. Whenever u Need HELP, ASK DIRECTLY from ALLAH (God), cause ALLAH is the one WHO is Always LISTENING to us.

            • Abdul, I so agree that God is always listening to us! Yes, that is such a comforting thought. He does not sleep. He is not distracted. He sees all. He hears all. He loves all.

              “Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord? Who can ever praise him enough?” (The Zabur, The Psalms, chapter 106, verse 2)

          • Abdul, my friend.

            I have heard of this teaching in Islam about Jesus breaking the cross when he returns. This is heartbreaking for me as one who believes that Jesus gave his life on a cross for me – and for you – and for everyone.

            The cross of Jesus is the bridge to life for all who will cross over from earth to heaven. It is solid and sure. Your feet will not slip on this bridge. You need not fear falling off into the hellfire. It is wider than a hair and you don’t have to run. Jesus will walk you across if you like!

            He extends his hand to you – and to everyone.

            “. . .the message of the cross. . .to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (The Holy Bible, 1 Corinthians 1:18)

        • Abdul, thanks for each of your comments.

          I want to share an excerpt from the last book of the Bible, The Revelation (chapter 19:11-20). It has to do with the return of Jesus to earth and what he will do to the Anti-Christ (also known as “the beast”). But more importantly, it gives titles to him which are stupendous:

          “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

          KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS

          Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.”

        • Abdul,

          There is only one Prophet who has power over death: Jesus.

          “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die. . .'” (The Injeel, The Good News of John, chapter 11, verse 25).

          “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.'” (The Revelation, Chapter 1, verses 17-18)

  2. Hussein,

    It was a very astute observation that you made that Jesus is alive but Muhammed is dead. Personally, if given a choice, I would always want to follow someone alive rather than someone who is dead. If someone is alive they can be known, but is it wise to consult the dead with how to live each day?

    Have you considered reading the New Testament (Injeel) account written by Luke, the beloved physician who described the final days of the LIVING JESUS? Have you read John the beloved disciple’s account?

    Here you can find a good description of the reliability of the Jesus Accounts in English – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2HFs2cVKNU

    I am regularly moved when I read the true stories of how the early disciples ran to the tomb to see if what the women said was true: the tomb is empty. Later they saw Jesus face to face. Not just one or two, but many saw Him and ate with him just 3 days after he had been crucified & had died.

    Here you can read a few accounts of all this at a Bible online site: Bible Gateway.
    http://bg4.me/17DqYjR

    I could describe the vision of a man who had a vision of Christ’s resurrection about 21 years ago, but I would prefer to show you the changes that Christ makes in our lives today: gentle, loving responses to persecution & mistreatment, diligent work, compassion for the hurting, persistent service in difficult situations.

    Look at those who honor Jesus as Lord and you will find a humble & gentle kingdom in your midst: the kingdom of God. So listen to the witness of the saints: Yes, the tomb is empty! Yes, Jesus is tangibly alive! And Yes, He makes all the difference in the world!

    • Mert, thanks for your courteous response to Hussein.

      I long for more interchange on this blog between Muslims and Christians! We have so much to talk about, so much to learn from each other, and so much to love about each other!

    • Alberta, thanks so much! Yes, we must preach Jesus and Jesus alone.

      I so appreciate Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 4:5. It says,

      “For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord.”

      As some of my Arab friends would say, “Amin!”

    • Abdul, thank you, I did watch the video.

      The Sheikh mentioned “Christian” preachers who he said lied to him and to people they preached to. If that is correct, may God convict them and bring them to true repentance.

      As you well must know, there are frauds in every religion. Liars. Cheats.

      That is why over and over again in this blog, I don’t point to religion.

      I point to Jesus.

      He alone can save. He alone is the bridge to Heaven.

      “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'” (The Injeel, The Good News of John, chapter 14, verse 6)

      “Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. . .there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” (The Book of the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 4, verses 10 & 12)

  3. I always thought that the word Christian meant follower of Christ. May I ask, when you are asked if you are a Christian what do you say?

    • Hello again, Dee dee, it has been a long time.

      You are right in saying that the word “Christian” means “follower of Christ.” Wikipedia says:

      “The Greek word Χριστιανός (Christianos) — meaning ‘follower of Christ’ — comes from Χριστός (Christos) — meaning ‘anointed one’ with an adjectival ending borrowed from Latin to denote adhering to, or even belonging to, as in slave ownership.”

      Jack Hayford writes:

      The designation of the early followers of Christ as Christians was initiated by the non-Christian population of Antioch (Acts 11:26), and originally it was probably a term of mocking or derision – “little Christs.” Eventually, however, Christians used it of themselves as a name of honor, not of shame (Acts 26:28; I Peter 4:16). Prior to their adoption of the name, the Christians called themselves believers (Acts 5:14), brothers (Acts 6:3), or saints (Acts 9:13), names which also continued to be used. . .”

      Since the first century – as I explained in my blog post – the terms “Christian” and “Christianity” have taken on different meanings to people. Sadly, most of them are extremely negative. We have seen this again and again in the Arab world. For that reason, if I am asked if I am a Christian, I generally say:

      “I much prefer to be called a ‘follower of Jesus.'”

      Why? Because I want people to look at Jesus for who he is and not stumble over a word that has so many negative, false connotations.

      If people are going to stumble, let them stumble over Jesus, not the word “Christian.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Feel free to use a nickname.