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A Clash of beliefs: Christianity, Islam and judgement
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I was surfing the internet the other day (something I don't normally do) and was surprised to come across some of my articles posted on a discussion site of another religion.

I was surprised and curious and decided to enter the site to see what they were saying. I was quite surprised to see that for the most part the comments were complementary. The people were impressed that I had done my homework and gave an accurate account of my subject. However, almost everyone of those comments ended with a statement to the affect, "Wait until (his article) next week - I'm sure judgment is coming."

Let's talk about that for a minute In East Timor an estimated 200,000 Christians have been executed as Muslims "test Indonesia's reputation for tolerance and moderation." In Java a spokesmen for the Muslim group the Anti-Apostasy Alliance told Al Jazeera, "Conversions to Christianity in Indonesia . . . have become increasingly serious, in my judgment I think it is a bigger evil than terrorism." In the Indian state of Orissa, Hindu extremists have burned 14 churches and murdered at least one Christian while the officials of that state turn a blind eye toward it. The reason given by both the Anti-Apostasy Alliance and these Hindu extremists for their actions is that they fear people converting to Christianity. I think Ravi Zacharias is correct when he observes that these radicals know that if they take their boots off of the necks of the people, there would be a large number who would turn to Christ.

 What I find interesting about this whole situation is you never hear the media talking about the judgmentalism of these other faiths; it is always Christians who are declared to be judgmental. I have a news flash for you: exercising judgment is not a bad thing. In fact, we could not get through life without making judgments. Furthermore, just because we make a judgment about something does not mean that we make that judgment with any form of animosity.

Do I agree with the faith of those who were evaluating my columns? No. I believe them to be wrong in their views. That is my judgment based upon my personal world view. Now, before you jump all over that and say. "Aha, see Christians are judgmental," let me remind you that you also have to make a judgment in order to disagree. In fact, the truth of the matter is those who were evaluating my column were doing so from their own point of view and they believe me to be wrong in my views. That is a judgment they have made. So if they are going to accuse me of being judgmental, they have to understand that they also are judgmental, else there would be no problem. Folks, we have to make decisions, and as much as we would like to think it true, truth is not relative and you can't accept every world view as equally valid no matter how hard you may try to.

Some may want to argue that last point. Fine. You should have absolutely no problem with this column then. When I say that absolute truth is knowable and revealed in scripture and Jesus is the only way to God (agreeing with his claim in John 14:6), you should have no objection to that.

If you do have an objection, you who are claiming equality for everyone have just excluded my view point, and you are, in fact, judgmental. In fact, what I find to be the case in every situation where people do clamor for all views being equal is that argument extends only to those who happen to agree with their position. My view can't possibly be right because I am judgmental, but they think they are not; yet, to reject my claims they also have to follow the very course they curse me for following.

One final thought - and this is the thing people totally misunderstand about Christianity - just because I may declare something wrong, does not mean I hold animosity toward the person with whom I disagree. I think they are wrong; they think I am wrong. If the Bible is right, the truth of the matter is we are all alienated from God and we all need a Savior. I who stand at the foot of the cross cannot view any other with disdain.

The puritan was right who declared, "O God it is amazing that men can talk so much about man's creaturely power and goodness, if thou didst not hold us back every moment, we should be devils incarnate. This, by bitter experience, thou hast taught me concerning myself."

Dr. John Pearrell is pastor of Gateway Community Church. Write him in care of the church at 11677 Brown Bridge Road Covington, GA, 30016. Send e-mail to