Christians and Muslims, Stop Fighting In The Name Of Jesus

Of all the crazy things going on around the world right now, perhaps the craziest is the fact that many Christians and many Muslims are on the same side of a theological debate over the best way to serve God in the coming days.

Retired American Army Generals now serving as Conservative Christian Leaders and ISIS Terror-State leaders all agree, they're supposed to be fighting each-other, both of them in the name of Jesus (peace be upon him).

I participated in an event to raise awareness and support for Syria's refugee crisis at the Hillhurst United Church, here in Calgary, Alberta. There, on behalf of Calgary's Muslim community, I posed the question "What Would Jesus Do?" for both Muslim and Christian alike.

I pointed out that while our different doctrines and dogmas about Jesus separate us, his person, legacy and future unite us: Muslims and Christians alike look forward to the second coming, with both religions assuring their followers that they will be among those he leads when he returns to make this a better world.

Both faiths believe he was born of a virgin and infused with a Spirit sent by God. Both faiths consider him a flawless paragon, one who's example is meant to be followed. As a Muslim preaching in a Christian Church, I pointed out that Muhammad (peace be upon him) welcomed Christian worship in his own Mosque in Medina and revered Christians and their faith, even though he didn't agree with them.

His Charter defended freedom and diversity together, and his first and best followers did the same. Because the Unity Muhammad sought was never the unity of every single person falling into line behind him: instead he strove for a world where Unity blessed a world where different peoples came towards some common good together.

And I told them that when Jesus was first here, he did the same thing too. He ministered to Centurions and Zealots alike, told the Samaritan who asked him who had the right religion that she'd asked the wrong question, and when he fed the 4000 and the 5000 with loaves and fishes multiplied by his prayers to God-Most-High, he didn't ask them what their beliefs were first.

And the idea that Jesus would appreciate anyone killing, oppressing, abusing or denying comfort to a man, woman or child in his name is an abuse of his lessons and his legacy that believing Muslims and Christians must both oppose for the sake of his name, whether you write that with a capital "H" and a capital "N" or not.

I don't much like men (or women) who live their lives based on their interpretations of end-time prophecy, no matter what religion they are following. Believers who make that mistake always make other believers look like idiots alongside them, by publicizing their predictions, that never come true, because all those predictions include the warning that everybody who tries to name a date and a time will get it wrong.

But worst of all, those false expectations of impending outcomes always inevitable end up encouraging those misguided believers into doing things that they ought to know are misbegotten abominations, things like harming or hating innocents in the name of Jesus.

Because no matter what you might think your religious doctrines and dogmas tell you about him, and the sort of things you might do for him, we all know that the person that Jesus was and will be would never accept any action motivated by anything other than the greatest levels of compassion and self-sacrifice.

That's just the sort of person he was. And if you're intending to emulate him, that's the sort of person you should be too.

I've written a fair bit about end-time prophecy --both in my books and on this blog-- but the simple fact that Jesus wouldn't support the sorts of things currently being promoted in his name by many of our world's political and military leaders should be all that's necessary to end it.

When George W Bush told the President of France he was going to fight Gog and Magog, what he really needed was a Jewish Rabbi to tell him those prophecies can't come true for another 200 years or so, rather than a Secretary of State like Donald Rumsfeld, who opened his briefings with Bible verses to play upon that weakness.

When teaching our impressionable and vulnerable youth, Muslims need more leaders like the scholars who answered ISIS claims in 2014, and fewer leaders and scholars willing to lend any credence to ISIS warped sort of interpretations, whatsoever.

But more than any of that, all Muslims need to realize that when our Islam tells us to share God's Peace in all our greetings and meetings, we're really supposed to mean it: peace, not polemics, and not the promotion of our own beliefs, cultures or selves.

And those who are following the vile Bush doctrine of "we'll fight them there, so they don't fight us here", explicitly igniting war and chaos in the homes and lives of others, in other places, in order to keep their own homes and lives safer, need to realize that peace, to be real, must be shared with others.

You can't make peace by taking peace, you can only make peace by giving it to someone else.

Meanwhile, all of us need to take a step back from all our beliefs, doctrines, and prophecies about Jesus, and remember his person, and what he would actually do if he were here. Heaven knows, he would care more about loving his neighbors in Syria, right next door to Israel, and the men, women and children suffering and dying there, with winter coming on.

A country of 17 million people, with 8 million internally displaced, 4 million living as foreign refugees, over a quarter of a million dead already, and winter coming on.

So everyone, stop fighting in the name of Jesus.

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