After I posted this graphic on my Facebook (with not much explanation) I received comments (although not via Facebook) that my graphic is not totally accurate. So I decided to post it here and further explain.
The Y axis is how we are taught to respond to people that are not of our faith or religion.
The X axis is what must be done to earn eternity or salvation through our faith or religion.
My emphasis here is what is taught in each of these faiths. There are individual Christians who do not show grace or who put too much emphasis on rules over forgiveness. Just as there are Muslims who show tolerance and do believe in forgiveness. However, I’m referring to what these faiths teach from their doctrines.
Let me first clarify the obvious separate along the Y axis.
I’ve never heard of a “Christian Nation” putting someone to death for not believing in the “Christian God”. However, it is regular practice for an “Islamic Nation” to put someone to death because the chose to believe in the “Christian God” as apposed to the prophet Muhammad. Islam teaches that ALL people who reject Muhammad are ‘infidels’ and deserving of death. Even though individual people will speak of tolerance, our own State Department believes in this intolerance so much they believed they could pass off a terrorist attack on Benghazi as an angry reaction to a YouTube video that was negative about Muhammad. The truth is, there were riots all over the middle east because one man made a video (although this was obviously not the case in Benghazi). If that’s not intolerance, I don’t know what is.
Yet Jesus showed so much grace that He even asked forgiveness for the very people responsible for hanging Him on the cross. “And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34). He even told Judas (after revealing He knew about the betrayal) to go and do what must be done. “Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” (John 13:27).
Now let me clarify the X axis.
Every other religion out there has a list of all the things you must do to earn eternity or salvation or whatever they aspire to earn in each faith. However, the largest separation of Christianity from ALL other religions on the plant is this simple fact. With Christianity, Jesus has already paid the price. It really is that simple. Even the other faiths that profess Jesus don’t accept this for what it is. The more emphasis a faith puts on what we must do to earn salvation, the more they reduce the meaning of the sacrifice of Jesus. If there was a single thing we could actually do, then His sacrifice would mean nothing. However he died on that cross as a payment for ALL sins of ANYONE who accepts the free gift.
Only a faith designed and created by the One True God would have such a large focus on the power and importance of Grace and Forgiveness. All other faiths fall short of this, and Islam (with it’s intolerance) falls the shortest.
Now in keeping with the teachings of Grace, I don’t say these things to condemn those who believe in these other religions. On the contrary. I say these things so that you may give thought to their truth. I pray that more people discover this truth. I don’t belittle those that don’t get it, I just pray for them. I don’t wish ill (or that the government would put to death) those that think otherwise, I simply think of the words of Paul, “Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.” (Philippians 3:15)
I hope this helps explain the graphic a little better.