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3.09.2006    |    The true religion of peace
Through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord tells Israel, even as it is in captivity in Babylon (Jeremiah 29:7)
...seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
Therein lies the root of what it means to be a faithful witness to God: Pray for the welfare of even of those who oppress you.

This thought is brought to its highest expression by Jesus, who repeats the message, amplifying it in Matthew 5:
44...Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.
So, should we love and pray for Muslims who would deny Christ, and deny our right to follow Him? Yes. And this one distinctive about Christianity, over against Islam: we know that the peace of Christ, a peace that passes human understanding, is sufficient.

We would prefer that Muslims came to know Christ; it is, in fact, our duty as agents of the Great Commission to preach the gospel, even in the face of the violence and hatred that is so prevalent in the Islamic world. But it is also our duty to pray for those who do not accept Christ as Lord, and who in turn use violence to deny us our faith.

They claim to be the "religion of peace." We are.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.