“Why Are There No Christian Suicide Bombers?”
It’s old news I know. People like Rosie O’Donnell stating on national television that somehow Christians are just as bad as the terrorists in Iraq. She’s not the first person and definitely not the last who will make such a strange comparison. The only possible conclusion from such a bold remark is that she (and others) have absolutely no clue what they are talking about in this regard.
Undoubtedly people have done terrible things while naming the name of Jesus Christ, but that does not make something “Christian” any more than the extreme jihadist’s attempt define what “Islam” is. The Bible and the Qur’an speak for themselves. And what do they each teach? Recently, I found Dr. Davids’ op-ed helpful on the subject:
“Why Are There No Christian Suicide Bombers? ”
by James A. Davids
March 6, 2007
The Muslim suicide bomber who struck an Iraqi elementary school this week reminded me of the Muslim bomber who literally crashed the wedding party at the Amman, Jordan Radisson Hotel last year.
Both instances struck fear in every person with hope of life and love of children. Weddings are, after all, a celebration of life; a time when grandparents, immediate and extended family, and friends witness a man and woman exchanging pledges of support and fidelity. These pledges, which form a new entity, a new family, also provide the foundation upon which to build a new home for future children. Choosing to destroy a wedding party rather than a business meeting is, therefore, a particularly heinous act.
Car bombings and suicidal attacks are now a daily staple of our news. Rarely will a news cycle end without reference to another attack on civilians in Baghdad. Yet we never hear of a Christian suicide bomber, either here or abroad. Do Christians not love the Lord God Jehovah as much as the Muslim suicide bombers love Allah? Do Christians lack the devotion or courage necessary to take their lives in pursuit of a greater cause? To the secularists who think Christian crusaders and Muslim jihadists are cut from the same cloth, is there a material difference between the two?
The answer, of course, is yes. A Christian kamikaze would truly be a “man bites dog” story. One reason for this truly remarkable difference in religions is their differing concepts of God. To the Muslims, Allah is one, and is powerful, just, and righteous. Although God to Christians has similar attributes, Christians believe there are three Persons in the Godhead – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
This difference is significant because Christians believe that even before Creation, God was relational. God the Father loved His Son, who in turn loved His Father and the Holy Spirit. The Three Persons in the Godhead similarly communicated, empathized and were self-giving before Creation. All of these attributes of personality can only be expressed within a relationship, and to Allah, there is no relationship.
Nancy Pearcey, in her book “Total Truth” notes that Christians pray to God as a personal being: They pour their hearts out to Him, as David did, and argue with Him, as Job did. Young Christians learn to sing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” and learn how God walked on earth in the form of a human 2000 years ago. Christians believe that a personal Being will respond in a personal way through impromptu supplication and spontaneous prayer.
Muslim worship, in contrast, is very ritualistic. Five times each day, wherever they may be, practicing Muslims turn toward Mecca in worship. Moving through the postures of standing, kneeling, prostrating, sitting, and reciting from the Qur’an, they passionately demonstrate their total submission to the will of Allah. Allah demands obedience from Muslims. Singing “What a Friend We Have in Allah” would be blasphemy.
The difference between Allah, who demands obedience, and God, who gives love, is stark. To some Muslims, Allah demands the sacrifice of their sons. To Christians, God gave His Son as a sacrifice for us. That’s a world of difference.
Davids is the President-Elect of the Christian Legal Society and Assistant Dean at Regent University’s Robertson School of Government.