“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.

10 comments so far

  1. mikeinmanila on

    One basic flaw in this missed by James A. Davids-
    Christian teaching be it sunday school or catholic school taught us two things.

    One – the golden rule – do unto others et al.

    Two – the wages of sin is death eternal – its a sin to commit sucide and one goes to hell for it.

    and lastly the unwritten one – he who dies loses.


    • zeromus3 on

      Christians do bomb and they do suicide bomb (abortion clinics or palestine), just much more rarely. Catholic doctrine also tried to (and succeeded in) introducing penalties for suicide.

  2. Idetrorce on

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

  3. Jay on

    “… I don’t agree with you.”

    Thanks for stopping by, but such short, vague comments are a poor way to create an interesting conversation. Might I ask with what, specifically, it is that you want to take issue?

  4. Josh on

    Actually you are wrong. Not all Christians believe in the trinity. It was added much later in the history of the religion and not all believe in it.

    True, some liberal Christians ignore the triune God of the Bible–Father, Son & Holy Spirit. But what does that have to do with the point of the article? Allah and the God of the Bible are very different. One teaches that killing yourself and taking innocent people with you will earn you eternal reward. That’s very different from loving your enemies…

  5. Jonathan Day on

    Why are there no Chrisian suicide bombers? Well, we’ve gota truce with the IRA and we’re not at war with Lebanon. Oh, you meat “ever”! Well, then, I can’t help what news you lmit yourself to. Christian paramilitary suicide bombings have always been commonplace. Given the building was primed to explode anyway I’d put Seevth-day Adventist David Koresh as perhaps the ultimate suicide bomber. No, nobody is either wholly guilty nor wholly innocent. May peace and the love of god give you strength to face the monster with your eyes wide open.

  6. Tom on

    Read “Kamikaze Diaries: Reflections of Japanese Student Soldiers” by Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney and you will learn that there were indeed devout Christians in the ranks of the Kamimaze. I’m Christian myself, but I don’t assume that alone makes me superior to others.

  7. John Doe on

    There ARE Christian suicide bombers. See: http://lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.com/news/2006/12/the_seventy_two_1.html for the FIRST hit I got on Google. Google “christian suicide bomber” and you will get many more prominent examples. Granted, the number of suicide bombers blowing themselves up because they believe in an afterlife with Allah as their master are far outweighed those blowing themselves up because they believe in an afterlife with God as their master, but doesn’t that mean you should alter your headline to “Why are there more Islamic Suicide Bombers than Christian Suicide Bombers?” Oh I know… because it isn’t as strong of an argument when you have to say, “Oh yes, Christians commit suicide bombings, just not nearly as many as Islamists.

    I have an idea, why don’t you change it to “Why no Jain Suicide Bombers? And Other Thoughts on Islamic Terror?” Oh, I know, because that would mean that Christianity were not the best source of morality in the world. (Even though Jainism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jainism is about the best example of morality embodied by religion we can find in the world.)

    Oh well, can’t win them all.

    See http://www.galileogallery.com for more.

  8. Jay on

    Rather than labeling someone as “Christian” and pointing to their bad acts, I would rather that you point to people who profess their faith in Jesus Christ and who declare that Christ has taught them to kill themselves and other innocent people in His name. 1) Christ doesn’t teach that so 2) they aren’t Christians if they do it.

    Evidently, their are many Muslims who believe in suicide killings because Islam teaches jihad. Why is it so hard to understand the obvious difference between these religions? One teaches love and forgiveness; the other teaches jihad.

    Therefore, no Christian suicide bombers.

  9. Alex Hosking on

    Nice apostrophe usage. jihadists?

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