We hear all the time these days about people who are divided into two camps, Muslim or Christian. Is this an accurate rendition of what the world looks like? I know that there are Hindus and Buddhists and a whole assortment of other religious groups in our world, but it seems that you are always placed in a camp by someone. In the Middle East we see this dividing line being played out for us on the news each day. Muslims versus the Christians. But is this accurate? Here is what I know. In many places around the world Islam is the predominate religion and if you do not follow the teachings of Islam you are considered an infidel. But being an infidel does not make you a Christian. Not agreeing with one religion does not make you an adherent to another. In the United States if you do not go to a “Christian” church you are not lumped in with the Muslims or any other religious sect. In the Middle East if you are not Jewish or Muslim then you get called Christian because that is more of a designation of non-belief in something than it is a belief in something else. Here is what a Christian is: a dedicated follower of Jesus Christ. A person who has repented of their sin and put their faith and trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ on the cross. A person who believes that Jesus is the Son of God and that He came to earth, born of a virgin, lived and died on a cross for our sin, was buried and three days later rose from the grave and one day He will return to take us to our eternal home in Heaven. Not believing in Islam’s teaching does not make you a Christian any more than not believing in Christ makes you a Muslim. We use religious titles to categorize people and that is dangerous. I am not saying that all those in the Middle East who are not Muslim are not Christian, but simply not being a Muslim does not make you a Christian in the true definition of the word. Labeling people based on what they don’t believe is a foolish and dangerous pattern. We should strive to be known for something rather than to be known by the absence of something. I am a Christian, because of my relationship with Jesus Christ, not because I am an American or a non-Muslim.
Thanks again for reading. Let me know what you think!