3 Crazy Ways Christianity & Islam Are Totally Different

3 Crazy Ways Christianity & Islam Are Totally Different

Most Americans tend to think of religion as something rather fluid. It’s very common for us to say things like “all religions are basically the same,” and “we’re all just pursuing god on our own path.” What a religion ACTUALLY BELIEVES is just not seen as that important. But, as some famous person somewhere once said, “you become what you believe.”

It was most definitely Oprah

It is also very common for the American media to talk about “Muslim extremists,” by which they refer to the small, fringe group of people who actually believe in orthodox Islam. Muslims who follow what Islam actually teaches are not “fanatics.” They are simply Muslims, and the same goes for Christianity.

Maybe you don’t believe that specific tenets of faith are important at all to salvation. Perhaps you are one of these “many paths up the mountain,” people. That’s all well and good. I wish you luck on your journey. However, even if you think that beliefs are unimportant to God, perhaps you can concede some small ground. At least let’s all agree that if one applies belief to life, belief leads to action, and action impacts our world. So lets look at three interesting ways that Islam and Christianity just don’t quite line up. I’ll let you decide which one, if lived, might have the better impact on the human race.

1. JOY

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ISLAM

“Allah did not create man so that he could have fun. The aim of creation was for mankind to be put to the test through hardship and prayer. An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious.”  Ayatollah Khomeini

CHRISTIANITY

“Joy is a gift from God. It fills us from within. It is like an anointing of the Spirit. And this joy is the certainty that Jesus is with us and with the Father.” Pope Francis in his Christmas homily last year.

Pope Francis is absolutely speaking the message of Jesus, whose Spirit is Joy itself.  As he says in scripture: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.  If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

– John 15:9-11

2. Love

rules heart

ISLAM

The Arabic word love, “hubb,” in all its grammatical forms, is used only 69 times in the Qur’an. Out of those 69 times, God’s love for man is mentioned only 20 times, and only in relation to what he loves and does not love. For example:  “Those that keep their plighted faith and act aright, — verily Allah loves those who act aright.” 3:76

CHRISTIANITY

Just in ONE CHAPTER of scripture, “love” is used 27 times.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love….” I John 4:7-8

The New Testament alone lists 223 uses of a comparable translation of the word “love.”

3. HEAVEN

heaven

ISLAM

Allah’s Apostle (The blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “In Paradise there is a pavilion made of a single hollow pearl sixty miles wide, in each corner of which there are wives who will not see those in the other corners; and the believers will visit and enjoy them.” Sahih Al-Bukhari 4879.

Sounds like a great place for men if you’re a sex addict! Doesn’t sound so good for women though. But that’s ok, because most women won’t make it:

“O women! Give to charity, for I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-Fire were women.. You curse frequently, and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you.” Sahih Al-Bukhari 1462

CHRISTIANITY

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.  He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Revelation 8:4-6

“Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. Luke 14:21-23

Who does God have a heart for, according to Christianity? The poor, the oppressed, the suffering, the outcasts.  In Christianity, heaven is a place of complete unity where the lowly are lifted up and the high and mighty are made low. Sounds like a win to me.

FINAL SCORE:

CHRISTIANITY 3. ISLAM 0.

8 Comments
  • Bob Bonnell
    Posted at 02:15h, 17 July

    Thanks Dr. italy!

  • Father Mojo
    Posted at 06:38h, 20 July

    Okay, now write an article on three crazy ways Christianity and Islam are the same. Or are you only interested in contriving differences to keep score?

  • Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio
    Marcellino D'Ambrosio
    Posted at 15:48h, 20 July

    Hi Fr. Mojo — I’m not the author of this article — hopefully he will respond to you personally. But of course you make a good point. I speak often on Islam and Chistianity, and in a 60 minute talk, discuss the common ground as well as the significant differences, which are the emphasis in this brief post. Following the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and the whole Catholic tradition, we should honor truth wherever we find it and make common cause with it to the degree that we can. But we can’t overlook the uniqueness of the fullness of revelation to be found in Christ and which is lacking in so many places — joy, intimacy with God as Father, the love not only of brethren but love of enemies — these are some pretty major things . I don’t think we as Christians appreciate sufficiently the uniqueness of what we have . . . and the urgency of the duty to share it with Muslims, under-evangelized Catholics, atheists and everybody without distinction.

  • Marcellino Giovanni D'Ambrosio
    Posted at 15:54h, 20 July

    Are you saying that these differences are “contrived?” I don’t think many muslims would disagree that these are critical divergences between the two faiths.

  • Marcellino D'Ambrosio
    Posted at 17:17h, 30 January

    Dear friend, this post was written by my son and was originally featured on a blog for Catholic Millennials. I don’t believe that the point here is to ridicule Muslims or support persecution of Muslims. The point here is that there are some significant differences between Islam and Christianity with the latter having an emphasis on love and joy that one does not find in the Koran or the Haddith (the traditions that serve to interpret the Koran). Christians need to understand and live the unique dimensions of their faith! That’s what I take away from this article.

  • Marcellino D'Ambrosio
    Posted at 17:16h, 30 January

    RevJack, the post really is not about Muslims and Christians, but about the Christian and Muslim faith as expressed in their authoritative documents. The author of the post is drawing attention to the distinctive emphasis on joy and love that is present in the Christian Scriptures and not to be found in the same way or to the same degree in the Koran or Haddith. Of course some Muslims are much more loving and joyful than some Christians. This post is a call to Christians to celebrate and live the beauty of their faith.

  • JT2982
    Posted at 17:16h, 30 January

    Dear Dr D’Ambrosio,
    With everyone denouncing Muslims and Islam, I think back to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In HIS time HE was ridiculed as a heretic and radical.
    Are we doing that to the Muslims?

    JT

  • RevJack
    Posted at 17:16h, 30 January

    I have problems with Islam too but there has been plenty of darkness in Christianity (remember the Inquisition?). There also have been plenty of profoundly loving voices in Islam such as Rumi. And sadly there are plenty of Christians today who would be quite happy to enforce “God’s will” with limitless brutality. Yes there can be great Muslim violence, just witness the Palm Sunday attack on the Christian Copts in Egypt. But don’t pretend that Christianity, yesterday or today is without it’s share of shame.

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