First, the responses I received in order:

#1:

I’ve been reading/looking at your profile, don’t have time for all of it but…I was all prepared to start an argument over religion, but you seem to have done one of the things most Christians and other religious people fail to do…think about it and actually do some research instead of just blindly believing. Congratulations, you just brought Christians up a little higher in my book (Although not enough to convert). Thanks for showing that you aren’t all ignorant zombies who believe everything you’re told just because the priest said so.

#2:

I’m going to try not to contradict my earlier comment here, but I’ve always found it odd how Christians need to keep creating more imagery and other things with Christian themes. Is there for reason for it? Are you trying to prove who loves God more? Or are you trying to keep those who are already Christian Christian? The most obvious reason is that you’re preaching your religion, and trying to convert people, which is the one thing I’ve found that I can universally hate about both Islam and Christianity…Jews already believe they’re the chosen people, so you don’t need to convert, and Buddhism and Hinduism don’t seek converters. So why do Christianity and Islam seek converters so much? The excuse is that they’re trying to help people, but really…Is Christianity insecure or something?

My response:

Response to comment #1:

I’m not a catholic so the priest comment makes me giggle. 😀

Response to comment #2:

Two parts to your question and I’ll answer them thusly:

Are you trying to prove who loves God more? Or are you trying to keep those who are already Christian Christian?

This is going to sound a little trite but I’m trying to answer the question directly – I act as I do because I can’t really act in any other way. Imagine that you were born blind. You lived your whole life in an institution for the blind where you are told constantly that you are loved and respected and cared for and that your life can’t be any better. You make other blind friends but you don’t seem to keep them as they keep disappearing. Naturally you just assume that it’s because that the institution you’re in is a very large place and you just probably don’t bump into them that often. One day someone comes up and tackles you – they wrestle you to the ground and scrub your face – it’s painful and you hate it – you’re screaming for them to stop. When they do, you can suddenly see. You immediately realize that the person wasn’t trying to harm you but to help you. Not only that, you see why they tackled you – it’s because you’re 2′ from the edge of a HUGE cliff – as you look over the edge you see the remains of hundreds of other people – all in blue jumpsuits. This is when you realize that you’re in a blue jumpsuit as well. The blue jumpsuit designates that you’re blind and as you start to see this you see someone else in a blue jumpsuit walk off the edge and fall to his death. In your despair you run to the next person closest to the edge of the cliff and you try to reason with him to get him to see that he’s not really blind but that you’re trying to help him – he thinks you’re nuts because he’s wearing the same headphones you were that pipe in the same “you’re ok, we’re ok” crap that you thought you were getting from your caregivers. As you try to reason with him to save him from the pain and struggle of having his eyes scrubbed he tells you that you’re completely insane and turns to walk away, plummeting to his death.

The point of the Gospel is not that we’re better than anyone else – we’re just as sinful and wretched as everyone else is. We can see how we’ve offended God and we see how offensive it really is. If I believe in the Gospel in its entirety then I have no other possible response than to run to everyone who doesn’t know about the salvation that God provides for them and show them what I know to be solidly true as it has been presented in my own life and in the lives of my loved ones who have died both in the Lord and those who have not. My best friend died last year from cancer and he died as a Mormon. I know that he’s in Hell today. That’s a hard thing to grasp. What’s harder though? Knowing that and letting it go or knowing that I still have family members, friends, and neighbors who are still going to Hell in their sins but whom I’ve not yet talked to? I’d contend that even those who say that they’re Christians but who don’t have a heart for those who are, as in the example above, blind to their situation but who say that they’re bible believing Christians are in fact hypocrites and I’d call their faith into question. In fact, it would be more likely that they were idol worshippers in the original sense of the term. In the days before Christ (and even now in India for the Hindu’s) you would create for yourself a god from wood or clay, and begin to worship it. In the modern translation in Christianity – people do that all the time when they take the God who is presented to us in the Bible, strip away the parts they don’t like or agree with and say instead “I don’t like the God that the Bible presents to me but I will worship the god that I have created from a mix of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and secular humanism. This god is more palatable to my tastes and therefore I will worship him instead.” Then they continue to call themselves “christians” because they call their god they’ve created “Jesus Christ” even though this god has nothing to to with the God of the Bible. This is the kind of person that Jesus was talking about when he said “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:21-23). You, like the blind man above, cannot make a rational decision about something so abstract and strange as salvation if you do not know 1) why you need saving, and 2) what you need saving from. If you don’t think you’re sick, will you take medicine – even if a doctor asks you to? No! Why should you? If you’re convinced of your situation – if you’re convinced of your disease – then you’ll gladly take your medicine and no one will be able to tell you otherwise until you’re convinced that you’re cured.

why do Christianity and Islam seek converters

Regarding Christianity, I think I made the case for it above. Most of the people you see or hear about who are forced to convert to Islam are done so for political reasons or sexual desires. Political reasons meaning that the person or people group would help the muslims grow or to obtain more land, property, or power if they were to convert. Sexual desires is mostly for the Christians who are converted to allow them to marry a muslim man. This happens mostly by force in both cases. In Islam, you are either born into it (unlike Christianity where you have to decide for yourself and no amount of “holy water” or baptisms will convert or save you) or you can be converted. The life of a convert on muslim land is much different that it’s often played out on TV. Under Sharia law – when a muslim army takes control of a new land, those who are not muslim have three choices – you can either convert to Islam (impossible for the Christian as it would be to deny Christ), pay a fine and live as a second class citizen in the land after you give up your property and rights (essentially becoming a slave), or you die.

For reference – under the same law, you have to offer for a country to willfully accept islam and abandon their other gods (or God in our case) before they can attack us. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has already offered that to President Bush twice – it has been denied both times. I think the last time he sent back a Bible in arabic.

I was wrong about the response from President Bush. He was very kind.

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