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Wednesday Family Worship Service 7:30pm
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by Bro. Clifford Hurst
1101 North Union Road
Dayton, Ohio 45417
Having laid out the premise that what a faith really is should be judged by its founder's life and teaching rather than by the followers, I covered Muhammad's, the founder of Islam's, life. (in our Investigating Islam series this past Wednesday). As I prepared and taught, I could not escape a comparison of Muhammad's life with Jesus' life (who preceded Muhammad by almost 600 yrs.). Loyal followers, liberal media, and Islamic apologists go to great lengths to sanitize the historical record of Muhammad's taking a child-bride, stealing his adopted son's wife, organizing attacks on caravans for spoil, ordering assassinations of opponents, commanding the genocidal massacre of Jews who rejected his message, the retaliatory slaughter of captured members of his tribe who had refused monotheism, and encouraging and leading jihad against any who would not convert to Islam. These accounts do not come from modern critics and haters of Islam. Largely, they come from his own contemporary or immediately succeeding devotees. When I shared about Muhammad's life, I could not keep from feeling worship of Jesus rising up within my heart. I kept hearing in my mind Jesus' challenge before his very enemies: "Which of you convinceth me of sin? ..." (Joh 8:46). Basically, Jesus' challenge was that, if any one knew of anything amiss, unethical, sinful, immoral in His life, words or deeds or character, that one should point it out to the gathered crowd. Imagine if any other person, then or now, out of the billions of people who live and have lived, had done such a thing. We would have been shocked by that person's ludicrous audacity and would have immediately suspected that the man was a deluded, egotistical lunatic. But, when Jesus did this, no one then or now thinks that of Him. Why? Because nothing could be pointed out wrong in His life! His enemies could point out nothing. His twelve friends who had been with Him day and night knew of nothing amiss. Even his disbelieving half-siblings never charged Him with wrong. The best the enemies of Jesus could do was to say that He ate with sinners. What they meant as a criticism was actually a commendation. It only showed how wonderful and righteous He was. The judge Pilate proclaimed, "I find no fault in Him." Even today, in spite of all modern redaction and revision attempts of the life of Jesus, without resorting to the apocryphal, nothing sinful or wrong can be pointed out about Jesus. Oh, Spotless Lamb! He is "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners!" I was convicted by an observation that Islamic scholars and theologians have made: Although Muslims fervently love and desire to emulate Muhammad, they do not worship him. What convicted me was my observation that, although many Christians worship Jesus, at least perfunctorily, they do not fervently love and seek to emulate Him. My belief is that radical Islamists do mirror their founder, Muhammad. The most striking observation this world should make of Christians is that they mirror their founder, Jesus. Two faiths. Two founders: One a slaughterer (by his own words). The other the pure, Slaughtered One. O, Spotless Lamb! I choose Him--the One without sin.