Now really, is Christianity as drastically or essentially different from Islam as we’re asked to believe it is—or is this mostly a turf war that the polemics are engineered to suck us all into, generation after generation, each in his own ideological ghetto?
Well firstly, consider that Christianity in its history has gone through several far-flung and even contradictory trends (as have all religions!), many of which in fact were quite clearly influenced by non-Christian sects and esoteric schools: there was the Judaizer phase, the Pauline/Gnostic, Arian, Constantinian/Conciliar, Papist, Reformed, Counter-Reformed, Radical Reformed, Pentecostal (Corinthian/Neo-Gnostic), Evangelical, and whatever Pope Pius IX was—just to name a few.
The Arians (not Aryans!) were essentially pre-Mohammedan Muslims, and the minority group they exiled would say of them, “They have the Churches, but we have the true Faith”. In a way, it wasn’t that different from today, where churches would be converted into mosques and back again. Anyway, all that to sort of blow away the idea that Muslims worship “a different god” from the Christians—let alone a “less reasonable god”—particularly since Allah was Jesus’ term for God, Aramaic being far closer to Arabic than to Hebrew. (!)
And before that, the Gnostics are credited with having introduced into Christianity the quite Hindu ideas of:
- Trimurti (“Trinity”),
- compiling a canon of Christian Scripture (“New Testament”), and even
- monasticism (originally eremitic not cenobitic, the latter being a later militaristic modification, monos meaning of course recluse).
And then before the Gnostics, followers of “The Way” (which was at that point an all-Jewish sect) worshiped in common synagogues with their “non-Way-ward” fellow-Jews (more or less freely, though persecutions of course erupted here and there).
Truth be told, the Jesus of the canonical gospels did preach that he was sent only to the “House of Israel” and never called himself “God”, except to say to his fellow-Jews, “ye are gods”! so it’s understandable why these first three main (largely Semitic and non-Hellenic) branches of Paleo-Christianity would have cropped up, and right there you can sort of “give the devil his due” and grant that Muslims (or certainly many Muslims) might not be savage bat-wits like the image that’s beaten into us by the Jew-dominated influences on the American mind. After all, consider the Mohammedans’ contributions in mathematics, philosophy, and for heaven’s sake eye surgery!
Now let’s fast-forward to the modern world, because I think it perplexes less informed Americans to hear that a majority-Sunni nation is regimented by Shiite adherents…until you look at the makeup of the US Supreme Court: 1/3 Jewish, 2/3 Roman Catholic!
Anyway, American Christian culture in post-Enlightenment modernity has in many ways become a caricature of Islam, buckling down and pitting itself against Liberty and Reason in many quarters, sort of the way a virus mutates to defend itself against the immune system. One is sorely tempted to suspect intelligence connections and an overarching agenda to maintain our sheeple status by bolstering fideism in the populace.
Particularly the Evangelical Christians (but also many Protestants and Jesuits from the very beginning of the Reformation/Counter-Reformation) seem to take their cues in fact from Islam itself, reading the Bible literally and sort of making a game out of “quieting” their intellect in order to give fideism (that is, philosophical Lutheranism) and communitarianism free rein while paying lip-service to “independent thinking” to outsiders. As a phenomenon, this must be called absurd—and even absurdist! (This is not to say that radical secularism [i.e. the notion that government officials must not be openly religious] is any more rational!)
So the question I must ask these demonstrably two-faced Grahamite Evangelicals is this: Where do you get off asking people to “just have faith” and passively accept the politically expedient idea that the Biblical canon and theological specifications of this specific time and place is the one true faith God intended from the 6,000-year-old beginning? I mean, first off, can it get any shallower—any less spiritual—than that?
And if, God forbid, we analyze this trendy sentiment (which is truly covert modernism, committing the unforgivable sin of blasphemy against the spirit), we quickly see that the theology of our day came about through questioning the theology of its day that likewise “must not be questioned”! Jesus said “He who lives by the sword dies by the sword”, and it almost seems as if the same is true of mainstream or exoteric theologies—that implicitly deny spirit, never mind blaspheming against the Holy Spirit!
And a sword one could thrust through the belly of today’s (per)version of “Christianity” is simply this: If original sin was the knowledge of good and evil, what on earth are these “Christian” churches doing teaching about what’s right and what’s wrong? And if Jesus only taught in parables, what are these “Christian” churches doing teaching dogmatic and systematic theologies? Surely—surely!—something is rotten in Christendom.