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Committed crimes while Christians?

Reader comment on item: King of Pop Michael Jackson and Black Converts to Islam
in response to reader comment: Christianity could not show them the right path...

Submitted by Jason (United States), Mar 20, 2006 at 13:24

Anonymous, you went way out on a limb on this one.

For starters, just becaues someone is raised in a family that attends a Christian church does not make them a Christian. Becoming a Christian is something you have to decide and do for yourself. You are not born a Christian. As with every religon, there are many who claim to be Christian, but are not. Again, the mistaken idea that being from a Christian family, attending church, and going through the motions makes one a Christian.

No, the true sign of whether or not someone is a Christian is how they act, especially toward strangers and their enemies. Christians, true Christians, work at making the world a better place by helping others. This goes beyond the idea of just doing no harm. There is a need to actively make the world better for everyone. That is how we demonstrate Gods's love in our lives. A true Christian won't end up in jail unless they are defying unjust laws, the way Martin Luther King, Jr. did. If you meet a violent person in prison who claims to be a true Christian, take it with a grain (more like a whole shaker) of salt.

As for why so many in prison turn to Islam and not Christianity, it has to do with what each expects of you after conversion (and this is stuff I learned from my son-in-law, a Muslim convert). In Islam, all that is expected is that you TRY to live a better life. There is NO MANDATE to change. Yes, many do change for the better after converting to Islam, my son-in-law is a good example of that. However, Islam provides a good cover for those who don't want to change, but want a reason to stop feeling guilty about what they have done.

Christianity, on the other hand, MANDATES THAT YOU CHANGE! Trying just isn't good enough. There is guilt, and the need for repentance. You have to face your sins, take responsibility for them, ask for God's forgivness, and change your behavior. In addition, you have to learn to love your neighbor. By Christ's definition, that means everybody, to include your enemies. Christianity is a hard road to follow, spirtually speaking. You are not given a set of rules for everything. You are expected to make judgements based on what God would want you to do, and you are accountable if you get it wrong. Your intentions alone are not enough to save you. As the old adage goes, "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions."

I would guess, and my son-in-law backs me up on this, that if a true Christian does convert to Islam in prison, it is because they don't want to change, and don't want the guilt. They want an easier way out.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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