About Jesus Steve Sweetman
no secret that our cultural environment influences how we think, how we
live, and really, who we are.
For the Christian, Jesus and the Bible should
influence us more than anything else.
If you have no Biblical understanding, you won't have any
Biblical influence, which is often the case with today's Christian.
In Romans 12:1 and 2 the apostle Paul tells us not to be
conformed to this world. "This world" is the cultural
environment in which we live. The reason why Paul says this is because
our cultural environment is sinful.
That's why the first generation Christians viewed the cultural
environment in which they lived as something to be rescued from, not
embraced. (Acts 2:40) With
this in mind, I would like to point out how the cultural environment
influenced both Jesus and Mohammed, especially in the way they spread
was born either in 570 or 571 A.D. in
religious environment Mohammed grew up in was pagan polytheism.
That's the worship of multiple gods.
The paganism in Mohammed's day can be traced to the Canaanite
religion seen in the Old Testament, which the God of the Bible detested.
ethnic environment was Arab, which can be traced back to the Assyrians
in the Old Testament. The
Assyrians attacked and overthrew the northern kingdom of
an extremely simplified synopsis of the cultural setting Mohammed grew
up and lived in. The
question is, "how did this cultural environment influence Mohammed's
life, and in particular, how did it influence the way in which he spread
his brand of gospel"?
tribal warfare that Mohammed became a military leader in, influenced the
way in which he spread his gospel. Mohammed
was used to attacking, killing, and conquering, his tribal opponents.
With the same military fervor he spread his new religion.
Through military conquest, battle by battle, he fought for
political and religious supremacy across northern Africa to the west,
was born in
grew up in a traditional Jewish setting.
Judaism became a strict humanistic religion, something Jesus
detested later in life.
culture that Jesus grew up in should have influenced Him to be a rough,
tough, not so caring type of guy, motivated by a strict humanistic
legalism. He should have
spread His gospel in that same rough, tough, and legalistic way, but He
didn't. Jesus was a loving
and caring man, and when it came to women, he had more respect for them
than was culturally common among the men of His day.
was another cultural environment that shaped who Jesus was.
Although He was born into humanity in uncultured
Mohammed and his Islamic followers, Jesus and His earliest followers did
not spread their gospel by means of military force.
They simply preached the gospel, healed the sick, and loved those
who persecuted and killed them. Still,
Jesus' gospel spread throughout the known world.
could write a book on how the cultural settings influenced, or didn't
influence, both Jesus and Mohammed.
If you take the time to think about it, there's no other logical
choice but to conclude that Jesus is the one to whom you should serve.