How should his followers respond? On the one hand, we are grieved and angered. On the other hand, we identify with Christ, and embrace his suffering, and rejoice in our afflictions, and say with the apostle Paul that vengeance belongs to the Lord, let us love our enemies and win them with the gospel. If Christ did his work by being insulted, we must do ours likewise.

 

When Muhammad was portrayed in twelve cartoons in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, the uproar across the Muslim world was intense and sometimes violent. Flags were burned, embassies were torched, and at least one Christian church was stoned. The cartoonists went into hiding in fear for their lives, like Salman Rushdie before them. What does this mean?

 

It means that a religion with no insulted Savior will not endure insults to win the scoffers. It means that this religion is destined to bear the impossible load of upholding the honor of one who did not die and rise again to make that possible. It means that Jesus Christ is still the only hope of peace with God and peace with man. And it means that his followers must be willing to “share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Philippians 3:10).


[1] Badru D. Kateregga and David W. Shenk, Islam and Christianity: A Muslim and a Christian in Dialogue (Nairobi: Usima Press, 1980), p. 141.

 

[2] Quoted from The Muslim World in J. Dudley Woodberry, editor, Muslims and Christians on the Emmaus Road (Monrovia, CA: MARC, 1989), p.164.


Jesus Christ: The End and Ground of Tolerance (Audio CD): Terrorist attacks. Mass slaughter of religious minorities in Indonesia and Sudan. The Middle East churning with rage. Tension is building. Anger is flaring. Everyone is calling for tolerance. But increasingly Evangelicals are being branded intolerant, a seedbed of terrorism, because of their belief in the exclusivity of the gospel. In these two addresses delivered at the Wheaton College and Graduate School 2002 Commencement ceremonies, John Piper unpacks the relationship between Jesus Christ and religious pluralism and tolerance. He contends that Christ, the source and ground of all truth, will Himself one day bring an end to all tolerance. But in the meantime, his followers are called to shed their own blood for the gospel, not the blood of others. Our goal is to display Christ as infinitely admirable and desirable so that others might know the everlasting, all-satisfying joy of admiring Christ. (2 messages – 1 Disc). Purchase here.


John Piper has been the Pastor for Preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, since 1980. He has authored numerous best-selling books, including The Passion of Jesus Christ, Don't Waste Your Life and Desiring God. You will find 25 years of online sermons, articles and other God-centered resources from the ministry of John Piper at www.desiringgod.org. He also has a daily radio program, called "Desiring God," which can be accessed online at www.desiringGod.org/radio.