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I've been listening to local and far-away Christian radio stations for a long time.

What strikes me is that, not even once, have I heard them (any of them) say a single word that could in any way be interpreted as criticism in any manner against Jews, Muslims, etc.

If anything, they are very eager to speak about the "people of Israel", etc., in very positive wording, almost as if they were speaking about themselves. There seems to be no question to them whatsoever about the question whether Jesus was a Jew or not; as far as they are concerned, this is 100% established, and not a contradiction in any way.

Maybe there is some kind of Christian branch which does have such criticism, but if they exist, I have certainly never been able to find them. And I suspect that they must have a very small following/reach if such is the case.

But how can this be? One would assume that they would be talking about how the other religions are wrong and theirs is right, but... nope. I almost get the feeling that they actually consider themselves to be Jews, only with a slightly different view on some things.

Even just the fact that the Old Testament is the basis of Christianity (expanded with the New Testament) is very strange to me since it only talks about Jews and not Christians.

"Back in the day", I get the feeling that they had a quite different perspective. What has happened in recent decades?

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    You must have been listening/reading very selectively, because lots of Christians are always offering critiques of other religions. If you could tell us exactly which radio stations you've been listening too then maybe we might be able to find an explanation for why they don't, but in general, absolutely nothing has changed, especially not in recent decades. – curiousdannii Jul 31 at 4:26
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    Also, pretty much all Christians would say that it's without question that Jesus was a Jew. Most non-Christians would as well. That's not really under any dispute. – curiousdannii Jul 31 at 4:27
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    You should either expand on or delete your section on Jesus being Jewish or not. It makes no sense to me without context. – Ian Macintosh Jul 31 at 10:08
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    Different Christian groups adopt different approaches towards other religions. I know a number of Christian groups that are involved in criticising other religions. Of course, this doesn't mean all of the Christian groups are of this type. Before you form a general opinion on Christian groups it is prudent on your part to make yourself familiar with the attitude of as many Christian groups as possible towards other faiths. – TeluguChristian Jul 31 at 12:12
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    The way to identify counterfeit currency is not by studying all of the fakes but by becoming a master of the true. A Christianity that focuses too heavily on the wrong will flounder in the trenches. The church should indeed provoke Israel to jealousy (Romans 1:11, 14) but not through condemning words. It should, rather, be through the actually transformed lives that demonstrate that we are, indeed, God's Elect. – Mike Borden Jul 31 at 12:58
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My experience has not been similar to yours, in that I do hear church leaders criticise other religions. In addition, as a young man I don't know what things were like a few decades ago to compare it too. Nevertheless, I want to attempt to answer the question.

This article, from a prominent Evangelical source, discusses the way in which the author suggests Christians interact with other religions. While we could debate whether the author is correct, I would say this is a common view. The author generally tries to hold together two opposing views: a) belief in Jesus is the only way to salvation, and therefore we must criticise other religions, b) we must do so in a way that helps our cause, rather than hinders it.

The Apostle Paul says a similar thing in Collosians:

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Collosians 4:5-6 (NIV)

Exactly what being wise and gracious means will depend on the circumstance, the people involved, and the nature of the society we live in. I suspect every Christian will have a different idea were that line is, and I've heard many say our modern (in particular, Western) Christianity are a bit too generous with this line.

However, I understand why a Christian radio station in particular would choose to avoid criticism of other religions. They have chosen to perform a particular role, and leave other functions up to the church. For comparison, consider the way this Stack Exchange runs. Two thoughts that immediately jump to mind:

Firstly, a public radio station needs to cater to a wide range of Christians. There are denomination here on Christianity.SE that I strongly disagree with, and feel ought to have their beliefs criticised - but I recognise this isn't the platform for doing so.

Secondly, a pubic radio station has no ability for personal discourse. If I disagree with the pastor of my church, I can go talk to him after the service (and on occasion have done!), and he can get to know my particular objection and life situation. A radio broadcast doesn't allow for this. Again, this SE has made similar decisions, albeit about a slightly different topic.

In conclusion, I would say that the reason some Christians publications choose not to openly criticise because:

  1. They believe there is biblical precedent for being wise towards other religions
  2. They believe in our current climate, "wise" means avoiding public, impersonal criticism
  3. They have chosen to perform one specific function, and leave the rest of the church's responsibility to the church.

Whether one agrees with this logic, I would say that is the decision being made. I would hope that an individual church would recognise the need to expose the un-truths in other religions, and would seek to do so in a clear but wise manner.

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  • I've used Christianity.SE as an example in this answer. I'd still consider myself fairly new to this site, so it's possible that comparison doesn't hold, and I've misunderstood. I'd welcome any feedback. I'd also like to stress that I'm attempting to answer why a radio station might choose to make this decision, not that I agree with their decision. – Korosia Jul 31 at 9:28
  • Very good point about the platform of expression and that there is no opportunity for public response and discourse. Up-voted +1. – Nigel J Jul 31 at 9:36
  • Why do you not address the connection between Judaism and Christianity? The core of this question is a particular misunderstanding about Christianity, the bible. – Clark Radford Jul 31 at 11:33
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    @ClarkRadford I seems I had a different interpretation of the question. I was focusing on the question in the title, which I took to be why Christian publications in general didn't criticise other religions in general. I read the parts about Judaism as being an example, not the core of the question. If that's wrong, then hopefully OP can correct me. – Korosia Jul 31 at 12:41
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    Indeed. On Mars Hill Paul did not attack the false religious beliefs directly but, rather, acknowledged their religious inclinations and expounded the truth. And in synagogue Paul reasoned from Scripture with the Jews. His confrontational words were largely employed for those 'wolves' and 'dogs' within the visible Church who were leading others astray through word and deed. – Mike Borden Jul 31 at 12:42
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I think the answer would be because they are Christians. As such they should be focusing on correct doctrine rather than dissing religious groups, and they should do so in a Christ like manner. Sometimes some religions are so diametrically opposed that you will find criticism inevitable and it certainly exists in a number of cases.

I have noticed that Jehovah’s Witnesses do cop a fair bit of flak from most other Christian believers, including here on CSE. They have in some cases fairly divergent beliefs, though they share many others in common with other Protestants. I have never been comfortable with the criticism they face by simply being Jehovah’s Witnesses. Certainly I disagree with and do point out issues in their beliefs but hopefully in a manner that still portrays a Christian spirit. And in saying this, in this way, add strength to the argument of why Christians are not that combative, or at least should not be, towards other faiths.

I do however agree with you in that most of the Protestant movement have lost much of their vigour in opposing the Roman church over the last 500 years. In fact many of the Protestant religions are now working hand in hand with the See of Rome or at least welcoming them in ecumenism. A far cry from the strident and vehement criticisms of Martin Luther and his reformation contemporaries.

Likewise the Roman Church has also significantly altered its stance against Protestant Religions. 500 years ago it was burning at the stake any Protestant it could lay its hands on. Even the anathemas have mostly if not entirely ceased.

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    Regarding the criticisms against Jehovah's Witnesses, please be aware they declare they are neither Protestant nor Catholic. Indeed, they claim that all Trinitarian churches are the Antichrist. However, they have very little to say against non-Christian religions, especially those religions that denounce the Trinity (such as Islam). I say this without rancour or malice and without any intent to offend. +1 for a well-balanced answer. – Lesley Aug 2 at 7:52
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    Agreed Lesley. The JW’s are however Protestants despite statements to the contrary by themselves. They share a large number of uniquely Protestant beliefs and have variations that are often found in other Protestant faiths. Messianic protestants also have a big focus on trying to use original Hebrew names of God. There are about as many interpretations of prophecy as there are churches so theirs is not that unique. Granted they do not want to be seen as a fellow Protestant given their view of all others being false religion, but they are Protestant derivatives nonetheless as most others are. – Ian Macintosh Aug 3 at 17:26
  • I agree with you Ian. – Lesley Aug 4 at 7:36
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The only way to God and the only mean of salvation is through Jesus Christ (John 3:15-16; 14:6), God made flesh (John 1:1,14; Philippians 2:6-7; Colossians 2:9). If someone does not have (or despise) Jesus, neither will have the Father (God) (1 John 2:23). Maybe they could worship and pray to a god, but it wouldn't be the God of the Bible. This include all religions (Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Atheism, ...). Having said that.

The main concern of Christians should be the teachings of Jesus Christ and the aplications for our lives. Depending on the background they might focus on particular subjects influenced by where they live or the growth of the congregation, for example. In the West, perhaps, the focus will be more on cultural issues such as abortion, feminism, LGBT or communism, but in countries with a majority of other religions (or with an expansion of a particular religion), they could expose those believes, defending our faith, sharing the gospel and making disciples.

The reasons for not talking about other religions can be several:

  1. Fear of retaliation,
  2. comfort, apathy or postmodernism,
  3. fear of being judged or believe that it is wrong,
  4. they see it as not essential or unacceptable,
  5. not estimating the truths of Scripture as fundamental Truths, or
  6. simply lack of knowledge of a particular religion.
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Todays Christians generally agree that genocide is bad, that World War Two happened, that the good side won. And Jesus was not a time traveller.

Your question belies a deep ignorance about Christianity, Judaism and History generally.

Even just the fact that the Old Testament is the basis of Christianity (expanded with the New Testament) is very strange to me since it only talks about Jews and not Christians.

Christianity is a theological divergence from Judaism, the two religions share the same origin, that is why Christians refer to the Old Testament. It is a religious text that predates the New Testament; hence the moniker “Old” vs “New”.

Jesus was a jew because historical evidence suggests that everyone living in that time and place were jewish. There was no such thing as Christianity at that time, it did not exist. Jesus could not be Christian because he could not read a book with an account about his death because he had not died yet.

There is no credible text that indicates Jesus was a time traveller from the future who read the New Testament (an account of his own life and death), then travels back in time to fulfill the future timeline.

Jews and Christians worship the same God. The Old Testament includes ‘Genesis’ the story of creation. Where God created everything, if Christians reject the Old Testament they have to devise a new creation story.

"Back in the day", I get the feeling that they had a quite different perspective. What has happened in recent decades?

“Back in the day” you might be referring to the holocaust.

Yes during the holocaust there were many Nazi who made manipulative and deceitful statements about Jews to turn the public against them. The purpose was to recover economically. Germany could rob a significant portion of their own population through a systematic campaign of murder and then gain power by warring and dominating other nations.

In “recent decades” people have generally come to the viewpoint that the holocaust was a human atrocity. And that murdering people due to their religious affiliation is morally reprehensible.

Maybe there is some kind of Christian branch which does have such criticism, but if they exist, I have certainly never been able to find them.

Yes a Christian branch did exist with a view that Jesus was not Jewish, that branch existed in Nazi Germany. Hitler attempted to redefine Jesus as an Aryan.

During the Third Reich, German Protestant theologians, motivated by racism and tapping into traditional Christian anti-Semitism, redefined Jesus as an Aryan and Christianity as a religion at war with Judaism. The Aryan Jesus, by Susannah Heschel

There maybe quasi Christian groups that continue to follow these teachings; however that Hitler (a notorious figure) is the principle inventor of this branch of Christianity is generally repulsive to people aware of his role in the genocide of millions of innocent people.

It is unlikely then that an ahistorical, debunked, recently invented account of an Aryan Jesus would be propagated on radio.

Todays Christians are more likely to align with the prevailing view that Jesus was a jew, than the Nazi view that Jesus was an Aryan. This is because some time ago the Allied powers mobilized nearly every man across earth for a time to murder millions of Nazi’s.

Today most Christian learn in early school curriculum about WW2 (the largest theatre of war ever), and their nations role in preventing a world dominated by Hitlers ideology.

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    In addition to the points Nigel raised, this answer is only barely connected to the question, and it's also filled with lots of factual errors. Like the idea that Americans wanted to murder every Nazi, when they actually recruited lots of their scientists. – curiousdannii Jul 31 at 14:55
  • @curiousdannii this answer is the only one to address the OP’s views regarding Jesus, I’ve updated the part about ‘every Nazi’ to ‘millions of Nazi’ i hope that is better – Clark Radford Jul 31 at 15:04
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    I have no idea why you think the OP was thinking about Nazis, so it's hard to be certain that you have indeed addressed them. If might be better to get some clarification from the OP before talking about Nazis. – curiousdannii Jul 31 at 15:13
  • @IanMacintosh no other answerer has addressed the antisemetic implication of a non-jewish jesus, until someone adequately addresses it, i will not delete the answer. – Clark Radford Jul 31 at 15:29
  • @curiousdannii are you saying that Nazi’s are good scientists and you view the murder of Nazi’s as an error of history? – Clark Radford Aug 4 at 2:52

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