ARTICLE

What Makes Christianity Different

News Image By Eric Metaxas/Breakpoint.org February 13, 2017
Share this article:

Quick, name the practice that most sets Christianity apart from the non-Christian world. Respect for human life? Not really. 

Religions such as Jainism have, if anything, an even more uncompromising prohibition against harming any living things.

Sexual morality? Again, there are religions--Orthodox Judaism and Islam immediately come to mind--that place an even higher premium on sexual purity than Christianity. 

If you doubt this, ask yourself when was the last time you saw a Christian woman in a burqa.


The answer to this question is forgiveness. 

No other belief system has the equivalent of forgiving your brother seventy times seven, i.e., every time--much less commands you to love your enemies, and bless those who persecute you.

The radical nature of Christian forgiveness is so startling, so overwhelming, that it made the CBS Evening News.

Watch here:


The story began in 2005 in the city of Benton Harbor, Michigan. On that day, Jameel McGee was, in his words, "minding his own business," when he was stopped by a policeman, Andrew Collins. 

The encounter did not go well for McGee. Collins accused him of selling drugs and arrested him. At the time, McGee insisted that the charges were "all made up." 

As CBS noted, "Of course, a lot of accused men make that claim," and the outcome in McGee's case was pretty much the same as in other such cases: He wound up serving four years in prison.

In McGee's words, "I lost everything."

Making matters infinitely worse was that McGee was telling the truth: He was in fact an innocent man.

We know this because the policeman, Collins, was subsequently "caught, and served a year and a half for falsifying many police reports, planting drugs and stealing." 

Among the falsified police reports was the one concerning Jameel McGee.

While exoneration is sweet, it doesn't make up for the four years spent behind bars. As McGee told CBS, "My only goal was to seek him when I got home and to hurt him."

He appeared to have gotten his chance when both McGee and Collins ended up working at a café run by Mosaic Christian Community Development Center. As CBS put it, the "bad cop and the wrongfully accused man had no choice but to have it out."

And that brings me back to what I said about Christianity's unique emphasis on forgiveness. Collins told McGee "Honestly, I have no explanation, all I can do is say I'm sorry." 

McGee's response, "That was pretty much what I needed to hear."


But McGee did not stop there: He befriended the man who wronged him, so much so that he eventually told Collins that he loved him. As Collins tells the tale, "I just started weeping because he doesn't owe me that. I don't deserve that."

Thankfully, forgiveness, and the healing it brings in its wake, has nothing to do with "deserve." 

As McGee, a Christian, understood, we forgive one another because, as Paul told both the Ephesians and the Colossians, God in Christ has forgiven us.

The power of forgiveness transcends personal relationships. Think of the reaction to the Amish forgiving the man who killed ten young girls back in 2007. There was a power at work there that even the most hardened skeptic could not deny.

Today, McGee and Collins share their story with others. At least one person seems to have taken its message to heart. 

The CBS reporter ended with the following question: "If these two guys from the coffee shop can set aside their bitter grounds, what's our excuse?"

The answer, especially for the Christian, is "none."

Originally published at Breakpoint.org - reposted with permission.


Other News

May 23, 2019Floods & Drought Devastate Crops Around The Planet - Global Food Crisis Coming?

It looks like global food production could be well below expectations in 2019, and that could spell big trouble in the months ahead....

May 23, 2019New Concerns About Health Effects As 5G Networks Go Up Nationwide

Even though many in the scientific community are loudly warning about the potential health effects that 5G technology could have on the ge...

May 23, 2019Asleep At The Wheel? Fewer Pastors Concerned About Religious Liberty

According to a recent Barna survey, "a plurality of the general population believes freedom of religion in the U.S. is worse than it was 1...

May 23, 2019Poll: Half Of American Adults Expect War With Iran Within Next Few Years

While Americans are more concerned about Iran as a security threat to the United States now than they were last year, few would be in favo...

May 22, 2019On The Edge Of Disaster: Majority Of Americans Living Paycheck To Paycheck

When the next recession strikes, millions of Americans that suddenly lose their jobs could find themselves facing financial disaster almos...

May 22, 2019Iran's Proxy War Is The Real Problem

While a full-scale war with Iran does not appear likely in the near future, low-intensity conflict against the West and its allies already...

May 22, 2019What Progressives Actually Mean By "Tolerance"

Progressives conflate behaviors with people, and then demand that we stop condemning certain behaviors because that is hateful to the peop...

Get Breaking News