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Unless you have been living under a rock, you have probably heard about the recent terrorist attack in Oslo, Norway.

It was first reported that an Islamic terror group called “Helpers of Global Jihad” took responsibility for the attack, but police arrested a right-wing political extremist later.

On Friday, July 22nd, a bomb was detonated in the Norwegian government’s headquarters, probably targeting the office of Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. Later, a 32-year-old man named Anders Behring Breivik entered a youth camp disguised as a police officer and opened fire, killing 85 people. The combined death toll of the bombing and the shooting was 92 people, and more are expected to die.

Since the attack, a lot of people have made statements like this one on twitter:

Christian Fundamentalist responsible for Oslo terror attack. More evidence that ‘Christianity’ is a dangerous religion. http://t.co/ktXRHd0

It is clear from the cited article that Breivik frequented Christian fundamentalist and right-wing websites. The article states:

But the man who listed Kafka and George Orwell’s 1984 as his favourite books on Facebook made little secret to friends and others who frequented Christian fundamentalist and far-right websites of his racist views. A member of an Oslo Masonic lodge, reportedly a body builder and a hunter with two registered weapons – a Glock pistol and an automatic rifle – it has been Breivik’s online profile that has, so far supplied the most public information.

Breivik was clearly an extreme racist, nationalist, Freemason, and a professing Christian. The question is whether or not he is the exception or the norm for Christians. If he is the norm, then Christianity is truly a dangerous religion. If he is the exception, then the author of the above tweet–and others like him–are hypocrites who are every bit as bigoted (though maybe not as dangerous as) Breivik.

We ought to judge Christianity, not according to extremists like Breivik, but according to its founder Jesus Christ and His fundamental teachings.

Jesus Christ was a Jewish rabbi, who was not violent, nationalistic, or political. He was not an extremist of any stripe, he never murdered anyone, and He never taught His followers to do such things.

Jesus taught His followers Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Matthew 5:9), and You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well (Matthew 5:38-40). He angered His fellow Jews by praising the faith of non-Jews (Matthew 8:5-10, Luke 11:29-32). The Jews of Jesus’s time rejected Him because they were waiting for a Messiah that would lead a military revolt against the Roman occupiers, but Jesus refused to do any such thing (John 6:15, John 18:33-36).

Clearly, none of the actions of Anders Behring Breivik on Friday had anything to do with the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Breivik’s actions were not praised, or even condoned by the Christian Church. In fact, many Christian leaders have openly condemned Breivik’s actions.

The charges that the Oslo terrorist attack is an act of “Christian terrorism” or that the event is proof Christianity is dangerous is at best sensationalism, at worst outright Christophobia.

People who make such claims are every bit as bigoted as Anders Behring Breivik.

+Jared+

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