"TWO RELIGIONS BASED ON THE SAME BOOK CAN'T EVEN GET ALONG."
Eddie Macleod on my facebook page makes a statement with a question mark: "The Bible fuels unrest fear and division?".
He also makes the statement at the top of this post.
In reply I would begin by quoting this:
"THINK NOT THAT I AM COME TO SEND PEACE ON EARTH: I CAME NOT TO SEND PEACE, BUT A SWORD." (Matthew 10:34).
By making this statement Christ was telling us that there is an enmity which exists between the people who live for this present world and those who live for the spiritual world - the unseen invisible world.
That although Christ is the "Prince of Peace", yet through absolute necessity and by the very nature of the world the existence of this very peace causes the most bitter divisions possible between men.
To quote one man: "There's no bitterness like religious bitterness."
"BUT THE NATURAL MAN RECEIVETH NOT THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD: FOR THEY ARE FOOLISHNESS UNTO HIM: NEITHER CAN HE KNOW THEM, BECAUSE THEY ARE SPIRITUALLY DISCERNED." (1Corinthians 2: 14).
The Bible teaches that those who have not been given God's Holy Spirit have no understanding of the true meaning of it's message.
"BECAUSE THE CARNAL MIND IS ENMITY AGAINST GOD: FOR IT IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE LAW OF GOD, NEITHER INDEED CAN BE." (Romans 8: 7).
No man born into the world by ordinary generation has any desire to obey God. In fact, he is wholly opposed to him. By nature, we are all mortal enemies to God. And the thing is - we don't know it.
There are only two kinds of people: those who know God (or rather, are known of God).
And those who do not know God.
There are two kinds of religion: natural, and revealed.
NATURAL RELIGION is, just that, natural to us. It is the one which we like, the one which we are most comfortable with, the one we will invent if we don't find something which suits us.
It is where all false religion comes from, no matter what it's called - even if it's called Christianity. The problems start when men decide to take to do with the things of God, but leave God out of it - they don't consult the Author - or the book - and if they do consult the book, they leave bits out or change the meaning, or both. Either way, it's got to suit the carnal mind.
REVEALED RELIGION is something else entirely. This is what God gives to us. What he "reveals" to us. Fundamentally, we have no part in this. At first, we have no desire for God. Then God the Holy Spirit is sent, who works in our hearts to show us our sin and need of him.
Now this is the crucial part - he makes us willing - and much more than that - he gives us a desire which is so powerful that we will accept nothing less than the living God - personally. All this happens outside of the knowledge of the sinner - he doesn't know what's happening - until after conversion, then he can look back retrospectively.
The Bible is the crucial thing.
"...THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, WHICH ARE ABLE TO MAKE THEE WISE UNTO SALVATION THROUGH FAITH WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS.
ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD, AND IS PROFITABLE FOR DOCTRINE, FOR REPROOF, FOR CORRECTION, FOR INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS:
THAT THE MAN OF GOD MAY BE PERFECT, THROUGHLY FURNISHED UNTO ALL GOOD WORKS. (2Timothy 3: 15-17).
FOR I TESTIFY UNTO EVERY MAN THAT HEARETH THE WORDS OF THE PROPHECY OF THIS BOOK, IF ANY MAN SHALL ADD UNTO THESE THINGS, GOD SHALL ADD UNTO HIM THE PLAGUES THAT ARE WRITTEN IN THIS BOOK:
AND IF ANY MAN SHALL TAKE AWAY FROM THE WORDS OF THE BOOK OF THIS PROPHECY, GOD SHALL TAKE AWAY HIS PART OUT OF THE BOOK OF LIFE, AND OUT OF THE HOLY CITY, AND FROM THE THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THIS BOOK. (Revelation 22: 18 - 19).
So now that we have established the most important thing - the place given to scripture - we can move on to answer the question.
As to the Bible fuelling unrest and so on, quite the contrary, if you believe what the Bible says, you will be most vehemently opposed to it.
"BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS: FOR THEY SHALL BE CALLED THE CHILDREN OF GOD." (Matthew 5: 9)
The unrest is fuelled by man's sinful heart - nothing else.
"TWO RELIGIONS BASED ON THE SAME BOOK CAN'T EVEN GET ALONG."
The story is the same. The fault lies not with God, but with men. It doesn't matter which camp we claim to belong to. The problems are always caused by the same thing: disregarding God's word. Mankind has a love affair with what is sensual, carnal and visual. Even in the things of God our nature lusts after visual gratification.
"THOU SHALT NOT MAKE UNTO THEE ANY GRAVEN IMAGE, OR ANY LIKENESS OF ANY THING THAT IS IN THE HEAVEN ABOVE, OR THAT IS IN THE EARTH BENEATH, OR THAT IS IN THE WATER UNDER THE EARTH..." (Exodus 20: 4).
The reason God gave this commandment is because he knows our weaknesses, he knows that we have a propensity to the very thing which he condemns.
About the two religions being based on the same book: well they're not. I mean, the Roman Catholic side openly contradicts the Bible and even says that it is not the only rule to direct us.
The true protestant side (as opposed to the hypocrites) says that the Bible is the only rule.
The Roman Catholic church grew out of the true church in the first few hundred years after Christ's crucifixion. They went they're own way and created their own rules and have evolved over the centuries into what they now are.
They hold to all manner of things which, to the Bible believer, are simply anathema: The Pope being the last word in everything (he is their Bible); that a sinful man (priest) can forgive your sins if you confess them to him; prayers to dead "saints"; that the Virgin Mary was miraculously conceived without a natural father (immaculate conception); when a Roman Catholic dies he goes to a place called "Purgatory", where he or she is tortured even for centuries if necessary to "purge" them of their sins. So money must be paid to the priests to generate prayers from them to move the person from Purgatory to heaven - the more money the more prayers. If your not a Roman Catholic - you go straight to Hell - because outside of the Roman Catholic church there is no salvation. And of course you have all the paraphernalia: crosses, beads, statues, holy water, ridiculous clothing and all manner of other things - too many to go into. It is a religion completely made up of superstition.
But the true church of Christ hasn't changed one iota, because the true church of Christ is kept by the power of God alone, and therefore cannot change. And the true church of Christ is invisible.
The visible church is constituted by all that profess to believe in Jesus Christ; but the invisible church are those throughout the world and over time who really do believe.
So, these "two religions" which are "based on the same book" are not, in fact, based on the same book at all - one is based on The Book - but the other is based on something else entirely.
And they are not even "two religions", because the false grew out of the true. And this is still ongoing - within the visible church you have those that know not God working away to remove what they despise most - the truth of God.
CAN TWO WALK TOGETHER, EXCEPT THEY BE AGREED? (Amos 3: 3).