Does Islam Have a Lot in Common With the Christian Faith?
The Muslim’s message to Christians in the West these days is,” We have a lot in common, we are similar, accept us, listen to us…”
Pastor Sam Storms reports on the contents of a billboard in Oklahoma City: "On the right side of the sign, in huge letters, is the word ISLAM.On the left side, under the title One Family, are the names of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad." Sam rightly exclaims, "No! We are not one family with those who deny that Jesus is God. Abraham and Moses are two of the great saints of the old covenant, but they lived in anticipation of the coming of Jesus. Their words and deeds and prophetic utterances pointed forward to the coming Son of God, the one true Messiah, Jesus. To suggest that Jesus is merely one of a long line of revered prophets that includes Abraham, Moses, and Muhammad, is blasphemous. Worse still, it is damning. To believe this lie is to consign your soul to eternal death."
The "we worship the same God and are basically similar" assertion of Islam to the typical, biblically illiterate American, is readily accepted and is certainly the politically correct position.
But in reality it is a ploy that Muslim leaders use to spread their political and religious system. After they gain the upper hand, the Muslims’ message will be, “We have nothing in common with you, you are kafirs/infidels who worship three gods, and follow a corrupt Bible. You are dhimmis (non-Muslims in an Islamic society who are subjugated and second-class citizens) who must accept Islam or pay jizya(a penalty tax) for being Christians…”
Islam is superficially similar but radically different to Evangelical Christianity. The Bible makes it clear that, “last of all,” God the Father sent His Son Jesus (Matthew 21:37), and that the Bible, which hasn't been corrupted, is God’s last revelation (Revelation 22:18).
In John 5:23, Jesus makes a clear and unmistakable claim not only to being equal with God the Father, but also to being God himself. John 5:23 that “whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.”
In light of the truth of the above verse, the question for any person - religious or atheist, is, "Do they honor Jesus Christ, acknowledging that He is God who became flesh and made a sacrifice for the sins of men and women by dying on the cross and physically and bodily rising from the dead three days later? Do they know and celebrate Jesus as the true Messiah - the full, final, and forever revelation of God? Do they honor and praise him for being equal with God the Father in deity, glory, and majesty?
Do Muslims honor the Son according to the Scriptures? No! In fact they reject his being the Son of God, his atoning sacrificial death on the cross, and his bodily resurrection. The assertion that only through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ can someone be saved is rejected and repulsive to them.
The fact is that the differences between Christianity and Islam are very deep, and irreconcilable. The space limitation will enable us to list just a few.
The Christian God is not their Allah
Our God is a loving Father, who, along with the Son and the Holy Spirit, is One God.
- To Muslims, the concept of a triune God is a blasphemy.
” They do blaspheme who say God is one of three…, for there is no God except one God.” Surah 5:73
- Allah of Islam is a deceiver.
“They plot and plan, and God, too plans, but the best of planners (deceivers) is God.” Surah 8:30
The Christian Jesus is not their Isa
Our Jesus is the Son of God who died on the Cross to save the whole world. (In the Quran Jesus ‘ name is Isa.)
- Isa is a created human being.
“The similitude of Isa before God is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, Then said to him: “Be”: And he was.” Surah 3:59
- Isa is just an apostle.
“O people of the book (Christians) commit no excess in your religion: nor say of God aught but truth, Christ Isa the son of Mary was (No more than) an apostle of God.” Surah 4: 171
- Isa was not crucified.
“That they said (in boast) “we killed Christ Isa, the son of Mary”…but they killed him not, nor crucified him.” Surah 4:157
- Isa will return to earth to destroy the Cross.
” The hour will not be established until the son of Mary (Jesus) descends amongst you as a just ruler, he will break the Cross..” Hadith vol. 3:656
The Christian Holy Spirit is not their Angel Gabriel
Our Holy Spirit is the third person in the Godhead. His work is to comfort, convict, regenerate, guide, give power and bring forth fruit.
- The Holy Spirit in Islam is an angel.
“Then we (Allah) sent to her (Mary) our Angel (our spirit), and he (Angel Gabriel) appeared before her as a man in all respects.” Surah 19:17
“Say the Holy Spirit (the Angel Gabriel) has brought the revelation (the Quran) from thy Lord in Truth.”Surah 16:102
The Christian Ethics are not their Sharia
Christian ethics are based on love, forgiveness, equality, tolerance and free-choice.
- Islam teaches revenge.
“If any one transgresses the prohibition against you, transgress likewise against him.” Surah 2:194
- Islam does not treat women and men as equal.
“To the male a portion equal to that of two females.” Surah 4:11
- Islam allows men to beat their wives.
“… As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them, refuse to share their beds, beat them .” Surah 4:34
- Islam imposes harsh punishment on wrongdoers.
*A thief is punished by the amputation of hands. Surah 5:38
*A drunk is punished by 80 lashes. Hadith vol. 8:770
*An adulterer is punished by 100 lashes. Surah 24:2
- No Muslim can ever leave Islam. To do so is to become an apostate and is punishable by death.
“Whoever changes his (Islamic) religion, kill him.” Hadith vol. 9:57
The Christian Salvation is not their straight path
Our Salvation is guaranteed by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on our behalf, on the Cross.
- In Islam there is no Original Sin, and no need for the Cross; Allah, the all powerful, has the supreme authority to punish or to forgive whomever He pleases, whenever He pleases.
“He (Allah) forgiveth whom He pleaseth, and punisheth whom He pleaseth, for God has power over all things.” Surah 2:284
- In Islam good deeds cancel bad deeds.
“For those things that are good remove those that are evil.” Surah 11:114
The Christian Heaven is not their Paradise
In Christianity Heaven’s pleasures are pleasures of spirit, pleasures of purity.
- In Islam Paradise is the place where a Muslim will be reclining, eating meats and delicious fruits, drinking exquisite wines, and engaging in sex with beautiful women (and perpetually young beautiful boys “Wildan or Ghilman”, according to some Muslim theologians).
“As to the righteous, they will be in gardens and in happiness (to them will be said:) “Eat and drink ye, with profit and health, because of your (good) deeds “They will recline (with ease) on thrones (of dignity) arranged in ranks; and we shall join (marry) them to companions with beautiful big and lustrous eyes… And we shall bestow on them, of fruit and meat, anything they desire. They shall there exchange, one another, a cup free of frivolity, free of all taint of ill. Round about them youth (handsome) as pearls well-guarded.” Surah 52:17, 19, 20 & 22-24
The conflict between Christ and Muhammad cannot be ignored. Either Jesus is Lord or Muhammad was a false prophet.
In my humble opinion, we have the greatest opportunity in history to bring masses of Muslims to faith in the one true and living God through our Lord Jesus Christ! However, if this is to happen, we must recover a God-centered, Christ-exalting, cross-shaped, Spirit-empowered, kingdom-focused gospel and begin to proclaim it without fear and with great confidence. We must start ministering in faith because we have eyes to see what the natural man cannot – that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe, and Father God wills for - and will see to it - that massive numbers believe in His beloved Son!