The Christian and Fundamental Islam – A Starters Guide
Understanding the facts.
1) Everything we see is an extension of a spiritual battle that has been raging since Satan choose to revolt against God. Ephesians 6:12 reminds us “…we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against might powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Unfortunately, this battle includes spiritual AND physical casualties. We ARE at war and this war is against Satan and his forces; and Satan uses anything and everything not submitted to the authority of God.
2) The God of Christianity and Islam is very much different. The commonality between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity stops at Abraham. The covenant of blessing promised to Abraham was continued through Isaac (Genesis 17: 19-22 and Genesis 25: 1-18), through Jacob, through Jesus Christ our Savior. The god of Islam is very different from the God described in the Bible. My God is personal, active, and calls for love in action (not just though words).
3) Muslims, by definition, are followers of the religion of Islam. Muslim does not describe an ethnic group, but a religious group.
4) It is true that few Muslims pose a physical threat, HOWEVER, what has proven true is the more devout the follower of Islam the more dangerous the follower becomes.
Many Muslims are Muslim-in-name-only. Many people claim the title Muslim because that is what they are supposed to be based upon where they live, their parents tell them they are Muslim, or it is simply more advantageous (and safe) to claim the title Muslim to fit in to their surroundings. These Muslim-in-name-only individuals know little about the details of their religion. They subscribe to the surface platitudes of Islam being a “peaceful religion” and focus on the pillars of prayer, giving, and fasting. They do not attend regular services and do not dive deeper into the more devout teachings of Islam that seems to change a Muslim from friendly to hostile.
As Muslims become more devout to the Islamic religion, their actions become increasingly more radical, violent, and “jihadic”. These devout, dedicated followers of Islam are the ones who pose a threat to those around them. Syed Rizwan Farook, the perpetrator of the San Bernardino shootings, appears to be a textbook case study of this transition. Those who knew him did not expect or suspect him to be a threat. However, it appears his behavior and dedication to Islam shifted gears from surface-level to devout-following over the preceding months. His complete dedication to Islam triggered a change from safe and friendly, to violent and deadly.
How do we respond?
1) Do not allow the lies that Christians and Muslims worship the same God to stand unchallenged. God DOES NOT require people to convert or die. He wants each of us to willingly choose Him and accept the salvation offered through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
2) Understand that Islam is a religion that does not lead to eternal salvation. Jesus has declared that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and no one comes to the Father but through Him (John 14:6). Islam limits Jesus to the role of a prophet only. They do not subscribe to Him the role of the Savior that he is.
3) Because of the above facts, Christians have the duty to lovingly share the gospel to Muslims. Remember we are to “…go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28: 19). This means the entire world and we are to do this with the authority and love of God.
4) Do not respond with hateful words. Some will interpret my words as hate filled. They are not; they are Truth filled. My heart breaks for those who are lost from eternal salvation. I share my God’s desire that all should find salvation. We must respond in such a way that extends God’s love WITHOUT sacrificing Truth.
Defend Religious Freedom…of and for all: I read an article the other day describing how French authorities shut down three mosques in France due to radical teachings (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/12/02/france-shuts-down-three-mosques-state-emergency-crackdown/76655054/). A huge part of me cheered. Then a shiver went through my spine. Do I really want government agencies shutting down churches and religious organizations because they disagree with its teachings? Have you paid attention to how nearly an entire political party has responded to those standing up for pro-life policies and wanting to defund Planned Parenthood due to its recent scandalous behavior? Have you seen how they have tried to shut down and stymie debate? Do you want these same people to have the power to declare a religion or church “unsafe” and shut it down? Read this article capturing the thoughts and words of our current Attorney General of the United States to see just how close at hand this condition exists http://www.dailywire.com/news/1593/loretta-lynch-vows-prosecute-those-who-use-anti-james-barrett
Beware of sacrificing religious freedom for a sense of safety and security. Our society is overly risk averse. Law after law, policy after policy is placed upon all in an attempt to make everything safe for everybody. This simply is not possible. Christians should understand, more than anybody else, that there will be troubles in life. Jesus declared it. Religious freedom for all bares a level of risk; but it is a risk we must be willing to accept, deal with, and defend.
Author Note: In case you are asking “Who is this guy and why should I believe a word he says?” here is some background information. I was deployed to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where I got to spend a lot of time with Saudi nationals learning about their beliefs and behaviors. I was stationed in Izmir, Turkey for two years. My first wife was Turkish and claimed the title Muslim. Lastly, I was deployed in Tikrit, Iraq in support of IRAQI FREEDOM. These three experiences have provided me with a unique and qualified perspective.
Graphic Source: http://beforeitsnews.com/opinion/2015/02/christianity-vs-islam-2452220.html