Dear prayer partners,
This subject may appear to some readers as a lightning rod for controversy, but that is not the intent of this newsletter. Islam is the fastest growing religion both in the US and Canada [the world]. Islam is rapidly advancing under the banner of political correctness, and through aggressive proselytizing. For example, one of my Muslim acquaintances working on his Ph.D. in economics, tried to convert me to Islam. To put it mildly, the young man is a “master of accolades.” He tried to convince me that his Muslim associates at the airport were so impressed by my moral character that they wished I would become one of them. When the man’s flatteries failed, he handed me a book authored by a Medical Doctor, entitled, “Choosing Faith” with the sub-title, “Rediscovering the commonalities between Islam and Christianity.”
The author is a Canadian raised as a Lutheran, who later became a Baptist, and ultimately embraced Islam. Frankly, as I glanced through the pages of the book, it was evident that the author possesses a great intellectual religious knowledge, but he lacks the spiritual and practical experience derived from a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
As I continued to read the book, it was too painful to process in my mind how both the author, and the editor of the book (an Imam), systematically deconstructed all the Biblical and Christological doctrines. Particularly, they divested Christ of His Son-ship, divinity, and Lord-ship, and designated Him as a mere prophet of Allah overshadowed by the prophet Mohammed. Consequently, I was so grieved in the spirit that the words of the prophet Hosea came to mind: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” (Hos. 4:6a NIV).
The author seeks to delineate the “commonalities” between Islam and Christianity by unorthodox means. For example, he interprets Bible verses with a Concordance and a Dictionary, and subsequently compares them with the Shuras of the Quran. Whereas if a born again Christian with the basic knowledge of the Bible chooses to read the entire Quran, he/she will reach the same conclusion as I did: there are no commonalities whatsoever between Islam and Christianity.
Some of the reasons are: Islam presupposes that man is born without sin, for he is not responsible for another man’s sin. This position denies one of the central doctrines of the Bible: Adam’s original sin, which pervades the human race! So Islam needs neither a doctrine on sin—Hamartiology, nor a doctrine of salvation—Soteriology. In short, Islam has no room for the cross! Besides categorically denying the necessity of a Redeemer, the Quran also denies the need of a Mediator between God and man (cf. 1 Timothy 2:5), as well as the doctrine of the Holy Spirit—Pneumatology.
In sum, all an individual needs to do to please Allah, is to submit (Islam) to the laws of the Quran and the traditions of the Hadith, and promote good works among men as long as they also adhere to the laws of Islam. Yet both the author of the book and the leaders of the “emergent church” are blindly convinced that Christianity and Islam are so compatible with each other, that someone suggested naming it “CHRISLAM!” This proves that learning about the Bible can lead to spiritual pride (cf. 1 Corinthians 8:1). But allowing the Holy Spirit to transform us by the eternal Word of God helps us navigate through the stormy seas of life, and respond in love to the difficult challenges before us.
Surely we must co-operate wholeheartedly for the purpose of promoting equity for the peaceful co-existence of people in a multi-cultural, multi-faith society, but not by compromising our loyalty to the Son of God, or by sacrificing our own Christian heritage. Perhaps, we should reconsider God’s words to Solomon: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV). The promises are solemn, and the conditions are clearly stipulated. Now, a question remains: “…when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8b NIV). Of course, this piercing question needs to be answered personally, as well as collectively!
May the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ bless you.
P.L.Di-Fonzo~Chaplain, YYZ Airport*
* Toronto Pearson International Aiprort