I have asked myself this question many times: Am I certain that God would have me join the voices declaring Islam to be satan’s “cloak of disguise” in the end-of-days? As a believer in Jesus Christ, I am certainly aware of God’s commands to love my neighbor (Matthew 22:39) as well as Christ’s broadening of the command to include my enemy (Matthew 5:43-44, 46). So how do I reconcile the command to love with what God has revealed to me about the Qur’an and hadith, and the religion and ideology that bares fruit in death to the glory of Allah? Here is a passage that God recently used to speak to me yet again:
I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! —Gal. 1:6-9 (NASB)
The Scripture states that if any person brings a “different” gospel, he is “accursed,” meaning God is against him, in the same way that God is against the devil and has cursed him from the beginning to the end of days (Genesis 3:14, Revelation 20:10). In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, the “accursed” were the “Judaizers,” i.e., those who believed that reconciliation with God required the atoning death of Christ, plus the observance of the Mosaic law, specifically, the law of circumcision (Galatians 5:2 NASB). The Apostle Paul went so far as to condemn not only the Judaizers, but also, Gentile Christians who agreed to circumcision; and, unbelievably, Peter and Barnabas. The Apostle declared Peter and Barnabas hypocrites because they not only tolerated the Judaizers but associated with them as if they were brothers in Christ (Galatians 2:12-14 NASB). The Apostle made his most intense statement against believers receiving a “different” gospel when he stated:
You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. —Gal. 5:4 (NASB)
What is the “gospel [you have received]” that Paul was referring to? Here is the gospel received by the early church according to Paul’s letter to the Corinthians:
Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, …, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve [and to many others]. 1 Corinthians 15:1-5 (NASB)
Islam is certainly a “different” gospel. The Qur’an rejects Jesus as Son of God:
Glory be to Him! High be He exalted above what they describe! The Creator of the heavens and the earth—how should He have a son, seeing that He has no consort [wife], and He created all things, and He has knowledge of everything?” (Qur’an 6:101). (Also, Qur’an 4:171, 25:2)
The Qur’an also denies that Jesus was ever crucified:
For their [Christians] unbelief, and their uttering against Mary a mighty calumny, and for their saying, “We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the Messenger of God”—yet they did not slay him, neither crucified him, only a likeness of that was shown to them. —Qur’an 4:157
The burial and bodily resurrection of Jesus is a non-issue in Islam since the Qur’an denies that Christ was ever crucified. By this one difference, the gospel has been gutted of its meaning by Islam. It should not surprise us that the Qur’an rejects the doctrine of atonement completely; each person is responsible for their own sins, none is to take responsibility for another’s sin (Qur’an 2:160, 11:111. Read more). Here is what John Esposito states in one of his books:
Muslims do not believe in the Christian doctrine of Original Sin, so there is no theological need for the all-atoning sacrifice of Jesus through his crucifixion and resurrection. Muslims further believe that each of us will be held accountable before God for our own actions and thus responsible for our own salvation. Therefore, we will not be able to rely upon anyone else, not even Jesus or Muhammad, to save us from our sins.1
The Qur’an appropriates all the prophets of the Scripture, including the patriarch, Abraham, declaring them all to be prophets of Islam (Qur’an 2:130, 135), including Jesus. By claiming the Biblical prophets as their own, Islam uses the prophets to gain credibility, and not only credibility, but justification to Muslims that Christians should do likewise to Muhammad. The reasoning goes — “after all, if we believe in Jesus (as a prophet) why don’t Christians believe in Muhammad as a prophet?” The Qur’an also declares that Allah and God are the same and that Jews, Christians, and Muslims all worship the same God (Qur’an 29:46). The hadith prophesies that Jesus (“Isa”) will one day return to earth whereupon he will judge Christianity as a false religion according to the Qur’an:
Allah’s Apostle said, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary (Jesus) will shortly descend amongst you people (Muslims) as a just ruler [according to Sharia law of the Qur’an] and will break the Cross [Christianity] and kill the pig [Christians associate with pigs] and abolish the Jizya (a tax taken from the non-Muslims, who are in the protection, of the Muslim government).
If the Apostle Paul labeled Barnabas and Peter (the “Rock” of the Church) as hypocrites because they associated with Judaizers, what sin would the Apostle Paul accuse modern-day believers for condoning Islam’s view that Allah and God are the same God, and that both Islam and Christianity are parallel paths to eternal life? What would the Apostle Paul say about churches that have so merged the two faiths (perjoratively referred to as “Chrislam,”) that they ignore the critical differences between the two religions as well as the many contradictions in the Qur’an that conflict with the Scriptures? It is one thing to be tolerant of Muslims but quite another to tolerate as true a gospel that is quite the opposite of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Islam not only refutes Jesus Christ as Son of God, making God a liar (1 John 5:10-11 NASB), it prophesies that one day Jesus will return to declare Islam the only true faith and require Christians to either convert to Islam or die.
Does not the Scripture say, “… The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 Jn. 3:8 NASB)? If the Son of God appeared for this purpose, how can believers in Jesus walk in the will of God and build-up [Islam] by condoning it’s anti-Christ teachings (1 John 2:22-23 NASB) which Christ came to destroy?
Is it possible to separate a Muslim from the teachings of the Qur’an that he or she obeys? Are we not instructed by the Scripture to hate what God hates and love what God loves? Consider the following passage:
‘Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans2, which I also hate. —Revelation 2:6 (NASB)
Notice what God hates– not the Nicolaitans but the deeds of the Nicolaitans. The same point is made in Revelation 2:15 where some in the church of Pergamum “held to the teachings” of the Nicolaitans. Neither verse suggests that God hated the people but rather the teachings and deeds which were the fruit thereof.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. —Rom. 5:8-10 (NASB)
God loves us while we were yet sinners so that Christ’s death enables us to be made right with God; and, His Son’s death reconciled us to Him while we were yet His enemy. If God loves His enemies while still separated by sin, does He not also love Muslims while they are yet separated from Him?
How does one love a Muslim while yet hating the Qur’an? That is the question. Any “different” gospel is to be opposed by the followers of Christ and, in fact, stood against. To not do so is a violation of Scripture and a denial of the Savior who is “the way, the truth, and the life.” The Qur’an is not life, it is death. The Qur’an is leading Muslims into a bottomless pit so dark that the only light strong enough to save them is the light of Christ. That light shines in the hearts of His followers; and that light is life. John 1:4-5.May God help us to be light to those He loves — Muslims.3
Jesus come quickly.
- John L. Esposito, “FAITH AND PRACTICE.” In What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam. Oxford Islamic Studies Online, http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/book/islam-9780195157130/islam9780195157130-
- Nicolaitans were most likely Gnostics who taught the detestable lie that the physical and spiritual realms were entirely separate and that immorality in the physical realm wouldn’t harm your spiritual health. See Encyclopedia of World Religions, Cults and the Occult. [↩]
- Yes. I agree. That does not mean (at least to me) to put the lives of my family at risk to the Radical. [↩]