A few weeks back I began a new series titled While We Were Sleeping. Yes, I have left you hanging and I’m sorry. I spent last week frantically looking for all my lost research and writing thus far. I thought for sure God would lead me to it. Unfortunately, it did not work out that way and I had to start all over. I hope it will be worth the wait.
For those of you just “tuning in,” While You Were Sleeping is a short series in which we will take a look at the religion of Islam and what it means for us as Christians.
On November 14, 2014, the first Muslim led prayer service was held in the National Cathedral (Episcopal Church) in Washington D.C. What may seem like a great step in unity is actually the result of a nation turning their back on God (The Father, Son, Holy Spirit). I know, I know, Christians are supposed to be all about love; however, we cannot stand by any longer while our nation and fellow Christians are being led away by the lie of “tolerance.” It is way past time we use or voice to stand up for God, no matter the response or hate mail it generates.
What I would really like to talk about is how the United States is repeating the same mistakes made by the early Israelites. However, in order to prepare us for that, we must first take a look at what the religion of Islam is really all about. After all, how can we really understand the dangers of such a religion if we don’t educate ourselves?
Islam is the world’s second largest religion (2nd to Christianity) with a following of over 1 billion people. It is the third largest in the United States, following Christianity and Judaism. While most people think of the Middle East when they think of Islam, it is everywhere, including the U.S, Africa, and Asia. I was shocked to learn that 60% of Muslims are Asians!
Islam was founded by a man named Mohammed in 610 A.D. It is my understanding that Mohammed may have been a disillusioned Christian who was not happy with the Catholic Church. Anyway, one night he said he had a vision/appearance from the angel Gabriel who let him know that there was only one God, Allah, and only Allah was to be worshipped.
My first point: Allah and God, as we ,Christians, know him, ARE NOT THE SAME GOD!!!!
Muslims worship a god who is one person; we Christians worship God In Three Persons: The Father, The Son, and Holy Spirit. You cannot separate one from the other. Make no mistake, Allah is not simply “the Father” of our trinity; he is a different god. Furthermore, a lot of Christians still don’t understand this whole “trinity” thing and believe the term “God” refers to the Father, when it fact God refers to all three. Jesus was a part of “God” in the Old Testament. Holy Spirit was giving out the Ten Commandments as well as the Father and the Son.
When we allowed a Muslim prayer service in our church (remember, the National Cathedral is an Episcopal church), we allowed them to turn their back to our cross (which represents one part of our God) and worship their god. WE ALLOWED THEM TO WORSHIP AN IDOL IN OUR CHURCH!!! Anyone hearing warning bells?
And God spoke all these words, saying:
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anythingthat is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
Over time Mohammed would converse with God through the angel Gabriel and dictations of said conversations were gathered into the Muslim “bible” known as the Quran. The Quran is the number one source for Muslims, but Islam religion also directs Muslims to read three other books: Torah (first 12 books of Old Testament; Zabur (psalms of David); and Injeel (the gospel of Christ).
My second point: Just because they read parts of our Bible does not mean our religions can be somehow united.
Yes there are some similarities, but the differences are far too great to form some kind of united religion.
What exactly do Muslims believe?
- They believe in one God, Allah;
- They believe in Angels;
- They believe in prophets, including but not limited to, Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Moses, Noah, David, Jesus, and Mohammed;
- They believe in the day of Judgment;
- They believe in the second coming of Jesus (we will discuss this in further detail a little bit later);
- They believe in a salvation-heavily based on works;
- They believe in life after death;
- They believe in Satan;
- They believe Ishmael was God’s intended promise to Abraham and that it was Ishmael who is the father of the world. In other words, Ishmael’s descendants (Arab nation and later Islamic believers) are God’s chosen people (and not the Israelites as they are descendants of Isaac). Interesting? Yes, and we will discuss this a little bit later in this series as well.
- They believe in Jihad (which further divides Islam and Christianity). Jihad truly means that the Muslims are to practice Islam in the face of oppression and persecution, which could come from an outside source or the inner self. However, it has taken on a new form in which Muslims are willing to die fighting for Islam in order to guarantee their place in heaven (Again, we will get into this a little bit more later in series).
That my friends, is Islam in a nutshell, a very small nutshell. Yes there are many similarities, and of the face of it, Islam doesn’t sound half bad. However, Islam is not as peaceful as we are lead to believe and I ask that you keep reading this series in order to get to the full picture. We must remember who we are fighting: Satan. And one of Satan’s most successful tactics is to take a little bit of truth and mix it with lies.
The purpose of this series is not to start or further hate and discrimination of Muslims. I would not and do not support hate. All people deserve the right to choose to follow any religion they want or no religion at all. We are to love everyone and treat everyone with respect. There is absolutely a place for Muslims in the United States and they absolutely have the right to worship without interference from me or anyone else. However, that being said, that place is not my own church. There are mosques all over the United States built for such things, it does not have to be done, nor should it be done in an Episcopal church.
Tomorrow we will take a look at the roles of Jesus, salvation, and Jihad in Islam and also look at Islam from the point of view of a Muslim.
I pray that you will all join me tomorrow.
Sources: Christiananswers.net; Why Islam.com;Islam.about.com; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishmael_in_Islam