Friday, September 5, 2008

Im back! Similarities and Differences between Christianity and Islam

Its been a while since I have posted anything on here. Ive been busy with work and taking a seminary class. I am still working on recovering from anxiety but I am feeling much much better. Anyways I wanted to post a blog comparing Christianity and Islam. I also wanted to describe some ways that Christians can reach Muslims for Christ. For many people, Christianity and Islam seem like two completely opposite religions, but in truth they have many things in common. As Christians, we can use these commonalities as bridges to reaching Muslims.
Christianity and Islam both trace their lineage back to Adam, Noah, Moses, David, and Jesus. With that said, they hold many of the same historical narratives found in the Bible, including a literal creation and the flood. Many Muslim scientists have researched and debated against evolution and for creation. Both Christians and Muslims are in awe of God's sovereignty and power. True wisdom is the fear of the Lord. Both believe that God is just and will punish evil and reward good. We both hold a high view of our respectable scriptures. The ten commandments are very much alive in Islamic teaching. The first pillar of Islam is very similar to the first commandment. Jesus holds a very important place in Islam. We both believe that Jesus was born of a virgin and is the Messiah. We both believe that He lived a perfect life and will return one day.

We differ however on the facts that matter most, namely that Jesus in the One True God in the Flesh. Jesus is not just another prophet but is the actual God in human form come to redeem His creation. While Muslims hold a high view of God's justice, in my opinion they do not hold a high enough view. For Muslims, God can just forgive whoever as he pleases with no real reason. That would be completely unjust. To write off sins, without any punishment makes God into a liar and a unfair judge. The Bible teaches that the wages of sin are death. If God doesn't keep his word than, He is a liar. Christianity teaches that God is true to His word and punishes sin. He however is loving and took the punishment upon Himself. At the cross, God showed He is both Just and Loving, King and Friend.
Islam denies the deity of Christ and the sacrifice He made on the cross. It also teaches a wrong view of the trinity. Islam teaches that we view Jesus, God, and Mary as the trinity. I believe that has a lot to do with how Christians began idolizing Mary and the Saints in the period of Mohammad's life. Islam like Christianity also teaches that Christ will return but Islam teaches that Christ will knock down all crosses (end Christianity) upon His return and institute Islam everywhere.

To reach Muslims, we must begin with God's eyes. We must pray to see them like He does. We need to have the love of Christ abiding in us. An old saying goes, They wont care how much you know until they know how much you care. Developing friendship and seeking opportunities to change misconceptions they may have about Christianity. Many Muslims feel that if they are to accept Christianity they they must give up Arabic names, become die hard conservative capitalists and give up every aspect of their culture. We can also build bridges by pointing out their worship for God and showing our motives when we worship. Nothing will win them over to Christ, better than living a life of love motived by the joy of a relationship with God. We must see them as a person first and foremost. We can then ask them about what the Koran says about Jesus. Once we are friends with them we can be free to show them our faith in more detail.

I will be posting more in the future on this topic.

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