As Christians, I think it is important we understand what Muslims believe. Not to discredit or criticize them. But, to gently and lovingly show them the truth found only in Jesus Christ. We should also refrain from demonizing and mischaracterizing Muslims. Remember, Muslims are not our enemy... Satan is. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12)
To gain a better understanding of what Muslims believe, David Souther from EvanTell ministries posted a great article on the Evangelism.net website today that I want to share with you. It's entitled, "Christianity and Islam: A Sharp Contrast". The article touches upon the foundational tenets of the Muslim faith and shows some of the differences between Islam and Christianity.
Ramadan has officially started in the United States, and because of that during the next two weeks we will be writing about sharing the gospel with our Muslim neighbors, co-workers, and friends. Along with today’s post, we’ll discuss some pointers to keep in mind when sharing Christ with Muslims and give our review of the book The Gospel for Muslims. To begin an effective dialog with people, it is important to understand their point of view. Here are six main beliefs of Islam and how they contrast with Christianity:
1. There is one God. According to Islam, God does not exist in three persons, therefore, there is no trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). Also, God cannot have a Son and cannot become a man, therefore, Jesus was not divine.
2. God created angels. Islam teaches that one sits on one’s right shoulder recording good deeds; another sits on one’s left shoulder recording the bad deeds. On judgment day, these records are opened and on the basis of them the person is rewarded or punished.
3. God appointed a prophet for every age. This line starts with Adam and ends with Muhammad. Jesus is viewed as only a prophet. Muhammad is the last and greatest of the prophets, the “Seal of the Prophets.” His words have final authority.
4. Holy Books. Muslims believe that every prophet was given a holy book by God. Muhammad believed each book was pre-existent and sent down to each prophet as needed. The Quran supersedes all previous scriptures.
5. The Day of Judgment. God will judge the world on the “Day of Doom.” Everyone’s good deeds will be weighed on a balance scale against his bad deeds. Paradise awaits those whose good deeds outweigh his bad deeds. A fiery hell awaits those whose bad deeds outweigh their good deeds.
6. Duties of Islam
a. The Confession of the Creed (Shahadah) - “There is no God but God and Muhammad is his prophet.”
b. Ritual Prayer (Salat) – This occurs 5 times a day.
c. Giving of Alms (Zakat) – Giving a portion of your income to the poor or to religious causes.
d. Keeping the 30 Day Fast (Sawm) – You may not eat from sunrise to sunset during the lunar month of Ramadan.
e. Going on the Pilgrimage (Hajj) – Once in his lifetime, the pilgrim is to travel to Mecca and perform various other duties while there.
As you can see, Islam is in sharp contrast to the gospel of the Bible because it teaches that Jesus is not divine, did not die on the cross, and that no one can die for anyone else’s sin. In Islam, the answer to sin is good works. In Christianity, the answer is Jesus Christ and His work on the cross. As you can see, Jesus Christ is the main issue that divides Islam and Christianity."
Adapted from the book Healing the Broken Family of Abraham: New Life for Muslims