RESPONDING TO ISLAM
BIBLE ADVOCATE: How can the Christian church best glorify God in
our attitudes toward Islam generally and toward Muslims
No explicit reference to this religion is found in the Bible. An
honest study of Islam and Christianity will reveal that Allah is
not to be confused with the God of the Bible. The primary
difference is in regard to the identity of Jesus Christ, whom the
Bible declares to be God incarnate (John 1:1-14; Philippians
2:5-11 ). Islam teaches that Jesus was a prophet of God, but like
other prophets and messengers, He was a created human being "who
had none of the divine qualities of God" (A Brief Guide to
Understanding Islam, www.islam-guide.com). Scripture tells us
that those who deny that Jesus is the Christ are antichrists.
Those who deny the Son do not have the Father either (1 John
2:18-23). Thus, the spirit of antichrist is at work in Muslims.
Our struggle is not against people but against spiritual forces
of evil (2 Corinthians 10:4-6; Ephesians 6:10-20). While we are
called to do battle with the spirit of antichrist, we are also
called to be ambassadors for Christ to those who are perishing
under its sway (2 Corinthians 5:18-20). We do this by being
vessels of the great love of God in Christ (John 3:16) and by
bearing the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23) in our
interaction with Muslims, thus winning them to the gospel
- not through human warfare or condemnation but through the mercy
and grace that won us to Christ (Titus 3:3-8).
- Israel Steinmetz
The defenders of Islam try to gain authority by claiming that
their founder, Muhammad, was "a prophet sent by God." The true
faith does not need another head or another final prophet; Christ
is sufficient. Islam is only a cult without any real foundation.
- Francisco J. Ramirez
It seems a bit sad that this question is even relevant and
needed. Yet every week I open my e-mail account to find all sorts
of rubbish and hateful propaganda about Islam and Muslims, mostly
coming from Christians. Any five-year-old in Sabbath school knows
we should love everybody. To shellac this with Scripture, I
choose 1 Corinthians 4:12: "Being reviled, we bless; being
persecuted, we endure." This is one of the hallmarks of the
Christian faith and our noble duty in honor of Christ's supreme
example. If we are persecuted by Muslims (few readers of this
probably are), then we should "count it all joy" and respond with
love as Jesus taught.
An amicable attitude toward Islam should not be difficult. As an
Abrahamic religion, Islam embraces monotheism and a God of
revelation, as do Jews and Christians. Muslims are our brothers
via God's creation and our cousins in this adventure of faith.
Muslim scholars of the Middle Ages revived and translated the
works of Aristotle, assisting Christianity out of the Dark Ages
into Scholasticism. From this era arose the influential work of
Christian thinkers such as Aquinas, Scotus, and Ockham.
Let us not forget the gift of Arabic numerals. And what shall we
say of the beautiful poetry of Rumi or the delightful parables of
Nasrudin? God has given the world many gifts from Islamic
sources. Do we now despise the whole tradition simply because
much of the Islamic world lives in poverty and so is prone to
radicalism? As Christians we should employ the most clear, wide,
and deep sightedness, rather than being swallowed up by fear and
- Alex Ciurana
Although both Christians and Muslims have a deep sense of
religiosity and share some Old Testament, the main point of
divergence goes back to their founders. Jesus, the founder of
Christianity, taught love (John 13:34,35). The primary emphasis
of the Christian faith, the force on which our faith should move,
is love. We must love Muslims and neighbors alike, even when we
don't feel an immediate recompense or reciprocity.
- Raul Gonzalez
We can glorify God in our attitudes toward Islam by following the
Sermon on the Mount. In humility, we can honor and respect
Muslims as humans and as partakers of the Abrahamic covenant.
When dealing with the radical elements of militant Islam, we can
love them as enemies.
We can gain factual knowledge and understanding of Islam and of
the Christian and Greek philosophical influence on it. We should
remember that there are many different expressions of both
Christianity and Islam, with pagan and false ideas and radical
elements in both.
We can repent of our sins of prejudice and distributing false
information. We can deal with our anger against Muslims and put
aside our exclusive pride by gaining understanding of other
religions in general. We can see insight from God as we pray
about this important subject.
- Jim De Francisco
As with all world religions, many sects have formed within Islam.
Some are responsible, and others are very violent. Christians
sometimes judge Islam as a religion of the sword. It has indeed
been involved in wars in the past. But so has Christianity, so we
should be careful in our judgment (John 8:7).
Muslims obey nearly the same Decalogue as do Christians; they
also obey the Old Testament dietary laws. Islam means "submission
to God." It is often misunderstood. The basic article of faith in
Islam is belief in one single, unique God - Allah - who has
neither parents nor offspring in the human sense. Since Jesus
affirms that He is the Christ, the Son of the liv ing God one
cannot be both Muslim and Christian at the same time.
There is certainly a radical, violent side to Islam but a
rational, peaceful side as well. Christians responding to Islam
need to follow the teachings of Jesus (Matthew 5:39-42). By
living the Word of Christ, Christians stand a much better chance
of converting Muslims, rather than by force.
- Glen Case
From The Bible Advocate - Nov./Dec. 2010 - a publication of The
Church of God, 7th Day, Denver, CO. USA.