Islam and the Bible
Text: Philippians 2:3-11
I. I found an article on the editorial page of the newspaper back in 1996
A. It was written in defense of the Islamic religion.
1. Claiming that it is similar to Judaism and Christianity
2. In fact, it is the natural follow-on to the work of Moses and Jesus
B. It didn’t have the effect on me that I think the author intended
1. Statements were made that showed the author was unfamiliar with the Bible.
2. Assertions were made that, when compared with the Scriptures, show Islam to be a false religion.
C. [Reading portions of the article]
The Image Of Islam Distorted
by Saeed Mahmoodian
Omaha World Herald February 11, 1996, p. 21-A
The ninth lunar month. Ramadan, during which Muslims observe fasting from dawn to sunset, started on Jan. 21. Fasting in Islam is complete; one abstains from food, drink, intimate intercourse and smoking. It is done for spiritual aims, physical needs and intellectual cultivation; it is by choice out of deep love for God and devotion to Him.
Because of perpetual events in the Middle East and the recent peace agreement between Israel and the PLO, and participation of Americans in the United Nations forces preserving peace in Bosnia, the American news media have once again touched upon the basic beliefs of Islam, but with misconceptions if not outright bias. Exactly what is Islam?
The word Islam is derived from the Arabic "salm" or "silm" which means among other things peace, tranquility, purity, submission and obedience. In the religious sense the word Islam means submission to the will of God and obedience to His law. Hence in the Koran all who bow to God's will, specifically the Disciples. are considered Muslims.
What Muslims do is not Islam unless it is in harmony with the Koran and the example of the prophets. Therefore, no one should, for example. equate Saddam Hussein's actions to an Islamic principle, nor should anyone call genocide a Christian doctrine merely because Hitler was a Christian.
The faith of nearly one billion people, Islam is the youngest of the world's monotheist religions. The God of Islam (Allah in Arabic, Khoda in Persian) is in the Koran a two-dimensional God. He is like Yahweh. the God of Moses, who is stern, severe in punishment and tyrannical. At the same time He is like the God of Jesus, who is compassionate, most merciful and forgiving.
The Book of Islam, the Koran, represents the revelation of God to the prophet Mohammad, and many of its greatest precepts parallel those of the Bible.
As Jesus taught the same religion which had been presented by Moses and other prophets before him and as he criticized hypocrites, so did Mohammad, for both were ordered by God to efface and abolish the superstitions of ignorant people and the restrictive additions made in the Law of God under non-Muslim domination.
Mohammad therefore not only did not contradict Judaism and Christianity, but he acknowledged the validity of Christian and Jewish teaching in their pure forms.
The most important of these, in the mind of Muslims, is the theory of the sonship of Jesus. By the time Mohammad was born, the concept of the Trinity and Jesus as the son of God, which was first formulated and written into law at the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325, had become a well-established Christian doctrine.
What a Muslim believes about Jesus — albeit very unpopular among Christians — does by no means underestimate His mission or degrade His great personality. A Muslim simply believes in Jesus as one of the most distinguished apostles of God, who was born from a virgin birth by Mary.
A Muslim believes Jesus was rejected and opposed by His own people who plotted in vain to crucify Him, but God saved Him from violent death and favored Him by raising Him up to heaven. Even though a Muslim believes Jesus will come back at the end of the world to guide us once again on the right path, he, nevertheless, repudiates as blasphemy the equality with God and the sonship of Jesus Christ.
A successive wave of political defeats for Christianity started when Iran, then called Persia. accepted the new faith, Islam. This sowed enmity toward Islam among Christian missionaries.
The Crusades intensified the animosities of the West toward Islam, and with the European Renaissance, which brought secularism into the European political systems, the religious differences became cultural and ideological. The 19th century doctrine of imperialism and the rival colonialist expansions of the European powers exploited the differences and promoted the idea that Islam is inherently far more threatening to the West than Marxism. Today with the fall of communism, Islam is indeed perceived — albeit speciously — as a real threat.
With the creation of Islam and the influence of Zionism in Western societies, Islam has been branded in the West in general and in the United States in particular as anti-Semitic and anti-Christian. Islam is, of course, neither.
Islam has never enjoyed a good image in the West; its teachings have been distorted, its heroes have been smeared and its followers have been taunted. This indeed is repugnant to Christianity and an affront to Jesus' teachings of tolerance. For a Muslim, however, acceptance of Jesus and the Bible is a fundamental article of his faith.
A Muslim is a real and true follower of Jesus, so much that even in his daily prayers he ceremonially does exactly what Jesus used to do before offering His prayers, namely performance of an ablution.
A Muslim can never think of Judaism and Christianity in derogatory terms.
D. Let’s compare some of the claims against the Scriptures
II. “Islam is the youngest of the world’s monotheist religions.”
A. The Muslim faith was found by Mohammad 600 years after the death of Christ.
1. Not that it makes much difference, but the Mormon religion, started in the 1800's by a man claiming to have newer revelations from God is newer.
B. The New Testament claims to be the final revelation from God
1. Jude 3 - Salvation was delivered once to all saints
2. Acts 4:12 - Salvation is only through Jesus
3. Acts 20:27 - Paul claimed to have declared all the counsel of God
4. II Timothy 3:16-17 - The Scripture is able to make a man complete
5. Galatians 1:6-9 - Alterations to the given teaching is not to be tolerated
6. I Timothy 1:3 - To teach some not to teach any other doctrine.
III. “A Muslim simply believes in Jesus as one of the most distinguished apostles of God, who was born from a virgin birth by Mary. ... he, nevertheless, repudiates as blasphemy the equality with God and the sonship of Jesus Christ.”
A. The author claims that these ideas were introduced to Christianity in 325 A.D. at the Council of Nicea.
1. While the deity of Christ was a topic at the Council of Nicea, it wasn’t introduced at that time.
2. Rather the teachings of Arius was threatening to split the church.
a. Arius claimed that Jesus was not eternal, but a created being
b. This ran counter to the already accepted position that Jesus was eternal God
c. The council was to determine whether Arius was right or not. His teachings were rejected.
3. But notice that the council was not creating a new teaching, but defending an old one.
B. Philippians 2:5-8 - Jesus did not think he was robbing God by claiming equality with God.
C. Hebrews 1:1-3 - God spoke to us by His Son in these last days. Note, last days means there are no other to follow.
D. Matthew 16:16 - Peter’s blessed confession was that Jesus was the Christ and the Son of God.
E. In fact, the phrase “Son of God” appears 82 times in the New Testament.
F. I am amazed they believe in the virgin birth of Jesus, yet deny the message of Gabriel - Luke 1:32
G. Core is believing Jesus is the Son of God - I John 5:5-13
IV. John warned us to try every Spirit to see if they are from God - I John 3:24-4:3
A. The author claims “A Muslim is a real and true follower of Jesus, so much that even in his daily prayers he ceremonially does exactly what Jesus used to do before offering His prayers, namely performance of an ablution.”
B. I searched, but there is no reference of such an action on Jesus’ part. Jesus prayed frequently and regularly, but never was there a washing before the prayer.
V. Yet, later the author claims “Mohammad therefore not only did not contradict Judaism and Christianity, but he acknowledged the validity of Christian and Jewish teaching in their pure forms.”
A. Let the author acknowledge then these teachings of the Bible.
1. The escape, however, is the Muslims’ belief that the Bible is not in its pure form. Though this belief exists without any evidence.
B. The author wants us to accept the religion of Islam. A refusal would be “repugnant to Christianity and an affront to Jesus’ teachings of tolerance.”
C. Yet, the Bible is very clear that false teachings are not to be accepted. We cannot compromise the truth with falsehood.
D. The Muslims must learn the way of truth and leave their false doctrines behind
E. We as Christians must lovingly teach them the way of truth. - II Timothy 2:24-26