The Complexities of Islam and Sharing the Gospel

INTRODUCTION

Passion surrounding the topic of Islam is always strong, sparking both criticism and support. This leads to dogmatism among Muslims and fear among those unfamiliar with the religion. Many Americans and Christians only see Islam through the narrow lens of beheadings and burka-clad women. This paper aims to move past these stereotypes and offer an objective look at Islam, highlighting its flaws and exploring effective ways to share the gospel with Muslims.

The following is a simple overview of the content.

Islam traces its origins back to Abraham's lack of faith, as described in the Abrahamic covenant. According to Ron Carlson in Fast Facts on False Teachings, Muslims believe the angel Gabriel appeared to Muhammad, signifying his role as a prophet to the Arabs. Despite living in the 6th century, Muhammad was a camel driver until the age of 25 and illiterate. This fact challenges the perception of Muhammad as the final prophet in Islam. The impact of Islam extends beyond religion and is evident in daily news headlines.

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John Ankerberg emphasizes the importance of closely monitoring Islam, which boasts nearly one billion followers divided into Sunni and Shi’ite schools. He believes that the financial influence of Islamic countries and their impact on the world economy are reasons to be attentive. Despite these facts, some still underestimate the potential threat Islam poses to Western countries. It is important to consider the statements made by Muslims themselves, such as those in the January 2010 issue of Hizb ut Tahrir, which highlighted the financial benefits Muslims have enjoyed from oil reserves in the Middle East as a gift from Allah.

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The periodical also advocated for using this influence to establish Islamic states led by the Khilafah, transforming Muslims into a powerful global force. This quest for power is disguised as a fervent religious practice.

According to Ergun Caner, Islamic faith is centered around five pillars, including the creed, prayers, alms, fasting, and a pilgrimage to Mecca. The creed involves confessing belief in Allah as the only God, while prayers must be performed five times a day facing Mecca. Alms consist of one fortieth of a believer's income, and fasting can last up to 30 days throughout the year. The pilgrimage to Mecca, known as hajj, is required once in a believer's lifetime and has led military members to refer to Muslim adversaries as "hajis". The pilgrimage involves traveling in caravans, with camels tied together moving in distinct troops.

Manners & Customs of the Bible

While these five pillars may appear innocuous, a deeper examination of Islamic teachings uncovers a weakness that Christians should not overlook.

THE MAIN ISSUE IN ISLAM

When examining the pillars of Islam in reverse, it becomes apparent that the pilgrimage to Mecca is neutral on its own. Fasting, a common practice in many religions, serves as a tangible expression of inner faith according to Islamic teachings. The alms gathered are used to assist those in need, making it a worthwhile religious custom, while prayers are commendable and found in various belief systems. The danger in Islam lies within their creed, as noted by Richard Jansen who discusses the belief that Muhammed is the final prophet in a covenant with God that stretches back to Abraham. Additionally, Muhammed's assertion that all Jewish patriarchs and even Jesus were Muslim and that Allah predates the Christian and Jewish God due to the Quran's existence from the beginning of time sets Islam apart from other faiths.

G. Richard Jansen cautions against conflating Allah, the deity worshipped by Muslims, with Jehovah, the God revered in Christianity. Some apologists may erroneously attempt to equate the two in hopes of fostering harmony. It is vital to acknowledge that Muslims and Christians are not addressing their prayers to the same divine entity, regardless of any misconceptions that may arise from interactions with Muslims. This confusion commonly stems from a lack of knowledge among Christians.

SHARING THE GOSPEL WITH THE ISLAMIST

When evangelizing a Muslim, Christians must exercise caution. Both parties can engage in religious discussions, with exploring similarities being a good starting point. It is essential for the apologist to recognize Ergun Caner's assertion that "Islam didn't get it partially right but completely wrong." The terminology used in Christianity and Islam can be surprisingly similar when English is the common language. When discussing God, Muslims will agree while understanding Him to be Allah.

When it comes to Jesus, the two apologists have a clear divide. Muslims see Jesus as a prophet but not as God in human form or part of the Trinity. Convincing Muslims that Jesus is the Messiah is the main hurdle in reaching out to them. Many Muslims are unaware of their beliefs and reluctant to accept criticism. Rather than pointing out flaws in Islam, Christians should approach Muslims with openness and encourage them to explore the Bible. Ultimately, relying on Scripture is the most effective way to bring salvation to all.

CONCLUSION

This paper takes a unique approach by defining Islam as a religion practiced by many and exploited by some for power. It acknowledges the complexity of Islam but also highlights a major difference, that being the belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Emphasizing that Jesus is the narrow gate, the paper suggests sharing scripture with Islamic believers and relying on the Holy Spirit to reveal the true nature of Jesus Christ. The author successfully applied this method in guiding his translator to accepting Jesus Christ. In moving forward, it is recommended for readers to engage in religious conversations with those of the Islamic faith, using these interactions to understand their humanity and the belief that without Jesus they face eternal damnation.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

John Ankerberg and John Weldon co-authored "Fast Facts on Islam," published by Harvest House in 2001 and available in print.

Carlson, Ron and Ed Decker authored the book "Fast Facts on False Teaching" in 2003, published by Harvest House Pub. The book has 93 pages and is available in print format.

Freeman, James M. and Chadwick, Harold J. explore the etiquette and traditions of the Bible in their publication "Manners & Customs of the Bible." This updated version was released by Bridge-Logos Publishers in North Brunswick, NJ in 1998 on page 72.

"The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics" was authored by Edward E. Hindson and Ergun Mehmet Caner in 2008, and published by Harvest House. It is available in print format spanning pages 277-281.

G. Richard Jansen's article, published on August 1, 2006 on Lamar.ColoState.EDU, explores the beliefs of Abraham, Jesus, and Muhammed. To read the full article, visit http://lamar.colostate.edu.

Unknown. "If It Is Not Now Time for Khilafah, Then When?" Hizb Ut Tahrir. Web. 21 Apr. 2011. Click here to visit the website.

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[1]. Carlson, Ron , and Decker, Ed. Fast Facts on False Teachings. [S.1>]: Harvest House Pub, 2003. 93-94. Print
[3]. Ankerberg, John, and John Weldon. Fast Facts on Islam. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2001. 1-3. Print.
[4]. Unknown."If It Is Not Now Time for Khilafah, Then When?" Hizb Ut Tahrir.Web. 21 Apr. 2011.
[5]. Hindson, Edward E., and Ergun Mehmet Caner.The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics.Eugene, Or.: Harvest House, 2008.277-281.Print.
[6]. Freeman James M.; Chadwick Harold J.Manners & Customs of the Bible.Rev.ed.North Brunswick,NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers,1998.S72
[7]. Jansen,G.Richard."Abraham Jesus Muhammed."Lamar.ColoState.edu.Web28Apr2011.
[8]. Caner The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics280

Updated: Feb 21, 2024
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The Complexities of Islam and Sharing the Gospel. (2016, Nov 29). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/islam-worldview-analysis-essay

The Complexities of Islam and Sharing the Gospel essay
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