Islam and Christianity Update
The final form of the letter was presented at a conference in September 2007 held under the theme of “Love in the Quran,” by the Royal Academy of The Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in Jordan, under the Patronage of H.M. King Abdullah II. The letter postulates that the most fundamental common ground between Islam and Christianity, and the best basis for future dialogue and understanding, is the love of God and the love of the neighbor. Any real issues of dissention were not addressed.
Loving God and Neighbor: A Christian Response to “A Common Word Between Us and You” is the name of the response to this original letter by many prominent Christian leaders. I found it amazingly interesting to scroll through the enormous number of signatures to see just who signed this response.
What I find very interesting is that the letter was sent just a few short weeks in 2007 after the Lord gave me the vision about Christianity and Islam. You can find the majority of the vision on the Facebook Group: Shouts of Joy Ministries.
This past month or so I have been praying and hearing about the Taliban and what the Lord is about to do to them. When the war in Afghanistan hit the news a few days ago claiming to supposedly have taken out a leader of the Taliban in an air strike I began to do some more research on the matter. That is when I found the correspondence previously mentioned.
As this topic has reemerged the term “pigeonholing” and what the Christian leaders are actually doing regarding this matter has become a deep and great concern. After finding the correspondence between the Islam leaders and a large number of Christian leaders I believe that they are saying that Islam can accommodate Christianity, they are taking elements of Islam and forcing it to accommodate Christianity by pretending that supposed similarities make the two compatible. I have even heard that some of these pro unity groups postulate that Muslims can remain being Muslim and be a “Christ Follower” as well, as they continue to attend the Mosque and read the Koran. Let me say here that I have been researching a book titled “Common Ground” which postulates these ideas and flushes them out more than the correspondence but I will write more on that latter.
This “pigeonholing” in effect I believe is syncretism. Syncretism as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary is the reconciliation or fusion of differing systems of belief. This is most evident in the areas of philosophy and religion, and usually results in a new teaching or belief system. Obviously, this cannot be reconciled to biblical Christianity. Religious syncretism often takes place when foreign beliefs are introduced to an indigenous belief system and the teachings are blended. The new, heterogeneous religion then takes a shape of its own. Syncretism relies on the whim of man, not the standard of Scripture. The Bible makes it very clear what true religion is. Think on just a few things stated in Scripture: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37); “Jesus replied, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me'” (John 14:6); and “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31-32); and “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Religious syncretism is simply not compatible with true Christianity. In fact, any modification to biblical law and principle for the sake of a “better” religion is heresy (Revelation 22:18-19). These particular Christian leaders are attempting through syncretism to reach a people group by incorporating elements of that belief in their effort to reach them, but those elements are corrupting the very reason for reaching them in the first place.
This is just one initial thought about the entire topic. In the vision the Lord simply told me that leaders in the Church were already saying publically that Islam is similar to Christianity, pigeonholing the faith and breaking down the distinction between the two. The rest is my attempt to understand what that means and how God intends to use me to speak about it. Please be praying about this because I can sense a real seriousness in this issue.
Below is the link to another article that I discovered addressing the “A Common Word Between Us and You” that raises some interesting and well thought out questions. This week I hope to find some time to write further on this topic and do some more praying about it but for now I felt strongly that I needed to bring the topic up to see what others are hearing from the Lord about it. I believe it is going to become a very fundamental issue that the Church will have to grapple with in the very near future. So please if you hear something in prayer, or in your studies, or find as you research or hear the news, please feel free to post it on the blog or the Facebook Group.
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