Series 9 - Comparisons Between Islam and Christianity
The Gospel Questions the Koran
II. The Test Report
Having attached the various questions of John 3:16 as electrodes to the Qur'an we now present a summary from the results of the test. Three points arise out of this.
1. Islam is an Anti-Biblical Spirit
Muslims testify that all three books, the Torah, the Gospel and the Qur'an, are verbally inspired, infallible revelations of Allah (Sura al-Ma'ida 5:44-50), but claim in the same breath that the Jews hid, changed or altered some words of their books (Suras al-Baqara 2:40-42,75,79,140-141; Al 'Imran 3:71,78; al-Nisa' 4:46; 5:13). The Qur'an accuses the Christians only of having forgotten their revelation (Sura al-Ma'ida 5:14). Later, the Jews and Christians were accused of having omitted from their writings all the promises referring to Muhammad, the greatest of all prophets. Finally, everything in the Torah and Gospel that contradicts the Qur'an is supposed to have been changed in the originally correct revelation. For this reason no Muslim can trust our Bible. He is afraid of being misled by the alterations in the various writings. He feels sorry for the Jews and Christians because they have been deceived by corrupted texts and fables.
The Muslims questioning of the Bible shows how error has become the criterion for measuring truth, and how a lie rises up as judge over the true revelation. Muslims generally have no idea of the conscientious scientific work that generations of believers have done (Luke 1:1-4) to compile an exact and complete text of the Bible. More than 1,500 original texts, fragments or complete books are kept safe in museums or libraries, while the nine original Qur'ans were burned at the time of Caliph Uthman (AD 651-652), because there were irreconcilable differences between the various Qur'an versions that had already led to great divisions among the Muslims. The Qur'an that exists today is the Qur'an that was compiled by Caliph Uthman, and not the Qur'an of Muhammad!
There is no spirit of truth in Islam as there is in the Gospel (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13). According to the Shari'a, lying is allowed in four cases: in holy war, when two enemies are reconciled, by a man to his wives and by a wife to her husband.
This spirit of deception and cunning comes into play especially in dealings with non-Muslims. Muhammad stated several times that holy war is nothing but deception and cunning against the enemies of Islam. Whoever wants to enter into a dialogue with Muslims should know beforehand what they think. What they say can sound very different from what they intend. Individual theologians of Islam have long understood what Americans and Europeans want to hear, and portray Islam as a religion of peace, even though half of the wars in the last 25 years have originated in Islamic countries. Moreover, the Shari'a has divided the world into the “House of War“ and the “House of Peace“. Wherever the law of Islam rules an Islamic peace ought to be established. Wherever Shari'a does not rule, the country needs to be pacified.
Adherents to Islam have claimed lately that Islam preaches social justice. But the fact remains that the oil producing countries are among the wealthiest in the world, while more than ten Islamic countries are among the poorest in the world. Even in Saudi Arabia, there are people who rarely can afford to buy meat to eat.
We must learn to scrutinize the statements of Muslims, otherwise we will constantly be deceived. It is true that love believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:7), but Jesus also told us to be as wise as serpents and as humble as doves (Matthew 10:16).
Allah is twice called “the most deceiving one“ in the Qur'an (Suras Al 'Imran 3:54; al-Anfal 8:30). Can his followers be any different from him? Muhammad hastily swore to his two teenage wives, Aisha and Hafsa, that he would not sleep with Maria, his Coptic slave, anymore. He regretted this later and was released from his vow with a special revelation in Sura al-Tahrim 66:1-2. Not even an oath is binding in Islam, since the founder of Islam broke his oaths.
There is no Spirit of Truth in Islam. The actual goal is a Muslim state that should take power and overthrow its enemies. Every deception that serves this cause is allowed.
Even the Qur'an, the first source of Islamic law, was manipulated. It contains abrogated and abrogating verses. Muhammad said several times that Allah annulled some verses that had been revealed earlier and replaced them with better or more relevant ones, if it was necessary for the good of the Islamic community. There are about 240 abrogated, that is invalid (cancelled), verses in the Qur'an, which have not been removed from the text because they were genuine revelations of Allah. Not all theologians of Islam agree that there are 240 abrogated verses. This question could be considered an intra-Islamic question if the more than 100 Qur'an verses that call for tolerance and equality among religions had not been abrogated by the “Verse of the Sword“ and the “Verse of Repentance“ (Suras al-Baqara 2:191,193; al-Anfal 8:39; al-Tawba 9:3-4,28,29).
However, the Qur'an still contains the verses that call for tolerance because they are a good tool in the hands of Muslims living in Christian and non-Islamic countries. Many humanists and Christians sing the same melody without noticing that they have fallen into a trap set by the Muslims. These verses have been abrogated and are no longer valid! Christians who live in predominantly Muslim countries have to suffer for this. In the past 25 years Christian minorities have been persecuted more and more because Islam is taking off its mask and revealing its true face wherever it is in power. There is no Spirit of Truth in Islam, rather the spirit who is described as having deep guile and great might”.
Of course not all Muslims condone this deception. This includes many Muslim mystics and liberal, honorable Muslims. But the spirit of Islam constantly drives and alters them, changing them into fanatical fundamentalists who have been especially equipped with the “spirit of Allah“ (Sura al-Mujadala 58:22).
2. Islam is an Anti-Christian Spirit
The apostle John, who recognized and testified to the love of God most deeply, also described the eternal truth most precisely. Truth and love do not exclude each other, for love without truth would be a lie, while truth without love could be a deadly blow. The secret of ministry is not love or truth, but truth in love and love out of truth. This is the way to a biblical evangelization among Muslims.
John gives us a standard for discerning the spirits in his first letter. He writes in chapter 2:21-23: “I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.“
John explains this further in the fourth chapter and writes:
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.“ (1 John 4:1-4)
Everyone who wants to work as a servant of the Lord among Muslims ought to learn these two passages from Johns first epistle by heart. Herein lies the key to identifying Islam and understanding Muslims spiritually. Islam is a post-Christian religion and, of necessity, has become an anti-Christian religion. If Muhammad had accepted the historical fact of the crucified Son of God there would be no Islam. But Muhammad wanted to make his mark by rejecting the truth and closed his heart to the Gospel more and more. He used fragments of the New Testament and distorted them in order to win Christians to Islam. But he never surrendered or submitted to Jesus, or accepted Him as his Savior. So he hardened himself and his followers against the Spirit of Jesus. Islam became an anti-Christian power, which appears to be God-fearing and at times almost Christian, but rejects the crucified Son of God vehemently.
Muslims are captives in a collective bondage. They pray daily in their main prayer, the Fatiha, Sura al-Fatiha 1:5-6: “Guide us in the straight path (the way of the Sharia), the path of those whom you have blessed (with wealth and many sons), not of those against whom you are wrathful (the Jews with their ten commandments), nor of those who went astray (the Christians with their belief in the holy Trinity).“
The Fatiha hardens the attitude of those who use this prayer. It ties all Muslims up in a collective bondage to an anti-Christian spirit.
Herein lies the reason that many Muslims are immune to the Gospel. They cannot become free because they do not recognize their deep bondage, and do not want to give up their ties to their family and culture. Whoever does not confess: “The LORD is righteous, and my people and I are wicked“ (Exodus 9:27) will not become free. Only in Isaiah's cry, “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!“ (Isaiah 6:5) will they really be free. Only Jesus Christ in the power of His Holy Spirit can save every Muslim. He is also the redeemer for the followers of Muhammad.
Like Paul, we should hear and accept the command of the Lord Jesus: “... I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins by faith in Me and an inheritance among those who are sanctified.“ (Acts 26:17-18)
In the risen Lord's command to Paul we read that forgiveness often comes after conversion, and that it will be necessary to release people who are bound by the power of Satan. Herein lies the secret of missionary work among Muslims. All of them need Jesus as their Redeemer, who frees them from their collective bondage. We are called to proclaim the completed victory of Jesus Christ over Islam and to believe that the Crucified and Risen One frees many Muslims today from their anti-Christian prison as well.
3. Islam is a Spirit Opposed to the Christian Community
On his deathbed Muhammad commanded that no other religion exist on the Arabian Peninsula. The Christians in Wadi Najran, in northern Yemen, had a written guarantee in their hands, signed by Muhammad earlier, in which they were promised protection by the Muslims as a minority as long as they paid the minority tax (jizya). But in spite of this they were driven out of their homes to Jordan by the second Caliph, Umar Ibn al-Khattab when they did not convert to Islam.
The general Islamic missionary command, which is found twice in the Qur'an, states clearly: “Fight them, till there is no temptation (revolution) and the religion everywhere (will be) Allah's...“ (Suras al-Baqara 2:193; al-Anfal 8:39).
These verses are often not believed by sympathizers of Islam because they show that Islam must strive for world rule.
Muhammad had recognized that many Jews and Christians had more education and a better culture than the Muslims of that time (Suras Al 'Imran 3:55; al-Hadid 57:27). They lived in the presence of God and behaved according to their holy books. They did not lie or steal, were married to only one wife, lived cleanly, were well-dressed, reliable and active. Muhammad understood that the followers of the religions of the book had become a temptation to his Muslims to abandon Islam. That is why he commanded their subjugation and humiliation, giving the theological reason:
- because they do not believe in the same Allah as Muslims;
- they had a different hope of the resurrection and of paradise than the Muslims;
- they did not submit to the Shari'a with its cruel laws of punishment; and they did not join in the holy wars; and finally,
- they did not belong to the right religion (Islam).
They were to be subjugated and as second-class citizens had to pay the minority tax with their own hand (Sura al-Tawba 9:28).
Christian minorities have been despised and oppressed for 52 generations in the heartland of Islam.
In the Islamic renaissance the intolerance of the Qur'an and the hostile attitude of the Shari'a developed into a threefold strategy to defend it against Christian influences, with the final goal of decimating or rooting out the Christians in Islamic countries.
Christian missionary activity by foreign organizations in predominantly Islamic countries is basically forbidden. It is considered to be a more serious crime than killing (Sura al-Baqara 2:217) because it attacks and reduces the core of the Islamic community. Missionaries or evangelists seldom or never receive official entry visas. If they enter in the guise of professionals or specialists they are required by some Muslim countries to sign a statement beforehand that they will not evangelize in any way. They may be able to operate carefully until they have visible results.
As soon as conversions or baptisms of Muslims are known publicly, the missionaries and the converts will be arrested, punished or deported. Their embassies usually take care that foreign missionaries are released and sent home after a few days or weeks in prison. Specialists that are urgently needed in their position should not be surprised to receive anonymous death threats.
The existence of living national churches is an offence to Islam. Theoretically Christians have the right to meet within their church walls. According to the Qur'an they cannot be forced to accept Islam (Sura al-Maida 5:47-48). But the screw of taxation and social contempt forced 95-99% of the Christians in the Islamicized Mediterranean area (from Turkey to Morocco) to accept Islam. Only small groups, from one-half to ten percent of the population, remained faithful to Christ in spite of repeated waves of persecution in the past 1,365 years.
The indigenous Christians are also not allowed to evangelize Muslims. If only one member of a congregation evangelizes a Muslim, the entire congregation could be punished. This is one of the reasons that some church leaders repeatedly see themselves forced to report over-active evangelists or missionaries to the secret police, or to discipline their own clergy, remove them from their positions or send them overseas.
Since modern media has no boundaries and many Muslims travel into secular foreign countries, the number of Muslims who are reading the Gospel is growing. However national churches in the majority of Islamic countries do not receive permits to build new churches or renovate older churches.
Christians in Europe, the USA and Korea seem barely to have noticed the oppression and persecution of Christians in northern Nigeria, southern Sudan, Egypt, Lebanon, Iran, Pakistan and Indonesia!
In the past two years the furnishings and windows of 1,500 churches in Indonesia were broken. Several hundred churches were burned.
In the past ten years at least 50,000 Christians have been killed in thirteen waves of persecution that rolled over northern Nigeria, in which 200 churches were burned and about twenty evangelists and pastors were killed. Anyone who believes in the tolerance of Islam should travel to these Islamic countries and live with the local Christians for a few months. This would end all their illusions. The spirit of Islam fights against the Spirit of Jesus Christ in His congregations as long as Muslims are in the majority.
Muslims who convert from Islam to Christianity are hit especially hard. According to the Shari'a they should be killed by the authorities of the Islamic state. If the government does not do this, the family needs to purify itself of the shame of its apostate relative. Thank God this seldom happens, but it sometimes does. 60 to 70 percent of today's Muslims are liberal and do not kill their apostate relatives. But the sufferings of the family and the convert are greater then we can imagine.
Only a few churches and congregations in Islamic countries have the courage to take in the ostracized converts, care for them like members of the family, or to support and pray for them if they are put into prison and tortured. Some churches and Bible schools even refuse to accept converts who used to be Muslims, in order to avoid trouble with the government.
Unfortunately in several Islamic countries converts are accused without reason by fundamentalists of smuggling drugs, spying for enemy countries, or of acting immorally, so that the authorities must step in. These try to force the suspects to confess under torture. In some cases the accused are even raped in order to destroy their self-respect. Muhammad required all apostates to be punished in a way that would make them despise themselves (Sura al-Mujadala 58:16).
King Hassan II of Morocco answered a delegation of Amnesty International who remonstrated with him about the persecution of 400 converts in Morocco, “In our country this principle rules: Allah, king and fatherland! If someone dares to say that there is a better religion than Islam, we have to turn him over to a team of doctors who will examine him to see if he is still in his right mind. If this is the case and he continues in his opinion, then he must be punished according to our law.“
It is a miracle of Jesus Christ, that in spite of the increasing persecution and oppression of converts in the past twenty years, thousands of Muslims in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Syria, Egypt, Ghana and Morocco have become Christians. They have gathered in congregations of converts in countries where there have never before been Christian churches, and where the local churches are not in a position to take in converts.
In this age of media, with the educational level increasing everywhere, a new form of missions is developing for which many traditional churches, fellowships and missions are not prepared. When evangelical books, tracts and cassettes are offered on the internet, over 5,000 and more interested Muslims in Islamic countries download them each month. There is a great hunger for the peace of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. But there are only a few workers who are qualified to give Muslims helpful answers to their questions.
“Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest.“ (Matthew 9:38)
We need to hear this command of Jesus anew and obey it in spite of threats, oppression and persecution by Muslim fanatics.