Summary: The difference between Islam and Christianity.
Allah Is Not Our God
The Differences between Christianity and Islam!
In the last year we have learned a new vocabulary in America; words such as Islam, Mohammad, Allah, Jihad, Taliban, and al Quida. For most Americans before 9/11 these were distant irrelevant words, if not out right unknown words. The Terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 has changed all that and has brought the religion of Islam to front page news status. The world’s leaders have bent over backward to make sure the world understands that this is not about Islam, that Islam and terrorism are not in any way related. I find the comments of Salmon Rushdie, a Muslim sentenced to death by Muslim clerics over his 1988 book, “The Satanic Verses” very interesting. Rushie said, “The trouble with this …. disclaimer is that it isn’t true. If this isn’t about Islam, why the worldwide Muslim demonstrations in support of Osama bin Laden and Al Queda?” [as quoted in “Israel My Glory” (March/April 2002) p. 7 ] “In commenting on the recent terrorist attacks on the USA, Franklin Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham, said of Islam, "I don’t believe this is a wonderful, peaceful religion. When you read the Koran and you read the verses from the Koran, it instructs the killing of the infidel, for those that are non-Muslim." He went on to say, "It wasn’t Methodists flying into those buildings, it wasn’t Lutherans, it was an attack on this country by people of the Islamic faith." [as quoted by Andrew Webb. “A More Realistic Assessment of Islam.” PCA News.com]. In like fashion Chuck Colson has commented, “The Truth is that bin Laden and his followers did not hijack Islam; they simply took it seriously.”
Recently one of the major denominations met in Columbus to debate, of all things, whether or not Jesus Christ is the one true Savior of the world. Is he the universal Savior or might there be several? What about the other world religions and their claims? Some people wonder if perhaps there are not many paths to God? If you asked the average American today what the difference was between the major world religions, they would probably mumble something about all religions being pretty much the same. People assume that all religions have nearly the same moral teachings and ideals. They might have different names for God, but it is the same God. These religions, many people believe, may travel different roads, but they all lead to God. As long as you believe in something, as long as you believe in God, it really doesn’t matter what form your belief takes. The truth is that these religions are all very different and even contradict each other at crucial points. What this means is that we are left with two options: either none of them are true, or one of them is true and the others are not.
George Barna does a great deal of research in religious circles. In surveys taken a few years ago (1996 and 1997), he found some amazing facts. Most Americans, including many professing Christians, believe that people are inherently good and that there primary purpose is to enjoy life as much as possible. 38% believed that it doesn’t matter what religious faith you follow because they all teach the same lessons. 44% believed that all people will experience the same outcome after death, regardless of their religious beliefs. 55% believed that if a person is generally good or does enough good things for others during their life, that they will earn a place in heaven. [Contributed by: Martin Wiles – Sermon Central – Illustrations]
“Anyone who claims that all religions are the same betrays not only an ignorance of all religions but also a caricatured view of even the best-known ones. Every religion at its core is exclusive.” [Ravi Zacharias, Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message, p. 7]
There are many voices shouting at us from many different directions today. It is important to know something about them in order to be able to discern one shout from another so that we might be discerning in our search for truth. Bill Hybels, after interviewing people from the different religions said: “You need to know that the law of non-contradiction says that positions that are different from one another cannot be equally true. You’ve got to figure out what you believe and where you’re going to drive that stake in the ground and say, ‘On the evidence, on the search that I’ve done, this is what I believe. This is what I’ll stake my life and my eternity on.’” One of the professors at the seminary I attended use to ask his students after they had given their translation of a scripture from Greek to English, “Well, brother, would you swing out over Hell on that translation.” That is exactly the point. This is not just a preference of philosophies. It is not just an intellectual quest. Your life and eternity are at stake. You need to make a careful decision.