Summary: Law of Non-Contradiction – something can’t be both true and untrue at the same time in the same context.
Counterfeit – Islam
For the time will come when people will not put up w/ sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4
Three weeks ago we began a series entitled – Counterfeit w/ the intent of learning about and comparing the tenets of the Christian faith w/ those of other major religions/cults. My heart in this series isn’t to speak condescendingly or to condemn another faith, but to clarify our differences and to prepare us to engage people of other faiths – and w/ some 4200 different beliefs – we have some work to do.
The challenge comes on (2) fronts: Front 1 is the idea that my faith is right and yours is wrong. This is the posture of most religions – and rightly so – so long as the faith in question can be validated. In the case of Christianity, Jesus claimed to be the only way to God. And since the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus can be validated – it gives credence to Christianity as being correct.
Front 2 is the idea that all beliefs are truthful in some manner, and therefore, ultimately, all religions lead to the same destination – all roads lead to God.
Law of Non-Contradiction – something can’t be both true and untrue at the same time in the same context. This law demolishes the warped idea that all roads lead to God. Why? B/c since every religion/cult has differing beliefs – it’s not possible they’re all right. In fact, it proves just the opposite – while we can all be all be wrong, we can’t all be right.
Meaning – All roads can’t lead to God! So if Islam is right then Buddhism, and every other way, is wrong? If Joseph Smith was God’s true messenger, then Mary Baker Eddy has missed the mark? But if Jesus is God’s only way, truth, and life as He claimed, then there are no other avenues to God.
Either all are counterfeits or all but ONE is counterfeit.
Today, we’re going to look at a religious system that’s both familiar/unfamiliar to us and it happens to be the 2nd largest religion in the world w/ 1.2 bil. followers – Islam.
I The ORIGIN of Islam
The religion of Islam began w/ a man named Muhammad who was born in A.D. 570 into a violent and polytheistic culture in the city of Mecca – in modern day Saudi Arabia. Mecca was the religious center that housed the Ka’ba – a temple housing multiple idols/gods. Muhammad was born into the tribe responsible for presiding over the Ka’ba.
One night, in A.D. 610, at age 40, while meditating inside a cave on the outskirts of Mecca, Muhammad claimed he was visited by the angel Gabriel (angel who appeared to Daniel and Mary). He claimed on that night began a series of angelic visitations/revelations that later became the teachings of Muhammad and ultimately the text of the Quran – the sacred book of Islam. He also claimed Gabriel declared him to be the final prophet of God (Allah).
In A.D. 620, after his wife’s death, Muhammed said Gabriel brought him by night to Jerusalem on the back of a heavenly horse (Quran 17:1). In Jerusalem, it’s said he conversed w/ Jesus, Moses and Abraham, before being taken by a ladder to Heaven for the night. The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, completed in A.D. 691, was built on the spot where Muslims believe he ascended into Heaven.
In A.D. 632, at 63, Muhammad died a natural death in the city of Medina, where his tomb is today. After his death, disagreement about who should succeed him as the leader of Islam caused a rift b/w (2) groups that continues today. Sunnis believe the leader should be elected democratically from Muhammad’s closest followers while the Shi’ites claim his successor should come from his bloodline.
Sunnis rep. 85% of Islam – Shi’a rep. 15%. They don’t respect each other – both on a mission to bring Islam to the world by conversion or conquering.
II The Five PILLARS of Islam
Pillar 1 – SHAHADA – The fundamental confession that there is no God but Allah – and Muhammad is his prophet. To sincerely repeat the Shahada makes a person a Muslim.
Pillar 2 – SALAT – Ritual prayers Muslims are required to pray (5) times each day in a prescribed manner in the direction of Mecca – the holy city.
Pillar 3 – ZAKAT – Islamic law requires Muslims to give at least 2.5% of their income as an offering to care for widows, orphans, sick, and poor/needy.