One of the most egregious deceptions going around in Christendom is that since the faith of both Christians and Muslims is descended from Abraham, we are all co-equal sons of God. This is wrong on so many levels, it’s hard to know where to start, but begin we will.
This lie of equivalence is behind the false merging of religions into what we label as Chrislam, i.e. Christian Islam. If we have the same father of our faiths, then we can come together and worship him in a united body. With this source of inspiration, there is no need for separation in our beliefs. That being the case, any differences between the two must mean that there is error in one. If so, that one must be mistaken. That can easily be resolved by simply discounting the radical elements that caused the separation.
Spoiler alert. You will notice as I outline a few of these ideas that the weight of legitimacy always tilts toward Islam. What are a few of the extremist positions that Christianity holds?
Islam believes that Allah is a monolithic, impersonal god; he has no son. Christianity in our belief in Jesus Christ as God, and the Trinity comprised of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are major differences. Of great importance is that Jesus is relational. These problems are easily resolved by dumbing Jesus down to the position that He was simply a wise man, a good teacher, but certainly not God. To accept Islam, who Jesus is must be compromised.
Islam does not believe in the resurrection of Jesus. It states that there was a substitute placed on the cross. As a result, He never rose; rather He faked it. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central tenet of Christianity. With no resurrection, we have nothing. As Paul states in 1 Corinthians 15:13-14:
But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
But no worries for Chrislamists. They can set the resurrection aside as a minor point of difference so as to foster unity.
Salvation in Islam comes wholly by works. Adherents must please Allah through their various efforts to be holy in his sight. The primary means for this is through jihad, or holy struggle. Apologists for Islam inevitably say that jihad is only a spiritual effort. The truth is that it includes the killing of unbelievers who offend Allah by not following his strict laws. Muslims have no assurance in their faith as to gaining paradise. They hope that their works tilt the scales so that they please Allah, but even Muhammad stated that he had no promise of heaven. Christianity is based on our trust in Jesus Christ that He is who He says He is. Salvation’s promise is captured in Ephesians 2:8-9:
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
You’ll note that there is much boasting in Islam, but again, no worries. To the one who embraces Chrislam, this once more is a tiny area of dispute that can be easily ignored.
These and many more distinctions separate Christianity and Islam. However, they are all ignored because of the bedrock belief of commonality in our roots. Father Abraham birthed both strains of faith. That must mean that none of these differences are of any account.
Well… there’s a problem with this that Paul gets to the heart of. It has to do with the works of the Law. Scripture states that the faith of Abraham – which came before the Law – was accomplished outside the Law. Galatians 3:5-6 reminds us:
Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?
Paul then definitively states in Galatians 6:7:
Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.
That’s inconvenient. On one hand we have Islam that is based completely on works; on the other we have Christianity whose foundation is faith alone through the grace of God by Christ alone.
In fact, as Paul says in Galatians 3:10:
For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”
It doesn’t matter how holy and righteous one thinks he is in the flesh, if he is under – and remains under – the Law, he is cursed.
A big problem that’s hard to wipe away is that Muslims believe the child of promise born to Abraham was Ishmael. The Bible makes it clear that he was a child of the flesh and not of the Spirit, thus, he is not Abraham’s descendant who was blessed with the promise of being a blessing to all nations. Actually, Ishmael and his descendants reflect this reality from God in Genesis 16:12:
He shall be a wild donkey of a man,
his hand against everyone
and everyone’s hand against him,
and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.”
Strife would always follow him; not peace. Islam is not the “religion of peace” as so many love to declare. It is the source of hatred and violence throughout much of the world.
Here’s the issue that is conveniently forgotten: God’s promise for the spiritual line of Abraham is described in Exodus 3:15:
God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.
Many other verses show us that it is the people of Israel, descendants of not only Abraham, but also Isaac and Jacob who are God’s Chosen People. The phrase “the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob” is used in Genesis 50:24, Exodus 2:24, Leviticus 26:42, Deuteronomy 1:8, and elsewhere, definitively noting the spiritual line that God chose as His own.
For anyone to declare that Christians and Muslims must coexist through their common faith in the same God is deceived. Christianity is unique. Paul summarized this for us in Galatians 3:13-14:
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.
Our faith is built on Christ alone. The spiritual line that birthed him is distinct and clearly laid out in Scripture. Anyone claiming otherwise obviously is ignorant of God’s Word or willfully ignores it. He does so at his peril.
We proclaim the Name of Jesus and lift Him high above all others!