''This article was inspired by a recent letter to the editor published in The Conway Daily Sun.''
- Mike Corthell
''What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.''Sorry, Mr. Shakespeare, not in the matter of God.
- William Shakespeare
The late C. S. Lewis, who was a professor at Cambridge University and once a non-believer, understood this issue clearly.
He writes: "I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg - or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the son of God: or else a madman or something worse."
Then Lewis adds: "You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."
As a Christian I believe that Jesus Christ is God, that He is the son of God. Muslims do not. And they do not claim to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as do Christians. They believe God did not create a Holy contract with Isaac and Jacob, but rather a covenant with Abraham’s firstborn son Ishmael. Muslims further believe that the Christian bible is a misrepresentation of the truth and that the Koran accurately and faithfully represents the true personality and will of God.
'Chrislam' tries to make Allah and the God of Christianity the same Being. Worshipers of Chrislam use both the Bible and the Koran. And view them both as holy texts. During their worship services, verses are read from both books. According to followers, there are no conflicts between the two religions and both texts were accepted by the Chrislam adherents as true. But there are irreconcilable differences between Chrislam's two component religions. The Koran recognizes Jesus as a prophet only – just a man. Christians believe that Jesus, as part of the Holy Trinity, is fully God and not a mortal man as the Koran teaches.
There can be no merging of Islam and Christianity without destroying the foundation of Christianity (and vice versa). From Ephesians 2: ''...you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.''
"First, as I’ve already said, Christians have a fundamentally different view of God than Muslims. We worship Jesus as God. Muslims don’t. Our God is Jesus, not Allah....Colossians 2:9 - 'For in Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.'
- Rick Warren
While I believe in my heart that Chrislam is an apostasy at it's worst, a half-truth at best and that it is an abomination in the name of God, I also believe in building bridges between the Christian and Muslim communities as well as other belief systems.
Building bridges does not have anything to do with compromising my Christian beliefs either; it is about my behavior and my attitude toward people – all people. It is about truly loving them. Who cares how much you know about Salvation until they know how much you care about them and their human condition? Before people ask me, ''Is Jesus real, does he speak the truth?', they want to know if I am credible. Before people can put their trust Jesus Christ they must trust me and what I say to them. Enemies cannot be won to Christ, only friends – friends who admire your deportment and the kind of life you lead.
When I put my trust in Christ my problems did not disappear, in fact my life became worse but the way I dealt with adversity changed. I could See and I had a partner, someone to help me, someone all powerful, all knowing and with me all the time. And I knew this; the Light had come into my heart. The light allows us to see as we are seen; from John 3 ''...but whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.''
On becoming a Christian we become perfected in Christ, but we are not perfect. So, should I as Christians hate anyone? No, I should not. Should I ask, ''What would Jesus do?'' Yes, continuously in fact, because I am imperfect and absolutely fallible. Jesus Christ, the Creator of all things, would treat people with dignity and listen to them with respect. Even the best of us have trouble doing this and doing it consistently but we have to keep at it, keep trying – all of us – it is the only Way.
Edited version published HERE
Edited version published HERE