Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A common word for Muslims and Christians

Some Muslims have extended an “olive branch” to Christians with a document entitled, “A Common Word between us and you.” It is based on the common commands in Islam and Christianity to Love God with all your heart and to love one’s neighbor (interestingly enough Judaism also affirms these commands yet the “olive branch” was not extended to Jews).

I’ve written before that Christians have more in common with truly moderate Muslims than we do with most secularists. The problem with this “Common Word” document however, is that it repeatedly makes reference to God who has “no associate” and “no partner.” Unfortunately, this is the Muslim denial that Jesus is the Son of God.

The Qur’an, Sura 17.39 says, “do not associate any other god with Allah lest you should be thrown into hell….” An earlier passage makes it clear that Muhammad is not just thinking of polytheism. Sura 5:72-73 says specifically that “whoever associates (others) with Allah…” will go to hell. It is clear that Muhammad is thinking about Christians here because in the same passage he says, that those who say, “God is Christ the son of Mary,” or that “God is one of Three” or that "God is a Trinity” are blasphemers and will go to hell.

So, Christians, all you have to do in order to sign this “Common Word” is to deny one of the fundamentals of the Christian faith—the deity of Jesus and the Triune nature of God. Of course, it is hard to understand how those who deny this can call themselves Christians at all.