My View of Islam

On Facebook recently, I frustrated a number of my evangelical friends with posts I shared and comments I made related to Islam.  I was accused of not knowing God, needing to repent and holding to heterodox doctrine.  Since some people are concerned, I will take the time to make clear my position.  I do not expect to change anyone’s belief, but if you are going to disagree with me, at least disagree with what I really believe.

The first thing that bothered people was my view of Islam and violence.  In light of the Boston Marathon attack, I urged people to not assume that all Muslims are  violent.  I was told that all Muslims were violent and if they were not, they were not really Muslim.  Let me make clear my position.  I am not saying that all Muslims are peaceful.  Nor am I denying that Islam has a violent past or that some Islamic states today persecute non-Muslims.  I understand that these things happen.  What I am saying is that it is wrong to assume that because a person is a Muslim that they want to kill non-Muslims.  I have read the Qur’an and I have not found passages that command all Muslims to kill all non-Muslims.  There are passages that talk about killing non-Muslims, but the context is that of an existing war between Muslims and non-Muslims (of which there were many in the early years of Islam) in which the Muslims are told to go all out.  I don’t like those passages, but to be honest, they are no worse than some Old Testament passages.  To suggest that all Muslims must build their faith around these few passages is as unfair as a non-Christian arguing that Christianity must be based on the holy war passages in the Old Testament.  In case you think no Christian would interpret the Old Testament that way, there are plenty of examples from church history.

The second thing that got people upset is my suggestion that Christians and Muslims (and Jews) believe in the same God.  When I say that, people seem to hear me saying that Islam is a valid way to achieve salvation, that Muhammad was a true prophet, that all religions are the same and many other things that I am not saying.  My argument is based on the question of how much has to be in common for us to be talking about the same thing.  If an American was talking about the country to the north of them called Canada, bound by the Pacific ocean on the west, Arctic ocean in the north and the Atlantic ocean on the east and with the capital of Toronto, would they be talking about the same country of Canada that I know has a capital of Ottawa?  I believe that two people can talk about the same thing with one of them having some mistaken facts about that one thing.  That is my understanding of Christianity and Islam.  I think we are both talking about the same God but that Islam is mistaken in some of their assertions (simple unity, relationship to Jesus).  I realize that my view is in the minority, but please don’t accuse me of denying the Trinity or the exclusivity of Christianity.

Perhaps this clarification will only make things worse, but at least you know where I stand.  I am an evangelical Christian with orthodox theology and a high view of the Bible.  Do not mistake me for something else.

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Comments

  1. Prejudice and Bigotry are easier to see when the tables are turned.

    The Boston Bombs are ironic because some Irish-Americans supported the IRA terrorists with both funds and perhaps ammunitions.—So should we conclude that all Irish Catholics are terrorists? Most Americans will deny such a link claiming the motives were political not religious—despite the fact that the Catholic Church has a bloody history……

    Yet political motives—that of the U.S. unjustly killing civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan (and ongoing U.S. Drone programs that also continue to kill innocent civilians in many parts of the World)—are denied to those who are “Muslim” and blanket and fictional claims made that the religion is the motivating factor.

    Why?
    If we define “terrorist” as those who criminally target and kill innocent civilians and absolutely no justifications are acceptable for such action (which would be the right course)—then we must also condemn the U.S. for their criminal actions from Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Atom bomb to the killing of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Drone programs that kill innocent civilians…………………

    By the way—should one conclude from American actions that all Americans are violent and that the American values of secularism and democracy are inherently violent ideologies? (after all the 2 world wars racked up the bloodiest casualty count and they were conducted by those who held to the values of democracy and secularism)…………….

    see where idiotic generalizations can get you?……………..

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