I SHOULD NOT BE SURPRISED
May 1, 2017 | View PDF
Way back in 2010, there was a huge debate in the Montgomery Advertiser over whether the God of our Bible and the Koran’s Allah are the same deity. I bring this up now because recently I have heard the same argument raise its ugly head yet again. I knew I had written something about it then so I dug it out and have wiped away some dust from it. One thing I have never intended is for my "Robservations" column to become a Christian mouthpiece. Those of you who read my column probably know this to be true. That being said, every now and then there comes a time when I feel obligated to comment on issues dealing with a Christian theme. Below is what I wrote back then and remains relevant today.
Over the past several weeks, the Montgomery Advertiser has run a series of letters to the editor dealing with the controversy of God of the Bible and the Koran. Several writers wrote in claiming that the two were the same. Below is the letter I wrote in response.
GOD AND ALLAH NOT THE SAME
In the words of Popeye, "I've taken all I can stands and I can't stands no more." In response to the letters by David Wideman and Don Nolte, I'm sorry to burst their misinformed bubbles but the God of the Bible and Koran are not, cannot and will never be the same entity. By the nature of the two texts, we clearly see they are not. God never changes (Mal 3:6) where Allah changes and substitutes one revelation for another because he can (S.2:106, S.16:101).
In the Bible, the kingdom of God is "not eating and drinking but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Rom 14:17) where the Koran's heaven is a place where men will have "damsels pure and holy," where they are made" ever virgins, dear to their spouses, of equal age" (S.4:57, S.56:35-38). The Bible tells us that God cannot tempt with evil (Jas 1:13) yet the Koran says, "Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives them (S.4:112).
Most important is the fact that God of the Bible is a Triune: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Koran is clear that Allah is not. Folks, the list goes on. Christians be careful. Do your own research and you will clearly see that God and Allah, by their nature, character and doctrine, are not the same. Do not be fooled by these wolves in sheep's clothing.
To be honest, I was a little surprised by some of the responses both in the paper and on their website. You know, when I sit in the cockpit with another pilot for 20 - 30 hours over a three to four-day trip, if we get along well, we rack up some interesting conversations. Needless to say, often times the conversation revolves around religion. Most of the time it is interesting and rarely contentious. Many of us have similar views but of course, not all of us. I have had conversations at least twice with Christian men who also erroneously believed that the God of the Bible and Koran were the same entity. Of course I had to address this fallacious notion immediately.
First of all, let me be clear about something. I am not sitting here at my computer writing this column claiming Islam is this or that. It is not my place to do so. They believe what they believe and I believe what I believe and we just have to agree to disagree on most subjects. As a Christian, however, I am obligated to set the record straight, through Scripture, as to what is and is not correct regarding our doctrine. (In other words, we cannot let the non-Christian define our doctrine for us.) Regardless of whatever OT roots people feel
Christianity and Islam have in common, no matter how you deal the cards, the God of the Bible and Allah are not the same deity. Like I said in my letter to the Montgomery Advertiser, through their doctrine, personalities, character and actions, they cannot possibly be the same. It is sort of like looking at the two pictures in the Sunday paper where you try to spot the differences. No matter how much they look alike, the fact that there are differences present, by definition they cannot be the same.
I am not going to get into long protracted examples right now because anybody wanting to research the truth for themselves can go to various websites such as http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/god.htm or to books like The Islamic Invasion by Robert Morey or Inside Islam by Reza F. Safa. What is important to realize, however, is that as Christians we cannot be in the mode of apologizing for our beliefs or allowing known lies to go unchallenged. There is one thing I admire about the Muslims I've known and that is they never apologize for what they believe. Nor should they. They are firmly rooted in what the doctrine of the Koran says. Although we clearly disagree with their doctrine, they are unwavering in their faith and unwilling to give in to outside pressure.
As Christians, it seems that we are unfortunately too willing to back down from a stance, cave in to pressure, or refuse to stand fast to our convictions in the face of opposition. As soon as someone claimed the God of the Bible and the Koran were the same, many people agreed whole heartedly and jumped on the bandwagon regardless of what the two texts actually say about the issue. This is just one of the many issues where I see our acquiescent behavior.
I flew with one Captain back in April who told me that Christianity was out of touch with the times, that Christians needed to get in touch with the modern world and that Christianity needed to evolve with societal norms. I said, "Sorry, but Hebrews 13:8 says, 'Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.' Malachi 3:6 says, 'I the Lord do not change.' Sorry, but you are wrong. It is not up to Christianity to change to fit your idea of society." I remember he just looked at me but didn't say another word. What could he say? "Oh yeah."
As Christians, our best weapon is the Word of God. It is truth, it is incorruptible, it is the basis for our faith. John 17:17 says, "Sanctify them in truth. Your Word is truth." If you stand on the Word, your enemy has nowhere to turn but to lies, deceit, slight-of-hand and inaccuracies. When I was reading some of the blog comments on the net, one female was persistent in her belief that the two deities were indeed the same. I responded to her with doctrinal fact while another person responded by calling her a name. While she spent several posts responding to the personal attack on her, she never once responded to my posts. She was completely unwilling to challenge the Word of God. Why? She couldn't. When faced with fact, a lot of people's arguments cannot stand up to the scrutiny. Remember two months ago when I mentioned the S -I-N Alert? [Skew the Argument - Ignore the facts - Name call.] If we, as Christians stand on the Word and stand on fact, from where can the enemy possibly attack us? With lies, falsehoods and emotion completely devoid of truth or fact - that's where.
I for one am not willing to apologize for our beliefs. I am not going to deny or excuse Jesus' righteous position in our lives. If the truth is too painful for some to grasp, I'm sorry. At the same time, I believe we can stick to our beliefs and share the truth with others without resorting to name calling or being mean spirited. (Like I saw on some of the Internet posts) Proverbs 8:7-8 says, "For my mouth will utter truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing crooked or perverted in them."
Undoubtedly it can be a fine balancing act. Speaking truth while doing it with love. But worse, in my opinion, is to be confronted with something patently false about our doctrine and not correcting the lie immediately. If someone tells us it is up to Christianity to change to fit society, correct them - it isn't. If someone tells you that the God of the Bible and Allah are the same, don't let that lie go unchallenged - they aren't. If someone tells you Jesus would be in favor of abortion (like a bumper sticker I recently saw) point them to Scripture and do not let them off the hook without being heard. If someone tells you "God hates homosexuals" or "God hates soldiers" like the Westboro Baptist protesters claim, tell them " 1 John 4:8 tells me God is love. Although God does hate sin, it is impossible for Him to hate the sinner." We have to know our doctrine, be willing to defend our doctrine and be prepared for the challenges that are undoubtedly going to come our way. If we are unwilling or incapable of defending the Word, those who are deceived will continue living in their world of lies. II Corinthians 4:4 tells us that "The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving. . ." Realize this is where these people are coming from and it is up to us to open their non-seeing eyes with love but also without compromise.
The views of this editorial may not express the views of The Alabama Gazette.