Some thoughts from a recent discussion I had on Islam
In Islam, they teach a completely different Jesus of course (a false Jesus), but they consider Him a prophet and the Messiah (means something way different than what Jews/Christians think of). My question is, why don’t they defend the Islamic Jesus as vehemently as they do Mohammed? The entire South Park censorship fiasco is a prime example.
In the Judeo/Christian realm of prophets, there is a fullness of truth centered on Christ. From Genesis to Revelation, there is a progressive revelation of Christ and the truth about God. It encompasses the beginning of human life to the completion of all things God has planned for us, and it records the historical interaction of God with His creation.
The canon, or the “measure” on which books were included in the Christian Bible and were considered authoritative (God breathed and inspired) were based on a few factors. They were the writings of the direct followers of Jesus and their close companions. Of course the Jewish canon was included as part of our belief system as Jesus confirmed it. If a writing did not line up or were in conflict with the known books, they were rejected. So as you said, consistency is important. And you are right in saying that Jesus is the center of prophetic writings.
So, I am not 100% sure why Islam doesn’t defend the other prophets as they do Mohammed. Though the key may be understanding their views on Mohammed. According to Islam, the Old Testament points to Mohammed rather than Jesus. For example, Mohammed is “The Prophet” that Moses wrote about. Though we Christians know that it is Jesus, Moses wrote about. Also, according to Islam, the good news that Jesus brought was that Mohammed was going to come (Koran, Surah 61:6). So in the Islamic mind, Mohammed is the supreme prophet and everything points to him including the OT and Jesus’ message in the NT. Of course, they say the OT and NT have been corrupted and only the Koran is the true Word of God.
Sadly, Mohammed set himself up as the supreme prophet and that his revelation was the true revelation. He taught a completely different Jesus. Islam even denies that Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected. According to Mohammed, there is no salvation in Christ, rather salvation is in Mohammed’s message. Its a works based salvation outside of God’s grace. Of course, Mohammed had special privileges above and beyond the normal Muslim, as all false prophets seem to do.
The standard in the Bible on prophets is what they say is true 100% of the time. If they are wrong even once, they are false prophets. The penalty in ancient Israel for a false prophet was death.
Jesus and those who followed Him, warned us of all the false prophets that would come after them. If a “prophet” is wrong even once about Jesus, that prophet is false. If they preach a different Jesus than the one we received they are false and should be rejected. If they preach a different Spirit or a different Gospel they are false and should be rejected. (Matthew 24:11, John 10:1-6, 2 Cor 11:4, 2 Peter 2:1).
That is the standard by which every religion or prophet should be measured by us Christians.
On the OT and the Law
The OT Scriptures includes all kinds of information, including a historical record that gives an account of wicked behavior. It reveals the failings of many. That does not mean that God supports said behavior just because it was recorded by the writers. That which was written was done so to teach the generations that came after and to point us to Christ (Romans 15:4, Galatians 3:24).
The law was meant to reveal sin (Romans 7:7) and the inability of those who received it to keep it (Romans 7:13-15). It points us to Christ and the grace of God. It was a light that God added to the light of creation, the light of the knowledge of good and evil, and the light of conscience (Genesis 3:7, Romans 1:19-20, 2:14-15). And it will be one of the tools of judgement for those who received it and who rejected Christ (Romans 2:12). And those outside of the law who violate their own conscience will perish because that is a law in itself. So the only hope for humanity is the grace of God found in Christ Jesus. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
On Religious Freedom and Building a Mosque near Ground Zero in NY
Oppression, persecution, and tyrrany are wrong, no matter the source of said evil. Whether its a secular state or a religious state. We don’t want our freedom of worship infringed, nor does any one else who practices their own faith. So building a Mosque where they want to build one should be supported. And as you said [to the OP], I think it is a bad choice as well to build a “monumental” mosque near ground zero.
On Islamic Scholarship
Islamic followers and scholars attack the Jewish and Christian scriptures (claiming they are corrupt), but do not apply their methods of attack (the most liberal scholarship out there) to their own religious writings.
On Islam being a violent religion
I think the difference between the two [jihadist v moderates] are the Muslims who read, believe, and practice the entire Koran. It is a violent religion and spread by the sword. The non-believers are given a chance to submit to Allah willingly. If they do not submit, then they are given another chance at the point of a sword. There is no question to that truth. Yes, I have read the entire Koran.
If Islam had its way, we people of the “Book” would all be Dhimmis. Second class citizens, subjegated, oppressed, and persecuted. The rest of the infidels would be dead.
I’d like to see how you would be treated if you actually went to a Muslim country. Sure, you will be treated with respect and not be in danger in a country where you are protected by the law. Its like what a Muslim told another missionary I knew, “In my country you would be in prison or dead.”
I’m not saying that all Muslims are Jihadist or anything like that. But there are simple facts about Islam you can read for yourself in the Koran. The history of Islam and its spread from Arabia is also very enlightening.
I don’t base my belief (about Islam) on what I want to believe. Its what the Koran says and the history of Islam. Practice wise I have known some Muslims as well that have been very nice, respectful, and pleasant. Doesn’t change the Koran or why there are Muslims who practice the war verses from the Koran.
The history of Christianity and the history of Islam both have their negative sides, no doubt. But the big difference between the two is Jesus and Mohammed. Compare their lives and you will see a huge difference. Compare the first 300 years of Christian history and the first 300 years of Islamic history. You will see a huge difference. The problem is when religion is controlled at the state level.
There are many sects and differences of opinion in Islam, just like anything else. You have just as many varieties of Muslim as you do Christians.
I simply don’t agree that we should all accept the view point forced on us by the media and our politicians that Islam is an entirely peaceful religion when the Koran, its source text, is far from it.
People act outside of the tenants of their faith all the time That is true in history and in our day. People fail and are imperfect. I know I fail. We all agree on that. Nor should we judge a religion by those who violate their own faith. I agree that you can’t categorize and label people. That is foolishness to do so.
I agree, you can’t claim that the evil actions of the followers of a faith are “Christian,” “Islam,” “Buddhist,” or any other religion. If those actions go against the source teachings, then it is not represenative of that faith.
Christianity should be judged by Jesus and the New Testament. Islam should be judged by Mohammed and the Koran. As is true of any faith. You go to the source, not the followers. That is my opinion.