Islam & Christianity (1): Introductions

"And from those who call themselves Christians, We took their covenant, but they have abandoned a good part of the Message that was sent to them. So We planted amongst them enmity and hatred till the Day of Resurrection (when they discarded Allah's Book, disobeyed Allah's Messengers and His Orders and transgressed beyond bounds in Allah's disobedience), and Allah will inform them of what they used to do."  - Surah [5:14] 
 In my last post I was inspired to write on the nature of Mormonism (Is Mormonism Christianity? (1);Is Mormonism Christianity? (2)) after passing two Mormon missionaries on the way home from work. And as it turns,  living in a  diverse city like Toronto, Canada means I run into all sorts of people. Recently on my way home I ran into a Muslim man handing out free Qur'ans and Islamic literature at the side of the road. So in honor of the hour and a half conversation, and the free Qur'an that I now possess, I feel it is only fitting that I write about Islam.

I have always been intrigued with the Islamic faith; growing up my parents were missionaries in a number of Muslim countries, I was born in Pakistan but for a few years of my childhood lived in Amman, Jordan. After I graduated high school I took a short term trip back to the Middle East and worked at a medical clinic in rural Jordan. So while I don't claim to be an expert in any way or form on the subject, I want to point out that I am no stranger when it comes to exposure to Islamic culture.

Like all my other posts, I'd like to start with my foundational position: Christians and Muslims disagree on a great number of theological issues: the nature of God, salvation, prophets, the true Scriptures, etc. and neither side will cave very easily on their beliefs and views.  The Muslim believes in Allah and Muhammad as his prophet.  I, as a historical-Biblical Christian, believe I am saved by the grace of my Lord and Savior, Jesus. Both as a Christian in obedience to Christ, and in accordance with the Bible, as well as the fact that this blog is specifically written under the pretext of apologetics, seek to expose error and teach the truth; and, as a Christian I teach that Christianity is true.

Like I have written about time and time again, you cannot have two truths at the same time, the issue of truth is a black and white not gray. Under this pretense , Islam, cannot be right.  I say this outright so in order that I am not accused of being deceptive or having a hidden agenda.

However, please realize that I have no hatred for Muhammad, Muslims, or the Qur'an.  I was not wronged by a Muslim and I have not had any childhood trauma involving anything Islamic.  Instead, as both a Christian and an armature apologist,  I seek to bring out the truth in accordance with what I believe to be the ultimate truth, the Bible.  If you are a Muslim, I know you will disagree with what I will write and perhaps you will take it as an insult or some form of persecution.  I hope you do not for that is not my intent in the least. I am simply being faithful and consistent as a Bible believing Christian.

It is important that we understand each other, so just as I read and study the Qur'an and Hadith in order to accurately portray the Islamic understanding I hope you will continue reading and it will give you some glimpse into the Christian perspective on the subject.

Before I get too farther though I would also like to discuss the issue of Islamophobia.This past year in my University studies I was in a class and the term Islamophobia was being tossed around. I think our society needs to be extra diligent when it comes to the issue of its cultural 'phobias', whether we're talking about Islamophobia, homophobia or any other, when we use these words we need to be careful. Why? Because these words have meanings, and these ones especially are emotionally packed.

There is such thing as Islamophobia, just as there is such thing as homophobia, and both are terrible. What I would like to point out is that when we use these words when they don't apply it desensitizes us to the term and when real Islamophobia happens we package it in with the fake stuff.

My disagreement with anything, whether that be another worldview, a lifestyle, or what car you drive is not a personal attack on you. Disagreement is healthy, I cannot agree with everything you agree with and at some point or another we will but-heads. That's the reality of being opinionated - free-willed human beings. And that's healthy.

However, when I disagree and you label it as a 'phobia' it downplays the severity of the actual problem. Just because I do not agree that Islam is truth in no way makes me an Islamophobe, it makes me opinionated, and my opinion is an open door to the believer in Islam to engage me in respectful open dialogue.

The problem is that there are people out there who are actually phobic of certain groups. The people who disagree with Islam are not the Islamophobes, the ones who vandalize Mosques and harass those wearing turbans, those are. When I am labelled as an Islamophobe because of my disagreement it downplays the seriousness of actual hate.

So, while I have not addressed anything directly as of yet I wanted to lay the groundwork with the first post. To make sure that my intentions where clear and that, like all my other posts, I start off under the basis of clarity, conviction, and consistency.


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