Pastor Jones and the Burning of the Qur’an
As many of you have read or seen on the T.V. these last couple of weeks, sale search Pastor Terry Jones of Gainesville, generic Florida, whose church, The Dove World Outreach Center (DWOC) plan to burn several hundred copies of the Qur’an (Koran) on the anniversary of 9/11. Surprisingly this has caused a world wide stir amongst political, military, and religious leaders. Understandably, Americans, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, are nervous about what might happen should Jones’s forge ahead with this in spite of widespread criticism and condemnation. There are predictions if he does that there will be a great outbreak of violence, particularly amongst Islamic extremists.
I am writing this on Friday, September 10th, so by the time you get this Teachable Moment article you may already know what happened. The purpose of this article therefore is not to convince you as to whether Pastor Jones was right or not, but rather to inform you somewhat about the religion Pastor Jones is confronting through his action. I do so because I am convinced the Media won’t give you an accurate picture, they rarely do.
Now much of this material is a blend of about 4-5 articles I wrote on Islam a number of years ago, which was largely taken from S.F. Fleming’s book, “Gate Breakers.” Should you want to review them, they are my web site www.tmoments.com under the file, Cults. One of them actually deals with confronting Muslims in love, which might possibly relate to this current issue on burning the Qur’an.
Comparing Christianity to Islam?
(Christ or Mohammed?)
Before I draw a comparison between Christianity and Islam…Christ and Mohammed, Christians and Muslims are in harmony at least on one issue; they both believe the other will never see or inherit the kingdom of God. It was Jesus who first set the tone for this division, not Mohammad. Although Mohammad and all Muslims give Jesus some credit for being a good prophet, He does not return the favor. As a matter of fact, Jesus openly condemns any leader, people, or movement that rejects His sacrifice and plan of salvation. Those who refuse to repent of their sins and believe in Him as God’s only provision for salvation are condemned and denied entrance into heaven. And that would include Mohammad and all Muslims. Therefore Jesus could not be a great prophet in Islam, because a great prophet would never condemn Allah and judge Mohammad as Jesus did. Others outside of Islam do not call Jesus a prophet, but they often identify him as a great teacher, good role model, and generally good man. Although these are honorable things to say about Jesus, these comments are also not true because anyone claiming to be the Son of God as Jesus did is either the Son of God or a lunatic. A great teacher, good man, or role model would never make such a claim. Therefore Mohammad, the Muslim world, and all men must either believe Jesus is the Son of God and the only way to salvation or reject Him.
Here are some direct quotes Jesus made on this matter about Himself and salvation. Is He the Son of God or a lunatic?
- “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me will be saved. (John 10)
- I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. (John 14:6)
- “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged. (John 3:16-18)
- “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. (John 5: 20-23,35)
- “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. (John 10:1, 9)
- Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life. (John 8:12)
- Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies. (John 11:24)
- Jesus said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” The man answered, “Who is He, Lord that I may believe in Him?” Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.” And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped Him. And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” (John 9:35-39)
Since we know a lot about the life, character, and message of Christ through the testimony of the Bible, who is Mohammad and how does he compare to Christ? Mohammad was born about 500 A.D. in Mecca. It can be assumed that he had plenty of exposure to the claims of Christ and His message of salvation because of the reference given to Jesus as a prophet in Islam. Mohammad obviously refused to believe in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, but rather organized his own religion. The choice Mohammad made was just another example of how men through history love their lordship at the expense of their own salvation (Romans 10:9). It is the same temptation Satan fell into himself (Matthew 4:8-11).
At age 40, Mohammad left his camel business for the spiritual realm, proclaiming heavenly revelations (Koran) from Allah, a revived moon god. In addition to his efforts to build a new religion through these revelations, Mohammad also employed militarily means (Holy War, Jihad) to force his beliefs on others. He was rather ruthless at times, not unlike the terrorists we have seen in this century. For example, after defeating a Jewish settlement, he beheaded 700-1,000 of the surviving men, and sold the remaining women and children into slavery. Mohammad’s character also lacked great integrity. His greed was manifested in the large amount of accumulated loot he amassed through numerous raids on innocent towns and caravans over the years. He was noted for a quick temper and often killed debating opponents. Mohammad lacked a great deal as a family man, he boastfully established a harem of 16 wives, two slaves and four mistresses. One of his wives was only 8 years old when he took her to bed. Of course he rationalized these actions by claiming Allah’s leading and approval. He often stated, “It was the revelation and will of Allah to do so.” (Page 387, Gate Breakers Fleming)
Here are some of the basic tenets of Islam, the religion that Mohammad created.
- The Qur’an (Koran) is the holy book of Islam; it is the Muslim bible.
- Islam means submission to Allah.
- Muslims do not believe Jesus died on the cross.
- Muslims do not believe Jesus paid the penalty for man’s sins on the cross as the Bible teaches.
- Islam teaches a different resurrection of Christ, He is only a part of the general resurrection on the last day.
- Jesus is nothing more than a prophet; He is only one of many prophets who tried to persuade people about the truth of Allah.
- Jesus is not the Savior of men, nor the Son of God.
- The Islam religion is filled with rules, regulations, and rote habits. It is a religion based on righteousness by works.
- Muslims do believe in a Holy War (The Jihad), it is the 6th pillar of their faith. Most Islamic believers though do not follow the example of Mohammad in this regard.
- Many Islamic based countries do not allow the presence of Christianity to be taught in their countries. Although they regard Jesus as a prophet, they believe His followers are infidels, who will contaminate their beliefs. (Gate Breakers 378-397)
- Allah is the god of Islam; prior to Muhammad, he was a moon-god deity.
It is hard to believe that anyone would choose Mohammad over Jesus Christ, Allah over the God of the Bible, or Islam over biblical Christianity. In final comparison here are just a few last differences:
- Jesus died for all men, in order to pay for every man’s sin and return him to God via his response of repentance and belief. (2 Cor. 5:14-15). In contrast Mohammad took the lives of many through his Jihad (Holy Wars); he even murdered those who debated with him.
- Jesus loved and cared for the weak, the struggling, and the hurting. When a woman for example was being stoned for her adultery, Jesus intervened, stopped the execution, and saved her life. He then restored her broken life with His message of repentance and grace. (John 8:3-11). In contrast, Mohammad forcefully subjugated women to serve his sexual needs.
- Jesus gathered nothing for Himself, he owned nothing. In contrast, Mohammad stole from others and used his ill-gotten gains to build up a vast fortune. (Matthew 6:19, 33).
- Jesus drew people to the kingdom of God through His love and atoning sacrifice on the cross. He took the guilt of everyone’s sins (Mohammad’s included) on Himself (Romans 8:31-32). He offered everyone grace and forgiveness, and only required personal repentance and belief. (Matthew 4:17; Ephesians 2:8-9). In contrast, Mohammad set up his own system of religious do’s and don’ts. Everything he formulated for salvation fell short of bringing anyone into the kingdom of to God.
- Jesus rose from the dead to prove He was more than just a good man, great teacher, or outstanding prophet; He was who He said He was, the Son of God. (John 20:11-14). In contrast, Mohammad died and like all other men who reject Jesus’ message of salvation was judged accordingly (Rev. 20:12-15)
Word of God
Romans 10:9 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Matthew 4: 8-11 Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; 9 and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’
2 Cor. 5: 14-15 14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
John 8:3-11 3 The Scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery. They were testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 9 When they heard it, they began to go out one by one. Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go now on sin no more.
Matthew 6: 19, 33 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal. 33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Romans 8:31-32 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
John 20: 11-14 11 But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; 12 and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.
Revelation 20: 12-15 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne
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