Because there are between five to seven million Muslims living in America, it is important to understand Islam. Islam should not be reduced to simplicity as a violent religion, and dismissed. While Islam obviously promotes violence, not all Muslim embrace that facet of the religion. Supporters of Islam would point out that it has a rich tradition in its cultural and intellectual history. The Muslim world has produced many philosophers and scientist throughout its existence. Islam is to be taken seriously, as a serious systematic faith, though it challenges the Christian faith. Islam is a challenge to the Christian faith because it has so many disturbing facets.
Muslims oppress women, and assault them with female genetalia mutilation, honor killings, and gang rapes. Women are forced to wear burkas, or be stoned to death for immodesty.
Muslims are not viewed as joyful people. Law and tradition dictate their culture to a point that laughter is taken seriously. No one is allowed to say anything humorous about sex, religion, or politics.
Muslims express antipathy towards art. They do not hesitate to destroy ancient images they disapprove of.
Muslims agitate for an Armageddon, as they await their Twelfth Iman.
Muslims behead people for being homosexual, or an Infidel. An Infidel is a person who does not believe in the god Allah, or that Mohammed is his prophet. Muslims kill homosexuals, and Infidels, by throwing them off roof tops, or drowning them in cages.
Muslims insist on conformity under penalty of death. The very word Islam, means, “to submit.” The harshness of Islam is appalling to Christians. There is little love.
There are four main contentions between the faith of Islam and Christianity.
First, Islam challenges the Christian faith about its view of God. Under Islam, the Fatherhood of God is rejected. There is no intimacy with God to a Muslim. Under Islam, the Trinity is vehemently opposed. For fourteen hundred years, Muslims have insisted that there is one God, and that Christians have been misled by teaching that Jesus is part of the Trinity.
Second, Islam challenges the Christian faith about its view of Man. Under Islam, the Doctrine of the Total Depravity of Man is rejected. The Christian faith teaches that man is born in sin. “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psalms 51:5) The vast majority of people believe that individuals are born basically good. While some people may do wrong, the innate goodness of a person is preferred to the idea of that every facet of the soul has been touched by sin, the will, the emotions, and the intellect. The Muslim is part of this vast majority.
Third, under Islam, the Doctrine of Salvation by grace through faith alone in the substitutionary work of Christ, is rejected. Muslims reject the idea that because of the death of Christ on the Cross there is any hope of salvation through a Divine imputation of the righteousness of Christ to believer, and the imputation of sin to the Saviour. The Muslim believes that every person is responsible for their own actions, and therefore for their own salvation. Nobody else can pay for the personal sins of another. Islam challenges the Christian faith about its view of Christ. Under Islam, the death by crucifixion of Christ on the Cross is rejected. Under Islam, the deity of Christ is rejected. A Muslim will insist that Jesus never claimed to be divine. In contrast, the Jews understood the claims of Christ to be equal with God, and took up stones to kill Him for saying such a thing.
“Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. 25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and my Father are one. 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” (John 10:24-33)
In contrast to Jews and Muslims, Christians affirm the divinity of Christ because of what Jesus said about Himself, and because of the teaching of the Bible as a whole which is believed to be inspired. Therefore, Christians believe that, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word WAS God. …..And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:1, 13)
Fourth, Islam challenges the Christian faith about its view of the Bible. Under Islam, Muslims reject the authenticity of the Bible. Under Islam, Muslims reject the authority of the Bible to embrace the Koran. The theological challenges that come from the Muslim community also come from other groups as well which helps to explain why Muslims can easily reject Christianity. The matter is compounded when Christian writers, and theologians, also question the basic tenants of the faith. For example, the Doctrine of the Trinity was attacked by Immanuel Kant when he said that the doctrine of the trinity provides nothing of practical value. Thomas Jefferson wrote, “When we shall have done away the incomprehensible jargon of the Trinitarian arithmetic, that three are one, and one is three; when we shall have knocked down the artificial scaffolding, reared to mask from view the simple structure of Jesus; when, in short, we shall have unlearned everything which has been taught since His day, and got back to the pure and simple doctrines He inculcated, we shall then be truly and worthily His disciples; and my opinion is that if nothing had ever been added to what flowed purely from His lips, the whole world would at this day have been Christian.” The Christian writer, Dorothy Sawyer (1893 – 1957) quipped, “The Father is incomprehensible, the Son is incomprehensible, the whole thing is inscrutable.”
The secular consensus seems to be that the doctrine of the Trinity is something put in by theologians to make God more difficult to understand, and it has nothing to do with daily life. The Muslim community would concur with this conclusion.
The historic Christian position is that while the Trinity is indeed incomprehensible, and to study it might cause a person to lose their concentration, to deny the doctrine of the Trinity is to lose one’s soul.
The growth of Islam has a great appeal to people in every nation, because it presents itself a simple and rational religion. Muslims believe that Islam is a viable alternative to the Christian religion that is filled with mysteries, and concepts that are incomprehensible based on faith.
Many Christians do not even understand the basis of their own faith and so cannot answer any challenges to it. The Muslims take advantage of this fact, and exploit it to teach that Islam is a simple religion that even a child can understand. The Crescent is a great challenge to the Cross.