by Pastor Gordon Brubaker

Christ Meeting the World

"Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them,
for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you."

1 Timothy 4:16


Serious Study Home / Community Door / Christianity and Islam Home Page

A Study of Conflicting Beliefs

Session One - October 23, 2002
Q: “Why are you a Christian? Why are you a Muslim?”

Answers from discussion:
Why am I a Christian? 1) Culture; 2) Faith; 3) Validation of facts; 4) My own personal revelation from God.

Why would someone be a Muslim? 1) Culture; 2) Faith; 3) Fear of death or rejection.

Basic Glossary of terms to know:

Islam - "surrender" / "submission"
Muslim - "one who submits" / a follower of Islam
Hajj - "pilgrimage"
Jihad - "striving" / most often used in the Qur'an in the military sense
Qur'an - "to read" or "recitation" / believed to be an infallible transcription of God's message to Muhammed.
Sura - chapter of the Qur'an, there are 114 chapters meant to be chanted or sung as part of Islamic worship.
Hadith - the record of the Prophet Muhammed's precepts, actions, and life, which constitute his Sunna, or example. Second in authority only to the Qur'an.
Sharia - "path"

A Historical Time Line of Important Events of Judaism, Christianity and Islam was presented.

Maps of Christian and Islamic expansion were presented.


Islam reached its zenith in 1680 and has been in decline ever since. Beginning around WW I, Islam began gaining new wealth and power through oil and has sought to assert itself according to their original dream of world dominion.

A national News magazine after Sept 11, 2001, reported that before WW I Islamic nations began to model their governments after Western Society. The model they chose was pre WW I Socialistic Germany. Based on this socialistic concept the great wealth and power of the Islamic nations has been concentrated in individual families creating a new “class” of Muslims. Attempting to institute “imported and inappropriate methods that they did not fully understand, (they) were unable to cope with the rapidly developing crisis and were one by one overthrown. For vast numbers of Middle Easterners, Western-style economic methods brought poverty, Western-style political institutions brought tyranny, even Western-style warfare brought defeat. It is hardly surprising that so many were willing to listen to voices telling them that the old Islamic ways were best and that their only salvation was to throw aside the pagan innovations of the reformers and return to the True Path that God has prescribed for their people.” Bernard Lewis, “The Atlantic.”

Bernard Lewis, continues, “More than ever before it is Western capitalism and democracy that provide an authentic and attractive alternative to traditional ways of thought and life.

Fundamentalist leaders are not mistaken in seeing Western civilization the greatest challenge to the way of life that they wish to retain or restore for their people.” 

“At first the Muslim response to Western civilization was one of admiration and emulation – an immense respect for the achievements of the West, and a desire to imitate and adopt them. This desire arose from a keen and growing awareness of the weakness, poverty, and backwardness of the Islamic world as compared with the advancing West.”

“In our own time this mood of admiration and emulation has, among many Muslims, given way to one of hostility and rejection. In part this mood is surely due to a feeling of humiliation – a growing awareness, among the heirs of an old, proud, and long dominant civilization. Of having been overtaken, overborne, and overwhelmed by those whom they regard as their inferiors.”

“Ultimately, the struggle of the fundamentalists is against two enemies, secularism and modernism.


1. Christianity: everyone born in sin, thus the need of a savior, redeemer. Salvation is based upon an active faith that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, who makes us alive in Him..

Islam: everyone born a Muslim, with the Jews, Christians, and pagans subverting them by their wrong teaching and practice. Muslims do not believe a person has to be saved, except it be by becoming a Muslim through sincerely reciting the creed (Kalima) at least once in his lifetime, “There is no God but God and Muhammad is his prophet.” Islam is concerned not with “orthodoxy,” right faith, but with “orthoproxy,” or “right practice.” 

2. Islam divides the world into two parts. First is the “House of Islam,” where the Muslim law and faith prevail, and the “House of Unbelief” or “House of War,” which it is the duty of Muslims ultimately to bring to Islam by any means necessary. 

Christianity divides the world among the believing and the unbelieving. They believe that Christians are "in the world, but not of it." Christians believe that faith in Jesus Christ for salvation is an act of one's individual will and cannot be imposed by a state or ecclesiastical government. If conversions are forced they are seen as not genuine.

3. Church and State. 

Christianity has undergone extreme persecution at the hands of those in positions of power, i.e. government. Examples are Rome, the Vatican, various national governments, England, France, Germany. Thus Christians have developed the concept of a Church government and a secular government. The first government rules over the believer, the second government rules over secular matters, i.e. that which is not a matter of faith. Thus we have separation of Church and State.

Islam sees no such separation. From the very beginning Islam was expressed through the State which is seen as wielding the power to enforce the edicts of Islam. The overthrow of the Shah of Iran by Ayatolla Koimeni is one such example. President Sadat of Egypt was assassinated because his government was seen as too secular and not supporting the faith of Islam. 

4. Free will vrs. Fatalism. 

“We sent not a messenger except (to teach) in the language of his (own) people, in order to make (things) clear to them. So Allah leads astray those whom He pleases and guides whom He pleases and He is Exalted in power, full of wisdom.” (Surah 14:4)

Fatalism is a belief that events are fixed in advance for all time in such a manner that human beings are powerless to change them. 

Muhammad said: “By Allah, though I am the Apostle of Allah, yet I do not know what Allah will do to me.” (Hadith 5.266)

Muhammad questioned his own salvation, even though he was the greatest of prophets, the Apostle of Allah himself. 

“As to those who reject Faith. It is the same to them whether you warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe. Allah has set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing. And on their eyes is a veil; Great is the chastisement they [incur].” (Surah 2:6-7)

The Qur'an states clearly that Allah sets a seal on peoples hearts and hearing that they cannot believe! The Christian Bible says clearly, "But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe. lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them." 2 Corinthians 4:3-4

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17

While Allah of the Qur'an blinds the heart and hearing by his own will, the God of Christianity seeks to save the lost and to rescue them from sin and the destruction of this age.

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