From God's Truth to Evolving Pluralism

Christians, Muslims Gather to Build a Common Future

by Ethan Cole (Excerpts from Christian Post)

Lighthouse Trails Research - November 18, 2010

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LTRP Note: With the growing tide of spiritual deception among leading Christian figures, ministries and organizations, it is essential for believers to recognize how this deception is entering the church.


"Christian and Muslim leaders are gathered in Geneva for a high-level interfaith dialogue on how to build strong and sustainable relationships between the two groups and how the religious communities can use their resources to transform their communities.

"The four-day event titled, “Transforming Communities: Christians and Muslims Building a Common Future,” is inspired by the historic 2007 letter by 138 Muslim scholars called, “A Common Word.” [See quotes below]

Dr. Muhammad Ahmed Al-Sharif, general secretary of the World Islamic Call Society, and His Royal Highness, Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal of Jordan, the initiator of the letter, are attending the event that is being hosted at the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Center..

“The central theme of our conference affirms that dialogue is important but that we also need to address issues of common concern and act together – putting the common good at the heart of our joint initiative so as to promote ‘dialogue in action,' said the Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC, in his welcome address on Monday."

 Click here for the rest of the article.

 

Quotes from "A Common Word between Us and You"

The Testimonies of Faith

"The central creed of Islam consists of the two testimonies of faith or Shahadahsi, which state that: [1] There is no god but God, [2] Muhammad is the messenger of God. These Two Testimonies are the sine qua non of Islam. He or she who testifies to them is a Muslim; he or she who denies them is not a Muslim....

[Note: Since those two "testimonies" from the Shahadahsi are distinctly Islamic, not Christian, they do not imply "common ground." In this context, the word "God" refers to Allah, not our Biblical God. Muhammad is a messenger to Muslims, not to Christians.

A Common Word      

"...God in the Holy Qur’an confirms that the same eternal truths of the Unity of God, of the necessity for total love and devotion to God (and thus shunning false gods), and of the necessity for love of fellow human beings (and thus justice), underlie all true religion:

"And verily We have raised in every nation a messenger, (proclaiming): Worship God and shun false gods. Then some of them (there were) whom God guided, and some of them (there were) upon whom error had just hold. Do but travel in the land and see the nature of the consequence for the deniers! (Al-Nahl, 16:36)..."

[Note: Islam rejects the Triune nature of our God (the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit). Therefore Muslims have historically considered Him a false false god. That's also why Christians in Muslim territories (since the 7th century) have been viewed as infidels -- killed by the thousands for not converting to Islam or submitting to a dhimmi status.

Come to a Common Word!  

"...We thus as Muslims invite Christians to remember Jesus’s words in the Gospel (Mark 12:29-31):

"…the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these. "

As Muslims, we say to Christians that we are not against them and that Islam is not against them—so long as they do not wage war against Muslims on account of  their religion, oppress them and drive them out of their homes..." [See Persecution]

"...Muslims recognize Jesus Christ as the Messiah, not in the same way Christians do (but Christians themselves anyway have never all agreed with each other on Jesus Christ’s nature), but in the following way: '...the Messiah Jesus son of Mary is a Messenger of God and His Word which he cast unto Mary and a Spirit from Him. (Al-Nisa’, 4:171). We therefore invite Christians to consider Muslims not against and thus with them, in accordance with Jesus Christ’s words here....

"Let this common ground be the basis of all future interfaith dialogue between us, for our common ground is that on which hangs all the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 22:40). God says in the Holy Qur’an:

"Say (O Muslims): We believe in God and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered. "And if they believe in the like of that which ye believe, then are they rightly guided. But if they turn away, then are they in schism..."

[Note: True Christians cannot "come to a 'Common Word'" without compromising their faith in the Holy God of the Bible. He alone is our Lord and Shepherd, our Savior and King. Yet we must never hesitate to show His love and share His Truth with all who will listen. ]

To whom then will you liken Me,
Or to whom shall I be equal?
says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things...
By the greatness of His might and the strength of His power."

Isaiah 40:25

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