"Our ultimate goal and divine mandate is not co-existence with Muslims but their conversion—as it is for all the children of men." —Fr. Lawrence Farley
Fr. Lawrence's essay is one of the most clearly written pieces on Islam and Muslims from a Christian perspective I have yet encountered, and is a welcome antidote to the deeply misleading writings of Metropolitan George Khodr of Lebanon and others who promulgate the "Same God Heresy". Met. George Khodr has written:
I am completely sure that if you are a Christian and you know a lot about Islam and love what you know, your heart will embrace the Muslims around you and if you are educated, you will hold in esteem much from their religion and openly recognize the truth that is in their religion.
Alas, there is not much truth in Islam, the Muslim religion, because Allah himself and Muhammad explicitly reject the Way, the Truth and the Life, Jesus Christ, rejecting the Divinity of Christ, denying that he was even crucified and resurrected, even claiming the New Testament was corrupted to obscure the true teachings of Islam which Jesus brought (!). The Koran repeatedly calls for jihad against Christians who do not convert to Islam or at least submit to its rule. To take but one example:
Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth [i.e. Islam] among the people of the Book [Jews and Christians], until they pay the jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. (Koran 9:29)
Rather, as Fr. Lawrence Farley makes clear, Christians are called to love all people, Muslims included, because God loves them. Christ commanded us to love our neighbor, to love even our enemies. We know that God "desires all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth." And as we know from the Gospel, the truth is not a book or a set of dogmas or teachings. Rather, the Truth is a Person, Jesus Christ. To the extent that we abide in Him, we will seek to share that Truth with others — including and perhaps especially with Muslims.
We do not love Muslims because we venerate their religion and long to find the beauty and truth in it. Rather, we love them because God loves them and we long to be like God. We love them because they are created in the image of God just like we are. We love them in spite of their false, pagan religion and its blatantly evil commands and beliefs.
And how do we show our love for Muslims? By sharing the Gospel with them, by our deeds, and by our words. May the Lord deliver them from the spiritual deception and delusion inherent in Muhammad and the Koran, and lead them into the freedom and light of Jesus Christ.
Worshipping with Muslims
by Fr. Lawrence Farley, No Other Foundation, July 8, 2016:
In the current cultural debate over Islam, we sometimes meet people who rush to defend Islam and assert that Muslims and Christians both worship the same God. Sometimes they give liturgical expression to this assertion, and participate in joint Muslim-Christian worship services, in which both the Qur’an and the Bible are read.
What are we to think of this? Can Muslims and Christians unite in worship? Is it true that they both worship the same God?
The question is deceptively complex, and since Islam post-dates the New Testament by six centuries, the New Testament cannot be expected to provide a direct answer. But the New Testament does help answer a similar question: Do pagans and Christians worship the same God? There were differences obviously, since paganism worshipped many gods and Christianity was staunchly monotheistic. But paganism did in some way dimly acknowledge that there was a supreme god of sorts, called Zeus or Jupiter (depending upon one’s geography). Could Zeus and the God of the Christians be more or less identified?
The answer (frustratingly for those who like to scream about such things on Facebook) is: Yes and No.