Perhaps the biggest criticism I ever take regarding my ministry comes from within my very own circle of “Christians” when I explain obedience to God’s law (Torah) and all of His commandments. It’s actually very simple: Jesus (of the Bible) said the following and I believe Him:
“If ye love me, keep my commandments”
You see, when I preach about obedience to His commands, I inevitably hear that I’m advocating works for salvation. “After all,” they say, “Jesus (of the Bible) did away with all that law stuff.” Well, it’s funny they think that because He would have had to do away with Himself because He was personification of the Torah and was, in fact, called “God’s Word” – there is no separation of the written and the crucified Word of God.
Nonetheless, they are trying to make a point that justification (salvation) is not of works but of blood, and, in fact, *only* by the blood of Jesus (of the Bible). I couldn’t agree more! There is NOTHING that I can do to gain my salvation. Without Him, I would be lost, period. I choose obedience because I believe it is what He wants and it makes Him happy, but if I never do another work for Him, I’m still saved (I’ll lose rewards, but I’m saved).
And then there’s the crowd that posits the god of Islam as the God of the Bible (insert laugh-out-loud track here). Taking the “love your neighbor as yourself” command (one of the very commands that they will also tell you have been nailed to the cross) and running with it at the expense of all the other commands (see Talking Point #16), this group tries to make you believe that the god of Islam is the same as the God of the Bible even against the fact that the god of Islam has rules and works for you to do in order to be “saved”. Here’s the short list:
In order for the god of Islam to grant access to his kingdom, the Muslim has to make attempt at each of the following pillars of the Islamic faith:
1. The Muslim must declare and believe the Shahada (stop mentally pronouncing the words in your head now – I don’t want you to ever repeat these words out loud or even in your mind – and certainly don’t say them three times): “There is no god but the god of Islam, and Mohammed is the messenger of the god of Islam.” This is the first thing the Muslim must do in order to gain acceptance. Without reciting this, a person is not considered to be a Muslim, and is still a kafir (an unbeliever).
2. The Muslim must observe daily prayers and attend Friday services. The Muslim will face toward Mecca and prostrate themselves and recite prayers to the god of Islam five times a day.
3. The Muslim must fast during Ramadan. Ramadan is considered a holy month to Muslims, and for the entire month, the practice is to abstain from all pleasures between sunrise and sunset. During the day, they do not eat, drink, smoke, or engage in sexual activities.
4. The Muslim must give charity alms. Muslims are required to give 1/40th (2.5%) of their wealth to the needy and less-fortunate. This was originally voluntary, but has become a religious obligation.
5. The Muslim must make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime if it is within their financial and physical capabilities. Failing to do this is considered a very serious sin, even a form of rebellion against the god of Islam.
Although those are the famous “five pillars of Islam”, many Muslims recognize jihad as a sixth pillar (those that read their Quran and know what the god of Islam demands of them). Mohammed taught salvation through martyrdom in holy war. Jihad is both a necessary and a violent act carried out against infidels to bring them under the dominion of Islam. In fact, of all the acts listed above, this is the only one that “guarantees” entry to paradise, the others being weighed against the Muslim’s bad deeds when arrives for check-in. If his good outweighs his bad, he’s admitted. If not, well, “Sorry Abdul…better luck next time”.
So, Christian, when was the last time you saw a commandment from God (of the Bible) mandating works from you? In reality, it is quite possible that the Muslim could go through all of life without becoming a martyr and have his deeds weighed to his detriment. Can that happen with a Christian? Is it possible for a Christian to lose his salvation? According to Jesus (of the Bible), no one can pluck you out of either His or His Father’s hands.
The only way to state that these two gods are the same is to believe that God (of the Bible) wrote the Bible for one group of people and then completely changed Himself into a different god and gave an opposite book to another group of people demanding totally different things. It doesn’t happen that way. The god of Islam is not the God of the Bible, and…
Jesus is NOT in the Quran!