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22
Jan
2015
"The Sad Confusion of Islam"

All the chaos in France over the past two weeks is a frightening reminder of what happens when religious ideologies clash. The pluralist who casually says, “We all worship the same god, we just refer to him by different names” has never encountered an Islamic extremist with an assault rifle. Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God! Muslims worship Allah, Christians worship the Triune God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Muslims follow the Qur’an. Christians follow the Old and New Testament. Muslims believe Muhammad was the most recent prophet. Christians believe that Jesus Christ is Prophet, Priest and King and furthermore believe that Jesus Christ was/is God in flesh—the Son of God. Christians believe that Jesus really died, that He was buried, that He rose from the dead, ascended to Heaven and is coming again. Now, here is where things get tricky. Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet and a good teacher but they do not believe in His deity. So, in their estimation, Jesus was a good but misguided man. He only “thought” He was one with the Father and/or had an over-inflated view of Himself. If that was the case, as C.S. Lewis and others have pointed out, He was either a lunatic in that He thought He was God OR He was a liar because He knew He wasn’t God but said that He was. In either case, suggesting that we “follow Him” is ridiculous. It seems to me it would be better for Muslims to simply reject Jesus all together and call Him a liar and a fraud than say that He was a good man. Neither a liar nor a lunatic should be followed. Period. Of course, the other option is that Jesus Christ is Lord and Muhammad was wrong. (By the way, the same discussion could take place over Joseph Smith and Mormonism—Mormons are the Muslims of the west.) I’m not writing about this today because of Paris, I’m writing about this today because of Matthew 17. We get to return to our study of the King and His Kingdom this week and in chapter 17 the Transfiguration of Christ is recounted. This was a super-natural moment punctuated by some rather humorous moments with our man Peter. Quick to open his mouth, Peter suggested at one point that some little shelters be erected for Moses, Elijah and Jesus. That way the visitors from Heaven could stay, they could have a slumber party and a picnic. God the Father broke in and reminded the disciples, “This is My Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, HEAR HIM!” Obviously God was not trying to be subtle in His reminder. Moses and Elijah were not equals to Jesus. Everything the law and the prophets pointed to was about Christ. We would all do well to remember that Jesus Christ is Lord. He is the King of Glory. He is to be listened to above all others, Moses, Elijah, Muhammad, Joseph Smith or anybody else for that matter. The sad confusion of Islam is not limited to one world religion, confusion will reign wherever people refuse to recognize Jesus Christ for who He really is.

 
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We believe God has placed us here to glorify Him by “making disciples”of Jesus Christ.  In other words, we invite you to join us in becoming His apprentices. Our process is summarized in four descriptive words.

  • Worship:  A lifestyle of love and devotion to God.
  • Connect:  A lifestyle of love and commitment to others.
  • Grow:       A lifestyle that is producing the likeness of Jesus Christ.
  • Serve:      A lifestyle of service for Christ within the body and in our community.