Authentic Christianity vs. Syncretistic Islam/Messianic Judaism

After reading Joseph Cummings’ article entitled “Muslim Followers of Jesus?”; I was compelled to respond.  The article attempted to address the issue of whether Muslims that had converted to Christianity were in fact true Christians if they continued to observe Muslim religious practices, ie. praying prostrate, adhereing to the five pillars of Islam, etc.  The article also briefly mentioned the issue of Messianic Jews who attempt to blend (Torah)/Law and Talmudic observances with New Testament doctrine.  After reading the article I concluded that the real or underlying question was the issue of authenticity and truth. Or to put it another way, what are the motives and intents of the persons’ heart.  My approach to this subject is to simply allow the Bible to speak for itself.  God has spoken; and by a careful examination of the scriptures any question of religious practice or teaching can be answered. Never-the-less, the believer must be mature enough to digest the truth.  Isaiah 28:9,10 says (“Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.  For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:”). 

The Bible and it’s holy scriptures must be the final authority on all issues of doctrine and teaching as it is the infallible and inspired Word of God. 2 Tim. 3:16,17 says: (“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”) The believer must then apply himself/herself to the study of the scriptures in order to know the truth, become fortified to stand upon sound docrtine, and overcome ambivelence or waivering. 2 Tim 2:15 says: (“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”)

Jesus said in John 4:23,24 (“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.)  I love this scripture because it speaks to the motives of the believers heart.  If a Muslim professes Christ and he/she does it in an attempt to deceive or infiltrate the body of Christ (church) will not God know it? Let us consider I Sam 16:7 (“But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”) Read also (Isaiah 29:13 and Matthew 15:8,9).

As a matter of religious practice and doctrine there can be no compromise of Christianity with Islam or Judaism.  In Matthew 16:13-17 it reads (“When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”) This is perhaps the pinnacle of contention between Christianity and all other faiths.  It is also the place where Christians are seperated from all other faiths.  Orhodox Jews reject the biblical truth that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and deny that he is the Son of God, despite overwhelming evidence to this fact throughout the (TaNaK). 

In the epistle of 1 John 2:22,23 it says: (“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.”) In Matthew 10:32,33 Jesus says: (“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”)  Orthodox Jews also seek to reinstitute temple worship and sacrifices to atone for sins in contradiction to scripture (Isaiah 1:10-15; 53:1-10).  The scripture says in John 1:29 (“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”)

Christianity teaches that Jesus is the only way to God the father.  John 14:6 says: (“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”)   Also Acts 4:12 says (“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”) Based on these two scriptures alone, the concept of Islams’ dual approach to acknowledging Christ and observing Mohammed’s teachings is contradictory to Christian doctrine.  The scriptures also say in 2 Cor. 6:15-18 (“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”) These scriptures explicitly instruct all Chrisitians to direct all of their fidelity and commitment to worshipping Jesus Christ exclusively without contaminating themselves spiritually.

Messianic Jews are errant in their teaching by attempting to find justification through the Law rather than through Jesus Christ.  They also teach the observance of Jewish feast days, new moons, dietary restrictions, Sabbath observance, etc. Galatians 5:4 says (“Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”)  The scriptures also say in Galatians 4:9,10 (“But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?  Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.”) In this scripture the observance of the Jewish festivals and feast days by Christians is considered bondage.

Another thought that was conveyed in Joseph Cumming’s article was the issue of violence, murder, and persecutions of Christians by Muslims.  This is perhaps one of the starkest contrasts between the “True” worshippers of God and those void of the knowledge of God.  In Matthew 5:43-45 Jesus says: (“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”)

The foundation of the Gospel message and Christianity is Love!  Christians are not only instructed to love but we are commanded to Love!  We are forbidden to murder or kill in the name of God.  The scripture says in Matthew 22:37-40 (“Jesus said unto him, THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART, AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIND. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”)

Instead of arguing about and juding the authenticity of Muslim converts to Christ, why don’t we spend more time focusing on ways to stop or alleviate their persecution and suffering.  Imagine how we could impact the world if every Christian all over the world committed to following the principle of Hebrews 13:3 (“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”)