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Chrislam and Religious Syncretism

Mar 1, 2011

I have written before about the new development known as Chrislam in which some misguided Christians believe they can somehow combine the two religions (Christianity and Islam) and still have something recognisable as the Christian faith. Sorry, but it can’t happen.

As I have demonstrated, such attempts are all one-way traffic. Muslims are happy to use such versions of religious syncretism to gain entry into Christian circles, but it just results in the creation of more dhimmitude – Christians becoming second-class citizens.

Islam always wins in such attempts, while Christianity always loses. The truth is, the two religions are fully incompatible. They may seem to be similar (both are world religions, both have Abrahamic origins, both are monotheistic, etc) but the differences are far greater.

By way of analogy, the uninformed motorists might think gas and oil are all rather similar, and can therefore be used interchangeably. After all, both are liquids, both are products from the ground, and both are used in cars. But just try using half gas and half oil in the fuel tank or oil tank, and disastrous results will follow.

Yet some quite foolish Christians think they can blend their faith with that of Islam and still remain intact, effective, and biblical. Sorry, but it just does not – indeed, cannot – happen. But increasingly Christians are going down this path. Some years ago now I saw a TV documentary about some churches in London sharing their premises with Muslims.

They seemed to think that a church and mosque could coexist in the same premises, and that Christianity and Islam could coexist as a faith system. But all that happens is the Christian faith gets watered down while Islam continues to thrive.

More recently in the US some churches have been sharing services with Muslims. Here is how a recent news outlet carried this story: “They see it as their Christian duty. But others disagree, saying it extends the hand of fellowship where it was never intended to go. Two Protestant churches are taking some heat from critics for opening their church buildings to Muslims needing places to worship because their own facilities were either too small, or under construction.

“Heartsong Church in Cordova, Tenn., let members of the Memphis Islamic Center hold Ramadan prayers there last September. And Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Va., allows the Islamic Circle of North America to hold regular Friday prayers in their building while their new mosque is being built. Diane Bechtol of Aldersgate says this is something Christians are called to do: Be neighborly and develop relationships – even those who don’t share your beliefs.”

Plenty of questions arise here. First and foremost is this: If Christians needed a place to worship in say, Saudi Arabia, would the local Muslim mosque be happy to open its doors to them? Of course not. Christians must either submit to Allah and renounce their false beliefs, or live as dhimmis there.

It is always one-way traffic in any Muslim-Christian interfaith venture. They gain while Christians lose. And if these churches are into “relationships” and open-door policies, will they allow a coven of witches to do their thing in the churches?

Will they allow cults free reign in their sanctuaries as they denounce the very core teachings of Christian faith? And if building bridges is the aim, why not allow atheists in to conduct their meetings, or secular humanists, or any other group for that matter? After all, we want to show just how tolerant and friendly we Christians are.

Melbourne-based expert on Islam Mark Durie offers some words of warning about all this: “A prominent element in Islamic daily prayers is the recitation of Al-Fatihah (the Opening), the first chapter of the Koran. Often described as a blessing, Al-Fatihah has a sting in its tail. After introductory praises, the final sentence of Al-Fatihah is a request for guidance ‘in the straight path’ of Allah’s blessed ones, not the path ‘of those against whom You are wrathful, nor of those who are astray.’

“Who are the ones who are said to be under Allah’s wrath or to have gone astray from his straight path? According to the revered commentator Ibn Kathir, Muhammad himself gave the answer: ‘Those who have earned the anger are the Jews, and those who are led astray are the Christians.’

“Al-Fatihah is as central to Islamic devotion as the Lord’s Prayer is to Christians: It is recited at least 17 times a day as part of daily Muslim prayers. Yet according to Muhammad himself, this prayer, which is on the lips of every pious Muslim day and night, castigates Christians as misguided and Jews as objects of Allah’s wrath.”

And while Muslims may look up to Jesus as a prophet, they regard it as blasphemous to view him as God’s son and the saviour of the world. As Durie remarks, “Certainly there are some similarities between Isa of the Koran and Jesus of the Gospels. The Koran calls Jesus ‘al-Masih’ – the Messiah – and both figures are said to have been born of a virgin, to have performed miracles of healing and to have raised the dead. Yet here the similarities end. Isa of the Koran was not crucified and did not die but was raised up by Allah (Sura 4:157-158).

“It is in Muhammad’s vision of the end times that the role of the Muslim Jesus comes into sharp focus. Muhammad taught that when Isa returns, he ‘will fight for the cause of Islam. He will break the cross, kill pigs, and abolish the poll tax. Allah will destroy all religions except Islam’ (Sunan Abu Dawud 27:4310).

“What does this saying mean? The cross is a symbol of Christianity. Breaking the cross means abolishing Christianity. According to Islamic law, the poll tax, or jizya, buys protection of the lives and property of Christians (and Jews). Abolishing this tax will mean that jihad will be restarted against Christians and no more protection shall be afforded to those who do not submit to Islam.”

Bringing a false religion like Islam into the Christian churches is really the beginning of the end of those Christian houses of worship. Sure, Christians can invite a Muslim – or any other non-Christian – into a Christian service to point them to Jesus the saviour, and to expose them to the truth claims of the biblical gospel.

Effectively signing your own death warrant by foolishly seeking for some sort of theological equivalence here is not the way to go. We help no one with that approach. It simply undermines the Christian faith and does an injustice to our Muslim neighbour who desperately needs to be set free from the bondage of Islam and released into the freedom of the gospel of Christ.

As Durie concludes: “Churches should not welcome into their buildings the veneration of Isa the Islamic Jesus, who, as a true Muslim, is intended to bring about the final, violent destruction of Christianity. By all means, let Christians show kindness to their Muslim neighbors, but the sentiments embedded in Islamic daily prayers, which curse Jews as the target of Allah’s wrath and Christians for going astray, can have no place in a Christian church – even if recited in the cadences of classical Arabic.”

This unenlightened religious syncretism by some Christians may be just another sign of last days madness in which the church of Jesus Christ which is supposed to be heralding the great news of the gospel is instead becoming bound in false beliefs, false practices, and above all, a false understanding of what Christian compassion and tolerance is all about.

www.foxnews.com/us/2011/02/18/churches-open-doors-muslim-worship/
www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/feb/23/stop-opening-churches-to-muslims/

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20 Responses to Chrislam and Religious Syncretism

  • Last year when I expressed my dismay that an Australian politician had been sworn in to parliament on the Koran, a church friend berated me for supposedly decrying ‘religious freedom’. I asked him if he would have a problem if the politician had been sworn in on ‘The Satanic Bible’. Not only was he wilfully ignorant of the militant opposition intrinsic in Islam to those freedoms he was upholding, he utterly refused to acknowledge that those freedoms only exist due to the strong Christian influence in the foundation (ie. Constitution) of Australia. He was incapable of seeing it was ludicrous to defend a belief system that would immediately dismantle those freedoms if it had the power. Unbelievably, another Christian joined in against me. It was depressing to argue with people who claimed to be followers of Christ, but yet were just sanctimoniously parroting the mindless narrative of the godless fact-ignoring historical-revisionist left. They refused to consider the evidence I put before them, failed to see the flaws in their own arguments and childishly called me names.

    ‘Chrislam’ is altogether too similar to Tashlan. C.S. Lewis had the major elements of this scenario worked out decades ago in The Last Battle. (It’s funny how a children’s book can shine such a bright light on aspects of man’s nature.) I wish those who claim to love Jesus were more interested in his glory than coddling up to this world’s false standards. They always seem to forget that the New Testament makes it clear we will be hated just as Jesus was. We live in a world that despises Christ, even as it benefits from his work directly and indirectly in these last days of God’s grace.

    I urge those who want to remain true to keep any disagreement you have with people on this focused on the stark differences between Jesus and Muhammed. And if nothing else, remember this – one is alive forever because he defeated death, the other is dead and incapable of offering hope. Who would you rather follow?

    Jesus is looking for a pure bride – I pray as the heat gets turned up, I can be counted amongst those who love him more than anything else. How about you?

    Mark Rabich

  • Thanks Mark

    Yes quite right. The passage that always comes to my mind here is Isaiah 42:8:
    “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.”

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thank you for affirming what has always been in my heart and giving it the name Chrislam. Your example is excellent and The Last Battle by C S Lewis says it all.
    Many years ago our GFS group of primary aged girls met together with the local Girl Guides, we held hands in unity, and opened in prayer to our Heavenly Father. The Girl Guides prayed to all gods naming the spirit of fire etc etc. As the leader was a Christian friend I was stunned into silence. My young helper however was incensed and swung into action calling our girls to one side to explain the ramifications of what had just happened. My point, this was some 30 years ago, did a type of Chrislam begin as we watered down our faith by accepting all and sundry?
    Judi Stockini

  • Very good article there Bill;
    When I began reading it, I intended to use a motoring analogy as well, different from yours, about mixing petrol and water, but you beat me to it. I often wonder about so-called Christians, who have a naive attitude towards our enemies. After all in any comparison between two different groups, you can’t, for example, remain impartial as between a fire brigade and a firebug and still be considered intelligent. What do these Christian surrender merchants think they will achieve by “crawling” (there is no other word for it) to active Muslims? They will confirm for the Muslim that they, the Christians are weak. Muslims despise weakness in their enemies, but have a healthy respect for strength in opponents and will back off as they did with President Reagan. To them Barack Obama would be a joke.
    Frank Bellet, Petrie Qld

  • There is a parallel here between homosexuals occupying the territory of marriage (Paul describes our bodies as the temple of Christ) and Muslims occupying Christian or Jewish temples. They move in, not because they want such territory but in order to destroy it. Both Hagia Sophia and the Temple in Jerusalem have no real significance for Muslims. Mecca is their Holy place and access is denied to the infidel.
    http://www.danielpipes.org/84/the-muslim-claim-to-jerusalem

    Billy Graham’s son, Franklin put it well: “The goal of Islam is world domination. That’s the goal. Wherever you plant a mosque, the people who attend the mosque walk to that mosque. They have to be able to get there by foot. The entire area they walk by foot they claim is Islamic territory. They will claim now that the World Trade Center property [and] everything within that area is now Islamic land, just like they claimed Israel as Islamic land. Saudi Arabia — Christians and Jews lived there hundreds of years before Islam, thousands of years. And there’s not a Christian left, there is not a Jew left. They have all been destroyed.”
    http://www.islamophobiatoday.com/2010/11/30/most-religious-leaders-except-franklin-graham-support-park-51-mosque/

    So when the local Scout group in some Aussie, country town, kindly lends their scout hut to Muslims for Friday prayers, as a gesture of folksy multiculturalism, they have effectively handed that building over to Islam.

    David Skinner, UK

  • Thanks Judi, Frank and David

    You are all quite right. Well said one and all.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • The bible clearly states there will be a falling away and even the very elect (The pasters, the clergy and teachers) will be tempted therefore the time will be short.
    The British tried every whichway they could to appease Hitler and despite his signature on several letters of supposed peace he ignored all commitments. You cannot appease the devil. Yes he will beguile you and that is his sole intention. He tried it with Jesus (“all these kingdoms of the world will be yours if you will bow down to me”). So make no mistake he will try it with us. Hold fast to what you have and be ready for his coming.

    Dennis Newland

  • Just out of curiosity, have you forwarded these comments onto the churches at the centre of this attempted religious fusion, so that they be made aware that what they are doing is seriously misguided? Not to mention the subjugation of our faith, to one that is not focused on Jesus, or his love?
    Anthony Houareau

  • Thanks Anthony

    I would like to think, hopefully, that Christians nearer to the action (in the US) would have done that very thing. And Durie’s piece did appear in an American newspaper, so hopefully the churches in question are getting the message, loud and clear.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Folks, take care not to stretch the Tashlan analogy too far – remember the rest of what Lewis wrote there in The Last Battle.

    Lewis clearly portrayed “Tashlan” as a god of syncretism, and as such decried the practice, already prevalent in his time.

    But he also had dialogue which could be interpreted as allowing that devil worship in erroneous but “honest sincerity” was still valid worship of Aslan.

    This is difficult territory theologically and scripturally, I think, and not necessarily helpful for this article.

    John Angelico

  • Although the Bible shares similar features on the teachings of Islam, such as monotheism, ancestry to Abraham (but to his son Ishmael rather than Isaac) and to similar prophets. Despite these significant similarities, the teachings of the Qur’an are strikingly different to the bible. Followers of Islam believe in the Qur’an as the infallible and undeniable word of Allah as revealed through the prophet Muhammad. Any literature that contradicts the Qur’an is considered fallible.

    Bill I’m not sure if you’ve coined the term “Chrislam” but you’re absolutely right, it is impossible and foremost un-biblical to combine interfaith – Islam will never permit it and Christianity should never allow it. If Christians are foolish enough to hand the keys over to the opposition, then those Christians are in for a theological and spiritual train wreck… just like David Skinner said “they have effectively handed that building over to Islam”.

    Apostle Paul reiterated time and again, over the concerns of false and heretical teachings. Paul vehemently prayed and desired for the church to be filled with the Spirit of wisdom, knowledge, hope, revelation, enlightenment and power – all under the supreme and headship of Christ whose body the church is (Eph. 1:15-23). If the church cannot discern the difference between the teachings of Jesus and the teachings of Muhammad, then sadly, the church will suffer the consequences.

    Panage Kontos

  • One has to wonder if the so called churches that are doing this are in fact churches as we understand them. More and more churches are turning into a social religous organisation that is there for their own benefit. That is not the church of the New Testament.
    Roger Marks

  • CS Lewis is not God and what he wrote didn’t claim to be inspired as the Bible but his point was that we cannot mix Christian belief with other belief and maintain our integrity. However I think he hoped that may be for those who longed to know God and never heard might be received.
    I guess we all hope that might be right as we don’t like to have blood on our hands.(Ezekiel 3). Most of us have failed many times to warn though maybe much of present company can be excluded. And I tread warily amongst so many theologians.
    Katherine Fishley

  • The Bible says that in the last days, before Christ returns … there would be a one world religion … as well as a one world government … looks like we’re headed that way. Needless to say … I won’t be going that way. I’ll stay with the Christian belief only…..
    Linda McLemore

  • Read “Satanic Verses” by Salman Rushdie. Pres. Obama calls Islam a heavenly religion! It certainly is not. Thanks for this eye opener.
    Francois Voges

  • Amen!!! I don’t even understand how these Christian leaders were led into this evil blaspheme called Chrislam? As you said Jesus our Jesus is the truth!!! It is refreshing to read an article like this and still see that there are strong Christians out there. Praise Him always!!!
    Jeff Bizzle

  • Treason and Heresy are not two of my favorite subjects unless Justice and Judgement follow.
    Jeffrey Lee Griffy

  • The misguided souls, the Chrislam followers are surely not aware that there are two versions of the Quran — one version contains a seemingly very peaceful message for the dhimmis and newly converts, while the original Muslim version contains entirely different messages: the ravings of a deranged Mohammed.
    Also, the Muslim clerics clearly state that it is written that lying to dhimmis is allowed in order to persuade them to convert to Islam.
    I think that a person who is willing to make peace with a religion based on lies and that states that it loves death as much as the dhimmies love life, is totally blind, gullible, naive…
    May God help us all…
    Miriam Careaga

  • Religious SYNCRETISM has existed way back in places like Corinth when the Apostle Paul preached the gospel. There is NO compromise between Christian Biblical doctrines and what the Muslim religion teaches. We are, simply put, NOT the same!!!! This will never happen.
    Samuel B. Pratt

  • Greedy and selfish politicians are responsible for this terrible confusion and heresy going on today among people. The fact that the word of God is not rooted in the hearts of many so-called Christian, this confusion will continue. The truth is that even some that are called pastors today are on the lead just because of fear of persecution and love of money. Biblical Christianity can never be the same with Islam I know.

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