Same God? No, but the same confusion!

Apologetic

Paper translated from the original Italian Title “Stesso Dio? No, stessa confusione” by Francesco Maggio 

incorporated by the Italian Evangelical Alliance

On the sidelines of recent affirmations of Pope Francis on Islam.

Quotes, excerpts extracted from Italian Newspaper http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1350689 December 30tieth – 2013

Muslims “together with us, adore the one and merciful God” (n.252). The quotation recently reiterated by Pope Francis in “Evangelii Gaudium” had been originally used in the Second Vatican Council (Lumen Gentium 16). The idea that Muslims and Christians worship the same God is unfortunately spreading in the evangelical environment and people are more and more fascinated about the universalism of salvation. Muslims worship toward MECCA, Christians worship the FATHER in the Spirit!  The writings on Islam of a theologian of Yale, Miroslav Volf, embrace the pope’s ideology, as other Evangelicals do, affirming to believe in different ways to worship the same God.

In the light of what the Bible says, Pope Francis’ quotation about Muslims and Christians worshiping the same God is seriously inconsistent. The Islamic faith refuses God’s nature of being three-in-one, it refuses Jesus’ and the Holy Spirit’s divinity (Koran 4:171) and it denies Jesus’ crucifixion: how is it possible to agree with such a position? The document “The Gospel and Islam: theological clarity without human hostility” (2011), promoted by the Italian Evangelical Alliance and META Onlus, with the signatures of many Italian mission agencies, states: “We reject that the God of the Bible and Allah of the Koran are the same God seen at different angles. This equation is a misrepresentation of the biblical teaching on the One and Triune God, of Jesus as true man and true God, and on the Holy Spirit as the divine Person in fellowship with the Father and the Son”. See link: http://www.alleanzaevangelica.org/attualita/evangelo_ed_islam.html

Ironically, the Koran itself keeps the distance of such a theory. “Say, o disbelievers, I do not worship what you worship. Nor are you worshippers of what I worship. Nor will I be a worshipper of what you worship. Nor will you be worshippers of what I worship. For you is your religion, and for me is my religion”. Religious syncretism is unacceptable as per the Koran itself (Koran 109:1-6; see footnote (in Italian) of following link: http://www.corano.it/corano_testo/109.htm).

But for a few exceptions, the Koran repeatedly refuses the existence of other divinities than Allah by saying “Allah is but He, the Only One” or including a warning for the reader: “turn away from those who associate others with Allah” (Koran 6:19,109; this includes Christians). See also Sura 5:72,73.
The Pope’s above mentioned affirmation shows another inconsistency when he says: “The sacred writings of Islam have retained some Christian teachings” (n. 252). This affirmation introduces a disquieting element of syncretism between the Bible and the Koran. The terminology in use correlates “sacred writings” to the Koran whereas the use of the term “Christian teachings” could generate the understanding that the beliefs of Christians are not based on biblical “sacred texts”.

Allah is the one and only god presented in the Koran, he is not the three-in-one God related in the Bible, it is not possible to try to establish a syncretism between the modus operandi of the God revealed by the Bible and Allah as per the Koran. When we contemplate the Son, the Father is also revealed to us, because the Son declares: “No one comes to (knows) the Father except through Me”. Where do all these mistakes come from? Certainly there are very good and deep reasons. Post- modernism,

Universalism and Relativism are distinguishing marks of our time where each idea is perfectly acceptable and plausible. Pope Francis has only reiterated the ecumenical and syncretistic principles established in 2007 by the University of Yale (swayed also by Miroslav Volf).
The Yale Agreement, so called “A Common Word between Us and You” has been signed by more than 300 illustrious people of Christianity and by 138 people of the world of Islam including some of its most excellent personalities. It affirms that “the future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians”.

This presumed peace is based on Islamic-imposed conditions prescribed by the Koranic Sura 3:64 to be signed-off and accepted by Christians without any discussion. It is an Islamic covenant which imposes on Christians to recognize and accept the following Koranic dogmas: firstly there is only Allah as God, secondly the Jesus of the Koran is a mere man and great prophet and thirdly Mohammed is the last prophet sent by Allah.

This covenant has been called “A Common Word between Us and You…” (Yale University)
http://faith.yale.edu/common-word/common-word-christian-response

The draft of the text “A Common Word between Us and You” has been first elaborated by Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal, then re-elaborated by the highest Islamic theological authorities and subsequently signed by 300 church leaders from all around the world and from many denominations (you find them online at the bottom of the document “A Common Word..” ) in order to find a common ground for peace based on the love for the only God (understood as Allah) and the love for our neighbor.
This Islamic open letter doesn’t make any reference to the cruel persecution inflicted on Christians by Muslims in many countries; it doesn’t blame Islam for repressing anyone who proclaims his faith in Christ in Islamic countries. On the contrary, it puts the whole responsibility for the Crusades on Christianity and accuses Christians of repressing Muslims(!). However, it is preoccupying that they have gotten 300 Christians (Evangelicals, Orthodox and Catholics), icons from all over the world, from the West and from the Middle East, to sign the document including Bible schools and respected Christian denominations around the globe.
In addition, why have the Jews been excluded from this open letter-invitation?
Pope Francis’ quotes about Islam are the result of the Yale agreement. It is true that many teachers and evangelical graduates of Islamic studies which have signed the agreement, are infiltrating both churches and mission organizations to introduce a sort of “Chrislam” methodology with the idea to combine Gospel and Islam. These people would still be called Evangelicals even though by conviction “Chrislamists”. It’s no exaggeration to affirm that this type of agreement is both useless and very dangerous for the spreading of the Gospel into the world, as the Bible says: “the way of truth will be slandered”.
The church has to keep a very watchful eye and to be ready to contrast this new theological and missiological trend that weakens the Gospel in trying to make it look more attractive. Instead of following the trend of Relativism, it is important to strongly declare the truth of the Bible. In fact, the document “Gospel and Islam” (see above) says: “We affirm the need of the Christian mission in the whole world, including the Islamic nations and populations, as response to the biblical mandate to bless the nations and to disciple them in the name of Jesus Christ (The Cape Town Commitment [2010] par. I.10). It must be done with sensitivity, humility, and a spirit of dialogue and adaptability, without however losing the distinctive traits of biblical faith, which foresee the proclamation of the Good News, the anticipation of conversions to Jesus Christ, and the beginning of a path of discipleship in the church”.

January 7 2014
Francesco Maggio
Consultant Expert Islamistic

Published as of 11/01/2014 Web “Evangelici ”http://www.evangelici.net/notizie/1389441000.html

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