About Jesus     Steve Sweetman

Home Page

Islam And Christianity


In response to an article I wrote, I received an email from my friend Jay Comfort.  I met Jay while in Bible college in the mid 1970's.  He now lives in Switzerland where he proclaims the truth of Jesus to the Muslim community.


Jay wrote.  "Islam encompasses the whole of society. Islam is a religious, political, economic, military, and cultural way of life.  It never intends to accept other's way of doing things in societies in which its numbers have begun to lean toward the majority. In the past, it pushed its way into societies in military ways so as to insure the numerical odds were in their favor. 

As Christians, I do not feel we are able to accept multicultural societies, as those who come to Christ must follow a new way of life and that may mean rejecting all that we have become for the new more radical world view of Jesus.  Culture implies a standard of living that is based on a particular worldview of human standards; in a particular tradition influenced by geography and social organization that is cultivated by men. Christ came to change the standard".


I agree with Jay, and He is one who speaks from personal experience. The Bible teaches Christians to love everyone, whether Muslim, atheist, or whoever.  Anything we say or do in relation to people of other religions should not be based on bias or prejudice, but on what the Bible says.  We are to love as Jesus loves.  That means we do not compromise the truth of Scripture, because love demands the truth.  


Jay rightly points out that Muslims have, and do, spread their religion through military force, as well as through,  immigration, social, political, and economic domination.  Islam sees itself as a theocracy that penetrates all aspects of social life in a nation.  There is no separation between religion and state, as there is, or should be, in Christianity.  Our allegiance as Christians is first to the Kingdom of God, not to the kingdoms of men.  Christians should make a clear distinction between the Kingdom of God and the  kingdoms of men.  The Kingdom of God has no resemblance to the kingdoms of men, and cannot be united with them.  I admit that some Christians over the centuries have attempted to either Christianize their nation, or create a Christian nation.  This is not Biblical.  Besides, that's not our responsibility.  Jesus alone will make the kingdoms of men His kingdoms at the end of this age.       


In Matthew 28:18 Jesus said, "all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me, therefore go and make disciples of all nations…"   Note that Jesus is the final authority over all things.  Based on His authority, He has commanded us to disciple those in every nation.  How are we to do this?  Should we follow the Islamic example? 


Did the first followers of  Jesus use military force to disciple nations?  No.  Jesus specifically said that His Kingdom was not of this world so His disciples would not fight to expand it. (John 18:36)  Did the first disciples try to influence the economic and social life of Rome by participating in government affairs?  No.  Did they try to turn the Roman Empire into a Christian state?  No, although two centuries later Emperor Constantine did just that.  The Christianization of the Roman Empire was a disaster.  The church is still suffering from that decision.  The first century Christians attempted to Christianize, or disciple, individual people by simply preaching and teaching the gospel of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. 


If anyone could have entered the sphere of Roman political life, it would have been the apostle Paul.  He had the intellect, the education, the Roman citizenship, and the drive to do so.  Paul obeyed the call of Jesus to preach the gospel, which he admitted was foolish in the eyes of the kingdoms of men. (1 Corinthians 1:17, 18, 21, 23, 25) 


The New Testament does not teach us to Christianize a nation.  It also doesn't teach us to separate ourselves from the rest of the world and create our own Christian society.  As God the Father sent Jesus into the world, so Jesus sends us into the world. (John 20:21)  The Bible teaches us to go into the world, preach, teach, and disciple people from every nation in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  That's one difference between Islam and Christianity. 


I see no problem with Christians entering the world of politics or any form of social activism.  That being said, we don't base such involvement on any specific Biblical mandate.  We base such involvement on the fact that many of us at the present time live in nations that allow us to be so involved.  Attempting to change a nation through the political or social process should be seen as secondary to proclaiming the gospel of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit.  A nation is truly change when the hearts of its people are changed.  I'm sure Jonathan Edwards and other great revivalists of the 18th and 19th  century would agree.  It wasn't government legislation, and it certainly wasn't Mohamed, who brought men out of the bar rooms and prostitute parlors of America in the revivals of the 17 and 18th century.  It was the Jesus Lord Jesus Christ and the preaching of men such as Jonathan Edwards.  Again, this is where Christianity differs from orthodox Islam.  


Home Page