Where you and Islam meet, October 28th 2018

Where you and Islam meet, October 28th 2018

‘Where you and Islam meet’, October 28th 2018.

Last Sunday of Trinity.

Passages – Genesis 16; John 1:1-14.


This sermon was the second of two in the month of October. The intention was to help equip our members in their day to day witness as Christians and help them in the questions and discussions which take place with those who do not profess to be Christians. This sermon was focused upon our conversations with our Muslim neighbours, friends and work colleagues.


Opening Prayer: Father, may our talk today be full of your will and a blessing to our walk.  In Christ’s name we pray – Amen.

Salaam Alaykum!  It is what we all say to each other each Sunday: “Peace be with you!”  and it’s response: wa alaykum assalaam – “And peace be with you”.  This is how I know most Muslim Arabs.  So, as Paul writes, Col. 4:6 “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” But Jesus said we should also be: “gentle as doves/wise as serpents”.

But, is Islam a religion of peace?  How many Muslims have radical beliefs?  Because this is where terrorists find their financial and moral support.  What is a “radical belief”?

Pew Research: 16 million Muslims – bombings are justified

8% – of US Muslims support ISIS and 100m+ worldwide

60%+ – want Sharia Law – but what does that mean?:

  • Men and Women associating with each other
  • Wearing Western Clothing
  • No Homosexuals – from caning to death penalty
  • Gambling – even with marbles or dominoes
  • No Democracy or Capitalism
  • It makes women 2nd class believers
  • Those who leave Islam should be killed
  • 60% of Muslims want Sharia for themselves & for you

While these Muslims might not be aggressive toward their non-Muslim neighbors, they do support positions that are radically opposed to Western/Christian values.

But can we speak to Muslims about this?  No, not really.

Our Muslim friends and neighbors are not really able to engage in open debate.  They are unable to hear feedback… which you might consider to be a good old Christian tradition, as well, but for different reasons.

Ask a Muslim: “How do you get to Paradise?”  A: Your good deeds must outweigh your bad deeds.

Q: How do you know if your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds?  A: Inshallah

The Koran actually forbids any doubt.                                    …..Doubt = Sin = Exclusion from Paradise…..

Do not underestimate the danger a Muslim may feel by having an “Open” Dutch-type dialogue about religion.  Islam is not a private conviction, but a way of life that encompasses personal life, military, politics, family, – it works as an integrated system.

So, what is my advice for answering Muslims?:

  • Ask Muslims open questions from a position of love
  • Know a little bit about the Koran’s structure
  • Know the truth about your own Christian faith


1.Ask Muslims Open questions from a position of love

Ask Muslims Open questions from a position of Love: Jesus with the Samaritan woman (John 4) – he questioned her from a position of love.

Encourage Muslims to show you chapter and verse when they make claims… and keep asking questions.  Wherever you go in the Koran, you will eventually exhaust reasonable arguments.

Most claims Muslims will make are about:

  • The perfection and original state of the Koran
  • The Christian polytheism
  • Mohammed being mentioned in the OT & NT
  • The miracles of Mohammed
  • The absence of contradictions in the Koran
  • The scientific predictions of Mohammed
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZjKikybmrE

Allow your Muslim friend to look these up himself and ask questions about how plausible he thinks each of these statements are.

For example: He may find the ‘scientific’ story of Alexander the Great (Dhul-Qarnayn) discovering that the Sun sets in a muddy pool to be a hard verse to swallow (Surah 18:86).

Questions not Statements


2.Know a little bit about the Koran’s structure

Know a little about the Koran’s structure, as Paul was keenly aware of the writings and myths of the Gentile cultures he engaged with, (for example see his approach in Acts 17, v16-end):

  • Koran, Hadith, and Sharia
    1. Koran is from Allah by way of Gabriel
    2. Hadith are something like the epistles
    3. Sharia is derivative of the Koran & Hadith
    4. Koran’s chapters are not in chronological order
  • Phases of Mohammed’s revelations
    1. First third: peaceful (Mecca)
    2. Second third: defensive (Mecca/Medina)
    3. Final third: aggressive (Medina)
    4. Each phases’ revelations from Allah cancel out any earlier verses that might form a contradiction (abrogation).

For example: Surah 2:256 “There shall be no compulsion in [the acceptance of] religion…” was substituted by:

  1. 3:32 – Allah doesn’t love unbelievers
  2. 48:29 – be severe to unbelievers
  3. 5:33 – slaughter/crucify those who resist
  4. 9:29 – fight Jews & Christians and make them pay the Muslim tax
  5. 9:111 – Muslims should be ready to kill and be killed
  6. 47:35 – Muslims don’t cry for peace, they should be uppermost

Many Muslims refer to scripture that was later abrogated in order to paint Islam as peaceful and tolerant.  Again, just keep asking questions to them to help them discover truth.

3.Know the truth about your own Christian faith

Finally, know the truth about Christianity and declare boldly and in the right moment that Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. In the days of the gospels and letters, Christianity when it was growing, was growing inside a pluralistic world of many beliefs. Each letter, book, gospel, was written to believers who faced challenges from work, neighbours, about the claims of other religions. Yet these missionaries, apostles, disciples, felt confident and proclaimed that Christ was the Way, Truth and Life. They knew their faith:

  • Know why scripture is reliable
  • Know that Mohammed does not appear in the Bible
    • Song of Solomon – 5:16
    • He is altogether lovely = makh-mawd’
  • Know that Mary is not part of the Trinity
  • Know the story of Ishmael and Isaac and why Isaac is the true ‘first born’.
    • Isaac and Ishmael are radically different ways of relating to God. Ishmael represents a similar attempt to Adam to fix God’s plans; Isaac is God delivering on His promises in the fullness of His own time.  Similarly, Islam is a point system and the burden of “self purification” is up to you; in our faith, we are accepted fully while still in our fallen state.  Is your sacrifice enough or is what our Communion celebration represents enough?

So, what is my advice for answering Muslims?:

  • Ask Muslims open questions from a position of love
  • Know a little bit about the Koran’s structure
  • Know the truth about your own Christian faith

I will be in the schuurtje afterwards to answer any questions you have about Islam.

Let us pray:


the Prodigal Son’s father did not wait in impatience & fury as his rash and foolhardy son returned.  When the lost son made even the slightest effort to humble himself and return, the father hitched up his robe and bounded across the uneven fields to embrace him, and welcome him, and restore to him all a son of the father should have.

Lord, you, too, are ready to meet us where we are; you are ready to embrace us in all your love.  Let us be witnesses to this love; let us be examples of this love – to one another, to those who do not know you, and to our Muslim neighbors; so that the sincere of heart may find your peace that passes understanding.

We ask these things in the name of Christ.  Amen.


Peter Gillies