There are Three Vital Misconceptions in Islam
1. The Misconception of the Nature of God
God's judgment at the end of time essentially reflects His nature and character, if one is permitted to attempt to use these words in relation to God.
If He is righteous and holy, as we believe He is, because He says this of Himself, how can He overlook sin and choose to live eternally with sinners?
2. The Misconception of the Nature of Man
God's judgment at the end of time equally reflects His view of us and sin. He has a real and deep concern for us individually. He is not untouched by our weaknesses! (Hebr. 4:15). He is not removed from man, being the absolute Sovereign, but does condescend to us in love.
But man, in his fallen state, lives in enmity with God.
"Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God."
"You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred towards God? Anyone who chooses to be a friends of the world becomes an enemy of God."
"The sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want."
3. The Misconception of the Nature of Sin
Committing "Shirk" (adding a partner to Allah) and "Kufr" (unbelief) are serious sins. All other sins are viewed as a mistake, a fault, a failure which can and will be rectified by a limited punishment in hell for a season, until they are paid for. By virtue of an offender's faith in Allah, (this is seen as belief in the existence of Allah) Allah is expected to exercise his grace and mercy and save the sinner from eternal doom. This way sin is minimised, it becomes somewhat harmless and man becomes able to deal with it, he can 'pay' for it.
According to the Bible, man cannot solve the problem of sin himself, and when a commandment is being broken this results in God's eternal rejection, because His holy nature and man's sinfulness just don't fit together. (Please study 2. Pet. 1:4; 1. Pet. 1:15; 1. Cor. 1:2; 2. Cor. 6:16; Eph. 1:4; 2. Pet. 3:11; 1. Thess. 4:3+7; 2. Tim. 1:9; Hebr. 10:10; Col. 1:22).
The Biblical teaching is clear: Man in his fallen nature cannot help but sin.
We are not sinners because we sin. We sin because we are sinners.
While God loves even the sinner, He utterly rejects sin. Since sin produces spiritual death (Eph. 2:1-3), it utterly and eternally separates the sinner from God. Unless God does something to rescue man, he has no hope. But God, in His love for us, made a plan to deal with sin. He Himself, in Christ, suffered the punishment for our sins on the cross. He died in our stead. He became 'the Lamb of God which carries away the sin of the world' (John 1:29). (Read Eph. 2:4-9; Isa. 53 and 1. Pet. 2:24; 3:18).
(In Volume III of these textbooks [Practical and Tactical Approach] we will look at this topic in more detail.)
Final Evaluation of the System of Islam
Considering what we have studied, we have a threefold choice:
- We act as if these things had no impact and influence on a Muslim.
- We refuse to take this knowledge into account, reasoning that since this may influence us negatively against Islam and creates a hostile image of it in us, this might be reflected in our witness to Muslims. ("How can we be negative and condemn Islam as anti-Christian, unmask its flaws and, at the same time, love Muslims?")
- We recognize all these facts (however ignorant a Muslim may be of these). Trying to get an in-depth comprehension and understanding of this anti-Christian system, we may use our knowledge of Islam to rescue unaware Muslims out of this enticing and terrifying system. After all, every one of its adherents faces a lost eternity.
Risking to repeat ourselves, we would like to express our deep conviction that unless the Lord has prepared a person in a special way (and that does happen again and again!), a Muslim is not at all likely to respond to the Gospel, or even remotely consider it as an alternative to his religion. He is so brain-washed and captivated by fear and possibly by occult bondage, that he will not consider any change until he realises what the true content and background of his religion is.
We reject the idea that one cannot love Muslims while rejecting Islam as an anti-Christian religion.
This whole topic is of a highly explosive as well as sensitive nature. It may well be abused as welcome ammunition "to gun down" our "opponents". This would be highly unspiritual, carnal and totally contrary to our intention and purpose. While abuse cannot be ruled out, we cannot overlook the advantages which the use of this knowledge and the sensitive and spiritual use of its content present.
A deep-level understanding of the subtle, false and possessive nature of Islam gives us a chance to make a Muslim at the right occasion and at the right time aware of his position before God. While positively presenting a true impression of Jesus Christ, together with the facts, promises, evidences and conditions of the Gospel, we can now also share sensitively, lovingly and kindly, the reasons why a Muslim should take courage to turn from Islam to Christ.
We reject the unbiblical, humanistic idea, that Muslims just need to add a right understanding of Jesus Christ to Islam and all is well. Christians are part of the Church of Christ, the 'ekklesia' = the called out ones.
"We have renounced secret (and) shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the Word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly, we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God."
2. Cor. 4:2
It will hardly be needful to add that this means speaking the Truth in love, i.e. in the sight of God.
To be "called out" results almost invariably in being rejected and cast out of a Muslim society while being accepted by Jesus Christ and His followers.
We reject the missiological accusation that evangelists and missionaries practice "extractionism" with Muslim converts, alienating them from their native society. Separation is a biblical requirement, and within Islam it is followed by expulsion from their society.