We live in the UK and in recent years there has been an increase in acts of violence carried out by some who act in the name of Islam. Usually there is shock and fear followed by people trying to calm the situation by reminding the public that most Muslims in the UK are moderate and not violent. It’s understandable that in such an environment, anyone who critiques Islamic theology may be seen as one who is attempting to stir up social fires. Some resent what they see as politically correct jellyfishing and lambast Islam – and the whole Muslim community – along with it in response.
Let’s understand our priorities. It is understandable that secular people – whose joy is in this world – fear radical Islam. For those of us whose life is hidden with Christ in eternity, such fear is unnecessary though we still may feel it at times. Terrorists make death more unpredictable and take our loved ones at unexpected times. But the ultimate tragedy of humanity is not that we lose loved ones when we least expect it – it’s that we lose them in the first place. The goodbye we must one day make to all our loved ones is inevitable.
It's debated between radical and moderate Muslims to what degree the Qu'ran encourages violence towards 'infidels'. This is because some verses are peaceful and some are violent in nature. But unlike the Bible, narrative context is not always clearly given to verses so it can be confusing to know which ones are applicable in which situations. Some believe that Mohammed’s later verses abrogate his earlier, more violent verses. But even this is debated.
But it's definite that the Qu'ran denies the hope of Christ's resurrection. Islam teaches that Jesus (Isa) was a mere prophet who was never crucified and who therefore never rose with saving power from death. This is why we must give ourselves to proclaiming the resurrection of Christ with fresh boldness and compassion. It's Christ alone that can save. If you have him, you no longer wet yourself at the thought of being murdered by a terrorist.
We should be concerned about the veils of both Western secularism and Islam. They both blind the people around me. The disease of sin is killing them and neither ideology can save from death or hell. And for this reason, I am more troubled by Islamic theology than by Islamic terrorism. Islam preaches a different Jesus. This Jesus did not die for sins, did not rise from the grave, and does not save us or make God our Father. Islam does not teach that we need new hearts or that we can be born again. They teach that we must simply choose to submit to the commands of Allah and hope on judgement day he has mercy on us. Sin is not a sickness in Islam, and therefore there is no need of the Cross as a cure.
Muslims need to hear good news. A Messiah has come. He is the only one who has perfectly submitted to the will of Allah and fulfilled all the commands – and he did it on our behalf. Muslims have no assurance of eternal life. Their salvation is based on their performance. If you are a Christian you should never fear a Muslim – regardless of how radicalised they may be. You have what they need.