I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the phrase, “Well all religions are the basically the same. They all talk about love and peace.” That’s like saying all cars are the same because they have four wheels and doors. ◔_◔
Statements like the above are usually trotted out by the religiously illiterate with an ostentatious air of liberality and tolerance which reeks of condescension, ignorance and self-importance. Not only do they dismiss out of hand the possibility of religious truth but in doing so ignore the foundations of different faiths which explains their separateness despite having some surface commonalities.
Think about it for a moment. If all religions only preached love and peace there would be only one religion, but they don’t. They have different gods and different methods of worshiping those gods. Now logically they cannot all be true and logically it is possible that none of them are true, however, the only reason one believes in something in the first place is because one believes it to be true. To then come along and say that everyone is just worshiping the same thing but in different way is arrogant beyond description.
The foundation of Christianity is not, “Love your neighbour as yourself”, or, “Love your enemies”, or even to take care of the poor. It is the confession of Peter when Jesus was asking the disciples who the people were saying Jesus was.
And they said, ‘Some say you are John the Baptist: others say you are Elijah or Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ And He said to them, “And whom do you say that I am?” And Peter replied, “You are the Christ: the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, ‘Blessed are you Simon Barjonas for flesh and blood did not reveal this to you but my Father in heaven.’
So here we have the fundamental truth of the Christian faith. God has a Son and that Son is Jesus the Christ. There is no Christianity without this verse. It doesn’t matter if you agree with this verse or not. It is the foundation from which all else flows. The Apostle John clarifies this succinctly:
Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
1 John 2:22,23
So the most holy tenet of the Christian faith is that God has a Son and that Son is Jesus Christ. To deny Him is to deny the Father (God).
The Qur’an says that God has no Son. A quick search on YouTube turns up a lot of Muslims arguing that one of the most basic and holy tenets of their faith is that God has no Son. To say so is blasphemy. They even get so ridiculous as to say that for God to have a Son He would have to have relations with a woman. Never mind that they basically elevate Mohammed to the same place, they just don’t call him that.
Even if the two faiths agreed on things like love, (Which they don’t. Nowhere in the Qur’an, according to ex-Muslims, will you find the teaching to love your enemies), they disagree on the most fundamental level. One says it is blasphemy to say that God has a Son while the other says to deny that God’s Son is to deny God Himself.
The simple equation is Allah ≠ Jehovah. Christians and Muslims do NOT worship the same God. Christianity and Islam are not two different paths to the same destination. They are diametrically opposed to one another. On a spiritual level there can be no agreement. No appeasement will suffice and no compromise is acceptable.
It is for this reason that many Christians are, to say the least, a little concerned about the recent attempts to find common ground between Islam and Christianity. Labeled “Chrislam” by many, it is an effort largely engineered and promoted by Rick Warren of Saddleback Church who has apparently taken on the mantle of America’s pastor from Billy Graham .
While it is worthwhile to promote peace and harmony between Christians and Muslims as human beings, and I will give Rick Warren the benefit of the doubt that this is what he is doing until I hear different, it would be spiritual suicide to attempt to find common ground between the Islamic faith and the Christian.
There is none.
If you can compromise a fundamental belief . . . it isn’t.