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Osama bin Laden Emails
The following emails are responding to the article Osama bin Laden. The e-mailers comments are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My comments are in red.
First Email Exchange
I read with interest the director's note attached to the Osama Bin Laden posting on your site, especially when you question whether Allah is a false god or not. May I be permitted to ask you what would confirm Allah as the True God, regardless of how incomplete the viewpoint his followers have of his person?
Thinking this subject through, you might want to ask yourself whether Allah would equate himself with the God we believe in. If we consider the Quran as the words of Allah recited to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel, Allah would deny that he had a Trinitarian concept of himself and that Jesus is YHWH - something the Father would have no problem doing.
So yes, Allah is a false god (believing that he is creator doesn't make him so) and to the religion (gospel) given to, through, and by Muhammad, let us be in accord with Paul and proclaim it anathema (Gal 1:8-9).
Thank you for your email. And you are very possibly correct in you thoughts. I have read the Koran, so I am aware of the very specific denials of the doctrine of the Trinity in it. But (and I am sure this will really upset Muslims), I really don't consider the Koran to be "inspired" by Allah. I personally think it is just the human production of Mohammed.
In my mind, it is possible that Mohammed got the correct notion of there being one true God from his exposure to Christianity. But he couldn't understand the concept of God being three-in-one, so he rejected it. So if this idea is correct, then it would mean that Mohammed's conception of "Allah" did originate with the one true God and not with a false god.
But I think the most important question would be what would be best in witnessing to Muslims? Should Christians tell them that they are worshipping a false god and need to repent of this wrongful worship? Or should Christians tell them they have an "incomplete" viewpoint of God and then explain the full and correct conception of God's three-in-oneness?
Since I have never really witnessed to Muslims I can't say which would be the best approach. But I am sure there are Christian missionaries to Muslims who would have some very decided opinions in this regard.
Thank you for your reply. I agree the issue of conversing with Muslims on this topic would be a delicate subject. Of course we don't want to put unnecessary stumbling blocks in the way while setting forth the gospel. However, this line of argument could be used for anyone, how heavy do we come down on the concept of sin for example?
Being of the reformed persuasion, I'm convinced that the watering down of sin and its affect, leads to the preaching of a false gospel. Would we be right to do away with sin so not to offend the unbeliever and make it easier for them to come into the church? Likewise, for the
Muslim, do we say they have the wrong concept of god as opposed to not worshipping the right god at all? Both scenarios will be equally offensive would they not?
No matter what we say to the Muslim, if they are not elected to eternal salvation they will not hear the truth and would be offended by it anyway. According to what I know, are not Muslims strongly discouraged in the Koran from pursuing concepts of god foreign to Koranic teaching? So preaching in such a way so as to point out the error would be fruitless (unless hearts were opened by God).
Thanks for the comments. Again, you could be right. I'm just not sure on this one.
Second Email Exchange
>Subject: Bin Laden
Being has opinionated as I am thought I'd respond to this article. As far as the attacks being because of America's sins I do somewhat agree with this opinion. In your Scripture Workbook you do list some verses used to promote the "Health and Wealth Gospel" and correctly interpret them as referring to national blessings. I haven't really studied them enough to apply them to this situation. <
I hadn't thought of it in that way. I guess to be consistent in what I wrote, I would have to agree with the idea that the attacks were due to our sins. But it just makes me uncomfortable to say a specific disaster is due to the judgment of God. Ancient Israel had God-inspired prophets to interpret such events for them, but all we have is speculation.
>I would also consider Allah a false god because besides the denial of the Trinity, the Muslims concept of God denies many of the God of the Bible's other important attributes like holiness.
From my understanding if they submit to Allah this gets them into Heaven. There is no atonement, no salvation by grace alone. But since he does have many of the same attributes some might consider him the same. Maybe he is just a perverted form of the Biblical God. <
Your last sentence is basically my viewpoint of it.
> In my few discussions with Muslims they have said, "they don't believe God would take a wife and have a kid." So I just tried to get them to understand that this is not what Christians believe. I also don't know if all Muslims believe this or they just don't understand Muslim doctrine; like many Christians. My pastor once said if usually just confronts people with other religions about their sins first, because he knows they can't have peace about this. Then if they have intellectual questions to try to explain the Christian faith as best you can....
I am sure that much of the problems between Muslims and Christians is that we don't understand each other's religions very well. A better knowledge would enable more fruitful discussions.
Note: Some of the issues raised above are addressed in additional items listed at Islam.
The above article was posted on this Web site January 13, 2002.
September 11, 2001: Ethics, Spirituality, Christian Life
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