BACKGROUND FOR THE BIBLE PASSAGES

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1 BACKGROUND FOR THE BIBLE PASSAGES Session 85: Islam A Religion of Hopelessness and Fear Muslims (literally, submitted ones ), who make news more frequently than any other religious group, are usually portrayed by the media as fanatical, militant terrorists. As a result, Americans associate Muslims with international incidents of terrorism. The atrocities committed by a small group of terrorists overshadow the fact that the vast majority of Muslims condemn terrorism and quietly practice the religious faith known as Islam, which means submission to God. Islam is the youngest of the world s three monotheistic faiths. It was born through the prophet Muhammad in Arabia nearly 1,400 years ago in the midst of Arab idolatry and animistic polytheism. Muhammad was born in A.D. 570 into the Quraish tribe of Mecca in what is present-day Saudi Arabia. Muslim tradition says that at age 40, while Muhammad was meditating in a cave near Mecca, the archangel Gabriel revealed to him a series of messages and told him to recite them. These messages became the Islamic holy book, the Qur an. Muslims believe Muhammad to be the last and greatest prophet of God the seal of the prophets. In the beginning his message encompassed two main points: there is one God to whose will people must submit, and there will be a day of judgment when all people will be judged. Muhammad considered himself the supreme seer of God because the Qur an was dictated to him. When his message was met with rejection and hostility, Muhammad was forced to flee from Mecca to Medina in 622. Muslims date their calendar from this date, known as hijrah. In 630, Muhammad entered Mecca with an army and destroyed all idols and images. There he established the Islamic faith and became the sole prophet and leader of the Arabian people. Muhammad died in 632. From Medina Islam spread to Palestine and the entire Middle East. Through its invading armies Islam then traveled to North Africa, Spain, Persia, India, and parts of China. With its missionary zeal Islam spread by traders into sub-saharan Africa, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Islam faced periods of stagnation but eventually reached all six continents. Today Islam has more than one billion followers around the globe. About 58 percent of its adherents live in south and southeast Asia. Indonesia is the largest Islamic country, followed by Pakistan and India. More than 28 percent of Muslims live in Africa. Only about 15 percent live in the Middle East. More than 500,000 Muslims live in Canada, and in the United States estimates of the Muslim population range from 6.5 to 8 million. The two major sects of Islam are Sunnis (around 85 percent) and Shiites (close to 15 percent). Islam is the second largest religion in the world, but it is the fastest-growing religion in North America. In the United States Islam is growing in three major ways: through immigration; through conversion, especially among African Americans; and through nativeborn Islamic Americans. The United States is the home to more than 1,250 Islamic centers or mosques. Islamic Beliefs Islam is both a world religion and a political system and claims to be the final restoration of the original monotheism and truth revealed to humankind. Thus, it boasts to be superior to both Judaism and Christianity in its message and monotheistic faith. It is considered one of the least complicated world religions to practice, governing all aspects of its adherents lives. 1. There is no god but Allah. Islam teaches that there is only one God. Allah, the Arabic name for God, is the sole and sovereign ruler of the universe. There is no one like Allah. He knows everything and has the ability to do anything. He is everywhere. Allah is the giver of good and evil. He does

2 not share His divinity with any others. He is numerically and absolutely one. He has no wife and no son, and He is not triune. He is beyond human understanding. Muslims claim that it is impossible to know Allah s nature, personality, or character, but it is possible to know the attributes or beautiful names of Allah. The Qur an includes 99 names for God. He is confessed as the merciful and compassionate one. Christians also believe that God is one but has revealed Himself in the plural form Elohim. (See Gen. 1:26.) The Bible clearly reveals that God s oneness comprises three persons Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19). God s triune nature is part of His mystery and greatness. It helps us understand Him as truly personal and capable of expressing His nature in a variety of ways. God s work in accomplishing salvation is through the person of Jesus Christ. 2. Jesus was a lesser prophet. Muslims believe that prophets are special messengers of Allah sent to redeem humanity from infidelity, idolatry, and superstition. Thousands have been sent, but only about 25 are mentioned in the Qur an. They include Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. Jesus is accepted as a prophet but not as God s Son. The Qur an affirms Jesus virgin birth, life of miracles, and compassion but not His crucifixion. Muslims believe that God took Jesus from the cross and substituted Judas or someone who looked like Jesus. Jesus was then taken to heaven, where He is alive and from where one day He will return. Muslims believe that Muhammad was prophesied in the Bible. (See Deut. 18:18-19; John 14:16; 15:26; 16:7.) Unlike Jesus, who was sent only to the Jews, Muhammad was sent to all people; he is the last prophet of Allah. The Bible affirms that Jesus is much more than a prophet. He was supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit and was born of the virgin Mary. Jesus was God s unique Son. During His earthly ministry He carried out His Father s will. He died on a cross as the sacrifice for the sins of the world, was raised from the dead, and is exalted at the right hand of the Father in heaven. Jesus provides salvation for all who repent of their sins and confess Him as Lord. 3. The Qur an is the Muslim s source of authority. The Qur an is the most holy book of Islam and its highest authority. As a record of Allah s exact words, the Qur an is believed to completely reveal His will. It is the source of an individual s faith and practice, as well as a guide to society. It is considered to be the earthly version of a heavenly book. Muslims believe that the Qur an maintains its fullest and authoritative message only in the Arabic tongue, having been dictated to Muhammad in that language. Therefore, Muslims consider it a religious obligation to learn, read, and recite the Qur an in Arabic. The Qur an is about the length of the New Testament and is divided into 114 chapters called surahs. Each chapter is divided into verses called ayat. The chapters are arranged by length, from the longest chapter to the shortest. The Qur an contains many references to the Torah, the psalms of David, and the four Gospels. However, the Qur an emphatically claims to be the final source of authority. Christians do not believe that the Qur an is a divinely revealed book, because it contains contradictory messages. For example, the Qur an confirms Jewish and Christian Scriptures; yet it contradicts them by claiming that the Bible is corrupted. The Qur an accepts Jesus miraculous birth as sinless; yet it rejects His divinity and His death on the cross. Christians believe that the Bible is the perfect record of God s revelation of Himself to humanity. The Scriptures are divinely inspired and preserved and are therefore completely true and trustworthy. (See 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Pet. 1:25; 2 Pet. 1:19-21.) 4. Humankind is born without a sinful nature. According to Islam, humankind is born pure. However, we are weak, fragile, and forgetful; therefore, we commit sin. Muslims believe that people did not inherit original sin from Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were forgiven of their sin, so no sin remained in them. Thus, we as their children are not basically sinful. People are religious and long to worship Allah. They are

3 slaves to Allah and superior to angels. Islam s central demand of followers is submission to Allah s will. Christians believe that people are made in God s image (Gen. 1:27), but because all people inherit a sinful nature, all commit sin (Rom. 3:23; 5:12,19). However, when people repent of their sin and accept Jesus Christ, they are declared sinless through Christ s shed blood (Rom. 3:24-26). 5. Sin is breaking Allah s law and not doing His will. Islam does not affirm the fallen state of humankind. Rather, humankind is born sinless and without a sinful nature. In Islam sin is an error and is the result of weakness. Sin is breaking Allah s law and not doing His will. When a person commits sin, it harms him only. The Qur an even teaches that Allah created humans evil deeds, so humans must do them. Sin does not grieve Allah. However, Allah does not love the sinner. Allah, at His will, decides whom to punish and whom not to punish. People can increase their good deeds to gain Allah s favor and to earn forgiveness of their sins. The most serious sin that can be committed is that of shirk, or considering Allah as more than one. The Bible teaches that sin is missing the mark, that is, missing God s set standard. People miss God s mark by rebelling against God (Ps. 51:4) and by breaking the law (1 John 3:4). All people have sinned and are guilty before God (Rom. 3:23). Human sin grieves God (Ps. 78:40). It breaks fellowship between the person and God and between the person and others (Isa. 59:2-3; 1 John 1:3,6-7). The Bible teaches that God hates sin but loves the sinner (Rom. 5:6-8). God forgives the sins of those who repent and trust in Jesus (2 Cor. 5:19-21). Good works do not earn forgiveness, which is a free gift (Eph. 2:8-9). 6. Salvation requires adherence to the Five Pillars. In Islam, salvation is not ensured for anyone but is determined by God s will. The hope of salvation is pursued by declaring faith in Allah s existence, acknowledging that Muhammad is His prophet, obeying the Qur an, and compiling good deeds in conformity to the Five Pillars. The following essential disciplines are practiced to satisfy the will of Allah. 1. The confession. The fundamental creed of Islam, There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah, expresses the belief in absolute monotheism that is crucial to Islam. All that is necessary to become a Muslim is sincerity in repeatedly voicing the confession. This confession of faith consumes the Muslim s life from birth until death. This is the first step on the road to the hope of salvation. 2. Prayer. Prayer expresses obedience to Allah s will. Each Muslim is to perform ritual prayers five times a day: before sunrise, at noon, in mid-afternoon, at sunset, and before sleep. These prayers are preceded by ceremonial washing of hands, face, and feet. Muslims are required to say these prayers facing the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The prayers are formal rituals that combine postures and recitations in Arabic from the Qur an. In addition to these formal prayers, Islam allows informal prayers that come from individuals hearts in their own language. 3. Fasting. Fasting is required during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It is believed that Muhammad received his first revelations during that month. To commemorate this event, Muslims are required to abstain from all food, drink, and sexual relations during daylight hours from sunrise to sunset. 4. Almsgiving. The Qur an commands Muslims to practice regular charity. They are expected to give percent of their capital wealth to the causes of the poor and for the propagation of Islam. 5. Pilgrimage. A pilgrimage to Mecca is required of every Muslim, if economically and physically possible, at least once. Each pilgrim must walk seven times around the kaabah the shrine of the sacred black stone and kiss it. Muslims believe that the kaabah was the original place of worship for Adam and for Abraham; thus, it is the holiest site of Islam. On the 10th day sheep and goats are sacrificed, and a huge festival is celebrated to commemorate Abraham s sacrifice of an animal as a substitute for his son Ishmael (not Isaac as recounted in the Bible).

4 One of the most controversial practices in Islam is holy war or jihad. Jihad means holy struggle for Allah. Jihad is popularly interpreted as the act of fighting against pagans and infidels. However, jihad represents both internal spiritual struggle and external war against adversaries of Islam. Paradise is promised for those who die fighting in the cause of Islam. Muslims who perform good deeds and obey the Five Pillars and the Qur an will enter paradise. Lacking assurance of salvation, Muslims live in uncertainty and fear. The Bible teaches that salvation is available to all who repent of sin and accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Salvation is a gift from God through faith in Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:8-10). It is impossible to earn salvation by good works (Titus 3:1-7) or by religious deeds and exercises (Matt. 7:22-23; Rom. 9:32; Gal. 2:16). Those who accept Christ as Savior and Lord have assurance of salvation and the hope of personal fellowship with God for eternity (John 14:2-3; 1 John 2:17,24-25). Adapted from Faith Reaching Out to World Religions Facilitator Guide (LifeWay Press, 2001). Used by permission. The Bible Speaks Romans 10:9-13 Jesus is Lord. Islam s confession of faith declares that there is one god whose name is Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet. They refuse to believe that Jesus was God incarnate in human flesh. The apostle Paul taught clearly that in order for one to be saved, a verbal confession that Jesus is Lord is necessary, along with an unwavering heart belief that God raised Him from the dead. Our confession that Jesus is Lord makes it possible for God to declare us not guilty regarding our sins. Paul found great joy in repeating the words of the ancient prophet Joel that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Joel 2:32). Matthew 6:1-18 Christianity assumes that prayer, giving, and fasting are a part of a believer s life. By nature, people desire recognition and praise for good deeds performed. Jesus saw this happening with many of the most religious people of His day. His words in this passage are not intended to keep us from engaging in certain activities that honor God. Genuine communication with Him through private prayer, fasting as a means of focusing intently on seeking God s will, and sharing with others that with which God has blessed us are valid ways to honor Him. A good way to check our motives, however, is to determine whether we would perform these good deeds even if no one knew that we did. John 4:21-24 Believers are not closer to God in one area than in another. Considering a church building or some particular place where we may have had a memorable experience with God uniquely hallowed is not in keeping with Jesus teachings concerning where to worship. Certainly, gathering with fellow believers in church to worship corporately pleases God and provides a unique atmosphere in which His Spirit can move. We must not forget, however, that God wants us to be so in tune with Him that we can worship Him anywhere. Jesus said that worship that pleases God is not limited to or defined by times or places.

5 WORLD RELIGIONS/BELIEFS Elements of Faith Islam Judaism Hinduism Buddhism The New Age Movement Supreme Being Strict monotheism Allah Monotheistic, Personal, Deliverer Polytheism; Major Triad: Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu Southern: irrelevant Northern: Buddhahood No personal God All is one (monism) Everything is God (pantheism) Key Figure in History Muhammad Abraham, Moses None Gautama No single person, many gurus, teachers, prophets Teachings on Christ the Person Christ s Work A major prophet; not divine but taught humans Golden Rule Did not die on cross but was taken into heaven Most: rabbi, not Messiah Some: Redeemer of Gentiles Most consider him itinerant Jewish teacher Incarnation of God (avatar) One among many; not unique Jesus was a great religious teacher A teacher who may possess Buddahood; one among many A great teacher; a prophet; an avatar of the divine Achieved and showed the way to ultimate consciousness Evangelical Christianity* One God, revealed and experienced as Trinity: Father, Son, Holy Spirit Jesus, the Christ One divine person, eternal, with two natures, divine and human; supreme example of God s love for humankind and His intended pattern of living God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself Holy Spirit Another name for God Eternal member of Trinity, guide of churches and Christians Holy Writings Quran (Koran) Hebrew Bible (tanach), Torah, Prophets, writings Doctrine of Humanity Doctrine of Sin Doctrine of Salvat ion Made by God with ability to follow will of Allah Non-submissiveness to will of Allah Works of repentance and submission to Allah as shown through five pillars: perfect faith, prayer, almsgiving, the fast, pilgrimage Created in image of God; free, self-determining Rebellion; unfaithfulness to God Repentance, trust in God, obedience Vedas, Upanishads epids, Puranas Divine, eternal soul part of God; physical body has little worth Ignorance of oneness with God; violations of caste (class) rules Liberation of soul from cycles of reincarnation in physical body through knowledge, works, or love and devotion of chosen deity (yoga) Sutras Extremely numerous Bible (Old and New Testaments); authoritative, unique, inspired, inerrant Word of God; norm of faith and practice All in flux. One lifetime for each person, composed of skandra (parts); but many lives for the parts Desire that results in suffering Perceive truth in four Noble Truths, follow Eight-Fold Path the middle way Northern: includes faith in the Buddha All are God with a potential to discover the ultimate within No real concept of sin, only ignoring the God/ultimate within Change your consciousness to discover the ultimate within through yoga, trance channeling, past-life regressions, harnessing psychic energy, etc. Meeting Site Mosque; masjid Synagogue Temple/home altars Temple/home altars Various; retreat centers are popular Life After Death Paradise, Hell Range of views: 1. Reward or punishment in heaven or hell 2. Vagueness 3. Afterlife denied Cycles of reincarnation until union with, or re-absorption of soul into, God Southern: Dissolution at death, no continuing life. Northern: Pure Land 2008 LifeWay Press. Fuel2: Owning Your Faith, Volume 8. Permission granted to reproduce this item for church use only. Published in the United States of America. Cycles of reincarnation until union with, or reabsorption of soul into, the divine Created in God s image; since Adam s fall, sin is inherent, all relationships are damaged beyond human ability to repair Willful rebellion against God God s gift through Christ s atonement, received by grace through personal faith in Christ Anywhere Eternal communion with God (heaven); eternal separation from God (hell) 1

6 Elements of Faith Humanism Scientology Mormonism Jehovah s Witnesses Supreme Being God is a myth Supreme being affirmed but exact nature determined by each person God the Father, an exalted man with physical body Jehovah, Unitarian view Christian Science Impersonal: Life, Truth, Love, Omnipotence, and goodness of God stressed Evangelical Christianity* One God, revealed and experienced as Trinity: Father, Son, Holy Spirit Key Figure in History No single person L. Ron Hubbard Joseph Smith Jr. Charles Taze Russell Mary Baker Eddy Jesus, the Christ Teachings on Christ the Person Christ s Work Just a man, if He existed at all Supernatural elements of Jesus life are myths and legends Great teacher who fully realized his personal divinity One savior among many who teach how to be clear Jesus is the spiritual and physical offspring of God by procreation. Jesus death guarantees immortality to all regardless of faith, but atonement must be completed by works Spiritual body in human form; not omnipresent Stages of Existence: 1. Archangel Michael 2. Jesus, perfect man, became Messiah at baptism 3. After spiritual resurrection, became Michael again Christ s ransom sacrifice made salvation possible Jesus, separate from Christ, a human being who, more than any other, shows Christ-ideal Jesus is Way-shower, Healer One divine person, eternal, with two natures, divine and human; supreme example of God s love for humankind and His intended pattern of living God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself Holy Spirit Non-existent God s impersonal force Christian Science church Eternal member of Trinity, guide of churches and Christians Holy Writings Doctrine of Humanity Doctrine of Sin Doctrine of Salvat ion Reason and science are sources of authority Humankind is a highly evolved animal Humanity s basic problem is superstition or ignorance; moral standards are relative Education, science, and technology can solve humanity s problems Selected writings of L. Ron Hubbard Immortal divine soul, basically good in three parts: soul (thetan), mind, body (physical) Engrams (learned behavior or conflicts from past) prevent individuals from realizing own divinity Dianetic counseling (auditing) leads individual to become clear of engrams, attain full human potential, become fully aware of personal divinity Bible (except errors); Book of Mormon; Doctrine and Covenants; Pearl of Great Price; also revelations of prophets Pre-existent spiritual offspring of God, basically good, gods in embryo Disobedience to God s laws. Adam s fall, in God s plan, caused loss of immortality; each is responsible for own sin Exaltation or godhood through obedience to Mormon teachings; repentance, faith, baptism, priesthood, endowments, celestial marriage, faithful tithing. Baptism for dead saves some non-mormons Bible (New World translation of Holy Scriptures) as interpreted by Watch Tower Society Created in God s image; a soul, not immortal; capable of responding to God Willful rebellion against Jehovah Faith in Jehovah plus works (baptism, moral life, faithfulness in Kingdom Hall activities); those ignorant of Jehovah given chance to believe during millennial period Bible, as interpreted by Mary Baker Eddy in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures In God s image and likeness, therefore divine; spirit as opposed to matter, which is unreal Illusion of the reality of matter, evil, and death Casting out illusions of reality of matter, sin, evil, and death in favor of the all-reality of spirit Meeting Site None Church or mission Ward Kingdom Hall Church Anywhere Life After Death None; this life is all there is Reincarnation of soul (thetan) until it attains state of spiritual awareness and liberation from matter, energy, space, and time One of three kingdoms: 1. Celestial (renewed earth) where men become gods or angels 2. Terrestrial planet for righteous non-mormons 3. Telestial planet for wicked; second death for Satan and those who commit unpardonable sins 144,000 elect reign with Christ in Kingdom of God (heaven); other JWs on glorified paradise earth; annihilation for all who reject Jehovah Since there is no death, move onto another plane toward fulfillment in Love, Light, Truth Bible (Old and New Testaments); authoritative, unique, inspired, inerrant Word of God; norm of faith and practice Created in God s image; since Adam s fall, sin is inherent, all relationships are damaged beyond human ability to repair Willful rebellion against God God s gift through Christ s atonement, received by grace through personal faith in Christ Eternal communion with God (heaven); eternal separation from God (hell) *Evangelical Christianity refers to the traditional Reformation churches (Lutheran, Presbyterian, etc.) as well as to Methodists and others from the Free church heritage; Baptists, who differ only in polity and emphases, not in basic tenets, are included in this group. Used with permission and adapted from the North American Mission Board, SBC. Interfaith Evangelism Comparative Belief Chart. 2

7 SCRIPTURE PASSAGES Session 85: Islam Romans 10: If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 With the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 Now the Scripture says, No one who believes on Him will be put to shame, 12 for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, since the same Lord of all is rich to all who call on Him. 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Matthew 6: Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of people, to be seen by them. Otherwise, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 So whenever you give to the poor, don t sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be applauded by people. I assure you: They ve got their reward! 3 But when you give to the poor, don t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 5 Whenever you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by people. I assure you: They ve got their reward! 6 But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7 When you pray, don t babble like the idolaters, since they imagine they ll be heard for their many words. 8 Don t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask Him. 9 Therefore, you should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, Your name be honored as holy. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. 14 For if you forgive people their wrongdoing, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. 15 But if you don t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing. 16 Whenever you fast, don t be sad-faced like the hypocrites. For they make their faces unattractive so their fasting is obvious to people. I assure you: They ve got their reward! 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head, and wash your face, 18 so that you don t show your fasting to people but to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. John 4: Jesus told her, Believe Me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship Him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible Copyright 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible, Holman CSB, and HCSB are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

8 EXPLORING THE BIBLE DAILY 85 Write Romans 10:9 in the space below and memorize this week: Read these Scripture passages each day this week. Respond to each passage by jotting down questions and insights you may have. Day 1 - Romans 10:9-13 Day 2 - Matthew 6:1-4 Day 3 - Matthew 6:5-8 Day 4 - Matthew 6:9-13 Day 5 - Matthew 6:14-15 Day 6 - Matthew 6:16-18 Day 7 - John 4:21-24

9 CASE STUDIES Session 85 In Western society, we value the individual. In Arabic and Muslim culture, conformity, or being alike, is valued. Praying in public five times a day and fasting as a sect for the month of Ramadan are only two examples of the ways that Muslims conform, or fit in. Not fitting in is shameful to Muslims. An Arabic proverb describes it this way: Innovation is the root of all evil. Right and wrong are defined differently in Islam: Wrong acts are those that break the Qur an. The Qur an is not a list of rights and wrongs, however. Society dictates what is right or wrong, because Muslims believe that Allah created good and evil. Consider these case studies. Discuss how the Muslim follower might react differently from a follower of Christ in each scenario. The point of these observations is not to emphasize differences but to increase our understanding of ways to approach a Muslim follower with the good news of Christ. 1. Where you are not known, do whatever you like, according to a proverb. While it is against the law for a student to drink under the legal age, a Muslim student is visiting another state where no one knows him or his family. A concealed shame is two-thirds forgiven, according to an Arabic proverb. Would Islam allow him to drink? Would you consider it to be right or wrong? 2. Public shame is more disgraceful than revealing an immoral act or protecting a relationship. A Muslim man finds his wife with another man. He agrees not to shoot the man if he will keep the relationship a secret, then secretly divorces his unfaithful wife without revealing the reason. Why did the Muslim man value his reputation more than losing or punishing his wife? 3. Lying to prevent shame is permissible. Once a poor Arab stole a valuable cloak from a sheik. At trial the accused thief admitted to stealing the cloak after sleeping with the owner of the cloak. The sheik examined the cloak and said, This is not my cloak. The thief was freed. Why would a Muslim man choose to lie in this case? What might happen in an American court of law? Why is it wrong to lie, even to prevent shame, according to God s Word? Christ died for our shame. He died for all sins, past, present, and future. Hiding the wrong things that we have done prevents Christ from forgiving us, because we must admit that we have done wrong. Keeping sin in the dark affects our right fellowship with the Father, the relationship for which Christ gave His life! Source: The Messenger, the Message, and the Community: Three Critical Issues for the Cross-cultural Church-planter by Roland Muller LifeWay Press. Fuel2: Owning Your Faith, Volume 8. Permission granted to reproduce this item for church use only. Published in the United States of America.

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