AS promised we are starting the What they believe series and it will be a long series but his particular posting will have 3 annotated beliefs. You need to know what others believe if you want to make headway in your evangelism efforts.
What they Believe– Islam
This is a new series in the comparative religion section and its sole purpose is to display what different cults and false religions believe so one can compare with what the Bible teaches and see why these religions, cults and alternative beliefs are not accepted. A believer needs to know why such ideas are rejected instead of just parroting a pastor’s or missionary’s words.
The beliefs used in this series will be taken from other sources, and compiled here with due credit given so you do not have to do the work and know that there are those out there, called of God, whose duty is to sift through all the confusing thoughts of these fake religions and present to you the core heresies in easy to understand language.
For this and other pages in this series, the information is actually public and it serves little purpose to do anything but place the work of others, giving them full credit for their research, here on this board.
The pages in this series are meant as a public service to help reach those who do not find the pages or do not know which the best ones to use are. There is no intent to steal, or plagiarize but to provide further exposure of those who do a lot of hard work and who can detail, explain or emphasize what is being taught a lot better than others can.
For Islam, the words come from Dr. Norman Geisler as he presented them in the book, ‘The Portable Seminary’ pgs.394-9:
1. The word of God: Though Muslims do accept the idea that God revealed Himself in the torah, The Psalms, & the Gospels, they hold to the idea that the Koran is the FINAL word of God.
2. Doctrines: there are 5 main ones— A. There is only 1 God; B. There have been many prophets, including Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus & Muhammad; C. God created angels, both good and bad; D. The Koran is God’s full and final revelation; and E. A final day of judgment is coming, with the faithful going to heaven and the infidel to hell.
3. The 5 pillars of Islam: A. All that is necessary to become a Muslim is to confess the Shahadah*; B. One must pray the salat, 5 times a day; C. One must keep an annual fast (sawn) through the lunar month Ramadan; D. One gives alms (sakat) to the needy, 1/40th of one’s income; & E. Every able Muslim must make one pilgrimage to Mecca during his life.
4. Other beliefs: A. Muslims believe in a Jihad or holy war which can be interpreted in many subjective ways; B. They share many doctrines with Christianity- i.e. creation, angels,heaven,hell the resurrection of all people; C. They affirm Christ’s prophet hood, virgin birth, physical ascension, second coming, sinlessness, miracles and messiahship; D. They deny that Christ died on the cross for our sins and His resurrection; E. God is unknowable
Another good source and one far more definitive than what is given here is the book by Albert Hourani and entitled ‘The History of the Arab Peoples’. It records the origin of ‘Allah’ how Muhammad came to power, his attitudes and the fact that much of the Koran was edited and rewritten in later years, long after Muhammad’s death. It is a very informative book, well written with little or no bias and worth the time f one wants to understand the Middle Eastern people better.
Again the following information is taken from ‘The Portable Seminary’ and was written by Dr. Norman Geisler and his complete work is found on pages 381-9.
1. basic beliefs: The 4 noble truths- A. Life consists of suffering; B. Nothing is permanent or unchanging; C. The way to liberation is through the elimination of desire for what is temporal; D. desire can be eliminated by following the 8-fold path, which is found in 3 categories:
Wisdom- right understanding & right thought
Ethical Conduct- right speech, right action, right livelihood
Mental Discipline- right effort, right awareness, right meditation.
2. Other beliefs: A. Zen Buddhists believe in reincarnation, B. Nirvana, (the final state of nothingness), C. Zen is everything, D. God is man and man is God, E. Everything and everyone is really one, F. The Mind has been in existence since the beginingless past, G. the world around us is a relative world.
3.Humans: Individual human beings are simply a manifestation of all this All or Mind or God.
4. Ethics: Zen is primarily a ‘practical discipline of life’ and is a disciplined aimed ‘at the reconstruction of character.’ Its answer to egoism is to learn.
5. Human Destiny: Is the achievement of Nirvana or the annihilation of the notion of the ego substance and of all desires that arise from this erroneous conception along with the practical expression of universal love or sympathy for all beings. Nirvana is also God and to achieve it is to realize one’s essential oneness with the absolute One.
Once again I turn to ‘The Portable Seminary’ pages 389-394 and Dr. Norman Geisler for the information placed on this page:
1. Introduction: “Hinduism represents a broad category of religious beliefs, most of which are pantheistic or panentheistic. One of the oldest forms of pantheism is found in the last section of the Vedas, the Hindi scriptures. This final section is called ‘The Upanishads’
2. View of God: Vedanta pantheism believes that only one God, Brahman, exists, who is infinite in form, immortality, imperishable, impersonal, all-pervading, supreme, changeless, absolute and invisible while at the same time is none of these. They teach that this God is beyond all thought and speech.
3. World View: All is god and god is all and that there is only 1 reality. The world we see, feel, etc., does not actually exist but is really an illusion.
4. View of Humanity: Maya, or the illusory universe has deceived us into thinking that each person is a particular in the universe. The depth of a person’s soul is identical to the depth of the universe.
5. View of Ethics; people must transcend the world of illusion to discover the true Self. This is accomplished by going beyond both good & evil, which translates into the idea one, is NO MORE TROUBLED by what one has done.
6. Human Destiny: Realizing one’s oneness with Brah or one is doomed to repeat the cycle of ‘samsara’, the wheel of time and desire or birth, death, rebirth. One’s life is determined by the law of Karma, which is absolutely binding and allows no exceptions. One who has been good but not good enough to become free from samsara will go to a heaven where he gets to enjoy the benefits of his good deeds and when those are gone he is reincarnated as a new or different person.
7. Salvation: Salvation is solely of personal efforts.
8. Hell: The Upanishads know no such thing as eternal damnation (the same is true for of every other Hindu scripture)