Take a moment and think about how a lie works.
Most lies are not brazen rejections of truth. If they were, they would be easily rejected by most people’s common sense.
No, the power of a lie is that it usually takes a half truth (which draws you in) and then mix it with error.
That’s what the serpent did when he lured Adam and Eve into the Fall. He said something that was true (“knowing good and evil”) and wrapped it with an untruth (“You certainly won’t die!”). They bought that lie and the world was changed (Genesis 3:1-6)
Islam is also based on a number of half truths. Therein lies its power and attraction.
How can it be reformed?
My new book–The River of God–which should be out this year, has some detailed chapters on both the history and principles of the religion of Islam. The research included reading the Koran all the way through for the second time in my life.
This made it clear to me why so many people–1.2 billion–have been drawn into the “tent” of this monotheistic faith. Islam is built on a number of half truths, which seen by themselves, can be quite convincing. This is especially true of the jihadist version which is gaining momentum and converts in various parts of the world.
We all know that radical Islam is exploding in the Middle East. The White House recently convened a summit of Muslim leaders to discuss that topic and what to do about it. Some believe that Islam can be reformed and that the attraction of it can be changed.
This can only be done through exposing the half truths upon which this religious/political force rests and calling people out into the light.
So what are the half truths upon which the House of Islam stands? I only have space to mention a few:
1. There is only one God and his name is Allah.
Yes, it is true that there is only one True God who made the heavens and the earth. It is also true that “Allah” is a generic term for the Supreme Deity just as in English we used the term “God” or in Spanish they have “Dios.”
So far so good. There is only one God and he should be worshipped.
But the “Allah” of the Koran is a warring God who condones the killing of innocents to advance his worship. He is arbitrary, cannot be known, a single entity and distant to mankind. All those traits are lies.
The real “Allah” is none of the above. His moral essence is love, his Being is Triune (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), and he is knowable and personal to those who come into an intimate relationship with Him.
2. Mohammed is his prophet.
Mohammed of Arabia was a religious man and a very strong leader. He spoke against the gross idolatry of his time and called his followers to worship the only God. That part is true.
But he was not a true prophet of God as evidenced by the errors, mistakes and distortions in the Koran. Actually, he was a marauding thief who stole from others for a living and justified the use of violence for his own purposes. He was a grossly immoral man and possibly a pedophile. He is not worthy of following or emulating.
3. Submission to God is the way of life.
Islam means “submission” and the message of the jihadists is that people need to submit their lives to God. So far, so good. The Bible teaches a similar truth that salvation comes when we submit our wills in faith to the God who loves us and died for our sins.
Islam leaves out that last sentence. Submission in Islam is to a warring and vengeful Being and the means of submission can include coercion, tribute, and death to those who refuse.
That part is the lie. True submission to God is voluntary, prompted by God and motivated by love. It is never forced or true love is not involved.
4. Jesus is a major Prophet who will return one day.
Jesus the Messiah is mentioned prominently in the Koran. Many truths are stated about him including his virgin birth, his ability to do miracles, and his Second Coming. In fact, Isa (Jesus in Arabic) is one of the most frequent figures mentioned in the recitations of Mohammed.
However, the most crucial things about Jesus Christ are left out of the Islamic writings. Muslims are told that Jesus was not the Son of God, he did not die on the cross of the sins of the world, and that he is not the King of kings and Lord of Lords who will be revealed at his Second Advent.
These omissions make the Muslim concept of Jesus a lie. To them, he is not “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6).
He is. (I AM)
5. God’s Kingdom will be global and all people will worship Him.
One of the great draws of Islam is its global vision of conquering the world. Muslims have a view of a changed and worshipping planet that ushers in a new era that includes the return of Jesus.
In this sense, Muslims are true progressives. The world is progressing toward the universal rule of God.
However, the means to get there–violence and death to all non-believers–is a Satanic lie. Yes, God’s kingdom is growing in all the earth but it is doing so through loving persuasion and mercy, not cruel beheadings, burning people alive, and raping young girls.
This fruit of Islam reveals its origins–the pit of hell. But its drawing power lies in the vision of a worldwide caliphate and eventual Heavenly kingdom.
There are other half truths in Islam that could be mentioned. But these five give you are idea of the power of this false religion. When you call people to submit to God, mention Jesus, share vision for a world wide kingdom and promise heaven for martyrs, that’s powerful stuff. In fact, compared to the emptiness and bankruptcy of immoral Western culture, it actually looks quite attractive.
No wonder thousands are joining the global jihad and even Western women are leaving their families to become “jidahi brides.” The power of Islamic vision is, in many ways, more potent than the decadent West.
But it is based on a lie (many half truths).
On the other hand, some Islamic ideas are full lies, not even half baked. Here are two examples.
The Koran completely leaves out the concept of blood sacrifice needed to atone for sin. Since the dawn of time, fallen human beings have been aware of their guilt (sin), and known that something else dying in our place is essential to repentance and forgiveness. The Koran is completely silent on this subject as if sin didn’t exist and sacrifice is not necessary.
The Bible teaches us that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22). The greatest loving act of all time and eternity is the Son of God dying on the cross for the sins of the world (John 3:16).
The truth contains Good News! Islam is silent on how salvation has been achieved.
Another completel lie of Islam is the place it gives to women. They are treated as property and second-class citizens, not allowed to be educated, and have no real hope of heaven. That is hideous and false. All women and men are made in God’s image and co-heirs of the grace of life (1 Peter 3:7).
So how can Islam be reformed?
I believe it can be done through the following actions:
1. Freedom-loving nations must mobilize and defeat the jihadists just as they did the Nazis in WWII. We need to pray for modern Roosevelts and Churchills to replace the present-day Chamberlains that are too ignorant or timid to defeat evil.
2. We need to care for people entrapped in the Islamic lie, convince them of the truth about God, and see them converted into his kingdom of light and love.
3. We must convince individual Muslims and whole Islamic nations that Isa, not Mohammed, is the only one worth trusting and emulating.
4. We must bring the Muslim world to trust the Bible and reject the Koran and sharia law.
5. We must shout on the housetops that the True Allah is the Loving Triune God!
6. We need to demonstrate that men and women can only be saved through faith in Isa, and not by their good works.
7. We must liberate Muslim women through a message of equality and dignity that is found in Christ.
8. We must call all Muslims to humble submission to the God who loved them enough to die for their sins.
Reforming Islam is a tall order. The half truths must be shredded and the whole truth proclaimed.
But in the coming days and years it can be done through the grace and power of Isa the Messiah.