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Why Christianity is different than Islam

Reader comment on item: What Are Islamic Schools Teaching?
in response to reader comment: Why be surprised

Submitted by God is inclusive and exclusive (United States), Oct 18, 2006 at 10:43

You cannot lump fundamentalist Christians with any other fundamentalists. The view of God, as HE reveals Himself in His Son, is both inclusive, and EXCLUSIVE. His love includes all of His creation.

But God is exclusive because he has set clear boundaries to the way we can come to him and absolutely refuses to accept the possibility of mingling worship of himself with the worship of other religions. When he chose Abraham he took him out of the area of Babylon and into the Promised Land and out of idolatry and into faith in the one true God who is creator of all things. When he gave the commandments to Moses he began by saying 'You shall have no other gods before me' (Exodus 20.3) nor make images or bow down to them and worship them. The whole message of the Hebrew Prophets is a call to Israel to turn away from the false religions of the nations around them and be faithful to the Lord. Isaiah 45.20-21 compares the worship of the nations who 'pray to a god that cannot save' with the worship of the Lord: 'There is no other God besides me, a just God and a Saviour; there is none besides me.'

'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me' (John 14.6). 'Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved' (Acts 4.12).

This is clearly totally exclusive as far as other faiths go. It means you cannot be saved by keeping the 613 commandments of the Torah or the 5 pillars of Islam or the eight fold path of Buddhism or any other belief. If you could be saved by these paths then the cross becomes an act of folly on the part of Jesus and an act of sadism on the part of the Father. In the garden of Gethsemane just before he went to the cross, Jesus prayed 'O my Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as you will' (Matthew 26.39). The cup he was referring to was the cup of suffering he was about to drink - the physical agony of the scourging and the crucifixion, the public humiliation of being executed as a criminal and above all the torment of having the sins of the world placed upon him and being separated from the Father for the only moment in all eternity, as he cried out 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' (Matthew 27.46, Psalm 22.18).

If it was possible to be saved by following any other faith, why did not the Father intervene and save Jesus from the cross, as he had the power to do (Matthew 27.53)? Only through the sacrifice of one who was without sin could those who are sinners be saved, for 'without the shedding of blood there is no remission' (of sin) (Hebrews 9.22). On the day of judgement there will be those who will be excluded from entering into heaven: 'But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life' (Revelation 21.27).


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