Ramadan 2009 / 1430: August 22 - September 20
Christian vs Islam: Divisions in Culture and Religion
Tuesday, 1 September
"Loving Muslims Through Prayer"
While the religious differences between Christians and Muslims are significant, sometimes cultural differences can be even greater sources of misunderstanding and mistrust. Different perspectives can also be opportunities to learn from each other. Cultural differences may inhibit or enhance our ability to proclaim Christ, as well as a Muslim’s ability to receive our message.
In recent years many Muslims have cited the book “The Gospel of Barnabas” (available on the web) in order to show that Jesus was a good Muslim. Jesus is portrayed in the book as a prophet who prays, speaks and acts exactly like traditional Muslims.
An interesting distortion is that Satan is portrayed as the one to claim Jesus as God. The author of the “Gospel of Barnabas” has rewritten the Biblical Gospel to make it agree with the Qur’an. The aim of the book is to try to convince people that Jesus was a Muslim and predict the coming of Muhammad. It is a direct distortion of the Bible.
• Pray for those witnessing to Muslims to understand the cultural differences as well as the religious differences. • The Gospel is cross-cultural - pray that this truth be believed and acted upon by Christian workers. • May God give Muslims insights into the errors of the Gospel of Barnabas. • Meditate on these texts in prayer:
- (Matthew 5:43-48) "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
- (Hebrews 1:5-8) For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom."