Prophecies Happening NOW
APOSTASY - DECEPTION WITHIN THE CHURCH
Anything that does not teach the Old Testament
Anything that does not teach Bible prophecy (1/3 of the Bible)
Anything that does not support Israel
False Religions EXPOSED! (jesus-is-savior.com)
Roman Catholicism (Links to an entire page)
Portrays itself as the one legitimate heir to New Testament Christianity
Christ + works
Allegorizes everything, sees the 1,000 years as spiritual and non-literal
Sees Christ’s second coming as occurring after the “millennium,” a golden age or era of Christian prosperity and dominance
Christianity and Islam are compatible, both the Bible and the Qur’an are holy texts
Inverted mirror image of Christian Zionism. All the basic elements of a Christian Zionist eschatology are reversed
The Bible is seen to be Christian, not Jewish
The land of the Bible is Palestine not Israel
The Son of God is a Palestinian not a Jew
The Holocaust is resented not remembered
1948 is a catastrophe not a miracle
The Jewish people are illegal occupiers not rightful owners
Biblical prophecy is a moral manifesto and not a signpost to the Second Coming
Christian Dominionism (Kingdom Now)
Focuses strongly on social justice and environmentalism and often includes a non-traditional view of the Scriptures.
- What is a Biblical view of social action?
Seeker Sensitive Movement
- Tries to reach the unsaved person by making the church experience as comfortable, inviting, and non-threatening as possible
- Should a church be seeker sensitive?
Spiritual Formation Movement
Believes that if we do certain mystical rituals, we can be more like Jesus and find God within themselves.
Pentecostal Church (UPC)
The Holy Spirit baptism is evidenced by speaking in tongues
New Apostolic Church (NAC)
Teaches that there are modern-day Apostles and Prophets
Promotes a works-based salvation
New Apostolic Reformation (NAR)
Emphasizes experience over Scripture, mysticism over doctrine, and modern-day “apostles” over the plain text of the Bible
Uses visualization techniques, guided meditation, and “soaking prayer,” similar to New Age mysticism
Lying across the physical grave of a deceased preacher or evangelist for the purpose of “pulling out” the power of the Holy Spirit, a power that was purportedly “trapped” within the body upon the person’s death.
Emergent Church Movement (post-modern Christianity)
Experience over reason, subjectivity over objectivity, spirituality over religion, images over words, outward over inward
New Age movement
No such thing as a ‘Christian Democrat’ - The party is now so extreme that no follower of Christ can align with it
True Christianity vs Counterfeit Christianity
About 20 years ago a survey of 7,000 Protestant youths from many denominations asked whether they agreed with the following statements:
“The way to be accepted by God is to try sincerely to live a good life.” More than 60% agreed.
“God is satisfied if a person lives the best life he can.” Almost 70% agreed.
(Reported by Paul Brand & Philip Yancey, Fearfully & Wonderfully Made [Zondervan], p. 108.)
I have found that many church-going people, like these young people, are confused on the most important question in life: “How can I be right with God?” Many think that sincerity is a big factor. If you’re sincere, God will let you into heaven even if you’re a bit fuzzy on the truth. But that’s like saying that a man who swallows deadly poison, sincerely thinking that it is medicine, will get better. All the sincerity in the world is fatal if it is not in line with the truth.
Many also think that human effort plays a big role. If you try your best, even though you aren’t perfect, God will say, “I’ll let you into heaven because you tried so hard.” If that is what the Bible teaches, then it is so. But if it is contrary to what the Bible teaches, then trying your best to get into heaven is like trying your best to broad jump across the Grand Canyon. You’re not going to make it!
Have you ever been stuck with a counterfeit bill? You thought it was legal tender, but when you took it somewhere and offered it as money, the teller or clerk said, “I’m sorry, but this is counterfeit money. It’s no good.” The Bible teaches that Satan is a master counterfeiter, trying to pass off on unsuspecting people a version of Christianity that looks pretty good, but it is not going to be accepted by the bank of heaven. It’s traumatic to get stuck with a counterfeit bill; it would be far more traumatic to stand before God someday and hear Him declare that your Christianity is counterfeit!
In Philippians 3:1-3, the apostle Paul contrasts true and counterfeit Christianity. To understand this section of Philippians, you must know a bit of history. Soon after the gospel began to spread among the Gentiles, some Jewish men who claimed also to believe in Christ began teaching the Gentile converts that they could not be saved unless they also were circumcised according to the law of Moses (see Acts 15:1). They did not deny that a person must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, but they added to faith in Christ the keeping of the Jewish law, especially circumcision, as necessary for salvation.
The issue was debated and resolved in Jerusalem at a council of the church leaders where it was decided that Gentiles do not have to become Jews or be circumcised to be saved; but that every person, Jew or Gentile, is saved by grace through faith in Christ alone (Acts 15:1-29). But that decision did not cause Satan to give up his efforts to pervert the truth of the gospel. He continued to work through a group of men known as Judaizers who followed Paul on his missionary journeys, infiltrating the new churches and teaching their subtle error, that faith in Christ was not sufficient if a person did not also keep the Law, especially circumcision. Paul wrote Galatians to refute this error. He contends there that these men were preaching a false gospel and he calls down damnation on those who so pervert the true gospel (Gal. 1:6-9). The Judaizers are the men Paul is warning the Philippian church about in our text. The three terms in 3:2, “dogs, evil workers, and false circumcision,” all refer to one group, the Judaizers, who were promoting a counterfeit Christianity.
While the Judaizers no longer exist under that name, the core of their teaching is still quite prevalent. Thus our text is extremely important in helping us to discern what true Christianity is and to reject any counterfeit version. Paul is teaching that ...
To be true Christians we must put off all confidence in human merit and trust in Christ alone for salvation.
True Christianity relies totally on the person and work of Christ; counterfeit Christianity adds to this reliance on human worth or works.
Concerning counterfeit Christianity, Paul warns us:
1. Beware of counterfeit Christianity which adds human merit to the person and work of Christ!
The severity of Paul’s warning is underscored by his threefold repetition: “Beware ... beware ... beware ...!” Counterfeit Christianity is a strong danger for all of us because we’re all prone to pride and self-reliance. We all want to take for ourselves at least some of the credit for our salvation. We’ll be generous and grant that most of the credit goes to the Lord, but we still want to reserve a bit of the honor for ourselves. People will say, “I was saved by my own free will,” which implies, “I was smart enough or good enough to make the right choice.” But the Bible knocks our pride out from under us by clearly stating that our salvation does not depend on our will, but on God’s sovereign mercy (Rom. 9:16). Or, people will say, “Christ died for me because I was worthy.” But Scripture is clear that He died for us when we were unworthy sinners (Rom. 5:8).
Counterfeit Christianity glories in the flesh, which means, human worth or merit. The names Paul calls these false teachers reveal three common forms such human merit takes:
A. COUNTERFEIT CHRISTIANITY TAKES PRIDE IN RACIAL OR ETHNIC STATUS, AS IF IT PUT US IN RIGHT STANDING WITH GOD.
Paul sarcastically calls these Judaizers “dogs.” He is taking a slur that the Jews used against the Gentiles and turning back against these false teachers. It referred to the packs of wild dogs that used to raid the garbage and eat anything they could find. Since the Gentiles were not concerned about clean and unclean foods, or about purifying themselves according to the Jewish rituals, the Jews viewed them as unclean dogs. Just beneath the surface was ethnic pride, as if being a Jew by birth made one right with God.
Much of the strife in the world today stems from racial or religious pride. The Catholic-Protestant violence in Ireland, the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, the Arab-Jewish conflicts in the Holy Land, Iraq’s persecution of the Kurds, the recent civil war in Rwanda, the racial tension in South Africa, and many more conflicts are due to people mistakenly thinking that their racial status puts them in God’s favor. Here in America, many of the white supremacy groups justify their ethnic pride and hatred of blacks and Jews on a mistaken understanding of the Bible.
Scripture is clear that while God chose the nation Israel as His people and still has a special purpose for the Jews, He is no respecter of persons when it comes to granting salvation through Jesus Christ (Acts 10:34-47). As Paul writes in Romans 10:12, 13, “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him; for ‘Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.’”
B. COUNTERFEIT CHRISTIANITY TAKES PRIDE IN HUMAN WORKS AS IF THEY PUT US IN RIGHT STANDING WITH GOD.
Paul calls these men, who prided themselves on their good works, “evil workers.” They thought they were obeying God’s law. Outwardly they were good, moral people, zealous for religious activities. But their religious works were evil in God’s sight, because they took pride in their own achievements and trusted in their good deeds as the means of making themselves right before God. Such trust in human works brings glory to man and nullifies what Christ did for us on the cross.
The Bible is clear that while we are saved by grace through faith apart from any works, genuine saving faith always results in a life of good works (Eph. 2:8-10; Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-8; James 2:14-26). But the order of faith and works is essential! No human efforts can commend us to God. A true Christian never glories in his good works, but glories in Christ alone, as we will see.
C. COUNTERFEIT CHRISTIANITY TAKES PRIDE IN RELIGIOUS RITUALS AS IF THEY PUT US IN RIGHT STANDING WITH GOD.
Paul calls these men “the false circumcision,” which is a play on words. In Greek, circumcision is peritome; Paul calls these men katatome, which means “mutilators.” Just as the pagan priests of Baal in Elijah’s day cut themselves in a religious frenzy, so these false teachers were mutilating people through their emphasis on circumcision. They wrongly thought that the ritual of removing the male foreskin somehow gained them favor with God. But as Paul argues in Romans 4, even Abraham, to whom God first gave the rite of circumcision, was not made right with God through circumcision, but through faith.
Today there are many professing Christians who mistakenly think that religious rituals such as baptism or communion or attending church services or going through prescribed liturgies will get them into heaven. But, as Jesus told the religious Nicodemus, “... unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
Thus Paul is strongly warning us to beware of trusting in any form of human goodness, human worth, human merit, or good works as the basis of our standing with God. Salvation is clearly shown in Scripture to be due to God’s choice, not due to our being worth it, “that no man should boast before God” (see 1 Cor. 1:27-31).
These verses also show us that it is the job of faithful pastors to warn the flock of such dangerous teachings. We live in a day marked by tolerance and positive thinking. Many Christians say, “Why attack those who teach error? Just preach the positives.” I have often been criticized because I preach against popular errors that have flooded into the church, such as the self-esteem teaching that runs counter to the heart of the gospel. There is also a strong movement toward unity, where doctrine is viewed as divisive and against love. Anyone who points out doctrinal error is labeled a “heresy hunter” who is against unity. But notice that even though Paul is exhorting the Philippian church to unity, it is not a unity devoid of doctrinal truth. If you didn’t need pastors to warn you of such subtle errors, verses like these would not be in the Bible.
2. Embrace true Christianity which relies totally on the person and work of Jesus Christ for salvation.
Note that Paul is reminding the Philippians of something they already knew (3:1). When he says “Finally,” he isn’t necessarily being like some preachers, who say that half way through their sermon! It can mean simply that he is turning to a new section. Although scholars differ on it, I believe that by “the same things” Paul is referring to his emphasis on rejoicing. He has mentioned “rejoicing” (1:18 [2x], 2:17 [2x], 18 [2x], 28) and “joy” (1:4, 25; 2:2, 29) eleven times already in chapters one and two! But, he’s going to remind them again, because it is such an important, central part of the genuine Christian life. He will hit it again in 4:4. It is no trouble to him to hammer on it, and it is a safeguard against the subtle danger of trusting in human merit. Rejoicing in the Lord is the great antidote to rejoicing in self-reliance or achievement. It takes our focus off ourselves, it humbles our pride, and it fills us with great hope to rejoice in the Lord.
A. TRUE CHRISTIANITY IS SUMMED UP BY, “REJOICE IN THE LORD.”
I understand “rejoice in the Lord” (3:1) to be a summary of true Christianity, while the three phrases in 3:3, “worship in the Spirit of God,” “glory in Christ Jesus,” and “put no confidence in the flesh” are simply other ways of saying the same thing. Test yourself by this measure: True Christians rejoice in the Lord.
What does this mean? It means that the Lord Jesus Christ is everything to a true Christian. Christ, and Christ alone, is our salvation. Without Him, we would be lost and without hope. In Him we are saved and have hope! As Paul puts it (1 Cor. 1:30-31), “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, that, just as it is written, ‘Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.’”
Also he wrote (Col. 2:10-11), “In Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.” This is what Paul is referring to when he calls true Christians “the circumcision” (Phil. 3:3). It is a spiritual, inner work performed on us by Christ. So when Paul tells us to rejoice in the Lord, he means that the Lord is everything to us and we are in Him. So we are to focus our thoughts on Him and what He has graciously done for us through the cross. We will be filled with joy in the Holy Spirit as we daily walk with our eyes on the Lord Jesus and what He is to us.
“Rejoice in the Lord” also means that true Christianity is not just a matter of the head, but also of the heart. It involves and is built on sound doctrine which is grasped by the intellect. Our minds must appropriate the great truths of who Christ is and what He did for us on the cross and what He has promised to those who believe in Him. But, if it stops there, you are not a true Christian. A true Christian is marked by what Jonathan Edwards called “religious affections.” His emotions or heart is affected, so that he rejoices in the inner person as he thinks on the blessedness of what Jesus is to him.
A Christian leader and seminary professor, who has been in ministry for over 20 years, told me that his wife, due to her “dysfunctional” upbringing, had never felt God’s love and that she did not understand His grace. In spite of all the teaching and training to which she had been exposed, he said that when she heard me preach on God’s grace and love, it just went right past her. He attributed this to the fact that her father had been a cold, unemotional, unloving man. I shocked him and made him angry when I responded, “If your wife has never felt God’s love in Christ and has never been moved by the great truth that Christ died for her sin, she isn’t saved.” True Christianity is not merely a matter of subscribing to the great doctrinal truths of the Bible, although it is built on that. It is a matter of God changing our hearts, so that we rejoice in the Lord. This summarizes true Christianity. But, also,
B. TRUE CHRISTIANITY IS MARKED BY “WORSHIP IN THE SPIRIT OF GOD.”
Jesus said, “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). True worship is the inner sense of awe, gratitude, and love for God that stems from an understanding of who God is and who we are in His presence. The false teachers were making worship a matter of outward ritual. Paul is saying that true Christians are marked by inner worship prompted by the indwelling Holy Spirit. The Spirit works submission in our hearts so that we bow before God, caught up in love and praise, giving all glory to Him for His great salvation!
C. TRUE CHRISTIANITY IS MARKED BY “GLORYING IN CHRIST JESUS.”
The King James Version inaccurately translates, “rejoice in Christ Jesus.” The word is “boast” or “glory.” Paul is basing this on Jeremiah 9:23-24: “Thus says the Lord, ‘Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,’ declares the Lord.”
Have you ever been around a boaster? He goes around telling everyone how wonderful he is, how smart he is, how much he knows. Christians should go around telling people how wonderful Christ is, how great He is, how merciful, how kind, how powerful, how awesome, how righteous, etc. Boasting in ourselves is sinful pride; boasting in the Lord deflates our pride and gives all the glory to Him. True Christians confess, “The only thing I’m great at is being a great sinner; but Christ Jesus is a great Savior!”
D. TRUE CHRISTIANITY IS MARKED BY “NO CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH.”
Counterfeit Christianity builds a person’s self-esteem: “You’re great, you’re worthy, you’re somebody!” True Christianity humbles all pride and confidence in self. As Jeremiah 17:5, 7, 8 puts it, “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from the Lord.... Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is in the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.”
Why do people ignore strong warnings? I guess they think that somehow it doesn’t apply to them or that it isn’t to be taken seriously. On our vacation, we went to the Columbian icefields in Jasper National Park in Canada. You can walk to the edge of one of the glaciers, but there are signs in several languages warning of the extreme danger of walking onto the glaciers. The signs even explain why it is dangerous: there are hidden crevasses, covered by recent snowfalls, where you can easily fall to your death. A ranger told us that a year to the day before we were there, a man had gone about 60 feet out onto the glacier and had fallen through the snow into a crevasse where he died before rescuers could free him. Yet in spite of the clear warnings, dozens of people were wandering hundreds of yards out onto the glacier!
Paul warns us, “Beware of counterfeit Christianity!” You could fall into it if you disregard his warning! Just as you would examine a suspect bill to see whether it is true or counterfeit, so you should examine your heart: True Christians put off all confidence in human merit and trust completely in Christ Jesus for salvation. They rejoice in Him and all that He is to them. Beware of any false substitutes!
False Prophets in the Church Today
Following is a list of the false prophets in the Church today that have been critiqued on this site. Their prophecies have been compared with scripture to show that they are not speaking for God, as they claim. Instead they are false shepherds leading the sheep astray, saying things that tickle the ears of those who have not fully understood the Bible.
A lot of these prognosticators also preach another gospel, or replacement theology, or deny the trinity and other sound bible doctrines. The Bible tells us that we will know other Christian's by their fruit, but these false prophets in the Church today have sour fruit. Most of them live in mansions, eat rich food, drive the most expensive cars (unlike the prophets in the Bible) and have no sympathy for the poor. Also see a list of False Teachers that have been critiqued on this site.
Jesus warned us that:
For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. (Matthew 24:24)
It is my sincerest wish that after reading these critiques that you also will be able to discern who is speaking for God and who is distorting the scriptures.
Other False Teachings of the Manifest Sons of God (MSOG), Latter Rain, Five Fold, Apostolic, Manchild, Kingdom Now, Dominionist, Restoration Theology, etc.
Michael Brown Warning is a video published by Moriel TV, Jacob Prasch, exposing Michael Brown as a false prophet who mixes error with truth and is a member of the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation):
The increase of apostasy is evident as false prophets are looking anywhere but the Bible for God’s Word and spouting Gnosticism, which is evident in Beware of the New "prophets"
Nathan Leal: When dreams overtake scripture
Rodney Howard Brown: A plethora of articles exposing Rodney Howard Brown as a false teacher: Articles about "Joel's Bartender," Rodney Howard-Browne.
Nostradamus: The Facts About Nostradamus and His Prophecies by Dan Corner.
Joel's Army by Let Us Reason Ministries--explains why Joel's army may be called Gods army but they are not his people. Joel's army is the raising up of a devouring army of locusts, (destroyers) to bring judgement upon the land and they will be destroyed.
Another good article exposing the Manifest Sons of God/Latter Rain/Five Fold/Apostolic/Restoration/Dominionist, etc. movements and giving a much more indepth analysis of their history is Doctrine of Demons by Tricia Tillin. This is a very long book-sized article, packed full of information. In part one she lists the progression of this heretical phenomonon through history.
The Deception in the Church web site has a plethora of articles exposing false prophets.
Christian Teachers Preaching False Doctrines
Religious doctrines are beliefs based on Scriptures in the Bible that have been accepted and taught by church leaders through the centuries. A false doctrine occurs when those beliefs have been distorted by false teachers twisting what the Bible says.
Too many false teachers in the church today distort the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, his sinless death on the cross, the gospel of Grace vs Works, eternal salvation, teachings on baptism, God's plan for Israel, when the rapture occurs, who God will punish during the Great Tribulation and more.
Paul said: "For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths." (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
How to Recognize Wolves in Sheep's Clothing
Today's end times false teachers often seem to know their bible better than most Christians. However, you won't recognize when they are misinterpreting the Scriptures unless you understand the Bible yourself. They will pretend to be one of the sheep but are cleverly hiding the fact they are actually wolves in sheep's clothing, like the wolf in the Red Riding Hood fable. They will tell you what you want to hear so you will follow them and do what they say (buy their books, send them money, attend their conferences, etc).
Paul said: "Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them." (Acts 20:28-30)
Destructive Doctrines In The End Times Church Today
False teachers in the Church today pick and choose scriptures to fit their beliefs, instead of following what the Bible says. In fact too many them don't even believe the Bible to be inspired by God. They deem it to be incomplete, so they add their own interpretation, boldly defying what Scripture says about not adding to the Word of God.
John said: "I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll." (Revelation 22:18-19)
Recognizing False Teachers in The Church Today
We can recognize those that teach false doctrine during the end times, not just by what they teach, but also by their fruit, because a healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit (Luke 6:43-44). This bad fruit usually manifests itself in the desire for money, sinful sexual activity and power over others. How many of the most popular Christian teachers live in mansions, drive expensive cars and ignore the needs of the poor?
The best thing you can do to recognize false teachers is to read your Bible, not just once but several times:
Paul said: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16)
Following is a list of Christian False Teachers that have been critiqued on this website with their teachings compared with Scripture:
Philip B. Brown - The Bride of Christ must get out of sin before Christ returns or they will miss the Rapture.
Anthony Buzzard is an Anti-Trinitarian (Jesus was not God) and confuses the church with the Kingdom promised to Israel.
Kenneth Copeland claims Christians are destined to be blessed with financial wealth and good health
J. Preston Eby uses scriptures speaking on Christ's 2nd coming to refer to the Rapture and that the gift of the Holy Spirit isn't given when one first believes.
Billy Graham promoted ecumenicalism. He believes new believers should return to the Catholic Church. He also believed that Islam and Christianity were similar.
Bill Hamon A proponent of the Manifest Son's of God theory (MSOG) now known as the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) where they claim Christ won't come back until the Church is purified.
Jonathan Hansen preaches a gospel of Works, Replacement Theology, Kingdom Now Theology and a lot more.
Benny Hinn False Teacher exposes his beliefs that he is a little messiah, that we are devine and we are gods.
Benny Hinn's Selective Healing is a review of one of Hinn's television programs on healing.
Benny Hinn Crusade this is a testimony by someone who attended one of Hinn's healing crusades and expressed his concerns about it.
Clarence McClendon preaches on the "all breasted God" who will give you anything you want.
Joyce Meyer on Jesus Descended into Hell claims that she is not a sinner and Christ left his work on the cross undone.
Joyce Meyer on Believers Judged She preaches that believers will be judged at the white throne judgment.
Joel Osteen Jesus spent 3 days in hell fighting Satan
Lyn Mize believes our souls (as well as our spritis) need to be saved or we will miss the Rapture.
Brother Stair an Anti-Pre-Tribber, encouraged people to not go to a doctor, or go to church and don't watch TV.
Rick Warren teaching Chrislam which denies Christ's deity and wants to merge Islam with Christianity
David Wilkerson and his faulty teaching on "the river of life".
Sollog False Prophet is a New Age prophet claiming that all religions are from the same god.
A Pandemic In Christendom: Calling Out Evangelical Compromise In The Church
As we started the year with the theme, “Waking up the Church,” I want to end the year with some shocking quotes that one would think would help wake up the church! Consider this question: are you totally sure of the virgin birth?
Did you know one well-known academic in the Christian world is only “reasonably confident” that Jesus was born of a virgin? This same person rejects a literal Adam and Eve, that Adam was made from dust, that Eve was made from Adam, that there was a literal tree of the knowledge of good and evil, a literal fruit, and a literal serpent. He also says it’s not important to insist on the inerrancy of Scripture! Oh, and yes, this person believes in millions of years and evolutionary ideas. Yet he is considered by many to be in the mainstream of evangelical Christianity! Would you consider this person to be in the mainstream of evangelical orthodoxy?
Well, I certainly don’t. In fact, what this person believes and disseminates throughout the Christian world is false teaching that undermines the authority of the Word of God. Yet many in the church highly respect him as a supposed orthodox Christian. Sadly, he has great impact on Christian colleges, seminaries, and churches. Such shocking compromise is rampant throughout Christian academia and is a major contributing factor to why there is an exodus of the younger generations from the church. I will share some exact quotes from this person later on.
Discipled To Reject Compromise
I hate compromise in regard to God’s Word. In the Old Testament, the prophets called God’s people out time and time again for compromising God’s Word with the pagan religion of the age. And we read how God judged them because of this compromise.
My father set the example for our family. He would never knowingly compromise God’s Word. He hated such compromise. When I was a teenager, the church we were attending distributed a daily devotional book to the congregation. One of the devotions was on Noah’s flood, and the writer stated the flood was just a local event. My father met with the pastor and elders and told them firmly they should not be distributing this booklet because it undermined the Word of God. While many in the church and in leadership didn’t want to “rock the boat,” my father was always willing to call out error and stand up for what was right and do his best to stop the authority of God’s Word from being undermined. For those who know me and the AiG ministry, you can see how this greatly impacted my life and the ministry God called me to.
My father also taught me to look out for those who take man’s fallible ideas and use them to reinterpret Scripture. He taught me the difference between eisegesis and exegesis. I learned from him how to “smell liberal theology a million miles away.”
I learned that Genesis 1–11 is literal history (after all, Jesus and various writers through the Old and New Testaments quoted from or referred to Genesis as literal history!). I also learned that all the different positions on Genesis (other than the position of taking it as written) have one thing in common—trying to fit millions of years into the Bible. And such compromise with millions of years undermines biblical authority and unlocks a door to place those doing this on a slippery slide of unbelief. There is no doubt one can see this has happened to the academic I referenced above. Years ago, this person was adamant one has to accept what he called “mainstream science” in reference to supposed billions of years for the age of the earth. And now consider where he is.
Craig: “I don’t want the young earth creationist interpretation to be true”!
The person I am referring to is William Lane Craig. He heads up his own ministry called Reasonable Faith, is a visiting professor at Talbot School of Theology at Biola University, and is a Professor of Philosophy at Houston Baptist University. He is considered by many to be a great apologist because of his defense of the existence of the Creator God and the resurrection.
Now read the following quotes and weep. I think you will be shocked at not only what Craig says but also how he says it.
“Now, I would be disingenuous, Sean, if I were to say that I don’t want the young earth creationist interpretation to come out true. To me that is a nightmare, my greatest fear is that the young earth creationist might be right in his hermeneutical claim that Genesis does teach those things that I described earlier. And I say that would be a nightmare because if that’s what the Bible teaches, it puts the Bible into massive, I think irredeemable, conflict with modern science, history and linguistics and I don’t want that to happen.”
“I think it should prompt us not to be over literalistic in the way we read these narratives. And once you begin to look at them in terms of mytho-history, it’s difficult to look at them any other way. I mean, when you read a story about two people in an arboretum with these magical trees whose fruit, if you eat it, will grant you immortality or the knowledge of good and evil, and then there is this talking snake who comes along and tempts them into sin, and then you have this anthropomorphic God walking in the cool of the garden, calling out audibly to Adam in his hideout, you think, well, of course, this is figurative and metaphorical language. This isn’t meant to be read in this sort of literalistic fashion. And so once you begin to see these narratives this way, you begin to think, how can I have read them any other way? It would be like reading Aesop’s fables literalistically as really about talking animals, for example, rather than as figurative or metaphorical in order to teach some moral lesson.”
“Assuming then, for the sake of argument, the truth of evolutionary biology concerning human origins, we can imagine sometime prior to 750,000 years ago a group of hominins, maybe a few thousand, and through a biological and spiritual renovation, perhaps divinely induced, a miracle that caused a genetic regulatory mutation in a pair of these hominins, they were lifted to fully human status and capable of supporting a rational soul through their brain and nervous system. And they would then begin to have children, and I think given their full humanity, they would naturally tend to isolate themselves from their nonhuman contemporaries. In time they and their descendants would supersede all of the nonhuman descendants and eventually give rise to different species of human beings like Neanderthals, Homo sapiens, and Denisovans.”
Licona [interviewer]: “What about the matter of Adam being made from dirt and Eve being formed from one of Adam’s ribs? Are those elements part of the myth in the mytho-history or do you think they are historical?”
Craig: “I think that is part of the figurative language of myth. I have long been suspicious of things such as the creation of Eve from a rib out of Adam’s side as though God performed some sort of literal surgery on the man and built a woman out of it or that God shaped this figurine out of dirt and breathed into its nose the breath of life and the statue came alive. It seemed to me that this was clearly figurative language, but I didn’t have a reason for thinking that until I became acquainted with this genre called mytho-history.”
“Did God stoop so low in condescending to become a man that he took on such cognitive limitations that Jesus shared false beliefs typically held by other ordinary first century Jews? Since I have good reason to believe in his deity, as explained above, I would sooner admit that Jesus could hold false beliefs (that ultimately don’t matter) rather than deny his divinity.”
In answer to the question, “Are you actually confident that Jesus was born to a virgin?” Craig’s answer: “I’m reasonably confident.”
“I don’t insist on the inerrancy of Scripture.”
“It really is true that a solid, persuasive case for Jesus’ resurrection can be made without any assumption of the Gospels’ inerrancy. By contrast, the case for Jesus’ belief that the Old Testament Scriptures are inerrant is much weaker.”
You can view the video clips where Craig made some of these statements and more at this link: Answers.tv/lane. It’s important for you to watch the videos if you can (they are all short clips).
Craig vs New Testament authors
William Lane Craig mocked the idea that the first man was made from dust. But what does the apostle Paul state? “The first man was from the earth, a man of dust” (1 Corinthians 15:47). Paul obviously took the account in Genesis as literal history. God himself in Genesis said to the man, “till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19).
Craig mocked at the first woman being made from the first man.
What does the apostle Paul state? “For man was not made from woman, but woman from man” (1 Corinthians 11:8).
When Craig was asked if he believed Jesus was born of a virgin, he said, “I’m reasonably confident.”
Matthew records the following: “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’” (Matthew 1:22–23).
Now there are many Christian academics and leaders who compromise Genesis, not just William Lane Craig. And why do they do this? Well, as we sinned in Adam, Genesis 3:1 really sums up the problem we have. We would rather believe man’s fallible word than the Word of the infallible God. To put it another way, “for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God” (John 12:43).
Hearing some of these latest statements from Craig burdened me greatly. The ministry of Answers in Genesis, the Creation Museum, and the Ark Encounter could never compromise God’s Word with man’s fallible beliefs like the religion of millions of years/evolution. As my father taught me, a Christian should never put fallible man’s word in authority over God’s infallible Word.
More than ever, we need to challenge people with the truth of God’s Word and the saving gospel. As we celebrate the birth of the God-man Jesus at this Christmas time, let’s remember that it was in Genesis 3:15 that God first promised the Savior. Yes, the account of a literal Adam, a literal tree, a literal fruit, a literal serpent, and a literal fall is why Adam’s race needed a Savior, the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45), to save us from our sin.
World Religions, Cults & The Occult (Series in Progress)
There's a lot of confusion in the world about religion, and what the right path is. Whether it's Judaism, Christianity, Islam, etc., there must be an absolute path to take since all religions are diametrically opposed to each other. Is it one God? Or many gods? Are all the names equating to the same spirit? Or is it all a mixed bag of confusion? Since God is not the author of confusion, this series will make it absolutely clear by unraveling the truth behind each and answering the hard questions.
With so many belief systems and the heart of man trying to fill a void that only God can fill, some people find themselves involved in strange spiritual groups that sometimes lead to awful consequences. Some of these cults are ran by people who really believe that they are God. Could you be involved in a cult? Have you been deceived by a pseudo form of Christianity? Have you been told that you can become your own god? Well this series also covers the controversial topics of cults and why there are so many in the world today.
Satanism, witchcraft, sorcery and so on. We've all heard of these from one time to another. With the continuing rise of Neo-Paganism, it should be no surprise that the occult is flourishing in these last days. If you want a better understanding of this dark belief system then this series is for you. The war in the spirit realm is very real and you need to be equipped to deal with the realities. We'll go behind the secret teachings, history and practices, leaving you totally informed.
What is Roman Catholicism?
The Roman Catholic Church portrays itself as the one legitimate heir to New Testament Christianity, and the pope as the successor to Peter, the first bishop of Rome. While those details are debatable, there is no question that Roman church history reaches back to ancient times. The apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Romans about AD 55 and addressed a church body that existed prior to his first visit there (but he made no mention of Peter, though he greeted others by name). Despite repeated persecutions by the government, a vibrant Christian community existed in Rome after apostolic times. Those early Roman Christians were just like their brethren in other parts of the world—simple followers of Jesus Christ.
Things changed drastically when the Roman Emperor Constantine professed a conversion to Christianity in AD 312. He began to make changes that ultimately led to the formation of the Roman Catholic Church. He issued the Edict of Milan in 313, which granted freedom of worship throughout the empire. When doctrinal disputes arose, Constantine presided over the first ecumenical church council at Nicaea in AD 325, even though he held no official authority in the churches. By the time of Constantine’s death, Christianity was the favored, if not the official, religion of the Roman Empire. The term Roman Catholic was defined by Emperor Theodosius on February 27, 380, in the Theodosian Code. In that document, he refers to those who hold to the “religion which was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter” as “Roman Catholic Christians” and gives them the official sanction of the empire.
The fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of the Catholic Church are really two branches of the same story, as the power was transferred from one entity to the other. From the time of Constantine (AD 312) until the fall of the Roman Empire in 476, the emperors of Rome claimed a certain amount of authority within the church, even though it was disputed by many church leaders. During those formative years, there were many disputes over authority, structure, and doctrine. The emperors sought to increase their authority by granting privileges to various bishops, resulting in disputes about primacy within the churches. At the same time, some of the bishops sought to increase their authority and prestige by accusing others of false doctrine and seeking state support of their positions. Many of those disputes resulted in very sinful behavior, which are a disgrace to the name of Christ.
Just like today, some of those who lived in the leading cities tended to exalt themselves above their contemporaries in the rural areas. The third century saw the rise of an ecclesiastical hierarchy patterned after the Roman government. The bishop of a city was over the presbyters, or priests, of the local congregations, controlling the ministry of the churches, and the Bishop of Rome began to establish himself as supreme over all. Though some historians tell these details as the history of “the church,” there were many church leaders in those days who neither stooped to those levels nor acknowledged any ecclesiastical hierarchy. The vast majority of churches in the first four centuries derived their authority and doctrine from the Bible and traced their lineage directly back to the apostles, not to the church of Rome. In the New Testament, the terms elder, pastor, and bishop are used interchangeably for the spiritual leaders of any church (see 1 Peter 5:1–3 where the Greek root words are translated “elders,” “feed,” and “oversight”). By the time Gregory became pope in AD 590, the empire was in shambles, and he assumed imperial powers along with his ecclesiastical authority. From that time on, the church and state were fully intertwined as the Holy Roman Empire, with the pope exercising authority over kings and emperors.
What are the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church that distinguish it from other Christian churches? Whole books have been written on this subject, but a sampling of the doctrines will be outlined here.
Roman Catholicism teaches:
The bishops, with the pope as their head, rule the universal Church.
Christ, the head of the body, rules the universal church (Colossians 1:18).
God has entrusted revelation to the bishops.
God has entrusted revelation to the saints (Jude 3).
The pope is infallible in his teaching.
Scripture and Tradition together are the Word of God.
Mary is the co-redeemer, for she participated with Christ in the painful act of redemption.
Mary is the co-mediator, to whom we can entrust all our cares and petitions.
Initial justification is by means of baptism.
Justification is by faith alone (Romans 3:28).
Adults must prepare for justification through faith and good works.
Grace is merited by good works.
Grace is a free gift (Romans 11:6).
Salvation is attained by cooperating with grace through faith, good works, and participation in the sacraments.
Salvation is attained by grace through faith apart from works (Ephesians 2:10).
No one can know if he will attain eternal life.
The Roman Catholic Church is necessary for salvation.
There is salvation in no one but the Lord Jesus Christ, “for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Christ’s body and blood exist wholly and entirely in every fragment of consecrated bread and wine in every Roman Catholic church around the world.
The sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated in the sacrifice of the Mass.
The sacrifice of the cross is finished (John 19:30).
Each sacrifice of the Mass appeases God’s wrath against sin.
The once-for-all sacrifice of the cross fully appeased God’s wrath against sin (Hebrews 10:12-18).
The sacrificial work of redemption is continually carried out through the sacrifice of the Mass.
These doctrines don’t date back all the way to Constantine, except for perhaps in seed form, but were slowly adopted over many years as various popes issued decrees. In many cases, the doctrines are not even based on Scripture but on a document of the church. Most Roman Catholics consider themselves to be Christians and are unaware of the differences between their beliefs and the Bible. Sadly, the Roman Catholic Church has fostered that ignorance by discouraging the personal study of the Bible and making the people reliant on the priests for their understanding of the Bible.
What is replacement theology / supersessionism?
Replacement theology (also known as supersessionism) essentially teaches that the church has replaced Israel in God’s plan. Adherents of replacement theology believe the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people, and God does not have specific future plans for the nation of Israel. Among the different views of the relationship between the church and Israel are the church has replaced Israel (replacement theology), the church is an expansion of Israel (covenant theology), or the church is completely different and distinct from Israel (dispensationalism/premillennialism).
Replacement theology teaches that the church is the replacement for Israel and that the many promises made to Israel in the Bible are fulfilled in the Christian church, not in Israel. The prophecies in Scripture concerning the blessing and restoration of Israel to the Promised Land are spiritualized or allegorized into promises of God’s blessing for the church. Major problems exist with this view, such as the continuing existence of the Jewish people throughout the centuries and especially with the revival of the modern state of Israel. If Israel has been condemned by God and there is no future for the Jewish nation, how do we explain the supernatural survival of the Jewish people over the past 2,000 years despite the many attempts to destroy them? How do we explain why and how Israel reappeared as a nation in the 20th century after not existing for 1,900 years?
The view that Israel and the church are different is clearly taught in the New Testament. Biblically speaking, the church is distinct from Israel, and the terms church and Israel are never to be confused or used interchangeably. We are taught from Scripture that the church is an entirely new creation that came into being on the day of Pentecost and will continue until it is taken to heaven at the rapture (Ephesians 1:9–11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–17). The church has no relationship to the curses and blessings for Israel. The covenants, promises, and warnings of the Mosaic Covenant were valid only for Israel. Israel has been temporarily set aside in God’s program during these past 2,000 years of dispersion (see Romans 11).
Contrary to replacement theology, dispensationalism teaches that, after the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13–18), God will restore Israel as the primary focus of His plan. The first event at this time is the tribulation (Revelation chapters 6–19). The world will be judged for rejecting Christ, while Israel is prepared through the trials of the great tribulation for the second coming of the Messiah. Then, when Christ does return to the earth at the end of the tribulation, Israel will be ready to receive Him. The remnant of Israel who survive the tribulation will be saved, and the Lord will establish His kingdom on this earth with Jerusalem as its capital. With Christ reigning as King, Israel will be the leading nation, and representatives from all nations will come to Jerusalem to honor and worship the King—Jesus Christ. The church will return with Christ and will reign with Him for a literal thousand years (Revelation 20:1–5).
Both the Old Testament and the New Testament support a premillennial/dispensational understanding of God’s plan for Israel. The strongest support for premillennialism is found in the clear teaching of Revelation 20:1–7, where it says six times that Christ’s kingdom will last 1,000 years. After the tribulation the Lord will return and establish His kingdom with the nation of Israel, Christ will reign over the whole earth, and Israel will be the leader of the nations. The church will reign with Him for a literal thousand years. The church has not replaced Israel in God’s plan. While God may be focusing His attention primarily on the church in this dispensation of grace, God has not forgotten Israel and will one day restore Israel to His intended role as the nation He has chosen (Romans 11).
What is amillennialism?
Please note, as a ministry, GotQuestions.org rejects amillennialism. We truly and fully believe in premillennialism, that Christ will return to establish His kingdom, over which He will reign for 1,000 years. However, we believe that amillennialism is a valid viewpoint that a Christian can hold. In no sense is amillennialism heresy and in no sense should amillennialists be shunned as not being brothers and sisters in Christ. We thought it would be worthwhile to have an article that positively presents amillennialism, as it is always good for our viewpoints to be challenged, motivating us to further search the Scriptures to make sure our beliefs are biblically sound.
Amillennialism is one of four views of the end times regarding the 1,000-year reign of Christ. Each of the four views differs in the placement, or the timing, of the 1,000-year reign mentioned in Revelation 20.
An amillennialist sees the 1,000 years as spiritual and non-literal, as opposed to a physical understanding of history. Although the prefix a- would typically signify a negation of a word, the amil position sees the millennium as “realized,” or better explained as “millennium now.” To simplify, amillennialism sees the first coming of Christ as the inauguration of the kingdom, and His return as the consummation of the kingdom. John’s mention of 1,000 years thus points to all things that would happen in the church age.
The amil position sees the book of Revelation as having numerous “camera angle” approaches. For instance, chapter 19 ends with Christ returning to destroy His enemies, making chapter 20 difficult to understand in that enemies arise to attack Him again (what enemies are these, if they’ve already been destroyed?). However, if we see chapter 20 as a different “angle” for the end of the age, then the 1,000-year reign isn’t necessarily physical/earthly history, but symbolic. It speaks of the spiritual realm. John is giving a “replay” of what he saw.
Scripture uses the number 1,000 many times as a generic term to mean “immensity,” “fullness of quantity,” or “multitude” (e.g., Psalm 84:10; Job 9:3; 1 Chronicles 16:15). With the repeated symbolic use of 1,000, it is difficult to see its use in Revelation as literal, especially in a book as heavily symbolic as Revelation is.
There are many arguments against the amillennial position, but they can be refuted through exegesis of Scripture. Careful hermeneutics (the study of the principles of interpretation), proves the amil position has legitimacy. Most passages of Scripture used to try to refute the position actually make it more viable, based on the words of our Lord Himself: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17). In light of the words of our Savior, prophetic passages like Daniel 7 and Jeremiah 23 are to be understood as fulfilled in Christ Jesus and His first coming, especially since all of the prophets are talking about the coming Messiah in the first place.
Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies concerning Him, including, for example, the prophecy that Christ’s feet will touch the Mount of Olives prior to the establishment of His kingdom (Zechariah 14). This was clearly fulfilled in Matthew 24 when Jesus went to the Mount of Olives to teach what is known as the Olivet Discourse.
In amillennialism, the “1,000 years” is happening right now. Christ’s work in this world—His life, death, resurrection, and ascension—greatly hindered the works of Satan so that the message of the gospel could leave Israel and go out to the ends of the earth, just as it has done. The 1,000 years spoken of in Revelation 20, in which Satan is “bound,” is figurative and fulfilled in a spiritual sense. Satan is “bound” in that he is restricted from implementing all his plans. He can still perform evil, but he cannot deceive the nations until the final battle. Once the “1,000 years” are over, Satan is released to practice his deception for a little while before the return of Christ.
When we study the Olivet Discourse, along with the accounts of the “Day of the Lord” in 2 Peter 3 and 1 Thessalonians 4, we see that the return of our Lord comes quickly, visibly, and with the sound of a trumpet. In other words, all alive at that time will experience the return of our Lord, and then will come the end. There is no mention in these texts about a literal 1,000-year earthly reign. Rather, Christ’s return is heard, seen, and realized. In fact, the apostle Peter says that, at the Day of the Lord, the heavens and earth will be burned up and the new heavens and new earth will be created. This leaves no room for a supposed physical and earthly kingdom lasting a literal 1,000 years.
The amillennial view, along with premillennialism, is one of the oldest in church history, being held since the first century. In the 5th century, Augustine settled on the amillennial view as his understanding of eschatology. Additionally, amillennialism was the primary view of most of the Reformers in the 16th century.
What is postmillennialism?
Postmillennialism is an interpretation of Revelation chapter 20 which sees Christ’s second coming as occurring after the “millennium,” a golden age or era of Christian prosperity and dominance. The term includes several similar views of the end times, and it stands in contrast to premillennialism (the view that Christ’s second coming will occur prior to His millennial kingdom and that the millennial kingdom is a literal 1,000-year reign) and, to a lesser extent, amillennialism (no literal millennium).
Postmillennialism is the belief that Christ returns after a period of time, but not necessarily a literal 1,000 years. Those who hold this view do not interpret unfulfilled prophecy using a normal, literal method. They believe that Revelation 20:4-6 should not be taken literally. They believe that “1,000 years” simply means “a long period of time.” Furthermore, the prefix “post-” in “postmillennialism” denotes the view that Christ will return after Christians (not Christ Himself) have established the kingdom on this earth.
Those who hold to postmillennialism believe that this world will become better and better—all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding—with the entire world eventually becoming “Christianized.” After this happens, Christ will return. However, this is not the view of the world in the end times that Scripture presents. From the book of Revelation, it is easy to see that the world will be a terrible place during that future time. Also, in 2 Timothy 3:1-7, Paul describes the last days as “terrible times.”
Those who hold to postmillennialism use a non-literal method of interpreting unfulfilled prophecy, often interpreting prophetic passages allegorically. The problem with this is that when the normal meaning of a passage is abandoned, its meaning can become entirely subjective. All objectivity concerning the meaning of words is lost. When words lose their meaning, communication ceases. However, this is not how God has intended for language and communication to be. God communicates to us through His written word, with objective meanings to words, so that ideas and thoughts can be communicated.
A normal, literal interpretation of Scripture rejects postmillennialism and holds to a normal interpretation of all Scripture, including unfulfilled prophecy. We have hundreds of examples in Scripture of prophecies being fulfilled. Take, for example, the prophecies concerning Christ in the Old Testament. Those prophecies were fulfilled literally. Consider the virgin birth of Christ (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). Consider His death for our sins (Isaiah 53:4-9; 1 Peter 2:24). These prophecies were fulfilled literally, and that is reason enough to assume that God will continue in the future to literally fulfill His Word. Postmillennialism fails in that it interprets Bible prophecy subjectively and holds that the millennial kingdom will be established by the church, not by Christ Himself.
What is Chrislam?
Chrislam is an attempt to syncretize Christianity with Islam. While it began in Nigeria in the 1980s, Chrislamic ideas have spread throughout much of the world. The essential concept of Chrislam is that Christianity and Islam are compatible, that one can be a Christian and a Muslim at the same time. Chrislam is not an actual religion of its own, but a blurring of the differences and distinctions between Christianity and Islam.
Advocates of Chrislam point to facts such as Jesus being mentioned 25 times in the Qur’an, or Christianity and Islam having similar teachings on morals and ethics, or the need for the two largest monotheistic religions to unite to fight against the rise of atheism and alternative spirituality. Chrislam is viewed by some as the solution for the ongoing conflict between the Western world, which is predominantly Christian, and the Middle East, which is predominantly Muslim.
While it is undeniable that there are many similarities between Christianity and Islam (and Judaism, for that matter), Chrislam ultimately fails because Christianity and Islam are diametrically opposed on the most important of issues – the identity of Jesus Christ. True Christianity declares Jesus to be God incarnate. For Christians, the deity of Christ is a non-negotiable, for without His deity, Jesus’ death on the cross would not have been sufficient to be the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the entire world (1 John 2:2).
Islam adamantly rejects the deity of Christ. The Qur’an declares the idea that Jesus is God to be blasphemy (5:17). Belief in the deity of Christ is considered shirk (“polytheism”) to Muslims. Further, Islam denies the death of Christ on the cross (4:157–158). The most crucial doctrine of the Christian faith is rejected in Islam. As a result, the two religions are absolutely not compatible, making Chrislam a concept both Christians and Muslims should reject.
Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?
The Muslim and Christian views of God have some similarities. Christians believe in one eternal God Who created the universe, and Muslims apply these attributes to Allah. Both view God as all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present.
A vital difference between the Islamic and Christian views of God is the biblical concept of the Trinity. In the Bible, God has revealed Himself as one God in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. While each Person of the Trinity is fully God, God is not three gods but three in one.
God’s Son came in the form of man, a truth called the incarnation (Luke 1:30-35; John 1:14; Colossians 2:9; 1 John 4:1-3). The Lord Jesus Christ conquered the penalty and power of sin by dying on the cross (Romans 6:23). After rising from the dead, Jesus went back to heaven to be with His Father and sent the Holy Spirit to believers (Acts 1:8-11). One day, Christ will return to judge and rule (Acts 10:42, 43). Those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus will live with Him, but those who refuse to follow Him must be separated in hell from the holy God.
“The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:35-36). Either Jesus bears the wrath of God for your sin on the cross or you bear the wrath of God for your sin in hell (1 Peter 2:24).
The Trinity is essential to the Christian faith. Without the Trinity, there would be no incarnation of God’s Son in the Person of Jesus Christ. Without Jesus Christ, there would be no salvation from sin. Without salvation, sin would condemn all to an eternal hell.
So, do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? A better question is, “Do Christians and Muslims both have a correct understanding of who God is?” To this question, the answer is definitely no. Because of crucial differences between the Christian and Muslim concepts of God, the two faiths cannot both be true. The biblical God alone addresses and solves the problem of sin by giving His Son.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:16-18).
What is the difference between Christianity and Islam?
While some similarities exist between Islam and Christianity (they are both monotheistic religions, for example), their differences are clear-cut, significant, and irreconcilable. For this article, we will survey four key areas: the founders of the two religions, the contrasting views of God, the sacred literature, and the means of salvation. We will see that Islam differs from Christianity in each of those four areas.
Islam and Christianity: Founders of the Religions
Islam was founded by an Arab merchant named Muhammed about AD 622. Muhammed claimed to have received a revelation from an angel of God, and, although he initially feared his revelation had come from Satan, Muhammed later claimed to be the last and greatest of all of God’s prophets. Muhammed had fifteen wives (although he limited other men to four wives apiece) and sanctioned the beating of wives (Sura 4:34). Muhammed was well known for spreading his new religion by force. He commanded, “Fight and slay the Pagans wherever you find them” (Sura 9:5), and he specified the proper way to execute an unbeliever was to cut his throat (Sura 47:4). Muhammed led raids against caravans to plunder their goods, broke oaths, ordered the murder of those who mocked him, and wiped out the last Jewish tribe in Medina—he killed all the men and enslaved the women and children. Interestingly, Muhammed acknowledged his own need to seek God’s forgiveness on occasion (Sura 40:55).
In stark contrast to the moral depravity of Muhammed, Jesus Christ was above reproach in every way (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus never married, He defended and honored women (John 8:1–11), and His law was “love one another” (John 13:34). Accordingly, Jesus never assassinated anyone, never beat a woman, never enslaved a child, never broke a promise, and never plundered a caravan. On the cross, when Jesus was mocked by those nearby, His response was, “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34).
Islam and Christianity: Views of God
Islam teaches that Allah, or God, is the sovereign Creator and Ruler of all that is. Muslims emphasize God’s absolute unity, which will admit of no division, and God’s will. In fact, the will of God is more basic to who He is than His love or mercy. God could choose not to be merciful, and He can choose not to love; thus, Allah’s mercy and love are not intrinsic to His nature but are choices He makes. More important than loving God—or even knowing Him—is submitting to His will. The word Islam means “submission.” According to Islam, God cannot be considered a “father” and He has no son. Allah does not love sinners (Surah 3:140).
Similar to Islam, Christianity teaches that God is the sovereign Creator and Ruler of all that is—but that is about where the similarity ends. Christians believe in one God who exists in three eternal, co-equal Persons (Father, Son, and Spirit) who share the same indivisible essence. According to Christianity, God loves because His very nature is love (1 John 4:8)—not just because He happens to choose to love. God’s essence includes the attribute of mercy, so divine displays of mercy are more than choices God makes; they are extensions of His character. God is knowable and desires a relationship with us based on love (Mark 12:30). Obeying God is important, but obedience without a relationship based on love is worthless (1 Corinthians 13:3). According to Christianity, God the Father has an eternal relationship with God the Son. God does love sinners (Romans 5:8).
Islam and Christianity: Sacred Literature
Islam holds that the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament), the Psalms, and the Gospels were given by God—with this caveat: Jews and Christians have corrupted God’s Word and therefore Bibles cannot be fully trusted. Muslims believe that God’s final Word, the Qur’an, was miraculously given to Muhammed over a period of twenty-three years. The Qur’an, which is perfect and holy, is divided into 114 chapters called suras. In addition to the Qur’an, the Muslims have the Hadith, a collection of Muhammed’s sayings, opinions, and actions as reported by those close to him.
Biblical Christianity holds that the Old and New Testaments of the Bible are God’s inspired Word and the only authoritative rule of faith and practice. The Bible warns against adding to God’s Word (Revelation 22:18); Christians reject the Qur’an as an attempted addition to God’s Word and as a document that contradicts the Bible in many ways.
Islam and Christianity: Means of Salvation
Islam teaches a works-based salvation and in this way is similar to other man-made religions. A Muslim must keep the five pillars of Islam: he must confess the shahadah (“there is no God but Allah, and Muhammed is his prophet”); he must kneel in prayer toward Mecca five times a day; he must fast during the daylight hours one month of the year (Ramadan); he must give money to the poor; and he must make a pilgrimage to Mecca sometime in his lifetime. Islam teaches that the day of judgment will involve a person’s good and bad deeds being weighed in a balance—so the standard for judgment is one’s own actions (Surah 7:8-9; 21:47). The Qur’an forbids anyone from bearing another’s burden of sin (Surah 17:15; 35:18) and pointedly denies the death of Jesus (or Isa) on the cross (Surah 3:55; 4:157–158). If you will be saved, you must save yourself.
Christianity teaches a grace-based salvation. A person is saved by the grace (the undeserved blessing) of God, through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8–9; Romans 10:9–10). The standard for judgment is absolute perfection—the righteousness of Christ. No one can measure up to perfection (Romans 3:23), but God in His grace and mercy has given His Son as the substitute for our sin: “When you were dead in your sins . . . God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 1:13–14). We cannot save ourselves, so we turn to Christ, our sinless Savior and the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
Islam and Christianity, having different beliefs on essential doctrines such as God, Jesus, Scripture, and salvation, are irreconcilable. Both religions cannot be true. We believe that Jesus Christ, as presented in the Bible, is the true Son of God and Savior of mankind. “Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).
Since the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 there has been a growing movement of Christians who are opposed to the alleged ‘occupation’ of Palestine by the Jews. Their opposition to Israel and her Christian allies is expressed in their outspoken support of the Palestinian agenda.
By 1994 the movement became institutionalised by the founding of ‘Sabeel’ by Naim Ateek. This Palestinian Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center based in Jerusalem now spearheads the movement and is a co-ordinated voice with which to marshal its troops. One of the key ways in which support is mustered is by identifying Jesus as ‘a Palestinian living under an occupation.’ Sadly, as Bat Ye’or remarks:
This Islamisation of the Jewish sources of Christianity, disseminated through European Islamophile church networks, plays into the hands of Muslims eager to co-opt Christianity and instrumentalise Christians as partners in their struggle against Israel.
Agreements between Evangelicals and Muslims
One of the most disturbing developments within what we refer to as ‘Christian Palestinianism’ is the alliance Evangelicals have forged with the Muslim world. The champion of this inter-faith dialogue is Dr Stephen Sizer, a UK Anglican minister. For example, in 2007 Sizer defended President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (who has been quoted as insisting that Israel should be wiped off the map). Sizer laid the blame for the conflict in the Middle East at the feet of Israel and her Christian allies.
Sizer, a member of the Evangelical Alliance and of the Willow Creek Association, has promoted his distorted version of Christian Zionism across the Middle East and has been warmly welcomed by Islamic clerics and scholars – an indication that his stance serves to affirm Muslims in their hatred of Israel.