There is an Islamic attitude towards the Bible which is very important for Christians to know. Muslims always avoid reading the Bible. Their leaders do their best to convince their people of Bible distortion in order to keep them away from it. To study comparative religion, Christian theological students read the Qur'an and other Islamic literature. In the Islamic academic studies of religion, Usoul Al-Deen, the Sciences of Religion, which is the Islamic theology, students are not allowed to get or read the Bible or any Christian book to study religion. They only read whatever Muslims write about the Bible.
I know an Egyptian convert to Christ who was a professor in Usoul Al-Deen College, Al-Azhar University at Cairo. When he got a copy of the Bible, his colleagues and his wife were very angry with him. The reason behind all this is that Satan tries hard to keep Muslims away from the Bible since he knows that only the message of the Gospel of Christ leads people to salvation in Him.
In the New Testament we read that the apostles of the Lord Jesus went to different places where people followed different kinds of religions and worshipped different gods. They never preached philosophy or non-Christian teaching about Christ. They did not use cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void (1 Corinthians 1: 17). They did not speak with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming the testimony of God (1 Corinthians 2: 1). The message and preaching of the apostles were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that the faith of those who would receive the message would not rest on the wisdom of men, but in the power of God (1 Corinthians 2: 4, 5). Yes, while proclaiming the Gospel to people, we can quote from their sayings or philosophy. For example, in Acts 17, we see Paul in Athens talking to philosophers at the Areopagus. In verse 28, he says to them:For in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, “For we also are His children.”
We also can do the same when proclaiming the Gospel to Muslims. For example, we can tell them that the Qur'an says that Jesus is the Word of God, that He was born of a virgin, and did performed miracles ... etc, but our main theme of preaching must be the Gospel from the Word of God. It is dangerous and at the cost of the truth to categorize Jesus as just a prophet and put Him next to other prophets, as some missionaries do and even put Him next to Muhammad. It is also very insulting to the Name of the Lord Jesus to copy Muslims and say of Him; “Peace be upon Him” or to use the name ‘Isa’, by which the Qur'an calls Him, instead of the meaningful name Jesus.
Some missionaries and churches have adopted a strategy to take the Gospel to Muslims. Their philosophy is not to preach the Gospel but to help people financially and socially to show them love in a practical way. Look at Jesus, they say, He fed the hungry, comforted sad people, healed the sick. Those Christians think that when they show people the love of God this way, they will come to Christ without their witnessing i.e. talking to them.
Actually, according to the Word of God, this is not right. People need the Gospel preached to them. How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? - Romans 10:14.
Yes, the Lord Jesus supplied people's physical needs. But He did that as a way to lead people to salvation in Him.
For example in John chapter 6, after he fed the 5000 with five loaves and two fish, He talked to the crowd about the Living Bread, the Bread of Life that gives eternal life.
In John chapter 9, the Lord Jesus opened the eyes of a man born blind. Afterwards, He led him to believe in the Son of God. In John chapter 5, He healed a man who had been ill for thirty-eight years, beside the pool of Bethesda.
Verse 14 reads,
Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.”
In Egypt, there is a big and rich Presbyterian organization for social services. It offers social and financial helps to Muslims, Christians and the wider community.
Many Muslims have come to the Lord in Egypt. I lived and worked in Egypt and from my knowledge I can affirm that none of them has known the Lord through the services of this organization. Some Christians think that we should not talk to Muslims about Jesus as the Son of God or about His deity or crucifixion since these teachings are a stumbling block for them.
This thinking is not biblical. Look at what the apostles of Christ did. They suffered badly even to death because of their preaching the Lord Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection. But they never changed their mind about that or stopped preaching the crucifixion of Jesus, the Son of the Living God. Paul says to the believers in Corinth,When I came to you ...I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified - 1 Corinthians 2:2.
He also says to them,
For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God - 1 Corinthians 1: 22 – 24.
The crucifixion of Jesus is the eternal plan of God for salvation for anyone, Muslim and non-Muslim. Satan, through the serpent caused Adam and Eve to fall into sin. Then, God spoke of the radical solution for this problem, and said that the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent (Genesis 3: 15).
That is what the Lord Jesus Christ, the seed of the woman, has done on the cross. When John the Baptist, saw Him, he pointed to Him and said,Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world - John 1: 29.
Everyone in this world, including Muslims, needs to hear the message of the cross of Jesus.If we use the wisdom of men, our ministry will be hindered and will be seen as shameful in the eyes of Muslims, and so it will be fruitless. When we follow the wisdom of God and preach the pure Gospel of Christ, we will bear much fruit for His glory.
Author Fayek Iskander