LONDON – A Christian pastor has confirmed that Islamic teachings are closer to the Christ than many churches in the west, following a comparative study into both faiths.
“I know some emphases in Islamic teaching come closer to the teaching of Christ and the Bible than some teaching in Western churches,” Steve Chalke, pastor and founder of the Oasis charity, told Christian Today.
“Ultimately the full interpretation of who Allah/God is can be seen through Jesus,” he added, confirming that both faiths worship the same God or Allah.
“Islam and Christianity are two very different faiths and there are huge differences between the two.”
Chalke comments followed the release of his new book, Radical, in which he explained how he had come to the conclusion “Muslims and Christians worship the same God”.
He explained how Christians interpret god in different ways which vary greatly.
“As individuals we all worship different shades of the same God,” he said.
“There are Christians who worship a militant, violent God. There are Christians who worship a God who doesn’t want women in leadership. There are Christians who worship a God who says if you are gay you will burn in hell. There are Christians who worship a God who does not believe in global warming.
“I don’t separate from them even though they have a very different take on God’s character from me,” he added.
He cited the theologian Miroslav Volf, who took a similar line in his book Allah: A Christian Response.
Describing Islamic beliefs as “very attractive”, Chalke insisted there was significant common ground that must be explored.
“If we say Islam is an evil religion and they worship a different God and Christianity is the only way to heaven then we are heading for World War Three,” he said.
He added that “tabloid” representations of Islam were permeating the Church.
“If we went into a pub tonight and asked people what Christians believe they would say six-day creationists, anti-gay, anti-abortion, boring, if you die before you’re baptised you will go to hell. The tabloid media have led people to misunderstand Christianity and pastors now have to spend half their time de-mythologising Christianity,” he said.
“What we don’t realise is the media are selling us the same lie about Muslims,” he said.
He added: “The problem is we don’t know any Muslims. Everyone is scared of Muslims except the one who sits next to them at work”.
Muslims believe in Jesus as one of the great Prophets of God and that he is the son of Mary but not the Son of God. He was conceived and born miraculously.
In the Noble Qur’an, Jesus is called “Isa”. He is also known as Al-Masih (the Christ) and Ibn Maryam (Son of Mary).
As for his crucifixion, Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified but was lifted up to heaven.
Muslims believe that Jesus will come back to earth before the end of time to restore peace and order, fight the Anti-Christ (Al-Masih Al-Dajjal) and bring victory for truth and righteousness.
The true followers of Jesus will prevail over those who deny him, misrepresent him and reject him.