Friends, as you know I am very interested in interfaith dialogue, especially between Christians and Muslims.
The problem of sin is something we have to contend with, whoever we are. Everyone has a conscience, and our conscience is a God-given ‘sin indicator’.
Our awareness of sin becomes more subtle when we study the Scriptures which have been given in order that we might live lives that are pleasing to God. We will never be entirely free from sin in this life, so when we do sin, what should we do?
In Islam, prayer is part of daily life. In Christianity, prayer is part of daily life also. We only have differences in terms of how we ritualistically submit to God.
While Muslims pray at set times, Christians pray whenever they have a need, a request, or an apology. Often our Christian petitions are in response to a prompting from the Holy Spirit.
Forgiveness in Christianity is the result of Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross, while in Islam there is no intercessor- Muslims go directly to Allah. So this is a key area of disagreement in these two great religions.
My personal experience is that in Islam the fervent desire to avoid hell makes for quite extreme behaviour, at times. In Christianity, if people are truly following Jesus, there will be a fear of God but also an underlying confidence that everything is okay, because Jesus already paid the price.
Both Muslims and Christians believe in the resurrection of the dead and a day of judgement at a time in the future known only to God. So the question is: Do we boast in Jesus, or do we boast our own goodness?
God is not a monster. While the prospect of hell is frightening for everyone, we can have a quiet confidence (a hope, at least) that God is forgiving and merciful to everyone who truly repents.
Thanks be to God.
I don’t believe in god(s).
Fair enough, Frank. I personally believe in a creator and sustainer God, but I respect everyone’s views as God-ordained (even the views of atheists and agnostics). Peace be with you and thanks for reading.
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