Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. . . . Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 2 Corinthians 6:14a; 15b
Over the years I have had the opportunity to visit with, work with, and travel with some honorable men who followed the tenets of Islam.
It has been an interesting experience visiting with these fellows, sharing their perspectives on life, listening to their positions on religion in general and, Christianity, in particular.
We found there were things we shared in common. We both wanted our children to be well educated. We wanted our grandchildren to grow up in a world of peace. We prayed our days would be reasonably healthy and our endings swift and painless.
There were many matters of the heart and mind that brought us together.
And there was the matter of faith that kept us apart.
We didn't hate each other; we didn't despise each other; we didn't even put each other down.
On the contrary, we respected each other and the sincerity of our individual beliefs. But there
came that time, there always came that time, when we disagreed. We disagreed completely and totally on how we were to be saved.
I believed I was saved by Jesus' sacrifice; they believed they were saved by their compliance to the Koran, the prophet, and the tenets of Islam.
This is why I was amazed to read this year some Christians celebrated Ramadan -- the time when Muslims refrain from food and drink during daylight hours. I was surprised to hear these Christians considered this a gesture of solidarity that would deepen respective faiths and send a message about finding peace and common ground.
It's an interesting philosophy but if I'm reading the above Scripture correctly, it's not an accurate one. The truth is that while Christianity believes God's Son, Jesus Christ, has paid the ransom to save us, Islam does not. The truth is we believe we are saved by grace through faith in the Christ and Islam does not.
Somebody is right in what they believe, and somebody is wrong.
Now understand, I believe in respecting the faith of others; I believe in dialoguing with them and sharing with them and witnessing to them of the Savior who saves. But I can't pretend there is common ground when there isn't. I can't pretend there's more than one way to heaven when there is not.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for Your sacrifice, Your suffering, and Your death that saves, I am most grateful. I pray the Holy Spirit will keep me and those around me in the faith. But I also pray for those who are still in darkness. May they see the wonders of Your love and the power of Your grace. In Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries