Monday, October 10, 2011

The Glory of the Gospel, Part V: Islam?

This is Part 5 of a series of posts exploring how the different faith systems of this world differ from one another and how all of them together differ from the gospel.

To understand where we are & what we've covered & what we're doing, you'll need to read Part I... Part II... Part III... & Part IV.

Now we're bring a representative from a fourth major religious system up to the mouth of the pit: Islam.

In 570 AD, Mohammed was born. He was born to a tribe that ruled over Mecca.

In 610 AD (when he was 40 years old), Mohammed was in a cave on a mountain. In that cave he began to receive "revelations." These revelations were later compiled into a collection of recitations known as The Qur'an.

By 630 AD this man had successfully unified HUGE numbers of previously warring tribes -- some 360 tribes! He actually brought about a great amount of peace in the middle east during his day.

But today there are three wings of Islam: the Sunni, the Shiites, & the Sushi. And actually there are other sects inside each of those three broad categories.

Now -- in contrast to what we've heard others say -- Islam teaches that the pit is real and the snake is real. And as the representative of Islam looks down upon you, in that pit, with the snake poised to sink his venomous fangs in you, he says this:

"My friend! You are radically obligated to submit yourself (~the very word "Islam" means "Submit!"~) to the Five Pillars of Islam! They are these: Correct Recitation of the Correct Creed/Belief, Correct Prayer (which must be performed five times a day), Correct Fasting, Correct Giving of Alms, and Correct Pilgrimage!"

And there are a lot of specifics our Islamic friend would need to tell you about each of the Pillars. But the broad point is that if you do all those things, you can learn to live in a pit with a snake.

So far we've had four representatives from four major religions come and offer their help to us. One spoke to us about illusion, another about desire, another gave us good counsel, and this last one demanded radical obedience in five respects.

... to be continued ...

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