By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
Interfaith services with Christians praying alongside Muslim imams have become trendy as of late, with one taking place over the weekend in the Vatican itself. Occasionally even evangelical preachers will host such events in their own churches, with the right hand of fellowship extended to clergy representing Islam.
At first blush, such services seem innocuous and perhaps even praiseworthy in the search for understanding and unity.
However, no Christian clergyman should ever participate in such an interfaith service, particularly in his own sanctuary.
This is for the simple reason that Islamic imams invoke the demon-god Allah and invite his presence. No Christian, in space over which he has authority, should ever willingly allow another spiritual leader to invite the presence of demons into his sanctuary. This is for the simple reason that if they are invited, they will come.
Thus any clergyman, whether an evangelical pastor or the Pope himself, compromises the spiritual integrity of his sanctuary through an interfaith prayer service with Muslims.
Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God. This is not even contestable, as much as people would like to make it so. If you doubt me, ask a Muslim.
Christians worship Jesus as God, as the second member of the Trinity. Muslims do not. In fact, they will put you to death if you change your mind on the subject.
In addition, Muslims quite pointedly worship a god who has no son, as banners on mosque after mosque in the Middle East defiantly proclaim. They consider the doctrine of the Trinity, which is essential to Christian faith, to be heresy of the highest order.
Some argue that “Allah” is the generic word for God in the Arab world, and Christians use it as well. Fine. Paul in his writings also used the generic Greek word for “God,” “theos.” But he immediately, at the beginning of his epistles, makes it clear which “theos” he is referring to: the “theos” who is “the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).
That “theos,” Paul said, is the one to whom I pray and whom I represent and speak for. I’m not, he said, referring to the “theos” known as Jupiter or Jove or Caesar or any other of the Roman or Greek gods. No, he said, the one true and living God, the one true and living “theos,” is the God who is the Father of Jesus Christ.
Well, if Muslims do not pray to the true and living God, to whom are they praying? There are two and only two alternatives: they are either praying to no one or they are praying to a powerful, dark and sinister demon.
The unseen world, the Scripture tells us from beginning to end, is populated by good spirits, called angels, who serve the true and living God and his Son Jesus Christ, and by evil spirits, called demons, who serve the prince of darkness, Satan himself. Not every denizen of the unseen spiritual world is benign. Nor is every spirit being a benign alternative to every other spirit being. Allah is not a benign alternative to the God of Scripture, nor is Islam a benign alternative to Christianity.
The god, Allah, to whom Muslims pray is a demon-god. We know this because of his inveterate and implacable hostility to the children of the true and living God. Followers of Allah are instructed to “slay the idolaters (i.e. Christians) wherever you find them” (Sura 9:5).
It is this god whom Muslims invoke when they are invited to pray, whether at the Vatican or in an evangelical church.
The Scriptures are quite clear that Christians should not participate in such spiritual exercises. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:20-22:
“No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?” (Emphasis mine.)
Paul warns us in Ephesians 4:27 not to “give place to the devil.” But that’s exactly what Christians do when they invite imams to pray in joint interfaith services. It’s long past time for that practice to stop.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)