Christians and Muslims have been engaged in dialogue for several decades. Since 9/11 there has been a huge change in relations between Islam and the Western world, fed by the fear of a clash of civilizations and a war of religion.
The US and UK governments decided that there was no such thing as “Islamic terrorism” and that Al Qaeda was a heretical strain of Islam. Policies therefore, sought to bring the Muslim community into the mainstream of society, so as to prevent radicalisation.
Ecumenical relations were redefined to include Islam and concepts such the “Abrahamic Religions” were introduced to consolidate Islam, Judaism and Christianity into one mono-theistic system. This postmodern and liberal watering down of basic Christian theology, has caused concern among grassroots believers, who sense that their Biblical base is being eroded to accommodate other religions.
The dangers inherent in these new approaches, is the reduction of Christian beliefs and values, to something compatible with those religions and reducing the status of Jesus.
It may revive old heresies, such as Arianism, which rejected the Trinity and the deity of Christ. Church leaders engaged in interfaith dialogue, increasingly embrace Unitarianism, that is One God and a human Jesus.
The ancient heresy of Marcion is also re-emerging which preaches a gospel only of grace, thereby rejecting the wrath of God, ignoring prophecy and Israel as Gods people, thereby encouraging anti Semitism.
The Churches must preach love for all people as human beings created in God’s image and for whom Christ died. They should certainly not preach fear of Islam. But neither should we be so naive as to what is happening in the Muslim world or fail to support the churches there. Since its inception, Islam has sought to stifle Christianity in its domains and this is still the case in most Muslim states and societies, today. The Church leaders must distinguish between individual Muslims and the religious/ political system of Islam.
We must recognise that jihad is much more than a fringe of that religion, but is rooted in all the Islamic scriptures and commentaries.
The dangers of this insidious giving in and change of doctrines must be recognised, This approach actually helps the Islamisation of the West. Christians should not allow themselves to be manipulated by governments, either Western or Muslim, seeking political advantage.
The Islamic version of peace is only realized when all people submit to the rule of Islam, but the Christian vision is realized when Christ rules the hearts of His people. Ref: Barnabas Aid