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We are a Christian Fellowship meeting in North London with a strong interest in teaching the Bible and understanding our time in

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A common word

During the week 3rd to 7th November 2008, 48 Muslim and Catholic theologians met in Rome in order to discuss a document drawn up last year by 138 senior Muslim scholars. The document, A Common Word Between Us and You, proclaims itself to be an attempt to find common ground between the two religions in order to bring peace to the world. This proposal is based on a verse from the Quran (Sura 3.64) which says ‘Say: You people of the Scripture! Come to a common word between us and you.’

 

In 2007, four Christian scholars from Yale University wrote a positive Christian response to this call and 300 well-known leaders have already signed it. They did so on the basis that Christians should come to agreement with Muslims that love of God and love of neighbour are the most important aspects of the two faiths and therefore instead of fighting each another, they should seek to outdo each other with good deeds.

 

Whether out of naivety or plain deception the Christians fail to understand the meaning of the rest of the verse: ‘Come to a common word between us and you that we do serve Allah alone and do not put someone with him, and that we do not amongst ourselves take ourselves as Lords instead of Allah’ (Sura 3.64). This denies the identity of our God, the divinity, Son-ship and Lordship of Jesus Christ and defines us as in rebellion against the Muslim god if we reject these doctrines.

 

More worryingly still, previous Muslim invitations to ‘come to a common word’ or to ‘come to common terms’ have in fact constituted an invitation to accept Islam as the true religion, or at least to acknowledge Muhammad as the final prophet and therefore to endorse his writings and authority, which comes to the same thing.

 

The document wrongly assumes that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. This is of fundamental importance, because how can two groups of people agree that love of God is the most important thing if it is not the same God that they are to love? The Muslim god is said to have ‘no partners’—that is, he is said to be a unity and not a Trinity. When a Christian acknowledges the Lordship or Son-ship of Jesus Christ he is saying that He is God which the Muslims interpret as ‘putting someone with him’ or being a ‘partner’ with God. This is blasphemy to Muslims and so the text invites Christians to agree that God has ‘no partner’.

 

While deceived Christian theologians seek ‘common ground’ with Islam, the Iranian parliament voted in favour of a draft bill, entitled ‘Islamic Penal Code’, which would codify the death penalty for any male Iranian who leaves his Islamic faith. Women would get life imprisonment. Taliban assailants shot Gayle Williams, a Christian aid worker in Kabul, saying she was killed for spreading her religion. Among at least 24 aid workers killed in Somalia this year was Mansuur Mohammed, a World Food Programme worker who was beheaded for converting from Islam to Christianity. All Christian worship remains forbidden in Saudi Arabia and Christians in Pakistan are the target of trumped up charges of blasphemy.

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