6 Differences Between Islam And Christianity
Speaker: Dr. Harold J. Sala | Series: Guidelines For Living | Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12
The person who says there are major differences between Christianity and Islam is not driving a wedge of division between the two, only recognizing that vast differences are there, and that no individual who really knows what those differences are could ever assume that they are both simply different versions of the same faith.
They are as far apart philosophically as the north is from the south geographically, and as diverse theologically as Communism and capitalism are politically. Major differences exist and every one of them has the significance of a rift as deep as the Mariana Trench in the Pacific.
Difference #1: The source of their faith. Christians believe that the Bible is the inspired and authoritative record of redemption, that it is historically accurate, and that the statements it makes are to be taken literally. While Muslims hold to the Pentateuch (that’s the first five books of the Bible, known as the Law), the Psalms, and the Gospels, the book that is the undisputed authority for their faith is the Qur’an. The writers of the Qur’an were influenced by Jewish rabbis and lifted many passages from the Old Testament, reworking them into the context of Islam. But it can hardly be assumed that the two are kindred in scope, significance, and purpose.
Difference #2: Who Jesus Christ is and what He did. Charles Colson in a Breakpoint commentary outlined how differently Christ is viewed, saying, “Christianity teaches Jesus is part of the Trinity. He is God, the Son who was offered as an atoning sacrifice on the cross to save His people from their sins. By contrast, the Qur’an denies that Jesus was crucified at all and claims that Jesus was no more than ‘a Messenger of Allah and His Word.’”
Difference #3: How we find peace with God. The issue of how men are saved or find forgiveness is vastly different. Christians believe what the Bible says that men are redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, through faith in Him, which the Bible calls grace. Paul put it, “By grace are you saved through faith…” (Ephesians 2:8,9). Luke, the physician who accompanied Paul on his missionary journeys, wrote, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Contrasting this, the Qur’an says pointedly, “If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (Submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter, he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (their selves in the hell fire).” (Qur’an 3:85).
Difference #4: The treatment of women. Reading the news should illustrate the fact that Christianity has elevated the status of women; Islam has repressed them.
Difference #5: How both propagate their faith. Here the two contrast each other vividly. The ideology of fear drives Islam today, but Christians have left a trail of hospitals, universities, orphanages, and institutions ministering to the needs of people the world over.
Prevalent today is a mushy kind of ecumenism which glosses over the differences between Islam and Christianity, putting a spin on both that make them appear to be “cousin faiths” which, with a big enough lasso, can bring everyone together to live happily ever after.
Difference #6: The bottom line is that Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship of faith, and whereas Muslims go to Medina and venerate the burial place of Mohammed, Christians says, “The tomb is empty! He’s alive today.” That’s the biggest difference of all.
Resource reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1:11