Thursday, November 5, 2009

Christians and Ramadan

I was reading this week an article entitled "Should Christians Fast During Ramadan With Muslims?" It was a thought provoking article. There were comments on both sides of the issue. As I read, one writer said, "I would say it's absolutely appropriate, particularly if one does it for spiritual reasons..." I thought to myself, "What spiritual reasons would I fast with a person of the Islam faith?" How can I in good conscience participate in the fasting of Ramadan since I do not believe as a Muslim believes. Would that not put me in the realm of breaking the 1st Commandment, the 2nd Commandment and the 3rd Commandment? (Get out your catechism and see what is written in those sections. It is enlightening.)

Another writer says, "The idea of Ramadan and the feast of Eid (which I don't know what that feast is to be honest) is Muslims are asking that they would encounter God more...that's something we can agree with, that we pray and get to know God more." Excuse me? Get to know God more? Is the God of Islam the same God of Christianity? Look at Scripture. Jesus says that there is only one way to salvation, through faith in Him. The Muslim does not believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior. Instead, Jesus is a prophet. Allah is god and Mohammad in his prophet. That, my friends, is wrong. Allah is not God (even if the Arabic for God is "Allah" that doesn't mean we are talking about the same God. I remember Ozzie Osbourne telling someone "God bless you" and I wondered, "What God does he mean?") This is a 1st Commandment problem. Can we actually join the Muslim in finding God? The Muslim is finding a false god while we are searching for the true God. You cannot find the Triune God in Islam. Sorry, it can't be done.

One writer said, "The form of fasting during Ramadan is so filled with Islamic meaning that you can't separate the two. I think some Christians today think they're separating the meaning - the form is good, fasting is good, and they're extracting meaning from it. I don't think that's possible, because the form and the meaning are so closely connected." I agree with the writer. Why would a Christian want to bring into their faith and their practice that which is so ant-Christian (which Islam is). Not that fasting wrong. Fasting is a practice in the Christian faith. There are those who fast regularly in order to assist them in focusing in on the walk of faith, to help them draw closer to the Triune God (not Allah) and it is a good outward practice. But to fast along with the Muslim in order to show solidarity or cordiality with them is wrong. Our Lord does not accept us following a false practice (which is what fasting is within Islam. Islam is a false religion and therefore its practices are false.). He tell us to avoid all such falsehood.

I fully agree with one writer who says, "It is not appropriate to fast alongside Muslims...They're observing Ramadan in the service of a false God and a false gospel, and we shouldn't be trying to express our solidarity with that." Makes me think of what Paul writes, "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned.!" (Galatians 1:8-9 NIV) Christians and Muslims worship two different Gods, even if they have the same base in the Old Testament. Why would we, as Christians, be willing to swallow something that is so false? Why do we so willingly give away our faith to other religions when in reality, they will not give up their faith for us?

(All quotes come from Christianity Today magazine, dated November 2009)

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