God gave this warning to Israel as they were about to enter the Promised Land filled with Canaanites:
Take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the LORD hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods. (ESV, Deut. 12:30-31)
The Quran certainly does believe in replacement, not only of the Jews and Israel but also of the Messiah and His Church, replacing them with Islam’s own prophet and book. But the Bible clearly teaches: “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).
Islam does recognize that there is only one God. But Islam also denies the Savior, Jesus Christ as the sole mediator between God and man. The heart of this Quranic denial is in its statement about the crucifixion of Christ:
That they said (in boast) “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah.” But they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, And those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not. (Quran 4.157)*
This parallels the deception given to Eve by the serpent in Genesis 3: he first cast doubt on God’s word by asking, “Did God actually say?” then denied God’s word with “You shall not certainly die.” Using the tools of doubt and flat out denial, the Evil One then introduced a new theology of open eyes (with a hint of his own desire) by stating, “You will be like God knowing good and evil.” This is the thought that will be the goal of the man of sin who will be revealed in the last days (2 Thessalonians 2:4).
The Quran’s subtlety is that this is declared to be the actual speech of Allah. And how does one know that? The Prophet of Islam said so (as asserted in the Quran). Islam contends that the Prophet received it by the mouth of Gabriel, the one who announced the coming of the Son of God to Mary. And now the new mediator is the Prophet, who brought the message of God—a message that purportedly the Jews and Christians knew but rejected or distorted.
This message declares Islam to be the final and only sure revelation from God since it comes through the Prophet. “It is not fitting for a believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger, to have any opinion about their decision. If anyone disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong path” (Quran 33.36). And “O ye who believe! Obey Allah and obey The Messenger, and make not vain your deeds!” (Quran 47.33)
This refrain is repeated many times in the Quran: obey Allah and his messenger! By this the Islamic prophet is placing himself as the sole mediator between God and man. The replacement of Christ with Mohammed is only one of a long list of replacements. In Islam the Spirit is replaced by Gabriel; the Bible as the Word of God is replaced by the Quran; Israel and Christianity are replaced with Islam; the Church, the body of Christ, is replaced with the Ummah (Muslim community); Mecca replaces Jerusalem; and God’s plan for salvation is replaced by obedience to Allah and the Prophet.
The Apostle John warned us that “no lie is of the truth” (1 John 2:21) and “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22 ESV). One would think that careful teachers and preachers of the Word should see the incongruity of seeking a faith unity with those who deny the Christian faith. Compromise may be a great expedient for politics, but not for eternal values.
Every day Muslims repeat in their prayers: “He begetteth not, nor is He begotten, and there is none like unto Him” (Quran 112.3-4). It may come as a surprise to many that the Arabic inscriptions inside the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem are several verses from the Quran that deny the Trinity and the deity and the sonship of Christ. This one reference: “It is not befitting to Allah that He should beget a son” (Quran 19.33-36).
My own view of Chrislam and the dangerous ecumenical efforts mentioned above is that many have been seduced by an e pluribus unum mindset that decries discrimination while bypassing discernment. Much is motivated by the political thinking of “Can’t we just get along?”
While many may be pursuing accommodation with Islam, we cannot place our faith on the same platform of equality with those whose purpose is to deny it. In doing so we lose something more important: our Lord has given us a commission to go into the entire world to preach the gospel, the only message of salvation. In the midst of war and social conflict, many Muslims today are turning to Christ to find the peace they have not found in Islam. They are discovering the reality of the gospel, not the parody of God’s truth which is Islam.
“If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, would not God discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart” (ESV, Psalm 44:20-21).
* All Quranic citations are from The Meaning of the Holy Quran by ‘Abdullah Yüsuf’Ali, 11th edition with revised English Translation (Beltsville, Maryland: Amapa Publications 2004).