03/02/2015 07:36

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Seven and a half years ago, 138 sheikhs, muftis, and a variety of Islamic imams, professors, judges and politicians from around the world reached out their hand of fellowship to the Christian world.

Their invitation, titled “A Common Word Between Us and You” began like this:

Muslims and Christians together make up well over half of the world’s population. Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world. The future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians.

The basis for this peace and understanding already exists. It is part of the very foundational principles of both faiths: love of the One God, and love of the neighbour. These principles are found over and over again in the sacred texts of Islam and Christianity. The Unity of God, the necessity of love for Him, and the necessity of love of the neighbour is thus the common ground between Islam and Christianity. The following are only a few examples:

Of God’s Unity, God says in the Holy Qur’an: Say: He is God, the One! / God, the Self-Sufficient Besought of all! (Al-Ikhlas 112:1-2). Of the necessity of love for God, God says in the Holy Qur’an: So invoke the Name of thy Lord and devote thyself to Him with a complete devotion (Al-Muzzammil 73:8). Of the necessity of love for the neighbour, the Prophet Muhammad said: “None of you has faith until you love for your neighbour what you love for yourself.”

The Muslim scholars then quoted Jesus, Yeshua the Messiah’s commandment of love:

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ said: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. / And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)


Therefore, opine the Muslim leaders, Allah instructs the Muslim people to issue a “call” to Christians and Jews.

In the Holy Qur’an, God Most High enjoins Muslims to issue the following call to Christians (and Jews - the People of the Scripture):

Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to a common word between us and you: that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside God. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him). (Aal ‘Imran 3:64)

The Muslim leaders then call for a discussion of what is similar in both religions.

Thus in obedience to the Holy Qur’an, we as Muslims invite Christians to come together with us on the basis of what is common to us, which is also what is most essential to our faith and practice: the Two Commandments of love.

In this invitation to discussion, the Islamic leaders immediately set forth the central pillar of their faith:

The Testimonies of Faith

The central creed of Islam consists of the two testimonies of faith or Shahadahs, which state that:
There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God. These Two Testimonies are the sine qua non [absolute, essential, undebatable, Editor] of Islam. He or she who testifies to them is a Muslim; he or she who denies them is not a Muslim. Moreover, the Prophet Muhammad said: The best remembrance is: ‘There is no god but God.’

The Best that All the Prophets have Said

Expanding on the best remembrance, the Prophet Muhammad also said: The best that I have said - myself, and the prophets that came before me - is: ‘There is no god but God, He Alone, He hath no associate, His is the sovereignty and His is the praise and He hath power over all things.’ The phrases which follow the First Testimony of faith are all from the Holy Qur’an; each describes a mode of love of God, and devotion to Him. (

So how should a true Christian or a Messianic Jew answer this invitation?

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First, let us review the reply written by four scholars from Yale Divinity School’s Center for Faith and Culture and signed by 300 prominent Christian leaders:

As members of the worldwide Christian community, we were deeply encouraged and challenged by the recent historic open letter signed by 138 leading Muslim scholars, clerics, and intellectuals from around the world. “A Common Word Between Us and You” identifies some core common ground between Christianity and Islam which lies at the heart of our respective faiths as well as at the heart of the most ancient Abrahamic faith, Judaism. Jesus Christ’s call to love God and neighbor was rooted in the divine revelation to the people of Israel embodied in the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18). We receive the open letter as a Muslim hand of conviviality and cooperation extended to Christians worldwide. In this response we extend our own Christian hand in return, so that together with all other human beings we may live in peace and justice as we seek to love God and our neighbors.

Since Jesus Christ says, “First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye” (Matthew 7:5), we want to begin by acknowledging that in the past (e.g. in the Crusades) and in the present (e.g. in excesses of the “war on terror”) many Christians have been guilty of sinning against our Muslim neighbors. Before we “shake your hand” in responding to your letter, we ask forgiveness of the All-Merciful One and of the Muslim community around the world.

And the New Testament states clearly that “God is love” (1 John 4:8)...

As we read in the New Testament: “We love because he [God] first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Our love of God springs from, and is nourished by God’s love for us. It cannot be otherwise, since the Creator who has power over all things is infinitely good.

Given the deep fissures in the relations between Christians and Muslims today, the task before us is daunting. And the stakes are great. The future of the world depends on our ability as Christians and Muslims to live together in peace. If we fail to make every effort to make peace and come together in harmony you correctly remind us that “our eternal souls” are at stake as well. [Editor’s emphasis] (Yale Center for Faith & Culture

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Did you see what the Muslim invitation stated? Read it again:

In the Holy Qur’an, God Most High enjoins Muslims to issue the following call to Christians (and Jews - the People of the Scripture):

Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to a common word between us and you: that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside God…the Prophet Muhammad also said…‘There is no god but God, He Alone, He hath no associate….

Islam’s god Allah says there is no god [elah] but Allah and Mohammed is the prophet of Allah. The spirit/angel that dictated his version of law to Mohammed rewrote the truth concerning the Cornerstone of our faith, Yeshua the Messiah. In a direct quote from the Koran we read: Jesus was born of a virgin, but He is not a Son of Allah, but one of the prophets, of which Mohammed is the greatest. He was not crucified but only appeared to die. The Koran says the “resemblance of Yeshua is like Adam; Allah created him from dust.” It also says “Christ the son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him.”

The God [in Hebrew: Elohim] of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament [in Greek: theos] who so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.

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The bottom line is that the Muslims presented their core beliefs and invited Christians and Jews to join in those beliefs with them. Afterwards they talked about loving God and loving their neighbor. When the Christians responded, they jumped on loving God and neighbor, but the core values of the unwarranted gift of salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit-inspired Word of God, the unchangeable fact that there is only one God [Elohim] whose name is Jehovah, God of Heaven and Earth, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob [Israel], was completely ignored.

None of these pillars of the Christian faith appear in the Common Word document written by the Muslim scholars, and as you can see, none of them appear in the Response to the “Common Word” written by Christian scholars. (Ibid, )
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We could ask ourselves, “What if followers of the god Zeus asked us to “engage with them in an interfaith discussion of love of their god Zeus and love of our God Jehovah - “a discussion that would support the important work of reconciliation between these two great religious communities.”

It is not difficult to understand how traditional churches that have no emphasis on the gift of salvation through belief and obedience to the Son of God, could be duped into being one of hundreds of leaders who signed the Response. But how could mainline evangelical leaders be ensnared? Go to the following link to note that leaders in at least 10 major evangelical organizations signed on for discussions of “A Common Word.” (Ibid. Link:

It would appear that the signers of this interfaith document with Islam were leaders who have not manifested understanding of the truth of the Bible concerning Israel. Israel is a vital part of God’s last day plan to bring salvation to masses of people, including Muslims. Without this piece of God’s puzzle, good men and women of God go astray. So Christians and Messianic Jewish believers, Beware! MaozIsrael

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