Three Religions, Many Books
In Arabic tradition, Jews, Christians, and Muslims are collectively called the People of the Book and these three religions are referred to in the Quran. The belief systems are bound together in monotheism and in shared patriarchs, but the person of Jesus Christ divides them.
- The Torah, the five books of law attributed to Moses, is the foundational text of of Judaism, but other texts like the Tanakh, the Talmud and the Kabbalah are studied, revered and observed.
- As Christians we embrace the Holy Bible, a compilation of 66 books divided into the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament comes directly from the Torah and the Tanakh. The New Testament completes the divine revealed Word of God. Other Jewish texts are studied for historical and interpretive value, but they are not recognized as canon. Some denominations add other texts, such as the Apocrypha.
- Islam too, looks to many books. While the Quran is the central text of Islam, other holy books are recognized, like the Tawrat/Torah, the Zabur/the Psalms and the Injil/Gospel. However, only the Quran is considered the Holy Word of God and all the other books have been degraded by translation and cannot be trusted by Muslims.
1st Peter 2 recognizes Jesus Christ as the Cornerstone of our salvation promised in Isaiah, but Peter also refers to the verse in Psalms which which tells the builders rejected Him before He became the chief cornerstone. This Cornerstone is still being rejected. Jews, looking for an earthly kingdom for their Messiah, crucified Jesus for blasphemy when He came to us, and while they recognize a historical man named Jesus, they do not acknowledge Him as God. Muslims deny Allah/God could have a Son or become a human, and see the Jewish/Christian tradition of the trinity as a polytheistic practice.
The North American Mission Board says, “Among the major world religions, Islam is the only non-Christian faith that recognizes the person of Jesus.” They go on to list all the times Jesus, called Isa, is discussed in the Quran and they say, “Islam corroborates that Jesus was born to a virgin, was sinless, performed miracles, and was superior to other prophets. Yet, Islam teaches that Jesus was no more than a prophet. It denies the central message of Christianity by denying Jesus’ divinity, crucifixion, and resurrection.”
Umida, the host of Shukur Aytaman (I Am Thankful), our Uzbek women’s program, says that regardless of what the Quran may say, few Muslims actually read the holy text. Instead, most depend on what they are told by their mullah. In the mosque she attended in Uzbekistan, they acknowledged the crucifixion and the resurrection, but did not believe God could have a son. Thankfully, she was introduced to Christ and now devotes her life to spreading His Truth.
The Good News of the Gospel
In our target countries, religion is more cultural than spiritual. Islam is primarily an overpowering tradition of rules which burden the lives of our viewers. We take the message of Christ to them in our broadcasts, but it is the Holy Spirit which moves in their hearts to bring them to Christ. It is not a book, but a person who brings them hope and that person is the Living Lord. Once our viewers come to know Christ, they are anxious to read of him in the Holy Bible and to fellowship with other Believers in the hidden home churches. For that reason we support our broadcasts with text/phone counseling and the training of home pastors.
Help Reap the Harvest
You can partner with Global Heart Ministries to fulfill The Great Commission in this generation. Together we can bring the light and the truth of Jesus Christ right into the living rooms of every deceived child, every oppressed woman, and every hurting home. This is our message. This is our call.
We invite you to join this vision as a volunteer, a prayer warrior, or a financial donor. Contact us today by phone or email. Let us know how you’d like to partner with us as we reach out to the Most Unreached Regions of the World.