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Chris wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have some very deep and broad questions.

  • How can we, as Catholics, evangelize Muslims?

I have researched this issue and I still fail to find an error in Islam! There are no contradictions and everything seems to fall in place.

  • Was Muhammad lying or was he really revealing something?
  • If so, from who? God, or the Devil?

Thank You.

Chris

  { How can Catholics evangelize Muslims and was Muhammad lying or really revealing something? }

John replied:

Hi, Chris —

You're right, these are very deep and broad questions. I don't have time to get into how to evangelize Muslims in this reply. This posting may help.

What I would like to deal with, is your premise that you cannot find any errors in Islam.

  • Biblical Judaism
  • Catholic Christianity
  • Eastern Orthodox Christianity, as well as
  • Protestant Christianity

all share the common belief in salvation by grace.

Islam teaches a salvation by human works.

  • Hinduism
  • Buddhism, and other faiths

all center on man striving to reach God.

The Judeo-Christian faiths teach that God reached down to man. Even the Jews, who deny the deity of Christ, recognize that God is a loving, personal Father who redeems His people.

The Old Testament is full of stories which praise the exploits of God's redemption. This is the message of Messianic hope that Orthodox Jews still hold today.

This is a blasphemy to the Islamic mind. To them God is strictly a God of judgment, who may love his creatures but does not view them as sons. God would never draw close to his people, rather man must strive to reach him.

Having said that, Islam does have a moral standard and practice which is admiral, but it is lacking grace. True, we share many of the same standards for holy living and good works of charity. Therein is the hidden deception. On the surface it may look the same, but it's just the opposite.

Now as for, who revealed, what to Mohammed.

One possibility is that Mohammed thought he had a revelation, when he actually may have eaten some funny desert cactus also found in New Mexico and was having hallucination.

On the other hand, if he had a visitation, the Scriptures give us some insight as to how to judge it.

22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

1 John 2:22-23

14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

2 Corinthians 11:14

8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

Galatians 1:8

Mohammed allegedly saw the angel, Gabriel, who denied the Incarnation and taught him a gospel of works.

  • How does this revelation stand against the Holy Scriptures?

I do not mean to condemn all Muslims, for some of them, in their seeking to obey Islam, are groping for truth.

Further, it is God who judges, not I. The Church does say that Muslims do in fact worship the same God, but their view of Him is extremely distorted. They see Him as an Owner, rather than Father. The love of this God for his creature is comparable to the affection one might have for a pet, rather than the love a father has for a son, let alone an heir.

Remember, man is made in the image of God. There is something in man that strives to worship him, even though that image is badly distorted by original sin. Satan is interested in one thing only: bringing people into Hell with him. His methods are many so it makes sense that he would present an "alternative gospel".

This gospel of works can trap a man in pride. That man may some day stand before God and say, "I have earned entrance into your presence."

If any man is measured against the righteousness of God on his own merits, he will surely be found wanting and will be condemned.

But Catholicism teaches something entirely different:

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:8-10

Yes, we must do good works, but we do them by grace. When we sin, we are forgiven, not because we earn forgiveness, but because grace calls us to repentance and in His Mercy,
He forgives.

Yes, we believe that we must do penance to be purified, but that is not to gain forgiveness or to bring us back into fellowship with God, but to remove the ill effects of the sin. Even penance is done in faith with the aid of grace for "In Him we live and move and have our being",
(Acts 17:28), "it is no longer us that live, but Christ living in us." (Galatians 2:20)

  • Catholics
  • our separated Christian brothers, and
  • to some extent our older Jewish brothers

have a personal relationship with a personal God. This God is also transcendent as the Muslims insist, but He has condescended to man.

The Psalms record the following:

1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; you understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.

Psalm 139:1-10

This is not the character of an impersonal task master.

St. Paul wrote:

6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:6-11

This kind of a God is foreign to Islam.

When looking at any religion, one must look not only at the moral theology but at their understanding of God. If you carefully analyze Islam you will see a great error in their understanding.

Hope this helps,

In Him,

John DiMascio

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