The Vatican and Islam
Question: Tell me very honestly, what does the Vatican think about Islam? (This question was asked by a Muslim).
Answer: The Vatican has been trying hard to befriend the Islamic world. I am convinced that this is only a political gimmick. Given the chance, the Vatican would dominate the whole world, including the Islamic world. The same is true from the Islamic point of view. It cannot be otherwise, since both Catholicism and Islam consider themselves to be the purest and ultimate revelation of God.
Several conciliatory statements towards Islam were made since the Second Vatican Council. Here are two examples:
What can I say about all this? Frankly, I think that they are being dishonest – or else they are denying the faith of the Bible they profess to believe and defend. Let me show you why.
Firstly, the Bible teaches that the one true God is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Corinthians 1:3); and again, "Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love" (2 John 1:3). As a Muslim, do you believe that God is the Father of Jesus Christ? That Jesus is the Son of God? No, you don’t. Can’t you see therefore that Allah is not the God of the Scriptures? How can they say then that you adore the same God as Christians?
What about the statement that Muslims venerate Jesus as a prophet though they do not believe that He is God. You will realize that this is a very crucial point. If Jesus is not God, then Christians (who worship Him) are idolaters. If Jesus is indeed God, then Muslims are refusing to worship Him who deserves their total submission. There is no middle ground. See what Jesus Himself thought about this:
The Jews understood Jesus’ claim to be equal with God the Father and they sought to kill Him. Jesus affirmed His Deity by stating that He does the same works that the Father does, including giving life and judging the whole world. Therefore, He concluded that every person should honour the Son “as they honour the Father”. Jesus is worthy of the same divine worship that God the Father deserves. Moreover, He insisted that those who do not honour the Son in this manner, do not honour the Father either. Muslims claim to worship God just as the Jews in His day claimed to worship God even though they refused to worship Jesus. Jesus corrected them: “He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” Elsewhere Jesus said to those who did not believe that He is the Son of God and yet claimed to know God: “You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also” (John 8:19). No-one can know the Father except through Jesus Christ, His Son.
Do you see the emptiness and deception of the Catholic assertion that the Muslims worship God even though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God's Son?
The Lord Jesus Christ is the perfect image of the invisible God. He is God manifest in the flesh. To know Him, not merely as a prophet, but to know Him as Lord, is to know God Himself. But if one claims to know God but does not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, he does not really know God at all.
The chasm between Christianity and Islam is infinite, and I would not fool you by pointing out some superficial similarities between the two religions. Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus is the one and only Saviour. Once He asked his disciples what the people thought of Him. They answered that the people thought he was a prophet. Well, he was not content with that answer, and asked the disciples what they thought of Him. Peter spoke up and confessed, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” And Jesus blessed Peter for making that confession. Indeed the Bible states that eternal life is dependent on this very thing - believing in Jesus, the Son of God.
“He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36).
© Dr Joseph Mizzi