Where Is Islam Taking the World? – Program 2

By: Dr. Ergun Caner, Dr. Emir Caner; ©1995
What happens when a Muslim converts to Christianity? How prevalent is Islam in America today?

Islam in America

Introduction

Every 24 hours, 68,000 people in the world become Muslims and begin to follow the teachings of Muhammad and learn about Islam’s surprising view of end time events. Islam teaches that Jesus will someday return to Earth to prove to the world that He is a true Muslim, that He will fight in the last great war of Armageddon, the battle for Jerusalem, and bring about the final Islamic defeat of all Christians and Jews. These beliefs greatly affect all aspects of Muslim life today.

Dr. Emir Caner: And so it is the ultimate jihad, it’s the ultimate picture of what will happen at the end of time, that Jesus defends Muhammad’s character. Jesus defends the Qur’an. Jesus defends everything it is to be Muslim. And Jesus defends that He is merely human, as chapter 5 of the Qur’an says, and is no more; and that those who say so, whether it’s Christians who say that He is the Son of God, or those who have corrupted it as Jews have done by eating swine or by corrupting the text, these people of the book are finally put in their place.
Today on the John Ankerberg show, my guests are two former Muslims who turned away from Allah and placed their faith in Jesus Christ.
Emir: We worshiped a false god, which was given to us by a false prophet, which gave a false hope, through a false word, until one day we were introduced to a true and living God, who was triune. And the son sacrificed His life for our sins, and the Holy Spirit, He indwelt us.
These men went on to get their Ph.D.’s and now Dr. Ergun Caner is president of Liberty Theological Seminary at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia and Dr. Emir Caner is Dean of the College at Southwestern on the campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. They are best-selling authors of Unveiling Islam and More Than a Prophet and are writing the first major commentary on every verse in the Qur’an from an evangelical Christian perspective.
Dr. Ergun Caner: This is for the Muslim, this war that is taking place now, eschatological. This is a prophecy for them, but they believe as they fight they are fulfilling the final days when Islam will take over and the world will be Islamic. And when the world becomes Islamic, Allah comes for judgment.
Join us for this special edition of the John Ankerberg Show.

Ankerberg: Welcome. Today my guests are two former Muslims who left Islam and placed their faith in Jesus Christ. They became Christians. Their family disowned them. And yet, some good things happened out of this. These guys got their education, got their Ph.D.s, they’re now professors in two different seminaries. They’re best-selling authors. But I want to stick on the personal level. Let’s rehash for the people that missed last week. Give me a quick recap of the moment that you made that decision for Christ and then you went and told your father, he disowned you, and then what happened to other family members through the years.
Emir: Well, there we were. We accepted Christ in 1982, at Stelzer Road Baptist Church; went home, wanted to tell our family. Told our mother, who was raised Swedish Lutheran, converted to Islam when she married dad. And by this time in her life she was a hippie Universalist. And she wasn’t excited, neither was she disappointed. She just thought we had switched teams. She didn’t understand the fact that we had gone from worshiping a false god to worshipping the one true living God.
But when we told our father is when it made the most drastic difference. He disowned us, told us that we are as dead to him. And from that point forward, we prayed for all of them, for our grandmother, and our mother, our two sisters who to this day are still Muslim. Our brother was saved alongside of us. And so here were three boys praying for mom and dad and grandma.
And within time, ten years though, but the Lord worked graciously. I got to see mom come forward during a church service where I was a youth pastor and profess faith in Jesus Christ and was baptized just a few short days later by Ergun. We got to watch, as Ergun and I were pastoring together in North Carolina, that our grandmother at 92 years of age wants to accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. And I got to baptize her when she was nearly 93 years old in Texas. And we’re just so thankful, because without God’s grace, nothing in our life would be what it is.
Ankerberg: Guys, you just rolled over that point. You told your dad and he disowned you. I’m saying, how did you survive that moment?
Ergun: He’s our hero. I mean, in every way, our father was our hero. Strong man, played what we call soccer for his entire life. I looked up to him. As the oldest, you know, I looked up to him as almost super-human. To lose that was tough. But again, you have to put it in context. We see the news media go crazy over Abdul Rahman being put to death, or you know, being sentenced to death for conversion.
Ankerberg: This is the 41-year-old man in Afghanistan that converted to Christianity and they wanted to put him to death.
Ergun: Of course. And then the Secretary of State speaks about it, and the President speaks about it as if it’s unique. What catches our attention the most is that this happens every single week in countries round the globe. Any country that’s an Islamic republic, even countries like our country, Turkey, in the Eastern parts of the country you are sentenced to death, you are taken out into the center of the city square, you are buried up to your waist in your burial cloth, because you are buried immediately, you are stoned to death, or you are beheaded, for the crime of conversion. And so, to us, this is everyday existence. There is a fatwa put on your head because you are considered apostate now. There is no question in Islamic law, there is no question in any Islamic court in the world that apostate must be put to death.
Ankerberg: Oh, yes, I mean right here you have the news release from the Middle East Times, the Supreme Court justice said that he faces the death penalty if he now refused to revert back to Islam. And if he didn’t do that, the only punishment was capital punishment. And then he went on and said Afghanistan’s constitution states no law can be contrary to the sacred religion of Islam. How many other countries, name a few of them for our people to get the idea of this law is in place in how many other countries? Name a few of them.
Emir: Well, take almost all of North Africa, of course: Algeria and Tunisia; Morocco declared as an official Islamic country; Mauritania. Then you have the Middle East, with all of Iran, even Iraq’s got the conflicting constitution; Afghanistan; Kuwait, which of course, we liberated; Yemen; United Arab Emirates. You go across other place of Africa where now there are provinces instating it, such as Nigeria’s twelve northern provinces. You have Indonesia; Malaysia has become an Islamic republic. It is the newest form, even though only 60% of its nation are Muslim.
And so what you have is a sweeping of militant purist traditional Islam over the last generation. And this Turkish experiment that was begun in the 1920s because of the presence of democracy there is waning. And even in Turkey the Social Welfare Party is winning, the Islamic party is winning. And the plurality in the Parliament is of a traditional Muslim faith.
And that’s where we’re seeing. It’s no longer a cold war of Russia, this is a confessional war. This is not one of ideology, it’s one of theology. And we’re in the midst of either having to stem the tide of militant Islam, or of my son and his sons fighting the next generation’s battle. And that’s why what George Bush does and has fought for in Iraq and Afghanistan and across the world is so right. We either do the battle now, as is necessary, or we must hand it to the next generation.
Ankerberg: Yes. We’ve got to do it here in America, too.
Caners: Yes.
Ankerberg: I was telling Emir last night, I saw the statistics on the prisoners, the prison population in our country: 10 to 20 percent are Muslim now.
Caners: Yes.
Ankerberg: That’s 346,000 men who have converted to Islam in jail. And the kind of Islam is Wahhabism, because one of the chief chaplains got his training in Saudi Arabia, got his funding. And some of the quotes he’s making are that these fellows are not going to be afraid to die for their beliefs and oh, by the way, they are American citizens. Alright?
Now that’s just that area. I was showing Emir again, right here in Chattanooga, I got a letter inviting me to come to a Muslim gathering so that we could have some friendship and we could share beliefs, etc. Okay? I saw that the goal of Islam in this country is that by 2013 they will have proselytized every American family at least once. And that they’re willing to put up $10 for every boy, girl, man, woman, and that money’s coming from Saudi Arabia for our country. And the idea is to outgrow them in terms of birth, or by education, or conversion. And that they’re not going to bring sharia law into America via violence, some of them are saying, but they’re going to bring it, and they’re going to bring it by just doing the democratic vote over.
Ergun: A commitment of 3 billion dollars for the “evangelism” – I don’t like using that word, because it means “good news” – but the evangelism of Islam here in America. Three billions dollars. We already see them buying newspaper ads and such.
The country that’s probably the most shining example of sharia law is the Sudan, where you are seeing the wholesale slaughter of entire tribes because they will not convert to Islam. If they are Christian sub-tribes, or they are Muslims who have converted to Christianity, and so there’s wholesale slaughter.
Emir wrote a book where he details a lot of the modern-day martyrs. Because we talk about martyrdom as if it took place back in the Patristic period, you know, post Resurrection, early apostles. There is more death in our world, there is more Christians being put to death now than in other period in history. And sadly, we are pretty much silent in the face of this bloodshed. Blood sweeps the streets.
Ankerberg: Yes. And we’re going to come back to this thing, is jihad still for today in terms of physical warfare, or is it just personal, internal struggle? What do the Qur’an and Hadith actually teach? We’re going to save that for another program. Let’s just give the roundup on that, and that is that it’s still in effect.
Ergun: Of course.
Ankerberg: Alright. The thing that I want, though, as part of this series, I want our Christians to realize that they can witness and they can bring folks to Christ that are Muslim. And the fact is, you guys are a prime example, okay? That’s all you knew. You were in this trap. And yet, one stubborn young guy wouldn’t give up on you, and the fact is, you guys, the Lord got into your mind.
Now, here’s the thing. I want to turn this around on you. The folks that are listening that are Christian say, “I’ve got a Muslim neighbor, okay? And I’d like to witness, but I don’t know what they think.” I want to even make it worse for them. I want them to see the challenge here. Every one of the main points of the Gospel, from the nature of Jesus; to the nature of God; to Christ being a substitute for our sins; of us being sinners and having somebody else pay for those sins; okay, all of those if you hold that as a Muslim, you would be committing the highest sin that you can commit, alright? So I’m saying, they’ve already had drilled into their head all of their life, five times every day they say God is one, no son of God, no trinity. Five times every day they already say God is one, and don’t break that.
Now, you want the Christian to share these points of the Gospel. First of all, let’s go point by point. Tell me what you believed as Muslims and then what Christianity is saying, and then how you would approach these folks on each of these points. Let’s start with Jesus Himself, okay? Islam believes a lot about Jesus, but they’ve got a problem. So tell me what they believe and what the problem is.
Ergun: We often tell people in conferences that Muslims believe more about Jesus than most liberals do. Islam believes in the virgin birth, the pure birth is what the Qur’an says, but they have no problem affirming the virgin birth. They believe that Jesus did miracles; no problem with this. They believe that Jesus never died. They believe that Jesus is returning, but only as, and with the entire concept of, Jesus as a servant of Allah. He is not the Son of God, no one is. He was not the monogenes, only begotten of the Father. He is not in any way anything more than, better than, greater than, any other human being. The Qur’an teaches He was created from the dust like Adam was. That Jesus is the penultimate, or next to last Prophet. That Jesus spoke of the final Prophet: in Surah 61 of the Qur’an, it teaches that Jesus said that “I must leave to send the parakletos,” which in Arabic means Muhammad. That they believe Jesus said, “I’m leaving, Muhammad will be the final word.” And so the greatest Prophet in Islam is Muhammad. When we emphasize Jesus, they say He’s one of many. He’s one of the Prophets. He’s a good man, great man, but that Jesus did not die on the cross; that Jesus will return only when Allah allows Him to return; that somewhat like Da Vinci Code, that Jesus will get married, father many children, live a long life. Then when he dies He’s buried next to Abu Bakar, the first Caliph.
Ankerberg: Yes. We’re going to come into this thing of the prophecy, the eschatology, end time events, that Islam has, because a lot of our folks will find that interesting and there’s just a lot there, okay, like you’re saying.
Okay. Let’s just hit this thing about Jesus. I mean, I know how it was approached in your mind: Jesus was more than a prophet. And that got to you. Any other suggestions for our Christians who just heard all the problems? Now, how do you get in there?
Emir: Well, the good news is, the more devout a Muslim is, the more likely he is to come to faith in Christ. Sixty-six percent of those Muslims who come to faith in Christ are regular followers of Islam and its tenets. And so it’s encouraging.
The greatest way to lead a Muslim to faith in Christ is the doctrine of eternal security. Sixty percent of all Muslims who come to faith in Christ, it was the doctrine of eternal security that shook them to the foundations, because not even Muhammad knew what Allah would do with him. That’s chapter 5 of the Hadith, Volume 5 of the Hadith, number 266. There it is Muhammad that said, “What Allah will do with me, I do not know.” And the fatalism, chapter 14 of the Qur’an says that Allah leads astray whomever he pleases.” But then they are opened to this universe where Jesus has died for their sins, in their place, in their stead. And “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” [Rom. 5:8] For all of our lives, we were taught that “Allah does not love transgressors, but Allah loves those who do righteous deed”, chapter 2 of the Qur’an says. But now we are introduced to Jesus Christ, who loved us in our sin; died for our sin; and it literally takes the blinders off of the eyes.
Ankerberg: Alright, we’re going to take a break, then we’ll come back. But we’ve got the old capper at the end of this. After you go through all of this and you say, the Christian says, “Let me show you this truth from the Bible,” they say, “Oh, we can’t look at the Bible because it’s corrupted.” So, we need an answer for that one too. So stick with us, we’ll be right back.

BREAK

Ankerberg: We’re talking with two former Muslims that came and placed their faith in Jesus Christ. They left Islam, their family disowned them. They’ve gone on in their education to get Ph.D.s. They are teaching in different seminaries, they are best selling authors.
But what I want them to share with you is the fact is, if we are to be a witness to people, if Christ commanded us to go into all the world, we’ve got no option on that one. Every one of us. You say, “I don’t know what Muslims believe.” Well, we’re trying to teach you what Muslims believe, and we’re trying to show you what the challenge is here. These guys came out. It’s possible. There’s others that are coming out. We’re going to talk about their stories.
But what I want you to understand is, the very main points of the Gospel: Jesus as the Savior – no, He’s not; Jesus died on the cross – no, He didn’t; Jesus didn’t rise from the dead; He wasn’t a substitute for our sins. And then, oh by the way, the standard answer you can get, you say, “Well, let me show you from the Bible,” they’ll say, “Ah, we believe in the Bible, but you know, it’s all been corrupted.” Alright? So, Ergun, straighten us out here. How in the world do we tackle these topics?
Ergun: I tell people who have Muslim friends there are two concepts that are completely foreign to the Muslim mind. One is the concept of unconditional love. The Qur’an teaches that Allah loves those who do righteous, Allah loves those who repent. But the Bible tells us that God loved us “while we were still sinners,” [Rom. 5:8] while we were still at war with Him; while we were still at enmity and hated Him, Christ loved us, God loved us. This is completely foreign to a Muslim – that God loves me in spite of who I am.
Secondly, it’s the concept of grace. In the confession, the kalima, of Islam, he is called “the all-gracious.” But grace in Islam means that he doesn’t kill you. In Christianity, grace is He, dying for us. It is a complete inversion of the concept.
Ankerberg: Talk about this thing, too, that the fact is, Allah was not personal to you.
Ergun: Oh, no! No, there’s not a single intimate term in the Qur’an for the 99 names of Allah. Not one. There’s one that’s close, from Surah 50 that says Allah is as close as your jugular, but that’s a threat! You know, he can kill you when he wants. There is no such thing as an intimacy. For instance, there is not term for Allah as Father. And Christianity, when we got saved, we found out that He is Father to His children, that He is intimate with us, that He indwells us. This was profoundly impacting on my life. I wasn’t praying just to finish up a prayer to get it off my obedience list. I was praying because I had the ear of God Almighty, that “I come boldly before the throne of grace to obtain mercy.” [Heb. 4:16]
Ankerberg: Alright, go back to this thing of grace, then. Why was grace, and tell people that may not know what grace is, why was grace so fantastic to you, coming out of a Muslim background?
Ergun: Because in Islam the only graciousness is what we would call Mercy. See, the distinction, in mercy God doesn’t do to us what we deserve; but grace is when God does for us what we can never deserve. What God did in grace for us is Christ died where I could not. My sin, my blood, it’s not sufficient. My sin is always going to be greater. This angst that a Muslim deals with: we lay on our heads on our pillow at night and stare at the ceiling. We know our thought life; we know our word life. The people who got on the planes did so out of desperation. They light their shoes out of desperation. They strap bombs to themselves out of desperation. It’s the final hope. It’s the only final solution that I have to my sin problem, a Muslim believes.
Ankerberg: Slow that down. I mean, what you’re saying is the only way to be sure that you’re going to heaven is if you blow yourself up, you become a martyr, right?
Ergun: Yes. It’s the only eternal security that Islam offers.
Ankerberg: Okay. And if you don’t do that, then you’re faced with the scales, and the mercy that you’re talking about is conditional on you doing things with the hope that you’ve done enough that the mercy will actually be applied at the end.
Ergun: That’s right.
Emir: This is why the matter of witnessing to a Muslim is a matter of the doctrine of revelation, as you put it. A Christian who does not believe his Bible is the inerrant, infallible word of God cannot reach a Muslim, because a Muslim believes his Qur’an, all 114 chapters, all 6,616 verses, are guarded from corruption – chapter 15 and verse 9 of the Qur’an says. And if a Christian doesn’t know what 2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 1, and Matthew 5 says, then they are in deep trouble and conflict with the Muslim who is sure of his word, yet you’re not sure of yours. And thereby, it’s a matter of the doctrine of revelation. Either He did die on the cross or He didn’t die on the cross; either He raised from the dead, or He wasn’t raised from the dead. And a great question to ask a Muslim is, the Muslim believes that the first five books of the Old Testament as well as the Psalms of David, were inspired by God, but then corrupted by the prophets; that the Ingil, the Gospel, was inspired by God, then corrupted by the apostles. The question then becomes, if the Word of God was corrupted twice, why would you believe it a third time?
Ankerberg: Yes. If Allah actually gave that to Moses and to Jesus, in terms of the information that they got, and then they lost it, they got corrupted, you’re saying when God gives it to Muhammad, how are you sure that it’s not corrupted there?
Emir: That’s why we defend not only the inspiration of the Christian scriptures, but the preservation of the Christian scripture. The Muslim is stuck in a catch-22 here. You have a problem of causality. Did Allah want these texts to become corrupt? And if so, why? And if he didn’t want his word to become corrupt, as we should assume, then was he impotent? Was he asleep at the wheel? What was the problem? And a Muslim then has to come face to face with the question of the authenticity of the very word of God; because either the Bible is obsolete, or it’s absolute. It’s either the word of God or the mere words of men. It’s either that which God has preserved or you have a problem with the entire doctrine of revelation.
Ankerberg: Talk to me about this thing that, as a Muslim, you couldn’t believe that Jesus did something for you, because you had to pay for your own sin.
Ergun: Of course. Muslims believe in atonement, Muslims believe in blood, they just don’t believe in somebody else’s blood for us. A bomber believes, one who straps on the bomb, they always declare themselves before they do an act of jihad. They declare that “my blood is now shed, which makes me a martyr. This makes me one who has died for Allah, and my scales are clean.” Muslims believe that it is their strapping to a cross, it is their act of total surrender to Allah.
But if Jesus Christ died, there is a cosmic jihad involved here. Because Jesus doesn’t die to defend God; Jesus doesn’t die to defend the honor of God; Jesus dies for the sins of man! Jesus dies to fulfill, to pay, the wrath of God against men because of sin. And so Jesus’ death, in Islam, cannot be filtered. There’s no way Jesus could have died. It’s impossible, because if Jesus dies, either He dies as a failure, or He actually dies as Savior.
Ankerberg: Alright. Wrap this up, this segment. We’ve gone by it so fast. To the Christian that is out there saying, “You know, I know I’m supposed to be a witness to my Muslim neighbor. Give me some encouragement, give me some preliminary instruction here, that it can be done. What do I need to do?”
Ergun: I would ask Emir to close us on this, but I say three words: Talk about grace; talk about unconditional love; and eternal security. Those are my three things.
Emir: And remember, it may not be a mere intellectual or spiritual pursuit for the Muslim. They may say, “I believe everything you say is true,” as I’ve heard dozens of times, “but, I cannot lose my family, I cannot lose my job, I do not want to be ostracized from my culture. I cannot.” And so, intellectually they’re on board, but in their heart, they cannot be, because they know they’d lose mom and dad and everything that is encompassing their life from the cradle to the grave. And so, when you’re witnessing to a Muslim, realize what you’re asking them to do. You’re actually asking them to surrender their entire life; which is no more, though than Jesus asked of His disciples in Matthew 10.
Ankerberg: Yes, but it’s just one hairy thing to think about. And then you take it overseas where you can get killed for doing this. But that’s what our Lord asks us to do is to share this information. And like you say, eternity is a lot longer than this life. And, yes, but, boy, you just say, look at the cost there: mom, dad, your kids, the whole thing. But, we’re going to talk about this more, because this is what has to happen.
And next week we’re going to turn to even more controversial material. I’m going to ask you guys, if the Lord tarries, Jesus doesn’t come back, and we go 5, 10, 15, 20 years down the pike, we’ll take the growth numbers of Islam in the world at the present time, we’ll extrapolate them into the future, and I’m saying where is Islam taking the world in the future? What will we be facing? And we’ll also encompass this thing of, is jihad still for today? Okay? What do the Qur’an, Hadith, say? Join us. You won’t want to miss that information.

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