28 March 2008

"A Common Word Between Us"

In “A Common Word” Muslim clerics wrote about the importance of the love of God and the love of neighbor in Islam and Christianity. The acknowledgement of the “Other” as human beings was a remarkable effort by moderate Muslims to repudiate the teachings of Osama bin Laden and his ilk that all non-Muslims are idolators who must be destroyed. The 138 affirmed that God is One, and that there is no other god beside Him. Many Christians say, “But Allah is not God!” and many Muslims reply, “And God is not Allah!” Worshipping any god besides the Creator of the Universe is the greatest sin, all believers agree. Yet we disagree on revelation, as God has ordained in this Age of the Nations. All the theology in the world cannot reveal that which is perceived only through a glass darkly by His creatures. Each of us must decide for ourselves how much power we want to allow God to have over our lives. Is He limited in any way? He can do anything He pleases. He is the Sovereign, Our Creator. We cannot judge another’s heart, and we are accountable only to God. In good faith, we must agree that God is Allah, and Allah is God, and that the God of Israel is the God of Muhammad, just as Muhammad taught his followers. All responsibility for misleading one another about who God by our deeds is ours alone. How the Lord God must weep at His children’s eagerness to condemn one another before His throne. Let us humbly affirm our humanity by recognizing His image in our neighbors’ eyes, and like Isaac said to Esau, "For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably." Genesis 34:10.

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