I once had a pastor who told me that he made it a point to avoid any religious criticism of Jews, Catholics, and Muslims. When I asked him to explain, he stated that all of them were Abrahamic faiths, that all Christianity (Protestant and Catholic), Judaism, and Islam can trace their spiritual heritage back to Abraham. Therefore, he felt it was wrong to say that any of them weren’t from God.
This is what he learned in Bible School and apparently this is what is taught in some seminaries. Is this really true? Let’s examine the facts.
Judaism is the earliest of the three religions and those who are Jews in the physical sense of being of the Hebrew people can trace their physical heritage back through the 12 sons of Jacob back through Isaac and back to Abraham. But Judaism itself was not established until the law of Moses was instituted after the Hebrews left Egypt. Before the Mosaic law, Abraham and his descendants worshiped Jehovah apart from those laws.
The Mosaic law was established so God could make clear what sin was and to symbolize that a Messiah, a Redeemer, would one day come to save mankind from sin. But following Jewish laws were not what made Abraham right with God since he came before the law. Abraham, when he was still Abram, lived a life of faith in Jehovah after God called him out from among his people [Genesis 12] and his faith in God, including God’s promise of a coming Messiah, made him a righteous man.
God established Old Testament laws to be a temporary form of worship until the appointed time when the Messiah would come to fulfill the law on behalf of the Jews and to move the Jews away from the Old Testament into a New Testament, or Covenant. But along the way, the Jews used the law in unlawful ways to establish their own righteousness by their man-made traditions and idolatry. This led them to harden their hearts against God and to form a “salvation-by-works” religion [Romans 9:32], which isn’t a true religion. So even when the Jews claimed Abraham as their father, the Lord Jesus told them “If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham,” [John 8:39]. And that work of Abraham was faith in Jesus as Lord.
Real Jews are those of Hebrew heritage that believe in Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Messiah. They are Jews spiritually, not physically [Romans 2:28-29]. Since the majority of Jews are not doing the works of Abraham by believing that Jesus is Lord, they don’t have Abraham’s faith and cannot be considered an “Abrahamic faith.”
This does not mean God has written off Israel. He has established an everlasting covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that promises that all living Israelis will one day be saved when Jesus returns to defend Israel from their enemies and they will look on the one they pierced [Zechariah 12:10; Romans 11:25-19]. This is why Christians should love Jews even when we don’t agree with them. And this is why the United Nations and any nation, including Arab nations, that hate Israel are fighting a losing battle when they come against Israel.
Arabs are descendants of Ishmael, Abraham’s firstborn, and an Arab named Muhammad (Mohammed, Mahomet) started Islam in the 600s AD, although Muslims consider him to be just a continuation of the line of prophets named in the Bible. They claim the god they worship, Allah, is the same as Jehovah.
Since they descended from Abraham and claim the same god of the Jews and Christians, religious leaders in all three religions believe Islam is Abrahamic. But just like Jesus told the Jews, “If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham,” [John 8:39-40]. Abraham, as I said before, had faith in God and faith in God’s Son, the Lord Jesus. That is the work that made him righteous before God.
Muslims, just like the unsaved Jews, believe in a “salvation-by-works” religious system. Among the works they believe ushers them into paradise are the fulfillment of their five pillars and the establishment of sharia, a system of geopolitical laws tied to their religion. Within sharia are laws that mandate the subduing of all non-Muslims and women to second-class citizenship or to slavery or to death if they don’t comply. Sharia also teaches it is okay for Muslim men to sexually assault anyone who doesn’t comply with Islam, regardless of their gender.
So we see in Islam a whole plethora of things that Abraham would never do. Furthermore, the Quran makes many factual errors about Abraham such as the claim that Abraham worshiped at Mecca [Sura 14:37], but he actually worshiped in Hebron [Genesis 13:18]. Abraham did not believe in salvation by works. Abraham rejoiced to see the day of the Lord Jesus Christ, and he saw it and was glad [John 8:56], but Muslims deny Jesus Christ is the Lord and deny that God has a son. Abraham, as Jesus said, was not into killing people who spoke the truth. Muslims who establish sharia believe in killing those who speak the truth of the gospel.
Since Muslims do not display the same faith as Abraham, Islam is not an Abrahamic faith.
Christianity was the establishment of God’s New Testament, or Covenant, with mankind, starting with the Jews. Jesus of Nazareth came to Israel in the first century AD to fulfill God’s laws for all mankind, to die for all of mankind’s sins, and to rise from the dead so that all who believe in him would be saved from their sins and would have the privilege of living forever with God their Creator. Jesus was the Christ, the Anointed One of God, and this is where the word “Christian” comes from.
We as humans are too weak to save ourselves and nothing we could do on our own would make us right with God, so Jesus stepped in on our behalf to bring us to God. The worship of Jehovah by man dates back to the beginning when God first created man on earth, but until Jehovah came in the form of Jesus, there was no permanent way for us to get rid of our sins. Believers before the Mosaic law and during the Mosaic law were saved by their belief that God would one day bring a Messiah just as he promised. This is the faith that Abraham had and still has today.
However, there are false Christians who claim Jesus, but believe their works save them or who claim Jesus and live in unrepentant rebellion against what he commanded. Nevertheless, genuine Christians know that without faith, it is impossible to please God [Hebrews 11:6]. Genuine Christians know that Jesus rose from the dead. They believe that God’s word is infallible from Genesis to Revelation because God has surrounded us with all kinds of evidence to back it up. Based on their faith in God and love for God, they carry out works that please God. Even when they stumble, they repent and continue on in their faith.
Since Christians have the same type of faith as Abraham and do the works of Abraham and do not seek to kill those who speak God’s truth [John 8:39-40], Christians are the only ones with “Abrahamic faith.”
This false idea of there being three Abrahamic faiths is the false belief behind the latest apostasy rising in some churches that is called “Chrislam.” Chrislam is nothing more than preaching a false Christ to kowtow to Islam and shows that the people peddling this false religion want to be friends with the world system.
–posted by Harry A. Gaylord–