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“Allahu Akbar” Means “God is Great”, but We Need to Shout “God is Love”

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by Mark Corbett, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. Mark Corbett

    Mark Corbett Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This past week another radical Muslim committed an act of terror while shouting “Allahu Akbar!” “Allahu Akbar” is Arabic for “God is great.”

    This brought to my mind a poem I wrote 17 years ago. At that time I was living in Indonesia on the island of Sulawesi. On another part of the island there had been waves of attacks against Christian villages by radical Islamic militants. Hundreds of Christians were slaughtered. Some of my Indonesian Christian friends had family members who had escaped from that area. They shared heart breaking stories of hearing the attackers yell “Allahu Akbar!” as homes were burned. They also spoke of hiding in the jungle for days to escape. As I pondered these stories, I tried imagined what my brothers and sisters in Christ might feel and think when facing such horrific evil. This led me to write the following poem:


    "Allahu Akbar!" is the shout I hear
    as angry young men come near.
    The shout is such an awful sound,
    as they burn my home down to the ground.


    I'm hiding in the jungle here,
    I'm hungry, cold, and full of fear.
    In my mind I still can hear that shout;
    I start to question, "What's this about?"


    "Allahu Akbar" means "God is great!"
    ... I ponder
    ... I weep
    "and that is true..." I finally state.


    But who will tell them God is love...?
    Who will show them God is love...?
    God, will you prove that You are Love?

    Muslims and Everyone Else

    In my experience, people rarely struggle with the concept that God is great. If a person believes that God somehow created the universe (which is a pretty widespread belief across many religions), then it immediately becomes quite obvious that God is super incredibly powerful. This truth is important, but it is not enough to lead us to a right understanding of God, which in turn leads us to the right way to live. For that to happen we need an additional truth: God is love.

    From its earliest days, Islam put much greater emphasis on God’s power than on His love. It’s not that the concept of God’s love is entirely absent in Islam, but it is not emphasized in the Quran the same way it is in the Bible. Islam does not have an example of God showing sacrificial, costly love in order to rescue us. There is nothing comparable to the Good News of Jesus giving Himself to die for our sins. Beliefs have consequences.

    It would be a mistake to think that only Muslims need a greater understanding and a stronger grasp of God’s love. This is a human problem. We see suffering and evil all around us and this causes many people to question, doubt, or even deny that God is love. And even when people agree in theory that God is loving, many struggle to hold on to the truth that God specifically loves them.

    Of course, God has proved that He is love. He proved His love when Christ left His home in Heaven to be born into a poor family in a humble setting. He proved it when He walked through this dirty, sad world, where He didn’t even own a home. He proved it when He spent His time giving good news to the poor and healing the broken. He proved it when He hung on the cross. With His dying breath He proved it.

    God has proved that He is love. But people need to see evidence of His love in their lives here and now. That’s where we come in. Those of us who have heard and believed the Good News of God’s great love in Christ are called to imitate that love:

    NIV Ephesians 5:1-2 Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

    So love your neighbor. Visit the sick. Reach out to those in need. Give your money to help the poor. Be kind. Gently share God’s truth. As people see His love shining through us, they will more easily believe the truth about His love through Christ. Most people already understand at some level that “God is Great.” When we follow God’s example and loves others sacrificially, we are shouting “God is Love!”

    This was initially a post on my blog.
     
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  2. Alittlereality

    Alittlereality New Member

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    Theyre the stubborn idiots of our reality. I dont think they know god or truth. Just violence and dominance of others through force and torture.
     
  3. Anguspure

    Anguspure Kaitiaki Peacemakers NZ Supporter

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    For the faithful Moslem to say that Allah lays down his life for his creation is blasphemy. For the Moslem God is indeed great and does not lower himself in anyway. It is the job of those in the house of Islam to obey and to struggle against disobedience wherever it is seen.

    The idea that God is Love is demonstrated by Isa, and by Isa living through His servants. When a true Moslem comprehends this it turns his world upside down so that he is no longer required to obey but now responds out of Love.
     
  4. Mark Corbett

    Mark Corbett Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Just a few things to remember about the OP. While the post is in some ways about Muslims and terrorism, those are not the main point. The main point is that WE who are blessed to believe in Christ should shout "God is Love" though our actions, kind words, and gentle sharing of God's Good News.

    I also want to bring some balance to the thoughts and feelings some may have concerning their Muslim neighbors. I lived in a city that is 90% Muslim for 14 years. Were there some radical Muslims there that persecuted Christians and engaged in terror? Yes. But most of my Muslims neighbors did not support terrorism. They were our friends. My daughter and their daughters played together. Some of them were our good friends.

    I think it is helpful to think of Muslims in general in the following ways:
    1. They are people whom God loves and wants to save.
    2. They are like all unbelievers. They need salvation. But only a small percentage of them are terrorists.
    3. They themselves are victims of Islam. Most of the them (almost all) have grown up in Muslim majority settings where they have been heavily indoctrinated since birth and face threats and great danger if they leave Islam. They need our patient love and prayers.
    4. They need to hear the gospel. The gospel will be shared most effectively by people who they know care about them and listen to them and share life with them.
    5. When they come to the US, it is an opportunity to minister to them (as all people in new countries need help) and to gently share God's love and truth. Here, they are a minority, and they may sometimes feel afraid because some Americans hate them just because they are Muslims.
     
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  5. Kelly McArthur

    Kelly McArthur Member

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    "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth," Philippians. Possibly we shouldn't fight with God's name rather lift up the name of Jesus?
     
  6. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member

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    As I understand in islam one has to earn Gods love, to be worthy of it.
    Christianity teaches we are not worhy of God love, but that he loves us despite not being worthy of it.

    Unfortunetly the lie that we can earn God's is believed by nearly everyone.
     
  7. DamianWarS

    DamianWarS Follower of Isa Al Masih Supporter

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    interesting. I've invested a lot of time into sharing Christ with Muslims and God is love is a difficult concept to understand for them. Love requires a recipient for it to be fulfilled and since God needs nothing love gets lost... of course this riddle is answered when you look at love pre-existing in the Trinity but for a Muslim love is a weakness not a strength; it does not describe greatness. Muslims have a better understanding of mercy over love and perhaps as a way of contextualizing rather than retorting "Allahu Alhabu" perhaps "Allahu Rahma" may be better understood.
     
  8. Kelly McArthur

    Kelly McArthur Member

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    Did you ever mention anything about Lord Jesus and how our souls are sleeping within and only through Jesus are we able to awaken into the Father's presence through the way and we receive our new names within our foreheads when we overcome this world of darkness or mention we are made one with the Father through the Son? These are good topics, they might be interested.
     
  9. Mark Corbett

    Mark Corbett Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I thank God that you are spending time sharing with your Muslim neighbors. I pray that they will see love in you life and in the lives of the other Christians as we love one another and love our all our neighbors, including our Muslim neighbors. I pray that God will open their hearts to his message of love in the Bible. May God bless and empower your testimony and may many be won to Al Masih.
     
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