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Christian Apologetics toward Islam and Missions to Muslims

Should Christians Call God Allah? – Part 1

ChristianityVsIslamToday we are going to discus, Should Christians use the name Allah when referring to God? Some of you may think we are only discussing semantics or splitting hairs. The reason we want to talk about this is that some missionaries who deal with Muslims say that Allah is just a generic word that means god.
There are several reasons that we oppose using God and Allah interchangeably. The first is what it means to Muslims. One of the basic tenants of Islam is the Allah has no son. The God of the Bible, Jehovah, Elohim, has a begotten Son and His name is Jesus Christ.
Those who want to use Allah and God interchangeably are well meaning. They don’t intend to insult or defame God in any way. They believe that it helps in reaching Muslims. How we handle God’s name is very important.
Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Exodus 20:7
God is a holy and righteous God. We don’t have the right to play with His name in this way just because we think it is expedient.
For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: Exodus 34:14
God is jealous for His name. Those who fall for this corruption of God’s name and His word are trying to figure out, with man’s understanding, how to reach Muslims.
We are not against Muslims. We want to see Muslims reached for Christ. We want to have God’s heart for Muslims. We want to see God rescue them from the darkness and oppression of Islam, just as He rescued Shahram. Our efforts to reach Muslims has to be done according to God’s precepts. When God gave us the Gospel, He did not forget Muslims. The Gospel is for all mankind.
When Shahram was given the Gospel it was hard for him to hear the truth. It cut into his heart. He told the person who shared the Gospel with him that she offended him. He says that he now understands that it was not really that he was offended, it was that the Holy Spirit was piercing his heart. The Gospel offends, and we must not let that stop us from telling the truth. The Scriptures say that it is the truth that sets one free.
This is becoming more and more relevant. Just recently someone told me they received a newsletter from the Voice of the Martyrs. This ministry has done a tremendous job of presenting the case of persecuted Christians around the world. I don’t want to besmirch all of their efforts, but they put out a prayer book “30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World” that is problematic. On day 19 in the book it said that the word “Allah” is, in fact, of Christian origin.
This person wrote Voice of the Martyrs and received a response which gave a link to their persecution blog. We will be looking at this article by their VP Cole Richards later. Before we do I want to say that this issue is predominately an Arab issue. For example, in Farsi, the language of Iran, we have no problem explaining to them how to refer to God because Farsi has a generic term, khodah, for god. Muslim converts in Iran are told that khodah refers to Jesus Christ, who is the true God.
The argument that is being made by those who want to equate “Allah” with “God” is that “Allah” is generic. They say that it just means “god” and there should be no problem because Arab Christians use it, and, therefore, Muslims who become Christians should have no problem using “Allah” to refer to the God of the Bible. I want to look at why this is not true, and why there is a problem using “Allah” and “God” interchangeably.
Those who were Muslims and have become Christians are the most bothered when they hear missionaries using “Allah” for “God.” When they were Muslims, they understood that Allah was the moon god worshiped by Muhammad and not the God of the Bible. Allah, as I said before, is a god that has no son. The usage of “Allah” for “Got” removes the deity of Jesus Christ in the minds of Muslims.
Muslims who have become Christians came out of a system of belief that believes Jesus is not the Son of God because Allah has no son. This removes the whole Christian concept of God as a Triune God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
I think that it is strange the the missionaries, who never were Muslims, know better than the ex-Muslims who have become Christians. Those who were Muslims should know better than those who never were Muslims on a subject like this. To an ex-Muslim, hearing Allah used for the God of the Bible is like running your fingernails down a chalkboard, it really grates on them.
Missionaries tell us that Arab Christians have no trouble distinguishing between the “little allah” and the “great Allah.” The “little allah” is the generic and the “great Allah” is the god of Islam. How do you do that in your prayers?
Modern Bible translators are using Allah for God. This is a dangerous thing as you will see. We need to respect the name of God and keep it pure. We don’t need to confuse those we are trying to reach for Christ.

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Updated: September 7, 2015 — 5:47 AM
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