Ankerberg Monthly Letter February 2013 - Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, John Ankerberg Show

Ankerberg Monthly Letter February 2013

This month on television we are going to present the facts about “Why Sharia Law Threatens Freedom and Human Rights” and talk about the plight of women who are Trapped Behind the Veil of Islam.” Why? Because we need to understand what fellow Christians are experiencing in many nations, and how to reach Muslims who have embraced a false religion that calls for their death if they leave. We also need to be aware there are organizations in America seeking to implement Sharia Law.
In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, nation after nation has become an Islamic State and has implemented Sharia Law. Egypt has been the most notable, now seeking to rule its nation by the teachings of the Qur’an and Hadith. Its newly elected President Mohamed Morsi stated at Cairo University, “The Qur’an is our constitution, the prophet is our leader, jihad is our path, and death in the name of Allah is our goal.”
Of further concern, 57 member countries are part of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), making it the largest inter-governmental body in the world, after the United Nations. The OIC’s website says it “is the collective voice of all causes close to the heart of over 1.5 billion Muslims.” They adopted the Cairo Declaration in 1990, “which officially exempted all Muslim countries from compliance with the UN Universal declaration on human rights and replaced it with Islamic law (Sharia).” Their agenda has been to use the United Nations to criminalize criticism of Islam.
The expansion of Islam in so many nations and the establishment of Sharia has raised many questions including, What is Sharia Law? How are Christians, Jews, and non-Muslims to be treated? To answer these questions and to help inform and warn the Christian church, I’ve invited two men who are uniquely qualified to speak about these topics.
Drs. Emir and Ergun Caner are both former Sunni Muslims who grew up in Columbus, Ohio where their father built mosques. When they became Christians as teenagers, their own father disowned them. Since then, they have obtained doctoral degrees in theology or history, and now teach at Christian colleges. They have also taught in countries overseas and are in communication with Christians currently living in Islamic States. They are very knowledgeable about the Qur’an and Hadith and have authored numerous books that speak about the differences between the truth claims of Christianity and Islam. Dr. Emir Caner and I have also co-authored three books together: The Truth about Islam and Jesus, The Truth about Islam and Women, and The Truth about Islam and Jihad.
Dr. Emir Caner serves as President of Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Georgia. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a PhD in history from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Dr. Ergun Caner serves as Vice President and Provost at Arlington Baptist College in Arlington, Texas. He holds two Master’s degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Theology from the University of South Africa.
In first program of our first series, “Why Sharia Law Threatens Freedom and Human Rights” you will learn that:

  • 35 nations have officially established some form of Sharia Law.
  • The 57 Muslim member nations of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have “officially exempted all Muslim countries from compliance with the UN universal declaration on human rights and replaced it with Islamic law (Sharia)” (1990 Cairo Declaration).
  • England has established 85 Sharia courts where Muslim leaders make judgments based on their interpretations of the Qur’an and the Hadith—the teachings of Muhammad.
  • Even our American law courts are not immune. Numerous cases involving Islamic Law have taken place in the U.S. in recent years.
  • Islam has persecuted Christians, Jews, and non-Muslims and Jews in the past, and many Islamic countries continue similar persecution today.

In program two, we discuss what Islam teaches a Muslim must do to have any chance of obtaining paradise. Allah in the Qur’an says, “Allah loves not transgressors” (Sura 2:190); in contrast, Jesus died for us “while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8).
We will teach you how the Five Pillars of Islam are required works for Muslims to obtain the chance of earning an entrance into paradise. Muslims have no assurance of salvation, unless they die as martyrs in jihad. Muslims serve a god who loves only conditionally, who weighs the scales of every person’s good and bad deeds throughout life, and expects followers to earn their own way to paradise.
In contrast, Jesus Christ proclaims the good news of the Gospel. In John 3:16 He said, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” This gift is given by God’s grace alone through our faith alone in Jesus Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). The differences regarding salvation between Islam and Christianity are like night and day.
In program three, we examine the life of Muhammad and ask, is he really the most excellent example all Muslims must follow (Sura 33:21)? How did he live?
Muslim sources teach that Muhammad had a total of 12 wives and a number of concubines. His youngest wife was six when Muhammad married her and nine years old when the marriage was consummated. Muhammad himself at times doubted his revelations were truly from Allah (Sura 46:9). Further, the growth of his movement was closely associated with his attacks on caravans and eventually gave religious incentives (guaranteed paradise) to those of his followers who died in holy war called jihad (Sura 2:216-217).
In our second series, “Trapped Behind the Veil of Islam” we will clearly see the implications Muhammad’s life and teachings have on today’s 700 million Muslim women. He taught women were possessions (Sura 3:14), were considered a husband’s sex object (Sura 2:223), and that a husband could divorce his wife for any reason, including not fulfilling his sexual needs (Sura 66:5). He further taught:

  • Women should lower their gaze and dress modestly with veils (Sura 24:31).
  • Husbands can beat their wives (Sura 4:34).
  • Women are to be lashed for adultery (Sura 24:2); according to the traditions in the Hadith, adulterous women are to be sentenced to death (Bukhari 83:37).
  • A woman cannot leave Islam according to Bukhari’s Hadith: “Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him,” including women (Bukhari 9:57).

This greatly contrasts with the view of women presented in the Bible. There, women are created equal with men in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Jesus modeled great care and compassion for women in the Gospels. Women were even the last to leave the side of Jesus at the crucifixion and the first to testify of His resurrection.
The apostle Paul further affirmed the equality of men and women when he wrote, “There is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). Christian men are taught to treat “older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity” (1 Timothy 5:2), and to love their wives as Christ loved the Church (Eph. 5:25).
In these programs, my hope is to encourage Christians to stand up for the rights of oppressed women in Muslim cultures. Further, only Christian women can evangelize Muslim women here and elsewhere, as Muslim women aren’t traditionally permitted to have direct conversations with men. Jesus calls us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-19), including those in Islam.

OUR OFFER THIS MONTH

We have made these programs (which are controversial) to provide the information and resources you need to study these topics on your own and with others. This month’s package includes the three-program series Why Sharia Law Threatens Freedom and Human Rights? and the three-program series “Trapped Behind the Veil of Islam.” In addition, we have written corresponding study guides with each series, complete with the information you can use in your personal study, small group, or class.
Further, Dr. Emir Caner and I have written three easy-to-understand, fully documented books, including The Truth about Islam and Jesus, The Truth about Islam and Women, and The Truth about Islam and Jihad. You may order these unique resources individually or together in a special package. See the enclosed insert for details.

CHANGING LIVES TOGETHER

This month I hope you will stand with us and support our efforts as we present the Gospel and the truth about the real historical Jesus to Muslims, non-Muslims, and Christians. God has allowed us to share how God sent Christ to die for our sins with every nation of the world—including many of today’s more than 1.6 billion Muslims.
Remember, many Muslims who watch our program internationally are unable to meet in churches, learn from missionaries, or even tell another Christian about their faith. But they can hear and learn the truth of God through television—as we bring it to them! I ask that you specifically pray God will use these programs to reach many.
This month, will you also participate in financially helping me take the message that has changed our lives to those who have yet to hear? What would you give to help one more soul spend eternity with Jesus? Now is the time. We may not have this opportunity again in the future.

 

For the sake of the Gospel,

 

Dr. John Ankerberg