A Bad Idea – Using the Quran To Win Muslims To Christ
The Baptist Standard reported an interesting story on veteran missionary Kevin Greeson, who thinks he knows the way to win Muslims to Christ – starting with and using the Quran to share the Gospel. It’s a bad idea for a number of reasons, but the biggest reason is because ‘Isa’, the ‘Jesus’ Greeson is sharing with Muslims, is not the Jesus of Scripture.
His goal is a noble one… “starting spiritual movements that will result in thousands of Muslims becoming followers of Christ.” However, his method should cause concern to the Southern Baptist International Mission Board where Greeson has served for 16 years. Concern, not because of the method per se, but because of the content he is using to share the Gospel with Muslims.
Greeson’s first two years working with Muslims largely was unsuccessful, he admits. “Everything was thrown back at me.” They didn’t believe Jesus was the Son of God or that he died and rose again. They did not accept the Bible as authoritative, so quoting Scripture was useless. Greeson had to learn how to communicate with Muslims in ways that would not cause them immediately to shut down the conversation.
“Salaam-Alaikum” or “peace be to you” is a greeting that often lowers defenses, he suggested. Greeson then follows that up with the invitation: “Let’s read the Quran together about Jesus.”
The method Greeson uses is known as the ‘Camel Method.’
The name of the method comes from an Arabic saying: Every good Muslim knows 99 names for Allah, but only the camel knows the 100th name. “We tell them we know the 100th name. It’s Jesus,” Greeson explained.
The Camel Method uses the Quran to establish three main points: ’Isa, or Jesus, is holy; ’Isa has power over death; and ’Isa knows the way to heaven.
Using selected verses from the Quran, the Camel Method doesn’t teach or lecture, but asks questions.
Contrary to what many have been led to believe, the Muslim “Allah” is not simply another name for the God of the Bible, and the Muslim “Jesus”, Isa, is certainly not the Jesus of Scripture, and this is precisely why Greeson’s method is a bad idea – and I’ll go further, needs to be stopped altogether. Winning Muslims for Christ is wonderful, but leading them to the wrong Jesus will not save their souls. Think about it. If a Muslim thinks he has converted to Christianity by placing his faith in ‘Isa’, he is still lost. That is not winning Muslims to Christ. Though it may be unintentionally done, it is deceiving them.
If you read the article, it becomes clear that Greeson equates Isa with the Jesus of Scripture. You may recall Rick Warren, at Obama’s inaugural address did the same thing when he prayed “in the name of Isa”.
Perhaps the chart below will help those who are a little fuzzy on the differences between Isa, the Muslim ‘Jesus’, and the Christ of the Bible:
|Son of God||Isa is not the Son of God, just a prophet
Surah 4:171; 9:30; 10:68; 17:111; 18:4; 19:35,88
|Jesus is the Son of God.
Matt. 27:53; Mark 1:1; Lk. 1:35; 22:70; John 1:35; 3:18; 5:25; 20:31
|Deity||Isa is just a man, not God.
Surah 5:17, 75, 116; 23:24
|Jesus is fully man and fully God incarnate.
Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-3
|Cross||Isa did not die on a cross, but a phantom was killed in his place.
Surah 4:157; 3:55
|Jesus died on the cross for the sins of those given Him by the Father, securing their salvation.
Matt. 27:50; John 19:30; Mark 15:37; Luke 23:46
|Purpose||Isa came to deliver message of prophets before him. Muhammad and Isa came to give the message to Islam.
Surah 2:136; 3:84; 42:13; 5:46
|Jesus came to die for the sins of His people, to suffer the full wrath of His Father on their behalf, satisfying the Father’s justice and providing the way of salvation, by faith alone in the finished work of Christ on that cross.
Clearly, it is a terrible mistake to equate Isa of the Quran with the Messiah, Christ Jesus of Scripture. The two are clearly different, and in no way can be reconciled. For Christian missionaries to use the Quran as a witnessing tool is a dangerous practice for these reasons. We should pray that the lack of knowledge on the part of those who would seek to win Muslims will be corrected. The God of Scripture is not ‘Allah’, and ‘Isa’ is not Jesus the Christ!