When word broke a few weeks ago that Wheaton College in Illinois had decided to suspend Larycia Hawkins the only thought that went through my mind was, “she’s worked her last day.”
A bit pessimistic I admit but, as of today, the school did decide to press forward with the decision to initiate the termination process.I’m not bothered by their actions at all.
But some of my friends and even family are.
As best as I can gather their rationale for the confusion is based on a disagreement over the professor’s profession that the god of Islam, is also the God of Jews and Christians.
I’m not Jewish so I will leave their response to others, but I am a follower of Jesus Christ, so not only do I have an opinion about the misinformed professor, but our belief systems sort of hang on the differences we have over this matter.
And to me, its just that simple…If the Christians who use the Bible as the source of final authority believe that God is made up of three expressions, persons, or personalities, then it is impossible for the God of Islam to be the God of Christ followers.
Christians distinctly believe that Christ claimed exclusivity–for just reasons–as to being both the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies, and the doorway to the non-Jewish gentile world that brought the God of Abraham into proper relationship for all of humankind.
There are other difficulties in espousing that belief that Islam and Christianity worship the same God–especially considering the fact that Mohammed more or less invented Islam out of his imagination, and disasterously failed to live up to his own standards. The epic theological components of grace and mercy also are primary amongst Christians and absent in the most fundamental expressions of Islam.
No Professor Hawkins the God of the two faiths is not the same. The faiths are not equitable. And it is not a greater demonstration of Christ to those who are watching to pretend that they are.
I admit that there are ways that genuine believers in Jesus can impact the dialogue. We should be able to redirect colleagues from the more extreme forms of hatred and disgust that pop culture may demonstrate. But claiming “solidarity” with a false faith is in fact a theological problem, not one of social science.And not just the theological differences that have already been raised in the preceding sections of this piece.
If the goal of Christianity is to ultimately point all who will hear and listen to the person of Jesus (of the Bible) then standing in “solidarity” with Muslim “brothers and sisters” (which they are not from a Biblical understanding) sentences the lost practitioner of Islam to a condemned life of continuing on in a faith that makes promises without delivering results.
We can be kind to muslims, gracious, patient, and every other proper social condition. But that is not the same idea as love.
Loving a person we truly love often involves pointing them away from a destination they are determined to get to. Just ask any mother of a 2 year old attempting to cook on a hot stove while the two year old repeatedly wishes to be in the midst of what she’s doing. There will be many corrections to prevent that 2 year old from scalding and/or slicing her self in ways she is unaware of.
Loving people goes much deeper than wearing a Hijab by a poli-sci prof who is enjoying her fifteen minutes of new found importance and fame.The answer to the islamic dilemma in America isn’t found in calling things what they are not.
In fact the solution to the problems presented to the modern world by Islam will likely not be found in Islam at all.
Many of you also agreed: