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We Are Brothers – Muslim Adventist Connection in BC — 93 Comments

  1. I see a distinct difference between the true "Muslim" and the Muslim who has taken on the shroud of this religion as an excuse for terrorist activities. I pray that I will see the goodness as exhibited by Abbas in the Muslims that I meet and I will not let my prejudices caused by the "bad jehadist/terrorist" overtake my concern to share the Lord so that these brothers and sisters find a better way of "submitting to God". Thanks so much for this video.

      • Nana, the answer is yes. There are people on each end of the spectrum in every organization or movement. Adventists are no exception. Over the years, we have had various splinters break off from the main church. Basically, Adventism is Bible based and I believe the "movement" follows the scriptures. However, (1) We must be careful to use God's Word as our guide which instructs us to "study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Tim. 2:15. I believe if we are good students of the Word, daily delving into it for a better understanding of the "light" God has for us, we will not fall for the "extremes". And, (2), we must keep our eyes on Jesus always. I am so appreciative of SS.Net and the sharing we can do which sheds "light" on God's Word.

  2. Praise God. This has been a real eye opener and has removed a lot of prejudice and misconceptions that I had about Muslims. God is really gathering his sheep into one fold. May we see each individual as Jesus does, a candidate for heaven. Praise His holy name forever.

  3. Thanks a lot for sharing this all important eye-opener. I have been blessed this morning and can't wait to see how the Spirit will lead me and many others to reach out to our Moslem brothers and sisters with hearts full of Love

  4. This is confusing! How can you be both a Muslim and a Seventh-Day Adventist at the same time when they're two totally different religions? I'm not Seventh-Day Adventist and I am not Muslim, so please explain how people consider themselves a part of both religions.

      • Who is a Muslim? Not me!
        There is more to the definition of Muslim than the definition: A person who submits to God.
        Abraham is a Hebrew not a Muslim: Genesis 14:13
        And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram.

        Isaac is the son of the promise. Ishmael is the son of the bond woman. Jesus comes through the line of Isaac. Jesus is not a Muslim.
        Galatians 4:28
        Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
        Hebrews 11:9
        By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
        Hebrews 11:17
        By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

        Christians are part of the line of Isaac.

        Muslims claim the story of the sacrifice for Ishmael. https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20091213122817AAR5qgg

        When the Pilgrimage was proclaimed, people came to it from every quarter, near and far, on foot and mounted. The 'lean camel' coming after the fatiguing journey through distant mountain roads typifies the difficulties of travel."
        The Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) went back to Palestine to join his first wife, the beloved Sarah. He received a Commandment in his vision to sacrifice his only son, Isma'il. The Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) had no hesitation in complying with what he was ordered to do but his son was infant at that time. He had to wait until he grew older. Due to delay the temptation of not doing what he was supposed to do, was certainly there. But the Prophet Abraham(peace he upon him) had a solid faith in Allah and his life was all dedicated to His' service. So he kept on waiting until Prophet Isma'il (peace be upon him) became a teenager. One day the father told his son about the dream. To his great surprise he saw that Prophet Isma'il (peace be upon him) had no objection and was willing to be sacrificed as Allah had willed it. He said:

        "O' my father! Do what you have been commanded to do; then you will find me of the patients." (37: 10, 11)

        This was a hard decision for a young man to take and it was a moment of great faith in Allah.

        When Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) fulfilled the command of the dream, he was ordered not to sacrifice his own son. A ram was provided in his stead. The Prophet Isma'il (peace be upon him) stood up and the ram was sacrificed.
        When the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) displayed his unstinted submission to the orders of Allah by trying to sacrifice his beloved son Ismail he was informed of a glad-tiding regarding the birth of baby from Sarah, his first wife. The Holy Qur'an affirms:

        "And We gave him the good news of Ishaq (Isaac), a Prophet among the good ones and We showered our blessings on him and on Ishaq, and of their offspring are the doers of good and also those who are clearly unjust to their ownselves." (37: 112, 113)

        Time passed by and Sarah, the old lady got pregnant. At last she gave birth to a male baby and they gave him the name of Ishaq. Later on Isma'il (peace be upon him) proved to be the Prophet of the Muslims and Ishaq (peace be upon him) became the Prophet of the Jews.

        The Muslims take the sacrifice of Isaac and say that Abraham sacrificed Ishmael. This is a conflict with scripture.

        Ismail is a brother to love; we do share Abraham as our father: the Jews through Isaac, the Muslims through Ishmael and the Christians by faith are adopted children of Abraham.

        • Roma, Abbas specifically defined what it means to be "Muslim" to him - it means to be totally submitted to God.

          I hope that you are not serious in saying that you do not wish to be totally submitted to God?

          As for the rest of your post, yes, the Koran differs from the Hebrew Bible in significant details, but there are enough similarities to allow us to build bridges to Muslim people - and I believe that's precisely what Christ wants us to do. I am so encouraged to know that there's a group within Adventism specifically focused on reaching out to Muslims, and it includes some highly placed followers of Christ in Adventism.

          Christ told us to preach the Good News to all the world! And Muslims are a huge part of our world.

        • Hi Inge, Thank you for a personal reply I am thrilled that you read this post.
          It is awesome to describe God with these words. “God is Love.”
          1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
          I do not wish to be called a Muslim based solely on a partial definition about what it means to be Muslim. I can surrender my heart and have a relationship with God without being called a Muslim. The definition of what it means to be a Muslim is more than the direct translation of the word.
          So I am not accepting the definition as complete.
          No other person gets the description of love like God does. Sometimes I can recognize loving behaviour in people. God is the embodiment of love and he fills me, a vessel designed to contain love and share it with all. We are Gods hands and feet to go and love people: red and yellow black and white all are precious in his sight Jesus loves the people of the world.

          • Thanks, Roma, I believe we are in agreement on the main focus of the gospel. 🙂

            To follow up on being God's hands and feet - He wants us to be His hands and feet and love Muslims as well. And to do that effectively, we need to follow the counsel of Ellen White who told us to speak to those not of our faith first of things we hold in common. We could mention that we, too, believe in being fully submitted to God, as well as other beliefs we hold in common.

  5. Just to bring about a little more clarity (hopefully). There is a difference between Muslim and Islam, yes most Muslims are Islam, just like one can argue that most Adventists are Christians, but not all Christians (in the spiritual sense anyway) are Adventist.

    Muslim is actually an Arabic word, meaning submitter to God, this is just like saying Adventist is an English word, meaning one waiting for, in our case, the very imminent second coming of Jesus Christ ( although nowadays its mistakenly used to distinguish us Seventh-day Adventist since we are the biggest denomination/church within this movement) . When someone is Muslim, it can be anyone, not necessarily one who follows the Quran. Like I said earlier on, most followers of Islam are called Muslims (Submits to God), as Islam is the biggest, if not the only denomination within this movement or rather amongst the people who use this word to identify their movement. Now Islam (the religion) is the following of the rules of Islam most of which are found in the Quran.

    So if it came to semantics and spiritual connotation, truly the deacon is on point, but like the brethren have argued above,which are very valid points we have to be careful to explain to our audience the end point/ or the need for making of such statements. More especially is the net effect/result of our religious discourse of salvivic importance.

    The importance of this video is in that we should be showing Gods love to Islamic people, because of the love God has shown us, so that they can be drawn to our faith and belief, more especially a relationship with Jesus Christ

    finally, i would like to highlight which God are you submitting to, the creator of the universe, which i truly believe we follow as Adventists. See I believe in Christianity there is no grey area, its either white or black, in or out. So it is important that we are submitted to God ("Muslimed") rather than be submitted to satan. Lest, like Abbas says, we benefit the kingdom of satan rather than benefit the kingdom of God.

  6. When I was a small boy many moons ago in Sierra Leone I can remember a Mission Story titled 'Adventist Muslims' discussing the similarities between Adventusts and Muslims in their way of life.
    But spending years in England I became suspicious of Muslims.
    How can they preach ' Behead the infidels-non Muslims' and at the same time worship the only Mighty True God of Salvation in the name of Jesus Christ?
    The video is an example to all Muslims- if you are seeking salvation /truth with all your heart The Lord will lead you out into it.
    Thank you Brother for this great testimony

    • Thank you for your comment, Alex. As already mentioned, there are variations of belief in all religions - including Christianity and Seventh-day Adventism.

      It should help to remember that Christians have their own dark history of violence "in the name of Jesus Christ." The Crusades were organized by Christians. The Inquisition was carried out by Christians. And in more modern times, most members of the violent white-supremacist Klu Klux Klan also call themselves Christians.

      Jesus has left us with the assignment to preach the gospel to all peoples. To do that, we need to learn to love them, and we can`t do that by focusing on the worst examples of a society. I believe Ellen White said it well when she wrote:

      "If we keep uppermost in our minds the unkind and unjust acts of others we shall find it impossible to love them as Christ has loved us; but if our thoughts dwell upon the wondrous love and pity of Christ for us, the same spirit will flow out to others. We should love and respect one another, notwithstanding the faults and imperfections that we cannot help seeing. Humility and self-distrust should be cultivated, and a patient tenderness with the faults of others. This will kill out all narrowing selfishness and make us large-hearted and generous." (Steps to Christ p. 121)

      It would probably be helpful to regularly review Paul`s description of what love looks like in 1 Cor 13:4-8. Then we can "love them" (whoever the "them" are) and share with them the beauty of Christ and His service, so they will be led to submit to Him.

  7. Problem is this... The god of Islam is NOT the God of the bible.
    Their "Allah" means God but not our God.

    Their God has no son. Their God as attributes that can only be assigned to Satan, not the God of the bible.

    • Hi Marco, did you watch the video? (It is not evident from your remark.)

      It sounds as though you may have been listening to too many conspiracy sermons that make an identification between Allah and Satan.

      As for "attributes that can only be assigned to Satan," is it possible that that might apply to you and me as well?

      For instance, Satan is "the accuser of the brethren." So if we are looking for faults in others and gossiping about them, we demonstrate an attribute of Satan.

      If we consider ourselves better than others, we are demonstrating an attribute of Satan, because it was his pride that changed him from and angel of light to the prince of darkness.

      If we are judging others (such as Muslims) as being servants of Satan, we are stepping on the judgment seat of God, where only God has the right to be. And that's precisely what Satan aspired to - he wanted to sit on the throne of God.

      It does more good for us to look in our own hearts than to condemn others either individually or as a group.

      • Sis Anderson, one of the problems in the West, and particularly in developed countries, is that many people do not know or associate with anyone who is not like themselves. They live in ever increasingly segregated societies with no significant interaction with anyone outside their race, religion and most of all social class.
        This breeds unnecessary suspicion and hatred for people who are different.

        I suggest that if more people personally knew Muslims they wouldn't have such extreme reactions to them in general.

        I also think that many people hold Muslims to an unfair double standard. We need to see that when non Christians look at us they often see this same penchant for war and violence. Indeed, our societies have not had the most spotless record when it comes to right living--yet we extend mercy and forgiveness to ourselves and not to others.
        One example is Segregation and earlier slavery which was pushed relentlessly by the most religious Southerners in the US. Everywhere you had discrimination you could count on finding a raft of churches and an obsequious public religiousity.

        Finally, anyone who is paying attention will notice something going on in the Muslim world. Elder Johnsson, formerly of the Adventist Review, has published articles over the years with intriguing stories about how God is preparing the Muslim world for His second coming, which they anticipate. Let us not be caught wallowing in a feeling of special privilege but left behind.

        • Thanks, Andrew. I see one article by Elder Johnsson that very relevant to our discussion in the February 2010 issue of Adventist World: "Adventists and Muslims: Five Convictions."

          He shares that "First, the Lord is preparing the Muslim world for His second coming" and "Seventh-day Adventists are uniquely positioned to bring the gospel to Muslims." Then he goes on to list what we have in common.

          I believe that the video interview with Abbas supports what Elder Johnsson shared in this article. .

      • Two other points to support what you're saying Sis Anderson:

        1. Even Middle Eastern Christians call God "Allah" because that's the word for "God" in Arabic. To argue otherwise is kind of like saying "Dios" is not God but a Spanish deity.

        2. What's worse is that many Christians worship a God who has the attributes of Satan! That's the scary part--because they are absolutely unaware of it.
        The writings of EGW bear this out; and this is the main cause of Christian misbehavior currently and historically the world over.

    • Do you know the origin of the word God.? According to the
      Etymology of the Name
      ((God - Our word god goes back via Germanic to Indo-European, in which a corresponding ancestor form meant “invoked one.” The word’s only surviving non-Germanic relative is Sanskrit hu, invoke the gods, a form which appears in the Rig Veda, most ancient of Hindu scriptures: puru-hutas, “much invoked,” epithet of the rain-and-thunder god Indrany)))
      .Ask any SDA Christian in the Middle East how they call God and they will not say God. They say "Allah". It's their language ..like in Spanish countries they call God "Dios". The French say "Bon Dieu". Who are we to condemn how people call the Creator of the universe, when we as English speakers have the most warped explanation for our name origin. Let's stop trying to decipher irrelevancy and focus on the MAIN POINT. A Muslim brother came to the knowledge of the Truth because he discovered Jesus Christ where he least expected..
      Let peace and genuine love reign!!

  8. "Muslim" is an Arabic word meaning "one who submits (to God)". A female Muslim is sometimes called a "Muslimah".
    Most Muslims accept as a Muslim anyone who has publicly pronounced the Shahadah (declaration of faith) which states:
    There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God.

    Sure, adventists should practice their principles and can gain the confidence of muslims, but those who believe Allah and our God are the same are in deep error. Sadly adventists have abandoned the clear understanding they once had about Islam. Rev 9:11 identifies Muhammad and of whom a messenger he is. And Allah – The Greatest Deceiver of them All - is not my God.

    • Gabriel, it appears that you are the one in error, because you do not understand that the Arabic word "Allah" means exactly the same as our English word, "God."

      It is not evident from your comment that you watched the video. Note that Abbas points out that Muslims descend from Abraham, just like the Jews. Therefore they worship the God of Abraham, which is the same God we worship.

      However, it is true that the understanding of God has become very much distorted in the minds of most Muslims. That is similar to the distortion of the character of God by Christians. In the Middle Ages, the predominant Christianity of the time considered it legitimate to torture people to "convert" them to a correct understanding of God.

      We may be a bit more sophisticated now, but I find even Adventists are capable of verbally destroying those with whom they disagree. Muslims seem to be a popular object of conspiracy theories, and this hinders the spread of the gospel among Muslims. Please review the video.

      [Moderator Note for further comments: Please demonstrate that you watched the whole video, or your comment will not be published.]

      • This jibes well with the conspiracy theory discussion this week.
        Many of these conspiracy theories about Islam come from Christians who have a different understanding of God and prophecy to ours. This is worrying--especially the prophecy part.

        I consider it a direct attack on the prophetic nature of our church, yet it is happening unnoticed.
        Not many of our leaders seem concerned about this.

        I think Ps Jon Paulien has done great work in situating Islam in prophecy without veering off into new territory in Adventism prophetic interpretation.

      • Sure, I have watched the clip in it's entirety before I posted my comment. Look, this kind of remembers me of Tony Palmer speaking in front of the pentecostal congregation, declaring them all to be Catholics (I am sure some of you are familiar with this video). Would you say, seventh-day adventists could also be called Jehova's Witnesses? Or how about Baptist? We do baptize, don't we? Or, may SDA also be called ”Baha'i” in the true sense of the word? The dictionary tells me Baha'i comes from ”Bahá'u'lláh” meaning ”Glory of God”. Look, I don't want to seem sarcastic, but this kind of reasoning is way too superficial.

        • Now that you mention it, what you suggest is actually excellent:
          We are, indeed, Jehovah's witnesses, and when speaking to them, it would be good to say that we see ourselves as such and then focus on what we believe in common. That's what one of our church founders, Ellen White, counseled us to do.

          And yes, we most certainly are Baptists. That's why we baptize by immersion. Again, this approach would open doors with Baptists, rather than focusing on disagreement. We need to let people know we are Christians and that we are their friends, before we can speak into their hearts.

          We can't say we are Baha'i, but we should seek common ground with them as well in order to be able to share end-time truth with them and lead them to a relationship with Jesus.

          Beating people over the head with our beliefs just doesn't work, and it's not the method of Jesus. He mingled with men as one who desired their good. He ministered to their felt needs, and only then did He speak spiritual truths into their hearts which were opened by the way He related to them.

          [Moderator note: We will not publish any further comments from you until you provide a real email address and name.]

      • My sister, it's unfortunate that mostly everyone today rely on the news to get their "facts". Maybe if we read our bible as diligently as we listen to propaganda from the media, then we would have a discernment of Truth and error in... EVERYTHING.Thanks for the clarification on the word Allah.

  9. Just a quick note here. Before we go about condemning someone else’s faith perhaps we need to have a review of our own denomination’s theological history or for that matter the history of belief as revealed in the Bible and realize that we as a people progressed in our understanding of God through time like everyone else. I dare say that there are many people in other denominations worshipping God in other ways and with different understanding that will make it into Heaven long before the rest of us perfect, righteous people who have the truth will (Mat 8:11-12).

    It also might be instructive to read Paul’s opening remarks to the Jews in Romans 2 for in it he bases salvation more on what we do than assent to some requirement or teaching just as James does. Besides who are we who think we have all the truth; for that was the problem with Job’s friends who thought they knew everything (Job 12:2).

  10. It depends on how we understand our Muslim brothers. Jesus Christ never discriminate, He Welcome every body that mislead by Satan the liar of all the liars. Satan deceived everybody he can do. Satan is to be blamed why our Muslim brothers were misled.

    Brother Abbas maybe citing that word Muslim in their study is following God or sincere to obey God according to what he study before.

    But after all he discover that Allah is not really the True God that made Heaven and Earth. So he discover and made up his mind that the True God that made Heaven and Earth is Jesus Christ. Now the word Muslim in their study is following God or sincere to obey God accordingly he give it to Jesus Christ.

    The Lord says ye shall no them by their fruit.

    Since Bro. Abbas is a Sabbath Keeper now and obey God Jesus Christ. His Muslim faith only, is his stepping stone to Seventh Day Adventist faith "because of the word Muslim means following God".

    • Hi Kevinn,

      Please realize that "Allah" is an Arabic word meaning exactly the same as "God." It has been used by Arabic Christians since pre-Islamic times. Even Adventists who speak Arabic would refer to God as "Allah," because that's what the word means.

      This video demonstrates that God has His people in all faiths - including the Muslim faith. And when the time is right, they will join together as God's remnant people - at the same time that those who do not have the love of Jesus in their hearts will leave the professed people of God.

      • Inge, it has been pointed out in numerous replies that the word Allah means God. I see no significance any more than the word car. A car can be a number of different ideas. The understanding of the word depends of the source of our understanding. Point being as others have alluded to, the God of Islam has little resemblance to the God of Christians. I think you mentioned that in commenting on the video content.

        I am out on limb knowing nothing about the Quran. If we are seen as infidels that doesn't seem to be a formula for acceptance of those that are not Muslims. Such as Christians. We each think that the other should accept what we believe. In Islam life in the hereafter is much more appealing to our human desires, than in Christianity for infidels. That is why they make themselves human bombs.

  11. I watched this video late last night and honestly, I couldn't sleep. It troubled me. I mean deep in my spirit troubled me. What came to mind was 'deceive the very elect'. I believe we are commanded to love one another in spite of our differences. However, I also believe in being cautious,especially in these end-times. While there do seem to be similarities between Adventism and Islam, there is one fundamental difference. Mr. Culmore asks Abbas who Jesus is to him, but I think if we're going to embrace the idea of Muslims and Adventists being brothers and sisters, there is another question that should have been asked. Who is Jesus to Muslims? That would have garnered a different answer. Muslims do not believe that Christ is the son of God. (http://quran.com/18/4, http://quran.com/19/88-92) They do not believe Christ was crucified. (http://quran.com/4/157-158) Although revered and considered holy, in Islam, Jesus was a prophet but not divine.
    We can--and should-love each other as Christ loves us, but I would hesitate before declaring 'we are the same'.

    • Dear Elizabeth, I'm so sorry you found this video troubling.

      It seems that it was the concept of Adventists regarding Muslims as brothers and sisters the most troubling. Now I'm wondering where you draw the line with who is a brother or sister: Are other Christians brothers and sister? Are all Adventists brothers and sisters? Are only those Adventists brothers and sisters who believe as you do?

      The point of the video was that we cannot hope to reach out to Muslims unless we do regard them as children of the same God whom we worship. And did you catch what Abbas said it means to be "Muslim." He said it means to be fully submitted to God. Now I want to be "Muslim" in that way. Don't you? After all, that's the only way we are going to be saved!

      Paul preached that we all - Christians and pagans alike - are the "offspring" (i.e. children) of God. (See Acts 17:26-29) Do you disagree with Paul? And if you do not disagree, would not being children of the same Father God make us brothers and sisters?

      It is true that most Muslims do not understand God the same way we do. They have lost some of the understanding of God that Abraham had. But then the pioneers of our Adventist church did not all understand God the same way we do today either. Some had to grow in their understanding to recognize that Christ is, indeed, God Almighty.

      I heartily recommend that you watch the video again to give rest to your soul. Sometimes we can misunderstand what someone is saying because of our prejudices.

      • Ms. Inge,
        I can't do it right now, but I will take your advice and watch the video again. I do agree that we are all God's children. My overall point was simply that before any one religion aligns itself with another, be sure to understand what the other truly believes.

        • I'm happy you're planning to watch the video again, Elizabeth, because you most certainly got the wrong message!

          No one was advocating one religions aligning itself with another. What Elder Culmore and Brother Abbas are advocating is to treat Muslims as children of the same heavenly Father we worship. Only as we do this, will we be in a position to share with them the truth we hold dear. As Andrew Legall has mentioned, God has been doing many things in the Muslim world to prepare a people to meet Christ - even without our help. But we have the privilege of being his hands and His voice to His Muslim children. Let us not reject this privilege to work with Christ.

      • Just for reference I'd like to post this link from Adventist World magazine.
        It's called: "Adventists and Muslims: Five Convictions
        How to build on what we have in common

        Here is one quote--

        First, the Lord is preparing the Muslim world for His second coming.

        Several months ago I received a message totally outside my previous frame of reference: a spiritual leader of many thousands of Muslims in several countries, a sheikh, stated that God had given him a vision about Adventists. He had made contact with lay Adventists; now he was asking to meet with leaders from the General Conference. What to make of such a request?


        Then came the moment I had been waiting for. “Sir,” I asked, “is it true that you received a vision about Seventh-day Adventists?”

        “Not one, but three,” he replied. “All three had the same message: Seventh-day Adventists are the true People of the Book [a term from the Koran, designating followers of Allah who are not Muslims]. Adventists already are God’s people, so do not try to convert them. Instead, work with them.”

        That always stayed with me. Youtube prophecy will leave many Adventists unaware of God's radical work.

        • Thanks for that, Andrew. And the work of reaching out to Muslims is ongoing. For those who have satellite TV, if you'll take note of times that Jon Paulien is speaking, you'll find he sometimes refers casually to his contacts with Muslims. He studied the Koran specifically to find points of agreements with Muslims. And that is following Ellen White's counsel that when we speak with those not of our faith, we should first speak of that which we have in common.

          Unfortunately many Youtube "prophecy" videos (and those available directly from the speakers) focusing on Muslims make it almost impossible to conceive that Muslims could have any faith in God at all. Yet God speaks to these people as His children, telling them to work with His other children, namely Seventh-day Adventists. And the TV newscasts focusing on the ungodly deeds of radical Muslims only reinforce the negative teaching of the religious teachers. I believe it is the work of Satan to stop the work among the 1.6 billion Muslims of this world to share with them the end-time message.

          To put things in perspective a bit - at least for North Americans and Europeans - considering that all Muslims are terrorists is equivalent to equating all Christians with the Klu Klux Klan or Nazis. Stories about them are true, but they are not the story of all Christians.

  12. Sister Inge I see you are at pains trying to explain the meaning of Muslim, the media has really done damage to the love that Christians are supposed to have. I wonder what would happen if a person who is dead drunk walked into a Seventh-day Adventist Church. From the comments i am reading here i reckon he will definitely not be appreciated as a brother.

    Sorry to say this but I think we are acting like the brother who stayed at home and not the prodigal son. We are forgetting that Christ loves us all and he wants us to be able to draw all people to this love. He has empowered us with this love so that we can be able to draw others.I know he has empowered us with love, through the fact that he told the story of the prodigal son, trying to highlight this love, and in this story he deliberately made mention of the elder brothers irritation of the love his father had shown his little brother. The father had always shown love to the elder brother but this love had not permeated the elder brothers life, and he could not understand it being availed to anyone but himself.

    I will reiterate that, Muslim is Arabic meaning to be submitted to God (its an ARABIC word). Google it or do some research you will quickly come to understand this. The point being made here is that, let us use the very similarities that , the "errant-Islam" ( for a lack of a better word ) religion has with our Christian beliefs to draw people to Jesus Christ. It easier to explain the truth from the similarities than from the "dis-similarities". We are all Gods creation, his children , whether we are sinners or not, our duty is to draw all mankind to God.

    The fact that we are peeved at the fact that there are some similarities in our religion or in what we believe in with something we don't understand, alerts me that we have a big brother attitude (big brother of prodigal son parable). The truth of the matter is that, we cannot enter heaven without love, or rather, no degrees of hate harbored In the heart will enter heaven. I have come to this understanding over the past couple of months due to divisions that have torn our church apart.i am not perfect but I am trying to change my ways and to make amends to brothers I have wronged, I am still praying about it ( help me God).

    • The main ingredient is fear. Fear is a huge part of our religion sadly. Or more specifically, fear has seeped into Adventism.

      Perfect love casts out fear because fear has to do with punishment.

    • I obviously can not identify with the same situations that you have ecountered, because I was not there. However from what you have written, we as Seventh Day Adventist Christians, are 100% responsible for the negative attitude demonstrated in your experiences. I would have to disagree that blame is all onesided. I will confess to be being illiterate obout the contents of the Qu'ran, but I very much doubt if it says "IN the begining God created the heavens and the earth". Water and oil are both liquids but they don't mix well at all. Christians are called that for one reason. It is a discription of who they, esteem,follow,worship,love, and obey.

      • Paul, you are correct that the Quran begins differently:

        1. In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

        2. All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the 'Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists).

        3. The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

        4. The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection)

        5. You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything).

        6. Guide us to the Straight Way. (Quran S:1-6)

        Note that if you substitute "God" for "Allah," it harmonizes nicely with the Bible in this instance.

        However, it also says:

        54. Indeed your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days, and then He Istawa (rose over) the Throne (really in a manner that suits His Majesty). He brings the night as a cover over the day, seeking it rapidly, and (He created) the sun, the moon, the stars subjected to His Command. Surely, His is the Creation and Commandment. Blessed be Allah, the Lord of the 'Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists)! (Quran S7:54)

        3. Surely, your Lord is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days and then Istawa (rose over) the Throne (really in a manner that suits His Majesty), disposing the affair of all things. No intercessor (can plead with Him) except after His Leave. That is Allah, your Lord; so worship Him (Alone). ((Quran S10:3)

        7. And He it is Who has created the heavens and the earth in six Days and His Throne was on the water, that He might try you, which of you is the best in deeds. (Quran S11:7)

        58. And put your trust (O Muhammad ) in the Ever Living One Who dies not, and glorify His Praises, and Sufficient is He as the All-Knower of the sins of His slaves;

        59. Who created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in six Days.(Quran 25:58-59)

        One would expect such similarities, since Islam traces its roots to Ishmael, the son of Abraham.

        However, even without the misunderstanding of God brought about by thousands of years of degeneration of humanity, one would expect significant differences due to the two sons of Abraham going their very different ways.

        [Just for the record, I'm no expert in the Quran either. I tried reading it once but gave up because I found it so tedious. But the world-wide web is a wonderful resource, including material from those who are experts in the Quran.]

        If we focus on the differences, we can only have confrontation. If we focus on the similarities, we can build bridges to enable us to communicate the Good News to our Muslim brothers and sisters.

        • Inge, If you would take the trouble to read the Qur'an seriously, in its entirety, I'm sure you would come to some other conclusions. One problem is that the book is internally inconsistent. Some Suras praise the "People of the Book" [the Hebrew Bible], while others consign to terrible punishment in hell all who do not follow the Qur'an. Each Sura begins with a blessing: "In the name of Allah, Most Gracious Most Merciful." Then many launch immediately into curses and denunciations. For example, Sura 17, Al-Isräe [The Children of Israel] in verse 2 says "We gave Moses the book and made it a Guide to the Children of Israel..." then already in verse 9 it is claimed that guiding truth is found in the Qur'an, and verse after verse lays curses on all who do not obey the Qur'an. Toward the end the absolute truth of the Qur'an is reiterated (verse 105), then the closing verse of the Sura, No. 111 "Praise be to Allah, who begets no son..."

          There are many pleasant verses in the Qur'an which one can cherry pick to present a nice picture, but the book as a whole presents a litany of punishments and retributions on all who do not submit. For example, Sura 17:58: "There is not a population but We shall destroy it before the Day of Judgment..." Note that it is not Allah who will destroy at the Day of Judgment, but the Prophet and his followers will do the destroying in preparation for the Day of Judgment.

          • Thanks for your observations, Ben. I`m afraid I`ll take no more time with the Koran than I need to in order to relate to any Muslims I may meet. So far, God has not seen fit to send Muslims into my path. We did, however, have Sikh friends in a previous place of residence, and we found that Sikh`s are monotheists as well and have a high moral standard, which makes them tend to look down on what they see as morally lax Christians. They bemoaned the heathen influence of the secular schools their children attended.

            This discussion is not about what is wrong with the Quran or with Islam. It is about building bridges to Muslims, and for that we do need to `cherry pick,` as you put it. That`s what we naturally do when we want to get close to people. We don`t confront them with all their faults. How would you relate to a stranger who comes to you and tells you all that`s wrong with you - even if accurate?

            I believe that a focus on our being right and others being wrong is a kind of self-focus. Instead, we need to pray for the Lord to show us how to build bridges that will enable us to share the truth about Him.

        • Why read the Quran when we are simply to sow the Good Seed? It's not our knowledge of other ideas that the Holy Spirit will use to convict them of truth, only the Truth will bring such conviction. Yes, we are to "prove all things" and I've been asked many times to read the book of Mormon, but I only read until I found it in error, which wasn't very far. I don't need to understand all of it or even be familiar with it's teachings once I find departure from the Bible. I share what the Bible says and leave the rest to the Holy Spirit. The parable was given to instruct us, not offer a suggestion.

          Yes, common ground is a good foundation, but this isn't difficult to understand, we all want to be heard, treated with honesty and fairness, etc. Kindness, courtesy and sympathy will always provide a good entering wedge with the honest seeker. Listening to others will help provide the common beliefs and also the individual needs.

          The Holy Spirit is the vital component.

  13. Alhamdulllah! I praise God for such wonderful video presented by Abbas and Elder Culmore. Hope there would be more similar presentations. Personally, I was so blessed by God in many ways in my special ministry to the Muslims as I worked there in BC Conference as pastor of Vancouver Filipino SDA Church for 9 years. I enjoyed praying with them in their homes and even in their mosques in Richmond and Surrey, and studied both the Qur'an and the Bible together. Sometimes, Abbas would accompany me. Through a series of lessons that I made based on these two holy books, more Muslims were enlightened. I baptized one of these Canadian Muslims when he decided to accept Jesus as his personal Saviour.

    God had used me to reach out more Filipino Muslims here in the Philippines. Over 600 of them got baptized including imams (Muslim priests) and ustadz (Muslim teachers), but I didn't bring them to our SDA Church. Instead I organized them as a separate group, for their safety and security besides cultural differences in the form of worship and prejudices in part of a number of local SDA church leaders and members.

    There are many honest Muslims who long to know more of God's will and find deeper meaning for their faith and spiritual life. These are the ones whom I befriend warmly and share with them Bible truths as found in the Qur'an. Let us not dwell on the differences, but on similarities and find a common ground with them. "Christ's method alone will give true success in reaching out the people." MH 143. Let's study and follow closely His method, and we will be very successful in reaching out our Muslim brethren.

    • Praise the Lord for your testimony! May God continue to bless your outreach. The 1.6 billion Muslims of this world are nearly immune to Christianity because they see Christians as "unclean." As Seventh-day Adventists we have a special advantage to reach out to sincere Muslims who have submitted themselves to God the best they know how. We have such a wonderful message to share with them! Jesus died for their sins. They can have full forgiveness and freedom in Christ. 🙂

  14. I look forward to my return to my second home country (Canada) next year, God willing, and continue on my special ministry there to the children of Ishmael. Through this video, I hope and pray that more SDAs would get interested and have a burden to bring God's message of salvation to these precious souls.

  15. Comparing radicals to muslims is like calling Westboro Baptist mainline Christians.

    The Quaran only supports the Seventh day of the week as the day of rest, and the goal is to have Jesus return and start judging the nations. We know something about both of those teachings.

    • Stan, The problem with this equation is that a careful reading of the Qur'an demands the sort of acts we associate with the "Muslim radicals." Namely the ISIS group is following with precision the literal teachings of the Qur'an and the Hadiths. Nominal or cultural Muslims may ignore those teachings, but any Muslim who takes his religion in complete seriousness will be radicalized.

      • I think Stan is right. The Westboro Baptist "church" follows the Bible with precision too - advocating the stoning of gay people. After all, the OT laws say that the penalty for a man lying with a man is stoning. So ... even reading a holy book with "precision" requires some interpretation.

  16. Muslims or not, we are to preach the gospel to all the world. This is our duty as, not only Adventists, but believers of the true God that created the heavens and the earth, and who created us humans. God did not say that, Adventists only, go and preach the gospel to all the world. Rather, He said it in a broader way and that includes us all who worshiped the true God. We should never argue about who the Muslims and Islams are. We are all equal in the sight of God. In my own opinion, We all knew where Hagar came from but God also heard the cries of Hagar and promised her that He will be with Ishmael and will make him a great nation. That alone is a great proof that we are all created equal.

  17. I was unable to watch the video however it is true that God will accept all true believers, as John 3:16, the easiest and well known text declares. Only God knows the heart and that should be our formost thought. What some with preconceived ideas, use as Gospel, may be inconsistent with the Gospel message in actuality. Events of horrendous crime and evil around the world that saturate our news, can't help but skew our thinking. Satan is sure to use what ever tactic is the most productive for his goal of eternal death for as many inhabitants of this earth as possible.

  18. Just a few verses from Genesis 25:7-11. Please note that it was the two brothers that came together to bury the father they loved. To me, that makes it possible for two people groups to come together to embrace the Father they love and all the truth that goes along with it. -- "7 This is the sum of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived: one hundred and seventy-five years. 8 Then Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people. 9 And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, 10 the field which Abraham purchased from the sons of Heth. There Abraham was buried, and Sarah his wife. 11 And it came to pass, after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac. And Isaac dwelt at Beer Lahai Roi."

  19. My brother worked in an Islamic nation for a number of years and had some interesting discussions with community leaders. He told me that their view of a Christian was a person who ate the meat of unclean animals, let their women dress immodestly, did not hold their sacred day in any special regard, and drank alcohol to excess. When my brother told them that he did none of those things, they said, "you must be one of us!".

    We can hardly blame them for having that view of Christianity, and it is our interest, and theirs to show that Seventh-day Adventists and Muslims do hold some lifestyle values in common.

  20. lets us not get caught up with the play of words and specific meaning...infact what did paul mean when he said and i paraphrase or quote," i have become all things to all men?" the essence of all this is so that the Gospel of Jesus be preached to every kindred, tongue and people.

  21. We would do well to find where God is working in each person we meet. We might be surprised, if we meet an "ungodly" person who is having trouble, how the person will respond to our concern and our relating about God's love for us and His interest in helping us to find solutions for this kind of problem.

    God works in Christians, Muslims, Atheists, Agnostics, etc. If we can find where He is working now, we can help. Usually it is in the very trouble of the present.

  22. This video is made on the premise that we should build on similarities. I think that's where it should end.

    Unfortunately, it also says that "if you are an Adventist, you are a Muslim, and if you are a Muslim, you have no choice but to be a Seventh-day Adventist!" Wow! That's extreme and totally incorrect! I deeply recoil at that concept. We have just as much, if not more, in common with Catholics, and we don't say that about them!

    Our God is NOT the same! Yes, we believe that God is the Creator and is powerful, in heaven, but that's pretty much where it ends.

    Allah did not give his "only begotten Son" Who was part of Himself, who was part of the Godhead, to die for our sins. They don't believe Jesus was even crucified. They believe in several "messiahs," including Jesus. Their "Trinity" is made up of God the Father, Mother Mary, and Son Jesus. Muslims do not believe in the divinity of Christ as a part of the Godhead. They believe that "The Counselor" promised/referred to in John 14), was Mohammed. = Totally different Gods.

    Just because both religions include "submitting to God" does not make us the same! That's very deceptive. ANY religion pretty much believes in "submitting" to their god(s). Jesus not only submitted to God, as brought out in the video. He IS God! Muslims do not believe in the divinity of Christ. That makes quite a difference! = Totally different Gods!

    A Muslim's reasons for "submitting" are far different from an Adventist's. Their God loves only those who follow the rules. There is no assurance of salvation. One author/former Muslim states, "Even if I amassed many more good deeds than bad ones, Allah might change his mind at the last moment and condemn me to hell." Where's the similarity in that? =Totally different Gods!

    Living a "clean life" without unclean meat, does not make an Adventist "the same as a Muslim." Nor does make them the same as a Mormon, who also happen to believe in healthful living. Jews also do not eat unclean meat, and SDAs are not the same as Jews. These are only similarities. Not identities. We need to be very clear about that!

    Our God does not tell us to "kill the infidels" (and believe me, that means us in the Koran!). He tells us to love those who are sinners, and even those who persecute us! That alone is a HUGE difference! There's absolutely nothing similar there at all. = Totally different Gods!

    Christians are not the descendants of any one person except from Noah. It's Jewish race who are the descendants of Isaac, not a religion. "There is neither Jew or Greek, male or female..." Some Christians are also descendents of Ishmael. We have no one nationality.

    It's semi-clear what this video is trying to say, but it needs to be redone and be stated more carefully and accurately. I'm surprised that SSnet would keep it online! I believe this video is the one I was told about by an SDA leader in Canada that they wanted to revise before posting it anywhere. It misleads people who know nothing about Seventh-day Adventists.

    • Lynette, I wonder how much success you believe we can have had in building friendships by focusing on differences. If it has worked for you, could you please share?

      Your comment points out many differences between Islamic beliefs and Christian beliefs, rather than the similarities. I believe that such a focus on differences is precisely what hinders our outreach - not only to Islam but to other Christians as well.

      We have unfortunately not listened to one of the founders of our church who counseled us thus:

      Presenting Truth to Prejudiced Minds—God’s ministers should not count the opportunity of engaging in discussion a great privilege. All points of our faith are not to be borne to the front and presented before the prejudiced crowds.... The truths that we hold in common should be dwelt upon first, and the confidence of the hearers obtained.—Testimonies For The Church 3:426 (1875). Ellen White, quoted in Evangelism, p. 164

      You also mention that the Quran admonishes Muslims to "kill the infidels." I could not find anything like that in the online translation I consulted. Could you please point us to the place in the Koran that says that? I'd like to read the context.

      And while we're talking about "infidels," we need to understand what that means to Muslims:

      1. Infidels are those people who do not respect God/Allah enough to follow his laws.
      2. They eat pork and shell fish and all manner of unclean foods, thus becoming unclean themselves.
        And Muslims are not supposed to enter into an "unclean" house, as Abbas points out.
      3. Infidels get drunk and smoke.
      4. Infidels freely engage in fornication and adultery.
      5. Infidel women dress immodestly.
      6. Infidels do not regularly pray to God/Allah as do faithful Muslims.

      Now, Lynette, that does not describe our family, and that means that "infidels" does not clearly mean us!

      Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, “Follow Me.”
      There is need of coming close to the people by personal effort." (Ellen White in Ministry of Healing, p. 143)

      It seems to me that focusing on differences will not allow us to "come close to people" and is thus not likely to meet with success.

    • I think if we wanted to find instructions torwards violence even in our bible we could as well ... very vicious with the potential of misuse if one wanted to. I will give some examples and you can read in your own bible to verify these.

      Deuteronomy 22:20-21King James Version (KJV)

      20 But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel:

      21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

      2 Chronicles 15:12-13King James Version (KJV)

      12 And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul;

      13 That whosoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.

      and one that is even closer to the heart of every Seventh-Day Adventist, one dealing with the sabbath...

      Exodus 31:14-15King James Version (KJV)

      14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

      15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

      Tell me if one was disillusioned by the devil, couldn`t one use these to perpetrate the agenda of the devil (Please do not get me out of context. i am not advocating for the Quran as a holy book, I am a firm believer in God as Christ revealed to me, I am simply saying that let us be more prudent with our assumptions if that is possible). We have to realise that the devil has an agenda for the Gospel not to reach people, let us see through the misting he throws at us and make the Gospel go forward.

      Now lets put all this in context and say we as Christians have the right to point fingers. Though i digress from the main point of this whole discourse, which is to use the similarities (hopefully the "Good" ones) to spread the word of God, I think it is important to realise that sometimes People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones and we will be liable of not being our brother`s keeper.

      As it has been said .... The gospel has to be preached to all nations, tongue and kindred ( this means totality of the world population, encompassing everyone, no one will/should be left out, the gospel has to reach everyone) Revelation 14:6. The angels won`t come in person as angels to do this, now let us be practical, as a messenger of God to his people... is it easy to come to a brother and tell them that their way of worship is wrong and violent (which is just a perception by the way) or is it easier to come and say "do you know what, brother So-and-so, we also do not eat pork, My God says that when we are "SUBMITTING" to him when we leave out such foods from our diet.... tell me more about your way of life and i will tell you more about ours and Jesus Christ crucified". To the few that i have tried to reach out to, i know the Latter method is easier. Biblical examples of Christ Himself have been quoted even Spirit of prophesy examples given alluding to this point.

      Please my sister (and everyone who reads this) let us realise that the message being relayed to us is about SPREADING the Gospel NOT MERGING your Faith.

  23. Whenever we try to communicate with those from other cultures, we need to find common ground and break down barriers. With Muslims there are huge barriers because of what they believe about Christianity. When they find that Seventh-day Adventists have some practices in common, it reduces a barrier in their mind and provides the opportunity for dialog and understanding. Lifestyle issues are not the end of the matter, but as a point of commonality it is important. Until we learn to grow our relationship using dialog and understanding, we often fall back on confrontation. I have a suspicion that confrontation does not win too many to Christ.

    • “I have a suspicion that confrontation does not win too many to Christ” After the dismal results of Paul’s presentation to the Athenian philosophers where he basically argumentatively backed them into a corner I expect that if he were alive today he would give a hearty amen to your suspicion (1 Cor 2:1-2).

      • Tyler, The instructions of Paul are pertinent here -- on the one hand being "all things to all men" — that is, reaching out across barriers for the sake of spreading the Good News, and on the other hand his confrontations with the "foolish Galatians" and the denunciations of the Corinthian church for their sinful practices, among others. In all situations his purpose was to preach Christ and him crucified. When we reach out to Muslims with wedge issues such as diet and lifestyle, there comes a time when we need to teach them that the Son of God was crucified for their sins and resurrected to show that they may have eternal life in him. Because Paul's outreach to the Athenians did not work, that is no reason for us to ignore the teaching of the Gospel to those less likely to receive it.

  24. All muslims are not the same. All Christians are not the same. All Seventh-day Adventists are not the same. God is working with every one of us individually and our religion or creed is not His primary focus. Our character is what God is interested in.

    If His Love is not molding and motivating our life, we have no hope of forming His character. His character will be perfected in all His children, but it won't be perfected in children of Satan (children of this world).

    We need something more than "Christianity" or "Catholicism" or "Muslimism" or "Adventism" or even Baptism. We need the very thoughts and feelings of God in our lives and the way to this is by God's Spirit and His Word to be implanted in our hearts and to be allowed to motivate every thought and feeling in every issue of our lives. "WATCH AND PRAY WITHOUT CEASING."

    Arguing about "isms" is a waste of time and energy. The truth will come out. The Gospel of Christ will be preached in all the world when it is instilled in His children and not until then. No matter how much media we use to "spread the gospel" it is not even revealed until God's children reveal His character in their lives. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, take the orphans into your home, help relieve suffering wherever you find it--this is revealing the glory of God in this world. The doctrines also help to reveal the true character of God, and when the doctrines are lived out in our lives and not just talked about they will have power!!!

    • Seems to this is an argument for a passive religion -- "I'll be a really, really good boy, and maybe people will see how good I am and want to be like me."

      We need to be pro-active about our faith -- what we believe and why. We don't argue about "isms." We just say, This is where I stand.

      I'm reminded of the old saw about a chap worried how he would survive as a Christian in the Army. One day his family received a letter from him: "It's OK. I've been here three weeks and nobody knows yet that I am a Christian."

      Muslims have good cause to disrespect Christians. Sex tourism is rife on the beaches of West Africa and elsewhere. European women -- by Muslim definition "Christians" whether they ever enter a church or not -- crowd the beach areas, at least half naked, on the hunt for a man to have a fling with. A willing man is not hard to find. When I made it plain to my African Muslim friends that I was not a part of that culture, a bridge of communication flew open that led to some deep spiritual conversations. I never hid the differences between my Christian faith and their Muslim teachings, and they never construed that as confrontational.

      We need to do more than just "live" our doctrines. We need to talk about them to every willing ear.

  25. So many time we err by putting God into our belief boxes. We term Godhead as ours and they have their own gods yet we say there is one true God.
    The statement might be true in some instances but when we talk about the struggle of man to find God we are in same position as Paul said we are all falling short with glory of God.Again,the same God who called Israel His people wouldn't dare to punish Nineveh's people right a way, he gave them opportunity to repent as he used to do to Israel. We need to understand this kind of God before preaching.

    As we are failing to learn and live God's character, we are still in same boat with the people who know nothing of what we believe. Go through the bible, all people who were transformed with Holy spirit they were merciful and considerate.Myself I have state that transformation as the hallmark of righteousness, referring the story of Ibrahim with Sodom, Job with his family and friends, Daniel with his people and the leaders wanted him dead and the story of David vs Absalom. These people were well-wishers of the people known to be sinful. Check yourself if you still wish bad to the evils or people who you believe are wrong,there is something to change.

  26. Due to technical restrictions I have only just now been able to view the video. I hear Abbas saying that the way to reach Muslims is friendship evangelism. Our lifestyles have a lot of similarities, study the word, worship God, health, family, charity.
    For many years I worked with a Muslim lady and we were very friendly.
    I agree with the comment that to begin with we should not confront a Muslim with the differences between what we believe.

    I just wish that Abbas had taken that advice himself, because his comment "that all Adventists are Muslims" is bound to turn all Adventists off, I would rather he said "Adventists and Muslims have something in common because they both “submit themselves to God.”

    • Friendship evangelism is a powerful tool which we should use more than we do. But in our friendships we must not compromise our own faith or mislead our Muslim friends into thinking we agree with them where we do not. For example, I have a Roman Catholic friend and business associate who calls me late Friday afternoon to wish me a happy Sabbath. We talk about Sabbath observance, what it means in the biblical context. I don't pretend that our joint belief in Jesus as the Son of God induces me to worship on Sunday.

      I have had a number of good friendships with Muslims. I always made sure they understood my belief that Jesus was very God and that I did not approve of how Muslim men treat their women. Those are not things we open the conversation with, but unless we bring them forward in the early stages of the friendship, we deny our faith. And it is instructive how many Muslims are actually dissatisfied with their religion and looking for something better. Most will not convert immediately. For some the process may take years. But it is fundamentally dishonest, and destructive of the relationship, to hide important differences of belief. I am distressed that many Christians think they need to deny their faith in Christ in order to not offend a Muslim. Some Muslims will be offended no matter what we do -- short of outright conversion to Islam. Other Muslims are offended if we pretend things we do not believe in order to achieve a "friendship." They see that as not a friendship but at attempt at manipulation. The book "Son of Hamas" by Mosab Hassan Yousef presents a good illustration of how we can lead committed Muslims to a genuine relationship with Christ. It is not by pretending to be one of them. It is by acknowledging and acting on the differences while saying, "We love you anyhow." Someone needs to tell Abbas that we believe Jesus to be the divine Son of God who died on the cross to save us from our sins and give us eternal life.

      And it is equally dishonest to tell a Muslim that we worship the same God. We do not. We need to show them what the love of God is all about and how that relates to our concept of salvation.

      • Ben, my observation is that we must all wear our own armor when we act as Christ's foot soldiers. The armor that fits you may not fit others. In fact, others may do damage when they try to do it your way.

        My experience in life has been that we do better by coming close to people in areas we have in common, and I feel quite comfortable with that because that's what Ellen White commended as well. Your mileage may vary.

    • Hi Shirley, I appreciate your comment and just want to address this part:

      I just wish that Abbas had taken that advice himself, because his comment "that all Adventists are Muslims" is bound to turn all SDA's off, I would rather he said "Adventists and Muslims have something in common because they both “submit themselves to God.”

      With this are you saying that you/we expect Muslims to adapt to our way of thinking before we will love/accept them? Abbas clearly still thinks like a Muslim - a "submitter to God" - now a Christian "submitter to God." If he had used our language, rather than speaking out of his Muslim heart, would that have helped our understanding? I don't know about you, but it would not have caught my attention as well as what he did say. When he explained why he thought all Adventists were Muslims, i.e. submitters to God, he gave us all high praise. I only pray that I can live up to his estimate of what it means to be and Adventist.

      At the same time, it really helped me to understand the thinking of pious Muslims, of which he is a representative. He really helped me to understand how to bridge the Christian-Muslim barrier. And I praise God that we have such a beautiful open door to Muslim hearts - we submit to God in matters that they deem crucial in their religion. Because we follow God's dietary and health laws, Seventh-day Adventists are not "unclean" in Muslim eyes, and they are free to associate with us.

      I can only marvel at the magnificent plans of our Creator God who wants to gather all His children into one fold at the end of time. What a beautiful message of freedom we have for the off-spring of Ishmael (all 1.6 billion of them) who, no matter how hard they work, can never be quite sure that they are acceptable to Allah. I suspect it is that uncertainty and the need for assurance that drives many of them to make the ultimate sacrifice of suicide missions in the mistaken belief that it will assure them of eternal salvation.

      How the heart of God must bleed over these sons of Abraham who so misunderstand Him!

      • With this are you saying that you/we expect Muslims to adapt to our way of thinking before we will love/accept them?

        No that is not what I was saying.
        What I was suggesting was that seeing as this was not an off-the-cuff comment, because it was in a video specially made to be shown to other Adventists, he could have chosen his words more carefully. Admittedly his statement certainly got people's attention, but we have seen the response it got. To many Adventists it was an insult.
        If the object of the video was to encourage us to 'mingle with Muslims' then as I suggested he could have expressed his beliefs in a gentler way saying that "both Adventists and Muslims submit to God" just because we both submit to God doesn't mean that Seventh-day Adventist = Muslim.

        The only reason I bring this up is because I think it is so important that we do mingle with the Muslims and share the love of the LORD with them and this one statement had obscured the rest of the video which was very helpful and educational.

        • I understand you, Shirley. But also consider my point: If Abbas had said it differently (our way), we would not have as good an insight into the Muslim way of thinking. And understanding is the basis of loving.

          Does that make sense?

        • Hi Inge,
          Yes, the comment does give us more insight into Abbas' thinking, not so sure that it is the general Muslim's thinking.
          And of course Abbas has the right to express and relate His thinking and process of coming to Jesus in his own way, I am so glad that he has found the joy of loving and being loved by Jesus the Son of God.

    • I think in this case Adventists who are turned off by such a statement should examine why this is so. The basis for such a statement is clearly laid out in the interview.
      But this reveals those who are truly interested in the work of God and who are not.
      The Gentiles who met Jesus latched on in any way that they could to Him, and Jesus, being a man of mission didn't have time to sit around finding cause for offense.

      In other words, if this is how Muslims can best identify with us, what right do our sensibilities have to get in the way of God's work?

  27. My wife and I are in Indonesia on the island of Sulawesi for 3 months working with Asian Aid Aust. teaching English and health in Muslim schools. The people are so beautiful, so friendly, so hospitable and this video clip has certainly helped us a bit more as how to talk to our new friends we have made here about what we believe. Indonesia is predominantly a Muslim country. We are from Australia and only have 4 weeks left before we return home. So thank you very much.
    In your line of work Inge, is there someone who could answer our questions we might have regarding Koran - Bible, Islam - Christianity to enlighten us if we need it? Some reliable source please? Reading the above comments,people seem to have many ideas and many of them misguided.
    God bless

  28. The responses from church members to the video on reaching Muslims is troubling for a number of reasons. First, the fact that in 2014, Adventists who are thinking people, led by the Spirit of God could so grossly misinterpret the heart and the intention of this video defies rationality. Nowhere are the speakers in the video diminishing the message by acknowledging that there are some beliefs that are common to both Adventists and Islam. Believe it or not, there are beliefs that are common to Adventists ad Catholics, Hindus, and Buddhists. We also have something in common with atheists, we both believe something. The knee-jerk skepticism is troubling. Second, it points to a now entrenched suspicion church members have about people in leadership that something as innocent as this video can lead to members rushing to the frontlines, as it were, to defend the integrity of the message.

    I am convinced that we as Adventists do not really love the world to which we have been sent. Like the Jewish leaders we take great comfort in our position as "sons of Abraham", and it is our DUTY to let the others know that they do not have the truth. Can a Muslim who happen on to this website and read our comments be impressed that, wow, these Adventists are such loving people. If we do not love the lost and let them know we love them, how will we get them to listen to our message?

    How many of us pray for these people in the 10/40 window, who are in spiritual darkness, and need the liberating truth of the gospel? Do we love them enough to say your are my brother, and like you, I believe in one God without having to make sure to interject in that same conversation that I just want you to know that it is really not the same God.

    I am now more impressed with Paul, going to the people God had already rejected as a nation, having grown men performing the rite of circumcision so that he would not be accused of defiling the temple, and therefore could preach the gospel more freely. How would Paul countenance our almost hysterical reaction to the brother's TRUE statements. My Jesus sat with a Samaritan woman and had a conversation with her, which in our day would be tantamount to going to a Mosque. How much are we prepared to love those to whom we bring the gospel? It shows, brethren in the way we speak about them, and in the way we preach the truth to them.

    Lastly, leaving Islam to become a Christian and to profess so openly is not an easy thing. It took spiritual maturity and courage to do so. This should be the first thing acknowledged by those who watched this video. Knowing what it took for him to leave that faith and openly declare his loyalty to Jesus Christ, should that not prompt us to give him the benefit of the doubt as to whether or not he is saying that Adventist and Islam is the same? We are no longer a people of the book, we are a people of fear, suspicion, and "defenders" of the truth more than people called out to represent and proclaim the good news of Jesus to the world.

  29. Last week when the video was posted I gave up trying to view it because 'technology' let me down. At the time there were only 5 comments - all positive. Today I decided to at least read the comments which had come in in the meantime' Today I also had the privilege of seeing the video in its entirety. I think God had a hand in that technological glitsch last week because now I really have been blessed even more.

    Abbas, thank you for putting yourself on the line to tell your story and remind us who may have become forgotten, that Isaac and Ishmael were brothers who, despite their differences and the raw deal Ishmail was given of being sent away, returned to share his grief with his 'little brother' when their father died. Abbas put things into perspective by giving the meaning of the word "Muslim". Thank you, Inge, for your positive comments, too.

    It would appear that many who call themselves "Adventists" rather fall into the category of scribes and pharisees. We pride ourselves on how well we know the Bible but we don't really know the God of the Bible. We sit in judgment of our fellow brothers and sisters to such an extent that visitors to our churches who have been led there by the Holy Spirit after receiving the 'truth' via our FTA programs i.e. 3ABN, have never returned as they perceived the spirit of the pharisees in our midst. We can learn from Muslim believers to fully submit to God by standing up for Him and sharing Him wherever and whenever we have an opportunity. By that I don't mean to become fanatics and think we can do God's work for Him - but to daily ask for guidance and direction to know where to sow the seed and let the Holy Spirit nurture and Jesus harvest. Often we want to do it all ourselves - and that makes us no different from radical Muslims, who feel they have to fight God's battle for Him.

    After seeing the atrocities committed by ISIS I was also beginning to change my mind about who Allah is - Satan, but I have been reminded that Allah is God. In the dark ages when the Roman Church 'defended' the faith, did that change God to Satan just because His Church had gone bad? No - God doesn't change just because people do 'satanic' things in His name. We need to see Satan for who he is - the great deceiver who has been doing his maths and knows that his time is running out. He is a dirty dealer and will do anything to destroy God's reputation. As Adventists we need to take a long hard look at ourselves - ME - I - and ask, who's side am I really on?

  30. Inge, thank you for starting this thread. I believe it is much needed. There is so much fear (at least in our country) of Muslims. This gentleman's message, especially beginning around the 10 minute mark, is wise advice on reaching those of different faiths. Jesus was known to interact with groups of people feared and despised by His own brethren. Yet Jesus won them by His compassion, His interest in their lives, and His sympathy coupled with His life which was above reproach. That's a good example for us to follow.

    • Curtis, let me second what you have said by using a few specific examples.

      First, the Samaritan woman at the well (Jn 4): Jesus exposed the attitude that the Jews had toward Samaritans because of their mingling of paganism with Judaism in the parable of the good Samaritan (Lk 10:30-37) when answering the lawyer's question, "who is my neighbor?" (Lk. 10:29 NKJV). What is interesting is that the "good" Jewish lawyer was so filled with contempt for those people that couldn't even bring himself to say Samaritan but rather answered Jesus' question, "He who showed mercy on him" (Lk. 10:37 NKJV). To those people Jesus specifically went (Jn 4:4) in spite of the prejudices of the time and stayed in that Samaritan town at least a day and probably several and ended up winning just about the whole village.

      Second, tax collectors: Not only did Jesus call Levi Matthew to the ministry who was a well known tax collector (Mk 2:14-15) but also was invited to a feast which he accepted and no doubt some of the food probably was not the most kosher that could be found. These were people the Jews considered traitors. They were despised and hated to the point that I am not sure if they were even allowed in the temple. Jesus associated with those outcasts and as Mark and Luke (Lk 5:29) both state, "Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi's house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many" (Mk. 2:15 NKJV). To that the Pharisees complained saying, "Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?" (Lk. 5:30 NKJV). And that wasn't the only time, it also happened with Zacchaeus (Lk 19:2-7, "who was a chief tax collector" (Lk. 19:2 NKJV), that is an area supervisor of tax collectors, where the same complaint came up.

      And what more could be said of His mingling with prostitutes and gentiles some who were filthy Roman military personnel fiercely hated by Jews because of Roman suppression. Even Jonah testifies to God's desire to have those foreign to the faith won - even when they are devout enemies as the Assyrians were to the Jews at that time in history. But how can we be ambassadors of Christ when we consider them as the Jews did?

      • Tyler, your examples are spot on! To seek and save the lost - all lost, is the task given to us. Being salt of the earth and lights on hills should benefit everyone.
        Many thanks.

  31. I have spent several days reading the discussions since my first post. While I am not "all in", I do better understand both sides of the discussion. I think initially in my haste to make a point, the very point I was trying to make got lost. Yes, there are some ways in which Adventists and Muslims are alike and there are ways we are very different as far as our understanding of God and who God is. Sis Inge, you and others are right--we should find common ground and reach out to others and I thank you for that insight. As Christians, we are charged with preaching the gospel of Christ. I still believe, though, that we should fully understand the stance of those we're reaching out to, so I thank Bro Ben Tupper for his insight as well (and I did find the book you mentioned "[Title redacted]"---very interesting so far). I also still believe that Muslim is more than just a word and it's literal meaning. It is a culture and a mindset and we have to understand that part too, just like Seventh-Day Adventist means more than just going to church on Saturday instead of Sunday. I can not say that I will be one to try to reach out specifically to Muslim people, but that is something I will have to continue to pray about and deal with on a case-by-case basis. This did, at least, help me to confront some of my own perceptions but I still feel like 'proceed with caution'.

  32. If I may, I would like to add my "two brass farthings worth" at this point in the discussion...

    When I attended Adventist junior college in the late 50s and early 60s, four business students were in our graduating class, one of whom was a practicing Muslim. I remember several attempts of the faculty to convert the particular chap to 7th day Adventism. For whatever reason, it did not happen. Anyway, I met him again recently. He was leading the vanguard of practical help for our former accounting professor who, unfortunately, lived in a nursing home. When we arrived at her tiny living quarters, she was clearly overjoyed to greet him. Incidentally, he had brought his usual car trunk filled with goodies and necessities for the now impoverished lady. As far as I know, he still believes and practices his faith. We maybe need to remember, when we start to decide what folk are spiritual, that the Bible tells us that "...true religion, undefiled..." comprises "...visiting the fatherless and the widows..." while "...keeping ourselves unspotted from the world...".

    At times we seem to be caught up in sounding forth religious dogma. This apparently happened to the Scribes and Pharisees when they did stuff such as accusing Jesus of Sabbath-breaking instead of noticing how He had helped the crippled man.

    By the way, please allow me to mention an incident which occurred when we were kids living "...by the skin of our teeth..." in a rural setting. I vividly recall our SDA church pastor coming to our house and praying while we were hungry. The local Anglican priest also visited, but he always brought along a large paper sack of food which we clearly needed...

  33. This video was brought to my attention some time earlier and yes, there are some points that are troubling.

    But first, I fully agree that we treat people of this faith (and other faiths) with respect and kindness. At my work place there are two fellow workers who are Muslims, and they are very pleasant people, I enjoy working along side them.

    I also agree that we need to focus on common ground in our interactions with them. At work my Muslim co-worker and I were talking just the other day about God -- the subject began with how to answer people who ask "How are you?" and that our answer should be in praise to God who gave us so many things to be thankful for. Yes, there are many points of conversation that we can agree on and establish a friendly bases of sharing and companionship.

    It's the statement of Muslim = Adventism that is troubling.
    Why? Because the very essence of Christianity is lacking in the Muslim faith, and that is salvation in Jesus Christ.
    Most Muslims believe Christ was just another prophet like Mohammed. Islam denies the divinity of Jesus, the significance of the cross of Christ, the atonement of Christ. They have no Savior. True, there is a tradition that Jesus will return, but not the way we believe it. According to their writings Jesus will return to clarify his position as merely a prophet like any other of God's prophets and dispel the idea that His blood had anything to do with salvation. This, according to their tradition, will lead the Christianity to accept the Islamic faith and realize God's commandments need to be kept.

    So even thought the point of obedience and submission to God is a common point, yet the salvation issue is very different. We don't render obedience to earn or merit any favors with God, we render obedience because God first loved us and gave His Son to die for us that we might have eternal life.

    If we use our common ground to lead them to Christ, their Savior as well as ours, that is wonderful, for Christ died for all. But if we leave them thinking Adventists believe their obedience to God's commandments and submission to rules is the key that merits eternity, then we've failed.

    • Ulicia, it's good to see you back. But I wonder whether whoever pointed you to this video prejudiced you against the obvious. You wrote,

      It's the statement of Muslim = Adventism that is troubling.

      Now I did not hear that in the video, nor is it written on this page. But at the very beginning of the blog, you will find that "all Adventists are Muslims, because being a Muslim means being “submitted to God.” Now, I take that as high affirmation, and I can only wish it were true - that all who call themselves Adventist are truly "submitted to God." Furthermore, I truly hope that when Islamic Muslims accept Christ, they will remain Muslims, i.e. submitters to God, rather than turn into proud Laodiceans. (Please check back to the comment by Zibusiso Ncube who clarified the relation between "Muslim" and "Islam.")

      I wonder whether we could learn a few things from them about submitting to God? Grace, after all, does not release us from obedience. Christ died to save us from our sins, and the only way we can experience that salvation is to freely and fully submit to Him as Lord and God. This understanding of surrender and submission is another point of contact with Muslims, it seems to me. Let us not destroy the bridges God has built for us.

      If you'll read through the comment section, you will find Andrew Legall referring to God communicating directly with a Muslim sheik and telling him that they do not need to convert Seventh-day Adventists because they are already God's people. The implication is, of course, that those receiving the message are also God's people - something we may be too prideful to recognize. And this incident is not the only one. God is actively using dreams and visions and angels to prepare Muslim people for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ - while we pontificate on their lack of understanding.

      I personally find it troubling that in response to a video that was specifically created to demonstrate how we can reach out to Islamic Muslims by building on what we have in common so many people found it necessary to focus on our differences. [We published only a sampling.] It demonstrates that prejudices run deep. I think Abbas was right when he said that such a focus on differences only "makes the devil laugh." It's not as though any of our readers need such differences pointed out. And if our conference president had not realized any differences, he would not have created a video to demonstrate how we can reach out to Islamic Muslims. Thus the very fact that this video was made and posted recognizes the need of sharing our faith in Jesus.

      What was and apparently still is needed is a greater understanding of the Muslim mind and a greater readiness to view them as brothers and sisters.

      Are we willing to view them as children of the same heavenly Father, or will we pride ourselves in our superior understanding of God? And it seems to me that if our understanding of God causes us to create barriers, it is not really superior ...

      Your final paragraph is, of course, true, but I question why you would deem it necessary to point this out in response to the video:

      If we use our common ground to lead them to Christ, their Savior as well as ours, that is wonderful, for Christ died for all. But if we leave them thinking Adventists believe their obedience to God's commandments and submission to rules is the key that merits eternity, then we've failed.

      And the more I think about it, the more I believe that we may have as much to learn from pious Muslims as they have to learn from us. Satan knows the truth well enough, be he's not willing to be a "submitter to God," i.e. a Muslim. And if we know the truth but are not willing to be "submitters to God" (i.e. Muslims), then all our knowledge will fail to save us. Thus it seems to me quite possible that some Muslims may enter the Kingdom before some Adventists - if they are submitting to God, according to their understanding, and Adventists remain in their Laodicean state and do not find it necessary to fully submit to God.

      • Sis Anderson I personally believe that when the last movements become more rapid droves of Muslims and others will join God's church.
        And to me that's not counting the many more who will be saved who didn't know about Jesus.

        I think God is going to make hay in a magnificent way when he begins to reap. Many people are expecting God to save a tiny band of followers and that maybe nine out of ten people will be lost. I'm expecting God to go big in terms of percentages. But that's just me.

  34. I spent 13 years with a muslim man when I was walking outside of the church in my 20's. I was married to him via a nikkah (non legally binding) ceremony. I am now married to a Adventist man and we have 2 children. During that time (which ended 9 years ago), I came to understand Islam as well as I understand the faith I was raised in and wanted to be a youth minister for...I know some Arabic, I love the music, the food, the richness of their heritage. And I have a heart for ministry for Muslims and a testimony to share of how God delivered me from a very dangerous time....what I want to say is that Jesus is longing for ALL His children to be saved and to be reached. I pray there is more I can do, and am asking God to lead me so that I can one day share my testimony where it needs to be heard.

    • Dana, Since your post first appeared, I have been trying to post a contact for you, but the system seems not allow posting of any email address. Let me try it this way: Please contact Pastor Grant Agadjanian by reassembling the following information into an email address that will reach him: "Grant Agadjanian" address: -victoryinJesus1 [at] verizon dot net- His organization operates a very successful international outreach program for Muslims. With your background and language skills, you might be of immense help to them. You may reference me by name in your contact with him, if you think that would be useful.

  35. Dear Adventist friends, I am a Muslim and I read a lot of your comments with interest, generally, it seems you guys are kind people, and from reading the Quran we believe certain groups of Christians are considered kind believers and would receive God mercy, and would be with practicing Muslims in heaven God willing, and we hope you are of them. While you are trying to invite Muslims to be saved, we also invite you to be saved, if anybody is serious about God, heaven and hell, then it is safer for all to review other beliefs including Islam, to make sure you are doing the right thing, we still believe the Bible clearly says that Jesus in not equal to God to be God, he clearly and explicitly said ...The father is greater than I, and he said.... my lord and your lord...and he said often..... my God and your God, so he has a God and therefore, he could not be also a God., and so many others, and the trinity is not a sound dectorine, and was invented in the fourth century. Think and contemplate. I just wanted to do my duty to open your minds if you can also open your hearts. Good bless you all. I

    • I understand we are brothers but with different mothers, so we are half brothers. And us Adventists follow what the Bible blesses. Isaac was blessed, see Genesis 17:21, 25:11. And we see God saying that through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. So Ishmael will not inherit any thing in God's kingdom. Whom can you follow?


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