Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Should we pray to Allah?

In an alarming article, a Catholic Bishop from the Netherlands tells Christians that they should start calling God "Allah" in our prayers.

Bishop Martinus "Tiny" Muskens of Breda told the "Network" television show that "God doesn't really care how we address Him."

Hmm? This morning at Mass, I remember praying "Our Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name...". If the name of God is truly hallowed, then it is probably important. God would not have revealed his name to us if it wasn't important.

Pointing out that "Allah" is a term already used by Christians who speak Arabic, Bishop Muskens said that humans are needlessly divided over such terminology. God, the bishop said, is above such "bickering."

The Dutch bishop admitted that his suggestion was not likely to gain widespread acceptance. But he predicted that within a century or two, Dutch Catholics would be addressing prayers to "Allah."

Think this is prophetic? I do. The way Muslims are moving into Europe, and the way that European governments are embracing Islam while pushing away Christianity makes me think there is a chance that within 200 years, there could be a totalitarian fundamentalist Islamic state within Europe. Persecutions of Catholics, forcing them to pray to a foreign God are not so out of the question as to be absurd.

I am not an exert in Islam. I know they have a number of things that are good, or at least acceptable. But I also understand that their theology is quite flawed, to the point of building up a God who is not the Christian God. For instance, I understand that the view of God is that he is not exactly personal, but instead controls all that is in the Universe. Essentially nothing happens without the hand of God acting and willing it. The Christian God is merciful, the Muslim God is the active force in the world. Not a molecule moves without Allah acting on it. This is a different God than the one who would become Man and empty Himself on the Cross.

Maybe this Bishop should join with the priestess of the Anglican community who decided she is both Christian and Muslim.


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