This is a continuation of a multi-post article. You can read the first post here and you can read the previous post here. This is also part of a larger series called "The Koran from a Christian perspective." You can find other posts in this series here.The Koran at times seems inconsistent in its view of old religions, specifically religions decedent from Abraham. At times the Koran sees religions as progressive; each new religion bringing forth some new revelation regarding God, man, and man's responsibility towards God. Even Islam itself is progressive in its revelation with later revelations abrogating previous ones. With the passage of time, as mankind grows in their understanding of God, new revelation comes that is commensurate with mankind's new ability to understand and obey; at least that is Muhammad's view of religion.
However, in other places the Koran views each new religion as a fresh restart upon the old revelations. In this case, Christianity would be a new restart on Judaism; a fresh restart to try and achieve the original intent and true religion that God had intended for Judaism. Similarly, Islam would be a fresh start on Christianity; a new attempt to purify God's people and restore them back to a pure religion and understanding of God. The story is that God has sent His messengers to call men to a pure religion but men corrupted their religion and discarded their knowledge of God, so God sent new messengers to call men back to religion. With each new messenger there is a new attempt at a fresh restart at religion.
The Koran speaks thus regarding Christians and Christianity,
"People of the Book, now there has come to you Our Messenger [Apostle], making things clear to you, upon an interval between the Messengers [the cessation of Apostles] lest you should say, 'There has not come to us any bearer of good tidings, neither any warner. Indeed, there has come to you a bearer of good tidings and a warner; God is powerful over everything." (Koran 5:22)It was Muhammad's belief that there would continue to be a string of apostles and prophets coming to mankind to clear up any misunderstandings and to "tweak" their religion as needed. However, if this is the case, we must ask ourselves two questions. First is, "Where is our messenger for today?" Did they stop with Muhammad? Some may say that there have been many Muslim warners and messengers since Muhammad but where is the one for us, for our own nation, and one speaking in our own language? While I certainly believe that God continues to send apostles and prophets, they are not in the like of Moses, Jesus, Paul, or even Muhammad. It does not seem to me that religion is that fluid that every few generations or every few hundreds of years we should expect another great prophet to set religion aright again. If this be the case, then perhaps all Muslims should become Mormons seeing that Joseph Smith claimed to be such a great prophet of God. Surly, however, I would expect them to disagree.
The second question we should ask ourselves is, "should we even be looking for anther prophet or messenger from God?" Jesus Himself warned us,
"Behold, I have told you in advance. So if they say to you, 'Behold, He is in the wilderness,' do not go out, or, 'Behold, He is in the inner rooms,' do not believe them." (Matthew 24:25-26)
"See to it that you are not misled; for many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He,' and, 'The time is near.' Do not go after them." (Luke 21:8)Jesus told us that many would come claiming to be Him, to be the promised one, to being a savior, or even the prophet that was foretold but He strictly warned us not to be deceived, to go out to them, or to follow them. Jesus clearly taught us not to expect another great prophet or another great restart on religion and this would include both Muhammad and Islam. Had Muhammad know and believed the words of Jesus, he would not have prophesied another testament or formed another religion; a testament and religion that Jesus specifically warned us against.
The Koran also claims to be an expanded guide to the words of Jesus and the teaching of the apostles thus clearing up issues that had troubled the church for centuries.
"People of the Book, now there has come to you Our Messenger [Apostle], making clear to you many things you have been concealing of the Book, and effacing [pass over] many things. There has come to you from God a light, and a Book Manifest [clear Book] whereby God guides whosoever follows His good pleasure in the ways of peace, and brings them forth from the shadows into the light by His leave; and He guides them to a straight path." (Koran 5:18)However, it is one thing to offer commentary and clarification on what had been spoken before, but it is another thing to require belief, faith, agreement, and obedience to one's personal commentary or eplanation on previous revelations as a requirement for justification.
"O believers, believe in God and His Messenger [Apostle] and the Book He has sent down on His Messenger and the Book which He sent down before. Whoso disbelieves in God and His angels and His Books, and His Messengers [Apostles], and the Last Day, has surely gone astray into far error." (Koran 4:135)
However, John clearly teaches us that we have no need for another apostle, teacher, expainer, or warner of the truth.
"These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him." (1 John 2:26-27)
As believers in Jesus Christ and as those in whom the Holy Spirit of God lives, we have no need for a new apostle, a new testament, a new religion, or a new teacher. We need not Muhammad nor Islam to find favor with God and to know Him, His way, and His will for our lives. Yes, there will always be things we don't understand and things in which Christians will disagree. However, most of these things are not essential to our daily lives or our walk with God. All we truly need and everything we must understand to walk with God, God has already revealed and, if in anything we fail to understand, His Holy Spirit is able to teach us and guide us into all truth. So what about Muhammad and Islam? Let us heed Jesus' words and leave them alone, not going out to them, and not following their lead.