Excerpts of paper delivered By Gbenga Osinaike at the special eclectic assembly on Saturday January 28 2012 at the Soul Winning Ministry, 279 Borno Way, Yaba, Lagos.
Let me state from the onset that I was not a Muslim that got converted to Christianity. I was born to a Christian family but in actual fact became a Child of God washed in the blood of the lamb when I was 16 years old. By God’s grace I have a fair idea of the history of Christianity in Nigeria .
I never suggested to the organizers of this programme to give me this topic but I believe they are being led by the Spirit of God to take that decision because God wants us to share from the little experience I have had over the years.
My profession as a journalist has given me the opportunity of studying a bit about the Islamic faith, meeting some of the adherents and interacting with some who were Scholars of the religion who have now turned to the Christian faith. With this background I think we can now sit back and share a few of my thoughts on this subject.
It is important to bear in mind that we are not dealing with Muslims in this exercise, rather we are dealing with Islam. They are two different things. A Muslim is a person who adheres to the Islamic faith. Islam on its own is a philosophy. It is thought line that claims to be a religion of peace but on the other hand wages war ceaselessly against those who don’t subscribe to it. An Iranian puts it bluntly. He writes, in his piece Islam is not for me, “Muslims are patients and Islam is a disease.”
I hope this gathering will not mind my choice of words. But I think we have come to a point where we can no longer run away from the truth. I love Muslims and we all should love Muslims because they are our brothers and sisters. Jesus died for them and we have a responsibility to love and pray for them. They are not our enemies.
But we must purge our minds from the insinuations in some quarters that the Christian and the Muslim both serve the same God. We cannot afford to compromise our faith because we want to make some people comfortable with us. It is also important to note that the tradition of calling the God of Christians Allah is sheer display of ignorance because the Christian God is not the same with the Muslim Allah.
That is the point where some Christians miss it. The moment the Christian says he serves the same God with the Muslim and at the same time says that God has a son in the person of Jesus Christ, he runs into trouble with the Muslim. So, a Christian who preaches the gospel to a Muslim must make it clear that he is presenting to him or her “the Unkown God.” He should as much as possible sound it clear that he is presenting the God who had provided a way of salvation and not ALLAH.
Professor Duro Adegboye in his book, “We are wrong for equating Yahweh with local gods” explains that the greatest mistake made by missionaries who came to Nigeria was to try to equate the God of the Muslims with the God of Christians for want of a better word to describe God.”
He writes, “the Jews (with the old testament) and the Christians (with the old and New Testament) spread the name Yahweh throughout Europe, North Africa, Turkey, Iraq, Iran Saudi Arabia. Long before Prophet Mohammed was born in AD 570 there were synagogues of the Jews and Churches of Christians all over Saudi Arabia .
“In AD 32, many Jews from Saudi Arabia and their Arab converts to Judaism were in Jerusalem to celebrate YAHWEH’s Passover feast. The Arabs who were on pilgrimage to Jerusalem to worship YAHWEH also were at the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost” (Acts. Chapter 2)
Adegboye a former Dean of the faculty of Science of the Ahmadu Bello University and a missionary evangelist based in Ofa, Kwara State noted in the book that the error of using the name Allah as the name of the God of the Christian in the Hausa Bible started from Rev. Miller, the missionary whom God used to evangelise the Hausaland.
He noted that a Hausa indigene, Malam Mojid confused the missionary by telling him the name Allah is the name for God in Hausa Land . But the truth is that, Allah as professor Adegboye observed in his book is not a Hausa word. It is an Arabic word. “Secondly, Allah is not a general name for just any God. Allah is the specific name of a specific God
“In Arabic, the word ILLAH and not ALLAH stands for God, just as El stands for God in Hebrew, Chineke in Igbo and Olorun in Yoruba. So Allah is the specific name of the ILLAH which is revealed in the Holy Quaran. The oxford Advanced learner’s dictionary says: ALLAH is the name of God among Muslims. In the same vein the name of God among the Christians and the Jews is YAHWEH or Jehovah”
In one of the programmes of 700 club it was reported as stated in Adegboye’s book that the Muslim community in Malaysia sued the Christians of Malaysia for including the name of their God ALLAH in the Christian Bible.
Their argument is that centuries before the Christian missionaries arrived in Malay Pennissula, the Muslims have known their God, Allah to be unity, without a son and without human attributes. But the Malaysian Christian Bible says ALLAH is trinity and has a son called Jesus. That was the bone of contention. The case was however settled out of court.
There are many things that make Christianity unique. In Christianity God reaches to man but in other religions, man attempts to reach God. In Christianity there is liberty of the spirit because God himself lives His life inside the Christian. The body of the Christian is the temple of God . That is why Paul states in Galatian 2v20 that He no longer lives but Christ lives in him. The Christian faith, is faith of hope, it is a liberating faith. It is the faith that brings civilization. It is the hope of the world.
Is Islam a threat? Is it a threat to Christianity, a threat to the country or a threat to those who are Muslims? Is it a threat to our collective sensibility? Is it a threat to life? I will endeavour to deal with these posers in the next few lines:
All along I have had this simplistic view of Islam until I met a Nigerian reverend who God has been using to reach out to victims of the crisis in the North. My meeting with him opened my eyes to the fact that we are sitting on a time bomb in Nigeria if we fail to intensify our prayers.
Then I used to work with the Punch Newspapers. I was on the Sunday desk of the publication when I had interactions with this reverend. I don’t want to mention his name because he may not be disposed to it. But then, it is important to share the information I got from him.
I found out from him that there are subtle attempts to indoctrinate young people in primary schools in Nigeria with the philosophy of Jihad through some of the stories they read in their text books. For instance In the Macmillan publication, Primary English Course for primary 5 written by O. Taiwo and W. Ijioma ( the book was first published in 1977 and had been reprinted several times till 2003) there is a story titled, Gandoki fights in the land of Jinn.
The story is simply about how Gandoki the lead character in the story fought and killed those who are non-Muslims. The story from all intents promotes Islam and justifies terrorism. And that is the book that is being read in primary schools in Nigeria .
I remember I wrote the story and it was published in the Sunday Punch. The publishers then threatened to sue Punch if we did not withdraw the story. Thank God I had a copy of the book. So when I was called to question on it I simply presented the book to the company lawyer. I did a further one by going to the market to buy another copy of the book that contained the story.
It was late for Macmillan to withdraw the books from the market, but they did a fast one by doing another reprint and completely expunged the troublesome story in the reprinted version claiming that I was maligning them. Since I had my facts and there were copies of the book with me, The Punch management asked the company to go to court. Nothing was heard from Macmillan again.
This may appear simplistic but that is the nature of Islam. Over the years the religion has become a threat not just to Christians but the human race as it seeks to force people to adhere to it. I do not want to bore you with what is going on in Nigeria presently but evidence abound that Islam has taken the nation unawares and has taken the Christian faith unawares. But the truth is that the gates of hell cannot prevail against the Church of God .
The history of violence against Christian dates back to the 80s when the Maitatsine sect took the nation by storm killing and maiming non-Muslims in the north. That trend has continued over the years and the latest being the upsurge of the Boko Haram sect. We all know the harm the sect has caused Nigeria . Thousands have died in their hands and hell was literally let loose on innocent Nigerians.
But what is happening now is not an accident. It is a product of an age long plan because Islam is never in a hurry. It has a systemic way of indoctrinating its adherents and also has a long plan to forcefully win converts. Mohammed who is the centre point of the Islamic faith was born hundreds of years after the Bible had been canonized. He started out in Mecca and then moved on to Medina .
The last ten years of his life according to history was marked by violence as he introduced Jihad into the religion thus making it the sixth pillar of Islam. Many passive Muslims may not agree with this. But those who have been in and out of the religion will tell you that the agenda of Islam is to forcefully make converts. I will not like to go into the details. But the book, Journey into the mind of an Islamic terrorist by Mark Gabriel deals with this subject to minutes detail.
Gabriel, a former Muslim scholar who goes by a pseudo name for strategic reason explained the motivating factor for Islamic insurgence pointing out that the chief among the agenda of Islamic terrorists groups all over the world is to Islamize the world.
As one writer observes, “The danger we currently face from the Muslim world arises not from the fact that people are Muslims, but from the extent to which they adhere to the totalitarian, supremacist Islamic doctrine of Sharia.”
Quran 48:29 states, “Mohammed is God’s apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another”
The good news is that many hard core adherents to Islam are getting saved. Recent reports by the Charisma Magazine point to the fact that many Muslims are divinely being touched and saved from being destroyed. Many are getting born again especially in Islamic countries.
Amil Imani an ex-Muslim notes in a piece, “Islam can rightfully be considered a cult of death, not life; it will never run out of volunteers to sacrifice their lives until Islam itself expires.”
It is important that we do not isolate the situations in Nigeria from the rest of the world. There is tendency to see the upsurge of Boko Haram as political. It could be political because Islam seeks power so it could perpetuate its atrocities and put people in eternal bondage.
But what we are facing is the hatching of a grand plan which did not begin yesterday. If you read between the lines the comments of some Islamic scholars you will find out that they are not vociferous in their condemnation. In one breath they are condemning the act of Boko Haram in another breath they are calling for the introduction of Islamic laws into the polity.
We must begin to appreciate that Islam is here with all its venom. There are terrorist attacks all over the world. Since the 9/11 attack on the UN house there has been about 14,000 reported cases of terrorist attacks around the globe. In this year alone we have had close to 10 reported cases in Nigeria alone. At least two journalists have so far been killed in the cause of these attacks.
Other statistics around the world is hereby presented:
2012.01.19 ( Pattani , Thailand ) – A 39-year-old Buddhist is gunned down by militants Muslims.
2012.01.19 ( Mogadishu , Somalia ) – Four refugees and a local aid worker are among six Somalis taken out by a Shahid suicide bomber.
2012.01.19 ( Kandahar , Afghanistan ) – Two children are among seven civilians blown to bits by a suicide bomber.
2012.01.18 ( Kajaki , Afghanistan ) – A dozen innocents are torn to pieces by a Fedayeen suicide bomber.
2012.01.18 ( Latifiyah , Iraq ) – al-Qaeda militants open fire on a family sleeping in their home, killing four members.
What then is the genesis of this: it is claimed that Islam is a religion of peace. If it is, why is it at the centre of global violence and bloodletting? That is the question most Muslims find difficult to answer. Many have openly dissociated themselves from the Boko Haram menace. A top Islamic leader on television was condemning the sect and at the same time calling for Islamic laws in Nigeria .
One commentator was asking for a national conference and saying if the North wants to secede they should be allowed to and should be allowed to practice their religion. My question is: what happens to Christians living in that region. The solution to what we have in our hands is not a question of national conference, it is a question of Jesus Conference. Christians should intensify their prayers and call on the God of heaven to break the backbone of Islam. It is incumbent on us to pray and not to faint on this issue.
This is the time for church leaders to bury their doctrinal differences and come together in prayer and repentance. It is time to do away with this hip-hop gospel where Christians only go to sweat and dance in church without a drop of God’s word in their heart. It is time for us to become true disciples indeed.
Bill Warner in his treatise after spending years studying Islam notes, “The biggest statistical surprise was the dualistic nature of Islamic doctrine. Islam holds contradictory ideas that are simultaneously true. Now this confounds all Western logic, but this gives Islam its great strength. Islam is peace. Islam is jihad. Islam is a brother to Christianity and Judaism. Islam annihilates Christianity and Judaism.
Warner notes further, “The Kafir is the victim in nearly every verse by Allah and most actions by Mohammed. The grandest lie of Islam is that Muslims have the correct view of Islam. But dualism demands that there are two correct views that contradict each other and cannot be logically aligned. Hence, there is the Kafir-centric view of Islam that is equally valid as the Muslim-centric view. Islam, the universities, and the apologists all insist that only the Muslim view is the true view. This is an error that is not supported by facts.
“The use of the term “extreme” implies that something is being measured, and it is off the chart. There is one and only one measure of Islam and that is its doctrine. For example, Mohammed preached the religion of Islam for thirteen years and made only 150 converts. But when he turned to jihad, ten years later he died, he was the ruler of Arabia and every Arab was a Muslim. Conclusion: jihad is normal, not extreme. But notice that since Islam is dualistic, Muslims can claim that it is peaceful.
“As to the claim that the Jihadists are few in number, look at war statistics. During WW II only 10% of the US population was in the military. Did that mean the US was not at war? No. In war only a few are doing the actual work, the rest of the country backs them with labor, money and morale.
There are four ways to be a jihadist – sword, pen, speech and money. Jihad is incumbent on ALL Muslims; therefore, it is the sixth pillar of Islam.”
The book, Journey into the mind of an Islamic terrorist, reveal that the threat posed by Islam is real and infectious. It is infectious in the sense that terrorism is a seed planted in the minds of innocent men and women right from the childhood. Muslims in countries like Libya , Egypt where terrorism is breeding ground are deceived to believe there is a paradise awaiting them with virgins if they sacrifice their lives for the cause of ALLAH.
The Nigerian case is so bad that the president has openly admitted that Boko Haram has infiltrated the government. Nigerians now live in fear. The onslaught of the sect has become a daily occurrence. Where do we go and what do we do?
First, I would suggest that there is a need for Christians to come together as never before and intensify our intercession. We are not against Muslims. We are against Islam. It is the poison that is being fed to the Muslim. It is a deadly cult. We should purge ourselves and begin to focus on kingdom work rather that our little empires scattered around the globe. It is time for Christians to bury their denominational differences and embrace the task of winning the lost because the sinners we don’t win will in turn consume us.
It is also important that we begin to purge ourselves of this notion that we serve the same God with Muslims. It is unthinkable that the God of heaven is the same God as the ALLAH of Islam. In our interaction with Muslims it will be wrong for us to argue with them on the basis of their God. ALLAH is ALLAH and YAHWEH is YAHWEH. They are two different persons and those who subscribe to them have two different destinies.
We should also be more discreet and cautious. This is the time to display raw faith in the God of heaven. This is the time to hold tenaciously to our faith. This is the time to be more than ever convinced of what we believe. This is the time to take up the cross and follow on a daily basis.
Finally, I will like to suggest that we must become wary of the type of guards we keep. There are signs to show that some of the guards are deliberately planted in some churches and houses so they could understudy the place and provide information to terrorists. Your guard may very well be used to invade your territory. This is the time to watch and pray.