MUSLIMS (2002)
WHEREAS the Bible directs us to go into all the world and preach the gospel to all nations, and there is a way that seems right to man but the end thereof are the ways of death; and

WHEREAS Islam has become the fastest growing religion in the world, and has attracted an attrition from Christianity among our ethnic communities (ABC News), and has more than 6 million members in the United States alone (US News and World Report), with 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide (Islamic Web); and

WHEREAS there has been A Wave of Conversion to Islam in the United States (and worldwide) following the events of September 11, 2001,” with more than 35,000 converts in the United States during the year following (Islamic Web); and

WHEREAS Christianity and Islam are antithetical, stemming from centuries of historical conflict; and

WHEREAS we are sympathetic to human rights and individual beliefs but cannot compromise our position on the gospel that Jesus Christ is the only agent by whom one may possess eternal life; and

WHEREAS Muslims are actively and aggressively involved in Islamic “evangelism,” and it is stated in the second surah (chapter) of the Qur’an (Al-Bagarah) that Allah encourages the Muslims to “fight them until there is no persecution and the religion is Allah’s” (2:193), and that recently, international terrorists have quoted the Qur’an and the Hadith, saying, “I was ordered to fight the people until there is no god but Allah, and his Prophet Muhammad,” and that their resolve is seen when stated, “We will defend the Holy Land with our blood and with our spirit;” and

WHEREAS we recognize the “Farrakhanization” of American Islam to the personal end of further division, separation, and animosity between the races, along with a strong anti-Semitic doctrine; and

WHEREAS Elijah Muhammad told his followers, “the greatest hindrance to the truth of our people [members of the Nation of Islam] is the preacher of Christianity;”

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the international Church of God, as a denomination, do aggressively seek to understand Islam more clearly, so we may present Christ more effectively, and love Muslims to the cross; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED to take a sympathetic yet uncompromising position toward the entire scope of the Islamic religion, and in so doing, we recognize that all faiths are not the same, but that Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), and that no man comes to the Father but through Him, and that although there is only one way, the path is opened by the blood of Jesus for all who will believe; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Church of God clergy and membership display the compelling love of God (John 3:16), His Son Jesus (John 13:35), and the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-11), and that our churches be filled with a bold and gracious witness to the returning Christ, “Which in His times He shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:15).

WHEREAS the Church of God from its inception has contended to be inclusive of peoples regardless of gender, cultural background or race; and

WHEREAS the 50th General Assembly in 1964 adopted a resolution on human rights affirming the worth of every individual; and

WHEREAS every race bears the image of God and has its origin in Adam who is the Father of all mankind; and

WHEREAS in Christ Jesus there is neither Jew nor Gentile, slaves nor free men, men nor women, but we are all one in Him; and

WHEREAS the Resolution on Leadership and World Vision in the 1990 General Assembly Minutes commits the church to be “international…transcending culture, race, nationalism, and politics”; and

WHEREAS we are beholden to a Christlike example and lifestyle, one of acceptance, affirmation, and unconditional love;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that this International General Assembly recognizes all members of the body of Christ as equal in function and consequence, and every race and ethnic distinction a valuable and necessary field for the winning of souls and the furtherance of the kingdom of God upon this earth; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we commit towards the elimination of racism and bigotry, corporately identifying racism and bigotry as sinful hindrances which prevent us from truly realizing brotherhood and Christian love within and outside the body of the international church and the many peoples and races which it reaches and encompasses (68th A., 2000, p. 89).

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