What is Chrislam?
“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” —2 Timothy 4:3-4
Society today is growing more accustomed to the thought of uniting religions and being passive about the beliefs of others. Recently, a new religious movement called Chrislam is slowly rising. Senior Pastor Bob Coy, of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, has agreed to help us answer our questions on what Chrislam is about and how Christians can prepare themselves to give answers for the hope that we hold.
SU: What is Chrislam?
PB: As its name suggests, “Chrislam” is an attempt to combine the beliefs of Christianity and Islam in order to create a separate stand-alone religion. In Chrislam, both the Bible and the Koran are recognized as holy books that contain divine truth.
SU: Where did it start?
PB: Chrislam was first officially taught in the 1970’s in Nigeria. This is somewhat understandable when you consider that Nigeria’s population is practically split 50/50 between Christians and Muslims. With both faiths co-existing side-by-side, people began to embrace the notion that they could be joined together in a common faith that didn’t conflict. To this day, there are about 1,500 people who identify themselves as followers of this faith.
SU: Who supports it?
PB: With Islam spreading throughout Western Civilization, the same conditions that helped create Chrislam in Nigeria are starting to be seen elsewhere. More than ever before, Christians and Muslims find themselves living side by side, especially in parts of Europe and the United States. As a result, some have subtly being drawn to explore the possibility of merging their beliefs with the respective beliefs of their Christian or Muslim neighbor. There have even been reports of some Christian churches hosting services where the goal is to find common ground that can be found between Christianity and Islam. So we’re starting to see the first stages of support for Chrislam here in the United States.
SU: Is there reason for Christians to be concerned about the implications of it?
PB: The problem in all of this is that the beliefs of Christianity and Islam are mutually exclusive. One cannot combine them any more than one can combine oil and water. Christianity teaches that there is only one God, that His name is Jehovah, that He sent His Son to die for the sins of all mankind, and those who put their faith in Him can be assured of eternal life. Islam denies each of these key points in the Christian faith. Conversely, Christianity denies the core teachings of Islam. So any attempt to combine Christianity and Islam is going to result in something that doesn’t reflect either faith. In the end, it’s just a hybrid philosophy that attempts to reconcile Christianity and Islam, but actually denies them.
As a Christian pastor, I’m particularly concerned about the implications of Chrislam because the Bible warns us that in the Last Days there will be an increase of false teachings devised to appeal to the masses, that will ultimately deceive and destroy them (2 Timothy 4:3-4). I understand that there’s a certain appeal to Chrislam. On one level, it would be nice if we all believed the same thing and there was no need for disagreements. But that’s not the reality. The reality is that Christianity points one way while Islam points another way. A person has to choose which way is right, and I believe that way is the One who proclaimed Himself to be the only way to God in Heaven (John 14:6).
If anything, the growth of Chrislam is a signal for the Christian to know their Bible like never before. Every Christian needs to know why they believe what they believe and where their belief is based in God’s Word. It’s not enough to know a few random Bible verses anymore. Chrislam is going to offer that, as well. But the believer in Christ needs to know their Bible from cover to cover. They need to know the whole truth and then see the big picture, because then and only then can they see through and speak to the claims of Chrislam that aren’t true.