Are they accepting Allah's name at Calvary Chapel?
Sammy Tanagho who was a former Egyptian lawyer (a pastor on staff at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa?) His teaching is that the name of the Muslim god Allah is the same God as the God of the Bible and that Christians everywhere can praise the name of Allah equally with YHWH the God of Israel, he starts out by saying:
“the principle here, Truth is not any less true if it is found somewhere else than the Bible. truth is truth.”
There is all different types of truth:his statement may be true with historical truth, chemical truth, mathematical truth, and scientific truth, etc.; but all these are very different from Spiritual Truth and cannot be compared together when one understands the word of God is God breathed, perfect and pure. that no other religious book is comparable.
Certainly not everything Samy Tanagho says is incorrect but there is a certain place he takes his listener to that I find troubling and has to be corrected. since he has been doing this for years. He intentionally leads people into the false idea of Islam's God's name as compatible with Scripture.
In Tanagho's message, speaking of Paul at Athens:
“as I passed by I observed your detestable idols, you worship so many idols and one of them you don’t even know what you are worshiping.” False religion Idol worship, Paul did not do that. Paul actually did not attack their beliefs Paul actually called their idol worship objects of worship. Wow. He actually commended them, you are very religious. Wow" (see our article on Paul at Mars Hill)
“So Paul used the common Greek word for God, theos. Actually, when you look at the New Testament you don’t find the word Jehovah there, you find the word theos over 1,300 hundred times translated the creator God. Jn. 3.16 not Jehovah Yahweh, no theos so loved the world and the only possible translation to the word theos to Arabic IS ALLAH. so don’t ever attack the word Allah. This is a suicide in Muslim evangelism. Don’t make the mistake that Christian leaders in America done. They call the Muslim, that they are worshiping a false god and Allah a false God. Actually the word Allah is not the word for the deity of Islam, it is the Arabic word for God its in my Arabic Bible, I CALL GOD ALLAH. … this is the Arabic word for God and the Christians used it hundreds of years before Mohammed was born, don’t ever attack this word” (8/28/2011 pm/ Calvary Komo Mai) Near the end of this same audio posted on KLHT radio in Hawaii, Tanagho is giving answers to questions at his meeting and an insert from pastors perspective radio program is purposely put in (at 1.05 in audio). A man calls in to pastors perspective about a co-worker who is Muslim and wants to have more knowledge to help him, to answer some of his questions concerning the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Chuck Smith responds: “We do have a fellow here in our church who is an Egyptian, and he probably knows more about the Muslim faith than what they know. He’s very very versed in the Muslim religion and he has written a book titled God loves you my Muslim friend, and many Muslims have been converted after reading this book.” Chuck suggests giving his friend the book saying “it takes the Muslims beliefs and takes the bible and shows the comparisons,” he highly recommends the book. Smith also wrote a letter of endorsement of his ministry as of 8/26/09 posted on http://gladnewsministry.com/#
Chuck Smith has said more than once “Some say Jehovah of the Christian faith is Allah, Allah is the moon god: (pastors perspective Mar. 6, 2006). This view is also shared with many leaders in Calvary Chapel. Has something changed?
I have respected Chuck in his many years of ministry, but I have to assume Chuck Smith did not know what Tanagho actually teaches because Tanagho contradicts him. I would have a hard time believing Chuck would know and then endorse this man who is saying God is Allah. But on the other hand, where are the Calvary pastors telling Chuck there is a contradiction? Chuck and Tanagho are holding two very different views and no one says anything about it? They are to be shepherds. To allow this kind of existing problem is to shun the basic duty of an overseer.
This is where the world is headed, in order to fulfill John's vision in the book of Revelation, people will all worship the same god, only by different names. They will all have different perspectives and revelation of this same god.
I'm asking Calvary Chapel's to look into this ardently and carefully in order to make sure that none of the names of false gods (the god's of the other religions) or false teaching on the cultures and religions gods are stopped from entering in Calvary Chapel's as they have in another Calvary church.
Mr. Tanagho is more than saying Allah is the True God, that you can use the name because it is in his Arabic Bible (Which means next to nothing these days as we see so many other former culture’s gods are put into their Bible's languages.)
By saying that Allah is acceptable in Arab Bibles for Arab Christians Tanagho is also saying that Christians everywhere can call on the name of Allah If Arab Christians use the name so can Christians. I see this as a step toward the ecumenical “Chrislam concept”, and its needs to be addressed immediately. Are we going to hear people sing worship to Allah as they have done to another god? Are they going to use his name from the pulpit?I’m not going to let this slide so people can be deceived. This needs attention and correction on Tanagho’s part. Chuck Smith had agreed with the facts and truth that Allah is not the God of the Christian Faith. Therefore we call on Mr. Tanagho to stop teaching it, and we should not be using it.
“The Allah of Islam” is certainly not the God found in the Bible because of the immense differences. 1.We know this God whom Mohammed had a revelation of hates Israel, 2. God is not called Father, does not have a Son because this one God is not triune in nature. 3. Neither is Isa (Jesus) the same Jesus of the Bible but is a name the Muslims have assigned to him as a prophet. Their Isa (Jesus) is not God the Son who died on the cross for our sins, therefore Allah cannot be equivalent to or used as the Father. The Arabic word Allah literally means “The God.” If one asks a Muslim about Allah being equal to the other names of God that Daniel Kikawa, Danny Lehman of YWAM and Samy Tanagho are proposing, they would get a unanimous no.
For Tanagho to say, Allah is not the word for the deity of Islam, is hardly accurate or acceptable. In Islam the name of Allah is their god and all of this religion’s concepts and practices are attached to it. It is impossible to separate it from its former historical use.
The fact that the shahada, the belief that Allah as the one true God has one state for their conversion to Islam: “There is no ilah but Allah (there is no God (il-lah) but god (Allah). Which would not make any sense if Allah was a generic word for God. Then it would say: “There is no Allah but Allah. So! Tanagho is inaccurate, greatly mistaken and introducing a false concept.
Does Tanagho pray and worship Allah, whom he thinks is the same God of the Bible (since its in his Arabic Bible). Does not our Bible also say not to call on other gods names? Exodus 23:13 "Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips” (Deut. 12:29-32; 1 Chronicles 17:24) If Allah is not the name of the God of Islam then what is his name? If their god is Allah, then we have another problem. This Allah is used in the Qur’an and it does not coincide with the Bibles description of God, as the God of Israel, you have two opposite ways to God, of salvation, all the doctrines in the Bible are disregarded by Islam.
How can anyone say the name Allah is the same God? We are not just using names. The name represents the god of the name. One has to be without knowledge on this subject or be dishonest to present them as the same God.
Has Tanagho asked himself why most Muslim scholars know and believe beyond any shadow of any doubt that their god and their way to God is completely different than the Christian God? (the God of Israel, the crucified savior)(see this article)
It must be noted that at the same time within Islam there are other groups using an internet campaign to promote the same idea that Mr. Tanagho Believes, that Allah is just a general name for God. their purpose for doing so is to popularize the name of Allah in order to gain converts through a confusing Islamic evangelistic effort
Tanagho warns, “don’t ever attack this word.” If we can't refute Islam’s God's name “Allah,” how do we present the truth in love, that Jesus is the Creator, the God who came from heaven to be a man to die for our sins? How do we show a Muslim that he is just following a false way to God. Reasoning these things about the name is not the same as attacking the name. W e should not be hindered from showing the differences in the nature and activity by the true God by the name. Tanagho is removing some essential points for having a true conversion to Christ. Telling people only about the Good News of Jesus and not what is wrong with the beliefs or religion one holds rarely works. Our example is the apostle Paul who told people everywhere he went to turn away from their false gods and then he shared the good news of Jesus Christ.
The Bible does have a word pronounced the same as Allah (pronounced Allawh), it is found in the Old Testament in Hebrew. It is the name for oak tree (Josh.24:26). Both the word elohim (God), and 'allawh (oak) are used in the same verse, it would be ignorant and false to use a word for a tree for God. This word is a variation of 424 'elah (ay-law'); feminine of 352; an oak or other strong tree. Some wrongly say God is Elah in Aramaic. Brown Drivers Briggs says Elah = "An oak"; 1) an Edomite chief. And we should not make the mistake of applying this to what Jesus spoke at his crucifixion as Muslims have done. “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani. The Hebrew form, as Eloi, Eloi, Aramaic pronunciation. or as they reinterpret this as Allah, Allah...
The historical facts show, Allah is a pre-Islamic name coming from the compound Arabic word actually derived from al (the) ilah (deity). Allah which means the God, which is the one who gave the Qur'an. According to others it is not the only word in Arabic that can be used for God. Tanagho must know that Allah is a specific God to Muslims; the one who has No Son in Arabic. The God of Islam has some qualities and characteristics just as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob does. While using the name theos is a generic word for god in the New Testament, it can mean even a false god, just as the word elohim is used in the old Testament scripture for both the true God and false god's. However, when elohim YHWH is used together it then means The God, the creator, the God of Israel. And as we all know, Allah is NOT the God of Israel.
The Arabic name for “God” is the word “Al-ilah.” It is a generic title for whatever god was considered the highest god. Different Arab tribes used “Allah” to refer to its personal high god. “Allah” was being worshipped at the Kaa’ba in Mecca by Arabs prior to the time of Mohammed.It was formerly the name of the chief god among the numerous idols (360) placed in the Kaaba in Mecca before Mohammed forced them to be monotheists. Those who study etymology have found past historical usages of the name. http://www.letusreason.org/ecumen12.htm
Historians have shown that the moon god called “Hubal” was the god to whom Arabs prayed at the Kaa’ba and they used the name “Allah” when they prayed. That's not my research but theirs.
This is the caution, we need to be very careful when using new evangelistic methods to make sure there is no syncretism of Islam with portions of Christianity, as in Chrislam. The distinction of the God of Israel to any other god must be clarified for there to be any truth for an authentic conversion. Overlooking names and differences is not a Biblical way to evangelize. Making Acts 17 a model for the universal god theory is not the same to those who already understand the difference of their religion to Christianity. The Athenians in Acts 17 had an altar to an unknown god. V.23 The Apostle Paul said: “the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you” was not complimentary in any way to these prestigious men of philosophy and religion. For in v.30 Paul makes it clear to them "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.” Muslims do know whom they worship.
The free exchange of names compromises the nature of God who is behind the name. We should avoid crossovers with former titles/names used in other religious system, for it leads to other compromises. There are safer ways to reach the people without adding any confusion.
God wants us to know Him by name for his name represents to us who He is. To use other gods names from other religions opens the door to a one world church. This philosophy of counterfeit evangelism has more in common with universalism. We are told not to add to it or take away from the word of God. This principle continues in the New Testament. Rev. 2:13: “you hold fast to My name.” In Rev. 3:7 Jesus commends the church for keeping both his word and his name.” John is saying this for our perseverance in these last days. If we can use a name from another religion (like Islam) then we can also use the words and names from the other religion. (selah)
God does not accept faith unless it is based on His grace through the work of His Son, [who is God], by the crucifixion; anything else is not Biblical faith.John 20:31: “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”