Short answer: No, Christians do not commit shirk as claimed by followers of Muhammad. Christians, today, continue to uphold and uplift the one God of Israel.
Long answer: Today, the word Christian is a label placed upon people that adhere to larger amounts of the teachings of Jesus Christ (and even perhaps the rest of the Bible). Thus, a Christian today can be anyone that considers themselves following any form of the teachings of Jesus Christ. This does not make every professing Christian a Christian. To us, a Christian is one that started on the next stage of Judaism, for which was hated and mocked, and became known as Christians. These Christians repented of their sins, were water baptized (immersed in/under the water), and sought after the Holy Spirit (which is God entering into them). Before the Holy Spirit, the Christians were living life for God. After the Spirit came upon them, they received power, which made their testimonies even greater. These Christians continued in their belief of their one God, but by now, they had a stronger vision of Him.
The word shirk normally is defined as to avoid, evade, or neglect (a duty or responsibility). In Islam, shirk is idolatry, polytheism, and the association of God with other deities. The Arabic definition of shirk is to make a partner [of someone]. This gives us a good view of the shirk considered in Islam. So what is shirk and why do Muslims assume Christians commit shirk?
- Worshiping two or more gods.
- Worshiping a natural family of god.
- Worshiping a human, or creation, or anything other than the assumed creator.
What Muslims accuse Christians of:
- Worshiping three gods.
- Worshiping a human.
The accusation brought against Christians cannot be defined as shirk unless:
- Christians worship more than one God.
- Christians worship a human (a fleshly body).
So what are the beliefs of Christians? The Christians that Muslims debate are usually Trinitarian Christians, so their attacks are always geared towards Trinitarians or Prophet Jesus (the Messiah). I attempt to give two different refutes to the same argument on two different views.
Trinitarian Christians believe God to be triune (three in one). While most may see this as contradictory, or tritheism, Trinitarians deny this with an example of an egg. An egg has three parts (a shell, an egg white, and an egg yolk. Each is different, but together they make up an egg. Using the egg example, Muslims worship strictly the egg (God as one complete deity). They accuse Christians of worshiping the egg, plus the chicken, and even the owner of the chicken! If Christians did what Muslims accuse them of, then yes, that would be shirk. However, Trinitarian Christians worship the egg (God) only. Most Trinitarians worship the singular egg (God as one), but a few may worship each part of the egg (God as three in one). (In our opinion, worshiping the “parts” of God is border-lined tritheism, but this is debatable.) So no, Trinitarian Christians cannot
Oneness Christians believe God to be one. If we were to use the egg example, Oneness Christians believe God to be a singular, wholly complete egg. The three parts of the egg are the different ways we see the egg. They are manifestations of the one egg. Take the example of water. Water can be found in three different forms. Imagine taking a large ice-cube and placing it into a pot. Turn the heat up on the stove and place the pot on the stove. The ice-cube will melt into a liquid form. Keep the liquid
So why are Christians accused of shirk? Muslims claim we worship a human prophet named Jesus. Do we claim that a human prophet is God and that God became flesh? No. Do we worship a man and his body? No. So why Jesus? Because He rests in the Person of Christ. Hypothetically, if Jesus was another name of God, and God creates a body that acquires the same name, Jesus can now refer to both man and God! Who can say that the Christian worships the body when we claim we worship the Spirit? If that Spirit is in the body of Christ, then we worship
Side note: I would like to point out that God has many names, so if one of His names is Jesus (not Christ, Christ is a title), then “praise Jesus” must refer to God who was manifested in Christ.
There are some Christians that may include angels or Mary. They are in err!