Refutation: God’s Grace or Self Righteous Suicide ?


Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

It is beyond fanciful and absurd, self delusional rhetoric to assume that the fundamental difference between Islam and Christianity, is sin. Rather there are many facets of theological disagreement, beyond law, but dealing with the very nature of God. Therefore when Chessie L. Edwards makes a statement like this:

The difference between Christianity and Islam boils down to the issue of Sin

It only leaves much to be desired. Either Chessie Edwards has to overly simplify and generalize our faiths differences to negotiate his ignorance on these matters or he simply was being lazy. He then proceeds to summarize what he assumes Islam teaches about getting into paradise:

Islam says if you strive hard, be really religious and become a Muhsin(A good doer) upon Ihsan(The highest level of Islamic spirituality) you can purify your own heart and earn yourself a place in this Garden.

The premise of freewill which God has created us with, allows us humans to choose whether to do good or to commit sin. If it is, that God did not want us to have this choice, then we would either only sin or only do good, then we would not have been created with the ability of freewill. What Chessie is trying to imply is that we cannot by ourselves do good, or that we will never be able to do enough good to gain heaven on our own merit. To an extent this is true, we cannot rely on our own acts to get us into heaven because as humans we often err without reason. However that does not indicate that God did not give us a solution.

One of God’s attributes is to be Ar Rahman (The Most Merciful), with that in mind His mercy is as such that He is oft forgiving and most forgiving. One way we can seek to gain paradise is through God’s mercy and that relates to our sincerity in our repentance for our sins. We read this in both the Bible and the Qur’an:

Qur’aan 25:71
And whosoever repents and does righteous good deeds, then verily, he repents towards Allâh with true repentance.

Qur’aan 28:67
But any that (in this life) had repented, believed, and worked righteousness, will have hopes to be among those who achieve salvation.

Qur’aan 3:89
Except for those that repent (even) after that and make amends: for verily Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Qur’aan 7:153
But those who do wrong but repent thereafter and (truly) believe― verily Thy Lord is thereafter Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Qur’aan 20:82
Surely I am the Most-Forgiving for him who repents and believes and acts righteously, then follows the right path.

2 Chronicles 32:26
Then Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the LORD’s wrath did not come on them during the days of Hezekiah.

Job 34:33
Should God then reward you on your terms, when you refuse to repent? You must decide, not I; so tell me what you know.

Job 36:10
He makes them listen to correction and commands them to repent of their evil.

Isaiah 30:15
This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.

Matthew 3:8
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

Matthew 4:17
From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Mark 6:12
They went out and preached that people should repent.

Luke 5:32
I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Luke 15:10
In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

and both the Bible and the Qur’aan have many more of these quotes. There is a common theme that we can derive from the above quotations. Believe (have faith), do good works and repent for whatever sins you have. Therefore, it is in this regard, that we can accept that Islam and Christianity agree on a plan for salvation. The problem however, has come with those people who have deviated from the true religion of the Christ. Instead of obeying his words of belief in God, doing good works and repenting, they rather believe in him as a God, and seek repentance through his alleged death, both things he himself never mentions in the New Testament.

What is most ironic however, is the hypocritical view of Chessie, this is what he has to say if someone rejects Islam:

As for the vast majority of everyone else they will have to take God’s wrath upon themselves by being burned in hell until they atone for their Sins. How long a person stays in the fire and how much wrath they take is all up to the will of God..it could be 50 years or it could be 50,000 years.

Yet, this is also true for Christianity. A person who rejects the Christ as a God is deemed a sinner and therefore will suffer eternal perdition( torture/ punishment in hell):

2 Peter 3:7
But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

After having said this, is Chessie denying that God will punish disbelievers and therefore that’s why he mentions the punishment as endorsed by Islam, or is he trying to paint Islam as being barbaric because disbelievers are punished? I am asking because as displayed above, even his own faith endorses the position of eternal punishment for disbelievers. Even the acts of believers are rejected according to the Bible:

Matthew 7:21
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Whereas the Qur’aan says:

Surah 99:1-8
When the earth with be trembled with its quake, and the earth will bring forth its burdens, And man will say, “What has happened to it?” That day it will describe all its happenings, Because its Lord will have so commanded it. That day the people will come back (from the place of reckoning) in different groups, so that they may be shown (the fruits of) their deeds. So, whoever does any good act (even) to the weight of a particle will see it. And whoever does evil (even) to the weight of a particle will see it.

Whether it be a smile or a thought, essentially, in Islam, any moment not spent in sin, is a moment earned in good acts/ deeds. This is the mercy and glory of God’s love for mankind:

Narrated Anas (may God be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “My Lord says, ‘If My slave comes nearer to me for a span, I go nearer to him for a cubit; and if he comes nearer to Me for a cubit, I go nearer to him for the span of outstretched arms; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.’ “Sahih al Bukari : Book 93 : Hadith 627.

On the other hand however, as Chessie, has correctly stated, the standard that God holds man to is very low. While Islam acknowledges that mankind are sinners, it also accepts that mankind also does good, however, let’s see what Christianity says about mankind according to Chessie:

Christianity on the other hand says man is totally depraved and a natural born habitual Sinner. God’s standard’s of obedience is that you never disobey Him not even once.. which mankind no matter how hard it tries can ever accomplish.

Christianity according to Chessie Edwards, is a faith that holds men to be incapable bumbling idiots, that couldn’t do good if they wanted to, as in his terms, he’s said, “totally depraved”, i.e. completely morally corrupt and perverted. This is a contradiction however, if mankind was completely morally corrupt, then that would mean that we had no freewill. Following my aforementioned assertion on freewill, we can gather that Chessie believes we don’t necessarily have freewill because we can only sin and err, i.e. do evil. With that in mind, then he must accept that God created us without freewill, otherwise, he has to retract his absurd statement and accept that we do have a choice and that we are capable of doing good. Hence it is why we see God forgiving men in the Bible and accepting their repentance:

Isaiah 30:15
This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.

It isn’t unusual to find Mr. Edwards contradicting his own scripture, but the lengths he goes, in consort with his frequency is quite alarming to say the least. I also must ask of him to prove his second statement, that the Bible commands that you not disobey God once, or else you earn eternal damnation. He continues to disparage his being, by insulting his very position as human:

Every human being know matter how religious or spiritual they are will always fall and Sin sooner or later. Sinners rightfully deserve God’s wrath because God has decreed so, but again weak imperfect humans could never stand under His wrath, Hell is not temporarily it’s eternal you never get out.

I agree that we will all sin sooner or later, whether out of mistake or vice, disobedience is inevitable. However Chessie acts as if God is devoid of mercy and as if God’s only attribute is that of wrath and vengeance.  This is not the case, for when God revealed the Tawrah to the Children of Israel, not only did He reveal guidelines, He also revealed punishments and along those punishments, further means of expiation for those sins. Fasting, sacrifice, all means of removing sin. Therefore the very premise that Chessie is asserting, that God will take wrath upon a person for his very being, or because he has committed one sin, is contradicted by the teachings of the scripture. He then goes on to demonstrate what I will call stark ignorance:

As hopeless as that sounds and man’s ability to save himself is hopeless.. out of God’s Love and  Mercy He provided a substitute so that anyone who’s has complete Faith in it can be saved. God provided the promised Messiah; God the only perfect one come to the world to live the life of a perfect Muhsin that you are too weak to accomplish and to take the wrath you are to frail to stand under.

He instead preaches that God places His wrath only on one person and we should accept that God’s mercy was to place our sins and the consequential wrath, upon another person. Yet, this contradicts the understanding of God’s mercy. Why would God, who judges each person individually, punish someone else for our inequities. This is neither fair nor just. Quite unlike God’s justice.  What is further more alarming, is the belief that Chessie still has to repent according to the Bible for his sins.

My question is this, if belief that Jesus died for your sins, earns you salvation (i.e. freedom from sin and the punishment of sin), then which Christian can claim to be sinless and which Christian can claim that he needs not repent? Can Chessie Edwards measure up to those claims?

Definitely no, as he said himself, man is totally depraved, therefore his concept of “salvation” is merely a fanciful though, an appeal to wishful thinking, fallacious and non-sensical. May God guide those who believe in such fairy tales.

 وَلَا تَهِنُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَنتُمُ الْأَعْلَوْنَ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ
So do not lose heart or be grieved, for you will surely prevail if you are believers. – Qur’aan : Al i Imran (3) : 139.

wa Allaah Alam.
[and God knows best.]

2 comments

  • Assalamu alaykum, may i project a suggestion: I think if Christians bring up the idea of the ” faith-only” salvation theory, a reasonable question you may ask is,” How is a christian supposed to live his or her life?’ . If they mention one or more good works, you may ask,”will you go to heaven after disobeying all that?’ And i bet you, they will stammer and start beating about the bush

  • wa ‘alaykumus salaam,

    I usually get them to refute themselves by asking what the role of good deeds are. They say that good deeds are a sign of faith/ being saved. So I ask them, if a person does good deeds are they saved?

    That’s a dilemma, because if they say ‘yes’, then technically, any person who does good deeds (Christian, Muslim, Atheist, Jew, Pagan) is saved and the evidence for this is that they are doing good deeds.

    If they say ‘no’, then they have admitted that doing good deeds is not a sign of being saved, and thus contradicted themselves. Therefore, if it’s not a sign of being saved, then why do good at all if it doesn’t benefit you? Then the reason we do good deeds is not because we ARE saved, but because we WANT to be saved.

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