Tag Archives: Jesus

Do Muslims Love Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him)?

jesus

I’m often asked this question by Christians. Do Muslims really love Jesus (peace be upon him)? It’s a question I’ve always found to be odd, but it is popular and asked with good intentions. It’s odd because nothing in Islam portrays Jesus (peace be upon him) in a negative light. The Qur’an says of Jesus:

“And We gave Jesus, the Son of Mary, clear proofs, and We supported him with the Pure Spirit.” – Qur’an 2:253.

Of his birth, it was said to his blessed mother Maryam (may God be pleased with her):

He said, “I am only the messenger of your Lord to give you [news of] a pure boy.” – Qur’an 19:19.

The Qur’an emphasizes his place and role amongst the blessed Messengers of God:

“And [mention, O Muhammad], when We took from the prophets their covenant and from you and from Noah and Abraham and Moses and Jesus, the son of Mary; and We took from them a solemn covenant.” – Qur’an 33:7.

There are six main articles of faith in Islam, of them, one is the belief in the Messengers of God. Thus, it is considered a rejection of faith, disbelief or kufr to reject or deny the Prophethood of Jesus (peace be upon him). As the blessed da’ee Shaykh Deedat has said,”no Muslim can be a Muslim if they reject Jesus.” As is Muslim tradition, we also pray for the Prophets of God by asking that God’s blessings, peace and mercy be upon them all. This is why we always write peace be upon him, after mentioning a Prophet’s name.

In other words, for a Muslim to be Muslim, they must love, accept and believe in Jesus (peace be upon him). However, the love that Muslims have for Jesus (peace be upon him) and the love that Christians have for Jesus (peace be upon him) is two completely different things. It is difficult for Christians to claim that they truly love Jesus (peace be upon him). The way in which Christians profess to love Jesus (peace be upon him) is through his alleged dying and suffering. Muslims cannot and do not rejoice at the suffering of the Prophets. In the Qur’an it says of the attempt to kill Jesus (peace be upon him):

And they (disbelievers) plotted [to kill ‘Iesa (Jesus)], and Allah planned too. And Allah is the Best of the planners. – Qur’an 3:54.

The Qur’an indicates that those who attempted to kill Jesus (peace be upon him) are those who are against God. It is recorded in the New Testament that Jesus (peace be upon him) condemns the Jews for killing Prophets:

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. – Luke 13:34 & Matthew 23:37.

Jesus (peace be upon him) himself proclaims that it is an abhorrent evil that a Prophet should be killed, with many an exegete commenting that this verse indicates God’s ire with the Jews. It can then be understood that the killing or death of a Prophet is not something good. It is something that Jesus (peace be upon him) condemned, something which God expresses His anger against, and so it is difficult to reconcile Christianity’s happiness with Jesus’s (peace be upon him) alleged death, torture and suffering, with loving him. Without delving into soteriological issues, with regard to the Muslim and Christian concepts of Jesus (peace be upon him), it is a clear point of distinction that Muslims do not rejoice at the death, torture and suffering of God’s Prophets, but that Christians praise, enjoy and celebrate such an act of evil.

Muslims love Jesus (peace be upon him) to the point that they want no harm to come upon him, that he does not suffer or is not killed. Yet, Christians love Jesus (peace be upon him) because he needed to die for them, he needed to suffer, he needed to be tortured. This ‘love’ is quite perplexing, the idea of loving someone to the extent you need them to die and that you rejoice at their torture and death is an inscrutable irony. It is something which simply cannot be ignored. It necessarily needs to be viewed as cognitive dissonance. How is it that one can love someone to the point that you wish death upon them? That you wish to see their blood spilled? That you celebrate in masses the blood of Jesus (peace be upon him)? Is this not bloodlust?

In conclusion, Muslims do love Jesus (peace be upon) without wishing death or harm upon him. Christians also love Jesus (peace be upon him) in a different way. They love him to the extent that he needed to be tortured, maimed and killed – the very thing he condemns the disbelieving Jews of doing to previous Prophets. As the artist Meat Loaf once sang, “I’d do anything for love, but I won’t do that!”

and God knows best.

 

Since the Qur’an Is 600 Years After Jesus – Is It An Unreliable Witness?

Question:

Christians often argue that since the Qur’an is 600 years after Jesus, it is a less reliable witness than the New Testament. How do we respond to this?

Answer:

Consistency is key here, and the response is quite simple. The Christian accepts the first five books of the Old Testament which are usually attributed to Moses (عليه السلام). Yet, these books contain histories ranging from hundreds of years to thousands of years before Moses (عليه السلام) is alleged to have written them. Some Christians consider the accounts in Genesis 1 regarding the creation of the universe to be a historical account. Others consider it to be a phenomenological rendition of the creation of the universe. Either way, Christians accept these accounts as accurate despite the distance (disparity) between the time of Moses (عليه السلام) and that of the creation of the universe.

Consistency is key. Moses (عليه السلام) lived several generations removed from that of Noah (عليه السلام). Yet Christians accept and view the account of Noah (عليه السلام) in the Old Testament as a historical witness. The account of Noah (عليه السلام) is far more than 600 years between himself and Moses (عليه السلام) , yet Christians do not doubt an iota of what the Old Testament says. If we apply the scales of consistency regarding this topic, it would be seen that Christians do not adhere to a sensible methodology for judging what is and what is not historical. Theologically speaking,  when it comes to matters of revelation, time is irrelevant. Since God is all knowing,  it can be inferred that when He inspired Moses or Muhammad (عليه السلام) to write about the past, then it is assumed that what they wrote was historically accurate.

If missionaries applied the same criteria to their scriptures, they’d have to deny them as well as declare them as being historically inaccurate due to the gaps of time between the events themselves and the later authorship which recounted them. It should also stand to reason that not all accounts closest to an incident would be accurate, and that there exists the possibility of a later writing based on a stronger oral tradition. In such a case, the closest account may be inaccurate but the later writing could be more accurate. In conclusion, this is a very poor argument and it is an excellent example of poor thought processes.

Edit:

This answer is only in response to the argument of time being used, that is, the number of years between Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Jesus (‘alayhi as salam). It isn’t about whether Muslims consider the New Testament historical, or if Christians consider the Qur’an historical, or whether the histories of either writing corresponds with each other. This answer is only in response to the argument by Christians that 600 years is a factor in accepting or rejecting history.

and God knows best.

Can the Incarnation of Christ Be Explained by Multiple Personality Disorder?

It is interesting to note that modern Christian philosophers, in seeking to make sense of the doctrine of the Incarnation of Christ, have seen it appropriate to speak of their ‘God’ as one with a multiple personality disorder. One such philosopher, Thomas V. Morris writes:

And then there are numerous, powerful, partial analogies available in the literature dealing with human cases of multiple personality. In many such cases, there seem to be different centers or spheres of consciousness standing in an asymmetric accessing relation to an overarching or executive self, and ultimately belonging to one person. Of course, human cases of multiple personality involve severe dysfunction and undesirable traits starkly disanalogous to anything we want to acknowledge in the Incarnation. But this just helps us to see where the specific limits of this sort of analogy lie. There are also certain phenomena having to do with hypnosis, brain commissurotomy, self-deception and akrasia, or weakness of will, in which there seem to be operative different levels or spheres of awareness, information retention and processing, or, in general, mentality which are, in important metaphysical ways, analogous to what the two-minds view recognizes in the case of the Incarnation.1

He goes on to state:

Again, it must be stressed that the negative aspects of these extraordinary, worldly cases of multiple mentality are not meant at all to characterize the Incarnation, and in fact can be argued decisively not to cloud Christ’s case in the least. These are only partial analogies, which provide us with some imaginative grip on the two-minds picture. One of the best analogies may be provided by the claim of twentieth-century psychologists that every normal human being partakes of a variety of levels of mentality. Consider for example the very simple distinction of the conscious human mind, the seat of occurrent awareness, from the unconscious mind. In most standard accounts of such a distinction, the unconscious mind stands to the conscious mind in much the same relation that the two-minds view sees between the divine and human minds in the case of Christ. God the Son, on this picture, took on every normal level or sphere of human mentality, but enjoyed the extra depth as well of his properly divine mindedness.2

In another work, he also spoke about this analogy:

As a matter of fact, in some cases of multiple personality, there exists one personality with apparently full and direct knowledge of the experiences had, information gathered, and actions initiated by one or more other personalities, a sort of knowledge which is not had by any other personality concerning it. In other words, there seem to exist asymmetric accessing relations in such cases, interestingly though of course not perfectly parallel to the sort of relation claimed by the two-minds view to hold between the divine and human minds of Christ.

Does the two-minds view then present the Incarnation as a case of split personality on the part of the son of God? And if so, should not the recognition of this alone suffice for a rejection of of the view as an unworthy, demeaning characterization of Christ? Does what initially can appear to serve as a partial explication of orthodoxy end up amounting to no more than a gross impiety?

First of all, the reference to some phenomena of multiple personality here is intended only to provide a partial for some of what the two-minds view claims to be true in the case of Christ. It is no more than to have the limited but, I hope, helpful function of providing some understanding of, and imaginative grip on, the central elements of the two-mind view. It thus is intended to serve the same function as the computer analogy, the dream analogy, and the reference to the classical distinction between the conscious and unconscious, or subconscious mind. It is not intended to be a complete modelling of the noetic features of the Incarnation.3

Is this an isolated author, whose use of multiple personality disorder to explain the Incarnation been condemned? No. In fact, Thomas Morris stands among Christianity’s current greatest apologists. Morris has been published alongside Christian apologists and scholars such as William Lane Craig, J. P. Moreland, Peter Forrest, Peter van Inwagen, Brian Leftow, Richard Cross, Jeffrey E. Brower, Michael C. Rea, Craig A. Evans, Stephen T. Davis, Daniel Howard-Snyder, Marilyn McCord Adams, Eleonore Stump, Richard Swinburne, David Lewis, Steven L. Porter and Philip L. Quinn4.

There is no doubt that most lay-Christians would find offense with such an analogy, yet these same lay-Christians would readily use the works of many of the aforementioned Christian scholars who have seen no issue with using this mental illness as an analogy to explain the Incarnation. Many of whom have defended and used the multiple personality disorder analogy themselves. If the most educated of Christians scholars and apologists have to resort to using a mental illness to explain Christian doctrine, what does that tell us about the state of modern Christianity?

and God knows best.

Sources:

  1. Morris, Thomas V. Our Idea of God: An Introduction to Philosophical Theology. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 1991. 170-171. Print.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Morris, Thomas V. The Logic of God Incarnate. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell UP, 1986. 106-107. Print.
  4. Rea, Michael. Oxford Readings in Philosophical Theology Volume 1 : Trinity, Incarnation, and Atonement. Vol. 1. Oxford UP, USA, 2009. Print.

Debate Review: What Was the True Faith of Jesus’s Disciples? – Br. Yahya Snow

I review a debate entitled “What Was The True Faith of Jesus’ Disciples?

The Debaters:

  • Br. Ijaz Ahmad of Calling Christians
  • Rev. Steven Martins of Nicene International Ministries Canada.

Note: I did the bulk of the review a while ago but never managed to finish it in the detail I would have liked but never got back to it through procrastination and other priorities I’ve quickly tidied up what I had and rolled it out.

“None of the Apostles could have written or sanctioned these stories about themselves” – Br. Ijaz Ahmad

Were the Gospel Accounts eye-witness reports

Steven Martins’ approach was to draw upon the New Testament in his attempt to present what he believes the disciples believed. Steven believes the Gospels are the historical eye-witness records of  the disciples. This was rejected outright by Ijaz Ahmad who pointed out the 4 Gospels were not contemporary to Jesus p and nor are the writers of these Gospels known so how can somebody take these works as eye-witness accounts? None of the authors of the documents which make up the NT were eye-witnesses. Paul himself indicates this of himself (and his writings are the earliest written amongst the NT writings). On top of this the authors of the 4 Gospels are anonymous (these names Mark, Matthew, Luke and John were later given to the anonymous authors). So weighing up all these points it’s sad to hear Steven insist these writings were eye-witness accounts. Perhaps this is what he was taught by his mentors and other Christian apologists but that does not make it true.

Also, just knowing these two basic facts would preclude one from claiming the authors were eye-witnesses – the Gospels are written by highly literate Greek speakers while the companions of Jesus were considered to be illiterate and Aramaic speakers (these people were lower class men). This suggestion they were unschooled is backed up by the writer of Acts as Ijaz cites:

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. [Acts 4:13]

This may seem odd to us folk living in the 21st Century but the vast majority of the ancient world did not know how to read and write.

Ijaz Ahmad offers an analysis that many may have never come across – the alleged chains of transmission of the Gospel accounts. 4 out of the 6 lead to what Trinitarians would call heretical beliefs and the other two are anonymous – further highlighting the range of differing beliefs amongst early Christians. Ijaz states these chains of transmission indicate Peter, Matthew and John rejected a belief in the death of Jesus (which as Ijaz says, it sounds like they had an Islamic belief!).

Do the Gospels contain myths and legends

Ijaz argues there are erroneous stories in the Gospels. One of Steven Martins’ arguments against the claim the Gospels contains myth and legend is that there was not enough time between Jesus’ life and the recording of the Gospels for myth and legend to enter. He then concludes the Gospels are historical based on this.

Has Steven considered William Lane Craig’s unease at the biggest resurrection story in all of Christian literature – that of the resurrection of the many saints in Matthew. He finds it difficult to accept as a literal event, see here:

William Lane Craig Doubts Resurrection Story is Historical (‘The Resurrection of the Saints’) Matthew 27

Now, if Steven Martins believes this story literally then why does nobody else mention it? A story of many dead people coming out of their graves, is that not something that would get people writing according to Steven? Or does he think this is a myth that was added to the account?

However, a point that it is not unrelated to Steven’s theory, Ijaz Ahmad ran through early Christian history pointing out there were multiple competing Christian traditions which all differed from each other – there were even Gospels which differed from each other. So if at the time of Paul there were different Gospels (now lost) then how can Steven be so confident to believe there are no myths and legends in the four Gospels he has ended up with?

In addition the theology amongst various Christian groups in early Christianity was radically different to the Trinitarian theology the majority of modern-day Christians subscribe to.

There were Christian groups which believed in 2 gods, 12gods and 365 gods. Ijaz Ahmad mentions the Arian controversy as a case in point to demonstrate rival factions were competing with each other. This is a good example to highlight as Arianism is Non-Trinitarian and it drew upon the same scriptures as the Trinitarian faction/s as well as it being a good demonstration of how popularity and a sympathy with the ruling elite promoted one faction over another

Arianism taught that Jesus was created by God and was distinct from God. This belief had it’s scriptural basis in John 14:28

These varying theologies within early Christianity should be something Steven should look into further.

Ijaz taught Paul did not mention or use the four Gospels which modern-day Christians use today so even Paul did not sanction these Gospels. Is it possible Paul was unaware of these Gospels? Not that Paul is a criterion of right and wrong but is it possible Paul would have considered some of the writings in the four Gospels spurious?

Another point mentioned, by Steven I think, Paul abolished circumcision. The question is, who gave him authority to do so?

These are further points for Steven to consider.

Object of worship?

Steven Martins claims throughout the Gospels Jesus is the object of worship – paradoxically he mentions this in the same breath as his mentioning of Satan tempting Jesus p. Think about it, he effectively claimed Jesus was God and Jesus was tempted by Satan. Playing games with the belief of the hypostatic union is not going to get the Bible believing Trinitarian away from this problem. Ijaz Ahmad refers to original language of the scripture to show Steven that the word he uses does not denote the type of worship God receives.

‘Son of God’ title

Steven emphasises the ‘Son of God’ attribution given to Jesus in one of the Gospel narratives after Jesus performed a miracle (walked on water) but this just simply meant somebody who was chosen by God – as taught by Prof. Bart Erhman.

The Gospel of John

 

Rather predictably, Martins in his attempt to prove Jesus was divine, leans heavily on the Gospel of John. Almost as though the Gospel of Mark (the earliest Gospel) does not exist!

The irony is, Steven Martins tells Ijaz Ahmad to give priority to the earlier sources (Gospels) when Ijaz brought up the church history. Sadly, many Christians don’t do this with the Gospels and they lean disproportionately to the last Gospel – John’s Gospel.

Another Christian apologetics argument presented is that some doubted in the story where Jesus is said to have been worshipped. Martins claims the story must be true because it mentions ‘doubt’. I guess he’s utilizing the idea of a criterion of embarrassment argument here.

Martins rattles off the ‘he who has seen me has seen the Father’ argument in his attempt to prove Jesus was divine. Similarly Martins uses the Gospel teaching of  Jesus pre-existing before his birth and the ‘I am’ statements.

Martins states Jesus was omnipotent and omniscient as well as being capable of forgiving sins in order to prove his Trinitarian case. Martins also claims Jesus was called by the name of God, ‘my Lord my God’

Steven Martins would do well to look at where these things are written. Are they written in the Gospel of Mark, the earliest Gospel, or the latest one which is the most Christologically developed whose author is effectively described as a liar by Christian apologist Mike Licona (accused of changing stories to make theological points – thus he was forging stories to get his theology across).This anonymous author (later named John) is not the person Steven wants to be going to to get important aspects of theology or proof texts!

What Every Christian Should Know About The Gospel Of John

Peter
Gleeson Archer is cited by Martins to support the claim that the authorship of 2 Peter should not be corrected. Bart Ehrman teaches us that virtually all scholars (with the exception of conservative evangelicals) are unified that 2 Peter is not from Peter. The bombshell is that Prof.Ehrman does not believes 1 and 2 Peter are not written by Peter at all as hebelieves Peter was illiterate.

And would Ijaz’s citation of Acts not support the view that disciples were illiterate?

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. [Acts 4:13]

Miracles
Martins acknowledges other Prophets performed miracles but he tries to draw a distinction between the miracles performed by Jesus and the other Prophets. Martins intimates, erroneously, that these were done by Jesus independently while the miracles of the other Prophets were done by the authority of God. Has Steven got any proof of this? Does he even have a quotation attributed to Jesus to this effect?
There is something in the Gospel of John that militates against Steven’s claim:
but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” [10:32]
Steven Martins starts talking about the Quran
I’m not sure why he did this but he just presented dated and already refuted Christian missionary material.
Martins mentions the Quran 10:94 and 5:47. Martins claims the Bible was already in existence at the time of the Quran revealed. Martins just presents the standard intellectually dishonest and shallow Christian apologist material on this.
Ijaz touches on this here:

https://callingchristians.com/2013/02/14/does-quran-validate-bible/

Bassam Zawadi here:

http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/refuting_the_argument_regarding_the_qur_an_ordering_the_jews_and_christians_to_judge_by_their_scriptures

I think Steven Martins also used one of these missionary arguments too:

http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/does_the_quran_affirm_the_teachings_of_paul_

Steven Martins and IjazAhmad on Paul of Tarsus
Ijaz Ahmad focuses on the historicity of multiple traditions within early Christianity which were competing against each other contemporaneously. To support this claim, Ijaz cites Paul twice

Galatians 1:6

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel [ESV]

Romans 2:16

on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. [ESV]

Ijaz makes a point worthy of consideration, when Paul mentions ‘gospel’ he’s not referencing the 4 we see in the New Testament as he wrote his letters prior to those 4. Ijaz supports this conclusion through the absence of references from those 4 Gospels within Paul’s letters. So here, ‘my gospel’ is referring to ‘my teachings of Christ’.
Steven Martins offers his argument for Paul being truthful, yet if Steven thinks about it, the throwing yourself into hardship from comfort argument can be used with much greater force to show Prophet Muhammad (p) was truthful. Think about it, just read his life  – the Prophet risked his life and was rejected by his tribe. The argument Steven presents is better suited for Prophet Muhammad (p). If Steven is consistent and objective he would accept Prophet Muhammad (p).
When Reverend Steven Martins wrongly claimed Paul’s writing constituted 75% of the NT it suggested to me that Reverend Steven Martins WAS just eager to deliver a response to defend his already-held world view. Is Steven at home thinking about the points presented deeply and re-evaluating his beliefs, is he searching for the truth or is he simply searching for material to offer in defence of his already-held beliefs?
Ijaz argues Paul turned towards the Gentiles in his preaching because he was weak in his arguments and thus was rejected by the Jews, hence why he turned towards the Gentiles – whom Ijaz believes Paul considered to be an easier audience. Interestingly enough, the Gentiles came from pagan backgrounds where mythology was rampant, this fits in with why the stories about Jesus (p) would have presented him as a god-man, the pagans were accustomed to such stories.
This also ties in with the discussion Ijaz and Steven have on why Paul did not quote from the Gospels. The hardest hitting point as made by Ijaz: Paul was being rejected by the Jews yet he never quoted from the Gospels, why would he not quote something that he believes to be authority to people who were rejecting him?

Disingenuous claim by Christians about Bart Ehrman
I’ve heard this before from Christian apologists. Steven Martins makes the same appeal, claiming even Ehrman believed in the death of Jesus p. However, what Christian apologists always do, they never mention that Ehrman is not accepting miracles and thus is of course going to believe a man who was born over 2000 years ago has died. Thus Ehrman, as a historian, accepts the most popular early story about Jesus p and thus he believes he died. Christians really should stop making this point, it’s not like Ehrman believes in the resurrection belief despite the story of the resurrection is in the same account as the death by crucifixion story.
Controlled or Uncontrolled Texts
Ijaz Ahmad offers a good rebuttal to the James White-style attempt in trying to take a positive out of the lack of a controlled text within early Christianity. The Quran, which was controlled in it’s copying, was scribed in a more suitable environment for accuracy. Chunks were being added to the Gospels by dishonest scribes, so clearly the environment in which the scribes were operating in did not offer restrictions against such doctoring of texts.
If I recall correctly Steven mentioned Uthman. Many Christians are fed misinformation regarding Uthman’s burning of manuscripts. Here’s an expert to explain it:

Why did the Third Caliph Uthman Burn the Copies of Quran?

A really bad argument by Steven pounced on by Ijaz
Martins appeals to the fact that Herod, Pontius Pilate, the pool of Siloam are mentioned in the Gospel accounts as being testimony to the historicity of the Gospels. This is an odd argument – it’s absurdly odd.
To be honest, Steven opened himself up to ridicule when he continued with the argument that geographical locations being mentioned in the Gospels as being evidence for their authenticity. Ijaz hit back by pointing out that the same argument could be used on Harry Potter as it includes King’s Cross station (London). What I’d like to know is, from where did Steven get this line of argumentation? Was it an argument from a Christian apologetics school which he accepted blindly?  And would Steven be consistent enough to now claim Islam is true because in Islamic sources real people and real places are mentioned?

The Christian tradition in 7th century Arabia
I feel it’s misleading when Christian apologists bang on about how their canon was formed by this time and thus assume people in Arabia had the modern-day Bible in their possession in the 7th century as though they were Trinitarian Pauline Christians exactly as we find them in a Baptist church somewhere in Texas.

Christians really need to stop making this assumption and they need to stop basing arguments on this erroneous assumption that all Christians had the same books.
Ijaz Ahmad refutes the superficial (and intellectually dishonest) argument It’s obvious this is not the case. Ijaz mentions Christians and Jews converting to Islam during the time of Prophet Muhammad. I would recommend Reverend Steven Martins looks into the story of Salmam Al Farsi, who converted to Christianity, before the coming of Prophet Muhammad, from a Zoroastrian tradition.
Salman Al-Farsi, the son of a Zoroastrian priest, met a Christian monk inPersia and converted to Christianity at the hands of the monk. Salman Al-Farsi ran away to Syria and joined the monk’s Christian sect which was dying sect. Salman Al-Farsi learned, from his Christian sect, of a Prophet to come who was predicted by Jesus (p). He was told of three signs the Prophet would meet:

He shall appear in a land full of dates.

He will have a physical mark on his back.

This man will accept gifts but never accept charity.
From Syria, Salman Al-Farsi ended up in Yathrib after being enslaved. He wound up toiling away as a slave for decades. A time came when talk spread about Prophet Muhammad (p) emigrating to Medina. Salman Al-Farsi heard of this talk and came to Prophet Muhammad (p), he soon realised Prophet Muhammad (p) fulfilled all three signs and converted to Islam.
Salman’s story indicated how few real Christians were left at the time of Prophet Muhammad (p).

Another story illustrating this was that of the Emperor Heraclius, who received a letter from Prophet Muhammad (p). In the account, Heraclius mentions that there are Scriptures in which a Prophet is predicted to come after Jesus (p) and that Prophet Muhammad (p) fits the description.

Both stories indicate that there were Scriptures that the majority of Christians at the time did not have access.

http://thefactsaboutislam.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/christianity-before-islam-in-arabia.html

City of Village?

The difference between a village of a city – the village of Bethsaida. Ijaz Ahmad picks on the author of John for making an error of anachronism. Luke also calls it a city. Perhaps it was one of those loose Gospel scribes writing after it was changed to a city. Whatever the case may well be (the Gospel authors or the scribes), it’s an interesting point raised by Ijaz Ahmad to possibly further impugn the reliability of those texts.
Ijaz accuses the author of John of an anachronistic error regarding the city of Bethsaida and Ijaz spends some time relaying discrepancies concerning the Gospel accounts. I think he could have offered more examples to the audience of discrepancies but perhaps he wanted to focus on stories involving companions of Jesus rather than the standard show of contradictions between the Gospels such as what Barth Ehrman presents here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuvEmajcaiQ
If clear evidence is shown of discrepancies and changes within the Gospels then the question the truth-seeker may ask is, how can these texts be trusted to think they weren’t changed in other ways to the extent that the texts do not even represent the theology of Jesus?

Conclusion

What’s established from the debate, the Trinitarian narrative is not sound. The Gospels are not reliable. There were competing Gospels and traditions. Basing one’s beliefs entirely on the New Testament is effectively accepting conjecture.

Ijaz Ahmad

Clearly he, for such a young man, has a burgeoning apologetics CV. He and Zakir Hussain could well be the mainstay of Muslim debates with Christians for the next few decades.
It’s also nice to hear an accent other than a North American or British accent.
I think Ijaz rushed his positive case for the disciples being Muslims. Ijaz shows links between Jewish Christianity and Islam. His focus was heavily leaning on refuting Reverend Steven Martins and the Trinitarian narrative – this he achieved easily in clearly demonstrating the Trinitarian narrative is not sound.
Another point I would pick on here, Ijaz went for the more complex points which for an audience tuned in to apologetics may well have been suitable but I’d imagine the majority of the live audience and those viewers of the recorded debate are not too familiar with the bread and butter points regarding Gospel contradictions and textual criticism.

Ijaz possesses faith shattering information for the Christian, it would be wise to always ensure the audience is invited to Islam at the end of the debate. Most apologists and debaters don’t do this but surely we want them to come to the truth of Islam rather than not invite them to the truth after effectively destroying their faith.

Where does Ijaz go from here? Well, I’d imagine on his island the scope for engaging with seasoned apologists is quite limited so I’d personally like him to debate local pastors. People want to see apologists debate but let’s see Muslims go to churches to dialogue with pastors (who have flocks of people following them). I would also hope the pastors aren’t marred by some of the dishonest arguments Christian apologists are plagued with today so the discussion is easier – less rubbish to wade through before engaging the Christians productively.
Ijaz has charisma and seems like a nice guy too so these qualities could well endear him to Christians which can only be a good thing in witnessing the truth of Islamic monotheism to Christians

Steven Martins of Nicene International Ministries

For me, Steven was visibly struggling in this debate. This should be a sign to Steven that he’s not on the right side of the fence.

I think he’s a victim of bad information from those who has learned from. The person who gave him the argument he was making based on the mention of geographical locations should be banned from apologetics!

I really think Steven should not debate again. He’s better off just remove himself from Christian apologetics and begin a search for the truth. Think about some of the questions raised. Think about why Jesus p never mentioned a man called Paul or 4 books that he wanted people to believe were ‘Gospels’.

Research Islam with an open heart and mind.

From my experience with Christians, it appears many have been hooked by emotional preaching. It’s not that they have been convinced intellectually to accept the idea of the Trinity or the god-man concept.

Think deeper.

Reverend Steven Martins on the History of Mecca

Rebuking Rev. Steven Martins of Evangelium & Apologia Ministries – ‘Western Values’

Christian apologetics to Muslims, more women in Hell Hadith

Tackling Christian Apologetics on Polygamy (Polygyny) in the Bible and the Quran

More about the Paraclete

Prophecies of the Messiah – Reza Aslan

Christians having dreams and converting to Islam

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New Testament Inconsistency: The Secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven

Matthew 13 presents a very peculiar problem for Christianity, in verse 10-11 it says:

The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.”

From this, we learn that the masses were not able to understand Jesus when he spoke, apparently only those who were given the secrets of the kingdom of heaven would be able to understand what Jesus was saying. Who was given that knowledge? Just the twelve disciples. Therefore, according to the New Testament, Jesus went around preaching unintelligible sermons to masses of people (cf. Matthew 13:2, John 6:60), when the only people who could have possibly understood him were only the twelve because they possessed the “secret knowledge”. This however, is a compounded problem, as the secret knowledge (of the kingdom of heaven) that unlocked Jesus’ unintelligible sermons, didn’t seem to work. On more than one occasion the disciples had to stop Jesus and ask him to speak intelligibly to them:

“The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.” – Luke 18:34.

So let’s recap. Jesus speaks unintelligibly to the masses. Of the masses, 12 disciples have the “secret knowledge (of the kingdom of heaven)” which would enable them and only them to understand what Jesus was saying. Of these twelve, none of them understood what Jesus was saying according to Luke 18:34, because the meaning of what Jesus was saying was hidden from them. What this means is that Jesus did a lot of talking to a lot of people and no one was able to understand what he was saying. To explain this Monthy Python-esque scenario, I’ve developed a parable of my own:

Sam is a wealthy king. He called his entire kingdom together and said to the large crowd before him, that behind that door there was a million gold coins. He then invited the crowd to open the door. The crowd rushed to the door and tried opening it. The door was locked! Sam approached his close friends and said, “to unlock the door you need a secret key, I will give each of you a secret key so you may enter the room with a million goal coins!” What Sam did not tell them, was that they keys were fake and would not work. Sam’s friends ran to the door and each of them tried their keys, none of the keys were able to open the door. David, one of Sam’s friends returns to him and says that the keys are not unlocking the door. Sam the wealthy king is surprised, and tells them that he has given the keys for the door and it is their fault the keys are not working.

Then imagine that 2000 years later there were still people claiming to have that key, with the door still remaining forever locked. That’s exactly the scenario we are left with. What’s the use of giving them secret knowledge that’s supposed to explain what he’s been saying all along, when the knowledge is still hidden from them? You might be saying to yourself, this doesn’t sound right, there must be an explanation. Well, no less than 2 chapters later in Matthew 15:15-16 we read:

“Peter said to Him, “Explain the parable to us.” Jesus said, “Are you still lacking in understanding also?”

In this case, Jesus of all people seems to be surprised that the secret knowledge he gave them (cf. Matthew 13:10-11, Luke 8:9-10), which he then hid from them (Luke 18:34), leaves them still unable to understand what he’s saying. In other words, Jesus is surprised they still don’t understand him, even though he is the one that hid its meaning from them.

and God knows best.

Christian Militants Fighting in Ukraine: Protestant Churches vs Orthodox

A recent video by Vice news, purports to show Christian militants fighting each other over sectarian beliefs in Ukraine. Russian Orthodox militants versus that of Protestant militants. Very interesting that not a single Christian leader has come out to condemn these Christian militants who claim to kill in the name of Christ.

A Christian militant at 8:43 in the video says:

Reporter: What is this building?

 

 

Militant: This building used to be a Baptist sect.

 

 

Reporter: What happened to them?

 

 

Militant: I don’t know, when the war started they disappeared. I guess they left. There is only one faith, Orthodoxy. I am Orthodox. It was left to us by our ancestors and the Baptists are schismatics. It’s American propaganda. Which fills the head of our people, the Russians, the Slavs, which results in what you see now, the war.

 

 

Reporter: Will you allow them to return?

 

 

Militant: Personally I wouldn’t let them come back. Not the Baptists, not the Evangelists, not the Catholics, not the Greek Catholics. None of them. Because I took up arms so that we could have an Orthodox State.

The DPR’s Deputy PM said at 14:41 in the video:

The issue could be forced eviction, but it’s possible that the issue was that the Protestants for the most part do not support us.

At 15:00 in the video, the interview continued:

Reporter: How important is the Orthodox Church to the DPR and to you?

 

 

DPR Dept. PM: It’s very important. According to the ideology we are building, we would very much like to maximally integrate the Orthodox Church into areas that concern morals, in areas that concern family values, and so on. If the Church has more direct influence – Let’s say the state even makes the Church a part of the state in certain areas. Orthodoxy is one of the foundations of our statehood….

We have yet to see a single Christian leader condemn this violence in the name of the Christian faith. Baptists such as James White, or apologists such as David Wood, Sam Shamoun, Walid Shoebat, or even Islamophobes such as Pamela Geller or Robert Spencer. They all usually have a lot to say when Muslims are involved, but they are eerily silent when it comes to Christian on Christian terrorism and militancy.

and Allah knows best.

A Quick Comparison of Satan in Christianity and Islam

In comparing Christian literature and Islamic literature in regard to Satan, there appears to be a clear dichotomy as to how each faith treats Satan in relation to both God and man. As it would seem, Islam lessens the stature of Satan, demeans him whereas Christianity elevates him to quite a lofty status. To most, this wouldn’t be noticeable but when the Islamic view and the Christian view of Satan is considered, the outcome can be quite disturbing.

Satan in Islam

Who is Satan a rival to in Islam? As the Qur’an teaches, he is a rival to mankind, to humans not to God:

“O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and good on the earth, and follow not the footsteps of Satan. Verily, he is to you an open enemy.” – 2:168.

Satan is subordinate to God. Who is the all powerful deity that is Lord over all Creation? Allah is. He has no rivals, He is Lord of everything in creation (الْعَالَمِينَ):

“All praise is to Allah, the Lord Of The Creation.” – 1:2.

Does sin restrict God’s mercy in Islam? No, God forgives all sins.

Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” – 39:53.

Satan in Christianity

Who is Satan a rival to in Christianity? As the Bible teaches, he is a rival to God:

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” – Matthew 4:1.

In this episode in the wilderness and on the mount, Satan has the ability to directly tempt Jesus, directly challenge him and the power to take Jesus wherever he wills:

“Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.” – Matthew 4:7-8.

Here we have Jesus who Christians claim to be God, telling Satan not to put him to test and what does Satan do? He puts Jesus or God, to test. Not only that, Satan then proceeds to take Jesus or God from one place to another thus demonstrating his power and will are on par with Jesus’/ God’s.

Is the God of Christianity, Lord of all Creation? It isn’t. The God of Christianity has a rival in the Lord of this world, who is Satan:

“(Satan) In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” – 2 Corinthians 4:4.

Does sin restrict God’s mercy in Christianity?

“but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.” – Mark 3:29.

Conclusion

As one can see in Christianity, Satan is the rival to God. He rivals God on His Lordship (power, stature, ability) and the sin which Satan spreads (blasphemy) cannot be forgiven by God, He (God) is restricted by Satan’s spreading of sin. Whereas in Islam, Satan cannot rival God, he is a rival to mankind. Only God is the true Lord of all creation, nothing is equal in power, stature or ability to Him (God) and He can forgive all sins, regardless of whom Satan misguides. Satan is subordinate to Allah (God), whereas in Christianity this is not the case. Therefore, it stands to reason that Christianity elevates Satan to a pedestal whereas Islam declares him lowly in God’s sight, subordinate to God.

and Allah knows best.

The Pauline Problem

Paul has always been a controversial figure in the Christian faith. Some scholars like Dr. Tabor and Prof. Eisenman have identified Paul as the HaKohen Harasa, the “Wicked Priest” as is recorded in the Dead Sea scrolls. Proto-Orthodox Christians believed he was an Apostle of God, and thus a central and authoritative figure of the Christian faith. Islam’s view of Paul is largely negative, most viewing him as a corrupter of the faith of Jesus the Son of Mary, a similar belief to that of the views attributed to the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the people of Qumran.

The Disciples of Jesus

The problem of Paul though, begins with the problems of the disciples. We must understand that the disciples were the ones chosen by God to accompany the Christ in his mission throughout the lands of Palestine. Richard Newton writes in his book, “The Life of Jesus for the Young“, he states the following, “It was necessary for these men to be chosen.” These men were chosen to accompany the Christ, so that they could have learned from him, seen his ways, studied from his teachings and from then on, to continue the work that the Christ had started. It is recorded in Matthew 10:5-6, the following commands of Jesus the Christ:

“These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.”

This command is very important, Jesus the Christ is delimiting the disciples on the scope of their missionary work. He directs them to absolutely convey the message he preaches, to the sheep of Israel. To further confirm this message of being sent to only the twelve tribes of Israel, we read from Matthew 15:21-28:

“21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” 23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” 25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. 26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” 27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” 28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.”

There are many things to be learnt from here, but the most important are:

  • Jesus reiterates the scope of his preaching, that is, to the sheep of Israel.
  • The curing of the Canaanite woman’s daughter is an exception to the rule and not the rule in itself.
  • The disciples witnessed this incident and learnt from it

This passage is unfortunately misrepresented by many Christians to demonstrate that Christ’s message was for all peoples, as in the example above he cures a Canaanite girl. The problem for those who interpret this passage in such a way, is that Jesus did not state that this was his new philosophy, he reiterates, emphasizes only a few verses before that he was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel. His curing of this woman’s daughter, is an exception to the rule and not a rule in itself. This is often difficult for Christians to digest. Jesus explicitly states who he was sent for, and him doing an act contrary to his own teachings would label him a liar. Surely, the Christ is not a liar, he still retained the belief that he was only sent for the lost sheep of Israel, after curing this Canaanite girl. There is no passage in which he goes off after this incident and preaches to the gentiles, therefore this incident was an exception to the rule and not the rule in itself. It is important to note that the disciples witnessed this, we need to hold this point in mind for now, as it will correlate with what we read further on.

These disciples were chosen by the Christ, to teach God’s message as instructed by the Christ. They were to carry on after him, or carry the message in whichever city or town he directed them to.

The Dilemma

If the disciples were specifically chosen by the Christ to spread the message given to him by God, then the Christian faith would have us believe that either Christ or God, whoever chose these men, made a gross and negligent error. The image painted of the disciples in the Gospels and the Pauline Epistles is one of great ineptitude, hypocrisy, lying, forgetfulness and ignorance. Here are a few examples of the incapability of these men to understand the Christ. How could they teach his message, yet alone preserve it, if they were unable to even understand it?

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” – Matthew 16:23

But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” – Mark 8:33

This incident is of great concern. Peter is the one upon whom the Church was to be built (Matthew 16:18), the Christ says to Peter a few verses before referring to him as Satan, “the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” How absurd is such an incident! Within the space of 5 verses, Satanic influences will never overcome Peter, but a few verses down and the Christ is directly referring to Peter as Satanic. What message are we to take from this? We continue to read:

“23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.” – Matthew 8:23-26

The disciples are of weak and of little faith. Somehow having a God-man in front of them was not enough to convince them of his power, at this point in time they clearly were concerned about their well being, if they had the belief that Jesus was a deity, then they would not have been concerned in the least. To the contrary, they awoke him when they found their lives and his life to be endangered, Jesus then rebukes them for their little faith. A question needs to be asked here, in what regard was their faith, little? If they believed he was a God, then either awake or asleep, he would be all knowing and would protect them. If they believed in him as a messenger of God, a human, then waking him to invoke the mercy of God would save them from the perilous waters. Therefore since they woke him to make him aware of the dangerous weather, then it clearly implies they did not view him as a deity. He rebukes them in this case because they should have been aware that God would protect him and his disciples, for God is always in control of the earth. If we do take this verse in the Christian sense though, it becomes problematic as it renders the disciples as people of little faith despite the deity among them. Continuing, we read in Luke 9:46-50:

46 An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. 47 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. 48 Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” 49 “Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.” 50 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”

This paints the disciples as people seeking fame, greatness, without regard for serving God and being humble in their servitude. The Christ though, says something towards the end of the passage that reflects awfully on Paul, “for whoever is not against you is for you“. Either way, this passage demonstrates great moral faults with the disciples and their behaviour. We read in another passage from the Gospel attributed to John, in John 21:20-22:

 “20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?””

In this incident, the disciples are not only jealous of each other, they completely misunderstand what Jesus is trying to teach them. It would also seem that a scribe has commented on this by trying to explain why the disciples were mistaken and what they should have understood from Christ’s words, versus what they understood. Another negative picture of the disciples is shown here, in Matthew 26:40-46:

“Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” 43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. 45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!””

These passages illustrate for us, even more weakness in faith from the disciples. They willingly disobey the Christ, they refuse to follow his instructions and they chose to sleep rather than pray for the Christ. This is at the end of Christ’s ministry, if they expected Jesus to die soon or to be crucified, then one would expect them to be up all night in prayer, seeking protection for their teacher. However, they clearly are not willing to do so and the Christ being tortured to death is of little concern, as opposed to a comfortable sleep.

The Arrival of Paul

Paul’s epistles were authored somewhere between 47 CE and 65 CE. This is some 14 years after the time of Christ. Between 33 CE and 47 CE, we would expect many of the Jews to be told of their works and their teachings, etc. In fact, the Jews of Jerusalem and in many towns and cities were beginning to accept Jesus as the Messiah, they sat with and learned from the disciples:

“11 When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray. 14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs? 15 “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in[d] Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.” – Galatians 2:11-16.

We will return to this passage shortly. There is something important to be pointed out, 14 years since Jesus’ ascension, the disciples continued to preach solely to the lost sheep of Israel and made their base of operations, Jerusalem. Paul disagrees with them on many issues, and insults them, referring to them as hypocrites who are condemned by the law. There are a few facts that need to be stated:

  • Paul’s works preceded the Gospels.
  • Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles far outnumbered the congregation of the Jews following the teachings of the Christ.

This is important, because it then allows us to understand that in order for Paul to have gained authority in the Church, he would have to denigrate the disciples and create the impression that they were not true to Christ. Surely, Paul’s animosity and hate for the disciples, manifested itself into the Gospel accounts which later corroborated/ confirmed the views of Paul in their descriptions of the disciples as inept, ignorant and weak in faith. Paul’s rise to authority in the Church is based upon the inaction and misguidance of the disciples of Christ. This would undoubtedly have to mean that either God or Christ made the wrong decision on choosing 12 disciples to convey God’s message as for 14 years they failed to do so and were hypocrites, and of little faith. In order for Christians to believe that Paul rebuked them for not conveying God’s true message, Christians must believe that the disciples were disobedient and failed to properly teach the Christ’s message, and that they were hiding the true message of preaching to all peoples and not just to the people of Israel.

Earlier, I had quoted Luke 9:50, which said,  “for whoever is not against you is for you“. Since Paul was against the disciples and their teachings, then it would mean that he was not commissioned by God. The litmus test is clear. If God instructed a person to continue teaching the message of the Christ, then their teachings would be in accordance with the disciples. However, if this person was not instructed by God, then it would mean they would find faults and issues with the teachings of the disciples. In fact, in Galatians 1:-9 we read:

“6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!”

According to this passage, the disciples and students of the disciples are preaching a fundamentally variant Gospel, in contradiction to Paul’s Gospel. He even claims that the disciples whom he would later confront as hypocrites and claim them to be condemned, were trying to pervert the Gospel of the Christ! Therefore the negative images portrayed of the disciples by the unknown Gospel authors stems from the negative connotations of them as taught by Paul in his bid to win authority over them and over the Gospel of Christ. Paul clearly states that he was a deluded individual, under the command of a Messenger of Satan, we read from 2 Corinthians 12:6 the following:

“6 Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.”

Paul believes boasting about himself was not sinful, and would not make him a fool because the authority given to him allegedly by Christ was truthful! Then he admits he was given a Messenger of Satan to torment him, he clearly sounds like a deluded individual, something he later confirms by saying:

“11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie” – 2 Thessalonians 2:11

Putting these two statements of Paul together, we can thereby understand that God did send him a delusion/ Messenger of Satan and Paul believed that he was an apostle and given authority! Despite the fact that he failed the litmus test above, in his opposition to the disciples and his own confessions, Christians still continue to believe him, over the words of Christ and the disciples.

The Destruction of the Message of the Christ

After discrediting the disciples and spreading his version of the Gospel to the gentiles, Paul went on to revel in his leadership of them. In Acts 9:15-16 we read the following:

““Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.””

How odd is this proclamation? God already chose 12 worthy persons to convey his message to the children of Israel, people He believed were competent and reliable to spread the message of Christ, the Gospel. However, as we read here, God made a mistake and entrusted the message of Christ with people who were corrupting it, hiding it and not spreading it to the rest of the world, that being the gentiles. So 14 years later, God decides to choose a man known for opposing the beliefs of the Christians (something he didn’t change as he went on to denigrate the teachings of the disciples), to then share his own interpretation of Christ’s message with the gentiles.

The Unfortunate Conclusion

In his entire lifetime, Jesus the Christ focused on spreading and teaching his message to the sheep of Israel. He commanded his disciples to do the same. Christians would have us believe that God made a mistake in choosing the disciples, that they corrupted Jesus Gospel and preached something contrary to it, and that despite Jesus restricting his teachings to the sheep of Israel, he was actually supposed to preach to everyone.

I choose to believe that Christ did not lie in his teachings and that he fulfilled God’s commands, and that the disciples chosen were competent, honest, faithful and sincere men, I do not believe that Christ made a mistake and forgot who his message was for, and I certainly do not believe that the disciples were idiots, uneducated, misunderstanding, lazy and ignorant men who hid and corrupted the message of Christ.

It is with this having been said, that I declare Paul to be a problem to the Gospel of Christ, as he degrades the Christ and his specifically chosen disciples.

and God knows best.

The Christian Teaching of ‘God is Love’

What does this mean? You hear it often, ‘Our God is a God of Love’, or ‘God is love’. Does this mean that God’s only attribute is ‘to love’ or that God is the ’emotion of love’? If God ‘is love’, then how do you reconcile this teaching with God’s wrath in the Old Testament and his returning wrath towards the end of days, or his wrath of torture and punishment according to the prophecies in the Book of Revelation?

What kind of loving God, who is known to have the ability to ‘just forgive sin’ as seen in the Lord’s prayer:

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. – Matthew 6:12.

Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. – Luke 11:4.

Would then kill his son/ murder himself to forgive us of our sins? These acts, clearly do not seem loving. I’ve read John Gilchrist’s, “The Love of God in the Qur’an and the Bible“, and unfortunately, no act of God in the Old Testament is seen as loving, in his book, chapters 3, 4 and 5 contain not a single quote from the Old Testament to demonstrate the love of any of the Gods (Father, Son, Spirit) in the Old Testament. Would that then mean that the true God of the Christians was not always loving? The only ‘loving’ that God seems to do is to murder his son to forgive us of our sins, yet, we already know from the Lord’s prayer and the practise of the law – as confessed by Paul in Philippians 3:4-6, that one is able to be sinless and attain God’s love:

If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.

Yes, following the commandments leads to the love of God, as is written in 2 John 1:6:

And this is love, that we follow his commandments; this is the commandment, as you have heard from the beginning, that you follow love.

Therefore it is irrational according to the Bible, and Paul, that God is love, only due to Christ’s murder by his Father. Yet, John Gilchrist says in Chapter 4 of his previously mentioned book:

Herein lies the proof of the depth of God’s love towards us. He has done the greatest thing he could possibly do to reveal his love for us – he gave willingly his very own Son Jesus Christ to die on a cross for our sins to redeem us to himself. No greater proof of God’s love can be given to mankind than this. It is no wonder that John does not appeal to anything further to make his point. He has given the very best possible proof of God’s love towards men.

Murdering his own son is God’s greatest act of love! As humans, we must stop and ask ourselves, can murder ever be seen as righteous? See, the words ‘kill and murder’ are substituted with the word ‘sacrifice’, which makes it seem as something dutiful, loving and passionate, an act of goodness. Yet, the reality is, and if we are to be honest, we must look at this situation objectively, why would God kill an innocent soul for the forgiveness of others, a soul who begged and cried out at the Father’s abandonment of him:

About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[clemasabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

An innocent soul who asked the Father not to kill him:

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

 We read according to the famous Coffman’s Commentary of the Bible, that Christ did not want to die, but God had no choice, although the Lord’s prayer clearly indicates otherwise!
The implications here are profound. There was no way God could remove the cup of suffering from Jesus without abandoning the purpose of human redemption. Some have interpreted the “cup” as agony itself, so great that Jesus was in imminent danger of dying before he ever came to the cross. Whether this was truly the “cup” or not is uncertain, but the appearance of an angel to strengthen the Lord in that agony surely suggests that it was at least an element in it.
Murder is not an act of love, it is both a crime and a sin. Any human who tries to rationalise the murder and torture of an innocent man as something good and beneficial is simply psychopathic. No mentally sane and stable person can ever testify and claim that the murder, torture, and death of an innocent man, especially by his Father, needlessly, should ever be considered an act of praise. We ask our Christian brothers and sisters, do you really believe that a God who is described as, ‘Love’, would murder his own son for your benefit, when all he had to do was simply forgive you as he had mentioned in his own prayer revealed through that same Son?
A God who kills his son, is not a God of love. We invite you to Islam, may God guide us all, Amen/ Ameen.
and Allaah knows best.
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