MarcusEHarvey

“O Muhammad, God is the Father and Jesus is His Son!”

In Biblically Speaking on July 29, 2015 at 6:34 pm

Muhammad did not know his Bible correctly. Muslims often say that the Gospel was corrupted, and Muhammad certainly did receive a corrupt version of the Gospel there in Arabia (however, the true Gospel has been preserved). For example, the Quran calls Mary, the mother of Jesus, by the name of Miriam. It then confuses this Miriam with the Miriam of the Old Testament, the sister of Moses, who lived hundreds of years before! The English translation by Mohsin Khan adds that this Aaron was “[not the brother of Musa (Moses), but he was another pious man at the time of Maryam (Mary)]”, but there is no evidence that Mary the mother of Jesus had a brother named Aaron. Muhammad likely got his stories mixed up, just like he calls several men in the Bible prophets (such as Adam and Noah), though there is no record of their having engaged in prophecy.

The same passage then goes on to say that Jesus spoke as a baby in the cradle! This story comes from the “Infancy Gospels”, which were false apocryphal writings claiming to be gospels that were rejected early on by the Church. While I have not studied Muhammad’s history at any great depth, it is my understanding that Muhammad picked up some of his ideas about the Bible and Christianity from some of the heretical Christians (Nestorians?) who had been driven out of the Christianized Roman empire into places like Arabia. It was from them that Muhammad would have picked up the story of Jesus speaking while a baby in the cradle, which Muhammad then included in the Quran, as allegedly the word of God.

In Surah 19:35, the Quran goes on to say “It is not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son…” And again, in verses 88-93,

“They say: ‘(Allah) Most Gracious has begotten a son! Indeed ye have put forth a thing most monstrous! At it the skies are ready to burst, the earth to split asunder, and the mountains to fall down in utter ruin, That they should invoke a son for (Allah) Most Gracious. For it is not consonant with the majesty of (Allah) Most Gracious that He should beget a son. Not one of the beings in the heavens and the earth but must come to (Allah) Most Gracious as a servant.”

This appears to be a major sticking point for Muslims. Their god is not able to do all things, apparently, if he cannot do something as simple as bringing another human being into existence, even if it is His son. The God of the Bible states: “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:27; see also Genesis 18:14). Jesus made it clear that God was His Father. Muslims want to claim that they worship the same God as Jews and Christians but this is not the case. The God of Christians is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The Jews had God as their Father, and God is even called their Father in the Old Testament:

For You are our Father, though Abraham does not know us
And Israel does not recognize us.
You, O Lord, are our Father,
Our Redeemer from of old is Your name.”

(Isaiah 63:16)

And again:

But now, O Lord, You are our Father,
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all of us are the work of Your hand.”

(Isaiah 64:8)

However, it was Jesus who really introduced to the world the concept of God as Our Father and His Father, and the world has known of “God the Father” ever since.  Jesus was born of the virgin Mary by the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps Muslims think this would require sexual relations to take place (as in Greek mythology) and they are disgusted at the thought of a being like God condescending to have physical, sexual relations with a human being, Mary. And rightly so; Christians do not believe that God had physical, human sexual relations to conceive Jesus. Being God, He was able by His Spirit (a non-physical entity, the Spirit Himself being God) to cause Mary to conceive. In physical terms, God simply caused one of Mary’s eggs to fertilize and conceive Jesus. Why this is thought to be impossible for God to do is bewildering. As the Quran itself says, God only needs to say “Be!” and it is.  If God can create man out of nothing, surely fertilizing a woman’s egg is an easy thing. (Perhaps in another post I will discuss why God’s whole purpose for the human race was to have children, to bring many sons and daughters to glory).

Muslims also wish to claim that Allah is the same as the God of the Jews in the Old Testament, who is the God and Father of Jesus Christ. As stated above, the God of those who follow Christ is God the Father. When the Jews rejected Jesus, they also rejected His Father. Jesus would therefore tell them You are of your father, the devil. Christians who take the Bible seriously reject the notion that Muslims worship the same God as we do, and those who think about it will realize that the “God” the Jews hold to is not Who Jesus revealed Him actually to be. As Jesus said: “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.” 

I will leave it at this, for now. Of course, there is only one true God, and Jesus has said that He is the only Way to the Father. No one comes to the Father but through Jesus.  Many do not like this; don’t blame me, I am just the messenger.

See also: Muhammad, the Qur’an, and Christian Sources

Thoughts on Homosexuality and Christianity

In Biblically Speaking on July 21, 2015 at 2:31 pm

This is taken from two comments that I posted on July 20 and 21, 2015 in reply to an article on the Huffington Post titled “I am a Christian. You Are Something Else.

Part of what it means to become a Christian is to repent, i.e., turn from, your sin. Confession of sin means that you say the same thing about your sin as God says about it. These definitions are based on the meaning of the original Greek words for these terms in the Bible. Since God says in the Bible that homosexual behavior is sin, those who agree with God confess that it is sin, i.e., “say the same thing as” God about it. They don’t make up their own definition to suit themselves or to justify their contrary behavior. When people ask how they can be saved, i.e., have eternal life, the answer is always repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. If you continue to practice your sin, you have not turned from it, i.e., repented of it. If you embrace your sin and celebrate it and make it a lifestyle, you have not repented of it. Thus you have not followed the teaching of Christ and His Apostles, and if you do not follow these, you do not meet the definition of “Christian”, i.e., follower of Christ.

There are some in the church, such as myself, open-minded enough to entertain the idea that some people may be born with same sex attraction. Sometimes people are born with genetic abnormalities, such as conjoined twins, babies missing limbs, congenital birth defects, etc. And a person truly born that way cannot help the way they are attracted. However, to say that “I am born this way” is no excuse to sin. The Bible says that we are ALL born in sin, we all have proclivities in our body that can lead us to violate God’s standards. That is why Jesus said “You must be born again.” So to say that “I am born this way” is no excuse for the gay or the straight. All must be born again.

The choice that gay people do have, whether they are born that way or chose to be gay later on in life (and honest people will acknowledge that there are some who say that they chose to be gay)– the choice that they have is whether they will engage in homosexual behavior, or not; will they follow God’s law or their own proclivities? Not incidentally, this is also the choice that faces heterosexual people. As a straight male, I face the choice of whether or not I will act on my bodily proclivities that would violate God’s laws, such as fornication and adultery. Since we are being open minded, who is to say that pedophiles are not born attracted to children? I think further scientific study could shed some light on this topic. But even if science proved that some individuals are born predisposed to be sexually attracted to children, I do not think society would then excuse their having sex with children, nor allow them to marry children. And rightly so, in part because children are considered legally unable to consent because such an action takes advantage of their minority and their innocence, just as the selfish actions of gay parents deprive children of their right to be raised by their biological mother and father.

To conclude, even if a person is born gay that is no excuse to sin. Jesus said you must be born again. While a gay person may not be able to control who they are physically attracted to, they are responsible for what they do and can refrain from homosexual sex, which is what the Bible commands them to do and for which God will be justified in holding them accountable, just like everyone else. This is not homophobic; I love gay people like I love everyone else. In fact I believe it is unloving towards gay people to not tell them the truth. If the truth is that those who engage in homosexual sex will not inherit the kingdom of God and I tell you that it is OK, and I welcome you into my church and tell you that you are not in sin , and I affirm your lifestyle and bless and approve of and participate in a so called gay wedding, then it is I who is doing you a grave disservice by leading you astray. In such a case I would actually be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and such people who lead a souls astray will also be held accountable. And if I’m wrong, and the Bible is wrong, and there is no God and no judgment, then none of this matters anyway! But if I’m right…

God bless you all.

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