En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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Archive for the ‘evidence’ Category

Did You Know?

Posted by Scott on July 26, 2008

A woman accepted Christ as her savior and Lord from reading a single sermon page of Charles Spurgeon’s that was wrapped around her butter. Another person working high in the rafters of the church accepted Christ as Spurgeon was testing the acoustics with a single gospel sentence.

God is sovereign in the affairs of His people and draws those chosen to Him.

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Comparison of Christianity and Islam!

Posted by Scott on June 19, 2008

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Islam or Christianity? Jesus or Mohammed? Bible or Koran?

Islam or Christianity?
Jesus or Mohammed? Christian Gospel or Muslim Koran?

Islam, Mohammed, and the Koran compared to Jesus Christ, the Bible, and Christianity. A study of Moslem teaching compared to the gospel. What should a Christian believe?

The religion of Islam claims that Mohammed was as great a prophet as Jesus Christ, that the Koran succeeded the New Testament, and that Muslim (Moslem) teachings should be followed instead of Christianity. In this study we compare the evidence for Islam to the evidence for Jesus as revealed in the Bible: fulfilled prophecy, miracles, and the resurrection. Was Jesus the Divine Son of God crucified to save us from our sins, or is there just one individual Being in God (Allah)?

Introduction:

The purpose of this study is to examine the beliefs of Islam and the teaching of Mohammed in the Koran, comparing these to the Bible and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

A Brief Summary of Islam

“Islam” is the proper term for the religion revealed by Mohammed in Arabia in the early 600’s. “Islam” means “submission” (to the will of God). Adherents are called Muslims (“one who submits”) (often one sees the word as “Moslem”). Arabians are descendants of Ishmael, so Islam claims to be a renewal of the ancient religion of Abraham traced through Ishmael.

Mohammed was born in Mecca, Arabia, about 570 AD. Orphaned at an early age, he was raised by his grandfather and then his uncle. His family was aristocratic and influential. He grew up in times of religious and political confusion and uncertainty. At age 25 he married a wealthy 40-year-old widow named Khadijah.

At age 40 he began claiming to receive dreams and revelations, but was unsure of their source. He quoted these revelations to others who wrote them down. His wife convinced him these were messages from God, as Muslims today believe. But non-Muslims believe he developed such a deep religious fervor, out of concern for the needs of the people, that he began having dreams about religion and attributed them to God.

Rejected at first by the people of Mecca, he fled to Medina where he became a religious and political leader. By a series of violent battles he obtained income and converted people to Islam. Eventually he returned to Mecca and captured it by force.

When he died at age 63-65, a power struggle developed regarding who should succeed him. Several sects resulted, the major two being Sunni Muslims and Shi-ite Muslims. We will mainly consider Sunni Muslims (by far the larger group), though many of the same points would apply to other forms of Islam. Nevertheless, we should remember that there are wide variations among Muslims, just as there are among those claiming to be Christians.

Relationship of Islam to Judaism and The Gospel of Christ

Islam claims to believe in the same God as Jews and Christians, the God of Abraham, revealed in the Old Testament. Muslims generally claim that “Allah” is just their name for the God of the Bible. Significant differences exist, however, regarding how the religions view Jesus Christ. 

All three religions began from the work of major individual prophets. Jews’ beliefs were revealed by Moses, Christians’ by Jesus, and Muslims’ by Mohammed. Islam recognizes both Moses and Jesus as prophets (along with other Bible prophets), but it claims that Mohammed is the last of the prophets and his revelation supercedes those of Moses and Jesus.

All are based on written revelations claimed to be infallibly inspired by God. The Jews accept only the Old Testament, Christians also accept the New Testament, and Muslims accept the Koran (they also have great respect for Muslim traditions). Just as Christians believe the Old Testament was inspired but was replaced by the New Testament, so Muslims believe the Old and New Testaments were inspired but were both replaced by the Koran.

For these reasons many similarities exist among Judaism, the gospel, and Islam. Yet we will see that essential differences also exist.

Note – In this study we have mainly relied on the following sources about Islam:

The Koran (page numbers refer to the printing I own)
Encyclopedia Britannica (abbreviated EB), articles on “Islam,” “Mohammed,” and “Koran.”
World’s Religions (abbr. WR), article by Norman Anderson.
Christian’s Response to Islam, (abbr. CRI), William Miller.

Also other miscellaneous sources as noted.

(Note: This study refers several times to a lesson about “Evidences,” which summarizes the evidence for God, Jesus, and the Bible. It can be accessed from our website at www.gospelway.com/instruct/.)


Part I: Basic Doctrines


Since Islam claims to accept the Old and New Testaments, if its doctrines are true then they ought to harmonize with the Bible. So let us examine some basic doctrines of Islam and compare them to the Bible.


I. The Doctrine of God


Islam correctly opposes idolatry and teaches that there is only one God. But more is needed (James 2:19). So consider further:

A. Islam Says Jesus Is Not Divine.

Mohammed taught there is only one Divine Being in God. He denied the Deity of Jesus, saying He was just a man – a great prophet, but not the Divine Son of God. (Koran, 4:160-171 – pp60,61; 6:90-100 – pp77,78; 9:130; 19:135 – p168)

The Bible says Jesus is Divine.

John 1:1,14 – Jesus (the Word) was God, was with God in the beginning, and became flesh to dwell among men a man.

Colossians 2:9 – In Jesus dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

John 20:28,29 – Thomas called Jesus “my Lord and my God.” Jesus pronounced a blessing on all others who believe the same (cf. vv 30,31).

How can Muslims deny these teachings and yet claim to believe the Bible is true and Jesus was a prophet?

[Phil. 2:6-8; Heb. 1:8,9; Tit. 2:13; Isa. 9:6; John 8:58; 5:23]

The Bible says Jesus is the Only-Begotten Son of God.

Matthew 16:13-17 – During His lifetime many people believed what Muslims today believe: that Jesus was a great prophet like other prophets. But Peter confessed that Jesus was not just a man but was the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus Himself affirmed that Peter’s statement had been revealed by God.

John 10:35 – Jesus plainly admitted that He had said, “I am the Son of God.”

Matthew 17:5; 3:17 – Twice God spoke from heaven and claimed Jesus as His beloved Son. Bible writers claimed to be eyewitnesses that these things were true (2 Peter 1:16-18).

Romans 1:4 – The resurrection declared Jesus to be the Son of God.

To believe that Jesus was just a great man and a prophet is to belittle Him and to deny His own statements. To believe some other man was as great as Jesus is to blaspheme Him. If Jesus spoke the truth, then He was more than a prophet.

Muslims must either admit that Jesus was the Divine Son of God, or else they must admit they do not believe that Jesus and the Bible are true.

[John 3:16; 1:14; 3:18; 1 John 4:9; Colossians 1:15,18; Eph. 1:19-22; 1 Corinthians 15:23-28]

The Bible says Jesus has Divine characteristics.

He was eternal – Micah 5:2 [Isa. 9:6]

He was all-knowing – John 16:30; 21:17

He was all-powerful over created things – Matt. 28:18; Rev. 19:16; 17:14; Acts 10:36; Rom. 10:12; John 3:31; Rom. 9:5.

How could these characteristics be possessed by a mere man? Are these things true of Mohammed? If not, then how could he be as great as Jesus?

The Bible says Jesus is the Creator of the universe and the Judge of mankind.

John 1:3 – All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. [Heb. 1:2; Col. 1:16,17]

John 5:22,23 – The Father has committed all judgment to the Son.

2 Corinthians 5:10 – Jesus will be our judge; we must all appear before Him. Jesus will be Mohammed’s judge! How can Mohammed be as great? [Acts 17:31; Matt. 25:31ff]

What mere human prophet could create the universe or judge all mankind? Mohammed makes no such claims. These are the claims of a Divine Being. How can Muslims deny these teachings and yet claim to believe the Bible is true and Jesus was a prophet?

The Bible says Jesus accepted worship.

Jesus taught that no one but God should be worshipped (Matt. 4:10). Both men and angels in the New Testament refused to allow people to bow in worship to them (Acts 10:25,26; Rev. 22:8,9).

Matthew 28:9,17; Hebrews 1:6 – However, Jesus’ disciples worshipped Him, and angels are commanded by God to worship Him. [Cf. Rev. 5:12-14; Luke 24:52]

Jesus accepted worship such as was forbidden to man. How can Islam believe the Bible and believe Jesus was from God, while denying that He deserved worship? When they claim that Jesus was just a human prophet and that Mohammed was as great a prophet as Jesus, the Scripture says they are unbelievers (John 20:30,31; 8:24; Mark 16:16).

Islam is like a man who views a building from a great distance. He can tell there is only one building, but a closer view would reveal that it has three stories. So Islam correctly affirms there is only one God, but the greater revelation of New Testament shows that this one God consists of three separate and distinct individual spirit Beings.

(Note carefully:  Further evidence can be obtained about the claims of Jesus, the evidence that those claims are true, and the number of individuals in the Godhead from the links at the end of this study.)

B. Islam Says Men Cannot Conceive What God Is Like because He Has Not Revealed Himself.

Of course we cannot grasp fully the infinite nature of God, but Islam says it is impossible to have even a general concept of God’s character [WR-115; CRI-44,74]. But the Bible says:

John 1:18 – Though man has not seen God, Jesus knows Him and has declared Him.

John 14:9,10 – We can know what the Father is like because Jesus and His Father are perfectly united. To know what Jesus is like is to know what the Father is like.

Hebrews 1:3 – Jesus is the express image of the substance of His Father. [Col. 1:15; Matt. 11:27]

The fuller knowledge of God, which Islam lacks, is found in the revelation given by Jesus Christ.

Although Islam teaches there is one God, it still teaches error about God, for it denies the Deity of Jesus and ignores the Bible revelation of God’s nature. How can Muslims deny these teachings and yet claim to believe the Bible is true and Jesus was a prophet?


II. The Doctrine of Revelation


Mohammed said the New Testament and Jesus were from God, but his own teachings were better and replaced the New Testament. However, note the claims of the New Testament regarding itself.

A. The New Testament Is a Complete Revelation of All God’s Will.

John 16:13 – Jesus promised His apostles would receive all truth. Any teaching that a man claims to reveal from God, if it is not in the New Testament, it is not a part of God’s truth. [John 14:26]

2 Peter 1:3 – God’s power has granted all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Jesus. What is left for Mohammed to provide?

James 1:25 – The gospel is the perfect law of liberty.

The teachings of Islam claim to be superior to the gospel. But how can one improve on that which is perfect and which contains all truth and all things pertaining to life and godliness. [Acts 20:20,27; 2 Tim. 3:16,17; Matt. 28:18-20]

B. The New Testament Universally Meets the Needs of All Men.

The gospel provides what all men of all ages need in order to have a proper relationship to God.

Mark 16:15 – It is to be preached to everyone in all the world. [Matthew 28:19]

Romans 1:16 – It is God’s power to save everyone who believes, Jew on non-Jew.

The gospel of Christ is sufficient to give all men eternal life (John 20:30,31; Acts 2:39; 10:34f). No man in any future age will need any further revelation than the gospel. What more could Mohammed provide?

C. The New Testament Is God’s Final Revelation to Man.

The Old Testament predicted that another testament would replace it (Jer. 31:31-34). This promise was fulfilled in the New Testament. However, the New Testament does not, in turn, predict that it will be replaced by the teachings of Mohammed or any other Divine revelation. Instead it teaches that it is itself the final revelation. [Heb. 13:20f; 7:11-28; 8:6-13; 12:18-29]

1 Corinthians 13:8-11

This passage discusses spiritual gifts, which were the means by which prophets received revelation (cf. chap. 12). It says these gifts, including prophecy, would cease when “that which is perfect is come.” They would cease because they were “in part” – incomplete and imperfect.

Note: “That which is perfect” is contrasted to the spiritual gifts, which were “in part.” “That which is perfect” refers to something that completes or perfects what was incomplete or imperfect about spiritual gifts.

In what way were the gifts (including prophecy) “in part”? The only Scriptural answer is that, at the time Paul wrote, the gifts had only partially accomplished their purpose. They had been given in order to reveal or deliver the will of God. But that delivery was not yet complete when Paul wrote – the will of God had not all been revealed and recorded.

“That which is perfect,” therefore, must be the completion of that which was lacking in the spiritual gifts: it must be the completed revelation of truth. When the process of revelation was complete and all truth had been completely delivered and recorded in writing, then the gifts of prophecy would no longer be needed and so they would cease. But we have already shown that this happened during the lifetime of the original apostles (see above and note the “perfect law of liberty – Jas. 1:25).

The gift of prophecy was needed in an age when people did not yet have the complete written word to guide them. When the word was completely recorded by Jesus’ apostles and prophets, then prophecy would have completed it purpose and so would cease. By the time Mohammed lived, the gift of prophecy was no longer needed and had long since ceased.

Jude 3

The faith was “once for all delivered to the saints” (NKJV). “Once” is “used of what is so done as to be of perpetual validity and never need repetition” (Thayer). The same Greek word describes Jesus’ death in Heb. 9:26,28; 10:10; 7:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:18, which teach that Jesus’ death will not be repeated.

Old Testament sacrifices did not completely remove sins, so they had to be repeated. But the death of Jesus was perfect and sufficient to completely remove all sin for all men of all ages; so it happened only “once.” There was no repetition.

Likewise, the true faith was delivered only “once.” The gift of prophecy was needed as long as God’s perfect testament had not been perfectly and completely revealed. But that perfect testament was completely delivered to men in the first century. It does not need to be delivered again, so it never will be delivered again. Therefore, the spiritual gifts by which it was delivered have ceased.

Everything Jesus did was perfect. He not only gave us a perfect sacrifice for sin, He also gave us the perfect New Testament to tell us how to receive forgiveness (Heb. 1:1,2; Jas. 1:25). Neither His sacrifice nor the revelation of His will can ever be repeated or improved.

To claim that Mohammed or any other man received later revelations or a better revelation is to deny the perfection of the New Testament.

Galatians 1:8,9

Having completely revealed His will in the first century, God preserved it for all future generations (1 Pet. 1:23-25; 3 John 2; Matt. 24:35; John 12:48). God’s word here says that if any man preaches a different gospel, he stands under the curse of God.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is a perfect and complete revelation, given by God to guide all people until the end of time. So God forbids anyone to teach a different religious doctrine. (Matthew 15:9,13; 2 John 9-11; Colossians 3:17; Revelation 22:18,19; 1 Timothy 1:3; 2 Timothy 1:13)

Men have always wanted to change God’s will, hoping they could improve it or make it more suitable to themselves. Men who attempt this have often claimed to be prophets from God, but God has always warned us to beware of false prophets and resist them (1 John 4:1; Matt. 7:15ff; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; etc.).

So we have evidence that God authorized the New Testament to replace the Old Testament, but we have no such evidence that God authorized the teachings of Mohammed to replace the New Testament. Since Mohammed’s revelation is different from the gospel, the above passages show that we must resist his message, for the curse of God is on it.


III. The Doctrine of Salvation


A. Islam Denies the Sacrificial Death of Jesus and His Resurrection.

Islam denies that Jesus was crucified, that He died as a sacrifice for sin, and that He arose from the dead. (Koran 4:156 – p60)

The Bible teaches Jesus did die by crucifixion as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind.

Matthew 20:17-19 – Jesus predicted He would be crucified, then rise again.

Matthew 26:28 – He claimed that He would shed His blood for the remission of man’s sins. [20:28]

John 19:31-35 – John claimed to be an eyewitness to Jesus’ crucifixion. [Acts 2:23]

Ephesians 1:7 – Redemption and forgiveness are through His blood.

1 Peter 2:24 – He bore our sins in His body on the tree.

Hebrews 2:9 – He tasted of death for every man.

If Islam denies these statements from Jesus and the Bible, how can it yet claim to believe the Bible is from God and Jesus was a true teacher?

[Mark 8:31; Matt. 16:21; Rev. 1:5; 5:9; 1 Tim. 2:4-6; 1 Pet. 1:18f; Isa. 53:5-9; 1 Cor. 15:3; John 1:29; Heb. chap. 9:24-28; 10:9-13; 13:20f; Rom. 5:6-11; 2 Cor. 5:14,15]

The Bible teaches that Jesus was raised from the dead, as proved by the testimony of eyewitnesses.

Matthew 20:17-19 – Jesus predicted He would be crucified and then rise again. [Matt. 16:21]

Luke 24:44-46 – Jesus taught that His death and resurrection was a fulfillment of prophecy.

Romans 1:4 – Jesus is declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead.

1 Corinthians 15:3-8 – He died for our sins, was buried, and arose as prophesied and as testified by eyewitnesses who saw Him alive.

The resurrection of Jesus is absolutely fundamental to the claims of Jesus and the gospel. The apostles repeatedly affirmed it to be true on the basis of eyewitness testimony. This is proof such as neither Islam nor any other religion can offer.

[Romans 10:9,10; 6:4-13; 1 Corinthians 6:14; 15:1-26; John 20:24-31; Acts 2:23-36; 17:30,31; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Peter 1:3,4; 3:21; 2 Corinthians 5:15; Ephesians 1:19,20; Colossians 2:12,13]

The Bible teaches that salvation can be obtained only through Jesus.

John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Acts 4:12 – “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

We can only be saved through Jesus, no other way. Islam denies salvation through Jesus. Therefore, Islam cannot save and Muslims have no way to be saved.

The Old Testament had animal sacrifices. The New Testament has the superior, perfect sacrifice of Jesus. But, Islam has no sacrifice for sin at all. Without a sacrifice for sin, there can be no remission (Heb. 9:22). It follows that Islam not only is not a superior system, but it cannot save at all.

B. Islam Teaches Salvation by Law-Keeping without Sacrifice.

Islam offers only a vague concept of how man is saved. Evil is balanced against good, and if good outweighs, a person might be saved. Outward obedience is emphasized, not faith, love, or the condition of ones heart. [CRI-81f,84f]

The Bible teaches that all have sinned, and even one sin leads to eternal punishment.

Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

James 2:10 – For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

This is why we need a sacrifice. No matter how much good we have done, it can never outweigh the evil of our sin.

Islam’s approach to righteousness is even less effective than that of the Old Testament.

Galatians 3:10 – Under the Old Testament, anyone who disobeyed in any point was under a curse.

Galatians 5:1,4 – The law was a yoke of bondage in which we should not again be entangled. To seek justification by the law is to fall from grace.

The law itself provided justification only for those who lived without ever sinning, and no one did that (except Jesus). This is why God replaced the Old Testament with the New. But Islam, like the Old Testament, is a system of strict law keeping. Islam does not even have the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament.

So Islam claims to be better than the New Testament, when in reality it is worse than the Old Testament! To accept it is to return to a yoke of bondage, having no hope for salvation.

[Romans 3:20; Gal. 2:16; Heb. 8:6-13; 10:1-18; Acts 15:10]


Part II: Mohammed vs. Jesus


Since Islam claims that Mohammed is a prophet like Jesus, but his revelation replaces Jesus’ gospel, let us compare their character, claims, and proofs.


I. Claims


A. Islam

Muslims claim that Mohammed was the last of the prophets and his revelation replaced that of Jesus. Islam claims that the exact words of the Koran were given to Mohammed by the angel Gabriel, and therefore the Koran is verbally inspired. [CRI-46-50,33; WR-99]

Islam claims Jesus was a great prophet, but not Divine and not the unique Son of God. It admits Jesus did miracles, but denies He died as a substitutionary sacrifice to save people from their sins or that He arose from the dead. (Koran, 4:160,169; 6:90) [WR-100f; CRI-49,77]

B. The Gospel

We earlier studied passages where the gospel claims Jesus was more than a prophet: He was in fact the Divine Son of God who died to save men from their sins and then arose from the dead. The gospel of Jesus offers eyewitness testimony as proof.

Note that, whereas Mohammed made the general claim to as great as Jesus, the actual specific claims of Jesus were greater than any Mohammed ever made.

Furthermore, if Jesus really made these claims, then Islam must be untrue. If Jesus’ claims are true, then Mohammed cannot be as great as Jesus, as he claimed. On the other hand, if Jesus’ claims are false, then Islam is still untrue, since it claimed that Jesus was a true prophet. Either way, if Jesus made these claims, Islam is untrue.

Islam, therefore, denies Jesus ever made these claims. We have cited passages where He made the claims, but Islam denies those passages are genuine. So we must consider whether or not the Bible is an accurate record. And we must compare the evidence for Mohammed’s claims to the evidence Jesus’ claims. Anyone can make claims. What proof is there?


II. Character


A. Jesus

The New Testament repeatedly claims Jesus never sinned (Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22; etc.).

Muslims generally admit Jesus never sinned. The Koran nowhere claims that He sinned. [CRI-47ff].

So we have complete agreement that Jesus was a person of pure morals, wisdom, courage, love, and every other quality of goodness.

B. Mohammed

Many Muslims claim that Mohammed also never sinned. But compare his life to Jesus’ life:

Broken treaties

While ruling in Medina, Mohammed made a treaty not to attack Mecca for ten years. He then attacked them the very next year. [CRI-33f]

Violence and assassination

Mohammed used violence, including assassination, to defeat and convert men to Islam [WR-98; EB, XV-648]. Jesus converted people by teaching, persuasion, and example. He never used force, nor would He allow His disciples to use force, even when His enemies attacked Him.

Polygamy

Mohammed had 12 wives and 2 concubines at the time of his death. [CRI-32]

Revelations for personal convenience and benefit

* Mohammed revealed that men could have plural wives, but not more than four at a time (Koran 4 – p48). However, a special revelation said that he himself could have more than 4 wives. He had 12 when he died. (Koran 33:50,51 – p228)

* He revealed that no man could marry his own daughter-in-law. Then a special revelation allowed him to take the wife of his adopted son. (Koran 33:37 – p227)

* Arabs once starved him, because they opposed his teaching against idolatry. He then received a “revelation” condoning idolatry. As soon as they released him, he reversed the revelation and again said idolatry was wrong. [EB, XV-647]

Mohammed himself never claimed to be sinless.

In fact he admitted he and other prophets committed sin. But he never claimed that Jesus sinned. [CRI-26,50; WR-99]

So, whereas Christians and Muslims agree Jesus was sinless, there is much reason to doubt Mohammed’s sinlessness. Based on their character then, who was greater: Mohammed or Jesus?


III. Fulfilled Prophecy


Jesus unquestionably fulfilled many Old Testament prophecies, and He Himself accurately predicted future events (see study on evidences). What about Mohammed?

A. Islam Claims that the Bible Was Changed to Eliminate Prophecies of Mohammed.

Some prophecies, that Muslims claim refer to Mohammed, were actually fulfilled in Jesus. But Muslims claim that Mohammed fulfilled other prophecies, but Jews and Christians changed their own Scriptures to remove these prophecies and destroy the evidence. [CRI-27,49f,70f,78; WR-101]

For example John 16:7 predicts the coming of the “Comforter.” Muslims claim this originally used the word “praised,” which is the meaning of Mohammed. But to cover it up, the Scriptures were changed. [CRI-78; WR-101]

But where is the proof of these changes in the Bible? As noted earlier, Muslims also argue that the Bible was changed to make it appear that Jesus was the Son of God, that he died for our sins and arose from the dead, etc. Where is the proof of these changes? There is none. However, there is much proof for the accuracy of the Bible.

The claims of Islam would require wholesale changes in the Scriptures.

As cited earlier, numerous Scriptures claim Jesus was the Son of God, etc. If the Bible did not originally teach this but did prophesy of Mohammed, then wholesale changes must have been made.

For example, the context of John 16:7 plainly states that the “Comforter” is the Holy Spirit (John 14:16f, 26; and 15:26). If this originally referred to Mohammed, major changes must have been made in the text.

The same is true for the many other teachings we have listed on which the Bible contradicts Islam.

The Bible promises that God would preserve His word forever.

1 Peter 1:23-25 – God’s word is incorruptible seed that will live and abide forever. It will not be like grass that grows and then fades. [Isaiah 40:8]

2 John 2 – The truth will be with us forever.

Muslims say that God failed to keep these promises, but He allowed the Bible message to become thoroughly corrupted. [Matt. 24:35]

Interestingly, the Koran contains similar promises that God would preserve it from corruption (15:9 p141). If Muslims believe God preserved the Koran without corruption, why would He not do the same for the Bible, which they also agree is from God?

Further, the Koran claims to confirm the Scripture that Jews and Christians had (2:89 – p18). Since the Bible we have today is the same as existed in Mohammed’s day, did the Koran confirm that which was corrupted?

The Bible repeatedly rebukes those who change its message.

Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 3:5,6; Galatians 1:8,9; Revelation 22:18,19 and many other passages condemn changing the Scriptures. If Jews and Christians changed their Scriptures, as Muslims claim they did, then they knowingly and repeatedly violated these passages in their own Scriptures.

Rather, because of these warnings, both Jews and Christians have shown great care in making copies of their Scriptures through the centuries. Work was checked repeatedly, counting numbers of words and letters on each page, and proofreading each page to make sure no changes occurred.

The result is that many ancient manuscripts verify the accuracy of the Bible as we have it today.

* Several copies of the New and Old Testaments date before the time of Mohammed.

* Some translations of the Scriptures date long before the time of Mohammed.

* Scriptural quotations exist in the writings of many men who lived long before Mohammed.

If the claims of Islam are true, then all these writings should read as Islam claims that they originally read. But instead, all these ancient sources read just like modern copies of the Scriptures. There is no evidence of any kind that changes were made after Mohammed lived.

How could it be that all the copies of the Scriptures that existed in Mohammed’s time were found and changed, all at the same time and all in the same way, just to disprove Islam? Why can’t Muslims produce some manuscripts that still contain the passages Islam says existed? Why didn’t ancient Muslims find some of these manuscripts and save them? Why is it that we have so much evidence of the ancient content of the Bible, and none of the evidence agrees with Islam?

If the Jews changed their Scriptures to eliminate prophecies of Mohammed, why did they not do the same with the prophecies of Jesus?

Old Testament prophecy is one of the strongest proofs of Jesus’ identity. Christians do not have to claim that these prophecies once existed but were removed. They are all right there in the Old Testament!

Jesus and His apostles respected and used the Jews’ Old Testament Scriptures. They claimed the Scriptures were from God and quoted them just as they were. To prove their case, they never needed to claim that parts of the Scriptures were changed.

Why can’t Muslims do the same? What motive would Jews have for removing the prophecies of Mohammed but not the ones of Jesus?

The fact remains that Christians have proof of hundreds of prophecies in the Jews’ Old Testament as it exists now that Jesus fulfilled. Yet Muslims can find no prophecies fulfilled by Mohammed anywhere in the Bible. They claim Mohammed is as great as Jesus. Why then do they not have evidence as great as what we have for Jesus?

(For further discussion of the accuracy of the preservation of the Bible, see a link to our article on that subject at the end of this study.)

B. There Is No Evidence Mohammed Could Predict the Future.

Unquestionably Jesus accurately predicted the future. Even Islam admits Jesus was a prophet. The ability to predict the future is one proof of a prophet. Yet Mohammed rarely attempted to predict the future, and when he did he failed.

Mohammed once predicted there would be 73 sects of Islam, of which only one would survive. But Muslims admit there have been far more than 73. And today many sects, not just one, still survive. [EB, XII-711]

Deuteronomy 18:21f – When a man predicts the future and the prediction fails, he is not from God, so do not be afraid of him.

Islam claims that Mohammed is a prophet like Moses and Jesus. Both Moses and Jesus made prophecies, all of them came true, none failed. Mohammed made few prophecies, yet even so at least one of them failed. How then can Mohammed be a prophet like Moses and Jesus?


IV. Miracles


A. Many Eyewitnesses Testify that Jesus Did Miracles.

The Bible records many testimonies from people who saw His miracles (see study on evidences).

Even Jesus’ enemies and opponents during His lifetime admitted He did miracles.

The Koran confirms that Jesus did miracles (2:250, p31).

So, there can be no doubt that Jesus did miracles. But remember that the purpose of His miracles was to confirm that all His claims are true.

B. What Evidence Is There that Mohammed Worked Miracles?

No eyewitnesses testify seeing Mohammed do miracles.

Usually, there are no serious claims that Mohammed did miracles to confirm his message. When people do make such claims, they base them, not on eyewitness testimony, but on tradition or fables written years after the alleged events.

For example, one night Mohammed was allegedly carried to Jerusalem and from there ascended into heaven to see wonderful visions. However, no one saw it happen. His wife says he never left the bed. [CRI-24]

There is absolutely no eyewitness testimony to confirm any miracles done by Mohammed.

Muslims commonly claim that the writing of the Koran is a miracle.

We will see later that it is entirely possible for someone to write such a book by human wisdom.

Nevertheless, this is an invalid use of miracles. True miracles are events, in addition to the delivery of a revelation, done for the purpose of confirming the revelation to be from God (see references under evidences). While we should examine the revelation itself for evidence, that is a separate argument from miracles.

When one claims that the revelation itself is a miracle to confirm the revelation, he proves that he does not understand the purpose of miracles.

Others claim the rapid growth of Islam is a miracle.

Islam did grow very rapidly, but much of it came by military conquest. If that proves Islam is from God, then consider the military conquests of Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Hitler, and Nebuchadnezzar? Do the military conquests of these men confirm that their religious beliefs were revealed from God?

Islam claims to believe in Moses and the Old Testament and in Jesus and the gospel. We have overwhelming evidence that Moses and Jesus did miracles to confirm the Divine origin of their revelations – evidence so clear even their enemies and Muslims admit the miracles. If Mohammed’s teachings replace Moses’ and Jesus’ teachings, then Mohammed must also have done miracles like Moses and Jesus did. But Mohammed’s evidence is insignificant compared to that of Moses and Jesus. How then can Mohammed be a prophet like Moses and Jesus?


V. Resurrection from the Dead


A. Jesus’ Resurrection Is the Greatest Miracle of All.

Many eyewitnesses testify to Jesus’ resurrection (see article on evidences). Muslims admit Jesus did other miracles, but deny He arose. Yet the evidence for the resurrection is far more abundant and convincing than the evidence for any other miracle He did.

This evidence is recorded in many ancient copies of the Scriptures written before Mohammed’s time. There is no evidence whatever that these records were corrupted in later years. Yet Muslims, who came some 600 years after Jesus, deny the eyewitness testimony.

B. Muslims Do Not Even Claim Mohammed Arose from the Dead.

Muslims hope someday they and Mohammed will be raised from the dead, but their hope is based on the teaching of a man still in His grave. The Christian hope is based on the example of one who arose to prove that we will all be raised. Muslims try to discredit the evidence of Jesus’ resurrection, but that evidence is far more conclusive than any evidence that Mohammed did any miracles. How then can Mohammed be a prophet as great as Jesus?


VI. Unity of Scripture


A proof of the Bible is the unity of its teaching. Though some 40 different men penned its various books, yet these writings are completely harmonious with no contradictions. This is evidence that it is all the product of the mind of God, just like it claims.

There are no conflicts in history or geography between the Old and New Testaments. Gospel writers often use Old Testament prophecy and teaching to confirm that the New Testament fulfilled the Old.

A. Mohammed’s Teaching Often Contradicts with the Bible.

We might expect some difference in doctrine, since Muslims claim the Koran replaced the gospel. But there should be no conflict of history or eternal principles. Note some examples: [CRI-48; WR-95; EB, XIII-483]

* Mohammed said Jesus’ death was not a crucifixion, He did not die as a sacrifice for the sins of others, and He did not rise from the dead (4:157-159). The Bible teaches all these as fact (see above).

* Mohammed said Jesus was not Divine and not the Son of God (9:130; 19:135 – p168; 6:100 – p 78; 4:171 – p61), but the Bible teaches that He was (see above).

* Mohammed thought Christians believe that the Godhead consists of the Father, Son, and Mary, whereas actually it is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. [CRI-73; WR-101]

* The Koran says one of Noah’s sons drowned in the flood (11:42 – p121), but the Bible says all his sons were spared (Gen. 7:1-7; 1 Peter 3:20).

* The Koran says Lot’s wife stayed behind and perished among the people of Sodom (26:171 – p202), whereas the Bible says she fled but looked back and was turned to a pillar of salt (Gen. 19:15f,26).

* The Koran says John the Baptist’s father was speechless for 3 days as a sign from the angel (3:41 – p37; 19), but the Bible says he was speechless from before the time his wife conceived till the baby was born (Luke 1:13,20,24,57-64).

* Mohammed referred to Haman as the minister of Pharaoh, whereas the Bible says he was minister of Ahasuerus, king of Persia in the book of Eshter. [WR-95; EB, XIII-483]

* Mohammed confused Miriam the sister of Moses with Mary the mother of Jesus. [EB, XIII-483]

* The Koran teaches men today may practice polygamy and divorce for any cause (4:3,20 – p48; 2:229-232 – pp29,30). Jesus said this was allowed under the Old Testament only because of the hardness of men’s hearts, but would not be allowed under the New Testament (Matt. 19:3-9). Islam claims Mohammed’s revelation is greater than Jesus, yet its moral standard is clearly inferior.

* The Koran teaches there will be marriage in heaven (52:5 – p284; 44:54 – p268), but Jesus said there is not (Matt. 22:30).

Muslim’s try to rationalize by claiming that the Koran has been preserved accurately but the Bible has been perverted. Hence, whenever there is conflict, the Bible is wrong and the Koran is right.

Yet consider again how much of the Bible this means has been corrupted. And remember that God promised He would not let His word be destroyed. There is no historical evidence that the Bible has been corrupted and much evidence that it has not been. If God can preserve the Koran without allowing it to be corrupted, why can he not preserve the Bible in the same way? (See above).

Christians also claim to believe the Old Testament, but in order to prove our case we never need to argue that the Old Testament has been corrupted. On the contrary, Jesus and His apostles and all Christians take the Old Testament, just as it is, and use it to substantiate our case (Acts 17:1-3,11; see article on evidences).

Islam claims to believe in both the Old and New Testament. Yet to make their case, they must repeatedly claim that the Old and New Testaments are corrupt. Why can’t they prove their claim, using the Bible as we have it, like Christians can do using the Old Testament? Why must they discredit the very messages they claim are from God?

B. Mohammed’s Teaching Contradicts Itself.

The Bible does not contradict itself, despite being written by 40 different men from widely different circumstances. Just one man wrote the Koran so, if it had no self-contradictions, it would prove little. However, it turns out that this one man did contradict himself.

* Mohammed commanded his disciples to use violence against those who reject Islam, yet he said violence should not be practiced in the name of religion (Koran 9:5,29 – pp102,111; cf. 2:256 – p32) .

* He forbade the use of images, then under threat of starvation he excused it, then later he again condemned it (see above).

* He first taught men to pray facing Jerusalem, then later said they must pray facing Mecca. [EB, XV-647]

* In fact Mohammed admitted having changed his doctrine at times. Muslim commentators themselves admit some 5-50 examples of such. [EB, XIII-483]

Jesus’ teachings harmonize with all previous Divine revelation, without arguing that it has been corrupted. But Mohammed’s teaching conflicts with previous revelation that he admits was from God. Jesus never changed His teaching and never contradicted Himself (1 Cor. 1:13), but Mohammed contradicted himself and changed his teachings several times. How then can Mohammed be a prophet as great as Jesus?

Conclusion

The evidence confirms the gospel of Jesus, not Islam.

Muslims make many claims for Islam, but there is no real proof that Islam is true. Anyone can make claims. Proving them is another matter.

Christians accept Jesus and His gospel, but reject Mohammed and Islam, on the basis of proof. The evidence is that:

* Jesus was sinless but Mohammed committed sin.

* Jesus fulfilled many Old Testament prophecies, but Muslims cannot prove Mohammed ever fulfilled any.

* Jesus made predictions of the future that came true, but Mohammed made none that were fulfilled and at least one that failed.

* Jesus performed miracles as attested by eyewitnesses, but there is no eyewitness proof that Mohammed ever did any miracle.

* Jesus arose from the dead as attested by witnesses, but Muslims do not even claim that Mohammed arose.

* Jesus’ teaching agrees with itself, but the teachings of Mohammed contradict themselves.

* Jesus’ teachings harmonize with, and His claims are substantiated by, all Divine revelation that went before Him. He and His followers never discredit previous revelation. Mohammed’s teachings are not substantiated by prior revelation but contradict it, so Muslims repeatedly discredit prior revelations, while still claiming that those revelations were from God.

The evidence proves, not just that Mohammed was not a prophet like Jesus, but that in fact Mohammed was not a true prophet of God at all. His teaching bears none of the proofs of true prophetic teaching, but it does bear all the earmarks of being the work of a false prophet. (Matthew 7:15-23; 15:14; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; Acts 20:28-30; 1 John 4:1; 2 Timothy 4:2-4; Titus 1:9-14; 2 John 9-11; Romans 16:17,18; Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Peter chap. 2)

Philippians 2:9-11 – Jesus has a name that is above every name. To Him every knee will bow and every tongue confess. It follows that Jesus is greater than Mohammed and someday every Muslim will confess it. Everyone ought to confess it now while they have the opportunity to be saved.

Note: If you would like to study further about related Bible topics, we have a number of other study materials on our web site that should interest you. Please see the links listed below.

(C) Copyright 2000, David E. Pratte
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Evidence for Jesus’ Resurrection
The Inspiration of the Bible
The Preservation of the Bible
Number of Individuals in God
Why So Much Religious Confusion and Disagreement?
The Importance of Bible Knowledge

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Jesus said He Is God!

Posted by Scott on June 18, 2008

     
“I’ve heard that Jesus never actually claimed He was God.”

John 14:7-10 [7] If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” [8] Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”   [9] Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, `Show us the Father’?  [10] Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.

John 10:30  “I and the Father are one.”

John 14:11  Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.

John 10:37-38 [37] Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. [38] But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”

Matthew 27:43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, `I am the Son of God.’

John 17:11   I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name–the name you gave me–so that they may be one as we are one.

“When Jesus said ‘I and the Father are one’ didn’t He just mean they are of one accord, they are merely like-minded?

Taken alone, statements such as “I and the Father are one.” and “The Father is in me, and I am in the Father.” could mean simply that Jesus agrees with God.  But in the overall  context of the Bible this cannot be:

John 10:31-33  [31] Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, [32] but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”   [33] “We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”

John 17:5  And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

John 17:10   [Speaking to the Father] All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.

Note: “Son of Man” was a term referring to the expected Messiah.

Mark 14:61b-62   [61b] Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?”  [62] “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Luke 22:66-70  [66] At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. [67] “If you are the Christ, ” they said, “tell us.”  Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, [68] and if I asked you, you would not answer. [69] But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”  [70] They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?”  He replied, “You are right in saying I am.”

Daniel 7:13-14 [13] “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. [14] He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
 

Jesus clearly and repeatedly indicated that He is not the one who “calls the shots”.

John 14:31  the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.

John 7:16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me.”

John 8:42  Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me.”

John 17:3-12   [3] Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. [4] I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. [5] And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. [6] I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. [7] Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. [8] For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. [9] I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. [10] All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. [11] I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name–the name you gave me–so that they may be one as we are one. [12] While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
 

THE HEBREW BIBLE (OLD TESTAMENT)
SAYS GOD HAS A SON

 


From The Tanakh — The New JPS Translation
(c) 1985 by
the Jewish Publication Society

Proverbs 30:4 [JPS]

Who has ascended heaven and come down?
Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hand?
Who has wrapped the waters in his garment?
Who was established all the extremeties of the earth?
What is his name
or his son’s name, if you know it?

 


Proverbs 30:4 [NKJV]   Who has ascended into heaven, or descended?  Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, if you know?

THE HEBREW BIBLE (THE OLD TESTAMENT) SAYS THAT GOD WOULD COME TO EARTH AS A HUMAN MALE.

Isaiah 9:6-7 [6] For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. [7] Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. …

When Jesus claimed to be God incarnate, either:

  1. He was telling the truth.
  2. He was lying — He wasn’t God and knew it.
  3. He was a lunatic — He wasn’t God but thought He was.

This is known as The Trilemma.

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The distinctives of the Lord Jesus-Christ in the Koran!

Posted by Scott on June 18, 2008

What Does the Koran Say about Jesus?

 

 

1. Jesus was the only person to be born of a virgin, distinguished from all humans and prophets without any exception: “She said, How shall I have a son, whom no mortal has touched, neither have I been unchased. He said, Even so thy Lord has said: Easy is that for Me; and that We may appoint him a sign unto men and a mercy from Us. It is a thing determined.”(19) (Mary 16-24).

2. Jesus Christ alone was distinguished from all humans by being the Word of God, who is the very expression of the Self of God end His eternal Being: “The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, God’s Messenger, and His Word…” (4)The Women 171; (3)House of Imran 40).

3. Jesus Christ alone emanated from the spirit of God; for this reason He did not need a sexual, genetical birth. “The Messiah, Jesus Son of Mary, God’s Messenger, and His Word that He committed to Mary, and a Spirit from Him.” (4)The Women 169)

4. Jesus Christ alone, in exception to all humans, spoke while in the cradle (19)Mary 22-32). The Koran tells us that Christ needed no one to teach Him anything, not even how to speak. The Bible says: “Who hath directed the spirit of the Lord, or being His counselor hath taught Him knowledge and showed to Him the way of understanding.” (Isaiah 40:1,13-14). Naturally, no one can teach the One who emanated from God’s Spirit for He is the All-knowing.

5. Jesus Christ alone was distinguished from all prophets with His infallibility and was the only one to be singled out for His perfection; for all the prophets had sinned, and their sins were mentioned in the Koran. However, Christ was the only exception, for “High honored shall be in this world and the next.” (3)House of Imran 45). Also, the Arab prophet (El-Bukhari) testified for the perfection of Christ and His infallibility, saying: “Satan pokes with his finger the side of every human at birth, except Jesus, son of Mary; when he went to poke Him, he poked the curtain.”

6. Jesus Christ alone was distinguished from all others in the sense that He was the Creator: “I will create for you out of clay as the likeness of a bird; then I will breathe into it and it will be a bird.” (3)House of  Imran 42).

7. Jesus Christ alone was uniquely incomparable in knowing men’s secrets: “I will inform you too of what things you eat, and what you treasure up in your houses. Surely, in that is a sign for you if you are believers.” (3)House of Imran 48).

8. Jesus was matchless in making the miracles and the wonders which no other could make: “And I will also heal the blind and the leper…” (3)House of Imran 48).

9. Jesus Christ alone could raise the dead with the word of His blessed mouth: And I will bring life to the dead…”  (3)House of Imran 48; (5)The Table 110).

10. Jesus Christ alone exclusively enjoyed the prophetical title of “the Messiah”: “The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was God’s Messenger, and His Word committed to Mary…” (4)Women 169). The Old Testament made known the real identity of the Messiah, saying: “Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgement and justice in the earth… and this is the name whereby He shall be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Jeremiah 23:5-6)

11. Jesus Christ alone exchanged responsibility of authority with God: “And I was a witness over them, while I remained among them; but when thou didst take me to thy self, Thou wast Thyself the watcher over them.” (5)Table 117).

12. Jesus was the only one to become a Sign unto men and Mercy from God (19)Mary 20) unto men who fell under the burden and the shackles of sin; for which, God’s justice and holiness condemned them to eternal perdition. For this reason the only Savior, who can offer eternal salvation to men came to be a Mercy from God.

13. Only Jesus Christ could give His followers high honors and assurances concerning the day of Resurrection: “I will cause thee to die, and I will raise thee to Me, and I will purify thee of those who believe not. I will set thy followers above the unbelievers till the resurrection Day,”  (3)House of Imran 55)

14. Only Jesus will be the Judge who will come to this world to judge the living and the dead; the Arab prophet (El-Bukhari) confirmed this fact, saying: “The Last Hour will not come until the Son of Mary come down as the just Judge.”

 

Who is Christ Indeed?

If you meditated on any of the Koran verses that portray the Lord Jesus Christ, you find that they are inherent attributes that are exclusively distinctive of God; and that He did not share any of them with any human at all. Moreover, you find that the Lord Jesus Christ did not enjoy only one of these attributes, but He included all of them in His blessed person, so that He may leave no doubt concerning His deity and divinity.

The New Testament recorded that the All-mighty God became a perfect man (something that was easy for Him to do) and came from heaven to our earth to save men. The Bible says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God … and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1,14). Then the Bible continues the portrayal of Christ, saying:”And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; He who was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the spirit, Seen of angels, Preached among the nations, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16).

 

The Doctrine of the “SON OF GOD” in the Old Testament.

The Jews believe, as many of the Muslims do, that the idea of “The Son of God” was an innovation of Christianity, brought as a heresy against the faith in the One God. But if you study the Tenach, which is the Jewish Torah or Old Testament, you will find that the doctrine of God’s Son is braided, fused, and embedded in the very foundations of the Tenach. And in these few coming lines, we will present the strongest proofs that support this doctrine and prove that the Jews have rejected the very doctrine of their Holy Tenach concerning God’s Son. The second Psalm says: “Now therefore be wise, O ye kings: Be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve Jehovah with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the son, lest he be angry, and ye perish in the way, For his wrath will soon be kindled. Blessed are all they that take refuge in him.” (Psalms 2:10-12).

Who is this Son that God is admonishing the kings, the judges, and the people of the earth to give Him loyalty, honor, homage, and reverence? Which human son is worthy of having the whole world putting their trust in him? For certainty, there is no human who is worthy or capable to accept the responsibility of all humans putting their trust in him. For this reason, the wisest human that ever lived, king Solomon, made known that that Son is the Son of the Omni-potent Creator to whom nothing is impossible: “Who hath ascended up into heaven, and descended? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound the waters in his garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou knowest? ” (Proverbs 30:4)

Salomon excelled in proclaiming the truth when God revealed to him that that Son who became unto us wisdom from God (1 Corinthians 1:31), and who is the Word of God, was with God since the beginning, exactly as the Asharite group deducted in their argument concerning the Word or God and the eternality thereof; he said: ” The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, Before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, Before the earth was … While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, Nor the beginning of the dust of the world. When he established the heavens, I was there: When he set a circle upon the face of the deep, When he made firm the skies above, When the fountains of the deep became strong, When he gave to the sea its bound, That the waters should not transgress his commandment, When he marked out the foundations of the earth; Then I was by him, as a master workman; And I was dailhis delight… ” (Proverbs 8:22-30)

Then came Isaiah, the greatest of the Jewish prophets, to dissipate all the clouds of doubts concerning the identity of the Son of the All-mighty God, he said: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel; [which is, being interpreted, God with us.]”(Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6-7). Who is this Son who is worthy of homage, loyalty and honor as well as being entitled to be called The mighty God, the Everlasting Father? No one except the only and unique One, the Lord Jesus Christ, who was born of a virgin, in exception to all humans for genetical birth did not become to Him.

If you studied the Tenach in depth, you find that the central theme of its entirety is the Lord Jesus Christ. It also contains more than three hundred prophecies about the expected Messiah. The prophets were given the privilege of predicting the details of every aspect of His birth, life, death, and resurrection. All those prophecies were precisely fulfilled in Jesus’ birth, its time, its place, and the events that related to it; and in His forerunner, and in His life, ministry, miracles, preaching, disciples, the Jews treating Him, crucifixion, burial, the period of His staying in the grave, glorious resurrection from the dead, and ascension to heaven. All that was done so that He could prove to men that He was not an ordinary human, but the God who forged history and fashioned the events so that the prophecies could be fulfilled, to prepare men to meet the True God who loved them.

 

Why Did Christ Come?

Christ came to save us from our sins and from the eternal torment that our sins brought upon us. We are sinners by nature and by choice: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one … They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one … For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:10-23). Moreover, we cannot save ourselves neither by our money nor by our good works, for the Lord’s salvation is by the grace of God; and there fore, it is a free gift: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Whereas God is most holy and pure, and whereas His holiness does not accept sin, our sins brought upon us the wrath of God, and we have become worthy of eternal perdition: “For the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23). Furthermore, we cannot save ourselves with self efforts, nor can we buy our eternity with a fistful of money or good works no matter how good they are. If a man condemned to death for breaking human laws cannot satisfy human justice with a fistful of money nor can he settle his debt by performing good works, how then can we expect to satisfy the absolute justice of God with a handful of money and some good works? God’s justice requires the most severe punishments, which led man to the fire of hell.

But the love of God for us is far greater than what we can imagine. Consequently, He sent His only Holy and Pure Son, to satisfy the divine justice which cannot accept other than the most severe punishment. For without the shedding of blood, there is no remission for sin. For this reason, God demanded of man to offer the sacrifices for sins; but all those sacrifices would have meant nothing, nor would they have any effect, had they not been the symbol of the precious blood that was shed on the cross upon Mount Calvary: “… the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins … Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”(Hebrews 10:11; 9:12).

“The Great Sacrifice” that was mentioned by the Koran in (The Rangers 37:109), quoting the Torah, and telling the story of Abraham, when he was about to offer his son as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah, but God stopped him and gave him a lamb to redeem his son; was but a symbol of the redemptive work of Christ on Calvary. Here, we see the Koran calling it “the Great Sacrifice”, because that lamb was not an ordinary lamb, similar to the other lambs that were offered daily; but was a unique lamb, a gift from heaven to Abraham to redeem his son who was under the judgement of a sure death. Also, because God wanted to teach us, that: what happened on Mount Moriah (which is Mount Calvary), was but a symbol; first, of man’s situation and his sins that brought God’s judgement of eternal death in the fire of hell, upon him. Secondly, of the love of God who sent the Gift of Heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29). Then Christ died on the same spot where Abraham offered the lamb to redeem his son; symbolizing the death of Christ for man to forgive the sins of everyone that believes: “Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” (Hebrews 10:18).

Therefore, Abraham’s “Great Sacrifice” which was offered by Christ with His own blood, to redeem man and to nullify all other sacrifices, seeing that we need them no more: “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God … For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (1 Peter 3: 18; John 3:16). And whereas Jesus Christ is the Word of God and His Spirit; i.e., His Son, He could not be held back by death in the grave; but He arose the third day from the dead with great glory, to prove His clam, and to establish His message: “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” (Romans 4:25).

 

Who is a Christian?

 

 

 

 

Not everyone that is labeled as a Christian is a Christian. A person might be pious, or religious, but not a real Christian; the Bible says: “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.” (Matthew 7 :21). Unfortunately, most of those who are labeled as Christian, are not even religious let alone real Christians. Moreover, in real Christianity, no nation can be considered a Christian nation, because Christianity is a personal relationship between God and the individual: “For many be called, but few chosen… Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 20:16; 7:13-14).

Therefore, a true Christian is a Christian neither by birth nor by heritage, nor by coercion, nor by force. But rather, he is the person who responds to God’s call and the working of the Holy Spirit in his heart, inviting him to eternal salvation. For this reason God excluded governments, states, and organizations from His salvation plan; because man always tends to abuse his powers, and then tries to justify his oppressive actions by claiming that he is acting on God’s behalf (And that is an excuse worse than the misdeed); as if God is unable to avenge. We should never forget what the almighty God said: “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Romans 12:19). In contrast, Christ sent his followers as lambs in the midst of wolves. However, this does not mean that kings, governors and statesmen do not have the same chance like everyone else to be saved, for they are born sinners like the rest of us, and they surely need God’s salvation: (God) Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4). Moreover, the true Christian lives the godly life, in obedience to god, so he may be a light in the midst of this world of darkness. Also, the true Christian obeys the Lord’s commandment concerning baptism. A follower of Christ would find a fundamental group of believers with whom he would have fellowship, for mutual edification.

 

 

 

Necessity of Faith!

Even though God has completed the work of salvation and offered it to us as a free gift, we cannot enjoy God’s salvation unless we repent from our sins, and accept the lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior: “Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions… But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (Ezekiel 18:30; Acts 3:19; John 1:12).

Here we find that the calling of God unto repentance was built upon love, compassion and mercy, with no intimidation, scare, unnerving or coercion, whatsoever. For the love of God inspires a respect to man and gives him the opportunity to make an important decision for himself. Consequently, God says: “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life…” (Deut. 30:19-20).

The Bible stresses upon the center of faith, saying: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:31). Without this faith in Christ, there is no possibility to please God, nor receive eternal salvation or eternal bliss. Therefore, the answer to the most important question that faces man concerning the place where he will spend his eternity, is based in its entirety upon the individual’s faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His redemptive work on the cross for the forgiveness of sins. The Bible says: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9,13).

Therefore, as a sinner who desires and seeks to receive the forgiveness of your sins, eternal life, and the assurance of your eternity, [you can pray something like this]: “Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. [I know that I am a dreadful sinner condemned unclean a part from Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit.  Now I am praying asking you to forgive my sins once and for all and to give me eternal life. Thank you because you have heard [my] prayer.  In [the name above every name-Jesus Christ] I pray.  Amen.”

 

An Imperative Word

How may a guilty man have any hope from the justice of the legal code if he is brought before a judge who happened to be his opponent? The Bible confirms the fact that Christ will come as the Judge, saying: “The Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.” (2 Tim.4:1). Islam has supported this fact as Mohammed said: “The Last Hour will not come until the son of Mary come down as the just Judge.” Then the Bible says that the Lord Jesus Christ “will judge the world in righteousness… For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.” (Acts 17:31; John 5:22). Therefore, we see here a fact that does not allow questioning or argument; first, that “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27); secondly, that the Lord Jesus Christ will come back as the righteous Judge of the living and the dead.

Here, we have to ask what is the account that man would give before the Judge? As the Bible teaches, Christ died for our sins, to give us complete forgiveness. But what happens if we reject that forgiveness? The Bible says: “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18). Therefore, the most serious charge that man will face before the Great Judge is the answer we will give in response to the redemptive work of Christ for you. What will your answer be to His question: “Did you accept the redemptive work that I accomplished on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins?” The Bible replies, saying: “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God, which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1 John 5:7-12).

Therefore, the great case before the righteous Judge is based upon the fact whether you accepted or rejected God’s testimony concerning His son and His redemptive work on the cross. This means that if you rejected that testimony, you have discredited the testimony of God concerning His Son, and you will find yourself without excuse in the hands of an angry Judge, reaping the wrath that you have treasured for yourself against the Day of Wrath, whereon the righteous judgement of god will be given against every one that had decided not to believe the Word of God nor to accept His testimony. The prayer of my heart is that you have accepted the redemptive word of Christ on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins, and have received Christ as your personal Savior, so that you will be found among the saved and the faithful. God Bless you. Amen.

Excerpt from: The gospel of Christ Jesus according to Saint John – As reviewed by the Koran and Muslim scholars, By: Dr. Ben Malik Jamil

Prepared for the Internet by:

www.TheGrace.com

 

 

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Do You Practice God Centered Evangelism?

Posted by Scott on February 27, 2008

What is your main objective? Is it to see people come to Christ and be saved?

Is it to do good works for your fellow man?

Or is your ultimate goal in all things to bring glory our sovereign God?

Watch This Video Here!

 

1 Peter 4:11

“if any man speaketh, ‘speaking’ as it were oracles of God;

is any man ministereth, ‘ministering’ as of the strength which God supplieth:

that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ,

whose is the glory and the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”

-scott bailey 2008

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Speaking of Sin!

Posted by Scott on February 26, 2008

“They’re Aware of Their Sin, Why Beat Them Up?”

That sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? I mean, after all –
who would honestly say that they’ve never sinned?
Probably nobody. And since unbelievers already feel guilty enough over they’re past mistakes, then it goes without saying that we should spend the vast majority of our time preaching a positive message of Good News to them, rather than dwelling on the negatives. In this post, we’ll actually go inside of a prison and test-out this theory on convicted felons. If anybody ought to understand their own guilt and sinfulness, it would be real/live rapists, murders, and thieves, right?

Warning: Understanding the things in this video could
challenge your entire view of ‘relevance’ in evangelism.

I’ve mentioned before my experiences in the church that I used to attend which, over time, transitioned into a model based on what is prescribed by Bill Hybels and Rick Warren. If I were to pick out one key reason why I left that church when I did, this would have been it. I knew there was something wrong when a year of time passes with very little mention of sin. Oh sure, bad habits were talked about, and how Jesus might help you to get free from those. And yes, there was the “nobody’s perfect / we’ve all made mistakes” talk. But there wasn’t much more than that.

There were always a few that would approach the pastor and question him on these changes in our church. His answer typically went something like this:

“People are plenty-aware of their sin and there’s no need to keep reminding them of what they already know. What I want to share with them is the positive message of Good News of what God has done for them and the purpose he has for their lives.”

Let’s examine the dangerous incompatibility between the seeker friendly “everyone is aware of their own sinfulness” theory and the bible, specifically in Luke 7 this time. In the immediate context leading up to this passage, there is a self-righteous Pharisee who seems to be lacking a grasp of his own sinfulness; his focus is only elsewhere. Jesus continues:


Luke 7:41-48“A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly”. Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven — for she loved much.
But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”…


When you read that, don’t you see the problem with an approach to preaching that minimizes, renames, redefines, or simply doesn’t mention sin? It always amazes me how often we have Seeker Sensitive pastors visit OldTruth.com and leave comments to let us know how they think WE are “Pharisees”. The truth is, their whole system of church has a design-flaw that would have prevented any attempt at dislodging the Luke 7 Pharisee from his self-righteousness. The content of their sermons have the deadly side-effect of passivity towards the large debt owed to God by “seekers” who believe and behave as though they have little debt. Therefore we so often find that the people in these churches have little love for the moneylender.What does this have to do with ‘relevance’?

Since the debtors love the moneylender little, they see lesser relevance in having their debts forgiven, after all – it doesn’t seem to them that they owe that much. A new type of value must then be found and assigned to the moneylender, otherwise today’s debtors will not find Him very relevant. Other forms of relevance are employed to keep debtors coming back to hear more about what else the moneylender can do for them.

I can almost hear the response to this now, saying “you only want to preach hellfire and damnation and make people feel lousy about themselves“. But that’s less than accurate; what we really want is for debtors to understand how very much is owed to the moneylender, so that they will value Him and see relevance (the real relevance) in Him. We want them to understand the valleys of sin so that they will understand the mountain peaks of grace.

If you’ve had your fill of cotton candy preaching that softpedals the truth, and churches that don’t deal with the reality of God seeing man as being sinful, then here are some resources that will give you the pieces of the puzzle that you’ve been missing. The fact that a true modern equivalent of these books is non-existent makes a statement about the times we live in:

There are many pastors today who, although not being as extreme as Joel Osteen in avoiding any sin talk, yet share some of his fear of speaking the truth. Today these “positive-only pastors” seem to come from the same cookie cutter template; here for example is Osteen himself in a Larry King interview:

KING: You don’t call them sinners?OSTEEN: I don’t.

KING: Is that a word you don’t use?

OSTEEN: I don’t use it. I never thought about it. But I probably don’t. But most people already know what they’re doing wrong. When I get them to church I want to tell them that you can change. There can be a difference in your life. So I don’t go down the road of condemning. (full transcript)

Where have I heard that before?

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Are Statements of Faith Harmful?

Posted by Scott on February 25, 2008

 

“Belief Statements Create Harmful Borders?”

Tony Jones was recently asked about the concerns being expressed by some – that Emergent has no doctrine or a statement of faith. His response: “I’m even more concerned that people [do] have statements of faith. Statements of faith are about drawing borders, which means you have to load your weapons and place soldiers at those borders. You have to check people’s passports when they pass those borders.”

Tony Jones is the National Coordinator of Emergent, an organization that endeavors to be heard in the Emerging Church conversation. Others who have had a role in Emergent include Brian McLaren and Doug Pagitt.

The quote above comes from an interview by Relevant Magazine;
Tony Jones continues his statement by saying:

It becomes an obsession — guarding the borders.
That is simply not the ministry of Jesus. It wasn’t the ministry of Paul or Peter. It started to become the ministry of the early Church, and it abated somewhat in the Middle Ages and blew back to life in the time of modernity. For the short duration of time that I have on this planet to do my best to partner with God and build His kingdom, I don’t want to spend it guarding borders. I’d like to spend it inviting people into the kingdom. Statements of faith don’t do they. They’re a modernistic endeavor that I’m not the least bit interested in.

That’s such a 180 degree turn from most of the Christianity of past centuries, and it deals with something static that should not be susceptible to cultural changes. Our more firmly grounded brothers and sisters of the past would have expressed sentiments similar to this video clip:

Later in that same interview, Tony Jones is asked about Emergent’s willingness to fellowship with lesbian pastors and others with diverse beliefs.
Part of his response was:

I certainly don’t think that the issue of absolute truth is a
good reason to break fellowship with someone who’s trying to
follow Jesus.

My response to that is – what Jesus are you talking about?
Since you don’t have a statement of faith to answer the question,
I have to ask – which Jesus do you mean?

  • Is the Infant Jesus of Prague the same Jesus that you’re talking about?
  • Jesus of Latter-Day Saints? Mormons do read the same bible you know.
  • What about that cab driver named Jesus; is he the same Jesus?

What if we are worshipping together and while you are worshipping your idea of Jesus, I am worshipping a Jesus that doesn’t have the attributes described in the bible. Do we really have unity in that case, or are we simply covering-up our disunity by pretending to worship the same Jesus together? Before you follow Tony Jones and burn your statement of faith, remember that this issue is not as simple as saying “my Jesus is the one in the bible“; after all – there are numerous cults that say the exact same thing.

I’m not the only one to be concerned about making sure that we are talking about the true Jesus. In 2 Corinthians 11:4 Paul speaks negatively about the Corinthian church that puts up with someone who “comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed”. And in John 8:24 Jesus says: “unless you believe that I am he – you will die in your sins“. The word ‘that‘ denotes some facts follow that must be believed. And so it’s more than just “who” that matters but it’s also “what” you believe that matters.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who was arguably England’s greatest preacher of the 20th century, seemed to be on a completely different wavelength than Tony Jones, in terms of doctrine and history. The reality is, the borders that Emergent is afraid of, were warmly embraced by leaders in church history, and were necessary for a healthy church, as Lloyd-Jones explains:

The Creeds were attempts on the part of the Church to define, and to lay down, what is true and what is not true. And in this way they were able to brand certain teachers as heretics, and to exclude them from the life of the Christian Church. … During the great period of the Protestant Reformation likewise the different sections of the Reformed Church drew up their Confessions of Faith. … What was their purpose? I ask the question because we are living in an age when many say,
Of course, these things do not matter at all, they have no relevance to us“. I am trying to show their vast importance, their extreme relevance at this present time. Confessions were drawn up for the same reason as held good during the earlier centuries. Church leaders, led by the Holy Spirit, and enlightened by Him, saw very clearly that they must, as their first duty, lay down clearly and on paper what is true and what is not true. In part they had to define their faith over against Roman Catholicism. And not only so, but also over against certain heresies that were tending to rise even amongst themselves. So they drew up their great ‘Confessions’ — which in a sense are nothing but the Creeds once more — in order to give the people light and guidance and instruction with respect to what they should believe. [read more]

In the Relevant Magazine article, the interviewer poses this to Tony Jones: “You mentioned earlier that you have lesbian pastors and conservative absolutists. It seems that it would create a tension point when it comes to endorsing that person’s view or platform“. Tony Jones responds:

If you believe that Christianity is — at its very heart —
a tension-filled, dialectical endeavor, you have less problems with these tension-filled relationships with believers. Christianity is paradoxical. Life comes out of death. Jesus was fully human and fully divine. We haven’t yet found that there’s anything that justifies us breaking fellowship with somebody else who loves and is trying to follow Jesus. Why would you break fellowship with someone because you have a different understanding of the atonement than they do? Or a different understanding of human sexuality than they do?
It seems nonsensical that we’d give each other tests and try to hang it over someone else’s head and say, “Hey, dude. I’m going to break fellowship with you if we can’t come to agreement on this particular issue.” It just doesn’t seem to be the nature of human life.

Here again Emergent seems to be on a different wavelength, certainly than the apostles. Richard Ganz wrote a book that reflects the concerns that Paul had with the Corinthians. Ganz’s book is called “20 Controversies That Almost Killed a Church“. Perhaps these controversies would be swept under a carpet of ‘love’ by many postmodern folks, but the Apostle Paul was one absolutist who loved the church too much not to address these controversies head-on. Romans 16:17 says: “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them“. In his book, Richard Ganz addresses that directive to avoid certain professing Christians, by saying:

These individuals who tear up churches and who teach doctrine contrary to what they have learned, are selfish, self-centered, self-indulgent individuals, with whom believers are to have no fellowship. Unity in Christ does not mean that you have fellowship with everyone, but only those who are biblical.

But isn’t that exactly what Emergent is trying to do? They are trying to extend their umbrella of unity over almost anyone who professes to be a Christian, regardless of whether their beliefs are biblical or not. Someone need only claim to be a “follower of Jesus” to be accepted into this unity, and little or no attempt is made to determine which Jesus they may be following. But as Charles Spurgeon warned, among the casualties of this anti-credalism includes truth itself:

The arch-enemy of truth has invited us to level our walls, and take away our fenced cities. He has cajoled some true-hearted, but weak-headed, believers to advocate this crafty policy; and, from the best of motives, some foolish brethren are almost prepared to execute the cunning design. “Away with creeds and bodies of divinity.” This is the cry of the day. Ostensibly, it is reverence for the Bible, and attachment to charity, which dictates the clamorous denunciation; but at the bottom is hatred of definite truth, and especially the doctrines of grace, which has suggested the absurd outcry. It is a very high honour to our systems of divinity that the gentlemen of the new school cannot endure them … where there no other argument in favour of articles and creeds, the destestation of Neologians might go far to establish them in Christian estimation.

Certainly, unbelievers should be welcomed into our churches; none of the above is meant to say otherwise. It should be clear in most cases however, who the unbelievers are so that evangelism can take place by believers who have love for one another and have all things in common, all things – including beliefs.

Related Information and Resources:


 
 

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“Deeds Not Creeds?” Huh?

Posted by Scott on February 25, 2008

“Deeds Not Creeds”? The Reformers Knew Better

   Quoting Horatius Bonar . . .

In the Reformation we find doctrine, life, and action, nobly blended. Between these there was harmony, not antagonism. Some who have decried doctrine have set up life and dogma as antagonists; lauding the former at the expense of the latter. This is foolishness. What we accept, as the true adjustment of conflicting claims, is life and dogma in harmony; not life without dogma, nor dogma without life; not theology without religion, nor religion without theology. “Religion without theology” is a phrase meant to sound well; yet, after all it is a deception. There can be no such thing. A tree must have a root. The phrase implies that theology has been the prison-house of religion, and that there must be emancipation from theology before religion can exercise her functions. It looks at religion as a beautiful flower embedded in a block of ice; and demands the melting of the ice, and the liberation of the flower.Click here to watch immaturity in the ministry

One of Today’s Deeds Not Creeds Megachurches:


Christianity, say many among us, is a life, not a dogma; and they reckon this the enunciation of a great and unappreciated truth. It is, however, a mere truism, or it is an unmeaning antithesis, or it is an absolute falsehood. It sounds oracular and great; it is only pompous.

Christianity is both a life and a dogma; quite as much the one as the other. But it is a dogma before it is a life; it cannot be the latter till it has been the former. It is out of the dogma that the life emerges; not the dogma out of the life; and the importance that is attached in Scripture to knowledge,–right knowledge,–should make us cautious in disparaging doctrine, as if it were harmless when wrong, and impotent or uninfluential when right. … Remain ignorant of the doctrine, and you remain ignorant of the person [of Christ]; nay, that person becomes a mysterious shadow,–vague, unintelligible, and unlovable. …

Our Reformers, following Scripture, abhorred error. They regarded it as sin, as in itself evil, and as the root of almost every evil. They loved truth, upheld it, sought to spread it. They eschewed error as poison; they prized truth as medicine, containing in it the world’s true health. They knew that men might have it and yet not use it, that they might abuse it, that they might “hold it in unrighteousness;” but they loved it still, and refused to believe that any untruth, however beautiful, however well argued or well adorned, however recommended by authority, or antiquity, or genius, could be available for the revivification of collapsed prostrate Europe, for expelling the poison of ages from the veins of humanity, for bracing the constitution of the race, even apart from the great purpose of saving the lost, of gathering in the chosen of the Father, the purchased of the Son.

Our Reformers, working on
the model of the Bible, labored
to set truth before the nations.
They did not despise head knowledge. They were careful that head knowledge should be true knowledge; and, in so far as it was so, they urged its widest propagation; undeterred by the thought which acts as a drag or damper on some, “What is the use of head knowledge without heart knowledge?” They had confidence in truth, because it was of God, and because it was the representative of Him who is the wisdom and the truth of God. They felt that truth could be trusted to do its own work, and to fulfill its heavenly mission among the sons of men; and so they launched it forth as seamen do the lifeboat; they spread it far and wide, as husbandmen do the precious seed, believing in its vitality, and its power to spring up and cover the broad fields of earth with its summer green and autumn gold.

From:  Catechisms of the Scottish Reformation, 1866Read another post entered today by clicking here Holiness & Worship First!

-Scott Bailey 2008

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“Deadly Delusions in Today’s Church”

Posted by Scott on February 23, 2008

 
EVANGELIZING THE CHURCH IN THE ERA OF DELUSION
 
#1.  The Delusion of Unity – part 1
Satan is using the sincere,
but TERRIBLY MISGUIDED
“quest for unity” among Christians world-wide
to lay the “ecumenical groundwork” for a “one-world religion.”
-Pastor Brad
One of the grand names for God is “Jehovah Shalom” meaning, “The Lord is peace” (see Judges 6:24).  Isaiah 9:6 tells us the coming Messiah would be called the “Prince of Peace.”  Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you…” (John 14:27).  And the apostle Paul further stated, “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9).  Indeed, “peace” is an integral part of Christianity and the Christian walk.
However, here’s a quote from Jesus that you won’t hear preached on any time soon:
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth;
I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
Matthew 10:34
Hmmm…
It seems we have what is called an “apparent contradiction.”  Was Jesus really the “Prince of Peace” when He was yelling at the “money-changers,” violently tipping over their tables, pouring out their coins, and driving them out of God’s house with a scourge? (see John 2:14-17).  Did the scribes and pharisees perceive Jesus as “Jehovah Shalom” as He spewed accusations and threats at them in Matthew 23?
Actually, to make matters worse, the Old Testament contains examples of “Jehovah Shalom” being a God of war.  Indeed, Jesus was quite clear when He said, “Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth?  I tell you no, but rather division” (Luke 12:51).  So, how can the God of peace be a God of “division” at the same time?  Good question, don’t you think?  Important question…don’t you think? 
I fear that if we don’t figure it out soon, the vast majority are in danger of losing biblical Christianity altogether, and in danger of the “rude awakening” described in Matthew 7:21-23.*
I’ll give you some time to chew on this one, and continue this section on Monday.
*The Bible tells us that only a “few” are saved.  “Many” are being misled.  The majority are lost.  Of course, the majority don’t think they are lost…but according to Jesus (see Matthew 7:13-23)…they are.
Goto www.InJesus.com for more from Pastor Brad!

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Purpose-Driven Church has “Friends in Low Places”

Posted by Scott on February 22, 2008

– A Museum of Idolatry –
This Is What Happens When the Church Fails to Remain Faithful to the Correct Preaching and Teaching of God’s Word

 

This Purpose-Driven Church Has “Friends in Low Places”

Imagine showing up at church to find that your pastor has decided to stage his very own American Idol contest.

A church member decked in country and western garb walks on stage and begins singing “I’ve got friends in low places”.

In a western twang he belts out such inspired lyrics as:

I’ve got friends in low places
where the whiskey drowns
and the beer chases my blues away

As soon as this ‘church’ song is finished the music minister stands up and calls people to worship the Lord.

Does this sound too insane to be true?

It’s not! Here is the video to prove it!

This is from Newspring Church in Anderson, South Carolina.

Perry Noble is their pastor and he is a disciple of Rick Warren. Click here to read his open letter to Rick Warren.

After watching this video please scroll down and read the update. This story gets better.

*** Update ***

This story gets weirder by the minute.

We received a tip from a reader that “Pastor” Tony Morgan of NewSpring Church commented on the “American Idol” sermon series at his blog. Here is what he said:

“The vote for next weekend’s opening song included Brick House by the Commodores. I’m just praying that God loves funk.”

Here is the link.

Yep, “Pastor” Tony was personally pulling for the funk song ‘Brick House’. This is a song that is about the female anatomy. And yes, this song was sung in their church as part of their American Idol contest. Here are some of the lyrical highlights of ‘Brick House’:

Verse:
1. She knows she got everything
a woman needs to get a man, yeah.
How can she use, the things she use
36-24-36, what a winning hand!

Verse:
2. The clothes she wears, the sexy ways,
make an old man wish for younger days
She knows she’s built and knows how to please
Sure enough to knock a man to his knees
We’re sure these lyrics fit perfectly with the other sermon series they did called “Girls Gone Wild“. How kewl is it that they named an entire sermon series after a series of porn videos.

Golly those Purpose-Driven Churches sure are relevant.

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