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Islâm and God
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
bismi-llāhi ar-raḥmāni ar-raḥīmi
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
There
is an extraordinary misunderstanding among Christians about Islam, and no less a level of misunderstanding among Muslim's about Christianity. This has been made worse by forms of religion in both Islam and Christianity which are not true to their roots.
See: Qur'an
  There is only one God. Blessed be His Name!  
  On this, Islam and Christianity agree unreservedly.  
The point
of contention however, has been where Jesus Christ fits into this reality. Whereas, to Judaism Jesus has no place at all, to Islam He is understood as the prophet of God Almighty.
 
 
But the description of Jesus as Son of God has often been rebutted in Islam by the statement that God was not born from anyone and gave birth to no one. This expresses a laudable commitment to the infinite absolute of God, who has no beginning and no end. Hallelujah!
 
The
charge against Jesus brought by the Jewish leaders for which they required the death penalty was that He claimed to be the "son of God" –
"The Jews answered him [Pontius Pilate the Roman governor], 'We have a law,
and according to that law He ought to die because He has made Himself the son of God'."
Pontius Pilate knew very well what those words meant, in terms of their Hebrew idiom, and so he wrote the charge appropriately and had it nailed on the cross above the head of Jesus –
"Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews"
John 19:7 & 19.
'Son
of God' was at that time a well known idiom/phrase for a divinely appointed king – Israel's 'messiah', and nothing more! It did not mean the deity of Jesus. It meant His kingship or right to reign, which is why the Jewish mob shouted out concerning Jesus: 'we have no king but Caesar'.
 
 
The fact that in the decline of Christianity, the Syrian church which Mohammad encountered in his travels, had corrupted that meaning to include deity and had exalted His mother Mary to semi-divine status, helped create the misunderstanding which still prevails today.
 
 
Some Christian theologians of the early centuries added further confusion by trying to define God's personality in terms of the definitions of Greek philosophical concepts of their time. This has immensely misrepresented the Biblical view of God and the person of Jesus Christ.
 
So,
it must be remembered then that the mosaic rebuttal from the Qur'an, in the wall of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem (مسجد قبة الصخرة), saying concerning Jesus that "It is not for God to take a son" is a justifiable correction of a rampant misrepresentation of what the term Son of God really means in the Bible. By the sixth century, the Christian churches in Syria and much of the Middle East were using the term 'Son of God' as though Jesus was an off-shoot of God, a subordinate extrusion of God, like a human birth.
This is not what the term means in the Bible.
 
 
The truth of Jesus' relationship to God as His Father is taught to us accurately in the New Testament, the إنجيل.
 
No human being can ever become a god or a part of God Most High! Nor does God give birth! But, God is able to place Himself in human flesh.
This is not beyond His ability!
God
is able to humble Himself to the level of our experience and comprehension in order to directly reveal His character and caring, far beyond all reaction to our situations and words of His holy prophets. God is able!
 
God is Infinite!
The very infinity of God ought to be the basis of our thinking. If we have any capacity to think really logically we will be aware that there can ever only be one Infinity!
 
 
Every aspect of God, available to our comprehension, is infinite, beyond limit, immeasurable. There is no basis therefore to think of God as a great monad whose consciousness is singular, and who was without fellowship within Himself before the creation of all things. He is complete in Himself, without His creation!
 
In
many Muslim communities the Christian doctrine of the Trinity of God is seen a 'polytheism', as represented in the formula 1+1+1=3 (three gods), but the Bible's perspective is very different and more accurately represented as 1x1x1=1 (one God of infinite plural pefection). In confirmation of the Bible's perspective the Qur'an itself shows Jesus as uniqely the "Word of God" (Isa Al Masih), and confirms His virgin birth, and the "day of His return" (His Second Coming).
Surah 4:171.

In the
Semitic language of Canaanite-derived-Hebrew language upon which the written Scripture of the Old Testament is essentially based, the term/phrase 'son of...' simply turns its attached noun into an adjective. This is true not only of the Hebrew but also of the Aramaic, the language of Jesus and His first disciples.
 
Barnabas example of
this Semitic idiom
For that reason, Joseph, a highly trusted leader in the early Christian Church in Jerusalem, who was renowned for his encouraging of others, became known as 'Bar-nabas'. That really means 'son of ...' (bar) 'encouragement' (nabas); hence, the nickname Bar-Nabas, whom the Bible calls Barnabas. This did not mean that his mother or father's name was 'Nabas'. It simply describes him as an Encourager.
 
 
Likewise, the angels of God in the Old Testament of the Bible are called 'sons of God' because they were seen as related to God. It is in this sense that the man Jesus the Christ/Messiah is described in the Bible as the Son of God. He was uniquely the anointed by the Spirit of God to be the messiah-king to Israel, whom they then rejected, but God's mercy turned that on its head and it became the vehicle of His grace.
 
Christ's favourite term for Himself was 'Son of Man', which in the Semitic idiom means 'human person'. It does not mean that His mother was a 'man'. Christ used it repeatedly of Himself, for He personally identified deeply, in the empathy of His love, with the people to whom He ministered the Gospel, the revelation of God.
 
 
Although the Jews did not believe in Jesus and rejected Him, they nevertheless called their expected Messiah – the Son of God, and they did not think that God had given birth to anyone. They understood it in its original Semitic idiom, unlike later forms of Christianity which had lost touch with its spiritual and cultural roots.
 
But God
the Most High did a miracle, greater than any miracle father Abraham had ever seen, greater than the works of Moses, greater than the miracles of Elijah and Elisha!
From the flesh of a devout virgin, God formed a unique human being, within which He placed a true part of Himself.
مريم العذراء
virgin Mary
 
Yet, in the awesome humility of the infinite God, that which was born in a Bethlehem stable, carrying part of Himself within, did not even know who He was, just as every human baby is born not knowing. In humility therefore, He walked through childhood into adulthood in the shoes of our own human limitation, as a living example to every human being of the way the Creator of all wishes us all to behave.
تجسد
incarnation
 
His ministry was that of a prophet as Islam teaches, and more than a prophet, for He Himself was the Word of God.
 
Sinless Christ!
God was more than in Christ's words! God was in His attitude and actions. God was in Christ's revelation of character, for Christ was the sinless one, the only sinless one ever!
المسيح
The Anointed
 
Islam generally misinterprets the story of Christ's crucifixion as meaning that then God was disloyal, unfaithful, to His prophet, in allowing Him to be so treated, and therefore quite understandably rejects it as incorrect in loyalty to their understanding of God.
 
 
But the crucifixion of Jesus was only a frame, and no more than a frame, around the glorious picture of what God was doing in Jesus at that time! The frame around a picture does not carry the value. It is the picture and what that reveals which carries the value.
 
The Bible says that God-was-in-Christ reconciling the world to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:19). This is the essence of the purpose of God in Jesus Christ!
 
The basis of this reconciliation is the justice of God.
 
When
Islam describes God as 'the Compassionate, the Merciful', it is more than a feeling or attitude on God's part which is described. It expresses God's behaviour toward the unworthy, toward us the unworthy.
 
 
The incompatibility between the holiness of God, the Creator of all, and the unworthiness of all humanity, required action, action from God's side – of which we were utterly incapable. This meant either the total destruction of all that is unworthy in God's creation, or an action to change this. That action is Jesus!
 
 
God in Christ did what no man could do! Blessed be His Name!
 
All
through the centuries of human history, sacrificial altars had presented the death of an animal to God as a central part of approaching the Holy One. Every blood drenched altar of Abraham testified to this, for it speaks of God's justice, His judgment on sin.
 
 
This is the message of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the only sacrifice completely acceptable to God in our place, for He was a sinless man!
 
 
The Bible teaches that the Roman soldiers as professional executioners were surprised by the death of Jesus, for He did not die by the hand of man. His words, written for our understanding, were: 'Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit' and He died. His life was not taken from Him. He gave it in sacrifice.
Jesus had told His disciples –
"I lay down My life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord." 
John 10:17-18.
Knowing God
To know this is more than to know about it!
 
To know this is more than to make a decision in a church to accept Christian doctrine.
 
 
To know this is to encounter God Himself through His Mercy demonstrated in the person of Jesus Christ.
 
 
Mercy means forgiveness that is not earned. It is undeserved, or mercy is not mercy!
 
 
Our good works can never make up for our failures, for our good works are not an extra, they are what we owe to God even if we had never sinned! So we can never be saved from the judgment of God by being good to compensate Him for our sins!
 
 
Only the sinless human could go beyond and do that for us, and that is what God did in Jesus!
 
 
But if He was only a man, His death was atonement for only one person, so that is why God the infinite was in Christ judicially reconciling the world to Himself.
 
 
To accept this is to change direction in our living, which is what the Bible calls repentance.
 
Forgiveness
Forgiveness of sin is not a church ritual.
 
 
Forgiveness is more than accepting truth about Jesus.
 
 
Forgiveness requires a repentance which abandons ownership of oneself to God's Mercy, unconditionally.
 
 
Forgiveness starts a new life, because the old life died in the judgment of God shown in the death of Jesus Christ the Sinless.
 
It
has been objected that this forgiveness of God in Jesus Christ could not be right, for a person such as Hitler who was responsible for the death of millions, would surely not be forgiven no matter how much he believed in Jesus, for this would make the forgiveness of God cheap and dishonourable. That objection is understandable but based on ignorance.
 
The
depth of true faith in Jesus that receives forgiveness requires real repentance, as stated above, and that repentance shows itself. It is not invisible. Where it can, it makes restitution, and we have a Bible message given to us in this regard.
 
 
The Jewish religious leaders came to the prophet John the Baptist for baptism as believers. Yet he said to them publicly –
"You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit in keeping with repentance."
Matthew 3:8.
 
Baptism is the outward sign of a total submission to God to go God's way all the way, but it must come from the heart, and John knew their's was false. God hates hypocrisy, which is why Jesus also publicly condemned them in the strongest terms (Matt.23:13-33).
 
The
new life in Christ which flows from God's forgiveness does not make up for the past. It never could, for any of us. Yet when there is real repentance, God in His wisdom and mercy has pleasure in using the worst to do the most in ministering His grace and truth. Of this, a prime example for us in the Bible is the man who became the apostle Paul, who wrote for us –
 
  "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display His perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life." 1 Timothy 1:15-16.
Remember:
True repentance shows itself (the 'fruit'), which does not earn mercy or mercy is not mercy, but it opens the way for God's forgiveness to enter the heart and produce the new life of God's grace in changed relationships in this present world.
 
The Arabic word
Islām (الإسلام) is a verbal noun (a noun derived from a verb) which actually means "to accept, surrender or submit" (to God), and there is no greater submission to the Most High God than to follow the way of Jesus Christ the Saviour.
 
  This is the true and the ultimate Islām! Hallelujah!
Sadly,

See:
 America's Christian 
 Identity Myth 
the confusion sown by seeing the United States, Britain, and some other countries, as 'Christian', and the presentation of the atrocities of Al Qa'eda and its affiliates, such as Boko Haram's killing of Christians, as being an 'Islamic' action, has played into the hands of Satan to twist attitudes and seriously hinder the way of God Most High in this world.
Please note that the Khaba in Mecca/Makkah is a cube for the same reason that the Jewish Holy of Holies in both the Tabernacle and the Jerusalem Temple were cubic, and
the New Jerusalem in the book of Revelation (representing all believers as the Bride of Christ) is also a cube.
Click to see an all round view of Makkah's/Mecca's Khaba.
The correction of this will require a deeply radical revelation of true Christianity and its non-conformity to dominance by any culture or political entity whatsoever
See:
تكفيري‎ takfīrī
– and it is coming! IsaalMasih.net: a place for Muslims
Watch
the amazing testimony
of a Muslim IMAM
who met with Christ
with the help of the Qur'an

 


 Some 2013 photos from Egypt 


Who is Isa al Masih, the man in white? www.IsaalMasih.net

See also: the Islamic World today
scroll line
The Christian Gospel Snake-Wisdom Common 'Christian' Fallacies The Trinity of God
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