As Salaam Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,
The following is an email conversation that I had with a Christian. It took place between the 23rd and 28th of July. This is the entire conversation, except that I removed the signatures in our emails and I removed any mention of his name and I fixed a spelling error in one of my replies to him. His comments will be in red and mine in black.
I got on google today and decided to do a search starting with "christianity is". Google’s search bar dropped down with the most popular searches along those lines, one of which was "christianity is false". Out of curiosity I clicked on it and saw a link to your top ten reasons. Why do you hate christianity and democracy? Were you raised a Muslim? I myself am a Christian, a Jesus-follower. I am honestly interested in hearing more about why you feel the way you do. I understand nothing I say will change your mind just as nothing you say will change mine. But maybe we can understand more of why the other believes the way he does.
Peace be upon those who follow righteous guidance,
Thanks for the email. I’m glad that you have taken some time to converse with me. I am a bit concerned when you say nothing will change your mind. It reminds me of a joke Steven Colbert made at the expense of G. W. Bush when he said that on Wednesday Bush believes exactly as he believed on Monday regardless of what happened on Tuesday. In any case, my mind can be changed. I only desire truth because when I die and stand before my Lord I will have to answer Him myself.
God said in His Quran [52:11]:
Then woe that Day to those that treat (truth) as falsehood
I was not raised Muslim. I grew up attending Southern Baptist (my father’s side) and Pentecostal (my mother’s side) churches. I was baptised as ‘Born Again’ at 15 and I left Christianity at 16. I became Muslim just before my 19th birthday. I’ve now been Muslim for over 10 years.
I hate Christianity because if I had died at 15 as a Christian, I would have gone to Hell. I came to the brink of Hell, one push and it would have been over. I can never forgive Christianity for that.
God said in His Quran [4:48]:
Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin Most heinous indeed.
I hate democracy because by its very design it intends to remove authority away from God to the most despicable of men with money and charm.
God said in His Quran [12:40]
the command is for none but Allah
In short anything that seduces mankind from pure monotheism and the worship of our Lord deserves hatred and ridicule.
Again thank you for taking the time to email me, I am looking forward to your reply. May God make our correspondence beneficial, may He instil a sincerity for truth in us, and may He bring us ever closer to the straight path. Ameen.
P.S. I didn’t get this email until I was nearly finished replying to your comment on my blog. I will hold off publishing either your comment or my reply until we conclude our discussion here. That is to prevent us from having two separate discussions, which will take away from our ability to have a productive discussion.
Thank you very much for your reply and the deal with the comment reply sounds good to me. Now my comment about not being able to change my mind is based on the fact that I do sincerely believe I know the truth and that the truth I know is in Christ Jesus. So, yes I believe the one and only truth of God can change hearts and minds but being that I believe I already know that truth, I don’t expect my mind to change.
That is extremely interesting about your up-bringing in the church. I’m the opposite actually. I never attended church growing up and was without any real influence religiously to any one belief system. It was when I was in my first year of college in Las Vegas that I came to a brink with depression and a feeling of futility that I began to read my Bible that I had owned for years but never read. Through reading Ecclesiastes and then into the Gospels I drew closer to God and committed my life to Christ in January of 09′. So yes I am a very young christian.
I appreciate the verses that you have used from the Quran, but I think the burden of proof rests on the credibility of the Quran. I understand it’s original language is Arabic and being written around 620 A.D. would mean that the copy of the Quran in English that we have today is beyond all reasonable doubt very accurate to the original manuscript penned by Muhammad. But the credibility of those original words written by Muhammad being truly inspired revelations given by God is what worries me. Is there considerable archeological and historical evidence that under girds the credibility of the Quran’s authenticity as God-inspired revelation?
About your points on democracy; I do agree that it is very sad how this system of government has condemned monotheism in the way that it does. But I do cherish the freedoms provided by this government and the opportunities it gives to live a lifestyle that is safe for all people to practice their respective beliefs and to come to God by their own free will and choice of heart rather than by the threats and dangers impressed by a theocratic or totalitarian government.
If you don’t mind talking about some more personal stuff, I was just wondering where you grew up and where you currently live. I was born and raised in Texas, myself.
And was there a significant occurrence or event that lead you to leave the Church at 16?
Thank you again for your willingness and friendliness in discussing these topics of interest. I am looking forward to your reply and the continuance of our correspondence.
Peace be upon those who follow righteous guidance,
I do not expect my mind to be changed and even less when it comes to Christianity. However, to say nothing will change your mind suggests that you will disregard everything the other has said that doesn’t fit with your narrative. That is not my position and I hope not yours.
January ’09 makes you a very young Christian indeed. I wonder how long you were reading the Bible before you were inclined to become a Christian. Was it instant or did it take time and thought?
You are right to question the credibility of the Quran. If the Quran is not credible then Islam is false. How can we determine if the Quran is credible or perhaps easier how can we disprove the Quran’s credibility?
Is there archaeological and historical evidence that the events mentioned in the Quran actually happened? Yes. Is there archaeological evidence that these things did not happen as described by the Quran? No. Does the fact that these things happened convince you that the Quran is authentic? Should you be convinced?
Some early points to establish the authenticity of the Quran:
- The Quran we have today is the Quran of Muhammed, salallahu alayhi wa sallam.
- The Quran remains in its original language.
- Muhammed, salallahu alayhi wa sallam, was known as ‘The Trustworthy’ even by his enemies.
- Muhammed, salallahu alayhi wa sallam, never materially profited from his claim of prophethood or his position as the leader of a large state.
Do you know that the Quran established freedom of religion long before Europeans thought it was a good idea?
God says in His Quran [2:256]:
Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.
Despite what is happening in Israel there are large numbers of Jews living peacefully in North Africa, Iran and other places within the Muslim world. In fact, during the Spanish Inquisition the Jews fled from Spain to the Islamic empire where they settled and never left. Moreover, in Egypt there are millions of Christians and yet they have lived under Islamic law for over 1,000 years (they are not living under Islamic law now).
I was born in Baytown, Texas and raised in Dayton, Ohio but I now live in Europe. There wasn’t any special event that lead me away from Christianity except the regret I was feeling and the my disillusionment with the Bible. I used to ask God everyday to guide me towards the truth and everyday I felt less and less inclined towards Christianity. Then I read things in the Bible that I could not accept. I had no choice but to leave Christianity and I did it happily.
My turn to Christ did take time and thought but was a very prominent pull from the very beginning. Thank you for the information on the Quran. But no, I am not yet convinced that it is credible as the Word of God. I do hold to the belief that it is written in the Bible that no revelation will follow the close of the cannon which ended with the writing of Revelation. So I do have a very hard time believing in any such acclaimed revelations as the Quran and the books of Mormonism alike.
What parts of the Bible can you not accept? Are they actual teachings of God or are they actions people performed in the Bible that are not necessarily deemed by God? I don’t agree with Samson sleeping with a prostitute, but neither does the commandments of God. And the literary use of this event in no way represents an action that is favorable or should be exampled after. It is merely part of a story, the redemptive story of God’s people.
If the Quran established religious freedom, then why do some muslims believe that Quran 2:191-193 supports jihad and the killing of any religion opposed to Allah? Why is it mortally dangerous to preach the Gospel in such places as Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia (all Islamic countries if I’m not mistaken)? Why is there not one publicly permissible Christian church in all of Saudi Arabia?
I do know that Jesus is mentioned in the Quran, but I don’t know as to what extent. Is Jesus believed to just be a prophet of God? How is Jesus portrayed in the Quran?
I didn’t expect you to be convinced just yet. However, you must acknowledge that these early points are favourable to the Quran’s credibility.
I find your belief that no revelation will follow the close of the cannon very curious. Where did you get that from? Who decided which books would be part of the cannon and why?
There was no agreement as to which books should be included, with each Church adhering to their own cannon. For example the codex Sinaiticus contains two extra books in the New Testament, the Shepherd of Hermas and the Epistle of Barnabas.
It wasn’t until the fourth century that an effort was to determine which book belonged and which didn’t. I find this very telling. Christians did not receive direct guidance from Jesus, his companions, Paul, or anyone else close to the events. In addition, there was a large body of writing that must have been outright lies and forgeries, while claiming to be divinely inspired. I wonder what was the system that was used to determine the accuracy of the manuscripts. Moreover, 300 years is an amazing amount of time and it is unlikely (read impossible) for 100% accuracy. Please describe the system that was used to accept or reject these manuscripts.
To determine which books belong or didn’t belong, the council of Nicaea (325) was established, they determined that the Epistle of Jude was authentic and believable and announce the rest as doubtful. Another council in Liodicia (364) determined that, in addition to Jude, six other books were to be added to the acceptable list. Again in Cartgage (397) they added another six books. There would be three more councils that in the end would include all the books that were originally declared as doubtful, including Revelations. Later came the Protestant Reformation, which saw some books purged from the Bible. Until this day, Christians do not have a consensus about which books belong in the cannon.
I do not accept a single word that is written in the Bible. My opposition to Judges 16:1 is not whether God condones Samson’s fornication or not. Nor do I care whether Samson was a good or bad person. Nor whether it actually happened or not. My opposition to the verse is that it is there. The verse is superfluous and unduly profane. Past that, I cannot accept the sin attributed to David, I cannot accept the impure lineage of Jesus, I cannot accept the apostasy of Solomon, I cannot accept incest between prophet Lot and his daughters, I cannot accept rape and murder committed on the orders of God, I cannot accept the divinity attributed to Jesus, I cannot accept Paul’s campaign against the law, I cannot accept the hippy and cowardly portrayal of Jesus.
Jihad has nothing to do with religious freedom. No Islamic army ever entered into a place and forced people to convert to Islam because that was never the purpose of Jihad in Islam. In fact, there have always been specific orders to leave places of worship and the priests, rabbis, monks, nuns were to be safeguarded. Couple the fact that buildings of worship and people of faith were protected even during the heat of battle with the historical truth of long standing Christian, Jewish, Zoroastrian and other religious communities we can safely say that Jihad has nothing to do with the religious freedoms of non-Muslim communities in Islamic law and practice.
Quran 2:191-193 do not say kill anyone from any religion that is opposed to Allah. When the prophet, salallahu alayhi wa sallam, first publicly announce the message of Islam to the idol worshippers of Mecca, they lashed out very hard. They tortured, robbed, murdered and forced Muslims from their homes in an attempt to crush the Islamic movement in its infancy. Throughout this time, the prophet, salallahu alayhi wa sallam, forbade his followers from fighting back and told them to remain steadfast. After the Muslims migrated to Medina, the polytheists of Mecca raised the stakes and threatened to wipe out the Muslims with armies. It was then that Allah gave permission to the Muslims to defend themselves. These verses are saying fight them like they are fighting you, do to them what they are doing to you, but if they stop fighting you then you must stop fighting them. Moreover, even during this fight you are not allowed to kill women or children or priests or the elderly. You are not allowed to cut down trees or kill animals without a useful reason (such as eating).
Islam does not have a command to kill non-Muslims just because they are non-Muslim nor does it have a history of doing it; do you know of a religious community that does? A religious group force converted African slaves in America, they force converted the native populations of the Caribbean, they force converted in Spain and in England. Moreover, they force converted people in the most horrific way. Can you guess what religious group that I’m talking about?
Can you please give me the name of a missionary killed in Saudi Arabia? Even when the Taliban caught missionaries in Afghanistan, prior to the war that is going on there now, they released them unharmed. Tell me why there is no Mosque in Vatican City. Moreover, tell me why there is so much opposition to mosques in a supposedly ‘religion neutral’ country like the US?
Regarding Jesus in the Quran please review the short article found here.
I have been pretty busy the past couple days and will be for the next couple of days with wrapping up some school stuff and some ministries in the Church before I head back out for college so it may be another couple days before I can really sit down and spend the time worthy of answering your questions and responding. But I wanted to at least give you a heads up. I hope your week is going good and your family is well. I will talk to you soon! Have a good one.
Thanks for the heads up, however, do not feel that you are under any sort of obligation to reply or that you must do so quickly.
God says in His Quran [3:64]:
Say, "O People of the Scripture, come to a word that is equitable between us and you – that we will not worship except Allah and not associate anything with Him and not take one another as lords instead of Allah ." But if they turn away, then say, "Bear witness that we are Muslims [submitting to Him]."
That is how our conversation ended, the last message being received on the 28th of July. I waited nearly two months for the promised rebuttal. Enjoy.