Jesus and Christianity

Jesus and Christianity (4)

Muslims revere, respect, and love Jesus. He is, in fact, considered to be a great prophet in Islam, who with the permission of God, was capable of performing miracles, including raising the dead, speaking as an infant, making a living bird out of clay, etc. As the Messiah of his people, we believe that Jesus came with the same message of all the prophets, that there is one true God, and we must worship Him, alone. In fact, no Muslim can be a Muslim if he/she rejects Jesus! There is also an entire Sura or chapter in the Qur'an named after Jesus's mother, Mary (or Mariam).

However, unlike what Christianity teaches, Islam rejects the teaching that Jesus is God, or that he died for the sins of mankind. Islam also rejects the idea that Jesus was killed or crucified on the cross; instead, we believe that God saved Jesus, and raised him up to himself. If any Christian has any question about the Jesus of Islam, or why Muslims

reject the divinity of Jesus, then feel free to sit and chat with us at Chat Islam Online.

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When controversy over the matter of the Trinity blew up in 318 between two church men from Alexandria – Arius, the deacon, and Alexander, his bishop – Emperor Constantine stepped into the fray.

Although Christian dogma was a complete mystery to him, he did realize that a unified church was necessary for a strong kingdom.  When negotiation failed to settle the dispute, Constantine called for the first ecumenical council in Church history in order to settle the matter once and for all.

Six weeks after the 300 bishops first gathered at Nicea in 325, the doctrine of the Trinity was hammered out.  The God of the Christians was now seen as having three essences, or natures, in the form of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

The Church Puts its Foot Down

The matter was far from settled, however, despite high hopes for such on the part of Constantine.  Arius and the new bishop of Alexandria, a man named Athanasius, began arguing over the matter even as the Nicene Creed was being signed; “Arianism” became a catch-word from that time onward for anyone who didn’t hold to the doctrine of the Trinity.

It wasn’t until 451, at the Council of Chalcedon that, with the approval of the Pope, the Nicene/Constantinople Creed was set as authoritative.  Debate on the matter was no longer tolerated; to speak out against the Trinity was now considered blasphemy, and such earned stiff sentences that ranged from mutilation to death.  Christians now turned on Christians, maiming and slaughtering thousands because of a difference of opinion.

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What is the source of the Christian concept of the Trinity?

The three monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – all purport to share one fundamental concept: belief in God as the Supreme Being, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe.  Known as “tawhid” in Islam, this concept of the Oneness of God was stressed by Moses in a Biblical passage known as the “Shema”, or the Jewish creed of faith:

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.” (Deuteronomy 6:4)

It was repeated word-for-word approximately 1500 years later by Jesus, when he said:

“...The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.” (Mark 12:29)

Muhammad came along approximately 600 years later, bringing the same message again:

“And your God is One God: there is no God but He...” (Quran 2:163)

Christianity has digressed from the concept of the Oneness of God, however, into a vague and mysterious doctrine that was formulated during the fourth century.  This doctrine, which continues to be a source of controversy both within and outside the Christian religion, is known as the Doctrine of the Trinity.  Simply put, the Christian doctrine of the Trinity states that God is the union of three divine persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – in one divine being.

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So Adam sought forgiveness for His sin, and God accepted it from Him.  Another crucial point which must be mentioned is that God created humans with a free will, and He knew that humanity would sin.  For this reason, no human is expected to be perfect, but rather, God knows that they will sin.  What is expected from humans is that they repent from their sin.  The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said:

“All children of Adam repetitively make mistakes, but the best of those who make mistakes are those who repent.” (Ibn Maajah)

The Prophet also said:

“By Him in Whose Hand is My soul (i.e. God), if you did not commit sins, God would do away with you and come with a race which committed sins.  They would seek forgiveness from God and He would forgive them. (Saheeh Muslim #4936)

So here we see that it was in the Great and Wise plan of God that Adam sin and that God forgive him for that sin, and to say that Adam went against the Universal Will of God by sinning is a blasphemy against the All Encompassing Knowledge, Power, and Will of God.  Christianity goes so far as to say that God even repented from the creation of humans!  May God be free from all defects people attribute to Him.  In Genesis 6:6, it says to quote:

Original Sin

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The concept of original sin is completely foreign to Judaism and Eastern Christianity, having achieved acceptance in only the Western Church.  Furthermore, Christian and Islamic concepts of sin are virtual opposites with respect to certain nuances.  For example, there is no concept of “sinning in the mind” in Islam; to a Muslim, an evil thought becomes a good deed when a person refuses to act upon it.  Overcoming and dismissing the evil thoughts which forever assail our minds is considered deserving of reward rather than punishment.  Islamicly speaking, an evil thought only becomes sinful when acted upon.

Conceiving good deeds is more contrary to the base nature of man.  Since our creation, if not bound by societal or religious restrictions, humankind has historically dined on the banquet of life with lust and abandon.  The orgies of self-indulgence that have carpeted the corridors of history envelop not only individuals and small communities, but even major world powers which ate their fill of deviancy to the point of self-destruction.  Sodom and Gomorrah may top most lists, but the greatest powers of the ancient world—to include the Greek, Roman and Persian empires, as well as those of Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great—certainly bear dishonorable mention.  But while examples of communal decadence are innumerable, cases of individual corruption are exponentially more common.

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