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Jesus Has A God, Therefore He Cannot Be God

My material for this post is largely drawn from John Gill’s exposition of John 20:17

In order to prove that Jesus cannot be God, Muslims draw attention to John 20:17 in which Jesus clearly says He has a God.  How, they ask, can God have a God ? Here is John 20:17

Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

The answer to how Jesus can have a God lies in recognising that Jesus is God in Human form. Jesus was truly human. Being human, Jesus can have a God.

Can God come to Earth if He wants to ? Of course He can.

If God came to Earth could he have flesh and bones and choose to eat and sleep ? Of course He could. Therefore God can come to Earth in human form.

But God would not stop being divine just because He came to Earth in human form. He would still be God. But He would also be a Human who can eat and sleep and do all the things that Humans do.

So if God came to Earth as a human he would retain his divine nature but also have a human nature. He would have two natures during the time He was on Earth: A Divine nature and a Human nature.

Can God Limit Himself ?

God can control Himself in much the same way that I control myself, for example, when I play with my children I choose to limit my strength so that I do not hurt them when I play with them. In a similar way, when Jesus came to Earth he decided to temporarily limit Himself in certain ways. Jesus still had divine attributes but he chose not to use some of them during His time on Earth while He walked with us as a truly human being.

The self-limitation of Jesus does not diminish God because all the Divine Attributes remain fully active in The Father and The Holy Spirit, the other two Divine Persons who share the single Divine Life.

Identification and Dependence

During the period of His earthly life Jesus chose to make Himself dependent on The Father just as all of humanity is dependent on Father God. In this way, Jesus identified with humanity. He became one of us and shared our limitations and dependence on God while yet retaining His divine nature. For this reason of dependence it is possible for Jesus to say that He has a God. Jesus made Himself dependent on The Father, and so like all with a human nature Jesus was dependent on The Father.

Jesus had two natures: a divine nature and a human nature. He retained possession of His divine nature, but chose not to use most of his divine attributes. He lived His life on Earth constrained by the limits of human nature which he took on Himself when he entered His earthly existence.

This does not mean that Jesus never exercised His Divine Attributes or power while on Earth. For example, Jesus healed people and did other miracles by His own power. (See John 5:19, Matthew 8:26-27, Matthew 14:25-32).

The passage in question, John 20:17, thus contains a second reason why it is possible for Jesus to talk about ‘My God and Your God’ and this reason relates to the truth of Jesus’ identification with humanity.

The reality of identification works two ways. Because Jesus shared our humanity, He identifies with us, but humanity also identifies with Jesus. This means that however The Father chooses to treat Jesus in relation to His humanity then you and I obtain the privilege of being treated by The Father in the same way that The Father treats Jesus.

This identification means that since the Father has declared Jesus Not Guilty of sin, then we also can be declared Not Guilty of sin if we identify with Jesus, i.e. choose in faith to accept Jesus as our representative before The Father. Furthermore, because Jesus was resurrected from the grave and from death by The Father, then we also can be, and will be, resurrected from death and the grave (Barzakh) if we choose to identify with Jesus. Again furthermore because Jesus ascends to The Father, those who identify with Jesus and become part of the Umma of Jesus will also obtain the privilege of ascending to heaven with Jesus to be in the presence of The Father.

This truth of humanity’s identification with Jesus, how The Father rewards the Umma of Jesus with the same privileges as Jesus is reported in a truncated form In The Qu’ran Surah Al-Imran:3:55.

“O Jesus, indeed I will take you and raise you to Myself and purify you from those who disbelieve and make those who follow you [in submission to Allah alone] superior to those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection.

It was this third aspect of identification, that of Ascension, that  Jesus was specifically referring to in this passage of scripture including John 20:17. Jesus had been declared Not Guilty by The Father after His ordeal on The Cross, consequently had been resurrected from death and the grave and was just about to ascend to The Father.

The woman wanted Jesus to stay behind on earth with them and clung on to Him but Jesus told them something greater was in store for humanity, namely His ascension, which all believers in Him, all His Umma would have the privilege of doing also. But He, Jesus, had to ascend first to make the way for them.

The statement of Jesus ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” teaches His Umma that His ascension makes our ascension possible because of His identification with humanity and our identification with Him.

Amen! Thanks to be to God an Our Lord Jesus Christ !

So, Jesus statement I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God is indeed, as Muslims state, a clear indication of Jesus’ humanity. This humanity came about because Jesus voluntarily chose to make Himself dependent on The Father (see Phillipians 2:5-8).

The statement my Father and your Father…my God and your God is also a powerful statement of truth regarding Jesus’ identification with humanity, by which humanity can be declared Not Guilty before God and obtain resurrection and ascension, which is entry to Paradise.

The Nature Of God

God exists as three persons who share a single divine life or essence. Since God exists as three persons, one (Jesus) may choose to come to Earth while the others remain in heaven. Additionally, the One who comes to Earth can choose to make Himself dependent on the One(s) who remains in Heaven. In this way, Jesus can truly call The Father His God whilst yet retaining His own divine nature.

The self-limitation of Jesus does not diminish God because all the Divine Attributes remain fully active in The Father and The Holy Spirit, the other two Divine Persons who share the single Divine Life.

Because there is only one Divine Life, God is One.

Today I picked up a book sitting on my friend’s kitchen table. It was a biography of Mohammed entitled ‘The Life Of Mohammed’ by Abdul Ahmed Siddique. You can read the publisher’s note on the book here

Flicking through the pages I chanced upon a bold-face heading on the section devoted to Mohammed’s triumphal military entrance into Mecca. The heading read:

Magnanimity Unparalleled In The Annals Of Mankind

A few lines below was the sub-heading:

Only Four People Were Executed

The people of Mecca must have been glad that they were invaded on a day when Mohammed felt especially and uniquely magnanimous and hence only executed four of them.

Of course, Mohammed’s behaviour in executing ‘only’ four people was not magnanimous but barbarous: especially when one considers that one of those executed was a servant girl named Fartana, executed merely for name-calling and singing satirical songs  directed against Mohammed (see Ibn Hisham, Ibn Ishaq, Alfred Guillaume (translator), The life of Muhammad: a translation of Isḥāq’s Sīrat rasūl Allāh, p. 550)

In executing a mere slave-girl for mere name-calling Mohammed displays not magnanimity, as characterised by the severely deluded Mr. Siddique but psychopathic narcissism.

A Better Example Of Magnanimity

As an example of a person who did indeed display magnanimity at severe personal cost, please consider the example of  Maria Nice  who forgave Alisson Lima dos Santos who murdered her son Rafael da Silva. You can watch the video here

Maria Nice is a Christian who, like uncounted millions of Christians before her, has followed the example of Jesus who forgave those who persecuted, tormented, tortured and killed Him. This is what Maria Nice said to the young man who killed her son.

“You are forgiven in Jesus’ name. I am a Christian, and I am forgiving you, and I will keep praying, Alisson. […] And you are going to discover that God that I serve. […] I don’t have a drop of hate for you, Alisson.

Not Quite So Magnanimous

Once Mohammed’s daughters Fatima and Umm Kulthum were riding on a camel. An enemy of Mohammed named Al-Huwayrith intentionally goaded the camel, causing Mohammed’s daughters to be dangerously thrown to the ground. Mohammed had him killed. (see Ibn Hisham, Ibn Ishaq, Alfred Guillaume (translator), The life of Muhammad: a translation of Isḥāq’s Sīrat rasūl Allāh, p. 551)

You can read here about the young  Saudi Arabian woman, Fatima Al-Mutairi, killed by her Muslim family for simply being a Christian. Like Jesus and Maria Nice, this young woman forgave her enemies in the face of personal suffering and did not execute any one at all.

Dozens more examples of  Christians forgiving enemies who have killed their family members can be found just by Googling Christian forgives murderer’

In this Christians emulate the example of Jesus, the unparalleled magnanimous and mericiful example to humanity who prayed  Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing, even as his enemies were torturing and killing Him on the cross, and who did not order any of them to be executed.

Last year I spent some time discussing The Trinity with my Muslim friend. These are some notes I made from our discussion.

  1. Christians Worship Three Gods

Christians do not believe in three Gods. Christians believe God is One

As Jesus said:

“The most important one (i.e commandment),” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a]

The idea that Christians worship Three Gods is a misconception contained in the Qu’ran in Surah An-Nisa 4:171

O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion… do not say, “Three”;… Indeed, Allah is but one God.

The Qu’ran incorrectly describes Christian belief. This means that The Qu’ran is in error and hence does not come from God.

2. Jesus Was Born By God Having A Sexual Relationship With Mary

Christians do not believe that Jesus was born by God having a sexual relationship with Mary. Christians believe that Jesus was born by God’s Power acting through The Holy Spirit, in other words by a miracle of God. See Luke 1:31-35 where Gabriel converses with Mary.

You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus…

 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you…

The idea that Jesus was born by God having a sexual relationship with Mary is a misconception found in The Qu’ran which also states that Christians believe that Mary is a God (see Qu’ran 5:116; 5:75; 6:101) Christians do not believe that Mary is a God.

Once again, The Qu’ran incorrectly describes Christian belief. This means that The Qu’ran is in error and hence does not come from God.

3. Son Of God Is Not a Divine Title

Muslims correctly state that Son Of God is used of several people in the Bible. As well as Jesus the term Son Of God is applied to Adam, Angels and the nation of Israel. Therefore, say Muslims, the Title Son Of God has no special significance and does not mean that Jesus is Divine.

In fact, the Bible teaches that Jesus has a unique kind of Sonship with the Father, which is Divine. In John 3:16 the Bible says;

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

The Greek word translated one and only is monogenes which means ‘unique kind’. Jesus said that He had a unique kind of Sonship with God (Matt. 11:27) and the Jews stoned Jesus for Blasphemy when He said he was the Son Of God as he was claiming equality with God. As John 5:18 says:

This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

For a modern-day equivalent of ‘Son’ being used in different ways between different people, consider a man with two sons, one adopted and one family-born. Both are properly and correctly called Son but they are different kinds of sons.

The Bible uses monogenes to differentiate in a similar way between the Sons of Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael. Isaac is a family-born, natural son, born by Abraham with his wife Sarah, whereas Ishmael is born to Abraham in a different and fractionally more distant family relationship, via Sarah’s maidservant  The Bible calls therefore Isaac monogenes, Abraham’s only son via Sarah, whom Abraham especially loves and who was born through a direct promise by God and conceived miraculously when Abraham was 100 and Sarah 90 years old, well past the normal years of child-bearing or conception.

 Ishmael, born through Sarah’s maidservant Hagar, and neither promised by God, nor conceived miraculously, has a different status in the family. See Hebrews 11:17

By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son.

Isaac is called the one and only son (monogenes) even though Abraham had two sons because Isaac is the one and only son born through his wife Sarah.

So, Son Of God is applied to Jesus in a unique way in the Bible, indicating the Divinity of Jesus. Indeed this is the way that the Qu’ran understands the meaning of Son Of God, as a Divine Title (see Qu’ran 5:116)

4. Jesus Did What Only Humans Need To Do

Muslims correctly state that Jesus did what only humans need to do such as eat and sleep. Therefore, Muslims say, Jesus must be human and cannot be Divine.

In fact, the Bible presents two sets of proofs about Jesus:

  1. Jesus is a Human Being
  2. Jesus is Divine

The proofs that Jesus is Divine are many. Among them are these: Jesus forgave sins (Luke 7:48), answers prayer (John 14:13-14), accepts worship (John 9:38-39, John 20:28-29), claims eternal existence (Rev. 1:17-18), claimed to do miracles by His own power (Luke 8:40-46), claims to have ownership and command of God’s Angels (Matt. 25:31), claims to cause resurrection (John 11:25), claims to be Lord of The Holy Day (Luke 6:5), used God’s name as His own name (John 8:58, Exodus 3;14) and directly claimed to be Father God Himself (John 14:6-9).

All these attributes and powers belong to God alone. Since Jesus claimed the rights, name, power and attributes of God, then Jesus has claimed to be God.

5. Three Cannot be One, Therefore The Trinity is Illogical

Muslims correctly state that Three cannot be One. Therefore, Muslims state, the Trinity is illogical as The Father, The Son and The Holy spirit are Three and not One.

Christians do not believe that three can be one. Christians believe that three ones can be one. Expressed mathematically this is:

1 x 1 x 1 = 1

How many ones on the left hand side ? Three

How many ones on the right hand side ? One

Are these expressions equal ? Yes.

So three ones can be one.

Therefore the Trinity is logical.

6. One Thing Cannot be Three Things At Once, Therefore The Trinity Is Illogical

Muslims incorrectly believe that Christians think that one thing can be three things at once. Specifically Muslims state that Christians believe that Jesus is the same as the Father who is the same as The Holy Spirit, since they are all God. Since it is obvious that one thing cannot be three things at once, they say, therefore that the Trinity is illogical.

In fact, Christians believe that Jesus and The Father and The Holy Spirit are NOT the same as each other.

So, in this case the Muslim objection to the Trinity is based on a misunderstanding of what Christians believe about the Trinity.

Christians believe that the Trinity is three distinct persons that share the same Divine Life. This sharing of the Divine Life or Essence is what makes God One. There is only one Divine Life in the Universe. Hence God is One.

When Christians say that Jesus or the Holy Spirit is a person, we don’t mean that they are persons in exactly the same way that Human Beings are, though it is accurate to say that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are Divine Persons. The theological term for person is the Greek work Hypostasis which has the basic meaning of ‘individual reality’ or ‘particular instance of a general type’.

The theological definition of The Trinity is ‘three hypostases in one essence’.

The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit are One because they share the same Life or Essence.

Muslims will typically assert that this formulation is ridiculous and self-contradictory. How can three distinct things have a shared existence ?

There are many useful analogies of The Trinity in the Universe which can assist us to see that the Trinity is a reasonable and non-contradictory concept.

Molecular Resonance

A strong analogy of The Trinity is provided by the phenonemon of Molecular Resonance.

The basic idea is that Resonating Molecules exist in multiple forms simultaneously, each form having the same Chemical Composition. In other words resonating molecules exists in multiple simultaneous hypostases of the same essence. This is identical in concept to The Trinity.

For example, Nitrate, NO3 has three resonance structures. It exists in all of these forms simultaneously.

As Wikipedia puts it, It is a common misconception that resonance structures are transient states of the molecule, with the molecule oscillating between them or existing as an equilibrium between them. However these individual contributors cannot be observed in the actual resonance-stabilized molecule. The molecule exists in only one form – the resonance hybrid.

In other words, resonating molecules exist in all three forms simultaneously and have exactly the same shared essence.

Here is how Nabeel Qureshi, a former Muslim who converted to Christianity describes how Molecular Resonance overcame his objections to reasonableness of The Trinity. This experience is also described in his book, ‘Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus’

Essentially, the building block of every physical object is an atom, a positively charged nucleus orbited by tiny, negatively charged electrons.  Atoms bond to one another by sharing their electrons, forming a molecule.  Different arrangements of the electrons in certain molecules are called ‘resonance structures.’  Some molecules, like water, have no resonance while others have three resonance structures or more, like the nitrate on the board.

Although the concept was easy enough to grasp, the reality proved to be baffling.  Mrs. Adamski concluded her lesson by commenting, ‘These drawings are just the best way to respresent resonance structures on paper, but it’s actually much more complicated.  Technically, a molecule with resonance is every one of its structures at every point in time, yet no single one of its structures at any point in time…

How could something be many things at once?  Many different things?  We were not talking about the attributes of something like a steak, which can be hot, juicy, thick, and tender all at once.  We were talking about separate spatial and electrical arrangements.  What the professor said would be akin to saying that Nabeel is eating steak in Texas while simultaneously napping in a hammock in the Caribbean.  As wonderful as each would be individually, it made no sense to say I might be doing both at once.

I was perplexed, and what made it even worse was that no one around me seemed bothered in the least.  I looked around the room, agape at their blind acceptance.

But was it really blind?  The professor was teaching rarefied science, describing the subatomic world.  At that level, things happen that make no sense to those of us who conceptualize the world at only a human level.  Even the apparently simply idea of atoms is baffling when we think about it.  It means that the chair I am sitting on is not actually a solid object, innocently supporting my weight.  It is almost entirely empty space, occupied only in small particles moving at incomprehensible speeds.  When we think about it, it seems wrong, but it’s just the way things are in our universe.  There’s no use arguing about it.

I turned my glance away from the other students, concluding they had not blindly accepted a nonsensical concept.  They had just realized before I did that there are truths about our universe that do not fit easily into our minds.

My eyes rested on the three seperate structures of nitrate on the wall, my mind assembling the pieces.  One molecule of nitrate is all three resonance structures all the time and never just one of them.  The three are separate but all the same, and they are one.  They are three in one.

Water

Liquid Water has the chemical  composition H2O.

Solid Water (Ice) also has the chemical composition H2O. In other  words Ice and Water share  the same essence.

Water is a hypostasis of the general essence H2O. Ice is a second hypostasis of the same essence. Gaseous Water (steam) is a third hypostasis of the same essence.

Water, Ice and Steam are not identical, but they have the same essence. They are three hypostases of the identical essence and may be composed of exactly the same identical molecules as anyone who has observed the melting, boiling and condensation of H2O starting from a block of ice can attest.

The analogy of the three Hypostases of Water is not a perfect anology of The Trinity but it demonstrates the basic reasonableness of The Trinity, that there can be three individual and distinct realities that have a shared existence.

Triple Point Of Water

The analogy is improved still further by the phenonemon of The  Triple Point Of Water.

The triple point of a substance is the temperature and pressure at which the three phases (gas, liquid, and solid) of that substance coexist in thermodynamic equilibrium.[1] For example, the triple point of Mercury occurs at a temperature of −38.83440 °C and a pressure of 0.2 mPa.

Very strong points of analogy between The Trinity and The Triple Point Of Water are described as follows. You can read more at this link.

1. Both the Triple Point and the Trinity possess a singular nature with three coequal but distinct hypostases.

The triple point and the trinity both have a singular essence and possess three hypostases which have real distinctions among them.

For example, the three states of water at the triple point are conjoined by a common molecular structure, yet ice, steam, and water are quite different in their physical properties such as density, compressibility, electrical conductivity, et cetera. Because the coexisting phases at the triple point possess a distinctive set of physical properties, the union of one into three occurs without loss of identity of the hypostases 

The Trinity is also a single essence containing three hypostases which are able to merge without loss of identity. There is an infusion of three-into-one in both models.

2. Interdependence Between The Hypostases At The Triple Point Are Closely Analogous To Interdependence In Relationships in the Trinity.

The interdependence of hypostases at the triple point are analogous to the sense of relationship found between members of the trinity. Each hypostasis at triple point derives and sustains its character by mutual collaboration with the other two hypostases.

In other words, thermodynamic hypostases at the triple point cannot exist independently of one another, but are interlocked in a state thermodynamic equilibrium. This symphonic blending is similar to the relations between the persons of the Trinity.

The Trinity is defined by a self-contained mutuality of relations, and no one person of the trinity is or can be without the others. There is a coequal sharing of the singular divine essence without intrinsic subordination of any person.

The undivided essence belongs equally to each of the persons and each possesses all the substance and all the attributes of deity. The same could be said for the triple point phases, as no state of matter is more fundamental than another, nor is water any less itself because it exists in three coincident forms.

Molecular Resonance, The Triple Point and The State Phases Of Water all provide useful analogies of The Trinity which demonstrate that the Trinity is reasonable and without self-contradiction.

7. Jesus Has A God, Therefore He Cannot Be God

My material for this section is largely drawn from John Gill’s exposition of John 20:17

Muslims fairly draw attention to John 20:17 in which Jesus clearly says He has a God in order to prove that Jesus cannot be God. How, they ask, can God have a God ? Here is John 20:17

Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

The answer lies in recognising that Jesus is God in Human form. Jesus was truly human. Therefore He can have a God.

Can God come to Earth if He wants to ? Of course He can.

If God came to Earth could he have flesh and bones and choose to eat and sleep ? Of course He could.

But God would not stop being divine just because He came to Earth. He would still be God. But he would also be a Human who can eat and sleep and do all the things that Humans do.

God can control Himself in much the same way that I control myself, for example, when I play with my children. When I play with my children I choose to limit my strength so that I do not hurt them when I play with them. In a similar way, when Jesus came to Earth he decided to temporarily limit Himself in certain ways. Jesus still had divine attributes but he chose not to use most of them during His time on Earth while He walked with us as a truly human being.

During the period of His earthly life Jesus chose to make Himself dependent on The Father just as all of humanity is dependent on Father God. In this way, Jesus identified with humanity. He became one of us and shared our limitations and dependence on God while yet retaining His divine nature. For this reason it is possible for Jesus to say that He has a God. Jesus made Himself dependent on The Father.

The passage in question, John 20:17, contains a second reason why it is possible for Jesus to talk about ‘My God and Your God’ and this reason relates to the truth of Jesus’ identification with humanity which we mentioned above.

The reality of identification works two ways. Because Jesus shared our humanity, He identifies with us, but humanity also identifies with Jesus. This means that however The Father chooses to treat Jesus in relation to His humanity then you and I obtain the privilege of being treated by The Father in the same way and The Father treats Jesus.

This identification means that since the Father has declared Jesus Not Guilty of sin, then we also can be declared Not Guilty of sin if we identify with Jesus, i.e. choose in faith to accept Jesus as our representative before The Father. Furthermore, because Jesus was resurrected from the grave and from death by The Father, then we also can be, and will be, resurrected from death and the grave (Barzakh) if we choose to identify with Jesus. Again furthermore because Jesus ascends to The Father, those who identify with Jesus and become part of the Umma of Jesus will also obtain the privilege of ascending to heaven with Jesus to be in the presence of The Father.

This truth of how The Father rewards the Umma of Jesus with the same privileges as Jesus is reported in a truncated form In The Qu’ran Surah Al-Imran:3:55.

“O Jesus, indeed I will take you and raise you to Myself and purify you from those who disbelieve and make those who follow you [in submission to Allah alone] superior to those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection.

It was this third aspect of identification, that of Ascension, that  Jesus was specifically referring to in this passage of scripture around John 20:17. Jesus had been declared Not Guilty by The Father after His ordeal on The Cross, consequently had been resurrected from death and the grave and was just about to ascend to The Father.

The woman wanted Jesus to stay behind on earth with them and clung on to Him but Jesus told them something greater was in store, namely His ascension, which all believers in Him, all His Umma would have the privilege of doing also. But He, Jesus, had to ascend first to make the way for them.

The statement of Jesus ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” teaches His Umma that His ascension makes our ascension possible because of His identification with humanity and our identification with Him.

Amen! Thanks to be to God an Our Lord Jesus Christ !

So, Jesus statement I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God is indeed, as Muslims state, a clear indication of Jesus’ humanity. This humanity came about because Jesus voluntarily chose to make Himself dependent on The Father (see Phillipians 2:5-8).

The statement my Father and your Father…my God and your God is also a powerful statement of truth regarding Jesus’ identification with humanity, by which humanity can be declared Not Guilty before God and obtain resurrection and ascension, which is entry to Paradise.

There is nothing illogical or contradictory about this because God exists as three persons who share a single divine life or essence. Since God exists as three persons, one (Jesus) may choose to go to Earth while the others remain in heaven. Additionally, the One who comes to Earth can choose to make Himself dependent on the One who remains in Heaven. In this way, Jesus can truly call The Father His God whilst yet retaining His own divine nature.

The self-limitation of Jesus does not diminish God because all the Divine Attributes remain fully active in The Father and The Holy Spirit, the other two Divine Persons who share the single Divine Life.

Because there is only one Divine Life, God is One.

Dear Sir,

We met recently while I was visiting friends and talking about Jesus. You said that it would be OK if I left you a short note. You said that there are about 4,200 religions in the world and Google basically agrees with you, though there is significant double-counting with each Christian denomination being counted as a separate religion even though their beliefs are fundamentally identical. You indicated that you had studied a representative number of these religions.

You said that you believe in the Ten Commandments.

Excuse me if I am incorrect, but I understand your basic belief is that all worthwhile religions have a system of moral law and that the core of the moral law of all worthwhile religions is the same. This consistency in the core of the moral law is what validates the moral core as true. In other words we can know what is true by seeing what is common across the worthwhile religions. The moral core of all worthwhile religions is represented by The Ten Commandments.

Hence your basic belief is that all that is required of mankind is that we follow the Ten Commandments, which you do.  Hence you have no further need of any instruction.

Question:  Is something true just because a lot of religions say it is true ? On what basis can a religion be known to be good and worthwhile ? Who decides what is a worthwhile religion ? Is mankind capable of discerning what is true and good ? Does mankind possess a functioning moral consciousness which is able to discern spiritual truth ?

You imply that you have the ability to be able to discern between worthwhile religions and those which are not worthwhile and also to completely or at least satisfactorily follow the teachings of worthwhile religion.

The corollary of the above is that you believe you have a functioning moral consciousness that enables you to both discern and do good, at least to a satisfactory level.

Question: Who decides what is a satisfactory moral performance ? Me ? You ? The local Mullah ? The Pope ? God ? Which God ? A jury of our peers ? Some African people we have never met ? Even allowing for a common moral law, why do people disagree on what is satisfactory  moral performance ? Since people disagree on what is a satatifactory moral performance, how can I know that my own moral performance is acceptable? Are multiple different personal moral standards person-by-person acceptable ? Shouldn’t there be a single objective moral  standard ? How can we know that God will be satisfied with our moral performance ?  Am I qualified to judge myself ? Am I my own God ?

Many people think that a satisfactory moral standard is covered by some subset of the Ten Commandments  –  usually : Don’t lie, Don’t Steal, Don’t Kill and Don’t hurt anyone. Sometimes someone will add Don’t Commit Adultery.

Most Australians seem unaware that we routinely break several of the commandments, namely Don’t worship anyone except Yahweh, the God of The Bible, Don’t misuse the name of God, Don’t work on The Sabbath, Don’t be jealous of someone else’s material possessions, Honour your father and mother.

 Many Australians I speak to think they have basically kept the Ten Commandments, or at least the subset they nominate, though they will also agree that are not perfect and have made some mistakes. They mostly think that their mistakes are small and unimportant and that God will forgive them and that they will still go to Heaven. If pressed they will say ‘ I haven’t killed anyone’, reducing the Ten Commandments to One.

Are the ‘forgotten commandments’ important ? Is it only required to keep One Commandment? If so, which one ? Can we pick and choose which Commandments we follow ?

I agree that the Ten Commandments provide a basis for ethics and moral law. But I often fail to keep the Ten Commandments.

Should there be any consequences for moral failure ? If so, what should those consequences be ?

The Ten Commandments appear in The Bible in Exodus Chapter 20. Exodus Chapter 20 also spells out the consequences for moral failure: to atone for failure to keep the moral law, Israel was required to bring sheep and other animals and sacrifice them to God.

So The Ten Commandments say that the consequences for moral failure is Death. Not your own death, but someone else’s. Of course if the animal was not bought for sacrifice, the guilt would remain on the law-breaker and his own death would be required by God on Judgement Day.

Question: Can we believe the Ten Commandments and the moral law without believing the consequences for our failure to keep the moral law ? Can we accept the first half of Exodus 20 but reject the second half ? Can we pick and choose from The Ten Commandments ? Can we pick and choose which parts of The Bible to believe ?

Jesus also believed the Ten Commandments. In Mark 10:17-30, Jesus instructed a Rich Young Man to follow the Ten Commandments. The Rich Young Man claimed to have followed all the Commandments, but was still spiritually empty. Jesus questioned The Rich Young Man on his attitude and actions in regard to wealth.

What question would Jesus ask you ? What question would he ask me ?

In the end Jesus told His disciples that it was impossible for a Man to go to Heaven by adherence to the Moral Law.

Jesus said “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God. (Mark 10:25-27)

Question: Jesus says it is impossible for man to satisfy God with our Moral Performance.  Is Jesus correct ?

Why is it impossible for you and me to satisfy God with our moral performance ? Because the standard of God is perfection. Read Genesis 3 where Adam and Eve were expelled from Heaven for committing just one sin. Have you committed one sin ? I have. We all have.

In fact,  Jesus interpereted the Ten Commandments very strictly. Jesus taught that wrong thoughts and attitudes were the same as committing sins physically. One specific example Jesus gave was men looking at women lustfully. I have done this. Jesus says that makes me guilty of adultery. I suspect every man on the planet is thus guilty of adultery. Maybe even you.  By Jesus’s standards (see Matthew 5:28).

Jesus also taught that any man who calls another man ‘A fool’ has committed a sin and is therefore liable for moral consequences, this penalty being death and hell. (Matthew 5:22)  So,  Jesus teaches us that there is not even one person has lived a satisfactory moral life

Question: Should we accept Jesus standard of morality or our own ? Why ?

Jesus also believed in the second half of Exodus 20, the consequences of moral failure i.e. the Death of the One who fails morally. John The Baptist said Jesus is The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). In other words, John taught that Jesus is the ransom required for mankind to receive forgiveness from God.  Jesus taught the reason for his life was to give his life as a ransom for many.(Matthew 20:28). Jesus taught that all mankind including you and me are guilty of moral failure and face the most extreme consequences.

And that’s where Christmas comes in. God Himself decided to come to Earth as Jesus to live as a man, to overcome all temptations and to completely fulfil the moral law of God.  In this way, Jesus becomes a representative of mankind before God. He suffered death and hell  on our behalf so that we don’t have to.

Jesus has paid your ransom. You now have the choice before God of accepting Jesus as your ransom or choosing to pay the penalty of death and hell yourself.

Its up to you.

You indicated that you do not believe that the death of Jesus on the Cross is a payment for your sins because you do not believe in Human Sacrifice.

Jesus did not teach us to practice Human Sacrifice. Jesus did teach us that the Judicial Penalty for sin is death. He has paid that penalty so that you don’t have to. There is a fallacy believed that Christianity teaches Human Sacrifice. It does not.  But Jesus, Moses, David and Abraham did teach that the Judicial Penalty of death can be paid for by God on behalf of mankind.

Sir, not all religions are the same, even though all of them have some kind of moral law. Let’s examine the four largest religions on Earth:

Hindus say: The Truth is One, but the teachers speak of it in many different ways.

Buddha said: Follow my eight-fold path and you will discover The Truth.

Mohammed said: The Truth has been revealed to me.

Jesus said: I am The Truth

Of the four largest religions on earth, there is only one that says that you can get to the truth by multiple different essentially equal ways. That religion in Hinduism.If someone says that there are many ways to God they are contradicting Buddha, Mohammed and Jesus. Do we really have any right to contradict these teachers ? In particular, who are we to say that we understand their religions better than they themselves do ? Buddha, Mohammed and Jesus all said that there is only one way to heaven, not many.

If we align ourselves with Hinduism saying all religions are basically the same,  do we then do as the Hindus do and worship Ganesh, Shiva and Vishnu ? If not, why not ?

Of these four religions, three say the way to heaven is by works, or our own efforts in adherence to the moral law. Only one says that our own efforts in adherence to the moral law will never take us to Heaven. And that one is Jesus.

Jesus stands alone.

Is Jesus correct ? Is He alone The Way to Heaven ?

I am the way and the truth and the life. 

No one comes to the Father except through me. (Jesus, John 14:6)

 Sir, Thank You so much for allowing me to leave you this short note. I would love to discuss these ideas with you in further detail. Please contact me any time.

Merry Christmas !

 

Islam teaches that 99.6% of the Earth’s population lives in an undiscovered icy wasteland, the exact location of which is presently unknown. This proposition is patently false thus showing that Islam is obviously in error and is not the religion of God.

The people that populate this icy wilderness, according to the Qu’ran and Hadith, are the tribes of Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj. These tribes are apparently trapped behind a huge wall made of iron and molten lead erected between two mountains which Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj perpetually attempt to tunnel through. This wall was supposedly built by a person called Zul-Qarnain who is a legendary figure known only to the Qu’ran,  but who appears to be based on Alexander The Great.

Islam teaches that Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj will ultimately burst through the huge iron wall which restrains them and make war on all mankind.

It is forbidden for any community we had annihilated to return. Until when [the dam of] Gog and Magog has been opened and they, from every elevation, descend  (Qu’ran Al’Anbiya 21:95-96)

The Qu’ran describes the wall supposedly erected to contain them like so:

When he reached the valley between two palisades, he found people whose language was barely understandable.

They said, “O Zul-Qarnain, Gog and Magog are corruptors of the earth. Can we pay you to create a barrier between us and them?”

He said, “My Lord has given me great bounties. If you cooperate with me, I will build a dam between you and them.”Bring to me masses of iron.” Once he filled the gap between the two palisades, he said, “Blow.” Once it was red hot, he said, “Help me pour tar on top of it.” Thus, they could not climb it, nor could they bore holes in it.

He said, “This is mercy from my Lord. When the prophecy of my Lord comes to pass, He will cause the dam to crumble. The prophecy of my Lord is truth.”
At that time, we will let them invade with one another, then the horn will be blown, and we will summon them all together. (Qu’ran Al-Kahf 18:93-99)

The Hadith which states that Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj comprise 99.6% of the world’s population is the following from Bukhari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 567 :
Narrated by Abu Said Al-Khudri

The Prophet said, “Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection), ‘O Adam.’ Adam will reply, ‘Labbaik wa Sa’daik’, and all the good is in Your Hand.’ Allah will say: ‘Bring out the people of the fire.’ Adam will say: ‘O Allah! How many are the people of the Fire?’ Allah will reply: ‘From every one thousand, take out nine-hundred-and ninety-nine.‘ At that time children will become hoary headed, every pregnant female will have a miscarriage, and one will see mankind as drunken, yet they will not be drunken, but dreadful will be the Wrath of Allah.”

The companions of the Prophet asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! Who is that (excepted) one?” He said, “Rejoice with glad tidings; one person will be from you and one-thousand will be from Gog and Magog.” …”

Bukhari, whose Hadith constitute obligatory belief for Sunni Muslims, therefore states that Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj comprise either 999 or 1,000 times the number of Muslims, depending on whether the ratio given by Allah or Mohammed is the correct one in the two differing statements in the same Hadith.

On present populations Muslims number approximately 2 Billion which would mean Yajooj and Majooj presently number roughly 2 Trillion persons. This is 267 times the population of Planet Earth, meaning that Yajooj and Majooj are currently 99.62% of the World’s population, the remainder of the planet numbering of 7.5 Billion at the time of writing.

Ridiculous

It is, of course, ridiculous to believe that there is an undiscovered icy wilderness on Earth in which 2 Trillion people live unknown to the outside world. Every inch of the Earth’s surface is mapped and in any case icy wastes do not support vast populations.

Undoubtedly the Qu’ranic and Hadith data on Yajooj and Majooj are complete nonsense, fabrications from the mind of Mohammed and disconnected with reality.

The Gate Of Alexander

It is plain that Mohammed obtained his information about The Giant Wall which holds back Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj from myths about Alexander The Great which emerged many centuries after his death.The myths associated with Alexander The Great go by the collective title of Alexander Romance and exist in many languages. The Greek versions of these myths go back to at least the 3rd Century.

The particular legend of The Gates of Alexander that Mohammed used in The Qu’ran was closely based on a Syriac version of the legends written in approximately 500 AD. This version was in active readership across the Middle East at the time Mohammed composed the Qu’ran. You can read it yourself by  Googling “A Discource Composed by Mar Jacob upon Alexander, the Believing King, and upon the Gate which he made against Gog and Magog”

Alexander’s Gate is entirely fictitious. It has been placed in many locations containing impressive enough fortifications all over the world. As P. Newton says in his Internet article, The Gate,

Since people began exploring the world they have looked for Alexander’s gate. Professor Andrew Runni Anderson had this to say about Alexander’s gate:

“The gate itself had wandered from the Caspian Gates to the pass of Dariel, from the pass of Dariel to the pass of Derbend, as well as to the far north; nay, it had travelled even as far as remote eastern or north-eastern Asia, gathering in strength and increasing in size as it went, and actually carrying the mountains of Caspia with it. Then, as the full light of modern day come on, the Alexander Romance ceased to be regarded as history, and with it Alexander’s Gate passed into the realm of fairyland.”

There is more information about the Gates Of Alexander here.

Since the Qu’ran regards the fictitious Alexander’s Gate as real, the Qu’ran itself cannot be regarded as the true revelation of God.

(Repost For Christmas. Originally here)

In our place we don’t do Santa.

We have informed the children that Christmas is a celebration of Jesus’s birthday and that Santa is a way people have of remembering the very nice man St Nicholas of Patara who would give presents to poor children for Jesus’s birthday because they had no one to give them presents.

Just The Facts

Objectively this is a factually historically sound precis of the identities of the major personages associated with Christmas and far closer to the truth than the western secular culturally approved Christmas story which is that Christmas is a day when the entirely mythical Santa Claus pilots a team of magic reindeer around the planet and distributes presents to children on the basis of good behaviour, completing his global mission in one night assisted by a team of magical elves.

So on a factual basis my family explanation of ‘Why Christmas?’ beats the objectivity index of the major alternative explanation by about 100-NIL.

Even if you think that Jesus Himself is a myth it is nevertheless true that Christmas Day came into being a celebration of Jesus’s birthday. Yes, yes I know, the actual day was appropriated from a pagan midwinter festival but it wasn’t called Christmas then.

Name That Stereotype

Now if you’re a hard core atheist you despise myths of all kinds so you wouldn’t be wanting to be feeding the children’s minds up with Santa nonsense. You’ll be telling them that Christmas (without the deliberate mis-spelling with ‘X’) is a celebration of the birthday of a mythical person called Jesus ’cause that’s factual, but that in your family Christmas is just about whatever you want to do at Christmas.

And if you’re an agnostic you’ll have no objection to Jesus as a putative historical personage or even as God, so you would have at least no objection to be going with the basic facts about ‘Why Christmas?‘, but you might decide to go with the Santa story because its fun for kids to play make-believe.

I guess the ‘Christmas is about Santa’ story would also be adopted to easy-going or less dogmatic atheists like Julia Gillard, Prime Minister Of Australia, who don’t believe in God but who don’t share the relentless atheist insistence on eliminating Jesus from public consciousness associated with, say, Richard Dawkins, and just like to see the kids get entranced in ‘the magic of Christmas’.

And from personal observation it would also apply to the general Australian public for whom neither Jesus nor atheism nor agnosticism registers at any meaningful resonance.

As far those who believe Jesus is God, such as myself, we obviously want to emphasize that Christmas is about Jesus’s birthday. Some Christian families also integrate Santa into their Christmas Family narrative but in my opinion this makes Christmas worse, not better.

Why Santa makes Christmas Worse

When our kids get a Christmas present they know that Mummy and Daddy have bought it for them, not Santa. So this is tangible evidence that M&D love giving them great stuff, and the greatest stuff that kids get, materially speaking, comes on Christmas Day. Pooh-pooh it if you like but gift-giving is a practical demonstration of love. Why should my kids think that Santa loves them more than M&D ? I think that its a positive for the children that they know that M&D bought them the big shiny bike or the Hot Wheels Trick Tracks Mega-Dino Challenge or the Dora The Explorer magnetic toothbrush with built in compass.

Secondly, the kids express their joy for the gift directly back to M&D and it goes like this WOW! THANKS DAD! THAT IS AWESOOOOMMME! Sorry Santa, you don’t deserve that gratitude since you don’t even exist anyway and I’m sure as eggs not letting you have it. So the M&D’s get to express the full volume of their children’s delight at the Christmas gifts, instead of vicariously filtered via Santa.

Third, we as M&D give Christmas presents to our children because we love them, not on the basis of whether or not they have been good. Our children get validated for who they are, not on the basis of their transitory behaviour. Our children know they do not have to earn the love of M&D unlike that fickle impostor Santa whose favour can at any time evaporate like summer mist.

Fourth, the children get facts not fiction. No matter how you slice it, Santa is made up. A truthful explanation of Why Do We Give Presents At Christmas must include some reference to Jesus, even if He is relegated to myth. Face it, Santa entered the Christmas narrative at some point many centuries after Jesus and doubly so the magic reindeer and elves.

Much as many hate it Jesus IS the ORIGINAL reason for the season and the reason why Christmas exists. Here’s a theoretical question your child may ask:

Child: ‘Mummy, Why DO people go around saying ‘Christmas is a time of peace and goodwill to all men’ ?
Incorrect Answer A: Because Christmas is a time when we get together as a family.
Correct Answer B: Its because that’s what the Angels said to the shepherds on Jesus’s birthday.

Quite simply, an integrated understanding of Christmas requires reference to Jesus.

Fifth, for those who are Jesus-friendly, awarding Christmas to Santa robs Jesus of richly deserved recognition. Americans have a thing called Martin Luther King Day. Contrary to current popular preferential meaning, this does not commemorate the day when Santa led a Freedom march on Washington DC to eloquently demand equal rights for African-Americans assisted by a team of magical elves. I think you get what I mean. Even if you think Jesus is just a man or even just a myth, why not let the kids admire and learn from His example ?

Santa Is Not All Bad

Ejecting Santa from Christmas is not without cost. My kids do miss out on the awestruck wonder of waiting for Santa to visit and some really great make-believe. And yes, my kids are almost the only ones at school who don’t think Santa is real, which can make them seem like Alien Life-Forms to the others who have been fed the 100% guaranteed Santa myth. Ironic that, but it doesn’t seem to lead to teasing.

But even without Jesus, Christmas is better without Santa (see reasons one, two and three above). Of course WITH Jesus there is another kind of awestuck wonder which happens to be based in historical truth, but even if you really wish to persist with Jesus is A Myth, at least you can tell tell the myth that is related to the actual origins of Christmas rather than the one that originated with Coca-Cola Inc.

Hindus say: The Truth is One, but the sages speak of it in many different ways.

Buddha said: Follow my eight-fold path and you will discover The Truth.

Mohammed said: The Truth has been revealed to me.

Jesus said: I am The Truth

 

I am the Way and the Truth and the Life.  

No one comes to the Father except through me.

(Jesus, John 14:6)

Acknowledgement – I first saw this schema of Comparative Religion in a book I read when I was in my early 20’s when I was trying to figure out if Jesus Is God. The book was published by an Anglican publishing house but I can’t remember the name of the book or who the authors are.

My Muslim friends often challenge me to prove that Jesus said that He Is God. Specifically they want me to find a place in The Bible where Jesus Himself said the exact words ‘I am God. Worship me.’ Just Google this Where did Jesus say I am God Worship Me’ for dozens of examples of Muslims issuing this challenge.

My Muslim friends will not accept as proof anyone else in The Bible saying that Jesus is God, or anyone worshiping Jesus who was not explicitly commanded by Jesus to worship Him, or Jesus saying any other words or doing any other actions (such as forgiving sins which Jesus did and which only God can do) that indicate that Jesus is God. They demand that I show them in The Bible only Jesus Himself saying these exact words ‘I am God. Worship me’.

If these exact words do not exist in The Bible from Jesus own mouth, my Muslim friends say, then Jesus never claimed to be God and therefore Christians are not justified in saying that Jesus is God and therefore Jesus must be only a man.

Muslims insist on being shown one specific type of proof of Deity expressed in only one exact and specific formulation. Nothing else is acceptable.

Jesus Never Said ‘I am a Man. Do Not Worship Me.’

Well, where in The Bible does Jesus say the exact words ‘I am a man. Don’t worship me.’.

By the standard of proof demanded by Muslims If Jesus didn’t say the exact words I am a man. Don’t worship me. then Muslims are not justified in saying that Jesus is a man and therefore Jesus must be God.

Could Muslim readers please provide their proof from The Bible that Jesus said ‘I am a man. Don’t worship me’.

I will only accept these exact words as proof. I will not accept anyone else calling Jesus a man as proof that Jesus is a man, nor will I accept Jesus saying other words indicating that He is a man, nor will I accept Jesus performing actions indicating that He is a man (such as eating or sleeping) and I will not accept as proof anyone not worshiping Jesus except if they have been explicitly commanded by Jesus to not worship Him.

The only acceptable proof is Jesus saying these exact words: ‘I am a man. Don’t worship me.’.

I insist on being shown one specific type of proof of humanity expressed in only one exact and specific formulation. Nothing else is acceptable.

Thanks.

How Muslims Prove That Jesus Is Not God

Of course Muslims do not rely on finding the exact words I am a man. Do not worship me. stated by Jesus in order to prove that Jesus Is Not God. Muslims prove that Jesus is not God by finding equivalent words said by Jesus, or by finding Jesus doing things that humans need to do, such as eat and sleep, in order to make their proof.

Here is the well-known Islamic polemecist Zakir Naik proving that Jesus is human and not God by showing that Jesus needed to eat in order to stay alive

Human beings require to eat – God does not require to eat, to survive – They are not the same…And this is testified by Jesus Christ… in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter No. 24, Verse No. 36 to 39…­­­­­­And he said that… ‘Do you have any meat to eat ?’­­­­­­And they gave him broiled fish and a piece of honeycomb – And he ate.

In the same article Zakir Naik proves that Jesus is not God by finding words said by Jesus which are equivalent to Jesus saying I am a man. Do not worship me. Naik quotes Jesus from Matthew 12:28 where Jesus says…‘I cast out devils with the spirit of God’. Naik finds here (though I do not) that Jesus makes Himself distinct from God by this statement and therefore Jesus is simply a human being.

So Muslims do not limit themselves to finding Jesus saying one exact statement in order prove that Jesus is human. Nor should they. Inferential proofs that demonstrate humanity are indeed proof of humanity and need to be accepted by reasonable persons that Jesus was indeed human. And on the other hand, nor should Muslims or any person limit themselves to finding Jesus saying one exact statement in order prove that Jesus is Divine. Inferential proofs of Jesus’ Divinity need to be accepted just as readily as inferential proofs of Jesus humanity.

Indeed it would be frankly hypocritical of Muslims to accept inferential proofs of Jesus humanity and not to accept inferential proofs of Jesus’ Deity.

Proofs Of Jesus Deity

As stated above Muslims use the fact that Jesus needed to do what humans do in order to prove that Jesus is a human. By the same logic, if Jesus does what only God can do then Jesus is Divine. First, then, here is Jesus performing a Divine action, forgiving sins, which only God can do. See Mark 2:5-10

When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things… 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.”…

Secondly, here is Jesus claiming to be God by saying He is the same person as God. Jesus does this by taking the name of God ‘I AM’ and applying it to Himself. Here is John 8:51-58

51 [Jesus said] Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.”…[The Jews replied] Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”

54 Jesus replied…. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”

57 “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”

58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I AM!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.

Jesus claims to be greater than Abraham and all prophets, to have existed prior to Abraham and to have an eternal existence. The phrase ‘I AM’ is the name of God by which God revealed to Moses and which God says is His name forever and the name by which He, God, is to be called by His people. Jesus gives this name I AM as the answer to the question of the Jews ‘Who do you think you are ?’.

Jesus thus to claims to have the same name as God and is therefore claiming to be God. This is shown by the Jews who were listening to Jesus who picked up stones to stone Him for Blasphemy.

Jesus says His own name is the name of God. This infers that Jesus is God. This is what his listeners understood to be Jesus’ meaning.

Notice that Jesus does not correct the Jews for having a wrong understanding. Imagine if someone tried to stone Mohammed for Blasphemy because Mohammed said his name was Allah. Mohammed would immediately stop and correct that person and clear up the misunderstanding. Mohammed would never allow anyone to think that he was calling himself by God’s name.

But Jesus does. Jesus allows his listeners to go on thinking that He, Jesus, had used God’s name as His own name. This means that Jesus validates the understanding that He is God as a correct understanding.

Jesus has claimed to be God. His listeners heard and understood that claim and tried to stone Jesus for blasphemy. Jesus did not correct their understanding.

Notice that Jesus also allowed people to think He, Jesus is God, when he healed the paralysed man in Mark 2, recounted above. Jesus knew what the Jews were thinking that He, Jesus, was committing blasphemy by forgiving sins which only God can do. Jesus does not try and correct their understanding. In fact, Jesus does the opposite. Jesus confirms their understanding that He, Jesus, claimsto be God, by specifically saying that He, Jesus, has authority to forgive sins.

Again, imagine if Mohammed had said to someone ‘I have the authority to forgive sins’. Of course Mohammed would never do so, because Mohammed is not God.

But Jesus is God.

So Jesus does what only God can do and forgives people their sins.

Jesus Many Times Accused Of Blasphemy And Accepted Worship

Jesus was many times accused of blasphemy. This shows that he was repeatedly telling people that He was God. He never said to people ‘Stop. You misunderstand me. I am not claiming to be God.’ Surely as an honourable man Jesus would have corrected any person who had such amazing ideas about Him. But instead Jesus allowed people to believe that He, Jesus, was claiming to be God.

Imagine if people said to Mohammed You are committing blasphemy! Mohammed would immediately correct the wrong understanding of that person. There is no way that Mohammed would allow anyone to think that he was claiming to be God. If anyone did think that way, Mohammed would certainly correct them.

But Jesus never stopped anyone believing He is God. On the contrary, Jesus accepted worship and commended people for worshiping Him.

Jesus Directly Claimed To Be God

I stated above that inferential proofs must be accepted just as readily as direct proofs. But in reality Jesus directly claimed to be God. Jesus did this by performing actions which only God can do, such as forgiving sins, and by claiming God’s name as His own name.

Jesus listeners understood that Jesus was claiming to be God. Jesus never corrected them, but instead repeatedly confirmed their understanding. See John 10:33-39

Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”

 We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” 

Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.

Summary

  • Muslims will only accept Jesus saying the exact words ‘I am God. Worship Me.’ as proof that Jesus claimed to be God
  • But Muslims do not limit themselves to Jesus saying the exact words  ‘I am man. Do not Worship Me.’ when attempting to prove that Jesus is simply a human
  • Muslims therefore utilise a hypocritical double-standard of proofs
  • Muslims use inferential proofs to say that Jesus is human
  • This is reasonable and fair. Inferential proofs are just as valid as direct proofs.
  • There are many inferential and direct proofs that Jesus claimed to be God
  • Muslims must accept inferential proofs of Deity just as they accept inferential proofs of humanity
  • Thus we can see that The Bible contains two sets of proofs: Proof that Jesus is human and proof that Jesus is God
  • This is exactly what one would expect if God entered the world as a human being. He would retain His divinity and yet also exhibit humanity.
  • This is who Jesus is: God incarnate as a human being.

 

Appendix: God’s Name Is I AM As Revealed To Moses And Used By Jesus

See Exodus 3:13-15

13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.[b] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.’”

15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord,[c] the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’

This is my name forever,
    the name you shall call me
    from generation to generation.

John 8:53-58

53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? …Who do you think you are?”

58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, before Abraham was born, I AM!

 

American Astronaut Neil Armstrong Became A Muslim

My Muslim friend recently told me that American astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, became a Muslim after hearing the Muslim Call To Prayer while standing on The Moon.

This is totally untrue. It is simply a Muslim myth.

Neil Armstrong did not become a Muslim after hearing the Muslim Call To Prayer while standing on The Moon.

Neil Armstrong is not a Muslim at all.

Neil Armstrong has never been a Muslim.

Armstrong himself repudiates this story in his own biography. Here is an excerpt:

I have found that many organizations claim me as a member, for which I am not a member, and a lot of different families — Armstrong families and others — make connections, many of which don’t exist. So many people identify with the success of Apollo. The claim about my becoming a Muslim is just an extreme version of people inevitably telling me they know somebody whom I might know

The myth that Armstrong became a Muslim is in fact denied in a Fatwa authourised  by the Muslim scholar Shaykh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid and published on his website, Islam Q&A.

Shaykh Al-Munajjid makes the obvious point that if Neil Armstrong became a Muslim after hearing the Islamic Call To Prayer on The Moon then he would go around telling everyone all about it and that they should become Muslims too. Since Neil Armstrong has  does none of these things it is obvious that he never became a Muslim or heard the call To Prayer on The Moon.

Here is the Fatwa:

The story about Neil Armstrong, who they say was the first man to step onto the surface of the moon, becoming a Muslim is one of the stories that are passed around among people. We have researched this story and we did not find any reliable source for it.

We have got used to hearing stories like that which then turn out to false, and it seems that this is a deliberate attempt to shake the faith of the ordinary Muslims[…]

If the story of such a famous person becoming Muslim was really true, you would see him calling people to Islam and you would see the scholars and daa’iyahs and the Islamic media meeting him and talking to him, none of which happened in this case.

If you compare the story of Armstrong supposedly becoming Muslim with the story of Yusuf Islam (the former Cat Stevens, the famous British singer), you will see the difference between lies and truth, imagination and reality.

You can read all about the Armstrong Myth here:

First Astronaut To The Moon Worshiped Jesus

In fact, what Armstrong did on the Moon was respectfully watch his crew-mate Buzz Aldrin worship Jesus. As the link above states:

Before Armstrong and fellow astronaut Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr. stepped out of the lunar module, the Apollo they observed a moment of silence whilst Aldrin read from the New Testament and administered Communion to himself. The Christian ceremony is described in an article by Aldrin in a 1970 copy of Guideposts magazine:

It was interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the first food eaten there, were communion elements which celebrate the sacrifice of Jesus and which are symbolically eaten in an act of worship to Jesus.

Astronauts Who Have Become Christians 

While there is no record of any person becoming a Muslim in outer space or on The Moon, there are several records of people coming to a deeper faith in Christianity and Jesus Christ while in outer space or on The Moon.

Astronaut James Irwin Became A Christian On The Moon

Apollo 15 astronaut James Irwin was what is termed a nominal Christian before his time on The Moon in 1971. A nominal Christian is a person who comes from a Christian family or who may even occasionally attend church, but who has no personal faith in God or true connection to Jesus. Such a personal is not actually a Christian, but James Irwin became a believer in God through Jesus Christ, a Christian, while on The Moon.

While James Irwin was on The Moon he was having trouble getting an experiment to work. He decided to pray God I need your help right now.

Suddenly Irwin experienced the presence of Jesus Christ in a remarkable way, unlike anything he ever felt on earth. “The Lord showed him the solution to the problem and the experiment erected before him like a little altar,” Mary Irwin, his wife, said.

“He was so overwhelmed at seeing and feeling God’s presence so close,” she says. “At one point he turned around and looked over his shoulder as if He was standing there.”

This unusual encounter with Jesus – some 238,000 miles from earth, changed Irwin’s life forever.

Within a year of Irwin’s return from space, he resigned from NASA and formed High Flight Foundation, which is a Christian Missionary organisation

“God decided that He would send His Son Jesus Christ to the blue planet,” James Irwin said, “and it’s through faith in Jesus Christ that we can relate to God. Jesus Himself said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes unto the Father except through me.’

“As I travel around I tell people the answer is Jesus Christ, that Jesus walking on the earth is more important than man walking on the moon.”

[Information about James Irwin from the article “Encounter with Jesus on the moon left astronaut changed”, GodReports website , March 7, 2011. Link here.]

 

Astronaut Becomes Christian Missionary After Walking On The Moon

Charles Duke, an Astronaut on Apollo 16 in 1972, had his faith in Jesus Christ immensely strengthened as a result of going to The Moon. He later became active in missionary work. As he explained:

“I make speeches about walking ON the moon and walking WITH the Son [of God].”

Astronaut Becomes A Believer In God While Reading The Bible In Outer Space

Frank Borman was commander of the first space crew to travel beyond the Earth’s orbit, Apollo 8, in 1968. Looking down on the earth from 250,000 miles away, Borman radioed back a message, quoting Genesis Chapter One, the first words in The Bible “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

As he later explained,

“I had an enormous feeling that there had to be a power greater than any of us-that there was a God, that there was indeed a beginning.”

[Information about Frank Borman in this section comes from the article “Astronauts Who Found God” by Chuck Colson on the website ActsWeb. Link here.]

 

Summary

Neil Armstrong did not become a Muslim after hearing the Muslim Call To Prayer while standing on The Moon.

Neil Armstrong is not a Muslim at all.

Neil Armstrong has never been a Muslim.

Muslim scholars agree that Neil Armstrong is not and never has been a Muslim.

Muslim scholars describe the story of Armstrong becoming a Muslim as ‘lies’, ‘false’, ‘imagination’, ‘unreliable’ and a story designed to stop Muslims believing in Islam.

The first act of worship on the Moon was actually a Christian worship service in honour of   Jesus Christ.

The first Holy Book read in outer space was The Bible

The only Astronauts who came to believe in God while on The Moon became Christians, not Muslims.

Holy Light From The Ka’aba

A Muslim friend recently told me that Holy Light coming out of The Kaaba is visible from outer space. Because of this, my friend said, humanity can know for sure that Islam is the true religion of God.

The source of his assertion appears to be the comments of some Russian cosmonauts on You Tube who saw Mecca from space and apparently said that the light from Mecca was cleaner and brighter than the light coming from European cities such as Paris

The comments of the Russian cosmonauts do not prove that Mecca has purer or brighter light than other cities of the world. In fact, the video shows a rotating Earth with all of the cities lit just as brightly or brighter than Mecca.

Also, it is obvious from the You Tube video that the light coming from Mecca is simply electrical light, the same as any other city in the world. There is no extra light coming from the Ka’aba at all, just the normal electrical lights of the city of Mecca.  In fact, no light at all comes from the Ka’aba because it is not supplied with electrical lighting.

If Holy Light is streaming from The Ka’aba one would expect a gigantic blinding, shining light to be pouring forth from The Ka’aba. This is what one expects when told Holy Light Comes Out Of The Ka’aba. But no light is visible from The Ka’aba at all as is plainly shown by the cosmosnauts photographs.

Why should anyone be surprised that light from electrical lamps located in Mecca, identical to that which exists in every other city in the world, emanates into outer space ?

According to the text written under the You Tube video, the cosmonaut says that the superior,  pure quality of the light from Mecca was only evident when he took photographs of Mecca.  It would be interesting to see if his result could be repeated by other people or if it could be explained by various settings on his camera such as exposure times, filters, angle of the picture or other camera settings or by relative levels of air pollution above these cities.

I would also note that the video is completely in Russian. It would be useful if the video could be translated and have subtitles so that the comments of the cosmonaut can be verified and understood in context.

I also note that the Cosmonaut who took these pictures,  Anton Schkaplerov, was born in the Crimea, which has a significant Muslim population. Is he a Muslim and if so, is he simply providing an Islamically-sourced expectation of what he hoped to see rather than an objective account of what he really did see ?

Also, to re-state, the only light in the cosmonauts photographs is the ordinary electrical light coming from street lights in the city of Mecca. No light at all is shown coming from the Kaaba itself, though, of course, the Grand Mosque in which The Ka’aba is situated is well-lit with electrical light.

Finally, if Holy Light really is streaming out of The Kaaba, why isn’t it visible from Mecca itself or any other place on Earth ? Why can’t people standing next to The Ka’aba see light streaming out of it ?

Apparently the Holy Light streaming from the Ka’aba is invisible when standing next to it in Mecca, invisible from Saudi Arabia, invisible from The Middle East, invisible from any and all places on Earth, invisible even from Outer Space, but only when someone takes a picture of Mecca from Outer Space, then the Holy Light becomes visible in the photographs. But the Holy Light does not actually come from The Ka’aba. Only electrical lights in the city of Mecca.

Imagine if I told my Muslim friends that Holy Light is continuously streaming out of the roof of The Vatican but that this light not visible from Italy or indeed any place on Earth and that this light is not visible from outer space either, but that an American Christian astronaut had taken a picture of The Vatican from space and that it was only visible in this picture. Furthermore no-one else had ever taken such a picture. And again furthermore, the picture of this light from The Vatican shows only the normal electrical lights and no special light coming from St. Peter’s Church itself or from any other place in The Vatican.

Would my Muslim friends then believe me that Holy Light is streaming out of The Vatican and that therefore Christianity is the true religion of God ?

Of course not.

In summary,

  • No light at all is emitted from The Ka’aba
  • Mecca emits electrical light, not Holy light.
  • The same kind of light is emitted by every other city in the world
  • Other cities are just as brightly lit as Mecca

Ka’aba Emits  An Infinite Amount Of Short-Wave Radiation

Another variation of the story that pure and holy light streams from the Ka’aba is described by Dr. Abd Al-Baset Sayyid of the Egyptian National Research Centre and shown on Saudi TV in January 2005.

Dr. Sayyid said that NASA has proven that The Ka’aba emits a gigantic amount of Short-Wave radiation which streams to an infinite distance from The Ka’aba. Dr. Sayyid said that NASA had observed this phenomenon during a Mars mission.

Unfortunately Dr.Sayyid gives absolutely no evidence for this assertion. Dr.Sayyid says that NASA put this information up on their website put then mysteriously pulled it down again after 21 days. Dr Sayyid does not provide any hard-copy of the report or, indeed, any evidence at all for this supposed NASA report.

Why should anyone believe him ? Quite simply, no light or radiation comes from The Ka’aba at all.

Since Dr. Sayyid does not provide any evidence for his assertion that The Ka’aba emits an infinite amount of short-wave radiation there is no evidence for anyone to believe. He is quite simply making up the story from his own imagination.

Imagine if I told my Muslim friends that The Vatican emits an infinite amount of Short-Wave radiation and that this was proven by Muslim scientists from the Egyptian National Research Centre during the first moon sighting of Ramadan of 2005. I then say that The ENRC put this report up on their website but then pulled it down 21 days later to try and conceal the fact that Christianity is the true religion of God. I then tell them that I have no hard-copy of the ENRC report and in fact no evidence at all.

What would my Muslim friends say to me ? Would they believe me ?

Of course not.