It’s been some months since I engaged Muslims in Facebook groups, but I recently joined one to get a bit entertained with the fox house arguments Muslims build against Christianity and the Bible. I weighed in on a discussion between one Abubakar and another Christian. As it always turns out in such debates, the Muslim’s barks are far out of proportion to his bites.
Abubakar: Ok give me the verse where God himself say that Christianity is his religion? Because as far as I know the name Christianity was first used in Antioch, as we read in the Bible: Acts (11:25,26): “Then departed Barnabas to seek Saul; and when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”
Who had given [them] this name? Neither God nor Jesus. We can mention the following points concerning the name ‘Christianity”:
* The name does not bear the authority from God or from Jesus.
* It was given by the Jews and pagans in Antioch (a city in the then Roman Empire), i.e by foes rather than by friends.
* The name was given after Jesus had left this world.
* The name was used derogatorily, as determined by historians.
So where [did] God himself said this is your religion? In Quran: the religion Islam is given by none other than God Himself “…This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (5:3). And this is the true religion ISLAM.
Victor: Who made up the rule that the name of followers of a person (or a religion) must have the authority from God or Christ to be valid? Does the name “Islam” have the authority of God or Christ?
“It was given by the Jews and pagans”
Based on what they observed. They saw “the grace of God” in the lives of the people (Acts 11:23); they saw them live out Christ in teaching and action. That is what makes one a Christian. It’s just the same way Muslims today emulate Muhammad in thinking, dressing and action. What’s amusing is that the same stone where pagans worshipped their demons for centuries is the same one Muslims travel to kiss and sacrifice to today. But you have been conditioned to only attack others.
“in Antioch (a city in the then Roman Empire)”
One more proof you don’t have a clue what you’re saying. Antioch “was situated on the east bank of the Orontes River about 27 kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea and 485 kilometres north of Jerusalem” (Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, 1995, 80).
“The name was given after Jesus had left this world”
But He’s still alive! Big difference. Christ is still alive and He lives in us and changes us to be like Him. Whereas, your Muhammad is dead and has remained dead and no Muslim can claim to have a relationship with him. The Quran was collected after his death; he never saw a copy. The hadiths were also made up after his death. If he were alive today, which sect of Islam would he approve of? The Sunnis? The Shi’ites? Nation of Islam? Ahmadiyya? Sufism? Which school of fiqh would he endorse? The Hanbali? Maliki? Hanafi? Shafi? Jafari? Will he be part of the Qaedanis [those who strictly adhere to predestination] or the Jabrians [those adhering to free will]?
“In Quran: the religion Islam is given by none other than God Himself”
Such a narrative can only work in the mosque. There is no proof that the person speaking in the Quran is God (apart from the many embarrassing blunders in it), unless you want to tell me God speaks as Abraham in one place, as Muhammad or Mary elsewhere, as jinn in a whole chapter and as Satan interspersed all through. Such a “god” must have a multiple personality disorder.
That Sura 5:3 is speaking of meat forbidden for Muslims and the Arabic word there is “islaami” which means submission. At the time this was recited, Islam had not become a fully developed or identifiable religion. And is this verse implying Islam didn’t become “perfect” until Muhammad came? Where does this “perfect” Islam exists? Saudi Arabia? Egypt? Iran? Pakistan? Syria? If this perfect Islam only exists in your heads and has never existed in the last 14 centuries, then it is time to lay off your crack pipes and admit that the speaker in the Quran lied. He fooled you.
Abubakar: So simple, just give a verse that Christianity is from God? You can say what you like to say to the Quran because you are Mushrik [idolater]. As far as I can say Quran is believed and Islam is embraced by One third of the World. So if you believed your Bible, we do also much believed in the Holy Quran. In Quran Allah said “…This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (5:3)
If we compare to your Bible, did God say there clearly that Christianity [is from Him]? Even “Bible” is not mentioned in the Bible, because Bible do not belong to the Book of God. So I can say it is a Book made by man, like Christianity a man made [religion] by Jews and pagans in Antioch. Sunnis, Sufis, Shias, Ahmadiyya etc are not new words from Islam. The Prophet said there will be a 71 or 73 sects all in Hell except the One Islam followed by the Prophet and his companions.
Victor: “a verse that Christianity is from God”
This line of argument is fallacious. First of all, Islam came 6 centuries after Christianity, so it’s Islam that has the burden of proof to demonstrate it came from God, not the Christian Faith before it. Second, we can turn the tables around and ask you to show us one verse in the Quran that says “Christianity is not from God.”
“because you are Mushrik”
The same way your rants against Christianity carry no weight because you are “dead in your transgressions and sins” and you follow “the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air” (Eph. 2:1, 2).
“Quran is believed and Islam is embraced by One third of the World”
Let me rephrase that: Vedas is believed and Hinduism is embraced by one sixth of the world.
“In Quran Allah said…”
Wait a minute, you haven’t yet demonstrated who is speaking in the Quran. For example:
“How can I have a son when age hath overtaken me already and my wife is barren?” (3:40) – Is it Allah speaking here?.
“We come not down except by commandment of thy Lord. Unto him belongeth all that is before us and all that is behind us and that is between these two.” (19:64) – Is it Allah speaking here?
“All praise is due to Allah the Lord of the Worlds…Master of the Day of Judgement. Thee do we serve and Thee do we beseech for help. Keep us on the right path” (1:2-6) – Is it Allah praying here?
“Lo! We even we are they who set the ranks. Lo! We, even we are they who hymn his praise.” (37:166) – Who is speaking here? Is Allah a multitude?
“Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget or miss the mark!” (2:286) – Is Allah praying to himself or a superior Allah?
To say the word “Bible” must be mentioned for the Bible to be divine is just like saying: “The Quran is a book of God because it mentions itself” or “The book of Mormon is a book of God because it mentions itself.” I had thought by now reasonable Muslims would have seen the emptiness in this statement, but I’ve learnt not to set up high hopes regarding Muslims “think tanks.”
“Christianity is a man made by Jews and pagans”
Which is a statement you will have to prove right now, otherwise you are a liar and liars have their part in the lake of fire (Rev. 22:15)
“the Prophet said there will be 71 or 73 sects all in Hell except the One Islam”
What a hopeless system. So a person will embrace Islam, believe in Allah and Muhammad, practice all the rites of Islam abide by all its laws and still end up in hell because he followed one of 71 or 73 sects of Islam! Tell me, which of the sects of Islam today is the real “one Islam” Muhammad and his companion followed? The last time I checked, he didn’t name anyone and all through the centuries, Muslims have fought, murdered and cursed one another because one party accuses the other of not belonging to the “one sect” that Muhammad approved.
Interestingly, Islam has splintered into over 150 sects and sub-sects, with each group happily settling their differences with bullets, bombs and daggers all over the world. They even blew one another’s heads off at Muhammad’s grave in Medina this year! What a cherry, loving religious brotherhood you’ve got there. Abubakar, which islamic sect do you belong to? The Salafists? Tijaniyya? or ISIS? How do you know your own version of Islam is not one of the hell-bound ones? If only Muhammad was alive today. I’m sure he would have denounced you all since he never saw the Quran or the stuffs attributed to him in the Hadiths.
Abubakar: Very long statement but no clear answer to my post. Why cannot accept that Christianity was first made and used by Jews and pagans in Antioch and no authority from God nor Jesus.
Victor: “Why [can’t you] accept that Christianity was first made…by Jews and pagans”
Because it’s an incredibly false claim based on conjectures and baseless assumptions and you too know that you can’t back it up. It is a rhetoric that works well on the naive; a sort of stuff people pick up from gossip tabloids. The onus is on you to prove that statement. Until then, this discussion is over.