October 27, 2007: Sakshi: An Apologetics Network in India had a dialog with the Islamic Academy of Comparative Religions (IACR) on the topic ‘The Concept of Sin and Salvation in Christianity and Islam’ at Rukumeni Rivera, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Sakshi was represented by Mr. Jerry Thomas and IACR was represented by Mr. Asifuddin Muhammad. Initially both the speakers presented their case followed by two rounds of rebuttals. The dialog concluded with a lively question and answer session. Following is the transcript of Bro. Jerry's rebuttal. The dialog happened to be very fruitful and the veracity of Christian doctrine was clearly demonstrated while refuting the counterfeit gospel.
Brother quoted Surah 30:30, and said that man is created sinless. Let me read that surah 30:30 from Abdullah Yusuf Ali and see whether it is so. “So set thou thy face steadily and truly to the Faith: (establish) Allah's handiwork according to the pattern on which He has made mankind: no change (let there be) in the work (wrought) by Allah: that is the standard Religion: but most among mankind understand not.”
There is nothing in S30:30 which says man is created sinless. It only says, established religion, Allah has made you like this and you will have to continue like that. Now how did Allah make you? We read the rest of the Quran.
In S 17: 19-24, it says man was created very impatient.
In S 4:28, it says man is created weak.
In S 90:4, it says man is created to be in distress.
And in S 7:179, it says many Jinns and men are created for hell. I ask my brother Asifuddin how these passages could be consistent with the passage and the interpretation that he has quoted.
However Bro Asifuddin doesn’t seem to be agreeing with me in the logic of sinful nature. However Prophet Mohammad accepted it.
In Sahih Bukhari Vol 4, Book No 55, No. 641, "I heard Allah's Apostle saying, 'There is none born among the off-spring of Adam, but Satan touches it. A child therefore, cries loudly at the time of birth because of the touch of Satan, except Mary and her child." THESE ARE PROPHET MUHAMMAD’s own words. Then Abu Huraira recited: "And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from the outcast Satan" (3.36)
What does Satan’s touch mean? If you want to know that, check Surah 7: 17, it is nothing but sin. Among the offspring of Adam, there is no one except Mary and her child.
Bro. Asifuudin says that we will all have to do the good works of Allah and go the heaven. However, when I read some books like this to prepare- Salvation through Repentance: An Islamic view (Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips), this author quotes this.
This author quotes:
Sahih Muslim: Volume 4: Number 6620 he says “if you would not commit sins, Allah will sweep you out of existence and would replace you will another people who would commit sins. Ask Allah’s forgiveness and he would forgive you.” If you would not commit sins, Allah would sweep you out of existence. However, Bro. Asifuddin says we need to follow the will of Allah. I leave that option to brother.
Are these mentioning only about minor sins? If he wants to read that, he should read, Sahih Bukhari Vol 8, Book 77: No 609 and Sahih Muslim 033:6421 what are the kinds of sins that we must necessarily commit.
And let me answer some of the questions that Brother has misquoted from the Holy Bible.
Brother said 2 Chronicles 7: 14 says like this. "if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
At the outset it looks. However, if you read 2 Chronicles 7, the same chapter, just two verses above:
Then the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: "I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice.
How does LORD forgive sins? It is just mentioned two verses above it.
My brother has not listened keenly to my talk. I have answered already Deuteronomy 24:16 and I have showed him the representative principle which is accepted both by Bible and Quran. Let me give him another passage from the Quran.
Surah 2: 92-95 says. Surah 2: 92-95 is addressed to the Jews at the time of Prophet Muhammad at the time of seventh century.
Surah 2: 92-95 says “There came to you Moses with clear (Signs); yet ye worshipped the calf (Even) after that, and ye did behave wrongfully.”
Now, who is this ‘you’? The Surah is addressed to the seventh century Jew and Surah address them as you for their sins of the fathers that was committed at least 1400 years before. This is known as solidarity principle. I am not telling that Quran is contradictory. I am saying that there are other principles which brother has to take into account.
Brother says, Jesus told that, he quoted Matthew 18:3- Jesus invited little children to the kingdom of heaven, therefore they must be sinless. Now, that particular parable, passage is for the attitude of man and not the nature of man.
If you want to know what Jesus taught about the nature of man, read John 3:6 “that which is born of flesh is flesh, that which is born of spirit is spirit. Unless you are born again, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”- Unless you are born again.
To further prove what Jesus taught about the nature of man, it says Luke 11:13- if you then, though you are evil.” Jesus addresses His contemporaries and then says – if you then, though you are evil.”
He addresses again the Sadducees and Pharisees in John7:19 ‘Has not Moses given you the law, yet not one of you, keep the law.”
Brother has quoted Job, I want only to tell my brother, if you read Job 1:4-5 “it was the regular custom of Job to offer scarifies. And Job also says in Job 19:20-25 “I know my Saviour lives.”
So how does it contradict whatever I have presented. Nothing. Not even a single point that I have presented, brother was able to refute it.
Brother also says if you keep the law, you will go to the heaven. Let me read from the book of Deuteronomy 27:26, “cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law.” Cursed is the One who does Not confirm All the words of this law. The same idea , the same doctrine is told in James 2:10, which says ‘whoever shall keep the whole law and yet stumble in one point is guilty of all’.
Brother also mentioned about the disciple’s authority to forgive sins. Brother asked…actually those topics are not much relevant for today’s topic. However, I will address a few of them. Brother also said, Peter could forgive sins, Jesus could forgive sins, so Peter is also God, and similar topics like that. But brother hasn’t read the rest of the context to understand the meaning. Jesus in Mark 16:20 said ‘therefore, wherever two or three gathers in My name, I shall be there’. Omnipresence of Almighty God, Jesus! And He also commanded them , “and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47).
And the same Peter, let us see, the same Peter in Acts 2:38 says ‘repent and be baptised, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins’. So how did Peter understand it? What does the context say? They have th
e authority to extend the forgiveness, in the name of Jesus. Whoever believes in the name of Jesus, your sins shall be forgiven.
Brother also asked ‘what about the past sins’? This is also addressed by the Bible. If you read Romans 3:26, it says to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, he must be just and the justifier of one who has faith in all. If you read the previous verse also, verse 25, Romans 3:25, whom God set forth as a procreation to demonstrate his righteousness, for in His forbearance, Listen carefully, God has passed over the sins which was committed previously.
So what is the means for the forgiveness of the sins of the past? Romans 3:25 addresses that.
Now brother has taken many other topics, crucifixion, which I am not addressing today. God willing, I wish my brother will be willing to address it on Nov 17th on the topic of crucifixion. That I will leave for that day. However let me answer some of the questions that were raised. Brother told in the beginning of the presentation “look at the sinful nature of the West”. I am not going to defend it. However let me tell you one principle. Without freedom, virtue is meaningless. Without freedom, virtue is meaningless. If you are compelled to do certain things, you are like machine. Unless you have freedom, virtue and morality is nonsense. Tell me how many of the countries which follows the Quran gives the freedom to mankind? Without freedom, all virtue is meaningless. However those are not our topics. Just because brother has addressed it, I am answering it. I don’t want to focus on it. If brother says, West is bad, let West be bad. If brother says Bush is Butcher, let Bush be butcher. I am here to defend the Gospel of Jesus and not the words of Bush.
Brother also quoted before I end the presentation, let me ask a few questions to brother.
In S 19:70-71, we read that everybody should first go to hell and then to heaven. Why is it so?
And in S 11:106-108, it says even the righteous will not be in heaven in eternity except as the Lord wills. After I do all the good works, after I have all the faith, even if I reach the heaven, it seems that my salvation is uncertain.
I have raised more questions. Brother has not answered any single question properly, and I have seen how brother has misquoted the Bible. God willing, we will continue to answer. We have prepared a book answering all these questions. If you want it, we will mail it to you. If you want it right now, I have three copies for you.