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by Rev. Joda Collins

I recently viewed a you-tube video of a Christian man witnessing to a Muslim store owner.  The store owner said something to the effect that God (the God of the Bible) is not a merciful or loving God because he requires the bloody death of his innocent Son before he (God) would forgive anyone.  The Muslim used the example of him, as the retail store owner, having something stolen from his store with the thief returning at a later date repentant and remorseful for his sin against the store owner.  The Muslim said it would be “wrong and cruel for me to demand the tortuous death of my innocent son before I would forgive the offender.”  The Muslim continued noting his god (the god of the Koran) “is more loving and kinder than the Christian’s God.” 

On the surface, the Muslim’s analogy seems pretty good. However, it is the old debate trick of comparing apples and oranges. If I say “an apple is red and sweet but the orange is not red and does not have the sweetness like the apple, therefore, the orange is sour”, on the surface that might sound like a good argument.   However, there are some things about this argument that do not make sense. The apple is not sweet because it is red. The orange is not sour because it is not red.  The orange is not automatically sour because it does not taste like the sweet apple.  A sweet orange does not and will never taste like a sweet apple.  The conclusion that the orange is sour is suspect.  The Muslim store owner is not like God nor is the Muslim son like Jesus the Christ.  The forgiveness of the Muslim store owner does not purchase for the offender eternal life.  The Muslim store owner, his son and the value of the forgiveness are the apples. God, the perfect Son of God and the eternal-life value of God’s forgiveness is the orange. Apples and oranges! Get it?

A human being’s forgiveness towards another human being does not require a blood sacrifice of any kind, including the blood shed on the Cross of Christ.  The forgiveness of a repentant violator who sinned against another human being is something that God expects every person to do, whether that person is saved (a Christian) or lost (not a Christian).   God destroyed the world with water during the time of Noah because the people were evil, not because people were unsaved.   The wages of sin is death.  Things die when we sin and that is a truth for all people, not just saved people.  God hates the sin in the life of the saved and in the life of the unsaved. God wants people to be good to other people whether the people are saved or lost.  No one has to die before God mandates being good to one another which includes having compassion on a repentant person and showing kindness and forgiveness.  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is not a mandate for Christians only; it is a God’s mandate for all of humanity.  God wants the Muslim store owner to forgive the offender even though both are hell-bound without Jesus. 

So, disregard the Muslim’s argument that the God of the Bible mandates him (the Muslim) to kill his (the Muslim’s) son before he (the Muslim store) owner can forgive the man who stole from him.  It is comparing apples to oranges.  It is non-relevant because it is errant logic.

All that is left is the Muslim’s store owners claim that God is unloving because God mandates the bloody death of His Son in order to forgive sinful humanity.  This sentence has two parts. 

The first is that God demands the death of His Son before He (God) will forgive humanity. That is a true statement when the forgiveness is linked to eternal life.  However, that is not a true statement when the forgiveness is NOT linked to eternal life. Jesus said from the Cross, “Father forgive them because they do not know what they are doing.”   God, I am sure, honored Jesus’ request, but that forgiveness did not lead to eternal life for all who stood at the Cross.  It did, at best, keep the Father’s wrath from being vented on the participants.  Therefore, the Muslim store owners claim that God would expect him (the Muslim store owner) to have his (the Muslim’s son) killed in order to forgive the offender is errant. The Muslim’s forgiveness of the thief might mean the Muslim store owner will allow the repentant man back into the store, but the store is not perfect Heaven. The Muslim is off track.  Do not be taken in by well-worn debate techniques use to introduce flawed logic.  Be very cautious when someone’s argument begins with, “If I was God….”

The second part is that God is unloving because He (God) demands the death of His Son before He will forgive humanity.  That part of the Muslim’s charge (God is unloving because…) is false.  That is another debate technique.  Create a compound sentence (a sentence with two different points) and claim that because one of those points is true, the other point has to also be true.  For example, because the sun is shining it is hot outside so on winter days when the sun is shining it is never cold.   

The Muslim store owner claims the Muslim god is more loving than the Christian’s God?  The answer to that question is no on the basis of, at least, two realities.  First, is all of the info above. Second, concerning the talk of other gods the Bible states:  

“…the Lord God; besides him there is no other….take heart…the Lord is God in heaven…and earth. There is no other.”   Deut 4:39. (Moses).  

“…do not be afraid….Is there any God besides me?  No…” Isa. 44:8.  (Isaiah quoting God.)  

“As concerning…things that are offered in sacrifice…we know…that there is no other God….”  1 Cor. 8:4. (The Apostle Paul).

Rev. Joda Collins 

I make no claim that anyone else agrees with me.


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