Not satisfied with our three-part rebuttal, Johnny Bravo has enlisted the aid of Nadir Ahmed (a gent whom I defeated in debate) to write a "response" to Muhammad being bewitched and demon-possessed.
Bravo has once again provided evidence that he doesnt have the ability to seriously interact with our responses, being unable to refute the arguments on a factual level. It doesnt surprise us that he has enlisted the help of Nadir Ahmed in light of the fact that both men have produced some of the worst articles and responses on the web. The writings of Bravo and Ahmed are on the same level of depth and quality with Osama Abdallah and Shahid bin Waheed. They do greater damage to Islam than they are a help in defending it.
For this reason we will make this our final response to Bravos attempt of defending his prophet, unless or until he demonstrates that he can seriously interact with our responses on an intellectual and factual level. The dilemma for us is that to provide responses to Bravo is to give his writings credibility that they really do not deserve, and yet to ignore them may give the impression that he has written something of substance. But since we have grown tired of his red herrings and smokescreens, as well as his constantly ignoring the substance of our responses, we will trust that our readers can see why his material is not worth responding to. Again, unless and until Bravo can provide a truly meaningful response, proving that it is worth our time to interact with his claims, we will ignore them for the most part. We will choose to refute the original paper he posted on the veracity of the NT text.
To begin with, Bravo and his co-author start with an obvious appeal to pity. They try to get their readers to react emotionally by asserting that we insulted and maligned Islam and liken this to Salem Witch trials.
It seems that Bravo conveniently ignored what I wrote at the conclusion of the first part of my response.
I basically said that Christians are obligated to speak the truth and expose false teachers and prophets, as well as their evil deeds. In the words of the apostle Paul:
"But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not associate with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." Ephesians 5:3b-14
"This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you- if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons. This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth." Titus 1:5-14
Since we are committed, Bible-believing Christians, we do not believe that Muhammad, Joseph Smith, Mirza Ghulam Ahmed, Charles Taze Russell, Ellen G. White, Elijah Muhammad, Bahaullah, Rashid Khalifa, etc. were spokespersons of God. We examine their teachings in light of the Holy Bible and conclude that these individuals were either deliberate deceivers, knowing full well that what they taught were lies, or they were deceived by Satan into thinking they were Gods agents in conveying alleged divine truths.
Furthermore, when we spoke of Muhammads demon possession and bewitchment, we were only quoting authentic Muslim sources. We didnt make these things up nor did we quote "Missionary" or "Zionist" hate literature. We simply stated the facts as found in official Muslim literature, evaluated these facts in light of the biblical revelation, and came to the conclusion that Muhammad was a false prophet who came under the power and influence of Satan.
As Muslims, the authors do something similar whenever they attack the Apostle Paul or any other person who contradicts Muhammads teachings. Yet why should it be all right for Muslims to attack and expose other religious figures such as Paul on the basis that they disagree with Muhammads teachings, but wrong for Christians to do likewise? Again, this is simply a further example of the authors hypocrisy and double standards.
The authors mention Jesus temptation by Satan as a way of defending Muhammads demon possession. What makes this intriguing is that I had already responded to this issue and even showed how this example actually backfires against Bravos claims for Muhammad! Cf. the second part of the series.
Yet instead of dealing with my arguments, the authors have chosen to ignore them and simply repeat their charge.
They even deny that being bewitched by magic is the same as being demon-possessed, despite the fact that I spent a lot of time showing that it is the same thing! See the above link for more details.
The authors also bring up Jesus statement that he voluntarily lays down his life and classifies this as suicide. Let us first read the passage in question:
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father." John 10:11-18
Christ willingly laid down his life in order that others might live, and yet the authors take this as an indication of suicide! The Lord Jesus was perfectly practicing what he taught others:
"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends." John 15:12-13
Jesus willingness to be killed at the hands of others is no more an act of suicide than the willingness of soldiers to die in battle for their country would be viewed as suicide. It is no more an act of suicide than a parents willingness to die in place of his or her child in order to save their childs life. We often look up to and admire men who willingly give up their lives to defend either their families or country. Their deaths are considered heroic and a demonstration of unconditional love, not suicide. Jesus' willingness to die for unworthy sinners is the greatest display of God's infinite and unconditional love for fallen humanity.
More importantly, in what way are Muhammads suicidal tendencies remotely similar to Jesus willingness to die for his sheep as an expression of his infinite love for them? Unlike the Lord Jesus, Muhammads suicide attempts werent the result of his willingness to die for his people. They were the direct result of his fear of being demon-possessed. Therefore, it is obvious that by bringing up Jesus self-sacrifice, Bravo once again shows that he cannot refute the facts marshaled against him.
The authors then begin a tirade against Paul by appealing to Nadirs article (http://examinethetruth.com/spears_james.htm).
J.P. Holding has written a response which blows Nadirs article out of the water:
Holdings article only proves what we said above about the ability of Nadir to write a cogent, intellectual response. In fact, several authors have refuted Nadir regarding other things he has written:
Also, look for our responses to Nadir which await publication.
Thus, instead of appealing to articles containing glaring errors and anachronisms, the authors would do well to learn both history and sound exegesis of religious texts.
Regarding Paul, the authors have chosen to ignore both the internal evidence as well as the external evidence of history which show that he was a true Apostle:
They also ignore the fact that even the earliest Muslim sources acknowledged the legitimacy of Paul; and the Quran itself implicitly testifies that so-called Pauline Christianity is actually the true religion of Christ:
Paul even passed the criteria of a true prophet given by one Muslim scholar and cited by MENJ in defense of Muhammad! Please go to Appendix B found near the end of the following article: http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Menj/fatrah2.htm
Now we do not cite these Muslim sources because we are dependant on their witness to prove our case. We only cite them to expose the hypocrisy of Bravo and his co-author for ignoring their own sources, as well as failing to interact with all the overwhelming historical data in support of Pauls legitimacy.
In light of this, it is obvious why they would attack Paul. Since the authors have been convinced that Muhammad was a true prophet, and since Muhammad contradicts Paul, they then erroneously conclude that Paul must therefore be in error. In reality, it is the other way around since Paul appeared long before Muhammad and his credibility was already firmly established. The court is out on Muhammad, not Paul, and Muslims must defend their prophet especially when he contradicts the message of those already shown to be spokespersons of the true God, i.e., Moses, Jesus etc.
What makes this truly astonishing is that these men stake their eternal souls on Muhammads claims despite the fact that no similar evidence exists supporting Muhammads prophethood as there is supporting Paul! They reject Paul in spite of all the evidence establishing his credibility, but will not reject Muhammad even though the evidence is overwhelming that he was a false prophet!
In fact, Muhammad wasnt only unworthy to untie Jesus sandals, he wasnt even worthy to be in the same room with the Apostle Paul. We have written a paper demonstrating how vastly inferior both Muhammad and his teachings are in comparison to Paul:
Following Pauls teachings sincerely will lead a person to a life of purity, love, self-sacrifice, sincerity, holiness and contentment. Yet Muhammads personal life exhibited hate, murder, deceit, adultery, fornication, rape, robbery, etc, as the following articles prove:
And those who follow him as their ultimate role model may live the same way, and are still considered sincere and pious Muslims.
In conclusion, the readers should be able to discern the quality and level of argumentation provided by Bravo. His arguments do very little to refute the data we have presented, failing to seriously interact with them, and actually do more damage to his defense of Islam. If Bravo continues to produce this kind of response then we see no need to continue interacting with his "rebuttals." We will focus our energies on the more serious challenges.
For more on Paul and Muhammad, as well as the issue of Muhammads bewitchment and demon possession, we recommend the following articles:
Responses to Bismikaallahuma
Examining Muhammad's Claim to Prophethood
Articles by Sam Shamoun
Answering Islam Home Page