Responses to Jamal Badawi's "Radio Al-Islam Channel RA 200"

Trinity, Atonement & Blood Sacrifice VII : Sin and Atonement 5


In this segment, Dr. Badawi discusses some of his miscellaneous objections to the doctrine of atonement and concludes that the belief in God and good works can save us from our sins. There are two problems with this conclusion. First, Satan and his followers believe in God and they are most certainly not saved through this belief! Second, how can good works make us worthy in the eyes of God? Please remember that God is perfect in every way and He cannot tolerate sin. Do any of you believe that we can do anything to please the Creator of all things? The idea that we can "work our way" to heaven raises our estimation of ourselves to the point where we believe that we can do something that impresses God and makes us worthy to be in His presence. This idea also lowers our view of God because it forces the perfect Creator to accept the works of His creation. A last problem with the idea that our works can save us is: what is our assurance of salvation? In other words, how many good works atone for one sin? Can we be sure that we have done enough good works? What happens if we die before we do a sufficient number of good works?

Host: Could you give us other examples of writings (which disagree with Paul)?

Jamal Badawi: C.G. Montefiore comments on the teachings of Jesus to love one's enemies. He said that Jesus was the first great Jewish teacher to form such a sentence. We do not have a single story about his being good to the Pharisees whom he called hypocrites. If loving the enemy is really mentioned by Jesus, why don't we have stories?

Jesus NEVER said that He hated anyone, even the Pharisees! Jesus did not like the hypocrisy of the Pharisees because these religious leaders were misleading the masses. The fact that Jesus spoke out against the teachings of these men does not show that he hated them. The fact that I spend so much time transcribing and answering Dr. Badawi's arguments in this "Radio Islam" series does not prove that I hate Dr. Badawi. I DO NOT hate him, rather I love him and those he is misleading with his arguments. Remember the words of Jesus:

Matthew 5.43:

"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you"

Host: What are the explanations for these theological difficulties?

Jamal Badawi: Some say that a person who would bring about his own crucifixion is stands in contradiction of those who killed him. Others say that a person who could attract so many people and have followers who were so devoted is a person who is sinless. I have no problem with the sinlessness of Jesus, but many Prophets brought about their own death, the story of John the Baptist, Zechariah, this doesn't mean that Jesus was sinless. It is not true that Jesus was the only sinless person, all Prophets were sinless.

Many sinful people have attracted huge followings, that is a bad argument. According to the Qur'an, the Prophets were sinners, except for Jesus.

Host: What about the idea that Jesus was born without a father and did not inherit sin like the rest of us?

Jamal Badawi: The common argument is that the nature of Adam changed when he sinned and all of his descendants inherited the sin. Jesus was born from a life-less seed of a woman so there was no corruption. Others say that Mary was sinless. This can not be sustained on any basis because it is unproven science, we know that the seed is very much alive. He says that because Jesus was created from a woman, he did not inherit Adam's corruption but we inherit from father and mother and Mary had a father and mother.

Once again, we did not inherit Adam's offense, we inherited his sinful nature. Do you want proof of this? Can anyone reading this honestly claim to be sinless? Who said that Mary's egg was a "life-less seed"? This is yet another red herring argument!

Host: What about the sinlessness of Mary?

Jamal Badawi: No Muslim would make a disrespectful statement about Mary or Jesus because the Qur'an upholds her character. The theory that says that Jesus was uniquely sinless is what we are discussing. Jesus inherited the human nature, but some say that he did not inherit sin from his mother because she was pure. So Jesus is not unique and Mary should be worshiped. I we say that God could purify Mary, what prevents God from purifying any other humans? In Psalm 51:7 a person who repents will be purified. The term sinless cannot be used in the absolute sense because that applies only to God. Anyone born of a woman cannot be clean.

Mary is neither sinless, nor is she divine, therefore she should not be worshiped. Dr. Badawi asks what prevents God from purifying others? God can do anything that He wishes to do, that is not the proper question. The question is : what did God do and what did God tell us? Also, Muslims show great disrespect to Jesus when they ignore His teachings and His divinity and attempt to remake Him in the image that suits them.

Host: Can you give specific documentation?

Jamal Badawi: Job 25:6 it indicates there is no difference that Jesus was born of a woman and the term Son of Man is used in the New Testament to refer to Jesus and in the Old Testament. Back to Job 25:6:

Then Bildad the Shuhite replied: "Dominion and awe belong to God; he establishes order in the heights of heaven. Can his forces be numbered? Upon whom does his light not rise? How then can a man be righteous before God? How can one born of woman be pure? If even the moon is not bright and the stars are not pure in his eyes, how much less man, who is but a maggot-- a son of man, who is only a worm!"

It is obvious that the Bible speaks in relative terms, saying that the son of man cannot be pure but is a worm.

No, this passage describes the sinful nature of man. Jesus was not sinless because He was born without a father, Jesus was sinless because He did not sin.

Paul say 1 Corinthians 15:47:

The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven.

When he compares Adam to Jesus and call Jesus the second Adam. What does this mean? Was Adam physically from dust and Jesus from heaven? We know that he grew in his mother's womb. If we are talking about his spirit what is the difference between his spirit and soul and ours?

Both Adam and Jesus were born sinless. Adam was created, but the Son of God always existed. The important point to remember is that through Adam, sin came into the world while through Jesus we have victory over sin and forgiveness of sin.

Host: Some say that while Adam succumbed to temptation, Jesus did not, what is the Muslim perspective?

Jamal Badawi: According to both, Adam was tempted and disobeyed God. The temptation of Adam was different. The Bible says that Satan appeared to Jesus, with Adam, the temptation was less, he was tempted to eat from the tree. Adam forgot his instructions. Jesus' temptation was in the wilderness, Jesus could not succumb to the temptation because he was a Prophet and all Prophets would have succumbed to Satan. The temptation of Abraham when he took his son Ishmael, Satan appeared many times but Abraham did not succumb. Muhammad was offered all that he needed to give up his mission and he did not accept the temptation. No Muslim would say that he is the second Adam or is sinless. All Prophets did not worship Satan.

Jesus did not sin while the other Prophets did - even the Qur'an argrees with this statement which was discussed at length in another section. Also, in respect to temptation, what about Muhammad and the Satanic verses?

Host: Is there any historical evidence to support or negate atonement?

Jamal Badawi: Paul and others say that Jesus died to atone for our sins. The Bible says that Adam and Eve were already punished, thrown out of paradise. Sin was already punished in many cases of nations who were punished in this life. Long before Jesus, God chose Prophets and blessed them. This shows that original sin is not a better explanation, how could this happen if we assume that all humanity was condemned, what was the function of the Prophets?

Well, if original sin is not a good explanation, then why does God forbid us entry back into the Garden of Eden? The purpose of the Prophets was to deliver the message of God to mankind. All of the Prophets and their prophecies pointed to Jesus, the Son of God who came to save us.

Host: What would you say to those who claim that the coming of Jesus was required?

Jamal Badawi: If the incarnation of God was the climax of history, every Prophet before Jesus would have spoken about this. No Prophet said that God will incarnate in the human form and die. Why was this doctrine discovered so late?

Dr. Badawi is wrong. The Prophets spoke all of these things and more about Jesus long before He was born.

Host: One explanation is that the doctrine was revealed gradually and that is why it is not explicit.

Jamal Badawi: These issues are very important and should be clear from the beginning. The Old Testament talks about the oneness of God and redemption through good deeds.

Nowhere in the Old or New Testament does it say that we can be saved exclusively by our works.

Andrew Vargo

Responses to Jamal Badawi's "Radio Al-Islam Channel RA 200"
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