UI – Part 361 – Eight Years for Sharing the Bible
Man has a fascination with the spiritual. However there exist those in constant denial of God. The spectrum of thought ranges from doubting that anything other than the life we live on earth exists, to those who believe deeply in a Creator and a spiritual Being who embedded in our nature a sense of right and wrong, provides a pathway for living, and a life after death. Life after death is only possible if the believer is saved. How are we saved; what is required? Seeking salvation is a goal of mankind, those who believe anyway. Is there more than one path? Or is there only one way? How do we find out? How do we know? The objective is to know, but that is in conflict with the unknown. Proof would address any concern, but lack of proof, for or against, does not make one argument prevail over another.
Two major religions, by the standards of population alone, are Islam and Christianity. They both offer a pathway to salvation. As does Judaism and Mormonism. If you were a member of either faith should you be denied access to the other? Those that teach, minister, advise, are they justified if they prevent the individual from learning about, studying, asking questions, expressing curiosity about another’s faith or path? Can a minister, one relied on to guide their congregation, insist that seeking another way to attain salvation is wrong and cause punishment for those that disobey? What is their right?
Every human is given the gift of an intellect. They can learn from their experiences, share with others and make decisions accordingly. Taken to a greater level by learning to read, in conversation and debate, humans can independently discover for themselves truth, a truth they discern, not necessarily a truth they have been told is the only truth. Should you have the ability, the right, to discover or confirm a truth in which you were raised, a cultural believing? Should you have the ability, the right, to share what you believe? For each question the humane answer is ‘yes’. However for the Islamist, or the Islamic Fundamentalist, especially those politically oriented, independent thinking is frowned upon. Obedience is required, to include total submission to the Scripture, ulema (scholars) and authorities of a Muslim area.
Finding Truth Through Study and the Gospel
Nabreel Qureshi was a devout Muslim. His parents were teachers and missionaries for their faith. He learned to defend what he knew, having memorized much of the Quran and as a student of many Hadiths. He was equipped as well with a defense of Islam by being able to diffuse many who claimed to be Christian debating the Bible and creating doubt. He took delight in this practice. Until challenged. When the answers to his questions – such as the Bible is corrupted by the many interpretations into languages and modernized texts, and the Quran is not, as it has but one basis, even though it is in an Arabic few can read – challenged or dispelled his claim, he became more objective. That is not the case with many who feel more ashamed. They do not have an adequate rebuke, remaining steadfast in what may be an incorrect conclusion.
Note: There were many, many Greek copies of the New Testament, not just one, and all the same. As Bibles were produced for different people, different languages or dialects, reference to original texts was necessary as insurance that the Word of God was not misrepresented. Oddly enough the Quran had many interpretations from the original text that were not in accord. So much was left out in the writing of Arabic at the time, such as vowels and conjugation (verbs for past, present and future were the same, and more), that it was easy for different people to draw outcomes at variance to one another. It was not until 1924 that scholars collaborated on having but one text, one interpretation, become the standard for Islam. So much for the argument the Quran is not corrupted. The concern was over the many careless transmissions, errors printed in texts, of the Quran. The final was the Cairo Quran. It does not perfectly preserve what Muhammad recited. That is a fact. (Read more…)
Nabeel was asked to study the history of Islam, as he did the Bible, such as the life of Muhammad, the timing of written documents, statements of apparent fact made in the Quran, and references to Bible passages making claim they pointed to Muhammad. Using such evidence from history and proclamations by Muslims, as well as non-Muslims, Nabeel’s acceptance of Islam was damaged. His studies also led him to accept, and not deny, that Christ died on the cross, was buried and rose again, taking the punishment we deserved for our sins, our crimes against God, and through believing in the risen Lord he was saved. The Gospel came to light in his heart. Salvation is assured. But that did not immediately make him a Christian. His concern for family, for honor, for tradition, and the element of shame for becoming an apostate confronted him. He sought answers – what to do? He turned to the Quran and found no guidance. That was not the case when he turned to the Bible. He explains the entire transition, including the trauma of forsaking his parents for Christ. It is all in his book – Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus.
From the bio on his website (goto…): “…a former devout Muslim who was convinced of the truth of the Gospel through historical reasoning and a spiritual search for God.”
He used his intellect to find the true path to salvation.
Incarcerated for Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Imagine being incarcerated and subject to severe punishment for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ? 8 years for simply sharing the Bible with others? What is the crime? How would this be a concern for the national security of a country? There is no attack on the constitution of any government. There is no call to raise arms against those who do not believe in the same way. There is no threat to the common good of everyone. Yet Saeed Abedini was imprisoned in Iran for doing just that. He was charged with attempting to undermine national security through private religious gatherings in Christian homes. He is an American, a former Muslim who converted to Christianity. There are laws in Iran that do not permit Christians worshipping with other Christians. What is their fear? He was working to build an orphanage in Iran when arrested by the Revolutionary Guard Corps, the military elite of Iran, and put in Evin Prison and later to Rajai Shahr, a prison for hardened criminals, the conditions of which are deplorable, even life-threatening.
This tells you how serious Islamists, political Islamists, are about proselytizing, except for Islam itself.
The Gospel, the Bible, is a book of love. God loves everyone. Even those who are not followers or believers in Christ are loved by God. God has his door open to all who seek salvation. It is a matter of confessing to our sinful nature, a problem we all have, and accepting Christ’s sacrifice on the cross as punishment for our sins. God loves us so much he would sacrifice his only son. Then proof was provided that Christ and God are one, god-incarnate, as Christ rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. He then gave us the Holy Spirit, that dwells within believers, as the assurance of salvation, like an insurance policy. Followers of Christ are not required to earn their way into God’s graces, but by simply believing, repenting and asking God’s forgiveness. In so doing their hearts and voices proclaim Jesus is Lord.
Hate the Proselytizer
Islam is filled with hate. The Quran calls for Muslims to hate, even fight, infidels and strive for a world all for Allah, devoid of any other religion. How could they possibly allow another faith, a follower or leader of another religion, to share with a Muslim. This has nothing to do with truth, just control. Islam wants to control the person, their independence and their freedom to think. By sharing you subject yourself to attack. An attack of a person sharing the Gospel is justified as a defense of Islam. Thus the only conclusion is that Islam hates the bible, what it represents, what is says, even the love it shares, out of fear that they might lose their grip on those who are effectively incarcerated in the prison of Islam. They do not want them to be free, no matter how much negotiation goes on.
Islam itself is a Jail
What else can one conclude? If any religion calls for death to those who are not in agreement with them, it is a scare tactic, and when put into practice, effective in keeping Muslims under the cloak of Islam, moderates or Islamists. Only Islam calls for death to the apostate. For those who convert to another religion they suffer greatly from the shame and personal attacks they subject themselves too for leaving. To bear the cross, as did Jesus, there will be suffering, but for the salvation God offers. It is the only way to be saved. It is easier to convert, at least have the option, when in the West, obviously, than in a Muslim nation. However for those migrating to Europe and America, as the Muslim population grows, it may easier to convert today and more difficult in the future. Access to other faiths provides an opportunity to affirm one’s faith in Allah or not. But as the population increases, and becomes more Islamized or radicalized, it may become more difficult to study another religion, and there will be actions taken against those who challenge their ideology (their Muslimhood). This is diabolic and more satanic than godly.
Freedom from the Iranian Prisons
Thank the Lord Abedini is now free. We are thankful for all those recently freed from the Iranian jails to return to their home country. We must pray that God will find a way to intervene and enter the dreams and visions of Muslims so they may see the truth and seek the truth, knowing they must suffer. Submission to God is not required, it is voluntary, but once you have given yourself to Christ, you too die to your sinful nature and are born again righteous in God’s eyes. Imperfections will remain, but you will be more Christlike in what you do and how you think and work every day.
Grace and Peace