Do Christians Today Have Real Faith? – A Response to Two Christian Apologists, Part 1
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
– Matthew 17:20
I recently issued a challenge to the Christians of the world to prove their faith and the truth of Christianity by fulfilling the promise allegedly made by Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) that his followers would be able to perform miracles like moving mountains and dropping them in the ocean or picking up deadly snakes and drinking poison and not be harmed. Obviously, no one has come forth claiming to have done these things, and at least 2 Christians have tried to explain why this is so. The author of the website “Vake Biblia” has offered such an explanation, and so has Ken Temple, who has been the subject of previous articles on this blog. In this 2-part article, I will respond to the explanations provided by the author of “Vake Biblia” and Ken Temple, and show that these explanations do not hold any merit, inshaAllah.
Vake Biblia on “Real Faith”
The first thing the author clarifies is that there are not actually 2 billion Christians in the world. I had issued the challenge to the global Christian community (which is estimated at over 2 billion people) and asked for just ONE person who could fulfill the promises made by Jesus in the Bible. But according to the author of “Vake Biblia”, there are actually far less “born again” Christians. In other words, he/she does not regard Catholics or Eastern Orthodox Christians as “Christians”. Of course, to a Muslim, it doesn’t really matter, nor does it change the enormous problem that the “born again” Christians (whatever their actual numbers are) face with the unfulfilled promises made by their savior.
In response to the actual challenge, the first thing the author does is to reject the NIV translation that I provided and instead insists on using the King James Version only. So thus far, the author has disagreed with calling the 2 billion Christians in the world “Christians” and disagreed with which Bible translation to use. Again, to a Muslim, this makes no difference and is a trivial matter. Even the author of “Vake Biblia” admits that there is “not a ton of differences between the texts”. Let us just hope that the naysaying to trivial matters which make no difference with regards to the challenge ends here.
Moving on, the author claims that there is no “litmus test”, as I had asserted. He/she claims that:
“These [signs] are not going to happen today because of what happened in the Book of Acts. In this book, God transitions from dealing primarily with the Jews to dealing primarily with the Gentiles. Along with the change of people groups being dealt with, you will find a change in methods being employed. The Jews require a sign. 1Co 1:22 (AV) “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:” That is how God dealt with those people.”
In other words, the age of miracles only lasted as long as Jews were being preached to by Christians, while the same miracles were not to be employed for the Gentiles.
The problem with that is that the passage in Mark (yes, the fake one that was added later) clearly states that Jesus was sending his disciples to “all the world” to “preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15; this is from the KJV).
Moreover, the ending of Mark clearly states that the apostles went out into the world and preached the Gospel, while the “signs” accompanied them (Mark 16:20). Thus, in contrast to the author’s claims, the “signs” were also given to the Gentiles as well. It was not just for the Jews.
Now, this long ending of Mark is of course a later addition and is not found in the earliest manuscripts. Every reasonable person knows and accepts this fact. What this means is that when it was added to the original ending of the Gospel of Mark, considerable time had already passed since the gospel was written. We don’t know how much time had passed, but it certainly must have been a few decades at the very least. According to one Christian source, verses 9-20 were probably added as late as the 3rd century CE. If this is true, then it means that the church in the 3rd century still believed that “signs” could be given. Of course, by this time, the Gentile domination of Christianity was a foregone conclusion. Hence, Christians believed that such miracles could happen in their time.
It is also incorrect for the author to claim that there was “a change in the methods employed”. Gentiles were surely also shown the “signs”, from as early as Jesus’ time, and well into the apostolic age. We see this in the example of the centurion in Capernaum (Matthew 8:5-13). His servant was afflicted with “palsy”, and Jesus healed him as a result. The same can be said of the centurion who allegedly witnessed the crucifixion and the amazing events that supposedly happened after Jesus’ death:
“[n]ow when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.”
In fact, Luke is emphatic in saying that the centurion became convinced after he saw the signs:
“Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, certainly this was a righteous man.”
Another example is the prison guard in Acts 16:16-34. After Paul and Silas were imprisoned, there was an earthquake, and all the prison doors and the prisoners’ chains miraculously opened. It was at this sight that the prison guard converted to Christianity and was baptized that very night.
So, we can see that Gentiles were also given signs. These “signs” were not reserved only for the Jews. If there was “a change in the methods employed”, it was done rather haphazardly.
The author then claims that the “signs are gone” but that they will “come back in the Tribulation…” The problem with this argument is that the books of the New Testament agreed with each other (which is rare) that the “last hour” or the “end times” had already begun. Paul believed as such, and so did the author of the First Epistle of John. Regarding the end times, Paul said:
“But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.”
And the Epistle of John says:
“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.”
So, according to these canonical books, the end times had already begun. If the end times has not began yet, then Paul would not have advised unmarried Christians to remain unmarried because “the time is short”, nor would “John” have said that the “last time” had already begun and that many “antichrists” had already come. Therefore, the “signs” should have been present. So, I ask again: is there any Christian who can fulfill the promises of their savior? Please move Mount Everest from its present location and throw it in the Indian Ocean. Do this, and I will convert to Christianity immediately.
One can also argue that it is quite convenient for the author to claim that the wondrous signs should be “gone” in the modern age. Why were these “signs” only allowed for a select few, an elite “clique” of people who lived in an obscure area of the world 2000 years ago? Why would these “signs” not be more ubiquitous and for all times? Why were “those promises…for someone else”?
The author then ended his convenient apologetic explanation by trying at evangelization. He states (emphasis in the original):
“Muslim friend, the truth is there for you to get. If you want it. You can KNOW where you going when you die. Muhammad taught you that you couldn’t know. Aren’t you tired of not knowing if you will be good enough for God? Repent of your self righteousness, believe that Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose again. Receive the man, Jesus Christ, the Son of God as your Saviour and you can have what the Bible calls, ETERNAL LIFE. ”
Yeah…no. This Christian apologist is calling me to worship a man. He even admits it! “Receive the man, Jesus Christ, the Son of God” he says! To that, I will respond with the beautiful words of the Egyptian who believed in the message of Moses (peace be upon him), as told in the Quran:
“And O my people, how is it that I invite you to salvation while you invite me to the Fire?”
Dear Christian friend, why would I accept your invitation to idolatry and hellfire?
Dear Christian friend, if you want some “guarantee” that you will be “saved”, that is your business, but you should listen to the wise words of the late Chris Farley:
“Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time.”
Dear Christian friend, there can be no salvation in paganism, and any “guarantee” of such salvation is worth less than a box with full of feces.
Dear Christian friend, repent of your heretical ways. Stop worshiping Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), the man and prophet sent by God to the lost children of Israel. Please take heed of the warning of the Quran, God’s final message to mankind:
“O People of the Scripture, there has come to you Our Messenger to make clear to you [the religion] after a period [of suspension] of messengers, lest you say, “There came not to us any bringer of good tidings or a warner.” But there has come to you a bringer of good tidings and a warner. And Allah is over all things competent.”
Dear Christian friend, be like the blessed Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), and take him as your role model:
“Never would the Messiah disdain to be a servant of Allah, nor would the angels near [to Him]. And whoever disdains His worship and is arrogant – He will gather them to Himself all together.”
And Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) knows best!
 Matthew 27:54.
 Luke 23:47.
 1 Corinthians 7:29-31.
 1 John 2:18.
 Surah Ghafir, 40:41.
 Surah Al-Maeda, 5:19.
 Surah An-Nisa, 4:172.