John Nassivera is a former professor who retains affiliation with Columbia University’s Society of Fellows in the Humanities.” Here he argues that a blend of Christianity and Islam could be the key to world peace, and apparently for Nassivera this blend requires Christians to give up the idea of the divinity of Christ, which he claims in the section of his article not reproduced below that many early Christians didn’t believe, and that many Christians don’t believe today. That may be true in Nassivera’s circle of acquaintances but he would likely be surprised were he to float this claim in Greece, or Nigeria, or Italy.
Anyway, notice that Nassivera’s Chrislam requires concessions only of the Christians, not of the Muslims, as is always the case in these attempts at “outreach” and “dialogue.” The cooperation is all one-way. Also, in traditional Christianity, Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant, the divinity of Christ isn’t the minor matter Nassivera makes it out to be. It is at the core of the idea of Jesus as the savior, which Islam also rejects. For Nassivera’s Chrislam to be viable, Christians would have to accept the following Qur’an verses and other Islamic teachings:
Jesus is not the Son of God and belief in the Trinity is “excess”: “O People of the Book! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter anything concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and his word which he conveyed to Mary, and a spirit from him. So believe in Allah and His messengers, and do not say ‘Three.’ Cease! It is better for you! Allah is only One Allah. It is far removed from his transcendent majesty that he should have a son. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is sufficient as Defender.” — Qur’an 4:171
And: “It is not befitting to Allah that he should beget a son. Glory be to him! When He determines a matter, he only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.” — Qur’an 19:35
Jesus was not crucified: “And because of their saying: We killed the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s messenger – they did not kill him or crucify him, but it appeared so to them; and those who disagree concerning it are in doubt about it; they have no knowledge of it except pursuit of a conjecture; they did not kill him for certain.” — Qur’an 4:157
Those who believe in the divinity of Christ are unbelievers: “They have certainly disbelieved who say that Allah is Christ, the son of Mary.” — Qur’an 5:17 (cf. 5:72)
Christians have forgotten part of the divine revelations they received: “From those, too, who call themselves Christians, We did take a covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them: so we estranged them, with enmity and hatred between the one and the other, to the day of judgment. And soon will Allah show them what it is they have done.” — Qur’an 5:14
Those who believe that Jesus is God’s Son are accursed: “The Jews call Ezra a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth! ” — Qur’an 9:30
Christians who do not accepted Muhammad and the Qur’an are the most vile of created beings: “Nor did those who were given the Scripture become divided until after there had come to them clear evidence. And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakah. And that is the correct religion. Indeed, they who disbelieved among the People of the Book and the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, abiding eternally therein. Those are the most vile of created beings.” — Qur’an 98:6
Muslims must fight against and subjugate Christians: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden what has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” — Qur’an 9:29
Also, a hadith has Muhammad predicting that Jesus will return at the end of the world and break the cross, as it is an insult to Allah’s power to say that he would have allowed one of his prophets to be crucified:
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary [Jesus] will shortly descend amongst you people [Muslims] as a just ruler and will break the Cross and kill the pig and abolish the Jizya [a tax taken from the non-Muslims, who are in the protection, of the Muslim government]. Then there will be abundance of money and nobody will accept charitable gifts. (Bukhari 3.34.425)
Muslims have sometimes taken this to mean not just that crosses will be destroyed in the end times, but that they should be now. In Spain in 2015, Muslims broke into a church, spray-painted “Allah” on wall, and destroyed the crucifix. In Pakistan in 2014, Muslims destroyed a church that was under construction, and desecrated the cross. When the Islamic State occupied Mosul, it made destruction of all crosses in the city a top priority.
Here, in conclusion, is my favorite New Testament verse, this time referring to Professor John Nassivera: “Leave them; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)
“On Faith: Chrislam, past, present and future,” by John Nassivera, Rutland Herald, March 1, 2019:
…Today, there is a new form of Islam and Christianity beginning to take shape — or perhaps, it is a recurrence to an original form of Islam. In Nigeria, a country with a large presence of both Christians and Muslims, there are those who practice a form of religion that has come to be called “Chrislam,” which is a fascinating form of monotheism — and it is spreading into the United States, as well. Those who practice Chrislam follow both Christian and Muslim traditions and theologies. They don’t think of Christianity and Islam as incompatible religions, but rather see each as being an augmentation of the other. (See “A New Religion Flourishes in Nigeria & USA,” at the website malawimuslims.com.)
Needless to say, Chrislam may hold a key or two for a more peaceful world.
Most Westerners, whether Christian or not, have no idea that both Jesus (Isa in Arabic) and his mother, Mary (Maryam in Arabic), are prominent figures in Islam’s holy book, the Quran. Muslims, in accordance with various explicit passages in the Quran, hold that Jesus was born via a virgin birth and that his mother was Mary. Islam holds that Jesus was a great prophet and teacher of major importance and in the Quran, Jesus is called “the Messiah,” “the Word of God” and “the Spirit of God” — but Islam does not go the further step, the step holding that Jesus is the Son of God and of one substance with God the Father. Muhammad, in Islam, is also a great prophet/teacher, but he is not called the Son of God, not of the same substance as God, nor is Muhammad in the Quran called the Messiah, the Word of God or the Spirit of God. In Islam, Jesus occupies the highest place among the prophets in terms of his proximity and similarity to God, but Jesus is not the “final prophet;” the final prophet is Muhammad — yet Muhammad is human and not in any sense divine. (See the recent book “The Islamic Jesus” by Mustafa Akyol, 2017.)…
The good news is that as the world becomes smaller and smaller and more and more interconnected, Christians and Muslims are going to become better and better informed about each others’ religion. Especially in Europe and Africa, Christians and Muslims are now living cheek by jowl and even inter-marrying. Truth will come out, and the truth is that Islam and Christianity have a great deal in common — especially 21st century liberal and progressive Christianity, which is a well-established movement….
As the Quran says in Surah 29: 45-49: “Dispute not with the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) … but say, We believe in the Revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; our God and your God is one; and it is to Him we all bow.”
May God, Allah and Chrislam be with you.
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