A Christian blogger (Hogan Elijah Hagbard) has produced a response to three “common” misconceptions amongst Muslims regarding Christianity.
1. Did the Apostles believe Jesus to be insane?
The Christian blogger writes:
The first relates to the personality of Jesus Christ. In the Gospel of Mark, chapter 3, verse 21:
'When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind"'
Some Muslims apologists have mistakenly been swayed toward the opinion, that Mark depicts Jesus as a mad personality
Muslim Response: I cannot recall any Muslim making such an argument so the appendage of “common misconceptions” is not entirely accurate as I’d imagine most Muslims have never heard of this argument - never mind espousing it!
I agree, Jesus (p) was NOT mad and nor was the unknown writer (named Mark) depicting Jesus as “insane”. HOWEVER it must be slightly worrying for the Christians to see those closest to Jesus (p) considering him to be out of his mind – especially considering our Christian friends believe Jesus (p) to be God incarnate!
Bible-believing Christians have some explaining to do – did Jesus’ family not consider him to be God? It certainly appears to be the case here which further strengthens the argument of Jesus (p) being developed into a “god-man” AFTER his departure from this world.
Of course, our Christian friend may claim Jesus had not told them he was "God" at that time. This leads to the question of why would God not tell people he is God and allow them to believe he is insane? You can see the problematic nature of this passage...
Muslims have the best approach to the Gospels and Jesus– Jesus is a Prophet and the Gospels are unreliable thus cannot be taken as “gospel” – pardon the pun – this saves the Muslim from the potentially faith-shattering difficulties our Christian friends have to contend with.
The Christian” explains” the problematic reference in a fashion which adds to the confusion:
Hence the 'He is out of his mind' utterence was not a specific reaction to Jesus as a person, but rather it records a blaze reference, to an occasion in which he set aside his physical need to minister to the people.
2. Did Jesus portray Christianity as a violent religion?
Our Christian blogger writes:
A second claim relates to the judgement of the nations; when Jesus in his second coming brings judgement upon his enemies.
But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them her and kill them in front of me (Luke 19: 27).
Muslim apologists have ignorantly purported the passage to portray a violent Christianity
Muslim Response: Now, I have seen this claim banded about and it can certainly be described as “common”. Previously, I have seen the Christian explanation of it referring to a parable rather than it being an instruction:
The passage belongs to the parable of the 'Ten Minas', and does not reveal direct description of an event
I think the Christian explanation should be factored into account by Muslim apologists. However, there are other passages in the Gospel of Luke which are used to support war – by the theologian John MacArthur:
3. Did Paul the Apostle encourage deception?
The Christian writes:
A third misconception is rooted in the Muslim failure to understand a Pauline saying in Philippians 1: 17-18:
'The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing they can stir up trouble for me, while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.'
Muslims Response: This is an argument which I have seen presented by Muslims countless times. I run a ministry on YouTube as well as on Blogger which helps call Christians to honesty (with regards to Islam) by show-casing their deceptive episodes – you can imagine folk sending me such a Biblical reference and appending words to the effect of "Christians are taught this by Paul".
I am glad to see our Christian writer does not take this verse as an instruction to deception:
Paul refers to certain individuals who preach the Gospel from a wrong motive; he is not describing deception or lies
However, he must understand how Muslims feel when we see characters such as Ergun Caner, Robert Morey, Walid Shoebat all utilizing clear deception despite holding credibility amongst Christian communities.
Moreover, here are some Christian deceptions our Christian blogger may be familiar with, see here and here.
What excuse do these folk, along with Ergun Caner et al have? They all claim to have the Holy Spirit within them whilst claiming to be furthering the Gospel…
In addition to these relatively recent liars within Christian evangelist communities we could point our Christian blogger to his evangelical predecessors whose lies about Islam were wide spread:
As Norman Daniel tell [sic] us in his work Islam and the West: “The use of false evidence to attack Islam was all but universal…” (p. 267)” [From An Authoritative Exposition – part 1, by ‘Abdur-Raheem Green]
Christian missionaries: A dishonest past
I’m sure he can understand how and why this “misconception” is prevalent in Muslim communities. I hope he works with us to help nudge Christian ministries into the realm of honesty.
Learn more about Islam
The incarnation, do you believe in it?