Who Are They Really Angry At?

In James White’s debate this weekend against Muslim apologist Jalal Abualrub, Mr. Abualrub said the following:

So don’t think you can come here and act you’re angry, because we are angry. Because Allah doesn’t have a son. He told you so. Jesus never said I am Lord, I am divine, I am the God, the Creator, worship Me as you worship God, the Holy Ghost is God.

While driving last night I mentioned this to my teenager. I always ask her if she remembers Dr. White. She remembers him well and usually calls him, “that Dr. White dude!” So I paraphrased the above and she said that she thought it was backwards that Islam would criticize Christianity in this way since we came first, so to speak. She thought that if anyone had a reason to be angry it should be Christians angry at Muslims for coming and trying to change what God has revealed to us in Christ. Even though she doesn’t think anyone should really be angry at all.

Well, that really put a smile on my face. Even an untrained mind could see this simple working of this apologetic position. She simply appealed to Scripture as to Who Jesus said He was.

Mark 2:5 And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?”[NASB]

A sampling of the Old Testament show God forgiving and redeeming.

Isaiah 44:22 “I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud. And your sins like a heavy mist Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” [NASB]

And again.

Matthew 26:63 But Jesus kept silent And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.” 65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy; 66 what do you think?” They answered, “He deserves death!” [NASB]

Who are they really angry at? And why? This is a simple sola scriptura apologetic. It’s not so much the Good News that non-Christians object to, but the bad news. People love to quote John 3:16 and stop there. What happens if we go just a bit further?

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. [NASB]

The Good News doesn’t make much sense if we don’t understand that there is bad news. The world is judged already which puts v. 16 into the context of ‘why’ it’s even there. God sent His only Son Jesus to save sinners who believe in Him out of the world and if we don’t understand this then there is no Good News.

As we share the Gospel with people we should keep this in mind. It is not us that is being personally rejected, but Christ. Sharing the Gospel can be the simplest and/or hardest thing to do and the outcome has the most wonderful or most devastating eternal consequences.

My new pastor preached a wonderful sermon on what Jesus came to do. Which included repentance and faith and a reminder of the bad news. A clear presentation of the Gospel which is not just for the world, but for we too, as believers.

Fear God not man.

Mark

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The above article was posted on April 14, 2008 by Mark Lamprecht.
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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Ken Temple April 26, 2008 at 12:41 pm

That was a great post. I need to visit your blog more often.

Mark 2:1-12 is one of the key passages I have used with Muslims in 25 years. But they need to be able to sit with the other person in a non-threatening environment and read the whole passage in their language (Arabic, Farsi, Turkish, Indonesian, etc.) if English is not their first language. That is ideal; if they will let you into their life.

When Jesus does the miracle, it confirms that He has power to forgive sins; they need to read the whole story and all of the gospels.

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