The Christmas season is upon us in full swing, as it seems to be every year at this time. 😊 And, following recent trends, the public is being offered all sorts of novel ideas, in an attempt to dismiss as mere myth, the historical Jesus and message of the Christian faith. Progressives in the media trot out a cadre of liberal “scholars” who deny the historicity of Scripture and biblical claims as little more than
an interesting story along the lines of Pecos Bill. As we pointed out last week in The Cardboard Christ, many groups recreate Jesus to suit their preferred religious “path.” This involves redefining the REAL Jesus to better fit their ”enlightened” philosophies. This year, there appears to be a new twist – a presentation we might call “A Very Muslim Christmas.” This may take some by surprise, since Muslims don’t celebrate Christmas.
The First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple offers up this new variation with their new play, “Christmas Mubarak,” which mixes Christian and Muslim stories of Jesus’ birth Emily McFarlan Miller writes:
The scene is familiar from many Nativity scenes arranged at this time of year: the Virgin Mary, cradling the newborn Jesus.
Then, the baby speaks, defending his mother’s innocence and declaring he has been appointed as a prophet.
That might come as a surprise to Christians in the audience of the new play “Christmas Mubarak.”
Surprise? Any Christian who understands the biblical teachings on the nativity would be a bit more than surprised, but perhaps they should not be. Liberal churches abandoned anything resembling orthodox belief long ago and substituted a sort of “good neighbor” religion in its place.
The play was written by Corey Pond who was raised United Methodist. The story is meant to be “a love letter” to Muslims:
The play, an original production from the Chicago theater company Silk Road Rising, sets the story of the births and lives of both Mary and Jesus from the Quran and Muslim traditions alongside the Christmas music of Christian traditions, in hopes it will illustrate how much the two religions have in common.
As we point out in The Designer Jesus Collection this is a fool’s errand and deceptive. Islam was founded many centuries after Christianity, and Islam’s borrowing bits and pieces of teachings from Christianity does not show that Muslims believe in the same Jesus or worship the same God as Christians. The play portrays Mary’s baby as a mere human, not Almighty God. Also, Joseph was Mary’s cousin, not her fiancé. The newborn saw a need to defend his mother’s chastity, which, if you believe the Bible, was certainly not necessary since the miraculous pregnancy did not involve a sexual act, but an “overshadowing of God’s Holy Spirit.” The baby then announces that he is a mere prophet, not – as the Bible teaches – the foretold Messiah and savior of mankind. Biblically, of course, Jesus announced nothing at his birth. Jesus was a fully human baby although He had a supernatural conception, and He experienced an ordinary birth and childhood. Herein lies a mystery that many do not comprehend – Jesus was also fully God by nature! Muslims, and perhaps United Methodists, cannot abide this paradox. He is Almighty God, yet was crucified and died, which means His human spirit was separated from His human body. Muslims do not believe that Jesus died on that cross, which is absolutely essential for our salvation! If He did not die, all of us are yet in our sins and without hope. He was born to live a perfect life we could not live, and die in our place, so that we could be forgiven of all our sin and rebellion and gain peace with God for all eternity. Jesus raised Himself, in order to defeat our greatest enemy, death. The apostle Paul calls His resurrection OF FIRST IMPORTANCE, not some little detail that can be laid aside for the sake of multiculturalism. (1 Corinthians 15:3)
And if Christ has not been raised, then our teaching is in vain, and your faith is in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:14) …If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile, and you are still in your sins. (1Corinthians 15:17)
If Jesus did not die on that cross and was not raised, all our hope is indeed lost.
None of the foregoing is found in the thinking or beliefs of Islam. Simply looking for similarities between Christianity and Islam in order to better apply the “Good Jesus Seal of Approval” to Islam is dishonest. Although it may make the play goers “feel” oh-so-virtuous about their “tolerance,” it leaves the Muslim in a lost condition. That is not loving, and that is not kind. Sometimes “Good Neighboring” involves telling the truth to the neighbors we care about. And yes, we do indeed care about Muslims. We want them to lay down their futile efforts to earn God’s approval and find true peace with God based in His wonderful grace.
Extending friendship and kindness to Muslims, Hindus, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and others, is a good and noble pursuit. By all means, show them the love of God. But don’t recreate or accept a Jesus that is more to your friend’s liking, but which will only leave him – and you – with a false Jesus and a false Gospel. Jesus Himself warned His followers to beware of false prophet wolves who come in sheep’s clothing, appearing caring and neighborly but offering only death. (Matthew 7:15). The Apostle Paul warned about those who bring “another Jesus” and “a different gospel” in 2 Corinthians 11:4.
Let’s stick to the Jesus of the Bible – He is the one Who saves.Ω
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