Is there a Christian monopoly on Jesus? Many other faiths mention Jesus. He is even frequently referred to by practitioners and teachers of New Age doctrines. These people often affirm belief in Jesus, and that Christians do not have a monopoly on Him.
Last week a friend posted an article by Haroon Moghul on her Facebook page. I was immediately drawn to it. It appears on NBC News’ “Think” section. You see the words “Thought Experiment” to the left of the article. So I guess it’s a prod to encourage thinking.
His premise is that Christians don’t have a monopoly of Jesus: Muslims honor him as well. We read before the article that: “To help fight Islamophobia, Americans need to understand Christianity and Islam’s many similarities.”
Moghul is an apologist for an allegedly misunderstood Islam. He laments that Christians don’t know enough about the similarities between Islam and Christianity. And so he wants to correct this. He writes:
…in my experience, when Americans do learn a little bit about the Muslim basics, Islam goes from a something menacing and foreign to something remarkably familiar. And this happens to be especially true when it comes to Christmas.
He tries to set the record straight:
Christians believe him [Jesus] to be the divine Son of God while Muslims consider him a very special human and a prophet to whom God granted miracles. Just like Christians, however, Muslims believe Jesus had no father (for us, since Jesus isn’t divine, we believe he was created by God in his mother’s womb.)…We also believe Jesus was the word and spirit of God, and will someday return to fill a volatile world with goodness.
Before addressing his Jesus-monopoly concern, let’s find some more about who Haroon Moghul is. Jihad Watch’s Robert Spencer responded to Moghul’s Jesus/monopoly article HERE. The fact that Spencer quickly picked up on the article, and has written about him before, should be a red flag.
Spencer makes some stark observations about Moghul. While condemning critics of Islam, he’s defensive regarding Islamic Jihad. And this, unfortunately, is typical of other guardians of Islam. Listen to two ex-Muslims who responded to popular apologist Reza Aslan:
…Islam badly needs to be reformed, and it is only Muslims who can truly make it into a modern religion. But it is the likes of Reza Aslan who act as a deterrent to change by refusing to acknowledge real complications within the scripture and by actively promoting half-truths.
Haroon Moghul lectures on affinities between Islam and Christianity. But as a supporter of BDS, he isn’t so tolerant of Israel. He believes the world is rightly “sympathetic to Palestine.” And he claims that anti-Muslim sentiment (in some Jewish circles), of violence and bigotry, were used as justifications for the war on Gaza. See Gaza Media Myths.
But let’s get back to Jesus.
Despite Moghul’s platitude about sharing a Jesus who will eventually bring “goodness” to the world, he’s happy about Reza Aslan’s Jesus book (Zealot). The problem is that Aslan invented a radical, violent Jesus (mirroring Muhammad) and tortured biblical texts in order to support his creative writing. So Moghul is being disingenuous. Apologist David Wood has addressed Reza Aslan HERE.
Non-Christians often appeal to “Jesus” to further their agendas. I saw this time and time again in the New Age. Jesus sells books. People like Yogananda Paramahansa, Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle and others have used His name as a marketing tool. So have professing-Christian conmen. This is what Haroon Moghul did – only he was selling Islam.
Many Christians and secular people know little about Christianity, let alone Islam. The question is: if these people were better informed and objective, would they see more similarities, or a greater divide between Christianity and Islam? Do people even care?
When I think of Reza Aslan I always think of the Lion (Aslan) in C. S. Lewis’ Narnian Chronicles. Aslan was a Narnian figure of Christ. Lewis’ final Narnian story (The Last Battle) centered on a fake Aslan. This new Aslan is actually a donkey dressed up in a lion skin.
In that story, conspirators claim Aslan is the same as the Calormene god Tash. So he is given a new name: Tashlan! In this way the Calormenes are able to invade Narnia. What’s remarkable is that the Calormenes are obviously modeled from Islamic society. Tash is a derivative of Allah.
William Kilpatrick sees The Last Battle in terms of what is known as Chrislam. He believes that: “Catholics, in particular, are highly susceptible to the allure of Chrislamism.” Interestingly, Kilpatrick is Catholic. I’d go further and suggest that many evangelicals have succumbed to this as well.
Both Kilpatrick and Lewis understand that many Muslims are sincere seekers of God and truth. Lewis uses the Calormene Emeth (who Aslan saves) as an example. But Kilpatrick warns:
Lewis, however, is quite clear about the theological problem, and he has no use for the Chrislam – or, as he puts it – the “Tashlan” solution. He sees no possibility of a reconciliation between the two faiths because Tash and Aslan are of radically “different kinds.” They are, in fact, “opposites.”
This isn’t a question of monopoly at all. It’s about of truth and eternity. We mustn’t be conned by those promoting an Islamic Jesus – or those who blur differences in order avoid offending our Muslim friends. Muslims need to know Jesus as He really is – as do we (John 3:16-17; 1 Cor 15:3-4).
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12
Islam doesn’t honor Jesus when it denies His identity (Phil 2:5-11). Moreover the Islamic Jesus is an affront to God.
Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. 1 John 2:22-23
Have a care.