“Muslim Jesus” on British TV

The second largest British television broadcaster behind the BBC is set to air the following “documentary”:

“There was no manger, Christ is not the Messiah, and the crucifixion never happened. A forthcoming ITV documentary will portray Jesus as Muslims see him. With the Koran as a main source and drawing on interviews with scholars and historians, the Muslim Jesus explores how Islam honors Christ as a prophet but not as the son of God.”

Scholars? Historians? Is this historical? People will believe anything but the Bible. And they’ll consult everyone except Biblical scholars who believe in the Biblical account of Christ’s historicity. In that respect, this is no different than American television.

“… The one-hour special, commissioned and narrated by Melvyn Bragg, is thought to be the first time the subject has been dealt with on British television… He denies the program will divide communities. Raised as an Anglican, he describes the documentary as thoughtful and well researched. ‘I hope it will provoke among Muslims the feeling they are included in television.’”

I wonder what feeling he hopes it will provoke in Jesus? I wonder if He’ll feel “included,” seeing He’s being presented as someone other than who He truly is, that is, as a “Muslim Jesus,” as not being the God-man, as not being the Messiah, nor as having died an atoning death.

If Christians were as violent and extremest as Muslims are over cartoons of Mohammed, would this film dare to have been made? I guess “documentaries” of this sort only “divide communities” when they attack anything other than Christ and Christianity. It’s never offensive or divisive to disparage the Biblical account of things, especially when it comes to the person of Jesus Christ.

It shouldn’t, but it still amazes me that other people’s “faiths” and views are treated with care and respect, but Christian’s views are disparaged and lampooned without any shame. Jesus said it would be this way, though.

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (John 15:18-19)

(HT: Tom Gross)

Meanwhile, after refusing action for weeks, the BBC has finally removed a slur from its website about Jesus being a ‘bastard’. This remark stood unadressed by the BBC despite many calls from various religious groups to remove it, AND while at the same time almost immediately removing any comments that appeared to be in even the slightest degree offensive to Muslims.

Double standards, anyone?

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7 Responses to “Muslim Jesus” on British TV

  1. Derrick says:

    “Jesus said it would be this way, though.”

    Yes he did and that’s whether we, as christians, like it or not. If Christ prophecied such things would happen we can trust they will come to pass. There’s nothing we can do to warrant this persecution that Christ’s name alone won’t accomplish. This should give us no reason to further resentment toward the faith we share by dividing ourselves or pointing fingers at the “world” and attempting coercive measures to make unbelievers live up to standards even we seldom adhere to. The name of Christ is powerful not just for the beauty and truth it implies but also for the hatement and resentmant it stirs up in the mind of the unbeliever. We can only speak the of the faith in truth and in love and hope for the holy spirit to do his work among our race. If we get stomped, we get stomped. It’s all in God’s hands or it’s not. I say it is.

  2. Scott W. Kay says:

    Derrick,

    You are exactly right.

    I too, fully expect this kind of double-standard treatment, this hatred toward Christ, this kind of persecution to keep on coming and to only increase as time goes. But I still don’t like it. Its wrong and offensive to my Lord, and therefore to me. I don’t think that indifference toward its happening is the righteous thing to feel. That’s why I felt compelled to speak out against it.

    I don’t expect the world to treat Christ with respect. I do trust the Lord to right all wrongs at the final day. In the meantime, I also think it is appropriate to be grieved by this kind of sin and double standardat , whether it is found in the “world” or in myself. I am grieved myself when I grieve Christ though my sins, and I am all to painfully aware of how often and how deeply I do so. Honestly, my grief over the world’s sin isn’t some sort of self-righteous, Pharisaical, finger-pointing act.

    When I read this story, my honest reaction was fear for the makers of the show, as deep grief that the God I know and love and fear was being so cavalierly and even self-confidently slandered. It’s sinful. I just kept thinking of how holy and transcendent the Lord Jesus really is, and how this “documentary” so carelessly and fearlessly twisted the truth about Him. To me, that is a fearsome thing. It was a response governed by my awe and reverence for God’s Son. I am grieved that the world has so little fear of Him, even though I know, as you said, that His Name will certainly garner this kind of response. But I also think that my feeling this way is entirely appropriate in light of what Jesus told us to pray: that His Name would be hallowed, revered, held in awe.

    I know that Christ is sovereign enough to defend Himself, and that He will judge all things at the end of the age. But precisely because that’s true, I think it is appropriate to have zeal for His honor, and to therefore hate and be grieved by sin wherever we find it – in ourselves or in the world – and especially sins that make a direct attack on the person and name and work of Christ.

    Father in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Amen.

  3. Derrick says:

    My overriding conviction on issues such as this is that God wills what God wills. I am right there with you in terms of my uncomfortability when my faith is slandered and I do worry that we, as christian believers, will have some rough times ahead as religious extremists and secular humanistas increase in presence and power. May God grant us peace and confidence to face such attacks as they come. May God also grant us the love to withstand the persecution and reflect the perfection of Christ in our dealings with the multiple enemies of the cross. Indifference and apathy are not our options as I understand things but, instead we should be driven by the opportunity that comes with persecution to show the truth of Christ more and more so that the world will have an opportunity the see that there is a difference (an alternative) that the message of God’s people offers.

    My greater fear is the carnal reaction to the opposition to the cross that christians sometimes engage in. Since my conversion almost a year ago I have walked into more than a few churches that proudly display all manner of books proclaiming this thing or that thing about Islam or about their perceived reading of Isreal’s place in this or that eschatological framework (my close proximity to Hageeland might have something to do with this). What I don’t see enough of are books on what being a christian is all about. Books that explore the intricacies of biblical knowledge, insightful and articulate writing on the simple truth of the gospel. If it is not about Revelations it’s not out there. I meet more christians who are better versed in what is wrong with Islam than I do christians who can clearly explain what the gospel is. I appreciate the issue expressed here in that it is necessary to examine our role in this world through the lens of the gospel and what that ultimately signifies to an extremely screwed-up world. I’m with NT Wright in that God will bring everything to rights in His time and God’s judgement will secure the ultimate balance. God chose to work out this renewal this way and He’ll be the one all people will have to give an account to in the end.

    Do you have any good resources that discuss this issue from a non-american christian perspective? We have so much to lose over here that I often wonder if our prosperity has in any way tweaked our ability to identify with real persecution (you know the kind that gets you and your family killed)? How, for instance do christians in China deal with loss of personal freedom or Indians that face beating every day for proclaiming the gospel to those peace-loving Hindus?

    Thanks for these posts Scott, I’ve really enjoyed reading your thoughts on things. Pondering such things really increases my desire to escape this tent and move on to be with the Father.
    Grace brother.

    Christ is Risen!

  4. Derrick says:

    One more thing (Columbo style!), as an artist fully engaged in the contemporary art world I have witnessed first hand the double standard you wrote about. I have previously mentioned Andreas Serano’s “Piss Christ” as an example of recent art held to high esteem by the art world as a work of critical eloquence and import. The premise being the need for artists to fully engage critically such institutions as the church and its scred beliefs. However, when the object of ridicule is Islam, or Bhuddism, or anything other than christianity then you have “hate speech.” There is no doubt that this is the very definition of a double standard and it is beyond frustrating that many of my students have to sit through lectures extoling such hypocracy through shoddy reason and blantant indoctrination with the benefit of another point of view with which to round out the topic.

    Simply put, if your faith is christian you are a target. Anything else and you get the benefit of the doubt. One positive I’ll say about the “New Atheist Book Writers Club” at least they go after Islam and new agers with equal vigor. My personal opinion on why so many media outlets are so leanient toward Islam is their fear of terrorist retribution (the Van Gogh Necklace treatment at least). After all, those fundemental legalists take heads!

    Peace.

  5. Isa says:

    Look at the similarities

    Jesus was a
    Miracle worker
    Healer
    Leader
    Messih ( yes we do believe he was a messiah)

    Can you guys not see that we love him as much as you guys do. The only difference is that we do not partner God, as we believe God was not begotton nor does he begget. (thus keepinng the uniquness of One God (monotheism) )

  6. Scott W. Kay says:

    Isa,

    Your view of Jesus Christ may be similar in some ways, but not the same in the most important ways of all: that He is the Son of God, the God-man who died a substitutionary death for the sins of those who believe on Him in order to eternally forgive them from their sins. These are things He Himself clearly proclaimed about Himself in the Gospels.

    The Muslim “version” of Jesus denies these fundamental truths about Him and makes His claims out to be false. So, no, I honestly cannot see that you love Him as much as we Christians do since you openly deny the most important things about Him. I don’t consider that to be love nor respect for Him, just as you would readily admit that Christians do not love and respect Mohammed the way that you do, since we deny the central thing that makes him so loved and revered by you, namely, that you claim that he was a prophet of God, and that he was a greater prophet than Jesus. We deny that. So, we may have some similarities with you in your views of Mohammed, but we do not have the same views on the things that matter most.

  7. Hussam says:

    Scott;
    Your reply to Isa fails to see the point!
    Certainly, Muslim & Christians have “differences”, this is no news. The news is your denial of our faith when it comes to Jesus. One wonders why you do not extend this denial to the Jewish faith which indeed denies you Jesus Christ (they say he was a bastard) and the Virgin Mary (a sinner), etc.?? Yet, you dare not go on the offensive against the Jewish faith and accept their slander of Mary & Jesus Christ, while you find it easy for you to reject the Muslim’s veneration of Jesus and Mary! Weird, on the face of it, but it has a very simple explanation: Like Judaism, Christianity refuses (feels threatened??) by a religion that comes after it. Judaism refused you and you refused Islam. Pure and simple, no dogmas here or a principled view or anything.
    The problem with you guys is that you have forsaken Jesus teachings sent to you by God Almighty and substituted them with those man-made teachings of the Nicene Creed 100’s of years after Jesus, including Original Sin invented by Augustine but hardly uttered by Jesus Christ.
    Your problem which you fail to see is that you have believed in a faith system devised by fallible humans, then went back trying to reconcile it with the scriptures, including the censorship of several bibles by the Nicene Creed and the burning of those who opposed it till it became established “Christianity” as we know it from some 400+ AD till today.
    Let me just assure you that neither Islam not I personally hold you in light esteem. Far from it. The point is we see the fallacy of man-made “truth” while we also see the glory of Christianity as sent down on Jesus Christ son of Mary, by God Almighty and- frankly- we pity you departing away from such a rich and highly esteemed religion- for fellowship in God- in favor of the the Nicene Creed!!
    Indeed it’d takes rare courage to concur with what I’ve written here. After all, Jesus is not God, Original sin is indeed a man-made fabrication, and there’s no salvation due from Jesus who, being no deity, has neither the power nor the authorization to intervene in God’s domain…so what’s left for you, then?? Simply, the best of all: Christianity as charged to Jesus Christ by God Almighty. Its yours for the taking!
    Lastly, to return to Isa’s proclamation of love for Jesus, the Holy Qur’an reads from the Story of Mary: She pointed to him, and they asked “how can we talk to who is in the craddle, a child?”. He replied ” I am Issa son of Myriam, Given the Book and Wisdom and Peace be upon me the day I was born, the day I die, and the day I am resurrected alive”. In another passage of the Holy Qur’an, God says that Muslims will find Christians closest to them because “Amongst them are Monks and Priests and they do not indulge in arrogance” (this is well after the Nicene Creed. Just serves to show you God’s persistent compassion). Do you feel better able to understand Isa’s comments now?
    You must be asking yourself the following: Why do they worship Allah yet keep on quoting God? If they think so highly of Christianity, why are they not Christians themselves?, etc., all of which I’ll be happy to answer if someone asks me, someone who is willing to “use his mind”, to reason and to understand.
    I’d like to ask you to ponder on 2 Christian, hundreds of years apart. Both are pious and good believers. One was contemporary of Jesus Christ while he lived on Earth, while the other is post the Nicene Creed, let’s say he lived and died in Germany in the 16th century or so. Imagine if you will that the Christian contemporary of Jesus Christ was made to witness the Christian of 16th century Germany. I bet you he’d be more than amazed: he has never called Jesus “God” or heard him called as such, nor did he ever worship Jesus, nor has ever heard of the Trinity principle nor did he know of Original Sin, etc. and my question to you is: Was this contemporary of Jesus Christ a Good Christian? If you say “yes” then you could not possibly say the same about the 16th century Christian, since they worship totally different things altogether. If your answer is “No”, then you’ve simply placed yourself in a classic “Holier than Thou” pitfall, except you’ll be slighting Christianity as preached by Jesus Christ while he lived on Earth and in so doing have perjured yourself! Check-mate? If you want to “Know” the answer, just ask.
    My regards
    Hussam
    ==================

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