The Godhead of Jesus Condemned by Islam
The above has been the doctrine of the Religion of Islam with regard to the personality of Jesus Christ. After fourteen centuries the same doctrine is now adopted by some Christian Churches, namely the Unitarian. Probably it will not be out of place to quote here a few statements from a lecture, delivered before the Cooper Literary Institute, Philadelphia, on March 4th, 1913, by Dr. A. Geo. Naker, late President of the Institute:
“We have now arrived at a time when the literature of all nations, and their history, are being carefully studied by those who are fitted for the task. The many frauds which the Christian churches have practiced in the past, are all being exposed now, and the result is that many of the wisest and best men have forsaken the orthodox doctrines of the Christian churches. We have here in the United States, a large and intelligent body of believers who are called Unitarians, i.e. believers in one God, and who object to the old doctrine of a trinity of person in the Godhead, and reject the same. They look upon Christ as a great prophet and a good man, but still only a man Our ex- President Taft belongs to this Unitarian church. In taking his farewell from the Unitarian congregation in Washington, he said in his last speech to them: ‘ It has always been a wonder to me, why all the world is not Unitarian.’ The president, of course, meant by ‘ all the world’ all the Protestant world of the United States, because the Catholic Church is under the power of the Pope and admits of no change of creed or dogma.
“The Unitarians consider Christ as a mere man, inspired, as other great men are, though in a greater degree; they reject the doctrine of original sin, the belief in miracles, and generally the whole supernatural elements of Christianity. There are many of the so–called liberals in the churches who hold Unitarian doctrines, but do not separate from their old connections. President Taft is, therefore, entirely Justified in asserting that the trouble we suffer from – if it be trouble – is, that there are so many Unitarians in other churches who do not sit in the pews of our church. But that means ultimately that they are coming to us. There seems to be every prospect that President Taft’s prophecy may be fulfilled in regard to the Protestant world.
“Charles Eliot, President Emeritus of Harvard University, made a similar prophecy in a pamphlet called ‘The religion of the Future’ Printed by the American Unitarian Association. Mr. Eliot says: ‘The religion of the future will not be based on authority, either spiritual or temporal (namely on neither Pope nor King). It is hardly necessary to say that in the future religion there will be no personification of the forces of nature. There will be in the religion of the future, no identification of any human being, however majestic in character, with the Eternal Deity.”
“The ordinary consolations of constitutional Christianity no longer satisfy intelligent people whose lives are broken by the sickness or premature death of those they love…”
The lecturer quoted above goes on to say: “Jesus Christ prayed (John xvii, 3) And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent (namely, Thine apostle). There are many other places to prove, that Christ did not claim to be God. But Christians cannot see it in that light, because they want three Gods instead of one…”
“Of course, there are points at which all religions touch each other, but the Christian fails to see this. The Moslem believes in one God, and also in Christ as one of God’s great prophets. The Christian says, he also believes in one God, but He has a trinity of persons. This is evidently derived from the Hindu religion, from Bram, Vishnu and Siva. The Jewish religion knew of no trinity in the Old Testament, and yet the Christian pretends, that his religion is founded on the Jewish religion. The Jewish religion knew of no Saviour, besides the one God. He was their Saviour and Redeemer. See Isaiah 43:3, ‘I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel thy Saviour’ and Isaiah 42,v,8, ‘I am the Lord that is my name and my glory will I , not give to another, neither my praise to graven images, and again Is 43:11. ‘ I, even I am the Lord, and beside me there is no Saviour’, and Is 44; 6 ‘Thus says the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer, “the Lord of hosts. I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there’s no God’. There are many other passages in Isaiah, and other Old Testament books which insist that there is no God, but the one God, and He is the Saviour and Redeemer, and there is non beside Him. The Christians who take Christ for their Saviour and Redeemer are, therefore, outside of the promise of the Scripture which they themselves acknowledge to be the word of God. But all this with the many passages in the New Testament, where Christ distinctly says that he is not God, does not convince them.”
What Jesus Says About Himself in Relation
to his Alleged Divinity
According to the Koran , Jesus, on the day of Judgment, will be asked by God whether he hold his people to consider him and his mother  two Gods, besides God Himself. Whereupon, Jesus not only disavows his claim of divinity, but also asserts he never preached such a doctrine to his disciples, when he was with them. Fortunately the narrative of the Teacher of Nazareth as reported in the four gospels, though in the consideration of Islamic judgment not genuine in its entirety, still contains sufficient evidence to corroborate the statement of the Koran. The following are the sayings of Christ about himself as reported by the Evangelists:
“I do nothing of myself” (John viii. 28)
“My father is greater than I” (John xiv 2)
“This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent” (John xvll. 3)
“The Lord our God is one Lord” (mar xvii.29)
“Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve” (Matt. iv. 10).
“Why callest thou me good? None is good save one, that is God”
“I am not yet ascended to my Father; but go to brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your father, and to my God and your God”
“I by the finger of God cast out devils” (Luke xl.20)
“Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me, and I knew that Thou hearest me always; but because of the people which stand by, said it, that they may believe that Thouhast sent me” (John xl. 41, 42)
“The works which the father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me” (John v. 36) “If any man hear my words and believe not, I judge him not; for I came not to judge the world” (John XII. 47.)
“ (Jesus then went a little further, fell on his face, and prayed, saying)”
“O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” Matt. XXVI: 38, 39),
“Eli, Eli, Iama sabachthani – My God my God, why hast Thou forsaken me” (Matt. xxii. 46)
“ Father, into my hands I commend my spirit,” (Luke xxiii. 46)
These expression confirm to a great extent the Islamic notion of Jesus Christ, namely, that he was a true servant and a messenger of God, and one of His humble creatures and never a god. Jesus admits his limited knowledge and power. He looks to God even for his sustenance. He expresses his complete submission to the divine will. He disavows all goodness for himself, when speaking of God. A messenger, no doubt, he was of God. He spoke to the children of Israel what he heard from God. He has been reported to perform certain miracles, but these he performed by the help of God. He is said to have raised Lazarus to life, but he has to pray to God and thank Him on being heard. When he was asked, he admitted that such miracles could be done only through fasting and prayer to God.
Speaking of himself, Jesus also is reported to have said:
“Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath nowhere to lay his head.”
In another instance he is reported to have said:
“Of myself I can do nothing; of that day and that hour knoweth no man …neither the son”
Moslems fail to understand, how in the presence of these admissions on the part of Jesus, divinity can still be attributed to him. This is a problem which can only be solved by the words said of Jesus:
“I thank Thee O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou hast kept these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes”
() From the Koranic description of Mary being taken for a God by the Christians, some Christian Critics of the Koran conclude that the doctrine of the Trinity, according to the Koran, consists of three persons- God, Jesus and Marry. But this is unwarranted conclusion. Marry is spoken of as being taken for an object of worship by the Christians; but the doctrine of Trinity is not mentioned, here, while the Divinity of Marry is not mentioned, where the Trinity is spoken of. Had Mary not been worshipped by the Christians as the ‘Mother of God,’ the conclusion would have been safe, that the Koran mistook Mary for the third person of the Trinity. But the doctrine and practice of the Mariolatry, as it is called by Protestant controversialists, is too well known. In the catechism of the Roman Church, the following doctrines are to be found: ‘That she is truly the mother of God., and the second Eve, by whose means we have received blessing and life; that she is the mother of Pity and, very specially, our advocate; that her images are the of the utmost utility (Encyc. Brit. 11th ed. Vol. 17. 813.) It is also stated that her intercessions are directly appealed to in the Litany. And further, that there were certain women in Thrace, Scythia, and Arabia who were in the habit of worshipping the Virgin as a goddess, the offer of a cake being one of the features of their worship etc.