Good News for Jesus at the Bakersfield Islamic Conference
May 14, 2012
At the sixth annual Bakersfield Islamic Conference, before a few hundred attendees in a hotel ballroom, crew-cut Joshua Evans, looking scholarly behind a long brown beard and matching brown glasses, delivered this information: you cannot be a Muslim unless you believe in Jesus, one of five great Prophets who brought about seminal changes. Islam also affirms the virginal status of mother Mary, one of the purest women ever. Furthermore, stated Evans, a North Carolina native and former Christian youth minister before becoming an Islamic scholar and evangelist, Muslims need to be offended when Jesus is insulted, not only when Mohammad is criticized.
There are, however, some vexing differences between Islam and Christianity. Muslims believe a line of divinity must be drawn because divinity is only for God or Allah; He is unique and has no needs. Jesus, conversely, had to eat and drink or die, he had to breathe or die. But there is also stunning good news for Jesus: he was not crucified, someone else was. Joshua Evans said Islam does not know who it was, possibly it was Judas, but it was not Jesus, God saved him that humiliation and raised him to heaven.
Jesus will return, Evans promised, but during an unhappy time of the anti-Christ, someone who claims he’s Jesus and then God. The real Jesus will have children and then die, near the end of time. This will be Armageddon.
I am a mere heathen who, despite my disbelief, has listened to a variety of religious speakers and concluded whichever God is being examined – Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Greek, Roman, Aztec, Mayan or other – He seems rather grim and tough and should lighten up and acknowledge His creations are imperfect. If, in his infinite wisdom, God had wanted perfect creatures, He should have simply made them that way. I suppose, in that case, He wouldn’t have left much for His human messengers to preach about.
Editorial question: If Christians ever agreed with Muslims that Jesus Christ was not crucified, what would be done with all those crosses?