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Rebuttal to Matt Slick's "Does Islam teach salvation by works?" article

By

Bassam Zawadi

 

 

This article is in response to Matt Slick’s article http://www.carm.org/islam/salvation_by_works.htm.

Now besides refuting paragraph by paragraph as I usually do in my articles. I am just going to simply write an article addressing the points put forward by my brother in humanity, Matt Slick. 

Yes, us Muslims believe that we enter paradise by earning the grace of God through our works. But Matt Slick says that our finite actions can never measure up to please the infinite God. That logic does not work perfectly you see, because then someone could argue "well if my finite actions have no affect on God then that means that my finite evil actions do not displease the infinite God either, therefore he should not punish me". 

Now of course that would be absurd. Matt Slick has a point though. Now if God put us here on earth and we are supposed to please him by actions, who sets the standards? Only God can. Us Muslims believe that if we follow the law prescribed and put forward by the infinite God, we are therefore in a way following a law whose source  is from the infinite and therefore in a way meeting the standards of the infinite God to please him. We believe that any other actions performed besides those set by God are useless. Now God does not need our actions. He does not benefit from them either. However, he loves that we obey him. 

Matt Slick says that we cannot follow the law perfectly. He is right. That is why us Muslims believe in a forgiving God. A lot of people have this misconception that forgiveness is contrary to justice. However, this is incorrect. 

I am going to quote Shabir Ally from his debate with Prof Shenk "Cross Resurrection And Salvation", which can be accessed here http://www.aswatalislam.net/DisplayFilesP.aspx?TitleID=50018&TitleName=Shabir_Ally.

Now Professor Shenk asked Shabir this question

Now you were talking about forgiveness, but God is also just. A judge can’t just forgive people. Now does the case for justice need to be fulfilled. How does God match justice with forgiveness? I believe that justice was done on the cross by the Messiah in Isaiah 53.

Shabir Ally replied back saying:

There are two wrongs that we can do, one is wronging human beings and the other is wronging God. If we wrong God, it is simply within God’s prerogative to simply forgive us and let us go. If we wrong other human beings, then God could forgive us by recompensing that other person for his or her loss or we recompense them our selves so justice is fulfilled and our forgiveness is guaranteed. Now do human judges have authority to forgive? Yes they do, as you can see if someone had a parking ticket and appropriate excuse, like he was in a hurry etc. he would be forgiven. It is true that judges do not have ultimate authority to forgive because they have authority above them, they have to answer to the state, to the people, and so they have to make it appear that justice is being done. On the other hand, God is not comparable to this human judge in this sense because God is the ultimate authority and no one can question him. Now your solution doesn’t work, because if you say that God took the place of us in the courtroom that means that he becomes the criminal and who is there to condemn God. If God himself is the criminal then who is the judge?

 

Matt Slick says that us Muslims are not sure if we are going to heaven or not but Christians are. The thing is, us Muslims believe that if we live up to the standards that God wishes us to live up to. Meaning, if we truly try our best to keep ourselves within God's law (and God knows our intentions) then yes we believe that we are going to heaven. The reason why Muslims say they are not sure is for two reasons

1st reason:

We are not sure if we are going to become corrupt people later on in the future and stop practicing our religion properly. We do not know the future. 

This same concept is found in Christianity

 1 Corinthians 15:2

2By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

Notice the condition that Paul puts. He says, IF. Meaning it is possible for some one to leave the belief. How many people claimed to be Christians and now have left Christianity? How do you know you wont be one of them? You do not know the future.

Similarly, Muslims believe that we are going to heaven IF we stick firmly to the teachings of Islam and adhere to the laws set by God. 

2nd reason:

Us Muslims find it too arrogant to come and say "we are saved, we are going to heaven". Us Muslims are humble people. We say "inshallah (by God's will) we are going to heaven"

For Jesus Christ says in 

Luke 18:14

    14"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Conclusion

So Muslims try their very best to follow the law of God and pray that God showers his mercy on them in order for us to enter heaven. This is the teachings of the Old Testament as well. No one has to die for our sins, we are all responsible for our selves (Deuteronomy 24:16). All God wants is for us to try our best to be righteous and when we fail we ask for his forgiveness. No one is to be sacrificed for us. (Hosea 6:6, Jeremiah 7:31, Ezekiel 18:21,22,24, Isaiah 66:3, Psalms 51:16-19, Matthew 6:9-15)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to Rebuttals, and exposing the lies of the Answering Islam team section.

Rebuttal to Carm.org section.

Bassam Zawadi's Rebuttals section.


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