Salvation by Proxy?

Question and answer details
As-salamu `alaykum.One Christian told me that if I embraced Christianity I would be saved from the fire of Hell. I know that Muslims should have strong faith in their religion, but I was unable to answer him satisfactorily. Can you tell me how to reason with him and respond to him properly. Thank you.
Shahul Hameed
Wa `alaykum as-salam, Yasir.

Thank you very much for your question.

Christians argue that for the Original Sin of disobedience committed by Adam, God sentenced the whole of humanity to eternal punishment in Hell, except those who believe the following:
  • God Himself incarnated as a man to atone for that sin;
  • That God-man was Jesus Christ, Son of Man, Son of God, and God Himself;
  • He was one of the three persons in One God; yet fully man and fully God;
  • He was crucified and was resurrected bodily on the third day;
  • And by his death on the cross Jesus-God saved those who believe this.

The Christian Church also insists that one should be baptized into Christianity to be saved.

The Christian Bible itself (unless we resort to acrobatic hermeneutics) rejects the above belief as unacceptable based on the following verses from the Christian scripture:

Exodus 20:1-3: “And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me.”

Deuteronomy 6:4: “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.”

Isaiah 43:11: “I, even I, am the Lord; and besides me there is no Savior.”

Isaiah 46:9: “I am God and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me.”

The New Testament is no less emphatic on the indivisibility and absolute ONENESS of the Lord Almighty. In perfectly clear and categorical terms, Jesus Christ testifies to the unqualified UNITY of God as follows:

Mark 12:29: “And Jesus answered him, ‘The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord.’”

John 17:3: “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the ONLY true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.”

The above verses clearly show that God is one and one only. So to believe Jesus to be God is a clear violation of the Divine Command encapsulated in the above verses.

Here are a few verses from the Qur’an:

1-*{Say: He, Allah, is One. Allah is He on Whom all depend. He begets not, nor is He begotten. And none is like Him.}* (Al-Ikhlas 112: 1-4)

2- *{Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the One, the Supreme.}*(Ar-Ra`d 13: 16)

3- *{Say: It is only revealed to me that your Allah is one Allah; will you then submit?}* (Al-Anbiyaa’ 21: 108)

Now the Christian belief about “salvation” through the death of God:
Christians believe that every human child is born with the taint of the Original Sin. Adam and Eve, in disobedience to the Lord, ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge; and so they were expelled from Paradise and God ordained that every single child born from that time until the end of the world will inherit this sin of Adam and Eve. But at the same time, God wants to save man from being punished for his sins. So He incarnated as His own son (in the womb of Mary), and was born as Jesus to willingly sacrifice Himself for humanity. This was taken as remission for the sins of all men together.

The following analogy would illustrate the absurdity of the above doctrine:

Imagine an earthly king who arrested a number of people for serious crimes against his kingdom. Out of his justice and mercy he tells them that he would pardon them if his only heir to the throne—the Crown Prince—would take the burden of their crimes by submitting himself to an “accursed” death.

Isn’t it a really crazy arrangement to satisfy the demands of justice?

Besides, this doctrine implies a license to mankind for free and unbridled indulgence in their lusts. To go scot-free after a life of dissolution, one only needs to believe that Jesus shed his blood to wash away the past and future sins of mankind! Martin Luther, the initiator of Protestantism, said that a believer in atonement might sin to his fill, for he was sure to be saved. It is this doctrine of Atonement that is to a great extent responsible for the gross immorality and depravity in which the Christian nations of Europe and America are wallowing.

It is claimed that the justice of God cannot be fulfilled except through the atonement of Jesus. But the doctrine itself is such that it undermines the very foundation of justice: Jesus was innocent; and was it justice to burden him with the sins of mankind, and subject him to a slow murder on the cross? The doctrine of Atonement presents God as a cruel, merciless deity who could not forgive the sins of men without exacting his “pound of flesh.”

Furthermore, the two attributes of God—namely justice and mercy—are set at odds here. Christians say that God’s justice is served when His “only begotten Son” is crucified for the sins of mankind! If that is God’s justice, then where is His mercy? Is it God’s mercy that inflicts a terrible punishment on the innocent to let off sinners? Obviously this contradicts the teachings of the Bible itself, as is evident from the following verses:

Jeremiah 31:30: “But everyone shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.”

Deuteronomy 24:16: “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.”

And remember that it is for the sin of the father (that is, Adam) that the children are considered guilty. Did Jesus teach his followers that they should believe this abomination? No, not at all. See what he taught about eternal life in heaven:

Matthew 19:16–21: “And behold, one came up to him, saying, ‘Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?’ And he said to him, ‘Why do you ask me about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.’ He said to him, ‘Which?’ And Jesus said, ‘You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ The young man said to him, ‘All these I have observed; what do I still lack?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’”

Not only does Jesus not mention the belief in the Atonement doctrine as a necessary condition for attaining eternal life, but he lays stress on observing the Ten Commandments of God given in the Torah. But the present Christians teach a different creed based on Original Sin, the Divine Sonship of Jesus, and the theory of the bloody human sacrifice of Jesus himself. Indeed, this is the core of the new theology introduced into Christ’s religion by the man called Paul. What we know today as Christ’s religion is a paganized version of the True Religion taught by him.

The missionaries of this Pauline religion (now known as Christianity) are hell-bent on evangelizing “the unreached peoples of the Middle East”, with a view to foisting on them the above dogma. In fact, Allah Almighty in the Qur’an warns the Believers about this very menace in the verse which gives the meaning of:

*{And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor the Christians until you follow their religion. Say: Surely Allah’s guidance, that is the (true) guidance. And if you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, you shall have no guardian from Allah, nor any helper.}* (Al-Baqarah 2:120)

May Allah help us and guide us aright!

Useful Links:

Is Islam the Continuation of Christianity?

The Unity of Divine Revelations

Islam and Christianity; Common Grounds…

True Teachings of Islam

Muslims and Christians; Different Creeds…

Comparing and Contrasting Islam and Christianity