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Drinking poison, the test for Christians
|Created by Gerard de Vos|
Dr Zakhir Naik posed the challenge to Christians that they should be able to drink poison and survive: '...these signs will accompany those who believe: ...when they drink poison, it will not hurt them at all' (Mark 16:18). Would anybody like to try it? Nobody?
Does it mean that we are not true believing Christians because we are too chicken to test whether that verse is true? Before we walk away in shame, feeling we have denied our Lord, let us use an example from the life of Jesus Himself. When He was confronted by the chief priests about His authority, He asked them a counter question: 'was John's baptism from God or from men' (Matthew 21:23-27)? When they decided not to answer Him, He told them He would not answer them either.
Following our Lord's example, we want to ask Dr Naik a counter question: Should a true Muslim fight those who do not believe in God (Allah) or the last day (Surah 9:29)? This surah is supported by another one: 'O believers, fight the unbelievers near you, and let them find you harsh, and know that God (Allah) stands with the pious' (Surah 9:123). (Quotation from Tarif Kanlidi's translation. Penguin Books, 2009). Dr Naik might reply that that is exactly what he is doing when he challenges the Bible and Christians, because the fight against unbelievers has nothing to do with physical weapons. Remember, however, that Mohammad had no other means of fighting than the sword. That is how they conquered many nations and spread their message, and that is how they still operate today. Dr Naik might counter that only radical Muslims engage in literal violence against those who do not have the same beliefs as they. According to what we understand from the above mentioned surahs true followers of Allah are those who burn churches and kill infidels.
Dr Naik will have to answer whether he obeys Allah or not? There are many more war verses in the Koran, which he and Muslim apologists might try to evade. That is not very convincing, since anybody who knows something about the Koran and the prophet Mohammad's life knows that violence is at the core of Islam. That is how the message is spread, and that is how Muslims are kept inside the fold of Allah: by fear of hell fire and death for apostasy. It is a grievous sin to disobey Allah. Is he a true Muslim? When he has answered that, we will answer him concerning the drinking of poison.
As for those who are upset about the so called test of faith, Jesus had the same kind of question put to Him: 'If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here...' (Luke 4:9-10). Jesus did not do that, but responded by saying, 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' Don't put God to the test by trying to drink poison. It might be fatal. Even Jesus, as the Son of God, did not test His Father. (NB: remember that the God of the Bible and Allah are two totally different persons, because Allah does not have a son.)