By now, you have probably seen the billboards in Columbus, Ohio that brazenly trumpet, “Jesus is Muslim.”
Here is a picture:
In doing research on this, I discovered that this type of Muslim advertising campaign is not new and a similar campaign was done in Australia.
Here is one link to the article:
These signs are disturbing, for several reasons.
First, the claim that Jesus was a Muslim is absurd. Muhammad, the founder of Islam, lived in the years c. 570 – June 8, 632, at least 550 years after Jesus was resurrected. The claim that Jesus was ‘Muslim’ when Islam was not even on the radar screen during the life of Jesus is disingenuous at best. At worst, the claim is an outright lie, intended to incite the religious sensibilities of Christians in the United States.
A Mormon making the claim that “Jesus is a Mormon” would be equally ridiculous, for the same reasons cited above.
Second, the claim is disturbing because it reveals an Islamic hostility toward Christian orthodoxy in general and a decidedly unfriendly and disrespectful attitude for these Muslims living in Columbus, Ohio toward their Christian neighbors in particular.
I have to admire this particular group of Muslims for their boldness, but they fail the test when this action is graded on diplomatic finesse. If they believe that a billboard like this is going to create good-will among Muslims and Christians and bring the two groups closer together, they could not be more mistaken. Their lack of sensitivity and wisdom is shocking.
Imagine the uproar in the American Muslim community if a similar billboard was erected throughout, say, Dearborn, Michigan, that trumpeted “Muhammad was a born again Christian!” This would neither be factual nor effectual in bringing Christians and Muslims closer together. It would be the same glaring public relations disaster that this billboard in Columbus is guilty of.
Third, the statement that Jesus is a Muslim is incorrect and this particular Muslim group responsible for putting up these billboards are spreading falsehoods. It is one thing for someone to make the unfounded claim that a Chevy truck is a better vehicle than a Ford, but to make a blatant, false statement about the founder of Christianity and the Lord of Glory is to potentially bring out understandably negative and hurt feelings in the Christian community.
Fourth, the complete lack of wisdom that this Muslim group is exhibiting by putting up such a divisive and outrageous claim leaves one scratching their head and asking, “Why? What possible good can come out of such a brazen and offensive statement?”
It is not a move that will “gain friends and influence people” and endear non-Muslims to sympathize with their agenda. The billboard is an act of foolishness which will only cause the already deep divide that exists between Christians and Muslims to grow ever wider.
Fifth, this unwise decision only reinforces the stereotype that many people already have of Muslims that they are intolerant, divisive, unwilling to peacefully co-exist with their neighbors, and are trouble-makers.
Again, they score high points for their shocking brazenness, but fail miserably on their diplomatic skills. “Nation (or neighborhood) building” is an attribute that these particular Muslims need a fair amount of tutoring in.
If there is any good that can come from this foolish and unwise display, it is this: God’s prophetic Word has once again been proven to be uncannily accurate.
We find the following prophecy in Genesis 16:12 about Ishmael, the father of the Arab race:
“He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.” (NIV)
Clearly, this billboard and all it represents, is a stunning fulfillment of this amazing prophecy made over 3,500 years ago, proving once again the singular uniqueness of Holy Scripture.
Refreshingly, some Christians in the Columbus area are not allowing this affront to the faith to go unchallenged. One man in particular, Dave Daubenmire, has rallied the troops to hold a peaceful, non-violent prayer vigil and rally. Peaceful and non-violent are the important words here, and there can be no cause for anyone, Christian or otherwise, to react in any other fashion but to follow the words of Jesus when He said, “Love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44).
Here is a quote from Mr. Daubenmire taken from the linked article above:
“Although we support the Islamic community’s right to free speech, as well as their right to post messages on billboards, we do not support the hi-jacking of the name of Jesus Christ in their attempt to lure uninformed Christians into their religion,” Coach Dave Daubenmire said.
“‘Jesus Christ was crucified, died, and resurrected over 600 years before the birth of Mohammed. Although Islam honors Jesus as a prophet, they do not believe that He is the risen Son of God. During this most Holy Lenten Season we find the messages on the billboards to be insensitive, dishonest and deserving of a response from concerned Christians. We will be on the streets to proclaim Jesus is NOT Muslim but Jesus is Lord!’, he continued.”
Daubenmire has a Facebook page dedicated to the upcoming rally:
If you are in the Columbus area, I urge you to attend this prayer rally. Stand up and be counted for the sake of truth and the honor of the Lord Jesus.