As a Christian, what would you do if your pastor invited a Muslim to take part in a worship service where the Muslim recited from the Quran? What if that Muslim recited sections of the Quran and then added additional texts that denied that Jesus was the Son of God and that Jesus should not be worshipped?
On January 6, 2017, Anglican Communion’s Church of St. Mary’s in Glasgow, Scotland celebrated one of its holiest celebrations of the church, known as Epiphany or Three King’s Day. It is the celebration of when the three king’s or wise men were given the revelation of that the Son of God, Jesus, had been born. The celebration of Epiphany in many churches throughout the United Kingdom is a very solemn occasion.
This year, leaders at the famous Anglican church invited a Muslim woman to take part in the Epiphany worship service by reciting from the Quran. According to one report:
“The passage being recited is from Surah 19, ‘Mary’ and includes some apocryphal material about Jesus speaking as a baby from the cradle. This is pretty docetic stuff and a little infant speaking adult words is a kind of ‘superhuman’ Jesus that is miles away from the Biblical view. The source of this material is from the Syriac Infancy Gospel, an apocryphal document from the fifth or sixth century. Needless to say, it’s not even vaguely ‘Scripture’ and Michael Nazir-Ali is right to condemn the use of it in a church service by Kelvin Holdsworth, the Provost of Glasgow.”
Everyone present had access to an English translation of the Arabic recitation of Miss Javed. Here is English text of what she recited:
“34 That is Jesus, the son of Mary – the word of truth about which they are in dispute.
35 It is not [befitting] for Allah to take a son; exalted is He! When He decrees an affair, He only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.
36 [Jesus said], ‘And indeed, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is a straight path.’”
From the report:
“The recitation finishes with the words, ‘Allah, the Almighty, has spoken the truth’. This a standard liturgical suffix to a reading, the equivalent of saying, ‘This is the Word of the Lord’. The reading is being offered as a proclamation of God’s word, his truth.”
‘These extra Ayah teach two clear things. First, Jesus is not the son of God and is not divine. Second, Jesus should not be worshipped… What kind of revelation is that?”
After the services, a number of Christians began complaining about the blasphemous words spoken by Miss Javed, but many of the complaints were directed at the clergy at the church. Now, police in Scotland are investigating the complaints made as being ‘hate crimes’.
According to this report:
“Offensive comments directed at clergy at St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow, have prompted a police investigation after the Quran was read at a service last week.”
“‘Police Scotland confirmed it is investigating remarks after the Epiphany service contained a recitation from the Islamic holy book denying Jesus was the son of God – a key Christian doctrine.”
“‘Police Scotland will not tolerate any form of hate crime and encourages all communities to continue working together to ensure no one feels threatened or marginalised,’ a spokesman told Christian Today.”
Reverend Kelvin Holdsworth is the person who invited Madinah Javed to recite from the Quran. In referring to Holdsworth the report stated:
“The Cathedral defended the reading in a statement online but did not comment on the declaration that Jesus was not God’s son.”
“‘We listened with interest to the story that Muslims tell of the annunciation of Jesus in the Quran,’ the statement read.”
“‘Such readings have happened a number of times in the past in this and in other churches and have led to deepening friendships locally, to greater awareness of the thing we hold in common and to dialogue about the ways in which we differ.’”
“The Cathedral initially posted a video on Facebook of the reading describing it as a ‘wonderful event’.”
“The post has since been deleted but it read: ‘The congregation was also reminded during the service that it is not only Christians who give honour to Jesus. We were joined by friends from two local Muslim communities.’”
“A video of the incident on YouTube prompted outrage from some Anglicans with calls for him to quit. The video has also been removed.”
We are living in a world where a Muslim can stand in a Christian pulpit and blaspheme Jesus and if a Christian complains, the Christian faces hate crimes. If a Christian just stands outside a mosque and says anything against Allah, Muhammad or Islam, the Christian is again guilty of hate language. A Muslim can do no wrong and say anything they want, but a Christian is not even allowed to defend his/her faith without being accused of hate language.
If that’s what the world is coming to, it won’t silence this Christian. Some of Jesus’s disciples were imprisoned for preaching the Gospel and sharing their faith in Jesus. I am reminded of how many times the Apostle Paul was imprisoned and in chains for the sake of Jesus. If it comes to that, I am sure there are many who will gladly follow suit and continue to sing the praises of our Savior and Lord behind the iron bars of persecution. Is your faith that strong to give up everything for the sake of Jesus?