Channel: Jamal Badawi
Series: Jamal Badawi - Jesus
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AsSalamu Alaikum and welcome to a sound focus.
Today we have our 28th series, Jesus, the beloved messenger of Allah. Our topic tonight will be our second segment on later Unitarians. I'm your host for sharpening itch. And here with me once again from St. Mary's University is Dr. Jamal Biddle. So I conducted
for we get into our topic, have a summary of last week's product.
We began in the previous program to discuss the continuation of the existence of Unitarians, who believed that Jesus was a human being and a prophet, and believed in the absolute oneness of God. And we focused more on servetus, who is regarded by many as the father of unitarianism, at least more than unitarianism. And how he was raised in Spain, the effect of the Inquisition on his thinking, the discovery that the Bible does not have any basis for charity, his attempt to get in touch on a person and livid with the leaders of the Reformation movement, especially Calvin. And that's when he failed to convince Calvin he started to spread his ideas by publishing various works,
especially the book called the errors of Trinity,
which angered both the Catholics and Protestants and actually led to both of them collaborating to get him arrested, and finally, to burn him alive. And we gave an example of his writing in which he tried to show that the idea of Trinity isn't the possibility that once you follow the logic of the Trinity to its logical conclusion, it means that you end up really believing in three Gods rather than what is claimed to be just three persons in one godhood. I'd like to know if, if you explain how these ideas ever got mixed up with the actual teachings of Jesus. He blames primarily for that big floss. Actually, he was very critical, he he called the plug, which led to the invention of new
gods. He was very outspoken, I mean, he never made any bones about his convictions came right out right out, you know. And he says, in one petition, the most burdening class, therefore, was added, and super imposed, as it were, on the new gods, which have recently claimed, or have recently come, which our fathers did not worship.
And this plug of philosophy was brought upon us by the Greeks. For they are above all, for the above all men are most given the philosophy.
And we that's why Christians, hanging upon their lips, have become philosophers.
And they never understood the passages of the Scriptures, which they adieus with regards to this matters.
In contrast to this philosophical explanation, which he considered a very complex philosophical explanation of the Trinity servitors simply say, that Jesus peace be upon him, was a prophet. Actually, he, in one petition, you say, some are scandalized at my code in Christ, the prophet, because they happen not themselves, to apply to him. The same epithets are the same fact that means they can,
they can see that all who do so are charged abroad with Judaism, and Mohammed ism. Actually what he meant by that, that all of those who say that Jesus was a prophet,
they are accused of being either Jewish or Christian or Muslim, because Muslims, of course, believe in Jesus and respect him but as a prophet, not as God, you know, excuse me, regardless of the fact that the scriptures and ancient writers call him the Prophet. I have a brief comment to make here in view of what you mentioned in previous programs. I think servetus here was short, quite an in depth knowledge of the Bible, because throughout the Bible, we find that the title of Jesus as a prophet, messenger and servant of God, has been used in the Bible in numerous places. We discussed some of this in previous program just to refresh our memory and give the references in nook chapter seven,
verse 16, and chapter 24, verse 19, in john, gospel of john chapter six
Verses 14 and 14. In the book of Hebrews chapter three, verse one in the book of Acts, chapter three, verse 13, and chapter four verses 3727 and 30. In the Gospel according to Matthew chapter 12, verse 18. In fact, there is one place where Jesus was speaking about himself more or less as a prophet when he was talking about prophet perishing, not in Jerusalem that's in the Gospel, according to look in chapter 13, verses 33 and 34, is tremendous evidence, I think that he had his hand on to say that Jesus was called, actually a prophet in the Scripture. And why should that be regarded as a scam, but for him to say what the scripture actually is saying?
It appears that there isn't really that lead to burdening service alive was the denial of the Trinity. But the interesting thing about it is that what he was brilliant for has been now accepted by many Christians, either privately that you find many Christian friends who privately, regardless of whatever church they go to, they don't in their heart, believe in the Trinity nor believe even some of them, that Jesus was God in human form.
In some cases, there are certain sects even like Jehovah's Witness and others who do, I think the Mormons perhaps also do not believe even in the notion of Trinity. So he was burned for something that has become so popular now among,
among many Christians. It is interesting that in one Muslim Christian dialogue, I heard an evangelist more than one evangelist I had, with more than one of them, insisting that Jesus is God, but still say we accept his title also as a prophet.
In any case, the burdening of services did not burn. his reasoning, or his work really,
are his ideas, his perseverance, his steadfastness, in the face of such brutal death,
really shows his integrity, his deep faith in God, and his commitment to the pure monotheism that he was convinced that this was the teaching of all of the prophets, including Jesus peace be upon him, even in his time, despite of the terror
brought forth by his brutal burning, and the threat to anyone who dared oppose the official dogmas of the church.
Many Christians continued, in fact, to uphold monotheism, very strictly, some of them were killed like him. Others needed to safety,
some study and fillers but some of them escaped to the security of the Muslim rule, because under Muslim rule, people were free, of course, to practice their on their own faith.
You mentioned that certain people at the time,
were able to make it the safe.
Suppose that sa services will lead to a tragic end. Could you give us some examples of these people who actually made it that were able to escape? Yes, so one of the very interesting examples, which is by the way, found in the archives of Heidelberg, there is a literature which is still exists written by a man in the name of Adam. No, sir, it's an EU SDR. No, sir. That's how I
pronounce that man was actually a contemporary of service. And the letter was directed to Sultana Salim the second the Turkish ruler in Constantinople, the Muslim leader. The letter is quite lengthy and it's quoted in Adrian, Rael m. r. e. n. d, in a book titled treatises concerning the Mohammed since that's the term they used to refer to Mr. Mohammed sins. And it's also quoted in the book by a high powered Rahim, Jesus, Prophet of Islam.
The essence of the letters
is that Adam nursers,
addresses the Sultan, the Muslim Sultan, and he says that he is a Christian who was born in Germany,
and that he advanced to become a teacher.
He had an opportunity to read the Quran with joy in his own words, that he read the Quran with great joy
and that he believes in his own heart, that and this is a verbatim quote, your doctrine that's Muslim doctrine, your doctrine referred to monotheism and religion is pure, clear, and acceptable to God.
And then he goes on to say that this is not only my belief, but that I know many other people who are most learned
that who also uphold the same belief, and then he quoted something very touching
His reference to the Quran. Even though in my humble research, I found that the chapter member was mistaken. So I don't know where the mistake came from. Because I could easily recognize the verse that was referring to. But he says, basically, according to the Quran, there is praise of the Christians who heard the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. We're contemporary of the Prophet and recognized and acknowledged that this is the truth that was taught by all of the prophets. And they responded with tears in their eyes that we believed that is, we believe in Mohammed, the last prophet, and praying to Allah or to God, that He may make them witnesses to that truth.
In my humble research, the essence of what he's saying really is in chapter five, in the Quran, in verses 85 through 87, that's where
you're failing to. And then he went on addressing the Sultan against the Muslim Sultan, to indicate to him that this is not only just ideas, but he also have gone through some faith experience. And he said that he began first by reviewing what the interpreters have written since Jesus peace be upon him, which he calls course the Prophet. And after study, he said, and I quote, I tied myself only to the commandment of Moses and to the gospel.
Then I call upon God inwardly with the most religious application and prayed him to chew me. In the Old English, apparently, the right is sh T, that you have, which will show me to chew me the right way, that I need not be in the dangers
to mislead myself and my hearers then it pleased God to reveal to me the articles of invocation of the one, only God upon which article, I composed a book, in which I prove that the doctrine of Jesus Christ did not consist in asserting that he was himself a god, as Christians falsely allegedly says, but that there is only one God, who has no son can consubstantial with him. And then he goes on, to emphasize that the doctrines of Moses, Jesus and Mohammed, agree fully in that respect, and that if the Word of God were to be interpreted and understood faithfully by all, they would be basically no difference, and no division between Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
His letters happen to fall before it leaves the Sultan to fall into the hands of Emperor Maximilian.
And as a result, Adam Mercer was arrested, along with his friends and people who also upheld similar beliefs. He was imprisoned. But in July 15 1617, he was able to escape.
But again, like separatists, he was caught again. But this time, he was lucky enough, because for the second time, he was able to escape.
But anyway, before he escaped the the trial continued.
For two years for him and his friends.
One of his friends, was condemned to death, and the court decided that he his head should be cut off.
But of course, when Nasir was able to escape, he finally reached security by reaching Constantinople, where he embraced Islam.
Whereas one happy outcome, anyone have the story at least now, he mentioned before, back together with the servetus,
early scholar who rejected Trinity, I think we'd be interested to know
if there were other famous scholars who actually held the same point of view. There were many but just to speak, perhaps about people who are just contemporary even to serve a test. Two important means come to mind. One is Francis David and the other is new Susan. First one, Francis David, was born in Transylvania about the same time like servetus. You see, servetus was born
in in 1511.
Francis David was born in 15th century, very much about the same time.
David was a very brilliant student who was able to get a scholarship for four years he studied to become Catholic.
Priest, and actually who was appointed as director of a Catholic School in 1655.
But when the split took place, in the Reformation movement between Calvin and Luther,
Francis David joined the party of Calvin, at that time, still, in the Reformation movement, there was a spill some measure of degree of freedom of research, with freedom of opinion.
But on the basis of his training, of course, and exposure to the study of scriptures, he found again,
that two documents are really bothering him, and caused a great deal of confusion. One was the Trinity. Second, the related one, is the deity of Jesus, are they claiming that Jesus was divine? He felt that both of these documents are inexplicable. And at one point, he says, Why is it that any person who accepts those mysteries without understanding should be regarded as a better Christian and what for what reason? We consider that to be a better Christian. Gradually, he concluded that Jesus was not divine. And he affirmed the absolute oneness of God, just like Muslims, and for that matter, to some extent, Jews also would, would agree this beneath
was, again quite common
in Poland at this time, and actually one of those Unitarians
had some contact with the with the court with the court of the of the king, king john at that time. And he helped Francis David, to be appointed as a court preacher. That gave him the opportunity to be a spokesperson for the Unitarians, especially in public debates.
Now, this public debate, you might say, was an interesting departure of the intolerance, which led to many killing, including burning servetus
years before that,
the situation which became so good, and the king john, that in 1667, the king issued something called a decree of toleration.
In that decree, it says that in every place, the preacher shall preach and explain the gospel according to his understanding of it.
And if the congregations the congregation likes, so far, so good, if not, no one, shall become concerned compelled them and they shall keep the preacher whose doctrine they approved. And later on, it says
it is not approved or not acceptable to allow anyone to be imprisoned or punished, on account of his teaching, for faith is a gift of God. And that's sounds like today's type of attitudes, really. But at that time, of course, it sounded very, very ahead of its time. But this kind of atmosphere of tolerance. And that thing, john, was quite conducive for Francis David to become a very powerful speaker, about
monotheism, pure monarchies, because these seem like very interesting debates. Maybe you could give our viewers an idea of the actual content of debate. I started by some quick reference. For example, in one years, approximately after the decree of tolerance, that's in 1568, a Synod was called to establish as to whether the idea of Trinity and divinity of Jesus
is actually or actually both of them taught in the scriptures.
And this Senate, which continued for 10 days,
Francis, David was a very powerful speaker, and none of his opponents could disprove him.
When they feel they started abusing him, which convinced the king that David really was right, because of course, the when you start abusing someone without really being able to respond biological, or scriptural arguments, the king concluded that he must be right. At that time, the writings of servetus before him were already smuggled into Transylvania, and translated into local languages. And it spread quite a bit and that gave some strength and power to the Unitarians.
One years later, that's in 1669. In another Senate, was held in Hungary, which was attended by the kangan. The high ranking civil and military leaders which many
Historians regard as an absolute victory, really, and vindication of unitarianism.
Well, Dr. bit on what were David's main arguments, the content itself? Yes. Well, first of all, he tried to explain that the Trinity, which has been embraced by the pope in Rome, is indeed believing in four or five gods,
which is God, three persons, each, the father of the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
each one of which each one of the three is said to be good. And one man, Jesus, who is also regarded as God. And when he put it even more dramatic way that that leads to this multiplicity, the notion of Trinity.
And then he said, that there is only one God, that is the Father,
for whom, and by whom is everything, there is nothing in between, not that God, the Father created the world through someone else know, from whom, and by whom is everything. And he said, He that is the Father, or the one God is, above all, He is the creator of all. And he created everything, through his words, of wisdom, and a breath of his mouth, of course, he's speaking allegorically here.
And as such, there are no three substance or persons, because he says, the Bible, nowhere teaches anything about a triple God, as he called it. And then he went on,
to criticize the church. And he said, The church is God's Son, referring to Jesus, peace be upon him, who is supposed to be born, of the substance of God from eternity is something that doesn't have any support from the Scripture, it's not mentioned anywhere.
And that the idea of the Gods Son, that is, the second person who came from heavens, and became flesh is human invention.
I'm not sure here when he says, This is not in description, whether he means the entire Bible, or refers to the Old Testament. Because of course, the gospel of john it says the Word became flesh. So I don't know whether it's fitting to the Old Testament, which Jesus came to confirm, or to be his understanding or interpretation, even of what john said. But in any case, he says that, after all, Christ did not create himself. But it is the father of God, who gave him eminence. And as such,
the relationship between Christ and God is a relationship which is given to him by God. In other words, he is not cut himself, he was given that relationship by God, who alone remains, that is God, divine and above all, above everyone, including Jesus.
This debate continued for five days. And it was a clear victory for the monotheistic faith. And as a result, actually, the leader of the Lutheran Church was warned not to try to persecute people or convert them by force, or try to burn to burn books.
At the end of the debate, Francis David summed up his argument, in the following words, quote,
I followed the line of scriptures, but my opponents hidden in a bag.
They turned light into darkness, when they made three of the Father,
gods, and two of Christ probably refers to a Christ, Christ being God and man.
And then he continued,
indicating that these people were self contradictory, that they are unable to present their belief as a whole. And then he concluded, and I quote, nevertheless, they will see that even against their will, God will prove his truth.
These, these appear to be very interesting debates. I'd be interested to know
that the impact of all this was on the audience, the people, the impact was very great. Some scholars say that as a result of this debate, almost the entire city it's called collared sergeant's K or l o g. s AR culture, believed in the One God they become manifest in our understanding became practically Muslims daily.
The idea that not only limited self, to the city but in the countryside, also this Unitarian notion spread to the point that unitarianism became one of the protected four protected religions which are protected by law
And by 1571. It is it is estimated by some historian that they were some 500 Unitarian congregation in Pennsylvania alone.
But in that year also, that's 1571. King john was very tolerant. And of course this kind of free debate died.
His successor, however, it can Steven,
reverse this policy of freedom of conscience and toleration. And he began to support the Catholic and make life very miserable for the Unitarians.
Under this pressure, we find that some of the leaders of Unitarians compromise the left hand bit, some, like David, Francis, David, remain steadfast. In fact, David began to distribute his leaflets, despite of all the spheres, and basically summarized his belief succinctly in the following way. He said, first of all,
we should be strict,
and our should in the common, our strict, meaning, believe that no one should be invoked, except God, who is the father and the creator of the universe. Secondly, that Jesus, peace of peace be upon him is a teacher of truth. And he taught exactly the same thing that should not invoke any name, but the name of the Heavenly Father.
Three, that three invocation must be paid to the Father, both in spirit and in truth. Firstly, that the forms of prayer should be directed not to Christ, but only to the Father to God, which is perhaps a very good summary of the purity of monotheistic faith. Now, what the reversal of the policy of tolerance, how have they been treated?
When the king, king Stephen, by the time of course, was a Catholic king, he decided to put David under arrest, house arrest, and he was so young, and to prevent anyone from seeing him. David knew that before the order was issued. So he began to preach in as many places as he could in public squares, everyplace. And he thought people frankly about his impending arrest, saying that ultimately the world would realize that God is one. And indeed, he was arrested, and he was sentenced to life imprisonment, that's much better than bending
life imprisonment. After five months of suffering in the prison, he died in November of 1579, and was buried like a criminal in unmarked,
grave. After his death, the number of Unitarians in Pennsylvania continues actually
decreased a little bit because of the lack of, you know, their spiritual leadership. However, it began to increase the number of Unitarians in southern Hungary. And the main reason as we have seen before, again, was the toleration of the Turkish Turkish ruler because it was under their rule at that time. And the Islamic law allows them not only the freedom of worship, but as we know, even the person and law was permitted for the the minorities. Under the Turkish rule, this Unitarians enjoy peace for nearly one century, until the Turkish war began to decline, where people were forced either to the Catholics or to be violently persecuted, or Cameron tells us a solitary have. So we'd
like to thank you very much for joining us here in this time of focus. Thank you, Dr. billowing. And as usual, any questions or comments, please
join us we'll be putting in your screen.