Monday, February 24, 2014
Son of God and the Crusaders of 13 May?
Christians and Muslims basically share the same history. They share the same prophets, with exception of Muhammad, for the Christians. The Christians believe that Jesus is the son of God while Muslims believe that Jesus is just another prophet, a human in every way, just like Muhammad.
Regardless of this little but significant difference, Muslims and Christians both like to make religion as the world’s matter, not a personal matter.
And of all the things in common of the two religions, there is one thing that the Christians have but the Muslims don’t, that is, power. The Christians gain power through knowledge. To put it in short: ‘Bright is Might’ and ‘Might is Right’, therefore, ‘Bright is Right’. At least, that’s how the world sees it which is why, people of other religions in Malaysia, such as Buddhists or Hindus, look up on the Christians and ‘want to be like’ the Christians. And it just so happened that the Christians represent the Mat Sallehs.
This is why it important to be bright because when you are bright everybody would say that you are right, even when you are wrong.
Even so, the ‘brighter and mightier Christians’ have issues with the Bibles, just like the Muslims with their Quran. The Muslims find that there are so many versions of Quran’s interpretation that some of them think Kassim Ahmad is a ‘kafir’ and some don’t think so. Some thinks that the Shiites are non-Muslims but some don’t think so.
Like the Muslims, the Christians are divided into so many churches of beliefs with three most common ones: Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestants.
Naturally, the Catholics think that they are hollier than the Protestants and the Orthodox and vice versa; and forever they disagree with each other on little things such as ‘what actually happened during Jesus’s Last Supper’.
Being the ones with power, the Christians have the ‘strength’ to come out with million-dollar movies to promote the religion and their versions of the truth. Over the years, there are few movies about Jesus Christ, eg. ‘Jesus’, “Passion of Christ’ and the up and coming soon, ‘Son of God’.
All of these movies had sparked controversies among Christians. The Passion of Christ, for instance, was said to be made by Catholics and so, the Evangelicals were a little uneasy, even ‘afraid’ to watch the movie.
The new movie ‘Son of God’ on the other hand, is said to be too Protestants and that the Catholics are called to not support the movie.
With all the fights with the Muslims over the name ‘Allah’ in Bibles, I foresee the ‘good Christians’ in Malaysia would be all too happy to embrace the controversy of the movie ‘Son of God’. The only difference is that, the Christians in Malaysia may not be looking at the movie from the Protestant’s, Catholic’s or Orthodox’s point of view, but rather from the Muslims’ point of view.
I’m not sure how many of the Malaysian Christians actually learn in-depth about which church to follow. Unlike the Mat Sallehs who firmly hold on to a particular version of Christianity with all their hearts, many Malaysians’ Chinese or Indian Christians I know, don’t really care about the many versions of Christians’ beliefs. They are not even interested to study it. All they want is to be Christians like the Mat Sallehs and who cares which version is the truth.
According to Wikipedia, the major Christian denominations in Malaysia include the Anglicans, Baptists, Brethren, non-denominational churches, independent Charismatic churches, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterian and Roman Catholics.
And for the record, among all these many Christians’ churches, the only parties that ‘permitted’ the word ‘Allah’ to be used in the Bibles is, the Catholics…and,..ironically, the Muslims’ liberalists.
The word ‘Allah’ in Bible had made headlines in the U.S too, some time ago. It created an uproar and strong objection from the Christians community all over.
In 2012, a Christian’s journal, ‘Christianity Today’, once wrote a cover story about it, “The Son and the Crescent”, whereby it received mounting protests on Christian websites and a petition to the translators by a consortium of Christian missionaries and leaders.
The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) then officially rebuked Wycliffe Bible Translators' approach to translating the phrase "Son of God" for Muslims, where it replaced ‘God’ with ‘Allah’. The church recommended that the small denomination's churches withdraw financial support from such Bible translations if they remain uncorrected. Wycliffe was risking the support from the 3-million-member Assemblies of God that it eventually agreed to a review of its practices by the World Evangelical Alliance.
Two years before that, on January 9, 2010, Pastor Brutus Balan from the Baptist Church in Australia also stated that, the church did not agree with Christians using the word ‘Allah’ to refer to ‘The Lord’.
The fact is clear that Christians in majority, protest the word ‘Allah’ in Bibles.
Since the movie ‘Son of God’ will be coming to our cinemas soon, I just cannot help wondering how the Malay-subtitles is going to be. Will they translate it to ‘Son of Allah’? Would the Christians really go to that extend just to intimidate the Malays?
I’m not surprised if they do because I heard that there are calls made to start a Holy War. It looks to me like the Christians here have gotten the Crusades and the 13 May tragedy all mixed-up.
If this is true that some Christians are calling for a Holy War, then be reminded that there is nothing holy about politicizing religion. Leave politics to the politicians and racial provocation to the racists. Christians should just focus on being a good Christians.