"Testimony of Adel Mohammed El Naggar"
"As a former Muslim, I have often been asked the following questions:
'Why have you changed your religion from Islam to Christianity?' To which I often reply, While Islam is a religion Christianity is not. Christianity is a relationship of the highest order, for it is a relationship with our eternal and glorious creator. For as Jesus Christ declared; "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." (John 17:3). This word 'know' in the original language denotes a personal, or experiential knowledge. Therefore, in the context of the passage just referred to, Jesus is clearly stating that the eternal life, that he gives, (John 4:14, 5:21, 6:27), is nothing less than a personal, experiential relationship, between individuals, who have placed their faith in Jesus the Messiah, and God the Father and God the Son.
'What has Christianity got to offer that Islam does not?'. To which I reply, What has Islam got to offer that Christ does not? For Jesus promised, to all those who come to him, the forgiveness of sins through the shedding of his own precious blood, the divine power to overcome sin and temptation, a new nature, which now seeks to glorify God and to live in conformity to his will, the eternal security of those who place their faith and trust in him as the only way to reconciliation - between sinful humans and an infinitely holy God - His real abiding presence with the believer as they seek to love, follow and serve him and finally receive them into the glorious presence of the Triune God.
'Do I not feel shame for leaving Islam and becoming a Christian?' To which I unhesitantly answer No! Why? Because what I was before was, according to God's judgement, an enemy of God. This is due to my sinful thoughts, words and deeds, which are all fruits of my sinful nature. God, who is infinitely holy and upright and whose eyes cannot look upon evil, nor can He leave this evil completely undealt with, has declared himself to be a God of justice and the One who must punish those who do sin, and that we all are by nature the children of wrath under His just judgement and eternal damnation.
However, God has also revealed himself to be a 'gracious and compassionate God, One who is slow to anger and abounds in steadfast love and faithfulness' (Ex. 34:6) and who does not delight in the death of the wicked, (Ezek 18:23). Therefore, He has, on His own initiative, instigated a plan of redemption, whereby His justice may be fully honoured, vindicated and satisfied and his mercy clearly and publicly demonstrated. This plan is commonly referred to as the Gospel of God, (Rom 1:3), or the 'Good News' and has as been accomplished through the righteous life, the atoning death, the miraculous resurrection and the glorious ascension of the 'only mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men,' (1 Timothy 2:5-6).
But now I have received God's mercy and am no longer an enemy of God, but a child of God. I have come to believe upon him who is the core and the sum total of the Gospel, Jesus the Messiah. Therefore, "I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe." (Romans 1:16-17)
Finally, 'What would it take for you to come back to Islam?' To which I reply, Why would I want to go back to Islam? For, Jesus boldly says, "Truly Truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes in him who sent me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgement, but has passed out of death into life." (John 5:24) We see in these words a precious promise from Jesus. If we not only hear his words, and by implication believe them, but also believe in the one who sent Him, referring to his father, then we shall no longer come in to judgement. The judgement being the eternal wrath of God poured out on those who have sinned against God, and who have refused to believe or accept God's plan of redemption, namely Christ and him crucified, (John 3). This judgement is often spoken in the Bible in terms of 'death,' (Revelation 20:14, 21:8), and Jesus is saying that whoever places their trust in him and his Father have crossed over from death to life. They have escaped the judgement of the fires of hell and are eternally secure in the new life that God has given them.
Therefore, for me to return to Islam would be like the man who was trapped in a burning building*, and unable to help himself. But having been rescued by someone who was able to help him, promptly re-enters in to the fiery flames. I feel this to be an adequate image and therefore cannot imagine to return to Islam." -Adel Mohammed El Naggar (to be continued)
Note: JS357, Great King Rat, twhitehead, SwissGambit, Penguin, wolfgang59, CalJust, et al, "the man who was trapped in a burning building*..." is no longer a metaphorical fiction. His name is Adel Mohammed El Naggar; he's alive and well. -gb