Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Friday, March 04, 2011

Dwight Nelson and Allah

I often wonder when listening to some Adventist Pastors how totally out of touch with the world around them they are. This week brought several elements, together that really should focus us on some of these leadership problems in Adventism.

First a bit of sad news as reported on the First Things Website:
Shahbaz Bhatti was a Catholic and a Pakistani minister for the defense of minorities who dedicated his life to the “struggle for human equality, social justice, religious freedom, and to uplift and empower the religious minorities’ communities.” He was assasinated yesterday because of his opposition to the country’s blasphemy law:
Watch his testimony recorded before his death with the instruction to be published if he died:

Last week I received an email of a letter or article by someone who had a problem with the emerging church, it was not specific and was pretty much the usual they don't have the truth so they must be against us view. So I thought I would look up the author and see what else he wrote. He is pretty much a run of the mill Traditional SDA of dubious interpretation abilities but I did discover something interesting. On a website where he has some articles I found this article entitled “SDA Pastor Dwight Nelson says "Allah is GOD" and that "ALLAH IS THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE

The article by Phil Moore correctly points us to the following:
In a sermon on Sabbath Dec. 11, 2010, Dr. (Pastor) Dwight Nelson of Pioneer Memorial SDA Church told the world on air, 3ABN and via the Internet that: "Allah is the name of the LIVING GOD; ALLAH IS THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE."

This sermon was titled "Star Still Rising Over Islam" ...
After listening to the suggested area I saw that Phil Moore had given a accurate description of what Pastor Nelson said. Moore's analysis I will leave to you to read if you are interested, it did not strike me as anything special so I will offer up my view on Nelson's statements. While you can download the file from the above link I will give you a transcript of the relevant statements.
Leading me to this question. (unintelligible) If God was able to shine the light of truth upon those children of the East [wise men at Jesus birth] Those sons of Ishmael 2000 years ago come folks think with me could he not would he not be doing the same today? Among the same people's of the East? By the millions are there not honest hearted seekers after truth in the Muslim faith too? Huh? And if the answer is yes and by the way I believe the answer is yes then does it not follow that Bethlehem not Rome ought to be our example today? And that instead of alienating the children of the East with our anti Islamic rhetoric we ought to be at the forefront of a movement that seeks to share with them the light that shines upon both of our communities of faith.

I recently listened to a series of CD lectures given by the late Dr. Robert Darnell a member of our community of faith, an expert on Islamic studies, he's an anthropologist. In which he carefully chronicled how that the Koran teaches the seeds of every divine truth that you and I embrace. The seeds are all there. It was Darnell's lifelong mission and conviction cultivate those seeds in dialog with the children of the East and in an hour of history when the West is turning against those children ought we not to be the first to raise up our voices in their behalf?
Think. Why shouldn't we? For what if, by the way that story of Christmas could hardly let us do otherwise could it? What if the spirit the mighty spirit of Allah by the way I got some letters from viewers after that last teaching, and one viewer said don't you know that the name Allah is a name for Lucifer? I hope you never never never never never embrace that. Allah listen carefully now Allah is closer to Elohim the Hebrew name for god then is our English word god. In fact hold on to your seats the English name for god is a Nordic pagan god. We have taken a pagan god's name and we've said that is the name of our God. And we all call him god. That's a pagan a Nordic pagan myth. So don't you ever get pushed into the corner where your saying Allah is a demonic name, Allah is the name of the living God. Allah is the creator of the Universe, Allah is the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ishmael Jethro, Job and even Baalim.

What if through dreams the mighty spirit of Allah is raising up a movement within Islam in preparation for the Messiah's return. Would we not want to partner with that mission? I want to end with a story...
The main thing we should deal with are as follows:
--the Koran teaches the seeds of every divine truth that Christians embrace.
--Allah is closer to Elohim the Hebrew name for god then is our English word god
--the English name for god is a Nordic pagan god.
--We have taken a pagan god's name
--Allah is the god of the Old Testament folks.

First does the Koran teach the seeds of every divine truth that Christians embrace? Read John chapter One. The Word became flesh and lived among us. That Jesus Christ is God, does the Koran teach that Jesus was God incarnate or that Jesus was a great prophet who did not die on the cross and who never was resurrected from the dead? The central core of Christianity is who is Christ yet here we have an SDA pastor telling us that the seed of the central core of Christianity is found in the Koran which even though written 600 years after the time of the New Testament denies Christ to be God or to have died on the cross and the resurrection.

Which means either Pastor Nelson is willingly ignorant of the Koran or he is lying or what he means by seeds is something like a concept that is present in such a tiny way that it is infinitesimal. Now think about this, the Koran is written hundreds of years after the New Testament and thousands of years after the Old Testament, would you really expect a divine addendum of truth to discredit the previous inspiration or to offer only seeds of what was previously clearly expressed? See more in the article Revisiting the Quran’s gross errors concerning Christian theology

Allah and Elohim are related, but they are both words from paganism since paganism predates all monotheistic religions, even if one believes there was always one true religion they were it seems outnumbered by the surrounding cultures. In the article Is the Word Allah Similar to Elohim? by Penny Warren B.A., M.A., D.D we read the following:

The Hebrew title of God is "Elohim;" in Arabic it's "Allah." These two words for God have a common bond that most people don't understand. Both of these words have their origin in pagan deities of the ancient past...

Webster’s Dictionary gives the definition and etymology of Allah as follows. Allah is the Muslim name for "the God." Allah is derived from two words "al," which means "the" and "ilah," which is related to the feminine Hebrew word for God, "eloah."
Now the Hebrew title or name for God is 'Elohim' and it is the plural form of eloah. It is made plural by adding "im," which is masculine. This corresponds to adding "s" to make a word plural in English. So the commonality between Allah and Elohim is "eloah" and "ilah."
According the Huston Smith’s book The World’s Religions (p. 222), it states: "Allah is formed by joining the definite article al meaning ‘the’ with Ilah (God). Literally, Allah means ‘The God.’ … When the masculine plural ending im is dropped from the Hebrew word for God, Elohim, the two words sound much alike." Eloah (Hebrew feminine) is similar to Ilah (God). Both Elohim and Allah are titles and not names.
Most Christians should know by know how frequently the “El” term is used in the Old Testament for various gods and in peoples names honoring their god.
Elohim (אֱלהִים) is a plural formation of eloah, the latter being an expanded form of the Northwest Semitic noun il (אֱל, ʾēl [1]). It is the usual word for "God" in the Hebrew Bible, referring with singular verbs both to the one God of Israel, and also in a few examples to other singular pagan deities. With plural verbs the word is also used as a true plural with the meaning "gods".[2]
Is the god the name of a Nordic pagan deity? The short answer is no, in the following article
 Oddly, the exact history of the word God is unknown. The word God is a relatively new European invention, which was never used in any of the ancient Judaeo-Christian scripture manuscripts that were written in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek or Latin.

According to the best efforts of linguists and researchers, the root of the present word God  is the Sanskrit word hu which means to call upon, invoke, implore.
Nonetheless, it is also interesting to note the similarity to the ancient Persian word for God which is Khoda.
The following is a survey of some of the efforts of those who have been trying to decipher the ancient roots of the word God:
What is nice about this article is that it then quotes multiple reference works, you don't have to go all over the place, just scroll down the page. 

Of course the whole concept of god means that there will be overlap between any and every superhuman being in whatever country or culture. The obnoxious thing about Pastor Nelson is he ignores this simple fact so that he can denigrate god in English because we don't speak Aramaic or Hebrew and those two language that we don't use, are closer being they were near to each other in origins.

It is hard to even formulate an argument against such foolish ideas as Pastor Nelson presents. It is as if he desires to ignore the hatred and cruelty through much of the Islamic world, he acts as if when we observe the cruelty and violence it is anti-Islamic rhetoric. Well the fact is there is a lot of problems going on in the world of Islam and Pastors like Nelson do nothing to help the situation with fictional facts and intentional distortions of the truth. He should be ashamed of himself and if he wants to deal with something a little closer to the heart of Adventism's love of eschatology he might consider the Islamic tradition of the 12th Imam and it's possible connection to the Christian conception of the anti-Christ. 
Speaking of the news, only this last week Louis Farrakhan stated that the Great Mahdi is present in the world now.
This is a sign that The Great Mahdi that the Muslim world has been looking for is present in the world. That “The Christ” that you hoped for, “The Christ” that you longed for is present in the world. And all tyrants will be set down—God is stimulating the rise of the masses, and soon it will come to America's shores. Indeed it has already begun.


Shane said...

I watched that sermon of Dwight Nelson. Also, I have listened to an audio file of Robert Darnell's statement regarding the "seeds" of what Adventists believe. I think that what Dwight Nelson's point was, is that we should not judge people's intent of seeking and worshiping the living God based upon the name that they use for the Creator. Also, what Dr Darnell said was that the seeds for what we as Adventists believe, can be found in the Qur'an. Meaning Sabbath, clean and unclean foods, soul sleep, the return of the Messiah (though none of these doctrines are as thoroughly explicated as in the Bible). Dwight Nelson's point was that we must not give ourselves to believing that people that are truly seeking the living God to the best of their means (light?) are worshiping demons. After all, who was Cornelius worshiping, what name did he use? Is it not the Living God that gives these truth seekers addressing Allah, revelations of Jesus Christ that we know, love and worship?

Dr Darnell's assertion was that the Qur'an can be used to lead Muslims into the light of the true Gospel found only in the Bible and that a careful search and study of the Qur'an can bring traditional Muslim views of Jesus in line with what the Bible says.

Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Chule said...

I'll second what Shane said. I have had a 180 degree turn on what "traditional" Adventist views have been towards Islam. Darnell claimed to be able to teach all our fundamental beliefs from the Qur'an except the Spirit of Prophecy which he said Muslims would need to find in the Book of Revelation as it prophesies of Muhammad in chapt 9. The Great Controversy is more clearly taught in the Qur'an. I can't find the late Dr. Darnell's messages online anymore but you can find them on CD at StrawberryMeadowAssociationDOTcom. I challenge anyone to prayerfully listen for themselves and then review Nelson's message.

Ron Corson said...

It would be nice if we had in writing some of Dr. Darrell's so called seeds. But it is hardly worthwhile to quote him when all we have is some audio we have to purchase. Of course "seeds" means practically nothing, a seed may look nothing like the full plant or tree. It is simply a claim. That the Koran takes much of it's information from the Bible is widely known, but then I suppose we could say the same thing for the The Satanic Bible by Anton LeVey.

daniel said...

Allah of the Qur'an says emphatically that he has no son. God of the Bible says emphatically that he has a son.

Which one is lying?

Anonymous said...

Hi. I have a different perspective and I do agree with Dwight Nelson.

Here's why:


1. Every Muslim believes that Jesus is the Christ (Greek word for Messiah - which means anointed one in Aramaic). It is a fundamental tenet that we believe in all the messengers of God. We believe in his miracle birth and we believe that the virgin Mary, his mother, is one of the best example for every Muslim women on how a woman should be in devotion to her God. We believe Jesus came with a message given to him by God Almighty to send to the Jewish people - especially the Pharisees and Jewish leaders who put unbearable yolks on the Jewish people who had no religious knowledge.

John 17: 3-4 “And eternal life means knowing You the ONLY true God, and knowing Jesus Christ, whom you sent..."

John 5:24 “Those who hear my words and believe in Him who sent me, have eternal life”

Jesus came to point us to worship God. Jesus came with the TRUTH(Message; Word) to show us the WAY and by our following his example - we attain LIFE - eternally. Jesus always pointed us to God; the One who sent him.

2. Jesus was Jewish and did NOT come with a new RELIGION. He adhered to the Torah and ALL the laws and DID NOT teach anyone to disobey God's laws:

- Matt 5:17-18 “Do not think that I have come to remove the law and the prophets. I have come to fulfill them. I tell you this; as long as the heaven and the earth last, not one letter of the law will change until it is fulfilled” (Jesus’ words)

- Deuteronomy 4: 2 “Do not add anything to what I command you, and do not take anything away. Obey the commands of the Lord your God that I have given you” (Moses’ words)

3. Jesus prayed to the God that all other prophets prayed to. There is no verse in the Bible where Jesus says from his own mouth "I am God, worship me". Nor is there any verse where Jesus says from his own mouth that I am fully human and fully God. All these teachings came well after Jesus and - and EVIDENCE backs this up.

Ron Corson said...

Oh come on. What does the Muslim Religion teach happened to Jesus. Does it believe in His Resurrection? What does the Muslim religion teach about Abraham and Issac? Jesus as you say taught the torah. The Torah does not have the same story as the Muslim believe concerning Abraham and Isaac and Ismael.

Christians do not believe that Jesus Christ is a Prophet. Their belief is that He is One with God see the beginning of John Chapter 1. There are marked differences between the Christian and Muslim belief about God and about the Old Testament.

Your examples are the same examples that the Arians used in the early centuries of the Christian church, the Arian view lost. It is not the Christian view.

dan dolgoruky said...

hi guys,
the message of Dr. nelson is absolute blasphemy and apostasy. any one who believes in that sermon is deceived. here is why.

according to albert pike's(33 degree freemason) morals and dogma.the high masons,thats the 30th,31st,32nd and 33rd degrees knows for sure that they worship lucifer which is another name for satan.

james D shaw was a 33 degree freeamson who later converted to christianity and in his book the deadly deception tells us in a nutshell what his oath was when he was inititaed into the thirty third degree. he says that he swore with the quran and not the bible and he swore under the name of allah who now he knew very well to be satan and lucifer.

now if the thirty third degree freemasons have told us that the name allah is lucifer and satan at the same time, how can as seveth day adventists be deceived hook line and sinker to believe that allah is the same god as the God of the bible?

the allah of the quran and the God of the bible are contrary to each other and cannot be in harmony in any way.

from kenya

Anonymous said...

Shane has the Christlike attitude.

The Qur'an is a recitation of Muhammad. So if Muhammad says Allah has no son, we can't blame him since what he saw from the generation of Christianity of his time was not monotheism but paganism where Church traditions become the authority for doctrine allowing idolatry (in all its forms) to become a way of life.


Nevertheless, Muhammad called people to a reformatory movement against IDOLATRY. In his days it is understandable how in medieval arabic language Muhammad will call after the true "DEITY" that he called people to worship alone. "ALLAH" is simply arabic for "GOD" "ELOHIM/ELOAH" and "THEOS" it literally means "THE DEITY" or "THE GOD"

Muhammad identifies himself with this true deity through the faith of Abraham who served and worshipped the only true Deity/God.

So why do people resort to bigotry when they find inconsistencies from Muhammad's testimony when it was the Christians of Muhammad's time who MISREPRESENTED THE GODHEAD?

One can see through the Noble Qur'an the gospel of Christ if they read in the spirit its testimonies (I agree, not everything Muhammad recited was inspired)without prejudices. It's just that our Muslim brethren were also caught up into TRADITIONS not solely based on the Noble Qur'an. Islam is rather a spiritual walk while Mohammedanism is essentially cultish when people follow more of Muhammad's traditions instead of sole Divine will.

Anonymous said...

Today's DISAGREEMENTS between Christendom & Islam is much like yesterday's DISAGREEMENTS between the Jews & Samaritans where Jesus at Jacob's well with a woman of Samaria brought the issue a perfect resolution in saying,

"There will come a time that the worshippers of God will worship Him in the SPIRIT."

John chapter 4:
19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

A Christlike attitude... NOT BIGOTRY, is the way our Muslim brethren can see the light of the gospel that can be understood from many of the testimonies from the Noble Qur'an. The name Allah is simply arabic for calling out the DEITY whom Abraham served and worshipped. Of course Muhammad was a medieval arab what language is he obliged to use in calling his people to worship the CREATOR GOD alone and shun away from their idolatries?

BIGOTRY cannot be true religion!

Ron Corson said...

Yes. to disagree with you is bigotry. What foolishness. Muhammad was not only disagreeing with the Christian Bible and the Jewish Bible. To claim that he did not know any better because the Christianity of the first 600 years after Christ is again foolishness. It strikes of rationalization.

But rationalization seems to be the mode of making Muslim and Christianity the same...all you have to do is ignore the facts, for those who don't ignore the facts you can just call them bigots!

Anonymous said...

No one here is making Christianity one and the same with Islam. Bigots truly do not have the disposition to understand other people's conviction, they are like the pupil of the eye when more light is shed on it the more it narrows. God knows the heart, it is God alone who can tell who are the true in faith.

Ron Corson said...

No one here is trying to make Christianity the same as Islam. Good then I take it won't hear anymore about how Islam and Christianity have the same God because just because the term God is used does not make it refer to the same God. The God of the Jews is not the God of the Greeks. Zeus maybe called a God but that does not make him the God of the Jews or the Christians or Muslims. So people need to stop playing that game.

By the way you are correct that bigots don't see the other side of things. so maybe you should stop using the term until you can be certain that you yourself are not being a bigot in your usage of the term bigot.

Ron Corson said...

I am just going to delete posts that call everything bigotry. It is just a waste of peoples time to read that. Make a case or shut up name calling is not worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

You deleted the post because it is truthful and because the Bible shows the error in people.

Ron Corson said...

No deleted because you don't know how to make an argument without resorting to pejoratives.

Anonymous said...

There is but one true God, with one character and is revealed through his Holy Spirit, we are all children of the living God and have access to him through Christ Jesus, Amen and Amen!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Seeing as though the Catholic church commissioned/wrote the quran, Mr Nelsons points are mute.

He is a false teacher and most likely a Jesuit plant.