Fundamentals of the Christian Faith in the Light of the Gospels
by Maulana Sadr-ud-Din
The Righteous Have Always Existed in the World Says the Gospel: Enoch, too, is Alive in Heaven
“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him” (Hebrews, 11:5–6).
The Gospel calls Enoch as the near and dear one of God. And it is, therefore, unjustifiable and incorrect to profess and preach as a fundamental principle of faith that all the children of Adam are sinful, and that the only way to save and deliver them is to repose belief in the dogma of Atonement.
This sacred verse tells us that Enoch is alive in heaven, and the commandment of the Most High God in respect of him is that he shall not see death. If we should accept, for the sake of argument, the Christian claim that Jesus is alive in heaven wherefrom he will descend again on this earth, and then he will close his eyes in a sleep that knows no waking, it shall have to be admitted in all fairness that Enoch has been given a higher status than Jesus.
“Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God….; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God” (Hebrews 7:1–3).
Whereas, on the one hand, the position of Melchesidec appears to be much superior in every respect to that of Jesus, on the other hand, it also becomes decisively clear that human race is not corrupted with innate sin, that there have always been good and great men, and that some of them were even higher in status than Jesus Christ. The people of the Gospel should ponder over this very important question and see for themselves whether or not they have been setting at naught and repudiating the clear teaching of the Gospel.
Jesus is called son of Joseph, son of David and son of Abraham. It proves conclusively that Joseph was a good and righteous man, as was also Prophet David of whose throne Jesus was the rightful inheritor. Abraham is looked upon and regarded as their great progenitor by both the Jews and the Christians, and both take pride in calling themselves his progeny. Having accepted these great men as good and righteous and the near and dear ones of God, how can a sane and sensible man reconcile his conscience to the Christian notion that the whole of the human race is sinful by nature, and cannot be saved but by believing in Vicarious Atonement.
It was a matter of belief with Jesus that the whole of the human race is not sinful, since both good and bad people are always found among all the nations of the world, and the sinners can return to the Right Path through repentance and become the dear ones of God. Jesus says that those who are healthy and “whole” need no physician, that is to say, those physically or spiritually sick can be cured by treatment, but there are, besides them, those who are sound in body and mind. Again, Jesus says that God’s sun shines upon the good and the bad, and His rain falls on both the righteous and the sinners. Turn to Matthew (5:44–45) and read:
“Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
To fly in the face of this clear and categorical teaching of Jesus, and believe in the dogma of Atonement, is but a great wrong.