I came from a very strict and exacting religious background, which is why I left it at 17. My conversion to Christianity wasn't exactly an 'aha' moment, nor was it a 'road to Damascus' experience like St. Paul. The process was slow and winding, with lots of aversions and trips up and down dark alleys. I briefly thought I was athiest, but no matter how hard I tried, Jesus wouldn't let me stay there. When I discovered Buddhism, I thought I might be agnostic until I discovered Hinduism. Indeed it was my affection for Hindus that allowed me to be open to Eastern Orthodoxy, for Hinduism (which is really an umbrella term for a vast panapoly of beliefs), makes use of prayer beads, incense, and pictures of gurus. Each time I thought I found a home, Jesus would let the rains come to show me that it was built on sand. I don't quite remember what it was, exactly, that turned my focus on Christianity, but I seem to recall Kyriacos Markides' book Riding With the Lion in which he talks about his 'mystical' experiences with both Hinduism and Eastern Christianity. I thought, 'Eastern Christianity?' I had never heard of such a thing. I began investigating and when I read his follow up book The Mountain of Silence I knew that's where I would eventually end up. I glossed over a lot, but I trust that gives you a decent snapshot.
Thank you for this account. May one ask where in this was your Muslim period and how long it lasted? Was your "very strict and exacting religious background" a Christian one? I'm just trying to understand your explorations as it were. Thank you.
Quite right, but I still wish to point out that the original question was 'why should they?' and not 'why would they?', which is actually the better question to the points you are making. I'm not trying to be difficult, but that 'katana' thing works both ways.
Well, here I think that "should" is the right word. Since from your previous posts you think that Jewish people and Muslim people *ought* to become Christian (and there by deny/drop the beliefs they presently hold.) it is, in effect, "You should become Christian." and any reasons given are the "Why should they do that" support. If I tell one of my children that they should do something that I believe is a good thing and they don't agree they might ask "why should I" which is different from "would". If your reasons or "proofs" or examples do not convince another person, they are quite understandably not going to do what *you* think they ought to do.
Thank you for the overview of some of the parts of Islam. I know them, but other readers here may not.
You're quite right again when you say that telling you 'a' is true when you believe 'x' to be true will not convince you. But I was trying to say (rather poorly I guess), that a well reasoned discussion coupled with a lifetime of examples, that is, me watching you live your faith, rather than bonking me over the head with countless theology arguments, along with prayer, is the best way to go about it. And if a person absolutely refuses to listen, then the word 'stubborn' is aptly applied.
A "lifetime of examples"? There are century upon century of bad examples, and plenty of the same thing happening even today. (the "Protocols", "Jewish Conspiracies", and more). Why should one person (who they likely have not known for a "lifetime" but months or years if that) think that *they* can counter that. Also, the other person is not watching "you live your faith" but seeing only bits of it when you interact with them. A Christian can be charitable and another can be uncharitable. You might say that the second person is not *really* being a Christian, but that is probably not what the non-Christian sees.
Well, let me answer this with a personal story. I had Christians tell me, when I was Muslim, that Muhammad copied the Qur'an from the Old Testament and then made up the rest. Of coarse, this type of approach is childish and tells me more about that Christian than it does the Muslim. Then I had Christians whom never argued with me, and never asked me the ridiculous question of 'If you died tonight...". Instead, they showed me Christ by being my friend and loving me. I can say that in my case, I was being stubborn. You're quite right to say that this isn't the norm, but at least know that it is a possibility.
And I acknowledge that that is your possibility. But applying *your* views to myriad other Human Beings is not taking their individual beliefs and behaviours into account. You do not know what they have experienced, what their interactions with Christians have been, how they were treated. You being nice to another person for some hours every so often may not be enough to counter years of being harassed or called "Christ-killer" or other epithets or the knowledge that one's ancestors were murdered by those who also called themselves Christian.
Well, just off the top of my head, I suppose the story of Oskar Schindler works very well here. I'm positive you've at least heard of 'Schindler's List' by Stephen Speilberg?
Yes, I know of that movie as well as some of the real Oskar Schindler. I also know of the Garden of the Righteous and the "Righteous among the Nations" at Yad Vashem in Israel. These are persons who are recognized by Jews as those who helped. http://www1.yadvashem.org/righteous/temp_righteous/temp_index_recently_honored.htmlhttp://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/righteous.html
Some died to help Jewish people. The actions of one person helps and those of another harm. They don't somehow "cancel" each other. The memories, the knowledge, the wounds or hope are still part of a person's life.
Maybe some good examples would help "convince" but maybe not.
Indeed they will. But try to convince I must.
But will you also see each person that you seek to convince/convert as just as much of a human being as you are? And, I'm not trying to be difficult here, this is a serious question to get some thought: Why do you want to convince them? I'm not being argumentative. Sometimes people do things that they may not have a good answer to the "why". Why did you become a muslim? You said you left your early upbringing at 17. Why? Why did you then become Christian? Were you rejecting one thing or drawn to something else? Why do you want others be be Christian? To have more in your group? Because you know what's best? Understanding the reasons behind actions can be very helpful.
Actually, I think you're just a stubborn person. Of coarse I'm kidding you now . I must say that while I don't disagree with you here, when I read your tag line 'the katana of reasoned discussion' or something like that, I thought "This guy is nothing but an argumentative blow-hard".
<insert emoticon of one raised eyebrow>
Being an "argumentative blow-hard" is not *reasoned* though. It would seem that you perhaps made an ummm assumption based on my not agreeing with you. It can be quite reasoned to not accept another persons opinions and unsupported assertions without question.
That part of my sig is a handle that I got from the name generator of the "Unitarian Jihad" a good while ago. This is a humourous idea, in which such names as "Broadsword of Warm Humanitarianism" and "Neutron Bomb of Courteous Debate" and "Trebuchet of Compassion" are taken by "followers". See here:http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/04/08/DDG27BCFLG1.DTL
Due to my interest in Japan as well as my habit of logic and support of points, I found the "handle" that came up for me fitting, shall we say.
(I'm not a Vulcan. I just play one on the 'Net.)
I don't see that as necessarily so now, and I don't wanna tell you what to call yourself, but maybe a slightly better tag line would be "Come, let us reason together" found in Isaiah(?).
A good passage to be sure as long as "reasoning together" is not taken to be automatic agreement or unchalleged assertions.