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Author Topic: The Next Christian Response to Islam  (Read 6938 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: September 13, 2010, 12:47:17 PM »

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America's founding generation faced similar questions. In the article "The Founding Fathers and Islam," the Library of Congress's James Hutson tells how Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Benjamin Rush, and Richard Henry Lee (who made the motion in Congress that the colonies declare independence) argued for religious freedom for "Mahomitans" to make them feel welcome in the new nation.

Not everyone in that era welcomed Islam. One preacher proclaimed that the religion "breathes nothing but arms [and] is propagated by arms." Yet the president of Yale praised Islam for its strong morality. Islam, like Christianity, taught a system of future rewards and punishments. The architects of America welcomed Muslims because they deemed belief in a carrot-and-stick afterlife essential to their experiment in liberty. If the new state were to prosper, it had to attract moral citizens who worked hard, supported their families, and sacrificed for the common good.

American Christians can adopt the Founders' pragmatism. We can admire the modesty of even the most progressive Muslim women as they resist our amoral society's immodesty. We can affirm the piety that prays five times a day, gives alms, and fasts. We can applaud Muslim efforts to build strong families.

However, Christians must move beyond both fear and mere pragmatism. We must probe our own principles and ask what they lead us to do.
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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2010, 05:18:04 PM »

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We can admire the modesty of even the most progressive Muslim women as they resist our amoral society's immodesty.
And should we also admire an acceptance of, say, stoning as a punishment for a breach of immodesty?

Quote
We can applaud Muslim efforts to build strong families.
And should we applaud a society that, concluding that sex outside of marriage is unethical, has instead implemented marriages of only several hours duration in order to avoid such immorality?

Quote
However, Christians must move beyond both fear and mere pragmatism. We must probe our own principles and ask what they lead us to do.
True.  But with tolerance now apparently being the greatest virtue, we should probe our own conscience and ask what it is we're demanding that we tolerate.
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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2010, 06:07:03 PM »

The problem with Islam is not with individual Muslims but with its primary sources: the Qur’an, a text considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God (Arabic: الله‎, Allāh), and by the Prophet of Islam Muhammad's teachings and normative example (which is called the Sunnah in Arabic, and demonstrated in collections of Hadith). While having common elements with both Judaism and Christianity, Islam differs fundamentally from Christianity in the way it approaches adversity, among other factors. When Christians are asked to turn the other cheek, Islam does the opposite. Now, it is indeed true that many Christians have been as much or more barbaric as any Muslim towards enemies. However, the difference may be illustrated by the following: a Christian who kills for the propagation of the faith has sinned, while a Muslim who kills for the same reason is exalted--both conclusions are a result of applying the respective primary sources. Another problem is that Islamic primary sources make it very difficult for any Muslim to appear to criticize, however little, Islam or Prophet Mohammad. The difficulty lies in the fact that any such criticism may well be declared to be an insult or apostasy--either crime to be rectified by any Muslim with nothing but positive consequences. By the way, it really does not matter if the criticism is valid or not, or that it even took place: it only takes one of many Islamic religious leaders to so declare and there are always many devout Muslims who would happily slice off the head of the apostate or blasphemer. So, many Muslims are cowed into silence. Since silence normally means assent, it is hard for a casual observer to appreciate the "good" Muslim.
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2010, 09:36:47 PM »

I'm glad that in at least some threads we can be frank about the erroneous teachings of anti-Christian faiths like Islam. I've been having trouble in another thread from politically correct types who believe its rude to attack religions that teach hatred of Christ. I would include Islam in this, because although Islam claims to honor our Lord as a prophet, it in fact blasphemes Him by denying His Divinity.
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2010, 10:02:27 PM »

I'm glad that in at least some threads we can be frank about the erroneous teachings of anti-Christian faiths like Islam. I've been having trouble in another thread from politically correct types who believe its rude to attack religions that teach hatred of Christ. I would include Islam in this, because although Islam claims to honor our Lord as a prophet, it in fact blasphemes Him by denying His Divinity.

That's because Judaism doesn't teach hatred of Christ. You would not even know of such a concept as a Messiah without Judaism. It's the Christian Liturgy that continually mentions Jews, not the other way around. How many times are Jews mentioned in Orthodox Services? Multiple times, right? How many times are Christians or Jesus specifically mentioned in Jewish Services... None... Zero.. Zippo.

 Jews are merely scared of the knock on the door in the middle of the night and being dragged away .

Ya know, everyone has access to all the threads  Smiley   
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2010, 10:10:26 PM »

I'm glad that in at least some threads we can be frank about the erroneous teachings of anti-Christian faiths like Islam. I've been having trouble in another thread from politically correct types who believe its rude to attack religions that teach hatred of Christ. I would include Islam in this, because although Islam claims to honor our Lord as a prophet, it in fact blasphemes Him by denying His Divinity.

That's because Judaism doesn't teach hatred of Christ. You would not even know of such a concept as a Messiah without Judaism. It's the Christian Liturgy that continually mentions Jews, not the other way around. How many times are Jews mentioned in Orthodox Services? Multiple times, right? How many times are Christians or Jesus specifically mentioned in Jewish Services... None... Zero.. Zippo.

 Jews are merely scared of the knock on the door in the middle of the night and being dragged away .

Ya know, everyone has access to all the threads  Smiley   


Huzzah! I have an admirer on OC.NET! One who unfailingly goes through all my latest posts to learn any new wisdom that drops from my unworthy lips. I am sorry to say I don't reciprocate the admiration as yet, but if you have something interesting to say I'm sure you'll let me know.

You know, I bet the Muslims don't habitually talk about our Lord and Savior Christ in their services. And yet, that does not change the fact that their religion is wicked and responsible for the destruction of millions of souls.
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2010, 06:42:53 AM »

Great articles exposing the true nature and source of Islam:

http://answering-islam.org/authors/masihiyyen.html

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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2010, 06:46:11 AM »

I'm glad that in at least some threads we can be frank about the erroneous teachings of anti-Christian faiths like Islam. I've been having trouble in another thread from politically correct types who believe its rude to attack religions that teach hatred of Christ. I would include Islam in this, because although Islam claims to honor our Lord as a prophet, it in fact blasphemes Him by denying His Divinity.

Actually, multiple blasphemies:

Islam denies Christ's divinity.
Islam denies the authenticity of the Bible.
Islam denies Christ's atoning death.
Islam denies that Christ is Alpha and Omega.
(Muhammad said that he would be married to the Theotokos in heaven!)
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« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2010, 09:27:49 AM »

I'm glad that in at least some threads we can be frank about the erroneous teachings of anti-Christian faiths like Islam. I've been having trouble in another thread from politically correct types who believe its rude to attack religions that teach hatred of Christ. I would include Islam in this, because although Islam claims to honor our Lord as a prophet, it in fact blasphemes Him by denying His Divinity.

That's because Judaism doesn't teach hatred of Christ. You would not even know of such a concept as a Messiah without Judaism. It's the Christian Liturgy that continually mentions Jews, not the other way around. How many times are Jews mentioned in Orthodox Services? Multiple times, right? How many times are Christians or Jesus specifically mentioned in Jewish Services... None... Zero.. Zippo.

 Jews are merely scared of the knock on the door in the middle of the night and being dragged away .

Ya know, everyone has access to all the threads  Smiley   

Three times a day. The 12th benediction (in the present ordering) was inserted to curse the early Chrisitans. Gamaliel, whom the Talmud credits for inserting it, may have had a hand in diverting the Hebrew Tanakh from the LXX OT at Jamnia.  The Talmud also contains some choice things on Christ, the Theotokos and the Christians.
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« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2010, 09:37:36 AM »

I had an interesting conversation with my Doctor on Friday, the 10th. The Dr. is a middle-aged naturalized American who was an emigre from Romania during the Communist era, and not from an observant Orthodox family. I do know that her family lost all of their status and most of their property under the Communists as we have talked often about survival and moving forward in life. I brought up the issue of the Cordoba Center and the Quran burning 'pastor' in Florida in the context of 9/11. Since many of the medical professionals in our town (like in most areas in this country) are of Muslim background I expected her to espouse tolerance and compromise. I was surprised as to what she said.

She said that it was true that many of her colleagues are of a Muslim background and they were her friends. However, she said that you can't equate the attitudes of the educated middle and upper classes with the masses of ignorant poor in most Muslim lands. Her friends also fear that their second and third generation American children are tiring of our culture's materialism and nihilism and might turn to Islamic radicalism. She pointedly noted that her people (i.e. Romanians), and the other south Slavs, while harshly treated by the Russian communists in the post war era, had suffered a far crueler and devastating rule under the nearly 500 years of Ottoman occupation. Then, expecting that I didn't know the answer, she commented that Americans fail to understand the significance of the name 'Cordoba' as applied to the New York 'cultural center'. Being well aware of European history I said it was designed to send a similar message as would a Greek American sponsored 'Hagia Sophia Center for Cultural Diversity and Religious Understanding' in Istanbul, but that the Turks would get that message as opposed to most of us who don't know history.
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« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2010, 10:04:09 AM »

The problem with Islam is that it is a fundamentally violent religion.

I'm not going to deny that there are good, decent, normal people who are adherents to Islam. But the fact is, they are the "Protestants" of their faith. They do not understand the teachings of the Koran in the way the Koran wants to be understood.

The Koran does have peaceful parts, and it also has violent parts. It's no different from the Old Testament in that respect. The difference is that the Koran was written by one man, in chronological order, allegedly under direct dictation of God. The key is this: there is a verse in the Koran (I don't recall where) that says that if any teachings contradict, the later one takes precedence. It just so happens that the violent parts are towards the end, and the peaceful parts are toward the beginning.

So as I understand it, a Muslim who truly takes his faith seriously cannot read the Koran the way we read the Bible, basing everything on its context. Everything must be taken according to the whole, and that means most of the peaceful teachings were nullified later as Islam became more violent.

The other problem is the concept of tiqbah (?), whereby Muslims can lie if it somehow furthers their religion. So, many of the violent Muslims will also say Islam is peaceful, and they will point out the earlier teachings of peace, and conveniently leave out the fact that those teachings are nullified. Or deny the fact outright, if called on it.

We should pray for the salvation of Muslims, we should respect their right to hold such beliefs in private, and we shouldn't harass them by burning Korans, but we must understand that it is an evil and parasitic religion. Misguided attempts by Christians to present it as a good religion only play into the demonic forces at work and weaken our claim to holding absolute truth.
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« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2010, 10:08:46 AM »

I'm glad that in at least some threads we can be frank about the erroneous teachings of anti-Christian faiths like Islam. I've been having trouble in another thread from politically correct types who believe its rude to attack religions that teach hatred of Christ. I would include Islam in this, because although Islam claims to honor our Lord as a prophet, it in fact blasphemes Him by denying His Divinity.

That's because Judaism doesn't teach hatred of Christ. You would not even know of such a concept as a Messiah without Judaism. It's the Christian Liturgy that continually mentions Jews, not the other way around. How many times are Jews mentioned in Orthodox Services? Multiple times, right? How many times are Christians or Jesus specifically mentioned in Jewish Services... None... Zero.. Zippo.

 Jews are merely scared of the knock on the door in the middle of the night and being dragged away .

Ya know, everyone has access to all the threads  Smiley   


Huzzah! I have an admirer on OC.NET! One who unfailingly goes through all my latest posts to learn any new wisdom that drops from my unworthy lips. I am sorry to say I don't reciprocate the admiration as yet, but if you have something interesting to say I'm sure you'll let me know.

You know, I bet the Muslims don't habitually talk about our Lord and Savior Christ in their services. And yet, that does not change the fact that their religion is wicked and responsible for the destruction of millions of souls.

Don't flatter yourself. If you refer to me, don't be so surprised if answer.

So here is your logic as I understand it from your posts:

Christianity is the religion of Love. Love thy neighbor as thyself. The way to Love God is by loving your neighbor. Love your enemies.

You think Jews don't subscribe to that religious philosophy so therefore it's fine to hate them, have malice towards them and wink at genocide directed towards them.

So in your twisted logic, if people don't follow a Golden Rule type of religion, they are an exception for you and therefore it's okay to revile them.

How dumb is that?

Did you miss large parts of your catechism or Sunday School classes? Were you out with the flu?

And to make this even dumber. It isn't even true. The Christian religious philosophy of Love and the Golden Rule is taken directly from Judaism. The philosophy preached by Jesus Christ is completely Jewish is nature, through and through, and his philosophical teachings predate him.

Nice work.
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« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2010, 10:21:51 AM »

Just as Mormons in America are not suppose to advocate polygamy, I think Muslims in America shouldn't be allowed to advocate Sharia Law.

If we make Sharia Law illegal in this country then everything should be ok.
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« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2010, 11:04:54 AM »


You know, I bet the Muslims don't habitually talk about our Lord and Savior Christ in their services. And yet, that does not change the fact that their religion is wicked and responsible for the destruction of millions of souls.

Exactly who are you to judge that millions of souls have been destroyed because they are followers of Islam? Exactly how do you know this to be the case?

What is so ironic about your statement is that Muslims would claim the exact same thing about you as an Orthodox Christian. In which case you would claim "but they are wrong!" Well they claim "you're wrong!" And so the beginnings of religious dispute is laid down, both claiming to be on "God's side!"

Maybe we should all, both Muslim and Christian, just leave the judgment of people's souls up to God on the Last Day and worry about our own soul, as opposed to saying such things as someone's religion is "wicked" and is responsible for the destruction of millions of souls. Even if everything you say is exactly correct, how do you think a Muslim feels when they hear such things? I would assume he feels the same way you feel when you here a Muslim "blaspheme" Christ. Not very good, nor very convinced that you would want to be part of a religion which teaches such things.

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« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2010, 11:26:55 AM »

The problem with Islam is that it is a fundamentally violent religion.

According to your interpretation! According to someone elses interpretation the exact same thing could be said of Christianity too.


Quote
I'm not going to deny that there are good, decent, normal people who are adherents to Islam. But the fact is, they are the "Protestants" of their faith. They do not understand the teachings of the Koran in the way the Koran wants to be understood.

And you understand Islam better than moderate Muslims do?


Quote
The Koran does have peaceful parts, and it also has violent parts. It's no different from the Old Testament in that respect.

And yet we accept the Old Testament. How do you reconcile our acceptance of the OT, with your belief that we are a peaceful religion? The medieval Church, both East and West certainly didn't take an understanding of Christianity being "peaceful" very seriously. Just ask our Coptic friends about that if you don't believe me.

Yes, yes...I know, you're answer will be something akin to, "yeah but those were bad Christians not following the true teachings of Christ!" While I agree with that statement, that is the same argument a moderate Muslim would use as well.



Quote
So as I understand it, a Muslim who truly takes his faith seriously cannot read the Koran the way we read the Bible, basing everything on its context.

But there are Christians, even Orthodox Christians who claim similar things. The "it's either all or nothing" approach to the Bible and for Orthodox, Church Tradition. They still exist, I encounter them every day. Granted most of these types are not Orthodox, but there are enough that are that I'm somewhat disturbed by  their presence. Fundamentalism is rampant in most religions, including ours. For now it so happens that it is stronger within Islam, and they are probably more dangerous to the world at large, however we tend to tidy up our side of the story as though we don't have anything like them. I remember as a Catechumen I was told about the EO, "oh we had nothing like the Crusades!" Well technically speaking that's true (no cross cultural warfare) but the Eastern Church was wrought full of inter Christian atrocities for several centuries. Atrocities that are quite stomach churning in fact. Even today, we see it at our Holy sites where monks (are holiest people) have literally bashed each others brains in with iron pipes over the placement of ladders.


Quote
We should pray for the salvation of Muslims, we should respect their right to hold such beliefs in private, and we shouldn't harass them by burning Korans, but we must understand that it is an evil and parasitic religion.


Evil and parasitic? Richard Dawkins would agree, but would say the same thing about our religion too.

Quote
Misguided attempts by Christians to present it as a good religion only play into the demonic forces at work and weaken our claim to holding absolute truth.

We don't hold absolute truth. God is absolute Truth. We simply follow Truth, wherever it lies. But we cannot lay hold of it, or put any claim to it for ourselves.  That's how I see it anyways. It may be a subtle difference but I think it's an important one.
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« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2010, 11:31:42 AM »


You know, I bet the Muslims don't habitually talk about our Lord and Savior Christ in their services. And yet, that does not change the fact that their religion is wicked and responsible for the destruction of millions of souls.

Exactly who are you to judge that millions of souls have been destroyed because they are followers of Islam? Exactly how do you know this to be the case?

What is so ironic about your statement is that Muslims would claim the exact same thing about you as an Orthodox Christian. In which case you would claim "but they are wrong!" Well they claim "you're wrong!" And so the beginnings of religious dispute is laid down, both claiming to be on "God's side!"

Maybe we should all, both Muslim and Christian, just leave the judgment of people's souls up to God on the Last Day and worry about our own soul, as opposed to saying such things as someone's religion is "wicked" and is responsible for the destruction of millions of souls. Even if everything you say is exactly correct, how do you think a Muslim feels when they hear such things? I would assume he feels the same way you feel when you here a Muslim "blaspheme" Christ. Not very good, nor very convinced that you would want to be part of a religion which teaches such things.



Do you believe Christ to be True God and that He is the only sure way to salvation?

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« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2010, 11:33:46 AM »

And you understand Islam better than moderate Muslims do?

Christians have witnessed Christianity depart greatly from a formerly unanimous orthodoxy over the last century or so, with matters that were once universally taught -- the virgin birth, the Resurrection, the Incarnation -- all re-interpreted symbolically (and thus made meaningless). With that experience, I think it's easy for orthodox Christians to notice that many so-called moderate Muslims are doing the same thing to their religion: preserving the name "Islam", but retaining very little of what the Muslim world thought essential to the religion for the last 1400 years.
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« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2010, 11:39:02 AM »

Just as Mormons in America are not suppose to advocate polygamy, I think Muslims in America shouldn't be allowed to advocate Sharia Law.

If we make Sharia Law illegal in this country then everything should be ok.

Mormons can advocate for anything they want including polygamy. They just cant marry more than one person at a time.

Muslims can advocate for any system of law they desire. It's a free country. It's one of those catch 22 things.


The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law "respecting an establishment of religion", impeding the free exercise of religion, infringing on the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution
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« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2010, 11:50:09 AM »


You know, I bet the Muslims don't habitually talk about our Lord and Savior Christ in their services. And yet, that does not change the fact that their religion is wicked and responsible for the destruction of millions of souls.

Exactly who are you to judge that millions of souls have been destroyed because they are followers of Islam? Exactly how do you know this to be the case?

What is so ironic about your statement is that Muslims would claim the exact same thing about you as an Orthodox Christian. In which case you would claim "but they are wrong!" Well they claim "you're wrong!" And so the beginnings of religious dispute is laid down, both claiming to be on "God's side!"

Maybe we should all, both Muslim and Christian, just leave the judgment of people's souls up to God on the Last Day and worry about our own soul, as opposed to saying such things as someone's religion is "wicked" and is responsible for the destruction of millions of souls. Even if everything you say is exactly correct, how do you think a Muslim feels when they hear such things? I would assume he feels the same way you feel when you here a Muslim "blaspheme" Christ. Not very good, nor very convinced that you would want to be part of a religion which teaches such things.



Do you believe Christ to be True God and that He is the only sure way to salvation?



I would like to take a shot at that one:

Christ is God incarnate. There is only One God ( in three persons). Only God can save. The Church is the mystical Body of Christ and therefore salvation comes through the Church.

It is also True that salvation is a process. Members of his Church can't rely on some sort of automatic salvation..
God is also all powerful and can save whomever he will save inside his Church or outside. If you dont beleive that is True then you deny God is all powerful.

Finally, the surest path to salvation is to be grafted onto the body of Christ via his Church. It is the most excellent medicine. 
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« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2010, 12:04:56 PM »


Do you believe Christ to be True God and that He is the only sure way to salvation?



Is this an inquisition of some sort? Am I on trial?

I take an Orthodox approach that Christ can save whomever He wants to save, and our personal interpretations of  John 14:6 have no bearing on who or how Christ will save any individual. Christ is the way to the Truth and the Life indeed.  Of course He also said "he who is not against us is for us!" He also said "I have other sheep not of this fold!" And he said that people will come to Him on the Last day claiming they did miracles and wonders in His name and He will say to them "I never knew you!" I don't determine who gets saved and who doesn't. For all I know, NO ONE will be saved. Or perhaps everyone will be saved. I don't know, and neither do you nor the Church fathers or anyone else.

Just because a person is a Christian does not mean he is assured salvation. And many in the Church (especially spiritual fathers and saints like St. Theophan the Recluse) have historically not commented on non-Christians fate, only that we put or trust and hope that Christ will do what is right and just and merciful. We put are trust in God to save whom He pleases, but our main concern is our own relationship with Christ. To live as he wants us to live, and to reflect Christ's light to those around us. That is much different than saying millions of people are lost because they are Muslim (or any other religion). Do I know they will be saved? Nope. Do I know I will be saved? Nope. But I trust in Christ for my salvation and for the salvation of others too. I don't know who's going to hell nor do I know the reasons anyone is going to hell. God's mercy is beyond all measure and He can and gets to save whomever He wants, including Judas Iscariot.

 If He so desires He can also save people who were not christian but who lived their lives in faith and in love, and according to the light they were given,  including Muslims, Hindus, Jews and Roman Catholics etc....(I'm not equating Judas with these people only saying God will do what God will do regardless of how we interprate the Bible, Tradition, or what we desire to be "just" and true)

I'm not a universalist if that's what you are asking. But I also don't think the only people who will be saved will be Orthodox Christians. Of course I don't know and neither does anyone else. But like St. Theophan instructed I try to only worry about my own spiritual life and not judge people of other religions.

edited to clarify a few points!



« Last Edit: September 14, 2010, 12:09:27 PM by NorthernPines » Logged
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« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2010, 12:17:27 PM »


Do you believe Christ to be True God and that He is the only sure way to salvation?



Is this an inquisition of some sort? Am I on trial?

I take an Orthodox approach that Christ can save whomever He wants to save, and our personal interpretations of  John 14:6 have no bearing on who or how Christ will save any individual. Christ is the way to the Truth and the Life indeed.  Of course He also said "he who is not against us is for us!" He also said "I have other sheep not of this fold!" And he said that people will come to Him on the Last day claiming they did miracles and wonders in His name and He will say to them "I never knew you!" I don't determine who gets saved and who doesn't. For all I know, NO ONE will be saved. Or perhaps everyone will be saved. I don't know, and neither do you nor the Church fathers or anyone else.

Just because a person is a Christian does not mean he is assured salvation. And many in the Church (especially spiritual fathers and saints like St. Theophan the Recluse) have historically not commented on non-Christians fate, only that we put or trust and hope that Christ will do what is right and just and merciful. We put are trust in God to save whom He pleases, but our main concern is our own relationship with Christ. To live as he wants us to live, and to reflect Christ's light to those around us. That is much different than saying millions of people are lost because they are Muslim (or any other religion). Do I know they will be saved? Nope. Do I know I will be saved? Nope. But I trust in Christ for my salvation and for the salvation of others too. I don't know who's going to hell nor do I know the reasons anyone is going to hell. God's mercy is beyond all measure and He can and gets to save whomever He wants, including Judas Iscariot.

 If He so desires He can also save people who were not christian but who lived their lives in faith and in love, and according to the light they were given,  including Muslims, Hindus, Jews and Roman Catholics etc....(I'm not equating Judas with these people only saying God will do what God will do regardless of how we interprate the Bible, Tradition, or what we desire to be "just" and true)

I'm not a universalist if that's what you are asking. But I also don't think the only people who will be saved will be Orthodox Christians. Of course I don't know and neither does anyone else. But like St. Theophan instructed I try to only worry about my own spiritual life and not judge people of other religions.

edited to clarify a few points!





Just trying to understand why you are so quick to defend Islam.

If one believes that Salvation comes through Christ and His Church (yes, there are bad Christains that will not be saved) then why would anyone that believes this be so unwilling to tell fellow Orthodox Christains (on an Orthodox Christian forum) that Islam is false (though some of its adherants might be saved due to God's mercy).

I do not advocate hostile relations with Moslems and respect free will, but their faith is historically tainted by evil acts that were justified by the teachings within the Koran.
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« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2010, 12:39:52 PM »


Do you believe Christ to be True God and that He is the only sure way to salvation?



 

I take an Orthodox approach that Christ can save whomever He wants to save, and our personal interpretations of  John 14:6 have no bearing on who or how Christ will save any individual.



As for personal interpretations of John 14:6

I'll rely on St. John Chrysostom

Quote
Why then, when He was asked by Peter, 'Where are You going,' did He not say directly, 'I go to the Father, but you cannot come now'? Why did He put in a circuit of so many words, placing together questions and answers? With good reason He told not this to the Jews; but why not to these? He had indeed said both to these and to the Jews, that He came forth from God, and was going to God, now He says the same thing more clearly than before. Besides, to the Jews He spoke not so clearly; for had He said, You cannot come to the Father but by Me, they would straightway have deemed the matter mere boasting; but now by concealing this, He threw them into perplexity. But why, says some one, did He speak thus both to the disciples and to Peter? He knew his great forwardness, and that he would by reason of this the more press on and trouble Him; in order therefore to lead him away, He hides the matter. Having then succeeded in what He wished by the obscurity and by veiling His speech, He again discloses the matter. After saying, Where I am, no man can come, He adds, In My Father's house are many mansions; and again, No man comes to the Father but by Me. This He would not tell them at first, in order not to throw them into greater despondency, but, now that He has soothed them, He tells them. For by Peter's rebuke He cast out much of their despondency; and dreading lest they should be addressed in the same way, they were the more restrained. I am the Way. This is the proof of the, No man comes to the Father but by Me; and, the Truth, and the Life, of this, that these things shall surely be. There is then no falsehood with Me, if I am 'the Truth'; if I am 'Life' also, not even death shall be able to hinder you from coming to Me. Besides; if I am 'the Way,' you will need none to lead you by the hand; if I am also 'the Truth,' My words are no falsehoods; if I am also 'Life,' though ye die you shall obtain what I have told you. Now His being the Way, they both understood and allowed, but the rest they knew not. They did not indeed venture to say what they knew not. Still they gained great consolation from His being the Way. If, says He, I have sole authority to bring to the Father, you shall surely come there; for neither is it possible to come by any other way. But by saying before, No man can come to Me except the Father draw him; and again, If I be lifted up from the earth, I shall draw all men unto Me John 12:32; and again, No man comes to the Father but by Me

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/240173.htm

Also, the Koran clearly denies Christ as the Son of God. What does the bible and the Fathers teach about those that deny Christ?


Commentary by Blessed Theophylact

Matthew 10:32-33 Whosoever therefore shall confess in Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father Who is in heaven.

Quote
But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father Who is in heaven. He exhorts them to bear witness even unto martyrdom. For belief only within one’s soul does not suffice; He desires also the belief confessed with the tongue. He did not say, "Whosoever shall confess Me," but "in Me" (ostis omologesei en emoi). that is, in My strength. For he who confesses does so aided by the grace which is from above. But as for him who denies, Christ did not say "in Me," but "whosoever shall deny Me," showing that he denies because he does not have the aid from above. Therefore everyone who confesses that Christ is God will find Christ giving confession of him to the Father, that he is a true servant. But those who deny will hear the words "I do not know you."
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« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2010, 01:00:59 PM »

I'm glad that in at least some threads we can be frank about the erroneous teachings of anti-Christian faiths like Islam. I've been having trouble in another thread from politically correct types who believe its rude to attack religions that teach hatred of Christ. I would include Islam in this, because although Islam claims to honor our Lord as a prophet, it in fact blasphemes Him by denying His Divinity.

That's because Judaism doesn't teach hatred of Christ. You would not even know of such a concept as a Messiah without Judaism. It's the Christian Liturgy that continually mentions Jews, not the other way around. How many times are Jews mentioned in Orthodox Services? Multiple times, right? How many times are Christians or Jesus specifically mentioned in Jewish Services... None... Zero.. Zippo.

 Jews are merely scared of the knock on the door in the middle of the night and being dragged away .

Ya know, everyone has access to all the threads  Smiley   


You are kidding right?

Ever page through the Talmud or actually spend time around Jews, especially of an Orthodox bent, or hang around Zionists?
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« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2010, 01:12:36 PM »

Bottom line: Islam has more respect for Jesus, Mary, and Christians than Judaism.

Islam holds that Jesus was a major prophet.
Islam holds Jesus will return to judge the righteous and the wicked.
Islam holds the ever virginal state of Mary (something that even many Christians reject).

Judaism at best rejects Christ absolutely and at its worst mocks and reviles Him, His mother, and his followers.

However the faith of Islam gets works out in the specifics of time and place is another thing. But we only have to look at how "Christianity" in its expression throughout history has had centuries of inexcusable and downright evil consequences. Mass burnings at the stake of Saints and saints, genocide, and the recent world wide conspiracy to allow Priests to molest boys.

Probably the best Christian response to Islam would be for each Christian to deepen their own faith and for the Church(es) as a whole to do some serious house cleaning.

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« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2010, 01:48:16 PM »


Do you believe Christ to be True God and that He is the only sure way to salvation?



Is this an inquisition of some sort? Am I on trial?

I take an Orthodox approach that Christ can save whomever He wants to save, and our personal interpretations of  John 14:6 have no bearing on who or how Christ will save any individual. Christ is the way to the Truth and the Life indeed.  Of course He also said "he who is not against us is for us!" He also said "I have other sheep not of this fold!" And he said that people will come to Him on the Last day claiming they did miracles and wonders in His name and He will say to them "I never knew you!" I don't determine who gets saved and who doesn't. For all I know, NO ONE will be saved. Or perhaps everyone will be saved. I don't know, and neither do you nor the Church fathers or anyone else.

Just because a person is a Christian does not mean he is assured salvation. And many in the Church (especially spiritual fathers and saints like St. Theophan the Recluse) have historically not commented on non-Christians fate, only that we put or trust and hope that Christ will do what is right and just and merciful. We put are trust in God to save whom He pleases, but our main concern is our own relationship with Christ. To live as he wants us to live, and to reflect Christ's light to those around us. That is much different than saying millions of people are lost because they are Muslim (or any other religion). Do I know they will be saved? Nope. Do I know I will be saved? Nope. But I trust in Christ for my salvation and for the salvation of others too. I don't know who's going to hell nor do I know the reasons anyone is going to hell. God's mercy is beyond all measure and He can and gets to save whomever He wants, including Judas Iscariot.

 If He so desires He can also save people who were not christian but who lived their lives in faith and in love, and according to the light they were given,  including Muslims, Hindus, Jews and Roman Catholics etc....(I'm not equating Judas with these people only saying God will do what God will do regardless of how we interprate the Bible, Tradition, or what we desire to be "just" and true)

I'm not a universalist if that's what you are asking. But I also don't think the only people who will be saved will be Orthodox Christians. Of course I don't know and neither does anyone else. But like St. Theophan instructed I try to only worry about my own spiritual life and not judge people of other religions.

edited to clarify a few points!





Just trying to understand why you are so quick to defend Islam.

If one believes that Salvation comes through Christ and His Church (yes, there are bad Christains that will not be saved) then why would anyone that believes this be so unwilling to tell fellow Orthodox Christains (on an Orthodox Christian forum) that Islam is false (though some of its adherants might be saved due to God's mercy).

I do not advocate hostile relations with Moslems and respect free will, but their faith is historically tainted by evil acts that were justified by the teachings within the Koran.

their faith is historically tainted by evil acts that were justified by the teachings within the Koran.

I am in some agreement about the danger Islam poses. However, couldn't the exact same thing as above be said about Christianity?

"The Christian Faith historically has been tainted by evil acts that were justified by teachings within the Bible"

Tell me that's not accurate.
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« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2010, 02:11:25 PM »


their faith is historically tainted by evil acts that were justified by the teachings within the Koran.

I am in some agreement about the danger Islam poses. However, couldn't the exact same thing as above be said about Christianity?

"The Christian Faith historically has been tainted by evil acts that were justified by teachings within the Bible"

Tell me that's not accurate.

That's not accurate.

The Bible does not have teachings that justify evil acts whilst the Qur'an has. The Qur'an is post-biblical too and tries to replace the Bible.
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« Reply #26 on: September 14, 2010, 02:29:16 PM »

Northern Pines has introduced an interesting question about "how do we know who is saved?"

With respect to our liability to eternal punishment, we have to remember that there are two judgments. The first judgment is of our soul alone, after it has departed from our body at our natural death. After this judgment, the soul goes to Hades or to Paradise. We can call Hades Hell, but for many that is confusing, because Hell in English also refers to Gehenna, which will only appear at the Last Day, when our bodies are resurrected. At that time, we will be judged as soul and body together, and we will either be rewarded in Heaven or condemned in Gehenna.

There is a possibility for souls who were first condemned to Hades to be delivered from it later, through the prayers of the Church. Indeed, that is part of why we pray for the dead. There will be no deliverance from Gehenna however.

All those who die outside the Church will go to Hades: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:16). This passage is so unambiguous as to scarcely need comment. In confirmation of this interpretation I can offer this passage from the vision of Blessed Theodora:

"Those who believe in the Holy Trinity and take as frequently as possible the Holy Communion of the Holy Mysteries of Christ, our Saviour's body and Blood - such people can rise to heaven directly, with no hindrances, and the holy angels defend them, and the holy saints of God pray for their salvation, since they have lived righteously. No one, however, takes care of wicked and depraved heretics, who do nothing useful during their lives, and live in disbelief and heresy. The angels can say nothing in their defence... [Only those] enlightened by the faith and holy baptism can rise and be tested in the stations of torment [that is, the toll-houses]. The unbelievers do not come here. Their souls belong to hell even before they part from their bodies. When they die, the devils take their souls with no need to test them. Such souls are their proper prey, and they take them down to the abyss."

So we know that those who die outside the Church will not be saved immediately, although we can hope that some may be saved later. If it possible for those who die within the Church to be saved from Hades, we can extrapolate from this that in general the condemnation to Hades is not irredeemable. This is however entirely up to God's secret judgment. The Church cannot offer prayers for those who died outside Her bounds.

The usual objection to this teaching is that those who die in ignorance of the Truth should not be condemned as those who have consciously rejected the truth. The answer is that yes if they have not consciously resisted the Truth, their lot will surely be better at the Last Day than those who consciously resisted. It is possible and indeed likely that God will have mercy on those who did not consciously resist the Truth, and we should certainly hope so. However, even those who do not know the Truth through ignorance will still go to Hades immediately after death. The passages above concerning the condemnation of heretics and unbelievers says nothing about their ignorance or lack thereof.

How do we reconcile this with God's justice? The answer is that we must distinguish between voluntary ignorance and involuntary ignorance:

"That servant who knew his master's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required; and he to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more" (Luke 12:47-48)

and the commentary by Blessed Theophylact:

"Here some will object, saying: 'He who knows the will of his Lord, but does not do it, is deservedly punished. But why is the ignorant punished?' Because when he might have known he did not wish to do so, but was the cause of his own ignorance through sloth."

So only involuntary ignorance is excusable, although voluntary ignorance may itself attract mercy at the end to the extent it was unconscious resistance to truth. How do we know in whose case ignorance is voluntary or involuntary? Of course, we do not when it comes to our individual brothers; only God knows that. In general, however, we can say with assurance that there is no excuse for not believing in One God the Creator:

"From the beginning God placed the knowledge of Himself in men, but the pagans awarded this knowledge to sticks and stones, doing wrong to the truth to the extent that they were able." (St John Chrysostom)

Once an individual has acknowledged the truth of One God, there is no barrier to him having the full truth revealed to him, if he is willing to accept it. That is precisely what happened to St Barbara, who was brought up in polytheism, but through contemplation of Creation came to a knowledge of the True God, and in answer to her prayers, God revealed the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation and Redemption. There is no such thing as invincible ignorance, in other words, since the Providence of God can overcome any adversity, provided the individual cooperates in his free will.
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« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2010, 02:33:45 PM »

But we only have to look at how "Christianity" in its expression throughout history has had centuries of inexcusable and downright evil consequences. Mass burnings at the stake of Saints and saints, genocide, and the recent world wide conspiracy to allow Priests to molest boys.

Girls were and have also been molested as well. And as long as we keep in mind that the Orthodox Church is not, nor has ever been free from any of these expressions of "Christianity" I'll agree with you. Especially this last line:


Quote
Probably the best Christian response to Islam would be for each Christian to deepen their own faith and for the Church(es) as a whole to do some serious house cleaning.

I couldn't agree more. it's easy to look at everyone else's problems, shortcomings, but it's hard to deal with our muck. However that is what Christ ultimately teaches us, to deal with our stuff before pointing out everyone elses flaws.



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« Reply #28 on: September 14, 2010, 02:37:10 PM »

Bottom line: Islam has more respect for Jesus, Mary, and Christians than Judaism.

I hope you were not serious when you wrote the sentence above. Islam has ZERO respect for Christians. Here comes a verse from Islam's scripture:

And with those who say: "Lo! we are Christians," We made a covenant, but they forgot a part of that whereof they were admonished. Therefore We have stirred up enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection, when Allah will inform them of their handiwork. (Surah 5:14)

Can you show me a similar verse from the Hebrew Bible?  Roll Eyes

Islam holds that Jesus was a major prophet.

This is true, but incomplete and misleading. Islam holds that Jesus was a major Islamic prophet who preached Islam and heralded Muhammad's mission.

Islam holds Jesus will return to judge the righteous and the wicked.

Islam partly holds this traditional tenet because not all Muslims believe in Jesus' second coming. Different groups have their respective interpretations, but the significant fact is no Muslim believes that Jesus will come for judgment. Muslims who support the belief in Jesus' descent from heaven on the last day assert that Jesus' second coming will aim the destruction of synagoues and churches, extermination of the swine, the annihilation of the cross, and the murder of non-Muslims who will refuse to convert after Jesus' final invitation to Islam!!!

Islam holds the ever virginal state of Mary (something that even many Christians reject).

This is not true per se. There is nothing in the Islamic scripture to imply Mary's perpetual virginity since Joseph the carpenter is mysteriously missing from Muhammad's book. Since the Qur'an does not explicitly state Mary's marriage with Joseph and never talks of the other members of Jesus' family (relatives), we cannot know for sure if Muhammad knew or cared about Mary's perpetual virginity!

However, Islam holds that Muhammad will be married to Panaghia in heaven! Thus, Islam considers Virgin Mary as one of the virgins of Paradise. Can you consider this a sign of respect?

Judaism at best rejects Christ absolutely and at its worst mocks and reviles Him, His mother, and his followers.

Islam calls Jesus the only Messiah, but does not explain what that title means and why Jesus was called the Messiah.

Islam reviles Christians by equating them with polytheists and curses them because of their fundamental tenets. According to the Qur'an, Christ will rebuke Christians on the day of judgment because Christians worshipped Jesus and Mary as two deities in addition to one true God (Surah 5:116)

I have a question for you: Which of the following is worse and more dangerous?

a) People who deny and offend you.
b) People who welcome and introduce you as a totally different person than you really are. (They try to replace your true identity with what they claim you to be).

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« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2010, 02:38:12 PM »

Ever page through the Talmud or actually spend time around Jews, especially of an Orthodox bent, or hang around Zionists?

I've hung around a lot of Zionists, whether in Israel itself or in India (where the majority of Israelis go after military service). They are Zionists because they like their home and would hate to see a bloody end to the state of Israel, displacing themselves and their families, possibly never to return. Is that not understandable? It's the same sentiment of love of homeland that a lot of people praise in the Palestinian refugees.

But their feelings about the further existence of Israel have nothing at all to do with Christianity. These people are very secular, and much more interested in exotic Eastern religions or anarchist thought than perpetuating Judaism and some kind of struggle between it and Christianity. Ask your average young Israeli what they think about Christians, and as he or she puts down the bong and exhales, the response is likely to be "What?"

I have a question for you: Which of the following is worse and more dangerous?

a) People who deny and offend you.
b) People who welcome and introduce you as a totally different person than you really are. (They try to replace your true identity with what they claim you to be).

Hear hear. That's what infuriates me about Hinduism, which appropriates the gods and saints of other religions and then starts acting as if it knows more about them than the cultures they were taken from. I love being told by some syncreticist who has a cheap Catholic icon on his altar that I've got Christ all wrong and I need to adopt Hinduism to really understand Him. :rolleyes:
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« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2010, 02:39:24 PM »


their faith is historically tainted by evil acts that were justified by the teachings within the Koran.

I am in some agreement about the danger Islam poses. However, couldn't the exact same thing as above be said about Christianity?

"The Christian Faith historically has been tainted by evil acts that were justified by teachings within the Bible"

Tell me that's not accurate.

Yes, the Bible has been used by Christians to justify evil acts, mainly by drawing parallels to Old Testament events. These things must inevitably be taken out of context and then applied to the present. These are interpretations, not commands.

But the Koran directly orders faithful Muslims to carry out violent and evil acts in the present tense. The extent to the interpretation is whether a given command has been superseded by a later command.

There is a massive difference between the usage of the two religions' respective scriptures.
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« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2010, 02:50:46 PM »


Hear hear. That's what infuriates me about Hinduism, which appropriates the gods and saints of other religions and then starts acting as if it knows more about them than the cultures they were taken from. I love being told by some syncreticist who has a cheap Catholic icon on his altar that I've got Christ all wrong and I need to adopt Hinduism to really understand Him. :rolleyes:

Good to know that Islam and Hinduism have something in common.  Grin

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« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2010, 04:06:11 PM »

That's what infuriates me about Hinduism, which appropriates the gods and saints of other religions and then starts acting as if it knows more about them than the cultures they were taken from.
Where does Hinduism do this?
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« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2010, 04:44:13 PM »


their faith is historically tainted by evil acts that were justified by the teachings within the Koran.

I am in some agreement about the danger Islam poses. However, couldn't the exact same thing as above be said about Christianity?

"The Christian Faith historically has been tainted by evil acts that were justified by teachings within the Bible"

Tell me that's not accurate.

That's not accurate.

The Bible does not have teachings that justify evil acts whilst the Qur'an has. The Qur'an is post-biblical too and tries to replace the Bible.

1. Have there been evil acts committed in the name of Christianity.  Yes/No

2. Were those acts justified  by the people who committed them with passages from the Bible  Yes/No
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« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2010, 05:09:33 PM »


their faith is historically tainted by evil acts that were justified by the teachings within the Koran.

I am in some agreement about the danger Islam poses. However, couldn't the exact same thing as above be said about Christianity?

"The Christian Faith historically has been tainted by evil acts that were justified by teachings within the Bible"

Tell me that's not accurate.

That's not accurate.

The Bible does not have teachings that justify evil acts whilst the Qur'an has. The Qur'an is post-biblical too and tries to replace the Bible.

1. Have there been evil acts committed in the name of Christianity.  Yes/No

2. Were those acts justified  by the people who committed them with passages from the Bible  Yes/No

You miss the point. Christianity has BAD followers that commit evil acts and wrongly justify it by scripture. Islam has GOOD followers when they commit evil acts sanction by the Koran.
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« Reply #35 on: September 14, 2010, 05:31:07 PM »

The best way to see what the "right" interpretation of a religion is, is to look at how its founders behaved. When I was in Istanbul, walked by some graves which, I was told, belonged to Muhammad's companions (Sahaba) who died trying to conquer Constantinople and convert it to Islam. It is a fair point to indicate the many instances of Christians justifying violence and "holy war" using the scriptures, but can we really say these concepts are as intrinsic to Christianity as to Islam? The history of Islam, beginning with Muhammad, is one of continuous wars of conquest.
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« Reply #36 on: September 14, 2010, 05:32:24 PM »


their faith is historically tainted by evil acts that were justified by the teachings within the Koran.

I am in some agreement about the danger Islam poses. However, couldn't the exact same thing as above be said about Christianity?

"The Christian Faith historically has been tainted by evil acts that were justified by teachings within the Bible"

Tell me that's not accurate.

That's not accurate.

The Bible does not have teachings that justify evil acts whilst the Qur'an has. The Qur'an is post-biblical too and tries to replace the Bible.

1. Have there been evil acts committed in the name of Christianity.  Yes/No

2. Were those acts justified  by the people who committed them with passages from the Bible  Yes/No

Apples and oranges. The Bible and Koran are different animals when it comes to application to one's life. This is a fundamental mistake that most Westerners make when trying to understand the Koran.

The Bible is a collection of different writings of different genres by a collection of different authors that may or may not have any direct bearing on the reader's daily life. Mostly we take principles away from the Bible, not commandments.

The Koran is one concise document, written by one man, in one context, and it consists mainly of direct commandments allegedly coming directly from God. These commands are meant to be taken literally and are meant to be applied to the reader's daily life.

The Koran is not the Bible. According to my study of the issue, the Koran is to Islam what Christ is to Christianity. The Koran is allegedly the final and ultimate revelation of God to mankind. For Muslims it is, essentially, the word of God incarnate.

So:

The Bible contains violence, but it does not tell the Christian reader to do anything violent.

The Koran directly commands the Muslim reader to do violent things.
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« Reply #37 on: September 14, 2010, 05:35:47 PM »

Where does Hinduism do this?

All the time. The Hindu revival of the first millennium quenched Buddhism in India by appropriating Buddha as merely another incarnation of Vishnu. Suddenly all of Buddhism's teachings that conflicted with early Hindu thought, such as the idea that the Buddha is higher than any Vedic gods and caste distinctions are meaningless, went out the window since Hinduism demanded that the Buddha's teachings be interpreted through its own lens.

And in more recent times, once icons of Christ ended up on Hindu altars next to idols, Christianity's claim to an exclusive truth delivered by one single Savior could no longer be voiced. Tell a Hindu that Christ alone is the incarnate Logos and the idols are false, and you'll get the usual refrain that "there are many paths to God and all are valid".

I'm acquainted with a Hindutva fanatic who calls Jesus Christ a terrorist because He taught for example, "He who loves his mother or father more than Me is not worthy of Me", and that contradicts the filial obedience that the guy thinks is vital to the Hindu dharma. To me it seems that rejecting Christ outright like that is nonetheless more honest than accepting Christ without really thinking about the ramifications of His teachings.
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« Reply #38 on: September 14, 2010, 05:36:52 PM »


1. Have there been evil acts committed in the name of Christianity.  Yes/No

2. Were those acts justified  by the people who committed them with passages from the Bible  Yes/No

1- Yes
2- No (People only claim to have justified their atrocities with biblical passages, but what they claim is not a fact. They follow a conjecture)

Some Christians commit evil acts in the name of Christianity DESPITE what the Gospels teach.
Some Muslims commit evil acts in the name of Islam BECAUSE OF what the Qur'an teaches.
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« Reply #39 on: September 14, 2010, 06:46:10 PM »

My understanding of Islam is clouded. I have perused the Koran & have a copy of it (not on me at the moment as I am abroad) but what seems most perplexing to me is that the life of the "prophet" seems somewhat reasonable to me to the point of the death of his first wife Kadija. He was 50 (i believe) at this point & the intro narrative to the Koran seems to indicate that he actually had some sound ideas that reflected a need to reform what was a lifestyle of  a rather brutal culture.

It is what follows the marriage to a second marriage to a wife named Aisha in which bizarre accounts start to be recorded & most of these seem to be based on accounts outside the Koran which are (I think) called hadith & sunnah. It is here where aggressive bloody jihad seems to emerge (jihad seemed to be previously reasonable self defence), marriage to a child, sharia (which is not even listed as a word in the index of the Koran I have as translated by Yusuf Ali), flying to heaven on a horse, etc.


I also noticed in the Koran while the 5th Sura (I believe) seeks to relegate Christ to a created being, the prophet is recorded as acknowleging the righteousnes & charity of the Ethiopian Christians who protected his small community when they fled (mecca or medina?). Towards the end of the Koran a strange footnote describes an account prior to the "prophet's" life in which divine destiny prevented an invading army of Ethiopians from attacking Arabia when they were attacked by giant flying birds who showered them with projectiles. It seems like this religion has a rational origin that was later transformed into a hideous mess by tyrants.
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« Reply #40 on: September 14, 2010, 06:51:52 PM »

Where does Hinduism do this?

All the time. The Hindu revival of the first millennium quenched Buddhism in India by appropriating Buddha as merely another incarnation of Vishnu. Suddenly all of Buddhism's teachings that conflicted with early Hindu thought, such as the idea that the Buddha is higher than any Vedic gods and caste distinctions are meaningless, went out the window since Hinduism demanded that the Buddha's teachings be interpreted through its own lens.
Actually, when the Buddha is mentioned in the Puranas (a certain class of Hindu scriptures) he is often depicted as an avatar of Vishnu who taught incorrect doctrine in order to delude the demons. So it's not as if the Buddha is depicted teaching Vedic teachings; he's actually described as a sort of "anti-avatar".

Besides, the idea of Buddha as avatar was developed by devotees of Vishnu. Hindus who worship Siva as Supreme, for instance, have nothing to do with including Buddha into their theologies.

Having said that, it is true that many modern Hindus see Buddha as an avatar like Krishna or Jesus.

Quote
And in more recent times, once icons of Christ ended up on Hindu altars next to idols, Christianity's claim to an exclusive truth delivered by one single Savior could no longer be voiced. Tell a Hindu that Christ alone is the incarnate Logos and the idols are false, and you'll get the usual refrain that "there are many paths to God and all are valid".
I don't see why that should get you upset. Are they preventing you from believing in traditional Christian doctrine?

Quote
I'm acquainted with a Hindutva fanatic who calls Jesus Christ a terrorist because He taught for example, "He who loves his mother or father more than Me is not worthy of Me", and that contradicts the filial obedience that the guy thinks is vital to the Hindu dharma. To me it seems that rejecting Christ outright like that is nonetheless more honest than accepting Christ without really thinking about the ramifications of His teachings.
So you think a Hindutva fanatic is a more honest Hindu than, say, Mahatma Gandhi?
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« Reply #41 on: September 14, 2010, 07:17:00 PM »

I don't see why that should get you upset. Are they preventing you from believing in traditional Christian doctrine?

No, but they are preventing the Hindu masses from getting a real picture of Jesus Christ. For them, the fact that He alone is "the Way, the Truth, the Life" is drowned out by the attitude that He's cool with people worshipping however they want, whether it involves him or any of the umpteen other deities of the land.

Quote
So you think a Hindutva fanatic is a more honest Hindu than, say, Mahatma Gandhi?

I think that his attitude towards Christ is more honest than syncretism. He at least has carefully examined what Jesus taught even though he decided to reject it, as opposed to simply assuming that Christ taught a happy, fluffy doctrine that fits in perfectly with the religion he was born into.
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« Reply #42 on: September 14, 2010, 08:55:11 PM »


their faith is historically tainted by evil acts that were justified by the teachings within the Koran.

I am in some agreement about the danger Islam poses. However, couldn't the exact same thing as above be said about Christianity?

"The Christian Faith historically has been tainted by evil acts that were justified by teachings within the Bible"

Tell me that's not accurate.

That's not accurate.

The Bible does not have teachings that justify evil acts whilst the Qur'an has. The Qur'an is post-biblical too and tries to replace the Bible.

1. Have there been evil acts committed in the name of Christianity.  Yes/No

2. Were those acts justified  by the people who committed them with passages from the Bible  Yes/No

You miss the point. Christianity has BAD followers that commit evil acts and wrongly justify it by scripture. Islam has GOOD followers when they commit evil acts sanction by the Koran.

 I really don't know. My understanding of Islam is very limited. I just thought that was a very sweeping statement. That's all.



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« Reply #43 on: September 14, 2010, 09:01:27 PM »

Where does Hinduism do this?

All the time. The Hindu revival of the first millennium quenched Buddhism in India by appropriating Buddha as merely another incarnation of Vishnu. Suddenly all of Buddhism's teachings that conflicted with early Hindu thought, such as the idea that the Buddha is higher than any Vedic gods and caste distinctions are meaningless, went out the window since Hinduism demanded that the Buddha's teachings be interpreted through its own lens.
Actually, when the Buddha is mentioned in the Puranas (a certain class of Hindu scriptures) he is often depicted as an avatar of Vishnu who taught incorrect doctrine in order to delude the demons. So it's not as if the Buddha is depicted teaching Vedic teachings; he's actually described as a sort of "anti-avatar".

Besides, the idea of Buddha as avatar was developed by devotees of Vishnu. Hindus who worship Siva as Supreme, for instance, have nothing to do with including Buddha into their theologies.

Having said that, it is true that many modern Hindus see Buddha as an avatar like Krishna or Jesus.

Quote
And in more recent times, once icons of Christ ended up on Hindu altars next to idols, Christianity's claim to an exclusive truth delivered by one single Savior could no longer be voiced. Tell a Hindu that Christ alone is the incarnate Logos and the idols are false, and you'll get the usual refrain that "there are many paths to God and all are valid".
I don't see why that should get you upset. Are they preventing you from believing in traditional Christian doctrine?

Quote
I'm acquainted with a Hindutva fanatic who calls Jesus Christ a terrorist because He taught for example, "He who loves his mother or father more than Me is not worthy of Me", and that contradicts the filial obedience that the guy thinks is vital to the Hindu dharma. To me it seems that rejecting Christ outright like that is nonetheless more honest than accepting Christ without really thinking about the ramifications of His teachings.
So you think a Hindutva fanatic is a more honest Hindu than, say, Mahatma Gandhi?

 I have seen Japanese Buddhists try to co-op Jesus into their religion. Often Buddhist alters have statues of local deities or Buddhist teachers on them. I knew a Buddhist Priest here in the USA who put a statue of Jesus on his Alter saying he was a "locally venerated deity".And that they could worship him in his "Good Shepherd" form, whatever that means.
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« Reply #44 on: September 14, 2010, 09:11:27 PM »


1. Have there been evil acts committed in the name of Christianity.  Yes/No

2. Were those acts justified  by the people who committed them with passages from the Bible  Yes/No

1- Yes
2- No (People only claim to have justified their atrocities with biblical passages, but what they claim is not a fact. They follow a conjecture)

Some Christians commit evil acts in the name of Christianity DESPITE what the Gospels teach.
Some Muslims commit evil acts in the name of Islam BECAUSE OF what the Qur'an teaches.
le
Fine.. But people have used the Bible to justify their acts. What is considered evil changes over time and within different cultures.

How about slavery? Evil by today's standards, not so earlier. Justified by the Bible.

 Anti-Antisemitism? Justified by the Bible, considered evil by some and not by others.

Waging any sort of War is evil in all circumstances by some ( Quakers for example) and their pacifism justified by the Bible. But waging War and killing your enemy is also justified within the Bible by others.

How about the Crusades? Now there's a sticky wicket for you. Smiley

Your evil is another mans righteous cause.
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