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Author Topic: Should I convert to Islam?  (Read 10478 times) Average Rating: 0
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doubtingthomas
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« on: November 22, 2011, 04:49:31 AM »

I understand this topic could get heated. I am merely aiming to discuss the merits I see in Christianity and Islam and the reason these things attract me.

I am choosing to discuss this in an Orthodox Christian forum in order to get a balance of pro-Christian input as I have many resources in terms of getting the Islamic side of the story.

Pros of Islam:

-Believers faithfulness to God
Living in the Middle East allowed me to observe a contrast between Christians and Muslims. The Christians I encountered and lived with were basically Christian by inheritance. Their ancestors were Christian, so they must remain Christian regardless of their actual religious beliefs. Many Christians were lukewarm religiously at best and atheists in other instances. Many Muslims I encountered were dead serious about their religion however, and I saw more "christian" actions from them than Christians. I understand I should not base a religious conversion off the actions of others, but the Muslims I saw and knew were inspiring in their dedication to worship God and help their neighbor.

-A legitimate claim to scriptural purity, and respect derived thereof
Most Christians believe the Bible and especially Gospels are the Word of God. If that is so, why do we not respect the Bible as much as Muslims the Quran? Our Bibles are ugly and poorly made. Every Quran I came across in the Arab world was a stunning work of art that looked like it should be respected. Additionally, the Quran has remained the same for countless years. I realize there are two sides to this story, but not even a Christian would deny the fact that the amount of change undergone by the Bible because of so much translation could have kept the message close to the original.

-Prayer, pilgrimage, fasting, and charity are obligatory
The hajj is monumental and inspiring. It offers us as humans a chance to visually and emotionally realize God being the center of our existence along with others performing the same ritual. Living in Jordan I was not expecting people to be that religious since it is a rather 'westernized' country. I was very wrong. Mosques always had people at prayer times. Why are churches empty, and why is there not this kind of fellowship and dedication to worshiping God in Christianity? (At least to me it's not evident. Efforts are so half-hearted and divided into many denominations)

Cons of Islam:

-Salvation seems placed on the individual
Aka, a lack of grace. In Islam, you basically are saved by your good deeds being weighed against your bad with your level of repentance factored in. Man seems responsible for earning salvation. Who is God that we should deserve anything from Him, much less salvation? No good act, no matter how great should 'impress' God enough for Him to save me.

-Pharasitic (sorry not a word) approach to religion
Islam is about laws governing every aspect of life as explained by God in the Quran and the example and comments of Muhammed. In laws we can lose focus of the big picture: God. However if you look at it as "God as mandated I do X" it's not as bad.

-Apparent mistakes in the Quran
The Quran at one point mentions that the Christian Trinity consists of Jesus, Mary, and God (the Father). This is a clear human misunderstanding of the doctrine as God would know our beliefs better than us and convey them as such in any subsequent revelation. Another mistake is when Mary, Jesus' Mother, is referred to as the 'Sister of Aaron' (confusing her with Miriam, but the names are the same in Arabic). The prophet attempts to explain this in a Hadith by saying "this is how people of old used to refer to people they honored", but Christians who heard this verse and Hadith didn't recognize that as a legit way of referring to respected people, and there is no other instance of this type of address in the Quran.


These verses keep coming back to my head:

"Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves...Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them." (Matt.)  ---> Islam was spread by war in its beginning.

". . . For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect – if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time" ---> There are cases of many Christians, even priests, converting to Islam
« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 04:52:03 AM by doubtingthomas » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2011, 05:06:58 AM »

You are absolutely mistaken if you think the Qur'an is any purer than the Christian scriptures in terms of accuracy in copying, transmission, &c. There is cogent and irrefutable evidence of textual/manuscript variation of the Qur'an, which is certainly not obviated by the fact that most Muslims read the Qur'an in its original Arabic (we Greeks read the Christian Scriptures in their original language, too, by the way).

As Christians, we are not troubled by variations in "ta mikra" (minutiae, the "little things") of scripture, as we know that the scripture are not the source of the faith but rather bear witness to it. Whether Moses parted the sea of reeds or the red sea matters not one iota. By contrast, for Muslims, textual inaccuracies are a big problem as it is fundamental to Islam that the Qur'an is the unadulterated word of God, entirely free from all forms of error.

This problem is clearly observable in the extreme lengths many Islamic scholars will go to in order to deny the clear facts of manuscript variation and copying error, just like so many "fundamentalist" Christians who understand the Christian scriptures in the same way Muslims understand the Qur'an. When the documents are the very source of the faith, one will go to any length to defend the uncompromised purity and accuracy of the documents.

I've not addressed any of your other points because, for me, what I've said above is enough to cause Islam to unravel, just like the bones of Jesus Christ, if we discovered them in some tomb somewhere in Israel/Palestine, would cause Christianity to unravel.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 05:23:52 AM by akimori makoto » Logged

The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
doubtingthomas
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2011, 05:31:59 AM »

Mind providing said evidence? I'm honestly curious, not playing devil's advocate.

(And you don't have to be Muslim to read the Quran in Arabic....I read it in Arabic lol)
« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 05:33:13 AM by doubtingthomas » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2011, 05:39:42 AM »

Mind providing said evidence? I'm honestly curious, not playing devil's advocate.

(And you don't have to be Muslim to read the Quran in Arabic....I read it in Arabic lol)

For the moment, all I've got is google, but I can make it a bit of a project to retrieve something useful for you if you'd like. Certainly start with google though: it reveals a fair bit.
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The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2011, 05:42:11 AM »

"Recite!" The angel said....



Perhaps you should consider Thelema? Wink


... Or perhaps you should just consider what it is that you actually believe in. What you feel when you wake up in the morning.
What you feel when you read scripture.
What you feel when you "speak to God".

Are you not sure?

Are you confused?

Good, you should be.

Life is a beautiful mystery incapable of explanation through common mediums of conveyance.
 Anyone who says they have it all figured out is a liar.

An arrogant liar.

I'm not sure what a forum full of festering ego's is going to offer you in terms of "fair and balanced" spiritual advice.

Love is the law, love under will.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 05:45:09 AM by Babalon » Logged

doubtingthomas
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2011, 05:46:21 AM »

You just advertised Thelema to someone considering conversion to Islam?
You're barking up the wrong tree  lol


And thanks for your help Akimori
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2011, 05:49:58 AM »

If that's all you got out of my post, then you missed the point...
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2011, 05:55:53 AM »

Although I do admit it's peculiar that Muhammed said the proper way to pray was to always include the phrase "...and Muhammed is his messenger".

Jesus never developed any prayers to Himself that we have...He didn't stop people from worshiping Him either...

Something to keep in my mind I guess
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2011, 06:17:30 AM »

I'm going to post this link which should help alot:
http://www.answering-islam.org/

I can't wait for Isa to get in on this thread.
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2011, 06:21:42 AM »

Mind providing said evidence? I'm honestly curious, not playing devil's advocate.

(And you don't have to be Muslim to read the Quran in Arabic....I read it in Arabic lol)

This is an interesting interview, as it is the story of an Iranian (therefore Shi'ite) Muslim's conversion to Orthodoxy. This first part gives the details of the man's rejection of Islam, whereas the second part gives his story of conversion to Orthodoxy. The first part mentions the textual accuracy of the Qu'ran. Put simply, Mohammad died quite suddenly, and at the time no full text of the Qu'ran existed - the various suwar were remembered by numerous of Mohammad's disciples, and only upon his death was any attempt made to compile them. This led to more than one version of the Qu'ran existing. When Uthman became the caliph, just 12 years after Mohammad's death, there were at least three different versions in existence, centered in different communities. It was Uthman who standardized the text and then flooded the Muslim world with this standardized version, proscribing the other versions. 12 years is not long after Mohammad's death, and to have a standardized text so early on might seem like a strength, but as Akimori Makoto mentions, the Muslim claim is that the Qu'ran is the pure unadulterated word of Allah, and that Mohammad is Allah's prophet; no man-made standardization of the text should have been required.
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« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2011, 08:38:31 AM »

Do you honestly mean to tell me that you believe there is no difference between the Triune Godhead of Christianity and Allah of Islam?

Worshipping is not about observing ethical behavior or determing the 'purity' (as you define it) of texts. Worship is about discovering Truth and standing in its light and fire.

Decide where Truth is first. The rest will then come.
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« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2011, 10:36:31 AM »

-Believers faithfulness to God
Living in the Middle East allowed me to observe a contrast between Christians and Muslims. The Christians I encountered and lived with were basically Christian by inheritance. Their ancestors were Christian, so they must remain Christian regardless of their actual religious beliefs. Many Christians were lukewarm religiously at best and atheists in other instances. Many Muslims I encountered were dead serious about their religion however, and I saw more "christian" actions from them than Christians. I understand I should not base a religious conversion off the actions of others, but the Muslims I saw and knew were inspiring in their dedication to worship God and help their neighbor.

What you say is true in many cases, to Christianity's shame. But that is not what Christianity is, either.

Would you question a doctor's medical practice if most of his patients refused to take their disease seriously? If they refused to take their medicine? Of course not. You would judge him by his great successes.

Look to the saints. No religion can hold a candle to them. Any one of us can become like them, because the same grace is available to us, if only we take the same serious approach to our faith. They prove the doctor is good and right.


-A legitimate claim to scriptural purity, and respect derived thereof
Most Christians believe the Bible and especially Gospels are the Word of God. If that is so, why do we not respect the Bible as much as Muslims the Quran? Our Bibles are ugly and poorly made. Every Quran I came across in the Arab world was a stunning work of art that looked like it should be respected. Additionally, the Quran has remained the same for countless years. I realize there are two sides to this story, but not even a Christian would deny the fact that the amount of change undergone by the Bible because of so much translation could have kept the message close to the original.

Muslims view the Quran more like we view Christ — the Truth incarnate. They believe it is a direct dictation of commandments from God, meant to be taken literally in all cases. That is not the Bible. The Bible points us to Christ, it backs up the Truth, but it is not what the Quran is to Muslim.

As for beautiful Bibles, look what's on the Altar of any given Orthodox church — a gold-plated book of the Gospels.

-Prayer, pilgrimage, fasting, and charity are obligatory
The hajj is monumental and inspiring. It offers us as humans a chance to visually and emotionally realize God being the center of our existence along with others performing the same ritual. Living in Jordan I was not expecting people to be that religious since it is a rather 'westernized' country. I was very wrong. Mosques always had people at prayer times. Why are churches empty, and why is there not this kind of fellowship and dedication to worshiping God in Christianity? (At least to me it's not evident. Efforts are so half-hearted and divided into many denominations)

These things are obligatory for Christians as well. Orthodox Christians are expected to pray at least in the morning and at night and before meals. If you desire more, you can pray the Hours. If you were to pray the 1st, 3rd, 6th, 9th hours and Compline, you would have prayed five times a day, just like Muslims. This frequency is not a requirement for salvation, because we recognize that people need to grow in their faith and quality is better than quantity.

We don't have an equivalent of the Hajj, but pilgrimage to monasteries and holy sites is still recognized as a very valuable exercise. Here's a massive pilgrimage in Russia to venerate the Kursk Root icon:



And again, not all Christians (or Orthodox Christians) do these things. Returning to my first point, this does not reflect the Church's established spiritual regimen. We are free in Christ to come to Him or reject Him. We can be faithful or not. The actions of individual Christians tells something about them, not about the Church, because all the Saints prove Christianity is true and leads to salvation.

« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 10:39:40 AM by bogdan » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2011, 11:13:57 AM »

I understand this topic could get heated. I am merely aiming to discuss the merits I see in Christianity and Islam and the reason these things attract me.

I am choosing to discuss this in an Orthodox Christian forum in order to get a balance of pro-Christian input as I have many resources in terms of getting the Islamic side of the story.

Pros of Islam:

-Believers faithfulness to God
Living in the Middle East allowed me to observe a contrast between Christians and Muslims. The Christians I encountered and lived with were basically Christian by inheritance. Their ancestors were Christian, so they must remain Christian regardless of their actual religious beliefs. Many Christians were lukewarm religiously at best and atheists in other instances. Many Muslims I encountered were dead serious about their religion however, and I saw more "christian" actions from them than Christians. I understand I should not base a religious conversion off the actions of others, but the Muslims I saw and knew were inspiring in their dedication to worship God and help their neighbor.
Don't know where you were, but I saw the opposite (though in full disclosure, I haven't been in over a decade).  In fact, many Muslims would ask us Christians for favors because we could be trusted, while their fellow Muslims could not.  There was a socialogical study of the south-east suburbs of Cairo as an example of urbanization, which on the side commented that such beliefs were common among those being studied (nearly all Muslim), that Christians take care of their own, and in addition we take care of Muslims, whereas Muslims cannot be counted own to lend a hand to their fellow Muslims. The study was done in the '80s IIRC.  I know religious tensions increased during the '90s.  I could literally feel it.

I've also noticed that Middle Eastern Christians, coming to the decadent west, will pretty much keep to their old habits, whereas Muslims have a tendency to take advantage of their new found freedom to alcohol, women (or men), etc.

-A legitimate claim to scriptural purity, and respect derived thereof
Most Christians believe the Bible and especially Gospels are the Word of God. If that is so, why do we not respect the Bible as much as Muslims the Quran? Our Bibles are ugly and poorly made. Every Quran I came across in the Arab world was a stunning work of art that looked like it should be respected. Additionally, the Quran has remained the same for countless years. I realize there are two sides to this story, but not even a Christian would deny the fact that the amount of change undergone by the Bible because of so much translation could have kept the message close to the original.
The majority of Muslims can't read the Quran in the original, so it has to look good, as they have no other use for it.  And it has changed, or rather Arabic has changed, that even Arabic speaking Muslims have difficulty understanding parts.  Indeed, even in Islam's heyday there were parts that the most learned Muslims had to guess at the meaning.

And there was never one text, despite the Umayyads burning all copies and insisting only copies be made from their four exemplars (in contrast, the Romans destroyed any Biblical manuscript they could find, and yet the Bible text we have is comparible to the end result of the Umayyads censorship of the Quran).  There is a 7, 10 or 14 officially received "qira'ah" of the text, something most Muslims are not even aware about, and their scholars do not like to talk about.

-Prayer, pilgrimage, fasting, and charity are obligatory
The hajj is monumental and inspiring. It offers us as humans a chance to visually and emotionally realize God being the center of our existence along with others performing the same ritual. Living in Jordan I was not expecting people to be that religious since it is a rather 'westernized' country. I was very wrong. Mosques always had people at prayer times. Why are churches empty, and why is there not this kind of fellowship and dedication to worshiping God in Christianity? (At least to me it's not evident. Efforts are so half-hearted and divided into many denominations)
Ask the Shi'ites in Jordan (yes, they do exist) about divisions of many denominations.  The Sunni majority in Jordan keeps that under a lid, but go to Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, where they bomb each other's mosques.

Cons of Islam:

-Salvation seems placed on the individual
Aka, a lack of grace. In Islam, you basically are saved by your good deeds being weighed against your bad with your level of repentance factored in. Man seems responsible for earning salvation. Who is God that we should deserve anything from Him, much less salvation? No good act, no matter how great should 'impress' God enough for Him to save me.

-Pharasitic (sorry not a word) approach to religion
Islam is about laws governing every aspect of life as explained by God in the Quran and the example and comments of Muhammed. In laws we can lose focus of the big picture: God. However if you look at it as "God as mandated I do X" it's not as bad.

-Apparent mistakes in the Quran
The Quran at one point mentions that the Christian Trinity consists of Jesus, Mary, and God (the Father). This is a clear human misunderstanding of the doctrine as God would know our beliefs better than us and convey them as such in any subsequent revelation. Another mistake is when Mary, Jesus' Mother, is referred to as the 'Sister of Aaron' (confusing her with Miriam, but the names are the same in Arabic). The prophet attempts to explain this in a Hadith by saying "this is how people of old used to refer to people they honored", but Christians who heard this verse and Hadith didn't recognize that as a legit way of referring to respected people, and there is no other instance of this type of address in the Quran.


These verses keep coming back to my head:

"Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves...Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them." (Matt.)  ---> Islam was spread by war in its beginning.

". . . For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect – if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time" ---> There are cases of many Christians, even priests, converting to Islam
hold those last two thoughts.

Despite what Muslims claim, Muslims do convert to Christ.  The descendants of Jinnah, Father of Pakistan, cannot go to Pakinstan, as they have received baptism.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 11:17:56 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2011, 11:44:44 AM »

To answer your question, no you should not convert to Islam.
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« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2011, 11:47:01 AM »


I agree with Melodist. 

It would be the greatest mistake of your life.

I cannot understand why anyone would wish to join such a cult.

Do some deep research in to that "faith" and you will get your answers.....because if you are searching for God, you will NOT find Him there.

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« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2011, 11:53:56 AM »

hello ...

i am a Coptic Christian ..

are you sure you want to join this Hatred Cult ??

Compare between Jesus and Muhammad .. these Two are not Equivalent
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« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2011, 12:03:56 PM »

Compare between Jesus and Muhammad .. these Two are not Equivalent

Agreed. Theoretically and dogmatically and aesthetically speaking Islam is rather sympathetic religion. But Muhammed and Quran ruin everything.
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« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2011, 12:18:23 PM »

Muhammad is a Great Military Leader ... he can be Compared To Hitler or Genghis Khan ... but a prophet .. No
 
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« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2011, 12:34:32 PM »

Mohammed was a warlord. Jesus was not.

This alone tells you something.
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« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2011, 01:06:47 PM »

No one can tell you what to be or what is right for you. Pray and Pray some more an ask God to lead you to His truth an when you do this you will find it. If you want some great info an a place to learn more about Islam ran by Muslims send me a message  an I'll send you a link to there web classes. If you want a great place to hear more on Orthodoxy there is AFR http://ancientfaith.com/
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« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2011, 01:52:43 PM »

I guess I understand your post since I have at many times been attracted to Islam. The amount of respect in which many Muslims approach their religion is humbling. I see it with one of my neighbors who is from Pakistan. He goes to the mosque more than a few times a week to perform his prayers. I think Christians should really learn from the Muslim's piety.

Islam is a beautiful religion. The Qur'an is a beautiful book to read. However, for me, nothing could be comparably beautiful as the idea that God, who is perfect and infinitely great would come down from heaven; take on human flesh; suffer being scourged, mocked, beaten, and eventually killed on the cross, shows me a God who is also infinite love. Whenever I read the words of St. John who says "God is love" (1 John 4:Cool, I cannot help but get tears in my eyes, because to die for those whom He loves is the ultimate expression of love. As frustrating as life can be at times for me, when I am plagued with doubt for some of the same reasons that you are, St. John is the one who will call me back with his littler reminder of God's ineffable love for us.


Although I do admit it's peculiar that Muhammed said the proper way to pray was to always include the phrase "...and Muhammed is his messenger".

Jesus never developed any prayers to Himself that we have...He didn't stop people from worshiping Him either...

Something to keep in my mind I guess

The point about Muhammad. From what I've read, his name being added to the prayers as well as to the Adhan were later development. If you read some sources written by Qur'an only groups (who reject the Hadith). You will see that they are opposed to using Muhammad's name in the Shahada and the Adhan for instance and will argue that it was a satanic innovation (bid'ah).


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« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2011, 01:59:01 PM »

Muhammad is a Great Military Leader ... he can be Compared To Hitler or Genghis Khan ... but a prophet .. No
 

Really, you would compare him to Hitler? That is a little far. Have you ever read the book of Joshua? A prophet who slaughtered whole cities, including women, children, and animals.



Using the argument that Muhammad was violent is unproductive because we have Joshua, Moses, David, etc. in our Bibles who did their fair share of killing. We also have a few Saints who had more blood on their hands than Muhammad did. You should realize that one of the main reasons that so many people converted to Islam was because they wanted to escape the brutality of the Byzantines. They didn't have a tendency to be very friendly with non-Chalcedonians or others groups that disagreed with them.
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« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2011, 02:08:11 PM »

If you want to see places with Christian piety that would put the kind of Muslim piety you describe to shame, I would suggest visiting Ethiopia...


In investigating Muhammad's life and personality, I would recommend making a close reading of the Sira of Ibn Ishaq, which is easily available in English and Arabic. Try reading it first without any Muslim or anti-Muslim secondary material, and just ask yourself what kind of man it is describing.


As regards the textual purity of the Qur'an, unlike in the cases of other scriptures, the Islamic tradition itself discusses the process of redacting and editing the text of the Qur'an under the Caliph Uthman, and there is much evidence from a variety of sources that some material was lost/suppressed in this process. Many Shi'ites quite famously believe that ayas pertaining to Ali were suppressed, for example. Early non-Muslim sources such as St. John of Damascus, who were writing before the earliest non-Qur'anic Muslim literary sources, mention a sura called "The Camel" that now seems to no longer exist. (For the earliest non-Muslim discussions of Islam, which are also the earliest extant sources on Islam, see Robert Hoyland's book Seeing Islam as Others Saw It). Likewise, the Dome of the Rock is decorated with a jumble of quotations from the Qur'an and other Qur'anic-sounding phrases that are now no longer a part of the Qur'anic text. This is before getting into the tradition of the amazing number of variant readings of the Qur'an (the qira'at) within the Islamic tradition. For a recent discovery, from manuscript evidence, of potential very early tampering with the Qur'anic text by Muslims, see David Powers' recent book Muhammad is not the Father of Any of Your Men. The list of things like this and detailed studies of such things is huge...

The more salient issue about how Muslims treat the Qur'an, though, has to do with theology. Muslims believe that the text of the Qur'an is the uncreated speech of God and God's final revelation to mankind. This is why, at least after these doctrines were established in Islam in the 9th century, Muslims hold the physical text of the Qur'an in such high regard. For Christians, however, the Bible is not God's greatest revelation to mankind--rather it is the uncreated Word of God, the Jesus Christ. So, one of the biggest contrasts between Islam and Christianity is that Muslims believe that God's ultimate revelation to mankind is dead text (and thus their pharaseeism that you describe), which Christians believe that God's ultimate revelation to us is His coming down to us Himself as man....

For further stores of converts from Islam to Orthodox Christianity, see:

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pravmir.ru%2Fmy-budem-utesheny%2F

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/35079.htm

http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.com/2010/02/muslim-preacher-converts-to-orthodoxy.html
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« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2011, 03:23:19 PM »

To me personally, the biggest "pro" for Christianity and the biggest "con" for all other belief systems is that Christianity is about Incarnation. "And the Word became flesh, and lived among us, and we saw His glory..." God - the Being Who is without beginning or end, without limits, invisible, incomprehensible, - becomes one of us, quite visible, tangible, seen, heard, understood (or misunderstood); suffers, and dies, and conquers death by His death. The Word Incarnate, Lord Jesus Christ, the man like you and me, takes with Himself our human nature, albeit healed and deified by His divinity, and raises it to the Trone of God in heaven, and promises us that we can also "inherit the Kingdom," become deified, intimately united with God. I just don't see anything even remotedly as beautiful, powerful, awesome as this in any other religion, philosophy, ideology, etc.
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« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2011, 03:34:33 PM »

Muhammad is a Great Military Leader ... he can be Compared To Hitler or Genghis Khan ... but a prophet .. No
 
Really, you would compare him to Hitler? That is a little far. Have you ever read the book of Joshua? A prophet who slaughtered whole cities, including women, children, and animals.


I think we have to be careful drawing a moral equivalency between our prophets and Mohammad. Joshua was a member of the Church, acting on God's direct command to slaughter those people, clearing out Israel and doing his part to prepare the way for the Messiah. Meanwhile, Mohammad came centuries after Christ, claiming to be a prophet, probably acting under demonic influence, slaughtering people for whatever reasons he had. (And were it not for Mohammad, there might be 3.5 billion Christians today, instead of 2 billion.)
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« Reply #25 on: November 22, 2011, 03:42:34 PM »

Muhammad is a Great Military Leader ... he can be Compared To Hitler or Genghis Khan ... but a prophet .. No
 
Really, you would compare him to Hitler? That is a little far. Have you ever read the book of Joshua? A prophet who slaughtered whole cities, including women, children, and animals.


I think we have to be careful drawing a moral equivalency between our prophets and Mohammad. Joshua was a member of the Church, acting on God's direct command to slaughter those people, clearing out Israel and doing his part to prepare the way for the Messiah. Meanwhile, Mohammad came centuries after Christ, claiming to be a prophet, probably acting under demonic influence, slaughtering people for whatever reasons he had. (And were it not for Mohammad, there might be 3.5 billion Christians today, instead of 2 billion.)

You have to realize that Muslims didn't forcibly convert as many people as you would like. Christianity was way more effective at spreading with the sword than Islam ever was.
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« Reply #26 on: November 22, 2011, 04:03:48 PM »


You have to realize that Muslims didn't forcibly convert as many people as you would like. Christianity was way more effective at spreading with the sword than Islam ever was.

You are kidding, right?  Grin

The conquest of Africa was completed by Muhammad's 3rd successor! I would rather you compared the time of the apostles with the time of the first generation Muslims to see the difference.
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« Reply #27 on: November 22, 2011, 04:08:02 PM »


Using the argument that Muhammad was violent is unproductive because we have Joshua, Moses, David, etc. in our Bibles who did their fair share of killing.

Yet these figures were also political figures and they slaughtered many for the interests of their newly established nation. They did not conduct war on people because of religious reasons, but this was exactly what Muhammad did.  Wink
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« Reply #28 on: November 22, 2011, 04:21:49 PM »

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy.

_ _ _ _ _


Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God

while Mohammad is only considered to be a prophet.

Interestingly, while Muslims honor the Virgin Mary and believe in the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ, Muslims DO NOT consider the birth of their "Prophet" to be miraculous. In the Middle East, when *Muslims are sick or seeking healing, they approach our Orthodox Churches and venerate our icons.

* Since I do not know the exact percentages of those Muslims who seek help from the Orthodox and who venerate our icons or seek our prayers, I did not know what determiner to use: a few, some, many, or most.
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« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2011, 04:24:01 PM »


Pros of Islam:

-Believers faithfulness to God
Living in the Middle East allowed me to observe a contrast between Christians and Muslims. The Christians I encountered and lived with were basically Christian by inheritance. Their ancestors were Christian, so they must remain Christian regardless of their actual religious beliefs. Many Christians were lukewarm religiously at best and atheists in other instances. Many Muslims I encountered were dead serious about their religion however, and I saw more "christian" actions from them than Christians. I understand I should not base a religious conversion off the actions of others, but the Muslims I saw and knew were inspiring in their dedication to worship God and help their neighbor.


I personally find it wrong and misleading to praise or bash a religion or faith on the basis of what its followers/members do.

-A legitimate claim to scriptural purity, and respect derived thereof
Most Christians believe the Bible and especially Gospels are the Word of God. If that is so, why do we not respect the Bible as much as Muslims the Quran? Our Bibles are ugly and poorly made. Every Quran I came across in the Arab world was a stunning work of art that looked like it should be respected. Additionally, the Quran has remained the same for countless years. I realize there are two sides to this story, but not even a Christian would deny the fact that the amount of change undergone by the Bible because of so much translation could have kept the message close to the original.

It is not a legitimate claim, but only a claim. Muslims assert to have inherited and preserved the Qur'an version present during the reign of the 3rd Caliph. However, the recent discovery of a remarkably different Qur'an text in Yemen has shed doubt on this assertion.

http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/oskar/palimpsest.html

Further, even Islamic history and tradition testify to the fact that Muhammad did not live long enough to preside the Quranic compilation and confirm the accuracy of the text.

-Prayer, pilgrimage, fasting, and charity are obligatory
The hajj is monumental and inspiring. It offers us as humans a chance to visually and emotionally realize God being the center of our existence along with others performing the same ritual. Living in Jordan I was not expecting people to be that religious since it is a rather 'westernized' country. I was very wrong. Mosques always had people at prayer times. Why are churches empty, and why is there not this kind of fellowship and dedication to worshiping God in Christianity? (At least to me it's not evident. Efforts are so half-hearted and divided into many denominations)

Remember what the Lord taught about the Pharisees. Islamic worship is almost always in the form of a show. More, Muslims adopted the ritual of Hajj from Meccan pagans. It is not peculiar to Islam.

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« Reply #30 on: November 22, 2011, 04:35:57 PM »


Pros of Islam:

-Believers faithfulness to God
Living in the Middle East allowed me to observe a contrast between Christians and Muslims. The Christians I encountered and lived with were basically Christian by inheritance. Their ancestors were Christian, so they must remain Christian regardless of their actual religious beliefs. Many Christians were lukewarm religiously at best and atheists in other instances. Many Muslims I encountered were dead serious about their religion however, and I saw more "christian" actions from them than Christians. I understand I should not base a religious conversion off the actions of others, but the Muslims I saw and knew were inspiring in their dedication to worship God and help their neighbor.


I personally find it wrong and misleading to praise or bash a religion or faith on the basis of what its followers/members do.

-A legitimate claim to scriptural purity, and respect derived thereof
Most Christians believe the Bible and especially Gospels are the Word of God. If that is so, why do we not respect the Bible as much as Muslims the Quran? Our Bibles are ugly and poorly made. Every Quran I came across in the Arab world was a stunning work of art that looked like it should be respected. Additionally, the Quran has remained the same for countless years. I realize there are two sides to this story, but not even a Christian would deny the fact that the amount of change undergone by the Bible because of so much translation could have kept the message close to the original.

It is not a legitimate claim, but only a claim. Muslims assert to have inherited and preserved the Qur'an version present during the reign of the 3rd Caliph. However, the recent discovery of a remarkably different Qur'an text in Yemen has shed doubt on this assertion.

http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/oskar/palimpsest.html

Further, even Islamic history and tradition testify to the fact that Muhammad did not live long enough to preside the Quranic compilation and confirm the accuracy of the text.

-Prayer, pilgrimage, fasting, and charity are obligatory
The hajj is monumental and inspiring. It offers us as humans a chance to visually and emotionally realize God being the center of our existence along with others performing the same ritual. Living in Jordan I was not expecting people to be that religious since it is a rather 'westernized' country. I was very wrong. Mosques always had people at prayer times. Why are churches empty, and why is there not this kind of fellowship and dedication to worshiping God in Christianity? (At least to me it's not evident. Efforts are so half-hearted and divided into many denominations)

Remember what the Lord taught about the Pharisees. Islamic worship is almost always in the form of a show. More, Muslims adopted the ritual of Hajj from Meccan pagans. It is not peculiar to Islam.



Many of the Islamic customs such as praying five times a day with prostrations, fasting and feasting, and the style of their mosques come from the Christian-Judeo traditions and culture which surrounded their "Prophet." While an Imam told me that their "Prophet" gave those traditions to them, it is a fact that Orthodox Christian monastics pray seven liturgical hours per day, say the Jesus Prayer repeatedly, make multiple prostrations throughout the day (300 is the typical number prescribed for Orthodox Christian novices), and fast more than half the year. If someone wants to perform spiritual gymnastics, Orthodox Christian Monastics would win the crown.

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« Reply #31 on: November 22, 2011, 04:40:02 PM »

Pros of Christianity:
Jesus Christ.

As a MidEast studies aficionado, I get the fascination with Islam on a superficial level. But for me, it stops and ends there. Regardless of all of the "Cons" of Christianity, that pro trumps absolutely everything else in my book.
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« Reply #32 on: November 22, 2011, 05:14:27 PM »

Pros of Christianity:
Jesus Christ.

As a MidEast studies aficionado, I get the fascination with Islam on a superficial level. But for me, it stops and ends there. Regardless of all of the "Cons" of Christianity, that pro trumps absolutely everything else in my book.

Agree 200%!
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« Reply #33 on: November 22, 2011, 05:40:14 PM »

++
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« Reply #34 on: November 22, 2011, 07:03:38 PM »

Thanks for everyone's input. I don't think I can possibly reply to everyone's posts.

The book is definitely something special because of the Arabic it uses and the fact that the text itself challenges others to make one like it. Although, this is a useless challenge because who judges if the created sura is better than the Quran's? Muslims most likely, and of course they will not admit anything mad made surpasses a revelation to Muhammed.

I am still investigating textual discrepancies in the Quran as this seems to be they key piece. If a prophets revelation has any mistake, it can't stand (in my book....no pun). I would also like to see sources for authenticity of the Gospels.

In the interview that one of you posted with a former Muslim, this guy mentioned that Mohammed claimed the Gospels were ruined some time between a few hundred years after Jesus' leaving the Earth and Muhammed's birth. Despite this claim, we apparently have original Gospel manuscripts from before this time which are nearly identical to the Greek language Bibles today.

And more wisdom on my search from Jesus' Mouth:
"Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets." [Luke6:26]
(Muslims can't pass up Muhammed's name without praying for him to have peace and blessings and the same on his family, friends, companions, and followers!)

I want to find information about this as it would help my investigation.

Another realization that I'm going to keep in mind that I had this morning:
There are maybe 2 billion Christians, and 1.5 billion Muslims (conservative estimates). Mostly all of these people, assuming they believe the basic tenets of their religion, believe Jesus really was a special guy who didn't die. Of which person ever in history has the claim been made and belief upheld by so many people that a man was loved by God so much that He never died? So maybe there's more to His story after all.
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« Reply #35 on: November 22, 2011, 07:08:14 PM »

There is a far more basic problem here than just islam or Christianity.

Is Jesus Christ a liar?

Is he either God of Very God and the Messiah as he said he is, or is he a liar? I'd answer that one first.

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« Reply #36 on: November 22, 2011, 07:08:42 PM »

To answer your question, no you should not convert to Islam.

This made me laugh lol
Thank you for your direct answer!
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« Reply #37 on: November 22, 2011, 07:10:25 PM »

Quote
There are maybe 2 billion Christians, and 1.5 billion Muslims (conservative estimates). Mostly all of these people, assuming they believe the basic tenets of their religion, believe Jesus really was a special guy who didn't die. Of which person ever in history has the claim been made and belief upheld by so many people that a man was loved by God so much that He never died? So maybe there's more to His story after all.

Never died??  Moslems might not believe Jesus died on the cross, but Christians do. But, Christians also believe He rose from the dead, surely the very cornerstone of the faith.
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« Reply #38 on: November 22, 2011, 07:12:09 PM »

There is a far more basic problem here than just islam or Christianity.

Is Jesus Christ a liar?

Is he either God of Very God and the Messiah as he said he is, or is he a liar? I'd answer that one first.

PP

That's not the problem. The problem is verifying our Gospels against the Muslim claim that they've been tampered with. The problem is proving nobody has lied about Jesus Christ in their writings. After it's proven that there were little or no changes, I have no choice but to accept Jesus' divinity (yet again in my life).

In the back of my mind:
(Jesus talking with Thomas)

"...Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” [john20:29]
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« Reply #39 on: November 22, 2011, 07:13:13 PM »

Quote
There are maybe 2 billion Christians, and 1.5 billion Muslims (conservative estimates). Mostly all of these people, assuming they believe the basic tenets of their religion, believe Jesus really was a special guy who didn't die. Of which person ever in history has the claim been made and belief upheld by so many people that a man was loved by God so much that He never died? So maybe there's more to His story after all.

Never died??  Moslems might not believe Jesus died on the cross, but Christians do. But, Christians also believe He rose from the dead, surely the very cornerstone of the faith.

That's not the point of what I was saying. Semantics. My point was that half the world believes firmly that Jesus was a really cool guy. Sheesh.
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« Reply #40 on: November 22, 2011, 07:16:26 PM »

Semantics? The Resurrection is not important, just that people think Jesus was a 'really cool guy'?

Are you trying to be offensive? I know there are other things going on for you, but it does make a difference whether or not you, and the Muslims, believe Jesus was the Son of God or not. It matters.
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« Reply #41 on: November 22, 2011, 07:18:02 PM »

I don't like the reference to Christ as a "really cool guy".  He was more than a "cool guy".  He was God.  

....and if you are worried about proving the Gospels are accurate....prove to me that Quran is accurate.

Prove to me that Allah is God.  Prove to me that God gave these visions to Muhammad.  Prove to me that it wasn't Satan who gave him these visions.

Prove to me that Muhammad wrote them down accurately...oh wait...he's not the one who wrote them down at all.

Prove to me that Islam is not evil.

You'll have a really hard time with this last one....Prove to me that they are peaceful....
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« Reply #42 on: November 22, 2011, 07:23:34 PM »

You have to realize that Muslims didn't forcibly convert as many people as you would like. Christianity was way more effective at spreading with the sword than Islam ever was.
Bull.
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« Reply #43 on: November 22, 2011, 07:24:07 PM »

How many modern day Christian clerics can send out a fatwa on someone's head and get blood shed over it?
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« Reply #44 on: November 22, 2011, 07:24:21 PM »

Wow, you guys jump at any chance to bite someone's head off.

It's called dry humor. A discussion this heavy needs some lightening up, otherwise we'll drive ourselves crazy.

Also, if you want to play the "who converted more by the sword game" please start your own thread. I honestly don't care about those numbers and it has a lesser importance to me for any potential conversion. It's a moral elitist's argument which to me is not convincing. Thanks.


"MY religion is better because MY religion has caused less deaths AND converted people by belief, not war...as opposed to YOUR religion."
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« Reply #45 on: November 22, 2011, 07:27:13 PM »

How many modern day Christian clerics can send out a fatwa on someone's head and get blood shed over it?

My grandpa is part of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher. I'm about 90% sure if the Pope ordered them to kill someone, he would do it. But that's beside the point of this thread lol
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« Reply #46 on: November 22, 2011, 07:35:31 PM »

To answer your question, no you should not convert to Islam.

This made me laugh lol
Thank you for your direct answer!

It didn't make me laugh. It's a sobering sentence and one that i'd endorse without any further investigation. I have witnessed too many friends get tangled up in doctrine that at one time, they wouldn't have entertained in a million years. Doctrine that has so seduced and ensnared them because the words have appeared reasonable.
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« Reply #47 on: November 22, 2011, 07:37:54 PM »

To answer your question, no you should not convert to Islam.

This made me laugh lol
Thank you for your direct answer!

It didn't make me laugh. It's a sobering sentence and one that i'd endorse without any further investigation. I have witnessed too many friends get tangled up in doctrine that at one time, they wouldn't have entertained in a million years. Doctrine that has so seduced and ensnared them because the words have appeared reasonable.

If you're confident in your beliefs, put them to the test of others'. I already explained why I considered investigating Islam.
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« Reply #48 on: November 22, 2011, 07:39:37 PM »

To answer your question, no you should not convert to Islam.

This made me laugh lol
Thank you for your direct answer!

It didn't make me laugh. It's a sobering sentence and one that i'd endorse without any further investigation. I have witnessed too many friends get tangled up in doctrine that at one time, they wouldn't have entertained in a million years. Doctrine that has so seduced and ensnared them because the words have appeared reasonable.

If you're confident in your beliefs, put them to the test of others'. I already explained why I considered investigating Islam.

There are enough "tests" in this life without creating them where they don't need to be.
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« Reply #49 on: November 22, 2011, 07:51:31 PM »

You have to realize that Muslims didn't forcibly convert as many people as you would like. Christianity was way more effective at spreading with the sword than Islam ever was.
Bull.

You think so? Do you think that all the natives in South America accepted freely when the Spanish and Portuguese came to Christianize them? What about Africa? I don't think many had a choice there. Same with the Byzantine Empire and Kievan Rus. What was going on in the Islamic areas was the same thing that was happening in Christian countries, even Holy Russia and the Byzantine Empire. I don't like the argument against Islam that many on here espouse. Instead of offering constructive reasoning as to why Islam is wrong, people just say it is violent and include various insults. Seriously, people opposed to Christianity throw the same arguments that Christianity is a hateful and violent religion. I've read plenty of what the Church did in the Middle Ages and a lot of it isn't pretty. It usually involves massacres, crusades, inquisitions, and people being burned at the stake. When offering real arguments against Islam, don't use the same old BS about them being the "religion of the sword" or whatever. It goes nowhere.
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« Reply #50 on: November 22, 2011, 08:16:53 PM »

Despite what Muslims claim, Muslims do convert to Christ.  The descendants of Jinnah, Father of Pakistan, cannot go to Pakinstan, as they have received baptism


Our Parish regularly hosts a Priest from Indonesia Father Daniel ( I have to look up his last name) who is a convert from Islam and is now an Orthodox Arch Priest. His testimony is very compelling

If you PM me I could try to put you in touch with him for some guidance.
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« Reply #51 on: November 22, 2011, 08:21:04 PM »

Is he Fr. Byantoro? I've heard his podcasts, they are very good.  angel
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« Reply #52 on: November 22, 2011, 08:23:25 PM »

Despite what Muslims claim, Muslims do convert to Christ.  The descendants of Jinnah, Father of Pakistan, cannot go to Pakinstan, as they have received baptism


Our Parish regularly hosts a Priest from Indonesia Father Daniel ( I have to look up his last name) who is a convert from Islam and is now an Orthodox Arch Priest. His testimony is very compelling

If you PM me I could try to put you in touch with him for some guidance.

Fr. Daniel Byantoro?

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Daniel_%28Bambang_Dwi%29_Byantoro
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« Reply #53 on: November 22, 2011, 08:33:03 PM »

compare between the Two founders of the Two Religions ...

who is better :

Jesus or Muhammad ?

which of them Deserves really to be Glorified and Praised?
 
Did Muhammad Deserve to be Equivalent to Jesus Of Nazareth?

how did the Life of Both Figures affected the Life of their Followers?

What is the Content of their Teachings?

yes, some christians did Violent Acts ... But what this have to Do with Jesus of Nazareth?
 
Muslims Did Violent acts in the Past and Nowadays, how is this Related to Life and Teachings of Muhammad?

in which way do Both religions look to People who are not following them?

How God according to both Religions communicates with the Human Kind?

and be Aware ... Use the Primary Sources of these religions ( Scripture, Traditions (as Hadith in Islam) so that your research will be Pefrect ...

And may god help you ...

Coptic Chrisitian here , i would like to help you as much as i can.
 
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« Reply #54 on: November 22, 2011, 10:15:55 PM »

Doubting Thomas,

It does not appear that you are reading our responses, but are determined to embrace Islam and preach it to us.

Please consider the plight of this woman:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,41216.msg672334/topicseen.html#msg672334

Do you agree that a woman who is raped should be forced to marry her rapist or face 12 years in jail and/or a honor killing by her family or the family of the rapist?

Do you believe that honor killing is justified because Mohammed and his followers would also agree with it?

And finally, would you agree to kill your family members and other Christians if a fatwa was issued against us?
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« Reply #55 on: November 22, 2011, 10:23:31 PM »

Is he Fr. Byantoro? I've heard his podcasts, they are very good.  angel

Yes, he was here last week and visits us fairly often.

He occasionally gives the sermon when he is here. Last time he summarized the Orthodox view of the Theotokos perfectly and completely in about 18 minutes.. It was a work of art. Awesome.
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« Reply #56 on: November 22, 2011, 10:25:04 PM »

Should you convert to Islam? Why are you asking that question on a Christian Forum?  Grin

Of course, you must do what you are led by your own conscience to do. Only you know what is right for you.

Personally, even if I wasn't Orthodox, I couldn't let go of Jesus Christ as my ideal!
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« Reply #57 on: November 22, 2011, 10:56:51 PM »

There is a far more basic problem here than just islam or Christianity.

Is Jesus Christ a liar?

Is he either God of Very God and the Messiah as he said he is, or is he a liar? I'd answer that one first.

PP

That's not the problem. The problem is verifying our Gospels against the Muslim claim that they've been tampered with. The problem is proving nobody has lied about Jesus Christ in their writings. After it's proven that there were little or no changes, I have no choice but to accept Jesus' divinity (yet again in my life).

In the back of my mind:
(Jesus talking with Thomas)

"...Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” [john20:29]

Re the Muslim claim that the Jewish and Christian scriptures have been tampered with: why do our "old testament" scriptures correspond so closely with the Jewish canon if our scriptures are mutilated and in error? Surely the Muslims do not suggest that the Jews and Christians, who are in agreement in nothing as concerns the person of Jesus Christ, conspired to tamper with their own respective scriptures in exactly the same manner?

I have always found this claim completely fanciful and I am shocked anyone puts any stock in it. Am I missing something?
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« Reply #58 on: November 22, 2011, 11:28:06 PM »


-Apparent mistakes in the Quran
The Quran at one point mentions that the Christian Trinity consists of Jesus, Mary, and God (the Father). This is a clear human misunderstanding of the doctrine as God would know our beliefs better than us and convey them as such in any subsequent revelation. Another mistake is when Mary, Jesus' Mother, is referred to as the 'Sister of Aaron' (confusing her with Miriam, but the names are the same in Arabic). The prophet attempts to explain this in a Hadith by saying "this is how people of old used to refer to people they honored", but Christians who heard this verse and Hadith didn't recognize that as a legit way of referring to respected people, and there is no other instance of this type of address in the Quran.
This is a pretty big problem, since Muslim doctrine hinges on the Koran being 100% accurate on all points. Sure, you have scholars who create elaborate apologies for the rather obvious mistakes, and I find their explanations about as convincing as I find Fundamentalist Protestants' explanations for various internal inconsistencies and historical inaccuracies in the Bible. That's "not very" in case you're wondering.
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« Reply #59 on: November 22, 2011, 11:33:35 PM »

You should believe something because it is true. Every other reason is wrong.

Besides that, Christianity has all the things you mentioned. Your post reminds me a bit of a video of this woman who says she converted to Islam and left Christianity because Islam prohibits doing drugs, being a drunk and sleeping around - apparently she's totally clueless about Christianity.
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« Reply #60 on: November 22, 2011, 11:58:21 PM »

+1
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« Reply #61 on: November 23, 2011, 12:06:31 AM »

You think so? Do you think that all the natives in South America accepted freely when the Spanish and Portuguese came to Christianize them? What about Africa? I don't think many had a choice there. Same with the Byzantine Empire and Kievan Rus. What was going on in the Islamic areas was the same thing that was happening in Christian countries, even Holy Russia and the Byzantine Empire. I don't like the argument against Islam that many on here espouse. Instead of offering constructive reasoning as to why Islam is wrong, people just say it is violent and include various insults. Seriously, people opposed to Christianity throw the same arguments that Christianity is a hateful and violent religion. I've read plenty of what the Church did in the Middle Ages and a lot of it isn't pretty. It usually involves massacres, crusades, inquisitions, and people being burned at the stake. When offering real arguments against Islam, don't use the same old BS about them being the "religion of the sword" or whatever. It goes nowhere.

The problem with this kind of thinking, morisco, is that you are comparing two very distinct phases of history and making some sort of equivalency out of two things that were not equal then, and certainly cannot be considered equal now. Being the descendent of some of those indigenous people, nobody has to tell me what the Spanish did in South America. It certainly is nothing to be proud of. But is also is not a fair picture of "the spread of Christianity" vs. "the spread of Islam".

In the first four centuries of Christianity, the spread of the faith was largely without the power of empire behind it, and yet it still penetrated deeply into North and East Africa, India, the Fertile Crescent, Europe, etc. Basically the entire world, as far as was known then. It was not until much later, following some internal controversies and subsequent developments in the imperial church that set East and West (and "East" and "Orient", as we understand those terms Christologically) on different trajectories that we would get things like the Crusades, the Inquisition, etc. For instance. Kevian Rus' was Christianized largely in the 9th and 10th centuries, that is to say, nearly a thousand  years after the initial (peaceful) spread of Christianity.

Islam's historical trajectory looks very different than this because its impetus was different. "I have been ordered to fight all people until they declare that their is no god but Allah", said the wretched blasphemer and profiteer. Its expansion was therefore dependent on an external enemy to mobilize the faithful for the temporal victory of Allah's religion, first over the pagans in Muhammad's midst, then over the others in his surroundings (Jews and Christians), then (after much of the peninsula proper had been brought under Muhammad's control during his lifetime) over adjacent regions to the East (the Fertile Crescent) and the West (much of Europe). Along the way, however, the social and economic engines that kept the Islamic war machine going began to be transformed by the large numbers of converts, thereby denying a large source of revenue (tribute from non-Muslims) and slowing down the pace of conquest, as later converted people like the Indonesians and Malaysians largely saw it as good business sense (they were right, too).

Islam basically moderated during those times when it didn't have to convert people by force, but make no mistake: that has always been an option, and one that is entirely consistent with Muhammad's personal examples and sayings, and certainly with the actions of the earliest Islamic rulers.

So ask yourself: Which of the apostles who brought Christianity to the world resorted to such atrocities? St. Mark was martyred in Egypt, but Egypt had blossomed as a majority-Christian society before the coming of the Islamic horde. St. Thomas was likewise martyred in India, but not before planting a community that is several million strong to this day, despite always being a minority religion in that land (something that Islam could learn, but never will: You don't have rule over the land you are in to prove the strength of your faith). Similar histories could be told of a great many other saints, apostles, and missionaries. Nothing similar can be said of any Muslim ever, anywhere, and I doubt it ever will be so, because Islam simply does not operate in that fashion. It preaches a different gospel, and we all know what that means...

Akimori: What's more, why, if they maintain that our scriptures are corrupted, do they also claim that Muhammad is prophesied in them? (like claiming he is mentioned by name in the Song of Songs)

Unrelated to any of the above: When I lived in Oregon, in a town that had a lot of Saudis and other Muslims, I saw and heard of a lot of what Isa has written about Muslims in the west going a little "freedom crazy", if you will. I got to be sort of friends with a local cab driver and he regaled me with stories (that I didn't ask for) about how strange it was that he would always be called to the nightclubs on the weekend to pick up drunken Saudis who were rude and still possessed a "holier than thou" attitude despite being pitiful losers acting not only outside the bounds of their own religion, but in ways that would make American fratpersons blush. I don't know about any of that, but I did ask my Saudi friend Meedo about it once and he became very defensive: "America is a free country! So we do what we want." It is as though Allah would look the other way while they are in the land of the kuffar. Then again, I guess Islam's Allah has always been very Mecca-centric (except, y'know, before that, when Muhammad had ordered his people to pray to Jerusalem)...and there are certainly much more exciting places to check up on than Eugene, Oregon.

Contrast that with life today among the Copts. Now, I don't know all of them in the world, but I do know all of them (I think) here in Albuquerque, NM. They're not perfect (after all, they let me come to their liturgies and such), but they are very friendly, family-oriented, not prone to excesses in anything but perhaps fasting. Smiley Not one of them has ever said to me "I can do whatever I want because I'm in America now, not Egypt." So, if we're going to judge a religion by the piety of its members (which is a terrible idea, but seems to be a part of the OP's "pro-Islam" argument), Orthodox Christianity wins all the way.

So OP -- don't convert to Islam. Convert to Orthodoxy. You can pray and fast more than Muslims, speak Arabic (if this is part of the attraction; I know some people who converted to Islam who thought this made it more beautiful), AND (this is the best part) you get the real, actual God, not Muhammad's self-serving recension of God based on his perversion of previous scriptures mixed with various heresies that were floating around Arabia at his time.
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« Reply #62 on: November 23, 2011, 12:21:37 AM »

+1
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« Reply #63 on: November 23, 2011, 12:30:24 AM »

Wow, you guys jump at any chance to bite someone's head off.

It's called dry humor. A discussion this heavy needs some lightening up, otherwise we'll drive ourselves crazy.

Also, if you want to play the "who converted more by the sword game" please start your own thread. I honestly don't care about those numbers and it has a lesser importance to me for any potential conversion. It's a moral elitist's argument which to me is not convincing. Thanks.


"MY religion is better because MY religion has caused less deaths AND converted people by belief, not war...as opposed to YOUR religion."

So, what about my post about the Incarnation? Does the Incarnation leave you indifferent?
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« Reply #64 on: November 23, 2011, 12:54:38 AM »

I would strongly beg you not to become a Muslim. The theological differences are so profound if you choose to worship the god of Mohammad, you will not be worshipping the one holy and undivided Trinity.
Allah is one and within one there can be no love and no creation. All that is required is to submit to Allah as a slave. But within the Holy Trinity there is the love of the Father for the Son and Holy Spirit. And this love is reciprocated within the Holy Trinity. And through that Divine Love all of creation came into being.

Also, the Holy Scriptures were written over time by many authors who wrote it within the context of the history of Church which began on the day of creation. The Qu\'ran was written without this context of history by one supposed author, Mohammad. Read the article below by Fr. Patrick Reardon. I would even contact Fr. Pat if you have more questions about the many theological differences. He will clearly guide you.

One Difference Between the Bible and the Qu\'ran

Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon

    
Tenth Sunday After Pentecost
Father Pat's Pastoral Ponderings

For a long time the identification of a thematic core of ideas was a major difficulty facing modern biblical scholarship. Even from fifty years ago I recall initiatory books--with titles like Introduction to the Old Testament and New Testament Theology--in which the author prefaced his labor with many pages trying to justify the effort: What were the unifying doctrines that led to the formation of the biblical canon(s)? I, for one, was never satisfied that the author answered the question. Only later did I realize it was the wrong question.

The difficulty came from the nature of the biblical canon, which differs greatly from what may appear, at first, to be parallel cases. For instance, a book entitled An Introduction to Plato or The Philosophy of Jane Austen begins with the canonical limits of these two authors. Their origin from a single mind is the unifying core of their ideas.

Even a literary canon not determined by single authorship normally has some other recognizable factor providing a unitive core. In a book entitled An Introduction to the Romantics, for instance, the author is not obliged to spend a lot of pages explaining why Endymion is included and The Old Man and the Sea is left out.

Contrast such clarity of purpose with the task of identifying what ideas Chronicles and Job have in common, or picking out the themes shared by Nahum and Deuteronomy, or Jude and Luke. Since the New Testament was composed over several decades, and the Old Testament over several centuries, there is an inbuilt frustration in attempting to canonize either testament on the basis of its core ideas, to say nothing of uniting both testaments in a single canon.

A few years ago Remi Brague summed up the simple and easily recognized truth of the matter: "The unity of the Bible does not reside in the text itself, but in the experience of the people of Israel. That experience constitutes the common background upon which and in the light of which the texts have continuously been read and reread" (The Wisdom of the World, p. 44).

To be sure, there are multiple thematic doctrines found all through the Bible. The Bible's true and deeper unity, however, comes from the unified history of an identifiable entity--Israel and the Church. The biblical metaphor for that unity is the cultivated olive tree of Israel, into which, according to St. Paul, the believing Gentiles have been engrafted (Romans 11:16-28).

We will not strain the force of Paul's metaphor, I believe, if we regard the sundry books of Holy Scripture as the olives produced by that tree. Thus, if the books of the New Testament, in some instances, look and taste different from those of the Old, this is hardly surprising. The fruit of an engrafted branch is determined by the species of that branch, even while its life wells up from the older root and is transmitted through the common trunk. In short, an identifiable historical community--the one Church of the Old and New Testaments--is what provides the unity of the Scriptures.

In this respect there is a radical difference between the Bible and the Qu'ran, because a single authorship unites the 114 qu'ranic suras. (We understand that author to be Muhammad, whereas Muslims believe him to be God, but that disagreement does not bear on the distinction considered here.) Islam was begotten and born of the Qu'ran, not the other way around. Canonicity preceded community. Thus, it is not the least bit difficult to write a Qu'ranic Theology or A Thematic Introduction to the Qu'ran, because the canonicity of the text is in no way contingent on the history and experience--or even the existence--of Islam. On the other hand, It is impossible even to think of the Bible without Israel and the Church.

The unnecessary problem faced by those misguided "introductions" and "theologies," of which I first spoke, grew from the deep chasm dug between exegesis and ecclesiology about five hundred years ago, when theologians felt obliged to choose between the Bible and the Church. Depending on their choice, either the Bible lost its proper hermeneutic context, or there perished from the Church an identifying feature of her being. Without the Church, of which the Bible was a formal and constitutive part, those modern exegetes were forced to examine the shared content of the Bible's canon in order to explain its canonicity. Man put asunder what God had joined together.


Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and a Senior Editor of Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity.


http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles8/Reardon-One-Difference-Between-the-Bible-and-the-Quran.php
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« Reply #65 on: November 23, 2011, 01:14:42 AM »

Despite what Muslims claim, Muslims do convert to Christ.  The descendants of Jinnah, Father of Pakistan, cannot go to Pakinstan, as they have received baptism


Our Parish regularly hosts a Priest from Indonesia Father Daniel ( I have to look up his last name) who is a convert from Islam and is now an Orthodox Arch Priest. His testimony is very compelling

If you PM me I could try to put you in touch with him for some guidance.
It is probably good that he remain in the USA. I have heard of Catholic priests who had converted from Islam being tortured and killed. BTW, don't some countries still have the law that if a Muslim converts to Christianity he is subject to capital punishment?
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« Reply #66 on: November 23, 2011, 02:33:50 AM »

Yes, Stanley. Conversion from Islam to another religion is punishable by death in some Islam-dominated countries (in a great many more people will just gather into a big mob and murder you themselves outside of any court/legal situation, and suffer no retribution for it). Youcef Nadarkani has been sentenced to death for apostasy in Iran, just as other ex-Muslims turned Christians have. In Egypt, Mohammed Hegazy has been denied the right to have his religion legally changed from Islam to Christianity on his ID card, and Sheikhs Gad al-Ibrahim and Youssef el-Badri, as well as professors at al Azhar have called for him to be executed should he not return to Islam after being given three days to recant, and some sheikhs have also issued fatwas that his daughter (born to his wife, also a convert to Christianity, while they were in hiding) should also be killed at age 10 if she does not choose Islam.

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« Reply #67 on: November 23, 2011, 02:59:53 AM »

Yes, Stanley. Conversion from Islam to another religion is punishable by death in some Islam-dominated countries (in a great many more people will just gather into a big mob and murder you themselves outside of any court/legal situation, and suffer no retribution for it). Youcef Nadarkani has been sentenced to death for apostasy in Iran, just as other ex-Muslims turned Christians have. In Egypt, Mohammed Hegazy has been denied the right to have his religion legally changed from Islam to Christianity on his ID card, and Sheikhs Gad al-Ibrahim and Youssef el-Badri, as well as professors at al Azhar have called for him to be executed should he not return to Islam after being given three days to recant, and some sheikhs have also issued fatwas that his daughter (born to his wife, also a convert to Christianity, while they were in hiding) should also be killed at age 10 if she does not choose Islam.


It looks like this might be a small problem if a Christian converts to Islam, but then later on changes his mind.
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« Reply #68 on: November 23, 2011, 04:27:38 AM »

It probably varies at least a bit by location and local culture. Some places where the population is more evenly split between Christians and Muslims (e.g., East Africa) often have mixed families, which makes it hard to enforce the law of one religion over another. Makes sense if you think about it: Islamic laws for an Islamic population, and for a mixed population...well, the Muslims will try anyway. This is why there are many places in the world where an enclave of Muslims pushes everybody else around even when they are a minority in terms of the overall state (e.g., the semi-autonomous Muslim-majority island of Zanzibar belonging to Christian-majority Tanzania), or even within their specific enclave (e.g., the "Autonomous Republic of Muslim Mindanao" in southern Philippines, which does not have a Muslim majority but is the only part of the Philippines with a large concentration of Muslims, who make up a total of 5-10% of Filipinos).

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« Reply #69 on: November 23, 2011, 04:49:07 AM »

There are enough "tests" in this life without creating them where they don't need to be.

True.
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« Reply #70 on: November 23, 2011, 11:08:49 AM »

If authenticity is what you're after, look no further than the disciples and apostles who were martyred for preaching the faith. If the ones who were with Christ for three years, in His "inner circle" if you will, were not 1000% sure He is God, they would not have willingly given up their lives for Him, His message, and the testimony that they themselves wrote in the form of the Gospels and epistles.

If that is still not enough for you, I encourage you to read the book The Case for Christ. It's written by a former athiest journalist who found Christ through various interviews with Biblical scholars who offered evidence for Christ being God.

And if I may, the early Church and early Islam have one thing in common: they were both spread by shedding blood - the Church by the blood of the martyrs, Islam by the blood of the non-believers.
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« Reply #71 on: November 23, 2011, 02:18:27 PM »

You think so? Do you think that all the natives in South America accepted freely when the Spanish and Portuguese came to Christianize them? What about Africa? I don't think many had a choice there. Same with the Byzantine Empire and Kievan Rus. What was going on in the Islamic areas was the same thing that was happening in Christian countries, even Holy Russia and the Byzantine Empire. I don't like the argument against Islam that many on here espouse. Instead of offering constructive reasoning as to why Islam is wrong, people just say it is violent and include various insults. Seriously, people opposed to Christianity throw the same arguments that Christianity is a hateful and violent religion. I've read plenty of what the Church did in the Middle Ages and a lot of it isn't pretty. It usually involves massacres, crusades, inquisitions, and people being burned at the stake. When offering real arguments against Islam, don't use the same old BS about them being the "religion of the sword" or whatever. It goes nowhere.

The problem with this kind of thinking, morisco, is that you are comparing two very distinct phases of history and making some sort of equivalency out of two things that were not equal then, and certainly cannot be considered equal now. Being the descendent of some of those indigenous people, nobody has to tell me what the Spanish did in South America. It certainly is nothing to be proud of. But is also is not a fair picture of "the spread of Christianity" vs. "the spread of Islam".

In the first four centuries of Christianity, the spread of the faith was largely without the power of empire behind it, and yet it still penetrated deeply into North and East Africa, India, the Fertile Crescent, Europe, etc. Basically the entire world, as far as was known then. It was not until much later, following some internal controversies and subsequent developments in the imperial church that set East and West (and "East" and "Orient", as we understand those terms Christologically) on different trajectories that we would get things like the Crusades, the Inquisition, etc. For instance. Kevian Rus' was Christianized largely in the 9th and 10th centuries, that is to say, nearly a thousand  years after the initial (peaceful) spread of Christianity.

Islam's historical trajectory looks very different than this because its impetus was different. "I have been ordered to fight all people until they declare that their is no god but Allah", said the wretched blasphemer and profiteer. Its expansion was therefore dependent on an external enemy to mobilize the faithful for the temporal victory of Allah's religion, first over the pagans in Muhammad's midst, then over the others in his surroundings (Jews and Christians), then (after much of the peninsula proper had been brought under Muhammad's control during his lifetime) over adjacent regions to the East (the Fertile Crescent) and the West (much of Europe). Along the way, however, the social and economic engines that kept the Islamic war machine going began to be transformed by the large numbers of converts, thereby denying a large source of revenue (tribute from non-Muslims) and slowing down the pace of conquest, as later converted people like the Indonesians and Malaysians largely saw it as good business sense (they were right, too).

Islam basically moderated during those times when it didn't have to convert people by force, but make no mistake: that has always been an option, and one that is entirely consistent with Muhammad's personal examples and sayings, and certainly with the actions of the earliest Islamic rulers.

So ask yourself: Which of the apostles who brought Christianity to the world resorted to such atrocities? St. Mark was martyred in Egypt, but Egypt had blossomed as a majority-Christian society before the coming of the Islamic horde. St. Thomas was likewise martyred in India, but not before planting a community that is several million strong to this day, despite always being a minority religion in that land (something that Islam could learn, but never will: You don't have rule over the land you are in to prove the strength of your faith). Similar histories could be told of a great many other saints, apostles, and missionaries. Nothing similar can be said of any Muslim ever, anywhere, and I doubt it ever will be so, because Islam simply does not operate in that fashion. It preaches a different gospel, and we all know what that means...

Akimori: What's more, why, if they maintain that our scriptures are corrupted, do they also claim that Muhammad is prophesied in them? (like claiming he is mentioned by name in the Song of Songs)

Unrelated to any of the above: When I lived in Oregon, in a town that had a lot of Saudis and other Muslims, I saw and heard of a lot of what Isa has written about Muslims in the west going a little "freedom crazy", if you will. I got to be sort of friends with a local cab driver and he regaled me with stories (that I didn't ask for) about how strange it was that he would always be called to the nightclubs on the weekend to pick up drunken Saudis who were rude and still possessed a "holier than thou" attitude despite being pitiful losers acting not only outside the bounds of their own religion, but in ways that would make American fratpersons blush. I don't know about any of that, but I did ask my Saudi friend Meedo about it once and he became very defensive: "America is a free country! So we do what we want." It is as though Allah would look the other way while they are in the land of the kuffar. Then again, I guess Islam's Allah has always been very Mecca-centric (except, y'know, before that, when Muhammad had ordered his people to pray to Jerusalem)...and there are certainly much more exciting places to check up on than Eugene, Oregon.

Contrast that with life today among the Copts. Now, I don't know all of them in the world, but I do know all of them (I think) here in Albuquerque, NM. They're not perfect (after all, they let me come to their liturgies and such), but they are very friendly, family-oriented, not prone to excesses in anything but perhaps fasting. Smiley Not one of them has ever said to me "I can do whatever I want because I'm in America now, not Egypt." So, if we're going to judge a religion by the piety of its members (which is a terrible idea, but seems to be a part of the OP's "pro-Islam" argument), Orthodox Christianity wins all the way.

So OP -- don't convert to Islam. Convert to Orthodoxy. You can pray and fast more than Muslims, speak Arabic (if this is part of the attraction; I know some people who converted to Islam who thought this made it more beautiful), AND (this is the best part) you get the real, actual God, not Muhammad's self-serving recension of God based on his perversion of previous scriptures mixed with various heresies that were floating around Arabia at his time.

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« Reply #72 on: November 23, 2011, 03:11:10 PM »

You think so? Do you think that all the natives in South America accepted freely when the Spanish and Portuguese came to Christianize them? What about Africa? I don't think many had a choice there. Same with the Byzantine Empire and Kievan Rus. What was going on in the Islamic areas was the same thing that was happening in Christian countries, even Holy Russia and the Byzantine Empire. I don't like the argument against Islam that many on here espouse. Instead of offering constructive reasoning as to why Islam is wrong, people just say it is violent and include various insults. Seriously, people opposed to Christianity throw the same arguments that Christianity is a hateful and violent religion. I've read plenty of what the Church did in the Middle Ages and a lot of it isn't pretty. It usually involves massacres, crusades, inquisitions, and people being burned at the stake. When offering real arguments against Islam, don't use the same old BS about them being the "religion of the sword" or whatever. It goes nowhere.

The problem with this kind of thinking, morisco, is that you are comparing two very distinct phases of history and making some sort of equivalency out of two things that were not equal then, and certainly cannot be considered equal now. Being the descendent of some of those indigenous people, nobody has to tell me what the Spanish did in South America. It certainly is nothing to be proud of. But is also is not a fair picture of "the spread of Christianity" vs. "the spread of Islam".

In the first four centuries of Christianity, the spread of the faith was largely without the power of empire behind it, and yet it still penetrated deeply into North and East Africa, India, the Fertile Crescent, Europe, etc. Basically the entire world, as far as was known then. It was not until much later, following some internal controversies and subsequent developments in the imperial church that set East and West (and "East" and "Orient", as we understand those terms Christologically) on different trajectories that we would get things like the Crusades, the Inquisition, etc. For instance. Kevian Rus' was Christianized largely in the 9th and 10th centuries, that is to say, nearly a thousand  years after the initial (peaceful) spread of Christianity.

Islam's historical trajectory looks very different than this because its impetus was different. "I have been ordered to fight all people until they declare that their is no god but Allah", said the wretched blasphemer and profiteer. Its expansion was therefore dependent on an external enemy to mobilize the faithful for the temporal victory of Allah's religion, first over the pagans in Muhammad's midst, then over the others in his surroundings (Jews and Christians), then (after much of the peninsula proper had been brought under Muhammad's control during his lifetime) over adjacent regions to the East (the Fertile Crescent) and the West (much of Europe). Along the way, however, the social and economic engines that kept the Islamic war machine going began to be transformed by the large numbers of converts, thereby denying a large source of revenue (tribute from non-Muslims) and slowing down the pace of conquest, as later converted people like the Indonesians and Malaysians largely saw it as good business sense (they were right, too).

Islam basically moderated during those times when it didn't have to convert people by force, but make no mistake: that has always been an option, and one that is entirely consistent with Muhammad's personal examples and sayings, and certainly with the actions of the earliest Islamic rulers.

So ask yourself: Which of the apostles who brought Christianity to the world resorted to such atrocities? St. Mark was martyred in Egypt, but Egypt had blossomed as a majority-Christian society before the coming of the Islamic horde. St. Thomas was likewise martyred in India, but not before planting a community that is several million strong to this day, despite always being a minority religion in that land (something that Islam could learn, but never will: You don't have rule over the land you are in to prove the strength of your faith). Similar histories could be told of a great many other saints, apostles, and missionaries. Nothing similar can be said of any Muslim ever, anywhere, and I doubt it ever will be so, because Islam simply does not operate in that fashion. It preaches a different gospel, and we all know what that means...

Akimori: What's more, why, if they maintain that our scriptures are corrupted, do they also claim that Muhammad is prophesied in them? (like claiming he is mentioned by name in the Song of Songs)

Unrelated to any of the above: When I lived in Oregon, in a town that had a lot of Saudis and other Muslims, I saw and heard of a lot of what Isa has written about Muslims in the west going a little "freedom crazy", if you will. I got to be sort of friends with a local cab driver and he regaled me with stories (that I didn't ask for) about how strange it was that he would always be called to the nightclubs on the weekend to pick up drunken Saudis who were rude and still possessed a "holier than thou" attitude despite being pitiful losers acting not only outside the bounds of their own religion, but in ways that would make American fratpersons blush. I don't know about any of that, but I did ask my Saudi friend Meedo about it once and he became very defensive: "America is a free country! So we do what we want." It is as though Allah would look the other way while they are in the land of the kuffar. Then again, I guess Islam's Allah has always been very Mecca-centric (except, y'know, before that, when Muhammad had ordered his people to pray to Jerusalem)...and there are certainly much more exciting places to check up on than Eugene, Oregon.

Contrast that with life today among the Copts. Now, I don't know all of them in the world, but I do know all of them (I think) here in Albuquerque, NM. They're not perfect (after all, they let me come to their liturgies and such), but they are very friendly, family-oriented, not prone to excesses in anything but perhaps fasting. Smiley Not one of them has ever said to me "I can do whatever I want because I'm in America now, not Egypt." So, if we're going to judge a religion by the piety of its members (which is a terrible idea, but seems to be a part of the OP's "pro-Islam" argument), Orthodox Christianity wins all the way.

So OP -- don't convert to Islam. Convert to Orthodoxy. You can pray and fast more than Muslims, speak Arabic (if this is part of the attraction; I know some people who converted to Islam who thought this made it more beautiful), AND (this is the best part) you get the real, actual God, not Muhammad's self-serving recension of God based on his perversion of previous scriptures mixed with various heresies that were floating around Arabia at his time.

Awesome post!
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« Reply #73 on: November 23, 2011, 10:54:20 PM »

Doubting Thomas,

It does not appear that you are reading our responses, but are determined to embrace Islam and preach it to us.

Please consider the plight of this woman:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,41216.msg672334/topicseen.html#msg672334

Do you agree that a woman who is raped should be forced to marry her rapist or face 12 years in jail and/or a honor killing by her family or the family of the rapist?

Do you believe that honor killing is justified because Mohammed and his followers would also agree with it?

And finally, would you agree to kill your family members and other Christians if a fatwa was issued against us?

I don't appreciate the insinuation that I'm not even reading your responses, because I'm reading every single one and taking many of the provided sources into consideration. Second, I'm not preaching Islam so I'm sorry if you feel that's happening, nobody's forcing you to read or respond to this thread. Additionally, I'm not obliged to respond to every post as this is a forum, not an IM chat or email. If you feel you want to reach me more directly, PM me.

Second, bringing up honor killings, rapist marriages, and jail/guilt by rape are irrelevant to this discussion because as someone who has spoken to Christian and Muslim activists about these issues while living in the Middle East that these are completely cultural. Just as many honor killings etc. are committed by Christians as Muslims and both groups  are fighting to reform the laws, taboos, and practices of these problems.

Of course I don't agree what happened to her was right, but again it has nothing to do with religion because these happen in Muslim and Christian circles throughout the Middle East.

Honor killing is not Islamic. Honor killing is not Christian. Honor killing is a phenomena of tribal societal structure based on family image (Arabs fall into this classification, regardless of religion )

I'll provide you with the evidence for this if you're inclined to need textual proof of my claims.
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« Reply #74 on: November 23, 2011, 11:05:56 PM »

Yes, Stanley. Conversion from Islam to another religion is punishable by death in some Islam-dominated countries (in a great many more people will just gather into a big mob and murder you themselves outside of any court/legal situation, and suffer no retribution for it). Youcef Nadarkani has been sentenced to death for apostasy in Iran, just as other ex-Muslims turned Christians have. In Egypt, Mohammed Hegazy has been denied the right to have his religion legally changed from Islam to Christianity on his ID card, and Sheikhs Gad al-Ibrahim and Youssef el-Badri, as well as professors at al Azhar have called for him to be executed should he not return to Islam after being given three days to recant, and some sheikhs have also issued fatwas that his daughter (born to his wife, also a convert to Christianity, while they were in hiding) should also be killed at age 10 if she does not choose Islam.


It looks like this might be a small problem if a Christian converts to Islam, but then later on changes his mind.

Based on my information, it shouldn't be. My Islamic Thought professor in Jordan said that Muhammed described conversion in a hadith as a convert to Islam being allowed to leave Islam if he doesn't agree with it. If he then converts to Islam a second time and decides, yet again, to leave he can be killed for attempting to trick Allah into thinking he is pious when he doesn't see the truth lol
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« Reply #75 on: November 23, 2011, 11:13:48 PM »

It probably varies at least a bit by location and local culture. Some places where the population is more evenly split between Christians and Muslims (e.g., East Africa) often have mixed families, which makes it hard to enforce the law of one religion over another. Makes sense if you think about it: Islamic laws for an Islamic population, and for a mixed population...well, the Muslims will try anyway. This is why there are many places in the world where an enclave of Muslims pushes everybody else around even when they are a minority in terms of the overall state (e.g., the semi-autonomous Muslim-majority island of Zanzibar belonging to Christian-majority Tanzania), or even within their specific enclave (e.g., the "Autonomous Republic of Muslim Mindanao" in southern Philippines, which does not have a Muslim majority but is the only part of the Philippines with a large concentration of Muslims, who make up a total of 5-10% of Filipinos).



Shari'a/Islamic law is non-compulsory for non-Muslims. The only compulsory Islamic law for non-Muslims in societies governed by Shari'a is Jizya/poll tax. Regarding other aspects of life and society, Islam demands that the other religions set up their own religious courts to deal with governing the lives of their believers.

(For example, in Jordan Islamic law governs marriage. The state does not recognize any type of marriage, it's a completely religious contract. Because Shari'a law cannot be forced on non-believers, Christians in Jordan have their own 'marriage courts' to get married and divorced. Actually most Christians who don't get to marry who they want to based on their priest's refusal will convert to Islam, have an Islamic marriage contract sealed and then renounce Islam the next day as if nothing happened. lol)

The situations we see of Saudi Arabia and Iran beheading 'infidels' and/or apostates is a political exception where the governments are trying to gain legitimacy through fear. Let's remember that these authoritarian states imposing Islamic law on all citizens are A) not applying it correctly, and B) are weak states and need to govern by fear to legitimize their regimes.
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« Reply #76 on: November 23, 2011, 11:14:50 PM »

Muhammad is a Great Military Leader ... he can be Compared To Hitler or Genghis Khan ... but a prophet .. No
 
Really, you would compare him to Hitler? That is a little far. Have you ever read the book of Joshua? A prophet who slaughtered whole cities, including women, children, and animals.


I think we have to be careful drawing a moral equivalency between our prophets and Mohammad. Joshua was a member of the Church, acting on God's direct command to slaughter those people, clearing out Israel and doing his part to prepare the way for the Messiah. Meanwhile, Mohammad came centuries after Christ, claiming to be a prophet, probably acting under demonic influence, slaughtering people for whatever reasons he had. (And were it not for Mohammad, there might be 3.5 billion Christians today, instead of 2 billion.)

You have to realize that Muslims didn't forcibly convert as many people as you would like. Christianity was way more effective at spreading with the sword than Islam ever was.
LOL...

Wait you're serious...
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« Reply #77 on: November 23, 2011, 11:16:54 PM »

My perspective on this is that Islam has many of the same problems as Protestantism, or more specifically, Restorationism. Both rely on a supposed "Great Apostasy" that occurred somewhere in early Church history. I see two major issues with this claim. One is that you have to account for a gap where no true religion existed. Let's suppose the Gospels were corrupted, and this would have to be early. Let's suppose it was the 2nd century. So if the followers of Christ all became apostate in the 2nd century, what happens to everyone between the 2nd and 7th centuries? Islam claims religious heritage from Abraham, but it's a discontinuous heritage at best. The 2nd problem is how do you know if current Islam is not in a state of apostasy? If God lets his religions completely become apostate, how do you you're not living in that same gap? How do you know the Quran wasn't edited like the Gospels supposedly were? There's just as much evidence for either happening.

Christianity is also able to accept small textual variances in the Gospels. You first must remember that Christianity is not founded on a book, it's founded on Christ. We don't claim the Gospels were written by God, and we don't use them as a our sole authority.
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« Reply #78 on: November 23, 2011, 11:23:03 PM »


So, what about my post about the Incarnation? Does the Incarnation leave you indifferent?

Hinduism and Buddhism talks about incarnations and reincarnations galore. It's not a novel idea unique to Christianity.

(I'm playing devil's advocate in this thread. I hope that's obvious. I'm not trying to be difficult. I'm just showing the community the information I'm working with. It's hard to guess every part of a person only by seeing their text on a computer screen  Smiley )
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« Reply #79 on: November 23, 2011, 11:23:33 PM »

Yes, Stanley. Conversion from Islam to another religion is punishable by death in some Islam-dominated countries (in a great many more people will just gather into a big mob and murder you themselves outside of any court/legal situation, and suffer no retribution for it). Youcef Nadarkani has been sentenced to death for apostasy in Iran, just as other ex-Muslims turned Christians have. In Egypt, Mohammed Hegazy has been denied the right to have his religion legally changed from Islam to Christianity on his ID card, and Sheikhs Gad al-Ibrahim and Youssef el-Badri, as well as professors at al Azhar have called for him to be executed should he not return to Islam after being given three days to recant, and some sheikhs have also issued fatwas that his daughter (born to his wife, also a convert to Christianity, while they were in hiding) should also be killed at age 10 if she does not choose Islam.


It looks like this might be a small problem if a Christian converts to Islam, but then later on changes his mind.

Based on my information, it shouldn't be. My Islamic Thought professor in Jordan said that Muhammed described conversion in a hadith as a convert to Islam being allowed to leave Islam if he doesn't agree with it. If he then converts to Islam a second time and decides, yet again, to leave he can be killed for attempting to trick Allah into thinking he is pious when he doesn't see the truth lol
No, once Muslim, always Muslim or a dead Muslim, according to shari'ah (except for very few schools, e.g. the Isma'iliyyah Agha-Khaniyyah)
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« Reply #80 on: November 23, 2011, 11:23:44 PM »

My perspective on this is that Islam has many of the same problems as Protestantism, or more specifically, Restorationism. Both rely on a supposed "Great Apostasy" that occurred somewhere in early Church history. I see two major issues with this claim. One is that you have to account for a gap where no true religion existed. Let's suppose the Gospels were corrupted, and this would have to be early. Let's suppose it was the 2nd century. So if the followers of Christ all became apostate in the 2nd century, what happens to everyone between the 2nd and 7th centuries? Islam claims religious heritage from Abraham, but it's discontinuous heritage at best. The 2nd problem is how do you know if current Islam is not in a state of apostasy? If God lets his religions completely become apostate, how do you you're not living in that same gap? How do you know the Quran wasn't edited like the Gospels supposedly were? There's just as much evidence for either happening.

Christianity is also able to accept small textual variances in the Gospels. You first must remember that Christianity is not founded on a book, it's founded on Christ. We don't claim the Gospels were written by God, and we don't use them as a our sole authority.

True .. need not to say that Shia Muslims Consider the mainstream sunni Islam to be Corrupted version of Islam ..
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« Reply #81 on: November 23, 2011, 11:24:49 PM »


Christianity is also able to accept small textual variances in the Gospels.

Yeah, that's a compelling point for me actually.
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« Reply #82 on: November 23, 2011, 11:25:54 PM »

Yes, Stanley. Conversion from Islam to another religion is punishable by death in some Islam-dominated countries (in a great many more people will just gather into a big mob and murder you themselves outside of any court/legal situation, and suffer no retribution for it). Youcef Nadarkani has been sentenced to death for apostasy in Iran, just as other ex-Muslims turned Christians have. In Egypt, Mohammed Hegazy has been denied the right to have his religion legally changed from Islam to Christianity on his ID card, and Sheikhs Gad al-Ibrahim and Youssef el-Badri, as well as professors at al Azhar have called for him to be executed should he not return to Islam after being given three days to recant, and some sheikhs have also issued fatwas that his daughter (born to his wife, also a convert to Christianity, while they were in hiding) should also be killed at age 10 if she does not choose Islam.


It looks like this might be a small problem if a Christian converts to Islam, but then later on changes his mind.

Based on my information, it shouldn't be. My Islamic Thought professor in Jordan said that Muhammed described conversion in a hadith as a convert to Islam being allowed to leave Islam if he doesn't agree with it. If he then converts to Islam a second time and decides, yet again, to leave he can be killed for attempting to trick Allah into thinking he is pious when he doesn't see the truth lol
No, once Muslim, always Muslim or a dead Muslim, according to shari'ah (except for very few schools, e.g. the Isma'iliyyah Agha-Khaniyyah)

I should add: this professor is/was a Sheikha. She's a Muslim and is a doctor of Sharia.
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« Reply #83 on: November 23, 2011, 11:26:41 PM »

It probably varies at least a bit by location and local culture. Some places where the population is more evenly split between Christians and Muslims (e.g., East Africa) often have mixed families, which makes it hard to enforce the law of one religion over another. Makes sense if you think about it: Islamic laws for an Islamic population, and for a mixed population...well, the Muslims will try anyway. This is why there are many places in the world where an enclave of Muslims pushes everybody else around even when they are a minority in terms of the overall state (e.g., the semi-autonomous Muslim-majority island of Zanzibar belonging to Christian-majority Tanzania), or even within their specific enclave (e.g., the "Autonomous Republic of Muslim Mindanao" in southern Philippines, which does not have a Muslim majority but is the only part of the Philippines with a large concentration of Muslims, who make up a total of 5-10% of Filipinos).



Shari'a/Islamic law is non-compulsory for non-Muslims.
Not exactly.  For instance, under Islamic law, Christians and Jews are not allowed to build new Churches and synagogues, and the repair of old ones is iffy.
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« Reply #84 on: November 23, 2011, 11:30:14 PM »

Yes, Stanley. Conversion from Islam to another religion is punishable by death in some Islam-dominated countries (in a great many more people will just gather into a big mob and murder you themselves outside of any court/legal situation, and suffer no retribution for it). Youcef Nadarkani has been sentenced to death for apostasy in Iran, just as other ex-Muslims turned Christians have. In Egypt, Mohammed Hegazy has been denied the right to have his religion legally changed from Islam to Christianity on his ID card, and Sheikhs Gad al-Ibrahim and Youssef el-Badri, as well as professors at al Azhar have called for him to be executed should he not return to Islam after being given three days to recant, and some sheikhs have also issued fatwas that his daughter (born to his wife, also a convert to Christianity, while they were in hiding) should also be killed at age 10 if she does not choose Islam.


It looks like this might be a small problem if a Christian converts to Islam, but then later on changes his mind.

Based on my information, it shouldn't be. My Islamic Thought professor in Jordan said that Muhammed described conversion in a hadith as a convert to Islam being allowed to leave Islam if he doesn't agree with it. If he then converts to Islam a second time and decides, yet again, to leave he can be killed for attempting to trick Allah into thinking he is pious when he doesn't see the truth lol
No, once Muslim, always Muslim or a dead Muslim, according to shari'ah (except for very few schools, e.g. the Isma'iliyyah Agha-Khaniyyah)

I should add: this professor is/was a Sheikha. She's a Muslim and is a doctor of Sharia.
LOL.  Sheikha.  Most Muslims will tell you no such thing exists (there was a big debate about this when the Ayatollah took over Iran), as a woman cannot render legal/shar'i decisions.  A doctor of shari'ah is possible, because the western (modern, if you will) systems have no such restriction.

There are a lot of debates about the theory, so the actual practice is actually a more fruitful area of researching the question.
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« Reply #85 on: November 23, 2011, 11:31:59 PM »

It probably varies at least a bit by location and local culture. Some places where the population is more evenly split between Christians and Muslims (e.g., East Africa) often have mixed families, which makes it hard to enforce the law of one religion over another. Makes sense if you think about it: Islamic laws for an Islamic population, and for a mixed population...well, the Muslims will try anyway. This is why there are many places in the world where an enclave of Muslims pushes everybody else around even when they are a minority in terms of the overall state (e.g., the semi-autonomous Muslim-majority island of Zanzibar belonging to Christian-majority Tanzania), or even within their specific enclave (e.g., the "Autonomous Republic of Muslim Mindanao" in southern Philippines, which does not have a Muslim majority but is the only part of the Philippines with a large concentration of Muslims, who make up a total of 5-10% of Filipinos).



Shari'a/Islamic law is non-compulsory for non-Muslims.
Not exactly.  For instance, under Islamic law, Christians and Jews are not allowed to build new Churches and synagogues, and the repair of old ones is iffy.

That is not Islamic law. That's a power move made by the Omayyads, Mamluks, and Ottomans to endear themselves to certain Muslim tribes to get legitimacy and control the area. How do you control an area? Get the support of the majority. Are Christians the majority after the Islamic conquests? No.
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« Reply #86 on: November 23, 2011, 11:32:44 PM »


So, what about my post about the Incarnation? Does the Incarnation leave you indifferent?

Hinduism and Buddhism talks about incarnations and reincarnations galore. It's not a novel idea unique to Christianity.

(I'm playing devil's advocate in this thread. I hope that's obvious. I'm not trying to be difficult. I'm just showing the community the information I'm working with. It's hard to guess every part of a person only by seeing their text on a computer screen  Smiley )
No, in the sense of hypostatic union, it is unique to Christianity (and not to all forms of Christianity).

The idea of incarnation does occur, btw, in various forms of Islam.
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« Reply #87 on: November 23, 2011, 11:37:08 PM »

It probably varies at least a bit by location and local culture. Some places where the population is more evenly split between Christians and Muslims (e.g., East Africa) often have mixed families, which makes it hard to enforce the law of one religion over another. Makes sense if you think about it: Islamic laws for an Islamic population, and for a mixed population...well, the Muslims will try anyway. This is why there are many places in the world where an enclave of Muslims pushes everybody else around even when they are a minority in terms of the overall state (e.g., the semi-autonomous Muslim-majority island of Zanzibar belonging to Christian-majority Tanzania), or even within their specific enclave (e.g., the "Autonomous Republic of Muslim Mindanao" in southern Philippines, which does not have a Muslim majority but is the only part of the Philippines with a large concentration of Muslims, who make up a total of 5-10% of Filipinos).



Shari'a/Islamic law is non-compulsory for non-Muslims.
Not exactly.  For instance, under Islamic law, Christians and Jews are not allowed to build new Churches and synagogues, and the repair of old ones is iffy.

That is not Islamic law. That's a power move made by the Omayyads, Mamluks, and Ottomans to endear themselves to certain Muslim tribes to get legitimacy and control the area. How do you control an area? Get the support of the majority. Are Christians the majority after the Islamic conquests? No.
Actually, for centuries, yes, they were.  It isn't until the time of the Crusades that the Muslims become the majority in Egypt and the Levant.  They became the majority sooner it seems in the Maghrib, the Arabian Peninsula and perhaps Iraq and Iran.

And that was the law as formed when the Muslims were a small ruling minority, which they are still stuck with in their sources.
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« Reply #88 on: November 23, 2011, 11:39:14 PM »


So, what about my post about the Incarnation? Does the Incarnation leave you indifferent?

Hinduism and Buddhism talks about incarnations and reincarnations galore. It's not a novel idea unique to Christianity.

(I'm playing devil's advocate in this thread. I hope that's obvious. I'm not trying to be difficult. I'm just showing the community the information I'm working with. It's hard to guess every part of a person only by seeing their text on a computer screen  Smiley )
No, in the sense of hypostatic union, it is unique to Christianity (and not to all forms of Christianity).

The idea of incarnation does occur, btw, in various forms of Islam.

I always felt hypostatic union was a fancy way for humans to make an excuse that God could become one of us. Admittedly, I could never understand it no matter how hard I tried, so it seemed like a Christian cop-out. Theological gymnastics, in other words.

Maybe if I could better understand hypostatic union, I could be more convinced of its uniqueness within Christianity, as you all claim. You're all very taken by the Incarnation, and I'm not so something is missing on my end I think  : P
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« Reply #89 on: November 23, 2011, 11:42:19 PM »

It probably varies at least a bit by location and local culture. Some places where the population is more evenly split between Christians and Muslims (e.g., East Africa) often have mixed families, which makes it hard to enforce the law of one religion over another. Makes sense if you think about it: Islamic laws for an Islamic population, and for a mixed population...well, the Muslims will try anyway. This is why there are many places in the world where an enclave of Muslims pushes everybody else around even when they are a minority in terms of the overall state (e.g., the semi-autonomous Muslim-majority island of Zanzibar belonging to Christian-majority Tanzania), or even within their specific enclave (e.g., the "Autonomous Republic of Muslim Mindanao" in southern Philippines, which does not have a Muslim majority but is the only part of the Philippines with a large concentration of Muslims, who make up a total of 5-10% of Filipinos).



Shari'a/Islamic law is non-compulsory for non-Muslims.
Not exactly.  For instance, under Islamic law, Christians and Jews are not allowed to build new Churches and synagogues, and the repair of old ones is iffy.

That is not Islamic law. That's a power move made by the Omayyads, Mamluks, and Ottomans to endear themselves to certain Muslim tribes to get legitimacy and control the area. How do you control an area? Get the support of the majority. Are Christians the majority after the Islamic conquests? No.
Actually, for centuries, yes, they were.  It isn't until the time of the Crusades that the Muslims become the majority in Egypt and the Levant.  They became the majority sooner it seems in the Maghrib, the Arabian Peninsula and perhaps Iraq and Iran.

And that was the law as formed when the Muslims were a small ruling minority, which they are still stuck with in their sources.

Unless you can find an Aya or Hadith, I still really doubt church and synagogue repair entered Shari'a law. It's hearsay and cultural rumors spread to put egg on the face of the 'oppressor'. There needs to be made a clear distinction between Shari'a and laws used by Islamic states to govern. They are not the same and I'm just trying to prevent people from getting confused by false information.

This might sidetrack the thread, I'll PM you? I want to talk more about this with someone from the area. (I'm assuming you're from the Middle East, or are you Arab American/Canadian?)
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« Reply #90 on: November 23, 2011, 11:45:44 PM »

And thanks to everyone for sticking with me through my inquiry so far. This is helpful to me and I'm glad I used this resource and I'm thankful for your input, even if I don't agree with everything said.
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« Reply #91 on: November 23, 2011, 11:52:47 PM »


So, what about my post about the Incarnation? Does the Incarnation leave you indifferent?

Hinduism and Buddhism talks about incarnations and reincarnations galore. It's not a novel idea unique to Christianity.

(I'm playing devil's advocate in this thread. I hope that's obvious. I'm not trying to be difficult. I'm just showing the community the information I'm working with. It's hard to guess every part of a person only by seeing their text on a computer screen  Smiley )
No, in the sense of hypostatic union, it is unique to Christianity (and not to all forms of Christianity).

The idea of incarnation does occur, btw, in various forms of Islam.

I always felt hypostatic union was a fancy way for humans to make an excuse that God could become one of us. Admittedly, I could never understand it no matter how hard I tried, so it seemed like a Christian cop-out. Theological gymnastics, in other words.

Maybe if I could better understand hypostatic union, I could be more convinced of its uniqueness within Christianity, as you all claim. You're all very taken by the Incarnation, and I'm not so something is missing on my end I think  : P

Once you think you understand, you have lost everything. Once you think you have the Spirit of God in the palm of your hand, you hold nothing.
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« Reply #92 on: November 23, 2011, 11:54:43 PM »

i am really not sure .. why such a topic is in a Christian forum?
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« Reply #93 on: November 24, 2011, 12:22:31 AM »

i am really not sure .. why such a topic is in a Christian forum?

Please read my first post. It explains everything.
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« Reply #94 on: November 24, 2011, 02:21:58 AM »


So, what about my post about the Incarnation? Does the Incarnation leave you indifferent?

Hinduism and Buddhism talks about incarnations and reincarnations galore. It's not a novel idea unique to Christianity.

(I'm playing devil's advocate in this thread. I hope that's obvious. I'm not trying to be difficult. I'm just showing the community the information I'm working with. It's hard to guess every part of a person only by seeing their text on a computer screen  Smiley )
No, in the sense of hypostatic union, it is unique to Christianity (and not to all forms of Christianity).

The idea of incarnation does occur, btw, in various forms of Islam.

I always felt hypostatic union was a fancy way for humans to make an excuse that God could become one of us. Admittedly, I could never understand it no matter how hard I tried, so it seemed like a Christian cop-out. Theological gymnastics, in other words.

Maybe if I could better understand hypostatic union, I could be more convinced of its uniqueness within Christianity, as you all claim. You're all very taken by the Incarnation, and I'm not so something is missing on my end I think  : P

Once you think you understand, you have lost everything. Once you think you have the Spirit of God in the palm of your hand, you hold nothing.

Akimori , how beautifully said! seemingly so simple yet profound truth!

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« Reply #95 on: November 24, 2011, 03:39:07 AM »

Just finished Sira by Ibn Ishaq and I concur with Samn!:s suggestion to read that. I guess it was written partly in order to attract people to Islam but for me it had exactly the opposite impact. Muhammed was not a prophet.
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« Reply #96 on: November 24, 2011, 03:40:15 AM »

Selam to all Smiley

this touches a sensitive nerve for me, and I was not going to say anything but even an emotional reflection such as this one might have a place somehow.

The following is mostly a reminder  to self, triggered by the question of the OP who is also a Christian and is not  foreign to what we Christians hold dear in our faith. Before one goes looking for this faith or that, a Christian must have a clear grasp of what his or her faith is. Only then can a Christian know the Christian way to discern things. As a Christian in matters of the faith I will reason  from a Christian perspective so that is what I will proceed to do in here.

I have a special liking to the prophet Habakkuk as he is one of those who were baffled by the mysteries we encounter with who God is and what that means in our reality. The reason why things are the way they are etc.  He struggles with these questions, and yet he comes out of that struggle loving, faithful, trusting and hopeful in God.

The OP’s questions and comparisons  brought Habakkuk ‘s words to mind. What is a reason that will be enough to abandon one’s faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel? What love can compare with the love of Jesus Christ the Word Incarnate? Who can be trusted to endure all manner of punishment and shame even death  to come get you out of the deepest hell you might be sitting? Who can be trusted to come for you when all have abandoned you? When your strength fails, your intelligence dim, who is there to embrace you with unfailing love? Who can compare with the beauty of Christ? What  would be my reason  that will be enough to abandon him?

Is it because there are no teachers who speak about him?

Is it because there are no people / “enough” people who believe in him?

Is it because those who say they believe in him do not live as he commanded?

Is it because those in the church were mean to me?

Is it because I have seen some evil done by those who claim to follow him?

Is it because those that are Christians are not serious about him or their faith in him?

Is it because the churches are empty and I am the only one in the congregation?

Who can call me a Christian when I think this way myself? When all I do is look at others and not Him my Beloved? If I truly love him and live to please him alone, who are those other people that they will get me to abandon my love? Are they God to me that I should follow them and imitate their ways? Are they God to me  that  how I live rests on what they want me to do ? Are they God that where they go I must follow? So who is my God ? Who do I worship, Adore and live for? What is the target of the athlete that runs the marathon? Does the athlete who gets the crown get it for abandoning  the race because  of how others are running? When the Lord said he that holds the plow and turns back is not meant to be his, isn’t he warning  those of us who love to look and idolize others instead of Loving and worshiping the Creator alone?  Who would abandon the pearl of great price to chase after an ash? Judah was an apostle, he abandoned Christ, should I follow? Demas was called for discipleship, the robust city of Corinth lured him in and he abandoned his discipleship of Christ for the world Corinth offered him, should I follow Demas? There were many disciples that turned away when Christ spoke about eating his flesh and drinking his blood, and the Lord asked the apostles and those disciples that were there would you like to go as well? So do I want to turn away and abandon him because there are people in millions who have done so? Since those that stayed with Christ at Capernaum were very few where as those that abandoned him were many, so by majority vote should I abandon him also? How many of us believed in Him when he believed in humanity enough to be one of us and  die for us?


The psalmist cries Eli Eli lama sabachthani?/ My God my God why have thou forsaken me? And the fathers teach, thus cried Adam when the fullness of the time that was promised to him arrived and he found himself still in Sheol with the deceiver taunting him, where is your God now? If he loves you let him save you!  His pain of abandonment was  embraced by the savior  in that very instant  who echoed it from the cross Eli Eli Lama Sabachthani?  And like Adam he heard these words :where is your God now? If He loves you let Him save you! These very words were said to the Savior on the Cross, by the enemy of mankind who was taunting him while attempting to figure out and  see who this man on the cross was. But the conqueror cried out the herald of victory and said It is Consummated! And soon the enemy found himself chained, and the one on the cross who looked abandoned and weak suddenly descended into the belly of Sheol to get to his beloved Adam and his children whom he has promised he will come for. The bitter price of Adam’s freedom paid with the purest blood of the Creator Himself who has become a slave for the love of Adam and his descendents . Hatred was annihilated, the liar and the blasphemer silenced when the Son of Mary descended into Sheol to wipe the tears of Eve.

Didn’t we with our very hands slap him? With our very hands beat and whipped him? Stripped him off his garments and crucified him? For all that we have done to him, for all that he received by our very hands he did not abandon us, instead he loved us even unto death, he willingly gave his life for us. When there were but a handful that loved him he died for all even for those who hated him. He came looking for one while he had legions of Angels who adore him night and day. He is the good shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep. He will battle for one he abandons none! So what is my reason to abandon him?

When peter asked to walk on the water, the Lord told him to come , he walked right until that moment when he looked away from the Lord and looked at the power of the raging storm and doubted. In Ethiopia when Churches are built there is one thing that is always part of the building, at the highest point  of the  roof  of the sanctuary there  hanging is an ostrich egg, that egg is to teach all the faithful who we need to keep our eyes on at all times good or bad even unto death!  As the fable goes that an ostrich keeps vigil over the egg night and day and does  not turn its gaze from the egg. So the egg says keep your eyes On God alone and you will bear fruit. The egg also symbolizes the ever present watchfulness of God over his creation.

So the point is if all one has to say is I left Christ because of other people whatever those people are supposed to have done or not have done… that person was never a Christian in the fullest sense of the term. Instead that person has fallen in the sin of pride and idolatry, the worship of self and others. Because the Lord himself says he that loves even his life above me, does not belong to me. the excuse of  ‘so and so made me do it ‘ has been used before in paradise no less  and that excuse did not save those who used it the first time, and it will not save us today. To those much is given much is expected.

The apostle Paul asks  Romans 8:35-39 “35who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
We are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”


What is loss of others and even that of self  if one can gain Christ?  The Apostle answers : Philippians 3:8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.


As the Psalmist says “ Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.” Psalm 73:25
The Prophet Habakkuk says it even in depth as one who knows suffering and loss, turmoil and desolation. Humbled before the mystery of God’s Wisdom he says:

 “For though the fig tree will not bear fruit and there be no grapes on the vines; The labor of the olive tree fail and the fields yield no food; though the sheep have no pasture and there be no oxen in the Cribs; yet I will glory in the Lord; I will rejoice in God my Savior. The Lord God is my strength; He will direct my feet to the end; He will set me upon the high places, so to conquer by His song.”  Habakkuk 3:17-19

Yes at all times, in all conditions the believer preservers, even if all turn back, even if one stands to lose one’s very life the believer preservers and glorifies the Lord, and rejoices in God his/her Savior. Habakkuk’s prayer, is very dear to me and it reminds me not to despair, Christ is in our midst.


Now people have abandoned Christ for many different reasons, and yes  there are those who will leave into the darkness of Islam even as there are those who will leave the lies of Islam  for Christ who is the Truth , the Way and the Life. And it  will continue  thus. If we must look for examples of faithful courage, love and hope, let us look at the work of God in the life of  those people who find Christ  and left Islam for Christianity . they courageously and faithfully endured great tribulations and suffering to hold on to the Orthodox Faith, like  our beloved father Qidus/Saint  Abba Enbaqom Ichegee of Debere Libanos , a Yemeni Muslim Convert( his former name Abul Fath), whom Our Lord Jesus Christ granted in his great providence to Christian Ethiopia to be His witness against the coming Muslim invasion of Ahmed Grahn. Perhaps some here would benefit from learning about his life and his conversion that was providential both for him and for the Orthodox Ethiopians as well.

http://www.dacb.org/stories/ethiopia/enbaqom.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enbaqom

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Abba_Inbaqom

And perhaps even the life of Niwaiye Kristos ( Property of Christ) the former Sheikh Zacharias would also be instructive.

http://www.dacb.org/stories/ethiopia/zakaryas2.html

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Shaikh_Zekaryas
 
and there is a recent miraculous event that lead to the unearthing of a 4th century Church in Ethiopia that involves a Muslim man in God's Providence that is always calling those who are mislead by Islam to return to Christianity. http://www.africanews.com/site/list_messages/12282

there are many others , worth mentioning yet for the wise one word is enough.



Through the intercession of the Mother of God, may we all be protected from the lies and deceit of our ancient enemy the deceiver who masquerades as an angel of light yet plunges all who follow him into darkness.


Lord have mercy!
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« Reply #97 on: November 24, 2011, 09:57:48 AM »

Living in the Middle East allowed me to observe a contrast between Christians and Muslims. The Christians I encountered and lived with were basically Christian by inheritance. Their ancestors were Christian, so they must remain Christian regardless of their actual religious beliefs. Many Christians were lukewarm religiously at best and atheists in other instances. Many Muslims I encountered were dead serious about their religion however, and I saw more "christian" actions from them than Christians. I understand I should not base a religious conversion off the actions of others, but the Muslims I saw and knew were inspiring in their dedication to worship God and help their neighbor.

Where was that? I am experiencing just the contrary in Alexandria, Egypt.

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« Reply #98 on: November 24, 2011, 11:56:19 AM »

Honor killing is not Islamic. Honor killing is not Christian. Honor killing is a phenomena of tribal societal structure based on family image (Arabs fall into this classification, regardless of religion )

I'll provide you with the evidence for this if you're inclined to need textual proof of my claims.
Do Arab Christians do it?
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« Reply #99 on: November 24, 2011, 01:06:49 PM »

Shari'a/Islamic law is non-compulsory for non-Muslims. The only compulsory Islamic law for non-Muslims in societies governed by Shari'a is Jizya/poll tax. Regarding other aspects of life and society, Islam demands that the other religions set up their own religious courts to deal with governing the lives of their believers.

And? The problems with this are many:

- Muslims are not allowed to become non-Muslims in the first place (see: the cases I brought up of ex-Muslim Christians being persecuted by Islamic authorities, and many, many others), so it doesn't help them that Christians or others might have their own courts to deal with their own community issues. More to the point, issues regarding religion, such that might save apostates from being murdered (which is a traditional punishment for apostasy in Islam), are dealt with in ISLAMIC COURTS. Mehdi Dibaj was sentenced to death for blasphemy before an ISLAMIC court, for instance, even though he had been a Christian for the majority of his life. Ditto Mohammed Hegazy is persecuted for violation of ISLAMIC law. Even in places with strong traditions of civil law governing the various communities, non-Muslims are persecuted for supposed RELIGIOUS offenses to Islam by Islamic judges who use Islamic rulings from traditional sources of authority in that religion (such as al-Azhar in Egypt, for Sunni judges) in order to try to bully them and imprison them for insulting the Islamic religion, as happened TWICE to singer Marcel Khalife in Lebanon for putting a verse of Darwish's poetry which was based on the Qur'an to music on his 1995 album (both times Khalife was eventually acquitted, but the head of Lebanon's Sunni community supported the prosecution). So don't give me this nonsense as though all we have to worry about is the jizya. That's bull, and even if it weren't, that would STILL be enough to make Islamic law unpalatable to anybody with a conscience who cares about the fate of humanity and basic human rights.

Quote
(For example, in Jordan Islamic law governs marriage. The state does not recognize any type of marriage, it's a completely religious contract. Because Shari'a law cannot be forced on non-believers, Christians in Jordan have their own 'marriage courts' to get married and divorced. Actually most Christians who don't get to marry who they want to based on their priest's refusal will convert to Islam, have an Islamic marriage contract sealed and then renounce Islam the next day as if nothing happened. lol)

LOLOLOL. Christians converting to Islam is hilarious. LOLOLOLOLOLOL. Don't be a putz.

What the hell does Jordan have to do with anything? In Egypt, the state intervenes in church's affairs in this area to the benefit of those seeking to break its rules against divorce, so what the hell is your point? I'm sorry, but comparing a liberal, relatively progressive regime like Jordan's to the majority of the rest of the Muslim-occupied world doesn't really say anything good for Islam; it just makes Jordan look better. It doesn't do a damn thing for Christians when the courts overrule the Christian law (Egypt), the president and then the governors deny the right to repair or build churches (Egypt again), the government closes Christian churches by fiat (Algeria), Christian property is confiscated and turned into Islamic places of worship or museums or just not allowed to be reopened (various churches and seminaries in Turkey), Christian schools are forcibly closed or reopened with Islamic faculty and principals (Iran), Christians are forced to study Islamic theology and pass religious tests to work in civil service (Iran again), etc.

Quote
The situations we see of Saudi Arabia and Iran beheading 'infidels' and/or apostates is a political exception where the governments are trying to gain legitimacy through fear. Let's remember that these authoritarian states imposing Islamic law on all citizens are A) not applying it correctly, and B) are weak states and need to govern by fear to legitimize their regimes.

But non-Muslims being treated unequally is NOT just the norm in Saudi and Iran. That's the entire point. It is everywhere where Islam has the upper hand and even several places where it doesn't (see my post about Islamic enclaves in Christian-majority lands), and we're supposed to believe that that's a coincidence that has NOTHING AT ALL to do with Islam? You can be that naive if you want to (you'd have to very naive to consider converting to Islam in the first place, so it's not unimaginable), but I'm not going to be. I know far too many Christians and Muslims who know what life under Islam is like. That's why they're here in the West and not in Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc.
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« Reply #100 on: November 24, 2011, 03:05:07 PM »

What reasons did Cat Stevens give for converting to Islam?

Does anyone know? I've always wondered.
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« Reply #101 on: November 24, 2011, 03:31:42 PM »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_Stevens#Religious_conversion

Quote
While on holiday in Marrakech, Morocco, shortly after visiting Ibiza, Stevens was intrigued by the sound of the Aḏhān, the Islamic ritual call to prayer, which was explained to him as "music for God". Stevens said, "I thought, music for God? I’d never heard that before – I’d heard of music for money, music for fame, music for personal power, but music for God!"

I guess he was not paying attention during any of the Greek liturgies or Roman masses he was exposed to as a youth. Lord have mercy. Let his story be a lesson to all of us to be vigilant in modeling our faith before the youth, and encourage their growth in it.
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« Reply #102 on: November 24, 2011, 04:06:29 PM »

What reasons did Cat Stevens give for converting to Islam?

Does anyone know? I've always wondered.

As far as I remember, he once came here and gave a conference to explain the main reasons underlying his conversion to Islam. He said he did not like the essential Christian doctrines of original sin and salvation through Christ's death. According to him, the almighty and benevolent God would not need anyone's tragic death for mankind's redemption and access to heaven. (This is actually what Islam teaches). I would love to ask him why the almighty and benevolent Allah of Islam needed to deceive people by making them believe through an optical illusion that Jesus truly suffered and died (Surah 4:156-157).  Grin
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« Reply #103 on: November 24, 2011, 05:51:08 PM »

Honor killing is not Islamic. Honor killing is not Christian. Honor killing is a phenomena of tribal societal structure based on family image (Arabs fall into this classification, regardless of religion )

Honor killing is Islamic or Christian if the honor killers themselves interpret it to be part of their religion. No non-Muslim or non-Christian can dictate to Muslims or Christians what's a proper practice of these religions. Honor killing might not be part of every Muslim's Islam or every Christian's Christianity but apparently it is for some Muslims and Christians. All Muslims are not Salafists and all Christians are not Protestans either.
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« Reply #104 on: November 24, 2011, 09:25:55 PM »

Honor killing is not Islamic. Honor killing is not Christian. Honor killing is a phenomena of tribal societal structure based on family image (Arabs fall into this classification, regardless of religion )

Honor killing is Islamic or Christian if the honor killers themselves interpret it to be part of their religion. No non-Muslim or non-Christian can dictate to Muslims or Christians what's a proper practice of these religions. Honor killing might not be part of every Muslim's Islam or every Christian's Christianity but apparently it is for some Muslims and Christians. All Muslims are not Salafists and all Christians are not Protestans either.

Are you saying Protestants do honour killings? Huh Honour killing is not part of anyone's Christianity.
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« Reply #105 on: November 24, 2011, 11:44:00 PM »

What's really odd is that since Islam came about hundreds of years after the events its book claims to chronicle, the Koran simply reimagines the lives of people long since departed; Abraham, Moses, Jesus and everyone else in the book suddenly magically has a different life and says different things than they did in the Bible. Unless I'm missing something and Mohammed had a time machine hidden somewhere, this is an impossibility. Who cares if Mohammed had things written down after he 'saw his visions'? All his 'visions' claimed to be about things that had already happened before he lived. No wonder in his own book, he notes that people laughed at him when he tried to tell them his story. I would, too.
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« Reply #106 on: November 25, 2011, 01:09:30 AM »

What's really odd is that since Islam came about hundreds of years after the events its book claims to chronicle, the Koran simply reimagines the lives of people long since departed; Abraham, Moses, Jesus and everyone else in the book suddenly magically has a different life and says different things than they did in the Bible. Unless I'm missing something and Mohammed had a time machine hidden somewhere, this is an impossibility. Who cares if Mohammed had things written down after he 'saw his visions'? All his 'visions' claimed to be about things that had already happened before he lived. No wonder in his own book, he notes that people laughed at him when he tried to tell them his story. I would, too.

Awesome, bio. +1.

Also, please see my comment as the grand conspiracy of Christians and Jews implied by the Islamic criticism of our "altered" and "mutilated" scriptures.
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« Reply #107 on: November 25, 2011, 01:27:22 AM »

Yes, excellent point, Biro. I have actually had Muslims try to tell me with a straight face that the gospels are not reliable because they were written so long after the events they describe. When I countered with "So we shouldn't believe the gospels because they were written some years later, but we SHOULD believe in what is in the Qur'an, even though it was written even later than the gospels?", they generally became flustered and muttered that Jesus Christ was a Muslim and we're following a corrupt book and the Qur'an is the true word of God, i.e., with a bunch of stupid nonsense.
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« Reply #108 on: November 25, 2011, 06:51:38 AM »



LOLOLOL. Christians converting to Islam is hilarious. LOLOLOLOLOLOL. Don't be a putz.

...

You can be that naive if you want to (you'd have to very naive to consider converting to Islam in the first place, so it's not unimaginable), but I'm not going to be.


No comment.
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« Reply #109 on: November 25, 2011, 07:22:19 AM »

Honor killing is not Islamic. Honor killing is not Christian. Honor killing is a phenomena of tribal societal structure based on family image (Arabs fall into this classification, regardless of religion )

Honor killing is Islamic or Christian if the honor killers themselves interpret it to be part of their religion. No non-Muslim or non-Christian can dictate to Muslims or Christians what's a proper practice of these religions. Honor killing might not be part of every Muslim's Islam or every Christian's Christianity but apparently it is for some Muslims and Christians. All Muslims are not Salafists and all Christians are not Protestans either.

Are you saying Protestants do honour killings? Huh

Nope. I'm saying that outsiders can't determine what's true form of this or that religion. While all Muslims don't practice honour killing or consider it to be part of their religion there seems to be some who do. And who am I to say that honour killing is not an islamic practice if a Muslim himself/herself says so.

I'm not a Muslim. I can't determine what's proper form of Islam. And I believe that no other non-Muslim can determine that either. So it is incorrect to say that "honor killing is not Islamic" as it seems to be an Islamic practice for some Muslims.

Quote

Honour killing is not part of anyone's Christianity.

I hope you are right. I wasn't trying to say either but to answer the doubtingthomas' message where he claimed it was.
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« Reply #110 on: November 25, 2011, 08:11:35 AM »



LOLOLOL. Christians converting to Islam is hilarious. LOLOLOLOLOLOL. Don't be a putz.

...

You can be that naive if you want to (you'd have to very naive to consider converting to Islam in the first place, so it's not unimaginable), but I'm not going to be.


No comment.

I have seen this a lot. Catholics living in Middle Eastern countries or otherwise fetishizing Islam and wanting to convert. Every single one that has asked me about it has become very much a "teacher of Islam" or whatever upon hearing my response, very carefully telling me what is not Islam despite the fact that they, like me, are not Muslims in the first place. So whose Islam will out, eh? The moderate, friendly Islam presented to you as a potential convert and best-wisher (what I would call naivete, but you have called trying to make sure bad information isn't put out there), or the Islam presented to me and many others who likewise have learned it from Middle Easterners but are not treated gingerly because we do not look at it as s potentially true path? I'm willing to concede that they're both Islam, in some way, but I think you are terribly naive in your reasoning, and in coming here, posting what you have, and NOT expecting to be taken to task for it.

It is no business of mine if you don't want to address what I have to say, but I'm going to keep saying it not to harangue you but because you really are risking your soul by flirting with the heinous blasphemy of Muhammad, and the reasons you have put forth for potentially abandoning the true Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, the uncreated and undivided Holy Trinity, and the ark of salvation the church are pathetically weak. If you don't like to hear that, then maybe you shouldn't announce your potential apostasy before a group of mostly Orthodox Christians as though it is a matter of talking you out of something you want to do (I seem to remember other threads that began by that impetus, and all of them attracted much criticism, so I don't know why this one should be any different). It is not. It is a matter of truly submitting yourself to God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and not being taken in by the world and what you perceive as being better by a show of seeming piety that conceals much wickedness. It should not even be a question, "Should I convert to Islam?" No. No one should ever convert to Islam. Much less based on the reasons you've given.

I suggest you leave Jordan sometime and talk to some Copts, Assyrians, Maronites and other Syriacs, Ethiopians, and others who have not had the experience of being educated by friendly, moderate teachers of Islam as you have, but instead of have experienced Islam within the history and contemporary life of their own communities. They will give you a different picture which may help to at least balance out and ground your perception of the religion in the reality of how it is practiced outside of the liberal regime in which you find yourself, rather than what you feel is mandated by your education in the Qur'an and classical Islamic law which is, I'm sorry to say, basically bullsh**t. (Or to put it another way, is -- if not BS -- evidence that "true" Islam is so systematically violated as to become from its very beginning a worthless, hollow exemplar of what it is supposedly meant to be, and thus cannot be compared favorably to any religion, anywhere, ever.)
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« Reply #111 on: November 25, 2011, 08:27:19 PM »



LOLOLOL. Christians converting to Islam is hilarious. LOLOLOLOLOLOL. Don't be a putz.

...

You can be that naive if you want to (you'd have to very naive to consider converting to Islam in the first place, so it's not unimaginable), but I'm not going to be.


No comment.

I have seen this a lot. Catholics living in Middle Eastern countries or otherwise fetishizing Islam and wanting to convert. Every single one that has asked me about it has become very much a "teacher of Islam" or whatever upon hearing my response, very carefully telling me what is not Islam despite the fact that they, like me, are not Muslims in the first place. So whose Islam will out, eh? The moderate, friendly Islam presented to you as a potential convert and best-wisher (what I would call naivete, but you have called trying to make sure bad information isn't put out there), or the Islam presented to me and many others who likewise have learned it from Middle Easterners but are not treated gingerly because we do not look at it as s potentially true path? I'm willing to concede that they're both Islam, in some way, but I think you are terribly naive in your reasoning, and in coming here, posting what you have, and NOT expecting to be taken to task for it.

It is no business of mine if you don't want to address what I have to say, but I'm going to keep saying it not to harangue you but because you really are risking your soul by flirting with the heinous blasphemy of Muhammad, and the reasons you have put forth for potentially abandoning the true Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, the uncreated and undivided Holy Trinity, and the ark of salvation the church are pathetically weak. If you don't like to hear that, then maybe you shouldn't announce your potential apostasy before a group of mostly Orthodox Christians as though it is a matter of talking you out of something you want to do (I seem to remember other threads that began by that impetus, and all of them attracted much criticism, so I don't know why this one should be any different). It is not. It is a matter of truly submitting yourself to God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and not being taken in by the world and what you perceive as being better by a show of seeming piety that conceals much wickedness. It should not even be a question, "Should I convert to Islam?" No. No one should ever convert to Islam. Much less based on the reasons you've given.

I suggest you leave Jordan sometime and talk to some Copts, Assyrians, Maronites and other Syriacs, Ethiopians, and others who have not had the experience of being educated by friendly, moderate teachers of Islam as you have, but instead of have experienced Islam within the history and contemporary life of their own communities. They will give you a different picture which may help to at least balance out and ground your perception of the religion in the reality of how it is practiced outside of the liberal regime in which you find yourself, rather than what you feel is mandated by your education in the Qur'an and classical Islamic law which is, I'm sorry to say, basically bullsh**t. (Or to put it another way, is -- if not BS -- evidence that "true" Islam is so systematically violated as to become from its very beginning a worthless, hollow exemplar of what it is supposedly meant to be, and thus cannot be compared favorably to any religion, anywhere, ever.)

I'm not fetishizing anything. I'm merely giving you the information and experiences that I have living in the Arab world. Thank you for your input, but as a person who is much more moved by seeing before believing, I'm really not inclined by your emotional testimony or the hearsay comments of Arab Christians who have a highly skewed picture of the situation. Again, in Jordan the Christians control most of the economy, so in that case they enjoy vilifying the Muslim majority in order to create elitist ideals in their children and keep them working in business and continue controlling most of the economy...and enjoying the monatery benefits of that. It's similar in other countries where European colonizers made the Christians the political or economic elite and put them in positions of power.

I'm sorry if me referring to Jordan so much annoys you, but it's the Middle Eastern country I've lived in the longest. I agree that each country in the Middle East is vastly different in terms of religion, politics, and even culture sometimes, but again I'm speaking from my experience.

Also, if you're so moved by Jesus, why don't you share with me why instead of just telling me "You're naive, you're a putz, Jesus is God, you're going to hell if you don't believe that". How do you think that's inspiring to a person who's already doubtful about Jesus' position as anyone divine? lol Quite the turn-off and just as extreme, in my mind, as a Muslim who feels inclined to kill a Christian for being Christian.

It's not enough for you that Jordan is an Islamic country (Islamic meaning governed by Islamic law)? You want me to have been in the thick of it. The places where a Copt gets killed for having the cross tattoo on his wrist. I realize that happens every once in a blue moon, but that's not a compelling argument to me as someone who's never experienced Muslims acting that way. And it's violence based on an extreme view. It's just like when in Wyoming when Matthew Shepard was killed by bigots who hated the fact that he was gay (although it's something he did not choose, whereas religion is a choice). Extreme views cause death everywhere and a testimony about someone killing someone else over religious differences doesn't make me think less of any religion. It just makes me think less of the killer. Jews in Israel organized into patrolling death squads to push out Palestinians (Muslim and Chrisitan). Hindus raid Muslim villages in India and kill them specifically because of religious difference. The IRA was a Christian terrorist group killing other Christians who chose a different religious confession (and vise versa during The Troubles). Choosing to see one religion killing and saying "Ah, it's bad because they kill this group who I'm sympathetic to" is not logical in my mind. I don't know what else to say, that's just not my experience of Islam and nobody else from the hundreds I've met in the Middle East: Arab, Circassian, Persian; Muslim, Christian, or Druze.

(And not all confined to Jordan, I've lived in Lebanon as well and know people in these countries originally from other Arab states, just to satisfy your Jordan-is-not-good-enough-of-an-example requirement)
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« Reply #112 on: November 25, 2011, 08:43:51 PM »

Quote from: doubtingthomas
Also, if you're so moved by Jesus, why don't you share with me why instead of just telling me "You're naive, you're a putz, Jesus is God, you're going to hell if you don't believe that". How do you think that's inspiring to a person who's already doubtful about Jesus' position as anyone divine? lol Quite the turn-off and just as extreme, in my mind, as a Muslim who feels inclined to kill a Christian for being Christian.

Has anybody said they wanted to kill anybody? Where do you get the comparison?

And the killing of Copts has happened a lot more often lately than 'once in a blue moon.' Pay attention to the news sometime.

To say that you don't seem to get it, would be an understatement. 
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« Reply #113 on: November 25, 2011, 08:46:56 PM »

Quote from: doubtingthomas
Also, if you're so moved by Jesus, why don't you share with me why instead of just telling me "You're naive, you're a putz, Jesus is God, you're going to hell if you don't believe that". How do you think that's inspiring to a person who's already doubtful about Jesus' position as anyone divine? lol Quite the turn-off and just as extreme, in my mind, as a Muslim who feels inclined to kill a Christian for being Christian.

Has anybody said they wanted to kill anybody? Where do you get the comparison?

And the killing of Copts has happened a lot more often lately than 'once in a blue moon.' Pay attention to the news sometime.

To say that you don't seem to get it, would be an understatement.  

I'm comparing a level of extremism in belief, not an act. Re-read what I wrote, please.

Again with a holier-than-thou "read the news sometime".

If you want to help me, show me articles and reports rather than bemoaning my ignorant state. If Jesus can make the blind see, then help me see! I think the lesser of two evils anyway is to be informed of all of Egypt's strive for democracy against the military in Tahrir Square rather than watch the condition of a few Christians...
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« Reply #114 on: November 25, 2011, 08:53:23 PM »

Quote from: doubtingthomas
Also, if you're so moved by Jesus, why don't you share with me why instead of just telling me "You're naive, you're a putz, Jesus is God, you're going to hell if you don't believe that". How do you think that's inspiring to a person who's already doubtful about Jesus' position as anyone divine? lol Quite the turn-off and just as extreme, in my mind, as a Muslim who feels inclined to kill a Christian for being Christian.

Has anybody said they wanted to kill anybody? Where do you get the comparison?

And the killing of Copts has happened a lot more often lately than 'once in a blue moon.' Pay attention to the news sometime.

To say that you don't seem to get it, would be an understatement. 

I'm comparing a level of extremism in belief, not an act. Re-read what I wrote, please.

Again with a holier-than-thou "read the news sometime".

If you want to help me, show me articles and reports rather than bemoaning my ignorant state. If Jesus can make the blind see, then help me see!


Mark 4:11-12 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
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« Reply #115 on: November 25, 2011, 09:00:25 PM »

Quote from: doubtingthomas
I think the lesser of two evils anyway is to be informed of all of Egypt's strive for democracy against the military in Tahrir Square rather than watch the condition of a few Christians...

So, you don't care about the Copts who have been murdered in terrorist attacks, and in the military crackdown on protests- Copts are Egyptians, you should know- or are you deliberately pretending to be obtuse? Look it up. You're an adult, stop whining and stop complaining about what other people say, and do something. Are you afraid that you will be shown not to care, or are you afraid to say anything that would upset the Muslims who have tried to persuade you? I am not going to do things for you.

I have to say that a chill went down my spine when I read the quote I put above. I really do think that either you don't want to believe anything that makes Muslims look bad, or you truly do not count the lives of the murdered Coptic Christians to be worth thinking about.

Grow up.
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« Reply #116 on: November 25, 2011, 09:26:55 PM »

Quote from: doubtingthomas
I think the lesser of two evils anyway is to be informed of all of Egypt's strive for democracy against the military in Tahrir Square rather than watch the condition of a few Christians...

So, you don't care about the Copts who have been murdered in terrorist attacks, and in the military crackdown on protests- Copts are Egyptians, you should know- or are you deliberately pretending to be obtuse? Look it up. You're an adult, stop whining and stop complaining about what other people say, and do something. Are you afraid that you will be shown not to care, or are you afraid to say anything that would upset the Muslims who have tried to persuade you? I am not going to do things for you.

I have to say that a chill went down my spine when I read the quote I put above. I really do think that either you don't want to believe anything that makes Muslims look bad, or you truly do not count the lives of the murdered Coptic Christians to be worth thinking about.

Grow up.

Thank you, I understand that Copts are Egyptian, and I didn't say I don't care about the Copts.

I have found out much from this thread. It actually deters me more from Christianity more than I  thought it would and that's unfortunate. I'll try to find some priests and imams to talk to about this I guess. Thanks for everyone's comments.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 09:28:09 PM by doubtingthomas » Logged

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« Reply #117 on: November 25, 2011, 09:48:10 PM »

Quote from: doubtingthomas
I think the lesser of two evils anyway is to be informed of all of Egypt's strive for democracy against the military in Tahrir Square rather than watch the condition of a few Christians...

So, you don't care about the Copts who have been murdered in terrorist attacks, and in the military crackdown on protests- Copts are Egyptians, you should know- or are you deliberately pretending to be obtuse? Look it up. You're an adult, stop whining and stop complaining about what other people say, and do something. Are you afraid that you will be shown not to care, or are you afraid to say anything that would upset the Muslims who have tried to persuade you? I am not going to do things for you.

I have to say that a chill went down my spine when I read the quote I put above. I really do think that either you don't want to believe anything that makes Muslims look bad, or you truly do not count the lives of the murdered Coptic Christians to be worth thinking about.

Grow up.

Thank you, I understand that Copts are Egyptian, and I didn't say I don't care about the Copts.

I have found out much from this thread. It actually deters me more from Christianity more than I  thought it would and that's unfortunate. I'll try to find some priests and imams to talk to about this I guess. Thanks for everyone's comments.

So the sickeningly large amount of Islamist violence in the world doesn't deter you from Islam but some Christians calling you naive deters you from Christianity?

 Undecided
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« Reply #118 on: November 25, 2011, 09:52:00 PM »

I'm not fetishizing anything. I'm merely giving you the information and experiences that I have living in the Arab world. Thank you for your input, but as a person who is much more moved by seeing before believing, I'm really not inclined by your emotional testimony or the hearsay comments of Arab Christians who have a highly skewed picture of the situation.


If you want to be given advice from Christians, why do you then assume that we have a "highly skewed" view of such things? (None of the groups I mentioned are Arabs, by the way.) What was emotional (or for that matter, testimony) about recommending that you also talk to Christians who have had long histories living alongside Islam? Do you want to get a balanced picture of the situation or not? It makes very little sense to dismiss all views that don't conform to what you have personally seen in the small, increasingly anomalous corner of the Middle East that you are in, if you are seriously interested in hearing why you should not convert to Islam.

Quote
Again, in Jordan the Christians control most of the economy, so in that case they enjoy vilifying the Muslim majority in order to create elitist ideals in their children and keep them working in business and continue controlling most of the economy...and enjoying the monatery benefits of that. It's similar in other countries where European colonizers made the Christians the political or economic elite and put them in positions of power.

I had the very good fortune to spend Thanksgiving with two Jordanian Christians yesterday, in fact. We talked a lot about various things, but you'll have to forgive me, as I've forgotten how the economic position of some Christians in Jordan proves that Islam is so great. This is like looking at professional basketball and using it as an example to prove that African Americans are just imagining high rates of unemployment, incarceration, and an overall lower quality of life than their white counterparts. Don't even bother with that with me. Talk about emotional arguments! "elitists", "European colonizers", etc. What about the earlier colonization of the Middle East by the Muslim Arabs, then? That gets a pass, huh? Ya munafiq, your true colors are showing.

Quote
I'm sorry if me referring to Jordan so much annoys you, but it's the Middle Eastern country I've lived in the longest. I agree that each country in the Middle East is vastly different in terms of religion, politics, and even culture sometimes, but again I'm speaking from my experience.

It's not that it annoys me. It's that Jordan is not exactly an example of how the majority of the Middle East is going these days (unfortunately). I mean, if I wanted to use Haiti as a testament of the poor shape of the entire western hemisphere, I could try, but I don't think it would get very far. You likewise will not get very in talking about Jordan while dismissing what goes on elsewhere as one-off incidents.

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Also, if you're so moved by Jesus, why don't you share with me why instead of just telling me "You're naive, you're a putz, Jesus is God, you're going to hell if you don't believe that". How do you think that's inspiring to a person who's already doubtful about Jesus' position as anyone divine? lol Quite the turn-off and just as extreme, in my mind, as a Muslim who feels inclined to kill a Christian for being Christian.

Why do you feel the need to question my commitment to Christ Jesus? Because you want to leave Him, and think that I give you the final push? Then God help me, I will not post here anymore. But I think that this is a strange way of trying to make a point. God gave us both free will. You are apparently upset that I should tell you that you are not making a wise choice with yours, but I can't think of anything else to say about someone who has so clearly imbibed the Islamic view of history, communal relations in the Middle East, and Christians and Christianity in general. Again, since your soul is in danger (which is nowhere near the same as saying "you are going to hell if you don't believe this"; I really do not appreciate having words put in my mouth...particularly those kinds of words), it would be a disservice to you and all who might read this thread to let your arguments go unopposed when they are misrepresenting the reality of Islam AND Christianity for the sake of a false faith such as that which has bewitched you.

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It's not enough for you that Jordan is an Islamic country (Islamic meaning governed by Islamic law)?


I do not believe that, and in fact wrote almost the exact opposite: "I'm sorry, but comparing a liberal, relatively progressive regime like Jordan's to the majority of the rest of the Muslim-occupied world doesn't really say anything good for Islam; it just makes Jordan look better."

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You want me to have been in the thick of it. The places where a Copt gets killed for having the cross tattoo on his wrist. I realize that happens every once in a blue moon, but that's not a compelling argument to me as someone who's never experienced Muslims acting that way. And it's violence based on an extreme view.

In other words, there are no elephants in my backyard, therefore elephants do not exist. It is hard to argue against this kind of argument, and I don't mean that as an endorsement of your method of arguing. Just so we're clear: I don't want you or anyone to be any place where people are killed for their religious beliefs. I want you to use your your God-given sense and recognize that such places exist, and are not coincidentally found in many Muslim-dominated countries.

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It's just like when in Wyoming when Matthew Shepard was killed by bigots who hated the fact that he was gay (although it's something he did not choose, whereas religion is a choice). Extreme views cause death everywhere and a testimony about someone killing someone else over religious differences doesn't make me think less of any religion.


My brother happened to be enrolled in school in Laramie at the time of this event. While certainly the killers had extreme views that pushed them to violence (I don't think anyone doubts that extremism is a breeding ground for violence, no matter what we're talking about), I find this comparison very unconvincing because in no way was what the killers did enshrined in any form of locally-practiced religion in Laramie. On the other hand, various interpretations of Islamic law legitimize the murder and subjugation of non-Muslims, and instead of coming out against these ideas (as people did in Laramie and around the country after the Matthew Shepard incident) large proportions of the Muslim world consider them sacrosanct and essential to the rightly guided implementation and practice of their religion in their societies.

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Choosing to see one religion killing and saying "Ah, it's bad because they kill this group who I'm sympathetic to" is not logical in my mind. I don't know what else to say, that's just not my experience of Islam and nobody else from the hundreds I've met in the Middle East: Arab, Circassian, Persian; Muslim, Christian, or Druze.

If this is what you think I am saying, that says more about you than it does about me or anything I have said in this thread. I know way too many people from the Middle East who have lived through wars and tell the truth: Killing anyone is bad. This is why I am very much against the Islamic religion's justification of murder and subjugation of peoples in the name of Muhammad's so-called "Allah". Islam has destroyed every single society in which it is now predominant, whether we are talking about societies that were previously majority Christian like Egypt, or majority Zoroastrian like Iran, or majority Buddhist like Afghanistan, etc. It really is not a matter of simple "Christian = Good/Muslim = Bad" binary thinking.

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(And not all confined to Jordan, I've lived in Lebanon as well and know people in these countries originally from other Arab states, just to satisfy your Jordan-is-not-good-enough-of-an-example requirement)

Um...Thomas...39% Christian...president must be a Christian...this is like saying "you didn't like my example of the tomato as a prototypical fruit, so how about a basketball instead?"

May God have mercy on your soul and grant you wisdom. I am out of ideas with this one. It is clear why the Holy Bible states that none can say that Jesus Christ is of God but by the Holy Spirit!
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« Reply #119 on: November 25, 2011, 10:10:53 PM »

People can anonymously post whatever they want on a forum. I've found this forum better than most. It's certainly been way more helpful for me than others. Go to a Muslim forum and see what you find there. Some of the best advice on here is talk to a priest. I highly recommend you do. I will be praying for you. God is love.
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« Reply #120 on: November 25, 2011, 11:09:03 PM »

Choosing to see one religion killing and saying "Ah, it's bad because they kill this group who I'm sympathetic to" is not logical in my mind. I don't know what else to say, that's just not my experience of Islam and nobody else from the hundreds I've met in the Middle East: Arab, Circassian, Persian; Muslim, Christian, or Druze.

If this is what you think I am saying, that says more about you than it does about me or anything I have said in this thread. I know way too many people from the Middle East who have lived through wars and tell the truth: Killing anyone is bad. This is why I am very much against the Islamic religion's justification of murder and subjugation of peoples in the name of Muhammad's so-called "Allah". Islam has destroyed every single society in which it is now predominant, whether we are talking about societies that were previously majority Christian like Egypt, or majority Zoroastrian like Iran, or majority Buddhist like Afghanistan, etc. It really is not a matter of simple "Christian = Good/Muslim = Bad" binary thinking.

Don't forget, the conquest of India as well. Tamerlane even went so far as to boast of putting one hundred thousand Hindu "infidels and idolaters" to the sword during the massacre at Delhi, not to mention numerous accounts in his memoirs of killing all of the men in a village, and raping all of the women (just like Muhammad, the perfect Muslim did in his campaigns to control the Arabian Peninsula), even though previous Muslim rulers had (conveniently) considered the Hindus to be dhimmi rather than idolaters and polytheists. LOL, the Muslims couldn't even agree on a simple matter such as whether all of the followers of a certain religion should be eradicated (yet disturbingly, it seems like nobody ever asked if slaughtering polytheists was in any way unethical).

After reviewing the ugly history of Islamic conquest, and how it basically repeated itself over and over with six different religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Judaism and Jainism) over thirteen centuries, I think one would have to be in denial to say that it's all a coincidence, and not a pattern. This is, of course, not at all a commentary on Muslims as individual people; it is a commentary on Islam as a politico-religious system, which seems historically to have produced an abnormally disproportionate amount of violence, conquest and oppression wherever it spreads.
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« Reply #121 on: November 25, 2011, 11:14:39 PM »

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I think the lesser of two evils anyway is to be informed of all of Egypt's strive for democracy against the military in Tahrir Square rather than watch the condition of a few Christians...

So, you don't care about the Copts who have been murdered in terrorist attacks, and in the military crackdown on protests- Copts are Egyptians, you should know- or are you deliberately pretending to be obtuse? Look it up. You're an adult, stop whining and stop complaining about what other people say, and do something. Are you afraid that you will be shown not to care, or are you afraid to say anything that would upset the Muslims who have tried to persuade you? I am not going to do things for you.

I have to say that a chill went down my spine when I read the quote I put above. I really do think that either you don't want to believe anything that makes Muslims look bad, or you truly do not count the lives of the murdered Coptic Christians to be worth thinking about.

Grow up.

Thank you, I understand that Copts are Egyptian, and I didn't say I don't care about the Copts.

I have found out much from this thread. It actually deters me more from Christianity more than I  thought it would and that's unfortunate. I'll try to find some priests and imams to talk to about this I guess. Thanks for everyone's comments.

So the sickeningly large amount of Islamist violence in the world doesn't deter you from Islam but some Christians calling you naive deters you from Christianity?

 Undecided

That's because Islamism is only one philosophy within Islam, it's not all of Islam. But all I've seen from most Christians in the West who encounter Islam is abhorrence at worst, suspicion at best.
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« Reply #122 on: November 25, 2011, 11:22:29 PM »

I'm not fetishizing anything. I'm merely giving you the information and experiences that I have living in the Arab world. Thank you for your input, but as a person who is much more moved by seeing before believing, I'm really not inclined by your emotional testimony or the hearsay comments of Arab Christians who have a highly skewed picture of the situation.


If you want to be given advice from Christians, why do you then assume that we have a "highly skewed" view of such things? (None of the groups I mentioned are Arabs, by the way.) What was emotional (or for that matter, testimony) about recommending that you also talk to Christians who have had long histories living alongside Islam? Do you want to get a balanced picture of the situation or not? It makes very little sense to dismiss all views that don't conform to what you have personally seen in the small, increasingly anomalous corner of the Middle East that you are in, if you are seriously interested in hearing why you should not convert to Islam.

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Again, in Jordan the Christians control most of the economy, so in that case they enjoy vilifying the Muslim majority in order to create elitist ideals in their children and keep them working in business and continue controlling most of the economy...and enjoying the monatery benefits of that. It's similar in other countries where European colonizers made the Christians the political or economic elite and put them in positions of power.

I had the very good fortune to spend Thanksgiving with two Jordanian Christians yesterday, in fact. We talked a lot about various things, but you'll have to forgive me, as I've forgotten how the economic position of some Christians in Jordan proves that Islam is so great. This is like looking at professional basketball and using it as an example to prove that African Americans are just imagining high rates of unemployment, incarceration, and an overall lower quality of life than their white counterparts. Don't even bother with that with me. Talk about emotional arguments! "elitists", "European colonizers", etc. What about the earlier colonization of the Middle East by the Muslim Arabs, then? That gets a pass, huh? Ya munafiq, your true colors are showing.

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I'm sorry if me referring to Jordan so much annoys you, but it's the Middle Eastern country I've lived in the longest. I agree that each country in the Middle East is vastly different in terms of religion, politics, and even culture sometimes, but again I'm speaking from my experience.

It's not that it annoys me. It's that Jordan is not exactly an example of how the majority of the Middle East is going these days (unfortunately). I mean, if I wanted to use Haiti as a testament of the poor shape of the entire western hemisphere, I could try, but I don't think it would get very far. You likewise will not get very in talking about Jordan while dismissing what goes on elsewhere as one-off incidents.

Quote
Also, if you're so moved by Jesus, why don't you share with me why instead of just telling me "You're naive, you're a putz, Jesus is God, you're going to hell if you don't believe that". How do you think that's inspiring to a person who's already doubtful about Jesus' position as anyone divine? lol Quite the turn-off and just as extreme, in my mind, as a Muslim who feels inclined to kill a Christian for being Christian.

Why do you feel the need to question my commitment to Christ Jesus? Because you want to leave Him, and think that I give you the final push? Then God help me, I will not post here anymore. But I think that this is a strange way of trying to make a point. God gave us both free will. You are apparently upset that I should tell you that you are not making a wise choice with yours, but I can't think of anything else to say about someone who has so clearly imbibed the Islamic view of history, communal relations in the Middle East, and Christians and Christianity in general. Again, since your soul is in danger (which is nowhere near the same as saying "you are going to hell if you don't believe this"; I really do not appreciate having words put in my mouth...particularly those kinds of words), it would be a disservice to you and all who might read this thread to let your arguments go unopposed when they are misrepresenting the reality of Islam AND Christianity for the sake of a false faith such as that which has bewitched you.

Quote
It's not enough for you that Jordan is an Islamic country (Islamic meaning governed by Islamic law)?


I do not believe that, and in fact wrote almost the exact opposite: "I'm sorry, but comparing a liberal, relatively progressive regime like Jordan's to the majority of the rest of the Muslim-occupied world doesn't really say anything good for Islam; it just makes Jordan look better."

Quote
You want me to have been in the thick of it. The places where a Copt gets killed for having the cross tattoo on his wrist. I realize that happens every once in a blue moon, but that's not a compelling argument to me as someone who's never experienced Muslims acting that way. And it's violence based on an extreme view.

In other words, there are no elephants in my backyard, therefore elephants do not exist. It is hard to argue against this kind of argument, and I don't mean that as an endorsement of your method of arguing. Just so we're clear: I don't want you or anyone to be any place where people are killed for their religious beliefs. I want you to use your your God-given sense and recognize that such places exist, and are not coincidentally found in many Muslim-dominated countries.

Quote
It's just like when in Wyoming when Matthew Shepard was killed by bigots who hated the fact that he was gay (although it's something he did not choose, whereas religion is a choice). Extreme views cause death everywhere and a testimony about someone killing someone else over religious differences doesn't make me think less of any religion.


My brother happened to be enrolled in school in Laramie at the time of this event. While certainly the killers had extreme views that pushed them to violence (I don't think anyone doubts that extremism is a breeding ground for violence, no matter what we're talking about), I find this comparison very unconvincing because in no way was what the killers did enshrined in any form of locally-practiced religion in Laramie. On the other hand, various interpretations of Islamic law legitimize the murder and subjugation of non-Muslims, and instead of coming out against these ideas (as people did in Laramie and around the country after the Matthew Shepard incident) large proportions of the Muslim world consider them sacrosanct and essential to the rightly guided implementation and practice of their religion in their societies.

Quote
Choosing to see one religion killing and saying "Ah, it's bad because they kill this group who I'm sympathetic to" is not logical in my mind. I don't know what else to say, that's just not my experience of Islam and nobody else from the hundreds I've met in the Middle East: Arab, Circassian, Persian; Muslim, Christian, or Druze.

If this is what you think I am saying, that says more about you than it does about me or anything I have said in this thread. I know way too many people from the Middle East who have lived through wars and tell the truth: Killing anyone is bad. This is why I am very much against the Islamic religion's justification of murder and subjugation of peoples in the name of Muhammad's so-called "Allah". Islam has destroyed every single society in which it is now predominant, whether we are talking about societies that were previously majority Christian like Egypt, or majority Zoroastrian like Iran, or majority Buddhist like Afghanistan, etc. It really is not a matter of simple "Christian = Good/Muslim = Bad" binary thinking.

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(And not all confined to Jordan, I've lived in Lebanon as well and know people in these countries originally from other Arab states, just to satisfy your Jordan-is-not-good-enough-of-an-example requirement)

Um...Thomas...39% Christian...president must be a Christian...this is like saying "you didn't like my example of the tomato as a prototypical fruit, so how about a basketball instead?"

May God have mercy on your soul and grant you wisdom. I am out of ideas with this one. It is clear why the Holy Bible states that none can say that Jesus Christ is of God but by the Holy Spirit!

lol Then I guess I'm lost, thanks for your efforts.

And the connotation of calling someone a hypocrite in Arabic carries the image of them being a two-faced liar who doesn't deserve what he has, so I really resent that, even if that's not how you meant it.

Someone investigating religious truths is surely not a hypocrite.
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« Reply #123 on: November 25, 2011, 11:38:21 PM »

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Someone investigating religious truths is surely not a hypocrite.

Throwing away the Truth which is in your hands to embrace a lie might not be hypocrisy, but it's pretty damn foolish and dangerous.
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« Reply #124 on: November 25, 2011, 11:44:33 PM »

Quote from: doubtingthomas
I think the lesser of two evils anyway is to be informed of all of Egypt's strive for democracy against the military in Tahrir Square rather than watch the condition of a few Christians...

So, you don't care about the Copts who have been murdered in terrorist attacks, and in the military crackdown on protests- Copts are Egyptians, you should know- or are you deliberately pretending to be obtuse? Look it up. You're an adult, stop whining and stop complaining about what other people say, and do something. Are you afraid that you will be shown not to care, or are you afraid to say anything that would upset the Muslims who have tried to persuade you? I am not going to do things for you.

I have to say that a chill went down my spine when I read the quote I put above. I really do think that either you don't want to believe anything that makes Muslims look bad, or you truly do not count the lives of the murdered Coptic Christians to be worth thinking about.

Grow up.

Thank you, I understand that Copts are Egyptian, and I didn't say I don't care about the Copts.

I have found out much from this thread. It actually deters me more from Christianity more than I  thought it would and that's unfortunate. I'll try to find some priests and imams to talk to about this I guess. Thanks for everyone's comments.

So the sickeningly large amount of Islamist violence in the world doesn't deter you from Islam but some Christians calling you naive deters you from Christianity?

 Undecided

That's because Islamism is only one philosophy within Islam, it's not all of Islam. But all I've seen from Christians who encounter Islam is abhorrence.

Here is what the Quran instructs Muslims to do to the "people of the book." Is it any wonder that Christians view Islam with suspicion?

Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection. And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away! They have taken their doctors of law and their monks for lords besides Allah, and (also) the Messiah son of Marium and they were enjoined that they should serve one Allah only, there is no god but He; far from His glory be what they set up (with Him). They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah will not consent save to perfect His light, though the unbelievers are averse. He it is Who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, that He might cause it to prevail over all religions, though the polytheists may be averse.
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« Reply #125 on: November 25, 2011, 11:52:37 PM »

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I think the lesser of two evils anyway is to be informed of all of Egypt's strive for democracy against the military in Tahrir Square rather than watch the condition of a few Christians...

So, you don't care about the Copts who have been murdered in terrorist attacks, and in the military crackdown on protests- Copts are Egyptians, you should know- or are you deliberately pretending to be obtuse? Look it up. You're an adult, stop whining and stop complaining about what other people say, and do something. Are you afraid that you will be shown not to care, or are you afraid to say anything that would upset the Muslims who have tried to persuade you? I am not going to do things for you.

I have to say that a chill went down my spine when I read the quote I put above. I really do think that either you don't want to believe anything that makes Muslims look bad, or you truly do not count the lives of the murdered Coptic Christians to be worth thinking about.

Grow up.

Thank you, I understand that Copts are Egyptian, and I didn't say I don't care about the Copts.

I have found out much from this thread. It actually deters me more from Christianity more than I  thought it would and that's unfortunate. I'll try to find some priests and imams to talk to about this I guess. Thanks for everyone's comments.

So the sickeningly large amount of Islamist violence in the world doesn't deter you from Islam but some Christians calling you naive deters you from Christianity?

 Undecided

That's because Islamism is only one philosophy within Islam, it's not all of Islam. But all I've seen from Christians who encounter Islam is abhorrence.

Here is what the Quran instructs Muslims to do to the "people of the book." Is it any wonder that Christians view Islam with suspicion?

Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection. And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away! They have taken their doctors of law and their monks for lords besides Allah, and (also) the Messiah son of Marium and they were enjoined that they should serve one Allah only, there is no god but He; far from His glory be what they set up (with Him). They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah will not consent save to perfect His light, though the unbelievers are averse. He it is Who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, that He might cause it to prevail over all religions, though the polytheists may be averse.

Suras were revealed in context and have to be taken in context. I can quote Bible verses saying similar if not the same thing(s) out of context too:

"Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the LORD must be destroyed." Exodus 22:20

"If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, 7 gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), 8 do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. 9 You must certainly put them to death." Deut 13:6-9

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« Reply #126 on: November 26, 2011, 12:06:56 AM »

Thomas, I called you a munafiq because the hypocrisy of brushing aside my advice to simply talk to people who have witnessed Islam at work in their own societies for centuries as "emotional" and "skewed" while expressing much vitriol for eastern Christians as hateful "elitists" in some sort of diabolic cabal with western colonizing powers strikes me as incredibly hypocritical. As far as not deserving what you have, well...none of us deserve Christ the compassionate redeemer and lover of mankind, but as you seem determined to give your heart and soul to another, perhaps it is not so far-fetched to wonder (publicly, so as to hopefully give you something to think about) whether or not you have really put much thought into what exactly you are giving up, ahead of any questions about whether or not you deserve it. You know the Psalms? "But if You, O Lord, should mark inequities, O Lord who shall stand?" Not me, not you, not Muhammad, not every hajji or rightly-guided caliph who has ever lived, or anybody else.

And I did not say you are lost. Such judgment is for God alone to make, not me or anyone here. I said I am out of ideas as to how to approach this subject with you, both because of my own brashness regarding this topic (Kyrie eleison) and your unwillingness to listen to the advice of others, and most importantly to approach Christianity and Islam with a Christian mindset, as would be befitting someone who has claim to be Christian. I know you are struggling with issues of conversion and I don't mean to brush them off, but your responses to the posts in this thread really do strike me as though you have already made a decision and now are looking for us to talk you out of it. We can't do that, as I know you know. "God guides whom He wills", right? But what we can do, or at least what I can do, is register my objection at seeing yet another Christian who has become enamored of what he has mistaken as the holiness of Islam. So I maintain that there is no such holiness in Islam (to say nothing of individual Muslims; a crucial distinction I'm glad to see has been made in recent posts), and that anyone who entertains exchanging a life in Christ for a life of following Muhammad and his religion is indeed in a dangerous position. Lord have mercy on us all.

And it doesn't matter at all how many Bible verses you can quote, Thomas. The key to understanding this much-lauded "context" Muslims are always prattling on about is to look at how the earliest followers of the respective communities (the ones that followed Christ our God, or Muhammad) understood these verses. When you do that...well, from a Christian perspective, it makes Islam look that much worse. It is the new, "neo-Muslim" (to quote an ex-Muslim acquaintance) explanation that contextually explains away all the terrible violence in the Qur'an. The "rightly guided caliphs" and other early Muslims definitely understood violence to be temporal and real, and we (non-Muslims of both east and west) felt the consequences sooner or later.
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« Reply #127 on: November 26, 2011, 12:18:55 AM »

This interview with Fr. Patrick Reardon from Ancient Faith Radio might go a ways to explaining why Christians react to Islam as they do, Thomas. It also touches a bit on the subject of violence in the respective religions, though that's a minor point (and not one that I think is particularly well-argued, to be honest) in the overall discussion on whether or not all religions share the same God.

(Spoiler alert: Fr. Reardon says they do not. Less of a spoiler: I agree with him!)  Smiley
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« Reply #128 on: November 26, 2011, 12:23:50 AM »

I have no real experience of how Jesus has positively affected my life. I have real experience of Islam positively affecting my life and those around me.

This is a powerful reason for me.
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« Reply #129 on: November 26, 2011, 12:36:40 AM »

Hmmm. I thought it was more of a pagan notion to worship gods as a means to personal enrichment and fulfillment.  Huh

I don't think anyone would argue with you that converting to Islam has its advantages, especially in the part of the world you're living in. But all the advantage in the world is just that...all the advantage in the world. And as we know that our Lord's kingdom is not of this world, and that everything of this world will pass away (and, related to what appears to be your epistemological bent, you could also reflect on how it is that the wisdom of man is foolishness with God), there is little more to say than that. Thank you for showing once again the orientation of Islam. This thread may have alienated you from Christianity, but for some us it once again confirmed that Christianity is the right path. And as something which was certainly not God (but must have been experiencing the "stopped clock is right twice a day" phenomenon at the time of this revelation) is recorded to have told Muhammad, "truth stands clear from error". Amin, amin, amin!
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« Reply #130 on: November 26, 2011, 12:50:22 AM »

"Islamism" is a made up term to obfuscate that what people call Islamism is actually Islam.
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« Reply #131 on: November 26, 2011, 12:57:26 AM »

Ditto "Islamophobia" -- the "phobia" suffix implies an irrational aversion or fear. I don't think it is the least bit irrational to feel aversion toward Islam. Islam certainly is averse to us, and seems to fear any religions or ways of life that aren't itself.

Oh Islam, thou doth protest too much!
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« Reply #132 on: November 26, 2011, 01:02:09 AM »

Quote from: doubtingthomas
I think the lesser of two evils anyway is to be informed of all of Egypt's strive for democracy against the military in Tahrir Square rather than watch the condition of a few Christians...

So, you don't care about the Copts who have been murdered in terrorist attacks, and in the military crackdown on protests- Copts are Egyptians, you should know- or are you deliberately pretending to be obtuse? Look it up. You're an adult, stop whining and stop complaining about what other people say, and do something. Are you afraid that you will be shown not to care, or are you afraid to say anything that would upset the Muslims who have tried to persuade you? I am not going to do things for you.

I have to say that a chill went down my spine when I read the quote I put above. I really do think that either you don't want to believe anything that makes Muslims look bad, or you truly do not count the lives of the murdered Coptic Christians to be worth thinking about.

Grow up.

Thank you, I understand that Copts are Egyptian, and I didn't say I don't care about the Copts.

I have found out much from this thread. It actually deters me more from Christianity more than I  thought it would and that's unfortunate. I'll try to find some priests and imams to talk to about this I guess. Thanks for everyone's comments.

So the sickeningly large amount of Islamist violence in the world doesn't deter you from Islam but some Christians calling you naive deters you from Christianity?

 Undecided

That's because Islamism is only one philosophy within Islam, it's not all of Islam. But all I've seen from Christians who encounter Islam is abhorrence.

Here is what the Quran instructs Muslims to do to the "people of the book." Is it any wonder that Christians view Islam with suspicion?

Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection. And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away! They have taken their doctors of law and their monks for lords besides Allah, and (also) the Messiah son of Marium and they were enjoined that they should serve one Allah only, there is no god but He; far from His glory be what they set up (with Him). They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah will not consent save to perfect His light, though the unbelievers are averse. He it is Who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, that He might cause it to prevail over all religions, though the polytheists may be averse.

Suras were revealed in context and have to be taken in context. I can quote Bible verses saying similar if not the same thing(s) out of context too:

"Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the LORD must be destroyed." Exodus 22:20

"If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, 7 gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), 8 do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. 9 You must certainly put them to death." Deut 13:6-9



Too bad the Quran contains no context. I often wonder why God's perfect revelation is so jumbled up, when our supposedly corrupt scriptures at least have some indication of chronology. Of course it's pretty apparent what Allah's messenger means when you read through the ahadith concerning how nonbelievers should be treated, which provide plenty of context. The verses you quoted from the bible, by the way do not encourage the Jews to go out and subjugate the world by either killing the nonbelievers or forcing the subset of them who are people of the book into submitting to the jizya (shocking, isn't it, that this is precisely the MO for the expansion of Islam, right here condensed in just one ayah from sura at-tawba; it's like these brutal Muslim conquests were modeled on Muhammad's own brutal conquest of the Arabian peninsula or something); they simply tell the Jews that a Jew who quits believing should be put to death.
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« Reply #133 on: November 26, 2011, 02:29:40 AM »

I think the lesser of two evils anyway is to be informed of all of Egypt's strive for democracy against the military in Tahrir Square rather than watch the condition of a few Christians...

If you're more interested in supporting a form of government than caring about people, I can see why you find Christianity so unappealing.

Islam may not be your bag either though.  Perhaps you can worship mankind and its right to vote. 

I agree that attacking Islam in this thread may not have been the most persuasive method, but I'm not sure what you were looking for.  You've disregarded some pretty heartfelt and knowledgeable posts.  You dismiss those who have had different experiences than yours and call posters' opinions skewed. You've labeled Jordanian Christians as "elitists" controlling the economy.

You ask to be shown why you should not convert. Again, I'm not sure what you want.  A statistical analysis of Christianity v Islam in relation to the Human Development Index?  Perhaps some pie charts?  You think Muslims are the only ones who take care of people?  Yes, we're biased.  Want a more objective perspective? Try another website. 

Instead, I recommend that you immerse yourself in scripture, the Holy Fathers, and the saints.  Talk to an Orthodox priest, explain your concerns, learn our teachings, join our liturgical cycle, and begin the process of becoming healed.

I doubt you'll follow this course of action, but know that it's natural to be disappointed with the actions of people, Christians in particular, as we've been given the truth, yet we frequently abuse or neglect it.
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« Reply #134 on: November 26, 2011, 02:35:54 AM »

Perhaps appearing on a muslim site and asking them if you should convert to Christianity might be an interesting exercise.  Grin

Whatever choice you make, doubtingthomas, I wish you all the best.
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« Reply #135 on: November 26, 2011, 03:22:07 AM »

Quote from: doubtingthomas
I think the lesser of two evils anyway is to be informed of all of Egypt's strive for democracy against the military in Tahrir Square rather than watch the condition of a few Christians...

So, you don't care about the Copts who have been murdered in terrorist attacks, and in the military crackdown on protests- Copts are Egyptians, you should know- or are you deliberately pretending to be obtuse? Look it up. You're an adult, stop whining and stop complaining about what other people say, and do something. Are you afraid that you will be shown not to care, or are you afraid to say anything that would upset the Muslims who have tried to persuade you? I am not going to do things for you.

I have to say that a chill went down my spine when I read the quote I put above. I really do think that either you don't want to believe anything that makes Muslims look bad, or you truly do not count the lives of the murdered Coptic Christians to be worth thinking about.

Grow up.

Thank you, I understand that Copts are Egyptian, and I didn't say I don't care about the Copts.

I have found out much from this thread. It actually deters me more from Christianity more than I  thought it would and that's unfortunate. I'll try to find some priests and imams to talk to about this I guess. Thanks for everyone's comments.

So the sickeningly large amount of Islamist violence in the world doesn't deter you from Islam but some Christians calling you naive deters you from Christianity?

 Undecided

That's because Islamism is only one philosophy within Islam, it's not all of Islam. But all I've seen from Christians who encounter Islam is abhorrence.

Here is what the Quran instructs Muslims to do to the "people of the book." Is it any wonder that Christians view Islam with suspicion?

Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection. And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away! They have taken their doctors of law and their monks for lords besides Allah, and (also) the Messiah son of Marium and they were enjoined that they should serve one Allah only, there is no god but He; far from His glory be what they set up (with Him). They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah will not consent save to perfect His light, though the unbelievers are averse. He it is Who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, that He might cause it to prevail over all religions, though the polytheists may be averse.

Suras were revealed in context and have to be taken in context. I can quote Bible verses saying similar if not the same thing(s) out of context too:

"Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the LORD must be destroyed." Exodus 22:20

"If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, 7 gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), 8 do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. 9 You must certainly put them to death." Deut 13:6-9



Too bad the Quran contains no context. I often wonder why God's perfect revelation is so jumbled up, when our supposedly corrupt scriptures at least have some indication of chronology. Of course it's pretty apparent what Allah's messenger means when you read through the ahadith concerning how nonbelievers should be treated, which provide plenty of context. The verses you quoted from the bible, by the way do not encourage the Jews to go out and subjugate the world by either killing the nonbelievers or forcing the subset of them who are people of the book into submitting to the jizya (shocking, isn't it, that this is precisely the MO for the expansion of Islam, right here condensed in just one ayah from sura at-tawba; it's like these brutal Muslim conquests were modeled on Muhammad's own brutal conquest of the Arabian peninsula or something); they simply tell the Jews that a Jew who quits believing should be put to death.

its because the Quran is one of the worst plagiarised material that shamelessly tries to pass that which is an obvious amateur forgery for an original material under the so called 'revelation' as you read it you can clearly see the author copy,  grossly distort ,and paste  from the old testament and the New then say this is the new revelation by god ie the religion of Islam. whereby a single man rewrites all the thousands of years material  chronicling the historical and religious life of those whom he ironically calls people of the book follow and  yet says this is the new book his quran  that must be believed as the authentic documentation of what happend to between them and God as well as between eachother. as forgeries go its number one enemy is factual information, historical data that chronicles the  origins of those scriptures and the surrounding historical facts as well as the Quran itself that is plainly filled with so much erroneous report of what the previous books before it say, that it can not be but its own evidence of its lie. Islam will have a hard time surviving the information era when it comes to what the Quran has to say in regards to the people of the book as well as what it preaches as religion. people who have never read the Old Testaments and the New might believe it to be original revelation and follow its deception, however there is no excuse for  the foolishness of those who know the thousand years of material that exists before it , and as for the new testament which precedes it by more than half a century;regardless of this fact, Mohamed claims that in all that time God was misrepresented , misunderstood until Mohamed so there was a need to rewrite( mind you he did not try to explain using the same scriptures rather he rewrote them all in bits and pieces , that is hilarious to me) the whole scenario from day one until Mohamed by Mohamed who says he got it all at once from God, a god who seems to constantly forget what he has said to the Prophets and what the Prophets have said to Him, as they  both are constantly misquoted by Mohamed's god.

thomas, you seem to think that you can point at people for your religious strength or weakness I hope you see that is not the way to go about your faith that you believe to save your soul. I know Christianity is a faith that one must hold on to even if the whole world turns its back on it. which is why the Church canonizes only those who have finished the race as examples to be imitated. the fellow runners are still running and there is no guarantee of finishing the race with victory. remember St. Athanasius against the world. with Christianity one must be prepared to embrace the cross  and die to self before tasting the joy of the Resurrection. if you expect a smooth path, you wont find it. our Lord  who is Love calls us for holiness and in this fallen world and with our fallen self, that requires a willing 'Yes!' from us, and that yes is also yes for dying to self, and living in obedience to God. and each one of us , yes each one of us are going to be judged according to our deeds. no one can escape by pointing finger, the one perfect example for all of us is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, now it is up to you and me to say we accept him or we reject him, because he said 'follow me!' thomas please stop saying but so and so is not living like a christian, etc.. you have no place to judge the works of others, you are not God! you do not see everything. what you judge to be weak might be strong before God. he will ask you what you believe , what you have done , not what your mom , your father, your son , your daughter, your brother, your wife, your neighbor have done. so all our lives are lived in keeping in mind that one day we will answer for everything that we each have done and failed to do. I pray by the grace of God you move from being as you have called yourself :a manafiq/ doubter ( manafiq is also a geez term which translates into a doubter when the doubter teaches his doubt it applies as a heretic) and become a believer, as our Lord have said to Thomas the Apostle " Be not unbelieving, but believing "


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« Reply #136 on: November 26, 2011, 04:53:36 AM »

Whatever choice you make, doubtingthomas, I wish you all the best.

By the way, this goes for me too.
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« Reply #137 on: November 26, 2011, 10:38:04 AM »

I have no real experience of how Jesus has positively affected my life. I have real experience of Islam positively affecting my life and those around me.

This is a powerful reason for me.

Mormons are much nicer people than 99% of the Orthodox I've encountered. Morally most of them are entirely beyond reproach, and this is one of the big reasons people are attracted to their faith. Theologically, however, they're a total mess and their faith is wholly void of Truth, which is a clear sign of its demonic origin.

It is unfortunate that in this day and age, Christianity is in a state of rapid decline. While a cause of great sorrow, it should not be a cause of great surprise, given the warnings issued to us in the Holy Scriptures. There are very few people left today who truly live a Christian life, something not helped by people (undoubtedly with commendable motives) attempting to justify every form of laxity and indifference, or (with less commendable motives) scorning those who call for a more serious approach to faith as zealots or wannabe monastics. What you are left with are people with lukewarm faith, perpetuated by the absence or grave reduction of ascetic endeavours encouraged by the Church to sober our minds, soften our hearts, and open our eyes to grow closer to Christ.

I have never convinced of the truth of Islam, which I am certain is a fraud, albeit one elegantly disguised in beautiful prose, stunning chant, widespread devotion, impressive uniformity, etc. I agree with you, however, that appeals to Islamic terrorism and whatnot will never deter a serious seeker, especially those who have encountered some of the countless other sides of Islam. A few years ago, I, like you, had never really experienced any real benefit from Christianity, while I had been greatly helped and inspired by those I knew from the Muslim community. However, I urge you to seek out those few who really do strive to live a Christian life. I have been blessed to meet many such people, quite a few of them I encountered on the Holy Mountain, but I've met others elsewhere too. When you see their love, their humility, their devotion, their prayerfulness, their peace (not that of the world), all that previously seemed wonderful about Islam becomes irrelevant, and even laughable. Seek them out, spend time with them, observe them, learn from them, and open your heart to Christ after their example...I promise you that the experience you're seeking will not be far off.
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« Reply #138 on: November 26, 2011, 11:27:13 AM »

Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection. And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away! They have taken their doctors of law and their monks for lords besides Allah, and (also) the Messiah son of Marium and they were enjoined that they should serve one Allah only, there is no god but He; far from His glory be what they set up (with Him). They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah will not consent save to perfect His light, though the unbelievers are averse. He it is Who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, that He might cause it to prevail over all religions, though the polytheists may be averse.

The Qur'an also says "Say: O ye that reject Faith! I worship not that which ye worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship. And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship. To you be your Way, and to me mine." (Sura 109)
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« Reply #139 on: November 26, 2011, 11:48:24 AM »

Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection. And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away! They have taken their doctors of law and their monks for lords besides Allah, and (also) the Messiah son of Marium and they were enjoined that they should serve one Allah only, there is no god but He; far from His glory be what they set up (with Him). They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah will not consent save to perfect His light, though the unbelievers are averse. He it is Who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, that He might cause it to prevail over all religions, though the polytheists may be averse.

The Qur'an also says "Say: O ye that reject Faith! I worship not that which ye worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship. And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship. To you be your Way, and to me mine." (Sura 109)
The only problem is that the "sabab al-nuzul" "reason for revelation" for the sura in question was the Muslim minority in Mecca to the pagan majority who ran the place.  Once the Muslims regrouped at Medina, grew, and conquered Mecca, the Muslims forced Islam on the pagans. And then moved on to the Christians (having rid Medina of its Jews).  The Muslim Tradition says Muhammand's last words were not to leave two religions in Arabia, i.e. only Islam was to remain.
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« Reply #140 on: November 26, 2011, 11:53:34 AM »

doubtingthomas,

Your attractions to Islam are understandable to me since I've had the same attractions at times, especially to the Sufi traditions of Islam. It is sad that a lot of the replies you are getting are all about Islam being violent. Its not much of an argument and it is not convincing. Look at the first post that I put up in this thread. In the end, I stayed with Christianity obviously. It was not that I was frightened away by Islamic violence, I was rather swayed by the teachings of Christianity. Honestly, I still hold that the teaching that God became man and suffered a horrible death out of His love for us is unimaginably beautiful to me. God became incarnate in Christ and Christ suffered all the same pain that anyone would have felt and ultimately, He rose from the dead. Christ frees us from death by His suffering Passion so we won't have to ultimately suffer from death. We know, as Christians, that death is not the end to all things because there is life in Christ.

I'm not going to tell you that Islam is inherently violent. I won't even tell you the Muhammad was possessed by a devil. On the contrary, I believe he truly sought after God and he wanted monotheism to unite his people, and all people as well. I truly believe his intentions were actually good. He came into contact with Jews and Christians (mainly Arian and Nestorian), listened to their ideas and presented it to his people alongside some of the established beliefs among the Arabs (like the existence of the Djinn). His understanding of Judaism and Christianity were a bit off in many cases though. It doesn't seem like he understood the idea of the Trinity for example but he worked with what he had. He was presented a skewed idea of what the Trinity was and that is why he resisted it (since he would have been told by the Arians that the Trinity was a heresy). He was, in the end a product of his surroundings but I believed he had noble intentions.
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« Reply #141 on: November 26, 2011, 01:05:14 PM »

It is unfortunate that in this day and age, Christianity is in a state of rapid decline.

This is definitely true in the West, but not so much in other places. Books like Prof. Lamin Sanneh's "Disciples of All Nations" and others document the growth of Christianity in the third world quite well, and it is very impressive and inspiring. And I have already heard of priests being sent from Africa to serve in and evangelize the West. May the Lord grant them success. Those of the traditional Christian churches (i.e., non-Pentecostals) tend to take their faith a lot more seriously than most westerners do, e.g., the African Anglicans breaking with the liberal counterparts in the West when the latter started ordaining women and homosexuals. 

Oh, and perhaps the reality that many, many new Christians in Africa used to be Muslims should be mentioned here, lest we think that all the growth is from reproduction (as is often the case with Islam). Of course the Muslims are sad or in denial over facts like this, but facts are facts whether they are good for Islam or Christianity or whatever.

Christianity is also growing by leaps and bounds in China. I remember hearing a little while ago on Fr. Josiah Trennam's (sp?) podcast on AFR that the Bible is now being printed in larger numbers in China than in the USA. If that is true, maybe all this stuff I keep hearing about China's imminent rise to superpower status might not be too bad! Smiley
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« Reply #142 on: November 26, 2011, 04:08:17 PM »

Whatever choice you make, doubtingthomas, I wish you all the best.

By the way, this goes for me too.

For me as well, with the caveat that if you choose Islam I also hope that you eventually come to your senses.
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« Reply #143 on: November 26, 2011, 05:04:01 PM »

doubtingthomas,

Your attractions to Islam are understandable to me since I've had the same attractions at times, especially to the Sufi traditions of Islam. It is sad that a lot of the replies you are getting are all about Islam being violent. Its not much of an argument and it is not convincing. Look at the first post that I put up in this thread. In the end, I stayed with Christianity obviously. It was not that I was frightened away by Islamic violence, I was rather swayed by the teachings of Christianity. Honestly, I still hold that the teaching that God became man and suffered a horrible death out of His love for us is unimaginably beautiful to me. God became incarnate in Christ and Christ suffered all the same pain that anyone would have felt and ultimately, He rose from the dead. Christ frees us from death by His suffering Passion so we won't have to ultimately suffer from death. We know, as Christians, that death is not the end to all things because there is life in Christ.

I'm not going to tell you that Islam is inherently violent. I won't even tell you the Muhammad was possessed by a devil. On the contrary, I believe he truly sought after God and he wanted monotheism to unite his people, and all people as well. I truly believe his intentions were actually good. He came into contact with Jews and Christians (mainly Arian and Nestorian), listened to their ideas and presented it to his people alongside some of the established beliefs among the Arabs (like the existence of the Djinn). His understanding of Judaism and Christianity were a bit off in many cases though. It doesn't seem like he understood the idea of the Trinity for example but he worked with what he had. He was presented a skewed idea of what the Trinity was and that is why he resisted it (since he would have been told by the Arians that the Trinity was a heresy). He was, in the end a product of his surroundings but I believed he had noble intentions.

Good post. If we could point to Christendom and say "Look at us. We are the peace-makers, the lovers of mankind", this discussion would likely be over in a single post. Unfortunately, that is not the case. So the "Look how violent they are" argument collapses into a pathetic, hypocritical heap. 
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« Reply #144 on: November 26, 2011, 05:08:02 PM »

doubtingthomas,

Your attractions to Islam are understandable to me since I've had the same attractions at times, especially to the Sufi traditions of Islam. It is sad that a lot of the replies you are getting are all about Islam being violent. Its not much of an argument and it is not convincing. Look at the first post that I put up in this thread. In the end, I stayed with Christianity obviously. It was not that I was frightened away by Islamic violence, I was rather swayed by the teachings of Christianity. Honestly, I still hold that the teaching that God became man and suffered a horrible death out of His love for us is unimaginably beautiful to me. God became incarnate in Christ and Christ suffered all the same pain that anyone would have felt and ultimately, He rose from the dead. Christ frees us from death by His suffering Passion so we won't have to ultimately suffer from death. We know, as Christians, that death is not the end to all things because there is life in Christ.

I'm not going to tell you that Islam is inherently violent. I won't even tell you the Muhammad was possessed by a devil. On the contrary, I believe he truly sought after God and he wanted monotheism to unite his people, and all people as well. I truly believe his intentions were actually good. He came into contact with Jews and Christians (mainly Arian and Nestorian), listened to their ideas and presented it to his people alongside some of the established beliefs among the Arabs (like the existence of the Djinn). His understanding of Judaism and Christianity were a bit off in many cases though. It doesn't seem like he understood the idea of the Trinity for example but he worked with what he had. He was presented a skewed idea of what the Trinity was and that is why he resisted it (since he would have been told by the Arians that the Trinity was a heresy). He was, in the end a product of his surroundings but I believed he had noble intentions.

Good post. If we could point to Christendom and say "Look at us. We are the peace-makers, the lovers of mankind", this discussion would likely be over in a single post. Unfortunately, that is not the case. So the "Look how violent they are" argument collapses into a pathetic, hypocritical heap. 
Last time I checked, our founder and our holy book did not explicitly advocate violent submission to the unbeliever.  Wink

In Christ,
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« Reply #145 on: November 26, 2011, 05:22:09 PM »

Also, we can point to Christianity and say that just as well as Islam could (better, actually, but since there's a whole lot of moral relativism going on in this thread it would probably make some people sad to have to read that it is not fundamental to Islam that they be lovers of mankind in the first place; I have asked many Muslims about this, and they generally find Christianity's emphasis on love to be admirable and well-meaning but unrealistic). The trouble is that the historical revisionism that plays into the hands of Islam makes the crimes of Christianity seem especially barbaric while the crimes of Islam are either "contextualized" away or not even acknowledged. Notice, for instance, how our friend Thomas has chosen to ignore my question as to why the Islamic conquests get a pass while the imperialism of nominally Christian nations is still brought up as though the Inquisition happened yesterday. If that's not hypocrisy, I don't know what is. At least most Christians who are serious about their religion can and do acknowledge that our history has not always been in keeping with our principles. Perhaps Muslims won't admit the same because it might put Muhammad, who is the perfect Muslim, in a bad light?
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« Reply #146 on: November 26, 2011, 05:28:18 PM »

Perhaps we should rather witness for Christ and His Church instead of condemning and judging Islam and the actions of Muhammad. That is most of what I see on this forum. So many will easily jump on and point of the flaws of others without offering any kind of argument supporting Christianity.
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« Reply #147 on: November 26, 2011, 05:31:46 PM »

Um...maybe if you looked at a thread that wasn't about why Christians shouldn't convert to Islam...  Huh

Has there been a lot of talk about Islam outside of non-Islam specific threads here, and I've just missed it?
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« Reply #148 on: November 26, 2011, 05:33:00 PM »

I have no real experience of how Jesus has positively affected my life. I have real experience of Islam positively affecting my life and those around me.

This is a powerful reason for me.

Mormons are much nicer people than 99% of the Orthodox I've encountered. Morally most of them are entirely beyond reproach, and this is one of the big reasons people are attracted to their faith. Theologically, however, they're a total mess and their faith is wholly void of Truth, which is a clear sign of its demonic origin.


And this is of no concern? That demons seem to be more powerful than the Holy Spirit? What happened to the Early Church which attracted followers by their display of Christ's love for one another and their display of Christ's love for their enemy? Did it all go down the political gurgler?

Quote
It is unfortunate that in this day and age, Christianity is in a state of rapid decline. While a cause of great sorrow, it should not be a cause of great surprise, given the warnings issued to us in the Holy Scriptures. There are very few people left today who truly live a Christian life, something not helped by people (undoubtedly with commendable motives) attempting to justify every form of laxity and indifference, or (with less commendable motives) scorning those who call for a more serious approach to faith as zealots or wannabe monastics. What you are left with are people with lukewarm faith, perpetuated by the absence or grave reduction of ascetic endeavours encouraged by the Church to sober our minds, soften our hearts, and open our eyes to grow closer to Christ.

Perhaps if we Christians stopped labelling/judging each other - zealots, wannabe monastics, lukewarm, liberals, conservatives, evolutionists, creationists, promoters of magic, ad infinitum etc, etc, - and live and let live a little more, accepting our brother/sister as a flawed individual and concentrating on our own path rather than the path of others, Christianity would be much more attractive to the outsider.

But that never seems to happen. Someone gets the ascetic bug and looks down on those who haven't, not taking into account what unseen good that non-ascetic person might be involved in. A "one size fits all" straight-jacketed religion isn't attractive to most people, and I don't believe it works that way.

"There are very few people left today who truly live a Christian life" you say, and I wonder what you mean by such a judgemental statement. Quite honestly, the idea that everyone was involved in some monolithic ascetic exercise in the past seems a stretch to me. There have been the greats in the faith, but most of us are simple folk struggling to pay the mortgage, doing what we can to help the poor and needy, and picking what we can do and leaving what we can't.

I don't believe that Orthodoxy really is or ever has been the black and white image we get on forums such as this. If it is and has, perhaps it's understandable that people want to leave it. A "We love you no matter that you aren't an ascetic, a creationist, evolutionist, liberal, conservative, etc, etc" religion might do a little better and not push people out our doors to seek somewhere a little more forgiving.

Sorry, I know that this is off topic.

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« Reply #149 on: November 26, 2011, 05:34:59 PM »

doubtingthomas,

Your attractions to Islam are understandable to me since I've had the same attractions at times, especially to the Sufi traditions of Islam. It is sad that a lot of the replies you are getting are all about Islam being violent. Its not much of an argument and it is not convincing. Look at the first post that I put up in this thread. In the end, I stayed with Christianity obviously. It was not that I was frightened away by Islamic violence, I was rather swayed by the teachings of Christianity. Honestly, I still hold that the teaching that God became man and suffered a horrible death out of His love for us is unimaginably beautiful to me. God became incarnate in Christ and Christ suffered all the same pain that anyone would have felt and ultimately, He rose from the dead. Christ frees us from death by His suffering Passion so we won't have to ultimately suffer from death. We know, as Christians, that death is not the end to all things because there is life in Christ.

I'm not going to tell you that Islam is inherently violent. I won't even tell you the Muhammad was possessed by a devil. On the contrary, I believe he truly sought after God and he wanted monotheism to unite his people, and all people as well. I truly believe his intentions were actually good. He came into contact with Jews and Christians (mainly Arian and Nestorian), listened to their ideas and presented it to his people alongside some of the established beliefs among the Arabs (like the existence of the Djinn). His understanding of Judaism and Christianity were a bit off in many cases though. It doesn't seem like he understood the idea of the Trinity for example but he worked with what he had. He was presented a skewed idea of what the Trinity was and that is why he resisted it (since he would have been told by the Arians that the Trinity was a heresy). He was, in the end a product of his surroundings but I believed he had noble intentions.

Good post. If we could point to Christendom and say "Look at us. We are the peace-makers, the lovers of mankind", this discussion would likely be over in a single post. Unfortunately, that is not the case. So the "Look how violent they are" argument collapses into a pathetic, hypocritical heap. 
Last time I checked, our founder and our holy book did not explicitly advocate violent submission to the unbeliever.  Wink

In Christ,
Andrew

And when the justification for war is needed, people on here turn to the OT where God/Christ our Founder certainly is advocating terrible violence to swipe aside the unbeliever.
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« Reply #150 on: November 26, 2011, 05:44:29 PM »

Where, Riddikulus? The only mention of violent verses in the Bible in this thread has been by the Muslim aspirant, doubtingthomas, as a means of deflecting criticism from Islam on to Christianity. And he was corrected by an Orthodox Christian on that account.
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« Reply #151 on: November 26, 2011, 06:09:04 PM »

Where, Riddikulus? The only mention of violent verses in the Bible in this thread has been by the Muslim aspirant, doubtingthomas, as a means of deflecting criticism from Islam on to Christianity. And he was corrected by an Orthodox Christian on that account.

Perhaps we ignore such verses until we wish to go to war? But they do the rounds to justify our actions when that is the case. God's so-called commandments to wipe the Cananites off the face of the planet have regular airings when it suits our purpose.

Off-hand I don't recall the verses. These days, I don't spend any time in the OT.

But clearly God is claimed to be the inspiration behind such atrocities and Christians (not only Orthodox) use them when it's convenient to do. So I don't see how we can sling stones at any other religion for looking to them and not seeing them in the light of Christ when so many Christians themselves don't.

To clarify. I wouldn't convert to Islam if you paid me. I hope that even if it were to cost my life, I would remain faithful to Christ. But the "violent faith" card has been played and not played very well at all. Considering our history, I don't see any moral high ground for Christians to stand and shout accusations at anyone else.

Certainly Christ is our standard, so has Christendom failed to show Him to others? If it has, should we wonder that people like doubtingthomas look elsewhere because they don't see the face of Christ and His Love when they look at us?

Quite honestly, Lord have mercy on us all if that is the case. 
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« Reply #152 on: November 26, 2011, 07:02:36 PM »

doubtingthomas,

Your attractions to Islam are understandable to me since I've had the same attractions at times, especially to the Sufi traditions of Islam. It is sad that a lot of the replies you are getting are all about Islam being violent. Its not much of an argument and it is not convincing. Look at the first post that I put up in this thread. In the end, I stayed with Christianity obviously. It was not that I was frightened away by Islamic violence, I was rather swayed by the teachings of Christianity. Honestly, I still hold that the teaching that God became man and suffered a horrible death out of His love for us is unimaginably beautiful to me. God became incarnate in Christ and Christ suffered all the same pain that anyone would have felt and ultimately, He rose from the dead. Christ frees us from death by His suffering Passion so we won't have to ultimately suffer from death. We know, as Christians, that death is not the end to all things because there is life in Christ.

I'm not going to tell you that Islam is inherently violent. I won't even tell you the Muhammad was possessed by a devil. On the contrary, I believe he truly sought after God and he wanted monotheism to unite his people, and all people as well. I truly believe his intentions were actually good. He came into contact with Jews and Christians (mainly Arian and Nestorian), listened to their ideas and presented it to his people alongside some of the established beliefs among the Arabs (like the existence of the Djinn). His understanding of Judaism and Christianity were a bit off in many cases though. It doesn't seem like he understood the idea of the Trinity for example but he worked with what he had. He was presented a skewed idea of what the Trinity was and that is why he resisted it (since he would have been told by the Arians that the Trinity was a heresy). He was, in the end a product of his surroundings but I believed he had noble intentions.

Good post. If we could point to Christendom and say "Look at us. We are the peace-makers, the lovers of mankind", this discussion would likely be over in a single post. Unfortunately, that is not the case. So the "Look how violent they are" argument collapses into a pathetic, hypocritical heap. 
Last time I checked, our founder and our holy book did not explicitly advocate violent submission to the unbeliever.  Wink

In Christ,
Andrew
Weren't slaves told to be submissive to their masters, however harsh they may be?
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« Reply #153 on: November 26, 2011, 07:05:50 PM »

Perhaps we ignore such verses until we wish to go to war? But they do the rounds to justify our actions when that is the case. God's so-called commandments to wipe the Cananites off the face of the planet have regular airings when it suits our purpose.

Okay, so this is more of a general "we do it too" rather than what you originally stated, namely that "when the justification for war is needed, people on here turn to the OT where God/Christ our Founder certainly is advocating terrible violence to swipe aside the unbeliever"? I thought you were talking about people here on OC.net.

Quote
Off-hand I don't recall the verses. These days, I don't spend any time in the OT.

Wait, did you mean to talk about the verses themselves, or the use of the verses to justify violence committed by Christians? Those are two very different things. Orthodox Christianity, being rooted in the teachings of the Apostles and the Early Church Fathers, has generally dealt with the kinds of objections that you have leveled against the verses or use of the verses to justify violence (I'm not clear as to what you're talking about now) by looking to how the earliest writers and defenders of our faith understood the same. I have alluded to this in several posts in this thread, as I believe that it is here that the contrasts between Islam and Christianity are most illuminating.

Quote
But clearly God is claimed to be the inspiration behind such atrocities and Christians (not only Orthodox) use them when it's convenient to do. So I don't see how we can sling stones at any other religion for looking to them and not seeing them in the light of Christ when so many Christians themselves don't.

I do not believe it is slinging stones at Islam to recognize that its inception and subsequent trajectory are very different than that of Christianity and, from a Christian perspective, this is to the detriment of Islam's supposed "holiness" or "godly message" or what have you.

Quote
To clarify. I wouldn't convert to Islam if you paid me. I hope that even if it were to cost my life, I would remain faithful to Christ. But the "violent faith" card has been played and not played very well at all. Considering our history, I don't see any moral high ground for Christians to stand and shout accusations at anyone else.

You are once again missing the point. It is not the presence or absence of violence in and of itself that condemns Islam or exonerates Christianity. Both have violent passages in their scriptures, and violent periods in their histories (just as both have peaceful passages and peaceful periods). The key is in their impetus, and you can only get to that by studying their histories, not taking violent periods in isolation (which often occur in vastly different social, economic, and other environments) to say "well, Christianity has been violent and Islam has been violent, so it's wrong to say that Islam is violent and Christianity is not".

Quote
Certainly Christ is our standard, so has Christendom failed to show Him to others? If it has, should we wonder that people like doubtingthomas look elsewhere because they don't see the face of Christ and His Love when they look at us?

Indeed, though it also seems that doutingthomas has theological problems with Christianity that are unrelated to how we might act, and has stated himself that Christ has not benefitted him -- that is implicating Christ, not some nebulous "Christendom". I am not trying to be unsympathetic, but as I wrote to him earlier, no one here can make any decisions for him. It is the holy spirit that confirms the truth that already exists in Christ and the Christian faith of those who have shown us how to worship God and live, regardless of how badly we've messed up (and continue to do so) along the way. That truth does not change, but rather stands without any reference to Islam or anything else (as it was true before Islam ever existed, and will be true forever). I am afraid that doubtingthomas has rejected that truth, and these other things that have come up subsequent to his announcement are more a salve for the wound that has been created before he even posted this thread than things that must be or even can be fixed so that he will come back. The posts about Christians as the preferred population enshrined in power by colonizers and their subsequent economic domination of their countries and elitism...are these perceptions really the fault of our lack of love? I don't think so. These are the prejudices that Islam deals in, having nothing to do with the reality of Christianity as a faith, or Christ as God, or anything else for that matter. They are political grievances legitimized through the political-religious system of Islam. Don't buy into them. We must become smarter than this, please. We have more than enough real problems to address and real mistakes, aberrations, and shortcomings to repent of. This is no reason to manipulations of our faith and its tenets go unchallenged just because we have fallen short of the goal. We know that, God knows that, and yes, may He have mercy upon us all. This reality is not a reason to give succor to that which is not of God, be it Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Paganism, Secularism, Atheism, etc.
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« Reply #154 on: November 26, 2011, 07:29:39 PM »


Weren't slaves told to be submissive to their masters, however harsh they may be?

Did Jesus force those slaves to obey their earthly masters because the slaves were not Christian, but the masters were Christian? 

If the answer to this question is NO, your argument falls flat, being based on the fallacy of false analogy.  Wink
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« Reply #155 on: November 26, 2011, 07:42:42 PM »

Perhaps we should rather witness for Christ and His Church instead of condemning and judging Islam and the actions of Muhammad. That is most of what I see on this forum. So many will easily jump on and point of the flaws of others without offering any kind of argument supporting Christianity.

Why should we treat Muhammad as a pious and nice person? A religious leader and alleged prophet denying Christ's divinity, calling Christ's followers cursed liars, dreaming of marrying the Holy Mother of God in heaven, asking his followers to subjugate Christians through religious wars, implying that our scriptures are not reliable, claiming that we worship Jesus and Mary as two gods and that we believe Jesus to be God's physical son....... I remember how St. Nicholas slapped Arius in the face out of his love and zeal for Christ. Now I see that many "Christians" race to venerate Muhammad, a teacher who was a 1000 times worse than Arius! *Sigh*

Besides, we do not have to be infallible in order to be able to criticize or judge/condemn Islam or any other religion. Pointing out the fallacies and lies of a false prophet and his mundane ideology is nothing bad or sinful. There is nothing wrong with what we are doing as long as we conduct a theological war on Islam.
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« Reply #156 on: November 26, 2011, 08:04:11 PM »

Mind providing said evidence? I'm honestly curious, not playing devil's advocate.

(And you don't have to be Muslim to read the Quran in Arabic....I read it in Arabic lol)
The Atlantic Monthly article below deals with ancient fragments of the Qur'an discovered some years ago that alter our understanding of the formation of the standard Qur'anic text.  The fragments differ in many ways from the standard text of the Qur'an as codified by the ruling elites in the early years after the death of Mohammad.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

"Enticing, too, were the sheets of the scripture written in the rare and early Hijazi Arabic script: pieces of the earliest Korans known to exist, they were also palimpsests—versions very clearly written over even earlier, washed-off versions. What the Yemeni Korans seemed to suggest, Puin began to feel, was an evolving text rather than simply the Word of God as revealed in its entirety to the Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century A.D."

To read the entire article click the link below:

What is the Koran?
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« Reply #157 on: November 26, 2011, 08:19:13 PM »

I was hoping this thread would be more about what Islam is not, rather than what it is.

That would be more productive. We could argue for hours about Islamism, Mormonism, suras that are 'too violent', and conquest but that doesn't really get us anywhere. You were all right. You wanted to hear that so I'll tell it to you. Whether or not I believe you're right is a different issue.

I'll start with what Islam is not:

Islam does not provide for any type of grace whatsoever. There's no cooperation at all between men and God. To me, this is a flaw because I acknowledge that I am a human and I can never ever save myself by any amount of good works to appease God.

The Incarnation and Trinity are the points in Christianity where I feel disenchanted.
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« Reply #158 on: November 26, 2011, 08:20:28 PM »

Mind providing said evidence? I'm honestly curious, not playing devil's advocate.

(And you don't have to be Muslim to read the Quran in Arabic....I read it in Arabic lol)
The Atlantic Monthly article below deals with ancient fragments of the Qur'an discovered some years ago that alter our understanding of the formation of the standard Qur'anic text.  The fragments differ in many ways from the standard text of the Qur'an as codified by the ruling elites in the early years after the death of Mohammad.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

"Enticing, too, were the sheets of the scripture written in the rare and early Hijazi Arabic script: pieces of the earliest Korans known to exist, they were also palimpsests—versions very clearly written over even earlier, washed-off versions. What the Yemeni Korans seemed to suggest, Puin began to feel, was an evolving text rather than simply the Word of God as revealed in its entirety to the Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century A.D."

To read the entire article click the link below:

What is the Koran?

Yes, the case of the grand mosque in Sana'a is compelling to me.
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« Reply #159 on: November 26, 2011, 08:24:55 PM »

I was hoping this thread would be more about what Islam is not, rather than what it is.

That would be more productive. We could argue for hours about Islamism, Mormonism, suras that are 'too violent', and conquest but that doesn't really get us anywhere. You were all right. You wanted to hear that so I'll tell it to you. Whether or not I believe you're right is a different issue.

I'll start with what Islam is not:

Islam does not provide for any type of grace whatsoever. There's no cooperation at all between men and God. To me, this is a flaw because I acknowledge that I am a human and I can never ever save myself by any amount of good works to appease God.

Interesting. How are muslims saved? What reward or state of existence do Muslims look forward to in the *otherworld* (for want of a better word).

Quote
The Incarnation and Trinity are the points in Christianity where I feel disenchanted.

Why is that?
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« Reply #160 on: November 26, 2011, 08:27:29 PM »

I was hoping this thread would be more about what Islam is not, rather than what it is.

That would be more productive. We could argue for hours about Islamism, Mormonism, suras that are 'too violent', and conquest but that doesn't really get us anywhere. You were all right. You wanted to hear that so I'll tell it to you. Whether or not I believe you're right is a different issue.

I'll start with what Islam is not:

Islam does not provide for any type of grace whatsoever. There's no cooperation at all between men and God. To me, this is a flaw because I acknowledge that I am a human and I can never ever save myself by any amount of good works to appease God.

The Incarnation and Trinity are the points in Christianity where I feel disenchanted.

Islam does not teach that God is unchangeable. Instead the Prophet taught that Allah is fickle and capricious.
So their so-called Allah could condemn any person he chooses to hell, so why be righteous?

In addition, according to Islam, Heaven is not paradise for 70 virgins who must submit to rape by male suicide-bombers.

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« Reply #161 on: November 26, 2011, 08:31:32 PM »

The Incarnation and Trinity are the points in Christianity where I feel disenchanted.

Sounds to me like you're looking for a faith that makes sense. You won't find that in Christianity, which is (thanks be to God) full of paradox.
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« Reply #162 on: November 26, 2011, 08:35:28 PM »

I was hoping this thread would be more about what Islam is not, rather than what it is.

That would be more productive. We could argue for hours about Islamism, Mormonism, suras that are 'too violent', and conquest but that doesn't really get us anywhere. You were all right. You wanted to hear that so I'll tell it to you. Whether or not I believe you're right is a different issue.

I'll start with what Islam is not:

Islam does not provide for any type of grace whatsoever. There's no cooperation at all between men and God. To me, this is a flaw because I acknowledge that I am a human and I can never ever save myself by any amount of good works to appease God.

The Incarnation and Trinity are the points in Christianity where I feel disenchanted.

And belief in the Incarnation and in the Holy Trinity is a grace from God.
Without His Divine Uncreated Energies (grace), we cannot have the Holy Faith.

Think about this, when God reveals the fact that Jesus Christ is truly God and truly Man, He Himself is sharing His Divine Uncreated Energies with you.

Therefore, once you firmly believe that Jesus Christ is both Perfect Man and Perfect God, this will be a result of a Divine Revelation by the Father as only God can enlighten your nous and reveal His Truth to you.

No man or thread like this in a forum can teach you this Truth.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy and reveal the Holy Truth to your struggling servant.
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« Reply #163 on: November 26, 2011, 08:46:22 PM »

Perhaps we should rather witness for Christ and His Church instead of condemning and judging Islam and the actions of Muhammad. That is most of what I see on this forum. So many will easily jump on and point of the flaws of others without offering any kind of argument supporting Christianity.

Why should we treat Muhammad as a pious and nice person? A religious leader and alleged prophet denying Christ's divinity, calling Christ's followers cursed liars, dreaming of marrying the Holy Mother of God in heaven, asking his followers to subjugate Christians through religious wars, implying that our scriptures are not reliable, claiming that we worship Jesus and Mary as two gods and that we believe Jesus to be God's physical son....... I remember how St. Nicholas slapped Arius in the face out of his love and zeal for Christ. Now I see that many "Christians" race to venerate Muhammad, a teacher who was a 1000 times worse than Arius! *Sigh*

For starters, I never implied that I held any veneration for Muhammad. I treat him as I would most historical figures. As I stated before, he was a product of his environment. I don't think he was intentionally spreading lies about Christianity. I think his views on Christ's divinity were learned from the Arians which he came into contact with. A lot of Arians and Nestorians were hiding out in Arabia when the Byzantines were persecuting them. Obviously, the Arians in Arabia were probably a little more harsh toward the Byzantines and Trinitarian theology. So, I wouldn't say Muhammad is worse than Arius. Rather, I think Muhammad was actually heavily influenced by Arian ideas, as well as Nestorian, Jewish, and Arab folk religion.

Also, I cannot tell you if Muhammad was a nice person or pious. I didn't really know him very well personally.
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« Reply #164 on: November 26, 2011, 08:55:06 PM »

I was hoping this thread would be more about what Islam is not, rather than what it is.

That would be more productive. We could argue for hours about Islamism, Mormonism, suras that are 'too violent', and conquest but that doesn't really get us anywhere. You were all right. You wanted to hear that so I'll tell it to you. Whether or not I believe you're right is a different issue.

I'll start with what Islam is not:

Islam does not provide for any type of grace whatsoever. There's no cooperation at all between men and God. To me, this is a flaw because I acknowledge that I am a human and I can never ever save myself by any amount of good works to appease God.

Interesting. How are muslims saved? What reward or state of existence do Muslims look forward to in the *otherworld* (for want of a better word).

Quote
The Incarnation and Trinity are the points in Christianity where I feel disenchanted.

Why is that?

In Islam, you are judged according to your works, and at the complete mercy of God.
Believers are slaves. You might have heard the Arabic name "Abdullah" or "Abdu", these names mean "Slave of God" or "His Slave". Many of the Names of God in Islam have been used in this format to name men ("Abdul Rahman" = "Slave of the Merciful"). Because of this view, basically if God is having a bad day on the Last Day, He could just take it out on you and say "ehh I don't feel like saving you sorry!". This is a pagan view of God (or gods and how they behaved) and this to me is why the Gospel seems to be "Good News", because God says "Hello, I'm going to cooperate with you all to save you, if you want."

And the Trinity and Incarnation are stumbling blocks for me because they're just illogical. But when I concentrate on them in the framework of what I mentioned above, it seems like the only option left. lol
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« Reply #165 on: November 26, 2011, 09:04:08 PM »

I was hoping this thread would be more about what Islam is not, rather than what it is.

That would be more productive. We could argue for hours about Islamism, Mormonism, suras that are 'too violent', and conquest but that doesn't really get us anywhere. You were all right. You wanted to hear that so I'll tell it to you. Whether or not I believe you're right is a different issue.

I'll start with what Islam is not:

Islam does not provide for any type of grace whatsoever. There's no cooperation at all between men and God. To me, this is a flaw because I acknowledge that I am a human and I can never ever save myself by any amount of good works to appease God.

Interesting. How are muslims saved? What reward or state of existence do Muslims look forward to in the *otherworld* (for want of a better word).

Quote
The Incarnation and Trinity are the points in Christianity where I feel disenchanted.

Why is that?

In Islam, you are judged according to your works, and at the complete mercy of God.
Believers are slaves. You might have heard the Arabic name "Abdullah" or "Abdu", these names mean "Slave of God" or "His Slave". Many of the Names of God in Islam have been used in this format to name men ("Abdul Rahman" = "Slave of the Merciful"). Because of this view, basically if God is having a bad day on the Last Day, He could just take it out on you and say "ehh I don't feel like saving you sorry!". This is a pagan view of God (or gods and how they behaved) and this to me is why the Gospel seems to be "Good News", because God says "Hello, I'm going to cooperate with you all to save you, if you want."

And the Trinity and Incarnation are stumbling blocks for me because they're just illogical. But when I concentrate on them in the framework of what I mentioned above, it seems like the only option left. lol
Btw, on the Trinity 1x1x1=1
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« Reply #166 on: November 26, 2011, 09:19:14 PM »

I was hoping this thread would be more about what Islam is not, rather than what it is.

That would be more productive. We could argue for hours about Islamism, Mormonism, suras that are 'too violent', and conquest but that doesn't really get us anywhere. You were all right. You wanted to hear that so I'll tell it to you. Whether or not I believe you're right is a different issue.

I'll start with what Islam is not:

Islam does not provide for any type of grace whatsoever. There's no cooperation at all between men and God. To me, this is a flaw because I acknowledge that I am a human and I can never ever save myself by any amount of good works to appease God.

Interesting. How are muslims saved? What reward or state of existence do Muslims look forward to in the *otherworld* (for want of a better word).

Quote
The Incarnation and Trinity are the points in Christianity where I feel disenchanted.

Why is that?

In Islam, you are judged according to your works, and at the complete mercy of God.
Believers are slaves. You might have heard the Arabic name "Abdullah" or "Abdu", these names mean "Slave of God" or "His Slave". Many of the Names of God in Islam have been used in this format to name men ("Abdul Rahman" = "Slave of the Merciful"). Because of this view, basically if God is having a bad day on the Last Day, He could just take it out on you and say "ehh I don't feel like saving you sorry!". This is a pagan view of God (or gods and how they behaved) and this to me is why the Gospel seems to be "Good News", because God says "Hello, I'm going to cooperate with you all to save you, if you want."

And the Trinity and Incarnation are stumbling blocks for me because they're just illogical. But when I concentrate on them in the framework of what I mentioned above, it seems like the only option left. lol

Of course, this is quite a pagan view of the capricious nature of gods, which were created in man's image, so I guess understandable. The Gospel message that God loves His creation so much that he is prepared to get His hands dirty, not to take advantage of beautiful human women as did the pagan gods, but to join us to his Divine self (if I can use that term), if that be our wish, is sublime.
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« Reply #167 on: November 27, 2011, 05:13:41 AM »

And the Trinity and Incarnation are stumbling blocks for me because they're just illogical. But when I concentrate on them in the framework of what I mentioned above, it seems like the only option left. lol
But you are okay with the Orthodox Islamic teaching about the reality of the divine attributes and their distinction from the divine essence?  And you also have no problem with the Sunni teaching that the anthropomorphic sayings in the Qur'an must be taken as literally real and true, and that when this is questioned the answer given should simply be bila kayfa wa la tashbih?

You have problems with the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, but you are okay with the Islamic doctrine that the Qur'an is the eternal and uncreated word of Allah, distinct from him, but like him eternal?

Finally, you are okay with the absolute determinism of Islam, which holds that Allah is the cause and creator of all things and actions, both good and evil?
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« Reply #168 on: November 27, 2011, 11:13:08 AM »


For starters, I never implied that I held any veneration for Muhammad. I treat him as I would most historical figures.

Why? He is quite different from most historical figures.

As I stated before, he was a product of his environment. I don't think he was intentionally spreading lies about Christianity.

How do you know that? Were you with him when he started to spread his religion? What if Marcion and the Gnostics were products of their environment too?

I think his views on Christ's divinity were learned from the Arians which he came into contact with. A lot of Arians and Nestorians were hiding out in Arabia when the Byzantines were persecuting them. Obviously, the Arians in Arabia were probably a little more harsh toward the Byzantines and Trinitarian theology. So, I wouldn't say Muhammad is worse than Arius. Rather, I think Muhammad was actually heavily influenced by Arian ideas, as well as Nestorian, Jewish, and Arab folk religion.

Arians would not call Christians "cursed liars" because Christians said that Jesus was the Son of God. Arians and Nestorians did not deny Jesus' crucifixion and did not deny that Jesus was the Savior of mankind. Muhammad, on the other hand, taught that Jesus was nothing more than a messenger.

Moreover, who compelled Muhammad to listen to and adopt the teachings of some heretical groups? The Qur'an testifies to the fact that Muhammad actually had access to the non-canonical Gospels of Infancy, but intentionally perverted those texts for their adaptation to his new ideology. http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/masihiyyen/rebuttals/zawadi/infancy_gospels.html

Also, I cannot tell you if Muhammad was a nice person or pious. I didn't really know him very well personally.

Then you should also not fabricate pretexts to defend Muhammad's violent acts and choose scapegoats (Arians, for example) to clear him of guilt because you do not know him personally well.  Wink
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« Reply #169 on: November 28, 2011, 02:51:40 PM »

And the Trinity and Incarnation are stumbling blocks for me because they're just illogical.

I can't really speak to the Incarnation as I don't believe I have enough knowledge on that to say anything. Perhaps you should read St. Athanasius' "On the Incarnation".

As to the Trinity, let me present an analogy we give our Sunday School kids all the time: the sun.

The sun is three parts: the physical body, light, and heat. If it's missing the light, it's just a really big heater. If it's missing the heat, it's just a really big lamp.

When you wake up in the morning and open your window, you say you "let the sun in", not "let the light rays in".
When you're walking outside, you "feel the sun on your face"; you don't "feel the heat rays on your face".
When you look up at the sky, you "see the sun"; you don't "see the ball of gasses in space".

Three individual parts make up one sun, just like three Hypostases make up One God.

Of course, no earthly analogy can come close to explaining the Trinity, but this is the best we have.
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« Reply #170 on: November 28, 2011, 04:30:55 PM »

Aghapy, Doubtingthomas

I suggest to you before all else that you pray to God to guard your heart and mind, because, truly, the 'wisdom' of this world has caused many to lose their eternal life. If you are Orthodox, partake of the Holy Eucharist in your Local church and devote a few days to prayer and contemplation on God's word. Then come with a fresh mind to assess where you stand.

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness"; 1 Corinthians 3:19


Both sides are capable of presenting defenses to satisfy their own faith. So really this isn't a battle of who can satisfy you with the better or more convincing argument.
As St Nikodemos said "the battle for heaven and earth is in the heart".
So retreat back to God, to His church, speak to your father of confession receiving his aid and advice, then make your own decision. At the end of the day it won't be our words  that'll compel you to the truth. Because even if we were to convince you, it will have been merely on an intellectual level.

That is not to say that you discount all that has been said thus far, for it is important to have knowledge and proper information. Absorb what you can from what has been said and pray to God with an open and honest heart.

I'm reminded of a story of a Muslim man who traveled to the United States to proselytize and spread Islam as best he could. He got into a serious car accident while there, and a Christian man happened to take him out of the car and took him to a nearby hospital. While on his bed he asked the man why he helped him. The Christian was simple in his answers. He, like the Samaritan, felt love and compelled to help all those who Christ put in his path. He told him that Christianity demands love, even to non Christians.

The Muslim man was utterly confused, and began to pray. He'd been taught differently his entire life. He was taught to view non believers as misguided, with no real morals, or virtues. He began to weep deeply and cried out to God asking Him to reveal Himself, to show him His true self and who He really was. He heard a voice saying, I am Jesus Christ, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

I heard this story second hand. I'm not denoting it's true or even unchanged, but the principle is there and it's a fact that many stories of this kind happen daily all over the world. 'you will know them by their fruits' Christ said.

Let me tell you, I'm Coptic Orthodox so in Egypt we've experienced and still experience what Islam is doing. It cannot be sustained. It is a way of life that would implode under its own weight. Time and again this has been shown in history with Muslim empires collapsing because different groups believed the other was wrong, etc. I know this isn't any kind of solid argument but it's the witness of history and what we have and witnessing today.

If you want real solid proof of their falsity then read especially these articles
http://www.answering-islam.org/Quran/Text/index.html

It pertains to the textual integrity of the Qur'an. It makes the convincing argument that the Qur'an was plagiarized rather well from the Gospels and from Apocryphal Gospels too with the help of the excommunicated monk bohaira and others.
Again all those are arguments that can't truly bring you to true faith in Christ.
But they can at least make you see the error of Islam.

St Paul said 'For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.' Even St Paul knew it sounded foolish just as Muslims and Atheists today see it as.

But St Paul through the Holy Spirit again said 'But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.'

You may have heard all of this before, so revert to my first paragraph because that's the most important thing before you undertake any other task.

God bless and we'll be praying for you.


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« Reply #171 on: November 28, 2011, 05:46:41 PM »

At the end of the day, when push comes to shove, all we can do is pray for those who struggle in the faith.
Nothing we say will convert them back to Christianity.
All we can do is offer them our love and prayers, and leave the rest to God, and God is offering them His Divine Energies.
Nevertheless, these people have free will, and can accept or reject God's graces.

If you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son and Word of the Living God, through the prayers of Thy Most Pure Mother and of all the Angels and Saints, have mercy.
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« Reply #172 on: November 28, 2011, 06:32:04 PM »

At the end of the day, when push comes to shove, all we can do is pray for those who struggle in the faith.
Nothing we say will convert them back to Christianity.
All we can do is offer them our love and prayers, and leave the rest to God, and God is offering them His Divine Energies.
Nevertheless, these people have free will, and can accept or reject God's graces.

If you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son and Word of the Living God, through the prayers of Thy Most Pure Mother and of all the Angels and Saints, have mercy.

True, true, true.

Lord have mercy.
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« Reply #173 on: November 28, 2011, 10:50:03 PM »

doubtingthomas,

Your attractions to Islam are understandable to me since I've had the same attractions at times, especially to the Sufi traditions of Islam. It is sad that a lot of the replies you are getting are all about Islam being violent. Its not much of an argument and it is not convincing. Look at the first post that I put up in this thread. In the end, I stayed with Christianity obviously. It was not that I was frightened away by Islamic violence, I was rather swayed by the teachings of Christianity. Honestly, I still hold that the teaching that God became man and suffered a horrible death out of His love for us is unimaginably beautiful to me. God became incarnate in Christ and Christ suffered all the same pain that anyone would have felt and ultimately, He rose from the dead. Christ frees us from death by His suffering Passion so we won't have to ultimately suffer from death. We know, as Christians, that death is not the end to all things because there is life in Christ.

I'm not going to tell you that Islam is inherently violent. I won't even tell you the Muhammad was possessed by a devil. On the contrary, I believe he truly sought after God and he wanted monotheism to unite his people, and all people as well. I truly believe his intentions were actually good. He came into contact with Jews and Christians (mainly Arian and Nestorian), listened to their ideas and presented it to his people alongside some of the established beliefs among the Arabs (like the existence of the Djinn). His understanding of Judaism and Christianity were a bit off in many cases though. It doesn't seem like he understood the idea of the Trinity for example but he worked with what he had. He was presented a skewed idea of what the Trinity was and that is why he resisted it (since he would have been told by the Arians that the Trinity was a heresy). He was, in the end a product of his surroundings but I believed he had noble intentions.

Good post. If we could point to Christendom and say "Look at us. We are the peace-makers, the lovers of mankind", this discussion would likely be over in a single post. Unfortunately, that is not the case. So the "Look how violent they are" argument collapses into a pathetic, hypocritical heap. 
Last time I checked, our founder and our holy book did not explicitly advocate violent submission to the unbeliever.  Wink

In Christ,
Andrew

And when the justification for war is needed, people on here turn to the OT where God/Christ our Founder certainly is advocating terrible violence to swipe aside the unbeliever.

But, they were historical events not prescriptions. Besides, the Orthodox have always looked at the OT from the prism of the Cross.
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« Reply #174 on: January 02, 2013, 03:27:57 PM »

Do you honestly mean to tell me that you believe there is no difference between the Triune Godhead of Christianity and Allah of Islam?

Worshipping is not about observing ethical behavior or determing the 'purity' (as you define it) of texts. Worship is about discovering Truth and standing in its light and fire.

Decide where Truth is first. The rest will then come.


isn't truth a subjective term?
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« Reply #175 on: January 02, 2013, 03:35:17 PM »

isn't truth a subjective term?

No.
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« Reply #176 on: January 02, 2013, 04:15:38 PM »

Do you honestly mean to tell me that you believe there is no difference between the Triune Godhead of Christianity and Allah of Islam?

Worshipping is not about observing ethical behavior or determing the 'purity' (as you define it) of texts. Worship is about discovering Truth and standing in its light and fire.

Decide where Truth is first. The rest will then come.


isn't truth a subjective term?

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« Reply #177 on: January 02, 2013, 04:55:08 PM »

Do you honestly mean to tell me that you believe there is no difference between the Triune Godhead of Christianity and Allah of Islam?

Worshipping is not about observing ethical behavior or determing the 'purity' (as you define it) of texts. Worship is about discovering Truth and standing in its light and fire.

Decide where Truth is first. The rest will then come.


isn't truth a subjective term?



Exactly. The Truth isn't a subjective term. But opinions are!
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« Reply #178 on: January 02, 2013, 06:35:58 PM »

Quote
Re: Should I convert to Islam?


That depends upon the type country you live in.
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« Reply #179 on: January 02, 2013, 07:26:40 PM »

 
[/quote]
Last time I checked, our founder and our holy book did not explicitly advocate violent submission to the unbeliever.  Wink

In Christ,
Andrew
[/quote]

Totally agreed. I just wish someone told that to the fundies as well.
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« Reply #180 on: January 02, 2013, 07:27:46 PM »


what defines truth?
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« Reply #181 on: January 02, 2013, 07:49:48 PM »

Do you honestly mean to tell me that you believe there is no difference between the Triune Godhead of Christianity and Allah of Islam?

Worshipping is not about observing ethical behavior or determing the 'purity' (as you define it) of texts. Worship is about discovering Truth and standing in its light and fire.

Decide where Truth is first. The rest will then come.


isn't truth a subjective term?



Exactly. The Truth isn't a subjective term. But opinions are!

you may be right. Truth itself is indeed objective. Opinions however as to what that objective truth is, are subjective. Which means anyone could be right. And anyone could be wrong.
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« Reply #182 on: January 02, 2013, 09:01:34 PM »

Is it true the Earth has a moon?

Does this change if someone says it does not? Or that it's not really a moon? Or if you cannot see the moon it doesn't exist?

No, there is still a moon.

Amongst all the opinions and rational understandings of the universe, there is one TRUTH. One real thing. Their either is a God, or many, or none. There is either morality or their is none. There is either a pepperoni pizza, or their is none.

Can that Truth be known? Christians would say yes. There is One God. There is an absolute morality.

Under this lense then everything can be viewed. For example, witchcraft: Is it demonic? Ask a wiccan and they'll say no. It's nature, and spirits, and orgies (Wink). BUT if there is ONE Truth, and that Truth is Christianity, then it is not real. Their magick, spirits, and immorality are infact demonic seductions.

So, which lens do you use? Or do you prefer not to offend....
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« Reply #183 on: January 02, 2013, 09:02:22 PM »


Better: Who defines truth?  Wink
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« Reply #184 on: January 02, 2013, 09:05:09 PM »

Truth Himself.
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« Reply #185 on: January 02, 2013, 09:05:53 PM »


No giving Tweety hints!
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« Reply #186 on: January 02, 2013, 09:15:56 PM »

Is it true the Earth has a moon?

Does this change if someone says it does not? Or that it's not really a moon? Or if you cannot see the moon it doesn't exist?

No, there is still a moon.

Amongst all the opinions and rational understandings of the universe, there is one TRUTH. One real thing. Their either is a God, or many, or none. There is either morality or their is none. There is either a pepperoni pizza, or their is none.

Can that Truth be known? Christians would say yes. There is One God. There is an absolute morality.

Under this lense then everything can be viewed. For example, witchcraft: Is it demonic? Ask a wiccan and they'll say no. It's nature, and spirits, and orgies (Wink). BUT if there is ONE Truth, and that Truth is Christianity, then it is not real. Their magick, spirits, and immorality are infact demonic seductions.

So, which lens do you use? Or do you prefer not to offend....

Truth is NOT Christianity
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« Reply #187 on: January 02, 2013, 09:21:41 PM »

Is it true the Earth has a moon?

Does this change if someone says it does not? Or that it's not really a moon? Or if you cannot see the moon it doesn't exist?

No, there is still a moon.

Amongst all the opinions and rational understandings of the universe, there is one TRUTH. One real thing. Their either is a God, or many, or none. There is either morality or their is none. There is either a pepperoni pizza, or their is none.

Can that Truth be known? Christians would say yes. There is One God. There is an absolute morality.

Under this lense then everything can be viewed. For example, witchcraft: Is it demonic? Ask a wiccan and they'll say no. It's nature, and spirits, and orgies (Wink). BUT if there is ONE Truth, and that Truth is Christianity, then it is not real. Their magick, spirits, and immorality are infact demonic seductions.

So, which lens do you use? Or do you prefer not to offend....

Truth is NOT Christianity

Then you aren't Christian.
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