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Author Topic: Should I convert to Islam?  (Read 11222 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

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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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