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Author Topic: Should I convert to Islam?  (Read 9234 times) Average Rating: 0
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doubtingthomas
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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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doubtingthomas
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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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Only pray for me, that God would give me both inward and outward strength, that I may not only speak, but truly will; and that I may not merely be called a Christian, but really be found to be one. St.Ignatius of Antioch.Epistle to the Romans.
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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.

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.

Quote
(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 »

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 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.

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.

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.

Quote
(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 »

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

« Last Edit: November 26, 2011, 12:00:43 AM by doubtingthomas » Logged

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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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