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Author Topic: Should I convert to Islam?  (Read 10517 times) Average Rating: 0
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Hiwot
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« Reply #135 on: November 26, 2011, 03:22:07 AM »

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

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

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

Grow up.

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

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

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

 Undecided

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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


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

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

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

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

This is a powerful reason for me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

doubtingthomas,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By the way, this goes for me too.

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

doubtingthomas,

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

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

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

doubtingthomas,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is a powerful reason for me.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Sorry, I know that this is off topic.

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

doubtingthomas,

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

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

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

In Christ,
Andrew

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

doubtingthomas,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is an excerpt from the article:

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

To read the entire article click the link below:

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

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

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

I'll start with what Islam is not:

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

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

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

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

Here is an excerpt from the article:

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

To read the entire article click the link below:

What is the Koran?

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

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

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

I'll start with what Islam is not:

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'll start with what Islam is not:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'll start with what Islam is not:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'll start with what Islam is not:

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

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

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

Why is that?

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

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

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

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

I'll start with what Islam is not:

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

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

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

Why is that?

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

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

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

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

I'll start with what Islam is not:

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

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

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

Why is that?

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Why? He is quite different from most historical figures.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aghapy, Doubtingthomas

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless and we'll be praying for you.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

True, true, true.

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

doubtingthomas,

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

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

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

In Christ,
Andrew

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

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

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

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

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


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

isn't truth a subjective term?

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

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

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

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


isn't truth a subjective term?

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

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

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

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


isn't truth a subjective term?



Exactly. The Truth isn't a subjective term. But opinions are!
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« Reply #178 on: January 02, 2013, 06:35:58 PM »

Quote
Re: Should I convert to Islam?


That depends upon the type country you live in.
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« Reply #179 on: January 02, 2013, 07:26:40 PM »

 
[/quote]
Last time I checked, our founder and our holy book did not explicitly advocate violent submission to the unbeliever.  Wink

In Christ,
Andrew
[/quote]

Totally agreed. I just wish someone told that to the fundies as well.
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