Author Topic: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels  (Read 17507 times)

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Offline minasoliman

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"Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« on: January 15, 2013, 05:10:35 PM »
Quote
The following is the synthesis of two interviews conducted in 2011 with "Abu Jaz," a key leader in a movement that describes itself as the People of the Gospel. This group represents several thousand Muslims in eastern Africa who have converted to faith in Christ during the past decade, but who have remained in their Muslim communities. Abu Jaz is married and has three children. He started following Isa al Masih ("Jesus the Messiah") as the Savior 18 years ago.

The interview was conducted by "Gene Daniels," a missionary in the Muslim community for over a decade, who has published many articles in missionary journals. Christianity Today has verified the authenticity of the interviewer and interviewee, whose real names are withheld so that the work of the People of the Gospel will be protected.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/january-february/insider-movement-islam-wheres-jesus.html?paging=off


The first paragraph may sound scandalous to some, but I encourage you to read it the whole way through, as it does provide some interesting insight to a group with a huge opportunity, in my opinion, and they need our prayers.
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

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Offline orthonorm

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2013, 06:22:25 PM »
Went in with low expectations (because it is CT).

Thanks for the surprise.
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2013, 12:16:47 AM »
Just wanted to do a thread resurrection on an interesting article I read a while back.  This bump was for me too, but wanted to "reshare" with everyone.
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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2013, 01:00:02 AM »
I think the final paragraph (addendum) is also important:

Quote
Clarification from the interviewer, 1.23.13

Abu Jaz asked to clarify something that some people seemed to misunderstand from his interview:

"The 'people of the Gospel' are not Muslims theologically. They are not worshiping Jesus in the Mosque. They have no right to practice worship in the mosque in our legal and theological context. The 'people of the Gospel' are an assembly which has their own identity. They are cultural insiders, but theological outsiders. When we use Muslim religious terminology such as the words Allah, Isa Al Messiah, and others it makes us insiders. However, we give biblical meaning to words; such as 'Allah so loved the world that he gave his one and only son' (John 3:16) or 'Isa Al Messiah is Lord' (1 Cor. 1:12), and 'Isa died for our sin according to the scripture' (1 Cor. 15:3). This makes us outsiders because we are not interpreting these words any more as Muslims define them. Old names [with] new biblical meanings."
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Offline Alpo

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2013, 02:55:30 AM »
Thank you for the link. I wonder if the Muslim converst have similar problems in the Coptic and/or other indigenous forms of Christianity?
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:34

Offline dzheremi

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2013, 03:02:24 AM »
Thank you for the link. I wonder if the Muslim converst have similar problems in the Coptic and/or other indigenous forms of Christianity?

The case of Mohammed Hegazy might be illustrative of the kinds of challenges faced by Muslim-background converts to Christianity in Egypt.

Offline Alpo

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2013, 03:31:25 AM »
Thank you for the link. I wonder if the Muslim converst have similar problems in the Coptic and/or other indigenous forms of Christianity?

The case of Mohammed Hegazy might be illustrative of the kinds of challenges faced by Muslim-background converts to Christianity in Egypt.

Yes, we are aware that Islam is evil, that Muslim goverments are oppressive, that Muslims are generally just bad people.

Now that we've had the usual stuff covered, maybe we could stick to the topic?
« Last Edit: November 23, 2013, 03:35:51 AM by Alpo »
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:34

Offline dzheremi

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2013, 03:55:48 AM »
 ??? Alright, then...nevermind...

Offline Alpo

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2013, 04:09:18 AM »
I'm just becoming fairly tired of the fact that only aspect of Islam that people seem to be able to discuss about is terrorism/women's rights etc. The topic is rather interesting so I wouldn't like to see it turn into usual demonization of Islam.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2013, 04:09:38 AM by Alpo »
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:34

Offline dzheremi

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2013, 04:12:16 AM »
You asked about the kinds of problems that Muslim-background Christians face in converting from Islam in Egypt. Mr. Hegazy is one of the most famous examples of that situation in the modern era.

Offline Alpo

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2013, 04:14:43 AM »
With "similar problems" I was referring to cultural problems that the CT article is descriping.
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:34

Offline minasoliman

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2013, 12:20:19 PM »
This group is quite unique.  They're of course not without controversy, and some converts from Islam seem to not like Abu Jaz's approach.  Nevertheless, it's a unique way of trying to relive the first decades of Christianity using an Islamic instead of a Judaic context.  Only time will tell whether this underground group of "Isa worshippers" will have any fruit, but it would seem that rather than only in Egypt, it reaches a wide variety of nations with the "same Islamic culture" that many try to embody in a unifying manner.

In Egypt though, if you look towards some more secular converts, the cultural conversion is not an obstacle.  Copts and Muslims are practically no different in culture.
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If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2013, 12:32:04 PM »
Quote
The following is the synthesis of two interviews conducted in 2011 with "Abu Jaz," a key leader in a movement that describes itself as the People of the Gospel. This group represents several thousand Muslims in eastern Africa who have converted to faith in Christ during the past decade, but who have remained in their Muslim communities. Abu Jaz is married and has three children. He started following Isa al Masih ("Jesus the Messiah") as the Savior 18 years ago.

The interview was conducted by "Gene Daniels," a missionary in the Muslim community for over a decade, who has published many articles in missionary journals. Christianity Today has verified the authenticity of the interviewer and interviewee, whose real names are withheld so that the work of the People of the Gospel will be protected.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/january-february/insider-movement-islam-wheres-jesus.html?paging=off


The first paragraph may sound scandalous to some, but I encourage you to read it the whole way through, as it does provide some interesting insight to a group with a huge opportunity, in my opinion, and they need our prayers.

What?

No mention of the "Chrislam" (or "Islamic Pentecostalism") movement in Nigeria?
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Offline Agabus

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2013, 01:54:28 PM »
This group is quite unique.  They're of course not without controversy, and some converts from Islam seem to not like Abu Jaz's approach.  Nevertheless, it's a unique way of trying to relive the first decades of Christianity using an Islamic instead of a Judaic context.  Only time will tell whether this underground group of "Isa worshippers" will have any fruit, but it would seem that rather than only in Egypt, it reaches a wide variety of nations with the "same Islamic culture" that many try to embody in a unifying manner.
Do you know if they have any kind of understanding of the sacraments?
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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2013, 09:48:24 PM »
**watching**
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2013, 10:31:16 PM »
This group is quite unique.  They're of course not without controversy, and some converts from Islam seem to not like Abu Jaz's approach.  Nevertheless, it's a unique way of trying to relive the first decades of Christianity using an Islamic instead of a Judaic context.  Only time will tell whether this underground group of "Isa worshippers" will have any fruit, but it would seem that rather than only in Egypt, it reaches a wide variety of nations with the "same Islamic culture" that many try to embody in a unifying manner.
Do you know if they have any kind of understanding of the sacraments?

Good question…that I do not know.  To be honest, there seems to be not much online in reference to this group.  We await to see what happens in the future.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2013, 10:32:00 PM by minasoliman »
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If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2013, 12:12:04 AM »
May God lead these people to the truth of Orthodoxy, and not from one falsehood to another.  It was interesting how "Abu Jaz" reacted to the goings on in the Evangelical services he attended and his experiences there.  I also notice that "Abu Jaz" mentions Orthodoxy.

Quote
Then I started questioning the justice of God. I asked him, "God, you are the one who put me in a Muslim culture; it was not my choice. They don't allow me to express [my praise] in the congregation. When they hear Islamic terminologies, they immediately rebuke me, so I prefer to keep silent. You like the Orthodox culture, you like the traditional African culture, you like Jewish culture, you like the European culture, you like cultures of other people groups, but you dislike the Muslims. So you are not just."

I wonder where he is where all of these elements are present and well known to him?  In this place, the Evangelicals and other groups apparently have a freer hand to proselytize among Muslims than they would in most Muslim majority countries.  I'm thinking this place might not be majority Muslim.  It's certainly not Somalia, but somewhere with more Bantu elements.

Anyone reading the comments section?  Some very interesting stuff there.  It's worth perusing the 30 something pages, but a sampling from the most recent:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/channel/comments/allreviews.html?id=100340&type=article

Quote
Gene Daniels, You owe CT an apology. Contrary to what you have written and defended for the past three months, your interviewee, Abu Jaz, is not known as "Muslim" in his native country. A person who knows him writes, "In fact [redacted name] is known in [redacted country name] as a Muslim background evangelical Christian who has a burden for reaching Muslims. To my knowledge he received Christ as his saviour in [redacted] church and is still part of it. He is not at all known as a 'Muslim' among evangelical churches. He is part of the [redacted evangelical association name]. It is under [redacted evangelical association name], and under his leadership, that the Muslim friendly bible translation is initiated. It is in fact through him the funds were secured to translate the bible. If you come to visit [redacted his country], you could find him is in his office, at the [redacted evangelical association name] building." Wycliffe's The Seed Company is funding it.

Quote
Gene Daniels, I sent an email to Abu Jaz on Wednesday and cc'ed to you at your real email address at Fruitful Practices. I asked him the same questions you have evaded for the past three months and hope to get answers. I know that Abu Jaz is not keeping his identity a secret. He has been telling people in his native country he is your interviewee. He just disagrees with what you have written about him and I would like to know what parts of the article he disagrees with. I saw a comment you had made on Feb 23 in response to Salaam where you wrote, "Abu Jaz used a pseudonym because I suggested it." It is very clear Abu Jaz is not concerned about his real name becoming public. I know you have tried, albeit fruitlessly, to reassure those with concerns that CT did background checks on both of you, but I doubt it did any fact checking. CT is aware of my concerns. I'm interested in this interview because Abu has ties to a Muslim Idiom Translation, which Wycliffe's The Seed Company is funding.

Quote
I don’t know what Scripture you quote in justifying your position about your public sins which should be dealt with publicly. Are you claiming you should not be challenged for publishing an article full of misrepresentations about your interviewee’s native country in a leading evangelical magazine? I have Abu Jaz’s position paper, which he has shared publicly. The paper is full of distortions and based on my experience interacting with you would probably claim defamation if I make my response public. Why resort to this tactic?

Even though the names of the pertinent countries and organizations have been redacted from all posts, some posters dialoguing with "Daniels" in the comments section mention the pseudonym "Abu Jaz" and other words in the article as having Bangala associations and "Daniels", though he disputes their doubts as to the veracity of his report, doesn't contradict this.  Bangala is spoken mostly in Uganda, the DRC, and South Sudan.  In all three of those places, Islam is a minority religion.  I'm not saying the article is total bunk, but there are some elements to it that make me a bit suspicious as to its complete credibility.

Chrislam (or "Islamic Pentecostalism")

That's a bit like herporrhea or chlamydorrhoids.
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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2013, 12:14:33 AM »
Chrislam (or "Islamic Pentecostalism")

That's a bit like herporrhea or chlamydorrhoids.

You're a certifiable genius.  Chlamydorrhoids!
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2013, 02:43:49 AM »
Quote
I went to an [evangelical] church after that, and I faced a cultural challenge as a Muslim. Everything was different—their way of worship, the way they sang songs, the way they danced. Nothing was familiar to me.
I have my own expression of worship. When it comes to greetings, I say, As-salaam 'alaykum ("Peace be upon you"), and I expect people to reply, Wa 'alaykum Salaam wa rahmatu l-laahi wa barakaatuh ("Peace to you and may God's mercy and blessings be upon you"). And we Muslims have a way of shaking hands. But in the church, it was totally different. Nobody liked my expressions. Brothers and sisters told me that As-salaam 'alaykum and Wa 'alaykum salaam were from the Devil, so it was hard for me to join and start life with members of the church.
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Offline Gorazd

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2013, 03:04:26 AM »
The Antiochian Orthodox Church has Arab culture. Islam is not a culture, but a religion. Let us word Christ in the Temple: his body, the Orthodox Church.

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2013, 10:03:23 AM »
The Antiochian Orthodox Church has Arab culture. Islam is not a culture, but a religion. Let us word Christ in the Temple: his body, the Orthodox Church.
Among the more conservative, Salafi-like Muslims that span any ethnic background there seems to be a common culture separate from their respective national cultures they're part of. Not sure though if this Abu Jaz is referring to that or not. But it's usually one of those "obvious" things in a person that you can tell is a Muslims, by the way they dress, they talk, they act, etc.  In other words rather than blend in, they stand out in their own Islamic ways. That in and of itself is a "culture."
« Last Edit: November 24, 2013, 10:05:48 AM by minasoliman »
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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2013, 07:14:52 PM »
Chrislam (or "Islamic Pentecostalism")

That's a bit like herporrhea or chlamydorrhoids.

You're a certifiable genius.  Chlamydorrhoids!

Tell that to the millions of Chrooslums suffering from the pain and shame chlamydorrhoids, smart guy.

Among the more conservative, Salafi-like Muslims that span any ethnic background there seems to be a common culture separate from their respective national cultures they're part of. Not sure though if this Abu Jaz is referring to that or not. But it's usually one of those "obvious" things in a person that you can tell is a Muslims, by the way they dress, they talk, they act, etc.  In other words rather than blend in, they stand out in their own Islamic ways. That in and of itself is a "culture."

That is true, but I think what "Abu Jaz" is referring to here is the Swahili Muslim culture of the East African coast and the abutting areas of the interior.  This would make sense in context, seeing how he juxtaposes the culture he is speaking of (in his complaint to God) with other religious/cultural groups that are also present and visible in the same areas, but are perhaps not so well represented or high profile in actual majority Muslim countries.  Being a Muslim is a big part of the Afro-Arab Swahili cultural identity, as opposed to being an animist or a Christian like so many of their "unmixed" Bantu neighbors.  In this sense, the "Muslim culture" of the Swahili could be seen as comparable to the "Christian culture" of the Armenians, Copts, Nazrani, etc., who find themselves surrounded by non-Christian peoples.  This would also explain the protests of so many people crying inaccuracy and exaggeration in the comments section, asserting that Evangelical groups actively and publically convert Muslims, animists, and everyone else in "Redactistan", that the real "Abu Jaz" doesn't use a pseudonym because one isn't necessary where he lives, that he in fact operates very publically without much fear of reprisal (as would likely be the case in this part of Africa), and that Evangelicals, Catholics and Muslims all "bid" for "rice bowl converts" in the area as well (which is certainly the case in this part of the world).
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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2013, 01:39:05 AM »
Among the more conservative, Salafi-like Muslims that span any ethnic background there seems to be a common culture separate from their respective national cultures they're part of. Not sure though if this Abu Jaz is referring to that or not. But it's usually one of those "obvious" things in a person that you can tell is a Muslims, by the way they dress, they talk, they act, etc.  In other words rather than blend in, they stand out in their own Islamic ways. That in and of itself is a "culture."

All of this is based on imitating Muhammad and the sahaba, as they imagine it. And they do it, not because their forefathers did it or because of regional custom, not even because it is in a Coca Cola commercial, but because they expect hassanat (divine reward) for it. So I do consider these to be religious practices. Or is there any non-muslim community that shares them?

As for converts to Christianity, they should at least renounce all practices that are directly incompatible with Christianity, such as polygamy or circumcision. Also, mosque-worship must be abandoned, since the holy canons forbid praying together with heretics (and the most liberal interpretations of this is to say only prayer with deniers of Christ's divinity are forbidden... so it's definitely forbidden with Muslims). Also, mosque prayer includes confessing Muhammad as the "servant and messenger of God". From a Christian perspective, Muhammad cannot be considered any of those, since he denied the divinity of Christ.

« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 01:45:53 AM by Gorazd »

Offline ialmisry

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2013, 01:55:37 AM »
Among the more conservative, Salafi-like Muslims that span any ethnic background there seems to be a common culture separate from their respective national cultures they're part of. Not sure though if this Abu Jaz is referring to that or not. But it's usually one of those "obvious" things in a person that you can tell is a Muslims, by the way they dress, they talk, they act, etc.  In other words rather than blend in, they stand out in their own Islamic ways. That in and of itself is a "culture."

All of this is based on imitating Muhammad and the sahaba, as they imagine it. And they do it, not because their forefathers did it or because of regional custom, not even because it is in a Coca Cola commercial, but because they expect hassanat (divine reward) for it. So I do consider these to be religious practices.
Fine.  A lot of the secular cultures of the West (and elsewhere-including in the Islamic world) are based/originate in religious practices.

A lot of their religious practices contradict the practices of Muhammand and the Sahabah as they imagine it.  Like all the fanfare we have in Egypt for their prophet's birthday.

Or is there any non-muslim community that shares them?
Lots-a lot of the hadith are just slapping their prophet's name on some pre-Islamic practice (like circumcision). Somewhere I have a Studia Isalmica article on this very process.  IIRC "Islam: the view from the edge" had a chapter on it as well.

As for converts to Christianity, they should at least renounce all practices that are directly incompatible with Christianity, such as polygamy or circumcision
How did I know that you'd try to sneak that in?  It is entirely compatible with Christianity (this came up in the sermon today) now as it was with the Lord, His Apostles, and the first Christians, all of whom were circumcised.

Also, mosque-worship must be abandoned, since the holy canons forbid praying together with heretics (and the most liberal interpretations of this is to say only prayer with deniers of Christ's divinity are forbidden... so it's definitely forbidden with Muslims). Also, mosque prayer includes confessing Muhammad as the "servant and messenger of God". From a Christian perspective, Muhammad cannot be considered any of those, since he denied the divinity of Christ.
yeah, the mosque is a dangerous place for a Christian (or any non-Muslim for that matter) to be.  Sort of like burning incense to Caesar.
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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #24 on: November 25, 2013, 02:04:29 AM »
My gut instinct tells me that this is screwing them up more than they already were in the first place. Now they're just going to get confused because they are trying to juggle together two religions, and even then, the Christianity they are receiving is not proper Christianity but appears to be some liberal form of Evangelical Protestantism. In any case, it's definitely something for us to think about: if we're the "true Church," then why haven't we done anything to convert these people? While admittedly Orthodox Christians in the Middle East and few Orthodox pockets of Africa probably can't do anything because of persecution, that still doesn't excuse Orthodox Christians in America and Eastern Europe who could be doing something. We constantly bicker and throw pot-shots at the Evangelical fundies, yet, they seem to be doing more in terms of evangelism than we've been doing for a long time. Who have we converted lately? A couple of weirdo hipsters on the internet with too much time on their hands? A few irreligious people who've converted to Orthodoxy simply to make their Orthodox spouse happy? We're not looking too good.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2013, 02:14:04 AM »
My gut instinct tells me that this is screwing them up more than they already were in the first place. Now they're just going to get confused because they are trying to juggle together two religions, and even then, the Christianity they are receiving is not proper Christianity but appears to be some liberal form of Evangelical Protestantism. In any case, it's definitely something for us to think about: if we're the "true Church," then why haven't we done anything to convert these people? While admittedly Orthodox Christians in the Middle East and few Orthodox pockets of Africa probably can't do anything because of persecution, that still doesn't excuse Orthodox Christians in America and Eastern Europe who could be doing something. We constantly bicker and throw pot-shots at the Evangelical fundies, yet, they seem to be doing more in terms of evangelism than we've been doing for a long time. Who have we converted lately? A couple of weirdo hipsters on the internet with too much time on their hands? A few irreligious people who've converted to Orthodoxy simply to make their Orthodox spouse happy? We're not looking too good.
I think we have two Swahili speaking Orthodox here, I think from Kenya.
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Offline Gorazd

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #26 on: November 25, 2013, 02:32:59 AM »
A lot of their religious practices contradict the practices of Muhammand and the Sahabah as they imagine it.  Like all the fanfare we have in Egypt for their prophet's birthday.
Salafis dont celebrate mawlid. Those who do dont see any contrdiction, but have theological arguments for doing so.

Or is there any non-muslim community that shares them?
Lots-a lot of the hadith are just slapping their prophet's name on some pre-Islamic practice (like circumcision). Somewhere I have a Studia Isalmica article on this very process.  IIRC "Islam: the view from the edge" had a chapter on it as well.
IS, not WAS. Obviously, many things in early Islam came from Arab culture of that time. But these practices are not being followed by non-Muslims today. Or who would use a miswak for secular reasons nowadays? Personally, I prefer a toothbrush.

It is entirely compatible with Christianity (this came up in the sermon today) now as it was with the Lord, His Apostles, and the first Christians, all of whom were circumcised.
Of course you know better than St. Justinian? And you don't count St. Luke as an apostle?

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #27 on: November 25, 2013, 10:13:34 AM »
My gut instinct tells me that this is screwing them up more than they already were in the first place. Now they're just going to get confused because they are trying to juggle together two religions, and even then, the Christianity they are receiving is not proper Christianity but appears to be some liberal form of Evangelical Protestantism. In any case, it's definitely something for us to think about: if we're the "true Church," then why haven't we done anything to convert these people? While admittedly Orthodox Christians in the Middle East and few Orthodox pockets of Africa probably can't do anything because of persecution, that still doesn't excuse Orthodox Christians in America and Eastern Europe who could be doing something. We constantly bicker and throw pot-shots at the Evangelical fundies, yet, they seem to be doing more in terms of evangelism than we've been doing for a long time. Who have we converted lately? A couple of weirdo hipsters on the internet with too much time on their hands? A few irreligious people who've converted to Orthodoxy simply to make their Orthodox spouse happy? We're not looking too good.

Actually, there are thriving Coptic missions throughout the very areas likely referenced (and then redacted) in this article.

http://www.copticafrica.org/

http://www.copticmission.org/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Coptic-Orthodox-Church-of-South-Sudan-Nile-Republic/193580553988512

http://morningstarnews.org/2012/12/sudan-arrests-coptic-priests-for-baptizing-convert/

Not to mention  the churches in Fiji and the West Indies.  And then there's all the wonderful work the Ethiopian Church has done in the Caribbean.

http://eotcarchdiocesecaribbeanandlatinamerica.org/
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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2013, 10:26:38 AM »
Who have we converted lately? A couple of weirdo hipsters on the internet with too much time on their hands? A few irreligious people who've converted to Orthodoxy simply to make their Orthodox spouse happy? We're not looking too good.

Hey, if the hipsters are bringing great vinyl collections and craft beer, they're a welcome edition. And converting for marriage is a perfectly acceptable reason to join the religion. It's always been tribal/covenential in nature.

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2013, 11:47:12 AM »
A lot of their religious practices contradict the practices of Muhammand and the Sahabah as they imagine it.  Like all the fanfare we have in Egypt for their prophet's birthday.
Salafis dont celebrate mawlid. Those who do dont see any contrdiction, but have theological arguments for doing so.
I'd love to hear the arguments they gave you, because they had none when I asked them.

The use of denial in cognitive dissonance is quite common: I've had arguments with Muslims who said that Muslims do not pray to saints, in shrines where in front of us Muslims were praying to their saints. Sort of like the Protestant tradition denying that it is a tradition.

Or is there any non-muslim community that shares them?
Lots-a lot of the hadith are just slapping their prophet's name on some pre-Islamic practice (like circumcision). Somewhere I have a Studia Isalmica article on this very process.  IIRC "Islam: the view from the edge" had a chapter on it as well.
IS, not WAS. Obviously, many things in early Islam came from Arab culture of that time. But these practices are not being followed by non-Muslims today. Or who would use a miswak for secular reasons nowadays? Personally, I prefer a toothbrush.
So would I, but then we aren't Muslims. And yes, there are Muslims who use miswak-for one thing, not everyone of them can afford a toothbrush.  And then there is the cultural effect-sort of like in some areas of the US where people like chewing on a toothpick, although they brush and floss.

It is entirely compatible with Christianity (this came up in the sermon today) now as it was with the Lord, His Apostles, and the first Christians, all of whom were circumcised.
Of course you know better than St. Justinian? And you don't count St. Luke as an apostle?
Actually, being of the second generation of Christians, St. Luke wasn't an Apostle in the strict sense.

I know not to keep a Procopius around.
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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2013, 01:49:00 PM »
Quote from: Acts 16
Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek. 2 The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. 3 Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4 As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.

Silly St. Paul...look how heretical he became after the council of Acts 15  :P
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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #31 on: November 25, 2013, 03:10:31 PM »
Quote
When people start to think about Isa intentionally, the Holy Spirit has room to lead them into all truth, even if they first mix Isa and Muhammad. The Holy Spirit through time will glorify Isa al Masih in their lives.

So after the new birth, the Holy Spirit begins to open their minds to understand more fully the Messiah.

Yes, of course. Before they believe in Jesus, the Holy Spirit will convict them about sin, righteousness, and judgment. As soon as they give their will to Jesus, they will receive the Holy Spirit and be born again and become a child of God. Then the Holy Spirit starts to live in them. Because the Holy Spirit lives in them, he will lead them to all [the] truth of Jesus. Then the Holy Spirit will give them revelation, and they will say that Jesus is Lord.

Red: That is never going to happen. There is a distinct difference between Jesus, prayers and peace to him, and Prophet Mohammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, who is, in Islam, THE Prophet for all people for the rest of time.

Weird blue: How do you explain this? That Muslims have a great conviction of their own sin and their need for the forgiveness from All Mighty Allah.

Green: How is this manifest please? How can there be evidence of this?

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #32 on: November 25, 2013, 03:18:39 PM »
Quote from: Acts 16
Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek. 2 The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. 3 Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4 As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.

Silly St. Paul...look how heretical he became after the council of Acts 15  :P

Silly Paul, indeed.

Quote
See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand! Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God. From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #33 on: November 25, 2013, 03:27:07 PM »
Quote from: Acts 16
Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek. 2 The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. 3 Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4 As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.

Silly St. Paul...look how heretical he became after the council of Acts 15  :P

Silly Paul, indeed.

Quote
See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand! Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God. From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.
The same hand which wrote the letter circumcised St. Timothy. St. John Chrysostom tells us so:
Quote
...for the Word must needs be disseminated: therefore also he with his own hands circumcised him. And so were the churches established in the faith. Do you mark here also how from going counter (to his own object) a great good results? And increased in number daily. Acts 16:5 Do you observe, that the circumcising not only did no harm, but was even of the greatest service?
-St. John Chrysostom "Homily on the Acts of the Apostles"
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/210134.htm
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 03:55:49 PM by ialmisry »
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2013, 03:48:16 PM »
Quote from: Acts 16
Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek. 2 The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. 3 Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4 As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.

Silly St. Paul...look how heretical he became after the council of Acts 15  :P

Silly Paul, indeed.

Quote
See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand! Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God. From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.

The point is don't make a big deal about circumcising or uncircumcised.  To say "thou shalt not circumcise" is just as bad as forcing people to circumcise.

I brought this up because someone said we should the custom of circumcision.  That's complete idiocy to connect that with Christianity.  What the Apostles did is stop the idea that it's necessary, but the custom can continue if people desire.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 03:49:42 PM by minasoliman »
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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #35 on: November 25, 2013, 05:07:59 PM »
Quote
the Holy Spirit will convict them about sin
...
live in them

First one has to define what is "sin"?  Sin is not merely breaking laws or commandments, but in the context of Christianity, it can also be the lack of action or not living a certain way of life.  Sin is a change in direction.  If I were to live according to a direction God-wards, sin would take me away from that direction.  Therefore, for every person, sin also takes a different stage.  For one person, it is a great accomplishment to avoid stealing.  But for another person, it could be avoiding to miss a day to be generous.  For one person in ancient times, it could have been a slave-master treating his slaves like humans.  For another person who already does that, it could be freeing the slaves.  For every person is at a different stage of "avoiding sins".  It's not enough to avoid wrong-doings, but also to acquire virtues, and get involved in repairing the community inasmuch as one can.

In all of this, we believe therefore that since sin puts us in a direction away from God, God has to convict us of sin.  God creates a dwelling in our hearts, lives in us, so that when we achieve something that is not towards His direction, we feel it just as much as if it was our own conscience telling us no or yes!  We believe the Holy Spirit is fully God, dwelling in us, and enlivens us so that we may live in a God-ward way, away from sin and towards divine life.  The Holy Spirit is what makes us "sons of God", for just as our own spirit identifies our human lives, the Holy Spirit is identified as the vehicle of living the life of God, LITERALLY God's very divine life!

How do we know this happens?  By people's actions!  Read what Christ said in Matthew 25:

Quote
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

And in John 35:  "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

We recognize in people who live by the Holy Spirit a number of characteristics:

love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control

And these fruits are evident in those who follow the teachings of Christ, who is also God.  God becomes man and teaches, God dwells in us, God convicts us of sin, God leads us to live His life in the same manner He lived it as man.
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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #36 on: November 25, 2013, 05:27:08 PM »
Actually, Galatians Chapter 5 is a nice summary of what it means to "live by the Holy Spirit":

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians%205&version=NIV

In areas where he talks about circumcision, pretty much he's not merely talking about circumcision, but living according to the Kosher laws of the covenant.  He's saying here, it doesn't matter about Kosher or non-Kosher.  It matters that you live the faith through love.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 05:28:13 PM by minasoliman »
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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #37 on: November 25, 2013, 06:33:18 PM »
Green: How is this manifest please? How can there be evidence of this?

In addition to Mina's explanation, I would only add that unfortunately, this man is receiving a flawed and inaccurate model of Christianity from the Evangelicals to whom he's been exposed.  When he says things like, "As soon as they give their will to Jesus, they will receive the Holy Spirit and be born again and become a child of God" he is parroting their heresies, things that the actual Christian Church has never taught and does not endorse.
 



The point is don't make a big deal about circumcising or uncircumcised.  To say "thou shalt not circumcise" is just as bad as forcing people to circumcise.

I brought this up because someone said we should the custom of circumcision.  That's complete idiocy to connect that with Christianity.  What the Apostles did is stop the idea that it's necessary, but the custom can continue if people desire.

I agree.  Why on earth would anyone say "thou shalt not circumcise"?  Just to make a point of saying, "I'm not Judaizing" or "I'm not Islamizing"?  That's ridiculous and unnecessary.  The Ethiopians have been Christians for centuries and they circumcise.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 06:48:14 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #38 on: November 25, 2013, 06:37:48 PM »
Actually, Galatians Chapter 5 is a nice summary of what it means to "live by the Holy Spirit":

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians%205&version=NIV

In areas where he talks about circumcision, pretty much he's not merely talking about circumcision, but living according to the Kosher laws of the covenant.  He's saying here, it doesn't matter about Kosher or non-Kosher.  It matters that you live the faith through love.

What does living the faith through love mean if not via obeying his commands? That is love in action that we show The One True God how much we love Him by the way we obey and act according to His will and not our own will.

Don't you refer to a circumcision of the heart? The heart that is fully committed to what Allah is also committed to, one that is ego dead so that only the will of Allah is accomplished? That is what the niqab is about, that is what hjab is that is what proper modesty is about and all other actions that a person does either about themself or for another.

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #39 on: November 25, 2013, 09:01:39 PM »
"Thou shalt not circumcise" is an established rule in the EO church.

But let us get back to the original topic: Why is there so much sympathy here for those "mosque Jesus freaks"?
If someone shouts "Yeah, Jesus", does that have a meaning for us? Shouldn't we, as Orthodox Christians, hold on to the fullness of faith?

Offline Theophilos78

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #40 on: November 25, 2013, 09:03:18 PM »
This is simply another attempt by Allah worshippers to destroy the Church by infecting it with Islamic terminology and practices.
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #41 on: November 26, 2013, 09:09:19 AM »
"Thou shalt not circumcise" is an established rule in the EO church.

You mean only within the context of a religious service, right?  As in, the EO Church doesn't have mohels?  The EO seem to be ambivalent to circumcision as a general practice.


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Question: What is the Orthodox attitude toward circumcision?

Answer: Thank you for your enquiry.

If you are asking about circumcision for medical or hygenic purposes, the Church does not object.

If you are asking about circumcision for religious reasons, the Church holds to that which is explained in Galatians 6:15, Romans 2:28 and 4:11, and Philippians 3:3—namely, that circumcision was a critical element of the Old Covenent, but not of the New Covenant.

http://oca.org/questions/teaching/circumcision

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It is known that Jews and Moslems practice circumcision for religious reasons.  Some doctors deem circumcision necessary for reasons of health and cleanliness.  The Orthodox Church does not prohibit circumcision as long as it is not practiced for religious reasons and is performed by a physician.

http://www.gocoos.org/parish-information/church-positions/

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Circumcision has no religious significance for an Orthodox Christian...Therefore, it is very unwise to circumcise a child for religious reasons (as indicated distrust. Nowadays, however, boys are often circumcised for reasons of health. As long as this is done with the understanding that it has no bearing on the covenant status of the child in question, this is not forbidden.

http://www.orthodoxanswers.org/answer/1455/

In Egypt, Nubia, Eritrea, Ethiopia and other parts of Africa, circumcision was a well-established cultural practice long before the population became Christian, and I see no reason for anyone to abandon it, especially in light of the articles above.

But let us get back to the original topic: Why is there so much sympathy here for those "mosque Jesus freaks"?
If someone shouts "Yeah, Jesus", does that have a meaning for us? Shouldn't we, as Orthodox Christians, hold on to the fullness of faith?

And further, shouldn't we endeavor to transmit it to these and all people?  Unless he's referring to some other group that's co-opted the name, the Orthodox are apparently known to Abu Jaz.  I wish we knew where he was so we could determine what contact - if any - he's had with the local Orthodox.  Are they aware of his group?  An interesting post by someone in the comments section of the article:

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Gene! (and all American Christians), this comment: "many of them also feel that a Muslim-focused church is going too far." is beyond ridiculous. Do you think that if you picked up a first century Christian (let's say James) and put him into one of your Protestant Evangelical Churches in America, he would even recognize it as the same religion? You Americans have created thousands of "American-Focused" Churches which have nothing to do with true Christianity, now you have the gall to point to this man and say his "Church" isn't "American Church" enough. I really wish you would stop and think for a second. Is Christianity Western? Is it American? Where did it come from? No. It came from the Jews and Greeks in the first century. If we are to be honest, we have to admit that the only true Church left is Orthodox Christianity. They are the only ones that are unchanged, have Apostolic Succession and who haven't been corrupted by false teachings such as an infallible Pope.

Orthodoxy has always done a good job of contextualizing the Faith within a given culture while not compromising and adopting heterodox practices which contradict our understanding of worship, et cetera.  Some elements are trying to reverse this trend, but that's another discussion...

This is simply another attempt by Allah worshippers to destroy the Church by infecting it with Islamic terminology and practices.

Seeing as how all of this is taking place outside the Church, I'm not too worried.
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Offline CoptoGeek

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #42 on: November 26, 2013, 09:44:49 AM »
In Egypt, Nubia, Eritrea, Ethiopia and other parts of Africa, circumcision was a well-established cultural practice long before the population became Christian, and I see no reason for anyone to abandon it, especially in light of the articles above.

Maybe for Ethiopia, but for Egypt & possibly Nubia this is not true. It dates only to the medieval Islamic period.

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The story of Bishop John clearly shows us that the Copts unlike the Abyssinians, did not know circumcision in the ninth century. Furthermore, they did not accept circumcision on theological grounds. There is nothing in the story to suggest that Bishop John’s case (not being circumcised) was singular. A few authors have stipulated that circumcision has always been practiced by the Egyptians; that it was Pharaonic tradition; that it continued throughout the Roman-Greek period; that the Egyptians even after they became Christian nation continued to circumcise their children. Otto F. A. Meinardus, in his Christian Egypt, Faith and Life,[xvii] certainly gives that impression, and that the Copts inherited circumcision from their ancient forefathers. Whatever the case was before the Christianisation of Egypt, and even then the evidence for that is disputable at several points,[xviii] Meinardus does not present us with any proof that the Copts, after their conversion to Christianity, or in the first centuries after the Arab occupation, practiced circumcision. Furthermore, he either does not know of the story of Bishop John or intentionally ignores it.

http://copticliterature.wordpress.com/2012/01/28/circumcision-and-the-copts-a-history-part-1/
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Offline Gorazd

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #43 on: November 26, 2013, 09:59:56 AM »
You mean only within the context of a religious service, right?  As in, the EO Church doesn't have mohels?  The EO seem to be ambivalent to circumcision as a general practice.
Since when is the American practice "general"? In Europe, the EO church takes a clear stance against circumcision. Btw, there are a lot of Russian Jews who converted to Orthodoxy. They have not circumcised their children.

I am deeply concerned by American jurisdictions such as the OCA agreeing to "secular" circumcision. In Christ we have been made whole and we rejoice in this by maintaining the wholeness of our bodies, refusing to take upon ourselves or to inflict on our children the outward sign of the curse of the law.


Seeing as how all of this is taking place outside the Church, I'm not too worried.
I am worried. Any notion that one can be both a Muslim and a Christian at the same time is a fundamental threat to Christianity. Christianity is about not denying our Lord Christ before people, so that he will not deny us before his Father.

Also, the very notion that one could worship Christ in the mosque obscures the need for Christians to be part of the Church.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: "Worshipping Jesus in the Mosques" by Gene Daniels
« Reply #44 on: November 26, 2013, 10:45:27 AM »
You mean only within the context of a religious service, right?  As in, the EO Church doesn't have mohels?  The EO seem to be ambivalent to circumcision as a general practice.
Since when is the American practice "general"? In Europe, the EO church takes a clear stance against circumcision.
EO isn't "European Orthodox."  There is no "Orthodox Church in Europe."
Btw, there are a lot of Russian Jews who converted to Orthodoxy. They have not circumcised their children.
Since the majority of Russian Jews who stay Jew have not circumcised their sons (we are talking about male children, after all), what's your point?
I am deeply concerned by American jurisdictions such as the OCA agreeing to "secular" circumcision.
St. Paul says your concern is misplaced.  The OCA is only following the example of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem, the most ancient Patriarchates.

In Christ we have been made whole and we rejoice in this by maintaining the wholeness of our bodies
Yes, I know that the Stoics told you that.  Where did the Apostles?

refusing to take upon ourselves or to inflict on our children the outward sign of the curse of the law.
have you checked out the menstruation threads?

Seeing as how all of this is taking place outside the Church, I'm not too worried.
I am worried. Any notion that one can be both a Muslim and a Christian at the same time is a fundamental threat to Christianity. Christianity is about not denying our Lord Christ before people, so that he will not deny us before his Father.

Also, the very notion that one could worship Christ in the mosque obscures the need for Christians to be part of the Church.
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« Last Edit: November 26, 2013, 10:46:23 AM by ialmisry »
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