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Featured Can theological difference between the Gospels and the Qur'an be resolved?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by adrian009, Aug 12, 2018.

?
  1. Yes

    8 vote(s)
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  2. No

    7 vote(s)
    41.2%
  3. Possibly

    1 vote(s)
    5.9%
  4. I don't know

    1 vote(s)
    5.9%
  1. Thinking Homer

    Thinking Homer Understanding and challenging different worldviews

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    But that's up to the Christian whether to believe or not. There is also the old Earth movement which many Christians follow.
     
  2. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Your reasoning to explain OT violence can be easily used to explain violence in Muhammad’s day. In fact you could use that reasoning to justify almost any violence. WWI was a good example where both the German and British Empires imagined they were fighting for God, King and country.

    While it’s true that Jesus brought a New Covenant, what that meant in regards what God would or wouldn’t do, as well as what it meant for most people on the planet who had no knowledge of Christianity, some until nearly 19 centuries later, is highly debatable. At the time the Covenant was inaugurated at Christ’s last supper it was an exclusively Jewish matter.

    Clearly Jesus intended the Gospels to be preached to all Nations but the Covenant Old or New was largely irrelevant to most peoples including those tribes of the Arabian Penisula who Muhammad taught.

    With the quote from Luke we have the words of Jesus explaining the New Covenant. The author of Hebrews (unknown) is explaining the implications of the New Covenant, using the obvious symbolism of Christ’s Martyrdom.

    The Christian New Covenant was not an agreement between the Arabian tribesman and God. A Covenant is an agreement between God and man or a group of people such as the Jews. The Covenants of Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David were not for the entire human race, not at the time they were established anyway. Nor was the Christian Covenant. Covenants require agreement between two parties. The Christian covenant wasn’t presented to the Arabian people that we know of and they clearly never accepted it.

    Jeremiah 31:31-34 contrary to popular Christian belief was not fulfilled by Christ, not fully at least. If it were then the Tanakh would be written on the hearts of all, including the Jewish people. The Jews rightly refute that Christ met the requirements of the verses IMHO.

    Yahweh and Allah are different names for the same God according to Baha’i and Muslim perspective. The Jews, Muslims, and Baha’is all reject that Jesus was a physical incarnation of God. Baha’is do believe Christ was a perfect reflection of Gods attributes and He spoke for God so in that sense agree with His Divinity.
     
    #62 adrian009, Aug 19, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
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  3. Thinking Homer

    Thinking Homer Understanding and challenging different worldviews

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    But is fighting according to a direct revelation from God and fighting according to an ideology/politics the same thing? And both the German and British Empires in WWI identified themselves as Protestant/Catholic states, did they not? They were not fighting on the basis of religious differences like the OT or with Muhammad.

    The new covenant was inaugurated in front of both Gentiles and Jews at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion. The last supper was merely a symbolic gesture to this event. (The wine and bread symbolized his body and blood which would be broken and spilt on the cross). The New covenant was established between God and all nations, not exclusively to the Jewish people like the Old covenant.

    It may have been irrelevant to them, but they had access to both the Torah (Old Covenant) and the Gospels (New Covenant) (Quran 3:3), not to mention there were Jews and Christians in Mecca and Medina at the time.

    The acceptance of Jesus by the Jews is one of the End time prophecies listed in the Bible. Even now, many Messianic Jews are emerging all over the world. (I highly recommend watching ONE FOR ISRAEL ministries on YouTube)

    The Apostle Paul writes extensively about this in his Epistles:
    'It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. ' - Romans 9:6-8

    'I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. ' - Romans 11:1-2


    'There is a secret truth, my brothers and sisters, which I want you to know, for it will keep you from thinking how wise you are. It is that the stubbornness of the people of Israel is not permanent, but will last only until the complete number of Gentiles comes to God. And this is how all Israel will be saved. - Romans 11:25-26

    And so we return to our original point. From what I can understand, Baha’Is believe that Jesus is who he claimed to be. The focus of the debate is whether Yahweh and Allah is the same God. ie did Jesus receive revelation from the same God which Muhammad did? My argument was if Yahweh went through all the trouble of establishing the new covenant through Yeshua, why would He impose concepts of the old covenant/Mosaic Law to Muhammad which Yahweh tried to demolish? (lashing, stoning, killing sinners which commonly appear in the Torah and Quran)

    Your argument is that the new covenant was exclusively for the Jewish people, which is simply not true. (Otherwise only Messianic Jews would be considered real Christians)

    ' “I, the LORD , have called you and given you power to see that justice is done on earth. Through you I will make a covenant with all peoples; through you I will bring light to the nations. ' - Isaiah 42:6 (GNB)

    'He came to that which was his own [the Jews], but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. ' - John 1:11-13 (NIV)

    'A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code [the Law].' - Romans 2:28-29

    Note that my argument is not focusing on the relationship with God and the Arab people. My argument is within God Himself. Why would Yahweh/Allah, after all the suffering at the crucifixion in order to abolish the Law, decide to impose it again to Muhammad?
     
    #63 Thinking Homer, Aug 19, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
  4. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    Are you sure it's "pseudoscience"? They don't "ignore" science, they challenge the interpretation of the data with their own alternative interpretation. Like how do you explain soft tissue in dinosaur bones if they are millions of years old?
     
  5. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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  6. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    Adrian, I haven't seem a response to this post yet. It's rather important because both the NT and Quran are claiming God's Truth. But when it comes to Satan and his demons and hell, the Baha'is say this is not the "literal" truth. However, in "God's" books it is presented as truth and is believed by the follows of those books to be true.

    It is an easy "fix" for the Baha'is to reconcile all religions by saying all things that go contrary to Baha'i beliefs were "symbolic". So not only theological differences in Islam and Christianity can be explained away, but for every religion. But what does that do to God's supposed Truth? Baha'is make it all relative.

    Did the resurrection happen? No, Bahai's will say. The spirit of Jesus didn't die. So what does that make of all the verses that tell of post crucifixion sightings of Jesus? Some kind of vision? No, Jesus says to touch him and see that he is flesh and bone and not a ghost.

    But, really, who other than Christians doesn't have some kind of doubts about this and many of the other NT and Bible stories? It is extremely easy to blow it all off as hype... As over-zealous believers making exaggerations. Now I can believe that. But to believe the writers knew they were making up a story, a story that did not happen,, but that they wrote as an actual historical event, then to say it was only meant to be taken symbolically? I don't know about that.

    But with Satan and hell and demons. It seems like Islam does believe all those things as real, as do Christians. Baha'is say the Quran is "authentic", more so than the NT and Jewish Bible, then how do Baha'is explain away those verses in the Quran that talk about Satan and hell? Why did the gospel writers say that Jesus believed in those things and why did Muhammad say those things, as if true, if they were only symbolic. Why didn't God reveal the truth from the beginning? Knowing that the followers of Jesus and the followers of the Quran would believe those words as the Truth from God and believe in a literal Satan and hell and that demons and Jinn are out to get them?

    All it has done is to create theological differences between those religions and the Baha'i Faith. And how do you reconcile that? Yeah, I know. Yours is the "latest" and most accurate and most truthful message from God... for the time being.
     
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  7. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Practically all the science supports the earth being millions if not billions of years old. Instead of using one (hard to explain) piece of data as justification for forcing all the other pieces of data into something they are not, let’s let science do what science does best.

    Controversial T. Rex Soft Tissue Find Finally Explained
     
  8. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Its an excellent question, but not easily answered.

    We can see the use of words like Satan and demon is very different in the OT compared to the NT. The origins for this development may lie with cultural influences such as those from the Zoroastrians during the period the Hebrew people were ruled by the Persians and then the Greeks. The cultural influences on early Islam appear more complex and obscure.

    Angel and demon | religion

    Demon - Wikipedia

    I don't think a lot about Satan, demons, and hell much these days but used to a lot when I was a Christian.

    An epiphany for me in studying the theological differences between Islam and Christianity is how similar the religions really are, and how easily the six main differences could be resolved with a careful analysis of the texts of both religions.

    What are the Key Theological Differences between Islam and Christianity Regarding Concepts of God

    The Baha'i Faith is clear that all truth is relative:

    The fundamental principle enunciated by Baha’u’llah, the followers of His Faith firmly believe, is that Religious truth is not absolute but relative, that Divine Revelation is a continuous and progressive process, that all the great religions of the world are divine in origin, that their basic principles are in complete harmony, that their aims and purposes are one and the same, that their teachings are but facets of one truth, that their functions are complementary, that they differ only in the non-essential aspects of their doctrines and that their missions represent successive stages in the spiritual evolution of human society.Shoghi Effendi, Summary Statement – 1947, Special UN Committee on Palestine.

    No Faith is Final - Religious Claims to Absolute Truth

    The Baha'is and Christians do have different world views in many respects. Only the Christians believe that Jesus literally rose from the dead and ascended to heaven. So if this is your belief then Christianity is probably best for you. The Baha'i have a clear alternative narrative. If it seems implausible, then reject it and look elsewhere for truth. If you remain undecided, then continue investigating. I have found it really refreshing to study Islam and maybe that could be a focus to assist you in resolving your unanswered questions.

    Agnosticism is a beautiful thing.

    It would be helpful to have a few more Muslims with different perspectives to help us make sense of this aspect of Islam. In the interim, I'm going to put it to one side and perhaps the truth will unfold the more I study.

    I avoid being a Baha'i apologist in the same manner as Christian and Islamic apologists. Its good to be open and learn and see what unfolds. Some philosopher once said that life is a mystery to be enjoyed, not a problem to be solved.

    I like it that you push the limits of my knowledge, and Siti does the same. It may be helpful to ask IT as he's from a Muslim background.
     
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  9. Thinking Homer

    Thinking Homer Understanding and challenging different worldviews

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    The moment you started this thread you already became a Muslim/Baha'i apologist haha... :D
     
  10. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    That is true lol

    I’m also a Christian apologist too.

    Once Christians instigated and justified the crusades and Holy war, where does it end?

    Christianity and violence - Wikipedia

    No it wasn’t. The Gospels are clear that the key event in regards the Covenant was the last supper, not the crucifixion.

    Obviously the New Covenant was extended to the gentiles gradually through the work of the apostles and Christian missionaries.

    Christianity had already become corrupted though.

    I agree the Jews will eventually accept Jesus.

    Muhammad wasn’t a revisionist. He brought a New Revelation from God. It clearly has elements of both the Mosaic and Christian Covenant but it was a new and necessary Revelation from God suited to the peoples of that time, and the reasons for not simply following the Torah or Gospel as it stood was made clear. The Christians have fundamentally erred in their theology and if we consider the parable of the tares, Christ clearly foresaw what would happen.

    Matthew 13:24-30

    That’s not my argument at all. The New Covenant was clearly inaugurated with the disciples but it later became apparent it was really for the gentiles. However the establishment of that Covenant is more of a process than an event. The insistence of some Christians that it was immediately applicable to all humanity and therefore each soul is now judged in accordance to his belief in Christ regardless of whether or not he’s actually heard the message...
    Let’s just say I don’t agree.

    But He didn’t come to abolish the law, He came to fulfill it.

    Matthew 5:17-20

    That’s another example of how Christians fundamentally misunderstand their own religion and why Muhammad was necessary and Bahá’u’lláh after that.

    John14:26
     
  11. Thinking Homer

    Thinking Homer Understanding and challenging different worldviews

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    Not in our discussions haha... (but that's fine :D)

    I think religion and violence is a separate topic on its own. Atheists would love to talk about this though :rolleyes:

    Jesus always intended for the new covenant to be for all nations, it's not something that gradually became apparent to the Apostles.

    [v22]'You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. [v23]Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. [v42] They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” ' John 4:22-23,42 (NIV) [Jesus extends salvation to the Gentiles]

    'Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, ' Matthew 28:19 (NIV)

    Not quite sure why you quoted this passage? Jesus explains this parable in the same chapter further down in v36.

    If a new revelation was still necessary after the new covenant, then Christ died for nothing, as Paul writes:

    'I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”' Galatians 2:21 (NIV)


    How did Christ fulfill the Law? David Guzik puts this nicely:
    1. Jesus fulfilled the doctrinal teachings of the Law and the Prophets in that He brought full revelation
    2. Jesus fulfilled the predictive prophecy of the Law and the Prophets in that He is the Promised One, showing the reality behind the shadows.
    3. Jesus fulfilled the moral and legal demands of the Law and the Prophets in that He fully obeyed them and He reinterpreted them in their truth
    4. Jesus fulfilled the penalty of the Law and the Prophets for us by His death on the cross, taking the penalty we deserved.
    'For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.' - Romans 10:4 (KJV)

    How did Christ put an end to the law? Again Guzik explains:
    The law ends for the believer in the sense that our obedience to the law is no longer the basis for our relationship with God. The law has not come to an end in the sense of no longer reflecting God’s standard or no longer showing us our need for a Savior.

    There is also something to understand about the Mosaic Law: it can be divided into civic, ceremonial and moral laws. Christ's death put an end to the civic and ceremonial laws, but not the moral ones. However Allah reimplements much of the civic and ceremonial laws of Moses through Muhammad. (Which should've ended through Christ's death)

    Three Old Testament Law Categories - Ceremonial - Civil - Moral

    Muslims often quote this verse to me to say that Jesus was sending Muhammad to be the next prophet. But let's read this chapter with a bit of context:

    'And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. ' John 14:16-17,26

    Not quite sure how Muhammad and Bahá’u’lláh was going to dwell with Jesus' disciples and be in them? And even if I ignore v16-17, it says this helper was going to remind us of everything that Jesus taught his disciples? So would that not make Muhammad a Messenger of Christ, not Allah?
     
  12. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    It is for God alone to judge amongst us who is the most faithful follower of Christ.

    Matthew 7:1-4

    Who amongst us is greatest and who is least?

    Matthew 18:1-4

    The problem is some Christians are happy to criticise Islam because of violence but then become quite uncomfortable when confronted with their own history.

    The violence perpetrated by Christians against other Christians and other peoples of Faith and justified with Christian theology is one of the clearest signs of the corruption within Christendom, don't you think?

    Of course it took time for the apostles to appreciate and understand the Message of Christ. Christ taught them, and yet His chosen successor Peter denied him thrice.

    Luke 22:54-62.

    But that is besides the point which is that most of the nations were totally oblivious to anything to do with Christ until centuries later. A just God would hardly condemn them for not accepting or following someone they had not ever heard of, would they? Unfortunately some Christians present God as a mean and unjust God who would do just that.

    So while the Gospel was to be preached to all nations so too were the Teachings of Buddha and Muhammad. Obviously its going to be the best interests for each one of us to accept the messengers of God, but we need to accept them all, not just the Ones that suits us.

    Why did I quote Matthew 13:24-30?

    Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
    But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
    But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
    So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
    He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
    But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
    Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.


    Because for Baha'is one interpretation is the tares representing the false doctrines and teachings of the church, along with the true Teachings of Christ. So in this age when the books of religion our thrown open for all to see its time to gather up the tares of false doctrine and throw them in the fire.

    Matthew 13:36 speaks of those that promote such false teachings yet bear the name of Jesus.

    This is further explained in Matthew 25:31-46

    Corrupt theology may also be well symbolised by the white horseman of the apocalpyse in the book of revelation:

    Revelation 6

    He fulfilled some of the prophecies but not all of the prophecies.

    For example Isaiah 2:2-5, Isaiah 9:6-7 or Isaiah 11:1 or Isaiah 11:6-10
     
    #72 adrian009, Aug 20, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  13. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    I'm not sure what you mean by this.

    Jesus certainly had the authority from God to bring a New Revelation from God. He was not a reformer of Judaism though. He brought a new religion.

    This doesn't make too much sense though. It sounds as if you are taking the sacrifice narrative of the apostles very literally.

    He may have brought an end to the law for the small number of Jews that followed Him.

    I think there is a clear case in the writings of the apostles for BOTH faith and deeds, don't you?

    James 2:14- 26

    All the manifestations of God have suffered and made sacrifices of course. Of Christ's sacrifice you may be interested in a talk given by Abdu'l-Baha, the son of Baha'u'llah when in the USA 1912:

    Bahá'í Reference Library - The Promulgation of Universal Peace, Pages 449-452


    Specifically which laws did Muhammad bring that Christ abrogated?

    Muhammad managed to unite the pagan tribes of the Arabian Peninsula, taught them the Oneness of God, and provided laws and ordinance to enable His people and future generations to worship God and live in accordance with His Teachings.

    Muhammad provided clear guidance as to the areas of Christianity that had become corrupted:

    The belief that Jesus was literally God
    The Trinity
    The belief the Jesus was literally the son of God in the same way you and I might have children.
    The exclusivity of Christianity for salvation.

    He taught that it wasn't enough to follow Him, but to believe in all the prophets that had gone before Him. He further educated His followers about Christ, Moses and nearly 50 other characters that feature in the bible.

    Muslims already recognise Christ. Christians on the other hand fail to recognise Muhammad.

    The whole area of laws within Abrahamic faiths is complex. Clearly Christians retain a number of Mosaic laws and abandon others. There is overlap between laws of Moses, Muhammad, and Christ and clear differences.

    The whole argument about saying Mosaic law is obsolete makes no sense to me whatsoever.

    For example when Christ was asked the most important law, He essentially quoted from Deuteronomy 6:5

    Matthew 22:36-40

    Are you saying we should no longer love God because its in the OT?
     
  14. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    The prophecy concerning the redeemer in Islam is called the Qa'im or Mahdi. It is similar to Messianic expectations in both Judaism and Christianity. A messianic title in Christianity is the return of Christ.

    Mahdi - Wikipedia

    Of the Qa'im Baha'u'llah has said:

    Thus it is recorded: "Every knowledge hath seventy meanings, of which one only is known amongst the people. And when the Qá'im shall arise, He shall reveal unto men all that which remaineth." He also saith: "We speak one word, and by it we intend one and seventy meanings; each one of these meanings we can explain."
    (Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 254)

    The idea that the verses of God can have seventy meanings of which only one is apparent at anyone time is part of Islamic traditions too though I'm unable to find a reference.

    So the obvious meaning of the verses in John 14 concerning the Holy Spirit are of a spirit that dwells within us and is a conduit for God's revelation to man. Key examples of this are in Acts of the Apostles 2 and when the Holy Spirit like a Dove descends on Jesus. More broadly speaking there could be analogous examples in other faiths such as the Burning Bush experience for Moses, When the angel Gabriel speaks to Muhammad, and the Maid of heaven speaks to Baha'u'llah in the Siyal Chal.

    Holy Spirit - Wikipedia

    The Message Baha’u’llah Received in the Black Pit

    However for Baha'is the Holy Spirit is clearly associated with the great Personage of Jesus but also of His return.

    16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
    17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
    18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
    19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

    26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
    27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
    28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
    29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.


    So in that sense, the comforter is also the Return of Christ Himself. By Return of Christ Baha'is mean the return of the Manifestation of God. For Baha'is Muhammad was a Manifestation of God and so was Baha'u'llah.
     
  15. Thinking Homer

    Thinking Homer Understanding and challenging different worldviews

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    I agree with that completely.

    I didn't want to really discuss this at this time, but since you insist we can. First of all, I'm not denying that there is a lot of blood shed in the Christian history e.g. the Crusades, Inquisitions etc. but one must ask whether this is an accurate reflection of what Christ taught. As I mentioned before, Christ condemned violence of any kind. St Augustine said that we shouldn't judge any philosophy by its abuse. Christ put a end to this 'eye for eye' ideology through the establishment of the New covenant.

    That being said, was the violent actions of Muhammad going against the teachings of the Quran? Not at all, and that is the difference. Muslims claim that Islam is a 'peaceful religion', but if the penalty for apostasy is death, can you really call that a peaceful religion?

    They would love to see you disbelieve, just as they disbelieve, so you would become equal. So do not befriend any of them, unless they emigrate in the way of Allah. If they turn away, seize them and execute them wherever you may find them; and do not take from among them allies or supporters. - Quran 4:89

    Ali burnt some people and this news reached Ibn 'Abbas, who said, "Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet said, 'Don't punish (anybody) with Allah's Punishment.' No doubt, I would have killed them, for the Prophet said, 'If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him." - Sahih Bukari (4:52:260)

    Muslims also say that Jihadis take scripture out of context to justify their motives. But are they really taking it out of context? Are they not just following what Muhammad did back in the day?

    Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden, nor abide by the religion of truth—from among those who received the Scripture [Jews and Christians]—until they pay the due tax, willingly or unwillingly. (Quran 9:29)

    Say, “Obey Allah and the Messenger.” But if they turn away—Allah does not love the faithless. (Quran 3:32)

    When the Sacred Months have passed, kill the polytheists wherever you find them. And capture them, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every ambush. But if they re-pent, and perform the prayers, and pay the alms, then let them go their way. Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Quran 9:5)

    Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties in exchange for Paradise. They fight in Allah’s way, and they kill and get killed. It is a promise binding on Him in the Torah, and the Gospel, and the Quran. And who is more true to his promise than Allah? So rejoice in making such an ex-change—that is the supreme triumph. (Quran 9:111)

    Were the Crusaders and Inquisitors following the example of Christ? No, not a single verse supports what they did.

    Peter never denied Christ's teachings, he just denied knowing him because was scared of being arrested alongside Jesus. However Jesus recommissions him as an Apostle in John 21:15.

    This is Peter's opening statement at the beginning of the Apostle's ministry:
    'Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children [the Jews], and to all who are afar off [the Gentiles], as many as the Lord our God will call.”' Acts 2:38-39

    So Peter had a good knowledge of the new covenant from the very beginning and never stopped preaching until his martyrdom by crucifixion.

    Apostle Paul writes:
    'Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”' Acts 17:29-31

    Will Yahweh condemn those who have never heard the Gospel of Christ? It says here that God will overlook such times of ignorance, and Christians ultimately believe that judgment lies with God.

    However can you really say that 6th/7th century Arab was a time of ignorance? The Quran makes mention of the people of the Book (Jews and Christians) as well as the Torah and Gospel. And why would you even say that they never heard of Jesus?

    Monotheistic religions are intolerant of pluralistic beliefs, just as pluralistic religions are intolerant of monotheistic beliefs. It's one and the same thing. The Baha'i faith condemns any religions for claiming exclusivity for itself, and yet by doing so, it has made itself exclusive in the process.

    I agree with everything you say here. The question is what do you consider to be false doctrines of the church? Did Christ want us to accept new revelations from other prophets after him? Clearly Jesus said the Holy Spirit was going to stay with us forever (John 14:16) so why would we need someone else (esp another human being) to reveal his teachings?

    You are right in saying Isaiah 2:2-5; Isaiah 11:6-10 has not been fulfilled yet. Jesus' second coming has not happened yet so the millennial kingdom has not yet been established.

    With regards to Isaiah 11:1, if you read Matthew 1:5, Jesus did indeed descend from the line of Jesse.

    With regards to what we know about Christ (birth, life, death, resurrection) the prophecies have been fulfilled. There are eschatological prophecies that have yet to come true, such as the second coming of Jesus, which Muslims also believe.

    I think you are confusing the term 'Law and Prophets'. It's simply referring to the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh), not the apostles themselves.

    '“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. ' - Matthew 5:17

    Christianity is a fulfillment of the prophecies written in the Jewish faith, not the start of a new religion. Many people believed the same thing back in Jesus' time, which is why he made this statement. If you read Jesus' sermon on the Mount, he repeats much of Moses' teachings on morality.

    The book of Romans was written for the believers in Rome, which was predominantly a Gentile audience.

    For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”' Romans 10:11-13
     
    #75 Thinking Homer, Aug 21, 2018
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  16. Thinking Homer

    Thinking Homer Understanding and challenging different worldviews

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    Deeds is obviously important, I never denied that. But a Christian should not think that good works will count towards their salvation.

    'For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. ' Ephesians 2:8-9

    Christianity teaches that we do good works because we are saved, and not to be saved. Salvation is the starting point of the Christian faith, not the destination as many religions teach.

    I think you are very confused about the teachings of Muhammad. The Islamic Shahada clearly states that there is no other God but Allah, and that that Muhammad is the last prophet. Islam is as intolerant as a monotheistic entity as Christianity, if not more.

    Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Messenger of God and the last of the Prophets. And God is Ever All-Aware of everything. (Quran 33:40 Hilali-Khan)

    The Prophet said, "The Israelis used to be ruled and guided by prophets: Whenever a prophet died, another would take over his place. There will be no prophet after me, but there will be Caliphs who will increase in number." The people asked, "O Allah's Apostle! What do you order us (to do)?" He said, "Obey the one who will be given the pledge of allegiance first. Fulfil their (i.e. the Caliphs) rights, for Allah will ask them about (any shortcoming) in ruling those Allah has put under their guardianship." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 661)

    The punishment for those who fight Allah and His Messenger, and strive to spread cor-ruption on earth, is that they be killed, or cru-cified, or have their hands and feet cut off on opposite sides, or be banished from the land. That is to disgrace them in this life; and in the Hereafter they will have a terrible punish-ment. (Quran 5:33)

    O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be stern with them. Their abode is Hell—what a miserable desti-nation! (Quran 9:73)

    When the Prophet (ﷺ) died and Abu Bakr became his successor and some of the Arabs reverted to disbelief, `Umar said, "O Abu Bakr! How can you fight these people although Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, 'I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, 'and whoever said, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah', Allah will save his property and his life from me, unless (he does something for which he receives legal punishment) justly, and his account will be with Allah?' - Sahih al-Bukhari 6924 [forced conversions by terrorist groups like Jihadis and ISIS]

    Muhammad clearly taught that Islam was the only way to salvation, and only through Allah's one and favorite prophet, Muhammad.

    There are two ways of attaining salvation according to the Bible:
    1. Righteousness through perfect obedience of the Mosaic Law (Old covenant - 613 laws in Torah)
    2. Righteousness through faith (New covenant)

    Paul writes:
    'But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.' Romans 3:21-26

    The Old covenant is obsolete and has fallen away because nobody could keep all 613 laws in the Torah and achieve salvation that way (hence Paul says we are all sinners). However it still contains God's law and a reflection of his Holy standard which we could not fulfill. Christians do not keep commandments in the Torah in order to attain salvation, but because we realize it is His holy standard. Our salvation exclusively comes through faith in Christ, not through obeying the Laws of Moses.

    While I agree that a passage may have more than one meaning, there are the probable interpretations, and the extremely improbable interpretations which we should reject. We also need to look at the context of the passage, the person speaking, and the audience. The most likely interpretation of John 14 is that Jesus is talking about the Holy Spirit, and an event that would take place during the disciple's lifetime.
     
    #76 Thinking Homer, Aug 21, 2018
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  17. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Then that is a sign that bodes well for our discussion. There will be a great deal that we disagree about, but I think we will be able to have the maturity to agree to disagree and hopefully learn from each other along the way.

    I think what you are presenting reflects an explanatory narrative that clearly makes a sense to conservative Christians. However I do not believe for one moment that Christ was a pacifist, but a pragmatist.

    Lets step back to the OT which I hope we can agree is still very much as relevant to Christianity as the NT. There are of course certain Mosaic laws that are obsolete as clearly stated by Christ Himself and by the apostles, but most of the OT remains an integral part of the Christian religion.

    There won't be too much disagreement between us that Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 stays and it speaks of the wisdom of understanding the times we live in. Christ Himself lamented that His people did not understand the times they were living in (Matthew 16:1-4). As well this being the time that the Messiah would come, it was also a time of enormous frustration for the Jews. They were subjugated by the Romans. For that reason the Jews believed amongst other things that their Messiah being from the house of David, would literally be like King David and defeat the Romans. However that clearly wasn't to be as Jesus foresaw. You could argue that it was because Jesus was peaceful, but it wasn't at all. It was because Jesus was wise and pragmatic. It simply was stupidity to take on the Romans as became apparent through 66-70 AD culminating in the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. So when He said turn the other cheek, in a sense he meant don't aggravate the Romans and fight against them. That was hard because the Jews through the protection offered through successive Covenants with Yahweh, rightly felt assured of imminent victory if God was assisting them.

    So the Christians followed Christ's counsel (Matthew 24) and fled Judea thus saving themselves literally by following Christ's advice.

    So it is clear that Christ was a pragmatist, not a pacifist and most leaders of Christian empires have understood this, foresaw the need to defend them, and even to pre-emptively strike. So now we know that Christ wasn't a pacifist and much of the OT is part of the NT as evidenced by a book called the bible, it becomes very easy to see the justification for the crusades and the inquisitions that were very much part of Christian thinking.

    So while the argument that Christ was peaceful may appeal in some superficial way, its not what most Christians in power have thought and rightly so. For the most part being a Christian in a Christian empire or nation, doesn't provide an option to be a conscientious objector to war, nor to declare your are no longer a Christian. To argue the contrary is indefensible, and then to condemn Muslims for doing exactly what Christians did seems hypocritical. The reality is that in ancient times, punishments were severe for breaking communal rules as Mosaic law and Islamic law clearly emphasised.

    You can dismiss Mosaic law saying its all Old Covenant rules but that clearly wasn't the case, and certainly wasn't how it played out when Christians had a grasp on real power after the emperor Constantine converted to Christianity. Once Christians were in power they needed laws, and what better source of inspiration than the Bible including the OT.

    So lets do away with this 'Christianity the peaceful religion' talk. God knew what needed to be done in the OT to unite the Hebrew tribes, to conquer enemies, attain land, and keep everyone on the same page. He made this clear through Moses and the prophets and much of it remained relevant after Christ inaugurated a New Covenant. It just appeared peaceful for a few hundred years because Christians were on the back foot and had to endure persecution. God knew what needed to be done on the Arabian Peninsula too. That's why He commissioned His Messenger through the angel Gabriel.
     
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  18. Thinking Homer

    Thinking Homer Understanding and challenging different worldviews

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    I'm going to keep my reply very short. Jesus was a pacifist because he could have destroyed the Roman Empire if he wanted to:

    'But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”' Matthew 26:52-54

    'And it came to pass on a certain night that the angel of the Lord went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead. ' II Kings 19:35

    Let's do some quick math. One legion consisted of about 6000 soldiers, so 12 legions of angels would be at least 72 000. If one angel can kill 185 000 people, that means Jesus could have easily annihilated 13 320 000 000 people if he so wished. That's double the current Earth population.

    I think the main different between our worldviews is that you take a very realistic, practical approach to religion; whereas I attribute a lot to spirituality and the metaphysical world. I believe that God could have revealed the Gospel of Christ at any time, at any place on the Earth, no matter how isolated it may have been. And indeed that is what is happening now.
     
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  19. Muffled

    Muffled Jesus in me

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    I believe if you mean don't interpret out of context I would agree.
     
  20. Muffled

    Muffled Jesus in me

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    It doesn't matter who did the revealing. Muslims are under Sharia law and Jews under Mosaic law and I don't believe they were ever meant to be for anyone but the people to whom they were given. Christians are not under any law but like everyone else we are under government law so long as it does not require us to do evil.
     
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