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  1. Christian Hypocrisy

    Grace and peace to you sir! I understand your frustration. It's been a while, but I can remember the smug condescension of secularists when they learned I was a Christian. They treated me as if I were brain-damaged. My only advice would be to remember that you are not just you, but also a representative of your faith. The opinions of the ignorant do not amount to an ant hill. "The best revenge is living well." Take care!
  2. Christian Hypocrisy

    GAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! I don't have time to do this topic justice. ...and I can't NOT respond however. Peace Righteous! Did you ever get my second PM? I think the video is a great bit of propaganda, and probably employs the exact same tactic that they accusing others of using against Islam. I know a paranoid old woman who fears Muslims because of a few verses in the Quran (she has a copy and read it), something about "killing them in their towers." Verses out of context can do that. I cannot respond to every single verse they quoted, but I can respond to clusters of them. The passages found in Numbers and Deuteronomy have to do with the conquest of Canaan. These were nations that God had judged, and the israelites were to be the agents of that judgement. Their pagan culture involved ritual killing of infants and religious orgies, and God wanted it ended once and for all. Not the first time God wiped out whole peoples. (remember the flood?) Yes, it seems barbaric by today's standards. Since you directed this at Christians and not Jews, let me tell you what we do with these verses. We understand the Old Testament through the lens of the New. We see our spiritual struggles mirrored in the struggles of the children of israel. It's like a physical drama that instructs our spiritual life. Canaan was a rich land, very blessed with natural abundance. It was also dotted with walled cities—strongholds—that were centers of unimaginable wickedness. The Jews had to clear them out to possess the blessing of the land, and to avoid being drawn into the sin of the surrounding nations. In truth, they did the job halfway, and as a result, struggled with wars and spiritual corruption from the pagan nations until the israel and then Judea was destroyed. The Christian understanding is found in our spiritual lives. We have the promise of God's blessing, but our lives are dotted with strongholds of sin; lust, pride, unforgivness, bitterness, and the like. If we are to truly possess God's blessing, we must ruthlessly go after the strongholds in our own lives and tear them down, leaving no trace. If we fail to, then something like bitterness or lust will return again and again, robbing us of peace and the blessing God has for us. There is no truce with sin. The other cluster has to do with Jesus' words about not coming to bring peace, but a sword. He was talking about the struggles believers would have as they converted. I am sure that many people who convert to Islam from another religious tradition face similar strife at the hands of their families. Heck, there are people on this forum who agree that if someone converted to Christianity from Islam they should be killed. Please remember that Christianity was an illegal religion for much of the early centuries. Christians were dispised by the Romans and viewed as athiests and political subversives because they refused to worship the Emperor. They were killed by the thousands. Jesus was simply saying that following him had a cost, and that it might cost you your family and even your life. Nowhere does Jesus nor any New Testament writer advocate taking up arms against other people. Paul even states quite clearly that any fighting Christians do is to be done spiritually: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6:10-13) I could go on...but don't have the time... The verses they quote have a context, without which one cannot understand the message. I saw one flash by about the martyrdom of Stephen, who was killed by a Jewish mob for preaching the gospel—that's hardly a slam against the Bible. My final response to this video is to be sad that there is so much strife, misunderstanding and competition between the Children of Abraham. God Bless!
  3. Peace Younes Ibn Abd' al-Aziz, To obey is better than sacrifice. On this we agree completely! w00t! Great post! These are wonder scriptures, and one of the lessons from them is to not trust in dry, dead ceremony to save us. God requires a living faith. Let me ask you, in order to buy myself some time (or distract me utterly) do Muslims believe that Abraham and the other early prophets offered sacrifices? If so, what purpose did it serve? [must...get...back...to work] God bless you all.
  4. Peace all, I am really busy just now, so it will be a few days, possibly a week before I respoond in full. No disrespect or disinterest intended. Vishah, Depends which group we are talking about. There are some that are more or less in line with standard Christian teaching, and some that are borderline cults. Salvation is not dependent upon a firm grasp of trinitarian theology. The essence of true Christianity is not that different from Islam in the way a person ought ot live. Both put weight on what a person does, but esentially we both recognize that God is merciful and just, and sees into the heart, and ultimately see that all people depend on God's mercy. The big difference (as it looks to me) is that Islam insists that people stand on their own before God, while Christians see that as a sure way to go to hell. We believe our own efforts will never be sufficient to match God's holiness. Both old and new testaments make heavy use of the idea of sacrifice, or substitutionary death. I don't think Islam has an equivalent. Now many Christians make the mistake in believing that the cross is a "get out of hell free" card, and since their sins are forgiven, their actions don't matter. Nothing could be further from the truth! Salvation in Christianity is an exchange. We believe that Jesus was accepted as a perfect sin offering to satisfy the wrath of God against sin and unrighteousness. We believe Jesus is also the model of what a Christian life should look like. So the exchange is this, we give up our lives and unrighteousness--die figuratively on the cross--and Jesus imparts to us his life and his righteousness. It is no longer "me" who lives, but Christ in me. My priorities are now God's priorities, expressed through Jesus. Unfortunately, I have to unlearn many habits and concepts while learning new Godly ones. I am slowly transformed into a likeness of Jesus, not perfectly, but life becomes the transformation of a person that is more and more surrendered to God. What does that mature Christian look like? He is growing in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. We believe that as we stand before God on the last day, Jesus will claim us as his own, and the proof will be that we will bear a likeness to him in our spirits. A person who says the words but does not act on them is fooling himself. Faith without works is dead. And then God Himself will complete our transformation, so that we are fit to spend eternity in His presence. So in answer to your question, regardless of what a person believes about the trinity, if they look to Jesus as the source of their righteousness, believe in his resurrection, and work out their salvation in thought, word AND deed, they will be saved. God bless you all!
  5. Nature Of The Quran

    Peace all, I was reading an article a while back, and it quoted an Muslim scholar, who said "what Jesus is to Christians, the Quran is to Muslims." Now I know what Jesus is to Christians, can you help me understand what the Quran is to Muslims? A Muslim once suggested to me (but did not state outrignt) that the Quran is uncreated and eternal. Is it holy? Will it be in paradise at the end of this age? Does it share other attributes of God beyond being uncreated and eternal? (If that is indeed true) ###### has already provided me with sime good suras about what the Quran says about itself, but a broader picture of it's place in the Islamic worldview would be helpful as well. Thank you, and God bless you all.
  6. Peace ######, Thank you for calling me "friend." As I am preparing my thoughts, could you do me a favor? Please explain what Muslims believe about the Quran and it's relationship to God. I have heard it alluded that the Quran is eternal and not created. That would make sense, since the word of God (that is, the expression of Himself) would be implicit in His being, and because eternity has no before or after, it would be a continuous word. So in a nutshell, what do Muslims believe about the nature of the Quran, and what is the relationship between God and the Quran? Is the Quran holy like God is holy? If it is helpful, feel free to start a new thread. I look forward to learning from you. God bless!
  7. I think a more accurate way of saying that would be that nation states advanced their colonial aspirations under the guise of spreading Christianity. The church was complicit in the actions, in that it benefitted from the conquest, but church or no church, the powers of Europe were going to take as much of the Americas as they could.
  8. peace ######, I have faithfully quoted the relevant passages of scripture. I can do no more, nor should I. May the God of Truth do with them what He will. It would be helpful to the discussion if you could directly respond to the scripture in John where Jesus says. "Nobody takes my life, I lay it down willingly." From your perspective, what could he have meant? Oh, and my "presence" here is misleading. I was up in the middle of the night, checked on the thread, and left it up on the computer. My computer was here, but I was happily asleep. God Bless!
  9. Peace Student, It could also be put, "I have received this command from my Father." Maybe you can remember to the beginning of this thread, where I quoted Phillipians 2:5-8, which goes: 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. To model obedience for us perfectly, Jesus submitted himself to the Father. Elsewhere in the gospel, Jesus stated that he and the Father are one. This could mean several things, but at the least it meant they were on the same page. Because of that oneness of mind, I believe that Jesus would have gone to the cross regardless, the scriptures said it was going to happen; but for the sake of his example, he submitted to the Father, as we must all submit to the Father. Christians believe that Jesus' authority to lay down his life and pick it up again is a proof of his divinity. That authority did not come from the Father, but command to lay it down did. I do not have an answer for your second question. Jesus would have to stop being Jesus and God would have to stop being God for it to make sense. God loves. He loves unconditionally. His mercy is extended to all people at all times. He will render judgement on the last day, but his nature is that of pure holy love. I believe Jesus would still have had the authority, being the Son, but it would mean that he and the Father wouldn't be one. Sorry, but that is as good as I can do at the moment. Thank you and God bless.
  10. Peace all, Well, I am at a loss. ###### appears to be intent on seeing what he wants to see, regardless of what the words of the gospel actually mean. Jesus saying, "I lay down my life, no one takes it from me" seems plain enough for me, and I would hope an uninterested observer would agree. Which brings me to a thought, do we have any people here who don't care about this issue? Could you do me a favor and review this thread? I think my points speak for themselves, but maybe not. Any input on presentation would be appreciated. God bless!
  11. Peace, Younes Ibn Abd' al-Aziz Thank you for your thoughtful response. I need to re-read the link you provided before commenting on it. Regarding Mark 14:33, I looked up several new testament Greek sites, and they all agree the word there is adhmonein, meaning 'to be troubled, great distress or anguish, depressed' If the the writer meant fear, he would have used fobou Mt 28:4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. or e?kfobov Mark 9:6 For he did not know what to answer; for they became terrified. or fobe?omai Mark 4:41 They became very much afraid and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?" Jesus was distressed by the path that lay ahead of him, it was an awful fate to embrace. Christians acknowledge the struggle. The idea that Jesus was in fear for his life is simply not supported by the text. God bless!
  12. Peace ######, Perhaps this is a fool's errand after all. You are understandably overlaying the teachings of the Quran on the Bible. It is your right to do so, since the Quran is your foundation of truth. As a Christian I am bound by the actual text of scripture. I am to neither add to nor subtract from it. I am not allowed to overlay my assumptions on it, but to open my heart and let God teach me through it. The difference boils down to this: You are speaking the Quran to my scriptures, while I am allowing them to speak to me. As a result, I tend to get picky about what is there and not there. You have correctly noted that Jesus was mindful of the Jews desire to kill him and altered his travel plans accordingly. We agree on that. You attribute this to fear, and I cannot, for the word does not appear in the text. I am left to look at what the scripture DOES say as to what Jesus was thinking at the time. I thank you for providing some verses. I have grouped the first four together, since they are all similar. Matthew 12:14-21 4 But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him. 15 Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all 16 and ordered them not to make him known. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: 18 Behold, my servant whom I have chosen,my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. 19 He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets; 20 a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory; 21 and in his name the Gentiles will hope. John 7:1-7 1 After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him. But if you keep reading you find that: John 7:10-15 10 But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private. 11 The Jews were looking for him at the feast, and saying, Where is he? 12 And there was much muttering about him among the people. While some said, He is a good man, others said, No, he is leading the people astray. 13 Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him. 14 About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. 15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied? John 8:59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple. John 10:39 Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands. John 11:53-57 53 So from that day on they made plans to put him to death. 54 Jesus therefore no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there to the region near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim, and there he stayed with the disciples. Why would Jesus avoid death at one point and embrace it at another? The text of scripture offers us an answer: it wasn't time yet: John 8:20 These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come. John 12:20-26 20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. "Sir," they said, "we would like to see Jesus." 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus. 23 Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Matthew 17-25 17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover? 18 He said, Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples. John 13:1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. Jesus was not simply God's kamikazi. Jesus' ministry was more than simply dying. He healed people, taught them by word and example. He lay the foundations for the church, when all was ready, THEN it was time to lay his life down. Moreover, Jesus knew Judas was going to betray him, and could have fled. He did not. Matthew 26:21-25 21 And while they were eating, he said, "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me." 22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, "Surely not I, Lord?" 23 Jesus replied, "The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born." 25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, "Surely not I, Rabbi?" Jesus answered, "Yes, it is you." John 13:27-30 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. "What you are about to do, do quickly," Jesus told him, 28 but no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. 29 Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor. 30 As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night. Once Jesus knew the time had come, he went to Jerusalem. He entered Jerusalem in a parade held in his honor. He cleansed the temple. He taught in the temple. He celebrated one last Passover with the disciples, he waited for Judas to return. He had the means to escape, but instead he walked the hard path the Father had given him. Christians understand that love is not a feeling, it is a choice. Jesus loved the Father, and choose obedience, even unto death. I separated this scripture because it is a different case. Mark 1:40-45 40 And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, If you will, you can make me clean. 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, I will; be clean. 42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43 And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them. 45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter. See what precedes the scripture you quote: Mark 1:32-35 32 That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered together about the door. 34 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. 35 And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed. Matthew 14:23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, Mark 6:46 And after he had taken leave of them, he departed into the mountain to pray. Luke 6:12 And it came to pass in these days, that he went out into the mountain to pray; and he continued all night in prayer to God. Luke 9:28 And it came to pass about eight days after these sayings, that he took with him Peter and John and James, and went up into the mountain to pray. In this case, Jesus wasn't avoiding Jews, he was avoiding the mob that appeared every time he presented himself, so he could pray. So to sum up this part of our discussion thus far: ###### has presented us with a Jesus who is fleeing from the very Jews God sent him to reach. He attributes fear to be the reason Jesus does this, and concludes that because Jesus is afraid, he cannot be God. Because Jesus didn't want to die, his sacrifice cannot be considered voluntary. The actual words of the scriptures present us with a Jesus who is quite different. We meet a Jesus who devotes himself to prayer, makes it a priority to get alone with the Father before ministering to the crowds. We see a Jesus who picks and chooses his confrontations with his enemies. We see a Jesus who is devoted to the Father, who is aware of his impending death and resurrection. And when the Father gives the word, he goes to Jerusalem, he presents himself and is arrested, tortured and killed. Jesus clearly believes that it is in his power to avoid this, "but how then will the scriptures be fulfilled?" He chooses his destiny. It was a hard choice. No, he did not want to die, nor did he relish the idea of suffering. But he chose the cross. Hopefully we can leave this part of our discussion and move on to the divinity of Jesus. And to all people reading this thread, I beg for your patience. Scripture must be understood in context, and so to understand one verso of scripture it is usually necessary to look up several others to round out the picture. It's slow work, and because I am thinking this through and writing this stuff myself, it's even slower. God bless you all.
  13. Peace Righteous! I have attempted to answer your question through a PM. That way this thread will not get impossibly complicated. [he hoped] I will be watching the videos soon. God bless!
  14. Peace ######, You misunderstood me. Let me walk you through the steps: 1. I asked that we not cherry-pick scripture because it's bad scholarship. 2. You respond with the assumption that I am afraid that you will use the Bible to refute me. 3. I respond that I am not afraid, my concern is bad scholarship. It wastes time. I have not accused you of anything, nor have I insulted you in any way. Please show me where fear is mentioned in these verses. You are assuming. Jesus had stuff he wanted to do, like instruct the disciples. Why complicate the task at hand by making trouble for oneself? Again, you are now building arguments on an unsubstantiated assumption. Jesus had no fear. Please demonstrate from the scriptures that he was afraid. All you have demonstrated was that he avoided the Jews for a while. On that we agree. A side question: Are you angry? You written tone comes off as extremely hostile. You have not once greeted me with an appropriate salutation, and I have wished you peace each time. You have taken offense when none was offered. I have never once insulted anything about Islam in the 3 years I have been visiting this forum, and I never will, because that would be bad manners, and a violation of the terms I agreed to. In response to you and in answer to Vishah's question regarding Jesus: it is my understanding that Muslims hold Jesus to be an important prophet, and that he was the messiah to the Jews. He was created in Mary's womb by God, that he brought his own book of the law, that the Jews rejected him, that he was rescued from the cross, waits in heaven, and will return to establish justice on the earth and defeat the anti-christ. Muslims believe Jesus was only human, but as a prophet, did not sin. I think I got the idea that he was the second most revered prophet by misunderstanding something another Muslim once said to me. My apologies on that point. ######, I remain confused by your attribution of panic to Jesus. It seems to be inconsistent with the Islamic view of a prophet. That's what prompted my response about a "low opinion". Your comment seems to not only go against my faith but yours as well. Please set me straight. It was not a comment on your devotion, but on your line of argument. Again, I have insulted neither you nor Muslims in general. And let me be clear while we are on this point. One of the things I respect most about Muslims is the reverence they have for the great men of faith. The sad truth is that a nominal Muslim will generally show more reverence for Jesus than a nominal Christian. ANYONE who loves Jesus is a friend of mine, even if we disagree about who Jesus is. Righteous, it's a busy weekend! My niece is turning 2! I will respond to your questions and watch the videos when I can. Until then, thank you all for sharing with me and God bless you all.
  15. Peace all, I will try to combine some answers, since vishah and ###### are essentially arguing along similar lines. Of course, our views will dirverge, because Muslims are interpreting the biblical scriptures through the lens of the Quran and I am not. At that point we will have to agree to disagree. Another issue that gets in the way of understanding each other is the different methodologies we bring to the scriptures. For example, in support of the idea that Jesus willingly lay his life down as God's plan, I have quoted at least nine scriptures saying exactly that. ###### and vishah have offered other scriptures that might contradict that idea, though none do directly. It appears to me that Muslims see any possible contradiction as a form of corruption. (please correct me if this is wrong!) The Christian method of understanding the scriptures is that plainly understood scriptures inform the obscure ones, and if you have ten scriptures that say one thing and one that appears to contradict the ten, then you look at the one in light of the ten. Now ###### has put forth the idea that Jesus was in a panic, and therefore unwilling to be crucified. I submit that you will find no scripture about Jesus leading up to the crucifixion that attributes fear to him. So why was he avoiding the Jews? People had tried to kill him before, in Nazareth. Luke 4:28-30 28 When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. 29 And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. 30 But passing through their midst, he went away. I think a more reasonable answer from the scriptures is to ensure God's plan was fulfilled. If the Jews *had* caught him and killed him, they would have stoned him to death. Jesus knew that he was to die in Jerusalem, at Passover, by crucifixion. Matthew 20: 17-19 17 And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, 18 See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death 19 and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day. It is also clear from the scriptures that Jesus had a habit of dropping out of sight, and then reappearing. The scribes and pharisees wanted to arrest him, but knew they could not because Jesus was popular with the people. Matthew 25:1-5 1 When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples, 2 You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified. 3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, 4 and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. 5 But they said, Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people. So they had to find Jesus alone, which is what they paid Judas for. Matthew 26:14-16 14 Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, What will you give me if I deliver him over to you? And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him. Jesus was not afraid. He was orchestrating events so that God's will would be fulfilled. He had things he needed to accomplish, like cleansing the temple, the last supper, the last teachings of his diciples, and he accomplished every one of them. He entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and was in the temple daily, in plain sight of his enemies until they arrested him Thursday night. No, Jesus was not afraid, and certainly not panicked. Vishah, we may get into semantics abut wanting and willing. I refer you back to Jesus' words in John 10:17-18 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father. And again Matthew 26:53-54 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so? Jesus clearly stated he was laying down his life, and that all he had to do was say the word and the Father would rescue him. No, he did not WANT to be crucified. But he was WILLING to be crucified for the sake of the Father. I do not WANT to pay taxes, but I pay them WILLINGLY. I am familiar with Psalm 22. Why did Jesus cry out what he did? Part of it was to fulfill scripture. Psalm 22 was written by King David 500 years before Jesus, and was among other things, a prophetic vision of the crucifixion. What was Jesus saying? Vishah, have you ever had to wait for the answer to an important prayer? Have you ever been in a bad spot and needed the Lord to move on your behalf? In those dark valleys time just crawls. I have had nights that felt like months because my anguish was so severe. When I read Psalm 22:1, I do not see a theological dissertation on God and prayer, I see anguish, deep anguish. I see someone who is in a bad place, desperate for God and has not seen God act. It feels like God is far off. Yet in the following verses I also see someone who has fixed his hope on the Holy one of israel, who will not be swayed by the anguish to fall away. I can agree with you on this statement But sometimes the answer and the help does not come when we want it to. It comes in God's perfect timing. And what we do between the prayer and the answer is a test of our faith. Jesus was in anguish on the cross. The Father's answer was forthcoming, but not immediate. Please note how Psalm 22 ends: 30 Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; 31 they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it. We see Mark 10 a little differently, but I don't think it's worth continuing on that point. Regarding Simon's confession: This is where we get into the heart of the matter. I will need to prepare a good response to you. I thank you again for the thoughtful response.