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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. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  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.
  16. Peace Righteous! I'm on my way to bed, but before I nod off, I wanted to thank you for your hospitality. There are a lot of good people of all stripes here. They have blessed me with their words, and I have learned a lot. I have also seen some Christians come on the forum and behave badly, (not all, there are some cool Christians here too!) and when I see arrogance in the name of Jesus I wince. People's caution towards Christians is understandable. You have shown me kindness, and help set a decent and respectful tone for the thread. Thank you. You also ask good questions. Because they are good questions, it will take a bit to form good answers. Until then, please accept this scripture as my prayer for you: Psalm 122:1-7 Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments! His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice. For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries. God bless!
  17. Peace ######, Not afraid. Just pressed for time, and don't want to waste it refuting bad scholarship. Quick note. Your theory about Jesus' panic does not bear up under the facts. Neither verse you quoted actually mentions fear. That is your assumption, not supported by the text. Jesus was intent on working out God's will in Jerusalem at Passover. His grand procession into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday left him exposed to the whole Jewish nation, he was not afraid. He cleansed the temple of the money changers under the noses of his enemies. Look at his bearing when he was being arrested. This is a man under intense pressure, but not panic. Frankly, I am surprised that a Muslim would have such a low opinion of the second most revered prophet in Islam. I have to run, but will respond in detail either later tonight or over the weekend. Blessings!
  18. Peace ######, (have you no peace for me? :sl:) My apologies, I was not trying to "impose" anything. It just seems to me that without an agreed upon protocol we will be in danger of talking past each other, and ultimately wasting each other's time. Did any of my conditions seem unreasonable? I trust you have no problem with the assumption of good will. I would expect that cherry-picking scriptures out of context is unacceptable to Muslims as it is Christians, as it's a sign of bad scholarship. I have seen westerners and Christians use the Quran to misrepresent Islam by cherry-picking words. It's just not constructive. Now the reason I asked that you use historical records and archeological sources to demonstrate the corruption of the Bible is that those are sources I recognize. To discredit a verse because it contradicts the Quran presupposes that the Quran is the ultimate source of truth, against which all other things must be measured. I don't share that presupposition. Qurannic assertions will prove as meaningless and powerless to me as quotes from Das Kapital might to you. On the other hand, verses from the Quran may benefit the other Muslims here, so as long as you you are blessing your brothers and sisters in the faith, why not? One other point, I tend to have cycles of free time. If you don't hear from me for a few days, no disrespect is intended. It just means I am busy, or thinking. God bless.
  19. Peace Righteous, Let me share a story of a dear friend of mine. She had been raised Christian, but fell away from it, and became a classic western secularist. She would publicly make fun of Christians, sometimes rightly so, and called them "the happy people." Later in life, her marriage ended because her husband had some severe problems. In her hurt and anger she did some things that later caused her shame. It was at this point I got to be friends with her. We talked about God and stuff, and for a long time she had no idea that I was a Christian. After she found out, it took her a while to trust that I wasn't some religious jerk. Through our conversations she began to re-examine her life and choices. God began to break through the hurts and show His love for her. She really struggled both with intellectual questions and the implications for her own life. She did become a Christian. Now I don't know when it happened exactly, but I know the decision was cemented when she decided to wear a cross to work. It was tiny...smaller than my thumbprint, but to her it felt huge and conspicuous. She was now publicly declaring her allegience to Jesus. It meant something. Her heart had changed. I hope that answers your question.
  20. You need to change the pull-down menu item in the "edit my profile" window. :sl:
  21. Peace Vishah, I do witness that you are submitted to God as a Muslim. May the Lord bless you and keep you! Good points! It is important to not read too much or too little into the scriptures. Yes, Jesus went willingly. There are several references to him understanding God's plan well before the events played out. The three synoptic gospels all show Jesus saying this twice, once in Galilee and once on the way to Jerusalem. Matthew 17:22-23 22 As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, 23 and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day. And they were greatly distressed. See also Matthew 20:17-19, Mark 9:31, Mark 10:33, Luke 9:44, Luke 18:32-33, The gospel of John records a different time, but the theme is the same: John 10: 14-18 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 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. From these scriptures it is plain that Jesus knew he was going to die, and knew he was to be resurrected. We do see in the hour of crisis, he asked the Father if there was some other way. Jesus did not WANT to be crucified, but in the end, resolved to do the will of the Father even if it killed him. Matthew26:36-39 36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, Sit here, while I go over there and pray. 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me. 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will. See also Luke 22:42, Jesus models for us perfect submission to the will of God. Note what Jesus says to his disciples during his arrest: Matthew 26:53-54 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? So we Christians believe that Jesus could have called it quits any time he chose to. He was faithful to the end, and therefore the Father has exalted him. He did cry out on the cross, but there is no record of Jesus actually asking God to intervene. The cross was a horrible, possibly the most painful way to die. Jesus did not want to be there, but he wanted the Father's will more. Regarding the second verse you quote in Mark 10: Please note that Jesus never said he was not good. He merely asked if the person knew what he was saying. Jesus frequently asked questions of the people he talked to. They would reveal their hearts through their answers. Here is a question that Jesus asked his disciples, and a question that Christians believe he asks still: Matthew 16:13-20 13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, Who do people say that the Son of Man is? 14 And they said, Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. 15 He said to them, But who do you say that I am? 16 Simon Peter replied, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered him, Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. See also Mark 8:29, Luke 9:20 Jesus blessed Simon's confession, and explained it was the Father who revealed this. This is one of the cornerstone scriptures as to why Christians believe what they believe. Thank you for your thoughtful post.
  22. Peace ###### and righteous, I would be happy to have a discussion about why Christians believe what they believe. The tone of your posts leads me to believe that you are not really interested in understanding the other side, but what the heck? The Christian doctrine about the nature of Jesus is very complex. It requires a broad understanding of the whole of scripture. To ensure a profitable discussion, I have a few conditions, which I think are reasonable: First, can we at least assume good will on both sides? I do not appreciate being called ignorant, nor the idea that I as a Christian am somehow being false. A person can be misinformed and still have good intent and devotion to God. Such language will only get in the way of real discussion. There is no need to assume the worst in others. Second, please don't cherry-pick scriptures. The Bible must be understood in the context of all scripture, and I'd be surprised if the Quran was any different. The verses you quote have a larger context. I have heard atheists say that even the Bible says there is no God. This is a true statement, but the whole verse says "A fool says in his heart, there is no God." Context makes all the difference. As a response to the scriptures you quoted, Christians believe that Jesus voluntarily submitted himself to the will of the Father. Our scriptures also say, "Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil 2:3-11) Third, please do not rely on the Quran alone in your arguments. While it is the cornerstone of your beliefs, and I respect that, the Quran has no authority for Christians. Your premise seems to include the idea there is enough information in the Bible to demonstrate that Jesus is neither God nor the Son of God. Since you believe the Bible has been corrupted, or misunderstood, please be prepared to demonstrate from historical documents or archeology how the specific verses I quote have been corrupted or misinterpreted. If there was initially no difference between the injeel and the Quran, there will surely be a paper trail to support your claim. I do recognize that there are some verses in the Bible that are not universal in all the manuscripts, but you ought to know that none of the foundational doctrines rest on them. If you have evidence that a verse is corrupted, I am all ears. So shall we have a civilized discussion? There are many scriptures from the gospels that point to Jesus' unique status. If we can agree on some basis for an exchange, I will be happy to point them out. All the best, me
  23. Which Is The Right Path?

    You forgot Deedat's debate with Josh McDowell (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_media.isnet(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/antar/etc/WasChristCrucified.html"]Was Christ Crucified?[/url] Jimmy Swaggart may not be the OBL of Christendom, but I would never put him forward as a deep thinker nor an apologist for the Christian faith.
  24. Was Jesus Really God?

    Peace Imperial1, We are truly from different worlds. No offence intended, but I am honestly quite surprised that you cannot see what seems plain to me. The "he" the scripture refers to is Jesus, as the references to head of the church, firstborn from the dead, and the cross make plain. Jesus as Creator: For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Jesus not only created the world but sustains it as well. Jesus as God: For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Jesus is reconciling a sinful world to himself. That's the work of God. I am curious how you interpret these verses. All the best.
  25. Was Jesus Really God?

    Peace sadiq-illah, If I appear to be smart it's because I quote smart people :D but thank you. I would not call it an innovation. As has been expressed elsewhere, the trinity is theological shorthand attempting to contain the whole scripture. Jesus made several statements hinting at his divinity, received worship, and at his trial openly confessed that he was the son of the living God. Jesus told his disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. John was clear about who Jesus was, the word who was with God and was God. Peter said that by lying to the Holy Spirit, Ananias and Sapphira had not lied not to men but to God. So even before we get to Paul, we have strong arguments from the scripture of the divinity of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. My little knowledge of the early church fathers has revealed that long before the Council of Nicea people were attempting to come to grips with what the gospel meant. They were confident that it had been faithfully passed down, so what did it mean? The concept of trinity was not cobbled together in some back room church council, but was the result of a centuries-long dialog of brilliant believers who would talk about the scriptures and the logical conclusions drawn from them. You get quotes from people like Irenaeus of Lyons (born in the first half of the second century), who wrote "the Father is God, and the Son is God, for whatever is begotten of God is God." There are a number of them that have survived. In the attempt to figure it out, several men introduced heresies, and were excommunicated from the church when they refused to back down. For example . Sabellius (215 AD) believed in three faces of the same God, not three persons of one essence. He thus taught that God was of one indivisible substance, with three different functions in time. The Church rejected this and booted him in 220, more than 100 years before Nicea. One other thought that intrigues me. The Jewish shema states "Hear oh israel, the Lord God is one." Why would God feel the need to say this to the Jews? If the trinity is false then this is a painfully obvious statement. Did the Jews of the Old Testament ever assume otherwise? Why are you telling us this God? If the trinity is correct, it becomes a revelation of profound mystery, fulfilled in Jesus Christ. We see the Father, we see the Son, we see the Holy Spirit. The gospels reveal Jesus. The book of Acts records the activity of the Spirit. Each has divine aspects. Three Gods? No, God is One. God is One. God is One. It becomes a holy mystery. So no, not an innovation. It does no violence to the scriptures, but rather contains them as best it can, and if a believer is wise, he or she will not walk too deeply into it, because it is expressing mysteries about a God we cannot fully comprehend. Better to stick to the scriptures upon which the doctrine is based.