Bahai Forums

Go Back   Baha'i Forums > Baha'i Forums > Interfaith

Interfaith Interfaith discussion for different religious traditions


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-17-2012, 06:00 PM   #161
Senior Member
 
arthra's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
From: California
Posts: 4,303
SFQ wrote:

These were merchants coming back from Syria with no intent on attacking Muhammad or Medina. The Meccans are DEFENDING themselves. Shortly after mind you MUSLIMS killed another Meccan carvan during the holy months which prohibited fighting-p 63. Where is the righteous DEFENSE of Medina? It seems Muhammad's philosophy is "a good offense is the best defense.")

My comment:

I think a fair summary of that battle can be found at

Battle of Badr - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You can see a fairly good summary of these battles on the wikipedia.. and yes.. They were battles part of a larger war after years of persecution of the new faith in Mecca and blockade and attempt to assassinate Prophet Muhammad in His bed.

Overall there was a community and Ummah that followed the revealed Divine instructions...

The case of Jesus was different as in His case Rome occupied Judea with an iron grasp. What Jesus offered in my view was a kind of form of nonviolent resistence because any attempt at armed revolt would be crushed as was proven a few years later around 71 CE with the destruction of Jerusalem. Had thesy followed the strategy proposed by Jesus they would have been spared.

But is mercy encouraged in Islam...of course it was!

Evidenced by:

You have challenged me to a battle. I accept your challenge. But I have a proposal to make. Why have a war involving murder and bloodshed of thousands of ignorant people? Why be a scourge to mankind? Let us have mercy on them, whether they are sincere and Allah-fearing Muslims, or ignorant, unenlightened and greedy mercenaries misguided and fooled by you. Let there be peace and tranquillity for all the creatures of Allah.


Let your mercy and compassion come to their rescue and help in the same way and to the same extent that you expect Allah to show mercy and forgiveness to you.

~ Ali b. Abi Taalib, Letters from Nahjul Balaagh

The problem is there are Christians who have seized on what they think is evidence of brutality in Islam from some contemporary cases.. and who but we Baha'is know better than to what depths of persecution and cruelty can flow from fanatics...but they do not represent in our view Islam and the guidance that was abvailable to them from the Imams centruries ago. They have lost their way and only we believe can they begin to recover by recognizing the resurgence of Divine truth that has been revealed for today.

So setting one revelation against another and suggesting how one Messenger of God is so superior to another is not our way..not a Baha'i perspective .. It is unfortuantely what many Christians indulge in.
 
Join Baha'i Forums


Welcome to Baha'i Forums, an open Baha'i Faith community! We welcome everyone and the community is free to join so register today and become part of the Baha'i Forums family!


Old 12-17-2012, 07:45 PM   #162
Senior Member
 
Joined: Oct 2009
From: Jackson, MS
Posts: 478
Quote:
Originally Posted by Some Further Questions View Post
MONSTROUSLY BIG POST @smaneck!

(You just had so much to say that I wanted to reply to

"This flexibility has allowed Christianity to adapt to practically any system of laws or society. But for that very reason it has been unable to transform those societies."

Oh Susan how can you say such a thing!

BBC - Religions - Christianity: The Welsh Revival

Week by week Abertillery's local paper the South Wales Gazette recorded events with the enthusiastic eloquence of the day.
"The Revival"... has been the absorbing theme of thought and discussion. Before it, the War, the state of trade, ordinary and extraordinary political topics, and even football, have been thrown into the shade as topics of general conversation.
Drunkards have been soberised, publicans have lost much business, conduct on public streets has been elevated, and the police and magistrates have had quieter times... The bottom of the pits have been utilised as centres for prayer and praise meetings, and there has been a general raising of the standard of public life.
And just how long do you think the changes brought by such revivals last? I can tell you from our experience in America (and I live in the buckle of the Bible belt) not long!

Quote:
This is the first revival that sprung to mind but you can also check out the work God did through Nate Saint and other missionaries to a savage tribe that thrives as Christians to this day.
Somehow I have difficulty seeing those natives, even if they were cannibals, as being any more savage than the "Christians" who continue to encroach on their land even today.

Quote:
Mat 22:21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. 22 When they had heard these words, they MARVELLED, and left him, and went their way.
To prove your case you would need to show me a contemporary Jewish source which expresses such sentiments, not a Christian account. Oh yeah, there are no contemporary Jewish accounts of Jesus. No Roman ones either, for that matter.

Quote:
See Matthew 22:35-46 “no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.”
Again, that's a Christian perspective, not a Jewish one.

Quote:
Paul had communities to protect too. He could reasonably assume that since he was no longer a Christian hunter the non- believing Jews would try to acquire another. Paul didn’t raise up any armies either.
Surely you realize that the Christian community is in no position to raise up armies until Constantine's conversion. But once Constantine hears the words, "Under this sign conquer" i.e. the sign of the cross, Christians have been conquering ever since.

Quote:
And c’mon! Jesus didn’t have a community to protect? Erhmm… Saul/the council anyone?
Sorry, that's after Jesus. Before His crucifixion no disciple was ever attacked.

Quote:
These were merchants coming back from Syria with no intent on attacking Muhammad or Medina. The Meccans are DEFENDING themselves.
You missed a key element here. This caravan had gone to Syria loaded up with goods that had been expropriated from the Muslims when they fled to Mecca.

Quote:
Are you telling me that Muhammad could not adequtely provide for them without marrying them?
What I'm telling you is that the Muslim community as a whole could not provide for the widows and orphans without marrying most of them. This is the context in which polygamy is allowed:

And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. (surah 4:2)

Quote:
Even if Muhammad was sinless, his wives were not.
Not relevant.

Quote:
One such wife -Zaynab- (I can find the details if you like) boasted about being chosen by Allah to be Muhammad's wife. That would stir up some problems that otherwise could have been avoided don't you think?
Baha'u'llah does say in the Kitab-i Aqdas that monogamy is conducive to tranquility. ;-}

Quote:
The early church took care of it's widows, why couldn't Islam do the same?
Partly because it was regarded as inappropriate in the Arab world for a woman to live under the same roof with a man to whom she was not married. It is also the case, that Christianity, unlike Islam, valued celibacy. It was considered better for a widow to remarry.

Quote:
"I note that bringing about betterment of the world is missing from your list. "
Betterment of the world is a broad, possibly subjective and often vague term...
I felt the same way about your list.

But I think betterment of the world INCLUDES many things, but I am attempting to breakdown not compile. However I'll be happy to look at that too in this discussion, but again vague, subjective and broad....

Quote:
I differ from our good friend Yeshua here but in my point of view Scripture only points to two rituals: Baptism and Communion. I'd be interested to see NT Scripture that points to more.
Whatever you may think scripture points to, the fact of the matter is that the church over the centuries has practices numerous rituals.

Quote:
I assume you’re aware of the various washings and prayers Muslims are instructed to go through
Various? Muslims perform wash themselves before they say their daily prayers, which they say five times a day. That's about it. Baha'is do the same thing before they say their obligatory prayers.

Quote:
so unless you disagree I won’t bother digging them up at this time.
Not unless you want me to enumerate all of the rituals of the historical church.
(Evangelical Christianity is no older than the Baha'i Faith.)

Quote:
Not to mention what hand to use for various purposes, how many shakes ect.
Uh, those aren't rituals. Some Muslims are very fastidious about following the example of the Prophet to such an extent that they want to clean their teeth the same way He did. My father-in-law was like that. But most Muslims are happy to use Crest.

Quote:
Does the Qur’an EVER refer to ANYONE (except Jesus) as a child of God?
It doesn't refer to Jesus as a child of God either.

Quote:
If not WHY not?
Because among the Arabs to talk about Allah having children would have been a reference to polytheism.

Quote:
I find a lack of affection from the God of the Qur’an in many places.
As I do in the Bible in many places.

Consider the passages like the following:

“I swear by the morning hours, and by the night when it is still; your Lord has not forsaken you, nor is He displeased. And surely what comes after is better for you than that which has gone before. And surely your Lord will give you that which will make you well pleased. Did He not find you an orphan and give you shelter? And find you wandering and gave you guidance? And find you destitute and made you to be free from want? Therefore, do not treat the orphan with harshness, nor drive away the one who asks, but proclaim the favor of your Lord.” [Sūrah al-Duhā]

Quote:
6:149 Say - For Allah's is the final argument - Had He willed He could indeed have guided all of you.

6:159 Lo! As for those who sunder their religion and become schismatics, no concern at all hast thou with them. Their case will go to Allah, Who then will tell them what they used to do.

Doesn’t exactly remind you of the Shepherd looking for his one lost sheep does it?
What it reminds of is Romans 9:

"As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion,[b] but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction"

"Essau I hated"

Seems God in the Bible doesn't love everyone and it isn't even because of their disobedience.
 
Old 12-17-2012, 07:53 PM   #163
Senior Member
 
Joined: Oct 2009
From: Jackson, MS
Posts: 478
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
Y
Notice that this didn’t establish a requirement for any particular form of head covering. It could be a mantilla, a veil, a hat, a scarf, etc.
True. I have memories of Catholic girls putting tissues on top of their head before they went to church. (Yes, I was born pre-Vatican II.)

Quote:
(The custom had already fallen into disuse in many places since it was never a binding "command" of divine inspiration, merely a discipline like priestly celibacy which was made a discipline in canon law after the Gregorian Reform in the 12th century. Prior to this most priests had been married.)
So are you of the opinion that there is really nothing essential barring priests from marrying? I am aware that Maronite priests are already allowed to marry. How about women in the priesthood.

Quote:
Paul never made it obligatory and neither does the Church. It was simply Paul's opinion and no one agrees with him today nor was it ever considered to be a divinely revealed truth or part of the deposit of faith.
The nice thing about not been tied to sola scriptura is that you can admit there might be things in the Bible that are just plain wrong.
 
Old 12-17-2012, 09:06 PM   #164
Senior Member
 
Joined: Oct 2009
From: Jackson, MS
Posts: 478
Quote:
Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
Baha'u'llah in Iqan confirmed the verse of Quran:

“What He pleaseth will God abrogate or confirm: for with Him is the Source of Revelation.”
Iqan, p.45

That means, it is only God who can abrogate His own Laws. If He does not abrogate, that means, He confirmed it.
I'm sorry, but I think a confirmation requires a good deal more than silence. Do you really mean to say that any law in either the Bayan or the Qur'an which Baha'u'llah did not explicitly abrogate still remains in effect? Then why are we allowed to eat pork? The law prohibiting it isn't abrogated in the Aqdas.
 
Old 12-18-2012, 06:50 AM   #165
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Canada
Posts: 1,294
Quote:
Originally Posted by smaneck View Post
I'm sorry, but I think a confirmation requires a good deal more than silence. Do you really mean to say that any law in either the Bayan or the Qur'an which Baha'u'llah did not explicitly abrogate still remains in effect? Then why are we allowed to eat pork? The law prohibiting it isn't abrogated in the Aqdas.
4. The eating of pork is not forbidden in the Baha’i Teachings.

Bahá'í Reference Library - Dawn of a New Day, Pages 200-201

The Bab also had specifieded a new dietary law, which He forbid some of foods, But He did not including pork as far as I know.
But Jesus, or any of His disciples did not address explicitly regarding polygamy.

Last edited by InvestigateTruth; 12-18-2012 at 06:54 AM.
 
Old 12-19-2012, 05:44 AM   #166
Senior Member
 
Joined: Nov 2012
From: Missouri
Posts: 228
@arthra

Arthra wrote:

“So setting one revelation against another and suggesting how one Messenger of God is so superior to another is not our way..not a Baha'i perspective .. It is unfortuantely what many Christians indulge in.”

The quote at the beginning of this thread that makes a comparison of Islam and Christianity is a Baha’i quote. Unless I’m mistaken it was written before I was even born. No good arthra I did not start with the comparison, your faith did. But I am ready and willing to challenge the assertion it makes. If what you mean by “indulge” is strive to honestly compare Islam and Christianity from my Christian position, then yes, I plead guilty to indulgence. I don’t know if these discussions will change anyone’s mind but I hope so. It’s worth a try, your or any soul is certainly worth the effort. I mean no needless offense to anyone. I say needless because I understand that challenging certain concepts/beliefs are to at least some degree intrinsically offensive.

BTW it’s only unfortunate if we’re wrong, if we’re right it’s the best thing we could do. Only a monster would let someone ignorantly put their faith in a placebo when that person has an otherwise terminal disease that has only one cure (salvation). Salvation not through admiring Christ, Salvation not through striving to follow his teachings but calling him Lord in the belief that God hath raised him literally from the dead as clearly evidenced in scripture. And should you feel the need to argue that point arthra why don’t you start where we left off and answer me why Paul would call himself a Pharisee after his conversion knowing full well that it communicated he believed in a literal resurrection if he in fact believed otherwise? You want evidence of Muhammad’s unjustified aggression and murder (like the poets)? You’ll get it. Be patient. I will be compiling.
 
Old 12-19-2012, 06:42 AM   #167
Senior Member
 
Zhang's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2012
From: USA
Posts: 297
Sorry everyone, been really busy as it is finals week at the university out here, lots of papers...

I will make a comment about this

Quote:
Originally Posted by smaneck
Because among the Arabs to talk about Allah having children would have been a reference to polytheism.
Allah was a god BEFORE the arrival of Islam. He was seen as the mysterious creator who could not be directly accessed and therefore the people worshiped other gods who served as intermediaries. It was after the arrival of Islam that the concept that a divine and mysterious entity could not possibly bear children started to gain popularity. This was a response to growing Christian influence from the west.

Peace,

Zhang
 
Old 12-19-2012, 06:53 AM   #168
Senior Member
 
Joined: Nov 2012
From: Missouri
Posts: 228
@smaneck

“And just how long do you think the changes brought by such revivals last? I can tell you from our experience in America (and I live in the buckle of the Bible belt) not long!”

Well Susan the world’s a big place and the fact that a number of “revivals” have flopped or not lasted long doesn’t compare to the revivals that HAVE changed and continue to change the world.

In the dark ages do you know who kept the lights of civilization burning? Christian monks who provided increasing stability over the years that preserved and taught art and
literature.

Do you think the Roman Empire was better BEFORE it became Christian? I hope not.

Billy Graham made (and makes) a HUGE impact in America.

The legacy of Christ through Nate Saint and his fellow missionaries CONTINUES to this day that began in 1956 – over half a century and counting.

1904

The Welsh Revival (1904–1905) was the largest Christian revival in Wales during the 20th century. While by no means the best known of revivals, it was one of the most dramatic in terms of its effect on the population, and it had repercussions that reached far beyond the Welsh border, triggering a series of revivals in other countries. “The movement kept the churches of Wales filled for many years to come, seats being placed in the aisles in Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Swansea for twenty years or so, for example. Meanwhile, the Awakening swept the rest of Britain, Scandinavia, parts of Europe, North America, the mission fields of India and the Orient, Africa and Latin America.”

Benevolent Empire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Protests beginning in the 19th century were formed around a cause with a sole purpose and collective action. The movements for abolition of slavery and temperance were common in the 19th century. The protest was non-violent and they all had purpose, which was shown by everyone who joined. With a helpful push from religion movements these two reforms took off and many organizations were formed to contest them. Americans pledged their partnership with reform societies and religious organizations. They expected religious efforts to repent Americans abuse of alcohol and use of slavery. The reform movements opposed sin and wanted to be reformed as a nation in whole, they believed if they were not repent and reformed their sins would bring celestial revenge.
Americans were concerned with the way their lives were assumed to go if slavery and alcohol abuse continued to grow. Anti-war movements were formed during the Mexican-American War, because people feared that southern Democrats were fighting for the expansion of slavery for their growing need of land. These social reforms were not addressed by the state or national levels they were simply protested by the citizens who believed they could live in a more harmonious and peaceful place. Eight organizations in the “nineteenth century was concerned with moral commitments, community and identity.” Eight women began to take on a large role in these institutions. The movements were a collective effort of the people to create an impact nationally on temperance and anti-slavery.

Christianity in China - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Christians in China established the first modern clinics and hospitals,[21] and provided the first modern training for nurses. Both Roman Catholics and Protestants founded numerous educational institutions in China from the primary to the university level. Some of the most prominent Chinese universities began as religious-founded institutions. Missionaries worked to abolish practices such as foot binding,[22] and the unjust treatment of maidservants, as well as launching charitable work and distributing food to the poor. They also opposed the opium trade[2] and brought treatment to many who were addicted. Some of the early leaders of the Chinese Republic, such as Sun Yat-sen were converts to Christianity and were influenced by its teachings.[23]
In addition to the publication and distribution of Christian literature and Bibles (see:Chinese Bible Translations), the Protestant Christian missionary movement in China furthered the dispersion of knowledge with other printed works of history and science. As the missionaries went to work among the Chinese, they established and developed schools and introduced the latest techniques in medicine[26] (see:Medical missions in China). The mission schools were viewed with some suspicion by the traditional Chinese teachers, but they differed from the norm by offering a basic education to poor Chinese, both boys and girls, who had no hope of learning at a school before the days of the Chinese Republic.[27] The Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese (香港華人西醫書院) was founded in 1887 by the London Missionary Society, with its first graduate (in 1892) being Sun Yat-sen (孫中山). Sun later led the Chinese Revolution (1911), which changed China from an empire to a republic. The Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese was the forerunner of the School of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong, which started in 1911.

Due to the social custom that men and women should not be near to one another, the women of China were reluctant to be treated by male doctors of Western Medicine. This resulted in a tremendous need for female doctors of Western Medicine in China. Thus, female medical missionary Dr. Mary H. Fulton (1854–1927) [37] was sent by the Foreign Missions Board of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to found the first medical college for women in China. Known as the Hackett Medical College for Women (夏葛女子醫學院),[38][39] this College was located in Guangzhou, China, and was enabled by a large donation from Mr. Edward A.K. Hackett (1851–1916) of Indiana, USA. The College was dedicated in 1902 and offered a four-year curriculum. By 1915, there were more than 60 students, mostly in residence. Most students became Christians, due to the influence of Dr. Fulton. The College was officially recognized, with its diplomas marked with the official stamp of the Guangdong provincial government. The College was aimed at the spreading of Christianity and modern medicine and the elevation of Chinese women's social status.
Since 1949, indigenous Chinese Christianity has been growing at a rate unparalleled in history.[16][45] Nicholas D. Kristof, a columnist of the New York Times wrote on June 25, 2006, "Although China bans foreign missionaries and sometimes harasses and imprisons Christians, especially in rural areas, Christianity is booming in China." [46] Most of the growth has taken place in the unofficial Chinese house church movement. Christianity also follows Chinese migration. After 2000, the center of gravity has shifted from the countryside to the cities, spreading Christianity among intellectuals and associating it with modernity, business and science.[47] In 1800 there were 250,000 baptized Roman Catholics, but no known Protestant believers out of an estimated 362 million Chinese. By 1949, out of an estimated population of 450 million, there were just over 500,000 baptized Protestant Christians.[48]
 
Old 12-19-2012, 09:27 AM   #169
Senior Member
 
Joined: Nov 2012
From: Missouri
Posts: 228
@smaneck

“Somehow I have difficulty seeing those natives, even if they were cannibals, as being any more savage than the "Christians" who continue to encroach on their land even today.”

Whoa are you serious? You think visiting missionaries who died as martyrs when they could have shot their murders is “more savage”? Or you mean the industrial folk who may or may not claim to be Christian? The Bible says Jesus is going to give fake followers a wake up call one day, “depart from me, I never knew you.” And even if by chance they are Christian, the Waodani lived in a continuous bloody cycle with other tribes. Killing people (not just eating ) was a way of life.

“To prove your case you would need to show me a contemporary Jewish source which expresses such sentiments, not a Christian account. Oh yeah, there are no contemporary Jewish accounts of Jesus. No Roman ones either, for that matter.”

Ummm okay I guess if that’s the proof YOU require then I might be out of luck. I know for many of us here the Bible is good enough. Being a Muslim what do you think Zhang? (BTW good to have you back). Why should we discount the Bible in your opinion Susan?

“Again, that's a Christian perspective, not a Jewish one.”

Doesn’t matter if it’s true.

“Surely you realize that the Christian community is in no position to raise up armies until Constantine's conversion. But once Constantine hears the words, "Under this sign conquer" i.e. the sign of the cross, Christians have been conquering ever since.”

Really? I must have missed our last conquest Tuesday… or was it Thursday…?
If God had instructed Paul, Roman Empire or no, to raise an army it would have defeat any other. Paul and other Christians like James and Peter were martyred because God’s new and superior covenant was about the soul much more than this body.

“Sorry, that's after Jesus. Before His crucifixion no disciple was ever attacked.”

Yeah but he knew they WOULD be, he tells them as much. He still had a community to protect after his death. And he did, he does (read Acts).

“You missed a key element here. This caravan had gone to Syria loaded up with goods that had been expropriated from the Muslims when they fled to Mecca.”

You might have me there. I am still learning about Islamic history. But I remain confident in my overall opinion about Muhammad being needlessly violent/wrong in general and later I will post my evidence.

“What I'm telling you is that the Muslim community as a whole could not provide for the widows and orphans without marrying most of them. This is the context in which polygamy is allowed:”

Since Muhammad was already turning their world upside down THAT could and should have been different.

“Even if Muhammad was sinless, his wives were not. “

“Not relevant.”

I disagree.

Rom 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

In secular terms we might say “Don’t set yourself/someone else up for failure.” The Bible which Muhammad claimed to be versed in nearly always told of negative consequence of polygamy. Jesus takes the people back to the beginning of one man and one woman that THIS is what God intended. Two sisters were torn apart over their jealousy for their husband. A rift forms between Sara, Abraham and Hagar (who is treated terribly by both). Hagar and Sara’s descendants then come to hate and kill each other. Solomon’s wives turned his heart away from God. David’s children by different wives committed incest and murder (less likely altogether had they been from the same mother). If nothing else, if only for his wives sake it was an unnecessary burden to them.

5 It may happen that his Lord, if he divorce you, will give him in your stead wives better than you, submissive (to Allah), believing, pious, penitent, devout, inclined to fasting, widows and maids.

(The Qur'an (Pickthall tr), Sura 66 - The Prohibition)

A wife had spilled a something he’d told her in confidence he threatens to divorce her for someone better. Ouch. We all screw up. But divorce for that? For “someone better than you”?

The Dissatisfaction of Muhammad’s Wives: Being A Response to the Challenge of a Muslim

Above is a link describing various difficulties Muhammad had with his wives that could have been avoided had he been a one woman man such as turns for intimacy and money among other things.

“Whatever you may think scripture points to, the fact of the matter is that the church over the centuries has practices numerous rituals.”

The church has done A LOT of things over the years, good and bad, biblical and non-biblical. I don’t have a problem with ritual generally. It’s when it’s elevated to be more than it is. But the rituals you refer to are not intrinsic to Christianity.

Mat 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

“Various? Muslims perform wash themselves before they say their daily prayers, which they say five times a day. That's about it. Baha'is do the same thing before they say their obligatory prayers.”

They are required to pray toward Mecca, Christians pray in any direction they please. (I realize that prayer and worship can be distinct but they do intertwine as well)

Joh 4:20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

Muslims are also required to go on pilgrimage to Mecca once in their lifetime. There are dietary laws. Holy days with fasting.

These things are voluntary not obligatory in Christianity. So I apologize, perhaps ritual didn’t capture all of what I meant. I also meant these things mentioned.

Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

“Because among the Arabs to talk about Allah having children would have been a reference to polytheism.”

Wasn’t a problem for the early church that had a lot of polytheistic converts.

“What it reminds of is Romans 9 "As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
“Seems God in the Bible doesn't love everyone and it isn't even because of their disobedience.”

I can understand how this could seem that way.
There are several things to consider:

#1 The context of this passage is birthright and heritage. “The elder shall serve the younger” this was decided before either of them was born, Esau being passed up on the traditional ranking of first born because he despised his birthright and sold it. (Gen 25:34)]

Rom 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

In other words the BIRTHRIGHT was given to Jacob over Esau not of works but election. The birthright was decided before Esau had done good or evil. God’s hatred of Esau is a side issue at the end.

This passage is quoting: Mal 1:1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.
2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, Mal 1:3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.

The context is God saying He loves Israel and them saying “oh yeah?” So God references His choosing of them through their forefather Jacob.

You’ve probably heard the saying “it’s a thin line between love and hate”. This is one of those areas where I offer my opinion since the Bible doesn’t detail the fact but take a look at us for example. Ask nearly any married couple whether they’ve experienced a conflict of love and hate at the same time for their spouse and they’ll likely tell you they have. Is God like that? I THINK so (it’s an opinion). Hate doesn’t always = absence of love.

The Qur’an flat out tells you Allah doesn’t love such and such sinner on numerous occasions.

If you disagree with my theory (that’s fine  ) but I’d like to hear your alternative. Are you purposing that God hated His creation for being what he made it before it had made any choices? Or do you think that perhaps this “hatred” was a comparison like Jesus talked about:

Luk 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

(It’s the same word translated for hatred in Romans BTW)

You can see that Christ isn’t telling us to hate our family, but that the love we’re to love him and God so much that it looks (in a way) like hatred in comparison.
 
Old 12-19-2012, 12:47 PM   #170
Senior Member
 
Joined: Oct 2009
From: Jackson, MS
Posts: 478
Quote:
Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
4. The eating of pork is not forbidden in the Baha’i Teachings.

Bahá'í Reference Library - Dawn of a New Day, Pages 200-201
Yes, in a letter written on Shoghi Effendi's behalf it was noted that pork was not forbidden. But Baha'u'llah never explicitly abrogated that law. Therefore the inference ought to be the opposite of what you suggested. If the Law of a previous Dispensation is not confirmed, then it is abrogated.

Quote:
The Bab also had specifieded a new dietary law, which He forbid some of foods, But He did not including pork as far as I know.
Neither did He explicitly abrogate the law prohibiting pork. Baha'u'llah explicitly abrogated the Bab's law prohibiting garlic and onions but say nothing about pork.

Incidentally, nearly all of the Bab's Laws were clearly aimed at insuring that His followers would be ever-watchful for the He Whom God Would Make Manifest. Garlic and onion were prohibited so we would never meet Him with bad breath.

Quote:
But Jesus, or any of His disciples did not address explicitly regarding polygamy.
The pastoral letters (which are admittedly later) say that a bishop should have only one wife.
 
Old 12-19-2012, 01:06 PM   #171
Senior Member
 
Joined: Oct 2009
From: Jackson, MS
Posts: 478
Quote:
Originally Posted by Some Further Questions View Post
Only a monster would let someone ignorantly put their faith in a placebo when that person has an otherwise terminal disease that has only one cure (salvation).
That's an important difference between Christianity and the Baha'i Faith. For us seeking individual salvation is an unworthy goal. As the eighth century Muslim poetess put it:

If I love Thee in fear of hell
May I burn in hell
If I love Thee in hope of heaven
Bar me from heaven
But if I love Thee for Thine own sake
Deprive me not of the Beauty of Thy Face.

Or as the Bab put it:

That which is worthy of His Essence is to worship Him for His sake, without fear of fire, or hope of paradise.

(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 77)


Quote:
why Paul would call himself a Pharisee after his conversion knowing full well that it communicated he believed in a literal resurrection if he in fact believed otherwise?
Paul called himself a Pharisee because he was one. He also testified before the Sanhedrin that he believed in the resurrection because he knew it would stir up a fight between the Pharisees and the Sadducees (who did not believe in a resurrection whether physical or not.)

Quote:
[You want evidence of Muhammad’s unjustified aggression and murder (like the poets)? You’ll get it. Be patient. I will be compiling.
Please don't. This is not a forum for Islam-bashing.
 
Old 12-19-2012, 01:28 PM   #172
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,106
Quote:
Originally Posted by smaneck View Post
That's an important difference between Christianity and the Baha'i Faith. For us seeking individual salvation is an unworthy goal. As the eighth century Muslim poetess put it:

If I love Thee in fear of hell
May I burn in hell
If I love Thee in hope of heaven
Bar me from heaven
But if I love Thee for Thine own sake
Deprive me not of the Beauty of Thy Face.

Or as the Bab put it:

That which is worthy of His Essence is to worship Him for His sake, without fear of fire, or hope of paradise.

(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 77)

Sister Susan

I still have to reply to all your other brilliant points (which I will in due course) however I would like to clarify that the teaching above also happens to be a Catholic teaching:


Quote:
"...Oh, my God, I want to love you, not that I might gain eternal heaven nor escape eternal hell but, Lord, to love you just because you are my God. Eternal Word, Teach me true generosity. Teach me to serve you as you deserve. To give without counting the cost, To fight heedless of wounds, To labor without seeking rest, To sacrifice myself without thought of any reward Save the knowledge that I have done your will....May it please the supreme and divine Goodness to give us all abundant grace ever to know his most holy will and perfectly to fulfill it..."

- Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491 – 1556), Catholic mystic, Founder of the Jesuits and Doctor of the Church
Quote:
"...God, I love thee, I love thee—
Not out of hope of heaven for me
Nor fearing not to love and be
In the everlasting burning
.
Thou, thou, my Jesus, after me
Didst reach thine arms out dying,
For my sake sufferedst nails, and lance,
Mocked and marred countenance,
Sorrows passing number,
Sweat and care and cumber,
Yea and death, and this for me,
And thou couldst see me sinning:
Then I, why should not I love thee,
Jesu, so much in love with me?
Not for heaven's sake;
not to be out of hell by loving thee;
Not for any gains I see
;
But just the way that thou didst me
I do love and I will love thee:
What must I love thee, Lord, for then?
For being my king and God. Amen..."

-St. Francis Xavier (1506-1522), Catholic mystic

Meister Eckhart also described well this "surrender" to the will of God and pure love of him without hope of reward, when he said:


Quote:
“...It is not right to love God for His heaven's sake nor for the sake of anything at all, but we should love Him for the goodness that He is in Himself. For whoever loves him for anything else does not abide in Him, but abides in the thing he is loving Him for. If, therefore, you want to abide in Him, you must love Him for nothing but Himself...Some people want to see God with their eyes as they see a cow, and to love Him as they love their cow – for the milk and cheese and profit it brings them. This is how it is with people who love God for the sake of outward wealth or inward comfort. They do not rightly love God, when they love Him for their own advantage. Indeed, I tell you the truth, any object you have in your mind, however good, will be a barrier between you and the inmost Truth...Know that when you seek anything of your own, you will never find God, because you do not seek God purely. You are seeking something along with God, and you are acting just as if you were to make a candle out of God in order to look for something with it. Once one finds the things one is looking for, one throws the candle away. This is what you are doing...The most powerful prayer, one wellnigh omnipotent, and the worthiest work of all is the outcome of a quiet mind. The quieter it is the more powerful, the worthier, the deeper, the more telling and more perfect the prayer is. To the quiet mind all things are possible. What is a quiet mind? A quiet mind is one which nothing weighs on, nothing worries, which, free from ties and from all self-seeking, is wholly merged into the will of God and dead to its own...If the only prayer you say in your entire life is "Thank You," that would suffice..."

- Meister Eckhart (1260-1327), Catholic mystic & Domincan priest

I obviously cannot speak for other Christians but this idea can be found in the writings of the church fathers and numerous catholic mystics. This state is a common manifestation of the mystical path, born of complete resignation to the will of God.

The consequence of it was that, because these souls are wholly surrendered and had renounced self, they expressed a desire for God to do with them whatever he wills because their human will has melted wholly into the divine will, such that God and they are one. This is because they loved God purely for Himself, rather than for what he could reward (heaven) or punish (hell). Its also a biblical idea since 1 John tells us that "perfect love casteth out fear" and Christians are taught to do good without thought of reward

Blessed Henry Suso explained this state:


Quote:
"...Without a doubt it happens that, when the good and loyal servant is led into the joy of his Lord, he becomes drunk from the limitless overabundance of God's house. What happens to a drunken man happens to him, though it cannot really be described, that he so forgets his self that he is not at all his self and consequently has got rid of his self completely and lost himself entirely in God, becoming one spirit in all ways with him, just as a small drop of water does which has been dropped into a large amount of wine. Just as the drop of water loses itself, drawing the taste and colour of the wine to and into itself, so it happens that those who are in full possession of blessedness lose all human desires in an inexpressible manner, and they ebb away from themselves and are immersed completely in the Divine Will. Otherwise, if something of the individual were to remain of which he or she were not completely emptied, scripture could not be true in stating that God shall become all things in all things. Certainly one's being remains, but in a different form, in a different resplendence, and in a different power. This is all the result of total detachment from self..."

- Blessed Henry Suso (c. 1300 - 1366), Catholic mystic



And his contemporary Dominican described it as a state of poverty, annihilation and nothingness:


Quote:
"...In this stage the Lord removes the cloak from his eyes and reveals the truth to him. Bright sunshine appears and lifts him right out of all his misery. It seems to this person just as though the Lord had raised him from the dead. In this stage the Lord leads a person out of himself into himself. He makes him forget all his former loneliness and heals all his wounds. God thus draws the person out of his human mode into a divine mode, out of all misery into divine security. Here a person becomes so divinized that everything he is and does God does and is in him. And he is lifted up so far above his natural state that he becomes through Grace what God in his essence is by nature. In this state a person feels and is aware that he has lost himself and does not at all feel himself or is he aware of himself. He is aware of nothing but one simple Being.

Children, to be truly in this stage is the deepest ground of genuine humility and annihilation. This, in truth, cannot be grasped by the senses. For here he receives the most profound insight possible into his nothingness. Here he sinks as deep as it is possible into the ground of humility; the deeper, the higher, because here high and deep are one and the same...In this state one achieves true unity of prayer spoken of in the epistle that truly brings it about that a person becomes one with God..."

- Johannes Tauler (c.1300-1361), Catholic mystic & Dominican priest

As did Blessed Jacapone:


Quote:
"...As air becomes the medium for light when the sun rises, and as wax melts from the heat of fire, so the soul drawn to that light is resplendent, feels self melt away, Its will and actions no longer its own. So clear is the imprint of God that the soul, conquered, is conqueror; annihilated, it lives in triumph. What happens to the drop of wine That you pour into the sea? Does it remain itself, unchanged? It is as if it never existed. So it is with the soul: love drinks it in, It is united with Truth, its old nature fades away, It is no longer master of itself...Lofty self-annihilation, yours is constant joy, a dwelling on Truth, without shadow or pain. Within and without I am shattered, reduced to nothingness Caught in the swell of the sea, I drown! Being and nonbeing I have fused together. Once cut off from all things, nothing is lost and nothing is sought; without appetite, being, or desire to posses, the soul possesses and is beyond corruption. Utter annihiliation - that is the food that truly leads me away from myself! I disown all things and share in their possession! In this, the first stage of self-annihilation, the will of man drowns completely. Submerged, it is made one with God..."

- Blessed Jacopone Da Todi (c.1230-1306), Italian Catholic mystic
And again:


Quote:
"...Spiritual poverty, deepest wisdom, you are slave to nothing, and in your detachment you possess all things. God does not dwell in a heart that's confined, and a heart is only as big as the love it holds. Where God enters in, the old world is swept away, Lover and Beloved are fused in wondrous union. Love no longer needs the heart, nor knowledge the intelligence - our will is His. To live as myself and yet not I, my being no longer my being, This is a paradox - we cannot pretend to understand! Spiritual poverty is being attached to nothing, wanting nothing, and possessing all things in the spirit of freedom..."

- Blessed Jacopone Da Todi (c.1230-1306), Italian Catholic mystic


.

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-19-2012 at 02:04 PM.
 
Old 12-19-2012, 01:53 PM   #173
Senior Member
 
Joined: Oct 2009
From: Jackson, MS
Posts: 478
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhang View Post
Allah was a god BEFORE the arrival of Islam.
Yes, I realize that. During the Jahiliyya Arabs believed Allah had three daughters just like the god Marduk in Mesopotamia. It is in reaction to this that the Qur'an first states "God is not begotten, not does He begat." Only later was this applied to the Christian belief in Christ's Sonship.

Quote:
It was after the arrival of Islam that the concept that a divine and mysterious entity could not possibly bear children started to gain popularity. This was a response to growing Christian influence from the west.
I think Judaism may have had a stronger impact.
 
Old 12-19-2012, 02:08 PM   #174
Senior Member
 
Joined: Oct 2009
From: Jackson, MS
Posts: 478
Quote:
Originally Posted by Some Further Questions View Post

Well Susan the world’s a big place and the fact that a number of “revivals” have flopped or not lasted long doesn’t compare to the revivals that HAVE changed and continue to change the world.
Okay, why don't you show me the statistics that prove that violence, poverty, drug and alcohol abuse have decreased in those areas that have big, successful revivals.

Quote:
In the dark ages do you know who kept the lights of civilization burning? Christian monks who provided increasing stability over the years that preserved and taught art and
literature.
I realize that whatever literacy existed in Europe through the early Middle Ages was preserved by the church. Still, the literacy rate in the Islamic world and China was twice that of Europe even at the peak of the Renaissance.

Quote:
Do you think the Roman Empire was better BEFORE it became Christian? I hope not.
The issue, of course, is better at what?

Quote:
Billy Graham made (and makes) a HUGE impact in America.
I've been to a Billy Graham crusade. He was an impressive preacher. I also know some Baha'is who knew him personally and thought very highly of him. If you like I can post the record of one encounter on another thread. I'm less impressed with his Islamophobic son Franklin. Incidentally, of those who get 'saved' at a Billy Graham crusade, about a fourth stick with the church.

Quote:
The legacy of Christ through Nate Saint and his fellow missionaries CONTINUES to this day that began in 1956 – over half a century and counting.
Didn't you already post that?

Quote:
Christianity in China - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Christians in China established the first modern clinics and hospitals,[21] and provided the first modern training for nurses.
You do realize that China was forcibly opened up to Christianity as a result of the Opium Wars when England the US attacked China for refusing to allow the importation of opium?

I'm not arguing that missionaries haven't done positive things in the world, but they have also promoted imperialism which is why they are so seldom welcome.
 
Old 12-19-2012, 02:55 PM   #175
Senior Member
 
Joined: Oct 2009
From: Jackson, MS
Posts: 478
Quote:
Originally Posted by Some Further Questions View Post
@smaneck

“Somehow I have difficulty seeing those natives, even if they were cannibals, as being any more savage than the "Christians" who continue to encroach on their land even today.”

Whoa are you serious? You think visiting missionaries who died as martyrs when they could have shot their murders is “more savage”?
I am not comparing them to the missionaries of the Gates of Splendour. I am comparing them to Spanish conquistadores and their descendants who all but wiped them out and are also Christians. (And please, don't tell me Catholics aren't Christians or I will step aside and let you and Yeshua fight that one out.)

Quote:
Or you mean the industrial folk who may or may not claim to be Christian?
It is awful easy to compare the ideal of your own religion to the reality of someone else's isn't?

Quote:
the Waodani lived in a continuous bloody cycle with other tribes. Killing people (not just eating ) was a way of life.
Gee aside from the eating part, sounds just like the sixteenth century Wars of Religion in Europe.

Quote:
Why should we discount the Bible in your opinion Susan?
You don't have to discount it as a Christian source. The NT is simply not a good source for determining Jewish sentiments. It is not rocket science. If you want to know what the Christians were thinking in the first and second century, the NT is a great source. If you want to know what Jews were thinking during the same period, you need to go to a Jewish source.

Quote:
“Again, that's a Christian perspective, not a Jewish one.”

Doesn’t matter if it’s true.
Historians establish credibility by the determining the extent to which a source is likely to be biased. A Christian account of what Jews were supposedly thinking is going to be biased almost by definition. In the first and second centuries they didn't like each other.

Quote:
“Surely you realize that the Christian community is in no position to raise up armies until Constantine's conversion. But once Constantine hears the words, "Under this sign conquer" i.e. the sign of the cross, Christians have been conquering ever since.”

Really? I must have missed our last conquest Tuesday… or was it Thursday…?
A few years ago, when we invaded Iraq.

Seriously. it was the Enlightenment that got Europeans to stop fighting over religion. And the Enlightenment was an explicitly anti-Christian movement.

Quote:
If God had instructed Paul, Roman Empire or no, to raise an army it would have defeat any other.
Is that an argument for Islam?

Quote:
Yeah but he knew they WOULD be, he tells them as much.
Yes, He does.

22:35 And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.

22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

22:37 For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.

22:38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.

(Luke)

Sounds to me that He didn't expect them to be pacifists.

He still had a community to protect after his death. And he did, he does (read Acts).

Quote:
But I remain confident in my overall opinion about Muhammad being needlessly violent/wrong in general and later I will post my evidence.
For what purpose? We are Baha'is not Muslims. If you are going to try and undermine the Baha'i Faith by attacking Islam, we can certainly find even juicier material in the Tanakh. But does that serve any real constructive purpose?

Quote:
“What I'm telling you is that the Muslim community as a whole could not provide for the widows and orphans without marrying most of them. This is the context in which polygamy is allowed:”

Since Muhammad was already turning their world upside down THAT could and should have been different.
Not in a desolate environment where most people lived on the edge.

Quote:
A wife had spilled a something he’d told her in confidence he threatens to divorce her for someone better.
Gee, where does the Qur'an say these words were revealed because Muhammad's wife spilled something?

Please do not paste hate sites on this forum. Answering-Islam is a hate site.

Quote:
I don’t have a problem with ritual generally. It’s when it’s elevated to be more than it is. But the rituals you refer to are not intrinsic to Christianity.
Then why don't you give Islam the same benefit of a doubt. The only 'rituals' which is intrinsic to Islam are the salat and the hajj.

Quote:
They are required to pray toward Mecca, Christians pray in any direction they please.
Actually during the Middle Ages they almost always prayed towards Jerusalem.

Quote:
John 4:20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
And the Qur'an says:

"There is no piety in turning your faces toward the east or toward the west, but he is pious who believeth in God and the Last Day."
1 Qur'án 2:176

Quote:
Muslims are also required to go on pilgrimage to Mecca once in their lifetime.
Yes, and there are rituals associated with pilgrimage.

Quote:
There are dietary laws.
Which are not rituals.

Quote:
Holy days with fasting.
Again, not a ritual. Christians have traditionally fasted during Lent. The early Christians fasted a lot.

Quote:
These things are voluntary not obligatory in Christianity.
When I was a kid Catholics were forbidden from eating meat on Friday and during the entire Middle Ages they were forbidden from eating meat during Lent. It is voluntary now, but it was not historically.

Quote:
So I apologize, perhaps ritual didn’t capture all of what I meant. I also meant these things mentioned.
Then what you mean is they have laws.

Quote:
“Because among the Arabs to talk about Allah having children would have been a reference to polytheism.”

Wasn’t a problem for the early church that had a lot of polytheistic converts.
Yes, and the church preferred to co-opt a lot of those ideas.


#
Quote:
1 The context of this passage is birthright and heritage. “The elder shall serve the younger” this was decided before either of them was born, Esau being passed up on the traditional ranking of first born because he despised his birthright and sold it. (Gen 25:34)]
In one context. In another context his brother deliberately deceived their father and cheated him out of it. The whole point of Romans 9, is that people were chosen (and others not) because of God's decision not theirs. For the Protestant Reformers Romans 9 is the scriptural basis for the doctrine of Predestination.

Quote:
In other words the BIRTHRIGHT was given to Jacob over Esau not of works but election. The birthright was decided before Esau had done good or evil. God’s hatred of Esau is a side issue at the end.
No it isn't because the real issue for Paul is salvation not birthright.
 
Old 12-19-2012, 03:03 PM   #176
Senior Member
 
Joined: Oct 2009
From: Jackson, MS
Posts: 478
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
Sister Susan

I still have to reply to all your other brilliant points (which I will in due course) however I would like to clarify that the teaching above also happens to be a Catholic teaching:
I was wondering if you'd pick up on that. I have forgotten what the Latin term for this is, but I learned it when I studied church history.

Even if I don't like your present Pope, I appreciate just how rich and profound the Catholic tradition can be and I much prefer it to American Evangelical Christianity which is so facile in comparison.

Are you really 18?
 
Old 12-19-2012, 03:08 PM   #177
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,106
Quote:
Originally Posted by smaneck View Post
I was wondering if you'd pick up on that. I have forgotten what the Latin term for this is, but I learned it when I studied church history.

Even if I don't like your present Pope, I appreciate just how rich and profound the Catholic tradition can be and I much prefer it to American Evangelical Christianity which is so facile in comparison.

Are you really 18?
I was 18 when I joined this forum two years ago. I am 20 years old now

Popes come and go. I mean look how bad some of the Reanaissance ones were! Borgia Pope Alexander anybody!? I disagree with you on the current Pope, however you are actually A-OK to criticize him if Catholic saints are anything to by.

There are a lot of Catholic saints who haven't exactly 'liked' their own popes either, only they used far stronger language than you:

In twelfth century Germany, the Benedictine abbess Saint Hildegard of Bingen, healer, scientist, composer and author of 10 books, awakened popes and abbots alike, firing off letters like this one to Pope Anastasius IV: “O man, you who sit on the papal throne, you despise God when you don’t hurl from yourself the evil but even worse, embrace it and kiss it by silently tolerating corrupt men. . .And you, O Rome, are like one in the throes of death. You will be so shaken that the strength of your feet, the feet on which you now stand, will disappear. For you don’t love the King’s daughter, justice.”

Awotch!!

She is now Saint Hildegard and a Doctor of the Church btw

Saint Symeon (949–1022 AD) spoke from personal experience of the vision of God. One of his principal teachings was that humans could and should experience theoria (literally "contemplation", or direct experience of God). Symeon endured severe opposition from church authorities, particularly from the chief theologian of the emperor's court, Archbishop Stephen, who at one time was the Metropolitan of Nicomedia. Stephen was a former politician and diplomat with a reputation for a thorough theoretical understanding of theology, but one which was removed from actual experience of the spiritual life. Symeon, in contrast, held the view that one must have actual experience of the Holy Spirit in order to speak about God, at the same time recognizing the authority of scripture and of the earlier church fathers.


In one of his hymns, Saint Symeon had Christ speaking the following rebuke to the bishops:


"They (the bishops) unworthily handle My Body
and seek avidly to dominate the masses...
They are seen to appear as brilliant and pure,
but their souls are worse than mud and dirt,
worse even than any kind of deadly poison,
these evil and perverse men!" (Hymn 58)


So as I say if Catholic saints are anything to by..................

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-19-2012 at 03:24 PM.
 
Old 12-19-2012, 03:37 PM   #178
Senior Member
 
Joined: Oct 2009
From: Jackson, MS
Posts: 478
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
I was 18 when I joined this forum two years ago. I am 20 years old now
Oh that, explains it then.

Quote:
Popes come and go. I mean look how bad some of the Reanaissance ones were! Borgia Pope Alexander anybody!?
Yes, those were the Popes who had slaves in the Vatican. I took my mother through the Vatican Library a few years back and she had to hear my lectures about the Borgias and, of course, Pope Julius (Exclusis.)

There is also that teenager that got elected Pope in the eighth century and then shocked everyone by behaving like an adolescent. That's back when the Papacy was a prize that was passed around the families of the Roman nobility.

Quote:
I disagree with you on the current Pope
He is at least, sincere. I just think he is sincerely wrong. He started out as a fervent supporter of Vatican II but Hans Kung told me that something happened to him after the student revolts in Germany during the late '60's. He became much more rigid after that. One of my former graduate students twenty years ago was such a conservative Catholic I would jokingly refer to him as Cardinal Ratzinger. When he asked me who Cardinal Ratzinger was, I told him he held the successor office of the Grand Inquisitor, he was the brains behind Pope John-Paul II and "he's your next Pope."

Seven years ago, right after the Pope was elected, he wrote me and asked how I could have possibly known this. I figured it all out from a dinner party I attended twenty five years earlier where Hans Kung was the guest of honor.
 
Old 12-19-2012, 04:43 PM   #179
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,106
Quote:
Yes, those were the Popes who had slaves in the Vatican. I took my mother through the Vatican Library a few years back and she had to hear my lectures about the Borgias and, of course, Pope Julius (Exclusis.)
Ah, Pope Julius - papa terribile, the pope who thought he was like Julius Caesar and knocked down the old basilica of St Peter's to re-create Rome as the capital of renaissance Christendom. He pretty much epitomizes the Renaissance papacy for me, where the high ideals of spirituality and art were wedded to the pursuit of wealth and power. Eam Duffy got it just on the money when he named his book on papal history, "Saints and Sinners".

I am very impressed that you have been in the Vatican Archives! What do you lecture in? European history?

Quote:
There is also that teenager that got elected Pope in the eighth century and then shocked everyone by behaving like an adolescent. That's back when the Papacy was a prize that was passed around the families of the Roman nobility.
I recall him being about 17?

Quote:
He is at least, sincere. I just think he is sincerely wrong. He started out as a fervent supporter of Vatican II but Hans Kung told me that something happened to him after the student revolts in Germany during the late '60's. He became much more rigid after that. One of my former graduate students twenty years ago was such a conservative Catholic I would jokingly refer to him as Cardinal Ratzinger. When he asked me who Cardinal Ratzinger was, I told him he held the successor office of the Grand Inquisitor, he was the brains behind Pope John-Paul II and "he's your next Pope."

Seven years ago, right after the Pope was elected, he wrote me and asked how I could have possibly known this. I figured it all out from a dinner party I attended twenty five years earlier where Hans Kung was the guest of honor.
Ah, I heard about that. Apparently while he was at the University of Tubingen (appointed to the chair in dogmatic theology) and a colleague of Kung, there was some kind of protest by liberal Marxist students as part of the riots you mention and he was barricaded in the building at one point. I read that somewhere. This was 1967-1968. The experience so shocked him that he went gradually went through a veritable Pio Nono type conversion from being the young, liberal peritus (expert) on Catholic theology at the Council, to being nicknamed "God's Rottweiler" (an unfair appellation in my opinion).

That was quite a prediction. A lot of analysts thought Ratzinger was told old and far too prominent (not too mention conservative) to be elected.

He did invite Kung to a dinner in 2006(ish, my memory fails), remember? He didn't have to do that. I think it was kind of a gesture to more freethinking Catholics ie "don't worry, my reputation isn't true, I'm seeking detente with everyone in the church, there will be no witch-hunts". Kung seemed to turn on Ratzinger again in 2010, full-scale. I'm guessing that brief period of apparent conciliation didn't last too long?

I personally think that Benedict has been given a bad image by the media. Some of his writings and speeches do not strike me as particularly "conservative" in the way people used to say. His social doctrine has been accused in the USA as being "socialist" ie his teachings on the need for a reform of the UN, redistribution of wealth, the poor etc. There was an article heading in the US which went, "The pope is a liberal!". Caritas En Veritate went down a storm with conservative American Catholics didn't it? (Ahhh, NOT!) He quoted the Gospel of Thomas in one of his books, approvingly which caused quite a stir. And he praised Teilhard de Chard publically.

That doesn't strike me quite as the character Kung claims. Methinks that Kung and Benedict have some kind of personal beef.

I mean, consider this:


Quote:
"...Interviewer:

How many ways are there to God?

Pope Benedict XVI:

As many ways as there are people. For even within the same faith each man's way is an entirely personal one. In that respect there is ultimately one way, and everyone who is on the way to God is therefore in some sense also on the way to Jesus Christ. But this does not mean that all ways are identical in terms of conciousness and will but on the contrary, the one way is so big that it becomes a personal way for each man...In all religions there are men of interior purity who through their myths somehow touch the great mystery and find the right way of being human...The Christian can also find the secret working of God behind them. Through the other religions God touches man and brings him onto the path. But it is always the same God, the God of Jesus Christ...

Interviewer:

John Paul II in his talk before the United Nations in New York in 1995 on the foundations of a new world order, also spoke of a new hope for the Third Millenium. "We shall see," said the Pope, "that the tears of this century have prepared the ground for a new springtime of the human spirit". What might he mean by this "springtime"? A new identity of man?

Pope Benedict XVI:

The Pope does indeed cherish a great expectation that the millenium of divisions will be followed by a millenium of unifications...The emergence of ecumenism at the Second Vatican Council is indeed a sign of a sort of renewed approach to a new unity. It is thus filled with the hope that the millenia have their physiognomy; that all the catastrophes of our century, as the Pope says, will be caught up at the end and turned into a new beginning. Unity of mankind, unity of religions, unity of Christians - we ought to search for these unities again, so that a more positive epoch may really begin. We must have visions..."

- Pope Benedict XVI, Salt of the Earth (1997 when still Cardinal Ratzinger, republished in 2005 as by the pope)

Not exactly "SSPX-style" Catholicism is it?

I must say you are very well-connected in Catholic circles. How come you are so knowledgeable regarding and interested in Catholic history? I am, as I said already, impressed.

Hans Kung is quite a figure on the internation catholic theological scene to be on such friendly terms with!

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-19-2012 at 05:09 PM.
 
Old 12-19-2012, 09:43 PM   #180
Senior Member
 
Joined: Oct 2009
From: Jackson, MS
Posts: 478
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
I am very impressed that you have been in the Vatican Archives!
I should have said the Vatican Museum. The archives wouldn't do me much good seeing as I don't know Latin.

Quote:
What do you lecture in? European history?
I do teach the Renaissance and Reformation, but it isn't my major field. My major fields are the Middle East and South Asia.

Quote:
I recall him being about 17?
Or 16.


Quote:
Apparently while he was at the University of Tubingen (appointed to the chair in dogmatic theology) and a colleague of Kung
If you can believe it, he originally hired Kung. But he is also the one responsible for Kung losing his license to teach Catholic theology. From then on, he taught ecumenical theology.

Kung, Ratzinger, and my own professor Heiko Oberman, all taught together in Tubingen for a number of years.

Quote:
That was quite a prediction. A lot of analysts thought Ratzinger was told old and far too prominent (not too mention conservative) to be elected.
Mind you, he was more than a decade younger when I made that prediction.What secured his election is the fact that now there are more cardinals living outside of Europe in places like Africa and Latin America. On the face of it, that is a good thing. The problem is that these Cardinals tend to be ultra-conservative.

Quote:
He did invite Kung to a dinner in 2006(ish, my memory fails), remember? He didn't have to do that. I think it was kind of a gesture to more freethinking Catholics ie "don't worry, my reputation isn't true,
Umm, given the fact that it was Ratzinger who had taken Kung's license to teach away, a luncheon would not exactly change Kung's mind on that subject. Not unless the luncheon included his license back!

Quote:
Kung seemed to turn on Ratzinger again in 2010, full-scale. I'm guessing that brief period of apparent conciliation didn't last too long?
Well he never got his license back, did he? Lunch just wasn't going to do it! Of course, his attack on the Pope appears to have been mainly about the supposed cover-up of sexual abuse. What I thought interesting was his call for a church council. When I last spoke to him he told me he thought Counciliarism was no longer an option for the church.

Quote:
I personally think that Benedict has been given a bad image by the media. Some of his writings and speeches do not strike me as particularly "conservative" in the way people used to say. His social doctrine has been accused in the USA as being "socialist" ie his teachings on the need for a reform of the UN, redistribution of wealth, the poor etc.
LOL. By American standards the Catholic Church has been 'socialist' since Rerum Novarum in 1891. But having 'liberal' social teachings does not equate to a liberal theology.

Quote:
That doesn't strike me quite as the character Kung claims. Methinks that Kung and Benedict have some kind of personal beef.
Defintely. As I indicated, when Ratzinger held the Holy Office, he took away Kung's license to teach.

Quote:
Not exactly "SSPX-style" Catholicism is it?
Actually, parts of it fly in the face of DOMINUS IESUS a document he wrote while holding the Holy Office:

DECLARATION

Quote:
I must say you are very well-connected in Catholic circles. How come you are so knowledgeable regarding and interested in Catholic history?
I have field (though minor one) in Late Medieval and Reformation church history. Through my professor, Heiko Oberman, I was able to meet both Hans Kung and David Tracy (the Neo-Thomist.)
 
Old 12-20-2012, 03:48 AM   #181
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,106
Quote:
I do teach the Renaissance and Reformation, but it isn't my major field. My major fields are the Middle East and South Asia.
Quite a varied set of subjects


Quote:
If you can believe it, he originally hired Kung. But he is also the one responsible for Kung losing his license to teach Catholic theology. From then on, he taught ecumenical theology.

AH, I had forgot that, it does explain a great deal (ie the license).


Quote:
What I thought interesting was his call for a church council. When I last spoke to him he told me he thought Counciliarism was no longer an option for the church.

He's probably right about conciliarism. Collegiality is in my opinion the more important, realistic and feasible idea to push. It has never been fully implemented yet in the manner in which Lumen Gentium describes, partly because of the long, centralised very hands-on approach to the papacy that Blessed John Paul II took. One of the main things Benedict has achieved in his papacy is a less centralized one. He devolved the canonization process more to the local level, for example, and his papacy hasn't seen as much reliance on him as JPII's was in the days before his parkinsons became so severe. That's not a bad thing in my opinion.


Quote:
LOL. By American standards the Catholic Church has been 'socialist' since Rerum Novarum in 1891. But having 'liberal' social teachings does not equate to a liberal theology.

You're not wrong there. Some American Catholics scare me! In fact American Christians in general scare me. They seem cut off from the rest of the Catholic world. I don't know, they just act Evangelical Protestant-like. Is there something in the air over there? They're so conservative that the current Vatican looks like a bunch of hippies in comparison. All this stuff about being "saved", "big government" etc.


Here is the definition which Douglas Jacobson, a sociologist who specializes in "the World's Christians", describes Catholicism as being like in academic terms:


Quote:
"...Enormous diversity exists within Catholicism, including many different schools and sub-schools of spirituality. Rather than forcing members to choose between one style of faith or another, Catholicism has typically opted to be a tradition of 'both/'and'. Whatever is seen as having spiritual merit and value can be incorporated into Catholicism, even when the opposite emphases are also present within the tradition...Catholicism's both/and stance has also allowed it to adopt and adapt various ideas and practices from other Christian traditions...This same commitment to catholicity has allowed Catholicism to welcome and appreciate spiritual insights and practices of many non-Christian religions and cultures..."

But, note the subsection in his book on "Catholicism in Transition in the United States":


Quote:
"...Up until the mid twentieth century, Catholicism existed largely as a separate subculture within the American social order...The Catholic Church continued to function as a kind of separate world that existed apart from mainstream America. This was largely a result of Catholic choice, a reasonable reaction to the anti-Catholic prejudices of the Protestant majority...More than anywhere else, North America is Protestant turf...This is so much that Catholics - with the exception of the French Catholic population in Canada - behave in an almost Protestant fashion to Catholics in the rest of the world. North american Catholics sometimes question Vatican decisions...In fact, "Americanism" was condemned as a heresy by the pope in the late 1880s..."
The problem is that the "questioning of vatican decisions" doesn't always mean of a moderate kind.


Cafetaria Catholicism, yes - the liberal kind is very easy to spot.

But cafetaria Catholicism comes in the American - far right/republican form as well, and its particularly pervasive in this American-dominated forum. And its rather ugly. And frankly quite insane. Why do you think Angelus Silesius would think of them? He converted from Lutheranism to Catholicism because his mysticism wasn't accepted within his Protestant church whereas the Catholic church gave the imprimatur to "Cherubinic Wanderer" and published it for him ...ha! He probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference today if you planted him somewhere in Texas or Colorado.


Quote:
"...No thought for the hereafter
have the wise,
for on this very earth
they live in paradise.

All heaven's glory is within
and so is hell's fierce burning.
You must yourself decide
in which direction
you are turning

Unless you find paradise
at your own center,
there is not
the smallest chance
that you may enter.

Saints do not die.
It is their lot
to die while on this earth
to all that God is not.

The vengeful God
of wrath and punishment
is a mere fairytale.
It simply is the Me
that makes me fail.

No ray of Light can shine
if severed from its source.
Without my inner Light
I lose my course.

Don't think that some tommorrow
you'll see God's Light.
You see it now
or err in darkest night.

No wonder you despise
the mob's insanity.
All that it demonstrates
is inhumanity.

He whose treasure house is God,
his earth is paradise.
Why then call those
who make this earth a hell
the worldly wise?..."

- Angelus Silesius (1624 - 1677), Catholic mystic and poet

I see a lot of that "vengeful", mythical God popping up.......I'm glad he doesn't actually exist............


Quote:
Actually, parts of it fly in the face of DOMINUS IESUS a document he wrote while holding the Holy Office:

DECLARATION

I'm very familiar with Dominus Iesus and also think it has had a very poor press mainly because most people are unaware of the intracies of Catholic teaching on salvation for those outside the church. Its not as simple as the Evangelical dictum, "if your not a believer in Christ, your damned".

Consider this section of the document:

Quote:
"...God, who desires to call all peoples to himself in Christ and to communicate to them the fullness of his revelation and love, "does not fail to make himself present in many ways, not only to individuals, but also to entire peoples through their spiritual riches, of which their religions are the main and essential expression even when they contain ‘gaps, insufficiencies and errors'." Therefore, the sacred books of other religions, which in actual fact direct and nourish the existence of their followers, receive from the mystery of Christ the elements of goodness and grace which they contain (I, 8).

Theology today, in its reflection on the existence of other religious experiences and on their meaning in God's salvific plan, is invited to explore if and in what way the historical figures and positive elements of these religions may fall within the divine plan of salvation. In this undertaking, theological research has a vast field of work under the guidance of the Church's Magisterium. The Second Vatican Council, in fact, has stated that: "The unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude, but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a participation in this one source" (III, 14)..."

That is an accurate statement of the Catholic position.

First of all a quote from Saint Edith Stein (Teresia Benedicta of the Cross) which explains the Catholic position nicely:


Quote:
"...I am not at all worried about my dear Master. It has always been far from me to think that God's mercy allows itself to be circumscribed by the visible church's boundaries. God is truth. All who seek truth seek God, whether this is clear to them or not..."

- Saint Edith Stein (1891 - 1942), Jewish Catholic mystic & Holocaust victim, speaking about her mentor Edmund Husserl

The Catholic Church teaches two things:

1) There is no salvation outside of or without the Catholic Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ the Redeemer

2) Those who are visibly outside the Church can be spiritually within her through implicit baptism by desire which consists in perfect charity and in following the will of God as known to one's own conscience

Therefore we do not teach that anyone is "damned". Only God can know this.

The Church has officially recognised, through canonisations, that certain people are in the state of "heaven" - that is beholding the Beatific Vision and having attained theosis (union with God, divinization) - however Holy Mother Church has not declared anyone to be in the state of "hell".


Quote:
"...It is false that we say to anyone that he is damned. To do so would be false to our general doctrine relating to sects outside the bosom of the Church...we are persuaded that all of those who with sincerity remain in their errors, who through inculpable ignorance believe themselves in the way of salvation . . . are children of the Catholic Church. Such is the opinion of all divines from St. Augustine..."

- Nicolas-Sylvestre Bergier, (1715 – 1790), celebrated French Catholic theologian
In this vein Pope Pius XI was so bold as to proclaim to one of his Cardinals who was going on a diplomatic visit to Libya:


Quote:
"...Do not think you are going to a country of heathens [or "among infidels"]. Muslims attain to salvation. The ways of God are infinite...”

- Pope Pius XI, 1934 (L'Ultima, Florence, Anno VIII)


Anyone who sincerely is seeking the truth, whether they be Buddhist, Muslim, Atheist or Jew is implicitly seeking Jesus Christ who is the Truth even if this is not apparent to them. They can therefore attain to salvation.

One would, of course, have to be genuinely open to truth and dedicated to one's own religion/path. It is only if someone "knows" that the Catholic Church is necessary for salvation, that is if one has come to an awareness of the truth of Catholicism, that one need to convert to be saved. Otherwise we hope that they are "invincibly ignorant", a phrase with a definition that cannot be limited or restricted in scope:


Quote:
"...It is to be held for certain that they who labor in ignorance of the true religion, if this ignorance is invincible, are not bound by any fault in this matter in the eyes of the Lord. Now truly, who would arrogate so much to himself, as to be able to designate the limits of this kind of ignorance, because of the reason and variety of peoples, regions, natural dispositions, and a great many other things?..."

- Blessed Pope Pius IX, Singulari quadam, 1854

Pius resolutely refuses to set definitive limits to the application of "invincible ignorance". To this end we will not set limits since we can never fully understand the underlying psychological, social, moral or even physical factors which influence people. We thus cannot simplify human nature. We cannot judge a person who has genuinely searched after truth and tried to inform his conscience but, for whatever vast number of reasons, still has an eroneous conscience and is bound to follow that conscience and has been unable to come to the awareness of the truth of Catholicism.

Otherwise, we must hope that they have implicit faith and are therefore incorporated into the Church through baptism of desire, which everyone no matter there religion can attain to provided they live in adherence to their conscience, which is the natural law written on their hearts. Saint Thomas Aquinas and the Catholic tradition teaches that one is bound to follow even an erroneous conscience. Only God can judge the sincerity of someone's heart and intentions but Catholicism has always maintained that: "nothing else is needed to obtain justification than an act of perfect charity and of contrition. Whoever, under the impulse of actual grace, elicits these acts receives immediately the gift of sanctifying grace, and is numbered among the children of God" (The Catholic Encyclopedia 1913).


Marcel Lefebvre, the founder of the SSPX, actually correctly summed up (overall) the official teaching of the Catholic Church in terms of salvation of non-Christians:


Quote:
"...There are three ways of receiving baptism: the baptism of water; the baptism of blood (that of the martyrs who confessed the faith while still catechumens) and baptism of desire.

Baptism of desire can be explicit...The doctrine of the Church also recognizes implicit baptism of desire. This consists in doing the will of God. God knows all men and He knows that amongst Protestants, Muslims, Buddhists and in the whole of humanity there are men of good will. They receive the grace of baptism without knowing it, but in an effective way. In this way they become part of the Church..."

- (Archbishop Lefebvre, Open Letter to Confused Catholics)

And that's Catholicism at its most extreme, while still being quasi within the boundaries of acceptability and not in out-and-out heresy such as with the Feeneyites.

Jews, atheists, Baha'is, Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims etc. can attain to salvation if they are spiritually speaking joined to the Catholic Church as informal members through implicit baptism by desire which consists in following the Will of God as known to one's conscience, to the best of one's ability and knowledge responding to the grace granted to oneself by God.

In 1713 Clement XI condemned in his dogmatic Bull "Unigenitus" the proposition of the Jensenist Quesnel that" no grace is given outside the Church" just as Alexander VIII had already condemned in 1690 the Jansenistic proposition of Arnauld: "Pagans, Jews, heretics, and other people of the sort, receive no influx [of grace] whatsoever from Jesus Christ". We subsequently have plentiful magisterial teaching from binding encyclicals and catechisms, including those of Blessed Pius IX, Pope Saint Pius X and Pope Pius XII. Thats a straight line of magisterial teaching.


Holy Office, Aug 9, 1949, condemning doctrine of L. Feeney (DS 3870):

"It is not always required that one be actually incorporated as a
member of the Church, but this at least is required: that one adhere
to it in wish and desire. It is not always necessary that this be
explicit...God accepts even an implicit will, called by that name because it is
contained in the good disposition of soul in which a man wills to
conform his will to the will of God."

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-20-2012 at 04:58 AM.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 04:48 AM   #182
Senior Member
 
Joined: Mar 2010
From: Rockville, MD, USA
Posts: 1,354
[QUOTE=Some Further Questions;37552In the dark ages do you know who kept the lights of civilization burning? Christian monks who provided increasing stability over the years that preserved and taught art and
literature.[/QUOTE]

Not to mention the Islamic Golden Age, when the Muslim world made great advances in medicine, astronlmy, and other disciplines, which learning eventually found its way back into Dark-age Europe!

Peace, :-)

Bruce
 
Old 12-20-2012, 06:04 AM   #183
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Canada
Posts: 1,294
Quote:
Originally Posted by smaneck View Post
Yes, in a letter written on Shoghi Effendi's behalf it was noted that pork was not forbidden. But Baha'u'llah never explicitly abrogated that law. Therefore the inference ought to be the opposite of what you suggested. If the Law of a previous Dispensation is not confirmed, then it is abrogated.
I think the reason that Baha'u'llah did not abrogate the Law regarding pork, is because, the Bab already announced that the Laws of Islam are abrogated.
There was no need for Baha'u'llah to mention that with regards to such minor laws.
The reason that Shoghi Effendi said, there is nothing that prohibits from Pork, is because, that Law was already abrogated by the Bab. In that case, if Baha'u'llah wanted to prohibit that, He had to mention it, which He didn't.

However, regarding Polygamy, in the dispensation of Moses, there was no Law to allow or disallow it. So, there was simply no Law to begin with.

When John and Jesus came, they did not announce that the Laws of Moses are abrogated, the way the Bab did regarding Islam.
Jesus did not mention anything about polygamy to allow or disallow it.

among Abrahamic Faiths, it was Muhammad who for the first time talked about polygamy, and established a Law for it.

I think logically it makes sense, that should God ordain a Law, that Law stays, unless He, Himself says it is changed.

For example, considering the Law regarding Holy War. Baha'u'llah specifically abrogated that Law. Had He not abrogated that Law, the Baha'is still would follow it. That is because, The Bayan Law allowed holy war in certain situations.
But if the Bab had abrogated the Law of Holy War, even if Baha'u'llah did not mention it, it would still be considered abrogated for Baha'is.



Quote:
The pastoral letters (which are admittedly later) say that a bishop should have only one wife.
Is that letter part of the Bible?
 
Old 12-20-2012, 06:36 AM   #184
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,106
Quote:
Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
Is that letter part of the Bible?

Yes. The pastoral epistles (1 & 2 Timothy and Titus) happen to be, according to scholars, the last books of the Bible to be written, even probably after Revelation. They show a clear structure to the early Christian community such as monarchical episcopate which developed over the first century and was the standard church governance structure by the early second century.

They were not included in Marcion's Canon of ten epistles in AD.140, although Irenaeus relies heavily upon them in AD. 170 and it seems likely that they were known too and used by Saint Polycarp (69 – 155).

According to Raymond E. Brown (An Introduction to the New Testament, 1997), the majority of scholars who accept a post-Pauline date of composition for the Pastorals favour the period 80-100.

I believe it was written around AD.90-100.

In 1 Timothy the author (not Paul since its a pseudopigraphical text but certainly a disciple of Paul and at least of the Pauline school) commands that Bishops and deacons (that is basically the entire clergy) are only allowed to have "one wife" or to be "married once" depending on how you translate the Greek:

Quote:
"...The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of bishop, he desires a noble task. Therefore a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money...Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well..."

- 1 Timothy 3:1-3.12


So Christian clerics were not allowed to be polygamous, which obviously demonstrates that to lead a holy life, monogamy was considered to be essential and the clergy were meant to serve as the models of moral perfection for laity in the early church. It is clearly implied that polygamy is not "above reproach" but is greatly dissaproved of. Having more than one wife is placed in the same category by the sacred author as drunkardness, violence, quarrelling and greed, whereas monogamy is placed alongside soberness, self-control, respectability, hospitality and good teaching.

The particular Christian community from which 1 Timothy came did not pride celibacy, unlike some of Paul's actual epistles. In 1 Timothy 4:3 we find this condemnation:


Quote:
"...Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving..."

- 1 Timothy 4:1-4

BTW It was expected until the Gregorian Reform in the 12th century that priests would be married. In Orthodoxy today most priests are married, whereas bishops are not.

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-20-2012 at 06:46 AM.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 07:21 AM   #185
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Canada
Posts: 1,294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
In 1 Timothy the author (not Paul since its a pseudopigraphical text but certainly a disciple of Paul and at least of the Pauline school) commands that Bishops and deacons (that is basically the entire clergy) are only allowed to have "one wife" or to be "married once" depending on how you translate the Greek:
Ok, thanks for Quoting this.

It seems that, they had this requirement for the Bishops, but not for the whole humanity.
It is also not clear, why they should have only one wife.
In my opinion, the reason was not because, the Bible rebukes Polygamy. It is because, the Bishops are given high responsibility in church, so, they should focus more on their church duties. If they have more wives, then they would be too busy with their personal life. So, I don’t think the intention of Bible is to abrogate Polygamy. If that was the case, I would expect a clear statement from Jesus Himself to apply that Law to all people, not just bishops.

Last edited by InvestigateTruth; 12-20-2012 at 07:23 AM.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 07:28 AM   #186
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,106
Quote:
Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
Ok, thanks for Quoting this.

It seems that, they had this requirement for the Bishops, but not for the whole humanity.
It is also not clear, why they should have only one wife.
In my opinion, the reason was not because, the Bible rebukes Polygamy. It is because, the Bishops are given high responsibility in church, so, they should focus more on their church duties. If they have more wives, then they would be too busy with their personal life. So, I don’t think the intention of Bible is to abrogate Polygamy. If that was the case, I would expect a clear statement from Jesus Himself to apply that Law to all people, not just bishops.
You've forgotten (or omitted to mention) that deacons, the lowest level of clergy who in the early church had very few responsibilities compared with bishops, other than assisting the local bishops and elders (presbyters, priests), are also called to be monogamous and forbidden to have more than one wife. Read above once more. So it isn't do with high levels of responsibility but rather "holiness". The reason given is that bishops must be "above reproach", that is leading morally impeccable lives. As Deborah Krause explains:


Quote:
"...For the bishop, the list of do's and don'ts is headed by the phrase anepilmeton, 'beyond reproach'...Many commentators note that the list for bishops and deacons in 1 Timothy 3.8-13, represents a stock Hellenistic catalogue of attributes for the moral life. These virtues make up the qualities of an ideal man..."

- Deborah Krause, 1 Timothy
In fact the Oxford Handbook of Late Antquity notes:


Quote:
"...[In 1 Timothy] the bishop's role is primarily that of a moral exemplar rather than a spiritual leader..."

- The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity

According to 1 Timothy an "ideal man" is thus a monogamous man and this is the example for the rest of the community. At the very least you thus have to accept Investigate that monogamy is the New Testament ideal for those wanting to marry, and was the Early Christian Church's ideal for marriage, with polygamy being seen as imperfect, "reproachful" and not fitting for the role models of the church who are called to have an impeccable moral character, that is the clergy whether major (episcopate) or minor (diaconate).

The basic message given to laity in the early church vis-a-vis their bishops and/or apostles was too 'Imitate me" (1 Cor. 11:1), as Saint Paul said. So the clergy were role models and exemplars, especially the bishops, to be imitated and extolled for their manner of living according to the gospel.

Even the deacons had to be morally unpeachable as the apostles' selection of the first seven deacons shows:


Acts 6:1-7

Quote:
Acts 6:1-7

The First Seven Deacons Appointed

6 Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. 2 And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables.[a] 3 [B]Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, 4 while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.” 5 What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. 6 They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.

Moral character was the basis upon which deacons were selected. Monogamy is thus mandated as an essential part of good moral character for the clergy who serve as an example for all the faithful.

Coupled with the evidence I have given of Jesus and the teachings of the other biblical epistles which never speak of plural wives but always assume "singular" one wife and Paul's exclusively monogamous teaching in Corinthians that the wife owns the husband's body and he owns hers, in addition to the strictly monogamous teachings of all the church fathers from the second century to the 7th and the consistent, perrenial opposition of the catholic church to polygamy...

I will leave you to work out the ramifications of that for your thesis that the early church accepted the Mosaic (Old Testament) permission of polygamy

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-20-2012 at 09:33 AM.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 09:52 AM   #187
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Canada
Posts: 1,294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
You've forgotten (or omitted to mention) that deacons, the lowest level of clergy who in the early church had very few responsibilities compared with bishops, other than assisting the local bishops and elders (presbyters, priests), are also called to be monogamous and forbidden to have more than one wife. Read above once more. So it isn't do with high levels of responsibility but rather "holiness". The reason given is that bishops must be "above reproach", that is leading morally impeccable lives. As Deborah Krause explains:




In fact the Oxford Handbook of Late Antquity notes:





According to 1 Timothy an "ideal man" is thus a monogamous man and this is the example for the rest of the community. At the very least you thus have to accept Investigate that monogamy is the New Testament ideal for those wanting to marry, and was the Early Christian Church's ideal for marriage, with polygamy being seen as imperfect, "reproachful" and not fitting for the role models of the church who are called to have an impeccable moral character, that is the clergy whether major (episcopate) or minor (diaconate).

The basic message given to laity in the early church vis-a-vis their bishops and/or apostles was too 'Imitate me" (1 Cor. 11:1), as Saint Paul said. So the clergy were role models and exemplars, especially the bishops, to be imitated and extolled for their manner of living according to the gospel.

Even the deacons had to be morally unpeachable as the apostles' selection of the first seven deacons shows:


Acts 6:1-7




Moral character was the basis upon which deacons were selected. Monogamy is thus mandated as an essential part of good moral character for the clergy who serve as an example for all the faithful.

Coupled with the evidence I have given of Jesus and the teachings of the other biblical epistles which never speak of plural wives but always assume "singular" one wife and Paul's exclusively monogamous teaching in Corinthians that the wife owns the husband's body and he owns hers, in addition to the strictly monogamous teachings of all the church fathers from the second century to the 7th and the consistent, perrenial opposition of the catholic church to polygamy...

I will leave you to work out the ramifications of that for your thesis that the early church accepted the Mosaic (Old Testament) permission of polygamy
The thing is that, within the Bible, Old or New Testament, having a one wife, has not been associated with being Holy.
I think you are assuming that having multiple wives had to do with being Lusty.
Though, according to Scriptures, having sex outside of Marriage is associated with Lust.
You cannot find even in one instant, anyone in Bible was rebuked for having multiple wives. But you see, for getting drunk, they are rebuked in OT or NT.

In fact, the Prophets of God, must have had a higher station than Bishops and were more holy than them, as they were the revealer of the verses of God, yet, thay had Wives, and were allowed explicitly by God, according to OT.


The verses in 1 Timothy 3, regarding one wife, seems to be related to being able to manage the family and church duties:

"For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God's church?"
"deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well."
Timothy 3:1-12


Having said these, it would not have taken too much for Moses or Jesus to say: "Thou shall not have more than one wife"

Last edited by InvestigateTruth; 12-20-2012 at 09:55 AM.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 09:54 AM   #188
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,106
Quote:
Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
Having said these, it would not have taken too much for Moses or Jesus to say: "Thou shall not have more than one wife"
Or Baha'u'llah?
 
Old 12-20-2012, 10:13 AM   #189
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Canada
Posts: 1,294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
Coupled with the evidence I have given of Jesus and the teachings of the other biblical epistles which never speak of plural wives but always assume "singular" one wife and Paul's exclusively monogamous teaching in Corinthians that the wife owns the husband's body and he owns hers, in addition to the strictly monogamous teachings of all the church fathers from the second century to the 7th and the consistent, perrenial opposition of the catholic church to polygamy...
The thing is that, we are not denying that the Prophets before Jesus or after Jesus, did not encourage polygamy.
Jesus or other prophets did not promote polygamy.
Muhammad also did not promote polygamy. He also taught that it is better to have one wife.
But Like I said, God, even as it is recorded in OT or NT, had prohibitted certain things. and everytime He prohibitted an action, He did that explicitly by clearly saying "Thou shall not..." or in case of Jesus, with such statements like "I say unto you"...

But when it comes to polygamy, they do not have this Rule.
This is the foundation of Progressive Revelation. Each Revelation of God, makes an improvement on previous one.
Muhammad explicitly said, it is better to have one wife, but not allowed to have more than 4.
Jesus, or any other of His Disciples, their message is not so clear about polygamy. It is fair to say, NT does not forbid polygamy explicitly. I think It is fair to say NT does not put a limit on number of wives.
I don't think Jesus was, God forbid, a Shy Manifestation of God. If He wanted to forbid Polygamy, He would say it bravely.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 10:19 AM   #190
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Canada
Posts: 1,294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
Or Baha'u'llah?
That is right. Baha'u'llah also said it is better to have one wife, but He reduced it from 4 wives to 2. Then He said Abdulbaha will interpret His verses. Then Abdulbaha explicitly for the first time in the History of Religions, said, more than one wife is not allowd.
So, In Baha'i View, Baha'u'llah had a plan to gradually stablish Monygamy, through His successor, Abdulbaha.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 10:20 AM   #191
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,106
Quote:
The thing is that, within the Bible, Old or New Testament, having a one wife, has not been associated with being Holy.
The relationship between Israel and God is framed as a monogamous relationship and the faithfulness between the two is defined as holiness and explicitly harks back to the monogamy of Adam and Eve in its language, read:


Quote:
"...Classical prophets metaphorically described Israel as the one wife chosen by the one God, employing the identical diction that described the monogamous intimacy of Adam and Eve, as in the oratio infusa, "Only you have I known of all the families of the earth" (Amos 3:2). God has been 'faithfully' monogamous while Israel's 'adultery' with other gods violated uxorial reciprocity..."

- Étan Levine, Marital Relations in Ancient Judaism

Or as the pope explains:


Quote:
"...From the standpoint of creation, eros directs man towards marriage, to a bond which is unique and definitive; thus, and only thus, does it fulfil its deepest purpose. Corresponding to the image of a monotheistic God is monogamous marriage. Marriage based on exclusive and definitive love becomes the icon of the relationship between God and his people and vice versa. God's way of loving becomes the measure of human love..."

- Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est

The relationship between the two lovers in the Song of Songs is also monogamous and this is the exemplar for marital love in the Bible ie

Quote:
Sixty queens there may be, and eighty concubines, and virgins beyond number; but My dove, my perfect one, is the only one, the darling of her mother, flawless to her that bore her
Here the Lover contrasts his monogamous relationship to Solomon's polygamy.

Quote:
My beloved is mine and I am his!
There are no good examples of polygamy in the Bible, no situations where polygamy is presented in a favorable light. For example, Jacob obviously favors one wife over another and the children of one wife over the others. The disarray this introduces into his family is devastating. There is constant competition between the wives and the kids suffer as well (see Genesis 29-35).

Quote:
You cannot find even in one instant, anyone in Bible was rebuked for having multiple wives. But you see, for getting drunk, they are rebuked in OT or NT
The Torah actually rebukes kings for having many wives:

Quote:
Deuteronomy 17:

"...The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.” He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold..." (verses 16,17)

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-20-2012 at 10:23 AM.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 10:22 AM   #192
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,106
Quote:
Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
That is right. Baha'u'llah also said it is better to have one wife, but He reduced it from 4 wives to 2.
And 1 Timothy explicitly taught that the clergy had to be monogamous and held the clergy up as the moral exemplars for the wider Christian community who were to follow suit.

There is no explicit, "Thou shalt not have more than one wife" because as I explained the NT does not use legalistic language. Even when disussing divorce Jesus doesn't say, "Thou shalt not divorce" but rather, "I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery".

Jesus does not issue a "command", he rather points back to the committed, eternal, monogamous covenant between Adam and Eve as the example for all humanity, for all time.

The Early Church perfectly understood him, which is why we have never accepted polygamy. The fact that you don't seem to understand him, doesn't particularly change that fact lol

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-20-2012 at 10:27 AM.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 10:42 AM   #193
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Canada
Posts: 1,294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
The Early Church perfectly understood him, which is why we have never accepted polygamy. The fact that you don't seem to understand him, doesn't particularly change that fact lol
I am not so sure, that in the past there has been much agreement between Christians that Christianity teaches Monogamy. From what I saw, this has been a subject of arguments from the time of early Christianity.
Did all Christians at all time, after the chrches were established, agree that, the Law in Christianity does not allow more than one wife?
 
Old 12-20-2012, 10:51 AM   #194
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Canada
Posts: 1,294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
Even when disussing divorce Jesus doesn't say, "Thou shalt not divorce" but rather, "I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery".
Yes, It can be said that Christian Revelation allowed divorce in the case of sexual immorality.
Likewise, it may be said Christianity allowed Polygamy, except in the case of Bishops and deacons. But did not put a limmit on the number of wives for others.
And maybe indirectly taught an Ideal relation is Monogamy, but not in a explicit way. It is a little vague to me. It does not seem to address polygamy clearly.

Last edited by InvestigateTruth; 12-20-2012 at 10:55 AM.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 10:51 AM   #195
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,106
Quote:
Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
I am not so sure, that in the past there has been much agreement between Christians that Christianity teaches Monogamy. From what I saw, this has been a subject of arguments from the time of early Christianity.
Did all Christians at all time, after the chrches were established, agree that, the Law in Christianity does not allow more than one wife?
The Catholic Church (which schismed at the beginning of the second millenium into Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism) has always opposed it. The Roman Church stamped it out wherever it found it among, for example, unconverted peoples of Europe.

It wasn't the morality of polygamy that was up for debate in the Early Church but rather how to reconcile New Covenant monogamy with Old Covenant polygamy yet claim to the pagans that Christians worshipped the same God as the OT and not a different one as the heretic Marcion taught. I think it is too this that you must be thinking and confused about.

The only father I know of who asked this question and tried to come up with an answer was Augustine.

Augustine, like the other Fathers, had declared that polygamy was "expressly forbidden" in the New Testament as criminal (his words not mine). However he struggled to understand why Christianity banned it yet the Old Testament allowed it. His attempts to try and understand this apparent paradox are not infallible Church Sacred Tradition, whereas the unlawfulness of polygamy is. Peter Paludanus, the so-called "Doctor egregius " (f 1342), repeated in his work on the Sentences, that : "Under the Gospel-dispensation it [polygamy] never had been and never would be permitted."

Read this referenced piece:

Quote:
"...Augustine saw marriage as sacrament-friendly covenant between one man and one woman, which may not be broken. It was the Creator who established monogamy: Therefore the first natural bond of human society is man and wife.[30] Such marriage was confirmed by the Saviour in the Gospel of Matthew (Mat 19,9) and by His presence at the wedding in Cana (John 2:2).[31] In the Church—the City of God—marriage is a sacrament and may not and cannot be dissolved as long as the spouses live: But a marriage once for all entered upon in the City of our God, where, even from the first union of the two, the man and the woman, marriage bears a certain sacramental character, can in no way be dissolved but by the death of one of them..[32]..."
The fact is this: The Church Fathers unaninmously opposed polygamy and not one of them ever supported it in the slightest. One can find no Father who had a favourable view of polygamy, nor one who permitted it, and the canons expressly imposed severe penalties for it.


Here are some examples from the first three centuries of Christianity:


Quote:
"For we bestow our attention, not on the study of words, but on the exhibition and teachings of actions--that a person should either remain as he was born, or be content with one marriage; for a second marriage is only a specious adultery."

- Saint Athenagoras (c. 133 – 190), A Plea for the Christians


"For with Christians temperance dwells, self-restraint is practiced, monogamy is observed, chastity is guarded, iniquity exterminated..."

- St. Theophilus of Antioch (died 181 AD), To Autolycus


"We, on the other hand, prove our modesty not by external appearance but by character; with a good heart we cling to the bond of one marriage, in our desire for offspring we have only one wife or none at all."

- Saint Minucius Felix (writing between 150-200 AD), Letter to Octavius


Justin Martyr (c.160) rebukes the Jews for allowing polygamy:


"Your imprudent and blind masters [i.e., Jewish teachers] even until this time permit each man to have four or five wives. And if anyone sees a beautiful woman and desires to have her, they quote the doings of Jacob." [ANF, vol. 1, p. 266]



Saint Irenaeus (c.180) condemns the Gnostics for, among other things, polygamy:


"Others, again, following upon Basilides and Carpocrates, have introduced promiscuous intercourse and a plurality of wives..." [ANF, vol. 1, p.353]



Tertullian (c.207) was also explicit:


"Chapter II.-Marriage Lawful, But Not Polygamy. We do not indeed forbid the union of man and woman, blest by God as the seminary of the human race, and devised for the replenishment of the earth and the furnishing of the world, and therefore permitted, yet Singly. For Adam was the one husband of Eve, and Eve his one wife, one woman, one rib. (ANF: Tertullian, To His Wife)




Saint Methodius (cf.290) was clear on the issue, arguing that it had stopped at the time of the Prophets:


"The contracting of marriage with several wives had been done away with from the times of the prophets. For we read, 'Do not go after your lusts, but refrain yourself from your appetites'...And in another place, 'Let your fountain be blessed and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.' This plainly forbids a plurality of wives." [ANF, vol. 6, p.312]




The Pseudo-Clementine Literature boasts about how St. Thomas taught the Parthians [i.e., an Iranian culture] to abandon polygamy:


"But I shall give a still stronger proof of the matters in hand. For, behold, scarcely seven years have yet passed since the advent of the righteous and true Prophet; and in the course of these, inert of all nations coming to Judaea, and moved both by the signs and miracles Which they saw, and by the grandeur of His doctrine, received His faith; and then going back to their own countries, they rejected the lawless rites of the Gentiles, and their incestuous marriages. In short, among the Parthians-as Thomas, who is preaching the Gospel amongst them, has written to us-not many now are addicted to polygamy; nor among the Medes do many throw their dead to dogs; nor are the Persians pleased with intercourse with their mothers, or incestuous marriages with their daughters; nor do the Susian women practise the adulteries that were allowed them; nor has Genesis been able to force those into crimes whom the teaching of religion restrained. (ANF 8: "Book IX: Chapter XXIX.-The Gospel More Powerful Than 'Genesis.'"]



The Council of Neocaesarea a.d. 315 (circa) refers to a 'purification period' for polygamists. By that time, sinners had to 'sit out' of Church activities until they had demonstrated reformation. If a sin showed up on this list of canons, it was considered a 'bad sin'--and polygamy shows up here:


"Ancient Epitome of Canon III. The time (for doing penance and purification) of polygamists is well known. A zeal for penance may shorten it." [ANF]
__________________

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-20-2012 at 11:00 AM.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 10:56 AM   #196
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,106
Quote:
Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
Yes, It can be said that Christian Revelation allowed divorce in the case of sexual immorality.
Likewise, it may be said Christianity allowed Polygamy, except in the case of Bishops and deacons. But did not put a limmit on the number of wives for others.
You have still missed my point: You asked (in essence not literally), "Why did Jesus not issue a direct legal command against polygamy ie you shall not have more than one wife" and I tried to explain that Jesus did not speak in a legalistic style. The only equivalent to the Ten Commandments is the Beatitudes. Early Christians called them, "our ten commandments" and there written in the style of ethical blessings, not laws. There is nothing in the New Testament even approaching the Torah, Qur'an or Aqdas. The New Testament Gospels are closest to the Hidden Words or the Iqan in tone and style.

The only command Jesus inssued was the law of love:

Quote:
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you
That is the only command in the entire New Testament issued by Jesus directly, and its completely non-legal.

So to argue that Jesus accepted polygamy on the basis of him not saying, "thou shalt not..." is not a valid arguement.

He did uphold monogamy and condemn polygamy in his own way, without being legalistic, by pointing back to the beginning, as the Catholic saying goes, "As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be".

Why else, when asked about marriage/divorce, would he return to the beginning, to Genesis, rather than the Torah if he upheld the Torah commandments regarding marriage?

Because he returned to the natural law rather than the Torah law, and the natural law teaches monogamy.

You see the Pharisees expected him to argue from the Torah, since they asked him a question about the law of moses which dealt with marriage and divorce, but Jesus inexplicably returns to Genesis instead, which isn't even 'legal' but about how God ordained human nature in the beginning into two sexes - in other words, natural law.

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-20-2012 at 11:16 AM.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 11:21 AM   #197
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Canada
Posts: 1,294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
The Catholic Church (which schismed at the beginning of the second millenium into Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism) has always opposed it. The Roman Church stamped it out wherever it found it among, for example, unconverted peoples of Europe.

It wasn't the morality of polygamy that was up for debate in the Early Church but rather how to reconcile New Covenant monogamy with Old Covenant polygamy yet claim to the pagans that Christians worshipped the same God as the OT and not a different one as the heretic Marcion taught. I think it is too this that you must be thinking and confused about.

The only father I know of who asked this question and tried to come up with an answer was Augustine.

Augustine, like the other Fathers, had declared that polygamy was "expressly forbidden" in the New Testament as criminal (his words not mine). However he struggled to understand why Christianity banned it yet the Old Testament allowed it. His attempts to try and understand this apparent paradox are not infallible Church Sacred Tradition, whereas the unlawfulness of polygamy is. Peter Paludanus, the so-called "Doctor egregius " (f 1342), repeated in his work on the Sentences, that : "Under the Gospel-dispensation it [polygamy] never had been and never would be permitted."

Read this referenced piece:



The fact is this: The Church Fathers unaninmously opposed polygamy and not one of them ever supported it in the slightest. One can find no Father who had a favourable view of polygamy, nor one who permitted it, and the canons expressly imposed severe penalties for it.


Here are some examples from the first three centuries of Christianity:
Well, It seems to me that, the quotes you provided, although are more explicitly address the issue of Polygamy, but they would not be part of the Bible.
The Baha'i view is that, the direct Revelation comes through the Manifestation.
So, the way, I view Christianity, is based on first the saying of Jesus as recorded in Gospels. Then other parts of New Testaments.

Others, I would not consider as an Authorative view of Christianity.

Yes, as you quoted there has been those in Christianity who believed in Monogamy. But I think, there has been many Christians who also thought otherwise, which I am not going to quote them here.
Had the Bible been clear on this issue, there should not have been different opinions on it.

Wikipedia seems to have some history on it.
Polygamy in Christianity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Old 12-20-2012, 11:34 AM   #198
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,106
Investigate,

I think that we have hit a dead-end now because as you know, Catholics do not believe in sola scriptura. Jesus established the church through the selection of the Apostles and begun the Tradition, part of which was written down, the rest passed down orally, and that tradition, safeguarded by the church which he founded, has always forbade polygamy.

For Catholics, as far as our interpretation of revelation goes, the perrenial teaching of the Fathers in the sacred teachings they attest to and received from the apostles is as relevant as the Bible. The Bible is not a divinely revealed scripture in the sense of "God said..." it was written by fallible human authors inspired by the Holy Spirit and in terms of the Gospels based upon oral, at times second-hand, information. Its simply a collection of divinely inspired books compiled by the church and validated as inspired by its authority alone, which attest to the divine revelation, or deposit of faith, revealed by Jesus and passed to his apostles and from the apostles to their successors the bishops and so on until today. Jesus Himself is the supreme revelation of God, the Bible is not according to Catholics. Biblical scholarship has I would say confirmed our view of scripture. The Bible witnesses to divine revelation either from traditions coming from Jesus through the apostles or under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit through fallible humans.

As I am Catholic you now know the perrenial Catholic position from the first century till now, as I regard it, so that is that.

As a Baha'i you disagree. Shall we wrap this up now and leave it for the jury to call?

BTW The Four Gospels were selected by the Fathers, the others rejected. Irenaeus is the first to consider these four as the "canon" gospels. If one rejects the authority of these men, it seems strange to me why one would consider the Bible legitimate, since it was on these men's authority that we have the Bible we have. Just a thought, that is all. If we accept there authority in choosing which books go into the bible, why reject their consistent teachings received from their predecessors, and there predecessors, stretching back to the Apostles?

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-20-2012 at 11:54 AM.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 11:36 AM   #199
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Canada
Posts: 1,294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
You have still missed my point: You asked (in essence not literally), "Why did Jesus not issue a direct legal command against polygamy ie you shall not have more than one wife" and I tried to explain that Jesus did not speak in a legalistic style.
Yeshua, I don't think so.

Here is an example how Jesus addressed certain teachings:


Matt. 5:32 "But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery."


So, I would expect if Jesus wanted to give a new Law regarding Polygamy, He would do in the same way in Matt. 5:32.

It wouldn't take too much for Him to say:

"It was Written in old times, men married many wives, But I say unto you, That whosoever shall marry more than a Woman, he committeth adultery."
 
Old 12-20-2012, 11:41 AM   #200
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,106
Quote:
Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
Yeshua, I don't think so.

Here is an example how Jesus addressed certain teachings:


Matt. 5:32 "But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery."


So, I would expect if Jesus wanted to give a new Law regarding Polygamy, He would do in the same way in Matt. 5:32.

It wouldn't take too much for Him to say:

"It was Written in old times, men married many wives, But I say unto you, That whosoever shall marry more than a Woman, he committeth adultery."

Then we simply beg to differ on the issue of marriage and Christianity. I am not convinced by your arguements, and you are not convinced by mine.

I'm happy to beg to differ. We could go on but I think we both know by now that it would be fruitless.
 
Reply

  Baha'i Forums > Baha'i Forums > Interfaith

Tags
christianity, islam, progressive



Search tags for this page
Click on a term to search for related topics.
Thread Tools
Display Modes



Facebook @bahaiforums RSS


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2006 - 2018 Bahai Forums. All rights reserved.