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Old 12-22-2012, 07:52 AM   #241
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smaneck View Post
Valid theologies? The Catholic Church certainly did not use to consider the Monophysite views of the Coptics and Armenians to be valid, much less the Dual-physite views of the Nestorians (which you also include as apostolic.) Granted the theological difference between the Greek Orthodox and the Catholics is relatively minor (does the Holy Spirit proceed from the Father or the Father and the Son) but it was considered a big deal at the time the split took place.
Politics was as much to do with the mutual anathemas dished out by the Patriarch of Constantinople and the evoy of the pope. The Byzantine Empire was trying to win back, if my memory recalls, Ravenna from the Lombards or such and was expanding back into Italian territory conquered by the Franks. The papacy was trying to wrest itself free from imperial encroachment both from the Holy Roman Emperor and from the Byzantine one.

Regardless, the Catholic Church now accepts (in various documents) that the monophysites have a valid understanding which can be accepted by the Catholic Church, if properly expressed and the other side has said the same about us.

Palamas' essence-energy distinction can now validly be accepted and used by a Roman Catholic and Palamas is a saint in the Catholic Church. The Filioque, do I even need to go there?

I will find the relevant ecumenical documents (when I have the time), if you would like to read them?

Both the Oriental Orthodox and the RC signed various documents saying (in effect) that the theological differences had been blown out of proportion and that the two communions shared the same faith.

On the Eastern Orthodox, "Good Pope John":


Quote:
"...Catholics and Orthodox are not enemies, but brothers. We have the same faith; we share the same sacraments, and especially the Eucharist. We are divided by some disagreements concerning the divine constitution of the Church of Jesus Christ. The persons who were the cause of these disagreements have been dead for centuries. Let us abandon the old disputes and, each in his own domain, let us work to make our brothers good, by giving them good example. Later on, though traveling along different paths, we shall achieve union among the churches to form together the true and unique Church of our Lord Jesus Christ..."

- Angelo Roncalli (Blessed Pope John XXIII) 1926, Letter to Young Bulgarian Orthodox Christian

When Blessed Pope John XXIII received the observers at Vatican II he spoke to those gathered, including both cardinals and observers from many different churches, in very plain, simple words. He said:

Quote:
"...We do not intend to conduct a trial of the past; we do not want to prove who was right or who was wrong; the faults were on both sides. All we want to say is: Let us come together. Let us put an end to our divisions. Some people want to complicate simple matters. I want to simplify complicated ones. I don’t know where we are going. Let us simply follow day by day whatever the Holy Spirit asks of us..."

Most Catholics agree with him today.
 
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:59 AM   #242
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Originally Posted by smaneck View Post
Are you sure that is still the case?

My understanding is that when an Anglican priest converts to Catholicism his ordination is accepted. I knew some Catholics that were considering converting to the Episcopal Church (as we call it in America) becoming priests and marrying, and then converting back to Catholicism because you can be a married priest within the Catholic Church if you converted from those churches whose ordination is recognized by the Catholic Church and you are already married. (okay, that's an awful run-on sentence.)

There is a working scheme in canon law which permits Anglican clerics who were married (but not bishops) to be "re-ordained" (officially this time) but keep their spouses if they choose to come into full communion with Rome, if that is what you are referring too?

Read:

Quote:
The Catholic Church does not recognise the validity of Anglican ordination (see Apostolicae Curae), so all who were ordained in the Anglican Communion must receive ordination in the Catholic Church to continue their ministry. The Apostolic Constitution reaffirms in principle the discipline of clerical celibacy for clergy of the Latin Church, but allows ordination of married former Anglican clergy to the orders of deacon and priest in the service of an ordinariate: "Those who ministered as Anglican deacons, priests, or bishops, [...] may be accepted by the Ordinary as candidates for Holy Orders in the Catholic Church″,[77] "In consideration of Anglican ecclesial tradition and practice, the Ordinary may present to the Holy Father a request for the admission of married men to the presbyterate in the Ordinariate",[78] This request is granted on a case-by-case basis,[79] not as a matter of course but by exception: "The norms established in the Encyclical Letter of Pope Paul VI Sacerdotalis coelibatus, n. 42 and in the Statement In June are to be observed

We do not accept the validity of Anglican orders. Pope Leo's ruling of "perpetual invalidity" is still in place.
 
Old 12-22-2012, 08:04 AM   #243
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
I sympathised very much with the plight of the nuns. They took a brave stand though. They aren't the first either. Do you know of the Australian saint Mary McKillop? I see incredible similarities. I am reminded also of Saint Catherine of Siena, the woman who by herself on a solitary mission to France after years of letter-writing ended the Avignon exile and saved the city of Rome by walking at the pope's side back into Rome before dying at the tender age of 30 and who said:
Nuns in America have tremendous power largely because there aren't enough priests. That means nuns often run entire congregations with priests showing up only to perform the sacraments. It used to be that Catholics saw nuns mostly in schools and hospitals. Now they are in the pulpit and do most of the pastoral work.

If the Catholic church does not start allowing priests to marry or women to become priests (either one would solve the problem) it may not have a church left here.
 
Old 12-22-2012, 08:09 AM   #244
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
There is a working scheme in canon law which permits Anglican clerics who were married (but not bishops) to be "re-ordained" (officially this time) but keep their spouses if they choose to come into full communion with Rome, if that is what you are referring too?
Ah, I see. So they just made a special dispensation for them.

I thought the issue over the validity of the sacraments had to do more with the issue of belief in the Real Presence in the Eucharist (which Anglicans accept.) My understanding is that if I were to convert to Catholicism I would not be re-baptized even though I was baptized into the United Church of Christ (Obama's denomination) and no longer even consider myself a Christian.
 
Old 12-22-2012, 08:13 AM   #245
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Originally Posted by smaneck View Post
Nuns in America have tremendous power largely because there aren't enough priests. That means nuns often run entire congregations with priests showing up only to perform the sacraments. It used to be that Catholics saw nuns mostly in schools and hospitals. Now they are in the pulpit and do most of the pastoral work.

If the Catholic church does not start allowing priests to marry or women to become priests (either one would solve the problem) it may not have a church left here.
I also believe that the celibacy ruling should be brought to an end. It has served its purpose historically but I agree that it isn't working in today's world. Its a discipline, not a doctrine, so the next pope could change it at his will if he wanted too. That is why I pray that Cardinal Scola, a scion of Pope Benedict, doesn't become the next pope. I actually have great respect for the current pope but Scola is a well-known "little Ratzinger" (not to be offensive) in his theology and thinking, and would act as a puppet, in miniature and sans the incredible intellectual output of the current Holy Father. That would be the worst possible outcome of any future conclave in my opinion, for a Ratzingarian to come in. I love the man Josef Ratzinger himself, but not his disciples in theological circles. That would be my worst nightmare for a variety of reasons and I do not think it is what the universal Catholic Church needs today.

BTW Nuns were incredibly powerful in the Early Middle Ages in Europe too. Saint Hilda of Whitby?
 
Old 12-22-2012, 08:15 AM   #246
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Quote:
Regardless, the Catholic Church now accepts (in various documents) that the monophysites have a valid understanding which can be accepted by the Catholic Church, if properly expressed and the other side has said the same about us.
I would be interested to see one or more of those documents and also see the ones which would apply to the Nestorians.

Quote:
The Filioque, do I even need to go there?
Granted, no one really understands what those fights were about anymore. My point is that they *were* theological in nature. (Although in the case of the Byzantine Church it was as much political in reality.)
 
Old 12-22-2012, 08:17 AM   #247
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Originally Posted by smaneck View Post
Ah, I see. So they just made a special dispensation for them.

I thought the issue over the validity of the sacraments had to do more with the issue of belief in the Real Presence in the Eucharist (which Anglicans accept.) My understanding is that if I were to convert to Catholicism I would not be re-baptized even though I was baptized into the United Church of Christ (Obama's denomination) and no longer even consider myself a Christian.

Your understanding in this respect is wholly correct. Baptism is baptism and is a valid sacrament that can be delivered by anyone, even an atheist, if he has the right intention and baptizes you in the name of the Holy Trinity. All baptised people are placed in communion (if imperfect) with the Catholic Church and are technically in catholic eyes, "catholics" ie it is no different from a baptized infant in a catholic church. However unless you are Orthodox or Assyrian, you do not in our eyes receive a valid Eucharist or other sacraments hence "imperfect", "incomplete" communion.

Apostolic succession is different from this, and has to do with the continuity of the laying on of hands (ordination). Its a line stretching back from bishop to bishop. Oddly enough, there is this one Italian cardinal in the Renaissance who ordained so many priests that nearly every line in existence today in quite a few European countries can be traced back to him. He's nicknamed "the priest-maker". There are thus some funny surprises when you trace the lineages back. Some historians have compiled "family trees" tracing the lineages.

The Reformation sadly caused a rupture in this because of the confusion of ideas. Had it been a clean break as with the Orthodox/Catholic schism then the Anglicans would have had valid orders, as do the monophysites.

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-22-2012 at 08:21 AM.
 
Old 12-22-2012, 08:20 AM   #248
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Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
:
I accept that Jesus did not explicitly say, "Thou shalt not have multiple wives", so I can accept questions over that (although not over the Early Church which clearly was monogamous), however I am wearied with Investigate's seeming inability to accept that the Torah laws are not binding on Christians. He/she - a non-Christian - is telling me that a law which is pre-Christian and which I do not accept is still binding on me despite my great efforts directed towards proving the very opposite

I mean, really?
There are some Messianic Jews who take the position that the Torah remains binding on Jewish Christians but not Gentiles, but I've never heard any of them suggest that they can have multiple wives.
 
Old 12-22-2012, 08:27 AM   #249
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Originally Posted by smaneck View Post
I would be interested to see one or more of those documents and also see the ones which would apply to the Nestorians.

Oh yes, we've absolved the Assyrian Church of the East (Nestorians) and they have absolved us.

One document springs to mind without me even needing to research (although I will get you some when I get the time):

Quote:
On November 11, 1994, a historic meeting between Mar Dinkha IV and John Paul II took place in Rome. The two patriarchs signed a document titled "Common Christological Declaration between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East".
Link to the document:

The Holy See - Vatican web site


An excerpt or two:

Quote:
His Holiness John Paul II, Bishop of Rome and Pope of the Catholic Church, and His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, give thanks to God who has prompted them to this new brotherly meeting.

Both of them consider this meeting as a basic step on the way towards the full communion to be restored between their Churches. They can indeed, from now on, proclaim together before the world their common faith in the mystery of the Incarnation....

This is the unique faith that we profess in the mystery of Christ. The controversies of the past led to anathemas, bearing on persons and on formulas. The Lord's Spirit permits us to understand better today that the divisions brought about in this way were due in large part to misunderstandings.

Whatever our Christological divergences have been, we experience ourselves united today in the confession of the same faith in the Son of God who became man so that we might become children of God by his grace. We wish from now on to witness together to this faith in the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, proclaiming it in appropriate ways to our contemporaries, so that the world may believe in the Gospel of salvation...

Living by this faith and these sacraments, it follows as a consequence that the particular Catholic churches and the particular Assyrian churches can recognize each other as sister Churches


We've signed similar documents with Lutherans and Anglicans on the issue of justification by faith. Sadly Evangelicals and Pentecostals, amidst other Protestant denominations, are so far removed from the apostolic succession that it is not anywhere near as simple with them.

BTW I do like Lutherans and Anglicans very much, as does the Catholic Church. Luther is deeply respected by Pope Benedict and he had many good points (although not everything he said).

I cannot say the same for some later developments in Protestantism and I have little regard for John Calvin's views which are very far removed from Catholicism.

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-22-2012 at 08:51 AM.
 
Old 12-22-2012, 08:32 AM   #250
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Originally Posted by smaneck View Post
There are some Messianic Jews who take the position that the Torah remains binding on Jewish Christians but not Gentiles, but I've never heard any of them suggest that they can have multiple wives.

Exactly Hebrew Catholics who still follow elements of Torah accept that the legal aspects of the Torah are no longer "binding". They rightly state though that there is nothing wrong with Jewish people maintaining Torah teachings of a personal, non-judicial nature, such as kosher, dress code, circumcision etc. Polygamy, OT punishments etc. are however not acceptable in any Christian church, even amidst Messianic Jews.

Their decision to follow certain personal requirements of the Torah is a personal choice.

There is nothing inherently wrong with such things. It is acceptable for someone from a Jewish background to maintain these important cultural elements of their Hebraic identity, however they aren't "binding".

Its no different from a person from an Irish background maintaining his own Celtic version of the faith, except that Jews are the chosen people.

Cardinal Burke had a talk on this one which was very illuminating. He is the highest legal expert and authority in the church.

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-22-2012 at 08:35 AM.
 
Old 12-22-2012, 08:54 AM   #251
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Oh yes, we've absolved the Assyrian Church of the East (Nestorians) and they have absolved us.
Thanks for that. I wonder whether the misunderstanding in this case is because the Catholics and Nestorians did not understand each other's position back then, or because nobody today understands what these fights were all about!

By the way, I think the Baha'i concept of the Dual Nature of the Manifestation is very close to Nestorian Christainity.

Quote:
We've signed similar documents with Lutherans and Anglicans on the issue of justification by faith.
That reminds me of that dinner I had with Hans Kung. All of the leading clergy in Tucson (both Catolic and Protestnt) had been invited. My professor, Dr. Oberman who was hosting the meeting told me I could attend but only if I read some of Kung's work ahead of time. As you may know Kung wrote his doctoral dissertation trying to reconcile Karl Baarth's concept of justification with that of Council of Trent. I read that book and I also read his book on world religions. This dinner was held very soon after Kung lost his license to teach Catholic theology so most of the questions centered around Cardinal Ratzinger. I listened carefully enough to figure out Ratzinger would be the next Pope, as I mentioned before, but most of the conversation struck me as gossip in which I was decidely uninterested. When I was finally able to ask my own question I asked Hans Kung how, if the central and ultimate truth of Christianity was justification by faith in Jesus Christ alone, as suggested in his dissertation, could he then say that other religions could be saving? Kung basically reiterated what he had said his recent book on world religions about religions being salvifically equivalent but not equivalent in terms of truth (the implication being, of course, that Christianity is higher in this respect.) I said "But if the *the* truth of Christianity is justification by faith in Jesus Christ alone, how can you say these others are saving." I again got no real answer so I politely dropped the subject. Later the night as I was in the kitchen cleaning up the dishes with the rest of the graduate students, jokes were made about Hans Kung's stumbling over this question when Heiko Oberman walked in. Oberman said to the other graduate students, "There was only one intelligent question asked this entire night, and it was asked by a Baha'i and Kung couldn't answer it!" Then he looked at me and said, "But you know Suzy, I couldn't have answered that question any better."

It seems to me, this is still the real problem with Christian theology.

Quote:
Sadly Evangelicals and Pentecostals, amidst other Protestant denominations, are so far removed from the apostolic succession that it is not anywhere near as simple with them.
Not just apostolic succession but they have lost sight of what the Protestant Reformation was supposed to be about. Luther would have condemned them all as Pelagians! That is true of American Protestantism in general, btw. Heiko Oberman used to go around giving a lecture at the various churches entitled "The Amazing Gap" meaning the gap between American Protestantism and the Reformation.

Quote:
Luther is deeply respected by Pope Benedict and he had many good points (although not everything he said).
I suspect Heiko Oberman might have had something to do with that.

Quote:
I cannot say the same for some later developments in Protestantism and I have little regard for John Calvin's views which are very far removed from Catholicism.
If by that you mean Predestination, Luther believed in that just as fervently. Read Bondage of the Will.

I'm glad we got so off topic, btw. Threads aimed at one up-manship in the name of religion are anything but spiritual.

Last edited by smaneck; 12-22-2012 at 08:58 AM.
 
Old 12-22-2012, 09:21 AM   #252
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Quote:
Thanks for that. I wonder whether the misunderstanding in this case is because the Catholics and Nestorians did not understand each other's position back then, or because nobody today understands what these fights were all about!

A bit of both I would say, really.


Quote:
By the way, I think the Baha'i concept of the Dual Nature of the Manifestation is very close to Nestorian Christainity.
It is, although the Church of the East does not actually teach that there are two separate persons united in the Christ, one divine and one human. They argue that the Catholics misinterpreted Nestorius (who is a saint in their church and technically can be considered one in our church too now that we've both absolved each other). The allegations about "two persons" came from his opponents, and the poor man had a very hard time. According to the Nestorians themselves, Nestorius did not teach "Nestorianism" as it was defined against the COUNCIL of...ah, was it Chalcedon? My memory fails. Nestorians do stress nonetheless the humanity of Christ and they call Mary not mother of God but "of Christ" and do not teach that "God" suffered on the cross even though they do believe in the divinity of Christ. he modern Assyrian Church of the East, which reveres Nestorius, does not fully subscribe to Nestorian doctrine as defined by his accusers (such as the fiery Cyril), though it does reject the title Theotokos.


Quote:
That reminds me of that dinner I had with Hans Kung. All of the leading clergy in Tucson (both Catolic and Protestnt) had been invited....It seems to me, this is still the real problem with Christian theology.
What a fascinating night that was and yes, you are certainly a shrewd, smart, perceptive "cookie" so to speak. Obermann must have been proud.

Is justification by faith in Christ alone the central tenent of Christianity? I would question that, actually. In Protestantism it would be, in Catholicism far less so and in Orthodoxy with its overtly mystical outlook I highly doubt that's how they would explain things. And the Catholic Church does not teach that other religions are salvifically equivalent as Kung claims. It teaches that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church but that the Catholic Church is a mystical body, a timeless reality that cannot be defined or limited in its boundaries even though it is not wholly spiritual because its fullness subsists in those churches in Communion with Rome, meaning that one does not have to be, so to speak, a corporate card-carrying, baptized member to attain to salvation but cannot be in "full communion" unless one is in communion with the Church of Rome or at least in a valid, apostolic church.

This idea has its pedigree in the Fathers, allow me to quote:

Quote:
"...How many sheep there are without, how many wolves within!...When we speak of within and without in relation to the Church, it is the position of the heart that we must consider, not that of the body.... All who are within in heart are saved in the unity of the ark..."

- Saint Augustine, Church Father (354–430 AD), Baptism 5:28:39


"...He was ours [a Christian] even before he was of our fold. His way of living made him such. For just as many of ours are not with us, whose life makes them other from our body [the Church], so many of those outside [the Church] belong to us, who by their way of life anticipate the faith and need only the name, having the reality..."

- St. Gregory of Nazianzus, <Oration> 18.5 (c. 374 AD)
I would like to discuss this with you in more depth actually but I have to go offline right now. I find it to be the most interesting thing you have brought up, and yes I agree with you the thread was prefixed on the notion of proving the superiority of one religion over another, which I have absolutely no business with.

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-22-2012 at 11:17 AM.
 
Old 12-22-2012, 09:44 AM   #253
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Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
Is justification by faith the central tenent of Christianity? It would question that, actually.
That is the position Hans Kung was trying to make in his dissertation. Of course, he could have easily told me he no longer held to that position but given the number of Protestants in the room he may not have wanted to do that. The Lutheran Bishop Krister Stendahl, who I also knew through Oberman, argues that Protestants (including Luther himself) largely misunderstood what Paul was trying to say and that it did not have the significance which we currently ascribe to it.

Quote:
And the Catholic Church does not teach that other religions are salvifically equivalent as Kung claims.
The book on world religions was written after Hans Kung lost his license to teach Catholic theology, so he wasn't saying this was a specifically Catholic position. It was just his position as an ecumenical theologian.
 
Old 12-22-2012, 01:20 PM   #254
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@smaneck

"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)"

SFQ: " 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)."

Notice I didn't say anything about love here Susan. I love people that I suspect (although hope very much otherwise) will never accept Christ like I do. I love them very much. As for the Bab the Bible (and even the Qur'an I think, it threatens hell fire all the time) disagrees with him.

Jud 1:22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
Jud 1:23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

Pro 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
(God's wisdom through me and glory to Him as my small part as His instrument)


"Gee aside from the eating part, sounds just like the sixteenth century Wars of Religion in Europe. "

SFQ: Nearly all religions have their failures. The point of this thread is (at least I think so): what is the content, purpose and end of these two religions in their pure form?

"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. "
&

"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. "

SFQ: I'm unclear what your position on the authority of Scripture is so if you could tell me I'd appreciate it. For me and to a lesser extent the Baha'is here accept scripture as truth (although arthra shared a writings quote indicating that not all scripture was authentic in Baha'i view). But it seems that for the large part it is to be trusted even from the Baha'i perspective. Again, whether it's from a Christian perspective or not is irrelevant if it's true. Was it divinely inspired or not in your eyes? Were those passages corrupted or not in your eyes? If "not" to both then it stands. If God DID inspire the gospels then their bias (if there was any significant amount) was overshadowed by God's guidance and truth at the time it was written.

"A few years ago, when we invaded Iraq."

Susan.... I can tell you're an intelligent woman (so I'm not trying to be insulting) but there is an obvious distinction between the actions of governments that CONTAIN professing Christians (some genuine some not) and Christianity as a whole. Some people would say we're a Christian nation, our president says we're not so I guess it varies, there is not a consensus.

"Please don't. This is not a forum for Islam-bashing. "

It need not be bashing if it is based in facts and done respectfully. As I've previously stated I want to be careful not to needlessly offend anyone while recognizing that challenging beliefs sacred and dear IS offensive even if done tactfully. I invite Yeshua to call me out if he sees me getting out of line. If I do, I apologize in advance.
But really I've been accused of this more than once and if you can point to something specifically I'll prayerfully consider it. But what did you expect from this thread? Arthra and a few others knew my basic position and I told them in advance I'd be starting a thread about Islam. My introduction is posted for all to see describing my basic position (I noticed you looked into Yeshua's background). So I've not mislead anyone. What did you expect to find here given the circumstances and the thread title?

"Is that an argument for Islam? "

SFQ: Ohhh Susz you so silly...

"Not in a desolate environment where most people lived on the edge."

(My quote)
A wife had spilled a something he’d told her in confidence he threatens to divorce her for someone better.

smaneck: Gee, where does the Qur'an say these words were revealed because Muhammad's wife spilled something? "

SFQ: Perhaps that was unclear. She "spilled" a secret.

66:3 When the Prophet confided a fact unto one of his wives and when she afterward divulged it and Allah apprised him thereof, he made known (to her) part thereof and passed over part. And when he told it her she said: Who hath told thee ? He said: The Knower, the Aware hath told me.
(The Qur'an (Pickthall tr), Sura 66 - The Prohibition)

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

I can do that. But I'd be interested to know why you consider it a hate site. Is it solely because it disagrees with Islam and utilizes the Qur'an and other historical sources for that end? I've never come across any statement (implied or otherwise) that said it thought Muslims were stupid, evil or should be hated. Did I miss it (certainly possible, it's a big site)? Individuals perhaps but you find negative traits within people of all religions.

smaneck: "Yes, and the church preferred to co-opt a lot of those ideas."

SFQ: You're entitled to that opinion. Even if it did (which I don't agree) God did not instruct Paul or the other apostles NOT to use that term (children of God) knowing it would be a stumbling block. Considering how sensitive Paul is to Christians stumbling over such misunderstandings in other areas don't you think he would have taken it more seriously if he were worried about it being so to the polytheistic converts?

1Co 8:7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. 1Co 8:8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. 1Co 8:9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. 1Co 8:10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; 1Co 8:11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 1Co 8:12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
1Co 8:13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

smaneck:"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. "

SFQ: Would you accept Christian sources or throw it out?

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

SFQ: Not entirely, no.

Rom 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
Ecc 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
Ecc 3:2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
Ecc 3:3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

smaneck: "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? "

SFQ:

1Co 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

An angel like Gabriel for instance?

The OT is rough at times. I fully agree Christianity is an advancement from the law of Moses. Don't you think the Qur'an has more in common with the OT than the NT?

smaneck: "Not in a desolate environment where most people lived on the edge."

SFQ: Could you elaborate? I fail to see how marriage brought them any more food, tents, clothing and other necessities of life. Since Muhammad's wives were Muslims anyway they were already going to pool their resources. The only thing I can think of right now is that there was a deeper OBLIGATION to share. What else was there?

smaneck: "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. "

SFQ:I already explained that I didn't mean solely rituals. It's the big picture of the old covenant (which Islam has many similarities to) and the new one in Christ.


Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Col 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
Col 2:21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
Col 2:22 Which all are to perish with the using after the commandments and doctrines of men?
Col 2:23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

(End of ch. 2, next two verses)

Col 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Col 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.


Heb 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.


smaneck:"Actually during the Middle Ages they almost always prayed towards Jerusalem. "

SFQ: With all due respect, if it's not in the Bible it carries little weight with me as to whether it's valid Christian doctrine.

smaneck: "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

SFQ: I admit the Qur'an is confusing at times (even the Bible is!) But how do you reconcile these earlier verses and those like them elsewhere? Do you disagree with Zhang and think it was abrogated in the same surah?

149 And whencesoever thou comest forth (for prayer, O Muhammad) turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship. Lo! it is the Truth from thy Lord. Allah is not unaware of what ye do. 150 Whencesoever thou comest forth turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship; and wheresoever ye may be (O Muslims) turn your faces toward it (when ye pray) so that men may have no argument against you, save such of them as do injustice - Fear them not, but fear Me! - and so that I may complete My grace upon you, and that ye may be guided.

(The Qur'an (Pickthall tr), Sura 2 - The Cow)


smaneck: "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. "

SFQ: Some Christians do use that for that doctrine that's true. But we are diverse and I don't Predestination is a whole other issue I'm not going to get into here. I believe God KNOWS who's going to accept Him and who won't but that's different than them having no choice in the matter. God is aware of our choices in advance that's all. I guess we disagree....

(For all those interested I will try to get back to you at some point. I don't have all the time I'd like to keep. Thanks again for everyone here. Even you arthra you little stinker
 
Old 12-22-2012, 01:21 PM   #255
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@BruceDLimber

"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!"

SFQ: Yeah I won't say that Muslims didn't also make contributions. I was countering the idea that Susan put forth that Chrisitianity didn't transform history/society for the better for any lasting period.
You should pop in more often!
 
Old 12-22-2012, 01:48 PM   #256
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Quote:
That is the position Hans Kung was trying to make in his dissertation. Of course, he could have easily told me he no longer held to that position but given the number of Protestants in the room he may not have wanted to do that. The Lutheran Bishop Krister Stendahl, who I also knew through Oberman, argues that Protestants (including Luther himself) largely misunderstood what Paul was trying to say and that it did not have the significance which we currently ascribe to it.

I would agree with Bishop Stendahl I reckon that Kung was making ecumenical overtures to the Protestants in his audience. That in itself is important, to help forment unity within Christianity, and I can't fault him for the valiant effort even if I do question his over-emphasis on justification.

Faith in Catholicism is not a "one-time" event ie "I now have faith in Christ, so I am saved". Its a life-long process that happens in communion with the church, that is the community of believers.

Here lies the difference most starkly of all between Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestantism with Roman Catholicism (and in some respects Anglicanism) being a kind of intermediate between the two although clearly closer to Eastern Orthodoxy (and we have Eastern Catholics in communion with Rome who have the exact same theology as the Orthodox):

Quote:
A third major difference between Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism concerns contrasting understandings of salvation. For Evangelicals, salvation almost always means justification, the initial act by which God declares a sinner to be righteous. The sinner then becomes acceptable in the eyes of God and begins a personal relationship with Him. This aspect of salvation known as justification is not emphasized in Eastern Orthodoxy. When Orthodox theologians speak of the beginning of Christian life, they speak of baptism rather than a conscious conversion experience. But in actuality, Orthodox do not focus on the beginning of Christian life because salvation is understood to be the process of becoming acceptable to God--as I practice love, mercy, and justice, as I become more and more like God, acceptable to God, and in fellowship with Him. This Eastern Orthodox process of salvation is called theosis, or deification...This different understanding of salvation looms large as we consider when a person becomes acceptable before God...

The traditional Roman Catholic position is a slightly more legalistic, Latin version of the Eastern Orthodox one which *might* sometimes use the idea of "justification" but always meaning a "process" when it does so rather than an "event" as with Evangeicalism.

The reason why Catholicism can successfully integrate other religions into the divine plan and acknowledge that one does not have to be a Christian to be saved, is because the emphasis is not on "justification" or a knowledge that Christ is your personal saviour but rather on how one is related to the Mystical Body of the Redeemer and where on stands in relation to one's conscience.

Pope Benedict when he was Cardinal Ratzinger wrote this:

Quote:
"...The question of what it means to say that baptism is necessary for salvation...The Second Vatican Council said on this point that men who are seeking for God and who are inwardly striving toward that which constitutes baptism will also receive salvation. That is to say that a seeking after God already represents an inward participation in baptism, in the Church, in Christ..."

Quote:
179. Would a good and practicing Jew go to heaven, despite his not being baptized a Christian?

Yes, provided through no fault of his own he did not at any time advert to the truth of Christianity, and to the necessity of actual baptism; and provided he sincerely believed Judaism to be still the true religion, and died truly repentant of all serious violations of conscience during life.

Source: Radio Replies, third volume, by Fathers Rumble and Carty, Radio Replies Press, St. Paul 1, Minn., U.S.A., copyright 1942, page 43.

The doctrine of EENS might sound more restrictive but its actually much more open than sole fide, because the "church" is a Mystical Body (mystica corporis) and membership in it is therefore also mystical in nature, to do with one's heart as much as it is the body. There is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church. Salvation comes to people outside the Church through their spiritual baptism into the Church through following the Will of God as known to their conscience. This emphasis upon the will of God is biblically based:

Quote:
"...Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven..."

- Jesus Christ (Sermon on the Mount)

This is the very same theology of the "will" underpinning the teaching of Pope Pius XII and subsequent teaching of the Holy Office in 1949 (the highest authority in the Vatican on doctrine of which yes Ratzinger became the head when it was re-named):


Quote:
Holy Office, Aug 9, 1949 (DS 3870):

"...It is not always required that one be actually incorporated as a member of the Church...God accepts 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...."



Quote:
"...Perfection is founded entirely on the love of God: "Love is the bond of perfection;" and perfect love of God means the complete union of our will with God's: "The principal effect of love is so to unite the wills of those who love each other as to make them will the same things." It follows then, that the more one unites his will with the divine will, the greater will be his love of God. Mortification, meditation, receiving Holy Communion, acts of fraternal charity are all certainly pleasing to God - but only when they are in accordance with his will. When they do not accord with God's will, he not only finds no pleasure in them, but he even rejects them...The greatest glory we can give to God is to do his will in everything. Our Redeemer came on earth to glorify his heavenly Father and to teach us by his example how to do the same....Our Lord frequently declared that he had come on earth not to do his own will, but solely that of his Father...To do God's will - this was the goal upon which the saints constantly fixed their gaze. They were fully persuaded that in this consists the entire perfection of the soul...A single act of uniformity with the divine will suffices to make a saint..."

- St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696 –1787), Catholic mystic & Doctor of the Church

We don't share the traditional Protestant exclusivist view of salvation. We are inclusivist, which is the kind of middle-ground between what we see as two heretical propositions:

- Exclusivism: There is no salvation outside of formal water baptism/explicit faith in Christ (heresy)

- Pluralism: all religions and paths are salvifically equal and can grant salvation (heresy)



A Catholic in good conscience is not allowed to believe either of these ideas. There is also recognition of truths in other religions, for the Church teaches:

Quote:
Normally, “it will be in the sincere practice of what is good in their own religious traditions and by following the dictates of their own conscience that the members of other religions respond positively to God’s invitation and receive salvation in Jesus Christ, even while they do not recognize or acknowledge him as their Saviour (cf. Ad gentes, nn. 3, 9, 11)...” (Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue – Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Instruction Dialogue and Proclamation, 19 May 1991, n. 29; L’Osservatore Romano English edition, 1 July 1991, p. III).
So these truths from the Holy Spirit embedded in non-Christian religions help these non-Christians adhere more closely to their conscience and therefore attain to salvation.

A Catholic rather believes even today what the ultra-conservative and out-dated Catholic Encloepedia taught back in 1913:


Quote:
The Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)

“...The doctrine is summed up in the phrase, Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus...It certainly does not mean that none can be saved except those who are in visible communion with the Church. The Catholic Church has ever taught 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. Should he die in these dispositions, he will assuredly attain heaven...Love of God carries with it the practical desire to fulfill His commandments...It should be observed that those who are thus saved are not entirely outside the pale of the Church. The will to fulfill all God's commandments is, and must be, present in all of them. Such a wish implicitly includes the desire for incorporation with the visible Church: for this, though they know it not, has been commanded by God...”
*note use of phrase "justification" But its not founded on explicit faith, rather charity, a process as I explained earlier, connotating love and acts.


In this respect Catholicism exhibits some true solidarity with Islam, Judaism, the Baha'i Faith and other great religions on the importance of the "Will of God".


Quote:
The book on world religions was written after Hans Kung lost his license to teach Catholic theology, so he wasn't saying this was a specifically Catholic position. It was just his position as an ecumenical theologian.

That would explain it then. He is of course entitled to his academic opinions on the matter so long as he does not publish them as the official doctrine of the Church.

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-22-2012 at 03:29 PM.
 
Old 12-22-2012, 02:58 PM   #257
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Quote:
Normally, “it will be in the sincere practice of what is good in their own religious traditions and by following the dictates of their own conscience that the members of other religions respond positively to God’s invitation and receive salvation in Jesus Christ, even while they do not recognize or acknowledge him as their Saviour (cf. Ad gentes, nn. 3, 9, 11)...” - Blessed Pope John Paul II (Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue – Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Instruction Dialogue and Proclamation, 19 May 1991, n. 29; L’Osservatore Romano English edition, 1 July 1991, p. III).
So these truths from the Holy Spirit embedded in non-Christian religions help these non-Christians adhere more closely to their conscience and therefore attain to salvation.

Therefore Muhammad, for example, will have taught truths from the Holy Spirit in the Qur'an which enlighten the minds of his followers, helping them to form a good, informed conscience and as a result attain to salvation through baptism by implicit desire which consists in following the will of God as known to one's conscience; aided by the inspired truths within Islam. Such Muslims are incorporated into the Mystical Body of Christ and therefore receive salvation in Christ.

It should be noted:


Quote:
"...There is something true and divinely revealed, in every religion all over the earth..."

- Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801 – 1890), Catholic theologian, cardinal & bishop

It is important to remember that we should expect to find God both in each other and in our respective religious traditions, as the Catholic Bishops Conference of England Wales explain:


Quote:
"...We must certainly enter dialogue prepared to be surprised and to change our minds, because in dialogue with people of other religions we must not be surprised, but actually expect to find God already there. It is in dialogue that we meet and are moved to collaborate with the same Holy Spirit we have received ourselves..."

http://www.cbcew.org.uk/page.aspx?pid=458



Quote:
"...Now [we refer] to the adorers of God according to the conception of monotheism, the Muslim religion especially, deserving of our admiration for all that is true and good in their worship of God...Divine truth should be a means towards union, mutual understanding and peaceful living, and not a reason for quarrels and division...”

- Venerable Pope Paul VI (Ecclesiam Suam n. 32), 1964


That's how it works from our eyes in simplistic terms (as succinctly as I am able to explain it).

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-22-2012 at 03:15 PM.
 
Old 12-22-2012, 03:35 PM   #258
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To freshen up this thread and give it a little light, here are two popes separated by nearly a thousand years who expressed positive remarks regarding Islam:


Quote:
"...He who enlightens all men coming into this world (John 1.9) has enlightened your mind for this purpose. Almighty God, who wishes that all should be saved and none lost, approves nothing in so much as that after loving Him one should love his fellow man, and that one should not do to others, what one does not want done to oneself. This affection we and you owe to each other in a more peculiar way than to people of other races because we worship and confess the same God though in diverse forms and daily praise and adore Him as the creator and ruler of this world. For, in the words of the Apostle, 'He is our peace who hath made both one.' This good action was inspired in your heart by God....This grace granted to you by God is admired and praised by many of the Roman nobility who have learned from us of your benevolence and high qualities [. . .] For God knows that we love you purely for His honour and that we desire your salvation and glory, both in this life and in the life to come. And we pray in our hearts and with our lips that God may lead you to the abode of happiness, to the bosom of the holy patriarch Abraham, after long years of life here on earth..."

- Pope St. Gregory VII, Letter XXI to Al-Nasir the Muslim Ruler of Bijaya (Algeria), 1076

Quote:
"...Christians and Muslims, we have many things in common, as believers and as human beings. We live in the same world, marked by many signs of hope, but also by multiple signs of anguish. For us, Abraham is a very model of faith in God, of submission to his will and of confidence in his goodness. We believe in the same God, the one God, the living God, the God who created the world and brings his creatures to their perfection...The Catholic Church regards with respect and recognizes the equality of your religious progress, the richness of your spiritual tradition...On this path, you are assured, of the esteem and the collaboration of your Catholic brothers and sisters whom I represent among you this evening..."

- Blessed Pope John Paul II: Address to young Muslims in Casablanca, 1985

Of the above first quote Pope John Paul II said in 1990:


Quote:
"...I close my greeting to you with the words of one of my predecessors, Pope Gregory VII who in 1076 wrote to Al-Nasir, the Muslim Ruler of Bijaya, present day Algeria...These words, written almost a thousand years ago, express my feelings to you today as you celebrate ‘Id al-Fitr, the Feast of the Breaking of the Fast. May the Most High God fill us with all His merciful love and peace..."

- Blessed Pope John Paul II, Message to the faithful of Islam at the end of the month of Ramadan, April 3, 1991

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-22-2012 at 03:39 PM.
 
Old 12-22-2012, 03:37 PM   #259
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smaneck View Post
There is no Christianity until after Jesus dies so we can't say it was defined by Him.
right. Our meaning is that, a direct Revelation Always comes through the Manifestations of God.
Of course when a new religion comes through the Manifestation of God, then it is farther expended and taught by the successors of the Manifestations of God.

For example, in Islam, Muhammad was the direct revealer of the Word of God.
Then His successors, the Twelve Imams, farther taught the essence of Muhammad teachings.
However, these successors do not have the right to bring a new Law, or abrogate any of the Laws. They can only interpret them, and explain them.
For example, Abdulbaha did not have the right to abrogate any Laws, or bring any Laws. But He was an infallible interpreter, according to Baha'u'llah.
For example Abdulbaha abrogated bigamy, only by interpreting the verses of Baha'u'llah, but not by recieving the Word of God directly.

when we come to Christianity, that faith is defined through a direct Revelation by Jesus. This is the essence of the new Faith the Jesus had brought. The desciples of Christ, may be said, had the right to interpret and explain the teachings of Jesus. But not define any new Laws.

My meaning is that, the Laws can be only abrogated or ordained by the Manifestation of God. The infallible appointed successors can only interpret them.
Now if we take the Desciples of Jesus and also Paul as official and infallible interpreter of Jesus Revelation, then if they had interpreted the Revelation of Jesus as a Revelation that entirely abrogated the Mosaic Law, we can say, that is what Christianity teaches.

However, I personally do not see such a clear statement either from Jesus, or His Desciples. Secondly, here, I am assuming that the desciples of Jesus and Paul are infallible appointed successor of Jesus with the right to officially interpret the Bible. (of course I neither say they were, or they were not).

However, I see so many so called saints in Christian History who exlained what Christianity teaches. I just don't consider all of these so called saints, as the infallible interpreter of Jesus.
 
Old 12-22-2012, 04:02 PM   #260
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Some Further Questions View Post
SFQ: Nearly all religions have their failures. The point of this thread is (at least I think so): what is the content, purpose and end of these two religions in their pure form?
The problem is that you want to compare your own ideal of Christianity with the worst you see in Islam.

Quote:
SFQ: I'm unclear what your position on the authority of Scripture is so if you could tell me I'd appreciate it.
My position on the authority of the Bible (not necessarily scripture in general) is basically the same now as it was when I was a Christian. I am not an inerrantist. I believe that the Bible contains the Word of God but I don't think every word of it constitutes Divine Revelation.

Quote:
For me and to a lesser extent the Baha'is here accept scripture as truth (although arthra shared a writings quote indicating that not all scripture was authentic in Baha'i view).
I think when Shoghi Effendi spoke of the Bible being less authentic than the Qur'an what he had in mind is that, unlike the Qur'an, not every word of it comes from God through a Manfestation, i.e. a figure like Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, etc. We are not saying the Bible is corrupted, as some Muslims believe, only that it isn't that kind of book.

Quote:
But it seems that for the large part it is to be trusted even from the Baha'i perspective.
Baha'u'llah insists that the essential message of the Gospel has been preserved, yes. That means it accurately reflects what Jesus taught. It doesn't mean it accurately reflects the views of His onlookers.

Quote:
"A few years ago, when we invaded Iraq."

Susan.... I can tell you're an intelligent woman (so I'm not trying to be insulting) but there is an obvious distinction between the actions of governments that CONTAIN professing Christians (some genuine some not) and Christianity as a whole.
Yet you would ascribe the views of a handful of terrorists to Islam as a whole. However, it has been my observation that evangelicals supported the war much more enthusiastically than those who were not.

Quote:
Some people would say we're a Christian nation, our president says we're not so I guess it varies, there is not a consensus.
Actually our Founding Fathers explicitly said we weren't.

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Muslim] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

Treaty of Tripoli, 1796, ratified unanimously by US Senate and signed into law by President John Adams.

So you win that point- the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.

Quote:
"Please don't. This is not a forum for Islam-bashing. "

It need not be bashing if it is based in facts and done respectfully.
What it is based on is cut and pasting from Islamophobic websites. Have you ever actually read the Qur'an in its entirety?

Quote:
But what did you expect from this thread?
Nothing better than what you did. If it were a sincere question you simply would have asked it without dredging up all the dirt you could find on Islam.

Quote:
So I've not mislead anyone.
I'm not suggest you misled anyone. I'm just saying your intent was to prove that Christianity was better than Islam. You really weren't all that interested in how Baha'is might see it.


A wife had spilled a something he’d told her in confidence he threatens to divorce her for someone better.

smaneck: Gee, where does the Qur'an say these words were revealed because Muhammad's wife spilled something? "

Quote:
SFQ: Perhaps that was unclear. She "spilled" a secret.

66:3 When the Prophet confided a fact unto one of his wives and when she afterward divulged it and Allah apprised him thereof, he made known (to her) part thereof and passed over part. And when he told it her she said: Who hath told thee ? He said: The Knower, the Aware hath told me.
(The Qur'an (Pickthall tr), Sura 66 - The Prohibition)
Oh, that's what you are talking about. His wife isn't being threatened with divorce for divulging a secret but rather for lying about it afterwards.

Quote:
But I'd be interested to know why you consider it a hate site. Is it solely because it disagrees with Islam and utilizes the Qur'an and other historical sources for that end?
Islam is not a person you can disagree with. It is attacking a world religion and attempting to present it in the worst light possible.

Quote:
I've never come across any statement (implied or otherwise) that said it thought Muslims were stupid, evil or should be hated.
There are plenty of places where it indicates Islam is evil.

Quote:
Individuals perhaps but you find negative traits within people of all religions.
Except it is the Founder of the religion they want to present as a pedophile, etc.

Quote:
smaneck:"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. "

SFQ: Would you accept Christian sources or throw it out?
Unbiased sources are always preferable.

Quote:
Don't you think the Qur'an has more in common with the OT than the NT?
In some ways, yes. The situation was similar. The Arabs had more in common with the early Hebrews than they did with the cosmopolitan culture in which Jesus was born.
The All-Knowing Physician hath His finger on the pulse of mankind. He perceiveth the disease, and prescribeth, in His unerring wisdom, the remedy. Every age hath its own problem, and every soul its particular aspiration. The remedy the world needeth in its present-day afflictions can never be the same as that which a subsequent age may require. Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and center your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements.

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 212)

Quote:
smaneck: "Not in a desolate environment where most people lived on the edge."

SFQ: Could you elaborate? I fail to see how marriage brought them any more food, tents, clothing and other necessities of life.
When you marry some one you live in the same tent and become part of the same economy.

Quote:
Since Muhammad's wives were Muslims anyway they were already going to pool their resources.
I just took in a young man who aged out of foster care. I can afford to support him as long as he lives under my roof. If he lived anywhere else I couldn't afford. it.

Quote:
SFQ:I already explained that I didn't mean solely rituals.
In which case your entire argument falls apart. If you meant laws, yes, unlike Christianity Islam has laws. Every community needs them. The purpose of Islam is to establish divine community, not just save individuals.

Quote:
smaneck: "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

SFQ: I admit the Qur'an is confusing at times (even the Bible is!) But how do you reconcile these earlier verses and those like them elsewhere? Do you disagree with Zhang and think it was abrogated in the same surah?
I disagree with Zhang that scripture is not abrogated, but there is no contradiction within this surah.. The surah abrogates the Jerusalem as the Qiblih and makes it instead Mecca. It is within this context that the Qur'an points out that there is nothing *instrinsically* spiritual about turning your face one way or the other. We do it because it is what God asks us to do, period.

Quote:
SFQ: Some Christians do use that for that doctrine that's true. But we are diverse and I don't
"Some Christians" meaning Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and almost the entirety of the Reformation.
 
Old 12-22-2012, 04:37 PM   #261
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@smaneck

Thanks for your reply, I'll try to get back to you soon. I almost forgot this:

"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.) "

Act 23:6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.

Exactly (well in part)! Paul REMAINED a Pharisee, affirming that he did indeed believe in a literal resurrection that he attributes to Christ. So you have to accept that he either decieved/mislead them or did in fact believe in a literal resurrection of Christ. The reason he was called in was over Christ. Paul elaborates on this point clarifying that it about the resurrection of Christ as the Pharisees define resurrection - a literal definition.
 
Old 12-22-2012, 04:54 PM   #262
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Quote:
Exactly (well in part)! Paul REMAINED a Pharisee, affirming that he did indeed believe in a literal resurrection
To my knowledge neither Paul, the Pharisees of the Sadducees every raised the question as to whether the resurrection was 'literal.' Sadducees didn't believe in an afterlife period.

Quote:
So you have to accept that he either decieved/mislead them or did in fact believe in a literal resurrection of Christ.
Sorry, that passage from Acts says nothing about 'literal.'
 
Old 12-23-2012, 06:56 AM   #263
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Certainly NOT an exhaustive list but enough for the moment I think. Feel free to cite reliable references you think argue otherwise about Pharisee belief regarding resurrection. I think you'll find that across the board they believed in a literal resurrection. Even if there was an exception (which I haven't found) that doesn't change the fact that they generally did believe in a literal resurrection to which Paul was identifying his own belief about Christ.

Jewish Resurrection of the Dead - My Jewish Learning

The Pharisees [the predecessors of mainstream, rabbinic Judaism] seem to have held that both doctrines were basic to Judaism; the resurrection afforded hope for national survival, together with the idea of the Messiah, while the belief in the immortality of the soul appealed to the individual's need to be assured that he survives death. The Sadducees [an opposing Jewish sect] appear to have rejected both beliefs, although some scholars claim that the frequent references to Sadducean denial apply only to the doctrine of the resurrection, not to that of the immortality of the soul.

Pharisees - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Beliefs

Pharisaic views were non-creedal and non-dogmatic, and heterogeneous. No single tractate of the key Rabbinic texts, the Mishnah and the Talmud, is devoted to theological issues; these texts are concerned primarily with interpretations of Jewish law, and anecdotes about the sages and their values. Only one chapter of the Mishnah deals with theological issues; it asserts that three kinds of people will have no share in "the world to come:" those who deny the resurrection of the dead, those who deny the divinity of the Torah, and Epicureans (who deny divine supervision of human affairs). Another passage suggests a different set of core principles: normally, a Jew may violate any law to save a life, but in Sanhedrin 74a, a ruling orders Jews to accept martyrdom rather than violate the laws against idolatry, murder, or adultery. (Judah haNasi, however, said that Jews must "be meticulous in small religious duties as well as large ones, because you do not know what sort of reward is coming for any of the religious duties," suggesting that all laws are of equal importance). In comparison with Christianity, the Rabbis were not especially concerned with the messiah or claims about the messiah or ranking the laws in importance.
 
Old 12-23-2012, 06:58 AM   #264
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Sorry the hyperlinks didn't carry over. You can find them on the resurrection thread page 3.
 
Old 12-23-2012, 08:11 AM   #265
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@smaneck

"The problem is that you want to compare your own ideal of Christianity with the worst you see in Islam. "

I want to compare the Bible with the Qur'an since they are foundational to both religions and THEY tell you what the ideal is for both among other things. I've responded to remarks about Christianity not having much of a lasting positive impact on history/societies but as I recall I did not initiate these.

By all means let's compare the best and the worst (in scripture please) of both religions and see what we find. I issued the challenge of 1Corinthians 13 and while I got a few responses with a verse or two it didn't really compare to 1Cor 13 ... or do you disagree? If so please elaborate.

"My position on the authority of the Bible (not necessarily scripture in general) is basically the same now as it was when I was a Christian. I am not an inerrantist. I believe that the Bible contains the Word of God but I don't think every word of it constitutes Divine Revelation."

Thanks for clearing that up, as you might have guessed I do believe the Bible is inerrant.

"Yet you would ascribe the views of a handful of terrorists to Islam as a whole. However, it has been my observation that evangelicals supported the war much more enthusiastically than those who were not. "

I have read the entire Qur'an (Pickthall via Ocean as well as some of the Hadith) and it does seem that the actions of many terrorists follow the teachings of the Qur'an. Now that doesn't make me an expert by any means of course, and I'm willing to be shown (by the Qur'an) how many (not all) of these men are NOT following Islam with their attacks. I have a friend at work who is Muslim but he was raised in America and seems to have a very different mentality about the whole thing. I've worked with a number of Muslims and got along fine with them. So no I don't think all Muslims are terrorists by any means.

"What it is based on is cut and pasting from Islamophobic websites. Have you ever actually read the Qur'an in its entirety?"

My dear Susan... the first reference I posted was about the chronological order of the Qur'an and from what I can see that particular page didn't contain any offensive material. I DID apologize to all if it offended anyone. The answering Islam page again, didn't contain any offensive material that I saw (the whole site is another issue). Yet I agreed that I would not post any more links there. But come now, out of all my posts you're saying that TWO, count 'em 2 links is what my argument is based on? That's hardly accurate or fair.

"Nothing better than what you did. If it were a sincere question you simply would have asked it without dredging up all the dirt you could find on Islam. "

You're right, this wasn't a question as much as a challenge. But let's be clear. For myself and many Christians the challenge begins with the Baha'i quote at the beginning of this thread that asserts Islam's superiority to Christianity. I am responding to that assertion made from the Baha'i Faith.

"I'm not suggest you misled anyone. I'm just saying your intent was to prove that Christianity was better than Islam. You really weren't all that interested in how Baha'is might see it. "

Yes and no. It was/is my intent to prove that Christianity is better than Islam. I AM interested in how Baha'is see it because it seems such a crazy assertion that there must be more to it I think. Even if I don't agree with the Baha'i explanation it would be good to know. It would benefit talks with my mother (who's not quite sure what to say) if nothing else. Surely you've enjoyed learning about others knowing in advance you're likely not going to change your foundational views?

"Oh, that's what you are talking about. His wife isn't being threatened with divorce for divulging a secret but rather for lying about it afterwards."

Ok... still seems a bit too harsh don't you think?

"Unbiased sources are always preferable."

I don't think there is such a thing really. Anyhow is that a yes, no or "depends on the Christian source".

"When you marry some one you live in the same tent and become part of the same economy.
....
I just took in a young man who aged out of foster care. I can afford to support him as long as he lives under my roof. If he lived anywhere else I couldn't afford. it. "

They didn't share utility bills. What they needed to share was food, water and clothing. Nothing a short walk to tent G6 couldn't fix, no need to be married in the same tent. You could have the singles be in different tents with the same gender.

"In which case your entire argument falls apart. If you meant laws, yes, unlike Christianity Islam has laws. Every community needs them. The purpose of Islam is to establish divine community, not just save individuals. "

Well I don't think so. I did not mention solely laws either. It was a collection of things that reminded me far more of the OT than the NT. If we agree that the NT is more progressive than the OT, then a religion after Christianity that has more in common with the OT doesn't seem very progressive.

Yeshua has already posted some great stuff about the purpose of Christianity and it's clear that saving individuals was/is not the only purpose. The gospel is preached to believers in the NT.

"I disagree with Zhang that scripture is not abrogated, but there is no contradiction within this surah.. The surah abrogates the Jerusalem as the Qiblih and makes it instead Mecca. It is within this context that the Qur'an points out that there is nothing *instrinsically* spiritual about turning your face one way or the other. We do it because it is what God asks us to do, period."

"turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship." Not "if you please". It was a COMMAND from Allah. To obey IS holiness, to disobey sin. What's more Allah is watching, "not unaware of what ye do."

I appreciate many Christians for their thoughts and words although I may disagree on 1 or more important issues. Such as C.S. Lewis and our friend Yeshua here.
 
Old 12-23-2012, 04:28 PM   #266
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
However, these successors do not have the right to bring a new Law, or abrogate any of the Laws.
We are in no position to say what the successors of other religions can or cannot do. It doesn't even make sense in light of the fact that our own Universal House of Justice is empowered to make new laws.

Quote:
when we come to Christianity, that faith is defined through a direct Revelation by Jesus.
Again, we don't get to define Christianity.

Quote:
The desciples of Christ, may be said, had the right to interpret and explain the teachings of Jesus. But not define any new Laws.
But they did decide that some Laws were no longer binding.

Quote:
My meaning is that, the Laws can be only abrogated or ordained by the Manifestation of God.
Then you may want to tell the Universal House of Justice to disband, because they have no real function in that case.

Quote:
However, I personally do not see such a clear statement either from Jesus, or His Desciples.
Have you read Galatians and Romans?

The bottom line is that we don't have a right to impose our personal interpretations of Baha'i conceptions on other people's religion.
 
Old 12-23-2012, 05:09 PM   #267
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Some Further Questions View Post
I want to compare the Bible with the Qur'an since they are foundational to both religions and THEY tell you what the ideal is for both among other things.
If you only wanted to compare the Qur'an and Bible you would only be quoting those two texts instead of taking garbage off of hate sites like Answering-Islam. You also wouldn't have written: "You want evidence of Muhammad’s unjustified aggression and murder (like the poets)? You’ll get it. Be patient. I will be compiling."

Quote:
By all means let's compare the best and the worst (in scripture please) of both religions and see what we find. I issued the challenge of 1Corinthians 13 and while I got a few responses with a verse or two it didn't really compare to 1Cor 13 ... or do you disagree?
Anything that is not plagiarized is not comparable with any thing else. To argue that the Bible is better than the Qur'an because of that chapter is like saying Paul is superior to Jesus because Paul said this and Jesus didn't say anything comparable to it!

Quote:
Thanks for clearing that up, as you might have guessed I do believe the Bible is inerrant.
Yes, I guess that. I think the Catholic approach to scripture to make much more sense.

"Yet you would ascribe the views of a handful of terrorists to Islam as a whole. However, it has been my observation that evangelicals supported the war much more enthusiastically than those who were not. "

Quote:
I have a friend at work who is Muslim but he was raised in America and seems to have a very different mentality about the whole thing. I've worked with a number of Muslims and got along fine with them. So no I don't think all Muslims are terrorists by any means.
I said Islam, not Muslims.

"What it is based on is cut and pasting from Islamophobic websites. Have you ever actually read the Qur'an in its entirety?"

.
Quote:
Yet I agreed that I would not post any more links there. But come now, out of all my posts you're saying that TWO, count 'em 2 links is what my argument is based on? That's hardly accurate or fair.
I took this remark to mean this was the direction in which you intended to continue heading:

"You want evidence of Muhammad’s unjustified aggression and murder (like the poets)? You’ll get it. Be patient. I will be compiling."

.
Quote:
I AM interested in how Baha'is see it because it seems such a crazy assertion that there must be more to it I think. Even if I don't agree with the Baha'i explanation it would be good to know. It would benefit talks with my mother (who's not quite sure what to say) if nothing else.
Your mother's a Baha'i? My apologies then! I thought you were just here to proselytize. I did not realize you have a personal stake in this.

Quote:
"Oh, that's what you are talking about. His wife isn't being threatened with divorce for divulging a secret but rather for lying about it afterwards."

Ok... still seems a bit too harsh don't you think?
Without knowing the secret involved that would be hard to say. However, the Prophet expected His wives to be moral examples. Lies and deception would not become their station as "Mothers of the believers."

Quote:
I don't think there is such a thing really. Anyhow is that a yes, no or "depends on the Christian source".
Actually it depends more on the soundness of their methodology for determining this.

Quote:
They didn't share utility bills. What they needed to share was food, water and clothing. Nothing a short walk to tent G6 couldn't fix, no need to be married in the same tent. You could have the singles be in different tents with the same gender.
The tent part was facetious. Muhammad did not live in a tent and it would not have been appropriate to make these women live in tents either since they were not bedoiun.

"In which case your entire argument falls apart. If you meant laws, yes, unlike Christianity Islam has laws. Every community needs them. The purpose of Islam is to establish divine community, not just save individuals. "

Quote:
Well I don't think so. I did not mention solely laws either. It was a collection of things that reminded me far more of the OT than the NT. If we agree that the NT is more progressive than the OT, then a religion after Christianity that has more in common with the OT doesn't seem very progressive.
As I mentioned, the situation of the pre-Islamic Arabs was much closer to that of the ancient Hebrews. It seems to me that when it came to the Law Christians tossed out the baby with the bath water. I believe that Islam contains some of the best elements of both Judaism and Islam. However, I do not believe many of its laws are applicable today. Nor do I think it really useful to debate which religion was better. Instead we should focus on what is needed today:

"The All-Knowing Physician hath His finger on the pulse of mankind. He perceiveth the disease, and prescribeth, in His unerring wisdom, the remedy. Every age hath its own problem, and every soul its particular aspiration. The remedy the world needeth in its present-day afflictions can never be the same as that which a subsequent age may require. Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and center your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements."
 
Old 12-23-2012, 05:30 PM   #268
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The west has flourished with Christianity, and the east is still stuck in 7th century arabia. Egyptians voted themselves an islamist government whereas Christians in the west have thought for a constituional republic. Christianity is not the direct cause but is a factor, islam as a religion has always existed to control externally via government and harsh laws which are absoluite, whereas Christianity has existed without the law we might say, that it is the inward position of one that matters. And while this is of course a generalisation which doesn't get into the further details because certaintly there are aspects of islam which say personal morality without accountability to the state is okay and while Christians have always supported laws for a society to remain healthy, it speaks to a general truth.

I suppose it could be answered this way, if the west were to give up all its weapons and fighting what would the islamic east do? And if the islamic east were to stop committing jihad and slaughtering their own what would the west do?
 
Old 12-23-2012, 06:14 PM   #269
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iconodule View Post
The west has flourished with Christianity
The West was not flourishing prior to the 16th century. It was the wealth gotten from its conquest of the Americas that allowed it to establish global hegemony.

,
Quote:
and the east is still stuck in 7th century arabia. Egyptians voted themselves an islamist government whereas Christians in the west have thought for a constituional republic.
Whatever the faults of the current Egyptian government it is still a constitutional republic. In fact it is the constitution they are voting on right now.

Democracy arose as a result of the Enlightenment, an explicitly anti-Christian movement. The church largely opposed the emergence of democracies.

Quote:
I suppose it could be answered this way, if the west were to give up all its weapons and fighting what would the islamic east do?
Actually, if the West had no colonized Muslim countries we wouldn't be having the problems we do today.
 
Old 12-23-2012, 06:23 PM   #270
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Posts: 865
Its a constitutional republic which does not allow free speech, Christians to vote and full rights to all people, if you think thats good then you are wrong. and you are blaming the west for muslims figthing? WHen muslims since the time of muhammad have always been fighitng and expanding their territory? Dont make me laugh.

But we have to look at the results, Christinaity has always recognised inherent dignity of people, inherent worth of people whereas islam has said that anyone not muslim are the worst creatures.
 
Old 12-23-2012, 06:41 PM   #271
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smaneck View Post
Democracy arose as a result of the Enlightenment, an explicitly anti-Christian movement. The church largely opposed the emergence of democracies.
True, Pio Nono especially was a big enemy of modern secular values and democratic reforms after his conversion from liberal to maniac conservative. Thankfully his successor Pope Leo XIII wasn't and there was a bit of a thaw. The horrors of the French Revolution had turned the church against republicanism and democracy until Leo XIII became pope in ah, the 1880s I believe. Pope Leo XIII supported the idea of "Christian Democracy" as a viable and legitimate form of government in a Catholic state (so long as Catholicism remained the priviliged religion in the country and had special rights!). He stated:


Quote:
"...No one of the several forms of government is in itself condemned insofar as none of them contains anything contrary to Catholic doctrine, and all of them are capable, if wisely and justly managed, of insuring the welfare of the State....It is not of itself wrong to prefer a democratic form of government if only the Catholic doctrine be maintained as to the origin and exercise of power. Of the various forms of government, the Church does not reject any that are fitted to procure the welfare of the subject...it is not forbidden to prefer temperate, popular forms of government, without prejudice, however, to Catholic teaching on the origin and use of authority...the Church does not disapprove of any of the various forms of government, provided they be per se capable of securing the good of the citizens...in matters merely political, as for instance, the best form of government, and this or that system of administration, a difference of opinion is lawful...Our action shows clearly that the interest and solicitude of the Church looks not so much to its external structure and organization, as to the individual himself who, far from being the object and, as it were, a merely passive element in the social order, is in fact, and must be and continue to be, its subject, its foundation, and its end. A healthy and true democracy responding also to the social tone proper to the charity of the Church, can be realized in monarchies as well as republics..."

- (Pope Leo XIII: Encyclical "Libertas," June 20, 1888)

This gave Catholics once again the right to be "democrats" if they so wished.

To be fair though, the church did praise elements of democracy before this very bad 19th century (the catholic church's lowest point in terms of liberal, progressive thinking).

When the French Revolutionary Army invaded Italy in 1797, Pope Pius VII - then the top Cardinal in the Church - cautioned temperance and submission to the Cisalpine Republic they established. In his Christmas homily that year, rather than giving into pessimism and denying democracy because of the horrors of the secularists and becoming an autocrat, Pius VII stuck to his democratic convictions. He used this homily as a great clarion call for an authentic Christian democracy:


Quote:
"...Become out-and-out Christians and you will also be thorough-going democrats. Christian virtue makes men good democrats.... Equality is not an idea of philosophers but of Christ...and do not believe that the Catholic religion is against democracy...The democratic form of government is not . . . repugnant to the Gospel. On the contrary it exacts all the sublime virtues which are learned only in the school of Jesus Christ..."

- Pope Pius VII, 1797 Christmas Sermon (when still cardinal)

One historian comments:


Quote:
"...These words, now commonplace, took vision and courage to utter in 1797 with the smell of blood still rank on French "democracy."..."
In the mixed system of government first formulated by the pre-Christian Greek philosopher Polybius democracy was part of the "ideal government" and great Christian thinkers such as Augustine and Thomas Aquinas supported this form of government.

Our modern forms of government in the West are parliamentary democracies, not pure democracies in the Classical Greek sense - where there were no elected officials or ministers but rather assemblies in which every man voted on what was going to happen in the country, with equal power.

Our "Democracies" are composed of three distinct entities which share power so as to prevent absolutism: The Legislature, The Executive and the Judiciary.

This set-up is a combination of three classical forms of government into an "ideal" (as much as humanely possible) form of government which is partly a democracy (because there is an elected assembly), partly a monarchy (because there is a single sovereign or President) and partly an aristocracy because there are judges. Power is shared amongst these 3 branches of government to prevent one organ or person from becoming all powerful.

This form of government was clearly enunciated by Saint Thomas Aquinas:

Quote:
"...Accordingly, the best form of government is in a state [republic] or kingdom, wherein one is given the power to preside over all, while under him are others having governing powers. And yet a government of this kind is shared by all, both because all are eligible to govern, and because the rulers are chosen by all. For this is the best form of polity, being partly kingdom, since there is one at the head of all; partly aristocracy, in so far as a number of persons are set in authority; partly democracy, i.e., government by the people, in so far as the rulers can be chosen from the people, and the people have the right to choose their rulers. Such was the form of government established by the divine Law. For Moses and his successors governed the people in such a way that each of them was ruler over all; so that there was a kind of kingdom. Moreover, seventy-two men were chosen, who were elders in virtue, for it is written (Deut. I, 15): I took out of your tribes men wise and honorable, and appointed them rulers; so that there was an element of aristocracy. But it was a democratic government in so far as the rulers were chosen from all the people, for it is written (Exod. XVIII, 21): Provide out of all the people wise men, etc.; and, again, in so far as they were chosen by the people. Hence it is written (Deut. I, 13): Let me have from among you wise men, etc. Consequently, it is evident that the ordering of the rulers was well provided for by the Law....All of the people should take some share in the government for this form of constitution ensures peace among the people, commends itself to all, and is most enduring..."

- Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), Doctor of the Church

Aquinas notes that the Mosaic Law had no provision for the selection of a king and that when God did allow the Israelites to choose a king, they effectively created a tyrannical ruler. He also noted that the primitive Israelite government was a "democratic government in so far as the rulers were chosen from among the people". This is, of course, a very strained interpretation of scripture (hardly modern biblical scholarship), however he really was desperate to find a basis for this Greek system of government in scripture and so he alighted upon this:

Quote:
"Choose some wise, intelligent and experienced men from each of your tribes, and I will set them over you as your rulers."

- Deuteronomy 1:13

Maurice de Wulf (a thomist philosopher, one of the pioneers of the historiography of medieval philosophy) back in 1922 in his book "Philosophy and Civilization in the Middle Ages" commented on this passage from the works of Thomas Aquinas:


Quote:
"...Thomas, for himself, shows very marked preference for [...] a form of government [...] in which sovereignity belongs to the people...In this passage, written about 1250, the following political principles are affirmed [by Thomas Aquinas]: universal suffrage, the right of the humblest citizen to be raised to the highest power, the consecration of personal worth and virtue, a representative and elective [government], and the right of the people to delegate, to those who are most worthy of it, that sacred gift of God called power...The most perfect form of delegation of power is [thus] the elective system; for as Thomas writes in his commentary on the Politics of Aristotle, 'election is a work of reason'..."
Saint Augustine of Hippo also affirmed democratic elections:


Quote:
"...If the people have a sense of moderation and responsibility, and are most careful guardians of the commonweal, it is right to enact a law allowing such a people to elect their own magistrates for the government of the commonwealth..."

- Saint Augustine of Hippo (354 – 430), De libero arbitrio

St Thomas Aquinas - like St Isidore of Seville and Polybius before him - believed that the best form of government was a "mixed government" - that is composed of an element of monarchy (a clear Head of State), aristocracy (officials/judges) and democracy (an elected assembly). He believed that sovereignity (or the law-making power) was derived from the people and that the leaders should be chosen by the people, from among the people and that all should be eligible both to elect leaders and to themselves govern.

Thomas called this ideal government, "government by the people".

The divinely inspired author of the First Book of Maccabees had high praise for the Roman Republic (of which he was a contemporary witness) which is a similar kind of ancient prototype of this form of governance:

Quote:
1 Maccabees 8

"...Now Judas heard of the fame of the Romans, that they were very strong and were well disposed towards all who made an alliance with them, that they pledged friendship to those who came to them, and that they were very strong [...] The remaining kingdoms and islands, as many as ever opposed them, they destroyed and enslaved; but with their friends and those who rely on them they have kept friendship. They have subdued kings far and near, and as many as have heard of their fame have feared them. Those whom they wish to help and to make kings, they make kings, and those whom they wish they depose; and they have been greatly exalted. Yet for all this not one of them has put on a crown or worn purple as a mark of pride, but they have built for themselves a senate chamber, and every day three hundred and twenty senators constantly deliberate concerning the people, to govern them well. They trust one man each year to rule over them and to control all their land; they all heed the one man, and there is no envy or jealousy among them..."

(NRSV)

Pointing to the election of Saul as King of Israel, Pope Innocent IV (1195 – 1254) explained that all societies had the natural right to choose their leaders:

Quote:
"...Saul's election as king was, in Innocent's opinion, evidence that "all rational creatures" had the right to select their own rulers. This right did not rest on any special divine grant of authority, nor was it restricted to the ancient Israelites. By the laws that were common to all men, private property and self-government were the right of all men..."

- James Muldoon

By the pontificate of Pope Pius XII in 1939, the church openly supported democracy:


Quote:
"...Moreover -- and this is perhaps the most important point -- beneath the sinister lightning of the war that encompasses them, in the blazing heat of the furnace that imprisons them, the peoples have, as it were, awakened from a long torpor. They have assumed, in relation to the state and those who govern, a new attitude -- one that questions, criticizes, distrusts.

Taught by bitter experience, they are more aggressive in opposing the concentration of dictatorial power that cannot be censured or touched, and call for a system of government more in keeping with the dignity and liberty of the citizens. These multitudes, uneasy, stirred by the war to their innermost depths, are today firmly convinced -- at first, perhaps, in a vague and confused way, but already unyieldingly -- that had there been the possibility of censuring and correcting the actions of public authority, the world would not have been dragged into the vortex of a disastrous war, and that to avoid for the future the repetition of such a catastrophe, we must vest efficient guarantees in the people itself. In such a psychological atmosphere, is it to be wondered at if the tendency towards democracy is capturing the peoples and winning a large measure of consent and support from those who hope to play a more efficient part in the destinies of individuals and of society? ..."

- Venerable Pope Pius XII, Democracy and a Lasting Peace, 1944

http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius12/P12XMAS.HTM


The Pope furthermore called for Christians to support democracy. Jeffery Haynes writes of this message:


Quote:
"...In his Christmas Message of 1944, for example, Pope Pius XII articulated a detailed endorsement of democracy..."

Finally in modern times, democracy was of huge importance to Pope John Paul II. In particular, he openly supported the anti-communist labor union Solidarność in his home country Poland. Michail Gorbatchev, former President of the Soviet Union, wrote in his memoirs that the transformation in Eastern Europe would not have been possible without John Paul II. In the encyclical “Centesimus annus” of 1 May 1991, John Paul II formulated a comprehensive criticism of totalitarianism and wrote in support of democracy:


Quote:
“The Church values the democratic system inasmuch as it ensures the participation of citizens in making political choices, guarantees to the governed the possibility both of electing and holding accountable those who govern them, and of replacing them through peaceful means when appropriate."

- Blessed Pope John Paul II, papal encyclical, 1991

As ever its slightly more nuanced rather than black-and-white, as with most things.

Your basic point is corrected but I just wanted to give a more balanced and complex picture.

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-24-2012 at 06:53 AM.
 
Old 12-24-2012, 01:23 PM   #272
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Posts: 228
@smaneck

"If you only wanted to compare the Qur'an and Bible you would only be quoting those two texts instead of taking garbage off of hate sites like Answering-Islam. You also wouldn't have written: "You want evidence of Muhammad’s unjustified aggression and murder (like the poets)? You’ll get it. Be patient. I will be compiling.""

It's true I'd planned to include “Muhammad" by H.M. Baluzi, (that's where I got the info about the poets BTW). Seeing as that's a Baha'i source I didn't think you'd object to that. But yes I think PRIMARILY comparing both books is the way to go. When I said I'd be compiling I did mean I would be citing the Qur'an and Balyuzi being trusted sources for Baha'is. If you'd asked instead of assumed I could have told you that. In the future why don't you ask just to be sure alright? I’ll try to do the same for you.

"Anything that is not plagiarized is not comparable with any thing else. To argue that the Bible is better than the Qur'an because of that chapter is like saying Paul is superior to Jesus because Paul said this and Jesus didn't say anything comparable to it!"

1st off Muhammad didn't seem to think so. 2nd Paul CONTINUOUSLY proclaimed his inferiority to Christ in every realm but being a sinner. 3rd was it not worth quoting (even in part) but telling the same stories (repeatedly) about Moses and the Egyptians were? I believe 1 Corinthians 13 is one of many reasons the Bible is superior to the Qur’an.

"23 And if ye are in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto Our slave (Muhammad), then produce a surah of the like thereof, and call your witness beside Allah if ye are truthful."

(The Qur'an (Pickthall tr), Sura 2 - The Cow)

If you’re interested I can produce scripture from the Bible that is comparable to the Qur’an. Is it wrong to turn the tables?

"I said Islam, not Muslims. "

I'm willing to be shown otherwise (for again I'm no expert) but it does seem that the Qur'an, if followed with it's abrogation’s does produce some nasty doctrine. I am very thankful indeed many Muslims today do not go that route. Then again many DO hold to some nasty teachings supported by the Qur’an don’t you think?

"I took this remark to mean this was the direction in which you intended to continue heading:"

Well now you know. Let’s move on please.

"Actually it depends more on the soundness of their methodology for determining this."

Good to know.

"The tent part was facetious. Muhammad did not live in a tent and it would not have been appropriate to make these women live in tents either since they were not bedoiun."

Alright it wasn't tents. Yes I was being a little humorous but I didn’t think offensive. Many great people of the Bible lived in tents and I don’t think any less of them. If it offended my apologies. Still applies though doesn't it? Being the sacrificial leader couldn't Muhammad and/or the other mature single Muslim men lived in tents until new houses were acquired/built?

"As I mentioned, the situation of the pre-Islamic Arabs was much closer to that of the ancient Hebrews. It seems to me that when it came to the Law Christians tossed out the baby with the bath water. I believe that Islam contains some of the best elements of both Judaism and Islam. However, I do not believe many of its laws are applicable today. Nor do I think it really useful to debate which religion was better. Instead we should focus on what is needed today:"

A better way to describe the difference from the OT and NT is comparing the laws of gravity (OT) and aerodynamics (NT). Gravity is not suspended when an airplane (or whatever) takes flight but it transcends it if you will. If someone drops something out of an airplane the item will drop even though the plane continues to rise. Certain traits of gravity (OT) apply to the plane (NT) like before but not all.

I understand that for many here it may seem like a moot point as to which is better since as you’ve indicated many of it’s laws are not applicable today. One of my points is that I don’t believe many of those laws should have been in place at ANY time. They were not for only the savage Arabs but according to the Qur’an and Hadith all mankind (even the civilized parts).

34:28 And We have not sent thee (O Muhammad) save as a bringer of good tidings and a warner unto all mankind; but most of mankind know not.

13:7 Those who disbelieve say: If only some portent were sent down upon him from his Lord! Thou art a warner only, and for every folk a guide.

(The Qur'an (Pickthall tr), Sura 13 - The Thunder)

Volume 1, Book 8, Number 429:

Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:
Every Prophet used to be sent to his nation
exclusively but I (Muhammad) have been sent to all mankind.

(Even the kick off quote says so – emphasis added)

"... Muhammadanism is not only the last of the WORLD religions, but are fuller Revelation than any one preceding it. The Qur'án is not only more authoritative than any previous religious gospel, but it contains also much more ordinances, teachings and precepts, which taken together constitute a fuller Revelation of God's purpose and law to MANKIND than Christianity, Judaism or any other previous Dispensation.”

As a Baha’i CAN you debate which religion was/is better? I mean that determination is already made for you by the quote on page 1 right? All you can do is explain why you think it was/is better than Christianity (if you’re inclined to do so).

“What is needed today”… “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Yes I’ve heard those words quite often in discussing these kinds of things with Baha’is. If you happened to read my introduction and/or previous posts you’ll know that I grew up with Baha’is that made quite a positive impact on my life in several areas. I respect and am glad for the strong moral sense many Baha’is have and the goodwill for mankind in general.

But before you make any big purchase, (like investing your heart, mind and soul in a religion) you need to look under the hood.

Mat 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Contrast with the next few verses:

Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

So this isn’t simply talking about the good things you do. It goes back to the two greatest commandments.

Mat 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy MIND. 38 This is the first and great commandment.

(emphasis added)

When you brush off such facts as Paul being a Christian Pharisee and it’s implications to suit your own beliefs, are you loving God with ALL your mind? (Or do you have evidence contrariwise?)

Faith in God and good works are great as far as they go. But that isn’t enough even from a Baha’i point of view is it? (To be considered the genuine uncorrupted article). I’d agree that many religions contain truth/positive teachings. But if the “answer” is 1,539,726, one that says 1,000,000 is far closer than the one that says five, but in the end both are mistaken. I used to make keys at a store with a machine and if ALL the notches did not cut correctly the key was usually a dud.

Every subject presented to a thoughtful audience must be supported by rational proofs and logical arguments. Proofs are of four kinds: first, through sense-perception; second, through the reasoning faculty; third, from traditional or scriptural authority; fourth, through the medium of inspiration. That is to say, there are four criterions or standards of judgment by which the human mind reaches its conclusions.

(Abdu'l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, p. 85)
 
Old 12-24-2012, 01:25 PM   #273
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Posts: 228
Almost forgot. Since (as far as I know) we all think highly of Jesus.... Merry Christmas! Won't be posting until afterwards. Everyone be safe and be blessed.
 
Old 12-25-2012, 02:41 PM   #274
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Some Further Questions View Post
Almost forgot. Since (as far as I know) we all think highly of Jesus.... Merry Christmas! Won't be posting until afterwards. Everyone be safe and be blessed.
I hope you have a joyous Christmas. We are having tornado weather here right now.
 
Old 12-25-2012, 03:22 PM   #275
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Some Further Questions View Post
It's true I'd planned to include “Muhammad" by H.M. Baluzi, (that's where I got the info about the poets BTW). Seeing as that's a Baha'i source I didn't think you'd object to that. But yes I think PRIMARILY comparing both books is the way to go. When I said I'd be compiling I did mean I would be citing the Qur'an and Balyuzi being trusted sources for Baha'is. If you'd asked instead of assumed I could have told you that. In the future why don't you ask just to be sure alright? I’ll try to do the same for you.
I believe you had already talked about the poets and I had pointed out what they had actually been up to (which Balyuzi did not really go into). I did not object until you are started citing material from Answering-Islam. When you spoke of digging up more dirt on Muhammad I assumed that is where you would be getting it.

"Anything that is not plagiarized is not comparable with any thing else. To argue that the Bible is better than the Qur'an because of that chapter is like saying Paul is superior to Jesus because Paul said this and Jesus didn't say anything comparable to it!"

Quote:
1st off Muhammad didn't seem to think so.
Muhammad didn't think what?

Quote:
2nd Paul CONTINUOUSLY proclaimed his inferiority to Christ in every realm but being a sinner.
I realize that. Paul is not superior to Christ even though he wrote 1 Corinthians 13 and Jesus did not write anything that nice. That being the case, the fact that nothing like 1 Corinthians 13 does not appear in the Qur'an does not make the Qur'an inferior to the Bible.

Quote:
3rd was it not worth quoting (even in part) but telling the same stories (repeatedly) about Moses and the Egyptians were?
Muhammad repeats the biblical stories to make a point for the present situation of the Arabs.

Quote:
"23 And if ye are in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto Our slave (Muhammad), then produce a surah of the like thereof, and call your witness beside Allah if ye are truthful."

(The Qur'an (Pickthall tr), Sura 2 - The Cow)

If you’re interested I can produce scripture from the Bible that is comparable to the Qur’an. Is it wrong to turn the tables?
I'm not sure how you could because you would have to know both Hebrew and Arabic to locate those verses. The Qur'an is not simply talking about the content of these ayahs, but the vehicle through which they are conveyed. This is called saj', the rhymed prose in which both the Qur'an and the prophet parts of the Old Testament are revealed. This rhythm and rhyme of these prophetic verses cannot really be translated, but in the Bible they can be identified because they are almost always proceeded by the words: "Thus speaketh the Lord."

Quote:
"I said Islam, not Muslims. "

I'm willing to be shown otherwise (for again I'm no expert) but it does seem that the Qur'an, if followed with it's abrogation’s does produce some nasty doctrine.
Abrogation? The only things in the Qur'an which are abrogated are things like the Qiblih (which changes from Jerusalem to Mecca) and the drinking of wine (which is initially allowed but later prohibited.) I'm guessing that you are imagining that the verses regarding "Let there be no compulsion in religion" or "Fight those who fight against you along God's way, yet do not initiate hostilities; God does not love aggressors."
That is simply not the case. It is only jihadists like Sayyid Qutb and Mawdudi (the two men who inspired Osama Bin Laden) who argue this is the case, and of course, Islamophobic websites.

Quote:
Then again many DO hold to some nasty teachings supported by the Qur’an don’t you think?
If by that you mean there are Muslims who have used their scripture to support some nasty teachings, yes there are. Just has there are some Christians who have done the same.

Quote:
Alright it wasn't tents. Yes I was being a little humorous but I didn’t think offensive. Many great people of the Bible lived in tents and I don’t think any less of them. If it offended my apologies.
It isn't a matter of being offensive. If indeed they did live in tents it might not be so hard to support them outside of marriage. But if you actually have to provide them with homes outside of your own, that's expensive. Could you do it?

Quote:
Still applies though doesn't it? Being the sacrificial leader couldn't Muhammad and/or the other mature single Muslim men lived in tents until new houses were acquired/built?
Give your house to the homeless and live in a tent until you can build a new one. Then come back and tell me about it.

"As I mentioned, the situation of the pre-Islamic Arabs was much closer to that of the ancient Hebrews. It seems to me that when it came to the Law Christians tossed out the baby with the bath water. I believe that Islam contains some of the best elements of both Judaism and Islam. However, I do not believe many of its laws are applicable today. Nor do I think it really useful to debate which religion was better. Instead we should focus on what is needed today:"

A better way to describe the difference from the OT and NT is comparing the laws of gravity (OT) and aerodynamics (NT). Gravity is not suspended when an airplane (or whatever) takes flight but it transcends it if you will. If someone drops something out of an airplane the item will drop even though the plane continues to rise. Certain traits of gravity (OT) apply to the plane (NT) like before but not all.

I understand that for many here it may seem like a moot point as to which is better since as you’ve indicated many of it’s laws are not applicable today. One of my points is that I don’t believe many of those laws should have been in place at ANY time. They were not for only the savage Arabs but according to the Qur’an and Hadith all mankind (even the civilized parts).

34:28 And We have not sent thee (O Muhammad) save as a bringer of good tidings and a warner unto all mankind; but most of mankind know not.

13:7 Those who disbelieve say: If only some portent were sent down upon him from his Lord! Thou art a warner only, and for every folk a guide.

(The Qur'an (Pickthall tr), Sura 13 - The Thunder)

Volume 1, Book 8, Number 429:

Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:
Every Prophet used to be sent to his nation
exclusively but I (Muhammad) have been sent to all mankind.

(Even the kick off quote says so – emphasis added)

"... Muhammadanism is not only the last of the WORLD religions, but are fuller Revelation than any one preceding it. The Qur'án is not only more authoritative than any previous religious gospel, but it contains also much more ordinances, teachings and precepts, which taken together constitute a fuller Revelation of God's purpose and law to MANKIND than Christianity, Judaism or any other previous Dispensation.”

Quote:
As a Baha’i CAN you debate which religion was/is better?
Sure, I can. But to what end?

Quote:
But before you make any big purchase, (like investing your heart, mind and soul in a religion) you need to look under the hood.
I was raised as a Christian and I can assure you, I looked 'under the hood' before becoming a Baha'i.

Quote:
When you brush off such facts as Paul being a Christian Pharisee and it’s implications to suit your own beliefs, are you loving God with ALL your mind?
Now you are being offensive.
I did not brush off the fact that Paul was a Pharisee. It seems to me that you are brushing off passages from 1 Corinthians 15 (the earliest account we have of the resurrection) that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God" and that what "is sown a natural body, is raised a spiritual body."

Quote:
Faith in God and good works are great as far as they go. But that isn’t enough even from a Baha’i point of view is it?
I'm not sure what you are asking, but Baha'is presume that if one truly recognizes the light, one will see it in whichever lamp it appears.
 
Old 12-26-2012, 06:55 AM   #276
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From: Rockville, MD, USA
Posts: 1,354
Quote:
Originally Posted by smaneck View Post
I hope you have a joyous Christmas. We are having tornado weather here right now.
No extra charge.
 
Old 12-27-2012, 12:32 PM   #277
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Joined: Sep 2010
From: Canada
Posts: 1,294
Quote:
Originally Posted by smaneck View Post
We are in no position to say what the successors of other religions can or cannot do. It doesn't even make sense in light of the fact that our own Universal House of Justice is empowered to make new laws.
The Universal House of Justice has given clear rights and responsibilities. Baha'u'llah has given them these responsibilities.
If the Successors of other Manifestations of God, were also given this right and responsibilities, then they can.

The Universal House of Justice Cannot change or abrogate any of the divinely ordained Laws by Baha'u'llah.
They can adapt those law according to exigencies of time and place.
They have the responsibility to put the Laws in use.
For example, the Law of the Right of God, was not put to use in the western countries until more recent years.


Quote:
Again, we don't get to define Christianity.
That's what I am saying. Jesus defined Christianity.
Any deviation from how He defined it, is deviation from True and Original Christianity.
Not only that, but according to Quran, if the Christian leaders prohibit things that were not prohibited by God, or allow things that were not allowed by God, those who obey these leaders are considered polytheists.



Quote:
The bottom line is that we don't have a right to impose our personal interpretations of Baha'i conceptions on other people's religion
Baha'i Scriptures position is quite clear with this regards.
Have you read some answered questions and the Book of Iqan?

Last edited by InvestigateTruth; 12-27-2012 at 12:36 PM.
 
Old 12-27-2012, 03:52 PM   #278
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Joined: Oct 2009
From: Jackson, MS
Posts: 478
[QUOTE=InvestigateTruth;37807]
Quote:
The Universal House of Justice has given clear rights and responsibilities. Baha'u'llah has given them these responsibilities.
If the Successors of other Manifestations of God, were also given this right and responsibilities, then they can.
Here is the rights and responsibilities Jesus gave His successor:

"18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

Sounds to me like that would include the right to abrogate, if not Jesus' Laws then certainly any of the laws of past dispensations.

Quote:
The Universal House of Justice Cannot change or abrogate any of the divinely ordained Laws by Baha'u'llah.
They can adapt those law according to exigencies of time and place.
They can also make new laws.

Quote:
That's what I am saying. Jesus defined Christianity.
Sorry, but there was no Christianity while Jesus was alive. The church defined Christianity.

Quote:
Any deviation from how He defined it, is deviation from True and Original Christianity.
Show me where Jesus says one word about Christianity.

Quote:
Not only that, but according to Quran, if the Christian leaders prohibit things that were not prohibited by God, or allow things that were not allowed by God, those who obey these leaders are considered polytheists.
Source please.

Quote:
Baha'i Scriptures position is quite clear with this regards.
Have you read some answered questions and the Book of Iqan?
Apparently not the same way you read them.
 
Old 12-27-2012, 05:09 PM   #279
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Joined: Nov 2012
From: Missouri
Posts: 228
@smaneck

Sorry to hear about the tornado wheather. I lived in OK for while and I don’t miss that!

“Muhammad didn't think what?”

That his teachings couldn’t be compared with other teachings. He challenges the reader/hearer to find something similar.

“It isn't a matter of being offensive. If indeed they did live in tents it might not be so hard to support them outside of marriage. But if you actually have to provide them with homes outside of your own, that's expensive. Could you do it?”

If I had the resources Muhammad had (not having all the details we can’t know for certain) I think I likely could have. The Muslims prove themselves in ingenuity when fortifying Medina among other things.

“Muhammad repeats the biblical stories to make a point for the present situation of the Arabs.”

I get that, I do. But (unless I am mistaken, it’s been about a year or so since I’ve gone through it) the Qur’an not only tells stories about Moses but the SAME stories that overlap other verses (ayah?) in the Qur’an. We see that in the first five books of the Bible but not to the same degree I think. It just floors me that if the Qur’an was/is a holy inspired book that nothing comparable (or even quoted) to 1Cor 13 is in there when so many other redundant stories (in the Qur’anic conext) are. Speaking hypothetically, isn’t there a verse(s) or chapter that you could have removed to make room for something like 1Cor 13 without noticeably affecting any Islamic teaching? Or why remove anything? There was no limit, why not simply include it before he died? Is there anything comparable even in the Hadith? Can you look at every single verse in the Qur’an and say, “Yes, I see why this was more important than describing love in detail for a people that loves poetry and buries their children alive on occasion (yes the pagan ones).



“Give your house to the homeless and live in a tent until you can build a new one. Then come back and tell me about it.”

Really?


“Now you are being offensive.
I did not brush off the fact that Paul was a Pharisee. It seems to me that you are brushing off passages from 1 Corinthians 15 (the earliest account we have of the resurrection) that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God" and that what "is sown a natural body, is raised a spiritual body."”

Forgive me. I appreciate you taking a nicer tone in our discussion. If you are NOT brushing it off could you please respond to my point about Paul being a Pharisee when history/Jewish writings clearly shows that Pharisees believed in a literal resurrection (unless you have evidence contending otherwise)?

I don’t brush off 1Cor 15!

#1.First let's look at the context of 1 Corinthians 15:50
1Co 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, (we are live in physical bodies) we shall (future tense) also bear the image of the heavenly. (Get a new body)
1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Remember that a good portion of early Christians were Jewish, they also had remarkable sway because they knew the scriptures and were "in the know" about the one true God (generally speaking) more than gentile converts. Certain Jews didn't completely understand how the new covenant with Christ worked and thought that one needed to be circumcised. Additionally they were expecting God to restore Israel as a free nation at any moment (Acts 1:6).
With this mindset many of the Jewish Christians (understandably) expected the kingdom of God to be passed onto them as a nation, as a people (AKA flesh and blood inheritance like in the days of old). But Paul is telling them, "No that's not how it works anymore, you need to be BORN AGAIN through the Spirit of God to inherit the kingdom of God (a spiritual kingdom), being Jewish is not enough. It also fits when Jesus says his kingdom is not of this world.

#2 1Co 15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
1Co 15:13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
1Co 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

“how say some among YOU (Christians) that there is no resurrection of the dead?” ….”And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.”

How can this be talking about the teachings of Christ being alive (resurrected) when the passage indicates these people already believed in His teachings? How is their faith vain then? Faith in what, if not the literal resurrection? They would not be Christians if they didn’t believe in the teachings being resurrected, it wouldn’t be addressed to them.

Do you see (at least from my point of view) how this passage appears nonsensical if not speaking of a literal resurrection?

Also consider when Elijah was taken up in front of Elisha. If Elijah had just died why send out a search party for him? If his body was right there why didn’t they bury it or make any mention of it at all?

The teachings of Moses and philosophers "lived on" without attaching a term like resurrection (and yes there were periods where pretty much all Israel "died" to the teachings of Moses).

“I'm not sure how you could because you would have to know both Hebrew and Arabic to locate those verses. The Qur'an is not simply talking about the content of these ayahs, but the vehicle through which they are conveyed. This is called saj', the rhymed prose in which both the Qur'an and the prophet parts of the Old Testament are revealed. This rhythm and rhyme of these prophetic verses cannot really be translated, but in the Bible they can be identified because they are almost always proceeded by the words: "Thus speaketh the Lord."

Is this taught in the Qur’an or is it more of a traditional opinion? I’ve heard of this kind of thing before and would like to see the verses if so. It’s a bit misleading to say that the Qur’an (for a long time) was for the entire world (which primarily doesn’t speak/read Arabic) and issue a challenge that basically says, “You doubt if this is the real deal? Then come up with something equal or greater if you’re right!” I can appreciate that the Qur’an may sound more beautiful in Arabic and carry a stronger punch. But isn’t the CONTENT what’s more important? I’ve read a number of different translations of the Bible and they all communicate God’s truth. True certain passage can be unclear and I go to a Hebrew/Greek dictionary to understand the deeper meaning. Can’t we do the same for the Qur’an?

About Bahai's accepting other beliefs I mean that even though Mormons for example believe in God and do good things, Joseph Smith isn't considered a prophet right?
 
Old 12-27-2012, 06:20 PM   #280
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Some Further Questions View Post
“Muhammad didn't think what?”

That his teachings couldn’t be compared with other teachings. He challenges the reader/hearer to find something similar.
Ahh, now I know what you are talking about. It is the verses in which these Teachings are revealed that are considered incomparable, not the Teachings in general. One of the major proofs of Islam is that verses of such beauty were revealed through an illiterate camel driver. But you would have to know Arabic to appreciate that beauty because it is no translatable.

Quote:
If I had the resources Muhammad had (not having all the details we can’t know for certain) I think I likely could have.
You mean if you were in charge of an oasis village made up of a handful of mud huts?

Quote:
I get that, I do. But (unless I am mistaken, it’s been about a year or so since I’ve gone through it) the Qur’an not only tells stories about Moses but the SAME stories that overlap other verses (ayah?) in the Qur’an. We see that in the first five books of the Bible but not to the same degree I think.
I'm not sure what you mean here, but there is much more redundancy in the Bible, although for different reasons.

Quote:
It just floors me that if the Qur’an was/is a holy inspired book that nothing comparable (or even quoted) to 1Cor 13 is in there when so many other redundant stories (in the Qur’anic conext) are.
I guess that is something the Qur'an shares in common with Jesus. It saw stories as the best way to gets its point across.

Quote:
Speaking hypothetically, isn’t there a verse(s) or chapter that you could have removed to make room for something like 1Cor 13 without noticeably affecting any Islamic teaching?Or why remove anything? There was no limit, why not simply include it before he died?
Why? If it is already in the Bible we can read it there.

Quote:
“Yes, I see why this was more important than describing love in detail for a people that loves poetry and buries their children alive on occasion (yes the pagan ones).
Maybe telling people not to bury their children was more important at this point?

Quote:
Forgive me. I appreciate you taking a nicer tone in our discussion. If you are NOT brushing it off could you please respond to my point about Paul being a Pharisee when history/Jewish writings clearly shows that Pharisees believed in a literal resurrection (unless you have evidence contending otherwise)?
Fine. Show me where the term "literal resurrection" appears in Pharisaic writings. As far as I know they believed in the resurrection period. You know the concept of resurrection in Judaism is first found in the Book of Ezekiel. Let's see how it is treated there:

37 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’”

Clearly, the resurrection here is not physical, it refers to revival of the nation of Israel which had been captive in Babylon and thanks to Cyrus the Great, allowed now to return to their homeland. Metaphorically they have been brought to life.

Quote:
I don’t brush off 1Cor 15!

#1.First let's look at the context of 1 Corinthians 15:50
1Co 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, (we are live in physical bodies) we shall (future tense) also bear the image of the heavenly. (Get a new body)
Whoah, you are interpolating the text. I don't read interpolations!

In 1 Corinthians Paul indicates that when we rise from the dead we will be as He [Jesus] is but that flesh and blood will not inherit the kingdom and that what is sown a physical body will be raised a spiritual one. So the Resurrection for Paul is not all that physical.

Quote:
1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Exactly. Reads differently when you don't interpolate.

Quote:
With this mindset many of the Jewish Christians (understandably) expected the kingdom of God to be passed onto them as a nation, as a people (AKA flesh and blood inheritance like in the days of old).
You mean like Ezekiel foretold?

Quote:
But Paul is telling them, "No that's not how it works anymore, you need to be BORN AGAIN through the Spirit of God to inherit the kingdom of God
Uh, I believe the only place in the New Testament where the phrase "born again" occurs is in John's Gospel. Jesus says it to Nicodemus as I recall.

Quote:
(a spiritual kingdom), being Jewish is not enough.
Sorry, but the church in Corinth was not Jewish. In fact the reason Paul puts so many restrictions on speaking in tongues and women speaking in church is that it was full of women who were formally oracles and did this for a living.

Quote:

Do you see (at least from my point of view) how this passage appears nonsensical if not speaking of a literal resurrection?
Sorry but verses such as 'flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom" make no sense if we are talking about a physical resurrection (literal doesn't mean anything to me.) If you want to take something literally then take 'flesh and blood' literally instead of twisting the clear meaning of the text to make it refer to Jews!

Yes, Paul believed in the resurrection and believed all Christians should do the same. But the Resurrected Christ he himself saw, was not physical.

Quote:
Also consider when Elijah was taken up in front of Elisha. If Elijah had just died why send out a search party for him? If his body was right there why didn’t they bury it or make any mention of it at all?
And your point is? Yes, Jews believed that Elijah bodily ascended unto heaven and that's why they believed Elijah could return (because he supposedly never died.) Notwithstanding that, Jesus indicated that John the Baptist who was born of a woman like the rest of us, was the Return of Elijah.

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The teachings of Moses and philosophers "lived on" without attaching a term like resurrection (and yes there were periods where pretty much all Israel "died" to the teachings of Moses).
If you are imagining that I think the resurrection merely means the teachings of Christ lived on, you are wrong. I think there were definitely Resurrection Appearances of Christ. I just don't think these were physical.


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Is this taught in the Qur’an or is it more of a traditional opinion? I’ve heard of this kind of thing before and would like to see the verses if so.
They are the same verses you apparently think something else.

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It’s a bit misleading to say that the Qur’an (for a long time) was for the entire world (which primarily doesn’t speak/read Arabic) and issue a challenge that basically says, “You doubt if this is the real deal?
Any revelation is first and foremost for the people to which it is immediately revealed. Of course, ultimately it will be for the world as well, but it has first to be understood in the context in which it was revealed. In any case, most Muslims make every effort to learn enough Arabic to understand the Qur'an. Would that Christians would learn the languages of their own scriptures so well!

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Then come up with something equal or greater if you’re right!” I can appreciate that the Qur’an may sound more beautiful in Arabic and carry a stronger punch. But isn’t the CONTENT what’s more important?
In the Qur'an, like the prophetic writings of the Tanakh, the medium and the message are inextricably intertwined.

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I’ve read a number of different translations of the Bible and they all communicate God’s truth. True certain passage can be unclear and I go to a Hebrew/Greek dictionary to understand the deeper meaning.
Unfortunately you have no way of knowing how much you are missing. Not so much with the New Testament which is written in very straight-forward and simple Greek prose, but certainly with the Old Testament.

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Can’t we do the same for the Qur’an?
You assume you can do the same with the prophetic portions of the Tanakh. I'm saying that for the most part, you can't.

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About Bahai's accepting other beliefs I mean that even though Mormons for example believe in God and do good things, Joseph Smith isn't considered a prophet right?
I'm not sure how this is relevant to our discussion.
 
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