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Old 12-07-2012, 10:25 AM   #1
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Is Islam more progressive than Christianity?

"... 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. This view is in complete accord with the Bahá'í philosophy of progressive revelation, and should be thoroughly accepted and taught by every loyal Christian Bahá'í."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, November 12, 1933)

(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 497)

I'd be interested to know which teachings, ordinances and precepts are considered the fuller Revelation of God's purpose to mankind than Christianity.
All? Some?


For instance:

5:38 As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands. It is the reward of their own deeds, an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is Mighty, Wise.

vs.

Eph 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

Prayer

9:113 It is not for the Prophet, and those who believe, to pray for the forgiveness of idolaters even though they may be near of kin (to them) after it hath become clear that they are people of hell-fire.

vs

Luk 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Act 7:59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

1Ti 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
1Ti 2:2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.


An important thing to remember in this discussion is the law of abrogation:

2:106 Nothing of our revelation (even a single verse) do we abrogate or cause be forgotten, but we bring (in place) one better or the like thereof. Knowest thou not that Allah is Able to do all things ?

16:101 And when We put a revelation in place of (another) revelation, - and Allah knoweth best what He revealeth - they say: Lo! thou art but inventing. Most of them know not.

This means that when two verses in the Qur'an conflict, the one written later overrides it.

Unless I am mistaken there is a consensus on order of most surahs (chapters). Here's a resource but feel free to post another if you think it better.

Chronological Order of the Qur'an - WikiIslam
 
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:00 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Some Further Questions View Post

An important thing to remember in this discussion is the law of abrogation:

2:106 Nothing of our revelation (even a single verse) do we abrogate or cause be forgotten, but we bring (in place) one better or the like thereof. Knowest thou not that Allah is Able to do all things ?

16:101 And when We put a revelation in place of (another) revelation, - and Allah knoweth best what He revealeth - they say: Lo! thou art but inventing. Most of them know not.

This means that when two verses in the Qur'an conflict, the one written later overrides it.
I think these verses mean, God, replaces the Laws in Previous revelation with a New one, in every Age.
Like Jewish Faith was replaced by Christianity, Christianity by Islam, and Islam by Baha'i Faith.


"To every age its book, What He pleases Allah will abrogate or confirm."
- Quran 13:38-39

So, for example, the Punishment for Law of Sabbath was abrogated by Revelation of Jesus.
 
Old 12-07-2012, 11:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Some Further Questions View Post
"
I'd be interested to know which teachings, ordinances and precepts are considered the fuller Revelation of God's purpose to mankind than Christianity.
All? Some?
I think Islam WAS more suitable than Christianity during the Previous Age.
In our Age, both of them have many social laws that are Not suitable anymore.

PUNISHMENT FOR ADULTERY:

"The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication,- flog each of them with a hundred stripes: Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment." — Qur'an, 24:2


“If a man commits adultery with the wife of[a] his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”Levi. 20:10


LAW OF MARRIAGE:


“And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan agirls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice].” Quran 4:3


“And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart.4For it was so, when Solomon was old” 1 King 11


SLAVERY LAW:



"And do not marry polytheistic women until they believe. And a believing slave woman is better than a polytheist, even though she might please you. And do not marry polytheistic men [to your women] until they believe. And a believing slave is better than a polytheist, even though he might please you. Those invite [you] to the Fire, but Allah invites to Paradise and to forgiveness, by His permission. And He makes clear His verses to the people that perhaps they may remember." Quran 2:221





However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)
 
Old 12-07-2012, 11:50 AM   #4
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Investigate Truth,

I have no comments on this topic, since it is to do with the Baha'i understanding of Progressive Revelation and I am a Christian.

However I would point out that every single one of the quotations which you provide from the Bible and claim to be the "social teachings of Christianity" are from the Jewish Torah or later Old Testament books which Jesus abrogated.

These teachings form no part of the New Covenant instituted by Jesus. They are of the Jewish Dispensation. You would have to quote either from the New Testament or from other very early non-canonical, orthodox texts such as the Didache and the letter of Clement, to judge Christian social teachings.

Many kind regards.
 
Old 12-07-2012, 12:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
However I would point out that every single one of the quotations which you provide from the Bible and claim to be the "social teachings of Christianity" are from the Jewish Torah or later Old Testament books which Jesus abrogated.
Except, of course, for
"Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or tittle shall nowise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."
Matthew 5:18-19

and

"It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail."
Luke 16:17

, right ?
 
Old 12-07-2012, 12:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
Investigate Truth,

I have no comments on this topic, since it is to do with the Baha'i understanding of Progressive Revelation and I am a Christian.

However I would point out that every single one of the quotations which you provide from the Bible and claim to be the "social teachings of Christianity" are from the Jewish Torah or later Old Testament books which Jesus abrogated.

These teachings form no part of the New Covenant instituted by Jesus. They are of the Jewish Dispensation. You would have to quote either from the New Testament or from other very early non-canonical, orthodox texts such as the Didache and the letter of Clement, to judge Christian social teachings.

Many kind regards.
The Baha'i View is, no Law of Old Testament was abrogated by Jesus, unless Jesus clearly and explicitly changed that Law.
 
Old 12-07-2012, 12:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheThinker View Post
Except, of course, for
"Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or tittle shall nowise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."
Matthew 5:18-19

and

"It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail."
Luke 16:17

, right ?

Dear friend,

I find it odd that you quoted only the second part of that Luke paragraph, the full sense makes it clear that the law is abrogated:


Quote:
"...The law and the prophets were in effect until John came; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is proclaimed, and everyone tries to enter it by force. But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one stroke of a letter in the law to be dropped..."

- Luke 16:17

Jesus was the fulfilment of the law that he spoke of; although it is accurate to say that the Old Covenant hadn't been completely "fulfilled" yet until the last Supper of Christ when he inaugurated the New Covenant in his blood, consummated on the cross. This was explained by Saint Paul:

Quote:
2 Corinthians 3:6 The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life
Quote:
Ephesians 2:15

[15] by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,
The essence of the OT is "Love your neighbour as you love yourself" and love God above everything.

In his lifetime Jesus had already abrogated the law on the sabbath, the dietary laws, the law on stoning for adultery, the law dealing with lepers and women with menstruation etc.

The letter of Hebrews goes so far as to declare:

Quote:
Hebrews 8:13

He [Jesus] is the mediator of a better covenant, which hath been enacted upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then would no place have been sought for a second...By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear
Of course it is true though that the essence of the law will never pass away. Jesus, just as Baha'u'llah did later with Islam, interpreted that essence as being:

Quote:
"...In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets..."

- Matthew 7:12

I hope that this has clarified it for you.

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-07-2012 at 01:01 PM.
 
Old 12-07-2012, 12:46 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
The Baha'i View is, no Law of Old Testament was abrogated by Jesus, unless Jesus clearly and explicitly changed that Law.
That is fine then Investigate, Christians simply disagree. We believe that the Torah in its entirety is no longer binding or necessary for salvation. Jesus explained what the essence of the Old Covenant was and that is an eternal facet of it which is why it is still Sacred Scripture, inspired and worthy as a teacher of humanity. However none of its laws or punishments are valid post-Jesus in Christian eyes. Only the moral teachings which are perrenial and match up with Christian values are valid still. The "spirit", not the "letter".

It ceased to be an effective law upon the coming of John the baptist and was rendered utterly obsolete by Jesus' inauguration of the New Covenant at the last supper and on the cross (as far as its laws and punishments but not morals or matters of faith are concerned ie anything to do with love of God, neighbour, doing to others as to oneself etc.).

Its societal or social teachings are thus completely abrogated in our eyes. They form no part of Christian social teaching which is all I am trying to say.

If one wishes to critique Christian social teachings, one has to turn to the New Testament or early sacred traditions outside the Bible written in the first century or early second century not the Old Testament (Tanakh), that is Judaism.

Thus in the Catechism the Catholic Church explains:

Quote:
204 God revealed himself progressively and under different names to his people
Dei Verbum, a document id the Second Vatican Council, itself notes, that the Old Testament “contains matters imperfect and provisional.” But the Council goes on to say that,

Quote:
"These books [of the Old Testament] nevertheless show us authentic divine teaching. Christians should accept with veneration these writings which give expression to a lively sense of God, which are a storehouse of sublime teaching on God and of sound wisdom on human life, as well as a wonderful treasury of prayers; in them, too, the mystery of our salvation is present in a hidden way" (15).

So we believe it to be divinely inspired but written through the minds of ancient people living in a tribal culture with very different (and less humane) social mores from us that Jesus abolished utterly. Therefore its a treasury of wisdom but not without fault and no longer binding in its laws.

It is simply a difference of understanding between our two faiths. However please do not attribute social laws to Christians that we do not follow and that are pre-Christian.

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-07-2012 at 12:58 PM.
 
Old 12-07-2012, 03:37 PM   #9
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The advancements of Islam must be appreciated in the context of roughly from the seventh century to say around the fifteenth century...

Most essentially from our view as Baha'is is that while Christianity grew up in a city state with Rome being an example... Islam was a "nation" or Umma before nation states developed...and although not similar to modern states they had a degree of public treasury, representation, and rights. The Qur'an had statements about slavery, prisoners of war and warfare itself that were advances in their time..

Arabic numerals and financial mechanisms such as checks benefited commerce.


The University system developed in Moorish Spain also added their advancements in Western Europe.

Even astronomy had a more advances undwer Islamic culture such as believe it or not in Central Asia..

Observatory of Ulugbek :: Monuments of Samarkand

Last edited by arthra; 12-08-2012 at 05:24 AM.
 
Old 12-07-2012, 03:47 PM   #10
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This topic is so broad and there really is little consensus. I will try to be brief in my posts but as a Muslim I do hope I can contribute some interesting points.

I don't think the Qur'an really works well as a progressive revelation. I think is really good at what it constantly says it does: corrects misconceptions and restores the original monotheism that all the prophets practiced.

Quote:
"3:67 Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was one inclining toward truth, a Muslim [submitting to Allah ]. And he was not of the polytheists."
The Bible and the Torah became corrupt and the Qur'an was sent to fix this. Thus with submission to God-alone, thus becoming a Muslim (submitter).

Quote:
"5:15 O People of the Scripture, there has come to you Our Messenger making clear to you much of what you used to conceal of the Scripture and overlooking much. There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book."
Then God perfects religion and promises to protect the Qur'an from corruption.

Everyone loves pulling quotes out of the Qur'an and just letting them sit there. It looks pretty absurd when it just says "cut off hands". Now I don't think that this passage is even saying this, (more of like, cut off his resources) but even if it didn't you can't ignore the very next ayah.

Quote:
"5:39 But whoever repents after his wrongdoing and reforms, indeed, Allah will turn to him in forgiveness. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful."
It's a harsh punishment but for those that repent and reform, they are forgiven for their crime. Now i'm not one to start advocating the severing of hands for anyone, but can we really say our system is working? We pick up criminals on the street, feed them, let them watch TV all day, and then let them go. What do we expect will happen? They will start a charity? Something has to change, i'm not saying that it has to be 5:38, but I think you understand why that is written. It's a deterrent.

What thief wouldn't want to repent and reform with a punishment like that awaiting if he/she doesn't?

More information on the alternate translation at: This website

As for praying for the deceased, Islam doesn't play around with the monotheism deal. You can't pray to saints and deceased prophets for intercession on your behalf. They're dead. Jesus, Abraham, they are all dead. Only God is deserving of prayer in Islam and unlike Christianity you don't just get into heaven for believing. It requires the individual to put in their fair share, with some exceptions. But Allah is forgiving, merciful.

One thing that really drove me crazy was when I say Baha'is praying to Baha'u'llah. The Qur'an says he is dead. Science says he is dead. Why are people praying to corpses?

Finally, abrogation is sinful and a crime. To think that God sends a book for all times and all places and them edits out 1/3 of it. Throughout time the understanding was that if the Qur'an is contradictory, it is our understanding of it that causes the contradiction.

However, you can see why this idea of abrogation is gaining popularity among radicals. If the scholars say this verse is abrogated, what else is? The people look to the scholars for answers and suddenly they have all the power now. They do do some really crazy **** with it too.

It's really wild. The Qur'an absolutely 100% forbids the killing of women and children. So did the Prophet. Then Bin Laden turns around and says that it's O.K. as long as it's for Jihad. Right. -.-'

Don't be lured in by this deceptive practice.

Hope this helps, let me know what you think.

-Zhang

Last edited by Zhang; 12-07-2012 at 04:01 PM.
 
Old 12-07-2012, 04:35 PM   #11
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For some clarity I wanted to focus on the opening quote by SFQ from the Lights of Guidance... this is a compilation of statements and references so some of them are not in context and some are..

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.

Authoritative revelation:

By more authoritative than previous "religious gospel" what is meant by that is that it is more directly from a Divine Revelation.. How can we say this? Because when Prophet Muhammad revealed the utterances that later became the Qur'an they were recited by His companions and set to writing by His secretaries in the language of revelation... Arabic.

The Gospels as far as we can tell were built around the teachings of Jesus in Aramaic which were passed around nad later..much later as far as we can tell set to writing and then in Koine Greek..not the original Aramaic.

So that gap between revelation of Christ's words and having them translated and set to writing was greater than in the way the Qur'an was revealed.

Law and practices:

When Christianity became the recognized religion of the Roman Empire an amalgamation occurred between say what was believed to be Christian practises and Roman law... this amalgamation affected the development of Christianity for centuries.

Islam was a state by itself with it's own laws and practices received from the Qur'an and of course Hadith traditions that developed later.

Baha'i revelation of laws and so on abrogates many Qur'anic laws with it's own...

Progressive Revelation:

Is as far as I know fairly unique to the Baha'i Faith but I've heard some sense of teh concept used by some Christians when they speak of the Bible in terms of Old and New Covenant.
 
Old 12-07-2012, 04:58 PM   #12
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I would say, in some sense more progressive because it is later in revelation than Christianity so it clarifies misconceptions of the past. In another sense like with some of the laws, it is seemingly less progressive because it was sent to a more barbaric people. It came in the 'old-raiment' more like the oldtestament than the new testament. So in that sense it might seem a step backwards..

-------

“And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three-score days, clothed in sackcloth.” 1 These two witnesses are Muḥammad the Messenger of God, and ‘Alí, son of Abú Tálib.
In the Qur’án it is said that God addressed Muḥammad, the Messenger of God, saying: “We made You a Witness, a Herald of good news, and a Warner”—that is to say, We have established Thee as the witness, the giver of good tidings, and as One bringing the wrath of God. 2 The meaning of “a witness” is one by whose testimony things may be verified. The commands of these two witnesses were to be performed for twelve hundred and sixty days, each day signifying a year. Now, Muḥammad was the 49 root, and ‘Alí the branch, like Moses and Joshua. It is said they “are clothed in sackcloth,” meaning that they, apparently, were to be clothed in old raiment, not in new raiment; in other words, in the beginning they would possess no splendor in the eyes of the people, nor would their Cause appear new; for Muḥammad’s spiritual Law corresponds to that of Christ in the Gospel, and most of His laws relating to material things correspond to those of the Pentateuch. This is the meaning of the old raiment.

-Abdul-Baha SAQ

Last edited by LordOfGoblins; 12-07-2012 at 05:02 PM.
 
Old 12-07-2012, 05:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Some Further Questions View Post
"... 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. This view is in complete accord with the Bahá'í philosophy of progressive revelation, and should be thoroughly accepted and taught by every loyal Christian Bahá'í."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, November 12, 1933)

(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 497)

I'd be interested to know which teachings, ordinances and precepts are considered the fuller Revelation of God's purpose to mankind than Christianity.
All? Some?
He said which taken together and immediately you try to single out which ones are more progressive.
 
Old 12-07-2012, 05:15 PM   #14
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@Yeshua

Man... I am so glad you're here. Not just because you're a Christian (although it's nice From your posts in other threads you seem like a reasonable person that promotes kindness and unity. A couple times I've reached out to arthra asking him if I've needlessly offended him or others in the resurrection thread. He nor anyone else has responded yet. If you have the time to read those somewhat recent posts I'd appreciate it. I WANT to apologize if I have needlessly offended someone. I feel like arthra goes out of his way to offend me.
 
Old 12-07-2012, 06:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Some Further Questions View Post
@Yeshua

Man... I am so glad you're here. Not just because you're a Christian (although it's nice From your posts in other threads you seem like a reasonable person that promotes kindness and unity. A couple times I've reached out to arthra asking him if I've needlessly offended him or others in the resurrection thread. He nor anyone else has responded yet. If you have the time to read those somewhat recent posts I'd appreciate it. I WANT to apologize if I have needlessly offended someone. I feel like arthra goes out of his way to offend me.
Why SFQ I had no idea you were reaching out to me...! That's sweet...No, I can't think of anything you'd need to apologize to me for...so far..
 
Old 12-07-2012, 06:18 PM   #16
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Let me suggest a few more things about progressive revelation as it relates to how we see progress..

Contemplate with thine inward eye the chain of successive Revelations that hath linked the Manifestation of Adam with that of the Báb. I testify before God that each one of these Manifestations hath been sent down through the operation of the Divine Will and Purpose, that each hath been the bearer of a specific Message, that each hath been entrusted with a divinely-revealed Book and been commissioned to unravel the mysteries of a mighty Tablet. The measure of the Revelation with which every one of them hath been identified had been definitely fore-ordained. This, verily, is a token of 75 Our favor unto them, if ye be of those that comprehend this truth.... And when this process of progressive Revelation culminated in the stage at which His peerless, His most sacred, and exalted Countenance was to be unveiled to men's eyes, He chose to hide His own Self behind a thousand veils, lest profane and mortal eyes discover His glory.

~ Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 74

and

Religion is the outer expression of the divine reality. Therefore it must be living, vitalized, moving and progressive. If it be without motion and non-progressive it is without the divine life; it is dead. The divine institutes are continuously active and evolutionary; therefore the revelation of them must be progressive and continuous. All things are subject to re-formation. This is a century of life and renewal. Sciences and arts, industry and invention have been reformed. Law and ethics have been reconstituted, reorganized.

~ Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith, p. 224
 
Old 12-07-2012, 07:25 PM   #17
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SFQ ends his opening post referring us to

wikiislam...

In it's "history" it admits

"WikiIslam was created on October 27, 2005, in collaboration with Ali Sina and Faith Freedom International"

http://www.wikiislam.net/wiki/WikiIslam#History

But what is the attitude toward Prophet Muhammad shown by Ali Sina the "collaborator" with WkiIslam?

Here's how Mr. Ali Sina describes Prophet Muhammad:

"a narcissist, a misogynist, a rapist, a pedophile, a lecher, a torturer, a mass murderer, a cult leader, an assassin, a terrorist, a madman and a looter".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Sina_(activist)
 
Old 12-07-2012, 10:47 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
The Baha'i View is, no Law of Old Testament was abrogated by Jesus, unless Jesus clearly and explicitly changed that Law.
Whoa - nothing is "the Bahai view" unless it's in the Bahai Writings. This is your view. If the Bahais generally thought that way, they would be following the laws of the Bayan that have not been abrogated. In fact, we take the opposite tack: the entire Bayanic law is abrogated, except for the parts that are endorsed by Baha'u'llah or Abdu'l-Baha.

I think Yeshua is right: the principle is that "heaven and earth" (the law) passes away and is recreated:
He [the Bab] saith: "Ere nine will have elapsed from the inception of this Cause, the realities of the created things will not be made manifest. All that thou hast as yet seen is but the stage from the moist germ until We clothed it with flesh. Be patient, until thou beholdest a new creation.
(Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 152)
This is the Day whereon naught can be seen except the splendors of the Light that shineth from the face of Thy Lord, ... We have caused every soul to expire by virtue of Our irresistible and all-subduing sovereignty. We have, then, called into being a new creation, as a token of Our grace unto men.
(Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 29)
To address the original posting - the Bahai teaching is that the message of each religion, at its outset, is appropriate to the needs of the age:
every age requireth a fresh measure of the light of God. Every Divine Revelation hath been sent down in a manner that befitted the circumstances of the age in which it hath appeared.
(Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 81)
Societies are complex systems, not homogenous wholes. So they do not move forward in a linear way. A society's science and understanding of the natural world may increase, while its ethics goes backwards. Since the religions are revealed according to the circumstances of the age, it follows that not every aspect of the new revelation will be -- by some universal standard -- more progressive than the preceding revelation, which usually took place in a different society anyway. The trend is progressive, but it's not an iron law that the more recent will be more progressive than the older, since societies do degenerate, and they do not all move forward synchronically, although again, that's a trend (because of contacts between societies).
 
Old 12-08-2012, 03:54 AM   #19
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@arthra

Glad to hear there's nothing offensive for my part. I do still feel that you have insulted me unduly more than once. Does that matter to you? If you did read my response regarding this issue why have you not addressed my repeated concerns?

As for wikiislam I admit I didn't research it much. Sorry if it offended anyone. As I said feel free to post another resource for the chronological order if you like.
 
Old 12-08-2012, 05:03 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arthra View Post
When Christianity became the recognized religion of the Roman Empire an amalgamation occurred between say what was believed to be Christian practises and Roman law... this amalgamation affected the development of Christianity for centuries.
Don't forget the Ancient Greeks and their great philosophers - ie Plato, Aristotle, Socrates etc. - who have influenced greatly both the civilisation of the West (Christendom) [as well as the Byzantine East] and Islamic civilisation.

Christianity interpreted the truths of its revealed teachings through the prism of Greek philosophy.

Very early Muslim scholars did also, such as Averroes and Avicenna, and they were very influential in the West. If you read the works of both the scholastics and the more metaphysical thinkers of the Dominicans of the school of St Albert the Great (Meister Eckhart, Tauler etc.) you will find Averroes and Avicenna quoted with great reverence and approval.

It kind of ended though with Al-Ghazzali - a great Sufi mystic but as a philosopher he thought anything that was not strictly Islamic in origin to be "anathema". He railed against the use of Greek philosophy.

Nevertheless Al-Ghazzali was also respected by the scholastics:

Quote:
"There can be no doubt that Al-Ghazali’s works would be among the first to attract the attention of these European scholars. The greatest of these Christian writers who was influenced by Al-Ghazali was St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), who made a study of the Arabic writers and admitted his indebtedness to them. He studied at the University of Naples where the influence of Arab literature and culture was predominant at the time."
We should remember likewise the Neoplatonist mystics - such as Plotinus and Proclus - who greatly influenced both Christian and Islamic mysticism, even though al-Ghazzali ended any "explicit" usage in the Islamic world of their works.

Although it is fair to say that the Christian scholastics are most indebted to the Jewish Maimonides. Unlike with Avicenna and Averroes, Meister Eckhart never criticized Maimonides' theories in any way, rather he simply called him "The Master".

He nevertheless spoke of his usage of and indebtedness to various religions on numerous occassions ie such as this treatise on detachment attributed to him:

Quote:
"...I have read many writings of both Pagan masters and the Prophets of the old and new Covenants, and I have seriously and most zealously sought which is the highest and best virtue that can bring a human being nearest and bind them closest to God, by means of which they can by grace become what God is by nature, and through which a person can most closely resemble that image which he was in God, when there was no distinction between him and God before creatures were made. And as I pore over all the writings, as far as reason can guide and inform me, I find no virtue superior to complete detachment from all things; for all other virtues are in some way concerned with creatures, but detachment is free from all creatures...A master called Avicenna says: “The excellence of the spirit which has achieved detachment is so great that whatever it contemplates is true, and whatever it desires is granted, and whatever it commands one must obey." And you should know that this is really so; when the free spirit has attained true detachment, it compels God to its being; and if the spirit could attain formlessness, and be without all accidents, it would take on God’s properties..."

- Meister Eckhart (c. 1260 – c. 1327), Catholic mystic, philosopher & Dominican priest

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-08-2012 at 05:25 AM.
 
Old 12-08-2012, 05:11 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Some Further Questions View Post
@arthra

Glad to hear there's nothing offensive for my part. I do still feel that you have insulted me unduly more than once. Does that matter to you? If you did read my response regarding this issue why have you not addressed my repeated concerns?

As for wikiislam I admit I didn't research it much. Sorry if it offended anyone. As I said feel free to post another resource for the chronological order if you like.
SFQ

I've only responded to your posts.. ... I'm sorry if you feel personally offended and unduly insulted.

Yes "wikiislam" has connections with Ali Sina and Faith freedom and in my view is not unbiased.


I do have something to add regarding you opening post and trust you can follow that my comments below are not intended to be a "personal" attack on you of any kind!

You ask



...which teachings, ordinances and precepts are considered the fuller Revelation of God's purpose to mankind than Christianity.
All? Some?


For instance:

5:38 As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands. It is the reward of their own deeds, an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is Mighty, Wise.

vs.

Eph 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.


I would ask you to consider what you have posted above... when you compare the Qur'anic ordinance with the verse from Ephesians.

While the verse from Ephesians is an admonition it is not a law or an ordinance. Let me explain... The Qur'anic law is not in conflict with Ephesians.. The intent "Let him that stole steal no more" is essentially not in conflict with the Qur'anic law. The quote from Ephesians is an admonition not a law. It's "apples" and "oranges".. You can't compare them.

The Qur'anic law was for a society that had no large penal institutions... there were no resources available for a thief to say be imprisoned and serve a sentence.

SFQ... If someone steals your identity and saps your bank account... are you simply gonna tell them: "Let him that stole steal no more..."

Your next category:

Prayer

9:113 It is not for the Prophet, and those who believe, to pray for the forgiveness of idolaters even though they may be near of kin (to them) after it hath become clear that they are people of hell-fire.

vs

Luk 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.


When Jesus is reportedly saying "Father forgive them..." It is a prayer of Jesus asking forgiveness..but the Quranic verse above is not really an ordinance of prayer. The title should read forgiveness not prayer as such.

Let me give you an example of forgiveness in the words of Imam Ali the son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad:

Until yesterday I was your Amir, today I am only an object from whom you can take lesson and warnings, and tomorrow I shall part company with you. If I survive this fatal wound I shall be at liberty to decide how to treat the man who attempted to kill me. If I die then my worldly life comes to an end.

If I forgive my assassin then it will be to gain the Blessings of Allah for forgiving a person who has harmed you, and it will be a good deed if you also forgive him.

Do you not desire to be forgiven by the Lord? I swear by Allah that death is not coming to me suddenly and unexpectedly that I may hate or abhor, neither is it such a visitor whom I may refuse to meet. So far as death by martyrdom is concerned I always expected and desired it and I now welcome it like a thirsty person who finds water when he is extremely thirsty. I am a seeker whom martyrdom finds what he was seeking for. To the pious people the best is that which they find with Allah.


~ Ali b. Abi Taalib, Letters from Nahjul Balaagh

On forgiveness of in the Qur'an:

132 And obey Allah and the messenger, that ye may find mercy.

133 And vie one with another for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for those who ward off (evil);

134 Those who spend (of that which Allah hath given them) in ease and in adversity, those who control their wrath and are forgiving toward mankind; Allah loveth the good;

135 And those who, when they do an evil thing or wrong themselves, remember Allah and implore forgiveness for their sins - Who forgiveth sins save Allah only ? - and will not knowingly repeat (the wrong) they did.

~ The Qur'an (Pickthall tr), Sura 3 - The Family Of Imran

God forgives... and Jesus asked His heavenly Father to forgive those who persecuted Him... Same thing in my view.

Last edited by arthra; 12-08-2012 at 05:21 AM.
 
Old 12-08-2012, 05:41 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sen McGlinn View Post
Whoa - nothing is "the Bahai view" unless it's in the Bahai Writings. This is your view. If the Bahais generally thought that way, they would be following the laws of the Bayan that have not been abrogated. In fact, we take the opposite tack: the entire Bayanic law is abrogated, except for the parts that are endorsed by Baha'u'llah or Abdu'l-Baha.
I think in the case of Baha'i Faith, it is different, because Baha'u'llah revealed Aqdas, which has the New Laws to be followed for Baha'is.


Jesus did not reveal a New Book of Laws. But He was also clear that the Laws of Moses to be followed. Only In certain cases He abrogated or modified those Laws.
Regarding polygamy, Jesus did not abrogate that Law. So, that means, the Christians were still following the Laws of Moses dispensation.
Muhammad put a limit on polygomy, while Jesus did not.

Last edited by InvestigateTruth; 12-08-2012 at 05:44 AM.
 
Old 12-08-2012, 06:03 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
I think in the case of Baha'i Faith, it is different, because Baha'u'llah revealed Aqdas, which has the New Laws to be followed for Baha'is.


Jesus did not reveal a New Book of Laws. But He was also clear that the Laws of Moses to be followed. Only In certain cases He abrogated or modified those Laws.
Regarding polygamy, Jesus did not abrogate that Law. So, that means, the Christians were still following the Laws of Moses dispensation.


Dear Investigate Truth,

You are actually correct when you say that Jesus did not reveal a "law" but not in the way you might think.

In fact I would say that Islam and Judaism share more in common than do Islam and Christianity. Islam and Judaism both have dietary laws, whereas Christianity has none, Jesus having abolished the Jewish laws relating to kosher food. Islam and Judaism both have rules on dress and clothing, whereas Christianity doesn't. Jesus in fact did not create or promulgate a religious law at all.

The Baha'i Faith is more similar to Christianity in many respects, from my perspective, given that it has a "less" legal mindset than say Islam or Judaism, although probably not to the extent of Christianity or Buddhism.

The Pope explained this in his address to the German Parliament last year:


Quote:
"...Unlike other great religions, Christianity has never proposed a revealed law to the State and to society, that is to say a juridical order derived from revelation. Instead, it has pointed to nature and reason as the true sources of law – and to the harmony of objective and subjective reason, which naturally presupposes that both spheres are rooted in the creative reason of God. Christian theologians thereby aligned themselves with a philosophical and juridical movement that began to take shape in the second century B.C. In the first half of that century, the social natural law developed by the Stoic philosophers came into contact with leading teachers of Roman Law. Through this encounter, the juridical culture of the West was born, which was and is of key significance for the juridical culture of mankind. This pre-Christian marriage between law and philosophy opened up the path that led via the Christian Middle Ages and the juridical developments of the Age of Enlightenment all the way to the Declaration of Human Rights and to our German Basic Law of 1949, with which our nation committed itself to "inviolable and inalienable human rights as the foundation of every human community, and of peace and justice in the world..."

- Pope Benedict XVI, Reichstag Building, Berlin
Thursday, 22 September 2011

Christianity does not propose a law grounded in a particular revelation. Rather, it grounds Law in universal Natural Law discovered through reason. Judaism has Halakha and Islam has Sharia, divinely revealed laws taught by Moses and Muhammad for society. Jesus never taught a legal system. He left his diciples only one command. JOHN 13:34 NKJ 34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another".

Islam and Judaism both have circumcision, whereas Christianity does not. I could go on, but I think that you get the point already.

This flexibility has allowed Christianity to adapt to practically any system of laws or society.

There is a "law of the heart", which is why I mentioned Jesus "love" command earlier on. However that is the law of conscience, imposed from within and not from without. This law is the only law that Christianity recognises as divine law. There are no other revealed laws.

Read this description by Tan (a Catholic publisher) of Saint John of the Cross' diagram of the spiritual path:


Quote:
St. John of the Cross has left us a drawing which sums up, expresses in synthesis the whole spiritual life. It is the outline of a mountain whose summit, symbolized by a circle, represents the state of perfection. The ascent is symbolized by three paths, all leading toward the summit, but only one of them, the narrowest, reaches it. This is the way of the "nothing" (nada), the way of total abne- gation. It leads directly to the summit of the mount, where there is an inscription: "Only the honour and glory of God remain."

The soul arrives at this supreme height, when dominated by perfect charity, it adheres totally to the divine will, and moved by that divine will alone, tends solely to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity. On the periphery of the circle are the words: "And here there is no way, as for the just man there is no law..." In fact, the soul which is completely dominated by the love of God no longer needs the stimulus of an external law obliging it to keep on the right road; God's will has become the one "principle of activity" which moves and directs it in all its actions. This is why the Saint says that, in this state, the two wills--the will of God and the will of the soul--have become one, and this one will is the divine will which has now become the will of the soul, which, losing itself in this divine will, has abandoned all other choice.


All the infused virtues, together with the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit, flourish abundantly in this soul, making it enjoy intimacy with God in a "perpetual banquet, divine silence, and divine wisdom."
Thus, by following the rugged path of the "nada" (nothing) the soul reaches the immense "All" of God, its only treasure, in which it loses itself.
That is why Jesus abolished such a peripheral, provisional, time-bound "law".

Laws change. Our conscience never changes. We always have that innate sense of "right and wrong".

Saint Paul explained:

Quote:
"...When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, their conscience bearing witness..."

- Saint Paul (Romans 2:8-16)

The simple fact is, Jesus not only did not give a legal system, he abolished entirely the Jewish Torah laws. He directed his followers to adhere to their conscience and to "Render to Caesar" that is to obey the existing Roman legal system or whatever secular, non-divinely revealed legal system they happened to live under, and to change it really only where it conflicted with Christian values.

He presented to the world a new spirit, ethos and value-system which his followers were to infuse into the Roman Empire, changing the aspects of that legal system which were morally deficient (such as the permittability of crucifixtion and the Gladiatorial combat).

Christianity was born into a highly developed, classical world with an advanced legal system that is still the basis of our own modern Western legal systems through the Christian Emperor Justinian's "Institutes" in the sixth century AD. These institutes are still studied by every legal student who takes Civil Law. They are a codification by Justinian of Roman Law as developed in the Christian Roman Empire, adapted, changed and amended by them accordingly. Property Law has changed little since Roman times.

The letter of Hebrews goes so far as to declare as I said before:

Quote:
Hebrews 8:13

He [Jesus] is the mediator of a better covenant, which hath been enacted upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then would no place have been sought for a second...By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear

Saint Paul taught that Jesus freed us from the law. Not a "part" of the law but the entire Jewish law.

Christianity represented an "interior" faith, a law written on our heart rather than imposed from without. The Jewish prophets had predicted that the Messiah would do this:


Quote:
Jeremiah 31:31-34

New International Version (NIV)

31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors

when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to[a] them,[b]”
declares the Lord.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the Lord.
I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts
.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more

The New Covenant was perfectly described by Jeremish hundreds of years before Jesus was born. It represented a new kind of religious revelation lacking an external law completely. The prophets also taught that the Messiah and New Covenant would be a "light to the Gentiles" ie that it would spread beyond the confines of the Jewish nation and become a universal revelation, as it later did in the highly connected international world of the Roman Empire.

The only "law" in Christianity is the law of conscience. If we heed this law, informed by divinely revealed truths in scripture, then we adhere to the Will of God.

Thus the Catechism of the Catholic Church, quoting the Second Vatican Council and Blessed John Henry Newman, tells us:

Quote:
1776 "Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment. . . . For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God. . . . His conscience is man's most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths."47..."Conscience is a law of the mind; yet [Christians] would not grant that it is nothing more; I mean that it was not a dictate, nor conveyed the notion of responsibility, of duty, of a threat and a promise. . . . [Conscience] is a messenger of him, who, both in nature and in grace, speaks to us behind a veil, and teaches and rules us by his representatives. Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ"

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-08-2012 at 06:27 AM.
 
Old 12-08-2012, 06:43 AM   #24
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Wikipedia has a (remarkably) decent (and referenced) overview of the Catholic scholastic teaching vis-a-vis the Old Covenant laws:

Quote:
Roman Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas explained that there are three types of biblical precepts: moral, ceremonial, and judicial. He holds that moral precepts are permanent, having held even before the Law was given, since they are part of the law of nature;[9] ceremonial precepts, which deal with forms of worshipping God and ritual cleanness; and judicial precepts (such as those in Exodus 21[10]) came into existence only with the Law of Moses,[11] and were only temporary. The ceremonial commands were "ordained to the Divine worship for that particular time and to the foreshadowing of Christ".[12] Accordingly, upon the coming of Christ they ceased to bind,[13] and to observe them now would, Aquinas thought, be equivalent to declaring falsely that Christ has not yet come, for Christians a mortal sin.[14]...

Unlike the ceremonial and judicial precepts, moral commands continue to bind, and are summed up in the Ten Commandments. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

"2068 The Council of Trent teaches that the Ten Commandments are obligatory for Christians and that the justified man is still bound to keep them; the Second Vatican Council confirms: 'The bishops, successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord ... the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments.'"

2070. The Ten Commandments belong to God's revelation. At the same time they teach us the true humanity of man. They bring to light the essential duties, and therefore, indirectly, the fundamental rights inherent in the nature of the human person. The Decalogue contains a privileged expression of the natural law: "From the beginning, God had implanted in the heart of man the precepts of the natural law. Then he was content to remind him of them. This was the Decalogue" (St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 4, 15, 1: PG 7/1, 1012).

2072. Since they express man's fundamental duties towards God and towards his neighbour, the Ten Commandments reveal, in their primordial content, grave obligations. They are fundamentally immutable, and they oblige always and everywhere. No one can dispense from them. The Ten Commandments are engraved by God in the human heart

Other than the Ten Commandments and any strictly ethical teachings (not laws) relating to them (although even these are derived from a stage of revelation less progressive than the New Testament), none of the judicial laws, punishments or social teachings of the Pentateuch are binding or in any way relevant to Christians. We are strictly forbidden to observe them since they were ordained towards a specific time period and are therefore post-Jesus "imperfect and provisional" as the Second Vatican Council taught.

On Jesus himself read this:

Quote:
While the New Testament records several unique sayings of Jesus that may be described as "commandments," it only records one that he explicitly identified as such. This is the New Commandment of John 13:34-35 that the disciples should love one another as he himself had loved them.

These commandments are commonly seen as a basis of Christian ethics.
Christianity teaches "ethics" not "laws". That is why Jesus taught that the essence of the law was ethical rather than legal, the "golden rule" common to all the great world religions in some form:

Quote:
"...In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets..."

- Matthew 7:12

And of course the two greatest moral commandments of the Old Covenant according to Jesus, "Love your neighbour as you love yourself" and "love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength".

Even the Ten Commandments are not societal laws but individual laws for personal morality. There is simply no concept of divinely revealed law for temporary, mutable human societies in Christianity. We are simply taught to "render to Caesar" and obey whatever legal system is in power, so long as our freedom of religion is upheld and we are not taught to do anything against Christian ethics, as Roman law originally forced the early Christians to do when it mandated offering sacrifices to idols and the Imperial Cult of the Divine Emperor which for Christians was idolatry.

And we certainly don't follow the Torah laws. Even a cursory reading of the Pauline epistles would reveal that. Please understand that this is sinful for Christians since these laws were intended only for the Jewish nation during that particular time period before the coming of Christ.

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-08-2012 at 07:04 AM.
 
Old 12-08-2012, 07:04 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua
Islam and Judaism both have circumcision, whereas Christianity does not. I could go on, but I think that you get the point already
Not mentioned a single time in the Qur'an.

It is important to note that Islam is not a system of hadiths and interpretations, it is monotheism. Not setting partners up with God. I think to a certain extent this exists in many of today's traditions, which is why the Qur'an mentions that those who believe in Allah will receive their reward on the last day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua
Islam and Judaism both have rules on dress and clothing, whereas Christianity doesn't.
The Qur'an teaches men and women should dress modestly and that women should cover their bosoms. Dont' forget this passage from the New Testament:

Quote:
"6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man."
Also in this passage, women are to have long hair and it is shameful for men to wear their hair long.

Some Further Questions, did you read my earlier post? Did it shed any light on the issue? Please correct me if I am an error.

Regards,

Zhang

Last edited by Zhang; 12-08-2012 at 07:08 AM.
 
Old 12-08-2012, 07:10 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhang View Post
Not mentioned a single time in the Qur'an.

It is important to note that Islam is not a system of hadiths and interpretations, it is monotheism. Not setting partners up with God. I think to a certain extent this exists in many of today's traditions, which is why the Qur'an mentions that those who believe in Allah will receive their reward on the last day.



The Qur'an teaches men and women should dress modestly and that women should cover their bosoms. Dont' forget this passage from the New Testament:



Is any of what I am saying making sense? Please correct me if I am an error.

Regards,

Zhang

Thank you brother Zhang! What you say makes perfect sense.

I was referring not solely to the Qur'an but Sharia law in its entirety according to orthodox Shi'ism and Sunni Islam which does mandate circumcision and has strict hijab laws of dress code for men and women. I am aware that you are a Qur'an Alone Muslim and do not follow Hadith or Sunnah at all.

The Qur'an nonetheless does have judicial laws on adultery, heritage, dietary laws, purification laws etc. and much else that are more similar to the Torah laws of the OT than the purely ethical teachings of the NT.

There is nothing wrong with this, its simply a difference between religions.

Christianity lacks this element completely. Yes you will find ethical injuctions on dressing modestly, as in the Qur'an, but no actual defined dress code as in Sharia Law.

Many kind regards! (oh and btw I've got to reply to your PM, I've been so busy recently and will soon!)
 
Old 12-08-2012, 07:15 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhang View Post
Also in this passage, women are to have long hair and it is shameful for men to wear their hair long.

Some Further Questions, did you read my earlier post? Did it shed any light on the issue? Please correct me if I am an error.

Regards,

Zhang

Brother Zhang,

In that passage Paul makes it clear that this is his personal belief and not commanded by Christ or God which is why he writes just after the bit you quoted:

Quote:
Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, 15 but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. 16 If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no such practice—nor do the churches of God

Paul does this at other times in his letter to the Corinthians such as when he says:


Quote:
1 Corinthians 7:12-14

New International Version (NIV)

12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her.

So again its a personal command from Paul that is not divinely inspired. He states quite clearly that he is saying it and not God or Jesus.

Again its a matter of "conscience" rather than a divine law imposed from without. And most Christians do not follow Paul's practice of women wearing hats or headcoverings during Church services (as Jews do when they teach that men must wear skullcaps when worshipping and women cover their heads at all times) or men not having long hair, because we simply disagree with him.

Paul came from Jewish culture which did have certain etiquette relating to headwear but he doesn't make it a law, merely a personal preference that people are too make up their own minds about.

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-08-2012 at 07:21 AM.
 
Old 12-08-2012, 07:19 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
Christianity teaches "ethics" not "laws".

Even the Ten Commandments are not societal laws but individual laws for personal morality. There is simply no concept of divinely revealed law for temporary, mutable human societies in Christianity. We are simply taught to "render to Caesar" and obey whatever legal system is in power, so long as our freedom of religion is upheld and we are not taught to do anything against Christian ethics, as Roman law originally forced the early Christians to do when it mandated offering sacrifices to idols and the Imperial Cult of the Divine Emperor which for Christians was idolatry.

And we certainly don't follow the Torah laws. Please understand that this is sinful for Christians since these laws were intended only for the Jewish nation during that particular time period before the coming of Christ.
I understand the view of Christians regarding the Laws.
But Baha'i view is that, every Messenger brought certain social Laws, and that includes Jesus.
Now you may interpret the term "social laws" differently, but we could be speaking about the same.
For example, Jesus did not allow divorce except for certain cases. This is a Law. It says what to do, and what not to do.
Marriage in Baha'i view is a social law.
It is true that Jesus in many cases modified or abrogated the Laws of Moses, but that does not mean, He abrogate every single Law.
Jesus mission was to focus more on spiritual Laws, rather than social Laws. That is because, Moses had already established those social laws.

In fact I would say, if indeed Jesus taught Lawlessness, That is a weakness.
For to rely only on conscious is not enough, as not everyone has one. Thus, to keep security on earth, the Laws and Punishments are required. That is to ensure the security on earth.

For example in Mark 7:10, Jesus said: "For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death"

Did not Jesus confirm the Law of Moses, as putting to death whoso curses his parents?
Why such a harsh punishment?

Last edited by InvestigateTruth; 12-08-2012 at 07:27 AM.
 
Old 12-08-2012, 07:31 AM   #29
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I don't know if anyone mentioned this verse above?

I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

- Matthew 5:18

I don't think Jesus abrogated all laws either...

and the words "until everything is accomplished" has an interesting ring to it.

Harsh punishments in our view probably originate from harsh environs..

Last edited by arthra; 12-08-2012 at 07:35 AM.
 
Old 12-08-2012, 07:34 AM   #30
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A few comments Investigate:

Quote:
In fact I would say, if indeed Jesus taught Lawlessness, That is a weakness.
For to rely only on conscious is not enough, as not everyone has one.
Everyone has a conscience according to Christian teaching, an innate sense of right and wrong, a direct access to natural law within them.

Quote:
For example, Jesus did not allow divorce except for certain cases. This is a Law. It says what to do, and what not to do.
Yes it is a personal command on how to order one's own personal marital life. Jesus gave no laws for society and abolished every judicial, criminal or ceremonial law of the Old Testament. He taught merely ethical injuctions, such as being faithful to one's wife rather than divorcing her for any reason. In doing this the OT law on divorce was abrogated. That may be social as you say but it is family and certainly not criminal or even strictly judicial. Up to the High Middle Ages Catholic countries permitted divorce. The Church may have taught that he was still bound to the first wife but the church did not tell the law to change. Its a personal thing. Orthodox and Eastern Catholics have divorce. So you see its not a cut-and-dried "law" in Christian societies. Its a personal injuction to stay committed to one woman even if the legal system recognises divorce.

BTW According to Christian teaching the Natural Law implanted in our conscience teaches monogamy. So Jesus' command is also merely the manifestation of any man who rightly delves into his conscience and sincerely asks himself whether he can ever equally love three women, or should rather divorce the marital bond for any reason. The answer is no. Its natural, we are meant to be together with one single soul-mate even if the Jewish dispensation allowed divorce and polygamy because of "hardness of heart" and the specific, tribal culture of the period. We feel guilt if we divorce another human being without grave cause because we are supposed to marry out of "love".

Quote:
Thus, to keep security on earth, the Laws and Punishments are required. That is to ensure the security on earth.
Human beings construct their own legal systems based upon the cumulative knowledge of successive generations of people who have enquired into their own consciences through the application of reason. The Roman Empire had therefore its own developed legal system. Jesus merely directed people to lead lives of virtue and search within themselves to find the natural law of God already implanted within them, which his teachings attested to in its fullest and most supreme extent.

Quote:
For example in Mark 7:10, Jesus said: "For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death"

Did not Jesus confirm the Law of Moses, as putting to death whoso curses his parents?
Why such harsh a punishment?
No, that is not the context of the passage Investigate.

This is:

Quote:
You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.

9 And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe[c] your own traditions! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’[d] and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’[e] 11 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)— 12 then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”

Its about putting human traditions above the Word of God. Jesus merely quoted that passage from Moses to demonstrate from the Jews own scripture where they had gone astray.

You must understand that the Pauline letters and the Christian faith teach that all judicial, criminal or ceremonial laws of the Torah were made completely "obsolete" by John the Baptist's coming and Jesus' inauguration of the New Covenant. Jesus himself said that the Torah ceased to have any effect when John came.

This is Christian doctrine. You are at liberty to disagree, but from my perspective as a Christian the case closes there. I do not believe that any of the Torah's legal punishments are valid post Jesus. They are simply temorary commands given by Moses to a less humane and developed ancient culture. That's it.

God Bless

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-08-2012 at 07:50 AM.
 
Old 12-08-2012, 07:39 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by arthra View Post
I don't know if anyone mentioned this verse above?

I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

- Matthew 5:18

So I'm not sure if Jesus abrogated all laws either...

and the words "until everything is accomplished" has an interesting ring to it.

Harsh punishments in our view probably originate from harsh environs..
That passage from Matthew was quoted by TheThinker above Arthra and replied to by me in my first post in this thread.

If Baha'is do not believe that Jesus abrogated every criminal/judicial and ceremonial law of the Torah then that is simply a difference between our two faiths. Brother Sen Mcglinn does not believe this, however since I am not a Baha'i I am sure that you would agree that this has nothing to do with me and I have no right to intrude on another religion's internal debate on abrogation.

I have outlined the Christian perspective and that is that.

I hope that you understand this Investigate.
 
Old 12-08-2012, 07:53 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua
So again its a personal command from Paul that is not divinely inspired. He states quite clearly that he is saying it and not God or Jesus.
Okay sorry not sure how I missed that. Thanks for the clarity.

I hope others can see that I am trying to de-politicize Islam and return it to the system that inspired a golden age of philosophy and science. In the same way you return to Jesus teachings and place less emphasis on Paul's personal views, I too am trying to return to the original teachings. Our goals are not unalike.

Paul: "To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord)"...

Abu Bakr: "I am an ordinary man subject to human fallibility."

Islam is more progressive than some would like to think.

Peace bro,

Zhang
 
Old 12-08-2012, 07:59 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Zhang View Post
Okay sorry not sure how I missed that. Thanks for the clarity.

I hope others can see that I am trying to de-politicize Islam and return it to the system that inspired a golden age of philosophy and science. In the same way you return to Jesus teachings and place less emphasis on Paul's personal views, I too am trying to return to the original teachings. Our goals are not unalike.

Paul: "To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord)"...

Abu Bakr: "I am an ordinary man subject to human fallibility."

Islam is more progressive than some would like to think.

Peace bro,

Zhang

Amen!

I agree with you brother Zhang. The Qur'an teaches great ethical innovation for its time and culture, containing (from my perspective) much that is perrenially true and can help us even now.

Catholic theologians of the Middle Ages held Muslim scholars in great esteem, as do I.

Consider this ayat for example from one of the Meccan suras:

Quote:
When one of them gets a baby girl, his face becomes darkened with overwhelming grief. Ashamed, he hides from the people, because of the bad news given to him. He even ponders: should he keep the baby grudgingly, or bury her in the dust. Miserable indeed is their judgment.(16:58-59)

As you can see, the Arabia into which Muhammad was born practised wiespread infanticide of baby girls. Muhammad spoke out against this practice, whereas he could have stayed silent and accepted it carte blanche. In modern China this foul practice of female infanticide still happens because of the one-child policy. I have heard that it occurs still in India as well.

Muhammad refused to accept this barbaric practice and I think that this is an example of real humanity and progess within his own culture/region/time-frame.

And yes we should never forget the Golden Age of Islam or the greatness of Sufi poetry.

I would also agree that we are on a similar wave-length/latitude in many respects concering our respective religions.

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-08-2012 at 08:03 AM.
 
Old 12-08-2012, 08:02 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
A few comments Investigate:
Everyone has a conscience according to Christian teaching, an innate sense of right and wrong, a direct access to natural law within them.
I think what Bible teaches is that a human can be just as cruel as animals.

Quote:
Yes it is a personal command on how to order one's own personal marital life. Jesus gave no laws for society and abolished every judicial, criminal or ceremonial law of the Old Testament.
There has been Christian Governments long ago who enforced these laws. were they not?

Quote:
Its a personal injuction to stay committed to one woman even if the legal system recognises divorce.
I think early Christians practiced polygomy.
So, why God allowd polygomy before Jesus, if that is against human's conscience?


Quote:
Its about putting human traditions above the Word of God. Jesus merely quoted that passage from Moses to demonstrate from the Jews own scripture where they had gone astray.
Yes, but Jesus confirmed the Word of God about punishment for cursing Parants, otherwise, He did not have to use this specific Law as an example.

Quote:
You must understand that the Pauline letters and the Christian faith teach that all judicial, criminal or ceremonial laws of the Torah were made completely "obsolete" by John the Baptist's coming and Jesus' inauguration of the New Covenant. Jesus himself said that the Torah ceased to have any effect when John came.
I think you are interpreting those letters in an absolute way. That is just mere interpretation.

You know, in recent years, some of the Moslems perhaps for good intentions, interpreted the Laws of Quran to make them more user friendly.
For example, the verse regarding cutting hand, they said, it says "Short their hand" meaning just keep their hands away from stealing. They argue Quran does not instruct them to cut a part of hand.
To me, the Christians also have done similar things. To interpret the Bible as to make it more appealing.
That's my opinion anyways....I think the Bible is quite clear, that Jesus did not abrogate all the Laws of Moses.

- Peace

Last edited by InvestigateTruth; 12-08-2012 at 08:05 AM.
 
Old 12-08-2012, 08:09 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
To me, the Christians also have done similar things. To interpret the Bible as to make it more appealing.
That's my opinion anyways....I think the Bible is quite clear, that Jesus did not abrogate all the Laws of Moses.

- Peace

And you are entitled to your opinion. However Christians have never accepted as binding any of the judicial/criminal injuctions of the OT.

You seem to have a problem with this but it is what it is.

Why do you not simply quote from the NT or early Christian writings proper when comparing Islam and Christianity, or the Baha'i Faith and Christianity? That is fair since that is our scripture written by Christian authors. Quoting pre-Christian Jewish texts and holding them up as examples of Christian "criminal law" (when we have none!) on the basis of your own personal understanding of how the Old and New Covebants work, is not prudent, accurate or fair in my eyes.

It makes utterly no sense to me to keep referring to a pre-Christian legal system that Christians have always taught is sinful to adhere to post-Jesus since it renders Jesus' sacrifice and liberation from legal demands meaningless and actually conflicts with his teachings in numerous respects, simply because you regard it as still binding on Christians post-Jesus when Christians have never believed that.

I find that on some level very irritating, actually.

I will not be discussing this further since we are simply banging our heads against brick walls.

Christianity teaches exactly what I have described at great length. You disagree with this Christian understanding of the OT. Ok, that is fine and I have no problem with that. Can we - or rather should I say Christianity and yourself - simply beg to differ?

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-08-2012 at 08:18 AM.
 
Old 12-08-2012, 08:24 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
Christianity teaches exactly what I have described at great length. You disagree with this Christian understanding of the OT. Ok, that is fine and I have no problem with that. Can we - or rather should I say Christianity and yourself - simply beg to differ?
It depends how we define Christianity.
Does Christianity mean How Christians define their religion, or, how Jesus Himself, as recorded in Bible defined His revelation?

I believe these two are different. it seems to me Christianity has been changing and changing when it passed through ages.
It seems to me In each period, the Christians tried to adapt Christianity to what they found appealing in their time.

Last edited by InvestigateTruth; 12-08-2012 at 08:29 AM.
 
Old 12-08-2012, 08:33 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
It depends how we define Christianity.
Does Christianity mean How Christians define their religion, or, how Jesus Himself, as recorded in Bible defined His revelation?

I believe these two are different.

Brother/sister Investigate

Jesus himself said that the Torah ceased to be effective upon the coming of John the Baptist. He abrogated it explicitly on numerous occassions. He clarified that the essence of the Old Covenant and its only binding aspect was moral: The Golden Rule, the Ten Commandments and the two commands to love neighbour and God.

Saint Paul, the Church's first theologian who has a role in Christianity akin to Abdu'l-Baha in the Baha'i Faith and whose words are divinely inspired unless he explicitly says that it is his personal judgement or up for discussion, teaches about the nullification of the Torah at great length.

The Book of Hebrews calls it "obsolete", "out-dated", "not without fault" and about to "disappear".

Every early Church Father from the late first century up to the seventh and every subsequent orthodox Christian theologian has confirmed that the Torah's judicial, criminal, ceremonial and other laws are completely not binding on Christians, to the extent that it is sinful for a Christian - mortally sinful in fact - to adhere to them.

That is the Christian doctrine based upon the recorded words of Jesus, the letters of Paul and other epistles of the New Testament, the writings of the Fathers, theologians and scholastics etc.

If you disagree, I have no problem but my view has been outlined.

This is not a matter of making our religion look "kinder" or more "appealing" as you suggest. Its the perrenial teaching of Christianity for 2,000 years.

Our New Testament is there for the world to see. Critique that, call parts of that old-fashioned if you like, but please do not attribute to us pre-Christian Jewish laws that have no authority for us.

That is my final piece on this subject my dear friend.

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-08-2012 at 08:45 AM.
 
Old 12-08-2012, 08:43 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
I believe these two are different. it seems to me Christianity has been changing and changing when it passed through ages. It seems to me In each period, the Christians tried to adapt Christianity to what they found appealing in their time.
That may be true, but our understanding of the OT law has never changed. We simply have never accepted it as binding.

Although on a different topic Catholics do believe that "Doctrine develops" as ages wear on. This isn't a weakness of Catholicism but a strength, just as in Nizari Ismaili Islam which teaches the same, enabling us to never change our deposit of faith while increasing in understanding and application of it as humanity progresses.

The Second Vatican Council ("Vatican II") wrote an important document called "On Divine Revelation" (Dei Verbum in Latin). It's quite readable, and contains definitive teaching on the full meaning of Catholic Tradition.

The Tradition is "alive". It is still progressing, through the lives and experiences of defied saints, we have such a fusion of human knowledge with divine understanding, that mystical experiences can even pass into theolgical discourse and influence our understanding of the mysteries of faith.

Vatican II actually explained that it is in this manner that the Church develops "doctrine" and understanding of its teachings:

Quote:
"The Tradition that comes from the Apostles makes progress in the Church. There is growth in insight into the realities and words that are being passed on. This comes about in various ways. The understanding of the things and words handed down grows, through the contemplation and study of believers, who compare these things in their heart (cf. Luc. 2, 19 and 51), and through their interior understanding of the spiritual realities which they experience. The Church, we may say, as the ages pass, tends continually towards the fullness of divine truth, till the words of God are consummated in her". (Dei verbum, no. 8).
In other words, through direct mystical experience of "believers" (saints) and the teaching of the episcopate (magisterium).

This is the doctrine of "development of doctrine".

We regard certain moral truths as being immutable and never changing, whereas our understanding develops with time.

Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman in the 19th century explained this doctrine well:


Quote:
"...If Christianity be a universal religion, suited not simply to one locality or period, but to all times and places, it cannot but vary in its relations and dealings towards the world around it, that is, it will develope. Principles require a very various application according as persons and circumstances vary, and must be thrown into new shapes according to the form of society which they are to influence. Hence all bodies of Christians, orthodox or not, develope the doctrines of Scripture...The whole Bible, not its prophetical portions only, is written on the principle of development. As the Revelation proceeds, it is ever new, yet ever old...Moreover, while it is certain that developments of Revelation proceeded all through the Old Dispensation {68} down to the very end of our Lord's ministry, on the other hand, if we turn our attention to the beginnings of Apostolical teaching after His ascension, we shall find ourselves unable to fix an historical point at which the growth of doctrine ceased, and the rule of faith was once for all settled. Not on the day of Pentecost, for St. Peter had still to learn at Joppa that he was to baptize Cornelius; not at Joppa and Cæsarea, for St. Paul had to write his Epistles; not on the death of the last Apostle, for St. Ignatius had to establish the doctrine of Episcopacy; not then, nor for centuries after, for the Canon of the New Testament was still undetermined. Not in the Creed, which is no collection of definitions, but a summary of certain credenda, an incomplete summary, and, like the Lord's Prayer or the Decalogue, a mere sample of divine truths, especially of the more elementary. No one doctrine can be named which starts complete at first, and gains nothing afterwards from the investigations of faith and the attacks of heresy...[A great idea] in time enters upon strange territory; points of controversy alter their bearing; parties rise and fall around it; dangers and hopes appear in new relations; and the old principles appear in new forms. It changes with them in order to remain the same. In a higher world it is otherwise, but here below to live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often...With all our intimate knowledge of animal life and of the structure of particular animals, we have not arrived at a true definition of any one of them, but are forced to enumerate properties and accidents by way of description..."

- Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman, 1845 (Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine), Catholic theologian, mystic & prelate
Do you have a problem with this too lol? According to Catholic doctrine, the doctrines of Christianity must grow and develop over time.

However that is off-topic and has nothing to do with our rejection of the OT law which we have always believed.

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-08-2012 at 09:10 AM.
 
Old 12-08-2012, 10:30 AM   #39
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I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

- Matthew 5:18

This wording above led me to a brief study... "until heaven and earth passing way" have connections to the end of the age..

In the Kitab-i-Iqan Baha'u'llah suggests "the heaven of the religion of God"

Heavens mean the Divine Revelations

In like manner, endeavour to comprehend the meaning of the "changing of the earth." Know thou, that upon whatever hearts the bountiful showers of mercy, raining from the "heaven" of divine Revelation, have fallen, the earth of those hearts hath verily been changed into the earth of divine knowledge and wisdom.

- p. 46 Kitab-i-Iqan

"....until everything is accomplished"

another translation has "be fulfilled" in Greek it is γίνομαι ginomai

1) to become, i.e. to come into existence, begin to be, receive being

2) to become, i.e. to come to pass, happen

a) of events

3) to arise, appear in history, come upon the stage

Blue Letter Bible - Lexicon

So it seems that the verse alludes to the transformation from one revelation to the next.

Last edited by arthra; 12-08-2012 at 10:35 AM.
 
Old 12-08-2012, 03:00 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
Brother/sister Investigate

Jesus himself said that the Torah ceased to be effective upon the coming of John the Baptist. He abrogated it explicitly on numerous occassions. He clarified that the essence of the Old Covenant and its only binding aspect was moral: The Golden Rule, the Ten Commandments and the two commands to love neighbour and God.

Saint Paul, the Church's first theologian who has a role in Christianity akin to Abdu'l-Baha in the Baha'i Faith and whose words are divinely inspired unless he explicitly says that it is his personal judgement or up for discussion, teaches about the nullification of the Torah at great length.

The Book of Hebrews calls it "obsolete", "out-dated", "not without fault" and about to "disappear".

Every early Church Father from the late first century up to the seventh and every subsequent orthodox Christian theologian has confirmed that the Torah's judicial, criminal, ceremonial and other laws are completely not binding on Christians, to the extent that it is sinful for a Christian - mortally sinful in fact - to adhere to them.

That is the Christian doctrine based upon the recorded words of Jesus, the letters of Paul and other epistles of the New Testament, the writings of the Fathers, theologians and scholastics etc.

If you disagree, I have no problem but my view has been outlined.

This is not a matter of making our religion look "kinder" or more "appealing" as you suggest. Its the perrenial teaching of Christianity for 2,000 years.

Our New Testament is there for the world to see. Critique that, call parts of that old-fashioned if you like, but please do not attribute to us pre-Christian Jewish laws that have no authority for us.

That is my final piece on this subject my dear friend.
Yeshua,
In my earlier post when I compared a couple of Laws of Islam to that of Bible, I only referred to two examples, namely polygamy and slavery.

There is good evidence that the early Christians did practice both of these.

My question to you is this:
in the Bible we see Jesus explicitly talks about the Law of divorce, and rebukes them very clearly regarding divorcing their wives.
But how is it that, there is no such a thing as regards to polygamy or slavery?
Are not slavery and polygamy at least as important as divorce?
Why there is no verse in Bible that Jesus ever rebuked them for slavery or polygamy?
 
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