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Deity Continued - SPK Live
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spk1121
spk1121
Steve K
Sat, Dec. 3rd, 2005 11:03 pm
Deity Continued

(See HERE for the beginning of the thread and some responses.)

  • But I do think God is Y-w-h is Allah.
  • Christian God and Muslim Allah really ARE the same god, as both faiths originated from the old testament and deviated at a later point.
A couple different people expressed this kind of sentiment, so I'm going to express my take on it.  To do so, I'm going to turn to a non-Biblical analogy: say you are discussing fraternal and identical twins.  One can argue that there are many similiarties between the two types of pregnancies -- each involves the children being the offspring of the same parents, more than one fetus grows in the uterus, they experience the same gestation period, have the same birthday, etc.  They are indeed similar types of pregnancies.  However, if you try to convince someone (especially a doctor or nurse) that they are the same, they will look at you like a crazy person!  Probably the first thing they would bring up is that fraternal twins can involve both a boy and a girl, but they have to be the same gender in a case of identical twins.

So, I most definitely think that the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition has a lot of commonalities and similar views, especially as relates to the concept of monotheism.  However, the sticking point is Jesus Christ -- true Man, true God.  Jews would not link a human face with God, that's idolatry and breaking the second Commandment.  So, too, with Muslims -- Isa (Jesus) is a highly respected prophet and the greatest before Muhammed, but not God made flesh.  To say otherwise is the gravest of heresies in Islam.  Yet that's what traditional Christians believe -- One God, Three Persons.  Jesus said to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  However, he also said he came to fulfill the Law and not to abolish it, and the Law clearly states that there is only one God.  So, this means that God has somehow miraculously worked within history in a way that we can hardly comprehend -- eternal, yet born; immortal, yet subject to death; majestic beyond all kings, yet humbled by a criminal's punishment for the sins of all.  We take it for granted, but it really is absolutely mind-boggling when you take the time to think about it!

There are undoubtedly links between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  Muhammed acknowledged that himself by referring to Jews and Christians as "People of the Book."  Christians acknowledge that Jesus and all his disciples were Jewish, and that the message of salvation only came to the Gentiles after the Chosen People had already been told the Good News.  However, unless you can say without qualm that Jesus, who lived and walked on this planet, was God incarnate and fully divine, we don't believe in the same God.  We have a similar concept of God, but not the same.  It's like acknowledging the existence of the United States of America, but not admitting that 17 states are a part of the (one) nation!  For Christians, you can't have "God" without Jesus, without the full and blessed Holy Trinity in One.

Tags:
Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
Current Music: Tony Bennett - "All-Time Greatest Hits" album

14CommentReply

yourmamachula
YourMamaChula
Sun, Dec. 4th, 2005 02:35 pm (UTC)
well said

well said, and very accurate...and very welcoming of everyone.... I guess I (and a bazillion other Muslims) just see Christians, Jews, and Muslims believing in the same Creator, Father of all, etc., so everyone should freakin' stop hating on each other! :) I think it's the same God in a narrower sense (before Christ), but not the same concept of God.


ReplyThread
yourmamachula
YourMamaChula
Sun, Dec. 4th, 2005 02:43 pm (UTC)
favorite statement thus far..

from one of your friends over in the other thread- God is God and we are not. That's the lowdown for me. :) When I was being sent all that freakin' ridiculous hate mail from the Muslim website, my final message to the moderators was that God, in the end, is the one who judges us all and as humans, we have no real way (other than scriptures) to tell everyone what is right and what is wrong, and certainly no right to tell someone of our particular faith that they are going to hell!! Craziness. If someone believes, and does all the things 'necessary' in their faith (whatever it may be) for salvation, then I don't think it's right for someone else within their faith to tell them they're going to hell. It is between that person and their God. blah. rambling now.


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basswhooper
basswhooper
basswhooper
Sun, Dec. 4th, 2005 09:10 pm (UTC)
Re: favorite statement thus far..

Hey, thanks for the kind words!

Before I make any other comments, please allow me to ask a question of you: Is it indeed heresy to refer to Jesus as "God Incarnate"?


ReplyThread Parent
yourmamachula
YourMamaChula
Sun, Dec. 4th, 2005 10:23 pm (UTC)
Re: favorite statement thus far..

I've never used the word "heresy", but yeah, to say a human is God is not ok.


ReplyThread Parent
basswhooper
basswhooper
basswhooper
Mon, Dec. 5th, 2005 01:58 am (UTC)
Therein lies the rub.

Christ taught (and I believe) that He was indeed God, and further was the only way to Salvation.

And the difference does not begin with Christ. Genesis chapter 3 is the first of some 330 Messianic prophecies. (I've heard the number put from 200 to 400, but 330 is the one I hear most frequently.) Having never read the Quran (please forgive me if I've butchered the spelling), I'm guessing that there are no such prophecies of a Messiah who was both man and God who would bear the punishment for the sins of mankind.

Also, if I understand correctly, the Quran teaches that Abraham and Ishmael went to Mecca and built the Kaba (again, pardon what I'm sure is a misspelling, and I could be totally off-base about the Abraham and Ishmael thing). If I'm not wrong about that, then there's another major difference between our O.T. and the Quran.

As both Christians and Muslims believe that God is all-powerful, then we probably both believe that He is mighty enough to get His exact word to us. That being the case, both Christians and Muslims cannot be right; someone has to be wrong.

Still, this (very significant, I feel) disagreement is by no means a reason for anyone to hate anyone else. While I cannot speak for the teachings of the Quran (I could tell you what I've heard, but having read none of it I can't say for sure what's there), I can say that hate is NOT a true Christian value. (For more on this, please see my reply below to fearful_syzygy.


ReplyThread Parent
yourmamachula
YourMamaChula
Mon, Dec. 5th, 2005 04:26 am (UTC)
Re: Therein lies the rub.

enh, i was sent to a very conservative christian all-girls summer camp for 8 years...a family acquaintance's attempt to save my soul. I have copies of the Bible in 4 different languages and have read them all. Not trying to say that I'm a know-it-all, except that I am VERY aware, and just as familiar with Christian texts as I am with Islamic ones, if not more so. (Was never sent to little Muslim girls' camp, thank God). :)


ReplyThread Parent
basswhooper
basswhooper
basswhooper
Mon, Dec. 5th, 2005 10:20 pm (UTC)
That's the thing that a lot of "Christians" miss...

You can't force someone to accept a faith. Period. Which is why, while I may disagree with someone, and will vigorously debate (in a friendly manner!) with them, I will never try to force someone. It does no good, and I wouildn't want it tried on me.


ReplyThread Parent
fearful_syzygy
fearful_syzygy
Ferdinando, Lord Strange
Sun, Dec. 4th, 2005 08:10 pm (UTC)

In the Orient in ancient times there lived a man who possessed a ring of inestimable worth. Its stone was an opal that emitted a hundred colours, but its real value lay in its ability to make its wearer beloved of God and man. The ring passed from father to most favoured son for many generations, until finally its owner was a father with three sons, all equally deserving. Unable to decide which of the three sons was most worthy, the father commissioned a master artisan to make two exact copies of the ring, then gave each son a ring, and each son believed that he alone had inherited the original and true ring.

But instead of harmony, the father's plan brought only discord to his heirs. Shortly after the father died, each of the sons claimed to be the sole ruler of the father's house, each basing his claim to authority on the ring given to him by the father. The discord grew even stronger and more hateful when a close examination of the rings failed to disclose any differences.

The dispute among the brothers grew until their case was finally brought before a judge. After hearing the history of the original ring and its miraculous powers, the judge pronounced his conclusion: "The authentic ring," he said, "had the power to make its owner beloved of God and man, but each of your rings has brought only hatred and strife. None of you is loved by others; each loves only himself. Therefore I must conclude that none of you has the original ring. Your father must have lost it, then attempted to hide his loss by having three counterfeit rings made, and these are the rings that cause you so much grief."

The judge continued: "Or it may be that your father, weary of the tyranny of a single ring, made duplicates, which he gave to you. Let each of you demonstrate his belief in the power of his ring by conducting his life in such a manner that he fully merits — as anciently promised — the love of God and man.


ReplyThread
basswhooper
basswhooper
basswhooper
Sun, Dec. 4th, 2005 09:14 pm (UTC)
Ehhh...

As one who believes in the omnipotence of God, I must disagree with the parable above. As I believe God to be omnipotent, I believe that He is powerful to make His will known to us in no uncertain terms. That said, if the sacred texts of (the religion of one's choice) purports to be the only way to salvation, in the believers eyes it must be so.

As I believe (for many reasons) in the infallibility of the Bible, I therefore believe it's assertions that:
A) All other Gods than Yahweh are false Gods, and
B) Jesus is the only way to salvation.

It's not a matter of hating anyone else or wishing to lord it over them. It's simply a matter of what I believe to be the truth, and what said truth compels me to do.


ReplyThread Parent
basswhooper
basswhooper
basswhooper
Sun, Dec. 4th, 2005 09:16 pm (UTC)
Oh, I forgot...

Having said all of that, I fully expect a dyed-in-the-wool Jew or Muslim (or Mormon, or Church of Christ, or any other religion/denomination who claims to be the only way) to tell me that I'm lost and need to be converted. I disagree, obviously, but respect people who believe so firmly, nevertheless.


ReplyThread Parent
fearful_syzygy
fearful_syzygy
Ferdinando, Lord Strange
Sun, Dec. 4th, 2005 09:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Ehhh...

Well with all due respect I would posit that history has shown time and again that quite freqently it is in fact a matter of hating someone else and wishing to lord over them.


ReplyThread Parent
basswhooper
basswhooper
basswhooper
Mon, Dec. 5th, 2005 01:47 am (UTC)
Re: Ehhh...

I can only speak for Christianity, but someone who does that (hating and lording) is notfollowing the teachings of Christ.

If you run the numbers on Old Testament history, 90% of the time, 90% of the Israelites were worshipping other gods, an act strictly forbidden by Yahweh. As I read the Old Testament and the accounts therein, I looked at the world around me and thought, "Nothing's changed. We (the human race) are just as stupid, greedy, cruel, and evil as we ever were." That said, the above ratio combined with observation of the world today tells us that only about 10% of professing Christians are truly giving it all they've got. Hence all the hating and lording.


ReplyThread Parent
wendanyon
wendanyon
Wendy
Wed, Dec. 7th, 2005 02:19 am (UTC)
Re: Ehhh...

I agree with a lot of what you say here. However, I also believe that human beings have a really hard time experiencing unmediated God, and that we misinterpret many of the very clear messages we are sent.

I'm also reminded of a (possibly paraphrased) Biblical passage that is quoted a lot in my own faith:

"I am the light of the world as long as I am in the world."

We take that to mean that Jesus was totally there to try help get us back to God, but also that once He died, someone else had to become the "light of the world" and continue His work.


ReplyThread Parent
wendanyon
wendanyon
Wendy
Wed, Dec. 7th, 2005 02:08 am (UTC)

Do we believe in the same God if I believe Jesus was everything you say he was, but also believe God has sent other such "sons" and will continue to do so until we all "get it"?


ReplyThread