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In the Name of God بسم الله


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Everything posted by Elihu

  1. I have personally had very little experience with uncontrollable anger. It generally takes a lot to anger me. However, on the rare occasions that I do become angry, I always bite my tongue. It is important to not release negative thoughts. Proverbs 15:1 tells us that a "soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." While a lot of people say it is unhealthy to keep your emotions in, it is healthier to release your emotions in a more positive way, even if that means holding one’s tongue for a time (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Speaking while angry will not only make oneself and others angrier, but it will also spoil the opportunity to grow spiritually and in health. Proverbs 16:24 tells us that kind words "are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body." However, while verbal expression should be controlled, God Almighty knows what is in your heart. Psalm 19:14 pleads: "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord [Jehovah], my rock and my redeemer." Psalm 4:4 tells us to be " angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent." To answer your question, we can simply look to the words of King Solomon, who wrote that "[g]ood sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense." In other words, use good sense. Do not react to what you see on the surface, rather, make sure to understand a situation before making a reaction. We, as humans, lack full understanding of every situation we encounter. It is in our best interest to not react quickly, which leads to anger.
  2. Very good post, I enjoyed it. You may enjoy reading my article that discusses the origin of the trinity leading up to the Council of Nicea: http://unitarianresourcecenter.blogspot.com/2016/03/origin-of-trinity.html
  3. The average Christian doesn't seem to display a significant understanding of Christianity, I agree. "Proper" education can be interpretational, as I assume it is in this instance. I am imagining a "proper" education to a Muslim is very different than that of a Christian in regard to theology.
  4. I have to disagree here. There are plenty of educated Christians.
  5. I believe that highly fictitious and slanderous statements like these can be done without.
  6. There are people that find it easier to trust what they are told no matter who is telling it. They are right to some degree. As a Christian, I meet plenty of people who are ignorant of the Bible and creeds, but that is not so bad. I am willing to try and explain things to them. However, the problem is that many do not care to have you explain anything to them, as they believe they already know. Those people are the ones that can make me frustrated at times, as I know they will continue to try and spread their ignorance, but beyond frustration it makes me feel dejected. I believe it is the understanding of Muslims that it is up to Allah to soften their hearts (Surah Al-Baqarah, verses 6, 7). In Christianity, we hold a similar view, but we also adhere to what Jesus said in Matthew 28:19, which reads: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," (NIV) I try and get people out of their ignorance, even if they are ignorant of something I am not affiliated with. I have had to correct many non-Muslims regarding Islam and I have had to correct protestants regarding Catholicism. Ignorance is never appropriate, which is what makes me hold my tongue when it comes to topics I do not fully understand. In regard to what you said about ignorance of Islam, I agree. Many people lack any genuine understanding of Islamic development and history. In the west, groups like ISIL, the Taliban, etc. are blasted on the media. The media does rightly portray them as radicalized Muslims, but when people only see radicalized Muslims, it is not hard for them to lose track of real Muslims. Another problem is the west's involvement in the middle east. People perceive Muslims as war mongering individuals who only want to create chaos and take US military servicemen's lives. This, once again, is in part to them media's reporting. The best way to combat ignorance is to simply address it as you see it. Maybe we can plant a seed in those ignorant individuals in hopes that it will blossom into a meaningful understanding. I plead with you not to be low in tolerance or lose your temper with people who match the description you gave. They have existed for centuries and will continue to exist, unfortunately. God bless.
  7. Wow, thank you! An absolutely direct and clear answer, which is what you seem to always provide. I appreciate your input and am glad you provided it.
  8. "Apostasy is punishable by death if you rebel against the religion, trying to turn people away. (Alot support this one)" If I may try and follow up on this, can you provide some examples? Let's say someone leaves Islam and becomes a Christian missionary? Should they be punished with death?
  9. I believe you might be onto something. You stated the following as a requirement for death: "actively engaged with the enemies of the prophet in order to opress the muslims." Can you expand on this idea? Let's say that someone leaves Islam and becomes a Christian missionary. Would this be considered the apostasy that results in death?
  10. And what are your thoughts on the subject? I get the impression you would agree with the position an Imam must be present by your previous statement: "The hadith do say that only the Imam will punish him, so the law is meant when Imam Mehdi (as) appear, not for current time."
  11. Have you read the comments of the article?
  12. Thank you for the well thought out and direct answer. I will keep your advise in mind as I continue my studies. God bless.
  13. I am trying to be impartial. As a non-Muslim, I trust anyone who identifies as "Muslim" as being a "Muslim." As a non-Muslim, I do not feel I should try and define who is and is not a Muslim. I apologize for any hurt feelings I may have created.
  14. Okay, so I believe I understand. You would agree that apostates should no longer be killed in places such as Saudi Arabia?
  15. All of that is fine and makes perfect sense to me. I am just lost when you say the punishment for a modern Muslim is death if they are an apostate. The circumstances that you speak of then are no longer in place today, correct?
  16. I am fully aware that this topic has been discussed on this forum before, but I find this rather strange. In my study of Islam, so far, the faith has seemed extremely reasonable and appealing to common sense. However, today I read an anti-Muslim comment and it stated that Muslims want to kill all apostates. Like other things in his post that I found to be unreasonable, I figured it was fabricated. All of his other claims were, such as the claim of 72 houris (plural?). I could not have been more wrong. I am absolutely bewildered when it comes to this topic. I was on the website islamqa.info trying to find an answer. Their article on the subject will be linked below. While the explanation was interesting, it was not compelling. He quoted not from the Qur'an, but from Sahih Al-Bukhari. I gather that Shia Muslims reject the notion that the hadith Al-Bukhari is 100% authentic. In other words, it is not "sahih." So what are the other ahadith that mention death to apostates? The article quoted the following from Al-Bukhari: “Whoever changes his religion, execute him.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2794) “It is not permissible to shed the blood of a Muslim who bears witness that there is no god except Allaah and that I am His Messenger, except in one of three cases: a soul for a soul (i.e., in the case of murder); a married man who commits adultery; and one who leaves his religion and splits form the jamaa’ah (main group of Muslims).” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6878; Muslim, 1676) I am new to my studies, but are these not in contradiction with Surah Al-Baqarah verse 256, which reads (emphasis added): "There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing." Any clarification would be appreciated. Link to article: https://islamqa.info/en/20327
  17. Indeed, I would be considered a heretic by most modern Christians. We will just have to see about joining the club.
  18. Indeed, Christianity is. There was some understanding of original sin in the Hebrew Scriptures. Consider Psalm 51:5, which reads: "Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me." Belief in Jesus does not negate physical death. It negates spiritual death. Once again, I am not a trinitarian, so I do not believe Jesus is God. God did not go to hell. I am aware of Islam's position on other Abrahamic faiths, and I respect it. I am studying Islam because I want to know whether I have been misguided. Should I find Islam convincing, then I would be more than happy to convert. We will just have to wait and see. I really do appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions and provide the Islamic perspective on the topics I have mentioned. I will make sure to check out the video, as I have seen a couple of other speeches given by Deedat.
  19. We all go to hell upon death, yes. We will remain there until the resurrection. We were made from dust and when we die we will return to dust. Dust is not hell, but the concept of nothingness in the grave is hell. When Lazarus had died, what did Jesus say? He said that Lazarus had fallen asleep (John 11:11-14). Ecclesiastes 9:10 says that there is "neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom" in the realm of the dead. This is what I believe.
  20. I am a non-denominational Christian. However, the Jehovah's Witness share this belief with me. You can read some articles about it here: http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/s/r1/lp-e?q=hell&p=par The answer to your question about what hell is can be answered just three verses ahead of the passage you quoted. Genesis 3:19 tells us the following: "By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return." Adam, Eve, and all others "return to the ground." Hell is simply the common grave. You are forgiven through Christ if you are a follower who repents. That does not mean if you sin then Jesus also sinned. Believing in the sacrifice of Jesus is important, but that is by no means a Christian's only responsibility. James 2:17 tells us that faith without works is dead. So a Christian must also perform works, not just believe. John 4:24 says that we must worship in spirit and truth. So if a Christian does not know of the truth provided in Scripture, then they are not worshiping properly. I am not an adherent of Judaism, so their doctrines of faith do not particularly concern me. I am less concerned about their rejection of original sin than I am concerned about their rejection of Jesus in general. Hell is the common grave. Everyone goes there, including Jesus when he was dead. Ezekiel 18:20 is stressing personal accountability. Consider verse 4, which tells us "[t]he one who sins is the one who will die." Verse 5 establishes another scenario: "Suppose there is a righteous man who does what is just and right." Verse 9 explains "[h]e follows my decrees and faithfully keeps my laws. That man is righteous; he will surely live, declares the Sovereign LORD." Verse 30 concludes by saying the following: "Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall." This is all still true today. I am not responsible for your sins, just as you are not responsible for mine. We did not inherit the specific sins of Adam. As in God knows we did not disobey him by eating from the tree. Rather, we lost his perfection and are therefore prone to sin. We will all sin and have all sinned. Think of a pan used to bake a cake. Adam was the brand new pan. However, having eaten from the tree, the pan is now dented. All future cakes made with the pan will also contain that same dent. We are all cakes made from that pan and we all contain the imperfection created by Adam. I do not disagree with you in regard to a sacrifice needing sincerity. If someone does not recognize the crucial nature of Jesus' sacrifice, then they cannot truly appreciate it. The resurrection does not negate the sacrifice. Jesus, like Adam, was a perfect human being. The difference is that he never disobeyed God, he showed God that a perfect human (despite temptations) can have perfect obedience. This concept was sealed after his death. I am not a trinitarian, so most of the last paragraph does not pertain to me. You can claim that Jesus never taught original sin, but Paul did. 1 Corinthians 2:13 says that "[t]his is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words."
  21. I am not trying to create discomfort, but I was following the guideline of this forum, which states: "Debates between Islam, Christianity and Judaism" I may be happy with what I believe, but I do not know if Islam would make me happier. This is why I study it. I want to gain an understanding. I cannot know if it is true unless I study it. Mainstream Christians are not monotheists. They are polytheists, like Hindus. They accept God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Can your provide examples of how Christians make God look evil?
  22. Sorry for the delayed response. It turns out that I had reached my posting limit. I have some points of disagreement in your post. My first contention is that not all Christians accept the doctrine of the hellfire, myself included. I am also not sure why you believe Adam and Eve would not go to hell. As a Christian, I fully acknowledge that Adam and Eve have gone to hell and were unrighteous. We, as descendants of Adam and Eve, have lost the perfection that they had (Romans 5:12). Since we are imperfect beings, we are sinful by nature. That does not mean we are unrighteous by nature, as we can sin and still be righteous through Jesus Christ (Romans 3:22). Christians believe that we are held accountable for each of our own actions as individuals. That does not mean we cannot be forgiven through the same mechanism, the ransom of Christ (Matthew 20:28; Ephesians 1:7). The trials of those before Christ were not unnecessary. They have a hope just like everyone else does. Consider Luke 20:37-38, where we read the following: "But in the account of the burning bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive." (NIV) They are not forgotten, as they are alive in God's memory. From Abel onward, people of the faith performed animal sacrifices (Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 11:4). God accepted these ransoms, but they would not cover the sins of man (Psalm 8:4-8). You said that original sin implies innocent people are found guilty, but that is not the case. There are no innocent people. We, as humans, cannot determine who is innocent and who is not. Only God knows who the innocent are and he has plainly stated through his Word that there are none who are innocent. Jesus was the last perfect and sinless human on earth. You conclude your first and most interesting paragraph by stating that the ransom is unnecessary. You even call it "cruel." While I am aware you know I disagree, I will take the time to try and explain to you why the need for a ransom came about. It started with Adam disobeying God in the Garden of Eden. It is here that he surrenders his perfection and, as I previously mentioned, passed it on to his offspring (Genesis 2:17; Romans 8:20). Because Adam surrendered his perfection, all of us (his offspring) have also lost the perfection. We, as imperfect beings, cannot avoid sin. The end result of sin is death (Romans 6:23). This was not all that happened in the Garden. What happened in the Garden was a direct result of Satan challenging God. In essence, Satan (the serpent) called God a liar and cruel ruler (Genesis 3:1-5). However, we know that Satan did not stop there. He also charged that God's servants only served Him because they were fearful, not loyal (Job 1:9-11). It was in response to these challenges and charges that God devised the ransom (Psalm 49:8; Daniel 9:24; Galatians 3:13; Colossians 1:20; Hebrews 2:17). Jesus himself said in Matthew 20:28, "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." God's law to Israel stated that "life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot" (Deuteronomy 19:21). Jesus, like Adam, was a perfect human being. Unlike Adam, he died sinless and served as the ransom for all of imperfect humankind.
  23. I am fully aware that Muslims reject the atonement through Christ, but what is their "alternative"? I was watching a debate between a trinitarian and a Muslim that touched on this subject. It seemed to me that the Muslim believed Allah plainly forgives freely. While this is not inherently strange to me, it does raise another question in my mind. Do Muslims accept that Isaac is the one who led God's people (at that time) into the future? If so, then the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) becomes rather obtuse. The covenants in the Hebrew Scriptures become tedious for no real reason. For example, the Israelites were required to make sacrifices in order to make atonement (Exodus 29:36; Leviticus 4:20). Animals that were to be sacrificed had to be unblemished and Leviticus 17:11 makes it clear that it was the blood that made the atonement (purposely ignoring ties to the Greek Scriptures). However, it was not possible for them (the Israelites) to fully make atonement for their sins with imperfect and lesser creatures (Genesis 1:28; Hebrews 10:1-4). This is where the Christ comes in as the perfect being that would be the atonement for all sins. So if Muslims reject the atonement through Christ, then how do they view the practices of the Israelites in the Hebrew Scriptures?
  24. Thank you for the help, Dhulfolar. I will simply read the Qur'an first and then work from there. God bless.
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