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In the Name of God بسم الله

Dave follower of The Way

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  1. Thanks for this important point! I have a number of comments in response to your question. I can't find a place in the Bible where it says Abraham should sacrifice his "first born son". All the translations of Genesis 22:2 say "only son" or an equivilent. The promise of blessing and covenant in Genesis is given to both Abraham and Sarah so it was the son of Abraham and Sarah that was the important "only son" The story of the sacrifice in Genesis 22 mentions the name of Isaac at least 6 times. As if the author wanted to emphasise who the son was. The rest of the Old Testament and the tradition of the Hebrew people is repated many times. "The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" Ishmael is never included in this name of God. It is clear from reading the stories and promises in the Old Testament that the Messiah (or Redeemer) would not only come through Abraham but also through Isaac - God specificly makes this promise to Isaac (Genesis 26:2-4) Isaac's son Jacob (Genesis 28:14) and then to David again a descendant of Isaac. Why should the whole of the teaching of Jewish tradition for 2000 years be based on an "error". Would't God want to expose the "truth" before that seeing as he is the God of Truth and Light? Why did he wait till Islam came on the scene? It is interesting to note that the story recounted in the Qur'an in Sura 37 doesn't mention the name of the son. Although some Tafsir say the son was Ishmael there are others (notably the early tafsir by al-Tabarī) that say it was Isaac. His main argument is based on the use in the Qur'an of the words "Good tidings" (Q 37:101 & 112) in relation to Isaac but never about Ishmael. (Q 15:53-55 and 51:28) Just some thoughts I hope they are helpful.
  2. This thread has been very interesting and helpful. Seeing the events in the life of the prophet of Islam as examples for our own life in society gives clues to how to live together in community. My question is why are there not more of these examples in the Qur'an? Also why are the ones that are there so hiden and obscure? So much background and knowledge of the Hadith and the Sira is needed to make use of these verses. When you read the stories of the prophets in Genesis, the kings and people in the history books of the Old Testament and the life of Jesus the Messiah in the Holy Injil the background and context is clearly stated in the text so drawing conclusions for our daily life is more direct. May we all take the examples God has given and learn the lessons so we can live to please him.
  3. Hi there It is a real shame when God's people are not united. I don't think this reflects the West but all mankind. Whatever faith or political system you look at there are divisions and schisms. We also see tensions across religious and faith divides too. If we look to the one God who made us all and calls us to his family we can see his call to be one. Jesus' prayer in John 17:21 "that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me." Jesus, the Father and the Spirit give us a model of unity in diversity and we are invited to join in. Bringing our diversity, whether it be worship forms (as the original post) or perspectives of social action and mission, or whatever and joining hands within God's family. Knowing Jesus the Messiah as the one who transforms our hearts and perspectives is revelutionary when it comes to living together with those who are different.
  4. I believe I have found the Living Water and the Rock of Truth. Have you found them?
  5. When I struggle with relationship problems, I recognise that no one is perfect - Not even me! (I wonder if some people look at me and think I'm cruel?) My noral response to these challenges is to look at the principles that Jesus the Messish put forward for good living in community. Thery can be found in the Holy Injil the book of Matthew chapter 5:3-10 He said: 3 ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  6. Previous posts are really helpful. Yes God has created you as a special individual who he loves and is interesed in. Reach out to him in prayer - just talk to God and tell him how you are feeling. No need for special words. As a follower of Jesus, I look at the life of Jesus and see that he helped people in all sorts of various situations. I believe he is still ready and able to help. Some people have suggested profesional help. Have you tried the Samaritans? I don't know what country you are in. In the UK go to https://www.samaritans.org/ If you are in the USA try the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK. I'm sure there are equivilent groups in other countries.
  7. Sorry! I need to be more original I find this verse from the Qur'an a challenge not just when we think about sacrifice - after all as a follower of Jesus sacrificing an animal isn't part of my tradition - but as people of faith we are all called to "sacrifice". In the previous thread (August 1st 2020) @PureExistence1 said Great question..For me, i believe the whole point of him sacrificing his son was that he needed to free himself of the most beloved thing he had in this world, being his son, and to in turn, fill his heart with love for only God. The verse has the arabic word "takwa" translated piety. Saying that this is what God is looking for. It would appear to be something different than religious practice. Is the great sacrifice a challenge to us to seek to find something more than empty religious practice?
  8. Thanks for changing the title - more appropriate. This Eid is all about sacrifice - what does sacrifice mean in Islam? Why is Ibrahim's son's deliverence seen as a ransom by a great sacrifice?
  9. May God bless you on this Eid. The story in the Qur'an surah 37 as-Saffat is quite short with little detail. A lot more information is found in hadith and in the Torah Genesis 22. God intervenes at the last moment and the Qur'an states 37:107 And We ransomed him with a great / mighty sacrifice, What is so special about this sacrifice? Why is it focused on? During this Eid what are your thoughts about sacrifice?
  10. I've read this a number of times and spent a while thinking about it - hence the slow response. Maybe you were thinking that I wasn't real; just a ripple on your imagination! I'm sorry I just don't relate to your explanation of "existence" if that is what you are trying to describe. I wonder if you have ever had an encounter with the living creator God? An encounter which is so real and life changing that it is undeniable. An encounter which transforms the way you look at other people and yourself. When a person encounters God in this way, empty philosophical wonderings give way to a sure and certain life with an aim and meaning giving value to yourself and to others. Jesus the Messiah said "if you follow my words and teaching and put them into practice your life will be built on a rock" - something certain and unmoveable. Throughout the previous prophets God is described as The Rock. Certain and sure. Building on this rock makes the world solid, relevant and something to engage with in order to make a difference for God and the good of other people.
  11. The Almighty God can chose to become part of / subject to his creation. He is able to do this because he made the material world. If God is a sigularity or a monad then this becomes imposible but if there is a dynamic relationship with in the ONEness of God then God is able to maintain his otherness and at the same time enter his creation. The passage in Philippians 2 That I mentioned has two phrases using the same word 'nature' being in very nature God, and taking the very nature of a servant Just as Jesus was by nature God he chose to become by nature a human servant. Thank you for your generosity - I recognise your posision and respect you for it. Thanks for your comments and clear and helpful explinations.
  12. @Ashvazdanghe Thanks for this information about the sura 108. I looked it up in Tafsir of Ibn Kathir https://www.alim.org/quran/tafsir/ibn-kathir/surah/108/1 Acording to the Tafsir Kawthar seems to mean abundence and abandant goodness and it is a flowing river "it is a river that my Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, has promised me and it has abundant goodness" Also it is a pond where belivers drink "a pond where my Ummah will be brought to on the Day of Judgement" Jesus the Messiah promises flowing water that quenches all thirst flowing into the lives of those who come to him. See Holy Injil John chapter 7 37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’ 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. This is my present experience today. Not just for someone special nor something to be waited for on judgment day. It is God's gift to me. The Living Sprit of God meeting my needs and flowing out to others.
  13. I'm sorry I don't see where you are going? This description of "life" makes existence meaningless. Why live? I follow Jesus the Messiah and the very existence of Jesus as a historical person who lived and engaged with our material world is really important. Why? Jesus the Messiah is affirmed as Immanuel - Holy Injil Matthew 1:23 ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’). Jesus the Messiah is God among us engaging with reality. He took on flesh and blood - physical matter. God in this amazing, mind blowing action, confirmed the reality and the value of the material and physical world. Showing by his example that life matters. We see God caring for others and engaging with them in their struggles and joys. I have found that knowing God through Jesus the Messiah gives meaning to life, confidence that reality is worth engaging with, impetus to reach out in love and understanding to others and confidence to face death with hope and assurance.
  14. Your question is one that people have asked through all time. As a follower of Jesus the Messiah I wonder if you will allow me to share some thoughts from the Injil and the Zabur? The world we live in is hard. However we live we will face pain and challenges. This is a consiquence of our rebelion against God and not honouring the role he has give us to care for his world and to love other people. However I don't believe God leaves us alone in the world looking, on like an invigilator in an exam. Watching from a distance our struggles in the test of life. This is a horrible picture of God. I know that God walks with us in the dark times; he sits with us in the exam guiding our pen and inspiring our thoughts. The journey he has for us helps us to grow and mature as people and in our relationship with him. Each day we can get to know him better. Holy Injil Romans chapter 5 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Holy Injil James chapter 1 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Holy Zebur Psalms 23 1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
  15. @dragonxxThanks so much for asking these really complex and honest questions. I can understand your confusion and I appologize for not being clearer. The problem is that we are talking about God who is way beyond our finite minds and understanding. I wonder if you think God is easy to understand and simple to explain? I feel that a God who created the universe with his powerful word and placed humanity within his creation is far beyond what I can explain with my words or understand with my mind. If I can understand God he becomes less than an almighty infinite eternal being. Is this somthing you agree with? I also want to emphasise that as a follower of Jesus the Messiah I believe and worship ONE God. There is no doubt in my mind that there can not be more than one God. The Scripture (and dare I say it logic) make it clear that there was a creator of everything which means God is above all and greater than all. Whatever else the Genesis accounts of creation teach it is clear that this is their emphasis. So how am I going to understand Jesus the Messiah, the Holy Spirit and the person who Jesus addresses as Father? My first position is to emphasise the ONEness of God. I am never talking about three separate gods. The Jews of the times of the previous prophets were very clear on this, Jesus the Messiah, brought up in this context, emphasised it and the apostles who wrote the Injil proclaimed it. When we read the Old Testament there is also a declaration that God is not only one but also unique. This means there is no one or nothing like him. We also have revelation from this unique God saying that he will come and personally rescue people from darkness, evil and death. There are also ambiguous passages in the Old Testament acounts where it seems that God is personally and physically present and engaging with someone. The creation account also declares that God made people in his image and likeness. This is hard to understand but indicates that when we look at humanity - men and women and communities in relationship - we see a reflection of God. When Jesus the Messiah comes John the Baptist (Yahya) declares that this is the Lord. That Jesus is the fulfilment of the promises that God was coming to rescue his people. In the life and teaching of Jesus the Messiah we see a person doing and saying things that the Old Testament say are things that God does. Things like stilling the storm, walking on water, forgiving sins, and using the name I AM. His resurrection from the dead adds a stamp of affirmation to what the people were thinking Jesus the Messiah is someone special, someone unique, could this person be God? Very soon after Jesus left earth and ascended into heaven the followers of Jesus experience something which they understand to be a filling with God himself. The Holy Spirit has come and is living in each of them. They also start to include Jesus in their worship - writing hymns which acknowledge him as Lord and worthy of the worship that has been given to God alone (see Philippians chapter 2:5-11) https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=philip+2%3A5-11&version=NIVUK They do not stop believing in ONE God but see that one God in a new light and start to understand the implications and allusions of the Old Testament teaching and prophesies. This ONE God who is unique and different from anything else had shown his father heart of love and had come to live among his creation and was now living within those who follow and serve him. This is where your questions come in. When I talk about God it is a word which encapsulates a wide and inclusive understanding of both the ONEness of God but also his expression and revelation as the loving Father, the Messiah who came to earth and the Spirit who lives in those who believe. There is an interaction within the ONEness of God involving planning, sending, conversing and acting in seemingly separate ways. Yet, the ONEness is not broken and there is complete unity and agreement. I can not explain in words how the ONE God can be understood as three persons. The mechanics of how God does this is beyond human understanding. It is like an ant trying to understand an elephant or a 2 Dimensional being trying to understand three dimensions. What I can say is that I live it and experience it each day. I praise and worship and pray to the ONE God. I know the love of Father God embracing me and accepting me. I experience the power of God the Holy Spirit in my life helping me to understand his ways and giving me strength to overcome temptations. I walk each moment with Jesus the Messiah beside me as my friend and companion. And it is not just experience. This view of God gives clarity and understanding to many passages in the Old Testament and in the life and teaching of Jesus the Messiah. Things start to drop into place and the Jigsaw becomes whole. If you have managed to read this far - Thank you! If you have other questions and want clarification, I will see what I can do. But my prayer is that you will encounter God and that he will reveal himself to you and help you understand his being and his wonderful plan for your life.
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