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ShiaMan14

Grace of Christ or Burden of the Law

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Peace and greetings to my Christian brothers and sisters.,

During my college days, I was part of a lot of inter-faith dialogue with Christians. One topic we often discussed was the belief held by a lot of Christians that the Biblical Laws didnt apply to them any more because they were under the Grace of Christ and not under the Burden of the Law.

What do you say?

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1 hour ago, shiaman14 said:

Peace and greetings to my Christian brothers and sisters.,

During my college days, I was part of a lot of inter-faith dialogue with Christians. One topic we often discussed was the belief held by a lot of Christians that the Biblical Laws didnt apply to them any more because they were under the Grace of Christ and not under the Burden of the Law.

What do you say?

Some laws still apply, others are no longer relevant. 

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2 hours ago, andres said:

Some laws still apply, others are no longer relevant. 

Which ones? Is there a consensus among Christians? Can a person read the Bible and easily tell which laws can be ignored and which must be obeyed, or is it based on unwritten tradition?

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As Andres says, some ancient laws are no longer relevant. We don't use earthenware for cooking so we don't have to wash our dishes 7 times between uses any more. Things like that are easy to see. We now understand germs, etc. 

Actually the "grace belief" is kinda tainted. The idea one can say they believe Jesus, (and be saved by grace), but ignore what He taught is obviously wrong. The idea of having faith and not acting on it means the faith is not real, it's dead. 

If the topic comes up with a Christian, ask him what "faith" entails. 

Jesus said he came to uphold the law. He said, "A new commandment I give unto you that ye love one another as I have loved you." If we follow this commandment, we will not kill, steal, covet, or even leave someone in need. It supersedes all the relevant laws that came before it. Jesus went on to say, "To he who knows what is right and doeth it not, to him it is sin", and "That which a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." Basically, thinking about sin is a sin. Life becomes a tightrope for a while.

Wouldn't you just rather have a list?

Paul added instruction also in his letter to the Philippians when he said; "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

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W Salam

It seems it has been left to 'common sense' to decide which rules to follow and which rules to ignore.

I agree that common sense is important when it comes to the application of laws (which case must go under which rule)

But if we put the whole divine legal system under selection by common sense, then what was the reason for a divine revelation in the first place?

If we are the ones who have the final say in choosing which rules fit us and which don't, then it shows we don't need an external legal system.

This view seems godlessly humanistic.

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9 hours ago, shiaman14 said:

Peace and greetings to my Christian brothers and sisters.,

During my college days, I was part of a lot of inter-faith dialogue with Christians. One topic we often discussed was the belief held by a lot of Christians that the Biblical Laws didnt apply to them any more because they were under the Grace of Christ and not under the Burden of the Law.

What do you say?

Are we not Christians too? Dont we follow the ways of the Prophet Yesua (Isa=Jesus) who submitted to Allah, prayed his Salat, and gave his Zakat?. Anybody want to correct me if im wrong?

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2 hours ago, AfricanShia said:

Are we not Christians too? Dont we follow the ways of the Prophet Yesua (Isa=Jesus) who submitted to Allah, prayed his Salat, and gave his Zakat?. Anybody want to correct me if im wrong?

What does it mean "Christian"?

Prophet Isa (a) didn't call himself a Christian, nor did he say "I brought the religion of 'Christianity' for you." He rather said "I have come to confirm pervious Prophets and promise you the coming of the next Prophet."

So no, we are not Christians.

 ما کان ابراهیم یهودیا و لا نصرانیا و لکن کان حنیفا مسلما و ما کان من المشرکین

Ibrahim was not a Jew, nor was he a Christian,  but he was a Hanif (righteous) Muslim, and he was not of the pagans. 

Holy Quran.

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3 hours ago, AfricanShia said:

Are we not Christians too? Dont we follow the ways of the Prophet Yesua (Isa=Jesus) who submitted to Allah, prayed his Salat, and gave his Zakat?. Anybody want to correct me if im wrong?

No brother because Jesus was not Christian...he was Muslim or monotheistic.

7 hours ago, Son of Placid said:

As Andres says, some ancient laws are no longer relevant. We don't use earthenware for cooking so we don't have to wash our dishes 7 times between uses any more. Things like that are easy to see. We now understand germs, etc. 

Actually the "grace belief" is kinda tainted. The idea one can say they believe Jesus, (and be saved by grace), but ignore what He taught is obviously wrong. The idea of having faith and not acting on it means the faith is not real, it's dead. 

If the topic comes up with a Christian, ask him what "faith" entails. 

Jesus said he came to uphold the law. He said, "A new commandment I give unto you that ye love one another as I have loved you." If we follow this commandment, we will not kill, steal, covet, or even leave someone in need. It supersedes all the relevant laws that came before it. Jesus went on to say, "To he who knows what is right and doeth it not, to him it is sin", and "That which a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." Basically, thinking about sin is a sin. Life becomes a tightrope for a while.

Wouldn't you just rather have a list?

Paul added instruction also in his letter to the Philippians when he said; "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

So basically perhaps the 10 Commandments are still applicable but food, cleanliness, etc. Laws cease to apply now. Do I have it right?

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59 minutes ago, mesbah said:

What does it mean "Christian"?

Prophet Isa (a) didn't call himself a Christian, nor did he say "I brought the religion of 'Christianity' for you." He rather said "I have come to confirm pervious Prophets and promise you the coming of the next Prophet."

So no, we are not Christians.

 ما کان ابراهیم یهودیا و لا نصرانیا و لکن کان حنیفا مسلما و ما کان من المشرکین

Ibrahim was not a Jew, nor was he a Christian,  but he was a Hanif (righteous) Muslim, and he was not of the pagans. 

Holy Quran.

A Christian is one who follows the ways of Isa and we certainly are. 

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4 hours ago, AfricanShia said:

A Christian is one who follows the ways of Isa and we certainly are. 

But Hz Isa aka Jesus followed the Jewish way. He never claimed to be a Christian.

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11 minutes ago, shiaman14 said:

But Hz Isa aka Jesus followed the Jewish way. He never claimed to be a Christian.

I never claimed he was. I claimed we are because we follow his ways. Surely you are not understanding me Brother.

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4 hours ago, shiaman14 said:

No brother because Jesus was not Christian...he was Muslim or monotheistic.

So basically perhaps the 10 Commandments are still applicable but food, cleanliness, etc. Laws cease to apply now. Do I have it right?

That depends. The Jews who became Christian wanted to keep all the laws and force all gentile converts to do the same. James came up with the laws for the Gentiles, which on their own weren't many at all, so you have a full spectrum of denominations spun off and either held to old laws or didn't. Shia, Sunni, Wahhabi, Deobandi, w/e. have all made the same sort of divisions.

The Jews had certain laws around what was clean and unclean.  They went on to make a whole bunch of laws and rules around it. Early Christians, (predominantly Jews) held to the dietary, etc laws. Gentiles were given instruction not to eat blood, nor things offered to idols. Muslims went back to most of the Jewish dietary laws but not entirely and not exclusively.

As a point of interest, back in the Torah is mentioned that Jews were allowed by law to sell what they considered unclean to the foreigners. It's an indication that God did not enforce all laws on all men.

If people don't know and can't understand, you give them laws. Ritual cleansing can be seen in almost all religions, also to varying degrees. The indigenous American religions actually invented the sauna, better known as a sweat lodge. Shinto believe purification only comes from running water, waterfalls are preferred. Just two examples outside of Abrahamic religions for the same reasons. Some rituals are simply going through the motions to prove their dedication, and/or loyalty to their religion, not necessarily to God. In contrast, if cleanliness is the only way to God, why did they used to dress in sackcloth and dig in ashes to get God's attention? (or run into the wilderness while ripping off their clothes), It worked.  God looks at your heart, not your hands.

Of course these laws are also based on demographics. If you believe you can only be cleansed by a waterfall, and you live in a desert, 1000 years ago, it's not gonna happen often. Today there's wells, with pumps, so it's all running water, probably surrounded by a concrete jungle complete with septic systems, freezers, washing machines, toilets, showers and smart TVs. 

I didn't answer your question, did I.

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17 minutes ago, Son of Placid said:

That depends. The Jews who became Christian wanted to keep all the laws and force all gentile converts to do the same. James came up with the laws for the Gentiles, which on their own weren't many at all, so you have a full spectrum of denominations spun off and either held to old laws or didn't. Shia, Sunni, Wahhabi, Deobandi, w/e. have all made the same sort of divisions.

The Jews had certain laws around what was clean and unclean.  They went on to make a whole bunch of laws and rules around it. Early Christians, (predominantly Jews) held to the dietary, etc laws. Gentiles were given instruction not to eat blood, nor things offered to idols. Muslims went back to most of the Jewish dietary laws but not entirely and not exclusively.

As a point of interest, back in the Torah is mentioned that Jews were allowed by law to sell what they considered unclean to the foreigners. It's an indication that God did not enforce all laws on all men.

If people don't know and can't understand, you give them laws. Ritual cleansing can be seen in almost all religions, also to varying degrees. The indigenous American religions actually invented the sauna, better known as a sweat lodge. Shinto believe purification only comes from running water, waterfalls are preferred. Just two examples outside of Abrahamic religions for the same reasons. Some rituals are simply going through the motions to prove their dedication, and/or loyalty to their religion, not necessarily to God. In contrast, if cleanliness is the only way to God, why did they used to dress in sackcloth and dig in ashes to get God's attention? (or run into the wilderness while ripping off their clothes), It worked.  God looks at your heart, not your hands.

Of course these laws are also based on demographics. If you believe you can only be cleansed by a waterfall, and you live in a desert, 1000 years ago, it's not gonna happen often. Today there's wells, with pumps, so it's all running water, probably surrounded by a concrete jungle complete with septic systems, freezers, washing machines, toilets, showers and smart TVs. 

I didn't answer your question, did I.

Lol. We are having a conversation so that's good but yes, I didn't get a full answer. 

So let's take one example - should all Christian men/boys get circumcised? 

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5 hours ago, shiaman14 said:

No brother because Jesus was not Christian...he was Muslim or monotheistic.

Jesus was a Jew. And a monotheist. Christianity starts with him. Certainly he was not a Muslim, there were no Muslims that long ago

 

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3 hours ago, andres said:

Jesus was a Jew. And a monotheist. Christianity starts with him. Certainly he was not a Muslim, there were no Muslims that long ago

We say there is only 1 religion Sent by Allah. Man gave it different names but there is only one.

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6 hours ago, shiaman14 said:

Lol. We are having a conversation so that's good but yes, I didn't get a full answer. 

So let's take one example - should all Christian men/boys get circumcised? 

I am, my boys are. I'm not in the position to make the decision for everyone. Here's why.

That was the big kerfuffle that caused all the trouble with the Jewish Christians watching all these Gentiles convert.

That's why Paul traveled to Jerusalem  to meet with James. Paul said "Hey Bro, ya really got to make a decision on this." James went into council with his elders and when they came out they told everyone including Paul the law, as they saw fit for Gentiles. The list did not include circumcision. This caused the first major split in the new religion.

Paul gets accused of making the decision often, but the only thing he really said was; Circumcision isn't worth squat if you don't uphold the things Jesus taught, basic meaning circumcision alone will not get you into heaven. Interesting, Paul circumcised Timothy, who was half Jewish so it would be easier to minister to the Jews. Did everyone have to run around hoisting their robes to prove they were Jewish?

It faded out of many churches until the world wars when it became a prerequisite for all soldiers for sanitary reasons. For many years after it was done by Christians and secular alike. It seems the churches are moving away from it again. 

It would seem to be a Jewish law that was adapted by Muhammad. Of course Ishmael was of "Jewish" roots and was also circumcised as a child. This may be why Muhammad believed it should continue even though it's not mentioned in the Qu'ran.

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5 hours ago, shiaman14 said:

We say there is only 1 religion Sent by Allah. Man gave it different names but there is only one.

If Islam is the name now given to the revelation that all Prophets got, and all those who surrendered to the will of God are considered Muslims, then I'm okay with that. 

I'm not the one you have to convince, ;)

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2 hours ago, Son of Placid said:

If Islam is the name now given to the revelation that all Prophets got, and all those who surrendered to the will of God are considered Muslims, then I'm okay with that. 

Hi SoP

I just like to expand upon this.

As we all know, human beings have existed for thousands of years.

And if you think about it, if God were to send a number of men to guide his creation in different periods of history, He must be sending them with the same basic message. It is plainly obvious that if those men were sent by the same God, the message cannot be different. Some of the details, like the laws or rituals, may vary for a number of different reasons, but the basics must be the same.

That is why Muslims believe that every prophet of God brought to earth the same religion, teaching submission (that is obedience) to God. Islam, which also means peace, is really another word for submission.

So in effect, the original versions of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Jainism, and also possibly Buddhism are all different versions of the same religion. It is just like the various updates in computer products, like Android 1.1, Android 1.2, Android 1.3 and so on.

That is what Muslims mean by saying that every prophet was a Muslim, a follower of Islam, one who fully submitted to the Creator and tried hard to get his followers to do the same.

The Islamic belief is that there will be no more updates. The last update brought down by our Prophet should suffice until the end of time.  

However, from the very beginning, the faithful have proved a terrible disappointment. 

Imam Ali and his sons Imam Hasan & Husayn, were killed by people who were supposed to be Muslims.  

And generations of their progeny were likewise killed by people who claimed to be Muslims.. 

And now look at the Taliban, al-Qaida and ISIS. They call themselves Muslims. But do they really qualify to be? 

It is so easy to call yourself a Muslim or a Christian or a Jew - a believer. But many of us are merely deceiving ourselves and the world around us.

I had mentioned in another thread that the combined population of Jews, Christians and Muslims may be over 4 billion. I think I should have said that that is the number of those who claim to be.

What the actual number is only God knows.

I suppose we will find out if we were really entitled to the religion we claimed as ours, when we are handed our report cards, on the day of judgment.  

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3 hours ago, Son of Placid said:

This may be why Muhammad believed it should continue even though it's not mentioned in the Qu'ran.

There are lots of things that form part of Islamic teachings but cannot be found in the Quran. The Quran is merely a guide book, not a detailed manual. 

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3 hours ago, baqar said:

.And if you think about it, if God were to send a number of men to guide his creation in different periods of history, He must be sending them with the same basic message. It is plainly obvious that if those men were sent by the same God, the message cannot be different. Some of the details, like the laws or rituals, may vary for a number of different reasons, but the basics must be the same.

So what do you mean by "basic message"? If you accept that God has given different societies somewhat different laws this could make sense. But then why whould God not make an update again? If you claim that the laws of the Quran is suitable for all societies in all times and places this claim becomes absurd. No Muslim society existed before Muhammed and today Muslims do not all follow the same laws. 

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On 04/08/2017 at 11:11 PM, shiaman14 said:

Peace and greetings to my Christian brothers and sisters.,

During my college days, I was part of a lot of inter-faith dialogue with Christians. One topic we often discussed was the belief held by a lot of Christians that the Biblical Laws didnt apply to them any more because they were under the Grace of Christ and not under the Burden of the Law.

What do you say?

Yeshua himself said 

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Matthew:5:17

Hence there are Christian denominations that still observe the Chabad (Sabath) like the 7th day Adventists. 

The Law in this context is only one Law and that is the Mosaic Law. 

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On 06/08/2017 at 5:18 PM, andres said:

So what do you mean by "basic message"? 

The basic message is

  • Believe that the One and Only God is worthy of love and obedience 
  • Do Good 
  • Avoid Evil
On 06/08/2017 at 5:18 PM, andres said:

But then why would God not make an update again? 

Could be lots of different reasons. As we are all aware, the human mind cannot fathom His how's and why's.

On 06/08/2017 at 5:18 PM, andres said:

If you claim that the laws of the Quran is suitable for all societies in all times and places this claim becomes absurd. 

I am not claiming anything.

I just wrote what the Islamic view is.

On 06/08/2017 at 5:18 PM, andres said:

No Muslim society existed before Muhammad and today Muslims do not all follow the same laws. 

I am not talking about the laws Muslims follow today, rather what they would have followed if they had listened to (and understood) the Prophet correctly.

They obviously have not done so otherwise there would be no difference among Muslims in regard to the laws.

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8 hours ago, baqar said:

The basic message is

  • Believe that the One and Only God is worthy of love and obedience 
  • Do Good 
  • Avoid Evil

I am not about the laws Muslims follow today, rather what they would have followed if they had listened to (and understood) the Prophet correctly.

They obviously have not done so otherwise there would be no difference among Muslims in regard to the laws.

I believe God is one. When it comes to trinity, I do not believe any Christian really understand the relation between Gods three appearences. 

I also believe in doing good, but some things that the Bible and Quran say I should do to my fellow humans, is in my opinion evil. 

I also believe to avoid doing evil. But some things that the Bible and Quran say is evil, is in my opinion good. 

All this probably because I live in a different culture.

Naturally Muslims understand the Prophet differently. Who is going to decide who is right?

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4 hours ago, andres said:

I believe God is one. When it comes to trinity, I do not believe any Christian really understand the relation between Gods three appearences. 

I also believe in doing good, but some things that the Bible and Quran say I should do to my fellow humans, is in my opinion evil. 

I also believe to avoid doing evil. But some things that the Bible and Quran say is evil, is in my opinion good. 

All this probably because I live in a different culture.

Naturally Muslims understand the Prophet differently. Who is going to decide who is right?

Leaving Islam aside, how do you reconcile that what God determines to be evil you think of as good and vice versa? Examples?

Edited by shiaman14

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10 hours ago, shiaman14 said:

Leaving Islam aside, how do you reconcile that what God determines to be evil you think of as good and vice versa? Examples?

For exampke stoning punishments for working during the Sanbath, adultery, homosexuality, apostasy. Allowing more than one wife. Ban on eating pork. 

My conciense tell me this is wrong and that these laws are outdated. 

 

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17 hours ago, andres said:

I also believe to avoid doing evil. But some things that the Bible and Quran say is evil, is in my opinion good. 

As far as the Quran is concerned, could you please give a few examples with references?

Edited by baqar

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3 hours ago, andres said:

For exampke stoning punishments for working during the Sanbath, adultery, homosexuality, apostasy. Allowing more than one wife. Ban on eating pork. 

My conciense tell me this is wrong and that these laws are outdated. 

 

So the fact that God did not put a statute of limitation on these laws is problematic for you? Does this imply the Bible or God's Laws are wrong today?

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From a Jewish point of view, no one other than Jews are obligated to the laws detailed in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers or Deuteronomy.  Our covenant with God literally begins with the words,"I am the Lord your God Who brought you out of Egypt".  He might be the Lord of the Universe, but these laws were between Him and the people that He brought out of Egypt.

However, God did make a covenant with all of humanity, originally with Adam and renewed with Noah.  The essential laws of that covenant are:

1.) Do not deny God.

2.) Do not blaspheme God.

3.) Do not murder.

4.) Do not engage in sexual immorality.

5.) Do not steal.

6.) Do not eat from a live animal.

7.) Establish a legal system to ensure a just and orderly society.

Sounds a lot like Acts 15:28-29

It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: you are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.

It seems that James and Peter were aware of these laws.  I would assume that the vast majority of Christians would consider these to be things that they do or strive to do.  But according to a Torah understanding of the world, this is a non-Jew's obligation to God.

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On 8/8/2017 at 11:24 PM, shiaman14 said:

So the fact that God did not put a statute of limitation on these laws is problematic for you? Does this imply the Bible or God's Laws are wrong today?

The commands of Jesus we find in the Nes Testament Gospels are kind of universal. "Love God, your fellow human, treat others well, speak the truth, forgive etc."  The epistles sometimes give an opinion of how we shall behave. These are highly influenced by the culture the writers lived in. Cultures that are very different from our own. 

The Old Testament and the Quran contain many laws. They also reflect the cultures in which they were composed. God never wrote a book himself. Men wrote about what they believed God meant.

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2 hours ago, andres said:

The commands of Jesus we find in the Nes Testament Gospels are kind of universal. "Love God, your fellow human, treat others well, speak the truth, forgive etc."  The epistles sometimes give an opinion of how we shall behave. These are highly influenced by the culture the writers lived in. Cultures that are very different from our own. 

The Old Testament and the Quran contain many laws. They also reflect the cultures in which they were composed. God never wrote a book himself. Men wrote about what they believed God meant.

so Old Testament is neither universal nor necessarily applicable in today's time or possible wrong?

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7 hours ago, shiaman14 said:

so Old Testament is neither universal nor necessarily applicable in today's time or possible wrong?

Not wrong. It was probably right when composed. But many laws are no longer relevant or regarded as fair. Same with the Quran. 

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6 minutes ago, andres said:

Not wrong. It was probably right when composed. But many laws are no longer relevant or regarded as fair. Same with the Quran. 

Well now that will open a can of worms.

I don't think people can or should decide what divine laws are abrogated now.

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