Many Paths Lead to the Divine

As a believer, my fundamental aim is a life in resonance with the Divine, a life in concord with the … Continued

As a believer, my fundamental aim is a life in resonance with the Divine, a life in concord with the natural order of the Universe. For me, Islamic teachings, principles, and practices help me strive after unity within humanity and personal harmony with nature and the Transcendent.

At the same time, my spirituality has been profoundly impacted by Buddhist teachings about detachment, and Taoist teachings on the negation of self-will and the value of emptiness. My understanding of and participation in Islamic rituals is enriched and deepened by those doctrines.

This religion syncretism is one of the benefits of living in a global village. We are not confined to the religion that is prevalent in our town or country, but can benefit from the teachings of many different faiths. So, too, religious practices. If Buddhist meditation or tantric yoga helps you to attain serenity and to interface more directly with the Divine, then more power to you.

I find support for this position in the Qur’anic passage which tells us that humanity was created in tribes and nations so that we might learn from each other (4:1).

As a practicing Muslim, however, I wouldn’t advocate for Muslims to abandon the rituals of Islam in favor of other rituals. Rather, these other disciplines should supplement Islamic rituals.

The tension between remaining true to Islamic teachings and pursuing the mystical path has been argued back and forth among Muslims, with particular reference to Sufi practices, for centuries. A minority have claimed that the mystic path supersedes Islamic rituals, with the majority seeing practices such as formalized dhikr as augmenting them.

Either way, each individual must negotiate her/his own relationship to the divine, and must come to their own conclusions about what works for them. Personally, my most intense experiences of ecstatic awareness of the Other come when I’m in nature, watching sporting events, or listening to classical music. Formalized meditation and dhikr circles leave me cold.

To me, my path is clear; I can only hope it is equally clear to others.

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  • anonymous

    TO PAMELA AND ALL MUSLIMS,Please consider the following, assuming that it DOESN’T refer to Islam:Imagine that you are living more than 1,500 years ago. A man moves in next door to you. He is a strong leader and an intimidating sort of person who most people fear. He is also a clever man. He has no position in society, but craves power and authority. He comes up with a plan to make himself powerful. His plan it to start a cult.He launches his cult by claiming that the creator of the universe speaks to him. His family believe him, because is a very convincing and they are afraid to challenge him. He draws strength from their response and begins trying to convince more people that he has a special relationship with the creator of the universe. He preaches that anyone who doesn’t join his cult and believe in him will spend eternity in hell when they die. Some people who hear this message fear the prospect of having to spend eternity in hell, so they start following him, just in case it is true.He is a very smart man and has worked out that repetition is the key to controlling people’s beliefs. He therefore orders his followers to pray 5 times per day, and every time they pray he requires them to confirm in their prayer that he has a special relationship with the creator of the universe.Some of his followers have some doubts about his claim to a special relationship with the creator of the universe, but after they’ve prayed a few hundred times and confirmed to themselves on every occasion that he has a special relationship with the creator of the universe, they come to believe it quite firmly.Whenever his followers have any doubts about his relationship with the creator of the universe these doubts are quickly abandoned, because every few hours they have to pray and confirm to themselves on each occasion that he has a special relationship with the creator of the universe. Their doubts never have any time to grow, because the psychology he introduced was cleverly designed to remove these doubts.He then preaches that it is the will of god that anyone who leaves his cult must be murdered by the remaining cult members. This starts to happen. People who leave are killed. He then preaches that anyone who speaks out against him must be assassinated by his cult members, and this also starts to happen. The killings of people who leave his cult and of people who criticise him quickly causes his followers to become very afraid of questioning his teachings and questioning his claimed relationship with the creator of the universe. It quickly becomes a huge taboo to doubt the faith or to question his teachings and authority.He starts preaching that his followers won’t go to hell when they die, no matter what crimes they commit, because a non-believer will be made to pay for their sins. His followers find this belief very comforting, and accept it as true.Unlike most men, he finds little 6 year old girls sexually attractive and starts having dreams about a little 6 year old child. He tries to persuade her father to allow him to marry the little girl, but the father tells him she is too young and he must wait another 3 years before he will allow her to become his wife.As soon as the little girl becomes 9 years of age he marries her and is immediately able to get an erection with her in order to consummate his ‘marriage’ to her (most men are incapable getting an erection with a 9 year old child, because 9 year old children do not arouse normal men sexually in any way whatsoever). He encourages his male followers to emulate him, but some state that they prefer to marry women rather than children. There is a serious lack of women in the region, because female infanticide is common due to economic reasons, and because wealthy men are able to take several wives at a time, removing them from the pool of available women. This leaves a lot of frustrated men with no access to women.He tells his followers that they can gain access to women and young girls through war. He tells his followers that the people of other tribes in the area are being oppressed by their leaders and need to be ‘freed’ by his cult. He also teaches that his cult is oppressed and needs to attack in order to defend against oppression. He teaches that his followers can share in the booty of war when they attack. He tells them that it is god’s will that they should rape the women of these tribes in order to shame and humiliate the unbelievers for not listening to god’s message. His men gladly attack the unbelievers, take their land, capture female prisoners of war and rape them to humiliate and shame the enemy on behalf of god. He allows them to sell their sex slaves and to profit from the attacks on these tribes.He tells his followers that they are each allowed to marry 4 women, but that he is allowed as many as he wants. He starts building up a harem of women. Some of them are captives from his raids on other tribes, including beautiful women whose entire families have been slaughtered by his men.He feels very insecure about his wives and fears that they might be unfaithful to him, so he says that god has ordered that women must cover their faces and hide their figures with loose clothing when in the company of other men.He also orders that women must be stoned to death for having sex outside marriage, to ensure that his harem remain faithful to him.He captures slaves, keeps slaves, trades in slaves, gives slaves as gifts to members of his family, sells slaves for weapons and allows his followers to capture and enslave unbelieving women and girls. He teaches that the body of a slave girl belongs to the slave owner. He teaches that slave owners may have sex with female slaves without their consent. Countless women are raped and forced into a life of sexual slavery as a result of his teachings. His followers all believe that they are doing nothing wrong in raping the women and girls because he has told them they are doing god’s work.The question for all Muslims is this: Would you support such a man, join his cult and help it grow? Would you participate in killing people who left his cult? Would you consider it right to engage little 9 year old girls in sexual relationships? Would you attack the unbelievers and join in the raping of the unbelieving women and girls to bring shame and humiliation on their tribes? Would you not see through his cult psychology and manipulation skills? Would you believe that god spoke to him or would you recognise him as a highly dangerous psychopath? Would you be taken in by such a clever conman?What is your answer?

  • anonymous

    The Qur’an records that many people of the time considered Muhammad to be a consummate liar:Qur’an Chapter 26 Verse 186:Qur’an Chapter 26 Verse 189:Qur’an Chapter 38 Verse 4:Qur’an Chapter 54 Verse 25:

  • ROSS

    HL wrote,Nobody here is accusing muslims of worshipping Muhammed. There are many reasons why islam is a cult, the main one is death for apostates of islam, another reason is death for blasphemy against islam. That is why this religion is primitive. Christians believe Christ is God so they worship him. God can choose to be born as man and eat food and sleep if he wishes to do so. Christians (or buddhists or sikhs or jews or hindus) are not killed for abandoning their faith that is why these religions are not cults.

  • hl

    There are no such laws in the Quran against people who for one reason or another leave Islam. Maybe you can enlighten me with something I don’t know about since you are a man of advanced knowlodge about Islam. People do what they wish when they can. Take for example the murder and killing in cold blood of people the Catholic church deemed heretic since the Christianity was adopted by the Roman empire. Christianity is bloodier and more begoted than any other religion the world has ever seen if you want to keep count. I think it is foolish to deny the ruthlessness of the catholic church and by that I mean Christianity when it comes to punishings anyone who did not conform to the rules and creeds of the Church. Is there anything in the bible that says kill apostates and heretics. I don’t recall reading that anywhere except in the time of Moses and I can show you where they are at if you want me to; novertheless the killings and torture were done in the name of their lord and savior since Christainty came to be.

  • hl

    The way I see it, you are worshiping an man and the way pople act in the churches, speaking in garbage language they call speaking in tongues, dancing and clapping to the drums and guitars, waving their hands in the air, rolling and fainting on the floor, handling snakes,…, they are all the sign of a cult. So don’t tell me about cults, I can see them on TV every Sunday morning, thank you very much…

  • hl

    Ross,Do you still want me to list some of the atrocities the church committed throughout the centuries against its own heretics. You can save me the trouble, the information is availabe evey where; you just have to get off you insulting and rude attitude and learn something for yourself instead of relying on the biggoted leaders of your church whom you like to spoonfeed you the hatred and ignorance.

  • anonymous

    The only reason that Islam grew is because people who left the cult were killed in accordance with the cult leader’s teachings. It was much safer to join the cult and be part of the brotherhood than to speak out against it.How many fatwas have been issued in recent years ordering the murder of authors and journalists who have criticised Islam, or Muhammad? How many have actually been murdered?Only the weak minded continue to remain a part of the cult. The educated strong minded people of the world and the decent minded people of the world would never involve themselves in such a belief system. They would never look for guidance from any cult leader.Why do you feel the need to follow the teachings of a child abuser? Why do you feel the need to follow the teachings of a rapist? Why do you feel the need to follow the ideology of a narcissist?Are you incapable of thinking for yourself? Just because 1.4 billion people belong to the cult doesn’t change the fact that it is a cult, and doesn’t change the fact that they were all duped by a clever psychological manipulator.Only a very weak person would ever think that they needed to follow the example of such a man. Muslims, you all need to wake up to the fact that you are involved in a cult, which was created by one of the most violent and dangerous men in history, who had sex with little children.Isn’t it time to start thinking for yourself about what is right and wrong? Why do you need a man such as Muhammad to tell you how to live your life? Don’t be weak.You have a conscience which you can follow. You don’t need to follow any religion. It’s all a scam. Haven’t you worked that out yet? Wise up.

  • Anonymous

    Pamela,What do the following verses of the Qur’an and supporting hadith texts mean? Please provide the correct context and explain what Muslim children understand by these scriptures when they study them in school, as they are required to do as part of a standard Islamic education:Qur’an Chapter 2 Verse 65:Ishaq: 250 Tabari VIII: 28Qur’an Chapter 5 Verse 14: Qur’an Chapter 5 Verse 41:Qur’an Chapter 5 Verse 82:Ishaq: 262Qur’an Chapter 5 Verse 51: Qur’an Chapter 3 Verse 28:Pamela, all Muslim children are required to study the above verses of the Qur’an as part of an Islamic education. Please tell your readers how these verses are explained to Muslim children.

  • anonoymous

    HL,All religion is a scam. All religion is primitive. Please wise up.Christianity has a lot to answer for, but Jesus didn’t teach hatred and murder of non-Christians, so when Christians go on a killing spree they are acting against the teachings of Christianity. Muhammad, on the other hand killed people with his own hands and taught the murder of non-believers, particularly apostates and blasphemers. When Muslims kill they therefore believe they are doing god’s work.Wise up to the fact that all religion is a con, created by clever politicians. Why are you prepared to put all your faith in ancient politicians? Don’t you know about how they used manipulation psychology to control the people of their time?Once you wise up to the con of religion you can get on with living a peaceful life, according to your own conscience, without supporting any cult which kills people around the world for leaving the cult or blaspheming against the cult leader.All religious beliefs are primitive. Don’t be afraid to think for yourself. You don’t need the cult anymore. Set your mind free and join those who don’t need any primitive belief system to tell them what to think or how to behave. Don’t allow yourself to be taken in by ancient conmen.You said: “There are no such laws in the Quran against people who for one reason or another leave Islam. Maybe you can enlighten me with something I don’t know about since you are a man of advanced knowlodge about Islam.”OK, here is my advanced knowledge of Islam:Qur’an Chapter 4 Verse 89:Sahih Bukhari Volume 9, Book 83, Number 17: Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, No 260: Sahih Bukhari Volume 9, Book 89, Number 271: Sahih Abu Dawud Book 38, Number 4341: Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 59, Number 630: Sahih Muslim Book 016, Number 4152: Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 558: Sahih Bukhari Volume 6, Book 61, Number 577: CONVERT LOCKED INTO MENTAL HOSPITAL – PATIENT MUST RETURN TO ISLAM TO BE DISCHARGED – 13th May 2005″An Egyptian convert from Islam to Christianity is being held against his will in a Cairo mental hospital, where supervising doctors have told him he must stay unless he recants his faith and returns to Islam. Gaser Mohammed Mahmoud, 30, was committed to the El-Khanka Hospital for Mental and Neurological Health in early January by his adoptive parents, after they learned he had become a Christian two years earlier. Since his forced confinement, he reportedly has been beaten, whipped and given potentially fatal injections by hospital personnel.”CHRISTIAN PASTOR CHARGED OF APSTACY IN IRAN – 6th May 2005″Further to our Urgent Action e-mail of April 22, we have received the following update concerning Iranian Pastor Hamid Pourmand. Hamid Pourmand has appeared before the shari’ah court in Tehran to face charges of apostasy and proselytising Muslims. Apostasy carries the death penalty in Iran. According to news agency Compass Direct, Hamid was brought before the court every two or three days between April 13 and April 23 for hearings that lasted between one and two hours. He has refused to recant his faith despite being pressured to do so. The Pastor’s family was permitted to attend the trial, although the court did not inform them of every hearing. Hamid was afforded legal representation during the trial. Officials have since informed his lawyer that court proceedings are to be moved from Tehran to Bandar-i Bushehr, Hamid’s hometown. . No date has been given for the trial in the new location or for when he will be transferred to a local prison.”CHRISTIAN CONVERT WAITING FOR HIS APOSTASY TRIAL ASKS FOR PRAYERS – 18th May 2005 “Reverend Pourmand is scheduled to appear before an Islamic court on charges of proselytising and apostasy and could get the death penalty and be hanged. Tehran (AsiaNews/Compass) – Hamid Pourmand, a Protestant clergyman who was born a Muslim, was moved from Tehran’s Evin Prison in an armoured car two days ago, May 16, to his home town of Bandar-i Bushehr (southern Iran), where an Islamic court will hear charges of proselytising and apostasy against him. He could get the death penalty and be hanged.”THE SPECTATOR – CHURCH OF MARTYRS (p 13) – 26th March 2005″I have spoken to dozens of former Muslims who have converted to Christianity in Britain, and who are shunned by their community, subjected to mob violence, forced out of town, threatened with death and even kidnapped. The Barnabus Trust knows of 3,000 such Christians facing persecution in this country, but the police and government do nothing.”Is that sufficient evidence, or would you like more? Wise up HL – all religion is a scam. Don’t follow any cult which teaches the murder of people who leave the cult. Think for yourself. Free your mind. You don’t need a cult to tell you how to think or what to think, or how to behave. Just listen to your own conscience. It will never tell you to go out and kill anyone, and it will never advise you to emulate any man who has sex with children.

  • anonymous

    Please note that although the following occurred in the Seventh Century CE, Muhammad’s behaviour and teachings as recorded in the “Sahih” hadith below still determine Islamic law (Sharia law) today. Under Sharia law, no Muslim man can be punished if he can present hadith which show that Muhammad acted in the same way, because no Muslim is allowed to criticise anything that Muhammad did.All women should be aware of the following:Sahih Bukhari Volume 3 Book 48, No 826Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 126: Ishaq: 185Malik’s Muwatta Book 55, Number 55.1.2:Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 33: Abu-Dawud Book 11, Number 2142: Qur’an Chapter 4 Verse 34: Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 132: Ishaq:496Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 30: Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 32: Ishaq: 584Sahih Bukhari Volume 3, Book 29, Number 85: Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 250: Sahih Muslim Book 007, Number 3110: Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 6, Number 301: Sahih Muslim Book 001, Number 0142: Abu Dawud Book 11, Number 2045: Abu Dawud Book 41, Number 5119: If you are a Muslim women reading this then please start asking yourself why you need to live your life according to the teachings of a cult leader who looked down on women and taught that they were inferior.

  • hl

    I really do not care what people do and don’t do in different parts of the world. If missionary people tread in dangerous waters then they should accept the consequences of their deceitful actions. Right now there are hunderds of thousands of missionaries beating the dust in differnt parts of the muslim world under the guise of helping the locals or learning the language. They use money to con, bribe people and sell them difective goods namely a primitive and idiotic religion. We can talk about the Quran that’s my book and my salvation. The supposed sayings of the prophet can not be his. The teachings of Muhammad were from the Quran given that his life was Quranic life. The sayings were collected two hundred years after his death. Bukhari and Muslim just collected and wrote down whatever they could get their hands on and did not pay much attention to the verasity of those seven hundred thousand sayings. You can find anything you want in there. For me if the Hadith agrees with Quran fine, if not I reject it completely. Not That I don’t believe our blessed Prophet but I can not be sure if he said things like that after all that time has passed.You sound like a missionay yourself; So please don’t quote chapter nine from the Quran because everyone with a gram of gray matter and intelligence knows that chapter is about a self defensive fight that was brought on the helpless muslim community. I am not going to waste my time chasing after idiotic accusations when it is easier for you and everyone to read the cahpter in whole and the context it was revealed. So, please do us a favor and learn something firt before you start putting forward stupid and ignoramous arguments that can refuted by just reading the whole chapter. By the way I still stand by my argument that the christians throughtout history are the bloddiest, most biggoted of any organized religion. No one comes even close… And still christianity is a primitive religion no matter how you sugar coat it. We can discuss the whole of chapter nine if you insist, ok…

  • hl

    Copy and paste, and more copy and paste. Why don’t you stick to one subject and we will satisfy your deceitful and sick soul.

  • hl

    I bet you would like us to have the problem of worshiping a man. If the tables were turned and we were worshiping Muhammad, you would say: what’s the matter with you fools, you worship a man who can do no good for you and can not harm you. But that’s what you all Christians. Follow some pagan religion. Face the music Jesus can not do you any good nor can he harm you. Why don’t come to your senses and repent before it is too late for you. When you meet your maker and find out Jesus ain’t lord nor a demi god you will not be able to have a second chance and you will have only yourslef to blame.

  • hl

    This is what God says in the Quran concerning the free will of people to accept or reject what Muhammad was commended to preach: 010.099 If it had been thy Lord’s will, they would all have believed,- all who are on earth! wilt thou then compel mankind, against their will, to believe!109.001 Say : O ye that reject Faith! 109.002 I worship not that which ye worship, 109.003 Nor will ye worship that which I worship. 109.004 And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship, 109.005 Nor will ye worship that which I worship. 109.006 To you be your Way, and to me mine.002.256 Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And God heareth and knoweth all things.051.050 Hasten ye then (at once) to God: I am from Him a Warner to you, clear and open! 051.051 And make not another an object of worship with God: I am from Him a Warner to you, clear and open! 051.052 Similarly, no Messenger came to the Peoples before them, but they said (of him) in like manner, “A sorcerer, or one possessed”! 051.053 Is this the legacy they have transmitted, one to another? Nay, they are themselves a people transgressing beyond bounds! 051.054 So turn away from them: not thine is the blame. 051.055 But teach (thy Message) for teaching benefits the Believers.5:54. O ye who believe! if any from among you turn back from his Faith(irtadda-or apostate), soon will God produce a people whom He will love as they will love Him,- lowly with the believers, mighty against the rejecters, fighting in the way of God, and never afraid of the reproaches of such as find fault. That is the grace of God, which He will bestow on whom He pleaseth. And God encompasseth all, and He knoweth all things.I don’t see any command to kill apostates or anyone who rejected Muhammad’s message in those verses when there was the opportunity to say so.You mentioned verse 4:89, here is the paragraph in context:004.087 God! There is no god but He: of a surety He will gather you together against the Day of Judgment, about which there is no doubt. And whose word can be truer than God’s? 004.088 Why should ye be divided into two parties about the HYPOCRITES? God hath upset them for their (evil) deeds. Would ye guide those whom God hath thrown out of the Way? For those whom God hath thrown out of the Way, never shalt thou find the Way. 004.089 They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of God (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks;- 004.090 Except those who join a group between whom and you there is a treaty (of peace), or those who approach you with hearts restraining them from fighting you as well as fighting their own people. If God had pleased, He could have given them power over you, and they would have fought you: Therefore if they withdraw from you but fight you not, and (instead) send you (Guarantees of) peace, then God Hath opened no way for you (to war against them). 004.091 Others you will find that wish to gain your confidence as well as that of their people: Every time they are sent back to temptation, they succumb thereto: if they withdraw not from you nor give you (guarantees) of peace besides restraining their hands, seize them and slay them wherever ye get them: In their case We have provided you with a clear argument against them.It is true that some verses in the Quran instructs Muhammad and his followers to “slay the polytheists where ever you confront them” (9:5); to “carry the struggle to the hypocrites who deny the faith” (9:73); and especially, to “fight those who do not believe in God and the Last Day” (9:29). However, it must be understood that these verses were directed specially at the Quraysh(the old nemesis and Muhammad original tribe)and their clandestine partisans in Yathrib(now known simply as Medina)-specially named in the Quran as “the polytheist” and “the hypocrites,” respectively-with whom the Muslim community was locked in a terrible war. The above verses should be read as such.Sometimes wars have to be fought for self defense and God tells the Muslim community in Medina how they should behave when they have no choice in such situations.002.190 Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loveth not transgressors. 002.191 And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith. 002.192 But if they cease, Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. 002.193 And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah; but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression. 002.217 They ask thee concerning fighting in the Prohibited Month. Say: “Fighting therein is a grave (offence); but graver is it in the sight of God to prevent access to the path of God, to deny Him, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and drive out its members.” Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter. Nor will they cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith if they can. And if any of you Turn back from their faith and die in unbelief, their works will bear no fruit in this life and in the Hereafter; they will be companions of the Fire and will abide therein.022.039 To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged;- and verily, God is most powerful for their aid;- 022.040 (They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right,- (for no cause) except that they say, “our Lord is God”. Did not God check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of God is commemorated in abundant measure. God will certainly aid those who aid his (cause);- for verily God is full of Strength, Exalted in Might, (able to enforce His Will). 022.041 (They are) those who, if We establish them in the land, establish regular prayer and give regular charity, enjoin the right and forbid wrong: with God rests the end (and decision) of (all) affairs.018.027 And recite (and teach) what has been revealed to thee of the Book of thy Lord: none can change His Words, and none wilt thou find as a refuge other than Him. 018.028 And keep thy soul content with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His Face; and let not thine eyes pass beyond them, seeking the pomp and glitter of this Life; no obey any whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us, one who follows his own desires, whose case has gone beyond all bounds. 018.029 Say, “The truth is from your Lord”: Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it): for the wrong-doers We have prepared a Fire whose (smoke and flames), like the walls and roof of a tent, will hem them in: if they implore relief they will be granted water like melted brass, that will scald their faces, how dreadful the drink! How uncomfortable a couch to recline on! 018.030 As to those who believe and work righteousness, verily We shall not suffer to perish the reward of any who do a (single) righteous deed. 018.031 For them will be Gardens of Eternity; beneath them rivers will flow; they will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold, and they will wear green garments of fine silk and heavy brocade: They will recline therein on raised thrones. How good the recompense! How beautiful a couch to recline on!

  • lkt

    Great personal reply to an uninspiring question!! May the force be with you!

  • hl

    This is the kind of insults only raving maniac born again christians write. This stuff comes from people who follow a primitive pagan religion and think they are better than onyone else. Muslims do not worship Muhammad however, christians worship Jesus, a man, a mortal who needed food and sleep to live. If that’s not a cult then what is? No matter how holy a man can be he can never be a god. Yet that’s what you fanatics do. You make fun of people who you say worship Budha yet you worship a man just the same. You and they then are in the same boat. The western man might have put a man on the moon but his religion is still primitive no matter how you slice at it.

  • anonymous

    HL,You said: “So, please do us a favor and learn something firt before you start putting forward stupid and ignoramous arguments that can refuted by just reading the whole chapter.”Are you not aware that the context of the Qur’an isn’t to be found in the Qur’an, because the verses were arranged in order of length rather than chronology?Any Muslim scholar knows that the context to the Qur’an can only be found in the hadith, which reveal the background to the Quranic verses, and enable the chronological order of the verses to be established.Please spend a few more years studying, including all the historical documents of the time, before attempting to debate with people who already have many years of study behind them, otherwise you will make yourself appear very silly.You attempt to declare the Sahih hadith as false. Are you not aware that a Sharia law court would consider this blasphemy in many countries and you could be put to death for that by your own cult?It is also interesting that after rubbishing the historical accuracy of the sahih hadith you then try to use the hadith to counter my arguments, yet you don’t seem to have noticed that many Islamic countries have laws which punish apostates and blasphemers with death, in accordance with the cult leader’s teachings. The very fact that these laws exist destroys your arguments.In the hadith which you quote all you are proving is that the cult leader did indeed teach the cult members to believe that the cult was oppressed and needed to fight oppression. He was manipulating the gullible people of his time into attacking the unbelievers. They, and you, were just unable to see through his psychology.

  • anonymous

    How Muhammad Persuaded Muslims To Fight:The following verses from the Qur’an reveal how Muhammad persuaded Muslims to risk their lives fighting against the infidels in the cause of spreading Islam.Qur’an Chapter 2 Verse 193:This ‘revelation’ was received whilst Islam was very weak, at the beginning of Muhammad’s prophetic career. The Qur’an has 114 Chapters, and this verse was revealed in the second chapter, when Muhammad needed to be careful not to upset the Jews, Christians and Pagans whom he lived amongst. The meaning of this verse, however, was that the Jews, Christians & Pagans were oppressed people who needed freeing from their oppressors by Muhammad and his new religion. Later verses became far more clear and far more blatant. Moderate Muslims often quote early verses such as this, in an attempt to try to convince naïve non-Muslims who lack knowledge of Islam that Islam is peaceful.Qur’an Chapter 4 Verse 75:This ‘revelation’ helped Muhammad to persuade Muslims that Jews, Christians and Pagans would be much better off living under Muhammad and Islamic law, and helped convinced Muslims that non-Muslims were currently being oppressed by their own leaders. In truth, Jews were quite happy being Jewish, and Christians were quite happy being Christian, and Pagans were quite happy being Pagan. They didn’t want Muslims to impose Islam upon them and rape their women as punishment for not listening to Muhammad.Qur’an Chapter 4 Verse 76:Imagine you are a Muslim, and believe this is the world of god; this says that all non-Muslims are friends of Satan, which means that you don’t need to feel any guilt when you kill these friends of Satan, or rape the women.Qur’an Chapter 4 Verse 84:This verse was intended to convince Muslims that Allah would make unbelievers into weak fighters, meaning that it would be easier for Muslims to kill unbelievers.Qur’an Chapter 8 Verse 65:Qur’an Chapter 9 Verse 38:Qur’an Chapter 9 Verse 39:Qur’an Chapter 9 Verse 41:Qur’an Chapter 9 Verse 81:Qur’an Chapter 9 Verse 83:Qur’an Chapter 9 Verse 90:Qur’an Chapter 9 Verse 111:Qur’an Chapter 9 Verse 123:Qur’an Chapter 48 Verse 16:Qur’an Chapter 48 Verse 22:Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 2, Number 40: Once Islam became strong, Muhammad ordered at least 47 military attacks on Jews, Christians and Pagans. He himself commanded 27, known as ‘ghazwat’, and in nine of these ghazwats, he fought in person and sometimes suffered injuries. According to the Islamic belief system, the texts below abrogate the earlier peaceable texts:Qur’an Chapter 9 Verse 3:Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, No 193: Abu-Dawud Book 14, Number 2632: Qur’an Chapter 22 Verse 45:Sahih Muslim Book 019, Number 4294: Sahih Muslim Book 019, Number 4421:Sahih Abu Dawud Book 19, Number 3040: Sahih Bukhari Volume 3, Book 30, Number 95: Sahih Bukhari Volume 3, Book 50, Number 891: Sahih Bukhari Volume 9, Book 89, Number 291: Sahih Muslim Book 019, Number 4438:Sahih Muslim Book 019, Number 4437: Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 53, Number 351: Sahih Abu Dawud Book 14, Number 2779: Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 56, Number 793:Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 67, Number 451: Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 276: Sahih Abu Dawud Book 14, Number 2737: ANSWERING ISLAM – OFFENSIVE WAR TO SPREAD ISLAM”In his book, “Jurisprudence in Muhammad’s Biography”, the Azhar scholar, Dr. Muhammad Sa’id Ramadan al-Buti says the following (page 134, 7th edition): “The Holy War, as it is known in Islamic Jurisprudence, is basically an offensive war. This is the duty of Muslims in every age when the needed military power becomes available to them. This is the phase in which the meaning of Holy War has taken its final form. Thus the apostle of god said: ‘I was commanded to fight the people until they believe in god and his message …”’ Dr. Buti deduces from Muhammad’s statement that this is the concept of offensive war—this is Holy War as it is known in Islamic jurisprudence. Notice by his statement also that this matter is a duty incumbent on every Muslim in every age. The time will come when East and West, as well as politicians and military personnel all over the world will realize that the real military danger is the Islamic community. When the needed military power becomes available to them, they will wage wars and invade other countries!” [Please note that Sir Winson Churchill’s views agreed with these conclusions]IS ISLAM COMPATIBLE WITH THE WEST?”As extremists increasingly claim it is not, and attack Western values not only through rhetoric but acts of violence, many Muslims find themselves being forced to respond by re-examining their values. […] Nagina Shah, who walked away from her faith and family 14 years ago after a forced marriage, believes that traditional Islam and modern Western life do not mix. […] “I moved away from Leeds and lived in a hostel for a while. I worked at the same time as going to college where I studied for my GCSEs and then A levels. I later went on to read engineering at university. When I was staying in the hostel, I met many other young Asian girls like me. It was tragic because they wanted to break away from their families but they kept on going home and getting into a total mess. There must be lots of other men and women who want to break away from their culture. I now want to help other British Muslims who face a similar situation to me.” […] “The Eastern and Western cultures are so extremely different that it is difficult to find middle ground.” […] “The danger of organised religion is that they all teach exclusivity and preach that theirs is the one true faith. To have one true faith means that all other faiths are wrong, hence the fighting we see around the world. I believe the only way we will achieve peace and mutual respect on this planet is if we are all willing to change our beliefs. I am not saying we should completely throw away our belief systems but what we need to do is let go of the beliefs that no longer work and keep the ones that do.””

  • hl

    Qur’an Chapter 2 Verse 193:This ‘revelation’ was received whilst Islam was very weak, at the beginning of Muhammad’s prophetic career. The Qur’an has 114 Chapters, and this verse was revealed in the second chapter, when Muhammad needed to be careful not to upset the Jews, Christians and Pagans whom he lived amongst. The meaning of this verse, however, was that the Jews, Christians & Pagans were oppressed people who needed freeing from their oppressors by Muhammad and his new religion. Later verses became far more clear and far more blatant. Moderate Muslims often quote early verses such as this, in an attempt to try to convince naïve non-Muslims who lack knowledge of Islam that Islam is peaceful.missionary guy,you failed to mention and back up your claim with factual dates when this section of the holy Quran was revealed. It is a custom and a habit of you pagan Christians to try to rewrite our history and some of you went as far as trying to reorganize the order of the chapters in the Quran. It never ceases to amaze me how they try to fabricate reasons of certain events and try to put a spin on them contarary to facts and historical facts. The holy Quran was revealed in the span of twenty three years. The above verses were not revealed at the beginning of Muhammad ministry. Acutally it was revealed well into his ministry, minimum fifteen years have passed since the first revelation.

  • hl

    This is how Christians understand God to be: some kind of supernatural person who who rides on angles and have fire and somke coming out of his nostrels: 2Samuel:7 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears. 8Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth. 9There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. 10He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and darkness was under his feet. 11And he rode upon a cherub(some tpye of angels), and did fly: and he was seen upon the wings of the wind. 12And he made darkness pavilions round about him, dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies. 13Through the brightness before him were coals of fire kindled. 14The LORD thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice. 15And he sent out arrows, and scattered them; lightning, and discomfited them. More wisdom from the good book: Deuteronomy 23:1He that is wounded in the stones(testicals), or hath his privy member(penis) cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD. 2A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD.

  • hl

    Killing is sanctined and condoned by the lord of hosts in the good book which the pagan christians believe is the word of God:1 Samuel 15:2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. 15:3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. 15:4 And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah. 15:5 And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley. 15:6 And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye shewed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. 15:7 And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt. 15:8 And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.

  • hl

    More condoned killings of the innocent ordered by the lord of hosts or is that Jesus himself. Mybe you pagan missioanry can tell us which of the three ordered this cold blooded massacre.Numbers 31

  • Janet

    To HL:I am an unbeliever, not a Christian, Jew, Buddhist or Hindu.

  • HL

    The Christians believe that Jesus is God or part of god commitee. So he is responsible for instructing the killing and the genocide of the infants, the women and the animals as recorded in OT. It is the exact breathed the word of God like they say.

  • hl

    The author of the Quran is not Muhammad. It is clearly stated that the author is God but the Christians insist that it is Muhammad’s words. I don’t see how any one can be as generous towards any other religion as Islam is to Judaism and Christianity. The Quran, as a holy revealed scripture, repeatedly reminds Muslims that what they are hearing is not a new message but the “confirmation of previous scriptures” (12:111). In fact, the Quran proposes the unprecedented notion that all revealed scriptures are derived from a single source. That means that as far as Muhammad understood. The Torah, The Gospels, and the Quran must be read as a single, cohesive narrative about humanity’s relationship to God, in which the prophetic consciousness of one prophet is passed spiritually to the next: from Adam to Muhammad. Of Course, we Muslims believe that the Quran is the final revelation in this sequence of scriptures, just as we believe Muhammad to be the “Seal of the Prophets.” But the Quran never claims to annul the previous scriptures, only to complete them. And the notion of one scripture giving authenticity to others is, to say the least, a remarkable event in the history of religions.002.111 And they say: “None shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian.” Those are their (vain) desires. Say: “Produce your proof if you are truthful.” 002.112 Nay,-whoever submits His whole self to God and is a doer of good,- He will get his reward with his Lord; on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. 002.113 The Jews say: “The Christians have naught (to stand) upon; and the Christians say: “The Jews have naught (To stand) upon.” Yet they (Profess to) study the (same) Book. Like unto their word is what those say who know not; but God will judge between them in their quarrel on the Day of Judgment.002.119 Verily We have sent you in truth as a bearer of glad tidings and a warner: But of you no question shall be asked of the Companions of the Blazing Fire. 002.120 Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with you unless you follow their form of religion. Say: “The Guidance of God,-that is the (only) Guidance.” Were you to follow their desires after the knowledge which has reached you, then would you find neither Protector nor helper against God. 002.121 Those to whom We have sent the Book study it as it should be studied: They are the ones that believe therein: Those who reject faith therein,- the loss is their own.002.133 Were ye witnesses when death appeared before Jacob? Behold, he said to his sons: “What will ye worship after me?” They said: “We shall worship Thy God and the God of thy fathers, of Abraham, Isma’il and Isaac,- the one (True) God: To Him we submit and bow down (in Islam).” 002.134 That was a people that hath passed away. They shall reap the fruit of what they did, and ye of what ye do! Of their merits there is no question in your case! 002.135 They say: “Become Jews or Christians if ye would be guided (To salvation).” Say thou: “Nay! (I would rather) the Religion of Abraham the True, and he joined not gods with God.” 002.136 Say ye: “We believe in God, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them: And we submit and bow down to God (in Islam).” 002.139 Say: Will you dispute with us about God, seeing that He is our Lord and your Lord; that we are responsible for our doings and you for yours; and that We are sincere (in our faith) in Him?002.186 When My servants ask you concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way.

  • hl

    5:17. In blasphemy indeed are those that say that God is Christ the son of Mary. Say: “Who then has the least power against God, if His will were to destroy Christ the son of Mary, his mother, and all every – one that is on the earth? For to God belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between. He creates what He pleases. For God has power over all things.” 5:18. (Both) the Jews and the Christians say: “We are sons of God, and his beloved.” Say: “Why then does He punish you for your sins? Nay, you are but men,- of the men he has created: He forgives whom He pleases, and He punishes whom He pleases: and to God belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between: and unto Him is the final goal (of all)” 5:19. O People of the Book! Now has come unto you, making (things) clear unto you, Our Messenger, after the break in (the series of) our Messengers, lest ye should say: “There came unto us no bringer of glad tidings and no warner “: But now has come unto you a bringer of glad tidings and a warner. And God has power over all things.057.026 And We sent Noah and Abraham, and established in their line Prophethood and Revelation: and some of them were on right guidance. But many of them became rebellious transgressors. 057.027 Then, in their wake, We followed them up with (others of) Our Messengers: We sent after them Jesus the son of Mary, and bestowed on him the Gospel; and We ordained in the hearts of those who followed him Compassion and Mercy. But the Monasticism which they invented for themselves, We did not prescribe for them: (We commanded) only the seeking for the Good Pleasure of God; but that they did not foster as they should have done. Yet We bestowed, on those among them who believed, their (due) reward, but many of them are rebellious transgressors. 057.028 O ye that believe! Fear God, and believe in His Messenger, and He will bestow on you a double portion of His Mercy: He will provide for you a Light by which ye shall walk (straight in your path), and He will forgive you (your past): for God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. 057.029 That the People of the Book may know that they have no power whatever over the Grace of God, that (His) Grace is (entirely) in His Hand, to bestow it on whomsoever He wills. For God is the Lord of Grace abounding. In the time of Muhammad, some of the Jews were really hostile to the small Muslim communtiy and there were some Christian tribes who were not as hostile as the Quran tells us.5:82. Strongest among men in enmity to the believers wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans; and nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say, “We are Christians”: because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant. 83. And when they listen to the revelation received by the Messenger, thou wilt see their eyes overflowing with tears, for they recognize the truth: they pray: “Our Lord! we believe; write us down among the witnesses. 84. “What cause can we have not to believe in God and the truth which has come to us, seeing that we long for our Lord to admit us to the company of the righteous?” 85. And for this their prayer hath God rewarded them with gardens, with rivers flowing underneath,- their eternal home. Such is the recompense of those who do good. 86. But those who reject Faith and belie our Signs,- they shall be companions of Hell-fire.

  • hl

    The state of some Jews at the time of Muhammad is discussed here. Some say the Quran is a little harsh when talking about our cousins the Jews. But, all you have to do is read the book of Jeremiah, which bible scholars claim is the least one to go through manipulation and tamepring.) Also, the NT calls them snakes and brood of vipers and Jesus told them, in the book of John, that their father is the devil, lucifer himself.003.112 Shame is pitched over them(Like a tent) wherever they are found, except when under a covenant (of protection) from God and from men; they draw on themselves wrath from God, and pitched over them is (the tent of) destitution. This because they rejected the Signs of God, and slew the prophets in defiance of right; this because they rebelled and transgressed beyond bounds.

  • Hl

    So Mr missionary guy you got nothing you can offer me except blasphemous doctrines and creeds and a primitive religion that Jesus himself would never have claimed or subscribed to.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    HL:With due respect for your adherence to Islam, I would suggest that you do not make claims about a religion, namely Christianity, when you seem to know so little about it. Christians do not accept Prophet Mohammad’s interpretation of Jesus Christ and Christianity, or whatever may be written in the Quran. It is not our Scripture and therefore we are not interested in correcting the Islamic view of it. You are however welcome to believe anything you like. Christians do believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, because He said so; because the Jewish Prophets spoke of His coming for many centuries. Hindus believe that God can take human form, incarnate as man. God is the Creator of this vast universe, remember, and He has the power to do anything He wants. Prophet Mohammad is not the one to decide what God may or may not do. Please remember Prophet Mohammad never claimed to be God. He claimed only that an angel spoke to him. The Prophets of the Old Testament claimed that God spoke to them. So there is slight difference in the way God spoke to the Prophets of the Old Testament. It was the Prophets of the Old Testament who claimed that God spoke to them, who prophesied that God would take human form and become the Saviour of the world.All this may not fit with the Islamic view. No Christian demands that it should.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    HL:And one more thing, please do not quote from the Old Testament to give examples of any Christian teaching or behaviour. Christians, as you rightly mentioned, worship Jesus Christ as the Son of God. So the New Testament is our Scripture, from time of the birth of Jesus. The Old Testament tells us about the time BEFORE Jesus was born, about the prophesies of His coming and how God prepared the Jewish people for His coming etc. Even as long ago as the time of Moses, one of the GOD GIVEN Commandments were: THOU SHALT NOT KILL! If you refer to Christianity as a violent religion, please read the New Testament and try to locate any teaching of Jesus Christ or anything in His life that justifies such an accusation. Jesus lived a perfect and sinless life. He was crucified for no other reason than that He called Himself the Son of God. It is true that Christians in positions of power have SOMETIMES misused their power and have sometimes done terrible wrong believing that they were doing what was right. But that has nothing to do with what Jesus taught, or how He lived. Christians do not condone or justify such wrong doing. We see it for what it is. If every Christian had followed the teaching and example of Jesus, there would have been no killing or any other kind of atrocity.

  • Pamela

    Jihadist,I’ve been meaning to reply to your thoughts about detachment, but have been on vacation this past week, so please pardom my late response.As I understand it, detachment is not to be confused with indifference or some feel good hyper-tolerance. Indeed, the individuals with the most perfect detachment (The Buddha, the Boddhisattvas) are the most compassionate to the miseries of humanity , and defer their own nirvana in order to help others escape the cycle of suffering.In my own life, detachment helps me deal with anger, impatience, and frustration that would make me withdraw from many situations. For instance, I find the deplorable conditions many, many Muslim women (and men) live under to be very distressing. I find the attitudes and actions of many Muslims, and so-called Muslim governments, to be intolerable. My initial response is either to run away — to say it these situations are too painful to deal with — or to hide — to say, I have nothing to do with these people, why should I become embroiled in their business, and what right do they have to impact the way others see me? By maintaining a certain level of detachment, I’m empowered to act to change the situation, to struggle for justice and compassion in the world.I find similar attitudes within Islam — the prophet said we should be like strangers in the land, and yet, advised us to treat all with compassion and to stand for justice wherever we find injustice.That some folks use concepts of detachment to justify callous disregard should not hinder us from seeking the wisdom in Buddhism, just as the fact that some folks seek to use the Qur’an to justify terrible crimes should not hinder us from seeking the wisdom within it.

  • halozcel

    …so that we might learn from each other(4.1)And lead us not into temptation,but deliver us from the evil one.Matthew 6.13Namaz(salah or salat) adapted from Hinduism.Muslim must worship in arabic language 150 times in a month.This is absolutely brainwash.Hajj.House of Allah.Temple in Jerusalem was the House of God as well.Circumcision is adaptation from JudaismRamadan(fasting) and not-eating pork are also copied from Judaism.Tasbih(prayer beads),persian origin before islam.Laziness.Tak,tak,tak.Some enightened muslim scholars sharply criticize it.All of you forget Mevlana whirling dervishes,sufi dance.

  • Anonymous

    Pam said..”To me, my path is clear; I can only hope it is equally clear to others.”What you’ve said has helped me so much. There are many, many, many paths to god. Islam is only one and you admit not the only one.My mind is becoming so open. Thank you.Happiness.

  • victoria

    a salaamu alaikum jihadist, and pamela too of course. Islam is the middle way. when something good happens to me i say “alhamdoulila” (thank god) when something bad happens to me i say “alhamdoulila” when something good happens tome i say “alhamdoulila” when something bad happens to me i say “alhamdoulila”………………………

  • Steve B, UK

    Actually, my last comment might sound negative towards Christians, which I’m not. By separating ‘pagan’ and ‘christian’ I meant to show the lovely diversity of paths we have now on this *inter-faith* forum.Failing that, I’d like to point out how (in the use of the word ‘pagan’ you were presumably going for, and its original meaning) “pagan Christian” is actually a direct contradiction and oxymoron, and can’t exist. >>Anon: “you conflict with the teachings of islam”If that was addressed to me, then yes I certainly do, quite often. I find they can conflict with my morals and following them would prevent me from being as good as I can be. Quite a few Christian “teachings” do this as well of course, and I ignore them too. You’ll find it’s mostly the stuff that the religious organisations put in about how you should being intolerant to people who aren’t of your particular path of your sect of your faith. Or any of the parts which preach or celebrate violence, which both books have plenty of. “Teachings” is a big word, and usually means arguing about specifics instead of concentrating on not being an asshat.

  • victoria

    stephen b- you wrote- ill venture that if you learn more about islam as it actually is, and not how its detractors and islamophobes claim it is- you would find no disconnect from your own morals. i always find it is best to listen only to the practitioners of any faith and let them speak for themselves. there is a flood of misinformation and downright lies on these blogs, its a shame, and its not possible to address each lie or personally id be on here all day long. i think a person can recognize easily enough bad intentions or slanted thinking.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Quote all you want from the Koran but until the death threats to non-believers are removed and all traces of the plundering and looting agenda are removed, the Koran will remain the evil operating manual of Islam i.e. it is a sham religion. Most of its followers do so because of the threats from Islamic death squads as noted 24/7 by the conduct of Islamic countries like Iran, the “nut job Talibaners” of Afghanistan and the daily suicide bombings in Iraq. As noted many times, the OT and NT have been properly reviewed and modernized. This is not the case with the Koran whose followers live in Dark Age superstitions and beliefs.

  • Peaceforall

    It’s such a shame that people are wasting all this space trying to prove which religion is right and which is not. People need to realize that we are all different and if someone wants to be a Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, atheist, or whatever, they WILL be…and more power to them!You are wasting time and energy if you try to prove a point that people don’t want to hear. There is bad AND good in everyone (and yes, there are many great muslims out there contrary to popular belief). There are great people in all religions and we should all open our eyes and ears and take hold of it. Positive energy is positive energy and it can do a whole lot of good if you let it in. Why don’t you just read what the author is saying and use it towards your own lives? She is not trying to convert you she is mainly stating that she has found her path in life and that may you all find yours.Simple isn’t it? A lot easier than cutting and pasting…

  • Russell D.

    Right on PEACEFORALL, right on.

  • Marco Polo

    Victoria:No offense, but the Koran is as much a work of fiction as the Bible is. Both religions have gotten the message wrong. The followers also seem to have lapsed into a spiritual coma when it comes to expressing their faith in a positive way. I say take all religious bibles(Bible, Torah, Koran, etc.,) and combine them to form one all powerful do-it-yourself book that we can pay 20 bucks to read once and never look at again.

  • Roy

    HL writes *This stuff comes from people who follow a primitive pagan religion and think they are better than onyone else. * Sounds like you too, HL. What is the difference between Christian extremists and Islamic extremist other than he Islamic extremists adhere to the Koran teachings that infidels are to be converted or killed?

  • anonymous

    HL,You said: “It is a custom and a habit of you pagan Christians”Before labeling people as Christians, what is about the words “All religion is a scam. All religion is primitive. Please wise up” that you don’t understand?What is it about the words “You have a conscience which you can follow. You don’t need to follow any religion. It’s all a scam. Haven’t you worked that out yet? Wise up” that you don’t understand?Why do you persist in quoting the Christian scriptures to defend against my arguments? You’re making yourself look very silly indeed.You don’t need to follow any religion, because it’s all a scam. Smart people see through the scam, but followers are weak minded human beings who NEED to follow. The strong minded don’t follow anyone. They think for themselves. They don’t need ANY religion to tell them what food they can eat, or how they should dress, or who they can marry. They’re smart enough to be able to make all these decisions for themselves. They listen ONLY to their own conscience, and lead good, ethical and principled lives.You don’t need to follow an ancient paedophile, rapist, murderer, racist, homophobe and woman hater. You’ve been duped. You’ve been scammed. It’s all a con HL, including Christianity. Wise up. Don’t be a follower. Think for yourself. Don’t be so gullible.

  • victoria

    well, its a little offensive- but not that much- youre entitled to your opinion marco- roy- the qur’an doesnt say that but- if youre still aroyund ill get back to you bout the infidel thing-

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Marco Polo noted: “Victoria:No offense, but the Koran is as much a work of fiction as the Bible is. Both religions have gotten the message wrong. The followers also seem to have lapsed into a spiritual coma when it comes to expressing their faith in a positive way. I say take all religious bibles(Bible, Torah, Koran, etc.,) and combine them to form one all powerful do-it-yourself book that we can pay 20 bucks to read once and never look at again. “Bravo to this suggestion as long as we clean up the Koran by removing its references to “pretty wingy thingies” delivering messages to the “prophet”, any prophecies made by said prophet and all of his dictated thoughts about killing non-believers and plundering and looting the world in the name of Allah. Professor Crossan et al have done a great job in cleaning up the NT and the Conservative Jews along with historians and archeologists have done a great job in cleaning up the Torah. Time to “Crossanize” the Koran (and Victoria/Jihadist/Sunnis/Shiites/”Talibaners”).

  • Asim

    Pamela,

  • Sameer

    I don’t have any problem with religions as long as you keep your religion and your god to yourself. You can believe in any book, any story and follow any ritual you want… in the privacy of your own home or in the company of fellow believers.It becomes a problem when you start imposing YOUR god(s)… YOUR book and YOUR religious beliefs on other people. Now this can be a problem because many of YOUR books tell you to do all kinds of stuff to people who are not interested in believing YOUR god(s)! So you gotta be mindful of that and kinda ignore those bits in YOUR book. If that is a problem for you.. then YOU are a problem for everyone else. Unfortunately that is what many of you are trying to do. I wish you would just leave us alone… go read your books and talk to your God on your own.You are free to bang your head against rocks…but don’t throw the rocks at other people if they don’t chose to bang their head against rocks (or choose to drown instead of banging heads against rocks :)) May your God go with you! Peace!The Atheist——-The faith of every “believer” (in allah or jehovah or whoever your god may be) here matters only as much as the faith of a greek citizen in zeus two thousand years before christ. If you faith helps you be a better person… more power to you. But let other people have their own crazy faiths.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Pamela,

  • Asim

    Hi Pamela,

  • Atique Malik

    Sister PamelaI am afraid you really have the rednecks frothing at the mouth and out after you, not to mention the brave anonymous others. Thanks for a good article. With more women actively involved in the Muslim community and making decisions we can only get better and stronger and smarter.Keep up the good work.

  • Anonymous

    Three years ago I met a Muslim man who said that that I should depend on God first, and then on him. He spoke constantly about “honor” “integrity” and “family.” I was so impressed by this man. He appeared to be everything I wanted in a husband. We married one year after meeting. I started to notice that my husband regarded me as the “enemy.” He was very distrustful of me. I didn’t know why. It’s clear from the readings in the quoran that men are to distrust women. This is why women have not had their rightful place within the religion and are not treated with equal respect. I told my husband that I would never, never convert to Islam. I could see nothing peaceful about the religion nor him. He often espoused that Jews came from Apes — or monkeys. This kind of bigotry I could not tollerate. My husband kept his religion and practices to himself — until after we were married.I’ve also learned that Islam allows/permits lying so long as it is for the believers good. Spouses are permitted to lie to each other to keep “peace.” My husband lied to me often without so much as blinking.My husband has left me. He left me while I was pregnant. Told me to “get rid of it” because I was going to be alone. Said that he did not love me at the time of conception. Said that I was making up the story just to trick him back into the marriage. He has said many, many things to me that I would not say to my worse enemy, let alone someone whom I claimed to have loved at one time. I can not be sure why exactly it is that he left. I believe it had something to do with him being pressured by his family to do so. Middle Eastern Muslim men will do whatever his blood family tells him. And while you, in your Western, Christian thinking way may regard yourself as his family because you as his wife, his loyalty is not to you. As you are not part of his “bloodline.”I use this forum to warn all American Christian and Jewish women, do NOT believe, trust, and above all else NEVER marry a middle eastern muslim man. The differences in your respective religions and cultures are just too great to be overcome by your “love.” Please don’t be as naive as I was. And even if your husband does not abandon you, it will be a hard marriage.

  • Steve B, UK

    >>HL said: The pagans on here would rather you didn’t associate us with Christians. Pagan defines a new group of people these days, please catch up.Watching you quote texts at each other is hysterical, by the way.>>Pamela K. Taylor said:I like this. Closer experience with the Divine can be a rewarding and positive thing, and I’m in favour of it in any religion (it’s the other parts of various religions I have problems with). I’ve found Buddhism and Taoism excellent to explore as well.My hesitation would be when the person is seeking to align themselves so closely with ‘the natural order of the Universe’ just because a book or religion told them to, ‘or else’. And told them exactly what the natural order IS. In celebration, in joy, for the mystic feeling, yes. Because (a male) God told his people to worship him this way or be punished, no.

  • Cyra

    I find it curious that there is so much Islamophobia in a forum that is meant to increase knowledge. It seems that the brave souls that have posted as “anonymous” who are set out to inflict their small-minded views on the rest of us have nearly succeeded in derailing the conversation. The same old Islamophobic, racist tropes about the “false” prophet, the pedophile, etc., trotted out. Interesting that no one really points out that Jesus was crucified for “lying” essentially about his messiah-hood (though Muslims believe that he was). Somehow, we’re comfortable lauding warriors like Charlemagne who killed those who did not convert, married 5 women and had countless concubines, we seem to be fine with the Greeks who gave us democracy and slept with boys. But we can’t put Muhammad in ANY kind of perspective except one that is blinded by hatred. Yes, life was different in a desert 1400 years ago and unfortunately, they didn’t live by “anonymous’s” 21st Century values that include ideas like “cults” and “legal ages of marriages”. On some level, one should not even attempt to engage the intellectual mammoths who post this stuff. It’s old and boring.So, Pam, I’m with you. Most Muslims except the born-again tend to practice a culturally mediated, syncretic Islam. And I agree that women at the pulpit is a much needed change. God increases our knowledge as we evolve.

  • Anonymous

    you conflict with the teachings of islam

  • Viejita del oeste

    It saddens me to see the same Islamophobic rants any time Ms. Taylor contributes a column — or any time any Muslim posts a comment on any subject at all. Like many people I come here to increase my understanding, not just of the “facts” of other religions but also of the tone and habits of their adherents.

  • wiccan

    Steve B-”Watching you quote texts at each other is hysterical, by the way.”Do I hear the strains of “Dueling Bibles”?

  • Anonymous

    Just follow Yoga and your concience. That is sufficient to take care of all your spiritual and moral needs. Who needs religion and its army of pastors, mullahs and pundits?

  • lkt

    To Anonymous:It appears that your pain has not subsided enough for you to recognize that not all middle eastern muslim men will be like your husband. Usually, honesty is expected between two people considering marriage, but the truth of the matter is that people can be so blinded by love that they do not realize they are reshaping themselves to present the best possible image. Nor of course can the other person in the projected marriage know that the person is not being totally open or honest.I also would not recommend marriages between people with many, many differences, especially cultural and religious,but … many such marriages survive because of a strong love between the two people. They are not all necessarily “hard marriages” either, but family acceptance of these marriages must make a tremendous difference.Let’s face it, in today’s world in the US at least marriage is not easy for most of us. Perhaps that is not only why divorce is relative easy in the US, but also that it is so common.

  • Ahmed from Bahrain

    Anonymous. I am truly sorry for your unsavoury marriage to a dreadful man by any description. You should not taint all such people with the same tar brush thro one experience. I have been happily married to a Western woman for the last 30 years.I know of many other freinds who have equally happy marriages with Western women including my own older brother for more than 30 years. I have also seen many broken and violent marriages amongst Christian couples. You can not blame Mulims and Islam for the bad behaviour of such people. In my family women have much respect, many are university graduates and have very happy lives. It all depends very much on family teaching and upbringing. A child will normally inflict the same treatement on others as metted to them during childhood. Sadly many Muslim societies have inherited tribal garbbage and continue to inflict the same inhumane behaviour on others including their wives. The Quran tells us that we are made in the image of God just as all other religions do. We are ‘khlifahs’ or representatives of God on earth and we should treat each other as little gods. This should be our focal point which stems from the belief in Oneness of ALL Creation. Anything less is seperation and is going to create problems for us as human beings. Again I truly regret your past experience and pray that you find it in yourself to heal the past. With peace, love and respect.

  • Soja John Thaikattil

    Victoria (Ref post 16 April 2007, 3:01 PM)My post addressed to HL was in response to the following he posted:“Christianity is bloodier and more begoted than any other religion the world has ever seen if you want to keep count…We Muslims say and God tells us in the Quran that God has power over everything and all things. We say God does godly things and becoming a man is not one of them. The primitive man believed in man gods; it is too bad that Christians still do. The thing is the Christians have no proof whatsoever from the NT if you read it as a whole…Are you saying that God can be three or just his nature to be three if He chooses to be any thing; Why not twelve or seven if he can do any thing he wants to.” (LT, posted 13 April 2007, 3:36 PM)“The way I see it, you are worshiping an man and the way pople act in the churches, speaking in garbage language they call speaking in tongues, dancing and clapping to the drums and guitars, waving their hands in the air, rolling and fainting on the floor, handling snakes,…, they are all the sign of a cult. So don’t tell me about cults, I can see them on TV every Sunday morning, thank you very much…” (LT, posted 13 April 2007, 3:51 PM)“By the way I still stand by my argument that the christians throughtout history are the bloddiest, most biggoted of any organized religion. No one comes even close… And still christianity is a primitive religion no matter how you sugar coat it.” (LT, posted 13 April 2007, 8:43 PM)“I bet you would like us to have the problem of worshiping a man…Face the music Jesus can not do you any good nor can he harm you. Why don’t come to your senses and repent before it is too late for you. When you meet your maker and find out Jesus ain’t lord nor a demi god you will not be able to have a second chance and you will have only yourslef to blame.” (LT, posted 13 April 2007, 8:57 PM)“This is how Christians understand God to be: some kind of supernatural person who who rides on angles and have fire and somke coming out of his nostrels:” (LT, 14 April 2007, 9:13 AM) “More condoned killings of the innocent ordered by the lord of hosts or is that Jesus himself. Mybe you pagan missioanry can tell us which of the three ordered this cold blooded massacre.” (LT, 14 April 2007, 9:23 AM)“The Christians believe that Jesus is God or part of god commitee. So he is responsible for instructing the killing and the genocide of the infants, the women and the animals as recorded in OT. It is the exact breathed the word of God like they say.” (LT, 14 April 2007, 11:20 AM)“I don’t see how any one can be as generous towards any other religion as Islam is to Judaism and Christianity.’ (LT, 14 April 2007, 11:24 AM)“So Mr missionary guy you got nothing you can offer me except blasphemous doctrines and creeds and a primitive religion that Jesus himself would never have claimed or subscribed to.” (LT, 14 April 2007, 12:01 PM)———————————-As you can see Victoria, HL’s post did display considerable ignorance of Christianity on his part. It is from Muslim sources we know that Prophet Mohammad claimed that Angel Gabriel spoke to him; it is NOT a Christian interpretation of Islam or Prophet Mohammad’s words. Angel Gabriel as you know (being an ex-Franciscan nun) also spoke to Mother Mary, announcing the Virgin birth of Jesus. Christians believe that the message was from God and it came through Angel Gabriel to Mary. The Prophets of the Old Testament spoke of the coming of a Messiah and they did not get their message from an angel. Pointing out the difference was not to grade the quality of the revelation, but to emphasise that the Old Testament Prophets spoke of the coming of Jesus. Christians do not enter into a competition with Muslims about “my prophet is better than your prophet” as you mention, because we do not believe Jesus Christ was a prophet in the first place and we have no reason to compare Him with Prophet Mohammad. Jesus Christ was born of virgin proving His divine origin. And if the Muslims believe in the virgin birth of Jesus, that angel Gabriel spoke to Mary, they should have no problem accepting that Jesus Christ was not a mere man as Prophet Mohammad was. So where is the room for comparison? What is the need for a comparison? It is to a Muslim that Jesus Christ is merely a prophet, despite His virgin birth, despite His claim that He was the Son of God. I don’t know on what basis you say I made a complaint or comparison. I was not speaking about Islam, I was only referring to HL’s interpretation of Christianity based on what he supposedly claims is written in the Quran about Jesus and Christianity. When you imply that what is written about Jesus and Christianity in the Quran is the message of God, then you make Jesus Christ Himself and all the Prophets of the Old Testament who prophesied about His coming to be liars, and what is written in the Quran alone about Jesus the truth. That is direct contradiction to the claim that Prophet Mohammad accepts the authenticity of the Old and New Testament as revelation of God. When Jesus came He did not say that the prophesies from the Old Testament were false, nor did He make up His own version of it. Jesus pointed out how His coming and His life was in accordance with the prophesies of the Old Testament.As I mentioned in my post to HL, the Quran is free to interpret Jesus in anyway. But if contradicts the New Testament, then it merely a Muslim version of Jesus, not the Jesus described in the New Testament based on the witness of the Apostles who lived with Him and were taught by Him.So I repeat that Christians do not agree with the Quranic version of Jesus, and to point that out does not constitute lack of respect. On the contrary it Christians who could take offence at the implication that Jesus was a liar, if the Quranic portrayal of Jesus is to be considered the truth, . but we don’t only because the Christian faith is not based on the Quran.This forum is to find common ground and build a basis for dialogue, and the clarification of any misinterpretation is expected to aid in the process and not cause more divisions. Every religious revelation is unique, otherwise there wouldn’t be more than one religion, and it is important to know the differences as well, even while looking for common ground. All religions want to reach God, and provide more happiness to themselves and to others. Let us continue to look for common ground.I hope that helps.Soja John Thaikattilsoja- you said-”The Prophets of the Old Testament claimed that God spoke to them. So there is slight difference in the way God spoke to the Prophets of the Old Testament.”this is a misunderstanding on your part.”With due respect for your adherence to Islam, I would suggest that you do not make claims about a religion, namely Christianity, when you seem to know so little about it.””With due respect for your adherence to Christianity, I would suggest that you do not make claims about a religion, namely Islam, when you seem to know so little about it.”

  • anonymous

    Please spend some of your spare time studying the many hundreds of different religions and many hundreds of different gods people have worshiped over the millennia, then you will come to understand that human beings are prone to making up beliefs and then dying for such manmade beliefs.It is a fact that people believe whatever they want to believe, which means the foundations of all religion are firmly rooted in deep delusion. Please study the ancient gods, then you will see that all such beliefs are manmade. You don’t have to live your life in a state of delusion. It is ridiculous that people still follow these manipulative manmade beliefs. We have education nowadays. You can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. Please drink from education, and leave all this religious ignorance in the past, where it belongs.How can you call yourself educated and religious at the same time? The two are opposites. Spend some time studying all the ancient gods, then all will become clear to you.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    Concerned the Christian now LiberatedYou are going to have to come to terms with the fact that there are quite a few of us out there who choose to remain “unliberated,” as a conscious act of free will, with all our reason and all our heart.As to Father Schilleeeckx, who is trying to stop him from writing what he wants, and who stops anyone from accepting his “profound” words as a substitute for the Bible?

  • hl

    Soja,Every time one of the Muslims in the on faith panel writes a piece, no matter what the subject is, mind you, the born again Christians come from the woodworks and start the name calling and throwing insults at Islam and our beloved Prophet with no respect for other people’s beliefs. They get a pleasure from ganging up on Victoria, eventhough she has shown great restraint and manners despite the personal attacks that they throw at her every time she writes something. I noticed you sometimes write some underhanded comments but they are not as vulgar like the others. Obviously they did not read what Jesus said in the book of Luke: Luke 6:41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? I don’t like pointing out faults with other people’s belief system, to each his own, but there is a limit to what a person can take and those guys sometimes push the envelope real hard. So I wrote what I thought was a critique of the basic Christian dogams. You wrote in your post:Please point to me where I have erred and we can discuss your objections in detail. You also wrote:I read the bible, the Tanakh and the NT, and there is not a single verefiable prophecy that Jesus fulfilled what the Jews expected of their eventual Messiah to be. Appostle Peter was a Jew and he was surprised when Jesus told him that he was going to die. He did not know that their Messiah is going to just die and not fufill the hope of the Jewish people who expected to be given a king in line of David who would restore might and power to them. Martk 8:30 And he charged them that they should tell no man of him. 31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. 33 But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men. From what I read from the synoptics, Jesus was annointed, a Messiah, by God to be a reformer and to teach the Jews the spirit of the Law of Moses and not the letter of the Law. In countless verses of the NT, Jesus rebuked his fellow Jews for doing just that.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    HL:Before the discussion can be taken any further, you might first begin by listing my underhanded comments. You might also like to read my comments on all the Muslims threads thus far. I have listed every single one of your comments to which I was respoding.

  • Deb Chatterjee

    Pamela Taylor wrote:”As a practicing Muslim, however, I wouldn’t advocate for Muslims to abandon the rituals of Islam in favor of other rituals. Rather, these other disciplines should supplement Islamic rituals.”This is precisely HYPOCRISY. A so-called moderate Muslim doesd not advocate the freedom of Muslims to choose their own way of worship. Why should the other rituals be only supplemental to Islam ? What is so exalted about Islam, compared to otherWe often hear how moderate Muslims are trying to reform Islam and distancing themselves from the fundamentalist and violence. This article by Pamela Taylor shows the lies that are being churned out by the Muslims in the name of “moderation”. Pamela would thus disapprove of any Muslim who has renounced his/her faith and is thus declared as an “apostate” or “heretic”. Thus, she may not herself go out and stone those who have renounced Islam, but she won’t condemn those who attack these “heretics” either. This emboldens the spirit of the Jihadists who are out there to spread the intolerant message of the barbaric belief system called Islam.

  • Qasim Omar

    Cyra,Why Muhammad’s behavior is salient is because he claimed to be a prophet of God and the moral guide to humanity for all time. Because of this, we ask ourselves whether a true God would condone that actions Muhammad did such as killing people, making war, plundering, taking slaves, polygamy, sex slavery and pedophilia. These are facts acknowledged by the Muslims themselves as true. Pointing them out is not hatred of Islam. How can showing everyone what Muslims agree their prophet did is showing hatred towards them?Just because you dislike that your prophet’s behavior is held up to scrutiny is no reason to accuse the critic of ‘islamophobia’ since the critic is merely quoting your own sources.This cultural/temporal relativism excuse of yours is ridiculous. If God is eternal and his message is eternal why did he put forward barbaric practises as models for human behavior? Allah did not say those verses were only applicable in barbaric times – the implication is that they should be applicable forever.But thanks anyway for tacitly acknowledging your prophet was a savage. It sure explains the behavior of Muslims today.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    HLYou are surely not asking me, as a Christian to discuss with you, a Muslim, what Christian revelation is? Wouldn’t it be like me discussing Islam with you to tell you why I don’t practise it as my religion? Please reread your comments about Christianity, which I quoted in my post addressed to Victoria, and explain to me on what basis you intend to discuss Christianity. I don’t recall anyone having attacked Victoria as a person. The difference of opinion was about Islam. Unless one classifies disagreeing with Islam on certain aspects (which is natural in a debate between people who hold opposing opinions) as disagreeing with Victoria or being nasty to her, I don’t really see the ground for grievance. There are plenty of atheists here who have nothing good to say about any religion, and have quite a harsh opinion of people who believe in God, yet the believers are not taking any of it personally. As to discussing Christianity with a Muslim who has been quite candid about what they think about Christianity: I am not a Christian who is questioning her beliefs you know. I’m Catholic, but I’m NOT at the stage Victoria must have been at one time in her life, when as an ex-Catholic nun disillusioned with Christianity, she was seeking meaning in other religions. I’m a Christian by conviction. I know exactly why I am not a Muslim, even though I have been exposed to several religions, and value the wisdom of Buddhism, Hinduism and Sufi Islam. I have even spent lengthy periods of time in an Christian Ashram in India, where we read from the Scripture of other religions, including the Quran, once a day. I have had no problems associating with Muslims or respecting their way to God. I’m a native of a state in India which has 24.7% Muslims. In the school I attended (not in Kerala), we had to learn the verses of an Indian Sufi mystic, Kabir, who was claimed by Hindus and Muslims as their own. The idea behind teaching Kabir’s poems in school was to inculcate Hindu-Muslim unity in India. I still enjoy Kwaavali music, and I love the Muslim call to prayer that ring out from Mosques, for it raises my heart to God, although I don’t call Him Allah.I hope that clarifies my stand a bit more.

  • hl

    Soja,Psalm 22: 12 Many bulls have surrounded Me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me. 13 They gape at Me with their mouths, Like a raging and roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, And all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It has melted within Me. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death. 16 For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced[c] My hands and My feet; 17 I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. 18 They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.It isn’t difficult to understand why Christians are so confident that this verse contains a clear reference to Jesus’ crucifixion. Of whom, missionaries ask, other than Jesus, could the Psalmist be speaking? To which other individual in history, whose hands and feet were pierced, could the Bible be referring? But if we examine the Hebrew bible we find something different. Here is what the previously mentioned verses say:Psalm 22:13 Many bulls have encompassed me; strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. 14 They open wide their mouth against me, as a ravening and a roaring lion. 15 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is become like wax; it is melted in mine inmost parts. 16 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my throat; and Thou layest me in the dust of death. 17 For dogs have encompassed me; a company of evil-doers have inclosed me; like a lion, they are at my hands and my feet. 18 I may count all my bones; they look and gloat over me. 19 They part my garments among them, and for my vesture do they cast lots.Also, the Revised Standard version have the same verses as follows:Psalm 22:12: Many bulls encompass me, strong bulls of Bashan surround me; 13: they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion. 14: I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax, it is melted within my breast; 15: my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws; thou dost lay me in the dust of death. 16: Yea, dogs are round about me; a company of evildoers encircle me; they have pierced my hands and feet — 17: I can count all my bones — they stare and gloat over me; 18: they divide my garments among them, and for my raiment they cast lots.Notice that when the original words of the Psalmist are read, any allusion to a crucifixion disappears. Bear in mind, this stunning mistranslation in the 22nd Psalm did not occur because Christian translators were unaware of the correct meaning of this Hebrew word. Clearly, this was not the case. The word kaari can be found in a number of other places in the Jewish scriptures. Yet predictably, the same Christian translators who rendered kaari as “pierced” in Psalm 22 correctly translated it “like a lion” in all other places in the Hebrew Bible where this word appears. Also, the Jewish scriptures were written in Hebrew, not in seventeenth century King James English. What has made Christian believers so vulnerable to Bible tampering is the almost unimaginable reality that only a very tiny group of them can read their Bible in its original language. As you and countless other Christians earnestly study the authorized version of the Bible, there is a blinding yet prevailing assumption that what you are reading is the inerrant word of God. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth.

  • Anonymous

    Advice to Muslim debaters:1. A popular question asked is “why does Islam call for death of Islamic critics and apostates”. Insist that their info is false. Quote aya “to you your religion and to me my religion”.2. To answer “Islam spread with sword”, say that it is a big lie spread by the Jews and Hindus and that Quran clearly says ” there is no compulsion in religion”.3. If some one quotes violent ayas from the Quran, accuse him of quoting ayas in bits and pieces and cherry picking .4. If he then quotes full ayas and ayas before and after, than insist that the translation is wrong.5. If he brings ten different translations than say correct meanings can be understood only by reading Quran in Arabic.6. If he happens to be well versed in Arabic language than insist that those ayas don’t mean what they appear to mean as they have allegorical meanings.7. If he is adamant, than say you cannot understand those ayas and it’s context without reading the Hadith and Sira.8. If he shows up with the Hadiths and Siras in hand and quotes the context of the violent ayas by referring to Hadiths of prophet’s rapes, robberies , assassinations and genocides then insist that “all Hadiths and Siras are heresay and are false, and only truth is in the Quran. 9. If he says Quran is a man made document and wants proof of it’s divinity then refer to the sciences in Quran and the book written by Dr. Bucaile confirming the sciences in our holy book. You can also quote that Mahatama Gandhi read Quran daily and also spoke highly of it.10. If he says that Bucaile was on Saudi payroll and that nor he nor Gandhi ever changed their religions, Gandhi read the Bhagavad Gita everyday, and that Bucaile was challenged and proven wrong by many experts then challenge him to ask his experts to debate Islamists like Zakir Naik.11. If the pests still hangs around then change the topic and find faults in other religions and their books.12. If he continues on then use personal attacks and insult him by calling him a Jewish a- hole , a Chinese pig or a Hindu dog .13. If that does not frustrate him, then ask him how much he is being paid by Jews to throw dirt on Al Islam. 14. If he still does not stop then run for his mother and sister and use very filthy language.15. If he is very stubborn and wants to continue, then curse him like “Burn in hell, you will repent on last day, Allah will get you in your grave” etc16. When all of the above has failed, threaten him with bodily harm and end the debate by drum beating and announcing that you won the debate hands down because Quran is the word of Allah. 17. If possible anounce about this debate in an Islamist website and that you had won it handily. Such announcements do wonders for the iman of Muslim website readers and for dawah operations in prisons to convince low IQ prisoners of the truth of Al Islam.18. You can also say Christians, Jews, Hindus and all other religions have worse qualities compared to Islam, so Islam is less evil.19. KoRand is words of Allah according to Pedo Mo. and Pedo Mo is the last prophet of Allah according to KoRand.————————– Ayesha Ahmed

  • victoria

    i wanted to remark on the reasoning ive heard used countless times to validate the divinity of Jesus(ata). the point was made that because mary was virgin- that this confers divinity upon jesus(ata) one might also argue that adam, the first man had no earthly father OR MOTHER!!! every human (except adam and eve) is born of woman. soja, use the same criteria of respect for our Prophet(pbuh) that we as muslims give to Jesus(ata). you have never heard any here make any radical or malicious statements about Jesus(ata). but such slander shouldnt be levied against Muhammad(pbuh) either and to me it is personal when someone says something false and vicious about Muhammad(pbuh) as i revere him and follow his example, as do all muslims- we know he is not, and have the qur’an and sunnah and many sterling examples of his honorable and trustworthy nature. also- you stated that it would be beyond reason to discuss religion with a non-adherent- but then went on to say that you know exactly why you arent a muslim. i also know exactly why im not a christian, or a hindu, or a jew, or buddhist. from learning everything about these religions and worshiping in their practices. but alluding to some inferiority in these faiths doesnt strengthen islam-

  • Deb Chatterjee

    Ayesha Ahmed is right on highlighting aspects of the debate between Muslim and non-Muslim on Islam. Good, succint post.

  • Soja John Thaiakttil, Sydney, Australia

    HL (Ref posts 18 April 2007 12:11 PM, 6:53 PM, 11:50 PM):I agree that one can discuss any topic, even disagree with the other, without resorting to insults and name calling. If you say that Christians merely use circular reasoning to justify their belief, because a Christian chooses to believe what is written in the Bible and believe that is the word of God and the Jesus Christ portrayed in it was a real person, couldn’t one say the same thing about a Muslim, or about a person of any faith for that matter? If you didn’t believe what is written in the Quran and Hadiths and Sira is based on what Prophet Mohammad said or did, you wouldn’t be a Muslim either, would you? Doesn’t your belief require faith and circular reasoning on your part too? So faith is fundamental to all religions, not just Christianity. So there is not much point in trying to convince anyone of any faith, especially if they have consciously accepted it, that their belief is wrong. Ask an atheist and he can “prove” to you that all religious belief is rubbish. Dialogue in my opinion is about accepting the differences in belief and looking for common ground despite the differences, not about agreeing that all is the same. It doesn’t make much sense trying to convince a Christian that the Muslim interpretation of Jesus Christ is right and call that an attempt at dialogue, because the Muslim version of Jesus contradicts the core of Christian belief. If Jesus was a mere man and a prophet at best, there is no basis for Christianity. Christians couldn’t enter into a dialogue with Muslims by trying to undo the fundamentals of Islam. We must simply accept the fact that some aspects are fundamentally different and the differences can never be bridged, and look for common ground. And we do have common ground as members of the Abrahamic faith.You referred to the singing and music in Pentecostal Churches as something absurd. Do you recall that King David was known to dance and sing before God as part of his worship? It is only when we make God in our image and likeness that we prescribe to Him human attributes and make decisions on His behalf on what may appeal to Him. The Bible makes it clear that what God wants is a pure and contrite heart as offering. All the rest is secondary. I found the story by Rumi posted by someone on this site a while ago quite moving and relevant to the point. Rumi is a great Sufi mystic and I have great admiration for him, as does many people of all religions around the world.I had no idea that Arab Christians and Jews refer to God as Allah. Jesus referred to God as Abba, meaning Father (in my mother tongue, Malayalam, we would say ‘Appa’ or ‘Appan’ for father), and He asked us to address God as Father/Abba too.You have quoted different translations of Psalm 22 with the intention of proving that maybe Christians haven’t got the message quite right. Well, I can only repeat what I have already said several times before: My ancestors, who were Nambudiri Hindu Brahmins, were converted to Christianity by Apostle Thomas who came to Kerala in 52 AD. Apostle Thomas must have made a pretty strong case to persuade them, as Brahmins, to give up the privileges they enjoyed as members of an exclusive and powerful Hindu community. That case is good enough for me. Their conversion did not depend on any translation of the Bible but on the words of an Apostle who had been with Jesus, who had doubted the Resurrection and was only convinced after he could touch the wounds of the risen Jesus himself.

  • Soja John Thaiakttil, Sydney, Australia

    HL,For a rational portrayal of Christianity, I suggest you read the books written by C S Lewis, starting with ‘Mere Christianity.’ Your intellect will find his style much more to your taste and you will find C S Lewis’ take on the mystery religion that is Christianity a lot more fun to read than anything that I might have to say. You can sharpen your arguments in favour of Islam (if you choose to) when it is pitted against the intellect of someone like C S Lewis. You may read his books simply for the sake of acquiring a little more rational information on a religion which has over two billion followers in the world.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    VictoriaI will get back to you soon with the response to four lengthy posts you addressed to me.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    Many great saints have left us discourses of their journey to God -The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, The Ascent of Mt. Carmel by St. John of the Cross, The Interior Castle of St. Teresa of Avila to name a few. Francis, however, speaks to us by his life rather than by his writings, and his wholehearted, enthusiastic practicality is a challenge to us today as we search for meaning and fulfillment in our way to God. Francis did not live in a monastery but among ordinary men and women, and in that world, he sought and found his God. The search was often through dark ways and demanded often radical changes of direction but he sought and found his God through an incarnational approach – God was his loving Father and all he had was gift; Christ was his Brother and the Spirit of that love lived in him. So his approach was Trinitarian, not static. Again Francis was practical – the Crib, the Cross, the Eucharist were his way to God, and finally his relationship to the Triune God led to an intimacy and familiarity with all wonders of creation so that he could address them as Brother/Sister – all were members of the one family. So Francis did not speak about spirituality so much as he lived his prayer – as Celano (an early biographer of Francis) said “He became prayer” and in the intimacy of his relationship with God he would have his followers join him. “Hold back nothing of yourself for yourself, so that he who gives Himself totally to you may receive you totally.” St. Francis was born in the Italian town of Assisi, eighty miles north of Rome. Rich, likeable, daring, he was plainly headed for a life of adventure. Already in his teens he was a leader. He was usually good for a joke.Francis burned to be a knight, a brave and famous fellow pursuing adventure. But when he was nineteen, his career got off to a sour start. In one of the constant little wars between cities, his home town lost to neighboring Perugia. Francis spent the next year a cheerful prisoner of war, livening the days for his cell mates with song and story.The next winter he became very sick. As he lay on his back in pain and exhaustion, it occurred to him that his life was pretty silly and useless. But soon came another chance in the army, this time on a much grander scale. His father, a rich cloth merchant, outfitted him lavishly, the best horse, the finest sword, the richest silks.One night he had a dream. In his own home he saw not his father’s bolts of cloth, but the shining armor of knights. He heard a voice say “All this will belong to you and your warriors.”An attack of fever struck him again, when the journey was almost finished. Again the voice, “Where are you going” “To Apulia, to be a knight” he said. “Tell me, Francis, who can benefit you most, the Lord or the servant?” “The Lord,” Francis said. “Then why do you desert the Lord for the servant, The Prince for his slave?” Francis said, “Lord, what do you wish me to do?” “Go back home. There it shall be told you what you are to do. The vision must be understood in another way.” Francis went home.He spent the next year fighting for holiness. He would go with a friend to a cave outside the city and spend long hours trying to pray. There were no sweet visions. God was testing him, forging the steel. Only gradually would he learn to taste the sweetness of prayer.Trying to be like Christ, and seeing Christ in everyone led Francis to the poor. For if anyone needed kindness, and if anyone mirrored the life of Christ on earth, it was the poor. Francis had always been generous to them. But it was too easy to give an alms and go back to his comfortable home. He wanted to be one of them.He had his chance while visiting Rome. There was a crowd of beggars, loud, dirty, repulsive. He took one of them aside to a secret place, asked him to exchange clothing , and soon found himself clothed in rags, jostled in a crowd of starved and sweating bodies, his arms out stretched in humiliating beggary.And he loved it. Here is the central point of his life, and we must not miss it. Francis was not poor because he liked to be poor, but because Christ was poor. Because Christ said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” The followers of Christ needed to escape the lust or money and its power, so that they could be free to love God.Francis’ love for beggars and lepers was neither blind not sentimental. They were the brothers and sisters of Christ. Francis’ greatest desire was to show Christ… the human, loving, crucified Christ,to poor, ordinary people. In turn, he saw Christ in them.St. Francis is famous for his love of nature. For him, nature showed the footprints of God’s passing. A flower reflected his beauty, the sun was a shadow of his brightness, the mountains were the strength of his arm. The sunrise reminded his of the rising of Christ.The song of a bird, the scurry of a squirrel, the laughter of water, all were signs pointing to the fatherly presence and provident love of God. Nature lifted its unthinking prayer to God just by being what it was. How much more, then, should men and women, with minds to see and hearts to love, praise their Father?Francis was a troubadour of the love of God, not a preacher of fire and brimstone. His own “message” was simple: God has showered an unbelievable love on us, through Christ our Crucified Brother. We must send this love back through Christ, by loving His brothers and sisters. Francis of Assisi is not for everyone. Even many saints would not be comfortable with him. He appeals primarily to the heart. He would never be accused of being lukewarm, for he lived his life afire. Francis found God in the concrete. He led a life of radical devotion to God and to service of other people especially poor people. Typically, Francis attracts the common folk more than the scholar.Francis found his inspiration in the Gospels. More precisely, he found it in the stories in which Jesus walks among the people of the streets and talks with equal ease to children, tax collectors, lepers, foreigners, and Pharisees. Francis experienced the Good News enfleshed in poor people and in needy people, in fig trees and in mustard seeds, in sheep and in goats. In short, Francis practiced an incarnational, sacramental spirituality. As his followers, we are attempting to do the same. Francis wanted his followers to be in the marketplace, in the streets, and in the towns. Indeed, he wanted his followers to be in the thick of things, building bridges to God. The statement “For it is in giving that we receive”, from the Peace Prayer, could serve as a summary of Francis’ way of life. In the spirit of Francis, Franciscans are trying, in today’s work, to be bridge builders.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    VictoriaOn 18 April 2007 2:27 PM you wrote,Since December 2006, when I joined the WP On Faith discussion, you have mentioned several times that you were a Franciscan novitiate (novice) for many years. I referred to you as an ex-nun based on my knowledge of the formation of nuns from my aunt who was a novice mistress for many years in her convent. At least in her order, it takes only five years to become a junior nun – in the first year one is known as an aspirant (which is about trying out if one is suited to religious life or not), in the second year as a postulant (introduction to the preparation of life as a nun) and three years as a novice (the bulk of learning to be a nun is undertaken at this stage). The first vows (profession of commitment) as a nun is made at the end of that period and the novice is then known as a junior nun. The final vows (professional of final commitment) are made a few years after one has been a junior nun. So your claim that you were a novice for many years confused me and still does. For the purpose of discussion on faith related issues, it makes no difference whether you are an ex-nun or ex-novice of many years. The difference is no more than a couple who were legally married or merely lived in a de-facto relationship for many years. The point really is that you lived the life of a Catholic nun in training and service in a convent as a religious woman, groomed and shaped by the Franciscan spirituality, way of life and service to the poor for many years. You were not an ordinary lay Catholic as I am. That was the point I was trying to make. According to the personal information you have provided on this forum you became a Muslim by conviction eight years ago when you were around thirty eight years of age. Your life as a religious Catholic and your late conversion to Islam is significant for two reasons: your spirituality was shaped by Christianity for a long time, and now your zeal as a new convert to Islam should be understood in the context of your old zeal which made you want to join a convent and become a nun. I represent a belief system you rejected consciously, even though you followed it with a greater dedication than I did. This background knowledge is very relevant to the discussions between us.In order to understand the spiritual tradition that shaped your life, I looked up the Franciscan order and posted some details here. It is helpful for me to know in what way you are different from a lay Muslim who is born into the tradition in another culture.In what way am I supposed to have mischaracterised you or your intentions or your state of mind? I try to keep an open and critical mind while reading what you and others write and form my impressions based on them. It is a normal thing to do in a discussion. I respond to your comments sometimes, as I do with others, that is about all I do. I have disagreed as much with others as I might have done with you. As a believers one gets to read different views from atheists and agnostics about religion, as a Christian one gets to read different views from non-Christians, as a Catholic one gets to read different views from non-Catholics. It may not all be flattering. So what? No-one who cannot cope with disagreements or opposition should take the trouble to join a discussion board such as this, which is a place to thrash out different points of view. There are no winners and losers, all are winners because they get to learn more about the other. At least that is the way I see it.So please do not take personally when I try to highlight my beliefs as a Christian by conviction. I understand fully that you speak as a Muslim by conviction.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    HLI wish to emphasise as a Catholic, that the present Pope Benedict, extended his hand to Muslims officially and encouraged Christians and Muslims to focus on what we have in common, namely worship of the One God.Relevant selected verses from the Gospel of John (as mentioned in an earlier post) to your question if there is anything in the New Testament (including words of Jesus) for the Christian claim that Jesus is not a Prophet but the Son of God, and to understanding concept of Trinity:“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. “There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.“He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth… For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No-one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.” (John 1:1-14, 17, 18)“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him. Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father”? Don’t you believe that I am in my Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me who am doing His work. Believe in me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.” (John 14: 6-11)“If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father and the He will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth…All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things, and will remind you of everything I have said to you. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sess him nor knows him. But you know him for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me any more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live… Whoever has my” commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.”(John 14:15-21) “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I have called you friends for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you…This is my command: Love each other…Remember the words I spoke to you: No servant is greater than his master’. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also…When the Counsellor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth who goes out from the Father; He will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.” (John 15:9-17, 20, 26, 27)“But I tell you the truth: It is to your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counsellor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you…I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of Truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you…I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father…Then Jesus’ disciples said, ‘Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God…You believe at last! Jesus answered. ..I am not alone for my Father is with me. I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John16:7, 12-15, 28, 31, 33)“After Jesus said this, He looked towards heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come, Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted Him authority over all people that He might give eternal life to all those you have given Him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” (John 17:1-5)

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    VictoriaSince you have been dealing with many Muslim bashers all along and seem to handle it as no more than an opportunity to communicate with non-Muslims, no matter how harsh the Muslim bashers have been in their criticism of Islam, my statement above advising you not to take any criticsm about Islam personally was completely redundant.

  • hl

    I have but high regards for the late Pope John Paul II. He was a pioneer in interfaith dialogue and understanding; it is too bad the new pope is not as enthusiastic about seeking common grounds among the Abrahamic faiths like his predecessor was. Going back to the topic at hand; you did not provide conclusive and irrefutable evidence from the Christian scripture as to the effect of Jesus’ divinity. You show no explicit statement from the NT, even from the book of John, from the lips of Jesus claiming divinity and equality with God. Because extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, we would like to have a firm, convincing and strong proof to back such a claim behind the shadow of a doubt. Otherwise, you end up with a house of beliefs built on sand; and you know what happens to such a house like Jesus discussed in one of his teachings. To me, taking a person and equating him with God and worshiping him is tantamount to idolatry and a mortal sin, speaking in the language of a Catholic. I don’t need to tell you that YHWH is a Jealous god and strict when it comes to idolatry and setting other gods beside him. You started you defense of the trinity by quoting the prologue of the fourth Gospel. First of all, the prologue is the Christology of John, whoever John maybe, and not Jesus’ teaching. He, also, believes that Jesus came down from heaven. The author is entitled to his opinion and philosophy to define what the word Logos means to him. Philo, Gnostics and the Greeks tried to explain what that word means and everyone has his take on the subject; why would John’s perspective on the matter be any better that the rest. Also, the translation is of suspicious quality; I am going expand on that later on. We know from Genesis that God spoke creation into existence. He did not roll his sleeves up and started building the universe we see today. 2.116 They say: “God hath begotten a son” :Glory be to Him.-Nay, to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth: everything renders worship to Him. 117 To Him is due the primal origin of the heavens and the earth: When He decreeth a matter, He saith to it: “Be,” and it is.Also, the word “logos”, if I may go on the limb here and say is mentioned and discussed in one of its meanings in the Quran. Jesus is spoken of as a word given to Mary and a spirit from him. 4.171 O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of God aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of God, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in God and His messengers. Say not “Trinity” : desist: it will be better for you: for God is one god: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is God as a Disposer of affairs.You don’t see us, Muslims, claiming that Jesus is god because God said that Jesus was his word. So, the claim that Jesus is god based on that line of reasoning is faulty and absurd to say the least.You listed some verses form the book of John which you did not qualify with any explanation as to how they may used to prove you belief in the trinity. Rather, some verses prove the opposite to what you claim. Jesus was saying that he was sent by God, his words are not just his own, and that he obeyed God’s commandments like his disciples should. Jesus said:-Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own.(His disciples refer to him as Rabi, teacher and master. Are you telling me that his disciples did not know who he was and you do? Why didn’t they call him YHWH as he is known to them given that they were all Jews.)-“ Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Surely no one has brought him something to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work.”- Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?” – “Then Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine but his who sent me.”- Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing what Abraham did, but now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God.- So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own, but I speak these things as the Father instructed me.- “You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I”I am surprised you did not mention John 10:30 where Jesus was supposed to have said: “…The Father and I are one.” That verse is bought up to prove the trinity. They mean that the Father and Jesus are one like a sausage. The same people who do that forget about what Jesus said in chapter 17. John 17:20 “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one. As you, Father, 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.Here Jesus includes his disciples in the mix; so in effect, Jesus, the Father and the disciples are in each other and one. Jesus could have meant one in purpose not in numbers.

  • hl

    In the book of Mark Jesus had the perfect opportunity to teach the Jews the doctrine of the trinity but he did not. He just recited what they already knew and that is the Shema; which said:”Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One” (Shema Yisrael Adonai eloheinu Adonai ehad) Deuteronomy 6:4. Why didn’t Jesus set them straight so to speak and told them about the triune God and how he is one of the three godhead.Mark 10:28 One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’; 33 and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’ — this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that no one dared to ask him any question

  • hl

    Soja,Your references to the book of John are no coincidence. Everyone who needs to know anything about Christian theology is instructed to skip Matthew, Mark and Luke and go directly to John. The gospel of John differs from the synoptics in many substantial ways. It recounts stories about Jesus that do not appear in the other three. Its whole framework of Jesus’ ministry also differs substantially from the synoptics. In the synoptics, Jesus ministry begins only after John the Baptist was imprisoned (Mark 1:14; Matthew 4:12), John showed the two prophets preaching together (John 3:24). While the synoptics timetable of Jesus’ ministry can be fitted into a single year, John makes the ministry last for three years (for John said Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples thrice: John 2:13; 6:4; 11:55). The author of the book of John tried to liken Jesus’ ministry to the Torah reading. He knew that it takes three years to complete the reading of the entire Torah, so he saw it fitting to lengthen Jesus’ ministry to three years to add a side theme to his narrative about Jesus.According to all three synoptic Gospels, Jesus was crucified on the first day of Passover, or the 15th day of the Jewish month of Nissan. The author of the Book of John, however, wanting to liken Jesus to the Paschal Lamb to his readers completely contradicts the first three Gospels, and maintains that Jesus was crucified on the eve of Passover, or the 14th day of Nissan. It is for this reason that only in John’s Gospel does John the Baptist proclaim of Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God . . . .” (1:29, 36) In fact, of the four Gospels, only John ever equates Jesus with the Passover lamb. Because the Torah commands Israel to slaughter the Paschal lamb on the eve of Passover or on the 14th day of Nissan (Exodus 12:6), John’s Jesus is also “slaughtered” (i.e. crucified) on the eve of Passover or the 14th day of Nissan. To me, this kind of flagrant manipulation of events would only lead me to doubt the reliability of the accounts of Jesus’ sayings and proclamations as they are written in the book of John. The main location of Jesus’ ministry is given in the synoptics as Galilee. John placed Jerusalem as the principal location. According to John Jesus went to Jerusalem five times (John 2:13; 5:1; 7:10; 10:22; 12:1), while the synoptics only recorded one such trip of Jesus to Jerusalem. [Guignebert, Jesus: p27 Martin, New Testament Foundations I: p271]Even the figure of Jesus presented in John is different, and indeed irreconcilable, with that presented in the synoptics. The figure of Jesus presented in John does not even sound like a Jew as, indeed, historically he was. The Jewish scholar, Hyam Maccoby (b.1924) sums this up very nicely: In the synoptics’ account Jesus is still a recognizably Jewish figure, sparing in words and human and concrete in approach; in John, Jesus has become a Greek: voluble, full of abstractions, mystical. [Maccoby, Revolution in Judea: p245-246]Not only is Jesus presented in the gospel of John as a non-Jew, he is even recognizably anti-Jewish. In his debates with “the Jews” he called them the sons of the devil (John 8:43) and speaks of Jewish Law as “your Law” as though it wasn’t his. (John 8:17) [Wilson, Jesus:The Evidence: p42]His method of preaching is also different. Whereas in the synoptics he preaches in parables and in short compact sayings, in John the method is with long discourses. If one were to read the gospel of John only one would never guess that the parable was a common method in Jesus’ teaching (John 20:2-6 being a rare example) [Livingstone, Dictionary of the Christian Church: p275]In the synoptics we find that Jesus kept his messiahship a secret at the beginning only to reveal it after Peter’s confession at Caesarea Philippi (Mark 8:27-30; Matthew 16: 13-20; Luke 9:18-21) but in John his special status is made known almost from the beginning. [Martin, op. cit.: p280] In John, Jesus calls himself “The resurrection and the life”, “the bread of life” (John 6:35) and “the light of the world” (John 8:12). There is no such utterance attributed to Jesus in the synoptics. [Davidson & Leaney, Biblical criticism: p266]

  • Anonymous

    For some of the episodes in the synoptics that do appear in John, the chronological order in John is irreconcilable with that given in the synoptics. One example is an incident that is given in all four gospels: the Cleansing of the Temple (Mark 11:12-19; Matthew 21:12-13; Luke 19:45-48; John 2:12-22). The story involves an incident where Jesus tried to chase the merchants and money changes away from their stores outside the temple. The merchants actually serve a useful function for the Jewish temple worship. The Jewish Law specified that, in certain cases, a worshipper could bring an offering of doves (Leviticus 12:8; 14:22). The moneychangers provide Jewish pilgrims from foreign lands clean money for payment of the temple tax (Exodus 30:13ff). Jesus was, for some reason, angry with these merchants and called them robbers (Mark 11:17). John describes the subsequent happening:

  • hl

    Anecdotal note: Thus we find that the gospel of John deviates substantially from the synoptics. That he makes use of traditional material cannot be denied; but John did not faithfully transmit these traditions but used them to weave his own theology. Take for instance this saying of Jesus: John 8:12 I ask the reader to imagine himself present in this scene where the Jesus was uttering this statement about himself. The scene would be unbelievable, and the prophet will look like one on the verge of insanity. The sayings put into the mouth of Jesus by John are too unrealistic for it to have ever been uttered.

  • victoria

    soja, i dont know where you got your impression of my life- please stop telling me what my own lifes path has been. back on topic, you didnt address any of the posts i made- apparently HL is still waiting for the validation of the trinity theory- its alright, ive been around some pretty big brains who lapsed into the “mystery” argument. ps i still love the franciscans the church is pretty desperate for candidates for vocation i shopped arounda bit, although i lived with and adhered to franciscan tenets, i settled eventually on the carmelites as my intended destiny i guess it depends who your superiors are- i always considered franciscans kind of the hippies of the church- and i mean that in the kindest way possible- only for their sense of inclusiveness and non-judgmetal service- theres a big difference in their lives- one retreats from the outside world, the other embraces it- when i became muslim, my priest came repeatedly to my home to try and bring me back, the funny thing is he was born as a muslim- he was from nigeria- ( i knew several brothers from nigeria it seemed, by brothers i mean monks) people take vocations for many varied and different reasons as for my zeal, that extends into all aspects of my life- not just religion- i think living itself is an art, and any thing one does one has to give the full force of their concentration and energy zealots make me nervous

  • Pandeism Pundit

    All paths lead to the divine precisely because the divine is all that is! As pandeism explains, God created the Universe, but God also became the Universe; nothing can exist that is not a part of God and no part of God exists apart from the Universe. However, pandeism also teaches the simple truth that no amount of worship will have any effect on God; our moral duty is to one another, not the abstract force currently bound up in the ground upon which we tread. Consider pandeism, for at the end of the day it is finally the most rational possibility.