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Interfaith Dialogue
 IslamiCity Forum - Islamic Discussion Forum : Religion - Islam : Interfaith Dialogue
Message Icon Topic: Any Answers from Christians? Post Reply Post New Topic
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martha
 
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Quote martha Replybullet Posted: 27 July 2009 at 5:57am
Nastassia -'do not go after the speck in your brother's eye when you've got a plank in your own.'
 
LOL he, he.....I hadn't heard it put quite like that before. LOVE IT, lol. Must remember it
some of us are a lot like cement:- all mixed up and permanently set
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islamispeace
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Quote islamispeace Replybullet Posted: 28 July 2009 at 7:02pm
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First, let me apologize for the late response.  That's what happens when you get involved in more than one discussion simultaneously! 

Natassia: Look, everything you are describing to me about Allah's justice sounds like the point-of-view of what a human would think is justice. A human who is poor wouldn't think it fair to have to free two slaves for his heinous sin when his rich neighbor could afford to free 10 slaves. That is HUMAN thinking.

No, that is thinking that is both just and fair.  You can argue against it all you want but you yourself hold a premise which is based upon HUMAN thinking. 

Natassia: So, a human would think: since I don't believe that it is fair for me to have to pay such a huge price because it is too difficult for me, then a truly merciful God would let me off the hook with a tiny penalty. Sorry dude, but that's insane.

According to whom?  You?  Sorry miss, but I would be insane to accept your limited human vision!  Your entire premise is based upon nothing but your own view of the world, and you have the audacity to claim that it is actually God's view.  That's insane.

Natassia: Why is a message only complete if it gives humans a penal code? That's nuts. Penal codes need to evolve with societies and education and technology.

Because there is emphasis simply on man-made laws, and not those of God.  Do you think man-made laws can replace God's laws? 

Natassia: A complete message is one that gives humans the way to MORALITY. If a person is moral, then they can come up with a moral penal code for their society.

This is extremely vague.  What is morality?  Who decides what is moral and what is not moral?  If you going to go by man-made laws, then morality is going to be based upon an individual's whims.  For example, most western countries have some form of legalized abortion.  Now, I don't what your view is on this, but is an example of fluid morality.  Humans decided one day that to kill an infant is okay, despite the fact that God has made life sacred and the taking of innocent life is a major sin.  There is nothing more innocent than a baby.  This is one of the many bitter fruits of man-made laws.

Natassia: Does God send correspondences? That's the Holy Spirit. God has most definitely communicated with me and put words in my head.

Well, what do we have here?  Folks, we got a person who has communicated with God!  Clap 

Natassia: Man...Muslims and the Torah! There is criminal law and there is moral law in the Torah. Moral law states that adultery is a sin. Criminal law states how to determine guilt and then what punishment to apply. God's moral Law has always remained the same. Adultery has always been wrong, even before the Israelites had the Torah. God's moral Law applies to all humanity. The Torah applies only to the Jews. If you want to know about how they interpret and apply it, then speak to a Jew.

If you can't provide the correct interpretation, then don't quote it.  And once again, we see how you contradict yourself.  Why does God treat Jews differently than non-Jews?  And if adultery has always been wrong, explain why it is so tolerated in many societies, especially in the Western societies?  What else could we have expected if God decided that we should determine our own laws?

Natassia: The Israelites bound themselves in a covenant with God. They didn't have to, but they chose to. So, once they went into this "contract" with the Lord, they were bound by His Laws.


What?  My understanding was that God chose the Israelites.  You are making stuff up now. 

Natassia: The Laws were given to them to separate them from the surrounding pagan nations that participated in all sorts of immoralities. The reason why they were to be separated was because Israel was to be a light for all nations. They failed of course, as God always knew they would. However, the Messiah--brought forth out of Israel--did not fail and is a light unto the world.

Yeah, what about all the other nations in the world?  Did God forget about them? 

Natassia: If worshiping the Messiah is worse than committing adultery or murder, than God is not just.


In your little mind.  For sure, adultery and murder are major sins, but they can not be worse than worshiping others besides God.  Who told us that adultery and murder are wrong?  God!  So how does it sound to say that worshiping Baal or Hubal or Jesus is not that bad compared to adultery and murder? 

Natassia: Jews reject Jesus as a false prophet--therefore they will be judged according to their adherence to the Law. Can they still go to Heaven? If they have followed the Law perfectly. So, do you care to answer my question now?


You are pulling stuff out of nowhere.  What do you provide to support your contention?  What do you base this belief on?  Do you even regard the Bible as scripture?  I assume you are basing your belief on the Bible, but then how could you when the Bible is clear on the matter of salvation, especially if you accept the NT as well. 

To answer your question, the Jews who rejected Jesus as the Messiah and the prophet of God will be in Hell because they rejected God's chosen.  That is just as worse as not believing in God.  Moreover, they tried to have him killed.  Do you think that God will simply overlook this fact?  And again, why is He treating Jews different from Gentiles? 

Natassia: Okay, about monotheism vs. polytheism. First of all, I don't think God really cares what you call me. I certainly don't. In your eyes, my belief in the nature of God is polytheistic. In my eyes, I only believe in one God. Secondly, it's the FALSE gods and idols that God has a problem with. Jesus exists. Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus is the exalted servant of God. Jesus is the Word of God. Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus is in authority over me. So, if I believe in a triune nature of God, I seriously doubt an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent Creator is going to take exception to the way my brain works.


You are speaking for God.  God said very clearly that you shall gods before Him.  Jesus repeated that ad nauseum.  It sounds to me like you are trying to persuade yourself that what you believe is okay.  And Jesus has been turned into a idol.  People carry crosses with his image.  They put statues of him in their gardens.  They pray to him when they should pray to God, the one whom he prayed to.  People have turned him into a false god, against his wishes ironically. 

Natassia: And so Josephus is an anthropology expert? Please. Josephus wrote all sorts of stuff...some of which were blatantly biased and some of which were blatantly forged. If the Arabs want Ishmael as their father, so be it. It still provides no historicity for their claims about the Ka'aba.

Josephus is widely regarded as a trustworthy historian.  I am afraid your opinions don't hold much merit.  If you don't believe that the Arabs were the nation which sprang forth from Ishmael, then what nation did?  God did promise to Ishmael in the Bible that he would make a great nation from his offspring.  What nation was this?  It seems to me that the only people who resist the Ishmael-Arab link are Christians, like you.  Clearly, the Jews had no problem with that link.  Josephus confirmed this and the Book of Jubilees confirms this:

12. And Ishmael and his sons, and the sons of Keturah and their sons, went together and dwelt from Paran to the entering in of Babylon in all the land which is towards the East facing the desert. 13. And these mingled with each other, and their name was called Arabs, and Ishmaelites. (20:12-13)

The Book of Jubilees is dated to the 2nd century BC, which is even earlier than Josephus.  So, this means that the Ishmael-Arab link was known as early as 600-700 years before the advent of Islam.

Natassia: Do you have any idea what "tu quoque" means? It is a logical fallacy employed to avoid addressing the topic at hand. I brought up the topic that Islam incorporates paganism. In response, you pointed the finger at Christianity. Whether Christianity incorporates paganism or not, it does not negate the fact that Islam does. Please, research "logical fallacies" when you get a chance.

Tu quoque means "you too".  It is a fallacy by which a person claims that one's opponent has also made an erroneous or contradictory statement, but the fact remains that the person has not defended his/her position.  Your response to me what that I have a double-standard.  While this may or may not be true, you did not address the issue I had raised.  Instead, you said that I was guilty of double-standards.  Basically, you were saying "you believe the same thing with regard to Muhammad!"   

 

I responded to your assertion about Islam and paganism.  I didn't simply stop at saying that Christianity has been linked to paganism.  The point I was making was that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.  But, I did not simply stop there.  I addressed your assertion.  That is not a tu quoque.  You did not do the same when I made the claim about Jesus and Christianity. 

Natassia: Oh no...not the Baca = Ka'aba thing. ((shakes head)) Wow.

Oh, yes! 

Natassia: First of all, are you trying to say that this passage in Psalms is one of the "uncorrupted" ones?

LOLMan, I really know you Christians well!  I was expecting this sort of response.  The Quran does refer to the Psalms of David.  However, many of the Psalms we have today were not written by David.  So, can the complete version of Psalms we have today be considered as error-proof or divinely inspired?  Certainly not.  But, that does not mean that there is some truth in it.  The same goes for the rest of the Bible.

Natassia: If so, then that must mean Allah dwells INSIDE the Ka'aba...and there must be an altar within it where you are to make sacrifices. Secondly, the destination of the pilgrimage was to ZION...not Mecca/Makkah/Bakkah. Thirdly, it must also mean that people dwell INSIDE the Ka'aba. Does anyone dwell inside of it or do they just visit it?

Now is this your interpretation or that of the Jews?  The Kaaba is not literally the house of God, meaning that God actually dwells there.  It is understood to be a metaphor. 

The pilgrimage could not have been to Zion, or Jerusalem.  The "house" could not be the temple because it was not built by David's son, Solomon.  There was no temple there yet!  The psalm also talks about how the pilgrimage was perfomed in the valley of Baca, not in Zion

Natassia: Baca has been translated either as ‘weeping’ or ‘balsam trees’ (which grow in dry places). It could be a real place, in which case it was a valley through which the pilgrims passed during their journey. Alternatively, it could be figurative. In this interpretation, even the dry, arid places through which the pilgrims pass are brought alive by their expectant joy as they near their destination. In either case, their pilgrimage is clearly to Jerusalem, as evidenced by the rest of the psalm. Why on earth would Jews, living in Israel and on their way to Jerusalem, take a huge detour through Mecca?

Nice.  To "refute" me, you bring a quotation from a guy who is not even sure of what he is saying.  Baca "could be a real place" or it "could be figurative".  Convenient.  And as I said above, there was no "dwelling place" for God in Jerusalem because the temple had not been built yet. 

Natassia: (By the way, I never claimed that the Bible is the Word of God.)


Then why do you quote it as the word of God? 

Why are we even discussing all this then?  I agree that the Bible is not the word of God.   

But, then on what do you base your belief in God?  I am just curious.

Natassia: There are no prophesies in the Quran except the one about the Byzantines and Persians...and that one flopped since victory did not happen for 14 years...not the 9 as had been prophesied.

First, there were other prophecies.  More on that later.  Concerning the prophecy about the Byzantines and Persians, the verses (Ar-Rum, 1-3) predicted that the even though the Byzantines had been defeated (Damascus had fallen in 614, Jerusalem in 615), they would eventually defeat the Persians within "bida" years which means a few years (between 3-9 years).  This is true in that by 625, Heraclius had turned the tide against the Persians.  True, the war did not officially end until after 627, but that is not what the verses were talking about.  The first victory for the Byzantines came in 622 at the Battle of Issus, which would be 6 years after the verses were revealed (616).  This was the beginning of the Byzantine counteroffensive.  So, the verses were right.  The Byzantines did defeat the Persians.  By 622, the situation really appeared hopeless but Heraclius soon launched a series of attacks which completely took the Persians by surprise.  Regarding the campaign, Karen Armstong wrote:

"But recently the tide had turned in favour of Byzantium and in 625, the year of Uhud, Heraclius had driven the Persians back and begun to invade their own territory." (See Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet, p. 235)

So, by 625 (9 years after the verses were revealed), the Byzantines had gained the momentum and were advancing against the Persians.  The prophecy did come true.

Concerning the other prophecies, the Quran promised that the Muslims would enter Mecca again, and that they would also defeat the pagans.  All of this came true.

Natassia: The Quran says that Muhammad was just a warner when people asked him to perform miracles. So are you saying that now Muhammad was a miracle worker? That's odd. Which was it? Did he just bring a warning or did he work miracles to help convince people of his prophethood? If that is the case, then why didn't he work miracles for the pagans?

Like I have said, do not give me lessons on the Quran.  It does not say that Muhammad could not perform miracles.  It even mentions one: the splitting of the moon. 

Natassia: Original = first. So, the first sin was committed by Adam and Eve. Fine. They are the ones who brought the Knowledge of Good and of Evil to the rest of humanity. They learned the laws of morality and sin--the laws that condemn humans for their wickedness. When the law is in place, there are penalties for when it is broken. They chose the knowledge of the Law...a Law we, for some reason, can't seem to keep.

You are reinterpreting the concept.  Original sin is the belief that Adam and Eve brought sin into the world and that all of us were "tainted" by it.  We inherited sin and are thus "born" sinful. 

Natassia: Crucifixion comes into the picture because we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. I have sinned...many times. The price for my sin is death...eternal destruction. I'm not talking about death of the physical body. I'm talking--no more soul--the cessation of existence for all eternity.


How is that a "penalty"?  This is actually what atheists would believe.  They figure that they will not be raised up and will simply decompose and that will be the end of it.  It is actually one reason to keep sinning, because there is no danger of being punished for it.  I am sure atheists would find your views appealing. 


Natassia: And regarding Sodom, are you trying to say that there were no infants or toddlers? And I thought that in Islam, only children who had hit puberty were held accountable for sins. So are you saying that the city of Sodom hadn't propogated in, oh let's say--10 years?!


The Sodomites were engaging in homosexuality, among other sins.  So, unless they had in vitro fertilization, they could not have children.  And even if they did, I have already pointed out that God's actions cannot be compared to the actions of humans.  What God does should not be of concern to you.


Natassia: What is my explanation for the slaughter of innocents? A couple of possibilities: 1) God had the foreknowledge that every single one of those children was going to be a sexually immoral, violent, idol-worshipper. (Doesn't this remind you about the story of Musa, Allah's servant, and the boy he killed?) 2) The Israelites used God as validation for the slaughter when He in fact never commanded them to partake in it.


I would say that it was the latter.  Another possibility is that the stories are simply made up, written hundreds of years after the fact. 


Natassia: Here's the thing...the Israelites never did wipe out all those people. Those tribes rose up later to fight them again. So obviously, IF God had commanded them to slaughter all of them, the Israelites disobeyed and it ended up costing them dearly later.


It sounds like you are now trying to justify the slaughter.


What difference does it make that they were not all destroyed?  Is several thousand not enough for you?  I don't think God would issue such orders.  If those people were sinful, He would have handled them Himself.


Natassia: We stand condemned in our sins. And if we die in our sins, we do not have eternal life. Christ chose to pay a gruesome price in fulfillment of the Law so that we may have eternal life. If you refuse to accept his payment on your behalf, than you will be judged according to everything you've done. And if you have broken the Law, it doesn't matter how many good deeds you've done--you are still a sinner.


But, you just said above that the price of sin is complete nonexistence.  Which is it?  How will we be judged?  What penalty will we be given?


Natassia: Killing can be justified by the law. Death is not an evil thing. MURDER is an evil thing. To kill someone breaking into your home to rape your wife is not wrong. Your act is justified in the eyes of God's Law because you love your wife and you seek to protect her.


I am not disagreeing with you.  I am saying that some people do regard any type of killing to be unjust.  This supports my contention that there is no universal charter on justice.  If God left it up to humans to decide, this is the result; a plethora of divergent and contradictory views.  That is the folly of man-made laws.  God's laws are perfect and for all times.


Natassia: Fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets...that's in Matthew 5, I believe. To go into all of that now is going to take forever. Perhaps start another post on it later?


Sure, no problem. 


Natassia: So, what is "salvation" in Islam? What is it salvation from? What is the point of it? So, sin doesn't condemn you to hell? What does?


Salvation is achieving closeness to God by submitting to Him.  As a result, He rewards us with Paradise, which not only is full of eternal bliss and pleasure but what I feel is the greates reward, that of seeing the Lord.  He will reveal Himself to the inhabitants of Paradise, and they will look upon Him in all His glory.  The point of it?  To get close to our Lord. 


There are variations of sin.  What condemns one to eternal Hell is one particular sin, the sin of shirk.  Other sins, like murder of adultery, may lead one to a temporary Hell, but only if one was a believer in the first place. 


Natassia: Sin did not come into the world because of Adam and Eve. Knowledge of it did. And it is the knowledge of what is evil and doing it anyway that condemns us.


How does simply having "knowledge" of evil condemn us?  I know how a rape occurs, but I have never actually done it.  How am I condemned?  Because I have the ability to do it?  And Adam and Eve committed a particular sin.  They ate from the tree and listened to Satan, in effect disobeying God.  How did that lead to "knowledge" of rape, murder etc?


Natassia: Are you saying that there could be perfect, blameless human beings walking around today? Are you saying that all of us are capable of being perfect but it is the fault of our environment and satan that we are not?


No, I was questioning your claim that we were created perfect.  We cannot be perfect.  God told Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree and not to listen to Satan's deceptions.  Obviously, He knew they were vulnerable to Satan's whispers.  There is a difference between being born "perfect" and being born "sinless".  Islam teaches that we are all born sinless, with a clean slate but that we are vulnerable to sin, because of environment and Satan's whispers.


Natassia: Throughout the Tanakh, God says: Be holy for I am holy.

New Testament: Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.

I thought you didn't regard the Bible as the word of God?  In any case, this would be asking humans to be like God, which is impossible (not to mention a tad blasphemous), and God would never ask us to do that.  Can you provide specific references, please?

Natassia: If God did not create us with sin, then He can demand holiness from us.

No, because He created us with free-will.  He can demand holiness (do you mean perfection?) from the angels because they have no free-will.  

Natassia: (By the way, I love the Apostle Paul.)

He contradicts you in many ways and vice-versa. 

And I love the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Natassia: You know, the hypocrisy of the early Muslims is amazing. They had no problem executing poets for speaking out against Muhammad. They had no problem killing pagan merchants and stealing their wares. They had no problem executing hundreds of men and boys for the "crimes" of a few. They had no problem threatening violence on Christians and Jews if they did not convert or pay the Jizyah tax...and when one of their own is killed in another nation, they go attack. Amazing.

Open a new thread.  We can discuss this.  Just a quick thought on the poets.  If a man goes to the enemy while hostilities are still active and while his group is in a treaty with the Muslims, that man is a traitor and enemy and should be treated as such, especially if his actions led to the killings of innocent people. 

Natassia: And are you saying that the perfect words of Allah rely on the imperfect words of humans to provide it with proper context?

What are you referring to?

Natassia: Muhammad didn't escape the clutches of the poisoned meat. He suffered illness for a good three years before dying in his sixties.

Hmm, begging the question.  What proof do you have?  What kind of poison takes three years to kill?  Show me proof that Muhammad suffered for three years from the same illness.  Why did he survive for three years and another person who ate the meat die almost instantly? 

Natassia: Muhammad did not tell the truth about the Judeo-Christian stories. They are distorted in the Quran...not to mention his incorporation of Gnostic stories...

More unproven assertions.  Can you prove that the Gnostic teachings were circulating in Arabia?  Why is it that there was no hint of any Gnostic texts until the discovery of the Nag Hammadi library?  The Judeo-Christian stories were the ones which embellished the truth.  The Quran came to correct those embellishments. 

Natassia: When Christians are violent, they violate the commands in their scriptures. (Matt. 7:12)

When Muslims are violent, they are upholding the commands in their scriptures. (9:5, 9:29)

Perhaps you can explain why Christian soldiers will bring the unbelievers before Jesus and slay them.  The parable is widely understood as referring to Jesus' bloody second coming. 

For the fifth (or sixth?) time now, do not give me lessons on the Quran.  And when you try to quote it, do so in context.  Read verses 1-4 and 6-7 to get the full picture. 

Natassia: The Spirit of God is a different "person" than the Son of God just as they both are different persons than God the Father. But they are all one God.

Riiiight...Do they have different personalities?  Are they equal to one another?  

Natassia: SALVATION IN ISLAM IS CONTINGENT ON BELIEF IN MUHAMMAD. End of story.

You can write in caps all you want.  It will not change anything.  Its just an appeal to emotion. 

Natassia: The Pericope of Adultera...are you saying that a Holy Spirit-inspired believer could not have included the story to teach a moral lesson? Good grief, the gospels are about Christ's ministry and teachings and the gospel. If you can retain a godly moral lesson from a "fabricated" story...what does it hurt? It's about morality and salvation...not about having a perfect set of documents to follow. How is that story heretical or blasphemous? It follows right along with the teaching of Christ: do not go after the speck in your brother's eye when you've got a plank in your own.

Prove to me that the person was "Holy Spirit-inspired".  Who was inspired or who was not?  If they were inspired, why did they make so many errors whether in copying or editing? 

So, now you are defending the intentional corruption of God's word?  That is amazing.  If the lesson was so important, why didn't Jesus actually say something?  He could have just said "let he who is without sin yada-yada" instead of waiting a couple of hundred years for a "Holy Spirit-inspired" scribe to come along and make up a story.   

I forgot to ask.  What happened to the man in the story? 

Natassia: Absolute morality: What is good has always been good. What is evil has always been evil.  So, is morality in Islam absolute?  If something is wrong and evil today, was it wrong and evil 1400 years ago?

Yes.  But Islam is a practical religion.  For instance, lying is considered a major sin.  However, there are instances where lying is permitted.  Consider if a German family was hiding Jews from the Nazis.  When the Gestapo knocked on their door and asked if they were hiding any Jews, would you expect the people to say "well, we can't tell a lie because it is a sin.  Yes, they are hiding in the cellar"?  I think because of the practicality of Islam, it is more akin to moral universalism.  Another example: eating pork or blood is forbidden and always has been.  But, if a person is starving and has no other options to survive, it is not considered a sin to eat the forbidden foods. 

Natassia: Humans are physically not like God.

Ameen.

Natassia: However, we are spiritual beings and God is spirit. That is why the scriptures say we have been made in the image of God.

So, do you consider it scripture or not?  Is the Bible the word of God or not?  If we were made in the image of God, would we not all look the same?  What about the whole male and female thing?


Say: "Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds. (Surat al-Anaam: 162)

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Natassia
 
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Quote Natassia Replybullet Posted: 28 July 2009 at 11:06pm
@ islamispeace
 

Justice = This is the law, this is the punishment for it.  Period.

Not, this is the law, this is the punishment for it if you are rich, and this is the punishment for it if you are poor.

Not, this is the law only if you are female.

There is no logic behind that. Where's the LOGIC?

"A woman has a different law to follow."

Why?

"Because the law applies differently to women."

Circular reasoning.

You can try to justify it with:

1. Because women are deficient in religion.

2. Because women are deficient in intelligence.

3. Because women are dependent on men financially as well as for protection.

But these are all disproven by the woman who has never had a period, who has one of the highest IQs in the world, is financially dependent on no one because she earns a 7-figure salary, and protects herself by being an expert Judo fighter and carrying a concealed handgun.

So the only excuse you have left is...you guessed it: Allah knows best. Wow...and on to the illogical statement of: This is the law because Allah said it is, and it is perfect justice because it comes from Allah. If that is the case, then what is justice in America? Is it evil when we afford women equal rights and equal justice? It must be evil if it goes against the laws of Allah.

Do you really think God's timeless, never-ending laws should have instructions for how you should visit Muhammad? What is that? Obviously you have to use human logic to determine that this divine law no longer applies since Muhammad is dead.

God's Law is about MORALITY...not about determining crime and punishment. Where in the Quran does it say that it is against the law to speed on the highway? Yeah, God didn't think about that, did he? Where in the Quran does it mention DNA testing to determine paternity? It doesn't. In fact, Muhammad said that the child born in a marriage is automatically the product of that marriage if there were no witnesses to adultery. Nevermind that the milkman could have stolen a quickie one morning.

I have communicated with God. Is that so outrageous? When I pray, I communicate with Him. When He comforts me, He communicates with me. When He convicts me regarding a conflict in my life, He communicates with me. I have an interactive relationship with my God. Isn't that the way it should be?

What do you mean "not providing the correct interpretation"? What is the correct one? I'm not a Jew, therefore the application of Jewish criminal law has nothing to do with me. Please research the Noahide laws...there was nothing in there about punishment. Just morality. Any Jew will tell you that THOSE are the ones that apply to Gentiles (according to Judaism, anyway), not the Torah. However, the Torah does reiterate them.

Why does God treat Jews differently? Because He had a specific purpose for them. He chose the Israelites, but they had to agree to the covenant. And they did. They gave a verbal agreement. Haven't you read the Torah?

You made an interesting point, and I'm going to hold you to it:

You wrote: In your little mind. For sure, adultery and murder are major sins, but they can not be worse than worshiping others besides God. Who told us that adultery and murder are wrong? God! So how does it sound to say that worshiping Baal or Hubal or Jesus is not that bad compared to adultery and murder?

So, what we have here is your agreement that it is the Law which defines what God we are following. If a god tells us that it is okay to commit adultery, then we can rule it out as a false god, right? If we have a god telling you to commit murder, then we can rule it out as a false god, right?

So, now we have to define what is "adultery" and what is "murder." Care to do that for me?

Rejecting God's chosen is simply an expected response by someone who has rejected God. If you truly KNOW God, then you will KNOW His chosen. I agree with your similar statements. However, even in the Old Testament, it is your transgressions that condemn you to hell.

As heat and drought snatch away the melted snow, so Sheol snatches away those who have sinned. (Job 24:19)

Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to Sheol, for evil finds lodging among them. (Psalm 55:15)

The Jews are just as cursed as the Gentiles are. By breaking one law, they become sinners and no better than anyone else. (Deuteronomy 27:26)  Like I've said elsewhere in this forum: The Jews were chosen for a specific purpose: the Messiah.

I think of it like this: If I want to eventually bring forth a perfectly white dog out of a pack of currently white dogs, am I going to want them to mix with the brown, tan, black, yellow, red, etc. dogs? No. God has set certain laws in place: both physical and spiritual, and I think He prefers to do things according to the rules. If He didn't, then He'd never let a hurricane devastate a country to the point that innocent babies and children were killed.  God made Israel holy so that the Messiah would also be holy.

Regarding: false gods....I don't have any. I haven't created any for myself. I worship ONE God and all that He is. I worship His "right hand." I worship His Word. I worship His Spirit. If you want to turn those into three gods, well then you are playing semantics and that petty stuff doesn't mean much to me.  All three "gods" (as you call them) are defined by the same Laws.

By the way, do you know when the Book of Jubilees was written? There's a reason Jews don't consider it part of their canon of scripture. There's a reason Christians don't either. Anyone can write stories to embellish on older ones--which is what the Book of Jubilees is--it is an embellishment....kind of like the Gospel of Barnabas. It's not even in the Greek Septuagint. So what Josephus did was quote a 2nd century BC book to validate his beliefs about the Arabs which he likely formulated based on their behavior and how it coincides with the description of Ishmael in Genesis. Again, Josephus was not an anthropologist, and the book of Jubilees was written thousands of years after Abraham.

Christianity does not incorporate paganism. Now, if human beings have chosen to create their own religion around Christ like Roman Catholicism and incorporate pagan traditions, then that is another story. However, you cannot prove that Christianity ITSELF incorporates paganism. Please, find where in the scriptures it tells Christians to do anything remotely "pagan" (as in, man-made and wicked)?

Regarding Psalms and the Ka'aba: Obviously you don't know Judaism, and you are not familiar with the Tanakh. God LITERALLY dwelled in the Temple. His glory was contained in the Ark of the Covenant. His presence was separated from the people by a heavy curtain. So, the verse about God dwelling within His house is NOT a metaphor--not by Jewish or Christian interpretation. Only Muslims interpret it that way.

If God dwells in His house, and the Ka'aba is His house, then God must dwell in the Ka'aba. If He doesn't, then your entire premise of this passage being about Mecca is false.

And regarding the argument about the temple having not been built: you never heard of the "Tent of Meeting"?

Look, either this passage is metaphorical or it is not. If it is metaphorical, then you can't prove it is about Mecca at all simply on the basis of a similarity in names. That's insane. How many people named "Immanuel" could then look at Isaiah and claim that it is about them? If it is literal, then you can't prove it is about Mecca because Zion has never been in Arabia. You are working backwords.

First, you claim that Mecca is the holy land, and the Ka'aba is the metaphorical house of Allah. Then, you look into the Jewish scriptures and pick out a passage that speaks of a valley named after "weeping" or "balsam trees." Because the name in HEBREW is similar to an ARABIC name, you've determined that it must be about Mecca. Anything else in the passage that would refute such a claim is denounced as fabricated.

Wow. That's like a scientist looking at a dog and a cat and determining that because they both have four legs and fur, then they must also have the same ancestor.

"Why do I quote the Bible as the word of God?" When have I done such a thing? You've asked me about Christian theology. Christian theology is based on the Bible, therefore I quote the Bible. There is a lot of wisdom to be found within those scriptures...and a basic "game plan" that makes a whole lot of sense to me. They also confirm what God has been putting upon my heart. So, whether they are the verbatim words of God (which I deny) or the words of men inspired by their belief in God (which I affirm)...the end result is the same.

My belief in God is based upon my personal, spiritual experiences in life. I know God exists because of what He has done for me in my life. It was He who directed me to particular passages in the Bible and instilled upon my heart the truth of them. Do I tell people that they must believe the way that I do? No. I can only give my testimony and leave the rest up to God. It was through God that I found Christ, and it was through Christ that I found healing, rest, and salvation.

Regarding the Byzantine/Persian "prophecy":  Since when did "turn the tide" mean victory? When DEFEAT occurs, it is after the tide has been turned and the enemy is DEFEATED....not still fighting.

The problem with the so-called prophesies that you mention, like conquering Mecca, is that there as always only two possible outcomes. Muhammad set his sights on Mecca. He amassed a large following and commanded fighters. He told them, "We will have Mecca again." He had already decided that he was going to make war on the pagans there. So, either the Muslims would lose and the "prophecy" would go unfulfilled, or the Muslims would win and the "prophecy" would be fulfilled. What Muhammad was telling his men was no more than military propaganda to raise morale. That's not a prophecy. If I know that I am going to take a test tomorrow, I can prophesy that I will pass. If I pass the test the next day, does that make me a prophet?

So, are you telling me that MUHAMMAD split the moon? Did he really SPLIT it?

There is no set definition for "original sin." Catholics believe one thing, Protestants another...orthodox, something else... ((shrug)) So, stop telling me that I have the wrong definition when there are multiple ones and the term is not even in the scriptures to begin with.

A sinful soul gets the death penalty...the ultimate punishment. (Unless, of course, you are a fan of torture. However, humans are the creators of torture. God is not a God of torture.)

Are you now telling me that ALL of the Sodomites were 100% homosexual? At some point, every single member of that city stopped having sex with the opposite sex?! Okay, let's think about that for a minute.

Let's say the city was first created by 100 individuals: 50 men, 50 women. They populated the city with children. The city grew and expanded (because that's what happens when humans propogate.) Then one day, everyone turned gay. Everyone. The teenagers, their parents, and their grandparents. No more propogation.

Wow. That's one helluva story.

Or do you think that a large group of homosexuals from a pagan nation all got together and decided to make Sodom a home for themselves and then God decided to wipe them out a few years later?

Regarding the slaughter of innocents: Am I trying to justify it? No. I'm just looking at it from a simplistic, cause-and-effect point-of-view and 20/20 hindsight. If you knew that your next-door neighbor's baby was going to grow up to kidnap, rape, torture, and murder your daughter...would you kill him before that happened?

See, here you said: "If they were sinful, God would have handled them Himself."

Well, with one sentence you have completely undermined shariah law. Congratulations.

Here's how it works: Physical life-->death-->the grave (Sheol/Hades)-->judgment-->eternal destruction. This eternal destruction is also where the grave and death itself are destroyed forever.

Okay, I understand the salvation by being close to God. I get that. It's this whole submitting part. I submit to God in my life. I pray that His will be done and that I live my life according to His will. I do my utmost to keep His commandments:

Do unto others as I would have them do to me.

Love the Lord my God with all my heart, and all my soul, and all my mind.

Love my neighbor as myself.

Honor my father and my mother.

Do not steal.

Do not bear false witness.

Do not commit adultery.

Do not murder.

However, Muslims believe that in order to submit to God, they must submit to the Sunnah of Muhammad. That's where I get tripped up. Muhammad's Sunnah = the will of Allah. Muhammad's way of life becomes divine...which must mean that Muhammad was divine. If he wasn't, then the Sunnah is imperfect...since only God is perfect, right? And if the Sunnah is imperfect, then the will of Allah is imperfect.

So, worshiping Jesus as my Lord and Savior makes me a worse sinner in the eyes of Allah than the serial rapist who believes in Allah and that Muhammad is his messenger? Dude. My brain, heart, nor soul can wrap around that.

How does knowledge convict us of sin? Think about it. If you know in your heart that torturing that young woman over there is wrong because it would cause her pain, and you know that you wouldn't like it if someone did that to you...well, then if you decide to torture her anyway, you've sinned. It doesn't take a written code to tell you that rape is wrong. However, if you have no concept of empathy or logic (like an animal, for example) then you cannot sin because what you are doing is instinctual and primitive. Except for perhaps the severely mentally retarded and very young children, all humans are instilled with the ability to empathize.

What Adam and Eve did was to disobey God. Disobeying God is a sin. He said, do not eat of that tree. They knew they shouldn't do that, but they did it anyway. When they ate of the tree, that is when they realized their sin of disobedience. Now all of us humans have the ability to know when we have done something wrong. Our own hearts will convict us of it. We can try to justify things in our minds (which is what Adam and Eve tried to do), but deep down we will always know that what we did was wrong.

You wrote: No, I was questioning your claim that we were created perfect. We cannot be perfect. God told Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree and not to listen to Satan's deceptions. Obviously, He knew they were vulnerable to Satan's whispers. There is a difference between being born "perfect" and being born "sinless". Islam teaches that we are all born sinless, with a clean slate but that we are vulnerable to sin, because of environment and Satan's whispers.

We are playing semantics with this word "perfect." So, I will drop this point since I think our definitions are different. What you have just told me is that God made Adam and Eve in such a way that would leave them vulnerable, and then He planted a tree, and then He allowed Satan to tempt them....all for what? Why make creatures vulnerable to an environment and a Satan He created only to torment them forever if they prove themselves vulnerable to the sin of idolatry?

The Bible is the words of men inspired by their belief in God and their interactions with Him. All of them agreed on the fact that God wants His people to be holy. That's something I can trust because God is holy, and it makes sense that we need to be holy if we want to be in His presence.

I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.....therefore be holy, because I am holy. (Leviticus 11:44-45)

Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy. (Leviticus 19:2)

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)

Just to name a few.

How can Paul contradict me? He came first. I can only contradict him. Have I contradicted him? ((shrug)) It's quite possible. I do wish you could provide a specific example though.

How did poetry lead to the killing of people? Obviously there must have been some truth to it if it stirred up the anger of the pagans. Look, I hear bad poetry, songs, books, speeches, etc. all the time. Does that mean I'm going to take a shotgun and go kill people? No. And if I did, should that poet be executed for my crimes?

What kind of poison takes three years to kill? Oh, any. A drug might not kill you but it can cause kidney, liver, and or heart damage that will kill you within a matter of a few years. Who said that the poison was spread throughout the meat evenly? Maybe his buddy got a huge amount of it and Muhammad only got a trace. Who knows. However, Muhammad himself admitted that it was the poison that was killing him. Or was he wrong?

I wonder if you have every heard of the Arabic Infancy Gospel? It originated in the 6th century. The Gnostic Gospels were circulating the Roman Empire by the late 2nd century. Would it be so hard to believe that such stories circulated to Syria and even Arabia by the 7th century? Let's not work backwards here.

You begged the question again. You said that the Quran came to correct the Judeo-Christian stories. If that's the case, what does that make the Gnostic Gospels and apocryphal writings that came after them? You are having to assume that the Judeo-Christian stories were corrupted, but the Gnostic Gospels somehow became less corrupted despite the fact that they were based on Hellenism and were not sanctioned by Christ's earliest followers.

I'm glad you brought up that parable in Luke. I am hoping you could break it down for me logically, verse-by-verse, and explain your interpretation. Let's start by assigning real people for the metaphorical characters and we can go from there.

I have read all of surah 9. I can logically prove to you that 9:5 is not about self-defense. It is about aggressive warfare taken out on people who are not currently attacking Muslims.

Do the "persons" of God have different personalities? They have different purposes and manifestations. Are they equal? Define equal (since Muslims have a funny way of looking at that word. They say men and women are equal--they're just different.)

What is it with this "corruption" word? I can't read anything written by a Muslim about Christianity or Judaism without seeing that word being thrown around. What do you mean by corruption? Do you mean that evil is interjected into something good? I mean, that's always what I've taken the word to mean. If I download a virus onto my computer, I've corrupted the system software. If I bribe a judge to give me a not-guilty verdict, I've corrupted the judicial system. So, care to explain this "corruption" word for me so that I don't misunderstand your meaning?

Jesus did make an important lesson which was reiterated by the adulteress story. See Matthew 7:1-5. Besides, have you really examined that story? Didn't you realize what was going on in it? If you read the Torah, you would know that the adulteress AND the adulterer are to be stoned by the community. If you recall, there's no mention of an adulterer in that story. So, it looks to me like they were breaking the law of the Torah, not to mention undermining the authority of the Romans.

The law says to not bear false witness against your neighbor. In other words, you cannot tell a falsehood that could potentially hurt someone. Would you agree that this is the same in Islam?

You wrote: So, do you consider it scripture or not? Is the Bible the word of God or not? If we were made in the image of God, would we not all look the same? What about the whole male and female thing?

The scriptures are what they are. Unfortunately, we humans try to make them out to be more, or sometimes less, than what they are. However, this is yet another concept (like the be holy one) that is reiterated throughout the scriptures.

I thought we both agreed that humans are physically not like God. We are in His image spiritually. However, let's not forget what an image is. An image is a likeness, but it is not the real thing. We are a shadow of what we potentially can be.

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Hayfa
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Quote Hayfa Replybullet Posted: 29 July 2009 at 4:34am
we could have separate threads for all the different aspects... history, spirituality,  etc etc. 
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. Rumi
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Quote islamispeace Replybullet Posted: 03 August 2009 at 7:24pm
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Natassia: Not, this is the law, this is the punishment for it if you are rich, and this is the punishment for it if you are poor.

Not, this is the law only if you are female.

Once again, you are making up your own rules and trying to establish that "justice" has some universal definition, when in reality, it is defined by culture and society.  Justice that does not allow for people to atone within their means is not only unjust, it is unfair.  God is both just and fair.  Stop making up your own rules.

Natassia: There is no logic behind that. Where's the LOGIC?"A woman has a different law to follow."Why?"Because the law applies differently to women."Circular reasoning.You can try to justify it with:

1. Because women are deficient in religion.2. Because women are deficient in intelligence.3. Because women are dependent on men financially as well as for protection.

But these are all disproven by the woman who has never had a period, who has one of the highest IQs in the world, is financially dependent on no one because she earns a 7-figure salary, and protects herself by being an expert Judo fighter and carrying a concealed handgun."

I have absolutely no idea what you are rambling about!  Who's talking about women?  You are going off on tangents.  Quite typical.

Natassia: God's Law is about MORALITY...not about determining crime and punishment. Where in the Quran does it say that it is against the law to speed on the highway? Yeah, God didn't think about that, did he? Where in the Quran does it mention DNA testing to determine paternity? It doesn't.

You are just getting silly.  There is such a thing as Islamic Jurisprudence.  Its called Fiqh.  Is driving too fast a bad thing in Islam?  Yes.  Is it literally written in the Quran?  No, it doesn’t have to be.  The Quran says that we should not do things which can bring harm to ourselves and to others.  That is why the scholars of Islam have considered speeding to be a bad thing which should be avoided.  To say that it literally should say “you shouldn’t speed” is not only foolish, it is downright dumb.    

In fact, Muhammad said that the child born in a marriage is automatically the product of that marriage if there were no witnesses to adultery. Nevermind that the milkman could have stolen a quickie one morning.

Most Islamic scholars agree that DNA testing can be used as supportive evidence.  Therefore, there is nothing in the Islamic texts which suggest that any worthwhile method which can ascertain the truth in a criminal investigation, besides eyewitness testimony, is not allowed. 

Natassia: I have communicated with God. Is that so outrageous? When I pray, I communicate with Him. When He comforts me, He communicates with me. When He convicts me regarding a conflict in my life, He communicates with me. I have an interactive relationship with my God. Isn't that the way it should be? 

You said that God put words in your head.  The question is how do you know that?  You are essentially claiming the same thing claimed by Moses, Jesus and Muhammad and indeed all the prophets.  People asked for proofs from them.  I am asking for proof from you.  Has God literally talked to you?  Has He said to you “Natassia, say this and do that”?  Christians always make vague claims like “I have a personal relationship with God.”  But, these are just empty words based upon several assumptions.  What does this “personal relationship” entail?   

Natassia: Why does God treat Jews differently? Because He had a specific purpose for them. He chose the Israelites, but they had to agree to the covenant. And they did. They gave a verbal agreement. Haven't you read the Torah?

Well, of course they agreed.  You try saying no to God.  The question is why God chose one particular race above all others.  Concerning the Noahide Laws, were other far-away races made aware of these laws?  Were pagan nations in Europe made aware of these laws?  Were people living the in undiscovered regions of the world made aware of these laws?  If not, how were they supposed to follow them? 

Natassia: So, what we have here is your agreement that it is the Law which defines what God we are following. If a god tells us that it is okay to commit adultery, then we can rule it out as a false god, right? If we have a god telling you to commit murder, then we can rule it out as a false god, right? So, now we have to define what is "adultery" and what is "murder." Care to do that for me?

Adultery, as defined in Islam, is having sexual intercourse with someone who is not one’s spouse or concubine (of course, concubines were only acquired in war against enemy nations).  This definition is also present in the Bible.  Murder is killing someone for reasons other than for crimes committed, or during a war etc. 

Natassia: I think of it like this: If I want to eventually bring forth a perfectly white dog out of a pack of currently white dogs, am I going to want them to mix with the brown, tan, black, yellow, red, etc. dogs? No. God has set certain laws in place: both physical and spiritual, and I think He prefers to do things according to the rules. If He didn't, then He'd never let a hurricane devastate a country to the point that innocent babies and children were killed.  God made Israel holy so that the Messiah would also be holy.

Why not?  What is so wrong with the brown, tan, black, yellow, red etc. dogs?  Just because the Messiah was supposed to be from among the Israelites, that means that God chooses only the Israelites, while forsaking the rest of humanity?  Why couldn’t it be both?  Why not prepare the whole world for the Messiah, instead of waiting for several thousand years and then deciding to send him, even then only initially to the Jews, when most of the world had not even heard of him? 

Natassia: Regarding: false gods....I don't have any. I haven't created any for myself. I worship ONE God and all that He is. I worship His "right hand." I worship His Word. I worship His Spirit. If you want to turn those into three gods, well then you are playing semantics and that petty stuff doesn't mean much to me.  All three "gods" (as you call them) are defined by the same Laws.

I respect you opinion.  My opinion is that you do have false gods.  They are Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  You worship God’s “right hand”?  What about His “left hand”? 

Natassia: By the way, do you know when the Book of Jubilees was written?

Didn’t I say it was written in the 2nd Century BC?

Natassia: There's a reason Jews don't consider it part of their canon of scripture. There's a reason Christians don't either.

Do you think it was rejected because it mentioned something about the Arabs being linked to Ishmael?  Are you that naïve?  By the way, Jubilees is in the official canon of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.  You would have known that if you had done some research.  Another erroneous assumption on your part is that since the book is not considered as “scripture”, then it is completely unreliable.  Scholars do consider the book when looking for historical facts.  It reveals important information about the beliefs and times of the 2nd century BC.  Specifically with regard to the issue at hand, it shows that the Jews, as early as the 2nd century BC, considered the Arabs to be genealogically linked to Ishmael.  I can write a thesis on the issue, but I am only presenting the basic information.

Natassia: So what Josephus did was quote a 2nd century BC book to validate his beliefs about the Arabs which he likely formulated based on their behavior and how it coincides with the description of Ishmael in Genesis. Again, Josephus was not an anthropologist, and the book of Jubilees was written thousands of years after Abraham.

Wow.  Talk about a non-sequitur.  You assume that the Book of Jubilees is wrong and that since Josephus made a similar claim, you believe he copied the Book of Jubilees and therefore assume that he is wrong.  What is your evidence?  As I said, Josephus is widely considered by scholars and historians to be a reliable source of information from that time.  Therefore, your opinion is irrelevant.  The only reason you are questioning the historical evidence is because of your a priori assumptions.  You don’t want there to be a link between the Arabs and Ishmael.   

Natassia: Christianity does not incorporate paganism. Now, if human beings have chosen to create their own religion around Christ like Roman Catholicism and incorporate pagan traditions, then that is another story. However, you cannot prove that Christianity ITSELF incorporates paganism. Please, find where in the scriptures it tells Christians to do anything remotely "pagan" (as in, man-made and wicked)?

Explain the similarities between the Eucharist and the Mithraic rituals, or do you not believe in the Eucharist?  Which “Christianity” are you talking about?  Your own modern version or the version that has been accepted since the Council of Nicea?

Natassia: God LITERALLY dwelled in the Temple. His glory was contained in the Ark of the Covenant. His presence was separated from the people by a heavy curtain. So, the verse about God dwelling within His house is NOT a metaphor--not by Jewish or Christian interpretation. Only Muslims interpret it that way.

A heavy curtain huh?  God’s glory was held back by a curtain?  Ooookay!  As I said, there was no temple yet in the time of David.  Furthermore, the Psalm spoke of a pilgrimage through the valley of Baca, on route to Jerusalem.  The pilgrimage was not in Jerusalem.  Also, remember that initially the Muslims prayed towards Jerusalem.  Both places are considered holy. 

Natassia: If God dwells in His house, and the Ka'aba is His house, then God must dwell in the Ka'aba. If He doesn't, then your entire premise of this passage being about Mecca is false.

God doesn’t have to anything, if He doesn’t want to.  He does not dwell in a particular place.  The Kaaba is a representation of the celestial “House of God”, not literally the place of His residence. 

Natassia: Look, either this passage is metaphorical or it is not. If it is metaphorical, then you can't prove it is about Mecca at all simply on the basis of a similarity in names. That's insane. How many people named "Immanuel" could then look at Isaiah and claim that it is about them? If it is literal, then you can't prove it is about Mecca because Zion has never been in Arabia. You are working backwords.

The Psalm speaks of the Israelites going through the valley on route to “Zion”. 

Natassia: First, you claim that Mecca is the holy land, and the Ka'aba is the metaphorical house of Allah. Then, you look into the Jewish scriptures and pick out a passage that speaks of a valley named after "weeping" or "balsam trees." Because the name in HEBREW is similar to an ARABIC name, you've determined that it must be about Mecca. Anything else in the passage that would refute such a claim is denounced as fabricated.

When did I say it was fabricated?  You are putting words in my mouth.  I said that some of the Psalms were not written by David, but other anonymous individuals.  Mecca is holy.  So is Jerusalem.  This is nothing new. 

Natassia: Wow. That's like a scientist looking at a dog and a cat and determining that because they both have four legs and fur, then they must also have the same ancestor.

Another asinine analogy!  And actually, evolutionary scientists do believe that all organisms have a single ancestor.   

Natassia: "Why do I quote the Bible as the word of God?" When have I done such a thing? You've asked me about Christian theology. Christian theology is based on the Bible, therefore I quote the Bible.

It seems strange to me that you are trying to “teach” me “Christian” theology yet you don’t profess the same beliefs.  Why am I talking to you then?  I asked you those questions because I assumed you were a Bible-believing Christian.  I mean, I started the thread with a question to “Christians”.  So then, why did you interject?  If you don’t believe in the Bible, then shut up and let someone who does answer, if they want to. 

Natassia: There is a lot of wisdom to be found within those scriptures...and a basic "game plan" that makes a whole lot of sense to me. They also confirm what God has been putting upon my heart. So, whether they are the verbatim words of God (which I deny) or the words of men inspired by their belief in God (which I affirm)...the end result is the same.

Oh, here we go with the self-contradictions.  You don’t believe the Bible is God’s word but it confirms what God “has been putting upon [your] heart”.  If it is simply the words of men, why should anyone believe it?  And since God has apparently not sent down any of His own words, why should any of us concern ourselves with faith and religion?  The words of men would be contradictory.  I mean, in the absence of any real guidance from God, He will surely not hold us responsible.  So, it means that all of us should be looking forward to a happy afterlife, even those who don’t even believe in it.  Like I said, your beliefs would be very attractive to atheists. 

Natassia: My belief in God is based upon my personal, spiritual experiences in life. I know God exists because of what He has done for me in my life. It was He who directed me to particular passages in the Bible and instilled upon my heart the truth of them. Do I tell people that they must believe the way that I do? No. I can only give my testimony and leave the rest up to God. It was through God that I found Christ, and it was through Christ that I found healing, rest, and salvation.

Exactly.  It is based on your own whims and desires.  You offer no proof of any divine guidance.  You are just some quack who claims to have received that guidance.  How do you know it wasn’t Satan?  Do you even believe that Satan exists?

Natassia: Regarding the Byzantine/Persian "prophecy":  Since when did "turn the tide" mean victory? When DEFEAT occurs, it is after the tide has been turned and the enemy is DEFEATED....not still fighting.

You are getting so silly, it’s funny!  Did you forget that the verses stated that the Byzantines had been “defeated”?  What did that mean?  Did it mean that the war was over?  Of course not!  It meant that the Persians had scored major victories and were advancing against the Byzantines.  In the same context, the Quran stated that within a few years, the Byzantines would “defeat” the Persians.  The first such defeat came in 622 (6 years after the prophecy) at the Battle of Issus.  If you look at it from this point of view, the prophecy came true.  But, there is more to it.  By 625, the Persians were on the run and the Byzantines were advancing, having scored major victories in their invasion of Persia.  The prophecy came true.  For anyone to have made that claim in 616, after the disasters which had befallen the Byzantines (the fall of Syria, Jerusalem, the capture of the “True Cross”, and the fall of Egypt later), it would have seemed like a hopeless prediction.  But, God made it happen.    

Natassia: "We will have Mecca again." He had already decided that he was going to make war on the pagans there. So, either the Muslims would lose and the "prophecy" would go unfulfilled, or the Muslims would win and the "prophecy" would be fulfilled. What Muhammad was telling his men was no more than military propaganda to raise morale. That's not a prophecy. If I know that I am going to take a test tomorrow, I can prophesy that I will pass. If I pass the test the next day, does that make me a prophet?

The prophecies stated that all that would happen within Muhammad’s lifetime.  So, if he had died before any of that happened, it would have been a false prophecy.  That was an important condition which you are purposefully ignoring. 

Natassia: So, are you telling me that MUHAMMAD split the moon? Did he really SPLIT it?

 

Yes.

 

Natassia: There is no set definition for "original sin." Catholics believe one thing, Protestants another...orthodox, something else... ((shrug)) So, stop telling me that I have the wrong definition when there are multiple ones and the term is not even in the scriptures to begin with.

 

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

 

Original sin may be taken to mean: (1) the sin that Adam committed; (2) a consequence of this first sin, the hereditary stain with which we are born on account of our origin or descent from Adam.

 

From the earliest times the latter sense of the word was more common, as may be seen by St. Augustine's statement: "the deliberate sin of the first man is the cause of original sin" (De nupt. et concup., II, xxvi, 43). It is the hereditary stain that is dealt with here. As to the sin of Adam we have not to examine the circumstances in which it was committed nor make the exegesis of the third chapter of Genesis.

 

The Catholic concept of original sin was endorsed by Martin Luther and John Calvin.  This is about 90% of Christianity right here!  How could they deny it?  Paul made it explicitly clear that original sin was the real deal and that because of it, all are doomed unless they accept Christ. 

 

And as I pointed out, the term “original sin” may not be literally in the Bible.  But, the concept is there.  Paul is the source of the myth itself.  As his ideas became gradually accepted, eventually the term was adopted. 

 

Natassia: A sinful soul gets the death penalty...the ultimate punishment. (Unless, of course, you are a fan of torture. However, humans are the creators of torture. God is not a God of torture.)

 

Atheists will love this!  There is no reason not to sin!  What’s the worst that could happen?  You will simply cease to exist.  Atheists believe this already! 

 

But wait a minute.  Somewhere above, you quoted the Bible referring to “Sheol”.  What about that?  Contradictions, contradictions…

 

Natassia: Are you now telling me that ALL of the Sodomites were 100% homosexual? At some point, every single member of that city stopped having sex with the opposite sex?! Okay, let's think about that for a minute.

 

I am saying that at the time when God decided to destroy the city, most if not all of them were sinners (homosexuality apparently being the most perverse of their sins).  Were there any righteous people there?  Yes, Lot and his family.  And again, if there were children or babies there, God did what He did.  That is not your concern.

 

Natassia: Regarding the slaughter of innocents: Am I trying to justify it? No. I'm just looking at it from a simplistic, cause-and-effect point-of-view and 20/20 hindsight. If you knew that your next-door neighbor's baby was going to grow up to kidnap, rape, torture, and murder your daughter...would you kill him before that happened?

 

Well, I would move my daughter away so that he would not be able to reach her!  That sounds like the reasonable thing to do.  In any case, no one knows the future except God.  The nonsense in the Bible about God ordering the Israelites (who were supposed to be the light to the world as you put it) to massacre of thousands of innocents is not something God would do.  He would have destroyed the entire nation Himself, as He had done in the past.  Remember Noah’s people?  He could have ordered Noah to raise an army over time, and maybe even send the angels as He did against the Assyrians.  But, no.  He decided to send a flood.  See the pattern.  When a nation becomes too wicked, God decides whether to destroy it or not.  He does not order humans to do that.  If that were so, Allah would not have outlawed the killings of civilians, such as women and children the elderly and the animals.  And that reminds me.  In some cases in the Bible, God even orders the Israelite army to kill even the animals!  What was going to happen?  Were those animals going to grow up and trample an Israelite?

 

Natassia: See, here you said: "If they were sinful, God would have handled them Himself."

Well, with one sentence you have completely undermined shariah law. Congratulations.

 

Man, are you thick-headed.  If a nation is sinful, God deals with them Himself.  Noah’s people.  Sodom and Gamorrah.  Ad and Thamud.  Get it?  Shariah law has nothing to do with it.

 

Natassia: Here's how it works: Physical life-->death-->the grave (Sheol/Hades)-->judgment-->eternal destruction. This eternal destruction is also where the grave and death itself are destroyed forever.

 

And what happens in Sheol?  Do they just sleep until its time for judgment?  Or do they suffer?  Why would anyone care to live a righteous life when there is no price to pay?  Eternal destruction is not that bad.  Like I said, the Atheists already believe that they will simply cease to exist.  Why should anyone do good?

 

Natassia: Okay, I understand the salvation by being close to God. I get that. It's this whole submitting part. I submit to God in my life. I pray that His will be done and that I live my life according to His will. I do my utmost to keep His commandments:

Do unto others as I would have them do to me.Love the Lord my God with all my heart, and all my soul, and all my mind.Love my neighbor as myself.Honor my father and my mother.Do not steal.Do not bear false witness.Do not commit adultery.Do not murder.

Ironically, you forgot the number 1 commandment:  Thou shalt not have any other gods before me.  Jesus is not God.  The Holy Spirit is not God.  God is God. 

 

Natassia: However, Muslims believe that in order to submit to God, they must submit to the Sunnah of Muhammad. That's where I get tripped up. Muhammad's Sunnah = the will of Allah. Muhammad's way of life becomes divine...which must mean that Muhammad was divine. If he wasn't, then the Sunnah is imperfect...since only God is perfect, right? And if the Sunnah is imperfect, then the will of Allah is imperfect.

 

We’ve been over this.  Don’t keep repeating the same nonsense like an automaton.  Allah revealed the Sunnah to Muhammad.  Therefore, to follow it is to follow Allah.  Muhammad (pbuh) simply taught us how to follow Allah.  The Sunnah reiterates the Quran.  Its purpose is to show us through action what the Quran teaches.

 

Natassia: So, worshiping Jesus as my Lord and Savior makes me a worse sinner in the eyes of Allah than the serial rapist who believes in Allah and that Muhammad is his messenger? Dude. My brain, heart, nor soul can wrap around that.

 

Well then, you are one confused individual, lady.  The serial rapist will get his comeuppance in the fire.  The only thing that will save him from the fire is his faith, if he indeed has any.  The thing is that usually people who kill, rape or maim don’t have any faith.  So, there is the possibility that the person who actually claims to believe may in fact just be a hypocrite, and the hypocrite is doomed to the lowest pits of Hell.  It depends on the individual.

 

Natassia: How does knowledge convict us of sin? Think about it. If you know in your heart that torturing that young woman over there is wrong because it would cause her pain, and you know that you wouldn't like it if someone did that to you...well, then if you decide to torture her anyway, you've sinned. It doesn't take a written code to tell you that rape is wrong. However, if you have no concept of empathy or logic (like an animal, for example) then you cannot sin because what you are doing is instinctual and primitive. Except for perhaps the severely mentally retarded and very young children, all humans are instilled with the ability to empathize.

 

Yes, but you said that simply having the knowledge makes us all sinners.  This is complete nonsense.  It would take the action of sin in addition to the knowledge of it to convict someone.  Simply being aware of sin does not make one a sinner. 

 

Natassia: What Adam and Eve did was to disobey God. Disobeying God is a sin. He said, do not eat of that tree. They knew they shouldn't do that, but they did it anyway. When they ate of the tree, that is when they realized their sin of disobedience. Now all of us humans have the ability to know when we have done something wrong. Our own hearts will convict us of it. We can try to justify things in our minds (which is what Adam and Eve tried to do), but deep down we will always know that what we did was wrong.

 

And they would not have done that if they had not listened to Satan.  God warned them not to listen to him.  See?  God taught us the path to salvation. 

 

Natassia: What you have just told me is that God made Adam and Eve in such a way that would leave them vulnerable, and then He planted a tree, and then He allowed Satan to tempt them....all for what? Why make creatures vulnerable to an environment and a Satan He created only to torment them forever if they prove themselves vulnerable to the sin of idolatry?        

 

Once again, you purposely missed certain important facts which would answer your questions.  He told them not to do it.  He told them not to listen to Satan.  They did it anyway, because they have free-will.  But even then, God listened to their pleas for mercy and forgiveness.  That is my God.  He provides a way for us to seek redemption and salvation.  We may not deserve it, but He gives us a way anyway.  Of course, it still requires work and effort and suffering.  God does test the believers.  There is a tradition in Islam which states that the road to Paradise is full of things which seem hard and tough to do whereas the road to Hell is full of things that are easy and that we enjoy and would do in an instant.       

 

Natassia: The Bible is the words of men inspired by their belief in God and their interactions with Him. All of them agreed on the fact that God wants His people to be holy. That's something I can trust because God is holy, and it makes sense that we need to be holy if we want to be in His presence.

 

So are the Vedas, the Buddhist texts and every other religious text.  They were all written by men who were “inspired” by their belief in God. 

 

So, you admit the human origins of the Bible and yet you try to maintain an aura of its scriptural importance.  Why should I trust my salvation to the words of men, some of whom were clearly heretics? 

 

Natassia: I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.....therefore be holy, because I am holy. (Leviticus 11:44-45)

 

Nice.  So, now you are quoting the words of men out of context!  What is the context of this passage?  It is the dietary laws which God had made (which ironically Paul annulled and which you deliberately did not quote).  This has nothing to do with being “perfect”.    Let’s see what the actual message is:

 

41 " 'Every creature that moves about on the ground is detestable; it is not to be eaten. 42 You are not to eat any creature that moves about on the ground, whether it moves on its belly or walks on all fours or on many feet; it is detestable. 43 Do not defile yourselves by any of these creatures. Do not make yourselves unclean by means of them or be made unclean by them. 44 I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves about on the ground. 45 I am the LORD who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.

46 " 'These are the regulations concerning animals, birds, every living thing that moves in the water and every creature that moves about on the ground. 47 You must distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between living creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten.' "

What’s next?

Natassia: Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy. (Leviticus 19:2)

Again, it discusses various laws by which we can be holy.  This has nothing to do with “perfection”.  It simply says to follow God’s laws of purity and cleanliness.    

Natassia: How can Paul contradict me? He came first. I can only contradict him. Have I contradicted him? ((shrug)) It's quite possible. I do wish you could provide a specific example though.

 

Just a quick example of how he contradicts you on original sin:

 

Rom. 5:12, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned"

 

This teaching led Augustine of Hippo to believe that unbaptized infants go to hell. 

 

Natassia: How did poetry lead to the killing of people? Obviously there must have been some truth to it if it stirred up the anger of the pagans. Look, I hear bad poetry, songs, books, speeches, etc. all the time. Does that mean I'm going to take a shotgun and go kill people? No. And if I did, should that poet be executed for my crimes?

 

You obviously do not know much about Arabic history and culture.  Poetry was the main medium of communication in those days, like television is today.  It could be simply used to tell stories, like how Homer’s epic poems were told orally, or it could be used as a powerful propaganda tool.  Armstrong notes:

 

“Ka’b’s [one of the chiefs of Bani Nadir] verses made it very clear to the Quraysh that not all the people of Medina stood stoutly behind Muhammad.  The Jewish tribes were formidable.  They had sizeable armies and impressive fighting power and, in the event of a Meccan attack, might well be prepared to join the Quraysh to get rid of the upstart.  Poetry was central to the political life of Arabia and Ka’b’s songs helped to rouse the Quraysh from the torpor of depression and grief into which they had been thrown by the defeat [at Badr].  […] 

Henceforth, Abu Sufyan would direct the struggle against Muhammad.  […] He led 200 men to the outskirts of Medina, where they camped in the fields, and by night he slipped into the territory of the Jewish Bani Nadir, Ka’b’s tribe  The next day he and his men devastated some fields, burned down some palm trees…and killed two of the Helpers who were working on the land.  As soon as he heard the news, Muhammad led a troop of Muslims in pursuit and the Quraysh promptly fled…” (see Armstrong, 183)

 

So, not only did Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf collude with the enemy, he was directly responsible, along with his compatriots, for supporting a Quraysh raid which killed two innocent people.  That is why Ka’b was eventually assassinated.  He was a traitor, as were most of the Bani Nadir.

 

Natassia: What kind of poison takes three years to kill? Oh, any. A drug might not kill you but it can cause kidney, liver, and or heart damage that will kill you within a matter of a few years. Who said that the poison was spread throughout the meat evenly? Maybe his buddy got a huge amount of it and Muhammad only got a trace. Who knows. However, Muhammad himself admitted that it was the poison that was killing him. Or was he wrong?

 

Who knows?  According to the narration, the most heavily poisoned area was the shoulder, which Muhammad (pbuh) preferred.  He chewed it, but spat it out.  Even if he did die of the poisoning (as claimed in the Sirah by Ibn Ishaq), and three years later at that, he would simply have died a martyr, like many prophets before him which were killed by the Jews.  If that was the case, the Jews could not kill him before he became the undisputed ruler of Arabia.  So, God protected the Prophet until his mission was complete.  So, even then, they could not kill him when it would have made a difference.  Had they killed him at Khaibar, Islam would probably have died with him and the Muslims would never have captured Mecca.  It would have ended there and paganism would have been victorious.  And yet, that is not how it happened.  He survived long enough to defeat the pagans.  Keep in mind that this is if we assume that the story in the Sirah is authentic, which I am unsure of.  I will look into it further.

 

Natassia: I wonder if you have every heard of the Arabic Infancy Gospel? It originated in the 6th century. The Gnostic Gospels were circulating the Roman Empire by the late 2nd century. Would it be so hard to believe that such stories circulated to Syria and even Arabia by the 7th century? Let's not work backwards here.

 

The only one working backwards is you.  The earliest Arabic manuscript of either the canonical Gospels or the apocryphal Gospels is from the 9th century.  They were extremely rare in Arabia. 

 

Natassia: You begged the question again. You said that the Quran came to correct the Judeo-Christian stories. If that's the case, what does that make the Gnostic Gospels and apocryphal writings that came after them? You are having to assume that the Judeo-Christian stories were corrupted, but the Gnostic Gospels somehow became less corrupted despite the fact that they were based on Hellenism and were not sanctioned by Christ's earliest followers.

 

What are you talking about?  Why are you putting words in my mouth?  When did I say that Gnostic texts were “less corrupted”? 

 

Natassia: I'm glad you brought up that parable in Luke. I am hoping you could break it down for me logically, verse-by-verse, and explain your interpretation. Let's start by assigning real people for the metaphorical characters and we can go from there.

 

It’s not my interpretation.  This is what I have heard from Christians. 

 

Natassia: I have read all of surah 9. I can logically prove to you that 9:5 is not about self-defense. It is about aggressive warfare taken out on people who are not currently attacking Muslims.

 

Uh-huh.  Suuure!

 

Natassia: Do the "persons" of God have different personalities? They have different purposes and manifestations. Are they equal? Define equal (since Muslims have a funny way of looking at that word. They say men and women are equal--they're just different.)

 

What, now you have your own definition of what “equal” means?  Is the son superior, inferior or “equal” to the Father?  To the Holy Spirit?  And vice-versa?

 

Why does the son pray to the Father? 

 

Natassia: What is it with this "corruption" word? I can't read anything written by a Muslim about Christianity or Judaism without seeing that word being thrown around. What do you mean by corruption? Do you mean that evil is interjected into something good? I mean, that's always what I've taken the word to mean. If I download a virus onto my computer, I've corrupted the system software. If I bribe a judge to give me a not-guilty verdict, I've corrupted the judicial system. So, care to explain this "corruption" word for me so that I don't misunderstand your meaning?

 

It means putting the words of men in between the words of God.  It means making up your own laws and rules.  It means making the words of men into the words of God.  You have already actually proven that.  You say the Bible is the word of men, not God, albeit men who were “inspired by their belief in God”.  And yet, these men claimed that the Bible was God’s word           ! 

 

Natassia: Jesus did make an important lesson which was reiterated by the adulteress story. See Matthew 7:1-5. Besides, have you really examined that story? Didn't you realize what was going on in it? If you read the Torah, you would know that the adulteress AND the adulterer are to be stoned by the community. If you recall, there's no mention of an adulterer in that story. So, it looks to me like they were breaking the law of the Torah, not to mention undermining the authority of the Romans.

 

So, now the story is true?  I thought you agreed it was a fabrication? 

 

Natassia: The law says to not bear false witness against your neighbor. In other words, you cannot tell a falsehood that could potentially hurt someone. Would you agree that this is the same in Islam?

 

Didn’t I give an example of how Islam looks at lying?

 

Natassia: The scriptures are what they are. Unfortunately, we humans try to make them out to be more, or sometimes less, than what they are. However, this is yet another concept (like the be holy one) that is reiterated throughout the scriptures.

 

What are they?  I am getting tired of your vague responses.  Are they the words of God or the words of men?

 

 

Say: "Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds. (Surat al-Anaam: 162)

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Hayfa
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Quote Hayfa Replybullet Posted: 04 August 2009 at 4:41am
Islamispeace: you are VERY patient.

May Allah reward you for your patience and effort.
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. Rumi
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Quote Akhe Abdullah Replybullet Posted: 04 August 2009 at 1:57pm
Ameen
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Quote islamispeace Replybullet Posted: 04 August 2009 at 3:45pm
Jazak Allah Khair Hayfa and Akhe for the kind words.  May Allah reward us all.
Say: "Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds. (Surat al-Anaam: 162)

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