Evangelicals and Muslims: Both Love Jesus

A good friend of mine, pastor Bob, is an expert on Christian-Muslim relations.

Today at lunch I asked Bob, “If you could say any one thing about Islam or Muslims to American Christians, or to Americans generally, what would it be?” As he started talking, I started taking notes. This is what he said:

“I would say that most Muslims are just as apathetic about their faith as most Christians are. The vast majority of Muslims are just like all those Christians who only come to church on Easter and Christmas—culturally religious, but not strictly or observantly so. They question the reality of God; they question the faith system they grew up in; they have times in their lives when they’re more or less religious. They appreciate the value of what their religion can bring to their lives, but aren’t necessarily inclined to make it the focus of their lives. Muslims know they’re supposed to kneel toward Mecca and pray five times a day, but most don’t do it. Just like most Christians don’t go to church every Sunday. Same thing.

“I would also say that just like most Christians don’t want anyone thinking that Christianity is well represented by the Aryan Nation, the KKK, Timothy McVeigh, abortion clinic bombers, or any violent group that adapts the mantle and symbols of Christianity, Muslims are absolutely appalled by the idea that anyone would actually believe that Muslim terrorists are representatives of Islam. They hate the terrorists as much as anyone does.

“I guess that’s the other main thing I would like to say: too few Americans understand what a warped, crazy view of Islam and Muslims we get from our media. I was recently in a conference session filled with working reporters and journalists. All of them had written human interest stories about typical, everyday American Muslims: people involved in outreach efforts, who were spearheading education initiatives, who ran non-profit organizations that benefited their communities. And not one of those writers could get those stories of theirs published. Their editors didn’t want them. No one did. They had given up trying to tell those stories.

“The business of the American ‘news’ business isn’t to deliver news at all. It’s to deliver the kind of emotionally inflammable stimulus that gets and keeps people excited and riled up—and coming back for more. Enraged Muslims burning American presidents in effigy sells soap and cars—so that’s what we get on our televisions. Meanwhile, a billion Muslims around the world can’t understand why no one in America seems to understand how horrified they were by 9-11, too.

“I recently met with a sheikh here in San Diego. (Pronounced “shake,” a sheikh is a scholar and acknowledged Muslim community leader.) Someone asked him why he, in coordination with the Muslims in his community, wasn’t more outspoken in his condemnation of Muslim terrorists. He smiled wearily, and said, ‘We’ve condemned and condemned and condemned; we’re tired of condemning. We did it for years on end. No newspaper or television people attended our public pronouncements. No publications ran our press releases. No one covered our demonstrations for peace. No one listened. How long can you keep saying the same thing to no one?’

“Also,” continued Bob, “evangelical Christians and traditional practicing Muslims are like two peas in a pod. They have identical conservative values: anti-gay, pro-family, the sanctity of marriage, the father as the head of the family, being a good citizen, fostering community, living a disciplined life, showing hospitality. Conservative Christians have more in common with traditional Muslims than they do with any other group. They should see them as their strongest allies and partners. Instead, conservative Christians are the most critical of their Muslim counterparts!

“Which reminds me of one more thing. Most Christians have no idea how much Muslims love Jesus.”

“They do?” I said.

“Love him,” said Bob. “Muslims love Jesus.”

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • JAy.

    “The business of the American ‘news’ business isn’t to deliver news at all. It’s to deliver the kind of emotionally inflammable stimulus that gets and keeps people excited and riled up—and coming back for more."

    This should be printed in large font and distributed to every person in the USA. Maybe tattoo it on people's arms. Or demand that "news" shows on TV run this continually in their scroller on the bottom of the screen.

    This is probably the biggest mis-understanding in America right now. Why is Rush popular? Why is Fox News popular? It's not because they present the best news. It is because they present the controversy that keeps the audience coming back.

    That is part of the reason I actually really like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. The draw is the entertainment, but the level of news quality really isn't that different. The humor and sarcasm is easier to filter to get to the real news, rather than the slanted viewpoints distorting most news stories.

    • Diana A.

      "Or demand that 'news' shows on TV run this continually in their scroll-er on the bottom of the screen."

      This. Just like the required warnings on cigarette packages.

    • Tim

      I agree that Rush, Savage, Hannity, FoxNews, etc. all overblow and sensationalize world events to sate the anger and hateful appetites of their right-leaning following. Let's not forget, also, that the Olbermanns, Maddows and Matthews on the left side of media follow suit likewise. They're not really any better in my book. This sort of yellow journalism is the festering pustule that infects our ability to know fact from fiction and substance from spin. They all make me want to wretch.

      • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore
        • Tim

          Oh yeah. I remember that one. Honestly, I sort of liked Beck when he was on CNN and still probably having some substance abuse issues. What I've noticed in my church, people that overcome their own personal demons tend to see demons everywhere else. Still, I'd be surprised if even Beck believes a tenth of the conspiratorial ca-ca he spouts. It's such a show.

          • Diana A.

            I think you're right about that one, Tim.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            That's very insightful, Tim.

          • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfordinner

            performance art…

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mary-W-Lukens-Goodson/100000194585042 Mary W. Lukens Goodson

      This is why I disconnected from main stream TV 10 years ago. I know that the “news” is all lies and propaganda.

  • Argy-bargy

    Thank you, John, for this piece. And, echoing the posting above, at least this gets published! Yes, few people know how venerated Jesus is among Muslims and in the Qur'an. He is *not* regarded as the Son of God, but as one of the greatest prophets, but Muslims do believe that Jesus brought God's gospel down to His people as one of the Messengers of God.

    The subtext of your post also points out the terrible problem of relying on the mass media's "news" organizations for much of our information and for allowing it to shape our world view. Thank you for highlighting that, as well, through the words of your friend.

    Namaste!

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Thanks, Argy. I'm sure my friend will be pleased to read this.

  • http://www.stewardshipoflifeinstitute.wordpress.com Sharron

    Thanks, John, for this timely post. Just yesterday I was scanning the radio dial on the way home and caught our local "Christian" DJs condemning the proposed Islamic Center near Ground Zero and vigorously slamming President Obama. It was most certainly not "Christian" behavior as modeled by that radical rabbi from Nazareth.

    Perhaps you and other readers would find this piece interesting: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/archiv

  • Ace

    Reminds me of a Muslim girl I knew in college who would actually physically hit the desk with her forehead when this subject got brought up because she was so pig-sick of having to explain this to ignorant rednecks that, no, not all Muslims have a bizarre affinity for strapping explosives to themselves.

    I have a special hatred for the news media, both in this country and elsewhere. It's nothing but a circus side-show most days. People gobble it up like the turkeys they are though.

    • Diana A.

      The news media is supposed to serve as the unofficial fourth branch of the government. Its purpose is to keep the other three honest. Unfortunately, it has become so profit-driven (like pretty much everything else) that it is no longer serving its function. Sad.

      • Ace

        True. Barnum's principle and all that (both sides of it).

        I can't watch American newsmedia at all. I get my news trawling through BBC news' website most days.

        They have their own agenda and slant and aren't truly all that much better but there's more of a limit to the shenanigans they can get away with because of the Royal Charter the operate under that requires them to be free from influence by gov't and outside entities (knowing how human beings are, I doubt that's 100% true, but like I said, they can't be blatant about it like Faux News or CrapNN).

        It's sad that I have to import my news from another nation. :

        • Don Whitt

          Too bad the Fairness Doctrine was eliminated. That's when the mainstream media completely went to hell, IMHO.

  • Patty

    John, I can't wait to share this! Thank you for shining a light into that dark corner of our society.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Thanks, Patty!

  • http://questionablemotives.wordpress.com/ tildeb

    The 'media' is a very easy target to blame for all sorts of social ills but let's be a little more discriminating in understanding what the message here is: muslims and christians are very much alike and the media is failing to convey this. Fair enough.

    So how important is it that 'conservative' christians have so much in common with 'traditional' muslims, like being anti-gay, pro-family, the sanctity of marriage, the father as the head of the home, being a good citizen, fostering community, living a disciplined life, showing hospitality? On the one hand, one might be tempted to presume that these are all pro-social values because they share a religious base, yet the 'media' has failed in its task to reveal this to be so. On the other hand, the unreported similarities in these social values undermine the notion that we get our morals from any particular branch of religion, yet the 'media' has failed in its task to reveal this to be so. It seems to me the media is between a rock and hard place and will be blamed no matter which side of the issue is or is not reported on.

    The 'Not-a-true-Scotsman' fallacy is at work here, meaning we are presented with the idea that those muslims who support violence in the name of their religion are not really 'good' muslims any more than radical christians who use violence and promote bigotry in the name of their faith aren't real christians. Guess what, folks? It is from Scotland that comes the Scotsman and that fact is not altered by the Scotsman's later deeds (reported on or not), in the same way that it is from islam that comes the muslim proponent as much as it is from christianity that comes the Jesus proponent. The similarity is obvious yet what is rarely reported on is that both religions spawn fundamental believers… some of whom will become violent and bigoted but who honestly believe their values and actions honour god, leaving us the question how do we tell the difference between pro-social and anti-social actions? That they are religiously motivated does not accomplish this task of differentiating, although the common assumption revealed by both media and those who consume it is that religion somehow justifies the pro-social but condemns the anti-social when it does no such thing.

    One needs to look no further than that first few common values listed above: anti-gay and the father as head of the family to see just how easily the roots of unjustified bias finds nourishment from the soil of religion.

    But that's not reported, either, is it? So is it really a problem of media or our own sympathy towards religious belief?

    • http://nirakia.blogspot.com Karin

      For me, that doesn't seem to be the point that John tried to make. Yes, he mentioned the similarities but what struck me most is how the less fundamental Muslims do not get representation in the media. They just are not interested in painting them any other way than radical suicide bombers.

      • gooseberrybush

        The less fundamental Christians don't get equal representation in the media, either. In that sense, most of the regular readers of this blog should be able to identify with the frustration of many Muslims in the way they are betrayed by our media.

        There's not as much conflict or controversy with "mainline" Christians. And the media lives off conflict and controversy…which creates "drama." Our news is no longer news. It is entertainment.

        Much of it is reality based show business, and it is subject to the same rules as any show business. A business has to make money. They make money from ad revenue. Content is decided by what will draw the most viewers. So, when we as a culture tell the people who make the decisions that we are not interested in watching bigoted rhetoric or the latest gossip about Lindsay Lohan, by voting with our clickers, then change will happen. But not until then.

        • Tim

          Hmmm. Good luck with that, gbb. I am totally with you on this, but even I have a hard time looking away from the train wrecks and sensationalized rhetoric. Something in my craven nature, I suppose.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mary-W-Lukens-Goodson/100000194585042 Mary W. Lukens Goodson

      Reading this example, I see equal similarity to the Public School System’s “agenda” proponents. No matter how the system isn’t working, certain people in high places will fight to the death to defend their right to continue earning their ridiculously high paychecks, while turning out 25% functionally illiterate populace who’ve been trained to be great factory workers and little else.

      The same could probably be said about any large group of people, in any area of the society. Your paragraph, with certain words edited, could read as:

      “The similarity is obvious yet what is rarely reported on is that both [groups] spawn fundamental believers… some of whom will become violent and bigoted but who honestly believe their values and actions honour [society], leaving us the question how do we tell the difference between pro-social and anti-social actions? That they are [socially] motivated does not accomplish this task of differentiating, although the common assumption revealed by both media and those who consume it is that [this strata of society] somehow justifies the pro-social but condemns the anti-social when it does no such thing.”

      It could be Public Schoolers and Homeschoolers (both of which have their radical extremists), it could be Rep’s and Dem’s, it could be Materialists and Conservationists, it could be… ANY group of people.

      I think it’s just human nature at work, and unfortunately, it looks (to me) like the fundamentalist Christians have become aligned with the extreme Corporatists/Republicans/Materialists at the expense of a healthy society and planet. I’ve no idea where the Muslim Extremists stand on these issues, because no media outlets report on these things! (Not even the BBC or middle east papers that I read online.)

  • http://Johnshore.com J Walker

    Of course most followers are nominal, but the tenets of Islam are not love and forgiveness.
    The real crux of what you should convey is that our struggle is not with the flesh and blood of the average Muslim, but against the ideology of blind hatred.

    • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

      I agree, accept the comment is three words too long.

  • http://www.thirduse.com frank sonnek

    This post is sort of deceptive.

    Muslims rever Jesus as a great prophet. Every religion makes room for Jesus as a prophet. Christianity conversely says that the ONLY way to God is through Jesus. Why? It is because Jesus is recorded as saying that in the Bible. "No one can come to the father except through me". One can argue that the bible has been corrupted over time and that Jesus really didnt say this or maybe didnt mean it that way. But for most christians this is exactly why Christians believe that Jesus is God and is in fact the only way we can truly know God´s attitude towards us of grace and forgiveness.

    Muslims do not believe that Jesus died on a cross. They do not believe God would allow one of his prophets to die thusly. They believe that barrabas was substituted for Jesus at the last minute.

    Muslims do not (as the t shirt says) believe IN Jesus. This implies that Muslims practice the idolotry of believing in Jesus as one would believe in God.

    Muslims do not believe that Jesus is God and is eternal and that nothing was created except through him. Christians do believe this. Christians do not believe that Jesus was created. Muslims do.

    Matthew tweedell: you can disagree of course with Jeanine, but her view is the one shared by the vast majority of christians of all times. the evidence would be the 3 ecumenical creeds. google: nicean creed, apostles creed, athanasian creed. If you think that most of christianity has all this wrong that is all cool, but then the disclaimer needs to be inserted that your particular view is the small minority view historically. fact.

    John what would be helpful and what you did not share is this: Is there any basis IN Islam, ie in the Holy Koran telling muslims that they are required by God to love their enemies? I would love to see that. I would also love to see any passage in the bible that says that forgivness is also commanded. Can you help us find that in the Koran? Anywhere at all? One single passage?

    It is easy to say muslims or christians are or believe thus and so, but i would think that the definition would need to be based on what the founder of the religion says or their holy book. I would not look to a lutheran to give me notes on this really….. even though I too am Lutheran… it is simply not authoritative and so not terribly helpful in the way a direct quote from the Koran would be.

    Hope you have that information. thanks!

    • Matthew Tweedell

      Excuse me?! All I was saying was exactly what the creeds affirm! On what grounds do you dare challenge my orthodoxy here? It is you who are in need of the facts. I highly suspect you are a heratic and don't even know it!

      • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

        Okay, let's reign ourselves back a bit here. "Heretic" is a tough word.

        • Matthew Tweedell

          Yes, it is. And when you accuse someone of straying from the Way handed down in the Scripture and the living tradition of the Church and teaching instead some variant conception of divinity, thus parting ways with that tradition and encouraging others to do the same, that is exactly what you have accused them of! I cannot understand how a decent person, such as I *know* Mr. Sonnek to be, might find it within himself to spread falsehoods under the proclamation of fact! Proponents of a heresy are generally referred to as heretics, and tritheism is considered a heresy in every major Christian tradition.

          • ManimalX

            Matthew, I think you are just being coy in order to bash trinitarianism (but, I am not exactly sure, as you won't come right out and state plainly what you believe.)

            Tritheism, in its most crude form, identifies three separate divine beings. That is not what trinitarianism does and that is not what Jeanine did.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            What is this? Did I say Jeanine held tritheistic views? No, I said that I *suspect* *Frank* might (and I mean in a sense similar to in the LDS Church). As for Jeanine, I think rather that she misunderstands the nature of God, not that she's actually in opposition to it. And as for me, I do affirm all of the ecumenical creeds! You are the ones bashing trinitarianism by perverting its true meaning; you seem to have no idea of the reality of which you speak!

          • http://www.thirduse.com frank sonnek

            dear brother tweedell. you challenged Jeanines post as being contrary to historical christianity.

            I merely said that her post clearly reflexts the traditional understanding of the vast majority of christians. the evidence I proposed, were the 3 ecumenical creeds.

            A more irenic response would have been to point me to something in the athanasian creed or nicean creed that would prove me to be in error yes? refute my proof. Or you could have attacked my proof as not being truly representative of the majority christian view.

            Instead you chose to take it as a personal attack. I appologize if that is what my response was. I did in no way intend it do be such. I dont know you personally and would have no reason to say anything at all to displease you.

            You have my full permission to rachett things down a bit and picture me smiling now in a friendly way ok? :)

          • Matthew Tweedell

            Frank, I know you aren't intentionally escalating anything and have only the best of intentions at heart. Indeed, I know that you are smiling now. :)

            Me too.

            But enough of that for now; there are things that must be said.

            Refute what proof? I shouldn't even be wasting time on defending myself on this. Anyone who knows the creeds knows that I speak not a word that goes against them! And anyone who really knows the Blessed Trinity knows that I speak the truth! You, however, speak of what you know not.

            Members are the parts which come together to form a corporate body, like a council or the body of Christ. However, the Holy Trinity is not a council, for it is three, but is divinely simple, for He is one. And these numerical properties cannot really be understood as innate characteristics of God, as natural numbers are, in fact, *creations* of God.

            So the Holy Trinity is God in three Persons—not God consisting of three members. As God is not made, so He is surely not made of any parts. The Trinity doesn't consist of constituents; It hasn't any members like anatomical humans or executive boards or committees. These Persons are not individual beings, nor are they merely parts of some greater whole. Each is fully God, as the Creeds proclaim! Yet you deny the creeds, affirming that each may be but a part of the whole, and you point the finger at me, as if I need to prove something or as if I am going against the universal traditions of the Church, which has for nearly 2000 years held anathema the error that "member" in all of its basic meanings here inevitably implies.

            It is the body of Christ that has members, and I feel privileged and humbled that I might count myself among them.

            The Omnipresent LORD is present in His entirety everywhere that He is present. So when we speak of the Persons of the Trinity, we speak not of what forms the Triune God but of the forms in which the Triune God is (self-)realized personally.

            Ok. Back to smiley time. :)

          • vj

            "However, the Holy Trinity is not a council, for it is three, but is divinely simple, for He is one."

            "So the Holy Trinity is God in three Persons—not God consisting of three members. "

            Dearest Matthew

            Having read many of your posts over the last few months, I realize that you have a passionate commitment to the Truth as you see it, and are very eloquent in your defence of the Christian faith. I have appreciated many of your comments, and have learnt a great deal from you.

            However, I think perhaps you are one of those extremely bright people who struggles sometimes to 'play nice' with those who do not share you particular passion and rigorous academic bent. You complain about Jeanine describing Jesus as "a member of the triune God", but to be perfectly honest, as a Christian and affirmer of the creeds previously discussed, I DON'T see a difference in essence/meaning between that statement and the 2 I have quoted above from your own comment. To me they all convey the idea of God being 3-in-1, indivisible.

            I realize that to you every word in the English language has very precise and nuanced meaning, but for many of us this is not the case. And of course you probably think very carefully about which nuanced meaning you are trying to convey when you write your posts, and select your words accordingly. However, many of us do not do that (sometimes we are in a rush, or too emotional, or being intellectually lazy, or perhaps not had the benefit of your superior education, etc). But when you come across comments that make you think someone is heretical in their thinking, it might be a good idea for you take a moment to consider that perhaps it their choice of words, rather than their beliefs, with which you disagree? And then, just possibly, you might be able to post comments that give us the benefit of your wisdom without the apparent haughtiness?

          • Diana A.

            Indeed!

          • Matthew Tweedell

            "I realize that to you every word in the English language has very precise and nuanced meaning…"

            No, I don't care what the words mean! I care about the substance that one is trying to convey. Where there is imprecision or inaccuracy, I'm pretty good at seeing things, not as they are, but how they were meant to be. Now, it was my point exactly that Jeanine was all about words without perceiving the substance of their reality. It is others, then, who want to get technical on these matters, and if you want to play that way, I'll beat you at your own game. But God knows best.

            "…perhaps it their choice of words, rather than their beliefs, with which you disagree?"

            Perhaps with Jeanine, but with you and Frank and ManimalX (who now affirms his damnable heresy, saying "God saves, not man….")—no, because the continued insistence that that is in line with Orthodox understanding illustrates a clear misunderstanding of—and thus false belief in—the Trinity. When you think from the bottom up, you are forgetting that God is also 1-in-3! Yet I'm sure when you think from the top down, then you'll neglect the true meaning of what you said about the 3-in-1. This is probably because you do not know the God who has neither top nor bottom, who Himself divides what is up from what is down. Get to know God; find out who the Trinity is and what it all really means. Then these sorts of things are rather obvious, it seems to me.

            And, Diana A., what's with this attitude? Couldn't you bring something more substantive to the table?

            Look, if you guys don't really know God, if you want to follow your own personal understanding rather than the common knowledge of the Church, it's not my problem. You don't need to make me look like the bad guy; I'm not "complaining"—I'm smiling. :)

            That’s not “haughtiness”; that’s the reasonable limit of my personal responsibility before God. I’m not here to save the world, and I’m not about to try; I'm just trying to help, to heal the false divisions you guys are perpetuating among mankind.

          • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

            I think at this point you might consider the wisdom, Mr. Tweedell, of cutting back just ever so discernibly on the drama.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            @John Shore

            But drama is what gets people's attention; drama is what makes people wake up.

            If not for the drama between Christians and Muslims, this post wouldn't be near as popular as it is. All of your posts which exploit drama (such as the one about the so-called "Ground-Zero Mosque" or ones critical of atheism or Christianity) tend to elicit mega-commentary, and, I suppose, get a lot of readers. Perhaps you should do it more often.

            The goal, of course—towards which considerable progress has been made in the last 100 years—is to decrease the actual drama of life in this world. But to feed people’s appetite for the stuff, this must correlate with an increase in dramas of the not-so-real variety. And, see, this drama is all words at this point — no real activity other than a stream of electrons — but its aim is to promote attitudes and activity that actually decrease the drama in the world.

        • http://none Don Rappe

          Tough to spell too.

      • Jeanine

        The Bible very clearly teaches that there is one God who is manifest in three persons. All three (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) are wonderfully present, serve different functions, yet are one indivisible Godhead. This is what the Bible teaches; the fact that it is a mystery to my human mind at this point does not bother me in the least. Actually it gives me great comfort to know that the one true God, the creator of the universe, is not some lone person out there, but that he is a triune community – one that lives in perfect harmony and agreement and love; so much in fact that He calls Himself ONE and cannot ever be divided.

        The concept of the trinity gives me such hope for how we will all be living in relation to each other in Heaven. Not that we will become God ourselves; but that the concept of community and love will be perfected as modeled by our Awsome Creator God.

    • ManimalX

      @ Frank Sonnek

      You wrote,"Matthew tweedell: you can disagree of course with Jeanine, but her view is the one shared by the vast majority of christians of all times. the evidence would be the 3 ecumenical creeds. google: nicean creed, apostles creed, athanasian creed. If you think that most of christianity has all this wrong that is all cool, but then the disclaimer needs to be inserted that your particular view is the small minority view historically. fact."

      Well stated. I thought the same thing.

      • Matthew Tweedell

        On what grounds? When this is what you think, you are gravely in error. fact.

        • http://none Don Rappe

          Now you know how Jeanine may have felt when you came at her with your creedally (hows that for a word) correct criticism of her comment. Misunderstood. J. Shore provoked controversy (intentionally) by using the name of Jesus in an unfamiliar way. I'm sure she was saying in her born aginner way that Muslims do not identify the Rabbi with the Logos. So their love of Jesus must be a little different. I agree with her. But I feel I may be learning some new stuff from Rob who seems to know a lot more about practical Islam than I.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            I understand, but do you also agree with that implication of hers of most fundamental and prime importance, that on the Last Day, the Muslims-servants of Allah/God will find their faith to leave them sorely disappointed (apparently due to a matter of incorrect Christology)?

          • http://www.thirduse.com frank sonnek

            dear matthew.

            this is a different question isnt it? you are saying here that the important thing here is that "jeanine is saying that the muslim view of christ is all wrong and that that will have eternal consequences."

            She IS saying that I think.

            The other question was "is what jeanine was saying in fact the majority view of christianity historically or not?"

            I say that Jeanine is in agreement with the 3 ecumenical creeds and that you are not. So I am saying that the answer is yes to that second question Matthew.

            Feel free to show me from any of those creeds where I am mistaken, or argue that the 3 ecumenical creeds do not reflect the historical majority view of christianity.

            I hope we don´t have to lower ourselves to name calling again to sort this out dear brother…..

            God bless!.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            Dear brother Frank,

            "I say that Jeanine is in agreement with the 3 ecumenical creeds and that you are not."

            Here's the problem. You have yet to cite a single shred of evidence for a single stroke of the pen in disagreement between me and the creeds. Yet you continue to make these baseless claims that all but label me a heretic.

            "I hope we don't have to lower ourselves to name calling again to sort this out dear brother….."

            Who was calling anybody names? Oh, yes, I did call you "Frank" and "Mr. Sonnek" ;)

            I might suspect that a certain label is applicable—and you may have just proven it by your clear assertion that that Jeanine is agreement with the ecumenical creeds—but labels exist for a reason, which is that they be applied where applicable. And did you not just call me "brother"? :)

            How can I answer you, Frank, about where you are mistaken about me being mistaken, if you cannot answer me about where I am mistaken?

      • Jeanine

        For all of this back and forth, I was simply making the point that saying you 'love' Jesus, is not the same as believing that He is Lord and Savior.

        Making nice with a Muslim (or any other religious believer) because they are moral and love Jesus in order to keep peace in this social world we live in, (as the article seems to be suggesting) may be nice – but it is not loving. This life is short. Eternity is very long. Being at peace with a Muslim now, and keeping the Good News to myself, is like leaving them behind in a burning building.

        Political correctness may seem 'nice' and loving; but if I really believe that Muslims are destined for hell without the atoning work of Jesus Chirst, wouldn't it really be loving them to try to explain to them the difference between their love of Jesus and the actual belief that God requires for salvation?

        I was raised a Christian all of my life; but that was not going to save me either. Until the day that I repented for my own real sins before a Holy God and began to walk in a new direction, depending on Him for the power and the leading and trusting in Him for the atonement I needed; I was on my way to hell as well.

        I am eternally grateful for those who called me out and challenged me.

        • Diana A.

          "…but if I really believe that Muslims are destined for hell without the atoning work of Jesus Christ, wouldn’t it really be loving them to try to explain to them the difference between their love of Jesus and the actual belief that God requires for salvation?"

          I myself do not believe that the Muslims are destined for Hell, precisely because the atoning work of Jesus the Liberating King has already been done.

          Love, in any case, can not be forced or else it isn't love. Neither can faith. The biggest mistake we Christians (and members of other belief systems as well) make is in trying to force people to believe what they don't believe, instead of trusting in God to bring them around to the right way of seeing. The second biggest mistake we make is in believing that we ourselves hold all the answers when it comes to life, God, salvation, etc.–and so, we don't have to listen to anyone else, nor take them seriously, nor respect their views because after all, they are wrong and we are right.

          One of the themes of the many stories Jesus told regarding the Kingdom of Heaven is how many people will be surprised to find out they're in, when they thought they were out and how many people will be surprised to find out they're out when they thought they were in. It's a good thing to keep in mind when tempted to assume that one knows who's in and who's out.

          • Jeanine

            I know that Jesus did teach that many who thought they were going to Heaven were turned away. But I cannot remember a time when he taught that those who did not think they were going to Heaven made it there. Can you remind of those instances please?

          • Jeanine

            Also, I am not indicating that only Muslims are destined for hell. Please don't misunderstand. I think it is evident from the Bible that every sinful man is destined for hell. Me included.

            But I also believe that Jesus taught us that we have free will; the right to choose for ourselves if we want to be made holy and go to Heaven.

            Yes, Jesus died on the cross so that every single human that ever lived could be saved. However, that does not mean that they 'will' be saved. That decision rests with each individual. Do I want to repent of my sins and accept that free gift or not? I have met individuals that have no desire to go to Heaven and be holy. They love their sinful lives.

            I agree completely that God himself is the only one that can lead a person to slavation; but Jesus commanded us, before he left this earth, to go out into the world and proclaim the 'Good News' of the gospel – that the Lord has made a way for us to be reconciled to Him!

            That is all I am doing. I don't claim to have all of the answers to faith and life. But I am relying very much on what the Bible teaches and the words of Jesus himself. I don't believe the Bible is just a holy book like any other. I am convinced within myself; having read lots of other religious writings; and having read through the entire Bible many times myself; that it is a unique book – and contains the Words of God.

          • Diana A.

            Matthew 25:31-46

            31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

            34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

            37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

            40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

            41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

            44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

            45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

            46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

            In the parable, both the righteous and the unrighteous express surprise at their relative positions. The righteous helped the least of these, not realizing that in doing so they were helping Jesus, and thus inherited the kingdom prepared for them since the creation of the world.

            The unrighteous refused to help the least of these, not realizing that in failing to help them they were failing to help Jesus, and thus were sent away into "eternal punishment."

            So how we treat one another is how we are treating Jesus and it is how we treat Jesus that matters.

          • Jeanine

            I see what you are saying, but notice that the Lord is calling the sheep ‘righteous’. The Bible says that no one is righteous and that our good works are worthless. According to the Bible, we are all ‘DEAD’ in trespass and sin. A dead man cannot do anything good.

            Romans 3:10 NIV

            As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;

            Isaiah 64:6 NIV

            All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

            So we cannot make the mistake of believeing that the good things we do are what commends us to Jesus.

            Romans 3:20 NIV

            Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

            Titus 3:5 NIV

            he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,

            His work on the cross makes it possible for us to be washed clean from our sins and to be reborn with a new spirit- the Holy Spirit of truth. This Spirit of truth is what leads us to do righteousness and love others in a way that is acceptable to the Father. A Christian knows that his righteous acts come from the Spirit, maybe that is why he will be surprised to see these works accredited to him as righteousness in the day of the Lord.

            I have always seen this as Jesus sorting out those who ‘said’ that they knew hima nd served him; from those who really did know and serve him.

            There are alot of people on this planet who feed the hungry and do good works for their own glory in the public eye; rather than out of love and compassion.

          • Jeanine

            Posted by Diana A – I myself do not believe that the Muslims are destined for Hell, precisely because the atoning work of Jesus the Liberating King has already been done.

            So what you are saying is that Jesus died on the cross to atone for us all – and therefore every person will be going to Heaven whether they choose to or not. Therefore, Muslims, whether they know it or not, are going to Heaven. If this is so; then how is it possible that some who say they believe will not make it? If Christ died for a Muslim who doesn't claim to beleive, then why didn't he die for a Christian who does claim to believe?

          • Diana A.

            Let me try to explain–there are so many people who have better expressed my viewpoints on this than I'm capable of doing–so, some recommended reading before my own clumsy attempt to explain:

            CS Lewis–The Great Divorce

            Thomas Talbott–The Inescapable Love of God

            Brian McLaren–Basically everything I've ever read by him, but specifically "The Story We Find Ourselves in" and "The Last Word and the Word After That."

            Darin Hufford–The Misunderstood God (not so much about salvation as about the character of God–yet my beliefs concerning God are very much defined by what I hold God's character to be–and this book extensively defines that character.)

            There's what we say we believe and then there's what we actually believe. We can say that we believe that Jesus is Lord and it doesn't mean squat unless it is backed up by our actions. Thus what James said: "Faith without works is dead."

            The Kingdom of God is everywhere, whether we acknowledge it or not. God has been content to let us ignore that Kingdom for reasons of his own, but that will eventually come to an end. At that point, we will have the same choice we have always have–live in harmony with God and his ways or live in rebellion against God and his ways. The difference is that those who choose to live in rebellion will not have the power that they have now. Those who rebel against God and his ways will be in Hell, and that Hell will be Heaven to those who live in harmony with God and his ways. It will be just like the world is now–only Evil will be frustrated instead of Good.

            At least this is my belief. I could be wrong.

          • Jeanine

            I think we agree what James said; that faith without works is dead.

            But, I think there is an absolutely critical distinction to be made. We must be saved by faith in Jesus Christ – no other. We are not saved by our works.

            James himself acknowledged this:

            James 18

            He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

            When we are saved; the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us and turns our dead spirit into one that is alive. It is from this new 'live' spirit – born from the free gift of God, that works of righteousness flow.

            So yes, if righteous acts are not flowing forth in your life; chances are that you have never been born again in the spirit – as James told us 'Dead.'

          • Diana A.

            "We must be saved by faith in Jesus Christ – no other. We are not saved by our works." No, and I never said that we were saved by our works. All I'm saying is that our works tend to reflect our (true) beliefs/the workings of our hearts.

            As for being saved by faith–what is faith? It's a feeling, correct? It cannot be forced–correct? So why do we, in the name of Jesus, keep trying to force people to believe what they don't believe and feel what they don't feel?

            You're absolutely right that God sees into our hearts and knows us for what we are. We don't see into one another's hearts and we don't know each other for what we are. We may not even know ourselves for what we are. So then we go and we judge somebody else's way? We place ourselves on a big ol pedestal and then look down on anyone different from ourselves and say "Hmff, they don't know the truth," and elect ourselves as teacher? Isn't that a tad arrogant on our parts?

            So you think you know what goes on in a Muslim's heart and that you're the one who ought to correct that Muslim. What if you're wrong? What if God already has that situation well in hand and your "help" is actually interference? Did that ever occur to you?

            This is the problem that I have with evangelism–that too often it comes from a space of thinking that we know a lot more than we actually do.

          • Jeanine

            I share the truth with them in love – not with a giant stick.

            Obviously, they will walk away from the conversation as you and I will today; deciding in our own hearts which are known by God; what is true about our salvation.

          • Jeanine

            I don't agree that the Kingdom of God is everywhere.

            Jesus himself said -

            John 18:36 NIV

            Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place."

            However, as we learn in the book of Revelation, this will not always be the case.

            Revelation 11:15 NIV

            [The Seventh Trumpet] The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our LORD and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever."

            Revelation teaches that Jesus will return to this earth a second time and judge evil, casting all of the unrighteous into the lake of fire. Only then will His kingdom reign on this earth.

          • Diana A.

            Just because the Kingdom is not of this world doesn't mean that the Kingdom is not in this world. God is everywhere, therefore the Kingdom is everywhere, whether we acknowledge it or not.

          • Jeanine

            I do not think that faith is a feeling. The Bible defines what faith is:

            Hebrews 11:1 NIV

            Faith is being sure of what we hope for. It is being certain of what we do not see.

            How do we become sure and certain of this hope? Well, the Bible tells us that as well:

            Romans 10:17 NIV

            Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

            How will anyone come to saving faith if they do not hear the gospel?

            Matthew 28:18 (Following his resurrection)

            Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

            I am not forcing anyone to believe anything; I am going out, as Jesus my Lord has commanded me; and sharing the good news of reconciliation between man and God; because I love the Muslim that Jesus died for and want to see them be blessed as I have been blessed.

            And you are right about one thing; I do believe that God has this all under control. :)

          • Diana A.

            By your own definition, faith sure sounds like a feeling to me.

          • Jeanine

            Jesus says that his kingdom is in another place. (only for now as Revelation teaches). It is supernatural.

            God is omnipresent, but that does not mean the kingdom is. Believers are born into the kingdom, and become citizens of the Heavenly kingdom as soon as they put their faith in Christ. But that does not mean that we are God or that we become omnipresent.

            In fact the Bible describes believers as aliens to this world many times. For example:

            1 Peter 2:11 NIV

            Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.

            That is why Jesus commanded us to pray in the Lords prayer like this:

            Thy kingdom come…..

            He told us to pray for his second coming that his Heavenly kingdom would be established on earth.

          • Jeanine

            Not really. Faith is much more than a feeling. If I were trusting in my feelings; believe me, I would not have much hope.

            No, I am trusting and believing that what God has said is true. My faith is not a feeling; although at times I feel it very strongly.

            It is like this, for example….. Jesus said to turn the other cheek. Sometimes, a person can hurt you so badly that the last thing you feel like you should do is to turn the other cheek. But, faith is that thing that causes me to turn the other cheek even though every feeling within me wants to get my own revenge. Because I believe that what the Lord said is true, and that the greatest blessing and highest good will come when I do that which is contrary to me feeling.

            Do I have faith like this all of the time. No. Have I turned the other cheek before? Yes, and in a very hurtful situation. The good things that followed were unbelievable. I would never have seen such goodness had I sought revenge.

            I love the play les' miserable. It shows faith in action.

          • Diana A.

            My original point still stands. Why do we try to force people to think what they don't think, to feel what they don't feel, to profess what they regard as a lie?

            Ultimately faith is a matter of the heart (in my opinion) and the heart can only be changed by God. At best, we can only reflect the Love of God to other people, so that they too may come to know him through us. When we stand in judgment against other people's viewpoints, telling them how bad, wrong and stupid they are to believe differently from what we believe and how they're going to go to Hell unless they "get right with the Lord," we do God no favors, nor do we benefit nonbelievers, nor do we even benefit ourselves. If anything, we serve Satan, driving people away from God who might have been coming near. This is wrong.

          • Jeanine

            Diana A. – telling them how bad, wrong and stupid they are to believe differently from what we believe and how they’re going to go to Hell unless they “get right with the Lord,” we do God no favors

            I am not telling anyone that they are stupid, nor do I pretend that God needs me to do him any favors. But the message of the gospel is repentance and putting our faith in Christ Jesus for the atonement of our sins – as you put it 'Getting Right with God' to avoid condemnation.

            Matthew 4:17 NKJ

            From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

            Mark 6:7 And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits. 8 He commanded them to take nothing for the journey except a staff–no bag, no bread, no copper in their money belts– 9 but to wear sandals, and not to put on two tunics. 10 Also He said to them, "In whatever place you enter a house, stay there till you depart from that place. 11 And whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet as a testimony against them. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!" 12 So they went out and preached that people should repent.

            Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

            The old testament prophets preached repentance, John the Baptist preached repentance, the desciples preached repentance, and most of all Jesus Christ preached repentance.

            The old testament prophets were stoned and killed, John the Baptist was beheaded, the desciples were martyred, and Jesus was crucified. People do not enjoy hearing that they are not right with God so they kill the messenger.

          • Jeanine

            I am no more deserving of salvation than anyone. But at this point, I am just a messenger.

            This world is coming to an end, and all unrepentant sinners will persih. However, God has made a way such that none has to persih.

            Jesus has told us to share this news.

            I can send the Muslims hugs and kisses all day; I can be patient and accepting of their beliefs; but that will not make this reality known to them. I know Muslims and have two Muslim friends. The best way i know to love them is to tell them the truth and to pray for their souls.

            That is being a witness. Somebody once did this for me.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            Regarding John 18:36:

            Where it's from and where it is are two different questions.

            Regarding Revelation 11:15:

            Note the words "HAS become" and that what has been transformed is indeed the "kingdom of the world".

            Of course, this attitude in regards to Jesus Christ was predicted in the Bible: (St. Mt. 17:11-12)

            Jesus replied, "To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands."

            You see:

            The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

            (St. Jn. 1:5)

            Therefore:

            "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to." (St. Mt. 23:13)

            "[N]or will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."

            (St. Lk. 17:21)

            Are you saying that Muslims are unrepentant sinners?

            It also seems you deny Muslims to be sincere in their own heart's communion with the Spirit, in their knowledge of, as you said, the Spirit of truth, but also of love — that Holy Spirit of God.

            Blessed are the *poor* in spirit, for theirs *is* the Kingdom of heaven.

            Muslims have already received the Gospel ("Injil" in Arabic, recognized in the Qur'an as legitimately revealed of God through Christ Jesus)!

            "wouldn’t it really be loving them to try to explain to them the difference between their love of Jesus and the actual belief that God requires for salvation?"

            Yes, and so I must warn you, you do not evince the belief that by your own standards (cf. Mat 7:2) is necessary for salvation. Belief in a Jesus who is a member of a triune God whose patience wears thin is no more helpful than belief in (Spanish soccer player) Jesus Navas!

          • Jeanine

            Also, I am not saying that I know what is in a Muslims heart. I am not even saying that I know my own heart. Only God knows the heart of a man.

            I only know that God has said that we are all sinners and fallen short. But I also know that God has given every single person a measure of faith – by which we can know the truth.

            I just want to share what He has already shown me. Not out of pride; but out of gratefulness and love.

          • Jeanine

            Yes the kingdom has come – the spiritual kingdom. And we all enter into it through the same gate; the atoning work of Jesus Christ. But the Bible also talks about a restored physical kingdom with a new he3avena nd a new earth – free from sin.

            I think we can both agree that none of us has seen that kingdom yet.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            "I think we can both agree that none of us has seen that kingdom yet."

            We should I agree to that?

            By the way, the gates are twelve.

            God bless!

          • Matthew Tweedell

            *why

          • Wolf Paul

            Matthew, I think the point someone was making above is that most people are sloppy with language, and that thus when Jeanine calls Jesus a "member" of the Trinity she means to say nothing more than that He is part of the trinity. To try, as you did, to derive from that a particular belief of just HOW He is part of the Trinity is over-interpreting her words. She does not mean to say anything different than what the creeds say; by insisting that her views are somehow less than orthodox you make others wonder about your own views.

            I think you need to accept that people use language with less precision than you do, not considering every possible nuance and reading of the terms they use, and thus not really meaning all those things you are hearing.

            "Never ascribe to malice what can adequately be explained by ignorance" could in this case be re-phrased like this: Don't ascribe to heretical views what can adequately be explained by imprecise language.

            And don't insist on your precise and narrow reading of a word once the person using that word has asserted multiple times that she didn't mean to say THAT at all.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            Mr. Wolf Paul, haven't we gone over this enough?!

            Jesus is not "a part of the Trinity"! What utter blasphemous nonsense!

            Did I not say that I was perfectly aware that it was likely just ignorance on Jeanine's part? Indeed, was not the very point that this same ignorance is involved in her judgment of Muslims?

            Now, she never “asserted multiple times that she didn’t mean to say THAT at all.” No, not even once, and in fact, only others were interjecting on her behalf between her first comment and today.

            Did I ever insist on *my* "precise and narrow reading of a word"? I'm not the one who wants to get technical about such points as the exact doctrinal definitions necessary for salvation!

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

      I’m confused on how it’s deceptive.

      • http://www.thirduse.com frank sonnek

        I do not believe that any faithful Muslim would EVER say that they "believe in Jesus". That is what the t-shirt says along side the post. Muslims would be very offended at this idea.

        secondly, the wrong question is asked and answered. No one should question the fact that Muslims consider Jesus to be a great prophet. So yes they qualify as "liking jesus" in a way.

        This is the wrong question because it really ignores what the fundamental difference between muslims and christians is: christians believe Jesus is the only true God. Muslims do not believe that.

        Ok. so this does not mean that muslims are bad people and maybe even usually more moral or nicer than christians. ok. we got that. But that is not what the article really suggests. It would have been more honest to say this:

        "Christians and Muslims define who God is in radically different ways. Christians believe Jesus is God. Muslims honor him as a prophet but would call worship of Jesus idolatry and so wrong and sinful. This fact does not in any way mean that Muslims are any less moral or nice or human or normal than any christian. "

        The article is not clear about the difference between christianity and islam. this is what is deceptive. and that picture of the tshirt . the tshirt is not honest.

        • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

          I do not believe that any faithful Muslim would EVER say that they “believe in Jesus”.>>>

          That's not my personal experience, actually, I work with a number of Muslim men and women who readily acknowledge the presence of Jesus and the powerful role of his teachings. If one reads the article with the intent to understand what the author is communicating, it's quite clear he's not asserting that Muslims worship Jesu and/or "believe" Him to be the Son of God.

          Others do get to talk about Jesus on their own terms. I see attempts by some here to 'reclaim' the words the author used – namely, believe and love – in order to ensure those words are used properly. When in fact, it's quite reasonable for a Muslim to "believe" in Jesus and to acknowledge his role in the world – they can do that without worshipping him, and we can be OK with that because they aren't taking anything away from our own more sacred experience while doing so.

          • http://www.thirduse.com frank sonnek

            hey. its a free country. people can say whatever they want. And they can mean whatever they want by whatever they say. and they dont take anything away from me by doing so.

            words have a context. the context often governs the meaning. christians "believe in " Jesus as the only one true God. This is the common context. Complete the phrase…

            I believe in jesus….as God. No a muslim would never say that.

            "I believe that Jesus was a great prophet" yes a muslim would say that.

            When someone says then that muslims also "beleive in " Jesus, it obsfuscates.It does not clarify. It is true in a certain context maybe, but that context, to be clear, should be stated.

            Your point is that I have a hair up my a** because someone is saying something I consider to be an invasion of my "sacred experience" or some other wierdness. You, in charity , could chose to read what I said with a bit more charity eh?

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            What are you talking about? Please relax. You are the one who proactively used the word "deceptive" to…a t-shirt.

          • ManimalX

            Frank Sonnek is spot on in his criticism.

            The T-shirt states, "Muslims Believe In Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him)."

            It is either ignorant (if it is vague on accident), or deceptive (if it is vague on purpose).

            Either way, it is "misleading" due to fuzziness. It fails.

          • ManimalX

            Oh, and I forgot to mention that one also needs to consider the common understanding of the phrase, "Believe in Jesus."

            That is a distinctly Christian term, and most people understand what is meant when that phrase is used.

            When it is coupled with "Muslim," it suggests that Muslims "believe in Jesus" in the same way as a Christian.

            Any way you approach it, it is a pretty stupid slogan.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            Well it looks as though the two of you have this entire thing figured out. I will let the other commenters know that the t-shirt has been summarily deemed as "dishonest", that this guy named Ron more than likely is living in his fuzzy Christian van down by the river, and that you and Frank will now move on to appropriately discern the catch phrase "Visualize world peace".

          • Diana A.

            So now we are reduced to criticizing other people's philosophies based upon the slogans they wear on their t-shirts. OMFG!

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            "When someone says then that muslims also “beleive in ” Jesus, it obsfuscates.It does not clarify. It is true in a certain context maybe, but that context, to be clear, should be stated."

            These are Muslims. They believe he was a prophet, that is explicitly stated in their holy set of scriptures. There is really no way of misunderstanding that if one is reading with the intent to understand.

            Anyway!

            O ill .?_••.

    • berkshire

      @Frank

      Read the first part about how the person John was speaking to is a scholar of religions, scholar of Islam, *and* a Christian.

      Why ask John to find that quote for you? You, yourself, are clearly literate. To read the Koran (as a work of literature) might be educational for you and increase your understanding. Just a thought. It's quite a bit shorter than the Bible, too.

      "Every religion makes room for Jesus as a prophet."

      As a practicing Buddhist, I can tell you that's incorrect. I think a Hindu, a Taoist, a Jain, or a follower of Confucius would say the same or similar, if we're talking about religious 'founders' or original texts as the only true authorities on any religion (not sure I agree with that, but . . . ).

      The world is bigger than just the part that is Christian, Jewish, Muslim (and I'll bet you already knew that.)

      But I still think Jesus was a-OK. :-)

      Peace.

      • Diana A.

        "Jesus is just alright with me,

        Jesus is just alright, woh, yeah…. "

    • Matthew Tweedell

      @Frank Sonnek

      Forgiveness is in fact a major theme of the Koran. It is repeatedly associated with the nature of Allah, which thus determines the will of Allah, submission of one's own will to which is the defining characteristic of a Muslim. A few examples of verses specifically enjoining believers to forgiveness include surah 3:134, 7:199, 45:14, 64:14.

      I know of no basis in the Koran or Hadith for that assertion regarding the substitution of Barabbas (which means "Son of the Father" and whose first name according to early Greek manuscripts of Matthew was Jesus). Why not accept as the Injeel/Gospel asserts that this man was released? (A couple other points of note are that Buddhist monks may, if there's any basis to the "Life of St. Issa", have heard testimony from the early Judeo-Christian community in India, or the people of the Magi, to the effect that the Jews had actually advocated against the crucifixion of Jesus, but it was the Romans who wanted Him dead—a version of events that wouldn't have helped Christianity any in making state religion—and that the custom of releasing a prisoner at Passover is unsubstantiated outside the gospels and would be a bit unorthodox for the Roman state, insistent that the official religion govern in secular affairs, while there was indeed a tradition of releasing one goat and sacrificing its twin as a sin offering.)

      A more likely candidate for a substitution (which smacks of parallels with the story of Exalted Father, the Father of Many, (Abram, Abraham) and the binding of his son) would be the mysterious Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, who was compelled to carry his cross, where "his" is ambiguous, unlike in the apparently related sayings of Jesus: "… he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me", wherewith the earliest gospels — read literally — continue leaving quite ambiguous the matter of which corporeal body was put up on that cross, which of course the pneumatic gospel emphasizes was born by Jesus Christ Himself.

      Anyway, as for what the Koran does say, it says in surah 4:

      157 And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah's messenger – they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain.

      158 But Allah took him up unto Himself. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise.

      159 There is not one of the People of the Scripture but will believe in him before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them -

      So Muslims assert that Christ Jesus never died, not because Allah would not allow such a fate to befall His prophet, as you say in apparent contradiction to the recognition in the Koran that other prophets have been cruelly murdered, but as they await his return, in preparation for Judgment Day, to rid the world of injustice and reign over his messianic kingdom.

      "I do not believe that any faithful Muslim would EVER say that they 'believe in Jesus'. That is what the t-shirt says along side the post. Muslims would be very offended at this idea."

      Why?

      …when they do believe in Jesus.

      …and for them to claim otherwise would be in violation of the Holy Qur'an!

      Is this belief just some blind faith of yours?

  • http://www.thirduse.com frank sonnek

    by the way. I fully and gladly acknowledge that many muslims put me and other christians to shame in their true love for their neighbor and their visible righteousness. What I have written in no way detracts or denies that. And I do not in any way feel that God is not very pleased with that righteousness and love for others.

    But ….

    being righteous or good or loving is not what makes one or defines one as a christian in any way whatsoever.

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

      being righteous or good or loving is not what makes one or defines one as a christian in any way whatsoever>>>

      By your fruits, you shall know them.

      • Tim

        Matthew 7:15-29 IMO talks about the source or origin of that fruit. The false prophet comes to us in sheep's clothing…producing good fruit as far as we can see, but inwardly (where we can't see) they are ravenous wolves. Grapes are not gathered from thorns, nor figs from thistles.

        We are the branches He is the true vine. (John 15:1-6)"…He who abides in Me, and I in him, HE it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Him you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in Me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the blades are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned."

        I don't completely agree with Frank's statement either. I think that good fruit MAY be an indication of God's good fruit being born out in our deeds. Only God knows if the fruit is His, or counterfeit.

        • http://none Don Rappe

          Oh man, I think I saw my confirmation verse up there.

          • Tim

            Is that a Catholic thing? I was confirmed (age 11) by the Episcopal church back when they were conflicted about the reality of hell. I don't recall having to cite a verse, though.

            Our church didn't even have Bibles. We had the Book of Common Prayer and a Hymnal. The Vicar was a jolly round chap who seemed to like it when communion attendance was light. That meant he had to belt down the remaining sacramental wine left over. One Sunday, he was so tipsy, he weaved too close to a row of metal folding chairs as he careened past the congregation. The knotted cord in his vestments got lodged in the crotch of a folding chair. Trying to play it cool, he pressed on with vigor attempting to release the trapped cord. The attempt failed and he wound up dragging the collapsed chair about 10 feet slamming it into subsequent chairs, knocking them over and creating a righteous moment of religious calamity I will remember all my days. Well…that moment and the morning Carl Mitchington wore silver spurs into church. During the most quiet and reverent moment of spiritual reflection…with eyes closed, I imagined gunslinger Jack Wilson sashaying into Grafton's saloon like snot on glass door knob. My lord, church (as a kid) was often funnier than anything intending to be funny.

          • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfor

            best Sunday story ever…beats my priest wearing OP shorts and vans under his Vestments and being late for mass one Sunday cuz of a pacific storm and big waves…

            he was my Father Ralph.

            he is not a priest anymore.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            LOL! literally! laughed-out-loud… 3x!

            Thanks for sharing that, Tim!

        • http://www.thirduse.com frank sonnek

          "I don’t completely agree with Frank’s statement either."

          Feel free to disagree. I happen to believe that faith in Christ alone is what fully defines one as a christian. Period! and faith is something in the heart that is invisible and known for sure only to God.

          I would not be so arrogant as to think that pagans are any less capable of morality or righteousness or any less able to be moral or a good person.

          So let´s put the same assertion I made in the negative and see if you still disagree:

          Being a christian in NO way whatsover differentiates anyone as being any more moral or righteous. Being a christian in NO way means that someone will appear to be visibly nicer, more righteous, more moral, more superior humanly, than any pagan or athiest or muslim or whatever. Faith alone in that Christ who claimed to be God who "existed before all worlds" (nicean creed) is what makes one a christian or not.

          I think on this point, I am agreeing fully with what John as to say here.

          • berkshire

            I'm a little confused, but let me see if I get you here.

            You seem to be saying not that it is only faith that makes one a Christian, but rather that, given that 'goodness' is a quality shared by people of many faiths (or people professing no faith) what defines a Christian among that big crowd of 'good folks' is their faith in Jesus Christ. You aren't saying that 'goodness' isn't an important part of being a Christian.

            Did I get that right?

  • Tammy

    Thank you! At least this will be published, and I for one, will share it! My Islamic friends are just as you have shown them to be.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Beautiful. Thanks, Tammy.

  • http://nirakia.blogspot.com/ Karin

    Now that was interesting!! I had no idea how the media just plain ignores normal average Muslims or how their condemnation of 9-11 was ignored.

    • Al

      Actually only a fraction of muslims actively condemned 9/11, and quite a few said in one way or another that “they had it coming”.

      • http://dianer.blogspot.com DR

        Citation and/or source, please.

        • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

          PEW has done some terrific work getting polling data from around the world. I have listed some of the interesting graphs showing a variety of what I think is reliable information about wider beliefs held by significant numbers of people that reveal a great deal of sympathy for those who use violence in the name of islam. Much of the information comes from this PEW study including the quote below.

          http://pewglobal.org/files/legacy/253-3.gif http://pewglobal.org/files/legacy/253-5.gif http://pewglobal.org/files/legacy/248-8.gif http://pewglobal.org/files/legacy/248-2.gif

          Sizable percentages of Muslims in many countries with significant Muslim populations also believe that suicide bombings can be justified in order to defend Islam from its enemies. While majorities see suicide bombing as justified in only two nations polled, more than a quarter of Muslims in another nine nations subscribe to this view.

          Another shocking revelation comes to us from a study by the Center for Social Cohesion in Britain that shows why widespread public condemnation for the 9/11 never materialized:

          Just under a third of Muslim students polled (32%) said killing in the name of religion can be justified – the majority of these said killing could be justified if the religion was under attack, and 4% of all respondents supported killing in order to promote and preserve that religion.

          - 60% of active members of campus Islamic societies said killing in the name of religion can be justified. By contrast, only 2% of non-Muslims agreed.

          • Shari

            Your direct words were:

            "Actually only a fraction of muslims actively condemned 9/11, and quite a few said in one way or another that “they had it coming”."

            And you sent statistics that showed from your source that 32% of muslims believed that killing in the name of religion can be justified (more than just Muslims have done this BTW) and a WHOPPING 4% of those people believed that killing in order to promote and preserve that religion was acceptable. The rest assumingly said that it was in case they were under attack. That's a very broad brush your attempting to paint with. You still have no source that directs anyone to what your original statement was, that I can see. Can you post that please?

          • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

            Sorry Shari. The direct words you attribute to me were written by Al. All I wanted to do was show something that I think is in direct contrast to the enlightenment value of freedom of speech: a significant minority of well-educated, western-born and-raised affluent muslims still agree that killing in the name of religion is justifiable.

            My main point here is get people to realize that we undermine the majority of muslims who do not support killing in the name of religion when we tolerate and protect and excuse and apologize those who do not support these western values of freedoms, rights, and dignity of the Other if the action undertaken in the name of one or more of these values is considered disrespectful of their religious beliefs. In other words, we act against our own best interest when we fail to challenge and condemn religious sensitivities over and above human rights, political freedoms, and issue of dignity PLUS we undermine exactly those religious believers who agree with these values!

  • A'isha

    The similarities between Islam and Christianity are almost exclusively moral ones, the same kind of moral beliefs that even atheists can claim. I think those similarities are good…they help us all interact with each other by finding common ground.

    I appreciate how others have pointed out the difference between how Christians and Muslims love Jesus. It's a BIG difference! I love Abraham and Moses and others in the Bible, but they are not my Savior. They didn't die for me. They can't forgive me. They can't offer grace, which, as far as I've discovered, is a truly Christian concept. Yes, grace exists outside of Christianity, but the true, free, all-encompassing grace that grants us access to Heaven only comes from Jesus. All other religions are based on works. Salvation is earned by what you do. Not so for Christians. Salvation is earned by what Jesus did alone.

    • http://none Don Rappe

      Worshiping one God is not entirely a moral similarity. The Guy who spoke from the burning bush seemed to think that the idea there was more than one of Him so that He might need a name was kind of a joke. But, perhaps I'm reading that into the story.

    • ManimalX

      @ A'isha

      Brilliantly stated. I couldn't agree more.

    • Ozhan

      I'm replying to " Posted by A'isha on August 18, 2010 at 2:45 pm"

      I dont know much about Cristhiany but i guess… People were sinfull, Jesus suffered for them so mankind is forgivven and now when a baby born is s/he is sinfull and need to be baptized into Christianty so new born can get rid of sins.

      In Islam… All mankind born as pure and with a love for God in his/her heart. Some lose it during their journey, for those who dont lose it, salvation is possible even if they are full of flaws. God many times says it can forgive all sins if soul can understand what did he wrong. There are two greatest sin: pride means rejecting God, selfishness means hurting other human for personal gain. In 2nd case only victim can forgive.

      The word Islam means "surrending yourself to god and recivieng salvation". So you may not be in team Muslim, you may not part of the orginezed religion who people call Islam, you may not pay your taxes to mosques but if you are accepting a power higher than you, there is hope for you.

      • Matthew Tweedell

        Excellent comment! Thank you for this, Ozhan.

        Christians actually have some diverse opinions regarding who receives salvation, but, on the world-wide scale at least, most Christians agree that you may not be in team "Christian", you may not part of the organized religion that people call Christianity, but if you acknowledge the Creator, there is a place for you in the plan of salvation.

        (If anyone questions this, see paragraph 841 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which by itself happens to have just over half of the world's Christians.)

        By the way, the usual understanding of Christians is not that people are born as guilty sinners, but that they are born with (and into) a sinful nature, that they are inclined towards the temptations of sin; this nature, however, comes to mankind as a curse in consequence of the original, ancestoral sin of Adam and Eve.

        • Ozhan

          Thank you, I understand better.

        • Jeanine

          Ya, that may be true, but we all become 'guilty sinners' pretty darn quickly. And by the way, can soembody please tell me what a troll is?

          • Diana A.

            "In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion." From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_%28Internet%29

          • Jeanine

            Thanks, I was wondering. :)

          • Matthew Tweedell

            "…but we all become ‘guilty sinners’ pretty darn quickly."

            Not necessarily.

          • Jeanine

            My five children 'all' needed to be taught to share, not to lie, not to hit, not to take things that didn't belong to them, to think of others before themselves, to respect their parents, to work hard, etc. And the teaching still goes on today.

            I know, some peoples' kids are just perfect right out of the gate…… I guess I wasn't that lucky.

          • Jeanine

            Oh and lest you accuse me a gain, I am not lumping Jesus

            (fully divine and fully human) in with my children.

          • aminah

            being born pure doesn’t mean the children will be perfect, it just means they are still innocent and without sin, and like you said they still need to learn the way to behave from their parents :)

  • Lisa

    I am a Christian and an American, I lived in a Muslim country for two years and I can honestly say NO ONE hated me or tried to kill me….in fact they LOVED me and I made some really great friends! America should stop listening to the Media and go experience the world for themselves instead of living in a box.

    • Diana A.

      I concur w/Lisa.

    • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfor

      i have not lived in a predominantly Muslim country, but i can say that the Muslim friends are the most loving, and dare i say it? oh what the hell, fuck'em right?

      they are the most Christ-like people i have had the privilege to know.

      yea i said it…

      • A'isha

        I've seen this among other groups as well. What I've come up with as a reason is the whole works issue. Like I said earlier, Christians are saved by what Christ did, not by anything we do. Those who aren't saved by grace believe they have to work for it which oftentimes makes them a whole lot nicer.

        In Ephesians 2:8-10 ( ESV) it says "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

        What a lot of Christians (me included many times!) forget is that even though we're saved by grace we're "created…for good works." Too many times we act as if we don't have to do anything because we're already saved. We need to be kind, loving, Christ-like because of the grace we received freely. We read the first part of these verses but fade out before we get to the end.

        • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfor

          right! when i was talking about this thread to DH he said

          "the Christians do not have the "corner office on morality"

          he did not say "corner office" but i can not remember the term he used so that is what i put in there…now i must away to bed…

          • Kara

            Could it be “Christians haven’t cornered the market on morality”? (I’m seriously asking; it’s just an expression I use that seems to fit here.)

          • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfor

            YES!!!! that is what he said….

  • Jeanine

    Muslims love, love, love Jesus? Let us please define the terms……

    Muslims may love Jesus in the same way that I might love George Washington, Michaelangelo or Beethoven. I hold them in high esteem because they rose to the top and seperated themselves from the masses with a spirit of excellence for the thing that they did. As such, I am able to partake in their labors and enjoy the beauty of what their life stood for and what their labors accomplished. I think this is probably how Muslims love Jesus. Needless to say, I think many people who call themselves Christians also love Jesus in this way.

    However, a true born-again Christian loves Jesus in a completely different manner. A real Christ follower loves Him as Savior and Lord. Jesus is a member of the triune God who created me and has redeemed me. I long for His return to this world to reign and rule for eternity, in justice, power and love. He is not merely a ‘pattern’ for good living – he is the Power for it.

    We Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, you name it – can find common ground for good morals and social order in each of our prophets. However, not one of us has power to live these good morals out perfectly. Try and try as we may, every person of every earthly religion falls short much of the time. Often times when our actions are good, our heart can betray us to the Lord. These failures seperate us from God.

    It is the love of Jesus and his death on the cross that has paid the penalty such that we can approach our holy God and draw from his Spirit in prayer and communion and daily living – understanding that until he comes a second time, we will continue to struggle with our own flesh.

    I doubt the Muslims (or Christians) for that matter who only love him as a historical figure will continue to love him when he returns to judge the sins of the world. As the Bible clearly describes, the second coming will not be anything like the first. At that time, once God has extended his patience with us as far as it can be extended; he will pour out his wrath and justice on an unrepentant people.

    Now is the time to love him as Lord and Savior as he patiently and loving invites all of us to come to Him. Be Blessed.

    • ManimalX

      @ Jeanine

      Brilliant reply. You nailed the huge difference between those who "love" Jesus as a good teacher, or a good man, or a good myth that teaches some good lessons, and those who LOVE Jesus as Lord, Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.

      Not everyone who calls Him, "Lord, Lord!" is one of His children.

      @Matthew Tweedle

      I don't know your personal theology, but it seems you deny the Trinity as it has been historically understood by Christendom since the beginning. Am I correct in this?

      Also, it is erroneous for you to accuse Jeanine of somehow doing God a disservice when she correctly places, "an ultimate finite limit on God’s patience." Jeanine isn't pulling that out of her hat. It is one of the least vague truths in Scripture. You can start in Genesis and go all the way through to Revelation and see that God will not endure sin (nor the unrepentant sinner) forever. His patience with the rebellion on Earth goes only so far, and that in NO WAY diminishes Him. The amazing thing is that He has put up with sinners for as long as He has, not that He will eventually end this period of mercy and commence with ultimate judgment.

      Your accusation, "You also deny the Christ as fully man, saying “every person… falls short much of the time," is equally erroneous. In fact, it seems as if you are being contrary merely for the sake of being contrary. You know what she meant. She wasn't accusing Jesus of "falling short." Romans 3:23 "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." I guess Paul was dissing Jesus, too, eh?

      • Matthew Tweedell

        @Manimalle

        "I don’t know your personal theology, but it seems you deny the Trinity as it has been historically understood by Christendom since the beginning. Am I correct in this?"

        No. You do!

        You cut out the rest of Paul's sentence, which clearly refines the meaning of all; if one says "all were irresponsible while the boss was away," it should be pretty clear that this "all" does not include the boss anymore than it includes the office furniture. You further ignore that the "all" in this universe of discourse was already qualified and determined in the immediately preceding sentence as "all who believe", just as you should conclude from that sentence by itself as it goes on to talk about this "all" justified freely by his grace.

        And the rest just evinces a serious misunderstanding of God!

        • ManimalX

          @ Matthew Tweedell

          And that is the same "all" (or "every person" to be exact) referred to by Jeanine above when she wrote, "Try and try as we may, every person of every earthly religion falls short much of the time. Often times when our actions are good, our heart can betray us to the Lord. These failures seperate us from God."

          She obviously wasn't stating that Jesus ever "fell short."

          Unless you meant something else by your closing statement, "You also deny the Christ as fully man, saying “every person… falls short much of the time.”"

          If you meant something else, forgive me for not getting it.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            She didn't say "all"; she said "every person". While "all" is a pronoun whose reference must be determined from context, "every person" is a noun phrase, the meaning of which follows from definition, as with "historical figure" and the verb "love".

          • Matthew Tweedell

            By the way, even if she would have used "all", she clearly couldn't have in mind the same thing as Paul (all believers in Christ), since she said, "of every earthly religion".

          • Jeanine

            The Bible very clearly teaches that there is one God who is manifest in three persons. All three (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) are wonderfully present, serve different functions, yet are one God. This is what the Bible teaches; the fact that it is a mystery to my human mind at this point does not bother me in the least. Actually it gives me great comfort to know that the one true God is not some lone being out there, but that he is a triune community – one that lives in perfect harmony and agreement and love; so much in fact that He calls Himself ONE. The concept gives me such hope for how we will all be living in relation to each other in Heaven.

            The Bible also teaches that Jesus was fully divine and fully human – but lived without spot or blemish. This is why I am trusting Him as the only way to God. I do not accept the premise of any of these Hollywood movies that Jesus was 'one of us' in terms of sin. If that were the case; there would be no hope for anyone.

            The price Jesus paid on the cross for us is a perfectly logical one when you consider that God is and must be Just and punish sin or He would not be good and Holy. Yet, God is merciful and extends His hand of Grace, also the quality of a Good God. Since all men have sinned and fallen short of God's glory, God had to take the penalty for sin Himslef; Jesus on the cross.

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

      What you've described here seems to be about "worshipping" Jesus. There is a sacred approach when one holds Jesus as truly, the Savior of the World. One can love Jesus – in fact, many do, they are passionate about what he taught and who he challenged. Love is an appropriate term here, to expect love = worship in all scenarios Jesus wise is a semantics debate isn't reasonable – I agree with that (if that's the point you're making).

    • Matthew Tweedell

      Hi, Jeanine!

      I know you mean well, and I appreciate that you’ve clearly put a lot of time and thought into this well-written expression of your beliefs and their logical conclusions in regards to this issue.

      However, if you want to get so technical, by saying that Jesus is “a member of the triune God”, you have just placed yourself further removed from the theological ground of Christianity than Islam. What you believe denies the fullness of the Godhead in Christ, denies the divine simplicity of the Godhead (which Muslims do accept), and but for some symmantical nuance would consitute polytheism. Then, in placing an ultimate finite limit on God’s patience, you’re believing in a God that is not the Almighty and Infinite–the Most High–the God of the Abrahamic faiths. You also deny the Christ as fully man, saying “every person… falls short much of the time.”

      • Matthew Tweedell

        Oops. That was supposed to be "semantic", not "symmantical".

  • http://dianer.blogspot.com DR

    Have forwarded this quite a bit today. In light of the movement of soldiers today in Iraq, great post.

  • yaraz

    jesus is actually the most quoted prophet in the quran!!!!

  • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfordinner

    i love this post.

  • Larry Shell

    Excuse me, but I have a problem when someone is held out to be a worldwide expert, and then we are only provided with the name of "Rob." I have received emails and been referred to posts where there is an express extreme agenda. They never provide name, dates, etc so that I can determine fact from fiction. Snopes.com does help in this quest. I'm not suggesting that your post is anything but accurate, but you do cause a cloud to form overhead when you do not provide proper attribution. So, who is this mysterious Rob?

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

      I’m not suggesting that your post is anything but accurate>>>

      No, the passive aggressive approach does a nice job of that for you. So we are to assume then that John's "sources" are much like Perez Hilton when he doesn't provide Rob's social security number?

      It's amazing the lengths some will go in order to avoid entertaining a challenging perspective.

      • ManimalX

        @ DR

        The thing is, DR, that Mr. Shore spent a great deal of time promoting the phenomenal expertness of his friend. I don't think it is such a far-fetched request that he provide the name of his experty expert! I think it is a fair criticism to point out the glaring anonymity.

        I can't speak for anyone else, but I don't believe every claim that someone makes on the internet ;) Maybe you know John Shore very well and have an easier time blindly accepting whatever he writes. That is not an uncommon thing among friends and close acquaintances. Some of us, however, don't know Mr. Shore that well yet!

        What is one of the foundations of good scholarship? Citing sources and providing references. Like Larry Shell, I would like to know the identity of the mystery master of Muslim-Christian relations.

        • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

          Stunning.

          • ManimalX

            Quite! Common sense is a bit of a conversation stopper sometimes, ain't it? ;)

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            No, arrogance is. It's really stunning.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            I think it is hilarious that a few sentences describing an actual friend's expertise is a "great deal of time". I'm actually giggling. To suggest that using someone's first name to, oh I don't know – protect his privacy perhaps or some other reason is somehow suspect? It's so outrageous and incredibly rude to do on someone's blog., I'm a little speechless. But again, why am I trying I don't think you have the capacity for understanding that.

            I think you might have dug yourself into quite the hole, here. I feel kind of badly for you at this point, so I'm going to let you be.

          • ManimalX

            Yeah, "a great deal of time." You can play petty with semantics over my choice of wording, but my POINT is perfectly clear. Mr. Shore spent the entire first paragraph making sure all of us readers knew that "Rob" was a Big Time Real Deal Super Duper Expert.

            Rob is an expert. Rob has a Master's. Rob is working on a Doctorate. Rob was a Lutheran pastor. Rob speaks in front of lots of people. Rob flies all over so he can attend conferences. In fact, there is nobody in the world whois more of an expert than Rob!

            I'd say that's quite a build-up. The entire rest of the piece is the "expert" being experty, and the reader is expected to believe him based upon his expertness.

            So, excuse me if I want to verify said expertness.

            Also, if "Rob" is some sort of renowned author and public speaker, I hardly think it matters whether or not Mr. Shore protects his identity. Especially when the subject is something on which "Rob" is an "expert!" It isn't like I are asking for his bank account info, his phone number, his address, or something that has nothing to do with anything. I am asking for the NAME of the guy who has been promoted as some sort of well known public expert. If he is well published, I'd like to check out some of his work. If he is a prolific speaker, I'd like to hear some of his lectures.

            I don't understand why you are throwing such a hissy fit simply because people want to verify and research a source.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            I know, dear. If you don't believe it or if it doesn't align to what your understanding of "experty expertness is", then their credibility is suspect.

            Ironically, you refute such expertise while asserting none of your own credibility. What a conundrum. Looking forward to hearing more about your credentials/education.

            Listen, you've done a nice job here in doing exactly what your typical, old guy Fundamentalist Christian would offer. You're the exact caricature of one of those people who are so terrified of being wrong/losing control, they bristle at the word "Muslim". You got me, I thought you were real.

            Nicely done, you got past my troll radar. Blueberry pancakes nailed it. But I give you an A+++ for trolling and I would definitely read this again.

        • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfor

          Nicely done, you got past my troll radar. Blueberry pancakes nailed it.

          yeah…i am pretty smart…..for a girl.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            You are, but apparently the bar is set quite low for ladies like us.

            Now let's do each other's hair and make up!

          • Ace

            Ooh, can we turn it into a slumber party? PILLOW FIGHT TIME! :D

          • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfor

            don't forget to bring your Barbie's!!!

  • Ali Gail

    I loved this. As a convert to Islam, I've explained to countless people these same points and have some success in educating some. Thanks for showing we are making some progress toward understanding.

  • ManimalX

    I have a few issues with the claim that the person Mr. Shore spoke with is indeed an “expert” regarding Christianity and Islam. There are a few things he stated that are just plain silly.

    First: “Muslims know they’re supposed to kneel toward Mecca and pray five times a day, but most don’t do it. Just like most Christians don’t go to church every Sunday. Same thing.”

    No, it is NOT the “same thing.” Mr. Shore’s source is absolutely correct in pointing out the apathy that exists in both Christianity and Islam. However, there is a huge difference between Muslims praying toward Mecca 5 times daily and Christians going to church on Sunday. “Salah” (the 5 prayers made toward Mecca every day) is one of the 5 PILLARS of Islam, while Sunday church meeting is merely a Christian tradition. While salah is DEMANDED of the Muslim as a foundation for their faith, weekly church meetings are not Christian essentials. Yes, the Bible encourages fellowship and urges Christians not to forsake assembling together, but it is no commandment, and salvation doesn’t depend on attending Sunday church.

    Second: “evangelical Christians and traditional practicing Muslims are like two peas in a pod. They have identical conservative values: anti-gay, pro-family, the sanctity of marriage, the father as the head of the family, being a good citizen, fostering community, living a disciplined life, showing hospitality. Conservative Christians have more in common with traditional Muslims than they do with any other group.”

    For a so-called “expert” in Christian-Muslim relations, this is an extremely ignorant statement. The similarities are skin deep, and any child in Sunday school could probably explain why.

    “Anti-gay,” for example. Christians (well, biblical Christians anyhow) aren’t specifically “anti-gay,” we are “anti-sin.” Homosexuality happens to be one of the many things that are sin and thus separate humans from God. What that means in the case of homosexuality is we correctly identify it as sin, encourage fellow Christians to avoid its practice, and lovingly help them if they struggle with it. We do the same thing with any other sin. And, the important part, we don’t expect non-Christians to behave like Christians ought to! Yeah, I can say, “that unsaved guy practices homosexuality and that is wrong,” but I don’t expect him to act differently apart from Christ. Being “anti-sin” means identifying sin as sin and not being afraid to do so. What it DOESN’T include is persecuting said sin. It is God who ultimately convicts a person of their sin and convinces them of their need for a Savior. We as Christians have the honor of being the messengers, but we in no way are the causes of salvation.

    Contrast that with the “anti-gay” of Islam. In Islam, gayness results in execution. You don’t encourage your brother in faith and help him battle his sin, you stone him to death or hang him from the neck or separate his head from his body because that is what Muhammad and Allah demand. In fact, there are even hadith which claim that the executed homosexual has no chance at repentance or salvation.

    Big difference.

    I don’t have time now to go through each item, but the same thing happens with all of the rest of the supposed “similarities” listed by Mr. Shore’s so-called “expert.” There are surface similarities, but not much more.

    • gooseberrybush

      Wow! I won't even begin to tackle the paragraph on being anti-sin in relationship with homosexuality. I've never read the Quran. I don't pretend to be an expert on the subject, but do you know for certain that the Quran actually says that gays should be stoned to death or hung or decapitated? Unless you do, this is a very ignorant statement. There's a very big difference between the laws on the books in Muslim countries and what Islam has to say about how to deal with these issues.

      Even so, the Old Testament has many laws, such as, for instance, "an eye for an eye," but you don't see Jews in Israel poking each other's eyes out with sticks. Maybe because an eye for an eye was meant to be a limitation on what could be exacted in terms of revenge and not a prescribed punishment by law.

      I don't think we're qualified to make statements like you've made unless we've put as much time into studying Islam and the Quran as we have into Christianity and the Bible. And maybe not even then.

      • ManimalX

        Sorry, Gooseberry, I didn't see this earlier.

        The Koran isn't as specific on punishment for sexual immorality as the Hadith. Muhammad cursed homosexuals, and imams through the centuries have prescribed the death penalty for homosexuality.

        Regarding Jews adhering to the OT: Most Jews no longer adhere to literal Levitical or OT law, except for certain items. An obvious example is the sacrificial system. There is no longer a Temple, and there are no animal sacrifices.

        Christians, of course, are completely free from Levitical law. "The Law" served a specific puurpose for a specific people during a specific time in history. That purpose has been fulfilled and we are not that people of that time.

        Regarding being "qualified" to make truth statements about Islam and the Koran: I have personally spent many years studying the Koran and Hadith, and over three decades studying Christian Scripture, but even if I hadn't, once a person is familiar with truth, it becomes easier and easier to identify error.

        For example, once you learn that the sky is blue, you don't have to know everything about a person's belief system in order to disagree with them when they claim the sky is red.

    • http://none Don Rappe

      Alike as two peas in a pod doesn't seem to imply they rationalize their tastes in the same way.

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com DR

      "while Sunday church meeting is merely a Christian tradition."

      This is untrue for Catholics, Sundays are holy days of obligation.

      • ManimalX

        Thanks for the correction, DR. I know quite a bit about Roman Catholic doctrine and dogma, but certainly not everything.

        Can you point me to the papal bull or Catechism that commands worship on Sundays? If I am to be corrected, I want to be corrected THOROUGHLY! :)

        • Matthew Tweedell

          Canon 1247

        • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

          Feel free to Google, the information is readily available.

          • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfor

            please stop feeding the trolls…..

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            So I shouldn't tell them that I suspect "Ron" is in fact, Ron Jeremy?

          • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfor

            i met ron jeremy he is as gross as you can imagine.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            I heard he is a really nice guy (seriously). Though I suppose we can just ask him when John man's up and provides us with his name and home address for a proper evangelical vetting.

          • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfor

            he was very sweet, and a good tipper, it was at a bar i was waiting, but he was gross. all i could see when i looked at him was…stuff i do not want to talk about before i try and sleep…

            but he was very nice, and did you know that he and tammy fea baker were very close friends? they really loved each other….

          • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfor

            hay Dr..i just checked out your blog…i loved Willoughby. but the Colonel had/has a way sexier voice….

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            1000% agreed on that voice, my friend. It's positively swoony.

          • ManimalX

            @ blueberry

            Yeah, I'm a troll. *eye roll*

            Hey, thanks for the personal insult! I appreciate it and will remember that the next time you write something I disagree with.

            Actually, I won't. Not only because it would be unChristian, but because hurling ad hominems in a debate for no other reason than that you disagree with your opponent's position is childish and petty.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            I have a few issues with the claim that the person Mr. Shore spoke with is indeed an “expert” regarding Christianity and Islam. There are a few things he stated that are just plain silly.

            Well you've certainly provided a fine Christian example for us by asserting that someone who John has referenced as an expert on a few topics is suspect due to your use of quotes (which by the way is completely insulting to the owner of this blog (of which you're an active contributor).

            And then you declared his statements about Christianity to be "silly". What a fine model of Christian behavior in dialogue.

            But of course that's different – right? Of course it is, I'm sure you'll attempt to explain why (I wouldn't bother). Seriously. I don't think you're capable of understanding how rude you've been.

          • ManimalX

            It is hard to understand something that doesn't exist in reality…

            Mr. Shore went to great length to build up the cred of his source. But then the quotes he attributed to that source didn't support the claims of experty expertness.

            Why is it rude to point out the discrepancy?

            If a person is an "expert" on Christianity and Islam, then they should be able to demonstrate that quite handily. Mr. Shore's "Rob" did not do so. He compares one of the 5 Pillars of Islam to Christians going to church on Sunday, calling them "the same thing." He tries to pass off extremely thin, superficial commonalities between Christianity and Islam as some sort of deep, shared value system. He tried to illicit sympathy by claiming that the big, bad media is ignoring moderate Muslims who denounce their radical brethren when in fact the media would LOVE to put out a moderate Muslim message. He claimed that Muslims "love love love" Jesus, without providing any sort of clarification or context.

            My opinion is that his claims are not just wrong, but silly wrong, and that he is anything but an "expert." I'm not doubting Rob's credentials. I'm sure he really did have lots of papers published, and really has lectured a lot, and really has a Master's degree, and really was a Lutheran pastor. But writing lots of papers and talking a lot and having a Master's degree and being a former Lutheran pastor doesn't make one's words THE truth. Popular, published people with degrees can be wrong, too.

            That is why I'd rather deal with substance than credentials. Credentials get you in the door. Substance gets you the job.

            I'm not trying to insult Mr. Shore at all. From the numerous entries I have read, I am pretty sure that he is a big boy who can handle someone doing something as mundane as questioning his source. I'm not saying Mr. Shore is stupid, or Mr. Shore is ignorant, or Mr. Shore is . I'm simply disagreeing with his claim that his source is an "expert" (and, by the way, trying to provide reasonable explanations as to WHY I disagree.)

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com DR

            ManimalX, your apology is very kind and I wish I wasn't suspect of you offering it because you look bad and others piled on. But experience unfortunately tells me that if it was just you and I in the virtual room, I and other women would be waiting on that for a long time.

            I hope in time you prove me wrong. I do.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            @Manimal:

            “I tried to apologize and play nice. I ignored your repetitious personal attacks. I tried to move the conversation away from your incessant name-calling, and you still insist on acting like a butt-hole. Of course you are free to be as rude to me as possible, but I truly just don’t get it. I tried *shrug*

            You need to grow up a little bit, the lack of maturity and amount of petulance you’re demonstrating here as a grown man who has declared himself to possess a high degree of spiritual maturity is really astounding.

            You’re not a victim here. You *proactively* offered an insulting, aggressive rhetoric against the comments offered, you arrogantly questioned the credentials of someone having no credentials yourself. You slowed your misogynistic slip and then apologized when others called you on it and you got caught.

            People aren’t stupid here. Perhaps consider instead of being the teacher, you need to be a student. Slow down. stop trying to educate everyone, demonstrate a little humility and really LEARN. Or don’t, I don’t care, but at minimum lose the petulant “People are attacking me” rhetoric, particularly when you’re so hostile yourself.

          • ManimalX

            "Google it."

            I was asking sincerely for you to help me correct my erroneous thinking, and you respond with, "Google it."

            You are the one that made the claim in order to correct me. Burden of proof is on you. If you aren't able to back up your claims with anything but "Google it," it makes me suspect you probably don't know what you are talking about. Either that or you are just lazy.

            I've noticed that unsupported claims are a bit of a habit with you. You state something, someone asks you for a source or a clarification, and you either pretend that their request is so petty as to be beneath you, or tell them to look it up themselves.

            Bad form, old bean.

            If you want to correct me, correct me. Otherwise, don't waste my time with unsupported sniping.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            Yes, Google it. You made a statement that's inaccurate, as a Catholic I already know what a holy day of obligation is and what it's not. If you want to educate yourself, then educate yourself stop asking others to do it for you, we're all adults here.

          • ManimalX

            If you such an all-wise Catholic, then wouldn't the "adult" thing be to help an errant brother out? But no, that wouldn't allow you to be rude, condescending, or snarky, now would it? Can't have that. It goes against your modus operandi.

            You made an assertion and couldn't back it up. If you don't know your own Catechism or doctrine or dogma or canons, then just man up and admit it. Otherwise, man up and help someone out when they ask for clarification and correction. Either way, man up.

            "Adult" indeed…

            I just noticed Matthew Tweedle did what you were unable to do by providing me some sort of reference to Catholic teaching on Sunday as a day of worship. It doesn't quite put Sunday church attendance on par with one of the 5 Pillars of Islam, but it does help me understand the Catholic position much better.

            Thanks, Matthew.

          • ManimalX

            DR:

            I finally looked at your blog and realized that you are female. This revelation cleared a lot of the fog of confusion for me. I was operating under the assumption that you were male, and was wondering why your replies to my posts were so intensely emotional and so light on logic or reason. (And before you get all irate on me: no, I am not trying to insult you or females in general. Merely acknowledging the indisputable fact that men and women argue and debate in a drastically different manner. Men tend to be more logical and detached, women tend to be more passionate and emotional. I even had my wife read all of the entries here and some of your other responses. She endorses this reply 100%)

            So, instead of my use of "man up," I change it to "woman up," or "adult up."

            My apologies for assuming you were a dude.

          • Ace

            Manimalx, you're still being a sexist. Plenty of us women are perfectly capable of constructing a logical argument, thanks.

          • Ace

            (You've also hit a good four or five items from Derailing for Dummies, making you a certified troll)

          • berkshire

            You ask others to back up assertions, but can you back up your wild assertion that the media would just love to report positive things about Muslims?

            I suppose you have not only studied the Koran and Hadith for years, but you were also an executive at Fox? At the NYPost perhaps? Or maybe the NY Times? What an impressive fellow!

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            Ace, there's no other explanation other than this guy is a brilliant troll playing a caricature of a misogynistic evangelist christian who gets hostile when challenged. I'm rarely taken by that kind of thing, but he got me! Well done ManimalX).

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            Why don't you relax a little bit? You're losing your temper, we're just sparring a little bit here. If you can't take a little sarcasm, I'd suggest getting a thicker skin. It's the Internet, we're not curing cancer here. OK?

            I know you're a troll, but on the 1% chance you're not (please God, don't let that be true), you need to calm down a little bit. People make statements about religious practices that are often inaccurate. When they ask to be spoon fed the correct answer – particularly Evangelist Christians like yourself asking about Catholicism – it's my experience that they've often no real interest in the topic so I suggest they search for it. If they are really pursuing the actual truth? They take the .004 seconds to Google and discover it for themselves.

            If they don't? Well, often what occurs is a hostile response. Looks like you went with door number 2 – no skin off my back, dear.

            Now excuse me, I really need to get into that kitchen and bake a pie.

          • Diana A.

            "Men tend to be more logical and detached, women tend to be more passionate and emotional. I even had my wife read all of the entries here and some of your other responses. She endorses this reply 100%)"

            Well of course your wife agrees with you. I doubt she would have married a sexist man such as yourself if she didn't buy into those same kinds of sexist notions.

          • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

            MinimalX, you live an incredibly sheltered life if you honestly think it's an indisputable fact that men and women argue and debate in a drastically different manner. Men tend to be more logical and detached, women tend to be more passionate and emotional.

            That is blatant sexism and indisputably wrong.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            Manimal, you seem quite passionate – dare I say, "emotional" about Muslims and the Muslim religion.

            John's right, there's no harm in asking after someone's credentials if one is curious. Perhaps you'd be good enough to share what yours are, you've shared quite a bit about the correct Muslim religious experiences are as well as the Christian experience for that matter. I for one would love to hear your education and/or theological, journalistic, or professional experience in either field of study. As a logical man, I'm sure you're quite willing to play by your own rules.

            Looking forward to those details.

          • ManimalX

            What?! Men and women aren't exactly the same? No! Say it ain't so! *Gasp!* What a shocking revelation!

            The funny thing is that you guys are right! I AM sexist! Only, not in the ignorant way you all use the term. I am sexist because I recognize that there is a difference between males and females.

            If you have a problem with the fact that men TEND to be more logical and that women TEND to be more emotional (and notice I used the important word TEND, both here and above, as it isn't an absolute rule), then take it up with psychology, sociology, and thousands of years of observed reality. That DOESN'T mean anyone is superior to anyone else, it merely means that men and women TEND to have a different style of discussion. It means that knowing one's audience is important to a productive discussion. It means…

            LOL! Never mind.

            I feel like a guy trying to explain to a bunch of flat-earthers that the Earth is actually a sphere. It ain't gonna do any good.

            Now, in retrospect, I probably shouldn't have even written what I did, knowing how much people around here like to find the smallest, silliest things to whine about and be "offended" over. God forbid we discuss the issue at hand or anything of substance when there are mountains to be made of molehills!

            So, consider the issue dropped. The horrible bigoted sexist scary troll won't bring up the issue of gender differences again.

          • Diana A.

            Yes, we are naturally overwhelmed with gratitude that you used the politically correct buffer "tend" in an attempt to mitigate what would have otherwise been a completely sexist statement. As it is, the sexism comes across not just in the actual words "Men tend to be more logical and detached, women tend to be more passionate and emotional," but the overall tone of the comment: "Oh, I don't have to take what DR says seriously because she's a girl and you know how girls are–always getting overly emotional and passionate about things, whereas if they'd just be more logical and detached like us guys, they might even be sensible or something. Gee, if I'd known before that she was female, I would have skipped right over her remarks–after all, it's not as if any woman is capable of making a rational contribution to a discussion."

            Sweetie, we're well capable of reading between the lines. Don't pee on our legs and tell us that it's raining.

          • ManimalX

            Regarding my "credentials":

            Why in the world would I want to share specifics here? I'm not the one claiming to be an experty expert on anything. I'm not the public figure being built up as an authority on anything.

            I'm just some dude on the internet who is sharing his opinion and trying to back it up with reason and fact. Nothing I have written here has anything to do with how many degrees I have, the schools I attended, or my work experience.

            When I make a claim based off of my personal experience, that's all it is: my personal experience. When I made a claim about the media, for example, I shared the only info that mattered: I have friends in radio and print media, and I know a bit about the biz.

            When I make a claim about the Bible or the Koran or Hadith, my source is the Bible, Koran, or Hadith. If I am wrong, then all someone has to do is use the Bible, Koran, or Hadith to prove me wrong.

            It ain't rocket surgery. I'm no good at all of the playground politics. I'm bold, I'm blunt, and I do my best to tell the truth. If your argument doesn't hold water, I'm gonna point out where the holes are, and if you don't repair them I'm gonna sink your boat. You can either choose to be offended, choose to learn how to construct a better argument, or choose to admit that your argument was just wrong.

            I expect the same thing from others because I hate hypocrisy. If I make an erroneous point, tell me about it. I WANT to be corrected. I WANT to reject error.

          • ManimalX

            @ DR

            You can take this or leave it, but I sincerely apologize if that is the way my comment came across. My point isn't WRONG (there IS a difference between the way men and women communicate), but going back and re-reading, I can see the way I just threw it out there came across offensively.

            I DIDN'T mean that your opinions or the opinions of women in general are invalid or somehow inferior. Not in the least bit. I DIDN'T mean that women can't string sensible sentences together. Not in the least bit.

            The thought that went through my head (and the thought that I wrote down very poorly) was that we seem to talk past each other a lot and maybe it had something to do with the natural differences in communication style between genders.

            Think of it this way: when you talk to your mom, do you communicate in the same way as you do with your dad? How about between your brother and your sister? Or, if none of those apply, do you communicate differently to a male teacher than you do with a female teacher? Your girlfriends compared to your guy friends? The answer to that is GENERALLY "yes," communication is different depending upon the gender of the two people interacting (and yes, there is that "tends to" idea again ;) ). It can be subtle or obvious, but there is USUALLY a difference.

            If you DISAGREE with that idea, that is fine. I just wanted to try to clarify my botched comment.

            I don't dislike you. I don't hate you. I don't have an ounce of ill will toward you.

            I think you are probably a swell person and fine individual. I think you are intelligent and usually well-spoken (well-written, anyway!). In fact, I hope you win the lottery and live to be 120 years old with the love of your life. Unless you want to be single and only want to live to be 65 or something. Then I hope you die alone at 65… wait, that doesn't sound right, does it? :) (I'm joking about that, by the way, just so nobody misses it!)

            Anyhow, my apologies for any animosity I may have created. I hope our future interactions can be civil and perhaps even jovial.

            Have a wonderful night.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com DR

            @ManimalX:

            "Why in the world would I want to share specifics here? I’m not the one claiming to be an experty expert on anything. I’m not the public figure being built up as an authority on anything."

            Of course you are, tiger. You have called this guy's beliefs silly, for goodness sake, and you've been all over this board correcting others on what true "pillars of the Muslim faith" are.

            How convenient that you are now " just some guy on the Internet" when you have been all over this thread correcting others on their knowledge of what 'real' Muslim beliefs are. Your slip is showing.

            A word to the wise. Stop telling everyone how wrong they are and demanding proof of someone else's education if you don't have any of your own (which is obvious). It makes others feel embarrassed for you.

            ( I know I am feeding a troll, but I just ran for an hour and it's a fun use of endorphins).

          • ManimalX

            I tried to apologize and play nice. I ignored your repetitious personal attacks. I tried to move the conversation away from your incessant name-calling, and you still insist on acting like a butt-hole. Of course you are free to be as rude to me as possible, but I truly just don't get it. I tried *shrug*

            I love how you STILL can't counter even ONE point that I raised in any of my numerous posts here. Instead, all you can manage to do is muster up several pathetic ad hominem attacks, resorting to petty name calling in order to avoid any kind of real debate. I don't know if you are just scared to get in to a real discussion, or you simply don't know anything about the subject material. All you have done is whine about Manimal's attitude and Manimal's conduct and Manimal's this and Manimal's that.

            I have specifically addressed some very valid issues, and you can't counter even one. Even this reply shows that you have no grasp on anything I have written. You accuse me of "correcting others on what the true Pillars of the Muslim faith are," when I have done NO SUCH THING! Salah IS ONE OF THE 5 PILLARS OF ISLAM. How is my clear statement of that FACT anything but true? If you don't believe me, take your own lame advice and "Google it."

            But no… all you can do is take condescending, self-righteous pot-shots! What in the world is your problem?!?

            How about this: if I'm such a rude, ignorant, bigoted, sexist, deceptive, laughable "troll" (I think I covered all of your personal attacks against me, but I may have missed a few), then it should be REALLY EASY for a brilliant, enlightened, upstanding paragon of light and virtue like yourself to completely demolish my pathetic arguments.

            Go ahead. I'll wait (but I won't hold my breath).

            I'll even restate my main points for you if you don't want to go back and read through every entry.

            I'm not your enemy. I don't know why you insist on treating me with spite as if I am. If this is how you treat someone for simply holding a different opinion than yours, I would hate to see how treat your REAL enemies. Zoinks!

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            @berkshire:

            “You ask others to back up assertions, but can you back up your wild assertion that the media would just love to report positive things about Muslims?

            I suppose you have not only studied the Koran and Hadith for years, but you were also an executive at Fox? At the NYPost perhaps? Or maybe the NY Times? What an impressive fellow!”

            Thank you for this, I thought I was losing my mind for a moment. Of course according to MaximalX, I don’t have much of one to begin with as a woman, so perhaps I should lower the bar on my ability to spot hypocrisy when it presents itself.

            Gosh, I wish I were a man. Things would make so much SENSE.

      • http://www.thirduse.com frank sonnek

        help me out here. I lost track of what argument this point is intended to win.

        • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

          Hi Frank –

          I think we were arguing about the merits of Muslim women wearing pants? I'm not sure, Manimal went a few different directions and now I'm just as lost as you are. Oh well. :)

    • Matthew Tweedell

      "Yes, the Bible encourages fellowship and urges Christians not to forsake assembling together, but it is no commandment, and salvation doesn’t depend on attending Sunday church."

      Yes, Islam encourages piety and urges Muslims not to forsake the pillars of faith, but it is no more a commandment than "This do in remembrance of me", and salvation doesn't depend on perfoming Salah.

      "We as Christians have the honor of being the messengers, but we in no way are the causes of salvation."

      Then tell me, what is the efficient cause by which salvation comes unto a given individual? Are we not a part of that?

      "In fact, there are even hadith which claim that the executed homosexual has no chance at repentance or salvation."

      And there are hadith which claim, more plainly and directly, that homosexual servants can be allowed into the women's chambers, among other things.

      "I don’t have time now to go through each item, but the same thing happens with all of the rest of the supposed 'similarities' listed by Mr. Shore’s so-called 'expert.'"

      I don’t have time now to go through each item from what you said, but for a so-called "Christian", you've sure got some problematic misunderstandings.

      • ManimalX

        "Yes, Islam encourages piety and urges Muslims not to forsake the pillars of faith, but it is no more a commandment than “This do in remembrance of me”, and salvation doesn’t depend on perfoming Salah."

        So the "Pillars" of Islam are actually more like "suggestions?" Out of curiosity, have you tried running that buy any orthodox Muslims? Heh! That is like saying the Decalogue was merely a list of "suggestions" for the ancient Israelite. Ten Commandments? Nah, just the Ten "Suggestions."

        Oh, and Jesus merely "suggested" that we observe a remembrance of Him. Gotcha. Have you tried running that by the last 2,000 years of Christian history?

        "“We as Christians have the honor of being the messengers, but we in no way are the causes of salvation.”

        —–

        Then tell me, what is the efficient cause by which salvation comes unto a given individual? Are we not a part of that?"

        Christians don't produce salvation. God saves, not man or man's methods. We have the distinct honor of carrying and delivering the message. God in His wisdom has graciously allowed us to be a part of the process, and God in His wisdom made sure salvation didn't depend on our skill or efforts.

        "And there are hadith which claim, more plainly and directly, that homosexual servants can be allowed into the women’s chambers, among other things."

        Source? That would sure fly in the face of the majority traditional Muslim teaching from hadith. Are you sure you aren't referring to eunuchs? If your claim is true, it reinforces one of the huge reasons I'm not a Muslim: the contradictions within the Koran, between the Koran and hadith, and within hadith are numerous and irreconcilable.

        "I don’t have time now to go through each item from what you said, but for a so-called “Christian”, you’ve sure got some problematic misunderstandings."

        I'm not the one who is unable to distinguish the differences between trinitarianism and tritheism…. just sayin' ;)

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Aaaaaaaaaaaand no cigar for you.

      • ManimalX

        No cigar for me, or for someone else? If me, no worries. I don't smoke cigars. If you have some good pipe tobacco, though, feel free to share. ;)

        If "no cigar" for my post, can you extend me the courtesy of explaining why? I know I touched upon a lot of points that you probably don't have time to respond to in detail, but could you give me the condensed version?

        Thank you!

    • Ozhan

      I'm replying to " Posted by ManimalX on August 18, 2010 at 1:52 pm "

      wow this post system is confusing :)

      #1 The article merely trying to say most people who identifies himself as Muslim or Christian doesnt really put it in their daily life. Author doesnt try to say Cristians are commiting sin when they avoid Church. The Author's intent isnt about preach about religion, he talks about social impact.

      #2 If we are talking about how religion look at homosexuality… Most muslim scholor says it is the act of having anal sex is the sin, so it is acting on the urges is the sin not having those urges. But even if we listen to other scholors who say all gays are evil, Quran doesnt specify a punishment. The god says it himself punish the homesexual deviants.

      But as I said before, the man talks about how people act on their daily life. So he is right, a Christian and a Muslim have same taste for gay people. They both feel uncomfartable around them, they both want to ignore the problem, they both want to get rid of gays people in their societies. So both society sometimes do hate crimes because of their up bringing.

      • ManimalX

        @ Ozhan

        "I’m replying to ” Posted by ManimalX on August 18, 2010 at 1:52 pm ”

        wow this post system is confusing :) "

        Yeah, I know. It isn't the best system ever. You get used to it, though :)

        "#1 The article merely trying to say most people who identifies himself as Muslim or Christian doesnt really put it in their daily life. Author doesnt try to say Cristians are commiting sin when they avoid Church. The Author’s intent isnt about preach about religion, he talks about social impact."

        Very good points. I agree 100% that there are apathetic people in EVERY faith! My beef was with the comparison of a Christian attending Sunday church and a Muslim praying 5 times a day toward Mecca. It is a much bigger deal for a Muslim not to practice one of the Pillars of their faith than it is for a Christian not to go to church every Sunday. And yet, the expert identified them as "the same thing." They aren't. They are worlds apart in significance.

        MAYBE the expert chose a bad analogy. That's fine. But I have a hard time accepting the claim that someone is an "expert" when they make a glaring error like that. Me? I'm not an expert and don't claim to be. I make errors, I try to correct them, and I move on. I'm not trying to sway masses of people with my "expertness." If I were, I'd expect people to hold me to a higher standard.

        "#2 If we are talking about how religion look at homosexuality… Most muslim scholor says it is the act of having anal sex is the sin, so it is acting on the urges is the sin not having those urges. But even if we listen to other scholors who say all gays are evil, Quran doesnt specify a punishment. The god says it himself punish the homesexual deviants."

        Again, good points. There IS a distinction between the urges and the acts. The Koran isn't specific, but Hadith are, as are the vast number of modern Muslim scholars.

        So, yes. Both Islam and Christianity are "anti-gay," but only in that they both identify homosexual acts as sexual immorality and thus sin. However, the similarity is only skin deep, as I have already mentioned in an earlier post. I think it is dishonest and erroneous of Rob the Expert to proclaim that Muslims and Christians have some sort of deep, abiding commonality. They don't.

        By the way, thank you for the thoughtful, reasonable reply to someone with whom you had disagreements. Those kind of replies are kind of rare around here.

        • Ozhan

          I agree that this expert seems like…hmm what's the word… but anyway, you know in commercials where people talk so highly of the product. Now I reread it the article, I felt like the expert is introduced to us in that way :)

          "not only he both mastered two religion, he has also a degree in ass-kicking :) you cant argue this guy, so call now and reciev…"

          hehe

  • ManimalX

    Back to the main event here, regarding the media supposedly ignoring "moderate" Muslims.

    Bull puckey.

    If there is one thing the liberal lame-stream media loves, it is promoting Islam as a "religion of peace." The liberal media loves to do this for several reasons. One is that they like to thumb their noses at the straw-man they have created: a vast, Islamophobic, kooky right wing. Another is that the liberal media generally consists of moral relativists who love the "all-religions-can-be-buddies-and-all-paths-lead-to-god" angle.

    I have friends in print and radio media, some of them a bit influential, some of them just grunts, and they would all LOVE to hear from "moderate" Muslims who are willing to speak out against "extremists." What they actually get is usually the sound of crickets. Even the dreaded FOX News has had multiple hosts ask on air for "moderate" Muslims to denounce the "extremists." Nearly nobody does! (oh wait, I forgot, its a big conspiracy. They ask for moderate voices, but then purposely ignore them!).

    As for the fourth-hand account of the mystery San Diego sheikh in this blog entry, if his complaint that "nobody is listening" is true, then it is a rare exception and not the rule by any means.

    I challenge anyone who disagrees with me to perform a little experiment: call your local newspapers and tell them that you are a moderate Muslim who would like to submit an article denouncing extremists and radical Islam. Then call around to your various talk radio stations and tell them that you are a moderate Muslim who would like to go on air and denounce extremists and radical Muslims.

    Then, come back here and tell us how many newspapers and radio stations refused to run your story or have you on air. I guarantee the majority of media would jump at the opportunity. (oh wait, I forgot, I'm just an ignorant victim of the vast media conspiracy, right?)

    Yes, there are Muslims who denounce extremists and radical Islam. They are rare. The brave ones make regular appearances on FOX News and various conservative radio programs. The problem isn't one of media coverage. The problem is that the media doesn't have many moderate Muslims who are willing to denounce extremists and radical Islam!

    • ManimalX

      Or, hey, REALLY prove me wrong: go find a moderate Muslim willing to denounce extremists and radical Islam, have them write an article, and actually submit it to a bunch of newspapers. Or, challenge them to go on air with a radio station and discuss the issue!

      Then come back here with all of the rejection letters and prove to us all that the poor moderates are being conspired against!

    • JustAnotherSchmo

      Posted by ManimalX on August 18, 2010 at 11:42 pm

      "…I have friends in print and radio media, some of them a bit influential…", since you're (rightfully) calling out others requesting disclosure of name/s and resume/s, any chance we can see the names and creds of your influential media friends? Thanks, and sorry for the late post, but I just got here…thanks again.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Hey (if anyone's listening), I've written Rob and asked if I can … out him. After we had the conversation which formed the basis of this post, I told him I'd like to use it as a blog post, and that of course I'd use his name and all. He said, "Nah, leave me anonymous." I didn't question him about why; it just didn't seem like a thing. I think he suggested remaining in the background because he thought it would maybe take attention away from it being about ME, about MY BLOG—I think, in other words, that he was just being nice. As I say, I didn't press it either way; we were having mucho fun just chatting, and we moved on to other stuff.

    But Manimal and Larry raise a good point! I SHOULD be able to say who he is. It's not a big MYSTERY or anything; he's not in hiding. He's the pastor of a church, for goodness' sakes.

    So I've written him this morning, to ask if we can introduce him. I haven't heard back from him. A deep intellectual and full-on academic type, he's basically a stranger to the Internet. (It's pretty funny; he almost sort of doesn't know what a blog IS.) I'll call him later today–but he's exceptionally busy, so it's possible (though I don't think likely) that we won't get this finished today. I don't want to just use his name before getting his okay on that, just in case … I don't know. Just because I'd never do that.

    Anyway, Full ID disclosure coming, I'm sure. And probably today. In the meantime, trust me: He's who I say he is. I think maybe I left the impression that he's more FAMOUS then he is; he's not particularly, I don't think. He's extremely respected in his field by people who ARE famous in his field, I know that. He does lecture on Muslim-Christian relations; he does do the ecumenical conferences and seminars and all that. He just got back, actually, from a two-week tour of Turkey, courtesy of a Turkish organization that exists to foster Turkish/Muslim-American relations. They paid his whole way. Amazingness!

    On a completely unrelated note, I LOVED basically interviewing him for this post, because it really brought back all the years I spent doing magazine journalism. It was nice to again be asking the right questions, and jotting down the notes I would need to quote him and all that. It was so … nicely nostalgic for me.

    Anyway, stay tuned. Thanks for patience.

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

      Yay! Excited to hear more from him.

    • ManimalX

      Mr. Shore,

      Thank you for the reply and consideration. I hope you don't think that I was calling you a liar, because I wasn't. I think I was quite clear on that, but just wanted to reiterate it. I believe everything you say about the guy. Since he is apparently a published, well known author and speaker, I merely wanted to know who the guy was so I could check out some of his other work. People can call me a fool for it, but it is just a small part of "testing the spirits" for me.

      I think the whole thing got blown out of proportion by those who insisted on making such a big stink out of my (and Larry's) request, as if we had requested that you commit genocide or something. If your source doesn't want to out himself, it really isn't a big deal. As I said in a previous post, credentials get you in the door, but substance gets you the job. In the long game, it doesn't matter who Rob is, because I'm more interested in the substance of his claims than his resume. I've tried to focus on that substance, but the discussions I had hoped for never materialized in the flurry of personal attacks and petty side discussions.

      I'd be much more interested in Rob's response to some of my assertions regarding his actual words than in what his real name is or what his resume looks like.

      I really do appreciate the effort on your part, though, and don't want to downplay that at all. You looked at what some of your readers were discussing and took the time to address it. That's pretty cool.

  • Kara

    Damn, the comments here have been all over the place. Trinitarianism, trolling, Muslim women in pants…

    Here's my take: Fundamentalist extremism is the same across religious lines. Annoying obsession with the idea that your interpretation of a religious text is the only right way to view the world, and that everyone else is doomed to eternal torment? Sucks pretty universally.

    More moderate and reasonable voices rarely prevail, because the super-extreme viewpoint is the one that gets the news coverage. But, y'know, we're there across religious lines too. If strict Muslims and evangelical Christians can bond over thinking I'm a terrible person who's going to destroy marriage (or whatever), then moderate Muslims and I can bond over rolling our eyes at them. And it'll be good.

    That's my take.

    • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfor

      like

      • Diana A.

        Me too!

        • http://allegro63.blogspot.com/ Sylvie Galloway

          Me Three.

  • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

    I wish I could be nicer about my point but I don't see how.

    I think we're so busy trying to be nice and respectful and tolerant that we are in danger of duping ourselves from a very real danger not from people who are just like anyone else with normal concerns and social values but from our selves who forget what allegiance to a religious ideology can mean when its scriptural basis is incompatible with democratic secular enlightenment values. That fact cannot be made to go away by people who would simply prefer to believe otherwise.

    For example, how can Ron justify or make compatible that "the vilest of animals in Allah's sight are those who disbelieve"? Sura (8:55) How can he make compatible this muslim love of Jesus with "Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard (ruthless) against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves." Sura (48:29) How tolerable to the christian apologist is it when faced with "And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah… Allah (Himself) fights against them. How perverse are they!"? Sura (9:30) Is there wiggle room here for tolerance for other religious believers when Sura (8:12) says "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them." Are we able to have a peaceful dialogue with those who grant allegiance to a faith that commands "O you who believe! Fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness."? Sura (9:123) Surely those who try to modify these directions into something respectful under a democratic secular society can be seen to be making mischief to the perfect word of god. And we know that "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement." Sura (5:33)

    These are not simply pieces of misunderstood or misinterpreted scripture open to honest debate through some sophisticated metaphorical readings in the face of contrary enlightenment values no matter how many theological degrees one earns. Nor is it a mitigation that almost all muslims in the west ignore these scriptural directions almost all of the time. That does not address the root of the problem that the scriptural basis of islam and enlightenment values of human rights, freedoms of religion, speech, assembly, various kinds of specific discrimination, and the dignity of personhood in law are incompatible. You cannot be faithful to both ideals.

    To make my point, try a little experiment: substitute the word 'muslim' for every reference to unbeliever and enemy in my above quotations. What does that sound like to you? Try christian. Try atheist. I think you will be very hard pressed to argue that by doing so in these few examples (and there are many, many more) what one hears is not clearly what we would call 'hate speech'. Why is that tolerable? Why is that worthy of respect?

    So we can pretend that the honouring of Jesus as a prophet is somehow a meaningful counter-balance to the qua'ran's message of conquest and submission, but to promote the former while conveniently forgetting the latter is a very serious and dangerous omission.

    • Kara

      Cool story, bro.

    • ManimalX

      Sooooo… no intelligent replies to this post?

      Interesting.

      @ tildeb:

      Your overall points seem to be spot on and you put together a very good argument. There are irreconcilable differences between Islam and Christianity, the biggest being Islam's treatment of the person and work of Jesus Christ. All other issues are secondary. As an old pastor of mine used to say, "If you are wrong about Jesus, it doesn't matter what you are right about."

      Islam is wrong about Jesus. As much as we can debate over other issues, Jesus is the one that ultimately matters.

      I won't comment further at this point until I get access to my Korans in order to verify the verses you quoted. (I'm not saying you are lying or being deceptive, I just like to verify things for myself, especially when it comes to quotes from Scripture and the sacred writings of other religions.) I have never found a good online Koran, but then again I like good old fashioned books, so I haven't really looked very hard for one.

      • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

        My online source..

    • sid

      you’ve quoted out of contest, did you read the qur’an to get the quotes or did you just copy quotes you found on the internet somewhere??

  • Don Whitt

    This is all a story. All of it. All of our history, the bible, the koran – all of it. Fluid, artful stories. Muslims have a slightly different one, but all cultures do. Big deal. We're stupid humans groping for meaning. We all want to be loved and respected so let's start there. Look at the similarities. Look for shared values and hang-on tight to the hope that we can create a world where we don't all hate and kill each other.

    • Diana A.

      I love this. This is how I feel. I agree completely.

      • Don Whitt

        @Diana A.: I love the fact that you love it. Maybe that's what's important: How willing are we to truly love versus truly hate? What is in our hearts? To me, when I hate, that's me being a human. When I love, that is me participating in the divine.

        • Diana A.

          I agree with you thoroughly on this as well!

          • Jeanine

            The problem is that history witnesses to each of us that humans are unable to live peacefully without killing each other. Even if it were possible to perfect ourselves one day; that doesn't negate the fact that it may not happen in our lifetime and we are all going to face death. Is there some eternal benefit to hoping in a world that we may never experience?

      • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

        Me, too. So how best to create such a world? I think our best hope lies in recognizing what it is we do share, and support that common affiliation above all others, the kind of values derived from a common morality, and revealed to us by a simple thought experiment I have borrowed from John Ralston Saul. For those who may not what this means, I offer the following:

        Imagine you are in a position to grant what it takes to create such a world starting with awarding a person sitting in chair across from you every right and freedom codified into law you think it might take. But a curtain is drawn between you and that chair that at the moment remains empty. You must make your awards and laws not knowing who will sit in that chair. It might be you, a friend, a member of your family, or perhaps your worst enemy. It might be a child, a homosexual, a priest, someone from a different clan, race, nation, tribe, culture, religion, who knows? What rights and freedoms will you pass into law not knowing who will sit in that chair?

        Your decisions made here reveal your core values.

        If you do this thought experiment yourself or listen to others while they formulate their laws, you will not find religious or political precepts dominating. Actually, they are almost always absent. What you will find are consistent results that cross the divides of nationality, gender, culture, religion, age, and so on.

        That people come to these highly similar results is a very strong indicator that we do indeed share core values of dignity and respect for faceless others once remove our inherited biases towards specific groups from the decision-making process. For all the bad press these values receive in the name of other allegiances, what we find are accurately described as secular enlightenment values of legal equality and legal dignity (respect) for personhood regardless of other specific affiliations and group labels.

        So why aren't these shared values codified into laws around the world if they are our common values? What is subverting their justified expression in laws?

        The answer I think lies in how we divert our common allegiance to these values elsewhere, how we yield to whatever demands other allegiances ask of us that operate in conflict with these values.

        From a moral point of view, then, how much respect and dignity should we offer to any affiliation that subverts that which both you and I want – equal rights and freedoms and dignity of our persons? Why should we support affiliations that continue to undermine their establishment? Why should we go along with their insistence that we must subvert and sacrifice our common values closer to home (if we live in the west) in the name of something else? Finally, if we don't stand up and support what we know are our shared core values and reject affiliations that actively undermine their coming into being, then who will?

        We already have the power JR Saul asks us to imagine over that empty chair in our allegiances. The question is, do we have the moral fortitude of character to grant our primary allegiance to our common core values or to some other subset that subverts them?

        • Matthew Tweedell

          Excellent point!

          • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

            MT, with so few words and agreement you are beginning to scare me!

    • Don Whitt

      And quoting sections of religious canon moves the dialogue nowhere unless we're willing to acknowledge that all religious doctrines have ridiculously outdated proclamations about what scabrous, feculent beasts are those who oppose or ignore our favorite dogma.

      • ManimalX

        @ Don Whitt

        Ok, so you have taken the morally relative position of "all religions are equal, there is no truth."

        I'm not going to touch that yet, except to mention it.

        Answer me this: Is there something you can point to in Islam that makes it OK for a Muslim to ignore the parts of the Koran that are "outdated proclamations?" Did Muhammad write something that said, "Everything in the Koran is true, until a certain point in history that makes it OK for Muslims to ignore vast portions of Allah's Word?"

        I am unaware of such a teaching in Islam. If I am in error, please provide me the specific teachings that make it OK for Muslims to play "spiritual buffet" with their faith, picking and choosing which of their holy writings to promote and which to dismiss.

        • Diana A.

          So, your view is that regardless of the religion, the only true practitioners are the ones who take every single word in their "Holy Books" literally, obeying them down to the letter and never questioning a single precept–is this correct?

          This isn't my view. IMO: sensible people down through the ages have always taken what works for them from the "Holy Books" and have modified or discarded the rest–and that's how it should be. The danger comes when an individual or sect decides that their own interpretation of scripture (regardless of what it is they use as scripture) trumps another person's/sect's interpretation and that they therefore have the right to impose their own ideas on another, even to the point of causing that person physical damage or death. This is why I fear fundamentalist Christians as much as I fear fundamentalist Muslims–and why I also fear the new breed of fundamentalist Atheist. It's the fundamentalist part that's the problem–the need to belief that "we are the only ones who have the true teaching and anyone who disagrees with us deserves to die, or at least to be treated as a second class citizen." The individual beliefs themselves are not a problem.

          • Jeanine

            For something to really be true; it cannot be different for each person. 2+2=4. This is true and nobody argues it. It is not relative and it never changes.

            I think what you are really saying is that there is no spiritual truth, or if there is; nobody can really know it. It is all just interpretation, since we are all flawed humans. Right?

            The problem is, this view does not explain evil. I think you would agree that murdering a 2-year old in front of his mother is evil. If there is no foundation to know what is evil; why do we as humans have such a propensity to recognize it?

            I would say because there 'is' Absolute Truth. The fact that people don't always find it, or don't believe it, does not make it any less true. I can say that I don't believe in gravity as loudly as I want; but if I step off of a cliff, I am going to fall.

            People can be very sincere about a lot of things; but they can be sincerely wrong. Hilter was sincere in what he believed; but I would be hard pressed to find someone now who thinks he had a right to his own belief.

          • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

            2+2=4 is not an absolute truth but a symbolic representation of quantities. If the quantities are understood, then the calculation can be made. For example, 2 moles of one kind of molecule added to 2 moles of another kind of molecule sometimes does equal four moles of the combined molecule… but not always. That doesn't make mathematics relative to what the practitioner thinks. It makes clear that truth is relative only to what informs the context of the terms we're talking about.

          • Jeanine

            Language has to enter into it somewhere, right? That is how we were made to exchange ideas.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            Right on, tildeb!

            @Jeanine: I believe language enters in where tildeb wrote, “the context of the terms”.

          • Diana A.

            "Hitler was sincere in what he believed; but I would be hard pressed to find someone now who thinks he had a right to his own belief."

            His belief wasn't the problem, his actions were the problem.

            Granted, he engaged in his actions because of what he believed but he could have believed to his heart's content that Jews, etc, were inferior and deserving only of death and as long as he never got the power to act on that belief, it would have been no skin off of anyone's nose.

            As it was, Hitler could have been stopped early in the game were it not for those who supported him, either because they bought into his views or, more cynically, because they found his actions to be personally helpful to them. Likewise, the nations could have stopped him early in the game if they had not been more concerned with looking out for #1 instead of confronting the evil in their midst.

            As for defining evil: I still like Peter McWilliams' definition–People should be free to do whatever pleases them as long as they are not harming the person or property of a non-consenting other. The Jews and other victims of the Holocaust were non-consenting others, as is the murdered two year old regardless of who is or is not there to witness that murder.

          • Jeanine

            1 Chronicles 28:9

            And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind; for Jehovah searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.

            Jesus clearly taught that it is your heart and your mind that need to be pure, not just your actions. He taught that not only was adultery a sin; but so was lusting after somebody in your heart.

            He taught that not only is murder a sin; but that if you hate your brother in your heart, then you have already commited murder in your heart.

            The Lord cares most about what is in our hearts because it is the source of all of our actions.

            Proverbs 4:23 NKJ

            Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.

          • Jeanine

            I agree, it doesn't matter who witness the murder. I guess I was just trying to make it a more horrible act for the sake of my example.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            “If there is no foundation to know what is evil; why do we as humans have such a propensity to recognize it?”

            Perhaps it’s because we wouldn’t have survived (or even arisen in the first place) as a species if we didn’t. It is an important misconception to suppose that there’s any problem finding an objective foundation for knowledge of good and evil absent religious revelations. Knowledge of good and evil, remember, was something *humans* attained, not something God wanted to impart, and it can be discerned based on how good and evil are defined.

            “I would say because there ‘is’ Absolute Truth. … [I]f I step off of a cliff, I am going to fall.”

            I’m pretty sure that Diane A. is not arguing against absolute truth. Note that it doesn’t require religion to realize that doing that will cause you to fall!

          • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

            This is why I fear fundamentalist Christians as much as I fear fundamentalist Muslims–and why I also fear the new breed of fundamentalist Atheist.

            Care to explain what on earth a 'fundamentalist' atheist might be in the same understanding of a 'fundamentalist' christian or muslim?

          • Diana A.

            My own definition of fundamentalist atheist–the atheist who believes that all religious belief is wrong and that anyone who has a religious point-of-view automatically deserves less respect and consideration than one with an atheistic point-of-view. It comes back to what I said above about "the need to belief that 'we are the only ones who have the true teaching and anyone who disagrees with us deserves to die, or at least to be treated as a second class citizen.'"

          • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

            A fundamentalist refers to belief in a strict adherence to a set of basic principles, generalized to mean strong adherence to any set of beliefs. Atheism by definition means non belief. What you are saying is that you are afraid of those atheists who believe in non belief and strictly adhere to this core principle! This notion is incoherent but a common enough smear to paint atheists as just another kind of radical and extreme believer. But it's simply not true. No belief one way or another is required.

            I know of no atheists who wish harm on others or wish to reduce human rights and freedoms and dignity of personhood in the name of atheism. Not one, and I know many. Certainly not the big name Gnu Atheists like Dawkins, Harris, Dennett, Hitchens, Stenger, Blackford, Benson, and Coyne to name but a few.

            But I do know many atheists who grant methodological naturalism to be the only way we can know anything about anything and hold all other methods with little regard unless and until they can prove themselves as practical and reliable. If you take that to be disrespectful or dismissive of your beliefs, then the avenue to prove why your beliefs should be treated with as much respect is always open for business. Simply prove your method is as reputable. But until then, don't let your beliefs get in the way of a method that continues to do just that. And that's not an assertion of belief but standard operating procedure for ALL claims about coming to know more about the universe and everything within it.

            In the same way you would

          • Diana A.

            "What you are saying is that you are afraid of those atheists who believe in non belief and strictly adhere to this core principle! "

            I don't care what atheists believe or don't believe. What I care about is action.

            If atheists understand and respect my right to believe in The Flying Spaghetti Monster, no matter how ridiculous they may consider such a notion to be, I have no problem with that.

          • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

            Atheists are very big on rights. Most clearly articulate that you have the right to believe or not believe as you wish. What many Gnu Atheists argue is about effects those beliefs – especially moderate religious beliefs – have in action.

            Consider this explanation from The End of Faith. On page 45 of that book, Harris tells us that "the greatest problem confronting civilization is not merely religious extremism," but "the larger set of cultural and intellectual accommodations we have made to faith itself." Then he adds that "religious moderates are, in large part, responsible for the religious conflicts in our world." This, he explains, is "because their beliefs provide the context in which scriptural literalism and religious violence can never be adequately opposed."

            Although I disagree that this the greatest problem, I do agree it is a significant one.

            Dawkins does not offer any argument for the claim that moderation fosters extremism. He seems to assume that any kind of religious faith, because it does not require rational justification, encourages fanaticism. As he states it, ".. even mild and moderate religion helps to provide the climate of faith in which extremism naturally flourishes." (302, TGD)

            Dennett, is more careful in his remarks; but even he states the same case against religious moderates. He sees every religion as having a good number of "ecumenical-minded people who are eager to reach out to people of other faiths, or no faith at all,.." But these people of moderate faith are ineffective in dealing with the more radical members of their own faith. He mentions examples of moderate Muslims who have been ineffective in opposing "the Wahhabists and other extremist Muslims." Dennett adds that moderates in the other major religions, Christian, Jews, and Hindus, have also been ineffective in dealing with the "outrageous demands and acts of their own radical elements." (Breaking the Spell, 297-298)

            There seems to be consensus that religious faith that is solely private and personal is a right but that extending those beliefs through action into the world is not.

            very much against extending those beliefs

          • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

            I feel for you, Diana… it's like your getting it from all sides today! I don't mean to pile on but I do think it is interesting that Dennett's point seems particularly poignant considering your dialogue with Jeanine, thinking as I do that you have a very moderate and more flexibly mature theological position while hers depends very much on snippets of scripture as if such authority settles favourably on her evangelical interpretation.

          • Diana A.

            Yeah, well–part of the price I pay for standing up for what I believe. Jesus said following him wasn't going to be a walk through the park–or words to that effect.

    • ManimalX

      "a world where we don’t all hate and kill each other."

      Don't worry, that world isn't far off. When Jesus (the Prince of Peace) returns to His Earth, removes God's enemies, and restores it to its "very good" state, we will see "a world where we don’t all hate and kill each other." ;)

      Maranatha!

  • http://allegro63.blogspot.com/ Sylvie Galloway

    I took a comparative religion class last semester…no don't look at my age, I know I'm a bit old to be a "gasp" college freshie. It was utterly fascinating. I discovered that in many ways all religions have some very strong similarities, at least the major ones we studied. All had desire to please diety, thoughts on the afterlife and moral codes, behavior for the faithful, sectarian divisions within that faith were also discussed. It was also interesting to note that some basic teachings that Christians, Muslims and Jews adhere to predate them, as well of the simple fact that the "big three" tend to be the most violently minded of the religious world.

    The differences of course were obvious, but I found the class to be very helpful in learning about how others believe and it gave me a greater respect for how others, not of my faith, see things. I can see the common ground we all share, even though our concepts of God may differ greatly.

    I find it very sad that members of our community, that are of a different faith are essentially being persecuted for not being Christian. Why do Moderate Muslims stay silent? Because they are keenly aware of the backlash, and the unwillingness for people to accept what they have to say. I find that tragic. What is even more tragic, is the fact that it is Christians, or at least a certain segment that is encouraging such treatment, and people are buying into it. We belay the doctrines of loving our neighbor, living with peace with them, if possible, being generous, and kind etc. to them when we decide to hate them simply because of their faith, and that a few who align themselves with Islam promote and practice hatred.

    Hate begets hate. Christians simply need to stop looking towards Islam as an entity to scorn, silence, mock and deride.

    • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

      One must be careful to use words like ‘persecute’ and ‘hate’. Too often very legitimate criticism against ideologies and how they are practiced is often thus painted. To criticize the practice of stoning men (buried to their waist) and women (buried to their neck) is not hate. To criticize female genital mutilation is not to persecute the mutilator. Faith empowers action, and sometimes the action is deplorable. To cast all who would dare criticize these deplorable actions as exercises in persecution and spreading hate is nothing more than a means to excuse and grant tacit approval for deplorable actions.

      Islam is not an entity but an ideology. It is an ideology contrary to many enlightenment values we take for granted that needs to be widely criticized as well as an ideology that empowers many practices in its name that are worthy of a great deal of very legitimate criticism.

      • http://allegro63.blogspot.com/ Sylvie Galloway

        Islam is as much an idealogy as Christianity. They both also contains strong elements in different views of philosophy.

        Also criticism of certain practices by only certain segments of a faith, is not necessarily persecution, at least against those practicing those activities. For those the practices are enacted upon, I would look differently as they are most certainly being persecuted.

        It is an error to paint all Muslims with the same brush, just as it is to paint all Christians with the same brush, or all people of a particular political party, or those with a fondness for certain sporting events, or folks of a specific income level or educational background. To do so risks placing those wielding the brush in the role of being a persecutor.

  • http://farfromthisshore.wordpress.com Don Whitt

    First, fundamental atheism. I find the "Flying Spaghetti Monster" folks as belligerent and dogmatic as any "true believer", that is, someone who thinks that their beliefs not only serve them well, but are the one and only belief system and people who are not aligned with that belief system are wrong or stupid or evil or dangerous are all of the above.

    I think that religion – spirituality – is extremely personal and so very diverse. That was Kierkegaard's point. And to a great extent what drove Luther and the reformation. What I hear coming from God is undoubtedly different than what you hear. How I tap into the spirit of God is 100% about who I am.

    And if I believe in the core teachings of Christ – to truly love my fellow human beings – then I need to be ready to accept how they all tap into the spirit of God. That doesn't mean I have to put-up with abhorrent behavior, but it does mean I need to continually stop myself from being a hater who focuses on difference as if it's badness.

    • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

      Asserting as you do that non belief is a belief is intentionally misrepresenting the word. Come on, Don. You may justifiably think that some atheists are belligerent, and you may find most of them convinced that lending belief to something supernatural that has no evidence to verify or falsify the belief contrary to skeptical and critical thinking, and you will find a fair number will argue quite passionately that such belief is incompatible with our way to know, but to call atheism itself dogmatic is drawing on religious language that has no legitimate or justifiable place in the sense you use it.

      Religious belief and spirituality have two very different meanings and you mix and match them like a game of duck and cover. Even Sam Harris has called on the scientific community to investigate spirituality as a phenomena undisturbed by any accompanying religious dogma and some great research is coming to light.

      Whether we undergo various transformative experiences is not the right question here; what is important is whether or not we are interpreting these experiences correctly. In this sense, your claim that the source is god is an interpretation that seems to be unnecessary complex. These experiences are very much physiologically induced states with consistent, testable, repeatable, and falsifiable results. What conclusions and meaning you therefore draw from your interpretations of these experiences do not enhance our knowledge of the world nor enlighten us about the intentions of god.

      You can be good and loving and compassionate and highly motivated to help your fellow creatures without needing to justify these actions as some kind of expression of and dedication to god. And if that claim is too arrogant, militant, strident, belligerent, and dogmatic for you, then I think it makes sense to check out how you interpret the meaning communicated by atheists rather than assign dogmatism to their intentions.

    • http://allegro63.blogspot.com/ Sylvie Galloway

      Like!

      That is so close to how I view living a life of faith Don. I believe faith is very personal, between me and God, and that is exceedingly more important then my relationship or interaction with anyone else. HOWEVER, it is important to treat everyone else as I have been commanded, with love, with patience, with compassion, with generosity, with graciousness, with a willingness to look past their failings, cause God knows (and He does) that I'm hardly without failings myself.

      I must also be willing to separate myself from people or from activities that are not healthy for me. That is for my protection. But in no way am I given permission to treat others with hate. But I am also honest that there are some people, because of their actions that make it hard, ok completely impossible to look at them as God does, with love. I should at least attempt, as we all should

      • Don Whitt

        Sylvie, I agree.

  • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfor

    i just saw this on facebook, i thought you would all like to see it.

    he is my hero.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38730223/ns/msnbc_tv-

    • Randy

      Blueberry-Olbermann is eloquent as usual, & makes some valid points about the specific location of the proposed mosque in relation to the WTC. However, his early statement that "There is no insult to the victims of 9/11 is ludicrous! 3 or 4 city blocks away or not, the very idea of a new Islamic facility in that area can't help but be excruciating to victims' families. The only way they could begin to soften the blow is to go overboard in condemning the actions of the Muslim extremists of 9/11 and loudly proclaim that their motive in building this mosque / community center is to promote healing & unity & distance their mission from extremism.. I may have missed it, but I don't think the sheik promoting this nor anyone else directly involved in the process has done that.

    • Matthew Tweedell

      I would suggest you ought to repost that on John Shore's "The Ground Zero Mosque" article, except that, if you did, I’d have feelings of inadequacy in regards to my own eloquence and understanding in how I addressed the issue there. :_(

      • Randy

        Dear Matthew: I suspect that if any 9/11 victims families heard or read Olbemann's view & then read my earlier post, most of them would agree with my assertion that his comment which I cited was indeed "ludicrous" & insensitive. If my concern for their wounds makes me appear to lack "eloquence" & "understanding" of the mosque-building issue , I'll be happy to stand proudly with them fully clothed in my "inadequacy". Addressing a dispute in Corinth, Paul said "Knowlege puffs up, but love builds up" (I Cor. 8:1 New Intl Version) I suspect the Q'uran contains a similar teaching. If sincere followers of either group believe this, then both would share the desire to distance themselves from their radical extremist elements, & both would seek to make the first move toward demonstrating that kind of love (charity). Since it was Muslims who initiated this proposed mosque project, it seems reasonable to me that they should be the first to demonstrate charity, sensitivity & wisdom by removing their request & building their facility somewhere else far away from this very sensitive, very emotionally inflammatory site. If they would do this, many Christians, including me, would appreciate their actions & have greater respect for Muslims in general.

        • Matthew Tweedell

          Hi Randy! It seems you may have mistakenly thought I was replying to your posting. I was in fact replying to blueberrypancakesfordinner; all of the words you put in quotes I intended only for the context comparison to myself in my comment located here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2010/08/07/the-ground-zero-m

          • Matthew Tweedell

            *context of

          • Randy

            Hi, Matthew – Thanks for the reply. I've enjoyed the dialogue

  • Randy

    John, Your post indeed challenged me to be less judgemental & more understanding of the struggles to be undersood & appreciated which are shared in common by both Christians & Muslims. However, I must say you seem hypocritical to be criticizing the news media for provoking people when you did the same thing by running the headline “Evangelicals & Christians- both love Jesus”, then not mentioning it until the last sentence, without sharing a single example to support the headline! C’MON! Admit it-you were just using the same time-tested techniques any good writer/blogger/news media person uses to get peoples attention. Your headline got my attention! Good for you! Now, show me some good, solid examples of how Muslims love Jesus, & I’ll be glad to carefully consider those examples. But don’t bait me with the headline, offer no supporting proof & then gripe about how the news media just trys to get people riled up!

  • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfordinner

    PS, john, i hope was ok to share this…

    bb

  • RS

    Muslims may believe in Jesus (Isa) as a prophet of God but not in the same way as Christ followers. The Quran teaches that Allah did not have any son's yet Isa claimed to be the Son of the Living God. So to believe in Isa does not necessarily mean you follow Him as LORD and Savior. Any Muslim friends out there want to explain why Allah didn’t have any offspring but the Quran shows he had three daughters? “Have you then considered the lat and the Uzza, And Manat, the third, the last? (These are the exalted cranes (intermediaries) Whose intercession is to be hoped for. –(verse deleted from Qur’an (considered being satanically inspired))) SURAH LIII 19”

    Also have any of my Muslim friends out there ever considered that Isa is still alive sitting at the right hand of the Father and Mohammad is just a dead prophet?

    Isa died for you so that you may live in the presence of a Holy God, for God Himself had to come down and pay the ULTIMATE price by suffering the CROSS for OUR SINS. Only a PURE, HOLY, and UNBLEMISHED SACRIFICE can be offered for SIN. Only God Himself could be that SACRIFICE.

    • am

      Lat, Uzza and Manat, they were fought by quran. The first thing Mohammad has done after conquest of Mecca was breaking them. How the Quran can call them the daughter of God? How do you know the verses are deleted from quran?

    • om

      can be a bit reasonable please? i don’t its fair to talk about a religion in this way and without even giving a reference!

    • Taimoor

      If you even start thinking with common sense, you will realize that God, an immortal being, can never be sacrificed. He’s IMMORTAL.

      • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

        This is an interesting topic, but Jesus (Isa) in His humanity (not His Divinity) paid the ultimate sacrafice for His people. Jesus (Isa) tof the Muslim is not God incarnate, Jesus (Isa) is GOD. He claimed He and the Father are one . HE is the way the truth and the life. God is one, absolutely but God manifests Himself to us in the Godhead – God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit, co-equal yet one. The Trinitarian Godhead is a great mystery indeed, but Jesus – God in the flesh, is not the same Jesus to the Muslim, Jesus is but a prophet. I do find that most odd, since he committed blasphemy by claiming he came down from heaven AND that He is GOD (the hypostatic union of Christ’s humanity and divinity, all God and all man)

        Muslims may “love” Jesus, but to to them He is NOT God, as Jesus is to the Christian

  • Mike

    Jesus is quoted 27 times in the Qur'an, which is more than any other prophet. This is also more than any other Holy Book (besides, of course, the Bible). Jesus is held in higher esteem by the Islamic world than Moses is in Christianity.

    And to the people that were discussing the Holy Trinity – Yes, it is considered to be 3 manifestations of the same entity, but no, Christianity has not thought this from the beginning. This idea did not gain popularity until the end of the 3rd century, when the proto-orthodox Christians began to gain power (thanks to the fact that they were the dominant force in Christianity in the city of Rome). The Gnostics, Essenes, and numerous other groups fought over this exact idea for almost 3 centuries before the discussion was "settled."

    • Pam

      The amount of times Jesus is quoted in the Qur’an is irrelevant… if you don’t believe Jesus is the son of God, then you aren’t holding him high enough!

      • Anon

        You’re kidding me right Pam? That is so offensive. I believe in Jesus. But I see no need to say ignorant things like that.

        • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

          Anon,

          To the Christian Jesus is God. As to the Trinity, it is not some heresy started by some extreme sect of Christianity, it is a foundational truth of Scripture, first mentioned in Genesis “Let US make man in OUR image” (US and OUR are Hebrew plural words, in Hebrew there is singular, dual and plural – 3 or more). The Trinitarian Godhead is all through the Bible.

          • http://www.reverbnation.com/donhildenbrand Don Hildenbrand

            Possibly. But any competent scholar also admits the possibility that the “Us” and “our” are simply examples of the “royal we”. Claiming the Trinity in that verse is simply reading into it what we already believe. That doesn’t “make it so”.

  • yunus

    god blessthe good

  • Matt

    You think they are peaceful? Burn a Koran and see what happens and then burn a Bible and see what happens.

    • Anon

      Of course, because all Muslims are violent. Just like how all Christians are ignorant.

      Read a book :P

    • Ammena

      I think you mean… get a muslim to burn a Bible.. Im sure then you would get a similar reaction to those violent ‘muslims’ you mention

  • Nx-123456789

    i’ve just stumbled across this blog and the ending of this post made me so happy as a muslim. :)

  • Marie

    This was incredible to read. Bravo!! I will be sharing!!! Thank you. Namaste!! ♥

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for sharing!

  • Jazmine

    The Jesus in the Koran is very different than the Jesus of history and New Testament.

    • Jen

      Jazmine, if by “different” you refer to the obvious–that in Islam, God does not have a son–then yes, obviously they are very different. But if you’re referring to Jesus as a man–a holy man favored by God–, then you’re wrong. My family is mixed Christian and Muslim, and we read both the Bible and the Koran in our home.

      In the Koran, Jesus was born of the virgin Mary by immaculate conception. He spoke and prophesied while still in the cradle. God taught Jesus the law and the judgment, the Torah and the Gospel, and Jesus in turn taught these to those around him. He formed the state of his people’s destiny. He raised the dead, healed the sick, and restored sight to the blind.

      Jesus is called the Christ and the Messiah in the Koran, and his disciples are called his disciples and apostles. He said to the disciples, “who will help me in the way of God?” and they followed him. In the Koran, Jesus confirmed the truth of the Torah, and made lawful things which had been unlawful.

      In the Koran, when Jesus was crucified, God raised him up to keep Jesus near to Himself. In the Koran, Jesus will return among us to establish God’s kingdom on earth at the day of judgment, and every Jew, Christian, and Muslim will believe in Jesus.

      • moe

        wht ur saying is so true

      • Damon

        I’ll agree to some (very few) of your similarities, but similarities don’t make the arguement. The entire basis of the Christian faith is that Jesus is God’s son and therefore God himself. If you refute that, you refute the whole of Christianity.

        • Dan

          Damon, we must be careful when talking about the “basis” for christian faith. While the divinity of Jesus is the basis for trinitarism and trinity belief systems which are most common in christianity, there is still others, including Jehovah’s Witnesses that do not believe Jesus was God incarnate. There is biblical support for both the divinity and non-divinity of Jesus, people just need to take a critical eye to the text.

          • http://jmsmith.org JM

            I would say the heart of the Gospel proclamation is “Jesus was crucified, died, and was Resurrected by God and is now the exalted Lord of all.” This is the heart of the New Testament and the thread that runs through every book in it.

            Of course this is doubly incompatible with traditional Islam because according to the Qur’an, Isa did NOT die on the cross and Isa is a Prophet, but not the exalted Lord who sits at the right hand of God the Father.

            So while Christians and Muslims can (and should!) live respectfully and peacefully alongside one another, their core theological differences cannot (and should not!) be overlooked by faithful adherents of either faith.

        • http://www.reverbnation.com/donhildenbrand Don Hildenbrand

          The “entire basis” for Christianity is that Jesus died for our sins and rose again. The Deity of Jesus is just a doctrine. The Bible doesn’t say to confess that “God came in the flesh”. It says to confess that Jesus came in the flesh. When that was stated, it was to combat the “heresy” that Jesus did not have a physical body. If it was so important to say that He was divinity in the flesh, the writer would have taken that opportunity to make it clear. He didn’t.

          Frankly, when you say “the entire basis” for Christianity is the divinity of Jesus, you suggest that there’s an added layer to salvation other than faith in Jesus. THAT would be refuting the whole of Christianity.

      • omar

        Muslims do believe that Isa (Jesus) will return among us to and spread the true and pure faith which is Islam. The name of the true faith since from Prophet Adam has been Islam. This is a matter of progress, the true faith has been improving and as the last prophet, Prophet Mohammed (Pbuh) brought us the most perfect form of it. When Isa returns among us he will spread the same message brought by Prophet Mohammed (Pbuh). Muslims believes in Isa as a prophet of Allah, just as they believe in all other prophets sent by Allah. Muslims love and respect all of the prophets of Allah. Muslims believe that the messages of all prophets are from the same divine origin, from Allah, who is the only God. There is no god but Allah.

      • Joe

        Thank you very much for this comparison. I never knew just how similar the two are! I will spread the good news that we are one of the same!

      • Hannah Grace

        That’s super interesting and cool. What a great way to grow up.

        Everyone has their own beliefs about everything, but it’s so weird that people still yell “only the way I look at this incredible mystery is true, because I say so, and if you don’t agree, you’re bad!” I hope your family doesn’t get this very often.

        Lots of blessings and peace to you.

  • Pam

    Mathew 12:30

    • Jason Hurt

      Mathew, 12:30, I’m not going to say it again, GO TO BED, NOW.

      (Maybe write the verse out, because no one just looked it up)

    • Diana A.

      So I just looked up the verse to which you referred because obviously I hadn’t read what you wrote previously. Now I’m going to say “way to take a verse out of context.”

      For those of you who didn’t bother looking the verse up, it quotes Jesus as saying “Whoever is not with me is against me. Whoever does not work with me is working against me.” (NCV)

      Of course all of this occurs in a sea of red text that results from the Pharisees (Matthew 12:24) saying “Jesus uses the power of Beelzebul, the ruler of demons, to force demons out of people.” In fact, the entire episode lasts from Matthew 12:22 through Matthew 12:37. So context is important here, just as it is in the rest of the Bible.

  • Kyle R.

    AN YOU DIDN”T POST WHAT HE SAID ABOUT THAT!?!?!? WHY NOT!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Am I (or anyone else) supposed to know what you’re screaming about?

    • DR

      Complete sentences tend to work well on the internet.

    • http://www.raymack2009.com Ray McKinnon

      Dude. What are you talking–err, screaming–about?

  • daniel

    Please. DROP religion of all kinds. It’s man made stories. Religion has killed hundreds of millions of people over the last 10000 years. Murder. Burning. Drownings. Beheading. Slaughter of children. Tortures of all sorts. All in the name of religion. Yes, YOURS too. Religion is a farce. A story. A LIE.

    And yet millions still want to “believe” SOMETHING. There is nothing. You die, and that’s IT. Period.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      And that’s what you believe.

      • Jack

        You’re wrong, John.

        Christians love Jesus and believe He truly died and rose from the dead.

        But mahometans merely love an entity they CALL Jesus who never rose from the dead because he never died.

        Not the same one at all.

        Only ONE can believe in the real Jesus.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

          A: I’m not wrong; these aren’t my words.

          B: “mahometans”? Really?

          • http://www.raymack2009.com Ray McKinnon

            John, I love you so much for that response!

        • Mitch

          they do believe he rose from the dead, read the quran…

          • Marie

            I expect Jack and I would have different emotional attitudes towards Islam, but I do have to say he’s factually correct about what Islam teaches about Jesus – if you think the Qur’an teaches a resurrection, you should probably look through it again, or talk to an imam. According to the Qur’an, Jesus didn’t die at the crucifixion, so he didn’t rise from the dead. He was taken into heaven by God before he could be crucified, because God would never allow that kind of pain and humiliation for such a faithful servant as Jesus.

            Here’s a verse about what the Qur’an teaches about the crucifixion:

            ‘That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah”;- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:-

            Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise;-’

            —Qur’an, sura 4 (An-Nisa) ayat 157-158[1]

            In other words, the people who thought they crucified Jesus were wrong – God had just made it look to them like they had crucified Jesus. In fact, God had taken Jesus up to heaven so that he would escape crucifixion. Anyone who claims that Jesus was killed doesn’t know anything about it, and is just guessing (‘has no knowledge, but only conjecture’).

            Since the Qur’an teaches that Jesus didn’t die in the crucifixion, it does not teach a resurrection. I have several Muslim friends who all maintain that the belief that Jesus was killed, especially at the crucifixion, is blasphemy, because it degrades God’s character by implying he would allow something so painful and shameful as dying slowly and publicly as a criminal for one of his prophets.

          • Hannah Grace

            Thanks for this reply :)

    • Matthew Tweedell

      I believe you, daniel—except one thing, if you’ll forgive my lack faith: I don’t think it’s a lie if you don’t know it’s not true.

    • Hannah Grace

      “Religion” doesn’t kill people any more than “politics” or “democracy” kills people. People do both good and bad things in the name of all of these. Yet both religious people and atheists all try and teach their children to be good and not to kill, except for a few terrifying exceptions that show up in all ideologies.

      Let’s all hope that our children will learn peace.

  • http://www.raymack2009.com Ray McKinnon

    Dude! I am SO happy that I found this. You are the man. Thank you for your voice and your perspective. Love you man!

  • TaoistSage

    I believe that Christians and Muslims lose the entire point of the Bible & Koran when they disconnect them from the earlier religions. It is obvious that religions have progressed from one another. The story of the Flood occurs in hundreds of different cultures, and each story has strikingly similar elements. Other stories in the Old & New Testaments, as well as the Koran, have their roots in previous religions. Since it is obvious that these stories are metaphors, to take them literally is foolish. i.e. to say that Jesus was the only incarnation of the son of God is a gross misunderstanding of what “son of God” meant to the writers of the Bible. You just don’t understand that unless you know what the Babylonians believed, which is obviously the root for much of the Hebrew version. And you don’t understand the Old Testament if you don’t understand Qabbalah. These ideas evolved over time, and blended together. You get the whole picture when you read them all in context to one another.

    Also, I might suggest that interested and curious Christians should read Isis Unveiled by Helena Blavatsky. I know, I know, she’s got a bad rap – but I assure you her opinions are worth the read, and she is far more well versed in the religions of the time than your preacher/priest/rabbi/whatever. Blavatsky makes a very good point that Jesus was teaching what sounds like Buddhism, but translated into his native language. When you just listen to the morals, there isn’t much difference between Buddhism, Islam and Christianity – and I believe that the morals are more important than the literal aspects anyways.

    I personally embrace the mystical core of religions, which is the same for all. “Walk the middle path,” appears in every religion from Taoism on through Christianity – “Be thee niether hot nor cold, but luke warm.” The key component of all these religions was BALANCE – learning to balance the cycles of nature, and learning to balance the emotions, and through this balance leading a life of virtue. Read every religion, but practice what sings to your heart.

    • Mitch

      you should read “barlaam and iosaph” it IS christian buddhism. also that lukewarm comment was meant to be disdainful if i remember correctly from revelations, the church was repulsive because of its neutrality, though i agree with your main point

    • Hannah Grace

      I am not sure it’s good to use bits and pieces of different religions to argue that they are all really the same.

      “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16 ESV

      I agree with your comment, that it’s important to read things in context and note places of similarity and common ground. I also agree that it’s important to respect different traditions and to find wisdom and understanding wherever it can be found. But it’s important to respect that there are distinct religious traditions, and they are not all one and the same. For instance, Buddhism is an atheistic religion with no belief in God, and God is central to the Abrahamic faiths. All of these faiths should be respected, but trying to pretend they are all the same can often be destructive during interfaith conversations or in interfaith work, where each person wants to make sure that their belief in its particularity is respected and not diluted.

      This is especially important coming from a Western tradition, when other religions have often been forced into the mold of Christianity and understood only according to Christian beliefs. This colonialist understanding is where the offensive term “Mohammedan” for Muslim came from (implying Muhammad is the Muslim Jesus) or the problematic term “Hinduism”, which implies that there is an underlying unity to actually a quite diverse collection of particular beliefs.

      Just wanted to quickly say that.

  • http://mlf76@sbcglobal.net Mark

    Sorry John, not buying all your thought or that of friend(nor care how many degrees he may have). Have studied Islam for over 40 years, it’s history and it’s teachings and the example of it’s founder. Muhammad IMHO was not a person of good will and he lived life by the sword of murder and force. Jesus lived by a sword of simple human truth, tolerance and charity towards all, including his enemies even unto his own sacrificial (as a friend lays down his/her life) death. One is a path of peace and gentle persuasion and the other a path of violent aggression and sublimation. Look to the historical record, compare the two very, very different human beings and talk to and get to know some real ex-Muslims( atheist, agnostic or now other religious, it makes no difference ). They will tell you about real life Islam and it’s portent for a common humanity yearning to breathe free, rejoicing in individuality and each striving to follow her/his own innate conscience. Islam as practiced by it’s founder is not compatible with a free world where universal human rights are granted to and protected for all. Also know that the founder of Islam is a perfect example of a human being of his very own times. His beliefs about Judism and Christianity are textbook examples taken right from his own day and culture as is the entirety of his purely human book we all know as the Koran. All IMHO.

    • AndresZules

      Hi. Sorry to disagree with you, but I don´t think that Jesus was exactly a Good reasonable tolerant person. Neither the Bible is a Book of only peace, love and tolerance. Read Mathew 10 34-38. There He says that you should be against your own family if they don´t have the same faith that you do. Kill´em if its necessary. Of course, Muhammed was not a tolerant at all. But neither Jesus (IMHO). The main difference, I think, is that Muhammed claimed war against non-belivers and Jesus was a bit more dissembled. Sorry if you feel umcomfortable and/or if my English is not perfect. Answer me back if you want to. Good luck.

    • Hannah Grace

      Tell me about your studies. Was it hard to learn arabic so that you could read the Quran in the only language it’s available in (no other language is valid)? Was it interesting to live among Muslim communities in all their incredible diversity, as they exist in countries all over the world? Were you moved by the incredible hospitality these communities often show? Did you studies acquaint you with the incredible thirst for knowledge that made Muslims the wellspring of science and philosophy while the Christian world struggled in a mire of dogma and poverty? Was it interesting to learn about the incredible diversity of Islamic theology?

      Or does your answer demonstrate that you have no systematic knowledge at all, and are basing your opinions on a few converts from probably a conservative strain (Christianity can produce plenty of those traumatized individuals) and pretending that the history of Christianity isn’t just as bloody?

      No one is saying that Wahabbism is a great sect, and many would think it’s destructive, but to paint the entire Muslim world in caricature is just ignorant. From your message, I doubt you even know whether Wahabbism is Sunni or Shia. Do you know about the beautiful Sufi mystic tradition?

      Or are you just saying “well, there was political violence during the war between Mecca and Medina, so Muhammad must be bad” without considering all the wars that the Christian tradition views as ordained by God, including the Crusades and the razing of the Holy Land by Christian soldiers, where we killed Jew, Muslim and Christian?

      • Hannah Grace

        I’m sorry if I seem angry, my point was just that it’s important to take the plank out of your own eye before condemning an entire tradition. Every religion has people who were abused within their faith and believe that it is destructive, and also people who find inspiration and meaning in their faith. Looking at things as a whole, instead of anecdotally, is the best way to understand them.

        I’m a Christian and there are differences in the religions that make me choose Christianity over any other tradition, namely grace (which appeals to me because I am a big screw-up) but that doesn’t mean I can’t see where the other religions & atheism are coming from, and sometimes be awed by the depth and wisdom of their beliefs. Respecting any religion doesn’t mean pretending abuses and fundamentalism isn’t there, but the entire religion isn’t fundamentalism, as I believe John was attempting to demonstrate.

  • Ammena

    I wonder if anyone wonders about the Lords prayer.. that Jesus himself used.. ‘hallowed by your name, your kingdom come, your will be done’ when Jesus himself is seen as God.. he never once said that or asked the people to worship him, infact he made it quite clear that they should be worshipping the one God, the God of Jesus, Moses, Abaraham, Noah, Adam and all the other prophets

    • Mitch

      to be fair Jesus does claim to be god. but someone without an understanding of hebrew would miss it. when jesus answers the Sanhedrin “I am” the hebrew he used was actually the name of God “I AM WHAT I AM” claiming he is god or the I AM. This is why the priests beat and spit on him. Personally i find god to be in everyone and everything, but felt like explaining this further.

      • Kristina

        He claims to be god in some of the gospels, but not all of them have as high of a Christology as John. Luke literally never mentions his divinity and Matthew was more concerned with proving he was the ultimate Jew.

    • Carson Troutman

      • “Phil 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” The word Lord here is Yhwh, which is used to describe God the Father, and here Paul is using it to desribe Jesus. They are both YHWH. There are countless examples of this in the Bible.

  • Mitch

    As a Christian i read the Quran, and all i see is the same story different version. I dont see how we are supposed to disagree. Christians argue with each other about god and man, but why not put down these differences and leave it all behind. Islam (i think) means “submission” it is a central theme of christianity. Why dont we just accept that we dont know who is god and who is man and continue living as best we can for both?

  • alp

    I am glad to see this blog and amaze the discussion. Do you know this discussion already mention in Qur’an? At least the conceptually. Actually that’s the beauty of may be all holly books that we can find answers for our today life questions. I won’t be writing the whole section but if you have time please read Quran from 2:135 to 2:140. The example is about the discussion between Jews and Christians but in a nutshell it’s the same idea about whose religion is the highest. God’s answer is pretty divine as always.

    “AND THEY say, “Be Jews” – or, “Christians” – “and you shall be on the right path.” Say: “Nay, but [ours is] the creed of Abraham, who turned away from all that is false, (110) and was not of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God.” …

    “Say [to the Jews and the Christians]: “Do you argue with us about God? (113) But He is our Sustainer as well as your Sustainer – and unto us shall be accounted our deeds, and unto you, your deeds; and it- is unto Him alone that we devote ourselves. ”

    “Do you claim that Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and their descendants were `Jews’ or `Christians’?” (114) Say: “Do you know more than God does? And who could be more wicked than he who suppresses a testimony given to him by God? (115) Yet God is not unmindful of what you do. “

  • http://rumiamani.com bobby digital

    Marie you are absolutely right, I reverted to Islam and Jesus did not die as stated in the perfect flawless Qur’an, i highly recommend everyone read it all in English to see whats realy in that book. Or check out Dr. Gary Miller, he is a mathematician and he tried to convert Muslims to Christianity.. he found the bible flawed and then figured the Qur’an was the same way.. check out his videos on you tube about the Quran its called THE AMAZING QURAN

  • Larry Petry via Facebook

    quick browse… i’m surprised. I had seen Muslims as being much more devout across the board then Christians tend to be. I’m sure it’s a hard (impossible) thing to tangibly measure, but first time I’d heard that. Interesting.

  • Susan Rogers St Laurent via Facebook

    This is really good.

  • Kirk Childress via Facebook

    the summer I lived in Turkey, we visited the stone house in Ephesus that tradition holds was the last home of Mary, Jesus’ mother. Even though I had known that Muslims venerate Jesus as a prophet, I was still surprised at the vast number of Muslim pilgrims visiting the site to honor her.

  • http://www.facebook.com/charles.maynes Charles Maynes via Facebook

    awesome- shared to the wall!

  • Lisa Metzler via Facebook

    THANK YOU!!!!! A definite share!!!

  • Lisa Metzler via Facebook

    THANK YOU!!!!! A definite share!!!

  • Lisa Metzler via Facebook

    THANK YOU!!!!! A definite share!!!

  • Lisa Metzler via Facebook

    THANK YOU!!!!! A definite share!!!

  • http://kingmaalbert@hotmail.com Al

    Bob is wise. Thanks for sharing his insight.

  • Hannah Grace

    “Let’s be tolerant and understand that we have a lot in common. We may not agree on everything, but that’s no reason to demonize the other side or hate them. Instead, let’s have peace together.”

    *cue a million comments arguing about the road to God*

  • Sandra

    If you don’t believe Jesus is the Son of God, then he really was no one special. In fact, he would have had to be either mad or a con artist – neither anything to worship, emulate, or believe in. He said he was THE Son of God and the ONLY way TO God.

    As for Muslims believing in Jesus… Satan also believes Jesus is real. Don’t think that will help him much. If you don’t believe that he is the Son of God, sent to die to atone for sin, and endeavour to live out your life as his disciple… if you believe in any other ‘god’ but the one true God… sorry… but it’s not the way.

  • Mark Fisher via Facebook

    The Isa of the Koran seems to be fairly different than the Jesus of the New Testament. The founder of Islam seems to be at variance with the commands of Jesus. We have similarities and many differences. Islam is fairly adamant about what Christians should believe. Secularism seems harder to come by in Islam. There is a reason for this. Study the history of Islam and the life of its founder and always remember that true Islam is NEVER just the Koran. I have had dialogue with Muslims for years on fb and administrate. a small group seeking dialogue between Christianity and Islam. Our discussions can be enlightening, sometimes heated and not always pleasant. Most in our group are Triune Christians and our religious Muslim neighbors consider us as polytheists. Islam does not take kindly to polytheists, atheists or freethinkers. As a freethinking Anglican, it is sometimes difficult to keep some of our more fundamentalist believers in line from both sides. They both share the thought sometimes that people should be forced to believe a certain way because they are on the right side. Dealing with differences is hard in people who feel all others should believe as they do. I certainly see this similarity with some so called evangelicals and some so called Muslims.

  • Mark Fisher via Facebook

    The Isa of the Koran seems to be fairly different than the Jesus of the New Testament. The founder of Islam seems to be at variance with the commands of Jesus. We have similarities and many differences. Islam is fairly adamant about what Christians should believe. Secularism seems harder to come by in Islam. There is a reason for this. Study the history of Islam and the life of its founder and always remember that true Islam is NEVER just the Koran. I have had dialogue with Muslims for years on fb and administrate. a small group seeking dialogue between Christianity and Islam. Our discussions can be enlightening, sometimes heated and not always pleasant. Most in our group are Triune Christians and our religious Muslim neighbors consider us as polytheists. Islam does not take kindly to polytheists, atheists or freethinkers. As a freethinking Anglican, it is sometimes difficult to keep some of our more fundamentalist believers in line from both sides. They both share the thought sometimes that people should be forced to believe a certain way because they are on the right side. Dealing with differences is hard in people who feel all others should believe as they do. I certainly see this similarity with some so called evangelicals and some so called Muslims.

  • Mark Fisher via Facebook

    The Isa of the Koran seems to be fairly different than the Jesus of the New Testament. The founder of Islam seems to be at variance with the commands of Jesus. We have similarities and many differences. Islam is fairly adamant about what Christians should believe. Secularism seems harder to come by in Islam. There is a reason for this. Study the history of Islam and the life of its founder and always remember that true Islam is NEVER just the Koran. I have had dialogue with Muslims for years on fb and administrate. a small group seeking dialogue between Christianity and Islam. Our discussions can be enlightening, sometimes heated and not always pleasant. Most in our group are Triune Christians and our religious Muslim neighbors consider us as polytheists. Islam does not take kindly to polytheists, atheists or freethinkers. As a freethinking Anglican, it is sometimes difficult to keep some of our more fundamentalist believers in line from both sides. They both share the thought sometimes that people should be forced to believe a certain way because they are on the right side. Dealing with differences is hard in people who feel all others should believe as they do. I certainly see this similarity with some so called evangelicals and some so called Muslims.

  • Mark Fisher via Facebook

    The Isa of the Koran seems to be fairly different than the Jesus of the New Testament. The founder of Islam seems to be at variance with the commands of Jesus. We have similarities and many differences. Islam is fairly adamant about what Christians should believe. Secularism seems harder to come by in Islam. There is a reason for this. Study the history of Islam and the life of its founder and always remember that true Islam is NEVER just the Koran. I have had dialogue with Muslims for years on fb and administrate. a small group seeking dialogue between Christianity and Islam. Our discussions can be enlightening, sometimes heated and not always pleasant. Most in our group are Triune Christians and our religious Muslim neighbors consider us as polytheists. Islam does not take kindly to polytheists, atheists or freethinkers. As a freethinking Anglican, it is sometimes difficult to keep some of our more fundamentalist believers in line from both sides. They both share the thought sometimes that people should be forced to believe a certain way because they are on the right side. Dealing with differences is hard in people who feel all others should believe as they do. I certainly see this similarity with some so called evangelicals and some so called Muslims.

  • Kirsten A.S. Mebust via Facebook

    The similarity in values is profound. But Muslims and Christians still misunderstand each other profoundly if the differences aren’t also recognized and honored. God has no sons in Islam. And it’s blasphemous to say Isa was crucified, especially if he’s supposed to suffer because of someone else’s sins. I don’t see an easy alliance emerging because I don’t see evangelicals giving up either of those points.

  • Kirsten A.S. Mebust via Facebook

    The similarity in values is profound. But Muslims and Christians still misunderstand each other profoundly if the differences aren’t also recognized and honored. God has no sons in Islam. And it’s blasphemous to say Isa was crucified, especially if he’s supposed to suffer because of someone else’s sins. I don’t see an easy alliance emerging because I don’t see evangelicals giving up either of those points.

  • Kirsten A.S. Mebust via Facebook

    The similarity in values is profound. But Muslims and Christians still misunderstand each other profoundly if the differences aren’t also recognized and honored. God has no sons in Islam. And it’s blasphemous to say Isa was crucified, especially if he’s supposed to suffer because of someone else’s sins. I don’t see an easy alliance emerging because I don’t see evangelicals giving up either of those points.

  • Kirsten A.S. Mebust via Facebook

    The similarity in values is profound. But Muslims and Christians still misunderstand each other profoundly if the differences aren’t also recognized and honored. God has no sons in Islam. And it’s blasphemous to say Isa was crucified, especially if he’s supposed to suffer because of someone else’s sins. I don’t see an easy alliance emerging because I don’t see evangelicals giving up either of those points.

    • JenellYB

      Judism as well rejects the idea of God having an Earthly, flesh and blood son. That as flesh is flesh and spirit is spirit, God is Spirit, not a man to sire a flesh son.
      In my own struggle to try to hang onto anything of the Christian faith in which I was raised, and still identify myself within, I’ve had to come to no longer being able to accept Jesus, the man, as the literal “Son of God,” in the God incarnated, as believed in Christianity.

  • S arah

    I didn’t read all the comments to see if someone mentioned this, but everyone should watch the show “Little Mosque”. It’s on hulu, and it’s a Canadian sit-com about everyday Muslims in a small town. Oh and their mosque has no building so they meet in an Anglican church. I think EVERYONE should watch this show; it really helps you to see Muslims as neighbors and friends and people you would meet every day.

  • Heather Robertson Barbour

    Yes, Muslims believe in the virgin birth (there is a chapter in the Qur’an called Mary – who is the most revered woman in Islam), we believe in the miracles he performed with God’s permission, and we believe in the message that he brought – the same one of all the other prophets – that there is ONE God, Who should be worshipped alone.

    We believe he is a great prophet – but not God incarnate. We do not believe in the trinity, but then again, many Christians don’t either. He is the messiah. We believe he was spared from the cross (Qur’an says it was made to appear he was crucified, but that he was not), that he ascended to heaven, and he will return at the end times to fight and destroy the antichrist. He will lead all the believers in prayer and usher in a time of peace, before the judgment day.

    You may notice that though Christians (and others) slander and libel the prophet Mohammed regularly, you NEVER hear Muslims do the same to Jesus. That is because we are ordered to love and respect all the prophets equally – Adam, Noah, Jonah, Abraham, Lot, Moses, Jacob, Joseph, Jesus and Mohammed – just to name a few. We mostly follow the teachings of Mohammad only because he was the last in time, and so his message is the least corrupted by time.

    The Qur’an specifically says, in MANY places that the Christians and Jews (people of the book) are to be protected and are our brethren. We must treat them as well as we treat each other. If you find this is not the case somewhere, it is not because of the religion, but rather IN SPITE of it. Just like many Christians do not follow their religion to the letter, so do people of all religions. Do not judge Islam by the behavior of its followers, but by its message itself.


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