Christianity: Should it evolve into Islam?

· Christianity, Religions
Authors

Prologue:

Every Christian and Muslim, who is knowledgeable about commentary or exegesis of the scriptures, knows that verses cannot be interpreted in isolation and are understood in the context of their neighboring verses and ultimately in the context of the whole of the scripture. This poses a very special problem for the Bible, if all of it is not literal or even inspired word of God then how can you interpret some genuine verses in light of forgeries and hotch-potch out there? Does the presence of forgeries in the Bible make the whole field of exegesis hocus-pocus? How can you understand word of God in light of fiction and make belief without making the whole affair a joke?

A similar confusion existed in the ninteenth century in the understanding of the Holy Quran, when Muslim scholars believed that 5-500 verses of the Holy Quran were abrogated. This created a hotch-potch situation for the Quran analogous to what has always existed for the Bible. However, fortunately for Islam, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad demonstrated that not even an iota of the Holy Quran is abrogated and each and every verse of this Arabic text is literal word of Omniscient God and as such throws light on other verses of the scripture.

If you are a Christian and this state of affairs about the Bible shocks you enough then keep reading, otherwise keep your head buried in the sand of Christian dogma or try Buddhism, you are not ready for Islam! Remember the famous saying, “When the student is ready the teacher will appear!”  In this post I have taken an encyclopedic approach about the issue and readers are encouraged to pace themselves.


With a tsunami of agnosticism and atheism sweeping across Europe and atrocities of terrorism sweeping through all the Muslim countries, the crying need for better Theism is being heard loud and clear through out the world!
All Christian apologists highlight the dangers of atheism in their writings and speeches, but most of them lack the sincerity of purpose to let the best theistic paradigm or tradition, stand against atheism. For example, Pope Benedict XVI had equated atheism to Nazism, in a recent trip to UK, but he seldom shows any openness to let Islam stand against this scourge. In the book, Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures,he highlights the crisis created by lack of faith in God, but continues to sell the outdated and rejected medicine of Christian dogma. Never conceding even once that Islam could be an alternative theistic paradigm. My purpose in life is to demonstrate to the Western world that Christianity and atheism are not the only two rational theological options. Islam as understood by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community needs to be considered with an open mind as a solution for the crisis of culture, enunciated by the Pope in his book. I believe that if we genuinely contrast agnosticism and atheism with Christianity, trying to follow arguments and counter-arguments by both sides, we would realize that the third option of Islam offers greater intellectual, emotional and spiritual satisfaction. Pope is not the only Christian apologist guilty of this myopic vision. Almost all Christian apologists and theologians are guilty of this short sighted attempt of trying to maintain monopoly on truth. Here let me mention another Christian apologist, who recently debated with three well known atheists, to show the limitations of atheist’s life view and how they would define the purpose of universe and life, namely Prof. William Lane Craig:
But, all his life Prof. Craig has kept his head buried in the sand of Christian dogma and never looked around to genuinely examine other theistic paradigms, Judaism, Unitarian Christianity and Islam. The tragedy created by this stubborn insistence on Trinitarian Christianity has been examined in a sister article by me.
Read on, and in the words of Sir Francis Bacon’s advice, “Read not to contradict … but to weigh and consider.”
Christianity should evolve into Islam as Trinity has no legs to stand on!  Read more:
Christianity should evolve into Islam as the rationalizations built against common lineage of all animals and plants by Christian apologists since the publication of On the Origin of Species, have been washed away with flood of new information: 1. Molecular Biology. 2. Bio-geography.

Christianity should evolve into Islam, because sola Gracia has no foundation in human nature and is counter-intuitive:

Christianity should evolve into Islam, because the Bible has not been preserved over time and sola Scriptura, makes no sense at all in light of modern findings about the New Testament:
Christianity should evolve into Islam, because the two natures of Jesus make no biological, historical or theological sense.
Christianity should evolve into Islam as we no longer believe in demons that need to be cast out:
Christianity should evolve into Islam as true Islam only condones defensive war but the Bible and Christian history drips with blood:
In some of my knols I have also examined that fighting the myopic world view of the Christian apologists was precisely the struggle of the Founding Fathers of the USA also, which lead to their Deism and also separation of Church and State:
I am a self-appointed ambassador to all the Christians in the West and have a collection of 100 knols on different aspects of Christianity, for your benefit. Why to those only in the West? The short answer is that those in the East are not free to think for themselves, they will follow the lead from the West. Having lived in both the East and the West and for the last two decades in USA, I am rooted in both cultures. I want to have a bigger tent, which is not limited to the Muslims or the Christians, the Easterners or the Westerners, the white, the black, the brown or the yellow, rather starts off with people of all Abrahamic faiths and extends from there to all Homo sapiens, for genetically I am very close to all of them and love them all.
My knols that are critical of the Christian dogma should not make the readers think that a large gulf separates the religion of Christianity and Islam.  When it comes to ethical and moral teachings, there is more that joins them than separates them.  Prof. Mark W Muesse, beautifully explains in his lecture series, Confucius, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad, as he compares and contrasts the four sages making the title of his series:
Among those who first began to suggest that religions were ‘pretty much the same’ were the critics of religion, those who thought humanity would be better off without it. Today, many religious folks themselves advance this perspective, not to put an end to religion, of course, but to see the great divisions and rancor among religions, which has been the source of so much human anguish, diminished and perhaps eliminated.

One of the ways we can begin to assess the validity of this claim is to compare the teachings of our four sages. Comparing religious teachers is not the same thing as comparing religions, which are far more complex realities than the philosophies of individuals. As I emphasized earlier, we cannot simply equate the teachings of Confucius with Confucianism or the teachings of Jesus with Christianity. But it is much easier to compare specific teachings than to compare whole religions and doing so might offer some insight on the problems facing a religiously plural world. So let us turn now to reviewing the perspectives of our sages in relationship to each other. I think it will be apparent that the four teachers did in fact view the world in ways different from one another, and in many cases these differences were substantial. Nonetheless, in some important areas, particularly on matters of spiritual and ethical practice, they are not that far apart.[1]

Read on and in the words of Sir Francis Bacon, “Read not to contradict … but to weigh and consider.”  It is important for me to highlight the differences as well as the similarities, between Christianity and Islam in my articles, the differences underscore the need for evolution in our thoughts and beliefs and the similarities give us optimism that the journey is not very long and tiring.
Now, if you are ready for the journey, put your seat belts on, for I want to prepare your mind for this theological roller coaster ride with a little shock and awe, from the writing of one of the Founding Fathers of our beloved USA, Thomas Paine, as he hits the nail squarely on the head:

From the time I was capable of conceiving an idea, and acting upon it by reflection, I either doubted the truth of the Christian system, or thought it to be a strange affair; I scarcely knew which it was: but I well remember, when about seven or eight years of age, hearing a sermon read by a relation of mine, who was a great devotee of the church, upon the subject of what is called Redemption by the death of the Son of God. After the sermon was ended, I went into the garden, and as I was going down the garden steps (for I perfectly recollect the spot) I revolted at the recollection of what I had heard, and thought to myself that it was making God Almighty act like a passionate man, that killed his son, when he could not revenge himself any other way; and as I was sure a man would be hanged that did such a thing, I could not see for what purpose they preached such sermons. This was not one of those kind of thoughts that had anything in it of childish levity; it was to me a serious reflection, arising from the idea I had that God was too good to do such an action, and also too almighty to be under any necessity of doing it. I believe in the same manner to this moment; and I moreover believe, that any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be a true system.  (Thomas Paine)

For the reference of the above quote see my articles about Thomas Paine.[2]  He has in a short paragraph powerfully shown us what is fundamentally wrong with the Christian dogma, if we care to hear.  As alluded to before one would have to give up the dogma of Christianity but the moral teachings of Christianity and Islam are very similar.  Here is an example which illustrates both these points, first a quote from the Gospel of Matthew:
“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. For 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, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

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

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

“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. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I 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.’

“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?’

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’” (Matthew 25:34-45)

First of all this detailed parable or metaphor illustrates that our works count and the Christian emphasis ‘on Faith alone,’ in Protestantism more than in Catholicism is one more paradox that needs to be replaced with the Islamic teachings.
There are numerous verses in the Holy Quran emphasizing kindness and the teaching of being service minded and the teachings are illustrated with different metaphors.  Here I would like to reproduce a Hadith which is very similar to the presentation of the Gospel of Matthew:

Indeed, Allah will say to his servant when He will be taking account of him on the Day of Judgment, ‘O’ son of Adam, I was hungry and you did not feed me.’ He will answer: ‘How could I feed you? You are the Lord of the worlds!’ He will say: ‘Did you not know that my servant so and so who is the son of so and so felt hunger, and you did not feed him. Alas, had you fed him you would have found that (i.e. reward) with Me.’ ‘O’ son of Adam, I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink.’ He will reply: ‘How could I give You drink? You are the Lord of the worlds!’ He will say: ‘Did you not know that my servant so and so, the son of so and so was thirsty and you did not give him drink. Alas, if you had given him, you would have found that (i.e. reward) with me.’ ‘O’ son of Adam, I became sick and you did not visit Me.’ He will answer: ‘How could I visit You? You are the Lord of the worlds!’ He will say: ‘Did you not know that my servant so and so, the son of so and so became sick and you did not visit him. Alas, had you visited him, you would have found Me with him.’

Now, the moral teaching is exactly the same but if we read the next verse in the Gospel of Matthew another theological difference pops up.  Matthew reads, “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”  (Matthew 25:46)  Here, the New Testament is suggesting the standard Christian version of eternal punishment for the finite crimes of the wicked.  Infinite punishment for finite crime does not reflect well on the Just God and the Holy Quran takes exception to this vulnerability of Christian theology.  There is actually a Hadith that says that there will come a time on hell when it will have no inhabitants and all the sinners would have been forgiven after fulfilling their term.
Have a safe trip through the rest of this knol and if you have any questions pertaining to any of my knols, feel free to ask in the comment section, please.  And do not shoot the messenger.  Here is a quote for the road:

It is not the business of any Christian writer or preacher to dilute Christianity to suit the general educated public. The doctrine of the incarnation was to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, and so will it always be, for the doctrine not only transcends reason; it the paradox par excellence; and it can be affirmed only by faith, with passionate inwardness and interest. The substitution of reason for faith means the death of Christianity. (Soren Kierkgaard)

If you take Kierkgaard’s suggestion seriously and you are a Christian apologist, then you should stay quiet till eternity and let the Muslims like myself do the talking!  Because as soon as you defend Christianity you violate his passionate advice.
Some video clips of converts to Islam from Christianity
Thirty eight famous people who converted to islam:

References

  1. Prof. Mark W Muesse. Confucius, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad. The Great Courses transcript book, 2010. Page 461.
  2. http://knol.google.com/k/zia-shah/age-of-reason-by-thomas-paine-in-the/1qhnnhcumbuyp/323#

Additional Articles Linked in this Collection:

 

 

9 Comments

Comments RSS
  1. Zia H. Shah

    King David glorifying God the Creator, without knowing an iota about Jesus

    In the Psalms we can read time and again, how the King or the Prophet David glorifies, God the Creator or God the Father, without knowing anything about Jesus, as he preceeded him by seven centuries. David prays:

    LORD, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
    You have set your glory
    in the heavens.
    Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.
    When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
    What is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?

    (Psalm 8:1-4, New International Version)

    To know God, we do not need to necessarily know about Jesus Christ and he forms no part of Divinity, as we can see His Majesty in the prayers of David, without any reference to Jesus!

  2. Zia H. Shah

    Recruiting the four Horsemen of Neo-atheism into Cavalry of Islam
    Christopher Hitchens, Prof. Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Prof. Richard Dawkins have been called the four horsemen of neo-atheism. That is old news. The latest is that I have just recruited them as volunteers for army of Islam; they form my meager cavalry, which will establish the philosophical superiority of Islam over Christianity. They will work hard for every day of their God given life, for the cause of Islam, without any worldly compensation from me.

    Every time they make a good case for evolution, for common lineage of all life forms on planet earth, they establish the truth of Islam as opposed to the dogma of Christianity. In my previous writings I have shown, how evolution, by showing that Adam and Eve were not the first human couple, strikes a death blow to the dogma of Original Sin. I appreciate the clarity of thinking of my cavalry, except in the areas of their blind spots, where they are blinded by their ideology, so I will continue to use their scholarship suitably. With this army of only four, I will fight in all directions, East, West, North and South, by the Grace of Allah. We will fight not with swords or arrows, not even with pen, just one mouse and a key board, which I bought for twenty dollars of my hard earned money! My mouse and key board will just properly direct their words. To make sure that my horsemen do not double cross me and start fighting their own battles, I will need to suitably expose their blind spots of understanding, so they submit to the will of Allah and continue to serve Islam.

    It is not politically correct to condemn Deism, after all it was the religion of the Founding Fathers of USA and of the celebrated Albert Einstein. In God Delusion, one of my horsemen, Prof. Richard Dawkins applauds the religion of Einstein and in a debate with John Lennox, says that a plausible case could be made for a Deist’s God.[2] But, when it comes to Theism, Christianity and Islam my horsemen use a broad brush and condemn both equally, without realizing that Islam is much closer to Deism than Christianity.

    http://www.themuslimtimes.org/2011/11/religion/recruiting-the-four-horsemen-of-neo-atheism-into-cavalry-of-islam

  3. Zia H. Shah

    The cumulative case
    Some Christian apologist may be able to put some hole in one or the other argument presented here or at least may believe that he or she has done so, but, please also feel the weight of cumulative evidence presented here.

    I have piled evidence from history, science, logic and other religions. May God help us towards better understanding that will serve the cause of humanity. Amen!

  4. Zia H. Shah

    Half of New Testament forged, Bible scholar says
    By John Blake, CNN

    A frail man sits in chains inside a dank, cold prison cell. He has escaped death before but now realizes that his execution is drawing near.

    “I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come,” the man –the Apostle Paul – says in the Bible’s 2 Timothy. “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”

    The passage is one of the most dramatic scenes in the New Testament. Paul, the most prolific New Testament author, is saying goodbye from a Roman prison cell before being beheaded. His goodbye veers from loneliness to defiance and, finally, to joy.

    There’s one just one problem – Paul didn’t write those words. In fact, virtually half the New Testament was written by impostors taking on the names of apostles like Paul. At least according to Bart D. Ehrman, a renowned biblical scholar, who makes the charges in his new book “Forged.”

    “There were a lot of people in the ancient world who thought that lying could serve a greater good,” says Ehrman, an expert on ancient biblical manuscripts.In “Forged,” Ehrman claims that:

    * At least 11 of the 27 New Testament books are forgeries.

    * The New Testament books attributed to Jesus’ disciples could not have been written by them because they were illiterate.

    * Many of the New Testament’s forgeries were manufactured by early Christian leaders trying to settle theological feuds.

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/13/half-of-new-testament-forged-bible-scholar-says/?

  5. Zia H. Shah

    Which religion can survive reason and logic? Islam or Christianity?
    This is in response to John Doe’s comment below.

    In logical terms Jesus cannot be man and God at the same time. Like a man cannot be a rock or an apple, at the same time; men, rocks and apples are different things!

    Humans and God are different things, but the paradoxical Christian affirmation is called a mystery because you cannot logically explain how Jesus can be both things at once. This is why the rational and insightful Christian theologians label the Christian dogma as mysteries for you cannot logically understand them. Either you adamantly stick to them in the name of faith or you trade them for some other better theology!

    Ignatius of Antioch is one of the pioneers of these paradoxical views, to argue with Ebionites on the one hand and Marcionites on the other hand as the Christian doctrines are being born, in the first two centuries after Jesus crucifixion. Ignatius writes, “There is one physician who is both fleshly and spiritual, he is born and unborn, he is God come in the flesh, true life in death, both from Mary and from God, first subject to suffering and then beyond suffering, Jesus Christ our Lord!” He does not explain how Jesus could be both things at once, both mortal and immortal, both human and Divine, both born and unborn, but, over the centuries as these dogma have been indoctrinated into billions of minds, the naive now find these ideas common place and take them for granted.

    See my knol about Ignatius:

    http://knol.google.com/k/zia-shah/ignatius-of-antioch-one-of-the-pioneers/1qhnnhcumbuyp/331?collectionId=1qhnnhcumbuyp.217#

    I also have a collection about Religion and Science:

    http://knol.google.com/k/zia-shah/religion-and-science/1qhnnhcumbuyp/218#

  6. Zia H. Shah

    Testimony of some converts from Christianity to Islam

    Top 10 Reasons Why Jesus is not God – Joshua Evans

    A Christian Minister’s Conversion to Islam Dr.Jerald Dirks:

  7. Duncan Dugan

    Zia H Shah, You are a man of learning and true cunning! If you have truly read the Bible as well as you seem to have, then you know its content better than most simple-minded Christians who follow in Faith. Why then do you take Biblical statements, most particularly those of Jesus, out of context to prove your points? Why do you represent Jesus as promoting violence? In order to do so, you twist the context of four statements or stories.

    You KNOW the rest of Jesus’ teachings so you KNOW that he promoted love between people. You KNOW that he lived his life in gracious acceptance of others, in kindness to others in humble service to others and encouraging others to do likewise. So why have you grabbed and twisted these two stories and two statements in order to prove Jesus promoted violence? What is your purpose?

    Jesus’ roll was to promote a RELATIONSHIP with God, to let people know that they were loved by God, as his children. Love is the theme of Jesus’ teaching.

    Yes, yes, I know that you can take a verse from the Old Testament and a verse from the letters of Paul and jam them together cleverly and prove to everyone that there are inconsistencies between the Old and New Testament so God is NOT “love”. Think about what you achieve, and what you denigrate when you do this. You know exactly how “Love” is used in the Quran. Over and over it says that God does NOT love various things and various people. But where in the Quran does it say that “Love” is an integral part of God’s nature, along with omnipotence and omniscience? It doesn’t.

    Let us put aside the miraculous birth of Jesus, the healings, the miracles, the resurrection from the dead and Paul’s interpretation of Jesus’ role in the salvation of mankind. That leaves us with the teachings of Jesus. Ignore everything else and focus on what Jesus actually told us, and the true love and acceptance that he showed to people in his daily actions.

    Compare with the teachings of Muhammed. Jesus gave two simple laws for life: Love God with your whole being, and love others as yourself.
    Jesus, in the face of fundamentalist critics, demonstrated that obedience to “rules” did not matter, if the rules themselves were breaches of common sense and human kindness.

    What “rules” did Jesus abandon?
    * He said that the Sabbath Day which was rigorously maintained as a day of no work was nonsense! God gave that day for the benefit of mankind.
    * Praying in a ritual, repetitious manner didn’t please God. Pray whenever you want to as God is always listening. Put all your needs before him.
    * Ritual cleanliness, fasting and other such rituals got in the way of human relationships. This is the subject of the famous story of the injured man who was not helped by two churchmen, because he was ritually unclean.
    * In a minor way Jesus contested the importance of ritual cleanliness by eating with unwashed hands. He said that what came out a person’s moth was more important than what went in.
    * He said “Don’t concern yourself with what you eat.”
    * He said “Don’t concern yourself with what you wear.
    * He treated women as equal to men, by educating them, listening to them and speaking directly to them as well as their husbands.
    * Jesus showed that the things that counts with God is REPENTANCE for the wrong that a person has done. A person cannot put right all the wrongs things, bad thoughts, unkind words of a lifetime. BUt God can and will forgive those who turn to him in Faith.
    * Jesus showed that our good works are expected of us, as children of God. Our good works are not to be done as a balance to our bad deeds; they are done because God commands us to do good. We cannot “buy” our way into heaven by any means.
    * Jesus taught that God loves ALL his children, even those who stray. He will search them out, like a shepherd looking for lost sheep.
    * Jesus taught that when a person truly seeks to know God and follow his will, Jesus will be there. Jesus gives the three great “I AM” statements. I AM the way, I AM the truth, I AM the life. He is not saying, “if you don’t follow ME, Jesus, the only teacher, you will die.” (This is the message of Muhammed). Jesus is saying, “When you seek a way to God, I am there; when you find the truth, I am there; When you gain eternal life, I am there.” While many Christians believe that this teaching means that Christians, exclusively, are saved, that belief is not consistent with Jesus’ acceptance of others or with the way that “I AM” teachings occur in the Old Testament.
    * Nowhere does Jesus raise an army, or plan to overthrow any other people, not even the Roman Governors. Exactly the opposite is true.
    NOTE: The first Christian armies were formed 300 years later, as the result of invasions. The Crusades were in response to Muslim invasion and did not begin until Islam had been on the rampage for 400 years.

    Compare Muhammad’s approach:
    * A return to all sorts of rituals, keeping of days, keeping of fasts.
    * Ritual, repetitious prayers
    * A focus on cleanliness
    * A return to the idea of unclean food
    * An emphasis on dress code. Look what this does to women.
    * Muhammed in the Quran never addresses himself to women, to the poor, to the old, to the victim, to the child; only to Alpha males, who rule all these other people. Look what this has done to women.
    * Muhammed taught that some sins were unforgivable, that men had the right to execute others for crimes.
    *Muhammed taught that people could “balance out” their good and bad deeds. Forgiveness has to do with achieving a balance, not attaining God’s grace. God is as vengeful and spiteful as any other despotic ruler.
    *Muhammed claims over and over and over again that if you don’t believe what he is saying, God won’t love you, God will hate you, God will despise you, God will punish you. Follow Muhammed or else!
    * Muhammed led battles.
    *Muhammed gave detailed instructions as to how to treat people that you conquer, how to tax them and how to dispose of those who cannot/will not convert/pay up. Overthrowing people was part of the written strategy of Islam, in the Quran.

    Zia H Shah, are you ready to follow the teachings of Jesus?

  8. Duncan Dugan

    Zia H Shah, Christianity cannot “evolve” into Islam. To take on the precepts of Islam would be a vastly backward step for any Christian person.

    The rules that Jesus gave and on which he based his teaching were two rules that encompassed all other rules pertaining to how we live, with God and with each other:
    “Love God with all your being”
    “Love your neighbour as yourself”
    NOTE: This is not a simple directive to get on well with the people who live near you. It is an all-encompassing directive that includes the friend, the stranger, the enemy and the unclean.

    Many people find that the difficulty of these two rules is that they leave it to the individual to assess their own actions and chose their own path of righteousness.
    It is much easier to follow a “rule-based” religion that tells you in explicit terms how to govern your life, what not to eat, what not to drink, how to leave your will, how to marry. You can follow the rules and perceive yourself as righteous, just the way the Pharisees did, while Jesus was teaching. The rules that Muhammed gave are simplistic, directive, not always wise, not always pertinent and are frequently discriminating.
    But the teachings of Jesus demand that we live life thoughtfully, not blindly following rules, but making right decisions, based on compassion.

    Are the teachings of Jesus consistent? Yes. But it is sometimes possible to make a story or statement appear inconsistent with other teachings of Jesus by either misapplying the statement, or removing the context of a story.

    Are the teachings of Muhammed in the Quran consistent? No, they are not. The attitude expressed towards the Jews demonstrates one of the most striking inconsistencies. From apparent tolerance early in the Quran, the attitude changes to one of jeering, then one of hatred. So how does Islam deal with this? There is a very neat and cunning loophole that says “If I tell you something different to what I said before, then that is only because what I am saying now is better!” This means that any apparent tolerance towards the Jews is overwritten by later statements in the Quran. But there is still a custom by which the early tolerance is cited as examples of an Islamic ideal, and the later overwriting is ignored, (until it becomes more convenient to trot out the hate statements).

    Is this the same as Jesus directing the Pharisees to base their relationships with God and other people that were based on love, rather than a very detailed set of laws that had been laid down 300 years previously? I don’t think that it is. Jesus DID challenge the traditional laws. But he did so with an absolute consistency. Compassion and Common sense came into play, every time he challenged one of the ancient laws.

    Jesus took people at their own worth. He lived in Jewish society, which condemned sinful people, despised the Roman Public servants and soldiers, treated slave-trading foreigners with disdain, was suspicious of neighbours who followed Judaism with practices that differed from the norm. It was a prejudiced society. So how did Jesus act? He made friends of people who were despised. He touched people with leprosy. He associated with every type of despised foreigner. He sat down to dinner with drunkards, prostitutes and tax-collectors who worked for the enemy. He honoured people that other people simply laughed at.

    The only people to whom Jesus showed scorn were hypocrites, those who thought that they were better than everyone else, and looked down on others. The hypocrites generally belonged to the rich educated fundamentalist class of “Pharisees”. Does this mean that Jesus despised all Pharisees? No, it certainly doesn’t. He accepted each person for where they were at, and according to their needs.

    Zia H Shah, when you read the teachings of Jesus, and considered his interactions with the people that he met in three years of ministry, it must be clear that Jesus was the most profound religious teacher who has ever lived. No-one who understands Jesus’ teachings could possibly consider that the teachings of Muhammed were a forward step.

    You should make knowledge of our Heavenly Father’s love, as revealed to us in the words and the person of Jesus, your goal. That would be a true evolution! I will pray that Jesus will touch your heart.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: