seb146
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Questions On Religion

Fri Oct 01, 2010 4:35 pm

I was listening to Thom Hartmann the other day. He had a guest on speaking about the history of Islam. One point the guest brought up was there were pockets of monotheist Christians in Africa who converted to Islam because they all came together and understood they were on the same page as far as their beliefs over doctrine. That is: Islam believes there is only one God and there are important prophets such as Mohammed and Jesus whereas Christianity believes Jesus is the son of God and both God and Jesus work with the Holy Spirit.

Question 1: Are there still Christians who believe in monotheism?
Question 2: What do main-stream Muslims think about these Christians if they exist?

I listened to that discussion on Islam and was blown away. I have thought for a very long time as to what separates Muslims from Christians and I really believe there is not much. Perhaps one sticking point is: in everyone's minds nationality can not be separated from religion? That is: Person A is from country X and believes in religion Y. Person B is from country P and believs in religion Q. Therefore Person A hates Person B because s/he lives in a country where they are allowed to practice religion Q.
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Tugger
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RE: Questions On Religion

Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:01 pm

Quoting seb146 (Thread starter):
Question 1: Are there still Christians who believe in monotheism?

Yes there is, it is called Unitatianism:

Quote:
Unitarianism is a nontrinitarian Christian theology which holds that God is only one entity, in contrast to the doctrine of the Trinity (God as three entities).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unitarianism

In the USA it has morphed and merged with Universalists (belief that the loving God would not create people destined for eternal damnation and thus all people must be destined for salvation.) to become Unitarian-Universalism and is considered to be one of the most (if not the most) liberal theologies around.

However Unitarianism does still exist as a unique faith practiced in various places around the world.

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AKviator
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RE: Questions On Religion

Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:47 pm

Quoting seb146 (Thread starter):
I have thought for a very long time as to what separates Muslims from Christians and I really believe there is not much.

Very very little. I remember studying Islam in middle and high school, and while I don't remember the specifics, I recall being surprised at how similar to Christianity and peaceful it is.

[Edited 2010-10-02 16:43:00 by srbmod]
 
iairallie
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RE: Questions On Religion

Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:50 pm

Quoting seb146 (Thread starter):
Question 1: Are there still Christians who believe in monotheism?

Yes I consider myself one. In my faith we belive in God the father and his son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as separate and distinct beings (this is one of the reasons why many Christians accuse us of not being Christian). Only God the father is God in my faith.

Quoting seb146 (Thread starter):
I have thought for a very long time as to what separates Muslims from Christians and I really believe there is not much.

All religions have commonality and the Abrahamic faiths certainly share a lot. BUT the key distinction in my opinion is that Muslims (and Jews for that matter) don't belive in the attonement of Jesus Christ. Which is a pretty key part of Christianity. One might even say it is the most important part.

[Edited 2010-10-01 14:51:02]
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RE: Questions On Religion

Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:13 pm

Quoting seb146 (Thread starter):
Christianity believes Jesus is the son of God and both God and Jesus work with the Holy Spirit.

Christianity does not believe there is all these three beings, they believe they are all one and the same. It's the concept of the Trinity and why they call themselves monotheistic.
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BNAOWB
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RE: Questions On Religion

Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:32 pm

Quoting iairallie (Reply 4):
BUT the key distinction in my opinion is that Muslims (and Jews for that matter) don't belive in the attonement of Jesus Christ. Which is a pretty key part of Christianity. One might even say it is the most important part.

Agreed. For those not familiar with the concept of atonement, it is the belief that Jesus Christ, while being crucified, was punished for our sin in our place. He received the punishment that we deserve. We receive a "pardon" that we do not deserve.
 
iairallie
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RE: Questions On Religion

Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:45 pm

Quoting BNAOWB (Reply 7):
punishment

Other than the punishment part that is basically consistent with what we believe to. The we see it it wasn't punishment so much as suffering for us.
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trvyyz
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RE: Questions On Religion

Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:59 am

Quoting iairallie (Reply 4):
Yes I consider myself one. In my faith we believe in God the father and his son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as separate and distinct beings (this is one of the reasons why many Christians accuse us of not being Christian). Only God the father is God in my faith.

Isn't God the father same for Christian, Muslims and Jews?

To be a Christian don't you have to accept Jesus as your Saviour and He died for your sins? I believe that what makes on a Christian.
As a Catholic I am taught in the Holy Trinity ie, Father, Son and Holy spirit are one, I know it is difficult to grasp that but I am not sure if it matters if some see them as separate.
 
seb146
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RE: Questions On Religion

Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:24 pm

Quoting trvyyz (Reply 9):
Isn't God the father same for Christian, Muslims and Jews?

That has always been the way I understood it. I also understood they share some of the same early prophets like Abraham and Isaac. Possibly Moses? The way I understand it (please feel free to correct me; I want to understand) the emphasis each religion puts on various prophets is one thing that makes them split. Jews putting heavy emphasis on Moses; Christians putting heavy influence on John and Peter; Muslims putting heavy influence on Mohammed.

Quoting trvyyz (Reply 9):
To be a Christian don't you have to accept Jesus as your Saviour and He died for your sins? I believe that what makes on a Christian.

That is what I had been taught too. But, if there are Christian sects that are closer to Islam (that is Jesus was a prophet not the Son of God) then would they still be Christian if they are teaching from the Bible? Do they even teach from the Bible?

[Edited 2010-10-02 16:41:56 by srbmod]
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RE: Questions On Religion

Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:59 pm

Quoting seb146 (Thread starter):
Are there still Christians who believe in monotheism?

Majority of your Chrisitans are in fact monotheistic. They believe in the trinity which is God and He is manifested in 3 persons of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Quoting seb146 (Thread starter):
I have thought for a very long time as to what separates Muslims from Christians and I really believe there is not much.

The difference is the theology behind Jesus Christ and the orgins of the religion from Abraham. All three religions (Judism, Christianity, and Islam) are birthed out of Abraham and are monotheisitic religions. After Abraham that is where all three kind of split off in their theology.

Quoting trvyyz (Reply 9):
Isn't God the father same for Christian, Muslims and Jews
?

One could argue for and against this statement. The God of Christianity and Judism share more of the same theology than Islam in that everything is the same until you get to Jesus Christ. Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (through the hypostatic union) and has died for our sins as a substitutionary death (the lamb of God to be the final sacrificial lamb) because of mans state of sin. The Jews believe they are still waiting for their Messiah because Jesus Christ wasnt the Son of God. Islam shares the same God but breaks off at the sons of Abraham.

Because of this I believe that Jews and Christians share more in common with God but Islam seems to have a different view and God has different attributes and commands than the God of Christianity and Judism.
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RE: Questions On Religion

Sat Oct 02, 2010 5:30 pm

Quoting seb146 (Thread starter):
I listened to that discussion on Islam and was blown away. I have thought for a very long time as to what separates Muslims from Christians and I really believe there is not much. Perhaps one sticking point is: in everyone's minds nationality can not be separated from religion? That is: Person A is from country X and believes in religion Y. Person B is from country P and believs in religion Q. Therefore Person A hates Person B because s/he lives in a country where they are allowed to practice religion Q.

Islam is one of the three Abrahamic faiths as you well know, Moses and Jesus are called 'Musa' and 'Isa' in the Islamic holy book which is the Quran. Both of them are considered Prophets that were sent to people in their time and have been mentioned by name in the Quran. Their is a chapter in the Quran that relates to the life of Moses and his sturggle against the Pharoah. Their is another chapter in the Quran where Mary and the birth of Jesus is described. Both these Prophets are also mentioned in the Hadiths (Sayings of the Prophet Muhammed) and have been talked about in quite vivid details in his sayings. All the Prophets in the Old Testament (Called 'Torah' in Islam) and the Bible (Called 'Injil' in the Quran) are also Prophets in Islam. Many of these Prophets such as Jacob, Noah, Enoch, Lot, Isaac etc.. are mentioned in various chapters of the Quran in various details. Overall the differences are not as significant as propagated by most extreme Muslim, Jew and Christian preachers, if you were to study Islam you would find a lot of similarities with the basic priniciples of Judasim and Christianity.
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RE: Questions On Religion

Sat Oct 02, 2010 7:02 pm

Quoting seb146 (Thread starter):

Question 1: Are there still Christians who believe in monotheism?

Jehovah's Witnesses and Unitarians (if you can call UU "Christianity")
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iairallie
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RE: Questions On Religion

Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:36 pm

Quoting trvyyz (Reply 9):

Isn't God the father same for Christian, Muslims and Jews?

I certainly believe so

Quoting trvyyz (Reply 9):
To be a Christian don't you have to accept Jesus as your Saviour and He died for your sins? I believe that what makes on a Christian.

I think so too but a council of Christian leaders got together at one point and determined that LDS people weren't Chrisitians because of some doctrinal differences including the trinity issue.

[Edited 2010-10-02 16:42:16 by srbmod]
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BMI727
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RE: Questions On Religion

Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:32 am

Quoting seb146 (Thread starter):
Question 1: Are there still Christians who believe in monotheism?

All proper Christians are monotheistic.

Quoting trvyyz (Reply 7):
I know it is difficult to grasp

There have been enough heresies regarding it over the years.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 11):
Jehovah's Witnesses and Unitarians (if you can call UU "Christianity")

Neither of those groups is really Christian.
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RE: Questions On Religion

Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:26 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):
All proper Christians are monotheistic.

except by definition.... Christian = followers of Christ, and his values... hence the name
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BMI727
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RE: Questions On Religion

Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:50 am

Quoting aerorobnz (Reply 14):
except by definition.... Christian = followers of Christ, and his values... hence the name

Christians believe in only one God, hence, monotheistic.
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directorguy
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RE: Questions On Religion

Sun Oct 03, 2010 4:03 pm

Quoting seb146 (Thread starter):
Question 2: What do main-stream Muslims think about these Christians if they exist?

It's absolutely true that Islam stresses the importance of monotheism. Traditionally, Islam has always portrayed itself as a continuation of Judeo-Christian beliefs. It's worth pointing out that Muslims generally believe that Christianity was always a monotheistic faith (in the sense of believing in God and God alone), but somehow evolved to diefy Jesus. A lot of the Arabs in central Arabia adhered to 'Abrahamism', and found that the Prophet Mohamed's revelations was merely corroborative evidence of what they already believed in.
 
seb146
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RE: Questions On Religion

Sun Oct 03, 2010 4:37 pm

I did some reading on Unitarian. The gatherings here in Northern California say something about they read from sacred texts from around the world during services. Good idea, but not strictly Christian.

Quoting directorguy (Reply 16):
A lot of the Arabs in central Arabia adhered to 'Abrahamism', and found that the Prophet Mohamed's revelations was merely corroborative evidence of what they already believed in.

I have not studied the history and evolution of Islam and Christianity, but I wonder if early Christians felt the same way about Jesus. That is: Jesus' revelations, rather than Mohamed's, where closer to what they believed?


Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):
Christians believe in only one God, hence, monotheistic.

But, (as I understand) Christians believe Jesus, God and the Spirit are all one but all different. That is where the Trinity comes in. The Christian church I grew up in did not emphasize the Spirit. I don't understand the concept. We stressed the teachings of Jesus and the New Testament. We followed the Old Testament, also, but put more emphasis on the New.

As I do more reading and soul serching, I could get behind Islam. I believe both Jesus and Mohamed were very important men, spiritually.
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directorguy
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RE: Questions On Religion

Sun Oct 03, 2010 6:09 pm

Quoting seb146 (Reply 17):
I have not studied the history and evolution of Islam and Christianity, but I wonder if early Christians felt the same way about Jesus. That is: Jesus' revelations, rather than Mohamed's, where closer to what they believed?

When Jesus came, there was already a significant Jewish population in the Fertile Crescent who already believed in monotheism. I presume that a lot of these people caught on to what Jesus and his followers were preaching, given the obvious parallels between Judaism and Christianity.
 
BMI727
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RE: Questions On Religion

Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:43 pm

Quoting seb146 (Reply 17):
But, (as I understand) Christians believe Jesus, God and the Spirit are all one but all different.

Yes, but all are completely God but only make up one God. It is somewhat counterintuitive.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 17):
I don't understand the concept.

Many people don't. A lot of the early church was fighting over the Trinity and just who or what Jesus was.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 17):
I believe both Jesus and Mohamed were very important men, spiritually.

Jesus was completely man, but also completely God, unlike Mohamed.
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RE: Questions On Religion

Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:14 am

Thanks for an interesting and respectful discussion so far, guys! Please keep it up.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 17):
But, (as I understand) Christians believe Jesus, God and the Spirit are all one but all different. That is where the Trinity comes in.

I find the concept of the Holy Trinity to be very difficult as well. I am a "nothing" (never been baptized) and so was never introduced to the concept of the Trinity at an early age. Mr. Harlot, who was raised Catholic, has attempted to explain it to me but I have never been able to understand. Are they three different manifestations of the same entity? It has always puzzled me.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 17):
As I do more reading and soul serching, I could get behind Islam. I believe both Jesus and Mohamed were very important men, spiritually.

I found Islam to be very interesting as well. The concept that only God is God and that men like Jesus and Mohammed were just that, men (though also divinely inspired prophets) is an interesting one to me.

Quoting iairallie (Reply 12):
I think so too but a council of Christian leaders got together at one point and determined that LDS people weren't Chrisitians because of some doctrinal differences including the trinity issue.

That is how it was explained to me. When Mr. Harlot and I got married in the Catholic church we had to sign a document acknowledging that we were a Catholic marrying a non-Christian. The priest explained that in order to be considered Christian you had to belong to a religion that recognized the Trinity consistent with mainstream Christianity and that as an example LDS did not.
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DocLightning
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RE: Questions On Religion

Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:11 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):

Neither of those groups is really Christian.

Says who?   
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BMI727
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RE: Questions On Religion

Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:57 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 21):
Says who?

"Real" Christians. Of course, the only opinion that matters in this case is God's.
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BNAOWB
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RE: Questions On Religion

Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:47 am

Quoting directorguy (Reply 18):
When Jesus came, there was already a significant Jewish population in the Fertile Crescent who already believed in monotheism. I presume that a lot of these people caught on to what Jesus and his followers were preaching, given the obvious parallels between Judaism and Christianity.

Yes. Many Jews did believe that Jesus was the Messiah. However, even during the first 100 years of Christianity, it is interesting to note that the majority of converts were not Jewish. Many were from polytheistic backgrounds. Conversion to Christianity was a voluntary decision of the heart. In these early days, it was not spread by violence or military campaigns (which, of course, did come later in history and were entirely contrary to the teaching of the New Testament).
 
BMI727
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RE: Questions On Religion

Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:17 pm

Quoting BNAOWB (Reply 23):
However, even during the first 100 years of Christianity, it is interesting to note that the majority of converts were not Jewish.

Indeed, Christianity did start as a Jewish sect. Much debate in the early church was based on whether or not one had to become Jewish to become Christian. (turns out the answer is no)
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HKA
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RE: Questions On Religion

Tue Oct 05, 2010 3:28 pm

Most muslims would not regard it as "true monothesism" if the x-tians believe Jesus was son of God. Muslims believe that God or Allah is by him self only and no prophet (not even Muhammad, Jesus, Moses etc) can save anyone from the Judegement Day and its outcome (paradise or hell). This is one fundamental difference between Muslims and Jews/X-tians.
They also believe Jesus was not crucified but was raised to the heavens alive and he will return to kill the anti-criste at a time close to the doomsday.

Muslims believe that not all Muslims will go to heaven, it all depends how he spent this short life on this earth. The life here is blink comapred to the life hereafter. Some will go to heaven straight away, some to hell and eventually after punishment, to heaven. Hence God is the best judge and only He will make the decisions on the Day of Judgement.

Regarding Jesus, it is mentioned very clearly in the Quran as he is son of Mary and that his birth was a miracle. This is stated intentionally as when the Quran was revealed (over a period 23 years), it was known that some X-tians believed Jesus was son of God.

All prophets mentioned in the bible and torah (jewish holy book) are also mentioned in the Quran and the events surrounding the prophets are very similar to the bible and torah.

Ibrahim=Abraham
Isa=Jesus
Yahyah=John the Baptist
Musa=Moses
Haroon=Aaron
Ismail=Ishmael
Ishaaq=Isaac
Yaqoob=Jacob
Sulieman=Solomon
Dawood=David
Yunis=Jonah
Nooh=Noah
etc.

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