the ideoclast (zcatcurious) wrote in caths_and_prots,
the ideoclast
zcatcurious
caths_and_prots

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Salvation


Imagine a hypothetical person. Let's call him Ahmed. Ahmed grows up in a Muslim family, in a Muslim community, in Afghanistan. He is taught Islam, which is the only view of God that he knows. One day, as a result of events in a far away place, foreign soldiers come to his land. Their leader says that they are 'Christians'. They say that they are hunting for criminals who did a terrible thing, but every around him says that these foreigners are inveterate liars. Members of Ahmed's community tell him how, many years in the past, these 'Christians' launched an unprovoked war against the Muslim people and massacred hundreds of thousands. In the course of their hunting, the foreign soldiers drop bombs. They bomb Ahmed's home.

His mother dies. His father dies. His brothers and his sisters die. Ahmed himself is crippled for life.

At first, the foreigners say that someone in the house fired at their warplanes. Later, they say that it was all just a misunderstanding.

Eventually, Ahmed grows up and, because he is a very good student, wins a scholarship to a foreign, 'Christian' country. While there, Christians tell him their message and try to convert him to their religion, saying that it is a religion of love. Every time he hears the message, Ahmed remembers the terror, the fire, the pain and the grief of those bombs. For him, Christianity is a rhetoric of love laid over a reality of violence. Ahmed never converts. Finally, he dies. Does he go straight to Hell for rejecting Christ?
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That is between God and "Ahmed" and is not for anyone else to speculate.
Amen.
exactly.
Are you suggesting that it would be wrong to discuss it?
In my mind, this is the theoretical boundary where apologetics breaks down. makes an excellent point. We can't speculate "Ahmed's" fate. An examination of the most well-known epistle of the Bible reveals much about the possibilities of Ahmed's fate however:

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails...and now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love"

We accept Christianity as the ultimate truth. Ahmed's distorted vision of the world never allows him to see truth. This distorted vision of Christianity is evil. I think that even if Ahmed dies never accepting the truth, entry into heaven is still possbile, but not without some purgatory time.

If love is always truthful and Christianity is the truth, then love will always prevail over the most darkest and sinister forces.
...that if he was honestly never given the opportunity to see God for who He is, than it is impossible to think he was given a fair chance. You or I, if we were to reject Christ, I think with what we know and embrace now in our faith, would have a harder time getting into Heaven than Ahmad, someone who never saw God in a true and objective light without positive or negative influences and connontations from others. Although I must admit, I think we all, no matter how great of people we are, will spend some time in purgatory. It's the price we have to pay for having such a great gift as free will, because we as mortal humans through temptation do not always use to our advantage, even the devouts.
I was just looking at your LJ poetry in your info. Its good, you should IM me sometime on AIM (GeordieM5 is me). I am a composer and love using stuff written contemporarily.
This distorted vision of Christianity is evil.

Even accepting the corruption of truth as an evil, there is another question which has to be answered: is the distortion Ahmed's own fault? If so, how? If not, then should he have to go through Purgatory?
...no matter what denomination, is dealing with specifics of what they were "said" to believe and not what their actions were. I am a firm believer that actions will get you into Heaven, what not you just chose to believe, but how you act towards the world that the Lord created. I highly doubt that him rejecting the aura of "Christianity" as an organized religion mean he honestly rejected the Lord, and I think God would understand that. I had spent a few years with an atheist and although I temporarily gave up organized religion, I never rejected God or Jesus for that matter. I think in your actions is where God can best judge you. You can think all you want, but your actions make you who you are, I believe. You can't become a famous writer even if you have that great novel idea in your head. You can't become a doctor unless you go to medical school, even if you have the smarts and the aptitude for it. This is what I believe in, the fact that God will judge me, not for the phases and influences I had in my life over whether or not I always went to mass, honestly listened, etc., but who I was as a person. This is my faith in God.
if our actions get us into heaven, then what was the purpose of Jesus's horrible suffering on the cross, his death burial and resurrection?

We are saved by our grace filled relationship with Christ through our faith and good works.
Lol see I make a huge paragraph in response, and you just say it great in one line. Kudos to you.

Also I love how you point out what matters... faith and good works, because if you never honestly reject Christ, or God for that matter, and you are a good person, but you were never properly exposed to Christianity, should you be punished for that?
If only Jesus's suffering on the cross counted us to go to Heaven, his life was worth nothing. It was not just his death, as so many christians are so hung up on, but his life that made the Gospel the powerful books that they are. His purpose of dying was giving an example for true faith, for giving his believers in God a guide to truly living life the way you should, through living and dying through God. You can not just go to Church, recite the prayers and expect to get into Heaven. I believe that Jesus did not just go to Heaven because he was the incarnate son of God, it was for his actions. Not just his death either. If his death was the only important element of his whole life, there would be no reason to tell the tale of it before, for the homilies at mass, to understand his life. It is to believe that we must act good in order to enjoy eternity with Christ. He died for us as a sacrifice towards God AND towards us, as he believed, no matter how much faith Jesus had towards his father, that he would go to Heaven if he acted according to God's will. What is the point of abiding by the 10 commandments, not committing any of the 7 deadly sins, and why do we have free will if our actions do not get us into Heaven? Jesus's death allowed us to have the option of going to Heaven if we take that option, I believe. It is in our hands.

And by the way, I was taught in Catholic school that before Jesus died on the cross, everyone went to hell. After that, original sin was officially forgiven and from then on, heaven and hell occupants were deviated by their actions. That is from a Catholic perspective, however.
The Muslim God is the same as the Christian God, and since Jesus is God, doesn't he technically believe in Jesus?

I always like to give people the benefit of the doubt...
From the Quran:
[5:72] "Pagans indeed are those who say that GOD is the Messiah, son of Mary."

For a Muslim, as for a Jew, the statement "Jesus is God" amounts to blasphemy: he does not believe in Jesus. Does that matter?
Ok, so actually I don't know anything about anything....
You have the courage to admit ignorance, which makes you more self-knowledgeable than the vast majority of the human population.
Muslims believe in Jesus, but we just don't believe that he is God or the son of God.
I mis-spoke. I ought to have said "do not believe in Jesus in the way that Christians do". However, while you are here, can I ask what the Arabic basis is for the word which they have translated as "Messiah" in Sura 5:72? I am interested because I very much doubt that it could carry the same connotations as in Hebrew.
5:72 states:

They do blaspheme who say: "Allah is Christ the son of Mary." But said Christ: "O Children of Israel! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord." Whoever joins other gods with Allah,- Allah will forbid him the garden, and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the wrong-doers be no one to help.

In another translation:

They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah (himself) said: O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Lo! whoso ascribeth partners unto Allah, for him Allah hath forbidden paradise. His abode is the Fire. For evil-doers there will be no helpers.

This is the transliteration for verse 5:72:

Laqad kafara allatheena qaloo inna Allaha huwa almaseehu ibnu maryama waqala *almaseehu* ya banee israeela oAAbudoo Allaha rabbee warabbakum innahu man yushrik biAllahi faqad harrama Allahu AAalayhi aljannata wamawahu alnnaru wama lilththalimeena min ansarin

The word that I've put in between the asterisks is the word for Messiah. (In the sentence it reads al-maseehu for proper grammar, but the word messiah itself reads al-maseeh.)

From another website I've taken this passage:

"In fact, the equivalent word of "Messiah" in Arabic is "al-Maseeh" which means "Wiped Clean; Purified". This word has been used in Quran as the title of Prophet Jesus (AS)."

http://www.al-islam.org/encyclopedia/chapter2/2.html


When the translators say "messiah," they mean Allah is refuting the trinitarian view of God - as Jesus being the son of God.

"And behold! I inspired the Disciples to have faith in Me [Allah] and Mine Messenger [Jesus]; they said, ''We have faith, and do thou bear witness that we bow to Allah as Muslims." 5:111

I'd like to add that if you want to learn more of Jesus' place in Islam, I would say to be absolutely certain of the stuff you come across. Sites like:
http://isaalmasih.net/
http://www.aboutisa.com/index-2.shtml
http://answering-islam.org.uk/Gilchrist/al_masih.html
aren't run by Muslims and can give you misleading information. I know for a fact that third site does.

Hope that helped.
That was great!
ahmed (nice generic arab name btw) will probably not go to hell. unless malice and hate was in his heart. i've come to realize that with popular religion, only folk notions ever make publicity. i know you don't know me and that my opinion is just some stranger's. but i promise you that most people in the world are sinners. greed, vanity and fear are the main motivations of men, god sees us, he sees out weakness and out inability. god is not benevolent, though he is rightly jealous.

do not trust uneducated people. a knowledge of history is essential for religion. it is a fact that the religion of the victor will last the ages. most christians in america know very little about the early days of christianity. the bible is their only source of reading, aside from perhaps a bible study guide or a christian inspirational book. look at constantine, look at the council of nicea, look at gnosticism, look at the aryan controversy. know your options before you bend to society, it is seldom that common sentiment is anything but common.

look to educated people, not zealots and prelates. educate yourself before you even begin to try and tackle mind bending questions like this. if you really want to know, asking a bunch of fools on lj won't get you much. read up!