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The benefits of Islam for non-Muslims?

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Forum Name: InterReligious Dialogue
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Topic: The benefits of Islam for non-Muslims?
Posted By: Saved
Subject: The benefits of Islam for non-Muslims?
Date Posted: 26 March 2017 at 5:00pm
I looked at the closed topic on dispelling the misconceptions non-Muslim have about Islam. It starts off saying that Islam is attacked and then it goes on to say that it is a way to experience God's love. To quote it exactly: "Since the birth of Islam until this day, there have been waves of oppositions to it, non-stop attacks on it, and false information and misconceptions about it."

Most of these things, if not all, can be said about Christianity. For instance, Christianity has been under attack for a lot longer than Islam; in fact, it is attacked more so.
IOW, even today it is okay, for instance, to discuss Islam and other religions in the public schools, but never Christianity.

According to the Quran, if one submits to Islam, he can receives Allah's conditional love, but the love of God in the gospel is unconditional. Muslims say they love Jesus, but why to they love him? We love Him because He saved us from eternal damnation by the shedding of His blood or taking the sins of the world unto Himself. Why do Muslims love Him?

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Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine



Replies:
Posted By: Niblo
Date Posted: 29 March 2017 at 1:45pm
[QUOTE=Saved] According to the Quran, if one submits to Islam, he can receives Allah's conditional love, but the love of God in the gospel is unconditional. /QUOTE]

Hello.

Concerning the notion that God’s love is ‘unconditional’:

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary ‘unconditional’ means: ‘Not limited in any way; complete and absolute; unqualified.’

Taking this definition, we would have to say that ‘unconditional love’ means that no matter what we do or don't do, we will continue to be loved in exactly the same way. Applying this expression to God means that whatever we do – good or evil – does not matter, and we can expect Him to love us just exactly as He always has. I’ve heard many Christians say (and I said it myself, many times, in my sixty or so years in that religion): ‘God loves you no matter what you’ve done, no matter what you do.’

This statement has a certain appeal to it. It sounds like it ought to be true. However, those who are versed in scripture know it is a misguidance; and quite unbiblical.

There are more than eight-hundred mentions of ‘love’ in the Bible; none of which states, or even implies, that the Exalted's love is unconditional.

We are agreed (I’m sure) that God is Love; that He is the epitome and definition of love. We are agreed (I’m sure) that His benevolence to humankind is a manifestation of His love. However, His love must work in unison with His other attributes, such as justice and mercy (undoubtedly we are agreed on this).

These are the reported words of Yeshua (radhiAllahu'anhu): ‘Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.’ (John 15: 9-10).

This is Yeshua speaking (allegedly) as ‘God’. You cannot fail to notice the conditional words in this declaration: ‘If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love.’ Christians insist that only those who keep Yeshua’s commandments abide in his love; that those who fail to keep his commandments do not abide in his love, and are lost. What they are describing is conditional love, and there is no getting around that fact.

Exponents of the ‘uncondition love’ notion quote this verse in support of their claim: ‘For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son.’ (John 3: 16). However, they choose to omit (for their own reasons) the words that follow: ‘….so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.’ These words make it clear that only those who believe will be given eternal life; those who do not will perish. This is conditional love.

These are some of the people that God loves, according to Scripture:

The righteous (Psalm 146: 8); those who love Him (Daniel 9:4); those who pursue righteousness (Proverbs. 15:9); those of His servants who are faithful (1 Kings: 8: 23); those who trust in Him (Psalm 32: 10); those who keep His commandments (Daniel 9: 4); those (according to Christianity) who who show that their love for Yeshua is genuine by obeying His teachings (John 14: 21-23); cheerful givers (2 Cor 9: 7); those who love their brothers (1 John 3: 1,10).

If God’s love is unconditional why does the Bible not teach that He loves everyone, regardless of what they say or do? Why so many different qualifiers? The reason for the presence of these qualifiers is that He does not love everyone; and the reason He does not love them is because of what they say and do.

These are some of the people that God hates, again according to Scripture:

Those with haughty eyes; those with lying tongues; those who shed innocent blood; those who devise wicked schemes; whose feet that are quick to rush into evil; who bear false witnesses; who stir up dissensions (cf Proverbs 6: 16-19); the wicked person, and all who do evil (Psalm 5: 5); those who love violence (Psalm 11: 5); those who worship other gods (Jerimiah 44: 3-4); those who are wicked (Hebrews 1: 9); those who burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to gods (Deuteronomy 12: 31); one who plots evil against his neighbor, or who swears falsely (Zechariah 8:17).

As you can see, the ‘God of unconditional love’ hates certain people for many good reasons. Moreover, He is capable of loving certain people ‘today’ and ‘hating’ them ‘tomorrow’:

‘I have withdrawn my blessing, my love, and my pity from this people.’ (Jeremiah 16: 5; and again: ‘I will no longer show love to the house of Israel, that I should at all forgive them.’ (Hosea 1: 6); and yet again: ‘Because of all their wickedness in Gilgal, I hated them there. Because of their sinful deeds, I will drive them out of my house. I will no longer love them; all their leaders are rebellious.’ (Hosea 9: 15).

Like it or not, God says to us (today) what He has always said: ‘Here is what I expect of you, and in return, here is what I will give to you. If you fulfill your part of the contract between us I will fulfill Mine.’

This condition includes His mercy for us. He promises as much: ‘You shall, therefore, carefully observe the commandments, the statutes and the decrees which I enjoin on you today. As your reward for heeding these decrees and observing them carefully, the Lord, your God, will keep with you the merciful covenant which he promised on oath to your fathers.’ (Deuteronomy 7: 11-12).

We might wish to argue (following Paul) that nothing can separate us from God’s love: ‘What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8: 35, 37-39).

However, Paul also says this: ‘Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God's kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.’ (Romans 11: 22).

The same loving God who reveals Himself to those who believe in Him will show absolute severity to those who continue to live in sin and rebellion against Him. The words ‘if you continue’ are proof positive that there are conditions to His love, even for the Christian!

There is only one God. Both the Bible and the Qur’an make it abundantly clear – for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear – that His love is not unconditional. It is covenantal.

God’s love is covenantal. This means that if we want to continue to experience His love, we have to meet His conditions. His love is eternal, and it is constant; but He has made it crystal clear what He loves and what He hates; whom He loves and whom He hates.

Unconditional love is the relationship we must have toward God – not God toward us. We are His servants and He is our Master. He owes us nothing.

Very best regards, and have a great day.


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'Sometimes, silence is the best answer for a fool.'(Alī ibn Abī Tālib‎)


Posted By: The_Rock
Date Posted: 29 March 2017 at 2:22pm

If we want to continue to experience His Love


How do you currently experience the love of God? Please provide illustrations.


Posted By: The_Rock
Date Posted: 29 March 2017 at 2:24pm
For the Christian there is only this

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.


Posted By: Non Believer
Date Posted: 29 March 2017 at 6:30pm
That is a very well written post, Niblo. Is it original work?

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Men do you harm either because they fear you or because they hate you.


Posted By: The_Rock
Date Posted: 29 March 2017 at 6:46pm
It's important to understand justification by faith rather than works.

You simply cannot save yourself. It is impossible, you to short, all of us fall short.

Our only hope is salvation.

We have already fallen, we are already depraved, we are already separated from God.

We cannot lose the love of God any further, nor earn his wrath anymore.

We can only choose His love from here.

You seem to think we have something to lose, I say we already lost it.


Posted By: Niblo
Date Posted: 30 March 2017 at 2:43am
Originally posted by Non Believer

That is a very well written post, Niblo. Is it original work?


Thank you.

Apart from the quotes!

To be serious: At the age of 71 - and after decades of study; with many tutors, and a great many sources (including me!)- I have to wonder if I have a truly 'original' thought left. Does anyone?

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'Sometimes, silence is the best answer for a fool.'(Alī ibn Abī Tālib‎)


Posted By: ishammad
Date Posted: 30 March 2017 at 3:02am
applaud @ Niblo.

Rock, many quotes from the Bible, yet you say the above?
--------------------------------------

Verily, for the Muttaqun (pious and righteous persons - see V.2:2) are Gardens of delight (Paradise) with their Lord.

Shall We then treat the (submitting) Muslims like the Mujrimun (criminals, polytheists and disbelievers, etc.)?

What is the matter with you? How judge you?

Or have you a Book through which you learn.

That you shall have all that you choose?

Or you have oaths from Us, reaching to the Day of Resurrection that yours will be what you judge.

Ask them, which of them will stand surety for that!

Or have they "partners"? Then let them bring their "partners" if they are truthful!

The Day the shin will be uncovered and they are invited to prostration but the disbelievers will not be able,

Their eyes humbled, humiliation will cover them. And they used to be invited to prostration while they were sound.

So leave Me, [O Muhammad], with [the matter of] whoever denies the Qur'an. We will progressively lead them [to punishment] from where they do not know.

And I will give them time. Indeed, My plan is firm.
--------------------------------------

Aisha reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Be deliberate in worship, draw near to Allah, and give glad tidings. Verily, none of you will enter Paradise because of his deeds alone.” They said, “Not even you, O Messenger of Allah?” The Prophet said, “Not even me, unless Allah grants me mercy from himself. Know that the most beloved deed to Allah is that which is done regularly even if it is small.”

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6099, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2818
Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi (authenticity agreed upon) according to Al-Bukhari and Muslim



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Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe. And peace upon the messengers. And praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds. 37:180-182


Posted By: Non Believer
Date Posted: 30 March 2017 at 4:40pm
Originally posted by Niblo

Originally posted by Non Believer

That is a very well written post, Niblo. Is it original work?


Thank you.

Apart from the quotes!

To be serious: At the age of 71 - and after decades of study; with many tutors, and a great many sources (including me!)- I have to wonder if I have a truly 'original' thought left. Does anyone?

What I wonder is if there's no original thought left, why there hasn't been more convergence in thought.

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Men do you harm either because they fear you or because they hate you.


Posted By: Niblo
Date Posted: 31 March 2017 at 2:25am
Originally posted by ishammad

applaud @ Niblo.


As-Salāmu ‘alaykum, brother.

Thank you, but applause is not warranted. I’ve done nothing more than quote biblical verses, and authored the stuff that links them together. I’ve used this argument a number of times, most recently in a Christian Forum I joined just over two years ago. A Christian offers the same old claim, and I respond with this!

Someday, a Christian might say something that forces a rethink; but so far, none have even tried. Hardly surprising when you consider that the strength of this argument lies not in any words of mine, but in the verses I’ve quoted. Their very own scriptures!


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'Sometimes, silence is the best answer for a fool.'(Alī ibn Abī Tālib‎)


Posted By: Niblo
Date Posted: 31 March 2017 at 2:47am
Originally posted by Non Believer

What I wonder is if there's no original thought left, why there hasn't been more convergence in thought.


Not sure. I work in manufacturing, and specialise in lean production and process improvement. I’ve lost count of the number of times ideas have been rejected simply because of the ‘not invented here’ mentality that plagues (perhaps less today than in the past) UK companies.

I once attended a lecture given by a Toyota executive. The theme was that company’s fourteen management principles – principles that made it the world’s most effective car manufacturer at that time.   At the end of the lecture an executive from a UK rival (I can’t recall which one) expressed surprise that Toyota was only too happy to give away its secrets. The (smiling) reply went something along the lines of: ‘We are already five years ahead of you; and by the time you get to where we are now we will have moved even further ahead.’ And then came the killer: ‘Besides, you probably won’t even try!’

Economic pressures – and the takeover of failing companies – have forced a convergence of thought and of practice within automotive manufacture. But there are no such pressures when it comes to religious matters. It appears to be a case of: ‘Perception is reality, and my reality is the correct one…….so why converge? I’m right….you’re wrong…end of!’   

PS: Atheists and secular humanists suffer from the same blight, of course

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'Sometimes, silence is the best answer for a fool.'(Alī ibn Abī Tālib‎)


Posted By: Mad Cat
Date Posted: 31 March 2017 at 7:14am
I could add a few thoughts of mine if you don’t mind.

We are agreed (I’m sure) that God is Love; that He is the epitome and definition of love. We are agreed (I’m sure) that His benevolence to humankind is a manifestation of His love. However, His love must work in unison with His other attributes, such as justice and mercy (undoubtedly we are agreed on this).

I am surprised that you believe God is Love. I wonder what you mean by this. I would suggest that for God to BE love it would suggest some kind of unconditional nature.
This is Yeshua speaking (allegedly) as ‘God’. You cannot fail to notice the conditional words in this declaration: ‘If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love.’ Christians insist that only those who keep Yeshua’s commandments abide in his love; that those who fail to keep his commandments do not abide in his love, and are lost. What they are describing is conditional love, and there is no getting around that fact.

I think there is some getting round this. There are two things going one here. The love and the abiding in it. The love can be unconditional but it can be rejected. If the latter were not the case it would no longer be love. If an individual chooses to reject God they will not benefit from the love which can be abided in, if chosen. Therefore the love is unconditional but the acceptance of it is optional.
Exponents of the ‘uncondition love’ notion quote this verse in support of their claim: ‘For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son.’ (John 3: 16). However, they choose to omit (for their own reasons) the words that follow: ‘….so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.’ These words make it clear that only those who believe will be given eternal life; those who do not will perish. This is conditional love.

Same as above. God didn’t give his Son for some, but for all regardless of gender, race, age, status etc. But the choice to believe or not is ours. If we choose to reject God it does not mean God no longer loves us but that he loves us enough to respect our choice.
If God’s love is unconditional why does the Bible not teach that He loves everyone, regardless of what they say or do? Why so many different qualifiers? The reason for the presence of these qualifiers is that He does not love everyone; and the reason He does not love them is because of what they say and do.

Here I think you need to understand that poetic language might be in use. The point in most if not all these verses is to explain what is right and good in God’s sight. Being righteous is good. Loving God is good. Pursuing righteousness is good. Trusting God and being faithful is good. To see it from another angle do you really think that God will stop loving someone who gives with no cheer? Is that the message of the Bible? Does God’s love depend on a cheerful-scale. If we give 1% cheerfully, God will love us 1%? How does it work if we are righteous (God loves us) but we don’t give cheerfully (God does not love us) God is basically saying that when we give we should be happy that someone else will benefit from our sacrifice and that it pleases God. That is what God wants us to do.
These are some of the people that God hates, again according to Scripture:

Those with haughty eyes; those with lying tongues; those who shed innocent blood; those who devise wicked schemes; whose feet that are quick to rush into evil; who bear false witnesses; who stir up dissensions (cf Proverbs 6: 16-19); the wicked person, and all who do evil (Psalm 5: 5); those who love violence (Psalm 11: 5); those who worship other gods (Jerimiah 44: 3-4); those who are wicked (Hebrews 1: 9); those who burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to gods (Deuteronomy 12: 31); one who plots evil against his neighbor, or who swears falsely (Zechariah 8:17).

In the same way as above I would say that this is saying, poetically, what God does not like. Clearly it is not the actual eyeballs that God is saying that are haughty. Also haughtiness is not a permanent feature like a mole on your arm. To quote Forest Gump ‘stupid is as stupid does’. Someone may at one point in their life have been haughty, then changed. No one believes this person has committed an unforgivable sin and that they will be hated by God forever more.
Basically God does not like haughtiness so don’t be haughty.
As you can see, the ‘God of unconditional love’ hates certain people for many good reasons. Moreover, He is capable of loving certain people ‘today’ and ‘hating’ them ‘tomorrow’:

‘I have withdrawn my blessing, my love, and my pity from this people.’ (Jeremiah 16: 5; and again: ‘I will no longer show love to the house of Israel, that I should at all forgive them.’ (Hosea 1: 6); and yet again: ‘Because of all their wickedness in Gilgal, I hated them there. Because of their sinful deeds, I will drive them out of my house. I will no longer love them; all their leaders are rebellious.’ (Hosea 9: 15).

There is so much that could be said with each and every one of these verses but the sake of brevity the main things to say are that there is poetic language being used. In the case of Hosea he was commanded to marry a promiscuous woman as a poetic representation of Israel’s relationship with God. Secondly it should be pointed out that these are prophesies in the traditional sense of the word. They are a prediction of the future. Where the ‘revelations’ of the Quran are reactionary in nature, these talk about things that have not yet happened. Therefore there is the chance of repentance as recorded with a number of kings who did wrong in the Bible. You don’t warn people if you don’t care and you discipline those you love (Proverbs 3:12, Hebrews 12:6, Revelation 3:19). And as you say above that God’s love must work in unison with his other attributes.
Like it or not, God says to us (today) what He has always said: ‘Here is what I expect of you, and in return, here is what I will give to you. If you fulfill your part of the contract between us I will fulfill Mine.’

This condition includes His mercy for us. He promises as much: ‘You shall, therefore, carefully observe the commandments, the statutes and the decrees which I enjoin on you today. As your reward for heeding these decrees and observing them carefully, the Lord, your God, will keep with you the merciful covenant which he promised on oath to your fathers.’ (Deuteronomy 7: 11-12).

This is talking about the covenant between God and Israel. While they followed God’s laws they prospered as can be seen during the reign of Solomon and when they rejected God they suffered as can be seen during the reign of just about all the kings after Solomon to the point of exile. However God remained with Israel even during their exile.
We might wish to argue (following Paul) that nothing can separate us from God’s love: ‘What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8: 35, 37-39).

However, Paul also says this: ‘Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God's kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.’ (Romans 11: 22).

This whole passage is talking about kindness (because of love). The very next verse to the one quoted talks about being accepted upon repentance. As mentioned above, God will not force people against their will but at the first sign of acceptance God will come running, like in the story of the prodigal son. The severity is again maintaining the attributes of God as opposed to some wishy-washy god who turns a blind eye to sin.

I hope this makes sense. If you feel I have missed something let me know but there was a lot to cover.


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Test everything. Hold on to the good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21


Posted By: Niblo
Date Posted: 31 March 2017 at 10:01am
Originally posted by Mad Cat

I could add a few thoughts of mine if you don’t mind.

We are agreed (I’m sure) that God is Love; that He is the epitome and definition of love. We are agreed (I’m sure) that His benevolence to humankind is a manifestation of His love. However, His love must work in unison with His other attributes, such as justice and mercy (undoubtedly we are agreed on this).

I am surprised that you believe God is Love. I wonder what you mean by this. I would suggest that for God to BE love it would suggest some kind of unconditional nature.
This is Yeshua speaking (allegedly) as ‘God’. You cannot fail to notice the conditional words in this declaration: ‘If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love.’ Christians insist that only those who keep Yeshua’s commandments abide in his love; that those who fail to keep his commandments do not abide in his love, and are lost. What they are describing is conditional love, and there is no getting around that fact.

I think there is some getting round this. There are two things going one here. The love and the abiding in it. The love can be unconditional but it can be rejected. If the latter were not the case it would no longer be love. If an individual chooses to reject God they will not benefit from the love which can be abided in, if chosen. Therefore the love is unconditional but the acceptance of it is optional.
Exponents of the ‘uncondition love’ notion quote this verse in support of their claim: ‘For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son.’ (John 3: 16). However, they choose to omit (for their own reasons) the words that follow: ‘….so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.’ These words make it clear that only those who believe will be given eternal life; those who do not will perish. This is conditional love.

Same as above. God didn’t give his Son for some, but for all regardless of gender, race, age, status etc. But the choice to believe or not is ours. If we choose to reject God it does not mean God no longer loves us but that he loves us enough to respect our choice.
If God’s love is unconditional why does the Bible not teach that He loves everyone, regardless of what they say or do? Why so many different qualifiers? The reason for the presence of these qualifiers is that He does not love everyone; and the reason He does not love them is because of what they say and do.

Here I think you need to understand that poetic language might be in use. The point in most if not all these verses is to explain what is right and good in God’s sight. Being righteous is good. Loving God is good. Pursuing righteousness is good. Trusting God and being faithful is good. To see it from another angle do you really think that God will stop loving someone who gives with no cheer? Is that the message of the Bible? Does God’s love depend on a cheerful-scale. If we give 1% cheerfully, God will love us 1%? How does it work if we are righteous (God loves us) but we don’t give cheerfully (God does not love us) God is basically saying that when we give we should be happy that someone else will benefit from our sacrifice and that it pleases God. That is what God wants us to do.
These are some of the people that God hates, again according to Scripture:

Those with haughty eyes; those with lying tongues; those who shed innocent blood; those who devise wicked schemes; whose feet that are quick to rush into evil; who bear false witnesses; who stir up dissensions (cf Proverbs 6: 16-19); the wicked person, and all who do evil (Psalm 5: 5); those who love violence (Psalm 11: 5); those who worship other gods (Jerimiah 44: 3-4); those who are wicked (Hebrews 1: 9); those who burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to gods (Deuteronomy 12: 31); one who plots evil against his neighbor, or who swears falsely (Zechariah 8:17).

In the same way as above I would say that this is saying, poetically, what God does not like. Clearly it is not the actual eyeballs that God is saying that are haughty. Also haughtiness is not a permanent feature like a mole on your arm. To quote Forest Gump ‘stupid is as stupid does’. Someone may at one point in their life have been haughty, then changed. No one believes this person has committed an unforgivable sin and that they will be hated by God forever more.
Basically God does not like haughtiness so don’t be haughty.
As you can see, the ‘God of unconditional love’ hates certain people for many good reasons. Moreover, He is capable of loving certain people ‘today’ and ‘hating’ them ‘tomorrow’:

‘I have withdrawn my blessing, my love, and my pity from this people.’ (Jeremiah 16: 5; and again: ‘I will no longer show love to the house of Israel, that I should at all forgive them.’ (Hosea 1: 6); and yet again: ‘Because of all their wickedness in Gilgal, I hated them there. Because of their sinful deeds, I will drive them out of my house. I will no longer love them; all their leaders are rebellious.’ (Hosea 9: 15).

There is so much that could be said with each and every one of these verses but the sake of brevity the main things to say are that there is poetic language being used. In the case of Hosea he was commanded to marry a promiscuous woman as a poetic representation of Israel’s relationship with God. Secondly it should be pointed out that these are prophesies in the traditional sense of the word. They are a prediction of the future. Where the ‘revelations’ of the Quran are reactionary in nature, these talk about things that have not yet happened. Therefore there is the chance of repentance as recorded with a number of kings who did wrong in the Bible. You don’t warn people if you don’t care and you discipline those you love (Proverbs 3:12, Hebrews 12:6, Revelation 3:19). And as you say above that God’s love must work in unison with his other attributes.
Like it or not, God says to us (today) what He has always said: ‘Here is what I expect of you, and in return, here is what I will give to you. If you fulfill your part of the contract between us I will fulfill Mine.’

This condition includes His mercy for us. He promises as much: ‘You shall, therefore, carefully observe the commandments, the statutes and the decrees which I enjoin on you today. As your reward for heeding these decrees and observing them carefully, the Lord, your God, will keep with you the merciful covenant which he promised on oath to your fathers.’ (Deuteronomy 7: 11-12).

This is talking about the covenant between God and Israel. While they followed God’s laws they prospered as can be seen during the reign of Solomon and when they rejected God they suffered as can be seen during the reign of just about all the kings after Solomon to the point of exile. However God remained with Israel even during their exile.
We might wish to argue (following Paul) that nothing can separate us from God’s love: ‘What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8: 35, 37-39).

However, Paul also says this: ‘Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God's kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.’ (Romans 11: 22).

This whole passage is talking about kindness (because of love). The very next verse to the one quoted talks about being accepted upon repentance. As mentioned above, God will not force people against their will but at the first sign of acceptance God will come running, like in the story of the prodigal son. The severity is again maintaining the attributes of God as opposed to some wishy-washy god who turns a blind eye to sin.

I hope this makes sense. If you feel I have missed something let me know but there was a lot to cover.


Hi Cat, nice to hear from you again.

Your post is very thought provoking, thank you. Please allow me a while to think about it...and about ideas that have not crossed my mind before.

It will be good to share them with you (God willing)...how else can we learn?

In the meantime, have a good time. And thank you again




-------------
'Sometimes, silence is the best answer for a fool.'(Alī ibn Abī Tālib‎)


Posted By: Mad Cat
Date Posted: 31 March 2017 at 10:32am
Take your time.

I hope I did your post justice.

-------------
Test everything. Hold on to the good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21


Posted By: Niblo
Date Posted: 31 March 2017 at 11:09am
Originally posted by Mad Cat

Take your time.

I hope I did your post justice.


Indeed you did. That's what cats do

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'Sometimes, silence is the best answer for a fool.'(Alī ibn Abī Tālib‎)


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 01 April 2017 at 6:10pm
Originally posted by Niblo


Hello.

Concerning the notion that God’s love is ‘unconditional’:

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary ‘unconditional’ means: ‘Not limited in any way; complete and absolute; unqualified.’

Taking this definition, we would have to say that ‘unconditional love’ means that no matter what we do or don't do, we will continue to be loved in exactly the same way. Applying this expression to God means that whatever we do – good or evil – does not matter, and we can expect Him to love us just exactly as He always has. I’ve heard many Christians say (and I said it myself, many times, in my sixty or so years in that religion): ‘God loves you no matter what you’ve done, no matter what you do.’
Hello to you and thanks for your response. Well, that definition is not Scripture nor was it around when the Bible was written. Let me ask you a question. If you have a child (son or daughter), do you stop loving them when they disobey you? Do you think a parent has more LOVE for their child than God has for His human creation?
Originally posted by Niblo


This statement has a certain appeal to it. It sounds like it ought to be true. However, those who are versed in scripture know it is a misguidance; and quite unbiblical.
It has appeal to one's spirit because it is true.
Originally posted by Niblo


There are more than eight-hundred mentions of ‘love’ in the Bible; none of which states, or even implies, that the Exalted's love is unconditional.
You are entitled to your opinion.
Originally posted by Niblo


We are agreed (I’m sure) that God is Love; that He is the epitome and definition of love. We are agreed (I’m sure) that His benevolence to humankind is a manifestation of His love. However, His love must work in unison with His other attributes, such as justice and mercy (undoubtedly we are agreed on this).
Where does it say Allah is love in the Quran? God's justice is done in love.

We have all sinned against God at one time or another. The wages of sin is death. That is God's justice and he does it in love and with great sadness, because it doesn't have to be that way for many who refuse God's mercy through Christ. the gift of God is eternal life through Christ. It is a gift not something you work for!

Justice is the key word you mentioned. If the sin we commit is not paid for, God's justice fails. That is why Jesus paid the price for us. Now we have access to God mercy and forgiveness. Without it all you have is His justice, but even that is done in love.
Originally posted by Niblo


This is Yeshua speaking (allegedly) as ‘God’. You cannot fail to notice the conditional words in this declaration: ‘If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love.’ Christians insist that only those who keep Yeshua’s commandments abide in his love; that those who fail to keep his commandments do not abide in his love, and are lost. What they are describing is conditional love, and there is no getting around that fact.
That is not conditional love. What is God's command and what is Jesus command? It is to love God with all your heart, mind and soul and your neighbor as yourself. Jesus said love one another. Those that do this fulfill all the law and the prophets.
Originally posted by Niblo


Exponents of the ‘uncondition love’ notion quote this verse in support of their claim: ‘For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son.’ (John 3: 16). However, they choose to omit (for their own reasons) the words that follow: ‘….so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.’ These words make it clear that only those who believe will be given eternal life; those who do not will perish. This is conditional love.
This is not conditional love either. A person who rejects to receive Christ as their Savior will perish. Imagine, they can be without Christ and God forever instead of being in the tormenting bright light of God's loving presence as an unregenerate soul; that would be far more painful then the concept of hell. The idea of heaven and hell are imperfectly borrowed from the gospel along with the virgin birth story of Jesus.

Originally posted by Niblo

If God’s love is unconditional why does the Bible not teach that He loves everyone, regardless of what they say or do? Why so many different qualifiers? The reason for the presence of these qualifiers is that He does not love everyone; and the reason He does not love them is because of what they say and do.
You fail to understand that God loves them even though he hates what they do.
Originally posted by Niblo


These are some of the people that God hates, again according to Scripture:
Those with haughty eyes; those with lying tongues; those who shed innocent blood; those who devise wicked schemes; whose feet that are quick to rush into evil; who bear false witnesses; who stir up dissensions (cf Proverbs 6: 16-19); the wicked person, and all who do evil (Psalm 5: 5); those who love violence (Psalm 11: 5); those who worship other gods (Jerimiah 44: 3-4); those who are wicked (Hebrews 1: 9); those who burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to gods (Deuteronomy 12: 31); one who plots evil against his neighbor, or who swears falsely (Zechariah 8:17).
For those that know God and the Scripture. This tells us God hates the sin and not the sinner.
Originally posted by Niblo


Like it or not, God says to us (today) what He has always said: ‘Here is what I expect of you, and in return, here is what I will give to you. If you fulfill your part of the contract between us I will fulfill Mine.’
We might wish to argue (following Paul) that nothing can separate us from God’s love: ‘What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8: 35, 37-39).

However, Paul also says this: ‘Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God's kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.’ (Romans 11: 22).
Again, God hates the sin not the sinner.
Originally posted by Niblo


The same loving God who reveals Himself to those who believe in Him will show absolute severity to those who continue to live in sin and rebellion against Him. The words ‘if you continue’ are proof positive that there are conditions to His love, even for the Christian!
Yes, but Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. Without Him, we are not forgiven for our past, present or future sins. The Scripture that comes to mind for you is Gal. 3


Originally posted by Niblo


There is only one God. Both the Bible and the Qur’an make it abundantly clear – for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear – that His love is not unconditional. It is covenantal.

Unconditional love is the relationship we must have toward God – not God toward us. We are His servants and He is our Master. He owes us nothing.

Very best regards, and have a great day.
I rest my case with Jesus commands us to love our enemies. Why would God hold us to a higher standard that He has for Himself?

PBUY,
saved

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Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: Niblo
Date Posted: 02 April 2017 at 4:26am
Originally posted by Mad Cat

I could add a few thoughts of mine if you don’t mind.


Hi Cat.

Of course I don’t mind! Some thoughts I’d like to run by you:

In 1 John 4:8 we read that God is love (agape). I see no reason to disagree with this! By the way, some Christians (‘Saved’, for example) are fond of saying that the Muslims have no conception of God’s love. This is incorrect. One of His Most Beautiful Names (Names that He calls Himself) is ‘Al-Wadoud’ (the All-Loving).

God is love; and one expression of His love is witnessed in the preservation of creation; without which all things would cease to exist.

Genesis tells us that man was the last to be created on earth. Perhaps a matter of days after the first of creation (as some believe) or many millions of years after (as others believe). Either way, God’s preserving love was bestowed on all, without discrimination; and this bestowal continues to this day - not just for terrestrial stuff, but for the very stuff of the universe itself (and, of course, for the angels and demons). It is clear that this bestowal of preserving love is indeed unconditional.

The Catholic Church teaches that the existence of God can be known with certainty: ‘In the light of human reason by those things which have been made.’ (Denzinger 1806; cf. 1785 and 1391). Created things - held in being by His preserving love - would have remained the only sign of God’s existence, had He not chosen to reveal Himself to humankind, and to establish personal relationships with each of us. This required a different expression of His love - sanctifying love (known also as ‘Grace’).      

According to the Council of Trent, sanctifying love: ‘(Transforms) an unjust person into a just person and from an enemy into a friend (of God).’ (Denzinger 799). By the way, Islam also teaches we can become ‘friends of God.’

Sanctifying love - by which we are justified and given a claim to the inheritance of Heaven - can most certainly be lost; and indeed is lost by every grievous sin. This truth is the very foundation of the Christian concept of the Fall of humankind, and its need for Redemption through Christ. The question to be answered is how could there be a ‘Fall’, and why would universal ‘redemption’ be necessary, if God’s sanctifying love is unconditional?   

Genesis tells us that God took the first man and settled him in the Garden of Eden, to cultivate and take care of it. This man was given a command: ‘You are free to eat of all the trees in the garden. But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you are not to eat.’ (2:16-17). In a footnote to these verses the producers of the Jerusalem Bible (the Dominican scholars of the École Biblique de Jérusalem) write:

‘This knowledge is a privilege which God reserves to himself and which man, by sinning, will usurp. Hence it does not mean omniscience, which fallen creatures do not possess; nor is it moral discrimination, for unfallen man already had it and God could not refuse it to a rational being. It is the power of deciding for himself what is good and what is evil and of acting accordingly, a claim to complete moral independence by which man refuses to recognise his status as a created being. The first sin was an attack on God’s sovereignty, a sin of pride.’ (The New Jerusalem Bible: page 19).

In my first post I wrote that God hates (among others) those with ‘haughty eyes’. The expression ‘haughty eyes’ is a euphemism for pride; and pride - ever an attack on God’s sovereignty - is the root of all sin. C. S. Lewis writes: ‘Pride is a universal human problem. Everyone suffers from it to some degree. When we have exalted ourselves in pride, God does not want to punish us and bring us low but rather to forgive and restore us. He says again and again in Scripture, humble yourselves, and I will exalt you. This gives us hope and encouragement. God takes pleasure in our efforts to humble ourselves, and he loves to bless and exalt the humble. For just as pride is the root of all sin, so “humility is the root, mother, nurse, foundation, and bond of all virtue,” as John Chrysostom once remarked.’ (‘Pride and Humility: page 5).

A disgruntled Roman legionnaire is said to have scribbled on some wall: ‘Ego semper in excremento, solum altitudo variat.’ (‘I will always be in excrement, only the height varies.’ - polite translation). It is the same with pride.

Note Lewis’ words: ‘When we have exalted ourselves in pride, God does not want to punish us and bring us low but rather to forgive and restore us. He says again and again in Scripture, humble yourselves, and I will exalt you.’

Indeed, God does not wish to punish, but to forgive and restore. Lewis is correct; God does indeed say, repeatedly, humble yourselves and I will exalt you. It is a promise; but a conditional promise. If God’s sanctifying love is unconditional there would be no need for such a promise. All would be exalted, the sinner no less than the saint. By the way, God’s preference to forgive and restore rather than to punish finds expression in the Qur’an, and in the Shari’a. His Mercy overcomes His Wrath. Forgiveness is better in His sight than punishment.

When we sin we break the very first of God’s commandments: ‘You shall have no others gods to rival me.’ (Exodus: 20:3). When we sin we make gods of ourselves. We say to the Beloved: ‘I care not about your Way, it is my way that matters. Not your Will be done, but mine!’

God says: ‘If you keep my commandments you will abide in my love’. The corollary is that if we break His commandments (thus making gods of ourselves) then we will not. This means that the gift of God’s sanctifying love - necessary in order for us to enjoy a loving and lasting friendship with Him - is conditional.

The Bible is quite clear that God does not love everyone. He speaks of those He loves and those He hates.
The language might well be poetical; nevertheless these ‘poetic’ verses’ express a truth. As you say: ‘The point in most if not all (of them) is to explain what is right and good in God’s sight’; and also, of course, what is wrong.

Being righteous is godly. Loving the Beloved is godly. Pursuing righteousness is godly. Trusting the Beloved and being faithful to Him is godly. These behaviours are displayed by those who keep His commandments; who fulfil His personal covenant with them; who, by their deeds, acknowledge that He is God and they are not. Their reward is eternal bliss with Him in Heaven.

For those who refuse to keep His commandments; who make gods of themselves, and who do not repent for so doing, there is punishment. This is what the Church has taught for centuries. This is what God has taught (through His prophets) from the very beginning of our relationship with Him.   

I agree that God does not force people against their will; and yes, at the first sign of repentance God ‘comes running’. But first there has to be repentance. After all, as you rightly say, God is not some ‘wishy-washy’ Being who turns a blind eye to sin.

Summary:

God is love. One expression of His love is witnessed in the preservation of creation; without which all things would cease to exist. This gift of preservation is unconditional.

The second expression of His love is witnessed in His gift of sanctifying love; enjoyed by those who submit to His loving Will (this includes those who, having sinned, repent and again submit to Him). Without doubt, sanctifying love is conditional, for reasons already explained.

Have a great day, and thank you for your thoughts.



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'Sometimes, silence is the best answer for a fool.'(Alī ibn Abī Tālib‎)


Posted By: Niblo
Date Posted: 02 April 2017 at 4:28am
Originally posted by Saved

....


Hello 'Saved'

In the light of my previous posts on this matter I feel no need to deal with all of your comments; just the salient ones.

I have written: According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary ‘unconditional’ means: ‘Not limited in any way; complete and absolute; unqualified.’ You write that this definition is not found in Scripture. Enlighten me: What is the definition of ‘unconditional’ according to Scripture?

I have said that there are more than eight-hundred mentions of ‘love’ in the Bible; none of which states, or even implies, that the God’s love is unconditional. Unable to refute my statement you say only that I am ‘entitled to my opinion’.   Is this what passes for scholarly endeavour in your neck of the woods?

By the way, if my ‘opinions’ can be brushed aside without a stated justification, then so can yours (or anyone else’s for that matter). Is this the way to gain knowledge of the truth?

You write: ‘A person who rejects to receive Christ as their Savior will perish.’   

‘Receive Christ, or you will perish!’ What you are saying is salvation is conditional upon one’s acceptance of Christ as saviour. Conditional.

Ahhhhhh, you have stated my favourite Christian cliché: ‘God hates the sin and not the sinner.’ I’d like a fiver for every time I’ve said these words. Permit me to say them one more time: ‘God hates the sin and not the sinner.’ How come, then, that it is not the sin that is consigned to Hell (however we understand that place to be) but the (unrepentant) sinner?

The New Testament has a number of judgment scenarios. In one of them Christ declares that he does not ‘know’ some of those who seek entrance to Heaven: ‘Many will say to me on that day: “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?" Then I will tell them plainly, "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!" (Matt 7:22-23)

This is Christ addressing Christians (we know this, because only Christians call him as ‘Lord’).   He calls them ‘evildoers’ and consigns them to Hell. Clearly, they did not meet the conditions necessary for admittance to Heaven. By the way, Christ was a prophet - a man and nothing more. It is not - and never will be - his right to decide who enters Paradise and who does not.

See my most recent post to Mad Cat concerning the nature of God’s love.

Have a nice day.


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'Sometimes, silence is the best answer for a fool.'(Alī ibn Abī Tālib‎)


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 02 April 2017 at 2:41pm
Originally posted by Niblo


Hello 'Saved'

In the light of my previous posts on this matter I feel no need to deal with all of your comments; just the salient ones.
Hello Niblo,
I understand. I was doing the same by saying you are entitled to your opinion.
Originally posted by Niblo


I have written: According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary ‘unconditional’ means: ‘Not limited in any way; complete and absolute; unqualified.’ You write that this definition is not found in Scripture. Enlighten me: What is the definition of ‘unconditional’ according to Scripture?

I had given an example already with a parent and his child. God doesn't love one person more than another and he is not a respecter of persons as Muslims appear to be.
Originally posted by Niblo


I have said that there are more than eight-hundred mentions of ‘love’ in the Bible; none of which states, or even implies, that the God’s love is unconditional. Unable to refute my statement you say only that I am ‘entitled to my opinion’.   Is this what passes for scholarly endeavour in your neck of the woods?

The gospel says love your enemy; where does it say anything like that in the Quran? The gospel doesn't state only if you enemy is a believer
Originally posted by Niblo


By the way, if my ‘opinions’ can be brushed aside without a stated justification, then so can yours (or anyone else’s for that matter). Is this the way to gain knowledge of the truth?
I am not brushing it off, it is just a nice way of saying I don't agree.
Originally posted by Niblo


You write: ‘A person who rejects to receive Christ as their Savior will perish.’
‘Receive Christ, or you will perish!’ What you are saying is salvation is conditional upon one’s acceptance of Christ as saviour. Conditional.
Yes, that is conditional. What are you trying to prove? I never said salvation is unconditional!
Originally posted by Niblo


Ahhhhhh, you have stated my favourite Christian cliché: ‘God hates the sin and not the sinner.’ I’d like a fiver for every time I’ve said these words. Permit me to say them one more time: ‘God hates the sin and not the sinner.’ How come, then, that it is not the sin that is consigned to Hell (however we understand that place to be) but the (unrepentant) sinner?
That is because many are called but few are chosen. That is because few choose to be chosen. They love sin more than God. They are children of their father the devil. The will of God is to believe on Him whom He sent. Jesus said, "I am the way to God... You will die in your sin unless you believe I am He" those that try another way to salvation will not find it. That doesn't mean God never loved them. God out of His love just lets them have what they want an eternity without Him. If your wife decides to leave you, that doesn't mean she isn't loved by you. Just think of how much more God loves us.
Originally posted by Niblo


The New Testament has a number of judgment scenarios. In one of them Christ declares that he does not ‘know’ some of those who seek entrance to Heaven: ‘Many will say to me on that day: “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?" Then I will tell them plainly, "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!" (Matt 7:22-23)
That is true, but they are not told to depart for calling Him Lord, and it doesn't mean that they weren't loved by God.
Originally posted by Niblo


This is Christ addressing Christians (we know this, because only Christians call him as ‘Lord’).   He calls them ‘evildoers’ and consigns them to Hell. Clearly, they did not meet the conditions necessary for admittance to Heaven. By the way, Christ was a prophet - a man and nothing more. It is not - and never will be - his right to decide who enters Paradise and who does not.

See my most recent post to Mad Cat concerning the nature of God’s love.

Have a nice day.
Jesus is the Word of God Jn. 1.... He is a prophet Yes, but much, much more. "He is not valued unless he is valued above all." He is the Lord of lords and the King of kings. He is the prophet's prophet. The angels were commanded to worship Him (the last Adam).

The rebellion is in not calling Him Lord or prostrating before the last Adam. Didn't Allah tell Satan to prostrate before the first Adam in the Quran? And yet you won't prostrated to the last Adam (Jesus) as the angels were commanded to do Heb. 1. IMHO, your misconceptions of Christianity are great and dangerous.
Have a nice day as well.

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Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: ishammad
Date Posted: 02 April 2017 at 4:54pm
for Niblo

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Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe. And peace upon the messengers. And praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds. 37:180-182


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 02 April 2017 at 6:50pm
Originally posted by ishammad

for Niblo
What turned you on the most?
I wonder what he'll respond with? He is the only one offering to challenge what I say by staying with me, but he and you have yet to gainsay my post with something to convince Christians you have a better way...

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Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: Mad Cat
Date Posted: 04 April 2017 at 9:42am

Hello again Niblo, more thoughts.

Originally posted by Niblo

In 1 John 4:8 we read that God is love (agape). I see no reason to disagree with this! By the way, some Christians (‘Saved’, for example) are fond of saying that the Muslims have no conception of God’s love. This is incorrect. One of His Most Beautiful Names (Names that He calls Himself) is ‘Al-Wadoud’ (the All-Loving).

The love of God in Christianity is best understood through action. The difference I personally see between Christianity and Islam is that Allah of Islam says he Loves where the God of Christianity demonstrates it in the most incredible way. While Allah seems to tell us he Loves from afar the God of Christianity stops at nothing to show us.


I find the names of Allah are meaningless by all standard definitions/understandings of the words. A while ago I asked anyone here if they could suggest anyone in the entire history of the earth who was less merciful or compassionate (two of his most common names) than Allah as described in the Quran but got nothing back.

Originally posted by Niblo

Genesis tells us that man was the last to be created on earth. Perhaps a matter of days after the first of creation (as some believe) or many millions of years after (as others believe). Either way, God’s preserving love was bestowed on all, without discrimination; and this bestowal continues to this day - not just for terrestrial stuff, but for the very stuff of the universe itself (and, of course, for the angels and demons). It is clear that this bestowal of preserving love is indeed unconditional.

I think there is some discrimination in the Genesis account. At the end of the first five days, God looked over what He had created and it was 'good' but at the end of the 6th day good looked over what he had done and it was 'very good'. This suggests we are viewed higher than the rest of creation.

Originally posted by Niblo

The Catholic Church teaches that the existence of God can be known with certainty: ...

Sanctifying love - by which we are justified and given a claim to the inheritance of Heaven - can most certainly be lost; and indeed is lost by every grievous sin. This truth is the very foundation of the Christian concept of the Fall of humankind, and its need for Redemption through Christ. The question to be answered is how could there be a ‘Fall’, and why would universal ‘redemption’ be necessary, if God’s sanctifying love is unconditional?

I am not Catholic so I cannot really comment for the most part.

As to how there could be a fall I would say that God still loved Adam and Eve after the fall. Eviction from Eden did not change that. I would add here that the story of the fall fits far better with the Christian concept of God and sin than it does with Islam's.

Originally posted by Niblo

Note Lewis’ words: ‘When we have exalted ourselves in pride, God does not want to punish us and bring us low but rather to forgive and restore us. He says again and again in Scripture, humble yourselves, and I will exalt you.’

Indeed, God does not wish to punish, but to forgive and restore. Lewis is correct; God does indeed say, repeatedly, humble yourselves and I will exalt you. It is a promise; but a conditional promise. If God’s sanctifying love is unconditional there would be no need for such a promise. All would be exalted, the sinner no less than the saint. By the way, God’s preference to forgive and restore rather than to punish finds expression in the Qur’an, and in the Shari’a. His Mercy overcomes His Wrath. Forgiveness is better in His sight than punishment.

IMO the whole thinking behind sin, punishment and forgiveness is for our benefit. It does not make God greater or less if we do good or sin but it does effect us. Taking pride as the example, if we are proud it eats away at us like a cancer. It negatively effects those around us as well. The point of us humbling ourselves is not to benefit God at all but so we can live life in its fullness (John10:10). We gain from being humble.

I dont think that this is saying our salvation rests on whether we are proud or humble. As said by C.S.Lewis pride is a universal problem. We all suffer from it and if God does not love the proud it would mean that God loves no-one.

Originally posted by Niblo

When we sin we break the very first of God’s commandments: ‘You shall have no others gods to rival me.’ (Exodus: 20:3). When we sin we make gods of ourselves. We say to the Beloved: ‘I care not about your Way, it is my way that matters. Not your Will be done, but mine!’

God says: ‘If you keep my commandments you will abide in my love’. The corollary is that if we break His commandments (thus making gods of ourselves) then we will not. This means that the gift of God’s sanctifying love - necessary in order for us to enjoy a loving and lasting friendship with Him - is conditional.

But you need to analyse what 'abiding in God's love' means. Does not abiding in God's love mean that His love is there to abide in but we reject it. We choose not to abide in it. If you think of a parent offering to their child the love that they have to offer but not forcing it. If the child decides to reject the parent it will not receive the love it could otherwise have abided in. The parent still loves the child but will not force the love.

Originally posted by Niblo

The Bible is quite clear that God does not love everyone. He speaks of those He loves and those He hates.
The language might well be poetical; nevertheless these ‘poetic’ verses’ express a truth. As you say: ‘The point in most if not all (of them) is to explain what is right and good in God’s sight’; and also, of course, what is wrong.

Yes there is a truth being expressed and the truth is that God hates certain things and loves other things. The reason for both these is because some things are good for us and some are destructive to us. This is the truth. Since God made us He wants us to live life to the full. A common misconceptions about God is that He is some kind of party pooper that wants to squash anything we see as fun like sex or gossip. But God really knows what is best for us and what is harmful. Some things we see from our perspective as fun but actually lead to bad things.

Originally posted by Niblo

Summary:

God is love. One expression of His love is witnessed in the preservation of creation; without which all things would cease to exist. This gift of preservation is unconditional.

The second expression of His love is witnessed in His gift of sanctifying love; enjoyed by those who submit to His loving Will (this includes those who, having sinned, repent and again submit to Him). Without doubt, sanctifying love is conditional, for reasons already explained.

I understand what you are saying but I dont agree. The only condition of this love is that we accept it but the only alternative is that it is forced upon us even though we reject it and forced love is no longer love. Therefore it is real love as unconditional as it can possibly be.


Let me know if I am talking past you or misunderstanding you.


Have a good day too.



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Test everything. Hold on to the good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21


Posted By: Mad Cat
Date Posted: 04 April 2017 at 9:42am


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Test everything. Hold on to the good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21


Posted By: Non Believer
Date Posted: 04 April 2017 at 2:17pm
Some very interesting reading in this thread. Thank you.

A phrase that jumped out of me from MC's post was:
God hates certain things

I'm having trouble getting my head around that idea. I have seen arguments about why God created things which are undesirable in our world, but God created things that He Himself hates?

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Men do you harm either because they fear you or because they hate you.


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 04 April 2017 at 2:31pm
Originally posted by Non Believer

Some very interesting reading in this thread. Thank you.

A phrase that jumped out of me from MC's post was:
God hates certain things

I'm having trouble getting my head around that idea. I have seen arguments about why God created things which are undesirable in our world, but God created things that He Himself hates?
God didn't create what He hates. In love He created beings with free will. Sometimes they choose to do what God hates. Some of these evil acts are forgivable and some are not like blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

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Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: Mad Cat
Date Posted: 04 April 2017 at 3:05pm

Originally posted by Non Believer

A phrase that jumped out of me from MC's post was:

God hates certain things


I'm having trouble getting my head around that idea. I have seen arguments about why God created things which are undesirable in our world, but God created things that He Himself hates?


Hi Non Believer. I dont mean that the things God hates are things he created like a mosquito but rather actions like pride. If there is something else you had in mind let me know.



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Test everything. Hold on to the good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21


Posted By: ishammad
Date Posted: 04 April 2017 at 4:53pm
This is relevant?
https://www.islamicboard.com/hadith/134344629-oeall-thy-hands-evil-pertain-thee.html - “All good is in Thy Hands and evil does not pertain to Thee.”

another translation:

"All goodness is in Your hands, and evil is not attributed to You"

Aqidah = creed
Taz'ziim = glorification



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Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe. And peace upon the messengers. And praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds. 37:180-182


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 04 April 2017 at 5:06pm
Originally posted by Mad Cat


<p style="margin-bottom: 0cm">
Originally posted by Non Believer

A phrase that
jumped out of me from MC's post was:


<p style="margin-bottom: 0cm">God hates certain things


<p style="margin-bottom: 0cm">I'm having trouble getting my head
around that idea. I have seen arguments about why God created things
which are undesirable in our world, but God created things that He
Himself hates?


<p style="margin-bottom: 0cm">


<p style="margin-bottom: 0cm">Hi Non Believer. I dont mean that the
things God hates are things he created like a mosquito but rather
actions like pride. If there is something else you had in mind let me
know.




The mosquito is what I hate. I think all of these little blood sucking creatures are part of the curse of Adam.

-------------
Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: Non Believer
Date Posted: 04 April 2017 at 6:26pm
Actually it is the idea that God hates that is puzzling me.

I don't think I've ever considered the implications to a believer that the All-Powerful Creator feels human emotions like hate.

-------------
Men do you harm either because they fear you or because they hate you.


Posted By: ishammad
Date Posted: 04 April 2017 at 6:38pm
Allah loves and does not love in a way that suits His majesty.

-------------
Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe. And peace upon the messengers. And praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds. 37:180-182


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 05 April 2017 at 8:24am
Originally posted by Non Believer

Actually it is the idea that God hates that is puzzling me.

I don't think I've ever considered the implications to a believer that the All-Powerful Creator feels human emotions like hate.
It is written that God created man in His image and likeness; so, what is so hard to believe that God can love and hate if we can?

-------------
Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: Non Believer
Date Posted: 05 April 2017 at 11:50am
Originally posted by Saved

Originally posted by Non Believer

Actually it is the idea that God hates that is puzzling me.

I don't think I've ever considered the implications to a believer that the All-Powerful Creator feels human emotions like hate.
It is written that God created man in His image and likeness; so, what is so hard to believe that God can love and hate if we can?

At that, I can't restrain myself... it's absurd.

Hate is an emotion for which I'm always vigilant. I try to recognize it in myself, understand it's cause and then transform it into something positive.

I also look for it in others and whenever possible I do what I can to intervene and help the hater overcome this destructive emotion.

So now I know that your God hates and this All-Mighty is incapable of controlling it. Furthermore, I am powerless to intervene.

No... I absolutely do not believe in this God. PERIOD.

BTW, that verse is absolute proof that the Bible is not inerrant. In fact, it is 100% backwards. Man created God in his image and likeness. This is a provable statement.

-------------
Men do you harm either because they fear you or because they hate you.


Posted By: The_Rock
Date Posted: 05 April 2017 at 12:13pm
God doesn't hate that's just stupid, not at least like we do.


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 05 April 2017 at 12:26pm
Originally posted by The_Rock

God doesn't hate that's just stupid, not at least like we do.
I had in mind Pr. 6: 16 There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
19 false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers. I never said He hates people!

-------------
Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: The_Rock
Date Posted: 05 April 2017 at 12:37pm
I think you need to think of this metaphorically.

It's the law that condemns. It's when you act against your fellow man that the law convicts you.

God so loved you that He paid the price that you may live.

If God hated you or your actions you would not "be"


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 05 April 2017 at 12:40pm
Originally posted by Non Believer

Originally posted by Saved

Originally posted by Non Believer

Actually it is the idea that God hates that is puzzling me.

I don't think I've ever considered the implications to a believer that the All-Powerful Creator feels human emotions like hate.
It is written that God created man in His image and likeness; so, what is so hard to believe that God can love and hate if we can?

At that, I can't restrain myself... it's absurd.

Hate is an emotion for which I'm always vigilant. I try to recognize it in myself, understand it's cause and then transform it into something positive.

I also look for it in others and whenever possible I do what I can to intervene and help the hater overcome this destructive emotion.

So now I know that your God hates and this All-Mighty is incapable of controlling it. Furthermore, I am powerless to intervene.

No... I absolutely do not believe in this God. PERIOD.

BTW, that verse is absolute proof that the Bible is not inerrant. In fact, it is 100% backwards. Man created God in his image and likeness. This is a provable statement.
I understand one excuse is as good as another to remain a NB

-------------
Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: The_Rock
Date Posted: 05 April 2017 at 12:40pm
It's important to distinguish between the law and the judge.

Muslims too understand that the law is supreme and we depend on the mercy and love of God to be saved.

The problem for them is there is no mechanism by which the judge can actually save you without ceasing to be a meaningful judge.


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 05 April 2017 at 12:42pm
Originally posted by The_Rock

I think you need to think of this metaphorically.

It's the law that condemns. It's when you act against your fellow man that the law convicts you.

God so loved you that He paid the price that you may live.

If God hated you or your actions you would not "be"
"Metaphorically?" That Scripture doesn't say God hates them for their actions nor did I. It tells me He hates those actions! God loves all of us Jn: 3:16

-------------
Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: The_Rock
Date Posted: 05 April 2017 at 12:44pm
Muslims somehow believe that they can save themselves, don't ask me how. Their position is irrational.

They say the good outweighs the bad.

And I ask them this.

Do you think a billion dollars would be compensation for me killing your child?

No, there is no compensation sufficient for killing a baby.

The only penalty for this sin can be death.

Good is the passing mark, you get no prizes for doing what you are expected to do.

But you do get failed for sins.

And you therefore only pass by the mercy and love of God.


Posted By: The_Rock
Date Posted: 05 April 2017 at 12:45pm
Originally posted by Saved

Originally posted by The_Rock

I think you need to think of this metaphorically.

It's the law that condemns. It's when you act against your fellow man that the law convicts you.

God so loved you that He paid the price that you may live.

If God hated you or your actions you would not "be"
"Metaphorically?" That Scripture doesn't say God hates them for their actions nor did I.


The sins you stated are committed against your fellow man.

The law convicts you.


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 05 April 2017 at 12:52pm
Originally posted by The_Rock

Originally posted by Saved

Originally posted by The_Rock

I think you need to think of this metaphorically.

It's the law that condemns. It's when you act against your fellow man that the law convicts you.

God so loved you that He paid the price that you may live.

If God hated you or your actions you would not "be"
"Metaphorically?" That Scripture doesn't say God hates them for their actions nor did I.


The sins you stated are committed against your fellow man.

The law convicts you.
No one is disagreeing with this. If one breaks the law, he must face the law giver.

-------------
Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 05 April 2017 at 12:55pm
Originally posted by The_Rock

Muslims somehow believe that they can save themselves, don't ask me how. Their position is irrational.

They say the good outweighs the bad.

That is correct. This is the best of deceptions. The best of deceptions can only come from "The Best of Deceivers"


-------------
Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: Non Believer
Date Posted: 05 April 2017 at 4:01pm
Originally posted by Saved

Originally posted by The_Rock

Muslims somehow believe that they can save themselves, don't ask me how. Their position is irrational.

They say the good outweighs the bad.

That is correct. This is the best of deceptions. The best of deceptions can only come from "The Best of Deceivers"
But you've told me that I cannot explain this using logic and reason. You've already admitted that the Christian explanation of salvation is irrational.

Not only the Christians posting in this forum are unable to agree on this issue, the Christian church has been divided and remains divided on this very issue for centuries. Scholars are not able to agree on a rational position? How rational could it be?

And you have the condescension to say that the Islamic belief is irrational?

-------------
Men do you harm either because they fear you or because they hate you.


Posted By: Mad Cat
Date Posted: 05 April 2017 at 4:44pm

Originally posted by Non Believer

At that, I can't restrain myself... it's absurd.

Hate is an emotion for which I'm always vigilant. I try to recognize it in myself, understand it's cause and then transform it into something positive.

I also look for it in others and whenever possible I do what I can to intervene and help the hater overcome this destructive emotion.

So now I know that your God hates and this All-Mighty is incapable of controlling it. Furthermore, I am powerless to intervene.

No... I absolutely do not believe in this God. PERIOD.

BTW, that verse is absolute proof that the Bible is not inerrant. In fact, it is 100% backwards. Man created God in his image and likeness. This is a provable statement.


Hi Non Believer


Can I ask you to explain why you think its absurd?

Surely there are things that it is good to hate like injustice, child abuse, poverty etc. If we truly understand them we should hate them. This hate can be the motivation to change things for the better thus hate in the right context is correct.


This should be separated from hating people which is bad. I believe the message given in the Bible is that God hates the sin but loves the sinner.


I am not sure why you think this All-Mighty is incapable of controlling Himself.


I find myself agreeing with Saved that we are created in Gods image and as such we share certain traits. I appreciate how it looks like man created God rather than the other way round but I don’t think anyone would create the God of the Bible.



-------------
Test everything. Hold on to the good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 05 April 2017 at 5:31pm
Originally posted by Non Believer

Originally posted by Saved

Originally posted by The_Rock

Muslims somehow believe that they can save themselves, don't ask me how. Their position is irrational.

They say the good outweighs the bad.

That is correct. This is the best of deceptions. The best of deceptions can only come from "The Best of Deceivers"
But you've told me that I cannot explain this using logic and reason. You've already admitted that the Christian explanation of salvation is irrational.

Not only the Christians posting in this forum are unable to agree on this issue, the Christian church has been divided and remains divided on this very issue for centuries. Scholars are not able to agree on a rational position? How rational could it be?

And you have the condescension to say that the Islamic belief is irrational?
You'd have to quote what I said to know what you're talking about. I lost the context. If it was about God's tri-unity Yes that is not something that can be understood logically or with the carnal mind and human reasoning, because God is not of this world. The finite cannot explain the infinite.

-------------
Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: ishammad
Date Posted: 05 April 2017 at 7:49pm
moved...

-------------
Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe. And peace upon the messengers. And praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds. 37:180-182


Posted By: Non Believer
Date Posted: 05 April 2017 at 8:37pm
Originally posted by Mad Cat

Surely there are
things that it is good to hate like injustice, child abuse, poverty
etc.

Fair enough. The word "hate" has a broad range of meanings. I hate ignorance. I don't have to hate the ignorant man who.... well, never mind! Nevertheless, I find the endowing of God with emotions, which are so quintessentially human, to be strange.
Originally posted by Mad Cat

I find myself agreeing with Saved that we are created in Gods image and as such we share certain traits. I appreciate how it looks like man created God rather than the other way round but I don’t think anyone would create the God of the Bible.

We are forced to describe whatever concept of "God" we have in terms that we understand. Having described a God in a particular way in the Bible... yes, I too, wonder why men would create a God like that. It took them many centuries to get it that way. By the way, this might be the time to raise the point that if women would have created God, it would be a very different God.

-------------
Men do you harm either because they fear you or because they hate you.


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 05 April 2017 at 11:21pm
Originally posted by Non Believer

Fair enough. The word "hate" has a broad range of meanings. I hate ignorance. I don't have to hate the ignorant man who.... well, never mind! Nevertheless, I find the endowing of God with emotions, which are so quintessentially human, to be strange.
So now you see it as being fair enough. There is a cure for ignorance, but not for willful ignorance. Nevertheless, there is no reason to hate either of the two types of people.
Originally posted by Non Believer


We are forced to describe whatever concept of "God" we have in terms that we understand. Having described a God in a particular way in the Bible... yes, I too, wonder why men would create a God like that. It took them many centuries to get it that way. By the way, this might be the time to raise the point that if women would have created God, it would be a very different God.
Forced? No, God gently leads; Satan pushes (Forces). If someone is forced, they are not being led by God.

-------------
Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: Niblo
Date Posted: 06 April 2017 at 6:49am
Hello Saved/Cat.

Saved wrote that the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of ‘unconditional’ (‘not limited in any way; complete and absolute; unqualified’) is not found in Scripture. When asked to provide a scriptural definition he replied that God: ‘Doesn’t love one person more than another.’

This is not a definition. It’s a statement of his personal belief.

I know that neither of you is a Catholic. You’re not chickens either, but you will know a good egg when you taste it. Here’s what one Catholic, the Dominican theologian (St) Thomas Aquinas (quoting two other Catholics) has to say about the notion that God loves everyone equally. He writes:

‘In (his) “Super Ioannem” Augustine says: “God loves all the things that He has made; and among these things He loves rational creatures more; and among rational creatures He loves more fully those who are members of His only-begotten; and He loves His only-begotten much more.”

‘……for God to love a thing more is nothing other than for Him to will that thing a greater good, since God’s will is the cause of goodness in things. And so the reason why some things are better is that God wills a greater good for them. And from this it follows that He loves them more……. For the ones who are better and more loved are those who have more grace, regardless of whether they are righteous or repentant. However, all other things being equal, blamelessness is more worthy and more loved.

‘Yet God is said to rejoice more over the one who repents than the one who is blameless because oftentimes when those who repent come back, they are more circumspect, more humble, and more fervent. Hence, in commenting on this passage, Gregory says: “In battle the commander has a greater love for the soldier who turned back after fleeing and bravely fought the enemy than for the soldier who never fled but also never acted courageously.”

‘An alternative explanation is that an equal gift of grace counts for more in relation to the penitent, who deserved punishment, than in relation to the blameless, who did not merit punishment - just as a hundred pieces of gold constitute a greater gift when given to a poor man than when given to a king.’ (Summa Theologica: Part 1; Question 20; Articles 3 and 4).

Aquinas is referring to sanctifying love - the love by which we are justified and given a claim to the inheritance of Heaven. The notion that God loves everyone the same is true only in respect of His preserving love; that love which holds in existence all creating things.

One difference that Cat sees between Christianity and Islam is that the: ‘Allah of Islam says he Loves where the God of Christianity demonstrates it in the most incredible way. While Allah seems to tell us he Loves from afar the God of Christianity stops at nothing to show us.’

If by this Cat implies that there is not one God but two, then I would answer that there is only One; and there can be only One. The fact that Trinitarian Christians; Biblical Unitarian Christians; Jews and Muslims attempt to describe His essential nature (as best they can) in different - sometimes opposing - ways does not convert One into two. Cat would do well to remember that Yeshua (radi Allahu ‘anhu) was not a Trinitarian.

If Cat is saying that God (the One God) demonstrates His love differently in the Bible than in the Qur’an; well, that is the matter of this discussion; and readers will decide for themselves which argument is the more convincing.

As for Cat’s notion that Allāh (Subḥānahu ūta'āla) declares His love from afar: ‘We created man - We know what his soul whispers to him: We are closer to him than his jugular vein.’ (Qaf: 16).

I wrote: ‘Genesis tells us that man was the last to be created on earth. Perhaps a matter of days after the first of creation (as some believe) or many millions of years after (as others believe). Either way, God’s preserving love was bestowed on all, without discrimination; and this bestowal continues to this day - not just for terrestrial stuff, but for the very stuff of the universe itself (and, of course, for the angels and demons). It is clear that this bestowal of preserving love is indeed unconditional.’

Cat appears to have misunderstood the words: ‘without discrimination’, for he writes: ‘I think there is some discrimination in the Genesis account. At the end of the first five days, God looked over what He had created and it was 'good' but at the end of the 6th day good looked over what he had done and it was 'very good'. This suggests we are viewed higher than the rest of creation.’

But this is not my point. My point is that God’s preserving love must, of necessity, be given to all things. It is not a question of hierarchy. The love that holds this particular human in existence is no ‘higher’ than that which holds in being the tadpoles in my pond; the tree in my garden; the stones that drive me nuts every time I try to dig a trench; the spade I use to dig that trench; or the very universe itself.

Cat writes: ‘The whole thinking behind sin, punishment and forgiveness is for our benefit. It does not make God greater or less if we do good or sin but it does effect us’. Taking pride as his example, he writes: ‘If we are proud it eats away at us like a cancer. It negatively effects those around us as well. The point of us humbling ourselves is not to benefit God at all but so we can live life in its fullness (John10:10). We gain from being humble.

Exactly. Where did I say otherwise?

Cat writes: ‘We all suffer from it (pride) and if God does not love the proud it would mean that God loves no-one.’   

Unfortunately, Cat is failing to differentiate between the love that preserves, and the love that sanctifies. The former is never withheld; not from anything. But where in the Bible does it say that God exalts the proud?

I wrote: God says: ‘If you keep my commandments you will abide in my love’. The corollary is that if we break His commandments (thus making gods of ourselves) then we will not. This means that the gift of God’s sanctifying love - necessary in order for us to enjoy a loving and lasting friendship with Him - is conditional.

Cat tells me that I: ‘Need to analyse what 'abiding in God's love' means.’ He asks: ‘Does not abiding in God's love mean that His love is there to abide in but we reject it. We choose not to abide in it. If you think of a parent offering to their child the love that they have to offer but not forcing it. If the child decides to reject the parent it will not receive the love it could otherwise have abided in. The parent still loves the child but will not force the love.’

We can analyse the meaning of ‘abide’ until the cows come home; but this is not the crux of matter.

Consider these words: ‘If you keep my commandments you will abide in my love.’ However we analyse the meaning of ‘abide’ we cannot escape that fact that only those who keep God’s commandments - who submit to His Will - can enjoy His love. The conditional nature of His words is clear.

Of course we can reject God’s sanctifying love. And if we reject it totally, it is removed from us utterly. This is what happened to Satan, and to the other ‘fallen angels’ of Christian theology. But behaviour - no matter how evil - cannot, of itself, remove God’s sanctifying love: not from ourselves: not from anyone else. Are we as powerful as He? The Exalted gives, and the Exalted takes away; and gives again when there is true repentance.
You both speak of the relationship between child and parent (or husband and wife) a though, somehow, this relationship is identical in nature to that which exists between God and humankind. It is not.

Consider God’s preserving love: Who among us can prevent another (or even ourselves) from dying. Who among us can prevent the total annihilation of even a single created thing, should God degree otherwise?

No one.

Consider sanctifying love: Which of us can make another holy; or achieve holiness for ourselves by our own endeavour? Which of us can withhold holiness from another?

None of us.

I wrote, in summary, that God’s sanctifying love is enjoyed by those who submit to His loving Will (this includes those who, having sinned, repent and again submit to Him); and that this love is conditional, for reasons already explained. Cat replied: ‘The only condition of this love is that we accept it but the only alternative is that it is forced upon us even though we reject it and forced love is no longer love. Therefore it is real love as unconditional as it can possibly be.’

‘The only condition………’ ……is a condition, no matter how only.

Sanctifying love is never forced love; if it were, then we would all be holy. The devil himself would be holy. No, sanctifying love has to be accepted, freely. And how do we demonstrate our acceptance? By submitting to God’s Will; by obeying His Laws; by meeting His conditions. If either of you know another way, please tell me.

This one is just for Cat:

You wrote: ‘A while ago I asked anyone here if they could suggest anyone in the entire history of the earth who was less merciful or compassionate (two of his most common names) than Allah as described in the Quran but got nothing back.’

Name anyone you like; for none are as merciful or compassionate as He.

This answer will not please you; but is the only answer that is true. Anyway, this is a diversion. Our discussion is about biblical expressions of God’s Love.

Have a good day, gentlemen.


-------------
'Sometimes, silence is the best answer for a fool.'(Alī ibn Abī Tālib‎)


Posted By: Niblo
Date Posted: 06 April 2017 at 7:02am
Originally posted by Non Believer

Actually it is the idea that God hates that is puzzling me.

I don't think I've ever considered the implications to a believer that the All-Powerful Creator feels human emotions like hate.


Emotions are the results of activity within a physical body. God does not possess such a body, and therefore does not have emotions.

He is pure act. Good deeds on our part bring reward. Evil deeds bring punishment. There is no emotion involved. The word ‘hate’ is a metaphor, used to convey a religious truth: Evil deed are not acceptable!


-------------
'Sometimes, silence is the best answer for a fool.'(Alī ibn Abī Tālib‎)


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 06 April 2017 at 9:50am
Originally posted by Niblo

Hello Saved/Cat.

Saved wrote that the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of ‘unconditional’ (‘not limited in any way; complete and absolute; unqualified’) is not found in Scripture. When asked to provide a scriptural definition he replied that God: ‘Doesn’t love one person more than another.’

This is not a definition. It’s a statement of his personal belief.

I know that neither of you is a Catholic. You’re not chickens either, but you will know a good egg when you taste it. Here’s what one Catholic, the Dominican theologian (St) Thomas Aquinas (quoting two other Catholics) has to say about the notion that God loves everyone equally. He writes:

‘In (his) “Super Ioannem” Augustine says: “God loves all the things that He has made; and among these things He loves rational creatures more; and among rational creatures He loves more fully those who are members of His only-begotten; and He loves His only-begotten much more.”

‘……for God to love a thing more is nothing other than for Him to will that thing a greater good, since God’s will is the cause of goodness in things. And so the reason why some things are better is that God wills a greater good for them. And from this it follows that He loves them more……. For the ones who are better and more loved are those who have more grace, regardless of whether they are righteous or repentant. However, all other things being equal, blamelessness is more worthy and more loved.

‘Yet God is said to rejoice more over the one who repents than the one who is blameless because oftentimes when those who repent come back, they are more circumspect, more humble, and more fervent. Hence, in commenting on this passage, Gregory says: “In battle the commander has a greater love for the soldier who turned back after fleeing and bravely fought the enemy than for the soldier who never fled but also never acted courageously.”

‘An alternative explanation is that an equal gift of grace counts for more in relation to the penitent, who deserved punishment, than in relation to the blameless, who did not merit punishment - just as a hundred pieces of gold constitute a greater gift when given to a poor man than when given to a king.’ (Summa Theologica: Part 1; Question 20; Articles 3 and 4).

Aquinas is referring to sanctifying love - the love by which we are justified and given a claim to the inheritance of Heaven. The notion that God loves everyone the same is true only in respect of His preserving love; that love which holds in existence all creating things.

One difference that Cat sees between Christianity and Islam is that the: ‘Allah of Islam says he Loves where the God of Christianity demonstrates it in the most incredible way. While Allah seems to tell us he Loves from afar the God of Christianity stops at nothing to show us.’

If by this Cat implies that there is not one God but two, then I would answer that there is only One; and there can be only One. The fact that Trinitarian Christians; Biblical Unitarian Christians; Jews and Muslims attempt to describe His essential nature (as best they can) in different - sometimes opposing - ways does not convert One into two. Cat would do well to remember that Yeshua (radi Allahu ‘anhu) was not a Trinitarian.

If Cat is saying that God (the One God) demonstrates His love differently in the Bible than in the Qur’an; well, that is the matter of this discussion; and readers will decide for themselves which argument is the more convincing.

As for Cat’s notion that Allāh (Subḥānahu ūta'āla) declares His love from afar: ‘We created man - We know what his soul whispers to him: We are closer to him than his jugular vein.’ (Qaf: 16).

I wrote: ‘Genesis tells us that man was the last to be created on earth. Perhaps a matter of days after the first of creation (as some believe) or many millions of years after (as others believe). Either way, God’s preserving love was bestowed on all, without discrimination; and this bestowal continues to this day - not just for terrestrial stuff, but for the very stuff of the universe itself (and, of course, for the angels and demons). It is clear that this bestowal of preserving love is indeed unconditional.’

Cat appears to have misunderstood the words: ‘without discrimination’, for he writes: ‘I think there is some discrimination in the Genesis account. At the end of the first five days, God looked over what He had created and it was 'good' but at the end of the 6th day good looked over what he had done and it was 'very good'. This suggests we are viewed higher than the rest of creation.’

But this is not my point. My point is that God’s preserving love must, of necessity, be given to all things. It is not a question of hierarchy. The love that holds this particular human in existence is no ‘higher’ than that which holds in being the tadpoles in my pond; the tree in my garden; the stones that drive me nuts every time I try to dig a trench; the spade I use to dig that trench; or the very universe itself.

Cat writes: ‘The whole thinking behind sin, punishment and forgiveness is for our benefit. It does not make God greater or less if we do good or sin but it does effect us’. Taking pride as his example, he writes: ‘If we are proud it eats away at us like a cancer. It negatively effects those around us as well. The point of us humbling ourselves is not to benefit God at all but so we can live life in its fullness (John10:10). We gain from being humble.

Exactly. Where did I say otherwise?

Cat writes: ‘We all suffer from it (pride) and if God does not love the proud it would mean that God loves no-one.’   

Unfortunately, Cat is failing to differentiate between the love that preserves, and the love that sanctifies. The former is never withheld; not from anything. But where in the Bible does it say that God exalts the proud?

I wrote: God says: ‘If you keep my commandments you will abide in my love’. The corollary is that if we break His commandments (thus making gods of ourselves) then we will not. This means that the gift of God’s sanctifying love - necessary in order for us to enjoy a loving and lasting friendship with Him - is conditional.

Cat tells me that I: ‘Need to analyse what 'abiding in God's love' means.’ He asks: ‘Does not abiding in God's love mean that His love is there to abide in but we reject it. We choose not to abide in it. If you think of a parent offering to their child the love that they have to offer but not forcing it. If the child decides to reject the parent it will not receive the love it could otherwise have abided in. The parent still loves the child but will not force the love.’

We can analyse the meaning of ‘abide’ until the cows come home; but this is not the crux of matter.

Consider these words: ‘If you keep my commandments you will abide in my love.’ However we analyse the meaning of ‘abide’ we cannot escape that fact that only those who keep God’s commandments - who submit to His Will - can enjoy His love. The conditional nature of His words is clear.

Of course we can reject God’s sanctifying love. And if we reject it totally, it is removed from us utterly. This is what happened to Satan, and to the other ‘fallen angels’ of Christian theology. But behaviour - no matter how evil - cannot, of itself, remove God’s sanctifying love: not from ourselves: not from anyone else. Are we as powerful as He? The Exalted gives, and the Exalted takes away; and gives again when there is true repentance.
You both speak of the relationship between child and parent (or husband and wife) a though, somehow, this relationship is identical in nature to that which exists between God and humankind. It is not.

Consider God’s preserving love: Who among us can prevent another (or even ourselves) from dying. Who among us can prevent the total annihilation of even a single created thing, should God degree otherwise?

No one.

Consider sanctifying love: Which of us can make another holy; or achieve holiness for ourselves by our own endeavour? Which of us can withhold holiness from another?

None of us.

I wrote, in summary, that God’s sanctifying love is enjoyed by those who submit to His loving Will (this includes those who, having sinned, repent and again submit to Him); and that this love is conditional, for reasons already explained. Cat replied: ‘The only condition of this love is that we accept it but the only alternative is that it is forced upon us even though we reject it and forced love is no longer love. Therefore it is real love as unconditional as it can possibly be.’

‘The only condition………’ ……is a condition, no matter how only.

Sanctifying love is never forced love; if it were, then we would all be holy. The devil himself would be holy. No, sanctifying love has to be accepted, freely. And how do we demonstrate our acceptance? By submitting to God’s Will; by obeying His Laws; by meeting His conditions. If either of you know another way, please tell me.

This one is just for Cat:

You wrote: ‘A while ago I asked anyone here if they could suggest anyone in the entire history of the earth who was less merciful or compassionate (two of his most common names) than Allah as described in the Quran but got nothing back.’

Name anyone you like; for none are as merciful or compassionate as He.

This answer will not please you; but is the only answer that is true. Anyway, this is a diversion. Our discussion is about biblical expressions of God’s Love.

Have a good day, gentlemen.
My comments about the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition are small potatoes, I meant that dictionary didn't exist at that time. I am saying that unconditional love exists. I don't agree with Augustine's views about God loving someone more than another because I don't see that clearly in the Scriptures was my only point.

You quoted Jesus "‘If you keep my commandments you will abide in my love.’ However we analyse the meaning of ‘abide’ we cannot escape that fact that only those who keep God’s commandments - who submit to His Will - can enjoy His love. The conditional nature of His words is clear."

It is true that only those who keep His commandments abide and enjoy the love of God, but that is not God being conditional with His love as much as it is those who reject it don't get to enjoy it.
Now that begs the question, we have to ask what were Jesus commands? It was to love God with all our being and our neighbor as ourselves. If we do this we are abiding in His love and commandments.



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Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 06 April 2017 at 9:56am
Originally posted by Niblo

Originally posted by Non Believer

Actually it is the idea that God hates that is puzzling me.

I don't think I've ever considered the implications to a believer that the All-Powerful Creator feels human emotions like hate.


Emotions are the results of activity within a physical body. God does not possess such a body, and therefore does not have emotions.

He is pure act. Good deeds on our part bring reward. Evil deeds bring punishment. There is no emotion involved. The word ‘hate’ is a metaphor, used to convey a religious truth: Evil deed are not acceptable!
The Scriptures states that God gets angry; isn't that an emotion? I believe God has emotions only he doesn't react like people do when their emotions get the better of them. He has control all the time over all things. He made us in His likeness. That is why I owe you my love

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Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: Niblo
Date Posted: 06 April 2017 at 11:03am
Originally posted by Saved

Originally posted by Niblo

Hello Saved/Cat.

Saved wrote that the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of ‘unconditional’ (‘not limited in any way; complete and absolute; unqualified’) is not found in Scripture. When asked to provide a scriptural definition he replied that God: ‘Doesn’t love one person more than another.’

This is not a definition. It’s a statement of his personal belief.

I know that neither of you is a Catholic. You’re not chickens either, but you will know a good egg when you taste it. Here’s what one Catholic, the Dominican theologian (St) Thomas Aquinas (quoting two other Catholics) has to say about the notion that God loves everyone equally. He writes:

‘In (his) “Super Ioannem” Augustine says: “God loves all the things that He has made; and among these things He loves rational creatures more; and among rational creatures He loves more fully those who are members of His only-begotten; and He loves His only-begotten much more.”

‘……for God to love a thing more is nothing other than for Him to will that thing a greater good, since God’s will is the cause of goodness in things. And so the reason why some things are better is that God wills a greater good for them. And from this it follows that He loves them more……. For the ones who are better and more loved are those who have more grace, regardless of whether they are righteous or repentant. However, all other things being equal, blamelessness is more worthy and more loved.

‘Yet God is said to rejoice more over the one who repents than the one who is blameless because oftentimes when those who repent come back, they are more circumspect, more humble, and more fervent. Hence, in commenting on this passage, Gregory says: “In battle the commander has a greater love for the soldier who turned back after fleeing and bravely fought the enemy than for the soldier who never fled but also never acted courageously.”

‘An alternative explanation is that an equal gift of grace counts for more in relation to the penitent, who deserved punishment, than in relation to the blameless, who did not merit punishment - just as a hundred pieces of gold constitute a greater gift when given to a poor man than when given to a king.’ (Summa Theologica: Part 1; Question 20; Articles 3 and 4).

Aquinas is referring to sanctifying love - the love by which we are justified and given a claim to the inheritance of Heaven. The notion that God loves everyone the same is true only in respect of His preserving love; that love which holds in existence all creating things.

One difference that Cat sees between Christianity and Islam is that the: ‘Allah of Islam says he Loves where the God of Christianity demonstrates it in the most incredible way. While Allah seems to tell us he Loves from afar the God of Christianity stops at nothing to show us.’

If by this Cat implies that there is not one God but two, then I would answer that there is only One; and there can be only One. The fact that Trinitarian Christians; Biblical Unitarian Christians; Jews and Muslims attempt to describe His essential nature (as best they can) in different - sometimes opposing - ways does not convert One into two. Cat would do well to remember that Yeshua (radi Allahu ‘anhu) was not a Trinitarian.

If Cat is saying that God (the One God) demonstrates His love differently in the Bible than in the Qur’an; well, that is the matter of this discussion; and readers will decide for themselves which argument is the more convincing.

As for Cat’s notion that Allāh (Subḥānahu ūta'āla) declares His love from afar: ‘We created man - We know what his soul whispers to him: We are closer to him than his jugular vein.’ (Qaf: 16).

I wrote: ‘Genesis tells us that man was the last to be created on earth. Perhaps a matter of days after the first of creation (as some believe) or many millions of years after (as others believe). Either way, God’s preserving love was bestowed on all, without discrimination; and this bestowal continues to this day - not just for terrestrial stuff, but for the very stuff of the universe itself (and, of course, for the angels and demons). It is clear that this bestowal of preserving love is indeed unconditional.’

Cat appears to have misunderstood the words: ‘without discrimination’, for he writes: ‘I think there is some discrimination in the Genesis account. At the end of the first five days, God looked over what He had created and it was 'good' but at the end of the 6th day good looked over what he had done and it was 'very good'. This suggests we are viewed higher than the rest of creation.’

But this is not my point. My point is that God’s preserving love must, of necessity, be given to all things. It is not a question of hierarchy. The love that holds this particular human in existence is no ‘higher’ than that which holds in being the tadpoles in my pond; the tree in my garden; the stones that drive me nuts every time I try to dig a trench; the spade I use to dig that trench; or the very universe itself.

Cat writes: ‘The whole thinking behind sin, punishment and forgiveness is for our benefit. It does not make God greater or less if we do good or sin but it does effect us’. Taking pride as his example, he writes: ‘If we are proud it eats away at us like a cancer. It negatively effects those around us as well. The point of us humbling ourselves is not to benefit God at all but so we can live life in its fullness (John10:10). We gain from being humble.

Exactly. Where did I say otherwise?

Cat writes: ‘We all suffer from it (pride) and if God does not love the proud it would mean that God loves no-one.’   

Unfortunately, Cat is failing to differentiate between the love that preserves, and the love that sanctifies. The former is never withheld; not from anything. But where in the Bible does it say that God exalts the proud?

I wrote: God says: ‘If you keep my commandments you will abide in my love’. The corollary is that if we break His commandments (thus making gods of ourselves) then we will not. This means that the gift of God’s sanctifying love - necessary in order for us to enjoy a loving and lasting friendship with Him - is conditional.

Cat tells me that I: ‘Need to analyse what 'abiding in God's love' means.’ He asks: ‘Does not abiding in God's love mean that His love is there to abide in but we reject it. We choose not to abide in it. If you think of a parent offering to their child the love that they have to offer but not forcing it. If the child decides to reject the parent it will not receive the love it could otherwise have abided in. The parent still loves the child but will not force the love.’

We can analyse the meaning of ‘abide’ until the cows come home; but this is not the crux of matter.

Consider these words: ‘If you keep my commandments you will abide in my love.’ However we analyse the meaning of ‘abide’ we cannot escape that fact that only those who keep God’s commandments - who submit to His Will - can enjoy His love. The conditional nature of His words is clear.

Of course we can reject God’s sanctifying love. And if we reject it totally, it is removed from us utterly. This is what happened to Satan, and to the other ‘fallen angels’ of Christian theology. But behaviour - no matter how evil - cannot, of itself, remove God’s sanctifying love: not from ourselves: not from anyone else. Are we as powerful as He? The Exalted gives, and the Exalted takes away; and gives again when there is true repentance.
You both speak of the relationship between child and parent (or husband and wife) a though, somehow, this relationship is identical in nature to that which exists between God and humankind. It is not.

Consider God’s preserving love: Who among us can prevent another (or even ourselves) from dying. Who among us can prevent the total annihilation of even a single created thing, should God degree otherwise?

No one.

Consider sanctifying love: Which of us can make another holy; or achieve holiness for ourselves by our own endeavour? Which of us can withhold holiness from another?

None of us.

I wrote, in summary, that God’s sanctifying love is enjoyed by those who submit to His loving Will (this includes those who, having sinned, repent and again submit to Him); and that this love is conditional, for reasons already explained. Cat replied: ‘The only condition of this love is that we accept it but the only alternative is that it is forced upon us even though we reject it and forced love is no longer love. Therefore it is real love as unconditional as it can possibly be.’

‘The only condition………’ ……is a condition, no matter how only.

Sanctifying love is never forced love; if it were, then we would all be holy. The devil himself would be holy. No, sanctifying love has to be accepted, freely. And how do we demonstrate our acceptance? By submitting to God’s Will; by obeying His Laws; by meeting His conditions. If either of you know another way, please tell me.

This one is just for Cat:

You wrote: ‘A while ago I asked anyone here if they could suggest anyone in the entire history of the earth who was less merciful or compassionate (two of his most common names) than Allah as described in the Quran but got nothing back.’

Name anyone you like; for none are as merciful or compassionate as He.

This answer will not please you; but is the only answer that is true. Anyway, this is a diversion. Our discussion is about biblical expressions of God’s Love.

Have a good day, gentlemen.
My comments about the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition are small potatoes, I meant that dictionary didn't exist at that time. I am saying that unconditional love exists. I don't agree with Augustine's views about God loving someone more than another because I don't see that clearly in the Scriptures was my only point.

You quoted Jesus "‘If you keep my commandments you will abide in my love.’ However we analyse the meaning of ‘abide’ we cannot escape that fact that only those who keep God’s commandments - who submit to His Will - can enjoy His love. The conditional nature of His words is clear."

It is true that only those who keep His commandments abide and enjoy the love of God, but that is not God being conditional with His love as much as it is those who reject it don't get to enjoy it.
Now that begs the question, we have to ask what were Jesus commands? It was to love God with all our being and our neighbor as ourselves. If we do this we are abiding in His love and commandments.



I think the time has come for us to agree to differ.

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'Sometimes, silence is the best answer for a fool.'(Alī ibn Abī Tālib‎)


Posted By: Niblo
Date Posted: 06 April 2017 at 11:08am
Originally posted by Saved

Originally posted by Niblo

Originally posted by Non Believer

Actually it is the idea that God hates that is puzzling me.

I don't think I've ever considered the implications to a believer that the All-Powerful Creator feels human emotions like hate.


Emotions are the results of activity within a physical body. God does not possess such a body, and therefore does not have emotions.

He is pure act. Good deeds on our part bring reward. Evil deeds bring punishment. There is no emotion involved. The word ‘hate’ is a metaphor, used to convey a religious truth: Evil deed are not acceptable!
The Scriptures states that God gets angry; isn't that an emotion? I believe God has emotions only he doesn't react like people do when their emotions get the better of them. He has control all the time over all things. He made us in His likeness. That is why I owe you my love


You believe that God has emotions. I don't, and for reasons stated above. Again, we must agree to differ.

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'Sometimes, silence is the best answer for a fool.'(Alī ibn Abī Tālib‎)


Posted By: ishammad
Date Posted: 06 April 2017 at 3:22pm
I think it could be relevant and of some help here to notice the choice of words by three translators of this verse.

If you disbelieve [are thankless or reject (Allah)] - indeed, Allah is Free from need of you. And He does not approve [He is not pleased with or He likes not] for His servants disbelief [ingratitude or thanklessness]. And if you are grateful, He approves it [He is pleased therewith] for you; and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return, and He will inform you about what you used to do. Indeed, He is Knowing of that within the breasts. 39:7


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Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe. And peace upon the messengers. And praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds. 37:180-182


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 06 April 2017 at 3:25pm
Originally posted by Niblo

Originally posted by Saved

Originally posted by Niblo

Originally posted by Non Believer

Actually it is the idea that God hates that is puzzling me.

I don't think I've ever considered the implications to a believer that the All-Powerful Creator feels human emotions like hate.


Emotions are the results of activity within a physical body. God does not possess such a body, and therefore does not have emotions.

He is pure act. Good deeds on our part bring reward. Evil deeds bring punishment. There is no emotion involved. The word ‘hate’ is a metaphor, used to convey a religious truth: Evil deed are not acceptable!
The Scriptures states that God gets angry; isn't that an emotion? I believe God has emotions only he doesn't react like people do when their emotions get the better of them. He has control all the time over all things. He made us in His likeness. That is why I owe you my love


You believe that God has emotions. I don't, and for reasons stated above. Again, we must agree to differ.
Why don't you describe Allah.

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Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: ishammad
Date Posted: 06 April 2017 at 3:40pm
https://quran.com/7/175-186 - 7:175-186



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Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe. And peace upon the messengers. And praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds. 37:180-182


Posted By: Niblo
Date Posted: 06 April 2017 at 4:02pm
[QUOTE) Saved:So you are a NB who believe God doesn't have emotions? [/QUOTE]

Saved. Please don't insult me by called me a non-believer.

Describe God.

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'Sometimes, silence is the best answer for a fool.'(Alī ibn Abī Tālib‎)


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 06 April 2017 at 4:24pm
Originally posted by Niblo

Saved. Please don't insult me by called me a non-believer.

Describe God.
Sorry, I confused you for a NB

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Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: Non Believer
Date Posted: 06 April 2017 at 5:27pm
Originally posted by Niblo

Originally posted by Non Believer

Actually it is the idea that God hates that is puzzling me.

I don't think I've ever considered the implications to a believer that the All-Powerful Creator feels human emotions like hate.


Emotions are the results of activity within a physical body. God does not possess such a body, and therefore does not have emotions.

He is pure act. Good deeds on our part bring reward. Evil deeds bring punishment. There is no emotion involved. The word ‘hate’ is a metaphor, used to convey a religious truth: Evil deed are not acceptable!
I don't know what you're confused about, Saved. Thank you, Niblo, for clarifying this.

Niblo, I wonder if you have any thoughts on the evolution of God's love through the course of the Bible. It seems to me that the Hebrews of the Pentateuch, the Israelites in Babylonia and the Christians of the Apostolic Period have substantially different perceptions of God's love.

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Men do you harm either because they fear you or because they hate you.


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 06 April 2017 at 6:47pm
Originally posted by Non Believer

Originally posted by Niblo

Originally posted by Non Believer

Actually it is the idea that God hates that is puzzling me.

I don't think I've ever considered the implications to a believer that the All-Powerful Creator feels human emotions like hate.


Emotions are the results of activity within a physical body. God does not possess such a body, and therefore does not have emotions.

He is pure act. Good deeds on our part bring reward. Evil deeds bring punishment. There is no emotion involved. The word ‘hate’ is a metaphor, used to convey a religious truth: Evil deed are not acceptable!
I don't know what you're confused about, Saved. Thank you, Niblo, for clarifying this.

Niblo, I wonder if you have any thoughts on the evolution of God's love through the course of the Bible. It seems to me that the Hebrews of the Pentateuch, the Israelites in Babylonia and the Christians of the Apostolic Period have substantially different perceptions of God's love.
I am not confused. I don't recognize the god he describes. It sounds like his god can only love and not hate or he cannot do that either, because he has no body.

I confused him for a NB, because the god he describes sounds vaporously fictional sought of like something I thought you would say. God is Spirit and seeks those to worship Him in spirit and truth, because if it were by spirit only that would be emotionalism and if only by truth it would be intellectualism.

Besides, how does he know the Spirit of God cannot have emotion especially when the Spirit of God's word created us in His image and likeness? With his description of God, had rather be a NB like you.

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Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 06 April 2017 at 6:57pm
Originally posted by ishammad

I think it could be relevant and of some help here to notice the choice of words by three translators of this verse.

If you disbelieve [are thankless or reject (Allah)] - indeed, Allah is Free from need of you. And He does not approve [He is not pleased with or He likes not] for His servants disbelief [ingratitude or thanklessness]. And if you are grateful, He approves it [He is pleased therewith] for you; and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return, and He will inform you about what you used to do. Indeed, He is Knowing of that within the breasts. 39:7
So are you saying Allah needs you if you are thankful? I cannot relate to this god from the verse you quoted. He sounds like some powerful indifferent distant being who likes and dislikes with no emotion. It sounds like you are describing a computer not made by man.

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Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: Mad Cat
Date Posted: 07 April 2017 at 6:50am
Originally posted by Non Believer

Fair enough. The word "hate" has a broad range of meanings. I hate ignorance. I don't have to hate the ignorant man who.... well, never mind! Nevertheless, I find the endowing of God with emotions, which are so quintessentially human, to be strange.

I do understand but I don’t know what alternatives there are. The alternative to us having emotions like God (or the other way round) is that we don’t and therefore God is completely unrelatable, like the relationship we have with ants for example. This would be pointless IMO.

If there is a God and if He did create us and if He did want a relationship with us as Christians believe then it makes sense that He creates us in such a way that we have emotions like Him. If He truly cares for us as is the Christian message then it makes sense that He has emotions.

If He has no emotions then why create anything?
Originally posted by Non Believer

We are forced to describe whatever concept of "God" we have in terms that we understand. Having described a God in a particular way in the Bible... yes, I too, wonder why men would create a God like that. It took them many centuries to get it that way. By the way, this might be the time to raise the point that if women would have created God, it would be a very different God.

Two things I would like to say here.
The point I was alluding to before is that when you read the Old Testament right through it reads like a record of wrongs for the Jews. It doesn’t make them look good at all. People often hear the surface level ‘Jews are the chosen people’ sound byte and think it must be a book of Jewish propaganda written by them to promote them as a race. On reading it, nothing could be further from the truth.

Secondly I think there is a popular misconception with the God of the Bible (I’m not accusing you of this) that He is male, that He is a stereotypical man, angry, authoritative, quick and harsh to punish, cold and distant. However, again when you read the OT, you see the God described there as having all the more typically feminine attributes too. This is normally overlooked by critics, Dawkins springs to mind.


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Test everything. Hold on to the good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21


Posted By: Mad Cat
Date Posted: 07 April 2017 at 9:36am
Originally posted by Niblo

I know that neither of you is a Catholic. You’re not chickens either, but you will know a good egg when you taste it. Here’s what one Catholic, the Dominican theologian (St) Thomas Aquinas (quoting two other Catholics) has to say about the notion that God loves everyone equally. He writes:

‘In (his) “Super Ioannem” Augustine says: …

Here I can only say what I understand. A great many of Jesus’ parables are about people outside the fold. This suggests that God loves these people greatly. He doesn’t mention those on the right path so much because there is no point. They are on the right path and are fine, relatively speaking. I don’t see any evidence that God loves ‘members’ ‘more fully’ than others. The frequency mentioned above suggests the opposite if anything.

I feel I would need to study Augustine and what exactly he means and why to develop my understanding in relation to him. Till then I can only speak my mind.
Originally posted by Niblo

If by this Cat implies that there is not one God but two, then I would answer that there is only One; and there can be only One. The fact that Trinitarian Christians; Biblical Unitarian Christians; Jews and Muslims attempt to describe His essential nature (as best they can) in different - sometimes opposing - ways does not convert One into two. Cat would do well to remember that Yeshua (radi Allahu ‘anhu) was not a Trinitarian.

If Cat is saying that God (the One God) demonstrates His love differently in the Bible than in the Qur’an; well, that is the matter of this discussion; and readers will decide for themselves which argument is the more convincing.

Just to be clear I do not believe in two gods. I understand the Allah of Islam to be the product of a human mind and I would argue that all evidence points to this very clearly. He is not real. A false god if you will. I mean no offence but that is what I believe quite strongly.
Originally posted by Niblo

As for Cat’s notion that Allāh (Subḥānahu ūta'āla) declares His love from afar: ‘We created man - We know what his soul whispers to him: We are closer to him than his jugular vein.’ (Qaf: 16).

I have discussed this verse here in the past and I see this verse as more of a threat than a comfort. There is no love expressed in this verse but a statement that Allah reads your mind and could end you at a moment’s notice.
The context of this verse is a list of wrongdoers. ‘The people of Noah, the Well, Thamud, Aad, Pharaoh, Lot, the Thicket, Tubba all denied the messengers, so my threat was justly fulfilled.’
Then the verse in question
Then verses informing us that we have secretaries on our right and left shoulders recording everything. ‘Man does not utter any word except that with him is an observer prepared to record.’
And the intoxication of death will bring the truth; that is what you are trying to avoid
And so on with more and more threats.

Also why the jugular vein? Why not the heart or soul or self or family. The jugular is best known as the bit you slit to kill someone. Like I said, this verse when read in context sounds like a warning against even thinking about disobeying.
Originally posted by Niblo

Cat appears to have misunderstood the words: ‘without discrimination’, for he writes: ‘I think there is some discrimination in the Genesis account. At the end of the first five days, God looked over what He had created and it was 'good' but at the end of the 6th day good looked over what he had done and it was 'very good'. This suggests we are viewed higher than the rest of creation.’

But this is not my point. My point is that God’s preserving love must, of necessity, be given to all things. It is not a question of hierarchy. The love that holds this particular human in existence is no ‘higher’ than that which holds in being the tadpoles in my pond; the tree in my garden; the stones that drive me nuts every time I try to dig a trench; the spade I use to dig that trench; or the very universe itself.

I am not sure how I misunderstood ‘without discrimination’. When we talk about unconditional love I am referring exclusively to humans. I don’t believe God loves a stone and me equally but I don’t think this jeopardises the ‘unconditional’ thing at all. I don’t really understand what you mean when you say God’s love holds a human in existence. This seems to me a weird understanding of love that doesn’t really make sense in the real world but as I say I don’t understand what you mean.
Originally posted by Niblo

Cat writes: ‘We all suffer from it (pride) and if God does not love the proud it would mean that God loves no-one.’    

Unfortunately, Cat is failing to differentiate between the love that preserves, and the love that sanctifies. The former is never withheld; not from anything. But where in the Bible does it say that God exalts the proud?

I think I need further explanation of this ‘love that preserves’. Maybe I am being too simplistic but the way I understand it is that God loves us all. The person who prays 12 hours a day and give his possessions to the poor AND the career criminal. That does not mean that God loves prayer, generosity and crime equally.
It clearly does not say God exalts the proud because that would encourage pride which is destructive. There is a purpose/meaning behind what God says and that is where the focus need to rest, not on this word or that phrase.
Originally posted by Niblo

Cat tells me that I: ‘Need to analyse what 'abiding in God's love' means.’ He asks: ‘Does not abiding in God's love mean that His love is there to abide in but we reject it. We choose not to abide in it. If you think of a parent offering to their child the love that they have to offer but not forcing it. If the child decides to reject the parent it will not receive the love it could otherwise have abided in. The parent still loves the child but will not force the love.’

We can analyse the meaning of ‘abide’ until the cows come home; but this is not the crux of matter.

Consider these words: ‘If you keep my commandments you will abide in my love.’ However we analyse the meaning of ‘abide’ we cannot escape that fact that only those who keep God’s commandments - who submit to His Will - can enjoy His love. The conditional nature of His words is clear.

I think it is the crux of the matter. It does not say that God will no longer love those who do not keep His commandments. This can be seen through most of what Jesus did and said. He went to the sinners not the ‘holy’. He famously said ‘it is the sick who need a doctor’. Jesus actively sought out the people who did not keep His commandments. Therefore it cannot mean that God does not love the lawbreakers.
Originally posted by Niblo

You both speak of the relationship between child and parent (or husband and wife) a though, somehow, this relationship is identical in nature to that which exists between God and humankind. It is not.

I am not saying that the parent/child relationship is identical but time and again I find it the best/closest analogy to understanding God and us as there can be. I think that what I wrote illustrates the point quite well. There are details where the analogy fails but that is the nature of an analogy. It seeks to make a point. The point here is that a loving parent will offer their love to their child but if it is rejected the parent will not force the love. It would cease to be love. But even after rejection the parent still loves the child and will welcome it back with open arms upon return. This is the story of the prodigal son that Jesus taught.
Originally posted by Niblo

Cat replied: ‘The only condition of this love is that we accept it but the only alternative is that it is forced upon us even though we reject it and forced love is no longer love. Therefore it is real love as unconditional as it can possibly be.’

‘The only condition………’ ……is a condition, no matter how only.

As nonsensical as this sounds I disagree. The condition is not enforced by God but by the definition of ‘Love’. The love is given unconditionally but is not forced and therefore can be rejected. Therefore God’s love is unconditional.
Originally posted by Niblo

Sanctifying love is never forced love; if it were, then we would all be holy. The devil himself would be holy. No, sanctifying love has to be accepted, freely. And how do we demonstrate our acceptance? By submitting to God’s Will; by obeying His Laws; by meeting His conditions. If either of you know another way, please tell me.

From the Christian perspective we cannot meet God’s conditions. The OT is testament to it (pun intended). Given the best chance we cannot meet Gods conditions and we cannot obey His laws all the time. We need grace. Jesus came to offer (not force) that grace because He alone could meet the conditions. That is a very simplified overview.
Originally posted by Niblo

You wrote: ‘A while ago I asked anyone here if they could suggest anyone in the entire history of the earth who was less merciful or compassionate (two of his most common names) than Allah as described in the Quran but got nothing back.’

Name anyone you like; for none are as merciful or compassionate as He.

IMO this is a bunch of meaningless words that Muslims are encouraged to say without thought. I am not accusing you of this but if you could explain what you mean by this it would be appreciated.

The Quran states (4:56) that Allah will roast disbelievers till their skins burn off. Surely one of the most painful forms of torture/death that activates every nerve in your skin. Then once your skin is burned through you will be given a new skin with the sole purpose of allowing you to feel the pain all over again, and then again and again, ad nauseum. Where is one atom of compassion or mercy here?
I personally have not roasted anyone even once. In theory I could have but I have not. Does that not make me more compassionate than Allah? Hitler killed loads of people but I don’t think he stooped this low.
22:19-21 - But as for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them; boiling
fluid will be poured down on their heads; Whereby that which is in their bellies, and their
skins too, will be melted; And for them are hooked rods of iron.
• 40:71-72 - When the fetters and the chains shall be on their necks; they shall be dragged
Into boiling water, then in the fire shall they be burned.
• 56:92-94 - But if he is of the rejecters, the erring, then the welcome will be boiling water
and roasting at hell-fire.
Now it is not the existence of Hell that concerns me but the sheer delight Allah seems to have for it. The depths of the creativity he employs in order to invent horrible punishments for people is staggering. I believe that the best position in hell sees the ‘lucky’ individual being given sandals made out of fire to wear which are so hot that his brain will boil.

In addition to this is the obsession Allah has with hell. By my count, on average, every 6th verse of the Quran talks about hell. The Quran is absolutely fixated with it. The only more common subject in the Quran is unbelievers, non-believers and polytheists making up about a third of it (not including Jews and Christians). Of cause those two subjects are usually spoken of together.

All this leaves me to believe that no-one in all history is more obsessed with death and torture than Allah as described in the Quran. No one shows less compassion and mercy to those who care nothing for what they say than Allah.

If you want to move this to a new thread let me know as it is off topic.


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Test everything. Hold on to the good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21


Posted By: Damo808
Date Posted: 07 April 2017 at 9:41am
"My point is that God’s preserving love must, of necessity, be given to all things. It is not a question of hierarchy. The love that holds this particular human in existence is no ‘higher’ than that which holds in being the tadpoles in my pond; the tree in my garden; the stones that drive me nuts every time I try to dig a trench; the spade I use to dig that trench; or the very universe itself."

_-Niblo




So do you believes Niblo that God values all things equally the animate and the inanimate ?


Great discussion and great posts btw, as to MC too.

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out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be the ruler in Israel: and his going forth is from the beginning, from the days of eternity. Micah 5:5


Posted By: Non Believer
Date Posted: 07 April 2017 at 9:57am
With all due respect, MadCat, my friend, you are in serious denial if you don't see how "male" the Abrahamic religions are. The books were written by men, about men, for men and discussed almost exclusively by men. Women appear in these books only when absolutely necessary for the story line. There are no female apostles, not female companions of Muhammad and women are still largely prevented from positions in the clergy. It's even a rarity to see a woman in these forums. It's hard to think how it could be any more exclusive.

I'd love to see women take on the task of writing a Bible or Quran for women.

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Men do you harm either because they fear you or because they hate you.


Posted By: Mad Cat
Date Posted: 07 April 2017 at 11:17am
I know what you are saying NB but that is not entirely fair. There was a woman judge Deborah in the book of Judges. There is the book of Ruth in which the foreigner Ruth proves herself incredibly selfless in her relationship with her Mother-in-law Naomi. There is the story of Esther who saved the Jews from an evil plot. There is the prostitute Rahab who was the only person saved in an entire city. Moses’s wife Miriam gets a psalm mentioned in the Bible. The prophetess Hannah is mentioned in Luke 2. Various women are mentioned in a positive light in the Gospels. Women are the first witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus. Paul praises loads of women in his letters in the highest regard. There will be more but that is off the top of my head.

Although most stories are mainly about men, as I mentioned earlier, it is often showing them up for their faults, therefore a mention in the Bible does not guarantee anything positive.


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Test everything. Hold on to the good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21


Posted By: ishammad
Date Posted: 07 April 2017 at 7:11pm
Originally posted by Non Believer

With all due respect, MadCat, my friend, you are in serious denial if you don't see how "male" the Abrahamic religions are. The books were written by men, about men, for men and discussed almost exclusively by men. Women appear in these books only when absolutely necessary for the story line. There are no female apostles, not female companions of Muhammad and women are still largely prevented from positions in the clergy. It's even a rarity to see a woman in these forums. It's hard to think how it could be any more exclusive.

I'd love to see women take on the task of writing a Bible or Quran for women.

You may like to have a look at something called "causes of revelation" for the following verse.
(I was unable to paste a couple of paragraphs I wanted from pages 14 & 15 in this book https://books.google.com.sa/books?id=-VQ6sQHFjesC&pg=PA14&dq=quran+33:35+causes+of+revelation&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiX2sHV35LTAhVHK8AKHSpkBvgQ6AEIIDAB#v=onepage&q&f=false - The Position of Women in Islam .)

Indeed, the Muslim men and Muslim women, the believing men and believing women, the obedient men and obedient women, the truthful men and truthful women, the patient men and patient women, the humble men and humble women, the charitable men and charitable women, the fasting men and fasting women, the men who guard their private parts and the women who do so, and the men who remember Allah often and the women who do so - for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward. 33:35



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Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe. And peace upon the messengers. And praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds. 37:180-182


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 08 April 2017 at 2:37am
Originally posted by Non Believer

With all due respect, MadCat, my friend, you are in serious denial if you don't see how "male" the Abrahamic religions are. The books were written by men, about men, for men and discussed almost exclusively by men. Women appear in these books only when absolutely necessary for the story line. There are no female apostles, not female companions of Muhammad and women are still largely prevented from positions in the clergy. It's even a rarity to see a woman in these forums. It's hard to think how it could be any more exclusive.

I'd love to see women take on the task of writing a Bible or Quran for women.
What about the women judges in the Bible?

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Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: ishammad
Date Posted: 08 April 2017 at 7:52am
Originally posted by Damo808

"My point is that God’s preserving love must, of necessity, be given to all things. It is not a question of hierarchy. The love that holds this particular human in existence is no ‘higher’ than that which holds in being the tadpoles in my pond; the tree in my garden; the stones that drive me nuts every time I try to dig a trench; the spade I use to dig that trench; or the very universe itself."

_-Niblo
So do you believes Niblo that God values all things equally the animate and the inanimate ?

I think the word mercy is more suitable than the word love when it comes to preserving or sustaining.

And decree for us in this world [that which is] good and [also] in the Hereafter; indeed, we have turned back to You." [Allah] said, "My punishment - I afflict with it whom I will, but My mercy encompasses all things." So I will decree it [especially] for those who fear Me and give zakah and those who believe in Our verses - Quran 7:156

Those [angels] who carry the Throne and those around it exalt [Allah] with praise of their Lord and believe in Him and ask forgiveness for those who have believed, [saying], "Our Lord, You have encompassed all things in mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who have repented and followed Your way and protect them from the punishment of Hellfire. Quran 40:7
====================================================

As for how humankind, animate and the inanimate relate to Allah, and to things Niblo have said here,
I find the following verses relevant


And how many a creature carries not its [own] provision. Allah provides for it and for you. And He is the Hearing, the Knowing.   Quran 29:60

Do you not see that Allah has subjected to you whatever is on the earth and the ships which run through the sea by His command? And He restrains the sky from falling upon the earth, unless by His permission. Indeed Allah, to the people, is Kind and Merciful. Quran 22:65

Indeed, Allah holds the heavens and the earth, lest they cease. And if they should cease, no one could hold them [in place] after Him. Indeed, He is Forbearing and Forgiving. Quran 35:41

And if Allah were to impose blame on the people for what they have earned, He would not leave upon the earth any creature. But He defers them for a specified term. And when their time comes, then indeed Allah has ever been, of His servants, Seeing. Quran 35:45

Then your hearts became hardened after that, being like stones or even harder. For indeed, there are stones from which rivers burst forth, and there are some of them that split open and water comes out, and there are some of them that fall down for fear of Allah. And Allah is not unaware of what you do. Quran 2:74

Do you not see that to Allah prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth and the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the trees, the moving creatures and many of the people? But upon many the punishment has been justified. And he whom Allah humiliates - for him there is no bestower of honor. Indeed, Allah does what He wills. Quran 22:18

The seven heavens and the earth and whatever is in them exalt Him. And there is not a thing except that it exalts [Allah] by His praise, but you do not understand their [way of] exalting. Indeed, He is ever Forbearing and Forgiving. Quran 22:18



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Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe. And peace upon the messengers. And praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds. 37:180-182


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 08 April 2017 at 9:30am
Originally posted by ishammad

I think the word mercy is more suitable than the word love when it comes to preserving or sustaining.
Without love there would be no mercy.
Originally posted by ishammad


And decree for us in this world [that which is] good and [also] in the Hereafter; indeed, we have turned back to You." [Allah] said, "My punishment - I afflict with it whom I will, but My mercy encompasses all things." So I will decree it [especially] for those who fear Me and give zakah and those who believe in Our verses - Quran 7:156
Why does God need our money to give us a right standing with him? This verse is saying maybe we'll get mercy if we fear God and give, because Allah/God arbitrarily chooses who he'll have mercy on. Paul said God says I will have mercy on whom I 'll have mercy. This was already in print before the Quran.
Originally posted by ishammad


Those [angels] who carry the Throne and those around it exalt [Allah] with praise of their Lord and believe in Him and ask forgiveness for those who have believed, [saying], "Our Lord, You have encompassed all things in mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who have repented and followed Your way and protect them from the punishment of Hellfire. Quran 40:7
Angels cannot ask forgiveness on our behalf only Jesus can because He is the only one worthy and gave himself for us. Angles or messengers couldn't do this.
Originally posted by ishammad


And how many a creature carries not its [own] provision. Allah provides for it and for you. And He is the Hearing, the Knowing.   Quran 29:60
Before the Quran this was already in print that God provides.
Originally posted by ishammad


Do you not see that Allah has subjected to you whatever is on the earth and the ships which run through the sea by His command? And He restrains the sky from falling upon the earth, unless by His permission. Indeed Allah, to the people, is Kind and Merciful. Quran 22:65
The Quran teaches the sky is a canopy held up by invisible pillars and the stars are lamps hanging from it. This was ancient Roman belief and this science is incorrect. So Allah keeps the sky from falling, but we now know the sky cannot fall. And they cried "The sky is falling"
Originally posted by ishammad


Indeed, Allah holds the heavens and the earth, lest they cease. And if they should cease, no one could hold them [in place] after Him. Indeed, He is Forbearing and Forgiving. Quran 35:41
This to was written before "All things are held together by the word of His power, but did you know that the Word of His power is only Jesus?
Originally posted by ishammad


And if Allah were to impose blame on the people for what they have earned, He would not leave upon the earth any creature. But He defers them for a specified term. And when their time comes, then indeed Allah has ever been, of His servants, Seeing. Quran 35:45
It is written in the gospel "All have sinned and come short of God's glory. The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ" There is no other way! Jesus said "I am the way to God the only way!"
Originally posted by ishammad


Then your hearts became hardened after that, being like stones or even harder. For indeed, there are stones from which rivers burst forth, and there are some of them that split open and water comes out, and there are some of them that fall down for fear of Allah. And Allah is not unaware of what you do. Quran 2:74
This is what happened to Jesus. Like Moses smote the rock out came water. Jesus is the Rock of our salvation. he was split and out of Him comes living water.
Originally posted by ishammad


Do you not see that to Allah prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth and the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the trees, the moving creatures and many of the people? But upon many the punishment has been justified. And he whom Allah humiliates - for him there is no bestower of honor. Indeed, Allah does what He wills. Quran 22:18
Yes then why did Allah have it that Satan should prostrate before Adam?
Originally posted by ishammad


The seven heavens and the earth and whatever is in them exalt Him. And there is not a thing except that it exalts [Allah] by His praise, but you do not understand their [way of] exalting. Indeed, He is ever Forbearing and Forgiving. Quran 22:18
This is not true the wicked on earth don't exalt God nor do the demons and all cursed things.



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Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: Damo808
Date Posted: 09 April 2017 at 8:16am
Originally posted by Niblo

"My point is that God’s preserving love must, of necessity, be given to all things. It is not a question of hierarchy. The love that holds this particular human in existence is no ‘higher’ than that which holds in being the tadpoles in my pond; the tree in my garden; the stones that drive me nuts every time I try to dig a trench; the spade I use to dig that trench; or the very universe itself."



Originally posted by Damo808

So do you believes Niblo that God values all things equally the animate and the inanimate ?






Originally posted by ishammad

I think the word mercy is more suitable than the word love when it comes to preserving or sustaining.




I never mentioned the word love . I addressed Niblo. Who unlike you is not selective on what points he wishes to respond to when addressed directly, hence I vouch him as credible. You not so. No offense

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out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be the ruler in Israel: and his going forth is from the beginning, from the days of eternity. Micah 5:5


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 09 April 2017 at 1:15pm
Originally posted by Damo808

    I addressed Niblo. Who unlike you is not selective on what points he wishes to respond to when addressed directly, hence I vouch him as credible. You not so. No offense
He doesn't respond because he cannot gainsay your post.

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Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: ishammad
Date Posted: 09 April 2017 at 3:19pm
Originally posted by Damo808

   
Originally posted by Niblo

"My point is that God’s preserving love must, of necessity, be given to all things. It is not a question of hierarchy. The love that holds this particular human in existence is no ‘higher’ than that which holds in being the tadpoles in my pond; the tree in my garden; the stones that drive me nuts every time I try to dig a trench; the spade I use to dig that trench; or the very universe itself."


Originally posted by Damo808

So do you believes Niblo that God values all things equally the animate and the inanimate ?

Originally posted by ishammad

I think the word mercy is more suitable than the word love when it comes to preserving or sustaining.


I never mentioned the word love . I addressed Niblo. Who unlike you is not selective on what points he wishes to respond to when addressed directly, hence I vouch him as credible. You not so. No offense


Hi Damo, yes, that was my brother Niblo who kindly took the time to share with us some of his knowledge and post a few informative posts here, where he mentioned the "sanctifying love" and the "preserving love" a number of times, the conditional and the unconditional, and detailed on this topic and included quotes from the Bible.

I did quote him in my response but i included your inquiry or question to him since it is concerning one of the points he mentioned.

As I mentioned there, I just quoted verses that I found relevant to what brother Niblo was saying. and happened to be relevant to your question concerning one point.

It seems i was not clear enough. specially in using your post where you quote him.

anyways, I just noticed that he already mentioned that sanctifying love is known also as 'Grace'

I tend to think that preserving love could alternatively be called 'Mercy'.

Damo, to be frank with you, whenever you commented to responded to Corrina, you gave me the impression that you are almost prostrating, even if all she said yet to another poster, is to repeat her often repeated phrase, "go get some education, or something to that effect".

I wondered sometime earlier, could the secret be in the words "Agnostic" or "Jew". then i said to myself, its none of my business.



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Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe. And peace upon the messengers. And praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds. 37:180-182


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 09 April 2017 at 5:44pm
I notice that you are not only being content selective of what you respond to but also who you respond to as well. You completely ignored my response to you in this thread.

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Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: Niblo
Date Posted: 10 April 2017 at 5:52am
As-Salāmu ‘alaykum.

Greetings to all who have written posts to me over the past few days. Apologies for the delayed reply. I’ve had a long weekend in Scotland, and left all my electronic stuff at home (At my age I can do this without feeling that I’ve lost a limb). In šāʾ Allāh I’ll reply to each of you over the next few days. Thank you for your patience.

Very best regards.

Paul (Niblo)


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'Sometimes, silence is the best answer for a fool.'(Alī ibn Abī Tālib‎)


Posted By: Niblo
Date Posted: 10 April 2017 at 5:53am
Originally posted by Saved

Originally posted by Niblo

Saved. Please don't insult me by called me a non-believer.

Describe God.
Sorry, I confused you for a NB


Hi Saved.

Your apology is accepted. Thank you, and very best regards.

Paul

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'Sometimes, silence is the best answer for a fool.'(Alī ibn Abī Tālib‎)


Posted By: Damo808
Date Posted: 10 April 2017 at 6:04am
Damo, to be frank with you, whenever you commented to responded to Corrina, you gave me the impression that you are almost prostrating, even if all she said yet to another poster, is to repeat her often repeated phrase, "go get some education, or something to that effect".

-Ishammad

Ish I've no idea what post/posts your talking about nor care . Your clearly happy however to respond to some posts which have nothing to do with Corrina and feel the need to ignore other posts directed at you which also have nothing to do with Corrina. Infact I have had very very few dealings with Corrina on here on the whole. So forgive me if I feel your simply lying or diverting . You wax lyrical then clamp up when people question you over some of what you believe or write. Hence it shows to me and no doubt others that there are some things your clearly uncomfortable about engaging in discussion about therefore I personally have no time for your opinion on anything else least of all when you respond to posts not even aimed at you.







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out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be the ruler in Israel: and his going forth is from the beginning, from the days of eternity. Micah 5:5


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 10 April 2017 at 1:31pm
Originally posted by Niblo

Originally posted by Saved

Originally posted by Niblo

Saved. Please don't insult me by called me a non-believer.

Describe God.
Sorry, I confused you for a NB


Hi Saved.

Your apology is accepted. Thank you, and very best regards.

Paul
thank you

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Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 11 April 2017 at 12:46am
You know I read through these post and I see so many ignored posts from the Christians that it baffles me and convinces me stronger in Christianity then ever before. If I was confronted by Muslims and I couldn't respond with a knowledgeable comment, I would just say so. I would say, "I don't know" but I would think it rude of myself to just ignore it or not respond. Many Muslims don't follow their Quran when it states "you should argue in the best way" Then they say "you don't know the basics"   

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Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: Magister
Date Posted: 11 April 2017 at 5:19pm
Originally posted by Saved

I looked at the closed topic on dispelling the misconceptions non-Muslim have about Islam. It starts off saying that Islam is attacked and then it goes on to say that it is a way to experience God's love. To quote it exactly: "Since the birth of Islam until this day, there have been waves of oppositions to it, non-stop attacks on it, and false information and misconceptions about it."

Most of these things, if not all, can be said about Christianity. For instance, Christianity has been under attack for a lot longer than Islam; in fact, it is attacked more so.
IOW, even today it is okay, for instance, to discuss Islam and other religions in the public schools, but never Christianity.

According to the Quran, if one submits to Islam, he can receives Allah's conditional love, but the love of God in the gospel is unconditional. Muslims say they love Jesus, but why to they love him? We love Him because He saved us from eternal damnation by the shedding of His blood or taking the sins of the world unto Himself. Why do Muslims love Him?


Not no more, bro. Christianity is considered the new "normal" - it's the religion of the world. You guys secularized your faith so much that it's loved by the world. Islam, on the other hand, everyone hates. Most people don't even know much of what it teaches (or they tell themselves they know, but they actually don't), and they still hate it.

In my eyes, Islam must be the religion of God since it is hated so much by the world (not that much different to Judaism, I suppose - but Islam is hated far worse). The world hates God's holy ways. Even some of God's own worshipers have sadly betrayed Him and called His ways (laws) unpleasant or no longer applicable.

Jesus said in Matthew 10:22 "You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved."

This is no longer true for Christ followers, but it's most certainly true for the followers of his successor, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him!)

The world (in Arabic, al dunya) is Satanic. I'd rather be hated by the world than hated by my Creator.


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Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven


Posted By: Magister
Date Posted: 11 April 2017 at 5:22pm
Originally posted by Mad Cat

I know what you are saying NB but that is not entirely fair. There was a woman judge Deborah in the book of Judges. There is the book of Ruth in which the foreigner Ruth proves herself incredibly selfless in her relationship with her Mother-in-law Naomi. There is the story of Esther who saved the Jews from an evil plot. There is the prostitute Rahab who was the only person saved in an entire city. Moses’s wife Miriam gets a psalm mentioned in the Bible. The prophetess Hannah is mentioned in Luke 2. Various women are mentioned in a positive light in the Gospels. Women are the first witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus. Paul praises loads of women in his letters in the highest regard. There will be more but that is off the top of my head.

Although most stories are mainly about men, as I mentioned earlier, it is often showing them up for their faults, therefore a mention in the Bible does not guarantee anything positive.


I just realized that Islam is more gender-diverse than Christianity after reading your post. Congratulations!


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Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 11 April 2017 at 6:08pm
Originally posted by Magister


Originally posted by Mad Cat

I know what you are saying NB but that is not entirely fair. There was a woman judge Deborah in the book of Judges. There is the book of Ruth in which the foreigner Ruth proves herself incredibly selfless in her relationship with her Mother-in-law Naomi. There is the story of Esther who saved the Jews from an evil plot. There is the prostitute Rahab who was the only person saved in an entire city. Moses’s wife Miriam gets a psalm mentioned in the Bible. The prophetess Hannah is mentioned in Luke 2. Various women are mentioned in a positive light in the Gospels. Women are the first witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus. Paul praises loads of women in his letters in the highest regard. There will be more but that is off the top of my head.

Although most stories are mainly about men, as I mentioned earlier, it is often showing them up for their faults, therefore a mention in the Bible does not guarantee anything positive.
I just realized that Islam is more gender-diverse than Christianity after reading your post. Congratulations!
the NT says "there is neither male nor female in Christ Jesus" I don't think you can beat that one,

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Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: Niblo
Date Posted: 12 April 2017 at 6:15am
Hi Demo/Cat.

I wrote: ‘My point is that Allāh (Subḥānahu ūta'āla)’s preserving love must, of necessity, be given to all things. It is not a question of hierarchy. The love that holds this particular human in existence is no ‘higher’ than that which holds in being the tadpoles in my pond; the tree in my garden; the stones that drive me nuts every time I try to dig a trench; the spade I use to dig that trench; or the very universe itself."

Demo wants to know if I believe that the Exalted: ‘Values all things equally, the animate and the inanimate?’

Cat requires yet further explanation of the ‘love that preserves’.

In a famous ‘proof’ for the existence of God, Aquinas argues that the universe is composed of contingent beings; by which he means beings that cannot bring themselves – or anything else – into existence; and that cannot guarantee their continued existence. Aquinas argues that if contingent beings are the only ones that exist, then nothing could have come into existence at all. There has to be a 'Necessary Being'; one that does not depend on any other for its existence, and which is the ‘First Cause' of all other beings. This 'Necessary Being'......this ‘First Cause' we call God (incidentally, this argument is proof that there can be only one God…only one ‘First Cause’. Whatever we wish to name Him, He remains ‘The One’; worshipped as ‘the One’ by all who claim membership of an Abrahamic Faith).

Against Deism, which teaches that having created the universe Allāh (Subḥānahu ūta'āla) leaves it to run itself, the Catholic Church declares that He continually preserves in existence all created things. The First Vatican Council declared: ‘God, by His Providence, protects all that He has created’, which is to say that He preserves it from relapsing into nothingness: ‘If His Providence did not preserve all things with the same power with which they were created in the beginning they would fall back into nothingness immediately.’ (Denzinger 1784).

Allāh (Subḥānahu ūta'āla)’s preserving love is said to be a continuation of His creative activity. The Church cites a number of biblical verses in support of this doctrine: ‘And how could a thing subsist, had you not willed it? Or how be preserved, if not called forth by you?’ (Wisdom 11: 25); and again: ‘(Jesus’) answer to (the Jews) was: “My Father still goes on working, and I am at work, too.’ Paul ascribes the preservation as well as the creation of the world to Christ: ‘He existed before all things and in him all things hold together…’ (Col 1: 17); and again: ‘He is the reflection of God’s glory and bears the impress of God’s own being, sustaining all things by his powerful command.’ (Hebrews 1:3).

We can see that all created things depend on Allāh (Subḥānahu ūta'āla), not merely in their becoming, that is to say the point of time in which they were produced, but also in their existence and, indeed, in every moment of their existence (cf. Summa Theologica: Part 1; Question 104; Article 1).

When it comes to His preserving love the Exalted can righty be said to value all things equally; both animate and inanimate. This has nothing to with sanctifying love; the love bestowed upon rational creatures for their eternal salvation.

Cat was very unhappy that I quoted the following verse in support of the truth that Allāh (Subḥānahu ūta'āla) does not declare His love from afar: ‘We created man - We know what his soul whispers to him: We are closer to him than his jugular vein.’ (Qaf 16).

Cat is not alone in preaching the lie that Allāh (Subḥānahu ūta'āla) is a very impersonal Being, with whom a believer can never get to enjoy a close relationship.   

A Muslim’s relationship with the Beloved begins with an awareness of He who is always present. It begins with remembrance of Him (zikr); and is developed and sustained by various acts of devotion. It is the same for Jews and Christians, of course.

Muslims who are conscious of the Beloved’s constant presence turn to Him for support and help whenever this is needed (daily!); fully assured that He hears whenever they call. It is the same for Jews and Christians, of course.

Allāh (Subḥānahu ūta'āla) tells us: ‘(Prophet), if My servants ask you about Me, I am near. I respond to those who call Me, so let them respond to Me, and believe in Me, so that they may be guided.’ (Al-Baqara 186).

Muslims acknowledge, with gratitude and praise, the innumerable gifts they receive from the Beloved, whether or not these have come in answer to a supplication. It is the same for Jews and Christians, of course.

Allāh (Subḥānahu ūta'āla) acknowledges any good that a Muslim does: ‘Anyone who does good of his own accord will be rewarded, for Allāh rewards good deeds, and knows every-thing.’ (Al-Baqara 158); and again: ‘If anyone does good, We shall increase it for him; Allāh is most forgiving and most appreciative.’ (Al-Shura 23).

He does the same for Jews and Christians, of course.

It is a source of immeasurable wonder that Allāh (Subḥānahu ūta'āla) – Master of the Universe – should say to every person – fashioned as we are from the dust of the earth: ‘Remember Me; I will remember you.’ (Al-Baqara: 152).

These and other passages clearly show that the relationship between man and the Beloved is meant to be a very close and personal one.

If Cat has a problem with this, then it is very much his problem.

Cat: By all means start a thread on Hell; only be sure (if you wish me to participate) to include relevant passages from both the Bible and Qur’an; objective – and supported – comments; and that you don’t turn the thread into yet another Islam bashing session.

Have a great day, and very best regards.


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'Sometimes, silence is the best answer for a fool.'(Alī ibn Abī Tālib‎)


Posted By: Niblo
Date Posted: 12 April 2017 at 6:20am
Originally posted by Non Believer

[QUOTE=Niblo] [QUOTE=Non Believer]

Niblo, I wonder if you have any thoughts on the evolution of God's love through the course of the Bible. It seems to me that the Hebrews of the Pentateuch, the Israelites in Babylonia and the Christians of the Apostolic Period have substantially different perceptions of God's love.


Hello.

Would love to come back on this. I will not be able to do so until next week, in šāʾ Allāh. Pressing stuff to do first, both at work and at home. Please excuse the delay.

Have a great day, and very best regards.

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'Sometimes, silence is the best answer for a fool.'(Alī ibn Abī Tālib‎)


Posted By: Mad Cat
Date Posted: 12 April 2017 at 9:17am
Originally posted by Niblo

Cat was very unhappy that I quoted the following verse in support of the truth that Allāh (Subḥānahu ūta'āla) does not declare His love from afar: ‘We created man - We know what his soul whispers to him: We are closer to him than his jugular vein.’ (Qaf 16).

I am not so much unhappy as I am unconvinced. You brought forward one verse from the Quran to support your theory and I showed that in it’s context it does not sound like a comfort as much as a threat. There is no love spoken of in this verse, the verses either side are very aggressive and condemning and it ends with hell. This is not me being unhappy but rather stating the facts.

In addition to this the verse with it post context talks about the recorders/receivers sitting on your shoulders. It reads like it is these beings who are the ones who are actually close to us and not Allah. Allah is close by default.
Originally posted by Quran

And We have already created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein When the two receivers receive, seated on the right and on the left. Man does not utter any word except that with him is an observer prepared [to record].

Just to reiterate, I am not unhappy but I see no evidence that Allah is close as you propose.
Originally posted by Niblo

Cat is not alone in preaching the lie that Allāh (Subḥānahu ūta'āla) is a very impersonal Being, with whom a believer can never get to enjoy a close relationship.

I feel this is a bit harsh. Originally I said
The love of God in Christianity is best understood through action. The difference I personally see between Christianity and Islam is that Allah of Islam says he Loves where the God of Christianity demonstrates it in the most incredible way. While Allah seems to tell us he Loves from afar the God of Christianity stops at nothing to show us.

I am not preaching but offering my personal opinion. I still stand by that. Actions speak louder than words.
Originally posted by Niblo

These and other passages clearly show that the relationship between man and the Beloved is meant to be a very close and personal one.

If Cat has a problem with this, then it is very much his problem.

I am sensing a change in tone towards me. As mentioned above I offer an opinion. What I see here is you proving my point a bit. I said originally that IMO Allah tells us he loves us where the God of the Bible demonstrates His love. You have listed a few verses where Allah says he cares.
No problem, just an opinion.
Originally posted by Niblo

Cat: By all means start a thread on Hell; only be sure (if you wish me to participate) to include relevant passages from both the Bible and Qur’an; objective – and supported – comments; and that you don’t turn the thread into yet another Islam bashing session.

I feel my point was somewhat overlooked. I will repeat:
Now it is not the existence of Hell that concerns me but the sheer delight Allah seems to have for it. The depths of the creativity he employs in order to invent horrible punishments for people is staggering. I believe that the best position in hell sees the ‘lucky’ individual being given sandals made out of fire to wear which are so hot that his brain will boil.

In addition to this is the obsession Allah has with hell. By my count, on average, every 6th verse of the Quran talks about hell. The Quran is absolutely fixated with it. The only more common subject in the Quran is unbelievers, non-believers and polytheists making up about a third of it (not including Jews and Christians). Of cause those two subjects are usually spoken of together.

I personally don’t mind either way about discussing this but you seemed to show an interest.

Back to the main point of this thread I don’t see how God’s love is conditional. Acceptance of it is optional but the love offered has no conditions on it.


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Test everything. Hold on to the good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21


Posted By: Niblo
Date Posted: 12 April 2017 at 9:51am
Originally posted by Mad Cat

[Quote=Niblo] Back to the main point of this thread I don’t see how God’s love is conditional. Acceptance of it is optional but the love offered has no conditions on it.


Hello again.

Then on this matter we must agree to differ.

By all means discuss Hell, but be advised that I shall be unavailable for a while. See my post to NB above.

Have a great Easter, and very best regards.

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'Sometimes, silence is the best answer for a fool.'(Alī ibn Abī Tālib‎)


Posted By: Non Believer
Date Posted: 12 April 2017 at 10:15am
Another fine post, Niblo. Thank you.

The following is something for which there seems to be considerable disagreement and I'm totally confused about the various positions.
Originally posted by Niblo

Allāh (Subḥānahu ūta'āla) acknowledges any good that a Muslim does: ‘Anyone who does good of his own accord will be rewarded, for Allāh rewards good deeds, and knows every-thing.’ (Al-Baqara 158); and again: ‘If anyone does good, We shall increase it for him; Allāh is most forgiving and most appreciative.’ (Al-Shura 23).
Unless, I've gravely misunderstood, many Christians believe that God rewards faith and not deeds. Have I misunderstood? Is this a schism in Christianity?
Originally posted by Niblo

He does the same for Jews and Christians, of course.
What about for those who don't belong to this chosen line? Aren't they also His creation? What about those who were born into this chosen line but reject a belief in a God who intervenes in worldly affairs?

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Men do you harm either because they fear you or because they hate you.


Posted By: Niblo
Date Posted: 12 April 2017 at 10:47am
Originally posted by Non Believer

Another fine post, Niblo. Thank you.

The following is something for which there seems to be considerable disagreement and I'm totally confused about the various positions.
Originally posted by Niblo

Allāh (Subḥānahu ūta'āla) acknowledges any good that a Muslim does: ‘Anyone who does good of his own accord will be rewarded, for Allāh rewards good deeds, and knows every-thing.’ (Al-Baqara 158); and again: ‘If anyone does good, We shall increase it for him; Allāh is most forgiving and most appreciative.’ (Al-Shura 23).
Unless, I've gravely misunderstood, many Christians believe that God rewards faith and not deeds. Have I misunderstood? Is this a schism in Christianity?
Originally posted by Niblo

He does the same for Jews and Christians, of course.
What about for those who don't belong to this chosen line? Aren't they also His creation? What about those who were born into this chosen line but reject a belief in a God who intervenes in worldly affairs?


Thank you.

In šā Allāh I'll add these to my next post to you.

Must dash. Have a great weekend, and very best regards.

Paul

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'Sometimes, silence is the best answer for a fool.'(Alī ibn Abī Tālib‎)


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 12 April 2017 at 12:26pm
Originally posted by Non Believer

Unless, I've gravely misunderstood, many Christians believe that God rewards faith and not deeds. Have I misunderstood? Is this a schism in Christianity?


Why are you asking a Muslim about Christianity and yes you have gravely misunderstood? Your view has the schism in it not Christianity

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Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 12 April 2017 at 12:39pm
Originally posted by Niblo

[Allāh (Subḥānahu ūta'āla) acknowledges any good that a Muslim does: ‘Anyone who does good of his own accord will be rewarded, for Allāh rewards good deeds, and knows every-thing.’ (Al-Baqara 158); and again: ‘If anyone does good, We shall increase it for him; Allāh is most forgiving and most appreciative.’ (Al-Shura 23).
The point is good deeds are a trap designed to destroy your soul, because it can deceive us into thinking you have a good relationship with God when He sees our good deeds as filthy rags. the only kind of good deeds God recognizes is the good He does through us and that takes faith. Good deeds in it of itself is only good to reap what you sow here and now in this life, but it does nothing for saving your soul.

Salvation is a gift. Trying to work for a gift makes it no longer a gift. It only insults God by saying what you have done for me is not enough I must add good deeds to it. We are saved by God's grace through faith. remember you can have good deeds without faith, but you cannot have faith without good deeds. don't be deceived. Read Gal. 3. Don't miss understand, I am not saying good deeds are wrong; it is good, but good can be the enemy of the best! Without faith we cannot please God!



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Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: Non Believer
Date Posted: 12 April 2017 at 1:04pm
Originally posted by Saved

Originally posted by Non Believer

Unless, I've gravely misunderstood, many Christians believe that God rewards faith and not deeds. Have I misunderstood? Is this a schism in Christianity?


Why are you asking a Muslim about Christianity and yes you have gravely misunderstood? Your view has the schism in it not Christianity
I asked Niblo because I know that he has studied these things. I'm open to, and expected, responses from others.

I know that this doctrine is a major demarcation of the Protestant/Catholic divide, but that's about all I know about it. You're welcome to add to my understanding, if you choose. However, I'm looking for balance. I wouldn't expect that from you.

You are correct, I suppose, that it is not Christianity with the schism; it is the Christian Church. I should be more careful about this distinction. However, you shouldn't insult me for this subtle semantic error. You knew perfectly well what I was referring to.

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Men do you harm either because they fear you or because they hate you.


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 12 April 2017 at 3:57pm
Originally posted by Non Believer

Originally posted by Saved

Originally posted by Non Believer

Unless, I've gravely misunderstood, many Christians believe that God rewards faith and not deeds. Have I misunderstood? Is this a schism in Christianity?


Why are you asking a Muslim about Christianity and yes you have gravely misunderstood? Your view has the schism in it not Christianity
I asked Niblo because I know that he has studied these things. I'm open to, and expected, responses from others.

I know that this doctrine is a major demarcation of the Protestant/Catholic divide, but that's about all I know about it. You're welcome to add to my understanding, if you choose. However, I'm looking for balance. I wouldn't expect that from you.

You are correct, I suppose, that it is not Christianity with the schism; it is the Christian Church. I should be more careful about this distinction. However, you shouldn't insult me for this subtle semantic error. You knew perfectly well what I was referring to.
How were you insulted? Now, if I said, "I'm looking for balance, and I wouldn't expect that from you," I could see you feeling that way to a point, but you said that not me.

I simply told you there is no schism in Christianity, but there was in your view" How could I know what you mean when Niblo was agreeing with you? I haven't said anything about you personally for you to get insulted, or did you mean I insulted your pride?

It is not the Christian Church with the schism either. There is only one Church, but bad apples get in there. God will deal with the church first then the world. These things I say are not me speaking my words. It is all found in the Scriptures.

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Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: Non Believer
Date Posted: 12 April 2017 at 5:15pm
The only way I can make sense of this is that you don't know that "schism" means.

For you to say that "my view has the schism in it" is to say that I'm not thinking coherently. I find that insulting. However, since it seems clear that you don't know what the word means, I won't take it as an insult now. You also say that I have gravely misunderstood, yet, I'm pretty sure you are actually confirming that I've understood correctly.

Why don't you focus on increasing my understanding of the practical differences in the two views that I asked about initially? And, since this is an Islamic forum, why not also add to my understanding of how Islam compares to both sides of this Christian doctrine.

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Men do you harm either because they fear you or because they hate you.


Posted By: ishammad
Date Posted: 12 April 2017 at 7:09pm
Originally posted by Non Believer

The following is something for which there seems to be considerable disagreement and I'm totally confused about the various positions.
Originally posted by Niblo

Allāh (Subḥānahu ūta'āla) acknowledges any good that a Muslim does: ‘Anyone who does good of his own accord will be rewarded, for Allāh rewards good deeds, and knows every-thing.’ (Al-Baqara 158); and again: ‘If anyone does good, We shall increase it for him; Allāh is most forgiving and most appreciative.’ (Al-Shura 23).
Unless, I've gravely misunderstood, many Christians believe that God rewards faith and not deeds. Have I misunderstood? Is this a schism in Christianity?

To say that it is faith only that matters is a very big mistake, contrary to what the messenger taught.
I see this as one who chose to take part of a sentence and run with it for whatever reason.

As for the following category:

And those who do not expect the meeting with Us say, "Why were not angels sent down to us, or [why] do we [not] see our Lord?" They have certainly become arrogant within themselves and [become] insolent with great insolence.[ 25:21

I did quote a great verse the other day that caused me to grief.

The day they see the angels - no good tidings will there be that day for the criminals, and [the angels] will say, "Prevented and inaccessible." 25:22

And We will regard what they have done of deeds and make them as dust dispersed. 25:23

or this translation

And We shall turn to whatever deeds they did, and We shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust. 25:23

Originally posted by Non Believer

Originally posted by Niblo

He does the same for Jews and Christians, of course.
What about for those who don't belong to this chosen line? Aren't they also His creation?

O children of Adam, if there come to you messengers from among you relating to you My verses, then whoever fears Allah and reforms - there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. 7:35

Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans [before Prophet Muhammad] - those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness - will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve. 2:62

Muhammad (pbuh) is the most recent and sent to all people.

Originally posted by Non Believer

What about those who were born into this chosen line but reject a belief in a God who intervenes in worldly affairs?

We only say about Allah what He said about Himself via revelation to His prophets and messengers. And not to say anything contrary to that or say anything without knowledge (i.e.beyond that).

The meaning of the words conveyed is understood, kind of we know "the what", not "the how" and we should not concern ourselves with "the how".

He arranges [each] matter from the heaven to the earth; then it will ascend to Him in a Day, the extent of which is a thousand years of those which you count. 32:5

Say, "Who provides for you from the heaven and the earth? Or who controls hearing and sight and who brings the living out of the dead and brings the dead out of the living and who arranges [every] matter?" They will say, " Allah ," so say, "Then will you not fear Him?"

For that is Allah , your Lord, the Truth. And what can be beyond truth except error? So how are you averted? 10:31-32

And We have created above you seven layered heavens, and never have We been of [Our] creation unaware. 23:17

Everyone upon the earth will perish,
And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor.
So which of the favors of your Lord would you [the two classes (jinns and men)] deny?
Whoever is within the heavens and earth asks Him; every day He is bringing about a matter.
So which of the favors of your Lord would you deny?
We will attend to you, O prominent beings.
So which of the favors of your Lord would you deny?
55:27-32

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Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe. And peace upon the messengers. And praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds. 37:180-182


Posted By: Saved
Date Posted: 12 April 2017 at 10:52pm
Originally posted by Non Believer

The only way I can make sense of this is that you don't know that "schism" means.

For you to say that "my view has the schism in it" is to say that I'm not thinking coherently. I find that insulting. However, since it seems clear that you don't know what the word means, I won't take it as an insult now. You also say that I have gravely misunderstood, yet, I'm pretty sure you are actually confirming that I've understood correctly.

Why don't you focus on increasing my understanding of the practical differences in the two views that I asked about initially? And, since this is an Islamic forum, why not also add to my understanding of how Islam compares to both sides of this Christian doctrine.
No, I didn't mean it that way. I meant that there was a split between you and Christianity. Schism means a spilt one separating himself from being part of something they disbelieve. Perhaps instead of saying I insulted you, you should ask me "What did you mean by that?" then you wouldn't have gotten offended unless you are really a Christian playing the devils advocate.   In short, schism doesn't mean "not thinking coherently." And you say I don't know what it means? But now that you mentioned it, do you feel you're are thinking coherently in this situation?

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Jesus is not valued unless valued above all
Augustine


Posted By: Damo808
Date Posted: 13 April 2017 at 11:19am
Originally posted by Niblo

When it comes to His preserving love the Exalted can righty be said to value all things equally; both animate and inanimate. This has nothing to with sanctifying love; the love bestowed upon rational creatures for their eternal salvation.






Originally posted by Niblo

My point is that God’s preserving love must, of necessity, be given to all things. It is not a question of hierarchy. The love that holds this particular human in existence is no ‘higher’ than that which holds in being the tadpoles in my pond; the tree in my garden; the stones that drive me nuts every time I try to dig a trench; the spade I use to dig that trench; or the very universe itself.


I find the above statements to be at their far reaching conclusions contradictory.


Of all creation, the animate and the inanimate that has been observed and studied here on earth to as far as our deepest space probes can see at least so far... . There is nothing alike to man in creation. Genesis tells us that man and man alone was made in God's image.

To then say therefore that there is an indifference so to speak of God for man aside all other created things is to diminish both that created individuality assigned to man who being made in the likeness of God is evidence therefore that man himself is elevated above other creation as God is Himself distinct from all created things.

Jesus in Mat 10:29-31 assures us "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.b 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." or even tadpoles.

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out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be the ruler in Israel: and his going forth is from the beginning, from the days of eternity. Micah 5:5


Posted By: Niblo
Date Posted: 13 April 2017 at 12:46pm
Originally posted by Damo808

I find the above statements to be at their far reaching conclusions contradictory.

Of all creation, the animate and the inanimate that has been observed and studied here on earth to as far as our deepest space probes can see at least so far... . There is nothing alike to man in creation. Genesis tells us that man and man alone was made in God's image.

To then say therefore that there is an indifference so to speak of God for man aside all other created things is to diminish both that created individuality assigned to man who being made in the likeness of God is evidence therefore that man himself is elevated above other creation as God is Himself distinct from all created things.

Jesus in Mat 10:29-31 assures us "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.b 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." or even tadpoles.


I’m about to leave on my holiday, but can spare these few minutes.

God is Love (agape). That is His nature. You are confusing (and not for the first time) the two ways in which His love is expressed.

I wrote this: ‘…. the Catholic Church declares that (God) continually preserves in existence all created things. The First Vatican Council declared: ‘God, by His Providence, protects all that He has created’, which is to say that He preserves it from relapsing into nothingness: ‘If His Providence did not preserve all things with the same power with which they were created in the beginning they would fall back into nothingness immediately.’ (Denzinger 1784).

Take special note of these words: ‘(God) CONTINUALLY PRESERVES IN EXISTENCE ALL CREATED THINGS.’

This is preserving love ONLY.

Every creature that lives in your home enjoys this same preserving love. Every microbe living in, or on, your body enjoys this same preserving love.

Who did Christ die for (according to your own theology)? He died for human beings - and by so doing: ‘Reconciled us with God, made unto us justice and sanctification and redemption.’ (Denziger 790).

And how are we sanctified…..made holy? Through - and only through - that other expression of God’s love - SANCTIFYING LOVE. It is THIS that sets humankind above the animals.

It is really that difficult to understand?



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'Sometimes, silence is the best answer for a fool.'(Alī ibn Abī Tālib‎)


Posted By: Damo808
Date Posted: 13 April 2017 at 5:31pm
Originally posted by Niblo


I’m about to leave on my holiday, but can spare these few minutes.

God is Love (agape). That is His nature. You are confusing (and not for the first time) the two ways in which His love is expressed.


I wrote this: ‘…. the Catholic Church declares that (God) continually preserves in existence all created things. The First Vatican Council declared: ‘God, by His Providence, protects all that He has created’, which is to say that He preserves it from relapsing into nothingness: ‘If His Providence did not preserve all things with the same power with which they were created in the beginning they would fall back into nothingness immediately.’ (Denzinger 1784).

Take special note of these words: ‘(God) CONTINUALLY PRESERVES IN EXISTENCE ALL CREATED THINGS.’

This is preserving love ONLY.

Every creature that lives in your home enjoys this same preserving love. Every microbe living in, or on, your body enjoys this same preserving love.

Who did Christ die for (according to your own theology)? He died for human beings - and by so doing: ‘Reconciled us with God, made unto us justice and sanctification and redemption.’ (Denziger 790).

And how are we sanctified…..made holy? Through - and only through - that other expression of God’s love - SANCTIFYING LOVE. It is THIS that sets humankind above the animals.

It is really that difficult to understand?




Originally posted by Niblo

The First Vatican Council declared: ‘God, by His Providence, protects all that He has created’, which is to say that He preserves it from relapsing into nothingness: ‘If His Providence did not preserve all things with the same power with which they were created in the beginning they would fall back into nothingness immediately.’ (Denzinger 1784).


God's Providence for the inanimate does not equate to Love. Providence is that which sustains creation to remain intact and preserved in order for purpose. Adam was sinless when God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life" An act that set man apart from all created things, and in His likeness. It is this reason man has the sanctifying Love of God, and is distinct to God from all other created beings.

Originally posted by Niblo

It is THIS that sets humankind above the animals.


Being created in God's very likeness is what set us apart from the animal kingdom since the day of creation.


Enjoy your holiday.

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out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be the ruler in Israel: and his going forth is from the beginning, from the days of eternity. Micah 5:5


Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 20 April 2017 at 12:38am
Originally posted by Saved


According to the Quran, if one submits to Islam, he can receives Allah's conditional love ...


God loves all of His creation, Saved.

And the benefits of Islam are many.

They include living a life of contentment and peace.

Real happiness and peace can be found in submitting to the commands of the Creator and the Sustainer of this world.  God has said in the Quran:

Truly, in remembering God do hearts find rest.” (Quran 13:28)

The more you remember God, the more your heart finds peace...




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Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage




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