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A delayed response to Siam

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  • #16
    Originally posted by siam View Post
    Thankyou for such an in-depth reply...again, it was very informative.
    It takes me sometimes over an hour to compose a reply because I want to be understood, I am happy that seems to be working.

    Divine Relationship---Muslims have a personal and private relationship with God, in that, the Quran is considered a letter/message to the individual Muslim from God. God's approach to humanity is one characterized by Compassion and Mercy that is balanced by Justice. The human's approach to God is characterized by Taqwa (love of God/God awareness)---together they form the concept of Reciprocity. Reciprocity balances a relationship and balance creates harmony which generates Peace.
    I have nothing so formalized as that, instead I offer praise and ask things in faith, and I give thanks for His blessings, and in return I receive signs, wonders and occasionally words directly from a Him to me. But the Bible is sufficient most of the time.

    Deterrence---In order to not commit bad action, deterrence is helpful.
    Deterrence as in rules that surround the laws so that laws never actually get broken right? That's the idea?

    "Jesus is our beginning and ending point." ---That was very well put---I think it captures Christian spirituality well. (...what of the Holy Spirit?...could one say it a substitute/representative of Jesus Christ?)
    The Spirit cannot substitute for Jesus because only Jesus became a man and died and was resurrected. The Spirit could be termed a representative though. I was at a church conference again on Tuesday night and it was rather radically charismatic, and so the Spirit might have been spoken of more than the Son, but that's because the Spirit is the one who utilizes us for signs, wonders and miracles, your average Christian in my opinion undervalues Him by relegating Him only to aiding in salvation and sanctification.

    ONE God--Which God answers prayers the False God or the True God?---If we say the "True" God answers all prayers...and God is only One (There are not more than One "True" God), then ALL prayers go to that ONE God....because he is the only one that exists. In other words...whatever images or materials or concepts any person holds, All prayers are granted ONLY by the one God that exists.
    I agree there is only one God but I don't see how the logic follows that God is worshipped in any way, He knows that they aren't trying to speak with Him, they are trying to speak to; for example Shiva who doesn't actually exist, but is worshipped anyways. If a pagan thanked the sun for helping plants grow, he is not thanking God for using the sun to grow plants. Men do what they claim they do, it's like if someone spills paint on a canvas and someone else calls it art. In that metaphor, you are the latter person.
    So, a demon or Satan or False God cannot send Prophets/Messengers, books of Guidance, answer prayers, etc.
    If a man thought a tree was a god and asked it for advice and I hid in the branches and spoke, the man would be deceived, and such is how a demon could act, and further there are examples in the New Testament where demons have certain abilities sometimes, the was a slave girl with a demon in her who prophesied for her masters, and the was a naked man with a demon in him who would break free of chains by the strength of his demon if I recall correctly.
    Humans can (choose to) deceive themselves---and that is why Humans are responsible for their actions---at Judgement day they cannot blame someone else for deception in order to escape accountability.
    I agree that ultimately it is the person who is accountable because all men know instinctively of God but reject Him.
    That is why the etymology of the word "Kaffir" means--one who covers truth with falsehood (self-deception)....and comes from "farmer"---one who covers a seed with dirt. (In order to cover "truth" one must know it first---so Kaffir can only apply to someone who knows truth but covers it up---not to someone who does not know truth---which is why not all polytheists (mushrikeen) are kaffir, because some are simply ignorant....)
    The origin of the word makes me think farmers were not highly respected in Arabia if they are associated with lies like that haha :)

    This means that Satan is a weak force---Satan can only tempt---to fall into his temptation (or not,) is a human choice. Pride, arrogance, ingratitude, are some characteristics of persons who may be prone to rejecting good and accepting bad.
    Satan is weak compared to God, and not very powerful compared to people, His main strategy is to hide his nature and deceive people. There is a verse that names him "master of this world" referring to Earth He has some sort of dominion allowed by God.
    So what is so bad about idolatry, polytheism...etc? Division....or what in Islamic context is called Shirk---a world-view based on Shirk, Divides---it places a false barrier (division) between ONE God and his creations. It places divisions between his creations by promoting hierarchies. Divisions and hierarchies lead to arrogance, tensions, aggression which lead to wars. Wars harm and destroy what God has created. Unity (Tawheed) promotes a worldview of balance and harmony based on Equality (equivalent value of human worth) and Justice. Such a paradigm is more constructive towards fulfilling the Human obligation/responsibility of being God's Trustees on earth and managing and caring for all his creations. God is Most Compassionate, Most Merciful, Most Just and so he gives us Guidance and forgives our errors when we repent.
    Again, our morals are similar but we arrive to them by different means.

    Truth---Truth cannot be corrupted---it can only be covered with deception---when the deception is removed---the Truth is seen. The Quran does not deny that Truth exists in all previous scriptures. (...because Truth does not perish.) For example---In Judaism, there are two Talmuds, the Yerushalmi and the Barelvi---one of them is correctly based on the Universality of God (God for all), the other is based on the concept of "My God"/God of Israel and therefore implies---"your God"/the "other" God. Can you see which one has been corrupted? (and...if one uses ones intellect and reason---one can see the buried truth)

    Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 37a
    "Whoever destroys a soul from Israel, the Scripture considers it as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life from Israel, the Scripture considers it as if he saved an entire world."

    Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin 4:1 (22a)
    "Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world."
    Obviously a corrupted truth is another way to say a lie, I was not trying to say anything close to truth being able to be damaged, truth is true regardless of anything else. While certainly one of those is the original, they seem essentially equivalent to me.

    If Islam/Quran says previous scriptures have been corrupted---then ofcourse any Muslim must also take into consideration if the Quran (also a scripture) has been corrupted or not---to not consider such an option is to have blind belief which is understood as "superstition" and is against the advise of the Quran. Faith(Iman) = the use of ones intellect and reason to arrive at conviction. In order to arrive at conviction (Iman), all possibilities have to be considered---even the idea that a demon/evil spirit deceived the Prophet(pbuh)---and the Prophet himself considered this possibility---and we must use our intellect and reason to arrive at truth.
    Okay.

    The Prophet(pbuh)---I am not familiar with "When the Moon Split". But if you have read His Biography, then You are probably aware that When the Prophet received revelations, he first recited these revelations to those closest to him, later he recited them in public.
    It is an English language form of his biography. I have not read it in detail but in the foreword the author explains he was compiling from trustworthy Arabic sources like the Qur'an and the name is from sons miracle that your prophet supposedly did to impress pagans.
    The duty of a Prophet is to bring the Message of Shema/Tawheed to the people of his community. He needed to fulfill this responsibility/obligation to God. Doing so created a lot of hardship for himself, his family, and his followers. They were persecuted, their lives threatened, and they were forced to leave their homes and tribes. However, God also opened a way for them. Initially the Christian King of Abyssinia gave some Muslims asylum. Later, the community of Yathrib invited the Prophet as Mediator and Teacher (of Islam) in order to bring peace to a community torn apart and nearly destroyed by tribal tensions and aggression. When the Prophet left for Yathrib, his followers followed---and this could have created a lot of scial tension and problems in Yathrib, because the immigrants were destitute---they had to leave everything behind. The Prophet solved this problem by instituting a system of mentorship, where the immigrants would be the teachers (of Islam) and the residents/families of Yathrib would be the mentors/host and teach them the customs of Yathrib. (The name was changed to Medina). The people of Medina voluntarily converted to Islam (some did not convert). The Constitution of Medina established the rights and responsibilities of all Muslim and Non-Muslim members of the "Ummah"/community. Both Muslims and Non-Muslims had a tax---the Non-Muslim tax was called the Jizya---in return, the Non-Muslims were exempt from protecting the "Ummah"/community in case of battle. Initially the Non-Muslims were required to honor their peace treaties---which required them to remain neutral....some did not, and the Jizya was implemented.
    "At first, the Muslims were only allowed to fight the Meccan Quraysh, because they were the first to oppress the Muslims in Mecca. Muslims were allowed to seize their goods, but not those tribes which the Muhammad made a treaty with.
    Then Muhammad and the Muslims were allowed to fight pagan tribes that allied with the Quraysh.
    Then Muhammad and the Muslims were allowed to fight the Jewish tribes of Medina, when these tribes violated the Constitution of Medina and their pact with the Muslims.
    Subsequently, Muhammad and the Muslims were allowed to fight the "People of the Book" (Christian and Jews). If the People of the Book paid a poll tax (jizya), then the Muslims were forbidden to fight them.
    Muslims were required to make peace with any polytheist, Jews or Christians who embraced Islam, and were required to embrace them as fellow Muslims." Excerpted from pages 145, and 146. The book is available online in PDF form, I assume legally on a website called IslamicBlessings.con

    Wealth---As I explained, in Islam, a human being not only has rights, but also responsibilities---the first duty of a person/man is to care for his family---that is a responsibility/obligation that God has placed. To give away all one's wealth at the expense of one's family is not pleasing to God---it is irresponsible. That is why only excess wealth must be given away. Even if one is not married, a person still has responsibility for one's Parents who are family. The extended members of our family who are in ill health, widowed, orphaned, handicapped...etc also have a right to our wealth before it is used to help the larger community. Responsibility is an important concept in Islam. We were given the responsibility of trusteeship and this obligation must be fulfilled. God's will = Right belief that promotes right intentions that lead to right actions for the benefit of all of God's creations---and our family, our community, and humanity ARE God's creations.
    Sometimes God wants you to take a leap of faith, God is God of everything, I don't go around giving money I don't have, but if He says to give and He'll provide, I trust Him. And I've heard story after story of those who were wise in their stewardship being blessed. For an example of a Christian who gave everything away because God said so but not forever you could look up Francis Chan, he is a leading Christian teacher.

    So how is morality arrived at in Christianity?---I know the Catholic Church has Catechism which seems to list some of their ethico-moral stand---what about your Christianity?---is there any methodology to arrive at ethico-moral principles?
    Even Catechism from my understanding is just a summation of beliefs, not the methodology itself. But in short, we obey the rules of the New Testament that are sometimes explained by the Old Testament, if an individual thinks something is morally wrong even if it's not listed in Scripture, they are not to do it either, nor should their fellow believer mock them for that choice. A big debate in the Apostolic era seems to have been if it was okay to eat meat sacrificed to idols, which is where I derive the teaching about I just mentioned.
    Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? -Galatians 3:5

    Comment


    • #17
      formality---Your observations are correct. But then, I am speaking from the perspective of Mainstream Islam and "law" is important. (religion= way of life) The Sufi's are less formal and more spiritual. Sufism is often seen as a counter-movement to the "formality" as you said, of mainstream Islam.

      charismatic?---can you elaborate on your experience....so...spirit is like an Angel?

      One God---
      "... for example Shiva who doesn't actually exist, but is worshipped anyways. If a pagan thanked the sun for helping plants grow, he is not thanking God for using the sun to grow plants."
      Let us look at the premises---
      1) Only ONE God exists...no other God exists.
      2) therefore a "false" God does not exist only an incorrect (human) concept of God.
      3) If only ONE God exists, then there is only the ONE God who receives prayers and grants prayers....because there is no other God...(only wrong concepts of God which are simply figments/illusions not reality.)
      4) God is most Wise and grants the prayers of some and does not grant the prayers of some...because that is his right and his judgement....
      5) God is most Knowing and sees the actions as well as the intentions....
      Therefore if a person is praying to Shiva (...according to some strands of Hinduism is an Incarnation of the One God Brahma) which to the person praying IS God (even if we say it isn't)..and his prayers are answered...then it is not Shiva that answered the prayers...but the ONE God because Shiva does not exist. But to the person praying---it WAS God he was praying to. For him, he was sincerely and gratefully praying to "God"---in the only way he knew how. Therefore, irrespective of what name or concept he was praying under/to, ONE God/The ONLY God, chose to receive those prayers and answered them. That can be the only conclusion drawn because none other has the power and none other exists....If we generalize this idea---then whatever label or concept human beings pray to---all prayers are received by the One God---the only Reality---because there is none other to receive them.

      We humans make judgements based on actions---on what we can see---But God is most Knowing and he sees and knows everything, including what is in the hearts of a worshipper.....so, we cannot know, but God knows best. God is Most Compassionate and Most Merciful to all his creations.

      If One God is the only reality and all other concepts of God are powerless illusions then all prayers are received and granted by the ONE God only.
      Wrong belief can be the cause for wrong intentions which lead to wrong actions causing harm to self (moral injury) or to God's creations.
      for example, take a look at the Talmud selection again---

      Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 37a
      "Whoever destroys a soul from Israel, the Scripture considers it as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life from Israel, the Scripture considers it as if he saved an entire world."

      Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin 4:1 (22a)
      "Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world."

      ---One of these has divided God. It has divided the ONE God, creator of all humanity, into My God (God of Israel) and Your God (Non-Jews)---the other has kept the Universality of God intact. IMO, is not the Universality of God the message that Jesus Christ(pbuh) brought? That the idea that God was only "for" the Jews was incorrect---that God was "for" all including the gentiles (non-Jews)...?....
      so the Jerusalem Talmud without the word "Israel" inserted, is correct. God is the creator of all humanity, not just the Jews and his compassion and mercy extends to all his creations not just the Jews.
      (The Quran in Surah 5 verse 32 confirms the Jerusalem Talmud's Universality of God.) A more common way to say it is that God is not a Muslim, or a Jew or a Christian......

      Christian Morality---"if an individual thinks something is morally wrong even if it's not listed in Scripture, they are not to do it either,..."
      If it is not in scripture, then how does the individual decide right/wrong? Does this mean there is no morality for society as each individual decides right/wrong for themselves?

      from my understanding, the Catholic Church has some concepts of (Macro) morality concerning economics, war...etc...?.....


      when the moon split----IMO, either because of a lack of context or because of language something is getting lost here.....
      From the Muslim understanding...the Quran cannot be a primary source of Prophet Muhammed's biography because the Quran is not about the Prophet. It does mention a few events that happened (ex-battle of Badr...etc) but these are in an ethico-moral context---not as Biography(Sira). The written Sira (biography) would mostly come from oral tradition.
      If the book is trying to explain ethico-moral concepts/themes---then it would use the Quran. Since I have not read the book I cannot comment on it...but if it is speaking about the theme of defensive war, then it would be talking of the Battle of Badr 624 CE, the battle of Uhud 625 CE, the battle of the Trench 627 CE, which resulted in the Treaty of Hudaibiya (Peace treaty with the Meccans) 628 CE.
      Are you interested in the History or in the ethico-moral principles?---I could elaborate on either......

      There are many stories, myths, legends about Prophet Muhammed(pbuh).---There is a general understanding that unlike Jesus Christ, the Prophet did not perform miracles---the exception is that the Quran is considered a miracle (God's miracle). Other Muslims attribute a plethora of "miracles" to the Prophet. Yet, there are some (miraculous/supernatural) events/phenomenon that are accepted, their symbolic meaning is as important as the phenomenon (such as the "night journey").

      One story is that an eclipse occurred when the Prophets son died and the event was taken as a "sign from God" (superstition) and people came to get converted but the Prophet turned them away. The lesson behind the story is that faith must not come from superstition but from the use of one's reason and intellect leading to heartfelt conviction. Another story is that some people came to the prophet demanding a miracle and the prophet "split the moon" but they claimed it was not a sign from God but witchcraft and they refused to believe---again the lesson of the story is that one must use the intellect and reason to arrive at faith and not rely on superstitious beliefs which are founded on an incorrect concept of God. (IMO, this story was probably developed from the Quran 54:1-8 which speaks of a split moon as a sign of Judgement day.)

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by siam View Post
        formality---Your observations are correct. But then, I am speaking from the perspective of Mainstream Islam and "law" is important. (religion= way of life) The Sufi's are less formal and more spiritual. Sufism is often seen as a counter-movement to the "formality" as you said, of mainstream Islam.
        Perhaps then it could be said that I belong to the Christian analog of Sufism.

        charismatic?---can you elaborate on your experience....so...spirit is like an Angel?
        A charismatic is someone who believes that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are still still available to contemporary Christians, the term comes from the Greek word charis meaning "grace" because they are free gifts. It is a term that can be applied to three groups that are really quite a fluid spectrum, the Pentecostals (whom I identify with), the Charismatic Movement, and Signs and Wonders Movement, the Pentecostals began as a breakaway sect that emphasized Holiness along with use of the Gifts, the Charismatic Movement took the Gifts to the "Mainline Churches" like Catholicism, Anglicanism, Methodism, and Presbyterianism. The Signs and Wonders Movement further spread it to the Evangelicals. The exact differences in both belief and practice are sometimes nonexistent between members of any three groups. The Spiritual Gifts are at minimum, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment of spirits, tongues and interpretation of tongues. And when I said "very charismatic" in my previous post I meant that it was very much a product of the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement with much dancing, and use of flags and other uncommon means of worship. Freedom of worship as we wish is a high value for us.

        Religious experiences are very common at our meetings, where we become aware of the presence of God by physically feeling a difference in the air, and even losing partial control over our bodies resulting in shaking, or falling over, a term once used to mock our actions was to call us "holy rollers" because we would act holly but end up rolling on the ground, although that is not necessarily the norm, my own church almost never has that reaction. In the more intense times I encounter God I will begin laughing with pure joy. It's understood that God can "take" people in different ways, and simply raising one or both arms are neigh universal in our tradition to indicate worship of God or alternatively to indicate one's openness to God.

        I would not at all say the Spirit is like an angel. They are messengers and have physical bodies, that according to Scripture are often horrific to behold, the Spirit has no body and doesn't carry messages from God because He IS God.

        One God---
        "... for example Shiva who doesn't actually exist, but is worshipped anyways. If a pagan thanked the sun for helping plants grow, he is not thanking God for using the sun to grow plants."
        Let us look at the premises---
        1) Only ONE God exists...no other God exists.
        2) therefore a "false" God does not exist only an incorrect (human) concept of God.
        3) If only ONE God exists, then there is only the ONE God who receives prayers and grants prayers....because there is no other God...(only wrong concepts of God which are simply figments/illusions not reality.)
        4) God is most Wise and grants the prayers of some and does not grant the prayers of some...because that is his right and his judgement....
        5) God is most Knowing and sees the actions as well as the intentions....
        Therefore if a person is praying to Shiva
        I understand what you're saying, but I fail to see how point 2 logically follows from point 1 false gods exist because by definition anything that claims to be God but isn't is a false god. If it is a mere misconception then it can certainly do nothing, if on the other hand it is something pretending to be a god, it can certainly acquire worship, I can name many modern people who claimed to be God and were worshipped. Worship doesn't mean that the being is worthy of the worship though.
        (...according to some strands of Hinduism is an Incarnation of the One God Brahma) which to the person praying IS God (even if we say it isn't)..and his prayers are answered...then it is not Shiva that answered the prayers...but the ONE God because Shiva does not exist. But to the person praying---it WAS God he was praying to. For him, he was sincerely and gratefully praying to "God"---in the only way he knew how. Therefore, irrespective of what name or concept he was praying under/to, ONE God/The ONLY God, chose to receive those prayers and answered them. That can be the only conclusion drawn because none other has the power and none other exists....If we generalize this idea---then whatever label or concept human beings pray to---all prayers are received by the One God---the only Reality---because there is none other to receive them.
        But what of my example of the man who pretends to be a tree god and gives advice to a man speaking aloud? Did he not answer a prayer not God? Certainly, I doubt the man could expel a demon or heal a cripple, but it is fairly easy to fake miracles depending on scale. And that human person could be worshipped for it, and if that person dies and people venerate him, he is still the one venerated, not the One who deserves it.

        We humans make judgements based on actions---on what we can see---But God is most Knowing and he sees and knows everything, including what is in the hearts of a worshipper.....so, we cannot know, but God knows best. God is Most Compassionate and Most Merciful to all his creations.
        "God is good all the time... And all the time God is good." - A popular Pentecostal saying.

        If One God is the only reality and all other concepts of God are powerless illusions then all prayers are received and granted by the ONE God only.
        Wrong belief can be the cause for wrong intentions which lead to wrong actions causing harm to self (moral injury) or to God's creations.
        for example, take a look at the Talmud selection again---
        I understand what you are saying, I just have no idea how someone wrong can worship the right God, they are wrong! Your inclusivity seems ridiculously wide to me for someone who claims that there is only one God and only one Truth. It brings no glory to God for you to say false worship is worship to Him, nor does it bring glory to God for you to say liars are really speaking truth which from my perspective is exactly what you're doing. They are liars because they deny the the truth that YHWH is the only being worthy of worship and every one knows in their hearts the truth, but you say that they do what they think is right and so it is right and God is please by this worship. God was not pleased by worship of bodies, nor of golden calves, nor of Baal, nor Ashtoreh, nor Molech, nor any other.

        Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 37a
        "Whoever destroys a soul from Israel, the Scripture considers it as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life from Israel, the Scripture considers it as if he saved an entire world."

        Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin 4:1 (22a)
        "Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world."

        ---One of these has divided God. It has divided the ONE God, creator of all humanity, into My God (God of Israel) and Your God (Non-Jews)---the other has kept the Universality of God intact. IMO, is not the Universality of God the message that Jesus Christ(pbuh) brought? That the idea that God was only "for" the Jews was incorrect---that God was "for" all including the gentiles (non-Jews)...?....
        The idea that God was "for" everyone exists at latest in the Pentateuch when God tells Israel that they are to be priests unto the world. The fact that Jews of the first century forgot that is regrettable, but while Jesus allowed Gentiles into His priesthood, and in fact calls all who obey Him priests, does not mean that was new revelation, the new revelation was just expansions on previous teachings found in the Old Testament, and the giving of a prophesied new covenant. And as far as I can tell not even ultra-Orthodox Jews would say Gentiles are not part of God's plan, and liberal Jews doubt God even exists.
        so the Jerusalem Talmud without the word "Israel" inserted, is correct. God is the creator of all humanity, not just the Jews and his compassion and mercy extends to all his creations not just the Jews.
        (The Quran in Surah 5 verse 32 confirms the Jerusalem Talmud's Universality of God.) A more common way to say it is that God is not a Muslim, or a Jew or a Christian......
        I have no interest in the Talmud, as far as I know it is merely the debates of disagreeing Jews about such things as the Oral law their Pharisaic forebears so prized.

        Christian Morality---"if an individual thinks something is morally wrong even if it's not listed in Scripture, they are not to do it either,..."
        If it is not in scripture, then how does the individual decide right/wrong?
        All men have the law written on their hearts and Scripture makes clear certain laws to those who are deaf to their own conscience.
        Does this mean there is no morality for society as each individual decides right/wrong for themselves?
        There are morals for society laid out in Scripture, but in addition to those some people have additional laws, because it seems good to them not to partake in a certain action. For example, in Christian teachings alcohol may be consumed but being drunk is a sin. I personally believe alcohol is too dangerous and so I keep sober and encourage others to do so as well. The law I have places upon myself does not negate any laws for anyone else, but it is good manners for others to respect my moral decision.

        from my understanding, the Catholic Church has some concepts of (Macro) morality concerning economics, war...etc...?.....
        Such things are broad, I think Jesus's love for the poor indicates a need for socialism, others see Him concerned for thriftiness and people choosing to give to the poor of their own volition, both are technically correct, but the question is which is more correct? Or which reaches Jesus's goal better? Or for war, some see Jesus as the ultimate pacifist allowing Himself to be martyred when He was all powerful, others think that war is permissible to stand against injustice when no other options exist, like when Jesus used a whip to clear a temple of moneychangers.


        when the moon split----IMO, either because of a lack of context or because of language something is getting lost here.....
        From the Muslim understanding...the Quran cannot be a primary source of Prophet Muhammed's biography because the Quran is not about the Prophet. It does mention a few events that happened (ex-battle of Badr...etc) but these are in an ethico-moral context---not as Biography(Sira). The written Sira (biography) would mostly come from oral tradition.
        According to it, it is based on the Qur'an and "authentic Ahadith and other authoritative and reliable sources."
        If the book is trying to explain ethico-moral concepts/themes---then it would use the Quran. Since I have not read the book I cannot comment on it...but if it is speaking about the theme of defensive war, then it would be talking of the Battle of Badr 624 CE, the battle of Uhud 625 CE, the battle of the Trench 627 CE, which resulted in the Treaty of Hudaibiya (Peace treaty with the Meccans) 628 CE.
        Are you interested in the History or in the ethico-moral principles?---I could elaborate on either......
        My point was that the history of Muhammed seems to contradict the ethico-moral principle of freedom of religion, according to the book Muhammed was head of state in Medina but Muslims were threatened by the Jews and Pagans of Medina and the "Quraysh" (whom I do not know of) of Mecca. It seems that God initially said to seek peace with those who would abuse Muslims, then if was permissible to fight against oppressors, and eventually a duty. But my point is that once it was a duty to attack non-Muslims who have persecuted Muslims, the only way for a Pagan to no longer be attacked was conversion. This revelation seems to have happened before the "First Battle of Badr" if the chronology of the book is any indicator.

        There are many stories, myths, legends about Prophet Muhammed(pbuh).---There is a general understanding that unlike Jesus Christ, the Prophet did not perform miracles---the exception is that the Quran is considered a miracle (God's miracle). Other Muslims attribute a plethora of "miracles" to the Prophet. Yet, there are some (miraculous/supernatural) events/phenomenon that are accepted, their symbolic meaning is as important as the phenomenon (such as the "night journey").

        One story is that an eclipse occurred when the Prophets son died and the event was taken as a "sign from God" (superstition) and people came to get converted but the Prophet turned them away. The lesson behind the story is that faith must not come from superstition but from the use of one's reason and intellect leading to heartfelt conviction. Another story is that some people came to the prophet demanding a miracle and the prophet "split the moon" but they claimed it was not a sign from God but witchcraft and they refused to believe---again the lesson of the story is that one must use the intellect and reason to arrive at faith and not rely on superstitious beliefs which are founded on an incorrect concept of God. (IMO, this story was probably developed from the Quran 54:1-8 which speaks of a split moon as a sign of Judgement day.)
        Indeed 54:1 was what was cited as the origin of the name.
        Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? -Galatians 3:5

        Comment


        • #19



          The Sufis have methods to achieve Spirituality. One methodology is of the Dervishes...but there are many other ways also. In the above, the rotation, the positions of the hands and head, etc all have symbolic meaning.

          False God--If you say a false God exists and is able to grant prayers and such---then you, the person insisting on the actual existence of a false God has made 2 Gods---because you have given powers to another imaginary entity called "false God". The person praying to an incorrect concept of God is simply praying to "God"---or what he understands, to the best of his ability, as God.
          A person/Human being claiming to be God is not a "God" false or otherwise simply because of a claim. That person is still a human being, in reality, regardless of any claims. If another entity, such as a demon were to make such a claim---it would not make him "God" either. If a human being or demon were to perform miracles to "prove" they are God...such miracles would not actually make them "God" either. A creation cannot make itself into "God". If another person worships a self-proclaimed God then---as you said---it does not, in reality, make them God. But any prayers that are answered, are done so not by the self-proclaimed God---but the ONE God. That such a person's prayers have been answered by the ONE God does not make their concept of God correct or Truth. One cannot say that the prayers were answered not by One God but a false God---because a false God does not exist and therefore has no powers.

          There is never a good enough analogy---but consider, if there is only One house on the island---then no matter what address you put on the envelope---there is nowhere else for the letter to be put except in the postbox of the only house that exists.

          "But what of my example of the man who pretends to be a tree god and gives advice to a man speaking aloud? Did he not answer a prayer not God? Certainly, I doubt the man could expel a demon or heal a cripple, but it is fairly easy to fake miracles depending on scale. And that human person could be worshipped for it, and if that person dies and people venerate him, he is still the one venerated, not the One who deserves it." ---I agree--its what I am also saying...with the exception of the underlined part--which I will explain later.

          "I just have no idea how someone wrong can worship the right God, they are wrong! Your inclusivity seems ridiculously wide to me for someone who claims that there is only one God and only one Truth."---No this is not what I am saying---only that all prayers are received by the ONE God.---there is no other God in existence to receive the prayers of humanity. Even if all humanity had an incorrect concept of God, their prayers would still have no place else to go but to the ONE God because no other God exists.

          so again...
          "It brings no glory to God for you to say false worship is worship to Him, nor does it bring glory to God for you to say liars are really speaking truth which from my perspective is exactly what you're doing."----No, this is not what I am saying at all. You have taken my point much too far. My point was that belief in One God has ramifications and one such ramification is the Universality of God.

          as for this.....
          "the man who pretends to be a tree god and gives advice to a man speaking aloud? Did he not answer a prayer not God?"---I would not say giving advise was "answering prayers"---but lets keep to the example anyway---suppose the person receiving the advice (from a tree) took it as a "revelation/inspiration from God", implemented it, and good things happened. Do you think the good things happened because the ONE God allowed them to happen? or did they happen because another entity (divine tree) has the power to control events/circumstances? In the Quran, it is this idea that Prophet Abraham grapples with. He uses his intellect and reason to arrive at the conclusion that there is no God/Power but the One God.

          I agree with you that we all have the innate ability to understand One God and this is embedded in our heart---in Islamic terms it is understood as Fitra (or the nature God gave us). Which is why we cannot judge people simply by their actions---we do not know---cannot know-- what is in their hearts. God does know and he is aware of who is worshiping him correctly and who is not---and at judgement day he will clear up the disputes. To you God has given a path and in this path the Divine is called YHWH. If you are to honor him, you must follow this path sincerely and to the best of your ability. My path is Islam. There are similarities and differences in our paths---but the Goal is the same, to submit to God's will to the best of our abilities and worship him with sincerity and gratefulness......God knows best and will Guide as as he pleases.

          freedom of religion---In the Islamic context "religion" means "way of life" and includes laws, customs, traditions. So, in essence it means freedom of "way of life". That is why Sharia is not imposed on non-Muslims (though in Islamic history, non-Muslims often preferred Sharia Law because it was more fair. Sharia allows non-Muslims to use it if they choose to.) So Non-Muslims had the own communities with their own language, customs and laws. The constitution of Medina gave freedom of religion to non-Muslims (who were Jews at that time). When the Prophet came to Yathrib/Medina, he made peace treaties with many outlying tribes. The Meccans did not want peace, they were afraid of the growing power and influence of the Prophet. Within the Medina community, there were some who were also not happy with the Prophet because he brought peace between 2 warring tribes and this caused the "status quo" to change---some who had (political) influence before, no longer had influence in the new environment of peace. Some Jewish tribes also felt threatened by the new changes---fearing a decline in their influence or economics. Such people agreed to the peace treaties/agreements with the Prophet but then betrayed the Medina Community by stealthily siding with the Meccans during the battles---this is called treason. Those that participated in treason were dealt with through Justice---some Jewish tribes preferred Jewish law and were allowed to use it.

          "But my point is that once it was a duty to attack non-Muslims who have persecuted Muslims, the only way for a Pagan to no longer be attacked was conversion. This revelation seems to have happened before the "First Battle of Badr" if the chronology of the book is any indicator." ----Again something is off.....there is no duty to attack Pagans in the Quran.

          The Quran is a revelation that occurred over a 20 year period and during that time the people/listeners had questions which were posed to the Prophet. Answers that came through revelation are in the Quran. In an early Surah (105), the Quran tells the story of an attack on Mecca and how God preserved Mecca (Tradition says the surah is about an incident that happened in 570 CE.). So, there is a moral dilemma---should one fight when attacked or should one "leave things to God"? There were other considerations, to the Meccan Muslims, some of the Meccan Pagans were family/of the same tribe (literally) so they would be fighting their brothers. The answer to the dilemma was that human beings must strive to remove oppression and injustice. As the Quran puts it, oppression and injustice are worse than death (oppression takes away freedom---including the freedom of religion)---this then brings up the ethics of war...the Quran gives much advice, for example, if a battle commences, it must be brought to as swift an end as possible in order to cause the least damage. Peace must be the highest priority and it must be restored as quickly as possible. Damage must not be caused to non-combatants or property, prisoners must not be abused,ill treated......and much more....
          In 630 CE, after the Meccans had repeatedly violated the terms of the Treaty of Hudaibiya, and after repeated warnings, the Prophet took an army to Mecca, whereby Mecca surrendered (without much bloodshed) and the Prophet gave amnesty to all Meccans. Many Pagans of Mecca voluntarily converted to Islam. (The Prophet died in 632 CE)

          Spirit---very interesting concept---do each of you have your own spirit?---that is is it an individual thing or a collective? Does this experience happen all the time unexpectedly or do you need to be in the right place/frame of mind?

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by siam View Post



            The Sufis have methods to achieve Spirituality. One methodology is of the Dervishes...but there are many other ways also. In the above, the rotation, the positions of the hands and head, etc all have symbolic meaning.
            Interesting, but still much more formal than a charismatic "dancing in the Spirit" where everyone is sort of doing their own thing.

            False God--If you say a false God exists and is able to grant prayers and such---then you, the person insisting on the actual existence of a false God has made 2 Gods---because you have given powers to another imaginary entity called "false God". The person praying to an incorrect concept of God is simply praying to "God"---or what he understands, to the best of his ability, as God.
            A person/Human being claiming to be God is not a "God" false or otherwise simply because of a claim. That person is still a human being, in reality, regardless of any claims. If another entity, such as a demon were to make such a claim---it would not make him "God" either. If a human being or demon were to perform miracles to "prove" they are God...such miracles would not actually make them "God" either. A creation cannot make itself into "God". If another person worships a self-proclaimed God then---as you said---it does not, in reality, make them God. But any prayers that are answered, are done so not by the self-proclaimed God---but the ONE God. That such a person's prayers have been answered by the ONE God does not make their concept of God correct or Truth. One cannot say that the prayers were answered not by One God but a false God---because a false God does not exist and therefore has no powers.

            There is never a good enough analogy---but consider, if there is only One house on the island---then no matter what address you put on the envelope---there is nowhere else for the letter to be put except in the postbox of the only house that exists.
            I feel we are just repeating what we've each already said and I for one find your understanding incomprehensible.

            "But what of my example of the man who pretends to be a tree god and gives advice to a man speaking aloud? Did he not answer a prayer not God? Certainly, I doubt the man could expel a demon or heal a cripple, but it is fairly easy to fake miracles depending on scale. And that human person could be worshipped for it, and if that person dies and people venerate him, he is still the one venerated, not the One who deserves it." ---I agree--its what I am also saying...with the exception of the underlined part--which I will explain later.

            "I just have no idea how someone wrong can worship the right God, they are wrong! Your inclusivity seems ridiculously wide to me for someone who claims that there is only one God and only one Truth."---No this is not what I am saying---only that all prayers are received by the ONE God.---there is no other God in existence to receive the prayers of humanity. Even if all humanity had an incorrect concept of God, their prayers would still have no place else to go but to the ONE God because no other God exists.

            so again...
            "It brings no glory to God for you to say false worship is worship to Him, nor does it bring glory to God for you to say liars are really speaking truth which from my perspective is exactly what you're doing."----No, this is not what I am saying at all. You have taken my point much too far. My point was that belief in One God has ramifications and one such ramification is the Universality of God.

            as for this.....
            "the man who pretends to be a tree god and gives advice to a man speaking aloud? Did he not answer a prayer not God?"---I would not say giving advise was "answering prayers"---but lets keep to the example anyway---suppose the person receiving the advice (from a tree) took it as a "revelation/inspiration from God", implemented it, and good things happened. Do you think the good things happened because the ONE God allowed them to happen? or did they happen because another entity (divine tree) has the power to control events/circumstances? In the Quran, it is this idea that Prophet Abraham grapples with. He uses his intellect and reason to arrive at the conclusion that there is no God/Power but the One God.
            "All good things come through Christ Jesus" so I see that that principle of God being the source of all good things exists in both religions. You said that I took you point too far, but perhaps I'm misunderstanding somewhere and it is not simply incomprehensible to me.

            "Receive" means to be presented with something. A Hindu could not present something to a God they do not know of. What is intended is important, it logically makes sense that you can give something to another and while God is aware of it, He is not benefitting from it. BUT, with what you've told me, I came formulate this:
            1. There is One God.
            2. There are no false Gods because there is only One God.
            3. All worship goes to the One God.
            But 3 is a non sequitur because no property of worship says it must go to a god real or fictional.
            Further, if I follow that logic:
            1. There is One God
            2. There are no false Gods because there is only One God.
            3. There are no false Gods so all conceptions of God are equally true.
            4. Therefore the God of Good is the God of Evil and the God of Health is the God of Sickness and the God of...

            Point 4 logically follows from point 3, point 3 logically follows from point 2 which logically follows from point one with the Tawheed definition of 1. Do you see how point 4 can be used to say literally anything? I could have equally said God is a carrot and God is not-carrot therefore carrot=not-carrot. It is logically impossible for this to be true, and for the God you have described to me over so many posts to be true. This "absolute monotheism" as I understand it is incompatible with any God that it is possible to have knowledge of. (This isn't even the only way I can think of to "disprove" it.) I'm thinking I have to have misunderstood you somewhere along the way.

            I agree with you that we all have the innate ability to understand One God and this is embedded in our heart---in Islamic terms it is understood as Fitra (or the nature God gave us). Which is why we cannot judge people simply by their actions---we do not know---cannot know-- what is in their hearts. God does know and he is aware of who is worshiping him correctly and who is not---and at judgement day he will clear up the disputes. To you God has given a path and in this path the Divine is called YHWH. If you are to honor him, you must follow this path sincerely and to the best of your ability. My path is Islam. There are similarities and differences in our paths---but the Goal is the same, to submit to God's will to the best of our abilities and worship him with sincerity and gratefulness......God knows best and will Guide as as he pleases.
            God is the only one who has complete discernment and He knows His flock.

            freedom of religion---In the Islamic context "religion" means "way of life" and includes laws, customs, traditions. So, in essence it means freedom of "way of life". That is why Sharia is not imposed on non-Muslims (though in Islamic history, non-Muslims often preferred Sharia Law because it was more fair. Sharia allows non-Muslims to use it if they choose to.) So Non-Muslims had the own communities with their own language, customs and laws. The constitution of Medina gave freedom of religion to non-Muslims (who were Jews at that time). When the Prophet came to Yathrib/Medina, he made peace treaties with many outlying tribes. The Meccans did not want peace, they were afraid of the growing power and influence of the Prophet. Within the Medina community, there were some who were also not happy with the Prophet because he brought peace between 2 warring tribes and this caused the "status quo" to change---some who had (political) influence before, no longer had influence in the new environment of peace. Some Jewish tribes also felt threatened by the new changes---fearing a decline in their influence or economics. Such people agreed to the peace treaties/agreements with the Prophet but then betrayed the Medina Community by stealthily siding with the Meccans during the battles---this is called treason. Those that participated in treason were dealt with through Justice---some Jewish tribes preferred Jewish law and were allowed to use it.

            "But my point is that once it was a duty to attack non-Muslims who have persecuted Muslims, the only way for a Pagan to no longer be attacked was conversion. This revelation seems to have happened before the "First Battle of Badr" if the chronology of the book is any indicator." ----Again something is off.....there is no duty to attack Pagans in the Quran.
            I admit to not being an expert, but I have heard numerous Christians, former Muslims, and in this book I have found self professed Muslims talking about a duty to fight pagans who have persecuted Muslims. If this is true as I have been taught, then you see my opposition? I may be wrong and so I will not push the point.

            The Quran is a revelation that occurred over a 20 year period and during that time the people/listeners had questions which were posed to the Prophet. Answers that came through revelation are in the Quran. In an early Surah (105), the Quran tells the story of an attack on Mecca and how God preserved Mecca (Tradition says the surah is about an incident that happened in 570 CE.). So, there is a moral dilemma---should one fight when attacked or should one "leave things to God"? There were other considerations, to the Meccan Muslims, some of the Meccan Pagans were family/of the same tribe (literally) so they would be fighting their brothers. The answer to the dilemma was that human beings must strive to remove oppression and injustice. As the Quran puts it, oppression and injustice are worse than death (oppression takes away freedom---including the freedom of religion)---this then brings up the ethics of war...the Quran gives much advice, for example, if a battle commences, it must be brought to as swift an end as possible in order to cause the least damage. Peace must be the highest priority and it must be restored as quickly as possible. Damage must not be caused to non-combatants or property, prisoners must not be abused,ill treated......and much more....
            In 630 CE, after the Meccans had repeatedly violated the terms of the Treaty of Hudaibiya, and after repeated warnings, the Prophet took an army to Mecca, whereby Mecca surrendered (without much bloodshed) and the Prophet gave amnesty to all Meccans. Many Pagans of Mecca voluntarily converted to Islam. (The Prophet died in 632 CE)
            I trust that you know better than I.

            Spirit---very interesting concept---do each of you have your own spirit?---that is is it an individual thing or a collective? Does this experience happen all the time unexpectedly or do you need to be in the right place/frame of mind?
            "Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills." (*1 Corinthians‬ *12‬:*4-11‬ ESV) (And the theme of God expressing Himself in Christians in different ways continues until the end of the chapter vs31.)

            Spiritual experiences can happen when alone, and tongues should happen when alone. But prophecy, healing, and the others are to be done in the presence of others and everyone has their own experience but we share that time together and we all can feel the presence, we are taught that where two or three of us gather, our God is there too, and so we come together, on the small end of the scale is the two or three, on the big end, thousands. It can happen unexpectedly, but I wouldn't say that's the norm, it can happen anywhere and a certain frame of mind... Hmm. If you were to walk into such a place you would feel it and likely not know what it was. If I were to walk into such a place not expecting it, I would recognize it right away, there is a certain "thickness" in the air but not because of smoke or anything like that, just the presence of God. But having the frame of mind that you are going to worship God, and you want Him to do whatever He wants to you will help you as an individual experience it, and it is possible to "quench the Spirit" by opposing it. There is a certain cooperation between you and Him... Perhaps if I said it like this, if you walked in and said, "I want no part of this foolishness." Then nothing would happen to you. But when I walk in I say, "Lord do as you will. I want more." Then not only am I used, but I walk out different. Shaking and falling down is common for some congregations, but not my own. Different strokes for different folks. I like the more extreme expressions, I think it shows off God's power when people lose control of themselves and are lost in prayer, or people are healed of pain that they've had for a decade. But the majority of those who profess Christianity (not necessarily Christ) disagree. Note: I'm tired and it is 1AM where I live, I may have misphrased myself and missed it beyond the usually errors of grammar because I am using a device that automatically "fixes" my "errors" that makes things worse for me.
            Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? -Galatians 3:5

            Comment


            • #21
              Thankyou for your effort and patience. I regret to say I will be somewhat busy in the next few days and may not be able to reply as fully. But, it will also be good to reflect on all the information you have given here......

              You wrote---

              1. There is One God
              2. There are no false Gods because there is only One God.
              3. There are no false Gods so all conceptions of God are equally true.
              4. Therefore the God of Good is the God of Evil and the God of Health is the God of Sickness and the God of...

              This is very interesting...but I cannot see the connection between point 2 and point 3, nor can I agree to point 3. IMO, Point 3 seems to conflict with reality? so, can it be logical?
              You are correct that we are going around in circles---I am suspecting that we are really saying the same things---but perhaps my use of English is very inadequate and I am not using the right English term to express what I mean.

              Point 4 on the other hand, can be correct if phrased differently---that One God is the source of all. God's will prevails over all circumstances, whatever value judgments human beings might place on those circumstances such as good/evil, well/ill...etc

              Do you feel such a high level of spirituality is a burden? Is not being so close to God a heavy responsibility? After your spiritual experience do you feel tired or energized?
              In light of the experience with Spirit---what do you feel your purpose on earth is?

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by siam View Post
                Thankyou for your effort and patience. I regret to say I will be somewhat busy in the next few days and may not be able to reply as fully. But, it will also be good to reflect on all the information you have given here......
                Thank you for your forewarning. I hope whatever endeavor is keeping you busy will be resolved peaceably and well.

                You wrote---

                1. There is One God
                2. There are no false Gods because there is only One God.
                3. There are no false Gods so all conceptions of God are equally true.
                4. Therefore the God of Good is the God of Evil and the God of Health is the God of Sickness and the God of...

                This is very interesting...but I cannot see the connection between point 2 and point 3, nor can I agree to point 3. IMO, Point 3 seems to conflict with reality? so, can it be logical?
                To clarify, I do not believe in any of the points of by One we mean Tawheed. If there is no false god then any given god must be true. Therefore all gods are true. I think this is wrong, but I came to this conclusion based logically off the premise I believe you hold. That is why it conflicts with reality, 3 is false but logically follows from 2, which means 2 is false. If A then B if B then C. Not-C therefore not A. These are foundational rules of logic.

                You are correct that we are going around in circles---I am suspecting that we are really saying the same things---but perhaps my use of English is very inadequate and I am not using the right English term to express what I mean.
                That is quite possible and I am willing to drop the topic if you are.

                Point 4 on the other hand, can be correct if phrased differently---that One God is the source of all. God's will prevails over all circumstances, whatever value judgments human beings might place on those circumstances such as good/evil, well/ill...etc
                Yes, but that was not what I was meaning in that hypothetical.

                Do you feel such a high level of spirituality is a burden?
                No! I am not sure how it is a burden. Am I held to a higher standard? Yes, but I would strive to do my best even if I wasn't. I see no downside to it other than being different from other people, but all are called to be holy, meaning set aside for God.
                Is not being so close to God a heavy responsibility?
                The yoke I bear is light and I find delight in it.
                After your spiritual experience do you feel tired or energized?
                Energized, always. Even when I am relaxed during such things and dead to all but God; afterwards I am refreshed as if I had just taken a rest.
                In light of the experience with Spirit---what do you feel your purpose on earth is?
                The same as all Christians:

                And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (*Matthew‬ *28‬:*18-20‬ ESV)

                That is what is known as the Great Commission. But my personal role is as a teacher. I have a good mind, good memory, and I am good at explaining things. Further, I love doing it. Have I been/will I be called upon in other capacities? Yes, I love evangelism and healing and prophecy and I have served manual labor and as an assistant. I want to be clear. This is not a boast of myself, fore I am a wretch, all good I do is the work of Christ through me, if I bear good fruit they are produced by the Spirit dwelling within me.
                Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? -Galatians 3:5

                Comment


                • #23
                  One God---It seems a good idea to drop it for now---we might continue at some other time---but for now we are going nowhere......

                  Do you know of the Eastern healing practice of Reiki (Spirit force)?

                  The East has a long tradition of spiritual practices. The high level of spirituality often gives "powers"(?) to human beings. So there is an awareness that (real) spirituality comes with a serious responsibility. There are people who exploit supposed powers for commercial use such as fortune telling and such.....one might think of such people as entertainers. To have a high level of spirituality also means to have high levels of restraints as to its use.

                  Do you know of any members of your denomination having abused their spirituality?

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by siam View Post
                    One God---It seems a good idea to drop it for now---we might continue at some other time---but for now we are going nowhere......
                    Then it is done.

                    Do you know of the Eastern healing practice of Reiki (Spirit force)?
                    I have some little knowledge of it yes. But it is very different from what I am speaking of, practitioners of Reiki have certain techniques that reminds me of very strongly of magic (of which I have first hand experience) and a philosophy that is very similar to the one I held whilst doing such things.

                    The East has a long tradition of spiritual practices. The high level of spirituality often gives "powers"(?) to human beings. So there is an awareness that (real) spirituality comes with a serious responsibility. There are people who exploit supposed powers for commercial use such as fortune telling and such.....one might think of such people as entertainers. To have a high level of spirituality also means to have high levels of restraints as to its use.

                    Do you know of any members of your denomination having abused their spirituality?
                    There are indeed people who have lied, and have sold their blessings. They are charlatans and entertainers who have made gods of themselves. If they had powers in the first place it comes from a different source and they are often times looked down upon, but not all who have the Spirit have good discernment, 1 and 2 Corinthians were written to the church in ancient Corinth who had a powerful blessing, but they acted like children with it.

                    To clarify between magic and prayer, a magician might claim the power as his own, or to receive it from the universe, or Earth, or even God. But they have commonalities, a magician has rituals and symbols that help them focus their power. I recall the techniques quite easily I used to encourage possession. Body movements, especially of the hands, music to help me get the feeling right in my mind and then I got high off the demon in me. And that is more than I am comfortable saying.

                    Prayer is very different, if I seek to heal someone, no frame of mind necessary, I prefer to put my hand where they need healing but it is completely unneeded. And I make no invocations except to Christ. The frame of mind I spoke of before in Christian spirituality is "put on you" if you're open to it, no need to focus on it unlike in magic.
                    Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? -Galatians 3:5

                    Comment

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