Fw: Church-State -- some history

From: Innovatia <dennis@innovatia.com>
Date: Mon May 31 2004 - 12:18:59 EDT

From: Jim Armstrong

  So let me get this straight, you would as a Christian worship Christ the Son of God, thereby not worshiping in error the one who sent him, the one true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob named by Muslims and Jews? Forgive me if I misunderstood you, but does that not present a dilemma? If Jesus is distinguishable from the God of Abraham, it would seem then that there is a problem with having "no other gods before me" (look carefully at the many ways Jesus distinguishes himself from his heavenly father in the red-letter texts of the NT). On the other hand, if you find Jesus and God the Father to be one and the same, then there is a problem with distinguishing the Christian God from Allah or YHVH, the God whom all three religions claim to have spoken to Abraham, our progenitor in one way or another. I would go further and say that this is something we should not be careless about because a declaration like "your god is not mine" either "disses" a person or people who seeks in honesty after the one true god (or perhaps we impugn their integrity!?), or it "disses" the one they seek (or both).

My understanding of Allah is that generically Allah = YHWH but in terms of operative Mulsim doctrine, there are significant differences in the characteristics of the biblical God as understood by Christians and Allah as understood by Muslims. This difference is reflected in the Muslim view of the Christ, for instance.

  I know this raises doctrinal issues. But here is a thought experiment. God stands on a mountain top, fully obscured by clouds. He hears the voices of three children from below, all raising their voices (in different languages), speaking words of recognition, honor, and petition in a heart-felt dead-serious quest for relationship with the dimly-perceived divine presence they all register to some degree. Each petitioner affirms that there is only one true God, and that he is the creator of all that is, and is in fact the God who has spoke to their ancestors in times past.

  Now, God is the only one who now knows that the three share the same great great grandfather, who raised his voice in much the same way and with the same intent in his own time. In addition to the differences in the children's languages and names for things, God notes differences in their understandings of himself and of his actions past and present, as well as differences in their families' preserved written and oral record of experiences and speculations about the divine. There are also differences in their families' creeds and practices as they seek to relate to him and find better understanding of his purpose in them and for them. Though the languages they speak distance the children from one another, God understands their petitions perfectly because language is something needed only by the children and their kind. God notes with disappointment, however, that the children sometimes stand with their hands atop the fences that separate them, accusing one another of seeking in error some God other than he who spoke to their own ancestors, none realizing that they all are kin.

  How shall God choose from among the three to respond to?

  I think we should be very careful about this "your god is not my God" business, particularly in the case where we share Abrahamic roots. But the principle is probably extensible as well.
God has provided the means for us to understand sufficiently who he is in his revelation of himself in Christ and in the written scriptures. It is for us to choose which putative revelation we will understand God by. Muslims choose differently. That is not to say that there is not a significant body of shared beliefs between Christians and Muslims, but the discerning Christian or Muslim will be able to tell the difference.

As for how Christians should relate to Muslims, the Church of the East was on friendly terms with the Caliphs of Baghdad, and this was before Tamerlane, the Muslim Turk, destroyed a vibrant Christian population spread across Central Asia. Today, as I see it, geopolitically, the Muslim world is the only group left on earth other than Christians who have not bowed the knee to the New World Order. No wonder control of Iraq is key to the Anglo-American Power Elite.

Additionally, the Muslims also seem to be (along with some remnant Xns) the only ones on earth who heed the thunderings of the OT prophets about dishonest weights and measures, as applied to fiat currency. Mahathir Mohammed, leader of Malaysia, has announced that the country will go on the gold dinar. They cannot be printed by central banks, of course.

Dennis Feucht
Received on Mon May 31 17:08:27 2004

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