Jul 6, 2009

A Muslim Christian Dialogue About God

One Says: So what does he say what are the attributes of God according to him?
Two says: oh, there are many, the book lists 29 of them, divided in two parts
One says: ok
Two says: the first part deals with attributes only God has, e.g. He was not created by anyone/anything, and He is omnipotent, omnipresent
One says: I am not getting into a debate here, but according to our religion God has 99 major attributes and there are many other which I can list
Two says: and attributes that those who believe in Him, a.k.a. Christians, can also have, e.g. He is Love, He is holy, merciful. There are probably a lot more than just 29
One says: yeah right
Two says: the author has chosen those that seemed "most important" to him I’m NOT saying that the other attributes are not important
One says: Right, he must be having his own philosophy behind it
Two says: The important thing is getting to know God, and you have to start somewhere. Can I ask you a question? I’m not trying to start an argument with this, either just curious
One says: Absolutely right, Yeah sure
Two says: Do you believe that Heaven and Hell exist?
One says: Yeah sure I do
Two says: How do you know where you will be going when you die?
One says: Very Firmly, Lol. That is a big question mark????
Two says: So, you can never be sure whether you will actually go to Heaven?
One says: Depends upon your deeds
Two says: So you just try to "be good" all the time and try to "earn" yourself a place in Heaven?
One says: That’s what nature is. Let me explain one thing to you....listen patiently
Two says: Ok
One says: Who has set the rules about what is good and what is bad?
Two says: God
One says: Who has forbidden something and allowed the other?
Two says: God?
One says: See.... this is the natural answer
Two says: Makes sense
One says: The rules have been set right from the beginning. I cannot permit theft myself or tell you to steal something and it will be good for you. In all societies all religions divine rules or law of nature is all the same. It never changes. Though with the passage of time and lots n lots of population increase we have corrupted few laws. Trying to alter them for our own good. Don’t mind but if I give you the example of gay/lesbian marriages.... it is against nature.
Two says: I agree on that, no need to worry
One says: It may be getting some popularity today but nature will never allow it for long.... Homosexuality and our unnatural acts have brought us many diseases such as AIDS. Sorry it was an obscene example to give but I think this was the best I could relate to. When all rules of good and bad.... have been set by God, Then I firmly believe doing ‘good’ is the key
Two says: I understand that but how do you think did that "negative" behavior start?
One says: Key to success in this world and the next. This brings in the satanic existence. He created Satan to spread evil only to test His people. The greatest thing we were given was wisdom and free will. Wisdom to judge between good and evil
Two says: Wisdom and free will, yes
One says: And free will to act accordingly
Two says: But why would He want to create Satan?
One says: This world is a testing ground, an examination hall, you have been taught, now you will be tested for 2 or 3 hours for the exam and if you pass....... you will get this wonderful job for next 25 years or so. So this world is an exam hall. You will be tested if you deserve the eternal life in bliss or otherwise. This life is just 3 hours
Two says: Okay, I think this is the main difference between our beliefs
One says: Eternal life will be till God allows us to live
Two says: I believe that nobody deserved to go to Heaven. Or, whatever you call the place where some people will spend eternity
One says: Are you Protestant or Catholic?
Two says: Rather Protestant
One says: Ok
Two says: Although Protestantism in itself also has many varieties
One says: I know. Hold on... you said nobody deserves heaven right??
Two says: Yes. That’s what I believe. I don’t deserve it, you don’t, and no one does
One says: In fact we also almost believe the same. We in our life cannot be so pious. Perfect piety is difficult to achieve
Two says: I even say it's impossible for any human
One says: We all are sinful one way or the other
Two says: Without God, Yes
One says: But then we have His Mercy. Though we cannot fulfill all His commands accurately but when we try and do ‘good’, we can have faith in His Mercy to forgive us our sins
Two says: Isn’t that what the Catholics also believe?
Two says: Yes
One says: Thinking? Or busy
Two says: I just said “isn't that what the Catholics also believe?" didn’t that get thru to you?
One says: Sorry I missed that. Almost all religions believe the same and have hope from His Mercy. We are not angels, not Prophets or Apostles or saints..... How can we the commoners be so perfect?
Two says: Yes and I think that's the point. I believe that God is holy and I think you agree? And now it gets interesting. That was the topic of tonight's Bible study
One says: I do agree He is above all
Two says: So that's your definition of holy?
One says: Yes I believe He is above everything, He is not a human who will err, He is not the one who is commanded by anyone, and He is supreme, good and bad are for us, not for Him
Two says: I agree. But I believe that "holy" means even more
One says: Like?
Two says: Well, sadly I don’t speak Hebrew so I cannot explain it to you in detail, but according to the "original" text of the Bible, The word which is translated as "holy" in English, Originally has, among others, the meaning something like "separated from the remaining" He is the only one who is holy
One says: That is absolutely right
Two says: He can "make" things/people holy, if He wants
One says: Nothing in the Universe and even beyond can match Him
Two says: But He is the only one who did not "receive" holiness from someone else. So, if you take the meaning "separated” = holy, and say, that God is holy, which I believe is true of course,
One says: Word ‘separated’ cannot justify HOLY
Two says: Then it also means He is "separated" from mankind (since evil a.k.a. sin, came into this world)
That’s why I put it in quotation marks. The English language is not sufficient for explaining it differently
Anyway, since God is holy, there is no way for a human to get anywhere near Him, because we are all sinners, right?
One says: Nearness to God is something totally different. We are not up to getting "like" Him, He created us and we, angels, Satan, Jin, animals and all other things are His creation. How can creation be like a creator?
Can a radio be a human?
Can a computer be a human?
Can a robot be a human?
No....
Two says: No, you are right about that
One says: He created us... and also created the user's manual (Bible, Quran) which was sent through a tutor (Prophets) to teach us practically
Two says: Ok, now I’ve "lost the thread” let me think what I was going to say
One says: Lol... its ok
Two says: Ok, I meant "near to God", rather as
One says: And by that you don’t mean to be like God
Two says: Yes
One says: Ok
Two says: I meant that
One says: You mean near to God as one having little bit attributes of God
Two says: Ummmm.... how to explain it? I mean that because we are all sinners, there is no way for us to deserve Heaven, a.k.a. to be in the "place" where God is I know, He is not restricted to being in just one place it's very hard to explain but I hope you get what I mean. I was not necessarily referring to having His attributes. Just that sin makes it impossible for us to go to Heaven. I don’t know what the Quran says about that but the Bible says that
One says: I understand that you are limiting God to be present in Heaven. (And also that you know that He is omnipotent) but we don’t deserve to be there with/near Him
Two says: God loves us all and would prefer us all to go to Heaven because He doesn’t like to see us suffer. I am NOT limiting Him to just ebing in Heaven
*beig
*being
One says: Ok listen to me now
Two says: I wasn’t done. But go ahead
One says: No you complete first
Two says: Ok, I’ll try to make it short n sweet. I believe that He wants us all to go to Heaven because He loves us and "the wage of sin is death" (written in the Bible, Romans 6:23), and He has to stick to that principle (He has created this principle, and He decided that it should always be valid, I believe that otherwise it wouldn't be in the Bible - His holy word), so everyone who has sinned at least once will go to Hell, that's the way * I see it. Okay, I’m done for now. Now your turn^^
One says: Ok
1. Only the chosen ones (very few) like Prophets, saints will have the honor of being in His presence, (if you call it nearness to God)
Two says: Yes
One says:
2. Others like us, the commoners, (in other words sinners) will have to go through the Day of Judgment
3. Resurrection will take place on the Day of Judgment
4. Our ‘good’ will be weighed against our evil, evil* or bad or bad deeds (whatever). Now definitely we have been doing good acts too (your small good act may be multiplied manifold)
5. If our good deeds outweigh our bad ones, we will go to heaven (a designated place, something like another beautiful planet with abundant resources that we cannot think of)
6. If our bad deeds are more then we will be sent to Hell for always, another place/planet like sun
Two says: And what about God? Where is He? I know this may seems like a stupid question to you
One says: Death is a thing which every living thing, humans, animals, insects, plants even solar system/galaxy etc has to taste
Lol, it’s not stupid, it’s just curious
He is not flesh and bone, that’s His creation, He is not fire, that’s His creation, He is not light even, that’s too is His creation. He is beyond/above everything we see.
If we switch on a light bulb, the light spreads all around. Just see the miracle of sun (His another creation) its light is unlimited, unbounded, spreads all around it millions of miles
If He is creator of such a thing, which is a very small thing if you compare it to the other bodies in universe, then you can well imagine that it is very hard to even imagine or know WHAT IS GOD, and where He lives
Two says: That’s true. But He won't be present in "hell"? Or, He Isn’t
One says: We believe His presence is everywhere
Two says: What is Hell to you? Just physical torture? (Fire?)
One says: It has been explained as such, people in hell will burn, given flesh again and will burn again and many things more which will be done to them
Two says: Ouch sounds painful but I am not saying this out of my own experience but wouldn’t that be easier to endure than psychological?
One says: Have faith in His Mercy
Two says: Anyway, I do believe that Hell means being eternally separated from His presence while Heaven means to be in His presence forever I believe there is nothing greater than that
One says: You are absolutely right about it
Two says: So, if God was also present in "hell", that would defeat the whole idea of heaven and hell
One says: No. That does not mean that. Sun is in God’s domain as everything else is
Two says: Yes
One says: But God does not have to live there
Two says: True
One says: Obama can equally control California as he has control over Washington DC

Two says: Good example. So, of course He also has control over what happens in hell, right?
One says: Sure, He has control of everything in the universe
Two says: That makes sense. Ok, now back to what you said before
One says: Now what
Two says: First of all, I believe that the people u mentioned in your 1st point will also be judged on Resurrection day. The same rules apply to everyone. For example,
One says: Every soul
Two says: Yes. In the Bible, there is the story/report of how the Israelites were led out of Egypt to the "promised land" by Moses. And I do believe Moses was a prophet. Though one might think
One says: For sure He was a Prophet
Two says: He was "better"/more religious/whatever u call it than the other people. But I think, the truth is, he was a sinner just like everyone else. God just chose him. But still, he was a mortal like everyone else. So the same rules apply to him, i.e. he will be judged on resurrection day
One says: Every Prophet is mortal. Only Jesus lives and will come again and then die here (I am sorry but it was necessary to, you know....)
Two says: Can you please explain that a little?
One says: Yes sure all of them will have to go through the process of the Day of Judgment. Explain what?
Two says: What you said about Jesus?
One says: And we will not get in any argument????
Two says: Umm I don't know I’m just curious what you have to say. Please
One says: Lol, ok. Now........ We believe, Jesus was flesh n bone, creation of God, a human and a Prophet. We don’t believe in trinity. We believe him to be the chosen one a very special Prophet of God. Who never died on the cross...
Two says: Ok, I strongly disagree but there's no point in arguing about that right now
One says: And was raised by God just before (people present there thought) he died
Two says: Why?
One says: Because God never wanted him to die, for some other purpose which I will explain. Now Jesus will be sent back to earth again, (flesh n bone) as a savior of the world, He will teach God's message around the globe (which is quite easy now with CNN and BBC and FOX or Internet and all that) and eradicate evil. He will wage wars against evil and almost finish it. A great period of peace will come on the earth. He will live his normal life, and then die as every living thing has to taste death
Two says: Okay, as I said I’m not going to argue about that. Although I still disagree
One says: And billions among all religion will follow Him. You may as you have your own beliefs. I am not telling you to get you agreed on this, you asked for it sweet heart
Two says: Yes, I know. Well, some part inside me really wants to argue about that but I’ll resist the urge
One says: Go ahead please. Tell me what it is
Two says: I’ll try to keep it short as I’m getting tired
One says: Ok
Two says: It all starts with the sin problem we talked about. I believe that:
One says: Ok
Two says: even if you have done more good than bad deeds you cannot "earn yourself" a place in heaven, even if you lead a "good" life, you don’t deserve to go to heaven. No human does. I’m just stating what I believe; I cannot find a way to prove it except that it's what the Bible says. If you don't believe what the Bible says, there is no way for me to prove my beliefs are right. Everything I believe is based on the Bible. And as no one can earn his place in heaven, we need a Savior. Someone who pays the price for our sins and this someone is called Jesus Christ, unlike you, I believe in the trinity, so Jesus IS God. God sacrificed himself because the price needs to be paid - either by us or by Him. There is no other way to go to Heaven; it's only possible because Jesus died for our sins and he rose again from the dead after three days. He lives and He is not just human and he WILL come back but not as a human, but as God as it is written in the last book of the Bible, the Revelation. Ok, I guess I’m done
One says: I can reply all that you wrote but we both have our good beliefs and I think we must leave it here
Two says: Yes, let's leave it like this; I enjoyed our conversation, though
One says: Me too. I will like to move this argument further when you are not tired and we can talk that long again and will definitely like to learn more from your beliefs
Two says: I’ve had even more "intense" arguments with fellow Christians before LOL
One says: It’s good to argue and learn, when you are not damaging your beliefs. You may improve them though if you feel convinced
Two says: (Oh, I just noticed my sunflowers on farm town are ready want to come over and harvest? ) that's true

2 comments:

  1. I know we cannot "earn" heaven by our good works, we are justified by faith, and cleansed from our sins by His precious blood, that he shed so that sins could be forgiven! Can we "know" whether we are going to heaven? not absolutely positively, because I don't know what I might do even today...perhaps in a fit of anger or rage? I could kill someone then get shot...I would be acting in hate, not in love as he commands us!! Our general standing with the Lord we can know, but we have a free will and can change our standing very quickly. We are commanded to love, to obey his commandments, have faith in him, and trust in his Mercy. If we do our best, I believe he will help us to stay in love with him, and protect us from turning away from him...Whatcha think???

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  2. True that we are not worthy of heaven and we cant claim it with our meagre and petty, so called good deeds, which we do in the ravenousness of heaven??? But even then we have faith in the Mercy of God and believe that He will forgive our sins. Knowledge about our final destination, heaven or hell rests with God only, but we believe in His judgement to weigh our sins and good deeds, and again require His Mercy. As far far as Christians belief about forgiveness of our sins with His Blood, I will not debate much as it may hurt someone's belief. We differ on the subject. I have strong arguments about it though but I will refrain as it may get controvercial because most of us naturally opt for religions (at our birth) which our parents follow and by the time we study comparative religions, we get beyond apprehension of other religions/followers. Our beliefs are thus formed and transformed by the environment, society and family and most of us are unable to change the course, due to factors/pressures of the same.

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