Monday, October 15, 2007

Muslims call for peace with Christians?

According to more than 130 Muslims scholars the basis for peace between Muslims and Christians is for Christians to renounce the Trinity:

Muslims and Christians together make up well over half of the world’s population.
Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no
meaningful peace in the world. The future of the world depends on peace between
Muslims and Christians.

The basis for this peace and understanding already exists. It is part of the very
foundational principles of both faiths: love of the One God, and love of the neighbour.
These principles are found over and over again in the sacred texts of Islam and
Christianity. The Unity of God, the necessity of love for Him, and the necessity of love of the neighbour is thus the common ground between Islam and Christianity. The following are only a few examples:

Of God’s Unity, God says in the Holy Qur’an: Say: He is God, the One! / God, the Self-Sufficient Besought of all! (Al-Ikhlas, 112:1-2). Of the necessity of love for God, God says in the Holy Qur’an: So invoke the Name of thy Lord and devote thyself to Him with a complete devotion (Al-Muzzammil, 73:8). Of the necessity of love for the neighbour, the Prophet Muhammad  said: “None of you has faith until you love for your neighbour what you love for yourself.”

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ  said: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. / And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. / And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)
Which includes rejecting the deity of Christ:
In the Holy Qur’an, God Most High enjoins Muslims to issue the following call to
Christians (and Jews—the People of the Scripture):
Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to a common word between us and
you: that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside God. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who
have surrendered (unto Him). (Aal ‘Imran 3:64)

The words: we shall ascribe no partner unto Him relate to the Unity of God, and
the words: worship none but God, relate to being totally devoted to God. Hence they all relate to the First and Greatest Commandment. According to one of the oldest and most authoritative commentaries on the Holy Qur’an the words: that none of us shall take others for lords beside God, mean ‘that none of us should obey the other in disobedience to what God has commanded’. This relates to the Second Commandment because justice and freedom of religion are a crucial part of love of the neighbour. Thus in obedience to the Holy Qur’an, we as Muslims invite Christians to come together with us on the basis of what is common to us, which is also what is most essential to our faith and practice: the Two Commandments of love.

So, if Christians want to be at peace with Muslims, we have to reject what it means to be a Christian by rejecting our Lord and Savior even though we know if we did we would not be at peace with God:
Mark 8:38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."

James 4:4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
Though it's true that Jesus said that God is one, he also said that he is one with the Father:
John 10:30 "I and the Father are one."
Jesus is clearly saying that he is God here and the Pharisees understood him as saying that:
John 10:31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?" 33 The Jews answered him, "It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God." 34 Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I said, you are gods'? 35 If he called them gods to whom the word of God came- and Scripture cannot be broken- 36 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'? 37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father." 39 Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.
Other passages make Christ's deity clear as well:
Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Matthew 1:23 "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us).

Luke 7:16 Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, "A great prophet has arisen among us!" and "God has visited his people!"

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 5:18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

John 20:28 Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!"
There are many other verses that I could quote that demonstrate quite clearly that Jesus is God, that's why we worship him. We do so because the word of God states it.

When we say that God is one it's with the understanding that the oneness includes God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Even though Muslims, Jews and Christians read the same verse we all have a different meaning and there can be no unity in the phrase.

My question to the Muslim scholars is this: instead of asking us to give up our faith and submit to your's, why not just tolerate our faith? Then we can be at peace with each other.

Updated: Listen, to those who read this and think I'm being harsh or I don't understand what they're saying or that I'm spinning what they're saying, I linked to the article and quoted so that you could read it for yourself. If I was trying to spin, then I wouldn't have done that. What I did was cut to the chase and explained why there can be no agreement between Muslims and Christians over this issue. The one word that we supposedly agree on, the Shema means something different to Muslims and Christians. To Muslims it means a unitary God but to Christians it means a triune God that includes the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. How can we come to an agreement? Go read their suggestions. I haven't represented them.