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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: I spy strangers! Use of church space by other faiths.
Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by Ad Orientem:
I mean that what they think they worship as God is not actually God at all but an idol made in the image of Mohammed who was no doubt inspired by a demon.

That's still written in a way that suggests you think Allah actually exists.

Let me try another question. From your perspective, the Western church is in error because it believes in a God in whom the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. Does that mean that the Western church believes in a false god? If not, why not?
quote:
Originally posted by Hawk:
But after the Temple was destroyed they had to 'reinterpret' much of their religion to fit in with their practical inability to worship as directed in their original law. They wrote the Mishnah (Repetition) in 200 AD, and the Gemara (Completion) in 500 AD. Both texts are much, much larger than the scriptures we share with them, and form the basis for all subsequent Judaism.

AIUI the Mishnah was the codification of oral laws that the Jews had not previously written down but which they feared would be lost given the disasters that had come upon Judaism. Orthodox Jews believe the oral laws were delivered to Moses on Sinai and have been passed on ever since. That may be historically questionable but at the very least the content of the Mishnah is older than 200 AD.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:
quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:
Who, exactly, are you talking about here, mdijon?

Don't follow. Why do you need to ask? Are you making a point or have you just lost the thread?
I seriously can't understand you. Who do you mean?
He is pointing out that we're talking about a Scottish Episcopalian church. From your perspective they are not part of the Church anyway, and therefore the consecration wasn't valid in the first place.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Ad Orientem
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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
That's still written in a way that suggests you think Allah actually exists.

Eh?


quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
Let me try another question. From your perspective, the Western church is in error because it believes in a God in whom the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. Does that mean that the Western church believes in a false god? If not, why not?

No, because they believe in the Most Holy Trinity as revealed through Christ even if they are in error concerning the Filioque (as indeed they are).
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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:
.. Boogie-woogie ..

We don't do "Boogie-woogies (or Bettsy-wetsies)" in Purg.

While the odd few might slip past the guard, the principle is, don't mess about with Shipmates' IDs. There can be gratuitous insult there, whether you mean it or not.

Mark, you might reflect on the fact that the term "boogie-woogie" in urban dictionary speak is used as a verb to describe indulging in a position taken from the Kama Sutra ..

Barnabas62
Purgatory Host


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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Boogie

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quote:
Originally posted by malik3000:
It is Jesus who brings people to the Father -- which says nothing specific about what exact honestly-held beliefs persons might have (mistaken or otherwise) while still on this present earthly plane. Jesus does the bringing, not us.

This.

None of us, Chistian/Jew/Muslim/Other have the One True and Correct view of God. All see through a glass darkly. One day every one of us will see God as She is - and no doubt gather together in worship.

Why not start early?

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by Ad Orientem:
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
That's still written in a way that suggests you think Allah actually exists.

Eh?


quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
Let me try another question. From your perspective, the Western church is in error because it believes in a God in whom the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. Does that mean that the Western church believes in a false god? If not, why not?

No, because they believe in the Most Holy Trinity as revealed through Christ even if they are in error concerning the Filioque (as indeed they are).

The point is that, unless you actually believe in Allah's independent existence, 'false god' and 'idol' are just metaphors* for 'they believe wrong things about God'. But so, according to your church, do Catholics and Protestants.

The question, afaics, is whether those wrong beliefs matter, and the answer to that can only depend on context. For example, the filioque clearly did matter very much in the context of, say, the Great Schism. Conversely, in the context of arguments for the existence of God, Christians have historically been quite happy to use Islamic arguments (e.g. kalām) in spite of the differences between the Islamic and Christian concepts of God.

---
* Clearly Allah is not a literal idol, given that an idol is a physical object ...

[ 20. March 2013, 08:40: Message edited by: Ricardus ]

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Ad Orientem
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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
quote:
Originally posted by malik3000:
It is Jesus who brings people to the Father -- which says nothing specific about what exact honestly-held beliefs persons might have (mistaken or otherwise) while still on this present earthly plane. Jesus does the bringing, not us.

This.

None of us, Chistian/Jew/Muslim/Other have the One True and Correct view of God. All see through a glass darkly. One day every one of us will see God as She is - and no doubt gather together in worship.

Why not start early?

From a Christian perspective this is of course wrong. Christianity does have the "correct view" of God because God revealed himself to us in the person of Christ. That's not to say we understand God fully but that there is no error in what we do understand. But then I guess much that depends upon how one views the transmission of the "faith delivered once to the saints".

[ 20. March 2013, 08:50: Message edited by: Ad Orientem ]

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Ad Orientem:
In the New Testament the Apostle especially beseeches us to having nothing to with them and this is reflected too in the ancient canons of the Church. This is pharisaic is it? Good grief! To argue such is really a great feat of hermeneutical gymnastics.

Some hermeneutical pole-vaulting will get you from flee from idolatry to flee from Islam. A bit of hermeneutical gymnastics will get you away from neighbour/Samaritan/Muslims. And a neat hermeneutic on the mat will squeeze past "all things to all men".

There's plenty to keep you fit if you want a biblical justification for keeping Muslims in the rain.

(By the way the muslims will probably find much that they regard as idolatry in the average Anglican church).

(And yes, Ricardus, that is what I meant - thanks).

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Ad Orientem
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Well, thank God we don't let non-Christians worship in our churches, that's all I can say. To allow such a thing is sacrilegous in the extreme, defiling the Church of God with their blasphemies. I'm sure the Apostles are turning in their graves at the very thought of such a thing.
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Boogie

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quote:
Originally posted by Ad Orientem:
Well, thank God we don't let non-Christians worship in our churches, that's all I can say. To allow such a thing is sacrilegous in the extreme, defiling the Church of God with their blasphemies. I'm sure the Apostles are turning in their graves at the very thought of such a thing.

I think this attitude does a great deal of harm. Out of interest, do you have any Muslim friends (as in people who come to your house for an informal meal and chat)?

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Ad Orientem
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A few work friends.
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Martin60
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Yes you did CL: Posted 19 March, 2013 20:25

Like all too many conservatives of all faiths, especially proselytes, you do your position complete disservice by such amnesia and bizarre ipse dixits inferring Hebrew is a promotion from Jew.

Thank God for Tony Campolo! But he looks like he's becoming far too inclusive and liberal to be a true ankle biting conservative.

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Love wins

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Boogie

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quote:
Originally posted by Ad Orientem:
A few work friends.

Do you tell them how terrible you think their faith is?

eta - the reason I ask is that I have Muslim friends who come round for the evening and we happily pray together. I am a liberal/universalist Christian and they are liberal Muslims - so maybe that makes a difference. But God is there when we pray.

[Smile]

[ 20. March 2013, 09:07: Message edited by: Boogie ]

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Ad Orientem
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Faith has never been the subject of discussion.
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Albertus
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Not, of course, in the sense of persuasion, no. But in the sense of trying to reach a wider and better understanding of what faith is, yes.

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My beard is a testament to my masculinity and virility, and demonstrates that I am a real man. Trouble is, bits of quiche sometimes get caught in it.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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Carry on. I'm learning a great deal from this thread.

It is not, as Tolkien commented on some of what Tom Bombadil had to teach about the Barrow Wights, comfortable lore.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
Some hermeneutical pole-vaulting will get you from flee from idolatry to flee from Islam.

Indeed. It's worth observing what the Bible actually says about idols. An idol is not a synonym for another God, still less a synonym for a false representation of God.

Idol-worship is condemned because it's worshipping an object that you've knowingly made with your own hands (Isaiah 44:9-20). Wisdom 13 is fairly clear that although nature-worship is bad, it is not as bad as idol-worship, because at least it's worshipping the works of the Creator rather than the works of human hands. Paul (Acts 17:22-23) seems to allow that the Greeks worshipping 'the unknown God' were in fact worshipping God.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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leo
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The bishop has backed the church's hospitality to Muslims.

I know of two churches - one anglo-catholic, the other evangelical C of E, who extend similar hospitality. I am sure there are many more.

Islam has extended similar hospitality:
quote:
Prophet Muhammad.... offered his own mosque to a Christian convoy from the tribe of Najran when it was time for their prayers....Prophet Muhammad, took a covenant from the seventh century Muslims to protect the properties and freedoms of the monks of Egypt's Saint Catherine's Monastery in specific, and Christians "far and near," in general
wrote Dr. Faheem Younus

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Ad Orientem:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by CL:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard:
After all, we share this one with each other. The hostile and the counter-hostile, struggling for mutual benevolence.

To actually be recognisable to the world as Christians, yet.

I share my life more easily with Muslims, Sikhs, atheists and Hindus than I do with the vast majority of Christians of my face to face acquaintance.

Then abandon the pretence of being a Christian, you'll be a lot happier.
Why?

It seems to me that he is exhibiting a very Christian attitude. (Unlike some on this thread.)

Eh? By praying with worshipers of idols and demons? Have you even read the sacred scriptures?
Of all the major world religions, Islam is the most anti-idol worship.

I wonder if you know anything at all about Islam.

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My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Ad Orientem:
quote:
Originally posted by Gextvedde:
Originally posted by Ad Orientem:
Why would Christianity have any regard for Judaism? Christianity has never regarded it as anything other than an apostate sect. I'd no sooner pray in the synagogues of the Jews than I would in the mosques of the Muslims.

Because without Judaism there would be NO Christianity perhaps...

Because Jesus was Jewish...

Because the leaders of the early church were Jewish...

Just a few thoughts. The list could be just a tad longer methinks.

All those things are quite irrelevant, that is, that they were physical descendants of Abraham. It counts for nothing. I am, of course, referring to the religion of the Jews which by the time of Jesus had fallen so far from the faith of Abraham that they rejected the very God they claimed to worship when he revealed himself to them in the flesh. So no, Christianity need have no regard for Judaism.
St. Paul had considerable regard for Judaism - perhaps, in your view, he wasn't a proper Christian.

At least you haven't dragged up the blood libel yet.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Ad Orientem
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by Ad Orientem:
quote:
Originally posted by Gextvedde:
Originally posted by Ad Orientem:
Why would Christianity have any regard for Judaism? Christianity has never regarded it as anything other than an apostate sect. I'd no sooner pray in the synagogues of the Jews than I would in the mosques of the Muslims.

Because without Judaism there would be NO Christianity perhaps...

Because Jesus was Jewish...

Because the leaders of the early church were Jewish...

Just a few thoughts. The list could be just a tad longer methinks.

All those things are quite irrelevant, that is, that they were physical descendants of Abraham. It counts for nothing. I am, of course, referring to the religion of the Jews which by the time of Jesus had fallen so far from the faith of Abraham that they rejected the very God they claimed to worship when he revealed himself to them in the flesh. So no, Christianity need have no regard for Judaism.
St. Paul had considerable regard for Judaism - perhaps, in your view, he wasn't a proper Christian.

At least you haven't dragged up the blood libel yet.

The Apostle himself affirms that being a Jew accounts for nothing, that it is faith which makes one a true descendant of Abraham. He also affirms that the Jews are cut off and that if they wish to belong to the Israel of God, which is the Church, then they must convert to Christ. In the meantime they are blind. There is only one theological imperative Christianity has with regards to Judaism and that is to pray for the conversion of the Jews.

[ 20. March 2013, 10:31: Message edited by: Ad Orientem ]

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mdijon
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And to regard them as our neighbour.

And do to treat them as we would wish to be treated ourselves.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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malik3000
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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
I am a liberal/universalist Christian

But, Boogie, I would guess that means you're not a Christan at all in Ad Orientem's eyes.
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
Idol-worship is condemned because it's worshipping an object that you've knowingly made with your own hands (Isaiah 44:9-20). Wisdom 13 is fairly clear that although nature-worship is bad, it is not as bad as idol-worship, because at least it's worshipping the works of the Creator rather than the works of human hands.

Or the worship of one own's narrowly rigid set-in-stone theological interpretations.

[ 20. March 2013, 10:51: Message edited by: malik3000 ]

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Otherwise, things are not just black or white.

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Ad Orientem
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
And to regard them as our neighbour.

And do to treat them as we would wish to be treated ourselves.

We should treat all people as such, yet that does not mean allowing non-Christians to worship in our churches.
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Ad Orientem
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quote:
Originally posted by malik3000:
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
I am a liberal/universalist Christian

I would guess that means you're not a Christan at all in Ad Orienem's eyes.
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
Idol-worship is condemned because it's worshipping an object that you've knowingly made with your own hands (Isaiah 44:9-20). Wisdom 13 is fairly clear that although nature-worship is bad, it is not as bad as idol-worship, because at least it's worshipping the works of the Creator rather than the works of human hands.

Or the worship of one own's narrowly rigid set-in-stone theological interpretations.

I have not and do not get involved in telling people if they're Christians or not as I have already pointed out earlier in the thread. As I also pointed out earlier my only concern is orthodoxy. The faith was "delivered once to the saints" and therefore anything new cannot be true but rather a depature from the Apostolic faith.
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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
And to regard them as our neighbour.

And do to treat them as we would wish to be treated ourselves.

quote:
Originally posted by Ad Orientem:
We should treat all people as such, yet that does not mean allowing non-Christians to worship in our churches.

We were discussing theological imperatives. It seems to me that our theological imperatives regarding the Jews go rather further than praying for their conversion.

Secondly I would consider it a kindness if a non-Christian offered me shelter when I came out to pray. Therefore it might mean allowing non-Christians use of our churches in some situations.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Ad Orientem
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There we shall have to agree to disagree because, quite simply, we will never agree.
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Sylvander
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Somehow the debate has turned to the theology of religions - a Christian topic. May I introduce an aspect regarding the case in question in the OP? And aspect that to my surprise has not been discussed? Taking a look at it not from the p.o.v. of Christian theology but from the Islamic perspective. Taking that into account it becomes clear that Muslims praying in a church is a case of dangerous hospitality.
And it is not comparable to sharing a building with other faiths. There are specific central elements in Muslim religion (and not others') that one should be aware of before taking such a step.
For Islamic tradition the fact that a specific spot has been prayed in, is the foundation of a claim that this spot or building is terra islamica. This is why old and not-so-old legends e.g. about the conquest of Jerusalem point out the places where the conquering Kalif did and did not pray. Eutychios of Alexandria describes how the Kalif Omar rides into Jerusalem after its conquest. The Kalif refuses to pray in the church on Jesus' tomb, despite being invited. This story is told in order to explain why the church is still there and not a mosque, despite centuries of Muslim rule (from a pious Muslim p.o.v. this church requires an explanation).
There is a long tradition in Islamic theology of the whole concept of "appropriating land by prayer".
To this day churches are expropriated in Muslim lands with the argument that Muslim prayer has been performed there. I was first alerted to this by Bishop Mano Rumalshah (former director of CMS and bishop of Peshawar). He often spoke about how in his homeland Pakistan Muslims would try to pray on cemeteries around the church - in an attempt to then claim this land and later the church. Sometimes successfully if the Christians could not prevent them from doing so.
In 1965 Turkish Muslims were allowed to perform a Ramdan-closing prayer in the Cologne Cathedral. How suprised was the Archbishop when later a delegation came to thank him for rendering the cathedral to the Muslim community. Some had seriously assumed that the cathedral had been handed over and now become a Muslim place belonging to them.
The current Muslims in Aberdeen may be nice and civilised and tolerant and never dream of the above. But they won't be the last and only Muslims there. And one day when the Muslims are more numerous and the not-so-nice sections, the louder, more intolerant, triumphalist, traditionalists will take control of their community they may well remember that this church should by right be theirs.
Letting Muslims pray in a church is another example of our societies' and churches' utter naïveté and stupidity in dealing with Muslims in our midst. Somehow in our secularised context we simply cannot imagine that other people take their faith utterly seriously, are community-oriented rather than individualised and that other religions have no notion of religion as a matter of the "private realm" but that politics and religion are one and the same thing. Because Allah wants to order the whole of society, not just his flock. Sharing churches risks giving them up in the long run. Better to sell them outright - in that case at least we can see what is happening and what kind of society we are headed towards.

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Laurelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Ad Orientem:
Well, thank God we don't let non-Christians worship in our churches, that's all I can say. To allow such a thing is sacrilegous in the extreme, defiling the Church of God with their blasphemies. I'm sure the Apostles are turning in their graves at the very thought of such a thing.

Hmm. Well, we once had a Muslim guy visit my little evangelical Anglican church, he was a friend of one of my fellow worshippers. He wasn't in traditional garb, and he just sat in the pew quietly and observed. I would sincerely hope that my little church would welcome anyone of all faiths and none. An atheist friend came to hear me preach once. Whenever I've visited another place of worship - a Reformed synagogue, a mosque, Sikh temple - I have respectfully observed their rules. I would expect a person of another faith to be courteous and respectful when visiting my church.

I also believe in the gospel, and the power of the gospel. I don't believe we should water down the truth of the gospel. That is not the same thing as not being welcoming, courteous and friendly. Jesus' approach to the Samaritan woman is a fantastic model, and the one we should follow. He told her the truth, but with love and respect, and did not reject her as a person.

quote:
Originally posted by Ad Orientem:
The Apostle himself affirms that being a Jew accounts for nothing, that it is faith which makes one a true descendant of Abraham. He also affirms that the Jews are cut off and that if they wish to belong to the Israel of God, which is the Church, then they must convert to Christ.

If a Jewish person comes to accept Jesus as the Messiah, they do not have to stop being Jewish. (How on earth could they?!) This is a point of primary importance. I know many Messianic Jews: these folk are ethnically Jewish through and through, yet have come to profess faith in Jesus as their Messiah. They are caught in a cleft stick: misunderstood and often rejected by their fellow Jews, they are also misunderstood by Christians who take the line you do. I believe this to be a profound mis-interpretation of Romans 9-11, and it has had terrible results. The Apostle Paul would be horrified to know how some of his words have been interpreted through the ages by the Church he loved.

Some pertinent quotes from Romans 11:

"11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!

25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, 26 and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written:

“The deliverer will come from Zion;
he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
27 And this is my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”

[Note: future tense].

28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29 for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable." Bolding mine.

If the Abrahamic covenant is null and void, if God can just carelessly toss off His ancient people as if they mean nothing to Him any more, then He is not a God who can be trusted. He is not a God who keeps His promises. As a Gentile Christian, I am glad and grateful to be grafted in.

As an evangelical, I'll put my cards on the table: I do regard Judaism as in a different category to Islam. Old Testament Judaism is the 'mother faith'. Jesus is the fulfilment. I do believe that Islam is false in a way that Judaism isn't. This does NOT mean I would ever treat a Muslim disrespectfully because I disagreed with their theology. It must be remembered that a devout Muslim also regards me - and the Jews - as being wrong!

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Sylvander:
Somehow in our secularised context we simply cannot imagine that other people take their faith utterly seriously, are community-oriented rather than individualised and that other religions have no notion of religion as a matter of the "private realm" but that politics and religion are one and the same thing.

I have heard some atheists talk about the perils of tolerating Christianity in the same way. What would your argument be with them?

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Ad Orientem
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Laurelin,

Concerning the first part, I am not referring to non-Christian just entering a church. That I have have no real problem with as long as it is done respectfully. What I am objecting to is non-Christians worshiping in churches.

As for the Jews, the old convenant is dead as the Apostle himself confirms (in his epistle to the Ephesians if I remember correctly, and elsewhere). There is and always has only ever been one true Israel of God from the beginning of the world. This is the Church. This is the faith the Church has received. It is in the Church that God's promises are fulfilled, Abraham's true descendants in faith.

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Hawk

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Regarding the use of the building itself, as a non-comformist I worry little about questions of consecration. What concerns me is that by the action of inviting muslims to pray according to their false religion, the Church is a) making it seem that we approve of their religion and consider it equal, similar or as efficacious to our own. And b) encouraging, aiding, and abetting the practices of a false religion.

Now both of these are negated if you do not think that Islam is a false religion. If you are a Christian whose theology is so liberal that you believe that Islam is just another way of worshipping our God, then obviously this opposition to it seems to you to just be another bit of petty posturing between brothers.

But is this the case? Is Islam just a 7th century arabian form of worshipping God, like Christianity is a 1st century Israelite sect's form? Are both just different ways of approaching the One God. As much as many people would like to reinterpret it as this, I'm afraid it is just not true. It is true that Islam was constructed out of bits and pieces of both Christianity and Judaism, as well as mixed in with pagan worship practices of the local tribes. It was a construction by Mohammed so that the local tribes could look on his construction and see a god that they recognised, that wasn't so alien to their ideas of what god should be.

But God said that we should not worship what we have made (not just statues made out of gold mdijon, strange as it may seem we can construct representations of God out of words and ideas just as easily - if not easier) but Himself alone. The Jews went so far as to ban even the pronouncement of His name, in case that became an idol (which later in kabbalah it did - many mystics using God's name or combinations of it in magical rites).

In orthodox Christianity the only representation of God that God has given us to worship is His Son, Jesus Christ, and the only representation of the Father we should use is his revealed word to us about Himself, His Spirit, and his Son in Holy Scripture. If anyone, however faithful or spiritual, makes anything else that presents God differently then they are false prophets, peddling idolotrous ideas.

Many on this thread don't accept this theology of the fundamental difference between following God Himself and following one's own created god. But warning against false prophets and those who run after them are a common theme in the Bible. It is one of the most urgent warnings, not to fall for the lies of those who speak about God only from their own imaginations. Read Esekiel 13:

quote:
Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: ‘Hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! our prophets, Israel, are like jackals among ruins...Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. Even though the Lord has not sent them, they say, “The Lord declares,” and expect him to fulfill their words. Have you not seen false visions and uttered lying divinations when you say, “The Lord declares,” though I have not spoken?...My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations.
And in 2 Peter 2:
quote:
But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves.
Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.



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Laurelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Ad Orientem:
Laurelin,
Concerning the first part, I am not referring to non-Christian just entering a church. That I have have no real problem with as long as it is done respectfully. What I am objecting to is non-Christians worshiping in churches.

OK, understood. There is a difference between welcoming those of other faiths or no faith at all, and allowing prayers of other faiths on Christian premises. The latter I would be very cautious about, personally.

I also want to know whether other faiths would be happy about Christians praying to Christ on their premises.

quote:
As for the Jews, the old convenant is dead as the Apostle himself confirms (in his epistle to the Ephesians if I remember correctly, and elsewhere). There is and always has only ever been one true Israel of God from the beginning of the world. This is the Church. This is the faith the Church has received. It is in the Church that God's promises are fulfilled, Abraham's true descendants in faith.
This is classic Replacement Theology. I understand it, but I also believe there is something seriously deficient in this theology, since it has resulted, in ages past, in an anti-Semitism perpetuated by the Church.

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Ad Orientem
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It is not "replacement" theology. We do not say that the Church has replaced Israel, we say that the Church is Israel and always has been.
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Laurelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Ad Orientem:
It is not "replacement" theology. We do not say that the Church has replaced Israel, we say that the Church is Israel and always has been.

Why, then, why do you think God bothered with the Jews and the Mosaic Covenant in the first place? [Confused] Did they just stop being 'the Church'? Do you believe that the Church is made up of redeemed Jews and Gentiles?

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Ad Orientem:
Laurelin,

Concerning the first part, I am not referring to non-Christian just entering a church. That I have have no real problem with as long as it is done respectfully. What I am objecting to is non-Christians worshiping in churches.

As for the Jews, the old convenant is dead as the Apostle himself confirms (in his epistle to the Ephesians if I remember correctly, and elsewhere). There is and always has only ever been one true Israel of God from the beginning of the world. This is the Church. This is the faith the Church has received. It is in the Church that God's promises are fulfilled, Abraham's true descendants in faith.

Doubt it's anywhere in Ephesians - indeed, anywhere at all. God's covenant is irrevocable. Romans 11: the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

That is why Marcionism was pronounced to be heretical.

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Ad Orientem:
It is not "replacement" theology. We do not say that the Church has replaced Israel, we say that the Church is Israel and always has been.

That is classic replacement theology:
quote:
1. Israel (the Jewish people and the land) has been replaced by the Christian Church in the purposes of God, or, more precisely, the Church is the historic continuation of Israel to the exclusion of the former.....5. The promises, covenants and blessings ascribed to Israel in the Bible have been taken away from the Jews and given to the Church, which has superseded them. However, the Jews are subject to the curses found in the Bible, as a result of their rejection of Christ.
The Error Of Replacement Theology - Clarence H. Wagner, Jr

In any case, the 'promises' refer to land, territory (a problem in itself for the palestinians) and are not capable of being spiritualised away.

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Ad Orientem
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I'll dig it up for you shortly when I get home. Yes, the Old Covenant is dead. We now have a New Covenant in its stead and all the promises are fulfilled in the context of that New Covenant. Being a Jew means nothing. A true descendant of Abraham is one who had faith. The scriptutes affirm this, so do the ancient liturgies and canons, the Fathers etc. To deny this shows that one had not understood the Gospel at all.
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mdijon
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Hawk, on that basis you would describe the worship of any representation of God you disagreed with as a golden calf or an idol.

There's certainly a parallel, but it strikes me as unhelpful to leap in with the label "golden calf" without unpacking any of that in discussion.

I would also wonder how doctrinally divergent someone has to get before their representation of God acquires "golden calf" status.

It seems like quite a gymnasts leap to use in order to apply verses about idolatry to Muslims. Ironically, they would regard many of the statues they see in churches as idolatrous. Arguably on far more objective grounds.

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Ad Orientem
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Leo,

The land is and always was only a figure. That the Jews lived there for a while under the Old Covenant was always dependant upon them being faithful.

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Laurelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Ad Orientem:
I'll dig it up for you shortly when I get home. Yes, the Old Covenant is dead. We now have a New Covenant in its stead and all the promises are fulfilled in the context of that New Covenant. Being a Jew means nothing. A true descendant of Abraham is one who had faith. The scriptutes affirm this, so do the ancient liturgies and canons, the Fathers etc. To deny this shows that one had not understood the Gospel at all.

I understand the Gospel just fine, and I thank God with all my heart for His great grace. [Cool]

Being a Jew means 'nothing'? [Confused] This is so strange, when we Christians read a Bible written almost exclusively by Jews (apart from Luke) and we worship a specifically Jewish Saviour.

What would you say to a Jewish person who professes faith in Jesus as their Messiah, then? Do you honestly think they have somehow magically stopped being Jewish? [Confused]

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mdijon
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Ad Orientem, does it concern you that you sound rather like a Christian justification for anti-semitism? Does anti-semitism seem like a danger to be avoided to you or is it just a fictitious accusation to confuse the faithful?

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South Coast Kevin
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quote:
Originally posted by Ad Orientem:
Well, thank God we don't let non-Christians worship in our churches, that's all I can say. To allow such a thing is sacrilegous in the extreme, defiling the Church of God with their blasphemies. I'm sure the Apostles are turning in their graves at the very thought of such a thing.

I rather suspect the Apostles are turning in their graves at our misuse of the word 'Church'. The Church - ecclesia in the Greek - originally referred to a group of people, not a physical building. A church (i.e. group of Christians) in a certain place might own a building, but IMO that doesn't alter the fundamental nature of that building - it's still just a pile of bricks or whatever.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Hawk:
What concerns me is that by the action of inviting muslims to pray according to their false religion, the Church is a) making it seem that we approve of their religion and consider it equal, similar or as efficacious to our own. And b) encouraging, aiding, and abetting the practices of a false religion.

Now both of these are negated if you do not think that Islam is a false religion.

As it happens I think that Islam is wrong about God and about Jesus, and I don't take a liberal/relativist view. On the other hand I think that the way to communicate this is politely and respectfully, and not by turning down the opportunity to show Muslims the kindness of offering shelter from the rain when they pray.

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Gextvedde
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Posted by Ad Orientem

quote:
I have not and do not get involved in telling people if they're Christians or not as I have already pointed out earlier in the thread. As I also pointed out earlier my only concern is orthodoxy. The faith was "delivered once to the saints" and therefore anything new cannot be true but rather a depature from the Apostolic faith.
Do you have a cut off year for when any thing 'new' is considered to be wrong? If not how do you judge what is orthodox?

If so how would you justify that date?

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Ad Orientem
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
Ad Orientem, does it concern you that you sound rather like a Christian justification for anti-semitism? Does anti-semitism seem like a danger to be avoided to you or is it just a fictitious accusation to confuse the faithful?

An interesting use of the term. Being Jewish carries no special favour with God. Neither does being a Gentile (does that make me anti-Gentile too?) It is faith that makes a person a true descendant of Abraham and it is faith that God takes into account.
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Gextvedde
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quote:
Originally posted by Ad Orientem:
quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
Ad Orientem, does it concern you that you sound rather like a Christian justification for anti-semitism? Does anti-semitism seem like a danger to be avoided to you or is it just a fictitious accusation to confuse the faithful?

An interesting use of the term. Being Jewish carries no special favour with God. Neither does being a Gentile (does that make me anti-Gentile too?) It is faith that makes a person a true descendant of Abraham and it is faith that God takes into account.
I think mdijon was careful to use the phrase 'sounds like anti-semitism' which doesn't carry the accusation that you are anti-semitic, but that what you are saying could be construed as such. Sage advice I'd say and something I was thinking about myself.

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Ad Orientem
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quote:
Originally posted by Laurelin:
quote:
Originally posted by Ad Orientem:
I'll dig it up for you shortly when I get home. Yes, the Old Covenant is dead. We now have a New Covenant in its stead and all the promises are fulfilled in the context of that New Covenant. Being a Jew means nothing. A true descendant of Abraham is one who had faith. The scriptutes affirm this, so do the ancient liturgies and canons, the Fathers etc. To deny this shows that one had not understood the Gospel at all.

I understand the Gospel just fine, and I thank God with all my heart for His great grace. [Cool]

Being a Jew means 'nothing'? [Confused] This is so strange, when we Christians read a Bible written almost exclusively by Jews (apart from Luke) and we worship a specifically Jewish Saviour.

What would you say to a Jewish person who professes faith in Jesus as their Messiah, then? Do you honestly think they have somehow magically stopped being Jewish? [Confused]

First of all the passage I was thinking of was from the Epistle to the Colossians not the Ephesians. Neverthless the Apostle writes "when you were dead in your sins, and the uncircumcision of your flesh; he hath quickened together with him, forgiving you all offences: Blotting out the handwriting of the decree that was against us, which was contrary to us. And he hath taken the same out of the way, fastening it to the cross". Here the Apostle is telling us that the Old Covenant came to an end with the cross.

Being Jewish carries no special favour with God. Neither does being a Gentile. It is faith that carries favour with God and it is faith that makes a person a true descendant of Abraham.

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Ad Orientem
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quote:
Originally posted by Gextvedde:
quote:
Originally posted by Ad Orientem:
quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
Ad Orientem, does it concern you that you sound rather like a Christian justification for anti-semitism? Does anti-semitism seem like a danger to be avoided to you or is it just a fictitious accusation to confuse the faithful?

An interesting use of the term. Being Jewish carries no special favour with God. Neither does being a Gentile (does that make me anti-Gentile too?) It is faith that makes a person a true descendant of Abraham and it is faith that God takes into account.
I think mdijon was careful to use the phrase 'sounds like anti-semitism' which doesn't carry the accusation that you are anti-semitic, but that what you are saying could be construed as such. Sage advice I'd say and something I was thinking about myself.
Well, to be honest I could care less what other people think if what they are thinking is nonsense. Therefore if anyone thinks what I'm saying is anti-semitic (though not necessarily by anyone here then) let them.
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Hawk

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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
Hawk, on that basis you would describe the worship of any representation of God you disagreed with as a golden calf or an idol.

There is of course a danger of that. We all need to be careful that we do not base our opposition to something just on our personal disagreement with it, but on what the Bible says. That is why in my first post I made sure to focus on Christ. He is the dividing line between Christians and Muslims. Anyone who denies Christ denies God. Therefore any representation of God that rejects His Son and His Salvation is a false representation.

Therefore whatever my personal feelings about Muslims, I must stand by that fundamental truth. I think that many Muslims and Jews are fervent and faithful seekers after God. But their religions, and their following of false prophets who deny Christ have led them astray. It is a tragedy. But it won’t be helped by pretending that the chasm between us does not exist, that they are still on the narrow path to salvation, when they are certainly not.

quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
There's certainly a parallel, but it strikes me as unhelpful to leap in with the label "golden calf" without unpacking any of that in discussion.

Perhaps. I was hoping people would choose to pick up on the parallel and think about it themselves without rejecting it out of hand.

quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
I would also wonder how doctrinally divergent someone has to get before their representation of God acquires "golden calf" status.

The Israelites’ calf was doctrinally relatively correct. It presented God as powerful, strong, flawless, precious, and recognised his deliverance of them out of Egypt. In their naivety they were probably quite surprised when God rejected it. They were doing their best to represent God as well as they knew how.

The problem is that God cannot be represented by humans, because nothing we create will ever be a good enough representation. Any construction of humankind can be an idol. If we worship our construction rather than God Himself.

How do we know that our worship is of God, rather than of our own construction? The Bible gives us the answer. Jesus Christ. If we know Him then we know the Father. Whatever our doctrinal divergence, as long as we follow Christ, and believe in Him then we are not worshipping our own construction but the Living God.

quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
It seems like quite a gymnasts leap to use in order to apply verses about idolatry to Muslims. Ironically, they would regard many of the statues they see in churches as idolatrous. Arguably on far more objective grounds.

So would I. But at least they are following Christ, which is far more important. I think the spirit of the law against idols is more important than the letter of it. Does it turn us towards Christ, or away from Him?

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