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Islam And Christianity In America

Posted by admin on May 18, 2013 with No Commentsas , , , , , , , , , , ,

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It is my hope that we will find commonality in the way we believe rather than the differences that makes us be at odds with each other, and with good reason.

Recently I befriended a young man that is Muslim. At our first meeting I felt a sense of fear as well as excitement. I questioned why I felt excited because both of those emotions are, or shall I say, totally contrary to each other as being a weird combination.

While in deep conversation with this young man, and we will name him Tom, I began to see that we had a lot in common. I had this inner stirring in me and the peace-maker in me was being challenged because if I claim to be a “Truth Seeker” I need to be open to wisdom and knowledge based on other religions.

Did you know that Muslims believe in Jesus and in the Quran Jesus is mentioned twenty-five times. The disconnect to many Christians is that Jesus never tasted death. They believe that the Father took Him up unto Himself.

The purpose of writing this piece is not meant to persuade anyone into conversion. It is however, a way to bridge the two different cultures with some understanding. I still have no clue to how and why Islam has become so tainted by extremism. It certainly is not like a Christian fanatic in any sense of the word.

Let us begin in part to examine what Wikipedia says about Islam.

Isa ( Arabic: عيسى, Transliteration: ʿĪsā ), known as Jesus in the New Testament, is considered to be a Messenger of God and the Masih (Messiah) in Islam[1] who was sent to guide the Children of Israel (banī isrā’īl) with a new scripture, the Injīl or Gospel.[2] The belief in Jesus (and all other messengers of God) is required in Islam, and a requirement of being a Muslim. The Quran mentions Jesus by name twenty-five times, while it only mentions Muhammad by name four times as Muhammad and once as Ahmad; making it a total of five times.[3][4] It states that Jesus was born to Mary (Arabic: Maryam) as the result of virginal conception, a miraculous event which occurred by the decree of God (Arabic: Allah). To aid in his ministry to the Jewish people, Jesus was given the ability to perform miracles (such as healing the blind, bringing dead people back to life, etc.), all by the permission of God rather than of his own power. According to the Quran, Jesus, although appearing to have been crucified, was not killed by crucifixion or by any other means, instead, “God raised him unto Himself”. Like all prophets in Islam, Jesus is considered a Muslim (i.e., one who submits to the will of God), as he preached that his followers should adopt the “straight path” as commanded by God. Islam rejects the Trinitarian Christian view that Jesus was God incarnate or the son of God, that he was ever crucified or resurrected, or that he ever atoned for the sins of mankind. The Quran says that Jesus himself never claimed any of these things, and it furthermore indicates that Jesus will deny having ever claimed divinity at the Last Judgment, and God will vindicate him.[5] The Quran emphasizes that Jesus was a mortal human being who, like all other prophets, had been divinely chosen to spread God’s message. Islamic texts forbid the association of partners with God (shirk), emphasizing a strict notion of monotheism (tawhīd).

Numerous titles are given to Jesus in the Quran and in Islamic literature, the most common being al-Masīḥ (“the messiah”). Jesus is also, at times, called “Seal of the Israelite Prophets”, because, in general Muslim belief, Jesus was the last prophet sent by God to guide the Children of Israel. Jesus is seen in Islam as a precursor to Muhammad, and is believed by Muslims to have foretold the latter’s coming.[6][7]

Muslims believe that Jesus will return to earth near the Day of Judgment to restore justice and to defeat Masih ad-Dajjal (“the false messiah”, also known as the Antichrist).[6][8]

So as you can see, there are some similarities between Islam and Christianity, but very stark differences too. What I find to be interesting is the difference between Muhammad and Jesus’ proselyting. One would ask, why is it that Muhammad did not have any apostles like Jesus did? Jesus needed to have apostles to spread the good news to the Jews so that they would be updated, if you will, about superseding the Law of Moses.

Personally I think it is dangerous for anyone to follow one particular person and treat them like they are the Messiah without a following of followers. Perhaps that is exactly why Jesus had His apostles so that His teachings would not become corrupt. What do you think about this point?

I may take some heat for bringing this topic up because on one hand it is safe for people to keep Muslims in a box without taking the time to understand their beliefs. On the other hand we need to distance ourselves from fanatical extreme thinking that would cause harm to anyone.

We do need to look at similarities rather than differences because of arrogance and self righteousness that comes with being narrow minded as well as being self preserved. We are in dire need to work through these cultural differences seeing that we have terrorism on the rise.

I am sure that many people want to have one of the most important question answered. WHY? Why the absence of Muslims denounce the behavior of their follow believers? Why do they take their beliefs to the next level and become so fanatical that they bring in death to Americans or anyone that does not believe in the way they do? Why Sharia Law?

I can say this, the media has not reported the truth about Muslims and have managed to instil fear into the hearts of many Americans. For instance, the word Imam verses Iman. Imam is a religious leader like a Minister. Iman is the Arabic word for faith. They sound alike but have totally different meaning. Even the media is uneducated about the Muslims or they are mis-using their power to influence for the good by using Muslims to cause contention and division among people.

Whatever the case, we need to educate ourselves and we need to know how to resolve social problems for our own well being and safety. We need to have a major paradigm shift in the way we communicate with Mormons, Jews, Muslims, and other religions and beliefs including Atheists if we want to live more peacefully with each other. If we do not do our part to have peaceful solutions for complex problems we could very well become uncivilized to the point of no return.

We need to look at commonality and not differences between each other. I do have to make this point. sometimes we have to use violent means to establish peace like how war can defuse aggressive dictators that abuse their people.

In closing I want to express a sense of hope for all inhabitants of the earth in that we can hope for a better tomorrow, even if it seems like there is not a solution to the indifferences we have over religion and our beliefs. Muslims around the world have to do their part to hold extremist accountable for their aggressive behaviors. Remember that “terrorism” means bringing terror to those that do not understand. When we understand we are not as intimidated and so we are able to keep our own personal peace.

With Warm Regards,

Terrance W. Norton,

Humanitarian Mentor/Orator/ Writer

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God Is A Just God Part 1

Posted by admin on March 31, 2011 with No Commentsas , , , , , , , , , , , ,

You may be an American, African, Indian, East Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern, or from Latin America; this message is for all people from the four corners of the earth. I have been feeling the need to write this post for quite some time now because it is important for all of us to know the truth about Americans.

I will begin by showing you a video clipping about a book that is considered to be a religious book like how the Bible has its scriptures to Christians and truth seekers alike. I MUST ADD THAT THIS VIDEO IS NOT USED AS A MISSIONARY TOOL TO RECRUIT PEOPLE TO JOIN ANY RELIGION, BUT TO MAKE A POINT ABOUT HOW PEOPLE CAN BE ARROGANT AS WELL AS HOW PEOPLE STRUGGLE IN THEIR DAILY LIVES. 

After viewing the video please come back and join me so we can continue with Part 1 of God Is A Just God. It is important to illustrate how some Americans give off an air of arrogance as people that represent American values and the American way of life. Of course not all Americans are this way! There are many good Americans that do donate money to countries that suffer tragedies, and of course we have our social problems as well.

 

It is about a man named Lehi and his dream concerning his sons and how his sons were at different points in their life. The dream was originally a dream of warning to his sons, of whom he was concerned about their future. Just as some families have rebellious children, Lehi too had sons that were rebellious and prideful. It is also a good illustration of what the ” Tree of Life ” is symbolic to.

God wants to reason with man providing man would seek Him and as a result man would find true happiness and peace within. There is however a problem with the stubbornness and pridefulness of some American people that represents the American people. I am speaking about the prideful people living in the big white house on the hill that would look down on people below. Our god maybe different that the gods of other countries throughout the world but all in all we do worship a “Supreme Being “.

The point to be made is that all of us have to believe in a ” Higher Source “ of some sort. So why is religion such a problem to man, and why can we not live together in peace? Why does there have to be arrogance and violence over religious beliefs and not allowing people the right to believe the way they do. However, we must stand against violence of any kind as well as standing for people that suffer human rights violations and tyranny.

It is this big white house on the hill mindset that people adopt in order to feel superior. There is however, a problem with extremism when it comes to any religion. The fanatical zealot cannot allow anyone to believe how they want to believe. There is in any religion a sect of people that are extreme. You do not have to be branded as an extremist Muslim when there are good people that are Muslims as much as there are extremists in the Mormon, Lutheran, and other religions of faith too. It is this big house on the hill mindset that sets people apart from each other. Is there a matter of concern when it comes to dealing with extremists? Yes, most certainly there is!

I do not claim to have the answers when it comes to extremist behaviors, especially when tied to the Muslim faith that has been perverted for the so called sake of Allayah. It cannot spill over to allow the United States and the individual states to allow human rights violations such as it is in Sharia Law. One could say that the victims of Sharia Law are the people that are holding on to the ” Iron Rod “.

Shall we go into a different direction and cover the aspects of human behavior. We will start with how people believe that Americans have a lot of money. Well, I hate to burst your bubble but, most Americans are living on the edge of going under financially. There are the wealthy and there is also a group that I will label as the ” I want to be rich ” people. They want the things of the world when they cannot afford them.

Irregardless of what people around the world believe about us being wealthy, here is the study they did back in 2009:

Wikipedia Defines Poverty

Poverty in the United States is cyclical in nature with roughly 13 to 17% of Americans living below the federal poverty line at any given point in time, and roughly 40% falling below the poverty line at some point within a 10-year time span. Poverty is defined as the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions.[1] Approximately 43.6 (14.3%) million Americans were living in poverty in 2009, up from 39.8 million (13.2%) in 2008.[2]

The government’s definition of poverty is not tied to an absolute value of how much an individual or family can afford, but is tied to a relative level based on total income received. For example, the poverty level for 2011 was set at $22,350 (total yearly income) for a family of four.[3] Most Americans (58.5%) will spend at least one year below the poverty line at some point between ages 25 and 75.[4] There remains some controversy over whether the official poverty threshold over- or understates poverty.

The most common measure of poverty in the United States is the “poverty threshold” set by the U.S. government. This measure recognizes poverty as a lack of those goods and services commonly taken for granted by members of mainstream society.[5] The official threshold is adjusted for inflation using the consumer price index.

Relative poverty describes how income relates to the median income, and does not imply that the person is lacking anything. In general the United States has some of the highest relative poverty rates among industrialized countries, reflecting both the high median income and high degree of inequality.[6] In terms of pre-transfer absolute poverty rates, in 2000 the United States ranked tenth among sixteen developed countries, though 2000 was a ‘trough’ year and subsequently absolute poverty rates have increased.[7] The US does worse in post-transfer absolute poverty rates.[8] According to a 2008 report released by the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire, on average, rates of poverty are persistently higher in rural and inner city parts of the country as compared to suburban areas.[9][10] The number of people in the U.S. who are in poverty is increasing to record levels with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty.[11]

This is a sobering fact about how much people are living on the edge because living in the United States is very expensive. While I am on the subject of poverty and statistics here is another sobering fact that people should know about the United States.

There are people all over the world that are hungry and are very poor. We have hunger in our country too and it is not that we have favor from God more than any country that suffers. What it means is that when we as United States citizens are poor it hurts more than it does with people from other countries that are used to being poor. We have more of the sting of adversity because we live in a country that costs more than what it does to live in other countries. For instance the average rent is:

Overall median costs: $684 per month

$718/month for homeowners

$651/month for renters

Those living in relatively new buildings (4 years old or less) have a median cost of $1049 per month.

As many of the people around the world envy Americans or should we say hate us for the way we live it is not the necessarily the truth by how we live. If you really want to know the truth about America, we are in debt up to our eyeballs. There is an overwhelming sense of fear that comes over the average American for us to keep from going under. It is very expensive to live in the United States. The point is for whatever it is worth, the hatred and envy of the world is a delusion. It is the blindness of most people around the world that wants to live in the U.S., but there is a huge price to pay and the funny thing about it is that most people do not know what it takes to live here. One could say that it is a long hard fall from grace when we go under because it is not normally the way of life for us to be dirt poor.

There is however, people that are born into wealthy families and they have the DNA business smarts to take advantage of opportunities that most of us are not privileged to. What I mean is the old addage as ” it takes money to make money”. If you do not have money then it is up to a person to be creative by creating an opportunity for themselves. It is hard for someone to come out of poverty because of the mindset that is ingrained in their thought patterns. I know because I have been homeless twice in the last fifteen years.

While people are living in the ” big white house ” on the hill, they have no idea how people down below are suffering. It is like their arrogance blinds them and they do not care much to know either. It is the people that are poverty stricken that are the ones that are holding onto the ” iron rod “. We know that if we let go of the iron rod we will be consumed by life’s adversity and we do not have much of the resources to recover.

It is by using the ” Powers of Attraction” that a person has to have in order to achieve wealth, but it may not be what you believe wealth to be in its entirety. There is a spiritual aspect to wealth because we have to understand what wealth is and how to apply the principles to wealth that will bring us wealth. In other words if we do not respect money, money is a gift that comes from God based by how we treat it. It is pretty much the same with love. Money and love will go play with people that respects it and it will elude those who seek to abuse it either by pridefulness, manipulating people, and/or selfishness by not giving a portion of their substance to serve mankind. It is funny how people seek money never find it!

The better part of being rich is the enriched relationships we have with others. It is the meaning of life and our ability to have enriched the lives by serving others and is NOT necessarily the riches we seek from the world. It is the American way to give to nations that suffer natural disasters or human rights violations. Most Americans that give have an understanding of what it takes to be enriched by what Gods gives us and to use what we get from HIM to be used for building up God’s Kingdom here on earth. Sure there are some people that are wealthy and are closed-fisted about how they spend their money. Unfortunately they do not use it for righteous purposes. This maybe what foreigners see and they believe the most Americans are like the people who they see or read about.

It is strange to think that their money will mean nothing when the American dollar collapses and they will have a very difficult time to find something that will replace the dollar. I guess it is God’s way of filtering out the people that do not use the money for good, and the money that was given to them comes from the Creator of that money. Great shall be their fall when their house that has been built on a sandy foundation shall come crashing down and their life will become meaningless.

In part 2 I will be covering more of the spiritual aspects of wealth so that our readers will be able to understand why we have what we have and why other nations do not have much. When we understand the meaning of things, we are able to understand that there is always two sides to the story. If it were not so, then we would view God as being favorable to a selected few by giving to them and not to us who need it the most.

Things should make sense to you whom seek truth about how loving and giving God really is to man. We will understand when we look at the big picture by bringing in the Eternal prospective of our mortal experience. We will also find out why President Obama and the liberal agenda to redistribute wealth and how it will not work in today’s society.

I hope you will join me in Part 2!

 


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