God's Politics

God's Politics


The Conversion of the Atomic Bombers’ Chaplain | interview with Fr. George Zabelka

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In August, 1945, Fr. George Zabelka, a Catholic chaplain with the U.S. Army Air Forces, was stationed on Tinian Island in the South Pacific. He served as priest and pastor for the airmen who dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He was discharged in l946. During the next 20 years he gradually began to realize that what he had done and believed during the war was wrong, and that the only way he could be a Christian was to be a pacifist. He was deeply influenced in this process by the civil rights movement and the works of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.


In 1972 he met Charles C. McCarthy, a theologian, lawyer, and father of 10. McCarthy, who founded the Center for the Study of Nonviolence at the University of Notre Dame, was leading a workshop on nonviolence at Zabelka’s church. The two men fell into the first of several conversations about the issues raised by the workshop. Some time later, Zabelka reached the conclusion that the use of violence under any circumstances was incompatible with his understanding of the gospel of Christ. When this article appeared in Sojourners in August 1980, Fr. Zabelka was retired, gave workshops on nonviolence and assisted in diocesan work in Lansing, Michigan.—The Editors of Sojourners


Charles McCarthy: Father Zabelka, what is your relationship to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August, 1945?


Fr. Zabelka: During the summer of 1945, July, August, and September, I was assigned as Catholic chaplain to the 509th Composite Group on Tinian Island. The 509th was the atomic bomb group.


McCarthy: What were your duties in relationship to these men? Zabelka: The usual. I said mass on Sunday and during the week. Heard confessions. Talked with the boys, etc. Nothing significantly different from what any other chaplain did during the war.


McCarthy: Did you know that the 509th was preparing to drop an atomic bomb?


Zabelka: No. We knew that they were preparing to drop a bomb substantially different from and more powerful than even the “blockbusters” used over Europe, but we never called it an atomic bomb and never really knew what it was before August 6, 1945. Before that time we just referred to it as the “gimmick” bomb.


McCarthy: So since you did not know that an atomic bomb was going to be dropped you had no reason to counsel the men in private or preach in public about the morality of such a bombing?


Zabelka: Well, that is true enough; I never did speak against it, nor could I have spoken against it since I, like practically everyone else on Tinian, was ignorant of what was being prepared. And I guess I will go to my God with that as my defense. But on Judgment Day I think I am going to need to seek more mercy than justice in this matter.


Click here to read the rest of the Sojourners interview with Fr. George Zabelka.


To speak out against the nuclear weapons build-up and sign on to a “Statement from Religious Americans Opposing the Complex 2030 Plan,” click here.



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Toinch

posted August 8, 2007 at 12:50 pm


What gives with you Christians? When are you going to admit that Jesus was insane. Even your “conservatives”; while claiming to “believe”; are quick to announce that Jesus didn’t mean what he said or that his instructions were for “another” age. Give me a break, even his hometown folk were ready to throw him off the cliff when he announced that the “goodies” weren’t to be just for them. “Don’t retaliate,” “Love your enemies,” you’ve got to be kidding. It’s obvious you don’t believe it. Why do you keep professing what you don’t believe yourselves. Best be careful, someday people may start listening to what Jesus said and you will be found out.



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M South

posted August 8, 2007 at 1:56 pm


I just feel sad I didn’t hear Zabelka’s words 27 years ago.
Somewhere between Francis Shaeffer’s inspiration and exhortation to engage the culture and participation in the “Religious Right” something went terribly wrong with my perspective.
Over the past couple of years of heartache I’ve been brought forcibly to the conclusion that Matthew 5 and 6 are central to how Jesus commanded we ought to try to live in the power of the Spirit. I have been chagrined to find that this is as ignored and explained away by almost all churches as much as Isaiah 53 is bypassed by synagogues.
Believe me, I am having a crisis of faith because of this…



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Charley

posted August 8, 2007 at 3:02 pm


99% of the time, MLK style passive resistence is the way to go. The only way to truly change society is to take away all excuses for its ills. Thus, video footage of fire hoses and dogs attacking peaceful protestors will change minds, while video footage of Black Panther style active resistance may make things worse.
But violence has its place. If someone breaks into your home and starts attacking your children, you cannot simply passively resist. To do so would be unjust. Likewise, police officers who arrest criminals have to use force. That “violence” is surely justified. Indeed, violence was required to end Hitler’s Holocaust. Something like that only gets stronger with appeasement.
It’s right to say that violence begets more violence. It’s also right to resist violence as much as possible. But we cannot simply reject it completely. To do that, would be unchristian. God was the God of both the Old and the New Testaments.



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Moderatelad

posted August 8, 2007 at 3:28 pm


If this type of pacivity was popular thinking in the 1600 when the Muslims were marching into Europe with an army to take control of that continent – we would all be worshipping Allah now. There are many times that you can deal with a situation non-violently. But it would never have worked against Japan – Germany. Today – leaders of small nations around the world with no moral compass can only be delt with diplomatically for a short time. Unless they can understand how to deal with the rest of the world peacefully – they will have to be delt with millitarily.
Evil people sometimes just remain evil.
Blessings –
.



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Kevin Wayne

posted August 8, 2007 at 4:48 pm


If this type of pacivity was popular thinking in the 1600 when the Muslims were marching into Europe with an army to take control of that continent – we would all be worshipping Allah now.
You mean that the Gospel is weak and innefective against carnal weapons of warfare? :)



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Gary Schrag

posted August 8, 2007 at 5:17 pm


I think the protests that pacifism doesn’t work simply reveals the mindset of Christendom. The vision of Christendom was born out of violence. We can no longer imagine a Christianity in which the faithful do not need a foreseeable outcome. When Jesus went to the cross no one standing there was saying, “Now there is a person who understands what God’s will is.” There is precious little evidence that the Vision of Christendom, in which Christians are meant to rule the world, ever contributed anything to the betterment of humankind. To bring up Nazi Germany and Japan as justification for a violent Christianity is to not understand that Nazism and other like regimes were just another chapter in the violence in which Christendom was an active participant. When Christians buy into the ways of usual human behavior, who will witness to the ways that Jesus taught? We need to let go of the notion of Christendom that God wants us to rule the world by any means possible. We need, with God’s help, to accept the minority place that the way of Jesus inevitably implies. The cross opens up possibilities no human could conceive. So it shall ever be.
Gary



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Mick Sheldon

posted August 8, 2007 at 5:44 pm


Fr. George Zabelka appears to need a Priest .
I am being somewhat sarcastic, but he does appear to be suffering from guilt over something the Lord has nothing to do with .
Zabelka said
“But on Judgment Day I think I am going to need to seek more mercy than justice in this matter.
First Bibically , look at what Paul did . This man’s views changed over time , but his relationship with Christ has seemed to suffer because of it . I don’t see how his enlightenment could be from the Spirit of God , it has brought forth false guilt on his part . He is not condemned by Christ .



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Moderatelad

posted August 8, 2007 at 5:55 pm


Posted by: Kevin Wayne | August 8, 2007 4:48 PM
No – but it was good that someone remembered the Giddon story and knew that to raise arms against an enemy was not wrong.
Have a great day –
.



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jerry

posted August 8, 2007 at 6:30 pm


i wonder who dug up this story and why? is this a witness? for what? in ’72 he got pacifist religion and in ’80 he interviewed with sojo. andddddd?



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N.M. Rod

posted August 8, 2007 at 7:09 pm


I worship the War Jesus. Onward Christian soldiers. He’s no namby-pamby. He says we will have war until God establishes his own dictatorship after Armageddon. So it’s just a matter of being on the right side. We have the Bible so we are right, they don’t, simple. God said it, I believe it and that settles it. Look at every church theologian for the past centuries, they will tell you the same. There will always be war so our function is to win and for that we need hardnosed Christian warriors. The love we show our enemies is simply that we made the gospel available. That’s the peace we offer them, not a-peace-ment.
The chaplains are there to serve the the practical purposes so the soldiers don’t go all soft to pieces worrying about a bunch of pagans and buck them up so they can continue to destroy our enemies. Peace thru strength. As Falwell, praised by Franklin Graham and every megachurch pastor said, “Blow ‘em all to hell in the name of the Lord.” So be it, but for Christ, sometimes even the babies need to have their heads smashed against the rocks, as the scripture says.
Now don’t worry about the outcome. Even if violence were to increase, it just hastens the Return.
Some will say how can you fight another Christian in another country? Sometimes God just sits back and sees who’s going to win and then blesses the strongest. That’s making sure the best man wins.
Yeah, I’m joking.



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Erika

posted August 8, 2007 at 7:12 pm


Fr. Zabelka’s story may be old, but it is useful and it is certainly relevant.
Jesus does not give us options. We don’t get to pick and choose who deserves warfare, and who deserves peace. He does not say “love your enemies… but only love the enemies that are reasonably good people”. He doesn’t say “turn the other cheek…most of the time”. He doesn’t say “Blessed are the peacemakers…but it’s okay to wage war against the really bad people”.
Those who do not believe in Christ call this foolish. But thank God for the foolishness of the cross. Jesus the Messiah laid down his life instead of using his infinite power to utterly destroy the evil and unjust things of the world.
Thank God, because there is a war-maker in each of us which now gets to be resurrected just like the body of Christ. We get to experience the joy of peacemaking.
Fr. Zabelka’s story is a reminder of our call as Christians to embrace pacifism, no matter what the cost, and no matter what millennium we are in.



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Bill Samuel

posted August 8, 2007 at 7:12 pm


I assume the reason why this was run now is because we are between Hiroshima Day (August 6) and Nagasaki Day (August 9). This makes it a time to reflect upon those events and broader concerns related to war and the Christian conscience.
Regarding the subject of the teachings of Jesus on the issue, I recommend The Jesus Gospel Web site.



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Hali

posted August 8, 2007 at 7:21 pm


Moderatelad wrote:
“If this type of pacivity was popular thinking in the 1600[sic] when the Muslims were marching into Europe with an army to take control of that continent – we would all be worshipping Allah now.”
Allah is God. If you do not worship God, why are you skulking around on a Christian blog?



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Anonymous

posted August 8, 2007 at 7:27 pm


ML South,
Matthew 5 and 6 were central to Bonhoeffer’s choice of passive non-resistance. Read his Cost of Discipleship to see how.



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Hali

posted August 8, 2007 at 8:25 pm


Bill Samuel:
“Regarding the subject of the teachings of Jesus on the issue, I recommend The Jesus Gospel Web site.”
Thank you so much for sharing that!
From the site:
“Even the 2nd Century Pagans Knew
the Christians Were to be Non-Violent
Even the pagans recognized that Christians would no longer carry the sword. Celsus was a respected pagan scholar. In 173 AD he criticized Christians for their refusal to defend the Empire. “If all men were to do as you there would be nothing to prevent the Emperor from being left in utter solitude, and with the desertion of his forces, the Empire would fall into the hands of the most lawless barbarians.””
http://thejesusgospel.com/Home_Page.html.html
Sounds awfully familiar…
“Origen gave the Christian response:
“Christians have been taught not to defend themselves against their enemies; and because they have kept the laws that command gentleness and love of man, they have received from God that which they would not have achieved if they were permitted to make war, though they might have been quite able to do so.”
But he also explained that the peaceful Christian did more good for the Emperor than his armies did. “The more devout the individual, the more effective he is in helping the Emperor, more so than the soldiers who go into the lines and kill all the enemy troops they can … The greatest warfare, in other words, is not with human enemies but with those spiritual forces which make men into enemies.””
Thank God for those Christians who still live by this message, and may we all strive to do the same.



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Kevin Wayne

posted August 8, 2007 at 9:46 pm


ImmoderateBlab, let me remind you that you said:
“If this type of pacivity was popular thinking…we would all be worshipping Allah now.”
That means only one thing: God can’t preserve his church, protect his people, and defeat his enemies with anything else other than carnal weapons. There’s also no grace available to keep us from falling.
There can be no two ways about it. Either you believe in the power of God or you don’t.
Ever heard the phrase “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church?”



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gina b

posted August 8, 2007 at 10:27 pm


I’m concerned about people who confuse nonviolence with “doing nothing.” There are ways to fight evil and sin without mimicking behaviors that are abhorrent to God.
Kevin Wayne, you are correct. Deciding that only by taking up the sword are Christians able to stop evil men is tantamount to saying God is powerless. We need bombs when we are the children and followers of the Creator? That’s ludicrous.
Unfortunately, the concept of praying faithfully and then relying on God seems quaint nowadays. Most of us are lukewarm.
gina b.



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Payshun

posted August 8, 2007 at 10:31 pm


Mod said:
“If this type of pacivity was popular thinking…we would all be worshipping Allah now.”
Me:
Well considering all the attrocities Christians have done in presenting the gospel I would not throw stones at Islam. How many countries and people’s were killed for the twisted version of Christianity you are espousing?
How many more will die?
In the end I am not saying one should not defend the weak. They should but please don’t think that violence solves anything. In the end all it provides is death. the way of Christ is better. Not only that but remember who our enemies really are. They are the powers of the air, ideas… Those are our true enemies. Those that live by them are only under their tyranny. It is our job to fight for them.
p



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Moderatelad

posted August 8, 2007 at 10:33 pm


Posted by: Hali | August 8, 2007 7:21 PM
Allah is God. If you do not worship God, why are you skulking around on a Christian blog?
But the God of Christianity and the Jewish Faith is not the same God of Islam – period.
Posted by: Kevin Wayne | August 8, 2007 9:46 PM
I believe in the Power of God – period. God has called his people to battle several times thoughout the history of the Bible. Even pre-emptively at times.
Have a great day –
.



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Anonymous

posted August 8, 2007 at 10:53 pm


Posted by: gina b | August 8, 2007 10:27 PM
We need bombs when we are the children and followers of the Creator? That’s ludicrous.
So you are saying that when Pearl Harbor was attacked – we should have done nothing. We should have been beating our swords into plows and spears into pruning hocks as well as our ships into artifical reefs. The Japanese gov’t had already murdered thousands in Manchuria and China and desired to dominate the South Pacific and more. We – the US should have done nothing.
In essence – if someone is going down the block and murdering my neighbors and friends – I should do nothing but wait and see if they are going to make it to me. Because I know the Savior and ‘this earth is not my home’. I should do nothing even though I know that the people living in the house next to me are not believers. Sure – I can be a martyr, not that anyone would say that about me because I did nothing but verbally tell the person that they should not be killing innocent people. I can be dispatched to Heaven and who knows where my neighbor and his family will go. But I don’t need to worry because I was non-violent so I am blessed.
Later –
.



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Moderatelad

posted August 8, 2007 at 10:58 pm


Posted by: Kevin Wayne | August 8, 2007 9:46 PM
ImmoderateBlab, let me remind you that you said:
and Kevin – the name is Moderatelad – period.
respectfully –
.



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gina b

posted August 8, 2007 at 11:02 pm


Again, the confusing nonviolence with “doing nothing.”
There are always alternatives. They may represent the harder path, but they are always there.
I can’t imagine that if I chose to corral my neighbors into a basement, bar the doors and pray, God would berate me for not loading my Glock and blowing that ##$%%^ away.



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gina b.

posted August 8, 2007 at 11:24 pm


Let me just say, I’m as violent as the next person. When people I consider evil hurt people I consider innocent, I want revenge, big time.
I don’t even want to think about what I could do to someone who threatened or hurt my children.
But I don’t consider those impulses godly. I think there’s a reason God said, “Vengeance is mine.” And a reason Jesus told us to fight the impulse to strike back.
We get it wrong. All the time. We misinterpret or we act out of anger, or fear or worse, greed.
The war we’re in right now was not initiated by a Christian nation at the behest of God. We’re there fighting for American interests.
God told us it was imperative that we stop the suffering of the Iraqi people, but He’s fine with the slaughtering in Darfur?
We don’t fight “Just Wars” anymore — if we ever did.
Jesus said there will always be war. He also said there will always be poverty. I don’t think he was condoning either.



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Larry Parker

posted August 9, 2007 at 12:17 am


My grandfather was in the 509th. He (unknowingly, as the good padre said) helped load the bomb on the Enola Gay on its way to Hiroshima.
Despite what I’ve read in my history books about the Japanese preparing a fanatic resistance, the war likely going on several more years, etc., I still feel deep guilt just from that tenuous connection to the horror of August 1945.



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kevin s.

posted August 9, 2007 at 12:43 am


“Allah is God. If you do not worship God, why are you skulking around on a Christian blog?”
No. The one Muslims call Allah is not God anymore than Baal is God.
“ImmoderateBlab”
Comic tonedeafness on display.
“Yeah, I’m joking.
Posted by: N.M. Rod”
Ditto.



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Mick Sheldon

posted August 9, 2007 at 12:50 am


Larry,
I still feel deep guilt just from that tenuous connection to the horror of August 1945.
Larry , if your have accepted Christ in your life you have nothing to be ashamed of , in fact your Grand Father is to be honored for serving his country at such a horrible time .
He did nothing wrong , he obeyed his orders , and no one can blame him for what he did . Remember , you are allowing the culture of today , and the culture you have been surrounded in to cause you to feel guilt over something that you have no right to . That guilt is not from God .
Love In Christ ,



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kevin s.

posted August 9, 2007 at 12:51 am


And to those who said real things…
“Those who do not believe in Christ call this foolish. But thank God for the foolishness of the cross.”
I hear this a lot. That Christ was insane, and therefore (enter particular pet political position here) is acceptable, even though it does not bear scrutiny. Christ’s death on the cross was not foolish by any standard. It was God’s divine grace bestowed on humanity. It was the perfect sacrifice. That’s it.
I believe in Christ, and I believe war is acceptable. If you are pacifist, and you cannot advance your position beyond “turn the other cheek”, than your position lacks nuance, and must be discarded. You can appeal to the “foolishness” of God to account for your intellectual laziness.



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Mick Sheldon

posted August 9, 2007 at 1:08 am


Gina said
“I can’t imagine that if I chose to corral my neighbors into a basement, bar the doors and pray, God would berate me for not loading my Glock and blowing that ##$%%^ away.”
Gina do you know that joke about the person sitting on a roof after a flood waiting to be saved by God , and a row boat comes and offers help , the person says he is trusting God so no thanks , then a bigger boat comes , and offers help , and the person says he is trusting God , and then a helicopter lowers a rope , but the person says he is trusting God to get him out of the jam . Then the dam toally breaks and the person is drowned ,
In Heaven the first thing the person does is ask God how come He let him down . God looked at him like he was a nut and said I sent you a rowboat , a large boat and a helicopter to save you ,what are you talking about .
Maybe God actually wants us to confront evil governments that inflict hardship and denies freedom to people . Maybe stopping someone violently from hurting others is the Godly thing to do , I believe sometimes it is . Would you not stop a person who about to harm a loved one by force if that was the only option ? Sometimes , that is the only option .
I agree , war should be the last resort , but taking it off the table as an option is a sure way to allow evil to hurt more people then if it was confronted .



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Cads

posted August 9, 2007 at 1:19 am


Passivity and naivete seem to go hand-in-hand. While nonviolance is always preferable, good people of all religions or lack thereof would be wiped out by the evil doers of the world (both religious and non-religious) if we choose to sit back and let them. Passivity only works when all choose to be passive.



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squeaky

posted August 9, 2007 at 1:50 am


Erika-
“Jesus the Messiah laid down his life instead of using his infinite power to utterly destroy the evil and unjust things of the world.”
That is an awesome statement! Of all the people who could have done something, could have forcibly saved Himself and all those under Roman rule, He introduced another way. If ever there was an oppressive rulership to violently oppose and rebel against, it was 1st century Rome. In fact, who did the Jews demand be set free instead of Jesus but Barabas, who led a rebellion. It strikes me he was no randomly-chosen prisoner. He represented everything Jesus did not. And Jesus, in all His power and might, laid it all down to initiate the Kingdom of God on this Earth. It’s time we take this seriously.
What is the difference here? When Jesus had the power and authority to anhilate the Roman empire, He didn’t. He chose love, and the reason why He did this was that He saw every human being as having value, whether they are part of an evil empire, or the poor and powerless. He came to redeem everyone, including all those we Christians have labeled “infidels” or “pagans” or “enemies of the Gospel” during our bloody campaigns of dominance. It’s time we take Him at His word.



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squeaky

posted August 9, 2007 at 1:55 am


cads,
“Passivity and naivete seem to go hand-in-hand. While nonviolance is always preferable, good people of all religions or lack thereof would be wiped out by the evil doers of the world (both religious and non-religious) if we choose to sit back and let them. Passivity only works when all choose to be passive. ”
How then do you account for the success of the non-violent campaigns of Martin Luther King and Ghandi?



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Cads

posted August 9, 2007 at 3:00 am


Advice given to Britain: “I would like you to lay down the arms you have as being useless for saving you or humanity. You will invite Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini to take what they want of the countries you call your possessions…. If these gentlemen choose to occupy your homes, you will vacate them. If they do not give you free passage out, you will allow yourselves, man, woman, and child, to be slaughtered, but you will refuse to owe allegiance to them.” – Ghandi
There’s a large difference in preaching “social” nonviolance as Dr. King did, which was successful, and the “survival” nonviolance preached by Ghandi, which would have been a disaster to the free world had his “wisdom” been followed. Squeaky, surely even you can see the difference.



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Moderatelad

posted August 9, 2007 at 8:03 am


Posted by: Cads | August 9, 2007 3:00 AM
Well stated.
Not sure that either one of these men ever thought the world would be facing the likes of Radical Terrorism.
Blessings –
.



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Wolverine

posted August 9, 2007 at 9:13 am


Squeaky wrote:
How then do you account for the success of the non-violent campaigns of Martin Luther King and Ghandi?
MLK and Gandhi both confronted societies that had been heavily influenced by Christianity. Obviously neither American nor Britain was perfect, but it did set a bar on how low they were willing to go to maintain oppressive systems.
Wolverine



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Wolverine

posted August 9, 2007 at 9:19 am


Slight typo/computer glitch there. Freudians are free to draw their own conclusions.
Wolverine



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Toinch

posted August 9, 2007 at 10:25 am


[Not sure that either one of these men ever thought the world would be facing the likes of Radical Terrorism.]
Lad
I believe that slavery was/is radical terrorism. Sadly, “Christian” cultures misused their scriptures to justify and profit by it.
Jesus warned hes followers over and over that they were to be different from the world. His advice to the question of “who is my neighbor?” was not be passive but rather to “go and be a neighbor.”
and from Romans 12 “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
“heaping burning coals” doesn’t sound passive to me.



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Rick Nowlin

posted August 9, 2007 at 11:12 am


“If these gentlemen choose to occupy your homes, you will vacate them. If they do not give you free passage out, you will allow yourselves, man, woman, and child, to be slaughtered, but you will refuse to owe allegiance to them.”
You know, I think Gandhi had something there, and the last sentence is the key — “you will refuse to owe allegiance to them.” I wish more Christians had that attitude, that “we belong to Christ no matter what you say or do” — that kind of intestinal fortitude does more to enhance the faith than any “offensive” war.
MLK and Gandhi both confronted societies that had a heavy Christian influence.
And to this day there are Christians who malign King for numerous reasons, while he is revered in the rest of the world. It’s a shame that the church was, and is, so divided that we ended up fighting each other.
Not sure that either one of these men ever thought the world would be facing the likes of Radical Terrorism.
Irrelevant, because God is still in control — our focus upon terrorism takes our eyes off Him. Besides, what was the KKK other than a radical terrorist organization (with political support to boot)?



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Another nonymous

posted August 9, 2007 at 12:05 pm


Wolverine –
For the record, every form of nonviolent resistance that was tried against the Nazis was successful. Examples: The Danish, Finnish and Norwegian resistance movements saved most Jews in those countries. Non-violent resistance in Italy also saved large numbers of Jews. Bulgarian clergy accepted large numbers of “converts” with the understanding that their vows were non-binding, thus allowing them to escape the Nazis. A general strike in Holland paralyzed the Nazis for six months. (Source, Walter Wink, Engaging the Powers, pp. 254-55). And the list could go on.
By contrast, military resistance was costly, both in lives and money, and far from uniformly successful. It bequeathed us the atomic bomb and resulted in Soviet domination of Eastern Europe for most of the rest of the 20th century.
Which form of resistance was more successful? I know you and others believe that war is justifiable, and I respect your opinion. Will you respect mine?



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Payshun

posted August 9, 2007 at 12:52 pm


Cads said:
Passivity and naivete seem to go hand-in-hand. While nonviolance is always preferable, good people of all religions or lack thereof would be wiped out by the evil doers of the world (both religious and non-religious) if we choose to sit back and let them. Passivity only works when all choose to be passive.
Me:
That’s nonsense. When I look at the civil rights era and other non-violent protests I see a long history of violence against the peaceful. These people were killed, beaten, hung on trees… The majority did not fight back.
Then I study people like John of the Cross… and other Christian sufferers they suffered violently for their faiths. They were thrown in prison, beaten daily and many died because they would not renounce their God. The idea that both sides are passive misses the reality of the war we are in.
This battle is not physical, it’s spiritual. It means real sacrifice, even if it costs someone their life and sometimes even the lifes of people they care about. That is the faith Christ called all of us too.
p



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Moderatelad

posted August 9, 2007 at 12:54 pm


Posted by: Another nonymous | August 9, 2007 12:05 PM
‘The Danish, Finnish and Norwegian resistance movements saved most Jews in those countries.’
Maybe we should define ‘resistance movements’ so that we have an understanding. To me the ‘res-mov’ in these countries were very engaged against the NAZI’s. They were involved with spying for the Allied Forces. Smuggling Jews to safety and armourments to resistance groups all over their countries. They sabotaged NAZI offices, convoys, warehouses, etc. I do not see this as ‘non-violent’. I really have never read anything about the NON-Violent Resistance as the classical ‘resistance’ or otherwise known as the ‘underground’.
‘…resulted in Soviet domination of Eastern Europe for…
The reason that the Soviets got so much of Eastern Europe is that Rosevelt should not have been Pres a 4th term much less a 3rd. If he had listened to Churchill – the Soviet Union might have disappeared from the face of the earth or at least it would have had a very limited influence.
Respectfully –



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Payshun

posted August 9, 2007 at 12:57 pm


Non-voilent resistance is not passive. That’s a stereotype. It’s direct and active. It takes discipline and planning to live that way. It’s actually brilliant and takes a level of self control, surrender and sacrifice that is hard to achieve.
p



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Kevin Wayne

posted August 9, 2007 at 1:00 pm


I believe in the Power of God – period. God has called his people to battle several times thoughout the history of the Bible. Even pre-emptively at times.
Have a great day –
.
Posted by: Moderatelad | August 8, 2007 10:33 PM

And where did he call for war against the Muslims to free Jerusalem? Or for any war after the New Testament for that matter?



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Rick Nowlin

posted August 9, 2007 at 1:30 pm


No — but it was good that someone remembered the Gideon story and knew that to raise arms against an enemy was not wrong.
You missed the point of the story. Overwhelming force, the “realistic” view, was not necessary in this case.
Even pre-emptively at times.
No, never pre-emptively. The only thing even close was when Israel overtook the Promised Land.



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Moderatelad

posted August 9, 2007 at 2:04 pm


Posted by: Rick Nowlin | August 9, 2007 1:30 PM
I believe that the Gideon story is pre-emptive. They had not attacked Israel yet but were mobilizing and God had Gideon put together a small force to attack them. It also proved that very few could accomplish a lot when God is leading. If I remember my Bible – the men broke the jars and yelled ‘a sword for the Lord and for Gideon’.
Have a great day!
.



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Moderatelad

posted August 9, 2007 at 2:14 pm


Posted by: Kevin Wayne | August 9, 2007 1:00 PM
And where did he call for war against the Muslims to free Jerusalem?
If you are looking for a passage in II Opinions chapter 3 verses 4 – 6 that says…
‘And in the second millienum the great beast from the west will attack and slay the followers of Islam for their sins are great and greivous to the Almighty.’
No – it is not there. But then again Big Moh did not smoke the wakie weed and in a state of hightened conscieness make up the Islamic Religion till the 7th century. I believe that Scripture had been more of less established by that time. (OK – so I don’t know for sure that he was smoking the wackie weed…)
War – a hanus as it is – is the last option of a rational soceity to deal with an irrational situation.
Blessings –
.



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Kevin Wayne

posted August 9, 2007 at 2:15 pm


I gotta say Mod- your comment re “we would all be worshipping Allah” really bothers me. It’s the depth of unbelief, which is odd coming from a conservative evangelical who assumes to be the voice of the truth. What you said is out-and-out blashpehmous.
It’s funny how many of you conservatives seem to preach more the Ben Franlin “God helps those who helps themselves” ideology than anything.



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squeaky

posted August 9, 2007 at 2:18 pm


“MLK and Gandhi both confronted societies that had been heavily influenced by Christianity. ”
Jesus didn’t, and He didn’t resort to violence. The Romans weren’t any more reasonable or less violent than the terrorists you speak of. You really don’t think if we trusted Him and His example of non-violence, and more importantly, LOVE of enemies, that He would allow His people to be wiped out? Ultimately, His Word will survive, even if His followers are reduced to a remnant. Can’t we trust Him and His power for that? Or should we just violently take matters in our own hands when we think He is being threatened. I think He can take care of Himself, and I think He can take care of us.
Here’s a puzzle for you. Assume for just a few minutes that Jesus really meant that we should never use violence (play along here–resist your temptation to point to OT verses that support violence). What would it really look like if we persisted in non-violence in the face of violence? As an example, let’s look at terrorism. Be creative–how can we deal with terrorism in a non-violent fashion? And “we can’t” is not an answer, because as soon as you say that, you shut out any possible non-violent solutions. So, give it a shot. See what you can think of as a means of combatting terrorism if violence is taken off the table.



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Kevin Wayne

posted August 9, 2007 at 2:21 pm


No – it is not there. But then again Big Moh did not smoke the wakie weed and in a state of hightened conscieness make up the Islamic Religion till the 7th century. I believe that Scripture had been more of less established by that time. (OK – so I don’t know for sure that he was smoking the wackie weed…)
Blessings –
Posted by: Moderatelad | August 9, 2007 2:14 PM

I think you are the one who’s smoking something ;)



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Another nonymous

posted August 9, 2007 at 2:29 pm


Posted by: Moderatelad | August 9, 2007 12:54 PM
“Maybe we should define ‘resistance movements’ so that we have an understanding.”
Clearly, there are many different forms of resistance. What I’m suggesting is that the least violent – refusing to cooperate, devising stratagems to hide and protect refugees – were also the most successful and the least costly.
I think it is entirely possible that systematic non-violent resistance to Hitler would have saved many more Jewish lives and succeeded more quickly than the war did. It might also have cost millions of lives, but how many millions did the war end up costing?
I won’t dispute you on the idea that FDR should have retired after his third term. However, I also hold to the contrarian position that our military buildup in the Cold War, particularly the final thrust under Reagan, prolonged the life of the Soviet Union by fueling its economic machinery, much as the Second World War fueled ours.
In short, I would paraphrase G. K. Chesterton to the effect that the problem with non-violence is not that it has been tried and found wanting, but that it has been found difficult, and has not been tried.



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kevin s.

posted August 9, 2007 at 2:41 pm


“By contrast, military resistance was costly, both in lives and money, and far from uniformly successful”
But non-violent resistance did nothing for the millions of people who were slaughtered. Hitler also killed other races, people with deformities, dissidents and more. There is nothing a Catholic church could have done to rescue them.
As for the countries who were able to avoid conflict by remaining neutral, I think this exposes the differences in our assumptions. You and Wink see non-conflict as an end in and of itself. But inaction in the face of atrocity is not peace.
The non-violence did not prevent the spread of Nazism, and there is no evidence that it would have without military intervention.



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Another nonymous

posted August 9, 2007 at 2:48 pm


Kevin –
If you read Wink, you’ll see that he doesn’t talk about non-conflict as an end in itself. He assumes that non-violent resistance is extremely challenging and likely to engender conflict and cost lives.



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Anonymous

posted August 9, 2007 at 3:00 pm


Posted by: Kevin Wayne | August 9, 2007 2:15 PM
‘…who assumes to be the voice of the truth.’
I am not – nor never have claimed to be the VOT on anything. That title was given to me by someone who is into disrespecting many. I have a voice – no louder or better than yours or others on this site.
What you said is out-and-out blashpehmous.
So that we know what we are talking about – Allah is the God of Islam and only Islam. When the people of Arabia were polythestic – Allah was the name of the God of the Moon. Mo took it and eatablished Islam and made Him their God. He is not the same God of Christianity or of the Jewish faith. You can disagree with me – fine. But that is what I believe and that is where I stand.
Blessings –
.



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Anonymous

posted August 9, 2007 at 3:04 pm


Posted by: Kevin Wayne | August 9, 2007 2:21 PM
I think you are the one who’s smoking something ;)
Cigars on the deck tonight in Brooklyn Park at 9:00 PM
Have a great day!
.



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Rick Nowlin

posted August 9, 2007 at 3:34 pm


I believe that the Gideon story is pre-emptive.
Utterly, totally false. The background, from Judges 6:
1 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. 2 Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. 3 Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country. 4 They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys. 5 They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts. It was impossible to count the men and their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it. 6 Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the LORD for help.



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Rick Nowlin

posted August 9, 2007 at 3:46 pm


Hitler also killed other races, people with deformities, dissidents and more.
Also on his “hit list”: Homosexuals, trade unionists, Communists and Jehovah’s Witnesses.
But inaction in the face of atrocity is not peace.
It was not “inaction.”



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Wolverine

posted August 9, 2007 at 3:50 pm


Another nonymous wrote:
Which form of resistance was more successful? I know you and others believe that war is justifiable, and I respect your opinion. Will you respect mine?
I respect an honest pacifist, and admire the courage of resistance movements throughout Europe. But in the end it wasn’t the Dutch resistance that dislodged the Nazis from the Netherlands, it was the combined military might of the Allies. Much the same can be said of Italy and Denmark
As for the Soviet domination of eastern Europe, if anything that was the product of Soviet military might, something that we could not prevent although we might have kept them out of eastern Germany if the US Army had been allowed to cross the Elbe and liberate Berlin.
Wolverine



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Moderatelad

posted August 9, 2007 at 4:06 pm


Posted by: Rick Nowlin | August 9, 2007 3:34 PM
OK – OK, I guess I know what my reading for tonight will be. I really do not like reading Judges – God could have edited that section out of Holy Scripture. The only thing worse than Judges in Numbers.
Have a great evening –
.



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Rick Nowlin

posted August 9, 2007 at 4:13 pm


Allah is the God of Islam and only Islam. When the people of Arabia were polythestic — Allah was the name of the God of the Moon.
That still doesn’t explain away the fact that Arab Christians have always used the term “Allah” for God. In fact, the Hebrew term for God is “El,” which is significant since the two languages are related.



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Kevin Wayne

posted August 9, 2007 at 4:14 pm


I stand by my charges of blasphemy- you missed my point. “We would all be worshipping Allah” is essentially saying you don’t believe the power of God to preserve his people. Read your Bible regarding election and predestination. I’m not talking in the Calvinist sense of no free will, but in the broader sesne of God preserving a remnant.



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Kevin Wayne

posted August 9, 2007 at 4:18 pm


This article devastates the Moon god hypotheseis:
Reply To Robert Morey’s Moon-God Allah Myth: A Look At The Archaeological Evidence
I cant get the blog to accept my post b/c it has a link, but google that title and you will find it under islamic-awareness dot org. Your opinion can’t be defended by the evidence.



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Payshun

posted August 9, 2007 at 4:23 pm


Rick’s right. The name El is also a name for many different gods (think Northern Africa and south of Israel.) Yet it is also the name of God. The idea that El is both the name of God and a name for other gods has some rather startling implications. Those include but are not limited to the fact that El may have been many separate gods of the region or something else entirely. He may have been one god worshipped in a pantheon. Or it could be something else.
Either way hali is right, Ishmael worshipped El also known as Allah, Arab Christians worship Allah which is a name for God and it is not just as cut and dry, black and white or as simple as Allah being a false god. Allah is God. I know that may bother you but it’s actually factually accurate.
p



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Epiphany Downtown

posted August 9, 2007 at 4:30 pm


Another nonymous,
I haven’t read Walter Wink, but I agree with your
your articulate posts about systematic non-violent
resistance and your Chesterton paraphrase.



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kevin s.

posted August 9, 2007 at 4:33 pm


“I stand by my charges of blasphemy- you missed my point. “We would all be worshipping Allah” is essentially saying you don’t believe the power of God to preserve his people.”
But what you are saying here does represent the reformed perspective, as it implies that God has chosen Christians before their birth. Of course, I do not consider the Calvinist perspective to be blasphemous, but to suggest that we Muslims have the power to change the heart by way of force is not incompatible with the Bible, in my view.



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Moderatelad

posted August 9, 2007 at 4:37 pm


Posted by: Payshun | August 9, 2007 4:23 PM
Posted by: Kevin Wayne | August 9, 2007 4:18 PM
OK – so I am to believe the El and Allah are names for ‘God’ and it is used by Arab Christians as well as other northern Africa people groups.
Let me put it another way.
Is the God of Christianity and the God of Islam the Same Deity? In otherwords – they are ‘One in the Same’. For me as a Christian praying to my ‘Creator / Savior’ and my Islamic neighbor praying to this ‘God’ Our prayers are going to the same Deity, same Holy Being?
The ‘title’ could be spelled and pronounced the same, but is it the same devine spirit?
Have a great day –
.



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Rick Nowlin

posted August 9, 2007 at 5:50 pm


Yet it is also the name of God. The idea that El is both the name of God and a name for other gods has some rather startling implications.
I said it was a term for God, not necessarily the name of God. The best English rendering of His actual name (if you’re a Jew or Christian) is “Yahweh.”
Is the God of Christianity and the God of Islam the Same Deity?
If Jesus Himself isn’t part of the equation, it doesn’t matter.



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Hali

posted August 9, 2007 at 7:24 pm


“No. The one Muslims call Allah is not God anymore than Baal is God. ”
Kevin,
No. Allah is the God of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. Your ignorance doesn’t make it any less so. Instead of spreading hate, learn.



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Hali

posted August 9, 2007 at 8:01 pm


Moderatelad asked,
“Is the God of Christianity and the God of Islam the Same Deity? In otherwords – they are ‘One in the Same’. For me as a Christian praying to my ‘Creator / Savior’ and my Islamic neighbor praying to this ‘God’ Our prayers are going to the same Deity, same Holy Being?”
Do you mean existentially, or theologically?
Theologically, Islam is not trinitarian. Their concept of God is closer to the Jewish Ribono Shel Olom. If you are praying to Jesus as God, that is not Islamic. If you are praying to God the Father, God the Creator, etc., that is closer to their idea of God.
Existentially, God is. (“I am”) I doubt that my understanding of God is the same as anybody else’s. Does that mean that you and I don’t pray to the same God? We are all incomplete, but God is not.



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Anonymous

posted August 9, 2007 at 9:32 pm


Posted by: Hali | August 9, 2007 8:01 PM
Do you mean existentially, or theologically?
I mean in actuality.
The God of Christianity and of the Jews in the one and only true and living God. Jesus the Christ is His only Son and the Holy Spirit is our Comforter.
The God of Islam is not the same or related at all to the Christian God.
When the prophet Mohammad established Islam – he created the link to Abraham, Moses. Jesus to the Islamic is just another prophet – they do not see Him as the Son of the Living God.
Islam has the right to exsist and the people that follow that religion what the right to practice their religion. The laws of our country guarntee that they can. I wish we could say the same about the laws in their country of origin. I believe that there are 8 Jews left in Bagdad – someone said.
But from what I have learned and what the Bible says to me. Those that believe in Islam will not be in Paradise with Christ – they will be somewhere else. In talking with my Islamic neighbor and asking him the same question – he does not believe that I will be in Paradise either as I do not believe in Muhammad.
They are not the same. One is True – the other is not.
Blessings –
.



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Anonymous

posted August 9, 2007 at 9:36 pm


Posted by: Kevin Wayne | August 9, 2007 4:18 PM
This article devastates the Moon god hypotheseis:
and there are others articles and theologians that will validate it.
Blessings –
.



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Moderatelad

posted August 9, 2007 at 9:43 pm


Posted by: Hali | August 9, 2007 7:24 PM
No. Allah is the God of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. Your ignorance doesn’t make it any less so. Instead of spreading hate, learn.
And your saying ‘no’ does not make it correct.
It is not ignorance – it is difference of opinion or believe.
It is not spreading hate, it is what we have been taught and have come to believe is true.
I believe that we are at a stale mate on this one.



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kevin s.

posted August 10, 2007 at 1:38 am


” If you are praying to God the Father, God the Creator, etc., that is closer to their idea of God.”
Not if they are praying to a false God.
“I doubt that my understanding of God is the same as anybody else’s. Does that mean that you and I don’t pray to the same God?”
Perhaps. If I decide that God is the tree in my backyard, I am praying to a false God, even if I believe my tree created the whole universe.



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Hali

posted August 10, 2007 at 3:24 am


Kevin and M-lad,
I choose to believe what Muslims say about their own faith, just as I choose to believe what you tell me about your OWN faith. Where is the point that untruths cease to be simple (or even willful) ignorance and become false witness? I do not pretend to know what your intentions are, but ask yourselves whether your more bent on hate than on understanding. (I am not asking for a reply to me. In fact, I believe that would be counterproductive to introspection. I am asking you to meditate on that.)
Salaam
Hali



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Moderatelad

posted August 10, 2007 at 6:41 am


Posted by: Hali | August 10, 2007 3:24 AM
You do not address the basic question. You talk all around it and it is a simple yes or no answer. Either one is a good answer – I would not label you as good or bad either way. It just helps with discussion on this topic to know what the other believes to be true.
You’re correct – it is and has been counter productive in our abillity to achieve a deeper understanding of who we are as individuals and as people of faith.
Blessings –
.



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Payshun

posted August 10, 2007 at 1:07 pm


I will say this. The Jews and the Arab Muslims worship God but reject Jesus as Lord and God. The real question is not how we do it.
The Spiritual force, power and person is not Allah/God, its the same destructive force that mankind has been fighting against since the metaphorical fall. If you think Muslims are bent on destroying the world then you would be wrong.
Muslim society is where Western society was a few centuries ago, w/ destruction, greed and pain everywhere. We have learned to hide it better but we are not completely better for it. That’s what Hali is getting at. She says (and I kind of agree w/ her on this) that there is a sense that arrogance and ignorance exists in your (Mod and Kevin) responses. Allah is a name for God for a lot of people that believe in the same God we do. They think we got it wrong in our books. They believe our sacred writings were corrupted. We (figurative) believe they are being deceived by Iblis aka Shaitan aka the Devil.
Not all of us can be right. That’s the rub. I know that Christ is Lord, and God. He is one w/ the Father and Spirit in perfect unity. The problem is that our spiritual cousins (Arabs and Jews) reject this claim and will continue to. How can God have a son? We don’t truly believe in one God when we pray to Jesus. Those are valid and mistaken critiques both have leveled against us.
That doesn’t mean that they don’t worship God. They just do it in a way that I don’t agree w/. I still respect their beliefs and see them as followers of God, just legalistic for doint it the way they do, but then again I would say the same thing about most of western Christianity and much of Judaism aswell.
p



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Anonymous

posted August 10, 2007 at 2:04 pm


Posted by: Payshun | August 10, 2007 1:07 PM
‘…sense that arrogance and ignorance exists in your (Mod and Kevin) responses.’
Nothing to do with arrogance or ignorance. It is just to understand where each other is coming from for discussion sake. I will not do the ‘Jane you ignorant…’ thing – that is not me. One can not come to an understanding or have a meaningful discussion without defining the terms.
My God is trinitarian – the Islamic God is not. Therefore – can they be the same? One has to ‘own’ your faith – it has to be yours. They may believe something and say it is the same as mine – that it their opinion. I can say it is not – that is not saying that they are not correct for their beliefs.
You know – maybe we should move on. This was one of the few threads on this site that has not brought ‘Bush’ into the discussion. Now when you want to have some talk of substance – I am now ignorant or arrogant. I am not like some on this site that are very free in stating ‘you’re wrong – you’re wrong and I am going to tell you when you are wrong’. I will tell you that I do not agree with you or your assumptions. I will question your view on scripture if I think you are out of line – but you have the right to believe that way if you want.
I am kind of a ‘let you yes be yes and your no be no’ guy.
Have a great weekend –
.



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Kevin Wayne

posted August 10, 2007 at 2:15 pm


Moderatelad wrote:
and there are others articles and theologians that will validate it.

They have no scholarly credibility whatsoever.



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Kevin Wayne

posted August 10, 2007 at 2:31 pm


I wonder why we keep harping on the “Is Allah the same God” thing? James says you can even be a demon and believe in God, so it seems the point is moot. And it’s outside of the scope of Sojouners, anyway.



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Moderatelad

posted August 10, 2007 at 2:31 pm


Posted by: Kevin Wayne | August 10, 2007 2:15 PM
So – only thoelogians that pass the ‘Wayne Gage’ are official of trustworthy? I have heard several PhD’s talk on this subject as well as articles written by the same. You may not agree with their assumptions – but that does not make them wrong.
Blessings!
.



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Kevin Wayne

posted August 10, 2007 at 2:45 pm


I have heard several PhD’s talk on this subject as well as articles written by the same.
Feel free to list them, and the crackerjackbox they got their PhD from. :)



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Anonymous

posted August 10, 2007 at 3:03 pm


Posted by: Kevin Wayne | August 10, 2007 2:45 PM
‘Feel free to list them,…’
Why – you have already determined that…
They have no scholarly credibility whatsoever.
Blessings –
.



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Kevin Wayne

posted August 10, 2007 at 3:25 pm


Posted by: kevin s. | August 9, 2007 4:33 PM
But what you are saying here does represent the reformed perspective, as it implies that God has chosen Christians before their birth.
No, that has nothing to do with what I’m saying. Election is a Biblical doctrine not a sectarian one. Everyone will have some kind of position on it. Even Arminius did.
Of course, I do not consider the Calvinist perspective to be blasphemous, but to suggest that we Muslims have the power to change the heart by way of force is not incompatible with the Bible, in my view.
It cannot be supported in scripture at all.



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Kevin Wayne

posted August 10, 2007 at 3:30 pm


Why – you have already determined that…
They have no scholarly credibility whatsoever.
Blessings –

Because I’ve seen the pro Moon god sites and I know the difference between good research and bad, valid opinions & invalid. I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is and pony up resources. If you can’t, cease from waving that falacious argument around here. There’s a thing about bearing false witness.



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Kevin Wayne

posted August 10, 2007 at 4:21 pm


Kevin S-
I think this a good way of explaining what I mean: King Josiah’s forced reforms and banning of idolatry didn’t change the hearts of the people, as scripture records. On the other hand, if what Moderatelad said is correct, that a millitary seige would result in us all worshipping Allah, then the Israelite would have come back from Babylonian captivity de-converted from Yahweh.
OTHOH, Romans states that the kindness of God is what leads to repentance.



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Moderatelad

posted August 10, 2007 at 10:31 pm


Posted by: Kevin Wayne | August 10, 2007 3:30 PM
No – there is no need to give you any info as you seem to be the “God Ordained’ truth detective. That you can be as glib with your ‘no scholarly credibility’ or ‘crackerjackbox they got their PhD’ – I am not going to waste my time.
DG – the arrogrance of some on this site as to what is right and what is wrong – I think I am at a Baptist Convention.
Whatever –
.



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Rick Nowlin

posted August 11, 2007 at 12:09 am


That you can be as glib with your ‘no scholarly credibility’ or ‘crackerjackbox they got their PhD’ – I am not going to waste my time.
Just because someone doesn’t agree with you doesn’t mean he or she is wrong or uninformed. While I am not enlightened as far as this particular argument, I agree with Kevin Wayne — a position has to be supported with incontrovertible evidence based on easily obtained facts. Now, if he can prove that your argument is fatally flawed, and apparently he feels he can, would you then be willing to change your views?
My own difficulty with your participation on this blog is that apparently you have little interest in maintaining a worldview other than the one you subscribe to. Other people have different experiences and come from different cultures, so they will see things differently. On the other hand, we who are not “conservative” as a rule understand that perspective rather well anyway but still don’t agree with it. Can you accept that?



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Todd Ray

posted August 11, 2007 at 8:17 am


This blog began, a ways back, exploring the puzzling issue of the pacifist “conversion” of Fr. George Zabelka, chaplain to the men who dropped the first nuclear bombs on civilian populations. As a Cristian, I remain challenged more by that conversion than by this debate around the nature of God, El or Allah or Jesus.
Help me understand how Jesus would embrace the bombing of civilians, be it Hiroshima, Dresden, or Bagdad, as a worthy exercise of righteous violence.
Help me understand how killing innocents can ever be worthy and righteous conduct of a follower of Jesus.



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Payshun

posted August 11, 2007 at 10:15 am


Mod said:
My God is trinitarian – the Islamic God is not.
me:
By that logic the Jewish God is not trinitarian also. Would you be willing to say they don’t worship God too?
Todd,
It’s not the righteous conduct of a follower of Jesus. That’s the whole point. It’s the political choice of a nation state.
p



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Bill Samuel

posted August 11, 2007 at 11:18 am


“But non-violent resistance did nothing for the millions of people who were slaughtered.”
And neither did violent resistance. So that’s hardly an argument for war. Not only did Hitler kill about 6 million Jews and others he considered undesirable, but many millions more were killed on both sides fighting the war.
Where creative means amounting to nonviolent resistance were used, significant numbers of Jews were saved. But in the rest of continental Europe, they were largely wiped out.
What if governments trained people in nonviolent resistance instead of war? Wouldn’t that result in better outcomes in conflict situations? Wouldn’t it result in far less active conflicts since the method really can’t be used for aggression?



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Moderatelad

posted August 11, 2007 at 4:17 pm


Posted by: Rick Nowlin | August 11, 2007 12:09 AM
He has already passed judgement on the people that I have listened to and read. He has labeled them as no scholarly credibility whatsoever’and he would like to know that ‘crackerjack box’ they got their degree from. If he had asked me to site my sources with no pre-determined accessment on their qualifacations – I would – but he is not seriously interested. I do not agree with some on this site. Others I understand by their arguments what they think and believe. I many times have said that I do not agree or that I believe that they are wrong but respectfully said that they had the right to believe what they do. I have asked for sources maybe 2 or 3 times but never with the understanding that they are a bunch or nuts. For the most part I trust people and for the sake of discussion I allow them their convictions for they have to own their own faith.
As I have said before – I am Not the Brightest Buld on the Tree. Two more payments and the headstone with be ready when I die. But I am not some dummy either.
At this point Kevin Wayne can believe what ever he wants to and I will not challenge him – I will at this time not respond either.
Blessings –
.



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Anonymous

posted August 11, 2007 at 4:24 pm


Posted by: Payshun | August 11, 2007 10:15 AM
Most of the discussion was between Islam and Christianity. The Jews are a different topic and I will enter that discussion at a later date. But – there is more in common with Christians and Jews in my book than with Islam – just my opinion.
Have a great day!
.



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Payshun

posted August 11, 2007 at 6:39 pm


I hope you have a great day as well.
Well to be fair Judaism is really different from Christianity. (especially since the Romanization of Christianity) For many branches of Judaism there is a very strong current of reincarnation. That won’t fly in Christianity. The way they read, write and study the Tanakh has a level of depth that is missing in western protestanism. The only real comparison can be found in the Catholic, Orthodox and Coptic churches.
Their eschatology is different from most of Christianity. I could keep going on but the point was that most Jews don’t worship Jesus and don’t believe he is God. How can you say in one instance that Muslims don’t worship God because they ignore Jesus while allowing Jews a pass on this? It really doesn’t make sense.
p



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Payshun

posted August 11, 2007 at 6:42 pm


A rather long article on Judaism.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaism
p



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Payshun

posted August 11, 2007 at 6:45 pm


Jews worship after the traditions of Isaac, Muslims after the traditions of Ishmael. They may disagree over a lot of things but the God of both Ishmael and Isaac is the same God.
p



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Moderatelad

posted August 12, 2007 at 12:01 am


Posted by: Rick Nowlin | August 11, 2007 10:12 PM
‘…know about them and find them lacking…’
Fine – but that is his opinion and perspective. That does not mean that they are wrong.
‘…at times been pretty nasty…’
Only when the respect issue is involved. When people have disagree with me and still understanding that we have our own perspectives – I am fine. But when they come out that ‘you are wrong and I am going to tell you that you are wrong’. I find that nasty and demeaning and I can be just as snarkie as anyone else.
‘…view may be “conservative” doesn’t mean it’s automatically deserving of consideration…’
And the same can be said of liberals. But it is the perspective of the other person and it is their value or view of the issue.
Have a great weekend!
.



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moderatelad

posted August 12, 2007 at 12:07 am


Posted by: Payshun | August 11, 2007 6:45 PM
Jews worship after the traditions of Isaac, Muslims after the traditions of Ishmael. They may disagree over a lot of things but the God of both Ishmael and Isaac is the same God.
I sorry – I can not go there. Muhammad as best created a carbon copy of God for Islam. They can believe and practice their faith and I would defend their right to do so. (wish the same could be said for Christians and Jews in some of their countries) Even my former Islamic neighbor, who was very devout, would not say that they were the same God.
I have friends that believe they are the same – I just do not agree.
Blessings –
.



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Anonymous

posted August 12, 2007 at 12:17 am


Posted by: Payshun | August 11, 2007 6:39 PM
How can you say in one instance that Muslims don’t worship God because they ignore Jesus while allowing Jews a pass on this? It really doesn’t make sense.
The NT states that ‘He come unto His own and His own did not receive Him.’ So Christ being a Jew and understanding the Jews did not see Him as God is a fact. But I do not see where the Koran says anything like this.
If memory serves – I believe that Paul in the book at Revelations warns the church of others that would come after him that would talk about a ‘new faith or understanding’. I believe that Muhannad falls into the area. People can believe what they may – but I personally don’t see that this can be correct.
Blessings –
.



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Payshun

posted August 12, 2007 at 12:30 am


Well Muslims are far more favorable to Jesus than Jews are. The majority of Jews see him as a decent guy but no true Rabbi or prophet. Muslims consider him equal to Muhammed. He was a prophet to the Jews and they rejected him.
Paul did not write Revelation. That was John, either the disciple that lived or the Revelator, a later John. Muslims also believe in the Virgin birth, the miracles and his death and resurection. That’s more than Jews do.
p



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Jerseykid

posted August 12, 2007 at 5:12 am


I believe in Christ, and I believe war is acceptable. If you are pacifist, and you cannot advance your position beyond “turn the other cheek”, than your position lacks nuance, and must be discarded. You can appeal to the “foolishness” of God to account for your intellectual laziness.
Posted by: kevin s. |
Bla, bla, bla, bla, bla. Thanks for the intellectual laziness charge. We’ve heard it. It is truly an intellectually lazy response on your part.



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Moderatelad

posted August 12, 2007 at 8:01 am


Paul did not write Revelation. That was John, either the disciple that lived or the Revelator, a later John. Muslims also believe in the Virgin birth and the miracles. That’s more than Jews do.
Sorry – I know it is John – it was late.
Virgin birth – Miracles –
Fine – but they do not truly believe that they are worshipping the same God or that I will be in ‘heaven’ with them for my beliefs. John (thanks for the correction) still warned us about those who would come later and promote a new way/idea of how to approach the Almighty and we were to reject them. Jesus said – No one comes to the Father but by me.’ Therefore I personally have rejected that Islam as a faith for me. I see it as a false religion and that Muhammad was one of those that John talked about. That Islam teaches that Jews are decendants of monkeys and pigs amoung other things. I can not go there. Others can and they have that right and I will befend that right. I just can’t.
Blessings –
.



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Jerseykid

posted August 12, 2007 at 9:16 am


Our belief (Christian) is right. Theirs is wrong. (Our attitude). Their attitude: Our religion is right, and others are wrong.
Sounds like a good recipe for conflict and war to me! Both ignore the command to love our fellow man, which after loving God is the highest command.



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Kevin Wayne

posted August 12, 2007 at 4:44 pm


Hey Mod-lad:
Sorry, but when you espouse a heretical notion, such as your “we would all be worshipping Allah” comment, I just got a slight problem thinking that you really should be taken seriously in other aspects. You can try and prove me wrong by showing me who you ascribe to on the Moon God thing if you want, or you can go and sulk about it- your choice. Either way, you started off your contribution to this whole exchange by denying a basic theological truth- that God has always preserved a remanant for himself. And yet you and the other conservatives can carry on here like you are in a place to correct the rest of us?
The other contributors on here will verfiy if I am correct or not about my observation that you think you can “correct” others. I bet most of them agree.



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Moderatelad

posted August 12, 2007 at 6:15 pm


Posted by: Kevin Wayne | August 12, 2007 4:44 PM
Not sulking or anything. Not even worrring about it either. You passed judgement without asking about sources. So – end of discussion. Have a great life.
Blessings –
.



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Moderatelad

posted August 12, 2007 at 6:21 pm


Posted by: Jerseykid | August 12, 2007 9:16 AM
I can love someone and still believe that what they believe is wrong and respect them. If I really did not like them I would tell them that they are going to hell. I don’t do that – if asked I will tell them what I know and what I believe. I will even compair and contrast what they and I believe and how it is different. I can still respect them and demand that they have the right to practice their religion here in the US. I just wish that Christian brothers and sisters that reside in their country of origin would have the same ability.
Just because one disagrees or believes that someone is wrong does not mean that you have to hate them. We further the Kingdom of God by showing them the sweeter side of the One True and Living God.
Blessings –
.



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Jerseykid

posted August 12, 2007 at 7:04 pm


We further the Kingdom of God by showing them the sweeter side of the One True and Living God.Blessings -Posted by: Moderatelad
Robespierre or Torquemada couldn’t have stated it better.



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Anonymous

posted August 12, 2007 at 9:23 pm


“Sorry, but when you espouse a heretical notion, such as your “we would all be worshipping Allah” comment, I just got a slight problem thinking that you really should be taken seriously in other aspects.”
Or you were reading a statement in the most uncharitable possible light in order to score a rhetorical point that was not grounded in reality. The tenor of Moderatelad’s statement is that we would be overcome by Islamic terrorism, and forced with a choice between submission to Allah or death, and that many would choose Allah (to the extent that we are able to choose, which is a whole different theological ball). Am I correct in that assertion, Modlad?
If so, his statement hardly rises to the level of blasphemy in any substantive way.
Hali just made the statement that it is ignorant to state that Muslim’s worship a different God. That is completely blasphemous, yet you ignore it in favor of nitpicking a theological point that centers around the question of election.
Or are you arguing that it is not a false God? If so, that would render your original point moot.
“Sounds like a good recipe for conflict and war to me! Both ignore the command to love our fellow man, which after loving God is the highest command.”
Believing that someone is wrong is not unloving. As a nation, we are not warring with Islam. Further, it is unloving to allow someone to live out a lie.
“It is truly an intellectually lazy response on your part.”
Perhaps. It doesn’t take much to unravel an argument which throws scripture at an issue without any context or justification.



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Moderatelad

posted August 12, 2007 at 10:01 pm


Posted by: Jerseykid | August 12, 2007 7:04 PM
Robespierre or Torquemada couldn’t have stated it better.
Funny – very, very funny.
Have a great day –
.



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Anonymous

posted August 13, 2007 at 12:26 am


From a pacifist point of view, would someone tell me where Jesus said war is acceptable?
And why does such a discussion seem to consider only two options, killing or doing nothing?
Seems to me Christ’s whole life story was about helping people, not hurting them. One can make convincing arguments to make war but if one chooses war, it is ludicrous to claim such a choice is sanctioned by Christ.To choose such violence is to admit a lack of trust in the way Christ tried to teach us to live and a failure on our part to find a better solution. When we choose killing we forfeit any presumed moral high ground. We are no better than those we think we must kill. Though it may not seem so to us, those we think deserve killing also thought they had a good reason to commit violence. Thus it goes back and forth.By convincing ourselves that we have good reason to kill others, we fail to come up with better solutions.



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Jerseykid

posted August 13, 2007 at 3:53 am


“Further, it is unloving to allow someone to live out a lie.”
You convincingly and compelling make the case for religion being a negative influence on mankind.



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Moderatelad

posted August 13, 2007 at 8:15 am


Posted by: Jerseykid | August 13, 2007 3:54 AM
I believe that if the opportunity arises – I believe that we are compelled by our faith to share the salvation story. Affirming them as individuals and respecting them but telling them what we know to be correct. Listening to them on what they believe and doing the compair and contrast of the two faiths. I will end my conversation with the person that ‘I tell you this because I believe that Heaven will be a better place if you were there.’
You know – where I work there are several large meeting rooms the say ‘Capacity 72′ or ‘118’ even elevators have a max capacity, although with me I look at the max Lbs. There is no ‘Capacity Limit’ on what Heaven can hold for all who claim Christ as Savior.
Looks like this one will fall off the site today.
Blessings –
.



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Truth Seeker

posted August 13, 2007 at 10:07 am


As a student of History and a prolific reader of the World War II time period I whole-heartedly agree with the dropping of the bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. It was the best decision of the war and was applauded by all except a very small minority.
It appalls me that many do not understand the context in which the bomb was dropped. For one thing the US did a great job in choosing its target and chose remote areas and cities in which the population was limited. They conducted months of extensive meteorological analysis of the weather patterns to ensure that any fallout would be contained in a small area or blown out to sea and not harm others. They also deliberately chose not to bomb Tokyo or the major cities as they wanted to give Japan a chance to peacefully surrendered. If anyone doubts that this was a good move please consider looking and studying the Battle for Iwo Jima. On an island less than 5 square kilometers more than 20,000 Japanese soldiers and 25,000 US Marines lost their lives for a volcanic peice of rock. The Japanese fought tooth and nail and were ordered to defend the island to the last man, which they did. Less than a dozen were taken alive. Now imaging this on the homeland. Estimates range between 1 to 3 million lives were saved by dropping the two bombs forcing the end of the war. If the US had invaded the Japanese mainland a massive act of injustice would have taken place.
It was far more just to wipe out these two cities where a few thousand died than too see millions die. I for one applaud our policy makers who faced a tough decision but made the right one. If only we had that kind of courage to do what is noble and just today!
Blessings,



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Moderatelad

posted August 13, 2007 at 11:17 am


Posted by: Truth Seeker | August 13, 2007 10:07 AM
Thanks for your input – I do hope you are wearing your flak jacket. I dare say that most that buy into Sojo still believe that the ‘Just War’ idea does not apply to our conflict with Japan. Some have said that it was not worth going to war over Pearl Harbor – their opinion, not mine. Your accessment is spot on – just not PC for Sojo.
Have a great day – and keep your head down
.



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Kevin Wayne

posted August 13, 2007 at 5:23 pm


I’m going to assume this was Kevin S:
Or you were reading a statement in the most uncharitable possible light in order to score a rhetorical point that was not grounded in reality.
Takes one to know one? :)
The tenor of Moderatelad’s statement is that we would be overcome by Islamic terrorism, and forced with a choice between submission to Allah or death, and that many would choose Allah (to the extent that we are able to choose, which is a whole different theological ball). Am I correct in that assertion, Modlad?
He didn’t say “many”, he said “all.” He didn’t say that some Christians might be led into sin agaisnt Yahweh due to persecution. He said “we would all be worshipping Allah.” Take it up with him.
If so, his statement hardly rises to the level of blasphemy in any substantive way.
I disagree. I think he sold short the power of God. And even if he only meant “Some” would fall- I would still say he should give mroe creedence to Grace.
Hali just made the statement that it is ignorant to state that Muslim’s worship a different God. That is completely blasphemous, yet you ignore it in favor of nitpicking a theological point that centers around the question of election.
Because they don’t worship a “different” God. Their faith in God is not salvific, according to the Bible. Two different issues. See James 2:19 on that one. I’ve now cited that verse for third time here.
Or are you arguing that it is not a false God? If so, that would render your original point moot.
See above. And read things I say more carefully and allow for a bit of nuance, ok?



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Kevin Wayne

posted August 13, 2007 at 7:20 pm


Truth Seeker-
Did you know that Eisenhower opposed dropping the bomb? There’s plent yof evidence it was unnecessary. Googls it up, if seeking truth is really your goal.



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Kevin Wayne

posted August 13, 2007 at 7:23 pm


Here’s the quite from Ike, look around you can find it lots of places:
“First, the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing. Second, I hated to see our country be the first to use such a weapon.”



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CTL

posted August 15, 2007 at 8:07 pm


Allah is God. The Jews, Muslims and Christians worship the one and same God; acknowledge the same traditions and prophets of the Old Testament. Jesus is recognised by both Muslims and Christians albeit in different ways. Why bicker over things that divide instead of things that unite us? We should all show the love of GOD as representatives of the monotheistic faiths which originated in the same geographical region instead of the disgraceful war now raging there.



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