Posts Tagged ‘peace’

What are Some Key Similarities between Christianity and Islam?

August 18, 2013

bridges

Article Title: What are Some Key Similarities between Christianity and Islam?
Shared by: Craig Lock

Category (key words): Christianity, Islam, religion, faith, beliefs, peace, spiritual, spiritual unity, breaking down barriers, building bridges

Web sites: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html and http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.wordpress.com

www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com

www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.com http://religiousunity.wordpress.com

www.peacepursuit.wordpress.comhttp://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track (obsessive or WHAT!)

Other Articles are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig)

Publishing Guidelines:
All my writings may be freely published, electronically or in print.
# #


WHAT ARE SOME KEY SIMILARITIES BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM?

Submitter’s Note:
Craig is studying the teachings of different religions (to find ‘common ground’/principles/ and as he learns from his research, is sharing these notes in an attempt to ‘enlighten’ (himself and perhaps others) regarding ‘eternal and universal truths.’ These notes form part of Craig’s new novel set in the Middle East, titled ‘A New Dawn: Let the Journey Begin’. Hope this piece may be of interest to you too.
*
INTRODUCTION

The issue of RELIGION throughout history of mankind and today evermore plays a vital part in many conflicts around the world. Religion is (and was) often blamed as the cause of the conflicts; whereas it is/was people misusing religion for their own ends (often taking particular and significant interpretations out of context) that have shaped societies and cultures. I truly believe it’s critically important to emphasize the common values shared by different religions to drastically reduce tensions around the globe. So that religion (and it’s beliefs) can be turned around from being part of the conflict to be part of the SOLUTION. Instead of focusing on the differences between people, in this ‘battle of ideas/ideologies” we should focus far more on what we have in common.

So what are the foundations, what is the frame-work of the respective beliefs?

Most religions of the world espouse (nice word, eh!) good moral values as a code of conduct: the virtues of passion for liberalism, tolerance, compassion, decency and generous ideals. However, there is a fundamental doctrinal incompatibility between the major faiths of Islam and Christianity (though together with the Jews, they worship the God of Abraham). These three major religions share the common truth of the Old Testament, having many prophets in common and consequently have many “shared values” that have shaped societies over the past two millennia.

Whilst there are some major differences between Islam and Christianity, from my research (fascinating and mainly online) some of the fundamental similarities in beliefs between these two main religions (as well as Judaism) are as follows:

ISLAM

The main beliefs:

* There is only One True God: the Sovereign Ruler of the universe…
and has full control over our lives (and will meet all of our needs)

* God (Allah) is the Creator of everything and central to Muslims lives. Allah is simply beyond human thought and understanding.

* True believers are not to worship any other gods

* Allah’s goodness and benevolence is seen everywhere, because He is compassionate and merciful.

* Many Old Testament prophets were from God (ie. were sent by God as messengers to the world)

* Jesus’s strong sense of mission, unity and sense of purpose.
He was sent by God to serve humanity and being divinely inspired was a great moral teacher and prophet.

* God gave the Torah, the prophets, the Koran and the Gospel to guide our lives. ( I don’t know enough about Mohamed and his “divine destiny” to pass comment on his “mission”).

* We are to obey God’s words (as in the first five books of the Old Testament, the ‘Pentitukes’- spelling?)

* We should surrender/sacrifice ourselves fully to God
(in fact, the word ‘Islam” means ‘full submission to God’s will’)

* Jesus will return to earth one day (though in which form is uncertain). Though Jews do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah…
and I’m not sure on that point with Islam.

* Humans have free will and exercise a choice between doing good or evil in their daily lives.

* Humans only live once on this earth, then face judgment:
One day there will be a day of Judgment for how we’ve lived our lives.

* Believers who die will go to ‘heaven’ and live forever (though the concept of heaven is not precisely defined).

* Disbelievers will go to ‘hell’ (or suffer torment, which is ‘separation from God’ forever). Heaven or hell are written about in the Qur’an in poetic terms, ie. symbolic rather than actual places.

* It is important to pray to God frequently (Muslims do it five times a day) and attend a congregation at least once a week (usually mid-day on Fridays)

* We should have a spirit of charity and help the poor and those in a less fortunate position to ourselves (with money and/or works)

* A person’s allotted time on earth is predestined.

* All people are equal before the law.

and finally

* We should respect our differences and Christians, Jews, and Muslims should never be killed purely on account of their faith.

#
CHRISTIANITY

Christianity and Islam are both missionary religions. Both faiths believe they have a monopoly over the truth. Both want to share their version of truth with others and both compete in seeking converts. I am motivated to share these “truths” with others, so people may benefit and enhance their lives in a meaningful way…if they so CHOOSE.

There IS a significant difference from Islam: Christianity exists solely on the basis that Jesus Christ is the ‘son of God’ (ie. the fact is taken literally); whereas the faith of Islam exists purely on the basis that God dictated his laws to Mohammed and that the Koran contains God’s actual words. Most “informed” Christians, however, do not believe the Koran is the un-intermediated word of God. Most followers of Christ know very little about Mohammed being perceived as a ‘messenger of God.’ They can, therefore, only think that Mohammed was deluded, if not a liar. (Of course, most Christians are far too polite to say such a thing!).

The Bible teaches that Jesus is the son of God/God incarnate (“the human face of God”) and that he dies on a cross to reconcile mankind and God. Then he was resurrected after three days and now lives in heaven. The gospel message teaches that reconciliation with God is to be found through the redemptive work of Jesus only.

Good works as “entry” to heaven count for nothing, in the absence of acceptance of Jesus.

And as regards Christianity, it’s the notion of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit as one), which rationalists find to be the most implausible aspect of Christianity. If Jesus was not the Son of God, then he too was deluded, crazy … or perhaps even a “liar”. And if he – as opposed to He – was either of those things, then the Resurrection is also a lie and Christianity, as a faith rather than as a philosophy is utterly null and void.

Christianity is based on the concept of FAITH and God’s Infinite Grace. We are “saved for eternity” (so our soul lives on) through our faith in Jesus and are not solely judged for the ‘hereafter’ by our good works during our lifetime. (And these good works are inspired by our faith and the ‘divine spirit’ at work through God’s Infinite Grace). This is a battle of ideas. Cardinal Ratzenberger: “Islam simply does not have the separation of the political and religious spheres which Christianity had from the very beginning. The Koran… insists that the whole order of life be Islamic (ie. no separation of religion/church and state). One must understand that Islam is not simply a denomination that can be included in the free realm of a pluralistic society.”

True Muslims cannot accept either the separation of powers or the freedom under the law (ie. “democracy”), which are the hallmarks of Western civilization.

* extracted from an article (excellent) in ‘The Independent’ by Dominic Lawson.

As we are what we believe yourself to be (You are what YOU believe), I believe that Jesus genuinely believed himself to be a ‘Son of God’, divinely ordained with a specific mission, a unique purpose which he CHOSE to fulfil in his short life. Christians say that the tradition of Jesus of Nazareth points us to a new life and new thoughts, as well as new possibilities… as a community and as a nation. Still you may or may not CHOOSE to believe in Jesus Christ and follow his teachings as YOUR pathway to connect to God, a Higher Power, ‘the Ground of all Being, the Essence of Existence’, your spiritual self.
#

Whilst we can celebrate our differences, we should love God (whatever we understand the concept to be) with all our hearts, minds and souls and our neighbour as we love ourselves (common teachings from both faiths of Islam and Christianity). Simple, eh!

It’s not such a matter of conflicting ideologies, the great ‘battle of civilizations’ is it?

So
Isn’t WHAT UNITES US IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT DIVIDES US!

and

God’s greatest gift to us is allowing us to find, then choose to follow our own truths.

Craig Lock

Former Archbishop in South Africa Desmond Tutu: “We have come to a time in the history of the world, where we need to rediscover the path to peace, and the path to peace can never be war. This pathway is lined with the concept of co-existence and co-inhabitance of the world.”

“A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long supressed, finds utterance.”
– J.Nehru, first Prime Minister of India

“It is time for people of good will from every faith, culture and nation to recognise that a terrible danger threatens humanity. We must set aside the partisan bickering between nations and join together to confront the danger that lies before us. Let us seek common ground between peoples around the globe…
because what unites us is far more important than what divides us.

In our own little ways in our individual lives we can touch so many others and share our common humanity. And in so doing we can illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity. We must offer a compelling alternate vision for the world: a bright future of justice, tolerance, respect for other traditions and values and especially a vision of goodness and hope fuelled by the flame of love – one that banishes the fanatical ideology of intolerance and hatred to the darkness from which it emerged.”
– craig (as inspired by and adapted from the words of Abdurahman Wahid, former President of Indonesia)

“What we learn in the darkness, we are to share in the eternal light.”

“What we believe is not nearly as important as how we relate, interact with each other… and how we live. Only when we can say, ‘I am first and foremost a human being, and second a Jew, Muslim, Shi’ite, a Sunni, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu ,or a Sikh…’ will we progress and break down barriers between peoples, nations and cultures, both east and west. Let not our beliefs , but our shared humanity (ALL of us) define who we really are. “

“Let us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Rather than borders, let us look at distant horizons together…in the common spirit of the value and dignity of a shared personhood – our common humanity as citizens of planet earth.”

– craig

“God’s greatest gift to us is allowing us to find, then choose to follow our own truths.”

“Let not our different beliefs set us apart as human beings, but rather let our shared humanity be what defines and unites us as common citizens of our planet.”

– me

About the submitter:
Craig is “a passionate ‘extremist’ about respect for religious tolerance and moderation”. In his various writings little by little, one mind, one heart, one soul, one small step at a time, Craig hopes to promote better understanding across countries and cultures, striving in some small way to break down economic, social, cultural, religious and political barriers. He truly believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share in the form of our common humanity is way more important than what divides us.
http://www.craiglockbooks.comhttp://www.selfgrowth.com/experts/craig_lock.html

Craig’s new manuscript ‘A New Dawn’ is set in the Middle East: In it he attempts to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures and to try to make some difference in building bridges in an ever more dangerous, turbulent and uncertain world. A passionate story of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially love.

Craig’s booklet ‘Jesus Meets Muhammad’ is available at http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Meets-Muhammad-Real-ebook/dp/B005H86TPU/

The various books* that Craig “felt inspired to write” (including his books on Jesus and his numerous e-books on “the spiritual journey”) are available at:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html

www.lulu.com/craiglock and http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock

“The world’s smallest and most exclusive bookstores”

“A good book should take you from your everyday life to another place entirely.”

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.wordpress.com

www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com

www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.com http://religiousunity.wordpress.com

www.peacepursuit.wordpress.comhttp://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track (obsessive or WHAT!)

Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let’s plant the seeds, the hope of a better and brighter future.

THESE THOUGHTS MAY BE FREELY PUBLISHED, electronically or in print

Peace. it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
– author unknown

PPS

“Whilst we can celebrate our differences, let not our varying beliefs divide us, but let the Spirit of our shared humanity define and unite us.”

WAINUI beach sunrise

What are Some Key Similarities between Christianity and Islam?

April 23, 2013

WAINUI beach sunrise

Article Title: What are Some Key Similarities between Christianity and Islam?
Shared by: Craig Lock

Category (key words): Christianity, Islam, religion, faith, beliefs, peace, spiritual, spiritual unity, breaking down barriers, building bridges

Web sites: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 http://goo.gl/vTpjk http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.htmland http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.wordpress.com

www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com

www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.com http://religiousunity.wordpress.com

www.peacepursuit.wordpress.comhttp://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track (obsessive or WHAT!)

Other Articles are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig)

Publishing Guidelines:
All my writings may be freely published, electronically or in print.
# #


WHAT ARE SOME KEY SIMILARITIES BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM?

Submitter’s Note:
Craig is studying the teachings of different religions (to find ‘common ground’/principles/ and as he learns from his research, is sharing these notes in an attempt to ‘enlighten’ (himself and perhaps others) regarding ‘eternal and universal truths.’ These notes form part of Craig’s new novel set in the Middle East, titled ‘A New Dawn: Let the Journey Begin’. Hope this piece may be of interest to you too.
*
INTRODUCTION

The issue of RELIGION throughout history of mankind and today evermore plays a vital part in many conflicts around the world. Religion is (and was) often blamed as the cause of the conflicts; whereas it is/was people misusing religion for their own ends (often taking particular and significant interpretations out of context) that have shaped societies and cultures. I truly believe it’s critically important to emphasize the common values shared by different religions to drastically reduce tensions around the globe. So that religion (and it’s beliefs) can be turned around from being part of the conflict to be part of the SOLUTION. Instead of focusing on the differences between people, in this ‘battle of ideas/ideologies” we should focus far more on what we have in common.

So what are the foundations, what is the frame-work of the respective beliefs?

Most religions of the world espouse (nice word, eh!) good moral values as a code of conduct: the virtues of passion for liberalism, tolerance, compassion, decency and generous ideals. However, there is a fundamental doctrinal incompatibility between the major faiths of Islam and Christianity (though together with the Jews, they worship the God of Abraham). These three major religions share the common truth of the Old Testament, having many prophets in common and consequently have many “shared values” that have shaped societies over the past two millennia.

Whilst there are some major differences between Islam and Christianity, from my research (fascinating and mainly online) some of the fundamental similarities in beliefs between these two main religions (as well as Judaism) are as follows:

ISLAM

The main beliefs:

* There is only One True God: the Sovereign Ruler of the universe…
and has full control over our lives (and will meet all of our needs)

* God (Allah) is the Creator of everything and central to Muslims lives. Allah is simply beyond human thought and understanding.

* True believers are not to worship any other gods

* Allah’s goodness and benevolence is seen everywhere, because He is compassionate and merciful.

* Many Old Testament prophets were from God (ie. were sent by God as messengers to the world)

* Jesus’s strong sense of mission, unity and sense of purpose.
He was sent by God to serve humanity and being divinely inspired was a great moral teacher and prophet.

* God gave the Torah, the prophets, the Koran and the Gospel to guide our lives. ( I don’t know enough about Mohamed and his “divine destiny” to pass comment on his “mission”).

* We are to obey God’s words (as in the first five books of the Old Testament, the ‘Pentitukes’- spelling?)

* We should surrender/sacrifice ourselves fully to God
(in fact, the word ‘Islam” means ‘full submission to God’s will’)

* Jesus will return to earth one day (though in which form is uncertain). Though Jews do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah…
and I’m not sure on that point with Islam.

* Humans have free will and exercise a choice between doing good or evil in their daily lives.

* Humans only live once on this earth, then face judgment:
One day there will be a day of Judgment for how we’ve lived our lives.

* Believers who die will go to ‘heaven’ and live forever (though the concept of heaven is not precisely defined).

* Disbelievers will go to ‘hell’ (or suffer torment, which is ‘separation from God’ forever). Heaven or hell are written about in the Qur’an in poetic terms, ie. symbolic rather than actual places.

* It is important to pray to God frequently (Muslims do it five times a day) and attend a congregation at least once a week (usually mid-day on Fridays)

* We should have a spirit of charity and help the poor and those in a less fortunate position to ourselves (with money and/or works)

* A person’s allotted time on earth is predestined.

* All people are equal before the law.

and finally

* We should respect our differences and Christians, Jews, and Muslims should never be killed purely on account of their faith.

#
CHRISTIANITY

Christianity and Islam are both missionary religions. Both faiths believe they have a monopoly over the truth. Both want to share their version of truth with others and both compete in seeking converts. I am motivated to share these “truths” with others, so people may benefit and enhance their lives in a meaningful way…if they so CHOOSE.

There IS a significant difference from Islam: Christianity exists solely on the basis that Jesus Christ is the ‘son of God’ (ie. the fact is taken literally); whereas the faith of Islam exists purely on the basis that God dictated his laws to Mohammed and that the Koran contains God’s actual words. Most “informed” Christians, however, do not believe the Koran is the un-intermediated word of God. Most followers of Christ know very little about Mohammed being perceived as a ‘messenger of God.’ They can, therefore, only think that Mohammed was deluded, if not a liar. (Of course, most Christians are far too polite to say such a thing!).

The Bible teaches that Jesus is the son of God/God incarnate (“the human face of God”) and that he dies on a cross to reconcile mankind and God. Then he was resurrected after three days and now lives in heaven. The gospel message teaches that reconciliation with God is to be found through the redemptive work of Jesus only.

Good works as “entry” to heaven count for nothing, in the absence of acceptance of Jesus.

And as regards Christianity, it’s the notion of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit as one), which rationalists find to be the most implausible aspect of Christianity. If Jesus was not the Son of God, then he too was deluded, crazy … or perhaps even a “liar”. And if he – as opposed to He – was either of those things, then the Resurrection is also a lie and Christianity, as a faith rather than as a philosophy is utterly null and void.

Christianity is based on the concept of FAITH and God’s Infinite Grace. We are “saved for eternity” (so our soul lives on) through our faith in Jesus and are not solely judged for the ‘hereafter’ by our good works during our lifetime. (And these good works are inspired by our faith and the ‘divine spirit’ at work through God’s Infinite Grace). This is a battle of ideas. Cardinal Ratzenberger: “Islam simply does not have the separation of the political and religious spheres which Christianity had from the very beginning. The Koran… insists that the whole order of life be Islamic (ie. no separation of religion/church and state). One must understand that Islam is not simply a denomination that can be included in the free realm of a pluralistic society.”

True Muslims cannot accept either the separation of powers or the freedom under the law (ie. “democracy”), which are the hallmarks of Western civilization.

* extracted from an article (excellent) in ‘The Independent’ by Dominic Lawson.

As we are what we believe yourself to be (You are what YOU believe), I believe that Jesus genuinely believed himself to be a ‘Son of God’, divinely ordained with a specific mission, a unique purpose which he CHOSE to fulfil in his short life. Christians say that the tradition of Jesus of Nazareth points us to a new life and new thoughts, as well as new possibilities… as a community and as a nation. Still you may or may not CHOOSE to believe in Jesus Christ and follow his teachings as YOUR pathway to connect to God, a Higher Power, ‘the Ground of all Being, the Essence of Existence’, your spiritual self.
#

Whilst we can celebrate our differences, we should love God (whatever we understand the concept to be) with all our hearts, minds and souls and our neighbour as we love ourselves (common teachings from both faiths of Islam and Christianity). Simple, eh!

It’s not such a matter of conflicting ideologies, the great ‘battle of civilizations’ is it?

So
Isn’t WHAT UNITES US IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT DIVIDES US!

and

God’s greatest gift to us is allowing us to find, then choose to follow our own truths.

Craig Lock

Former Archbishop in South Africa Desmond Tutu: “We have come to a time in the history of the world, where we need to rediscover the path to peace, and the path to peace can never be war. This pathway is lined with the concept of co-existence and co-inhabitance of the world.”

“A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long supressed, finds utterance.”
– J.Nehru, first Prime Minister of India

“It is time for people of good will from every faith, culture and nation to recognise that a terrible danger threatens humanity. We must set aside the partisan bickering between nations and join together to confront the danger that lies before us. Let us seek common ground between peoples around the globe…
because what unites us is far more important than what divides us.

In our own little ways in our individual lives we can touch so many others and share our common humanity. And in so doing we can illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity. We must offer a compelling alternate vision for the world: a bright future of justice, tolerance, respect for other traditions and values and especially a vision of goodness and hope fuelled by the flame of love – one that banishes the fanatical ideology of intolerance and hatred to the darkness from which it emerged.”
– craig (as inspired by and adapted from the words of Abdurahman Wahid, former President of Indonesia)

“What we learn in the darkness, we are to share in the eternal light.”

“What we believe is not nearly as important as how we relate, interact with each other… and how we live. Only when we can say, ‘I am first and foremost a human being, and second a Jew, Muslim, Shi’ite, a Sunni, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu ,or a Sikh…’ will we progress and break down barriers between peoples, nations and cultures, both east and west. Let not our beliefs , but our shared humanity (ALL of us) define who we really are. “

“Let us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Rather than borders, let us look at distant horizons together…in the common spirit of the value and dignity of a shared personhood – our common humanity as citizens of planet earth.”

– craig

“God’s greatest gift to us is allowing us to find, then choose to follow our own truths.”

“Let not our different beliefs set us apart as human beings, but rather let our shared humanity be what defines and unites us as common citizens of our planet.”

– me

About the submitter:
Craig is “a passionate ‘extremist’ about respect for religious tolerance and moderation”. In his various writings little by little, one mind, one heart, one soul, one small step at a time, Craig hopes to promote better understanding across countries and cultures, striving in some small way to break down economic, social, cultural, religious and political barriers. He truly believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share in the form of our common humanity is way more important than what divides us.
http://www.craiglockbooks.comhttp://www.selfgrowth.com/experts/craig_lock.html

Craig’s new manuscript ‘A New Dawn’ is set in the Middle East: In it he attempts to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures and to try to make some difference in building bridges in an ever more dangerous, turbulent and uncertain world. A passionate story of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially love.

Craig’s booklet ‘Jesus Meets Muhammad’ is available at http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Meets-Muhammad-Real-ebook/dp/B005H86TPU/

The various books* that Craig “felt inspired to write” (including his books on Jesus and his numerous e-books on “the spiritual journey”) are available at:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4http://goo.gl/vTpjkhttp://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.htmlandhttp://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock

“The world’s smallest and most exclusive bookstore”

“A good book should take you from your everyday life to another place entirely.”

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.wordpress.com

www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com

www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.com http://religiousunity.wordpress.com

www.peacepursuit.wordpress.comhttp://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track (obsessive or WHAT!)

Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let’s plant the seeds, the hope of a better and brighter future.

THESE THOUGHTS MAY BE FREELY PUBLISHED, electronically or in print

Peace. it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
– author unknown

Sharing Some Information on Religions of the World: The BAHAI Faith

December 22, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

durban dawn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article Title: Sharing Some Information on Religions of the World: The BAHAI Faith
Submitter: Craig Lock
Category (key words):

Web sites: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html and http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.comwww.breakdownwalls.wordpress.comhttp://religiousunity.wordpress.comwww.peacepursuit.wordpress.comhttp://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track (obsessive or WHAT!)

Other Articles are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig )

Publishing Guidelines:
These writings (as with all my articles) may be freely published, electronically or in print.

“We share what we know, so that we all may grow.”

#

INTRODUCTION:
As he analyses his own “spirituality” and “finds and follows the spiritual path” (how airey-fairey now, craig!), Craig is studying the teachings of different religions (to find ‘common ground’/principles) and as he learns from his research, is sharing these notes in an attempt to ‘enlighten’ (himself and perhaps others). Hope this piece may be of interest to you too.

*

WHAT DO BAHAI BELIEVE?

Their main beliefs are as follows:

* Oneness of Religion: All the world’s religions represent stages in the revelation of God’s will and purpose for humanity.

Prophets are teachers – not saviours. God cannot incarnate himself and reveal himself to man. Therefore Jesus cannot be God. Jesus is seen as one of God’s manifestations sent to human beings to assist in our spiritual evolution. The raising of the body of Jesus was actually the coming to life of Christ’s teachings in the disciples, the restoration of their beliefs and convictions.

Some of the main principles of the Bahai faith:

* Oneness of God: There is only ONE God

“The peoples of the world, of whatever race or religion, derive their inspiration from one heavenly source, and are the subjects of one God.”
– Bahau’uallah

* Oneness of religion: All the world’s religions represent stages in the revelation of God’s will and purpose for mankind.
“Let your vision be world-embracing, rather than confined to your own self.”
– Bahau’llah

* Oneness of Mankind – there is only one human race and we are all connected.

“The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable, unless and until its unity is firmly established.”
– Bahau’llah

* Abolition of all prejudices

* The equality of men and women

* The elimination of the extremes of poverty and wealth

* The independent investigation of truth

* that religion and science agree.

The goal of the Bahai is a world governed by order, justice; love and peace: a world culture as the basis for spiritual advancement of all that live on earth, providing a way of life for all that is truly worthy of mankind. Bahai believe that the nature of God is completely unknowable – he/she/it is trancendant to the point of total inaccessibility. Prophets are teachers – not saviours! God cannot incarnate himself and reveal himself to man. Therefore Jesus cannot be God. Jesus is seen as one of God’s manifestations sent to human beings to assist in our spiritual evolution. The raising of the body of Jesus was actually the coming to life of Christ’s teachings in the disciples, the restoration of their beliefs and convictions.

BAHAI work for world peace and believe in freedom of expression.

*
A few personal thoughts to end off..

Everybody’s truth is different, because our experiences, our environments, our cultures, our life paths are different. So every person’s faith is different (even the state of having NO faith). Finally, perhaps no religion can ever represent the Absolute Truth (because ‘Absolute Truth’ has a degree of subjectivity – at least I believe so!). Rather, religions can be different paths to the same Truth, with God, Infinite Spirit, the Grand Designer, the Essence of Life at the centre. (Like spokes leading to the hub, the Ultimate Source of Life). It’s up to YOU to CHOOSE your set of beliefs, those which fit best with YOUR truth, your being.

I am motivated to share these sets of beliefs, these “eternal truths” with others, so people may benefit and enhance their lives in a meaningful way…if they so CHOOSE. I hope that this information may be of interest to you… and that’s my reason for sharing.

With UNDERSTANDING comes TOLERANCE
and
with TOLERANCE comes UNDERSTANDING.

Walk your OWN path to Highest Truth and be happy

craig

“There is neither east nor west, tribe nor ethnicity, male or female, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist. Christian nor Jew. There is only a God-filled
humanity.”

“The greatest good we can do for others is reveal the rich treasure inside themselves; so shine your own bright light on an often darkened world… with the highest level of humanity …and have great fun along the journey of life.”
“Let each one of us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Let us look at distant horizons together in a spirit of acceptance, helpfulness, co-operation and peace. Let our leaders look at the future with a vision – to see things not as they are, but what they could one day become.”
– craig

“When people’s hearts are filled with love, the world is full of hope.”

“Instead of the limits of borders (of countries and of our minds) let us and our leaders expand our sense of possibility… and together let’s look at building bridges to distant horizons, far and great. Lord, help us all lift our eyes a little higher.”

– craig


About the submitter:
In his various writings Craig strives in some small way to break down and economic, social, cultural and religious barriers. Craig believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share in the form of our common humanity is way more important than what divides us.

The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available athttp://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html and http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.comwww.breakdownwalls.wordpress.comhttp://religiousunity.wordpress.comwww.peacepursuit.wordpress.comhttp://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track (obsessive or WHAT!)

“Someday, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tide and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love. Then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”
– Teilhard De Chardin

“”God’s greatest gift to us is allowing us to find, then choose to follow our own truths.”

This piece may be freely published, electronically or in print

“God, The Essence of Life, the Ground of All Being, is leading us to the light. What we learn in the darkness, we are to share in the eternal light.”
*

bridges

TOGETHER LETS BREAK DOWN BARRIERS AND BUILD BRIDGES OF UNDERSTANDING… AND SO FOLLOWS HOPE

January 23, 2012

TOGETHER LETS BREAK DOWN BARRIERS AND BUILD BRIDGES OF UNDERSTANDING… AND SO FOLLOWS HOPE

A Collection of YouTube videos

Search results for

  • “breaking down barriers between christians      and muslims”

Submitter’s Note:

I have only viewed a few of these videos in this selection (and like me, you may or may not agree with the politics). However, no matter what your political stance may be, I have included those from their titles pertinent to my particular ‘sphere of interest (and I especially like sharing inspirational stories of hope)… in  alignment with the core message of this “e-book”:  “attempting in some small way to share the message of breaking down barriers and boundaries of the heart”.

One person CAN make a difference

YOU

Happy viewing

craig

“Let us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Rather than borders, let us look at distant horizons together…in the common spirit of the value and dignity of a shared personhood as citizens of planet earth. We here in far-off New Zealand share the common bond of humanity: the pain, the sadness, suffering and joy
inherent in the human condition, no matter where in the world you may live.”
– Craig (3rd September 2004)

“In our own little ways in our individual lives we can touch others and in so doing illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity. There is neither East nor West, Christian, Buddhist, Moslem, Hindu or Jew…but just a God-filled humanity

 “Few (of us) will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man (or woman) stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, (she or) he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
— the powerful and greatly inspiring words of Robert F. Kennedy (with my little insertions in brackets)

“Instead of the limits of borders (of countries and of our minds) let us and our leaders expand our sense of possibility… and together let’s look at building bridges to distant horizons, far and great. Lord, help us all lift our eyes a little higher.”

– craig

  •  

1:11

Ignorance is Bliss – 62% of Americans have never met a Muslim.

Share your story.

by myfellowamericantv | 10,335 views

9:42

Israel kill to steal Palestinian land

Summary of the bloody history of Israel since 1878 Movie clip from documentary film The film covers a wide range of topics — which include — the

by aIjazzera | 3 years ago | 5,850 views

.

7:49

6:27

Beit Jala Protest Part 1/4 (near Bethlehem)

Palestinian Christians and Muslims, along with Israelis and internationals, share their concerns about the illegal wall’s destruction of

by PCPFvideos | 1 year ago | 2,132 views

3:53

FTF Films: There Is A Better Way [TZM]

I was inspired to make this video for The Zeitgeist Movement because I feel what was said a press release of theirs was very eloquent and should

by djhardcoretruth | 1 year ago | 64 views

 

6:24

Beit Jala Protest Part 3/4 (near Bethlehem)

The soldiers let the protesters pass down the same road just 15 minutes after the demonstration in which they threw sound bombs at them. The

by PCPFvideos | 1 year ago | 842 views

1:11

Ignorance is Bliss – 62% of Americans have never met a Muslim.

Share your story.

by myfellowamericantv | 10,335 views

*

****************************

Search results for

·         “breaking down barriers”


4:14

Breaking down barriers

Meet the Muslim woman scaling the business world while smashing stereotypes against her religion and gender. See more at tennews.com.au

by ten | 7 months ago | 488 views

3:03

Breaking Down Barriers in the Kitchen

As seen on WVIT-TV / Channel 30 on Friday, January 30th, 2008 The kitchen is the heart of the home. But for many parents who have kids with a wide

by yourspecialchild | 2 years ago | 191 views

10:59

Breaking Down Barriers

Rev. Jennifer Whipple Congregational Church of Brookfield (UCC) Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost August 22, 2010 Jeremiah 1:4-10 and Luke 13:10

by uccbvideo | 1 year ago | 59 views

1:35

Breaking Down Barriers

Peace It Together brings Israeli and Palestinian students together with Canadians in BC to make films.

by CBCtv | 5 months ago | 987 views

2:15

Richard Whitehead: Breaking Down Barriers

Runner Richard Whitehead shares his inspiring story behind his journey to the Paralympic Games.

by bplondon2012 | 6 months ago | 111,069 views

4:26

Video of the day | Breaking down barriers

On November 9th of this year Germany will celebrate 20 years since the fall of the Wall – a monumental event in national and world history – but

by deutschewelleenglish | 2 years ago | 241 views

Breaking Down the Barriers

by csandoval06 | 5 videos

0:58

Al Jazeera Breaking Down Barriers

Consider how TV can be a powerful voice in a movement where 75% of the population is illiterate. What has Al Jazeera done for the Arab world since

by AgendaStevePaikin | 11 months ago | 132 views

*********************

Article Title: Sharing a few Thoughts on “Breaking Down Barriers and Building Bridges” Around the World Author: Craig Lock Category/Subject: Empowerment, inspiration, spirituality, philosophy, social and political issues, peace, pursuit of peace

Web Site: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com and newbooksbycraiglock.wordpress.com

Other Articles are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 (Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig)

Publishing Guidelines: These thoughts may be freely published, electronically or in print/

#

Sharing a few Thoughts on “Breaking Down Barriers (and Misunderstandings) and Building Bridges” Around the World: What can one person, do about the seemingly insoluble problems of this world?

A few thoughts to “kick off”… As the human species we are all spiritual beings on a “spiritual journey”, yet living an earthly existence.

What’s the difference between religion and spirituality?

I like this quote by an anonymous writer… “Religion is for those who fear going to hell, but spirituality is for those who’ve already been there.”

Now on to more serious ponderings…

Religion (and its fanatical beliefs) plays a critical part in many conflicts around the world. I believe, it’s vitally important that in order to reduce tensions, world leaders especially (but each one of us too in our own little ‘spheres of influence’) can emphasize the common values shared by the religions of the world.

I feel that religion CAN be turned around from being part of the conflict to be part of the SOLUTION. Religion was often blamed as the cause of the conflicts, whereas it was people misusing religion for their own ends, ie. personal agendas. Instead of focusing on the differences between people, we should focus more on what we have in common. Whilst celebrating our differences, that is far more important. Because, no matter where in the world we may live what unites us is far more important than what divides us. We share common human needs and values – history is very similar in many religions (Islam, Christian and Jew). We are all connected in spirit. So each one of us, if we CHOOSE, can release human potential through harnessing energy (through our “individual energies”) and share our common humanity as citizens of ‘planet earth’.

“Let us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Rather than borders, let us look at distant horizons together…in the common spirit of the value and dignity of a shared personhood as citizens of planet earth. We here in far-off New Zealand share the common bond of humanity: the pain, the sadness, suffering and joy inherent in the human condition, no matter where in the world you may live.” – Craig (3rd September 2004)

“In our own little ways in our individual lives we can touch others and in so doing illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity. There is neither East nor West, Christian, Buddhist, Moslem, Hindu or Jew…but just a God-filled humanity.

“We must offer a compelling alternate vision for the world: a bright future of justice, tolerance, respect for other traditions and values and especially a vision of hope fuelled by the flame of love – one that banishes the fanatical ideology of intolerance and hatred to the darkness from which it emerged.” – a former President of Indonesia

P.S: “The greatness of a nation consists not so much in the number of it’s people or the extent of it’s territory as in the extent and justice of it’s compassion.”

– Inscription at the Horse Memorial in Port Elizabeth, South Africa for horses killed in the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902).

“There is only one thing that has power completely, and that is love. Because when a man loves, he seeks no power, and therefore he has power. Only strive for power, if it is not at the cost of other people. Power corrupts. You first have to be pure and righteous, before one can attain power. I believe that love is a greater force than power.” – Alan Paton, great South African humanitarian and author of the classic ‘Cry the Beloved Country’

Former Archbishop and Nobel Prize winner, Desmond Tutu once said: “We have come to a time in the history of the world, where we need to rediscover the path to peace, and the path to peace can never be war. This pathway is lined with the concept of co-existence and co-inhabitance of the world.”

“To build a better world, just build a better you”… and don’t take life too seriously.

Have great FUN along the the amazing journey, the mystery of life

craig

“None of us has the power to make someone else love us. But we all have the power to give away love, to love other people. And if we do so, we change the kind of person we are, and we change the kind of world we live in.” – Rabbi Harold Kushner, in ‘Handbook for the Heart’

An old mystic said this about himself: “I was a revolutionary when I was young, and my prayer to God was, ‘Lord, give me the strength to change the world.’ As I approached middle age and realized that my life was halfway gone without changing a single soul, I changed my prayer to, ‘Lord, give me the grace to change all those who come into contact with me, especially my family and friends, and I shall be satisfied.’ Now that I am an old man, and my days are numbered, I have begun to see how foolish I have been. Now my one prayer is this, ‘Lord, give me the grace to change myself.’ If I had prayed that right from the start, I would not have wasted my life.”

We can waste years trying to change other people. But we can only really change one person — ourselves. In the end, that is probably enough.

“When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family. Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.” — Author Unknown

No matter whether you’re a candle in a corner, or a beacon on a hill… as you let your own light shine brightly, you light the taper of that bright spark, which can one day become a fierce flame in others. – me

“I’m only one but I am one. I can’t do everything but I can do something and what I can do I ought to do and that by the grace of God I will do.” – Brett Blair, Sermon Illustrations, 1999

“I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.” – Mother Teresa of Calcutta

How’s this for a short and simple prayer for the world?

“May all beings everywhere be awakened, healed, peaceful, and free; May there be peace in this world, and an end to war, poverty, violence, and oppression; and may we all together complete the spiritual journey.” – Lama Surya Das (thanks, Lynda)

“The moment you have in your heart this extraordinary thing called love and feel the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of it, you will discover that for you the world is transformed.” – J. Krishnamurti

“The kiss of the sun for pardon The song of the birds for mirth You are nearer God’s heart in the garden, than anywhere else on earth.”

“Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let’s see how many people we can impact, empower, uplift, encourage … and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials.”

These thoughts may be freely published electronically or in print

It was always seems impossible….
until it gets done.”
– Nelson Mandela

PPS

Few (of us) will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man (or woman) stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, (she or) he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” — the powerful and greatly inspiring words of Robert F. Kennedy (with my little insertions in brackets)

“Instead of the limits of borders (of countries and of our minds) let us and our leaders expand our sense of possibility… and together let’s look at building bridges to distant horizons, far and great. Lord, help us all lift our eyes a little higher.”

– craig

“When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” – Indian saying

Thanks, dearest mom, your spirit will live on…forever craig

About the author: In his various writings, little by little, one mind, one heart, one soul at a time, Craig strives to break down and economic, social, cultural and religious barriers through attempting to build dialogue and understanding. Craig believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share in the form of our common humanity is way more important than what divides us.

The various books* that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock (e-books) http://www.creativekiwis.com/books.html and www.lulu.com/craiglock

“The world’s smallest and most exclusive bookstore”

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com and newbooksbycraiglock.wordpress.com

“Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let’s see how many people we can impact, empower, uplift, encourage, enrich and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials…and so help plant the seeds to a better and brighter future.”

THIS PIECE MAY BE FREELY PUBLISHED

PPS

When (or perhaps if ever) you arrive in heaven, let faith and love be the wings that carried you there.” – as adapted from the inspiring words of Jonathan Edwards, former minister in New England, Massachusetts

“The Greatest Race: Living by (with) faith, hope and love is the highest podium any person can reach, God’s podium that anyone stand on.”

– craig

Who was Muhammad (from the Booklet: ‘A Brief Illustrated Guide to Islam’)?

February 12, 2010
Article Title: Who was Muhammad (from the Booklet: ‘A Brief Illustrated Guide to Islam’)?
Author:  I.A.Ibrahim
Shared by: Craig Lock
Category (key words): Religion, Islam, Muhammad (Mohammed), religious tolerance, faith, beliefs, peace, spiritual, spiritual unity

The subrmitter’s new blog with thoughts and extracts from various writings is at craiglock.wordpress.com and
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, words of inspiration, “spiritual, spiritual writings” (how “airey-fairey”), and money management – how boring now, Craig!)
Publishing Guidelines:
This short article was directly sourced from a most informative and enlightening booklet ‘A Brief Illustrated Guide to Islam’ (easy-to-understand and well-written too!) available at http://www.islam-guide.com/
(If used please acknowledge the author, I.A.Ibrahim and the source website, thanks).
All my other articles may be freely published, electronically or in print
“We share what we know, so that we all may grow.”
*
Introduction:
Craig is studying the teachings of different religions (to try to find ‘common ground’/principles/ in different faiths) and as he learns from his research, is sharing these notes in an attempt to ‘enlighten’ (himself and perhaps others) regarding ‘eternal and universal truths.’ My motive, my aim in sharing this information written by I.A. Ibrahim is to try to contribute in some small way to a slightly better understanding in the West of the Islamic world. And as I share these basic principles regarding the Islamic faith, I learn too. Hope this piece may be of interest to you…
*
WHAT IS THE QUR’AN ABOUT?

The Quran, the last revealed word of God, is the primary source of every Muslim’s faith and practice.  It deals with all the subjects which concern human beings: wisdom, doctrine, worship, transactions, law, etc.; but its basic theme is the relationship between God and His creatures.  At the same time, it provides guidelines and detailed teachings for a just society, proper human conduct, and an equitable economic system.
Note that the Quran was revealed to Muhammad  in Arabic only.  So, any Quranic translation, either in English or any other language, is neither a Quran, nor a version of the Quran; but rather it is only a translation of the meaning of the Quran.  The Quran exists only in the Arabic in which it was revealed.
*
WHO IS THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD?
Muhammad was born in Makkah in the year 570. Since his father died before his birth and his mother died shortly thereafter, he was raised by his uncle, who was from the respected tribe of Quraysh. He was raised illiterate, unable to read or write, and remained so till his death. His people, before his mission as a prophet, were ignorant of science and most of them were illiterate. As he grew up, he became known to be truthful, honest, trustworthy, generous, and sincere. He was so trustworthy that they called him ‘the Trustworthy’. Muhammad was very religious, and he had long detested the decadence and idolatry of his society.
At the age of forty, Muhammad  received his first revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel. The revelations continued for twenty-three years, and they are collectively known as the Qur’an.
As soon as he began to recite the Quran and to preach the truth which God had revealed to him, he and his small group of followers suffered persecution from unbelievers.  The persecution grew so fierce that in the year 622 God gave them the command to emigrate.  This emigration from Makkah (or Mecca) to the city of Madinah, some 260 miles to the north, marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar.
After several years, Muhammad  and his followers were able to return to Makkah, where they forgave their enemies.  Before Muhammad  died, at the age of sixty-three, the greater part of the Arabian Peninsula had become Muslim, and within a century of his death, Islam had spread to Spain in the West and as far East as China.  Among the reasons for the rapid and peaceful spread of Islam was the truth and clarity of its doctrine.  Islam calls for faith in only one God (Allah), Who is the only one worthy of worship.
The Prophet Muhammad  was a perfect example of an honest, just, merciful, compassionate, truthful, and brave human being.  Though he was a man, he was far removed from all evil characteristics and strove solely for the sake of God and His reward in the Hereafter.  Moreover, in all his actions and dealings, he was ever mindful and fearful of God.” #


# INFORMATION SOURCED (directly) FROM A BOOKLET ‘A BRIEF ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO ISLAM by I.A.IBRAHIM. Copyright C 1997, 1996
*
I hope that this brief introductory information about the life of Muhammad may be of interest to you…and perhaps get you thinking about these “deep and serious subjects”… and that’s my reason for sharing.
“Those of us who long for moderation will continue to hope for understanding of complex issues with reasoned dialogue and a spirit of understanding between different faiths.”
Humanity has far more in common than our differences, what seperates us.
So Isn’t WHAT UNITES US, our common (shared)humanity, FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT DIVIDES US!
“Nothing that I can do will change the structure of the universe. But maybe, by raising my voice I can help the greatest of all cause – goodwill among men and peace on earth.”
– Albert Einstein
With UNDERSTANDING comes TOLERANCE and with TOLERANCE comes UNDERSTANDING.
Religion divides; whereas truth unites.
Walk your OWN path to Highest Truth and be happy
Shared by Craig Lock (“Information and Inspiration Distributer, Incorrigible Encourager and People-builder”)
Former Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa Desmond Tutu once said these wise and inspiring words:
“We have come to a time in the history of the world, where we need to rediscover the path to peace, and the path to peace can never be war. This pathway is lined with the concept of co-existence and co-inhabitance of the world.”
“A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long supressed, finds utterance.”
– Jahrulal Nehru, first Prime Minister of India
“It is time for people of good will from every faith, culture and nation to recognise that a terrible danger threatens humanity. We must set aside the partisan bickering between nations and join together to confront the danger that lies before us. Let us seek common ground between peoples around the globe… because what unites us is far more important than what divides us.”
“There is neither east nor west, tribe nor ethnicity, male or female, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist. Christian nor Jew. There is only a God-filled humanity.”
“Let each one of us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Let us look at distant horizons together in a spirit of acceptance, helpfulness, co-operation and peace. Let our leaders look at the future with a vision – to see things not as they are, but what they could one day become.”
– craig
About the submitter:
In his various writings, little by little, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, Craig strives to break down social, cultural, religious and economic barriers through sharing information and “planting, then watering uplifting ideas and seeds of hope”. Craig believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share is way more important than what divides us.
Craig’s new manuscripts, ‘A New Dawn’ and ‘From Seeds of Hate to the Bonds of Love’ are set in the Middle East: In them he attempts to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures and to try to make some difference in building tiny bridges in an ever more dangerous, tubulent and uncertain world. A passionate story(stories) of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially love.
The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at http://www.creativekiwis.com/books.html www.lulu.com/craiglock and www.myspace/writercraig
“With passion and purpose in our individual lives we can touch others and in so doing illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity to make a better world (through helping raise the ‘collective consciousness’). Let us encourage our leaders towards an alternate vision for the world to embrace: one that banishes the fanatical ideology of intolerance and hatred to the darkness from which it emerged. Each one of us in our own little ways can offer (and most importantly, LIVE) this compelling new horizon: a bright future of justness and justice, tolerance, respect for other traditions and values. Especially a vision of hope and thoughts of peace fuelled by the eternal flame of love, which can light the darkest night… always “
– me
Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let’s plant the seeds, the hope of a better future.
“God is a mystery, the ‘mystery of life’, a Creative Presence, Who/That allows me to be who I really want to be and become.”
“God, the Essence of Life, is the great mystery in the vast unknown; yet He(??) is understandable.”
“God, The Essence of Life, the Ground of All Being, is leading us to the light. What we learn in the darkness, we are to share in the eternal light.”
May the Grace of our loving Creator care for and watch over you all … always

What Are Some Key Similarities Between Christianity And Islam?

February 11, 2010
Article Title: What Are Some Key Similarities Between Christianity And Islam?
Shared by: Craig Lock
Category (key words): religion, faith, beliefs, peace, spiritual, spiritual unity

Web Site: Craig’s new blog (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) is available at: http://craiglock.wordpress.com/wp-admin/index.php?page=my-blogs
Other Articles are available at:
http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig!)


Publishing Guidelines:

All my writings may be freely published,
electronically or in print.
*
WHAT ARE SOME KEY SIMILARITIES BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM?

Submitter’s Note:
Craig is studying the teachings of different religions (to find ‘common ground’/principles/ and as he learns from his research, is sharing these notes in an attempt to ‘enlighten’ (himself and perhaps others) regarding ‘eternal and universal truths.’ These notes form part of Craig’s new novels set in the Middle East, titled ‘A New Dawn: Let the Journey Begin’ and ‘From Seeds of Hate to the Bonds of Love’, as well as his latest “labour of love” ‘The Real , the True Jesus – the One that I Know!’.

Hope this piece may be of interest to you too.

*
INTRODUCTION

The issue of RELIGION throughout history of mankind and today evermore plays a vital part in many conflicts around the world. Religion is (and was) often blamed as the cause of the conflicts; whereas it is/was people misusing religion for their own ends (often taking particular and significant interpretations out of context) that have shaped societies and cultures. I truly believe it’s critically important to emphasize the common values shared by different religions to drastically reduce tensions around the globe. So that religion (and it’s beliefs) can be turned around from being part of the conflict to be part of the SOLUTION. Instead of focussing on the differences between people, in this ‘battle of ideas/ideologies” we should focus far more on what we have in common.

So what are the foundations, what is the frame-work of the respective beliefs?

Most religions of the world espouse (nice word, eh!) good moral values as a code of conduct: the virtues of passion for liberalism, tolerance, compassion, decency and generous ideals. However, there is a fundamental doctrinal incompatability between the major faiths of Islam and Christianity (though together with the Jews, they worship the God of Abraham). These three major religions share the common truth of the Old Testament, having many prophets in common and consequently have many “shared values” that have shaped societies over the past two millenia.

Whilst there are some major differences between Islam and Christianity, from my research (fascinating and mainly online) some of the fundamental similarities in beliefs between these two main religions (as well as Judaism) are as follows:

ISLAM

The main beliefs:

* There is only One True God: the Sovereign Ruler of the universe…
and has full control over our lives (and will meet all of our needs)

* God (Allah) is the Creator of everything and central to Muslims lives. Allah is simply beyond human thought and understanding.

* True believers are not to worship any other gods

* Allah’s goodness and benevolence is seen everywhere, because He is compassionate and merciful.

* Many Old Testament prophets were from God (ie. were sent by God as messengers to the world)

* Jesus’s strong sense of mission, unity and sense of purpose.
He was sent by God, a messenger to serve humanity and being divinely inspired was a great moral teacher and prophet.

* God gave the Torah, the prophets, the Koran and the Gospel to guide our lives. ( I don’t know enough about Mohamed and his “divine destiny” to pass comment on his “mission”).

* We are to obey God’s words (as in the first five books of the Old Testament, the ‘Pentitukes’?)

* We should surrender/sacrifice ourselves fully to God
(in fact, the word ‘Islam” means ‘full submission to God’s will’)

* Jesus will return to earth one day (though in which form is uncertain). Though Jews do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah
and I’m not sure on that point with Islam. (I’ll study some more)

* Humans have free will and exercise a choice between doing good or evil in their daily lives.

* Humans only live once on this earth, then face judgement:
One day there will be a day of Judgement for how we’ve lived our lives.

* Believers who die will go to ‘heaven’ and live forever (though the concept of heaven is not precisely defined).

* Disbelievers will go to ‘hell’ (or suffer torment, which is ‘seperation from God’ forever). Heaven or hell are written about in the Qur’an in poetic terms, ie. as symbolic rather than actual places.

* It is important to pray to God frequently (Muslims do it five times a day) and attend a congretion at least once a week (usually mid-day on Fridays)

* We should have a spirit of charity and help the poor and those in a less fortunate position to ourselves (with money and/or works)

* A person’s alotted time on earth is predestined.

* All people are equal before the law.

and finally

* We should respect our differences and Christians, Jews, and Muslims should never be killed purely on account of their faith.

NB:
The Qu’ran states that Allah will curse those Muslims who kill one another intentionaly. This is stated very clearly in Surah 4:93

“But  whoever kills a believer intentionally – his recompense is Hell, wherein he will abide eternally; and Allah has become angry with him, and has cursed him and has prepared for him a great punishment.”
(And another version:
“If a man kills a Believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell, to abide therein (forever): and the wrath and the curse of God are upon him, and a dreadful penalty is prepared for him.’)

*
CHRISTIANITY

Christianity and Islam are both ‘missionary’ religions. Both faiths believe they have a monopoly over the truth. Both want to share their version of truth with others and both compete in seeking converts. I am motivated to share these “truths” with others, so people may benefit and enhance their lives in a meaningful way…if they so CHOOSE.

There IS a significant difference from Islam: Christianity exists solely on the basis that Jesus Christ is the ‘son of God’ (ie. the fact is taken literally); whereas the faith of Islam exists purely on the basis that God dictated his laws to Mohammed and that the Koran contains God’s actual words. Most “informed” Christians, however, do not believe the Koran is the unintermediated word of God. “Most followers of Christ know very little about Mohammed being perceived as a ‘messenger of God.’ They can, therefore, only think that Mohammed was deluded, if not a liar. (Of course, most Christians are far too polite to say such a thing!).”

The Bible teaches that Jesus is the son of God/God incarnate (“the human face of God“) and that he died on a cross ro reconcile mankind and God. Then he was resurrected after three days and now lives in heaven. The gospel message teaches that reconciliation with God (and transformation) is to be found through the redemptive work of Jesus only.

And as regards Christianity, it’s the notion of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit as one), which rationalists find to be the most implausible aspect of Christianity. “If Jesus was not the Son of God, then he too was deluded, crazy … or perhaps even a ‘liar’. And if he – as opposed to He – was either of those things, then the Resurrection is also a lie and Christianity, as a faith rather than as a philosophy is utterly null and void.”

Good works as “entry” to heaven (as Muslims believe) count for nothing, in the absence of acceptance of Jesus. Christianity is based on the concept of FAITH and God’s Grace (ie, unmerited, undeserved favour).. We are “saved for eternity” (so our soul lives on when we die) through our faith in Jesus and are not solely judged for the ‘hereafter’ by our good works during our lifetime. (And these good works are inspired by our faith and the ‘divine spirit’ at work through God’s Infinite Grace).

This is a battle, a contrast of ideas. As Cardinal Ratzinberger once described the difference between the faiths: “Islam simply does not have the seperation of the political and religious spheres which Christianity had from the very beginning. The Koran… insists that the whole order of life be Islamic (ie. there is no seperation of religion/church and state). One must understand that Islam is not simply a denomination that can be included in the free realm of a pluralistic society.”

True Muslims cannot accept either the seperation of powers or the freedom under the law (ie. “democracy”), which are the hallmarks of Western civilisation.

* extracted from an article (excellent) in ‘The Independent’ by Dominic Lawson.

As we are what we believe ourselves to be (You are what YOU believe), I believe that Jesus genuinely believed himself to be a ‘Son of God’, divinely ordained with a specific mission, a unique purpose which he CHOSE to fulfill in his short life. Christians say that the tradition of Jesus of Nazareth points us to a new life and new thoughts, as well as new possibilities… as an individual, community and as a nation. Still you may or may not CHOOSE to believe in Jesus Christ and follow his teachings as YOUR pathway to connect to God, a Higher Power, ‘the Ground of all Being, the Essence of Existence’, your spiritual (higher)self.
*
Whilst we can celebrate our differences, just remember the “Golden Rule”, a teaching common to ALL religions: Treat others as you’d like to be treated. And we should love God (whatever we understand the concept to be) with all our hearts, minds and souls… and our neighbour as we love ourselves (common teachings from both faiths of Islam and Christianity). Simple, eh!

It’s not such a matter of conflicting idealogies, the great ‘battle of ideas, of civilisations’ is it?

So
Isn’t WHAT UNITES US IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT DIVIDES US!

Shared by Craig Lock (“Information and Inspiration Distributer, Incorrigible Encourager and People-builder”)

Craig’s new blog (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) is available at: http://craiglock.wordpress.com/wp-admin/index.php?page=my-blogs

PS:
There’s a good article (in point form): “A Comparison Of Islam And Christianity” at http://executableoutlines.com/islam/islam_05.htm
Former Archbishop in South Africa Desmond Tutu once said:
“We have come to a time in the history of the world, where we need to rediscover the path to peace, and the path to peace can never be war. This pathway is lined with the concept of co-existence and co-inhabitance of the world.”

“A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long supressed, finds utterance.”
– J.Nehru, first Prime Minister of India

“It is time for people of good will from every faith, culture and nation to recognise that a terrible danger threatens humanity. We must set aside the partisan bickering between nations and join together to confront the danger that lies before us.
Let us seek common ground between peoples around the globe…
because what unites us is far more important than what divides us.

In our own little ways in our individual lives we can touch so many others and share our common humanity. And in so doing we can illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity. We must offer a compelling alternate vision for the world: a bright future of justice, tolerance, respect for other traditions and values and especially a vision of goodness and hope fuelled by the flame of love – one that banishes the fanatical ideology of intolerance and hatred to the darkness from which it emerged.”
– craig (as inspired by and adapted from the words of Abdurahman Wahid, former President of Indonesia who died recently*)


* (and on whose epitaph are written these inspiring words…
‘here lies a humanitarian’)

About the submitter:
Craig likes to share information and insights to encourage
others to be all they are capable of being. He’d love to try to ‘build bridges’ (not metal or wooden ones, thank goodness!) between people, firmly believing that what we share is way more important than what divides us.
Craig’s new manuscripts, ‘A New Dawn’ and ‘From Seeds of Hate to the Bonds of Love,are  set in the Middle East: In it he attempts to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures and to try to make some difference in building bridges in an ever more dangerous, tubulent and uncertain world. A passionate story of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially love for the world.

“Those whom you want to change… you must first love.”

– Dr Martin Luther King, Jnr
These thoughts may be freely published, electronically or in print
“What we learn in the darkness, we are to share in the eternal light.”

What Do Muslims Believe about Jesus?

February 10, 2010
 

Article Title: What Do Muslims Believe about Jesus?
(from Basic Principles of Islam)
Author: Mohammed F Thompson
Submitted (with permission) by: Craig Lock
Category (key words): religion, Islam, Jesus, faith, beliefs, peace, spiritual, spiritual unity

Craig’s new blog with thoughts and extracts from various writings is at craiglock.wordpress.com and

(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig!)

Publishing Guidelines:
All my articles may be freely published, electronically or in print This article was directly sourced from Voice of Islam with permission (If used please acknowledge the author, Mohammed F Thompson and source, website: www.voiceofislamtv.com, thanks).

 
“We share what we know, so that we all may grow.”
 
                                     *
 
WHAT DO MUSLIMS BELIEVE ABOUT JESUS?
(from BASIC PRINCIPLES OF ISLAM)
 
 
Introduction:
 
Craig is studying the teachings of different religions (to find ‘common ground’/principles/ for his novel ‘A New Dawn’. And as he learns from his research, is sharing these notes in an attempt to ‘enlighten’ (himself and perhaps others) regarding ‘eternal and universal truths.’ And as I share these basic principles regarding the Islamic faith, I learn too. Hope this piece may be of interest to you.
 
                                        *
 
The Miracle of the Holy Quran, the Spirit of Truth.
 
# Islam is a Complete Way of Life: A Muslim’s whole purpose in life is to worship Allah (God). The concept of Allah in Islam is that there is only one Allah for ALL of mankind. He is the Allah for Christians, the Jews, the Muslims, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the atheists and all human beings, whether they believe in Him or not.
 
# Islam rejects the idea of a chosen people
 
# Prayer is the foundation of Islam, which literally means “submission”
 
The nearest to Muslims are the Christians.
                                    *
CHRIST IN ISLAM
 
Muslims believe in Jesus. The Muslim belief in Jesus Christ (pbuh) as a prophet of Allah is a fundamental article of faith in Islam. Muslims accept Jesus as one the most distinguished apostles of Allah. A Muslim believes that the greatness of Jesus (pbuh) arises from the fact that he was chosen by Allah and honoured with His word. Then he was entrusted with the revelations of Allah and commisioned to teach His message.
 
The Qu’ran Affirms the 2nd Coming of Jesus. It has been revealed in the Qu’ran that Jesus Christ (pbuh) will be returning to this world before the day of resurrection.
 
All Muslims believe, that Jesus (pbuh):
 
* Was one of the mightiest messengers of Allah.
 
* That he was the Messiah
 
* That he was conceived miraculously
 
* That he gave life to the dead with His (Allah’s) permission
 
* That he healed those born blind and the lepers by His (Allah’s) permission
 
In fact, no Muslim is a true Muslim, if he or she does not believe in prophet Jesus, his works, his teachings and his miracles.
 
                                       *
 
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MUSLIM AND CHRISTIAN BELIEF?
 
The oneness of Allah: In Islam the greatest sin is to associate partners with Allah. It is forbidden for a Muslim to adolize any person or thing, like movie stars, singers, saints or any created beings (living or dead). This is why a Muslim cannot accept either that Jesus (pbuh) could be the son of Allah, or the notion of trinity.
 
The rejection of trinity: “Christ Jesus, the son of Mary was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah.”
 
Jesus was NOT crucified. Holy Qur’an: An-Nisa (4) Ayah:157-158 157. That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah.” “But they killed him not, nor crucified him; but it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely they killed him not.” 158: But Allah raised him up to Himself. And Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.”
 
However, Jesus (pbuh) is not Allah. A Muslim is not considered a Muslim, if he does not believe in Jesus (pbuh); but we believe in him as a Prophet, not as a God or the only begotten son of Allah and so on. The acceptance of Jesus Christ by Muslims is a fundamental article of faith in Islam. Muslims accept Jesus as one of the most distinguished apostles of Allah.
 
Islam is the way of ‘Unity’. Any relationship with Allah is direct and personal, without the mediation of a priest or Imam (learned Islam scholar). Only Allah can forgive sins.
 
INFORMATION SOURCED (directly with permission) FROM A BOOKLET BASIC PRINCIPLES OF ISLAM by Mohammed F Thompson (Published by Voice of Islam. Copyright C 2005
                                    *
 
QUALITIES OF CHRIST IN THE QU’RAN
 
Sura 2.87 He is endowed with the Holy Spirit.
 
Surah 3:45 He is the Messiah, the Christ.
 
Surah 3.45-46 He is the Mediator.
 
Surah 3.49 He healed the sick and raised the dead.
 
Surah 4.158 He ascended to God.
 
Surah 4.171 He is a messenger of God (Allah), the Word.
 
Surah 5.49, 110, 111
 
In Surah 5.49, it says about Jesus:
 
‘Confirming that which came before him in the Torah, we sent him the Gospel.
 
He brought the gospel of guidance and light.
 
Surah 6.85 He is Righteous.
 
Surah 19.19. He is Pure and Holy.
 
When the angel announced to Mary the ‘gift of a holy son’ in Surah 19.19, it meant that he would be faultless, without sin.
 
Surah 43.61 He is coming before the hour of Judgement.
 

And in the Bible St Paul declares that it was actually Jesus who brought this gospel to the world.
 
As Paul writes in Romans 1.
 
16: ‘I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
 
and
 
17: For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written,
 
‘The just shall live by faith.”‘
 
                            *
 
ISLAMIC WEB SITES
 
Listed below are some useful web sites (for you to browse), if you are interested to know more about Islam and Muslims
 
 
 
 
 
 
                              *
 
I hope that this information may be of interest to you…and perhaps get you thinking about these “deep and serious subjects”… and that’s my reason for sharing.
 
“Religion divides; whereas truth unites.”
 
“The way we live is far more important than what we believe.”
  

“Those of us who long for moderation will continue to hope for understanding of complex issues with reasoned dialogue and a spirit of understanding between different faiths.”

 
Humanity has far more in common than our differences, what seperates us.
 
So isn’t WHAT UNITES US IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT DIVIDES US?
 
With UNDERSTANDING comes TOLERANCE and with TOLERANCE comes UNDERSTANDING.
 
Walk your OWN path to Highest Truth and be happy
 
Shared by Craig Lock
 
 

“Let each one of us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Let us look at distant horizons together in a spirit of acceptance, helpfulness, co-operation and peace. Let our leaders look at the future with a vision – to see things not as they are, but what they could one day become.”

– craig
 
Former Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa Desmond Tutu once said these wise and inspiring words: “We have come to a time in the history of the world, where we need to rediscover the path to peace, and the path to peace can never be war. This pathway is lined with the concept of co-existence and co-inhabitance of the world.”
 
“A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long supressed, finds utterance.”
– Jahrulal Nehru, first Prime Minister of India
 
“It is time for people of good will from every faith, culture and nation to recognise that a terrible danger threatens humanity. We must set aside the partisan bickering between nations and join together to confront the danger that lies before us. Let us seek common ground between peoples around the globe… because what unites us is far more important than what divides us.”
 
“There is neither east nor west, tribe nor ethnicity, male or female, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist. Christian nor Jew. There is only a God-filled humanity.”
 
About the submitter:
 
In his various writings, little by little, one mind, one soul, one life at a time, Craig strives to break down social, cultural, religious and economic barriers through sharing information and “planting, then watering uplifting ideas and seeds of hope”. He truly believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share as ‘human beans’ is way more important than what divides us.
 
Craig’s new manuscript, ‘A New Dawn’ is set in the Middle East: In it he attempts to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures and to try to make some difference in building bridges in an ever more dangerous, tubulent and uncertain world. A passionate story of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially love.
 
The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at http://www.creativekiwis.com/books.html www.lulu.com/craiglock and www.myspace/writercraig
 
“When people’s hearts are full of love, the world is filled with hope.”
 
“With passion and purpose in our individual lives we can touch others and in so doing illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity to make a better world (through helping raise the ‘collective consciousness’). Let us encourage our leaders towards an alternate vision for the world to embrace: one that banishes the fanatical ideology of intolerance and hatred to the darkness from which it emerged. Each one of us in our own little ways can offer (and most importantly, LIVE) this compelling new horizon: a bright future of justness and justice, tolerance, respect for other traditions and values. Especially a vision of hope and thoughts of peace fuelled by the eternal flame of love, which can light the darkest night… always “
– me
 
“God, The Essence of Life, the Ground of All Being, is leading us to the light. What we learn in the darkness, we are to share in the eternal light.”
 
These writings may be freely published with acknowledgment to the source web site, thanks
 
“Nothing that I can do will change the structure of the universe. But maybe, by raising my voice I can help the greatest of all cause – goodwill among men and peace on earth.”
 
– Albert Einstein

 

Craig’s new blog with thoughts and extracts from various writings is at craiglock.wordpress.com and

 
May the Grace of our loving Creator care for and watch over you all … always