For those who still believe

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Elijah John
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For those who still believe

Post #1

Post by Elijah John »

Some questions.

I hear this most often from Evangelicals and Jehovah's Witnesses...seldom from Catholics or mainline Protestants.

Question 1)If you hold the position that Muslims do indeed worship a "different God", how did you arrive at this conclusion?

Through your own studies? Thinking for yourself?*

Question 2) Or is there some Evangelical "play book" instructing believers to regard Islam as worshiping a "different God"?*

Question 3) Is the phrase a "different God" a euphemism for something worse?

Quesstion 4) Do you think demonization (in this case perhaps literally) of other great world religions is God's will and any way to be a peacemaker, as Jesus expects God's children to be?

Question 5) Do we have ANY Evangelicals or Jehovah's Witnesses among us who believe that yes, Muslims worship the same God, but in a different way?

I am not a Muslim, but let me make a case that Muslims do not worship a "different God".

a) Muslims claim to worship the God of Abraham...so do Christians and Jews.

b) In Genesis, Ishmael was promised that he too would be the father of a great nation" Ishmael is widely regarded as the ancestor of the Arab people.

c) Is is such a stretch then, to believe the Arabs would have a prophet of their own?

d) the Qur'an itself teaches that God gave "Moses the Torah, King David the Psalms, and Jesus the Gospel...and has high regard for Jews and Christians as fellow "People of the Book".

e) Mohammad hated idolatry, and taught only worship of the one true God of Abraham. But he did not consider Jews and monotheistic Christians to be idolators, in fact, Muslims are allowed to marry Christians and Jews, but not polytheists.

f) Even Pope John Paul II taught that Muslims worship the same God as Christians do, but of course he also taught that does not contradict the belief that Christians have the fullness of Truth.


After considering the above, does Islam still sound to you like a religion that teaches people to worship a "different God"?

-----------------------------------

(*I get suspicious when folks march in lock-step with no deviation)
My theological positions:

-God created us in His image, not the other way around.
-The Bible is redeemed by it's good parts.
-Pure monotheism, simple repentance.
-YHVH is LORD
-The real Jesus is not God, the real YHVH is not a monster.
-Eternal life is a gift from the Living God.
-Keep the Commandments, keep your salvation.
-I have accepted YHVH as my Heavenly Father, LORD and Savior.

I am inspired by Jesus to worship none but YHVH, and to serve only Him.

Elijah John
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Re: For those who still believe

Post #21

Post by Elijah John »

JehovahsWitness wrote: the religious system the only one on earth by which people could learn about the true God.
vs.
JehovahsWitness wrote: So no, we do not believe Jews are worshipping the True God, which is tragic since as "the keepers of the word", historically they once did.
You don't see a contradiction in these two statements?

They "once did", so what, Jews now worship Baal?

It is my understanding that Jews STILL worship YHVH, (Adonai, HaShem) even though the do not worship Jesus or accept Jesus as the Messiah.

Your statements here seem odd coming from someone who does not believe that Jesus is God, and someone who believes in Jehovah by Name to say that the ones who introduced YHVH to the world do not currently worship Him.

That's news to me.
My theological positions:

-God created us in His image, not the other way around.
-The Bible is redeemed by it's good parts.
-Pure monotheism, simple repentance.
-YHVH is LORD
-The real Jesus is not God, the real YHVH is not a monster.
-Eternal life is a gift from the Living God.
-Keep the Commandments, keep your salvation.
-I have accepted YHVH as my Heavenly Father, LORD and Savior.

I am inspired by Jesus to worship none but YHVH, and to serve only Him.

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JehovahsWitness
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Re: For those who still believe

Post #22

Post by JehovahsWitness »

Elijah John wrote:
JehovahsWitness wrote: the religious system the only one on earth by which people could learn about the true God.
vs.
JehovahsWitness wrote: So no, we do not believe Jews are worshipping the True God, which is tragic since as "the keepers of the word", historically they once did.
You don't see a contradiction in these two statements?

They "once did", so what, Jews now worship Baal?

It is my understanding that Jews STILL worship YHVH, (Adonai, HaShem) even though the do not worship Jesus or accept Jesus as the Messiah.

Your statements here seem odd coming from someone who does not believe that Jesus is God, and someone who believes in Jehovah by Name to say that the ones who introduced YHVH to the world do not currently worship Him.

That's news to me.
No. You seem to be under the impression that just because somebody claims to be worshipping Jehovah they automatically are. If I go around punching people in the eye but explain my God "Jehovah's" likes it that way, who am I worshipping? The True Jehovah or a "fake" Jehovah, born of my imagination, that likes to see innocents punched in the eye? The Jews declared their worship of the Golden Calf back in the days of Moses "A Festival to Jehovah" did that mean Jehovah suddenly became baby cow?

One is worshipping Jehovah ONLY if one presents worship that is fully acceptable to him due to it conforming to his demands and standards at the time. Any deviance from that disqualifies your worship regardless of what name one attaches to it and your god becomes someone of your imagination.

The Jews went from conforming to refusing to conform God's standards for worship, Jesus had some strong words about who their real God was (see John 8:44). Their God thus went from being the True One (Jehovah) who is "Jealous" and has specific requirement, to a "faux Jehovah" that accepted false worship (or doesn't care if you accept his son or not, or was happy with idolatry, or could not care less if he is viewed as a trinity ... etc, etc).
If a man is declaring his love to a woman sitting in a chair, but she got up and left and he continues declaring his love to the chair, would you be surprised if someone pointed out he was no longer addressing the woman?
The Jews once worshipped the living God, they now worship the "empty space" he used to fill. Judaism is, in short, worshipping "the chair" which is, as I said tragic, since as a people they once knew the Living God JEHOVAH.
Last edited by JehovahsWitness on Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:43 pm, edited 5 times in total.
INDEX: More bible based ANSWERS
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 81#p826681


"For if we live, we live to Jehovah, and if we die, we die to Jehovah. So both if we live and if we die, we belong to Jehovah" -
Romans 14:8

Elijah John
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Re: For those who still believe

Post #23

Post by Elijah John »

JehovahsWitness wrote:
Elijah John wrote:
JehovahsWitness wrote: the religious system the only one on earth by which people could learn about the true God.
vs.
JehovahsWitness wrote: So no, we do not believe Jews are worshipping the True God, which is tragic since as "the keepers of the word", historically they once did.
You don't see a contradiction in these two statements?

They "once did", so what, Jews now worship Baal?

It is my understanding that Jews STILL worship YHVH, (Adonai, HaShem) even though the do not worship Jesus or accept Jesus as the Messiah.

Your statements here seem odd coming from someone who does not believe that Jesus is God, and someone who believes in Jehovah by Name to say that the ones who introduced YHVH to the world do not currently worship Him.

That's news to me.
No. You seem to be under the impression that just because somebody claims to be worshipping Jehovah they automatically are. If I go around punching people in the eye in Jehovah's name would that mean my God is Jehovah? The Jews declared their worship of the Golden Calf back in the days of Moses "A Festival to Jehovah" did that mean Jehovah suddenly became baby cow?

One is worshipping Jehovah ONLY if one presents worship that is fully acceptable to him due to it conforming to his demands and standards at the time. Any deviance from that disqualifies your worship regardless of what name one attaches to it and your god becomes someone of your imagination. The Jews went from confirming to refusing to conform God's standards for worship, Jesus had some strong words about who their real God was (see John 8:44). Their God thus went from being the True One (Jehovah) who is "Jealous" and has specific requirement, to a "faux Jehovah" that accepted false worship (or doesn't care if you accept his son or not, or was happy with idolatry, or could not care less if he is viewed as a trinity ... etc, etc)
Who defines "what is acceptable worship" to Jehovah? The WTS? See this is what I mean about legalism. Deviate in one detail of "acceptable worship"(as defined by WTS) and it is no longer acceptable to YHVH?

If you are speaking personally about imagination, I did not imagine YHVH or His Ten Commandments. I discovered Him by also reading the Psalms in translations that honor YHVH's name, and I discovered Him through the teachings of Jesus. Not teachings that Jesus had about himself, but rather teachings about Father Jehovah.

You really need to denigrate the faith (and relationship to God) of others as "imaginary" because we may differ with your interpretation?

You may attempt to claim copyright on YHVH, but that will not fly. The Living God (and His Name) transcends your ideology, and your WTS, and even your Bible.
Last edited by Elijah John on Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
My theological positions:

-God created us in His image, not the other way around.
-The Bible is redeemed by it's good parts.
-Pure monotheism, simple repentance.
-YHVH is LORD
-The real Jesus is not God, the real YHVH is not a monster.
-Eternal life is a gift from the Living God.
-Keep the Commandments, keep your salvation.
-I have accepted YHVH as my Heavenly Father, LORD and Savior.

I am inspired by Jesus to worship none but YHVH, and to serve only Him.

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The Tanager
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Post #24

Post by The Tanager »

Elijah John wrote:No, the actual God doesn't, but actual religions do [contain falsities].
Okay, but we were talking about the God(s) those religions worship. They worship different conceptions that contradict each other, so I don't see how they worship the same God.
Elijah John wrote:The more claims a religion makes, the more likely it departs for pure and simple truth.

Islam and Judaism have far few claims than Trinitarian Christianity.
Sure, the general probability would go up with making more claims, but probability does not necessarily equate to actuality. Which means it doesn't matter how many claims each religion has, although I'm not sure the accuracy or even the basis of this claim of yours.
Elijah John wrote:It is not the One God ( the same God who inspires these religions) who is divergent, but rather the various cultural responses (religions) that have divergence with each other.
How do you mean inspires? In an active way or as a sort of muse? Are you saying the divergence is God's design?
Elijah John wrote:But it seems to me you and so many Evangelicals and JWs ignore the essential similarities, and focus instead on the differences.
How much have you conversed with me to make this sort of claim? I am here responding to a very specific claim that they worship the same God. Not similar Gods. That these Gods are not different. Yes, they have plenty of similarities, but the question is if they are the same. If they have any difference then they are not the same. They can be similar (and I already said they were), but that wasn't the claim I was critiquing. If it was then we would have been looking at both the differences and the similarities. In the larger, more general look at various religions I think one errs who focuses on just the differences or just the similarities.
Elijah John wrote:Yes, Triitarianism and absolute Monotheism cannot both be true. But did it ever occur to you that Trinitarianism is the error, and that absolute Monotheism is the Truth?
Of course. I was secular up until high school (although I would have said I was a Christian theist). Then I was agnostic. Then I became a theist. And then I later became a Trinitarian. And I will continue to question and re-evaluate this belief like I try to do with all of my beliefs.
Elijah John wrote:Or that the original Christians were Shema-observant, absolute Monotheists?
Yes. I don't believe the evidence points that way, however.
Elijah John wrote:Yes, of course the Pope believes the RCC has the "fullness of Revelation". But in his book Crossing the Threshold of Hope he states that the Holy Spirit also inspired whatever is beautiful and true in other religions, most closely Judaism and Islam.
And I believe the same thing: that God is the source of all truth. Any truth has its ontological basis in Truth Itself. This doesn't condone all other religious traditions as a whole, though, because they contain falsities. Two plus two equals four, but just because my dad told me it was true doesn't mean he's an expert mathematician.
Elijah John wrote:The religions contradict each other, but only on peripheral matters. The essence of the three great religions does not contradict. They all three believe in the ONE, transcendent, ethical Creator of the Universe, who first revealed Himself to Abraham.
That is not their essence. It is a generalization of their essences. It ignores their differences on central matters. The Shahada is central to Islam. Torah is central to Judaism. Belief in a Triune God that incarnates to save humanity from their sins is central to Traditional Christianity.

Your approach focuses only on the similarities and ignores the differences. My approach makes note of both the similarities and differences. I've focused on the differences because of the issue you brought up, but I admit similarities like monotheism, Abraham, ethics having their ontological ground in God, etc.
Elijah John wrote:No, one may not be an adherent of traditional Islam, but that does not mean that one does not believe in Allah. (THE God) just because one does not accept Mohammed. Muslims believe that Christians and Jews also believe in Allah, but that Trinitarian Christians have, (in an act of Shirk), added the idolatry of Jesus-worship into the mix.
Muslims believe Christians and Jews are non-believers. Surah 5:17 explicitly says this about Christians. Surah 5:72-73 says Allah forbids us Paradise, that the Fire is our refuge and there is no help for us wrongdoers.
Elijah John wrote:I have read Muslim apologetics making great cases from the New Testament that Jesus is not "God" and that Jesus too, was an absolute Monotheist, who believed in the Father. These Muslim apologists have identified the Father, the God of Jesus as the same God Allah.

I have also read Jewish apologetics that have reached similar conclusions, that Jesus was thoroughly Jewish and as such believed the Father alone is God. These Jewish apologists also often rely on the NT to make their case as well.
As have I. Their cases, in my opinion, are selective and weak. I'd be willing to look at any you want admitting that I could be wrong and willing to change my mind if given the evidence to do so.

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JehovahsWitness
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Re: For those who still believe

Post #25

Post by JehovahsWitness »

Elijah John wrote:Who defines "what is acceptable worship" to Jehovah?
JEHOVAH does of course, who else? It is He who says what is or is not acceptable. It is Jehovah alone that dictates the means, method and channel of approach to him. Those that insist they are the deciding factor and believe they can impose their lax (or nonexistent) standards on the Almighty, are mistaken.

Jehovah's Witnesses direct people to God's Word to find out what God wants of them.


JW
INDEX: More bible based ANSWERS
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 81#p826681


"For if we live, we live to Jehovah, and if we die, we die to Jehovah. So both if we live and if we die, we belong to Jehovah" -
Romans 14:8

Elijah John
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Re: For those who still believe

Post #26

Post by Elijah John »

JehovahsWitness wrote:
Elijah John wrote:How about Jews?
The Jews were God's chosen people, that is no longer the case.
By the way, that is despicable, replacement theology. Is this what the WTS teaches? I guess that fits in with your "end times" understanding.

I find Jewish humility and simple theology far more convincing than Pauline, Johannine and WTS "end times" speculation.

Luther wanted to omit the letter of James, if it were up to me, I'd toss the whole book of Revelation instead.

The cause of so much escapism and frankly, craziness.

Come to think of it, I think ML also had reservations about Revelation.
My theological positions:

-God created us in His image, not the other way around.
-The Bible is redeemed by it's good parts.
-Pure monotheism, simple repentance.
-YHVH is LORD
-The real Jesus is not God, the real YHVH is not a monster.
-Eternal life is a gift from the Living God.
-Keep the Commandments, keep your salvation.
-I have accepted YHVH as my Heavenly Father, LORD and Savior.

I am inspired by Jesus to worship none but YHVH, and to serve only Him.

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JehovahsWitness
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Re: For those who still believe

Post #27

Post by JehovahsWitness »

Elijah John wrote:
JehovahsWitness wrote:
Elijah John wrote:How about Jews?
The Jews were God's chosen people, that is no longer the case.
By the way, that is despicable, replacement theology.
What is "despicable" about God going from having one chosen people (the Jews) to opening that privilege up so anyone (of any nationality) can be his "chosen" or special people?
GALATIANS 3:26-27
In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. - NIV
ACTS 10:34,35
Opening his mouth, Peter said: "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him. - NASB
ROMAN 10:12
For there is no distinction of the Jew and the Greek: for the same is Lord over all, rich unto all that call upon him. - Douay-Rheims Bible

If you find the above "despicable" so be it. I can but present scripture and let each one decide for themselves how they react.


JW





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Last edited by JehovahsWitness on Sat Oct 31, 2020 11:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
INDEX: More bible based ANSWERS
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 81#p826681


"For if we live, we live to Jehovah, and if we die, we die to Jehovah. So both if we live and if we die, we belong to Jehovah" -
Romans 14:8

Elijah John
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Post #28

Post by Elijah John »

It just seem to me that differences in approach to, and understanding of, the objective, true and Living God, do not change Him or His nature.

God is still God, no matter how one approaches Him or understands Him.
My theological positions:

-God created us in His image, not the other way around.
-The Bible is redeemed by it's good parts.
-Pure monotheism, simple repentance.
-YHVH is LORD
-The real Jesus is not God, the real YHVH is not a monster.
-Eternal life is a gift from the Living God.
-Keep the Commandments, keep your salvation.
-I have accepted YHVH as my Heavenly Father, LORD and Savior.

I am inspired by Jesus to worship none but YHVH, and to serve only Him.

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Re: For those who still believe

Post #29

Post by Blastcat »

[Replying to post 22 by JehovahsWitness]



[center]
Oh, those nasty claimers[/center]

JehovahsWitness wrote:
You seem to be under the impression that just because somebody claims to be they automatically are.
Tell us, friend, are you claiming to be worshiping Jehovah?


:)

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Re: For those who still believe

Post #30

Post by Elijah John »

JehovahsWitness wrote:
Elijah John wrote:
JehovahsWitness wrote:
Elijah John wrote:How about Jews?
The Jews were God's chosen people, that is no longer the case.
By the way, that is despicable, replacement theology.
What is "despicable" about God going from having one chosen people (the Jews) to opening that privilege up so anyone (of any nationality) can be his "chosen" or special people?
GALATIANS 3:26-27
In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. - NIV
ACTS 10:34,35
Opening his mouth, Peter said: "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him. - NASB
ROMAN 10:12
For there is no distinction of the Jew and the Greek: for the same is Lord over all, rich unto all that call upon him. - Douay-Rheims Bible

If you find the above "despicable" so be it. I can but present scripture and let each one decide for themselves how they react.


JW
It's dispicable because true replacement theology holds that God has forsaken the Jews because they do not accept Jesus.

And that Christians are the "new Israel".

I note that your references and your comments do not include the phrase that JWs are now also God's people, but rather you seem to be saying that JWs have now replaced the Jews as "God's people'"

Please correct me if I have misconstrued what you are saying. Bur this is your exact quote:
The Jews were God's chosen people, that is no longer the case.
And you also claim that Jews now worship an "empty chair". That is dispicable.

I think that replacement theology goes even against Paul, though I'm having trouble locating the exact reference. Something about NEVER, would God forsake Israel, and that God simply grafted on Christians to the family tree, or words to that effect.
Last edited by Elijah John on Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
My theological positions:

-God created us in His image, not the other way around.
-The Bible is redeemed by it's good parts.
-Pure monotheism, simple repentance.
-YHVH is LORD
-The real Jesus is not God, the real YHVH is not a monster.
-Eternal life is a gift from the Living God.
-Keep the Commandments, keep your salvation.
-I have accepted YHVH as my Heavenly Father, LORD and Savior.

I am inspired by Jesus to worship none but YHVH, and to serve only Him.

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