Sunday, October 31, 2010

Revolution Sunday

I've recently joined a Lutheran Church so am now learning something about Lutheranism. Today was Reformation Sunday, the anniversary of Martin Luther's nailing his convictions to a church door that sparked the Protestant Reformation.

The pastor caught my attention when he pointed out that the famous verse in Habakkuk 2:4, "the just shall live by faith", later taken by Paul as the linchpin of his understanding of the Gospel and still later picked up by Luther as the foundation for the Reformation, does not quite mean what the English translation indicates. The verse more accurately reads, "the just shall live by faithfulness". Even more significantly, the same Hebrew word used throughout the Torah or the Old Testament always refers to God's faithfulness, not ours.

Why did that catch my attention? Assuming there is an afterlife, millions of Christians as well as Muslims are hoping to reach Paradise by believing the right thing (faith) or doing the right thing (faithfulness). But just like the spiritual struggle of Martin Luther, how can you ever be sure that you have the right faith, or enough faith, or that you have been faithful enough? The realization that one's eternal destiny is determined not necessarily by my faithfulness but by that of God really could make this a Revolutionary Sunday!


Susanne said...

Wow, that IS neat! I wonder what it was Luther protested then if he knew it didn't mean "faith" as we English readers do. Thanks for sharing. I love that thought! :)

Quotable Quotes: said...

Susanne, that's a good question. Maybe it was the excesses of the Catholic Church at the time; paying indulgences to release deceased relatives from purgatory, etc.

Susanne said...

Yes, maybe the Catholic Church was saying your salvation depends on your purchase of indulgences and paying us to pray for you instead of relying on God's faithfulness. That makes sense. Thanks for your reply!

in the vanguard said...

How about learning about Noahide-ism? A brief intro can be found here:

Anonymous said...

[Assuming there is an afterlife, millions of Christians as well as Muslims are hoping to reach Paradise by believing the right thing (faith) or doing the right thing (faithfulness).

The following is answer to your queries:

Why Islam is safer than other religions?

A- If Jesus was really Son of God, and you said he is a messenger of God, what will the consequences?
(O God, forgive me for saying the following)

- (Supposedly) If Jesus was really son of God, and he will carry your sins then he will forgive you saying that he is a messenger of God, especially that in Bible it was mentioned many times that “God” Sent him, and “God is greater than me”, and “God, he is only good not me”, and messenger of God is not a bad term so let’s have 50% risk that Jesus will send you to hell for saying this.

- But, in Islam or in Judaism (although Jews don’t believe in Jesus PBUH) there is no risk of saying on someone a messenger of God, if it’s proved that he was, so it’s free risk = 0%.

- Total risk for saying Jesus is only a messenger of God = Average (50% + 0% + 0%) = 16.67% risk only.

B- If Jesus was “messenger of God”, and you said he is a “Son of God”, what will be the consequences?

- Then the risk here is very high, where all power ia in God’s hand and Jesus has no power to change God’s will, especially that God said in the bible before:

- [Isaiah 43:10-12]
- 10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
- 11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.
- 12 I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God.

- [Exodus 20:3-5]
- 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.

29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: [Mark 12: 29-32]

But despite all of that, (supposedly) we take the risk in Christianity is 0% for saying “Son of God”.

But, in Islam and in Judaism it’s completely forbidden, even in entire Torah (the Old Testament) the word “Son of God” was never mentioned, therefore the risk will be 100% both.

The total risk will be: Chr (0%) + Islam (100%) + Judaism (100%) = 66.67 %.

Comparing both results, it’s clear enough that saying Jesus is “Son of God” is more risky than he is “messenger of God” (66.67> 16.67).

Anonymous said...

C - Let’s calculate it another way, Why Islam is safer?

Risk in Christianity:

If the Christianity was wrong, there is no one to blame, those who wrote the bibles are unknown only by their initial names ( Mark, John, Luke, Mathew) so how you will know them in the Day of Resurrection, who developed the concepts of Christianity during the first centuries are also unknown, so there is no one to blame but yourself, and when you asks Jesus, most probably will answer you as following:

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. {Mathew 7:22-23]

Risk in Islam is much lower, why?

(O God, forgive me for saying the following)
If Islam was wrong, you can always find someone to blame, the holy book is not changed since its beginning, even the first copy is available, and it was written in Prophet’s days, and who wrote is known (Zaid ibn Thabet) by the commands of Caliphs Abu Baker and Othman, and all sayings of Prophet Muhammad is gathered in 9 authentic books with series of men who narrated them till the prophet, so if any one of them was wrong, you can easily blame one of them, say he deceived me, so God will not punished you for that.
Therefore, in this way too Islam is safer.

D - Let’s calculate it another way, Why Islam is safer?

- If Jews were going to enter the paradise, Christians and Muslims will enter with them for sure, since we all believe in Moses as Prophet. So, will give 100% for all.

- If Christians were to enter the paradise, then Jews will not enter because they didn’t believe in Jesus, but Muslims will enter for sure, because they believe on him.

Then Jews will take 0%, Christians 100%, Islam 100%.

- If Muslims were to enter the paradise then neither Jews nor Christians will enter the paradise because they never believed in Muhammad (PBUH), the grade here will be 0% for Ch, JE, and 100% for Islam.

Calculating the average of all:
Jews (100, 0, 0) = 33.3%
Christians (100, 100, 0) = 66.67%
Islam (100,100,100) = 100%
Means guaranteed in God’s will,

Thank you Allah for making us Muslims.

Anonymous said...


Islam means: “submission to God’s will”

Jesus said:

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.[Mathew 7:21]

47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. [Luke 12:47]

It’s clear enough that Jesus (PBUH) was also a Muslim.



in the vanguard said...

Why are you people so concerned about "salvation" and "hell", and such nonsense? Isn't the right question to ask, whether or not you're DOING the right thing? You can gain "salvation" in a split second if you do the right things. And no matter how many depths you take your mathematics of "probability", you'll never enjoy the future world if you behave incorrectly. What means incorrectly? Idol worship - which means denying the unity of G-d, and attributing divinity to other "powers" or "sub-powers". Get my point? And as far as Islam's concerned, the entire "religion" is based on one man's story, whereas Mosaic tradition was witnessed by 600,000 male adults among the millions. christianity, similarly, is based on the say-so of a few people.

Those who really care to be doing the right thing ought to think clearly, outside of any religiosity bubble they find themselves, because they were either born into it or influenced by it, as you would, say, by sitting on a cloud and looking down, and asking yourself clear questions and looking for clear, wise answers.

To think about the very final destination and ignoring how you expect to fix this world all the meanwhile, is a fool's paradise.

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