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Thread: Charis & Sadaqa, the roads meet

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    tWebber
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    Charis & Sadaqa, the roads meet

    Hi guys,

    Siam & I have been discussing "Conscionable Banking" = "Halal Finance" elsewhere and he suggested as I have an interest in the subject I pop over to the Islam campus so we could freely discuss the ethics of zakat & sadaqa.
    http://www.jammu-kashmir.com/insight...20000330a.html

    This is a subject area I perceive as having commonality with the RCC's concept of "charis" = "the undeserved graciousness of God bestowed upon us", which we are obligated to emulate towards all mankind (imo, to a certain extent, paticularly evidenced in my country = Australia = Oz).

    To clear the clouds...

    I identity myself as nominally RCC. I was born into my religion, and my evolution in accepting it as truth took decades of jihad = personal conflict. Therefore, I now consider myself a Nicene Christian by conviction, rather than by birth! After much study (prayer is a given for guidance) I am committed to the synodal decisions of the disputes resolved in 325CE, 381CE, 431CE & 451CE. A tumultuous period in Christian theology....

    In that regard feel free to ask me anything you like... I will attempt to give you a direct and comprehensive answer...

    I have no intention to convert you to my way of thinking, and I doubt you can now convince me towards yours...

    I proudly proclaim that as a convinced Christian I am a Muslim (one who has submitted themselves to the will of Allah) and thus a follower of the Islamic pathway (submission to Allah) proclaimed by Jesus, who by the will of Allah was miraculously conceived in Mary his mother.

    I totally reject any concept that a person can be born a Muslim! Likewise I reject all concepts of a Caliphate (or for the same matter any concept of a Kohen).

    OK! I've outlined my prejudices and have landscaped the playing field...lets discuss...but first...

    The forum...

    How is it that nationalists proclaim to be Muslim when it is obvious they submit themselves to human personalities rather than submitting themselves to the will of Allah?

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    tWebber
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    ---Charis is an interesting concept...can you elaborate?
    ---In South America there was a social justice movement called liberation theology---does the RCC accept it or reject it? if you don't know its fine---just curious
    ---What is the Church's position on economic issues?
    ---What is your opinion on Distributism (?) pros/cons
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributism

    My position is that there should not be a single (monoculture) system---but that there should be multiple systems of economics, each governed with their own principles and rules/laws. Therefore---those that prefer to practice the present interest-based capitalist system can do so...and those who want to opt out and find alternatives...can do so as well....(but this will have tax implications---governments will not be able to bail out the "too-big-to-fail" institutions if people are not using such institutions....)

    Born Muslim/muslim---Islam does not have "original sin" therefore human nature (Fitra) is considered inherently good. A human being is born with a nature that "submits to God" which means that babies display their inherent goodness as God created. In this context, all human beings are born "muslim" (in submission to God). Once human individuals have the ability to be responsible for their choices---they then choose to be a Muslim, Christian, Jew or other...(at least from the Islamic perspective of Fitra)

    In this context I was "born muslim"---that is, before I fully understood Islam (its rules, rituals etc) I knew there was one God. "muslim" is just one of many concept words in the Quran....another is "mutaqueen" one who has "taqwa" (love/awe of God). The other is "munafiqun" (hypocrite). If we are to live ethical lives---we need to develop integrity---and to achieve this we could begin by striving (jihad) to stay true to the path that we have chosen...?....this has to be so in all of our dealings and interactions--it should not be turned on/off on a whim.....but this is what Secular "Modernity" requires---that we leave our convictions "at home" when we engage in the public sphere....

    There has to be a way in which people can stay true to their values and convictions without imposing them on others---but allowing others to also live with their own values and convictions--fully, in all aspects of their lives....

    Caliphate---I reject the Modern concept of Caliphate that seems to be going around these days. The pre-modern concept simply referred to a leader whose "office" was a trustee of the people---regardless of whether the "office" was chosen/elected or dynastic. (Islam does NOT approve of the concept of the "Divine right of kings"---as all humanity is created equal). It seems to me the "Caliphate" as it seems to be envisioned today, is a "Nation-State" concept but with an exotic label.... The concept I prefer is that of an "Ummah" (global community).

    Identity---Group-identity is important for human beings (for some reason) and national identity is one type of group identity. I don't have any problems with the multiple group identities any individual may have. But excessive exclusivity based on the idea that "you cannot belong because you are not good enough" (superiority/inferiority) can lead to toxic consequences. We need to accept that we are all brothers in humanity (Bani Adam) and humanity is also "our" group and "our" identity. Also---I have a problem with the idea of a property/land belonging exclusively to one group of people---such a concept seems to forget that the whole earth belongs to God---NOT MAN. We need to work out the tensions between our God-given rights, with our God-given obligations. The right to property cannot be at the expense of someone else's right to life......

    Kohen (hereditary priesthood)---I agree but don't really have a problem with it as long as people have a choice. But choice requires an obligation---individuals must think for themselves and make choices rather than think-by-proxy. (Shia concept of "Imam").


    "How is it that nationalists proclaim to be Muslim when it is obvious they submit themselves to human personalities rather than submitting themselves to the will of Allah?"----
    Not sure what this is in reference to---but will try to give my opinion.....
    What is God's will?----God's will = Right belief that promotes right intentions that lead to right actions for the benefit of all of God's creations (Khalifa/Trusteeship). Human beings interact as individuals but also as groups. We are social in our nature and prone to organizing in groups. The first "group" we encounter in life is that of the family. For groups to function smoothly, 2 things are required, leadership and rules/laws. That is why a Muslim (or any other human being) "submits" to the rules/laws of the social group they belong to (Such as that of the nation-state). Humanity are Trustees of God, not just as individuals but also as a group. Both aspects must be balanced in order to create harmony.

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    In China there is a revival of Neo-confucian philosophy and one of the philosophers is Tu Wei Ming. I find some of his ideas, in particular, concerns about Modernism and thoughts on the future and globalism interesting.
    As a Muslim...I have areas of disagreement...but many of his opinions overlap with mine....The main philosophical concepts of Confucianism is Tian Li (heavenly order/balance) (Li = harmony/parts fitting the whole) and Ren =Benevolence/Human excellence


    (sorry about the Korean text---it might be annoying)

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    Quote Originally Posted by elam View Post
    I identity myself as nominally RCC.
    Therefore, I now consider myself a Nicene Christian by conviction, rather than by birth!


    I proudly proclaim that as a convinced Christian I am a Muslim (one who has submitted themselves to the will of Allah) and thus a follower of the Islamic pathway (submission to Allah) proclaimed by Jesus, who by the will of Allah was miraculously conceived in Mary his mother.
    say what?

    OK explain how you can be Catholic and Muslim?

    What exactly is your belief/faith? You say "nominally" catholic. That usually means non-practicing, in name only. A "social" Catholic. And this is not the first time you have alluded to being Muslim, confusing the heck out of me and others. You can't be both. The very concept of Allah vs the God of Christianity is totally different. Allah is unity. The Christian God is a Trinity. How can you submit to the God of Islam, claim that you are muslim, and still say you are a Christian? You can't. Please clarify or change your faith designation to something else.

  5. Amen Cerebrum123 amen'd this post.
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    tWebber
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    I'm going to have to reply to you over a couple of posts...

    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    ---Charis is an interesting concept...can you elaborate?
    Loosely it translates in English as "charity" but that doesn't bring out A.Paul's meaning in the original Greek. In many English translations of the NT the archaic English word "grace" is traditional and maintained. A few translations expand with phrases such as "undeserved loving kindness" or "loving kindness" which are closer to the meaning as used often by A.Paul, but still doesn't bring out all the nuances the term includes.

    Imu, the idea has a long history in middle eastern culture (the seat of Christianity). There are examples from secular history such as king granting pardon to a bunch of rebels whose cause was justifiable. Charis includes the concept of justice. One of Jesus' parables comes to mind (Matthew 18:21-35).

    I vaguely remember that when Mohammad has raising his army he as a matter of policy granted pardon to his opponents if they joined him - this would not be considered Charis at any level. Charis must be unconditional, and of no benefit to the giver of it.

    Imu, Charis must be freely given (self-motivated = no regulatory or religious compulsion = a pure act of love), unconditional (no strings attached), just (must be given with no respect to the status of a person), practical (must benefit the recipriant in the long term) & given with no expectation of reward (spiritual, material or prideful). My educators taught me that to perform Charis, you must empty yourself of self (its a bit hard to explain. I think of it as becoming a conduit for God, without being aware that God is working through you). This definition is probably incomplete, but I assume it provides the gist of what I believe differentiates "Charis" from the ordinary concept of "Charity".

    The RCC has often been criticised as being "rice missionaries" but what people neglect is that in most cases there was no direct compulsion for people to attend religious services (Spanish missions, sponsored by their monarch, not the RCC, were an exception).

    Medicine, food & education were freely given without regard to the social status of a person. For the Church, this was an a collective act of Charis (an idea going back to the earliest days of Christianity). For the missionary, it was a personal act of Charis = sacrifice for the benefit of others without expectation of reward, but a hope!

    I haven't experienced "zakat" in the RCC, I don't think there is an "offical" equivalent (though elsewhere in the world there might be an administrative equivalent).

    Imu, in the RCC, the guiding principal comes from Jesus = "Give to Caesar the things required by Caesar, and unto God give the things that are God's" (Matthew 22:21). The ancient norm was the rulers provided for their people, in return the people paid taxes to cover the rulers overheads (imo, not much has changed in over 2000 years).

    I do see the benefits in the concept of "zakat" but given the "petty cash" fixed rate contribution by the wealthy, I question its lack of equity.

    Consider The overkill of the Saudi kings current visit to Indonesia. The cost must be astronomical, but heh, he controls the collection of zakat in his nation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    In South America there was a social justice movement called liberation theology---does the RCC accept it or reject it? if you don't know its fine---just curious.
    Officially the RCC neither rejected nor approved of the movement. This idea prevailed when I was a youth, and from memory, I'd say there was but I would say there was quite acceptance of the neccessity for the movement (often with RCC clergy in the leadership).

    At the time South America was in political turmoil and fascists governments persecuted the RCC and tried to stamp the Church out Mexico, Argentina & Brazil come to mind). So, on one hand there was sympathy for the defenders of the faith, but in another respect, there was sympathy for the militarists (governments) whose aim was to eliminate the excesses inherited from Spanish colonialism. A third component was the segregation policy of the USA, the USA's anti-RCC stance and the USA's support of the RCC persecutions. So that tended to push the sympathy dial dramatically towards the defenders of the faith.

    Things got complicated throughout South America in the 1950s, 60s & beyond. The USA's Monroe doctrine (these days called the "Bush doctrine") caused huge problems!

    To the USA, the policy gave them carte blanche to assassinate anyone they didn't like (whether democratically elected or not) and install their own puppets. Many of these governments were suppressive, murderous and exploitative (Pinochet in Chile particularly comes to mind).

    I must state at this point, that internationally there was sympathy & prayer but no (or very little) tangible action. So I guess we can evaluate the situation as the RCC accepted the persecution on the chin, and left circumstances to the will of God, and the people on the ground.

    There is an excellent novel by a convert to the RCC (Graham Greene) called the "Power & the Glory" that is well worth a read (back in the distant past, at my RCC school, it was a set text for English class). Synopsis: Set in Mexico in the 1930s, a less that admirable priest is fleeing persecution. He is pursued by a police lieutenant who detests the RCC...Here is Wiki's take on the book...
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Power_and_the_Glory

    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    What is the Church's position on economic issues?
    That's a broad subject. Could you narrow it down a bit...

    The RCC holds observer status at the UN. It only attempts to interfere in the policies of national governments when it perceives injustice as occurring either economically, socially or politically. At a congregational it encourages the people to obey the government in all things (except where it compromises the faith), pay taxes, be honest with dealing in anything, live a moral life etc.

    Basically the RCC butts out of peoples lives as much as possible (all must be governed by conscience). Judgement is the right of God alone. Meanwhile the Church can provide guidance towards gaining a prosperous and happy life.

    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    ---What is your opinion on Distributism (?) pros/cons
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributism
    I'm not familiar with the tag, but reading through the wiki article I do recall the concepts. I vaguely recall the idea was prevalent in the days of liberation theology, but the very real failures of land redistribution, particularly in Africa, seem to have put the ideal at the back of a very dark cupboard (at least here in Oz).

    The other ideas presented by Wiki are out-moded. Pros: next to none in a technologically advanced societies. Cons: tons. Many of which are reflected in the failures of attempted implementation during the 20th century.

    Oz might be unique (I doubt it), some of the ideas put forward in the Wiki article were old-hat by 1891 when the Pope issued his encyclical. In Oz home ownership has always been held to be a God given right! In my day that equated to a quarter block in the suburbs. Until very recently that has always been attainable to the average worker in the Capital & Regional cities. Elsewhere in Oz, you'd be talking large scale acreage. These days: in most of the Capitals we have run out of land, so property consolidation and highrise are becoming the norm for the metros (those that refuse to travel longer than 30 mins to get to work, and want all services at their front door).

    In 1891 Pope Leo XIII promulgated Rerum novarum...Affirmed in the encyclical was the right of all men to own property, the necessity of a system that allowed "as many as possible of the people to become owners", the duty of employers to provide safe working conditions and sufficient wages, and the right of workers to unionise.

    Guess the Pope hadn't heard about the British sovereign colonies in New Holland (now known as Australia) where these things were already in place.

    A month or so ago, I came across a report from the 1920s written by an Oz union leader about his meetings with Lenin during a soviet conference in Russia. Apparently, couldn't understand how Oz had achieved most of the aspirations of the worker without a shot being fired. Guess that is why Communism never got a foothold here... And despite all this, we workers in Oz still whinge about our working conditions... We just keep upping the ante & the bosses eventually pay...

    To me, unionism is an interesting subject. When I started full-time employment, I was positioned in a management training programme and the union wouldn't let me join because by their rule book I was management (actually a very low paid clerk). However, my employer required me to become an affiliate of a particular professional body (a guild). After finishing my studies I automatically became an Associate. Could have rises to Fellow status but didn't see the point. The whole concept of guilds (closed shop) is a joke on the modern world!

    (in the encyclical]...Common and government property ownership was expressly dismissed as a means of helping the poor.
    Just proves how fallible people can be. Come the after effects of WW1 & WW2, throughout the world government alone could finance the reconstruction. Inflation was rampant...with all its consequences. Public housing is a necessity to smooth demand and balance proprty prices.

    The argument in Wiki's section on "Private Property" is a bit of a furphy. The majority of modern day enterprises don't need "land" but "abodes". In the world we are already seeing the construction of highrise farms and food grown hydroponically. Imo, we have to re-educate people like me with an essentiality of "land" mentality. What we need to focus on is "property" and "skill sharing".

    For instance: imo collectivism is natural to 3rd world agrarianism. The community (often an extended family) owns the property. Tilling, sowing, weeding & harvest are shared tasks.

    As history well shows, private property ownership is a multi-edged sword. When the owner dies the property has to be divided amoungst those assigned an inheritance. Ultimately, allotments become too small to be economically viable. Fields are overworked, become infertile and harvests decrease. Salinity increase and desertification sets in...People are forced to become nomadic looking for new lands, meet up with a "private property owner" and conflict ensues...The scenario has regularly been repeated throughout history...

    Banks

    Distributism favors the dissolution of the current private bank system, or more specifically its profit-making basis in charging interest. Dorothy Day, for example, suggested[according to whom?] abolishing legal enforcement of interest-rate contracts (usury). It would not entail nationalization but could involve government involvement of some sort. Distributists look favorably on credit unions as a preferable alternative to banks.

    To me this is silliness. Banks, Building Societies & Credit Unions are the same thing functionally. The major difference is each has a different economy of scale. All are reliant on collective savings, and direct capital investment.

    Until the issue of direct capital investment is resolved we are stuck with profit (=interest) scenario which drives up the cost of property acquirement. Currently, Islamic (halal) banking has no solution to the "profit" problem.

    My solution is simple: 1. Force the wealthy to make funds available at no cost whatsoever but with a guarantee of the return of their capital. Of course, if I had the capability to do such, I'd be quickly captured and hung from the nearest telgraph poll.


    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    My position is that there should not be a single (monoculture) system---but that there should be multiple systems of economics, each governed with their own principles and rules/laws. Therefore---those that prefer to practice the present interest-based capitalist system can do so...and those who want to opt out and find alternatives...can do so as well....(but this will have tax implications---governments will not be able to bail out the "too-big-to-fail" institutions if people are not using such institutions....)
    Wecome to Australia! Land of multiculterism & opportunity.

    Victoria has resolved the issue of double stamp duty on halal loans. The other states are slow to follow because they have been arguing about abolishing stamp duty and replacing it with a property tax (At the moment the primary residence (home) is exempt from all federal & state taxes, except for stamp duty & local govt service charges. Property tax is only payable if you own more than one property with the one state).

    The only other issue for Muslims, is to obey the local laws, and in contracts, demonstrate you aren't attempting to avoid income or capital gains tax or avoid your duty of care, which is easy (legislation not required. Its simply a back office function of the Tax commissioner or the Consumer Ombudsman etc).

    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    Born Muslim/muslim---Islam does not have "original sin" therefore human nature (Fitra) is considered inherently good.
    The RCC is similiar, though we talk of a blemish on the soul that prevents God from walking with us as he did with Adam. We hold that only God can remove that blemish, we have no control over his decisions.

    Thus the RCC does retain the teaching of inherited "original sin" but we we don't subscribe to the protestant idea that human nature is inherently depraved because of Adam's preference for Eve over God (cp. Genesis 3:6,17 with 2:16-17)

    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    A human being is born with a nature that "submits to God" which means that babies display their inherent goodness as God created. In this context, all human beings are born "muslim" (in submission to God). Once human individuals have the ability to be responsible for their choices---they then choose to be a Muslim, Christian, Jew or other...(at least from the Islamic perspective of Fitra)
    Now this raises an issue that might be a sore point for some Muslims. Imu, Mohammad in the Quran says that becoming a Muslim is a free choice of the individual, and cannot be coerced. You indicate that Islamic society respects the personal decision of an individual but regularly we encounter reports in the news of honour deaths and bashings when a person raised Muslim decides to be baptised as a Christian (?) Possibly such events are an Arab thing (?) I'm unsure how widespread the problem is, hopefully small. I did have a Muslim neighbour who expressed dismay that one of her sons was marrying a Christian girl, but went about organising a Muslim wedding - her insistence!

    The status of babies has had diverse debate over the centuries but as a general rule it is determined that infants are under the care (eye) of God. On judgement day, he will do as he wills with them.

    Logically a baby can't be born a Muslim or a RCC for that matter, but is born into a religious household, and learns submission through associatio.

    According to psychologists children under five are totally introspective = nothing is external to their needs. Though they do have an inherent sense of empathy from birth. After 5yo (later for boys), children begin to develop a social (communal) identity. Interestingly, it is said that the average male doesn't achieve psychological maturity until about 25yo. Putting my legalist hat on: this raises the issue of when can a person be held rationally responsibly? Until after the Vietnam War in many countries you had to be 21yo to sign a legal contract for it to be enforceable. Now it is 18yo in Oz.

    In the RCC we ritualise maturity "First Holy Communion" occurs when students are about 8yo, after this, there is a period of Catechism wherein the student is taught the precepts of the religions, by Year 6 of schooling "Confirmation" = conscious committment occurs. Prayer etc is learned by hands on experience from birth. The Eatern traditions (EOC, ROC & OOC) do things differently, which is probably closer to your paradigm.

    Funny story: when I made my "First Holy Communion", I thought I had been filled with the Holy Spirit and felt special, but it turned out I had a food alergy...

    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    In this context I was "born muslim"---that is, before I fully understood Islam (its rules, rituals etc) I knew there was one God. "muslim" is just one of many concept words in the Quran....another is "mutaqueen" one who has "taqwa" (love/awe of God). The other is "munafiqun" (hypocrite). If we are to live ethical lives---we need to develop integrity---and to achieve this we could begin by striving (jihad) to stay true to the path that we have chosen...?....this has to be so in all of our dealings and interactions--it should not be turned on/off on a whim.....but this is what Secular "Modernity" requires---that we leave our convictions "at home" when we engage in the public sphere....
    I hadn't thought about that before? I'm one of those people that wears my heart on my sleeve, but I admit to biting my lip in certain situations so as not to provoke conflict - "discretion is the better part of valour" is the catch phrase from my British heritage...

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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    There has to be a way in which people can stay true to their values and convictions without imposing them on others---but allowing others to also live with their own values and convictions--fully, in all aspects of their lives....
    The Oz model might not be perfect but the internationalists keep pointing at us as having successfully implemented multiculturalism.

    I might be cynical in saying the Oz success has been more of an accident than design. After WW2, my generation was inundated by European refugees of various nationalities, traditions, religions & languages. As kids we had a choice, accept them or oppose them...they had greater organisational strength than us, so...it was easier to accept them... Then we all grew up, got married, had kids of our own and identified as one...

    I have a three generation theory that's held true for decades. The parents get homesick and try to recreate their homeland in Oz, so establish introspective enclaves. The kids are brought up "more Greek than the Greeks", and feel out of place at school, so conflict arises. These guys grow up, marry and, remembering their childhood bring their kids up midway between the old traditions and the new reality. The next generation is 100% Australian in the essential things.

    I've noticed secular Muslims assimilate much quicker than the religious, but that said: if I was talking to them on the phone I wouldn't know they were Muslim.

    I was just reflecting on a personal experience that belies what I've purported: On Wednesday I walked down to the corner to catch a bus. It was raining and a group of people were standing around with their umbrellas up. Except for one woman who was crouched under a tree trying to keep dry. I walked up to her and said "I have a large umbrella, you don't May I share it with you". She accepted the offer. I would not have done that if the woman could be identified Muslim. Not because of any prejudice on my part but I know it is haram for me to approach a Muslim woman unless I am known to her (and that is a compromise position on the part of Oz Muslims).

    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    Caliphate---I reject the Modern concept of Caliphate that seems to be going around these days. The pre-modern concept simply referred to a leader whose "office" was a trustee of the people---regardless of whether the "office" was chosen/elected or dynastic. (Islam does NOT approve of the concept of the "Divine right of kings"---as all humanity is created equal). It seems to me the "Caliphate" as it seems to be envisioned today, is a "Nation-State" concept but with an exotic label.... The concept I prefer is that of an "Ummah" (global community).
    I had in mind the Mongol invasions & Ottoman occupations. Imu, by the mid 13th century the Caliphate system was in virtual collapse which made the Mongol invasion easy...

    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    Identity---Group-identity is important for human beings (for some reason) and national identity is one type of group identity.
    Maybe I am aberrant All my life I have refused to self identify with any group. I admit to being RCC & a 5th generation Australia, but I don't usually see any need to advertise either.

    Funny story: Years ago I was at a function and found myself with a group of strangers. We ended up talking about current events. I contributed a comment, and someone said sarcastically "You'd have to be Catholic to..." I was so proud! A badge of honour had just been awarded! To be truely RCC is to have a particular mindset...

    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    I don't have any problems with the multiple group identities any individual may have. But excessive exclusivity based on the idea that "you cannot belong because you are not good enough" (superiority/inferiority) can lead to toxic consequences.
    The only time I have experienced discrimination (rejection) was at a Jewish function to which I had been invited. Within a few minutes of arrival someone said audibly "Whats that "goy" doing here". My Jewish companion turned me around and marched me out of the venue. These things happen, but we shouldn't stew on them. In my memory I've tagged the individual as "avoid" but not the group.

    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    We need to accept that we are all brothers in humanity (Bani Adam) and humanity is also "our" group and "our" identity.
    I also push that line. It is of interest to me that whilst Lot's sons born to his daughters became opponents of the tribes that arose from Ishmael & isaac, but Ishmael & Isaac seemed to have got along (Genesis 25:9).

    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    Also---I have a problem with the idea of a property/land belonging exclusively to one group of people
    Do you mean nationality, ethnicity or families, collectives etc?

    [QUOTE=siam;421308]such a concept seems to forget that the whole earth belongs to God---NOT MAN. We need to work out the tensions between our God-given rights, with our God-given obligations. The right to property cannot be at the expense of someone else's right to life......[/quote}I think we are on the same page here. As a traditionally nomadic hunter & gathering group Indigenous Australians in Central Australia once had no concept of property, but they did have a concept of territory. Thus they were not receptive to any other group hunting or drinking from their sumps or water holes. ironically, they left sign-posts around directing others to water should they have need. From what I gather: typically if someone was caught poaching, the tribesmen would grab their spears and go to investigate. If the poacher had good reason for being where they were, then OK. Otherwise they go speared in the leg (which in the desert allowed a 50/50 chance of survival).

    I think property ownership is inherent to human nature. Though that might translate to the idea of "land". In primitive society it could be ledge on a cliff. My surname harks back to a tribe that lived on a side of a cliff above the fiord. Or a house on sticks in the middle of a marsh land. Or a unit 25 stories up in Hong Kong.

    One of my interests is concept housing and town planning. Already in China and somewhere else there has been constructed a complete self contained small city encapsulated in a high rise building. I must search out the video for you. Conceptually its like a mall, where as you start on the ground floor and end up on the third floor without ever realising you are ascending. They ultimate idea is you leave the land for growing food & grazing & trees for ecological survival. Housing, schools, hospitals, shops, entertainment can be stacked on top of each other. The big difference between the idea & today's standard building is that internals to each unit would be much larger = equivalent to a delux home. Instead of corridors you'd have wide streets with indoor gardens. The costs are coming down rapidly as new materials & construction techniques come to market, so I'm hoping I'll get to see such developments here in Sydney.

    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    Kohen (hereditary priesthood)---I agree but don't really have a problem with it as long as people have a choice.
    A Kohen is the high priest in Israel who prior to the establishment of the Kings ruled Israel. They are all suppose to be ancestors of Aaron's son whom he appointed as his successor. Ultimately, the priesthood and judges became hugely corrupt, which is why the Jews insisted on the establishment of a king "like the nations have". The history gets worse as time progressed...

    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    But choice requires an obligation---individuals must think for themselves and make choices rather than think-by-proxy. (Shia concept of "Imam").
    Would you expand on that statement. I'm reading you as saying Muslims don't think for themselves, but by proxy = the Iman.

    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by elam
    How is it that nationalists proclaim to be Muslim when it is obvious they submit themselves to human personalities rather than submitting themselves to the will of Allah?
    Not sure what this is in reference to...
    Numerous protests marches that have been in the news of late. Imo, the same issue applies to Christians...

    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    What is God's will?----God's will = Right belief that promotes right intentions that lead to right actions for the benefit of all of God's creations (Khalifa/Trusteeship).
    OK!

    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    Human beings interact as individuals but also as groups. We are social in our nature and prone to organizing in groups. The first "group" we encounter in life is that of the family. For groups to function smoothly, 2 things are required, leadership and rules/laws. That is why a Muslim (or any other human being) "submits" to the rules/laws of the social group they belong to (Such as that of the nation-state). Humanity are Trustees of God, not just as individuals but also as a group. Both aspects must be balanced in order to create harmony.
    OK!

    But that doesn't address the issue of Nationalist who are in the business of undermining the established social harmony. I'll drop this inquiry until next time I notice an event in the news. Much easier to discuss a specific event than a generalisation. Something triggered the inquiry by right now I'm too tired to remember what it was. This post took a lot of hours to write.

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

    Before I forget. Earlier today I watched the videos you posted plus a couple of others. Thanks for the heads-up!

  9. #8
    tWebber
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    Sparko,

    Are you so blinded by bigotry that you are incapable of comprehending plain & explicit English. Go read the OP again... What part of the following couldn't you comprehend.

    "I now consider myself a Nicene Christian by conviction, rather than by birth! After much study (prayer is a given for guidance) I am committed to the synodal decisions of the disputes resolved in 325CE, 381CE, 431CE & 451CE."

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    say what?

    OK explain how you can be Catholic and Muslim?
    Are you so blinded by bigotry that you reject the NT witness?

    Have you not read Jesus' testimony "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24

    Explain to be how you can you consider yourself a Christian if you have not submitted yourself to God the Father, whom the NT identifies as he who rose Jesus from the dead? Do you reject Christ or follow him?

    Are you so ignorant of Christianity that you object to Jesus' decree "“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them" (John 6:44). What is it that encourages the Father to draw us to himself?

    Are you so ignorant of Christianity that you refuse to follow Jesus example of submission to his Father.
    "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Lk 22:42)

    Are you so ignorant of Christianity that you have forgotten Jesus' sample prayer "‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, [let] your kingdom come, [let] your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Mt 6:9-10).

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    What exactly is your belief/faith?
    RCC. with 100% adherence to the synods of 325CE, 381CE, 431CE & 451CE as I plainly stated to Siam.

    Because you are obviously unfamiliar with Christian history that means I subscribe to the main ecumenical councils from Nicea to Chalcedon...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    You say "nominally" catholic.
    I said I considered myself nominally RCC (a self depreciation). The Church sees me in a more favourable light. I have good standing.

    Basically I have two infirmities & can no longer drive. On Sundays the local buses run infrequently. So I don't attend church with any regularity.

    But in the RCC church attendance whilst encouraged for fellowship is not mandatory (you can't buy your way into heaven). Which is why mass is shown on TV most Sunday mornings - so guys like me can say mass if not directly participate in it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    That usually means non-practicing, in name only.
    Is a practicing Christian someone who dresses up on a Sunday, sits through a service yawning, and then socialises afterwards putting on great show of piety for an hour or so once a week? Or those who practices their religion with every breathe they take? The later is easy once you are relieved of the asphyxiation from colon self inspection..

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    A "social" Catholic.
    All Catholics are "social" it is one of the things that distinguishes us from the snobbery of others.

    Unfortunately, because of my infirmities I rarely get to socialise...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    And this is not the first time you have alluded to being Muslim...
    Actually, as far as I can recall it is the first time I've applied the term to myself and if you didn't have an obvious reading disability you'd have comprehended I used Arabic terms in a Christian context!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    ...confusing the heck out of me and others.
    Your confusion has resulted from your inability to read what I wrote, in the clear context in which I wrote it. Consider Jeremiah 5:21 "Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear"

    I'm suspecting you have become unfamiliar with the NT

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    Allah is unity.
    If so then it is a good word to use to describe the unity of the Father, Son & Spirit! But you are dead wrong...

    The word "Allah" is simply the Arabic word for "God". It is used by Arabic speaking Christians to refer to the plurality, and my the followers of Mohammad to refer to a singularity.

    You are funny! I can imaging you jumping up and down shouting that the English word "God" identifies a singularity because that is how the JWs use the term?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    The Christian God is a Trinity.
    You really need to read the NT, the Nicene fathers. Novatian's treatise on the Trinity written about 50 years before Nicea should inform you about the Nicean (RCC. EOC, ROC, OOC etc) teaching...
    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0511.htm

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    How can you submit to the God of Islam, claim that you are muslim, and still say you are a Christian? You can't.
    Go reread the OP! I never said anything you accuse me of...

    What I did was use everyday Arabic terms that have a meaning in Christianity & a meaning amoungst the followers of Mohammad. The ideas are not dissimilar, Even the target is similar. In the Christian sense as spoken by Jesus "...I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God"...

    A.Paul makes my point even clearer "...God exalted [Jesus] to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father".

    Muslim's could readily agree with that part of A.Paul's testimony...Notice at Phil 2:9 "[Jesus] humbled himself by becoming obedient to death". This encompasses the concepts of the words "muslim" & "islam" in the English meaning of these Arabic terms.

    In my local area there is/was a Presbyterian minister, sponsored by the Baptists, distributing English translations of the Quran & the Holy Zabur (the Mohammadian copy of the OT Psalms). I met him once and asked him why? Apparently he had been a missionary in Turkey, had been deported several times and was now under the threat of imprisonment if he returned. So, he intended to continue his work in Oz. But why distribute the Quran? He replied something to the effect: "Simple! It is the best intro you can get to deliver the Christian message.to a Muslim! Many OZ Muslims don't read Arabic, so haven't read the Quran".

    Sounds logical to me. Have a think on John 4.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    Please clarify or change your faith designation to something else.
    It ain't me that needs to change my faith designation...

    ! clarified and affirmed my RCC beliefs in the OP, and numerous times in this post, I pressume that should satisfy you. If not open a thread in Christianity and we can see which of us, or both, are faithful to Nicea & Chalcedon.
    Last edited by elam; 03-02-2017 at 07:42 PM.

  10. #9
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Wow. Methinks thou protesteth way too freaking much.

    I asked a simple question. I will show your answer to others so they can make a decision. I was actually on your side until I just read your over the top rant. Others have said that you seem more muslim than Christian, I said you might be trying to use muslim terms to talk to a muslim. But after that complete rant, I am not so sure. Not my decision though.

  11. Amen Cerebrum123 amen'd this post.
  12. #10
    Professor Cerebrum123's Avatar
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    elam, do you follow the five pillars of Islam? Do you bow to all of Mohammed's decisions? If not, then you're not a Muslim according to the Koran.

    Say, (O Muhammad, to mankind): If ye love Allah, follow me; Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. S. 3:31 Pickthall

    If you aren't following Mohammed unquestioningly you aren't a true Muslim according to the Koran.

    Qur'an 4:65—But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.

    Qur'an 33:36—It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter, that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error.

    Qur'an 5:101-102—O ye who believe! Ask not questions about things which, if made plain to you, may cause you trouble. But if ye ask about things when the Qur'an is being revealed, they will be made plain to you, Allah will forgive those: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most-forbearing. Some people before you did ask such questions, and on that account lost their faith.

    That means you aren't a Muslim until you've accepted everything Mohammed taught. You can't be a Christian and Muslim because the two faiths are contradictory at the core. Mohammed taught Muslims to be severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves, Jesus taught people to love even their enemies. Mohammed said that Jesus was not God, while Jesus claimed to be divine.
    Safka, you are NOT "unknown", you were loved by many, and you will not be forgotten. I will always remember you Puginator.


  13. Amen RumTumTugger amen'd this post.

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