Submitted by TruthWFree (United States), May 10, 2009 at 19:07
To give you a little more info, I myself am a 65 year old Catholic Christian. I have studied the Gospels thoroughly, plus read Acts and St. Paul's letters and Revelations several times, and have read the Old Testament through one time. I have also read the Quran in its entirety and many books on what the Quran says (mostly by authors Robert Spencer, Bat Yeor, Walid Shoebat, Ibn Warraq, Emir and Ergun Caner, Mark Gabriel, Robin Wright (islam apologist) and others). Spencer is very good because he uses statements by Islamic imans and the Hadiths to support his conclusions.
I have been completely puzzled by this Pope especially since his quote of Manuel II Paleologus relative to Muhammad's bringing "things only evil and inhuman". The statement was correct, but when the Pope then backed down in face of Islamic outrage, I felt he gave credibility to Islam and he should never have made the statement. Surely he knew he would put Christians at risk to Islamic violence and that should have been part of his evaluation before making the statement.
As a person of faith in Jesus Christ, I look at this differently than you do as I believe you indicated you are atheist, but you probably have some understanding of my view through knowledge of your father's faith basis. Christ in the Gospels leaves no doubt for me that He said he was God's Son and that "no one comes to the Father (and eternal life) except through Him". Also supported by the statements, "the Father and I are one" and "you have seen me, you have seen the Father". There was no violence in His teachings, only commands to "love one another" and to "forgive seven times seventy".
Muhammad come along 600 years later and said Jesus (Isa) never said he was allah's son and gives no credence to Jesus teachings of love and forgiveness, basically saying the Gospels are a lie (unless of course, Allah is really Satan). Jesus said that Satan was the father of all lies and that is my feel or theory about Muhammad's revelations; that Muhammad did have a supernatural revelation, but it was the devil rather than the angel Gabriel. Muhammad first though he was possessed by a demon but his wife convinced him it was Gabriel. I personally believe he did have a supernatural vision (from Satan) because of the intensity that he pursued his religion and the blindness (to logic) and rabid rage of many of his Muslim followers. Not saying he didn't make some stuff up on his own.
I am beginning to think that the anti-christ will come from Islam and that we are approaching the end as prophesized in Revelations, Ezekial and Daniel, but then I am sure that that same thought came to mind with many Christians during the Roman persecutions of the first three centuries AD, the reign of the Ottoman Empire, WWI and WWII, and possibly the Soviet Empire.
I do feel we have a fairly large scale degeneration of moral values in the west (measured against Christ's teachings as a moral base) and if you read the history of the Bible, Israel's defeat and exile to Assyria and Babylon were both considered by the Old Testament writers to be God's punishment for the error of their ways.
I believe that our western morals values are basically Christian based (and Old Testament Ten Commandments) and we are forgetting where they originated and many believe we came by them via human logic and reason. I would have to argue against that just by looking at some of the old non Biblical and pre Christian societies where child sacrifice, temple prostitution, Roman gladiator games, Mayan virgin sacrifice, and such do not exist in contemporary society because of Bible (Christian) teachings. You probably disagree with me on this thought.
At any rate, the Pope's respect of Islam gives me great cause for alarm, unless of course as one writer in USAToday indicated, that maybe he has the same respect that I have for a cobra or a nuclear device.
By the way, Google Mark Gabriel. He was an Islamic teacher (iman) at Egypt's Al Azhar University and he converted to Christianity. His father tried to kill him. He wrote Jesus and Muhammad, comparison of the two founders. He found truth in Christ.
I would ask you to reconsider Christianity. You can't look at the errors of the humans who claim they follow him, you have to look at the founder, the writings of the Gospels and Acts, His miracles, and how something so profound could be a hoax.
I myself look to Peter's statement when many left Christ because of his statements about "eating his flesh and drinking his blood". Peter said, "where shall we go Lord, you have the words of eternal life".
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