Monday, March 22, 2010

A Message for Muslims: Mary is Not Divine

The true God who creates, sustains and judges all that exists, must be a very awesome Being. When we think about Him, we feel utterly dwarfed and insignificant. We cannot grasp the reality of one we cannot touch, see, hear or feel. Our hearts do not know how to search for One Who was, is and always will be, here and everywhere.

Therefore, although we know God exists, we tend to focus our attention, admiration, honor, respect and praise on people or things we can see, touch, understand and at least partially influence and control. Frequently, we choose people who seem to be close to God. Their suggestions become our guides for living. We value their prayers for us because we believe they have a greater influence on God. We feel secure because of them. Sometimes our Imam or priest or pastor is such a person. Or maybe we choose an especially saintly relative or friend instead. Sometimes we focus on a dead loved one whom we believe lives in God’s presence and can influence God on our behalf.

While this attitude may seem innocent enough, it is possible that this person we choose not only becomes a pathway to God for us, but a reflection of God Himself. This is wrong. It is blasphemy and idolatry.

Nevertheless, Jesus’ mother, Mary, has received such veneration. Even today, some people offer prayers to Mary, burn candles or incense in front of her statues and ask her to intercede to her son, Jesus, in their behalf. People will travel across the world to visit places where she is believed to have appeared. Shrines are built to her and people claim that she heals their sicknesses when they worship at these shrines.

In the times when the messages of the Qur’an were being revealed, such Christian heresies were in existence. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Qur’an condemns such elevation of Mary.

According to the Qur’an, Mary had no divine qualities. She drank, ate, and slept like all people do. (Sura 5:75) When it was God’s time for her to expire, she died. She had a particularly painful time at the birth of Jesus. (Sura 19:22-26) She did not have sex with God to conceive Jesus. Mary must not be considered divine, nor a consort for God, nor part of a trinity composed of God, Mary and Jesus. (Sura 19:35; 5:76-78) Such activity would have been improper for God, and it belittles and blasphemes Him to even suggest such ideas. (Sura 19:35; 4:171)

Clearly, the Bible, upon which I base my faith in God, does not elevate or glorify Mary. Apart from the virgin birth of Jesus, Mary is like any other woman who ever lived. She was awed and puzzled about her son, his work and his relationship to God, but was faithful to him. After his ascension into Heaven, she was one of several believers who formed the first church.

Jesus rejected the suggestion that people should praise his mother. He denied that there was anything divine about his human family. (Luke 11:27-28)

The Bible mentions only one time in Mary’s life when she spoke words inspired by God’s Holy Spirit. When she spoke these words, Mary was very humble, not exalting herself in any way, but giving glory, praise and worship to God.

"And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers." (Luke 1:46-55)

(The above information is from "Jesus Gives Peace: Jesus In The Qur'an and the Bible," written by Yusuf Abdallah)

33 comments:

satire and theology said...

'Therefore, although we know God exists, we tend to focus our attention, admiration, honor, respect and praise on people or things we can see, touch, understand and at least partially influence and control.'

In Western society often celebrities.

thekingpin68 said...

'Nevertheless, Jesus’ mother, Mary, has received such veneration. Even today, some people offer prayers to Mary, burn candles or incense in front of her statues and ask her to intercede to her son, Jesus, in their behalf.'

An unnecessary waste of spiritual time when the mediator Christ (Hebrews 9) and triune God alone should be sought.

thekingpin68 said...

A problem with the Total Visitors app. is that the top flashes by too quickly.

Jeff said...

satire and theology,

In Western society often celebrities.

Good point.

Jeff said...

thekingpin68,

An unnecessary waste of spiritual time when the mediator Christ (Hebrews 9) and triune God alone should be sought.

An excellent point. In Miami, I saw many statues of Mary and various "Saints" in people's front yards. People would often have tiny statues on the dashboards of their cars, as well, of Mary or one of the "Saints."

A problem with the Total Visitors app. is that the top flashes by too quickly.

You mean when it is near the end of the list of countries?

thekingpin68 said...

It goes by too quicky just as one arrives at the site.

Some type of delay would be good.

Cool idea though.:)

Nitewrit said...

Jeff,

In the very beginning of the "Magnificat" Mary rejoices in "God my Savior". There are those today who believe Mary was born without sin and was assummed into Heaven like Enoch. Mary recognized her need, her low estate and it is obvious despite being visited by an Angel and having a child as a virgin that she did not fully understand fully the events and their purpose until much later. Where in Scripture does Mary perform a miracle? There is a belief in a large major mainstream Christian denomination today that God had to have Mary's permission for her to be Jesus mother and if she had said no God's plan of salvation would be thwarted. They then actually give Mary power over God. I don't think so!

"In Western society often celebrities."

In Western Societies, at least in America, mostly celebrites. And often of the worse kind.

Larry

Jeff said...

thekingpin68,

Some type of delay would be good.

Yeah, when it gets to the end of the list, you have to wait for it to entirely disappear before the beginning of the list is shown, which can be frustrating. And, as you said, a delay, or a slower scrolling, when it shows the countries, would be helpful.

Jeff said...

Nitewrit,

In the very beginning of the "Magnificat" Mary rejoices in "God my Savior". There are those today who believe Mary was born without sin and was assummed into Heaven like Enoch. Mary recognized her need, her low estate and it is obvious despite being visited by an Angel and having a child as a virgin that she did not fully understand fully the events and their purpose until much later. Where in Scripture does Mary perform a miracle?

Good points. My article was written to address misunderstandings that Muslims have (especially those in the Middle East) about what Christians believe; most of them think that Christians think the Trinity is composed of God, Mary and Jesus, which is obviously incorrect. And, when they hear Christians talk about being the Son of God, they consider that blasphemy, because they say that God has no wife. Well, Christians of course agree that God has no wife. But Muslims take it literally, just like they take everything in the Qur'an literally, and they think we mean "Son" in a biological way. But again, this is a misunderstanding of what we actually believe.

One of your recent blog articles is also about Mary. Have you gotten any comments from Catholics?

There is a belief in a large major mainstream Christian denomination today that God had to have Mary's permission for her to be Jesus mother and if she had said no God's plan of salvation would be thwarted. They then actually give Mary power over God. I don't think so!

Yeah, I would consider that blasphemy.

Thanks for your comment, Larry!

Jeff said...

My ongoing conversation/debate/discussion with the Jehovah's Witness HERE has reached 206 comments; by far, a record for my blog site.

I also have an interesting but very long ongoing conversation, which has been going on even longer, with a Muslim over on Facebook. I have been keeping a copy of my replies to him HERE for future reference, just in case I want to use them again. I would hate to have to re-invent the wheel. So far, it's up to 112 comments, which is the 2nd longest on my blog site, but those are almost all comments by me, since I'm just using that to store information for possible future use.

These two ongoing conversations/discussions/debates are quite time-consuming, BTW.

satire and theology said...

'These two ongoing conversations/discussions/debates are quite time-consuming, BTW.'

Lol.

Jeff said...

satire and theology,

'These two ongoing conversations/discussions/debates are quite time-consuming, BTW.'

Lol.


Please don't say, "I told you so."

; )

thekingpin68 said...

Son of Hamas/radio

Jeff said...

Son of Hamas/radio

Cool. Thanks, Russ. I'm glad you linked it here, as well as on Facebook, because here I can go back any time and listen to the MP3 file (whereas on Facebook, newer posts will eventually move the link down until it is eventually hidden).

thekingpin68 said...

Congrats on reaching many cities (with a goal of a long debate with a person in every major city, New York, LA, Moscow, London, Paris, etc. Lol).

Speaking of...I let Rick know about the latest on thekingpin68...

Jeff said...

thekingpin68,

Congrats on reaching many cities (with a goal of a long debate with a person in every major city, New York, LA, Moscow, London, Paris, etc. Lol).

Thanks, Russ. Yeah, my blog has now reached a count of 7600 cities...cool.

"A long debate with a person in every major city"?? Wow, that idea sounds like it could take a lifetime.

satire and theology said...

Jeff Jenkins, the man with a 'thousand' IP addresses. Thirty-five by my count...so far.

For a joke, months ago, to get through to a certain blocked website I used some trial free software that provided a (or an, depending on which rule you follow) US IP address. I thought myself sneaky...

Jeff said...

Jeff Jenkins, the man with a 'thousand' IP addresses. Thirty-five by my count...so far.

Really?...Interesting.

Guess my diverting/redirect IP address software is working pretty well, then! ;) (j/k)

For a joke, months ago, to get through to a certain blocked website I used some trial free software that provided a (or an, depending on which rule you follow) US IP address. I thought myself sneaky...

Interesting.

thekingpin68 said...

Rick B is good for business and a friend.

He helps to produce a train wreck and my traffic goes up...

Facebook helps with this as well.

My former pastor and friend in Nashville was looking on the satire blog via the Facebook link today. He and his wife just recently joined FB. There is a good example of this type of incident (even though I avoid them personally) adding interest.

May the Lord lead.

Russ:)

Jeff said...

He helps to produce a train wreck and my traffic goes up...

LOL!

thekingpin68 said...

I have too many train wrecks in my life right now, I don't need them on my blogs, but the hits are good.

thekingpin68 said...

Now 307 comments I see...

satire and theology said...

1000 comments, 1000 comments, 1000 comments, 1000 comments!

thekingpin68 said...

'There is a belief in a large major mainstream Christian denomination today that God had to have Mary's permission for her to be Jesus mother and if she had said no God's plan of salvation would be thwarted.'

Yes, incorrect theology.

thekingpin68 said...

Wonderful Blogger fixed my Edit Posts function on my blogs finally. Blogger also removed comments from some of my archived articles on both blogs!

Jeff said...

thekingpin68,

I have too many train wrecks in my life right now, I don't need them on my blogs, but the hits are good.

I pray that things will get better for you, Russ.

When things happen to somebody else, it's easy to say, "That's no big deal." But when things happen to you (by "you," I mean people in general), then it becomes a much bigger and more real issue, because then it's personal and it hits home.

Now 307 comments I see...

Yeah, about 3 times my previous record of comments for any of my blog articles. The JW said he's going away for a few days, so it may slow down temporarily.

And on Facebook with the Muslim guy, it's at 273 comments. But things have slowed down with him as well, and he may have even stopped replying altogether. Not out of anger or being offended, but because we kind of got 'talked out,' in a sense. I actually enjoyed it, but I don't want it to go on forever, either.

Wonderful Blogger fixed my Edit Posts function on my blogs finally.

Really? Cool. Good news.

Blogger also removed comments from some of my archived articles on both blogs!

What?? That's ridiculous. Are you sure there is no way to retrieve them? I wonder if there is a way to contact them and complain, and find out what they can do about it.

I experienced a brief problem with
Blogger yesterday, but it seemed to only be temporary.

Jeff said...

satire and theology,

1000 comments, 1000 comments, 1000 comments, 1000 comments!

Yeah, that would be quite a goal. I would think, unless you have a ton of people commenting, that would take a while to reach.

thekingpin68 said...

It's a good thing you toned down the political material, otherwise you might be in a few more long debates. Maybe you and Rick should find a point of disagreement. GGM, where are you?;) Jim? BTW, Jim calls me on the phone. He has called me twice here and once in Phoenix. Very good guy.

satire and theology said...

According to my latest Calvinists evolved from apes...

Aperaham Lincoln?

kingpinned said...

My guess is this would not interest you, but my brother is making good money part-time at it after about half a year of work. I went to some meetings while I was in Phoenix.

He can relate to your situation on two occasions, BTW. Twice he had to move on. Once in BC and once in AZ.

Mumma

Jeff said...

thekingpin68,

It's a good thing you toned down the political material, otherwise you might be in a few more long debates.

Yeah. About a week ago, someone left a comment on a blog article I posted almost 2 years ago, but thankfully, that did not turn into a debate.

Maybe you and Rick should find a point of disagreement.

No way. I don't have the patience or stamina, as far as long, ongoing debates that last for years, that Rick does. He's a bulldog that doesn't let go.

BTW, Jim calls me on the phone. He has called me twice here and once in Phoenix. Very good guy.

Nice.

Jeff said...

satire and theology,

According to my latest Calvinists evolved from apes...

Aperaham Lincoln?


Ha.

Jeff said...

kingpinned,

My guess is this would not interest you, but my brother is making good money part-time at it after about half a year of work.

Well, I've applied to a few places recently that were scams (at least one was surely illegal and criminal activity), and I constantly get e-mails about "work at home" jobs which I ignore because I consider them scams. But I am very desperate at this point.

I just now came from a job interview, but you have to get licensed before you can start the training, and I can't afford that. There is one place that used to offer financial assistance for training, but they ran out of funds, and they are on hold till July, which is way too late.

He can relate to your situation on two occasions, BTW. Twice he had to move on. Once in BC and once in AZ.

I wouldn't be able to afford to move. I may lose my house in a month or so (but I'm trusting that God may not allow that, though there is no guarantee, because I don't know what the Lord has planned for me), in which case I might have to live out of my car, but even then, I would not be able to afford to buy gas. So I continue to look for work, and to pray and rely on the Lord.