Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Message for Muslims: Qualities of a Disciple

What qualities do you admire in people? Do you look at the color of their skin, their physical shape and appearance, or what type of clothes they wear? Does your opinion of people depend on their health, whether or not they are confident, how honest they are, how popular they are, or whether or not they make a good leader? The Qur’an gives a guide regarding these things. There are two special qualities that the Qur’an commends. God has given these qualities to Christians, though the Qur’an admits that some Christians do not express them.

Let me share a few teachings written by three of Jesus’ disciples. In the following several verses, can you guess which two qualities the Qur’an attributes to Christians?

“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:8-9)

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” (Romans 12:9-16)

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27)

“Mercy triumphs over judgment!” (James 2:13b)

“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” (James 3:13)

Now that you have considered these passages, written by three of Jesus’ disciples (Peter, Paul and James), which two qualities do you think the Qur’an mentions about Christians? You can check your answer by reading Sura 57:27:

“Subsequent to them, we sent our messengers. We sent Jesus the son of Mary, and we gave him the Injeel (Gospel), and we placed in the hearts of his followers kindness and mercy. But they invented hermitism [another translation says, “But monkery, they invented it"] which we never decreed for them. All we asked them to do was to uphold the commandments approved by GOD. But they did not uphold the message as they should have. Consequently, we gave those who believed among them their recompense, while many of them were wicked.”

We see that the two characteristics mentioned in the Qur’an about Christians are kindness (compassion) and mercy. When we think about people who are famous or rich or powerful, these are not qualities we usually notice. Compassion and mercy do not seem to elevate people who possess them. We tend to link compassion and mercy with weakness rather than strength; with women rather than men; with unheroic people rather than statesmen and politicians. This is because we do not understand God’s ways.

Why does the Qur’an value compassion and mercy? These qualities describe people who truly care about the needs and wants of others. According to Islam, these qualities are used to describe God (i.e., ir-rahman ir-raheem, etc.). A man whose character reflects the personality of God is truly a blessed one.

Much of what unbelievers admire and strive for is really useless and selfish. It is the person who is able to concentrate on others, caring for their needs, who comes closest to truly pleasing God. Perceptively, the Qur’an affirms that compassion and mercy are basic Christian beliefs and practices. The Bible says, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36) It is a great challenge for Christians to live up to this marvelous lifestyle.

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

15 comments:

thekingpin68 said...

Great minds think alike?

No?

Well, we both have new posts.

thekingpin68 said...

'Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:8-9)'

I try to live in harmony with others on and offline, but I do not always succeed.

To not repay evil for evil is a key idea.

satire and theology said...

'Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.'

This is not a call for Christian vigilantism

as it also states to...

'Live in harmony with one another.'

satire and theology said...

'“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27)'

Good works should be a priority for one elected of God in Christ.

satire and theology said...

'“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” (James 3:13)'

Yes, may I do so, with God's help.

satire and theology said...

This is just a deduction.

When Blogger fixed one of the Edit post functions, it wanted to reduce the size of certain blogs.

My blogs are large with content (as is yours).

That is why comments were removed from some archived posts.

Jeff said...

thekingpin68,

Great minds think alike?

No?

Well, we both have new posts.


Ha. Well, I don't have a Masters or a PhD, but at least in some ways, I think we are like-minded, and maybe we have similar timing sometimes.

I try to live in harmony with others on and offline, but I do not always succeed.

Of course, none of us are perfect.

To not repay evil for evil is a key idea.

Yes, for example, Romans 12:19 says, "Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord."

And Colossians 3:13 says, "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."

Jeff said...

Satire and Theology,

'Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.'

This is not a call for Christian vigilantism


True. A Christian jihad might be Ephesians 6:10-12: "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

as it also states to...

'Live in harmony with one another.'


Yes, we are not to subjugate or oppress or dominate over others, and neither should we allow anger to guide us.

Good works should be a priority for one elected of God in Christ.

Yes, and as James states, good works are the evidence of a true faith.

When Blogger fixed one of the Edit post functions, it wanted to reduce the size of certain blogs.

Odd.

That is why comments were removed from some archived posts.

I'm sorry to hear that. That would be very frustrating and aggravating.

satire and theology said...

'That is why comments were removed from some archived posts. I'm sorry to hear that. That would be very frustrating and aggravating.'


Blogger is a free service.

Blogger is a huge operation.

Customer service seems be limited as a result.

thekingpin68 said...

'A Christian jihad might be Ephesians 6:10-12.'

The Christian war is
against spiritual powers of darkness, yes.

satire and theology said...

Fixing my archives in regard to comments encouraged me to further work on making my customized Bowman 2 Blogger templates yet still more original. I deleted the 1px dotted lines and replaced a few of them with 1px solid lines.

I think the blogs look a bit more professional. More clean.

Hope you are well and $well.

Jeff said...

satire and theology,

Fixing my archives in regard to comments encouraged me to further work on making my customized Bowman 2 Blogger templates yet still more original. I deleted the 1px dotted lines and replaced a few of them with 1px solid lines.

I think the blogs look a bit more professional. More clean.


Cool.

Hope you are well and $well.

Thanks, Russ. I am indeed well. Financially, I am in trouble, but I am trusting in the Lord. I have another interview tomorrow.

satire and theology said...

Thanks, Jeff.

LDS Temple

satire and theology said...

It is 10:15+ PDT, 1:15+ EDT time or THE JEFF Time. Bobby Pluff and Chuckles were no shows...two guys that often don't read their emails.

So, I will go for a walk in the overcast BC night, with my night stick and Swiss Army Knife. I shall pray.

Perhaps when I come home I will have blog comments but perhaps, and rightly so, there will be none because people will be in bed. Hopefully not dreaming about plates on hills or that the hills have eyes, or just the hills.

P.S. Comments will send off my newest email alert...Time to Hide. I deleted some alerts tonight. Some don't so sound cool after awhile. It is not so easy putting together approximately 30 second music clips often in the middle of songs/pieces.

Thanks again for the LDS vid.

Russ;)

Jeff said...

satire and theology,

Thanks, Jeff.

LDS Temple


You're welcome, Russ. I only watched about half or so of that video so far; it's long.

It is 10:15+ PDT, 1:15+ EDT time or THE JEFF Time. Bobby Pluff and Chuckles were no shows...two guys that often don't read their emails.

Pluff?

Well, it's 2:31 AM (EST/EDT) here at the moment.

So, I will go for a walk in the overcast BC night, with my night stick and Swiss Army Knife. I shall pray.

I walked around the block the other day, wearing shorts and flip-flops (sandals). One yard had two little puppies in it, with a split rail fence around the yard, except the fence was cement. A lady (who looked to be Hispanic) looked out her door. I had seen her once before, another time when I walked around the block. I waved at her, but she didn't wave back (the previous time I had seen her, I also waved, but she didn't wave back then, either). Instead, she opened her front door, and her dachshund ran out, ran under the cement rail fence, barking wildly, and ran straight at me (I was walking along the street). Thankfully, I had my Dazer II, which I pointed at the charging dog and pressed the button, which stopped the dog about 2 feet from my leg (using sound, which does not hurt dogs). So, not only is the lady apparently not friendly, but she apparently sent her dog out to attack me, when I was walking in the street.

Perhaps when I come home I will have blog comments but perhaps, and rightly so, there will be none because people will be in bed. Hopefully not dreaming about plates on hills or that the hills have eyes, or just the hills.

I did not see the movie "The Hills Have Eyes." I saw "Wrong Turn," and I fast-forwarded through a lot of it. It was incredibly repulsive and appallingly disgusting to me. So, since I figured "The Hills Have Eyes" was a similar movie, I did not want to see it. Torture, murder and cannibalism are surely satanic, but so is the fabricated story about golden plates on Cumorah.

Thanks again for the LDS vid.

You're welcome.

Thanks, Russ.