An Open Letter to my Muslim Friend Part 4

“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,”

(1 Timothy 2:5 ESV)

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Dear Friend,

I could not fall asleep last night!  So I laid there and prayed for both of us….for you, I prayed that God would be with you and that He would answer the current needs of your heart!  For me, I prayed for courage and strength for I have been very fearful recently of a lot of things…and this has caused me to worry more!  I also prayed for the words to give you this morning….never wanting to offend you or your beliefs…never wanting to say something untrue! …never wanting our conversation to become mean spirited or cold!   You see, we view God through different eyes…but one thing I am absolutely sure of is that the God of creation…the God who created both you and me….He loves us both equally!  He does not love me more than you…or you more than me….He loves us both equally even though we see Him very differently!  After my prayer, I really felt a peace within me!  And as I lay there feeling more peaceful and calm….I wondered if you felt His Presence even more…more vividly…..more real… Like His arms wrapping around you like a father and son would embrace…. if only for just a minute…..I hope so my friend!

To finally answer your question my friend…..I believe the entire bible reveals Gods plan to redeem mankind and unite all the nations into one family and into one kingdom…This was all fulfilled in the God-Man… Jesus Christ!  The Bible is the complete autobiography of Jesus…beginning in Genesis and ending in Revelation….Because of what Jesus Christ did for all of humanity…there is absolutely no need to add to what He has done….

…There is no need for a new religion…

There is no need for any additional sacred books

And… There is no need for “other” prophets of God….

This is the most truthful answer that I can give you!

Peace and Blessings……

Kathy

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.”

(Galatians 1:6-8 ESV)

An Open Letter to my Muslim Friend Part 3

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

(John 3:16 NIV)

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Good Morning Dear Friend,

You have asked me to compare the NRSV with the KJV….I have researched on my computer and found a chart with 38 different translations among other various sites both Christian and Muslim and this is what I have concluded regarding the word begotten….which really has not changed from our earlier conversations….

KJV of John 3:16……His only begotten Son….

NRSV of John 3:16…..Gave his only Son….

Other English translations also state….Gave his one and only Son…….

The New Testament was originally written in Greek.  The Greek word was monogenes….In Greek, this means one of a kind or unique.  The English word for Beget … a verb meaning to procreate or generate…..

The problem and the long debated disputes are created when people confuse the different languages…..the translation from the Greek word monogenes and the English word begotten…..

To change begotten to one and only….or only Son…. is still using the same language…..if it is accurately translated from the original Greek word monogenes….

Begotten did not refer to the birth of Jesus because He is the Son from eternity past….

Also…God is Spirit…so begotten can have a different meaning when used for God….

I also thought the following explanation was very helpful to me…..I hope it is for you too!!

…The “Only Begotten Son” Language. The second piece of evidence we must examine is the expression “only-begotten.” It is the Greek word “monogeneis.” This is not simply “begotten,” for that expression can be applied to all believers, those who have been begotten or born again by the Spirit. This is a unique expression for a unique person, the only-begotten Son of God. The expression appears in John 1:14, 4:18, 3:16, and 3:18. It would literally mean the “only generated one.” This is the key expression for the doctrine of “the eternal generation of the Son,” meaning, he always was the only begotten Son. The expression does not refer to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, because he is the Son from eternity past…..

Perhaps the language can be better understood if contrasted with synonyms. Take the verbs “make,” “create,” and “beget.” The verb “make” is general; one can make dinner, clothes, a house, or any other product. The “create” can have the same objects, but usually elevates the act to an art: one creates a masterpiece, or a work of art, or a symphony. While these creations bear the imprint of the creator, they do not share his nature. But “beget” is different. You can only beget a child that has the same nature as you have–a son or a daughter. There is nothing else you can beget (unless you were speaking very figuratively). Your son or your daughter will inherit his or her nature from you–genes, personality–all of it. You can use “make” or “create” for producing a child; but when you use “beget” it only means you produce a child that has your nature.

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Now follow this carefully. If Jesus is said to be the begotten Son of God (using the figure from human language to make the point), then Jesus has the same nature as the Father. If Jesus has the same nature as God the Father, then Jesus is divine and eternal as well. If he is eternally God, then there was never a time he was literally begotten–which is why we know the language is figurative to describe his nature, and not his beginning. To call Jesus “the only begotten Son” means that he is fully divine and eternal. He is God the Son.

This is why the creed says that Jesus was “begotten, not made.” Why? Because He is of one substance with the Father.

One more point. The word “begotten” has “only” (mono-) prefixed to it. There is only one. This means that Jesus has a unique relationship with the Father–they two along with the Holy Spirit make up the Godhead. You and I, if we are believers, have been born into the family of God–we are said to be begotten of God. But we are not “only-begotten.” That refers to Jesus’ divine nature. We were adopted by grace and given the divine nature by the Spirit so that we may be called the children of God. But Jesus–he is very God of very God. He is the only-begotten Son of God (that is the part of the creed that reads “of very God”), which means that he is God (that is the part that reads “very God”)….

Peace,

Kathy

 

An Open Letter to my Muslim Friend…. Part 2

 


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“I and the Father are one.”

(John 10:30 ESV)

 

Dear Muslim Friend,

I did have a digital copy of the Koran (I probably still do on my tablet)….but I read very little of it because all of my roads have always (and continually) led back to Christ.  As a Christian, I do believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah.  The Bible was written over a span of 1,500 years ….by almost 40 authors and these authors, we (the Christian faith) believe, were inspired by God.  Over this large span of 1,500 years, there is only one central theme which the bible reveals…that is Jesus.  The bible is very unique among all other sacred texts…and has never been disproven….or proven….but Christians are told to live by faith.

I realize you probably believe the bible has been corrupted.  You have read both Sacred Scriptures….and I truly respect you for that!  You have mentioned words that are not found in the bible….Trinity… Bible….Original Sin …. But that does not disprove that Jesus is God.  I ask you to show me historical evidence to back up the claim that the bible has been corrupted if you believe it is?

And you haven’t answered my earlier question…. Do you know for sure you will go to paradise when you die?  I am really interested in finding out your views of salvation…….

We do not have different versions of the Bible in the sense of having different Bibles….rather we have different English translations as well as various translations in other languages from the same basic set of Hebrew and Greek manuscripts.  Did you know that when the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947, there were Old Testament manuscripts that date to about a thousand years earlier… that is 150 BC which predates Muhammad?  Two copies of Isaiah discovered in Qumran Cave 1 proved to be word for word identical with our standard Hebrew Bible in more than 95 percent of the text.

I have quickly researched “begotten”   Please correct me if I am wrong….Muslims view Allah as being absolutely one…he was not begotten by anyone, nor did he beget anyone.   People… like myself who believe Jesus is the Son of

God are viewed as being deluded (Sura 9: 30) by saying Jesus was the Son of God implies that Allah had sexual relations with a female partner.  Yet the Christian bible does not imply or state any sexual union took place either….

You mention the word begotten many times so I would like to explain how Christians view this.  Begotten in the Greek word (monogenes) does not mean that Christ was procreated but rather means unique or one of a kind.   As a Christian….the belief is that Jesus is the Son of God in the sense that He uniquely has the same nature as the Father…a divine nature.  In the bible, whenever Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, His Jewish critics tried to stone Him.  They understood Him as claiming to be God….because He was and is….The Father/Son relationship existed before time began.

I also researched and found instances where people often argue there are some 200,000 variants or mistakes in the manuscript copies of the New Testament…and out of these 200,000 mistakes…more than 99 percent hold virtually no significance whatsoever.  Many of them involve a missing letter in one word or the absence of one insignificant word.

Thank you for sharing your ancestral stories with me.  I find that so fascinating!  Yet, it saddened me!  It also made me sad to find you are not sure of your salvation!  My salvation is secured in the One who died for me!  I like to tell non-Christians….that it was nothing I did to earn salvation….But only what Christ did for me!!  Bless you Muslim friend….. and I truly hope you have happiness and prosperity!  AND…I hope you find your paradise!!!

Peace,

Kathy

 

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

(John 1:14 ESV)

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An Open Letter to my Muslim Friend….Part 1

Dear Friends…

I would like to publish a letter I recently shared with a new Muslim friend I met on social media….

…..For all those who are fortunate to connect and talk with people of different faiths and  various religions….please remember….they are ALL children of OUR God ….. and they have a life story!  And my friend’s story is simply wonderful and so beautiful …I must share!  Originally from Africa….His grandfather gave his land which was located in Africa… many years ago… to Christian missionaries…so they could build a health care clinic to serve those who desperately need care!!  What a wonderful friend I have connected with!  A Christian and a Muslim….having a respectful conversation about God!!!  

PRAISE JESUS……only through Him and His grace

An Open Letter to my Muslim Friend…..

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Dear Muslim Friend, 

Original sin is a Christian doctrine and it began with Adams’ sin of disobedience in eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil….and Adam’s disobedience… affected the rest of the human race….I see it in everything ….Do you?  The evil which exists in the heart of humanity….I possess it… and I fight it every day of my life….but I believe with Jesus’ help…I grow more like Him every day!  There truly is so much evil in our world today!  No one can deny this…

In the Bible, in the very first book of Genesis… you read after the fall of humanity which was brought about by the actions of Adam…you see the first mention of Jesus….  “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed.  He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel”….Genesis 3:15….

Christians believe that what Jesus did on the Cross ….He crushed the devils head….defeating him forever…”Also known as the “protoevangeluim” ( also known as Genesis 3:15 ) shows us that God always had the plan of salvation in mind, and informed us of His plan as soon as sin entered the world….

Also in the Old Testament…you will find Jesus mentioned in the Scriptures….

Isaiah 7:14….”Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign… The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son …and will call him Immanuel”…

Isaiah 9:6….”For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, …and He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”…

On Jesus’ ministry and death….

Psalm 22: 16-18….”Dogs have surrounded me…a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.  I can count all my bones people stare and gloat over me.  They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing”….

Isaiah 53…..the whole chapter is unmistakable….. It talks of Jesus and Jesus alone…, “He was despised and rejected by men….a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering….Like one from whom men hide their faces, he was despised, and we esteemed Him not…..Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God”…..There are more…the Old Testament definitely foretells the coming of Jesus….as the Messiah… but there are more verses which speaks of Jesus…..

To me…the whole Christian Bible is about Jesus…it really is a love story….beginning in the first book…This is the Christians assurance of salvation…

I am very interested in your views of salvation….May I ask you in complete kindness a question for you to answer??

Do you know for sure you will go to paradise when you die?

Peace,

Kathy

“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form”….

(Colossians 2: 9 NIV)

“and in Christ ….you have been brought to fullness”…..

(Collosians 2: 10 NIV)

It is nothing I have done dear friend,

….It is only through Christ and Christ alone…..

I love you Jesus……..

Pain and Suffering I

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“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

–Jesus Christ

 (John 16: 33 ESV)

“Even if you were aware of children and felt compassion, when you have your own, it multiplies.  It breaks your heart to know that there are so many children in the world suffering so much.”

–Penelope Cruz

I have heard many people say they do not understand…they simply cannot even comprehend… why a loving God would allow so much suffering and pain in this world…so because of this seemingly perplexing inconsistency, many simply choose not to believe in God.   They conclude there can be no God existing in a world which experiences so much gut-wrenching pain and catastrophic suffering. Suffering is unavoidable.  Suffering does not discriminate…pain and suffering will eventually come to one and all.   Suffering seems to destroy everything in its path… it actually renders the sufferer unable to simply carry on with the very essential basics of life….it destroys….shatters…. overwhelms….it quickly takes life as we know it completely away……it can rob us of life itself….

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“Why Do people hate God?  One, they hate the moral standard.  Two, they hate the way He’s transforming the world even in the midst of suffering and tragedy.”

–Kirk Cameron

Different cultures and religions have attempted to define suffering.  In fact, one way a culture serves its members is to attempt to define ways in which to face horrific pain and suffering.  Some cultures and religions teach pain and suffering stem from the failure of people to live rightly.  The doctrine of karma is an example of this.  Buddhism teaches that suffering comes not from past deeds but from unfulfilled desires and those actual desires are the result of the illusion that we are individual selves.  Some societies address suffering and pain with a high view of fate and destiny.  Circumstances in life are predicted by supernatural forces…as in Islam…the will of Allah.   Other cultures teach suffering is a battle between darkness and light.  Our own contemporary secular Western culture is greatly lacking when it comes to explaining why pain and suffering occurs.  Many Western people of today find the ultimate goal of life is happiness…and suffering prevents happiness from occurring…During the Enlightenment Period, there was a shift from the belief that people were created to serve God to the belief that God made the world for our benefit.  Our ancestors once believed suffering was a part of life…but today we find a world where the belief is that God is obligated to arrange things the way we would like them to be…..When suffering and pain is seen as senseless…victims and cultures of its destruction develop deep anger…and deep hatred…and this growing anger and hatred is known as ressentiment…..

“As I lay so sick on my bed, from Christmas till March, I was always praying for poor ole master.  Pears like i didn’t do nothing but pray for poor ole master.  Oh, Lord, convert ole master, Oh, dear Lord, change dat man’s  heart, and make him a Christian.”

–Harriet Tubman

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“I find the greatest songs in the world come out of pain, and I don’t like it!  Here’s what it does: its strips away all of your facade.  It makes you so honest.  It’s cleansing.”

–Lionel Richie 

Thus…pain and suffering has now become the single and strongest objection to the existence of God…..Why would a loving God allow pain and suffering in this world?

 Christianity differs from all other worldviews…..

Why?

  Because we have a God who Himself suffered and didn’t deserve the pain and suffering inflicted upon Him…..and the most difficult aspect of this to understand….to even begin to comprehend…..

God actually allowed this pain and suffering to happen…..

And what if ( just what if ) our acute awareness of pain and suffering is actually a clue that God does exist?

“Jesus wept.”

(John 11: 35 ESV)

To be continued…