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……..

Tear Bottle

A tear bottle…also known as a lachrymatory…is an ornamental vase piece…with a fixture at the opening that is formed to affix to the human eye… Tear bottles were fairly common in Christ’s time…the reference found in Psalms 56 actually predates Christ by over 1,000 years.

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“You have kept count of my tossing’s; put my tears in your bottle.  Are they not in your book?”

(Psalm 56:8 ESV)

Where are you Jesus?

 Please come quickly.

I call out your Name….…

 And I have waited patiently for the sound of your voice within my own soul.

This somber waiting drips into deep crevices unknown and ricochets my whole inner being with unrest….

 Leaving me with temporary doubt and confusion. 

But still I will wait here for the quiet and somber sound of your affirming Voice….

My own tears are shedding continuously and are mounting mightily within your book. 

Yet I am waiting…

 We all are waiting…

Along the long and narrow way,

 Back home to you. 

 

Where are you Jesus?

Please come quickly. 

Rescue us from this impending doom…this utter darkness is swallowing us from inside out. 

The whole world is sinking into a lower ground…

Previously unknown to us

Yet is it really unknown to you?

 This hollow depth of unrest and complete anarchy…

Your people mocked, ridiculed, and slain. 

Your Holy Name mocked, ridiculed, and slain….

….with the utmost of arrogance and pride. 

 

Yet I am waiting…

 We all are waiting…

Along the long and narrow way,

 Back home to you. 

 

Where are you Jesus?

Please come quickly. 

You promise your children miraculous things…

Of an eternal paradise incomprehensible…where our tears will no longer flow. 

Death will cease and this present and continuous evil eradicated.  

But for now…

Our tears are shedding and mounting mightily within your book. 

Your tear bottle is overflowing with the tears of your children!

Yet we all are currently waiting…

We are patiently and desperately  waiting…

Along the long and narrow way,

Back home to you!

A Child is Born

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

(Isaiah 9:6 ESV)

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I have hope….

I HAVE ABUNDANT HOPE….

I have immeasurable hope…..

My hope does not lie in any worldly government or any worldly charismatic governmental official…

No empty words or deeds to appease me.

No worldly powers that be…

No failed promises…or man-made victories on conquered soil.

No hope in ordinary man who would eventually crumble a simple faith into the vast darkness…

For if my hope was found there….I would also find hidden there….

 My greatest despair.

This meaningless dark hole where the unbelieving despondent and discouraged await their everlasting anguish…

Their ever-wasting and secluded never land.

 Yet I’m unable to quantify this current expectation…this future anticipation that burns within me during the hours of each anxiously awaiting day….

And the long, still nights filled with tear soaked pillows in hopeful waiting…

That glorious anticipation of His promise …

For if I ever close my eyes to find myself to never again awaken that next morning…

 And if I were ever to awaken to an empty void filled with absolute nothingness….

That meaningless hole that many hopeless already await….

  I will have lost nothing in my efforts to simply believe….

I would simply just cease to exist….

For there is nothing beyond this world for those without hope….

But to have Hope…is to simply believe…

 To believe in this child born so very long ago…

This unassuming child who once lay in a splintered feeding trough…

Where men who studied the stars came from afar and fell at His feet…

 In worship.

And they came bearing expensive gifts to give Him….

Yet this child’s gift became the ultimate gift…

For all….

This gift of salvation…this gift of eternity…this gift of HOPE.

From an unassuming child who came to save… not to condemn…

 But to save those…. Who simply believe in Him.

To those wise enough to believe the ancient words once scribed…..

The ancient words that still resonate so loudly, so boldly…so demandingly…so life-changing!

For it is written…..

Understand that “I am He”….. (Isaiah 43: 10)

Understand….

“I AM HE”…. (John 18: 6)

Jesus’ Candidate

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“Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world.  If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews.  But my kingdom is not from the world.”

(John 18: 36 ESV)

Once again, we are witnessing increasing divide, more inflammatory and incendiary rhetoric, more hatred, more vulgarity, more insults, and even more vicious name calling from both sides….

We proudly burn the stars and stripes and we blatantly spit on our American Democracy…

We pledge allegiance to a rainbow…..

 Yet we currently know not the strife of those who walked before us….

American Prime-time TV has become 24 hour news programming where journalists have stopped reporting the news in order to create the news

Scandalous the stories in every way they create to win the audience they greatly desire…

They have become reality stars peddling their private agendas in order to sell their books…and their star-studded images…..

Their golden pockets are filled by the blind and weary who purchase the rhetoric they create…..

Rights were given and rightfully so… BUT now we want more…

And nothing will ever stop us….

Shaming our ancestors and spitting on the graves who victoriously fought and lost their lives

We won’t stop till we demand and get our way….

Our path of destruction is evil in intent…..smothering…..crippling…ending….

And there is no evil in the world?

So….we now denigrate those who oppose our own worldview…our own opinions…our lifestyles…our livelihoods….our political parties…

Yet… we proudly say we live in a politically correct America……

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I sadly grieve the growing divide erupting in my great country ….

A systematic divide which will continue to fuel…..

Fear…

Unrest…

 Hatred…

Further division…

Outright anarchy….

A growing divide which could ultimately conquer the greatest and strongest world power of all time…

A division brought about by a fallen pride….for nothing has changed.

And once again…

We continue to use the name of Christ for our political agendas…for our livelihoods…. for our opinions… for our political parties….

Democrats and Republicans alike…..

Christians and non-Christians alike…..

Protestors Rally Outside Republican National Convention In Cleveland

….Contrary to current popular belief….God is neither a Republican nor a Democrat….and

Political parties are and will always be…

 Fallen man-made institutions…..

Debunking Anti-Christ Rhetoric Part I-A

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This anti-Christ image was found recently on social media…it is disturbing…it is offensive…it is damaging… but it may also be very persuasive.  The only purpose of these posts entitled, Debunking Anti-Christ Rhetoric is to expose the truth…and while I was prepared to research extensively these claims and then sharing all the references I use in order to debunk this type of rhetoric, I have now decided to conduct brief and informal online searches from reputable websites to replicate (and hopefully encourage) what the vast majority of people coming across these types of images can and should do.  As always, I strive to keep my blog truthful…honest…transparent… with no disrespect to anyone or anything…I will never personally attack those among us who (still) do not believe…

For I am a Sinner….

And I am always face down at His cross….begging for His mercy!!

Let’s first quickly examine the author……

Dr. Bart D. Ehrman….

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“I wonder if the fact that I left the faith is somehow seen as threatening, at least among people who have a gnawing suspicion.”

–Dr. Bart Ehrman

An American Professor, Author, and Scholar

Received his PhD, and M. Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary

Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Has written more than 30 books, including college textbooks

Became a Christian as a teenager and considered himself a Christian for more than 15 years

After struggling with the philosophical problems with evil and more specifically suffering…He then became an agnostic atheist…

“This was my view for many years, and I still consider it a powerful theological view. It would be a view that I would still hold on to, if I were still a Christian. But I’m not.

About nine or ten years ago I came to realize that I simply no longer believed the Christian message. A large part of my movement away from the faith was driven by my concern for suffering. I simply no longer could hold to the view—which I took to be essential to Christian faith—that God was active in the world, that he answered prayer, that he intervened on behalf of his faithful, that he brought salvation in the past and that in the future, eventually in the coming eschaton, he would set to rights all that was wrong, that he would vindicate his name and his people and bring in a good kingdom (either at our deaths or here on earth in a future utopian existence).

We live in a world in which a child dies every five seconds of starvation. Every five seconds. Every minute there are twenty-five people who die because they do not have clean water to drink. Every hour 700 people die of malaria. Where is God in all this? We live in a world in which earthquakes in the Himalayas kill 50,000 people and leave 3 million without shelter in the face of oncoming winter. We live in a world where a hurricane destroys New Orleans. Where a tsunami kills 300,000 people in one fell swoop. Where millions of children are born with horrible birth defects. And where is God? To say that he eventually will make right all that is wrong seems to me, now, to be pure wishful thinking.”

Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/blogalogue/2008/04/why-suffering-is-gods-problem.html#yAl4ESA5FrhGS7SB.99

 

 

…my heart goes out to Dr. Ehrman and I sincerely hope he can answer one day this question of why pain and suffering exists which has tested and destroyed his faith in God….I hope one day he is able to view the world through an “eternal” perspective and realize exactly what Christ promised His followers…..

My personal perspective so far…..

The claims made in this anti-Christ image by a self-professed atheist is nothing new

Having a M.Div. or PhD does not insure one believes in the Christian worldview

What we read/see/hear can be very deceiving…

To be continued….