... between posts but then it's been a longer journey that I had anticipated.
As my last post was in Sept 2009 I think I should bring you up to date.
Since then I have undertaken a Grad Dip of Theology and completed a one month trip to Israel. Both have been instrumental in my evaluation of my Christian heritage.
Theology only demonstrated how tentative are the doctrines underpinning Christianity. The claims to the Trinitarian faith are highly questionable as are Jesus' claims to God. Both doctrines are based on dubious interpretations of particular Biblical passages - passages which have more to do with the agenda of the author as they have anything else. The lesson handed out by by theological studies is that Theology can be anything you want it to be. Which means my library of theological books is all but useless.
My area of concentrated study was the Gospel of Mark. Interestingly Mark makes no mention of the resurrection - nothing - nor of anything than may vaguely be interpreted as the Trinity (the word 'trinity' does not appear in the Bible). Yet, Mark is the earliest of the Gospels and forms the basis of both Matthew and Luke. The JohnG is out on its own and is little more that an esoteric composition - yet it is to this G that most scholars turn when 'proving' doctrine. In fact, further investigation reveals that the JohnG was almost left out of the canon due to its gnostic character - in other words, it is a questionable text at best. But again, it is the 'later' gospels that scholars turn to support the doctrines - Mark is basically bereft of such impositions.
I came away from my university studies feeling somewhat cheated - just where was God in all of this? As it turns out, probably nowhere to be seen.
Returning to my church I found I had more questions than answers - questions to which the rest of the church basically went and hid. And over some months finally got the message that I was not all that welcome.
In January this year (wintertime in Jerusalem) I travelled to Israel as part of a study tour with respected and well credentialed lecturers. I cannot complain about the standard or the quality of our lectures - it was superb. It was a Christian group but we went to places that no tourist would, or could, venture - an Israel settlement in the West Bank, a Palestinian refugee camp, a Samaritan village, a Druze town - where we were given lectures and talks on the prevailing geopolitical situations. Apart from that we did the usual sights on any Christian tour.
Two things stand out, amongst a whole raft of other issues.
First - that Israel is a Western colony planted in an Middle Eastern environment - an outpost of Western colonization. There is no indication that the nation/state of Israel is any more Middle Eastern than I am. Furthermore, there is no indication thatIsrael wants to have anything to do with Middle Eastern culture - in fact, the direct opposite - Palestine is treated as a hostile territory - as are the inhabitants. In this respect, Israel is doing nothing more than allowing itself to be maintained as a colonial outpost surrounded by cultures with which it has no real interest other than to control then by force of arms.
Second - Christianity is supporting this colonial outpost through pilgrimage.
Apart with this financial contribution, Christianity is not a pleasant sight to behold in Jerusalem. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is nothing more than a tourist trap - a circus. Standing in the gloom watching Christians throw themselves sobbing onto stone slabs while cameras whirled and lightbulbs flashed in a dark and gloomy run down building had a surreal effect which was supplemented by the roaming monks clad in black busy watching suspiciously for some small mistake on the part of their 'brothers'. If this was Christianity's most holy site then I was missing the message. The Church of the Nativity was no better. Both sites reminded me of something out of the Lord of the Rings or the City or the Doomed staring Darth Vader.
If God was here then God is dead.
God is not dead of course - and the only thing I am missing is the direction of God.
On return I began reading the Qur'an - again.
Thread: It's been a tad too long ...
Results 1 to 6 of 6
25-Feb-2012 12:30 PMIf there had not been love, how should there had been existence (Rumi)
The Following 12 Users Say Thank You to wayseer For This Useful Post:
25-Feb-2012 01:52 PM
Interesting read. Appreciate your candid account of your experience in the Holy Land. I pray that God guides you to the truth.Singapore: oppresses Muslims, bans athaan, bans hijab in schools, prevents building of madrassahs or muslim schools, puts limit on the percentage of Muslims allowed in each apartment building, and bans Muslims from joining Singapore's elite military forces. Singapore; Israel's best buddy!
25-Feb-2012 05:17 PM
Wayseer.. your own journey and findings are starting to sound a little like my own.. once I came to the conclusions you have come to. and knowing that God is NOT dead.. it became easier to understand and accept all that Islam offers .. May He guide you to the straight path.. ameen.Allah is sufficient for us and He is the best Disposer of Affairs..
The Following User Says Thank You to fatima_43 For This Useful Post:
17-Mar-2012 10:24 PM
Here are some words for requesting guidence. The key is sincerity. Call on God with words something like this -
"Oh God, oh You who have created me, I come seeking the truth. Surely You know the unseen, and I do not know. Show me the truth, as the truth, and open my heart to accept it and draw me to it. And show me the false, as the false, and harden my heart against it, and keep me far away from it.
And make me one of your chosen ones whom you love the most, and firm my faith in the Truth until the last breath of my life. Ameen."
For the seeker you will find in the bible "seek & ye shall find - knock & the door will be opened."
And here is your guarantee for saying the supplication with sincerity:
And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me - indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided. 2:186
The Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him) has said, "Almighty Allah says, I treat man according to his expectations from Me, and I am with him when he remembers Me. If he comes closer to Me by one span, I go towards him a cubit's length, if he comes towards Me by a cubit's length, I go towards him an arm's length, and if he walks towards Me, I run to him."
18-Mar-2012 02:20 PM
Abu Turaub, insha Allah you are doing well, it has been a while.
أحب الصالحين ولست منهم وأرجو أن أنال بهم شفاعة
وأكره من تجارته المعاصي وإن كنا سواء في البضاعة
إمام الشافعي رحمه الله تعالى -