Thoughts on Monotheism

April 02, 2009 Tagged with: faith

This is a fascinating article about a female Espicopal minister that adopted Muslim beliefs and was finally defrocked. I found these comments particularly interesting:

But Redding said she felt her new Muslim faith did not pose a contradiction to her staying a Christian and minister.

“Both religions say there’s only one God,” Redding said, “and that God is the same God. It’s very clear we are talking about the same God! So I haven’t shifted my allegiance.”

There’s a much longer post lurking about the concept of monotheism and whether we’re all just worshipping the same God, but I’ll restrain myself to a couple points:

I don’t have answers to any of these questions, really, but they’re interesting to consider.

Comments

CW says:

I think it is the beginning of someone who sees (God is one) - there is no difference. That we are ALL ONE. That all CAN LIVE IN PEACE and SEPERTATION causes predjudice and hatred. I applaud this person. She can be both. I had found in my life, no matter waht the ‘religion” if I truly looked at the spiritual side, it is all the same.

I hope the world will stop holding onto names religions and go back to what we truly are. We are creators. We are God. We are here to craete this world. And all of our spirits are coneected and one, with ALL that IS.

Pete Simmons says:

Why does it matter folks.Yes people are ignorant.Islam worships the God of Abraham.So stop misleading people with ignorance.Get your facts straight than make an educated comment.

Greg says:

Look, Allah and Yahweh are not the same, period! Allah is an Arabic term from a different region and time while the Hebrew which is different from Arabic is Jehovah/Yehovah/Yahweh-Iam. They are not the same. Reador investigate history before you make such claims. Know that Islam came along 600 years after the resurrection of Jesus the Christ. Know that Mohhmmad comes from a region that worship many gods and that his people are polutheistic. Do not make the claim that the GOD os Abraha, Isaac, Jacob and the Jewish and Christian faith is the same as Islam. Allah is an Arabic term not a Hebrew term

deane says:

Reador investigate history before you make such claims.

I don’t know that I made ANY claims. I tossed some questions out and reported on a news event, but I don’t claim that I know the answer to any of this.

Calvin says:

I find this all very humorous. Any thinking person knows this is all a bunch of Stone Age mythology anyway. This is like debating whether god should be called Zeus or Jupitor. Nonsense!

adam says:

I think this is actually quite ridiculous. How can she think there is no problem with worshiping both? People can claim they are worshiping the same God, but they are very different. If the Muslims could have this spirit of tolerance, that would be wonderful, but they don’t. They believe in murdering anyone, including Christians, that don’t follow Allah. They believe that if they martyr themselves while killing Christians, they will be rewarded in eternity. Will God reward His Children for killing His other children?

I don’t know how this lady even got ordained in the first place...

Blake Williams says:

While I can’t answer your last two question, I do have some answers for some of the others:

  1. Allah is the Arabic word for God, whether you’re talking about Muslims or Arabic-speaking Christians living in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, North Africa, or the Palestinian territories. While it would seem odd, or even blasphemous, in the English-speaking world to “Allah be praised,” it’s very common in Christian churches in these Arab-speaking countries.

Also, “Allah” in the Christian context (as part of the Arabic language) was used for nearly two centuries before Islam.

  1. When CNN or any network translates Arabic, they just make a mistake. To anyone who understands Arabic, when they hear the word “Allah,” it’s no different when an English speaker hears “God” or a Spanish speaker hears “Dios.” They just know WHAT it means. But you can’t also discount cultural misunderstanding or ignorance. Since “Allah” seems like a name of God rather than simply “God,” most people just accept it as such.

In Western society especially, we have no issue about mixing languages without realizing a loss of context. For example, when you say “Allah be praised” that denotes something different than “Allahu Akbar”(Praise be unto God). Although the mean the same thing, adding English (and therefore a western slant) makes “Allah,” a decidedly foreign word, more inclined with a name rather than simply being “God.”

It would be no different if people would say “Dios be praised.” If you weren’t familiar with Spanish/Latin American culture and only a passing knowledge of Spanish (as most people are with the Arabic language and culture), “Dios” might appear to be a name.

Homer says:

No disrespect to the Bishop, but it appears he and many others need to study their text more intensely. If you read 1 Thessalononinians you will find Apostle Paul’s Philosophy began with, There is but One God. From there his personall Christian Philosophy developed over time historically. Also, Christians and Muslims both believe in the logos. Refer to John 1:1 The Logos is the commonality that binds both beliefs together. However, the humanistic doctrine further perpetuates the schizm of belief.

Mary says:

The comments here are really whacked.

First off, Abraham (father of the monotheism) had two sons: Isaac from his wife and Ishmael from a servant. Isaac became the father of the Jewish people while Ishmael became the Arabs. God promised that Abraham’s children would be inherit lands, etc.

It’s the same God people!

And once again, the religion does not preach hate, it’s just the psychos. And no doubt, their tactics are vile. And they are cherry picking the parts they want. However, I just can’t stand that so much misinformation in Western society about the religion. Be critics if you want and disagree with aspects of the Koran but just get your facts straight.

Blake Williams says:

@Greg

Of course Allah is not a Hebraic term. Just like “Yahweh” isn’t an Arabic term. The linguistic cultures developed in different parts of the world and, therefore, wouldn’t be the same. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that “Allah” means God, whether you’re talking about Muslims or Arabic-speaking Christians. It’s no different than saying “God” or “Dios.”

But you’re wrong on a few points. The Hebrew word for “God” is “El,” not Yahweh. Yahweh is the literal name of the Jewish God–like Zeus was the literal name of a Greek God. The Jews used Yahweh to distinguish their god from those of their neighbors. You see, Judaism (like Christianity and Islam) grew out of polytheistic societies and cultures–called henotheism–adopting traits in the process.

And it’s also apparent that you know nothing about Islam–which traces their roots to Abraham’s eldest son Ishmael born from Hagar. Islam also recognizes and revers everyone of God’s servants from Moses onward. The only difference is that they don’t recognize the divinity of Christ–which the Jews also do not recognize.

@Adam

Spirit of tolerance you say? Hate to break it to you but the Bible (like most religious doctrines) is based on a culture of sanctified violence. Everything from the Crusades to the witch burnings in the and the violent overthrows of governments in Europe in the 1600s can be traced to people’s misunderstanding of the Bible.

Here are other examples:

  1. In Leviticus 25:44-46, the Lord tells the Israelites it’s OK to own slaves, provided they are strangers or heathens.

  2. In Samuel 15:2-3, the Lord orders Saul to kill all the Amalekite men, women and infants.

  3. In Exodus 15:3, the Bible tells us the Lord is a man of war.

  4. In Numbers 31, the Lord tells Moses to kill all the Midianites, sparing only the virgins.

  5. In Deuteronomy 13:6-16, the Lord instructs Israel to kill anyone who worships a different god or who worships the Lord differently.

  6. In Mark 7:9, Jesus is critical of the Jews for not killing their disobedient children as prescribed by Old Testament law.

  7. In Luke 19:22-27, Jesus orders killed anyone who refuses to be ruled by him.

Where people like yourself are victims of is, at best, taking things out of context or, at worst, willful ignorance. Using the above examples out of context makes Christianity a violent religion too.

Linda says:

People, really, this is not our concern. This woman feels that she can follow both religions and that they are not that much different to her. That is HER choice. And all of the ignorance we as non-Muslims have about the Muslim faith is showing in your remarks. Muslims DO NOT BELIEVE in killing members of other religions. Extremists do it in the name of Islam, but it is not the belief of Islam. You must, before making such remarks, learn the Islamic faith, read the Quran, research the history and read the Prophet Mohammed’s last speech to his followers made prior to his death and focus on the part where he refers to followers of other religions. And let us not forget the crusades of the Christians so many years ago before we cast stones.

Really, I don’t even know why this is on CNN. To me a person’s religious beliefs are their own and what works for them is their business. And, of course, if she were to become violently emboldened for either religion, there should be concern, but if she is just peacefully following her beliefs and minding her own business, what business is it of ours.

Carole Clarke says:

Once the Moslem fanatic fringe hears of this she will be forced to choose. As a “convert” to Islam, if she now abandons Islam it will be considered a grievous act by the hardliners, punishable by death. Once into Islam you cannot get out. These people do NOT play around. This is how they maintain control over their sheep, by fear and intimidation. There is no western idea of free will or freedom of choice in this area.

Benxamin says:

WOW a flamewar on deanebarker.net! Hell is freezing over... I mean Hades. No, Jahannam. Maybe Sheol. Or Gahena.