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Islam- Ishmael?

    • 8 posts
    October 18, 2015 1:45 PM EDT

     Islam is in the news so I suppose it is to be expected that it is popular topic. One friend is taking a class at her church about it and says we must be tolerate of Islam because it is from Abraham through Ishmael.  Ihave heard this from several people and I cant find anything that connects Ishmael with Muhammad that is their prophet.  Does anyone else have any input on this subject?

    • 275 posts
    October 20, 2015 10:33 AM EDT

    Just my personal thought (anyone is free to disagree :))...I think the questions are should we "tolerate" and what are we tolerating? What I mean is, to me, to tolerate something is a pretty low standard...just to let exist, without any requirement for approval. When it comes to what we are tolerating, I tend to visualize people. Of course, we can visualize the worst (and I know they exist), but since I grew up in a fairly diverse neighborhood, I had friends who were Muslim. So, when people talk about such things, I don't think about quotes from a book (people can pull violent quotes out of our Book as well), but instead think of people I know. Should I tolerate my friend Bobby, that is, be ok that he exists? I believe so. That doesn't mean that I'm for merging churches with him or that I would be ok with horrible behavior from him or anyone else.

    Really, if we are to listen to Jesus (and we should :)), He would probably have a higher standard than to merely tolerate, that is we are to even love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (something I'll be we all need to work on :)).

    One of the most anointed Christians we know was born and raised as a Hindu in India. God eventually called him out of that and his teachings on fasting have been instrumental in the progress of our ministry. I don't know why God chose that Hindu instead of a Baptist, but I figure that's not my business :). I believe God has a plan for each person who lives, and can, at least potentially make use of even the worst of us!

    • 8 posts
    October 21, 2015 8:49 AM EDT

     I understand both of your views but my question is more centered on the origin of Islam....I dont see anything about what happened to Ismael and from what i have read I dont see how they credit him with starting their religion! Some of my Christian friends are insisting that we must respect their religion because it is from Abraham! It is frustrating because I am tired of "tolerating" hateful religious practices.  We have given "tolerance" a  new meaning in this country and the new interpretation means acceptance and I dont accept any religion that doesnt follow the Bible. That being said I dont hate anyone and pray for them but i dont just agree with what they say and accept their form of worship. My friends say we should allow their prayers and face east....this feels so wrong to me and I will not compromise my faith.

    • 275 posts
    October 21, 2015 9:24 AM EDT

    Julie, as I understand it (and feel free to research because I haven't gotten around to it ;)), the Islamic belief puts Ishmael in the place of Isaac, and visa versa. Even if that weren't the case, we don't worship Abraham, so I'm not sure what their point is. I do believe the people who descended from Ishmael do exist because God allowed that to happen, but that could be said of any of our ancestors. 

    Are your friends saying that we, as Christians, should start facing east because others do? That seems rather silly. As a Christian, I am committed to following Jesus. The interpretation of what that means in daily life may vary from believer to believer, but I'm rather confident that merging in other religions is not a wise practice.

    I'm sure your friends are well-meaning, with kind hearts, or they wouldn't be your friends in the first place :). I read one time that in a dysfunctional family, if there is an extreme of one thing in a family member, another in the family will often take on the opposite characteristic, even unconsciously, to bring the family unit into balance. It could be that this "excessive acceptance" for lack of a better term, is the thing that balances out the excessive judgement that often happens. In the end, Jesus will show us all how to be "functional" :).

    • 56 posts
    October 21, 2015 10:34 AM EDT

    Julie, I think you answered your own question. I think this is a "in the world" , but not conforming to things you don't hold true is why you are having trouble. You want to understand, why people believe what they believe, but you won't understand if it is against your core belief and God is not going to open their eyes unless it's his will. I remember when I was little, my mother was searching, I guess for meaning in life, so I have been exposed to different things along the way. So even if you knew all the answers it still won't matter if you believe in our God, it's a distraction. Is that not what false teachings do? I just say what I believe and smile, because it is not my job to save. God just say spread our Gospel. Am I going to chant  to a statue? No.......are you going to be telling me you don't believe in The Trinity and I should listen, no. I just smile and pray for God's will be done. Just my thoughts. God has told Christians what our response should be when we are faced with intolerance. Matthew 5:43-48 says we are to love our enemies and pray for them. Romans 12:20 says we are to provide for them. We do not play by the world's rules. We do not respond to intolerance with fear and hate. Instead, we express the love of Christ in us.

    This post was edited by Kay Rushin at October 21, 2015 11:15 AM EDT
    • 8 posts
    October 21, 2015 10:43 AM EDT

    thank you all so very much! great insights! thanks!