For those who don’t follow, I recently had someone leave a comment on my post “Brian McLaren, really?“. I attempted one response that was a bit long and he responded back with a long response as well. Rather than engage in a “comment debate,” I’d rather just post my full reply as a post, since it will be a bit lengthy. I’d encourage you to read the comments before reading this post.
Well after reading that and reading your link, it looks like you are not interested in thinking any differently then you do now.
Well, to be honest, unless given a good reason to change my beliefs on something so central to the worldview I follow, I don’t see why I should be open to changing my views. Though we should always be open to examine our views, this is generally done by looking at rational arguments and evidence against our position. If our position holds strong against such critiques, there shouldn’t be a willingness to abandon it.
Our Christian Bible, many would say, is just as sexist as the Qur’an or Hadith, (maybe not in as blunt of ways). There are scripture in the Bible that talks about Woman not even being able to talk in Church. We can’t say that the Church treats woman fairly even now, I mean there is a reason why 90% of Church leaders are MEN.
If you define “fairness” by responsibilities, then yes, men and women are not treated equally. However, I think your attempt to equivocate the two is quite unfair. For one, both the Qur’an and Hadith teach that women are ontologically lower, that is, they have less rights, less value, etc by nature of being a woman. This is why rape, beatings, and the like are allowed by many Muslims. One simply look to Surra 2:282 to see that men are a “degree above women.” Prior to this, 2:223 says that men are to treat their wife (or wives) as property and do whatever they will with them. The justification is that women are lesser than men by nature. The Hadith is actually worse considering that the writings of Bukhari, chapter two, verse twenty-eight, states that the majority of Hell is composed of ungrateful women. If you look to Ishaq 593, we’re told that women are plentiful and it’s okay to leave the one you have to find another one. All of this shows that women are, by nature, lower than men and to be treated as property, a bit above animals (though Muhammad’s youngest wife A’isha complained that Muhammad was created women to be on the level of dogs and donkeys [Muslim 4:1039]).
The Bible, alternatively, teaches that men and women are ontologically equal. One merely look to the narrative in Genesis to see that men and women are both made in the image of God (“…male and female He created them…”). One can turn to the works of Paul, specifically in Corinthians, and see that he says the wife’s body belongs to the man and the husband’s body belongs to the wife, thus showing it’s equal. If we turn to Galatians, we find Paul telling the husband and wife to submit to one another. Elsewhere he tells husbands to lead with authority as Christ leads the Church, which is completely self-sacrificial. Paul also says that a man who doesn’t provide for his family, but can (and “provide” in the Greek implies both material and immaterial [i.e. emotions, psychological well-being, etc]), is worse than a heathen. Though women were devalued in Jewish culture, in the New Testament we see that Christ has no problem interacting with a sick woman who needs healing, a woman who is on her 7th marriage and considered a whore by the community, a prostitute who washes His feet with perfume, and the first witnesses of the Resurrection in all the Gospels are females.
All of the above indicates that the Bible sees women as ontological equals. Now, for whatever reason, God has declared that on some issues, men and women have different responsibilities, but this does not make them unequal or elevate men above women. Only those who are power-thirsty would see authority as a standard for equality. Authority has nothing to do with equality – some people, male or female, aren’t called to be in a position of authority. Does this mean they are unequal with those who are called to such a position?
So as you can see, I don’t see your argument as compelling.
If you are going to say that the majority of Muslims support the rape of woman, I would show some scripture from the Qur’an, that supports your statement or maybe take quotes from a Muslim you know that supports it. Also I would like to hear some Muslim Scripture that talks about it being okay to murder others because someone doesn’t believe in their God?
A fair request. The one that comes to mind (I don’t have time to research right now) is Iman Mesbah-Yazdi, a Shi’a Iman in Iran stated that rape is permissible when done to a non-Muslim. To do it to a Muslim generally warrants the death penalty, whether the victim is male or female. If not a Muslim, however, it’s usually seen as justifiable. He probably gets this from the Qur’an, which has multiple verses that discuss how a man can take his wife or slave girl at whim, whether they want it or not. However, further justification probably comes from the Hadith, which is far more explicit in its condoning of rape.
The Hadith of Sahih Bukhari (9:506) talks of how the argument of Muhammad’s men after taking women from a city was whether or not they should pull out before ejaculation so as to not impregnate the women. However, it was expected by both Muhammad and others that the men would force themselves upon the non-Islamic women. The Hadith of Abu Dawud (2150) gives the historical context of Surra 4:24 (And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess.). The context that Dawud gives is that the men were uncomfortable having sex with these slaves in front of their husbands. Muhammad told them, “Who cares, it’s your right.” That may not explicitly say “rape,” but it certainly is implicit; Muhammad’s soldiers were going into captured towns, enslaving men and women, and then forcing themselves on the women, married or not.
The list goes on of course of how Muhammad, his generals, his men, and even his adopted sons would use men as prizes for war. If you don’t believe me, read both the Hadith and Qur’an for yourself.
When you say that Christianity was not violent until 325 A.C. you might be completely right. I would not compare the Church today however to the original “Church”. Christians have their faults like every other religion. I however think, based on my life of being a Christian and what I know from scripture and example of friends from religions such as Buddhism and Islam, that they promote peace and furthering of true faith.
You missed the point of what I was saying. You were attempting to say that the violent Muslims we see today lack justification from their Qur’an, Hadith, and history to be violent. I was merely comparing and contrasting. The fact of the matter is that it took 325 years for Christians to begin to engage in violence en masse. Until that point, most Christians were either complete pacifists or had an extremely narrow view of justified war. Much of this is due to the writings of Christ. So when we see war-mongering Christians, whether it be the modern age or the Middle Ages, we can say, “This is most likely inconsistent with the history of their faith and their Holy Book.” The same cannot be said for Islam.
I was attempting to show from history that from the very beginning, Muhammad engaged in war and genocide and his followers didn’t let-up. They continued on. There was no peace to be found except in surrender. So your claim that Islam is peaceful needs justification, most specifically by using its holy writings and validating your interpretation with the history of Islam.
Something that Christians, who believe in Hell, want to think, is that all unbelievers are completely evil. This is simply not true. I have many Atheist and Buddhist friends, and I find good in all of them. Gandhi, is a great example of a professed “non-Christian”, who did many good things in his life time. Would “justice” mean a Eternal Hell for Gandhi?
Though some might believe in such a proposition, I do not count myself among those “some.” If you’re truly interested in my position, you can read it here. Suffice it to say, I believe humans are capable of moral goodness, but this doesn’t make them righteous. Ghandi did a lot of good things, but he wasn’t perfect, thus he wasn’t righteous. After all, how can our good actions, which are temporal, compare to an eternally good God? So yes, Ghandi or anyone for that matter going to Hell is justice. After all, if we sin against God, no matter how minuscule that sin seems to us, it falls short of the infinite goodness of God. Our offense is infinitely separated before God. Because God is a God of justice, He can’t simply ignore an injustice, for then He would be unjust. If you want to argue and say that God isn’t a God of justice, keep in mind that concepts such as “grace” and “mercy” and even “love” as we know it are contingent upon our understanding of “justice.”
When Jesus was on this earth, He seemed to find good in the lowest of people. Even if there is only an ounce of good in someone, they do NOT deserve Eternal Punishment. I thank God for Grace. I am not saying that all paths lead to Heaven. I only believe in one Path, through Jesus, but I think all of us will eventually find it.
This really doesn’t make any sense. If we allow that one of the attributes of God is that He is just (which, if we want to believe that He is gracious and merciful, we must first admit that He is just) and that His standard is Himself, then anything that falls short of Himself is infinitely evil. Consider the following:
Let’s say that Johnny has been told multiple times not to play in Mr. Smith’s yard. Johnny fails to heed the warning and while playing in Mr. Smith’s yard, he damages some of Mr. Smith’s property, causing $500 in damage. Now, Mr. Smith could ignore this, but Mr. Smith happens to be a judge for the county court. Since Johnny broke a property law, Mr. Smith asks Johnny to do some work around Mr. Smith’s home to pay off the $500 owed. No matter how good Johnny is, he has still committed an offense that has cost someone something and justice dictates that he must pay for that offense.
Imagine how it is with God. God is infinite, meaning any offense to His character is equally infinite. Thus, to make up for any offense to God’s character, we must pay it off eternally. Since we are temporal beings, this is quite impossible.
Now, you might say that God can just forget about it and forgive us, no matter the cost. But then God wouldn’t be a God of justice. The poor and oppressed of this world would have no one to turn to. The hope of victims is that even if temporal justice is not handed out to perpetrators, eternal justice does await them. What you are saying is that a man who brutally rapes women and never shows any remorse for his actions gets a free pass in the afterlife, so long as he baked cookies for the local homeless shelter or did a lot of good things as well. Your system of belief portrays God as nothing more than a stone hippie who looks the other way when injustice rises up. This is hardly a God worth worshiping.
I would be careful about acting as though you have found God completely. For example, you might think the Bible clearly talks about an Eternal Hell. I however, have studied the scriptures for many years, on the topic of Hell, and think the Bible clearly speaks against an Eternal Hell.
I have never stated that I understand God completely, for such knowledge is impossible. However, the Bible is extremely clear that Hell is eternal. Christian tradition dictates as much. The idea of a temporal Hell is a relatively recent one, one that lacks the proper justification in its claim.