Tuesday August 1, 2017
a Peaceful Existence
All westerners presumed to be
Christian by Muslims
Macdonald, M. Sc., Author/YouTube, Pinterst and Wikipedia photos
was wrong in Christendom to use only Latin in worship for nearly two
thousand years. Ordinary people were not allowed to have a Bible. A few
monks copied bits of scripture adding beautiful calligraphy, but most
Christians did not know what Jesus taught. Pope Urban II in 1095 called
the European nobility to liberate the Holy Land from Islam, promising them
remission of sins to earn a place in heaven.
The knights wore a cross on their uniform. In the Crusades 1095-1272, both
sides committed terrible atrocities and massacres. Europeans have been hated
ever since. Islam spread through armed conquest across eastern Europe,
Africa and Asia.
the 15th century, newly invented printing presses made the Bible available
in English, Czech, German, French and other languages. Millions of people
were becoming protestants and
literate, so the Catholic Church in the Counter-Reformations began to
educate their clergy and to have Biblical street dramas. However they
preferred tradition above the Bible.
Wars come from knowing neither the written Word nor the living Word Jesus.
Sadly when we try to solve confusion and disagreements in our own strength
and limited wisdom, strife increases. We are never aggressively to demand
our rights and retaliate. We are to love our enemies.
Great new harmony has come among Christians because of changes begun by Pope
John Paul in 1963. He promoted reading of the Bible in mother tongues by
everyone privately and in church services.
the first time, people began to understand and receive a new nature of love.
Now protestants and Catholics are more alike and loving. I am old enough to
remember the remarkable changes in character and neighborliness. I grew up
in a community where there were many European newcomers of different
denominations of Catholics, Orthodox and protestants.
in Iraq has resulted in Muslims seeking refuge around the world, and
building many mosques. Muslims have the Koran that contains faulty Bible
stories. Abraham's son Ishmael, whose mother was an Egyptian servant of his
wife Sarah, is their anointed prophet, rather than Isaac, Sarah's son. Many
Muslims like Moses and David are prophets. A lot of folklore is added plus
traditions and Shariah law. Jesus is only a prophet and of less importance
The Koran is approved only in Arabic. I do have unapproved copies in
English. Most schools are for boys only and are in Arabic medium with much
memorizing of the Koran. They don't learn enough Arabic to understand what
they have memorized by rote.
The two major sects Sunni and Shiah (Shiite), divided early in their history
because of choice of others to be Caliph (religious king) instead of
descendants of Mohammed, and their beliefs are very different. Different
ethnic groups of Sunni and Shiah are fighting each other in Syria and Iraq,
etc and there are many other Muslim sects that do not trust each other.
The Ishmaelis led by the Aga Khan, focus on providing excellent hospitals
with modern scientific professional education.
interview with Pete Mansbridge
Most Muslims who live in
western counties are more enlightened and are becoming democratic. They look
at jihad (holy war) as spiritual. The terrorists use Jihad to force loyalty.
They murder those who do not join in with them. Some are not spiritual.
Extremists are enticing
vulnerable youth in subtle ways through the internet to do unexpected
violent acts in Europe, England, America and the far east. Others had gone
to fight in Iraq and Syria. They are demanding and being granted a measure
of Sharia law in Europe. The wording of Sharia varies from one community to
another. Some educated women are against it. Others lack courage to seek
justice for themselves.
The government in Muslim countries is usually not democractic but
theocractic, and controlled by religious leaders. There is little or no
freedom of speech, media, conscience or choice. To convert to another
religion is considered disloyalty worthy of prison, torture and death. In
many countries of Africa; the middle east and Asia, whether Muslims are in
the minority or majority, churches are burned down, land confiscated and
Christians persecuted, especially those converted from Islam.
Sharia law women have few rights. They wear a full burka to be protected
from men. I noticed in Pakistan than when they were shopping in market they
uncovered their faces, but when a male family member or neighbor appeared
they quickly covered their faces. The hijab has a similar purpose but is
Muslims are very much against sexual freedom in dress or behavior. Dating is
not allowed. They are very strict requiring total loyalty to their faith and
culture. They look upon the freedom of western women to mingle and associate
with men as immoral.
Muslims tend to call all Europeans and Americans Christian, even though only
a small percentage are practicing Christians.
In Canada today only a small percentage of the population have read and know
clearly what Jesus taught, and have not accepted His Spirit into their
lives. It makes me very sad that my daughter and son did not bring their
children up in the church. They believe in high values which are almost
Christian and some claim to be spiritual.
In the USA it is worse. There are fundamentalists especially in the south,
and little effort to cooperate. The two major political parties have stopped
trying to find common ground to agree on. They are not able to work in
harmony. I pray daily for the Congress and Senate to teach Donald Trump to
become less rash and contradictory. I think I see answers to those prayers.
He is getting a bit more careful in what he blurts out.
Lahore Pakistan I worked for two years in Community Health, living in the
United Christian Hospital compound, and worshiping in the International
Church and several Churches of Pakistan. Several of my friends were
American Presbyterians, some from the southern states and others from the
north, and rather different in speech and behavior. There were American
embassy families, Khurd refugees, a young woman from Sudan studying for an
MBA, and other diverse people. The director of the hospital was a retired
military officer who was domineering. Although nominally Christian, he
and 1958-63 I worked among tribal people and traders in the Eastern Ghat
mountains, 500 miles south of Calcutta. The traders had become Christians
in a mass movement 1904 onwards. Thanks to William Carey they had the whole
Bible in their own language Oriya, and many learned it well. They were well
taught but many also were nominal believers. I can tell you a lot about
them and their failings (and our present day Canadian failings).
there are hundreds of Oriya Christians scattered all over India who are
evangelists and teachers. Some have studied under fundamentalist southern
American colleges active in India. But all of us fall short, so I should be
careful not to be a judge or Pharisee, and remember to pray for them. On
Facebook lots of young Oriya Christians write to me asking for prayer.
During our long years in India the New Testament was translated into the
Tribal language Soura and hymns composed in their own tunes. I was present
when their first little thatched, half-wall church was inaugurated in 1947.
A single lady and a Canadian couple who lived beside us did pioneer work.
Because their younger son became ill, she could not return, so for the final
revision in 1962-63 he and his team did it alone, around our dining table,
which was exciting and thrilling because more exact wording kept coming to
Now there are hundreds of
Soura Christian churches, and there are about 25,000 people at their annual
conference. A Canadian lawyer sensed a call to study theology. Then
in 1951 Dave and Ruby Hayward with their children learned Soura and were wonderful with
men, women and youth. With a devout team they translated the entire Old
Testament and commentaries. They are retired in Vancouver, where they and
their oldest son, began and continue to lead the Joy Fellowship which,
similar to L'Arche, works with mentally disabled adults.
"The entrance of God's Word gives light."
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