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#1 Rick Warren

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 02:52 PM

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Dear Forum Friends,

Australian reader Ben Bowler created two interfaith projects (Monk- and Muslim-for-a-month) that put this advice from a Melchizedek into practice:

...There is not a Urantia religion that could not profitably study and assimilate the best of the truths contained in every other faith, for all contain truth. Religionists would do better to borrow the best in their neighbors' living spiritual faith rather than to denounce the worst in their lingering superstitions and outworn rituals.... P.1012 - 4



The month is actually nine days. He made a short video montage of the Muslim experience:
http://www.youtube.c...player_embedded



Ben then blogged the following report of the participants remarks:



Report on first Program - February 13-21 - Istanbul, Turkey: "Breath Taking" "Mind Blowing" "Heart Opening" "Life changing"


It was the good intention of this blogger to make regular reports on the progress of the first group through the Muslim for a Month 9-day program during February 2011. However the intensity of the program was such that there was not only little time for posting, moreover there was a prevailing sense of helplessness in attempting to convey to the outside world just what the group was going through. To be honest, the sense of helplessness remains and so I begin this report by deferring to my fellow guests:

Famke (Belgium) - 25
"Partıcıpatıng at Muslım for a Month was a mınd-blowing experience."

Carol (Ireland) - 28
"Where this experience has taken me, is nowhere I have conceived of before. Endless gratitude to all involved."


Joan (Australia) - 73
"For me personally, it is a very profound moment in my long life and I thank you from the bottom of my heart"

Annetine (Australia) -74
"The Muslim for a Month program has opened my heart and mind to a new way of being."

Ben R. (Israel / Holland) - 26
I wouldn't know where to start to describe my feelings about Muslim for a Month. I guess it's just best to say that it was an unforgettable, life changing experience.

Rajiv (USA) - 25
"The progression over the 2 weeks has been something emotional, remarkable, inspiring, uplifting, breathtaking, and above all humbling."


So what was it that made this week-and-a-half so breath-taking, mind-blowing, heart-opening and life-changing? Let me do my best to explain to you, knowing in advance that I am bound for abject failure...

Breath Taking


Firstly, let's start with the physical aspects of the program: the Sufi Lodge, Ali Dede Tekke is a supremely comfortable and wonderful facility. Recently refurbished by Fonda Ajans and dedicated by the municipality to this program, the 13 rooms of the Lodge are easily the equivalent of any 4 star hotel. The fact that the facility it is a 400 year old Sufi Lodge from the Ottoman Empire adds a certain gravitas and the tombstones in the courtyard are a constant reminder that the spiritual journey we are all on has a common destination. Or beginning?

The location of the Lodge in the Eyp region of Istanbul at the foot of Pierre Loti mountain is superbly suited to the program. A few minutes stroll down a lovely street lined with Cafe's, Kebab Houses and Boutique Shops, we found ourselves standing in front of the impressive Eyp Sultan Mosque, one of the holiest of all Islamic sites, not just in Turkey but for the entire Muslim world. We all enjoyed spending time in this historic and beautiful area so close to the old Constantinople walls.

Mealtime with the group was always great fun with excellent local cuisine and the flow of Turkish tea and coffee was a constant blessing. We enjoyed the touristy parts of the program such as the Bosphorus River cruise, visiting the Hagia Sopia and the Blue Mosque as well as shopping for bargains in the Grand Bazaar and the Egyptian Bazaar. Our hosts were always cheerful and ready to help; Mr. Ahmet, Mr. Kudred and Ms. Sevde were so accommodating and went way beyond all expectations in catering to every single need of the group. We were transported to the various locations in a super-comfortable van, and indeed time in the van was an bonding experience for our group; we watched documentary videos, we sang songs, we told stories, we got to know each other, we hung out...

Mind Blowing


Intellectually the experience was challenging, stimulating and certainly enlightening. The line up of professors and academics that came to present to us was impressive, even verging on slightly embarrassing for our humble group of simple folk. Still, having such a luminous roster of instructors made for fascinating and lively discussion during and after each presentation as we westerners tried to understand the various pillars of Islam.

We learned that there is in Islam a thirst for knowledge about the universe which has led to major contributions in the fields of medicine, science, music, mathematics, philosophy, poetry, architecture and indeed virtually every domain of human existence.

We learned that there is no one monolithic thing that can be called Islam and that it is as varied, nuanced and diverse as any other great religion. Counter to one of the main stereotypes held in the West, less than 20% of Muslims come from the Arab world. We internalised at a deeper level just how severe some of the misrepresentations of Muslims are in the western mindset.
We learned that peace loving Muslims detest violence and acts of terrorism committed in the name of their religion at least as much as we do and quite possibly more.

We observed that Islam at its best is a dynamic living faith, committed to peace, social justice and the highest spiritual values. We learned this by observing our remarkable hosts rather than anything taught in the classroom. We learned a great deal about the origins of Islam in 6th century Arabia, the context into which the religion was born.

We also received a deeper appreciation of the place of the Qur'an in Islam, how it is universally accepted by Muslims as God's very words. This was one of the aspects that represented an intellectul challenge for our group. The only comparable thing would be how some Protestant Christian's view all the books of the Bible as inerrant, - divinely perfect. It is more evident to us now that how one interprets these texts can mean the difference between religion as a constructive influence of inspiring beauty or as a force of destruction.

Heart Opening


Emotionally it was a huge experience for the whole group. It is said that when one drinks the water of the well of Zamzam then it shall surely exit the body as tears. Well this certainly seemed to be the case with us after we were offered the special water at a breakfast in the city of Bursa near the Marmara Sea. There were a great many tears on this trip. It was an incredible joy being in this group, merging as we did with our hosts, taking this special jouney together. We could somehow feel the significance of what we were doing at many different levels. There were personal breakthroughs, spiritual insights and conversations going late into the night as groups talked and processed together in twos and threes in the bedrooms. There was a lot of affection and love between us and that special bond that comes only from shared experience. There was also much laughter as our hosts kept the mood swinging from light and frivolous to profound and moving.

Our group was made up of more women than men and the ladies took every opportunity to connect with the Muslim women who were our hosts. All the questions about head scarfs and the place of women in Islam were raised and there was much productive and mature discussion. There was a special bond between the female hosts and guests, with much embracing, laughter and tears.

Standing at the tomb of Mevlana Rumi several members of the group wept freely, swept up in the spiritual currents that eddied around this holy place. There is no sense that Rumi himself is sacred, but his absolute devotion to the one God and his love for creation remains somehow palpable in this place. Someone once asked Rumi to describe love and after several days of thinking he admitted that he could not. He said instead that you must taste it. I feel pretty much the same way about this program.

Life Changing


If there was such a thing as a spiritual Geiger counter then it would have been going ballistic during this trip. There were moments when the structure of religion dissolved and there naked we were; guests, hosts, even the staff at the lodge, - human beings on a sacred journey into God. For some of our group it was a moment to reflect on the religion of their childhood, whether Jewish or Christian and prompted some reassessment of personal attitudes towards faith. For some this was a raw emotional experience and is an ongoing process.


For others who has grown up with no religion it was an opportunity to immerse into a living faith culture and to feel what that is like. Islam is literally in the air in Turkey; the sights, the sounds, the people, the places, you can actually taste it. Growing up without a framework for religion, God, faith and spirituality is the modern reality for millions of Europeans and so the chance to make contact with an authentic and healthy religious culture can certainly be a transformational experience.

Sufism is about transcending the ego-desires of the world and attaining a constancy of God-consciousness that is ever seeking ways to serve others. Spending time with our hosts and witnessing their dedication to God is in itself a remarkable spiritual experience. As Mr Ahmet said, just being together and in the spiritual atmosphere of one another can be a profound, transforming experience.... Well for us, it sure was.

I truly do not know how to do justice to the program through these crude words. All I can do is to sincerely thank every single person involved in this experience, most notably my fellow travellers for having the chutzpah to come and Mr. Ahmet, Mr, Kudred and Mr. Sevde for being so gracious and allowing us into their lives and into their hearts. We intend to never leave.

Ben Bowler, Boksum, March 1, 2011
Copyright Blood Foundation
Source: http://www.facebook....st-program.html


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#2 Rick Warren

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 03:15 PM

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Invitation to the next program:

Ben Bowler 9:40am May 15

Dear readers, brothers and sisters. We have a very special program coming up in June that we believe is a step to a more peaceful, harmonious & God conscious planet. I hope you can take a moment to consider sharing this link with your networks. Thanks in advance, your brother.

Muslim for a Month June 9-day Program Special Offer

YouTube Intro

A Blood Foundation cultural exchange program in Istanbul, Turkey. Based on the teachings of Rumi and Sufi practices, the program offers people a unique insight into Islamic spirituality.




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#3 Rick Warren

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 10:17 AM

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[Dear Forum, This interview with Ben recently appeared in The Telegraph]


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By Leah Hyslop

9:57AM BST 08 Jun 2011

Ben, what led you to move from Australia to Thailand?

My wife and I were quite settled in Melbourne just about to get a mortgage, and do the whole suburban thing. Then, at a conference in Sydney, an opportunity came up to do some voluntary work in Thailand with refugees who had fled over the Burmese border. So at the very last moment we changed direction. Once in Thailand, we learnt so much about what the Burmese people have suffered, and the help they needed, that we decided to stay here.

Your "day job" is running an NGO for Burmese refugees, I believe?

Yes: we set up Blood Foundation shortly after we arrived in Thailand. It concentrates on running facilities for refugees in the Fang area on the Burmese/Thai border. There's over 80,000 of these refugees in the Fang area alone, all at various stages of legality. Because their education level is often very low, we decided to focus particularly on education projects. So we run schools for children, and adult learning classes in the evening, that sort of thing.

Tell me a little about the "religous immersion experiences" you run on the side of your work for Blood Foundation. The first one you established, "Monk for a Month", sounds pretty interesting

Yes "Monk for a Month" is about spending a while in a Buddist temple in Thailand. It's quite common for Thai men to do this, so we thought it would be great if we could open the experience to foreigners.

Hypothetically, anyone could walk up to a temple and ask for teaching, but there's a lot of difficulties involved in foreigners doing that, like understanding the language and knowing to behave. What we do is facilitate for people so they get the most they can out of it.

Some people might be surprised to hear that the monks are so keen to have what are essentially tourists spending time in their temple.

They like it. It's a good way to get the message of Buddhism out there, in an authentic setting. And there's never more than two or three people on the programme at a time.

You also offer a "Muslim for a Month" programme, in Istanbul. That sounds pretty timely.

We like to think that "Muslim for a Month" facilitates more understanding of a religion which gets a lot of bad press. There's a huge difference in the public perception of of Buddhism, for example, and Islam Islam is thorny, while Buddhism is warm and fuzzy. The best way to overcome fear is to face it. We hope people come out of the experience with more understanding and even a bit of inspiration.

You've faced some criticism in the past for what people say is "selling" or making money out of religion. What do you say to these people?

I'm not open to that kind of criticism. We charge around 600 for a 28-day "Monk for a Month" package, but the stay in the temple is absolutely free. What we're charging for is facilitating the experience: picking them up from the airport, taking them to Tesco when they need to go, and sightseeing trips to places like the Golden Triangle which are incorporated.

And it's a social enterprise. We don't think "How can we make money off Buddhism or Islam?". The One Blood Travel programmes support the basic running of our Blood Foundation, in the hope that one day donations can go directly to the people who need the money, not just on the charity's offices and cars. Besides, we like to think it's very authentic, not just some Disneyworld experience.

You're clearly very interested in religion, and the idea of learning from other people's cultures and beliefs. Where did this interest come from? Are you religous yourself?

I don't want to be public about my own beliefs, but I value religion, and think secular culture could learn a lot from ancient traditions. I think there's a bit of a spiritual vacuum at the moment I look around at countries like the UK and Australia which are so secular, where all the structures of religion are crumbled and decayed, but where people still yearn for answers to the big questions, like who we are. I'd hope these packages are a good start.

Gandhi famously said "I am also a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist and a Jew." At the end of the day, humanity is a big crazy family, and it's all our heritage.

For more information about the programmes, visit www.muslimforamonth.com and www.fangvalley.com

Information on The Blood Foundation can be found here.







***

Source/See Photos: The Telegraph

#4 Rick Warren

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 06:40 AM

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Forum Friends,


Ben is interviewed by documentarian Beatrice Moller (9 mins): http://www.youtube.c...bed/-Ap13KGmwY8

BBC Report on Muslim/Monk for a Month:

Interviews with participants: http://www.youtube.c...feature=related



#5 Rick Warren

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 01:44 PM

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Forum Friends,

This appeared on Ben's "wall" Facebook:

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Ben Bowler

3:24am Sep 12 How might we view Islam?

I found the Urantia Book in a new-age crystal shop in Birmingham in 2001. I was there to watch an Ashes cricket match at Edgbaston (Australia won by an innings and 118 runs). I went for a stroll at lunch on the second day, wandering through the streets until I serendipitously came across the shop and so discovered Big Blue. This was July, two months before 9/11.

The last 10 years have seen a steep rise in both academic and popular interest in Islam. Partly to counter the spread of Islamaphobia, our organization Blood Foundation started running a cultural and spiritual immersion program in Turkey called Muslim for a Month. This was a follow up of our successful Monk for a Month Buddhist immersion program in Thailand.

While preparing the Muslim program, I naturally scoured the Urantia papers to see what insight could be gleaned from them about Islam. I wanted to know to what extent, if any, it could be considered a revealed religion. I was surprised and perplexed at just how little material there was on Islam and its founder anywhere in the 196 papers. I reached out to other readers, including those I knew to be involved or have an interest in interfaith work and sought their opinions. I was taken aback to find many strong negative reactions. I was surprised to find some people viewing Islam primarily as a threat; the context ranging from a gross evolutionary religion with ambitions of world domination to a full-blown Caligastian plot of "nefarious design".

I then approached elders of the Urantia movement, people I have known for some time and whose opinions I value greatly. Their reactions were not so much negative to Islam as genuinely uncertain about its standing in terms of revelation, religion and the Urantia Book. I did get one response that claimed that there must be some component of revelation, due to Islam's clear cut monotheism. I found some hope in that.

The Urantia Book has reams to say about Christianity. There are whole papers on Judaism. Paper 94 gives generous attention to Hinduism and Buddhism. Meanwhile, barring a few mentions as if in passing on Paper 92, the revelation gives us a mere one paragraph on Islam at the close of Paper 95.

Additionally while the founder of godless Buddhism is granted the status of "prophet", the founder of the world's second largest religion hardly rates a mention. Of course I am not the only one to wonder at these conspicuous absences of reference to Islam, there are many threads about this on various forums. My point here is to question the general animosity that I have encountered towards Islam from some Urantia readers. We must not read too much into the paucity of opinion given by our celestial overseers on this important subject, after all it could be something as simple as the historical timeline; much more detail is given to "b.c." religions that "a.d." religions. In any case we must more-or-less make up our own minds about this, based on what wisdom we can gather from the revelation together with what reason we may muster from ourselves.

Where I am from, Australia, monotheistic religion is all but pass. As in Europe, people tend to ignore the God question, caught up as we are in busy secular lives. Belief in God is largely seen by the prevailing culture as archaic, - a childlike fantasy belonging to an earlier age of naivety and ignorance. Most people prefer their spirituality to be self-affirming these days; they queue up for yoga and meditation while talk of a sovereign creator is often met with derisive smiles.

Meanwhile, while the great cathedrals of Europe are empty, another Monotheistic religion is enjoying a period of fantastic, almost unprecedented growth. Nearly one quarter of the population of our world now belongs to the Muslim faith. This stunning blooming of Islam demands an explanation. So, what would you believe:

• a) This success is gained through the efforts of Caligastia to foil the plans of Michael on Urantia
• b ) It is the accomplishment of a militant and backward evolutionary religion spreading like a malignant virus.
• c) it is wholly circumstantial temporal phenomenon having no supernatural element
• d) This growth can be largely attributed to the tireless work of the Angels of the Churches?

Of course the answer can be and probably is, more than one of the above. However I am sure there would be few who disagree that it is unlikely to combine both a) and d).

So Islam- is it good or is it not? Is it an instrument for God's will or against it?
While it might seem absurd to ask such a simplified black-and-white question, I propose that the answer, as complex as all the issues certainly are, is resoundingly clear.

Let us take a look at the tenets and teachings of Islam which are in harmony with what we understand to be higher truth:

1. Monotheism – believe in One God, creator of all that is seen and unseen (Islam gets a 10/10 for this)
2. The sovereignty of God
3. The existence of the unseen soul
4. The hereafter (afterlife and paradise)
5. Belief in Angels (one of the 6 pillars, this is an obligatory belief)
6. Belief in Prophets (Adam, Abraham, Moses, John the Baptist, Jesus and a whole lot more. Muslim's believe that heavenly messengers have been sent to every race of man)

Now, that's a lot to get right, especially if we contrast it to secularism, atheism or even agnosticism. Now let's look at some of the main points where Islam misses the mark using TUB as a reference:

1. Rejects the trinity
2. Rejects the divinity of Jesus
3. The final/sealing prophethood of Mohammed
4. The perfect revelation of the Qu'ran
5. An ends-justify-the means approach to violence and holy deception (Taqiyyah)
6. Subjugation of women

There are some real problems here, though perhaps not the immediately obvious ones. Regarding the trinity, the Urantia Book actually gives a justification for this in paper 104: "It is always difficult for an emerging monotheism to tolerate trinitarianism when confronted by polytheism." We know the religious climate of 6th century Arabia was saturated with polytheism, most every family and tribe had their own idol.

Regarding point 2 – Of course it would be better if the religion also taught the truth about the Incarnation but let me ask you; what is the actual salvific value of knowing Jesus as a divine son?

Points 3 and 4 however are certainly problems. The fundamentalism laced through Islam is deeply worrying and it looks like it is going to take a long, long time for the religion to emerge from. Points 5 and 6 are also disturbing weaknesses in Islam as clearly spelled out at the end of Paper 95. It can be pointed out that Islam is not the only sexist religion and that other religious texts are brutally violent, however there is no avoiding the fact that these are issues of genuine concern. Islam is certainly imperfect, in some senses perhaps more imperfect than other major religions, but I would argue that this is a quantitative difference and not a qualitative one.

Paper 92 tells us "It was Jewish theology in connection with the later Christian teachings that made Islam monotheistic". So even if we take the extreme position that the Qu'ranic revelation is entirely man-made, we are never-the-less taught that Islam has inherited revelatory content from its Abrahamic forebears. This together with the fact that we see Mohammad listed among "The Great Religious Leaders" in Paper 92 means we must forcibly reject any notion that Islam represents some kind of enemy, great or small. Granted, there could conceivably be satanic influences within Islam as there could well-be within any other religion or human institution, but we must conclude that the origin, growth and evolution of Islam has been and continues to be fostered by high and loyal universe agencies.

I believe as a reader of the Urantia Book, there is an obligation where possible, to assist in the positive evolution of Islam and indeed all of our religions. In order to become such catalysts of transformations we must positively engage with religions including Islam and not avoid or merely criticize them from afar. We must meet our Muslim brothers and sisters in the best of their religion and be such examples as we can in order to jerk the ship along the slow winding channels of evolution. In the end Islam is much like any other religion on this planet, part revelation, part evolutionary; it is a mongrel mixture of the good and the unfinished. Come to think of it, it sounds a bit like all of us.

Fortunately, given enough time and enough willing hands the Supreme has a knack of making a silk purse even out of a sow's ear. I urge Urantia Book readers to look positively upon our Muslim brothers and sisters and to put our hands up to assist in the gentle evolutionary process wherever possible.

I close with the words given to us by a Melchizedek, a local to our universe, perhaps even to our planet, who no doubt has far more insight into these things that we do:

92:5.16 The future of Urantia will doubtless be characterized by the appearance of teachers of religious truth — the Fatherhood of God and the fraternity of all creatures. But it is to be hoped that the ardent and sincere efforts of these future prophets will be directed less toward the strengthening of interreligious barriers and more toward the augmentation of the religious brotherhood of spiritual worship among the many followers of the differing intellectual theologies which so characterize Urantia of Satania.



***


#6 -Scott-

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 11:50 PM

1. Monotheism believe in One God, creator of all that is seen and unseen (Islam gets a 10/10 for this)
2. The sovereignty of God
3. The existence of the unseen soul
4. The hereafter (afterlife and paradise)
5. Belief in Angels (one of the 6 pillars, this is an obligatory belief)
6. Belief in Prophets (Adam, Abraham, Moses, John the Baptist, Jesus and a whole lot more. Muslim's believe that heavenly messengers have been sent to every race of man)



Thats just the tip of the ice-berg the u.b goes into detail about muslim thoughts,beliefs and opinion, they just don't say directly "and this is a belief of muslim's, jews' etc."...they want you to find that out for yourself...lol I am having a conversation with imaginary Ben.
If one man craves freedom -- liberty -- he must remember that all other men long for the same freedom

#7 Bonita

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 07:34 AM

The problem, as I see it, is that it doesn't matter how monotheistic a religion is; if it can't accept God as Father, it can't support revelation. This is a huge stumbling block for conventional Islam because it cannot get past the corporeality error that believes fatherhood is impossible without sexual relations. The same problem exists for the Trinity concept.

1:5.12 In the contemplation of Deity, the concept of personality must be divested of the idea of corporeality.



Even mystical Islam portrays a personal relationship with God as a master-servant relationship rather than a family relationship. And, there is nothing in the Qur'an to support an evolution of the Father concept either. In fact, it is forbidden, and since it is the last word mankind is supposed to receive from God, I personally see no hope of it ever changing. The religion has more or less locked itself into a rigid interpretation of truth that will be hard to change on any level. At least Christianity, despite its rigidity, has left the door open. The same applies to many other evolutionary religions, but Islam is a special situation for reasons that are, frankly, too difficult to discuss publicly.

As long as the emphasis is on the judgment of God rather than the love of God, the duty of man rather than the love of man, we will be moving backward or standing still in terms of the revelation and Islam. Recall the three cosmic intuitions: causation (math/science); duty (judgment) and worship (ascent from the status of servants of God to the joy and liberty of the sons of God.) Unless all three levels of cosmic reality are realized by any religion, it will not fully satisfy the needs of the soul. No one can be a son of God unless God is a Father and all attempts at the brotherhood of God (the ummah) will be merely social, political and humanistic if it is without a divine Father.

Our biggest challenge is to teach or reveal the fatherhood of God and the sonship of man. Jesus said: "The people of another age will better understand the gospel of the kingdom when it is presented in terms expressive of the family relationship when man understands religion as the teaching of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, sonship with God.(142:7.4) That age has yet to come, but it is a goal, we all hope and pray for.

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 11:32 AM

The problem, as I see it, is that it doesn't matter how monotheistic a religion is; if it can't accept God as Father, it can't support revelation. This is a huge stumbling block for conventional Islam because it cannot get past the corporeality error that believes fatherhood is impossible without sexual relations. The same problem exists for the Trinity concept.

<B>

1:5.12 In the contemplation of Deity, the concept of personality must be divested of the idea of corporeality.

</B>

Even mystical Islam portrays a personal relationship with God as a master-servant relationship rather than a family relationship. And, there is nothing in the Qur'an to support an evolution of the Father concept either. In fact, it is forbidden, and since it is the last word mankind is supposed to receive from God, I personally see no hope of it ever changing. The religion has more or less locked itself into a rigid interpretation of truth that will be hard to change on any level. At least Christianity, despite its rigidity, has left the door open. The same applies to many other evolutionary religions, but Islam is a special situation for reasons that are, frankly, too difficult to discuss publicly.

As long as the emphasis is on the judgment of God rather than the love of God, the duty of man rather than the love of man, we will be moving backward or standing still in terms of the revelation and Islam. Recall the three cosmic intuitions: causation (math/science); duty (judgment) and worship (ascent from the status of servants of God to the joy and liberty of the sons of God.) Unless all three levels of cosmic reality are realized by any religion, it will not fully satisfy the needs of the soul. No one can be a son of God unless God is a Father and all attempts at the brotherhood of God (the ummah) will be merely social, political and humanistic if it is without a divine Father.

Our biggest challenge is to teach or reveal the fatherhood of God and the sonship of man. Jesus said: ""The people of another age will better understand the gospel of the kingdom when it is presented in terms expressive of the family relationship when man understands religion as the teaching of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, sonship with God."(142:7.4) That age has yet to come, but it is a goal, we all hope and pray for.


If this Age is yet to come then I am in another time which is far beyond the one you speak of; one speaks yet does not listen to oneself; one reads but has not eyes to see the wisdom of those who came before, knowing not the intellect of those who read; religion is but a way to understand the family relationship of God and all His Family, regardless of how one sees and feels the Father within. My Father in heaven has no religion but He does have Family, this He taught me a long, long time ago. He tried to spare me His pain an suffering but, verily I thank Him for the Wisdom that I learned through living it.
Islam, prior to the Mongol invasion in the 1200's was the most progressive Christian type religion known prior to that change it has taken on from what you see it to be today. If it were not for the Islam faith there might not be any Christianity today. You see only what has become from much hardship over the ages and Islam today is not what it once was, for this I am saddened. Much of the intellectual progress made to date in all sciences is do to the origins of Islam. Do not condemn that which you do not know.
My Father works in reason but His mercy comes from His Son(s). If you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all.
If the religions of the past and present are not acceptable, what would you have us due to replace them?

#9 Bonita

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 01:44 PM

If this Age is yet to come then I am in another time which is far beyond the one you speak of; one speaks yet does not listen to oneself; one reads but has not eyes to see the wisdom of those who came before, knowing not the intellect of those who read; religion is but a way to understand the family relationship of God and all His Family, regardless of how one sees and feels the Father within. My Father in heaven has no religion but He does have Family, this He taught me a long, long time ago. He tried to spare me His pain an suffering but, verily I thank Him for the Wisdom that I learned through living it.
Islam, prior to the Mongol invasion in the 1200's was the most progressive Christian type religion known prior to that change it has taken on from what you see it to be today. If it were not for the Islam faith there might not be any Christianity today. You see only what has become from much hardship over the ages and Islam today is not what it once was, for this I am saddened. Much of the intellectual progress made to date in all sciences is do to the origins of Islam. Do not condemn that which you do not know.
My Father works in reason but His mercy comes from His Son(s). If you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all.
If the religions of the past and present are not acceptable, what would you have us due to replace them?


I do in fact know Islam. I know it quite well actually, but I do not practice it. Nor do I practice Christianity or Buddhism, Hinduism or Judaism or any other organized evolutionary religion; and I'm quite familiar with all of them as well.

I practice the religion of personal spiritual experience with God the Father. And I did not say anything bad about Islam; I stated the obvious truth, the same truth stated by many before me and many more will say it after me. There is nothing about the fatherhood of God in the Qur'an. Nor is there anything at all that even hints at the fact that Allah can have a personal loving relationship with an individual person (like the Thought Adjusters). I've read it enough times, looking for such, and I can't find it, nor can anyone else I've read or met so far, for that matter. If you know where this information is, please share it. Many would love to hear about it, and I'm not being sarcastic!

And I did not say that Islam is unacceptable. I said that the organized religion called Islam does not recognize the fatherhood of God or the sonship of man. That's all I said about it. There may be individuals within the religion who recognize this, but it is not a tenet of Islam, and I think it is a problem in regards to accepting the revelation (TUB). How it can be solved I cannot say because I do not know. I'm hoping that each individual religionist will come to the realization of sonship on his/her own, as you apparently have. However, I would not discard the religion because of this issue. We are told to take the best from all of them.

So with that in mind, if you like, I'll say something good about Islam to balance out what you think I said that was bad (which it wasn't). One really excellent feature of Islam, which is similar to Eastern Orthodox Christianity, is the denial of original sin. Islam teaches that although Adam sinned and disobeyed Allah, he repented and was forgiven. People are not born sinners, but are weak and are often forgetful of God's laws. So men and women, according to Islam, have hope that they will gain heaven if they confront their inherent feebleness and submit to God's law. I think that there is plenty of room here to align with TUB, which also denies original sin.

#10 Meredith Van Woert

Meredith Van Woert

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 03:40 PM

An interesting book came out several years ago:

The Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew-- Three Women Search for Understanding by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver and Priscilla Warner (Jun 5, 2007)

This is a well written personal story by three women who are committed to their religious traditions and who willingly and very courageously explore their faith with each other and tell us all about it. I recommend the book. I learned a lot. We have more in common than it seems. God is no respector of persons, no matter one's religious tradition.

All the best,
Meredith




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