Sunday, May 10, 2015

How Are The World Religions Different Archbishop Welby?

Fr. Dale Matson

“It is disingenuous and ultimately dishonest because alongside all that we hold in common and all that we share there are profound differences between what we believe and the outworking of our faith.”

I would challenge Archbishop Welby to be more specific about the differences between say, Christianity and Islam. The bottom-line for the Christian Church in general and Anglicans in particular is her Trinitarian concept of God (three Persons one God, Father Son and Holy Spirit) and her Christology. For example, Christ is God (the Son); He is unique and singular as the sacrifice for Original Sin. His is the only name we are to call upon for our eternal Salvation. He is the Way The Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through Him. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He was both fully God and fully human. He was without sin. He died on the cross for our sake, arose bodily from the grave, ascended to Heaven and sits at the right hand of the God the Father.

Here is what Islam says about Jesus Christ. I have excerpted and shortened versions of the comments but believe I have not distorted the teachings of Islam in doing so.
(a)                    The Trinity is totally rejected. Jesus is neither God, nor Son of God (in the literal sense). Jesus was a human prophet and not divine.
(b)                   The Quran says Jesus did not die on the cross, but God made it appear that way to people. Furthermore, the Quran also says that God ascended Jesus to Heaven.
(c)                    Christians believe in the concept of "Original Sin" which means that human beings are born as sinners, bearing the burden of the "Original Sin" of Adam and Eve. Muslims do not believe in the " Original Sin".
(d)                   Muslims regard the "real" Bible (that reflects God's actual message and the real teachings of Jesus and the prophets before him) as a holy scripture. We believe that the Bible has been corrupted due to many factors and reasons. The current Bible is corrupted, but not completely false. So, we can still find today in the Bible some traces of the truth, such as verses that contradict with the Trinity. That is why Muslims are willing to accept the "current" Bible only to the extent that it does not contradict with the Quran.
(e)                    Modern Christianity was not founded by Jesus, but rather by Paul and the Romans in the Council of Nicea in 325 AD (meaning about 325 years after Jesus), inspired by Satan.

Here is what Anglican Christians believe about Scripture.

Article VI. Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation.
Holy Scripture contains all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the Holy Scripture we do understand those canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.

There is a final irony in the fact that while Islam rejects the Council of Nicea and the Nicene Creed, they accept specific elements of the Creed and/or Christian teaching. They accept that Jesus was a prophet, His virgin birth, the fact that He ascended to Heaven, that there is a heaven and hell. There is a Satan and he is evil. God’s created angels as messengers. There will be an Anti-Christ, and Christ will return to defeat the Anti Christ followed by the judgment. Why do I find this ironic? How many progressive/liberal folks who call themselves Christians even accept what Islam does about the Christian faith?

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16, ESV)


underground pewster said...

When ++Welby uses the euphemism, "profound differences", Christian readers assume he knows those differences, Muslim readers are not terribly offended, and the majority of nominal or uninformed persons are left thinking, "Well they can't be all that bad." ++Welby could have done worse. At least he left in the word "profound".

Dale Matson said...

Saying the differences are "profound", does not say however that Christians are called to evangelism because of this.

Dale Matson said...

“True friendships and relationships can withstand honesty about differences in values, opinions and religious understandings and a common commitment to mutual flourishing in diversity.” ++Welby

There is no Gospel of "Good disagreement" and "Mutual flourishing"