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Friday prayers helped feed Egyptian revolution
Tens of thousands prayed outdoors in Cairo on Friday.
February 11th, 2011
05:03 PM ET

Friday prayers helped feed Egyptian revolution

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

It was fitting that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak chose to step down on a Friday, hours after Egypt’s Muslims had observed afternoon prayers.

For three weeks, Friday afternoon prayers -  the most significant prayers of the week for Muslims - have served as catalysts for the biggest anti-government demonstrations of the Egyptian uprising.

Known as Juma’ah Salat, Friday prayers are Islam’s sole weekly communal prayers. Observant Muslims pray five times a day, but other prayers can be performed individually.

“Friday prayers bring all people of a society together at one time - rich or poor, man or woman, senior citizen or young child,” said Arsalan Iftikhar, an international human rights lawyer and founder of TheMuslimGuy.com.

“Within the Islamic tradition, the weekly Friday congregational prayers can generally be used as a positive unifying force in reminding people of the equality of all humanity as beautiful creations of God,” Iftikhar said.

Beginning in the last week of January, Friday prayers in Egypt took on an expanded role, providing weekly forums blending religion and politics into fuel for the uprising.

With most Egyptians off work on Fridays, they became good days for mass demonstrations whether or not the participants were devout.

“If they had been working, they wouldn’t be able to meet on Fridays, whether or not prayer was involved,” said John Esposito, a professor of international affairs and of Islamic studies at Georgetown University.

But for many Egyptians, religion was a key part of the movement against Mubarak.

“Don’t understimate a general sociological sense of the importance of Islamic symbolism,” in the Arab world, said Akbar Ahmed, an expert in Islam at American University. “We are not talking about the Islamic Brotherhood or Islamists. I’m talking about a general sociological awareness of Islamic symbols.”

That awareness is greatest on Fridays.

“There’s a heightened religious sensibility on Fridays,”Ahmed said. “You are in a mosque, you’ve been praying, the sermon is about justice, you can feel your strength and your moral clarity and someone is giving you directions that you’re going to march for change.”

“It’s a ready-made revolution,” Ahmed said.

A handful of experts on Egypt and Islam said that Mubarak’s decision to step down on a Friday was coincidental to Friday prayers.

But Ahmed said that demands last weekend from Egypt’s top Muslim authority, Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, for immediate government reforms provided a turning point for demonstrations. Muslim clerics across Egypt likely echoed Gomaa’s demands in Friday sermons.

“When the grand mufti entered the fray and said the people’s will must be decided, you had the crossing of the Rubicon in Egypt as far as religion was concerned,” he said.

If Mubarak had a chance of staying in power, Ahmed said, the former president would have had to appease protesters before Friday, when a combination of religion and activism provoked what appeared to be Cairo’s biggest demonstration to date.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Africa • Egypt • Islam • Politics

soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    Az-Zumar sura 39:
    If Allah had willed to choose a son, He could have chosen what He would of that which He hath created. Be He glorified! He is Allah, the One, the Absolute. (4). (http://www.openburhan.net/ob.php?sid=39&vid=4)
    (http://www.islamawakened.com/Quran/39/4/default.htm)
    (http://corpus.quran.com/wordbyword.jsp?chapter=39&verse=4)

    February 15, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  2. AWMessenger

    When attempting to overthrow a government it is good when all can come together under one belief system.

    February 15, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  3. Peter

    Mohammed was a rapist and killer. How do you idiots belive in the crap he was supposed to have written. Angels from Hell spoke to him

    February 14, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • Muneef

      Peter.
      Not sure where you get your information if ever you read,but Prophet Muhammed SAW which happened that tonight was his birthdate where all Muslims are aware of and pray till late at night to dawn...
      Prophit Muhammed was chosen to be one on ten greatest men of earth and became to top all.
      So it seems since you know about hell get your self prepared for it because you just have.offended God insulting his last messanger on earth.

      Az-Zumar sura 39:
      If Allah had willed to choose a son, He could have chosen what He would of that which He hath created. Be He glorified! He is Allah, the One, the Absolute. (4) He hath created the heavens and the earth with truth. He maketh night to succeed day, and He maketh day to succeed night, and He constraineth the sun and the moon to give service, each running on for an appointed term. Is not He the Mighty, the Forgiver? (5) He created you from one being, then from that (being) He made its mate; and He hath provided for you of cattle eight kinds. He created you in the wombs of your mothers, creation after creation, in a threefold gloom. Such is Allah, your Lord. His is the Sovereignty. There is no God save Him. How then are ye turned away? (6).

      February 14, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • Reality

      More about today's Islam as it follows the dictates of the koran and Mohammed:

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,481 and 924 died in non-combat98,691 – 107,707 Iraqi civilians killed as of 11/9/2010, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and
      .defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,116 killed in action, 902 killed in non-combat situations as of 08/10/2010. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15) Followed by the daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings every day in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      February 15, 2011 at 8:20 am |
  4. Muneef

    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    Alif. Lam. Mim. (1) This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off (evil). (2) Who believe in the Unseen, and establish worship, and spend of that We have bestowed upon them; (3) And who believe in that which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad) and that which was revealed before thee, and are certain of the Hereafter. (4) These depend on guidance from their Lord. These are the successful. (5) As for the Disbelievers, Whether thou warn them or thou warn them not it is all one for them; they believe not. (6) Allah hath sealed their hearing and their hearts, and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be an awful doom. (7).

    Al-Isra sura 17:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    And say: My Lord! Cause me to come in with a firm incoming and to go out with a firm outgoing. And give me from Thy presence a sustaining Power. (80) And say: Truth hath come and falsehood hath vanished away. Lo! falsehood is ever bound to vanish. (81) And We reveal of the Qur'an that which is a healing and a mercy for believers though it increase the evil-doers in naught save ruin. (82) And when We make life pleasant unto man, he turneth away and is averse; and when ill toucheth him he is in despair. (83) Say: Each one doth according to his rule of conduct, and thy Lord is best aware of him whose way is right. (84).

    February 14, 2011 at 6:20 am |
  5. Egypt is free

    youtube.com/watch?v=MxxhD__Vrgo

    February 13, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  6. David Johnson

    @Visionary

    Remember when we had all that oil gushing into the Gulf? Remember how there were days designated as official prayer days to stop the spill? Thousands of people prayed that the oil stop immediately!

    "There is no help for this nation apart from God. We must cry out for God to plug the oil well in the Gulf for He’s the only one that can do it! And He’ll only do it when the Church cries out." – Bob Jones Prophetic minister

    The oil did not stop immediately. It only stopped when modern technology was applied. No god needed.

    Let's do this! Let's find a person who is missing a limb. We will get thousands, millions of people to pray that the limb be restored by March1, 2011.

    We will do it right. Plenty of pictures and doc_umentation by medical personnel.

    Then, we will see! Reality Vs. Stupidity! The Thriller in the States!

    Cheers!

    February 13, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Visionary

      @ Davivid Johnson
      Howcan you say hearsay, when I posted tis as the medical "proof" that you demand?

      On November 16th and December 9th, 1999, respective teams of med-ical and theological experts at the Vat-ican concluded their defin-itive investigation of Fr. Pytel's healing.

      The med-i-cal professional representing the Postulators of St. Faustina's cause was Dr. Valentin Fuster, Director of Mt. Sinai's Cardiovascular Inst-i-tute in New York City. He is regarded as the preeminent expert in the world in the field of cardiovascular disease. The medi-cal doctors evaluated the healing as scient-ifically unexplainable, and the theologians verified that it was definitely to be attributed to the intercession of Saint Faustina.

      ??????????????????????

      February 18, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • Visionary

      Sorry I mis spelled your name...DAVID* (correction)

      February 18, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
  7. Muneef

    Ibrahim sura 14:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful 
    And Satan saith, when the matter hath been decided: Lo! Allah promised you a promise of truth; and I promised you, then failed you. And I had no power over you save that I called unto you and ye obeyed me. So blame me not, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can ye help me, Lo! I disbelieved in that which ye before ascribed to me. Lo! for wrong-doers is a painful doom. (22).

    An-Nahl sura 16: 
    And when thou recitest the Qur'an, seek refuge in Allah from Satan the outcast. (98) Lo! he hath no power over those who believe and put trust in their Lord. (99) His power is only over those who make a friend of him, and those who ascribe partners unto Him (Allah). (100).

    Al-Isra sura 17:
    And excite any of them whom thou canst with thy voice, and urge thy horse and foot against them, and be a partner in their wealth and children, and promise them. Satan promiseth them only to deceive. (64) Lo! My (faithful) bondmen – over them thou hast no power, and thy Lord sufficeth as (their) guardian. (65).

    Saba sura 34:
    And Satan indeed found his calculation true concerning them, for they follow him, all save a group of true believers. (20) And he had no warrant whatsoever against them, save that We would know him who believeth in the Hereafter from him who is in doubt thereof; and thy Lord (O Muhammad) taketh note of all things. (21).

    February 13, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  8. David Johnson

    @LiberateUs

    You said: "Don't listen to Reality. He uses the internet to feed his delusions"

    Golly! Maybe people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

    Religion, belief in god, is nothing but a delusion.

    Cheers!

    February 13, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  9. LiberateUs

    Don't listen to Reality. He uses the internet to feed his delusions

    February 13, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
  10. Muneef

    http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/letters/7691.html

    February 13, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  11. Visionary

    Reality, Are you saying that no one expieriences anything considered a "miracle" outside of med=i=cal knowledge today? Here are med==iaclly d=o=c-u-m-ented cases that disagree with you.
    Here are a couple for your to consider:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/features/6521361/Is-Jack-Sullivan-proof-that-miracles-really-can-happen.html

    Although Sullivan’s case took eight years to complete, it was aided by the fact that doctors who treated him were plain baffled by his recovery.

    Referring to his improvement the first time he prayed to Newman, Dr Robert Banco, chief of spi-nal surgery at the New England Baptist Hosp-ital in Boston, wrote: “Because of this persisting and severe stenosis, I have no med-ical explanation for why he was pain-free and for so long a time. The objective data, CT, myelogram, and MRI dem=onstr-ated that his pathology did not at all change, but his symptoms [pain] improved drasti-cally.”

    After the second healing, he told Sullivan that the re-covery to his spine was so complete that the 71 year-old now had the lifting capacity of a 30 year-old. “With the tear in your d-u-ra mat-er, your condition should have been much worse,” he said. “I have no med-ic-al or scientific answer for you. If you want an answer, ask God.”

    Next: http://www.doxa.ws/other/miracles5.html

    Dr. Richard Steiner, of the American Board of Pathology, head of department of Pathology Long Beach Com=munity Hosptial reviwed several of the slides. William Olson, American Board of Internal Medi-c=ine and head of Isatope Department at Long Beach C-om=munity Hospital, and several radiologists form that Hospital also consulted on the rest of the cases.

    1)Ret-ic=ulum cell Sarco-ma, right pe-lvic bo-ne.
    2)Chronic Rheumatoid Arthrit=is with Severe Disabili-ty
    3)Malignat Brain Tumor (Glioma) of the left Temoperal lobe
    4)Mul-tiple Sclorosis
    5)Arterioscloratic Heart Disease
    6)Carci-noma of the Kidney (Hypernephroma)
    7) Mixted Rhumatoid Arthritis with Osteoarthritis
    8)Prob-able Brain Tumor vs Infarction of the Brain
    9)Massive GI Hem-orrhage with GI shock (instantly healed)
    10)Ostioprosis of the Etire Spine

    All of these people were totally healed of inc-u-rrable or terminal states. The one commonality they all have is that they were at some point prayed for by the same person, Kulhman.

    Another: Doctors med-i=cal confirmation

    http://leestoneking.com/My%20Miracle.htm

    Official Med-i-cal Report:

    On November 12, 2003, Brother Stoneking suffered a cardiac arrest due to a massive heart attack. He suffered this ventricular fibrillation arr-est at the airport in Sydney, Australia.

    Ventricular fibrillation (VF) is the most commonly identified arrhythmia in cardiac arrest patients. This arrhythmia is a severe derangement of the heartbeat that usually ends in death within minutes unless corre-ctive measures are promptly taken. Cardiopulmonary res-usc-itation (CPR) was administered by bystanders until paramedics could arrive. I quote a letter I received from Dr. Mark Pitney in Australia (Brother Stoneking’s attending physician while in the hospital overseas): “Even with int-ub-ation (a breathing tube in place), paramedic CPR and repeated cardioversions (shocks to the heart—ten total shocks! ), a stable rhythm (heartbeat) and output (circulation) was not gained for thirty min=utes.”

    Bas=ically, in common everyday vernac-ular, Brother Stoneking was dead for thirty minutes. The first miracle of this was that he lived at all. Sudden cardiac death accounts for approximately 300,000 deaths per year in the United States, of which 75-80% are due to VF. More deaths are attributable to VF than to lung cancer, b-reast cancer, or AIDS. A major adverse outcome from a VF event is ano-xic encepha-lopathy (brain damage due to lack of oxygen), which occurs in 30-80% of patients. Irreversible brain damage usually occ-u-rs within 6 minutes. Again, according to Brother Stoneking’s reports and the doctors I spoke with directly in Australia, no adequate heartbeat or c-irculation was established for thirty minutes.

    When he collapsed, he struck his head on the concrete floor causing large hematomas. As if a heart attack and VF arrest were not enough, this was a terribly complicating set of events. A hematoma is a localized mass of blood confined within a space. So when he fell he developed blood on the brain. The reason this complicates matters so, is that the number one treatment for a patient having a heart attack is the use of powerful blood thinners. Since he had bleeding on the brain he could not undergo any treatment for his heart attack. Also, the fall caused a fracture of his skull.

    He was taken to the cardiac catheterization lab (a special procedure room used to take angiograms or pictures of the arteries of the heart). There they “ini=tially” felt he needed to have open-heart surgery. However, when I spoke with Dr. Pitney he stated to me, “I will send you Mr. Stoneking’s films for you and your colleagues to look at because I can’t explain what happened between the first s=h=ot and the second sh=ot!” What he meant by this was, with the first pictures taken it looked as though Brother Stoneking would need three to four bypa=sses because it looked like he had several severe blockages. However in the very next picture his blockages looked better.

    Because of this miraculous finding, as well as, a sp-ontaneous and what I can only explain as miraculous resolution of his heart attack, it was felt by his neurologist and cardiologist in Sydney that he could be stabilized and sent back to the states for any procedures he might require. Miraculously, and that is the only words I can use because it is a miracle, Brother Stoneking recovered in Sydney without any brain damage.

    Upon getting him back to the states we readmitted him to the hospital and my colleagues and I began our own work-up. The MRI of his brain here miraculously showed “no evidence of bleeding or even prior bleeding.” This is a doc=u=mented miracle, because I have a CT scan report from Australia that shows blood on the brain. We also did a repeat CT scan after the MRI results to better as-sess his skull fracture. I was in the CT room with Bro. Stoneking and the radiologist kept getting more and more pictures and questioned me about whether the doctors in Sydney were correct about the skull fracture because the only fracture he could find on CT here was one that looked “old." This was another miracle!!

    Bro. Stoneking finally underwent s-u-ccessful ba-lloon angioplasty and stent to a 100% blocked right coronary artery. The final miracle of it all was discovered in our Cath Lab here in the states. Brother Stoneking’s heart was functioning at about half of what it should. As a result of this he had some fluid on his lungs in Australia, a common complication following a heart attack of this magn-itude. With any heart attack there is usually some residual da-mage and this can be indefinite and can take up to 6 months for stunned myocardium (heart muscle) to recover, if it recovers at all. When we reas-sessed his heart function here, his heart function was entirely normal!!!

    I can truly say that Brother Stoneking’s recovery and med=ical course is miraculous. He was nicknamed the “miracle patient” at our hosp-ital and people would come by just to see and talk with him. To God be the glory!! God is still in the miracle working business in the 21st century!

    Dr. Jeff Young Jr.

    Update: In March of this year 2007, I had a complete blood li-pid profile run at the hosp-ital in Jackson, Tennessee. The results returned out as one of the best they had seen and I am on no medi-cation of any kind!
    They now can check an individual's DNA. They checked mine to see the marker for heart disease. They found that I am not carrying the APOE geno genetic maker for heart disease! Dr. Young said, "If it was there before God raised you from the dead (and it must have been in order for you to have the attack), when He raised you from the dead – He removed it!

    This is totally impossible – it cannot be done! A miracle totally! Only God could do such a thing!"

    Dr. Jeff Young Jr.

    I suggest you read under the link, a long and doc-u-mented story.

    One last one: MED-I-CALLY DO-C-U-MENTED
    http://www.doxa.ws/other/Miracles4.html

    Father Ron Pytel poses with a portrait of St. Faustina at his parish, Holy Rosary, the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy, in Baltimore, Maryland.

    Miraculous Healing

    "In 1995, a massive calcium build-up in Fr. Pytel's aortic valve due to a congenital heart condition left him with a permanently damaged left ventricle – a condition that is rarely known to heal and if it does, occ=u=rs only after a very long time. His doctor, Dr. Nicholas Fortuin, a world-renowned cardiologist from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, said that he expected Fr. Pytel's heart never to be normal and that the then 48-year-old pastor would likely never be able to return to the full exercise of his parish duties.
    On Oct. 5, 1995, the anniversary of Saint Faustina's death, members of Fr. Pytel's parish and some friends gathered for a day of prayer to seek his healing through St. Faustina's intercession. Upon venerating a rel-i-c of the Saint, the priest collapsed to the floor, unable to move for about 15 minutes, although he remained conscious.During Fr. Pytel's next regular check-up, about a month later, Dr. Fortuin discovered a sudden change in the condition of the priest's heart – it was now normal."

    Professional Med-i=cal Opinion.

    "On November 16th and December 9th, 1999, respective teams of med-ical and theological experts at the Vat-ican concluded their defin-itive investigation of Fr. Pytel's healing.

    The med-i-cal professional representing the Postulators of St. Faustina's cause was Dr. Valentin Fuster, Director of Mt. Sinai's Cardiovascular Inst-i-tute in New York City. He is regarded as the preeminent expert in the world in the field of cardiovascular disease. The medi-cal doctors evaluated the healing as scient-ifically unexplainable, and the theologians verified that it was definitely to be attributed to the intercession of Saint Faustina.

    The solemn promulgation of the decree establishing the fact of the healing as a miracle took place at the Vatican in the presence of Pope John Paul II on Dec. 20, 1999."

    There are a few cases that have been medi-cally co-nfirmed. So, what do you say now?

    February 13, 2011 at 9:26 am |
    • Evolved DNA

      Visionary.. you have not provided proof of anything. sorry.. just hearsay. If you take the billions of humans on the planet, all with slightly different DNA it would be scientifically possible to predict that some of those people with the same disease would be able to heal with out either medication or other interventions., some would die.That is exactly how DNA survives through the ages, and allows another generation to have some protection so the disease becomes less of an issue as time moves on. There are some fantastic books on the subject that can go into it far more detail than is possible here. There is true beauty in the world, that if you stay focused on one book you will miss, and it such a shame. Look especially at the connection between ancient suns, supernovae and the iron in your blood....true beauty..and there is evidence to back it up.. imagine that. You are correct in one aspect though.. there was a sun that allowed us to live us.. but it had a different spelling from the one you read about.

      February 15, 2011 at 12:23 am |
  12. Visionary

    I as-sume they are in most cases, Reality. If one has those serious of an ilness that require braces and so on, and have expierienced something related to the medical conditon, I would think it would be so noted, wouldn't you?
    Even if it were, would you believe it?

    February 12, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Reality

      Visionary,

      We await the reputable references that prove your contention that there are "miracles" outside today's medical know-how. Until then, your "faith" simply whistles in the wind.

      February 12, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Justina

      Reality, God does miracles, but you won't believe even if you see them happening because you have determined already not to believe in order to retain sinful lifestyles in your life. One of the reasons I trust the Bible is because it is incredibly accurate when it describes people like you. You should read the Bible even in order to see how right it is in describing your types, instead of reading only your favorite anti-religious trash.

      February 13, 2011 at 4:42 am |
    • Muneef

      Al-Furqan sura 25:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful 
      And when they see thee (O Muhammad) they treat thee only as a jest (saying): Is this he whom Allah sendeth as a messenger? (41) He would have led us far away from our gods if we had not been staunch to them. They will know, when they behold the doom, who is more astray as to the road. (42) Hast thou seen him who chooseth for his god his own lust? Wouldst thou then be guardian over him? (43) Or deemest thou that most of them hear or understand? They are but as the cattle – nay, but they are farther astray (44)...

      February 13, 2011 at 6:22 am |
    • Muneef

      Al-Anbiya sura 21:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful 
      And Job, when he cried unto his Lord, (saying): Lo! adversity afflicteth me, and Thou art Most Merciful of all who show mercy. (83) Then We heard his prayer and removed that adversity from which he suffered, and We gave him his household (that he had lost) and the like thereof along with them, a mercy from Our store, and a remembrance for the worshippers; (84).

      Sad sura 38:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      And make mention (O Muhammad) of Our bondman Job, when he cried unto his Lord (saying): Lo! the devil doth afflict me with distress and torment. (41) (And it was said unto him): Strike the ground with thy foot. This (spring) is a cool bath and a refreshing drink. (42) And We bestowed on him (again) his household and therewith the like thereof, a mercy from Us, and a memorial for men of understanding. (43) And (it was said unto him): Take in thine hand a branch and smite therewith, and break not thine oath. Lo! We found him steadfast, how excellent a slave! Lo! he was ever turning in repentance (to his Lord). (44).

      February 13, 2011 at 6:36 am |
    • Reality

      Justina,

      Add the following to your reading list and get back to us when you are finished:

      1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"

      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."

      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm

      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria

      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html

      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
      joezias.com/HealthHealingLandIsrael.htm

      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.

      10. 7. The Gnostic Jesus
      (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
      by Douglas Groothuis: equip.org/free/DG040-1.htm

      11. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
      Presented on March 18, 1994
      ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2

      12. The Jesus Database- newer site:
      wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database

      13. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:
      faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb016.html

      14. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm

      15. The Journal of Higher Criticism with links to articles on the Historical Jesus:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm

      16. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/

      17. Diseases in the Bible:
      etd.unisa.ac.za/ETD-db/theses/available/etd-08022006-125807/unrestricted/02dissertation.pdf

      18. Religion on Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,
      theologians, ethics, etc.
      religion-online.org/

      19. The Jesus Seminarians and their search for NT authenticity:
      mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria

      20. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/

      21. Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.
      ntgateway.com/

      22. The Search for the Historic Jesus by the Jesus Seminarians:
      members.aol.com/DrSwiney/seminar.html

      23. Jesus Decoded by Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco (Da Vinci Code review)jesusdecoded.com/introduction.php

      24. JD Crossan's scriptural references for his book the Historical Jesus separated into time periods: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf

      25. JD Crossan's conclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the conclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years:
      faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan2.rtf

      26. Common Sayings from Thomas's Gospel and the Q Gospel: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan3.rtf

      27. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html

      28. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?
      infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html

      29. NT and beyond time line:
      pbs.org/empires/peterandpaul/history/timeline/

      30. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
      harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm

      31. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.

      32. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.

      33. The books of the following : Professors Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.

      34. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.

      35. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus,

      February 13, 2011 at 8:47 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Justina

      You said: "Reality, God does miracles..."

      A tornado races through a trailer park, destroying everything in its path. One man and his trailer are untouched. It is a miracle!

      No it isn't. It's random chance. Rewind everything and send the tornado back through the park. This time the fellow and his trailer will be toast. Someone else may well survive.

      There are survivors of many horrific disasters. There were survivors of the atomic bomb drop on Hiroshima. It is a matter of random chance.

      The bomb went off. Maggie was in the basement getting a jar of pickles. She lives. No miracle, just chance.

      If the bomb went off 15 minutes later, Maggie would have been watering her garden outside...

      I once participated in a class experiment. A sheet of white paper was spread out on the floor.
      A small bucket of plastic balls, coated with blue chalk dust, was dumped onto the paper.
      The chalk dust left little blue "dots" and smears, all over the paper.
      Some of the paper, between the dots, was still perfect, not touched in any way by the chalk dust.

      Another paper was spread out and the experiment repeated. Again, the chalk dust caused dots and smears on the paper. Some of the paper remained clean. But the clean areas were DIFFERENT from the first paper.

      Now imagine that the dropped balls were a natural disaster. Imagine that death and destruction occurred wherever the chalk dust collected.

      Imagine that whatever was in the area, of where the paper was clean, survived untouched.

      You could perform the experiment a billion times. Each time, new areas of the paper would be colored and not colored.

      If there were people and objects populating the paper, each "toss" of the chalk dusted balls, would result in new survivors and new casualties.

      It is random chance and coincidence. No miracles. No god.

      By the way, I got an "A" on this! No miracle. Just a lot of hard work.

      Cheers!

      February 13, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      Justina.. You would not put your life in gods hands if there was another solution. Prayer only works if it does not have to offer a greater chance than coincidence. Would you and say 200 of your favorite believers get into an aircraft you knew was going to be pilot- less during flight, and knew that it was only prayer that was going to give you a chance to land it safely..I know the outcome as you do.. god would not show up for you..or me or anyone.. regardless of our situation.

      February 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  13. Visionary

    GOD CAN HEAL AND CAUSE GROWTH TO NEW LIMBS
    http://www.christian-faith.com/html/page/new_ligament_created
    Quote:

    A young lady waiting to lock up the church walked over and asked me how it was going. I answered softly "I have a new ligament," and then the fluttering began all over again.

    http://www.smithwigglesworth.com/life/australianz1922.htm
    I was born with a weak, crooked ankle. I was anointed at the Olympia and it was immediately straightened and made strong. I had to wear a specially formed boot and straps, these are no use to me now. I have bought ordinary boots. Medical men have attended me and could do nothing.
    Lily Ward.

    A lady from Ngaio, aged 20, has suffered from double curvature of the spine from infancy. She could not walk until 4 years of age and could only rise from the floor by pulling herself up with both hands. One leg was 3 inches shorter and less in cir-c-u-mference. She went to many hospitals and was sent home incurable. She states, “As soon as hands were laid upon me I was healed, my spine was straightened, in a few days my leg lengthened, and my hip, which was diseased, was healed.”

    Faith as big as a mustard seed....

    Ability to heal from within
    Even Gods other creatures Scientific Healing
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/31713730/The-Scientific-Basis-of-Energy-Healing-Carol-L-Bowman-MD

    Dr. Robert O. Becker, an
    orthopedic surgeon in NY. Becker’s original work dealt with a phenomenon known as
    the “current of injury”. He accelerated healing of bone fractures by externally applied
    electromagnetic fields. Becker first discovered an electrical potential that can be
    measured across the stump of an amputated limb. He found in test animals that changes
    in the electrical potential were found on subsequent days of wound healing and repair.
    Since frogs and salamanders are an evolutionary stage apart, salamanders can re-grow
    whole new limbs from amputated stumps, whereas frogs cannot. He found that frogs

    showed a positive electrical potential across the stump that drifted to zero as the stump
    healed. Salamanders, after an initial positive potential, showed a reverse in polarity to
    negative potential, which drifted to zero as they re-grew a new limb. When Becker
    artificially delivered a negative potential across a frog’s healing stump, the frog grew an
    entirely new limb! (Becker, 1962, 1977)9

    I am writing this approximately one month after the event. My ankle is completely whole, and I am in the process of rebuilding muscle tissue daily. I am still amazed at the faithfulness of God. "He who started a good work in you shall be faithful to complete it." (Phil. 1:6) My lower back still sometimes goes out of place causing problems with my knees, but what is that to a God who can regenerate a severed and dead ligament? I wait with anticipation for Him to complete the work of restoration.

    February 12, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Reality

      And these "miracles" are docu-mented with before and after photos, medical tests before and after and publications in reputable medical journals?????

      February 12, 2011 at 11:06 am |
  14. aBitterTruth

    "Removal of AMERICAN SUPPORTED DICTATOR and ISRAELI SYMPATHIZER Mubarak was a great revolution but Egyptian beware, transfer of power to Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is THE CONSPIRACY BY AMERICAN and ISRAELI TO MAINTAIN THEIR INFLUENCE IN EGYPT. America has bribed military for 30 years and they are bribing now as well. Make sure power is transferred to civilian other wise whole purpose of this great revolution will fail. Believe me American and Israelis are very smart and they know how to safeguard their interest By hook or by crook.”

    February 12, 2011 at 4:49 am |
    • Muneef

      Al-E-Imran sura 03:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful 
      O ye who believe! Take not for intimates others than your own folk, who would spare no pains to ruin you; they love to hamper you. Hatred is revealed by (the utterance of) their mouths, but that which their breasts hide is greater. We have made plain for you the revelations if ye will understand. (118) Lo! ye are those who love them though they love you not, and ye believe in all the Scripture. When they fall in with you they say: We believe; but when they go apart they bite their finger-tips at you, for rage. Say: Perish in your rage! Lo! Allah is Aware of what is hidden in (your) breasts. (119) If a lucky chance befall you, it is evil unto them, and if disaster strike you they rejoice thereat. But if ye persevere and keep from evil their guile will never harm you. Lo! Allah is Surrounding what they do. (120).

      February 12, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  15. Reality

    Actually, The Five Steps for Deprogramming/Curing 1400 Years of Islamic Myths brought sanity to the situation and in just two minutes for Egyptian Muslims to read:

    Are you ready?

    Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

    "1. Belief in Allah"

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

    "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

    "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

    "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

    "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

    Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave attended to by his wives before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

    Absorb these five steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

    February 11, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
    • LiberateUs

      Your embarrassing yourself

      February 13, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • Reality

      And to put a final nail into Christianity:

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      "Heaven is a Spirit state" as per JPII and Aquinas i.e. there can be no bodies. i.e. there was and never will be any physical resurrection/ascension of human bodies."

      And is it not ironical that JPII along with Aquinas are the ones who put finality to the words "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is useless."

      February 13, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  16. Clay Franklin

    Those Muslims sure know how to cut and paste. Where is the part about stoning your women. Thats my favorite.

    February 11, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • Muneef

      Clay Franklin.
      Well since you enjoy that and being very long to copy and paste here,better go to it in Sura 04: Al Nisa ( The Women ) All about that at ; http://www.quranexplorer.com/quran/

      February 13, 2011 at 6:57 am |
    • Samer

      Here you go! Woops, thats the Bible!

      "If any man takes a wife, and goes in on her, and detests her, and charges her with shameful conduct, and brings a bad name on her, and says, 'I took this woman, and when I came to her I found she was not a virgin..." (Deuteronomy 22:13,14)

      "But if ... evidences of virginity are not found for the young woman, then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones..." (Deuteronomy 22:20,21)

      February 14, 2011 at 8:31 am |
    • mohamad

      well actually, there is no where in the Quran that states anything about stoning
      I do believe there is something in the bible about that though

      February 14, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
  17. PrayerMan

    I may be wrong, but I heard that, was it the Coptic Christians of Egypt, with whom Muhammad signed a pact that Muslims would protect the Christians in their state against any danger, and they didn't have to join the military, and would get all their rights. I've heard that an ancient Christian church has the original pact stored in it. Could post details when I find my source. That interfaith peace was visible when Muslim prayed at Tahrir Sq., Christians stood gurad to protect them. Moving, IMHO. As a Muslim I pray for those Christians.

    February 11, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • fsmgroupie

      do you think your god will restore my amputated leg if I pray to him 24/7 for the next ten years?

      February 11, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @fsmgroupie

      You asked: "do you think your god will restore my amputated leg if I pray to him 24/7 for the next ten years?"

      No, and you can't offer bread to god either.

      People with blemishes creep god out.

      Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever [he be] of thy seed in their generations that hath [any] blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. – Leviticus 21:17

      Evidently this is the reason god never gives an amputee their limb back. God is just too disgusted at physical imperfection.

      Does this make god shallow?

      Hmm... If a human expressed this revulsion of the handicapped, we would think them horrible.

      Or maybe this is just another made up story from the book.

      Cheers!

      February 12, 2011 at 7:50 am |
    • Justina

      Fsm-, what you need is salvation of your soul by having faith in Jesus, not restored leg. Be just thankful for being alive. And you need to sleep for 7 hours a day. David, the fact is none of us is worthy to approach God, for one reason or another, but God graciously accepts us sinners in His Son Jesus. It's your inner person that is full of blemish.

      February 13, 2011 at 4:28 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Justina

      You said: "Fsm-, what you need is salvation of your soul by having faith in Jesus, not restored leg. Be just thankful for being alive. And you need to sleep for 7 hours a day. "

      No, Fsm needs a limb. You offer him pie in the sky.

      Jesus said:
      John 14:14 – If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

      Mathew 17:20 – He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

      Fsm, is certainly ent_itled to expect that his limb be restored. Is Jesus a liar?

      You know that an amputee has never had a limb restored. So, you tell Fsm that he doesn't need the limb, but instead needs faith in Jesus. Shame on him for asking!

      If Fsm is praying 24/7, that his limb be restored, isn't that faith? Idiot believers, pray that a spot come out of their favorite dress. That they get that promotion. That little Becky isn't in a family way.

      Believers, are not satisfied with just being alive. They pray in hopes of making their lives better.

      Fsm is wrong to pray for his leg?

      Your comment to Fsm was stupid.

      You said: "David, the fact is none of us is worthy to approach God, for one reason or another, but God graciously accepts us sinners in His Son Jesus. It's your inner person that is full of blemish."

      Let's look at the verse:
      Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever [he be] of thy seed in their generations that hath [any] blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. – Leviticus 21:17

      So, your statement: "none of us is worthy to approach God" is not a fact. People without blemish could offer bread. This verse was directed toward those that had an outer blemish.

      Why did/does god hate the handicapped? Is god good?

      Cheers!

      February 13, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  18. McJesus

    Here we go... giving the magic man in the sky credit where none is due.

    February 11, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
    • Justina

      Mc-, your imagination.

      February 13, 2011 at 4:20 am |
    • Evolved DNA

      Justina.. you understand the irony of your comment do you.

      February 14, 2011 at 10:44 am |
  19. Only Way

    Joh 3:16-18 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    February 11, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Only Way

      Prayer Man got you dude. There is no proof Jesus even existed, outside of the Gospels. Paul is more responsible for the Christian religion than Jesus.

      Cheers!

      February 12, 2011 at 7:35 am |
    • Muneef

      Maryam sura 19:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      And make mention of Mary in the Scripture, when she had withdrawn from her people to a chamber looking East, (16) And had chosen seclusion from them. Then We sent unto her Our Spirit and it assumed for her the likeness of a perfect man. (17) She said: Lo! I seek refuge in the Beneficent One from thee, if thou art God-fearing. (18) He said: I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may bestow on thee a faultless son. (19) She said: How can I have a son when no mortal hath touched me, neither have I been unchaste? (20) He said: So (it will be). Thy Lord saith: It is easy for Me. And (it will be) that We may make of him a Revelation for mankind and a mercy from Us, and it is a thing ordained. (21) And she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a far place. (22) And the pangs of childbirth drove her unto the trunk of the palm-tree. She said: Oh, would that I had died ere this and had become a thing of naught, forgotten! (23) Then (one) cried unto her from below her, saying: Grieve not! Thy Lord hath placed a rivulet beneath thee, (24) And shake the trunk of the palm-tree toward thee, thou wilt cause ripe dates to fall upon thee. (25) So eat and drink and be consoled. And if thou meetest any mortal, say: Lo! I have vowed a fast unto the Beneficent, and may not speak this day to any mortal. (26) Then she brought him to her own folk, carrying him. They said: O Mary! Thou hast come with an amazing thing. (27) O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a wicked man nor was thy mother a harlot. (28) Then she pointed to him. They said: How can we talk to one who is in the cradle, a young boy? (29) He spake: Lo! I am the slave of Allah. He hath given me the Scripture and hath appointed me a Prophet, (30) And hath made me blessed wheresoever I may be, and hath enjoined upon me prayer and almsgiving so long as I remain alive, (31) And (hath made me) dutiful toward her who bore me, and hath not made me arrogant, unblest. (32) Peace on me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive! (33) Such was Jesus, son of Mary: (this is) a statement of the truth concerning which they doubt. (34) It befitteth not (the Majesty of) Allah that He should take unto Himself a son. Glory be to Him! When He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is. (35) And lo! Allah is my Lord and your Lord. So serve Him. That is the right path. (36) The sects among them differ: but woe unto the disbelievers from the meeting of an awful Day. (37) How well they hear and see and hear them on the Day they come unto Us! yet the evil-doers are to-day in error manifest. (38) And warn them of the Day of anguish when the case hath been decided. Now they are in a state of carelessness, and they believe not. (39) Lo! We, inherit the earth and all who are thereon, and unto Us they are returned. (40).

      February 13, 2011 at 7:03 am |
    • radlutheran

      I would just like to say as a fellow Christian to "only-way" that first and for most this is not the appropriate atmosphere for attempts to convert anybody. Secondly we as christians should never feel that we need to prove our faith with our own words or quotes from the bible, those are objective to opinion. I'm not saying that scripture is not true, but it is perfectly reasonable and understandable to see them as nothing more than writings full of a christ-centered mythology, from another's point of view. I believe the best way to share the faith is by living out what you have experienced through Jesus Christ, mainly love, mercy and grace, and through that others will be able to experience God. In a quote attributed to Jesus he says, "I have come that they might have life, and that they might live it abundantly." That is our mission as Christians to support people in living life, living to be all that they can be, to live fully and love wastefully. With that in mind, it is my belief that people experience Christ everyday without even recognizing it, Paul writes "Christ is all and Christ is in all." Scripture also say that "God is Love", and it is our belief, as Christians, that the very essence of God is Love, and Life. So where ever love is, there also is God, and where ever God is there is Christ. It is my belief that Christ is in the lives of all people who love others with a true unconditional love, and live their life to be what they are called to be. So whether you are christian, muslim, buddhist, jewish, or atheist you are encountering Christ, because first and foremost God is not a Christian or a muslim or a buddhist, those are all human ideas on how to experience this great mystery of life and love that we call "God", and for me the best way to experience that is through the Christian tradition, through Jesus Christ.

      February 13, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • crazyvermont

      Even as a believer, I never understand why people use these forums to try and convert people as quotes and verbal sparring changes few if any minds. @Dave Johnson........I'm truly sorry for your amputation and we could discuss reasons visible miracles are rarely seen today; however, new testament is filled with accounts of Jesus healing the hideously sick of the day(leprosy) so don't feel God turns the scarred of life away. I will not argue faith but will say I'm a believer today because of a miracle in my life.

      February 13, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      Onlyway.. see i have problem with that.. surely god could have as many kids as he wanted after all he apparently impregnated a teen aged wife of another man, which is a common thing in religious mythology. Could he not have just created another being and sent him to earth, rather than put Joseph in turmoil as to what happened..I mean, if Mary was still a virgin do you think that Joe would have had bit of an issue with that?

      February 14, 2011 at 10:40 am |
  20. Only Way

    Joh 14:6-9 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him." Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?

    February 11, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
    • PrayerMan

      He was the only way then, but after Muhammad came, HE was the way, but Christians stayed one step behind, just like the Jews stayed one step behind the Christians in not accepting Jesus. Jesus himself had predicted Muhammad's coming, and the Bible called him the prince of Peace, who would speak in God's name (Jesus' bible was written by guys after him); if others ignored his message, God would require them to accept it. If Jesus was the only way, how come only 12 guys saw the way, even among which one gave him to his enemies. The Christian story of Jesus is flawed, and doesn't give him due homage.

      February 11, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
    • Muneef

      An-Nisa sura 04:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful 
      Allah loveth not the utterance of harsh speech save by one who hath been wronged. Allah is ever Hearer, Knower. (148) If ye do good openly or keep it secret, or forgive evil, lo! Allah is ever Forgiving, Powerful. (149) Lo! those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers, and seek to make distinction between Allah and His messengers, and say: We believe in some and disbelieve in others, and seek to choose a way in between; (150) Such are disbelievers in truth; and for disbelievers We prepare a shameful doom. (151) But those who believe in Allah and His messengers and make no distinction between any of them, unto them Allah will give their wages; and Allah was ever Forgiving, Merciful. (152).

      February 12, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.