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Sikhism 101

Anacharsis
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4/15/2010 5:28:18 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
My friend, InsertNameHere, has been persistent in asking me to provide some introduction to Sikhism for DDO denizens that may be interested. I do consider myself a poor representative to do so, having neither scholarship, knowledge, understanding or spiritual practice developed to near the level I think necessary. However, being the only Sikh active on DDO at this time, with the grace of Waheguru ji I will endeavor to provide something of service to all without interjection of my own interpretations. I expect the usual posts from the atheists and skeptics among us to the effect that this makes no sense, etc. You may as well save it. It will have no effect. This should benefit others of all faiths and traditions, however, who have sincere interest in the varieties of approach to spiritual development.

I have no interest to convert anyone. Merely to provide something that may of interest and benefit to some, with love and respect to all.

DHARMA
As an approach to spiritual development, then, Sikhism is considered by many to not be a religion at all, but rather a dharma or path to righteousness (http://www.sikhiwiki.org...). While we have many beliefs and dogma, these are viewed as much less important than the spiritual practices. These are designed as practical methods to lead one toward spiritual attainment. The most important of these is meditation upon God's name (http://www.sikhiwiki.org...). While we consider that God has countless names, the recommended practice is to lovingly repeat God's name as "Waheguru". This focus and repetition should be constant, in every moment, in everything that one does, while waking and asleep, out loud and silently.

The second key practice we might summarize as "right living". The concept of kirat karo includes earning one's livelihood through honest effort and following the lifestyle of a householder, being responsible to family and community.

The third "pillar", called Wand kay Shako, enjoins us to give to those in need, to share of what we have, time, money, food with everyone and to support community projects such as the building and maintenance of gurdwaras (temples).

CONCEPT OF GOD
Sikh's believe that all things are a part of God. God is not off somewhere far away watching us or even from nearby; God is fully pervading and completely surrounding us. There is nothing which is not a part of God: sounds, ideas, physical objects, energy, our very consciousness, all of these in all of their manifest and unmanifest forms. All that lies outside the realm of the creation is also God. While scientific investigations continue to advance human knowledge of the origins of our universe, we have no expectation of ever knowing what is beyond our universe. Even if we could, our vision and understanding could still not reach to the infinity of God's extent. Given this reality, we cannot really say what God is, how he operates or what his purposes may be in creating the creation.

THE GURUS
Gu - darkness, ru - light. Thus, as in the Hindu tradition, the guru is the one who leads us from darkness into enlightenment. However, Sikhism refers to something much more specific when we speak of the guru. The ultimate guru is God, himself, who is our best teacher. Thus, he is "Waheguru", with whom we have a very personal relationship. We also venerate 10 human gurus who we believe received the spiritual capacity to transmit the teachings of Waheguru to us. These begin with the founder of Sikhism, Satguru Nanak Dev Ji and proceed on through Guru Angad, Guru Amardas, Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan, Guru Har Gobind, Guru Har Rai, Guru Har Krishan, Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh. More can be found on each of these here http://www.sikhismguide.org.... Many are the stories about the divine acts performed by each of them

Before departing the earth, the 10th Guru, Gobind Singh Ji, conferred the guruship upon Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Abbreviated SGGS, compilation of Siri Guru Granth Sahib was undertaken by Guru Arjun Dev and consists of all of the writings that he saw as fitting with a proper understanding of righteousness and for the instruction of humanity in aligning ourselves with Waheguru. It comprises writings of not only the Sikh saints, but also from those Hindu and Muslim holy persons who had succeeded in capturing the essence of teachings embodied within Sikhism. To this volume Guru Gobind Singh added the poems of his own father and placed SGGS in its final form. By conferring the mantle of guru upon SGGS, Guru Gobind Singh Ji asserted that there should be no more human beings venerated as guru; that SGGS contains all of the wisdom necessary for humankind to find merger in Waheguru ji. After creating the Sikh baptism ceremony (amrit), Guru Gobind Singh also told us that whenever 5 khalsa ("pure", having received amrit) Sikhs are together, that in combination they embody the wisdom of the guru. The Siri Guru Granth Sahib is venerated as a living guru and is accorded great honor. Guru Arjun Dev, himself, placed the Adi Granth (earlier version) up on his bed and slept on the floor to demonstrate the reverence one should have toward it.

If you should be interested in reading Siri Guru Granth Sahib, you will find much that should be taken as poetic metaphor. Beyond that I leave the interpretation of its wisdom to those who are more learned and to each individual to find the meaning within themselves. One translation for your exploration may be found here: http://fateh.sikhnet.com...

DEATH, REINCARNATION, AFTERLIFE

The gurus teach that we have lived through many cycles of birth and death (samsara) and that we must now use the opportunity afforded by this human incarnation to burn off past karma through meditation on the Nam (name of God) and through good actions. While these are necessary in order to draw closer to God, they are not sufficient. We cannot achieve salvation on our own, requiring the grace of Waheguru. Through Guru's grace, one who has achieved righteousness and throws themselves upon God's mercy may be granted release from samsara. In escaping the cycle of birth and death, the soul merges back into its source. There is no heaven or hell. Where scripture speaks of hell, it should be taken as the miserable and hellish state that we attain when we have forgotten the pursuit of our goal and fall into every kind of vice and worldly attachment.

OTHER BELIEFS AND PRACTICES
- Equality of all persons, all races, men and women. None are regarded as higher or lower, regardless of wealth, position or birth.
- The 5 K's (http://www.sikhismguide.org...)
- All paths lead to God (even atheism). All religions are good. Some are good for some people and others work better for other people
- All religions worship the same God. The God of Abraham, Mohammed and Jesus is the same as the God worshiped by Sikhs. We simply are seeing different aspects of it and approach it from a differing understanding. Even in Hinduism, the multitude of deities are recognized as personifications of one divinity. We believe that this to is identical with Waheguru Ji.
- Illusion of the world (maya) - Although the world posseses a reality imparted by God, it is so transitory that we consider it less real than the ultimate reality of existence in God.
- Non-attachment to worldly things
- The practice of seva (sewa) - selfless service to others with no expectation of reward
- Complete and total devotion (bhakti) and the attainment of purity

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
http://www.sikhismguide.org...

Questions?
I-am-a-panda
Posts: 15,380
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4/16/2010 12:17:16 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Isn't there a clause in Sikhism that you want your own country in around Pakistan\ n?
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
I-am-a-panda
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4/16/2010 12:17:28 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/16/2010 12:17:16 PM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
Isn't there a clause in Sikhism that you want your own country in around Pakistan\ India?
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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4/16/2010 12:29:06 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
They had one http://en.wikipedia.org...

They probably desired such a state due to persecution at the hands of Muslims.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
Mirza
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4/16/2010 12:58:38 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/16/2010 12:29:06 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
They had one http://en.wikipedia.org...

They probably desired such a state due to persecution at the hands of Muslims.
Is that why Muslims are not the majority in India now?
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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4/16/2010 1:16:55 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/16/2010 1:01:34 PM, Mirza wrote:
Sikhism is similar to Islam in many ways. It teaches about one God, and is clearly monotheistic.

It's not really monotheistic though. It's actually a form of Panentheism (not to be confused with Pantheism).

Also, it seems more like Sufi Islam than orthodox.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Mirza
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4/16/2010 1:20:33 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/16/2010 1:16:55 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
It's not really monotheistic though. It's actually a form of Panentheism (not to be confused with Pantheism).

Also, it seems more like Sufi Islam than orthodox.
Sikhism is ultimately monotheistic. There is no doubt about that.

There's no such thing as 'Sufi' Islam. There is 'Sufi. Acts of innovations that go against the Qur'an are not Islamic, nor will they ever be.
I-am-a-panda
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4/16/2010 1:52:39 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/16/2010 1:01:34 PM, Mirza wrote:
Sikhism is similar to Islam, Judaism, Christianity, and about any religion worth it's salt in many ways. It teaches about one God, and is clearly monotheistic.

Fix'd
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
Mirza
Posts: 16,992
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4/16/2010 2:00:28 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/16/2010 1:52:39 PM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
Fix'd
Jannah asked the creator of this thread to explain Sikhism, and because she and I are both Muslims, I am just pointing out that it is similar to Islam.

It's better to fix the spelling error you made.
Zetsubou
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4/16/2010 4:42:20 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/16/2010 12:58:38 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 4/16/2010 12:29:06 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
They had one http://en.wikipedia.org...

They probably desired such a state due to persecution at the hands of Muslims.
Is that why Muslims are not the majority in India now?

Just because you persecuted them doesn't mean you where successful.
'sup DDO -- july 2013
Mirza
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4/16/2010 5:00:36 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/16/2010 4:42:20 PM, Zetsubou wrote:
Just because you persecuted them doesn't mean you where successful.
Muslims persecuted Sikhs, and Sikhs never persecuted Muslims?

You're always defending Christianity and telling how it was not spread more violently than Islam. If any religion was spread peacefully, it was Islam. If any war was led by Muslims, it was a defensive one. Unless you're narrow-minded, you can absolutely not deny the fact that Islam, or any other religion, has been spread even half as violently as Christianity. Christians slaughtered people across Europe, Africa, Middle East, South America, North America, enslaved Africans etc. They wanted to exeggarate the Jews, but they were not successful thanks to Muslims.

Read the book called "The Spread of Islam in the World: A History of Peaceful Preaching" authored by professor Thomas Arnold and tell me how Islam was spread. I can buy it for you, which is better than to keep hearing the same thing about Muslims having done this and that against non-Muslims, especially since it comes from one who defends the spread of Christianity, which was a violent one.
Zetsubou
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4/16/2010 5:06:11 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/16/2010 5:00:36 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 4/16/2010 4:42:20 PM, Zetsubou wrote:
Just because you persecuted them doesn't mean you where successful.
Muslims persecuted Sikhs, and Sikhs never persecuted Muslims?
Srsly? Muslims owned them every time, even with their pathetic attempt at rebelling. [http://en.wikipedia.org...]

You're always defending Christianity and telling how it was not spread more violently than Islam. If any religion was spread peacefully, it was Islam. If any war was led by Muslims, it was a defensive one. Unless you're narrow-minded, you can absolutely not deny the fact that Islam, or any other religion, has been spread even half as violently as Christianity. Christians slaughtered people across Europe, Africa, Middle East, South America, North America, enslaved Africans etc. They wanted to exeggarate the Jews, but they were not successful thanks to Muslims.

Read the book called "The Spread of Islam in the World: A History of Peaceful Preaching" authored by professor Thomas Arnold and tell me how Islam was spread. I can buy it for you, which is better than to keep hearing the same thing about Muslims having done this and that against non-Muslims, especially since it comes from one who defends the spread of Christianity, which was a violent one.

This would be the 3rd time we've done this. Tomorrow I'm making a thread on the subject, you can eat your heart out three times over.
'sup DDO -- july 2013
Mirza
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4/16/2010 5:12:35 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/16/2010 5:06:11 PM, Zetsubou wrote:
Srsly? Muslims owned them every time, even with their pathetic attempt at rebelling. [http://en.wikipedia.org...]
Yes, seriously.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

This would be the 3rd time we've done this. Tomorrow I'm making a thread on the subject, you can eat your heart out three times over.
You're the one who will eat your heart for the third time. You cannot come with one single evidence that points towards a Muslim-led war being aggressive, nor that Muslims forced anybody to convert. When they were in power in India, why in the world did they not force the non-Muslims to convert? Did they not have power? Yes they did. You can make tons of threads if you want. I can make one about the spread of Christianity, but unfortunately 8,000 character limits is not enough for that, and people do not tend to read so much.
Zetsubou
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4/16/2010 5:19:44 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/16/2010 5:12:35 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 4/16/2010 5:06:11 PM, Zetsubou wrote:
Srsly? Muslims owned them every time, even with their pathetic attempt at rebelling. [http://en.wikipedia.org...]
Yes, seriously.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
Doesn't compare+ that was by Hindu's.

This would be the 3rd time we've done this. Tomorrow I'm making a thread on the subject, you can eat your heart out three times over.
You're the one who will eat your heart for the third time. You cannot come with one single evidence that points towards a Muslim-led war being aggressive, nor that Muslims forced anybody to convert. When they were in power in India, why in the world did they not force the non-Muslims to convert? Did they not have power? Yes they did. You can make tons of threads if you want. I can make one about the spread of Christianity, but unfortunately 8,000 character limits is not enough for that, and people do not tend to read so much.

I'm going to debate this with you officially, see what the Liberalist Jury decides.
'sup DDO -- july 2013
Mirza
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4/16/2010 5:28:59 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/16/2010 5:19:44 PM, Zetsubou wrote:
Doesn't compare+ that was by Hindu's.
Look after the word 'Sikh'.

Moreover, Sikhs were never large in numbers. Had they been large in numbers a few hundred years ago, you would see something different.

I'm going to debate this with you officially, see what the Liberalist Jury decides.
Good luck.

Before that, since you lack knowledge in this subject, read a few pages of the book I mentioned to paint a real picture of how Islam was spread. You mention wars, Islam spreading to Africa etc., but you give no reason for it. You mention not reason for why it did so. Lack of sources, lack of proper arguments.
Zetsubou
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4/16/2010 9:48:24 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/16/2010 5:28:59 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 4/16/2010 5:19:44 PM, Zetsubou wrote:
Doesn't compare+ that was by Hindu's.
Look after the word 'Sikh'.

Moreover, Sikhs were never large in numbers. Had they been large in numbers a few hundred years ago, you would see something different.
But they weren't and never will be.

I'm going to debate this with you officially, see what the Liberalist Jury decides.
Good luck.

Before that, since you lack knowledge in this subject, read a few pages of the book I mentioned to paint a real picture of how Islam was spread. You mention wars, Islam spreading to Africa etc., but you give no reason for it. You mention not reason for why it did so. Lack of sources, lack of proper arguments.

Do I really? Remember our little get to know each other talk? READ.
'sup DDO -- july 2013
Mirza
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4/17/2010 5:49:09 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/16/2010 9:48:24 PM, Zetsubou wrote:
But they weren't and never will be.
That does not matter. The point is that naturally, if a group has one million people, and another group has 100, even though the latter may be way more violent and keep oppressing, the fact that the former are greater in number means that they will also make more cases of violence, be it defensive or not.

Do I really? Remember our little get to know each other talk? READ.
Yes. I was looking for something you could read instead of point-to-point answering it, which would basically look like a great text of wall.

For example, you mentioned "Wars against the Byzantine empire et Conquest of Byzantine Syria", but you gave absolutely no reason for this, nor what it really was about. You do not have to be the bad guy to conquer anything.

Furthermore, the WWII thing is absurd enough to even be mentioned. While some Muslim groups may have been involved, it is nonsense to compare it to what Hitler did, who was a Christian.
mattrodstrom
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4/17/2010 7:15:09 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/17/2010 5:49:09 AM, Mirza wrote:
Hitler, who was a Christian.

your double standards are great mirza!

hitler the murdering bastard is a christian (when the bible says don't murder)

but people aren't true muslims (not really muslims at all) if they go just a little bit against the quran.

plus Hitler (if he was a christian) didn't kill jews in the name of christianity... He did it in the name of his master race.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
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4/17/2010 7:17:38 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/17/2010 7:15:09 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 4/17/2010 5:49:09 AM, Mirza wrote:
Hitler, who was a Christian.

your double standards are great mirza!

hitler the murdering bastard is a christian (when the bible says don't murder)

but people aren't true muslims (not really muslims at all) if they go just a little bit against the quran.

plus Hitler (if he was a christian) didn't kill jews in the name of christianity... He did it in the name of his master race.

plus I really doubt he was much of a christian at all... he certainly didn't really use it in his politics.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
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4/17/2010 7:31:55 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
hitler was part of a german political/philosophical, kind of, romantic naturalist, movement.

They wanted a move back to simplicity... get away from the clever ideas of the jews.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

This guy pretty much represents the prevailing thought from what I've heard... and he's not christian... if anything his philosophy's a lot more like nietzsche's, though with implicit jew bashing...

I'd say Hitler was prolly more of an atheist than a christian.
But then I'm not too knowledgable on the subject maybe you have some good evidence???
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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4/17/2010 7:49:08 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
http://www.stephenjaygould.org...

ok, he definitely claimed to be christian... but he says jesus led a war on jews... which is not true according to the bible...

and i didn't see any of jesus' 'teachings' according to the bible in his speaches.. just "Hey, I'm a christian so... lets kill some jews!"

and also he does keep referring to natural law... and the like... to justify his actions.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Mirza
Posts: 16,992
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4/17/2010 7:49:30 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/17/2010 7:15:09 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
your double standards are great mirza!
If there is one thing that is really worthless, then it is when people judge you and your comment without reading properly.

What I said was a response to Zetsubou who wrote through PM about Muslims' involvement in WWII, and then I say that it is not a tiny bit compared to what Hitler, who is not a Muslim but Christian did. I have never said it had anything to do with the teachings of the Bible, but that what a Christian did in WWII was more than what all Muslims combined did during that war. Read properly before you you talk about my double-standards.

hitler the murdering bastard is a christian (when the bible says don't murder)
If people who murdered in WWII were Muslims according to Zetsubou, then I say that Hitler was as much a Christian as they were Muslims.

but people aren't true muslims (not really muslims at all) if they go just a little bit against the quran.
When have I said that? I never said that. You can be a Muslim and commit sins, except those that are making you a disbeliever, such as shirk (associating partners with Allah), denying that Jesus (peace be upon him) existed etc., even though the Qur'an mentions him, and so forth. Those who blaspheme and lie about the Qur'an and the beloved Prophet, they are not Muslims. I am not saying that a murderer cannot be a Muslim. He is committing something terrible that is making him one of the worst kind of people, but if he uses the Qur'an and lies about it, which means that the image of Islam and Muslims will be enormously damaged, then I doubt he has any Faith in him.

plus Hitler (if he was a christian) didn't kill jews in the name of christianity... He did it in the name of his master race.
This is, again, not my point. I have not said why Hitler did it. And let us say that it is true that he did it for his race. If he did the exact same thing through the war, but just mentioned that it is in the name of Christianity, does it mean that we should judge Christianity based on his behavior? No, not at all. Similarly, you cannot judge Islam based on what Muslims do. Muslims today adulterate, fornicate, consume intoxicants, display their bodies, and so forth, and they have become very arrogant and greedy, many of them.

So just because someone does an evil act in the name of whatever there is, does not mean that the thing he did it for justifies that act. I have explained the stance of such crimes in Islam. It is a religion that condemns them.
mattrodstrom
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4/17/2010 7:54:51 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
plus I've heard Obama say "God" but that doesn't mean I think he's really a believer.

That would mean he really thought Rev. Wright was a smart and good guy, with a good perspective on things... when he's clearly a basket case.

It would seem Obama was in his church b/c it was politically expedient.

Much as it would seem his religion is.

Might be similar with hitler??
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
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4/17/2010 7:56:38 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
When have I said that? I never said that. You can be a Muslim and commit sins, except those that are making you a disbeliever,

hitler didn't just commit sins he said they're ok... that Jesus approves.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Mirza
Posts: 16,992
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4/17/2010 7:57:35 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/17/2010 7:54:51 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
plus I've heard Obama say "God" but that doesn't mean I think he's really a believer.

That would mean he really thought Rev. Wright was a smart and good guy, with a good perspective on things... when he's clearly a basket case.

It would seem Obama was in his church b/c it was politically expedient.

Much as it would seem his religion is.
You don't have to go into all this. See my post above.

Might be similar with hitler??
That is not my concern. It might be similar with Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and so forth.
mattrodstrom
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4/17/2010 8:00:00 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/17/2010 7:56:38 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
When have I said that? I never said that. You can be a Muslim and commit sins, except those that are making you a disbeliever,

hitler didn't just commit sins he said they're ok... that Jesus approves.

i do think that this in your book would make him not a christian right??

though I get do get your point that CN was talking of "muslims" doing stuff... so you responded with "christians" doing stuff.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Mirza
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4/17/2010 8:02:27 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Matt, you are usually dragging me into discussions that are not related to a thread at all. I have not said that what Hitler did was Biblical, I have not said Christianity has anything to do with it, but you should not even bring it up. If you can stand up for Christianity this way saying that Hitler was not a Christian, why don't you do the world and fellow Muslims a favor and stand up against terrorists, not Islam? So many here keep connecting Islam to terrorism, even if a dog blows himself up, yet when Hitler comes to question, or slavery, Christianity is innocent! It is a peaceful religion and Jesus (peace be upon him) never picked up a sword! None of you mention Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) never picking up a sword in the name of revenge or oppression, but in the name of people who were being slaughtered!