Sunday, April 12, 2009

Both Christian and Muslim??! Seriously, no.

Ann Holmes Redding considers herself both Christian and Muslim... You can see this article if you want to know the story about her. I do not understand how that's possible, though. My conclusion is that she has a completely different definition of Christian and Muslim than most people do, because they simply are not compatible. A Christian and Muslim can be compatible as friends, spouses, co-workers, etc, but not as ONE PERSON!

In the most basic definition, you can find that you can't be both.

1) A Christian believes in Jesus as the son of God, and as divine. Muslims believe him to be a man like any other, except that he was born from a virgin mother and is a prophet (these two things are common to both religions). He is not divine to Muslims, and not the direct son of God. Ann Holmes Redding has managed to mix both of these beliefs into one by saying that Jesus is not God, but that he is divine, although not any more divine than any other human since we are all made of God.

Sounds like it could make a tiny bit of sense, even though both religions are not pantheistic like her beliefs are.

2) Muslims believe that the Christian scriptures have been corrupted, and that the Qur'an was delivered by God to correct these previous scriptures. I can only imagine that she believes that they are both unchanged and perfect. In that case, why the need for the Qur'an? And if she believes in the Qur'an, how can she believe that the Bible is the word of God?

It seems to me that she is just very confused. If she really believes in Islam; that is that there is only one true God and that Muhammad was his messenger (bringer of the Qur'an, the word of God), then she is not Christian. She just wants to hold onto it because of the people she knows through it or the love she has for Jesus because of all she has learned. (something like that)

If she really believes in Christianity, then she does not believe in the Qur'an or Muhammad as the messenger. She just finds some things about Islam appealing, like the connection with God in praying five times a day, the connection she feels with God when she prostrates herself, etc. Things that are not against Christianity, but that do not make her Muslim by any means.

I think she'll need some time to figure it out, but I figure it'll be something like one of these two options, because her personalized definitions of Christian and Muslim are just not right. You can make a word mean whatever you want it to, but if others are not using the same definitions, then you're just talking for nothing.

Does anyone think it's possible to be Christian and Muslim?

16 Comentários:

malekat_el7oriya said...

woah! christian and muslim? she is seriously confused! islam proves that Christianity has been corrupted, so basically they contradict each other in teachings. I don't think it works out. I mean a person has to be committed to either religion, islam OR Christianity not both! lol. oh well nice post nonetheless. oh and btw the link you have as "this article" doesn't work, it took me to a really different page :P

Candice said...

Thanks for telling me about the link. I fixed it for the actual article. I had a bunch of kids over this evening (there were 9 at one point) and a couple were playing games on this website.

Blue said...

No, it's not.

The cornerstone of Christianity today, whether you're Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox, is that Jesus Christ is the son of God, he is divine, and he died for your sins. Lose one of the three and you're not a Christian.

The cornerstone of Islam is that God is One (tawheed), the Quran is His word and Muhammad is the Seal of the Prophets.

The contradiction CANNOT be more obvious. You can't be both, because they way these two religions are today, they have very few things in common when it come to theology.

Cecilia said...

no it is not.. how does she think about that???

Candice said...

I have no clue where she gets it. There are some hints about what she believes in the article though. It's neither Christianity nor Islam as far as I'm concerned.

Melissa said...

I've heard of someone who said that some time ago, I don't remember the name, maybe it's the same person. But, yeah, you can't be both. It doesn't work that way. You're either one or the other. This woman is seriously confused.

hadah said...

hi there, actually as we all know, Muslims stays as a Muslim and the same goes for a Christian who stays as a christian. theres no such thing as 'I am a Muslim and also a Christian' something must be wrong with her understanding. it is really weird. hopefully she will make a wise decision.

Sarah said...

I don't think the two necessarily have to be exclusive. I think her story is inspiring. She found in Islam what she found lacking in Christianity. So why not just embrace Islam and abandon Christianity? Because she find a truth in it. Why should converts abandon their pasts? True she has had a difficult past but Christianity helped her through it. So why abandon that? Muslims and Chrisitians worship the same God. The only difference is theological.

I attended a lecture of a Christian theologian. He explained the divinity of Christ as God as flesh. He embodied the diving message. Didn't all the Prophets do this?

I don't think this lady is confused. I think she is an inspiring woman who has followed her heart.

I think the following quote from the article demonstrates how the two faiths have been reconciled in her own heart...

"Redding's views, even before she embraced Islam, were more interpretive than literal.

She believes the Trinity is an idea about God and cannot be taken literally.

She does not believe Jesus and God are the same, but rather that God is more than Jesus.

She believes Jesus is the son of God insofar as all humans are the children of God, and that Jesus is divine, just as all humans are divine — because God dwells in all humans.

What makes Jesus unique, she believes, is that out of all humans, he most embodied being filled with God and identifying completely with God's will."

Amber said...

I think, at least in her case, it's less a problem of her believing that she can be two religions at once. Sure, any person can justify their beliefs to themselves, take from this that and the other faith and have it make sense. They can even convince others, and if it brings them comfort and peace and makes them be better people, then I'm all for it.

Her problem, in my mind, is that she expected to be able to continue being a pastor in a faith that she had rejected basic tenents of. I feel bad for her, but I can understand the Episcopal church's thoughts on this, I think.

Candice said...

I don't mind that she has found these beliefs either, but I think the labelling of Christian and Muslim is not correct... She is missing some basic parts of each. And of course it's ridiculous for her to be a pastor in that Church!

Sarah said...

That's a good point. Mad really but better have a half Muslim pastor than a fully Christian one??! :P

I guess none of come into Islam with perfect ideas and understanding about what it is. And none of us are free from the emotional ties that bind us to our past. Not always a bad thing - you just have to find your own journey.

Anonymous said...

This post is very problematic and not true. There are Christians who believe that Jesus is not the son of God, but only a prophet. What she describes is a Unitarian view, a Christian doctrine which rejects the trinity and does not believe Jesus to be the son of God. Before you make sweeping statements about all Christians, you should educate yourself on all the doctrines.

Candice said...

Anon, if they believe in Islam, they believe in Muhammad as a prophet, they believe in the Qur'an as the word of God, and they believe the Bible has been "corrupted". That person is not a Christian.

If she considers herself a Unitarian, I think it's problematic that she's a minister. And she doesn't fall under my definition of Christian OR Muslim.

Anonymous said...

Unitarian is not a religion but a Christian doctrine, so you can be unitarian and a minister without problem. Chances are you are confusing unitarian theology with the Unitarian Universalist church, they are not the same. The reasons you give in 2 may be correct, but the reason given in one is problematic b/c Jesus as divine son of God is not reflected in all Christian beliefs, which that point suggests. It may not fit your limited exclusionary definitio of Christianity, but it doesn't mean it's okay to erase it as a doctrine.

Candice said...

I actually don't know much about Christian doctrines and I do imagine there to be a lot of people considering themselves Chrisian and not believing in the divinity of Jesus. I didn't know there was a full doctrine believing that so I'm glad you taught me something!

But I would still say it's impossible to be both of these religions. If I were Christian, I wouldn't accept a minister who considers herself Muslim... If I were Muslim, I'd feel awkward having a sister who sees the Bible as having the same kind of importance in her life as the Qur'an.

From what you have been telling me now, it sounds like she should just consider herself a Unitarian Christian who likes to pray

Candice said...

like Muslims do (which doesn't seem like it's against Christianity at all except for considering Muhammad a prophet).

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