Archive for February 2016

Do Christians and Muslims Worship The Same God?

February 20, 2016

bible and koran differ    While doing Healing On The Streets today a Muslim man came over and asked what we were doing. I explained who we were and why we were there. He told me he worshipped not at the local mosque but at a house nearby.  The lady I was with said:”well, we worship the same God, don’t we”.

I then engaged him in conversation and highlighted ( for the lady’s sake) some of the differences that reveal we do not worship the same God. I pointed out that Jesus says:”love your enemies, do good to those that hate you”, whereas Mohammed incited his followers to violence, which the Muslim man didn’t deny. In his defence he went on to point out the violence perpetrated by some prophets in the Old Testament. I didn’t dispute that, but we were comparing Jesus and Mohammed, not Old Testament prophets and Mohammed.

He agreed that Allah was a God of love, and that he is one God. I then asked him “who did Allah love in the millions of years before he created either men or angels?”. Since Allah was “on his own” for aeons of time, he couldn’t love anyone since no-one existed apart from himself. He maintained that Allah loved people before they existed, when he was planning creation. This seemed to me a thin, abstract argument. The Christian God on the other hand had always existed as a plurality, in a family relationship of mutual love. The Bible says: “I, the Lord, do not change”. If our God changes not, then the God Allah who changes to become a God of love after creation is not the same God Christians worship. Other points I raised included: many details such as Jesus’ birth, tribe and place of birth were foretold by prophets. This was not true of Mohammed. Jesus did miracles, Mohammed did not. None of my points found acceptance in his mind, sadly.

We packed up at 1pm and moved to our rendezvous point to be picked up by car. While standing there, a man with a can of beer in one hand and two cigarettes in his other asked us who we were. We told him and he explained he was out of prison on license. He had a injury to his wrist so we prayed for him and blessed him. He appreciated it and went on his way.  wrist injury shown bandaged

 

 

Not Thy Will, But My Will Be Done!

February 13, 2016

Illustrated bible verse    I had a long chat with a guy who came in for food. He had been to church in Wales as a youngster, but had drifted away as he grew up. He had lost some family members in the last few years and had felt their nearness on their passing away. We discussed God and belief, and he thought there was “something there”, but he was not really interested in pursuing the question in his life. I gave him the gospel basics, and tried to encourage him to reach out to God, but didn’t get very far. Later that day I was thinking over of the phrase: “Not THY will, but MY will be done”. It’s really on that basis that we end up either in Heaven or in Hell – our eternal destination is what we ourselves choose in this life.

I also thought how many are happy to say “I believe in God”, but go no further than a mental assent. It reminds me of the evangelist’s use of the parachute as an illustration of what faith involves. I can say I believe in parachutes, but that belief means nothing until the day I’m in an out of control aircraft, reach for a parachute and put it on. It’s only when I put it on, jump and full the ripcord that I really do believe in parachutes!!  It’s the application of faith that determines whether your faith in “x”means anything at all.

A younger woman came in and I recognised her as “J”, a street drinker I used to see regularly when I did mission work on the streets. At that time she was a vulnerable girl, very self-willed, who wouldn’t listen to our requests to go back home to her Mum, whom she lived with. When she walked in I could see she was intoxicated, so nothing had really changed. As we at down to chat, she told me that she’d had “a 5 month old dead baby” and started to cry. I really felt for her, poor woman. Clearly someone had taken advantage of her, and even that had had a tragic outcome. Eventually the supervisor called a local unit where she was staying for transport, as she needed to get across to the other side of town and clearly couldn’t get there under her own steam.

A young guy turned up later. He told me he had mental health issues and suffered from a type of psychosis. I asked if he’d done drugs in the past. He admitted a long use of cannabis, then latterly a serious heroin habit. He was now on a prescription for Subbutex, a heroin substitute designed to wean you off the drug. He’d been given accommodation by a local charity and was hoping to get back on his feet.