Man & God Man and God A conflict exists between leaders and lay members alike in two of the world’s mainstream religions. Christianity and Islam, are in conflict or their respective stances over their disagreement over the divinity of man and God. The philosophical perspective held by each of these religions about the divinity of man and God is paramount in insuring that it’s teachings will dominate whether it is Islamic or Christian. The philosophical assumptions that cause the disagreement generate in a follower the belief that his or her religion is dominate over the other. What problems and benefits does the concept of the divinity of man being placed in the form of God afford the followers of each of these religions? Was Jesus the Son of man or the Son of God are the focal issues argued in this Philosophical research paper.
In Christian theology, Jesus Christ is the supreme deity who is both God and man in the flesh, who walked the earth.1 It is believed by Christians, that Jesus Christ was born through the virgin Mary. This birth was the beginning of a series of miracles throughout His adulthood and life. These divine miracles of Jesus are what sets the decree of unity between man and God, in Christian theology. In his life Jesus preformed many miraculous acts. Such acts as Walking on water,2 healing the blind3, and healing the sick4 are acts beyond human capability. These acts, Christians argue, can be manifested only by God. Being God is the only way or reason Jesus was able to will these miraculous acts: God came down to earth in flesh and blood to make right, what was wrong.
For the Christians, Jesus’ unblemished record has given him the most high and honorable place in Christianity–The Son of God. In contrast, the Islamic religion has its understanding of Jesus and his reputation. These understandings fall under the 5 pillars5 of faith: declaration of faith; Payer; Charity; fasting; and pilgrimage. The pillar of faith is the practical guide of a follower of Islam. In Islam, the followers argue that there is no deity other than Allah; and Muhammad is His messenger. Muslims declare their supreme being is Allah who is omnipresent and has no physical image.
Under the law of Islam, Muslims believe only Allah has the divine power to create miracles and those miracles are signs to guide his creation on the right path. In Islamic theology, Muslims are taught to believe in all the holy books (Engil, Torah & Quran) and all the messengers6 in the Bible, from Adam to Muhammad. One of the major sins in Islamic theology is to place any of these messengers on the same level as Allah. Muslims are taught about the life of Jesus Christ, but they do not attribute the miraculous events that Jesus performed, to Jesus himself. They view Jesus as endowed with certain divine powers, as any of the other Messengers, but withhold from Him that He was God incarnate. Muslims support their understanding of Jesus by arguing that Jesus is the son of Mary, hence the son of man, but not the Son of God. This highlights the major disagreement between the two philosophical perspectives of the two religions being discussed: The Christian perspective, reveals Jesus as God manifest in human form and the Islamic perspective views Jesus as a great man but without the presence of God in Him. Apparently, from within both of these religions understanding of their religious theories, is a matter of faith about the nature of the son of God. In different religious situations that occurred in in America in the Twentieth century one can point out as to why in the Islamic tradition there is a reluctance to perhaps agree that man is God.
In the Twentieth century there have been and still are groups, that claim themselves as the true adherents of Christianity or Islam because of the words and actions they may speak and demonstrate. These groups often develop their own sons of God. or deities. These deities then sets the laws that govern the group. Often these so called deities begin to act in ways that get people to acquiesce their personal powers in favor of the diety’s.
These groups usually do not become separated from mainstream religions from which they received their impetus but begin to proclaim they are the true and righteous to which God have given the banner to set things right. One example from the Islamic tradition is that of the Nation of Islam (NOI). The Nation of Islam is a group that Elijah Poole–Fard Muhammad established in the 1920s. NOI project itself as part of the religion of Islam. The followers of NOI believe in all the pillars of faith and will validate their Islamic principle with the Qur an and Holy Bible. Elijah Poole (Fard Muhammad), claimed himself to be Allah in person.
But according to some religious scholars Mr. Poole did not meet all of the qualifications for being God on Earth. But this did not stop Mr. Poole from establishing an organizational linkage for the continuance of his rule. Elijah poole’s son, Elijah Muhammad, was to become the Prophet Muhammad of Allah7 in the Nation of Islam.
Even though the perfect practice and thought of Islam is based on the first fundamental principle of faith, which states that Allah has no physical image Mr. Poole ignored this. The suggestion of God/Allah being placed in the form of man, rejects the laws revealed in the Muslim’s Holy book, the Quran. Muslim scholars argue that those who support a deity other than Allah have gone from the direction on which Allah has ordained to be acceptable; causing those persons to suffer the punishment of Allah for claiming they are Allah. Another example comes from Christian theology.
A group called the Branch Davidians8 were shaped in the same manner as the Nation of Islam. The Branch Davidians originated from the Christian sect of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in 1929. The Davidians was founded by a man named Victor Houteff who proclaimed himself to be a divine messenger sent by God. He did not agree with the teachings of the Seventh-Day Adventist and began his own Christian sect called The Shepherd’s Rod, later becoming the Branch Davidians headed by David Koresh. David Koresh believed he was a Christ, regarding himself as the Lamb from Revelation 5; the anointed one who will bring about the second coming of Jesus Christ.
In both, Man took on the role of being God, not in accordance with the mainstream doctrines, on which they were rooted and later from which they separated or from which they were denounced. A God given role, taken on by two men who claimed to be the Omnipotent One, could not even escape death and died, but then, nor could Jesus Christ. Therefore, we must ask: Is the Islamic theology correct in its stance of denying that God is the Messenger? The two above examples suggest that there is a need for caution in accepting or attributing God in man. They (examples) also indicate that there is much bias in the thinking of each of the religious ideologies under discussion. They also indicate that there can be no one religion that will satisfy all of human kind and our need to individually pursue the righteous path according to our own mental bias, which play themselves out in the forms and thoughts of various religious doctrines.
Bibliography Bibliography The Bible; The Bible Gateway, KJV. version The Bible Gateway, http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible, 1Corinthians 2:14 The Bible Gateway, http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible, Matt. 14:22-34 The Bible Gateway, http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible, Matt. 9:27 The Bible Gateway, http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible,(Matt. 8:14-17) The Holy Quran; IslamiCity.org, Yusuf Ali Translation Shahaddah(declaration of faith), Salaat(Prayer), Zakaat(Charity), Syawm(Fasting), Hajj(pilgrimage) The Holy Quran, HTTP://islam.org/mosque/quran/2.htm#136 The Holy Quran, HTTP://islam.org/mosque/quran/49.htm#13 The Nation of Islam online The Nation of Islam Muslim Program, http://noi.org/program.html, 12.
WE BELIEVE that Allah.. The Branch Davidians Religious Movements Branch Dav, http://religiousmovements.lib.Virginia.edu/nrms/br an.html Religion.