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Assorted and general Bible questions that really don't fit any of the other categories

Come together

Postby Alliance of the Free » Mon May 21, 2018 4:23 pm

Is it possible that Orthodox Christianity, Orthodox Judaism, and Sunni Islam will come together in the future with more understanding towards each other, while more divergent forms of these religions (e.g Protestant Christianity, Reform Judaism, and Shia Islam) will only drift further apart?

I've read that although the theological differences between Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are vast, the most traditional denominations of these religions (Orthodox for Judaism and Christianity, and Sunni for Islam) have a lot in common, based on millennia of tradition, and similar social and ethical thought.

For example, all of Orthodox Christianity, Orthodox Judaism, and Sunni Islam believe in adherence to old social traditions, and religious thought determined not only by holy scriptures, but also by religious and social history, generally concentrated on rejecting revolutionary ideologies and social upheaval, the importance of the family, obidience to both religious authority (God and the clergy) and secular authority (the King, President, or someone of a similar position), and a strong hierarchy.

The traditional architecture of old Synagogues, Byzantine Churches, and Sunni Mosques also have a lot in common, as do their traditional chants.

I even remember reading a somewhat humorous comment somewhere, that if you are an Orthodox Christian, "You are worshipping Jesus in a Synagogue by singing Nasheeds."

In present-day Egypt, both Coptic Christians and local Muslims seem to believe in similar ideas about society, while only people like Atheists are those who have radically different ideas.

In contrast to this, Shia Muslims in Iran, and Wahhabi Muslims in Saudi Arabia have radically different interpretations of Islam, usually in some way centered around their country, and adopting traditional-sounding, but new religious laws, which weren't around in for example the 19th century, while in Sunni countries like Turkey and Morocco, more religious local Muslims still hold on to traditional older ideas, that were not influenced that much by the 20th or 19th centuries.

In America, many Protestants are adamant about saying that "Christianity is not a religion, but a personal relationship with Jesus", denying millennia of clerical traditions for reformers who went around with a Bible in their hands and their personal interpretations of religion in their heads.

What do you think about this idea? Do more traditional forms of Abrahamic religions have more of a chance to come to some kind of understanding in the near future, than more reformist kinds?
Alliance of the Free

Re: Come together

Postby jimwalton » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:20 pm

History has unfortunately had a long chain of hostilities between religions, but it is my experience and attitude that there is plenty of understanding and tolerance towards each other. I meet regularly with Christians of other denominations, Catholics, rabbis, imams, and we have strong friendships and great discussions. When someone defaces the local synagogue (etc.), we all rally together to make a statement of unity and tolerance. There is no hostility between us despite the vast and even contradictory theologies between us. But the different ideas don't prevent our coming together as human beings, as people seeking God, and as people working to influence society toward right thinking, absence of hatred, tolerance, and peace with each other.

I know there are particular groups that are hostile (ISIS, Westboro Baptist, KKK, etc.), but they are all fringe movements discredited by the whole and not accepted as part of the way that particular religion really works and believes. In normal society, I see quite a bit of cooperation and acceptance.

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