2 Chronicles 34-36; Romans 8

Romans 8:15-17 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, – Father!” The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

Saint Paul’s words here impel me to provide a reality check for the “all religions are the same” crowd, many of whom have that “Coexist” bumper sticker.  They are not the same.  The God of Islam is not the same God we Christians worship.  A Muslim would never cry out to God “Abba!” (Daddy), because in Islam human beings are not the children of God, but purely creatures and servants.  And the idea that God has a Son is blasphemy to a Muslim.  I just point this out because in our interactions with Muslims in our neighborhoods, in the work place, and in the public square it is something we need to be aware of.  It’s not Islamophobia to be cognizant of our differences. I heard it stated on the radio last week that the depredations of ISIS have caused many Muslims to examine their beliefs and convert to Christianity, but nothing was provided to back up this claim.  I believe that our belief that we can have a parent-child relationship with God as opposed to master-servant can be powerfully attractive to Muslims.  We are called to spread the Good News to all nations; just something to keep in mind when in dialogue with a devout Muslim that he or she views you as an infidel: just be a loving infidel.  And they have a lot to teach us.  The story is a Muslim accepted the invitation of Catholic friend to attend Mass.  Afterwards when the Catholic affirmed that we did indeed believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, the Muslim was bemused at the lack of reverence displayed he believed to be commensurate to this reality.  I can relate to that every time I see some guy who looks like he’s dressed to mow the lawn with his hands in his pockets while the priest is praying in the orans position.

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