الجمعة، مايو 12، 2006

Seek And You Shall Find

It’s funny, the way God communicates with us sometimes. Funny how, when we truly seek His guidance, He opens our eyes and hearts and suddenly we see Him and hear Him in all that surrounds us.

So many times in my life I sought God’s help and guidance. Sometimes it was in despair, sometimes I was just confused…other times I was angry! Without fail, He always answered. I would pick up the Holy Bible and there I would find my guidance and comfort…spoken by Him, as if especially meant for me and me alone and especially at that precise moment. Not once, has He let me down.

This time, I wasn’t asking Him as much as I was just telling Him. I said I was sick and tired of having to endure accusations against my faith, and of having to explain, defend and justify…and that I would no longer do so. No more debates, no more justifications and no more headaches.

Today, I visited a website that I had visited numerous times before. But this time something jumped out at me. It’s always been there, I glanced at it before, but this time it seemed louder on the page.

He said to me:
بل قدسوا الرب الاله في قلوبكم مستعدين دائما لمجاوبة كل من يسألكم عن سبب الرجاء الذي فيكم بوداعة وخوف (peter1 3:15)

And for you who don’t read Arabic:

15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect

Thank you Lord, point well taken. It’s not about proving or defending. It’s about glorifying His name by sharing the hope and blessings we experience through Him with the rest of the world.

I had to read up the rest of the chapter because I liked this verse so much. Let’s share this wonderful teaching and get the blessing of the word of God. Here’s part of Peter1, chapter 3

9 غير مجازين عن شر بشر او عن شتيمة بشتيمة بل بالعكس مباركين عالمين انكم لهذا دعيتم لكي ترثوا بركة.

10 لان من اراد ان يحب الحياة ويرى اياما صالحة فليكفف لسانه عن الشر وشفتيه ان تتكلما بالمكر

11 ليعرض عن الشر ويصنع الخير ليطلب السلام ويجدّ في اثره

12 لان عيني الرب على الابرار واذنيه الى طلبتهم.ولكن وجه الرب ضد فاعلي الشر

13 فمن يؤذيكم ان كنتم متمثلين بالخير.

14 ولكن وان تألمتم من اجل البر فطوباكم.واما خوفهم فلا تخافوه ولا تضطربوا

15 بل قدسوا الرب الاله في قلوبكم مستعدين دائما لمجاوبة كل من يسألكم عن سبب الرجاء الذي فيكم بوداعة وخوف

16 ولكم ضمير صالح لكي يكون الذين يشتمون سيرتكم الصالحة في المسيح يخزون في ما يفترون عليكم كفاعلي شر
.
+++
9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

10 For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.

11 He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.

12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.

13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?

14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear
; do not be frightened."

15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander
+++
May the blessing and grace of the One True Living God be with us all.

21 Comments:

Anonymous muslim said...

Bent:
I am sorry for any disturbance that I may have caused to you.

The problem is simply that no one broadens his mind to accept the others.

You and your fellows used to accuse Islam in general. If you read the comments that were posted before my comment you will notice how much bias and unjustice was there.

Anyway, all I want to say here is:
Your respect of the freedom of belief, and your care about the rights of the Baha'is to believe .. all that makes me wonder, why don't you write about the rights of the Egyptian Christians who converted to Islam.
I mean, Wafa' Qustanteen, and the other two girls who converted to Islam and were traced by the police, under the commands of the president himself, and under the pressure of the Copts in the USA.

Just think about my words and you will find how much bias is there in our way of thinking.

Thank you.

مايو 12, 2006  
Blogger xavier said...

Muslim:
Respectfully. I saw nothing in the comments that were disresptectful or unjust. We've provided you with many links and explanations but there comes a point tht we've done all what we can do and it,s up to you to read and reflect on how Christians see God, Jesus and the ethics that come from the bible.
We accuse Islam because right now it's not living up the Abrahamic ethic that its believers claim to uphold.

It's very difficult to respect Moslems who insult our hospitality in the non-Moslem countries. Threatening death over the cartoons, killing women over some perceived insult to honour, blowing up commuter trains, calling non-Moslems najil and so on provokes us to hate Moslems and to regard them as dangerous. Moslems must accept that words and actions have consequences. And you can't forever blam Satan or the Zionist or anyone else but yourselves.


As for Copt converts the clear policy to kidnap Copt women nd forecibly convert them in order to humilate the Christians as dimmis, indicates they have to regard all conversions as suspect. It's the Moslems who must prove that the conversions were genuine.

xavier

مايو 13, 2006  
Blogger The Eyewitness said...

"Without fail, He always answered."
Nefeteeti, I think you are blessed with a sensible heart of flesh not from stone like most of humans which is always ready to har his voice and follow it. God Bless You, Your LIFE, and Your FAMILY

مايو 13, 2006  
Blogger Mohamed said...

Still waiting....

I hope that it's not out of ignorance....

Any way,send me a notification on my e-mail when you reply..

مايو 13, 2006  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

Eyewitness
Thank you fo ryour kind words...but you are too kind to my humble self. He answers all who seek him, sometimes it's just a matter of time :)

مايو 13, 2006  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

Dear Mohamed
I am not ignoring you at all, but forgive me for taking advantage of your patience. I think i just got distracted with other issues. I promise you will hear from me in the next two days.

مايو 13, 2006  
Anonymous Red said...

Muslim, you are either genuinely seeking answers through dialogue or just another dogmatic "average Egyptian Muslim blinded by faith”, and I will respond to you only because I assume and hope you are not the latter, which was possibly the very reason bent el neel threw her arms up in the air and decided to walk away!!
You must at least acknowledge that most of the participants in the Bahaii discussion were arguing for unconditional acceptance that all human beings are equal and are free to believe or reject whatever they wish, youself included.
That in a way would tell you and others to butt out of the matter of people's religion and/or changing one's religion. Simply it is non of anyone's business. Having said that, however, intimidating vulnerable individuals, especially minors and those psycologically impaired who ought to be protected by moral and legal codes at all times, should be totally rejected by their fellow able human beings who should actively uphold such ethics and codes to protect those disadvantged for reasons beyond their control. While I, and lots like me, could not care less who becoms what (religion), I suspect it an obsession with Muslims to conduct a head count, infalate or deflate numbers of people that follow certain religions for reasons that are, I suspect, have nothing to do with faith itself !!
I am NOT interested in attacking the religion of Islam or defending Christianity, but rather the hate, terrorism and discrimination that Islam’s adherents are engaged in under its name, unfortunately, with tacit approval by the “majority” of Muslims. I wonder where was Muslim when his fellow human beings, Egyptians (Copts) were attacked and butchered in all parts of Egypt, and lately in Alexandria ?? or is it a case that those Muslim criminals were “merely expressing a different view point” like you are trying to??

مايو 13, 2006  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

muslim
There is no disturbance at all friend, so please don't give it a thought. In fact this experience taught me a lesson and helped me hear God's voice again...I can hardly complain about that :)

As for attacking Islam, I don't believe it is an attack at all. Just because I or other guests point out incidents that take place in the name of Islam, it isn't to attack Islam.

There's one of two possibilities:
Either we are lying, fabricating and making baseless claims...

OR

These events actually happened, in which case they need to be spoken about and the rights of the oppressed need to be demanded.

If you see that there is an attack on Islam, it is committed by the perpetrators of the attrocities...not by those who speak for the oppressed.

My first comment in the previous post where i mentioned the word insane...was a result of the Afghan convert Abdul Rahamn, who in addition to facing death for his conversion, was labelled insane (because obviously anyone who leaves islam is crazy?)

Regarding Copts who convert to Islam: what about them? They have no trouble converting, they don't get hunted down by the authorities like animals, they have no trouble getting official papers to their conversion, they have no problem living out in the open as Muslims.
Muslims who convert to Christianity on the other hand....

Marianne and Christine were different because they are minors...or they were when they disappeared. It is illegal for a minor to marry or convert without their parents consent. How then has the police and the authorities allowed them to do so and given them official papers when they had no guardians consent?

Wafa Qustantine's situation...again, if she wanted to be a Muslim, there is nobody stopping her. The situation is inflamed of course because she is a priest's wife. Not to mention as a result of the countless numbers of minor Christian girls who suddenly disappear then miraculously resurface in a police station telling their parents through their tears that they converted....that is if the said parents are lucky enough to even find their daughters at all.

At the end of the day, everyone has the right to practice and follow whatever faith they choose....it is our eternal life in the balance and we all have to follow what we believe will save us.

God bless you muslim, and thank you for this discussion.

مايو 13, 2006  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

oh hi Red...we must be online at the same time :)
Thanks for your comment mate.

مايو 13, 2006  
Anonymous Red said...

As to the Lord's availibility to answer and speak to us, it is something that, I believe, may only be experienced through the Holy Spirit within, and although I'm far from being your average Church-goer, I have personally experienced time and time again the response that came whenever I wanted one, and the timing was always PERFECT, never when I wanted it but when I needed it. Glory be to Him

مايو 13, 2006  
Anonymous muslim said...

Thank you, Bent. But, to tell the truth, this is a reply that I couldn't ever expect from you.

After reading your post,"Seek and you will find," My feelings told me that you are a very sensitive believer and that you truly defend the freedom of belief.

I expected that, in the next day, I will find a new post entitled as:
"Yes, You have the right to convert to Islam, too" or "Women in France must have the right to wear Hijab" or something like that.

But, you have disappointed me.

Throughout all my life, I used to believe in the rule (Religion = Bias). But this time I expected something different.
Unfortuantely, you further proved my rule.

Comparison:

"Any Muslim who converts to Christianity must be insane,"said the Afghani Muslims.

"Any Christian who converts to Islam must have been kidnapped and forced," said you!!

What a shame? Can you see how much the two statements are alike?

Wafa' Qustantenn was forced to return back to Christianity. But you don't want to say it. You simply deny. Why don't you write a new post about her rights to believe in Islam?


Let me tell you a surprise .. I am a minor.
Then, Oh, I don't have the right to change my religion, unless my parents agree?!!!!
Of course, they wont agree :D What a fucken stupid law.

You say "It is illegal for a minor to convert without their parents consent" ..

Yeah .. Let me tell you some useful info:
"It is illegal to be a Bahaai." :)

"It is illegal for a Christian to build a church without the president's consent." :)

مايو 14, 2006  
Anonymous muslim said...

Something else, Neferteeti: being biased doesn't mean lying. May be you are telling "half the truth", or rather "the truth from one perspective."

مايو 14, 2006  
Blogger xavier said...

Moslem:
Sure Christians have the right to convert to Islam. Some do but in the Mideast context such conversions must be regarded with suspicion. You don't like it but given the centuries of dimmitude and the outright discrimination that Christians have suffered since the Arab tribes invaded and imposed Omar's pact, conversions to Islam aren't always gemuine.

As for Islamic women wearing hijabs in non-Moslem countrie, sure they do. Now comes the logical question: do Christians have the right to worship in peace, ring church bells , hold public processions and renovate religious buildings without harrasement?

Speaking of minors: is it legitimate for Moslem men who have shared custody to illegaly take kids to Moslem countries where they flaut international treaties on child abuction?

xavier

مايو 14, 2006  
Blogger CMinor said...

Bent,
I must say your patience with Muslim would put me to shame.

It does not surprise me to learn that he is a minor after having read through his posts; I do wonder, however, if his Mama would put up with such a tone if used with her. As the kids say, NOT!!

We have to assume that he has prior to now been sheltered from a number of unpleasant facts of the practice (as opposed to the ideal) of Islam.
He, like the rest of us, is biased in favor of his own belief system; unlike the rest of us, I doubt he has yet been forced to grapple with the big WHYs of faith. Experience tells me that it is only through relentless examination of our beliefs that we can reach mature faith. I'm old enough to be his Mama, and I'm still examining. Many never begin, which is a shame.

Let us pray that he has opportunity to reflect upon these things with an open and discerning mind.

مايو 14, 2006  
Blogger jack said...

Dear Muslim,

I will not apologize in advance.
After reading this discussion and seeing that none of my final comments were addressed in the last post, I need to confront this nonsense for the sake of conscience.

My inclination is to tell you that after the grace, kindness and time that each person has spent on trying to answer your questions (especially after you began posing yourself as a seeker), you would have to be extremely immature to say that you are disappointed. However, part of the beauty of being a respecter of the individual’s free will, is you have the right to feel or believe whatever you want. In fact, you can choose to live in bitterness forever hating whoever you want – even Christians – if you want. But in the reality of it all, your feelings are rather insignificant to me right now. We should have had some kind of age-requirement before being allowed to begin a conversation here. Or if you have ever seen those signs at amusement parks that require you to be a certain height before getting on the ride, perhaps we could put up a sign that says, “You must be somewhat open-minded to have a discussion here”. It’s ok, it’s not your fault, it’s ours.

That being said, I’m glad you revealed your “surprise” to us because it clears up a lot of things. You were starting to give Islam an even worse name, but given your minor status, I’ll only blame you as opposed to assuming that you are an accurate representation of your religion. It was getting difficult to show love to you, but I am starting to like you as an annoying little brother. Don’t be upset by that, I love my brother.

That said, I must ask, are you joking? I suspect you are wasting our time at this point and simply enjoy spending your time arguing, after all, this manner is rather consequence-free. But really, are you joking? Are you intentionally instigating? On the last post, we wrote for you pages of rational discussion about the Christian faith and why we believed and you didn’t have the courtesy to comment on them. Now, you come on this post and say that we’ve let you down? Red gave you a fantastic answer and you ignored that too. Please have some dignity for yourself and refrain from such nonsense.

Not that I feel I owe you any explanation, but it’s half-time during a basketball game that I am watching and I happen to enjoy the sound of hearing myself type on my laptop. (As this might be the only fruit from this discussion).

Regarding you, your parents do not have to agree with your decision of faith. Most likely they wish for their children to follow in their footsteps, but this is not the ultimate factor. However, say some Buddhists came and kidnapped you, forced you to convert, shaved your head, threw a robe on you, and brought you to their temple. After some time, for whatever reason, you no longer resist but embrace your new religion. Then your parents find you and fight to take you back. Most honest, intelligent, and logical people would see the difference between such manipulation and free will.


Again, if an individual, ANY INDIVIDUAL, chooses to become a believer of a particular faith, that ought to be respected by all people. It is between them and God. Because I am uncertain of just how young of a minor you are, I’ll give you an example, if a Christian CHOOSES to convert to Islam, then that must be respected.

HOWEVER, should a conversion be due to coercion, manipulation, persecution, threat or act of violence and various similar “methods”, then that is evil and therefore wrong. Even further, all faiths must be respected, for all people are created by God and given the free will to seek the truth. We can discuss, argue, try to convince each other of what the truth is, but we must not coerce, manipulate, threaten, etc.

Now, before you say, “This is what Muslims believe”, let me tell you a true story. One of my grandmothers had an old-faded Coptic cross on her right wrist. I learned that she got it when she was still a young girl. This was because, Muslims would kidnap Christian children and raise them as Muslims. So, to counter, the Christian parents would tattoo their children with the cross of Christ. As a child born in a country spoiled by religious freedom, it was difficult for me to understand this. Understand what I am trying to tell you here. This is not an argument for Christianity over Islam, not at all. This is an argument regarding religious freedom. Please understand that because this is what these posts have been about.

Well, as always there is more to say, but my game is resuming, and considering our recent past here, this is all I am willing to say.

مايو 14, 2006  
Anonymous muslim said...

Sorry, may be you have misunderstood me :D

First of all, I am 20 years old :D and I am a Computer Science graduate. But, you know, a minor in Egypt is a one who is less than 21 years old :) Imagine it .. someone who is 20 years old doesn't have the right to change his religion !!

Secondly, concerning your discussion about Christianity in the previous topic, Jack, which I didn't comment on, I have told you before that I need a proof ... What you did, Jack, is just proving the Christianity using the Bible!!
I didn't comment on your words just because I felt we are thinking in two opposite ways.
In the begining of your explanation of Christianity, Jack, you said (faith cannot be proved emiprically) which was a sign for me that the discussion is over.
The same for Bent, she tried to prove me that faith comes from the heart not from the mind. Which is not plausible for me.
Again, I didn't reply because I felt that we are completely differnt concerning the way we perceive the religion. Consequently, any further discussion is nonesence.

Thirdly, the story of the bad guys kidnapping people, forcing them to embrass a religion, is laughable. Once they release the kidnapped person, what prevents him from returning back to his religion?

Fourthly, xavier, about Muslim women wearing Hijab .. in France, women are not allowed to wear Hijab in governmental schools, hospitals ..etc. On the other hand, Christians in Egypt are allowed to hang a cross whenever they want.
Muslims in the USA doesn't have the right to make Azan, on the other hand, Christians in Egypt have the right to ring their bell.
As you see, the world cannot be simply divided into bad people and good people. You may find the good and the bad everywhere you are.

Fifthly, xavier said:
is it legitimate for Moslem men who have shared custody to illegaly take kids to Moslem countries where they flaut international treaties on child abuction?

kids? Moslem contries? international treaties?
Do you know what we are talking about, xavier?

Finally, I noticed that some guys here are trying to dismiss me :D but may be they didn't notice that this is not their blog :)
Neferteeti is the only one who have the right to dismiss me :) But until now she didn't :)

In my last two comments, my words were totally targetted to Neferteeti, so why have you replied??? I am talking to someone, and I am waiting for a reply from her, not from you.
If it sounds nonsence for you, then .. fine !! leave it !! (now I dismiss you, too !!!!)

مايو 14, 2006  
Anonymous muslim said...

Something else, jack. you said "red gave you a fantastic answer and you ignored that too."

In one of his previous comments, red ranked Islam as an ideology that is closely similar to Nazism. May be because of Al-Qaeda or something else. But we can make an analogy of this.
Christian countries, such as the USA, have killed thousands of muslims. They seiged Iraq for more than 10 years. Iraqis were dying everyday due to the lackage of food and medicine. I mean Iraqi citiziens. They were dying everyday so that the Christians could be there near the oil.
And throughout the past 50 years, the Christian world used to support Israel in killing citizens. They kept forgiving the Israelis and accusing the palestinians only.
A few years ago, Israel entered Jenine (a palestinian village) and killed 500 citizens in one day. In that day, I visited the news web sites in the Cristian world (USA,UK..). The top stories were, "Overpassing masacure, 9 Israelis killed in a terror attack"!!!
What I felt then is the need to crash the monitor! You, simply, consider muslims as animals!!

I don't know Jack, what is the fantastic anwser that red gave me. Do you mean this:
I wonder where was Muslim when his fellow human beings, Egyptians (Copts) were attacked and butchered in all parts of Egypt, and lately in Alexandria ??

Simply, I haven't started to comment on blogs but recently. But, of course, I strongly accuse such crimes.

But, once more, every generalization is wrong, if you are going to accuse Islam because of the deeds of muslims, then, analogally, I may accuse Christianity for the deeds of Christians. Doesn't it sound acceptable?

And regarding your grandmother's story, I am sorry, Jack. Of course it is just a fairy tale. Just like the tales of the Genies and the monsters.
The cross on the wrist can be removed, don't you know that?

مايو 14, 2006  
Anonymous Red said...

Although I'd decided against more discussions with Muslim, I'll add one little comment-
Thanks to fanatics and extremest Muslims, the line distinguishing Islam as a religion and political Islam or whatever it's called isbecoming more blurred by the day, and the measures Muslim are now using to appraise and weigh matters are becoming UNIQUELY theirs, so America and the "West" are Christians, Egypt, Iraq etc are Muslims, and a war waged by America on Iraq, however abhorrant, becomes Christians vs Muslims- I'm finding it easier to bang my head against the wall than to find common grounds for human beings to communicate.
May be it's time to seek a miracle. A big one.

مايو 14, 2006  
Blogger xavier said...

Muslim:
Sorry but you're being wilful about lack of the proof in Jesus' divinity. We've all provided you with various links to sources and archaeological discoveries. The latter don't confirm Jesus' divinity that not what the speciality does; however, as I've stated before: people don't die for a lie. 2 millenia of Christianity, the miracles, the apparitions, the martyrs through the ages, the social networks, schools, hospitals they've created as well as cosmovision, indicates that Jesus' message is true and that he really is the second person of the Trinity.

I'm not demanding that you accept Christanity but I do expect you to be forthright and take our word about our beliefs. We're not fools, or con men nor crazy people.

As for teh age of majority well in North America it,s 18 but in certain situations 16 years you can make certain decisions without parental consent.But these are strictly limited

xavier

مايو 15, 2006  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

Thanks and welcome to you all. Of course I have a lot to say :) so I decided to put it all in a new post. See you there (titled Just because you don't see it...)

Peace :)

مايو 15, 2006  
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