I often wonder when listening to some Adventist Pastors how totally out of touch with the world around them they are. This week brought several elements, together that really should focus us on some of these leadership problems in Adventism.
First a bit of sad news as reported on the First Things Website:
Shahbaz Bhatti was a Catholic and a Pakistani minister for the defense of minorities who dedicated his life to the “struggle for human equality, social justice, religious freedom, and to uplift and empower the religious minorities’ communities.” He was assasinated yesterday because of his opposition to the country’s blasphemy law:
Watch his testimony recorded before his death with the instruction to be published if he died:
Last week I received an email of a letter or article by someone who had a problem with the emerging church, it was not specific and was pretty much the usual they don't have the truth so they must be against us view. So I thought I would look up the author and see what else he wrote. He is pretty much a run of the mill Traditional SDA of dubious interpretation abilities but I did discover something interesting. On a website where he has some articles I found this article entitled “SDA Pastor Dwight Nelson says "Allah is GOD" and that "ALLAH IS THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE”
The article by Phil Moore correctly points us to the following:
In a sermon on Sabbath Dec. 11, 2010, Dr. (Pastor) Dwight Nelson of Pioneer Memorial SDA Church told the world on air, 3ABN and via the Internet that: "Allah is the name of the LIVING GOD; ALLAH IS THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE."
This sermon was titled "Star Still Rising Over Islam" ...
After listening to the suggested area I saw that Phil Moore had given a accurate description of what Pastor Nelson said. Moore's analysis I will leave to you to read if you are interested, it did not strike me as anything special so I will offer up my view on Nelson's statements. While you can download the file from the above link I will give you a transcript of the relevant statements.
Leading me to this question. (unintelligible) If God was able to shine the light of truth upon those children of the East [wise men at Jesus birth] Those sons of Ishmael 2000 years ago come folks think with me could he not would he not be doing the same today? Among the same people's of the East? By the millions are there not honest hearted seekers after truth in the Muslim faith too? Huh? And if the answer is yes and by the way I believe the answer is yes then does it not follow that Bethlehem not Rome ought to be our example today? And that instead of alienating the children of the East with our anti Islamic rhetoric we ought to be at the forefront of a movement that seeks to share with them the light that shines upon both of our communities of faith.
I recently listened to a series of CD lectures given by the late Dr. Robert Darnell a member of our community of faith, an expert on Islamic studies, he's an anthropologist. In which he carefully chronicled how that the Koran teaches the seeds of every divine truth that you and I embrace. The seeds are all there. It was Darnell's lifelong mission and conviction cultivate those seeds in dialog with the children of the East and in an hour of history when the West is turning against those children ought we not to be the first to raise up our voices in their behalf?Think. Why shouldn't we? For what if, by the way that story of Christmas could hardly let us do otherwise could it? What if the spirit the mighty spirit of Allah by the way I got some letters from viewers after that last teaching, and one viewer said don't you know that the name Allah is a name for Lucifer? I hope you never never never never never embrace that. Allah listen carefully now Allah is closer to Elohim the Hebrew name for god then is our English word god. In fact hold on to your seats the English name for god is a Nordic pagan god. We have taken a pagan god's name and we've said that is the name of our God. And we all call him god. That's a pagan a Nordic pagan myth. So don't you ever get pushed into the corner where your saying Allah is a demonic name, Allah is the name of the living God. Allah is the creator of the Universe, Allah is the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ishmael Jethro, Job and even Baalim.
What if through dreams the mighty spirit of Allah is raising up a movement within Islam in preparation for the Messiah's return. Would we not want to partner with that mission? I want to end with a story...
The main thing we should deal with are as follows:
--the Koran teaches the seeds of every divine truth that Christians embrace.
--Allah is closer to Elohim the Hebrew name for god then is our English word god
--the English name for god is a Nordic pagan god.
--We have taken a pagan god's name
--Allah is the god of the Old Testament folks.
First does the Koran teach the seeds of every divine truth that Christians embrace? Read John chapter One. The Word became flesh and lived among us. That Jesus Christ is God, does the Koran teach that Jesus was God incarnate or that Jesus was a great prophet who did not die on the cross and who never was resurrected from the dead? The central core of Christianity is who is Christ yet here we have an SDA pastor telling us that the seed of the central core of Christianity is found in the Koran which even though written 600 years after the time of the New Testament denies Christ to be God or to have died on the cross and the resurrection.
Which means either Pastor Nelson is willingly ignorant of the Koran or he is lying or what he means by seeds is something like a concept that is present in such a tiny way that it is infinitesimal. Now think about this, the Koran is written hundreds of years after the New Testament and thousands of years after the Old Testament, would you really expect a divine addendum of truth to discredit the previous inspiration or to offer only seeds of what was previously clearly expressed? See more in the article Revisiting the Quran’s gross errors concerning Christian theology
Allah and Elohim are related, but they are both words from paganism since paganism predates all monotheistic religions, even if one believes there was always one true religion they were it seems outnumbered by the surrounding cultures. In the article Is the Word Allah Similar to Elohim? by Penny Warren B.A., M.A., D.D we read the following:
The Hebrew title of God is "Elohim;" in Arabic it's "Allah." These two words for God have a common bond that most people don't understand. Both of these words have their origin in pagan deities of the ancient past...
Webster’s Dictionary gives the definition and etymology of Allah as follows. Allah is the Muslim name for "the God." Allah is derived from two words "al," which means "the" and "ilah," which is related to the feminine Hebrew word for God, "eloah."
Now the Hebrew title or name for God is 'Elohim' and it is the plural form of eloah. It is made plural by adding "im," which is masculine. This corresponds to adding "s" to make a word plural in English. So the commonality between Allah and Elohim is "eloah" and "ilah."
According the Huston Smith’s book The World’s Religions (p. 222), it states: "Allah is formed by joining the definite article al meaning ‘the’ with Ilah (God). Literally, Allah means ‘The God.’ … When the masculine plural ending im is dropped from the Hebrew word for God, Elohim, the two words sound much alike." Eloah (Hebrew feminine) is similar to Ilah (God). Both Elohim and Allah are titles and not names.
Most Christians should know by know how frequently the “El” term is used in the Old Testament for various gods and in peoples names honoring their god.
Elohim (אֱלהִים) is a plural formation of eloah, the latter being an expanded form of the Northwest Semitic noun il (אֱל, ʾēl ). It is the usual word for "God" in the Hebrew Bible, referring with singular verbs both to the one God of Israel, and also in a few examples to other singular pagan deities. With plural verbs the word is also used as a true plural with the meaning "gods".
Is the god the name of a Nordic pagan deity? The short answer is no, in the following article
Oddly, the exact history of the word God is unknown. The word God is a relatively new European invention, which was never used in any of the ancient Judaeo-Christian scripture manuscripts that were written in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek or Latin.
According to the best efforts of linguists and researchers, the root of the present word God is the Sanskrit word hu which means to call upon, invoke, implore.
Nonetheless, it is also interesting to note the similarity to the ancient Persian word for God which is Khoda.
The following is a survey of some of the efforts of those who have been trying to decipher the ancient roots of the word God:
What is nice about this article is that it then quotes multiple reference works, you don't have to go all over the place, just scroll down the page.
Of course the whole concept of god means that there will be overlap between any and every superhuman being in whatever country or culture. The obnoxious thing about Pastor Nelson is he ignores this simple fact so that he can denigrate god in English because we don't speak Aramaic or Hebrew and those two language that we don't use, are closer being they were near to each other in origins.
It is hard to even formulate an argument against such foolish ideas as Pastor Nelson presents. It is as if he desires to ignore the hatred and cruelty through much of the Islamic world, he acts as if when we observe the cruelty and violence it is anti-Islamic rhetoric. Well the fact is there is a lot of problems going on in the world of Islam and Pastors like Nelson do nothing to help the situation with fictional facts and intentional distortions of the truth. He should be ashamed of himself and if he wants to deal with something a little closer to the heart of Adventism's love of eschatology he might consider the Islamic tradition of the 12th Imam and it's possible connection to the Christian conception of the anti-Christ.
Speaking of the news, only this last week Louis Farrakhan stated that the Great Mahdi is present in the world now.
This is a sign that The Great Mahdi that the Muslim world has been looking for is present in the world. That “The Christ” that you hoped for, “The Christ” that you longed for is present in the world. And all tyrants will be set down—God is stimulating the rise of the masses, and soon it will come to America's shores. Indeed it has already begun.