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Home > News > Choosing from the Market Place of Faith : Part 2

Choosing from the Market Place of Faith : Part 2

Posted on: 24 February 2014
If a man’s mind is shut, depending on who is saying it, he will dispute the natural altruism that mothers are feminine and fathers are masculine. So also will he dispute the statement that, God is immortal spirit and living men are mortal physical matter. Spirits and mortals do not operate the same realm nor do we share the same qualities. We are finite, God is infinite. We are limited in space and time, God is not limited in space and time. An Entity that is not limited in space and time knows better than the one limited in space and time. Thus God knows us better than we can ever know Him. He is the Creator, we are His creatures. And as a consequence and by necessity, He must make the laws, and it is ours to obey the laws either willingly or unwillingly. The misfortune of man as opposed to the other creatures of God is when God singled us out for His gift of freewill; freewill to choose whether to obey or not obey. The price we pay for the gift of freewill is responsibility and accountability. Obedience is a wise and safe choice, disobedience is the true opposite, folly and error manifest.
  
Of us humans are some-and a good majority at that-who choose flatly not to obey, mindless of, or daring the consequences. Yet many also are the others who willingly submit. But it is not just about submitting, but submitting according to His true law. Which is His true law? Is it the Baghavad Gita, the Vedas, the Upanishads of the Hindus or the Talmud and Midrash of the Jews? Is it the Adi Granth of the Sikhs, the Puryas, Sutras and Puranas of Jainism; the Pali Tripitaka and Lotus Sutras of Buddhism, the Avesta of Zoroastrianism or the Tao Te-Chin of Taoism. What about the Kojiki of Shintoism, Dianetics of the Scientologists and the Book of Mormons of the Mormons. Or yet again, is it the Psalms of David(SAW), the Torah of Moses(SAW), the Gospel of Jesus Christ(SAW), the Qur’an as revealed to Muhammad(SAW) or the “inspired” vision and subsequent doctrines of St. Paul of Tarsus which make up more than 70 percent of the Bible? So there we go. Which of these guides must we allow to guide us onto the Creator’s rules?
  
Now, as thinking mortals in a free market place of faiths, fearing error lest we are led into the dark pit of hell; as men of wisdom, God –fearing and God-loving men and women who want to live the true will of God, what criteria shall we use to determine which book we purchase to guide us? In other words what should be the qualities of a true scripture? Must our judgment of a scripture’s divinity be based on evident fruition of its prophesies, its time-testedness or its impeccability? Must we based the truth or otherwise of a scripture on its  ability to produce miracles, the potency of its verses to cast out demons, heal the sick, the lepers and those born blind or on its factual flawlessness? Is the wisdom of a scripture’s verses, the extra-ordinariness of its statements, the pragmatism of its canon and the consistency of its message and extent of its reverence among people enough basis for its claim to divinity?
  
It is easy to imagine the controversy that will generate among men should a list like this be sent to our market place of faith on purpose to assess each seller’s merchandise. Depending however on what information we have and what we make of it, any one of these criteria could pass as legitimate basis for assessing the veracity or otherwise of a scripture’s claim to the divinity of its source. In the framework of open minds, we may increase the list with many more criteria provided such criteria are rational and consequential to the subject.
  
Whilst it is possible for certain scriptures to pass the test on only one score, others may on more than one score, and yet still, it is still possible to have one that may pass on all scores. It might also not suit sellers of certain non-God faiths to say that any of these criteria is adequate basis for determining the truth of a scripture.  Such persons may adduce their criteria for discussion. However, persons in the Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam must be able to agree on at least one measure by which their scriptures can be assessed.
  
A fair and agreeable criteria is the infallibility of God’s scripture. Jews, Muslims and Christians can fairly agree that God is perfect and a scripture from Him must be infallible. Judaism postulates a perfect God, Christianity insinuates a perfect God and  Islam directly teaches a perfect God. Lest I am disputed by the opinionated Christian, let me explain that  Christians chant that God is Good all the time, which is another way of saying God is faultless, and for that matter flawless. Now if somebody is faultless and flawless at all times, then such a person is perfect whether that is the word used to describe him or not. Thus we establish at least one common ground between Jews, Muslims and Christians on one of the qualities of God. That God is perfect. Perfect in whatever He does or in whatever He ordains; good or bad. His ways might defy human understanding though; it always leads to good only if we know. Amen?
  
There is a rationale in God’s perfectness. Imperfect humans cannot afford an imperfect God. If God is not omnipotent, in which other power shall the frailty of humans find refuge against the harsh and hostile realities of the environment around them? If God is not all-powerful, in which other entity can we anchor our faith against the luring force of evil? If God is not all-knowing, from which other pool of knowledge shall we draw to feed our ignorance? God must necessarily be all-wise to provide the fountain from which we quench the thirst of our folly. Our filthiness must draw for purity from His holiness, so must our Inquietude for respite from His perfect tranquility. In darkness He must be the light and in error He must be the guide. The rationale for God’s perfectness can run ad infinitum. It is thus against the background of His infallibility that we can say that a scripture that claims to emanate from Him must of necessity be infallible. And upon the basis of fallibility can we deem as fair our assessment of any one of the faiths and scriptures in this competitive market place of faith.
  
The Case for the Qur'an shall be our next Heading. Just Watch out and thanks for reading.
Kadri: