Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What Is She Thinking?

Or more accurately...is she thinking?
My professor mentioned this article in class this morning. The good father is in disbelief that anyone could use this sort of thought process. My thoughts are in red. My professor equated this with hinotheism, but I don't think that defines it well enough.

From the Seattle Times:

Shortly after noon on Fridays, the Rev. Ann Holmes Redding ties on a black headscarf, preparing to pray with her Muslim group on First Hill.

On Sunday mornings, Redding puts on the white collar of an Episcopal priest.
She does both, she says, because she's Christian and Muslim. Sure she is. I hate to break it to her, but she is neither Christian nor Muslim.

Redding, who until recently was director of faith formation at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, has been a priest for more than 20 years. Now she's ready to tell people that, for the last 15 months, she's also been a Muslim — drawn to the faith after an introduction to Islamic prayers left her profoundly moved.

Her announcement has provoked surprise and bewilderment in many, raising an obvious question: How can someone be both a Christian and a Muslim?

[...]

"There are tenets of the faiths that are very, very different," said Kurt Fredrickson, director of the doctor of ministry program at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. "The most basic would be: What do you do with Jesus?" Right on!

Christianity has historically regarded Jesus as the son of God and God incarnate, both fully human and fully divine. Muslims, though they regard Jesus as a great prophet, do not see him as divine and do not consider him the son of God.

"I don't think it's possible" to be both, Fredrickson said, just like "you can't be a Republican and a Democrat."

Redding, who will begin teaching the New Testament as a visiting assistant professor at Seattle University this fall, has a different analogy: "I am both Muslim and Christian, just like I'm both an American of African descent and a woman. I'm 100 percent both." You can keep telling yourself that, but it doesn't make it true. The difference is it that your race and your gender do not contradict one another.

[...]

"It wasn't about intellect," she said. "All I know is the calling of my heart to Islam was very much something about my identity and who I am supposed to be.
"I could not not be a Muslim." And you are still not Muslim. You aren't Christian either.

[...]

As much as she loves her church, she has always challenged it. She calls Christianity the "world religion of privilege." She has never believed in original sin. And for years she struggled with the nature of Jesus' divinity. So you have always been a heretic. Maybe you are more Muslim than Christian, because you definately aren't Christian if you don't believe in the divinity of Jesus.

[...]

Ironically, it was at St. Mark's that she first became drawn to Islam.
In fall 2005, a local Muslim leader gave a talk at the cathedral, then prayed before those attending. Redding was moved. As he dropped to his knees and stretched forward against the floor, it seemed to her that his whole body was involved in surrendering to God.

Then in the spring, at a St. Mark's interfaith class, another Muslim leader taught a chanted prayer and led a meditation on opening one's heart. The chanting appealed to the singer in Redding; the meditation spoke to her heart. She began saying the prayer daily. One more reason why churches shouldn't introduce practices of other faiths...like yoga and reiki.

[...]

She believes the Trinity is an idea about God and cannot be taken literally.
She does not believe Jesus and God are the same, but rather that God is more than Jesus. HERESY!

She believes Jesus is the son of God insofar as all humans are the children of God, and that Jesus is divine, just as all humans are divine — because God dwells in all humans. More Heresy! And you calls yourself Christian!

What makes Jesus unique, she believes, is that out of all humans, he most embodied being filled with God and identifying completely with God's will.

She does believe that Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected, and acknowledges those beliefs conflict with the teachings of the Quran. "That's something I'll find a challenge the rest of my life," she said. Not only do Christians consider her a heretic, but Muslims do too! Let me guess, she is going to start her own religion. She can call it Muslims for Jesus.

She considers Jesus her savior. But the redeemer must have equity with God. If Jesus isn't God he can't be the Savior. At times of despair, because she knows Jesus suffered and overcame suffering, "he has connected me with God," she said.
That's not to say she couldn't develop as deep a relationship with Mohammed. "I'm still getting to know him," she said.

[...]

Redding knows there are many Christians and Muslims who will not accept her as both. No kidding!

"I don't care," she says. "They can't take away my baptism." And as she understands it, once she's made her profession of faith to become a Muslim, no one can say she isn't that, either. Nope, no one can take away her baptism, but she has already rejected it. She was baptized in the name of the Trinity...something she doesn't believe in.

While she doesn't rule out that one day she may choose one or the other, it's more likely "that I'm going to be 100 percent Christian and 100 percent Muslim when I die." That is a stretch because right now she is 0 percent of both.

[...]

"For me, that symbolizes who I am," Redding said. "I look through Jesus and I see Allah." Oh my! No comment.

Read the complete article here.

5 comments:

Brian Michael Page said...

Why do I want to equate it to giving herself to God and Mammon?
BMP

Anonymous said...

Islam and Christianity are mutually exclusive. To profess Mohammed as a "prophet" is to implicitly deny Christ. The Holy Trinity and the Arabic "Allah" have nothing in common.

Domini Sumus said...

By calling herself Christian and Muslim, she is practicing polytheism which is forbidden by both religions she says she follows.

So what is the result? She is neither and worships a God of her own making.

Matthew Kelley said...

wow. im not quite sure what to say.

Martin O'Shea said...

A graphic novel which may interest visitors to your blog is available from:

www.forbiddenplanet.co.uk

'The Least Among Us' explores the response of the Church to suffering in itself and a preview is available at: http://www.all-creatures.org/fol/ann-theleast.html

Whilst the book challenges certain attitudes and dogma it remains a Catholic (if underground) comic.

All best wishes,

Martin