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Archive for December, 2012

Entering 2013…

2013

As we leave the year 2012 and enter the year 2013, how about each of us doing what Paul recommends in 2 Corinthians 13:5 (The Message)

“Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it.”

The love of the Father God, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit continue to fill you anew…

 

WOWChurch Christmas Service

WOWChurch Introduction

WOWChurch

Christmas Service

20th December 2012

The Schedule

  • Introduction

  • Time of silence for reflection and confession

  • Happy Birthday WOWChurch

  • Let’s Give Thanks to God for Christmas

  • Our International Guest – Tasha singing Mary’s Boy Child Jesus Christ

  • The 7 Antiphons:

  • Sapientia – Wisdom

  • Adonai – Holy Lord

  • Radix Jesse – Root of Jesse

  • Clavis David – Key of David

  • Oriens – Morning Star

  • Rex Gentium – King of the Nations

  • Emmanuel – God-with-us

  • Jesus? Why and who?

  • Prayers for the bereaved, housebound, lonely, ill, worried, homeless, persecuted or victims of injustice

  • Let’s go tell this message!

 

Exploring Islam 06

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Exploring Islam

6. Allah versus God – The Oneness of Allah

Welcome to ‘Exploring Islam’. We are now starting to look at some of the beliefs of Islam and see how they are similar or different to those of Christianity. For this session we shall examine the concept of Allah, which is simply the Arabic word for God and existed before Islam. These words are the same linguistically, but what about the characteristics behind them between the Islamic Allah and the Christian God?

No description of Allah would be complete without emphasising the oneness of his being. His superiority in all things immediately sets himself as unique. Qur’an 112 – ‘Say: He is Allah, the One! Allah, the Eternally Implored by all! He begets not nor was begotten. And there is none comparable to him.’

There are also verses which specifically assert that Allah is different from the Trinitarian view of God in Christianity, which Islam understands as being in fact three gods not one. Quran 4:171b – ‘So – believe in Allah and his messengers, and say not “Three” – Cease! (It is) better for you! – Allah is only One God. Far is it removed from his Transcendent Majesty that he should have a son.’

When Muhammad was first proclaiming these verses, which would later become the Qur’an, he was attempting to move the Arab people away from polytheism, the belief and practice in worshipping many gods. In conjunction with his understanding that Christians had corrupted their message from Allah given by the Islamic prophet Jesus to include Jesus’ divinity, it is understandable that there was a real need for an explicit difference to be made with the Islamic perspective of Allah.

For Christianity, the concept of God is inseparably bound to the term ‘Trinity’, that of God the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. To believe in such a doctrine is for a Muslim to commit one of the worst sins defined as shirk, to associate anything else to the one and only Allah. This primary difference in belief between these religions centered on the person of Jesus Christ can act as one of the tallest barriers preventing useful religious discussion, and ultimately for a Muslim to convert to Christianity.

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Prayers for Sandy Hook Elementary School

Prayers for Sandy Hook Elementary School

 

A minute of silence for you to pray for all those connected with the shootings today, 14/12/2012, of at least 27 people including 18 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, USA…

 

Partakers Friday Prayers

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Partakers Friday Prayers!

14th December 2012!

We pray together and when Christians pray together, from different nations, different churches and different denominations – that reveals Church unity!

Today we are specifically praying for Chris and Lorraine, helping give drug education and bringing hope to people!

Come join in! Play & download the video!

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Exploring Islam 05

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Exploring Islam

5. Allah versus God – Merciful and Mighty

 

Welcome to ‘Exploring Islam’. We are now starting to look at some of the beliefs of Islam and see how they are similar or different to those of Christianity. For this session we shall examine the concept of Allah, which is simply the Arabic word for God and existed before Islam. These words are the same linguistically, but what about the characteristics behind them between the Islamic Allah and the Christian God?

 

Two of the most important attributes of Allah repeated many times in the Qur’an is that of his mercy and his greatness. The opening verses in the Qur’an begin; Quran 1:1-4 – ‘In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. [All] praise is [due] to Allah, Lord of the worlds – The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful, Sovereign of the Day of Recompense.’

 

Allah is seen as the source of all benefits in life through his merciful will and action. Allah forgives sins and allows followers into Paradise all in accordance with his great mercy. Much on the surface seems similar to that of Christianity’s God. God is revealed as full of compassion and mercy (James 5:11), and the culmination of these attributes is seen in the saving work of Jesus; Ephesians 2:4-5 – ‘But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions.’

 

Within Islam, Allah operates his mercy and indeed all action in accordance to his will. This is not dissimilar to God in Christianity. However, in Islam as Allah is essentially unknowable it is difficult if not impossible to actually know or even predict how Allah is going to act. Muslims however do demonstrate great faith in their commitment during adversity believing that Allah’s will resides in every experience of life, positive or negative.

 

However, as we have seen in a previous podcast there is a level of uncertainty and lack of control on the part of the follower. As a result some turn to alternative means like Folk Islam in an attempt to influence their situation. It would be unfair to claim the opposite for Christianity, that God’s will and plans for us are so crystal clear that we do not experience times of doubt or fear. However, speaking as a Christian, God reveals his nature to be unchanging in the Bible, and through the personal relationship which I have cultivated with Him I feel I can draw solace in difficult times knowing that Jesus is with me (Hebrews 13:5).

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Exploring Islam 04

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Exploring Islam

Allah versus God – Essentially Unknowable

Welcome to ‘Exploring Islam’. We are now starting to look at some of the beliefs of Islam and see how they are similar or different to those of Christianity. For this session we shall examine the concept of Allah, which is simply the Arabic word for God and existed before Islam. These words are the same linguistically, but what about the characteristics behind them between the Islamic Allah and the Christian God?

Essentially unknowable.

This may seem a rather negative launch point but it is an important concept to realise within Islam. The Qur’an does not reveal Allah rather it shows how people should live in accordance to his will. He is essentially transcendent to all, he is above and beyond everything we do know or could possibly understand. Qur’an 16:74 – ‘So do not assert similarities to Allah. Indeed, Allah knows and you do not know.’

Humanity’s position in regard to its creator is that of a slave with a master. There is no possibility for a personal relationship like that found in Christianity where the analogy is a divine Father with His children. However, this is not to say that Allah is disinterested in his creation, humanity, or his Muslim followers, far from it. In fact the Qur’an describes Allah as being exceptionally close:  Qur’an 50:16 – ‘And We have already created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein.’ This description of Allah is understood to be more of an awareness of everything that is happening in creation. Allah is all knowing and all powerful, just as Christianity’s God is.

The most significant difference between them is that in orthodox Islam Allah makes no attempt to personally reveal himself or to reach out to humanity in the same way as God does. In Christianity, God loves his creation to such a degree that he becomes a man in the person of Jesus Christ in order to fully reveal to us his nature (Colossians 2:9), how we are to live, and ultimately provide the route for our forgiveness – Hebrews 1:3 – ‘The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.’

However, just a cursory glance through the Qur’an and you will notice there are many adjectives used to describe Allah and so Muslims are given some concepts which to form their beliefs and service, the 99 names of Allah.

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