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In Manchester back in 1999 to 2001, one of the kindest people I dealt with was Max, a Pakistani, Muslim, although based on our dialogue, apparently not too devout of a Muslim. He was basically a cultural Muslim.
As I respected him at his Popeye's restaurant, unlike many of the English locals that disrespected him. Max respected me.
Crumpsall was a 'shady' area.
Max would always take personal time to specifically, specially make my meal and we would discuss Christianity and Islam and other topics. Sometimes he would invite me to sit, or if he was busy with customers I would chat with him while waiting for the take-out order. He allowed me to use the personal washroom as an act of kindness rather than me having to wait until walking back to my flat.
He made delicious pizza, burgers and fries.
The area was Crumpsall in Greater Manchester and near Popeye's restaurant one day a resident kindly told me, "Beware this is like the Bronx'.
Minus the Yankees of course.
It was apparently very close to a centre of the former Industrial Revolution, but was at that time suffering many years of economic decay.
When in the process of moving to another local area, before I left I promised Max that my British Columbia friend (Chuck visiting from his work in Belgium) and I would visit him one more time prior to me moving back to British Columbia for good. When Pope Chucklins and I returned to visit Max at Popeye's he was so impressed that I kept my word, he made Chuck and I meals for free.
This Muslim gentleman, Max, showed me more kindness and goodness than most people that I have known as well in my life, including most Christians.
Chuck was impressed with Max and the food as well.
I have a similar example, which I will not go into detail with my current work in corporate security and very kind trainers of other faiths and philosophies.
Demonstrating more kindness and love to me than some, not all, to be clear, of my Christian academic advisers.
Religious implications of these two examples.
Obviously, I am not infinite. I am a finite procreated creation from God (Genesis 1-3) and as well I am sinful (Romans 1-6).
However, if I had the power, I would never in my human nature and limited free will damn such persons to physical death or everlasting hell, apart from God.
Even with my Biblical Christian perspective and acknowledgment and theological understanding of human sinfulness and human unacceptability to God as present flesh and blood (1 Corinthians 15); and the lack of belief in the Triune God and Christ and therefore non-regeneration, being incompatibility with the holiness of God, I would keep these persons in the earthly realm in hope that they would come to Christ eventually. I would hope and pray that those I care about and care about me would be saved.
I love whom loves me, not to state that I do not with the guidance of the Holy Spirit attempt to love humanity. But Christ himself stated that even the Gentiles love each other (Matthew 5).
In other words it is a common human trait to love those that love you.
I can acknowledge that those outside of Christ can be significantly kind, loving and moral, even in comparison to some Christians.
But I do not as a human being have the divine choice of life or death, or everlasting or punishment for anyone.
I am not divine, deity or God. Nor I am fit as finite and sinful to properly fully judge any person.
This issue, broadly speaking is where some non-Biblical Christian religions and some within radical liberal Christian err.
They assume that 'good' persons, that is good persons by their definition or some kind of consensus should have everlasting life, if there is such a thing and if non-existence is not the end for all humanity.
It is as if a person is more than 50% good or like, as opposed to bad, for example, then he or she should be saved and have everlasting/eternal life.
But the Biblical, theological model is that salvation and everlasting/eternal life is through Christ and his atoning and resurrection work (John 1, those born of God, John 3, one must be born again through the Spirit and those with belief in Christ shall have eternal life, John 14, that Christ is the only way to the Father).
Further, God through Christ and the Holy Spirit in Trinity, elects and predestines those in Christ (Ephesians 1, Romans 8) and this is through grace through faith to salvation for good works. James 2 also providing the need for a believer in Christ to demonstrate an alive faith. A faith in the true Biblical God.
Therefore, my personal views, outside of illumination from Scripture in context, and the views of any finite person, religion or liberal Christian church, outside of illumination from Scripture in context, on death and everlasting/eternal life or everlasting/eternal death are not determinate or meaningful in the earthly and everlasting realm, destiny of anyone.
One can witness to all nations to hopefully make disciples (Matthew 28) and this would include prayer as do all aspects of Christian life. But related religious views and theology from a reasonable Christian perspective should be Biblical, as this is allowing God to speak, so to speak, through documented religious history.
Not relying primarily or significantly on religious and personal, empirical and philosophical sentiment.
This track 'Dragon Song' and the 1970 'Devotion' instrumental album has really grown on
NY Daily News
The related story is sick and I do not wish to blog on it, but when I saw the photo it made me chuckle (no offense, Chuckles). He looks like he fits the story, I suppose.
|New York Daily News|