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Thursday, April 20, 2006

 

Liquid

Well today was the first day of Liquid.
I survived Easter Camp, for those who were wondering.

The first day of liquid was a chance to get out and experience some different missional settings.

The first excursion of the day was to the Preston Mosque.
Yep, that's right, the first stop on our tour of Christian missional settings was a Mosque.
And just so you know, there were no young men chanting the koran being brainwashed into being suicide bombers.
There was no oppression of the women.

We were shown around the mosque, including the wash room where Muslims wash before praying.
It was interesting to hear how their prayer times are synced with the sunlight, and therefore the seasons.
They are very connected to the Earth and the seasons, not like us urbanised Christians.
He also spoke of how the different 'denominations' of Muslims would all join together to pray at the mosque.
No matter where you are in the world the Muslim prayer liturgy is the same, no matter what 'denomination' you are.
The act of praying to Mecca is also a unifying principle behind Islam.

Perhaps we Christians have alot to learn from our Muslim brothers, before we go generalising them all as anti-Christian extremists.

We also visited Northern Community Churches of Christ's Connect congregation. This is a congregation that meets around a 3 course meal for $3. It was a great meal and great fellowship. I sat with a couple of guys that live in the area and we had a great chat about all sorts of things. They were very real and not like most people you would meet in your average church service.

In the afternoon we travelled to Springvale to visit UNOH, or Urban Neighbours of Hope. www.unoh.org
That was another great experience. Everyone who I have ever talked to who is into the emerging church or missional communities always talks about how UNOH has shaped their thinking, so it was great to see it first hand.

So alot of things happened.

Then tonight I had football training.
In the rain.
as a great friend of mine would say:
"I think there's something in that for all of us"

Comments:
you sound quite cynical of the way Islam is portrayed in a western world. but do you really think that they would oppress women and chant/brainwash you with the koran, or declare their hatred for Christians when they knew you guys were coming?Of course they wouldnt!In fact the Koran says that they should lie to uphold Islam and Allah!the picture you would get from walking into my church would be different from alot of the peoples beliefs. I think in your attempt to find understanding and equality for muslims you've been a bit too cynical.

Also by saying we have something to learn of their prayer i think not. They say the same thing over and over, there is no relationship with God.Weve got too many 'christian' without a relationship with God already!And Mohammod got his ideas of when to pray from Christian monks who would pray reguarly (i think it was 12 times a day...cant remember exact number tho...), but Mohommad thought they prayed too often so he decided to pray less!

i find your comment on the link between the earth and prayer intereseting though,perhaps you could write a blog on that...

i think its good that you try to affirm parts of Islam,this should help you with relationships with muslims but never forget the truth that is only found in Jesus.

Galations 1:6-9, I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! (NIV)
 
Thanks for the comment, I am glad to see someone reads my blog! It would be nice if next time you posted with your name, so as I knew who I was chatting to.

Your right, I am very cynical of the way Islam is portrayed in the western world.
Just like the Catholics of the 1920s and the Communists of the 1950s-80s, the Muslims have become the 'them' of the '00s.
In Australia we have a need to portray an 'us and them' mentality.
Unlucky for the Muslims that it is them that have been picked to be portrayed negatively.
I remember seeing a survey of Australian newspaper coverage that found that 80% of the time "Muslim" appeared in Australian newspaper it was accompanied by the word "terrorist".
And that survey wasn't put out by an Islamic organisation.

I wonder if you could point out for me the point in the Koran where it says that Muslims should lie to uphold Islam?
If you were so versed in the Koran you would also know that it is a book of peace and not a book of holy war, as most non-muslim westerners would understand it.

You comment that "they say the same thing over and over again" when they pray. Well that sounds like the songs in most churches services I go to. Repetition is not a bad thing. Alot of Christian traditions use repetition. Monastic communities use matra and chanting, right through to most churches that would recite the Lord's prayer.
The Christian monks that Mohammod visited actually prayed 7 times a day. If you wish to bring up frequency of prayer, I wonder how many times a day you stop what you are doing and pray?
It is easy to say the Muslims are slack compared to 'the Christians', but I don't know many Christians who pray more than twice a day, if that.

I like your quoting of Galatians.
I am a big fan of Paul.
I wonder what he would think of the gospel of Western Christianity today.
A Christianity that is tied up in materialism (the idolatry of money), and is used as a gospel of the powerful, when infact the gospel story was written to those who had no power. Those who were oppressed.

but again, thank you for your comments.
 
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