Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Interesting quiz

I found a link to this interesting quiz while browsing through the Kindle library on Amazon looking at books about Islam.

According to the results it gave me, I'm 93% - extremely compatible. If you take the quiz, would you post your results here so I can see? I'm curious, especially about all my non-Muslim sisters out there. I know all my Muslimah sisters agree already, but I have love for all of you, too. : )

You know, if it weren't for the whole Jesus debate, I could be Muslim. I really believe I could.


  1. The whole Jesus debate? I suppose there is some discrepancy there, but one needn't believe anything in particular about Jesus in order to be a Muslim. It's not a requirement.

  2. I got 86%. =)

    P.S. I am Roman Catholic. So, you know- death penalty thingy.

  3. Banana Queen,

    I would have to believe He was just a prophet who was granted the ability to work miracles, rather than believe He was the Son of God. That's a *really* big philosophical difference and one that I can't resolve in favor of Islam. The 12 years spent going to church (the Church of Christ) and what I learned there is, I think, too deeply engrained to truly change.

    I don't know about the Catholic view on the death penalty. Please enlighten me! : ) And thanks for letting me know how your quiz turned out. : D

  4. I got 82%. Amber did a long post on her views of the death penalty back in April I think. It was soon after Lent when she came back to blogging.

  5. Hmmm... I guess I somehow missed it. Figures. I'm not exactly the best at keeping up with things. : P

  6. You may have been busy. :) Here I found it for you:

  7. Catholics are opposed to the death penalty. Human life is sacred.

    They are also opposed to abortion, for the most part, though I am pro-choice because I think it is a deeply personal decision.

    They are also against war, for the most part, because the deaths are not worth it.

    They generally err on the side of life.

    But, here is my understanding about the philosophical differences on Jesus - they matter, and they exist, but they are not critical to accepting Islam.

    In order to be a Muslim, you must accept that there is only one God and that Muhammad was His messenger.

    There are some compelling arguments in favor of the Islamic view. For one thing, many ancient branches of Christianity did not accept Christ as the literal embodiment of God. Second, Christ himself said he was not God. He worshiped God, too, and (side note) in exactly the same form as Muslims (forehead to the ground).

    You may want to study Catholicism and the origins of the faith - many protestant ideas come directly from Catholicism. Well, they would have to- the Catholic Church was THE Christian church for over 1000 years. They determined which stories/books went into the Bible, the Canon as it were.

    Because you lean to more traditional interpretations of scripture, and yet are very attached to Christ as God (it seems), perhaps you would do well in Orthodoxy. You could look around and see if there is a good Russian, Greek, or other Christian Orthodox Church. They often offer classes. The Catholic Church also offers classes, but they have been reformed and reformed and a lot of the traditions have been stripped away. Many people are turning away and going back to Orthodoxy. The Orthodox churches all split off from the Catholic Church before the Luther reformation and have very rich histories themselves (and very traditional interpretations of Christianity, with many women in full "hijab")...

    There are also movements within the Catholic Church that are pushing for more traditional interpretations of scripture.

    There is no obligation in the classes. You just call up the different churches and see about attending. It may give you some perspective and direction, or maybe just a deeper understanding in general.

    I know you have a lot on your plate, what with serving the country and all. Wish you luck in your journey!

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  9. So, with regard to Jesus in Islam...

    What I mean to say is that the requirement for being considered a Muslim is narrower- you only have to believe in one God, and that Muhammad was the messenger of God.

    The arguments in favor of Islam are compelling. For one thing, there are several very ancient Christian "sects" that broke away from the Orthodox Catholic Church after the Church decided that Christ was God incarnate. Jesus himself declared that He was not God, and many people take his statement of "son of God" to mean that we are all the children of God. Jesus also worshiped and feared God, which is a somewhat schizophrenic idea. His form of worship was the same as Muslims, too- on his knees, forehead to the earth...

    In a mystical sense, we could argue that God is contained in the essence of every soul, so that while Jesus may not have been God in the human form (that is to say, all that was God was concentrated in human flesh)... he still was a part of God.

    God is capable of being a stone - indeed, a stone would be nothing without God. But, God is not ONLY a stone, so we cannot worship a stone as God.

  10. Oh hey, look, it posted my original comment after all. Pfft.

  11. I got a 73% compatibility. But they're really very general questions and sometimes I think they're fudging the answers a bit. Like I answered 'no' on the question of whether women should fully cover their bodies and it said that that made me compatible with Islam. Which...sure. If we're talking about a liberal kind of Islam. But not traditionally. And some of the questions are a little off, for me. Like the original sin question. I don't believe that children are born carrying the guilt of any persons sin. But I do believe that we are born with the consequences of original sin. So it's different from the common perception of original sin in the west - I believe in the Orthodox definition which isn't covered by that really simple quiz. So I had to answer 'no', which pegged me as agreeing with the Qur'an when, in fact, I don't.

    And for the democratic response, the Roman Catholic Church split from the Orthodox Church. Not the other way round. :) If you're looking for the original Christian church look to Orthodoxy, not Roman Catholicism.

    Susanne pointed you to the death penalty posts I did way back. It's very long (I had to split it into two posts) and it's really more about whether or not a person, as a Christian, can support the death penalty. I didn't make it Roman Catholic specific. Though at the time I was fully Roman Catholic and I supported the death penalty. Still do, as a matter of fact.

  12. I think there were several splits, as there are several Orthodox churches. The Greeks had it the worst, I think.


    Everyone is so different in their beliefs. I have been called a bad Catholic because I am pro-choice. *sigh*

    It's such a journey. =)

  13. Amber - did you leave Catholicism and join an Orthodox Church?

  14. Susanne: Thanks for finding the link! I'm too lazy... LOL!

    Banana Queen: Well, the belief about Jesus is most often the biggest dividing point between Islam and Christianity. As much as I love 2:136 in the Qur'an - it's a gorgeous verse - it does place Jesus firmly in the Prophet category. While that is dandy with Christians - Jesus as prophet, agreed - in Islam the Christian view of Jesus as the Son of God (as taught by my church, and I've gotten the "you're going to Hell" look from people - especially the evangelist Pentecostal types - before when discussing religion and how my church taught that Jesus was the Son of God, not God Himself.) or God in human form is totally off. "Worship the Creator, not the creation", etc. There are other differences, too, but Jesus' role is the biggie.

    The Church of Christ isn't so much "traditional", I suppose, as it is literal. At least the one I was raised in was. That means all the scary stuff in Revelations, as well as all the other stuff sometimes taught as metaphorical in other denominations, is real. That there will be multi-headed dragons, etc, in a very real sense.

  15. Banana Queen,

    When you say there are several Orthodox churches are you referring to the fact that they are called by their nationalities? Like the Greek Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox, Serbian Orthodox, Orthodox Church of America, etc.? Because if so, that's not a split. Each Orthodox patriarchate or autocephalous church keeps their ethnic or national identity but theologically they are all in communion which makes them all a part of the Eastern Orthodox Church. There are Oriental Orthodox - the Church of the East (which is Nestorian in nature) which began in what is modern day Iraq and Iran and the Non-Chalcedonian (or Monophysite) churches who broke from the Church as a whole in the 5th and 6th centuries. But both of these groups broke from the Church and followed heresies, so while there is always hope for reunion with them they're not really Orthodox any longer.

    did you leave Catholicism and join an Orthodox Church?

    Not officially yet. I've been studying the differences and the history between the two sides and I keep coming down on the side of Orthodoxy both for theological and historical reasons. So, eventually, yes. I will be converting to Eastern Orthodoxy.

  16. Amber,

    I agree with you - not original sin, but the consequences of it. For me that means we sin as we grow older, but that babies and children with no real understanding of right and wrong aren't held accountable for their sins until they can make that distinction. That's why I don't believe in the concept of Purgatory or, by extension, infant baptism, as it is done without the full understanding of the person being baptized.

  17. Amber- you know a lot more about Orthodoxy than I do. ;)

    Did you know that the word "Amber" means "Sky" in Indian and some interpretations of Arabic (it's an Arabic name). My name is Sky and my sister's name is Amber, so it was an interesting thing for us to discover. =)

    My issue with Eastern Orthodoxy is its stance on marriage. That has driven a wedge between the Orthodox and Catholic churches, besides the whole Papal authority thing. But the idea of marriage as "forever" is terrifying. Some widows/widowers are left with nothing.


  18. Everyone is so different in their beliefs. I have been called a bad Catholic because I am pro-choice. *sigh*

    Forgot to comment on this one in my original comment. Sorry!

    I'm personally very much against abortion the way it is used by most of society today. For so many of the cases the woman is pregnant because of reckless choices that she's made in her life. Why should the child die because of that? There are options. It may not seem like they are wholly good ones - giving the child up to State foster care or out for adoption but isn't that better than killing the child out right?

    On the other hand I cannot say that I would be able to look at the pregnant victim or incest or rape and tell her that she has no choice at all and must carry her child to term no matter what. I would encourage her to carry the child and then to give it up, but I would understand if she couldn't do it. She's already been victimised and had her power and her choices taken away from her. What right do I have to take even more from her?

    I actually know a woman who gave birth and kept the child of her rapist. She's raised him and her husband has adopted him. Her rapist was never identified or caught, and I cannot imagine the strength that it took for her to keep her child and not look at him and see the monster that is his father every day. She's a strong person but I can't condemn women who choose another path.

    And what about those rare cases where carrying the child endangers the mothers life? Whose life is more important? The one that hasn't begun in the world yet or the one who is walking and talking and looking at me?

    I don't think any of these women make their decisions lightly and I think that those people who stand outside abortion clinics and condemn them with vitriol and hate are terrible witnesses for Christ and are doing so much harm. For every one that they convince not to go through with it, how many more react adversely to them and will never seek aide from a religious organization because they fear the continued condemnation?

    One of my best friends has a cousin whose mother died of cancer. She was diagnosed right after she found out that she was pregnant. They could have treated the cancer with chemo and she might have lived but it would definitely have killed her baby. She made the choice to refuse treatment and carry her child to term. The cousin has a scar on one knee from where the cancer had grown into the womb and was starting to grow into her. Her mother gave birth to her and died later that day. She made that choice knowing full well that she was killing herself to give her child a chance - she had no way of knowing for sure that the cancer wouldn't get the baby as well. How hard was that choice? Was it worth it for her? To know that her child would live but that she wouldn't be there in person to raise her? I don't know.

    Like I said - these women don't make the decisions lightly and I can't sit there and judge them from my ivory tower. If that makes me a bad Christian of any flavor then so be it.

  19. Amber,

    I agree. I think that women who have to make a choice in that matter suffer a great deal in the choosing, not just at the time, but also for a long time afterward. Whether they have an abortion, carry the baby to term and then put it up for adoption, or keep it, it has a lasting impact on 99.99% of them. Since none of those are things I have to face, I can't justify a judgemental attitude in the matter.

    When it comes down to it, it's between that person and God, as it should be.

  20. That's why I don't believe in the concept of Purgatory or, by extension, infant baptism, as it is done without the full understanding of the person being baptized.

    Purgatory's more a theory than anything else and without the idea that infants are born with the stain of original sin it's unnecessary. Now, infant baptism though, is different. Infant baptism is not done to wash away this non existent 'stain' of original sin. It's performed as the Christian version of circumcision. It is the bringing of the child into the Christian family in order to be brought up in the fullness of the faith. It's the same logic that leads the Eastern Orthodox to Chrismate the infant and also to have them receive the Eucharist from the start. They don't wait to do so until they are older. That way the child is receiving the spiritual food that will help them grow (along with religious instruction) their entire lives.

  21. I am against abortion insofar as I believe it is wrong, but I think we need to remedy society before we condemn women for hard choices.

    One of the things that needs to happen, in my opinion, is that men need to begin taking responsibility again for their own actions. The so-called "women's" movement stripped away the roles of men, forcing women to do it all. It eroded away the family, and took men out of the equation. Now women are struggling more than ever and men feel useless.

    I don't believe one sex is better than the other, just that each has their innate strengths and roles. It isn't that women aren't smart enough or capable enough to make it in the business world, it's just that someone needs to be around for the children.

    This is coming from a single mother/sociologist. I just know the statistics- the number one indicator for future success is having been raised in a 2 parent home, period. And yet I am a single mother- not by choice, but because society is not holding men accountable any longer.

    Life needs to get a lot better for women and children before we even begin addressing abortion. I always remind people of another gruesome statistic that is true in the United States: one of the top causes of death for pregnant women is MURDER at the hands of her romantic partner.

    I resist laws on abortion that offer exemptions for rape and incest, because only the woman truly knows or understands the circumstances behind her pregnancy and should not have to "prove" anything to anyone. The decision is hers and hers alone, as only she will stand before God and be asked to explain her decision someday.

    My opinions, of course. =)

  22. Banana,

    Amber- you know a lot more about Orthodoxy than I do. ;)

    Oh good! That means some of this studying is sinking in! :)

    Did you know that the word "Amber" means "Sky" in Indian and some interpretations of Arabic (it's an Arabic name). My name is Sky and my sister's name is Amber, so it was an interesting thing for us to discover. =)

    I did not know that. I knew that Amber was Arabic in origin but I don't recall seeing that it meant Sky. Very neat! So, you and your sister sort of have the same name?

    My issue with Eastern Orthodoxy is its stance on marriage. That has driven a wedge between the Orthodox and Catholic churches, besides the whole Papal authority thing. But the idea of marriage as "forever" is terrifying. Some widows/widowers are left with nothing.

    What do you think the Easter Orthodox stance on marriage is?

    My understanding of the Roman Catholic stance on marriage is that it is forever. They allow for civil divorce but you remain religiously married to your spouse unless you receive an annulment which is not a 'divorce' but rather a declaration that your marriage was never a true marriage in the first place.

    Now, I admit that I haven't made the Eastern Orthodox marriage laws a primary area of study since I am neither married nor dating anyone seriously enough to consider marriage at this point but my understanding is that they too allow divorce but you are only allowed three marriages. So you can get divorced twice, and after the first marriage the matrimonial service is very solemn and acknowledges the previous marriage and the sadness that it was dissolved and the seriousness of entering into a marriage again. As for those who are widowed, I believe that they are encouraged to stay single but they are not barred from marrying again if they so desire. But again, that's just from a brief study of marriage tangential to other matters. I haven't made an in depth study of it and there may be finer points of theology and law that I am unaware of that would have an impact of who can remarry.

  23. On marriage- after death.

    My understanding (limited, admittedly) of Orthodox churches is that marriage is literally forever, so that widows/widowers may never remarry.

    The Catholic Church is "til death do us part".

  24. I just did a quick search to verify what I had said. Every site that I checked (ones that I frequent and know are in keeping with Eastern Orthodox theology) agree that remarriage is permissible for widow/ers. It's not encouraged, but then neither is remarriage for those who divorce.

    "The perfect marriage can only be one, single and unique. The prototype of marriage, the unity between Christ and His Church, excludes multiple marriages: Christ has only one Church; the Church has no other Christ. Even death cannot break the bond of perfect love. Therefore, the Church does not advocate second or third marriages, even for widows or widowers; rather, they are tolerated as condescension to human frailty and weakness, while fourth marriages are totally forbidden."

    "E. Second and Third Marriages

    1.The Orthodox Church considers one marriage as the norm.

    For this reason, men who after baptism have been married twice or are married to a widow are not accepted as candidates for the priesthood (Apostolic Canons 17 and 18). Marriage is a mystery, a permanent spiritual union which transcends the physical and which even death cannot destroy.

    Therefore the canons of the Church, e.g., canon 2 of St. Basil the Great, impose a penance on widows or widowers who remarry. St. Paul, however, recommends that widows and widowers remarry if their loneliness undermines their spiritual welfare: "To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should remarry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion" (1 Cor. 7:8-9).

    On this basis the Church permits remarriage and bestows on it an appropriate blessing.

    2. The "Order of Second Marriage" as contained in the Service Book is to be used when both partners are entering a second marriage.

    3. While tolerating a second marriage and in certain cases a third, the Church completely forbids a fourth marital union.

    Orthodox practice on this point is governed by the "Tome of Union" of the Council of Constantinople in 920 A. D., which altogether rejects fourth marriage and permits third marriage, with a heavy penance, only to those under 40 years of age, unless they have no children from their preceding marriages."

  25. I'm glad I decided to get follow-up messages sent to me. I woke up to 18 new ones and enjoyed the discussion very much!

    Banana Queen, you seem to be considering Islam for yourself? My issue with Islam isn't only how it deals with Jesus as God, but Muhammad himself. I admire many aspects of Islam and Muslims, but I have a hard time embracing Muhammad as a follow-up prophet. I just think Jesus' message was so much better and Muhammad's was hardly an improvement.

    I'm curious about your comment that even Jesus said he wasn't God. Could you share your thoughts on that?

    Amber, I'd love to read a post from you about why Orthodoxy over Catholicism. What issues historically and theologically have you read and come down on Orthodoxy's side? Why did you not check out Orthodoxy to begin with? Was it not on your radar? I find all that you shared so fascinating! :)

    I agree with what you wrote about the flaws of this quiz especially re: original sin. It totally did not define original sin as I do!

    I agree much with your thoughts on abortion. I can't say how amazing I think those women are who gave their babies life despite of how tough a choice that must have been! WOW!

    Heather, it was easy for me to find. I remember she wrote it after returning from Lent so I found it among April posts. :)

    I enjoyed reading about your church's stance on such issues.

  26. Susanne,

    Wasn't it just the loveliest surprise? : ) I don't think any of my previous posts have generated this much discussion. What fun! ^_^

  27. Nice quiz link. The extra info is good too, if you click on