PORTSMOUTH — The topic of the Islam faith has become a global discussion, and Dr. Wayne Young, director of spiritual formation at Cornerstone United Methodist Church (UMC) in Portsmouth, was asked to share a second talk on Islam Tuesday at Cornerstone.
Young said some of the questions were very insightful during the period of questions and answers after his discussion.
“There were some very insightful questions. One of the questions asked was, ‘Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?’ There are hundreds of responses, but it really depends upon the individual researcher,” Young said. “The difference is how Muslims and Christians perceive God.”
During the course of the presentation, Young shared that one of the major theological differences in Christianity and the Islam faith is how Christ is regarded. Jesus Christ is the king in Christianity and Muslims respect Jesus as a prophet.
An abbreviated listing of other items discussed include:
- Bida – which means change, motivation and can mean heresy.
- Shirk – the greatest sin, to call Jesus the son of God.
- Ijma – Concensus among religious leaders that everything that need to be decided has already been decided.
- Ijtihad – to exert one’s self.
- Sharia Law – based upon the Koran, both theology and law entertwined.
- Dar el-Islam – House of Peace.
“This is always something more to learn, but it is current and the situations are always developing. We always here from the folks who are causing trouble, but we are beginning to hear from the folks whose voices are more moderate, more peaceful,” Young said. “So it is kind of waiting then, at this point to see what the Muslim community does at this point in time, and that is an interesting situation to watch development.”
Mike Riley of Portsmouth attended the talk on Islam Tuesday and said religion acceptance is the key.
“With the increasing population of American Muslims, we are all going to have to be accepting of one another’s religion, culture and beliefs and live together,” Riley said. “My son lives in Cleveland and the largest minority group there are Indians, from India. They are very devout Hindus. So, we have to be very respectful and accepting of each other’s religions.”
“I think that the continued study and research more than anything, emphasizes how difficult the situation is, and how significant it is in terms of our communities of living in peace,” Young said. “The more you read about it, the more you think, will they develop like Western Christianity did? Will their thought processes change? I just don’t know. The situation becomes more and more difficult.”
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.