1. SubscriberFMF
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    12 Oct '15 05:291 edit
    Residents in a Serbian village have threatened to convert to Islam if no action is taken to save their storm-damaged church, it's reported.

    Parish members in Sopic, near the capital Belgrade, made the warning in a letter to the head of Serbia's Orthodox Church, Patriarch Irinej, according to the Alo news website. Asking him to back their campaign for the building to be restored and not demolished, the congregation said: "If we do not receive your support, we will be forced to collectively go over to Islam in order to get better protection for our facilities under Serbian law". It goes on to compare the step to "martyrdom", although it stresses that the converts would "keep Jesus Christ in their heart". From the BBC: the rest is here: http://tinyurl.com/nstqlqg


    What is one to make of this? Does it lend any weight to the suggestion often put forward here that people can simply choose to believe something that they do not believe?

    According to the 'Once Saved Always Saved' theology, if they "keep Jesus Christ in their heart" as Muslims ~ whose religion features Jesus prominently as one of the greatest prophets who will return at the end times to destroy the false messiah ~ will they be "saved"?
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    12 Oct '15 05:451 edit
    Originally posted by FMF
    [quote]Residents in a Serbian village have threatened to convert to Islam if no action is taken to save their storm-damaged church, it's reported.

    Parish members in Sopic, near the capital Belgrade, made the warning in a letter to the head of Serbia's Orthodox Church, Patriarch Irinej, according to the Alo news website. Asking him to back their campaign for t ...[text shortened]... t prophets who will return at the end times to destroy the false messiah ~ will they be "saved"?
    One of the least appealing characteristics of organised Christianity in the UK and a key reason for me leaving the denominational system, was the often revolting avarice over church property, especially real estate. In every situation, that I have been aware of either personally or through friends, where there is real estate at stake, there is an unedifying power struggle to gain control of the property through control of the funding through control of the leadership and therefore the laity and their tithing. This usually results in a bitter split of the leadership and congregation which can have a devastating effect of relationships and people's lives even.

    I don't know, but I strongly suspect there will be the same motivation behind this so what unusual example. It's all about the real estate, nevermind principle, the laity as a whole, the local outreach and witness of Christ. It would be interesting to know how this works out.
  3. Cape Town
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    12 Oct '15 06:24
    Originally posted by FMF
    What is one to make of this?
    An empty threat.

    However, people most definitely can choose to change religion and I have seen it happen, usually in the case of someone changing religion to suit their spouse when they get married. Much more common where I come from, which is predominantly Christian, is changing denomination.

    The reality is that the vast majority of people who belong to a religion are far from sure about all the official beliefs or creed of that religion or denomination and mostly just think there is probably a God and that they don't really know too much about him and as such are quite happy to accept that other religions may be just as correct as the one they follow and given a strong enough motivation they can switch. Most religions are at least 50% tradition anyway and most people recognise that - and sometimes are more passionate about the tradition than the beliefs. A case in point is the Jewish tradition where many people identify as being Jewish even if they are not religious or have joined another religion.
  4. Zugzwang
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    13 Oct '15 20:09
    "The threat is stronger than the execution."
    --Aron Nimzowitsch
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    14 Oct '15 02:10
    These people are being forced....perhaps we can learn a lesson from Naaman and Elisha..
    2 Kings 5:17-19
    So Naaman said, "Then, if not, please let your servant be given two mule-loads of earth; for your servant will no longer offer either burnt offering or sacrifice to other gods, but to the Lord. 18 Yet in this thing may the Lord pardon your servant: when my master goes into the temple of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand, and I bow down in the temple of Rimmon — when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord please pardon your servant in this thing."

    19 Then he said to him, "Go in peace." So he departed from him a short distance.
    NKJV
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    14 Oct '15 03:08
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    These people are being forced...
    They have made a threat in order to get funds for a building under the different funding provisions for Islamic temples; how is that being forced?
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    14 Oct '15 03:18
    Originally posted by divegeester
    They have made a threat in order to get funds for a building under the different funding provisions for Islamic temples; how is that being forced?
    Sorry, I didn't read the whole article...it seems they are on their own as far as I am concerned.
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    14 Oct '15 03:47
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    Sorry, I didn't read the whole article...it seems they are on their own as far as I am concerned.
    In a congregation the power generally sits with the title deeds holder. Often the building becomes the focal point; even seemingly benign objectives, such as a new roof or new carpeting, can become all consuming. Mission statements get drawn up, the congratiom gradually become advocates and evangelists for the church rather than for Jesus. Clubs, fun days, leaflet drops, appeals for double-tithing become part of an outreach which is focused more and more on membership numbers and ultimately income to support the building. Cynical? Look around.
  9. Standard membersonshiponline
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    14 Oct '15 12:073 edits
    Originally posted by divegeester
    They have made a threat in order to get funds for a building under the different funding provisions for Islamic temples; how is that being forced?
    That is kind of what I got out of the short article.
    I thought the title "Christians threaten to convert to Islam" was kind of sensationally misleading as media hype.

    Yea, maybe you could think of it as .... " help us or we threaten to go get help from this Islamic civil authority"

    typical Media hype translation - "Christians threaten to become Moslems !!"

    And if they said in going to get such funds they intend to keep Jesus in their hearts, sounds like they intend to remain Christians.
  10. SubscriberFMF
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    14 Oct '15 12:251 edit
    Originally posted by sonship
    typical Media hype translation - "Christians threaten to become Moslems !!"
    Have any of your Christian friends ever converted to Islam?
  11. Standard membersonshiponline
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    14 Oct '15 16:565 edits
    Originally posted by FMF
    Have any of your Christian friends ever converted to Islam?
    No friend of mine that I can think of has done that.

    However, I think, that Black Panther leader of the 60s Eldredge Cleaver became a born again Christian and latter expressed interest in Islam.

    This is similar to Bob Dylan who became a born again Christian and latter expressed interest in going to Judiasm.

    Now, these were not [edited] personal friends of mine. But my opinion is, that they both probably did not like the attention given to them as poster children for some kind of Americanity or something else and opted to distance themselves from it all.

    Cleaver to moving toward Islam.
    Dylan to moving toward an orthodox Judiasm.

    That is off the top of my head.
    I could be misinformed to some degree.

    I could also add John Lennon, who I think had a similar negative reaction after becoming a believer. And that belief is based on a biography of Lennon that I once spent some time in but did not read entirely.

    I have had friends who became very BITTER after becoming Christians for one reason of great disappointment or another.
    I have a few of those kinds of stories.

    PS. I did hear of one guy who kept going to prison. Everytime he came out he had a different religion.
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