Klear wrote: collegestudent22 wrote:
I don't think it's that big of a stretch, but even suggesting that other religions may have merit gets me shunned at family gatherings sometimes.
This, however, needs to be clarified, and that confusion may be causing your issue regarding your family. When you say 'merit', are you claiming that the followers might be nice fellas, that just happen to be sincerely following an incorrect or incomplete religious picture? Or does 'merit' here imply that their beliefs have some form of 'validity' and Truth, whether because you reject a sizable chunk of your own religion (it's claims that it is the only correct way to God) or because "it's all relative" (or some variation on that idea)?
Does it matter? Neither of these should result in you being shunned at family gatherings!
The latter one definitely should. You would basically be telling your family that their religion is all wrong, without any real reason to do so. They don't like it, and therefore reject association with you, as is their right under the First Amendment (and its equivalent in other Western countries). Pissing people off and seeing them withdraw from you and "shun" you is a normal response.
bzakharin wrote:I think salvation (in the sense that we are all sinners no matter what we do and we need to be saved by something) is a purely Christian concept (I am Jewish, so I can't really speak for Islam, but I'm pretty sure that's the case). There is certainly a process for repentance for sins (which once involved animal sacrifices in certain cases and will again when the temple is rebuilt), but it is a process for an individual and for individual sins. There is no wholesale salvation in communal sacrifices. It is only in additional to personal repentance and perhaps it helps inspire such feelings, but if they're absent, no dice.
"When he goes in to make atonement in the holy place, no one shall be in the tent of meeting until he comes out, that he may make atonement for himself and for his household and for all the assembly of Israel.
" Leviticus 16:17 (emphasis added)
21 "Then Aaron shall lay both of his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the sons of Israel, and all their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and he shall lay them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who stands in readiness. 22 "And the goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to a solitary land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness."
Individual sacrifice was done, but so was collective sacrifice over the sins of the whole nation of Israel.
Furthermore, Jews don't believe that Judaism is the one true religion (in fact, there are some commandments Jews must do that are expressly forbidden to non-Jews). In particular, a large portion believes that the other Abrahamic religions are perfectly legitimate (for non-Jews) and nobody's going to hell for following them.
As far as I can understand, we are both right. I am correct, in that Judaism is considered by Jews to be the most correct way to follow God, but you are definitely right in that Jews also believe that all that a Gentile must do is follow the Seven Laws of Noah and believe in the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. (I am not sure if Islam qualifies, as it was originally followed by the descendants of Esau, not Jacob, but that is up for debate even among Jewish theologians.) As an aside, Mormons also believe that all of humanity gets into Heaven, although they deem the "higher levels" of Heaven as more restricted.
Islam has a similar belief (to a certain extent).
"Verily! Those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians, whoever believes in God and the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve." Qu'ran 2:62
If that is held by a Muslim, I see that belief. Islam, however, has an issue where the Middle East and Indonesia (where the majority of the Muslims live) do not follow this on an official, state line (despite claiming to be theocracies), instead opting for the "Great Satan and Little Satan" theology, where Jews and Christians are unbelievers and should be massacred for that. I don't know what the average Muslim believes, though.
I will state that Islamic doctrine on Hell is based on a "balance" of good vs. evil deeds, and once it is determined it cannot be changed. However, Allah can rescue people from the punishment of Hell if He so chooses (the Qu'ran mentions him removing believers from Hell), so it is unclear whether residence in Hell is a permanent state according to the Qu'ran.
And anyway, there is no hell in Judaism. The Jewish hell is more similar to Christian purgatory (in that it is generally temporary).
I don't know of anything in Christianity that mandates a permanent Hell (other than for Satan, the angels that fell with him, the Anti-christ and False Prophet, and the armies of the damned that see the Second Coming and still don't believe). In other words, it is only for the people who know God exists, having met with Him after death or when He returns in glory to Earth, and still rebel against the will of God. That, however, is my personal belief, and I'm not sure that I am correct on that.