Truth and Salvation

I begin with the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

I joined the CAF with the intentions of gaining a better understanding about the differences and similarities between Islam and Catholicism for some personal research that I am doing. After participating in two discussion threads in the “non-Catholic religions” forum, I can honestly say that I got more than what I bargained for! But it is quite alright because through these discussions I have come to a topic of concern: Truth and Salvation.

In one of the threads a poster wrote:

We use both faith and reason to finagle truth,

I can understand faith and reason - but I find it rather strange that she would use the word “finagle” to describe truth or the method used to arrive at the truth.

**FINAGLE: **
[LIST]
*]to get (something) in a clever or dishonest way
*]to trick (someone) in order to get something
*]to use devious or dishonest methods to achieve one’s ends
*]to obtain by indirect or involved means
*]to obtain by trickery
[/LIST]
Perhaps she meant something different by using that word … I have my own opinion about it but I will not share that here lest it be offensive.

In another thread a poster stated:

I would be very careful to suddenly disclaim a 2000 year old faith. Salvation is at stake here

From what I know is that even though the Catholic religion first taught that non-Catholics would not receive salvation, after the second Vatican council, the leaders of Catholicism changed their minds and said basically that people who believe in the Almighty Creator and practice their faith in Him with full conviction will also be saved. If certain Catholics take issue with that then it is between them and their church fathers.

The same poster followed up with:

God who is Merciful is the supreme Judge not me

This is a statement that every faithful adherent to Catholicism and Islam agrees with, even though their understanding of “who God is” differs. Catholicism teaches that Jesus - as God and man - is the supreme Judge. Islam teaches that Almighty God, the Creator of heaven and earth and all that is between them is the Supreme Judge. Through their faith and reason, both Catholics and Muslims arrive to what they deem to be the truth: the truth about the nature of God, the true way to worship Him, the true way to live their lives, and the true way to attain salvation. By knowing the truth and acting on the truth, we can attain salvation.

So while both faiths agree that God is the Truth, the crux of the matter lies in their different understanding about who God is. Their different understandings imply two possible truths but in the case of absolutes there cannot be more than one truth. So who is right?

[LIST]
]Catholics will say that Muslims have an incomplete understanding of who God is - an incomplete truth, (like a half - truth or better yet, a third- truth. Muslims belief in God is that of the Creator, Sustainer, and Maintainer of all that exists – to Christians he is the God of the Old Testament - or in Christian terms * - “God the Father”).
[/LIST]

[LIST]
*]Muslims will say that Catholics ascribe to Almighty God that which is not befitting His Majesty and Honor, they finagle the truth based upon the teachings of a former enemy of what Muslims consider the true teachings of Christ (the religion of Abraham - Pure Monotheism as preached by Moses and previous prophets to the Children of Israel). The one known as Saul/Paul who saw a bright light and vision in which he claimed that Jesus Christ spoke to him and proclaimed to him that which was in opposition to the Law of the Children of Israel.
[/LIST]

In this regard I can only say what is mentioned in the Quran:

Lakum deenukum waliya deen - to you be your Deen (religion and way of life), and to me my Deen. (Quran 109:6)

Ultimately we will all stand before God and be held accountable for what we believed in this worldly life and how we acted upon that belief . Thereafter we will finally know if we achieved Salvation or Damnation.


.
I ask Almighty God to guide us all to our salvation.

“Finagle” also means to obtain by complex or complicated means. It doesn’t always imply dishonest means.

Because of sin, we will all ‘die’. We deserve damnation. There is no salvation except through Jesus Christ. He paid the penalty for our sin debt. And whoever believes in Him will have eternal life.

John 14:6 (NIV)

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Just believing in God is not enough. Even the demons believe in Him. We must accept Jesus Christ who paid our sin debt. But you must first believe the Bible is the Word of God.

Okay, I haven’t heard of that definition for “finagle”. I searched a little more for this meaning but didn’t find it. I did learn more about its possible origins and that it is an English slang term with those definitions that I included in my original post:

Finagle has been traced to an English dialect word, once widely known along the Welsh Marches and down into the West Country in a variety of spellings, including fainaigue. The English Dialect Dictionary a century ago supplied two main meanings. One was to revoke at cards (that is, to fail to follow suit despite being able to do so); the other was to fail to keep a promise or to shirk. A glossary of Herefordshire words dated 1839 says “If two men are heaving a heavy weight, and one of them pretends to be putting out his strength, though in reality leaving all the strain on the other, he is said to feneague.”
Taking it further back is almost impossible. The English Dialect Dictionary suggested it might derive from Old French fornier, to deny, and that the odd ending -aigue (often spelled -eague in dialect sources) might derive from the card-game sense of renege, with the same meaning as revoke, which was at one time spelled reneague.

This is even more relevent to me as the word “shirk” in Arabic means “associating partners with Almighty God.” And the possible meaning of “to deny” - well Catholics deny that Islam is God’s chosen way of life for all of mankind …

It is a coincidence I suppose that these meanings may possibly be related to the word finagle, but relevent to me nonetheless and God Knows Best.

Though I didn’t find “obtain through complex and complicated ways” as a meaning for finagle, I could understand if that is what was meant by the OP since the mysteries of Catholicism are complex and complicated.

Thank you for your input.

Welcome to CAF, Katie Kilbane.

I’m afraid you are starting out with some misconceptions about the Catholic faith. :slight_smile:

Firstly, Catholics do not finagle the truth. We hold to the fullness of truth revealed to us in Christ, who is Son of God and Son of Man, one with the Father and the Holy Spirit–one God in three Persons. We embrace nature believing that God builds on nature and redeems nature not negates nature. Nature includes our reason as well as our senses.

St. Paul was not responsible for beginning the idea that Jesus is the Son of God, who is and was divine before and after his conception in the Virgin Mary’s womb. All the Apostles taught the same thing.

The Church has never taught that non-Christians are automatically damned. Rather, the Church has always taught that all have been redeemed through the life, death and resurrection of Christ Jesus and therefore may be saved by God’s grace.

We believe that Jesus Christ is God’s final revelation of himself to man because Christ is the Word of God sent to teach, save and sanctify all men.

I hope that helps. I would also recommend that you read the Catechism of the Catholic Church to learn what the Church teaches rather than relying on what people write on the internet. :tiphat:

This is absolutely irrelevant folk etymologizing. The English word shirk is first attested to in the 1630s, and probably from German schurke ‘scoundrel’, perhaps phonosemantically related to Mayan xoc (pronounced shok) ‘shark’ (the fish) source]. You are reading some religious significance into a coincidence, as the actual word is completely unrelated to anything in Arabic.

This is a bit of a mis-characterization of the teaching. The Catholic Church has always taught the way to ensure salvation is by adhering to the faith taught by the one, holy, catholic, apostolic church - in other words by believing and living the faith of the Catholic Church. What the Second Vatican Council clarified was what about those who through no fault of their own never heard the Gospel. It also reminded people God is not limited in who He saves - those who lead a righteous life lead a righteous life and He is the judge of that. The Catholic Church has always held if you hear the Gospel and reject it, you risk eternal damnation.

Welcome.
Is it not wonderful that so many, Christians, Jews and Muslims alike are doing their best to love and serve God. We people of the book have a history of discord due to our differing understanding of the truth.
Should we not all be praying to God to clarify the truth in our own lives and in the world?
I find it very difficult to see the similarity of our God personally.
I cannot see the same God who would stone the woman caught in adultery with the one who said “Go sin no more.”
I cannot see the same God in the one who allows a man to beat his wife, if only with a small stick, as explained to me by an imam once; as compared to our God’s requirement that we love and protect our wives. You cannot protect your wife whilst you are beating her.
These examples of our discord in understanding are not meant to disparage anyone’s belief, however goes some way in understanding the difference in definition of the truth.
I would not let the semantics of one slang word stop your discourse with other faiths. The more we understand other people’s viewpoint of the truth, the more we are forced to sharpen our own reasons for the faith that is within us.
God Bless you in your studies.

Thanks for the nice welcome and feedback Della,

I did not say Catholics finagle the truth. I only quoted what another poster had said.
Being raised a Catholic, I can say that I have some knowledge of the Catholic Creed, the Sacraments, Commandments and of course prayers and mass rituals.

I am familiar with the Catholic Catechism and use it as a resource occasionally, however I am also interested in the personal perspectives of actual Catholics who are living their faith and talking about why they believe what they believe - the CAF seems like the perfect place for that!

I think here you are referring to the Apostles Creed. I know that the church considers it to be a faithful summary of the apostles faith and that Catholics accept it to be so, but I don’t accept it because the creed itself was not formalized until the Council of Trent and there is no proof whatsoever that the 12 apostles actually said all that it contains much less wrote it.

What I have learned is that popes in the past asserted that non-Catholics were not saved. Such belief is stated in papal documents from the middle ages and up. And when you refer to the “all” who have been redeemed, I think you mean only those who have not heard the Catholic teachings, because if someone hears of the Catholic teachings but doesn’t accept them, then such a one is considered lost - not saved, right?

Other than that, if you could point my other misconceptions about Catholic beliefs then I would appreciate it.

Thank you, Katie Kilbane

Thank you for your input.

I understand that it wouldn’t be religously significant to you but as I said, the coincidence was relevent to me because the word “Sheen Raa Kaaf (shirk)” in Arabic literally means “associating partners with the Almighty God.” A concept which is the crux of the islamic perspective on Truth and Salvation.

Thank you for clarifying, I also realized the same when responding to another poster.

We Muslims believe in the original revelation - the Gospel that was revealed to Jesus. We believe that parts of that gospel are still contained in the gospels that are in the New Testament Bible but much of the original message has been lost or changed. We believe that the Quran confirms the truths of the books that came before it and clarifies the falsehoods and misconceptions that were incorporated into it. This is one of the six pillars of our faith.

Thank you for the welcome.

May Almighty God guide us all to the Straight Path - the Way of our Salvation.

Hello Augustine,

I thought this was Catholic answers, not Muslim answers! - just kidding. I didn’t intend by my original post to debate which religion holds the true faith. I was only posting some observations about what each believe and leaving it at that. I only wanted to see the similarities and differences between our two faiths in basic Creedal matters and get feedback from forum members about where I may be getting it wrong in regards to Catholic belief.

Although I am very happy to speak about my beloved prophet - peace and blessings of God be upon him - with proofs and evidences that are as clear as the sun on a cloudless day, we all know that Catholics and Christians (majority of you anyways) have already discredited him saying he is a false prophet and one inspired by the accursed satan, (and for me I say - I seek refuge from such a belief). So why should I try to explain something that you will not believe?

Maybe you could tell me your reason with proofs and evidences for denying that he is a prophet and we could take it from there. (but probably in another thread if you are interested to start it since it would be veering off topic).

Thank you.

That’s not what the Bible says, and that’s not what happened with the first Christians.

We must believe Jesus is God, and be baptized. By doing so, we become part of the Body of Christ, and become part of the family of God. (For those who are ignorant of this, God can choose to save them if they follow Him as they know how to).

After baptism, we must follow His Commandments, and take up our cross daily. The Bible gives us great knowledge about God, but Christ never commanded us to read, but He did command us to follow Him, and obey His commandments.

My Dear Sister,

I can give you the following reasons:

Scholarly evidence
Historical evidence
Supernatural evidence i.e. miracles of the saints, apparitions witnessed by thousands of people all at once etc.

These are not the main reason why I choose to be Catholic. The primarily reason is God’s love present through His Church. God is first and foremost my Father rather than my Master. His love brought manifested through the Holy Eucharist is intoxicating. You as a Muslim know certain things about God, but you cannot fully know his love for us. In Islam God is not tangible, you cannot receive him physically. The intimacy we have with God in the Eucharist is so beautiful. God’s body and my body become one in love. The blood of my God literally flows through my veins every time I receive him in the Holy Eucharist. This is just a preview to the real intimacy we will have with God in heaven. Our reward in heaven is Almighty God Himself, not spouses, delightful food and drink and pleasant surroundings. God is much more beautiful than all these things. I want nothing less than God Himself as my prize because I have fallen in love with Him through His Son Jesus Christ!

One of the reasons you left the Church is because the people around you failed to show you God’s real love for you. You found bits and pieces of His love in Islam. Empty your heart out of what you’ve already experienced and learnt about the Church and open it in a new way to receive the true love of God through His Church.

Yes, fine. You may of course ascribe any manner of religious significance to anything you wish. My only point (and it is more for everyone else reading this thread, as we do not have very many Arabic speakers here, so much of your Arabizing is lost here) is that any such connection is not rooted in the reality of the language, but rather in your new religious identity, which should not be confused with actual linguistic facts about the history of English and where its words come from. We have had many neophyte Muslims even in my relatively short time here who have posted similar stuff as proof of the “miracles” of Islam and/or the Qur’an, and they are wrong on every count (as are their Christian counterparts, on those occasions when Christians have posted similar stuff).

Let me state here and unequivocally, there is so much MORE in Catholicism and so much MORE beauty and so MORE love for God and our neighbor if we follow Jesus’ words, especially IF we LISTEN more closely to Jesus’ teachings (we may have ears but do we really listen?). If we become Christ to others, we will find the real PEACE because Jesus is THE Prince of Peace.

That doesn’t mean this will be easy nor we will be perfect but we can try to attain HOLINESS to achieve our ultimate goal…Everlasting Life in Heaven to be with God.

I also want to state, even I was NOT really well Catechized, but there’s no one to blame really. But the more I studied history, and the Church I know Christ is the only way. We each have to answer to God eventually at the end of our lives on earth.

However, if one was born under another religion, I can’t say I would believe in Christ and all that he had done to redeem Mankind:( My parents also made me go through the motions of Holy Communion, Confirmation, Confession etc and I never really was sure why I needed to do it:eek:)

I used to say the Our Father not even knowing what it really meant:ouch:

However as for me, what opened my eyes to Christ was Matthew 5:7 (direct from Jesus’ mouth 2000 years ago) Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

I could go on, but will end here by mentioning that only through prayer (pray at all times) and fasting and through the Sacrament of Reconciliation all things started making sense. :highprayer:

MJ

I can give you the following reasons:

Scholarly evidence
Historical evidence
Supernatural evidence i.e. miracles of the saints, apparitions witnessed by thousands of people all at once etc.

.

Augustine – Thank you for sharing the reasons for your belief. Ironically enough, the first three reasons you cite are reasons that contributed to my leaving Catholicism, particularly the historical evidence as that is most often based in hard facts more so than scholarly evidence and definitely more so than supernatural evidence.

And your main reason is also the main reason why I believe Christianity ( at least after Nicea) deviated from the true monotheistic teachings of Jesus Christ to conform to the practices and beliefs of the Romans (gentiles and pagans).

You as a Muslim know certain things about God, but you cannot fully know his love for us. In Islam God is not tangible, you cannot receive him physically.

This goes back to the crux of our differences - Catholics believe that Muslims have an incomplete understanding of God because according to them, they can’t receive him physically - i.e. they don’t partake in the eating of His flesh and drinking of His blood. (a concept absolutely foreign and repulsive according to the teachings of Islam, but one that parallels the pagan and mythological rituals that have been documented from around the world.)

All I can say to that is “Glorified and Exalted is God above all that you ascribe to Him.” In this life no human can see God much less receive Him physically.

Vision perceives Him not, but He perceives [all] vision; and He is the Subtle, the Acquainted. (Quran 6:103)

Not even the Blessed Prophets could look upon Him - the Exalted in Might and Wise:


And when Moses arrived at Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said, “My Lord, show me [Yourself] that I may look at You.” [Allah] said, “You will not see Me, but look at the mountain; if it should remain in place, then you will see Me.” But when his Lord appeared to the mountain, He rendered it level, and Moses fell unconscious. And when he awoke, he said, “Exalted are You! I have repented to You, and I am the first of the believers.” (Quran 7:143) ***

Muslims come to know God by reflecting on His Lofty Names and Sublime Attributes, His amazing, diverse and beautiful creation, and most importantly by reading, memorizing, and contemplating the Glorious Quran.

One of the reasons you left the Church is because the people around you failed to show you God’s real love for you. You found bits and pieces of His love in Islam.

These are your baseless assumptions for which you have no proof.

Empty your heart out of what you’ve already experienced and learnt about the Church and open it in a new way to receive the true love of God through His Church.

All praise and thanks be to God for allowing me to taste the sweetness of faith. I would rather die a million deaths before I returned to my former beliefs and way of life, I have experienced the Love of my Lord and my love for Him is stronger than ever before.

Say, [O Muhammad], “If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Quran 3:31)

Okay Dzheremi … are you from Eqypt so you speak Arabic? Thank you for clarifying - I definitely see your point now. My mistake was in using the word coincidence because obviously the two meanings are not related.

Much appreciated!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.