Why I am Drifting from Catholicism to Islam

So, I have begun a serious study of Islam and fin a great deal of beauty and merrit in the religion. I was raised Catholic. I have always had a fantastic relationship with my Parish Priests, and even seriously considered entering the Priesthood for several years. I am certainly no theologian; however, I have at least a cursory knowledge of the faith. Starting in 10th grade I became extremely interested in the Scholastic works of St. Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, and Jacques Maritain. I enjoyed Maritain’s magnum opus on moral philosophy and his biography of St Aquinas, I just recently read “Razing the Bastions“, and I have listened to just about ever recorded speech Peter Kreeft ever made. My point is that, while I am not Karl Rahner, I am not utterly ignorant of the faith I was bought up in and would like substantive answers not cliché’s.

Now, I held a fairly negative view of Islam until about a year ago. I never harbored any blatant ignorance towards Muslims or even so much Islam, but I did very much consider it a religion, “Spread by the Sword” as opposed to the Church which was spread by the “blood of the Martyrs”, the old Crusader stereotypes, you know them, most pre-Vatican II books on Church History give you an idea(such as “Founded on a Rock”). However that view has begun to change due to two principle forces. Firstly getting to know individual Muslims, and secondly reading Muslim Scholars and the Qur’an. Now, the primary purpose of this thread is for me to present to you, the main reason’s I would consider Christianity dubious.

Firstly there is the concept of the Trinity. Honestly I don’t see how this is anything but a rather silly idea wrapped in sophisticated Aristotelian and Scholastic language to make it appear coherent. “No, it’s not a polytheistic idea, God is one being but three persons” I really don’t see how this is other than linguistic acrobatics. Yes, the Trinity is a “great mystery”, we all know the charming story of St Augustine walking on the beach and meeting the young man, but can anyone honestly say this idea doesn’t strike you as intuitively false? I mean most five year old children find it an absurd reason until clever sophists can convince them that the patently absurd in conceivable. I’m sure there are all sorts of platitudes thrusting forth one’s simple pious faith, and that absurdity is no affront to the “truth” and all other sorts of generalized evasions that divert the issue to anything but the incoherence of this doctrine, yet the incoherence remains, and I think most Christian, if they are honest with themselves, would have to admit it is at least intuitively dubious, if not patently silly.

Secondly there is the matter of Jesus’ Crucifixion. I know, “God is just, and infinite sin must be reconciled by and infinitely perfect sacrifice” or whatever formulation you wish, however, Christopher Hitchen’s hyperbole aside, it is a good point. God s omnipotent, yet He must kill himself, excuse me His Son, no excuse me, the human nature of his Son, which is what died, of course that’s not the sacrifice as human nature is not infinite perfection, so Christ was sacrifices, his human nature is what died, yet that was not the totality of the sacrifice, but all of Christ was sacrificed? Am I missing something? Does this make any sense? I really think this doctrine can only survive so long as the issue is examined episodically rather than the totality of the concept.

Those are the two most egregious doctrines, though naturally there are a plethora of issues, however I have slept little and it is late. I have not left the Church yet, before I did I would want to read the entire Catechism and most major ecumenical Councilor documents, however the primary reason I remain in the Church is social pressure. As I said, I have an excellent relationship with my Priests and the local Catholic Community at large, I don’t think they would take my conversion well, nor would my conservative Grandparents, with whom I also have a magnificent relationship. Next Fall semester, however, I will likely look into the Student Muslim Association Chapter.

Now, perhaps I am totally misguided in my criticisms of these doctrine, and I am very willing to listen to criticisms of my criticisms. I have seen, in only a few moments, that there are a few Islamaphobes(that being the most PC term for such individuals), to you individuals, I’m not interested in hearing your Spencer spoon fed bull****.

I have only scratched the surface and have not even adressed why I am drawn to Islam, however I’m sleepy. Good NIght

Thank you for reading the confused ramblings of a Uni Freshman:shrug:

Perhaps you can share the reasons *why *you think the doctrine of the Trinity is “incoherent”, “intuitively false”, or “linguistic acrobatics”.

If you want a humanly teaching, Islam is great for you. For example, if you are get caught by your enemy, you may lie so you can survive. That is humanly makes sense.

If you follow the heavenly teaching, when you get cought, you can never deny God, even to your death. You will become a martyr. That is a heavenly teaching, and it is consistent with other teaching saying “The Devil is the father of lies”. Humanly speaking, it does not make sense, off course.

It is your choice, brother. Following the heavenly teaching or humanly teaching.

Well, it so happens that you drift to something, some to Jehova Witnesses, some to Buddhism, some to Paganism, it is really hard to address this. We have been given freedom to do as we choose.
I respect Muslims, I am currently living in a Muslim country. It is good to see the people who pray. Yet… reading your post comes as a total surprise… the death of Jesus does not make sense to you, and yet it makes sense to you that if you pray five times a day, wash yourself early in the morning and make a pilgrimage to Mecca - that this will earn you salvation?

I see the posters on Koran - and the miracles of Koran you can google for that), but when I looked into what those miracles were… I was wondering how would anyone get interested in that? For me, miracles mean healing, delivernace, gifts of vision and prophesy (I happen to konw people who have such gifts), the miracles that still happen in Church, but also the ones that have been documented, Saints like Padre Pio, Fatima miracle, incorruptibles, but that kind of miracles?

Not to mention the fact that as for the Bible you have the authors who wrote each book. Muslims claim that Koran was handed down from heaven. And you are actually buying that? Well, there are some who claim that there are historical errors in there but well… not to mention the talking ants part (you read that part, hey, that should turn everyone Muslim the moment they read it).

Anyways, you are lucky. If you were Muslim living in many countries, for leaving your religion you might pay with life or exile at best. But you are free to do whatever you want. And if only opinion of your grandparents, peers or parish priests hold you back, it is almost like you have already left. So good luck to you on your path.

First, God did not kill himself. And no, the Father did not kill His Son.

Second, “It is truly the Son of God made man who died and was buried” (CCE 629). The *Son *experienced the separation of the soul from the body, and so *He *really died.

Third, “*t is love ‘to the end’ that confers on Christ’s sacrifice its value as redemption and reparation, as atonement and satisfaction” (CCE 616). And this love is the love of God who *is Love. Yes, Christ’s humanity is not infinite, but, “n suffering and death his humanity became the free and perfect instrument of his divine love which desires the salvation of men” (CCE 609).

The closest parallel we have of a God creating a universe with life is our creating of computer simulations with different characters playing over the net. From that perspective having God ‘incarnate’ or becoming one of the players while still being in Heaven is not too hard to fathom. In that case God has all the attributes of ‘one of the players’ while still being God. If you like - there are now two of him, although really there is only one.

Similarly if i talk to someone on the phone, mail a letter, email, blog, leave a message on an answering machine or text someone. I am seeing and interacting with a real person but experiencing them in a different way which looks completely different and has its own limitations, yet the same person is behind all these contacts. We see Gods creation and Jesus role on earth as one of these different ways of contacting God with all the limitations that that particular process involves - for example death and all the human frailties. But we have to remember that our world is not the real world, it is a creation.

this is just a simple analogy and not meant to be a description of our reality. To be sure it has differences with the reality of Christ which is more complex but is meant as an example of how Christians perceive God’s creation and him entering into it. The view we have of reality is from our side only. From our side we cannot understand how God can be everywhere, underpinning creation and listening to six billion souls and in the deepest depths and the furthest space. It is mind blowing and it is mind blowing whether with the tri-unity aspect of looking at God or any aspect of looking at God, we fail to grasp any description of His reality while being in His creation.

One thing He is not is a really old lonely guy with a beard, raggly clothes, great hearing and large binoculars. We are at a loss to understand Him although we can know something of His nature through His creations and actions in our world, especially through Christ.

Regarding God incarnating and sufferring for our sins (and being killed) i would just ask you to look at the result of Christian witness for the last 2 thousand years. Look at the call to holiness that has been provoked in countless souls and the spreading of charity around the world and at home and the shaping of welfare and culture around the world. The spreading of education and health, the ending of slavery etc etc. We are indeed indebted to God for everything and the response to his incarnation here on earth speaks for itself.

How more indebted can we be for such a merciful gesture on his part and proof through his ressurrection of a promise of eternal life if we accept humilty and follow God’s (Jesus’s) example. It is a powerful heart wrenching message that forever calls us to holiness and gives us an intimate relation with God (in the flesh) and as the Hebrew prophets told - i will dwell amongst them, i will write my law in their hearts.

Just a warning - if this thread is going to become a selective quoting of bible passages casting doubt on Jesus as God then count me out. There’s been too many of those and they never get anywhere. I would just say read the whole letters of the new testament in context both the ones that were included in the bible and also the letters of the early Jewish christians one and two generations after the ressurrection.

No other religion has such a witness, powerful message and validation of the supreme power of God acting here on earth. Christianity is the best chance mankind has for the case for a transcendental God IMHO.

I’ve met some nice Muslims too, and Jehovah Witnesses, and Seven Day adventists, Buddhists and Jews, Oh and Catholics.

If you want to be a Muslim then i wish you all the best, but please don’t use this site to ridicule Christianity. Pleasant dreams.

Your post greatly intrigued me. It is great that you are searching and trying to find the truth. Pray that God will help reveal the truth to you.

Just some thoughts:

I once heard Scott Hahn quote Pope John Paul II (and forgive me if not totally accurate) - “God in his deepest mystery is not a Solitude but a Family”

A Family? I had never thought of it that way. Why a family? Well we see the same characteristic to a family here on earth only that God is a perfect family.

This might help you unravel the mystery that is the Blessed Trinity.

You would be familiar with the Nicene Creed no doubt - “We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father… begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father” AND “We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.”

I have heard it described that the Father’s love for the Son, and the Son’s love for the Father is So Real that it exists as the third person of the Blessed Trinity.

Are we Sons and Daughters of a loving God who has fathers us through the Body of Christ, that is the Catholic Church? Or are we servants of a Master? Ask a Muslim if God is a loving Father – Abba.

And as a loving Father, why not send his only Son Jesus to live amongst us. Right the wrongs. Show us the Way the Truth and the Life. Set an example for us to aspire to. Leave an Apostolic Church behind for us – the Catholic Church.

Yes the Trinity is mind bending. But so is the universe. We don’t doubt that the universe exists because we cannot possibly fully understand it. We accept that there are limitations to our thinking, we appreciate what we can know and marvel at the mystery that we can’t know.

Thankyou for your Post. You have made me put some thoughts down on paper (well the computer actually) and that has been spiritually beneficial to me too.

God bless you on your search for the Truth. Keep listening to Catholic Answers Live and challenge the Apologists on the Q&A for a more in depth explanation on the differences between Islam and Christianity.

Craig

A multiplicity of God, not a multiplicity of Gods.

Good luck.

If you want to deny Christ Jesus and spend eternity in hell with Mahomet, I can’t stop you.

But if you want a regular life of prayer, since you seem to be so impressed by Mahometans praying 5 times a day, you could always try what is variously called the Liturgy of the Hours or Divine Office.

Reading your posting, however, it seems to me that you underrstand neither the Catholic Faith nor Mohametanism.

I confess there is NO GOD but Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and Jesus is God Incarnate risen from the dead!

I think before you consider the “religion of peace”, you should read what the Abu Sayyaf Group, the “peaceful” Filipino Muslim terrorists, did to their American hostage, Gracia Burnham, when she was their captive: pinoyexchange.com/forums/showthread.php?t=348756&page=2 You need to be a member to view the post there though, but the ordeal was harrowing and shows how they treat people. Now this same group has recently kidnapped a lady news reporter and her crew, and the poster who told about Gracia’s ordeal said the reporter might get the same treatment. We pray she doesn’t, but it will not surprise many if she does.

It is uncanny and ironic that you seem to know nothing about the mispresentation of the Christian Trinity in the Koran! Actually, the authors of the Koran (Mohammad’s scribes) tried to discard the notion of Triune God from the tenets of their newly devised religion due to their failure to comprehend it. The Koran either mistakenly or deliberately (unethically!) accuses Christians of worshipping three different deities and imitating polytheists. As a result of the faulty association Islam establishes between Christianity and polytheism, Christian Trinity is perverted in that it is turned into a family of separate gods with heavy implications of physicality and sexuality through the weird addition of Virgin Mary into the Triune Godhead!.

I must remind you that this argument against Jesus’ crucifixion is not derived from the Islamic scripture, but from the misunderstandings of several Atheist and/or materialist Europeans of the “Enlightenment”. If we get back to the Koran (the source of your new guidance), we can get no answers to the following questions:

1) Why did Allah NOT let Jews crucify and kill Jesus although He had formerly allowed Jews to slay most of His messengers?

**2) **Why was it necessary for Jesus to seem to have been crucified and killed by Jews? Why was Allah unable to save Jesus without the need of this illusion?

**3) **Why did Allah end Jesus’ prophetic mission and assume Him to heaven as soon as Jews plotted to kill Him? Why can the Koran NOT claim that Jesus remained on earth after His adversaries attempted to kill Him?

Now as an ex-Muslim I will introduce you to the Allah of Mohammad and Koran:

Allah sends His messengers to different tribes always with the same message, but somehow people manage to change His original message and corrupt His scripture after the death of the messengers. Allah keeps sending the same message to make necessary corrections each time, but His corrections cannot be permanent due to the almost automatic distortion of His message.

Finally, Allah becomes sick of this game of puzzle and decides to preserve His final message and permanently establish His only true religion on earth. He accomplishes this task by sending a superman to Mecca, who has the best and only authentic message of Allah. This is happy end! However, this does not change the fact that the people distorting Allah’s former revelations have already established their own religions that rival Islam. The result is three diffferent religions, two of which are originally true but currently fake and misleading whilst the remaining one is the genuine faith.

Sigh

Exactly. The OP has a choice. He can either follow the Catholic Church which contains Heavenly doctrine or he can follow Islam which contains earthly doctrine. Personally, I know which one I’d recommend and it wouldn’t be Islam either. :thumbsup:

Before you look at the door, please look at the road leading away from it.

Christianity, if reduced to its most basic elements, is about a loving relationship between a Father and his wayward children. God wanted only the best for his children, and he wanted us to love him. However, he did not want forced love, love that we had no choice but to give. Nor did he want fear and trembling at his sight. Adam was only afraid of God after the Fall. God gave Adam and Eve free-will, the ability to choose to love him or not to. Once they fell, God followed a long path to lead to a new covenant, one that places God and Man in each other’s presence without the need for fear. We can stand before God, though we are sinners, because Christ took on the punishment for our sins. All that we must do is ask for forgiveness and not worry about them any more.

Does Islam teach of God’s love? Does Islam teach that God is Father and we are his children? Does Islam teach of free-will? DOes Islam teach that we have the choice to love God? Is Islam a faith of what you beleive or what you do?

Further, with the death on the cross, Jesus took suffering and made it beautiful. We can unite our pains and trials and tribulations with Christ on the Cross as a gift. How wonderful. My pains in this world are to help me, and if not me, I can offer them for others. Does Islam teach this? Does Islam answer why we suffer in this world?

As a convert to Catholicism, I can perfectly understand why someone would, at some point in their life, have a crisis of doctrine concerning these difficult and mysterious ones.

Sometimes, I wonder if the fact that more people do not have a such a crisis simply means they haven’t thought about it!

I have two thoughts concerning the OP’s situation:

1.What you see in the great lights of Catholicism is, in fact, yourself - intelligent people struggling to accept what has been revealed to them. They struggled with it, precisely as you are struggling. I’m sure Paul struggled in the same way with what had been directly revealed to him.

It’s just a choice to say “I believe I can make a rational decision against a God not totally comprehensible to me”, but then you have to support that with some reason God should be totally comprehensible to you. If you once do that, you’ll run aground on the incorporeality and general supernaturality of God - once you accept that God is Other, how silly to pit one kind of Otherness (Tinitarianism) against your preferred one.

Think about the choice you are considering in these terms :

“I accept that God is Other, and incomprehensible to my human mind and senses…nevertheless, I judge Trinitariansm to be too much Otherness and so I choose an Otherness more like my sameness so that it vexes my intellect less”

2.In the spirirt of Chesterton who advised answering base things in base language - Did you fall on your head? You are rejecting Trinitarianism and the Atonement and thus you head toward Islam and not Judaism? Could you be more talk-show average?

They say Islam is the new Gay, in that it’s the hip, hot, in-thing to be. Congrats on being hip.

A religion of convenient, it has many exceptions that fit humans well, even though, Islam prohibits certain behaviors or practices. Ain’t that nice?

The Muslim submits to Allah, the absolutely transcendent ruler of the universe, in return for his mercy and beneficence. There ain’t no love between Allah and his creation.

I’m sorry, but satan is tempting you with this ‘false’ religion. Pray to Christ and he will stay with you. Do not give in to the devil.:frowning:

Saying that there is no love in Islam is wrong. Surely it does not resemble what we mean bylove because ours refers to love to the Father, His Word and Spirit whereas Muslims’ love is more for the Creator rather than Father. This however does not mean there is no love in Islam to God. The OP has to deal with different serious questions regarding Islam and its originator, rather than whether there is love to God in Islam or not.

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