Thursday, May 29, 2014

It's kind of like a poll, but with more opinions

I'm wondering what ya'll's thoughts are on God being able to change His mind. Does it happen? Does it not happen? How do you arrive at either conclusion?

Small backstory:

My Dad and I were talking over (and after) dinner the other night and amongst other topics we came to this. He is of the opinion that God does and has changed His mind. For example, the 'adoption' of the Gentiles into the covenant with the Israelites. My Dad's thinking is that up to a certain point, God gave zero cares about what other peoples and tribes did. But then the Israelites kept messing things up and so God changed His mind and decided to include other peoples via Jesus.

Or, as in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham argued with God to spare the cities if even one righteous person could be found.

Though I argue that that doesn't count since Lot, a righteous man, was in the city and rather than spare it on his behalf God has the angels get the man the heck out of dodge and then proceeds to get all smite-y anyway.

But I digress.

My thinking is that God, being omniscient, has no reason to change His mind. He knows what's going to happen. He knew before He kick started the whole magilla who was going to do what and when. So there is no 'changing' His mind because this was the plan all along, due to Him knowing what He was doing.

My Dad argues that this is pre-destination.

I say thee nay, since omniscience does not negate free will. Knowing that something will happen does not equal *causing* it to happen.

I can know that if my cat eats too fast she will puke. I know this because, not omniscience, but I have seen her do this her entire life. This doesn't mean I cause it to happen.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

if you evangelize by force you're doing it wrong

It came out in a discussion on a Facebook post recently that I am rather outside the bounds of Christianity at the moment. That I have lost my taste for blood and someone elses' sacrifice being my ticket into heaven.

Several people on the feed seem to think that re-reading the Gospel of John will fix (or start to) that whole problem.

So let's see. John is what, 21 chapters long?

I'll read it in June, try for a chapter a day.

See if it makes a difference.

I leave this here because it amuses me:

Saturday, May 17, 2014

An Illustrated Story

This one's for Heather. :D

Warnings: There's a rude gesture at the end. Picture quality is variable. Life is hard. Water is wet.


*wanders onto a Muslim messaging board*

"Salaam! My name's Amber and I'm a recent convert. I'm very happy to have found you all and I hope you'll have patience with me as I try to learn more about my faith."

"Salaam! Mashallah sister, welcome!..."

"...but sister, where is your hijab? Where is your haya? Please, sister, consider Allah's instructions in the Qur'an, this is best for your iman."


"Salaam! There aren't a lot of Muslims where I live and I have been having trouble learning how to perform salaah properly. I was wondering if any of you had advice on where to look online?"

"Salaam, sister! Mashallah, you look beautiful in your hijab! But is that make-up? Astaghfirullah! Such adornments should be for your husband only! They draw too much attention and invite fitnah!"


"Salaam! I am struggling to make the five daily prayers, especially fajr. Is there any advice for what I can do to help motivate myself? I know that the prayers are beneficial, and I love them, but no matter what I do I can't seem to get up consistently."

"Salaam, sister. Your hijab...there is too much color. The sunnah of the Prophet (SAW) shows us that black is the best color. I tell you this for the good of your iman and so that you are not a fitnah to others."


"Salaam, I'm still hoping to get some advice about my salaah. Especially going into Ramadan I want to make an effort to solidify my practice."

"Salaam, sister, I say this with the best of intentions, but even your face is an attraction. We are told to lower our gaze, but sister, you must take responsibility as well. Your adornments are only to be for your husband, sister."


"Salaam, I have found a masjid in the next town over but I'm having a hard time finding a way to fit in. I'm shy, unfortunately, and there aren't many converts at the masjid."

"Salaam, sister. The color. It's not appropriate. The sunnah is black. And your niqab is not proper. There is still too much temptation."


"Salaam, I was wondering if any of you had ideas about how to approach my HR department about prayer space at my work? I usually use an empty conference room but the other day someone walked in on me and it was a little awkward."

"Salaam, sister. Your eyes are too alluring."


"Salaam, I - "

"Sister, you should not be speaking to non-mahram men. Ask your husband these questions and please, for the sake of your haya, be silent with other men. Also, sister, your name. You should change it to a good Arabic name."


"Salaam. I will not be changing my name. There is nothing un-Islamic about Amber.

"Also, dear brothers, who have been offering me such unsolicited advice, I would like you to reflect on a verse from the Qur'an.

"'Say to the believing men to cast their gaze down and guard their modesty; that is purer for them; verily God is all-Aware of what they do.' Surat an-Nur, ayah 30.

"You worry about your gaze and I'll worry about mine. Capiche?"

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