explain the catholic faith
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Unity of Christians
"But though we, or an angel from heaven,
preach a gospel to you besides that which we
have preached to you, let him be anathema."
Galatians 1:8
God speaking through St. Paul was paving the
way for Church Doctrine on "Apparitions". Both
Mormonism and Islam claim that an "Angel" gave
them their "message" of a "new belief system"
for mankind.

First I want to start out with what the Catholic Church says about Islam:

CCC 841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes
those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims;
these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one,
merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."[330]

1Timothy 2:4 "Who [God] will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of
the truth."

The statement in the Catechism may be misleading taken out of the context of the section
of the Catechism that it is in. The Catholic Faith teaches that there is truth in many
different religions. We know that God desires all men to come to the knowledge of the truth
- to salvation.

The Catechism is merely stating here that believers in Islam worship the same God and
Father that we, as Christians, do. Not that Muslims are saved.

On the next page of the Catechism it says:

843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among
shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives
life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the
Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as "a
preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that
they may at length have life."[332]

"Outside the Church there is no salvation"

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the
Church Fathers?[335] Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation
comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

In the Arabic language, the word Islam means "surrender" or "submission"-submission to
the will of God. A follower of Islam is called a Muslim, which in Arabic means "one who
surrenders to God."

Fr. Benedict Groeschel says;
"It is the peace that comes from surrender to God's Will".

Around the year AD 570 Muhammad, the founding prophet of Islam, was born in Mecca, at
the time the central city of the Arabian Peninsula. Some 40 years later Muhammad started
preaching a new religion, Islam, which constituted a marked break from existing moral and
social codes in Arabia. The new religion of Islam taught that there was one God, and that
Muhammad was the last and most important in a series of prophets and messengers.
Through his messengers God had sent various codes, or systems of laws for living,
culminating in the Qur'an (Koran), the holy book of Islam. These messengers were mortal
men, and they included among many others Moses, the Hebrew prophet and lawgiver, and
Jesus, whom Christians believe to be the son of God rather than a prophet.

Islam also taught that the Christian Bible and the Qur'an were all holy books. According to
the Qur'an, the two earlier Scriptures, Old and New Testaments; had been altered over
time from their original forms given by God, while the Qur'an would remain perfect,
preserved by God from such distortion.

Muslims believe, among other things; that Abraham offered up Ismael instead of Isaac on
Mt. Moriah. Also, that Mohammed, not Jesus was Transfigured on Mt. Tabor and
Mohammed, not Jesus, ascended into heaven from the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.
Muslims also honor the Blessed Virgin Mary! They consider her as the highest woman in
God's Creation.

The main difference between Christianity & Islam is:

Jesus was a miracle worker, Muhammad was a military leader and a conqueror. He was a
warrior and he resorted to war continuously. He expanded his numbers, he enlarged the
faithful through conquest. The sword is mentioned dozens of times in the Suras of the
Koran. It's not without reason, because the sword really is, as the Koran says, the key to
heaven and the key to hell.

There is a certain unity that you find throughout Islam and we have to recognize that the
unity, the teaching of the Koran reflects the unity in the life of Muhammad. That was, here
is a man, who believes not only that he was a prophet who receives divine dictation but a
warrior who imposed through the edge of the sword this sort of belief. And, if you accept it
you live, and if you don't you will die. And there is another principle of 'dimitu', that those
who are 'Followers of the religion of the Book', Jews and Christians were forced into a form
of economic submission or servility.

Islam believes itself to be the last in the line of Revelation from God, to become a Christian
would be a step backwards! For a Muslim to become Christian in many countries it means
death if you are found out.

We have in Islam, something that is unified and simple. Like these themes that you find
throughout the 114 suras. You find 'Five Pillars',

First: (shahada) Allah is One and Mohammed is his Prophet. There is no God but Allah
and Mohammed is his Prophet.

Two: (salat) We have this 'salat'. This ritual prayer five times a day facing Mecca.

Three: (zakat) You have 'zakat'. It is difficult to translate, but essentially it is tithes, it is
financial support.

Four: (sawm) The fast during the month of Ramadan. It's the ninth month of the lunar year.

Five: (hajj) The pilgrimage to Mecca. The 'hajj'. Where you go around the 'Kaaba' 7 times.

There you have streamlined, trimmed religion that is unified. It isn't supernatural and
natural like Christianity, divine and human natures united in one man. There is a certain
messiness to that. Let's face it, in explaining the Christian Faith, we are burdened with
mysteries that are awesome, beautiful, true and compelling, but not easy to understand.

Many heresies are formed when man cannot except a mystery. Misunderstanding the
notion of the Trinity, Mohammed made Christ a prophet.

Jihad, in Islam, the spiritual struggle against evil. Jihad is the duty of all mainstream
Muslims. There are four ways they may fulfill a jihad: by the heart, the tongue, the hand,
and the sword. These refer to the inner, spiritual battle of the heart against vice, passion,
and ignorance; spreading the word of Islam with one's tongue; choosing to do good and
avoiding evil with one's hand; and waging war against non-Muslims with the sword.

Islamic law divides the world into dar al-Islam (abode of Islam) and dar al-harb (abode of
war-that is, of non-Muslim rule). Most modern branches of Islam stress the inner, spiritual
jihad. But Islamic law also states that all nations must surrender to Islamic rule, if not its
faith. Until that time, all adult, male, and able-bodied Muslims are expected to take part in
hostile jihads against non-Muslim neighbors and neighboring lands. The Qur'an (Koran)
states that those who die in this type of jihad automatically become martyrs of the faith and
are awarded a special place in heaven.

For Muslims, there exist two kinds of non-Muslim enemies: kafir (nonbelievers in Islam) and
ahl al-kitab (people of the book). Kafir, such as Buddhists and Hindus, must either convert
to Islam or face execution. Once converted to Islam it is a capital offense to renounce the
faith. People of the book include Jews, Christians, and followers of Zoroastrianism. These
people need only submit to Muslim political authority to avoid or end a jihad. They may
keep their original faith, but their status becomes dhimmi (a "protected" non-Muslim) and
they must pay a prescribed poll tax.

Dr. Scott Hahn - Salvation History
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