Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Just When You Thought it Couldn't Get Any Worse

Assuming that the following article presents a fair assessment of this woman's beliefs, she is a heretic, an Arian at the very least. What, I wonder, are the chances that she will be brought up on presentment. Nil, probably.

A little more than a year ago, the Rev. Dr. Ann Holmes Redding found herself at the doorway of a new world, Islam, and wasn’t quite sure how she got there. As she reflected on her journey, she realized Jesus was her guide. Now both a practicing Muslim and an Episcopal priest, Redding shares her thoughts on how the two faiths inform each other.

"The way I understand Jesus is compatible with Islam,” Redding explains, "and although there are Christians and Muslims who think I must convert from one to the other, the more I go down this path the more excited I am about both Christianity And Islam."

Redding credits her upbringing for early exposure to interfaith relationships. She was baptized by an African Methodist Episcopal minister but the only Sunday school she attended was Episcopal. She attended a Unitarian youth group in high school when the Episcopal group disbanded. She was influenced by a cooperative community near where she grew up that was comprised of mostly Quakers, Unitarians and Jews. Her father was a prominent civil rights lawyer whose work brought him and the family into contact with people of many faith backgrounds.

After an introduction to a Muslim prayer practice in early 2006, Redding knew she had been wrestling with a call to Islam. She approached a Muslim woman and told her so, and the woman replied, "Christianity has been good to you and you to it, and you don’t have to choose." That made all the difference in Redding’s choice to practice Islam.

"What Islam has done for me is shed this light on Christianity and shown for me anew what a glorious way Christianity is," she explains.

"We Christians, in struggling to express the beauty and dignity of Jesus and the pattern of life he offers, describe him as the ‘only begotten son of God.’ That’s how wonderful he is to us. But that is not literal," she continues. "When we say Jesus is the only begotten one, we are saying he’s unique in some way. Islam says the same thing. He’s the only human aside from Adam who is directly created by God, and he’s different from Adam because he has a human mother. So there’s agreement -- this Person is unique in his relationship to God."

If you have the stomach to read on, you can find it all on Page 9 here.

7 comments:

poetreader said...

Hmmm, let me see now ...

England's got a CofE priest who is also a Hindu, and now the USA has an Episcopal lady 'priest' who is also a Muslim.

Whatever became of the First Commandment?

I guess it's no wonder, though, seeing that this lady, by her own testimony, had her major 'spiritual' formation outside the bounds of real Christianity, and does not herself recognize Jesus as fully divine.

Aieee! it makes one tired, it does.

D Bunker said...

The wonder is she hasn't been made a TEC "bishopess" yet.

Sandra McColl said...

Albion, take another look at the labels you've attached to this one. What a marvellous little trio!

I don't think I'd call the lady Arian. 'Fruitcake' would be a more accurate term. I wonder when she'll start agitating to be made an imam.

Albion Land said...

Sandra,

I thought at the time I attached the labels, "how ironic." On reflection, I said not.

For anyone interested, there´s a good discussion going on over at Stand Firm in Faith.

metrolefferts said...

How does a person espouse two beliefs such as Islam and Christianity, each of which contradict the other?

By not thinking. By not really knowing much about either of these faith's basic beliefs.

Islam expressly and specifically denies the belief that Jesus was God. Christianity expressly and specifically insists that Jesus was God. These two beliefs contradict each other completely.

It is heresy in Islam to believe that Jesus is God. Being a good Muslim means adopting the central teachings of its faith. No Muslim in good standing, and no Muslim who understands that faith, will walk around and say, "I believe Jesus is God. I believe he is beginning-less, all-powerful Creator of the universe." Just doesn't happen.

But in Christianity, Jesus' divinity -- that is, the belief that he is God -- is not only insisted upon as a fact, it is also central to his own teaching. In other words, all of his teaching is predicated on his claims of identity. This is a basic, broad belief across all denominations of Christianity, and has been part of the faith for 2000 years.

Jesus claims of self-identity were quite specific. He claimed to be God. He claimed to exist before the universe was created. He claimed to see Satan fall from heaven. He claimed authority to forgive sin (something in Judaism which only God could do). He said, "I and the Father am one," meaning, "We're the same person." He even accepted the worship of others. (For a Jew to do this was beyond the pale.)

When Jesus made these statements, he completely infuriated the religious leaders, and for good reason. They weren't misinterpreting what he was saying. He spoke clearly and knew who his audience was. He didn't make the claims lightly. He made them boldly. And he knew when he made such claims, he put his life at risk.

Apart from whether one chooses to accept his claims (that is an entirely different matter), one cannot just sweep away or deny his claims as a Christian, or, as a non-Christian, pretend he never made them. If you reject his claims, you reject his teachings, and thus Christianity.

How do you follow the teachings of Jesus (for instance, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.") and reject his basic claims? You can't.

Ann Holmes Redding got where she is, not by thinking through what she believes, and not by thoughtful study of the two faiths. Ann Holmes Redding got there by NOT thinking, by just going with the flow, engaging in some other process. She "feels" led to Islam. She "feels" it is who she is. (Her own statements clearly demonstrate this.)

I have read her work, and it is quite substandard. With all due respect, she is not an erudite, educated or well informed individual. She is a hack. Maybe a very nice, well-meaning hack, but a hack.

God bless her, I hope she's happy and gets straightened out. But you can't be both a Muslim and a Christian. To accept one is to deny the other.

Anonymous said...

In essence both religion are true . Because these religions are from God.But we,Muslims, accept that christianity in this time is not the same in the Jesus(Peace upon him)'s time.Bible in this time is not original bible.Therefore if there is any contradiction between two religion,then we say that Quran is right the other(Bible) has been changed in the past. Basic faith of Islam are belief in Allah(God), Belief in the Angels ,Belief in the Divine Revelations(Books),Belief in the Messengers ,Belief in the Hereafter,belief the Fate and the Divine Decree .
A muslim of course, accept Jesus(Peace upon him) as a great prophet. But Creator of The universe and human beings and others is one.All prophets has claimed that during all the time.
The Miracles of prophets are the conformation by the CREATOR of the universe of their declaration of Prophethood .In other words, they (miracle) are acts of God(Allah)

Mickbic said...

Well if she has done some time with the Unitarians, which she has, she should not have too much difficulty being a Chrstian and a Muslim at the same time.