Kal -- great cartoon! Although I look nothing like that. And you should know better -- you've read my autobio stuff! (Too bad there weren't many female participants on this thread; Kal draws such pretty women.) And no, I wasn't ignoring you (or Elliot); just been busy.
How do the guidelines for worship in the Bible go against the practises of Islam or Judaism?
Here and elsewhere in this post, Scripture speaks more eloquently than I could:
"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him." ~John chapter 3, verse 36 (great chapter; Jesus elucidates further therein)
"Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation -- if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel." ~Colossians 1:21-23
And that gospel is "the word of faith we are proclaiming, that if you confess with your mouth,'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." ~Romans 10:8-9
(By the way, I have to add that the relationship I have with God, through Jesus, is the most fabulous thing I've encountered or could ever imagine. I don't add that as an argument, or even an elucidation, but simply as a post-script which I couldn't resist. It's easier to avoid 'witnessing' when discussing dry logic, but when we get near the gospel, everything in me screams,"I'm changed! I'm alive!!")
Calling something false and persecuting it may technically be different, I will grant you, but the line is a very thin one and too easily crossed.
Regardless, we're stuck with calling things false. Every statement made (e.g., "There are two gods"..."religious exclusivity is wrong") implies the falsehood of its own denial.
Where is the love in condemning good people to Hell because they follow another religion?
"There is only One who is good. But if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments." ~Jesus (Luke 19:17)
Isn't that rather like saying that your beliefs are more important than your actions?
Jesus said,"The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." (John 6:29)
Isn't Christianity all about mercy and forgiveness?
"Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane.... Going a little further, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed,'My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.'" ~ Matthew 26:36,39
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." ~ Romans 5:8
My regard for humanity is entirely arbitrary, no argument, but as long as people are around anyway then the type of society they create and the social mores they live within are important.
I just don't see how the fact that people "are around anyway" makes their social mores important.
my arguments are based on logic, so I am NOT the kind of critic I decry.
When I said "the sort of critic you're decrying," I was referring to those critics who criticize religions.
What is the difference between Icons (as used by the Catholic Church) and Idols?
Since I'm not a Catholic, I'll leave it to Catholics to field that one.
I'm leaving soon on a trip, and probably won't get to return to these boards for a couple of weeks. And like Charles, I doubt I'll return to this thread, since I think it's pretty much run its course. (Which isn't to say that I begrudge Elliot his response to this post.) But it's been fun, guys! Thanks for helping keep up a friendly, thoughtful atmosphere, Elliot. I look forward to "seeing" you again here at Comicon.