Tag: scripture

Want to Chat About Ancient Scriptures Online?

I was going to start a meetup group, but thought that I’d first see if there was any interest here to have an online meetup group to chat about our favorite passages from ancient religious/philosophical scriptures of all sorts. Then we wouldn’t be limited to a certain location, but could share perspectives from all around the world! If interested, please post a comment and let me know 🙂

Here is my description of the group:

What do some of the ancient scriptures say, and what does that mean to you or what feelings does it evoke? Bring your favorite passages from the scriptures of the Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Confucian, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, or any other pre-Islamic era religion/philosophy (ancient Greek or Mesoamerican philosophy, for instance) to share and discuss.

The format will probably be that we each read a passage that we brought and then talk about how each of us felt about it and share thoughts and ideas. This isn’t the place to debate the validity of one scripture over another, nor to judge or even understand one another’s beliefs… And definitely not to try to convert anyone to your beliefs please 🙂

The point is to share and discuss ancient religious/philosophical writings from the past that we find inspiring, interesting, frightening, baffling, or maybe just cool!

I’ve always had a keen interest in the texts that shaped people’s lives, civilizations, and consequently the world and thought it would be great to meet other like-minded people to learn and (hopefully humbly) grow in knowledge and wisdom together.

Do you wonder what ancient peoples believed? Love stoic philosophy? Have a favorite Bible verse you’d love to talk about? Curious about what the Qur’an actually says? Struggling to unlock the secrets of the Tao Te Ching? Love to ponder the Dharmas? Or have any other ancient scripture based quandary? Me too! Let’s chat 🙂

God Wants You to Question Your Your Beliefs!!

God’s word is true, yea?

But what about the traditions, influences, and interpretations that people make on that word? Is that necessary true? No… But it’s also not necessarily untrue, as His word holds many mysteries that require some interpretation and usually a more holistic understanding of scripture to do so fairly. Still, when something is not blatantly clear, then it is possible (I would say easy) for people to misunderstand (in earnest; they’re trying their best) or even purposefully misrepresent (for personal or even evil reasons!) the words of scripture.

So I encourage you all to question what you hear and read, even if it’s from someone you deem an authority. The only TRUE authority of all things is God, and He will guide you if you question in earnest. Pray for such guidance and search the scriptures for the truth.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, remember to question your “truths” and you will eventually find the real Truth. If you find the Truth to be in the end what you originally believed then your faith will be strengthened manyfold! If you find it to be other than your original beliefs, then wouldn’t you be glad to find yourself closer to the Truth–God’s truth? For earnest questioning and research, accompanied by the guidance of God sought through prayer, can only result in better understanding and a greater closeness to the Lord.

God is not a god of ignorance, nor does he shun those who wish to increase their knowledge of Him…

The Messiah Jesus (peace and blessings be upon him) said “‘If you continue in my word, then you are truly disciples of mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.'” [John 8:32]

In the Qur’an it is written:

“And among the People of the Scripture is he who, if you entrust him with a great amount [of wealth], he will return it to you. And among them is he who, if you entrust him with a [single] silver coin, he will not return it to you unless you are constantly standing over him [demanding it]. That is because they say, “There is no blame upon us concerning the unlearned.” And they speak untruth about God while they know [it].” [3:75]

So continue in the word, and put not great faith in men–for they are mortal like you and I–and strive not to be among the unlearned.

God bless you all in this season of lent and forevermore 🙂

~Shams