Author Archive for: ‘carlmedearis’

  • Islam 101

    The Arabic word “Islam” literally means submission without question, suspicion or doubt (2:04), or finding peace of mind and joy through knowing, understanding and serving the only one God, Allah. Followers of Islam are called Muslims which simply refers to anyone who chooses to freely and unconditionally accept and follow Islam as revealed in the Quran and practiced by the Prophet Muhammad and his companions. Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad was the last messenger of God and the Quran refers to him as the “Seal of the Prophets” (33:40). Muslims pray five times every day in addition to other voluntary prayer services they do on their own in their attempts to follow the sunnah or practice of their Prophet Muhammad.

    On Fridays, Muslims gather in mosques for communal prayers led by their imams or religious leaders. Every adult Muslim of sound mind is required to strictly adhere to the arkan or the Five Pillars of Islam: shahadah, or creed which is basically a firm belief and declaration that there is no deity worthy of worship or service except Allah (Arabic for God), and that Muhammad is his messenger); salat, or prayer (five times a day, at prescribed times); zakat, or charity which is the giving away of a certain percentage of one’s wealth to eight categories of people as prescribed in the Quran(9:60); sawm, or fasting (during the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims refrain from food, drink and sexual relations during the day); and hajj, or pilgrimage (all Muslims who are able are required to travel to Makkah once in their lifetime).

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  • …So a Pastor, businessman and youth leader went to a Mosque one day…

    It’s not a joke – that’s what happened last Friday. My wife and I and 27 of our friends attended the Friday prayers and sermon at the local Denver mosque with about a 1000 Muslims. Several things were interesting about this experience.

    Not sure if you’ve ever attended a Friday service at a mosque, but here’s what happens. (It’s a lot like church). About 10% of the people arrive early. They are the committed ones. They help set up chairs. They arrange for the lunch which is served afterwards in the fellowship hall. They chat, talk about their week. I heard one fellow telling another that he had a fight with his wife on the way…I’m not kidding.

    About 20% show up late. Rush in at the last minute only to find their are no places left inside so they have to go to the overflow room where they watch on the big screen.

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  • 5 Reasons to be Cautious about reading “Speaking of Jesus”

    The book’s been out for almost 11 months now. I think I have all the reasons why some have not liked the book (about 3% of all readers have been very critical). I have tried my best to listen and now boil it down to their main issues/concerns. Here they are in order:

    1. Seems like there’s no closure to the stories. You told great stories about conversations with people, but where did they lead? Why didn’t you tell us the outcome?

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  • Smoking Pot or the Cross?

    Today’s 4/20. And today at exactly 4:20 pm, all over Colorado, tens of thousands will gather to publicly smoke and toke weed. Why? Well, not sure to be honest – but they will….

    I’ll get back to pot, but wanted to tell about my day yesterday. It was a strange day.

    I’ve been in a challenging email conversation with three of my very favorite Muslim friends. All big-time leaders in their respective spheres. Saudi. Lebanon and one here in the States. Tons of mutual love and respect between us. Many times they press me on what I believe and why. This time it’s been my turn. I’ve pushed hard on the issue of the cross and resurrection of Christ. I think it only benefits them if they knew and understood what it meant then and means now. One basically agrees. One is being nice to me. And one is pushing back. Those odds are about right…..

    Also yesterday, I met a local church Pastor of Outreach. It’s a large and well-respected church. He’s had a bunch of people recently ask me about my book “Speaking of Jesus: the Art of NOT-evangelism.” So he read it. And doesn’t approve. He tells his folks not to read it because it’s dangerous.

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  • Five ways to make and keep good friends

    If you know me, you’ll know that making and keeping good friends is a top priority in how we do life. However, I’ve noticed something slightly alarming here in the States since we’ve been back from our 12 years in the Middle East. Many people are not good and making friends. So, how do you make a friend?

    First, some misconceptions about friendship.

    1. Friends don’t just appear. You don’t “just have” friends.
    2. Friends take work. They don’t come easy.
    3. A good friendship always goes two ways.

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  • Protected: The Bible

    There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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  • The meaning of Easter to my Muslim friends….

    On days like today – Easter – I think a lot about what others are thinking and feeling about Easter. I do enjoy it for myself as well (as we did today as a family), but I can’t help but think about all those I …

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  • Removing “Son of God” from the Bible

    There’s an interesting debate going on within Christian missions circles these days.  Wycliffe Bible Translators have taken out the term “Son of God” in the New Testament when referring to Jesus in their Arabic Bible translations.  They’ve done this because (they say) it does not …

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  • Heresy at Wheaton

    Heresy is a big and dangerous word.  It’s used to define someone within a religious system as having errant beliefs.  A Hindu wouldn’t call a Buddhist a “heretic” they would just say that they have the wrong religion. You call someone inside your own religious …

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  • That Funny thing called “Local Church.”

    You know me – “Mr. I don’t call Myself a Christian” guy.  Several times a month someone will ask me this question; “So Carl, do you guy to a church in Denver?” Interesting they don’t ask me what they probably ask most other regular Christians. …

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