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Question
Rev Ramona,

I am hoping you can help me out as I would love advice from an experienced pastor. I have been dating a Muslim convert for the past year and at first i must admit i was a bit intrigued by him simply because I had not met any Muslims outside of my deployment in Afghanistan let alone a Hispanic raised as a Christian convert. He has practiced Islam for the past 7 yrs and is very knowledgeable of the Quran as well as the Bible. I have never felt inferior for being a Christian but it seems when he speaks of Islam and the contradictions in the Bible i feel a bit inferior. What can I do to avoid this? I have felt myself over the past months actually feeling agitated with his religion and not respectful as I was in the beginning of the relationship. At first I felt that as long as we had strong faith in whatever we believed in and it made us a better person then thatís all that mattered. But now I catch myself feeling things would be so much better if he was a Christian. Is this wrong of me for having these feelings? Any advice you can give me will be helpful. I just need some spiritual guidance on this

Answer
Dearest Danielle,
Thank you for writing, and thank you so much for your service! I'm sure you cannot comprehend how we Americans love and appreciate you.   I am so happy to hear that you are a practicing Christian.  I wish to address your question by talking with you about your own personal faith. Our's is a faith of peace and love, we do not teach to kill those who don't become Christians.
I strongly urge you to keep that in mind.  Let me take you through some important facts about the Christian faith.

Apparently, from what you shared with me, your friend was never a Christian.  For you see, when you're a Christian you 'believe' Jesus is God.  When you truly believe, you accept Him as your Lord and Savior, and you cultivate a personal relationship with Him.  In Jesus, Danielle, God's greatest act of intervention for a helpless humanity was accomplished. Jesus took the penalty of yours and my sins upon himself.  He loves us that much! The Islam faith degrades our Savior. It does not see Jesus as God. Yet, salvation is found in no one else, for our Holy Scriptures teach, "There is no other name under heaven given to men (humanity) by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). A person cannot truly 'believe' and then just decide God is not God anymore and turn to another faith.

In Jesus, Danielle, we are forgiven. In Jesus the source of our guilt is removed, and God is satisfied. Think on this, dear one, don't go over it lightly. Jesus, by his one sacrifice of himself, makes you, the believer holy, and takes away all sins (past, present, future) (Heb. 9:23-10:14).   Read these verses yourself, dear one, it's God's love letter to you. (Heb. 9:9, I John 2:1, I John 4:10, Isa. 53:4-6).

Now let me talk to you a little bit about the attributes of our God.  I know you know some of these, but you're in the company of one who does not accept Jesus as God. Since he does not accept Jesus as God, he can find all kinds of contridictions in the Bible. There is but one God Danielle!  God, the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.   Three in One.  A simpler example is, you are a woman, a daughter, a soldier.  When we talk of God the Son (Jesus, the Christ of God), we know Jesus is still God.  Jesus took on the 'limitations' of man and came to live among us. You must study all that Jesus did in his thirty-three years on this earth Danielle, to understand how deeply your Savior loves you.  The Islam faith has no Savior. The Islam faith knows no such love.  And I assure you, our Scriptures do not contradict themselves. Anybody who just picks up the Bible and casually reads it, and does not 'rightly divide' it, can come up with such accusations,but they are false.  And anyone who does not have a personal relationship with Christ, is not sealed with the very Spirit of God. That is why your friends spirit and your spirit do not relate.  Let me explain.

I want you to look at yourself Danielle and see how very special you are in the eyes of God.  Look around you and see all the billions of people on the earth, and yet, at the point in time that you said 'Yes! to Jesus, Yes, that you would pick up your cross and follow Him." the Holy Spirit of God 'sealed' you as His for all eternity.  Read: 2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13; 4:30.  The seal, dear one, is a mark of divine ownership and also suggests preservation and security. Like I said, the Holy Spirit is the one who supervises our entrance into eternal life and who effects our union with Jesus. Keep in mind, child of God, that the Holy Spirit is NOW present in you (every believer)! Point: You are empowered now! Let me give you some Scriptures to dwell in to help you learn how to utilize that power. By the way, the Islam faith offers nothing like this. You would be wise to find out for 'yourself' what their God has done and will do. Read these Scriptures: John 7:37-38; John 14:15-17, 25-26; 15:26-27; 16:7-15.

In regard to understanding what Jesus is trying to teach you, the Holy Spirit is your teacher and guide. Read: I Cor. 2:10, 12-14 (and the above Scriptures in John).  The Spirit assists you Danielle in your prayers (Rom. 8:26).  And by all means Danielle, truly study Gal. 5:22-23 and learn what your God has given you in the Spirit.  When you were sealed, upon belief, these were your gifts!  Amazing!!! This is your power Danielle!  Most people, who do not rightly divide the Word of God, know these words, but have no idea of their power, because they have not cultivated a personal relationship with their Savior.  In life Danielle, the more you know someone, the more you can trust them - the more you can rely upon them.  God wants you to trust Him with your life - even the details - the everyday details.  That's why He's given you His very Spirit, so you can have the mind of God.  He cares so deeply for you that He laid down
His life for you, and provided for you throughout eternity.  How great is His love!

Now, my friend, I give to you my opinion on your statement "I felt that as long as we had strong faith in 'whatever' we believed in, and it made us a better person, then that's all that mattered."  Wow!  No, my friend, I cannot agree with that statement at all.  We can believe in a lot of things, and those things can change our heart and the direction of our life, and someone will always find a way to say we are good. But, by what measuring stick does that person measure good? 'Good' only comes from the Father. And to know what is good, you have to know the Word of God and to know, by experience, Jesus, the Christ of God.

Danielle, we live in a society where everything must be 'Politically Correct'.  We must not hurt anyones feelings.  Well, the fact is, Truth ofen hurts people's feelings.  And there is only one Truth!  One God, One Faith, One Baptism!  Our God is not a God of confusion - Satan is the author of confusion.  Our God is love. Unlike our love, God's love never fails. Unlike our forgiveness, God's forgiveness erases even the rememberance of sin. He knows everything and he's present everywhere. He's all-powerful and His freedom is seen in that he acts spontaneously, unrestricted by any consideration other than his own character and will. We do not serve a God who rewards us for how many infidels we kill. God desires to win the souls of his enemies. God rewards us for our love. What I'm saying Danielle, God's outpouring of love into our hearts is the key to understanding the power of Christianity.

You sound like a wise Christian woman. I am so pleased that you are listening to the Holy Spirits 'nudgings' and paying attention to His guidance. Apparently He sent you to me.  You see, He's in the details.  He wants you to find truth and to be strengthened in your faith.
Always stay in fellowship with other Christians Danielle, you need their prayers of strenth for your emotions.  Emotions are not trustworthy.  Also, remember to pray for wisdom daily.  God gives us what is in His will, and wisdom is in His will! Praise God we don't get 'everything' we pray for! Ha! He only wants what is good for us.  One last thing, in regard to dating. God tells us to not be unequally yoked.  This is for our protection.  You have already seen some of the problems, be wise, dear one, God knows best.  Don't think you can change someone - it doesn't work like that! Please be wise. Yield to the Holy Spirit's leading. There is no confusionon this subject - God is clear.

Blessings upon you.  If I can be of further help, please let me know.

Rev. Ramona Stonecipher  

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Reverend Ramona C. Stonecipher

Expertise

As a Pastor,and Bible scholar, I can help you find answers to questions of faith. We can explore the power of prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit in your life. I can help you cultivate a personal relationship with Jesus, the Christ of God. While I alone, can't solve your problems, I can lead you to the One who can. I can't make you believe, or have faith, but I can plant the seeds of faith and introduce you to the One who is the Gardener. I can also tell you, and show you, that God loves you, and our God is a God of second chances. I hope you'll accept my invitation to walk the Damascus Road together__. Welcome.

Experience

35 35+ years teaching Biblical Studies 30 years preaching the Word of God 30+ years Public Speaking (Spiritual Retreats & Worship Experiences) Counselor, Suicide Prevention, Kansas City, Missouri

Organizations
Concerned Women of America

Education/Credentials
Ordained Minister: United Methodist Graduate: Saint Paul School of Theology, Kansas City, Missouri *Masters Degree in Theology *Bible Scholar/Teacher/Speaker CPA Degree, Baptist Medical Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri Graduate: University of Nebraska Graduate Studies: Fairleigh Dickenson University, New Jersey (Psychology)

Awards and Honors
Harry Denman Evangelical Award Who's Who American Colleges and Universities 1982

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