Senin, 23 Desember 2013

Christmas: Comparison of the Word in the Bible and the Koran to the analysis of conspiracy Adventists in the United States?

Christmas: Comparison of the Word in the Bible and the Koran to the analysis of conspiracy Adventists in the United States?
By Farsijana Adeney-Risakotta *

Before the celebration of Christmas on December 25, Christians in around the world prepare for the future is called Advent. Word of Advent comes from the Greek meaning "arrival".  Advent period begins in early December, 24 days before Christmas. There are four weeks of Advent in the church calendar. At this time, Christians gather to reflect back on the recovery path God into this world through the birth of Jesus Christ.

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The tradition of celebration varies according to the place, nature and culture in where Christians live. But the advent period is the main properties appreciation and gratitude to the work of God in joy the birth of Jesus Christ. Pressure on the joy of God's work to the world through the birth of Jesus Christ is not only recorded in the Bible but it is also written as a revelation received by the Prophet Muhammad as written in the Koran (Al. 3:45-48). There is a difference story the birth of Jesus in the Bible as written in the Koran.

The story of Jesus' birth in the Bible is recorded in all four Gospel books
(Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). Fourth Gospel book is also
give a different pressure. However, in general, to four books wrote the birth of Jesus Christ that emphasizes the chronological the birth of Jesus. Preparation of the birth of Jesus began when the angel met with Zechariah, the father of the baby will be named John as paving the way for the coming of Jesus. The angel then met with Mary to explain the plan of Allah had made holy mother of a baby who will be given the name of Jesus. The angel also met with fiancée Mary, Joseph, the carpenter who planned to get rid of Mary secretly, as obtained fiancee
pregnant. The angel asked Joseph to accept Mary being
contained in the Holy Spirit is holy infant child of a holy God.

At the time Jesus was born the angels tell the good news to the shepherds in the field to immediately go see the baby Jesus who was born in an animal enclosure at a house in the town of Bethlehem.  The three East wise men who were Balthazar, Melchior, and Caspar, reading marks the birth of Jesus by the star of Bethlehem and beged an explanation about the correctness of the instructions of King Herod. Herod shocked and became very angry that proclaims murder all infant children. But back came the angel in a dream to Joseph he could evacuate Mary and the baby Jesus to Egypt from efforts
Herod to murder infants. After Herod died,
The angel visited Joseph in a dream when he and his family still in Egypt. The angel told Joseph that could Mary and baby Jesus brought back to his hometown of Nazareth.

In the Qur'anic story of the birth of Jesus or Jesus Christ begins with the story of Zechariah and his wife granting prayer for old age wife who could become pregnant . Jahya ( John the Baptist ) was born as opening the way for the coming of Jesus . Then an angel met with Mary . Mary is the only woman whose name is called in Sura 30 of the Qur'an and there are naming her ( Ayub : 2007, 120 ) . Only Mary whose name is mentioned more than 30 Sura , the angle met Mary whom was to get the news that will receive gift of God, a holy baby boy ( Al. 19:19) .  Word used in the Qur'an is " ibn " ( son ) .  But Mary asked the angel how she could contain because she is virgin ( Al. 19:20) . Mary questions the angel to get the answere that she is chosen as servant of God. The name of Joseph , the carpenter , husband of Mary who is called in the Bible does not appear in the story Qur'an . At the time Jesus was born , Mary kept away from city and gave birth to Jesus under a palm tree .

The differences between the story of Jesus' birth in the Bible and in the Qur'an related to the theological views Christian and Islamic tradition. Christian tradition believes Jesus born saint is the incarnation of God in human life.  Miracles of the birth of Jesus is a sign of God's concern for the world
made. Strength and Spirit of God passed in the life of Jesus
through ministry in the world. Part of forwarding the Spirit of God in Jesus Christ cause Jesus is part of the power and the Spirit of God itself.


Without prejudice to the homage to Jesus , Islam considers Jesus Christ as a prophet . Jesus is identical with the creation of Adam , the first man created God . Muslims believe that Adam created from dust and God breathed the breath of life so that he life ( Al. 3:59 ) . Just like Adam , Jesus created through breath God . The views of Adam's creation as revealed in the Qur'an is also the views expressed in the Hebrew Bible ( Tanakh ) were also recognized in the Christian tradition as the Old Testament .  God created Jesus in the way similar to the way the creation of Adam , but only Jesus is holy , because He is not tempted of the devil. The specialty of its proximity to Jesus shows God .  Therefore Jesus healed the sick and perform many miracles in His earthly ministry ( Al.3 : 49 ) . But it warns that parallel to worship Jesus with God is a sign of worship idols . The Qur'an uses the word " walad " which means " descent " , " Child " to criticize the Christian tradition who regard Jesus is
sons of God (
Ayub : 2007, 118 ) .


In the middle of the differences that exist in the traditional view Christianity and Islam about the origin of human sin, death and resurrection Jesus, the similarity of the story of the birth of Jesus which appears in the second.  This tradition associated with the first, a story of miracles God does because He is God, the Creator. Both traditions Christianity and Islam recognize that God is God and the miracle that is the baby, Jesus Christ. The similarity of the second, the recognition that God used women, namely Mary, as a subject for receive at the same time continuing miracle derived from God as a form of holy work of God to renew the agreement with humans.

During Advent, I reflect back on the purpose of God to provide the greatest miracle in human history through the birth of Jesus Christ. I ponder both the source of this story with eyes open heart. As followers of Jesus Christ, I try to understand what is understood by Muslims about the birth of Jesus. Mahmood Ayub, a Muslim intellectual of Temple University in Philadelphia, in his book titled A Muslim View of Christianity  (2007) explains that the portrayal of Jesus in the Koran is very special. Only Jesus of all the prophets recognized by Islam, depicted in strength and appearance are very close to God. Jesus was pure and free from the temptations of Satan (Al.21: 91; 66:12). Purity of Jesus preserves in the Koran.

Even Muslims also believe that only God and Jesus knows about day of resurrection. But the most impressive to me, is think of the words of Job that the relation of Christianity and Islam actually there is a power in which Christians are reminded of God as Allah and Islam reinforced that truth is God (Ayub: 2005,131). Christians is greateful have a cousin of Islam which reminds about road safety in God but understand God in work, service and sufferings of Jesus Christ deciphering of God which came achieve human. God touches people in a human way. God in Jesus Christ shows the way how people can reach God.

I imagine the policy change suggests that as religion minority at the time of the Roman era, the opportunity to express celebration worship together is not possible. Christianity became majority religion even required as part of policy
state, when it is necessary to identity expression
celebrated together.  Acccomodation of the pre-Christian tradition as the shape of a Christmas celebration shows that contextualization performed in the church. This contextualized process is often away of the meaning of religion itself. Here is crucial advice from Mahmood Ayub to be used as an analysis tool that encourages people religion to learn the proper use of religious expression than
a religious political language.

Feedback about the joy of God's work is characterized by people Christians in many ways. Signs appear in the implementation of joy fasting followed by appreciation of God as usual  done some church traditions. Activities centered on church worship and in meetings in the homes of Christian families. The joy of Christmas presented in the form of drama, theater, music concerts, songs and act of love be shared within the family, and society wide. Atmosphere of joy at the heart of the birth of Jesus Christ is a long shift. Picture of both the Bible and the Koran about the birth of Jesus is far from the reality of today's modern.

True joy of God was stolen by the modern natural as if only to show the properties of consumerism. Currently in United States there is a movement called "Advent Conspiracy".  This aims of movement is to purify the meaning of Christmas. Spearheaded by a group Evangelical Christians in the U.S., this movement encourages Christians to reduce spending lavish gifts that will be given in exchange gifts among family and close acquaintances.  Capitalism captures portrait of a capitalist product as seen from various ads scattered everywhere.

Forget the real world God's purpose in the birth of Jesus . I reflect on the Bible, Matthew who wrote about the trip Joseph and pregnant Mary to Bethlehem . Them to Bethlehem because they are responsible citizens and should
following the census population at that time . Since
He was in the womb
mother Mary , Jesus has led to responsibility as a child as well as a citizen . Birth of Jesus opened the way to God for renewal along with the repair people’s social relations of unequal be fair and dignified . Jesus' ministry in the world is very clear in my eyes , is as servant of a citizen are partly responsible
sensitize the government and the people to do justice and
peace which God hath spoken . Even in Jesus' ministry when asked how the Emperor His sight , Jesus said : "Give Caesar what is right and what is back to God " ( Luke 20:25) .

It takes time centuries before the political influence of the state is separated from the majority religion. Christian teachings as apparent in the actions of political ethics of Jesus buried for centuries. Inspiration of the new separation seen in European countries,  reflect the impact of the power of religion
which can be tyrannical. Religion containing sacred values
 can kill, it destroys human life.  War in European power in the country by involving political affiliation religion. The experience of European countries was what drives the revolution liberation of the young state in the United States and bring winds of renewal to France to produce the French revolution.  Separation of state
of the church is the foundation of democracy in the United States and
inspired the creation of unitary states after the war
second world.

But the debate about the "purification of Christmas" is initiated by the group
Evangelical conservation in the United States shows that the influence
the majority still felt in the discourse of the state. Because it is very available space in the community is important to balance the discussion political goal along with the practice of short-term political targets is being achieved by certain groups.  The advent debate conspiracy as real Christmas message has not touched the issue reforms must be put forward in the process of social and
state in the United States.
As well as Eid or celebration other religious, there is a lot of joy to be shared with in the family. Indonesian Christians do not know the exchange event exchanging gifts. This tradition exists only in the United States.  On the average family in the U.S., giving gifts to family  is only on
time birthdays and Christmas. So the claim of conspiracy
Advent actually is just political winds.


There are many social issues larger than just effort Christmas purification . One example of a slowdown in policy reform justice is being done by evangelical groups in Conservation United States is the Obama administration efforts to restrain reforming the national health policy . Evangelicals in motion
advent conspiracy claim that Christians can change the world
when the money should be used to purchase prizes awarded as a donation to humanitarian programs around the world . These words sound very sacred , but it is not enough to helping many poor American citizens whose lives
threatened by not having access to health care
accordance with the scope. Open dialogue is to balance the mind. Evangelical groups and political practice conservation done very exclaimed by a Christian group that is open ( progressive ) , as well responding to the debate " Advent Conspiracy " .

Advent conspiracy to refuse to buy Christmas gifts politics of language is the language of faith that shows appreciation Christians about the humanitarian work of God in the birth of Jesus Christ. Defending  of the Gospel of motion on the purifycation of  Christmas festival is not a defense of faith as seen in the meaning of the birth Jesus. Pleased to justice within the meaning of the birth of Jesus submerged in the larger interests of mankind, which is to manipulate
Christian community to engage in symbolic defense
remove larger core justice required in national policy reforms for mutual prosperity.

As a Christian Indonesia, examples conspiracy debate Advent that are hot in the United States prompted me to write This reflection, especially to ask what the meaning of the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ for the world. How do I as a Christian responsible to God in answering the problems in the world as it is also faced by Jesus during his ministry in the world? Each child's birth
humans have a meaning for the parents so that the child is able to
life in the way of Allah. How God declares justice and peace as revealed in both the Bible and the Koran encourages the nation Indonesia to build a shared  responsibility.


Indonesian community live in different cultures and religions diverse. The love of God which exceeds compartmentalized life conducted by humans by blood and religion, would provide inspiration to us all as fellow citizens to practice the trurht of human community. So we rethink to buil a State whose indiscriminate religion, customs, tribes and races are mainted. The similarity in the struggle for justice and peace which is the breath of the Islamic, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Kongfucu in Indonesia became the inspiration for the people and life together as citizens are equal in the eyes of the Creator. This is the news the joy of salvation and renewal of human life as who believed in the Christian tradition.


So I wish my Christian fellows to have a blessing Christmas. Merry
Christmas 2009.  To my non-Christian fellow, I wish you all entering and being blessed into the New Year 2010. Happy New Year 2010.
Emmanuel, God is with us all, this is the faith that strengthens living
we. We never alone, but to walk in humility
faith, justice and reconciliation with God to-day and future together. Amen.


* Farsijana Adeney-Risakotta, grassroots activists, theologians and anthropologists, was the fellow at the Center for Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California, USA (2009).

This article was written and pusblished at Spiritual Indonesia online which was taken from my note distributed in my cyber network in December 24th, 2009. Now I would like to post it at my blog for the English version and for Indonesian at blog



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