God's permanence helps believers cope
Moussa Elbayoumy, director, Islamic Center of Lawrence, 1917 Naismith Drive:
This is a question that occupied the minds of people of different faith traditions for ages, but for Muslims, it is a forgone conclusion. The basic cornerstone of Islamic belief is the oneness and uniqueness of God. The Quran, the Muslim Holy Book, states, "Say, 'He is Allah (God), the One, the self-sufficient master, whom all creatures need. He begets not, nor was he begotten, and there is none co-equal or comparable unto him'" (Quran 112/1-4).
God is eternal where the term eternal refers to the endless past and the unending future. God has no beginning as man can understand beginning, and no ending either, but God exists now and knows both the beginning and the end as we perceive them. God always has existed, and he always will. Nothing can resist him, and nothing will ever be able to bring an end to him.
Though God made time and history, he does not live in time. Time is a human concept that affects us as part of God's creation. The changes that time causes in us are limited to our nature as creatures but do not affect the creator.
For believers, in a world that is constantly changing, God is the only permanent and constant factor in our lives. The permanence of God in the heart of a believer is the linchpin that helps him/her endure and cope with life's ups and downs. "Whatsoever is on it (the earth) will perish, and the face of your Lord full of majesty and honor will remain forever, so which of the blessings of your Lord do you deny." (Quran 55/26-28)
- Send e-mail to Moussa Elbayoumy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Savior not influenced by external sources
The Rev. Dan Nicholson, pastor, Lawrence Christian Center, 416 Lincoln St.:
When we look at the word "change" in the dictionary, we find several definitions, including "to make different in some particular way," "to make radically different" or "to replace with another and become different."
I believe the Bible is very clear about the character and nature of God. The Old Testament book of Malachi 3:6 reads: "For I, the Lord, do not change." The New Testament book of Hebrews 13:8 reads: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."
Everything is life changes because nothing or no one is perfect in this life. Things and people change because of age, environment and many external influences. But God is not influenced by age or environment or external sources. The attributes of God are that he is "all-knowing, all-present and all-powerful." He is perfect; therefore, there is no need for God ever to change.
This should bring great comfort to those who believe in God. Many people say that there are no absolutes in life. But according to the Bible, God is absolute. You can totally depend on God to honor his word if you will believe it and put your full trust in him.
The good news is God is available to help us change. The book of II Corinthians 3:18 tells us: "But we all, with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord."
I believe that God never changes over time, but we can with his help.
- Send e-mail to Dan Nicholson email@example.com.