Faith is not an art. Faith is not an achievement. Faith is not a good work of which some may boast while others can excuse themselves with a shrug of the shoulders for not being capable of it. It is a decisive insight of faith itself that all of us are incapable of faith in ourselves, whether we think of its preparation, beginning, continuation, or completion. In this respect believers understand unbelievers, skeptics, and atheists better than they understand themselves. Unlike unbelievers, they regard the impossibility of faith as necessary, not accidental ...
[Unbelievers] think they have made great efforts to get at the truth when they have spent a few hours in reading some book out of Holy Scripture, and have questioned some cleric about the truths of the faith. After that, they boast that they have searched in books and among men in vain.
I don't think I believe in any god, ' Merla said. 'I think we make our own destiny. I think religion is superstition. Does that shock you?' Agata shook her head and smiled. 'If the Goddess is kind, then she will allow you your doubts, and embrace believers and unbelievers alike. If she is not, then the witches are mistaken, and we should not be worshipping her anyway.
But whoever cannot find the means must fast for two consecutive months before they may touch one another. And if he is unable, then the feeding of sixty needy people. This, in order that you affirm your faith in Allah and His Messenger. These are the ordinances of Allah. The unbelievers will have a painful punishment.
The believer is sensible of his infirmities, for it is supposed that he is wrestling under them. He sees, he feels, that he is not man enough for his work; that his own hands are not sufficient for him, nor his own back for his burden; this is what drives him out of himself to the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And thus he lies open to the help of the Spirit, while proud nature in unbelievers is left helpless.
Let not the believers take the unbelievers for friends rather than believers; and whoever does this, he shall have nothing of (the guardianship of) Allah, but you should guard yourselves against them, guarding carefully; and Allah makes you cautious of (retribution from) Himself; and to Allah is the eventual coming.
This was an infidel country, whose way of life we Muslims were supposed to oppose and reject. Why was it, then, so much better run, better led, and made for such better lives than the places we came from? Shouldn't the places where Allah was worshipped and His laws obeyed have been at peace and wealthy, and the unbelievers' countries ignorant, poor, and at war?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
How did men believe in something that preached love on one hand, yet taught destruction of unbelievers on the other? How did one rationalize belief with no proof? How could they honestly expect him to have faith in something that taught of miracles and wonders in the far past, but carefully gave excuses for why such things didn't occur in the present day?
There is not a single contemporary historical mention of Jesus, not by Romans or by Jews, not by believers or by unbelievers, during his entire lifetime. This does not disprove his existence, but it certainly casts great doubt on the historicity of a man who was supposedly widely known to have made a great impact on the world. Someone should have noticed.
That which should distinguish the suffering of believers from unbelievers is the confidence that our suffering is under the control of an all-powerful and all-loving God. Our suffering has meaning and purpose in God's eternal plan, and He brings or allows to come into our lives only that which is for His glory and our good.
...Bin Laden's quotes from the Quaran resonated in my brain: "When you meet the unbelievers, strike them in the neck." "If you do not go out and fight, God will punish you severely and put others in your place." "Wherever you find the polytheists, kill them, seize them, besiege them, ambush them." "You who believe, do not take the Jews and Christians as friends; they are allies only to each other. Anyone who takes them as an ally becomes one of them.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Bin Laden's quotes from the Quaran resonated in my brain: "When you meet the unbelievers, strike them in the neck." "If you do not go out and fight, God will punish you severely and put others in your place." "Wherever you find the polytheists, kill them, seize them, besiege them, ambush them." "You who believe, do not take the Jews and Christians as friends; they are allies only to each other. Anyone who takes them as an ally becomes one of them.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
There is a certain class of unbelievers who sometimes ask me such questions as, if I think that I can live on vegetable food alone; and to strike at the root of the matter at once,--for the root is faith,--I am accustomed to answer such, that I can live on board nails. If they cannot understand that, they cannot understand much that I have to say.
Henry David Thoreau
We know they have nothing to do with Islam because our politicians keep telling us that, and they are all Islamic scholars. (They are, aren't they?) Yes, the violence is coming exclusively from Muslims, but only because their religion (the one that has nothing to do with Islam) tells them to kill unbelievers, meaning people who don't follow the religion with a knife to our throat that has nothing to do with Islam.
The author tells a story wherein a missionary friend of his was invited by unbelievers on a train ride to play cards. The friend declined, saying that he did not bring his hands with him. He explained to the astonished group that the hands attached to what they saw as his body belonged to the Lord, and he was thereby able to explain the Gospel.
If Christians could be trained to provide solid evidence for what they believe and good answers to unbelievers' questions and objections, then the perception of Christians would slowly change. Christians would be seen as thoughtful people to be taken seriously rather than as emotional fanatics or buffoons. The gospel would be a real alternative for people to embrace.
William Lane Craig
Few things are more important at this time in history than for religious people to listen to the New Atheists as if these unbelievers were speaking with God's voice, because they are! The word "God" used to be identified with reality - indeed, ultimate reality. In all cultures and at all times, the divine was no mere person, but was a personification of reality.
Christianity began with 120 in the Upper Room, within three centuries it had become the predominant religion of the Roman Empire. What brought this about? The answer is deceptively simple, while Christianity was being presented to unbelievers in both Word and deed, it was the deed that far exceeded the Word in evangelistic effectiveness.
Facing death calmly is praiseworthy only if one faces it alone. Death together is no longer death, even for unbelievers. The source of sorrows lies not in leaving life, but in leaving that which gives it meaning. When love is our whole life, what difference is there between living together and dying together ?
Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all....There are hundreds of other [Koranic] psalms and Hadiths [sayings of Mohammed] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all this mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim!
We have revealed the Torah, wherein is guidance and light. The submissive prophets ruled the Jews according to it, so did the rabbis and the scholars, as they were required to protect Allah's Book, and were witnesses to it. So do not fear people, but fear Me. And do not sell My revelations for a cheap price. Those who do not rule according to what Allah revealed are the unbelievers.
Scripture will ultimately suffice for a saving knowledge of God only when its certainty is founded upon the inward persuasion of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, these human testimonies which exist to confirm it will not be vain if, as secondary aids to our feebleness, they follow that chief and highest testimony. But those who wish to prove to unbelievers that Scripture is the Word of God are acting foolishly, for only by faith can this be known.
The psychological dangers through which earlier generations were guided by the symbols and spiritual exercises of their mythological and religious inheritance, we today (in so far as we are unbelievers, or, if believers, in so far as our inherited beliefs fail to represent the real problems of contemporary life) must face alone, or, at best with only tentative, impromptu, and not often very effective guidance. This is our problem as modern, "enlightened" individuals, for whom all gods and devils have been rationalized out of existence.
If anyone dared to assert that the Pontiff had erred in this or that canonisation, we shall say that he is, if not a heretic, at least temerarious, a giver of scandal to the whole Church, an insulter of the saints, a favourer of those heretics who deny the Church's authority in canonizing saints, savouring of heresy by giving unbelievers an occasion to mock the faithful, the assertor of an erroneous opinion and liable to very grave penalties.
Pope Benedict XIV
In questions of this sort there are two things to be observed. First, that the truth of the Scriptures be inviolably maintained. Secondly, since Scripture doth admit of diverse interpretations, that no one cling to any particular exposition with such pertinacity that, if what he supposed to be the teaching of Scripture should afterward turn out to be clearly false, he should nevertheless still presume to put it forward, lest thereby the sacred Scriptures should be exposed to the derision of unbelievers and the way of salvation should be closed to them.
Did you know we carry perfume around? It's a special fragrance that cannot be bought at any store. It is more precious than any fragrance ever. We carry the fragrance of Christ wherever we go. The Holy Spirit has it's own distinct scent. We are God's Special Bottle of Perfume. And both believers and unbelievers can 'smell' it!
Diana Rasmussen of Prayers and Promises
For him who is perfect in love and has reached the summit of dispassion there is no difference between his own or another's, or between Christians and unbelievers, or between slave and free, or between male and female. But because he has risen above the tyranny of the passions and has fixed his attention on the single nature of man, he looks on all in the same way and shows the same disposition to all. For in him there is neither Greek nor Jew, male nor female, bond not free, but Christ who 'is all, and in all' (Col. 3:11; cf. Gal. 3:28).
Maximus the Confessor
The gods we make in our own image are tribal gods. They tell you how very, very little you should tolerate outsiders, who are less favoured of the Lord. Amazingly, there are no recorded cases of the holy man going up the mountain and finding that it's the others who are right. It always turns out that God wants unbelievers to suffer, and what could be more noble than to help him a little? When religion rules, toleration disappears, for you cannot cherish the verdict of death to the infidels, yet also tolerate those who disagree - for those are the very same infidels...
We have appointed only angels to be wardens of the Fire, and caused their number to be a stumbling block for those who disbelieve; so that those given the Scripture may attain certainty; and those who believe may increase in faith; and those given the Scripture and the believers may not doubt; and those in whose hearts is sickness and the unbelievers may say, "What did Allah intend by this parable?" Thus Allah leads astray whom He wills, and guides whom He wills. None knows the soldiers of your Lord except He. This is nothing but a reminder for the mortals.
Both sin and sickness came into the world through the fall of the human race. Therefore, we must look for the healing of both in the savior of the human race. God is as willing to heal believers as He is to forgive unbelievers. Know this; if He was merciful enough to forgive you when you were unconverted, He is merciful enough to heal you now that you are in His family!
The reason the world is not seeing Jesus is that Christian people are not filled with Jesus. They are satisfied with attending meetings weekly, reading the Bible occasionally, and praying sometimes. It is an awful thing for me to see people who profess to be Christians lifeless, powerless, and in a place where their lives are so parallel to unbelievers' lives that it is difficult to tell which place they are in, whether in the flesh or in the Spirit.
Unbelievers, those who believe with difficulty, or believe in part, are those who do not show their faith through works. Apart from works the demons also believe (cf. Jms. 2:19) and confess Christ to be God and Master. 'We know Who You are' (Mk. 1:24), they say, 'You are the Son of God' (Mt. 8:29), and elsewhere, 'These men are the servants of the Most High God' (Acts 16:17). Yet such faith will not benefit the demons, nor even humans. This faith is of no use, for it is dead.
Symeon the New Theologian
... we should not worry about clothes or food? Such anxiety is a mark of? unbelievers, who reject the providence of the Lord and deny the Creator. An attitude of this kind is entirely wrong for Christians who believe that even? sparrows? are under the care of the holy angels (cf. Mt. 10:29). The demons, however? suggest worries of this kind? The divine word can bear no fruit, being choked out by our cares. Let us, then, renounce these cares, and throw them down before the Lord, being content with what we have at the moment?
Probably no one of us has the True Religion. But all of us together - if we are allowed to be free - are discovering ways of conversing about the great mysteries. The pretense to know all the answers to the deepest mysteries is, of course, the grossest fraud. And any people who declare a Jihad, a holy war on unbelievers - those who do not share their believers' pretended omniscience - are enemies of thinking men and woman and of civilization. I see religion as only a way of asking unanswerable questions, of sharing the joy of a community of quest, and solacing one another in our ignorance.
Daniel J. Boorstin
It is easy enough to write and talk about God while remaining comfortable within the contemporary intellectual climate. Even people who would call themselves unbelievers often use the word gesturally, as a ready-made synonym for mystery. But if nature abhors a vacuum, Christ abhors a vagueness. If God is love, Christ is love for this one person, this one place, this one time-bound and time-ravaged self.
The stranger in ancient Israel did not serve as a judge, although he received all the benefits of living in the land. The political question is this: By what biblical standard is the pagan to be granted the right to bring political sanctions against God's people? We recognize that unbelievers are not to vote in Church elections. Why should they be allowed to vote in civil elections in a covenanted Christian nation? Which judicial standards will they impose? By what other standard than the Bible?
Muslims insult all other religions. The Quran is an insult to the Jews, the Christians and everyone else. It calls the Jews apes, pigs and rats. All the non-believers are najis (filthy, impure) and hell bond. The Quran even instructs the Muslims to fight the unbelievers, chop their fingertips, behead them, crucify them and deal with them harshly. 5:33, 9:14, 9:73 However, Muslims went berserk when a Danish Newspaper published a few cartoons of Muhammad.