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02. Christianity

The relation between the Druze faith and Christianity takes anotherscope. The Druze faith considers the history of religion as a flow of continuousevents arranged in a chronological order. This flow characterises the birthof Monotheism and its development across the ages. The Druze belief stresseson a special theory of evolution with respect to the three celestial religions.This belief states that the wisdom of God did not appear suddenly and allat once. It was in fact a slow process in which Monotheism started to developfrom simple ideas to more complicated ones. So every prophet prepares forhis successor and the successor adds new items and pave the way for thenext to come. The history of religion is not a futile accumulation of time.The role of every prophet is inscribed in the eternal Will of God; andhistorically, events take place according to a well studied plan. Nothingis arbitrary, nothing is a hit of chance. This kind of look pushes theDruze doctrine to a very high level of idealism and encourages the beliefin determinism. Many Druze thinkers tried to escape this theory in orderto justify God's right of judging man for his actions and sentence himto either eternal paradise or eternal hell. But all these attempts werein vain. It is almost impossible to deny the factors of determinism whichhinder any possibility of human liberty in the Druze doctrine. The destinyof every human being is written in advance on his forehead. Predeterminationrules everywhere. It is very difficult to make space for any form of personalwill in such a belief. Nevertheless, the conclusion obtained from suchsets of ideas leads to the acceptance of every other religion because theyincarnate God's Will, and Christianity is one of the most important stagesin the human history of religions; it preceded Islam and affirmed the returnof Christ once more to save the believers from their agony and torturein this damned life.

What is more special is the identities of the prophets responsible forChristianity and other religions. According to the Druze's belief theyhave the same personality and every prophet's soul transmigrates to a newprophet to continue the spreading of God's message to every human being.This genuine idea leads consequently to consider that the prophets of Christianityare as well the prophets of Judaism and the prophets of Islam. They havedifferent names but their souls are the same. Similarly, these prophetsare also the prophets of the Druze. In the Druze culture we find scheduleswhich classify the different personalities of the prophets in every roleand every epoch.

Thus the Druze faith is considered by its believers as the last stage ofpreaching by these prophets. In it the Monotheism and divine Wisdom reachedtheir climax. Every reality has been transferred to humanity, and now thedestiny of every human being is decided forever.

What is the Druze's evaluation of Christianity ?

The answer to this question is quite special. The Druze believe inJesus and his four disciples, who wrote the Gospels. According to theirclassification Christ is the Greatest Imam and the incarnation of UltimateReason (Akl) on earth and the first cosmic principle (Hadd). He is directlysecond to God. His four disciples are considered as the four cosmic principles(Houdoud). The Gospels are Holy Books. With Christianity, the developmentof Monotheism was decisive. God promised the Christians the salvation ofthe tortured souls, and made it clear that Jesus had come to lead his followersto the safety shore. As for the crucifixion of Jesus, the Druze believethat he was not crucified but another person who resembles him was crucifiedin his place. Such a belief may seem very queer to a traditional Christian,but we have to remember that the Druze follow also the koranic verses andthe Koran made it clear that Jesus Christ was not crucified. Nevertheless,the Druze maintain a great value to the meaning of sacrifice. John theBaptist is considered next to Jesus and he personifies the Ultimate Sacrifice.

One of the Druze manuscripts reveals a fascinating idea by mentioning thatJesus and the Holy Spirit are one identity. This idea is very near to theconcept of the sacred Trinity in Christianity. The Druze's manner of thinkingenabled them to accept the idea of the all in one. The diluted pantheismof their faith leads to such a conclusion.

Another remark that shows a close relation with Christianity is the Druzerefutation to polygamy unlike the traditional Muslim sects. It is truethat the Druze refer to their refutation to certain Koranic verses, buttheir attitude gives them a special character and brings them close tothe Christian opinion about marriage. What is more remarkable about theDruze with respect to the matter is the adoption of Monasticism by someDruze Sheikhs. This conduct is highly praised in the Druze community andit is considered as the highest degree of chastity. A sheikh may ask hisfiancee to agree to marry him without conjugal relations, and there aremany cases in which a Druze priest has remained single for all his life.Sex is not an aim in itself; it is only stressed for the sake of reproduction.A part of that sex maybe considered as a sin. Such a belief proves beyonddoubt that the Druze have inherited much of the Christian dogmatics withrespect to marriage and to the sincere mutual relations between man andwoman. The general outlook on marriage in the Druze community is quitesimilar to that of the Christians and has the same pious spirit.

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