For some, Scripture is a historical accounting. For others, it is a living testament that grows with and within each person. This week's clergy discuss how today's issues and aspects of life can be viewed through a scriptural prism.
Nayyar Imam, chaplain, Suffolk County Police Department, Yaphank:
While many may think that it is, the Quran is not the exact, day-to-day book to look to for life's solutions. For example, it doesn't describe explicitly how many times you should pray each day. But, if you combine the Quran and the Sunnah, which is the life of the prophet Muhammad, then, yes, all of life's questions can be answered.
Whenever one is giving advice or writing about how to conduct one's life and what to follow, always say Quran and Sunnah. You could follow the Quran to the letter, to the dot and still there would be questions unanswered. But the Sunnah, which follows the life of Muhammad, covers all things. During his life, he was a father, husband, leader, head of state, commander in chief, worker and businessman. In each role, he has shown what to do and how to conduct oneself.
He was the first to explain what a businessman or storekeeper should do if a customer wishes to return an item. In the Sunnah, it also covers how to deal with your neighbors, your children, your wife.
The Sunnah is the explanation of the Quran, which is always on top of everything. But if you want the details, follow the life of the prophet Muhammad.
Pastor Cornelius Fulford, First Baptist Church of Cutchogue:
Everything in life is there in Scripture, even from the beginning of time. It answers every question you could ever wonder about or ask. It even answers questions you will have in the future. It doesn't leave anything out.
How is that? Well, you have to understand that God has blessed us with things like cellphones and airplanes. No, there are no blueprints for an airplane in Scripture. He gave us the knowledge and understanding to do these things (Proverbs 2:6) KJV: 6: "For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding."
He said men will be wiser and there will be even more and greater things than the miracles that Jesus did. Jesus did great spiritual things, but God also spoke of physical things. Look at doctors and all our modern medical techniques. God gave us the knowledge to do these things. If you look at the Bible from a spiritual and a technical aspect, it covers all things.
If you think more individually, it still covers all things. From the beginning, there was good and evil. All things we can think of can be covered by doing good instead of evil. From that standpoint, there are the Ten Commandments. And we are told to love one another. However you look at things, all questions are answered.
Bro. Gary Cregan, O.S.F., principal, Anthony's High School, South Huntington:
For me, Jesus, the second person of the Trinity -- whose Church was founded at Pentecost -- and the New Testament the Catholic Church compiled under the direction of the Holy Spirit hold all truths necessary for faith and life. The Old and New Testaments speak of the things that are essential to life. Things such as justice, courage, temperance, prudence, faith, hope and love were and are the virtues necessary to succeed in life and get to heaven.
Issues through history have emerged, however, where the Old and New Testaments of the Bible appear to be in conflict. Take, for example, war. Can a Christian go to war? The Bible offers different answers. That is why the wisdom of Holy Mother Church has provided people such as Saint Augustine, who offered his wisdom with the Just War Theory. Pope John XXIII offered his wisdom on war in Pacem in Terris in 1963 at the time of possible nuclear conflict. Therefore, while the Bible may appear to be in conflict, through careful study and with assistance, one can come to a clear understanding.