Islam, Holy Icons & St. John of Damascus

Posted By on November 12, 2019


“May you live in interesting times,” is
a statement generally held to be a mild curse. However, St. John of Damascus lived in such
times. He is one of the great Church Fathers and
lived in an era when Orthodox doctrine was maturing, even as it confronted challenges
from both inside and outside the Church. One external challenge came through the rise
of Islam, with St. John becoming the first Christian writer to approach the new faith
from Arabia in a systematic manner. He defended the divinity of Christ against
the claims of Islam, and the veneration of Holy Icons against attacks both from Islam,
as well as, from within the Christian community. Born around AD 675, he came from a long aristocratic
line in Damascus. Both his father and grandfather had been protosymbulli,
or “chief financial officers” in the Christian Roman administration of this illustrious city,
the jewel of the Eastern part of the Empire. In order to understand the importance of St.
John of Damascus, we must go back a couple of generations, to mid-April 634. The Christian Roman Empire of the East had
been exhausted by a twenty-year long conflict with Persia. Both sides were severely weakened. In the meantime, a new power had arisen in
Arabia, which had racked up a series of rapid and impressive victories in the East. This was the army of Islam. The prophet Muhammad had died, but the military
advances continued. The Islamic armies set siege to Damascus and
nearly starved the city. At the helm of the Muslims was a ferocious
warrior named Khālid ibn al Walīd who had gained a reputation as the “Sword of Islam.” He had led the armies which unified Arabia
under the banner of the prophet Muhammad, and had scored impressive victories in Persia. Khālid, a harsh and war-like figure, now
had his sights set on Christian Roman territory and the renowned city of Damascus. As defeat seemed imminent, a small band of
Damascenes approached a deputy of the feared Muslim commander and negotiated fairly generous
terms of surrender. Christians would be allowed to worship in
their sacred places, which would not be harmed by the victors. Those who did not wish to live under Muslim
rule would be allowed three days’ safe passage to emigrate to other Christian Roman cities. Once the deal was struck, it was brought to
Khālid, who objected at first, because he thought the agreement was too lenient. But he then relented and accepted the surrender
of the city. Once the three days had passed, however, Khalid
changed his mind. He could not reconcile with the fact that
so many of the Christians had left the city. He ordered his troops to pursue the refugees
into the desert. Once they caught up with them on the sixth
day, they surrounded them, defeated the Christian soldiers fleeing with them, and slaughtered
indiscriminately, taking loot and prisoners back to Khalid. Damascus, the most important city in the eastern
part of the Christian Roman Empire was now under Muslim rule; an unthinkable disaster. But it could have been much worse. Among this small band of Damascene diplomats
who cut the deal with the Muslims, was Mansūr ibn Sarjūn, St. John’s grandfather. September 19th 634, when Damascus officially
fell under Muslim rule, is a crucial date in both Christian and Muslim history. This was no unimportant city. It was a highly cultured and intellectual
center that had an ancient history and an urbane citizenry. Up to this point, there was absolutely no
other city of its caliber in the nascent Islamic empire. This was the first real encounter of Muslim
rulers with a highly literate Christian population. On the side of the Christians, this was a
major loss. As the descendant of a privileged family,
John was given an excellent education. His father made sure that he studied not only
major Christian texts, but also those of classical Greece, and even those of the Muslims. He became fluent in Arabic and also in Greek. Reportedly, his education was furthered by
a Nestorian monk named Cosmas who had been a prisoner, but who was saved from execution
by John’s father on condition that he would tutor the boy. John absorbed like a sponge all that was presented
to him, mastering philosophy, religion, astronomy, geometry and music. He was definitely prepared to assume his father’s
position in the Umayyad court. However, John’s administrative career proved
to be short lived. He abandoned his prestigious post in the year
725, after only a few years of service in the Muslim court, to become a monk at the
monastery of Mar Saba in the desert of Palestine not far from Jerusalem. While the Umayyad Muslims were initially tolerant
of both Christians and Jews within their domains, they nonetheless encouraged them to convert
to Islam. In this, they were often successful for several
reasons; the most obvious reason was that they held power. For many, the fact that they ruled was sufficient
reason to believe that they were favored by God. For the more cynical, conversion was a simple
matter of social advancement; not only could one become exempt from the head-tax, the Jizya,
levied on People of the Book, but one could possibly get a better social or professional
position, as well. There were still more subtle reasons for the
conversion from Christianity to Islam. Islam claims to be the “completion” of
God’s revelation, which was first given to the Jews and subsequently to the Christians. The Qur’an recounts stories of Biblical
prophets like Moses, Jonah, David and others. Sometimes it affirms what Christians or Jews
believe, yet at other times it claims to “correct” their beliefs. From a Christian point of view, the most serious
of these claims was the accusation that Christianity exaggerated the importance of Jesus, whom
Islam considers a prophet, by declaring him to be God Incarnate. To the Muslims, as also to the Jews, this
is a blasphemous concept. The idea of the Incarnation of God in Jesus
proved to be a stumbling block for many. On the one hand, the Qur’an gave an explanation
for the ministry of Jesus as prophet, which Jewish converts could easily accept, while
on the other hand, Christians who were uncomfortable with the notion of God becoming man, found
in Islam an understanding, which still honored Jesus without declaring him God. Hence, the monk John desperately watched from
the monastery of his obedience both Christians and Jews converting to Islam. As an Orthodox Christian, this bothered him
deeply. He thought of Islam as a Christian heresy. Christology was still debated during his lifetime. Even though six Ecumenical Councils had made
public pronouncements on this crucial issue, there were still vociferous proponents for
alternative views within the Roman Empire and beyond. Although the Muslim advocacy of a fully human,
but prophetic Jesus did not seem that far-fetched to many people, it greatly offended those
who held to the Orthodox Faith, including St. John of Damascus. This issue of the Divinity of Christ motivated
St. John to defend the Orthodox faith with methodical and literate apologetics aimed
at a learned audience. His magnum opus is a defense of the faith
in three parts, called The Fount of Wisdom which begins with a philosophical introduction
that defines the terms on which he builds his argument. Then, he examines Christian heresies to which
he includes Islam. Finally, he concludes with an exposition on
the Orthodox Faith, which is encyclopedic in scope and stands out as the first systematic
philosophical defense of Christianity. His approach to Islam is the first erudite
Christian response to the new faith. It is not a mere polemic, since St. John was
steeped in Muslim culture and knew its texts well. He was fully aware of the criticisms leveled
against Christianity and answered them directly. While the fall of Damascus to the Muslims
was a major loss for the Christian Roman Empire of the East, St. John’s steadfastness in
the Orthodox Faith and his patient witness in the Umayyad Empire, provides something
of a silver lining, since this event created the need for a meticulous examination of belief
and a clear definition of Orthodoxy. St. John’s erudition in both classical Greek
and Christian texts would have served well in any case, however, it was his intimate
familiarity with Islam as a faith and with the intricacies of the Muslim Caliphate that
proved both unique and fortuitous in his writings. He was able to read the Qur’an from a Christian
perspective in his defense of Christianity. He fully understood that the Qur’an acknowledges
the virgin birth (Q 19: 28‒29) and calls Christ the “Word of God” and the “spirit
of God” (Q 4:171), yet asserts that God is not begotten, nor does he beget (Q 112:
2‒3) and that Jesus is a created “servant” of God (Q 43:59). He also saw that while the Qur’an holds
Jesus in high esteem as a righteous prophet, it claims that the crucifixion never took
place. It proposes instead, that a shadow of Jesus
was nailed to the cross in his place (Q 4:157) because God loved him and took Him to Himself
(Q 4:158). This is based on the Muslim understanding
that the execution of an innocent man is unjust, and God would not allow it, because He is
just. The crux of the matter is the Incarnation. This is a serious stumbling block for Islam. The Christian claims that Jesus is God and
part of the Holy Trinity leads Muslims to call them “associators,” which is a form
of idolatry that “associates” anything else with God. St. John uses the Qur’an itself in the defense
of Christianity and turns the argument around accusing Muslims of being “mutilators”
of the Godhead: ‘As long as you say that Christ is the Word
of God and Spirit, why do you accuse us of being Associators? For the word, and the spirit, is inseparable
from that in which it naturally has existence. Therefore, if the Word of God is in God, then
it is obvious that He is God. If, however, He is outside of God, then, according
to you, God is without word and without spirit. Consequently, by avoiding the introduction
of an associate with God you have mutilated Him. It would be far better for you to say that
He has an associate than to mutilate Him, as if you were dealing with a stone or a piece
of wood or some other inanimate object. Thus, you speak untruly when you call us Associators;
we retort by calling you Mutilators of God.’ This was far more useful than a mere refutation
of anti-Christian claims drawing from Biblical texts or appeals to classical philosophy. He based his arguments on Qura’nic thought
and turned the argument in on itself. There is no doubt that this has been an effective
witness, for St. John’s apologetics have survived the test of time and have been consulted
for centuries by students of theology. While St. John was involved in doctrinal discussions
with the Muslims, the official church in the Christian Roman Empire was embroiled in another
controversy regarding the use of icons. In the years leading up to 717 AD when Leo
the Third, the Isaurian, became Emperor, the Empire had suffered a long period of unstable
rule, owing largely to the constant encroachment of Muslim invasions into Christian territory. Leo III was a clever and authoritative man
who managed to deceive and defeat the powerful armies under Maslamah ibn Abd al Malik who
had hitherto seemed invincible. This stopped their inexorable advance towards
Constantinople and forced them into negotiations with the Romans. Leo proved to be an adept diplomat as well,
keeping them in a constant state of check. This allowed the brilliant and powerful emperor
to turn his attention towards the inner unity of his domains. Emperor Leo, as sovereign of the Christian
Empire and encouraged by the support of the nobility and the military, sought to impose
his ideology on the Church as well. He was genuinely interested in ecclesial affairs
and was aware of the controversies of the Faith. He also believed that the recent misfortunes
of the Empire, including Muslim advances, as well as several earthquakes, were a result
of God’s judgment for the sin of worshipping graven images. His views, however, were not shared by the
majority of the clergy and the Christians of the Empire. The veneration of Icons was prevalent everywhere. Undeterred by the opposition to his views,
the Emperor forbade the veneration of Icons by royal edict in 726. This was followed, four years later, by a
complete ban on public display of religious images, ordering that relics and images be
destroyed, beginning with the golden image of Christ at the entrance of the Royal Palace. Iconoclasm was now imperial law, and Leo enforced
his policies with a vengeance. He dismissed the Patriarch of Constantinople
and replaced him with one who supported his policies. This was followed by the dismissal of dissident
clergy. He then closed the ecclesial academy in Constantinople
temporarily, because of their reluctance to accept his decree. He even sent a task force to Rome to put pressure
on the Pope, who also favored icons. As fortune had it, his legates never arrived
in Rome because of bad weather. This only strengthened the Bishop of Rome’s
conviction, who decreed that iconoclasts should be excommunicated from churches in his jurisdiction. St. John of Damascus, living in the monastery
of Mar Saba near Jerusalem, which was now under the Muslim Umayyad rule, remained out
of Leo’s reach. He was able to write freely and proceeded
to produce three powerful theological treatises in defense of the veneration of Holy Icons. He centered his argument against the charge
that veneration of images is idolatry, on the idea that they provide affirmation of
the Incarnation of God: “Of old God the incorporeal and uncircumscribed
was not depicted at all. But now that God has appeared in the flesh
and lived among men, I make an image of God that can be seen. I do not worship matter. I worship the God of matter, who became matter
for my sake and deigned to inhabit matter, who worked out my salvation through matter. I will not cease from honoring that matter
which works for my salvation. I venerate it, though not as God.” Emperor Leo’s rejection of icons came against
the larger backdrop of iconoclastic sentiment among both Jews and Muslims, who were also
opposed to any depiction of God. St. John, however, focuses on icons as a reminder
of Christ’s divinity, which is the central teaching of Orthodox Christianity. He notes that veneration of holy images is
a long-standing part of Christian tradition and that the honor paid to icons is reverence
offered to the prototype of the image, rather than the image itself. He also points out that, “Often, when we do not have the passion
of Our Lord in mind, a picture brings it to mind and we fall down in worship of Him.” His major contribution to Christian theological
thought is his differentiation between “Veneration” (proskynesis-προσκύνησις) and “Worship”
(latreia-λατρεία), which were used interchangeably until this point. He points out that although both Veneration
and Worship are offered to God, only Veneration is offered to the saints and the Holy Icons. St. John’s defense was brilliant, but it
fanned the flames of the controversy in the Christian Empire. Intellectually, he won the day, and the advocates
of iconoclasm had to seek other arguments. Yet, the Emperor was not easily deterred,
so he aimed his vitriol at St. John against all logic. In an act of revenge against the saint, the
Emperor had a letter forged in St. John’s hand, in which he was supposedly offering
his help, betraying the Caliphate in favor of the Christian Empire. The saint’s biographers tell us that the
ruse worked and that the angry Muslim potentate threw his former trusted councilor into a
dungeon, and had his right hand severed so that he may not be able to use it to write
such letters again. Tradition has it, that the Theotokos quickly
restored the saint’s hand, a miracle which caused the Caliph to repent and release the
saint from prison. This story is the origin of the Holy Icon
of the three-handed Theotokos, as the grateful saint attached a silver image of his restored
hand to his icon of the Virgin. Besides his theological prowess, St. John
of Damascus is also reputed to have had a beautiful singing voice as well as the ability
to compose music and write poetry. He composed hundreds of liturgical hymns,
including the paschal canon which is still widely used today. St. John of Damascus lived in the proverbial
“interesting times,” but he is certainly one of the reasons which made those times
so interesting. The Christian Church had flourished in the
Roman Empire for three centuries by the time of the saint’s birth, but it continued to
be beset by doctrinal debates and disagreements. Although the Ecumenical Councils had made
many definitive statements on belief, it was St. John of Damascus who wrote the first truly
systematic philosophical treatise exposing the Orthodox Christian Faith. St. John’s excellent education and remarkable
intelligence were tried and tested by the serious challenges of Islamic claims. As the successes of the Muslim armies and
the rapid expansion of the Umayyad Empire, even into Damascus, proved to be far more
dangerous to Christian fidelity than just as a mere heresy, St. John’s theological
prowess showed him to be uniquely qualified to speak and write in defense of the faith
in Christ as God, utilizing his knowledge of both Islamic and Christian beliefs and
practices. He thus defended the Orthodox Christian faith
heroically in the land of the Caliph. Likewise, St. John of Damascus stood up to
the Iconoclast Emperor Leo III, defending the veneration of Holy Images as an affirmation
of the Incarnation of God in Jesus, the central doctrine of the Church, which distinguishes
Christianity and sets it apart from the other monotheistic religions of this time. St. John of Damascus feared neither Caliph
nor Emperor in his devotion to Christ and the Orthodox Faith. Continuing to write hymns and treatises, he
spent the remaining years of his life in the Monastery of Mar Saba near Jerusalem, where
he surrendered his sanctified soul to the Lord on December 4th, in the year 749 AD. His monastic cell, where he wrote his treatises,
along with his grave, have been points of veneration for pilgrims visiting the monastery
of Mar Saba since that time. St. John of Damascus, please pray for us that
we may remain faithful to Christ, as you did.

Posted by Lewis Heart

This article has 100 comments

  1. Wonderful, these biographies of the saints never cease to exalt my spirit and kindle the fire for holy living, thank you.

    Reply
  2. A founder of the Church music in Faith, the Oktykhos, the 8 tones. .which in every full liturgy, we pray and chant from his work. ..the Kyrie kekgragiya, and the Passa Pnoyii. ..His work stands in front of the Throne of Christ, interceeding for the Church of Antiokias. ..which later on gave many Saints , mostly martyrs and teachers of Faith. ..Marvelous is God among His Saints. ..عجيب هو الله في قديسيه. ..from an unworthy Greek Orthodox psalti in Beirut Lebanon. ..

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  3. Thank you. I'm Orthodox and didn't know half of this. Some of us who've been Orthodox forever know how to do everything correctly in church but don't know the faith or our history like we should. I've always know about the Muslim conquest, heard of St John of Damascus, etc but never knew all off this about him.

    Reply
  4. 7 Lines of Light

    The star in my heart
    Will never depart
    It came in one day
    And has not gone away.
    The story it told
    Shines like pure gold
    And soon will unfold…

    VCH6464 11/7/2019

    Reply
  5. asalaamalaikum every Muslims right here in this video please go subscribe to me because I post Islamic things in my channel and I want you to learn those things and please please please watch my video

    Reply
  6. Sin is pre-existing in all. Sin pre-dates The Bible. The Bible explains origins of sin. The Bible provides remedy for sin through Jesus Christ. The Bible is best selling book in the world for this reason.

    Sin is the opium.

    Satan is the enemy, came to steal, kill and destroy. Misleads us to blame good loving God. God is not the author of evil.

    Media, Police, Defense, Judiciary, Penitentiary, Security, Contracts confirm sin exists.

    God created universe, natural laws, made man in His image, gave talents, instructed man to explore and multiply. We are made good with good purpose. We are good. Then sin entered and we fallen. Disease, despair, death entered. Sin plays spoilsport.

    Unloose the Soul from the tight knot of sin. Soul outlasts death.

    Sinners cannot save themselves from sin. Jesus Christ, the Holy God, intervened, willingly died on The Cross and resurrected, for remmissions of our sins, to save us from sin and hell.

    Unable to find any motive for Jesus Christ to die willingly on Cross and resurrect – except His love to save us from pre-existing sin and hell.

    Religion says "Do". Jesus Christ says "Done".

    Salvation from sin is not earned through works or deeds or pilgrimages or rituals or ceremonies or traditions or cultures or public displays or making sacrifices.

    Believe, repent of sins and accept Jesus Christ, and be saved. Simple. Nothing to lose, everything to gain.

    (My journal to life, after testing all 'isms', after swallowing pride and egos.)

    Reply
  7. Wow! An amazing saint and hero of our faith! His icon will mean so much more to me now. Excellent presentation as always! Thank you!

    Reply
  8. Thank you once again for a wonderful video about the struggles faced by our HolyChurch. St John of Damascus was such an intelligent, holy and blessed pillar of Orthodoxy full of the Holy Spirit. THANKYOU

    Reply
  9. In 634, islam and muslim were not used until abd al-malik (685-705). Before Malik, the arab conquers were called Saracens, hagarines and.ismaelites

    Reply
  10. Turned off after you said A-hole is great. He was Djinn and Mohammed was an illiterate fool and his followers and worse than vermin

    Reply
  11. My landlord was a Muslim who owned a gun.

    Everyday I wondered if he hated me because of our history. Thank God I'm not living there anymore.

    Reply
  12. Shalom,

    Question: "Is prayer to saints / Mary biblical?"

    Answer: The issue of Catholics & Orthodox praying to saints is one that is full of confusion. It is the official position of the Roman Catholic Church that Catholics & Orthodox do not pray TO saints or Mary, but rather that Catholics / Orthodox can ask saints or Mary to pray FOR them. The official position of the Roman Catholic Church is that asking saints for their prayers is no different than asking someone here on earth to pray for us. However, the practice of many Catholics diverges from official Roman Catholic teaching. Many Catholics & Orthodox do in fact pray directly to saints and/or Mary, asking them for help – instead of asking the saints and/or Mary to intercede with God for help. Whatever the case, whether a saint or Mary is being prayed to, or asked to pray, neither practice has any biblical basis.

    The Bible nowhere instructs believers in Christ to pray to anyone other than God. The Bible nowhere encourages, or even mentions, believers asking individuals in heaven for their prayers. Why, then, do many Catholics & Orthodox pray to Mary and/or the saints, or request their prayers? Catholics & Orthodox view Mary and the saints as "intercessors" before God. They believe that a saint, who is glorified in Heaven, has more "direct access" to God than we do. Therefore, if a saint delivers a prayer to God, it is more effective than us praying to God directly. This concept is blatantly unbiblical. Hebrews 4:16tells us that we, believers here on earth, can "approach the throne of grace with confidence."

    First Timothy 2:5declares, "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." There is no one else that can mediate with God for us. If Jesus is the ONLY mediator, that indicates Mary and the saints cannot be mediators. They cannot mediate our prayer requests to God. Further, the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ Himself is interceding for us before the Father: "Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them" (Hebrews 7:25). With Jesus Himself interceding for us, why would we need Mary or the saints to intercede for us? Whom would God listen to more closely than His Son? Romans 8:26-27describes the Holy Spirit interceding for us. With the 2nd and 3rd members of the Trinity already interceding for us before the Father in heaven, what possible need could there be to have Mary or the saints interceding for us?

    Catholics & Orthodox argue that praying to Mary and the saints is no different than asking someone here on earth to pray for us. Let us examine that claim. (1) The Apostle Paul asks other Christians to pray for him in Ephesians 6:19. Many Scriptures describe believers praying for one another (2 Corinthians 1:11; Ephesians 1:16; Philippians 1:19; 2 Timothy 1:3). The Bible nowhere mentions anyone asking for someone in heaven to pray for him. The Bible nowhere describes anyone in heaven praying for anyone on earth. (2) The Bible gives absolutely no indication that Mary or the saints can hear our prayers. Mary and the saints are not omniscient. Even glorified in heaven, they are still finite beings with limitations. How could they possibly hear the prayers of millions of people? Whenever the Bible mentions praying to or speaking with the dead, it is in the context of sorcery, witchcraft, necromancy, and divination—activities the Bible strongly condemns (Leviticus 20:27; Deuteronomy 18:10-13). In the one instance when a "saint" is spoken to, Samuel in 1 Samuel 28:7-19, Samuel is not exactly happy to be disturbed. It is clear that praying to Mary or the saints is completely different from asking someone here on earth to pray for us. One has a strong biblical basis; the other has no biblical basis whatsoever.

    God does not answer prayers based on who is praying. God answers prayers based on whether they are asked according to His will (1 John 5:14-15). There is absolutely no basis or need to pray to anyone other than God alone. There is no basis for asking those who are in heaven to pray for us. Only God can hear our prayers.

    Only God can answer our prayers.
    No one in heaven has any greater access to God's throne than we do through prayer (Hebrews 4:16).

    Wake up!

    God bless you all to see His only Begotten Son Yeshua HaMashiach, Amein.

    Reply
  13. ISAIAH 53V9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

    10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

    Reply
  14. When I first heard the story of life of St. John of Damascus somehow I saw myself in the situations he's been through. He felt so familiar.
    Later on whenever I saw an icon of him or saw his name I always felt 'that's my guy' or something like that.
    I recently realised that he's commemorated on my birthday.
    St. John Damascene, pray for us!

    Reply
  15. Suffer for someone.

    Spread the correct message in his name.

    (Hands that create)

    Angel looking with hate and curiosity. Luca second place.

    Spread messages. Must now spread the message to help them see that you are with Prophet Muhammad.

    Jesus punished me for using the gift to See God and I was humbled on my knees.

    Reply
  16. As a Muslim, well versed in the time of Abdul Malik reign, I think you did a great injustice to St John the man who was practically the chief financial officer for many many years at the zenith of the Umayyad Dynasty. Instead you were carried away with your Christian apologetics by plenty of padding. To be fair, I think the video is well presented and the narrator was first class.
    Kind regards.

    Reply
  17. May the Lord Jesus Christ bless us all and forgive all our sins! Repent, and turn your heart towards the heavenly Lord! Say prayers of gratitude and love!

    Reply
  18. I was raised in the church of Christ in the USA which took on Protestant ideals in the 19th century yet professes a lineage that predates Luther and the reformation back to the Apostles. They are part of the 19th century movement to return to a pure Christianity to emulate the primitive church. The church of Christ is distinguished by the lack of musical instruments in its worship services as well as its lack of depictions of Christ and so on. This documentary has been enlightening. I see now how the divisive arguments within the Church as a whole has served in only assisting the Mohammedan and Satan in destroying the Christianity over the centuries. We Christians of the broader overall Christianity, which includes all believers of Christs deity and in His death, burial, and resurrection and His place in the Trinity, should refrain from attacking each other on such side issues as icon veneration and manners and traditions and cultural practices. I see now that icon veneration is no sin compared to chastising and condemning a brother in Christ to Hell for doing so. Neither should a brother be condemned for his not honoring icons. Because of centuries of this in fighting among Christians, Islam is threatening to take over the Heartland of America and has all but replaced Christianity in Europe and the UK. Let us band together in Christ and reclaim Damascus and even the whole world for Christianity! I still cringe at the thought of praying to saints (or to anyone aside from the LORD) but I'm working on holding my tongue. Just don't force it on a brother and I shall restrain myself and others from condemning it; deal? Let us band together to fight with words and logic the heresies of Islam, Jehovah Witness, and Mormonism (the unholy trinity, if you will).

    Reply
  19. I'm Muslim, I really enjoyed watching this very informative religious history reminder. Its so important to keep the spirit that shows love for Jesus Christ alive in middle east, regardless Muslim & Christians..so much misinformation is going around and creating confusion…Syria is very important .🌍 Thank you

    Reply
  20. Using sophistry as a clever argument to justify idolatry and relics. It is still idolatry. Please read 1John. The only outward sign of the Holy Spirit is the out pouring of Agape in a person's heart and hands….the is no "objective corellative" as the body of Yeshua has been transformed. This is the basis for the heresy of transubstantiation. The Holy Spirit brings remembrance and gratitude, praise to the Father for the gift of His Son!

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  21. Hello @Trisagion Films. Might I ask you what are the primary sources you used on St. John’s Life? I’d really like to get a book about his Life but I have no idea.

    Reply
  22. I know am gonna st John's of darmascus in heaven 🙏🙏he defended Christianity, Christians and divinity of Jesus christ the messiah in a hard way with difficulties from enemy of christ the antichrist, I know he is in heaven,….. Islam is a cult!! And the most dangerous cult in the modern world,, in the beginning there was word and the world was with him and the word was him, that's the trinity Jesus existed before his birth he was God in fresh with spirit of God, Quran also says Jesus was the word of God, spirit of God born by virgin Mary (human) that's trinity, Jesus us God, every kneel shall bow before the lord on the day of judgement and every tongue shall testify Jesus is lord 🙏❤️, Muslims should stop their ignorance calling Jesus a prophet or a messenger is blasphemy u are the antichrist, Mohammad practiced blasphemy by innovating his own Allah the goddes who has 3 daughters actually Muslims worship Mohammad more than Allah, Mohammad means the one who is worshipped 🤣🤔not the other way round their accuse Christians for worshipping Jesus who was a divine and God but their worship a man who was a terrorist leader and upto now Muslims terrorists still terrorises the people of God, denies the holy land Israel 🇮🇱and called Palestine not all Muslims agrees on that, it's a big lie!!!

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  23. You fail to mention that the Arabs retaliated against them (Byzantines) and weren't the ones that engaged the fight. The reason the Arabs attack was that they were attacked by forces from both for countless years before but couldn't retaliate due to inner strife/disunity. They would even kidnap Arabian nobility and rape their children.This video is highly biased and you purposely left out vital information, information that isn't even disputed by historians. Al walid even defeated a combined force of the Byzantine and the Persian who made a truce to defeat the muslims, but still to no avail, no one can stop Gods plan. You guys should do the research on the battle to see the involvement of God. The Christians went astray and became pagans under the disguise of Christianity and the Muslim conquest was God's punishment onto the European, this too Christ had warned, that false prophets (john) would come after him. This is well documented as, we know mithraism was the main religion around the time of Constantine. But even Constantine wasn't genuine in making Christianity the religion of Rome, rather as a response to the abolishment of mithraism in the Persian empire (the Persian king was burning everything in relation to it and had only left 3 temples standing) as a direct response out of fear of preservation of their belief they disguised it under Christianity. This is around the same time where the idea of the trinity, and Christ's divinity was first formulated and was seen, by the Christians themselves, as blasphemous claims, and this not by a minority, but the entirety. It's sad how the Christians do not even know their own history as these are very well documented and historians do not even dispute this matter. Even the books in the new testament, which was the mithraic additions into the bible, have the name of the mithraic books, for instance the book of peter which in mithraism was the book of petra. I can't understand the Christian man, so blasphemous he is and completely careless about it he is. An example of this is the commandment given onto them in the bible, to not have engraven images, yet their houses of worship are ornamented to the fullest with engraven images. They have engraven images of Christ, essentially the one who decreed such a ruling (at least that is the case in their perspective). How oblivious are these people? I can't get my head around how they can continue like this without realizing what's going on, it's as if they are just following a faith blindly and doing whatever they are told to do. They are going directly against the word of God, what you believe to be his words and not that of any other, to an extent that is most blasphemous. You guys need to enlighten yourselves more in regards to your own beliefs than that of others, for you are deeply astray, and this I mean in biblical standards…

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  24. Can you share with us some of the resources that you used in producing this documentary!?
    May the Lord Jesus Christ bless your works

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  25. Excellent! Enriching! Captivating! Inspiring! Fascinating! Top Notch!
    My warmest appreciation to all who contributed to the creation of this very fine film. May the Lord reward all of you for using your great talents for His noble work. I am loving every minute that I am learning! Your posts are Christ's guiding beacons within the internet's vast tempestuous waters. I am a delighted subscriber. My understanding and admiration has grown much deeper for Saint John of Damascus because of this film.

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  26. i had never heard that they chased citizens who left Damascus after they surrendered… that is truly cowardly and terrible

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  27. I am a Muslim. Please let there be no hostilities between us, have a decorum just for the sake of knowledge and understanding. Jesus is our prophet and he is one of the greatest messengers of God since the creation of Adam. He didn't die and when Jesus returns to Earth he will unite us.

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  28. The value of this work is, by association, a holy work, that, as GOD wills, delivers not only understanding and light, but the evidence of the Spirit of God as peace overcomes doubt in the hearts of our Lords beloved. Thank you for your labor, GOD bless you…it is easy to love you.

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  29. God to glory to God. Praise Lord Yeshua. Thank you for sharing this.
    I pray the light which decimates the dark, which is Christ, is to be received by Muslims and the Islamic faith. So be it.
    ❤️✌️❤️

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  30. Thank you, Trisagion Films! This is the first Saint that I really can identify with, besides St. Paul (whom I dreamed about once-does that make him my patron Saint?). I am very concerned with the war in Syria and pray for the innocent civilians there, under attack from merciless terrorists and their "powerful" backers who are trying to destroy Syria, one of the homelands of Christianity. Oh, Saint John of Damascus, pray for the Syrian people!

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  31. This video demonstrates that Islam was spread by the sword. I come across many Muslims who believe their faith has nothing to do with violence. I do not know whether this is ignorance on their part or a purposeful use of Taggiya. If anyone knows where to find his Apologetics, I would appreciate it if you would share it. Christians need to begin educating themselves to be able to defend our faith against Muslim's daw'h.

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  32. There is only and only one God name is Allah..most mercifull most beneficiar.If Jese is God then Adam is bigger then Jeses..why because Allah create without father and mother..so God can't be human and how can one die for the sins of other why you Christians didn't thinking.

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  33. And why did you use that muslim call in the background? That was mad annoying and I didn’t watch the video because of that.

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