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Rychian
07-05-2005, 02:19 PM
Hey all,
I thought I would throw this out there to the throngs of loyal Reds fans. As you may or may not know I just graduated from Ashland Theological Seminary in June. Since January I have been running after my calling which is planting a church. We are small but mighty right now, where total attendance between groups and sunday morning reaches around 20. Which is not bad for a 6 month old church...

If anyone is in the area and wants to check us out here is the address:
1843 Graham Rd. Stow OH 44224 --> Dangerously close to cleveland i know!
We also accept and appreciate prayers for this new venture
Anywho, we are trying some different things and some new ads are being printed today so maybe youll see them out there. If you want to catch a hint of what we are about one of our ads is a simple post card with this statement on the front:

Church doesn't have to suck...

Thank you all

Tom Asbury

Chip R
07-05-2005, 02:26 PM
Good luck, Tom. :thumbup:

traderumor
07-05-2005, 02:52 PM
Tom,

With all due respect, I may be an old codger (40) and a bit on the legalistic side, and I cherish my freedom in Christ as much as any other believer, but I hope you're kidding with putting "suck" in advertising promoting your church. I know throughout the culture it has become a synonym for "stinks" or "that's awful," or so they say (even though I think many use the word who don't normally use swear words and feel like they're getting away with something) and I am guilty of throwing it out there myself at times, but it is still a word associated with oral sex where I come from.

That will be all from the Reformed Legalist from Newark ;)

zombie-a-go-go
07-05-2005, 02:57 PM
Tom,

With all due respect, I may be an old codger (40) and a bit on the legalistic side, and I cherish my freedom in Christ as much as any other believer, but I hope you're kidding with putting "suck" in advertising promoting your church. I know throughout the culture it has become a synonym for "stinks" or "that's awful," or so they say (even though I think many use the word who don't normally use swear words and feel like they're getting away with something) and I am guilty of throwing it out there myself at times, but it is still a word associated with oral sex where I come from.

That will be all from the Reformed Legalist from Newark ;)

Wow... they don't drink out of straws in Newark? ;)

traderumor
07-05-2005, 03:12 PM
Wow... they don't drink out of straws in Newark? ;)Or use vaccuums :)

zombie-a-go-go
07-05-2005, 03:17 PM
Or use vaccuums :)

:laugh:

Rychian
07-05-2005, 03:30 PM
I know, I know..
But with all due respect many churches do suck. :) We are using it as a shocking phrase to catch attention and tell people that church doesnt have to be a groan on sundays. So far it is working and we are catching folks who gave up on the church a long time ago.
PS --> Im a pretty conservative guy, but i am willing to use a taboo word if it means people get to know christ.

Tom.

OH and there are much worse words in the Bible --> Skubala being one of them. Check out philippians 3:8. The NIV makes the word more delicate and calls it rubbish. It is actually dung/feces and the word picture is the crap you got on your shoes as you walked the streets before sanitation. Yummy.

traderumor
07-05-2005, 03:37 PM
I know, I know..
But with all due respect many churches do suck. :) We are using it as a shocking phrase to catch attention and tell people that church doesnt have to be a groan on sundays. So far it is working and we are catching folks who gave up on the church a long time ago.
PS --> Im a pretty conservative guy, but i am willing to use a taboo word if it means people get to know christ.

Tom.

OH and there are much worse words in the Bible --> Skubala being one of them. Check out philippians 3:8. The NIV makes the word more delicate and calls it rubbish. It is actually dung/feces and the word picture is the crap you got on your shoes as you walked the streets before sanitation. Yummy.

Definately a difference in ministry philosophy there, Tom. What is your scriptural support for such a method, or do you see that as a necessity when it comes to evangelism?

Rychian
07-05-2005, 03:47 PM
My ministry philosophy is simple. Matthew 23 & Alcoholics Anonymous

Christ didn't hold himself as being above those he was ministering to. The meal with matthew and various prostitutes, lepers also can make this claim. He also berated the pharisees and sadducees for placing rules and doctrine above the kingdom of God.

Bringing that forward to today, we christians should never hold ourselves as higher or better than those we are trying to reach. Christ worked through meals, stories and practical life matters when trying to show people the kingdom of God. It is my calling (being the horrifically postmodern that I am) to show people that church is not the place of suits, thys, thous and perfection that we have said it to be for the past 300 + years.

The Bible was written in the street language of the day. Mark could barely write good greek, and his word choices werent the greatest. Paul uses the equivalent of our word crap in his letters. The church should not be a lofty place of holiness, but instead it should be a mash unit where peopel come to be healed.

I grew up atheist and now i have been given this blessing to tell everyone. I went to many a church that for the lack of a better term sucked. Our philosophy is to simply love those we come into contact with and share with them the gospel. Plain and simple, It's all that Jesus Christ did.

Anyways, Thats sort of our church. Yeah we are different, but since the church in America is declining so rapidly that missionaries are starting to come here, maybe different isnt a bad thing.

Tom

RFS62
07-05-2005, 03:57 PM
Good luck, Tom. I love your attitude.

Johnny Footstool
07-05-2005, 03:59 PM
It sounds like you're reaching out to those who need guidance and direction in their lives instead of the holier-than-thou crowd. Always a good thing, IMO.

KronoRed
07-05-2005, 03:59 PM
Amen Rychian.

Good luck :)

traderumor
07-05-2005, 04:08 PM
I do not understand a ministry philosophy that would come out of Matthew 23. Many of the other comments sound like you may be very familiar with the Purpose Driven model? Have you considered a work by Mark Dever called "Nine Marks of a Healthy Church?" I think it is an excellent tool for church planters to help them get a solid foundation from the start.

All of the things churches do to get folks to their meetings is all well and good, but then I would hope that once they get to your church they are hearing the gospel of God, which since you are familiar with bad churches, all say they preach the gospel (see I Cor 15:3-4), few actually do. I hope that you are preaching expositionally , preferably but not necessarily, through a book of the Bible at a time. If you have those two things as the focus, all else seems to take care of itself.

And thanks for not taking offense to my complaint.

Rychian
07-05-2005, 04:16 PM
No Prob,
Ive learned not to get offended a long time ago. Though my thoughts and ideas are sometimes offensive to church folk.
I havent read warrens purpose driven ___________ though many churches are jumping on the idea which is great. Also, just to have some fun, i dont preach a book of the bible at a time, and lectionaries are the worst thing to ever happen to a good preacher.

Just thought id throw it out there. The bible is preached, though more topically and less expository. I find that if people dont even know the words that you are using to describe the mode of preaching you use the less likely they will even know what your talking about on sundays.

Peace.
Tom.

traderumor
07-05-2005, 04:16 PM
It sounds like you're reaching out to those who need guidance and direction in their lives instead of the holier-than-thou crowd. Always a good thing, IMO.The holier than thou crowd are lost and need guidance and direction, too and Jesus reached out to them also. If the gospel is preached at a church, the "holier-than-thou crowd" is reached out to every week. Wasn't the rebuke Tom referenced in Matt 23 reaching out to them? Didn't he draw Nicodemus to himself? Levi/Matthew? Peter? Paul, the holierest of the holier than thou crowd?

Christ saves sinners--religious ones, pagan ones, and everything in between. The gospel isn't just for the "unchurched." The gospel is for Christians and professing but not possessing Christians too. The key is to preach the gospel, not look for target audiences.

Johnny Footstool
07-05-2005, 04:25 PM
The holier than thou crowd are lost and need guidance and direction, too and Jesus reached out to them also.

Good point.

traderumor
07-05-2005, 04:25 PM
No Prob,
Ive learned not to get offended a long time ago. Though my thoughts and ideas are sometimes offensive to church folk.
I havent read warrens purpose driven ___________ though many churches are jumping on the idea which is great. Also, just to have some fun, i dont preach a book of the bible at a time, and lectionaries are the worst thing to ever happen to a good preacher.

Just thought id throw it out there. The bible is preached, though more topically and less expository. I find that if people dont even know the words that you are using to describe the mode of preaching you use the less likely they will even know what your talking about on sundays.

Peace.
Tom.I'm surprised you have not read Warren because your philosophy for planting a church seems to mirror his approach. My final word on the subject is this: church is for the gathering together of the saints for worship through the prayer, praise and proclamation of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ so that they may go into all the world and make disciples of the nations. From what you've said so far, Tom, you are trying to create a place that makes church not suck. I'm not sure if it accomplishes the above in so doing since the unregenerate think church sucks because that is exactly what the unregenerate should think about church. You may be able to create a church that is more favorable to the lost, but then once they become believers, what do you do when that no longer satisfies their souls that now hunger for God?

registerthis
07-05-2005, 04:28 PM
The holier than thou crowd are lost and need guidance and direction, too and Jesus reached out to them also. If the gospel is preached at a church, the "holier-than-thou crowd" is reached out to every week. Wasn't the rebuke Tom referenced in Matt 23 reaching out to them? Didn't he draw Nicodemus to himself? Levi/Matthew? Peter? Paul, the holierest of the holier than thou crowd?

Christ saves sinners--religious ones, pagan ones, and everything in between. The gospel isn't just for the "unchurched." The gospel is for Christians and professing but not possessing Christians too. The key is to preach the gospel, not look for target audiences.
But surely you can understand that one Church can't be all things to all people, TR.

For example, there are people that prefer a very liturgical, organized worship style. This suits them. I prefer something more relaxed. Some prefer an energetic, joyful celebration--as seen in many inner city churches. others prefer a more quiet, somber service.

Therefore I'm going to disagree with your "target audience" comment. I don't think Rychian is looking for a target audience, only looking for new ways to reach those who may not otherwise be reached. Do other churches "suck"? I can tell you firsthand that I have visited many churches that, were they all I had ever known about Christianity, would have done nothing to further my belief in God. There was nothing going on, or being preached, that would have made me feel that I could have--or *wanted*--to be a part of that congregation. You can preach the gospel, and STILL be an uninspiring congregation.

There are other churches that I find inspiring, for a number of reasons. I don't see Rychian as ignoring the gospel--in actuality, his stated purpose for the church comes directly from a gospel chapter--so much as finding new ways to deliver it.

And that, I believe, is admirable.

traderumor
07-05-2005, 04:31 PM
But surely you can understand that one Church can't be all things to all people, TR.

Where does it say its supposed to be?

Crash Davis
07-05-2005, 04:36 PM
What is your scriptural support for such a method, or do you see that as a necessity when it comes to evangelism?


My final word on the subject is this: church is for the gathering together of the saints for worship through the prayer, praise and proclamation of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ so that they may go into all the world and make disciples of the nations.

Church cop?

registerthis
07-05-2005, 04:36 PM
Where does it say its supposed to be?
It was in reference to your quote

The key is to preach the gospel, not look for target audiences.
Which I assumed, rather wrongly or rightly, was made in tandem with this quote

All of the things churches do to get folks to their meetings is all well and good, but then I would hope that once they get to your church they are hearing the gospel of God, which since you are familiar with bad churches, all say they preach the gospel (see I Cor 15:3-4), few actually do.
I didn't see anywhere where Rychian said he wasn't planning on preaching the gospel, only that his methodologies would be different. And there's nothing wrong with different methodologies.

WVRed
07-05-2005, 04:38 PM
PS --> Im a pretty conservative guy, but i am willing to use a taboo word if it means people get to know christ.

Just out of curiosity, what is your stance on Christian rock/Contemporary Christian Music?

I think its great what you are doing and I wish you the best of luck. I almost went to an ultra-conservative Christian college in Pensacola, FL(Pensacola Christian College if you have heard of it), but I decided against it after being down there a couple of days. Long story short, it took conservatism to extremes.

Im currently contemplating Appalachia Bible College here in West Virginia. But I am definitely considering the ministry.

registerthis
07-05-2005, 04:41 PM
Just out of curiosity, what is your stance on Christian rock/Contemporary Christian Music?
I know your question wasn't directed at me, but I feel like responding...

I think most of hit sucks hard...not because of the spirituality in the lyrics, but the music. it's godawful. people complain about Christian rock not getting played on top 40 stations, and it's little wonder...most of it is terrible.

Just my two cents anyhow. :)

Redsfaithful
07-05-2005, 04:43 PM
http://images.redreporter.com/images/admin/dunkin.jpg

Redsfaithful
07-05-2005, 04:46 PM
Sorry, channeling woy there for a moment. Carry on.

traderumor
07-05-2005, 04:52 PM
It was in reference to your quote

Which I assumed, rather wrongly or rightly, was made in tandem with this quote

I didn't see anywhere where Rychian said he wasn't planning on preaching the gospel, only that his methodologies would be different. And there's nothing wrong with different methodologies.Sure there is. They must stand the test of Scripture.

Crash,

Not sure what your point is, but the discussion is the expressing of opinions, which since it is a discussion of a Christian church, the opinions should have scriptural support, in my opinion. ;)

registerthis
07-05-2005, 05:24 PM
Sure there is. They must stand the test of Scripture.

That's substance-based, not methodology-based.

This is the difference I am getting at. Whether the gospel is taught in an expansive cathedral with a bell choir and a priest, or in a movie theater with a rock band, the ultimate purpose is the same.

Rychian isn't talking about changing the SUBTANCE of what is taught, but the STYLE.

traderumor
07-05-2005, 05:26 PM
That's substance-based, not methodology-based.

This is the difference I am getting at. Whether the gospel is taught in an expansive cathedral with a bell choir and a priest, or in a movie theater with a rock band, the ultimate purpose is the same.

Rychian isn't talking about changing the SUBTANCE of what is taught, but the STYLE.Read posts after the one you are quoting and substance is discussed. I know what you're saying, but there is more to it than musical preferences and worship style. The issue isn't that simple. What you worship and why is of the utmost importance. I covered that in a later post than the one you are debating.

registerthis
07-05-2005, 05:35 PM
Read posts after the one you are quoting and substance is discussed.
Would you mind pointing out what you are referring to?

Not trying to be a PITA about it, but i read all of Rychian's posts, and I don't see where he is advocating changing the substance of the gospels. Please elaborate...

SunDeck
07-05-2005, 05:45 PM
Skubala

Good luck with the new venture. I never thought church "sucked", but it certainly didn't seem real relevant. But "Church doesn't have to be irrelevant" doesn't have quite the same ring, does it?

And thanks for the new word to use around my kids. I know, technically this one actually is a curse word, but being in Greek, or Aramaic, or Philipian, or whatever language it's suppose to be makes it okay.
SKUBALA! I'm liking this one more and more.

traderumor
07-05-2005, 05:46 PM
Would you mind pointing out what you are referring to?

Not trying to be a PITA about it, but i read all of Rychian's posts, and I don't see where he is advocating changing the substance of the gospels. Please elaborate...http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=768955&postcount=17

traderumor
07-05-2005, 05:48 PM
Good luck with the new venture. I never thought church "sucked", but it certainly didn't seem real relevant. But "Church doesn't have to be irrelevant" doesn't have quite the same ring, does it?

And thanks for the new word to use around my kids. I know, technically this one actually is a curse word, but being in Greek, or Aramaic, or Philipian, or whatever language it's suppose to be makes it okay.
SKUBALA! I'm liking this one more and more.

If you don't mind me asking, why didn't it seem relevant to you? What were you looking for it to relate to?

Puffy
07-05-2005, 06:13 PM
Good luck, Tom. I hope this works out for you :thumbup:

registerthis
07-05-2005, 06:15 PM
http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=768955&postcount=17
OK...

Where in his post is he advocating a change in substance?

I'm not getting your point here TR.

traderumor
07-05-2005, 06:27 PM
OK...

Where in his post is he advocating a change in substance?

I'm not getting your point here TR.You've lost me as much as I've lost you, apparently. I'm not sure if this clears up your confusion, but there are two primary issues here. One, is the one true gospel being preached. Two, is the church a gathering of saints for worship. Actually, he never addressed the substance of the message other than a generic reference to the "gospel." You've made the assertion that the substance hasn't been changed but that I'm fussing about music and worship style. The "gospel" can mean many different things, but I always like to use 1 Cor. 15:3-4 as a starting point, which are two verses that give the gospel in a nutshell. But then, as I pointed out in the post, the only substance I've seen so far is making an environment conducive to drawing the irreligious into a meeting by a religious person and calling it church. By religious, I mean a person following a certain set of beliefs for a spiritual benefit. I would say to that, woopy-doo, you got some folks to show up and talk about God. Now what? Is that enough?

registerthis
07-05-2005, 06:34 PM
But then, as I pointed out in the post, the only substance I've seen so far is making an environment conducive to drawing the irreligious into a meeting by a religious person and calling it church. By religious, I mean a person following a certain set of beliefs for a spiritual benefit. I would say to that, woopy-doo, you got some folks to show up and talk about God. Now what? Is that enough?
But he says

Our philosophy is to simply love those we come into contact with and share with them the gospel. Plain and simple, It's all that Jesus Christ did.
And...honestly, I'm tired of this argument, because we may be arguing different things--I can't tell.

All I'm saying is, there are many methods one could use to bring people to church. And some churches will cater more to young or non-believers as much as some churches cater to those who are well-established in their faith. Tom says he's intent on preaching the gospel and intent on emulating Christ, so I don't see where your point of contention is with him.

...and people wonder why there are hundreds of denominations in Christianity! :rolleyes:

traderumor
07-05-2005, 06:43 PM
But he says

And...honestly, I'm tired of this argument, because we may be arguing different things--I can't tell.

All I'm saying is, there are many methods one could use to bring people to church. And some churches will cater more to young or non-believers as much as some churches cater to those who are well-established in their faith. Tom says he's intent on preaching the gospel and intent on emulating Christ, so I don't see where your point of contention is with him.

...and people wonder why there are hundreds of denominations in Christianity! :rolleyes:Roll your eyes if you must, but this is not an issue that springs denominations. This is an issue that separates a gospel church from a social gathering.

Crash Davis
07-05-2005, 06:54 PM
Roll your eyes if you must, but this is not an issue that springs denominations. This is an issue that separates a gospel church from a social gathering.

So you are a bit of a church cop? Do it my way, or you're not doing it the right way. Who gets decide what's a church and what's a social gathering? And why would you want to decide that?

You've taken a wonderful thing that Tom is doing and tried to regulate it because it may or may not fit your own rigid standards for Christianity. Emulating Christ is the goal. That's good enough.

And I hope Tom doesn't have anyone else trying to get him to meet certain preconceived rules and regulations about following Christ's teachings.

It's OK for the capital "C" church to weed through all of the literature on Christ and decide what's copacetic and what's not. But it's not OK for Tom to start a church emulating Christ's finer qualities?

DunnersGrl44
07-05-2005, 07:18 PM
Good Luck on your new venture.
As much as I hate getting on the topic of religion. I will add my 2 cents. Church to me is a state of mind. If going to church makes you feel better. Then go. If it does nothing for you, and you are staring at the clock the entire time, then don't go. Wether you believe in it or not, as long as you believe in your beliefs, then no one can tell you that you are wrong to feel that way. But I do think that absolute worst thing that anyone can do, is try to pass on your own beliefs, whatever they may be, and get into arguements about it.
Thats about all I have to add!

SunDeck
07-05-2005, 07:19 PM
If you don't mind me asking, why didn't it seem relevant to you? What were you looking for it to relate to?
Relevant to me would be doctrine based upon the following: humility, forgiveness, understanding, equality, justice. I am a Catholic; dip your hand into that barrel and pull out a fist full of irrelevance.

traderumor
07-05-2005, 08:31 PM
So you are a bit of a church cop? Do it my way, or you're not doing it the right way. Who gets decide what's a church and what's a social gathering? And why would you want to decide that?

You've taken a wonderful thing that Tom is doing and tried to regulate it because it may or may not fit your own rigid standards for Christianity. Emulating Christ is the goal. That's good enough.

And I hope Tom doesn't have anyone else trying to get him to meet certain preconceived rules and regulations about following Christ's teachings.

It's OK for the capital "C" church to weed through all of the literature on Christ and decide what's copacetic and what's not. But it's not OK for Tom to start a church emulating Christ's finer qualities?Thanks for expanding, although that is exactly what I thought you meant. Yes, when one is attempting to do a work as a member of Christ's church, there are Biblical standards to abide by. Note I said Biblical standards, which to me assumes of the historic Christian faith, not my standards as you charge. I kept those very simple and at the heart of any work to ensure that folks like you and registerthis would not have a legitimate charge of "different strokes for different folks arguments" against the points I am bringing up--the gospel and corporate gathering for worship.

And I hope Tom does have someone else trying to get him to build a church that follows the entirety of Scripture on the subject. Not that he is accountable to me, but accountability is a good thing in the Christian's life.

Rychian
07-05-2005, 09:59 PM
I love creating a stir...

That was not the intention of the thread though. For those concerned yes i do have a denomination watching to see that we create a scripturally based church. The church as we know it in America is not the church as we will know it in 30-40 yrs. There is an emerging church that will not prescribe to the modern context as we have come to know it in our happy little sunday morning services.

We are attempting to build a relevant church both scripturally but also to people's lives. I challenge anyone to tell me that the church should be anything other than a tool for God to use. Not THE tool for God to use, but a tool. There are many ways for God to reach people and it doesnt have to happen where we are most comfortable on Sunday mornings. I find people in Border's bookstores and starbucks more receptive to the gospel then some christians i meet.

The fact of the matter is, the church needs to begin to realize what it was made for. It is not intended to prop up the people on the inside to make them feel better than those outside. It is to grow those within the walls and to call to those who are outside the walls. The word Ekklesia though meaning assembly, gatherings..... has the idea of going out. Or reaching out.

My church chose to reach out by stating that church doesnt have to suck. So be it. From the response here it seems to strike a nerve and i love that! If i were to print an advertisement and have it say "come here to hear the word of God" it would be cast off by those most needing to hear it. Instead we go around and use the language of today to strike a chord, hit a nerve and perhaps save someone. If i have to say suck to get the church's attention, then there it is. I hope the church wakes up, or before too long we will be Europe.

Peace,
Tom

RFS62
07-05-2005, 10:04 PM
I have never been able to figure out how so many denominations lay claim to the only true understanding of Christianity.

Especially the ones formed hundreds of years after Christ lived. What happened to the people before the big revelation that launched a new church?

There are many paths to enlightnemt.

Rychian
07-05-2005, 10:09 PM
Sadly many denominations have been caused because egos were hurt or someone else wanted to be president. Other splits occured because the traditional church refused to accept a new line of thinking (See: Methodism). Other churches were created for power (Anglican / church of england) and others due to creedal statements and the power of a pope (Eastern orthodox and Catholic).

There are many churches that claim that they follow the direct lineage of the apostles and therefore they are the only true church. However no matter how many egos get in the way christ is still preached. I pray that someday these splits will heal, but in the next year we will most likely see another few splits. The Episcopalian looks like it is lining up for one as well as United church of christ (both over the gay issue).

Churches split, denominations split, no church should ever claim that
"we are right, and the rest of yall be going to hell! "

Tom

Puffy
07-06-2005, 12:55 AM
Churches split, denominations split, no church should ever claim that
"we are right, and the rest of yall be going to hell! "



:clap: :clap: :clap:

Brutus_the_Red
07-06-2005, 02:17 AM
Sadly many denominations have been caused because egos were hurt or someone else wanted to be president. Other splits occured because the traditional church refused to accept a new line of thinking (See: Methodism). Other churches were created for power (Anglican / church of england) and others due to creedal statements and the power of a pope (Eastern orthodox and Catholic).

There are many churches that claim that they follow the direct lineage of the apostles and therefore they are the only true church. However no matter how many egos get in the way christ is still preached. I pray that someday these splits will heal, but in the next year we will most likely see another few splits. The Episcopalian looks like it is lining up for one as well as United church of christ (both over the gay issue).

Churches split, denominations split, no church should ever claim that
"we are right, and the rest of yall be going to hell! "

Tom

My church, the Dayton Vineyard, had a HUGE problem with other churches that were angry at us for "stealing their flock" and some have even gone so far as to call us a cult. Tom, I say good luck in your venture. I've got you in my prayers.

Ravenlord
07-06-2005, 05:26 AM
My church, the Dayton Vineyard, had a HUGE problem with other churches that were angry at us for "stealing their flock" and some have even gone so far as to call us a cult. Tom, I say good luck in your venture. I've got you in my prayers.i remember when my church was being referred to as a cult because of the name of the church. it was utterly ridiculous. but extremely amusing to me.

traderumor
07-06-2005, 10:08 AM
I love creating a stir...

That was not the intention of the thread though. For those concerned yes i do have a denomination watching to see that we create a scripturally based church. The church as we know it in America is not the church as we will know it in 30-40 yrs. There is an emerging church that will not prescribe to the modern context as we have come to know it in our happy little sunday morning services.

We are attempting to build a relevant church both scripturally but also to people's lives. I challenge anyone to tell me that the church should be anything other than a tool for God to use. Not THE tool for God to use, but a tool. There are many ways for God to reach people and it doesnt have to happen where we are most comfortable on Sunday mornings. I find people in Border's bookstores and starbucks more receptive to the gospel then some christians i meet.

The fact of the matter is, the church needs to begin to realize what it was made for. It is not intended to prop up the people on the inside to make them feel better than those outside. It is to grow those within the walls and to call to those who are outside the walls. The word Ekklesia though meaning assembly, gatherings..... has the idea of going out. Or reaching out.

My church chose to reach out by stating that church doesnt have to suck. So be it. From the response here it seems to strike a nerve and i love that! If i were to print an advertisement and have it say "come here to hear the word of God" it would be cast off by those most needing to hear it. Instead we go around and use the language of today to strike a chord, hit a nerve and perhaps save someone. If i have to say suck to get the church's attention, then there it is. I hope the church wakes up, or before too long we will be Europe.

Peace,
Tom

Tom,

I suppose you could run down the street naked with a sign bearing your church's name in neon lights if the goal is to get people's attention ;) . I'm afraid I see too much of this stuff from churches trying to get people's attention from billboards to cutesy little sayings on their church signs.

So they attract the crowd, get them in there to hear a "praise" band play catchy little choruses where a few couplets are repeated three or four times while the congregation claps their hands and sings. Perhaps there is a little skit done by the drama group once the church really gets going. Then, the pastor comes out trying real hard to be "relevant" by using the language of today, "preaches" a 20 minute sermonette on saving a marriage, raising kids, dealing with stress, or any other myriad of "relevant" topics, making sure not to overdo Scripture (quoting a modern translation of dubious reputation and scholarship). Then, the meeting ends with an explanation that God/Jesus loves every one and if you'll just give him a chance he can give you the perfect marriage, perfect kids, a stressless life, and, the capper, eternal life and heaven.

So, some people want that, do what they have to do to be considered a "Christian" by that church (go forward, get baptized, go through new believer's class, etc.), then fall by the wayside at some point down the road because their marriage wasn't fixed, their kids are not perfect, and their life is no better, and possibly even worse, than it was before they got "saved." They walk away disillusioned because God/Jesus did not deliver on promises that were supposedly theirs to claim.

I hope that doesn't describe your church, Tom, I really do. But I am afraid by what you've said in this thread that you are falling for the same trap that so many do, that the word of God isn't enough, that if the word of God is preached expositionally (people don't need to know the word to understand the method) it will not be relevant, that folks will not come if you don't claim to be different than other churches in some way, so gimmicks and ploys to draw a crowd must be used. But then the funny thing about drawing a crowd is if you really preach the hard sayings of Scripture, e.g. suffering in the Christian life, the depths of man's sin, God's wrath, the crowd will go away, so those things are usually not preached. Again, I hope you take a different path.

RFS62
07-06-2005, 10:28 AM
But then the funny thing about drawing a crowd is if you really preach the hard sayings of Scripture, e.g. suffering in the Christian life, the depths of man's sin, God's wrath, the crowd will go away, so those things are usually not preached.


I'd rather focus on God's love than God's wrath and the threat of hell fire and damnation. I don't need to be threatened into living a good life.

Johnny Footstool
07-06-2005, 10:33 AM
So, some people want that, do what they have to do to be considered a "Christian" by that church (go forward, get baptized, go through new believer's class, etc.), then fall by the wayside at some point down the road because their marriage wasn't fixed, their kids are not perfect, and their life is no better, and possibly even worse, than it was before they got "saved." They walk away disillusioned because God/Jesus did not deliver on promises that were supposedly theirs to claim.

That isn't the fault of the church, though. Some people view faith as a diet -- they'll go to church for a little while, try to "lose a few" sins like they're losing pounds, then eventually fall back into the same routine as before. It doesn't matter if the church is preaching true gosphel or Scientology -- it's human nature to start down the road of self-improvement, then fall back into old patterns. For some people, the message fades, no matter how good and true it is.

However, there are some people out of that group that will actually make a change in their lives. Those are the one's I think Rychian is trying to reach.

traderumor
07-06-2005, 11:26 AM
I'd rather focus on God's love than God's wrath and the threat of hell fire and damnation. I don't need to be threatened into living a good life.Of course you would. Who wouldn't? Thank you for making my point. :)

But then that would not be getting to know everything you can about God, which is what the believer should hunger for. Wrath is a part of God's nature, therefore it should not be avoided in the same way that someone exploring God's wrath should not ignore the attribute of God's mercy. Furthermore, God's wrath is not intended to threaten one into living a good life. It is an outpouring of judgment for sin. If your sins have been forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ, you are grateful for his mercy and grace and for avoiding the wrath to come.


That isn't the fault of the church, though. Some people view faith as a diet -- they'll go to church for a little while, try to "lose a few" sins like they're losing pounds, then eventually fall back into the same routine as before. It doesn't matter if the church is preaching true gosphel or Scientology -- it's human nature to start down the road of self-improvement, then fall back into old patterns. For some people, the message fades, no matter how good and true it is.

Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. If all someone got from the "gospel" that a particular church is that Jesus is the bestest self-improvement plan going, then it is the church's fault for not preaching the one true gospel. It all goes back to the preaching and teaching of the church. If they are a gospel preaching church, then you are correct, with the parable of the soils as a great example of what you are talking about. However, if the message is flawed from the outset and folks "come to Christ" on the false premise that Jesus is going to fix them and make them into the type of person that they think they should be based on their flawed understanding of felt needs (as opposed to true needs, which only God truly knows a person's heart), then it is the church's fault. Without hearing or reading Tom's messages, I couldn't tell you for sure whether he is establishing a gospel church or not. But I do see the symptoms of a self-improvement aim rather than saving and perfecting of the saints for the service of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

traderumor
07-06-2005, 11:43 AM
There is an emerging church that will not prescribe to the modern context as we have come to know it in our happy little sunday morning services.
Tom, are you prescribing to an "emerging church" movement?

traderumor
07-06-2005, 11:56 AM
If anyone is interested, here is a link to a discussion that touches on the topics we have been discussing, esp. a good talk on "relevance"

http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/the_white_horse_inn/

Johnny Footstool
07-06-2005, 12:02 PM
But I do see the symptoms of a self-improvement aim rather than saving and perfecting of the saints for the service of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

I guess we'll have to disagree. Call me cynical, but I believe all religion is a form of self-improvement and/or self-preservation. Even, as you state, the saving and perfecting of the saints for the service of God is done with ultimately selfish motives -- the eternal salvation of one's soul, inheriting the kingdom of heaven, avoiding hellfire. We don't do anything out of pure altruism.

Not that there's anything "wrong" with that. It's just human nature.

flyer85
07-06-2005, 12:11 PM
Even, as you state, the saving and perfecting of the saints for the service of God is done with ultimately selfish motives -- the eternal salvation of one's soul, inheriting the kingdom of heaven, avoiding hellfire. We don't do anything out of pure altruism.sola fide

traderumor
07-06-2005, 12:34 PM
Even, as you state, the saving and perfecting of the saints for the service of God is done with ultimately selfish motives -- the eternal salvation of one's soul, inheriting the kingdom of heaven, avoiding hellfire. We don't do anything out of pure altruism.

That is why all of sanctification (the three dollar word for perfecting the saints) has God as its source. All of our works are likely tainted, as you correctly state. It is only through the grace of God that we are saved, but it is that same grace that allows us to do good works from that point forward until the believer is delivered into glory.

Our salvation is not just an issue of self-improvement with God as our co-pilot, which is essentially what I think you are saying. It is being made right with God through the forgiveness of sins by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ based on his substitutionary death and resurrection. You are not your own, you are bought with a price when you receive salvation.

Will one's life change? Yes, but it isn't just in the outward actions that so many associate with being a Christian, such as a more moral life. That is moralism and is not the point of salvation. Rather, the point of salvation is a change born inside a person that works its way out through the person and will certainly influence external actions (which can also be very easily faked I might add, the internal cannot be faked), but more importantly a believer will be "transformed through the renewing of the mind" as Paul instructed through his letter to the Romans.

TeamCasey
07-06-2005, 12:42 PM
I love creating a stir...

:laugh:

Dom Heffner
07-06-2005, 01:03 PM
First of all, Tom, good luck with your church. I wish you well. You need to do things as you wish- stay true to your vision.

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I believe in roughly an ounce (probably less :)) of what the Bible proclaims, but this is your dream, not mine, and you should do it as you wish. Try it your way, and if it works, then you'll be truly happy. If it doesn't, you can always revise the plan. Saying we aren't perfect has become cliche, but when it comes to applying it to our own lives, sometimes we are harder on ourselves and each other than we need to be. Try it your way, you can always change things later. I can't imagine an all-loving god faulting you for trying.


Churches split, denominations split, no church should ever claim that
"we are right, and the rest of yall be going to hell! "

This sounds easy enough, however, one inherent problem with religion is that you either believe in yours or you don't. To sort of look at one's own religion and then compare it to differing beliefs as equal or at least with a tolerant eye is difficult for many. Most believe their religion is the true one and foresee a dire fate for those with differing beliefs. I realize that most people believe they are praying to the same god, yet it is all those little details that tend to put them all into little fractions and thus we get the rivalry between them all.

Johnny Footstool
07-06-2005, 01:15 PM
Our salvation is not just an issue of self-improvement with God as our co-pilot, which is essentially what I think you are saying. It is being made right with God through the forgiveness of sins by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ based on his substitutionary death and resurrection.

Whether it is called "self-improvement" or "salvation," it all boils down to the saving of oneself -- the preservation of the soul.

traderumor
07-06-2005, 01:23 PM
Whether it is called "self-improvement" or "salvation," it all boils down to the saving of oneself -- the preservation of the soul.Which no man can do. We are saved by faith alone in Christ alone, with no ability at all to save ourselves as man is dead in his sin. If you don't believe that, Johnny, quite honestly, the Bible says you are not a believer.

Johnny Footstool
07-06-2005, 01:27 PM
Which no man can do. We are saved by faith alone in Christ alone, with no ability at all to save ourselves as man is dead in his sin. If you don't believe that, Johnny, quite honestly, the Bible says you are not a believer.

I think we're just arguing semantics, tr.

registerthis
07-06-2005, 01:28 PM
I think we're just arguing semantics, tr.
It's what most religious arguments boil down to, right?

And how hundreds of denominations believe they have found the one true set of beliefs and rituals.

SteelSD
07-06-2005, 01:40 PM
So, some people want that, do what they have to do to be considered a "Christian" by that church (go forward, get baptized, go through new believer's class, etc.), then fall by the wayside at some point down the road because their marriage wasn't fixed, their kids are not perfect, and their life is no better, and possibly even worse, than it was before they got "saved." They walk away disillusioned because God/Jesus did not deliver on promises that were supposedly theirs to claim.

Y'know, I'm a preacher's kid. And I don't, at all, feel that the majority of folks walk away disillusioned when they walk away.

I think they walk away because they're bored to tears. Not bored by God or His message. Bored by messengers who fail to understand that they must, before all other things, connect with their audience to facilitate the learning process in order to further inspire the listener's connection to God.

Bored bored bored bored bored bored. Bored by template sermons. Bored by the droning on of someone standing at the pulpit who is preaching instead of teaching. Bored by the expectation that this part follows this part and that part will precede the next expected action.

Bored to tears. Boring to no end. B O R I N G.

THAT'S when it becomes a social gathering, my friend. That's when people start showing up simply because they're expected to be there and the highlight of their Sunday is coffee in the church basement afterwords. I've seen it a thousand times. And yes, the messenger is at fault for that. I've heard so few Ministers who can actually inspire their audience, I can count them on half a hand. Maybe your group is blessed with one who can. Or maybe you're just uniquely receptive of the subject matter regardless of how the Message is communicated. Maybe that's why you might have a different view of things than the majority of people I know. I dunno.

See, Tom's is a church I'd attend because he appears to understand that the connection MUST come first. And when that connection is made, I think he's going to do a pretty darn good job of getting people to want to hear the message. See, on the surface, Tom is a guy I perceive that I might just want to listen to because he can connect with me. That's what his advertisement tells me. Now, whether that perception is accurate would only be known after actually attending and I'm a little too far out of the way for that. But if that gets folks into Church then thank God for the creativity and willingess to position that they're willing to understand their audience and provide that connection.

The thing is that traditional service has consistently been built around the auditory learner. This ignores those who are visual and/or kinesthetic learners. You'd be surprised how many people just frankly cannot focus on auditory stimulation for an hour or an hour and a half in order to get anything out of it.

My perception of Tom's Church is that they're willing to use more progressive methods to facilitate learning. For many, that's enough to get them in. I don't see anything fundamentally wrong with that. What Tom does with them after that is going to determine whether or not they'll stay.

traderumor
07-06-2005, 01:53 PM
Whether it is called "self-improvement" or "salvation," it all boils down to the saving of oneself -- the preservation of the soul.Semantics? You say the gospel is reduced down to saving oneself? No, we are at opposite ends of the spectrum, my friend.

Salvation is bringing something to life that was dead through the Holy Spirit of God with no ability of any man to do it himself. Self-improvement is losing weight, quitting drinking, stop cussing, being nice to your neighbor, all of which can be done in our own strength. There is no comparison between the two.

traderumor
07-06-2005, 02:01 PM
Honestly, Steel, you are looking for a motivational speaker, not necessarily a preacher. The connection should be through the preaching of the word of God and the message that is being preached, with the connection to the individual speaker secondary. You seem to be saying the speaker is primary. That's fine if you are looking for inspiration through another man rather than inspiration through the word of God. Of course, there is nothing wrong with the messenger having oratory skills, but if that is what determines whether a sermon is exciting or not, then I would submit that the preacher could be preaching heresy and it would not matter, as long as he was a skillful speaker. Those kinds of preachers make a lot of money in this culture, by the way as they manipulate folks to give money to their ministry using religion to do so. Does a speaker need to be dry as dust to be legitimate? Of course not, but he better have Biblical truth in primacy, with oratory skills a distant second.

RFS62
07-06-2005, 02:18 PM
You guys are talking about different denominations within the Christian church, and look at all the varied points of view expressed in this very superficial discussion.

What about Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, and the other major religions of the world? Are they also facing hellfire and eternal damnation if they don't subscribe to your interpretation of the Bible?

SteelSD
07-06-2005, 02:20 PM
Honestly, Steel, you are looking for a motivational speaker, not necessarily a preacher.

Ah, but no faith I know of dictates that the two must be mutually exclusive.

I know exactly what I'm looking for, tr.


The connection should be through the preaching of the word of God and the message that is being preached, with the connection to the individual speaker secondary. You seem to be saying the speaker is primary. That's fine if you are looking for inspiration through another man rather than inspiration through the word of God.

I'm saying that a speaker who cannot connect with his audience is less effective in spreading the Word than a speaker who can.


Of course, there is nothing wrong with the messenger having oratory skills, but if that is what determines whether a sermon is exciting or not, then I would submit that the preacher could be preaching heresy and it would not matter, as long as he was a skillful speaker. Those kinds of preachers make a lot of money in this culture, by the way as they manipulate folks to give money to their ministry using religion to do so. Does a speaker need to be dry as dust to be legitimate? Of course not, but he better have Biblical truth in primacy, with oratory skills a distant second.

And yet, without interest, learning cannot be facilitated.

Christ is a perfect example of this. Passionately taught folks about new radical concepts. I've heard something about things called "Miracles" too. Pretty dramatic things if I heard right.

I'll betcha' all of that was pretty interesting.

I agree that the message comes first. But if you can't deliver it effectively you're shooting yourself in the foot.

And I think we both know that excellent orators shouldn't be automatically considered to be charlatans. Bad communicators steal stuff too.

Crash Davis
07-06-2005, 02:27 PM
What about Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, and the other major religions of the world? Are they also facing hellfire and eternal damnation if they don't subscribe to your interpretation of the Bible?

Hell yes!

Isn't agnoticism a wierd duck? We're all agnostic to the religions we don't believe in. Christians are agnostic to Buddhism. Jews are agnostic to Hinduism. Vice Versa.

But so few people are agnostic to all organized religions. There's some outstanding infrastructure out there.

traderumor
07-06-2005, 02:33 PM
Steel,

All of your objections I carefully qualified. Also, Scripture notes that Moses was a very poor communicator, some conjecture that he may have even stuttered, yet God managed to work through him anyhow as an orator. Who knows, maybe he said "Ph-ph-ph aroah, l-l-l-let m-m-my people go." Some think Paul was a very poor orator, but can we deny the power in his message as we see it in written form? Assuming that he was a poor orator, should Paul have kept silent and not taught his message in the churches he visited? And Jesus also preached much about judgment, which is a taboo subject for so many that want church lite. Finally, we also should not neglect hearing the message simply because we have not found a satisfactory messenger.

RFS,

Superficial? Ministry philosophy and the delivering of the gospel superficial? Also, this discussion has nothing to do with denominations and everything to do with the Biblical instructions for establishing a local church. As far as who receives the judgment, there is only one way, and that is through Jesus Christ. I accept that by faith, through grace, both of which were given to me by God's Holy Spirit. There is absolutely no other way.

zombie-a-go-go
07-06-2005, 02:35 PM
Vishnu says you're all nuts, and are gonna come back as grasshoppers or something for your ignorance. :cool:

RFS62
07-06-2005, 02:38 PM
RFS,

Superficial? Ministry philosophy and the delivering of the gospel superficial? Also, this discussion has nothing to do with denominations and everything to do with the Bibilcal instructions for establishing a local church.


Yeah, superficial. Not meant as a slam, in fact I'm surprised that you see it that way. But definitely not in-depth and barely scratching the surface, from my point of view.

pedro
07-06-2005, 02:40 PM
Steel,

..... As far as who receives the judgment, there is only one way, and that is through Jesus Christ. I accept that by faith, through grace, both of which were given to me by God's Holy Spirit. There is absolutely no other way.

Better known as "my way, or the highway (to hell)"

traderumor
07-06-2005, 02:40 PM
Yeah, superficial. Not meant as a slam, in fact I'm surprised that you see it that way. But definitely not in-depth and barely scratching the surface, from my point of view.I guess I'm guilty of comparison with other discussions on the board. I consider this to be pretty deep for the non-baseball chatter board. A good discussion, and I can go as deep as folks would like :)

traderumor
07-06-2005, 02:44 PM
Better known as "my way, or the highway (to hell)"

That's what the Bible says, which I believe to be the word of God. It's not my way, it's what I accept by faith to be God's only way.

Just as a side note, I've always thought AC/DC's rock classic would make a great church song ;)

SteelSD
07-06-2005, 02:52 PM
Steel,

All of your objections I carefully qualified. Also, Scripture notes that Moses was a very poor communicator, some conjecture that he may have even stuttered, yet God managed to work through him anyhow as an orator. Who knows, maybe he said "Ph-ph-ph aroah, l-l-l-let m-m-my people go." Some think Paul was a very poor orator, but can we deny the power in his message as we see it in written form? Assuming that he was a poor orator, should Paul have kept silent and not taught his message in the churches he visited? And Jesus also preached much about judgment, which is a taboo subject for so many that want church lite. Finally, we also should not neglect hearing the message simply because we have not found a satisfactory messenger.

Dude. Moses had a cool staff, a super beard, a couple big stone tablets, a great burning bush story, and that whole parting the Red Sea thing going for him. Moses was a happening guy.

I think you realize that I've never said that folks shouldn't listen to someone who can't speak well. All I've said is that it's easier to learn information presented by a skilled teacher. That's the reality and I think we both realize that no matter how good the information is.

Crash Davis
07-06-2005, 02:56 PM
As far as who receives the judgment, there is only one way, and that is through Jesus Christ. I accept that by faith, through grace, both of which were given to me by God's Holy Spirit. There is absolutely no other way.

What century is this?

zombie-a-go-go
07-06-2005, 02:57 PM
What century is this?

21st?

What do I win? :D

traderumor
07-06-2005, 03:01 PM
What century is this?That's what's so cool about Biblical truth. It stands the test of time, despite the changes from century to century. You really want to see things get rolling, I'll revive my argument that this culture is just as barbaric as the barbarians, but have simply found more sophisticated ways to be barbaric. That usually really gets me classified as a neanderthal. :)

westofyou
07-06-2005, 03:01 PM
21st?

What do I win? :D

A dog-eared copy of Joseph Campbell's "Myths to Live By"

traderumor
07-06-2005, 03:03 PM
A dog-eared copy of Joseph Campbell's "Myths to Live By"I am very proud of you for staying out of this discussion for so long. ;) I've normally gotten a few barbs from you about my worldview by now.

westofyou
07-06-2005, 03:05 PM
I am very proud of you for staying out of this discussion for so long. ;) I've normally gotten a few barbs from you about my worldview by now.

I'm getting prepared for my in-law visit next week.

registerthis
07-06-2005, 03:07 PM
Bored bored bored bored bored bored. Bored by template sermons. Bored by the droning on of someone standing at the pulpit who is preaching instead of teaching. Bored by the expectation that this part follows this part and that part will precede the next expected action.

Bored to tears. Boring to no end. B O R I N G.
Well, exactly.

There seems to be a group of people--I don't know if TR includes himself in this or not--that thinks that people will just naturally want to attend church because of their inherent desire to be a Christian. Or that if they require a good preacher to inspire them they are somehow not "true Christians." Or lack a true belief in God. Or what have you.

I have--as have you--sat through far too many church services that have little to no relevance to myself or anyone I know. There is no energy or life. There's nothing to inspire you to want to learn more. There's nothing practical or applicable to your life. And there are people who believe that it SHOULD be this way. it's how my grandmother was raised.

But I don't subscribe to that for a moment. I quit attending my parent's church when I found myself dragging myself there every Sunday morning and zoning out through the service. There was simply no point to it. It wasn't until I found a non-traditional church that catered to people in my situation that I started to attend church on a regular basis again. The doctrine they teach is exactly the same as in my parents much more conservative church--but the way they do it is significantly different. We have a rock band rather than a capella singing. Our pastor wears khakis and a polo shirt rather than a three piece suit. The teachings are relevant to your everyday life, rather than fire-and-brimstone sermons on a weekly basis.

In other words, it's much more inspiring. Contrary to what TR may write, the messenger IS important. Jesus taught in parables so that the people could understand him and relate to him. Paul frequently brought others with him on his journeys (such as Timothy) who were better public speakers than he was. Because they understood that the way the message is delivered is important.

Some churches may stubbornly refuse to adapt to this, which is their choice. But if they feel that is the correct way to go, I would like to show them a dwindling church in Southwest Missouri that speaks far better than I could of the perils of following this path.

traderumor
07-06-2005, 03:09 PM
I'm getting prepared for my in-law visit next week.Oh boy, I feel your pain from the opposite perspective. My mother-in-law, who claims to be a Christian but hasn't been to church in a few years, was telling another relative who has just started reading the Bible that she was proud of him because many Christians don't read the Bible like they should. Or go to church, apparently :rolleyes: But, I kept my mouth shut.

Good luck with that visit.

GAC
07-06-2005, 03:10 PM
Definately a difference in ministry philosophy there, Tom. What is your scriptural support for such a method, or do you see that as a necessity when it comes to evangelism?

How about the apostle Paul?

"For although I am free from all people, I have made myself a slave to all, in order to win more people. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win Jews; to those under the law, like one under the law--though I myself am not under the law--to win those under the law. To those who are outside the law, like one outside the law--not being outside God's law, but under the law of Christ--to win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, in order to win the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that I may by all means save some. Now I do all this because of the gospel, that I may become a partner in its benefits."

1st Corinthians 9:19-23

Ashland Theological Seminary. Good school Tom. My pastore graduated from there many years ago.

Good luck, and my the Lord be with you.

Greg (GAC)

registerthis
07-06-2005, 03:11 PM
How about the apostle Paul?Ashland Theological Seminary. Good school Tom. My pastore graduated from there many years ago.

Good luck, and my the Lord be with you.

Greg (GAC)
Good Lord GAC.

I think we're in agreement on this thread.

:eek:

traderumor
07-06-2005, 03:20 PM
Well, exactly.

There seems to be a group of people--I don't know if TR includes himself in this or not--that thinks that people will just naturally want to attend church because of their inherent desire to be a Christian. Or that if they require a good preacher to inspire them they are somehow not "true Christians." Or lack a true belief in God. Or what have you.

I have--as have you--sat through far too many church services that have little to no relevance to myself or anyone I know. There is no energy or life. There's nothing to inspire you to want to learn more. There's nothing practical or applicable to your life. And there are people who believe that it SHOULD be this way. it's how my grandmother was raised.

But I don't subscribe to that for a moment. I quit attending my parent's church when I found myself dragging myself there every Sunday morning and zoning out through the service. There was simply no point to it. It wasn't until I found a non-traditional church that catered to people in my situation that I started to attend church on a regular basis again. The doctrine they teach is exactly the same as in my parents much more conservative church--but the way they do it is significantly different. We have a rock band rather than a capella singing. Our pastor wears khakis and a polo shirt rather than a three piece suit. The teachings are relevant to your everyday life, rather than fire-and-brimstone sermons on a weekly basis.

In other words, it's much more inspiring. Contrary to what TR may write, the messenger IS important. Jesus taught in parables so that the people could understand him and relate to him. Paul frequently brought others with him on his journeys (such as Timothy) who were better public speakers than he was. Because they understood that the way the message is delivered is important.

Some churches may stubbornly refuse to adapt to this, which is their choice. But if they feel that is the correct way to go, I would like to show them a dwindling church in Southwest Missouri that speaks far better than I could of the perils of following this path.There are good and bad ways to conform to the culture. What the preacher wears in the pulpit is just something folks should care less about in their preacher. Sadly, your opinion is prevalent, and that makes it hard to find a church that is not focusing on the lesser things while the greater things are neglected. I challenge you to listen to the discussion that I provided a link to on an earlier page and I think you'll understand a little better my perspective. I have been bored in church myself, some of it was because the person couldn't speak, some of it was because I was daydreaming, etc. and so forth. I have also been greatly inspired by folks who were not good speakers. The church I go to now has an excellent preacher, but why I consider him to be that has little to do with what he does, but with the content of his preaching. Perish the thought.

registerthis
07-06-2005, 03:27 PM
The church I go to now has an excellent preacher, but why I consider him to be that has little to do with what he does, but with the content of his preaching. Perish the thought.
I've never said that content can't be inspiring. And if you go back and read my post, nowhere did I say that the pastor at our church was a good speaker. I only said that the nature of the service was quite different--which is why I mentioned the dress code.

I don't see why my PoV being prevalent is a sad thing--it's a GOOD thing. Not only is it Biblical, which would pass your litmus test, it is Biblical while serving to attract more to the Church, which I think you would ALSO be in favor of.

I will also say that a good speaker with good content trumps a bad speaker with good content every single day of the week.

Johnny Footstool
07-06-2005, 04:15 PM
Semantics? You say the gospel is reduced down to saving oneself? No, we are at opposite ends of the spectrum, my friend.

Here's a simple question: what drives a person to seek salvation?

WVRed
07-06-2005, 04:19 PM
Y'know, I'm a preacher's kid. And I don't, at all, feel that the majority of folks walk away disillusioned when they walk away.

I think they walk away because they're bored to tears. Not bored by God or His message. Bored by messengers who fail to understand that they must, before all other things, connect with their audience to facilitate the learning process in order to further inspire the listener's connection to God.

Bored bored bored bored bored bored. Bored by template sermons. Bored by the droning on of someone standing at the pulpit who is preaching instead of teaching. Bored by the expectation that this part follows this part and that part will precede the next expected action.

Bored to tears. Boring to no end. B O R I N G.


I do agree with this. It is a matter of keeping peoples attention, and if a pastor fails to accomplish that, then odds are he will have very little success winning souls to Christ if he cannot communicate with them.

However, I also agree with traderumor, while the content of the preaching is important, the doctrine that is taught is what matters most.

Jonathan Edwards "read" one of the greatest sermons of all time in "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." (http://www.jonathanedwards.com/sermons/Warnings/sinners.htm). If you study Jonathan Edwards, you will find that people were wailing in the pews as he read his sermon, just as one would read a book.

It doesnt bother me in the least if a preacher runs through a ring of fire to make an illustration, just as long as he is doing it from the Word of God.

GAC
07-06-2005, 04:22 PM
You want my honest opinion as to why the church is "failing" today. Personally, I hate that word because the Gospel is not failing. Yes, many churches are, and do you know why IMO?....

Compromise, pure and simple. I have no problem with the different approaches being utilized to bring people to Christ. There is nothing wrong with being inventive as long as the message itself remains intact and not water-downed. Christ, nor the apostles, never watered down nor soft-tossed anything. They pulled no punches, and weren't afraid of the consequences. Examine their lives and the trials, persecution, and matyrdom they suffered for preaching the truth.

Alot of ministries in today's "established" churches, in order to get the numbers in those pews - because it's all about numbers anymore - are telling the people what they want to hear, not what they need to hear in order to get them in the doors. They are therefore unprepared because they are given a false/wrong impression of what a disciple is.

The gospel message should never be compromised in order to meet society's changing/evolving standards.

This may not go down as a very popular statement on here (but I don't really care)... but if those who don't have the ears to hear, and accept the message intact as it is, and just as Jesus preached it, then they should be allowed to walk away. Again, they abandoned Jesus in masses over the message preached, and Jesus didn't go running after them, getting down on his hands and knees, and begging them to come back and he'll try to work out some sort of acceptable compromise.

Examine the scriptures my friends - with Jesus, it was take it or leave it. Pure and simple. it was Jesus who said "Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces." (Matthew 7:6)

Translation? Jesus didn't waste his time with those who willfully and beligerantly rejected the truth. He didn't waste his time trying to reach compromise with them. He let them walk away. He was saddened over it; but he offered no compromise.

Take a good hard look at Jesus' minstry in the beginning. He had HUGE masses following him wherever he went. They were intrigued, which is basic human nature. They loved to be witnesses of the miracles, the healing of the sick, raising the dead, providing for their material needs, etc. It brought the masses out in throngs. But when Jesus started preaching/teaching spritual truths which many label "hard sayings", which revolve around the willingness to sacrificing all (money, family ties, even your very life) in order to be his disciple, then the crowds started to thin.

Look at Jesus' message in Luke 14:25-33....

Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

Now look at the lesson he conveys in the following verses in the same passage (28-33) concerning salvation..

"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'

"Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

Nobody then liked that message.... and it's still the same today. So we alter it, and adapt it, to become more palatable/acceptable to today's current generation.

And I blame many within the church themselves (especially pastors). We have come to equate success to numbers/church membership (a piece of paper). Get them pews filled - that's a sure sign you're being successful. That is until real life sets in, and the message many are being taught doesn't pan out - especially when the going gets rough, or they hit life's "bump in the roads". They were taught it wasn't suppose to be like this. Because they are not rooted, they get discouraged, drift and fall away...."sigh, the gospel doesn't work."

The Parable Of The Soils, as taught by Jesus in Luke 8: 4-15, tells us alot about differnet ways inwhich the message is received and the differing affects it has on the human heart. Those same conditions exist today...

"While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.

"When he said this, he called out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that,
'though seeing, they may not see;
though hearing, they may not understand.'

"This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop."

Examine the situation between Jesus and the Rich Young Ruler in Mark 10:17-29. This young man walked away sad because he refused to make that sacrifice.

Compare his situation with those of the 12 apostles, and then of Paul and the early church. They realized the cost, weighed it all, and made that sacrifice/commitment.

Repentance, faith, sacrifice, commitment - those are concepts lost in alot of today's churches because it's not what some want to hear. So it is omitted.

WVRed
07-06-2005, 04:23 PM
I will also say that a good speaker with good content trumps a bad speaker with good content every single day of the week.

By the same analogy, a bad speaker with good content trumps a good speaker with bad content. :)

traderumor
07-06-2005, 04:44 PM
Here's a simple question: what drives a person to seek salvation?
God's call based on His election (cf. Rom 8:30)

SteelSD
07-06-2005, 04:50 PM
I do agree with this. It is a matter of keeping peoples attention, and if a pastor fails to accomplish that, then odds are he will have very little success winning souls to Christ if he cannot communicate with them.

However, I also agree with traderumor, while the content of the preaching is important, the doctrine that is taught is what matters most.

Jonathan Edwards "read" one of the greatest sermons of all time in "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." (http://www.jonathanedwards.com/sermons/Warnings/sinners.htm). If you study Jonathan Edwards, you will find that people were wailing in the pews as he read his sermon, just as one would read a book.

It doesnt bother me in the least if a preacher runs through a ring of fire to make an illustration, just as long as he is doing it from the Word of God.

Yeah. I completely agree with that. Honestly, I think tr does too. I don't think that there was really ever a rift as to "style vs. substance". I just think that the best communicators understand that their audience requires multiple communication styles and they adjust to their audience to facilitate better learning.

Style doesn't matter without substance. But a message won't reach as many as it could without style.

traderumor
07-06-2005, 05:03 PM
Yeah. I completely agree with that. Honestly, I think tr does too. I don't think that there was really ever a rift as to "style vs. substance". I just think that the best communicators understand that their audience requires multiple communication styles and they adjust to their audience to facilitate better learning.

Style doesn't matter without substance. But a message won't reach as many as it could without style.Well, now you've went and started the whole sovereignty of God debate ;) :laugh:

"Those who have ears to hear, let them hear"

Johnny Footstool
07-06-2005, 05:04 PM
God's call based on His election

What makes a man heed that call?

Rychian
07-06-2005, 05:04 PM
Yikes.

I leave for a day and come back... boom.
This entire thread has made me even more committed to the church's advertising. The Ad "church doesn't have to suck" was printed today. 1800 of them to be exact. I love the argument, the questioning and the excitement that one little statement can do to people. Above all else we must always question, argue and strive to know more. We should never "arrive" and feel we have it figured out, it is then that our faith dies.
The people in our church are tired of the debate about whos going to hell and which sin is the worst one. They are tired of the judgement of people we do not even know. They are tired of worship that was once relevant 80 years ago. They are tired of the same format every sunday (3 songs, a sermon, offering, benediction, leave). They are yearning to find that God who is in the Bible, not the one we are delivering to them through our prefabricated services. These people feel God everyday, not just the judgmental stop sinning God, but the God who was so desperately in love with us that He did in fact send his son, not to judge, but to die, so that we may join Him in heaven.
The path to salvation is simple. It is A -> B. It is the decision that Jesus Christ is the son of God and because of Him and my belief in Him, I am saved. I have preached that if any church throws anything into the middle of that salvation, they are preaching falsely.

None of us are perfect. The pastors, priests and religious folk sin just like the rest of us. We need to understand that the finger that points out the sin in others needs to be turned around and pointed directly at us for that judgement. I love everyone in our congregation, and anyone that they bring into it as well. We shower them with the love that God has instilled in all of us for one another, in fact what exactly was the greatest commandment.

The church on sunday can be the most irrelevant place and we are missing the greatest opportunity in the world. God loves you and so do I. It is such a simple message, that we as humans cant stand it. We need to muck it up. I know our church is different, and doesnt do the same things as others, but i find it fantastic.

Peace,
Tom

PS --> I do listen to contemporary christian though about 80% of it can be terribly lame. There are some talented bands out there that can write a song: Jars of Clay, Third Day, Salvador.

SteelSD
07-06-2005, 05:04 PM
Well, now you've went and started the whole sovereignty of God debate ;) :laugh:

Don't EVEN!

;)

Rychian
07-06-2005, 05:05 PM
OOOOOOH. Looks like we are lining up a reformed vs. arminian debate.

Illl throw my hat in --. YAY Free Will. Boo Predestination.

traderumor
07-06-2005, 05:10 PM
What makes a man heed that call?
Grace and faith, both of which are the gift of God (Eph 2:8-10)

traderumor
07-06-2005, 05:11 PM
OOOOOOH. Looks like we are lining up a reformed vs. arminian debate.

Illl throw my hat in --. YAY Free Will. Boo Predestination.Now there's a surprise ;)

registerthis
07-06-2005, 05:12 PM
OOOOOOH. Looks like we are lining up a reformed vs. arminian debate.

Illl throw my hat in --. YAY Free Will. Boo Predestination.
Amen, Brother Tom.

registerthis
07-06-2005, 05:13 PM
Grace and faith, both of which are the gift of God (Eph 2:8-10)
I think there would be a number of current Christians who would disagree with you. People come to God for a variety of reasons--they may *stay* because of grace and faith, but I believe there are other factors that drive people to initially seek out God.

traderumor
07-06-2005, 05:14 PM
Tom,

I do love your spirit. I made it known early on that I consider myself Reformed, Calvinistic, subscriber to the Doctrines of Grace, whichever label you desire. But I always enjoy the discussion because it drives me back to the Scripture, as has Johnny's questions. My only condition is that the arguments can be supported with Scripture and not on tradition.

traderumor
07-06-2005, 05:15 PM
I think there would be a number of current Christians who would disagree with you. People come to God for a variety of reasons--they may *stay* because of grace and faith, but I believe there are other factors that drive people to initially seek out God.There would be Christians from every century disagreeing with me, and with you. This debate will go on until the judgment. Try Romans 3:11 :)

GAC
07-06-2005, 05:17 PM
Here's a simple question: what drives a person to seek salvation?

The work of the Holy Spirit (of Christ) on one's heart as they hear the message. He will open one's eyes to the truths heard, bring acknowledgment of sin/conviction. But it's still up to the individual to acpet that truth and act upon it. Our free will, will is God-given, is still in play. But our free will does not supercede or circumvent any future consequences/ choices we make.

The Work of the Holy Spirit (John 16:5-15)

"Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

12"I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you."

Jesus mentions three truths in verse 8 that the Holy Spirit will work/apply to the heart of man...

man's guilt in regards to sin - the word "sin" is singular and refers to the sin of not believing in Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God.

righteousness - the word carries legal connotations and simply means "rightstanding". Fallen and sinful man carry a differnt idea about their rightstanding (which is merely self-righteousness) when weighed against how God views our standing. The Bible teaches us that "Christ is our righteousness" (1st Corinthians 1:30). It's a positional truth. Beleivers are "right with God" solely through Christ. The Holy Spirit then, adds in opening ones eyes to their own self-righteousness and their need for the righteousness only Christ can give.

judgement - that nasty concept that most don't want to believe in - that unbelievers will stand before the Judgment of God for their sin and rejection of Christ. It is not a seat for evaluation or debate. it is a place where judgment and then condemnation results. Jesus said, In John chapter 3, verses 16-21...

16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

Read v.18 very carefully - it says all men already have the sentence of condemnation already on them. Christ's mission to earth was not to condemn, but to save them from that future sentence of condemnation. To those that have ears to hear. Christ bore that condemnation in our place. It was a propitiatory sacrifice (in our stead)...

Romans 6: 6-11

"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation."

Christ's "ministry of reconciliation" is the central theme of the Gospel and Pauline letters.

GAC
07-06-2005, 05:18 PM
OOOOOOH. Looks like we are lining up a reformed vs. arminian debate.

Illl throw my hat in --. YAY Free Will. Boo Predestination.

I saw that too. And I'm taking my hat out of the ring on that one. :lol:

traderumor
07-06-2005, 05:19 PM
Who has free will? If I have free will, why can't I stop sinning when I have decided I want to?

traderumor
07-06-2005, 05:21 PM
I saw that too. And I'm taking my hat out of the ring on that one. :lol:Chicken :mooner:

registerthis
07-06-2005, 05:21 PM
There would be Christians from every century disagreeing with me, and with you. This debate will go on until the judgment. Try Romans 3:11 :)
Well, exactly. Which is why I don't think you can give a simple, blanket answer to Johnny's question.

Rychian
07-06-2005, 05:22 PM
Ah yes,
The question still remains. Why is there a choice. Or better yet, since God is all knowing, he would then know what choice we were to make, before we made it.
So what came first the chicken or the egg. This is one of those that can go on forever.
I however refuse to believe that God has predestined some people to hell. which is why i am not a reformed theologian, and also why i dont like calvin.

Tom

GAC
07-06-2005, 05:22 PM
Well, exactly. Which is why I don't think you can give a simple, blanket answer to Johnny's question.

I think you can. Jesus did. It takes a divine act of intervention on the part of God via the Holy Spirit upon the heart of man according to Jesus.

registerthis
07-06-2005, 05:23 PM
GAC, I've gotta be honest man...

I'd read your posts, but I need the Readers Digest Condensed Version.

Any chance of getting it abridged?

registerthis
07-06-2005, 05:24 PM
I think you can. Jesus did.
To what brings people to seek God?

OK, God moves in their heart. But there are people from all different backgrounds, all different situations, who seek God. So "God puts it in their heart" doesn't completely answer the question.

GAC
07-06-2005, 05:25 PM
GAC, I've gotta be honest man...

I'd read your posts, but I need the Readers Digest Condensed Version.

Any chance of getting it abridged?

That is the abridged version! :lol:

Hey! I apologize, but I like to be thorough in my discussuions on such an important topic.

Besides - I read through you lonnnnnnng threads in defense of science didn't I? ;)

SteelSD
07-06-2005, 05:28 PM
Who has free will? If I have free will, why can't I stop sinning when I have decided I want to?

Dude. Stop that. You'll go blind.

traderumor
07-06-2005, 05:31 PM
Well, exactly. Which is why I don't think you can give a simple, blanket answer to Johnny's question.Just because there are debatable points doesn't mean that one can't be definitive in their answer. With truth claims, either one person is right and the other is wrong, or both people are wrong, but both people can't be right. So, you arrive at a conclusion based on the best available evidence (which I consider Scripture to be) and present your case based on that, giving the other person all due respect, even if you disagree with them (its not always their fault that they're wrong, so you give them the benefit of the doubt ;) )

GAC
07-06-2005, 05:31 PM
To what brings people to seek God?

OK, God moves in their heart. But there are people from all different backgrounds, all different situations, who seek God. So "God puts it in their heart" doesn't completely answer the question.

But their hearts are the same, regardless of background/situation.

But the message of Christ and redemption solely through him breaks down any person's background and situation. Regardless, the central message is the same. You don't/can't change the central theme of the message simply because of one's situation.

yes, your approach may need to vary, just as I pointed out in my initial response using what Paul said; but his message was never compromised.

And the Holy Spirit is still initially instrumental in working on man's heart to aid in receiving and understanding that message.

You or I, or any of the apostles, could preach the truth all day to someone- we could be the most articulate and charismatic speaker- but if there is no active work of the Holy Spirit on that person's heart, then it will go for naught. And Jesus and the apostles verified that truth.

traderumor
07-06-2005, 05:35 PM
Dude. Stop that. You'll go blind. :cool:

traderumor
07-06-2005, 05:37 PM
I saw that too. And I'm taking my hat out of the ring on that one.


But their hearts are the same, regardless of background/situation.

But the message of Christ and redemption solely through him breaks down any person's background and situation. Regardless, the central message is the same. You don't/can't change the central theme of the message simply because of one's situation.

yes, your approach may need to vary, just as I pointed out in my initial response using what Paul said; but his message was never compromised.

And the Holy Spirit is still initially instrumental in working on man's heart to aid in receiving and understanding that message.

You or I, or any of the apostles, could preach the truth all day to someone- we could be the most articulate and charismatic speaker- but if there is no active work of the Holy Spirit on that person's heart, then it will go for naught. And Jesus and the apostles verified that truth.Looks like you're in after all :laugh:

registerthis
07-06-2005, 05:44 PM
Besides - I read through you lonnnnnnng threads in defense of science didn't I? ;)
And issued some lonnnnnnnnng rebuttals too. :)

GAC
07-06-2005, 05:46 PM
Looks like you're in after all :laugh:

Not when it starts to get in a hot n heavy discussion on the "mechanics" of Calvinism vs Wesley-Arminianism. :lol:

GAC
07-06-2005, 05:47 PM
And issued some lonnnnnnnnng rebuttals too. :)

well there ya go! ;)

registerthis
07-06-2005, 05:47 PM
Just because there are debatable points doesn't mean that one can't be definitive in their answer.

...

its not always their fault that they're wrong, so you give them the benefit of the doubt ;) )
Ah, I see.

I guess this pretty much says everything that needs to be said about your willingness to debate this topic then, eh?

traderumor
07-06-2005, 05:59 PM
Ah, I see.

I guess this pretty much says everything that needs to be said about your willingness to debate this topic then, eh?

While it should be obvious that I was joking, my track record is that I will change my mind about a conviction if someone presents solid evidence that contradicts my conviction. I am very teachable, ever learning, but you better be pretty convincing.

Plus, make sure you are distinguishing between debate and trying to prove that you are right. A good debater doesn't have to change the other person's mind to be a successful debater, he simply has to do a good job presenting his case. That's not always easy to accomplish, but should be the goal.

Johnny Footstool
07-06-2005, 06:01 PM
Yes, the Bible tells us that we become filled with the Holy Spirit and therefore accept the grace of God and seek redemption through Christ. But go beyond that -- take it to the most basic level of human nature. Why do we want to be redeemed? Why do we want to be at peace with God? Why do we want to be good and not bad?

We want to be good because we know the consequences of being bad. The Bible tells us that if we accept Christ, we'll live forever in Heaven. If we don't, we'll burn in hell. Given that choice, given the knowledge of good and evil, we choose good. We do so out of the desire to preserve ourselves. On the most basic level, that's the choice we're making -- self-preservation.

Of course, if you believe in predestination, then we don't actually choose, and all debate on the matter is moot. That makes for a convenient trump card.

registerthis
07-06-2005, 06:03 PM
While it should be obvious that I was joking, my track record is that I will change my mind about a conviction if someone presents solid evidence that contradicts my conviction. I am very teachable, ever learning, but you better be pretty convincing.

Plus, make sure you are distinguishing between debate and trying to prove that you are right. A good debater doesn't have to change the other person's mind to be a successful debater, he simply has to do a good job presenting his case. That's not always easy to accomplish, but should be the goal.
The difference is, TR, you have one very well-defined and steadfast opinion of the Bible. If someone disagrees with you on a Biblical topic, you simply pull out Scriptures and hold onto your point, even though frequently (as GAC did above) you can pull out OTHER Scriptures that support another point of view.

Free Will v. Predestination is an excellent example. You have your scriptures which you believe supports your point of view, others have different scriptures which supports theirs. Who is right? Well, technically, no one can know. But I am highly suspicious of your claim that you would be willing to change yoru mind on a Biblical debate when you have Scripture which seemingly supports your position.

GAC
07-06-2005, 06:11 PM
Yes, the Bible tells us that we become filled with the Holy Spirit and therefore accept the grace of God and seek redemption through Christ. But go beyond that -- take it to the most basic level of human nature. Why do we want to be redeemed? Why do we want to be at peace with God? Why do we want to be good and not bad?

You trying to give me carpal tunnel syndrome Johnny? registerthis already says my posts are too long as it is :lol:

But I'll get back with you on this one. My daughter has dinner ready!..spaghetti!!

And Seinfeld is coming on! GIDDYUP!

traderumor
07-06-2005, 06:13 PM
The difference is, TR, you have one very well-defined and steadfast opinion of the Bible. If someone disagrees with you on a Biblical topic, you simply pull out Scriptures and hold onto your point, even though frequently (as GAC did above) you can pull out OTHER Scriptures that support another point of view.

Free Will v. Predestination is an excellent example. You have your scriptures which you believe supports your point of view, others have different scriptures which supports theirs. Who is right? Well, technically, no one can know. But I am highly suspicious of your claim that you would be willing to change yoru mind on a Biblical debate when you have Scripture which seemingly supports your position.Well, now, if I changed my mind every time someone questioned an interpretation of the Scriptures that I hold to, I would no longer have a "very well-defined and steadfast opinion of the Bible," now would I? ;) There is a verse, I believe it is in Timothy, that talks
about being carried away by every wind and wave of doctrine, and how that is a sign of spirtitual immaturity. Now, I do not consider myself a mature believer, but it is good to know that I am not immature. So thanks for the compliment.

I can tell you one thing that I used to be that I ain't no more, and that is Dispensational, and I was very sure that was a proper hermeneutic. I also used to be a staunch 6000 year earther, but decided I didn't care too much either way. The end times, the millenial kingdom, there are still plenty of things up for grabs with me. But, as far as man's role in salvation, I have held that view since my first in-depth study of Scripture. That's a tough nut to crack.

Johnny Footstool
07-06-2005, 06:15 PM
You trying to give me carpal tunnel syndrome Johnny? registerthis already says my posts are too long as it is

Sorry, GAC. Not trying to injure you.

I think we all saw where I was going, so I went ahead and expressed my point.

I'm interested in hearing the rebuttals when you folks have time.

traderumor
07-06-2005, 06:21 PM
Yes, the Bible tells us that we become filled with the Holy Spirit and therefore accept the grace of God and seek redemption through Christ. But go beyond that -- take it to the most basic level of human nature. Why do we want to be redeemed? Why do we want to be at peace with God? Why do we want to be good and not bad?

We want to be good because we know the consequences of being bad. The Bible tells us that if we accept Christ, we'll live forever in Heaven. If we don't, we'll burn in hell. Given that choice, given the knowledge of good and evil, we choose good. We do so out of the desire to preserve ourselves. On the most basic level, that's the choice we're making -- self-preservation.

Of course, if you believe in predestination, then we don't actually choose, and all debate on the matter is moot. That makes for a convenient trump card.Rather than a convenient trump card, its a Biblical doctrine that needs to be addressed. The Bible teaches predestination, and it is a key doctrine woven throughout Scripture, so to avoid it is at one's own peril. Just because it causes heated discussions does not mean it should be avoided.

As for your thought about man wanting to be good, that is not what the Bible says. The Bible says that we hate God and want nothing to do with him (Rom 3:11, same verse I gave to reg). The funny thing is, you said "Given that choice, given the knowledge of good and evil, we choose good," yet that flies in the face of what we learn about human nature from what happened in the garden of Eden. And of course, that line of reasoning adds human merit to the equation, which contradicts what is said about salvation in Eph. 2:8-9.

traderumor
07-06-2005, 06:27 PM
BTW, Johnny, do you have any Scripture to support this contention?:


We want to be good because we know the consequences of being bad. The Bible tells us that if we accept Christ, we'll live forever in Heaven. If we don't, we'll burn in hell. Given that choice, given the knowledge of good and evil, we choose good. We do so out of the desire to preserve ourselves. On the most basic level, that's the choice we're making -- self-preservation.

registerthis
07-06-2005, 06:30 PM
Well, now, if I changed my mind every time someone questioned an interpretation of the Scriptures that I hold to, I would no longer have a "very well-defined and steadfast opinion of the Bible," now would I? ;) There is a verse, I believe it is in Timothy, that talks
about being carried away by every wind and wave of doctrine, and how that is a sign of spirtitual immaturity. Now, I do not consider myself a mature believer, but it is good to know that I am not immature. So thanks for the compliment.
A mature believer never stops questioning his faith, either. Nor does he become locked into beliefs so stringent he loses sight of what is truly important. It's what Jesus condemned the Pharisees doing, and it's not a compliment.

Now, whether you actually DO that or not, well i don't know you personally, so I can't say. But i would never take it as a compliment if someone told me that I had stopped questionning things.


I can tell you one thing that I used to be that I ain't no more, and that is Dispensational, and I was very sure that was a proper hermeneutic. I also used to be a staunch 6000 year earther, but decided I didn't care too much either way. The end times, the millenial kingdom, there are still plenty of things up for grabs with me.
Well I wouldn't have picked up on that based on your responses to some of the "science" threads, but good for you for recognizing that.


But, as far as man's role in salvation, I have held that view since my first in-depth study of Scripture. That's a tough nut to crack.
Johnny's question related to the drivers that cause a man to seek that. Being one who doesn't believe in predestination, I don't have a view of a God who arbitrarily decides who will seek him, who will not, etc. So, what causes people to do that? It's a legitimate question, and one that can't be answered with a simple "God leads them."

Johnny Footstool
07-06-2005, 06:34 PM
The funny thing is, you said "Given that choice, given the knowledge of good and evil, we choose good," yet that flies in the face of what we learn about human nature from what happened in the garden of Eden.

Not necessarily. Adam and Eve disobeyed God prior to eating from the tree of knowledge. God had not yet shown them the consequences of disobedience.


BTW, Johnny, do you have any Scripture to support this contention:

I don't think any of us need Scripture to support the idea that we all have a basic need to preserve ourselves.

If I make the contention that man needs to breathe in order to live, do I need to quote Scripture to support it?

registerthis
07-06-2005, 07:33 PM
Not necessarily. Adam and Eve disobeyed God prior to eating from the tree of knowledge. God had not yet shown them the consequences of disobedience.



I don't think any of us need Scripture to support the idea that we all have a basic need to preserve ourselves.

If I make the contention that man needs to breathe in order to live, do I need to quote Scripture to support it?
That is actually an argument I present in support of moral realism.

Self-preservation is an instinctive reaction in human nature--we all, consciously or sub-consciously--behave in such a way so as to preserve our selves and the human race for future generations (unless you are suicidal, in whcih case you are an outlier from the vast majority of the population.) Also, we can understand that a society without a self preservation instinct would be doomed to fail.

Likewise, we understand that laws are necessary in order to preserve the functioning of our society--for without laws, we would descend into chaos and anarchy, and our society would eventually die. We understand this at the same level that we understand that we need to breath air to survive.

Thus, it's not a huge leap to say that our own self-preservation instincts necessitate the set of moral laws which we have decided upon. It's why we are able to definitively state that killing is wrong, unprovoked physical violence is wrong, and so on.

Somewhat off topic, I know, but I just find it an interesting idea to contemplate, even if it may be fundamentally flawed at some level.

traderumor
07-06-2005, 07:37 PM
A mature believer never stops questioning his faith, either. Nor does he become locked into beliefs so stringent he loses sight of what is truly important. It's what Jesus condemned the Pharisees doing, and it's not a compliment.

Now, whether you actually DO that or not, well i don't know you personally, so I can't say. But i would never take it as a compliment if someone told me that I had stopped questionning things.


Well I wouldn't have picked up on that based on your responses to some of the "science" threads, but good for you for recognizing that.


Johnny's question related to the drivers that cause a man to seek that. Being one who doesn't believe in predestination, I don't have a view of a God who arbitrarily decides who will seek him, who will not, etc. So, what causes people to do that? It's a legitimate question, and one that can't be answered with a simple "God leads them."

Know you don't know me personally, and having convictions is not a symptom of having "stopped questionning [sic] things." The Scriptural foundation for a monergistic salvation is so much stronger than the Pelagian view I'm guessing you ascribe to, whereby there is a synergism between God and man with man assisting in his own justification, that the issue is a no brainer if Scripture is your sole guide on the issue.

As to your final paragraph, if you do not "believe" in predestination, how do you believe anything that is in the Bible, since that word is used in the Bible and is a prevalent doctrine woven throughout Scripture? Do you just throw out words you don't like in the Scripture?

Falls City Beer
07-06-2005, 07:42 PM
I suspect that all the Biblical paradoxes mean that either everything's true or nothing's true.

How's that?

traderumor
07-06-2005, 07:46 PM
Not necessarily. Adam and Eve disobeyed God prior to eating from the tree of knowledge. God had not yet shown them the consequences of disobedience.

I don't think any of us need Scripture to support the idea that we all have a basic need to preserve ourselves.

If I make the contention that man needs to breathe in order to live, do I need to quote Scripture to support it?

In my Bible, the disobedience was eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and the consequences were spelled out to Adam (which we infer was told to Eve since she mentioned the restriction to the Serpent, albeit adding her own little twist) prior to the temptation and subsequent sin. Eat of the tree and you die. And of course, even in the first few chapters of Genesis, we see the sacrificial system as the animals died in Adam and Eve's place. What a merciful God.

I was asking for Scripture references that uphold the notion that man is inherently good and chooses to do good things, like choose to follow God, not that man has a built in self-preservation mechanism, although there is Scriptural support for that (as in Adam in the garden blamed Eve for making him eat the fruit).

registerthis
07-06-2005, 08:10 PM
Know you don't know me personally, and having convictions is not a symptom of having "stopped questionning [sic] things." The Scriptural foundation for a monergistic salvation is so much stronger than the Pelagian view I'm guessing you ascribe to, whereby there is a synergism between God and man with man assisting in his own justification, that the issue is a no brainer if Scripture is your sole guide on the issue.
Huh?

Please go back and find for me where I implied that. I didn't, and never have. You're putting words in my mouth. I'm saying, there are many ways people can come to God--and, OK, you can say that God "leads them", or that it's only those who hear him, or whatever. But someone who finds God while battling a drug addiction, for example, will have come from a completely different direction than someone who came to God through being born and raised in a Christian household. You seem to think that i'm saying man can save himself, or play a part in it--I say no, but he can CHOOSE whether or not he is saved. The actual "saving" process is from the big guy upstairs.


As to your final paragraph, if you do not "believe" in predestination, how do you believe anything that is in the Bible, since that word is used in the Bible and is a prevalent doctrine woven throughout Scripture? Do you just throw out words you don't like in the Scripture?
I absolutely, beyond any doubt whatsoever do NOT believe in predestination. Otherwise, our existence has no point-no reason. My life is completely and utterly pointless. If God has "predestined" me to follow him, then at some point I will. If he hasn't, then I'm screwed. Either way, believing in predestination is to believe that our lives have no value--and there's no spin you could put on it, TR, to say otherwise.

And to answer your question, yes there are some things I ignore in the Bible. if I found a slave wandering through my backyard, I wouldn't return him to his master. As enticing as the idea is, I'm not going to donate all of my money to the homeless. I work on the Sabbath. I don't plan on stoning my kids when they're disrespectful to me. And so on. And I would add "believe in predestination" to this list. Which perhaps in your mind means I'm not a "true Christian." Which is fine with me, because I reject that concept of God.

MWM
07-06-2005, 08:14 PM
What's the Bible's stance on strikeouts? Do they matter? I want to know if Adam Dunn is going to hell.

RFS62
07-06-2005, 08:18 PM
Well, what I see here are a bunch of truly religious people, all pretty secure in their own understanding of their own faith, still searching and modifying their opinions.

And that's just within the Christian religion. No mention of any of the worlds other major religions and belief systems.

Thus, my belief that there are many paths to enlightment. All of you are spiritually nourished by your beliefs. None of you can say your way is the only way, even though you all do. You do, not of malicious intent, but of love and care for your fellow man.

For myself, I don't need to personify God as a white bearded man sitting on a throne in the clouds. To me, God is all that is. We're all a part of God, as is everything.

I can't imagine a force that could encompass all that is demanding mindless adoration at the threat of burning forever in a lake of fire and brimstone. I don't need to be threatened to do what's right. And I believe that we all know right from wrong, barring mental or emotional illness. The collective consciousness we all share, common to all races and religions, the higher power of enlightment is what we all instinctively seek, no matter how we dress it up in dogma. In my humble opinion.

I stay out of these usually because I would really hate to say anything to offend someone over their religious beliefs. For some reason, Tom's beautiful attitude, fresh out of school and wanting to help people, touched me to talk about how I look at things.

James B.
07-06-2005, 08:18 PM
traderumor I agree on most of your points but God give each man a chance to be saved through his son. The bible says in Rev. 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say come and let him who thirst come. Whoever desires let him take the water of life freely. Also read mark 16:15, and acts 10:34.

traderumor
07-06-2005, 08:40 PM
You seem to think that i'm saying man can save himself, or play a part in it--I say no, but he can CHOOSE whether or not he is saved.You do realize that is doubletalk. Do you have Scripture to support that?

GAC
07-06-2005, 08:49 PM
Not necessarily. Adam and Eve disobeyed God prior to eating from the tree of knowledge.

How did they disobey God prior to eating from the tree? The act of eating from that tree was in disobedience to a simple and direct command of God.


God had not yet shown them the consequences of disobedience.

Ah... Yes God did Johnny. He laid before them a simple command that also carried a stipulation with it... (Genesis 2:15-17)

"The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

God wasn't referring to simply physical death. Physical death is a result of spiritual death (separation from the life-giver -God). In the Bible, the word for death NEVER means "extinction or cease to exist". When you die, you are separated from the physical world; but you do not cease to exist. It means "separation". Spiritual death (separation) must come first. If you'll notice, when they both ate of the fruit they didn't immediately die/drop dead. But from that point on the process began (they grew old and then returned to the ground from whence they came- as it is for all men).

If Adam and Eve had passed God's "test" and never ate of that fruit, then who knows where we'd be today. ;)

But God, in his omniscience, knew that they would fail and had, in eternity past, already had the plan of redemption devised (so to speak). You see, that is what I believe when it comes to predestination - the plan was pre-determined...

"this Man (Jesus), delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death." (Acts 2:23)

"For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake." (1 Peter 1:18-20)

God did not create a machine/robots. He created man in his own image. Someone he could have relationship/fellowship with, and who also shared in some of his very characteristics - intelligence, reasoning abilities, the capacity to think, love, and all the range of emotions that we see in God himself.

Before the "fall", Adam was not a "god" so to speak, but he was sinless, holy, righteous. When he willfully chose to rebel and disobey God, then it was through Adam, not God, that sin entered into the human experience. Adam was the "representative" for all of mankind in that garden. His choices therefore woud reflect upon all his progeny (mankind)... "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned" (Romans 5:12)..."the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men" (Romans 5:18)

Now some have contended that that is not fair because you or I weren't there. But in God's eyes, yes you were. But again, he provided the response/solution....

"But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

There was great significance for Jesus to be tempted (Matthew 4) just as Adam was. Adam failed. Jesus didn't.

Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous." (Romans 5:15-19)


I'm not gonna post every scripture that verifies the above theme because then I would be long-winded! :lol:

But that is the central theme/message of what Jesus and the apostles taught, and is found throughout the entire Bible. it was revealed in the O.T., and came to pass in the N.T. (which is a new covenant between God and man).

Death, as brought to all mankind by Adam's disobedience is seen as the enemy of man. And it is the last enemy to be disposed of. Christ already conquered it first with his phyical bodily resurrection. 1st Corinthians chapter 15 deals with the resurrection of the saints and that Christ, who is called the "second Adam" is the "first fruits"...

"Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures." 1st Corinthians 15:1-4


"And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins." 1st Corinthians 15:14-17

"For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death." 1st Corinthians 15:21-26

Our (man's) situation is one of self-infliction. God supplies the answer/solution for a dilemna that man, through all his self-efforts, could not get himself out of.

yes, those qualities of God given to us by God in that initial creation (Adam), such as love, compassion, forgiveness, etc., are still there; but they have been marred by sin. Sin is not simply an act. it is much bigger then that. it's like looking at your image through a mirror and them smashing that mirror with your fist. You can still see the image, but it is now badly marred/distorted.

Sin is a nature/tendency. It is what rules over man's heart (being). The acts flow as the off-spring from that well. Paul illustrated this in Romans chapters 6 and 7. Chapter 6 demonstrates how that sin nature reigns within and over man... chapter 7 shows the struggles, through Paul's own experiences in fact, to try and do what is holy and righteous, but the power of sin within has such a strong hold on him that it brings nothing but frustration and defeat (read this chapter. We all can say "amen" to his struggles in verses 7 thru 25.... http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%207;&version=31; )

And to reference back to what I stated earlier about the Holy Spirit's involvement, when one reads into chapter 8 of Romans we see another "side" of how the Holy Spirit gives aid/power to the believer to overcome the reigning power of indwelling sin. It is not eradicated - it is dethroned.

Christians are born of the Holy Spirit (John 3:5-8).. he baptizes them into the Body of Christ (1st Corinthians 12:13), and beleivers are to be filled (or walk) [b] the Spirit's guidance and direction (Romans 8:4,5, 14).

Romans chapter 8 gives great insight to the ministry/inner working of the Spirit in the believer.

traderumor
07-06-2005, 08:50 PM
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.


Acts 10:-34-35 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 . Logos Research Systems, Inc.: Oak Harbor, WA

Welcome to the board, James. I posted the verses you referenced for everyone. I don't know where you got the impression that I believed Christ's atoning sacrifice was not sufficient for all, but it is only efficient for the elect. Yes, Christ died for all, but the atonement is limited to actually covering the sins of those who will believe, which are the elect of God. Why doesn't that make God bad? Because he isn't obligated to save any of us. One sin and we're all condemned. I have no idea why He chose me, there are much more moral folks than myself that would be more worthy if it was based on individual merit. I guess that's why they call it grace!

James B.
07-06-2005, 11:07 PM
Traderumor if God picks and chooses who he is going to save then that would make him a respecter of persons. The doctrine that you are teaching makes every command every admonition every warning and every exortation completely useless. If election is unconditional, what value is there in teaching and urging compliance with heavens requirements?

Johnny Footstool
07-07-2005, 01:57 AM
How did they disobey God prior to eating from the tree? The act of eating from that tree was in disobedience to a simple and direct command of God.

Sorry, I wasn't very clear on that point. Yes, the act of eating from the tree was disobedience. But the sin was the decision to disobey God, which Adam and Eve made in their hearts *prior to eating the fruit.* Once that decision was made, the act itself was incidental.


Ah... Yes God did Johnny. He laid before them a simple command that also carried a stipulation with it... (Genesis 2:15-17)

"The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

He told them not to do it. He didn't show them the alternative. They were without knowledge of good and evil, without shame, and living in paradise, so how were they able to comprehend the concept of death? God had to show them.


"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned" (Romans 5:12)..."

So sin entered the world first, then death through sin. That seems to back up my statement that Adam and Eve had no concept of death until they sinned and God punished them.


But God, in his omniscience, knew that they would fail and had, in eternity past, already had the plan of redemption devised (so to speak). You see, that is what I believe when it comes to predestination - the plan was pre-determined...

This brings up a point I've made in the past. By allowing Adam and Eve free will, God, in his omniscience, allowed sin. He knew it would come to pass, and he already had a plan for redemption in mind.

traderumor
07-07-2005, 09:20 AM
Traderumor if God picks and chooses who he is going to save then that would make him a respecter of persons. The doctrine that you are teaching makes every command every admonition every warning and every exortation completely useless. If election is unconditional, what value is there in teaching and urging compliance with heavens requirements?If you look at the context, "respecter of persons" is making a distinction between Jew and Gentile, whereby Peter is saying that salvation is not just limited to the Jew, but is available to every nation. Still, when it comes to election, God is not a respecter of persons. He elects whom he will for His own purposes, of which we are not privy to. It's His grace, He can dispense it to whosoever He will.

As for your question, "heavens [sic] requirements" are to "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." I know of no other requirements. The Bible teaches that one believes by grace, through faith, both of which are the gift of God, lest any man should boast (cf. Eph 2:8-9).

traderumor
07-07-2005, 09:26 AM
Sorry, I wasn't very clear on that point. Yes, the act of eating from the tree was disobedience. But the sin was the decision to disobey God, which Adam and Eve made in their hearts *prior to eating the fruit.* Once that decision was made, the act itself was incidental.



He told them not to do it. He didn't show them the alternative. They were without knowledge of good and evil, without shame, and living in paradise, so how were they able to comprehend the concept of death? God had to show them.



So sin entered the world first, then death through sin. That seems to back up my statement that Adam and Eve had no concept of death until they sinned and God punished them.



This brings up a point I've made in the past. By allowing Adam and Eve free will, God, in his omniscience, allowed sin. He knew it would come to pass, and he already had a plan for redemption in mind.Actually death entered the world at the moment sin did. You still haven't explained how any man is inherently good when we now have a sin nature to deal with.

GAC
07-07-2005, 09:49 AM
Sorry, I wasn't very clear on that point. Yes, the act of eating from the tree was disobedience. But the sin was the decision to disobey God, which Adam and Eve made in their hearts *prior to eating the fruit.* Once that decision was made, the act itself was incidental.

But being tempted is not a sin. If that is the case, then Jesus sinned when he was tempted by the devil. And yet the Bible tells us he was sinless. He went to the cross as the spotless lamb of God.

And Adam and Eve were innocent, pure, and sinless before the fall. They acquired the sinful nature (tendency) when they willfully made the decision to not trust God at his word, but instead the word of satan. They understood God's simple command. satan planted the seed of doubt when there should have been none, when he stated "Did God really say?...."

After the fall, and with all men, the principle of inherent sin dwells and reigns (Romans chapters 6 & 7).

"but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." (James 1:14,15)

Here's Paul admonition to the believer when it comes to being tempted...

"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." (1 Corinthians 10:13)




He told them not to do it. He didn't show them the alternative. They were without knowledge of good and evil, without shame, and living in paradise, so how were they able to comprehend the concept of death? God had to show them.

God didn't need to show them the alternative. The admonition/warning should have been enough. There are plenty of instances when we do the same with our own children. We don't have to explain everything to them. The admonition/warning is more then sufficient. They are to simply trust us as their parents - and we are imperfect - God is not.

And who is to say that they didn't comprehend what death wasn't explained to them, meaning, they'd be separated from God? But Adam and Eve possessed the most personal and intimate relationship with God, their creator and provider. They had it all, including paradise. God made Adam the steward of all the earth. They lacked nothing. God gave them no reason to not trust or doubt him. The fact that he gave them the simple command of "do not eat" or there are consequences should have been more then enough. There was no reason to doubt.



So sin entered the world first, then death through sin. That seems to back up my statement that Adam and Eve had no concept of death until they sinned and God punished them.

You may be right on this Johnny. Again (seeing above) I really don't know. But knowing that God is holy, righteous, and just, I tend to side with the idea that they were made to understand due to their intimate relationship with God.


This brings up a point I've made in the past. By allowing Adam and Eve free will, God, in his omniscience, allowed sin.

You're absolutely right. Why place that stupid tree in the garden in the first place? That has been asked quite a bit. With free will, the ability of choice (right and wrong), also comes consequences. With every action there is a reaction. The tree was there as a test - not for God's benefit, because as you say (below) he already knew. It was for mans benefit. I've learned through my studies that God does not want a forced love/relationship. What kind of relationship is that? He wants that personal, intimate relationship with his creation of their own choosing, and just as Adam and Eve had.

And that choice is placed before all men since Christ's crucifixion.

But do we, as men, really possess free will? If, as the Bible teaches, we are the "slaves" to an inherent principle called "sin", then do we really have free will? Our is it simply free will as best as we can define it? because even though we possess intellect and the ability to reason - are those also enslaved/controlled by that principle? We just don't know it because we don't know anything else. We are taught in the Bible, both the O.T and N.T. that sin has "blinded" the minds of mankind to the truth.

The choice, not only for them in that garden, but also for all men today, is still the same. It's not as simple as the one command God gave them in the garden (we are faced with a multitude more thanks to the introduction of sin into creation); but the idea/premise is the same. Who are we to trust? Who is to be #1 our lives? Adam and Eve basically took a road of self. Even after experiencing all that God had revealed and provided them. Mankind inherited that selfishness. Man's emphasis on self, that we don't need God, we can do fine on our own, has led us down the path that is evident throughout human history. And it's not pretty. Not when one can compare it to what we could have had (and will someday, thanks to Jesus).

We see the resultant curse in Genesis 3. Romans 8:18-22 shows us the future...

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time."

That is why I do not agree with some of the aspects/ideology of those within the religious right. You cannot legislate faith. God, at present, which is referred to as a period or "dispensation of grace" is not forcing himself on anyone. Jesus didn't either. So we shouldn't. God simpy has accomplished man's redemption from the fall through Christ. But it still comes down to man's choice as it's placed before him and his eye's are opened via the working of the Holy Spirit.

But the future consequences, which man (maybe just like Adam) doesn't completely understand or hasn't been shown, are there.

zombie-a-go-go
07-07-2005, 09:49 AM
So... predestination: if I'm going to hell, it's because God wants me to go to hell (or by deciding not to bestow Grace upon me, is sentencing me to hell), and I can't do anything to change that?

Is that what Scripture says? I'm all confused now. And admittedly, I'm not very (not at all would be more truthful, actually) familiar with Scripture.

I just want to know if Scripture states that some people are going to Hell and there's nothing they can do about it, they are destined to eternal torment and damnation.

GAC
07-07-2005, 10:01 AM
So... predestination: if I'm going to hell, it's because God wants me to go to hell (or by deciding not to bestow Grace upon me, is sentencing me to hell), and I can't do anything to change that?

Is that what Scripture says? I'm all confused now. And admittedly, I'm not very (not at all would be more truthful, actually) familiar with Scripture.

I just want to know if Scripture states that some people are going to Hell and there's nothing they can do about it, they are destined to eternal torment and damnation.

There are various teachings on predestination and election zombie. Calvinism and Wesley-Arminianism are the two prevelant ones.

I am a follower of the latter. Other then this particular area (election and predestination), I'd say that traderumor and I agree on 99% of everything else.

I believe the plan of redemption and was predetermined by God. The people were also predetermined, meaning those who accept Christ.

But the invitation is open to all, and there are too many scriptures IMO, that would back that up. But the most prevalent one is....

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." (John 3:16,17)

Even though I've been to Redszone gatherings with you - you are STILL a "whosoever". :lol:

zombie-a-go-go
07-07-2005, 10:15 AM
I believe the plan of redemption and was predetermined by God. The people were also predetermined, meaning those who accept Christ.

But the invitation is open to all, and there are too many scriptures IMO, that would back that up. But the most prevalent one is....

So what you're saying is (in your interpretation), that God decided some people will be saved, but for the rest of them it's all up in the air? Some select were destined to follow God's path, the rest are given the choice as to whether they want to damn themselves via the choices they make? That it wouldn't be a pointless exercise for me to throw away my porno and volunteer some time down at the rec center because, although I was not chosen, I can still redeem myself through my actions?

I had always heard that anyone can accept Christ and be saved, see. That's why this whole predestination thing seems so... ridiculous to me, because I've never heard it that way.

If everything is predestined, why would the Christian man or woman who has Grace even bother to talk about it? They would know that no matter how many debates or discussions they have with the damned, it's not going to change anything, that they can not make a difference? Frankly, I wouldn't waste my time with all them sinners when there are other, productive works I could be doing to benefit myself, God, and those who also have Grace. I would even go so far as to consider it cruel on the part of the man with Grace, were he to go amongst the masses and preach the word of God, telling the damned about the blessings and promise of Heaven that they can never attain. Kinda like rubbing their noses in the crap.

I would have a difficult time considering that a "loving" God. More like "I love you, you, and you way over there in the corner... the rest of ya, tough luck, say hi to Lucifer to me."

Wow. That would suck.

Rychian
07-07-2005, 10:32 AM
Zombie,
Which is exactly why the reformed church (predestination) is in general (BLANKET STATEMENT HERE) terrible at missions. They view that since these people in africa are predestined to go to hell, heaven whatever, then why should we even bother with telling them abotu christ.
I know, i know, someones reformed church has probabl 17000 missionaries and yadda yadda, but in general the reformed church doesnt bother with missions. This is why you are seeing fewer and fewer reformed churches and their influence in the world.

registerthis
07-07-2005, 10:43 AM
Welcome to the board, James. I posted the verses you referenced for everyone. I don't know where you got the impression that I believed Christ's atoning sacrifice was not sufficient for all, but it is only efficient for the elect. Yes, Christ died for all, but the atonement is limited to actually covering the sins of those who will believe, which are the elect of God.
Which is just another way of saying it. It's akin to "Sure, this exclusive private school is open to anyone, but you have to have been born into a wealthy family to attend it. Sorry." This is saying nothing more than that God is arbitrarily selecting those who will be saved, and those he will condemn.


Why doesn't that make God bad? Because he isn't obligated to save any of us. One sin and we're all condemned. I have no idea why He chose me, there are much more moral folks than myself that would be more worthy if it was based on individual merit. I guess that's why they call it grace!
It doesn't make God bad, it makes him a hypocrite. On one hand he sends his son to save ALL of mankind (supposedly), and that all who believe in him will be saved. God also granted us free will--the ability to choose the wrong or right choice. I can steal the candy bar, or I can not steal it. I can commit murder, or I can choose NOT to commit murder. Those two views are completely incompatible with a God who makes arbitrary decisions as to who will be saved and who will not.

And, like I said, it gives our life no meaning or purpose. You have yet to explain how this could not be so, so I guess I will anxiously await your response.

traderumor
07-07-2005, 11:51 AM
Zombie,
Which is exactly why the reformed church (predestination) is in general (BLANKET STATEMENT HERE) terrible at missions. They view that since these people in africa are predestined to go to hell, heaven whatever, then why should we even bother with telling them abotu christ.
I know, i know, someones reformed church has probabl 17000 missionaries and yadda yadda, but in general the reformed church doesnt bother with missions. This is why you are seeing fewer and fewer reformed churches and their influence in the world.

Yes, that is a blanket statement and a terribly misinformed, prejudicial statement. What you are likely referring to is a small minority of misguided individuals known as hyper-Calvinists, who prescribe to un-Biblical conclusions regarding predestination. They are the exception but are made the rule by those who oppose Calvinism/Augistianism/Doctrines of Grace.

Calvinists are evangelists. I recently sought planting a Reformed church (eventually found an existing one close enough and hope to plant one in Newark someday) and dealt with an organization called Grace2NorthAmerica, who is currently planting a church that is attracting mostly seekers in Wales. Does George Whitfield ring a bell? Charles Spurgeon? John MacArthur, who has a megachurch established from the ground up (not sheep stealing) but is a Calvinist? I can go on and on. The church I go to, the pastor recently went on a missions trip to Mexico and is taking a group from the church back there in the summer to reach a people group that has not been exposed to the one true gospel but is steeped in Roman Catholicism (sorry RCs, but I am a Protestant ;) ).

Zombie is asking the right questions, and GAC, your view is more Calvinistic/Augustinian than you think. As I stated earlier, God is not obligated to save one sinner, so to say he is unfair because he does not save all does not quite fit. It is only by his mercy and grace that he saves anyone, and there is no way to know beforehand whom he has chosen by His grace.

Those who receive the judgment do so by either hearing the gospel and rejecting it or by ignoring their inborn knowledge of God that can be seen all around them (see Romans 1). Not one person is unjustly sentenced to the judgment, each person has the opportunity.

Which is why the Calvinist evangelizes and is active in missions, realizing that he/she is not smart enough to know whom the elect of God are. That is why the Calvinist prays, because he/she wants to do the will of the Father, which he cannot do without communion with his heavenly Father. What the Calvinist will not do is try to come up with manipulative ways to get folks to walk an aisle or pray a prayer, or to get folks to come to their meetings. They trust the word of God enough to do the work, knowing that if they preach the gospel, both from the pulpit and to their neighbors, that some will be saved because God's word will not return void. They also let God be God and do not shake a fist at him because He exacts judgment at those who hate him. Just think, folks want God to save people that hate him, which is what everyone does before they accept Christ.

Johnny Footstool
07-07-2005, 11:54 AM
But being tempted is not a sin.

True. But isn't sin committed in one's heart, rather than in the actions one takes?

I'm not saying that Adam and Eve sinned when the serpent tempted them. I'm saying they sinned the instant they decided, "I don't care what God says, I'm biting this apple." They made that decision *prior* to biting the apple -- prior to gaining knowledge of good and evil.


The admonition/warning should have been enough. There are plenty of instances when we do the same with our own children.

It should have been, but wasn't. And we can see the same kind of behavior in our own children.

I can think of many examples from my own life in which authority figures have warned me not to do something. I obeyed for a while, but then became audacious and decided to find out what I was missing. Only after experiencing the unpleasant consequences did I really understand why I was told not do it in the first place.

It makes sense to me that this is how God had to teach Adam and Eve.

zombie-a-go-go
07-07-2005, 12:03 PM
Just think, folks want God to save people that hate him, which is what everyone does before they accept Christ.

But we can't decide to accept Christ. God decides whether or not we accept Christ. When it comes to our immortal soul, we are but pawns, and our final destination is chosen for us at the moment of our birth/conception?

How does the Church view people who are not the elect of God? Does it pity them?

traderumor
07-07-2005, 12:12 PM
True. But isn't sin committed in one's heart, rather than in the actions one takes?

I'm not saying that Adam and Eve sinned when the serpent tempted them. I'm saying they sinned the instant they decided, "I don't care what God says, I'm biting this apple." They made that decision *prior* to biting the apple -- prior to gaining knowledge of good and evil.
That's some mighty fine hair splitting. If you want to use that line of reasoning, then the knowledge of good and evil came when they sinned, since the tree had no inherent power of its own. Their eyes were opened to the knowledge of good and evil due to the disobedience, what they did to disobey was inconsequential. But still, Eve did not sin until she ate of the fruit. God did not say "don't even think about taking a bite." Thinking about eating the fruit was not a sin. Making a decision to eat the fruit was not a sin. I have decided to do something that I knew was a sin before. However, I did not carry out the act, therefore I did not sin. Reaching out was not a sin, plucking it off the tree was not a sin (see Gen. 2:17). But when she took a bite, sin and death entered the world.

Johnny Footstool
07-07-2005, 12:18 PM
I have decided to do something that I knew was a sin before. However, I did not carry out the act, therefore I did not sin.

Then you didn't decide *in your heart* to commit the sin. If you had, then you would have done it.

The basic argument is simply that sin comes from the heart, not from actions.

traderumor
07-07-2005, 12:21 PM
But we can't decide to accept Christ. God decides whether or not we accept Christ. When it comes to our immortal soul, we are but pawns, and our final destination is chosen for us at the moment of our birth/conception?

How does the Church view people who are not the elect of God? Does it pity them?No, each believer makes a conscious decision to accept Christ. Where the difference lies in that issue is the source of the power to make that decision. Was it something good in man that caused him to choose God when the offer was made or did God give man the ability apart from anything good in man. In other words, is salvation all of God or does man take part in his own salvation. If you believe as I do, both the faith and the grace necessary to accept Christ come from God as gifts. Others, like those opposing me in this thread, believe that it is their own faith that allows them to accept the grace, the free gift of salvation. I consider that to violate Ephesians 2:8-9, which describe salvation not of works, so that no man can brag about his salvation.

The church view the non-elect God as people needing to hear the gospel. Like I said in my previous post, no one knows who the elect are but God. There are some in churches who think they are elect and they are not, while some haven't darkened the door of a church for their entire lifetime (me for 27 + years) but suddenly find themselves seeking after God (which they find out in hindsight was the Holy Spirit leading them to the Word of God).

traderumor
07-07-2005, 12:24 PM
Then you didn't decide *in your heart* to commit the sin. If you had, then you would have done it.

The basic argument is simply that sin comes from the heart, not from actions.Ok, so if that sinful human heart is deceitful and desperately wicked as Jeremiah says it is, then how does that same heart seek and want God on its own? Do you think there is some sort of dualism going on, with the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other telling us "do it" "don't do it" ?

registerthis
07-07-2005, 12:31 PM
The church view the non-elect God as people needing to hear the gospel. Like I said in my previous post, no one knows who the elect are but God. There are some in churches who think they are elect and they are not, while some haven't darkened the door of a church for their entire lifetime (me for 27 + years) but suddenly find themselves seeking after God (which they find out in hindsight was the Holy Spirit leading them to the Word of God).
Why would the non-elect need to hear the Gospel? What is the point? They aren't elected by God, they're condemned regardless of what they do.

And how can someone consciously choose to follow God if they have already been selected by God to do so? It's not a conscious thought, it's something they would have done regardless.

And I am still waiting to hear what meaning my life has if all people on this Earth are either predestined for eternal salvation or predestined for condemnation. If it is meant to happen, it will happen regardless of what I say or do.

If I commit treacherous acts of sin against my fellow man that results in me going to hell, it's inconsequential because I obviously wasn't one of God's elect to begin with, so nothing I could have done could change that.

RedsBaron
07-07-2005, 12:32 PM
Christ, referring to his own death by being lifted up on a cross, stated: "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." John 12:32 KJV
Peter wrote that the Lord "...is long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9 KJV
Jesus spoke of how he wanted all of Jerusalem to be saved, but its people refused: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them who are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" Matthew 23:37 KJV
Isaiah proclaimed that salvation through God's grace was available to all: "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come to the waters, and he that hath no money; come buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." Isaiah 55:1 KJV
Joshua spoke of the need for choosing, and the ability to chose:
"....choose you this day whom ye will serve...." Joshua 24:15 KJV

TeamCasey
07-07-2005, 12:54 PM
Edit: attempted humor - wrong place, wrong time, wrong bat channel. :)

traderumor
07-07-2005, 01:10 PM
Why would the non-elect need to hear the Gospel? What is the point? They aren't elected by God, they're condemned regardless of what they do.One, the gospel has a double edge to it--it saves and slays. Accepting it, as the elect of God will, and it saves. Reject it, as the non-elect will, and it slays. The non-elect condemn themselves. They choose to sin. Funny how folks want free will when it comes to salvation, yet they want to say it is unfair when that free will leads to sin and condemns them. Now, its suddenly God's fault for condemning them.


And how can someone consciously choose to follow God if they have already been selected by God to do so? It's not a conscious thought, it's something they would have done regardless. God works through man and by the indwelling Holy Spirit, gives men the power to do things they otherwise could not do. It is the same principle that leads me to claim that the Bible is inspired (comes from God) yet the men writing it, under the power of the Holy Spirit, were writing it in their own way. The words they wrote were exactly what God wanted to say, yet the writer's individual writing styles and personalities were kept in tact. Miraculous, just like the regeneration of a dead man to one that is spiritually alive.


And I am still waiting to hear what meaning my life has if all people on this Earth are either predestined for eternal salvation or predestined for condemnation. If it is meant to happen, it will happen regardless of what I say or do.You are a created being. Your life has value simply by being born, something you had nothing to do with. God uses each and every life to work together for his own good, for his purposes, for His glory. Even a life that is used for evil deeds can be used to further God's kingdom on earth. But, despite the overly fatalistic point of view, your life will have meaning, regardless of whether you use it for evil or for good. However, read Ecclesiastes and you will see the answer to a question such as that.


If I commit treacherous acts of sin against my fellow man that results in me going to hell, it's inconsequential because I obviously wasn't one of God's elect to begin with, so nothing I could have done could change that.Which acts would point to why you were condemned (hypothetically, of course). We are judged by our works. Believers works are forgiven based on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In other words, Christ's finished work on the cross stands between me and God so my works are not judged. An unbeliever has no one to stand in for them as they are judged solely on their own works, which are sinful.

RedsBaron
07-07-2005, 01:38 PM
Why would the non-elect need to hear the Gospel? What is the point? They aren't elected by God, they're condemned regardless of what they do.

And how can someone consciously choose to follow God if they have already been selected by God to do so? It's not a conscious thought, it's something they would have done regardless.

And I am still waiting to hear what meaning my life has if all people on this Earth are either predestined for eternal salvation or predestined for condemnation. If it is meant to happen, it will happen regardless of what I say or do.

If I commit treacherous acts of sin against my fellow man that results in me going to hell, it's inconsequential because I obviously wasn't one of God's elect to begin with, so nothing I could have done could change that.
There has been a debate going on for centuries about predestination and free will, a debate that will not be resolved here. I will simply state that I do not believe that anyone is automatically condemned by God with no opportunity for salvation.

rdiersin
07-07-2005, 01:38 PM
But being tempted is not a sin. If that is the case, then Jesus sinned when he was tempted by the devil. And yet the Bible tells us he was sinless. He went to the cross as the spotless lamb of God.


But by the same token, did they not lust after the fruit.

"The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. "

But this is a sin, as Jesus redefined the 10 commandments in the Sermon on the mount.

""Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
18
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.
19
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 14
20
I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
21
15 16 "You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, 'You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.'
22
17 But I say to you, whoever is angry 18 with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, 'Raqa,' will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
23
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you,
24
leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
25
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison.
26
Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.
27
19 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.'
28
But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
29
20 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.
30
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.
31
"

GoReds
07-07-2005, 01:53 PM
I think the idea of predestination is both funny and lazy, particularly when they are combined with religion.

For example:
If we are all predestined to lead certain lives and die at a specific time, how do you explain the relationship between God and suicide? If you argue that God determined that a person who committed suicide was destined to do so, how do you explain God forcing someone to commit and act that is so clearly against what is written in the Bible? In fact, any act, whether criminal or accidental, that results in death would lead a believer in predestination to the conclusion that God has only put us here to be his play-things. That's a pretty cruel evaluation of a deity that we would choose to worship.

The God that I identify is more in line with the forgiving, loving God that my minister suggested when I was growing up. It leads me to believe that God puts us here and gives us the means to create and dictate our own lives with little or no direct intervention from him. If God truly created me in his spiritual image, then God is always with me through my soul. It's up to me to make sure that I listen to that spirit as it helps guide me through my life. Sorry to offend anyone else who believes otherwise.

Why lazy? Well, if my life is predestined, what is the point of daily life? If I choose now to stay at home, in bed and stop caring for my family or my personal well-being, so be it! Apparently, it's what God had planned for me all along! When I die of malnutrition and suffer from the bed sores, I'll know that this is the plan that God had for me - I'm just seeing it through.

traderumor
07-07-2005, 02:02 PM
But by the same token, did they not lust after the fruit.

"The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. "

But this is a sin, as Jesus redefined the 10 commandments in the Sermon on the mount.

""Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
18
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.
19
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 14
20
I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
21
15 16 "You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, 'You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.'
22
17 But I say to you, whoever is angry 18 with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, 'Raqa,' will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
23
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you,
24
leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
25
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison.
26
Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.
27
19 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.'
28
But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
29
20 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.
30
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.
31
"Good job, I was thinking that when I was typing my response to Johnny, still not sure with respect to Adam and Eve

rdiersin
07-07-2005, 02:10 PM
Good job, I was thinking that when I was typing my response to Johnny, still not sure with respect to Adam and Eve

To me its fairly simple, Adam and Eve had one commandment, not to eat from the tree. In the same sense as Jesus says that not only is adultery a sin, but to lust after a woman is a sin, Adam and Eve's desire for the fruit is a sin, as it led them to sin.

registerthis
07-07-2005, 03:10 PM
One, the gospel has a double edge to it--it saves and slays. Accepting it, as the elect of God will, and it saves. Reject it, as the non-elect will, and it slays. The non-elect condemn themselves. They choose to sin. Funny how folks want free will when it comes to salvation, yet they want to say it is unfair when that free will leads to sin and condemns them. Now, its suddenly God's fault for condemning them.
I bolded the phrase up there for a reason, because it contradicts what you said earlier, which was:

"I have no idea why He chose me, there are much more moral folks than myself that would be more worthy if it was based on individual merit."

So in your instance, God elected to save you. Yet someone who God elects not to save is in that position by their own choosing. Huh? Either way you try to paint it, God is, as you put it, making the decisions as to whom to save and whom not to. We have NO choice in the matter. (According to you.)


God works through man and by the indwelling Holy Spirit, gives men the power to do things they otherwise could not do. It is the same principle that leads me to claim that the Bible is inspired (comes from God) yet the men writing it, under the power of the Holy Spirit, were writing it in their own way. The words they wrote were exactly what God wanted to say, yet the writer's individual writing styles and personalities were kept in tact. Miraculous, just like the regeneration of a dead man to one that is spiritually alive.
Which is another way of agreeing with me--in other words, those that follow God do so not of their own free will, but because he causes them to. So we are pawns in his universal chess game. We have no free will, no choice, and thus no point to our existence.


You are a created being. Your life has value simply by being born, something you had nothing to do with.
No, it doesn't, because nothing I do has any consequence. In order for osmething to have value, it must be able to create something--cause something to happen, create a consequence for those actions, etc. It must have grander meaning than simply existing to its own end. Under your scenario, you are trying to assign value where none could be assigned. It would be akin to playing a baseball game where the outcome was predetermined and no statistics were kept. It wouldn't matter how many home runs you hit, or how many strikeouts you had, because they have no consequence to the game. They just *are*. And there is no inherent value in simply existing.

Rychian
07-07-2005, 03:12 PM
The wheels on the bus go round and round. round and round. round and round.

and so does this argument.

Im off the bus.

---> please pray for my church. That was the original intent of the thread.

Peace out.

Tom

rdiersin
07-07-2005, 03:34 PM
The wheels on the bus go round and round. round and round. round and round.

and so does this argument.

Im off the bus.

---> please pray for my church. That was the original intent of the thread.

Peace out.

Tom

Good luck Tom, and I will keep you and your endeavors in my prayers.

traderumor
07-07-2005, 03:45 PM
I bolded the phrase up there for a reason, because it contradicts what you said earlier, which was:

"I have no idea why He chose me, there are much more moral folks than myself that would be more worthy if it was based on individual merit."

So in your instance, God elected to save you. Yet someone who God elects not to save is in that position by their own choosing. Huh? Either way you try to paint it, God is, as you put it, making the decisions as to whom to save and whom not to. We have NO choice in the matter. (According to you.)Yes, if I am truly elect, which I have full assurance of my salvation, the decision which was made in eternity past by a holy, righteous God, for his reason, for his purpose, and for his glory. On the other hand, one that does not come to Christ is not elect, not saved, condemned, but that is based on that person's works, of which they are responsible for. There is no inconsistency, you simply do not understand the point. From the Fall forward, any person that is saved is receiving mercy. Anyone else is condemned based on their own sins, which they freely chose to make. Like I've said at least twice, God is under no obligation to save anyone. Your arguments imply that if he saves one but not all he is unfair. Chew on that for awhile and see if that is a position you really want to take, based on the God revealed in the Bible, not the one you have created.



Which is another way of agreeing with me--in other words, those that follow God do so not of their own free will, but because he causes them to. So we are pawns in his universal chess game. We have no free will, no choice, and thus no point to our existence.


No, it doesn't, because nothing I do has any consequence. In order for osmething to have value, it must be able to create something--cause something to happen, create a consequence for those actions, etc. It must have grander meaning than simply existing to its own end. Under your scenario, you are trying to assign value where none could be assigned. It would be akin to playing a baseball game where the outcome was predetermined and no statistics were kept. It wouldn't matter how many home runs you hit, or how many strikeouts you had, because they have no consequence to the game. They just *are*. And there is no inherent value in simply existing.First, you might want to research the notion of a "free" will. You can't just do anything you want as a finite being. You are limited by time, space, laws of nature, the fact that you are a human being, not to mention that you didn't choose your parents, or your brothers, or sisters, or your nationality, your skin color, body type, etc. So what do you mean by "free will?"

Plus, if you dig a little deeper, you might realize that nowhere am I arguing that human beings are without choice. Right now, I am limiting choice to one thing, that being, in one's own power, they cannot "choose" salvation. The faith is not theirs, the grace is not theirs. That is one choice I am limiting. Why? Because it contradicts Scripture, which teaches that man can do nothing to save himself, including choosing to follow God. That comes from above. A person cannot do one thing to be born again anymore than they did anything to be physically born in the first place.

Tom,

Sorry to see you are not willing to provide arguments to support some pretty strong statements you made about your opinion of Calvinists. Interesting that you throw that out there to smear other Christians but will not respond to the information I provided that contests your opinion. Hopefully it was just an oversight. Here's the post I am referring to just in case you missed it http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=771389&postcount=155

registerthis
07-07-2005, 04:07 PM
Yes, if I am truly elect, which I have full assurance of my salvation, the decision which was made in eternity past by a holy, righteous God, for his reason, for his purpose, and for his glory. On the other hand, one that does not come to Christ is not elect, not saved, condemned, but that is based on that person's works, of which they are responsible for. There is no inconsistency, you simply do not understand the point. From the Fall forward, any person that is saved is receiving mercy. Anyone else is condemned based on their own sins, which they freely chose to make. Like I've said at least twice, God is under no obligation to save anyone. Your arguments imply that if he saves one but not all he is unfair. Chew on that for awhile and see if that is a position you really want to take, based on the God revealed in the Bible, not the one you have created.
I haven't created any God, your self-righteousness on this issue is really astounding.

You say I don't see the point, yet what you're arguing is exactly what I'm saying: God CHOOSES whom to save. Your position that "Well humans choose to sin and that is what condemns them" is a straw man in your argument. The real issue, using your logic, is that you CHOOSE to sin too, yet God has selected to save YOU, and not someone else. I understand it perfectly. And it's truly unfortunate that that is your view of God. Because a god who creates beings with the express condition of condemning them to hell is not, nor will it ever be, a god I believe in. (And contradicts many other verses in the Bible that others have posted here.)


First, you might want to research the notion of a "free" will. You can't just do anything you want as a finite being. You are limited by time, space, laws of nature, the fact that you are a human being, not to mention that you didn't choose your parents, or your brothers, or sisters, or your nationality, your skin color, body type, etc. So what do you mean by "free will?"
Thanks for the lecture. And here I thought I could freely turn myself into a cantaloupe. Free will is the ability to make choices that affect our lives and, by consequence, the lives of others. I've heard arguments that we're limited in our choices based on what is a reasonable, to varying degrees of acceptance. But I believe, very simply, that God placed us on Earth to choose for ourselves our direction. If we want to accept grace through him, we can choose to do so. or we can reject him. But I do NOT believe that God is making those decisions for us. Otherwise, like I said, our existence has no purpose.


Plus, if you dig a little deeper, you might realize that nowhere am I arguing that human beings are without choice. Right now, I am limiting choice to one thing, that being, in one's own power, they cannot "choose" salvation.
But they can choose to accept it.


The faith is not theirs, the grace is not theirs. That is one choice I am limiting. Why? Because it contradicts Scripture, which teaches that man can do nothing to save himself, including choosing to follow God. That comes from above. A person cannot do one thing to be born again anymore than they did anything to be physically born in the first place.
I think you have a very polluted view of free will, TR. If we're arguing strctly from scripture, others have posted numerous verses that contradict your interpretation.

Additionally, you're still not providing a response to my question of the purpose of existence, but I suppose it doesn't matter. You don't believe you have a choice, you just got lucky. All the others who God didn't elect, too bad for them. Thus, there's no point to your evangelism. No point to attending Church. No point in living your life. You've been "elected by God". Hallelujah.

Me, I'm off to go club a baby seal and steal candy from babies. If God has elected me, at some point i'll repent and be saved. If he hasn't, hey, at least I can have some fun while I'm living out the rest of my futile existence.

rdiersin
07-07-2005, 04:27 PM
I
Thanks for the lecture. And here I thought I could freely turn myself into a cantaloupe. Free will is the ability to make choices that affect our lives and, by consequence, the lives of others. I've heard arguments that we're limited in our choices based on what is a reasonable, to varying degrees of acceptance. But I believe, very simply, that God placed us on Earth to choose for ourselves our direction. If we want to accept grace through him, we can choose to do so. or we can reject him. But I do NOT believe that God is making those decisions for us. Otherwise, like I said, our existence has no purpose.

I agree with you here. My advisor was creating a course a year and a half ago that involved an engineering approach to moral decision making. First, my advisor is a professor of EE and his daughter is a prof. in theology, so that is where the initial connection came about. As we were going through this material, that what made the most sense about free will, we either choose to accept God grace or reject it (for the most part). This discussion has made me think about this a bit and have enjoyed it.

traderumor
07-07-2005, 04:32 PM
reg,

I will debate this issue until the cows come home, but I will not let this reduce to insults. My suggestions were not meant to be insulting, I sincerely think you need to research your own position and get a better handle on your terms before telling me I don't know what I'm talking about. The verses that have been posted do not contradict my position, such as the one's Red Baron posted, but require more explanation than the scope I thought this thread should go. They are classic scriptures used to refute my position, so a little homework on your end would give you the response a Calvinist is going to give.

And I did provided a response to the purpose of your existence, you just didn't like the answer.

traderumor
07-07-2005, 04:36 PM
I agree with you here. My advisor was creating a course a year and a half ago that involved an engineering approach to moral decision making. First, my advisor is a professor of EE and his daughter is a prof. in theology, so that is where the initial connection came about. As we were going through this material, that what made the most sense about free will, we either choose to accept God grace or reject it (for the most part). This discussion has made me think about this a bit and have enjoyed it.What if grace is irresistable for the recipient? In other words, the dispenser of the grace (God) is greater than the recipient of the grace (human beings, his creation), therefore can the creature resist the Creator?

RFS62
07-07-2005, 04:36 PM
Gosh, you guys are making my point far better than I ever could.

traderumor
07-07-2005, 04:38 PM
Gosh, you guys are making my point far better than I ever could.Who else has promoted pantheism? ;)

rdiersin
07-07-2005, 04:39 PM
What if grace is irresistable for the recipient? In other words, the dispenser of the grace (God) is greater than the recipient of the grace (human beings, his creation), therefore can the creature resist the Creator?

Certainly there were inputs into the system that were pure grace that can go directly to the plant (human). Its not an absolute. Its what made the problem interesting.

RFS62
07-07-2005, 04:41 PM
Who else has promoted pantheism? ;)


I'm not. But if it makes you feel better to belittle my beliefs go ahead.

My point, as I'm sure you know, is that you guys are all arguing about who get's saved and who doesn't and all kinds of details and lecturing one another ad infinitum.

And still not a word about what happens to the other religions who don't share your very specific view.

traderumor
07-07-2005, 04:50 PM
I'm not. But if it makes you feel better to belittle my beliefs go ahead.

My point, as I'm sure you know, is that you guys are all arguing about who get's saved and who doesn't and all kinds of details and lecturing one another ad infinitum.

And still not a word about what happens to the other religions who don't share your very specific view.
Sorry for the offense, but you were promoting pantheism in this post:

To me, God is all that is. We're all a part of God, as is everything.That's pantheism 101, once known as "New Age." I was kidding, didn't mean to be belittling.

As far as other religions, I think I've made it pretty clear throughout this discussion the Bible claims that Christ and Christ alone is the only way to salvation. As for other religions? It really isn't a matter of whether they share my view (they don't), but I do know that none of them uphold the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, who was born of a virgin, represents one part of a triune God, died and rose again, as the only way to salvation. Therefore, they are false religions leading folks down the wide road that leads to destruction.

RFS62
07-07-2005, 04:55 PM
Therefore, they are false religions leading folks down the wide road that leads to destruction.


So, all Buddhists, all Hindus, all Catholics, all Protestants who don't share your very specific definition, all of the other religions and belief systems on earth, all of these are going to Hell and burning in a lake of fire and brimstone for all eternity.

Is that correct?

registerthis
07-07-2005, 04:58 PM
reg,

I will debate this issue until the cows come home, but I will not let this reduce to insults. My suggestions were not meant to be insulting, I sincerely think you need to research your own position and get a better handle on your terms before telling me I don't know what I'm talking about. The verses that have been posted do not contradict my position, such as the one's Red Baron posted, but require more explanation than the scope I thought this thread should go. They are classic scriptures used to refute my position, so a little homework on your end would give you the response a Calvinist is going to give.
I'm not insulting you...I'm saying that, simply because you have a differing opinion of God than I do, you think I've created some completely different type of God. In other words, your God is true, mine is some created entity--that is self righteous.

And the fact that I completely disagree with the Calvinist perspective is why this argument has come as far as it has. You continually evade the matter at hand--that God, in your opinion, does in fact condemn people to hell before they have been born. It's nothing to do with them, it's on God. So, in fact, Christ didn't come for all men, because all men can't know God. There's a contradiction in there somehwere...


And I did provided a response to the purpose of your existence, you just didn't like the answer.
It's not that i didn't like it, I viewed it as unsatisfactory. You can't simply say that something is because you say it is. You can't assign value to something simply by saying it has value. Life isn't valuable simply because it's life--so what, is my response. WHY is life valuable? What about life makes it valuable? The fact that we can choose our direction, and that we have a say in our existence on this Earth. There is true value in that. What you're implying--your doctrine--is that nothing we do here matters, because God has selected us, for either salvation or damnation. Either way, we have no say in it--so why am I here? Why not just skip the middle man and either stick me in heaven or throw me in hell?

And what of my proposition to go club baby seals and rip off babies. Who cares if it's wrong--it will have no ultimate bearing on my ultimate fate, which has already been decided. SO nothing I do here matters. If you argue otherwise, you're either contradicting yourself or going against God's will.

You can't just explain this stuff away by saying I haven't done my homework, TR. As I stated earlier, I understand your point perfectly. And I understand your Calvinist persuasions, they are just completely illogical to me.

registerthis
07-07-2005, 04:59 PM
So, all Buddhists, all Hindus, all Catholics, all Protestants who don't share your very specific definition, all of the other religions and belief systems on earth, all of these are going to Hell and burning in a lake of fire and brimstone for all eternity.

Is that correct?
Yes.

Because that is God's Plan. It's why they're here.

EDIT: This post is dripping with sarcasm, for those who can't tell.

pedro
07-07-2005, 05:04 PM
Boy, you guys sure are lucky you were born in the good old USA, because I'd sure hate to see you all go to hell.

traderumor
07-07-2005, 05:25 PM
Reg,

You have created a God other than the one of the Bible. I do not say that because you disagree with me, but because you make statements like you don't believe in the god of predestination. As I pointed out, that is a basic Biblical doctrine that is a part of God's attribute known as his omiscience and his omipotence. If you don't believe in predestination, then you are rejecting a basic doctrine that is central to who God is. The other stuff, we're just going in circles on, so I won't answer the same questions over and over when you claim I haven't answered them

RFS,

I gave a very precise definition of what I believe the Bible teaches about salvation. Of your list, many other Christians do not believe what I do about salvation and many other matters. There are fundamental issues we must agree on, however, but I do not consider this debate to be one of them. Someone can believe that they chose to accept God's grace and still be a brother or sister in Christ. I can believe what I believe and be a Christian. Like I said very early on, with an issue like this, one can be right and the othe wrong, we both can be wrong, but we both can't be right. However, I cannot say "you are not a Christian because you think you had 1% of a part in your salvation." These are "in-house" debates, but I think in this forum it is a good discussion for both believers and seekers to consider. Protestantism is a major branch of Christianity, Roman Catholicism, well, is currently apostate (ducks, dodges and dives) but was once a branch of Christianity (for lack of a better term), but Buddhists, Hindus, Mormons, and any other world religion you can name that does not consider Jesus Christ King of Kings and Lord of Lords is a false religion. I know that is considered a narrow view, but that's what the Bible teaches.

registerthis
07-07-2005, 05:41 PM
<ahem>

"I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump. I ran over and said: 'Stop. Don't do it.'

'Why shouldn't I?' he asked. 'Well, there's so much to live for!' 'Like what?' 'Are you religious?'

He said: 'Yes.' I said. 'Me too. Are you Christian or Buddhist?' 'Christian.' 'Me too. Are you Catholic or Protestant?' 'Protestant.' 'Me too. Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?' 'Baptist.' 'Wow. Me too. Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?' 'Baptist Church of God.' 'Me too. Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you reformed Baptist Church of God?' 'Reformed Baptist Church of God.' 'Me too. Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?' He said: 'Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915.'

I said: "Die, heretic scum," and pushed him off."

James B.
07-07-2005, 05:48 PM
[QUOTE=traderumor

As for your question, "heavens [sic] requirements" are to "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." I know of no other requirements.


The bible says even the demons believe and tremble. James 2:19. The demons won't be saved. Just because God has requirements of us does'nt mean we save ourselves. Jesus Christ blood saves us

traderumor
07-07-2005, 06:03 PM
That's not bad, reg. Doesn't relate to this discussion, but it is a pretty good one.

registerthis
07-07-2005, 06:06 PM
That's not bad, reg. Doesn't relate to this discussion, but it is a pretty good one.
<sigh>

But it does, TR. :(

traderumor
07-07-2005, 06:12 PM
[QUOTE=traderumor

As for your question, "heavens [sic] requirements" are to "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." I know of no other requirements.


The bible says even the demons believe and tremble. James 2:19. The demons won't be saved. Just because God has requirements of us does'nt mean we save ourselves. Jesus Christ blood saves us

James,

Yes, that demons believe that there is one God is the rest of the verse. Is that sufficient for salvation?

James B.
07-07-2005, 06:15 PM
You said that to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ was all you had to do but the demons do believe in Jesus.

traderumor
07-07-2005, 06:17 PM
<sigh>

But it does, TR. :(

This is a discussion on Christian theology. The joke is related to denominational distinctives. It isn't like we're debating infant vs. believer's baptism, or liturgy.

traderumor
07-07-2005, 06:18 PM
You said that to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ was all you had to do but the demons do believe in Jesus.The verse says that "you believe in one God, good, so do the demons and tremble." It doesn't mention Jesus.

WVRed
07-07-2005, 06:34 PM
So, all Buddhists, all Hindus, all Catholics, all Protestants who don't share your very specific definition, all of the other religions and belief systems on earth, all of these are going to Hell and burning in a lake of fire and brimstone for all eternity.

Is that correct?

Matthew 7:22-23

22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

The Bible makes it very clear that God sent his only begotten son to die on the cross for our sins and that the only way to salvation is to accept his offer of salvation by believing on his son. And for those who do not believe, the above is what the Lord will say.

KronoRed
07-07-2005, 07:40 PM
This is has been a rather interesting discussion, sad on some levels that believers throw some many stones at each other.

I felt the need to post a few things...

I've considered myself saved for 5 years, for most of that time I haven't had a church, why? things like this..the "scare em to save em" plan that I hated before I became a believer, the "live your life our way or die" crap that harms more then helps.

I don't know who gets to go where when they die, God does, I go by what WVRed posted, that Jesus is the way to heaven, he died for my sins and I'm free, but you know what? I could be wrong, I don't think I am but it's a chance, we'll find out at the end won't we?

I have tried to live my life one way, treat others as I would like to be treated, if someone is doing something you don't like, pray but it is NOT my job to condemn others, everyone is different, we aren't all the same, thankfully..life would be a boring wasteland if we were.

I expect to get some posts about this, mean ones too..for any Christians about to let loose a "YOU'RE WRONG! YOU'RE NOT SAVED" argument...keep it..I laugh at stuff like that, I know myself better then you and I know where I am with God, for non Christians, about to call me a close minded evil horrible person, you can keep it as well..you're wrong..not sure about this but I think the "treat others as you would like to be treated" works in any walk of life, you think my belief is crap, that's fine, I don't mind one bit.

Everyone to me is on their own road, you can't force someone to follow yours.

..and Good Luck again Rychian :)

Puffy
07-07-2005, 08:40 PM
This is has been a rather interesting discussion, sad on some levels that believers throw some many stones at each other.

I felt the need to post a few things...

I've considered myself saved for 5 years, for most of that time I haven't had a church, why? things like this..the "scare em to save em" plan that I hated before I became a believer, the "live your life our way or die" crap that harms more then helps.

I don't know who gets to go where when they die, God does, I go by what WVRed posted, that Jesus is the way to heaven, he died for my sins and I'm free, but you know what? I could be wrong, I don't think I am but it's a chance, we'll find out at the end won't we?

I have tried to live my life one way, treat others as I would like to be treated, if someone is doing something you don't like, pray but it is NOT my job to condemn others, everyone is different, we aren't all the same, thankfully..life would be a boring wasteland if we were.

I expect to get some posts about this, mean ones too..for any Christians about to let loose a "YOU'RE WRONG! YOU'RE NOT SAVED" argument...keep it..I laugh at stuff like that, I know myself better then you and I know where I am with God, for non Christians, about to call me a close minded evil horrible person, you can keep it as well..you're wrong..not sure about this but I think the "treat others as you would like to be treated" works in any walk of life, you think my belief is crap, that's fine, I don't mind one bit.

Everyone to me is on their own road, you can't force someone to follow yours.

..and Good Luck again Rychian :)

I'm with Krono.

But what do I know - I'm catholic, believe in God, believe God sent his only son to Earth to die for our sins, believe that following the Commandments and living a good life and helping others is just as important as what or who you believe in. I'm catholic, and, apparently, am on my way to hell.

traderumor
07-07-2005, 09:15 PM
I'm with Krono.

But what do I know - I'm catholic, believe in God, believe God sent his only son to Earth to die for our sins, believe that following the Commandments and living a good life and helping others is just as important as what or who you believe in. I'm catholic, and, apparently, am on my way to hell.


Luk 18:18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
Luk 18:19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, even God.
Luk 18:20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor thy father and mother.
Luk 18:21 And he said, All these things have I observed from my youth up.
Luk 18:22 And when Jesus heard it, he said unto him, One thing thou lackest yet: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
Luk 18:23 But when he heard these things, he became exceeding sorrowful; for he was very rich.
Luk 18:24 And Jesus seeing him said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
Luk 18:25 For it is easier for a camel to enter in through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Your statement made me think of this story Jesus told. Of course, one could get caught up in "Jesus is saying a rich man cannot get into heaven, so if I am doing pretty well I guess I'm damned to hell," but the greater point here is that when the man measured himself against keeping the commandments, he thought he was doing pretty good, and Jesus even gave him that much (even though it probably wasn't true).

However, "thou shalt not covet" was a stumbling block, so great that the ruler walked away, perhaps never inheriting the eternal life he claimed to be willing to do anything to obtain. Jesus said "Come follow me." Not go and learn how not to covet, but drop everything and come follow him. In the same way, it absolutely matters who or what you believe in, it matters more than anything else you mentioned. Those aren't my rules, again, its what the Bible teaches.

Do we have to be paupers? Again, that gets folks sidetracked. But Christ commands that he alone is Lord. So, while it sounds nice to follow your path, Puffy, you are saying little more than this ruler was, and he walked away without that which he sought. Why? Because he wouldn't follow Jesus unconditionally.

WVRed
07-07-2005, 09:16 PM
I'm catholic, believe in God, believe God sent his only son to Earth to die for our sins

Puffy, I may not agree with Catholicism, but if you believe what you said, then the Bible clearly says you are going to heaven.

letsgojunior
07-07-2005, 09:27 PM
Seems to me that Rychian's slogan accomplished exactly what he wanted it to - got people talking about Church again, in a positive way.

I'm 23 years old, am Catholic, and haven't been to church in approximately 8 years. I stopped going, because as Steel mentioned a few pages ago, I was bored, watching the minutes go by, and couldn't connect with anything that the priest was saying. Around the same time, I had several very difficult life experiences, and really lost faith in the entire order of things. My disillusionment was very disappointing for my family, as the vast majority of my extended family is extremely religious.

I went to a Catholic High School, and every Lent we went to confession at a local church. I remember one of the priests there was a really cool guy, someone we all sought out. I remember he told me that it was okay that I was bored and disillusioned - something I was pretty shocked to hear. And just to find something in mass to try to focus on, and to always have God in my heart.

I haven't been to church since, but I do always keep God in my heart. I don't think I'm going to hell because I haven't been to church in awhile, I don't think people are going to hell for having premarital sex, I don't think people are going to hell for doing drugs, and I don't think anyone who doesn't subscribe to my exact philosophy is going to hell either.

The one thing I remember about what that priest told me is to try to keep God in my heart. I try to treat others well, to respect opposing viewpoints, to help those less fortunate than myself, etc. I think that's what God wants from us. And I honestly believe he sets obstacles in our paths ultimately to help us along the way. There have been a number of times in my life when I was going through something that I thought was completely awful, and that I couldn't get through it. Later I realized that that event actually made me a better, stronger person, and usually led to something better along the way.

I'd be very intrigued and would consider joining a church like Rychian's. Kind of a community gathering in which I could learn more about the Bible and scripture in a non-intimidating environment. One in which people could kind of discuss their lives as well, and how their faith plays a role. I completely respect those who prefer a more dogmatic service. It's just not for me - but I feel certain that one thing God wants is for people to find their own path to Him.

Puffy
07-07-2005, 09:34 PM
Do we have to be paupers? Again, that gets folks sidetracked. But Christ commands that he alone is Lord. So, while it sounds nice to follow your path, Puffy, you are saying little more than this ruler was, and he walked away without that which he sought. Why? Because he wouldn't follow Jesus unconditionally.

No, tr, I am not saying anything. I believe so much more than I said, but you wouldn't know that because you don't know me.

What I was doing was mocking that twice in this thread you have mocked my faith, once saying that it was once Christianity but no longer such, and another time earlier in the thread.

What I believe is what I believe, just as Krono said, and I have no desire to share that with you.

And WVRed - thanks for your faith! And you are lucky you decided against the Pensacola Christian school - they (we) look like we are gonna get pounded by Dennis on Sunday.

traderumor
07-07-2005, 09:55 PM
No, tr, I am not saying anything. I believe so much more than I said, but you wouldn't know that because you don't know me.

What I was doing was mocking that twice in this thread you have mocked my faith, once saying that it was once Christianity but no longer such, and another time earlier in the thread.

What I believe is what I believe, just as Krono said, and I have no desire to share that with you.

And WVRed - thanks for your faith! And you are lucky you decided against the Pensacola Christian school - they (we) look like we are gonna get pounded by Dennis on Sunday.I'm sure you do, but then you did provide some insight into what you believe and I commented on it. People are making a lot of conclusions about me because I don't shy away from being known as a Calvinist. Go ahead, challenge my beliefs if you like. I am confident that they will stand up to the scrutiny of Scripture. If they don't, I have something to consider.

Also, I did not comment on your standing before God, even though you are Catholic. But I doubt that WVRed knows you any better than I do, yet you appreciate his assessment of your standing before God based on one little snippet that you said. Neither he nor I have enough information about you to make a call either way, so why do you readily accept his opinion?

No, I do not think Roman Catholicism leads people to Christ, and I have many reasons for saying so, all of which can be supported by Scripture, but this is not the time or the place. But I have not told one person on here that they have to believe like I do, I am simply stating my case for why I believe what I do.

rdiersin
07-07-2005, 09:56 PM
This is has been a rather interesting discussion, sad on some levels that believers throw some many stones at each other.

I felt the need to post a few things...

I've considered myself saved for 5 years, for most of that time I haven't had a church, why? things like this..the "scare em to save em" plan that I hated before I became a believer, the "live your life our way or die" crap that harms more then helps.

I don't know who gets to go where when they die, God does, I go by what WVRed posted, that Jesus is the way to heaven, he died for my sins and I'm free, but you know what? I could be wrong, I don't think I am but it's a chance, we'll find out at the end won't we?

I have tried to live my life one way, treat others as I would like to be treated, if someone is doing something you don't like, pray but it is NOT my job to condemn others, everyone is different, we aren't all the same, thankfully..life would be a boring wasteland if we were.

I expect to get some posts about this, mean ones too..for any Christians about to let loose a "YOU'RE WRONG! YOU'RE NOT SAVED" argument...keep it..I laugh at stuff like that, I know myself better then you and I know where I am with God, for non Christians, about to call me a close minded evil horrible person, you can keep it as well..you're wrong..not sure about this but I think the "treat others as you would like to be treated" works in any walk of life, you think my belief is crap, that's fine, I don't mind one bit.

Everyone to me is on their own road, you can't force someone to follow yours.

..and Good Luck again Rychian :)

Krono, that was very well said. :clap::clap:

I don't think I could say it too much better than that.

rdiersin
07-07-2005, 10:10 PM
I'm sure you do, but then you did provide some insight into what you believe and I commented on it. People are making a lot of conclusions about me because I don't shy away from being known as a Calvinist. Go ahead, challenge my beliefs if you like. I am confident that they will stand up to the scrutiny of Scripture. If they don't, I have something to consider.

Also, I did not comment on your standing before God, even though you are Catholic. But I doubt that WVRed knows you any better than I do, yet you appreciate his assessment of your standing before God based on one little snippet that you said. Neither he nor I have enough information about you to make a call either way, so why do you readily accept his opinion?

No, I do not think Roman Catholicism leads people to Christ, and I have many reasons for saying so, all of which can be supported by Scripture, but this is not the time or the place. But I have not told one person on here that they have to believe like I do, I am simply stating my case for why I believe what I do.

I'm Catholic and the church has led me to Christ. I don't see how you can make a statement like that. Maybe it hasn't been the way you want it to be, but the Catholic church leads many people to Christ.

WVRed
07-07-2005, 10:17 PM
Traderumor,

Would you agree with me that if there has ever been a time that a person has bowed their knee to Christ and asked them to come into their heart and to cleanse them of their sin, that they would be saved?

That and that alone being the only key to salvation? Not by "putting a dollar in the box" or anything else? "For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." "Not of works, lest any man should boast."

paintmered
07-07-2005, 10:18 PM
I'm Catholic and the church has led me to Christ. I don't see how you can make a statement like that. Maybe it hasn't been the way you want it to be, but the Catholic church leads many people to Christ.

Same here.

Puffy
07-07-2005, 10:22 PM
I'm sure you do, but then you did provide some insight into what you believe and I commented on it. People are making a lot of conclusions about me because I don't shy away from being known as a Calvinist. Go ahead, challenge my beliefs if you like. I am confident that they will stand up to the scrutiny of Scripture. If they don't, I have something to consider.

Also, I did not comment on your standing before God, even though you are Catholic. But I doubt that WVRed knows you any better than I do, yet you appreciate his assessment of your standing before God based on one little snippet that you said. Neither he nor I have enough information about you to make a call either way, so why do you readily accept his opinion?

No, I do not think Roman Catholicism leads people to Christ, and I have many reasons for saying so, all of which can be supported by Scripture, but this is not the time or the place. But I have not told one person on here that they have to believe like I do, I am simply stating my case for why I believe what I do.

Oh please - I said, and I quote, "thanks for the faith" - It was a simple thank you for him saying what he said, and nothing more. He expressed no opinion, and if you ask him he will say the same.

As for the rest, well, whatever.

traderumor
07-07-2005, 10:26 PM
Traderumor,

Would you agree with me that if there has ever been a time that a person has bowed their knee to Christ and asked them to come into their heart and to cleanse them of their sin, that they would be saved?

That and that alone being the only key to salvation? Not by "putting a dollar in the box" or anything else? "For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." "Not of works, lest any man should boast."If one has accepted Christ as Savior AND Lord, they indeed are saved.

traderumor
07-07-2005, 10:29 PM
Oh please - I said, and I quote, "thanks for the faith" - It was a simple thank you for him saying what he said, and nothing more. He expressed no opinion, and if you ask him he will say the same.

As for the rest, well, whatever.


Puffy, I may not agree with Catholicism, but if you believe what you said, then the Bible clearly says you are going to heaven.That looks like an opinion to me.

westofyou
07-07-2005, 10:37 PM
That looks like an opinion to me.

They're running amuck in this thread.

registerthis
07-08-2005, 12:45 AM
This is a discussion on Christian theology. The joke is related to denominational distinctives.
And how, exactly, do you think those different denominations came to be?

919191
07-08-2005, 03:12 AM
A religious kind of guy I am not- I don't know much about it either. I did a little research on this predestination Calvinist thing. If on is part of the elect I understand he will be drawn to faith through God's will and it isn't a concious decision. The non-elect have no chance as they are spurned by God. Are these the only 2 groups woth the non elect having no opportunity? Or are they still welcome? By exercising free will? Or are there others who fall in between who are aren't of either the elect or the non elect who may exercise free will. And if one is of the nonelect willo he never desire to be saved? I mean, do the Calvinists feel heaven is closed to all but the elect? And id one truly desires to accept Christ and be saved they are part of the elect? I am confused.

In reading about this I found this statement that made me think-"The unsaved don't want salvation or the true God, so they wouldn't ever seek salvation. Also, anyone who truly desires salvation is only wanting it because the Lord is drawing him."

Does that mean if one wants salvation it is because of God's drawing him?

traderumor
07-08-2005, 08:46 AM
In reading about this I found this statement that made me think-"The unsaved don't want salvation or the true God, so they wouldn't ever seek salvation. Also, anyone who truly desires salvation is only wanting it because the Lord is drawing him."

Does that mean if one wants salvation it is because of God's drawing him?You're not confused at all. That is exactly the crux of the argument. And :beerme: for researching and thinking through the issues for yourself.


And how, exactly, do you think those different denominations came to be?Some are over theological issues, some are over traditions that have nothing to do with Scripture. Some have to do with a charasmatic leader who comes up with a twisted doctrine that he/she wants to promote. But as far as the debate we're having, it usually is a debate within denominations and does not necessarily spring new ones. For example, "Reformed" is a pretty broad brush and usually speaks about one's theology more than it does the denomination they belong to. Someone may be Southern Bapist and Reformed, but they are still Southern Baptist.

GAC
07-08-2005, 09:17 AM
So what you're saying is (in your interpretation), that God decided some people will be saved, but for the rest of them it's all up in the air? Some select were destined to follow God's path, the rest are given the choice as to whether they want to damn themselves via the choices they make?

Uh...no. ;)

In Wesley Arminianism, God did not single out particular individuals to be saved and damned. In other words, He doesn't say "Joe Blow, I've chosen you to be saved...and so-and-so, sorry, I've chosen you to be damned." And neither of you has a choice in the matter.

Did Adam and Eve have a choice? Yes.

The plan was predetermined[/b]. Now what is the plan? That the 2nd Person of the Godhead would come to earth, take upon himself a human nature for the sole purpose to die as the atoning sacrifice for the world's sin. Christ accomplished for us what we cannot.

"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21)

This is a positional truth. It is how God sees those who come to faith in Christ. Again, it is all about "rightstanding" with God. Christ is our righteousness...

"It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 1:30,31)

The people were predetermined (chosen) in the sense that it is those who are "in Christ". But God does not chose, in refernce to individuals, who will be within that Body. That decision is left up to the individual. The invitation is to all who will accept the truth - come to repentance and faith. But it does taken a divine intervention in order to open the "spiritual eyes" of that individual, who is blinded by sin, to the truth. Look at the situation in the beginning of Acts, after the resurrection of Christ, and when Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, preached his first sermon to the crowd (Acts 2:22-41). After he preached, what happened? Verses 37-41...

"When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"

Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call."

With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day."



That it wouldn't be a pointless exercise for me to throw away my porno and volunteer some time down at the rec center because, although I was not chosen, I can still redeem myself through my actions?

No one came redeem themseves via their actions (works/efforts). I'm not denying that people cannot do noble and humanitarian things for their fellow man - and even be self-sacrificing -but overall, most is done for selfish motives - "Look at me! Look what I've done."

Paul addresses this in Romans. Understand, that Judaism (which Paul came from) believes in/practices "salvation by works". Paul purposely uses Israel's patriarch Abraham to show that the relgious system that had evloed was wrong, and that Abraham was justified by faith and not by his works (accomplishments)... (Romans 4:1-

"What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness."

This passage also verifies what I stated above. And that righteousness (rightstanding with God) comes by faith. Notice in the very last verse above that it says "faith is credited as righteousness". One's faith in Christ means that God basically "credits it" to your account (so to speak).

Who then gets the credit and the glory? God does.

If you could ask any person who is in heaven right now, no matter how great they were, as to why/how they got there, not one would talk/brag of any accomplishments they had done. They'd point to the Son and say "Solely because of Him."

Salvation is a gift. You cannot earn it. How can we add to anything that He (Jesus) already accomplished?

Paul had pretty impressive credentials. Listen to what he thought of them when it came to knowing Christ, and what Christ accomplished for us...

"If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh (i.e. his accomplishments), I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith." (Philippians 3:4-9)

It's all about a righteousness that comes from God, and is based on faith in Christ. Paul considered all that he had done/accomplished, outside of Christ, to be seen as rubbish (the real word in Greek is "dung" ;) ), and that his goal, as a Christian, was to become more and more Christ-like.

Now, to return to this statement by you....


That it wouldn't be a pointless exercise for me to throw away my porno and volunteer some time down at the rec center because, although I was not chosen, I can still redeem myself through my actions?

While we are not saved by our works, there is a thing called repentance that was heavily preached/taught by Jesus, and then the aposltes and early church.

What is repentance? Is it sinless perfection? No. It begins with a change of mind/heart[/b], in reference to Jesus/the Gospel message. In the New Testatment, it means to turn away from sin and turn toward God and His will. Repentance radically transforms attitude and direction.

Once one is saved, they are sancitifed (set apart) by God. They are "born of the Spirit" who baptizes them into the Body of Christ. But they are seen as "babes in Christ" as far as their spiritual maturity/knowledge. There is a thing called progressive sanctification inwhich the new believer, in coordination with God through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, and by faith continues to grow in Christ (become more Christ-like). And people progress at different levels. But it is a process that will continue for their entire existence in this life. Everyone, including those apostles, had to go through the process. Look at how those 12 disciples acted while walking with Jesus? They made plenty of blunders and mistakes along the way. But Jesus was patient and knew their knowledge level was very limited. The had to be taught. The word "disciple" means "student". All believers are disciples. And the way one progresses in that is via prayerful study and application. It's all a growth process toward Christ-likeness.

And grace enables that. It's the sphere inwhich God and the believer acts. Grace doesn't condone my sin; but enables/affords me the opportunity to learn from my failings, repent, be shown forgivesness, and to GROW!

SunDeck
07-08-2005, 09:19 AM
I don't know who god is, and I'm not sure whether Christ was his son or not. And I don't know whether believing in either of them is a prerequisite to eternal life. If that even exists. I don't presume to know these things because I am a simple person who does the best he can to love his family and friends and treat others with humility, respect and kindness. Those values happen to have been taught to my by Catholics, specifically Franciscans, although I have no special connection to them presently other than having given my son the middle name of Francis.

I don't presume to know who will be saved and for what reasons, but it has always struck me as fairly audacious for people to make statements about who gets to go to heaven, who's church is right, and whether this reading of scripture or that is actually the right one. After all, there are several versions of the bible, and there is disagreement among Christians about which books actually make up the text. And let's not forget all the books that were left by the wayside when the bible was created, but I digress.

Nevertheless, I am glad one book made it in, the Book of Job, wherein the message is clear (to me, at least); we don't know God and we can't even comprehend the vastness, the complexity, the endlessness that makes up God. He can take our clothes, boil our skin, kill our families if only because he has made a bet with Satan about his follower's capacity to endure suffering. Remembering this has always been a comfort (oddly, I guess) to me; that I am so imperfect and insignificant compared to God that all I can do is be thankful for my own existance and live my life the best I can.

Furthermore, I assume the presumption that I am capable of knowing what are God's intentions is a human fault and I attempt to avoid it. Instead, I live as I live and hope God will be okay with that. If he's not, then I'll just have to ask for forgiveness, imperfect as I am.

GAC
07-08-2005, 09:48 AM
True. But isn't sin committed in one's heart, rather than in the actions one takes?

I'm not saying that Adam and Eve sinned when the serpent tempted them. I'm saying they sinned the instant they decided, "I don't care what God says, I'm biting this apple." They made that decision *prior* to biting the apple -- prior to gaining knowledge of good and evil.

Good question Johnny. The best way I can explain it, and what an overwhelming of theologists believe, and back up via scripture, is that Adam and Eve did not possess a sin nature prior to the fall because sin did not exist. Romans 5:12, among many other scriptures, says alot on this...

"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned."

They possessed an innocence, which included a lack of knowledge of good and evil. But even in their innocence, they still had experienced the goodness and provision of God via their intimate relationship with him. And more importantly - they had the simple command of God on this issue. There should have been do reason to doubt God's directives, for he never gave them any.

Jesus faced choices, both good and bad; but it doesn't mean he possesed sin in his heart.

The "because all sinned" phrase above means that Adam was mankind's representative in that garden. His disobedience led him to become a sinner - possessed a sin nature that now reigns/controls man - and it was thus passed on to all his progeny (mankind).

So, since the fall, due to the presence of that sinful nature, sin does begin in the heart. And more importantly, whenever one is tempted to think or do evil, it is evidence of the presence of that sinful nature. Just as you show below (good example). We all struggle with it. I have a hard time obeying the speed limit. :lol:



I can think of many examples from my own life in which authority figures have warned me not to do something. I obeyed for a while, but then became audacious and decided to find out what I was missing. Only after experiencing the unpleasant consequences did I really understand why I was told not do it in the first place.

I thoroughly agree. But is that the best teacher? With some, maybe yes. But not generally speaking IMO. Especially when, in our hearts, we KNOW it to be wrong? Do I need to experience those unpleasant consequences to fully understand that it was wrong? Do I need to go out and commit a crime, and be sent to prison to fully comprehend/understand that my actions were wrong? Is it not posible to see it beforehand and prevent it, when, unlike Adam who possessed an innocence, we possess that knowledge of good and evil/right and wrong? Are we not even more accountable then?


It makes sense to me that this is how God had to teach Adam and Eve.

They could have simply trusted God's directive, since he never gave them reason to not trust him, and obeyed. They could have learned even more via obedience, not taking the path they did.

I agree they learned something after-the fact, and after it was all taken away (jokingly)

Adam to Eve: I think we screwed up! Last <blanketity> time I ever listen to you!

traderumor
07-08-2005, 11:09 AM
Uh...no. ;)

In Wesley Arminianism, God did not single out particular individuals to be saved and damned. In other words, He doesn't say "Joe Blow, I've chosen you to be saved...and so-and-so, sorry, I've chosen you to be damned." And neither of you has a choice in the matter.

Did Adam and Eve have a choice? Yes.

The plan was predetermined[/b]. Now what is the plan? That the 2nd Person of the Godhead would come to earth, take upon himself a human nature for the sole purpose to die as the atoning sacrifice for the world's sin. Christ accomplished for us what we cannot.

"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21)

This is a positional truth. It is how God sees those who come to faith in Christ. Again, it is all about "rightstanding" with God. Christ is our righteousness...

"It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 1:30,31)

The people were predetermined (chosen) in the sense that it is those who are "in Christ". But God does not chose, in refernce to individuals, who will be within that Body. That decision is left up to the individual. The invitation is to all who will accept the truth - come to repentance and faith. But it does taken a divine intervention in order to open the "spiritual eyes" of that individual, who is blinded by sin, to the truth. Look at the situation in the beginning of Acts, after the resurrection of Christ, and when Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, preached his first sermon to the crowd (Acts 2:22-41). After he preached, what happened? Verses 37-41...

"When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"

Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call."

With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day."




No one came redeem themseves via their actions (works/efforts). I'm not denying that people cannot do noble and humanitarian things for their fellow man - and even be self-sacrificing -but overall, most is done for selfish motives - "Look at me! Look what I've done."

Paul addresses this in Romans. Understand, that Judaism (which Paul came from) believes in/practices "salvation by works". Paul purposely uses Israel's patriarch Abraham to show that the relgious system that had evloed was wrong, and that Abraham was justified by faith and not by his works (accomplishments)... (Romans 4:1-

"What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness."

This passage also verifies what I stated above. And that righteousness (rightstanding with God) comes by faith. Notice in the very last verse above that it says "faith is credited as righteousness". One's faith in Christ means that God basically "credits it" to your account (so to speak).

Who then gets the credit and the glory? God does.

If you could ask any person who is in heaven right now, no matter how great they were, as to why/how they got there, not one would talk/brag of any accomplishments they had done. They'd point to the Son and say "Solely because of Him."

Salvation is a gift. You cannot earn it. How can we add to anything that He (Jesus) already accomplished?

Paul had pretty impressive credentials. Listen to what he thought of them when it came to knowing Christ, and what Christ accomplished for us...

"If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh (i.e. his accomplishments), I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith." (Philippians 3:4-9)

It's all about a righteousness that comes from God, and is based on faith in Christ. Paul considered all that he had done/accomplished, outside of Christ, to be seen as rubbish (the real word in Greek is "dung" ;) ), and that his goal, as a Christian, was to become more and more Christ-like.

Now, to return to this statement by you....



While we are not saved by our works, there is a thing called repentance that was heavily preached/taught by Jesus, and then the aposltes and early church.

What is repentance? Is it sinless perfection? No. It begins with a change of mind/heart[/b], in reference to Jesus/the Gospel message. In the New Testatment, it means to turn away from sin and turn toward God and His will. Repentance radically transforms attitude and direction.

Once one is saved, they are sancitifed (set apart) by God. They are "born of the Spirit" who baptizes them into the Body of Christ. But they are seen as "babes in Christ" as far as their spiritual maturity/knowledge. There is a thing called progressive sanctification inwhich the new believer, in coordination with God through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, and by faith continues to grow in Christ (become more Christ-like). And people progress at different levels. But it is a process that will continue for their entire existence in this life. Everyone, including those apostles, had to go through the process. Look at how those 12 disciples acted while walking with Jesus? They made plenty of blunders and mistakes along the way. But Jesus was patient and knew their knowledge level was very limited. The had to be taught. The word "disciple" means "student". All believers are disciples. And the way one progresses in that is via prayerful study and application. It's all a growth process toward Christ-likeness.

And grace enables that. It's the sphere inwhich God and the believer acts. Grace doesn't condone my sin; but enables/affords me the opportunity to learn from my failings, repent, be shown forgivesness, and to GROW!Ok, I take it back, you are not more Calvinist/Augustinian than you think ;)

traderumor
07-08-2005, 11:19 AM
I don't know who god is, and I'm not sure whether Christ was his son or not. And I don't know whether believing in either of them is a prerequisite to eternal life. If that even exists. I don't presume to know these things because I am a simple person who does the best he can to love his family and friends and treat others with humility, respect and kindness. Those values happen to have been taught to my by Catholics, specifically Franciscans, although I have no special connection to them presently other than having given my son the middle name of Francis.

I don't presume to know who will be saved and for what reasons, but it has always struck me as fairly audacious for people to make statements about who gets to go to heaven, who's church is right, and whether this reading of scripture or that is actually the right one. After all, there are several versions of the bible, and there is disagreement among Christians about which books actually make up the text. And let's not forget all the books that were left by the wayside when the bible was created, but I digress.

But you can know:

(Joh 20:30 KJV) And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

(Joh 20:31 KJV) But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

(1Jo 5:11 KJV) And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

(1Jo 5:12 KJV) He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

(1Jo 5:13 KJV) These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

(1Jo 5:14 KJV) And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

(1Jo 5:15 KJV) And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.







Nevertheless, I am glad one book made it in, the Book of Job, wherein the message is clear (to me, at least); we don't know God and we can't even comprehend the vastness, the complexity, the endlessness that makes up God. He can take our clothes, boil our skin, kill our families if only because he has made a bet with Satan about his follower's capacity to endure suffering. Remembering this has always been a comfort (oddly, I guess) to me; that I am so imperfect and insignificant compared to God that all I can do is be thankful for my own existance and live my life the best I can.

Furthermore, I assume the presumption that I am capable of knowing what are God's intentions is a human fault and I attempt to avoid it. Instead, I live as I live and hope God will be okay with that. If he's not, then I'll just have to ask for forgiveness, imperfect as I am.

The Bible is God's revelation of himself to man so that man may know him. It is also the story of redemption, of how man needs a redeemeer, who that redeemer is, and how one may receive redemption. There is nothing noble or presumptuous about not reading what God has presented to man revealing himself and the plan of redemption.

Falls City Beer
07-08-2005, 12:14 PM
Biblical hermeneutics, fantasy baseball, and Joni Mitchell.

Three things I'll never "get."

westofyou
07-08-2005, 12:23 PM
Biblical hermeneutics, fantasy baseball, and Joni Mitchell.

Three things I'll never "get."

You bring him smoke and drink and he'll play for you
lt's mostly muttering now and sideshow spiel
But there was one song he played
I could really feel

SunDeck
07-08-2005, 01:11 PM
There is nothing noble or presumptuous about not reading what God has presented to man revealing himself and the plan of redemption.

Well then I hope Hell has room for all those faithful Buddhists. Those billions upon billions of peaceful people.

registerthis
07-08-2005, 01:16 PM
Well then I hope Hell has room for all those faithful Buddhists. Those billions upon billions of peaceful people.
Shoot, I hope it has room for Christians, as apparently I'm headed to hell as well.

As for the Budhhists, well I guess it's just their tough luck to not have been born in a nation elected by God.

GAC
07-08-2005, 01:45 PM
I think this thread/discussion has been very informational and I don't think anyone is throwing stones at anyone IMO. In fact, I've talked with a couple of members who said they have highly enjoyed this thread and content.

IT'S A DISCUSSION FOLKS. ;)

But when someone asks me, or anyone else, a direct question, and while I am/have been practicing politeness and respect in my response (and will continue to do so) - I am also not gonna "whitewash" it or try and tell them what they way want to hear.

Jesus or the apostles never told anyone what they wanted to hear.

I'm not gonna apologize to someone who asks me a question and I respond that Jesus is the only way. Jesus said it first! Yell/disagree with him. ;)

And it was Jesus who upset and confounded alot of the various religious orders that existed during that time, and told them that they were on the wrong path and heading for damnation.

Paul and the apostles did the very same with the various religions they encountered in their missionary journeys.

Both used a frontal attack.

QUESTION: Was Jesus and the apostles wrong for doing so when confronting religious ideologies that they knew were false religions?

Please understand - I am not advocating doing that on here. I'm a wimp when it comes to doing what Jesus and the disciples did. :lol:

I'm just asking if it was wrong for them to have done it. They did it alot too.

We all realize that there are various world religions and also various denominations within the evangelical order. I'm not going to come on here and in a self-righteous attitude judge any of them. I simply quote scripture, and what Jesus, the apostles, and early church were taught and practiced.

My belief/faith is based and rooted solely on that.

As Christians, the only defense we can offer is the Bible. Because anything else we may offer up can simpy be discarded as our opinion.

Some say they believe simply because that is who they are, or maybe, the way they were brought up. In other words, their belief system comes from either the way they were raised or the environmental influences surrounding them. I fully understand that because I was the same way. We were "church-goers" growing up, simply because we were taught it was the right thing to do - tradition and all that stuff. But my parents really had no idea on what it meant to be "saved". They thought such things as church attendance, listening to a good sermon, and then doing the best one could in life was simply all that was required/necessary. We basically followed alot of other folks in our society when it came to church, etc. Their beliefs were basically rooted on works (what do I have to do to earn my salvation?)

So respectfully, I don't really care what others say they believe/follow. All I am saying/contending is this.... does your belief system/theology/church heirarchy follow the mandates as laid out by Jesus and the apostles? In other words - when I take my belief (faith) and line it up next to the teachings of Jesus in the specific area of salvation and its requirements - does it line up? What does it tell me?

It's really not about what I (GAC) thinks if my beliefs don't mesh with those of Jesus'.

Has anyone ever been wrong before about something they once believed and held faith in - only to find out they were wrong and had to chuck them? I sure have.

I don't know about anyone else, but I really took no one's word for it on this issue. Even that of the co-worker, who about 18 years ago, was instrumental inleading me to Christ. I still investigated it for myself.

I'm not faulty any denomination, church heirarchy, pastor, etc., or saying they can't be trusted. All I'm saying is, if you are really sincere about all this, then do not take GAC, tr's, or anyone elses word for it. I will always use scripture in my responses/explanations; but you (the individual) must take the initiative and the responsibility to do the reading and research in order to find out the truth.

GAC
07-08-2005, 01:56 PM
Shoot, I hope it has room for Christians, as apparently I'm headed to hell as well.

As for the Budhhists, well I guess it's just their tough luck to not have been born in a nation elected by God.

Jesus said.. "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." (Matthew 24:14)

I believe that. And that God is just in seeing it will be accomplished. he has already given us plenty of time.

zombie-a-go-go
07-08-2005, 01:58 PM
GAC, I just want to thank you and traderumor, among others, for explaining the detail and minutae of your faith to me without being condescending or particularly judgmental. For someone so smart as myself ;) , there sure are a lot of things I'm totally ignorant about. :D

So... thanks.

GAC
07-08-2005, 02:00 PM
A religious kind of guy I am not- I don't know much about it either. I did a little research on this predestination Calvinist thing. If on is part of the elect I understand he will be drawn to faith through God's will and it isn't a concious decision. The non-elect have no chance as they are spurned by God. Are these the only 2 groups woth the non elect having no opportunity? Or are they still welcome? By exercising free will? Or are there others who fall in between who are aren't of either the elect or the non elect who may exercise free will. And if one is of the nonelect willo he never desire to be saved? I mean, do the Calvinists feel heaven is closed to all but the elect? And id one truly desires to accept Christ and be saved they are part of the elect? I am confused.

In reading about this I found this statement that made me think-"The unsaved don't want salvation or the true God, so they wouldn't ever seek salvation. Also, anyone who truly desires salvation is only wanting it because the Lord is drawing him."

Does that mean if one wants salvation it is because of God's drawing him?

Good question. How does election circumvent free will? But then, if the Bible is to be believed, and it says that all mankind is blinded and under the control of the indwelling presence of sin (see Romans, chapters 6 and 7), then do they have free will to begin with? Our does the power of sin delude them into thinking they have control? Alot like one's wife allowing her husband to think he is in control. :lol:

GAC
07-08-2005, 02:02 PM
GAC, I just want to thank you and traderumor, among others, for explaining the detail and minutae of your faith to me without being condescending or particularly judgmental. For someone so smart as myself ;) , there sure are a lot of things I'm totally ignorant about. :D

So... thanks.

Thanks for not being tempted to close this thread. :lol:

I think this discussion has gone very well. Alot better then most religious discussions in the past.

IMO, it shows that we can discuss things on here and keep it at a higher level.

Politics next? :lol:

Johnny Footstool
07-08-2005, 02:13 PM
Jesus said.. "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." (Matthew 24:14)

I seem to remember similar passages in the Koran.

traderumor
07-08-2005, 02:44 PM
Good question. How does election circumvent free will? But then, if the Bible is to be believed, and it says that all mankind is blinded and under the control of the indwelling presence of sin (see Romans, chapters 6 and 7), then do they have free will to begin with? Our does the power of sin delude them into thinking they have control? Alot like one's wife allowing her husband to think he is in control. :lol:C'mon man, you keep on flip flopping on me. Who are you, John Kerry? :evil:

You have really hit on something there GAC. Keep reading, that is the crux of the "free will" concept? After all, who's free? Well Jesus said "you shall know the truth and it shall set you free." But free from what? "For whom the Son sets free is free indeed." So then, we're free indeed. But aren't we bondservants of Christ, just like the Apostle Paul said to open the book of Romans? Yes, but we are free from the law of sin and death, free to serve and love God the way he intended mankind to do when he created.

And when you don't know Christ, you are in bondage to sin, unable to stop sinning even if you tried. Who's free there? Free to love God? The Bible says that those who don't know Christ hate God. One could not even sit in their room by themselves and avoid sinning, because then they would not be loving their neighbor. Well, this sounds hopeless...


(Romans 7:24 KJV) O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

(Romans 7:25 KJV) I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.


That sounds like a good place to stop.

Zombie, the pleasure is mine to give answers. I think GAC summarized very well where the offense comes from in these discussions. The one true gospel is offensive, I try not to be the one that offends, only the message. I know I do not always accomplish that, but that is the goal.

traderumor
07-08-2005, 02:48 PM
I seem to remember similar passages in the Koran.Copycats :evil: Seriously, Mohammad did borrow from the Scriptures when writing the Koran. Placing him in the late 500s to early 600s AD means he would have even had a NT to copy from.

SunDeck
07-08-2005, 03:13 PM
Copycats :evil: Seriously, Mohammad did borrow from the Scriptures when writing the Koran. Placing him in the late 500s to early 600s AD means he would have even had a NT to copy from.

"Moses is a Muslim prophet".
This quote was relayed to me by Dr. Wasif Abboushi when I was in college. His mother said this when Israeli soldiers took their home and farm in Jenine. It's what she said to keep her sons from insulting the soldiers. If he were in this discussion I suspect my old professor would smile at the notion that Islam "borrowed" anything.

Also:
I echo the positive sentiments voiced toward the threadies here.

traderumor
07-08-2005, 03:33 PM
"Moses is a Muslim prophet".
This quote was relayed to me by Dr. Wasif Abboushi when I was in college. His mother said this when Israeli soldiers took their home and farm in Jenine. It's what she said to keep her sons from insulting the soldiers. If he were in this discussion I suspect my old professor would smile at the notion that Islam "borrowed" anything.

Also:
I echo the positive sentiments voiced toward the threadies here.So do they consider Jesus. Many of the world religions acknowledge that certain Biblical "giants," if you will, were great men. Of course, Islam considers Mohammed the last great prophet, and I believe he is considered greater than any of the Jewish prophets, including Christ. However, with Jesus, they will never go as far as Christianity does, which considers him God in the flesh, the God man (fully God and fully man), one person of the Trinity, Savior, Lord, King of Kings, Son of God, Lamb of God, etc.

Of course, Mohammed stands the same Biblical test as any prophet: his prophecies must have never failed to come to pass.

http://answering-islam.org.uk/Shamoun/false_prophecies.htm
http://www.answering-christianity.com/rebuttal_false_prophecies.htm

Here's links if interested.

registerthis
07-08-2005, 03:40 PM
Jesus said.. "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." (Matthew 24:14)

I believe that. And that God is just in seeing it will be accomplished. he has already given us plenty of time.
Yes, but according to TR, I'm not a "true" Christian and my God is made-up.

Which means I am going to hell. :runaway:

traderumor
07-08-2005, 03:58 PM
Yes, but according to TR, I'm not a "true" Christian and my God is made-up.

Which means I am going to hell. :runaway:

If you can show me one place in any of my posts on this thread that I made such a statement about whether or not you are a "true" Christian, I will apologize profusely in my very next post.

As for the other part, I'll stand by that. You can't pick and choose which Biblical doctrines, like predestination, you like and don't like and still claim to be talking about the one true God of the Bible. I think that point's pretty clear, whether you choose to accept it or not. And I challenge you to say the Bible does not teach predestination. We may disagree on what the word exactly means, but the word and concept are in there and attributed to God's nature.

registerthis
07-08-2005, 04:12 PM
If you can show me one place in any of my posts on this thread that I made such a statement about whether or not you are a "true" Christian, I will apologize profusely in my very next post.

Chew on that for awhile and see if that is a position you really want to take, based on the God revealed in the Bible, not the one you have created.
It's not a great leap to say that if you think I have created a god, I'm not a true Christian.


As for the other part, I'll stand by that.
That's interesting, because last time I checked, yours wasn't the definitive word on who and who doesn't go to hell.

traderumor
07-08-2005, 04:46 PM
It's not a great leap to say that if you think I have created a god, I'm not a true Christian.


That's interesting, because last time I checked, yours wasn't the definitive word on who and who doesn't go to hell.

That is your inference, and like your last sentence says, that is not my call, nor have I done so. Just for my own comfort, I went back and reviewed every response to you. While I did get snippy at times, for which I apologize, I did not see one response that flat out questioned your profession of faith.

I do take exception to your understanding of God, but then I have made that abundantly clear. While you don't like the wording "you have created a god," my frame of reference for that statement is a little booklet written by J.B. Phillips titled Your God is Too Small, which I just saw the other day while moving. In it, he has a separate chapter on different ways we (believers and unbelievers) get misconceptions about God. The source of those misconceptions are always going to be related to the nature of God. Another teacher puts it like this: "Every heresy begins with a misunderstanding of the nature of God." Now, I am by no means calling you a heretic, I am simply pointing out that all of us, you, I, GAC (esp GAC ;) ), the milkman, get misconceptions about God that do not line up with Scripture. As we learn and grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, and read our Bibles, and hear sermons, and pray, and all the stuff that helps one grow in Christ, those misconception are cleared up. If one never does any of those things, than they will create in their own mind's eye a concept of God. However, the Bible is our only source of truth about what God is like. That is "sola Scriptura," and I'd die for it just the same as many Reformers did.

Here's an example from my life. One day I was reading in 2 Corinthians and was suddenly overwhelmed by the God of compassion that Paul talks about at the outset of his letter. Yea, go figure, me having trouble seeing a compassionate God :rolleyes: . Now, because of my personality, that is a real hard attribute of God for me to relate to. However, just because I struggle to relate to a compassionate God does not mean it must not be true that he is compassionate, even though it says that He is in the Bible. Now, others who are very soft-hearted have no trouble seeing a God of compassion, but struggle seeing a God of wrath, even though the Bible teaches that wrath is an attribute of God. That is where I'm coming from with that comment. I hope that makes it a little clearer why I say you are creating a god of your own choosing.

registerthis
07-08-2005, 04:53 PM
TR, I have read the same Bible as you, have attended Church, and have arrived at my opinion via study and thought. It's not an unfounded belief, much as you would like to think otherwise. "More study" on my part isn't going to make me change my mind, insomuch as I don't have to go back and re-check my science textbooks to know that the Earth revolves around the sun.

Thus, we're back to: you have your opinion of God, which you believe to be the only true opinion, and you view everyone else's as misguided. Therefore, so long as I follow the idea of God I have been espousing, I can't be considered a true Christian.

And if you honestly feel that way, fine. But let's call a spade a spade here. Should I be expecting the profuse apology now?

traderumor
07-08-2005, 05:19 PM
reg,

Now, earlier in the thread, you were chiding me for being close minded about what I believe, yet "more study" by you isn't going to change anything? How is it you said that?


A mature believer never stops questioning his faith, either. Nor does he become locked into beliefs so stringent he loses sight of what is truly important. It's what Jesus condemned the Pharisees doing, and it's not a compliment.

As far as opinions go, I have expressed mine based on a historic understanding of the Christian faith that I consider to be Apostolic, Augustinian, Reformed, with I think an adequate amount of Scripture to support what I've been contending. Sure, there are folks who disagree and have different systematic theologies than mine. Like I've said what, now three times, one of us could be right, one of us could be wrong, or we both could be wrong, but we both can't be right. As others have noted, the debate rages on. Does that mean we should stop discussing such things, or everyone should change their mind to each other's interpretations? Both sides have people changing their minds about such matters every day, all over the world, and for that reason, the discourse should and must go on.

OTH, you have not used Scripture or any other authority other than your own opinion and your own conception of God based on what you do and don't like in a god. This has nothing to do with whether or not you are a "true" Christian, that is between you and God. But when you advance un-Biblical ideas when a Biblical topic is being discussed, expect a challenge.

And I apologized for what I needed to.

registerthis
07-08-2005, 05:56 PM
[quote]This has nothing to do with whether or not you are a "true" Christian, that is between you and God. But when you advance un-Biblical ideas when a Biblical topic is being discussed, expect a challenge.
:bang:

Never mind, TR. Your position on this is simply astounding to me. My position is as based in biblical theology as is yours--I would argue more so. Simply because I have neither the time nor the energy to write long-winded epistles using scriptural references like you do doesn't mean my views are without merit.

Then again, I have completely stopped caring whether my views have any merit to you at all. I just thank God my faith isn't like the one you espouse--that I am open to more than the strictest, narrow view of the Bible, and that I don't let traditional Christian dogma get in the way of my interpretation of God.

The fact that you saw absolutely no relevance to the topic at hand in the joke I posted earlier speaks volumes of your mindset on this topic.

I can only be thankful that a number of churches have gotten away from this mindset. And with that, I'm bowing out of this thread. Good night.

Johnny Footstool
07-08-2005, 05:58 PM
This has nothing to do with whether or not you are a "true" Christian, that is between you and God.

Of all the things you have stated, traderumor, this is the one I agree with the most.

James B.
07-08-2005, 10:23 PM
I just want to say that I have really enjoyed this thread. People tend to get mad when they disagree about the scriptures. I think when we are talking about our soul in eternity we should talk about it with a open mind. We should also do what the bible says not what we think or feel the bible should say.


There has been one thing that I have read more than once on this thread that I disagree with. That is that all that you have to do is believe on the Lord Jesus and that is all you have to do to be saved or saved by faith only. That we are saved by faith or belief I do not deny for the word of God teaches this clearly in John 3:16 among many other passages. I think it must be understood just because a passage mentions faith or belief other conditions are not ruled out.


While the bible teaches that faith is a necessary condition of salvation it also teaches that there are degrees of faith. Jesus used the term little faith in Matt. 6:30 and we read of weak faith in Romans 14:1, great faith in Matt. 8:10 strong faith in Romans 4:20 working faith in Galations 5:6 saving faith in Hebrews 10:39 and dead faith in James 2:20. The kind of faith that does not save is the kind we read about in John 12:42 where the inspired apostle says nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him [Jesus] but because of the pharisees they did not confess him lest they should be put out of the synagogue. Some of those chief ruler believed but would not confess Christ. Where these men saved?


The faith that saves is the working faith that takes God at his word and does not question it but does exactly what it says in the way that God says it. Hebrews 11:8 says by faith Abraham when he was called obeyed to go out unto a place which he was to recieve for an inheritance and he went out. This was obedient faith on the part of Abraham and is the kind of faith God expects from you and me.


What must we do to be saved?
1.Hear the word Mark 12:29, Romans 10: 14-17
2.Believe Hebrews 11:6
3.repent 2Cor.7:10,Luke 13:3
4.Confess Acts 8:36-38, Acts 22:16
5.baptism Acts 2:38, Gal 3:27, Acts 22:16


I'm sorry for the long post. If anyone would like to discuss this in a friendly manner I enjoy talking about the scriptures and am willing to discuss them as long as you like.

919191
07-09-2005, 02:39 AM
my frame of reference for that statement is a little booklet written by J.B. Phillips titled Your God is Too Small, which I just saw the other day while moving.

You have the time to type out all these replys while moving? I am impressed! :)

traderumor
07-09-2005, 08:06 AM
You have the time to type out all these replys while moving? I am impressed! :)
It's the power of God ;)
No, I moved last weekend, I saw it then, when I was sorting through what books I kept and which ones I was parting with due to the two move rule (something is boxed and doesn't get out of the box, I don't move it twice :) )

SunDeck
07-09-2005, 09:26 AM
I thought the following would be a good addition to this discussion.
John Bowker uses Romans 5:12 to explain his belief on uncovering and knowing the "meaning" of biblical text.


"Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned.."

The word "because" is, in Greek eph ho. It seems a simple translation and yet, in his commentary on Romans, J.A. Fitzmyer lists 11 different ways that those two Greek words can be translated, each of which makes a difference to the meaning of the verse. All translation is interpretation. There is no "meaning of the text" that we can hope to recover, not even the "true meaning" the author intended. That is so, not only because of the problems of text (as above) and translation, but also because the meaning of the text is never limited only to what the author intended. Authors, and poets, often intend one thing and achieve another. Even more often, we can see meanings beyond those the author intended.

For all these reasons, the text of the Bible lies before us as opportunity, the opportunity for God to break open a meaning of this word for us, at this moment, in this particular circumstance. We can know that some proposed meanings are definitely wrong (translating eph ho, above, as though it meant "in order that all may sin"), but we cannot know, finally and conclusively, what every word or sentence means.

James B.
07-09-2005, 12:21 PM
SunDeck I agree that we can naver know every sentence but Jesus said in John 8:31:32 if you abide in my word you are my disciples indeed and you shall know the truth and it shall make you free. If Jesus says we can know the truth than I believe him. 2Timothy3:16,17 says that all scripture is given by inspiration of God and profitable for doctrine for reproof for correction for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be complete thoroughly equipped for every good work. James 1:5 says if any of you lacks wisdom let him ask of God who gives to all liberally and without reproach and it will be given to him. So if we study and ask God for help then I believe we will be fine.

traderumor
07-09-2005, 01:19 PM
I thought the following would be a good addition to this discussion.
John Bowker uses Romans 5:12 to explain his belief on uncovering and knowing the "meaning" of biblical text.Interesting position, but that undercuts any notion of truth (stating the obvious, but stick with me). But think about that for a minute. In our own English language, our words have various meanings depending on the tense, part of speech, context, etc. Using this scholar's approach, we have no hopes of reading anything and gaining any real understanding from what was written if a word is used that has varied meanings. I would disagree and say that it is possible, not always easy, but possible, to get exactly what someone was attempting to communicate by reading the written word.

In the same way, the arts and sciences of Biblical interpretation from the original language and Biblical hermeneutics will yield intended meanings. Its not always easy and sometimes will lead to disputes, but it is possible to read the Bible, which is the written word and follows the same general rules as other classical literature, and glean the author's original meaning based on tense, part of speech, context, etc.

SunDeck
07-09-2005, 01:51 PM
Bowker's not some slouch, but he is an academic :D . I bring him up because it illustrates my own particular position, with which I am quite comfortable. I happen to disagree that it undercuts the notion of "truth", but I'll just leave it at that, rather than getting into a discussion of what "truth" is. This would lead us back to where we have already been, I'm afraid.

I do not have even an iota of experience in translating, but I do speak two languages. In my experience, there are words and phrases in the mother tongue which cannot be portrayed "accurately" in the second language, this I believe being a function of the cultural, ethnic (anthropological?) differences between the two languages. Therefore, I consider the act of going from Aramaic, or Hebrew to Greek to English fraught with interpretational pitfalls. This is not to say that nothing whatsoever can be determined as the "meaning", and I'm not sure Bowker is saying that. However, I believe that the nature of the Bible, being enormously complex and being a work which has evolved over millenia, makes it quite difficult to interpret "accurately". I also happen to believe that it is not a completely prescriptive work, but rather a documentation of the relationship between God and people; part history, part user's manual. I think the book is meant to show us what we are supposed to do and how we have screwed up on our part of the Covenant in the past. As such, my relationship with it is based in the understanding that it is a document of human origin. God's work, to be sure, but our rendering, nevertheless.

By the way, I think everyone here deserves some rep. What an enlightening discusion...it caused me to pull a Bible commentary off my own shelves. That's got to be worth something.

traderumor
07-09-2005, 02:24 PM
Sun Deck,

I agree that there are inherent interpretive difficulties, but I would disagree that they cannot be overcome so that coherent systematic theologies can be developed. Add to that fallible humans attempting to translate and interpret the Scriptures, and you can see that the possibility for error is high.

However, one must also consider that the Holy Spirit aids one in interpreting Scripture (sorry, I'm feeling lazy and will dig out the relevant verses to support that if someone needs them). God wants His children to understand the Scripture. Of course, that is one important item that came out of the Reformation was making the Bible available in common tongues such as English and German rather than only the Latin that the priests used to keep folks ignorant of the Scriptures.

And, of course, scholars have produced volume upon volume of commentaries, Bible dictionaries, translations, etc. to help us understand the word of God. Of course, there are inherent problems and the goal of every interpreter of Scripture should be to get back to historical context of the passage under consideration (which is not the view of your scholar). But I say it is possible and there is ample third party evidence to support that notion.

Here's just one sample:
http://answers.org/bible/reliable.html