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Is contemporary American Christendom Biblical?

  1. MickeySr profile image87
    MickeySrposted 5 years ago

    I believe that while much of contemporary American Christendom is plagued by false doctrine, non-Biblical teaching, and often downright goofy unChristian 'Christianity', we CAN understand what the Bible presents as the truth and that church history provides us insight into what can be called 'regular, normal Christianity.

    1. wba108@yahoo.com profile image87
      wba108@yahoo.composted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Much of what denominations promote is created through reactions of the error of some.
      Actually Large church organizations have created more damaging errors than the small organization charlatans that they criticize. Much of what is considered doctrine are just rationalizations of a particular denominations view of the bible. It’s often a matter of power, especially in larger organizations.

      I’m not sure normal Christianity is supported by true church history. History has shown that majorities are often wrong and a reformer has to come along to correct the error. Although I would say on a whole for those who take the Bible seriously, there is common agreement on the essential doctrines of Christ.

      False doctrine in my opinion is usually promulgated by either fear of error, desire for power or fleshly charlatan’s trying to justify their sin with erroneous doctrine. Although I feel the charlatans do little damage compared to the two other camps.

      The promotion of higher learning and education over character has created an imbalance that promotes error. While I believe in the value of scholarly attainment, a firsthand knowledge of the God of the word trumps those who claim to be experts on the word of God through diligent study.

      Others claim that miracles have ceased based on thin evidence and rationalizations to support denominational doctrines. The motivations often originated with well-meaning reactions to the excesses of some fringe group or the desire to keep their hold of power within there organization.

      1. MickeySr profile image87
        MickeySrposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        wba108@yahoo.com,

        I don't know that I disagree with anything you've said. When I use the term "normal Christianity" I'm not speaking of whatever majority group or idea happens to dominate any particular era - I'm thinking of that continuity of essential Bible-based ideas that, while they may (and do) mature as more men embrace and so promote them generation after generation, remains from age to age the hope and the path of those filled with God's own Spirit and desiring to serve Him and necessarily to advance some particular scheme or denomination. That "normal Christianity" I believe is "supported by true church history" .

        MickeySr

        1. wba108@yahoo.com profile image87
          wba108@yahoo.composted 5 years ago in reply to this

          I wholeheartedly agree! Thanx for your wise comments and insights.

          1. MickeySr profile image87
            MickeySrposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            . . . of course, when I typed ". . . those filled with God's own Spirit and desiring to serve Him and necessarily to advance some particular scheme or denomination" I intended to type ". . . those filled with God's own Spirit and desiring to serve Him and NOT necessarily to advance some particular scheme or denomination"

    2. DoubleScorpion profile image86
      DoubleScorpionposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Even from the very start of Christainity, people interpreted Jesus in their own ways. This interpretation varied from church to church. And it continues to this day. If one follows the Pauline letters interpretation of Jesus, then we have one path. If one follows the Gospels, we have another. The only book written that might have been from an eye witness/friend of Jesus himself, would be the Gospel of Thomas (which is nothing but the sayings of Jesus) and that book never made it into the bible.
      The Pauline letters were written from around 50-62 CE and he even says that he never met the "Christ", He based his writings and beliefs from the OT and enlightenment from the "Risen Christ". The Gospels came along after that time.
      Mark- 66-70 CE
      Matthew- 80-85 CE
      Luke/Acts- 85-90 CE
      John- 90-95 CE

      The rest of the NT was written between 85-150 CE

      Most people of this time, didn't have personal copies of the "scriptures" (Septuagint) and relied on what was taught in "church". And even those that did have the "scriptures" many did not have a complete set or version. So that lead to differing views as well. It wasn't until much later the text that would become the NT, was put together for the churches to use. (many more texts than the 27 books we use today) The 27 books we use today, started it's formation(a list in an Easter Letter) around 367 CE by Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria.

      1. MickeySr profile image87
        MickeySrposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        DoubleScorpion,

        Much of your recounting of the historic record, the dates of the Pauline letters and the gospels, the availability of the Septuagint, Athanasius' recognition of the same NT as we have today, etc, is, as I say, a recounting of the historic record. However your assertion that the NT gospels and Paul's letters present different ideas and that the Gnostic literature is more first-hand and so reliable than the received texts is assumption, and is and ancient and, I think, lame argument.

        I agree that, from the beginning, there have always been those who 'interpret' and teach ideas discordant from the orthodox faith - but it is precisely the 'orthodox' faith because, while the great variety of external, and too often internal, false notions come and go there is always the steady strain of Bible-based teaching. My impression, and I count it only as my own impression, is that particularly those folks who resist orthodoxy and the historic continuity and prefer to romanticize about Gnostic mystics who were excluded from the text of Scripture and whose teaching was rebukes, that these folks simply prefer just about anything to the historic Jesus and the authentic Christian message . . . it's kind of like today's conspiracy theories - if that's what you start-out looking for and desire to find, there's no doubt you will find just what you're looking for.   

        MickeySr

        1. DoubleScorpion profile image86
          DoubleScorpionposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          The point I was trying to make (and what is taught in schools), is that not everyone had access to the bible as we do today. And by such each church has its own beliefs or interpretation of who Jesus was. And the fact that the first sacred scripture did not all agree completely, is back up by the fact that out of the many texts that we have that have been at one time or another part of the NT, only 27 were chosen to be the canon we use today. Did you know the other than the Pauline letters and the 4 Gospels, much of the rest of the NT was not even considered part of the bible until many years later. This is not my arguement or my opinion. This is what is taught in schools in the religion, biblical theology courses.

          1. MickeySr profile image87
            MickeySrposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            DoubleScorpion,

            As the NT church began, the concern wasn't that not every congregation had a Bible, the fact is the NT had not yet been completed. This was called The Apostolic Period - the apostles were those few men chosen directly by God Himself to proclaim His truth, it was they, the apostles, who taught with authority. Once the NT was completed The Apostolic Period came to an end, there are no more apostles, no more men teaching with divine authority - now we have the Bible. In that 1st century, different congregations did not believe the teaching differently, they simply were not all sufficiently taught . . . the NT letter to the Galatians was Paul's letter to the church in Galatia correcting their error regarding the law and grace, NT letter to the Ephesians was his letter to the church in Ephesus further instructing them regarding the deity of Jesus, etc, etc. Once the NT was completed there was an authoritative rule, the divine revelation of truth, and those holding beliefs and conducting practicing contrary to the Scripture were recognized as unorthodox.

            You say only 27 books out of many texts that were previously part of the NT were eventually chosen - this simply is not historically accurate. There were and still are many other writings besides the 27 texts of the NT, but they were never commonly recognized as Scripture, they were not part of some earlier version of the NT. The Gospel of Thomas, Bel & the Dragon, The Letter of Jeremiah, etc, etc, are all early religious texts, but they were never commonly counted as part of the NT.

            I would encourage you to read my current hub entry, it deals directly with this matter.

            MickeySr

            1. DoubleScorpion profile image86
              DoubleScorpionposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              Mickey, I hold a PHD in Biblical Studies...So let me give you a few examples...

              The Muratorian Canon from the late 2nd to early 3rd century included the following 24 books:
              The 4 Gospels
              Acts
              The 13 Pauline letters (but not Hebrews)
              John 1 and 2 (but not 3)
              Jude
              The Wisdom of Solomon
              Revelations and
              the Apocalypse of Peter

              The Codex Claromontanus from the 6th century included such books as the Epistle of Barnabas, the Shepard of Hermas, the Acts of Paul, and the Apocalypse of Peter.

              The Codex Sinaiticus from the 4th century contains all 27 books plus Epistle of Barnabas and the Shepard of Hermas.

              And in the 5th century we have the Codex Alexandrinus which included 1st and 2nd Clement as part of the text.

              At the end of the 2nd century, most churches agreed on the Pauline letters and the four Gospels and Acts as canon, it wasn't until 200-300 years later that the other books of the NT were finally generally accepted as part of the canon of the NT.

              Writing in the 4th century, church historian Eusebius noted that, even after Christianity had become legally validated by the Roman government, the NT canon was still not a fixed work. It was divided into three categories: the 21 acknowledged works, including the Gospels, Acts, Paul's letters and some of the Catholic Epistles. The "disputed" books, accepted by some churches and not others, Revelations, James, Jude, 2 Peter, and 2 and 3 John. And last, five other books which didn't make the final cut: The Acts of Paul, Shepard of Hermas, Apocalypse of Peter, Epistle of Barnabas and the Didache (a book of Christina rituals and moral teachings). Eusebius's "rejected" books are the Gospels ascribed to Peter, Thomas, and Mathias and the acts attributed to Andrew, John and the other apostles.

              1. Disappearinghead profile image88
                Disappearingheadposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                Today there are many compilations of books that did not get included into the NT. Having read some of these other writings, it is understandable why they did not get included; they significantly differ in some way to the central doctrines of the Church at the time.

                However, I think it erroneous to consider any NT writing as scripture. The Hebrew scriptures are just that; God Himself rubber stamped them throughout with such phrases as "The Lord says....". But the NT testament writings do not of themselves profess to be the Word of God. It is only by various 2nd - 4th Century committees that certain writings were called scripture, and others not, and woe betide anyone who questions the supposed authority of the Church.

                The Gospels are useful because they provide a record of the things Yashua said an did. However the fact that when comparing different gospels, the words 'spoken' are slightly different, tells us that what is written is from memory, and not verbatim. The letters of Paul are useful for teaching too, but we do not have to agree with every word Paul stated, just as we do not have to agree with everything spoken in Church.

                It is up to us ourselves to read all available writings and separate the wheat from the chaff and to discuss/argue various points with each other. Yahshua Himself also promised us that "They shall all be taught of God. So then everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to Me" John 6:45

              2. MickeySr profile image87
                MickeySrposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                DoubleScorpion,

                I'm not arguing with the dates and occurrences you reference from the historic record - as a high school dropout it would foolish for me to do so with a person who has earned a PhD. However, it would likewise be foolish for me to dismiss what I've learned from my own investigation and study. My point here is that many people do not properly read history, they do not examine the first-hand accounts and consider the circumstances under which the historic event took place - instead, many pick-up what another who they already agree with tells them happened. What I'm asserting here on this matter of the writing of the original autographs and the formation of the canon is that it follow the course that it followed . . . there didn't use to be a Bible different from ours or several Bibles all different from each other, and eventually some individual or committee decided the real Bible should be 'this' and that is how we got our Bible - that simply is not how it happened.

                The ancient church councils didn't add and subtract books and issue forth what they concocted as the Bible, as THE Bible. Rather they publicly and 'officially' endorsed what had already been accepted as Scripture by the multitude of congregations of Christians. There were always, and still are, some who want to insert 'this' book and/or remove 'that' book, or teach 'this' doctrine and not teach 'that' doctrine, etc - but authentic orthodoxy in church history has been by common consensus and perpetual agreement, not by overbearing individuals or movements nor by hierarchical pronouncements.

                MickeySr

                1. Evolution Guy profile image58
                  Evolution Guyposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  Please provide evidence, because you seem to be lying.

                  How did it "happen"? LOLOLOLOL

                2. DoubleScorpion profile image86
                  DoubleScorpionposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  I am not saying this to sound mean or to insult...But you might want to double check your research. It wasn't until late in the 4th or early 5th century that "the Church" (Catholic) determined the bible as we see it today. From the mid to late 1st century, there were many "sacred books" floating around and various ones were used by the different churches. We have no original documents, we only have copies of the original documents. The oldest document we have (to date) is from the 4th century. Yale University has video of the complete courses taught on both the old and new testament for free.

                  It is known from documentation that the early churches (from the 1st-the 4th century) used sacred texts that they had available or what they deemed as truth. And as I mention and showed in my last post that while some of the documents were the same, there were variances as well, depending on the church.

                  According to the majority of today's Theological Scholars, who have studied and researched these topics, using ancient and historical documentation, archeology and various other methods for many, many years, hold that what you have stated above is not correct or accurate.

                  You can disagree with me as much as you wish, but that doesn't change the fact that the biggest majority of Scholars agree with what I have stated, while none, that I am aware of, agree with your position.

                  1. MickeySr profile image87
                    MickeySrposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                    DoubleScorpion,

                    Perhaps we ought best count this as seeing things differently, even though we are dealing with historic facts, they are ancient facts that we do appear to collect and order and interpret to a different conclusion. You talk about the role of the Catholic Church in the 4th or early 5th century - I don't even see, historically & theologically, that there was a Roman Catholic Church in the 4th or 5th century. You seem to to follow a course that reckons that the official published documents of the various church councils tells the story of how and when the canon was constructed - I assert that the official published documents of the various church councils report on the official approval of the canon as the canon from what was already counted to be the canon by general church consensus. Again, if you refer to the first-hand documents of the day . . . I have on my shelves letters, sermons, commentaries, etc, by 1st, 2nd, etc, century Christians quoting from what they counted to be Scripture, and what they quote is not only from the books we today recognize as Scripture, but their quotes are quoting the same text as the text we have in our modern, English translations, of Scripture.

                    Again, I don't argue with any dates or occurrences you reference from the historic record - I'm saying that, when I move from the history books and read the actual documents of that day, my own impression is that, while there have always been some who made noises from the fringe, there has always been a broad consensus that the books we today count to be Scripture and the books we do not count to be Scripture were then counted to be Scripture and not counted to be Scripture . . . and I am not just being a private little goofball - there are many scholars and theologians who advance the same. As I say, I can read these early documents, including but also besides those issued by the church councils, for myself, I'm not just imagining or making this up.

                    MickeySr

    3. 60
      chrisjrposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Some Christians,and rightly so, are burdened by false doctrine, authentic Christianity etc. If you can't communicate with people to where they respect you enough to listen to you then you have a problem.  It's called American Christianity. People learn all types of doctrines. Doctrine is important.  Back in the 1920's in China There was a Christian bible school where new believers were eager to learn about the Bible.  When they go to the school they were surprised to find out that the first thing that they learned was't bible doctrine but how to communicate with people.  The name of the founder of this Bible college was Watchman Nee.The greatest Chinese evangelist that that time.

    4. jacharless profile image81
      jacharlessposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      MickeySr,
      "Normal Christianity" would in fact be a removal of instructions from all books, including the complied texts -in which ever translation- deemed biblical. The word itself practically demands this: meaning christ or anointing. And true anointing can only come from an altruistic heart, mind and body. Else, it is just pretend.

      James.

      1. MickeySr profile image87
        MickeySrposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        jacharless,

        Actually, 'normal' means "according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle" and as I'm using it, I am attaching it to Scripture and the historic orthodox understanding of the Scripture to be the 'norm'  . . . here, and on my hub, I'm asserting that 'regular, normal Christianity' is that teaching and practice of Christianity that is in accord with what the Bible presents as the truth and what the historic Christian church has understood the Bible to present as the truth.

        Now, when you say "true anointing can only come from an altruistic heart, mind and body" that seems to me to suggest that God anoints those He recognizes worthy of His anointing, which is, of course, the very opposite of what authentic Christianity teaches. I, personally, would instead say 'true anointing can only come from God's own determination to anoint and, based solely on the merits of Jesus' atonement, can only be received as a free gift by a repentant heart.'

        MickeySr

    5. TJenkins602 profile image60
      TJenkins602posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Of course Christendom is not Biblical

  2. 0
    Emile Rposted 5 years ago

    Interesting theory, however; the church would be the body that encompasses over thirty thousand sects with even more interpretations. Which portion of the church?  The 2.9% that are pentecostal? The Catholic church? The evangelicals? The moderates or the literalists?

    More than likely, you'll assume it's the one you are following. As does everyone else. So no. Your theory is tragically flawed.

    1. MickeySr profile image87
      MickeySrposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Emily,

      I don't personally count comments above to be a "theory" so much as a recognition of what is observable and demonstrable - but, that kind of gets to your point, doesn't it. We certainly all are most immediately, and convincingly, informed by our own perceptions, but there are, on this matter, some objective facts to consider.

      I don't promote a particular historic strain of Christianity because it happens to be the one I'm personally invested in - I am invested in the particular historic strain of Christianity that I observe to be the most Biblical, original, and ongoing historic strain of Christianity.

      With some 'strains' we can actually point to the individual and the date that they came to be. With some we can recognize the increasing deviation from the historic faith. And with some we can observe the return to some non or extra Biblical teaching from an earlier age. However, there are many today, and who have always been, who still believe essentially the same teaching the earliest documents of the Christian faith present as the truth.

      And, I simply do not at all agree with the popular notion that anyone can make the Bible appear to say whatever they want it to say - the Bible is a book, with pages and words, and it says what it says and does not say what it does not say, and it is discernible to the honest Spirit-filled reader what it presents as the truth . . . when a group comes along and asserts that 'true Christianity' teaches that Jesus and Satan are brothers, that God is your magic buddy who wants to shower you with material wealth, that there is any mediator between God and man besides Jesus, etc, etc, it can be demonstrated from Scripture that these are not God's truths but religious schemes concocted by men.

      If we can't actually know the truth, if God has provided us no revelation of His truth and given us no capacity to recognize and understand His truth, then, what's the point?

      MickeySr

      1. 0
        Emile Rposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        What's the point? The point is the search, in my opinion. I think there is revelation in parts of it, as there is some revelation in other religions. I think there are some self serving inclusions by men, as in other religions. I do agree on one point, although you might not see it as agreement. I think if your heart is in the right place you will find the good within any religious text and incorporate it into your life view.

        The problem with organized religion is it makes you swallow what you know in your heart to be wrong because the church insists on it and after a while, you can't see it as wrong anymore. Power corrupts. Christianity has suffered two thousand years of corruption. The powers that be within it are no longer to be trusted.

        1. MickeySr profile image87
          MickeySrposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Emile,

          We see things a bit differently. I believe there is an objective, real truth and while the search itself is part of the process of embracing that truth, there is an end, a consequence that is 'the point'.

          I believe 'religion' and 'revelation' represent two antagonistic circumstances; religion is man's attempt to discover and appease God - revelation is God unveiling eternal truth to man. If you read my profile account you'll see I was not raised a Christian and no one proselytized me - I was interested to see what all religions presented in their teaching and I found that all religions present essentially the same basic ideas about God and man, etc - the Bible alone presented a fully unique, and exactly contrary, idea from the variety of religions man has concocted. 

          While I agree that many people swallow whatever organized religion they happen to be attached to or romantically pursue calls them to shallow,  I disagree that 'organized religion makes you swallow' anything . . . religious beliefs and association is voluntary and no one has to believe or practice what a religious leader or creed instructs them to believe and practice (of course there are, and have been, cultures where folks were compelled, etc, but I am speaking to you about our contemporary American experience).

          As you speak of "if your heart is in the right place" and "what you know in your heart" I, again, think we simply see things very differently . . . I imagine (and I recognize I do not know) that you evaluate and assign legitimacy to spiritual ideas as your feelings inside inform you - I have come to trust that the Bible is God's own revelation of eternal truth and I assign legitimacy to those ideas I find presented in it.

          I detest religion, I follow no religious leader and do not adopt the teaching of any religious group - the Bible tells me that God has provided a means by which we can know Him and fellowship with Him, and that those who God adopts to be His own, through the atonement of Jesus of Nazareth, He fills with His own Spirit and they need not that any man teach them . . . I do not subordinate myself to any assumed 'power' within Christendom, I voluntarily fellowship with spirit-filled believers and trust the word of God alone as the only source of authoritative truth.

          MickeySr

          1. 0
            Emile Rposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            That might be true of a person that calls themselves Christian that does not associate with any given sect, but it does not hold true for church goers.  Not by my observation.



            So, you do not allow for others to be (as you put it) 'filled with the spirit', unless that filling agrees with your take on things. Sounds like a power grab to me.



            And yet, just a few sentences earlier you were telling me what I should think and that I should trust the revelation as you have seen it.  Sounds vaguely like the way a church insists that everyone in their congregation toe the line. I don't have to follow a particular sect's creed; just yours?



            I find it odd that you disagree and then argue some of the same points I made previously.
            You appear to follow your heart, the only difference is you expect others to follow your heart too.  Spirituality doesn't work that way.  Organized religion does, which is why it is wrong.

            1. MickeySr profile image87
              MickeySrposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              Emile,

              It seems to me that your are approaching me, not taking me as I present myself to be, but you are dealing with your own assumptions and not with me at all. Please show me where I am "telling me (you) what I (you) should think" and when I declared that "you (I) expect others to follow your (my) heart too"? And, to assert that not subordinating yourself to assumed 'powers' within Christendom, but rather voluntarily fellowshipping with spirit-filled believers and trusting the word of God alone as the only source of authoritative truth "does not hold true for church goers" is a giant, sweeping, blanket accusation. I have been involved with local congregations of believers who did not subordinate themselves to assumed 'powers' within Christendom, but rather voluntarily fellowshipped with spirit-filled believers and trusted the word of God alone as the only source of authoritative truth - because it's not your guess that such a thing is possible from your own personal observation and private interpretation certainly doesn't make it so.

              Emile, the very faults you charge me with you are practicing here - you said "the point is the search" but you invalidate my search without even knowing me or havening any familiarity with my experience, you say "there is revelation in parts of it" but I guess it's you who gets to determine for me and the rest of us which parts are legitimate revelation, and you announce the problem with "organized religion is it makes you swallow what you know in your heart to be wrong" . . . whatever your (Romanism?) experience may have been again that is a rather is a giant, sweeping, blanket accusation.

              Emile, it seems to me that our discussion has a combative tone that I have no interest to maintain - I wasn't telling you what you should think any more than you were telling me what I should, I thought we were both sharing our own understand . . . my impression (and I could easily be wrong) is that you feel an openness to any religious notion one might have, except the orthodox Christian faith based on the Bible, and that you have registered me as 'one of those types' without really knowing me at all.

              As I said, please show me where I am "telling me (you) what I (you) should think" and when I declared that "you (I) expect others to follow your (my) heart too"?

              MickeySr

              1. 0
                Emile Rposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                You said   I have come to trust that the Bible is God's own revelation of eternal truth and I assign legitimacy to those ideas I find presented in it.

                This is your attempt to negate my statement, while validating it; but only for yourself. You are 'seeing' eternal truths that you decide to assign legitimacy too. You choose which you decide to assign legitimacy to and you are arguing that this is 'Christianity'. Your truth. As long as you argue the point, you are attempting to make me see your truth. You are attempting to give your ideas legitimacy by falling back and saying your opinion becomes truth because it is how you interpret the Word of God. This is no different than if I was sitting in a pew of a church. You are, in essence, another sect of Christianity.

                Those who listen to you and accept your argument are then following 'your truth'. Your interpretation of the text. It is the same within any sect. They follow what others have decided the Bible says.

                You are arguing from personal experience and observation, yet you chastise me for doing the same? Am I to accept your word for it and turn a blind eye to my own experience? I'm not religious. I don't follow blindly.

                I do not invalidate your search in any way but to tell you it is your search. And yours alone.  It becomes a problem when you start using words like universal.  That immediately says that you have decided what you think others should think. What others should believe.  The use of that word steps on everyone's toes that doesn't agree with you. 

                You asked a question and I answered it.  Yes, I do think there are parts that are revelation and parts that aren't. Do we have to agree? No. That doesn't negate your belief.  It is a difference of opinion. But it is something that believers can't understand because they believe their opinion is God.  It isn't. It is an opinion.

                As to where I said you are attempting to tell me what to think, I refer you again to the top of this post. By arguing that your interpretation is God's revelation is saying that to not agree with you is going against the Word of God and calling it eternal truth says, in essence, that what I believe is a lie.  It isn't. It's my opinion. Just as yours is.

                1. MickeySr profile image87
                  MickeySrposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  Emile,

                  You stated that I was attempting to tell you what you should think, and I asked you where I have done this - you answered  "As to where I said you are attempting to tell me what to think, I refer you to and then you quoted me saying "I imagine (and I recognize I do not know) that you evaluate and assign legitimacy to spiritual ideas as your feelings inside inform you - I have come to trust that the Bible is God's own revelation of eternal truth and I assign legitimacy to those ideas I find presented in it" - Emile, when I said that I assign legitimacy to the Bible, I was clearly not asserting that I myself have some authority to assign such legitimacy for others, I was saying that you base what you count to be legitimate on one thing and I base what I count to be legitimate on another. I do not see anywhere in our chat here where I have attempted to tell you what to think, or suggested that you you think more like me..

                  You then say "I do not invalidate your search in any way but to tell you it is your search. And yours alone.  It becomes a problem when you start using words like universal." again, please show me where and how I used the word "universal" . . ? Emile, I think you have some well defined and rigid view of anyone who identifies himself to be a Christian, and you simply cannot conceive that I am not just like what you assume me to be - you are battling me on points I am not battling over. I am not telling you what you should think, I am not telling you that you should think more like me, and I am not saying or suggesting that whatever conclusion I come to hold is some objective and universal truth for everybody else. You are swatting at your own assumptions about what Christians must certainly be like. 

                  Show me where and how I used the word "universal".

                  MickeySr

                  1. 0
                    Emile Rposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                    You are correct. I assumed the word universal. However, when I suggested that your OP was your theory, you attempted to correct me that this was actually fact by stating that it was a recognition of what is observable and demonstrable. You then go on to share what your perception  of Christianity is and argue that the spirit filled believer can see what you see. This says to me that you are claiming your truth as universal and any opposing argument blind to the truth.

                    Then you say I believe there is an objective, real truth and while the search itself is part of the process of embracing that truth,

                    Is that not an argument that there is one truth? Would not one truth be universal?

                    You also state I have come to trust that the Bible is God's own revelation of eternal truth and I assign legitimacy to those ideas

                    Would not the ideas you assign as God's revelation of eternal truth equate to your expectations of what truth should be defined as by others?

                    I was the first to use the word universal, but I think you introduced the concept into the dialogue.

  3. recommend1 profile image70
    recommend1posted 5 years ago

    The point is that with the so-called 'word' so widely interpreted in such weird and bigoted ways it has clearly lost any authority it might have had.

    About time too.  The misuse of a simple story has contributed to most of the really bad stuff for the last 2000 years.

    1. MickeySr profile image87
      MickeySrposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      recommend1,

      The word, the Bible, has not at all lost any authority with a great many men throughout every age. Those who abuse it for their own interests, those who haphazardly handle it, and all those enamored with "weird and bigoted" falsehoods so concocted and promoted suggest no grasp of authoritative truth, and they have certainly caused much harm over the last 2,000, or, 6,000 years - but the popular notion that authentic Bible-based Christianity has done more harm than anything else in the last 2,000 years is an ill-informed and ludicrous accusation.

      It was "weird and bigoted" religiosity, not Bible-based Christianity, that was behind the oft referenced Crusades, various wars and oppressions, etc - Bible-based Christianity was busy building orphanages and hospitals, it was ending the slave trade and and advancing the state of women, it was conceiving and establishing the idea of free public schooling for everyone and trade unions and job retraining and the clear and divided roles between church and state, etc, etc, etc.

      To just announce a blanket accusation (I'm not asserting this is what you did, I'm addressing a larger public recurring ploy) that Christianity has done more harm, etc, etc, is an ill-informed and ludicrous accusation.

      MickeySr

      1. recommend1 profile image70
        recommend1posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I have to point out that you are using the most often used 'ploy' in your assertions that those people who carried out all the bad stuff were not 'christians'.  You are clearly promoting your own particular brand of interpretation over all the others. 

        We are constantly subjected to repulsive homophobic threads from christians and bible justified bigotry in all its worst forms.  They all claim to be christian and you can object as much as you like but they are just as much christian as you.

        1. MickeySr profile image87
          MickeySrposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          recommend1,

          I understand your charge and you frustration - but try to imagine this from my point-of-view:

          I don't follow some religion, I don't adhere to some hierarchical decree, I count no man or organization as my authority, etc - I read in the Bible what it is I believe to be the truth, and I find in history a whole strain of men from all ages who find in it what I find, apart from denominational attachments and the sway of one or another era's culture I agree with a multitude of 3rd century noblemen, 11the century French peasant girls, 18th century theologians, etc, etc, understand to be Christianity . . . and we all stand more urgently opposed to the brutality, oppression, and belligerence by those who identify themselves as 'Christian' yet teach something wholly different than what we understand the Bible to present as Christian than any 'anti-Christian' folks or skeptics, etc, on the planet.

          Yet, we regularly hear this same popular accusation, that Christians are the ones doing all these evil things (that we as Christians detest) and that if we say those people and groups are not Christians then who are we to say that only we are the real Christians, etc. Consider this; say you are a Democrat and another faults you for that association, saying that George Bush was a mess and that since before Reagan's Democratic administration the Demonstrates have always, etc, etc - wouldn't you say "But Bush was not at all a Democrat, Bush & Reagan were both Republicans not Democrats", and wouldn't you be expressing a sound and legitimate understanding of the matter?

          Because everyone has a right to believe whatever they prefer to believe, and because what we believe is an internal private concern, many seen to misapply that circumstance into asserting that anyone can say that anything means whatever they want it to mean, that all of us have every right to call ourselves a 'Christian', no matter what we assert that to mean. If I said I am a Hindu and starting telling you that you must accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior wouldn't you tell me that I was not at all presenting you with Hindu teaching?   

          The notion that anyone can make the Bible say whatever they want it to say, that it is so mystically obscure that it could mean anything, is simply an ill-informed, self-serving falsehood. If a pope-king tells men that as Christians they must follow his instruction and go slaughter Muslims, that is not a Christian effort merely because the said pope calls himself and his church 'Christian' and it is not indiscernible if the Bible supports such an effort or not - my first question would be, where in the Bible do we get any such notion that there is to be any such thing as a pope?

          Again, if I said your type, Democrats, are so terribly conservative in your views, that you need to embrace the more liberal view of the Republicans, wouldn't you assert that there is an objective reality here that is being distorted, and that you are not conservative at all? 

          MickeySr

  4. Jerami profile image78
    Jeramiposted 5 years ago

    All people that call themselves Christian do so because they were taught to call themselves Christian.
    We are taught that "IF"  our beliefs conform enough to the standard we can call ourselves a Christian.

      I believe in electricity and have a basic understanding of how it works.

      Does that mean that I am an electrician?

      Do I believe those things that Jesus said? (those things written in red) Or ... do I believe someone elses interpretation of those things?

      In Matthew 24:34 ;  Jesus said "THIS" generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled, but no one knows what day or hour, only God does!

       This is like me saying to you; "THIS" day I will give back to you those things that I have borrowed from you,  but I do not know what hour or minute, no one does.

       We interpret the word of God to conform to our beliefs.
    How right is that?

  5. KiandraRutledge profile image76
    KiandraRutledgeposted 5 years ago

    I think if anyone sits down a read the bible from the beginning to the end, they would definitely walk away seeing a STRONG difference in the way the early Christians worshipped and the way the church operates today.  I love God and I will love and worship him to the day that I die.  But I will not lie and say the church is not doing things that are not pleasing to God and though I know you can't expect perfection from any establishment including the church, I think some people need to leave their church if they find that it's not teaching things that are pleasing to God.

    1. MickeySr profile image87
      MickeySrposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      KiandraRutledge,

      I imagine you are referring to all kinds of goofy and ugly things churches and church people do, but even the way we do church itself - I mean, I wonder how many church folk ever stop, I mean stop dead in their tracks, and wonder 'Is this at all even close to what church is supposed to be like? Are we supposed to come here and sit as an audience, is there even supposed to be sermons?!' . . . how much do we do merely because that's the way it's done - not because we've honestly and thoroughly considered and examined if that's the way it should be, but only because that's the way it is . . ?

      MickeySr

      1. Disappearinghead profile image88
        Disappearingheadposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        It's not just what the churches do or don't do, it's what they preach these days. It's the erroneous doctrines that were unknown to the 1st Century Church; doctrines developed between the 2nd and 4th Centuries by absorbing pagan concepts have been in the Church so long, that they are accepted as Christian. Such as:
        - The immortal human spirit.
        - Ascending to Heaven immediately upon death or descending into a pagan inspired Hell.
        - Original sin.
        - The Trinity.

        Then we have all the new ideas such as:
        - The Word of Faith movement
        - The Prosperity Gospel
        - The 'Getting drunk on the new wine of the Holy Spirit'.
        - The Christian tithe which is a complete bastardisation of the tithe in the OT.

        All these things are reasons why I left the Church.

        1. Jerami profile image78
          Jeramiposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Disappearinghead
          Ascending to Heaven immediately upon death or descending into a pagan inspired Hell.

          -----
              me

              all Very good points.  But I'll address only this one.
          As it is written, after the second coming,AND  after the 1st resurrection,     Rev. 14:13 Write blessed are the dead that die in the Lord Henceforth, that they may rest from their labors and their works do follow them.

             Sounds to me that after the 1st resurrection, when a person dies they do go straight to heaven.
             As many people here in forums already know; I believe the second coming, as written is scripture, has already taken place; about the time John received the Revelation (96 AD)
             And the first resurrection happened around 900 AD.  When the sixth trumpet was sounded, 
            This would explain the sudden and drastic change in the story line of Rev.
            At that time it is necessary to flash back in time and fill in many details of things which happened up until this time.

          And when the first bowl judgment was poured out (Rev 16:2)  The Black death killed something between 1/3 to 2/3  of the population of Europe and Asia.

        2. MickeySr profile image87
          MickeySrposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Disappearinghead,

          I think the ideas of the immortal human spirit, ascending to Heaven immediately upon death or descending into a pagan inspired Hell, original sin, the Trinity, etc, are a very different set of ideas than the word of faith movement, the prosperity gospel, getting drunk on the new wine of the Holy Spirit', etc, as far as historic orthodoxy with archaeological and document evidence is concerned . . . and I realize you did distinguish them in two groupings, but I mean conclusion-wise, as to their legitimacy within Biblical Christianity, they are very different issues altogether.

          And again, this is very much what my hub is all about - setting forth what is too often embraced today as Christianity in light of the historic Biblical faith.

          MickeySr

          1. Disappearinghead profile image88
            Disappearingheadposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Hi Mickey, I shall look forward to reading your hub.

  6. 60
    robertm12posted 5 years ago

    Yes there have to be sermons! They have to say something after they have raped your checking account. I guess it would be better if you could just drop off your check and skip the nonsense.

  7. Jerami profile image78
    Jeramiposted 5 years ago

    MickeySr
       I don't understand how it is possible to look within yourself when you are  from patching different scriptures together, as many do. I don't see how you can reduce inner conflict by following ideas that fly in the face of reality.

    = - = - = - =

       constantly reading old books and trying to ferret out secret truth???

       The only reason for doing so is to ferret out false teachings and misinterpretations of which different church’s have been teaching thousands of sense its beginning.  Lets remember, how many totally opposite interpretations has been accepted as "THE" Truth!

       It is written that even the very elect will be fooled.
    This will be done with subtly, not with a blatant "In your Face" opposition of the word of God.

      When we believe anything ...  We can prove it to be true by trying to prove it wrong.   If we can't?  THEN it is more likely to be true
      If we do not want to challenge that which we believe,
      We might not believe it as much as we would like to.
      If our faith is strong,   "IT"  can stand up to the test. Not US  but  IT can.

 
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