How does one differentiate God's doctrine and man's?
I noticed that throughout the centuries, people like Buddha, Mohammed, Mahatma Ghandi, and a few others talk about kindness and love for one another. But at what point does one recognize that some teachings are not inspirational? Beside, how does one know that stealing is bad without the use of scriptures?
Without the scriptures one won't know that stealing is bad. Some would probably say that upbringing and/or conscience should help us know that there are things, like stealing, that are wrong. But one's upbringing or conscience will only take them so far.
Through his word the Bible. John 17:17, Sanctify them by means of the truth; your word is truth.
The Bible has only one interpretation, man has many. Let scripture interpret scripture and you can do that by doing as 1 John 4:1, suggest,
'Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God, because many false prophets have gone forth into the world'.
So test, make sure, examine that what you learn is in fact from God and not from man.
The only addition I'd like to add is that it's important to not base one's beliefs upon just one or two Bible verses but rather to have an understanding and knowledge of the entire New Testament so that specific teachings can be placed in their proper context.An example is this verse that if interpreted literally seems to be an advocacy for violence which certainly is the position of most of our political leaders who are spending billions of dollars to engage in morally bankrupt violence in Iraq and Afghanistan:
Matthew 10:34 (New King James Version)
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.
To verify what appears to be sinful behavior,there are several steps to take.First one can search for other New Testament statements on swords.Having done that,you will find this seemingly contradictory statement:
Matthew 26:52 (New King James Version)
But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.
To resolve this apparent conflict it will help to look for the first verse in another translation to see if there is another way to interpret the word "sword".This search will bring you to this:
Matthew 10:34(Contemporary English Version)
Don't think that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came to bring trouble, not peace.
Finally to obtain the correct understanding of the Bible,it's important to read related verses before and after the verse you are studying.If you do that,you will obtain the correct interpretation of the controversial verse 34.
Matthew 10:34-37 (Contemporary English Version)
34 Don't think that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came to bring trouble, not peace. 35 I came to turn sons against their fathers, daughters against their mothers, and daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law. 36Your worst enemies will be in your own family. 37If you love your father or mother or even your sons and daughters more than me, you are not fit to be my disciples.
If you really want to know if stealing or killing is bad, simply look at how society treats thos caught breaking these laws. Jail is no picnic.
God has no doctrine. There is no written rule book. Any man who writes one will claim it is the word of God. This has been happening for thousands of years.
Proton66 let me ask you a question: What if I came to your house and stole everything inside. How would that make you feel?
You measure morality by two things: Scripture and how your actions affect others. The latter is the answer to your question.
"Everything is permissible but not everything is benefical."
If you find happiness in some else stealing your treasures, then you may approve stealing. Then this could be your doctrine. Unfortunately, this is not the case for most of us. What you do to others will come back to you. Therefore, I rather not steal. God understands that this is my choice. God has given me free will and his law is that one will experience what he creates. So one steals or loves another, he or she will be in the receiving end of this experience. God is merely the observer of your creation and its end result to the one who has created it.
The is why Jesus said to his followers love your neighbor as you love yourself. So steal from others if you only want others to steal from you. Love your neighbor only if you prefer others to love you. The choice is yours.
Thanks everyone for your input.
I am fascinated with the fact that throughout the centuries people have come up with teachings that sound like the Bible but once you read on further, somethings do sound valid but are not true. Some examples, baptism, infant; gay people, need to love them; God, not flesh; fruit in the garden of Eden, is an apple; man, ape ancestry and man's existence, is 10000 yrs ago. All these are intertwined with theories or hypothesis which opens up much discussion for debate.
Other than that, we have rules to follow. Do we know right off the back that certain actions are wrong? I don't think so. Unless we are told, we will do whatever feels good, and not even know it's not right. But how does one really know the act they are committing is out of line? Do we know by getting whipped (as child) or being grounded? Do we know once we're in jail?
Understanding God is not dependant on how good a study student you are. God does not require an above average intelligence with a wonderful note taking ability, neither does he want us to rely in our own efforts.
Often this is the problem and not the solution.
You have heard many christians say.. Its a relationship walk with God. I have a relationship with God.
This is the key.
God reveals his word. Scriptures open up and become defined and cross referenced by the power and permission of God, also the daily revelations Christians often get during the day or night out of the blue that God gives.
Often people who study the bible are not in relationship with God. The relationship with God does not take God out of the equation but puts God smack dab in the middle of the equation so He can teach his word and ways to his believer.
When you get a blatant wrong doctrine it is the connection with God that is faulty. When doctrine contradicts the bible the believer needs to get in touch with God and seek the proper answer.
it's called morals. we don't need religion or scriptures to tell us that stealing is wrong, or murder is wrong or violence is wrong. between morals and common sense it's actually pretty simple.
God doctrine flow from the heart and is tried by Truth.
men doctrine flows from men and tried by their companions.
Many Masters tell the same things if we only listen to their words. Jesus was but one of them. He also said that all the laws he put in the minds and hearts of everyone. So we all know morals and ethics when they are needed. Children know good from bad from a very early age. It comes back to them what they do. God is an energy and could care less what we do or don't do. The Laws of Nature was put down for everything from the very beginning and that is what everything lives with--not only humans. Everything is inspirational but it depends on how you use that because whatever you do with it it will come back to you in one way or another and in it's own time.
If one needs religion to tell them what is right or wrong then they are psychopathic in nature.
God is a human invention anyway... a cheap excuse to ease superstition and control the ignorant.
There is no such thing as "God's doctrine". The idea derives from fiction and superstition.
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