I have been all over the world in my short 41 years and lately it is a burning question in my heart, why do we Christians hide behind the titles of denominaltional and nondenominational christianity, Catholic,Baptist,Muslim,and we have more things in common than not in our belief in God and His salvation, could we spend one day gay, straight, tranvestite, homeless or affluent children of the one true God? Does God say in the Bible or Quaran we are suppose to disapprove of our brothers and sisters because we don't agree on how we got to loving the one true God? Are we suppose to shune and disallow gays in the fold if they "don't want deliverance", this is what I have been taught but I can't find anywhere in the Word of God that says anyone who loves God, HIs Son and believes God raised Jesus ( Romans 10:9,10)from the dead can't be apart of the One Body of Christ?
When I was sixteen, I traveled to Washington DC for a leadership program. I was a Bay Area native, and even though I was raised in Catholic schools, I had experienced a very "liberal" upbringing. There were several students from all over the country at this conference. One of these students happened to be a 16 year old boy from the middle of the bible belt: South Carolina. He was a "born again" Christian who made it clear from day one that he believed in Jesus Christ and that he wanted to save his brothers and sisters from eternal damnation. I immediately was drawn to this character, since I naturally have always liked to challenge closed-minded people to open up their minds. This Southern boy told me that the only way an individual could make it to heaven was if that person knew and accepted Jesus in their life. Intrigued by his response, I asked him if he believed that Jesus was God. He said yes. I proceeded to ask him is he believed that "God is love." He said yes. I then pushed him further to make the connection and I said: So is it not possible that if a person knows and accepts love in their life, that they are also accepting God and ultimately Jesus into their life as well? At this point his argument faltered, he did not know how to respond to what I had claimed to be possible. He conceded that it was possible but tried to reword his claims. Even so, I think I struck an important point with him.
The "God is love" argument is the basis of my views on all religions. I believe that, at their heart, all religions promote love as their core value. Justice, tolerance, and charity are all values that flow outwards from the most basic value of love. No matter what religion a person practices, if they do so in the nature of love, then they are doing so in the nature of God. No one knows exactly what God is, everyone has different ideas about the nature of God. To me the love that unites all people and all living things, the empathy and compassion that flows from love, is what "God' truly is. God is everywhere around us. It is a shame that many modern religions distract us and blind us from this fact, focusing too much on tradition and dogma. At it's very essence, religion is not about these things. It is about love.
In response to your questions about gays and tolerance, I have written a blog on this topic that discredits the homophobic stance of Christians as being inherently un-Christ-like. I hope you will check it out!
danidebold, you make a very strong argument and a well stated case. I happen to agreed with you wholeheartedly. It's too bad so many people seem to be altogether too eager to argue their righteousness. I think that is ultimately their downfall and works mostly to discredit their points-of-views.
I will quote Funkadelic here, now. For all those Saducees and Pharisees:
call: "Free your mind and your @$$ will follow!"
response: "The kingdom of Heaven is within!"
(this is what I will term "throwing the ball home from left field")
I agree with your above words, except that the Cretor-God exists everywhere with his attributes as He is neither a physical body nor a spirit; all physical bodies and spirits are His creation.
Another thing is that the institution of marriage is only to have off-spring; to continue existing; humans are sometimes errant though; and for that the Creator-God is All-Forgiving if we ask forgiveness from Him.
You are right. It says quite the opposite. The other Gods are from but one God. The different gifts of prophecy are from the one God. Not sure what deliverance has to do with it either? Deliverance from not seeing our true nature I would imagine? That would appear to mean that whilst we are one body we may not see it.
The body is not splintered. Is the right arm the left arm and not both the right and left arm needed? Yes we have denominations which can quickly be sorted out.
The ones that believe Jesus was raised, is the son of God and have come to the father through jesus via the salvation process are the body.
People who come up another way are thieves and robbers.
This is as it should be. There has always been one way to God, a repentant heart.
The early church has several churches, in ephesis, rome, corinth, etc and did not each have its own particular problem? We have denominations today and millions of christians are the problems solved? Nope.
That is as it should be.
Each person comes to christ through their hearts, there is no other way, the heart is the center of the body and from it can defile or edify a person.
Churches will always be un-unified because each section sees to a certain point and stops there, one church seeing more than the other in a progressive revelation of new doctrine. Thank goodness we are far from the catholic supremacy.
When christians come together from here and there is there not laughter, joy, lightheartedness. Do we not festival well together? This is the body together. We can not always be together all the time that is physically impossible. So the church era has some flaws but God deals with the hearts. In this way the body works as a whole in different locations around the globe.
Paul even says the ear (baptist) cannot be the foot (pentacostal) but all work together to bring forth the bride of Christ.
Love one another says it all.
My point is we wouldn't try to "save" each other, we are already are but we hide behind doctinal differences. Now I'm not so naive to think we all could come together doctrinally...but what if for one day we could have a good sample of all people rejoicing together in the fact if nothing else that we are going to spend eternity together. So...... Hi, my name's Beth, what's your? Tell me about yourself, wow you are a born agan believer maybe I should get to know you now. Could we find enough courage for one day?
sounds like a good idea if about half of EM could me plane ole atheists and the other half was plane ole believers... now that might be a trip worth paying for.
If there wasn't any zealots from either side present.
I'd probably buy a ticket to see that.
especially if they talked about religion.
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