What is a Christian?
I have been reading through the religious forum since I joined this site. Which means; I have been listening to other people's thoughts on the subject more over the last month than I have ever had cause to in my life; since most people don't talk about religion in the circles I move in.
I've read the scriptures, have my own views on what they mean and it appears from reading the posts of other Christians that I am clearly out of sync with what may be mainstream Christianity.
Where is your line in the sand, as to who can claim to be a Christian? Must they:
a. Believe only Christians go to heaven
b. Believe non believers go to hell
c. Believe that prayers are always heard and answered (even if the answer is no)
d. Believe every word in the scriptures is inspired by God (even when Paul is talking)
e. Believe in a Rapture
f. Believe the earth is around 7000 years old
g. Believe God created the earth and all that is in it and evolution is not, in any way, involved in the process.
Or do you believe, as I do, that it is not necessary to believe any of this and you are a Christian as long as you trust in God and the truth of the Resurrection; and try to be a better person.
If you chose to answer, please do not quote scripture to justify your stand, except to name the chapter and verse. I am pretty sure we all have Bibles and anyone reading your response is going to look it up to verify anyway, so there's no reason to waste the energy typing. Thanks.
I guess this is met for Christian, honest question like yours dose deserve honest answers. I live with so many contradictions and wrong translation among 2000 disagreeable version of the bible.
Your main answer will end up you got to have faith, which is not good enough for me, but is good enough for my pastor brother.
You’re just too curious and honest for your main stream Christian, just_curious.
I've got faith. I've just never paid much attention to main stream Christianity. Most of what I have read is so far removed from what I believe. Probably why I avoid churches. I'm just curious what main stream Christians think is necessary.
Im pretty sure your considered a christian if you believe in jesus. Now, weather or not your percieved as a "good christian" i think is up to the scrutiny of other christians.
If he follows Jesus in his footsteps then he should not care much for the scrutiny of other chirstians who mostly follow Paul and the Church and are mislead people. Jesus is the model; not Paul or the Church.
I think you're right, but I was curious as to where some people draw their line in the sand. So many Christians are so sure other Christians are headed to the dark side in the after life, with all of the rest of the world in their opinion. They make heaven sound like an exclusive country club. But, I didn't see many posts with too many strings attached, so I guess that's good.
Ye must be born again; believe that Christ sacrificed His life so that you have the opportunity to be saved; repent of your sins and accept Him into your heart; confess with your mouth that He is Lord of your life.
I think the basics of continuing that walk with Jesus are, and the fundamentals of what is termed "Christianity" are:
God is one God, the Creator, existing in three inseparable but distinct manifestations--Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
He loved mankind so much that He sent His Son Jesus, the only pure, sinless, acceptable Sacrifice, to die on the Cross for us.
The Bible is the inspired and Holy word of God, both Old and New Testament. (Yes, even Paul's writings).
Jesus is the only way to obtain eternal life in heaven with God; He will return again someday to take His children home with Him, and to Judge the rest.
There is a heaven where a place is prepared for those who follow Christ, and there is a hell where all unbelievers will go if they do not repent before they die.
Hope I haven't left out any relevant points...
The answers to your other points are not necesarily irrelevant, but are easy if you actually are a born again Bible-believing Christian.
I will add water baptism following the new birth. A Christian will be baptized, or at least have the desire to be baptized as Jesus was.
Another commandment, or oracle as it's sometimes called, that's sometimes overlooked is foot-washing, washing the brethren's feet.
Ok, but out of curiosity, the other points you call not necessarily irrelevant; what do you think a Bible serving Christian believes in those. I would assume to serve the Bible would be relevant.
I'm not sure what you mean by "Bible-serving".....
We serve Christ/God.
We believe the Bible is His Holy word, indeed.
...If you read the Bible, the other points will be answered.....
There will be a "rapture", yes. But Christians sometimes disagree as to specifically how and when that will occur.
The young earth....yes, the Bible confirms that belief. Or at least, a "young civilization".......in other words, we don't believe there were "cavemen, neanderthals who didn't have the ability to speak and think on human terms...
We believe prayers, yes, are always heard; but not always answered like we wish; the Bible says we often pray "amiss"....
We (mainstream Christians I guess, as you referred to) do not believe in evolution the way it's so famously defined and debated about, no. We believe God is indeed Creator of heaven and earth. No, we didn't evolve from apes or other animal forms; humans are special creatures with the ability to make a connection with God through Jesus Christ; and God even made the connection with humans before Christ was "born".
The only "evolution" that's a Christian belief would perhaps be the fact that God set everything in motion. All things stem from His thoughts and hand and authority. There was no "big bang" that just happened out of the blue without God ordaining it.
Ok, I was a little confused for a minute, but to clarify; when you say Christ was born, you are talking the human form not His eternal existence as the Word of God. Correct?
Oh, sorry about the Bible serving. I thought that is what you said. I see you said believing instead.
Christ was with the Father in the beginning; Christ is part of the Godhead. Yes, I was talking about His natural birth from Mary's womb...
Which reminds me, that's another basic belief of Christianity, the virgin birth of course. I dunno why I didn't put that in there in the first place....I guess I'm getting tired; been a long day.
Paul was the propagandist for the Romans who wanted to have a nice little theory of the trinity. Show me any place in the bible which mentions this or even alludes to anything similar.
If God is one, then he is one... not three.
I've never said He is three. He is One. One, but able to manifest in whatever form He wants to! And He has manifested in the forms of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. I know this is a hard concept for many to understand. I just don't understand WHY it's so hard for them!
Anyhow, there are Scriptures that show this. Matter of fact, the whole jist of the Bible proves that very concept.
I would like to see those scriptures. i have never seen anything that mentions the trinity in the bible. I honestly don't think they exist.
I think that if Jesus Christ knew about the lies Paul came out with he would weep.
So, following your logic, if God is capable to manifest Himself in any form, it is conceivable to believe that the Hindu manifestations of Him are all right, yes?
Talk to any sensible Hindu and he doesn't refer to the plethora of blue faced deities, he refers to God
who wrote the bible you say they were inspired by holy spirit o.k then how inspired the those mens who compiled the new and old testament to be a chrishtian you must be a blind beliver other it will be very much difficult you if you scratch under the hood lets have fun this is my site http://www.blockstatus.com/funny-pictures forget your salvation. see you in hell
I'm no longer a christian, but will try to answer a few points:
hell - some christians don't believe in hell (more recently); most do & use it as a point for recruitment out of fear
young earth - many christians now accept an ancient earth and many also accept evolution (but say God did it)
literal interpretation of bible - the fundies do this (and also apply verses to themselves). Many other christians don't take the bible literally, and can appreciate that it is written by men in a different time & different culture/time
Christians disagree about many more points other than these, hence the numerous denominations
Well, I suppose that's good to know. I was beginning to think maybe I was expected to believe all that. I'm just curious what the main stream belief is. I can't seem to get a handle on who's in the main stream. I'd hate to have to start visiting churches for a head count with a checklist for their pastor to fill out.
don't have to follow the crowd. You have to figure out for yourself what makes sense to you
I do go my own way. But I just hate some of the conversations here. I don't believe in hell and I think some beliefs would be impossible to have. I only wonder how firm people think they have to be on them, to call themselves Christian.
Curiosity is going to kill me one day.
I do find many of the christians on Hub Pages to be more aggressive & intolerant than most christians I know.
But maybe they're just vocalising what the others believe?
I hope you're as wrong about them as I hope I am about the two or three aggressive atheists. They confuse me as much as this does.
yep, there are a few aggressive, intolerant atheists. There are also some that are just straight-up and get accused of being hateful, when they're not.
I've been called names like Satan by some of the more aggressive 'christians', because they don't like hearing truth. They also say I could never have been a 'true' christian, because if I had been I would never have given it away
I'm very sorry. I don't understand how anyone could consider such behavior a good reflection on their faith. I've come to my beliefs simply through trying to understand the meaning behind the text. If it doesn't make you more peaceful and happy, I wouldn't think it would be a good basis for a way of life.
I don't see how they think they are 'witnessing' by acting so appallingly, yet proclaiming to have better morals. There are people on both sides that aren't curious about trying to understand why & how people tick - they just want to upset people from the outset.
I'm not tolerant of those that turn up with an 'all atheists are evil' rant - there's a 'christian' hubber than seems polite and popular at first glance, but is rather nasty like this - very close-minded & aggressive. Several are all looking for satan & demons everywhere too - these people are delusional in my opinion.
Some people do get easily offended eg when a few of us were joking about Noah's ark - some people took it very personally. Suppose what is humour to some is deeply offensive to others.
You seem like a more 'balanced' person than many of the others, and mostly open-minded (but perhaps getting confused by everyone's opinions?)
No, I wouldn't say getting confused. Maybe sad. This environment, disembodied voices, should let you say what's on your mind. I know, at times my posts appear a little crazy, but to anyone here I'm simply four cats hanging out a window. I can do what I want. I do not see how what some could want, in their minds, to hate.
The only action other than thought right now is the fact that we're typing. It seems odd to me that what we say would contain any semblance of intolerance, or underlying hatred. Sure we argue. I take some ridiculous stands now and then. These are, most times, simply to try and measure the level of sincerity of the other person posting. I find the level of intolerance appalling. The size of some of our egos are bizarrely gargantuan.
I believe, sincerely, in the value of everyone. Whether we can type, swype, or put our words together in a coherent pattern; other opinions matter, and I am curious to hear them. There's a lot to learn about where we stand in our journey as a global society here.
Actually I find these hub page better than most Christian websites, where they can ignore you altogether. It could be, I'm a stinker for over bearing and over challenging Christian questions, in which I know I will never get an honest informed answer to anyways.
The best way I've heard to describe "Hell" is not as the fire and brimstone stuff (thank you very much Dante!) but as willful removal from "God". When your choices lead you away from communion with "God" that is what "Hell" is (in this life or an afterlife)
I agree. For me, Hell is not a place, but a state mind and existence without God. Many of the Bible's lessons were taught in parables, not in literal terms. Consequently, I don't believe that Heaven is a place either. It, too, is a state of mind and existence where God dominates and occupies every corner. For me, Heaven is the opposite of Hell.
As I've written before, the bottom line for me is the Nicene Creed...
I believe in one God, Father Almighty, Creator of
heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of
God, begotten of the Father before all ages;
Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten,
not created, of one essence with the Father
through Whom all things were made.
Who for us men and for our salvation
came down from heaven and was incarnate
of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became man.
He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate,
and suffered and was buried;
And He rose on the third day,
according to the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father;
And He will come again with glory to judge the living
and dead. His kingdom shall have no end.
And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Creator of life,
Who proceeds from the Father, Who together with the
Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, Who
spoke through the prophets.
In one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
I look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the age to come.
Amazing that a document written in the fourth century makes more sense than some of the things it sounds like you're supposed to take on faith today. It's been a while since I read that. Thanks for sharing.
Oh great. And everybody else who believes in one god is doomed to eternal fire and brimstone etc.. What about the Jews and the Muslims? Don;t they also believe in one god... God?
Have they buggered around with scripture and allowed people like Paul/Saul to make up little tales of the trinity and all those other Roman concepts? Constantine and his chums at the Council of Nicea would have loved to hear all that.
There is no such thing as being reborn, that goes also for the so called speaking in tongues, you have to ask yourself who are these people and why would they be so special that God would allow this or give them this so called gift. And what would be the perpous? no one seems to have a direct answer. Why? well let's just say that perhaps this spiritual battle has absolutely noyhing to do with us and we should stop attempting to mingle within things that as humans can't and will never understand as long as we are alive and on this planet. Most People go there to attempt to fill the void which can only be filled after we all pass on. And for those who know a few things pertaining to this should realize that the so called Satan is pretty clever and no human being can ever see through all the deception, so there you have it like it or not.
I hope you are well and healthy!
Yes I remember ya but thought ya had "given-up-the-ghost!" :
WB and thanks for becoming a follower (friend.)
Wel of couse it is a pleasure and an honor to following you sir.
as far as my health I had a taste of Hep-C and the treatment was brutal I lost so much weight I went from a size 45 pants to 38 treatment was finished just last month, and feel like a 20 yr old again. hopeyour doing fine yourself. take good care my friend.
To be a Christian, you must be baptized, that's all.
This is what I learned when I was a kid. I confess I never looked upon that question untill you asked.
Baptism is the sacrament that no only redeems you of the original sin, but signifies your entrance to the "mystic corpus of christ"
I'm selling this at the same price I bought it.
Thanks zampano. Your answer suits me pretty well. Leaves you to do your own thing within certain easy bounds to stay in.
The most important thing is how you act in life.
Towards your family, friends, fellow humans, non human fellows, etc.
Beliefs are really secondary. They're useful to discuss about, and empty some bottles of good wine. That's what "beliefs" are good for.
In other words, make it up as you go along and talk about the Mystical Body of Christ (whether you know what it means or not) and have a bit of water splashed around and then go to church when you are a bit older and believe that you are drinking blood instead of a really cheap wine and eating that same self body of Christ again (although it tastes like a wafer or a bit of stale bread) and go home and say you are a Christian and spit at the next person who looks a bit foreign... you know, a Middle Eastern bloke, like that Jesus bloke.
Wow. That was a very unpleasant post. I'd sure hate to meet the person you patterned that off of.
It is the posting of someone who has seen Christians on their knees, praying, when going to take the Eucharist and celebrating the "body of Christ", but sneering at the person who has attended Midnight Mass because he has wanted to understand and share the communion of believers in One God. Then he has been sneered at and spoken about (behind raised hands) by sanctimonious Christians who have refused to shake his hand during the Peace, although everybody in the Church was doing it to everybody else.
And his crime? To have a brown face and look like some Arab or Hazara.
Don't these cruel Christians know that Jesus was a Middle Eastern man with a brown face and dark hair and probably a big nose.
Or did I get it wrong, and was he Anglo Saxon and was he born near Guildford, in Surrey, UK?
I am so sorry. They are not true to the message of any God. I hope some of them are part of these forums, or others like this, so they can see the damage of their actions and, hopefully, understand the tragedy of their beliefs; and actively work to change this horrible mindset.
So, do you still think I'm a very unpleasant person, and that you'd sure hate to meet me?
Try my hubs to see what a miserable bugger I am.
I took my friend to church on Christmas Eve hoping he would get to like the culture and realise that Christians and Muslims have much in common... I was the one ending up angry and bitter... he is still the same forgiving loving guy he has always been.
You're right! Let's hope these people read these exchanges and look into their souls.
Thanks for your kind reply.
I didn't mean that you were unfairly bitter. I just said I'd hate to meet the person who made you that way. After you explained, I thought maybe I would like to meet them, to tell them what I think of that type of behavior.
Actually, my friend, am in the process of just beginning to read your "best" hub concerning atheists boring themselves to death and theists coming off only a little better. It looks like something I am going to enjoy.
The true Christian is who does not believe in Paul and believes in the truthful teachings of Jesus Christ. A true Christian must believe in the advent of Muhammad after Jesus. A true Christian also does not believe that Jesus was a god or son of god. A true Christian also believes that Second Coming of Jesus has already taken place in the shape of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad 1835-1908.
Ok, I'm not sure you qualify as main stream Christian, but thanks for sharing your interesting take on the question.
A truthful Christian need not be what people think to be mainstream Chirstians; the mainstream Christians are cut off from the stream that flowed from Jesus Christ; in fact their stream has since dried up; they don't get any water from it.
Ok, but you do realize that the chance of convincing anyone in a free society that anything to do with Islam would be of interest, on a spiritual level, is next to zero? Especially a woman.
Dose that mean a true Christian is a Muslim.
The origin of Moses , Jesus and Muhammad is the same Creator-God; so naturally there should be no difference between a truthful Jew, a truthful Christian and a truthful Muslim.
Too many one and only ultimate truths to follow at once.
I'll lead myself first and encourage everyone else to be god to the highest degree of truth too.
Good. Just get stuck in stupid formal questions and debates.
In the meanwhile you don't act. Just spend saliva and fingertips...
Imagine if everyone were claim gods, no stupid question and debates of higher ground would be needed. Then we can each act toward personal growth and growth for all.
The part that confuses me is, why can't we do that now? I don't see why belief has to stand in the way of any of that.
There are many relationships broken up or separated over different religious beliefs. If everyone were god then over righteous religious people would have no reason to separate their love from each other and the world could be one family.
Yes,, I see that, but wouldn't it be easier just to find some sanity? I can't see a world where people can forget about God, but I can see a world where people admit they just honestly don't know who God is.
Forget organized religion yes. I have no problem with that concept. God? I don't see myself pretending He doesn't exist. But belief has never been a problem for me, when dealing with others fairly.
Our society constitution protects us for our freedom of religion or self. The down side is brainwashing runs vast and wide over everywhere. Lucky for you, you can protect yourself by a middle ground approach, because just belong only to one group thinking will for sure limit your thinking.
Many Muslim countries do not have a choice yet changing rapidly.
I know. It's scary. I'm just saying that we'll never stamp out belief in God. It isn't possible. We just need to put belief in it's proper perspective. 'Change your own heart. Find your own relationship with your Maker.' I know you have a low opinion of Christianity, but that was the basic point of Jesus's words. I can't see where the practice of my beliefs, by following this, could harm anyone.
I have a high mystic feeling and opinion about Jesus, it just the translations have gone horribly wrong and few Christians are Christ like
I'm with you on that about the mystic thing. But don't forget that the only thing anyone is saying when they call themselves Christian is that they agree with that statement. 'What would Jesus do' is not a question we preface every action with. It would be nice, but it isn't ever going to happen. The primary problem I see with the face of Christianity is that people think we think we're better than others. I don't think I'm better than others; but I don't think, from what I've seen, that this is an unfair accusation.
That's why I don't identify myself as such to the world unless someone wants to talk beliefs. Here, it's Ok, since no one knows me and it isn't like I'm the first one who brought up the subject; but I think to wear your religion on your sleeve is one of the things Jesus warned against. You take a great chance of shoving people away from the faith.
That righteous thing is too heavy for a lot of people and dose drive people away. I think the biggest draw towards Jesus is that he was a great teacher of love and everyone would like a happy with an afterlife too; I would call it, good karma..
Of course a true christian isn't a Muslim in your concept of being a Muslim, but a Muslim is he who willingly is the servant of God, and so Jesus Christ believed that the One God was his master, then he also was a Muslim... lovingly obedient to God (or if you want it in Arabic: Allah) but God does not need a name. God is God.
Forget all that Saint Paul hocus pocus of the Trinity and what Constantine and the Council of Nicea put forward.
Jews, Christians and Muslims are people of the Book... The Torah, the Injeel, the Qu'ran... (basically the Old testament, the New Testament and the Qu'ran)
I think you put it well just curious. trust in God & the resurrection. Try to do the right thing.
Jesus came to save the world, not that the world through him might be condemned. I don't think he makes us jump through a bunch of hoops. I think He saves all that He possibly can. In the end maybe he will save the whole world.
See, I think you're right. This idea that so many would be lost seems silly to me. If most people don't get to be part of the afterlife, then the great experiment of Man would be a failure. In my opinion.
Laying aside denominations and extremists, and for pity's sake, the simple arguments over the very existence of God - to be a Christian means to believe simply that God exists, that He came to earth in human form in the person of Jesus Christ, whom He called His Son (and who called Him Father), and to believe that when Jesus was crucified, He was raised to life again, before He ascended back to the Heaven from where He came. To be a Christian means to believe that His crucifixion offered the final and perfect atonement for our sins to a God who demands justice, and His resurrection assured us that His atonement was sufficient to satisfy God's justice, and that we were once again welcomed into Heaven, despite our original transgressions. This satisfaction of God's justice opens the door through which His mercy pours. Response to that love and mercy - which is to love Him back with the same sense of devotion and sacrifice is what is required. That's the first half of being a Christian.
The second half is to attempt to relate to others the way God has related to us - by exhibiting forgiveness, love, and mercy to those we encounter. To love your neighbor as you desire to be loved, and HAVE BEEN LOVED BY GOD.
That's it. That's all.
The rest is like adding dressing to a salad that's really quite tasty on its own. It just adds calories and doesn't really improve the nutritional value of the meal itself. But in the hope of clarification:
A)Not all Christians believe that only Christians go to Heaven.
B)Only God can decide who's going to Hell. What I think is that no Christian has the answer to this question and, frankly, should remain mum on the subject.
C)Yes, we do believe all prayers are heard and answered, in ways we may not see or understand. Sometimes the answer is yes. Sometimes no. Sometimes wait.
D)Yes, every word of Scripture is inspired by God, no matter who wrote them.
E)Not all Christians believe in a Rapture as it has been depicted by some over the years.
F)Being a Christian does not mean you believe the earth is only 7000 years old.
G)Many Christians believe that God created everything, and that He has allowed his creation (on purpose, and by design) to evolve over time.
So sorry for the long winded reply. Should have made it a hub I guess, but that's my halfpence, for whatever it may be worth. :-)
Does anybody realy KNOW ?
Does anyone really want to know?
I think that question is the crux of my problem. Since none could, why not take the default position. No absolutes but the basic belief. There is a God. As Christians, we recognize the Son as our savior.
Sure, I'd like everyone to recognize the message as I see it; but that's my ego talking. I would never feel confident in my knowledge of the truth to attempt and preach this, as if to somehow not agree with me put your soul in danger.
I guess I posted the question to read the responses and maybe get a handle on why some might feel otherwise.
I know, I know. I'm not surprised you upbraided me for that statement. But, just between you and me, (do not share this with anyone) I've read a post on another thread that makes so much sense, I might be singing a slightly different tune someday. It runs along the lines of something that's been knocking around in my head quite loudly for sometime now.
I believe it is a falacy to think that only the right kind of Christian will end up in heaven and the rest of the world gets tossed into the furnace. This would not be the actions of a truly just God. The Earth being only 7000 years old is probably inaccurate. It's probably more like six thousand years since Adam and Eve left the garden. Who knows how long they were in there. They were imortal at that time after all.
Yes. The whole heaven and hell thing is definitely out of sync with fairness, in my opinion too. I find it difficult to fathom any sins, committed during a mortal lifetime, making one worthy of eternal damnation. No matter how heinous. We're only human.
Well there's always the Hitler factor. He killed millions of people and he only gets to die once. That's definately not fair.
When I was in prep school we were required to go to church once a month. The church affiliated with the school was Episcopalian, if I remember. I also had to participate in a six week study of religious doctrine. The priest believed that all people go to heaven and sinners probably got in first. He said they needed the love of God the most. I thought the guy was an idiot, at the time. Now, I'm not so sure it doesn't make perfect sense. Hitler's crimes were heinous. But I guess whatever God decides is best is right. I can see Hitler both ways.
All people are equal, concerning Gods view. Yet only "Born Again" can see the Kingdom and enter in.
Its strange how many "Christians" reject this yet claim to believe.
Ask for verses here they are
Jhn 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Jhn 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Jhn 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Jhn 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Sorry, those verses do not support a belief that only Christians have the keys to heaven. I'm not saying they don't exist. I am saying that born again means waking up to the fact that there is a God above us, waking up to understand the message God sent us through Christ. Simply because some can't put two and two together doesn't make them less valuable in God's eyes, in my opinion.
No - it does not. Applying this outside of yourself is the problem. I find it shocking how many of you are completely incapable of understanding the Christ myth.
http://hubpages.com/hub/New-Born-Babies … -Jerusalem
I don't consider a Hub Page author as an authority on that question. You cannot disprove the resurrrection. As long as you attack Christianity from that angle your game is lost. Was there another point to your post? If so, I'm afraid I missed it.
What angle is that? That you are too lazy to do any personal development work? No - I already know that. This is why I am so anti religion.
Curious? Not really. Did not even read it huh? Got your majik bullet and are good to go. And there you were asking me about how we could change. I offer up some information and you go back to defending the majik bullet.
Little wonder your religion causes so many wars.
Ok. I'll go back and read it. I just found the first few paragraphs horribly offensive; but, I'll make this concession for you. It had better have a point though.
It does. It is exactly what I understood when I read the bible with "open eyes" instead of blind faith.
Food for thought - you said you liked that.
Hey. I have a question. How did you move from blind faith, to reading the Bible with open eyes, to atheism? It seems like a pretty wide gap from start to finish.
I know you guys are mad at me and I get it. I'm as obnoxious as you all are. But, I'm trying to understand your arguments. I need input. It's a valid question. How did you move from one extreme to another?
What question? Not believing the nonsense you believe? Simple common sense. Ask your self one question.
Does that make any sense?
Your religion makes no sense. An Invisible Super Being makes no sense, and is logically impossible. The End.
What is so hard to understand about that?
Thanks so much Mark. I suppose the correct response is, never mind.
Sorry that was not the answer you wanted. Too simple?
Not for you, apparently. Some people tend to think a little deeper. To each his own, I always say.
Ah - back to condescending when you cannot understand something. A True Christian. You certainly live up the the label - I will give you that.
Mark, you are simply being difficult. That fact wil not escape anyone reading this exchange. I am trying to understand. I even checked an armful of books out at the library. But your response leaves me little to understand, other than you like the fight. Ok by me. I can go that way too. It is entertaining, if little else.
A god is logically impossible. What do you not understand about that? Your religion makes no sense - unless you apply it internally - which you do not. What can you not grasp.
You claim to want to know why I do not believe the nonsense you believe - that is why.
Sorry that is too hard for you to understand. Go back to believing you are a deep thinker and I am not. You are being open minded by believing nonsense - I am being close minded. You are going to live forever.
There you go. Placebo swallowed.
Odd. You are the one making the claims. I make no claims. And you do not understand why I do not subscribe to your claims.
I said never mind. Not sure where that left room for doubt.
You chose to have conflict where I hope for understanding. Seems to me as if your belief structure leans more toward war.
The basic problem I see, with your philosophy is that you appear to have no faith in it. I don't fear the truth. I'm willing to try and see the atheist side. I think your scared you might realize you're wrong. I get it.
What philosophy is that? That your Invisible Super Being is a figment of your imagination? You do not appear to get anything. All I see you doing is provoking and asking questions to cause a fight - not to get an answer. A True Christian. Your god is logically impossible.
A fight he wants, a fight he gets. (Your motto?)
You are such a good warrior. In there like a shot. Predictably so.
Fear makes you see conflict where it doesn't exist. I get it, I just hoped I'd found someone who didn't react this way. I'll go away. I see I am upsetting you.
Sorry I made you so angry you are leaving,. I get that. A lot of people run away when faced with the realization that their god does not exist. Usually they get violent - but I am glad you ran away instead of wanting to kill me like Christians usually do.
I'm not angry Mark. As I said, I have no fear. What's your excuse?
Yes you are very brave. I see that. Well done. Sorry I upset you - I did not mean to. I have this need to be truthful though. I know you do not understand that, but that is how I am. Sorry.
Mark, when you are done being insulted by my ridiculous sense of humor maybe we'll be able to have a conversation. You have no idea how important some of the things you have said are to me. Or how much I have scrambled to find information on them. But I'm not going to let this degrade any further than it already has.
Good for you. This is the important bit - which you have so far ignored in favor of telling me how shallow my thinking is.
A god is logically impossible.
Once again - sorry I upset you so much by being honest.
God is the God of the IMPOSSIBLE.
By George, I think you're starting to get it.
One more time for the camera.
Please, redefine it for me.
No wikipedia allowed.
That still works.
He is the God of ALL things NOT POSSIBLE!
(sorry, I'm not shouting, I'm emphasising).
How silly. No wonder you are so angry when us educated people laugh at you.
You are an incredible psychologist, psychiatrist and psychic.
Wow. I am angry, am I.
Actually you are lousy at all three, 'cause I din't get angry at these ridiculous comebacks, and assumptions.
Yeah, MAJIC. That's all you got?
Talk about "dear me".
Dear me is right dj. Don't you know we already have a word for doing the impossible?
Or maybe - just maybe - I am not getting it.
Ah - personal insults again. Of course. I don't blame you - I am sure I would be angry at people who refuse to believe in majik like you do. It must be very frustrating. Probably the reason your religion has caused so many wars over the years.
Not you personally dj. Just people who believe in majik - like you do. The same brand of majik at that.
Some people never learn.
I,m glad to see you admit that you never learn.
I have very patiently led you to the end of the thought, and lesson, an you MISS the entire point, for the umpteenth time. (Majic? )
I admit, you can be very frustrating. But i understand. The carnal mind cannot understand spiritual revelation, so, I won't take it to heart. Oh, and I'm still not angry. Sorry to disappoint you on that one.
Well - you certainly are acting angry dj.
Sorry - I will never get the point because your point is always the same
Majic does not define God.
Maybe it does to you, I don't know?
On a different note; Have you read this yet?
http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/67752?p … ost1510166
I was at work when I was posting back and forth with mark. I missed this comment. Good one.
I don't think your thinking is shallow, but so far the explanations have been. Which is not just your posts, but all of them. I've decided to attempt and follow a logical progression of how one can go from one point to the other. I can't simply read books on atheism. The concept is beyond my ken. I was hoping for answers, well thought out ones, from you that might help speed my progress. Either way, I'm going to forge ahead.
What concept is that? Not believing your claims of a god?
Odd - you are the one with both the concept and the claims. I have answered as well as I can. Your claims are impossible so I don't believe them. They do not make any sense and they are logically impossible. Sorry that is too simple an answer for you.
How about if I said I heard it from a voice in my head. Would that work for you?
There are no voices in my head Mark. Never have been. As I said, this inability to articulate your full position, without resorting to emotional outbursts, is why I am having difficulty following it. I only came to you, because you appeared to be the most willing to settle down and talk. I judged wrong. I am so sorry that I have fretted you. It was not my intent.
Sorry - I have obviously made you angry. It must be very frustrating for you to not understand plain English and a simple concept such as not believing in your Invisible Super Being because it is nonsense. (More a lack of a concept than a concept really - call it an aconcept if that would be easier for you to understand.) This is why your religion causes so many wars.
I hope you come back to learn more tomorrow. I am certainly glad you left instead of staying to argue. Most Christians would have stayed instead of leaving as you did.
But, I'm not arguing with you mark. I don't see how this fact continues to elude you.
Yes of course you are not. My mistake. Once again - my apologies.
I forgive you.
well, that's good, I guess. That you forgive me. I don't know that I've done anything, but I do appreciate your willingness to forgive me. It gives me hope that maybe we can (obviously at a later date) move forward.
Your state of mind depends on mine? How odd. Why is that? Is that part of your religious practice?
Stop proving my points to be true. Say something nice already.
Just trying to understand your religion because your beliefs baffle me. I did not understand why you would not be angry as long as I was not and wondered if this was part of your religious practices. Sorry I asked.
Say something nice? Umm.... I am sure your hair looks good today.
Ok. Wow. Good article. It's basic concept isn't far off from what I believe. Why they had to use such an offensive title and start, I can't imagine. Thanks for being so obnoxious about the whole thing. I'll be honest, I find it hard to believe that Christ didn't exist, but if that message was the one of Christianity it would be one more people could follow.
Sorry but then its true, there are not any other verses that say contrary, I could line up a list that harmonize with these scriptures. Consider that it was an Atheist (tic) that came to ask Jesus how to get to heaven (eternal life), Thats why Jesus laid it straight before him, and the Atheist not being able to perceive that this was God he was speaking to, and for anyone else that's confused.
A person, who once "saved" no longer purposely sins. Errors happen...But If you are truly attempting to live as Christ....then you will not knowingly commit a sin.
Hi just_curious....I think my religion can answer your questions. Whenever you have a chance, Iglesia NI Cristo(Church of Christ) can enlighten you. Try to visit their worship services and feel free to ask questions to answer your curiousity. I hope it can help you.
What is a christian ?
Maybe (?) a title that people apply to themselves.
And that person that applied it to themselves all have their own definition. Maybe ?
Certainly todays definitionsssss are different than they were in the first century.
I'm looking forward to reading some good answers.
If we could ask a beagle for the definition of a dog, it would be different than if we ask a German shephard or any other breed, none of the answers would be absolutely correct.
Hey Jerami! Where have you been? I've missed your posts.
So, you agree with me, its whatever you feel the truth to be for you?
Where I have been ????? Short question But like the OP, there are many answers. Long story.
That depends ? I agree that "definitions" depend upon whatever that person thinks that it is to be Christian.
Are definitions necessarily true? NO
Which definition would God offer?
I thought the Pope (German shephard) has all the anwers.
Phone rang .... gotta go do something ...
Back in a little bit.
just curious, you have been quite an interesting voice in these forum halls.
i do not by any means title myself as this or that, as BOTH theists and a`theists are dead wrong -quite literally in most cases and figuratively in others regarding the theism in question --that both argue abou. so when one is incorrect from the start, then leaves that incorrectness, only to argue over that incorrectness from an anti perspective is kind of reminds me a one of those gerbils in a wheel....
This is the answer. See, once you really trust in Creator -by Creators perspective of trust and that perspective becoming yours, the second part automatically happens, meaning accepting the purpose of the resurrection and becoming who you were created to be.
It is really that simple.
Humanism and all its parts will place hundreds and in some cases 613 weights on your shoulders to hinder you, because "God forbid" you should trust 100% or worse just accept the 100% measure of a reality you were created to live in that far exceeds this one --and not get caught up in the riptide, tossed back and forth between the illusion of this world (money, politics, religion, science, yada yada yada).
If the term of a Christ-ian applies, than the term is specific and emphatic -Anointed.
So, the quest is:
What is that Anointing (Christ/Christos) ?
How does one get Anointed?
What happens after?
Anointed means to be covered from head to toe in Grace or better said the full expression of Creators vision of who you are --not a drop less. Total Free Will.
If you were the designer of a painting, how would you see that image. Would you want the image to change from what you made it to be or have it change itself? If it was scarred or damaged, would you want it to fix itself or be the one to fix it?
...sorry for the short post...
I'm so glad you posted. I don't know how you know the things you know, but you're words are always very insightful.
The entire summary of the works of Y`shua were and still are the same:
"i am showing you 'how-to" and the evidence of that how-to are these works of what people call miracles, multi-languages, raising the death and exceeding dead itself.
But in order to do so, I am going to be the one to become the seed of all future seeds.
So, I am taking your place in the ground. If you understand and act on that understanding --even to the measure or size of a mustard seed -- what I did, you are going to do and then some. Plus, after me is the One who sent me, the Spirit, who is going to really show you how-to, will restore you, remove all scars and flaws from that painting and transform you into what Creator designed you to be. In short, I am your example and someone to reflect on when it seems impossible to achieve. This is what I mean by through me.
(disclaimer: i was paraphrasing)
Faith not in your head, because that isn't faith, that is a thought.
Faith is not just in words -as you know from the many words in books and spoken by humans. Faith is not in feelings, because those are just emotions...
I don't know that, through faith, I would believe we could perform the miracles you were talking about anymore, maybe if the faith was strong enough; but I do think through faith we could emulate Y'shua (I do like it when people use that name, thanks for doing it) and make a massive difference in the world if we simply followed His basic teachings. These extra beliefs that have been added seem to overshadow what I believe His message was when people try to follow what the church says.
I do not believe the miracles, et al are necessary really, but they are --in essence-- a part of the package. The ability to simply heal one body or another is a given.
I recently had a conversation with a twenty-something quantum physics enthusiast.
She was in agreement that humans have designed this world of religion/science -- especially technology because they know --in part-- who they are and what they are capable of. But because they cannot seem to escape this "thing", to really be who they are, they have compensated by creating things --like wireless communication, medicine, ships, cars and more. It was a very liberating conversation for us both and reaffirmed my core belief --faith is simply the action of uniting with Creator and being who we truly are. It bypasses the minds need and allows the intangible energy ( spirit ) to communicate with the tangible energy ( the body ) freely and perfectly. It puts the mind at ease, back to it original state --as the processor not the provider.
So how do you go about it? Trying to reach the state where you feel united with the Creator? Meditation?
Not meditation as most presume.
But mediation is a type of prayer, so in essence yes.
It is more of a process of communication.
You have to allow Creator to speak to you --which is the toughest challenge of all because the mind will convince you either not to or convince you by you repeating words or chants over and over that you are in fact communing.
The best approach is to simply begin small --an hour a day-- just listening.
Don't focus on you the person or the world you want or don't. Just allow yourself to be, quietly and without reserve.
As you progress from an hour to hours and eventually days, your mind goes "wiki" but eventually yields. it just becomes what it is supposed to be --natural. All of a sudden things become very clear and you start dismissing the illusion more and more.
Ok. I've tried that. The voices in my head had a hard time shutting up. I gave up because I thought I might be on the wrong track. You've given me some hope here. Thanks. I'll work on it.
Have you tried to seek professional therapy for that problem?
The short answer is yes. But the exorcism didn't take. They came back. In numbers.
If when you are in doubt, go to a friend or family who knows you best, first. Don't call doctor pill, or witch doctors, I would rather you call Castle with no hassle.
A Christian is actually a person who has a personal relationship with God. This does not mean just talking at God or talking to Him. It must be a two way conversation.
God made it plain what it takes to be a Christian. We must follow after His Son Jesus who came from God and is the Word of God. There is no other way that anyone can come to God.
Any other way is false.
So, no matter how hard a person wants to be a Christian, they will never be one unless they hear voices talking back to them?
I am thinking justcurious that you might do better trying a housechurch or an emergent church than the mainlines. I think these might be more up your alley.
Nah. Trust me. I'm much better off on my own. Not a people person. I really like this forum though. So many voices, so many opinions. It's very interesting, and everyone is definitely more than four feet away. Suits me well.
Difference of opinion is interesting and adds to human knowledge if done with sincerety.
Funny That Mr. Paarsurrey would make some of these comments, You are obviously a Muslimand perhaps a ritious one, however I know for a fact that that following the Koran teachings and praying 3 or 5 times a day does not necessary make make Muslims riteous. I am at this moment dealing with taking a so called Muslim to court, why? because I was buying a used car for my wife $2300.00 and on my way home this car started fuming and he yold me to bring it back so that he can replace it. This took last may not only did I not get a car but they kept the money and to my disbelief this idiot tells me he had personal problems and now he has no money to give to me and you don't want to know about how he writes it's as if though this grown man is still in third grade....I took it to the attorney generals office. and nothing happened. So I had to hired an attorney and I'm taking it to arbitration courrt so now instead of having to pay me the $2300.00 he will be forced to pay that plus 3 times more. which will total almost $10,000.00. This happened because I believed that everything that the Muslims say about the teacchings of the muslim religion was true that perhaps we were just misunderstanding them. It turns out that human beings are all alike no matter what religion it is. And let's not talk about the 75 virgins that truly putsthe icing on the cake. Grown Men who aren't virgins themselves want virgins, not one but 75....where the hell did that come from? I wouldn't want one virgin let alone 75. and I guess they must feel so man like that they believe they can handle all those women. tallking about being mislead. Wake the hell up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and I also fing it suspicious that it so happens that this relion comes right after Christ, And am not a practicing christian or for that matter any religion that has a human running any show. I also wonder about these retuals and the costumes and the timing of all this crap. And all the lives lost in the name of any religion. I consider this to be the worst in all human behavior and believe it puts us all to shame that animals are more civilized than we so called intelligent beings.
Sorry for your troubles. I agree with your thoughts on the insanity of organized religions.
I dont. In any group of people, whether at the office or at the spa or in the park or wherever and in whatever group, there will always be dissidents and there will always be those looking out for themselves etc.. If a person is running from the law a convent is a good place to hide out. Going to church is a good way to make people think you are not a mass murder, etc. Because of its good reputation of hostessing god like people many a corrupt person has used this as a cover. In the movie snatch, there are jewish people, dressed like jews, talking like jews and they hold up this bank, afterward they remove their disguises and beards and dress in jeans and shirt. We cannot think that all jews are like this, robbers waiting to plunder behind the mask of god fearing jewishness.
Somewhere along the line of observance we have to realise that in our school there were good kids and bad kids, bullies and graduates. The same in the church. The church is a tool of God. A place where His called out ones can gather and fellowship, but of course with each person being at a different level than the christian next to him there will always be abrasion. Now there are true churches with accurate beliefs in God and bad churches which are based on untruths. Some blatantly more so than others. It is the people in the church that God is dealing with. People grow old and die and newer ones replace them and so the cycle continues. As in every group discernment is needed to not join the nazi hitler movement as discernment is needed to join the kiwanas, for example. This is why i say that God will always plant his called out ones in a church body to function and be tested and fellowship with other christians and also to learn. Church is important as was school. It is the same institution with just a different name.
This is enough for now.
Hate to disagree, and I know this will sound crazy. But, the only time in my life I swear I felt an evil presence was in a church. It wasn't a church that believed in this type of thing. It wasn't a church where people spoke in tongues, or believed in anything mystical. The fact that a foul wind blew through that congregation and I was the only one aware of its presence will never leave my mind. I don't go to church because I no longer believe God is with organized religion. Sure, there are good people that go, but there are good people everywhere. The Bible was given to us so that we can find the answers, without getting wrapped up in a whitewashed version of the truth.
What kind of church was it, if you're willing to share?
Southern Baptist. No holy roller stuff. We were the prominent church in town. All the business and community leaders went there. Very sedate.
When i moved to the town i am now in. I was churchless. So knowing the principle of God planting christians in churches i prayed about what to church to go to. I went to each church in town, avoiding catholics and all that had a ST. in front of the name. And i found, some i did not like, some i really didnt like, some that were okay and i favored out of 27, 2 baptist and once called City Gate. But in none of those did i feel "at home". Even the pentecostal in town was to dry to be believed. So i continued praying.
One day i was talking to person i had seen ages ago and she mentioned the pentecostal church in a close by town and that she and her husband would be going next sunday, would i like to accompany them. I walked in the door, heard the worship, when the gifts of the spirit moved (tongues and interpretation and word of exhortation) I said to myself. Home! The message from a king james bible was the icing on the cake of God answering this seekers prayer. That is my spiritual home, i have a great family, i feel loved and appreciated and all is well. My growth has skyrocketed, i have been used to exhort and interpret tongues and played the drums on the occasional sunday. I couldn't be happier there.
This is what the christian walk is.. relying and allowing God to work things out. Because i asked him for a home, he showed me the way. So i am not balked by your statement but i am balked at your resulting attitude. Ive been to a few bad colleges but i do not rule out college. If we follow the pattern of God he is well pleased to assist.
So in spite of your foul wind. I am unchanged from my original post and still stand that God plants people in church. God uses the church to refine us and edify one another. I might even suggest that the foul wind that only you were aware of was God saying "not this church".
Please excuse the atheist style response, but I feel there are points we should be clear on.
There is no principle, other than what man has decided on. Very convenient way to filter the information and unify the belief structure. Which, in my opinion, is why there are so many variations on the basic theme. If we all worked together to understand, we might not have this problem. I can't fix this problem, so I go my own way. God is OK with this, apparently. Which is all I care about.
At the risk of offending you, I honestly do not believe in tongues. I apologize. It is simply, in my opinion, a floor show. The drums, well, OK. I've heard of churches that rock and roll. I'm sure it is entertaining. Not an important aspect to a spiritual search.
If I had only the King James Bible to read; I, personally, would be lost. It is right for some. I need a text that flows in the manner our minds do today. The message is the same.
I do not presume to know the mind of God. I am somewhat suspicious of claims that do.
I believe we are all unique. We have the right to make our own choices. This, I believe, to be God given. Please do not balk at my attitude. It is, after all, my right.
While this may be true in some cases, it is also true that churches use that institution to control the understanding of the message. This has been distorted in so many cases that I feel the need to take a great deal of care to read the scripture and determine for myself what it means. I realize this stand may seem arrogant to you. Not in the least. When someone feels called by the spirit; the spirit will guide them in understanding. The basic message when the curtain was ripped in two is that we now have the ability to understand the message without the need for some go between. We are to come to an understanding. Not follow what others say, or believe.
Paul chastised the early believers when they argued over what one believed and another did not. He told them to be courteous to their weaker brothers and sisters. He said that what they believed to be right or wrong as far as their belief, beyond the basic tenets of faith, was right for them. I believe these words were divinely inspired. They tell me that we are all unique and we must follow our hearts, wherever they may lead.
Well, I could have some fun with that, but I won't. I will simply say that God is not a foul wind. Were I to believe this, I would not claim the name of Christian.
did i say god is a foul wind... i said "I might even suggest that the foul wind that only you were aware of was God saying "not this church".
This misinterpretation of written word seems to be a trend amongst people who... oh never mind.
"I do not presume to know the mind of God. I am somewhat suspicious of claims that do".
This is why its called a relationship with God. In a relationship it is possible for people to know what the other is like and even what they are thinking or also to recognize the style in which they communicate.
the Bible reveals God also. His holy spirit lives inside us. How can we not know the mind of God if we are a strong christian, well versed in his word and obeying principles?
"I believe we are all unique. We have the right to make our own choices".
What does uniqueness have to do with adhering to rules? When we were in school, did not those who were very unique not graduate? or were they ousted after a few expellations? Unique is nice but we are to conform to Christ. He went to the temples. He set up the church. The early christians went to the synagogues.
good luck with this.
I dont mean to disregard you but i had to correct a few misconceptions you have.
Christ did not set up'church'. He spoke truth, and sent the apostles out to spread it. Please back up this with some type of scripture. I realize you will go to Matthew 16: 18 immediately. At which point I we'l have to ask; why are you not a Catholic? The rock Jesus spoke of, in my opinion, is the rock of faith.
And it is nice to hear that you and your particular congregation, alone, can interpret the scriptures with accuracy. Gosh, please tell me where this church is so I can run right over and get set straight. Everyone's opinion is so different on this topic.
I cannot believe you continue in the stand that you know the mind of God. It is not a point I will argue with you. If God were so simple that he could be understood by man He would not be worthy of the title. By drawing a line in the sand and saying this is tantamount to preaching. If you are wrong, and you push people away from the faith that is as good as leading them away. That is not a place I would want to be. God speaks to all of us as individuals. Until you understand this point we will continue to see this from opposite sides.
Your story appears to have nothing to do with what your god wants you to believe and more about what you want to believe. You seek out folks who believe as you do. You could have gone to the first church and that would have been enough for your god, but it wasn't enough for you personally, so you found something YOU wanted, instead.
Wrong again beely
Your post appears to have nothing to do with understanding anything written. You seek to blind people by talking like u know best. You could have stopped at the first word and that would have been sufficient because you are wrong again. You are always wrong, i think this is intentional because quite frankly, i don't know anybody who is a fraction of the times wrong as you are. You have picked Einstein as your avatar but really, that is just another delusion you live under.
Sorry if some churches aren't good enough for me. In your wrong opinion... anyone else can say i went and saw that movie but i didn't like it and what would your response be... that's just because it wasn't good enough for you.... lol.. what a joke.
and again, i did not find the church... God brought me to it. Try to read next time and comprehend before you infer to know all about someone elses personal experience.
Again, it appears that you only choose that which YOU want to believe. It makes no sense that there are "bad churches" as they all have the same bible, preach the same gospel and believe in the same god. Why would your god care which church you frequented? Sorry, but that story doesn't fly at all.
Who said God cared about which church we belonged to, I get the distinct impression He is more concerned about how we live His word than where we hear it.
Of course there are 'bad' churches, just like there are bad restaurants and good ones, they all have access to the same ingredients, but some folk use them well and others do not.
Try to think before you write an attack.
I suspect your argument is with brotheryochanan, not me. He went to many churches before finding the one that suited his beliefs and made the claim it was his god that found it for him. I quoted him on it, did you not read that?
And, who decides what is a good or bad church? You?
Sure, while I turn the other cheek.
you dont know the first thing about being in the forums do you.. you click THIS in bold and see what post is being replied to that gives you an indication of what post the person is replying to.
know wonder you get things wrong all the time you can not even understand a simple sentence that says "in reply to THIS".
and i agree with aqua.. there are good restaurants and bad ones and mediocre ones. Just_curious found a 'bad' church with an evil wind in it. And somehow you think i am unable to distinguish...
But continue to think what you will even if you don't understand what is being written.
You are entitled for any compensation from the Muslim who did a wrong to you.
He should have not done so.
Just Curious, I read the entire hub and like the other here found it interesting. Brenda Durham has represented a part of the mainline that represents most folks called "Fundamental Christians". They believe in the fundamental tenets of the Christian faith. They would agree with Greek One would be most factual if we look at your one premise of what is a "mainline Christian". That is, what is the basic doctrine of Christian belief. Granted, beyond the basics it is left up to personal belief. BTW the term Christian means "little Christs" and was first used of followers of Jesus in a derogatory way.
Thanks. I gues my next search will be what percentage of the faith falls into the fundamental category. I'd hate to see the religion overtaken.
Interesting comment about the name Christian. Good for the early Christians for taking something meant to be derogatory and not get mad about it, but use it cheerfully.
I'm reading a book right now you may find interesting. "Crazy for God: How I Grew Up As One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or almost All) of It Back"
Title kind of says it all. Author is Frank Schaeffer. I'm only 1/3 into the book, but i'm finding it intriquing.
Mine own opinion is that the tide is turning against fundamentalism. Post modern thinking becomes more prevalent all the time, and this does not marry well with fundamentalism. I think the days of the funs are numbered. I imagine there will always be some, but I don't see this way of thinking dominating Christianity in the future.
Just to expand on this - fundamentalists are "modern" thinkers. The baby boomer generation & before were modern. I don't know if i am doing this justice, but it would go something like a modern thinker will appeal to a stated universal truth - a modern doesn't doubt there are things that are obviously true. (This is why moderns quote the Bible, even to those who are not Christian, and think this proves their point)
A post modern is experiential. For them reality is what they have experienced. They generally get it that others have very different experiences, they tend to be quite accepting of others. They don't, in the end, fit very comfortably into fundamentalism. It's that pesky tendency of seeing things from many different angles.
I don't think there is a right and a wrong about this - they are two different ways of seeing the world. I'm a postmodern, not b/c i planned to be, but just b/c that's how I'm wired I guess. I think some of it is also when you are born.
tide turning against fundamentalism - well, if they don't adjust, they will just be seen as looneys and clinging to outdated superstitions
God said a great turning away will occur in the end times and also that God never changes.
These are why the religion of tolerance and the spiritual path of christ will never cohabit. The religion of tolerance is just that tolerant of many things but there are many examples of Christ saying this tolerance will be mans way and not Gods.
Since God never changes i don't see how God will become tolerant since tolerance is a human thing. Man has been trying to run his society and sin is messing it up terribly. Gods ways are perfect and his society runs well. Tolerance will only bring us back to where we are now and that is not Gods desire for us.
a. Believe only Christians go to heaven
No one goes to heaven.
b. Believe non believers go to hell
There is no hell. That is a catholic invention and misinterpretation of scripture.
c. Believe that prayers are always heard and answered (even if the answer is no)
d. Believe every word in the scriptures is inspired by God (even when Paul is talking)
e. Believe in a Rapture
Christiandoms most irrelevant doctrine. Those walking in christ will not miss it when/if it happens.
f. Believe the earth is around 7000 years old
Either way this is not overly important.
g. Believe God created the earth and all that is in it and evolution is not, in any way, involved in the process.
This is not overly important either
Or do you believe, as I do, that it is not necessary to believe any of this and you are a Christian as long as you trust in God and the truth of the Resurrection; and try to be a better person.
Not necessarily. This almost sounds like salvation by works. Or trust without humility, of course i cannot comprehend what "trusting in God" amounts to in terms of daily activity or in the quality of relationship with God. For instance many say they love God yet do not keep his commandments. The resurrection is tantamount. trying to be a better person by way of the cross or by self denial and prayer. We all have works that we want to do but do we allow God to interrupt our plans and inject his?
Its how much we lean on God to do the work of change through us and to strengthen us to overcome temptations. Or do we try to fight sin in our own strength? The pattern is in times of temptation we turn to God and invite his power to assist us we do not try to do this on our own. Prayer is tantamount.
Thanks for posting. I'm interested in what others think on this. I find your statements on heaven and hell interesting. What is, in your opinion, going to happen when you step over to the other side. Assuming, you've led a worthy life; and then assuming the opposite.
Stepping over to the other side.. hehe.. Scripture says we are appointed once to die and then the judgment. God at the time of judgment will be making decisions based on forever and eternity. There will be no call backs or undoing, the decision is forever and unending, therefore did he say, wide is the path to destruction. Forever and eternity, indeed immortal life is serious stuff and God does not take this lightly. Since God cannot be separated from his holiness neither can he accept anything less to live forever and eternally. God in revelations says he makes a new heaven and a new earth. I believe our home for eternity will be the new earth. Perhaps the garden of eden is the coming full circle of Gods intentions toward humans. "I will live with them and dwell with them". Spiritual bodies are a fact as we know from the example of angels and God, who is spirit and jesus who ascended in a spiritual body. "a spiritual body has not flesh and bones" jesus said.
Will there be duties to perform in the afterlife; probably. As earth is a tangible entity and the garden was meant to be "kept and tended" i assume we will live peaceful lives in nature and with God. God enjoys a well functioning and working society, which sin does not allow to happen. This is as far as i have researched the afterlife concept but i am sure there is more, much more.
You want to discuss hell (sheol - the grave) It is not an area, someplace designated for the souls of evil men. Much less than evil will keep people out of eternal life. There will be a number of people who will not be with God forever and not have eternal life. I have said before, atheists will get what they want, nothing; which is the same end of the non qualifiers for eternal life. God does not leave loose ends lying about and truly there is no where anyone can go that God is not present in, therefore how will God even stop hearing the cries of the 'damned'.. sorry for the term i know it conjures up images of hell tormented people but God does not want to torment people forever and ever (only God knows how long forever and ever is and its a very very long long time) God will put an end to their suffering which will mostly be comprised of realizing that God does exist and that they have been rejected of Him. When will God end their suffering? Time is much different to God than to us, there may be a lengthy period of suffering even mournful repentance, but it will be too late. The seriousness of eternal life and immortality is too important to make flighty or chancy decisions. Personally i cant imagine an afterlife without God. The early jews thought it to be a dark place, since God is light; and i think that they have a finger on it. It would be the opposite of what God is, since God is love joy and light (shekinah), darkness and sadness and no love will be on the menu. But even as bad as disbelieving in God is, since that is His initial requirement - simple belief and although there are much more heinous atrocities mankind has committed, God will not seek to punish them both forever. When the book closes, so to speak on this epoch of creation, God will tie up all loose ends and be done with it all.
hope this helps
it was in antioch that discipes or followers of jesus were first called christians a study of the man jesus and the way he lived his life and his teaching applying in our own life the way in which he lived his should have a good affect More is required of true Christians than a mere confession of faith. It is necessary that belief be demonstrated by works. has anyone seen these works
definately food for thought. We aren't the judges, and God wants us to learn to forgive.
I begin with and base my Christianity on John 3:16: "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."
This rings true to the bottom of my soul for me. And this little verse implies many things. For one thing God loves this world and the human beings in it. For another thing, there is such a thing as eternal life and there is another thing that involves "perishing." If you want the first thing, the condition is that you "believe in Him."
But it stands to reason that if you believe in Him, you would want to believe the things He said. So I like to go to the gospels and carefully read all the text that quotes Jesus directly. Some people will not find all of these quotes exactly warm and fuzzy, but there are many reasons to believe that the gospels are a very accurate record of what was said. The most uncomfortable of all to me is Matthew 25: 31-46. But if I believe as in John 3:16, I don't have much basis to decide, based on what I find comfortable, that some of the things He said are true and other things He said are false.
I take Jesus's words as gospel. I just think Paul was very honest at times when he admitted his words were opinion, not based on Divine guidance. Paul was a zealot, who switched sides when he saw the light. Some of his personal beliefs are simply that. And should not be seen as necessary to follow. In my opinion.
Ok. I just read through the passage you quoted. As to the fires, I don't see that as an eternal torment. But the rest shows hope. He sits in judgement of callous behavior towards our fellow man. I believe anyone who cares for others is smiled on by our Maker. They show they understand the message of Christ. To me this shows there is hope for all, but a few.
I understand your opinion about the writings of Paul. I know a lot of people who feel that way. That's why its a good thing that belief in what Paul says is not a requirement to attain eternal life. The way I see is that Paul was just a guy. However, he was the guy personally chosen by Christ (road to Damascus story) to spread the gospel to the Gentile world. And I'd say he was a good choice because he certainly did the job and did it relentlessly and to the best of considerable ability.
Yes, I agree he was a good choice to take the message out to the gentiles. I don't mean to appear to bash the guy. Some of the things he said were very insightful. But some of his views I find offensive and definitely harsh. These words always appear to be opinion, in the context of the scripture involved. Or maybe it's simply wishful thinking on my part.
I heard something really powerful once about the people God uses to spread His message. Paraphrased of course, here it is:
God spoke to Balaam through an Ass, and he's been speaking through asses ever since. So if God chooses to speak through you, don't think too highly of yourself.
That being said, keep in mind that while his central message was God inspired, Paul was in fact a man with a less than sparkling, and certainly less than perfect personality. That means that a lot of what he had to say was colored by his own characteristics and cultural sensibilities (or lack of sensibilities).
Does that help at all?
My thoughts exactly. Except the ass part. Never heard that, but it's a good point.
There can be as many definitions as there are people about "what defines a Christian". The term "Christian" is adopted and used. A person who is a disciple of Christ, a true follower, holds the Golden Rule higher than any commandment, any "faith", any prophesy. That is the word of Jesus. Unless people love their brothers and sisters, unless we love others as we would like to be loved, all is lost.
A disciple of Jesus, a true follower, will pray like this, "Our Father which is in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on our planet Earth..." And when we do this we pray that Earth will resemble heaven. Regardless of prognostications, such as the world is ending in 2012 (The world is not ending in 2012 and I'm taking all bets at 1,000,000,000 to one!)- regardless - we are to help Earth resemble heaven.
A true Christian will refuse to vote for a lawyer, especially any coming out of Harvard or Yale. A true Christian will always keep the recommended tire pressure.
Well I have to say I may not be following the tire pressure commandment. Those new little caps confuse me. I hope that one isn't a deal breaker.
To answer the question.... in basic terms John 3:16 sums it up, with the word 'whosoever' that's kinda inclusive.
After you get past that you are talking about 'confessing the name' i.e. standing up and declaring to the world that Jesus Christ is Lord of ALL.
This can mean many fall at the first hurdle, but are they still saved? - Well John 3:16 says yes, so who am I to argue.
What most folk (and denominations)get confused about is not who gets to be saved from this world and spend eternity with God, but who gets what rewards, when we all get home.
Gods salvation is free, cannot be earned or inherited and is not probationary.
You surrender your rebellion, submit to Christ, accept who He is and you are saved, end of story.
From then on you are working out your salvation and determining where you will fit into eternity.
Well, I have to say, I like your explanation. I think it shows our egos though, if we argue who gets what rewards. I'm not overly concerned with where I might stand in the pecking order in God's kingdom. I'll just feel thankful to be there.
Nothing to do with ego, indeed I would think that anyone who aimed at getting a reward would miss the whole point, and the reward.
But scripture tells us that we will all be judged, but as believers only to strip away all worthless works and words, which will burn away like stubble, leaving only that which has true worth.
1 Corinthians 3:13-15 (Amplified Bible)
The work of each [one] will become [plainly, openly] known (shown for what it is); for the day [of Christ] will disclose and declare it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test and critically appraise the character and worth of the work each person has done.
If the work which any person has built on this Foundation [any product of his efforts whatever] survives [this test], he will get his reward.
But if any person's work is burned up [under the test], he will suffer the loss [of it all, losing his reward], though he himself will be saved, but only as [one who has passed] through fire.
So (to paraphrase what I meant) ONCE we are saved, (and notice the emphasis on ONCE) we stay saved, but our eternal rewards or lack of will be written by how we live our lives
Lanquage is a peculiar thing. I remember from my days as a philosophy student, one philosopher defining words "as being defined by their use." That is perhaps, illustrated no where better than in how people use the word Chistian. It seems to me that one must consider the original(or first use) of a word to know just how far we have departed from the original. Genericaly, it refers to followers of Christ (proponents of His teachings) first used in the book of acts. Today, followers of Christ interpret His teachings, apparently, to incorporate their views into a homogenize version, which is easier to swallow. The inevitable consequence begs definition proportionate to the variations man has come to instill upon the original. There is however, a common thread from which mainstream Christians weave a common fabric; "That whosoever, believeth in Him, has eternal life". All else is theological opinion, much that has merit and much that is absent merit. This and this alone, is the foundation, upon which every Christian must build the house in which they live. The houses will be of varied colors according to what each will bring, but every foundation is Jesus Christ.
I wonder if that house fountain can stand for another almost trillion dollar bail out in the USA. Selling off their country's land will for sure cover the expense of the USA bankruptcy with hundred million baby boomer to boot.Politician think their false printed money is save in gold in a vaulted bank.
Even after all that, I can't find one USA Christian out of 78% of them. Who believes in the 2012 end of the world well enough, to sell me their house cheap?
Where is the faith to sell your house, yet many would rather be killed than turn to a Muslim Faith.
my point had nothing to do with Muslim, my point had to do more with the presentation of the muslim purity claims and how the rest of the world are infidles, and yet this and so many injustices come from this religion, to me this indicates that we aren't as pure as pure as you claim to be however neither are the muslims. If you ask me it appears like the same thing.
Lies to the core from any and every direction, that has to do with any religion. I Believe there is maybe something simply because there has to be room for unknowns. But I Find These retuals to be mostly man made and for the most part misleading
and manipulative. So I stand with myself and what ever I find to be real in my own eyes. And if there is something without a doubt if it is as just as most proclaim then this something will understand Why? because in accordance to all the so called literature this force is all knowing so if it is it will understand for sure. I also have a hard time understanding why on earth so many suckers exist in this world?
Yes Castle paloma I have been reading alot of your postings and it appears you seem to have the same point of view, and that is something to be commended for, my friend.
Wow. Amazingly, few responders paid attention to the whole thing about not wasting the time to type out the Scripture they chose to support their position. Ugh.
So if the essence of christianity is the resurrection, it's simple.
All you have to believe is that there is a god. This wonderful god could only be appeased by a blood sacrifice. (ignore the horribleness of that for now)
So he turned himself into his own son and sacrificed himself to himself.
It makes perfect sense and all is good.
Jesus did not die on the cross to start with; so there is no resurrection and hence no truth in the "Christianity" invented by Paul when Jesus had gone to India.
Oh my gosh paar, you should make that into a movie. Great imagination.
A very sincere question for you. Do you think that your questions and the idea that you try to think about these things rationally, mean that you are headed for agnosticism or even the dreaded atheism?
It seems that you recognize that there is a lot of nonsense in religion, so much contradiction that you can't get a consensus answer to your question. I just wonder if you are headed over *here*?
Wherever truth leads, I stumble along behind it.. I have always agreed that the scriptures are contradictory. Only the fundamentalists refuse to recognize that. As to the message, the one I see is one that we all need to learn. Whether we believe in a God or not, but I doubt many would agree with me that this is what they see.
Short answer. My experience tells me I could never be agnostic. My heart tells me I could never be atheist. My head tells me to beat those two back so I can think awhile and do some research.
Now it is a fact that Jesus went to India after surviving death on the Cross. I don't intend to make a movie on it; but there are already movies on the subject; one such I mention below:
http://www.jesus-in-india-the-movie.com … artin.html
Please Google for Jesus in India.
Just stopped in long enough to say Dowdy ! It's almost 1 AM ... good night Yawl
You don't have the words of christ either brother that was altered by the enimies of jesus on the first hand the jewish rabbis plotted to kill him with the roman's after he departs the same romans spread they own version of chrishtianity its strange
I don't think the words of Christ were altered, as much as the message was. But that is a problem with all the monotheistic religions. There is good to be seen in them, but men have twisted them into systems used to push their own agendas. As long as people follow whoever is shouting the loudest the truth that is whispering within the texts cannot be heard.
Everyone needs to take a step back and think for themselves and stop being led by anything but their own conscience and their understanding of common decency.
Actually - what you need to do is open your mind to the truth. When you dismiss the silly idea of an Invisible Super Being - you can start to think for yourself instead of looking in a book for answers that you already have.
The texts of which you speak were written thousands of years ago by humans who had access to almost exactly the same information that you do.
The only thing they did not have that you do is the benefit of 2,000 years of hindsight. Yet you choose to ignore this valuable knowledge in favor of "You cannot fathom what I know." Why is that? Because this is where the problem starts.
Morning Mark. I agree, on some levels. Give me time. I, honestly, never bothered to think about it all before. I wasn't bothering anyone, and no one was bothering me. Didn't see the need to put my beliefs into perspective with the religion I had aligned myself with.
I may never see eye to eye with you as to the existence of something more, but I do see more than I did five weeks ago. Keep being obnoxious..I need it so I don't get too complacent again. Some of these books are boring. I won't keep reading them if I don't have to try to handstand your view. I've apparently run all of the other nay sayers off.
,Oh but I wouldn't mind if you toned down the rhetoric a notch or two.
Keep telling you. I am simply being a mirror. See the tone I use with other people. It varies depending. Basically I take people at their word. You say you speak to people the way you wish to be spoken to?
That is exactly what I am doing.
The meaning extracted from a specific syllable or sentence should be consistent with the context; some verses before and some verses after; that way the real meaning can be understood. It is no rocket science; common sense demands it; but people don't do it and take the meaning which are not there in the text or the context honestly.
I agree with you; you are perfectly correct.
Common sense and common decency. People refuse to see that many of the prejudices they have are not supported by the text. Many passages are simply included because it was in line with ancient life styles, and the text is not the message they perceive. They are killing us all with the voice of ignorance and hatred from an ancient mind set.
I'm not so fearful of Christianity. I think the secular world will always keep the fundamentalists in line, but I do fear the path Islam will take. The radicals of both faiths need the light driven through their thick skulls by someone smarter than I am.
one more things it is just like your neighbour killed your father and after a month he come with a will says that all the property and bank balance shall be handed over the same neighbor and you believe in it.
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