I've come to wonder how the modern church and the average evangelical believer feels about the name 'Christian'. We've been told it means little Christ. But, rarely does any Christian reference his words as justification for beliefs and actions.
I read a lot of examples from the Old Testament as reasons to support war, homophobia and the general dislike of humanity as a whole.
I read a lot of comments referencing the words of Paul in support of continuing the hatred. I do see Christians picking statements out of the gospel accounts, but only the few that can be turned to support
what I view as a hatred of humanity. They pointedly ignore the rest which pulls it out of context.
My question is; taking the life, deeds and words of Jesus as a whole...you can't support the average fundamentalist argument. If you consider Christ as God on earth why do you not look to his words and actions for guidance? Why bow to words written before and after his appearance and ignore the ones he presumably spoke?
I don't intend to pick. I am genuinely stumped on this point.
Emile, I so wish that I could answer this for you. One of the things that I love so very much about my faith is that we are taught to read the Bible as a whole - BUT - to understand that it is a collection of many varied types of stories. Genesis, for example is an allegorical description of creation rather than a literal one. Other parts of the Bible are metaphorical, instructional, literal, historical, or inspirational.
But while we read and respect Scripture in its totality, we give preeminence ALWAYS to the Gospels - to the words and life of Jesus.
At least we try to.
We also, as a rule, oppose war as far as possible - leaving, as we were directed by God - the ultimate decision to the human rulers of the earth. Throughout our past, yes, the Church leaders 'ruled' the rulers, but thanks be to God, this is no longer the case in most of the civilized world.
I really can't speak to other Christian denominations, but that's my two cents.
In short, we're taught to as best we can follow the example of Christ - do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with our God. Call a spade a spade - or in our case, call a hypocrite a hypocrite - and do the best you can to edify your brothers and sisters, and show the love of Christ to the world.
I am curious if you might can provide the answer for this or anyone else who might have the answer...
Who decides what is allegorical, literal, metaphorical, instructional, historical or inspirational within the bible? How does these types of interpretations of the bible get decided? And why isn't the bible just taken at face value, it is after all the Word of God? Why all the confusion over what is what when it comes to the bible?
I am not picking, I would like an honest answer that isn't taken from the bible itself, which the interpretation of is in question in this particualr case.
Well, as a lay person in the Church, the only thing I can say is that the Holy Spirit has guided those who compiled the Bible into what it is now to understand which is which. I know that's NOT a satisfactory answer for many, but neither will this be.
I read scripture a LOT as a kid. I'm a very literate person with excellent reading comprehension. Not one word in the Bible made a lick of sense to me.
When I came to faith in Christ, and received the gift of the Holy Spirit - it was like a dam had broken - it made sense - every word - AND - no matter how deep I dug into the pages of scripture, I could never get enough out of it. There was a new lesson in every word, virtually everyday.
Could you read and explain to me the meaning of these verses?
" 9:25 and 26
I think these are the most misunderstood verses in scripture.
Or at least the most important ones which have been misunderstood.
I've just read through them...would you be so kind as to give me until tomorrow to answer this inquiry? I want to pray on it a bit. I'm not a Scripture scholar, so I can only give you the interpretation of a layman. Is that okay?
That is the only kind of answer that I can understand.
If you can ? see if there is a simple way of understanding what it says, and try to not interpret too munch into it.
I think that if we don't have to "Interpret" some other meaning into it; It holds one of the keys to the strong box.
I pretty much wanted some extra time to pray on it and read through the entire book of Daniel to put it in context. Not to make it too complicated.
Thank you take your time.
I think you will see that every one of these visions about kingdoms and beasts and statues are all talking about the first, second third and fourth kingdoms beginning with Babylon as the first. First means first and fourth meaning fourth. The fourth kingdom and not some kingdom way out there in the future!
It takes a lot of study of what is actually written to eleminate a mountain of preconceived ideas as to what we "thought" it said.
For centuries, preachers have been teaching what they thought it said.
I don't know, Jerami. I read through the book of Daniel last night, and I don't really read a whole lot more into those verses than possibly a prophecy of how long Darius's reign would last. I may have missed something, but I've always felt that the prophecies in the book of Daniel were meant for those living in that time - not necessarily for end times as many others believe.
Again - not a bible scholar - and not one who worries much about when the end times will come since I definitely believe that we have already been told by Christ than no one but the Father knows that date.
I'm just stating what I understand these scripture to be saying when I read them.
It seems as we agree. I believe that all but two prophesy in the book of Daniel pertains to "That Hebrew Nation" which ceased to exist when Hadrian and his army put down the Last Jewish revolt which lasted until 135 AD.
He then began deporting ALL the Hebrews and scattering them through out the rest of the empire. I've read in several encyclopedia that by 150 AD there was not one single Hebrew left to be found in all of Israel and Judea.
I believe that this scattering of the Hebrew Nation is what Daniel 12:7 is talking about. This, time, times and half a time BEGINS some time before 150 AD. This is also the same event described in Rev. 12:14
Daniel 11:45 pinpoints the time when Michael stands up for the children of Daniels people which were Raptured and many of those which were in the graves were caught up. These are the 144000 mentioned in Rev.7 and Rev 14.
This happened when "the Little Horn (Hadrian) comes to his end. Daniel 11:45(138 AD)
The other prophesy written in Daniel which doesn't pertain to those Hebrews is written in Daniel 8:14. I'm not going to speculate what this verse eludes to; but there is a timeframe established. "An end of the story" kind of thing, pointing to a specific date.
One thousand three hundred days beginning around 559ish BC.
If the 62 weeks equal 568 of our years remain constant? 2300 days would be equal to approx 3009 years. or points to the year 2420 AD.
Hey jerami. The key to profiting on an end time prophesy is to make it sometime in the near future. 2420 is too far off to get the crowd worked up.
Ha The verses of scripture that people are recognizing as the end of days has already been fulfilled when that hebrew Nation came to "ITs" end of Days.
Again ... I;m only speaking of that which is written is scripture. The believing it part is optional
However ... The fullfillment of the last plagues as described, are due to come to completion within the next decade.
That would be the coming to completion of the 42 Months of The Beast (c 13)
and the sounding of the 7th trumpet and pouring out of the last bowl.
after that ??? prophesy is unclear.
I just looked up the plagues of Revelation. Hope you're wrong. It sounds pretty bad.
Actually not so bad for us if they have all been fulfilled except the 7th trumpet and 7th bowl.
These are said to happen when the 42 months are finished or soon after.
It would be whatever things which are to come that are not stated in prophesy which conserns me?
Jerami, I'd just like to say that I enjoy your posts. Out of anyone whose spoken of Biblical prophesy on this site your take on it is the most fascinating. You know I don't put much stock in it but I'm still impressed with how you interpret it.
My beliefs aren't what I'm selling, Cause I got nothing to sell.
I'm just wondering "IF" anyone would like to lay down a few preconcieved ideas and look at something a little different?
Aften a decade and a half of contemplating this issue with a lot of thought.
I've just been reading words in a book understanding what is written ... "As IS" and the final conclusion is ???? I think King Solomom said it best .... "Nothing is as it apeares to be ..." cause this is just an illusion? And in our illusion we get to create as much evidence as we need for us to prove to ourselves that it is the way we have chosen to believe it to be.
What other hobbies to you have, Jerami? I see from your Profile that you "fix" things. I suggest you could serve humanity a lot better if you stuck to that.
Was that really needed?
Would you say the same thing to him if he told you that he loved researching the bible?
I'm of the understanding that those who love what they do are the happiest.
So, where does that leave us?
Try to teach a mentally hadnicapped person to wite and one may never succeed... But hand them a hammer and they can fix just about anything. I'm not saying dude is mentally handicapped, but taking the bible that seriously or on any level, appears stupid and useless.
Appears stupid and useless?
Even if it leads him to living a life where he harms none, brings joy to others and finds himself along the way.
Apparently, you have a different definition of "stupid" and "useless" than I do, or anyone else that I have ever met.
Wow... I didn't know that mentally handicapped people had such renown with hammers. I'll stop trying to teach my daughter to read now and set her to work building some shelves.
I was just ripping on dude for saying stupid @$#!, it was meant as no offense to hammers.
I was just ripping on some dude for saying stupid @$#! too...
Funny thing is he thought I was offended for the sake of the hammer!
I'm not that apathetic, I'm just having a laugh at people that choose to be offended. People don't have to tune in, that's why there's 2 dials on the radio; one to change the volume, the other to tune me out. A comedian would have a field day, they feed on this kind of banter. Unfortunately I'm not a comedian, just mean spirited.
Yep all those comedians that make fun of mentally disabled are soaring in popularity. You see them on Leno all the time.
It is positively hilarious to think of all the handicapped out there being given hammers because they can fix anything... I mean that's a great way to think of them! They don't need to learn how to read. What's the point when they are so skilled at repair? And I'm sure that every challenged person in this world just loves hammering and wants to do nothing but that for the rest of their lives. They don't have their own personalities or wants right?
You do realize the difference between mentally disabled people and mystical gnomes right?
Their both retarded, only one is real. No offense to the mentally handicapped, you opened yourself up to that one. I have aspergers, so I tend to say inapropriate things. It's a mental handicap, so then I must lump myself in with the crowd. How well do you use a hammer?
You are seriously going to try to defend your statements here? And you are doing so by throwing the word "retarded" in there too?
Aspergers be damned... My child is fully autistic and has more empathy and social skills than you... and she's three.
Awww Cags... perhaps you'd care to expound on the emoticon?
I was just expressing a minor thought that crossed my mind, when I read your reply.
I pictured a three year old with better social skills than him(using the picture he has on his avatar, as a basis for his age). The picture was quite funny, but I didn't want to use the laughing emoticon because it really didn't suit when you stop to think about the things which we are comparing.
It was down right sad for him and I used that particular emoticon, to show him what he is appearing as, within a character structure. And, the emoticon was dead on target.
Maybe I'll design one for that specific emotion... when I'm done being ripe royally (and likely somewhat irrationally) pissed off.
I'm starting to think I should stay away from the forums for a while. It's starting to get to me.
Autistic kids are pretty smart... Try to sell me another one.
Don't know why you would think that you could offend me ????
Truthfully ???? You often make me smile .... I'd never tell you I told you so. But I do look at you often with that smile on my face ???
Try to teach a mentally hadnicapped person to wite and one may never succeed... But hand them a hammer and they can fix just about anything. I'm not saying dude is mentally handicapped, but taking the bible that seriously or on any level, appears stupid and useless.
I'm taking these one at a time .... haven't looked down yet
Thank you for coming to my defense, ... You don't know how much that means to me.
Hey Jerami, he wasn't coming to your defense. The post you quote, you misread.
No I didn't ..... Was just showing my good side??
EDIT Did you notice on my coment to you that I said "I really do" ?
Yes, I did notice. I guess you didn't notice my "you're welcome" post.
i admit that maybe I didn't ... been a long time sinse i replied this rapid fashion.... I can't do anything any more as fast or for as long as I used to.
This might be a 30 day record ?
I don't remember who made the intial comment, if I insulted you... sorry. Had alot of hecklers today, so I got a little antsy and took it out on the HP. Though my views have changed greatly, these last ten months. I used to agree with both sides, now, neither of them. To much "I'm right" garbage, as if it weren't an opinion to begin with.
Thank you, you don't know how much that means to me!
Ok. I understand how you decide what is what...The next question I would ask is, does everyone else who claim to be Christian, view it the same way?
I love questions like this! They give me a chance to use my red car analogy!
Any person with any literacy skills at all can read the following statement:
It is a red car.
Everyone knows what red is. Everyone knows what a car is.
Ask 100 people to describe the car and you are going to get at least 90 different answers more likely 100. That's because everyone's experience with red cars... or the color red... or cars in general is different and unique to them.
That's because a reader's perspective ALWAYS colors what they read. Literal interpretation of the Bible is really impossible but that doesn't stop people from saying "But it says THIS! How can it mean anything else?"
And with that being said, How can we use the bible as a guide to judge others? We can only use it as a guideline for ourselves only.
Yet, this is not the case.
I think some Christians see it like that most of the time and most of the Christians see it like that some of the time but most of the Christians don't see it like that most of the time.
Christianity... more than most other religions... encourages the belief that each individual has a personal relationship with God. They believe that he speaks to them through their experiences and through the words of the Bible. If they are forced to believe that he doesn't say the same thing to everybody then they have to acknowledge that at least some portion of their beliefs are based on their own opinions. That makes them unsure of 1. Whether God is really telling them anything at all and 2. Whether they are truly obeying Him or just doing as they see fit.
And it is responses such as this that make you such a joy to converse with.
Keep walking it girlie..
That's an excellent analogy. I must try that out on my fundie friends, though I think it will go straight over their heads.
Does one have to be highly intelligent to make such distinctions? Or could good Ol' Common Sense tell us something?
It is a book...I would think that one would only require the ability to read and comprehend. Why do we need to seperate it into different interpretations to understand what it is saying...?
(My theory, it is done as such, to justify the belief system built from it. Because if one were to follow the bible as completely literal...well there probably wouldn't be many who followed it.)
I recently read a quote by a Native American tribe, from around the middle of the 19th century. Don't remember exact quote, but it said something like although they(indians) often would pick fights among themselves, the white man constantly picked fights about their God, and why would they want a religion where they fought about their God.
So apparently, it's always been this way. As far back as you look,and in the bible itself, religion has been at the center of argument, fights, and wars. A lot of times Christian against Christian.
I think that it happens mostly because of a lack of Christlike character in ourselves. Fear, pride, ignorance, and a need to somehow keep "neat and tidy" all of the various parts of the belief system. It is scary to open yourself up to other ideas, other perspectives, other opinions, without losing sight of your own. Today we have to be able to do that. We have to be able to take in and digest what others are saying and know that because other information comes in, it does not take away from our own belief system, it enhances our belief if we are firm in it. Questioning and understanding our own and others beliefs is part of the process. We have to be able to deal with the world around us and try to be Christlike. And many Christians today feel so bombarded in this non,and anti-Christian culture, arguing becomes almost a desperate attempt to do what we're supposed to do; which is spread the word of Christ.
One last thought, "arguing" is trying to sway another to your opinion,or your point of view, which will NEVER work. Most of what happens on these forums is pointless and a waste of time and energy because it simply kicks up more anger, rhetoric, pride, and rude behavior, and absolutley does not sway others to your opinion!! The only way Christians can do that is by having discussion, and if the discussion becomes an argument, I believe that the Christlike thing to do is to drop the argument. If, as Christians we find other, more positive ways to channel our time and energy, we might make a difference in the way that we hope to.
I also would like an answer to your question. Far to many times, the bible is taken out of context to support an individuals ideals and views.
The path is broad but the gate is narrow.
It is so narrow that only one person at a time can go through it.
A group can not go through it "as a group"
Safety in numbers does not apply here.
This doesn't sound like an answer to your question BUT?
When too many people are talking at the same time, can anyone really hear what anyone else is saying?
We do not have a clearly established leader. As a group, we are all going in different directions.
Individually we can see a single path if we would just follow it.
It is early and I haven't had my coffee yet. Maybe I'm still asleep.
Jerami, the answer to so many questions does, for me, come out of your questions.
That gate, wide enough for only one person to walk through, is indeed the lonely pathway to heaven... it's the path each of us has to take, into our own personal, full-knowledge world, where we know the truth about "Myself." No more lies. No more illusions. No more pretending.
"The Group" can be "going in all directions." Each one in the group is taking his/her lonely road, too. Many do not recognise it, some are fighting it, and maybe will fight all their lives without any kind of enlightenment.
You have seen me state clearly that I am atheist in my understanding now. That remains the case. Yet I can see lots of useful stories and analogies from the bible, both old and new testaments, which are worth giving attention to. So my "anti-" is not at any person or person's individual faith. That is sacrosanct.
When the Hypocrite stands out in my anger process, often it's the reflection of myself in the mirror!
It is so sad that we can not see the forest because of all those trees that are standing in the way.
We go wayyyy over there searching for truth, which we have been sitting on all the while.
Can truth realy be that obvious?
Most Everyone seems to be betting against it being so ... So it must not be!?
Yes Kinda like that song. goes something like. when you are looking for a party don't forget to look at the girl standing next to ya. something like that.
kinda off topic but not.
LMBO... I'm safe with everyone. My husband is the size of a Buick.
This Hub is about "The Example of Christ." Do you think he would have had a good sense of humour?
Of course I do... but then again I freely admit that my perception of him is colored by my own opinions. I highly value a sense of humour so therefore that is included in my image of him.
Besides...again using my own perceptions... He was a non-violent man surrounded by pompous idiots... if he truly had the power of God then he either had to laugh at them or throw lighting bolts.
Melissa, that is just what I was thinking. You said: "I highly value a sense of humour so therefore that is included in my image of him."
My point here, (as mentioned some time back in one of the other Hubs,) is that each of us forms the image of "god," or "jesus," or "the virgin mary," and numerous other examples, out of our own needs and desires.
I might be in need of the "Iron John" sort of guy, who is going to lift me out of my problems/despair/fear/misery, and transport me to a safe haven.
I might be a woman who is about to have birth, yet has a demon of a husband who torments me beyond imagination, yet there is no one around whom I can turn to for help and support. Then I conjure up the image of The Virgin Mary, who will protect me because she is sitting next to God, whom I also want to protect me.
I might need the vision of a sexy-looking man or about 32/33, who can be the "apple of my eye," and this will be a picture of Jesus as depicted by one of the classical artists.
And one could go on and on with other examples.
I can see that. I absolutely acknowledge the need for mankind to create it's own avatars. The Wiccan religion -in part (because it is a hugely varied religion)- uses Gods and Heroes as archetypes. Those who practice it as such acknowledge that some may have existed (as in the case of historical figures) and some likely never did. When they do rituals they are essentially praying to be granted a specific characteristic of that God or hero. I find that an incredibly honest way of worship and see how it could likely produce better results than other types of prayer (considering how psychology and self-affirmations work)
I believe that a real Jesus really did walk the Earth and at least some of the teachings attributed to him in the Bible were his... if not all. As such I believe I am likely working with a real base yet creating my own specific "Red Car" that is unique to me in my picture of him.
As such I can usually- USUALLY because I am human- let everyone happily have their own red car. I do occasionally have problems when I think other people are describing a purple train though...
There have been some great responses and interesting dialogue here. Unfortunately (and painfully obvious) those I hoped to get an answer from refuse to respond.
Which is why I'm beginning to think some secular oversight needs to be implemented over the religious organizations. When you demand the right to continue with hate speech because you've been convinced a god is whispering it directly into your ear...and you refuse to question whether this belief falls in line with the teaching of your professed faith; I see you as a danger to society. How far removed is this type of Christian from violence against society as a whole? One whisper away?
If they won't use reason, how are we to get through to them?
@jonnycomelately thank you more than you know,
I started to make a list of things which organized religion does which pushed many agnostics and theists over to the side of Atheism and then saw that I was being guilty of the same things that I was pointing out about "THEM"
I am "Them" but from a different viewpoint than my own.
Everyone is "them" to somebody.
I do not agree with the churches rendition ... but I haven't thrown away the record. The music remains the same even when the singer can't carry a tune in a bushel basket.
Actually scriptures does say that churchiousity will go down this path and still have a worthwile purpose.
I really don't know how to explain what I'm saying so I'll stop with that.
Hope everyone has a great day.
I say, if you want the truth about Jesus and his teachings, then you really can have it.
(a) Be honest with yourself about your self and that of the world you live in.
(b) Strip Jesus' message out of the religion book it's in and read it.
(c) Do away with the "mystical" aspects which are applied to said book, considering "mystical" is known as a lie.
(d) Implement his teachings into your every day life and find peace of mind, love, joy and many other beautiful things. Walk the walk instead of claiming with your actual actions which are Talk the talk.
(e) Doing so, kicks religion to the curb.
aww Cags... You are a U.U. Just coming out of the closet are you?
Hey Melissa, nice try.
Coming out of the closet?
My dear Melissa, I was in a "closet" for a good portion of my earlier life, however, after researching religion and it's history, as well as, a good portion of many other subjects/topics, I came to understand that the only thing that mattered about the Bible was Jesus' original message less the mystical aspect.
It forms the perfect union between individuals. His message is about us as individuals and that we each need to be consciously active(completely aware) of our own actions and pay heed to the actions of others.
I have no issue with Jesus' teachings in this manner. I have no issue with understanding that I am in control of how I act, what I say and who hears it. The most important thing to me is impact, either positive or negative doesn't matter. As with Jesus, he didn't care what other people thought about his message, because he knew over time it would be absorbed, realized and then implemented.
The unfortunate truth of the matter is that many other people have had their hands in the creation of the religions' books- the writing and manufacturing, and distribution. And, that's the problem. These sources have proven they cannot be trusted, so when people who cannot be trusted put together a book and pass it on to the remainder of civilization, how can the book be honestly trusted?
See the problem I have with that statement is that it is emotionally true but logically false. Emotionally we know that those with a history of not being truthful shouldn't be trusted. However logically we know that the source of a statement does not affect the validity of that statement. As such each statement must be examined without bias to the speaker of that statement. Which is a tall order for most.
The above statement is why I never criticize people for "Cherry picking" the bible.
Now for the U.U. poke... what you described in points b c and d of your original post... that's what Jefferson attempted to do in his bible. Us U.U.s love the Jefferson Bible.
Actually it is not. I am referring to the idiots who decided to put what gospels(books) into the religious books used. Those people are the ones who are not trusted and shouldn't be trusted.
That is providing you have a valid statement to begin with. That is provided you're given the correct context within said statement, so you can validate it. If just one word is translated or mistakenly placed, then the context will be wrong, but you still might be able to rationalize it to be valid. Remember, people can rationalize almost anything, but that doesn't mean it's actually rational.
Examined without bias? Good luck with that, because in order to do that, one must be able to see beyond oneself, to find objectivity and truth.
Good to know. Never seen, but have heard of it. And, no I'm not interested.
Easy big boy...
Pointing out that you are using the "poisoning the well" logical fallacy. Then rationalizing your use of such
Even if someone lies 99 percent of the time it doesn't detract from the truth of the statements that are true.
And i wasn't trying to convert you dear... just pointing something out. Conversion is not really my thing. If you have to talk someone into converting then they make a piss-poor convert.
Poisoning the well? I'm not sure I understand.
I would agree that a statement of truth can be seen even if a person lies most of the time. However, the likelihood of statement of truth would be seen as what it is, are not good. Ego is the main reason.
I realize that, it was just poke and fun.
It didn't seem to be your thing, which has been obvious from the first time I talked with you.
If anyone attempts to talk someone into converting, then it's nothing more than manipulation and/or persuasion or a play on ignorance.
I've never expressed it exactly that way. Don't know that I would exactly?
I did come in here years ago with something similar.
"Read he words written in red first and formost with "This" as the foundation for our beliefs. THEN when reading the rest of the NT understand that in such a way as it conforms to those words written in RED"
We will find ourselves standing in a different place at the end of the day.
I guess that is kinda what you just said; but not.
I would only have one problem with what you said- S/Paul was a fake, a joke and led by some other sources which skewed his understanding of Jesus. S/Paul continued the mystical aspect which is where the dishonesty comes into play.
There's nothing needed or warranted from S/Paul. Absolutely, NOTHING!
I never said S?Paul was or wasn't a Fake?
That is irrelevant. If I base my beliefs first upon those words in red.
When I do this first and understand what Paul said in such a way as to agree with what Jesus said. Then there isn't "as much" of what Paul said that NEEDS to be discarded. A lot of what Paul taught was his opinion of that which Jesus taught. I don't think the other disciples did that?
Yes, his opinion of his interpretation, not translation.
Exactly ... A lot of what is taught in religion is excess interpretation of poor translation which came due to a preexisting mindset which automatically leans toward a particular desired conclusion.
This in no way denies or confirms the validity of the original message.
I happen to believe that which I believe the original message to have been. Just as everyone does.
If I can’t believe those words written in RED … Then there went the whole idea (out the window).
I believe in the same God that all the christians say that they believe in.
But when he speaks I hear a different message than they seem to be hearing.
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