Just how other is other ?

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Re: Just how other is other ?

Postby bn2bnude » Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:03 am

jimmy wrote:Using the term “saved” to mean someone who has put their faith in Jesus’ promises of eternal life in heaven with Him the two diagnostic questions I mentioned earlier has the following purpose.

First, question one is usually answered as, “I hope so,” “I think so,” etc by someone who is not saved. Question two is answered as, “I have been a good person, I don’t lie or steal, and I haven’t murdered anyone.” In other words, a list of good works. Good works alone will not save anyone. After answering question two giving the Good News, you can know for sure that you are going to heaven is the opening to sharing the Gospel and leading the individual to Christ.

Jimmy



When you ask these questions as "diagnostics", you are making assumptions on how salvation "works" in our lives.

What are your assumptions?
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1 NLT)



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Re: Just how other is other ?

Postby Ramblinman » Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:16 am

Bare_Truth wrote:...It would appear that by the time Paul wrote this , circa 60 AD, all things necessary to know the real Jesus from any false ones had been preached, (at least to the Corinthians) In contrast, however; much of the Christology accepted today comes from much later, by hundreds of years or more, (e.g. council of Nicea 325 AD and later sources) It would seem then that if we confine ourselves to what was preached earlier, we would have sufficient understanding to define who and what the real Jesus was. Is there any reason to believe that there was any Christology preached circa 60 AD and earlier that we do not find in the scriptures. Is there Christology that had to generated by all these later councils and theologians, that is truly necessary to comprehending the Jesus whom we claim as "... My Lord and my God.", (Apostle Thomas to the risen Christ John 20:2) ?

If it is the case that the Corinthians has received the necessary and sufficient understanding about Christ, it would seem that anyone who holds to whatever Christology was preached up to that time can be regarded as not being "other", and all the rest of creeds is superfluous and can be disregarded in matters of fellowship.

The only reason for accepting any doctinal points of later origin as critical would be if we could conclude that those points had indeed been preached to the Corinthians and subsequently lost. But does anyone really believe that any substantial knowledge has been lost from the gospels that is critical to the declaration "My Lord
and My God" ?


I agree that there is no extra-biblical truth essential to salvation.
A creed can be a tool for restating key scriptural passages, but by their nature, creeds use different words than the inspired text and summarize sometimes complex concepts into briefer sentences. I wouldn't dream of teaching a creed to a novice Christian without concurrent teaching by a church elder. There is too much danger of being unnecessarily divisive and adding erroneous human doctrine to the revealed will of God.

Baretruth, I don't want to narrow this discussion to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, but if I may use it just this once as an example of the broader problem, this doctrine is implicit in the Bible without there being such a word in the original Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek scriptures.

As I see it, those who deny the Holy Trinity (which is not in itself a damnable heresy), are however of necessity denying essential truths about Jesus and God in general that are essential to salvation.

So if confronted with someone in his congregation who denies the Holy Trinity, a pastor or board of Elders could not technically excommunicate him for that, but it would be a mandate for ferreting out the heretical doctrines he believes that led him to that conclusion and show him the error of his ways.

While I believe that the doctrine of the Holy Trinity can be easily inferred from the sum of what the Bible has to say about the nature of God and each person in the Trinity, there are to be sure those who refuse to see these truths.

I do not think that Christians are obligated to believe only those doctrines that "make sense" to every new Christian around the world. There are obviously some whose preconceptions and agendas predispose them to believe contrary to what the apostles taught.

Paul's problem with the Corinthians was that due to the difficulties of travel, he and the other apostles could only make occasional visits to Corinth to reaffirm what they taught and root out misunderstandings. In addition, agenda-driven teachers resided in the area and had a lot more time and opportunity to introduce heresy into that church filled with new believers.

I realize that there is no sharp delineation between doctrines that are clearly implied through proper exegesis and doctrines that went beyond sound exegesis, leaping to unwarranted conclusions. The apostles and their immediate disciples were in a position to redress these erroneous leaps, but eventually error did creep in.

It is understandable that theologians would surely want to discuss the nature of God and the person of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, beyond what the scripture expressly teaches, but let's not make it a litmus test of faith in those areas where they do go beyond scripture.

Eventually church leaders no longer used scripture to defend what they taught as essentials of the faith, they simply said, "Belief it or die in your sins because I say so"
Once the standard of truth was lowered from scripture to merely whatever some bishop thought was true, the mechanism was created for the church to make a wholesale rapid slide into total apostasy.
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Re: Just how other is other ?

Postby jimmy » Sat Nov 06, 2010 7:21 pm

The only assumption is this, a person is either born again (saved) or he/she is not. There is no almost saved. The two questions help in getting to the real question, "are you saved?"


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Re: Just how other is other ?

Postby bn2bnude » Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:33 pm

jimmy wrote:The only assumption is this, a person is either born again (saved) or he/she is not. There is no almost saved. The two questions help in getting to the real question, "are you saved?"


So, how does that fit with Matt 25:31-46 , The parable of the sheep and goats. From the way I read the parable, either side would have been on the "opposite side" of salvation than they ended up.

The goats felt they deserved salvation but didn't receive it in the end. The sheep, received salvation in the end but didn't know they deserved it.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1 NLT)



If I speak with the tongues of men and angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Cor 13:1)
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Re: Just how other is other ?

Postby natman » Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:28 pm

bn2bnude wrote:
jimmy wrote:The only assumption is this, a person is either born again (saved) or he/she is not. There is no almost saved. The two questions help in getting to the real question, "are you saved?"


So, how does that fit with Matt 25:31-46 , The parable of the sheep and goats. From the way I read the parable, either side would have been on the "opposite side" of salvation than they ended up.

The goats felt they deserved salvation but didn't receive it in the end. The sheep, received salvation in the end but didn't know they deserved it.


I kind of view the goats as goats in sheep's clothing. In other words, they know in their hearts they have not truely accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, yet they don all of the trappings of Chistians, talking as if they know Christ, acting LIKE Christians on the outside while hiding deceit on the inside.

As far as the sheep are concerned, I do not think that the word "deserve" is a correct application. If they really ARE sheep, then they KNOW they, in and of themselves, do not "deserve" Heaven or crowns, that it is only by the grace of Christ that they should recieve anything.

I do not know to what depth a person must believe in order that they be saved. There ARE certain points that I think they MUST understand.

They must understand and believe that God is eternal and that they are mere creatures, created by God.

They must understand and believe that they are sinful by nature and that it is IMPOSSIBLE for them to live up to the Law of God.

They must understand and believe that no matter how much good they do, they cannot cover their own sin or make themselves worthy of eternity with God.

They must understand and believe that God loves them so much that He sent His one and only Son into the world to be a perfect sacrifice for their sins.

Then they must repent of their sins and accept that sacrifice (Christ blood on the cross) as a propitiation for their sins.

I know of a good many Christians who understand and believe the above. They cannot explain to you the wonder of the Trinity or the effect of the Holy Spirit. However, it is evident in their lives that they ARE filled with the Spirit and that they have a love for Christ the Son and God the Father than has no bounds.

I know of a good many Christians that hold to some "strange" understandings of Scripture, understandings that I do not and cannot hold to, yet they are also obviously filled with the Spirit and love the Lord with all of their heart.
SON-cerely,
Nathan Powers

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Re: Just how other is other ?

Postby jimmy » Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:07 pm

Nathan may have said it better but here is my response as well.



In response to bn2bnude’s question about Christ’s parable regarding the Sheep and Goats found in Mathew 25:31-46 I suggest reading Mathew 22:34-39 where Christ is asked what the greatest commandment is. He said, “Love the Lord your God with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

It is clear that the goats had not loved their neighbor as themselves while the sheep followed Christ’s message to love your neighbor – showing compassion, kindness, and fulfilling physical needs if possible. In so doing, they had shown the love of Christ. The parable of the sheep and goats does not indicate it is impossible to know whether we are saved. One of the basic rules of Biblical Hermeneutics states the Bible does not contradict itself.

I John 5:13, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. The meaning is clear; we can know for sure. In Romans 6:23 we read, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus or Lord.” There can be no question regarding eternal life, it is a gift. Further, we find in Ephesians 2:8, 9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” Even though the sheep had done good works that was not enough to gain eternal life.

Romans 3:22-23, “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” If we could be perfectly sinless then eternal life would be ours, so Mathew 5:48 says, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Because humankind is sinfull from birth we are lost without Christ's intervention

We are cautioned in Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” Humankind is in a state of sin. Without God’s willingness to forgive us, we would be forever lost. God loves humankind but must punish un-repented sin. I John 4:8-9 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” Exodus 34:7b states, “Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished…” If we cannot save ourselves and God must punish the guilty, what are we to do?

Well, here is the good news! John 1:1, 14 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (14) The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Christ’s death on the cross and subsequent resurrection paid the debt for our sins. We must believe in Christ, but what does it mean to believe? Well, it means we must have faith is Christ’s promises and believe what he has told us. Here is the problem with faith. What kind of faith are we talking about when we say you must have a saving faith?

James 2:19 states, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder. Mathew 8:29, “What do you want with us, Son of God? they shouted. “Have you come to torture us before the appointed time?” Just acknowledging something is true is called intellectual faith. For example, we believe that George Washington was a real person. This intellectual faith in George Washington is primarily based on experiences we have had. It is like having faith that the chair we sit on every morning to eat breakfast will hold us up. Past experience has shown us that the chair is trustworthy. Jesus said we must have the faith of a child or we can not enter the kingdom of heaven.

John 3:2-21 tells the story of Nicodemus who stated that he believed Jesus had come from God. Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” Jesus went on to explain that saving faith was like the faith of a child who believes what his parents tell him without reservation. Simply, complete, total belief that what his or her parents have said was the truth. This is saving faith. Acts 16:31 tells the story of the jailer thinking that Paul and Silas would have escaped after an earthquake. When he found both Paul and Silas still there he asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved”? They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved – you and your household.”

We know now that saving faith is the avenue to eternal life but how do we get it. A street person was asking people passing by for change. One woman stopped and offered the man $5.00. Now this woman had made up her mind that the gift of $5.00 was the street person’s money. When did the money actually become the man’s $5.00? The woman had already decided to give it to the man. The man clearly wanted it. It became the man’s money when he reached out and gratefully accepted the $5.00 into his hand. Eternal life is a free gift and we acquire it when we ask Christ for forgiveness and accept the gift of eternal life in faith that his promises are true.

Jesus stands ready to give anyone the gift of eternal life. Revelation 3:20, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” My answer to the first diagnostic question is Yes! I know that I will go to heaven. And my answer to the second diagnostic question is answered by John 6:47 in Jesus’ own words, “I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.” I stand on this verse as proof that I will be accepted in heaven. Yes, you can know for sure!

God bless us one and all,

Jimmy
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Re: Just how other is other ?

Postby dby » Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:23 am

natman wrote:They must understand and believe that they are sinful by nature and that it is IMPOSSIBLE for them to live up to the Law of God.


While I certainly acknowledge that my sinfulness has been handed down from the time of Adam. However, I have trouble accepting this premise that God was lying in Deuteronomy 30:11 when He said that it was "not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach."

As I understand Christian theology, God is like a father who gave his son a series of commands that were impossible to keep. The father did this just so he could punish his son for the disobedience. Finally he threw that son out of the house and replace him with an adopted son who didn't have to perform any commandments just so that the adopted son could show the dispossessed real son how evil he was for trying to obey his father. God did this as a model for us to learn what a loving father is to be like.

I realize I'm somewhat looking at the Christian faith from an outside perspective, but this is what I understand of Christian theology.

From my perspective it is possible to obey the commands that God gave - the problem is with me making the decision not to do so.

They must understand and believe that no matter how much good they do, they cannot cover their own sin or make themselves worthy of eternity with God.

The most we can accomplish by obedience is doing what we were supposed to do in the first place. Obedience does not overcome our previous disobedience. This is where the death and resurrection of Messiah comes in - to pay the penalty for my disobedience.
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Re: Just how other is other ?

Postby bn2bnude » Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:01 am

Hi dby... Been a while since we've heard from you.

dby wrote:As I understand Christian theology, God is like a father who gave his son a series of commands that were impossible to keep. The father did this just so he could punish his son for the disobedience. Finally he threw that son out of the house and replace him with an adopted son who didn't have to perform any commandments just so that the adopted son could show the dispossessed real son how evil he was for trying to obey his father. God did this as a model for us to learn what a loving father is to be like.


I wouldn't say that is what all of Christian theologians believe. In fact, I don't know that I'd necessarily say that it's a majority view. I would suggest that, with a couple of adjustments, you are close to some that I've heard.

My reading of the Bible isn't quite as concise as the one you listed above.
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If I speak with the tongues of men and angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Cor 13:1)
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Re: Just how other is other ?

Postby floridabill » Sun Nov 14, 2010 1:45 pm

I beg to differ.
I think you both need to read the scriptures and get a btter understanding of just who God is and what he's like.



He did not give anyone impossiblities just so he could punish them.



It took one failure to make mankind think he was like God. And that thinking brought on all the rules and regeluations that God needed to place so we could see that we can not do something on our own. We need Him. But had that one failure never have happened - we'd still be living naked in the garden.



It was never a punishment - it was grace. Grace given because God originally gave us free will.



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Re: Just how other is other ?

Postby bn2bnude » Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:29 pm

floridabill wrote:I beg to differ.
I think you both need to read the scriptures and get a btter understanding of just who God is and what he's like.



He did not give anyone impossiblities just so he could punish them.



It took one failure to make mankind think he was like God. And that thinking brought on all the rules and regeluations that God needed to place so we could see that we can not do something on our own. We need Him. But had that one failure never have happened - we'd still be living naked in the garden.



It was never a punishment - it was grace. Grace given because God originally gave us free will.



FloridaBill



Maybe I wasn't as clear as I needed to be... I don't agree with dby's suggestion of what theology is. I have, however, heard his summary expressed in churches before.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1 NLT)



If I speak with the tongues of men and angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Cor 13:1)
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Re: Just how other is other ?

Postby floridabill » Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:43 pm

Hi Bn2b,
Yes - I have also heard it. I have also been taught it.

But I know from my own seeking and studying that it is a false doctrine.



God never intended for us to live seperate from Him. But He did give us free will.



If He ever punished anyone, it was Jesus - and the punishment he recieved should have been ours.



I do not know dby, but when I see that someone understands Christianity as a God who beats people up just because he can - well that gets me upset because it simply is not true.



Unlike many other religions, Christianity says - I deserved to be punished, but was not. My punishment was placed on another - He took my place. And because He took my place - I am redeemed from the curse of the law. And not only that - another took my place simply because God wanted me - yup - naked, poor, tired, lost me - to walk and talk and fellowship wirth him. And HE knew there was nothing I could do to attain that goal Why? Because if I could do it, then it would have to be something everyone could do. But since everyone has free will - it can't be based on "doing", it must be based on accepting (recieving) the free gift of God.



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Re: Just how other is other ?

Postby natman » Wed Nov 17, 2010 6:56 pm

dby wrote:From my perspective it is possible to obey the commands that God gave - the problem is with me making the decision not to do so.


While I do not think that it is "theoretically impossible" for us obey all of God's commandments, from what God Himself has said in His Word, "ALL have sinned...", it is "practically impossible", (impossible in practice). Unfortunately, we ALL make the decision not to obey at some point in our lives, otherwise, we make God out to be a liar (1 John 1:10).
SON-cerely,
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Re: Just how other is other ?

Postby floridabill » Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:05 pm

I believe....


It is not physically possible for a human being to _always_ obey _all_ of God's law.



Just as any time we are driving on a highway with a posted speed limit of 55, and we do 56 - we are then breaking THE LAW.



To be perfect we would have to never ever violate _any_ of the law.



Thank God jesus said he fullfilled all of it, and left us with only two commands - love God, love your neighbor.

And truth is - we can not do that all the time every time.



So better than the freedom from the law is the forgivenss given, and grace provided.

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Re: Just how other is other ?

Postby Petros » Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:37 am

Mat 19:25-26: When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
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Re: Just how other is other ?

Postby bn2bnude » Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:05 am

I think I figured out what has been bothering me about this strip as of late. We are talking about salvation as a transaction rather than as a relationship. It's only taken several days to get it through my head.

I'll include a link to this page because copy/paste doesn't work so well for me. To get a much better explanation than what I'm going to attempt below.

"Transactional Christianity" looks at the Bible and says "God made this promise (salvation), I fulfilled the requirements (belief) so I reap the benefits (I'm saved)".

"Relational Christianity" looks at the Bible and says, "God made this promise (salvation), I choose to build a relationship (belief, trust and faith & walking beside), I reap the benefits of the relationship."

It extends salvation to much more than just an "end of my life" thought to a "walk beside" thought.

I believe the Bible, from Adam & Eve on deals with God's relationship with his creation. Sometimes it's really easy to forget that.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1 NLT)



If I speak with the tongues of men and angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Cor 13:1)
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