Is that a denominational Difference ???

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Re: Is that a denominational Difference ???

Postby nakedpreacher » Tue May 19, 2015 2:31 am

the oneness person may well accept that the Jesus of Scripture is the one which they believe, and may in their ignorance misunderstand his triune nature with Father and Holy Spirit. I am not referring to those who intentionally twist scripture and prostitute the Gospel for their own benefit. I am referring to the person who is just honestly mistaken about his nature and has been given bad information. I believe that Grace will cover our ignorance as much as our sin. I can not say definitely that the oneness person is condemned for being mistaken about the nature of Christ, though that belief is indeed heretical. I think the circle drawn by grace contains many more people than the circle drawn by Christians.
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Re: Is that a denominational Difference ???

Postby nakedpreacher » Tue May 19, 2015 2:39 am

Jochanaan, very interesting blog post, ended up reading the whole series on "Modesty Culture" in the church. Gives me a lot of understanding as to where my daughter is coming from on some of these issues, I think some of our debates come down to different uses of terminology. thanks for posting the link
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Re: Is that a denominational Difference ???

Postby Petros » Tue May 19, 2015 9:12 am

Where creeds and heresy really come in - a big part is, who gets into which fraternity, which tells us nothing about our grades. I buy into 98% of the teachings of the Church of Cleveland - I can comfortably sit through service and sermon, be blessed and edified, but because of that 2% I cannot be a member. I strongly disagree with a major tenet of the Spirit-Breathed Brethren [which I only know about through one colleague], and that means I would not be welcome as a member and I can not comfortably sit through service and sermon.

Within the org, they are useful standardizing approaches, always desirable - for an organization. You do not want Brother Johnny preaching a tau cross and then Sister Jeanie Wednesday night preaching t'other kind. With God's help, this MAY cut down on false teaching and confusing the brethren - though from what I have seen ultimately we need to rely on direct decluttering from the Spirit.

We need to remember - heresy is simply difference, and need not imply either is wrong - or either is right.
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: Is that a denominational Difference ???

Postby Ramblinman » Tue May 19, 2015 9:20 am

Petros wrote:...The Jesus preached to me - in gospels, epistles, prophecies, commentaries, sermons, communiques from the Spirit - does not require any particular stance on the Godhead. He is content with Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God and My Lord and my God, and is in no way bothered by Saul's Who art thou, Lord?

Otherwise - why did he not give us a closely reasoned account of the Trinity?

Jesus did not write a book on theology, much less one on the nature of the Trinity, but we can glean what he wants us to know from what he said about himself, his relationship with the Father (and the fact that he was not the Father) and we can glean a few things about this promised Holy Spirit, who is also mentioned in hindsight in Genesis.

The one whom we now call Jesus was begotten as The Son, not created as you and I are.
The Son is eternal and proceeds eternally from the Father (details not available).
The Son took on the identity/role of Messiah Jesus when he created a body for himself from within Mary's body and divine intervention (no details on zygote creation from one or more haploid gametes). And the Eternal Son indwelt the specially-created body of the baby Jesus.
During his earthly sojourn, he divested himself of his powers, relying on The Father whenever he needed to know what to do next.

There are cults aplenty that teach that claim to "believe in Jesus", but do not believe what he said about himself and do not worship him as Lord. Plenty of Jews, Greeks and Romans of his day fell into that category. Not much has changed except that The Church has 2,000 years to both gain insight from the Holy Spirit and 2,000 years to add misguided confusing "amplifications" that cloud the waters rather than adding clarity.
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Re: Is that a denominational Difference ???

Postby jochanaan » Tue May 19, 2015 11:37 am

Perhaps the difference is not in what we say about God, but in how we say it, and how we prescribe what we say. To speculate about the nature of God is human and admirable--as long as we admit, finally, that He is above our this-life understanding. Even to say that "I believe such-and so, and perhaps everybody should believe such-and so" about God is not a bad thing; it shows that we have thought and continue to think about God. But to say that "unless you believe such-and so, you are not saved" is to intrude in a private area that is between others and God. In other words, your personal beliefs about God are none of my business.

For example, I have thought often about whether calling God "He" limits His nature. Based on Genesis 1:27 and a few other passages, I have concluded that the God of the Bible is indeed both masculine and feminine. Sometimes (not so much here, but elsewhere in cyberspace) you may see me typing "S/He" as an expression of this personal belief. I also tend to think that believing this about God will give believers a more compassionate mindset, especially towards women, and thus I feel that to embrace this belief is desirable. But--and this is where I draw the line--I will never say that if you do not believe this you are not saved.

Actually, the Bible gives only one indication about whether a person is living in the Holy Spirit: "Ye shall know them by their fruit." (Matthew 7:16)
You can live your life in fear--or you can live your life.
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Re: Is that a denominational Difference ???

Postby Ramblinman » Tue May 19, 2015 1:01 pm

jochanaan wrote:Perhaps the difference is not in what we say about God, but in how we say it, and how we prescribe what we say. To speculate about the nature of God is human and admirable--as long as we admit, finally, that He is above our this-life understanding. Even to say that "I believe such-and so, and perhaps everybody should believe such-and so" about God is not a bad thing; it shows that we have thought and continue to think about God.


I noticed that you mention a generic belief in "God".
While we can set aside the fine points of doctrine and live admirable lives,
Jesus cannot be sidestepped.
Who is he?
Is he your Lord? (And I meant a good bit more than landlord or respected guru)
Calling Jesus "Lord" in ancient Israel was a capital offense and many are baffled by this today, because the word "Lord" is an English word that fails to convey the clear Hebrew (and Aramaic) meaning of deity in a monotheistic faith.

I think God deliberately focused on his Oneness for several thousand years before gradually bringing in the concept of distinction between Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the midst of that essential Oneness. So this was a bit of a shock for Pharisees, although David and Isaiah prophetically hinted at the divinity of Messiah. He was more than the greatest of prophets and while Jesus was God in the flesh and once restored to heaven he was equal with God, Jesus is not the Father, the Father is the Father.

jochanaan wrote:But to say that "unless you believe such-and so, you are not saved" is to intrude in a private area that is between others and God. In other words, your personal beliefs about God are none of my business.

You are obviously speaking as one acquaintance to another. In that limited sense you are correct. However...
Friends have an obligation to care about the spiritual health of true friends.
Pastors, an obligation to care for their flock.
The Church of Christ has an obligation to faithfully transfer what was given to them by Jesus and the Apostles.


jochanaan wrote:For example, I have thought often about whether calling God "He" limits His nature. Based on Genesis 1:27 and a few other passages, I have concluded that the God of the Bible is indeed both masculine and feminine. Sometimes (not so much here, but elsewhere in cyberspace) you may see me typing "S/He" as an expression of this personal belief. I also tend to think that believing this about God will give believers a more compassionate mindset, especially towards women, and thus I feel that to embrace this belief is desirable. But--and this is where I draw the line--I will never say that if you do not believe this you are not saved.

God self-identifies in masculine terminology for the most part, only a few poetic verses use feminine attributes to describe God's interaction with us.

So where does that leave us? A being that is generally male in nature, but who found it necessary to create woman in order for our species to be more fully said to be in God's image. I continue to use "He and Him", but recognizing that God far surpasses us (guys and gals) in many many ways. We stand at the shore and say we have seen the ocean. This is true, but no one has fully seen the ocean to this day. How much more the Lord? Still, I will not reject what he has revealed about himself in scripture.

jochanaan wrote:Actually, the Bible gives only one indication about whether a person is living in the Holy Spirit: "Ye shall know them by their fruit." (Matthew 7:16)


Outward fruits are evidence of salvation and one's testimony about Jesus is one of those fruits!

Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3

"I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins."
John 8:24
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Re: Is that a denominational Difference ???

Postby Petros » Tue May 19, 2015 9:31 pm

This section is not the venue I would get expansive if I were going to get expansive which I am not sure I am about to do.

But here is a point which is in my bailiwick and even my province. Certain human languages - Hebrew among them - insist on marking which is associated with human gender, even if the referent is not human and not gendered. Every animal, object, abstraction is assigned - in a way which is not quite arbitrary - to HE or SHE. Certain Amerindian languages similarly - not quite arbitarily and not quite rationally - label all things ANIMATE or INANIMATE. Other languages, other systems, some have no such distinctions.

Point - these are grammatical distinctions that have no definite basis in the non-linguistic world. Why is the moon MASCULINE to Germanic languages, FEMININE to Romance? Why is a stone ANIMATE in Cree? The assignments tell us nothing definite about the referent.

God speaking to Semites in a Semitic language, being spoken to and of by Semites in a Semitic language. Necessarily assigned to a "gender".

We must assume God set up the languages and arranged the Hebrew connection with a plan and purpose. We cannot assume from the MASCULINE assignment - nor from the FEMININE assignment in certain other languages, which so delighted a feminist grad student - that we can deduce anything particular about God.

Of course EL[LA] - multilingual pun - may choose to reveal all sorts of things through the Spirit - FEMININE in Hebrew, NEUTER in Greek, MASCULINE in Germanic.
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Re: Is that a denominational Difference ???

Postby nakedpreacher » Tue May 19, 2015 10:42 pm

My comments were only in reference to deciding by human standards who is saved. I do believe the oneness doctrine to be untrue and even heretical. I believe that Mormonism is a false faith in which Works are substituted for Grace (the similarities to what Paul describes in Galatians is striking), and yet I have a Mormon friend whom, after many long conversations regarding Grace and salvation, I believe to be saved. This is an example of what I was referring to. Because someone belongs to a certain church, even a heretical one, we can not say with certainty if that person is saved or not. We judge by outward appearance and always in our own favor, but God does not judge as we do, he judges justly and with Mercy, in our favor. I try to never limit Gods grace. I have many views on many things which I believe to be true, and yet I may be incorrect on nearly any one of them. Is this incorrectness enough to damn me, I don't think so because I earnestly seek to follow Christ. I believe that God's grace covers our honest misconceptions, even when those misconceptions involve the nature of Christ himself. Should we knowingly follow a false doctrine and depend upon grace to save us, by no means; but if we earnestly desire to follow, but are incorrect on the details of how Father, Son and Holy Spirit are related to one another (a doctrine which I know no one who Comprehends, but only Apprehends) I think that this person is covered by grace. This does not in any way reduce to Centrality of Christ, but makes his grace even greater. Just my opinion, God does not ask my advice on whom he should save.
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Re: Is that a denominational Difference ???

Postby Ramblinman » Tue May 19, 2015 11:26 pm

We can be wrong about the details, but if we do not acknowledge Jesus as Lord, we deviate from the very modest requirement of the apostles for salvation.

To put a twist on this story, I have a Oneness friend. We agree about many things, but not on this very important matter. I am always happy to discuss the issue again, but I will not badger him about it.

He attended a meeting of my nudist club and was very pleased with observing social nudity firsthand. Folks from every walk of life, a surprising number of single women, couples, children, old folks all having the time of our lives with none of the evils that the doomsayers predict would happen when folks enjoy life without clothes.

It was a winter meeting and it felt wonderful to come in from the cold and peel off layer after layer of clothes until I got down to the real me.

I encouraged him to visit his local resort when he returned to his home town.
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Re: Is that a denominational Difference ???

Postby MoNatureMan » Wed May 20, 2015 12:43 am

This is a difficult area to understand, but I will put my 2 or 3 cents in.

In order to judge a person's eternity (which we can not), we must consider:
- Are they a new Christian that doesn't have a great understanding of God's Word.
- Is that person of simple mind or maybe a young child that can't fully grasp the details of Scripture.
- At what stage of growing in the knowledge of God's Word is a person.
- Is that person purposefully believing and living a lie or just not understanding Scripture.
- Is that person's main desire to serve and honor God or his church and friends.
- Which does that person love more, Jesus Christ or this world.
- Where is a person's faith in comparison to the gifts and abilities God has given them.

By appearances there are people that we would never expect to see in Heaven and others that we would expect to see. But we can not judge a persons heart or place judgement upon their eternal future.
Yes, I would like to see all Muslims, JW, LDS... turn to Christ. But all we can do is pray, share, and teach the glorious Gospel that has been given to us.
Should we stand silent to attacks or perversions upon the Gospel. God forbid, pray, share and teach the glorious Gospel that has been given to us.

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Re: Is that a denominational Difference ???

Postby Petros » Wed May 20, 2015 12:57 am

C S Lewis is not - by my standards - in the running for the best author of all time, nor is he close to the ultimate theologian. Yet he said some stuff quite well, and said some quite good stuff, and I have found much food for thought. This from The Last Battle: the speaker is a seeker, a young member of the group constructed to represent the pagan world and designed with the Moors in mind:

“Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honour) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him. Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc of the world and live and not to have seen him. But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, Son, thou art welcome. But I said, Alas Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. Then by reasons of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted. Dost thou understand, Child? I said, Lord, though knowest how much I understand. But I said also (for the truth constrained me), Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.”
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Re: Is that a denominational Difference ???

Postby Ramblinman » Wed May 20, 2015 9:30 am

Even Rome admits that some popes are burning in hell, yet they insist that by God's grace he never allowed these wicked men to bring damnable heresies into the eternal Church.
Martin Luther seems to have disagreed.

I suspect that many folks in Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, Baptist, Episcopal etc are saved in spite of their church and not because of their church attendance and instruction.

But I agree that LDS is more than a church with some false doctrine but an entirely wicked cult filled with some of the nicest people you'd care to meet. :biggrin:
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Re: Is that a denominational Difference ???

Postby Ramblinman » Wed May 20, 2015 9:34 am

Petros wrote:... I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted. Dost thou understand, Child? I said, Lord, though knowest how much I understand. But I said also (for the truth constrained me), Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.”

C.S. Lewis, beloved author and well-meaning thoughtful Christian though he is, seems to have entirely forgotten I Samuel chapter 15 in which King Saul disobeyed God by taking a spoil of his enemy and then attempted to atone by sacrificing to God a portion of the booty that he was instructed not to keep.
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Re: Is that a denominational Difference ???

Postby Petros » Wed May 20, 2015 9:42 am

Not sure I see the connection. Saul was selected and anointed, but I see in the accounts of him little evidence that he was seeking God's will at all seriously. I see Saul's general style as closer to what Lewis here condemns.
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Re: Is that a denominational Difference ???

Postby jochanaan » Wed May 20, 2015 10:58 am

nakedpreacher wrote:My comments were only in reference to deciding by human standards who is saved. I do believe the oneness doctrine to be untrue and even heretical. I believe that Mormonism is a false faith in which Works are substituted for Grace (the similarities to what Paul describes in Galatians is striking), and yet I have a Mormon friend whom, after many long conversations regarding Grace and salvation, I believe to be saved. This is an example of what I was referring to. Because someone belongs to a certain church, even a heretical one, we can not say with certainty if that person is saved or not. We judge by outward appearance and always in our own favor, but God does not judge as we do, he judges justly and with Mercy, in our favor. I try to never limit Gods grace. I have many views on many things which I believe to be true, and yet I may be incorrect on nearly any one of them. Is this incorrectness enough to damn me, I don't think so because I earnestly seek to follow Christ. I believe that God's grace covers our honest misconceptions, even when those misconceptions involve the nature of Christ himself. Should we knowingly follow a false doctrine and depend upon grace to save us, by no means; but if we earnestly desire to follow, but are incorrect on the details of how Father, Son and Holy Spirit are related to one another (a doctrine which I know no one who Comprehends, but only Apprehends) I think that this person is covered by grace. This does not in any way reduce to Centrality of Christ, but makes his grace even greater. Just my opinion, God does not ask my advice on whom he should save.
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Petros wrote:C S Lewis is not - by my standards - in the running for the best author of all time, nor is he close to the ultimate theologian. Yet he said some stuff quite well, and said some quite good stuff, and I have found much food for thought. This from The Last Battle: the speaker is a seeker, a young member of the group constructed to represent the pagan world and designed with the Moors in mind:

“Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honour) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him. Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc of the world and live and not to have seen him. But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, Son, thou art welcome. But I said, Alas Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. Then by reasons of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted. Dost thou understand, Child? I said, Lord, though knowest how much I understand. But I said also (for the truth constrained me), Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.”
I have always loved that passage, a great word picture of God's grace as embodied in Aslan--surely as noble an avatar of God's Son as was ever committed to paper.
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