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Reading Your Bible Through in a Year - continued

Christianity

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1eclecticdodo
Feb 18, 2012, 4:34am Top

2fuzzi
Feb 18, 2012, 8:41am Top

Thank you, eclecticdodo. I was thinking of doing that myself but you beat me to it!

I've reread Deuteronomy 1-4 several times this past week, I've just not felt much like reading anything, but am trying to keep in the word of God regularly.

"These two are married and never shall part: dust on the Bible, drought in the heart."

or

"Sin keeps me from the Bible, but the Bible keeps me from sin."

How are you doing with your reading? :)

3fuzzi
Feb 18, 2012, 8:45am Top

From the previous thread:

(626) "I thought there were rather a lot of Christians who disagree with you on this and other threads. See my 599, for example."

See the "Who is a Christian" thread for more discourse on that topic. I think it was thoroughly hashed and rehashed there. :)

So, is anyone actually reading their Bible or just discussing theology here? :)

4eclecticdodo
Feb 19, 2012, 7:47am Top

>629 "So tell us, with specificity what that "much to be gained" is."

Whole essays have been written on short passages such as this. I can't do it justice without serious study and I really don't have the time.

"And while you're at it, tell us why this is "from G-d" but many very similar comments from Stoic authors of the same period are not "from G-d"."

As to why this book is from God while others aren't, I trust the early church decision as to what should and shouldn't be included in scripture. I believe this discussion has been had ad nauseam in other threads and I don't for a minute think I will convince you when others haven't.

5johnthefireman
Feb 19, 2012, 9:55am Top

>632 (on the old thread) and >3 fuzzi: on this thread

Without wishing to go back to the "Who is/isn't a Christian?" thread, it seems you are now defining "Christian" in such a narrow way that it automatically excludes anyone who disagrees with you on anything substantial. By your definition presumably Tim, Arctic-Stranger, cjbanning, myself, etc are not Christians.

You dismiss those Christians who see no need of being "born again" (according to your definition of "born again") as being "nominal". That is a gross error (and slander). While nobody denies that there are "nominal" Christians, there is also a huge number of very committed Christians who happen to disagree with you on being born again and on your interpretation of biblical issues, and who believe that it is God's Spirit that has inspired their understanding.

You seem totally unwilling to engage with that fact, and resort to what is in reality a type of argumentum ad hominem: anybody who disagrees with you is not a Christian; even if they call themselves a Christian, they are really only "nominal".

As to whether Catholics, Lutherans, etc disagree with you on interpreting major points in the bible, well, we could begin with Genesis; those major denominations do not interpret it in a creationist manner. Or salvation; it has come up in a number of recent threads that the Catholic Church sees the possibility of salvation for all, not only for those who acknowledge Christ.

6fuzzi
Feb 19, 2012, 2:10pm Top

johnthefireman:

Whether anyone here is a Christian or not, I cannot judge: only God knows for sure.

"Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." 2 Timothy 2:19

I'm putting my salvation in His hands, and not my own: He knows I certainly couldn't handle keeping myself 'saved'. See John 10:24-30:

"Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.
Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.
But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
I and my Father are one."


No ad hominem is intended by me, as I think you already know, and as others should also know, based upon reading my posts.

I'm stating why I believe how I believe. You don't have to believe what I say, or accept it.

And back to the topic of this thread (reading my Bible), I read Deuteronomy 1-4 again, and then continued to about Deuteronomy 8 or thereabouts. :)

7fuzzi
Feb 19, 2012, 2:13pm Top

(4) "As to why this book is from God while others aren't, I trust the early church decision as to what should and shouldn't be included in scripture. I believe this discussion has been had ad nauseam in other threads and I don't for a minute think I will convince you when others haven't."

Amen, yes Ma'am!

"The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes." (John 9:30)

8jntjesussaves
Edited: Feb 19, 2012, 11:31pm Top

5:

"Without wishing to go back to the "Who is/isn't a Christian?" thread, it seems you are now defining "Christian" in such a narrow way that it automatically excludes anyone who disagrees with you on anything substantial."

John, as fuzzi mentioned in a previous post- your last comment has been hashed and rehashed. I am not sure why you make that type of a comment and then not expect the answer I gave. Or, was your intent to get me to state what I believe about salvation again? My belief did not change since the mentioned thread containing extensive comments from myself on what I believe about that topic.

This is vital to me in discussing this topic. If God says a Christian is someone who has placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour and someone states they are a Christian, even while they haven't placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ to save them, are they saved? I say, no. This is God's plan of salvation, not mine. And no matter what someone might say otherwise, it will not change the fact that the person is not a Christian (according to God) which is all that really matters. Would you agree?

"You dismiss those Christians who see no need of being "born again" (according to your definition of "born again") as being "nominal". That is a gross error (and slander)."

Nominal means to be something in name only, in other words not the real article. I would ask you, what is your interpretation of John 3:1-8? What is this verse referring to when it says "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God?" And what does the Bible mean when it says "Ye must be born again?" I also cross-referenced these verses with a Douay-Confraternity New Catholic Version of the Bible to make sure the same phrase was used and it also uses this exact phrase, "born again." So, what do you believe that phrase means?

By the way, when I was saved fifteen years ago I would not have been able to tell you what born again meant either. I remember these two young ladies who were trying to witnesess to me when I was in my early twenties. They began by asking me if I was saved? Of course, not wanting them to think I wasn't- I said yes. Well, they didn't stop there. They asked, "So have you been born again?" Not having any idea what they were talking about I said, "No, I haven't." You see they worded their first question a little differently to make sure I was saved. I had no idea what being "born again" was talking about. It was only a short time later that I did receive Christ into my heart trusting Him to forgive me of my sins and trusting in His work on Calvary to save me. It was later as I was reading this portion of scripture that I first heard of the phrase "born again." I studied this scripture along with seeking guidance from my pastor and others. They explained to me that this phrase was another way of describing mankind's need of salvation.

You see, John, I can explain to you why I believe we must be born again as referenced here, however I can't make you believe it. In so doing, maybe it will give you at least an understanding of where I am coming from- notice, I didn't say that we would agree. In Genesis we read that God created man perfect (i.e. "God created man in His own image," 1:27); He then placed perfect man in a perfect place (the Garden of Eden) to keep it (2:8); He also commanded them that they could eat of any tree in the garden except "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" (2:16-17); we know that they both ate of this fruit after giving in to temptation and sinning (3:6-7); at this point, one must realize a very important fact about God's reference to Adam "dying" in verse 17 when He stated, "in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die"; while this is a broad reference to physical death (soul/spirit in separation from body), it has a greater meaning of "spiritual death" (soul/spirit in separation from God)- this is vital in understanding where I am coming from; we continue- based on their disobeying God in eating of "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil"- they died (verse 17); we then see in verses 9-20 God's physical punishment for disobeying His command; we then look in verse 21 where the Word of God says,

Genesis 3:21
Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
(KJV)

We see in this verse the first sacrifice that had to be made for mankind. This sacrifice was based on the shedding of blood (in this case, an animal of which we are not told what kind). However, this is a foreshadowing of the future sacrifice of God's own Lamb, Jesus Christ. The "coats of skins" God made was used to "clothe" the first man and the "coat of skins" (if you will) of God's own Lamb would "clothe" all of mankind in righteousness one day (Romans 3:22; Hebrews 10:1-18).

We now fastforward to Romans 5:12 where God's word tells us how this first sin (by Adam) has affected all of mankind:

Romans 5:12
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: {for that: or, in whom}
(KJV)

Again, I reference the word "death" here; the meaning is the same as the death in Genesis 2:17 (soul/spirit in separation from God) and not solely "soul/spirit in separation from body." We now see how Adam's transgressioin was "imputed" (placed to one's account) to all of mankind. It is by this imputation we see man's need of a Saviour. However, just as death was imputed to all mankind- Jesus Christ made the way for His righteousness to be imputed on (or to) all those who believe on Jesus Christ (Romans 4:24-25; Romans 5:13-21).

As already stated, due to Adam's transgression being imputed to man- man by imputation and by nature is a sinner. Also, by imputation and by nature man deserves death (soul/spirit in separation from God). In other words, when we come into this world in our mother's womb- we are born "spiritually dead" (according to Romans 5:12). This requires the need to be made alive again ("born again," if you will). Our first birth was physical, our second birth is "spiritual" (hence the term, "new man" (or new birth)- 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:8; 4:24).

Based on what I have written- if this interpretation is correct and God says those who haven't experienced the new birth, who haven't been born again, who haven't been saved- are spiritually dead and their eyes are darkened that they cannot understand the things of God; do you not see how on this basis I would make the statement that those who have not experienced this "experience" quite possibly will interpret the things of God (spiritual things) differently?

Am I to throw away all that I believe (and have believed over the last fifteen years), because you are upset with me based on my interpretation? That seems to be what you want me to do. It seems like you want me to believe that everybody that professes to be a Christian is whether they believe as the Bible clearly seems to reveal or not? And if I do not believe this way, I am in the wrong in some way. I am just clarifying what I believe, if you believe differently, there is no use in us discussing whether all who profess to be Christians or not are all going to interpret things the same. I don't believe all who profess Christ are Christians.

"there is also a huge number of very committed Christians who happen to disagree with you on being born again and on your interpretation of biblical issues"

That is what you believe and that is fine; my goal isn't to necessarily get you to change your belief. I believe if there is major disagreement on seemingly basic doctrinal issues- there is a problem. To me the problem lies with the fact that someone cannot see the truth, because they are spiritually discerned based on the fact that they are not a Christian (I am referring to a born-again Christian). This is one reason why I made the comment before why these types of discussions get no where if you cannot even agree with a basic set of guidelines (basic set of fundamentals).

"As to whether Catholics, Lutherans, etc disagree with you on interpreting major points in the bible, well, we could begin with Genesis; those major denominations do not interpret it in a creationist manner. Or salvation; it has come up in a number of recent threads that the Catholic Church sees the possibility of salvation for all, not only for those who acknowledge Christ."

I am sure there are many of each denomination that would disagree with me on a number of issues; being a Baptist, I am sure there are certain Baptists who disagree with me on certain issues. But I am not talking about denominations, I am talking about individuals. No church is "the only way" to God. Coming the way of the Bible is the only way to God. We are not talking about whether Catholic doctrine, Baptist doctrine, or any other kind of doctrine is right. We must always interpret what we believe based on the Bible, however, I understand there are those who would say tradition ranks up there with Scripture and here we go again- in this circular pattern that never ends and gets nowhere.

That is why sometimes I grow wearisome of discussing, arguing, or whatever you want to call it. This is the reason why I try to make it clear- this is what I believe, if you believe differently- that is your prerogative. I do not think any less of you in what your interpretation is. Now I will say, if there is someone who admits that they have never been "born again," I would pray for them that God would show them their need to be born again. And I would presume if somoeone believes that I am off base- they would do the same for me.

I hope this clarifies rather than hinders. God's blessings, John.

9jntjesussaves
Feb 19, 2012, 5:19pm Top

6: Amen, fuzzi.

10fuzzi
Feb 19, 2012, 8:37pm Top

(9) Thank you, John.

After I posted that, I saw that you'd posted in the original thread, and discovered we used the same reference from John 10!

GMTA? ;)

11jburlinson
Feb 20, 2012, 12:03am Top

> 8. We see in this verse the first sacrifice that had to be made for mankind. This sacrifice was based on the shedding of blood (in this case, an animal of which we are not told what kind).

I do not believe God shed blood in order to clothe Adam and Eve -- where does it say that? To make the clothes, God probably used wool, the fibrous protein derived from the specialized skin cells in sheep. No blood need have been spilt.

12johnthefireman
Edited: Feb 20, 2012, 1:30am Top

>6 fuzzi:, 8 So once again it comes down to interpretation of the bible, under the guidance of God's Spirit. You (and a relatively small number of mainly but not exclusively US Christians) interpret it in one way; I (and a much larger number of Christians across the world and through history) interpret it differently. All of us are, presumably, inspired by God's Spirit in doing so. But a major difference is that I do not claim that my interpretation excludes you from being a Christian, nor that you are only "nominal" in your Christianity. You are a Christian with whom I disagree on some pretty fundamental issues, and God inspires me to think that you are misguided in your literalist interpretation of the bible (as, no doubt, you think I am), but Christianity is a broad church and I think you'll probably find that the many rooms in our Father's mansion have room for both of us.

Edited to add: But I am not talking about denominations, I am talking about individuals

My apologies. I apparently misunderstood your reference to Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist, Catholic in >632. Rereading it I see that you are only referring to people from those backgrounds who accepted your particular definition of "born again". Once again, a self-fulfilling prophecy: those who agree with your interpretation will, er, agree with your interpretation.

13quicksiva
Feb 20, 2012, 7:47am Top


Jesus said: "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all the truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak."

14lawecon
Feb 20, 2012, 11:01am Top

~13

Yes, and it is a great shame that many of those who read Jesus' words can hear only the first thing that floats to the top of their minds as "the spirit leads them." (The spirit of ego and arrogance, that is.)

15quicksiva
Feb 20, 2012, 12:32pm Top

From the previous thread.

You can't explain the spiritual with a lie, fabrication, exaggeration, fairy tale, or myth.
===========

Those are all good ways to explain them. That doesn't deny their utility in drawing the imagination closer to the sublime.

16fuzzi
Feb 20, 2012, 12:44pm Top

(11) jburlinson wrote "I do not believe God shed blood in order to clothe Adam and Eve -- where does it say that? To make the clothes, God probably used wool, the fibrous protein derived from the specialized skin cells in sheep. No blood need have been spilt."

What saith the Scripture?

"Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them." Genesis 3:21

Coats of SKINS, not hair, not wool.

(12) johnthefireman wrote "... but Christianity is a broad church ..."

It's interesting that you used that term... "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matthew 7:13-14


If every other Christian in the world told me I was wrong, I do not think I would change my beliefs.

17quicksiva
Feb 20, 2012, 1:23pm Top

If every other Christian in the world told me I was wrong, I do not think I would change my beliefs.
===============
Me too.

18jburlinson
Feb 20, 2012, 1:39pm Top

> 16. Coats of SKINS, not hair, not wool.

Wool is not hair and it's not fur -- it is crimped, it is elastic, and it grows in staples. Wool fiber is a follicle that is a skin cell. It is skin.

19msladylib
Feb 20, 2012, 2:01pm Top

>18 jburlinson: You've been reading Wikipedia.

20jburlinson
Feb 20, 2012, 2:23pm Top

> 19. Yes. But there isn't a thread for "Reading Wikipedia Through in a Year", so this seemed like the most compatible one I could find.

Regardless, it doesn't change the fact that wool is skin.

21msladylib
Feb 20, 2012, 3:36pm Top

So is hair, then. Dead skin, like wool.

More to point, though, is the question: what the person who wrote the story think? Oh, oops, it was DICTATED by God, right, who is all-knowing, and wouldn't mislead us...

22jburlinson
Feb 20, 2012, 3:56pm Top

> 21. So is hair, then. Dead skin, like wool.

I don't argue with that. The account doesn't indicate whether the skin was dead or not. Also, the account doesn't mention a thing about a blood sacrifice -- which is the point in question, according to # 8, who wrote that it was "a foreshadowing of the future sacrifice of God's own Lamb, Jesus Christ".

oops, it was DICTATED by God, right, who is all-knowing, and wouldn't mislead us...

Why not? God could mislead if He wanted to, couldn't he? Being all-knowing, he'd have his reasons. After all, he doesn't owe us anything, does he? Just the opposite, in fact.

23jntjesussaves
Feb 20, 2012, 9:35pm Top

11: It said "He made coats of skins" (Genesis 3:21). I would say in order to make a coat of skin, would require an animal's life being taken- hence, the shedding of blood. Is skin the same thing is wool? Where does it say that He used wool?

24jntjesussaves
Feb 20, 2012, 9:46pm Top

12:

"You are a Christian with whom I disagree on some pretty fundamental issues, and God inspires me to think that you are misguided in your literalist interpretation of the bible (as, no doubt, you think I am)"

Fair enough, John.

"Christianity is a broad church and I think you'll probably find that the many rooms in our Father's mansion have room for both of us."

The following statement does not apply to you specifically (because, of course) I do not know your heart. If you believe you have done what the Bible requires someone to do to become a Christian (not in any nominal sense, but a literal sense), that is between you and God (which ultimately, is all that matters).

While Christendom as we have it today is "broad"; it in no way means Biblical Christianity is broad. I know you have read Matthew 7:13-14 before (and probably interpret these verses differently than myself), however, I mention them the same. This seem to speak to this topic, whether Christianity is "broad" versus "narrow."

Lastly, John, I do appreciate your cordiality when you discuss things even when in dissagreement.

25jntjesussaves
Feb 20, 2012, 9:54pm Top

Amen, on both accounts, fuzzi. Sorry, I hadn't read your comments before entering my post- it's amazing how likeminded people think alike.

26jntjesussaves
Feb 20, 2012, 10:00pm Top

18: The handy Webster's Dictionary says that wool is "hair." It also says that it is yarn spun from the fibers of such fleece.

27jntjesussaves
Feb 20, 2012, 10:04pm Top

22:

"Why not? God could mislead if He wanted to, couldn't he? Being all-knowing, he'd have his reasons."

No, he really couldn't jburlinson.

Titus 1:2 states:

In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; {In: or, For}
(KJV)

"After all, he doesn't owe us anything, does he? Just the opposite, in fact."

Amen, jburlinson!

28lawecon
Feb 21, 2012, 8:39am Top

~25

"it's amazing how likeminded people think alike."

I have been falsely accused of making light of the views of some of the posters in this thread. This time is an exception. ROTFL

29fuzzi
Feb 21, 2012, 12:39pm Top

Back on topic:

I read through Deuteronomy 12 last night. Most of what I have been reading is applicable doctrinally to Israel, the Jews, but there are other applications for the Christian.

Here's an interesting passage from Deuteronomy 9:5-6:

"Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Understand therefore, that the LORD thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people."


Israel was not given the land to dwell in because they were righteous or good, but because the people who were already in the land were wicked.

Our so-called "righteousness" is as filthy rags, and only through the Lord do we have any righteousness, His righteousness. :)

30lawecon
Edited: Feb 21, 2012, 7:37pm Top

~29

My, what a sophisticated analysis..

But maybe you can help with this doubt that creeps into my unsaved mind. Since Christ created a "New Israel" that superceded the old Israel, why does any of this have anything to do with Christians? None of the extensive dietary laws or the holidays or anything else Jewish has anything to do with Christians, see, i.e., Peter's dream. So why this?

31jburlinson
Feb 21, 2012, 1:57pm Top

> 30. why does any of this have anything to do with Christians?

Because Christians have used passages like this to justify Europeans displacing Native Americans to "reservations" and disenfranchising native South Africans. Just two examples among dozens (hundreds?).

32lawecon
Edited: Feb 21, 2012, 7:42pm Top

~31

Ah, I see, so one can use a superceded scripture of a superceded People, if the use is to manifest one's superiority. Why does that not surprise me, given the discussion in this thread so far?

Sort of reminds me of a discussion I had with a particularly fundamentalist Muslim several years ago when I ask him why he didn't read the Bible. His answer was, "Why would I do that? Everything that is from Allah in your Bible is also in the Qur'an. But everything else is corrupt lies added by you polluters of the words given to you by Allah." So, "whenever convenient" one can dip into the "Old Testament" and pull out a snippet supporting one's prejudices, even if it is otherwise superceded.

33jntjesussaves
Feb 21, 2012, 8:36pm Top

29: Good correlation, fuzzi.

34jntjesussaves
Feb 21, 2012, 8:42pm Top

30:

"why does any of this have anything to do with Christians?"

We can learn from our forefather's good and bad.

Romans 15:4
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Romans 15:5
Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: {according to: or, after the example of}

Romans 15:6
That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(KJV)

35lawecon
Feb 21, 2012, 9:14pm Top

~34

"(3.) That therefore we must go and do likewise: For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning. 1. That which is written of Christ, concerning his self-denial and sufferings, is written for our learning; he hath left us an example. If Christ denied himself, surely we should deny ourselves, from a principle of ingenuousness and of gratitude, and especially of conformity to his image. The example of Christ, in what he did and said, is recorded for our imitation. 2. That which is written in the scriptures of the Old Testament in the general is written for our learning. What David had said in his own person Paul had just now applied to Christ. Now lest this should look like a straining of the scripture, he gives us this excellent rule in general, that all the scriptures of the Old Testament (much more those of the New) were written for our learning, and are not to be looked upon as of private interpretation. What happened to the Old-Testament saint happened to them for ensample; and the scriptures of the Old Testament have many fulfillings. The scriptures are left for a standing rule to us: they are written, that they might remain for our use and benefit. First, For our learning. There are many things to be learned out of the scriptures; and that is the best learning which is drawn from these fountains. Those are the most learned that are most mighty in the scriptures. We must therefore labour, not only to understand the literal meaning of the scripture, but to learn out of it that which will do us good; and we have need of help therefore not only to roll away the stone, but to draw out the water, for in many places the well is deep."

Matthew Henry, Commentary On The Whole Bible quoted here http://www.ccel.org/ccel/henry/mhc6.Rom.xvi.html

And your interpretation?

36johnthefireman
Feb 22, 2012, 12:35am Top

I think it was the predecessor of this thread in which there was a discussion whether Christians are allowed to eat blood or not, so this Guardian article might not be off topic (although it probably is...)

Black pudding is back on the menu

37thomashwalker2
Feb 22, 2012, 8:04am Top

Lots of topics to discuss on this thread. Trying to catch up but would like to go back and address the coats of skin topic.

Here is a thought to ponder: What is the probability that the “coats of skins” used to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve after they sinned were from a lamb? “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them” Genesis 3:21. The probability of this implication being true is high, because this would have been the perfect time to present a simile of the coming Savior, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” John 1:29. God knew long before humanity’s fall from grace that the world would need a Savior—and so begins God’s carefully orchestrated plan to free His creation from sin forever.

Here is another thought:

Let us return again to the Garden of Eden and before humanity’s fall. Were Adam and Eve without clothing in the garden? “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” Genesis 2:25. The Bible says they were naked, so the obvious answer is yes. However, a closer examination of Scripture reveals a deeper understanding. The Bible says, “And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” Genesis 2:7. The soul was then clothed in the finest linen—or, said another way, the glorified flesh. The human body is the crowning glory of creation, and nothing else compares to this marvel of God’s workmanship.
On the other hand, clothing for the body was a manmade invention, with the first line of summer fashion being fig leaves sewn together. God, after imposing His judgment on the couple, introduced another style of dress—the animal skin. Understand that Adam’s use for clothing was an attempt to cover his sin from God. After the couple’s eviction, God commanded the use of clothing (modesty) as a continual reminder to them—as well as humanity—of their sinful condition. From the story as described in Genesis about life in the Garden of Eden, we can conclude that God never intended that the garment (the flesh) covering the soul be covered. There was nothing wrong or evil about this body of flesh that God intended to wrap around the priceless soul of each human being. God just wanted to protect His most prized possession that He intentionally created in His very image with a “bubble wrap” of sorts. All dads are alike. We swell with pride when someone says that our children look like us.

38quicksiva
Feb 22, 2012, 10:35am Top

BTW, The ancient Egyptians i.e. pre Adamic, were teaching the concept of “Imago Dei” many thousands of years before some priest added it to Genesis in about the 6th or 5th century BCE; there is no reference to the "image of God" concept in the older Hebrew scriptures -Wiki

Amun, and hallelujah

39fuzzi
Feb 22, 2012, 12:34pm Top

(37) "The soul was then clothed in the finest linen—or, said another way, the glorified flesh. The human body is the crowning glory of creation, and nothing else compares to this marvel of God’s workmanship. "

That's a very interesting thought, thanks!

I only read one chapter of Deuteronomy last night: I'm still feeling under the weather, tired all the time. The doctor said it would take several weeks to get back to my "normal" energy level.

40jntjesussaves
Feb 22, 2012, 5:20pm Top

35: I certainly can't add much to what Matthew Henry has said- he said it quite well.

41jntjesussaves
Edited: Feb 22, 2012, 5:29pm Top

37: Amen, Thomas! Very well said. As this was being discussed, I also gave some thought to the very topic you address. As it was then, so is it today- man tries to cover his sinfulness by using "man-made" methods- religion, good works, and the like. As you said so well, I also believe that this was man's way of covering his sins his way (which wasn't good enough for God)- God had to cover man His way, as He did when He sent His only begotten Son to die for sinful mankind. That was man's only hope for redemption under God's plan and Jesus Christ willingly went so that anyone who chooses can receive His free gift of salvation. You brought up some very insightful things that I had never quite noticed before. God's blessings.

42lawecon
Feb 22, 2012, 6:15pm Top

~40

Well, why don't you line up what you were saying originally with what Matthew Henry says, and see how well they fit together.......

43jntjesussaves
Feb 22, 2012, 9:20pm Top

42: I originally commented, "We can learn from our forefather's good and bad." This was in response to your question, "why does any of this have anything to do with Christians?" I gave you three verses that relate to your question. I wasn't giving a commentary of the said verses.

My original comment had everything to do with your question. And even in Matthew Henry's commentary he states the same idea while adding much more and saying it much more eloquently, as he usually does. I respect Matthew Henry's comments on the Bible.

I would gladly give you a more detailed commentary on those verses if I believed that you weren't asking just to return a critical rebuttal. I don't really think it would matter how eloquently I did respond, you would have something critical to say in return.

You see, lawecon, if Thomas, fuzzi, or maybe a few others asked me to give further comments on those verses I probably would because they would be sincere in finding out what I really thought about them. I don't believe that is your goal- your goal seems to be to find fault in everything I write (or comment on), therefore, I see no purpose in doing so.

44quicksiva
Feb 23, 2012, 7:49am Top

On different uses of the Image of God:

“Scholars universally acknowledge the role that Christian belief played in the social movement engendered by Martin Luther King Jr. Yet few have actually delved into the complexity of King's theology itself. The centrality of one aspect of his theology in particular - imago Dei, the belief that human beings are made in God's image - has been surprisingly overlooked.” Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Image of God by Richard W. Wills

The The New American Standard Bible says:
26- Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27-God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. “

On the conduct of slaves, Christian texts were unanimous. The Pauline epistles slated very clearly that slaves must submit, and for most Christian authors their words sufficed. If they were expanded, they were emphasized: slaves must obey their masters as the “Image of God.” Robin Lane Fox, Pagans and Christians. p.297.

Ancient Egypt also saw human beings as "images of god"; rare but unambiguous references show that this is true of all human beings. In the stories of Papyrus Westcar even a criminal condemned to death is one of the "sacred herd" of god." In the Instruction for Merikare (first intermediate period, c. 2060 B.C.) mankind, this "herd of god," is said to be "his likenesses (SNN) who came forth from his flesh,"" and for the teacher Ani of the end of the Eighteenth Dynasty, "Men are the equals of god (because of) their custom of listening to a man who brings a plea. Not only the wise man is his equal, as if the rest (were) so many cattle .... " “Thus all men may be god's children from birth (Merikare), or may prove by their actions that they are images of god; the man with knowledge is also said elsewhere to be a "likeness of god" and sons "images" of their fathers;'" in these cases what is meant is not a simple similarity but a fundamental kinship of action, nature, and rank. Eric Horning, Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt.

Who knows, King may have been channeling an Egyptian Priest from 4,000 years ago;)

45thomashwalker2
Feb 23, 2012, 8:24am Top

42: Well, why don't you line up what you were saying originally with what Matthew Henry says, and see how well they fit together.......:

43: Good response jnt, however, given lawecon's profession, in which he must be very good at, lawecon approaches a discussion as a seasoned litigator in a deposition. Otherwords, ask questions for the sole purpose of finding holes in their argument. This approach is not new: "And when he was come out from thence, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press upon him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things; laying wait for him, to catch something out of his mouth" Luke 11:53-54.

"And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words" Mark 12:13.

My post is not intended to be derogatory toward you lawecon, but to explain your actions. Those of us that are not accustomed to the world of litigation and especially to one so seasoned as you, a litigator, you come across like a rabid dog. As I have said before, I would want you on my side in a court room.

46lawecon
Feb 23, 2012, 10:46am Top

~43
"I would gladly give you a more detailed commentary on those verses if I believed that you weren't asking just to return a critical rebuttal. I don't really think it would matter how eloquently I did respond, you would have something critical to say in return."

Tell me, jnt, why do you so dislike criticism? If your interest is truth, rather than self-glorification, I would think you would be grateful for criticism. Perhaps, however, you and your clique just want to hear each other "Amen" everything that is said, rather than being interested in the truth of what is said? Strange way to glorify your Lord.

47lawecon
Feb 23, 2012, 10:48am Top

~45

Same question for you, Thomas. Aren't you interested in finding "the holes" in what you should modestly believe to be your imperfect understanding of G-d's Word? But instead you seem to be angry with those who are trying to help in that important endeavor. Why is that?

48jburlinson
Feb 23, 2012, 12:07pm Top

I was reading 1 Corinthians the other day and came across 2.11, which says (NASB) -- For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.

I checked the KJV, and, naturally, it was different, but not that much: For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

So why do we pretend that we understand God? When I find myself thinking that I know what God thinks, or what God's purposes are, or even what the nature of God is, I start getting very, very nervous, and I have to remind myself that if I think I know what God thinks, I know that I"m wrong.

49fuzzi
Feb 23, 2012, 1:02pm Top

Still reading Deuteronomy, although I am getting a lot closer to the end of the book.

Last night I read through Deuteronomy 27. However, as I read 19:15, I thought of Matthew 18:20 and 18:16.

The wording is very similar, see for yourself:

"One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established." Deuteronomy 19:15

"But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. ... For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matthew 18:16, 20

The "two" or "three" are gathered together in the Name of Jesus Christ. They also are witnesses to establish the truth of the matter.

50fuzzi
Feb 23, 2012, 1:11pm Top

(48) jburlinson wrote "So why do we pretend that we understand God? When I find myself thinking that I know what God thinks, or what God's purposes are, or even what the nature of God is, I start getting very, very nervous, and I have to remind myself that if I think I know what God thinks, I know that I"m wrong."

For more on this subject, read more of 1 Corinthians 2:9-16...

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."
.

It is true that we cannot understand God or His thoughts on our own, without Him. The natural man, the unsaved person, does not receive or understand the things of God, as they appear to be foolishness to him (her).

The child of God, the born again believer, has the assistance of God's Holy Spirit, Who makes the things of God clearer to the believer. The Holy Spirit also teaches us those things that we need to know. "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." 1 John 2:27

I don't pretend to understand God, but I do listen to the teaching of His Holy Spirit. Without that teaching, I would understand NOTHING of God.

51eclecticdodo
Edited: Feb 23, 2012, 1:24pm Top

Thanks for the insight Fuzzi. I'd never noticed the relationship before.

edited - that was about post 49, the two or three gathered together

52fuzzi
Feb 23, 2012, 1:12pm Top

(51) I didn't notice it before, either, isn't it nifty?? :)

53jburlinson
Edited: Feb 23, 2012, 1:34pm Top

> 53. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit ... that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

Yes, we might know the things that are freely given by God, but we do not know God.

Also, how can we (humans) expect to communicate anything spiritual to another human, when we can only rely on what the eye hath seen or the ear has heard? How can reading a book, which involves what the eye sees, after all, teach us anything about God?

If it is only by "the annointing" that we learn anything of God, then reading the Bible won't help at all, will it?

ye need not that any man teach you

Doesn't that include what the author of 1 John is teaching us?

Edited to change this post from entirely bold font to only partially bold font. I'm not bold. Pretty timorous, in fact.

54jntjesussaves
Feb 23, 2012, 8:04pm Top

45: Thank you, Thomas. I agree.

55fuzzi
Feb 23, 2012, 8:26pm Top

(53) jburlinson wrote: but we do not know God.

We do not know God, except for what He reveals to us through His Holy Spirit. So, in order to know God, we need to receive the Holy Spirit (aka Holy Ghost).

When a person comes to the place in life where they want God more than anything else, all they have to do is ask the Lord to forgive and "save" them, and He will: "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:9-10


It's not a "head" decision, but a "heart" decision: the inner person and not the intellect makes the decision for God

At that time, the Lord anoints the person with the Holy Spirit, Who then comes and indwells or lives inside that "born again" person.

It is the power of God that instructs and teaches, not the knowledge of the person.

Also, how can we (humans) expect to communicate anything spiritual to another human, when we can only rely on what the eye hath seen or the ear has heard? How can reading a book, which involves what the eye sees, after all, teach us anything about God?

Children of God, born again believers, can communicate spiritual things to one another because we have the same Spirit of God inside us. I can meet a person for the first time, and start talking and sharing as if I've known him or her forever, because we have the same Father, and the same Saviour, and the same Holy Spirit indwelling us.

If it is only by "the annointing" that we learn anything of God, then reading the Bible won't help at all, will it?

For someone who is searching, then the Bible can show them the way to salvation.

Once a person has accepted Christ's offer, and been born again/anointed/saved, the Bible is a source of knowledge: we read it to understand better Who God is and what He expects of us. Through His Spirit, He makes His word clearer, and we begin to know Him better.

"...ye need not that any man teach you ..."

Doesn't that include what the author of 1 John is teaching us?

If the author of 1 John were just a man, then I would agree with you. However, the Bible is God's word, the Scriptures, and those who wrote it down did so with the assistance of God.

The Bible speaks to me, or rather, to that Holy Spirit within me, and makes what is written in the Bible clearer and applicable to me. It did not do so before I accepted Christ's offer of salvation.

Thank you for your obviously honest queries, and allowing me to try to answer and explain to you. May your heart be opened to the truth of God's word.

56jntjesussaves
Edited: Feb 23, 2012, 9:16pm Top

46:

"Tell me, jnt, why do you so dislike criticism?"

It's not so much "criticism" that I dislike, lawecon, it is constant criticism that gets old. As I have stated before, it is amazing that you haven't had one positive or good thing to say about me in several threads (many posts) between us. It is not that I live for lawecon to agree with me, but it is hard to take "corrective criticism" (if that is what you call what you do) when everything I say falls under that category according to you. I understand that we would probably disagree on many things, but I have complimented you on several characteristics within your person (and I meant them sincerely). However, you don't even acknowledge them- but you keep right on finding fault in every "jot and tittle" of what I say. I get to the point that I only respond to the things that I believe firmly need a response- the rest I chalk up as frivilous.

"If your interest is truth, rather than self-glorification, I would think you would be grateful for criticism."

Interesting analogy. Don't you mean, "If your interest was in my truth...?" Let me understand this: If you say something (whether I agree or not or whether it is true or not), I am to willingly submit to your truth and be grateful for your criticism. And if I don't agree with your truth, I am gratifying myself?

You see, I have said multiple times- if you don't believe what I say to be true- then don't believe it. I don't chalk this up as self-gratification on your part, I receive it as a difference of belief. I do believe you are incorrect about certain things, but we all have the "right" to be wrong. Of the two of us, I am the only one that has said, "I could be wrong," even though I don't believe I am. You are the one that believes everything that comes from your mouth (or fingers) is "gospel." I only consider One who has a hold on the Ultimate Truth and His name is Jehovah God. And thank God, He gave us His inspired Word to allow us to see His truth.

"Perhaps, however, you and your clique just want to hear each other "Amen" everything that is said, rather than being interested in the truth of what is said?"

I really wish you could see my heart, so that you would not make these types of statements- but you do what you do. By the way, I am sure the longer we talk and discuss things, Thomas, fuzzi, and myself, would also have disagreements on certain ideas and interpretations. However, we will do so in a tactful manner in sincerity and truth. That is the "criticism" that I accept and acknowledge and am grateful for the enlightenment. I also know where those I mention are coming from, because we have a "kindred spirit." Their goal wouldn't be to hurt or hinder, but to edify and encourage- there is a big difference, lawecon.

57jntjesussaves
Feb 23, 2012, 8:30pm Top

47: Thomas, I for one, haven't noticed anger in your words; only a helpful spirit.

58jburlinson
Feb 23, 2012, 8:48pm Top

> 57. haven't noticed anger in your words; only a helpful spirit.

"you come across like a rabid dog" in # 45.

I don't see much helpful spirit there.

59jntjesussaves
Feb 23, 2012, 8:51pm Top

"For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God."

Very good verse, jburlinson, however if you read this verse you most likely also had to read the other verses surrounding it. These verses don't seem to need much interpretation, they interpret themselves.

1 Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

1 Corinthians 2:10
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

1 Corinthians 2:11
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

1 Corinthians 2:12
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

1 Corinthians 2:13
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
(KJV)

It would seem that in verse 11, God is differentiating between "spiritual" (as having to do with God) and non-spiritual (as having to do with man). Man can communicate "in his own language" ("spirit of the world," v. 12), but only God can communicate His truth ("comparing spiritual things with spiritual," verse 12). How does He do this? We find the answer in verse 10, "God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God," verse 12, "Now we have received...the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God," and verse 13, "Which things also we speak...which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual with spiritual."

60jntjesussaves
Feb 23, 2012, 8:56pm Top

"For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God."

Very good verse, jburlinson, however if you read this verse you most likely also had to read the other verses surrounding it. These verses don't seem to need much interpretation, they interpret themselves.

1 Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

1 Corinthians 2:10
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

1 Corinthians 2:11
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

1 Corinthians 2:12
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

1 Corinthians 2:13
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
(KJV)

It would seem that in verse 11, God is differentiating between "spiritual" (as having to do with God) and non-spiritual (as having to do with man). Man can communicate "in his own language" ("spirit of the world," v. 12), but only God can communicate His truth ("comparing spiritual things with spiritual," verse 12). How does He do this? We find the answer in verse 10, "God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God," verse 12, "Now we have received...the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God," and verse 13, "Which things also we speak...which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual with spiritual."

"When I find myself thinking that I know what God thinks, or what God's purposes are, or even what the nature of God is, I start getting very, very nervous, and I have to remind myself that if I think I know what God thinks, I know that I"m wrong."

If it weren't for these verses among others contained in God's Word, jburlinson, I would be right with you. I will say that, knowing myself (unlike what others claim of me), a sinnner saved by God's grace- I am always cautious and graciously seek God to reveal His words to me as to not make errors in interpretation. Granted, I am sure I have before (there are some in this thread that would probably say it happens quite often), but that is my biggest concern- I do want to correctly interpret His precious written Word.

61jntjesussaves
Feb 23, 2012, 9:00pm Top

49: Very interesting, fuzzi. I love reading the books of law in the Old Testament, because we see so much from them that our United States justice system has gleaned from them.

62jntjesussaves
Feb 23, 2012, 9:04pm Top

50: Fuzzi, once again we are own the same "spiritual" wavelength; I quoted the same verses you did before reading your post- I would say, "amazing," but I know what it is- the exact thing that these verses speak of- God's Holy Spirit revealed it to both of us in the same way.

"I don't pretend to understand God, but I do listen to the teaching of His Holy Spirit. Without that teaching, I would understand NOTHING of God."

Amen.

63jntjesussaves
Feb 23, 2012, 9:13pm Top

55: Amen to all you wrote, fuzzi.

"Children of God, born again believers, can communicate spiritual things to one another because we have the same Spirit of God inside us. I can meet a person for the first time, and start talking and sharing as if I've known him or her forever, because we have the same Father, and the same Saviour, and the same Holy Spirit indwelling us."

How true! And isn't that just tremendously awesome?

64jntjesussaves
Feb 23, 2012, 9:33pm Top

58: Thomas used the word, "like," he didn't say he was a rabid dog. It was a way of describing lawecon's demeanor when he discusses things. Of the many posts on this thread- show me Thomas' "anger."

"My post is not intended to be derogatory toward you lawecon, but to explain your actions. Those of us that are not accustomed to the world of litigation and especially to one so seasoned as you, a litigator, you come across like a rabid dog. As I have said before, I would want you on my side in a court room." (Thomas' post from 45)

Thomas made the following comments (recited individually):

"My post is not intended to be derogatory toward you..but to explain your words." He prefaced his words.
"Those of us that are not accustomed to the world of litigation and especially to one so seasoned as you, a litigator..." He complimented him (before he made the mentioned statement).
"As I have said before, I would want you on my side in a court room." Another compliment.

So around the phrase, "like a rabid dog," he prefaced his statement (as to not be misunderstood of intent) and then complimented him on several characteristics- yet the only words you draw out of what he said was "like a rabid dog." Again I ask you mention the posts that Thomas used angry language in response to lawecon.

65quicksiva
Feb 23, 2012, 9:50pm Top

My post is not intended to be derogatory toward you lawecon, but to explain your actions. Those of us that are not accustomed to the world of litigation and especially to one so seasoned as you, a litigator, you come across like a rabid dog. As I have said before, I would want you on my side in a court room.
============
Also, this might explain the conduct of Jesus depicted in St. Matthew 15:22 – 28. It’s a very Christian thing to call "non -believers" “dogs”.

Wiki-

66thomashwalker2
Feb 24, 2012, 8:51am Top

64: In reference to Jnt defense of my post:

I change my mind, I would hire jnt before lawecon to defend me in court.

67jburlinson
Feb 24, 2012, 12:20pm Top

> 64. The interesting thing about this little conversation about rabid dogs is what it shows about the process of reading and the dangers of (mis)interpretation. In reading # 45 with a predisposition to be critical of the author, the phrase "like a rabid dog" jumps out and confirms the reader's preconception that the author is a hostile person. In reading # 45 with a predisposition to be favorable to the author, the same phrase is explained away in the manner of # 64.

In other words, any text, even an internet post, is nothing but a mirror in which a person reads his/her their own mind instead of whatever the author might "really" be saying.

The same is true, in spades, with the Bible. Nearly every post on this thread (and its parent thread) has been an instance in which a bible passage has been read as confirmation of what the reader already believed.

68fuzzi
Feb 24, 2012, 12:34pm Top

Actually, jburlinson, the Bible doesn't confirm what I believe, but shows me what God wants me to do or say. The Holy Spirit confirms this in me, and I adjust my behavior accordingly.

So, for born again believers, the Holy Spirit is the "Confirmer" as well as the Comforter.

For example, I used to always drive 5mph above the speed limit, everywhere. One day as I was hitting the cruise control for 60mph (in a 55mph zone), I felt as if the Lord was pointing out that I was breaking the law. Immediately I felt guilty (for 5mph over the limit???) and I slowed down.

The Holy Spirit is like a "glorified" conscience. He convicts me when I do wrong.

"Glorified Conscience". Hmm. I think I see a Bible study in the wings...

69fuzzi
Feb 24, 2012, 12:41pm Top

Read Deuteronomy 28 and 29 last night. Ouch.

What Israel (the Jews) would have had if they'd only obeyed the Lord...but with the blessings promised came also the warning of what would happen, and eventually did.

I'm so thankful I'm under grace!

70jntjesussaves
Feb 24, 2012, 5:52pm Top

65: I will reiterate again, quicksiva, he didn't call him a dog.

71jntjesussaves
Feb 24, 2012, 5:54pm Top

66: Thanks, Thomas. Just believe it is right to defend someone when they have been misconstrued. God bless.

72jntjesussaves
Feb 24, 2012, 5:55pm Top

68: Good points, fuzzi.

73jntjesussaves
Feb 24, 2012, 5:56pm Top

69: Me too, fuzzi!

74quicksiva
Feb 25, 2012, 9:48am Top


Jesus said: "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all the truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak." John 16

75streamsong
Feb 25, 2012, 10:13am Top

Yes! Exactly--Jesus was speaking about the Holy Spirit indwelling and instructing believers. Capitalizations because the He is the third part of the trinity,

76lawecon
Feb 25, 2012, 5:08pm Top

~56

""If your interest is truth, rather than self-glorification, I would think you would be grateful for criticism."

Interesting analogy. Don't you mean, "If your interest was in my truth...?" Let me understand this: If you say something (whether I agree or not or whether it is true or not), I am to willingly submit to your truth and be grateful for your criticism. And if I don't agree with your truth, I am gratifying myself?"

No, I do not mean that. I mean exactly what I have said. When what you assert is criticized the criticism is not any more Truth than what is being criticized. It is an invitation to explore by those who realize that they are not G-d and that G-d does not tell them personally The Truth.

However, you and Thomas and fuzzi are unwilling to engage. You believe that you have been told The Truth intuitively. You believe that the Holy Spirit has told you The Truth. Hence, what you believe cannot be mistaken, and anyone who criticizes what you say is either just mean or is an Agent of Satan. Hence, having a discussion with your merely human fellows over what makes sense and what doesn't make sense is not only futile, it is, in your minds, an insult to G-d. You KNOW The Truth, so you don't have to explore additional knowledge or think about what it is that you KNOW.

Here is the question, however, jnt, what if it is Satan that tells you what you believe, not the Holy Spirit? In your world, where everything is a matter of belief, and there is no other standard but belief, you'd better be careful about the source of your beliefs.

77lawecon
Feb 25, 2012, 5:09pm Top

~66

Well, that is a relief.

78fuzzi
Feb 25, 2012, 5:49pm Top

Read through Deuteronomy 32 this morning, and it was slow going...there were so many cross references that were coming to mind. I kept stopping to find the verses that I wanted to reread and compare to the verses in chapter 32.

More later. Right now I'm feeling kind of tired...

79jntjesussaves
Feb 25, 2012, 10:39pm Top

Amen, quicksiva! Great verse.

80jntjesussaves
Edited: Feb 25, 2012, 10:55pm Top

76:

"However, you and Thomas and fuzzi are unwilling to engage."

Explain how we haven't been willing to engage, lawecon. I thought that is what we have been doing.

"You believe that the Holy Spirit has told you The Truth."

Yes, I do believe this. Are you saying that He hasn't told me the truth?

"Hence, what you believe cannot be mistaken, and anyone who criticizes what you say is either just mean or is an Agent of Satan."

These are your words, of which never came out of my mouth. The only characteristics I have criticized in you is a lack of tactfulness and the "constant" barage of criticism that you shower on me. Outside of these, I have made it clear that while I disagree with you- you have the right to believe what you choose.

"You KNOW The Truth, so you don't have to explore additional knowledge or think about what it is that you KNOW."

Yes, because Jesus Christ is Truth (which has been stated previously) and God has given us His written Word that He proclaimed to be truth. If "additional knowledge" contradicts Jesus Christ and/or the teachings of His written Word- yes I believe it is futile to explore it.

"Here is the question, however, jnt, what if it is Satan that tells you what you believe, not the Holy Spirit?"

The possibility always exists (even for Christians) that we can allow Satan to influence us- not only in what we believe, but what we do. You ask how do I know that the spirit leading (and guiding) me is the Holy Spirit and not Satan? My answer can be found in God's Word:

1 John 4:1
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

1 John 4:2
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

1 John 4:3
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

1 John 4:4
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

1 John 4:5
They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.

1 John 4:6
We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
(KJV)

81lawecon
Feb 26, 2012, 12:33am Top

~80

Once again, jnt, you are either deliberately dodging or do not understand the point. Let me reiterate for the fifth or sixth time.

Many people today believe that what they "know" are conclusions based on a lifetime of hypotheses and testing. One tests one hypotheses against experience and against logic. These sorts of people believe that they are not G-d and do not talk to G-d, so that their present conclusions can be wrong. Their conclusions are tentative and can be revised and corrected. Other people can point out errors in the evidence and reasoning underlying their conclusions.

Now such people may feel some irritation about being wrong when they are shown to be wrong. They may slap their foreheads and say "how could I ever have believed that," but, despite their temporay embarrassment, they would rather not continue on the path of error. They don't set their egos and their conclusions up as idols to worship.

Some people, however, believe that what they have concluded is The Truth. It isn't something that they think is likely true, based on a lifetime of the foregoing types of tests. Their beliefs are The Truth. They use all sorts of arguments for that arrogant assertion - including, but not limited to "I prayed about it and this is what the Holy Spirit has told me."

But there is a fundamental problem, jnt, when you accept this latter stance - the stance that you are right, that you cannot be wrong, because G-d or the Holy Spirit has "guided" you to The Truth. The problem is that, however much you would like to believe that you Know The Truth, you can, in fact, still be wrong. However, unlike the sort of person described in the first paragraph, you can never, in principle, realize that you are wrong. You have cut off all possible types of contradiction. You have, simply, substituted your ego for all experience, for anything that anyone may ever say to you, for any contrary evidence that the world may confront you with, and, ultimately, for G-d himself.

That is not a good place to be, jnt. You'd better be right. You'd better be very very sure you are right. Because, if you are not right, you will surely be in Hell, in this life and in the next life.

82fuzzi
Feb 26, 2012, 2:18pm Top

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. " John 13:34-35

"For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." Romans 8:13-17


I am a child of God, and have the peace and assurance of God's salvation in my life.

His word and His Spirit testify to this truth. I know Whom I have believed, and personally know Him that saved me and washed me clean of my sins in His Precious Blood.

83lawecon
Feb 26, 2012, 5:15pm Top

~82

Thank you for confirming my points, as do jnt and Thomas.

84thomashwalker2
Feb 26, 2012, 8:09pm Top

77: "Well, that is a relief"

I was being facetious. Lawecon, you would be the better lawyer. jnt just did a great job of interpreting what I was saying instead of adding to it and taking things out of context. Although, jnt is used to correctly interpreting ancient documents.

85jntjesussaves
Edited: Feb 26, 2012, 8:17pm Top

81:

"Once again, jnt, you are either deliberately dodging or do not understand the point. Let me reiterate for the fifth or sixth time."

I think what it is, lawecon, is that we just do not agree. And because I do not forget all that has happened to me over the last fifteen years and succumb to your way of thinking, I am brainwashed. This is the likely scenario.

"Many people today believe that what they "know" are conclusions based on a lifetime of hypotheses and testing. One tests one hypotheses against experience and against logic."

This sounds like what you are doing, likewise, would you disagree? First of all, Christianity is not an hypothesis with our duty being to prove whether it is right or wrong. Jesus Christ was born, He lived, He died, He performed miracles, He was resurrected. These aren't hypothesis to be proven, even while, many have tried to prove them wrong even to be changed themselves. I don't even think you would challenge the validity of these mentioned facts. If so, which ones? If you want to continue farther, the Old Testament prophesied of many events and things that would occur (such as Christ's birth, His death, His resurrection, among many other things), all having been fulfilled. Would you challenge the validity of this statement or the many other evidences written down in the New Testament that Jesus did? You see the validity of all these mentioned products is the logic (or the proof) that one needs to validate trust in the One who said them. The "experience" comes from something that you would not understand, because you have never experienced it. How do you explain away (in your goal of explaining away the claims of Jesus Christ) the many people whose lives have been transformed by power not their own? There are more former alcoholics, drug addicts, homosexuals, atheists, agnostics, and sinners of all stripes and sizes whose lives have been transformed by the power of Jesus Christ; what do you attest their change to?

As a lawyer, lawecon, if you took all the evidence of Christianity (the claims and proofs of Jesus Christ)- I don't think as an honest lawyer you could come to any other conclusion other than, Christianity is the one and only true way to Jehovah God. The evidence has been given and it has been proven. This is the reason why no one, not even yourself- will one day stand before God and not bow down and worship His only begotten Son.

"These sorts of people believe that they are not G-d and do not talk to G-d, so that their present conclusions can be wrong. Their conclusions are tentative and can be revised and corrected. Other people can point out errors in the evidence and reasoning underlying their conclusions."

I am sure you have conversed with many people in your lifetime. You say that these people who have based their conclusions on a "lifetime of hypothesis" are "the sorts of people (who) believe that they are not God and do not talk to God." It is amazing to me, that you have never met anyone who claims to talk with God. Because I would say, many of the people I talk with say they have and that they talk with Him every day. Does God talk in an audible voice, "No." He talks to us through His written Word- He has give us all that we will ever need in His Word. And as fuzzi, myself, and Thomas have stated- He communicates His written Word through His Holy Spirit. His Holy Spirit leads us into all truth. This does not mean that Christians cannot be mistaken (or wrong)- please read the aformentioned verses from 1 John 4:1-6. We can allow ourselves to be influenced and receive wrong direction if we do not fully rely on God's written Word to guide us. While I understand many have used the written Word to validate many actions and behaviors that are contrary to God's Word- this was allowed, either because those who proclaimed it were not "of God" (they were not Christians) or they were "grieving" (doing what the Holy Spirit had told them not to) or "quenching" (not doing what the Holy Spirit had told them to do) the Holy Spirit. On "quenching" the Holy Spirit, Albert Barnes has written: "Anything that will tend to damp the ardour of piety in the soul; to chill our feelings; to render us cold and lifeless in the service of God, may be regarded as "quenching the Spirit." He further comments on "grieving the Spirit," "Do not act towards the Holy Spirit in a manner which would produce pain in the bosom of a friend who loves you. There is a course of conduct which will drive that Spirit from the mind as if he were grieved and pained--as a course of ingratitude and sin would pain the heart of an earthly friend, and cause him to leave you." If asked what that conduct is, we may reply, Open and gross sins. They are particularly referred to here; and the meaning of Paul is, that theft, falsehood, anger, and kindred vices, would grieve the Holy Spirit, and cause him to depart" (among other things). So if a Christian is not careful and listens to the wrong spirit ("the spirit of error"), he can be deceived and led astray. We prevent this by "trying the spirits" to make sure they are of God. We do this by making sure what they say lines up with God's written Word- if they do not, they are "not of God." If they do, they "are of God." It seems simple to me.

I will continue shortly...

86thomashwalker2
Feb 26, 2012, 9:04pm Top

Lawecon: I have a brother that tried to get me saved for many years. He annoyed me so much that I avoided him and finally I got so angry I told him that I didn't believe in organized religion. To me, the members all looked alike, talked alike and their pious attitudes urked me because all I heard was that I was going to hell. For many years I studied other religious doctrines, Eastern philosophies , transcendental meditation, scientology, one evening I was introduced to a coven at a University, and the list could go on. I came to a point that I didn't know what to believe because I was "tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error"Eph 4:14.

I tried to find the truth on my own through the natural channels and ended up confused and frustrated. Let me make myself clear, deep down inside I wanted to prove my brother was wrong about Jesus and all of that born-again "crap". Guess what? He was right, even though I had doubts along the way, my 28 years of experiencing the Word of God has erased all doubts. I don't just believe something because of what someone says, I require proof.

87jntjesussaves
Edited: Feb 26, 2012, 10:14pm Top

81 (cont.):

"Some people, however, believe that what they have concluded is The Truth. It isn't something that they think is likely true, based on a lifetime of the foregoing types of tests. Their beliefs are The Truth. They use all sorts of arguments for that arrogant assertion - including, but not limited to "I prayed about it and this is what the Holy Spirit has told me."

My beliefs, lawecon, do not make Christianity true. When I got saved fifteen years ago, I really had no "spiritual beliefs" (doctrinal beliefs). I was new to the Christian faith; I knew very little, only what I had learned growing up, which was very miniscule. As I studied and read God's Word, through His Holy Spirit, He allowed me to gain added insight from His Word. My belief in what was written in His Word did not make His Word "true." It was true long before I ever believed it. I just received His truth which became the heart and soul of my belief system. Therefore now, my beliefs do lineup with His Word; however, again, my beliefs do not make His Word true, His Word is true whether myself, you, or anyone else believes it or not.

There are certainly some issues that the Bible is not dogmatic about, however, most issues can be decided upon with either a direct command or an implied principle. I have even stated previously that there are some things that Christians need not pray about. There is no need to pray whether we should kill someone, commit adultery, lie, steal, bear false witness, etc.; these commands are clear in God's Word. Most of the ideas that I have promoted aren't things that need praying about, because God's Word is clear on those ideas (or at least they seem clear to me, fuzzi, and Thomas). Other ideas may need further clarification from God. All of God's Word should be studied precept upon precept; this is the method that I have used in the last fifteen years of my life.

"But there is a fundamental problem, jnt, when you accept this latter stance - the stance that you are right, that you cannot be wrong, because G-d or the Holy Spirit has "guided" you to The Truth. The problem is that, however much you would like to believe that you Know The Truth, you can, in fact, still be wrong."

If a greater power, a Divine power you might say (Jehovah God), had not revealed His truth (clearly) in His Word, I would agree with your assertion. I didn't develop my belief system one day by saying, "Ok, I am going to come up with certain beliefs that sound good to me and I am going to accept these beliefs as being the ultimate truth (whether others can prove me wrong or not). And when someone comes along who proves me wrong, I will just deny the evidences they produce and continue believing what I have decided to be the truth." If this was my philosophy, I believe you would have a very good and valid point. However, this isn't the way I decided upon my belief system. One day fifteen years ago, I realized my need of a Saviour- and the only person who proved He could save me was Jesus Christ. I tried 26 years of living my life based on my own belief system and failed. On that day, I realized that Jesus Christ came to this earth for the one purpose, "to seek and to save that which was lost." I was in need of a physician, not physically or mentally, but spiritually. I realized on that day that Jesus Christ was that physician, He was the Great Physician. I turned my life over to Him and He did a great work in me that I didn't understand fully at the time. He changed me, lawecon. It was at this point that I began to read God's Word (of which I never had the desire to do so before); as I read, I discovered great truths that were there all along, but they were hidden to me. I continued to read and study His Word, gaining in more knowledge every day. He showed me things in His Word (with clarity) that I could not have understood only days before. My new found faith opened my eyes to truths that I never had heard or knew before. This has been happening for that last fifteen years- I am learning more even today. When fuzzi or Thomas share a thought about God's Word- I read it and it's like a light comes (the Holy Spirit confirms it), that it is from God. However, the Holy Spirit confirms what they say because what they say lines up with God's Word. I respond with an Amen, because what they have stated resonates within me (that it has come from God)- because it lines up with His Word. That is what makes talking with people like Thomas and fuzzi enjoyable, because they have ideas (about principles that I already have) that sheds additional light on those principles. They say something that I never had realized before. There are other times when I read a verse of scripture that I have read and even studied before, that I find something new that I never realized before, however, my new idea (new thought) always lines up with what I already know that has been revealed to me in God's unchanging Word.

"However, unlike the sort of person described in the first paragraph, you can never, in principle, realize that you are wrong. You have cut off all possible types of contradiction. You have, simply, substituted your ego for all experience, for anything that anyone may ever say to you, for any contrary evidence that the world may confront you with, and, ultimately, for G-d himself."

I can and have realized I am wrong about things in the past, lawecon, but my standard of truth is not what you say, or what even fuzzi or Thomas says, it is what the Bible says. So for me to change my beliefs, I do require someone to prove me wrong- which for me is for somone to show me from God's Word how what I believe is contrary to His Word. If you plan on getting me to change what I believe based on what "scholars" from the past have said or what lawecon believes, I would say that I require more than that to have a change of heart and mind. Show me how what you say lines up with God's Word and then show me how what I have stated (or what I believe) is contrary to His Word. This is the only method that will cause me to change what I believe. I believe you have neglected to show me where I am wrong. Tell me how I have contradicted myself or contradicted God's Word?

A couple of questions, lawecon. First, have you spoken to Christians before that believe like myself, fuzzi, or Thomas? Second, if so- were you able to prove (or convince) them that they were wrong in their faith (or belief system)? Thirdly, if you have been able to convince others with your diatribe- it might be that they were not as established in their faith as others. It took me twenty-six years of life to realize that I needed something more than what I was experiencing. The first twenty-six years of my life was Satan's chance to twist my beliefs to keep me from God; after fifteen years as a Christian, it will take a lot more than someone saying that my beliefs are skewed and I need to become enlightened (by something other than God's Word) to convince me that I am wrong- as I have previously stated, it will require proof from God's Word to convince me I am wrong. When you provide that evidence- I will gladly listen and take to heart what you share.

"That is not a good place to be, jnt. You'd better be right. You'd better be very very sure you are right. Because, if you are not right, you will surely be in Hell, in this life and in the next life."

I am quite sure, lawecon, that I am right- based on God's inerrant Word. I would ask you to elaborate on your last comment. You say that "you will surely be in Hell, in this life and the next life." Please explain where you get this belief. I sincerely ask you to elaborate; in times past you have not answered my questions that I have posed to you. That troubles me that you either do not know the answers to my questions (or your beliefs) refrain you from responding.

I wonder this because, Biblical Christianity, gives only one path that allows someone to escape Hell (and eternally, the Lake of Fire) and that is the decision they make about Jesus Christ. You see, your sin (and more so, your sin of rejection of Jesus Christ) is what will ultimately cause you to go to Hell. Therefore, you are right about one thing- what someone believes about Jesus Christ (and things of God) will ultimately be the deciding factor on whether they go to Heaven or Hell. However, if I am right- you are wrong and your eternal destination will be Hell; if you are right and I am wrong, I will be annihilated according to the beliefs of most "religions." You are a Jew (or a follower of Judaism). What does Judaism teach will happen to people like me, fuzzi, and Thomas? And please give me the verses in the Bible that gives evidence to your belief. Thank you, lawecon- have a great night.

88jntjesussaves
Feb 26, 2012, 10:10pm Top

86: Amen, Thomas. Me, likewise.

89lawecon
Feb 27, 2012, 7:52am Top

~84

Thank you for your advice on my career skills. I will give it the weight it merits.

90lawecon
Edited: Feb 27, 2012, 8:19am Top

~85

jnt, that you would ask the following questions demonstrates just how out of touch you are with the world around you.

"This sounds like what you are doing, likewise, would you disagree? First of all, Christianity is not an hypothesis with our duty being to prove whether it is right or wrong. Jesus Christ was born, He lived, He died, He performed miracles, He was resurrected. These aren't hypothesis to be proven, even while, many have tried to prove them wrong even to be changed themselves. I don't even think you would challenge the validity of these mentioned facts."

None of these are, in fact "facts". The way history works is that many people report a "fact" before it becomes a fact. The reporters cannot be all of one sect or all of one interest group or the reports are per se suspect. Would you, for instance, have credited the reports of "great victories in Russia" by Nazi newspapers? They said it in print, didn't they, therefore it must be true.

We do have multiple reports by nonChristians that there were followers of a person they called "Jesus The Anointed One" or "Jesus of Nazareth" to whom they attributed miraculous acts. There are NO historical accounts outside of Christians literature that such a person actually lived, that he did miracles, that he gathered multitudes or that he was resurrected. This is one of the reasons I have asked you guys repeatedly if you actually believed that the graves opened up and the dead walked among the living at his crucifixion. Clearly they did not, or this would have been one of the most widely reported events in history.

What we do have is reports of dozens of magic working messiahs around the Late Second Temple period and we have dozens of Gospels about Jesus that attribute the most absurd things to him - albeit no more absurd than the instance I just mentioned, which is, of course, in Matthew. Doesn't it bother you that this flawless text from G-d himself on which you solely base your faith contains such a blatant lie?

============================

"If so, which ones? If you want to continue farther, the Old Testament prophesied of many events and things that would occur (such as Christ's birth, His death, His resurrection, among many other things), all having been fulfilled. Would you challenge the validity of this statement or the many other evidences written down in the New Testament that Jesus did?"

Curious, isn't it, that no one knew that was what those passages meant until they were reinterpreted by Christian apologists hundreds of years after they were written. Curious, isn't it, that the People whose scriptures those are had and have entirely different interpretations for them. But you wouldn't know that, would you jnt? After all, you've never read anything but Christian apologetics, since that is all that the Holy Spirit has advised you to read.

=========================

As for the rest of this post, I can only say to you what I have said before and before and before. The notion that your conclusions are dictated to you by the Holy Spirit and are thus Truth is a very dangerous way to live your life. But no one actually believes that you believe that to be so. If today the Holy Spirit told you to walk in front of a truck, you would not walk in front of a truck. Only when the Holy Spirit tells you to believe a certain set of doctrines and ignore all arguments and reasoning to the contrary do you listen. Only when the Holy Spirit tells you that you can understand the Universe and your fellow men without any hard intellectual effort do you listen. How, ah, convenient.

91fuzzi
Feb 27, 2012, 8:17am Top

I really was blessed by your post, John, and by yours, Thomas.

I love how when children of God (born again believers) come together, whether in person or in a format such as this, there is an immediate understanding and fellowship.

It's so special, and precious, and I give God the glory and thanks. :)

More about my Deuteronomy reading later...right now I have to get to work. :D

92lawecon
Feb 27, 2012, 8:42am Top

~87

I was going to take a tact from you and basically ignore most of what you were saying. But let me just respond to this passage, since it is, again, so telling of how removed you are from common discourse on these topics

"I wonder this because, Biblical Christianity, gives only one path that allows someone to escape Hell (and eternally, the Lake of Fire) and that is the decision they make about Jesus Christ. You see, your sin (and more so, your sin of rejection of Jesus Christ) is what will ultimately cause you to go to Hell. Therefore, you are right about one thing- what someone believes about Jesus Christ (and things of God) will ultimately be the deciding factor on whether they go to Heaven or Hell. However, if I am right- you are wrong and your eternal destination will be Hell; if you are right and I am wrong, I will be annihilated according to the beliefs of most "religions." You are a Jew (or a follower of Judaism). What does Judaism teach will happen to people like me, fuzzi, and Thomas? And please give me the verses in the Bible that gives evidence to your belief. Thank you, lawecon- have a great night."

Yes, jnt, you are right, "Biblical Christianity" postulates "my way or Hell." It is, incidentally, one of the very few religions in history that does so, and it is the position of only a small fraction of Christians, now or historically. Most religions recommend certain modes of conduct for their followers but do not believe that those who are not their followers will burn eternally in fire. Only "Biblical Christians" are so loving.

However, my point was not "my way or Hell," it was, rather, if you fail to open yourself up to the possibility that you are wrong you will live an insane existence while you are alive, and G-d will cast you out from the World To Come for unbelievable arrogance in any afterlife. In fact, of course, you don't really believe what you say you believe or you couldn't function from day to day right now.

Now, you ask about Jewish belief about Heaven and Hell. The answer is that there is none in particular. Different Jews at different points in history have believed different things, and the different texts that comprise the Bible and the Talmud, texts that originated in different times and places, written by different people, addressing different major issues, say different things. Some Jews believe that an afterlife is a myth and we make our own heaven or hell in this life. Some Jews believe the view I describe below. Very few Jews believe there is anything like the Christian heaven, and almost none believe in a Hell where there is anything more than very temporary punishment for the most extreme sins in this life. Jews do not find that variety of beliefs disturbing, because Jews are use to working for answers, not having them handed to them on a silver platter. Jews argue and dispute with one another, adduce proofs and refute proofs, offer evidence, and show the holes in the offers of evidence. Jews work toward Truth, rather than imagining that a secret voice whispers The Truth to them.

My own view is that eventually the Messiah will come and the righteous will be bodily resurrected to live with him in a reformed world of justice and kindness. That such did not happen when Jesus purported came, indicates that he was not the Messiah. (And since "messiah" was a Jewish concept long before it was a Christian concept, some priority might be accorded to the Jewish requirements for a messiah.)

93jntjesussaves
Feb 27, 2012, 10:23pm Top

90:

"The reporters cannot be all of one sect or all of one interest group or the reports are per se suspect."

Who reports something or whether something is reported has no bearing on whether something is true or not. We see this is our national media- there are certain things that are reported that aren't true, and certain other things that aren't reported that are true. Whether the truth is reported or not has no bearing on whether it is true or not. Truth is truth, whether it is reported or not. Falsehood is not true whether it is reported or not. The fact that all (or most) of one group states something to be fact, does not automatically discount it as being false. God's truth is not based on what the majority of people think about it. It is also not based on whether all "Christians" believe it or not. I remember when I was first saved- I heard someone say: "God said it, I believe it, and that makes it so." Another person made a much more profound statement: "God said it and that makes it so, whether I believe it or not."

"Would you, for instance, have credited the reports of "great victories in Russia" by Nazi newspapers? They said it in print, didn't they, therefore it must be true."

Plese see paragraph above with the following addition: You are talking about God's Word vs. Nazi newspaper men? I'm sorry, but the two do not correlate. As I stated above, the fact that somebody reports something does not make it true- it's either true or false based on its on merit. You seem to have a relativistic outlook on truth; I differ. Outside of God, we should be suspect of what anybody says, because so often man looks at things from a selfish perspective. God doesn't- He is Holy and He is Truth. To answer your question (if you meant for me to answer it), no, I would not have believed much of anything coming from Nazi newspapers. But Nazi newpaper "journalists" (propagandists would probably be a better descriptor) are not equivilant to God.

"This is one of the reasons I have asked you guys repeatedly if you actually believed that the graves opened up and the dead walked among the living at his crucifixion. Clearly they did not, or this would have been one of the most widely reported events in history."

This shows the difference in the way we both come to the "truth." To you, if all of one group reports something, that means it is not true. If somebody says something that you don't agree with, that means it is not true. If something was not widely reported (or recorded in history), that means it is not true. None of these things cause me to believe (or not believe) something to be true; to you, these are certain characteristics that makes something not true. There were many then (and even some today) who would say that the Holocaust never happened; does this mean that it never happened?

The fact that Biblical documents give most of the information about Jesus Christ in no way invalidates the truth of it. There are many other credible historians (who are not Christians) that would say that Jesus Christ lived, died, was buried and was resurrected. You see, lawecon, if you don't believe the record of Jesus Christ (while it saddens me, because it is rejection of the One who died to save you) it in no way adds to or takes away from my beliefs. If you choose to believe that Jesus Christ never existed, that is your decision to make (even while you will have to eternally live with the consequences of your error). I have made my point on what I believe- you have made your point on what you believe. We will both live with our choices.

"we have dozens of Gospels about Jesus that attribute the most absurd things to him - albeit no more absurd than the instance I just mentioned, which is, of course, in Matthew"

Absurd to you maybe, but "the truth" no matter what.

"Curious, isn't it, that no one knew that was what those passages meant until they were reinterpreted by Christian apologists hundreds of years after they were written. Curious, isn't it, that the People whose scriptures those are had and have entirely different interpretations for them."

Lawecon, I didn't realize that you lived back then. You know that "no one knew that was what those passages meant until they were reinterpreted by Christian apologists hundreds of years after they were written." It is amazing how you "know this." How do you know this to be "true?" What is your interpretations for those scriptures, lawecon?

"The notion that your conclusions are dictated to you by the Holy Spirit and are thus Truth is a very dangerous way to live your life."

Not if you allow the written Word of God to be interpreted with the help of the Holy Spirit. It is actually dangerous when we allow our own ideas and interpretations to cloud what the written Word of God plainly says.

"If today the Holy Spirit told you to walk in front of a truck, you would not walk in front of a truck."

I guess that would depend on the situation. The Holy Spirit would not ask you to walk in front of a truck (for no other reason), because that would be doing something that the written Word commands us not to do, which is to not kill (in this case, kill ourselves). Now, however, if there was a young child running across the road- the Holy Spirit may very well lead (or direct) a Christian to sacrifice his life for the life of a child. I don't expect you to understand this, lawecon, because you do not understand His voice. His sheep hear His voice and they follow Him (John 10:1-16).

94jntjesussaves
Feb 27, 2012, 10:23pm Top

86: Amen, Thomas- great testimony of the power of Jesus Christ in one's life.

95jntjesussaves
Feb 27, 2012, 10:34pm Top

91: Amen, fuzzi- as I have stated before, that is wonderfully awesome.

96lawecon
Edited: Feb 28, 2012, 1:15am Top

~93

You make a variety of claims in this post. A very few are empirical claims. Since we cannot talk about your psychological state, which is what it is, back up your empirical claims.

For instance, you say "The fact that Biblical documents give most of the information about Jesus Christ in no way invalidates the truth of it. There are many other credible historians (who are not Christians) that would say that Jesus Christ lived, died, was buried and was resurrected." Back up this claim. Give us one contemporary or near contemporary of Jesus of Nazareth who says this about him and who is not a "believing Christian".

Curiously, after contending that a review of historical sources from the time period being reported about has nothing to do with what happened in that time period, you come out with contradictory statements like this one:

"Lawecon, I didn't realize that you lived back then. You know that "no one knew that was what those passages meant until they were reinterpreted by Christian apologists hundreds of years after they were written." It is amazing how you "know this." How do you know this to be "true?"

Again, I cannot cure your ignorance unless you are willing to become knowledgeable by actually reading something other your apologetic works. If you want to know what people thought about the Jewish Scriptures and their meaning before Christians attempted to reinterpret the Jewish Scriptures, then you read what they thought. There are many surviving documents from the "inter-testmental period." There is a vast Babylonian Talmud and a lesser Jerusalem Talmud much of which are older than the Christian reinterpretations of the "Old Testament," on which you are apparently indirectly relying. Why not read those sources rather than Just Believe in ignorance of those sources?

Once again, you are trying to set up Your Faith against My Faith, but I am not speaking from faith. I am speaking from commonly recognized standards of evidence that contradict central tenant of Your Faith. I don't really care what position you ultimate come to. I do care a lot when you are so arrogant that you claim to Know The Truth without even examining the evidence and the reasoning that is contrary to What You Believe. So far, this discussion has somewhat this structure:

jnt "If I believe really hard I can jump off this cliff, flap my arms and fly rather than fall. The Holy Spirit has told me so"

lawecon: "You may believe that to be the case, but if you jump off this cliff you will fall and die."

jnt "You just don't BELIEVE. If you BELIEVED you too could fly. Your faith is not authentic, like my faith."

lawecon: "Well, here are accounts of other people who have jumped off cliffs and fallen. Here is the physics of why you can't fly by flapping your arms."

jnt "Your Truths are not my Truths."

lawecon: "They aren't "my Truths," they are evidence and well corroborated hypotheses."

jnt "I DO BELIEVE".

At a certain point one must become weary of dealing with arrogant ignorance and respond "So, go ahead and jump."

97fuzzi
Edited: Feb 28, 2012, 10:31am Top

Am I the only one reading my Bible? ;)

I finished Deuteronomy last night and have some thoughts to share. Respond if you like. :)

"The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law." Deuteronomy 29:29

Look at that: the secret things belong to the LORD, and not all things are revealed to us!

If you don't understand something you read in the Bible, God has not revealed it to you. There is no need to fret about it.

The things that are revealed to us are ours, they belong to us and our posterity FOR EVER. Another example of the concept of preservation. And why are these things revealed to us? So we may DO all the words of the law, aka the word of God.

"And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind:" Deuteronomy 28:65

When I read this, I was reminded of a passage in Genesis:

"Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;

But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark." Genesis 8:8-9


The dove had no rest for the sole of her foot, the exiled Jews will find no rest for the sole of their foot either.

In Song of Solomon, the bride is likened to a dove. The bridegroom is a type of Jesus Christ, and the bride is a type of the church.

Time for a study...hmm?

"These are the words of the covenant, which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, beside the covenant which he made with them in Horeb." Deuteronomy 29:1

Two covenants, separate, made with the children of Israel, one in Moab, one in Horeb. That's an example of dispensationism, I believe. John? Thomas?

"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:" Deuteronomy 30:19

We have a choice, it's called "freewill", to accept God's offer of life (through Jesus Christ) or reject Him.

"My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:" Deuteronomy 32:2

That made me think about a passage in Ezekiel:

"And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing." Ezekiel 34:26

God's doctrine, His speech, His word is showered upon us as the rain and dew, and will bless us.

"He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he." Deuteronomy 32:4

God is the Rock. He is what the church is built upon, not a fallible man as Peter, see Matthew 16:18.

"But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.

They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger.

They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.

Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee." Deuteronomy 32:15-18


God made us, formed us, and we have not highly esteemed our Rock, the Rock of our salvation, Jesus Christ.

"They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation.

Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?" Deuteronomy 32:5-6


We have corrupted ourselves, it is not God's fault we are sinful. God has BOUGHT us, made us and established us.

We are bought with a price, of the blood of God's Son on the cross:

"Ye are BOUGHT with a price; be not ye the servants of men." 1 Corinthians 7:23

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
For ye are BOUGHT with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

"Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath PURCHASED with his own blood." Acts 20:28

"Neither by the BLOOD of goats and calves, but by his own BLOOD he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." Hebrews 9:12

"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." 2 Peter 2:1

"Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled" Colossians 1:12-14, 20, 21

"In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;" Ephesians 1:7


Now, that makes me want to shout! Woo! :)

"For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains." Deuteronomy 32:22

First mention of "Hell", and it certainly is not referring to "the grave". It also makes the point that there are levels of Hell, of damnation, see:

"For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell." Psalms 86:13

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation." Matthew 23:14

"Therefore HELL hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it." Isaiah 5:14

"It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?" Job 11:8


These and other passages put to rest the idea that Hell is a New Testament/Christian idea. Deuteronomy, Psalms, Isaiah and Job are all Old Testament books in the Hebrew Torah.

Back to Deuteronomy...

"They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust." Deuteronomy 32:24

Compare that to Numbers 21:6

"And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died."

Onward...regarding the heathens, the nations:

"For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.

For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter:

Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps." Deuteronomy 32:31-33


The gods and religions of those who do not follow the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (and Jesus Christ) may look similar, with their own 'rock' and traditions that mimic that of the Bible, but they are not the same, and they are not truth.

Their rock is not OUR ROCK, God's Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

"See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.

For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever." Deuteronomy 32:39-40


None can deliver out of God's hand, see:

"Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.
Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.
But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." John 10:24-29


"And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law." Deuteronomy 32:46

We are to set our heart (our self, our being) on all the words given by God through Moses, and we are to observe, to do all the words of this law, the word of God, the Bible.

And finally, here's something I thought was interesting:

"And this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death.

And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them." Deuteronomy 33:1-2


I thought about that expression, of the LORD coming with ten thousands of (His) saints, and started searching.

"And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage." Jude 14-16


And

"And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee." Zechariah 14:4-5


Based upon context, I believe these passages are about the second coming of Christ, when He returns with His army of saints, God's children.

And now, on to Joshua...


98quicksiva
Feb 28, 2012, 5:00pm Top

Thanks for keeping us on track.

99JaneAustenNut
Feb 28, 2012, 5:27pm Top

fuzzi, I'm finally back on line.......many things going on just now. See my comments in your page.......... Will try mightly to do a catch up....

Jan......................

100jntjesussaves
Feb 28, 2012, 5:51pm Top

92:

"It is, incidentally, one of the very few religions in history that does so, and it is the position of only a small fraction of Christians, now or historically."

You now add another characteristic of what truth is to you. So, if "few religions in history" believe something, that automatically makes it untrue. Or if a "small fraction of Christians" believe something, that automatically makes it untrue. Interesting analogy.

"Only "Biblical Christians" are so loving."

First of all, Hell is not an invention of Christianity- it was created for the devil and His angels by Jehovah God (Matthew 25:41). Secondly, if you had an understanding of God's Holiness, you might understand His concept of Hell in a greater way. God has more attributes than "love." Thank God He is loving and that is why He sent His only begotten Son to die for sinful mankind, but God's love is just part of His character. Another part of his character that so many miss (you included, apparently) is His holiness. The fact that God is loving does not cancel out His holiness. He had to have a "perfect sacrifice" in order to equal His demands (due to His holiness). He could not have just wiped away man's sin without a "worthy sacrifice" (Revelation 5:1-14). However, thank God He did have a "worthy sacrifice"- Jesus Christ. Christians don't send people to Hell (nor does God), people send themselves there because they have rejected their only hope of salvation. My love for you lawecon is the fact that I am sharing these things with you. I have tried to share them in a loving way.

If I had a cure for cancer in a bottle in my back pocket and you had cancer, would I be loving if I didn't share that cure with you? I believe it would not only be a lack of love, but potentially evil not to do so. Well, I look at salvation in a similar light (yet with a much loftier gain than saving someone from cancer). I have the cure for sin (in a sense in my back pocket); if I didn't make you aware of the cure I had for mankind's sinfulness (and your's in particular) and let you suffer and die in your sins, I would not only lack in love but would border on being evil. I have tried to share this with you in a loving way. I really do regret it if I haven't done so, because your eternal destination and other's eternal destination hang in the balance.

"if you fail to open yourself up to the possibility that you are wrong you will live an insane existence while you are alive, and G-d will cast you out from the World To Come for unbelievable arrogance in any afterlife"

I didn't realize that was God's requirement for being saved from destruction- "if you fail to open yourself up to the possibility that you are wrong." I understand His requirement for being saved from destruction is to accept His gift of salvation of His only begotten Son.

I actually don't live an "insane existence." I actually have "perfect peace" in this life and in the life to come.

"My own view is that eventually the Messiah will come and the righteous will be bodily resurrected to live with him in a reformed world of justice and kindness. That such did not happen when Jesus purported came, indicates that he was not the Messiah. (And since "messiah" was a Jewish concept long before it was a Christian concept, some priority might be accorded to the Jewish requirements for a messiah.)"

What if your view is incorrect and the Messiah has come, however?

101jntjesussaves
Feb 28, 2012, 6:14pm Top

90:

"There are many other credible historians (who are not Christians) that would say that Jesus Christ lived, died, was buried and was resurrected." Back up this claim. Give us one contemporary or near contemporary of Jesus of Nazareth who says this about him and who is not a "believing Christian"."

Josephus (for one) made reference to Jesus in his writings and he was a close contemporary of Jesus. Back up your claim that He did not live and die, was buried and was resurrected?

And again, providing historians who back one's claims is not the deciding factor on the truth of anything. Christianity has been around for roughly 2,000 years (with many detractors), yet the fact of the many lives that have been transformed by Christ's message is in the millions. Which one of your historians can make that claim, lawecon?

"Once again, you are trying to set up Your Faith against My Faith, but I am not speaking from faith."

Actually, lawecon, I am the one that tried my best to avoid our discussion- because I had a good idea where it would lead, nowhere. I have never tried to set up your faith against mine. I am defending my faith. You are right, also. You haven't been trying to defend your faith, but belittle mine. I believe my question (sincere, by the way) about your belief about Hell as an adherent of Judaism is the only question I have asked involving your religion. You have tried every which way to degrade what I believe and what certain Christians believe.

102lawecon
Feb 28, 2012, 8:44pm Top

~100

"First of all, Hell is not an invention of Christianity- it was created for the devil and His angels by Jehovah God (Matthew 25:41)"

ROTFL

103lawecon
Feb 28, 2012, 9:00pm Top

~101

""There are many other credible historians (who are not Christians) that would say that Jesus Christ lived, died, was buried and was resurrected." Back up this claim. Give us one contemporary or near contemporary of Jesus of Nazareth who says this about him and who is not a "believing Christian"."

Josephus (for one) made reference to Jesus in his writings and he was a close contemporary of Jesus. Back up your claim that He did not live and die, was buried and was resurrected? "

==========================

(1) Josephus' reference to Christians and their beliefs was probably written about 75 C.E., presuming it is authentic. That is about the same time as the earlier Gospels. It is not even roughly a contemporary account of Jesus' death. There are good reasons for believing that the one passage in question in one of his works, which has no parallel in any of his other works on the same topic, is not authentic. One of those reasons is that the passage refers to Jesus as being "the Christ." That was not a Jewish expression. There is no reference to Jesus being resurrected in this passage. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus_on_Jesus Once again you rely on something you have read in an apologetic work without looking at the original or common views about the original.

(2) Once again you do not understand the logic here. If you assert that "Obama sodomizes donkeys." and I say, "show evidence of that claim." The response is not, "show that he doesn't." One cannot provide evidence of something not existing. Someones can not provide evidence of their claims of something existing.

104jntjesussaves
Feb 28, 2012, 9:07pm Top

102: I have seen the "ROTFL" before, but I have no idea what it means. Can you help an uneducated man, lawecon? Thanks.

105jntjesussaves
Feb 28, 2012, 9:25pm Top

103: "If you assert that "Obama sodomizes donkeys." and I say, "show evidence of that claim." The response is not, "show that he doesn't.""

I see your point, lawecon, with your analogy. However, you stated that Jesus didn't exist (if I understood you correctly in an earlier post). Your analogy is an opinion, unless you have proof. We have a collection of books from thousands of years ago that don't give an opinion, they state facts. Over the last several thousands of years, there is a great number of people who would say that Jesus not only existed, but the things said about Him were true and accurate. We also have the Bible, which is loved and cherished by many over the last several thousand years. Are you saying that all those who believe that Jesus existed are deluded? crazy? brainwashed? Are you saying that Jesus Christ was not an actual person; and if not, what was He- a figment of people's imagination that many over the last several thousand years have died believing in, in vain? Is this what you are implying?

You see, lawecon, "I know whom I have believed in." I believe you are doing yourself a great desservice in this life by not receiving Him into your life, and more so, you are continuing to condemn yourself to Hell, whether you believe in it or not.

Unfortunately, lawecon, I don't think we will ever agree on many things. But, that is okay. I still care about you, lawecon, and I hope one day you realize your need of Jesus Christ and you realize He is the Old Testament Messiah. Have a good night, lawecon.

106lawecon
Feb 29, 2012, 9:02am Top

~105

"I see your point, lawecon, with your analogy. However, you stated that Jesus didn't exist (if I understood you correctly in an earlier post). Your analogy is an opinion, unless you have proof. We have a collection of books from thousands of years ago that don't give an opinion, they state facts. Over the last several thousands of years, there is a great number of people who would say that Jesus not only existed, but the things said about Him were true and accurate. "

I never stated that Jesus of Nazareth didn't exist. I stated that the evidence that he existed is very thin and refers mostly to his "followers" who arose decades after his death. Again, you are making up strawmen that you would like the other guy to be saying but which he has never said.

The books of thousands of years ago state facts, give opinions and do a variety of other things. The problem appears to be that they only ones of those books that you have read is the New Testament, which is an anthology of apologetic work for a particular theology.

The "opinions" of books written thousands of years after an event are certainly worth reading, but, as you pointed out to me just a post or two ago, I wasn't there, you weren't there and the authors of those books weren't there.

All we have to go on for what happened, therefore, is the writings of those who were there. The writings about Jesus in the New Testament and the writings of contemporary historians of the day have virtually nothing in common. According to the New Testament, Jesus was a sensation in his day. He gathered thousands wherever he went. He preformed multiple miracles. The graves opened at his crucifixion and the dead walked among the living. He arose from the dead and after visits here and there he arose into heaven. None of this is even mentioned by contemporary historians. A few of them, writing decades after his purportedly well known and eventful life mention some small sects that worship a Jesus of Nazareth. That is it.

Why the discrepancy? Was there some great conspiracy by, well, by everyone other than the small sects to suppress The Truth? What happened to the multitudes who purported were so devoted to Jesus during his life? What happened to the lame, the deaf, the blind, the crippled and the dead who he brought back to full life? Didn't any of them record their experiences? Why the dead silence outside of the writings of "the believers?"

And even more telling, why did the predictions of the believers on whose writing you rely turn out to be completely wrong? Jesus was suppose to "return" to fulfill the duties of the Jewish Messiah he never fulfilled the first time around. He didn't. The Kingdom of Heaven was at hand, we are told Jesus taught, and his followers certainly taught. It wasn't. It still isn't TWO THOUSAND YEARS later. Why was Jesus wrong and why were his followers wrong about these key theological doctrines, but their writings are still The Word of God?

107fuzzi
Edited: Feb 29, 2012, 9:12am Top

(102) ROFL/ROTFL is shorthand for 'rolling on the floor laughing'. It can be used in a straightforward way, or sometimes it is used in a derogatory manner.

108fuzzi
Feb 29, 2012, 9:26am Top

Read Joshua 1-10 last night. :)

109krolik
Feb 29, 2012, 1:13pm Top

>102 lawecon:, 104, 107

Regarding "ROTFL":

On another thread where lawecon made this claim, I asked him to produce evidence that he had done so. So far, he has not produced it.

Theoretically, it would look something like this.

What amazes me is how he manages to type at the same time.

On this, and other issues, I remain a skeptic.

110jburlinson
Feb 29, 2012, 1:16pm Top

106. The Kingdom of Heaven was at hand, we are told Jesus taught, and his followers certainly taught. It wasn't. It still isn't TWO THOUSAND YEARS later.

Actually, according to Luke (17:21), the Kingdom of Heaven was already there. And it still is TWO THOUSAND YEARS later. (And TWO THOUSAND YEARS before?)

111jburlinson
Feb 29, 2012, 1:19pm Top

> 109. What amazes me is how he manages to type at the same time.

Perhaps he's using a smartphone with a voice to text app.

112jntjesussaves
Feb 29, 2012, 5:13pm Top

107: Thanks for your help on this one, fuzzi. Much appreciated.

113jntjesussaves
Feb 29, 2012, 5:15pm Top

109: Great points, krolik. That certainly would be hard to do, but lawecon seems like a very talented individual.

114jntjesussaves
Feb 29, 2012, 5:16pm Top

111: Also an interesting conclusion, jburlinson.

115jntjesussaves
Edited: Feb 29, 2012, 5:30pm Top

106: I believe we have proven that we could go on and on with these discussions without you proving me you are correct, and apparently without me proving you I am correct. I have enjoyed the discussions, lawecon. I would ask you a question. You seem to place a lot of trust in what great historians have said and written (who never claimed to be inspired), and yet seem to place no trust in the New Testament (that was claimed to have Divine inspiration). The New Testament (and to a greater extent, the Bible) has been the greatest owned and purchased book of all-time (since the printing press was invented) and yet none of the historians that you would undoubtly mention has ever come close to that level. Why so little trust in the New Testament, yet so much in modern historians. I agree neither of us were there when the great historical documents that you place your trust in and the New Testament, of which I place my trust in, were written. What makes you place so much trust in what these historians said? Or, what makes you place so little trust in what the New Testament writers said? Thanks for your response.

116lawecon
Feb 29, 2012, 5:33pm Top

~109

Which claim are you referring to, krolik?

117lawecon
Edited: Feb 29, 2012, 5:41pm Top

~115

jnt, the last time I checked there were dozens of Holy Books that claimed to be divinely inspired and thousands of individuals that made that claim. Claims without any supporting evidence don't mean much, particularly when the supporters of those claims reject out of hand the similar unsupported claims of other individuals (or perhaps you would accept that the Book of Mormon, the Qur'an, etc. are also divinely inspired because they say so and their "believers" say so).

Once again, I am not "putting my faith in what historians say." I am asking you for historical accounts by nonChristians that support what you say. I am not claiming that G-d became a man, that said man gathered multitudes to him, that said man arose from the dead and ascended into heaven, that he will return (eventually) to rule the earth, etc. You are the one making those extraordinary claims. All I am asking for is evidence. So far you have come up with one very questionable passage in one work by one author that doesn't say what you claimed it said. Anything else?


118jntjesussaves
Feb 29, 2012, 6:09pm Top

117: Yes, one comment and one question.

Comment: I didn't make the claims you mentioned, God's Word did.

Question: You say that you don't put your faith in "what historians say," yet you also say that what the New Testament claims is not true. Where do you get your information from? If the answer is "historians," then how do you claim that you are not putting your faith in what historians say? How do you "know" the historians that you are trusting are reliable; why is it that the New Testament writers are the ones we should question, but not the historians that you trust?

119fuzzi
Feb 29, 2012, 6:34pm Top

And now, for something off topic!

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No, I don't get a commission, I just heard of these being available for free, and thought I'd share it with others. :)

120jntjesussaves
Feb 29, 2012, 10:42pm Top

119: Thank you, fuzzi, for the heads up.

121krolik
Mar 1, 2012, 3:57am Top

>116 lawecon: Which claim are you referring to, krolik?

The claim that you roll on the floor and laugh. I try to picture it but I can't. Perhaps it's my fault, a failure of my imagination. In any case, I hope you have a comfortable carpet, and you might want to move furniture out of the way. Coffee tables have sharp edges, you know.

122lawecon
Edited: Mar 1, 2012, 8:03am Top

~118
"Yes, one comment and one question.

Comment: I didn't make the claims you mentioned, God's Word did."

No, jnt, the text that you are contending is "God's Word" is interpreted by you and some others to make that claim. You are being asked to support your claims and the claims in that text. You can't say "I am king of the world, it says so right here." and then, when asked for evidence that you are king of the world, say, "But it says so right here!"

"Question: You say that you don't put your faith in "what historians say," yet you also say that what the New Testament claims is not true. Where do you get your information from? If the answer is "historians,..."

You really don't get it after all these repetitions, do you? You have a text that you claim is "God's word" and thus MUST BE TRUE. The text says that certain extraordinary things happened at one time period and in one place (generally speaking). It says that those events centered around one individual. All you are being asked for is other texts that support the happening of those extraordinary things. This isn't a contest of texts, jnt. This is a request for other texts that support the claim that you are king.

The simple fact is that the extant other contemporary texts discussing the time and place in question don't even mention Jesus, they don't mention his "top headline" acts of wonder, they don't mention anything about him, until we get to considerably later. Then some of them mention small sects of his worshipers. That is IT. No ancient authors were plotting against Jesus. As far as they are concerned he never existed, and they, thus, have nothing to say about him.

So it isn't that I am quoting one ancient author saying "Jesus was a false messiah and the Gospels are false." They didn't bother saying such things because, in fact, Jesus made no impression on 99.9999999 percent of his contemporaries. No one even reports his existence or his acts When He Is Alive or for decades after his death. Odd, isn't it, that The Most Important Events In History go entirely unnoticed.

123lawecon
Mar 1, 2012, 8:00am Top

~121

And here I thought you were being serious. I should have known better.

124johnthefireman
Edited: Mar 1, 2012, 9:14am Top

>118 jntjesussaves: I didn't make the claims you mentioned, God's Word did

I'm sure I'm being repetitive when I say that it's not pure unadulterated God's Word - it is your interpretation of God's Word. My interpretation might be different, but it's not an argument about who has the right interpretation, simply that all of us are interpreting. We may believe that God's Spirit is guiding us in our interpretation of God's Word, but still we often come to different results so we have to accept that it is an interpretation. I find it strange, jnt, that you appear to be able to gloss over (in fact totally ignore) this intermediate step of interpreting God's Word.

125jburlinson
Mar 1, 2012, 1:45pm Top

> 122. Jesus made no impression on 99.9999999 percent of his contemporaries. No one even reports his existence or his acts When He Is Alive or for decades after his death. Odd, isn't it, that The Most Important Events In History go entirely unnoticed.

What's really odd is that, 2,000 years later, people all over the world are still talking about and thinking about such an obscure person; so obscure, in fact, that there's a question as to whether or not he really existed. Whether he did exist or whether he didn't, the persona seems almost to be deliberately crafted to make him the least likely person who ever lived to become the focal point of a global religion that has persisted for millenia. A person could make a pretty long list of individuals who were contemporary with Jesus and who would, at the time, have seemed much more likely to be even remembered by posterity, let alone deified.

The reality of obsession with this person is truly remarkable and I would think it would need to be addressed seriously by anybody who denies the messianic claims made about him.

126lawecon
Edited: Mar 2, 2012, 6:33pm Top

~125

"> 122. Jesus made no impression on 99.9999999 percent of his contemporaries. No one even reports his existence or his acts When He Is Alive or for decades after his death. Odd, isn't it, that The Most Important Events In History go entirely unnoticed."

What's really odd is that, 2,000 years later, people all over the world are still talking about and thinking about such an obscure person; so obscure, in fact, that there's a question as to whether or not he really existed. Whether he did exist or whether he didn't, the persona seems almost to be deliberately crafted to make him the least likely person who ever lived to become the focal point of a global religion that has persisted for millenia.

==========================================

I don't really think it is that odd. Particularly since what spread across a large portion of the Occidental world was not Jesus' teachings, but the teachings about Jesus interpreted in a particular way. This particular religion has been unusually adaptable as a means to consolidate state power. Starting as a dissident pacifist sect, it was quickly transformed - starting with Constantine and proceeding through Diocletian and Justinian - into a very useful way to fuse loyalty to the state and to G-d. If you dissented, you were not only subjected to being burned as heretic, but also to being executed as a traitor.

Such also worked to a certain extent with the "Pagan" gods, but there was always the inconvenient aspect of them being multitudinous and divided among competing sects. If you decided not to continue to worship one god, another was available, with another set of priests and places of worship. Such was not the facts with Christianity, at least after Constantine murdered those who did not conform to his "official" Christianity.

127jburlinson
Mar 1, 2012, 8:14pm Top

> 126. what spread across a large portion of the Occidental world was not Jesus' teachings, but the teachings about Jesus interpreted in a particular way.

If we assume that the gospels provide a fairly accurate account of Jesus' teachings, I would dispute that these were not "spread across a large portion of the Occidental world" and beyond. Even if the gospels don't provide an accurate account of Jesus' teachings, it's still odd that these teachings were attributed to a persona as unlikely as Jesus.

By "teachings about Jesus interpreted in a particular way," I presume you're talking about Paul, Peter, the church fathers, medieval scholastics, reformers, revelators of various stripes, etc. I'd agree with you that there's a huge mass of doctrine & dogma that's been promulgated over the centuries, much of it with little to no connection to remarks attributed to Jesus.

Yet, once again, all of this interpretation/doctrine/dogma (whatever you want to call it) is clustered around a most unlikely individual.

Why is that?

128lawecon
Mar 1, 2012, 11:46pm Top

~127

I don't think it is all that mysterious.

There was a small sect that grew up around the memory of a charismatic rural rabbi who put together the views of Hillel and Shamai in a peculiar way, leavened by an overriding vision that the time of Judgment for the oppressors of Israel was on hand (an always popular theme).

This sect or series of similar sects was typical populism fueled by a sense of outrage that such a "righteous man" had been crucified by the oppressors with the implicit consent of the Jewish authorities. Maybe such a man didn't exist at all. More likely, he was mostly myth and symbolized Good against the Evil of the Rulers.

All of this was more or less harmless, and much like other such historical movements, until "the authorities" decided to work with the various myths and sects that were there to manufacture a system for better controlling and imposing uniformity of belief on the increasingly out of control masses that attended the disintegration of the Roman Empire. Then the myths became an excuse for unending war and oppression by The Orthodox who knew The Truth (because Diocletian told them so - little minds to him belonged, they are week..... oh, sorry).

What is amusing is that the propaganda line was so effective that we still have those people 2,000 years later who are chanting its principal features, long after its political and sociological use has ceased to exist. The Will To Believe, I suppose.

129jburlinson
Mar 2, 2012, 12:41am Top

> 128. What is amusing is that the propaganda line was so effective that we still have those people 2,000 years later who are chanting its principal features

Well, you do tell an amusing story, I'll give you that.

Although the notion that the longevity of Christianity is due to the machinations of Constantine and Licinius as opposed to anything to do with Jesus is also fairly odd.

130quicksiva
Mar 2, 2012, 12:55am Top

Amun and Hallelujah!

p.s. I am the person who stated that No person actually named "Jesus Christ" ever existed before modern times. "Yeshoua ben yosef" seems more likely as a name. But I maintain that Latin writers mainly from North Africa hijacked Egyptian and other mythical themes popular among its new subjects (slaves) and wove them into a theology fit to unite an Empire.

"Love YHVH/Elohim and treat people the way you want to be treated." Even if Jesus didn't exist, those are the things I can agree with. That's why I call myself "Christian".

The stories in the Bible are thousands of years older than the Five Books of Moses. When true believers talk to me about Jesus I accept that in their way, they are trying to recall Isis, Horus and the risen god Osiris who died to give mankind life before the pyramids were built. And that's carved in stone. As we approach Easter Sun-Day Christians can think of the many pagan stories that prepared the world for the Passion. Fundamentalists seem to really enjoy information about a celebration named after God's ex- wife. It will be interesting to see how Mary and Asherah get along. Hot cross buns, anyone?

131lawecon
Edited: Mar 2, 2012, 6:31pm Top

~129

It wasn't just Constantine and Licinius. Constantine was mostly a brutal boob. Several of his successors, however, were very clever and understood very well how to use the movement he had adopted and partially consolidated. Somewhat the same thing happened in Islam, albeit there the founder of the religion himself fused his religious doctrines with his political world view (something that, apparently the early Christians weren't interested in since the End Times were, purportedly, immediately upon them).

And it probably had SOMETHING to do with Jesus, in that he apparently impressed some people with his righteousness and fervor. Beyond that, however, there was very little new in what he said, and there is no evidence, outside of the writings of his cult followers, that the miraculous acts attributed to him or the mass popularity which he purportedly engendered ever existed. Of course it wouldn't make much difference if such extra-scriptural accounts had existed, since the same thing were said about dozens of other people down through Shabbetai Zevi.

132jburlinson
Mar 2, 2012, 7:58pm Top

> 131. the same thing were said about dozens of other people down through Shabbetai Zevi

And yet, once again, neither Sabbatai Zevi nor any of his dozens of predecessors generated anything like the fervor inspired by the figure of Jesus.

133lawecon
Mar 2, 2012, 11:19pm Top

~132

Actually, in his time Sabbatai Zevi generated considerably more fervor than Jesus of Nazareth. At least as far as the historical record relates the achievements of the two.

Tens of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands of Jews, not just a dozen, gave up their jobs, sold all of their possessions and journeyed to the East at his call. He, like Jesus, was worshiped and would probably have formed a new religion was it not for the intervention and slyness of the sultan, Mehmed IV in forcing his public conversion to Islam. http://www.donmeh-west.com/sabbatai.shtml Sabbatai Zevi Even then, there survived a sect of his followers for several hundred years.

Ah, but for the lack of a failing empire and a string of Emperors looking for a way to prop up their power.

134fuzzi
Mar 3, 2012, 11:52am Top

Finished the book of Joshua, and am now reading Judges. :)




135jburlinson
Mar 3, 2012, 1:43pm Top

> 133. in his time Sabbatai Zevi generated considerably more fervor than Jesus of Nazareth

Sabbatai Zevi could be compared to Herman Cain -- he had his moment, but then he flared out. Jesus is more like the Mitt Romney of messiahs -- slow but steady, in it for the long haul.

136jntjesussaves
Mar 3, 2012, 7:10pm Top

134: Congrats, fuzz. Keep it up- you are on your way.

137lawecon
Mar 3, 2012, 10:05pm Top

~136

Yes, congrats.

You might want to talk to some of our Haredim. They can also speed read through the Siddur. In fact, they often compete with one another to see who can finish The Service first.

I guess there really are many parallels.

138jntjesussaves
Edited: Mar 3, 2012, 11:05pm Top

137: Lawecon, do you ever try and encourage anyone. While I know fuzzi, myself, and Thomas see things differently than yourself, isn't encouragement a positive human trait that others should bestow on their fellow man (and woman)? During devotions tonight with my children we read Luke 6:27-36. They are as follows:

Luke 6:27
But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

Luke 6:28
Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

Luke 6:29
And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.

Luke 6:30
Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

Luke 6:31
And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

Luke 6:32
For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.

Luke 6:33
And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.

Luke 6:34
And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

Luke 6:35
But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

Luke 6:36
Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
(KJV)

Would you not agree, lawecon, that this is a positve trait to have? While we are not your enemies, you have made us out to be. Even though you do not have much respect for Jesus Christ (and are not convinced that He existed), wouldn't you at least say that common decency would lead one to share some encouragement at times with others, rather than always being critical. Or, are you against encouragement?

We are quite aware that you disagree with our beliefs, our method of study/reading, and many other things- but couldn't you at times just say an encouraging word. You stated in an earlier post that I must be miserable because of what I believe (if I believe as I say), yet the only one that seems to be miserable is you. You can't have a happy and joyful life spewing the critical and degrading things that come from you mouth so frequently.

I have tried and tried to be positive with you and say something encouraging to you, even while we disagree about so much (and probably always will). I am not asking you to agree with me (I know you are strong in what you believe), but why does everything have to be a negative comment?

Lawecon, while we disagree on things- I sincerely hope that we can at least have a civilized conversation without everything said, causing friction.

I sincerely hope you have a great night, lawecon.

139thomashwalker2
Mar 4, 2012, 9:44am Top

138: jnt, your post brought to mind the following quote:

“Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

140lawecon
Mar 4, 2012, 10:08am Top

~138

" Lawecon, do you ever try and encourage anyone."

Yes, I've repeatedly tried to encourage you, Thomas and fuzzi to learn something rather than just babble about what floats to the top of your respective minds. I've even offered to help with references. No takers.

And, of course, you characterize this discussion as "being nice" or "being mean" rather than knowing something about what you're talking about or displaying a stream of unrelieved ignorance. Do you want me to encourage ignorance?

141lawecon
Mar 4, 2012, 10:10am Top

~139

A very appropriate post for those who lie to themselves so consistently that they cannot bear to hear something contrary to "their faith," let alone check out such contrary things.

142streamsong
Mar 4, 2012, 10:28am Top

I'm glad you are thoroughly grounded in both sides of the discussion, lawecon. You've given us quite a few references of Jewish commentators. Which Christian commentators do you recommend?

143fuzzi
Mar 4, 2012, 6:11pm Top

Thanks for the encouragement, John. :)

Some thoughts from Judges:

Judges 1:19, 21, 27-33
Despite the Lord telling the tribes of Israel to drive out the inhabitants of the land, they do not do so. Later on in the book of Judges (and elsewhere) we see how by allowing the original inhabitants with their idols and gods to live amongst them, the Jews would eventually desert their God and start worshipping Baal and Ashterroth, etc.

"And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.
And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?
Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you." Judges 2:1-3


Do note that the angel of the LORD speaks as if He were God.

In Judges 2:4, confronted with a censure from God, the people weep, but do they do anything but weep? Nope, no repentance or actions to indicate they wanted to obey the Lord. They're just "sorry".

And in Judges 2 and elsewhere, it is written how the Jews did evil and started serving and worshipping the gods of the heathen in the land.

"And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim:
And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.
And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth." Judges 2:11-13


"And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way." Judges 2:19

When the righteous judge of Israel would die, the people would go back to their evil ways. Note that they "corrupted themselves", and followed "their own doings" and from "their stubborn way". These are a people who are willfully leaving the teachings of God, He Who brought them out of Egypt and slavery into their own land. No one is making them transgress except themselves, an example of the freewill of mankind.

Later on, Sisera, a warrior and leader against the Jews, is killed by a woman, Jael. A song is sung of her in which it is said: "Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be, blessed shall she be above women in the tent." Judges 5:24

That verse sounded familiar, and here is a similar Scripture, in Luke 1:28:

"And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women."

Yes, that's about Mary, the wife of Joseph, and the mother of Jesus. I found it interesting that Jael would be blessed above women, but that the mother of Jesus would only be blessed among women.

More to come...

144jntjesussaves
Mar 4, 2012, 8:52pm Top

139: Very interesting, Thomas. Great quote with a lot of truth. Thanks.

145jntjesussaves
Mar 4, 2012, 8:54pm Top

140: You have once again proven my point.

146jntjesussaves
Mar 4, 2012, 8:55pm Top

142: Good point, streamsong.

147jntjesussaves
Edited: Mar 4, 2012, 9:03pm Top

143: You are welcome, glad to do it. You also make some interesting points. Especially your first point:

"Later on in the book of Judges (and elsewhere) we see how by allowing the original inhabitants with their idols and gods to live amongst them, the Jews would eventually desert their God and start worshipping Baal and Ashterroth, etc."

That is why Christians must always be on their guard against Satan's attacks. Once we put our guard down, we open ourselves up to Satan's devices. That is all he needs- a small opening, then he comes in and ruins our testimony, but it is because we allow it to happen by not staying close to God. Nice comments.

148lawecon
Edited: Mar 4, 2012, 9:26pm Top

~142

I think that you get the prize for being the first to ask. Well, of course, there are hundreds, but generally I'd recommend the scholars writing in this series http://www.logos.com/product/4099/international-critical-commentary and in this series http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/SeriesPage.asp?series=144 Then. of course, there are these New Testament scholars http://virtualreligion.net/forum/ and the formerly Christian, now doubting, Distinguished Professor of New Testament Studies http://www.bartdehrman.com/

But I am probably boring you, as I'm certain you've heard of all of those and read most of them.

149jntjesussaves
Mar 4, 2012, 11:01pm Top

148: Out of curiosity I found an online version of the International Critical Commentary series. I went to the book of Romans, of which in God's Word says this:

Romans 3:23
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 3:24
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
(KJV)

The International Critical Commentary adds these notes to these verses:

The universal gift corresponds to the universal need. All men alike have sinned; and all alike feel themselves from the bright effulgence of God's presence. Yet estranged as they are God accepts them as righteous for no merit or service of theirs, by an act of His own free favor, the change in their relation to Him being due to the Great Deliverance wrought at the price of the Death of Christ Jesus.

This is just one example, but please explain how this differs from what Thomas, myself, and fuzzi has been saying in these many posts. And also, since this commentary writer not only seems to believe in the existence of Jesus, he also seems to give a positive assessment of this particular scripture of what we have been saying. As a matter of fact in the next verse, he even refers to Jesus as Messiah (of which is what we have said) and you seem to have conflict with.

If you say that this is one of the commentaries on the New Testament that you consult, how do you rectify the huge conflict with your beliefs with those (at least) of this writer in this commentary series?

150fuzzi
Mar 5, 2012, 7:33am Top

Finished Judges (more on that, later) and read Ruth last night.

Updated ticker:


151fuzzi
Mar 5, 2012, 1:33pm Top

Judges (continued)

"And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.
And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valor.
And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.
And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?
And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.
And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man." Judges 6:11-16


The angel of the LORD is not an 'angel', per se, but an actual appearance of the LORD. Note how when Gideon responds to the angel of the LORD, the answer comes from "the LORD".

"Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.
And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me." Judges 7:1-2


In this story of Gideon, there is a spiritual nugget I noticed.

In verse 2, the LORD is going to make sure that Israel can't claim that they won against the Midianites without the help of the LORD. It needs to be clear that the LORD won the battle, not the Israelites, so they don't get all proud and puffed up over their "victory". The LORD eventually has all the warriors sent away except for 300, to battle against thousands!

But in that verse, notice how God points out that Israel could not save itself. Just like we cannot save ourselves without God's intervention, through the Blood and the Cross of Calvary.

"For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.
Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name:
But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death." Judges 13:5-7


Compare verse 5, what the angel says to Samson's mother, and then what she tells her husband:

She leaves out the part about no razor shall come to his head.

Then she adds the part about the child being a Nazarite from the womb "to the day of his death" which the angel never told her!

Like Eve in Genesis 3, this woman just had to add to and subtract from what God said. And it is written throughout the Bible that we are not to do either.

More to come...

152lawecon
Mar 5, 2012, 7:45pm Top

~149

jnt, I think that you have distinguish between a rephrasing for purposes of explanation to simple minds and an assertion of TRUTH. Many things you, fuzzi and Thomas have said are ONE coherent interpretation of a particular passage. The problem is that you frequently don't have a clue about context. Indeed, you most adamantly don't want to develop a clue, as you have told us many times during this thread.

For instance, when Jesus recommends that you "be as the lilies of the field" or Paul recommends that you not marry, the context is that they are expecting "the Kingdom of Heaven" is coming next week or next month, surely not as long as next year. It is, however, now 2,000 years later. See the difference? You don't want to take their advice literally today, because that advise was predicted upon false predictions.

Additionally, jnt, while it may come as a shock to you, there are many manuscripts of both the "Old Testament" and the "New Testament". They are far from identical.

Indeed, there were very very different forms of Christianity for the first 300 years - until Constantine and his successors took care of that embarrassing situation.

Even today, of course, your view of what constitutes Christianity is markedly different than the oldest extant forms of Christianity. But, of course, everyone else is being inspired by Satan and only you are being inspired by the Holy Spirit. What shame that all those other people were misled for 18 centuries after "the coming of the Christ." But how wonderful it is that the Holy Spirit has selected you and your numerically insignificant group to Know The Truth.

153jntjesussaves
Mar 5, 2012, 8:48pm Top

152: "The problem is that you frequently don't have a clue about context."

By this statement I presume you mean that you do have a clue about context, which infers a bit of arrogance on your part, does it not?

It is interesting, lawecon, that what myself, fuzzi, and Thomas believe (is our version of the Truth), but when you say something it is the Truth. Again, I see a bit of arrogance on your part, do you not?

"you most adamantly don't want to develop a clue, as you have told us many times during this thread"

You're a lawyer, lawecon, prove your claim that I have ever stated what you accuse me of.

"when Jesus recommends that you "be as the lilies of the field""

I am lost on this one, when does Jesus recommend that we become "lilies of the field?" What verse?

"Paul recommends that you not marry, the context is that they are expecting "the Kingdom of Heaven" is coming next week or next month, surely not as long as next year."

What verse here are you referring to? Paul speaks spefically about marriage in this context in 1 Corinthians 7:1-9; 25-34; and 1 Timothy 4:1-5. Reading each of these references, I am again at a loss of your point. What is the context in each of these texts?

Let's look first at 1 Corinthians 7:1-9:

1 Corinthians 7:1
Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

1 Corinthians 7:2
Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

1 Corinthians 7:3
Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

1 Corinthians 7:4
The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

1 Corinthians 7:5
Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

1 Corinthians 7:6
But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.

1 Corinthians 7:7
For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

1 Corinthians 7:8
I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.

1 Corinthians 7:9
But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
(KJV)

In these verses, while he does say "for I would that all men were even as I myself," he also states, "but every man hath his proper gift of God." Also, while he does say, "I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I (unmarried)," yet he also states, "but if they cannot contain, let them marry." Therefore, while Paul does recommend that certain men do not marry, he doesn't forbid it. Where in these verses does he mention "the Kingdom of Heaven?"

Next, in 1 Corinthians 7:25-34:

1 Corinthians 7:25
Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.

1 Corinthians 7:26
I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be. {distress: or, necessity}

1 Corinthians 7:27
Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.

1 Corinthians 7:28
But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.

1 Corinthians 7:29
But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;

1 Corinthians 7:30
And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;

1 Corinthians 7:31
And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.

1 Corinthians 7:32
But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: {that belong...: Gr. of the Lord}

1 Corinthians 7:33
But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.

1 Corinthians 7:34
There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
(KJV)

He says in verse 27, "Art thou bound (married) unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed (unmarried) from a wife? seek not a wife." Therefore he recommends against marriage for some, however, in verse 28 he states- "But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned." Now to the one seeking out their agenda, you can assume when in verse 29 Paul says, "the time is short," he is referring to "the Kingdom of Heaven." However, if we continue in verses 32-34 we see Paul's true admonition of why he recommends not marrying when he says, "But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is a difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and it spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how whe may please her husband." However, again, I am at a loss as to a true mention of "the Kingdom of Heaven" in these verses.

Lastly in 1 Timothy 4:1-5:

1 Timothy 4:1
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

1 Timothy 4:2
Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

1 Timothy 4:3
Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

1 Timothy 4:4
For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:

1 Timothy 4:5
For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
(KJV)

These verses written by Paul to Timothy actually criticizes those "forbidding to marry" and speaks harshly against them when he says, "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith...forbidding to marry." Along with admonishing those "commanding to abstain from meats," he clearly reproves those who teaches that others should refrain from marriage, or "forbid" to marry. Again, in these verses I see no mention of "the Kingdom of God."

So I will ask again, is there other verses that show Paul taught what you claim?

On this particular topic, I would also ask you a question- You say that I have no idea of context, where is your context for your accusation that Paul recommends that others not marry in relation to "the Kingdom of Heaven?"

154jntjesussaves
Edited: Mar 5, 2012, 9:06pm Top

152: "the context is that they are expecting "the Kingdom of Heaven" is coming next week or next month, surely not as long as next year"

Really, where is that context? I agree that Paul (among other NT Christians) believed that Christ was going to return a lot sooner than he has, but the truth of the matter is that many Christians (in every century) have believed that it would be their century that Christ returned.

Keep in mind what Peter records,

2 Peter 3:8
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
(KJV)

Our view of time is not the same as God's view of time; we view time from how long we have lived (or as long as others have lived), God views time in light of eternity- which really means nothing to an eternal God. The fact that Jesus hasn't returned yet, in no way proves that He will not. You can rest assured (even while you want be resting much in that day), the day is coming for His return and it could happen at any moment "in the twinkling of an eye." Lawecon, you could be criticizing another Christian for the last time "in the twinkling of an eye," when He returns. Christ-deniers will not be questioning God's timing then.

While I believe Christ's return is imminent, God's timing will be perfect. Those like yourself, lawecon, won't be ready- because you don't even believe it will happen. There are a lot like yourself, also, but one day (sadly)- you will see!

155lawecon
Edited: Mar 5, 2012, 11:56pm Top

"Really, where is that context? I agree that Paul (among other NT Christians) believed that Christ was going to return a lot sooner than he has,..."

A lot sooner indeed. 19 + CENTURIES sooner. That isn't "off just a little bit."

"but the truth of the matter is that many Christians (in every century) have believed that it would be their century that Christ returned. "

And they have been wrong 19+ times. When does one get around to admitting that, ah, they're just plain wrong?

"While I believe Christ's return is imminent, God's timing will be perfect. Those like yourself, lawecon, won't be ready- because you don't even believe it will happen. There are a lot like yourself, also, but one day (sadly)- you will see!"

Yes, and so will you. What will you say when you come before G-d charged with arrogance, stubborn ignorance and idolatry? By your standard of damnation, you have now been "offered the Truth" and you have willfully refused it. You know what that means.

156fuzzi
Mar 6, 2012, 7:55am Top

John, may I remind you of Titus 3:9-11? :)

Now, on to more of Judges:

Throughout the book of Judges, there are references to Israel not having a king, and that people did that which was right in "their own eyes", sort of like the current belief of "relative truth".

For example, in Judges 17:5-7 we read:

"And the man Micah had an house of gods, and made an ephod, and teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest.
In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
And there was a young man out of Bethlehemjudah of the family of Judah, who was a Levite, and he sojourned there."


Out of the blue, God inserted a mention of how there was no king, so people did what they wanted to do, in the context of someone who created their own gods and hired their own family priest.

Read on:

"In those days there was no king in Israel: and in those days the tribe of the Danites sought them an inheritance to dwell in; for unto that day all their inheritance had not fallen unto them among the tribes of Israel." Judges 18:1

"And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite sojourning on the side of mount Ephraim, who took to him a concubine out of Bethlehemjudah." Judges 19:1

"In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes." Judges 21:25
(the last verse of Judges)

The people had no king, and did whatever they felt was right and good. They did not have the LORD as their king, but worshipped idols such as Baal and Ashtaroth.

"And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim:
And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.
And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth." Judges 2:11-13


Lesson? You forsake God, you forget all the good that He has done for you, and ignore what you know you should do, you'll wind up serving idols, including self.

And that's not a good thing.

More to come...

157jntjesussaves
Edited: Mar 6, 2012, 9:34pm Top

155: "And they have been wrong 19+ times."

And to your analytical mind that proves that it will never happen. So, lawecon, the fact that something hasn't happened means that it won't happen. Is that what you are saying? The Bible clearly says that no one (not even Jesus Christ, only God the Father) knows the day and hour when Christ will return; this only proves the Bible true: no one knows the day nor the hour. The key is those who believed it would be sooner, did just that- "they believed." They didn't know. God's Word tells us we cannot know, however, as believers we can observe the times and seasons. I will not say, Christ is going to come back tomorrow or even in my generation, but I can say with assurity- He will return (in His timing). There is nothing holding Him back from His imminent return, however, we do need to be ready when He does return.

"When does one get around to admitting that, ah, they're just plain wrong?"

They were wrong on the "timing," but not the event. They were in many ways doing what the Bible tell Christians to do- they were expectantly awaiting His return.

"What will you say when you come before G-d charged with arrogance, stubborn ignorance and idolatry?" (according to your standard)

I come by the way of the Cross, praise God, is what I will say, lawecon!

"arrogance"- I guess you mean "when I stand for what I believe, even while, when you do the same thing- you are humble." Interesting.

"stubborn ignorance"- I guess you mean "when you disagree with what I believe and say I'm wrong and I don't change my beliefs and agree with you, I show my stubborn ignorance." Interesting.

"idolatry"- I guess you mean when "I believe God's Word, which He claims to be inspired, to be His Word and honor it, I show my idolatry." Interesting.

"By your standard of damnation, you have now been "offered the Truth" and you have willfully refused it. You know what that means."

First, rejection of God's only begotten Son is His "standard of damnation," not mine. I just believe it and have tried to make you aware so that you will have the opportunity to accept it. Second, you prove that you don't offer the truth (spiritually speaking). God's Word tells us,

1 John 2:21
I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

1 John 2:22
Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

1 John 2:23
Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

1 John 2:24
Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

1 John 2:25
And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
(KJV)

and...

2 John 1:9
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

2 John 1:10
If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:

2 John 1:11
For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
(KJV)

As stated previously, I would rather trust Jehovah God and His Son Jesus Christ in what they say (than what you say, lawecon)! No disrespect intended.

158jntjesussaves
Mar 6, 2012, 9:29pm Top

fuzzi, great verses- well received. I don't mind answering questions that are asked sincerely to learn what someone believes, but I agree that certain people seemingly have other motivations. I will say that I am not sure if the questions that have been asked have been "foolish," but I will add that they have possibly been intended to cause strife. I do see your point, and the correlation with my responses.

I also believe you are right on with your points about the Israelites and their attitude of doing what is right "in their own eyes." This certainly does correlate with our current societal trends- very sad, indeed!

159streamsong
Edited: Mar 6, 2012, 11:55pm Top

lawecon--thank you for your response in 148. Going by your final comment, I think that you and I have very different outlooks.

fuzzi, I am in the same place as you in my reading of the histories--I will finish Judges tomorrow.

I thought this quote from the commentary on Matthew by GJ & MJ Albrecht was worth sharing. This is part of the discussion on chapter 22. The authors say that Jesus quoted and expounded scripture, but never tried to defend it.

"Martin Luther said that trying to use human reason to defend the Word of God is like a soldier using his bare head to defend his sword. After all, the Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit. (Ephesians 6:17)."

160johnthefireman
Mar 7, 2012, 12:56am Top

>157 jntjesussaves: jnt, lawecon is not a Christian so he does not believe that Christ will return. Most Christians do believe it, and would agree with much of what you say about not knowing the day nor the hour, needing to be prepared, etc.

But much of the bible scholarship which I have read would seem to support the notion that the New Testament writers did believe that it would happen in their lifetimes, and that is what they have alluded to in their writings. This calls into question not Christ's return, but bible literalism, and I suspect that is the point that lawecon is making. The fact that what the New Testament authors wrote is not literally true does not make it untrue in the broader sense, but it does mean that it needs interpretation. But as soon as I mention the word "interpretation" I'm afraid I'm getting repetitive again!

161fuzzi
Mar 7, 2012, 7:23am Top

(159) streamsong, thanks for your quote, I enjoyed it.

I was listening to a sermon the other day about the armor of God, and there was something the preacher pointed out about the subject (see Ephesians 6):

The Roman soldiers of the day had helmets and swords, breastplates and shields, but they also had "greaves", the part of the armor that covered the shins.

The greaves are not mentioned by Paul in Ephesians 6. Why?

Perhaps because they are not needed, if the soldier of God is where he/she needs to be, on their knees in prayer!

I liked it. :)

162fuzzi
Mar 7, 2012, 7:54am Top

(158) John "I don't mind answering questions that are asked sincerely to learn what someone believes"

Amen, I agree.

I've been a Christian for about 12 years, and have been talking to people about my faith for most of that time. I have discovered over the years that many people will claim to be interested, but most of them just want to use me to "prove" that they are right and Christians are wrong.

I keep Titus 3 in mind as I talk to people. If they are sincerely interested in hearing about Jesus Christ then I am sincerely thrilled to tell them about my Saviour and answer their questions. If they just want to argue, I'll answer their questions, but after a while I put them on ignore or block.

It serves no purpose to try to explain something to someone who is not interested in hearing what I have to say.

Anyway, back to the topic:

I'm in 1 Samuel now, but I left my notes at home so I'll wait until I have them before I share my thoughts. :)

163lawecon
Edited: Mar 7, 2012, 8:32am Top

~160

What you say is of course true, John. I don't believe that Jesus of Nazareth will "return," albeit I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he was in fact resurrected along with the rest of the righteous. (Paul is another matter, but perhaps I am being ungenerous to him in light of what was subsequently done with his writings.)

But you are only partly right about what I keep trying to stress to jnt, fuzzi and Thomas. What I keep saying to them, over and over and over again, is that what they are "reading through in one year" is only a translation of an anthology. They aren't reading the original languages. Even if they were reading the original languages, they don't have a clue how those languages may have changed over the centuries. Even if they knew those things, they wouldn't know what context or issues the authors of the texts in this anthology were reacting to. Even if they knew all of that, they wouldn't know why they are reading these texts rather than the many dozens of alternative texts that were rejected to form this anthology. The questions of interpretation, of meaning, of authenticity go on and on, and the above is certainly not all of them.

In light of all of that, to proclaim that one can "just read the text" and "the Holy Spirit will guide you to the correct interpretation" is just about the most arrogant position possible. It sets one up as either totally out of touch with reality and/or as claiming the special guidance of G-d given only to the Prophets. Apparently both.

Initially, I thought that perhaps our Guides To Truth had simply not considered or seriously considered the arrogance of their enterprise. Increasingly, it is clear that they are well aware of the issues of mistaken interpretation and that they mean to set themselves up in an exhalted position as "knowing the Truth" not out of ignorance but out of arrogance. That is an entirely different matter.

One can sympathize with the historical Protestant desire to have the Bible available in one's own language, but as I have pointed out above, most historical Protestants then turned to their scholar/leaders for a correct interpretation of what they were reading. There were voluminous commentaries written by each of those Protestant leaders, and those who didn't write commentaries (like the Quakers) didn't rely heavily on Scripture for their inspiration. However, neither alternative scholarship nor pure inspirationism is being advocated here. What IS being advocated is hubris of the worst sort.

164thomashwalker2
Mar 7, 2012, 8:53am Top

155: Here is the answer to why you question and doubt Christ's return and why 2,000 years is a stubbling block to you:

"knowing this first, that in the last days mockers shall come with mockery, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For, from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

But forget not this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" 2 Peter 3:3-8.

Again, I will repeat: Christ was crucified two days ago. And Paul preached that Christ will return two days ago. Paul was given this message of Jesus' return from a spiritual source and in the spiritual, time has no meaning. If Christ return is not until another thousand years from now, that would be three days ago that Paul proclaimed Jesus' return is near. Paul wasn't wrong. Paul walked in the spirit. Those that are questioning the validity of Paul's statement are walking in the physical.

165lawecon
Edited: Mar 7, 2012, 9:05am Top

"Again, I will repeat: Christ was crucified two days ago. And Paul preached that Christ will return two days ago.Paul was given this message of Jesus' return from a spiritual source and in the spiritual, time has no meaning. "

This well illustrates what I just said above, Thomas. Jesus of Nazareth was crucified (we are told), 2,000 years ago, not two days ago. He hasn't returned in those 2,000 years.Those are facts, Thomas, not my faith against your faith. Facts.

True, you are not G-d, and neither you nor I know how G-d perceives time. But why would G-d want to deceive his True Disciples by telling them something in Human that they can only interpret in Human terms and perceptions, when he meant that thing in G-d's terms? Doesn't G-d have the capacity to say what he wants to say so that it is understood by those to whom he says what he says?

In other words Thomas, the argument, and, yes, it is an argument, not Truth, doesn't work. It doesn't matter how much you want to believe. It doesn't work.

It further doesn't work to cite to time dimensions and then say that "time has no meaning" - not unless your use of language in general "has no meaning."

166thomashwalker2
Mar 7, 2012, 9:33am Top

"True, you are not G-d, and neither you nor I know how G-d perceives time." - Yes, we can know:" But forget not this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" 2 Peter 3:3-8.

"But why would G-d want to deceive his True Disciples by telling them something in Human that they can only interpret in Human terms and perceptions, when he meant that thing in G-d's terms?" - Jesus, on many occasions, taught His disciples and others with earthly illustrations or in otherwords Jesus used parables. Jesus was using this style of teaching to help His students to learn to see beyond the physical.

Here is an example of why you are having problems understanding the spiritual:

Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou the teacher of Israel, and understandest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that which we know, and bear witness of that which we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I told you earthly things and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you heavenly things?" John 3:9-12

167streamsong
Mar 7, 2012, 9:38am Top

lawecon--so the Jews have given up on the Messiah's first coming? After all, the Jewish Messiah has been expected longer than Christ's second coming.

168thomashwalker2
Edited: Mar 7, 2012, 11:41am Top

So with the same logic that you apply to Christ's second coming, is the Jewish Messiah's first coming a hoax because it is taking longer than expected?

169lawecon
Edited: Mar 7, 2012, 2:11pm Top

~167

Perhaps you don't understand, streamsong, that the Jewish Messiah isn't anything like your Messiah.

For one thing, he is not divine.

For another thing, he will do all sorts of things that your Messiah never did, or he isn't the Messiah.

For a final thing, none of us has ever imagined that we knew when he was coming (it is, indeed, suppose to be conditional upon Jews attaining a certain state, if he is to come at all). Christians, however, have imagined, as jnt just told us above, that they know that your Messiah is "coming back" tomorrow. And tomorrow. And tomorrow. And..... And the only excuse that you have is that you are using "tomorrow" "from G-d's point of view." But then, some of you apparently imagine that you are G-d, don't you?

170streamsong
Edited: Mar 7, 2012, 2:56pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

171jburlinson
Mar 7, 2012, 3:33pm Top

> 165. why would G-d want to deceive his True Disciples by telling them something in Human that they can only interpret in Human terms and perceptions, when he meant that thing in G-d's terms? Doesn't G-d have the capacity to say what he wants to say so that it is understood by those to whom he says what he says?

Sure He can. What if what G-d is saying is, "You can't understand Me, but keep trying. BTW, I'm not going to make it easy for you, so if you think you understand, think again because you're wrong." A recurring theme in the gospels is the incomprehension with which Jesus is met, even by his nearest and dearest.

172jntjesussaves
Mar 7, 2012, 6:00pm Top

159: Amen, streamsong; point taken and a great point and quote I might add. Thanks.

173jntjesussaves
Mar 7, 2012, 6:08pm Top

160: John, I understand your points and I agree that many (in Christian cirlces) do not take the Bible literally, even while I do. This is one reason why I have tried to make the point about creating threads (or groups) that distinguish those who do take it literally from those who don't; some topics cannot really be discussed when you don't distinguish these two different viewpoints. When you start from a different premise, it is hard to come to much of an agreement on virtually anything. I believe this is the problem that lawecon and I have; and we tend to be "repetitive" when we go on with these topics.

I do appreciate your thoughtful response to try to bring some understanding to this thread (and the posts therein).

While I am sure we would disagree on many things, you are very respectful and tactful in your responses. Thanks.

174jntjesussaves
Mar 7, 2012, 6:09pm Top

161: Quite possibly so, fuzzi. Great correlation.

175jntjesussaves
Mar 7, 2012, 6:10pm Top

162: Good points, fuzzi. I agree with your philosophy.

176jntjesussaves
Mar 7, 2012, 6:15pm Top

163: "But you are only partly right about what I keep trying to stress to jnt, fuzzi and Thomas. What I keep saying to them, over and over and over again, is that what they are "reading through in one year" is only a translation of an anthology. They aren't reading the original languages. Even if they were reading the original languages, they don't have a clue how those languages may have changed over the centuries. Even if they knew those things, they wouldn't know what context or issues the authors of the texts in this anthology were reacting to. Even if they knew all of that, they wouldn't know why they are reading these texts rather than the many dozens of alternative texts that were rejected to form this anthology. The questions of interpretation, of meaning, of authenticity go on and on, and the above is certainly not all of them."

Lawecon, now I get it! No matter how well I read or study God's Word, I will "never get it." God has only blessed you with understanding, because you do read the Bible in their original languages, you do look at things from the correct context, and that you do read alternative texts that are rejected. I guess I hadn't truly realized who I was talking to, I was talking to lawecon. Sorry for the confusion.

177fuzzi
Mar 7, 2012, 6:54pm Top

The texts in the "original" languages are not the original manuscripts.

So, even if you can read the Greek/Hebrew/Aramaic texts available today, you're still not getting what was written 2000+ years ago, because you don't have the originals. There must have been changes made with all that copying and copying, right?

I'm glad my God is more than capable to keep His promise to preserve His word for us, His children. I don't have to learn other languages, I don't have to have the original manuscripts as He has provided me with the Scriptures in my language.

What a mighty God we serve...



Back to I Samuel tonight. :)

178jntjesussaves
Mar 7, 2012, 9:13pm Top

164: Well said, Thomas, and great valid points.

179jntjesussaves
Mar 7, 2012, 9:15pm Top

166: Great points, once again, Thomas!

180jntjesussaves
Mar 7, 2012, 9:16pm Top

167: That, streamsong, is a great question that I will be interested in seeing how lawecon answers. Great penetrating question.

181jntjesussaves
Mar 7, 2012, 9:17pm Top

167: Ditto, what I said to streamsong, Thomas.

182lawecon
Mar 7, 2012, 9:20pm Top

~177

Let's see if I have this right, fuzzi. Your "mighty G-d" is incapable of preserving true copies of His Word in the languages in which he dictated His Word, but he is capable, and He has, created a True Text of His Word in a language that didn't even exist when he first dictated His Word. And he has done this all for you.

What incredible nonsense!!!

Surely you are not serious.

183jntjesussaves
Mar 7, 2012, 9:27pm Top

169: Lawecon, I believe in your desire to ridicule those who believe they way a few of us on this thread believe, you get muddled in your thinking. I never said that Jesus Christ (Messiah) is coming back "tomorrow." Here is what I actually said (which I guess you only see or read what you want someone else to say to supposedly prove your point):

"I will not say, Christ is going to come back tomorrow or even in my generation, but I can say with assurity- He will return (in His timing)" (#157).

"But then, some of you apparently imagine that you are G-d, don't you?"

That sounds like a line from one of your courtroom hearings; the only thing I would offer in rebuttal is, where is the proof of this accusation? As a judge would require you to do in the court of law, please produce the evidence (the facts) of this accusation.

184lawecon
Mar 7, 2012, 9:28pm Top

~176

Try to focus, jnt. If you say "I can walk in front of this speeding bus and won't be hurt." And if some one says to you in response, "No, you can't. You will end up very dead." The person speaking to you isn't claiming that you should end up dead. He is claiming that you don't understand reality.

Similarly, if you say, as fuzzi has said above, that the texts we have of the Holy Word in the original languages are suspect, but that she has a True Text in English which she perfectly understands, she don't understand reality.

Get it? It is not that there are true texts in the original languages, it is that the English translation of those questionable texts is even further than from Gpd's Word than are the flawed texts we have in the original languages.

May I suggest to you and fuzzi that you read this Basic Logic before continuing with your read of the Bible?

185jntjesussaves
Mar 7, 2012, 9:30pm Top

177: "I'm glad my God is more than capable to keep His promise to preserve His word for us, His children. I don't have to learn other languages, I don't have to have the original manuscripts as He has provided me with the Scriptures in my language."

Amen, fuzzi- well said!

186TRIPLEHHH
Mar 8, 2012, 5:13am Top

I read I THESSALONIANS Chapter's 1-3:)

187thomashwalker2
Mar 8, 2012, 11:58am Top

169: "Perhaps you don't understand, streamsong, that the Jewish Messiah isn't anything like your Messiah.

For one thing, he is not divine.

For another thing, he will do all sorts of things that your Messiah never did, or he isn't the Messiah."

"I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive"
John 5:43

This is prophetic!!!!!

188fuzzi
Mar 8, 2012, 12:42pm Top

Woo! Great, HHH. :)

I enjoy reading both the Thessalonians' books.

189fuzzi
Mar 8, 2012, 12:48pm Top

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this." Isaiah 9:6, 7


child = son = named "Wonderful" = named "Counsellor" = named "The mighty God" = "The everlasting Father" = "The Prince of Peace"

:)

190thomashwalker2
Edited: Mar 8, 2012, 1:48pm Top

189: Isaiah 9:6, 7

child = son = named "Wonderful" = named "Counsellor" = named "The mighty God" = "The everlasting Father" = "The Prince of Peace"

:

Thank you Fuzzi for such an appropriate Word from God.

191jntjesussaves
Mar 8, 2012, 6:20pm Top

186: Welcome back, TRIPLEHHH. I forgot, are you alternating between Old and New Testament (or are you reading through the New Testament alone)? God's blessings.

192jntjesussaves
Mar 8, 2012, 6:21pm Top

187: Amen, Thomas. Great verse- how true and how prophetic, indeed.

193jntjesussaves
Mar 8, 2012, 6:25pm Top

189: Great verse, fuzzi- when lawecon posted in 169 that the Jewish Messiah isn't Divine, that verse came to my mind also. Sure sounds like the Jewish Messiah was Divine to me, but I guess it is in how you interpret it. Also, maybe I'm not seeing it in the correct context (wink, wink).

194jntjesussaves
Mar 8, 2012, 6:25pm Top

190: Amen and amen!

195lawecon
Mar 8, 2012, 8:55pm Top

You couldn't make this stuff up and be believed.

196jntjesussaves
Mar 8, 2012, 10:36pm Top

195: Lawecon, why do Jews believe that the Messiah will not be Divine? What Old Testament scripture do they use to prove their point (or give evidence to their belief)?

197TRIPLEHHH
Edited: Mar 9, 2012, 3:26am Top

Hi Fuzzi, John & thomashwalker2. I decided to finish reading the New Testament first. I finished I THESSALONIANS this morning. I will comment on the scripture's when I can. God Bless!

198baron770
Mar 9, 2012, 7:29am Top

> 169 lawecom:

Do not the Jews teach to anticipate messiah every day?

My wife uncle, used to say maybe tomorrow messiah will come.

Also a lady my wife took care of used to tell her all the time messiah might come tomorrow.

Did not the Christains who were Jews get this expication that Jesus will return shortly from the Jews, who were looking daily to messiah appearing?

199lawecon
Edited: Mar 9, 2012, 8:39am Top

~198

Jews always hope for the Messiah. They do not expect the Messiah. They do not, for instance, go around admonishing each other or nonJews that "Better be good. The Messiah is coming tomorrow, and you will be damned if you don't believe in him before he comes."

The Jewish notion (that there may be a better world if Jews AS A WHOLE come to merit it) and the Christian notion (you'd better be a real believer or G-d will damn you individually) is entirely different.

So is the trigger mechanism. Christians believe, as we've been told several times in the above thread, that Jesus will "return" (apparently because he didn't do any of the things he was suppose to do the first time in order to be a Jewish Messiah) whenever he wants. It is a mystery why it has taken 2,000 years when the community he left expected him back really soon, but then the Christian faith is filled with mysteries. Jews believe that the Messiah will come when they merit it. Not before. Not after. G-d is a god of justice, not of caprice.

200lawecon
Mar 9, 2012, 8:37am Top

~196

jnt, you again seem to have things backwards. "Messiah" is a Jewish concept that Christians took over, and completely changed, in order to reinforce their evolving notion that Jesus was G-d.

For Jews, there is only one G-d. The Messiah CAN'T BE divine, because then there would be two G-ds. Similarly, there is not a third G-d called the "Holy Spirit". G-d mentions his proper name repeatedly in Jewish Scriptures and that name isn't Jesus of Nazareth or Holy Spirit.

You really need to see if you can, for once, step outside of the cant in which you have wrapped yourself and ask if what you believe is the only thing that could be believed. It isn't. But of course you don't know that since the only thing you've ever read about either Christianity or any other religion are works of Christian apologetics.

201thomashwalker2
Mar 9, 2012, 10:05am Top

200:"For Jews, there is only one G-d. The Messiah CAN'T BE divine, because then there would be two G-ds"

"Jesus answered, The first is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one:"
Mark 12:29

Two becoming one was illustrated by the marriage of a man and woman: "and the two shall become one flesh: so that they are no more two, but one flesh."Mark 10:8 (From the visible can we understand the invisible)

"I and the Father are one. The Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from the Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came (and the scripture cannot be broken), say ye of him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do them, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." John 10:30-38

In Genesis we learn of the Trinity: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" Gen 1:26

US is plural.

202lawecon
Edited: Mar 9, 2012, 3:38pm Top

~201

You know, I've hear many attempts to argue for a "triune G-d," but this is one of the poorest. Let's just take two of your examples:

"In Genesis we learn of the Trinity: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" Gen 1:26"

You don't know the difference between an image and the real thing? So that picture on your wall is really your relative, is it? Get real.

"US is plural."

The United States of America is a federal Nation comprises of many States. Nations are not States and States are not Nations. Well, not unless you are John Calhoun.

203jburlinson
Mar 9, 2012, 3:39pm Top

> In Genesis we learn of the Trinity: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" Gen 1:26 US is plural.

More likely, this is an instance of the "royal we". King James would have been very familiar with this usage, since he went around talking about himself in the first person plural all the time.

Or, if God was addressing someone else, there's nothing in the passage that mentions the trinity. Could have been anywhere from 2 on up present.

204fuzzi
Mar 9, 2012, 5:19pm Top

(203) But God often refers to Himself as "I", or "IAM".

Here is another example of God referring to Himself in the plural:

"And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken." Genesis 3:22-23


Notice, it's not LORD Gods, but LORD God, Who refers to Himself as "us".

205lawecon
Mar 9, 2012, 8:16pm Top

~203

"Notice, it's not LORD Gods, but LORD God, Who refers to Himself as "us"."

As do and did all kings. But if you understand that, why do you think that G-d is plural?

206jntjesussaves
Mar 9, 2012, 8:42pm Top

197: Great TRIPLEHHH, we are glad to welcome you back. God bless.

207jntjesussaves
Mar 9, 2012, 8:59pm Top

199: We know lawecon that you are not a friend of Christians, but at least be intellectually honest when you describe them (especially those in this thread). You say,

"They do not, for instance, go around admonishing each other or nonJews that "Better be good. The Messiah is coming tomorrow, and They do not, for instance, go around admonishing each other or nonJews that "Better be good. The Messiah is coming tomorrow, and you will be damned if you don't believe in him before he comes."

There is not one on this thread who has claimed to be a Christian and said "you better be good, because the Messiah is coming tomorrow." This is intellectually dishonest; it makes one wonder, if someone has to make false statements about another to make their point- maybe their point is bankrupt. Just a thought.

You do make one true statement (with a slight adjustment): You said, "you will be damned if you don't believe in him before he comes." I turn your attention to John 3:1-21 (especially verses 17-21):

John 3:17
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

John 3:18
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:19
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

John 3:20
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. {reproved: or, discovered}

John 3:21
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
(KJV)

You are already condemed (damned); it is only by believing on Jesus Christ that you can escape this condemnation. You have often called me arrogant, but I have stated over and over- I am only on my way to heaven because of Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the Cross for me. If it weren't for Him, I would be on my way to hell, also (as I was before January 18, 1997).

208jntjesussaves
Mar 9, 2012, 9:20pm Top

200: "For Jews, there is only one G-d."

I guess this is true for non-Messianic Jews (those who haven't accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour).

"The Messiah CAN'T BE divine, because then there would be two G-ds."

I see your point, but what if you are wrong in your interpretation; I am sure you are aware that Christians also believe in one God, but they believe He exists in three persons- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We do not believe that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is a separate God- He is the Son. As well as the Holy Spirit. We believe Jehovah God is the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ (which New Testament scripture validates many times).

I do have three questions for you and I hope you will answer them. First, how do you interpret Isaiah 7:14? Second, how do you intepret Isaiah 9:6-7? Third, I ask you the same question Jesus asked the Pharisees, "What think ye of Christ?" What do you think of Christ? Who was He? How would you describle Him (as a Jew)? Thank you for your responses.

"You really need to see if you can, for once, step outside of the cant in which you have wrapped yourself and ask if what you believe is the only thing that could be believed."

No, I don't believe that what I believe is the only thing someone can believe. I do believe it is the only thing that one can believe if they desire eternal life, but I don't say this based on my beliefs- I say it based on God's Word (especially John 14:6):

John 14:6
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
(KJV)

You, along with many others, believe differently and I am a strong supporter of the freedoms we hold in this great Nation. You have the right to believe what you want- I just believe you are wrong in your beliefs. But, I would never want to disallow you or any one else from believing what you choose to believe.

209jntjesussaves
Mar 9, 2012, 9:24pm Top

201: Amen, Thomas! Great verses. I like your addition on Genesis 1:26; not only does that verse use the plural "us," but the word for God in that verse is "elohim" which has a plural connotation. Great thoughts, Thomas.

210jntjesussaves
Mar 9, 2012, 9:27pm Top

202: Lawecon, unless you are trying to be facetious- I don't believe Thomas was saying "US" as in the United States of America, but he was referring to the plural use of the word, "us." Please tell me you were beng facetious.

211thomashwalker2
Mar 10, 2012, 10:29am Top

202: You know, I've hear many attempts to argue for a "triune G-d," but this is one of the poorest. Let's just take two of your examples:

"In Genesis we learn of the Trinity: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" Gen 1:26"

You don't know the difference between an image and the real thing? So that picture on your wall is really your relative, is it? Get real.

"US is plural."

The United States of America is a federal Nation comprises of many States. Nations are not States and States are not Nations. Well, not unless you are John Calhoun.

Lawecon, your response to my post is similar to the response Jesus received from Nicodemus:"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except one be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God! That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born anew" John 3:3-7.

Image: Copy, Twin, Duplicate, Spitting Image
Likeness: Resemblance

The photo on my wall of my son at graduation is an exact image of the real person.

Being void of any spiritual understanding and thinking only in the temporal, Nicodemus would have responded to the following statement "and the two shall become one flesh: so that they are no more two, but one flesh." Mark 10:8 this way:

How can two people share the same skin?

212lawecon
Mar 10, 2012, 1:26pm Top

~207

"There is not one on this thread who has claimed to be a Christian and said "you better be good, because the Messiah is coming tomorrow." This is intellectually dishonest; it makes one wonder, if someone has to make false statements about another to make their point- maybe their point is bankrupt. Just a thought."

This is really interesting. First you spend numerous posts ranting about how it is OBVIOUS that Jesus will come back, that he may do so anytime, and that Christians are right to have expected him back really soon for the last 20 centuries. Then you berate me and say that I am lying about Christians (at least your sort of Christians) saying he is coming back tomorrow.

So tell me, are you sure he is not coming back tomorrow? When should we expect him - next week, next month - just when?

Or was your point that being good has nothing to do with salvation? Given your behavior in this thread, I can well understand you making that point.

213lawecon
Edited: Mar 10, 2012, 1:30pm Top

~210

Why don't you try asking Thomas, rather than just assuming that you know how to interpret what he was saying? I'm pretty sure that you're wrong. But then, it is true that you do this "I know exactly what this means" a lot, don't you? For instance, with regard to the Bible......

Strange, isn't it, that Thomas quotes what I said to him about the USA in post ~211 and doesn't say that I've misinterpreted him? But we know that the Holy Spirit is guiding you in your interpretations, so you must be right.

214lawecon
Mar 10, 2012, 1:32pm Top

~211

"Image: Copy, Twin, Duplicate, Spitting Image
Likeness: Resemblance

The photo on my wall of my son at graduation is an exact image of the real person."

So, in your view G-d looks just like the guy you see in the mirror? A "copy, twin, duplicate, spitting image"? Interesting. Try that one out on your pastor and see what he thinks.

215fuzzi
Mar 10, 2012, 3:56pm Top

I'm up to I Samuel 25. :)

While reading Ruth and I Samuel, I've not been taking notes much, but just enjoying the reading of the Bible, for pleasure. I'm sure if there is something that the Lord wants me to notice, He'll make it apparent as I read.

216lawecon
Mar 11, 2012, 9:14am Top

~215

I'm sure he will. After all, he has nothing better to do with his time.

217jntjesussaves
Mar 11, 2012, 9:00pm Top

211: Good points, Thomas.

218jntjesussaves
Edited: Mar 11, 2012, 9:58pm Top

212: I said:

"I will not say, Christ is going to come back tomorrow or even in my generation, but I can say with assurity- He will return (in His timing)" (in posts 157 originally and in 183 after that).

You say:

"Then you berate me and say that I am lying about Christians (at least your sort of Christians) saying he is coming back tomorrow."

Again, I ask- since you continuously label myself, Thomas and fuzzi in this light- where is your proof? Which one of us said what you claim we said? Did Thomas say that Christ was coming back tomorrow, did fuzzi say that or did I? Where did we say what you claimed we said? If you cannot produce that evidence, then yes, I would say that you are being intellectually dishonest and making false statements to make "your point"? Are you surmising that I am wrong in my assumption? Are you prepared to produce your evidence, lawecon?

"So tell me, are you sure he is not coming back tomorrow? When should we expect him - next week, next month - just when?"

I feel a little like how Kirk Cameron must have felt when he was recently painted into a corner.

I will say that same thing I already stated before in post 157: "The Bible clearly says that no one (not even Jesus Christ, only God the Father) knows the day and hour when Christ will return."

Matthew 25:13
Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
(KJV)

I didn't say that He wasn't coming back tomorrow, my contention is that we cannot know. Yes, He could come back tomorrow; yes, He could come back next week; yes, He could come back in the next month, the next year, the next decade- we don't know. I believe we see more prophetical signs today, then those in the New Testament days saw being lived out before our eyes, which shows He could come back at any time (imminently- likely to happen without delay), as has been stated before.

"Or was your point that being good has nothing to do with salvation?"

Yes, that has been my point from the beginning- "being good" has nothing to do with "salvation." Your "being good" has much to do with your life after "salvation," but your "being good" has nothing to do with you receiving "salvation." There are two words that sum up salvation: mercy and grace. In Ephesians 2:1-10 we see a great picture of what we are before and after salvation.

In verses 1-3, mankind in general (and myself and you, specifically) are described: "who were dead in trespasses and sins...Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." if God had ended these verses after verse three, we would all be most miserable, but He didn't- praise God!

We then see two of the greatest words in the Bible: "But God..."

Ephesians 2:4
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Ephesians 2:5
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) {by...: or, by whose grace}

Ephesians 2:6
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Ephesians 2:7
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
(KJV)

We see His "mercy" in verse 4 and His "grace" in verse 7. One of the best definitions I have ever heard for mercy is, "not getting what we do deserve." We deserve Hell and death, yet we don't suffer Hell and death. One of the best definitions that I have ever heard for grace is, "getting what we don't deserve." We don't deserve Heaven and life, yet we do get both. Therefore, while we deserve Hell and death, we receive Heaven and life. We deserve Hell and death, but we don't get it- we don't deserve Heaven and life, but we receive them both. Amazing transaction for us, but one that cost the Father His Son.

"Given your behavior in this thread, I can well understand you making that point."

While I am not sure what your phrase, "given your behavior" refers to, because I do not want to sin in communicating with others whom I disagree with- was there something that I said, or said in a certain way for your to make that comment? Please let me know how my behavior (and what I said) that has caused you to make this point- I sincerely would like to know. Thanks.


219jntjesussaves
Mar 11, 2012, 9:52pm Top

201: Thomas, was your reference to "US" referring to the United States, or were you referring to the "us" within the verse you were discussing with lawecon? Thanks for your help.

220jntjesussaves
Mar 11, 2012, 9:55pm Top

213: "Why don't you try asking Thomas, rather than just assuming that you know how to interpret what he was saying? I'm pretty sure that you're wrong."

We will see, I have asked him.

221lawecon
Mar 12, 2012, 12:20am Top

~220

Surprising. You never tried asking the authors of the various books of the Bible what they meant.

222lawecon
Edited: Mar 12, 2012, 9:27am Top

~218

It is amazing, yet again, that you seem to know more than the Christians that knew Jesus, or the Christians that knew the Christians that knew Jesus. They thought he was coming right back. Above in #154 you told us that Christians in every century think he is coming in their century. But now, you really don't know at all?

What, jnt, if he is never coming back? I know, being in touch with what G-d-thinks, that you know that 2,000 years isn't long at all for G-d. But for we mere humans it is really quite some considerable length of time.

What if Jesus takes a year of God-time, calculated as you also suggested in #154? Let's see, that would be, according to your knowledge of how G-d calculates time, 365,000 human years. In other words, it would be be about 50 TIMES longer than all of recorded human history. Does that sound about right, or might it take longer? But perhaps he will be more prompt. Let's see, if he comes back in a G-d month, that would be 30,000 years - only 5 TIMES recorded human history.

So I guess you're right. Although the argument that Jesus and his judgment were just around the corner was very important to the original Christians, and is still widely used today, you might want to avoid it. It just doesn't work too well, even if it has been only a mere "two days".

223thomashwalker2
Edited: Mar 12, 2012, 7:56am Top

219: 201: "Thomas, was your reference to "US" referring to the United States, or were you referring to the "us" within the verse you were discussing with lawecon? Thanks for your help."

I used LC's for us to emphasize the "us" within the verse. I need to be careful so as not to give any more room for criticism; if that is possible.

218: Well said.

jnt, you always have a kind and encouraging word for your brethren, and for those that oppose, your rebuttals are respectful even while under attack. You exemplify the true nature of a Christian: "Seeing ye have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth unto unfeigned love of the brethren, love one another from the heart fervently: having been begotten again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the word of God, which liveth and abideth" 1 Peter 1:22-23

224lawecon
Edited: Mar 12, 2012, 9:15am Top

~223

Ah yes, Thomas, you and fuzzi and jnt, such loving and sweat and respectful people. That is why you preach that anyone who varies in any material respect from you in your peculiar doctrines will burn eternally in fire. Very respectful of your breathern.

Oh, but wait, the "unsaved" people in the human race aren't really your breathern, are they? That is why the quotation you give up says "the breathern," not "your breathern," isn't it?

225fuzzi
Edited: Mar 12, 2012, 12:31pm Top

I have now read through 2 Samuel 14.


226jntjesussaves
Mar 12, 2012, 10:09pm Top

222: Again, you show that your reasoning does not flow.

"Above in #154 you told us that Christians in every century think he is coming in their century. But now, you really don't know at all?"

You place these two items together as if they go together. Yes, I did say that Christians throughout the centuries believed that Christ was coming back in their lifetime. I also stated that "no one knows" when He "will" come back. How do these two relate? One is speaking about what others believed (or thought) would happen, the other relates to what I think. Others have believed that He would return during their lifetime, I also believe His time is near (and He quite possibly could come back in my lifetime), but I didn't say (nor ever have said) that He was coming back tomorrow. Nor have I ever placed a day or time when He will come back, because that would be contradicting scripture.

You have circled around my original question because you have no evidence that any of the three persons you claimed made the statement that Jesus is "coming back tomorrow" exists. It doesn't and that was my point, you made a false claim of something that isn't true. Are you saying that you do have evidence that you haven't produced, lawecon?

227jntjesussaves
Mar 12, 2012, 10:15pm Top

223: Thank you for your response, Thomas. That is what I thought- it seemed clear to me, but when others desire to disect every word and thought you say- you are correct, we must be careful.

Thank you for your encouraging words. They do mean a lot. God bless you.

228jntjesussaves
Edited: Mar 12, 2012, 10:55pm Top

224: "Ah yes, Thomas, you and fuzzi and jnt, such loving and sweat and respectful people. That is why you preach that anyone who varies in any material respect from you in your peculiar doctrines will burn eternally in fire."

I have asked you numerous times for your interpretation of certain verses- you never want to give your interpretation. Myself, Thomas, and fuzzi (after reading and studying God's Word) give you what we believe God's Word is saying. You disagree with our interpretation which is fine, but one thing you can't say is that we haven't tried over and over to show you "where we are coming from." What verses have we misconstrued? What verses have we given to show evidence to what we believe that has been "off the mark?" You consistently say that we cannot interpret correctly without knowing Greek and Hebrew and understanding the context that the text was written in, yet what verses have we taken out of context?

These "peculiar doctrines" that you mention have been shared by many through the last several thousand years. There are many who would agree with virtually every doctrine we have mentioned. I attend a church (independent, fundamental Baptist church) that has several hundred members who believe these "peculiar doctrines." I am sure that Thomas and fuzzi know many others who believe the "peculiar doctrines." I could list person after person who believes these "peculiar doctrines." These "peculiar doctrines" have been around since the beginning of Christianity.

"Oh, but wait, the "unsaved" people in the human race aren't really your breathern, are they?"

No, lawecon, the unsaved are not truly "brethren." Christians have been adopted into the family of God through Jesus Christ:

Galatians 4:1
Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;

Galatians 4:2
But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.

Galatians 4:3
Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: {elements: or, rudiments}

Galatians 4:4
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Galatians 4:5
To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Galatians 4:6
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

Galatians 4:7
Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
(KJV)

The fact that God created mankind does not constitute His "fatherhood" over mankind. He was mankind's Creator, but not their father. You can only become a "child of God," "a child of the King," by being adopted into God's family. And the only way one can be adopted into God's family is through the acceptance of God's "free gift" of salvation by His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Thank you, Lord.

Lastly, lawecon, I will pose an inference that I made earlier (in response to your claim that those who believe that those who die without Christ suffer in an eternal Hell (Lake of Fire).

If you believed with all your heart (after much study and experience) that you knew something that could keep someone from pain and/or punishment, would you tell them "the truth" or would you keep it to yourself? Now granted, I understand that you don't believe that those who reject Christ will spend eternity separated from God in Hell, but if you did believe that- would you keep it to yourself (or would you try to make as many aware of it as possible)? This is why we share what we believe. You see, what you seem to believe will not send anyone to Hell. What others on this thread believe will not send anyone to Hell. But, what myself, Thomas, and fuzzi believe (if we are correct) will send many to Hell. Not because of an unloving and unmerciful God, but because of a sinful and rejecting people.

I sleep well at night, lawecon, knowing that I have shared the "good news" with someone. I wouldn't sleep well if I shared the "good news" with hate and unkindness, but that is not the case. I have asked you to share with me where I have said something mean, unkind, or untrue. You refuse to share that with me. What I share with you and others based on my understanding of God's Word is based on doctrine from His Word. You may interpret it differently, but what we understand to be the truth, we must stand up for.

I often think of Martin Luther's words when the Catholic leaders upon giving him one more chance to admit his wrong- He said,

"I can do nothing else; here I stand; so help me God. Amen!"

229jntjesussaves
Mar 12, 2012, 10:53pm Top

225: Congrats, fuzzi. Keep it up.

230lawecon
Mar 12, 2012, 11:40pm Top

~226
"You place these two items together as if they go together. Yes, I did say that Christians throughout the centuries believed that Christ was coming back in their lifetime. I also stated that "no one knows" when He "will" come back. How do these two relate? One is speaking about what others believed (or thought) would happen, the other relates to what I think. Others have believed that He would return during their lifetime, I also believe His time is near (and He quite possibly could come back in my lifetime), but I didn't say (nor ever have said) that He was coming back tomorrow. Nor have I ever placed a day or time when He will come back, because that would be contradicting scripture."

So, let's see if we can untangle the rather convoluted statements in this "paragraph" and see if we have got this straight : (1) Many Christians in the past, including the first Christians, believed that Jesus was "coming right back" (2) But you don't believe that, although you do believe that "his time is near." (3) But you don't want to say what "near" means.

Surely you understand that such a view - to the extent it is coherent at all - says exactly nothing? Jesus may come tomorrow. He may come in your lifetime. He may come in 365,000 years, as is suggested by the quotation from Paul you gave above and the notion that a year really isn't that long.

What this does is make the claim that "Jesus is coming back" totally irrelevant to any human concerns. He already hasn't come back through the collapse of the Roman Empire, through the collapse of the various German States that dominated Europe after the collapse of the Roman Empire, through the invasions of Islam, through the invasions of the Monguls in the East and the rise of totalitarian states like Spain and France in the West, through the "discovery" and decimation of the New World civilizations, though the creation of new civilizations in the New World, through the Enlightenment and growth of democracy/natural rights, through the rise of a round of new totalitarian states, into the increasingly integrated world social order that is emerging today. And you expect a first century Jewish peasant to "come back"? What do you think he'd do in present day society if he "came back" - other than look around in bewilderment ?

231lawecon
Edited: Mar 12, 2012, 11:53pm Top

~228

What a remarkably prolix way to try to avoid answering the simple point I was making. Here it is again, since you seem to have entirely missed it the first several times:'

You claim that your G-d is a G-d of love. You claim that you are loving people. Yet your G-d created imperfect beings who, in your view, cannot help but sin. Indeed, in some versions of your views, men are born with the historical (original) sin of their race inherited from Adam and Eve. So even if they live a sinless life individually, they are still damned to eternal hell fire.

Having created such a creature, with such a nature, your loving G-d then condemns them to burn eternally and individually because of the natural acts he created them to perform. Unless, unless, they believe upon "his son," his son who really isn't his son, but who is but another aspect of himself. Unless they "believe in their hearts" that they will be redeemed by his son - by one of his own aspects - they will burn for original sin and the many sins they commit due to the inherently flawed nature which he created.

What a deeply schizophrenic, malicious and evil G-d you portray. But this is the way you have to twist things around to end up with the theological conclusions you want, isn't it?

232TRIPLEHHH
Mar 13, 2012, 5:14am Top

I finished II THESSALONIANS.

233fuzzi
Mar 13, 2012, 7:50am Top

(232) Way to go, HHH!

What's next?

I just finished 2 Samuel 20 last night, I think. Somewhere around there. Absalom is dead, and Sheba's revolt is over.

I think I can finish 2 Samuel tonight, just four chapters to go!

Judges and the 2 Samuels go pretty fast for me, usually. It's in the 2 Chronicles that I get bogged down. We'll see how it goes this year. :)

234jntjesussaves
Mar 13, 2012, 8:24pm Top

232: Congrats, TRIPLEHHH. Paul's letters to the Thessalonian believers are great. I know you said that you were reading the New Testament, first, but did you say that you were going in order or skipping around?

235jntjesussaves
Mar 13, 2012, 8:46pm Top

230: "So, let's see if we can untangle the rather convoluted statements in this "paragraph" and see if we have got this straight : (1) Many Christians in the past, including the first Christians, believed that Jesus was "coming right back" (2) But you don't believe that, although you do believe that "his time is near." (3) But you don't want to say what "near" means."

1. Yes. 2. "But you don't believe that...?" Are you asking if I believe "the first Christians, believed that Jesus was "coming right back" or are you asking if I believe "that Jesus was coming right back"? If it is the first, yes, I believe they believed that Jesus Christ was coming "right back". If it is the latter question the answer is (as I have stated numerous times), no man can know. 3. As has also been stated, near to me is not the same as near to God, therefore, for me to say what I believe near means may not line up with God's definition of "near." I don't believe I can go wrong by saying that His return is "nearer" today than it has ever been before, however, I am sure that answer will not satisfy you.

I really don't understand how someone as intelligent as you can not grasp the concept, that if we "can not know" when His return will be- why would one try to give an answer for when that time will be? Yet, this is what it seems you want me to do. Lawecon, what if I said "I believe Jesus Christ is going to come back on November 6, 2012." What would your response be? Would you wait for that day so you can rush to the current thread and tell jntjesussaves that "he was off his rocker" when he claimed Jesus Christ was coming back on November 6, 2012. Then I would say that I wish I hadn't placed a date on Christ's return because God's Word tells us "no one knows." Therefore, if you still don't understand- I don't believe you ever will.

236jntjesussaves
Mar 13, 2012, 9:37pm Top

230: "Surely you understand that such a view - to the extent it is coherent at all - says exactly nothing? Jesus may come tomorrow. He may come in your lifetime. He may come in 365,000 years, as is suggested by the quotation from Paul you gave above and the notion that a year really isn't that long."

Let me understand, lawecon, "no man can know." That is not coherent to you? So in order for it to be coherent, one must give an exact date and time of Christ's return. And then, those who asked and pleaded for that person to respond, can tell him/her how incoherent their view is? So, from your perspective whether someone gives a date and time (or says "no man can know"), their view is incoherent? I guess when "you" make the rules, you can say anything.

"What this does is make the claim that "Jesus is coming back" totally irrelevant to any human concerns."

Yes to some, until He makes His glorious appearance- and then His claim will be "totally" relevant to human concerns.


237lawecon
Mar 13, 2012, 10:03pm Top

~235

And, jnt, I don't understand how someone as intelligent as you can hear the same things a dozen times, ignore what is being said, and make up something else instead. But that is what you do.

238lawecon
Mar 13, 2012, 10:11pm Top

~236

"Let me understand, lawecon, "no man can know." That is not coherent to you? So in order for it to be coherent, one must give an exact date and time of Christ's return. And then, those who asked and pleaded for that person to respond, can tell him/her how incoherent their view is? So, from your perspective whether someone gives a date and time (or says "no man can know"), their view is incoherent? I guess when "you" make the rules, you can say anything."

For about the dozenth time, jnt. I am not interested in you giving a day and year. I am interested in you giving an upper bound. It has already been 2,000 years. That is 100 generations. I've mentioned above what has happened in that 100 generations. The world has completely changed. But your only response is that you don't know how long it is going to take (although those who actually knew Jesus did know, and were wrong).

So if it takes another 100 years and you should survive so long, you wouldn't see any reason to revise your faith? Another 1,000 years? Another 365,000 years? How about after the extinction of the human race? How about around the time of the heat death of the universe? You just don't know, but you do know that you will continue to believe no matter how long it takes?

As I said above, this position has no meaning. Jesus was suppose to come back to inaugurate the "Kingdom of Heaven" in his own day, in Paul's day, in the day of the Roman Empire. He didn't. There is absolutely no empirical reason to believe that he is ever coming back. But you "still believe," because, well, because you are obsessed with this belief and can't even imagine a situation in which this belief could be wrong.

239jntjesussaves
Mar 13, 2012, 10:32pm Top

237: What has been said? Tell me what I have made up instead?

240lawecon
Edited: Mar 13, 2012, 10:48pm Top

See above and above and above. I am sure you can read. I am just not certain that you can understand what you don't want to hear and hear what is being said. But try it. What do you think is being said in Post # 229? Put what is being said in your own words - whether you "believe" it or not.

241jburlinson
Mar 13, 2012, 11:15pm Top

> 240. What do you think is being said in Post # 229? Put what is being said in your own words - whether you "believe" it or not.

I know you weren't addressing your challenge to me, but I'll take a stab at it nonetheless.

I believe # 229, in my own words, is saying: "Fuzzi, you deserve credit for an accomplishment. I encourage you to continue in your project."

242jntjesussaves
Mar 13, 2012, 11:55pm Top

238: "But your only response is that you don't know how long it is going to take (although those who actually knew Jesus did know, and were wrong)."

You say those who knew Jesus "did know" (and were wrong). Is that not a misnomer? Doesn't the fact that they "were wrong" prove that they didn't know? I don't remember reading any New Testament writer saying, "Jesus Christ is coming back tomorrow." Or even, a year from now, or a decade from now? No New Testament writer ever set a date on Christ's return. Nor does the Bible-believing Christian today.

You say, "it has already been 2,000 years." I agree, lawecon, from my fleshly perspective; I also don't understand why Jesus has not returned, but from a spiritual perspective- I say, "God's timing is perfect and His timing is not my timing."

"There is absolutely no empirical reason to believe that he is ever coming back. But you "still believe," because, well, because you are obsessed with this belief and can't even imagine a situation in which this belief could be wrong."

Lawecon, you are incorrect in your reasoning. I don't "still believe" because I am obsessed with this belief- I still believe because God the Son has promised that He would return.

John 14:1
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

John 14:2
In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

John 14:3
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
(KJV)

And also...

1 Thessalonians 4:13
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

1 Thessalonians 4:14
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

1 Thessalonians 4:15
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. {prevent: or, come before, or, anticipate, or, precede}

1 Thessalonians 4:16
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

1 Thessalonians 4:17
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 4:18
Wherefore comfort one another with these words. {comfort: or, exhort}
(KJV)

Now you can scoff at these words, but you can't claim that I did not offer you proof of Jesus' return. You may say you don't believe these are God's words or that these words are not truth, but I have offered you evidence and proof for my belief. You just disagree with the New Testament; you just disagree with Jesus Christ; you just disagree with Jehovah God. Or have I misinterpreted these verses, lawecon?

To sum up what you believe: You believe I am wrong; you believe Jesus may not have been a real person; you believe that there is no Hell; you believe Jesus didn't die to reconcile man back to God; you believe that Jesus is not the promised Jewish Messiah; you believe the Jewish Messiah is not Divine; you believe that man can merit his own salvation; you believe that man does not need a Saviour; you believe that you are right.

To sum up what I believe: I believe you are wrong; I believe Jesus is a real person; I believe there is a Hell; I believe Jesus did die to reconcile man back to God; I believe that Jesus was the promised Messiah; I believe the Messiah was Divine (and is Divine), for He is Jesus Christ; I believe that man cannot merit his own salvation; I believe man needs a Saviour (Jesus Christ) and accepting Him as Saviour is man's only hope of eternal life; I believe I am right.

You see, lawecon, we could have saved each other a lot of cramped fingers and time had we just summed up what we believe, but I guess it wouldn't have been as fun.

243jntjesussaves
Mar 13, 2012, 11:59pm Top

240: "Congrats, fuzzi. Keep it up."

Actually post 229 was my own words, lawecon. But I must say jburlinson may have said my words better than I did- "Fuzzi, you deserve credit for an accomplishment. I encourage you to continue in your project." Well said, jburlinson.

244johnthefireman
Mar 14, 2012, 1:01am Top

>235 jntjesussaves: jnt, I'm a little confused again here. In this post you appear to say without any doubt that the first Christians (which I will add obviously includes the writers of the NT) believed that Jesus was coming right back, or in >226 jntjesussaves:, in their lifetime. Yet elsewhere you have apparently said quite clearly that the NT writers did not believe/say that Jesus was coming back in their lifetime. Can you clarify this apparent contradiction, please?

245lawecon
Edited: Mar 14, 2012, 9:15am Top

~242

See. That is exactly my point.

I make a series of very simple statements and ask you if you understand what I've said to the point where you can merely rephrase. You can't, apparently.

The only reason I can think of for your inability to do this simple task is that you suffer from what is called in philosophy a "reinforced dogmatism." That is, no matter what situation might be imagined, it would not shake your hypothesis. So if 10,000 years have passed since the crucifixion, he is "still coming." 100,000, years, he is still coming. 1,000,000 years, he is still coming.

Although "Jesus will return" appears to be a typical empirical statement, it isn't. There are no IMAGINABLE circumstances under which it would be counted to be false.

As apparently more of the same, note, for instance:

"To sum up what I believe: I believe you are wrong; I believe Jesus is a real person; I believe there is a Hell; I believe Jesus did die to reconcile man back to God; I believe that Jesus was the promised Messiah; I believe the Messiah was Divine (and is Divine), for He is Jesus Christ; I believe that man cannot merit his own salvation; I believe man needs a Saviour (Jesus Christ) and accepting Him as Saviour is man's only hope of eternal life; I believe I am right."

Not one statement MIGHT BE IMAGINED to be wrong. At least not in the way you apparently mean those statements. Just dogma. Just unassailable "belief" with no possibility that you COULD BE wrong.

I think we saw enough of that in the 20th century, and continue to see the same in the 21st century.
"Those who think in slogans, speak in bullets."
George Orwell

246TRIPLEHHH
Mar 14, 2012, 4:13am Top

234: I guess I am Skipping around the NT. Next up is James:) Thank you Fuzzi and Jnt for getting me motivated to read God's word!

247fuzzi
Mar 14, 2012, 7:57am Top

(241) If you're giving me encouragement, jburlinson, then I thank you. :)

(246) HHH, James is a very good book, and I'd like to hear your thoughts on it if you want to.

John (jnt), not only did Jesus say that He would return (many verses), but there's another confirmation of His eventual return that is credited to angels:

"And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." Acts 1:10-11

248lawecon
Mar 14, 2012, 9:16am Top

~247

"John (jnt), not only did Jesus say that He would return (many verses), but there's another confirmation of His eventual return that is credited to angels:"

And when might we be expecting him?

249johnthefireman
Edited: Mar 14, 2012, 9:31am Top

>247 fuzzi:, 248 Thanks, fuzzi, but my point is not whether Jesus will return; I think you'll find most Christians are agreed on that. My point is that the authors of the New Testament believed he would return in their lifetime. When he didn't, it was necessary for Christians to reinterpret some of those writings. jnt had previously said (as I understand it - apologies if I am misrepresenting him) that they did not write/believe that Jesus would return in their lifetime so no reinterpretation of their writing is necessary; now in these more recent posts jnt appears to be saying that the earliest Christians (which of course includes the NT authors) did in fact believe that Jesus would return in their lifetime. I'm seeking clarification of that apparent contradiction in what jnt is saying.

250thomashwalker2
Mar 14, 2012, 9:40am Top

238: "I am not interested in you giving a day and year. I am interested in you giving an upper bound. It has already been 2,000 years. That is 100 generations. I've mentioned above what has happened in that 100 generations. The world has completely changed." and "Jesus was suppose to come back to inaugurate the "Kingdom of Heaven" in his own day, in Paul's day, in the day of the Roman Empire. He didn't. There is absolutely no empirical reason to believe that he is ever coming back."

It is impossible to explain the timing of an event, scheduled on God's timetable, in the temporal. Paul was spirit led when he made the statement that Christ's return was near. Only with spiritual eyes can we see and understand a reality(spiritual) that the physical eyes can never perceive.

Lawecon, you have never addressed the possibility that time might be measured differently in the spiritual. Do you believe in both a temporal and spiritual reality? If you only believe in the temporal, there is no way on God's green earth that you will ever be able to see the invisible. That being the case, in the following verse substitute Nicodemus' name with yours:

Nicodemus (Lawecon) answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, art thou the teacher of Israel, and understandest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, we speak that which we know, and bear witness of that which we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I told you earthly things and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you heavenly things?" John 3:9-12

My purpose for this post is not to be demeaning, but to show the similarity in your thinking process that dates back 2,000 years.

251lawecon
Edited: Mar 14, 2012, 10:06am Top

Thomas, I have repeatedly addressed the argument "that time might be measured differently in the spiritual" AND THE CONSEQUENCES OF THIS ARGUMENT. Since apparently you didn't read what I said on this topic multiple times above, let me summarize:

(1) The Bible is a human book written for humans. Why would G-d deceive humans about when his son is coming back by putting into the pen of his representative that he was coming right back, when G-d, knowing everything, must know how to tell human time as well as G-d time? 2,000 years isn't "right back" in human terms.

(2) If a G-d day is a thousand years, then it is easy to imagine that Jesus won't come back for a G-d week or a G-d month or a G-d year. If G-d is really so limited that he can't tell the difference between His time and human time, then maybe Jesus isn't due back for 7,000 years or 30,000 years or 365,000 years. But if that is true, then Jesus' "return" is simply irrelevant to anything going on today or anyone living today.

(3) As you note in your post, and don't even attempt to refute, the world has changed dramatically in the past 2,000 years. The rate of change appears to be increasing, to the point where there may well not be a recognizable human race in another 5,000 years (a G-d week since the crucifixion) or even in another 500 years - and that is the optimistic point of view. What will Jesus be returning to if there is no longer a recognizable human race when he returns? What would be the point of his "return"?

252fuzzi
Mar 14, 2012, 12:44pm Top

(248) "And when might we be expecting him?"

When we least expect it.

No man knows when Christ will return, only God does.

"But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch." Mark 13:32-37

"Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?
This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true." John 21:21-24


Jesus did not say that He would return before John His disciple died, but IF God willed that John lived to see the Lord's return, what business was it of Peter's?

The Lord will return when He is ready to return, and not due to some man's interpretation or timetable.

253fuzzi
Mar 14, 2012, 12:45pm Top

(249) john, I'll let jnt reply to your post, since it's really addressed to him. :)

254fuzzi
Mar 14, 2012, 12:48pm Top

I was too sleepy last night to read more than a couple chapters, so 2 Samuel is still not quite completed...

255jburlinson
Mar 14, 2012, 1:33pm Top

> 251. Why would G-d deceive humans about when his son is coming back by putting into the pen of his representative that he was coming right back, when G-d, knowing everything, must know how to tell human time as well as G-d time? 2,000 years isn't "right back" in human terms.

As with so much (everything else) in the Bible, this is another contradiction/paradox that is fundamental to the divine message. Jesus' will return soon AND no one knows when. The literal-minded tend to focus on one or the other side of this conjunction; for example, on the one hand, one might say, "If Jesus is returning soon then we do know when," while another might say, "If we don't know when, how can we say he's returning soon?"

The challenge, as with all the other contradictions in the Bible, is to try to hold both sides of the paradox in mind simultaneously.

Another way to look at it is to consider that Jesus' return is both immanent and imminent. Since it's immanent, for any given person it might be very imminent.

256eclecticdodo
Mar 14, 2012, 1:50pm Top

I'm getting so sick of this conversation going round in circles.

The point is we are not to know when he will return, but to live as if every moment could be the last. That was the case in the first years after the resurrection and it is still the case today.

257lawecon
Mar 14, 2012, 7:26pm Top

~255

"As with so much (everything else) in the Bible, this is another contradiction/paradox that is fundamental to the divine message. Jesus' will return soon AND no one knows when. The literal-minded tend to focus on one or the other side of this conjunction; for example, on the one hand, one might say, "If Jesus is returning soon then we do know when," while another might say, "If we don't know when, how can we say he's returning soon?"

In order to "hold both sides of a paradox" each side must have meaning. What meaning does "soon" have if the time involved is in excess of 2,000 years?

258lawecon
Mar 14, 2012, 7:31pm Top

~256
"I'm getting so sick of this conversation going round in circles.

The point is we are not to know when he will return, but to live as if every moment could be the last. That was the case in the first years after the resurrection and it is still the case today."

And I have no problem with that as an ethical or behavioral rule. But you will note that, in the rather extensive length of this part of this discussion you are the first and only poster to make that point.

Every other "Christian" (and the quotes are advised) maintains that "soon" must really mean "soon" but that, somehow, it is G-d's "soon" rather than a human "soon." What is particularly curious about that position is that it is being advanced by those who otherwise want to advocate a "plain meaning" view of a translation of various ancient texts. So, in other words, the KJV means exactly what the reader thinks it is saying, except when it is convenient that it mean something else.

259jntjesussaves
Mar 14, 2012, 10:24pm Top

244: Sorry for the confusion- it doesn't seem that confusing to me. But I will try and make it clearer if I can.

"In this post you appear to say without any doubt that the first Christians (which I will add obviously includes the writers of the NT) believed that Jesus was coming right back, or in >226 jntjesussaves:, in their lifetime."

Yes, In post 235 (and elsewhere) I said: "I believe they (New Testament Christians) believed that Jesus Christ was coming "right back". Or in their lifetime. I believe the key is that "they believed" Christ would come back in their lifetime; they didn't say He "was coming back tomorrow, next week, or next year."

"Yet elsewhere you have apparently said quite clearly that the NT writers did not believe/say that Jesus was coming back in their lifetime."

I am not recalling ever making the statement you attribute to me; I know this has been a long thread, but could you help me recall when I made that statement?

In post 226, I stated the following:

"No New Testament writer ever set a date on Christ's return. Nor does the Bible-believing Christian today."

I also stated that I believe Jesus Christ might come back in my lifetime, but I am not saying that He will because I have no way of knowing exactly when He will return. It just seems like we are getting closer to His return, however, as I have stated numerous times, "no man can know."

Therefore, I am not sure of the confusion (or contradiction). Does this make it any clearer? Again, I am not aware of stating what you mentioned I said, but if you could show me the post that I made that statement I will do my best to clear up any supposed contradictions.

260jntjesussaves
Mar 14, 2012, 10:58pm Top

245: "See. That is exactly my point."

No, lawecon, I am trying very hard, but I don't see your point. Can you be more clear and tell me what you point is?

You are trying to reason spiritual things with human wisdom and you can't. You say that 100 generations have passed, therefore, that proves Jesus is not coming back. This is illogical reasoning. Jesus never said He was going to come in any particular generation, He said He would return. You act as if Jesus is beholden to lawecon when He comes back. If lawecon believes Jesus should have already come back, then He should have come back (or it proves He is never coming back). God is not held by time. He does not answer to you or myself. He doesn't have to explain Himself.

Many believe that the earth is relatively young, meaning it is possibly 8,000-10,000 years old; if this be true, and I believe that it is quite accurate, what is so surprising about Christ not having returned in 2,000 years- that is possibly only 1/4 of the time we have occupied the earth (if the earth is young as described). If this analogy is correct, the earth has been around for approximately 8,000 or so years and you are declaring that because Christ hasn't returned in 2,000 years, that makes His claim void.

"So if 10,000 years have passed since the crucifixion, he is "still coming." 100,000, years, he is still coming. 1,000,000 years, he is still coming."

Yes, if all those years passed- I would still believe He is coming. But I am aware you will not comprehend this, because you are trying to understand with human wisdom (and not spiritual discernment). You see, lawecon, while you may not have a strong faith in "your God," I do have a strong faith in mine. When my God states something, I believe it. I don't try to reason why or how something will occur, I trust that He knows more than me. You may call this "blind trust" or whatever, I call it placing trust in my Saviour.

This is the reason why I added the final "bullet," because we have been going round and round in circles discussing this topic and you still believe what you believe and I still believe what I believe. The only difference between you and I, is that I can accept others for what they believe (even while I believe they are sincerely wrong); you on the other hand, can only feel justified if I disclaim every thing I believe.

I don't believe I have posted in "bullets" for the past month or so (and the many posts I have written). One just gets to the point where one agrees to disagree; you have stated what you believe, I have stated what I believe- we just don't agree on these things.

There is also a disconnect- you claim that I cannot see your point; yet, I would claim that I have seen and understood your points and disagree with them. As strongly as you believe and as strongly as I believe, I am sure you like myself have had our share of disagreements with others. But I can also see when the points on each side have been made and there will be no compromise on either side, which sometimes is needed. In this case, from my perspective, your lack of evidence cause me to stand by my convictions (without compromise). I am sorry if this bothers you, but I must stand by my convictions (as you must stand by yours). One of us is wrong- God is the ultimate Judge of which one of us is wrong.

261jntjesussaves
Mar 14, 2012, 11:02pm Top

246: I give you much credit and commendation for being a "doer of the word and not a hearer only." The Bible clearly tells us to read, study, meditate, and memorize (hide God's Word in our hearts); you are showing forth discipline and determination by obeying God and I for one commend you for it.

James will be a great book (the above scripture that I quoted comes from that book and came to my mind upon thinking about God's command to us to read His Word. Great job, TRIPLEHHH.

262jntjesussaves
Mar 14, 2012, 11:03pm Top

247: Amen, fuzzi! Thank you. That is certainly another verse that specifically relates Christ's return.

God bless.

263jntjesussaves
Mar 14, 2012, 11:18pm Top

249: John, I again ask you to reveal to me the post or posts where you claim I made this statement. I don't remember ever making the statement you attribute to me, but then again I am old (41) and seem to forget what I had for breakfast. I will be waiting for your response with the aformentioned posts.

264jntjesussaves
Mar 14, 2012, 11:20pm Top

250: Great addition, Thomas. And as usual, you make your point (and my point) very well. Thanks.

265jntjesussaves
Mar 14, 2012, 11:31pm Top

251: I believe the following verses are quite relevant to our discussions:

Mark 13:32
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

Mark 13:33
Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

Mark 13:34
For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

Mark 13:35
Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:

Mark 13:36
Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.

Mark 13:37
And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
(KJV)

266jntjesussaves
Mar 14, 2012, 11:33pm Top

252: Fuzzi, spiritual minds apparently think alike, again. I am reading the posts in order and responding accordingly. those verses from Mark 13 came to my mind and then I scroll down and find you have used the same verses. Amen.

267jntjesussaves
Mar 14, 2012, 11:35pm Top

256: Amen!

268johnthefireman
Mar 15, 2012, 12:10am Top

>259 jntjesussaves:, 263 I thought there was a part of the conversation when I (and maybe one or two others) said that the NT writers believed that Jesus would return in their lifetime. Jesus didn't, which is an indication that a literalist interpretation of the bible is not viable in this instance. Christians have had to interpret beyond the literal, and as eclecticdodo puts it so well in >256 eclecticdodo:, The point is we are not to know when he will return, but to live as if every moment could be the last. That was the case in the first years after the resurrection and it is still the case today. I seemed to recall that you denied that the NT writers believed that Jesus would return in their lifetime and thus there is no need to reinterpret their words. But I'm happy to accept that my memory has misled me. I am also old(er), and I honestly can't be bothered to go back through the 267 posts of this thread and the 600+ posts of the previous one, so I'm happy to leave it here.

>258 lawecon: you are the first and only poster to make that point

I must have used the British art of understatement more than I intended, as I thought I had also done so (or at least implied it)...

269lawecon
Mar 15, 2012, 2:13am Top

~268

"I must have used the British art of understatement more than I intended, as I thought I had also done so (or at least implied it)..."

Sorry, I guess that I just view you as another interloper in this tread, rather than as a member of the Holy Trio who are nightly Led By The Spirit to Know THE TRUTH.

270fuzzi
Mar 15, 2012, 7:16am Top

(256) eclecticdodo sagely added "I'm getting so sick of this conversation going round in circles.

The point is we are not to know when he will return, but to live as if every moment could be the last. That was the case in the first years after the resurrection and it is still the case today."


Woo! Amen!

Now, back to the Bible...

271fuzzi
Edited: Mar 15, 2012, 7:20am Top

I finished II Samuel last night, and read a few chapters of I Kings.

Onward....


272lawecon
Edited: Mar 15, 2012, 9:04am Top

"I finished II Samuel last night, and read a few chapters of I Kings."

And what did you learn that will improve your life or the lives of those around you when you read that translation of ancient texts? What did G-d "say to you"? Or is this just like "Read 100 Books Through In A Year"?

"I read a 100 books last year. Gollllly, that's a lot of books."

273streamsong
Mar 15, 2012, 10:13am Top

post 272: lawecon wrote:

Or is this just like "Read 100 Books Through In A Year"?

"I read a 100 books last year. Gollllly, that's a lot of books."

lawecon--in post 214 you misunderstood what thomaswalker2 was saying and suggested he take it to his pastor.

May I suggest you take your post 272 to your rabbi? Are you proud of that post? Would he be proud of your post? Or is that the typical spiritual attitude of what you believe?

post 269 you wrote "Sorry, I guess that I just view you as another interloper ..."

There are actually half a dozen of us interlopers who are reading our Bibles. You are so busy fighting the ghosts from your past, you don't see it. Every opinion that you give is followed by a slap. Please note that while you may feel that is how you were treated by the religious people in your childhood, that is not how you are treated on this thread.

When asked how you have been disrespected in post 240, you can only say 'above and above and above'. As a lawyer, you know the need to point out specific instances. Please do.

Also please note, that while you are badmouthing this thread in other message threads, no one is coming to your aid. Why is that do you think?

274quicksiva
Mar 15, 2012, 10:39am Top

Amun,

275jburlinson
Mar 15, 2012, 12:18pm Top

> 273. You are so busy fighting the ghosts from your past, you don't see it.

How does that make lawecon different from any of the rest of us?

The reason why nobody ever convinces anyone else of anything is that we're not really engaging with each other at all. We're only struggling with figments from our pasts masquerading as made up names on the internet. And the figments always win these struggles.

276fuzzi
Mar 15, 2012, 12:47pm Top

(275) I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything: I just decided to start a thread about reading my Bible, inviting others to join in and share their Bible reading as well. :)

277lawecon
Edited: Mar 15, 2012, 1:39pm Top

~273

stream,

I don't know if you were in this thread at the time it originated, but we have had this discussion before - at great length. Some people apparently see great merit in "just reading" a particular text. ("SEE, I read my Bible all the way through!!") Some want to understand what they are reading. Personally, those with the first attitude remind me of the grammar school reading competitions where the goal was for a student to read as many books as possible in a particular time period, without any notion that they were suppose to understand anything about what the books were saying. As I expresssed at length when this thread started, that seems to me to be both a futile and somewhat silly pursuit. Perhaps it made some sense when one is learning to read and needs practice, but it makes little sense for a literate adult.

So, I suggest you go back and read the first 50 posts in the original thread and then come back with less of an attitude and more context.

Oh, but I forgot to thank you for the psychological analysis. Should I expect a bill in the mail?

Incidentally, however, no one said anything about "being disrespected." I did say, and repeat, that jnt is a horrible dodger, rather than an artful dodger. His responses to posts repeatedly miss the central part of the post to which he is responding. My original inclination was to believe this was because he simply didn't understand the central point.... but one becomes somewhat disillusioned with that generous interpretation of motives after dozens of repetitions of the same pattern.

278jburlinson
Mar 15, 2012, 1:56pm Top

> 277. Assuming that he didn't understand was being generous? I wonder what an ungenerous interpretation might be.

279streamsong
Mar 15, 2012, 2:50pm Top

jburlinison, your post 275 was brilliant. I will definitely remember that. Nah, lawecon, my psychological analysis is free. Send it to jburlinson--he's got this down cold.

Thank you lawecon, for confirming my point that I (as well as some others you call interlopers) are invisible to you. May I suggest you take your own advice and reread the first 50 posts of thread 1? Yup, that's me, post 15 (or 16?) and have been reading the Bible and posting ever since. Several of us interlopers were here before you.

Also thank you for demonstrating my point that every reply you make ends with a verbal slap. Here I'll post your comment so that it doesn't go astray if you decide to edit your post number 277 again:

lawecon wrote: "So, I suggest you go back and read the first 50 posts in the original thread and then come back with less of an attitude and more context"

Since you dislike people that dodge questions so much, I am confident you are working on the answers to my questions in my post 273.

280streamsong
Mar 15, 2012, 3:07pm Top

fuzzi, I apologize for hijacking your thread.

Today, I read Genesis 36-39. And what I learned was that, according to the commentary I am reading by John C Jeske, the whole ugly Tamar pretending to be a prostitute to get pregnant by her father-in-law Judah is not a side story but the main story. It was from Perez, one of the twins born of that union, that the lineage of David and Christ trace back to. Bad grammar, hope you can figure that out.

Joseph is the side story. The point of the Joseph story according to said commentary is that Joseph's rise to power in Egypt was to ensure the survival of the Messianic lineage... Joseph is not part of that lineage but God used him so that the lineage would be safe. Perez is listed among those who traveled to Egypt to escape the famine.

281quicksiva
Edited: Mar 15, 2012, 6:07pm Top

Out of Egypt, I have called my son.

282quicksiva
Edited: Mar 15, 2012, 6:07pm Top

message repeated.

283fuzzi
Mar 15, 2012, 6:46pm Top

(280) No apologies necessary. :)

That commentary is correct that Perez is in the lineage of David and Jesus Christ.

When you get to Joshua, you'll discover that another woman in the lineage of our Saviour is a prostitute in Jericho, a Gentile.

There are more references to the genealogy of Jesus Christ scattered through the OT...hope you have fun finding them!

284jntjesussaves
Mar 15, 2012, 7:18pm Top

268: As I said, John, I don't remember saying that.

"I thought there was a part of the conversation when I (and maybe one or two others) said that the NT writers believed that Jesus would return in their lifetime. Jesus didn't, which is an indication that a literalist interpretation of the bible is not viable in this instance."

One response, John, to the above quote: I don't believe the fact that NT writers believing that Jesus would return in their lifetime is an indication that a literal interpretation of scripture is not viable. I would agree with your assessment if the Bible actually said that Jesus would return in one of the NT writer's lifetime, but more so, if Jesus had said that (or any New Testament) writer said He would, it would cause me to question the reliability of scripture, but I am not aware of any NT writer saying that "He would return in their lifetime." This is my view.

285jntjesussaves
Mar 15, 2012, 7:24pm Top

273: Well said, streamsong!

"Every opinion that you give is followed by a slap."

I agree with this analogy; and unfortunately, I wish lawecon would understand that while some of us believe quite differently than himself, we do not hate or even dislike him. I try very hard to like lawecon, first because the Holy Spirit would convict me of this sin if I didn't and also, I believe lawecon could be a very likable person.

Nice comments; I for one appreciate them.

286jntjesussaves
Mar 15, 2012, 7:27pm Top

275: jburlinson, I agree with you that we all have our pasts to deal with (and in this case lawecon is no different than any of us), however, I for one speak outside of these threads with individuals on this thread (and we are quite open with our past and the way God has changed us). I welcome anyone on this thread to send me a personal comment (as long as it is clean). I certainly have no issue "engaging" with others on a more personal level. I guess this is what you are referring to.

287jntjesussaves
Mar 15, 2012, 7:29pm Top

276: Very good point, fuzzi. This thread was not created to be a sounding board of those who disagree with how others study God's Word.

288lawecon
Edited: Mar 15, 2012, 7:38pm Top

~279

I am sorry, I didn't see any questions in your 273. Would you restate those questions specifically so I can respond? Perhaps you meant your "question" about whether I'd take my posts in this thread and show them to my rabbi? Of course I would. That is what Jews do - they "argue" with each other all the time, that is the core of Judaism. I am sorry that it isn't the core of your type of Christianity, but maybe you'll work on those skills in the future? (See, that is also a question in form. But like the questions in form in your 273, it is not a question in intent.)

And I think that you are misunderstanding my use of the term "interloper". The term was used in reference to and in response to John's comment that I had missed a point he made. My response is that in this thread I view John, like myself, as an "interloper" - that is, as someone who doesn't share most of the assumptions of the "principal posters." Since you didn't seem to pick up on that use of the term, perhaps I better spell out what I understand to be the assumptions of jnt, Thomas and fuzzi:

(1) Reading a translation of the texts in the Bible is a "good thing," even though you have done none of the homework necessary to get a feel for what those texts may actually mean. Read the Bible right through, so you can brag you've done so at services next Sunday!! After all, it is good for your spirit, to say nothing of your ego.

(2) The problems of interpretation mentioned in (1) are not really problems, nor are issues of translation or transmission of the text a problem, because the Holy Spirit will tell you what the text means. (Just why you need the text at all, with such a view is a mystery to me, a mystery I've posed several times, but without any response.)

(3) Christians are all plain text, Bible only, believers. (I have several times tried to point out that such a view is held by only a very small fraction of Christians or religious people in general either world wide or historically, but no one seems to be impressed by that observation. The purported Christians that dominate this thread are right. They know they're right, and that is that.)

(4) Criticism is a bad thing. It isn't nice. It isn't productive. What is productive is if we all think alike and intone "Amen" to everything another "believer" says. If you are properly "moved by the Spirit" then you wouldn't disagree with anything another "believer" intones, no matter how facially absurd it may be.

(5) Plain meaning is key, but only when convenient. If a text says, for instance, that Christ is coming back really soon and 2,000 years pass, well, it must have meant something other than what "really soon" means in plain English. So, plain English, except where not convenient.........

I'm undoubtedly forgetting a few key assumptions. Since you've read this thread "right through, maybe you can help.

289jntjesussaves
Mar 15, 2012, 7:36pm Top

277: "As I expresssed at length when this thread started, that seems to me to be both a futile and somewhat silly pursuit."

I guess most of us, lawecon, would have rather you expressed your objection to this thread (as you did) and then accepted the fact that we don't necessarily agree. I know this is all that I desired, but it has turned in to much more.

"Perhaps it made some sense when one is learning to read and needs practice, but it makes little sense for a literate adult."

While I myself, have mentioned the importance of the study of God's Word, I would say that reading (repetition) has it's merit. Many verses in God's Word that I memorized, I memorized just by reading them time after time.

"So, I suggest you go back and read the first 50 posts in the original thread and then come back with less of an attitude and more context."

I guess streamsong made her point very well when she posted in 273: " Every opinion that you give is followed by a slap."

290jntjesussaves
Mar 15, 2012, 7:40pm Top

279: Well said, again, streamsong.

291lawecon
Mar 15, 2012, 7:49pm Top

~288

jnt, as has been explained to you by about everyone other than Thomas and fuzzi, this thread is being posted to an open forum. I believe you can create a closed forum in Librarything if that is your wish, and there are certainly plenty of places on the net you can do so if Librarything doesn't have that capacity. But, whether you like it or not, one perfectly legitimate response to a thread entitled "Reading Your Bible Through In One Year" is "why would you do that?" It isn't at all obvious to those without your assumptions why anyone would do that. It particularly isn't obvious why anyone who is a SERIOUS Christian, who takes the Bible as important document, would do that.

The problem, jnt, is that I still haven't gotten an answer to my question - "Why would you do that." As with most of the other questions I've posed, you just give another sermon with verses that support your sermon, but the sermon doesn't answer the question being posed.

The reason that - after several hundred posts - I'm becoming a bit testy is that you have been so off point in everyone of your responses. You complain that I am sometimes sarcastic and my questions are "followed by a slap," but that is largely because I seem to be dealing with someone who is either not paying attention - at all - or who is deliberately and persistently evasive.

Your sermons are not well received. If you can't or don't want to answer a question, just say so. Don't go around pretending to be a prophet interpreting the Bible to me. It is not impressive. It is, in fact, sinful.

292jntjesussaves
Mar 15, 2012, 8:16pm Top

291: From now on, lawecon, I will be glad to answer your questions or comment on your responses, but once I have clearly stated what I believe- I will cease from further comment on the said topic. As I have stated, I have clearly communicated what I believe and will in the future- not be redundant.

"The problem, jnt, is that I still haven't gotten an answer to my question - "Why would you do that."

While you may not like me quoting the Bible, it is my guidebook therfore it would be very hard for me not to.

1. I read the Bible because God's Word commands me to.

Joshua 1:8
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. {have...: or, do wisely}
(KJV)

Acts 17:11
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
(KJV)

2. I read the Bible because I love God's Word.
3. I read the Bible to learn more about God and His teachings.
4. I read the Bible to learn how to live a life pleasing to Him.

While I could mention other reasons, I believe these should suffice.

While you also state that I haven't answered your questions, here is an example of me answering your question. What will your response be?

By the way, what questions have I not answered? List them for me and I will answer them one by one unless I have already answered them.

"I'm becoming a bit testy is that you have been so off point in everyone of your responses."

Lawecon, you said that you were "becoming" testy. I must say you seemed a bit testy from the start.

293lawecon
Edited: Mar 15, 2012, 8:51pm Top

~292

I basically have no response to your answers, insofar as you are simply stating your preferences. Preferences are not something that are subject to question. Only assertions about reality or assertions about inferences are subject to question. De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum is, I believe, the applicable phrase (albeit my Latin spelling may be way off after 35 years of neglect).

If I may, however, rephrase what you have said and ask a few follow up questions, to make sure I understand your answers?
Did you mean:

1. You read the Bible because the Bible says you should read the Bible. (Although I'm sure you realize that is not what either of the verses you quote say? There was, after all, no such thing as a Bible when those verses were written.)

2. You read the Bible because you love reading the Bible.

3. You read the Bible because you believe that the Bible is the way to learn about G-d and his teachings. (Is it the only way? Do you agree with fuzzi that the Holy Spirit will guide you to correct views about G-d and his teachings when you read your particular Bible?)

4. I don't really see how you knowing G-d and his teachings and you learning how to live a life pleasing to G-d are different things. What difference did you have in mind?

Finally, but much less important: Should I interpret your last sentence as "a slap at the end"? If not, how should I interpret it?

294jntjesussaves
Mar 15, 2012, 10:02pm Top

293: I am sorry, lawecon, but I had answered all your questions and was on my last comment when I tried to retrieve a quote from an earlier post and when I returned- my response had disappeared. I will answer them again tomorrow. Sorry for the delay.

295fuzzi
Edited: Mar 16, 2012, 10:48am Top

I've read 1 Kings through chapter 11.

As wise as Solomon was, he let others (wives of other religions) draw him away from the Lord.

He started so well, but ended so badly.

Now I'm reading about his son Rehoboam, and how the kingdom is about to be torn apart by the rivalry between him and Jeroboam.

296jntjesussaves
Edited: Mar 16, 2012, 10:44pm Top

293: Ok, lawecon, let me see if I can accomplish this feat without deleting everything I write, again.

1. I agree the second verse doesn't exactly say this, lawecon, but the first verse does say "thou shalt" which would lead me to believe it is a command (and not just a suggestion). I would add that I probably did make that point incorrectly; a better statement would have probably been God instructs and encouarages His children to read, study, and memorize His Word. The wise Christian does so.

2. I love reading the Bible because I love God and His Word. I also love reading it because I am blessed when I read it. While some may disagree that I have wisdom, I love to read God's Word because it is where I find wisdom.

3. Yes, that is a correct interpretation. "Is it the only way?" I do believe we can learn about God through those whom God has blessed with wisdom and insight: commentators, teachers, preachers, etc. However, I would temper this by saying we can learn about God from others who are being led by the Holy Spirit. How can we be for sure if someone is being led by God's Spirit as opposed to "another spirit?" By reading and studying God's Word. "Do you agree with fuzzi...?" Yes, I believe the Holy Spirit will guide you to His truth.

4. I guess in one sense, these are very similar yet I believe they are not the same. To help you understand where I am coming from I offer the following verses from God's Word:

2 Timothy 3:16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

2 Timothy 3:17
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. {throughly...: or, perfected}
(KJV)

In these verses we see four things the Bible (scripture) is profitable for: doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in rightesousness.

doctrine (dogma, I believe you called it)= "something that is taught as the principles or creed"

reproof (reprove)= "to express disapproval"

correction= "correcting or being corrected"

instruction in righteousness= "any teaching, lesson, rule or precept...a command or order"

I guess I would paraphrase this verse the following way:

God's Word (the Bible) teaches us certain principles and creeds to believe and live by; it also shows us where we fall short of His glory; it shows us "how" we can correct our mistakes (sinful ways); and lastly, it instructs us "to" change our sinful ways and follow Him as we should.

"Should I interpret your last sentence as "a slap at the end"?"

Lawecon, I guess I found your statement, "I'm becoming a bit testy" as a little bit humorous. In your first post (34) of this thread you made the following comments:

"Read the Bible through in a year? Ah, why?"

"Incidentally, this mental dysfunction (reading the Bible through in a year) is not limited to Christians."

"I am certain that they derive as much intellectual enlightenment from that experience as most of the posters above do from reading the Bible through in a year (i.e., very nearly zip)."

It just seems to me that you have been "testy" from the beginning; you question why those on this thread read their Bible through in a year, you imply Christians (along with certain Jews) have a mental dysfunction, and you declare to those on this thread who do believe they are benefiting from reading Gods' Word that they are receiving nothing from their commitment. I must say these are not the best comments to make when entering a conversation (or this case, a thread).

I commented about something that you stated. If you consider this a "slap," is it the only example that you can cite? I don't believe I have shown that behavior. With you lawecon, it just seems (as streamsong pointed out), that you rarely comment without giving a proverbial "slap" afterwards. One can see example after example by reading your responses to especially fuzzi, Thomas, myself, and streamsong.

297lawecon
Mar 16, 2012, 10:56pm Top

I think you misunderstand part of what I have asked and said.

As to #1, I was simply observing that it is difficult to interpret a writing that was written before the Bible existed to admonish one to read the Bible. It wasn't a matter of whether the text did or didn't exactly say what you were getting from it, it was a matter that I couldn't have said anything at all about a book that didn't yet exist.

As to #3, I don't see that you have advanced the ball very much by those observations. My question was whether there was some source of authority that you would follow in addition to the plain meaning of the Bible. In response, you revert to the doctrine that you aren't really reading the Bible in front of you, let alone the texts underlying that Bible in front of you, but are listening to the Holy Spirit. So, if the Holy Spirit tells you something indirectly through someone else, and tells you that the report made in that other source was derived from the Holy Spirit then you would listen.

All of which gets back to one of the other questions I asked you in the above post - what do you need the Bible at all in order to "learn doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness"? If what is going on when you read the Bible is that you are not really reading the plain English meaning of the words in front of you, but that you are listening to the Holy Spirit, who tells you The Truth, then why bother with a Bible or any other text or any other person. Just sit and listen.

298jntjesussaves
Edited: Mar 16, 2012, 11:16pm Top

297: Due to the fact that the points you present have been discussed (even while you may not have received the answers you desired), I will not comment further on those.

"As to #1, I was simply observing that it is difficult to interpret a writing that was written before the Bible existed to admonish one to read the Bible. It wasn't a matter of whether the text did or didn't exactly say what you were getting from it, it was a matter that I couldn't have said anything at all about a book that didn't yet exist."

I did have a few more things to say about this partiuclar point (and I did comment further yesterday before all that I had written was deleted), but forgot to comment in my last post.

Joshua 1:8
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. {have...: or, do wisely}
(KJV)

God's Word here makes mention of "this book of law." While this book that He refers to isn't the Bible as we have it today, His "law" was apparently to be read (learned) and meditated upon. Again, while this verse doesn't say specifically to read the Bible, it does offer the principle that we should meditate (think deeply about) His "law" (His Word) daily. This seems to be a clear intepretation to me, but if you disagree- we will just have to agree to disagree.

299fuzzi
Mar 17, 2012, 8:13pm Top

FYI:

I read my Bible because:

I love reading God's word, I derive pleasure from reading it

It teaches me more about God, and therefore helps me understand Him better

It helps me to know what I should and should not do, through commandments and examples of others

It helps to keep me focused on God and His plans for me, and less on my SELF

Onward...1 Kings....

300jntjesussaves
Mar 17, 2012, 10:24pm Top

299: Great list, fuzzi.

301lawecon
Mar 17, 2012, 11:38pm Top

~298

As you are probably unaware, because you take this plain language approach without first developing further background knowledge, "the Law" refers to the regulations found in the Torah. It does not mean "the Bible." It does not even mean most of the "Old Testament." It certainly does not mean anything in the New Testament, since none of that material had yet been written at the time that Joshua was written.

302jntjesussaves
Edited: Mar 18, 2012, 2:55pm Top

301: Lawecon, I will end this topic with the following statement:

While I agree (as I stated in my last post), that the reference in Joshua 1:8 to "the book of the law" is not equal to the Bible, the reference that God's people should be familiar and mediate on His teachings (which I believe to be both the Old and New Testaments) day and night- can also be applied to our duty as Christians to be familiar (by reading) His entire complete Word today. Apparently we will never agree on this topic, therefore, I see no reason to continue to give discourse on it.

303lawecon
Edited: Mar 18, 2012, 6:50pm Top

jnt,

As I have said to you several times, it is not a matter of our agreement. It is a matter of what is possible given what is known about the texts.

It is not possible that a text that was written probably c. 400 BCE or before would be referring to an anthology that wasn't compiled in final form until sometime in the 4th Century CE (and couldn't have existed in any form until after around 120 CE). There is a 800 - 500 year gap between when Joshua was written and the coming into existence of what you call "the Bible" (both "the Old and New Testaments). (The "traditional" view, of course, is that Joshua was written long before the above date. which makes the notion that Joshua was referring to "the Bible" even more absurd.)

Faith or what would be convenient for you to believe have nothing to do with those facts. Facts bound possible belief or faith.

304fuzzi
Mar 19, 2012, 1:29pm Top

"For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.
The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children." Matthew 11:18-19


If I read my Bible through, then I'm reading it too fast.

If I stop and share some insights to what I've read, it's the wrong interpretation.

In other words, no matter what we do, someone will find a negative thing to say about it. So, I'm going to continue to read my Bible and not worry or concern myself about what others say.

Onward... :)

305TRIPLEHHH
Mar 20, 2012, 5:01am Top

Amen fuzzi, You and John are a Blessing to this site. You inspire me to be a better Christian.
God Bless you both.

306fuzzi
Mar 20, 2012, 7:34am Top

Thank you, HHH. It's a blessing to me to find other like-minded believers here, like you and Jo and streamsong. :)

How's James coming along?

Oh, finished 1 Kings a couple days ago, but forgot to update the ticker:


307fuzzi
Edited: Mar 20, 2012, 1:11pm Top

From my reading of 1 Kings:

Chapter one is about King David, and how that now he is old, there is contention for the throne. Adonijah wants to be king, and has the support of Joab, and Abiathar the priest. Solomon becomes king, however, through the assistance of his mother, Bathsheba, Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, Shimei, Rei, and "the mighty men which belonged to David".

Chapters 2-11 are mainly about Solomon and his rule. They make for very interesting reading.

Solomon speaks to all the men of Israel in chapter 8. Within that speech, I read the following:

"If they sin against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near;" 1 Kings 8:46

The part about "...for there is no man that sinneth not..." reminded me of Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"

In 1 Kings 8:60, it is stated "That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else." There is none else, the LORD is God, not Allah, not Caesar, none but the LORD is God.

Solomon's life ends on a sad note, as he allows his wives' gods to draw him from the LORD, and Solomon winds up worshipping foreign gods, forgetting all that the LORD had done for him, see 1 Kings 11.

In 1 Kings 12, Rehoboam, the son of Solomon and Jeroboam contest for the throne. Rehoboam winds up ruling two tribes, hereafter called "Judah", and Jeroboam winds up with the other ten tribes, referred to as "Israel". Jeroboam is given the rule over Israel by the LORD, but then goes apostate, and creates two golden calves for his people to worship. Then he creates priests from non-Levite men, and creates feasts that have nothing to do with the LORD.

Throughout the rest of 1 Kings his sin is repeated over and over, as "Jeroboam, who caused Israel to sin".

Also, in 1 Kings 12:33, it is written: "So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense."

See the phrase "which he had devised of his own heart"? What does that say about what Jeroboam did?

In Jeremiah 17:9, it is written "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" We should not devise things out of our (wicked/deceitful) hearts, but let the LORD lead us in what we should do. Jeroboam devised wicked things from his deceitful heart, and caused Israel to sin with idols.

In 1 Kings 13, God sends a man of God (prophet) from Judah, to bring a message to Jeroboam. Jeroboam's hand is withered and the altar used to worship false gods is destroyed.

However, as the man of God travels on, an old prophet invites him to eat and drink with him. The man of God refuses, as the LORD told him not to eat or drink, but then the old prophet lies, and says an angel told him it was okay to eat and drink. (1 Kings 13:18)

Think upon a couple verses from Galatians, about not listening to angels who preach 'another gospel': while it is not a doctrinal comparison, as Christians we can draw spiritual applications from these verses:

"He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him." 1 Kings 13:18

and then:

"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:8, 9


We should not listen to other men (the old prophet) or talk of angels, but only believe what the LORD has told us.

So, the man of God believes the old prophet over what the LORD told him, and eats and drinks. And then the LORD speaks through the old prophet, telling the man of God how he has disobeyed the word of God ("mouth of the LORD") and will die.

Moral of this story? Don't believe what men tell you, even if they claim it came from an angel, but believe the LORD God only.

1 Kings 14:24, 15:12 and 22:46 speak out against "sodomites" who are considered "abomination". See also Romans 1:27.

1 Kings 17 begins the story of Elijah, the Tishbite and prophet of God. Here is the story of the oil and the meal that would not run out, sort of a precursor to feeding the 5000.

Elijah also brings a young man back to life, and the mother says in verse 24: "And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth."

The word of the LORD is truth, see John 17:17 "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."

Here is a verse that defines so many people who claim they can't know, or don't want to choose...straddling the fence or claiming to be agnostic: "And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word." 1 Kings 18:21

Now, one of my most favorite passages in the Bible...Elijah has a contest between himself and over four hundred worshippers of Baal, starting in 1 Kings 18:22:

"Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men.
Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under:
And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken." (verses 22-24)


So, the worshippers of Baal prepare their sacrifice, and call upon their god to set fire to it, but nothing happens. After several hours, they leap upon the altar and cut themselves until there is blood all over, and still there is no response from their 'god'.

(note: this made me think of people who 'cut' themselves, and wonder if it is inspired by worshipping of devils or demons?)

Nothing happens, so it's Elijah's turn. Not only does he build his own altar and prepare his own bullock, but he has twelve barrels of water poured over the altar, so that it is soaked and flooded.

At this point, Elijah calls upon God:

... "Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.
Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again." (verses 36 and 37)


And then the best part:

"Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God." 1 Kings 18:38-39


They finally "got it", didn't they? :)

Just a couple more things from 1 Kings:

In 1 Kings 19, Elijah is tired and weary, and longs to die. In verses 5-8, the LORD provides for His servant with food and drink and rest. It made me think of Philippians 4:19: "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

God does supply our needs!

Also, in 1 Kings 19:7, it is written: "And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.", which reminded me of 2 Corinthians 12:9-10: "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."


We don't need to nor should we rely on our own strength, but on God's. He will sustain us and meet our every need.

Woo!

In 1 Kings 19:12, the voice of the LORD is not in the loud earthquake, the wind or the fire, but in a still, small voice. God does not speak to us like the loudest noise, but in a quiet voice that only we can hear.

Finally (are you ready yet?), in 1 Kings 22:8, Ahab calls for a prophet of the LORD, but doesn't like this prophet. In fact, Ahab states that he hates this prophet. Why? "And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so."

Ahab hates Micaiah because he does not say good things about Ahab! Sounds like Ahab can't handle the truth...

And that's all. Thanks for reading! :)

308johnthefireman
Edited: Mar 20, 2012, 2:27pm Top

>307 fuzzi: not Allah

Allah is simply the Arabic term for God. Arabic-speaking Christians use the word "Allah" for God in their bibles. It is no less "God" than "Dieu", "Gott", "Dio", "Dios", "Mungu", etc.

Or did you assume that "Allah" means the Muslim God? Even there, I don't think you are correct. I think many would hold that Jews, Christians and Muslims worship the same God, albeit with very different understandings of that God.

309lawecon
Edited: Mar 20, 2012, 3:56pm Top

~304

fuzzi, I think that probably you should try to involve your ego a bit less in these discussions. You and jnt and Thomas seem to think that any criticism of your intellectual position is a personal attack on you. It isn't.

It is quite true that I personally believe that those who take the positions you three are taking is like someone with no training in aircraft maintenance doing major repairs to a passenger airliner, but that evaluation is entirely separate from most of the points I have been making about the logic of your viewpoints.

It is, to use the latest example, not an offense to you to point out that a passage from Joshua can't be referring to the Bible that exists in front of you. That is just a very well established fact. It is a fact you should want to deal with if you actually care about the meaning of what you are reading. Of course, if you don't care, then my original question heading the original thread still stands - what do you think you're accomplishing?

310jntjesussaves
Mar 20, 2012, 5:14pm Top

305: Thank you, TRIPLEHHH- I appreciate the encouragement you give and I am thankful to be an encouragement to you and others. God bless you.

311jntjesussaves
Mar 20, 2012, 5:18pm Top

Very nice points, fuzzi, and many great analogies. God bless.

312jntjesussaves
Mar 20, 2012, 5:32pm Top

308: I must agree with fuzzi. In the Webster's Collegiate Dictionary we read the following definition for "Allah": the muslim name for God. I believe when most (a great majority) refer to Allah, they think of the Muslim god and not Jehovah God.

Second, while you are right that many of the religious groups you mentioned would say all three worship the same God, this in no way makes it true. One key I believe to find out if there is even a similarity in what God one worships is by reading what each "religion" teaches about God. I can't say that what the Koran teaches about God lines up with what the other two teaches (Judaism and Christianity). I presume, since you made the point, you also believe they worship the same God; can this be assumed? If so, do you not see a difference in the teachings of each "God?" Or does that not matter?

313fuzzi
Edited: Mar 20, 2012, 6:19pm Top

(308) johnthefireman:

Of that entire post, the only thing you can offer is a disagreement about our Lord not being Allah?

Many may think that Allah and God the Father are the same, but that does not make it so.

My God loved me so much that He gave His Son to die for me, so I would not go to Hell.

Allah has no son.

My God is not Allah.

Addendum: do you believe that your 'God' is Allah and vice versa?

314fuzzi
Mar 20, 2012, 6:19pm Top

Last night I read 2 Kings 1-13. More later. :)

315lawecon
Mar 20, 2012, 10:02pm Top

~312

"Second, while you are right that many of the religious groups you mentioned would say all three worship the same God, this in no way makes it true."

Well, but in your view neither does John worship the same G-d as you, Thomas and fuzzi.

316lawecon
Mar 20, 2012, 10:03pm Top

~313

"Allah has no son.

My God is not Allah"

Nor Hashem, apparently.

317jntjesussaves
Mar 20, 2012, 10:40pm Top

315: Those are your words, lawecon; I worship Jehovah God, who sent His only begotten Son, who died upon the Cross to reconcile lost mankind back to Himself. I will let John decide if he believes in this same God or not.

318johnthefireman
Edited: Mar 20, 2012, 11:55pm Top

>312 jntjesussaves:, 313 Well, I worship Allah on a regular basis when I attend Christian services in the Arabic language in Sudan and South Sudan, just as I have worshipped Dieu when I have attended services in the French language and der Gott in Germany. Last Sunday I worshipped Mungu as I attended Mass in Kenya.

Websters may be giving one usage of the word "Allah", but I repeat, "Allah" is actually just the Arabic word for God, used by Christians as well as Muslims. Yes, even born-again saved Arabic-speaking Christians (ie Christians of your type) call their God "Allah".

To the same extent that the Christian God is the same as the Jewish God because Christianity is in direct descent from Judaism, Islam is also in direct descent from Judaism and Christianity. Musilms recognise the three religions as "People of the Book". That's not to say I agree with the Muslim interpretation of God. As you say in >313 fuzzi:, they do not accept Jesus as Son of God, only as a major prophet, amongst many other differences in belief and practice. But I think it's stretching it to claim that theirs is not a different interpretation of the same One God. In inter-faith dialogue the Oneness of God is a point we find in common between the three faiths.

Edited to add: Of that entire post, the only thing you can offer is a disagreement about our Lord not being Allah?

It's the point in your post which caught my interest, and about which I have some knowledge. I don't trawl through LT trying to respond to everything everybody says, whether positively or negatively, whether I know what I'm talking about or not, but I do respond where I think I have something constructive to contribute. My day to day life over the last three decades has actually involved speaking Arabic with Arabic-speaking Christians and worshipping Allah, so I speak from experience as well as from what I have learned academically. I do think that what I posted is a useful counter-balance to your comment on Allah, which actually looked like a throwaway line which you might not have thought through. You have now clarified your thinking and once again we will agree to disagree.

319fuzzi
Mar 21, 2012, 7:24am Top

johnthefireman:

I also don't "trawl through LT", and do not expect people to respond to everything, if anything, I post. I just found it interesting that of all the Scripture I posted, that was the only thing you found worthy to comment upon. No offense intended. :)

No one can come to God unless they go through Jesus Christ.

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6

The "Allah" of Islam is not my God, Who died for me. Nuff said.

320lawecon
Edited: Mar 21, 2012, 9:29am Top

~317

But Hashem has no son, jnt (except in the sense that we are all his sons and daughters).

He is the One and only G-d.

He isn't schizophrenic. He doesn't thinks he is three separate persons.

So, you cannot worship him. Correct?

321johnthefireman
Edited: Mar 21, 2012, 12:00pm Top

>319 fuzzi: The "Allah" of Islam is not my God

If by that you mean you don't worship God as the Muslims do, then there is no disagreement. Neither do I, whether I'm worshipping in English, Arabic, Kiswahili or any other language.

But if you are saying that the Muslim God is not the One God of the Jews and Christians, would you also say that the Jewish God is not your God either? The Christian understanding of God is a development of the God of the Jewish scriptures; the Muslim understanding is also a further development of the same God. Muslims accept the Jewish scriptures, just as Christians do, and they also accept the gospels in principle, although they believe the versions we have are corrupted and they don't accept things like the crucifixion and resurrection (someone may be able to correct me on that, but that's the impression I get from talking to Muslims). I don't agree with the Muslim understanding of God, any more than I agree with the Jewish understanding; that's why I'm a Christian and not a Muslim or a Jew. But I would certainly not say that it is a different God, and as far as I know mine is not an uncommon nor controversial understanding amongst Christians.

I have to say that I find it interesting learning what born again saved Christians like yourself believe and how you view things. You are far from most of the Christians I know (and I have spent my whole adult life working full time with many different Christian denominations as well as my own Catholic Church on four continents) and I find that your beliefs are far from the orthodox mainstream of Christianity. That's why I like asking questions and challenging you to explore further issues where you deviate from Christianity as I understand it. Maybe it's common in the USA, but for me you are rare and unusual birds indeed, and an opportunity to dialogue with you is not to be missed.

322lawecon
Mar 21, 2012, 2:56pm Top

~321

They are not rare or unusual in the United States. Too many Americans are intellectually lazy and just want slogans to chant.

323eclecticdodo
Mar 21, 2012, 4:14pm Top

>321 johnthefireman:

I totally see what you are saying about the Christian faith and Islam and Judaism having the same roots. But I wonder if there is such a difference between how God is seen in each that they can't be seen as the same God. By not acknowledging Jesus as divine and by denying God's loving character for example I can't help feeling the difference is too great. And I have several Muslim friends who ask the same questions. Perhaps Lawecon would share his views?
I'm not saying that Muslims and Jews aren't reaching out to the same God, after all there is only one God. But could they be so deceived as to be worshipping a 'different' god in practice?

324johnthefireman
Mar 21, 2012, 4:20pm Top

>323 eclecticdodo: That's a good question, eclecticdodo, and there's probably no "right" answer. Maybe they are worshipping a different God in practice. Or maybe it is still the same God, even though all three religions are worshipping and understanding that God differently, and any one of them might argue that the other two are doing so wrongly.

325jburlinson
Mar 21, 2012, 8:17pm Top

> 323, 324. It's abundantly clear that all Christians don't worship the same God, or at least that they don't have a shared understanding of God. Compare and contrast the concept of God as characterized by, for example, Quakers, Mormons, Pentacostals, Roman Catholics, Unitarians, etc. etc.

It might be that the "God of Wrath" of an evangelical Christian shares more attributes with the God of a Muslim Jihadist than with the God of a Christian Universalist.

326jntjesussaves
Edited: Mar 21, 2012, 9:16pm Top

318: John, while I respect your experiences (and since I have never been in these countries, nor in these services that you relate to), I cannot comment to what you have heard. In my Christian circles (independent and fundamental Baptist and even those of other Protestant denominations), I have never heard one person refer to Jehovah God as "Allah." I have only heard this name given in reference by Muslims.

Therefore, again we must agree to disagree. Thank you for your input, because the information you gave is interesting.

327jntjesussaves
Mar 21, 2012, 8:56pm Top

320: I am not aware of who Hashem is, lawecon; please fill me in.

He is apparently not Jehovah, because Jehovah does have a Son and His name is Jesus Christ. Nor is Jehovah schizophrenic.

I do worship Jehovah, but again I am not aware who Hashem is.

328jntjesussaves
Mar 21, 2012, 9:02pm Top

323: Great thought, eclecticdodo.

329jntjesussaves
Mar 21, 2012, 9:16pm Top

325: "It's abundantly clear that all Christians don't worship the same God, or at least that they don't have a shared understanding of God. Compare and contrast the concept of God as characterized by, for example, Quakers, Mormons, Pentacostals, Roman Catholics, Unitarians, etc. etc."

Good point, jburlinson. I would phrase it a little differently, "All who claim to be Christians don't worship the same God..."

"It might be that the "God of Wrath" of an evangelical Christian shares more attributes with the God of a Muslim Jihadist than with the God of a Christian Universalist."

Please share your evidence of this statement. How do Christian Evangelicals compare with Muslim Jihadists? Christian Evangelicals believe a "loving" God desired to have a relationship with a "fallen" people and sent His Son so that this could happen. How does this measure up to what Muslim Jihadists believe? I question your characterization of these two groups as being similar; please explain how you come to your conclusion? Thanks.

330lawecon
Mar 22, 2012, 12:10am Top

~323

I think that we make a great mistake by presuming that Christianity, Judaism and Islam are homogeneous belief systems. We have seen in this thread that Christianity is not (and, incidentally, never has been). I can assure you that Judaism is the same way, both historically and currently.

Islam I have less personal experience with, albeit the following might be of some interest to you in illustrating diversity therein.
http://rt.com/news/peninsula-saudi-grand-mufti-701/
http://www.aifdemocracy.org/about/members.php
http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~khaleel/

So, if it should be said that Christians, Jews and Muslims worship different gods, what should be said about those who are radically different within Christianity, Judaism and Islam and often despise each other? I know that my G-d, for instance, is very different from the G-d of the Haredim.

331lawecon
Edited: Mar 22, 2012, 12:18am Top

~327

"I am not aware of who Hashem is, lawecon; please fill me in."

"Hashem" means "the Name". It is the way that Jews refer to what you mistakenly call (due to errors in 19th Century German scholarship) "Jehovah." In fact, no one knows how to pronounce the name of G-d, which is usually written in English as YHVH. Like all classical written Hebrew, that name has no vowels indicated and may be an acronym.

"He is apparently not Jehovah, because Jehovah does have a Son and His name is Jesus Christ. Nor is Jehovah schizophrenic."

Well, you'd undoubtedly know better than His Chosen Ones who have been worshiping him for 4,000 years. After all, the Holy Spirit speaks to you on a daily basis.

332jburlinson
Mar 22, 2012, 12:18am Top

> 329. How do Christian Evangelicals compare with Muslim Jihadists?

Here's a quote from Wikipedia: "According to the Qur'an only God Knows who will go to Jahannam (Hell) and who will go to Jannat (heaven). Those who ignored, or only pretended to believe in Allah remain in Jahannam after Qiyamat (Judgment Day). Muslims believe that unfaithful Muslims not true to their religion will be punished in Jahannam. Muslims also believe that a disbeliever or non-muslim, for not believing while on Earth, may remain there in Jahannam for eternity—each person is judged according to their own circumstance."

Please compare with the message delivered in #87 above. Specifically: "You see, your sin (and more so, your sin of rejection of Jesus Christ) is what will ultimately cause you to go to Hell. Therefore, you are right about one thing- what someone believes about Jesus Christ (and things of God) will ultimately be the deciding factor on whether they go to Heaven or Hell. However, if I am right- you are wrong and your eternal destination will be Hell;"

Sounds pretty similar to me.

333johnthefireman
Edited: Mar 22, 2012, 2:23am Top

>326 jntjesussaves: I have never heard one person refer to Jehovah God as "Allah."

Of course you haven't, because you don't speak Arabic and (I presume) you have never attended a service of Arabic-speaking independent and fundamentalist baptist Christians. Have you ever heard one person speak of God as Dieu? In the USA surely you've heard Hispanic Christians speak of God as Dios? There is no difference.

I have only heard this name given in reference by Muslims

Because you have only heard it doesn't make it true. Personal experience is one thing, but there is a wealth of knowledge available in books which helps us to know things which we have not seen nor heard personally. Not least, one could read a translation of the bible into Arabic and see the term "Allah" used throughout both old and new testaments. I know you can't read Arabic script, but there are plenty of transliterations into English script.

Edited to add: See "The Word Allah In The Arabic Bible" at http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Sources/Allah/BibAllah.html

334johnthefireman
Edited: Mar 22, 2012, 2:21am Top

>325 jburlinson: It's an interesting question whether the way we worship and understand God (which is certainly so different that we may well appear to be seeing a totally different god) actually makes God different.

In the old story of the four blind men and the elephant, one touches the tail and says it must be a rope, one the trunk and says it is a snake, one the leg and says it's a tree, and one the flank and says it's a wall. All see a different entity, but the actual entity is still an elephant. Taking the story further, a man who can see comes along and says, "It's an elephant". The elephant hasn't changed, only our perception of what it is. A god-botherer comes along and says, "It's God; worship her". But it's still the same elephant. A god-botherer of a different denomination comes along and says, "Yes, it's God, but you have to worship her in a different way." But still the elephant hasn't changed. A very ignorant person comes along and says, "It's a mouse". But it is still the same elephant. A rather controversial anti-elephantist pitches up and says, "Elephants don't exist. What you're actually experiencing is a product of electrochemical actions in your brain". But it is still the same elephant. The elephant doesn't change, only our perception of it.

Hence I think there is good reason to believe that God remains the same whether we worship and understand/describe God in terms of Judaism, Islam or Christianity, and within Christianity the different denominations that you mention.

335eclecticdodo
Mar 22, 2012, 5:17am Top

We have quite a lot of Muslim converts in our church. From hearing their testimonies it seems they are divided over these issues too.

Some see their Christian faith as a continuation and fulfilment of the searching they were doing when they were Muslim. Not that it is the same faith, but that they were seeking the only God all along, and found Him when He revealed Himself to them through Christ (sometimes in miraculous ways).

Others consider that they were so deceived by Islam, and that the God of Islam is so different, that they were effectively worshipping the devil. Christianity is a totally new thing for them.

Similarly, some see "Allah" as just the Arabic (and other languages?) word for God, and perfectly acceptable to continue using when speaking in that language. Others see the name as so intimately connected to their former faith that they cannot use the name for the one true God that they now know.

There's also a lot of controversy among Muslims about Christians using the word "Allah". Unfortunately it has even sparked violence in some parts of the world.

336lawecon
Mar 22, 2012, 8:33am Top

~335

eclecticdodo, have you ever spoken to a native Arabic speaking Christian who is not a convert and asked what term he uses for "G-d" when speaking Arabic?

I don't find it a bit unusual that converts to an English speaking Christian congregation would want to fit in by using terms acceptable to the established members of that congregation, but that doesn't say a whole lot, does it?

As for how a convert views his former faith, well, that is a different topic. Have any Catholic converts in your congregation?

337johnthefireman
Mar 22, 2012, 10:04am Top

>335 eclecticdodo: There's also a lot of controversy among Muslims about Christians using the word "Allah"

I could be wrong but I think you'll find that controversy is only among non-Arabic-speaking Muslims, eg in Malaysia, Indonesia or wherever. There does not seem to be any controversy among Arabic-speaking Muslims, who recognise that Allah is simply the term for God.

By chance I had lunch with an Arab Catholic bishop today. Arabic is his first language, which he spoke (and worshipped God in) before he became fluent in English, French, Italian, German and Latin. When I raised it with him he could hardly believe that there exist people who didn't know that "Allah" simply means God, and that it is the normal Christian term for God in his language.

>336 lawecon: I agree with lawecon that converts are not the best examples in a case like this. They may have strong emotions about their former faith and wish to distance themselves from it. If one looks at the practice of Arab Christian communities, who have been Christians all their lives, not converts from Islam, I think one gets a more representative picture. It's also true, incidentally, of non-Arab Sudanese, for whom Arabic is their second or third language rather than their native language, but who pray in Arabic because it is the national language and a lingua franca among hundreds of local languages.

338eclecticdodo
Mar 22, 2012, 10:55am Top

>336 lawecon:

"have you ever spoken to a native Arabic speaking Christian who is not a convert and asked what term he uses for "G-d" when speaking Arabic?"

No. I am sure John is correct that they use Allah without hesitation.

"I don't find it a bit unusual that converts to an English speaking Christian congregation would want to fit in by using terms acceptable to the established members of that congregation, but that doesn't say a whole lot, does it? "

Our church is very multicultural. While I'm sure that there are ways those from other backgrounds do assimilate, I don't think this is one of them, since some people do use Allah. We do our best to welcome people no matter what their background and for us to fit them, not the other way round. Though I have no doubt we fail.

"As for how a convert views his former faith, well, that is a different topic. Have any Catholic converts in your congregation?"

yes, several, including some good friends of mine (and probably more that I don't know about).

>337 johnthefireman:

Good points. Thinking about it, most of the people I'm thinking of have Arabic as a second language.

339jburlinson
Mar 22, 2012, 12:11pm Top

> 334. Hence I think there is good reason to believe that God remains the same whether we worship and understand/describe God in terms of Judaism, Islam or Christianity, and within Christianity the different denominations that you mention.

I take your point. But by comparing God to the elephant in the fable, you're taking for granted that God exists completely independently of the various observers. That may be the case and, if it is, scripture and tradition hold that the full nature and character of God is inaccessible to us mere humans, who are only created in God's image.

But what if God does not exist independently of us, or us of God for that matter?

340johnthefireman
Mar 22, 2012, 12:19pm Top

>339 jburlinson: Thanks for taking it to a new depth! If God is relationship (in the Trinity) and God is in relationship with us, then there is every chance that there is mutual change in that relationship. The idea that neither we nor God exist independently of each other is intriguing.

Either way, though, the full nature of God is probably inaccessible to us, which is why certainty about the nature of God is usually not a very fruitful project.

341fuzzi
Mar 22, 2012, 1:28pm Top

Good point, jburlinson. I would phrase it a little differently, "All who claim to be Christians don't worship the same God..."

True.

A faith/religion that teaches that one cannot know one's eternal destination until one dies does not believe the Bible, God's word.

There are many examples of Scripture that teach that we can know that we are headed for Heaven through the power of God.

The old witnessing question: "If you died tonight, do you know for sure where you would go, Heaven or Hell?" can reveal a lot about a person's religion. If you don't know for sure, why do you do what you do in order to earn it? Why follow a preacher/priest/imam/rabbi etc. if even he/she doesn't know their eternal destination for sure?

My hope for Heaven is not based on what I have done, what I do or what I will do, but it is based solely on what God's Son, Jesus Christ, did for me, and for all.

"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3: 14-18

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." John 3:36

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." John 5:24

"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?" John 11:25-26

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life." John 6:47

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:9-13


:)

342lawecon
Mar 22, 2012, 2:59pm Top

~338
""As for how a convert views his former faith, well, that is a different topic. Have any Catholic converts in your congregation?""

"yes, several, including some good friends of mine (and probably more that I don't know about)."

And what do they have to say about whether they were worshiping the "same G-d" when they were Catholics?

343lawecon
Mar 22, 2012, 3:00pm Top

~341

Thank you, fuzzi. I think that you have been very clear about where you're coming from.

344jburlinson
Mar 22, 2012, 3:43pm Top

> 341. The old witnessing question: "If you died tonight, do you know for sure where you would go, Heaven or Hell?" can reveal a lot about a person's religion. If you don't know for sure, why do you do what you do in order to earn it? Why follow a preacher/priest/imam/rabbi etc. if even he/she doesn't know their eternal destination for sure?

But does anyone know for sure exactly what heaven is? For example, do we have our bodies? If we do, what age are we? Will our loved ones be with us in heaven? If so, how about loved ones who didn't believe in Jesus Christ? Does it rain in heaven? If it does, do we get wet?

These may seem like frivolous questions, but they only go to show that we really don't know what heaven is. If we don't know what heaven is, how can we know who's going there?

My hope for Heaven is not based on what I have done, what I do or what I will do, but it is based solely on what God's Son, Jesus Christ, did for me, and for all.

If that's true, why do you quote scripture that says a person must "confess with thy mouth" and "believe in thine heart"? Aren't those things that a person must do?

345johnthefireman
Mar 22, 2012, 4:21pm Top

>341 fuzzi: My hope for Heaven is not based on what I have done, what I do or what I will do

How do you then interpret Matthew 25:31-46? It does seem to imply that those who do good deeds will be welcomed while those who don't won't. And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the upright to eternal life (Matt 25:46).

346fuzzi
Mar 22, 2012, 7:48pm Top

jburlinson, thank you for your sincere query. I appreciate honesty whenever I see it.

To answer your question, there's a difference between working your way to Heaven by doing 'good deeds' or 'works' and just accepting what Christ has already done for you.

Paul refers to it as the "free gift", all that has to be done in order to have salvation is believe, and accept what has been done by Christ.

By using the expressions "confess with thy mouth" and "believe in thine heart" I believe the Scripture is trying to make it clear that just believing that Jesus Christ existed is not what is needed, but a real, honest belief, a faith that is in you is what is necessary in order to be saved, to achieve salvation.

It is also written that by grace through faith are we saved, not by our works, not by what we do. It is a gift of God, see Ephesians 2:8, 9: " For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast. "


About Heaven there is much written, in the Bible. We'll no longer have tears or pain, we'll have new bodies and be like Christ, so the things He did after He rose from the dead will be available to those who are with Him in Heaven. There will be singing and praising and worshipping God, and we'll live together with Him forever, for eternity. I can look up the Bible references if you want to read them for yourself, but here's one that came to mind as I was typing: "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." 1 Corinthians 2:9-10


We could not possibly imagine what God has in store for His children, for those He loves, for those who are born again, but God does reveal things by the Holy Spirit, through His word (the Bible) and through personal revelation to us.

347fuzzi
Mar 22, 2012, 7:57pm Top

(345) johnthefireman, you ask how I interpret Matthew 25:31-46?

In my King James Bible, Matthew 25:46 is as follows: "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."

I am not righteous of myself, I have no righteousness, anything I do to be righteous is as filthy rags (see Isaiah 64:6).

I have put my trust and faith in Jesus Christ, and I have His righteousness so that I can go to Heaven, "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:" Romans 3:22

See that? The righteousness of God by faith of Jesus Christ UNTO ALL AND UPON THEM THAT BELIEVE...those that believe in Jesus Christ have the righteousness of God!!

I will go into life eternal not because of what I have done or not done, but because I have accepted the righteousness of God through belief in His Son Jesus Christ and by accepting what He did for me on a cross called Calvary.

Woo! (happy shout)

348jntjesussaves
Edited: Mar 22, 2012, 11:23pm Top

332: "Here's a quote from Wikipedia: "According to the Qur'an only God Knows who will go to Jahannam (Hell) and who will go to Jannat (heaven). Those who ignored, or only pretended to believe in Allah remain in Jahannam after Qiyamat (Judgment Day). Muslims believe that unfaithful Muslims not true to their religion will be punished in Jahannam. Muslims also believe that a disbeliever or non-muslim, for not believing while on Earth, may remain there in Jahannam for eternity—each person is judged according to their own circumstance.""

While I see your correlation from a very narrow perspective, the reasons for "why" one ends up in Jahnnam (as you quote) and "why" one ends up in Hell as the Bible claims are different. The question is "why" must someone believe in Christ? Is it just because God said to? This is certainly not the reason, because God has never forced people to go against their will. When people fail to obey God, they suffer the consequences (and yet many times people seem to "get away" with their sin). But the Bible tells us this is only true "for a season." One day every one will pay for their sin. You see, when I say your rejection of Jesus Christ will send you to Hell, it is because when you reject Christ- you are rejecting "your only hope of salvation." He was the "only One" His Father would accept for the payment of mankind's sin. He was the only perfect One who could come to the Cross as a Holy and Perfect sacrifice for man's sin. So, when I say that one's rejection of Him will ultimately send someone to Hell it is because He is the only One that is capable of saving another. When we stand before God, there is only one Sacrifice He will accept (that will allow someone to escape what they deserve- Death and Hell), and that is His Lamb, Jesus Christ. Islam judges mankind on their "works," (of which, can never save), Biblical Christianity judges man on his works also, but God has also "made a way of escape" if he realizes he cannot merit enough good works to be saved (and trusts in Jesus Christ and Him alone as Saviour).

"Sounds pretty similar to me."

Hmmm...one religion teaches its followers (and adherents) to go and kill infidels, the other teaches its followers:

Matthew 5:43
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

Matthew 5:44
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Matthew 5:45
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Matthew 5:46
For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

Matthew 5:47
And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

Matthew 5:48
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
(KJV)

I guess this is one we have to agree to disagree on, jburlinson.

349jntjesussaves
Mar 22, 2012, 10:33pm Top

333: "Because you have only heard it doesn't make it true."

It is true that I haven't heard any Christian speak in reference to Jehovah as "Allah." Does this mean "no Christian" ever has, no! As a Catholic, maybe you do hear Jehovah referred to as Allah- that is why I stated that your experience has apparently been different than mine.

I will say, John, that if you keep up with the news at all you would certainly hear "Allah" mentioned, but it will not be referring to a Christian- it will refer to a Muslim. If you don't agree with that, please show me some news stories about Christians who refer to God as "Allah?" I will be interested to see these articles.

350jntjesussaves
Mar 22, 2012, 10:46pm Top

334: "In the old story of the four blind men and the elephant, one touches the tail and says it must be a rope, one the trunk and says it is a snake, one the leg and says it's a tree, and one the flank and says it's a wall. All see a different entity, but the actual entity is still an elephant. Taking the story further, a man who can see comes along and says, "It's an elephant". The elephant hasn't changed, only our perception of what it is. A god-botherer comes along and says, "It's God; worship her". But it's still the same elephant. A god-botherer of a different denomination comes along and says, "Yes, it's God, but you have to worship her in a different way." But still the elephant hasn't changed. A very ignorant person comes along and says, "It's a mouse". But it is still the same elephant. A rather controversial anti-elephantist pitches up and says, "Elephants don't exist. What you're actually experiencing is a product of electrochemical actions in your brain". But it is still the same elephant. The elephant doesn't change, only our perception of it."

John, I am not surprised with this type of thinking; in other words all things are relative. Because there are many different opinions, all opinions are just as valid as any other. This would be a nice theory if it weren't for God's Word. God's Word gives us very specific directions and instructions that we can read and understand. However, most desire to create their own version of God and if one doesn't accept every one's version, they are in some way "inclusive." While we live in a free country (right now, at least), have you not noticed the devisiveness towards Christianity in general (but even more so towards "evangelical Christianity")? This is not an accident. I disagree with you on many things, I disagree with jburlinson on many things, and I disagree with lawecon on many things, but I would never desire for any of your voices to be silenced. However, (and I am not saying this toward the three of you, because I don't believe that is what you guys believe), there is a growing movement to have those who believe like myself, fuzzi, and Thomas silenced. In other words, if we don't agree that God can be many different things to different people, we need to be silenced.

We are just Bible-believers and when the Bible says something, we take it authoritatively- that it is true. This ruffles some, but we only believe that God's Word on most things is quite clear.

351jntjesussaves
Mar 22, 2012, 10:55pm Top

341: "A faith/religion that teaches that one cannot know one's eternal destination until one dies does not believe the Bible, God's word.

There are many examples of Scripture that teach that we can know that we are headed for Heaven through the power of God.

The old witnessing question: "If you died tonight, do you know for sure where you would go, Heaven or Hell?" can reveal a lot about a person's religion. If you don't know for sure, why do you do what you do in order to earn it? Why follow a preacher/priest/imam/rabbi etc. if even he/she doesn't know their eternal destination for sure?

My hope for Heaven is not based on what I have done, what I do or what I will do, but it is based solely on what God's Son, Jesus Christ, did for me, and for all."

Very well said, fuzzi. I believe many "choose" not to believe God's Word, now their motivation for doing so (or not doing so) is not mine to judge. It is sad, however, that God's Word seems so clear- yet man makes it so clouded. It is certainly not the fault of God. Praise God for His clear and understandable Word.

352jntjesussaves
Mar 22, 2012, 10:56pm Top

343: I agree, lawecon, and thank you fuzzi for your "clearness."

353jntjesussaves
Mar 22, 2012, 11:13pm Top

346: Amen, fuzzi.

354jntjesussaves
Mar 22, 2012, 11:19pm Top

347: Amen! It is just too bad more do not realize that simple truth:

Isaiah 64:6
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
(KJV)

So many, day after day, try to do "one more good work" or "one more good deed" to get into Heaven, not realizing that God will only accept Christ's perfect righteousness. Great words of wisdom, fuzzi.

355johnthefireman
Edited: Mar 23, 2012, 5:18am Top

>347 fuzzi: fuzzi, it looks to me as if you have interpreted Matt 25:46 without any reference at all to Matt 25:31-45. That verse is clearly related to those who do, or don't do, good deeds.

>349 jntjesussaves: jnt, I would say first of all that you apparently haven't looked at the bible at all. I gave you a link to the Arabic translation of the bible in >333 johnthefireman:, which includes transliteration and English text (KJV, no less), and actually highlights the use of the word "Allah".

Secondly I would say that this is not just about Catholics. In >333 johnthefireman: I asked you whether you had ever heard Baptists praying in Arabic. I doubt whether you have. I have worshipped with Baptists and a whole spectrum of protestant Christians, including independent churches, praying in Arabic and they use the term Allah. What other term would they use? What other term would French protestants use other than Dieu, or Spanish protestants other than Dios? Arabic-speaking Christians refer to God as "Allah" because it is the term for God in their language, completely independent of Islam.

Thirdly, it's ridiculous to ask for news articles because it is not news when Christians pray to God in their own language. Headlines: "English-speaking Christians refer to God as "God"! Shock, horror!"; "The National Enquirer has uncovered shocking evidence that French protestants refer to God as "Dieu"!". But also if I give you any article in English it will, naturally enough, have translated "Allah" to "God", just as it will have translated every other word in the article into English. If I give you an article in Arabic about Christians which refers to God as "Allah" you won't be able to read it. Why not go to the source and read the bible, as I mentioned in >333 johnthefireman: and gave you a link, and see that "Allah" is used by Christians in the bible. Incidentally most of those bible translation are done by protestants, not Catholics.

Fourthly, have you thought of looking in a decent Arabic-English dictionary?

>350 jntjesussaves: in other words all things are relative

Actually I thought I was saying the opposite. God is not relative; God is, regardless of our feeble attempts to understand God in different ways.

>351 jntjesussaves: There are many examples of Scripture that teach that we can know that we are headed for Heaven through the power of God

And there are counter-examples such as Matthew 25:31-46 which appear to teach that we might actually have to do something too, although one might argue that we do it through the power of God.

>354 jntjesussaves: So many, day after day, try to do "one more good work" or "one more good deed" to get into Heaven, not realizing that God will only accept Christ's perfect righteousness

My experience is that those who do good works and good deeds do not do so in order to get into Heaven. They do it simply because it is the right thing to do, whether from a religious or purely humanistic perspective. I wonder how you know the motives of people who do good works and good deeds? I would not presume to judge their motives, nor what God will accept. I wonder if you are not setting up a straw man here?

Edited to add: Let me actually quote some examples from the bible:

Genesis 1:1 - English Bible - King James Version

"In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth . . . "

Genesis 1:1 - Arabic transliteration

"Fee al-badi' khalaqa Allahu as-Samaawaat wa al-Ard . . . "

John 3:16 - English Bible - King James Version

"For God so loved the world, that . . . "

John 3:16 - Arabic transliteration

"Li-annhu haakadha ahabba Allahu al-'Aalama hataa badhala . . . "

Luke 1:30 - English Bible - King James Version

" . . . Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God."

Luke 1:30 - Arabic transliteration

" . . . Laa takhaafee, yaa Maryam, li-annaki qad wajadti ni'amat(an) i'nda Allahi."

Of course there are hundreds (thousands?) of other examples - as often as the word "God" appears in the bible, in fact.

Finally, just in case we are talking at cross-purposes, I'm not suggesting that Christians use the term "Allah" when they are praying or speaking in English. Why would they? They would use the English term, God. Indeed many Muslims would also use the word "God" when they speak about God and religion in English; I don't think I've ever seen a Muslim actually praying in English.

Edited further to add: If you go the website of the Middle East Council of Churches, you will find the word "Allah" used by Christians, although you won't be able to read it as it is, of course, in Arabic script. See, for example, a statement by The Supreme Council of the Evangelical Community in Syria and Lebanon, or another from the Armenian Patriarch.

356eclecticdodo
Mar 23, 2012, 8:27am Top

>342 lawecon: "And what do they have to say about whether they were worshiping the "same G-d" when they were Catholics?"

I've never discussed it with them.

357lawecon
Mar 23, 2012, 8:31am Top

~356

But you have discussed it with the Arabic converts? Interesting.

358eclecticdodo
Edited: Mar 23, 2012, 8:42am Top

>357 lawecon:
good point. it seems to suggest it's not an issue for those Catholic converts where it is an issue for some Muslim converts.

edited to add...

I mean that there is debate for the Muslim converts, where the Catholic converts see that it is the same God just approached in a different way.

Not sure if that makes it any clearer...

359lawecon
Mar 23, 2012, 9:11am Top

~358

No, I understand what you're saying. I hope that you understand that you may be projecting those attitudes and imagining what you would like to be the case, rather than it being the case.

Again, I don't know anything in particular about your faith community other than what you've posted. But if it similar in its beliefs to the beliefs of fuzzi and jnt and Thomas then this "same G-d" concern should be as alive for former Catholics as it is for former Muslims.

As we have seen well illustrated in this thread, Catholics and fundamentalist Christians may say some of the same articles of faith (what I call "bumperstickers" since they are designed to be mostly empty of content) but they mean by those articles of faith quite different things. The fundamentalist also, as they do in every religion, reject those with materially different interpretations of The Faith as "real _______". Probably they won't "make it to heaven" or equivalent phrase of expulsion from "real _____". Seems to me that such is equivalent to the judgment that they must be worshiping a different G-d, and, indeed, I would agree. There is a world of difference between believing you can do whatever you want if you just "accept Jesus as your personal savior" and believing that you have to more or less consistently do right things. Or, as I've said before http://www.shelfari.com/groups/29350/discussions/74005/Fundamentalism

360fuzzi
Mar 23, 2012, 12:28pm Top

(343) "Thank you, fuzzi. I think that you have been very clear about where you're coming from."

You are welcome, thanks for letting me know. :)

361eclecticdodo
Mar 23, 2012, 12:31pm Top

> 359 "I hope that you understand that you may be projecting..."

absolutely. and to be avoided if possible.

I think the question is not so much whether we are reaching out to the same God, since there is only one God and the whole of humanity is searching for Him (even if that search is disguised). But rather, how do we go about it. I believe the only way is through Jesus, his death for our sin, and resurrection to eternal life. No amount of good deeds, religious activity, or anything else can do the job. (having said that, if we are saved and being transformed to Christ's likeness, good deeds and a desire to spend time in prayer and in the Bible will be the result).

I've never been described as a fundamentalist before. Do you think I am?

362fuzzi
Mar 23, 2012, 12:32pm Top

(355) johnthefireman wrote: ">347 fuzzi: fuzzi, it looks to me as if you have interpreted Matt 25:46 without any reference at all to Matt 25:31-45. That verse is clearly related to those who do, or don't do, good deeds.:

Yes, it is, but here's the difference:

I don't do good deeds to go to Heaven, I already have the righteousness of Christ and am guaranteed to go to Heaven when I die.

However, I choose to do good deeds, but not for salvation, but to please my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

No matter how many good deeds you do, it will never be enough to get you to Heaven. One sin will keep you out: "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." James 2:10

I am not counting on my deeds, my own righteousness in order to go to Heaven, but am trusting in God, Who already did what needed to be done to make the way. All I had to do was accept what He did, in sincerity. :)

363fuzzi
Mar 23, 2012, 12:37pm Top

(361) I wouldn't worry about labels, Jo.

Others can call me what they like, but it doesn't mean anything.

If people ask, I describe myself as a Bible believer or Bible believing Christian.

Too many toss about terms without regard for what the person truly believes. :)

364fuzzi
Mar 23, 2012, 12:43pm Top

365fuzzi
Mar 23, 2012, 12:44pm Top

Back on topic track:

I read an additional 4 chapters of 2 Kings last night, but then I got too sleepy and had to put it down.

366lawecon
Mar 23, 2012, 6:14pm Top

~362

"I don't do good deeds to go to Heaven, I already have the righteousness of Christ and am guaranteed to go to Heaven when I die."

So, if we knew that Hitler or Mao or Genghis Khan really believed in the redeeming grace of Christ, they would end up in heaven (nevermind those tens of millions of murders)?

367lawecon
Edited: Mar 23, 2012, 6:20pm Top

~361

"I've never been described as a fundamentalist before. Do you think I am?"

I have no idea. That is one reason I've been asking you questions.

As noted in the link I have again cited above, there are certain characteristics of fundamentalists that are quite stable across individuals and religions. As I said in one of the first posts in the original thread, fundamentalism is apparently a mental syndrome rather than an authentic belief system. Fundamentalists can't help displaying their fundamentalism - it is compulsive.

So far you don't seem to display many of the characteristics of a fundamentalist, albeit your comments about Muslim converts were a bit disturbing.

368jburlinson
Mar 23, 2012, 7:43pm Top

> 367. fundamentalism is apparently a mental syndrome rather than an authentic belief system.

And yet this country, or at least the New England part of it, was established by radical Protestant fundamentalists. Were they all crazy?

369jntjesussaves
Mar 23, 2012, 10:34pm Top

355: My point is that in America, most Christians do not refer to God as "Allah." When you do hear "Allah" referred to in the news and elsewhere he relates to Islam or Muslims, not Christianity. This was the reference about "news articles."

370jntjesussaves
Mar 23, 2012, 10:53pm Top

359: "There is a world of difference between believing you can do whatever you want if you just "accept Jesus as your personal savior" and believing that you have to more or less consistently do right things."

Lawecon, if this was the belief of even most Christians who believed this way (those who believe that Jesus Christ and Him alone is the only hope of salvation minus any works on our own part), then I would also see an issue with this belief. Since I have been a Christian (15 years) and being involved with three different churches (all independent, fundamental Baptist churches)- no member of any of these congregations have ever claimed that you could "get saved" and then live the way you want to. Granted, I am sure there were some members who had this idea (as with any church), but I never heard that thought process come from someone's mouth.

As others have stated, I also believe Christians should live differently after salvatioin. If someone says they have trusted in Christ to save them (and their salvation testimony) matches with what the Bible says about salvation, I may believe that they are not yielded to Christ but I wouldn't assume that they are not saved. However, if someone gives a entirely different idea of salvation, then yes, I would question whether they are truly saved. But I wouldn't question this so that I can judge or look down on someone else, I would question it so that I might pray that they might realize true salvation (the Gospel).

371jntjesussaves
Mar 23, 2012, 10:59pm Top

361: Amen, eclectticdodo! As I understand it, a fundamentalist is one who believes in certain fundamentals of the faith (that they cannot compromise on). It is not a bad thing, even while usually the media and other sources try and make fundamental Christians like "fundamental Muslims," etc. In one sense we are both fundamental, because we both believe what our respective Holy books say. The only differece, however, is that when you go strictly by the Koran- it teaches its adherents to kill infidels; when you go strictly by the Bible- it teaches its adherents to love your enemies. Huge difference.

I guess I say all that to say that I hope you do not resent being called a "fundamentalist."

372jntjesussaves
Mar 23, 2012, 11:00pm Top

362: Amen, fuzzi; same here!

373johnthefireman
Mar 24, 2012, 1:51am Top

>369 jntjesussaves: Thanks for this clarification. I thought you (and fuzzi) were making a definitive statement about the meaning of the term "Allah". Now I understand that you are only speaking about perceptions in your own country, about which I don't claim to have any great insights.

>371 jntjesussaves: a fundamentalist is one who believes in certain fundamentals of the faith (that they cannot compromise on)... In one sense we are both fundamental, because we both believe what our respective Holy books say

On this one I agree with you. This is one valid definition of "fundamentalist" which I have certainly heard used even amongst Muslims, distinguishing those who aspire to follow the Holy Qur'an alone from those who accept later teachings and practices, eg from Sufi holy men. On another thread I have had this conversation with lawecon, who disagrees with me in his usual vigorous manner.

374eclecticdodo
Mar 24, 2012, 6:20am Top

>366 lawecon:

It seems abhorrent to us, but yes, if someone comes to faith in Christ they are forgiven. This is what the Bible teaches. I've been studying Jonah recently. The Ninevites were very sinful, violent people. There are reports of them chopping peoples lips off and things like that. But they repent and God spares them judgement.

Jonah 4:1-2:
"But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the LORD, “Isn’t this what I said, LORD, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity."

In the New Testament the story of the thieves on the cross with Jesus demonstrates that all that is required is faith in Christ.

We are called to preach the gospel to the vilest people on earth, and to truly hope that they come to faith. That is a big ask and not one I can honestly say I achieve.

>367 lawecon:

What was disturbing about what I said?

>373 johnthefireman:

I think I agree more with your definition John than Lawecon's. I would add that a fundamentalist is someone who believes in the absolute truth of the Christian message.

375johnthefireman
Mar 24, 2012, 7:27am Top

>366 lawecon:, 374 It's not only Christianity which allows for forgiveness. While not an exact comparison, the concept of amnesty is not unknown in the world. The (secular) Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa allowed a very large number of people who committed horrendous crimes to walk free and go merrily about their business without any punishment.

376lawecon
Mar 24, 2012, 10:44am Top

~368

Well, let me ask you, jburlinson, would you have liked to live in the societies under their control? Why not?

377lawecon
Edited: Mar 24, 2012, 12:16pm Top

~370

jnt, as much as I'm sure you will deny the fact, having seen you in action a number of times in this thread, there are logical implications of certain assumptions. I have stated the logical implication of "salvation by faith alone." Here is a fair summary of that view: http://www.tecmalta.org/tft218.htm That summary says nothing about moral conduct.

You can say that you don't believe that. You can say that you don't know anyone who believes that, but the way the world works people tend to act according to their assumptions, regardless of what they "say." In fact, they will, of course, lie if they believe that they are justified by faith regardless of their acts.

Anecdotal evidence is, of course, of little use, but let me do say to you that the most prominent fundamentalist Baptist minister in Tucson when I was growing up behaved just as predicted. He would tell you that he whole heartedly believed in the saving grace of Jesus and that he was unquestionably saved. He cheated at golf. He cheated on his marriage. I feel reasonably certain if some one had audited his church's books they would find that he was living extravagantly at the expense of the church. {Of course, that would technically not have been embezzlement, but the moral effect was the same.)

378lawecon
Mar 24, 2012, 10:55am Top

~371
"Amen, eclectticdodo! As I understand it, a fundamentalist is one who believes in certain fundamentals of the faith (that they cannot compromise on). It is not a bad thing, even while usually the media and other sources try and make fundamental Christians like "fundamental Muslims," etc."

http://www.shelfari.com/groups/29350/discussions/74005/Fundamentalism

379jburlinson
Mar 24, 2012, 1:20pm Top

> 377. the most prominent fundamentalist Baptist minister in Tucson

Would that have been pastor Bill Bowler?

380fuzzi
Edited: Mar 24, 2012, 4:12pm Top

Finished 2 Kings last night.

There is a phrase that keeps repeating, all through 1 Kings and 2 Kings, and I thought I'd point it out if you hadn't already been aware of it.

In 1 Kings 12, Jeroboam is afraid that his people will leave to go to Jerusalem to worship at the temple, so he builds idols and leads his people to worship them, and to do other things abominable in God's sight.

This is mentioned again in 1 Kings 13:34 and 14:9, but then the repeating phrase comes out in 1 Kings 14:16:

"...because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin."

This phrase is repeated again with very little variation in the following verses:

1 Kings 15:26, 15:30, 15:34, 16:2, 16:19, 16:26, 21:22, 22:52
2 Kings 3:3, 10:29, 10:31, 13:2, 13:6, 13:11, 14:24, 15:9, 15:18, 15:24, 15:28, 23:15

Other verses that point this out but not in the same terminology are as follows:

1 Kings 13:34, 14:9, 16:7, 16:13, 16:31

Manasseh was probably the worst king of all, as we see what he did in 2 Kings 21. In fact, he was such a bad king that the LORD stops using the "sins of Jeroboam who caused Israel to sin", and lists Manassah as the worst:

"Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; beside his sin wherewith he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the sight of the LORD." 2 Kings 21:16

See that "...beside his sin wherewith he made Judah to sin"?

So, Jeroboam made Israel (his kingdom) to sin by teaching them to worship idols, and then Manasseh did the same, but even put heathen idols in the temple itself!

Later, in 2 Kings 24:3-4 we read again about Manasseh:

"Surely at the commandment of the LORD came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did;
And also for the innocent blood that he shed: for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which the LORD would not pardon."


By the way, that "innocent blood" probably refers to the sacrifice of children to Molech and Baal, which was promoted by these two and other kings of this time.

~~~

Most of the kings who do "that which is right in the sight of the LORD" have their earthly father listed. For example:

About Azariah, son of Amaziah:

"And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah had done;" 2 Kings 15:3

About Jotham, son of Uzziah:

"And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD: he did according to all that his father Uzziah had done." 2 Kings 15:34

Now look at this passage:

"Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.
Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah.
And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did." 2 Kings 18:1-3


Hezekiah's father is Ahaz, not David!

And then there is Josiah:

"Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath.
And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left." 2 Kings 22:2


Josiah's father's name was not David, but Amon. I believe both of these passages use the term "David his father" because of the goodness of these two kings. This phrase is probably used in reference to King David, father of Solomon. David was described as a man after God's own heart, and apparently, so were Josiah and Hezekiah.

~

Josiah had the temple repaired, and during the cleaning and repairing process, the priests found "the book of the LORD". When it was read to King Josiah, he rent his clothes. Why? Because the rulers and people of his kingdom had not been following God's laws.

" ... for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us." 2 Kings 22:13

Josiah hears the word of God read to him, and he is convicted of the sins of his fathers and his people. Sometimes hearing the Bible or reading it does the same for us: we are made more aware of our sins, of our failings, and in becoming aware, we need to repent, ask God's forgiveness and then "sin no more" as best as we can.

~

I've heard many times from many people complaints about how God had whole cities and people killed when the Jews came to the promised land after their sojourn in Egypt.

Why would God have so many people killed, for apparently no reason?

There are several passages in 2 Kings which reference these events, and why God ordered whole cities to be put to the sword:

"But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel." 2 Kings 16:3

"And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel." 2 Kings 21:2

"But they hearkened not: and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than did the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the children of Israel." 2 Kings 21:9

"Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, which were before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols:" 2 Kings 21:11


The "heathen" who were driven out or killed at God's command were wicked, killing their own children as sacrifices to their gods. I have also read but cannot recall the Bible reference where it was shown that the "heathen" also committed bestiality and other acts that were "abomination" to God.

Now, on to 1 Chronicles...

Addendum: Ticker updated...


381lawecon
Mar 24, 2012, 9:51pm Top

~379

I didn't know you were from Tucson.

382jntjesussaves
Mar 24, 2012, 10:12pm Top

373: If lawecon disagrees with you on this, then certainly he disagrees with me, likewise.

383jntjesussaves
Edited: Mar 24, 2012, 10:28pm Top

377: Lawecon, I can't disagree with you that some Christians who believe in "salvation by faith alone" sin and some probably even grossly (shaming their Saviour). Since I have been a Christian, I also have sinned (and due to the sin nature still residing in me), will continue to sin. Christians are not perfect; we should strive for perfection (Matthew 5:47), but we will never attain perfection until we one day are with God with our glorified (sinless) bodies.

I could also give many examples of those who have sinned against God and shamed their Saviour. You don't even have to sin "grossly" in order to grieve the Lord; when we lie, cheat, speak in an unChristian manner, lust, etc., we sin against God and grieve Him. Thank God He does provide forgiveness; I don't speak of His forgiveness glibly, His forgiveness cost His Son His life. God help the "Christian" who consistently sins without any desire to be changed and repent; the question is if one doesn't show guilt and repentance for his/her sins are they really "born-again."

384jntjesussaves
Mar 24, 2012, 10:26pm Top

380: Very interesting commentary, fuzzi. You are doing great.

385lawecon
Mar 24, 2012, 10:35pm Top

~383

"the question is if one doesn't show guilt and repentance for his/her sins are they really "born-again." "

Well, we can of course all play this game. Stalin, you know, wasn't a REAL Marxist. The guys you want to repudiate, after the fact, aren't "really "born again"".

But regardless of that, you are again dodging the point. If one is "saved" by belief in Jesus alone then, regardless of what one does, one is saved if one believes in Jesus. You can't have it both ways. Either works matter or they don't matter. If they matter then your original position is wrong.

Incidentally, this is the excuse often given for Constantine being baptized on his death bed but remaining a believer in Solaris up to that point. The original Christian doctrine was that "accepting Jesus" was a part of adult baptism and that you were thus relieved of all sins when you were baptized. So rape, murder, pillage and crucify all you want, just make sure you convert just before you die.

386jburlinson
Mar 25, 2012, 12:08am Top

> 379. Grew up outside of Benson, but went to Catalina High School in Tucson and U of A. Got thrown out of Pastor Bowler's church for protesting the war in Vietnam.

387lawecon
Edited: Mar 25, 2012, 9:54am Top

~388

Went to Catalina High and the U. of A. Visited Bowler's Church a couple of times and was greatly unimpressed. Left Christianity a couple of years later and was an agnostic/deist/atheist for about 30 years thereafter - until discovering that "religion" didn't have anything to do with Brother Bowler's "religion" or ranting.

388eclecticdodo
Mar 25, 2012, 11:59am Top

>385 lawecon:

I believe I answered some of these points in post 374. It is not by works we are saved, though the fruits of the spirit are likely to be revealed in ones actions. It is not our place to judge who is saved and who isn't. Constantine may have been saved, he may not. Our prayer should be that everyone is.

389johnthefireman
Mar 25, 2012, 2:02pm Top

>388 eclecticdodo: It is not our place to judge who is saved and who isn't. Constantine may have been saved, he may not

I would agree with that, of course. But doesn't it contradict the position of some of the dominant posters on this thread that a person is saved only if s/he is "born again", ie we know/judge they are saved and we also know/judge that someone who isn't "born again" is not saved?

390eclecticdodo
Edited: Mar 25, 2012, 3:53pm Top

>389 johnthefireman:

I too believe that you must be born again for that is what Jesus taught.

John 3:3-6:
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

The question is more how one comes to be born again. I believe it is through confession of sin, and asking forgiveness. Asking God into our lives.

Defining the "how" is very different to judging "who".

(edited to fix some typos)

391fuzzi
Mar 25, 2012, 3:03pm Top

(390) Well spoken, sister.

I'd like to address one thing written here:

"The original Christian doctrine was that "accepting Jesus" was a part of adult baptism and that you were thus relieved of all sins when you were baptized"

What "original Christian doctrine" is being referred to here?

Baptism does not save, nor does it "relieve" all sins. It only makes someone wet.

I and others have posted many Bible passages that point out the fallacy of being forgiven by getting wet, that idea is not based upon God's word. Oh, you can take a passage or two out of context, and try to teach what is referred to as "baptismal regeneration", but the majority of New Testament references to salvation and forgiveness of sins has nothing to do with water, whether a person is sprinkled or dunked.

Sorry to burst your (water) balloon. :)

Now, on to Bible reading:

I was reading in 1 Chronicles again this morning, and have some observations I'd like to share.

In 1 Chronicles 1:28, Isaac is mentioned first, as if he were the firstborn. God seems to give the firstborn rights to the younger child frequently. For example, think upon Jacob being the younger brother of Esau, Joseph being the younger brother of ten of Jacob's sons, and even Ephraim, the son of Joseph, being chosen over his older brother, Manasseh.

1:43, it appears that Edom has the idea of a king first, before the nation of Israel demanded one from Samuel (and got Saul!). Israel had the perfection of God as their leader, but they preferred to be like the other nations around them despite the negative aspects of a human king.

Also, in 1:51, Edom has "dukes" listed.

In 1:34 and 2:1, there is no mention of "Jacob", but he is referred to as "Israel", the name God gave him later on.

2:7 Achar is mentioned as a 'troubler'. Remember Achar? He was the person who coveted and stole items that were to be destroyed as per the Lord God's commandment. Because of his sin, he caused many to die, including his own family.

Suddenly, out of the blue a man Carmi is mentioned here...where did he come from? Well, look at Joshua 7:1:

"But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel."

Aha! You see he is the son of Zabdi, who is the son of Zerah of Judah. Carmi is mentioned again in 1 Chronicles 5:3.

5:20: they put their trust in God, and He answered. The war was "of God" and He won it for them, see verse 22.

But then, they had to be stupid, and went after the gods of the heathens, idols. Their God had saved them from Egyptian slavery, and had brought them out of Egypt into the promised land...why did they start "a whoring" after the idols of the heathens around them? Go figure...

In 6:3 Moses is mentioned...but no further mention of him, or Miriam, and/or their offspring have I found. It's as if his descendants just dropped off the face of the earth. Maybe there are mentions of Moses' descendants later on, but the emphasis here is on Aaron and his children. I believe the Messianic line comes through Aaron, but am not sure. I'll have to look it up.

More to come... :)

392baron770
Mar 25, 2012, 3:28pm Top

>389 johnthefireman: John would you agree with this: that all that are born again are Christians and all Christians are born again?

393jburlinson
Mar 25, 2012, 5:14pm Top

> 390. The question is more how one comes to be born again. I believe it is through confession of sin, and asking forgiveness. Asking God into our lives.

Could a Buddhist do this, without specifically thinking of Jesus?

394jntjesussaves
Mar 25, 2012, 5:40pm Top

385: "But regardless of that, you are again dodging the point. If one is "saved" by belief in Jesus alone then, regardless of what one does, one is saved if one believes in Jesus. You can't have it both ways. Either works matter or they don't matter. If they matter then your original position is wrong."

You keep making me aware that I don't get your point; I get your point entirely- first, you don't really care what I believe (because it isn't important to you anyway). Second, because you don't believe that Jesus saves (with or without works). Third, if you did believe Jesus saves- it must be by works.

I see no problems with my position. I have stated over and over that everyone who says they are saved "are not saved." Why do I say this, because "simple belief" (you may call it, I certainly call it that), isn't enough. You must have belief (a deep abiding trust) and a repentant heart in order to be saved. If one has no guilt and repentance for what they have done, it's probably because they have never repented for what they have done. In a case like this, this would lead me to believe that such a person did not have a salvation experience.

"Well, we can of course all play this game. Stalin, you know, wasn't a REAL Marxist. The guys you want to repudiate, after the fact, aren't "really "born again"".

How does one discover what someone believes (or who or what they are)? As the moniker goes, "If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck." If one walks like a Christian (like Christ) and talks like a Christian, they are probably a Christian. Is there times someone can pull the wool over our eyes at times, yes, but sooner or later they will reveal who they are.

This position seems quite clear to me, therefore, if you are still troubled by it- I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

395jntjesussaves
Mar 25, 2012, 5:42pm Top

385: "But regardless of that, you are again dodging the point. If one is "saved" by belief in Jesus alone then, regardless of what one does, one is saved if one believes in Jesus. You can't have it both ways. Either works matter or they don't matter. If they matter then your original position is wrong."

You keep making me aware that I don't get your point; I get your point entirely- first, you don't really care what I believe (because it isn't important to you anyway). Second, because you don't believe that Jesus saves (with or without works). Third, if you did believe Jesus saves- it must be by works.

I see no problems with my position. I have stated over and over that everyone who says they are saved "are not saved." Why do I say this, because "simple belief" (you may call it, I certainly call it that), isn't enough. You must have belief (a deep abiding trust) and a repentant heart in order to be saved. If one has no guilt and repentance for what they have done, it's probably because they have never repented for what they have done. In a case like this, this would lead me to believe that such a person did not have a salvation experience.

"Well, we can of course all play this game. Stalin, you know, wasn't a REAL Marxist. The guys you want to repudiate, after the fact, aren't "really "born again"".

How does one discover what someone believes (or who or what they are)? As the moniker goes, "If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck." If one walks like a Christian (like Christ) and talks like a Christian, they are probably a Christian. Is there times someone can pull the wool over our eyes at times, yes, but sooner or later they will reveal who they are.

This position seems quite clear to me, therefore, if you are still troubled by it- I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

"Incidentally, this is the excuse often given for Constantine being baptized on his death bed but remaining a believer in Solaris up to that point. The original Christian doctrine was that "accepting Jesus" was a part of adult baptism and that you were thus relieved of all sins when you were baptized. So rape, murder, pillage and crucify all you want, just make sure you convert just before you die."

Without the Holy Spirit convicting someone, they will not be saved. The analogy you give does not hold water, because I have spoken from the beginning against this belief- that you can "get saved" and then sin as much as you like. I have never even hinted to that philosophy.

396lawecon
Mar 25, 2012, 10:00pm Top

~391

"I'd like to address one thing written here:

""The original Christian doctrine was that "accepting Jesus" was a part of adult baptism and that you were thus relieved of all sins when you were baptized""

What "original Christian doctrine" is being referred to here?"

See the last paragraph here: http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ac60

and here http://historymedren.about.com/od/constantinethegreat/ig/Constantine-the-Great/B...

and here

http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/constantine/f/033111-Constantine-and-Christia...

I am surprised that the Holy Spirit didn't tell you this well known fact. Ah well, I guess that there are some problems with knowing no history.

397jntjesussaves
Mar 25, 2012, 10:11pm Top

388: Amen, eclecticdodo!

398lawecon
Edited: Mar 25, 2012, 10:16pm Top

~394

This is the first real attempt you have made to critically discuss any of your beliefs, albeit you again start out by expressing your exasperation that I don't JUST BELIEVE. Now here's my rejoinder (see if you can think about this as well and come back with more than a string of New Testament verses):

You are not Hashem.
You do not know the hearts of others.
Your savior specifically told you to "Judge not, lest ye be judged." Yet you ignore that very clear instruction and tell us all that you can judge the state of another's soul by observing their acts. But if you follow the direction of your savior you in fact have no way of discerning who says they are saved and are telling the truth vs. those who say they are saved and are lying.

You can't pick and choose doctrines to apply to your life. If you are saved by faith alone and if you are not to judge others, then you can only believe that they are in fact saved when they say they are saved.

It is, of course, convenient to believe that those who are saved do only good acts, or at least "intend" to do only good acts, but we see around us many who claim that they are saved, many who are generally believed to be saved by many other Christians (but not you) who do bad acts. To refer to your reference group, the mass congregation TV evangelists who have committed adultery, committed sodomy, embezzled funds, live lavish lifestyles on the donations of their followers, etc. are legion. Would you like a dozen or so links to such saved individuals?

Your turn.

399jntjesussaves
Mar 25, 2012, 10:13pm Top

390: Amen!

400jntjesussaves
Mar 25, 2012, 10:18pm Top

391: "Baptism does not save, nor does it "relieve" all sins. It only makes someone wet.

I and others have posted many Bible passages that point out the fallacy of being forgiven by getting wet, that idea is not based upon God's word. Oh, you can take a passage or two out of context, and try to teach what is referred to as "baptismal regeneration", but the majority of New Testament references to salvation and forgiveness of sins has nothing to do with water, whether a person is sprinkled or dunked."

Amen, fuzzi!

More good commentary, fuzzi. We actually read about Achan (Achar) today in the morning message at my church. Very interesting and sad story of one's disobedience to God's commands.

401jntjesussaves
Mar 25, 2012, 10:19pm Top

392: Good question, baron770.

402jntjesussaves
Mar 25, 2012, 10:32pm Top

393: jburlinson, while you question wasn't directed at me- I did want to respond.

A Buddhist could, of course, confess their sin and ask for forgiveness, but without realizing their only hope of salvation rests in Jesus Christ and Him alone, their confession and seeking is in vain. John 14:6 seems to be quite clear,

John 14:6
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
(KJV)

Revelation 3:20
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
(KJV)

Revelation 22:17
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
(KJV)

jburlinson, Jesus and Jesus alone is the "only" hope for man kind; there is salvation is none other:

Acts 4:8
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,

Acts 4:9
If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;

Acts 4:10
Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

Acts 4:11
This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

Acts 4:12
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Acts 4:13
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

Acts 4:14
And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.
(KJV)

403lawecon
Edited: Mar 25, 2012, 10:36pm Top

400 and 391: ""Baptism does not save, nor does it "relieve" all sins. It only makes someone wet.

I and others have posted many Bible passages that point out the fallacy of being forgiven by getting wet, that idea is not based upon God's word. Oh, you can take a passage or two out of context, and try to teach what is referred to as "baptismal regeneration", but the majority of New Testament references to salvation and forgiveness of sins has nothing to do with water, whether a person is sprinkled or dunked.""

"Amen, fuzzi!"

Before you two get off on another round of mutual admiration, you might take note of what fuzzi was responding to. What she was responding to was my statement that Constantine chose to put off baptism until the end of his life because it was early Christian doctrine that baptism of an adult washed away all prior sins.

Nothing that fuzzi said in any way refutes that assertion. It was indeed early Christian doctrine, and that is the usually cited reason for Constantine's late baptism. What you believe today about the effect of baptism is entirely irrelevant. Christians use to believe something different.

You guys really need to pay attention to what is being said and quit reading your belief structure about FAITH and TRUTH into every question. Some questions are simply historical. Historical questions are not resolved through FAITH, nor, apparently, through the counsel of the Holy Spirit.

404jburlinson
Mar 25, 2012, 11:17pm Top

> 402. A Buddhist could, of course, confess their sin and ask for forgiveness, but without realizing their only hope of salvation rests in Jesus Christ and Him alone, their confession and seeking is in vain.

That is a cruel and harsh assertion. If it were true, it would occasion considerable regret and distress of spirit. It would also bear no resemblance whatsoever to the teaching and actions of Jesus Christ.

405jntjesussaves
Mar 26, 2012, 12:24am Top

398: "Your savior specifically told you to "Judge not, lest ye be judged." Yet you ignore that very clear instruction and tell us all that you can judge the state of another's soul by observing their acts. But if you follow the direction of your savior you in fact have no way of discerning who says they are saved and are telling the truth vs. those who say they are saved and are lying.:"

First, lawecon, I am expressing my viewpoint on discernment of what and who is a Christian. This is important, because there are plenty in need of salvation without me witnessing to Christians. I will give you a great example: Why have you spent so much time debating your points with myself, fuzzi, and Thomas? Because, we don't have a lot in common with your system of belief. Out of everyone on this thread, who have you focused most of your comments (and time) towards, those who you feel a need to "convert" (for no better term). Well, we as Christians do the same thing; it would be silly of me to consistently "witness" to Thomas or fuzzi, because they are saved- they admit their need to be "born-again" and they have both admitted to having been born-again. As far as salvation is concerned, I can add nothing to their salvation experiecne, because they have already experienced it. Therefore, much of my attention is directed toward you (and a few others) who see no need to be "born-again." You see, I believe strongly that those who die having never experienced this transformation, they will die and spend eternity separated from God in Hell. While I undersand, yourself and others, disagree with my beliefs, I can't just act like they don't exist- because according to God's Word- they do (and I desire no one to spend eternity separated from God in Hell).

"You can't pick and choose doctrines to apply to your life. If you are saved by faith alone and if you are not to judge others, then you can only believe that they are in fact saved when they say they are saved."

I am surprised that you expect me to use a principle that you yourself do not and would not use. There is an inclination to "accept" what everybody says to be true without using any discernment (or questioning it), but that would be irresponsible. I have given you multiple reasons (and Scripture references) to show you why I believe as I do, yet you haven't "accepted" anything I have said- yet you tell me that I should "accept" what others say just because they say it.

If we didn't have God's Word as our guide, I couldn't debate my point. Because, you would be correct that I would be just basing my beliefs (or opinions) on relative ideas.

If we didn't have God's Word that is clear when it says, "I (Jesus Christ) am the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me," we wouldn't be able to say there is "only" one way to Heaven. If we didn't have the Word of God to tell us, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel," we wouldn't know that these are the two necessary requirements to be saved. If we didn't have God's Word to show us the true Gospel, as follows:

1 Corinthians 15:1
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

1 Corinthians 15:2
By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. {keep...: or, hold fast} {what: Gr. by what speech}

1 Corinthians 15:3
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

1 Corinthians 15:4
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
(KJV)

Then, we wouldn't be able to say the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the Gospel.

I could continue with every thing I believe along these lines. I do want to pose a question to you, that I hope you will answer with scriptural evidence of your claim. You make the statement, "you are not to judge others." Please show me the scripture references that you use when you make that statement. There are four references using the phrase "judge not." Please give me your thoughts to what each verse is referring to? Thank you.

"It is, of course, convenient to believe that those who are saved do only good acts, or at least "intend" to do only good acts, but we see around us many who claim that they are saved, many who are generally believed to be saved by many other Christians (but not you) who do bad acts."

Lawecon, you apparently only read and respond to what you believe will relate to your point. In post 377, I stated the following:

" Lawecon, I can't disagree with you that some Christians who believe in "salvation by faith alone" sin and some probably even grossly (shaming their Saviour). Since I have been a Christian, I also have sinned (and due to the sin nature still residing in me), will continue to sin. Christians are not perfect; we should strive for perfection (Matthew 5:47), but we will never attain perfection until we one day are with God with our glorified (sinless) bodies.

I could also give many examples of those who have sinned against God and shamed their Saviour. You don't even have to sin "grossly" in order to grieve the Lord; when we lie, cheat, speak in an unChristian manner, lust, etc., we sin against God and grieve Him. Thank God He does provide forgiveness; I don't speak of His forgiveness glibly, His forgiveness cost His Son His life. God help the "Christian" who consistently sins without any desire to be changed and repent; the question is if one doesn't show guilt and repentance for his/her sins are they really "born-again.""

Can you please explain how your referenced quote from above relates incorrectly a claim of something I supposedly believe which I stated the direct opposite in this prior referenced post (377)?

I believe a Christian can sin, (even grossly). I don't believe a Christian can sin (whether grossly or not) without being convicted by it and desiring God's forgiveness. I believe non-Christians at times appear more like Christians than some Christians do, (which is sad). I also believe that every one who says they are a Christian "aren't a Christian." I don't believe I can be more clear.

You seem to be on both sides of the fence; in one breath you say, "Those who claim to be born again sin in gross ways." Then you say, "If someone says they are saved, no matter what their lives are like- I should accept it because they said it." You have confused me.

406jntjesussaves
Mar 26, 2012, 12:30am Top

404: Maybe cruel and harsh, unless, it be true- then it is "life-giving." Maybe from your way of looking at things, jburlinson, that may seem "harsh and cruel," but they are not my words- they are the Word of God.

"It would also bear no resemblance whatsoever to the teaching and actions of Jesus Christ."

Please explain further, I am not sure what you mean by this statement. Thanks.

407lawecon
Edited: Mar 26, 2012, 1:04am Top

r.

408lawecon
Edited: Mar 26, 2012, 1:11am Top

You know, this is getting tiresome.

How many times has it been now that I have appealed to you to stop personalizing this discussion and try to focus on the logical implications of what you are saying? Yet just into your response above you, once again, say:

"Why have you spent so much time debating your points with myself, fuzzi, and Thomas? Because, we don't have a lot in common with your system of belief. Out of everyone on this thread, who have you focused most of your comments (and time) towards, those who you feel a need to "convert" (for no better term)."

"I am surprised that you expect me to use a principle that you yourself do not and would not use."

I am not interested in having a "personal" exchange with you, jnt. Far less am I interested in "converting" you. Judaism already has far too many people who "think" as you do, albeit they are only about 10% of total Jews in the U.S.

I am interested in what you say, since you and Thomas and fuzzi represent a very strong thread in contemporary American society. Let me explain why that matters, and what reaction one might have to that fact:

Say, Evil Atheistic Communism seemed to be becoming a dominate thread in America, would you not be interested in publically questioning its "believers" about their beliefs?

Do you think that the only motive for such questioning could be to "convert" them to your views, or could you do so to demonstrate the deficiencies in their views?

Would you have a high opinion of a communist who "argued" his position by quoting passages from Marx, Engels and Lenin or who tried to turn every part of every discussion into some personal exchange. (In fact, communists routinely did exactly that - if you disagreed with them it wasn't because they could be wrong but because you had the wrong class affiliation. You didn't "understand" them because of your class prejudice and because you didn't believe in the insights of the materialist theory of history. How is what you're doing routinely any different?)

Now, jnt, I'm sure that you think I am dead wrong about the effects of what you and fuzzi and Thomas believe. Fine. I may be wrong. Perhaps if you three represented the dominate strain in American society America would become a paradise. But if that is so, then you certainly should have more than "just believe" to say to me and the other readers of this thread. Perhaps you could point out a society that was constructed on your sort of fundamentalist evangelical views that was a paradise?

Further, jnt, you are the ones who believe that you have a religious duty to convert the heathen, particularly those heathen who are of the father religion. (I have no such religious duty. If you are in fact living a good life, then you have a share in the world to come, and few Jews want to encourage Gentiles to take on the yoke of Torah.) So since you have this religious duty, perhaps you want to put more effort into developing the facts and arguments that would have that effect? What you are doing now is having the same effect on those outside of the "Amen Circle" that the ranter on the street corner has in "saving" those walking by his corner.

"You seem to be on both sides of the fence; in one breath you say, "Those who claim to be born again sin in gross ways." Then you say, "If someone says they are saved, no matter what their lives are like- I should accept it because they said it." You have confused me. "

It is called arguing from the other guy's premises. I accept your premises for the sake of trying to understand what you are saying, and see if your premises can be conjoined consistently. So far, it doesn't appear that they can be conjoined consistently.

Your premise, according to your Inspired Scriptures, should be that you don't question the stated salvation of another person. ("Judge not")

Yet as you have stated above, the saved often sin grossly. Are you "on both sides of the fence," apparently not. At least not yet.

But then you tell us that you can tell whether someone is really saved by observing his actions. But, nevertheless, that the saved can sin grossly.

You are familiar with this secular notion of logic and noncontradiction? It doesn't appear so.......

409johnthefireman
Mar 26, 2012, 1:09am Top

>391 fuzzi: fuzzi, it would help me if you would quote a post number when you refer to something which is not in the previous post. After quite a bit of searching I found you were referring to >385 lawecon:.

Oh, you can take a passage or two out of context

No comment...

>392 baron770: I assume all "born again" are Christians because they self-identify as such, and they believe in the Christ and some of the lowest common denominator Christian beliefs. I believe all Christians are born again in water and the Spirit, in baptism (getting wet, as fuzzi so dismissively describes the practice of most of the Christians in history and in the current world) and confirmation. But it is not a pre-condition for being "saved".

>403 lawecon: it was early Christian doctrine that baptism of an adult washed away all prior sins

Actually I think you'll find that it's still current Christian doctrine for most Christians apart from the "born again" variety.

>404 jburlinson: I think that's why Catholic teaching (and not only Catholic, I think), while recognising the death and resurrection of the Christ as the pivotal salvation event, nevertheless recognises that it is open to all people of good will, as has been discussed on various threads.

410eclecticdodo
Mar 26, 2012, 7:42am Top

>409 johnthefireman: "I believe all Christians are born again in water and the Spirit, in baptism (getting wet, as fuzzi so dismissively describes the practice of most of the Christians in history and in the current world) and confirmation. But it is not a pre-condition for being "saved"."

This is a key difference between Catholic and protestant understanding. I believe that the Bible teaches baptism as an act of obedience and declaration, but not a means of forgiveness.

John 3:3-6:
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

I understand the "born of water and the Spirit" as directly corresponding to the next sentence "flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit". That is to say, "water" is referring to physical birth (it is not just a modern description of a womans "waters breaking").

411jburlinson
Mar 26, 2012, 3:37pm Top

> 406. "It would also bear no resemblance whatsoever to the teaching and actions of Jesus Christ."

Please explain further, I am not sure what you mean by this statement. Thanks.


Although Jesus said and did many things in the gospels, there are certain very clear and very simple themes that recur again and again, and none of Jesus' sayings and doings contradict these themes. (1) Love God with all your heart & mind. (2) Love your neighbor. (3) Love your enemy. (4) Forgive. (5) Do not judge others. (6) Treat all people as you would like to be treated. (7) Try to relieve suffering where you can.

To my mind, these things are absolutely foundational to being a Christian.

Deciding (or even conjecturing upon) who is or isn't going to heaven and hell is not included.

412fuzzi
Mar 26, 2012, 6:52pm Top

(409) Sorry if I was unclear, john. I'll try to quote the post numbers more consistently. :)

It might be "Christian doctrine" from the past or the present that water baptism cleanses away sins, but it is not backed up by Scripture. And, as I base my beliefs on the Bible, God's word, and not the words of fallible and sinful men, I reject any and all beliefs that do not match what the Scriptures say.

Anyone can accept God's offer of salvation, but they have to do it His way, which He has made clear in His word, the Bible:

"Ye must be born again"

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."

"He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."

"I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

"He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

"For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."

413fuzzi
Mar 26, 2012, 7:03pm Top

> 406. "It would also bear no resemblance whatsoever to the teaching and actions of Jesus Christ."

Please explain further, I am not sure what you mean by this statement. Thanks.

(411)
Although Jesus said and did many things in the gospels, there are certain very clear and very simple themes that recur again and again, and none of Jesus' sayings and doings contradict these themes. (1) Love God with all your heart & mind. (2) Love your neighbor. (3) Love your enemy. (4) Forgive. (5) Do not judge others. (6) Treat all people as you would like to be treated. (7) Try to relieve suffering where you can.

To my mind, these things are absolutely foundational to being a Christian.

Deciding (or even conjecturing upon) who is or isn't going to heaven and hell is not included.


I don't decide or conjecture upon who is or isn't going to Hell, God has made that clear through His word. He said "Ye must be born again", so those who wish to escape Hell must be born again. That's a very clear and simple theme.

Also, for the record, Jesus also warned about Hell more than any other topic:

"And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." Mark 9:42-48


See also Matthew 5:29-30, 10:28, 11:23, 18:8-9, 23:33, etc.

Why all this emphasis on Hell and salvation? Because without getting born again/saved, you (and all) are headed for Hell. And those of us who believe in what God said do not want you to go to Hell, but to enjoy the love, peace and joy that we, as born again children of God, experience.

~~

Jo you were 'spot on', correct, in post 410.

I appreciate your posts and input as well as John's (jntjesussaves). Thank you for your faithfulness.

I didn't read my Bible yet today, but I'll post more tomorrow. :)

414jntjesussaves
Edited: Mar 26, 2012, 7:54pm Top

408: "You know, this is getting tiresome."

I agree, that is why I have attempted several times to answer your comments only once and try not to be repetitive, even while I believe I have failed at this.

"I am interested in what you say, since you and Thomas and fuzzi represent a very strong thread in contemporary American society."

Lawecon, we practically begged you not to turn this thread into something other than what it was intended to be (from the beginning): a thread, specifically for Christians, who find value in reading God's Word (and more specifically, reading it through in a year).

You are the one that brought controversy. There are so many other threads that one can go to and discuss their beliefs against the belief system like some of us hold to on this thread. You know, while I have shared my ideas and thoughts with you on this thread, I have no desire to follow you wherever you go and cause grief to you by sharing what I believe. Christianity is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ; I know how my life drastically changed as a result of what He did for me. I understand that the great majority do not desire a relationship with Jesus Christ and that is their choice to make, just as it was with me.

Lawecon, I do hold strong views of what I believe the Bible teaches (just as you hold strong views about what you believe). While I disagree, I respect your right to hold your views. While you may think what myself, fuzzi, and Thomas and a few others on this thread believe to be dangerous, if you were to go across this fruited plain on any given Sunday, you would find those who hold identical beliefs as we do in every state, every town, and every community.

I would also say, you did make this personal- you have numerously stated "jnt" this and "jnt" that throughout this thread. Would I like you and others on this thread to realize your need for Christ (as I have, yes), but I wouldn't push what I believe down anybody's throat. Truly, I really couldn't anyway because "salvataion" (being born-again) is personal.

Even while, johnthefireman and jburlinson, and I have disagreed on many things- I haven't felt the same reaction when they post that I have when you post- as if you despise me. While I am sure we will probably never agree very often, I don't despise you- I will say the same thing I said when I first met you on these threads- you are certainly a very intelligent person with much to teach others. But as I have also said from the beginning, some are not apt to listen to someone who always seems bent on bashing every thing they believe, which it seems to have been your goal. If this is not true, I apologize, but it has seemed that way.

You may not care if I do or not, lawecon, but I do care about you and I do pray and hope for the best in your life to be realized.

415jntjesussaves
Mar 26, 2012, 7:31pm Top

410: Amen, this is my understanding also!

416jntjesussaves
Mar 26, 2012, 7:50pm Top

411: Thank you for clarifying, jburlinson.

"Although Jesus said and did many things in the gospels, there are certain very clear and very simple themes that recur again and again, and none of Jesus' sayings and doings contradict these themes. (1) Love God with all your heart & mind. (2) Love your neighbor. (3) Love your enemy. (4) Forgive. (5) Do not judge others. (6) Treat all people as you would like to be treated. (7) Try to relieve suffering where you can."

I agree that all of these things were items that Christ taught and lived out Himself, and He also works in His children to do the same.

"To my mind, these things are absolutely foundational to being a Christian."

Amen, I agree with your summation. However, if one believes that by doing these things (which would certainly be commendable) is someway bringing them closer to God or bringing them closer to Heaven, they would be misinterpreting scripture. God is so clear in helping people realize that salvation (going to Heaven) is not about our good works, it is about Jesus Christ "good works" upon Calvary. As has been pointed out, our good works (if they are done in order to inherit salvation), are as "filthy rags" in God's sight. All of these items you mentioned should certainly be present in the life of a Christian.

"Deciding (or even conjecturing upon) who is or isn't going to heaven and hell is not included."

First, jburlinson, I didn't mean to sound cruel and harsh when I made the statement about Buddhists. Like many others, they are trying to "get to God" in possibly the only way they know. However, for myself who believes the Bible to be very clear that "everyone" who does not come the way of Jesus Christ is doomed and will one day, spend eternity separated from God in Hell- I cannot keep what I believe quiet. My intention is never to be cruel or harsh, but Hell will one day be cruel and harsh for those who will spend eternity there.

I remember a few years ago, an evangelist came to my church and he gave a message on witnessing. He asked the question, "What is the hardest thing about witnessing?" Most would say, telling someone you don't know about Christ or telling someone you are kin to about Christ. Knowing this to be how most would most likely answer He stated the following (which has always stuck with me): "No, the hardest thing about witnessing is one day getting a glimpse of Hell and seeing someone there who you never witnessed to screaming out, why didn't you tell me the truth so that I could have escaped this torture." That got my attention, and that is a big reason why I try to share this truth with others.

Lastly, I don't decide who does or does not go to heaven, God has already made the declaration in His Word. I can only make a statement like, "If one does not get born again, he will never see heaven," only because God's Word makes this clear:

John 3:1
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:

John 3:2
The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

John 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. {again: or, from above}

John 3:4
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

John 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.

John 3:6
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

John 3:7
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. {again: or, from above}
(KJV)

Again, jburlinson, I didn't mean to sound harsh when I made the statement in relation to Buddhism, but I would not want to stay silent on something that I believe God's Word teaches so strongly.

417jntjesussaves
Mar 26, 2012, 7:50pm Top

412: Great verses, fuzzi.

418jburlinson
Mar 26, 2012, 8:13pm Top

> 413. The dots are not connecting.

First you say, I don't decide or conjecture upon who is or isn't going to Hell

A little later, you say, without getting born again/saved, you (and all) are headed for Hell.

It sounds to me that you're saying that: (1) you know that I (and others) have not been born again, and (2) I (and others) are heading for Hell.

If that's not deciding or conjecturing upon who is or isn't going to hell, I don't know what it is.

How do you know whether or not I (or anyone) have been born again?

419lawecon
Mar 26, 2012, 10:15pm Top

~411

Wow. Another good presentation (and this on the same day that Nathanielcampbell has just presented his own masterpiece of erudition in another thread). What is happening to Librarything? Is it turning into an actual exchange between scholarly types on important subjects? Perhaps.

Wow, maybe I've been wrong up to now.

420lawecon
Mar 26, 2012, 10:33pm Top

~418

And then we have Post 394, where jnt tells us:

"I see no problems with my position. I have stated over and over that everyone who says they are saved "are not saved." Why do I say this, because "simple belief" (you may call it, I certainly call it that), isn't enough. You must have belief (a deep abiding trust) and a repentant heart in order to be saved. If one has no guilt and repentance for what they have done, it's probably because they have never repented for what they have done. In a case like this, this would lead me to believe that such a person did not have a salvation experience."

.........................

"How does one discover what someone believes (or who or what they are)? As the moniker goes, "If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck." If one walks like a Christian (like Christ) and talks like a Christian, they are probably a Christian. Is there times someone can pull the wool over our eyes at times, yes, but sooner or later they will reveal who they are."

But, of course, as he subsequently tells us, he would never think of judging whether someone was saved or not.... Never.... ever.......

421fuzzi
Edited: Mar 27, 2012, 8:42am Top

(418) jburlinson said:

"> 413. The dots are not connecting.

First you say, I don't decide or conjecture upon who is or isn't going to Hell

A little later, you say, without getting born again/saved, you (and all) are headed for Hell.

It sounds to me that you're saying that: (1) you know that I (and others) have not been born again, and (2) I (and others) are heading for Hell.

If that's not deciding or conjecturing upon who is or isn't going to hell, I don't know what it is.

How do you know whether or not I (or anyone) have been born again?"


May I answer your question to jnt, also?

No Christian, no person here on earth can decide who is or isn't going to Hell.

As a born again believer, however, I tell others that unless they are born again, they will go to Hell.

Am I judging them? No. Am I saying they aren't born again? No.

I'm giving information, so those who aren't sure if they are going to Hell or Heaven can see what God said about it, and make a decision for themself based upon knowledge from God's word, the Bible.

I can say that I think so-and-so is not born again based upon what he/she says, but I don't know for sure.

When the apostle Peter asked about what another apostle was going to do, Christ answered with the following: "Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me." John 21:22

It is not up to us to question another person's salvation, only God knows for sure, but those of us who believe in His promise and have accepted His offer of salvation are about as sure as anyone can be of their eternal destination.

So, it's not judging you or anyone else, jbrulinson, it's just letting you know what God's word says.

And if you don't think you are born again, you have the information you need to make a decision for or against God.

I hope that has clarified the situation some. :)

422fuzzi
Edited: Mar 27, 2012, 1:30pm Top

Update: I have read through 1 Chronicles 19. I might have some thoughts to share later: most of the book is rather 'dry', mainly lists and more lists of people. :)

423jburlinson
Mar 27, 2012, 1:52pm Top

> 421. I can say that I think so-and-so is not born again based upon what he/she says, but I don't know for sure.

I'm afraid that my experience is that what a person says is often not a very good indicator of who they are or what they believe.

I can imagine a person who has been born again and is eager to try to communicate that experience to someone else. Such a person might hold the opinion that loudly and insistently proclaiming their born-again status might, ultimately, repel other people and turn out to be an obstacle to other people experiencing it for themselves.

This leads to a dilemma. What to do? Many have come to the conclusion that if they simply live out the precepts articulated and exemplified by Jesus, their example might prove beneficial to their neighbors. From what little I know of him, it seems to me that johnthfireman might have chosen this road.

One of the things that characterizes such people, again in my experience, is their tendency always to think the best of others with whom they come into contact. This is a habit that, not surprisingly, often wins friends and influences people.

424jntjesussaves
Mar 27, 2012, 10:15pm Top

423: jburlinson, that was very well said. I also agree with you that, as Christians, others should see our love and many other characteristics. While I do share my faith with practically everyone I come in contact with, I don't push it on them, but my faith "is who I am." I cannot separate my faith from how I speak, how I act, and how I share my faith. I can't keep my faith quiet without feeling a sense of guilt for not sharing it with others.

So many times, on a day to day basis, I run into others (who in my mind I think, "I wonder if that person is a Christian.") Do you know why this thought crosses my mind? Because, I see a Christlike heart within that person and I must say most of the time I have correctly estimated that the said person was a Christian. We should know others Christians by their fruit (and I for one, love to see other Christian's fruit shining through), because this brings glory and honor to the One that truly deserves praise and honor, Jesus Christ.

Matthew 5:14
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Matthew 5:15
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. {a bushel: the word in the original signifieth a measure containing about a pint less than a peck}

Matthew 5:16
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
(KJV)

But if we fail to share "the Gospel" (our faith) with others, we also disobey God's Word.

Matthew 28:18
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Matthew 28:19
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: {teach...: or, make disciples, or, Christians of all nations}

Matthew 28:20
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
(KJV)

425jburlinson
Mar 27, 2012, 11:27pm Top

> 424. So many times, on a day to day basis, I run into others (who in my mind I think, "I wonder if that person is a Christian.") Do you know why this thought crosses my mind? Because, I see a Christlike heart within that person and I must say most of the time I have correctly estimated that the said person was a Christian.

It's interesting you should mention this. I, too, have often had that experience. Just this afternoon, I had a long talk with a woman who is a passionate advocate for making sure that personal care services for chronically ill children are properly transitioned to managed care using Medicaid funding. She definitely had the "Christlike heart" you mentioned, although I'm pretty sure she's a practicing Hindu.

426johnthefireman
Edited: Mar 28, 2012, 12:57am Top

>424 jntjesussaves:, 425 I would suggest that "Christlike" and "Christian" are not the same thing at all, as demonstrated by jburlinson's Hindu example, although obviously there is a large overlap. I know Muslims, atheists and many others who would fall into that category. That's why Catholic teaching (and other churches too, I think, although I don't know for sure) does not limit God's gift of salvation only to those who proclaim themselves to be "saved" through being "born again", but recognises that God's saving grace works through all people of good will. And we do not pluck that teaching out of thin air. As nathanielcampbell has explained on a parallel thread, it is the result of 2,000 years reflection on the bible, inspired by God. We are as convinced that it is biblically sound as modern US "born again" Christians are convinced that it isn't.

427TRIPLEHHH
Edited: Mar 28, 2012, 6:14am Top

I finished reading James and First Timothy. Fuzzi and John. What did Paul mean when he said women will be saved through child bearing?

428fuzzi
Mar 28, 2012, 9:25am Top

(427) You know, HHH, that's a good question. I am not sure. Let me reread the passages and pray, and I'll get back to you. :)

429johnthefireman
Mar 28, 2012, 9:35am Top

>427 TRIPLEHHH: I wasn't sure which John you were referring to, but probably not me! I tried to find a good bible commentary online but I couldn't find the ones I was looking for.

1 Timothy is generally not considered to have been written by Paul, incidentally.

430fuzzi
Edited: Mar 28, 2012, 10:06am Top

(429) johnthefireman, sorry for any confusion. I use 'john' for you, and 'John' or 'jnt' for 'jntjesussaves'.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God...no matter if Paul or someone else wrote it down. :)

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness ..." 2 Timothy 3:16

"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 1 Peter 1:20-21


The private interpretation was not done by men, but by the Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit as He moved the prophets to speak, and as it was written down.

"But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." 1 John 2:27

431johnthefireman
Mar 28, 2012, 10:14am Top

>430 fuzzi: For once we actually agree on something! Scripture is inspired by God, and 1 Timothy contains authentic teaching regardless of its authorship.

432fuzzi
Mar 28, 2012, 11:19am Top

Amen!

433fuzzi
Mar 28, 2012, 11:43am Top

(427) HHH, I am still not sure what Paul meant by this verse. However, I know it cannot refer to salvation by grace by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, because we know that works do not save, only the Lord can.

So what else could it be?

I looked back to Genesis and read the following:

"Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." Genesis 3:16

That is similar to the 1 Timothy passage, regarding women usurping the men's place in teaching.

I'll let John (jntjesussaves) contribute, but I will continue to ask the Lord to make it clear.

Sometimes, even through prayer passages of Scripture are not made clear to me, but I trust that the Lord will make clear to me whatever He feels I should understand, when and IF I need to understand it.

434jntjesussaves
Mar 28, 2012, 7:43pm Top

425: I agree that there are a lot of "good people" according to man's standards on this earth. But "good people" by man's standards does not get one into a salvation relationship with God, nor does it get one Heaven. This has been my point and several other's point from the beginning- "good works" do not allow entry into Heaven; this only comes through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. While there are many other verses on this subject, I will suffice with the following:

Romans 3:19
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. {guilty...: or, subject to the judgment of God}

Romans 3:20
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Romans 3:21
But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

Romans 3:22
Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Romans 3:23
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 3:24
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Romans 3:25
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; {set forth: or, foreordained} {remission: or, passing over}

Romans 3:26
To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Romans 3:27
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

Romans 3:28
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
(KJV)

We are already "guilty" before God (v. 19). The Law will not justify (v. 20). The "rightesousness" of God is clearly visible in Jesus Christ (v. 21-22). All have sinned, all are sinners (v.23). We are justified by God's grace (v. 24). We are redeemed back to God through Jesus Christ (v. 24). The "righteousness" of God is the "righteousness of Jesus Christ" (v. 25). We are justified (just) because of Christ's righteousness (v. 26). As a result of this, no one will boast of their "good works" (v. 27). Their boasting will be "by the law of faith" (hence, faith in Jesus Christ) (v. 27). Man is, and can only be, justified (before God) by faith in Jesus Christ and not "good works" (deeds of the law) (v. 28).

435jntjesussaves
Mar 28, 2012, 7:52pm Top

426: Please see my response to jburlinson.

"recognises that God's saving grace works through all people of good will"

Let me understand, John, are you saying that you believe others from Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and every other religion you could think of are "saved" or have the potential to be saved, because they be "people of good will"? And because of "God's saving grace," He is going to accept these individuals without coming through His Son to be saved? Please answer these two questions.

"We are as convinced that it is biblically sound as modern US "born again" Christians are convinced that it isn't."

Understanding that this is what you believe (and that you are convinced that you are right), as those with concurring beliefs on this thread- would you admit that one of the two of us is wrong?

436jntjesussaves
Mar 28, 2012, 7:54pm Top

427: What specific verse(s) are you referencing, TRIPLEHHH?

437jntjesussaves
Mar 28, 2012, 7:59pm Top

429: "1 Timothy is generally not considered to have been written by Paul, incidentally."

1 Timothy 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

1 Timothy 1:2
Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
(KJV)

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ...Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith. It seems clear that Paul wrote this letter to Timothy.

438jntjesussaves
Mar 28, 2012, 9:22pm Top

427: After searching, I found the verses I believe you are referring to:

1 Timothy 2:12
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

1 Timothy 2:13
For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

1 Timothy 2:14
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

1 Timothy 2:15
Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
(KJV)

Questions such as yours requires us to look a little more deeply into passages that we might pass over if we are not careful.

I would agree with fuzzi as she relates this verse to Genesis 3:16; we notice the same characteristics in both passages of Scripture (Adam, Eve, transgression, consequences- or curse for disobedience); below I quote this verse along with the two preceding verses:

Genesis 3:14
And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

Genesis 3:15
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Genesis 3:16
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. {to thy...: or, subject to thy husband}
(KJV)

This verse isn't as clear as most of God's Word, therefore, it is helpful to seek other sources in receiving a possible understanding. There are several ideas on the meaning of this verse, but after reading and looking into the context in relation to what was said I believe it most agrees with the following view (as developed in The British NT Commentary):

"Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, or, "through the childbearing." (R. V.) After the transgression of Eve and Adam God devised that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head. (Ge 3:15.) Eve at the time of her transgression had no children. Being the only woman, she must necessarily bring forth children, that the seed which God spoke of might appear and bruise the serpent's head, that she with all others might be saved. Eve evidently thought that her first son, Cain, was the seed that should save her; for he said, "I have gotten a man from the Lord." (Ge 4:1.) But she was mistaken. He was not even of the line which produced the promised seed. However, this was accomplished through her continued childbearing, until Seth was born, together with the childbearing of a succession of women until the Virgin Mary appeared, of whom the Seed, Christ, was finally born. He took away the sin of the world and redeemed all men, even including Adam and Eve; hence Eve was saved through her own childbearing."

While certain of the other interpretations have merit, the above interpretation seems to be most in-line with the passage at hand. I hope this helps.

God's blessings.

439jburlinson
Mar 28, 2012, 9:33pm Top

> 438. hence Eve was saved through her own childbearing

In other words, Eve was saved through her good works.

440jntjesussaves
Mar 28, 2012, 10:51pm Top

439: So jburlinson, you read all I had written in the last two posts and came to this conclusion?

441jntjesussaves
Mar 28, 2012, 10:56pm Top

439: By the way, I noticed you commented about my answer to TRIPLEHHH, but you didn't comment to my 435 post. What do you believe the verses I mentioned, mean? Thanks for your response.

442johnthefireman
Edited: Mar 29, 2012, 2:08am Top

>435 jntjesussaves: Yes, I am saying that all of these people can be "saved" through God's saving grace and through the sacrifice of God's Son without any of them explicitly acknowledging it. Christ's death and resurrection was the pivotal salvation event which opened the door, so to speak. Thus they were saved by Christ. That's the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church (and probably others too, judging by comments on other LT threads), which has developed from 2,000 years of reflection on scripture. It recognises God's love and mercy, God's free gift of grace.

Lumen Gentium ## 15 and 16 probably sum it up best, although it is in Catholic jargon. It references various verses from scripture. You may interpret those verses differently, of course.

Is one of us wrong? Let me phrase it differently. If I am right, then you will also be saved. If you are right, then I won't. But God's wisdom, grace, mercy and love is certainly greater than either mine or yours, and God is not bound by the limited understanding of God's Word which humans have, so I suspect that both of us (and just about everybody else in the world who doesn't explicitly and deliberately reject salvation) will end up in the bosom of the Lord. God is probably laughing fit to bust (or weeping?) at the contortions we are creating in trying to understand (and limit) God's grace and love which surpasses all understanding (cf Ephesians 3:19).

>437 jntjesussaves: It seems clear that Paul wrote this letter to Timothy.

No. It seems clear that the author claimed Paul to be the author, which is different. Whether you agree or not, 1 Timothy is generally not considered to have been written by Paul, ie a majority of scholars believe it wasn't. There is a small group of scholars who believe it is; you are apparently one of them.

Edited to add: See >430 fuzzi: and 431, one of the rare occasions where fuzzi and I agree. The fact that it was probably written by a disciple or follower of Paul does not invalidate it. It is still God's inspired word included in the canon of scripture by the Church.

443TRIPLEHHH
Mar 29, 2012, 4:19am Top

Thank you all for your wisdom on clarifying 1 Timothy 2:15.

444fuzzi
Mar 29, 2012, 8:04am Top

(438) That's an interesting thought, John (jnt). I, too, decided to ask a few people who I believe have an excellent knowledge of God's word. This is one reply:

Reading it in the context, it is a reference to being saved from being "deceived" 1 Timothy 2:14. But notice she'll be saved from deception if "they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety" not just the woman. The man needs to be there to not allow his wife to be deceived, unlike Adam. Because according to this passage the woman is at greater risk of Satanic deception during childbearing.

I thought that was an excellent thought on the meaning of the passage, and it is backed up by other Scripture.

What do you think?

445baron770
Mar 29, 2012, 11:12am Top

1Tim. 2:9-15

I see that Paul is speaking of how woman should act or live. Women are not to teach, but do well to continue in the duties of childbearing. This is God ordained way.

Propriety in verse 9 reminds women of their dress and behavior and their relationship with men as the leadership in the home and church.

Women have this unique role of childbearing and do well when they follow Gods given role.

Sorry if I'm confusing anyone. I know what I want to say but just can't properly frame my thoughts in written words.

446jburlinson
Mar 29, 2012, 12:11pm Top

> 442. Amen!

447jburlinson
Mar 29, 2012, 1:15pm Top

> 434. This has been my point and several other's point from the beginning- "good works" do not allow entry into Heaven; this only comes through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Yes, this has been a point you and others have consistently made on many occasions.

And yet, you don't seem to truly believe what you are saying.

Why do I say that? Because you continually talk about the "good works" of publicly proclaiming one's born-again status, reading the bible, praying, following the commandments of scripture, etc. etc. If you really believed that "good works" were not relevant to salvation you wouldn't be harping (pun intended) on these things.

If you truly believed that salvation "only comes through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ," then it wouldn't be needful to question other people's relationship with Jesus Christ, you wouldn't feel the need to expect them to say the "right" things and do the "right" things.

448jntjesussaves
Mar 29, 2012, 6:17pm Top

442: While I am troubled by your answer, but I do appreciate your honesty and straightforwardness.

"But God's wisdom, grace, mercy and love is certainly greater than either mine or yours, and God is not bound by the limited understanding of God's Word which humans have, so I suspect that both of us (and just about everybody else in the world who doesn't explicitly and deliberately reject salvation) will end up in the bosom of the Lord."

John, I agree that "God's wisdom, grace, mercy and love" is certainly greater than mine (or yours). However, unlike what some believe, God cannot contradict what He has said in His Word. There are some things that God "cannot do." God cannot lie, God cannot go back on His promises, God cannot act in an unGodly way, etc. etc. I also agree that God "is not bound by the limited understanding of God's Word which humans have." However, God is a God of order and certainty. It seems the way you believe is that while God has been clear in so many verses of Scripture, He will one day dismiss His statutes and commands- and accept anyone for salvation (no matter if they accept a different way than God requires or not).

God says, "you must be born again" (John 3:7). You say, "I don't need to be born again, nor does anyone else."

God says, "I am the way, the truth and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me" (John 14:6). You say, "Man can come by any means to salvation and not necessarily through Jesus Christ."

While I respect you for following the precepts of the Roman Catholic church (because that is your church), however, I do caution you that when your church (or my church) teachings go directly against Scripture, of which at least in the above teaching does, I would rather follow God's Word than my church.

However, if this is what you believe- while I believe you have been misled- I will not continue discussing this topic as to reduce repetitiveness.

"It seems clear that the author claimed Paul to be the author, which is different. Whether you agree or not, 1 Timothy is generally not considered to have been written by Paul, ie a majority of scholars believe it wasn't. There is a small group of scholars who believe it is; you are apparently one of them."

Again, you are allowing "scholars" to direct your belief system and not God's Word. I would ask, do you believe 1 Timothy to be inspired by God? If so, how can you question the very authenticity of the very first two verses and take anything else from it as authoritative? I ask this sincerely, who is this "majority of scholars" that you refer to? I just think about all of the scholars who have lived and yet some one can make the distinction that "a majority of them" say anything. I might say "many scholars" believe something (and you could also), but to say a "majority" is not being completely correct.

449jntjesussaves
Mar 29, 2012, 6:22pm Top

442: While I am troubled by your answer, but I do appreciate your honesty and straightforwardness.

"But God's wisdom, grace, mercy and love is certainly greater than either mine or yours, and God is not bound by the limited understanding of God's Word which humans have, so I suspect that both of us (and just about everybody else in the world who doesn't explicitly and deliberately reject salvation) will end up in the bosom of the Lord."

John, I agree that "God's wisdom, grace, mercy and love" is certainly greater than mine (or yours). However, unlike what some believe, God cannot contradict what He has said in His Word. There are some things that God "cannot do." God cannot lie, God cannot go back on His promises, God cannot act in an unGodly way, etc. etc. I also agree that God "is not bound by the limited understanding of God's Word which humans have." However, God is a God of order and certainty. It seems the way you believe is that while God has been clear in so many verses of Scripture, He will one day dismiss His statutes and commands- and accept anyone for salvation (no matter if they accept a different way than God requires or not).

God says, "you must be born again" (John 3:7). You say, "I don't need to be born again, nor does anyone else."

God says, "I am the way, the truth and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me" (John 14:6). You say, "Man can come by any means to salvation and not necessarily through Jesus Christ."

While I respect you for following the precepts of the Roman Catholic church (because that is your church), however, I do caution you that when your church (or my church) teachings go directly against Scripture, of which at least in the above teaching does, I would rather follow God's Word than my church.

However, if this is what you believe- while I believe you have been misled- I will not continue discussing this topic as to reduce repetitiveness.

"It seems clear that the author claimed Paul to be the author, which is different. Whether you agree or not, 1 Timothy is generally not considered to have been written by Paul, ie a majority of scholars believe it wasn't. There is a small group of scholars who believe it is; you are apparently one of them."

Again, you are allowing "scholars" to direct your belief system and not God's Word. I would ask, do you believe 1 Timothy to be inspired by God? If so, how can you question the very authenticity of the very first two verses and take anything else from it as authoritative? I ask this sincerely, who is this "majority of scholars" that you refer to? I just think about all of the scholars who have lived and yet some one can make the distinction that "a majority of them" say anything. I might say "many scholars" believe something (and you could also), but to say a "majority" is not being completely correct.

"Edited to add: See >430 fuzzi: and 431, one of the rare occasions where fuzzi and I agree. The fact that it was probably written by a disciple or follower of Paul does not invalidate it. It is still God's inspired word included in the canon of scripture by the Church."

I also agree with you, John, that no matter who wrote any book that it contained in God's Word- it is "inspired," however, when God's Word plainly gives the authorship of a book (or in this case, a letter), I have a hard time not accepting it as being true. How can anything else in this letter be considered reliable if God couldn't even get the first two verses correct (of course, "I speak as a man").

450jntjesussaves
Mar 29, 2012, 6:22pm Top

443: You are welcome; I hope it helped. God bless you, TRIPLEHHH.

451jntjesussaves
Mar 29, 2012, 6:29pm Top

444: That is an interesting thought; I see some correlation, however I would ask you what you mean by your last comment that "the woman is at greater risk of Satanic deception during childbearing"?

I believe I missed this relationship, could you explain further? Thanks and God's blessings.

452jntjesussaves
Mar 29, 2012, 6:33pm Top

445: You stated yourself quite nicely, baron770. Actually, what you are saying was one of the interpretations that others connected to this passage. I do see the relationship of the woman's role, along with the deception fuzzi mentioned, and the notes that I shared in its relationship with Genesis 3:14-16. This is certainly an interesting verse that I never studied very much before; thank you for your well thought-out ideas. God bless.

453jntjesussaves
Mar 29, 2012, 6:35pm Top

446: I also commend you for sticking to your beliefs, jburlinson, but I would direct you to post 448 (and ask you the same questions that I inquired of John).

454jntjesussaves
Edited: Mar 29, 2012, 7:58pm Top

447: "And yet, you don't seem to truly believe what you are saying."

I am sorry that I have given you a false sense that I don't believe what I say, even while I thought I had been clear in past posts to the contrary. I will try to clarify.

Christ (His finished work on Calvary (i. e. His sacrificial death upon the Cross for the sins of mankind (and each person, in particular)) plus "nothing" (good works, baptism, living by the Ten Commandments, living by the Golden Rule, living a good life, etc.- hence, any merit man may bring) is what allows man to be reconciled back into a right relationship with God. Without this step, "good works," baptism, or whatever else will not in any way add to salvation (or help someone attain salvation). You could say this is "step one" in order to do "good works" that please God. Hebrews 11 is considered "the Hall of Fame of faith." As you read this chapter you notice the phrase, "by faith," over and over again (and these were OT saints). I find verse eight especially interesting,

Hebrews 11:8
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
(KJV)

You notice it says, "By faith Abraham...obeyed...not knowing whither he went."

He first believed God and then he was able to obey God's command (or direction). Obedience is almost always preceded by faith. This is God method. God tells us to "trust Him" and then He reveals more truth to us. This is the reason why so many fail to be saved- they want to come to God their way; they say, prove yourself God and then I will believe. God says, "Believe (trust) Me and then you will see." I believe the story of the Ethiopian eunuch is an example of the requirement of "belief" (trust) as a prerequisite of "seeing (salvation)."

Acts 8:35
Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

Acts 8:36
And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

Acts 8:37
And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Acts 8:38
And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
(KJV)

I also believe this is a great verse in defense of those of us who believe that baptism has nothing to do with salvation. This man had to "believe" before he was allowed to share in the example of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection (which is the true picture of salvation in the symbolism of baptism). We also are dead (in sin), when we receive Christ (we are dead "to sin", hence, buried), and when we are raised up out of the water (resurrected)- we not only are raised up "in newness of life," but we will also share in the glorious Resurrection at Christ's Second Coming.

Romans 6:1
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

Romans 6:2
God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Romans 6:3
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? {were: or, are}

Romans 6:4
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
(KJV)

Romans 6:5
For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
(KJV)

Good works are not what Christians produce in order to stay in a "right relationship" with God. They are not produced (nor indeed can be produced) in order to attain a "relationship" (personal relationship with Jesus Christ as mentioned earlier) with God, but they are produced in order to stay in "fellowship" with God. There can be no "fellowship," unless a "relationship" is established and a relationship can only be established by being born-again into God's family, by adoption through Jesus Christ. While there are many clear verses in God's Word that relates this point, one of the best is found in the following verses of Romans:

Romans 11:5
Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

Romans 11:6
And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
(KJV)

Grace and works cannot be intermingled; they are direct opposites. Grace is "getting what you don't deserve"; works (to attain salvation) is doing something to deserve something. There is absolutely "nothing" we can do to attain salvation (nor is there anything we can do to keep salvation). Salvation is by grace alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), but as a result, "good works" are commanded by God and are shown forth in the life of a Christian (Ephesians 2:10). This same concept is revealed in 2 Corinthans 5:17 where we read that "if any man be in Christ (saved, born-again), he is a new creature." Due to this spiritual transaction (God's grace due to Christ's "work" and our faith in accepting His free gift), we are "created" anew because of our relationship with Jesus Christ. You notice it didn't say your "good works" make you into a new creature- it says those "who be in Christ" (relationship, then fellowship, not the other way around), are a "new creature."

I hope this clarifies my belief on "good works" and "salvation."

I have shared with you verses from Romans 3:19-28 (in post 434), from Romans 6:1-5 and Romans 11:5-6 in this post; would you please give me your interpretation of what these verses mean to you, jburlinson? I appreciate it.

455jntjesussaves
Mar 29, 2012, 8:10pm Top

447: "If you really believed that "good works" were not relevant to salvation you wouldn't be harping (pun intended) on these things."

So, when myself, fuzzi, Thomas, eclecticdodo say, we believe "good works" do not save- we are accused (I am not saying you did) of believing that we can "get saved" and then live our lives the way we want to; yet, when I say "good works" have nothing to do with salvation, but they are very important after salvation- I am now accused of "harping on these things" (good works), even while I believe they have nothing to do with salvation.

"Good works" do not (and cannot) produce salvation; however, "good works" are very, very important after salvation.

456jburlinson
Mar 29, 2012, 9:10pm Top

> 454. would you please give me your interpretation of what these verses mean to you, jburlinson? I appreciate it.

I don't mind agreeing with you that these verses are basically saying that salvation is not the reward for doing good works.

But here's my question -- it seems to me that you are saying that a person must perform one "good work" in order to achieve the free gift of salvation, and that "good work" is "believe in Jesus Christ." Is that not what you are saying?

Then, you go on to imply that a person must do another "good work" -- which is to proclaim his/her belief in Jesus Christ explicitly. In other words, the person must say, in words that would satisfy you, "I am a born-again Christian."

Then, you also seem to imply that people who are fully accredited believers in Jesus Christ will perform other "good works", such as: praying, reading the Bible, quoting scripture in a way that you approve of, telling other people who don't do these things that they are on the road to hell, etc. etc.

What am I getting wrong?

457jntjesussaves
Edited: Mar 29, 2012, 10:18pm Top

456: "I don't mind agreeing with you that these verses are basically saying that salvation is not the reward for doing good works."

Thank you, I am not really sure what we are disagreeing about then, but I will answer your additional questions.

"it seems to me that you are saying that a person must perform one "good work" in order to achieve the free gift of salvation, and that "good work" is "believe in Jesus Christ." Is that not what you are saying?"

No, that is not what I am saying. Let me give an illustration to explain my point:

If you give somebody a gift and they receive it- would you then say that they did something for "your gift" (by receiving it)?

If your answer is "yes," then is there really any such thing as a "gift"?

"you go on to imply that a person must do another "good work" -- which is to proclaim his/her belief in Jesus Christ explicitly."

I continue this mindset...

If you were given a gift and your received it and you told someone else that you had received a specific gift from that person; would you consider this as having done something (additional) for that gift?

If this is your best defense that a person is not saved by "grace through faith" (after the many verses I have shared with you), then I don't know if you can be convinced what "grace" means.

"Then, you also seem to imply that people who are fully accredited believers in Jesus Christ will perform other "good works", such as: praying, reading the Bible, quoting scripture in a way that you approve of, telling other people who don't do these things that they are on the road to hell, etc. etc."

When have I ever said if you don't pray like I do, then you are not a Christian and you are going to Hell?
When have I ever said if you don't read your Bible, then you are not a Christian and you are going to Hell?
When have I ever said if you don't memorize your Bible, then you are not a Christian and you are going to Hell?
When have I ever said if you don't do------- (other than not receiving Jesus Christ to save you from your sin, hence, being born-again), then you are not a Christian and you are going to Hell?

In what post did I even "imply" any of these things?

458lawecon
Edited: Mar 29, 2012, 11:05pm Top

So, let's see if I've got this story right, jnt.

G-d, the perfect being, the all knowing, the all present, creates these creatures (either in seratim or together, depending on which Genesis account you like). But although he creates them perfect, they turn out to be imperfect. Indeed, they are so imperfect, that G-d is moved to eternally damn each of them and all of their descendants to eternal torment. Apparently he can't help Himself, because these depraved and imperfect beings, although only acting as they were created, really anger Him.

But one day, 5 or 6 thousand years after he has first created them, G-d, the One and Perfect, creates another aspect of himself that appears among these depraved imperfect creatures as one of their own. Needless to say, these depraved eternal creatures in no way deserve this gift, but G-d is just in the mood to give it to them.

Further, this aspect of G-d, as part of an Eternal Plan, provokes certain of these depraved and imperfect creatures to hideously kill him in a particularly nasty way, as a sacrifice to his original aspect. Otherwise, the original aspect of G-d would have continued to eternally torment the descendants of his original creation, but somehow the original aspect of G-d is now satisfied not to do so by the sacrifice of the quasi-human aspect of Himself.

But although this is an act of Grace, it is a Grace conditional upon one affirming the Divine Nature of the quasi-human aspect of G-d. Otherwise any nonbelieving depraved imperfect creature, whose forebearers were created by G-d, would end up in eternal torment for being the same sort of being that the original aspect of G-d originally created.

Is that about it?

459jburlinson
Edited: Mar 29, 2012, 11:21pm Top

> 457. If you give somebody a gift and they receive it- would you then say that they did something for "your gift" (by receiving it)? If your answer is "yes," then is there really any such thing as a "gift"?

jntjesussaves, my answer is "yes." And, your answer is "yes." The following are your words:

When have I ever said if you don't do------- (other than not receiving Jesus Christ to save you from your sin, hence, being born-again), then you are not a Christian and you are going to Hell? (bold emphasis mine)

Don't you see that "receiving Jesus Christ to save you from your sin, hence, being born-again" is a "good work" that, according to you, must be performed in order to receive the gift of salvation?

Now, let me ask you another question, very similar to your question. If you give somebody a gift and they reject your gift, would you then say that they did something as the result of your gift? And wouldn't you say that their rejection of your gift is their failure to perform a "good work"? In fact, wouldn't it be the performance of a "bad work," which (if you were Jesus Christ) merits their eternal damnation? From my reading of your many posts on this subject, it seems to me that's exactly what you're saying.

As I've said before, I believe that the gift of salvation is a free gift. It doesn't stop being a gift because the recipient rejects it or simply ignores it. As a gift, it is not conditional on whether or not the recipient formally "receives" it, or acknowledges it, or says "thank you" for it, or does anything else for it. Jesus Christ is not like Aunt Martha, who will take His gift back if you don't respond with proper and correct protocol.

edited to fix wayward italics

460jntjesussaves
Edited: Mar 30, 2012, 7:29pm Top

458: Not quite, but I believe I have made my point clear.

461jntjesussaves
Mar 29, 2012, 11:45pm Top

459: "Don't you see that "receiving Jesus Christ to save you from your sin, hence, being born-again" is a "good work" that, according to you, must be performed in order to receive the gift of salvation?"

When you receive a gift, you are not "performing"- you are "accepting."

Are you saying, jburlinson, that you do believe salvation is by grace, but you do have to perform two "good works" to accept it- you have to "receive" it (good work #1) and you have to "proclaim" that you have received it (good work #2)? Is this what you are saying?

"If you give somebody a gift and they reject your gift, would you then say that they did something as the result of your gift?"

They "rejected" your gift, therefore, (in your reasoning)- "rejection" is a "good work"? Is this what you are saying?

"In fact, wouldn't it be the performance of a "bad work," which (if you were Jesus Christ) merits their eternal damnation? From my reading of your many posts on this subject, it seems to me that's exactly what you're saying."

The truth (according to God's inerrant Word) says all who do not believe on Jesus Christ are condemned already). This not my saying, it is God's Word.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:17
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

John 3:18
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:19
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

John 3:20
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. {reproved: or, discovered}

John 3:21
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
(KJV)

What is your interpretation of these verses, jburlinson?

"It doesn't stop being a gift because the recipient rejects it or simply ignores it."

So If I give you a gift and you reject and don't receive it, then is it still your gift? Do you possess the gift?

I have clearly stated (therefore you need not guess what I have meant), that the person who rejects Jesus Christ (by not receiving Him) is condemned already, but they will be "eternally" condemned if they never accept Him.

462jburlinson
Mar 29, 2012, 11:48pm Top

> 460. Not quite, but I believe I have made my point clear.

Is your statement a reply to # 459?

If so, I don't know what "not quite" means. And I don't know what point you're referring to. So it's not clear to me.

463jburlinson
Mar 30, 2012, 12:15am Top

> 461. So If I give you a gift and you reject and don't receive it, then is it still your gift? Do you possess the gift?

Sure, it's still my gift, unless you retract it and take it back. Are you saying that Jesus Christ takes his gift back?

When you receive a gift, you are not "performing"- you are "accepting."

You don't believe that "accepting" is taking some action on your part? In other words, aren't you performing an action by "accepting?" If not, then I fail to see how people who do not "accept" have done anything wrong, and yet, according to you, by not accepting, they're condemned to hell for eternity.

They "rejected" your gift, therefore, (in your reasoning)- "rejection" is a "good work"? Is this what you are saying?

Did I say that? No, of course I didn't. But by "rejecting" the gift they are doing something aren't they? They are performing an act, aren't they? They are doing "a work", are they not? Now, according to you, the act or the "work" that they do when they "reject" Jesus' gift is so bad that they deserve to go to hell for eternity. Isn't that correct? If it's not a "bad work," how can it have such a dreadful consequence?

The truth (according to God's inerrant Word) says all who do not believe on Jesus Christ are condemned already). This not my saying, it is God's Word.

No, this is your interpretation of God's Word. As as been pointed out earlier by others, most eloquently by johnthfireman, other people have different interpretations.

464lawecon
Edited: Mar 30, 2012, 1:05am Top

"No, this is your interpretation of God's Word. As as been pointed out earlier by others, most eloquently by johnthfireman, other people have different interpretations."

Yes, but j, John and you and I aren't in daily conversation with the Holy Spirit aspect of G-d. So we really wouldn't know.

As we've been told numerous times already, it isn't the word on the paper of the KJV, it is what the Holy Spirit tells you personally that they mean.

If we were in contact with the Holy Spirit, as are jnt and fuzzi and Thomas, we wouldn't be asking questions, we'd just Know THE TRUTH, and say "Amen!"

465johnthefireman
Mar 30, 2012, 1:29am Top

>449 jntjesussaves: I do caution you that when your church (or my church) teachings go directly against Scripture, of which at least in the above teaching does, I would rather follow God's Word than my church.

We are not going directly against Scripture, we are merely interpreting it (under the guidance of God's Holy Spirit) differently from the way you interpret it, jnt. It's not a contradiction ("follow God's Word" v "follow my church"); I am doing both.

On 1 Timothy, God gave us scholars to help us understand God's Word. At the most basic, God gave us scholars to translate it into English so that you and I can read it, and into virtually every other language in the world. God also gave us scholars to sort out all the different fragments of early manuscripts (there's a parallel thread somewhere which has just been talking of that). God also gave us scholars who can tell us that it was fairly normal at certain points in history for a disciple to identify himself as the master in whose "school of thought" he was writing, and who can do textual analysis to see whether it matches other writings which are known beyond reasonable doubt to emanate from Paul himself. Search the internet and the biblical commentaries and you'll find that the vast majority will tell you that the majority of scholars doubt whether 1 Timothy was written by Paul, but that there are some who disagree. Incidentally these scholars are not rabid atheists trying to undermine the Christian faith; they are largely sincere and committed Christians who have devoted their lives to understanding God's Word. And, as has been acknowledged, 1 Timothy has been included in the Canon of Scripture by the Church, and thus is authentic teaching regardless of who wrote it.

Incidentally one commentary I glanced at (can't remember which now) suggested that 1 Timothy 2 contains instructions about liturgical practices, although it's then not completely clear how v15 fits in with the rest. I also saw a suggestion that "childbearing" in v15 might better be translated "bringing up children" in faith and charity and holiness with sobermindedness, which might fit better into the liturgical list.

>459 jburlinson: and other posts on the free gift: I agree with jburlinson that salvation and grace are free gifts given by God. In a sense that's what I mean by Christi's death and resurrection being the pivotal event in salvation history. They are the gift which changes reality for humankind. Salvation has been made available (or one might say won) for all through God's Son, the Christ. Again, this has not been conjured out of thin air; this is how many Christians interpret God's Word. I am aware that so-called "born again" "saved" Christians interpret it differently.

466thomashwalker2
Mar 30, 2012, 4:31pm Top

"but she shall be saved through her child-bearing, if they continue in faith and love and sanctification with sobriety" 1 Tim 2:14-15

"She" is Eve and through her bloodline (made possible by her child-bearing) came her Saviour:

"Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. And Jesus himself, when he began to teach, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, the son of Jesus, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Symeon, the son of Judas, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, the son of Amminadab, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God" Luke 3:22-38

467jburlinson
Mar 30, 2012, 4:48pm Top

> 466. the son of Mattatha

Was that "Mattatha of the Flowing Hair" or "Mattatha of the Girded Loins"?

468fuzzi
Mar 30, 2012, 4:58pm Top

I read an interesting article that (to me) explains the concept of God's grace very well:

http://outsidecamp.blogspot.com/2012/03/taking-grace-for-granted.html

469fuzzi
Edited: Mar 30, 2012, 5:00pm Top

Oh, I finished 1 Chronicles yesterday, and will start 2 Chronicles tonight...if I don't fall asleep first (it was a looooooooooong day at work). :)



Updated to '13' books read

470thomashwalker2
Mar 30, 2012, 7:25pm Top

Fuzzi - I am starting 2 Kings.

Have been traveling a lot: Virginia, Florida, and just got back from Houston, TX. Spent some time at Joel Osteen's Lakewood. Impressive ministry as well as facilities. However, it should be impressive with renovation costs of $95 million. Some may say excessive, however, as a builder of churches my attitude toward the price tag is biased, because I see these facilities as tools that reach millions with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Regardless of what people say about Joel Osteen - Both Christians and the secular press - Joel's messages have strengthened and encouraged many people.

471jntjesussaves
Mar 30, 2012, 7:30pm Top

462: No, it is in response to 458 (lawecon)- sorry for not making note of the post I was responding to.

472Rbeelee
Mar 30, 2012, 8:06pm Top

I'm reading Hebrews in the new century version. I love the book, and I find this translation helps me see things from a clearer perspective. I just finished some of the minor prophets (Micah, Zeph). Then I was at church one evening and something the pastor said prompted a thought about Hebrews and off I went! I seem to be focusing this time through Hebrews on the role of man vs angels, but that may also be where I am in the book.

473jntjesussaves
Edited: Mar 30, 2012, 9:07pm Top

463: jburlinson, it amazes me that we are having this conversation. If we were discussing me giving you a birthday cake (as a gift), you wouldn't even be making the points your making. But somehow, since we are talking about salvation- the understanding of "receiving" that gift is somehow hard to understand for you.

In your post from 456 you post the following:

> 454. would you please give me your interpretation of what these verses mean to you, jburlinson? I appreciate it.

I don't mind agreeing with you that these verses are basically saying that salvation is not the reward for doing good works.

Okay, you make this statement, yet for the last several posts you are trying to prove that salvation is "the reward for doing good works." You are the first person I have ever run into who believes that when somebody gives you a gift, if you accept it, then it really isn't a gift because you have done a "good work" in accepting it. I am not sure of your age, but when you were young and your parents or someone else in your family (or a friend) gave you a gift, did they require you to do a "good work" to receive it by accepting it. Has anyone ever explained to you that when you are given a gift, by accepting it you are doing a "good work"?

"Sure, it's still my gift, unless you retract it and take it back. Are you saying that Jesus Christ takes his gift back?"

I asked you if you reject my gift and don't receive it, is it still your gift? You say, "it is, unless you retract it and take it back." When did you "possess" my gift, jburlinson? The Webster's Dictionary states to "possess," is "to hold as property or occupy in person; have as something that belongs to one; own." You have said (along with one or two others) that you can have salvation, even while you don't specifically accept it. How? You say "it's still your gift"; I counter, you must possess something in order to lose something.

I give you an analogy: Let's say that Bill Gates sends out ten letters to anonymous people in the state you live in. In this letter, he tells you that if you come to the Sheraton hotel (in your city) on such and such day, he has a gift for you. He tells you that this gift is a money gift, but he doesn't say how much it is. On the day that he has asked you to meet at the Sheraton hotel so that he can personally give you your gift, in your mind you say- this is unbelievable, there is no way Bill Gates is going to give me any money. Of the ten people that he sent the initial letters to, only maybe 5 or 6 go to the Sheraton hotel to receive (or accept) their gift (money). You are one that does not go, because of your lack of trust that Bill Gates is going to give you anything. Well, the day comes and the 5 or 6 people who do come to receive their gift, are each give a million dollars. They leave (in this make believe analogy) the hotel with a million dollars (and they aren't even taxed on their gift; ha, ha, now we know this is a make believe analogy).

My question to you is, even while Bill Gates had a gift for jburlinson (and that gift was one million dollars)- if you didn't go to the Sheraton hotel on the specified day to receive it, would that million dollars still be yours? If so, if I were to ask if it was yours- would you be able to prove that you really do "possess" the gift (and show me the million dollars that you never received)? The answer is, of course not, because the "gift" was never yours until you accepted (or received it).

"You don't believe that "accepting" is taking some action on your part? In other words, aren't you performing an action by "accepting?""

jburlinson, I believe you are getting caught up in the difference between "taking some action on your part" in receiving the gift versus doing a "good work" for the gift. Apparently, from God's perspective (since He is the one that said salvation is a gift (Ephesians 2:8-9) and He is the one that says grace and works are totally different (Romans 11:5-6), and He is the one that says that one must believe (Acts 8:35-38), and He is the one that said that one must "call" on Him for salvation (Romans 10:13), then apparently believing on Him (trusting Him), calling on Him, and accepting His gift of salvation are not "works" that we do in order to inherit salvation). If they are, then "grace" and "works" do work together, which in turn requires one to believe that God has not given us the truth; because this belief contradicts Romans 11:5-6 along with other Scripture.

"If not, then I fail to see how people who do not "accept" have done anything wrong, and yet, according to you, by not accepting, they're condemned to hell for eternity."

I also believe you are not understanding the fact that myself, jburlinson, lawecon, fuzzi, Thomas, and every other person to ever live on this earth were "condemned already" (John 3:16-21). This is true based on two facts: first, because we are descendants of the first man (Adam) and the Bible says all are "dead" because of the imputed (inherited) sin nature of Adam (Romans 5:12); secondly, becaue each of us also prove on a daily basis that we do not (and cannot) live up to God's standard (which is perfect) (Romans 3:23). These are the reasons why we are already condemned and by rejecting the only gift that can reconcile us back to God, we ultimately condemn ourselves "eternally." We each have a chance right now to be reconciled, but if we reject the gift of salvation, we ultimately are forever condemning ourselves to death (spiritual) and Hell.

"Did I say that? No, of course I didn't."

I asked you, "is that what you are saying?" I didn't say you specifically said it (even while that seems to be your reasoning). I am just saying that whether you reject or receive God's gift of salvation, neither of those two "actions" are "good works" or "bad works." Neither are works at all.

"They are performing an act, aren't they?"

So, are you saying that anytime we "perform an act," we are doing a "good" or "bad" work? In other words, if you ate a bowl of Cookie Crisp for breakfast this morning, did you "perform" a "good" or "bad" work? As I stated before, I believe you are getting caught up between the significant difference between "taking some action on your part" (or "performing an action") and doing a "good work."

"Now, according to you, the act or the "work" that they do when they "reject" Jesus' gift is so bad that they deserve to go to hell for eternity."

jburlinson, are you saying that I am the one that penned the verses that I have shared with you in my posts? I didn't pen these words, I only share what God has already written. Show me in the verses I have given where I am wrong. Show me where I have totally misintrepreted God's Word.

You say, "when they "reject" Jesus' gift is so bad that they deserve to go to hell for eternity." You misunderstand several things and I say this humbly, jburlinson: first, you show that you truly do not understand the "holiness" of God; second, you show that you do not understand what grace truly is; and third, you show that you do not understand that there is "absolutely nothing" you can do in order to earn (or do "good works" for) salvation.

"No, this is your interpretation of God's Word. As as been pointed out earlier by others, most eloquently by johnthfireman, other people have different interpretations."

Okay, jburlinson (and anyone else who believes this assumption), please give me your intepretation for John 3:16-21?

We can compare and see how many different interpretations we can come up with on this verses. Please submit your interpretations; I have already submitted mine. Thanks.

474jntjesussaves
Mar 30, 2012, 8:37pm Top

464: Lawecon, I offer you the same challenge I offered jburlinson; please give your interpretation of John 3:16-21? Thanks.

475jntjesussaves
Mar 30, 2012, 8:53pm Top

465: I wrote in 449:

"God says, "you must be born again" (John 3:7). You say, "I don't need to be born again, nor does anyone else."

God says, "I am the way, the truth and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me" (John 14:6). You say, "Man can come by any means to salvation and not necessarily through Jesus Christ."

While I respect you for following the precepts of the Roman Catholic church (because that is your church), however, I do caution you that when your church (or my church) teachings go directly against Scripture, of which at least in the above teaching does, I would rather follow God's Word than my church.

You say, "follow God's Word" v "follow my church," I am doing both." First, please give your interpretation for what the verses mean; second, please share how your intepretation lines up with both "God's Word" and your "church"? Thanks, John.

"Incidentally these scholars are not rabid atheists trying to undermine the Christian faith; they are largely sincere and committed Christians who have devoted their lives to understanding God's Word."

I don't doubt that this is true, John, but as I have said- if God's Word (which we both claim to be inspired) claims authorship, how can mere man usurp authority and claim that God's Word is incorrect. I am quite content to agree to disagree on this issue; it does seem like you are accepting the opinions of scholars (no matter how sincere they might be), over the clarity of God's Word.

"I also saw a suggestion that "childbearing" in v15 might better be translated "bringing up children" in faith and charity and holiness with sobermindedness, which might fit better into the liturgical list."

I believe someone may have related that point earlier (and I agree that that interpretation is possibly correct), or at least could be the correct interpretation.

">459 jburlinson: and other posts on the free gift: I agree with jburlinson that salvation and grace are free gifts given by God."

I feel offended, John, I have also said I believe these are "free gifts given by God." Of course, I am joking- I am not offended. I do agree that these are free gifts, however, I do disagree with jburlinson that in accepting God's grace and salvation is a "good work" in order to inherit salvation.

476jntjesussaves
Mar 30, 2012, 8:55pm Top

466: Great addition, Thomas; nice to hear from you. I believe what you mention here relates to my 438 post. God bless.

477jntjesussaves
Mar 30, 2012, 8:56pm Top

469: You are moving right along, fuzzi. God's blessings.

478jntjesussaves
Mar 30, 2012, 9:02pm Top

470: "Houston, TX"

Small world, Thomas, I have a sister who lives there in Houston (and she is the proud mother of two newly born twins).

" Regardless of what people say about Joel Osteen - Both Christians and the secular press - Joel's messages have strengthened and encouraged many people."

Thomas, I agree with you; I must say most in my circles would say that Joel Osteen doesn't give a strong Gospel presentation at his church, but I have heard him several times on television (and while I agree with this assessment somewhat), I would say that he does share the Gospel and praise God that without a doubt many have come to Christ through his ministry. I also would say that I am usually a pretty positive person and I enjoy positive messages, however, I would say that this world needs to hear about God's judgment (even more so).

God bless, Thomas. Glad to see you are back- I did wonder where you have been.

479jntjesussaves
Mar 30, 2012, 9:03pm Top

Congrats, Rbeelee and welcome to this thread. May God continue to show you the truth from His Word.

480jburlinson
Mar 31, 2012, 12:55am Top

> 478. Small world, Thomas, I have a sister who lives there in Houston

It is indeed a small world. Houston is only 266 km. from where I live!

481jburlinson
Mar 31, 2012, 1:07am Top

> 473. by rejecting the only gift that can reconcile us back to God, we ultimately condemn ourselves "eternally." We each have a chance right now to be reconciled, but if we reject the gift of salvation, we ultimately are forever condemning ourselves to death (spiritual) and Hell.

So, once again, "rejecting" is a bad act isn't it, a "bad work."

Thus, hence, therefore, "accepting" is a "good work."

For the life of me, I'm stumped as to how you have such a hard time accepting the fact that you believe in good works winning you salvation. It isn't something to be ashamed of. If that's what you believe, go ahead an believe it. It isn't the end of the world.

I just happen to believe that you don't have to perform "good works" to achieve salvation. In fact, you don't have to do anything. You don't even have to believe in Jesus as your personal savior. He is anyway.

482johnthefireman
Edited: Mar 31, 2012, 2:46am Top

>468 fuzzi: fuzzi, this personal view on grace begins by dismissing virtually all of the Christians in the world (Roman Catholics and most Protestants). I know it's not about numbers, but that's not a very auspicious start.

>475 jntjesussaves: jnt, somewhere (and don't ask me where in this mass of verbiage) I answered your question about being born again and pointed out that most Christians view being born again in water and the spirit as baptism and confirmation. So when you quote verses that say Christians are born again, I agree. However we disagree on the interpretation of "born again". That little word "interpretation" (of God's Word) again.

I don't say that people don't come to God through the Christ. I say quite specifically that it is through the death and resurrection of the Christ that salvation has been attained for humanity and people come to God. Again, though, we disagree on the interpretation of how that happens and how explicitly they need to acknowledge God's gift of grace and salvation. As jburlinson says in >481 jburlinson:, You don't even have to believe in Jesus as your personal savior. He is anyway.

I'm not going to interpret verse after verse, in part because I believe in reading the bible holistically. I spent several years studying scripture and theology full time 30 years ago; 20 years ago I spent a couple more years while I was doing my master's. We looked at Catholic and Protestant traditions and, yes, scholarship (mere men). We went through all these verses, studied them and came to an understanding which I continue to renew through prayer and reading. But unless someone shows me something pretty new and convincing (which I'm afraid you haven't) which radically challenges my understanding, I don't feel the need constantly to revisit decisions which I have already made and which happen to be in line with most of the Christians in the world, although I know you find that latter point irrelevant.

if God's Word (which we both claim to be inspired) claims authorship, how can mere man usurp authority and claim that God's Word is incorrect

Nobody is claiming that God's Word is "incorrect". The teaching in 1 Timothy is authentic. It has been chosen by God's Church (mere men?) to be part of the Canon of Scripture, and therefore you and I accept it as authentic. How is it "incorrect" for a disciple to write in the name of his master if that was accepted practice at the time?

On a slightly different but connected track which I think jburlinson or nathaniel or someone raised elsewhere but I haven't seen answered, how do you cope with the fact that the Canon of Scripture as we know it (even the KJV) was decided by mere men, ie the Church decided which books should be in the bible and which shouldn't?

it does seem like you are accepting the opinions of scholars (no matter how sincere they might be), over the clarity of God's Word

Doesn't the fact that you and I (and jburlinson and others) disagree so much suggest that often there isn't clarity in God's Word?

483thomashwalker2
Mar 31, 2012, 5:33am Top

476: Great addition, Thomas; nice to hear from you. I believe what you mention here relates to my 438 post. God bless.

You said it better than I, now that I have read your 438 post. But I believe I stated it wrong in my post it should read: "'She' is Eve and through Adam's bloodline (made possible by Eve's child-bearing) came their Saviour"

I agree that Joel Osteen is light on the meat of God's Word. However, I see ministries as a variety of food choices. Like our bodies, we need the spiritual equivalent of vegetables, fruit, meat, potatos, salad etc. A ministry usually doesn't serve all these portions and therefore all ministries are beneficial in providing a balanced spiritual diet. Joel's ministry serves up a great salad, jello with cottage cheese, and on occasion a slice of sugar cream pie.

484lawecon
Mar 31, 2012, 9:10am Top

~473

I suppose some of us are having a lot of problems with this "gift" idea, jnt.

Gifts are usually something that you receive from a friend, someone with who you have a good relationship. But in this case the "gift" is from a G-d, who, for some reason, can't help casting all members of your species into eternal Hell Fire. This same G-d, however, can go through some indirect and long process where a part of Him becomes a member of your species, is generally abused by other members of your species who eventually kill him, and who then is "reconciled" to those who "believe on" that part of Him that became a member of your species. Why one has to "believe upon" the part of Him that became Human, when such belief is without very much historical basis, is far from clear. But somehow you do.

Sounds not a bit like an all powerful G-d who could just change his mind and not compulsively damn all members of your species (or maybe never did so to start with). But it does sound like an account of a habitual criminal giving someone a "gift" of not doing really bad things to them, doesn't it?

485lawecon
Edited: Mar 31, 2012, 11:37pm Top

~474

jnt, you obviously have not grasp anything that has been said to you by me. I am not going to give you my interpretation of any Bible verse, let alone a verse that is in your Scriptures but not in my Scriptures.

First of all, I have more respect for your Scriptures and for Christianity than to try to interpret Christian scriptures for you. It would be nice if you weren't so arrogant and would reciprocate, but that, sadly, will never happen.

Second, I am not a Greek scholar, so I have no clue what this passage means in the original language in which it was written. I am certainly not going to further "interpret" someone else's interpretation, which is what commenting on a translation necessarily involves.

Third, I am not a scholar of New Testament texts, so I don't know if there are variant readings of this passage.

Fourth, related to but not the same as (1), I am not a scholar of the hundred or hundred and fifty years after Jesus' death, particularly in the Greek influenced by Jewish influenced by Christian world. That, apparently, was the context in which John was writing - he was a master of Greek style, but not a Jew. We, of course, don't even know his cultural affiliation other than those two broad facts.

486fuzzi
Mar 31, 2012, 4:11pm Top

(472) Glad you have you here, Rbeelee. :)

I have had the same experience as you had: I'll be at church, the pastor will be preaching on something, and I'll have a thought on a totally different passage! I usually take notes during the preaching, so I just jot down a few thoughts so I can pursue them after church is over.

487fuzzi
Mar 31, 2012, 4:15pm Top

(482) "fuzzi, this personal view on grace begins by dismissing virtually all of the Christians in the world (Roman Catholics and most Protestants). I know it's not about numbers, but that's not a very auspicious start."

The article bases its information on Scripture.

A Christian doesn't have to belong to any particular church. There are Christians in Catholic churches, Protestant churches and not even in churches!

But, what do you mean by "dismiss"? What in that article "dismisses" anyone?

488jntjesussaves
Mar 31, 2012, 8:14pm Top

480: It is indeed, jburlinson.

489jntjesussaves
Mar 31, 2012, 8:50pm Top

481: "It isn't something to be ashamed of."

You have an interesting way of wording things. I am not ashamed to say that my act of trusting in Christ to save me and proclaiming His goodness in doing so is not a "good work." I would be ashamed if I truly believed that my faith, my commitment, my good works after salvation has anything to do with salvation." I would ask you to read the following verses closely, then I would ask you to give me your interpretation.

Romans 4:1
What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?

Romans 4:2
For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

Romans 4:3
For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Romans 4:4
Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

Romans 4:5
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Romans 4:6
Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
(KJV)

I have asked you to give me your interpretation of verses several times, but you seem hesitant to interpret them. It might be that they clash with your belief system.

"I just happen to believe that you don't have to perform "good works" to achieve salvation."

For someone who believes "that you don't have to perform "good works" to achieve salvation," you have fooled me. I tried to make this point earlier when you shared that you also agreed that Romans 11:5-6 taught this point, yet you seemed to continue as if you didn't believe it.

You didn't respond to my analogy about Cookie Crisp; again, I ask, what would you consider that action- a "good work" or a "bad work"? Or is it just an action? Again, I have shared with you many verses that derail the belief that "good works" have anything to do with salvation, yet I ask you again- How can God say that "good works" have nothing to do with salvation, yet require of us the "good work" of believing (trusting) on His Son and and the "good work" of proclaiming salvation through His Son? This isn't the God I serve; the God I serve is true to His Word and He has been specifically clear on His guidelines for salvation, and they in no way imply we produce any "good works" to possess it.

I would go far as to even say, "our faith" in Jesus Christ does not save us. Jesus Christ and Him alone saves us, but God in His bountiful mercy gives us the faith we need to see our sinfulness and our need of salvation. You don't understand this, jburlinson; "our faith" was an act on our part that allowed God's grace and mercy to be extended to us. He "reached down to us," because we "could not reach up" to Him.

You see, jburlinson, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING (I am not implying that I am screaming this, but only emphasising it) that man can offer to reconcile himself back to God- only Jesus Christ can do so! Amen and amen!

490jntjesussaves
Mar 31, 2012, 10:42pm Top

482: ">468 fuzzi: fuzzi, this personal view on grace begins by dismissing virtually all of the Christians in the world (Roman Catholics and most Protestants). I know it's not about numbers, but that's not a very auspicious start."

John, this is the reason why most every discussion between Catholics (and others who have similar beliefs) and "those who believe the way we do" will most always end in a debate or argument. As stated once again by you in the above post, "this personal view on grace begins by dismissing virtually all of the Christians in the world (Roman Catholics and most Protestants)," as if what the majority believes cancels out what the plain Word of God says. You have stated several times that we have a different interpretation than "most" on our belief about grace; what is your interpretation? What does "grace" mean to you? How do you interpret these passages of Scripture that I have shared? (I wrote this before reading the responses below the one to fuzz and I noticed where you say that you "are not going to interpret verse after verse." I would say, I am not asking you to interpret every verse in the Bible, but if you are set in what you believe on the verses I have mentioned- I sincerely would like to understand how you come to your interpretation. And I hope you change your mind and agree to do so). I really would like to understand where you are coming from. I would like to understand how a seemingly clear verse in the Bible can be interpreted so differently.

"somewhere (and don't ask me where in this mass of verbiage) I answered your question about being born again and pointed out that most Christians view being born again in water and the spirit as baptism and confirmation. So when you quote verses that say Christians are born again, I agree. However we disagree on the interpretation of "born again". That little word "interpretation" (of God's Word) again."

I don't question that you made that point. I do know of others who would say that salvation comes by belief and baptism; I would ask you where the thief on Jesus' right went after he died? He had no opportunity to be baptized, yet Jesus clearly said- "To day thou shalt be with Me in Paradise." Was this just an isolated instance where God allowed someone not to be baptized and still go to Heaven? If so, can God specifically say (according to your belief that baptism is required to be "born-again") that you must be baptized, yet not require it with this man?

"I don't say that people don't come to God through the Christ. I say quite specifically that it is through the death and resurrection of the Christ that salvation has been attained for humanity and people come to God."

John, I heartily agree with your assessment and belief. I also believe that Christ's work on Calvary was accomplished for everyone- but, as I have pointed out to jburlinson- one must still receive it.

Here is an analogy: If you had been accused, convicted, and sentenced to death for taking someone else's life and someone in the courtroom came forward and told the judge, "I desire to take the penalty for John's crime. And let's say that the court would allow this transfer to take place but you said-"I committed this crime and I will pay the penalty for my crime, therefore, I turn down this gracious offer," (and subsequently are put to death). You would have chosen to not accept (reject) this "gracious offer" at your own behest. The offer ("sacrifice") had been made, but you turned it down and chose to pay the penalty of your own crime (sin). This is exactly what Jesus has done for all of mankind (as you state), but if you reject this "gracious offer" you indeed will suffer the penalty for your crime (or in a spiritual sense, for your sin), which is an "eternal Hell."

"How is it "incorrect" for a disciple to write in the name of his master if that was accepted practice at the time?"

I want to understand where you are coming from, John. Are you saying that Paul did write this letter (by that, I mean that he told "a disciple" to write down his words and the disciple did so), or are you saying that "a disciple" (I guess you are referring to someone other than Paul), wrote his own words down and gave claim that they were Paul's words?

"how do you cope with the fact that the Canon of Scripture as we know it (even the KJV) was decided by mere men, ie the Church decided which books should be in the bible and which shouldn't?"

John, this is a very good question. First, I believe those who "decided" which books should be in the Bible were led by the Holy Spirit in doing so (you could say, that in this sense they were "inspired" (in a sense, led by God) to know which books/letters were in flow with other known manuscripts). I believe this is proven by experience based on the fact that the Bible (as we know it) is still in existence. Many have tried to destroy God's Word through the years, yet without success- which proves to me that God's hand is on the Bible as we have it today. And even-while I am not a KJV-only member, I believe God has had His hand on this particular version, also. It is over 400 years old, and no matter what the world offers (in newer versions), the KJV still around today.

"Doesn't the fact that you and I (and jburlinson and others) disagree so much suggest that often there isn't clarity in God's Word?"

I am sharing these verses with you to show you why I believe there is clarity and why it isn't surprising to me that so many disagree on God's "clear" Word. I would also ask you to explain how my interpretation does not line up with the following scriptures:

Romans 1:18
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Romans 1:19
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. {in them: or, to them}

Romans 1:20
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: {so...: or, that they may be}

Romans 1:21
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Romans 1:22
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

Romans 1:23
And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Romans 1:24
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

Romans 1:25
Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. {more: or, rather}
(KJV)

And...

Ephesians 4:17
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,

Ephesians 4:18
Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: {blindness: or, hardness}

Ephesians 4:19
Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
(KJV)

I would also add that when you (and jburlinson) speak of "Christians," you refer to the whole world as being "Christians." You both have stated something similar. Jburlinson stated in 481: "In fact, you don't have to do anything. You don't even have to believe in Jesus as your personal savior. He is anyway." You state in this post: " I say quite specifically that it is through the death and resurrection of the Christ that salvation has been attained for humanity and people come to God. Again, though, we disagree on the interpretation of how that happens and how explicitly they need to acknowledge God's gift of grace and salvation. As jburlinson says in >481 jburlinson:, You don't even have to believe in Jesus as your personal savior. He is anyway." This view does not line up with God's Word; not only does God's Word never say "all are saved" based on Jesus Christ's work on Calvary- He specifically tells us that there are "few" that will be saved. Again, please tell me how my interpretation does not line up with these scriptures:

Luke 13:22
And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.

Luke 13:23
Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,

Luke 13:24
Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

Luke 13:25
When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:

Luke 13:26
Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.

Luke 13:27
But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

Luke 13:28
There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

Luke 13:29
And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.
(KJV)

And...

Matthew 7:13
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: {strait: or, narrow}

Matthew 7:14
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. {Because: or, How}
(KJV)

And finally,

Matthew 7:21
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 7:22
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

Matthew 7:23
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Matthew 7:24
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

Matthew 7:25
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

Matthew 7:26
And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

Matthew 7:27
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

Matthew 7:28
And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:

Matthew 7:29
For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
(KJV)

Please notice the following: "are there few that be saved?" (Luke 13:23); "many...will seek to enter in, and shall not be able" (v. 24); "I know you not whence you are" (v. 25, 27); "Then ye shall begin to say, we have" (v. 26); "depart from me" (v. 27); "there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (v. 28); "when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out" (v. 28); "wide...and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat" (Matthew 7:13); "strait...narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (v. 14); "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 7:21); "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not..." (v. 22); "I never knew you, depart from me" (v. 23); " Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them" (v. 24); "And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not" (v. 26).

I would also note that those who originally heard Jesus' sayings, "were astonished at His doctrine," also.

491jntjesussaves
Mar 31, 2012, 10:44pm Top

483: Interesting analogy on Joel Osteen, "Joel's ministry serves up a great salad, jello with cottage cheese, and on occasion a slice of sugar cream pie."

I must say, I haven't thought of it like that before. God's blessings, Thomas.

492jntjesussaves
Mar 31, 2012, 10:50pm Top

484: Due to the fact that I have discussed these issues with you repetitively I will only comment on the following:

"Sounds not a bit like an all powerful G-d who could just change his mind and not compulsively damn all members of your species (or maybe never did so to start with)."

I have stated to others on this thread (of which, you have apparently not read), that God cannot do anything because He is omnipotent; He cannot change His Word, He cannot change His promises, and He cannot change His mind (when He has promised something). I should say, my God cannot do these things, lawecon.

493jntjesussaves
Mar 31, 2012, 11:00pm Top

485: "jnt, you obviously have no grasp anything that has been said to you by me. I am not going to give you my interpretation of any Bible verse, let alone a verse that is in your Scriptures but not in my Scriptures."

So you want to criticize me on how I interpret my Scripture, but you don't want to take the time to interpret the Scripture you are criticizing me over. Okay.

"I have more respect for your Scriptures and for Christianity than to try to interpret Christian scriptures for you"

I am surprised, I thought that was what you had been doing on this thread- calling out those of us who you believe are not interpreting the Christian Scripture as you see fit. I wasn't asking you to interpret the verses for me, but for yourself. I would just like to see how we interpret (seemingly clear verses to me), so differently.

"I am not a Greek scholar, so I have no clue what this passage means in the original language in which it was written"

Again, I thought this is what you had been doing. I am not asking you to interpret what it says in Greek, but in English. What is the interpretation as it is written? Yet you say, "I am certainly not going to further "interpret" someone else's interpretation, which is what commenting on a translation necessarily involves." Okay.

"We, of course, don't even know his cultural affiliation other than those two broad facts."

So, I guess you saying that "nobody can rightly know" what he is saying? It would make one wonder (according to this philosophy), why God would have given His Word to us at all- if we can't "rightly know" what He is saying!

494lawecon
Mar 31, 2012, 11:45pm Top

~429

Really, well then you have not read the "Old Testament," since the G-d protrayed there often changes his mind. Although He created Adam and Eve with, apparently, full knowledge of what they would do (at least according to interpretations of the nature of G-d favored by Christians throughout the centuries) he put them in the way of temptation. When speaking with Abraham about Sodom and Gomorrah he changed his mind repeatedly. There are numerous other examples.

Of course, he doesn't even have to change his mind about your uninformed interpretation of an obsolete translation of ancient texts that you don't begin to understand in context. Since what you have in mind is none of his intent.

495lawecon
Edited: Apr 1, 2012, 12:07am Top

~493

What utter nonsense, surely you are not serious !! I refuse to interpret a passage from your Scriptures and you falsely claim that everything I have said in this thread is now contradicted. You really are blind to what you don't want to see, aren't you?

For instance, you conveniently omit your numerous prior references to passages in my Scriptures.
You omit the fact that I have several times pointed out to you that the passages you are citing to from my Scriptures don't mean what you say they mean (according to ancient Jewish traditions), and that they sometimes simply can't mean what you say they mean (e.g., Joshua referring to the New Testament).

But that, of course, is none of this thread. When one is invited to Read Your Bible Through In One Year, the only Bible being referenced is the "New Testament." There was a heresy expelled from the early Christian Church that had similar views. I am happy to see that you and fuzzi and Thomas are well familiar with at least that ancient tradition.

Further, you omit the fact that the only thing I have ever said about your interpretation of your Scriptures is that it is rabidly anti-intellectual and an arrogant glorification of ignorance. You don't want to know what the passages you quote say in the original language in which they were written. You don't want to know what the societies of the authors of these passages were like. You don't want to know what issues those authors may have been reacting to.

All you want to do is read a randomly selected translation of disparate ancient texts into English and comment on what you think the English says (without even references to an English dictionary). No one need comment on the specific errors you make, because your whole approach to these texts is an error, and your defense of that error is intrinsically sinful. You have conversations with G-d do you? For shame. May He have mercy upon you and forgive you the sinful arrogance that causes you to claim the prerogative of the Prophets.

496jburlinson
Apr 1, 2012, 12:57am Top

> 489 You don't understand this, jburlinson; "our faith" was an act on our part that allowed God's grace and mercy to be extended to us.

But I do understand what you're saying. Your exact words are: "our faith" was an act on our part that allowed God's grace and mercy to be extended to us.

For some reason, you seem to be phobic about calling this "act on our part" a "good work." Apparently, there's something about the phrase "good work" that gets your goat. But that's OK; whether or not you acknowledge that "our faith" is in reality the "good work" that bothers you so, it's obvious that you really do believe that we have to have the "faith" first, and then "God's grace and mercy will be extended to us." So it's clear to me that you believe that God's grace and mercy are conditional -- they are only extended to those who have faith.

In an earlier post, you asked me if you ate a bowl of Cookie Crisp for breakfast this morning, did you "perform" a "good" or "bad" work? You bring this question up again and demand an answer. OK, here goes. On the whole, eating a bowl of Cookie Crisp is a pretty neutral act. On the one hand, it gives a person a certain amount of nutrition. On the other, it has too much sugar in it. All told, it's probably a "bad work" for that reason, especially if you're a diabetic.

However, if failing to eat a bowl of Cookie Crisp were to damn me to eternal hell, I would say that not eating Cookie Crisp would definitely be a "bad work," no ifs, ands, or buts about it. If I have to eat a bowl of Cookie Crisp in order to get into heaven, then eating a bowl of Cookie Crisp would be a "good work."

Now, it's your contention (not my contention but your contention) that "having faith" or "calling upon Jesus" or "believing" is a prerequisite to achieving salvation. You claim that people who don't do such things are going to eternal hell. You have made that point many times. There's just no getting around it: whether you admit it or not, you believe that "having faith" and all the rest is a "good work" that a person must do in order to be saved from eternal damnation.

How can God say that "good works" have nothing to do with salvation, yet require of us the "good work" of believing (trusting) on His Son and and the "good work" of proclaiming salvation through His Son? This is a repeat of something you said in # 448 and other places -- God cannot contradict what He has said in His Word.

The fact is that God can contradict what He says in different passages of scripture. God can do anything, surely you believe that. These things seem like contradictions to us (you and me), because God is much, much smarter than we are. He can comprehend things that we can't comprehend. His understanding surpasses our understanding. That's why we are just "images" of God. We can understand a little, but we cannot understand all. We make a big, big mistake when we think we have a full and clear understanding of the mind of God. And all the contradictions in the Bible are there to prove that to us. In the mind of God, all things are reconciled and all contradictions are resolved.

Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea farther; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it. Ecclesiastes 8:17

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 2:11

Hast thou heard the secret of God? and dost thou restrain wisdom to thyself? Job 15:8

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! Romans 11:33

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Psalm 139:6

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. Isaiah 40:28

497johnthefireman
Apr 1, 2012, 2:04am Top

>487 fuzzi: The article bases its information on Scripture

So does the teaching of the Catholic and Protestant churches. We just interpret Scripture differently from this individual author.

what do you mean by "dismiss"? What in that article "dismisses" anyone?

And, despite the teachings of nearly every religion on earth - - - Roman Catholicism, Islam, Buddhism, most branches of Protestantism, and so on...

That looks to me like dismissing the teaching of most of the Christian churches in the world as well just about everybody else, but maybe you and I interpret it differently.

498johnthefireman
Edited: Apr 1, 2012, 10:09am Top

>490 jntjesussaves: I sincerely would like to understand how you come to your interpretation. And I hope you change your mind and agree to do so

I lead a fairly nomadic life moving between Nairobi and Juba and then to rural conflict-ridden parts of South Sudan. All my notes, bible commentaries, text books, etc from my seminary days were looted when I was captured, held hostage, sentenced to death and finally released in 1984. My books and notes from my master's studies are in storage in UK. A lot of my internet time is on slow intermittent connections so it's difficult to do proper online research; indeed it's often difficult just to post to LT. I do not have the tools to delve back into detailed verse by verse exegesis. To get those tools and really to do justice to your queries would take a disproportionate amount of time and effort. I did the groundwork to satisfy myself that the broad teachings of my Church are biblically sound, and I'm afraid I can't go back and do it all again for you in my present circumstances. I'm sorry if that is not satisfactory, but that's the reality for me at the moment. Maybe one day I'll retire and be able to gather all these resources around me and go back to serious study, but not yet.

where the thief on Jesus' right went after he died? He had no opportunity to be baptized

The Catholic tradition has always recognised "baptism of desire" for those who don't have the opportunity to be baptised, and "baptism by blood" for martyrs. But as I have pointed out elsewhere, we believe that people can be saved without baptism and without explicitly acknowledging salvation which has come to them through Christ. I gave you a reference in Lumen Gentium.

Are you saying that Paul did write this letter (by that, I mean that he told "a disciple" to write down his words and the disciple did so), or are you saying that "a disciple" (I guess you are referring to someone other than Paul), wrote his own words down and gave claim that they were Paul's words?

I honestly can't remember. It doesn't matter. {Edited to add: probably the latter. For someone to use a literary device which was common at the time of writing is not "incorrect" nor a "lie" even if people from a different culture two thousand years later don't understand that literary device.}

I believe those who "decided" which books should be in the Bible were led by the Holy Spirit in doing so (you could say, that in this sense they were "inspired" (in a sense, led by God)

But why are you not prepared to believe that Christian scholars who study the bible are also led by God, or "inspired"? You're happy to follow mere men (inspired and led by God) who chose which books make up the Canon of Scripture but you're not happy to follow mere men (inspired and led by God) who study and interpret it.

why I believe there is clarity and why it isn't surprising to me that so many disagree on God's "clear" Word

To assume that everybody who disagrees with your interpretation of God's Word is unrighteous, ungodly, changing truth into a lie is a red herring. How do you know that it is not you who is unrighteous, ungodly, changing truth into a lie, etc with your interpretation?

I would also note that those who originally heard Jesus' sayings, "were astonished at His doctrine,"

Yes, astonished at his simple message of love, grace, inclusiveness towards the marginalised, etc.

499thomashwalker2
Edited: Apr 1, 2012, 8:39am Top

495: "For instance, you conveniently omit your numerous prior references to passages in my Scriptures.
You omit the fact that I have several times pointed out to you that the passages you are citing to from my Scriptures don't mean what you say they mean (according to ancient Jewish traditions), and that they sometimes simply can't mean what you say they mean (e.g., Joshua referring to the New Testament). "

"But that, of course, is none of this thread. When one is invited to Read Your Bible Through In One Year, the only Bible being referenced is the "New Testament." There was a heresy expelled from the early Christian Church that had similar views. I am happy to see that you and fuzzi and Thomas are well familiar with at least that ancient tradition."

Lawecon, you claim that Christians ignore the Old Testatment. This is untrue. The problem with your thought process is explained in the following.

The following information is from the website Jewish Voice Ministries:

The New Testament contains his words, but it is a “forbidden book” to us (Jewish people), so we take it on faith that anti-Semites are speaking for him and doing his will.

Objection: 5.1. “The New Testament misquotes and misinterprets the Old Testament. At times it manufactures verses to suit its purposes.”
Answer: “There is no truth to this claim. You must remember that all the New Testament authors were Jews—with one probable exception—and they were sometimes writing to Jewish readers who knew their Scriptures well. To manufacture, misquote, or misinterpret verses from the Tanakh would be absolutely self-defeating. The fact is, these authors spent much time meditating on the Tanakh, and you would be amazed to see just how insightful their quotations and interpretations are, not to mention how much they are in keeping with the ancient Jewish methods of scriptural hermeneutics.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 3-21.)

Objection: 5.6. “The New Testament is full of historical inaccuracies.”

Answer:“Actually, where the New Testament accounts can be verified or checked by external, contemporary sources, they are consistently accurate. (If they can’t be verified or checked, and they bear the marks of good history writing which they do how can anyone claim that they are inaccurate?) So, the real question is: What contemporary historical records are there that contradict the New Testament authors? In point of fact, there are none. It should also be pointed out that out of all ancient documents, the New Testament was the best preserved.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 41-59.)

Objection: 5.14. “Jesus didn’t fulfill any of the Messianic prophecies. We know that the New Covenant writers actually reconstructed the life of Jesus so as to harmonize it with certain predictions made by the prophets.”

Answer: “We have demonstrated elsewhere that Jesus, in fact, did fulfill all the Messianic prophecies that had to be fulfilled before the Second Temple was destroyed in the year 70 C.E. We have also shown the historical reliability of the Gospels. But there is a problem with your whole objection. It is self-contradictory! Why would the New Covenant writers intentionally rewrite the events of Yeshua’s life so as to make him fulfill predictions that were not really Messianic? If the prophecies which they quoted were really non-Messianic (or, if they had to be wrenched out of context to be used), then why did they “make” Yeshua’s life conform to them? I should also point out that there is not ounce of verifiable evidence that you can provide to support your claim.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 106-109.)

Objection: 5.20. “The New Covenant is anti-Semitic. It is filled with negative references to the Jewish people, and it blames them for the death of Jesus.”

Answer: “The New Testament reflects internal tensions and differences between different groups of religious Jews some of whom followed Jesus the Messiah, and some (or, most) of whom rejected him as Messiah. These writings are no more anti-Semitic than the Hebrew Scriptures where both God and the prophets call the people of Israel stiff-necked and obstinate rebels. It is also important to understand that the Greek word translated “Jews” can also mean Judeans or Jewish leaders, so that, in context, many of John’s negative statements about “the Jews” are limited to specific groups or leaders. You might also be surprised to know that the New Testament has many wonderful things to say about the Jewish people, including God’s present love and care for them and His promise of a very bright future for them. As for Jewish guilt in rejecting Jesus, I’m sorry to say that it is a shameful fact of our history that some of our religious leaders played a key role in turning him over to the Romans to be crucified. We as individual Jews should repudiate that error by embracing Jesus the Messiah. This is all addressed at length in volume 1, 2.8.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 147-150.)

Objection: 5.25. “The teachings of the New Testament may have started out Jewish, but before long, they became totally pagan. This was done intentionally, since the Jews rejected Jesus as Messiah and only the pagans would listen to the message.”

Answer: “This objection is fatally flawed from beginning to end. First, modern scholars, both Jewish and Christian, are increasingly recognizing that the teachings of the New Testament can only be rightly understood when they are read against their Jewish background. Second, all the major themes of the New Testament can be traced back to Yeshua himself and, beyond that, to the Tanakh. Third, plenty of Jews did listen to the message. Fourth, by the time the message of Jesus the Messiah had fully made its way into the Gentile world, the New Testament writings were already completed.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 184-188.)

500thomashwalker2
Apr 1, 2012, 8:51am Top

I recommend a visit with Rabbi Jonathan Bernis at his website: http://www.jewishvoice.org

What’s with the Name?

Are we just dressing “Jesus Christ,” the Gentile God, in Jewish clothing to proselytize Jewish People?

Yeshua’s Name was given by an angelic messenger from ADONAI and reveals the special relationship and ministry he has with his Jewish People.

“…an angel of ADONAI appeared to him Yosef in a dream and said, ‘Yosef, son of David, do not be afraid to take Miryam home with you as your wife; for what has been conceived in her is from the Ruach haKodesh. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Yeshua, which means ‘ADONAI saves’ because he will save his people from their sins.” Matt. 1:20,21 CJB

As you explore this site, you will find that Yeshua was very much a part of Israel and the Jewish People …that he taught from the Torah, the Books of Moses …that his words, his world and the New Testament are very much a legacy of Israel and the Jewish People.

So What Happened? He Doesn’t Look Jewish!

In a nutshell, after Jerusalem was sacked in 70 A.D., the Jews were scattered, including the Jews that believed in Yeshua the Nazarene, sometimes referred to as followers of “The Way.” As Gentiles came to believe in Yeshua and “Christianity” spread, the Hebraic foundations became less and less influential. In the Third Century, Emperor Constantine sought to unify his growing empire and created one state religion called Christianity, utilizing elements of the original faith mixed with the prevailing pagan traditions of the region. The Sabbath was changed to Sunday as that was the day of worship to the sun god, and the rest of the biblical feasts were expunged.

Yeshua and the First Century Hebraic faith were now unrecognizable to the Jewish People.

This is not without precedent, however. We have a picture of this in our Tenakh. When Joseph’s brothers came to him in Egypt, they did not recognize him. They thought he was an Egyptian. He was their brother and they had to look to him, whom they had originally rejected to save their lives. It is an astonishing prophetic picture.

501jntjesussaves
Apr 1, 2012, 9:30am Top

494: "Really, well then you have not read the "Old Testament," since the G-d protrayed there often changes his mind."

Please cite examples.

502jntjesussaves
Apr 1, 2012, 9:47am Top

495: "For instance, you conveniently omit your numerous prior references to passages in my Scriptures.
You omit the fact that I have several times pointed out to you that the passages you are citing to from my Scriptures don't mean what you say they mean (according to ancient Jewish traditions), and that they sometimes simply can't mean what you say they mean (e.g., Joshua referring to the New Testament)."

I am not sure what you mean when you use the word "omit." Omit means "fail to include, to do, or to take notice of." Which passages have I omitted?

Also, please share with me the scriptures that your Scripture differs with what I have said.

"you omit the fact that the only thing I have ever said about your interpretation of your Scriptures is that it is rabidly anti-intellectual and an arrogant glorification of ignorance"

Again, how would you know this unless you were interpreting my Scripture (the New Testament) and found disagreement?

"No one need comment on the specific errors you make, because your whole approach to these texts is an error, and your defense of that error is intrinsically sinful. "

Here we go again, lawecon, you say "no one need comment on the specific errors you make." How do you know I make errors in my interpretation unless you are interpreting my Scripture. Lawecon, you can't have it both ways. Further more, it would seem to me, the reason why you don't want to share your interpretation of the Scriptures I reference is because you realize you would be required to interpret them in a similar manner, which would in turn "shatter" your view of me- and God knows we don't want to do that. As I have stated before (and as several on this thread do not want to accept is), that while we may disagree on "our interpretations," my interpretation is not far out there. I share with you the portion of Scripture that leads me to my belief, you refuse to interpret it in your own words, then you accuse me of misinterpretation and sharing my "arrogance" and "glorification of ignorance."

You choose not to challenge me on the validity of my interpretations, you only desire to spew out your verbiage of mean-spiritedness because you don't like us (myself, Thomas, fuzzi, and eclecticdodo), because we don't agree with your view on spiritual things.

503fuzzi
Apr 1, 2012, 3:16pm Top

Back on topic:

I'm about a third of the way through 2 Chronicles, and will share some things I've thought about in another post, shortly (tomorrow?).

~~

My God does not live in a book, you can burn my Bible yet it won't hurt my faith.

My God does not live in a church building, you can burn down my church yet it won't hurt my faith.

My God does not live in my clothing/closet, so even if I am stripped to nakedness, it won't hurt my faith.

You can call my God all sorts of horrid names, or deny He exists, or persecute His followers, but it won't hurt my faith.

My faith is based upon God's word, which is in my heart, and based upon my relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ.

And you can't take my relationship away...

504lawecon
Edited: Apr 1, 2012, 10:47pm Top

"

505lawecon
Apr 1, 2012, 10:43pm Top

"495: "For instance, you conveniently omit your numerous prior references to passages in my Scriptures.
You omit the fact that I have several times pointed out to you that the passages you are citing to from my Scriptures don't mean what you say they mean (according to ancient Jewish traditions), and that they sometimes simply can't mean what you say they mean (e.g., Joshua referring to the New Testament). "

"But that, of course, is none of this thread. When one is invited to Read Your Bible Through In One Year, the only Bible being referenced is the "New Testament." There was a heresy expelled from the early Christian Church that had similar views. I am happy to see that you and fuzzi and Thomas are well familiar with at least that ancient tradition."

Lawecon, you claim that Christians ignore the Old Testatment. This is untrue. The problem with your thought process is explained in the following."

Once again, jnt, you just don't get it. I said nothing about "Christians." I was speaking of you and Thomas and fuzzi.

My first point was that I was happy to "interpret" my Scriptures for you, since I can claim some minor familiarity with them. You, however, also interpret them, not because you have any familiarity with them at all, but because you want people to believe that G-d tells you what they mean.

My second point was that you were falsely representing me as being unwilling to interpret scriptures. I am willing to interpret my scriptures, not yours. I now regret the paragraph where I made a snide comment, not because you didn't deserve it, but because, since you think of yourself as all Christians as well as the voice of G_d, you interpreted what I was saying as being a slight against all Christians.

As for the rest of your post, I am delighted that you have given us yet another example of someone else doing your research and thought for you. What a surprise !!

506jntjesussaves
Edited: Apr 1, 2012, 11:57pm Top

496: "For some reason, you seem to be phobic about calling this "act on our part" a "good work.""

No, that is an incorrect statement- I am concerned calling something a "good work" that God doesn't. And you still haven't rectified the apparent error in your thinking that God clearly tells us that grace and "good works" do not mix (Romans 11:5-6), yet you continue to show either a misunderstanding or a total disregard with the truthfulness of Scripture. Which one of these it is I will leave for you to decide.

"So it's clear to me that you believe that God's grace and mercy are conditional -- they are only extended to those who have faith."

Yes, I would say salvation is conditional. One must receive it as a free gift in order to possess it. However, as has been stated- receiving a gift is not a good work. However, if you choose to consider it a "good work," then I guess in your mind God didn't mean what He clearly said in Romans 11:5-6.

"In an earlier post, you asked me if you ate a bowl of Cookie Crisp for breakfast this morning, did you "perform" a "good" or "bad" work? You bring this question up again and demand an answer. OK, here goes. On the whole, eating a bowl of Cookie Crisp is a pretty neutral act. On the one hand, it gives a person a certain amount of nutrition. On the other, it has too much sugar in it. All told, it's probably a "bad work" for that reason, especially if you're a diabetic.

However, if failing to eat a bowl of Cookie Crisp were to damn me to eternal hell, I would say that not eating Cookie Crisp would definitely be a "bad work," no ifs, ands, or buts about it. If I have to eat a bowl of Cookie Crisp in order to get into heaven, then eating a bowl of Cookie Crisp would be a "good work.""

I was trying to get you to understand that we make many decisions (or participate in many actions) on a daily basis, which most people do not refer to as "good works," but again if you desire to make every action in someone's life either a "good" or "bad" work- feel free.

"Now, it's your contention (not my contention but your contention) that "having faith" or "calling upon Jesus" or "believing" is a prerequisite to achieving salvation. You claim that people who don't do such things are going to eternal hell. You have made that point many times. There's just no getting around it: whether you admit it or not, you believe that "having faith" and all the rest is a "good work" that a person must do in order to be saved from eternal damnation.

I agree with everything you claim except that the act of receiving Christ is not a "good work." You seem hard-pressed to get me to say that receiving Christ is a "good work." I can tell you a wonderful way in order to get me to agree that it is a good work: prove to me from God's Word that it is a "good work." I have given you a great verse that relates to salvation by grace and "good works" (of which you have agreed that the said verses are teaching salvation does not come through "good works"), however, you continue down this path that you are own (to get me to admit receiving Christ is a "good work"). What exactly is your point? You have said before that you don't believe you have to do anything to receive Christ, yet you go on and on about how "receiving Christ" is a "good work." If you believe "good works" are not involved with salvation (of which I would agree), then what exactly is your point that "receiving Christ" is a "good work?"

"The fact is that God can contradict what He says in different passages of scripture. God can do anything, surely you believe that."

No, actually jburlinson I don't believe that. You see (as has been stated numerous times), I believe that God cannot lie, He cannot contradict Himself (nor does He), and He cannot go back on His promises, etc. etc. I will not argue with you- it is apparent that "your God" (apparently not the God of the Bible), can do those things, however, I believe you have created a God to fit your desires and your perceptions. Unfortunately, "your God" that you have created can lie, can contradict himself, can break his promises. You do not believe in the God of the Bible who clearly says (please specifically read verse 2):

Titus 1:1
Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;

Titus 1:2
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; {In: or, For}

Titus 1:3
But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;

Titus 1:4
To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.
(KJV)

"These things seem like contradictions to us (you and me), because God is much, much smarter than we are."

Let me understand this: You say that God "can contradict what He says," but then you say "these things seem like contradictions to us." So, do you believe He does or He doesn't contradict Himself. Does He actually contradict Himself, or because of our finite understanding, it seems like He contradicts Himself? Which is it, jburlinson?

By the way, I agree God is "much smarter than we are."

"His understanding surpasses our understanding."

Amen! Agreed!

"We can understand a little, but we cannot understand all. We make a big, big mistake when we think we have a full and clear understanding of the mind of God. And all the contradictions in the Bible are there to prove that to us. In the mind of God, all things are reconciled and all contradictions are resolved."

Are you attempting to get me to agree that there are many contradictions in the Bible? If so, I disagree- there aren't any contradictions in the Bible.

You list the following verses (which, by the way, is good)- you have been one of the very few outside of myself, fuzzi, Thomas, and eclecticdodo who have actually listed verses to share their views:

Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea farther; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it. Ecclesiastes 8:17

If your point is that man cannot fully understand God's workings, I completely agree with you.

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 2:11

If your point is that only the Spirit of God can know the things of God, I agree with you; but I would caution you to read this verse in context with the surrounding verses (vv. 9-16). The complete passage says the following (of which is a point that has been made before and is the very point that I am now making):

1 Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

1 Corinthians 2:10
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

1 Corinthians 2:11
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

1 Corinthians 2:12
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

1 Corinthians 2:13
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

1 Corinthians 2:14
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Corinthians 2:15
But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. {judgeth: or, discerneth} {judged: or, discerned}

1 Corinthians 2:16
For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. {may: Gr. shall}
(KJV)

jburlinson, I believe you are treading on dangerous ground. When someone like myself points out to you the clear teachings of God's Word (of which you say you believe and respect), and yet you see the evidence (but you don't receive the truth)- you are placing yourself in a position to never see the truth.
Please read carefully these verses; verse 9 tells us that we don't fully understand the things that God has for us (that He has prepared for us); verse 10, however, tells us "God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit"- this is a point that several on this thread has been making from the beginning; verse 11 is separating the thoughts of "man" from the thoughts of God ("spiritual"); verse 12 is so clear, "Now we have received...the Spirit which is of God"- and why have we received His Spirit- "that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God"; verse 13 differentiates between that which "man's wisdom teacheth" (fleshly) and that which "the Holy Ghost teacheth"- this is so we can understand "the spiritual"; verse 14 tells us, "but the natural man" (that is the unsaved) does not receive "the things of the Spirit of God"- "the things of the Spirit of God" are foolishness to him and the reason is because he is spiritually discerned; verse 16 goes on to clearly say, "we (Christians) have the mind of Christ."

I again challenge you to show me in these verses how I have misinterpreted them. If, however, you cannot do so- please jburlinson, hear what God has clearly written and accept Him as your personal Saviour.

Hast thou heard the secret of God? and dost thou restrain wisdom to thyself? Job 15:8

I am not sure how this verse relates.

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! Romans 11:33

Amen, and amen!

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Psalm 139:6

Amen, and amen!

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. Isaiah 40:28

Amen, and amen!

507lawecon
Edited: Apr 1, 2012, 11:06pm Top

~502

""No one need comment on the specific errors you make, because your whole approach to these texts is an error, and your defense of that error is intrinsically sinful. ""

"Here we go again, lawecon, you say "no one need comment on the specific errors you make." How do you know I make errors in my interpretation unless you are interpreting my Scripture. Lawecon, you can't have it both ways."

Try to focus more when you read, jnt. I know that you make errors in interpreting scriptures because you have several times misinterpreted Jewish scriptures. Since you've told us all that you use the same methodology when you interpret scripture, whether it be Jewish or Christian scriptures, your method creates error. I don't have to comment on your interpretation of a verse from Christian scriptures to know that, you have demonstrated it in interpreting Jewish scriptures.

Try to understand, jnt, you may believe that you are in conversation with the Holy Ghost (aka an aspect of G-d), but no one who makes a living from interpreting ancient texts believes you, any more than they would believe a Pagan who claimed that he could properly interpret the Iliad and the Odyssey because he regularly spoke with Homer. Those who make a living interpreting ancient texts, and are respected by those of many religions, not just a small cult of a particular religion, do actual work when they interpret scriptures. You, on the other hand, "do" arrogance, and only arrogance. I guess that is what it means to be "born again." First you're merely human, then you're a conduit for G-d to speak to the rest of humanity.

"You choose not to challenge me on the validity of my interpretations, you only desire to spew out your verbiage of mean-spiritedness because you don't like us (myself, Thomas, fuzzi, and eclecticdodo), because we don't agree with your view on spiritual things."

Again, jnt, try to focus. I don't know you and Thomas and fuzzi. You may be great people (although, frankly, I doubt it). What I don't like is your incredible arrogance, your sinful claim to speak for G_d and your determined rejection of religious learning. That is not a difference in views, jnt. It is difference in life perspective. I know what I know and what I don't know, you, however, believe yourself to know everything. (The only good thing about that, is that no one who matters believes you.)

508jntjesussaves
Edited: Apr 2, 2012, 12:27am Top

498: "I lead a fairly nomadic life moving between Nairobi and Juba and then to rural conflict-ridden parts of South Sudan. All my notes, bible commentaries, text books, etc from my seminary days were looted when I was captured, held hostage, sentenced to death and finally released in 1984. My books and notes from my master's studies are in storage in UK. A lot of my internet time is on slow intermittent connections so it's difficult to do proper online research; indeed it's often difficult just to post to LT. I do not have the tools to delve back into detailed verse by verse exegesis. To get those tools and really to do justice to your queries would take a disproportionate amount of time and effort. I did the groundwork to satisfy myself that the broad teachings of my Church are biblically sound, and I'm afraid I can't go back and do it all again for you in my present circumstances. I'm sorry if that is not satisfactory, but that's the reality for me at the moment. Maybe one day I'll retire and be able to gather all these resources around me and go back to serious study, but not yet."

I will accept and respect your reasons, John, and I appreciate your sincerity. I do believe it would be eye-opening for me to see how we come to such different interpretations. I do believe the verses I have referenced are quite clear in what they say and I do not believe you would need a lot of study material to read them and tell me what your interpretation of them. Sometimes, I believe man "muddies up" God's clear Word because he allows "man's wisdom" to overshadow "the Holy Spirit's wisdom" that I referenced in my response to jburlinson (496).

"But why are you not prepared to believe that Christian scholars who study the bible are also led by God, or "inspired"? You're happy to follow mere men (inspired and led by God) who chose which books make up the Canon of Scripture but you're not happy to follow mere men (inspired and led by God) who study and interpret it."

I do believe "Christian scholars" are also led by God. And I have even claimed my reliance on times on "Christian scholars" in their interpretations (please see post 438). However, when Scripture is clear (which I believe most of God's Word is) and contradicts the teachings of "Christian scholars," I side with God's Word. I would say though, every time the interpretation of one scholar contradicts God's Word, I could share with you another scholar that interprets the same verse more in line with God's Word. One example is your reference in this post: You say that "The Catholic tradition has always recognised "baptism of desire" for those who don't have the opportunity to be baptised," yet you give no Biblical basis for this belief (or I guess I should say, you haven't). I have read God's Word through several times and done studies on "baptism" and have never read or realized this "baptism of desire."

"To assume that everybody who disagrees with your interpretation of God's Word is unrighteous, ungodly, changing truth into a lie is a red herring. How do you know that it is not you who is unrighteous, ungodly, changing truth into a lie, etc with your interpretation?"

This implication is not entirely true; I guarantee you that I do not completely agree with fuzzi, Thomas, or even my own pastor on all interpretations. I in no way believe them to be "unrighteous, ungodly, changing truth into a lie." I presume that you would agree that you and I have some "major" differences in interpretation on many verses. A verse here or there that we disagree on would not cause me great concern, but when major doctrinal tenets are continously misinterpreted (when the verses seemquite clear), it does cause me concern. As I have tried to do (and believe I have been successful in my eyes)- I give Scripture to back up what I believe. Everything that I have shared about my beliefs on this thread and others has been cited with verses from God's Word to give evidence that I didn't just take my beliefs out of thin air. What I find troubling with so many "Christians" (I am not trying to be disrespectful by placing quotations around that title) is that, as you yourself have done throughout this thread, is to say "Catholic Tradition" or "The Roman Catholic Church" has said (rather than, "God's Word says"). I am a part of a independent Baptist church, and granted my church has some things that they do that are traditional, however, we do not claim that those things are Biblical. We would say that they are traditional. Yet, when God's Word clearly says something- we rely on God's Word to direct us. If, as a Catholic, you believe that "tradition" should hold as much weight as "God's Word," I would just caution against this view.

"Yes, astonished at his simple message of love, grace, inclusiveness towards the marginalised, etc."

At the end, it clearly tells us: "they were astonished at His doctrine." What doctrine was it? Possibly the doctrine that while Christ's work on Calvary was "for all," it is only attainable for those who actually "accept it"? And this remnant who "accepts it" and are truly "born-again" is few?

I am surprised that with all I wrote in reference to those verses, this was your only thought. They were actually given to share that "most" will not get into Heaven? Do you not believe this is what they teach?

Thanks for your responses, John.

509jburlinson
Apr 1, 2012, 11:41pm Top

> 506. What exactly is your point? You have said before that you don't believe you have to do anything to receive Christ, yet you go on and on about how "receiving Christ" is a "good work." If you believe "good works" are not involved with salvation (of which I would agree), then what exactly is your point that "receiving Christ" is a "good work?"

Let's see if we can straighten this situation out. Here's my position on salvation: Jesus as Christ has saved all humanity. All humanity -- not just those that "believe." What's my scriptural basis for that? How about this one: "And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10-11.

"All people", jntjesussaves, all people. "All people" means "everyone". I don't need to resort to a dictionary to parse that one.

So, I do not believe that a person needs to perform "good works" to achieve salvation. A person does not need to do anything. Jesus Christ has saved all people.

Now, let's take a look at what you believe. From post # 100: "I understand His requirement for being saved from destruction is to accept His gift of salvation of His only begotten Son." You are saying that one must "accept" the gift. In other words, a person must do something -- they must "accept."

So that's it. That's what all this boils down to. You believe a person must do something to be saved, I do not. The Bible tells me that Jesus came to be the savior of "all people." That's good enough for me.

Does He actually contradict Himself, or because of our finite understanding, it seems like He contradicts Himself?

The latter.

510jntjesussaves
Apr 1, 2012, 11:43pm Top

499: Great information, Thomas. Thank you for sharing it. God's blessings.

511jntjesussaves
Apr 1, 2012, 11:46pm Top

500: Amen and amen, Thomas. Great stuff. I am not surprised that someone with your wisdom and spiritual knowledge came across this information. Very valuable and very accurate.

512jntjesussaves
Apr 1, 2012, 11:47pm Top

503: Amen, fuzzi- I second your thoughts.

513jntjesussaves
Apr 1, 2012, 11:56pm Top

505: Lawecon, you are trying to criticize Thomas through me, I guess. You reference words that Thomas said to me and criticize me for them, but that is fine because I agree with Thomas' words. Therefore, I will accept the criticism. I do wonder, however, do you just not like me?

"As for the rest of your post, I am delighted that you have given us yet another example of someone else doing your research and thought for you. What a surprise !!"

I just love your way of responding to truth; for the last several hundred posts, you have told Thomas, myself, and fuzzi, that we need to learn from other scholars so that we can intperpret Scripture correctly. Yet, when Thomas gives the truth by using scholars to help interpret Scripture, he is criticized. I am not really sure where you stand on "the interpretation of Scripture."

514jntjesussaves
Apr 2, 2012, 12:24am Top

507: "Try to focus more when you read, jnt. I know that you make errors in interpreting scriptures because you have several times misinterpreted Jewish scriptures. Since you've told us all that you use the same methodology when you interpret scripture, whether it be Jewish or Christian scriptures, your method creates error. I don't have to comment on your interpretation of a verse from Christian scriptures to know that, you have demonstrated it in interpreting Jewish scriptures.

Try to understand, jnt, you may believe that you are in conversation with the Holy Ghost (aka an aspect of G-d), but no one who makes a living from interpreting ancient texts believes you, any more than they would believe a Pagan who claimed that he could properly interpret the Iliad and the Odyssey because he regularly spoke with Homer. Those who make a living interpreting ancient texts, and are respected by those of many religions, not just a small cult of a particular religion, do actual work when they interpret scriptures. You, on the other hand, "do" arrogance, and only arrogance. I guess that is what it means to be "born again." First you're merely human, then you're a conduit for G-d to speak to the rest of humanity."

Lawecon, I would also ask you to try and concentrate (focus) on what has been said. I have shared specific verses on why I believe that God clearly tells us that we can know spiritual things (please see post 505). When you claim that Christians have not been given the ability to know "the things of the Spirit of God," you are specifically interpreting New Testament Scripture. How can you say they don't say something that you proclaim that you cannot interpret? If you truly do not want to interpret NT Scripture, then you shouldn't comment anymore when myself, fuzzi, or Thomas quote from the New Testament. Because as you have stated, you are not qualified to do so.

"I don't know you and Thomas and fuzzi. You may be great people (although, frankly, I doubt it)."

Actually, lawecon, I am not sure if you know someone who is great (except, maybe yourself). You claim Thomas, myself, and fuzzi are arrogant; how do you classify yourself, lawecon?

"What I don't like is your incredible arrogance, your sinful claim to speak for G_d and your determined rejection of religious learning."

We reject "religious learning" that does not line up with God's Word. We haven't made any claims that haven't been verified by Scripture. It is amazing how you claim we are arrogant because we "claim to speak for God," yet what exactly are you doing? Are you not speaking for God (from your perspective)?

"That is not a difference in views, jnt. It is difference in life perspective."

Please explain to me the difference between "views" and "perspective," lawecon?

"I know what I know and what I don't know"

Are you sure you're not being arrogant here, lawecon? Please tell me what you "don't know"?

"you, however, believe yourself to know everything."

Please cite references (and or posts). Thanks.

(The only good thing about that, is that no one who matters believes you.)

I am always amazed how when someone cannot prove their "case," they tend to lay the untrue claim out there- that the other person believes they know everything. You cannot cite examples, because I have never stated such. I would ask you a question in response to your claim that I "believe I know everything." You claim I believe I know everything, yet, you say I know nothing; who is the one that sounds like they "know everything"?

515lawecon
Edited: Apr 2, 2012, 9:26am Top

~513

"I just love your way of responding to truth; for the last several hundred posts, you have told Thomas, myself, and fuzzi, that we need to learn from other scholars so that we can intperpret Scripture correctly. Yet, when Thomas gives the truth by using scholars to help interpret Scripture, he is criticized. I am not really sure where you stand on "the interpretation of Scripture.""

Why am I not surprised that you are not "really sure," although it has been explained to you at least two dozen times? Let's repeat it again:

(1) There are those who are experts in Greek and Hebrew.

(2) There are those who are experts in textual interpretation.

(3) There are those who are experts in ancient Hebrew societies.

(4) There are those who are experts in "Church History."

"Expert," in case you don't understand the term, means someone who has had the requisite training, who spends his working life in a particular field of study, and WHO IS GENERALLY ACKNOWLEDGED AS AN EXPERT BY HIS PEERS. It is not just someone who declares himself to be the conduit for the Holy Spirit to avoid any hard work - as can any fraud.

Now the way that an intelligent human being approaches experts is that you find out what they think on various questions and then you CRITICALLY EVALUATE WHAT THEY THINK. You critically evaluate by comparing their conclusions and reasoning with one another, and by comparing what they say with generally acknowledged standards of evidence and logic.

You don't just quote three pages from one of their works and say "see." That is the approach of someone who don't want to think, but who just wants to chant a slogan.

You see, jnt, intelligent people both (1) make use of expert knowledge and (2) think about it for themselves. From what you've told us, you do neither. You are merely a conduit for "the Holy Spirit." It is not your fault if some of the doctrines you spout are inherently abhorant. G_d made you do it.

And I do apologize for confusing you and Thomas, but as you have repeatedly told us, there is really no difference in your views. You are all "believers," all conduits for "the Holy Spirit" and, hence, are all of one mind. Therefore, it is often difficult to tell you apart.

516lawecon
Apr 2, 2012, 9:24am Top

~514

"I am always amazed how when someone cannot prove their "case," they tend to lay the untrue claim out there- that the other person believes they know everything. You cannot cite examples, because I have never stated such. I would ask you a question in response to your claim that I "believe I know everything." You claim I believe I know everything, yet, you say I know nothing; who is the one that sounds like they "know everything"?"

Let me qualify, jnt. I agree with what you say half of the time - you do indeed know nothing. Yet the other half of the time you claim to know everything, because all you have to do is pray and "the Holy
Spirit will guide you."

You see, jnt, it is the same problem repeated. You don't see yourself as arrogant because you don't see yourself as the source of your all encompassing wisdom. It is the Holy Spirit, not you, who knows all and tells you all. Hence, you can give us the One True interpretation of every verse in the Bible and simultaneously claim to know nothing.

But from the perspective of those of us who don't daily have conversations with G-d, and doubt that you have such conversations, you "appear" as incredibly conceitful and arrogant.

Indeed, your claim that you daily have conversations with G-d has been, traditionally, true of only true Prophets. True Prophets write or have written about them the books of the Bible. False Prophets were traditionally strangled for their deceit. So, should we expect "The Book of jnt" to be shortly added to The Bible? So it would seem. Perhaps you should ask the Holy Spirit?

517johnthefireman
Apr 2, 2012, 12:19pm Top

>508 jntjesussaves: I'm sitting under a tree connecting to a nearby wifi. I'm currently in one of those conflict-ridden parts of South Sudan, helping to facilitate a meeting of the presidential peace committee under the chairmanship of our Anglican archbishop, so I'm afraid I can't respond in any great depth.

However, when Scripture is clear (which I believe most of God's Word is)

Yet, when God's Word clearly says something- we rely on God's Word to direct us

Once again, the problem is that is not clear. If it were, there would be no major disagreement about it.

It might seem clear to someone who accepts a single English translation of it (albeit a 400-year old one), who interprets it fairly literally, and who interprets it in the light of north American culture. It may seem rather less clear to someone who understand the ancient languages in which the bible was written, or the culture of the people in biblical lands and times, or who knows the history of biblical translation, or many other aspects. It might also be interpreted very differently by people who live in cultures which are much more similar to the cultures of biblical people. For example, I currently find myself amongst people who are semi-nomadic livestock herders in a pre-industrial culture... rather more similar to the ancient Jews than to modern north America.

518jburlinson
Apr 2, 2012, 12:52pm Top

> 517. It might also be interpreted very differently by people who live in cultures which are much more similar to the cultures of biblical people.

Fundamentalist enclaves of rural America might not be all that different from early Christian communities. Paul's letters seem to be written to groups that have decided that they and their little circle of friends were the "true" Christians, to the point where Paul felt the need to correct them for their errors.

My wife's mother was an itinerant evangelical preacher who worked a circuit in central & southern California and on into Arizona. One of the many interesting insights from that experience was the realization that small, insular groups come to believe that their community truly is the only true and inerrant colony of Christianity on the face of the earth. The First Church of Christ of south Bakersfield is likely to look with suspicion and, occasionally, "naked contempt" at the members of the First Church of Christ of northeast Fresno. A successful preacher was able to make a living only if he or she could successfully tap into that sense of exclusivity. Going to heaven is only sweet if you know in your heart that all these other people are going to hell.

519fuzzi
Apr 2, 2012, 1:14pm Top

(509) "Let's see if we can straighten this situation out. Here's my position on salvation: Jesus as Christ has saved all humanity. All humanity -- not just those that "believe." What's my scriptural basis for that? How about this one: "And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10-11.

"All people", jntjesussaves, all people. "All people" means "everyone". I don't need to resort to a dictionary to parse that one."


So, you base your belief that ALL people will be saved on Luke 2?

The good tidings of great joy are to all people, but not all people will accept them.

To balance that one verse, we have given you many, many verses from places such as John 3, and Romans 10.

I will ask you to read Mark 9:43-48, Matthew 5:29-30, Matthew 10:28, Matthew 18:8-9, Matthew 23:33, Revelation 20:10-15...and then tell me, if all people are going to Heaven (as you seem to indicate by your passage, above), then who are these people who are going to Hell?

520fuzzi
Apr 2, 2012, 1:17pm Top

(518) "Going to heaven is only sweet if you know in your heart that all these other people are going to hell."

Not for someone who knows Jesus Christ!!!

As a saved, born again child of God, I might not like my brothers and sisters sometimes, but I do love them.

I even love those who are not saved, and are headed for Hell.

I love them so much that I open up myself to ridicule and harangues in order to let them know that they can live forever, and how they can get saved.

If I felt superior and glad that I was going to Heaven and you were not, why would I be telling you how to get to Heaven as well???

521jburlinson
Apr 2, 2012, 2:24pm Top

> 519. To balance that one verse, we have given you many, many verses from places such as John 3, and Romans 10.

So "that one verse" needs to be "balanced"? Why? Are you admitting that there might be a seeming contradiction between Luke 2 and the others?

522thomashwalker2
Apr 2, 2012, 3:29pm Top

Lawecon, I have been anxiously waiting for you to respond to post 499 and 500. The men that wrote the content that I placed in those posts are Jewish Scholars. I am really interested in what you think.

523jburlinson
Apr 2, 2012, 3:31pm Top

> 520. If I felt superior and glad that I was going to Heaven and you were not, why would I be telling you how to get to Heaven as well???

I've found that I get a feeling of satisfaction if I can tell someone else something that they don't already know. I get an even greater sense of satisfaction if I can convince someone else to change their mind about something.

Of course, I usually feel a little sheepish if I convince somebody of something that turns out to be false.

524jburlinson
Apr 2, 2012, 4:08pm Top

> 519. I will ask you to read Mark 9:43-48, Matthew 5:29-30, Matthew 10:28, Matthew 18:8-9, Matthew 23:33, Revelation 20:10-15

Mark 9 and Matthew 5 & 18 is obviously figurative language, metaphorical language. If even fundamentalist Christians took these passages literally, there would be a lot of missing eyes and hands in this world. I can’t believe that nobody’s eye or hand has never offended them. I, myself, have been known to have a roving eye, especially in my younger days. I’m not sure which one was the roving one, they seem to work in tandem. So should I pluck them both out?

Matthew 10:28 doesn’t say anything about which persons will have their bodies and souls destroyed in hell. We’re only told to “fear him” who can effect such a thing.

Matthew 23:33 – “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” The answer is through the salvific action of Jesus Christ, which is for “all people” (Luke 2).

Revelation 20:10-15. – “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (14-15). Once again, this is figurative language and it does not identify who would not be found “written in the book of life.” I’ve always figured that judgment would be up to God, who can accurately and with mercy & compassion read the hearts and minds of men & women. For all we know, everyone’s name is written in the book of life. Luke 2 says so, anyway. All people. So, probably everyone who received the gift of life at conception will be "written in the book of life."

525jntjesussaves
Apr 2, 2012, 6:56pm Top

509: I understand your views, and outside of the fact that you believe "accepting Christ" is a "good work," you seem to understand my views. We will agree to disagree.

526jntjesussaves
Edited: Apr 2, 2012, 7:43pm Top

515: ""Expert," in case you don't understand the term, means someone who has had the requisite training, who spends his working life in a particular field of study, and WHO IS GENERALLY ACKNOWLEDGED AS AN EXPERT BY HIS PEERS. It is not just someone who declares himself to be the conduit for the Holy Spirit to avoid any hard work - as can any fraud."

It seems in your mind there are two types of people when it comes to those who read/study the Bible: "acknowledged scholars" and "frauds," who apparently is everyone else. The one that claimed "I believe I know everything," yet seems to know who the scholars and frauds are, I would ask- which camp do you fit in, lawecon?

"And I do apologize for confusing you and Thomas, but as you have repeatedly told us, there is really no difference in your views. You are all "believers," all conduits for "the Holy Spirit" and, hence, are all of one mind. Therefore, it is often difficult to tell you apart."

Apology accepted and I wish you the best, lawecon.

527jntjesussaves
Edited: Apr 2, 2012, 7:44pm Top

516: "Let me qualify, jnt. I agree with what you say half of the time - you do indeed know nothing. Yet the other half of the time you claim to know everything, because all you have to do is pray and "the Holy
Spirit will guide you."

You see, jnt, it is the same problem repeated. You don't see yourself as arrogant because you don't see yourself as the source of your all encompassing wisdom. It is the Holy Spirit, not you, who knows all and tells you all. Hence, you can give us the One True interpretation of every verse in the Bible and simultaneously claim to know nothing."

Lawecon, I have given Biblical evidence for every belief and (claim) I have made; you may not agree with my interpretation or my beliefs, but I have proven every thing I have said with something other than, "I know this is true, because I said." As a matter of fact, nothing even close to that has come from my mouth.

What is interesting is that while you claim that "I believe I know everything," please tell me what opinions you have given of which you believe you are incorrect? You see, when someone starts accusing the other person they are debating that they "think they know everything," it does show that the person making the accusation is the one that truly believes they know everything. I have mentioned several times over these threads on certain issues that I cannot be dogmatic about certain things, but I must say- you are the one that have never admitted that you are (or could be wrong) on anything. That to me is the perfect illustration of "someone who believes they know everything."

528fuzzi
Apr 2, 2012, 7:19pm Top

jburlinson, I have offered you information to show you that your belief that 'all will be saved/go to Heaven' is incorrect.

You have discounted my information, claiming that it's obviously figurative, or that it's not clear about who will be destroyed in Hell (hey, someone will, right? Doesn't that contradict your belief that ALL will go to Heaven?), etc., etc.

I pray that your eyes will be opened to the truth, but it won't come about through conversations on a message board.

You'll have to realize for yourself that you do need to accept God's offer of salvation: it's not going to be forced on you, and no one here can do that for you, it's totally up to you.

I wish you only the best.

529jntjesussaves
Apr 2, 2012, 7:19pm Top

517: John, it would seem according to you that one must be a scholar to even get saved. If that be your view, then I must say we must agree to disagree, because if we all had to understand Greek and Hebrew in order to receive from God's Word, "very few" would be able to do so. I believe God has given us English translations, so that English speaking people (of which, very few ever learn to read Hebrew and Greek), would be able to have a authoritative translation. Sometimes it seems like certain people are so busy looking for what the Bible doesn't clearly say, that they miss the larger portion- which seems to be clear. However, I do understand that we will disagree on this point.

I agree to disagree. I do again, thank you John, for a respectful and mature debate- which I always get with you.

530jntjesussaves
Apr 2, 2012, 7:22pm Top

519: Thanks fuzzi, great addition. I will say, however, that I believe jburlinson only cares about the Scripture references that he shares.

531lawecon
Edited: Apr 2, 2012, 7:33pm Top

~522

Await no longer. See my post 515 for my answer to you.

Incidentally, Thomas, according to most Jews you can't be a Jewish Christian. See, e.g., http://www.jewishagency.org/JewishAgency/English/Jewish+Education/Compelling+Con... (concerning a ruling by the Israeli Supreme Court that a "born Jew" who converts to Christianity is not a Jew for purposes of the Law of Return).

532jntjesussaves
Apr 2, 2012, 7:25pm Top

520: Very well said, fuzzi. We know the truth; we know we desire other people to get saved. I really don't believe jburlinson really believes that statement.

533jntjesussaves
Apr 2, 2012, 7:33pm Top

521: The verse you referenced is right in line with what I have stated; Christ did die for all, but one must still accept His sacrificial death in their place in order to be saved. There is a difference, jburlinson, between someone dying for someone "that they might have life" and someone actually being saved. Your reasoning lacks; I have given you several examples that prove what I say to be true, I have given you numerous verses which prove what I say to be true, but you still choose to refuse to see, (however, I do believe the reason why you cannot see is because your eyes are darkened to the truth, jburlinson. You might say that I am "judging" you, but in the case I am oberving your lack of spiritual understanding. I have been very kind to you throughout our discussions, but when you continuously say things that are completely foreign to Scripture and you never respond to verses that claim the opposite of your beliefs- it causes me to see a lack of spiritual understanding on your part.

If what I say causes you to think more deeply about what you believe and you see the truth as a result, I will gladly accept that I am "judging" you. It is that important, jburlinson.

534jntjesussaves
Apr 2, 2012, 7:34pm Top

522: Me too, lawecon.

535lawecon
Edited: Apr 2, 2012, 7:45pm Top

~526

It seems in your mind there are two types of people when it comes to those who read/study the Bible: "acknowledged scholars" and "frauds," who apparently is everyone else. The one that claimed "I believe I know everything," yet seems to know who the scholars and frauds are, I would ask- which camp do you fit it, lawecon?

========================

Once again, jnt, you misrepresent my position when you have every reason to know that you are misrepresenting my position.

I have no problem at all with those persons who want to read the Bible in order to state personal opinions regarding what "it means to me." Such a position is not arrogant because there is no claim to authority or to "getting it right" or to knowing anything about the background of the texts one is reading. It is as if someone from Somalia picks up a Somali translation of Moby Dick, reads it, and then opines on what it means to him. That may be interesting for him and for his friends and family. But virtually no one else is interested, since they know that he knows nothing about American culture of a couple hundred years ago, obsession, whale hunting or anything else of relevance to Moby Dick.

But that modest and harmless enterprise is not what you and fuzzi and Thomas regularly do. What you do is claim authority. You claim authority that primes the worked for authority of established and recognized scholars in the various fields I mentioned. After all, you talk with G-d and G-d tells you the REAL meaning of scriptural passages. He explains why you are right and the scholars are wrong. He explains why you know more about Jewish Scriptures than do the Jews who have been writing about them for 3,000 years.

And you're right, I do know who the frauds are.

536jntjesussaves
Apr 2, 2012, 7:42pm Top

524: Jburlinson, while I agree that one verse (taken in context) is all we need to have "truth" if it be from God's Word (as long as it doesn't contradict other Scripture- which I haven't found any contradictions in my fifteen years as a Christian), however, I would like to challenge you with something- I will get the ball rolling and give you a verse that shows that salvation is not guaranteed to everyone, even while I agree Christ did die for everyone; I then ask you to give a verse that gives reference that He not only died for everyone, but everyone is saved as a result. I hope you accept this challenge- we will see who runs out of verses that "support their claim."

I will give a very well know verse to get us started- John 3:16:

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
(KJV)

Thanks.

537lawecon
Apr 2, 2012, 7:44pm Top

~532

"Very well said, fuzzi. We know the truth.."

This from a person who in his immediately previous post was contending that he never said that he "knows everything." Apparently not everything, just "the truth."

538jntjesussaves
Apr 2, 2012, 7:45pm Top

528: I second your thoughts and prayers, fuzzi.

539jntjesussaves
Edited: Apr 2, 2012, 8:06pm Top

535: "But that modest and harmless enterprise is not what you and fuzzi and Thomas regularly do. What you do is claim authority. You claim authority that primes the worked for authority of established and recognized scholars in the various fields I mentioned. After all, you talk with G-d and G-d tells you the REAL meaning of scriptural passages. He explains why you are right and the scholars are wrong. He explains why you know more about Jewish Scriptures than do the Jews who have been writing about them for 3,000 years."

What you continue to accuse myself, Thomas, and fuzzi of doing- you continue to do the same in your own words. You say with authority, "But that modest and harmless enterprise is not what you and fuzzi and Thomas regularly do." You say with authority, "What you do is claim authority." You say with authority, "You claim authority that primes the worked for authority of established and recognized scholars in the various fields I mentioned." You claim with authority, "After all, you talk with G-d and G-d tells you the REAL meaning of scriptural passages. He explains why you are right and the scholars are wrong. He explains why you know more about Jewish Scriptures than do the Jews who have been writing about them for 3,000 years." And lastly, you claim with authority- "And you're right, I do know who the frauds are."

This is the authority you claim in just one post; and all your other posts are no different. As a matter of fact, most everyone on this thread have made their claims with authority. I really see no problem with claiming authority. I will at least admit, lawecon, that I do believe I am right about what I believe.

Just a question to other posters (you included, lawecon), is there anyone out there that really doesn't believe what you believe to be correct?

I guess the difference between you and I is that your authority is derived from lawecon (and the scholars that you read), my authority is derived from God's Word.

540jburlinson
Apr 2, 2012, 8:00pm Top

> 528. You'll have to realize for yourself that you do need to accept God's offer of salvation

What makes you think I haven't accepted God's offer of salvation? I haven't ever said I haven't accepted it.

What I have said is that I don't need to accept God's offer of salvation. Nobody does.

At any rate, I would never presume to decide who has accepted God's offer of salvation. I cannot read the hearts of other people.

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? 1 Corinthians 2:11

541jntjesussaves
Edited: Apr 2, 2012, 8:11pm Top

536: Nice try, lawecon, but the "truth" I was referring to in this post was "my heart." And in my heart, I know (as does fuzzi), that we do desire to see others go to Heaven and not to Hell. Am I that difficult to like, lawecon? You seem to deride everything I say everytime I say it (there was a little humor in that). You have to at least enjoy my dull sense of humor, don't you lawecon?

Even while you can be canterkerous at times, I do like you lawecon (and I also sincerely hope you see the truth of salvation), also.

542jntjesussaves
Apr 2, 2012, 8:11pm Top

540: Therefore, you would agree that we are no longer judging you (or reading the hearts of other people), now that you have admitted that you haven't accepted His offer of salvation?

I would also add, once again (since you didn't respond before), what do you think all the verses in this passage (1 Corinthians 2:9-16) mean? I am still waiting for your response, jburlinson.

543jburlinson
Apr 2, 2012, 8:15pm Top

> 536. John 3:16 -- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (KJV)

First off, this verse does not say anything about people who do not believe in Jesus. Second, who can tell what other people believe? Can you read the hearts and minds of other people? I cannot. Simply going by what people say is not good enough by any means. Please see the 1 Corinthians 2:11, quoted in post # 540 above.

Let's consider a little story. Suppose a person who considers themselves to be an atheist dies in this world and suddenly realizes that, all along, they were wrong. The scales fall from their eyes and the love of God overwhelms them with bliss and contentment. With an open heart, they accept this great love. Are you going to tell me that such a scenario could not possibly happen?

544jburlinson
Apr 2, 2012, 8:21pm Top

> 541. now that you have admitted that you haven't accepted His offer of salvation

When did I ever admit such a thing?

545jntjesussaves
Apr 2, 2012, 8:52pm Top

543: I will say this, jburlinson, you do like to play with words a lot.

"First off, this verse does not say anything about people who do not believe in Jesus."

jburlinson, if you are going to play "word games," you must be consistent. This verse does say something about "people who do not belive in Jesus." However, if you do not know the other verses surrounding the verse- then you will not see what is in the verse. There is a lot more in this verse than the twenty-four words that are within. How do I know this to be true? Please read John 3:18 in relation to 3:16:

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:17
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

John 3:18
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
(KJV)

You see, while this verse does not specifically say, "but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God," it does say it. But, it does require you to understand there are many other verses relating to this verse (that must be read in conjunction) in order to receive it's true meaning. Does God have to repeat the same thing over and over (in every verse) in order for it to be true, jburlinson?

I will say, your method of interpretation changes based on every verse. I have just shared with you that John 3:16 certainly does say that those who do not believe in Jesus shall perish, shall not have everlasting life, shall be condemned (He does require you, however, to read the next two verses to see His meaning). But what I find interesting is that you specifically stated that John 3:16 says nothing "about people who do not believe in Jesus." Of which, as I proved, it does. Yet you share Luke 2:10-11 in post 509 with the following words:

"Here's my position on salvation: Jesus as Christ has saved all humanity. All humanity -- not just those that "believe."

While I do agree that this verse does infer that Christ came to die for all of mankind, not because it exactly (or specifically says that in this verse), but because the reference is shown in many other verses; however, my question to you is- What part of this verse says, "Jesus Christ has saved all humanity. All humanity-- not just those that "believe"? I will be waiting patiently for an answer. Thanks, jburlinson.

Here is the verse so you will have a quick and easy reference:

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10-11.

546jntjesussaves
Apr 2, 2012, 8:59pm Top

544: More "word games."

You said: "What I have said is that I don't need to accept God's offer of salvation. Nobody does."

I said: "you would agree that we are no longer judging you (or reading the hearts of other people), now that you have admitted that you haven't accepted His offer of salvation?"

So are you saying, even while "you don't need to accept God's offer of salvation," you have accepted it?

If this be true, it just doesn't make sense. I believe one must accept Jesus Christ in order to be saved and go to Heaven when they die, therefore, I have done so. You, on the other hand, do not believe you need to accept Jesus Christ in order to be saved and go to Heaven when you die, yet you still have done so. I guess, from my perspective (or interpretation)- I understand why I have, yet from trying to understand your perspective- I don't understand why you have.

547jburlinson
Apr 2, 2012, 9:59pm Top

> 545. While I do agree that this verse does infer that Christ came to die for all of mankind, not because it exactly (or specifically says that in this verse), but because the reference is shown in many other verses; however, my question to you is- What part of this verse says, "Jesus Christ has saved all humanity. All humanity-- not just those that "believe"? I will be waiting patiently for an answer. Thanks, jburlinson.

Here is the verse so you will have a quick and easy reference:

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10-11.


Please look very, very carefully at the verse quoted above, Luke 2:10-11. For quick and easy reference I have put in bold the two-word phrase "all people." By the use of the phrase "all people", the angel is referring to "all humanity." "All people" means the same thing as "all humanity." Unto all people is born a Saviour, Christ the Lord. All people. I could repeat this phrase as many times as necessary to try to get its meaning across. It means, "exactly or specifically", "all people."

jburlinson, if you are going to play "word games," you must be consistent. This verse does say something about "people who do not belive in Jesus."

Again, look very carefully at # 536, in which you give me this challenge: "I will give a very well know verse to get us started- John 3:16:" You didn't ask me to "read John 3:18 in relation to 3:16". You asked me to give my interpretation of John 3:16. I did so. John 3:16 says nothing about people who do not believe in Jesus. You're the one playing word games.

548jburlinson
Apr 2, 2012, 10:06pm Top

> 546. If this be true, it just doesn't make sense. I believe one must accept Jesus Christ in order to be saved and go to Heaven when they die, therefore, I have done so. You, on the other hand, do not believe you need to accept Jesus Christ in order to be saved and go to Heaven when you die, yet you still have done so. I guess, from my perspective (or interpretation)- I understand why I have, yet from trying to understand your perspective- I don't understand why you have.

Perhaps it's because I choose to do so. Not because I have to, but because I choose to. I'm a little surprised that you admit that you've only accepted Jesus Christ because you must in order to be saved and go to Heaven.

549jntjesussaves
Apr 2, 2012, 10:32pm Top

547: I am just playing the same "word games" that you have played.

So when John 3:16 says, "whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life," it doesn't mean those who don't believe in Him shall not have everlasting life. Yet, when Luke 2:10-11 says "for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ'" it somehow says that everyone is saved. Now, I would agree that this verse refers to Jesus being the Saviour (and that this will bring tidings of great joy to all people), but again where does it say that because He is the Saviour (and because of that fact it brings tidings of great joy to all people), everyone is saved?

By the way, I see the "all people," but what I don't see is where it says "all are saved" because Jesus is the Saviour. For your belief to hold up, should it not read, "And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, because all people will be saved. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord"? You see, it is completely missing those words.

But, just for argument's sake, jburlinson (even while that verse does not refer that all people are saved)- let's say that this verse relates your point.

I have already give you another verse, John 3:18, of which says the same thing as John 3:16 (but is "very" specific). Please give your next verse to give credence to your claim.

Thanks.

"Again, look very carefully at # 536, in which you give me this challenge: "I will give a very well know verse to get us started- John 3:16:" You didn't ask me to "read John 3:18 in relation to 3:16". You asked me to give my interpretation of John 3:16. I did so. John 3:16 says nothing about people who do not believe in Jesus. You're the one playing word games."

So, you do believe that we shouldn't read verses in context of other verses? Knowing what John 3:18 says, would you then agree that John 3:16 gives evidence that not all are saved?

550jntjesussaves
Apr 2, 2012, 10:40pm Top

548: If you believe as I do, why would someone accept Jesus Christ in order to be saved? When speaking of salvation, one must get to "the must" in order to get to "the choosing."

I would ask you, why have you accepted Him? Was it not because the Bible says to? Or did you just come to conclusion that it is "probably a pretty good idea that I do"?

551jburlinson
Edited: Apr 3, 2012, 12:03am Top

> 549. By the way, I see the "all people," but what I don't see is where it says "all are saved" because Jesus is the Saviour. For your belief to hold up, should it not read, "And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, because all people will be saved. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord"? You see, it is completely missing those words.

So let me get this straight, you think the angel was saying: "I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, because only a few people will be saved. For unto some of you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord"?

John 3:18 -- He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (KJV)

Once again, I do not know who has or who has not "believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." Do you? You never got around to responding to my other half of my post in # 543. Viz.:

Second, who can tell what other people believe? Can you read the hearts and minds of other people? I cannot. Simply going by what people say is not good enough by any means. Please see the 1 Corinthians 2:11, quoted in post # 540 above.

Let's consider a little story. Suppose a person who considers themselves to be an atheist dies in this world and suddenly realizes that, all along, they were wrong. The scales fall from their eyes and the love of God overwhelms them with bliss and contentment. With an open heart, they accept this great love. Are you going to tell me that such a scenario could not possibly happen?


Before we begin talking about who does and who does not believe in Jesus, we need to wait until the last chapter of the book of eternity is written. At that time, who's to say there will be anyone who does not then believe in the name of the only begotten Son of God?

Now let me ask you a few questions. Why are you trying so hard to convince me to think ill of my fellow human beings? Why is it so important to you that I come to believe that other people are damned to hell for eternity? Why do you want to depress the heck out of me and give me the feeling that other people are damned and condemned, when presently I try hard to love my neighbor and think the best of him/her?

edited to get the bold font to behave itself

552jburlinson
Apr 2, 2012, 11:53pm Top

> 550. I would ask you, why have you accepted Him? Was it not because the Bible says to? Or did you just come to conclusion that it is "probably a pretty good idea that I do"?

Perhaps it's because I love Jesus the Christ. Is that a possibility?

553eclecticdodo
Apr 3, 2012, 6:30am Top

re the debate about whether or not to follow "scholars" teaching. We are clearly instructed in the Bible to test all teaching according to the word (the Bible). If it does not stand up to such a test then we are to reject it. You may consider that arrogance on our part to assume to know better than "schollars" but I do not see it that way. We simply follow the Bible. We take the Bible to be authoritative truth.

I have no doubt at all that many of these experts have a lot to teach us, but we must never loose sight of the fact that they are human. In the same way, my words should be tested according to the scriptures and I earnestly pray that any divergence would be made clear to me. We should approach all things with a humility that allows us to be corrected, but also a confidence that God's word is truth.

554thomashwalker2
Apr 3, 2012, 8:29am Top

531: "Incidentally, Thomas, according to most Jews you can't be a Jewish Christian."

Point d(3)

"In the light of the usual Jewish significance of the noun Jew, a Jew who has converted to Christianity is not known as Jewish.

Point d(4) "Therefore, the applicant, despite his many qualities and the sincere love he holds for Jews, which he has proved, cannot define himself as Jewish.

Lawecon, thank you for sharing the link to the above points - fascinating. History repeats itself. "one thing we learn from history is that we don't learn from history." - unknown.

“Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue” (John 12:42, KJV).

Post 515 is not a response to posts 499 and 500. However, since you have concluded that the men that wrote what I included in my post are not scholars, and so their scholarly endeavors lack authority, even though they have meet your criteria in post 515:

"Now the way that an intelligent human being approaches experts is that you find out what they think on various questions and then you CRITICALLY EVALUATE WHAT THEY THINK. You critically evaluate by comparing their conclusions and reasoning with one another, and by comparing what they say with generally acknowledged standards of evidence and logic." - Lawecon

555lawecon
Edited: Apr 3, 2012, 9:56am Top

~553

"e the debate about whether or not to follow "scholars" teaching. We are clearly instructed in the Bible to test all teaching according to the word (the Bible). If it does not stand up to such a test then we are to reject it. You may consider that arrogance on our part to assume to know better than "schollars" but I do not see it that way. We simply follow the Bible. We take the Bible to be authoritative truth."

Let's see if I understand your view.

Presumably you know that the Bible did not fall from Heaven?

It was compiled from a much greater number of texts of similar age, many of which circulated among earlier Christian communities as authoritative.

It was compiled by majority vote of a Counsel of Bishops called by and presided over by an Emperor of Rome/Byzantium.

It was edited into one authoritative text in the original language in which it was written.. (Actually there were historically several such edited proposed authoritative texts, but there is more or less one authoritative text today. Of course, this text is authoritative because of a consensus is among scholars, so it may not count in your view.)

The authoritative text in the original languages was arrived at by scholars in the light of numerous "exeplitor" texts, exemplitor texts that vary from each other in various ways. See, e.g., The Text of the New Testament The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible. We don't have originals of any of the texts compiled into the Bible. What we have is copies of copies of copies, often dating from hundreds of years after the appoximated date of the original.

The agreed to text in the original languages was then translated into English from its original languages. The translations also vary from one another, as translations always vary from one another.

Now if I understand your view, none of that matters. Although we don't have originals of any of the books of the Bible and the exemplitor texts vary somewhat from one another, although the Bible is only a selection of other texts many of which were considered authoritative by the Christians nearest in time to Jesus, although translations of these texts vary, you still believe that the words you read in your (probably KJV) of the Bible are The Word For Word Words of God.

I'm afraid that your view doesn't make any sense in light of the well known historical record, a record concerning which there is virtually no dispute. Indeed, the view of jnt, Thomas and fuzzi makes more sense. At least they are not relying on the exact text that they are reading, but are only "inspired" by it to pray for a conversation with the Holy Spirit about what that text "really means."

556lawecon
Apr 3, 2012, 9:50am Top

~554

Thomas, let me ask you something. Suppose that a group of Muslim converts to Christianity decided that they wanted to call themselves Muslim Christians.

They did imitations of all the holidays of Christianity, they read the Christian Scriptures, they would salt their discourses with references to what a great Prophet Jesus was (a standard view among all Muslims), they appointed their own Church authorities and followed their own lights as to understanding the Scriptures.

However, they also added that Muhammad was really the Second Coming of Christ and that his revelations from G-d through the Angel Gabriel (sometimes known as the Qur'an) should have equal authority with the earlier revelations in the New Testament. Indeed, they held that certain aspects of the New Testament had been corrupted by historical evil men and thus was not as reliable as the Qur'an.

How would you regard these people? Are they really Christians? Someone who you are "in fellowship" with? Or are they charlatans who have rejected the core of Christianity and are just using the name "Christian" to attract converts to their cult?

Now see if you can figure out the applicability of that example to the "rabbis" and messianic sites you have cited us to.

557lawecon
Edited: Apr 3, 2012, 9:59am Top

~554

" Post 515 is not a response to posts 499 and 500. However, since you have concluded that the men that wrote what I included in my post are not scholars, and so their scholarly endeavors lack authority, even though they have meet your criteria in post 515:

"Now the way that an intelligent human being approaches experts is that you find out what they think on various questions and then you CRITICALLY EVALUATE WHAT THEY THINK. You critically evaluate by comparing their conclusions and reasoning with one another, and by comparing what they say with generally acknowledged standards of evidence and logic." - Lawecon ""

I don't know why you and jnt are having such problems with these distinctions, but let me try to clarify again. Experts are those who have the characteristics I described in the paragraph previous to the one you quote above. In short, they spend their lives in a particular narrow study and are recognized as experts by their colleages. By contrast, what I am referring to in the quotation you give above is how intelligent people who are not experts form an opinion. In other words, what you should be doing. As I pointed out in the post which you say is not an answer to your previous post, that isn't what you do. What you do is find "an authority" and blindly quote and follow that authority without critically examining the authority. That is not an intelligent approach to these or any other topics. It is the approach of someone who has turned off his mind and is simply chanting slogans.

558thomashwalker2
Apr 3, 2012, 11:23am Top

556: "Suppose that a group of Muslim converts to Christianity decided that they wanted to call themselves Muslim Christians."

This is a oxymoron, not unlike an Atheist Christian. You can't be both. Convert means complete transformation not a partial adherence.

"How would you regard these people?" - confused

"Are they really Christians?" - obviously not.

"Or are they charlatans who have rejected the core of Christianity and are just using the name "Christian" to attract converts to their cult?" - Some could be charlatans (Con artists) but only if they knew the truth and where wanting to keep that truth from others. For the most part, it is a matter of not knowing the truth that lead people to a mix bag of beliefs and philosophies.

"Now see if you can figure out the applicability of that example to the "rabbis" and messianic sites you have cited us to."

The Jewish religion and Christianity are not seperate religions like Muslim and Christianity. The Jewish and Christian religions, when the veil is lifted, is the same: Judean Chrsitianity

You must remember that all the New Testament authors were Jews—with one probable exception—and they were sometimes writing to Jewish readers who knew their Scriptures well. To manufacture, misquote, or misinterpret verses from the Tanakh would be absolutely self-defeating. The fact is, these authors spent much time meditating on the Tanakh, and you would be amazed to see just how insightful their quotations and interpretations are, not to mention how much they are in keeping with the ancient Jewish methods of scriptural hermeneutics.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 4, pp. 3-21.)

"Incidentally, Thomas, according to most Jews you can't be a Jewish Christian."

I WILL QUOTE IN A MYSTERY:

"For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? 25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob"
Romans 11:24-26

559jburlinson
Apr 3, 2012, 12:48pm Top

> 558. This is a oxymoron, not unlike an Atheist Christian. You can't be both.

Sure you can.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_atheism

560johnthefireman
Edited: Apr 3, 2012, 1:01pm Top

>508 jntjesussaves: I do not believe you would need a lot of study material to read them and tell me what your interpretation of them

I think you and I have different standards of what it takes to understand the bible! Of course one can read it a certain level and gain from it. There are themes that leap out even at the casual reader - the primacy of love in the New Testament, for example. And one can read it meditatively, as a form of contemplative prayer. But I wouldn't claim to be able to discern universal truths for everybody from these exercises.

To interpret some verses with a degree of credibility as universal truths for everybody, I would at least want to compare a couple of good translations (not the KJV, I'm afraid). I'd want to read a commentary or two to see if there are any particular problems with translating any key words, or possible difference once punctuation has been added to the original texts which didn't contain it. I'd want to know something about the author, the community to which he was writing, and the context. I'd want to compare it with other similar texts, eg in the Synoptic Gospels, John, Acts, the epistles. Then I'd want to look at the teaching of my Church in regard to it, trace its history and origins, look at bible texts on which the teaching is built...

Edited to add: I think I've just answered >517 johnthefireman: too... it's not that one needs to be an expert to read the bible, but I think one does need to be an expert before preaching universal truths about the whole of humankind.

561thomashwalker2
Edited: Apr 3, 2012, 2:04pm Top

559: "Sure you can."

"every man today who is open to experience knows that God is absent, but only the Christian knows that God is dead, that the death of God is a final and irrevocable event, and that God's death has actualized in our history a new and liberated humanity".3

It seems more appropriate to label these great thinkers as post agnostic atheist moral conservatists. This is a great example of when the experts haven't a clue as to what they believe.

562eclecticdodo
Apr 3, 2012, 3:16pm Top

>555 lawecon:

It's a long time since I really looked into how the Bible was compiled. But a quick skim of Systematic Theology refreshed my memory on at least some points. Firstly, I believe the old testament scriptures were taken as those agreed on by the Jewish authorities at the time of Christ, since Jesus did not dispute any of them, I trust that to be accurate. Secondly, all new testament books are attributable to apostles or those closely associated with them, and they were agreed on at least in eastern parts some 30 years before the council of Carthage.

As to textual variation, to my understanding there is complete agreement on 99% of the texts, much of the remainder is made clear by context or not important to the understanding of the passage. Where the differences are significant, I trust the translation teams to follow the leading of the Spirit AND make it clear in their footnotes that there is disagreement.

That brings us to translation. As a matter of fact, I don't use the KJV. I find the language archaic, and I believe there are more accurate modern translations. Of course it would be better if I were fluent in Biblical Greek and Hebrew, but that is not going to happen. Instead I trust that the teams of experts have done a good job. I also refer to several translations to get different interpretations, and I perform word studies to see how a word is used in other passages.

Finally, I believe God has preserved his word
"The preservation and correct assembling of the canon of Scripture should ultimately be seen by believers, then, not as part of church history subsequent to God's great central acts of redemption for his people, but as an integral part of the history of redemption itself..... Ultimately, then, we base our confidence in the correctness of our present canon on the faithfulness of God."
Systematic Theology p65

I'm afraid I've probably not explained this terribly well. As I said, it's a long time since I looked into it in detail, and I have never examined it as closely as the subject requires. But I do believe God gives understanding to the level we need it. My doubts on this matter are satisfied, that is all that matters.

I don't believe that we are all called to be experts in all areas - who could be? - but that God uses Godly men to reveal his truth, and that he uses His Holy Spirit to reveal his truth. All I am saying is that we must always test that truth according to the scriptures.

563fuzzi
Apr 3, 2012, 7:21pm Top

(553) eclecticdodo wrote: re the debate about whether or not to follow "scholars" teaching. We are clearly instructed in the Bible to test all teaching according to the word (the Bible). If it does not stand up to such a test then we are to reject it. You may consider that arrogance on our part to assume to know better than "schollars" but I do not see it that way. We simply follow the Bible. We take the Bible to be authoritative truth.

I have no doubt at all that many of these experts have a lot to teach us, but we must never loose sight of the fact that they are human. In the same way, my words should be tested according to the scriptures and I earnestly pray that any divergence would be made clear to me. We should approach all things with a humility that allows us to be corrected, but also a confidence that God's word is truth.


Thank you, sister.

I don't put my faith in what people say, only in what God says, in His word, the Bible.

Billy Sunday once said "When scholarship says one thing and the Bible says another, scholarship can go plumb to the Devil"

:D

564fuzzi
Apr 3, 2012, 7:25pm Top

(559) > 558. This is a oxymoron, not unlike an Atheist Christian. You can't be both.

Sure you can.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_atheism


Oh, that proves it to me. Wikipedia is truth...

565lawecon
Apr 3, 2012, 8:44pm Top

~558

"The Jewish religion and Christianity are not seperate religions like Muslim and Christianity. The Jewish and Christian religions, when the veil is lifted, is the same: Judean Chrsitianity."

Thomas, this explains a great deal of the problems you are having in this discussion. There may have once been "Judean Christianity," but the very sort of Christianity you adhere to literally killed off those people (with the aid of Constantine's swords).

Judaism has virtually no similarity to Christianity. Christianity is on one end of a spectrum on virtually every topic, Judaism is on the other end of the spectrum. Islam combines traits of both ends of the spectrum and is thus much nearer to Christianty than is Judaism.

Pick any topic you want, e.g.,
(1) Religion is reducible to affirmation of a creed. (Not in Judaism)
(2) Relgious commitment is principally displayed in acts, not beliefs. (Not in your type of Christianity.)
(3) God is a three part being. (Not in Judaism.)
(4) Individuals are saved, nations are not. (Not in Judaism)
One could go on and on, but if you have a clue about this topic you will readily get the point.

566lawecon
Apr 3, 2012, 8:54pm Top

~562

As I've said to jnt several times, you need to read something other than rather absurd Christian apologetics. But let's just take your initial point as an example:

It's a long time since I really looked into how the Bible was compiled. But a quick skim of Systematic Theology refreshed my memory on at least some points. Firstly, I believe the old testament scriptures were taken as those agreed on by the Jewish authorities at the time of Christ, since Jesus did not dispute any of them, I trust that to be accurate. Secondly, all new testament books are attributable to apostles or those closely associated with them, and they were agreed on at least in eastern parts some 30 years before the council of Carthage."

Actually, the Jewish Bible, like the Christian Bible wasn't canonized (or anything similar to being canonized) until the 4th Century after the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. The Torah, Psalms and some of the major Prophets were generally agreed to as Jewish Scriptures with authority prior to that time, but there was no Bible such as the "Old Testament" today before that time. Indeed, there was no notion that the Torah, the Psalms and some of the Prophets were any unitary work, rather than being separate books with authority and prestige in Judaism. (It is also quite clear that the Torah itself is a compilation, that may have occurred sometime during the Babylonian captivity, but may have occurred later.)

None of the books of the New Testament were written by the Apostles. One of the principal reasons was that the Apostles were illiterate. One of the Gospels is sometimes attributed to one of the Apostle's companion, who did not write down what he heard from the Apostle until long after the Apostle's death, but that is as near as you get to direct apostolic composition in the New Testament.

You really need to educate yourself on these topics. No one, other than members of your small cult, believes propositions of the type you mention above.

567jntjesussaves
Edited: Apr 4, 2012, 12:30am Top

551: "So let me get this straight, you think the angel was saying: "I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, because only a few people will be saved. For unto some of you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord"?"

You apparently don't comprehend; I made the above point in reference to you saying that this verse gave you evidence to believe that "all people" WILL be saved. This verse does not say, "all people will be saved." Then you ask, "So let me get this straight, you think (according to this verse)..."only a few people will be saved"? I am saying that this verse does not say either- it doesn't say "all will be saved," and it doesn't say "a few will be saved." I am saying there are two things you can take from this verse- "I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people," what are these "good tidings"? "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." Now you say, "So let me get this straight..."only a few people will be saved?" I do say "only a few people will be saved," but I wouldn't use this verse as evidence for that belief. I have shown from John 3:16 and 3:18, that "all people" are not saved. You haven't produced evidence for your claim.

"Once again, I do not know who has or who has not "believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." Do you?"

I agree, jburlinson, I do not know either; however, I can say that when someone says they don't believe one needs to "believe" on Jesus Christ in order to be saved- their eyes are darkened to the truth of God's Word (and they are not saved).

We don't need to know how many have (or will be saved) in order to understand the number will be "few." Why do I say this? Because God's Word clearly says it. I have shared verses that relate this point. You used Luke 2:10-11; as I stated before, if I accepted your logic that this verse reference did relate your point, give me another verse reference that relates your point. I again offer John 3:16 to prove my point that Christ did die for all, but all are not saved. That verse says, "For God so loved the world (there is the implication to the fact that Jesus Christ's sacrifice was for "all people") that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosover believeth on Him (there is the implication to the fact that those who believe on Jesus Christ will benefit from Jesus Christ's sacrifice) shall not perish, but have everlasting life."

"Second, who can tell what other people believe? Can you read the hearts and minds of other people? I cannot. Simply going by what people say is not good enough by any means. Please see the 1 Corinthians 2:11, quoted in post # 540 above.

Let's consider a little story. Suppose a person who considers themselves to be an atheist dies in this world and suddenly realizes that, all along, they were wrong. The scales fall from their eyes and the love of God overwhelms them with bliss and contentment. With an open heart, they accept this great love. Are you going to tell me that such a scenario could not possibly happen?

Before we begin talking about who does and who does not believe in Jesus, we need to wait until the last chapter of the book of eternity is written. At that time, who's to say there will be anyone who does not then believe in the name of the only begotten Son of God?

Now let me ask you a few questions. Why are you trying so hard to convince me to think ill of my fellow human beings? Why is it so important to you that I come to believe that other people are damned to hell for eternity? Why do you want to depress the heck out of me and give me the feeling that other people are damned and condemned, when presently I try hard to love my neighbor and think the best of him/her?"

Sorry about not responding to this, jburlinson, I was going to but I must have responded to the first part and forgot about this second point you made.

You say, "who can tell what other people believe?" Anyone can (if they listen and observe), because people tell us what they believe (or they imply it by their life and actions). You then say, "Simply going by what people say is not good enough by any means." How else does one interpret what one believes unless they go by what the person says? If by this you mean that sometimes some people do not really fully have a grasp on what they believe, I might agree. But if your point is that the person who says, "I am an atheist" (who understands what an atheist is- which is almost an impossibility anyway), how else must we interpret that statement (except to believe they are what they claim or that they believe what they claim)?

In your story, according to God's Word, there is a flaw; you say, "Suppose a person who considers themselves to be an atheist dies in this world and suddenly realizes that..."; according to God's Word they will not be given another opportunity for the rest of your story to happen. Please consider Hebrews 9:27-28:

Hebrews 9:27
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Hebrews 9:28
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
(KJV)

And also Revelation 20:11-15,

Revelation 20:11
And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

Revelation 20:12
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Revelation 20:13
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. {hell: or, the grave}

Revelation 20:14
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Revelation 20:15
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
(KJV)

While they will not get another opportunity (even while many teach differently), I will continue to comment on your analogy: You also go on to say, "an atheist dies in this world and suddenly realizes that, all along, they were wrong." There are going to many (all those who are unsaved who recognize this, not just atheists). "Good people" (from man's standard) will also recognize that "all along, they were wrong." Unfortunately, at that time- it will be too late to change your eternal destination.

Romans 14:11
For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

Romans 14:12
So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
(KJV)

You go on to say, "With an open heart, they accept this great love." Two things to consider. First, you are implying that someone who has not only rejected Christ's love their entire life (and even denied His existence and the existence of God), will one day all the sudden realize this; I would say that without the Holy Spirit drawing them to Christ, someone will never experience salvation. One does not "decide" when they receive Christ; without the Spirit's drawing power- one will not (nor cannot) experience salvation.

John 16:7
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

John 16:8
And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: {reprove: or, convince}

John 16:9
Of sin, because they believe not on me;

John 16:10
Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;

John 16:11
Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
(KJV)

"Before we begin talking about who does and who does not believe in Jesus, we need to wait until the last chapter of the book of eternity is written."

Jburlinson, if one waits until then, they will have waited too long. Praise God, His Word tells us that we can be assured "right now" that we are His children. Please read the following verses:

1 John 5:9
If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.

1 John 5:10
He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

1 John 5:11
And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

1 John 5:12
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

1 John 5:13
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
(KJV)

"At that time, who's to say there will be anyone who does not then believe in the name of the only begotten Son of God?"

Again, everyone at that time will "believe" what God said regarding Jesus Christ, but it will be too late. However, according to God's Word, they will not be given another chance. Another portion of Scripture for you to read and consider is found in 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12. I truly believe these verses relate to the person (or persons) who have lived a life rejecting God, rejecting Jesus Christ, who after the Rapture takes place will not be given another opportunity.

2 Thessalonians 2:7
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

2 Thessalonians 2:8
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

2 Thessalonians 2:9
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

2 Thessalonians 2:10
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

2 Thessalonians 2:11
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

2 Thessalonians 2:12
That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
(KJV)

Now to answer your last few questions:

"Why are you trying so hard to convince me to think ill of my fellow human beings?"

I am trying hard to convince you of the truth, jburlinson. God is the one you might want to ask your question to, but He has given you an answer already. He is the one that said,

Romans 3:9
What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; {proved: Gr. charged}

Romans 3:10
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Romans 3:11
There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

Romans 3:12
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Romans 3:13
Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

Romans 3:14
Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

Romans 3:15
Their feet are swift to shed blood:

Romans 3:16
Destruction and misery are in their ways:

Romans 3:17
And the way of peace have they not known:

Romans 3:18
There is no fear of God before their eyes.
(KJV)

I believe God has been very clear in his estimation of mankind, however I would add, "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Romans 5:6
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. {in due time: or, according to the time}

Romans 5:7
For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

Romans 5:8
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:9
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Romans 5:10
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
(KJV)

Praise God.

I would say, jburlinson, I am grateful that I have been give the opportunity to share God's truth with you (due to the fact that I place great respect in God's Word) and a great amount of time in responding to others inquiries, that I neglect other important duties. Responding in detail as I try to do, causes much time to be placed in this pursuit; therefore, even though I don't mind in any way conversing with you on these issues and wonderful truths, I must place more emphasis on other things that need pertaining to. I do wish you the best in life, but I do hope (that if you haven't and that is my perception), that you will receive God's free gift of salvation and be "born again." Please feel free to respond to what I have written above, but we will probably have to agree to disagree.

568jntjesussaves
Apr 4, 2012, 12:10am Top

552: That is wonderful, jburlinson. I will say, I accepted Christ because I didn't want to spend eternity in Hell. Is that the best reason for accepting Him- for me it was a great reason. You must keep in mind, He chose me- I didn't choose Him. My love for Jesus Christ truly came after receiving Him as my Saviour, not before. You say you accepted Him out of your love for Him, which is certainly commendable; but, I would counter by quoting the following:

1 John 4:19
We love him, because he first loved us.
(KJV)

Again, I do wish you the best.

569jntjesussaves
Apr 4, 2012, 12:10am Top

553: Amen!

570jntjesussaves
Apr 4, 2012, 12:11am Top

554: Good counter points, Thomas.

571jntjesussaves
Apr 4, 2012, 12:11am Top

558: Good response, I agree.

572jntjesussaves
Apr 4, 2012, 12:27am Top

560: While I agree, John, that we must "rightly divide the Word of truth," I would say again (which I know we disagree on this) that much of God's Word is very clear. Where God's Word is clear, I see no reason to look for a deeper meaning. Not that there is wrong with searching for deeper meaning (Thomas does this as well as anyone I have known), however, while there is deeper meanings to be found in God's Word- in looking for them, we shouldn't overlook the clear and obvious, but again- we will probably have to agree to disagree on this point.

"Edited to add: I think I've just answered >517 johnthefireman: too... it's not that one needs to be an expert to read the bible, but I think one does need to be an expert before preaching universal truths about the whole of humankind."

I am a little interested that you haven't made this same point to lawecon (or jburlinson), but maybe you consider them "experts." By your last comment, are you not making the "experts," God's agents for "preaching universal truths"? No where (at least that I am aware of, please cite examples if I am incorrect) in God's Word does it say one must be "an expert" in order to share His truths with others. I add the following "seemingly" clear Scripture references:

1 Corinthians 1:17
For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. {words: or, speech}

1 Corinthians 1:18
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:19
For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

1 Corinthians 1:20
Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

1 Corinthians 1:21
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
(KJV)

And...

1 Corinthians 2:1
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.

1 Corinthians 2:2
For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

1 Corinthians 2:3
And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

1 Corinthians 2:4
And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: {enticing: or, persuasible}

1 Corinthians 2:5
That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. {stand: Gr. be}

1 Corinthians 2:6
Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:

1 Corinthians 2:7
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

1 Corinthians 2:8
Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
(KJV)

I wish you the best, John.

573jntjesussaves
Apr 4, 2012, 12:27am Top

562: Good points.

574jntjesussaves
Apr 4, 2012, 12:27am Top

563/564: Amen and amen!

575eclecticdodo
Apr 4, 2012, 7:30am Top

> 566

agree to disagree? I don't think there's any point continuing the discussion. I now know what you think, you know what I think, and it's clear neither of us is open to persuasion.

576fuzzi
Apr 4, 2012, 7:40am Top

"Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." 2 Timothy 3:7

The Pharisees and the scribes were very smart, very learned, and very righteous. But Jesus Christ does not speak well of them: they knew all the important stuff, but still did not understand the truth of God.

You can learn everything there is to learn, but still not have the understanding of salvation. That comes from God if you want it.

577lawecon
Edited: Apr 4, 2012, 9:09am Top

~574

"> 566

agree to disagree? I don't think there's any point continuing the discussion. I now know what you think, you know what I think, and it's clear neither of us is open to persuasion."

Same sort of argument one would get from an old time communist. "What do you mean? I just quoted Lenin on Marx and Engels to you. They said that the working class would become increasingly miserable and poor. Your statistics about increasing wealth of the working class and their shorter working hours don't hold a candle to what members of the correct class know to be true."

It is called a "reinforced dogmatism." "I believe, everyone in my cult believes, and I don't want to look at the evidence to the contrary." Enjoy.

578lawecon
Apr 4, 2012, 9:10am Top

~576

Couldn't imagine a better restatement of "ignorance is bliss."

579eclecticdodo
Apr 4, 2012, 9:27am Top

>577 lawecon:

As I said, I have examined the subject and satisfied myself. If I thought you were interested in a reasoned discussion I would have it, but you are as guilty of reinforced dogmatism as I am. You dismiss everyone who holds my point of view without looking at their reasons.

580jburlinson
Apr 4, 2012, 11:24am Top

> 567. I do hope (that if you haven't and that is my perception), that you will receive God's free gift of salvation and be "born again."

In this, as in so many things, your perception is incorrect.

As far as your various citations from Hebrews, John, 1 John, Thessalonians, Romans and Revelation are concerned, not one of them mentions when the moment of being born again occurs, whether in this life or the next.

How else does one interpret what one believes unless they go by what the person says?

Having been the parent as a teenager, I've had the experience of having someone scream at me, "I hate you!" (I believe I'd told him he couldn't go out on a date until he'd finished his science project.) Did he believe that? Maybe at the time, but, from the evidence of recent conversations and emails, he doesn't seem to believe it now. (To be honest, I tend to think he didn't believe it then, either.) Have you ever had a similar experience? People tend to say all kinds of things under certain circumstances.

Let me now ask you another hypothetical question. I assume that you believe that life begins at conception and that a person comes into existence at that moment. Consider the plight of that person who, for whatever reason, doesn't make it to full term. She/he never has the opportunity to be born again because they are never born in the first place. Are you telling me that such a person is going to burn in hell for eternity?

581eclecticdodo
Apr 4, 2012, 11:41am Top

580
"Let me now ask you another hypothetical question. I assume that you believe that life begins at conception and that a person comes into existence at that moment. Consider the plight of that person who, for whatever reason, doesn't make it to full term. She/he never has the opportunity to be born again because they are never born in the first place. Are you telling me that such a person is going to burn in hell for eternity?"

I know you weren't asking me, but my personal feeling is that the Bible is ambiguous on children and infants' salvation. Passages such as Deuteronomy 1: 34-40, especially v39 ("And the little ones that you said would be taken captive, your children who do not yet know good from bad—they will enter the land") implies that Gods judgement does not fall on those too young to understand right and wrong. We also have the assurance that not one of the elect will be lost, that is, those who are destined to be saved, will be.

582fuzzi
Apr 4, 2012, 12:13pm Top

(581) "...implies that Gods judgement does not fall on those too young to understand right and wrong..."

Correct. Here's another verse regarding the salvation of children:

King David's child dies, and people wonder why he does not continue to fast as he did before when the child was sick.

David's answer: "But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." 2 Samuel 12:23

David will go to be with his son.

There are other verses, in case you are interested. I'll look them up. :)

583jburlinson
Apr 4, 2012, 12:32pm Top

> 581. the Bible is ambiguous on children and infants' salvation.

How can that be, if the Bible is inerrant? If the Bible is ambiguous about this, could it not be ambiguous about lots of things? Does inerrancy preclude ambiguity? Apparently, not.

We also have the assurance that not one of the elect will be lost, that is, those who are destined to be saved, will be.

Could it be, perhaps, that all are elect, ultimately? Maybe we're all destined to be saved. That's what Luke 2 seems to mean. But I guess that's ambiguous.

584jburlinson
Apr 4, 2012, 12:33pm Top

> 582. the salvation of children

We're all God's children.

585fuzzi
Apr 4, 2012, 12:50pm Top

(584) No, we're not all God's children:

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves." Matthew 23:15

"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do..." John 8:44

"That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed." Romans 9:8

"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:26

"Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." Ephesians 2:2-3


586eclecticdodo
Apr 4, 2012, 12:55pm Top

>583 jburlinson:

There are various areas that the Bible isn't explicitly clear on. For example baptism - infants or adults (I think my interpretation is right, but others whom I respect hold equally sincerely to the other view - at the end of the day it's a matter of practice not salvation so we should accept variation).

That doesn't prevent the Bible from being absolute truth. You couldn't really expect it to be perfectly clear on everything? Only God knows all things.

As to all being the elect, I don't think that is what the Bible says, much as I would love it to be the case! However, most of the pertinent verses have already been mentioned and you clearly have a different interpretation.

587jburlinson
Apr 4, 2012, 1:07pm Top

> 585. No, we're not all God's children

I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. Psalm 82.6.

588jburlinson
Apr 4, 2012, 1:08pm Top

> 587. You couldn't really expect it to be perfectly clear on everything? Only God knows all things.

Amen.

589johnthefireman
Apr 4, 2012, 2:08pm Top

Just wondering why so many posts need to be so long because a long scripture passage is presented as if each verse is a different paragraph, with a heading above it giving the bible reference in full, even if it is just the next verse from the previous one. I'd never seen scripture presented like that until I saw it on some of these LT threads. Is it a convention or something amongst born again saved Christians?

590jburlinson
Apr 4, 2012, 2:21pm Top

> 589. It's a convention for people who cut and paste from a particular version of the KJV that includes interlinear glosses.

591eclecticdodo
Apr 4, 2012, 3:03pm Top

ah, I was wondering too!

592fuzzi
Apr 4, 2012, 6:26pm Top

(589) john, if you are referring to my posts (and I think you are), I do it for clarity.

Why? Because some people love to 1. state something that is not in the Bible or 2. take verses out of context.

If I am backing up my beliefs with Scripture, I post it to show you not only what the Scripture says, but where you can look it up for yourself.

~~

I'm almost done with 2 Corinthians, and have some thoughts to share, but I'll wait until I'm done with that book.

593lawecon
Apr 4, 2012, 7:02pm Top

`579

Pray tell, what are the reasons other than one "evangelical" work?

594lawecon
Apr 4, 2012, 7:04pm Top

~586
"That doesn't prevent the Bible from being absolute truth. You couldn't really expect it to be perfectly clear on everything?"

Yes, understood. An infinitely intelligent being could not be expected to write a sentence that was "perfectly clear." Just beyond Him, no doubt..........

595jntjesussaves
Apr 4, 2012, 9:56pm Top

576: Very well said, fuzzi.

596jntjesussaves
Apr 4, 2012, 9:57pm Top

579: Great point, eclecticdodo.

597jntjesussaves
Edited: Apr 4, 2012, 11:24pm Top

580: jburlinson, you are correct- I don't know your heart. If you are truly saved (born-again), then what I say does not matter. I only have my perception based on your understanding (or lack thereof) of spiritual things. Someone who willfully "chooses not" to see the truth cannot be helped and cannot be changed.

I have showed you verse after verse that are clear in their meaning, but you add to the verses to make them say what you want them to rather than accept them for what they say. I believe you lack in understanding God's truth. I am not sure how you can be sure of what you believe- your "interpretations" have no resemblance to the actual content of the words within the verse. A verse says, "whoseover shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved" and you say, "it doesn't say those who don't call on the Lord are not saved." This logic will lead you down a path you don't want to take, but you don't realize it. With you logic, you can never be wrong- because you can always interpret something to make it fit your system of belief. I have tried, but I truly believe that God will honor His Word when He says His Word "will not come back void."

"As far as your various citations from Hebrews, John, 1 John, Thessalonians, Romans and Revelation are concerned, not one of them mentions when the moment of being born again occurs, whether in this life or the next."

With this logic, all you can do is "hope" (a blind hope at that) and wish for the best. God's Word in no way verifies this belief. It seems like you have mixed every other philosophy under the sun into your belief system, which in turn, has clouded your understanding of the truth of God's Word.

"Having been the parent as a teenager, I've had the experience of having someone scream at me, "I hate you!" (I believe I'd told him he couldn't go out on a date until he'd finished his science project.) Did he believe that? Maybe at the time, but, from the evidence of recent conversations and emails, he doesn't seem to believe it now. (To be honest, I tend to think he didn't believe it then, either.) Have you ever had a similar experience? People tend to say all kinds of things under certain circumstances."

jburlinson, while I agree with your analogy (I have three kids myself, even while they haven't said they hate me, at least not to my face), I do know they at times (and we as parents do also), say things that we regret having said. But, I believe you are talking about two different things. I am not talking about taking what someone says in anger as being the totality of the character, but I am talking about someone's belief system that they have probably thought about frequently and come to their conclusions based on their life experiences. Someone in this latter category, I would think, would have to be taken at the word in what they believe.

"Let me now ask you another hypothetical question. I assume that you believe that life begins at conception and that a person comes into existence at that moment. Consider the plight of that person who, for whatever reason, doesn't make it to full term. She/he never has the opportunity to be born again because they are never born in the first place. Are you telling me that such a person is going to burn in hell for eternity?"

That is a great question and I will be glad to give you my thoughts and beliefs thereon with appropriate Scripture that leads me to my belief. Some people talk about "an age of accountability" (I don't necessarily believe in this, but something similar) when they refer to salvation. I believe that God will hold a person (what that age is probably depends on each individual) accountable when they are able to understand the difference between right and wrong. And when they have an understanding of sin. Most children have a pretty good idea whether certain things are right or wrong (now I will say that this depends somewhat on your upbringing on whether someone has been taught these differences as opposed to someone else who may not have bee taught basic laws of God). We know that God is merciful and while He will not change His nature in order to allow someone who has willfully chosen to go against His will to escape their penalty for sin (based on willfull disobedience), I do believe He takes into account each person individually. As I say, this has some bearing on age, knowledge, and mental capacity. An example would be someone who is mentally handicapped in some way (let's say they have the mental facilities of a 3-year old, even while they might be 40). I believe God would be merciful to this person as He would to a 3-year old, because God certainly does not judge those who do not know the difference between right and wrong.

I do believe that God will hold children responsible for their sin. I based this upon the following verses:

Mark 10:13
And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.

Mark 10:14
But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Mark 10:15
Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

Mark 10:16
And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.
(KJV)

I don't claim to be dogmatic on this belief (as I do on most every other topic we have discussed), because I don't believe the Bible ever "specifically" says what age someone is accountable for their sins. Based on this fact, reason leads me to believe it is when someone is able to discern right from wrong. Your question spoke specifically about aborted babies; and I would probably say you would also be referring to infants (newborns). By the way, I do believe in a general sense that "life" begins at conception (but I would go a little farther and say that I truly believe life began when that particular person (aborted baby) was conceived in the mind of God (which is before conception, but a time when mankind has no way of knowing when)- therefore, for these purposes we can just say I do believe life begins at conception. Two portions of Scripture that causes me to believe that any child (or mentally handicapped person with a child-like capacity) will be spared if they haven't reached the stage where they know the difference between right and wrong as I mentioned earlier.

One is found in Psalm, of which I believe gives evidence to my belief on when "life" begins:

Psalms 139:13
For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.

Psalms 139:14
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. {right...: Heb. greatly}

Psalms 139:15
My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. {substance: or, strength, or, body}

Psalms 139:16
Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. {all...: Heb. all of them} {which...: or, what days they should be fashioned}
(KJV)

I believe this verse also proves why abortion is wrong (and in my opinion, murder).

The second set of verses I share gives me confidence that children (babies and those who have not come to a point to realize right and wrong) is a story of King David; as we know David sinned by having an affair with Bathsheba (of which produced a child that God allowed to get sick and die). The Bible clearly says that God allowed this due to David's sin. These verse relate this story right at the time where Nathan has told David the consequences for his sin. We pick them up here:

2 Samuel 12:13
And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.

2 Samuel 12:14
Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

2 Samuel 12:15
And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.

2 Samuel 12:16
David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. {fasted: Heb. fasted a fast}

2 Samuel 12:17
And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them.

2 Samuel 12:18
And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead? {vex: Heb. do hurt}

2 Samuel 12:19
But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead.

2 Samuel 12:20
Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.

2 Samuel 12:21
Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread.

2 Samuel 12:22
And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?

2 Samuel 12:23
But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.
(KJV)

I share this portion of Scripture specifically because of verse 23: David had prayed and fasted that God would allow his child to live, but God took this child. After the baby had died, David makes a wonderful statement, "can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." I believe this to be a statement of faith on David's part, of which he knew that one day he would go to Heaven to see his child.

I will say again, that this is my belief on the question you asked. I cannot be dogmatic, because I don't believe God has been dogmatic in His Word on these two topics. If you disagreed with my system of thought on these topics, it wouldn't cause me great concern because I don't believe the Bible to be clear on them. However, the other topics that we have discussed I believe God's Word is clear (and this is the difference between the two). I hope this answers your question. Take care, jburlinson.

598jntjesussaves
Edited: Apr 4, 2012, 11:06pm Top

582: See my comment to eclecticdodo. I love it when Christians think alike.

599jntjesussaves
Apr 4, 2012, 11:08pm Top

584: jburlinson, what do you base this view upon?

600jntjesussaves
Apr 4, 2012, 11:13pm Top

589: John, in my case it is just the way my "computer version" of the Bible copies and pastes. I really didn't realize it to be a big issue.

601jntjesussaves
Apr 4, 2012, 11:13pm Top

590: I would agree with that, jburlinson.

602jburlinson
Apr 5, 2012, 12:03am Top

> 600. in my case it is just the way my "computer version" of the Bible copies and pastes.

Here's an example of this from #597:
2 Samuel 12:16
David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. {fasted: Heb. fasted a fast}

One odd thing I notice -- your quotations often contain bracketed phrases like "{fasted: Heb. fasted a fast}". These glosses are not part of the KJV Bible but are made by the very scholars that have been so often derided on this thread. The presence of these glosses seems to imply that the glosses are necessary because the KJV didn't get the translation right. In this case, the KJV shouldn't have said "fasted", because the original Hebrew actually said "fasted a fast."

So how can the KJV be the actual word of God?

603jburlinson
Apr 5, 2012, 12:08am Top

> 597. I don't believe the Bible ever "specifically" says what age someone is accountable for their sins. Based on this fact, reason leads me to believe it is when someone is able to discern right from wrong.

My reason tells me that someone is able to discern right from wrong only when they have had a chance to weigh all the facts and consider all possible sides of an issue. That may not happen until after the person is dead. Since the Bible doesn't specifically say that such a thing is impossible, why should we assume otherwise.

604johnthefireman
Edited: Apr 5, 2012, 8:02am Top

Thanks for responding to my confusion over the way of posting quotes from scripture. It would certainly be easier to read (especially on a small screen like I have) if those long quotes were compressed a little without superfluous blank lines and repetitive verse references. But that's just me. My little brain is still vibrating after a particularly bumpy flight on an old Russian helicopter, from a rather hot and dusty part of South Sudan where I've been facilitating a meeting of the presidential peace committee which is chaired by our Anglican archbishop, so maybe I'll be confused about everything anyway...

605TRIPLEHHH
Edited: Apr 5, 2012, 8:34am Top

597. > 597. I don't believe the Bible ever "specifically" says what age someone is accountable for their sins. Based on this fact, reason leads me to believe it is when someone is able to discern right from wrong.

I thought it was age 21.

606thomashwalker2
Apr 5, 2012, 8:35am Top

FROM THE JEWISH VOICE MINISTRIES:

“. . . when I see the blood, I will pass over you.” – Exodus 2:13

PASSOVER: SALVATION FROM JUDGMENT AND BONDAGE

Passover comes from the Hebrew word Pesach, which literally means “passed over.” It is a yearly feast that commemorates the Lord sending judgment to Egypt because of Pharaoh holding the children of Israel in bondage. Those who believed God and applied the blood of the sacrificed lamb to their dwelling as prescribed by the Lord were assured safety. At the very same time, those who rejected God’s provision and method of salvation were judged without remedy. This night of both judgment and salvation was pivotal in the chain of events that led to God’s Chosen People finally being released from slavery into their journey to the Promised Land.

This amazing story foreshadowed an even more amazing event – the sacrifice of THE Passover Lamb, our Seh HaElohim Who was slain before the foundation of the world, and Who takes away the sin of the world. This is Jesus, our Messiah Yeshua! Because of His sacrifice on our behalf, we can now by faith enter into the refuge He has provided in Himself, receiving both salvation and freedom from the enemy’s bondage!
•The miracle of Passover causes us to rejoice at our own salvation, but also weep for those who are not yet “safe” in Jesus.
•Thank the Lord and bless His Name as you praise Him for the gift of salvation! May we live out of the freedom Yeshua has procured for us, and be faithful to invite others in, especially our Jewish brothers and sisters.
•Pray for Jewish People worldwide to be drawn to a deeper understanding of Passover and receive a revelation from the Lord of Yeshua as the Lamb of God Who provides their salvation and freedom.



Some Scriptures to meditate on:

Exodus 12, esp. 1-30; Isaiah 53;

607fuzzi
Apr 5, 2012, 8:37am Top

Good morning to all.

After some contemplation on my part, I have decided to leave the discussions to others.

I never have a problem with answering what I believe to be "sincere" queries, but most of the discussion here seems to be contentious, and I don't feel that on a "Reading Your Bible" thread that it should be the main focus.

John (jnt), thomas and eclecticdodo (and others) have added their thoughts about what the Bible says about salvation. We can give example after example of what the Bible says, but that won't help someone understand the simplicity of salvation unless they truly want to know the truth.

Pilate said "What is truth?" and walked away from THE truth. He had a chance to accept life eternal, standing right in front of him, but he turned his back, and essentially walked into an eternity of damnation.

Feel free to continue your debate here if you so choose, but I am removing myself from it. Why? It's not profitable for you or me: I could quote scripture here until my fingers fell off and my keyboard started to smoke, but unless you REALLY want to know the truth, you won't accept it.

Last night our pastor preached from Isaiah 6, and made some excellent points that I had not considered before:

"Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts." Isaiah 6:5

Isaiah recognized God for what He was, and suddenly realized how sinful he (Isaiah) was, living among people who were also sinful.

"Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged." Isaiah 6:6-7


Once he realized how he was sinful, and repented in the presence of the LORD, his sin was taken away and purged.

"Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me." Isaiah 6:8

Once Isaiah repented and was forgiven, and his sins were removed, he understood what God wanted of him, and was willing to serve the LORD by telling others about Him.

"And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate," Isaiah 6:9-11


God told Isaiah to tell the people how they were rejecting God, and how, because they refused to hear God's words, that the option of being healed was being removed.

And Isaiah was told to keep telling the people about God's message until no more people were left.

If you keep rejecting God's message, eventually He will stop trying to tell you, and you'll get exactly what you want: your own way, not His way.

"But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain." Titus 3:9

If anyone sincerely wants to ask questions, I'm available. Otherwise, I'm going to concentrate on my Bible reading and study. Y'all can continue to argue and debate without me.

608lawecon
Apr 5, 2012, 8:38am Top

~597

"580: jburlinson, you are correct- I don't know your heart. If you are truly saved (born-again), then what I say does not matter. I only have my perception based on your understanding (or lack thereof) of spiritual things. Someone who willfully "chooses not" to see the truth cannot be helped and cannot be changed."

A perfect expression of a hermetically closed dogmatism. What I believe (with no basis in fact or logic, of course) is THE TRUTH. If you don't agree on the basis of fact and logic then you "cannot be helped and cannot be changed."

What should be done with those who "cannot be helped and cannot be changed" by those who "know THE TRUTH?" Seems like we found that out repeated times in the 20th Century, in the religious wars that raged in the 4th and 5th Centuries in Europe and the near East, in the Crusades, and in the religious wars that raged with the Reformation. In each case, such atrocities were motivated by THE TRUTH, and, of course, love of one's fellow men (real tough Christian love, none of that Jesus stuff).

609lawecon
Edited: Apr 5, 2012, 9:10am Top

~598
"582: See my comment to eclecticdodo. I love it when Christians think alike."

Me too. They remind me of all those other groups that have thought just alike, e.g.

http://valkyriemovie.wikia.com/wiki/Nuremberg_Rally

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwoSFQb5HVk&feature=youtu.be

610lawecon
Apr 5, 2012, 8:45am Top

~605

"597. > 597. I don't believe the Bible ever "specifically" says what age someone is accountable for their sins. Based on this fact, reason leads me to believe it is when someone is able to discern right from wrong.

I thought it was age 21."

Really. Where is that found?

611thomashwalker2
Edited: Apr 5, 2012, 8:51am Top

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household . . . . On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD—a lasting ordinance.”—Exodus 12:1-3, 12-14

Lawecon: Happy Easter

Read the rest of the story: http://www.jewishvoice.org/site/PageServer?pagename=Messiah_passover_lamb

612lawecon
Apr 5, 2012, 9:08am Top

~606

More of what one does when one KNOWS THE TRUTH. Here are some similar examples of such behavior:

http://callingchristians.com/tag/muhammad/

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/altmuslim/2010/01/prophet_muhammads_promise_to_chri...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sl1CwQsugnk

Popcorn anyone?

613thomashwalker2
Apr 5, 2012, 9:12am Top

608: "What should be done with those who "cannot be helped and cannot be changed" by those who "know THE TRUTH?" Seems like we found that out repeated times in the 20th Century, in the religious wars that raged in the 4th and 5th Centuries in Europe and the near East, in the Crusades, and in the religious wars that raged with the Reformation. In each case, such atrocities were motivated by THE TRUTH, and, of course, love of one's fellow men (real tough Christian love, none of that Jesus stuff)."

Approximately six thousand years have passed since the expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Go to your local bookstore and walk to the history section. There you will find the consequences of a world run by the will of humanity. Wars, insurrections, slavery, greed, power-hungry dictatorships, and a host of atrocities inflicted upon the innocent (Jewish, Christians, Muslims, and the list goes on to include every race and religion) have scarred world history.

The atrocities around the world and the wars and rumors of wars you hear about daily in the news are a direct result of a universal heart condition: “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war” (James 4:1–2, NKJV).

Jesus never hurt anyone. He was the Passover Lamb that took away the sins of the world, but one has to receive Him to enter into the new covenant of grace. To be a follower of Jesus you must become like Him. Any so-called Christian denomination that would persecute another human being, and especially the Jewish people, are wolves in sheeps clothing. Satan can appear as an angel of light.

614lawecon
Apr 5, 2012, 9:17am Top

I said not one word against Jesus. I think that Jesus was probably a good, if somewhat mistaken, man. The same cannot nearly be said of certain of his followers who KNOW THE TRUTH and act accordingly.

615thomashwalker2
Edited: Apr 5, 2012, 10:22am Top

565: (4) Individuals are saved, nations are not. (Not in Judaism)

"Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household..."

Lawecon, spend some time on other sites (Jewish Voice) rather than those depressing ones you posted. The Jewish Voice Ministries has helped me understand in greater depth my Christianity.

616jburlinson
Apr 5, 2012, 1:41pm Top

> 599. 584: jburlinson, what do you base this view upon?

See # 587.

617jburlinson
Apr 5, 2012, 1:57pm Top

> 607. John (jnt), thomas and eclecticdodo (and others) have added their thoughts about what the Bible says about salvation. We can give example after example of what the Bible says, but that won't help someone understand the simplicity of salvation unless they truly want to know the truth.

I realize that # 607 was probably your farewell to this thread, but I must say I'm disappointed with your departure and particularly with the statement quoted above.

You are stating that, other than the 3 people identified by name, other people who've been contributing to this thread do not "truly want to know the truth." I find that to be a profoundly un-Christian and un-charitable thing to say. It's my impression that all of the contributors to this thread and nearly all the contributors to threads in the LT Christianity group in general truly do want to know the truth. Why else do they (we) spend time contributing to these threads? The fact that we all don't agree with each other does not disqualify anyone from truly wanting to know the truth.

I ask you to consider carefully the following quotation from Jesus Christ Himself:
When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Mark 2:17.

Christians are not called to wall themselves off into little sealed conclaves of only the righteous. They are called to engage with the unrighteous.

I would also urge you to consider also one of the most famous pronouncements of all time:
And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. Luke 6:31.

If we want other people to listen to us and take our words seriously, Jesus tells us to do the same to them.

618jntjesussaves
Apr 5, 2012, 8:52pm Top

602: I will only say, jburlinson, that first of all I have never claimed the KJV to be "the actual Word of God." I have only stated that I believe it to be the most accurate translation. Second, by your implication, please cite when I have derided "scholars." I stated that it is wrong to accept the writings of scholars over the clarity of God's Word.

You seem to have a hard time accurately portraying what someone else has said. I accept the responsibility for what I say, but not what I don't say.

619jntjesussaves
Apr 5, 2012, 8:59pm Top

603: Again, jburlinson, you only read what you want to read and you only accept what you want to accept. I tried to explain how my belief was drawn for the question you asked. I shared with you a verse which states, "It is appointed to man once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). This seems clear to say, that man dies once- and then he receives judgment. Feel free to choose to believe something different, but I do hope and pray that you base your belief on God's Word (and not on your own wisdom).

620lawecon
Apr 5, 2012, 9:15pm Top

~615

Well, Thomas, I can understand why you would prefer a Christian site where disingenuous Christians pretend to be Jews. It is undoubtedly much less disturbing to your mistaken conceptions regarding what Judaism is like than is a Jewish site. Reinforced dogmatism again, and all that........

621jburlinson
Apr 5, 2012, 9:27pm Top

> by your implication, please cite when I have derided "scholars."

Here's a line from post # 563: Billy Sunday once said "When scholarship says one thing and the Bible says another, scholarship can go plumb to the Devil"

That's derision.

Here's your plaudit from # 574. 563/564: Amen and amen!

622jntjesussaves
Apr 5, 2012, 9:37pm Top

604: Your welcome and I am sorry about this; I can understand your pain because I have tried to view things on a 7 inch tablet and I must say I would almost rather not deal with it. I will try and seek a different program that makes these changes. Take care, John- hope you stay safe in your travels.

623jntjesussaves
Apr 5, 2012, 9:42pm Top

606: Thomas, I can only say Amen and amen! God bless you for your wise words.

624jntjesussaves
Edited: Apr 5, 2012, 10:05pm Top

607: "unless you REALLY want to know the truth, you won't accept it"

Very true, fuzzi. There is wisdom in your words; I have contemplated these things also.

God bless you for what you have contributed to these discussions.

625jntjesussaves
Apr 5, 2012, 9:46pm Top

608: lawecon, no offense, but I was actually speaking these words based on New Testament Scripture (of which as I understood, you didn't desire to interpret), therefore I was just wondering why you felt the need to comment about my interpretation of New Testament teachings?

626jntjesussaves
Apr 5, 2012, 9:47pm Top

609: Very clever, lawecon.

627jntjesussaves
Apr 5, 2012, 9:49pm Top

613: Amen, Thomas.

628jntjesussaves
Edited: Apr 5, 2012, 10:06pm Top

I have tried to do this with you in "private" conversation (I believe you understand what I mean by this), but you refuse to do so by your lack of response. I believe that would be much more conducive to understanding where each other is coming from much better than a thread such as this.

629jntjesussaves
Apr 5, 2012, 10:04pm Top

621: This is what I mean, jburlinson, you only see what you choose to see- you don't see what has truly been said.

I said in post 618: "by your implication, please cite when I have derided "scholars." I stated that it is wrong to accept the writings of scholars over the clarity of God's Word."

fuzzi had quoted Billy Sunday's quote which said: ""When scholarship says one thing and the Bible says another, scholarship can go plumb to the Devil"

(I responded with, Amen and amen!). Are you so quick to villify me that you don't even read what has been written.

Again, I said- "it is wrong to accept the writings of scholars over the clarity of God's Word"; Billy Sunday said, "when scholarship says one thing and the Bible another, scholarship can go plumb to the Devil". These ideas are almost identical, therefore I said, Amen and amen! Please tell me where the derision is? You might believe it is wrong to criticize scholars when they try and contradict and criticize Scripture, I do not believe that it is wrong.

It is hard to have a conversation with someone who is so quick to criticize and so unwilling to accept "clear" truth, but you can choose to continue down your path- but understand you are doing so at your own peril.

630jburlinson
Apr 5, 2012, 11:16pm Top

> 629. you don't see what has truly been said. ...you don't even read what has been written.

Definition of "deride" from Merriam-Webster dictionary: "to subject to usually bitter or contemptuous ridicule"

"scholarship can go plumb to the Devil" -- that is a statement of contemptuous ridicule. To that statement, you said "Amen." That is "what has been written."

I fail to see how I have not seen "what has truly been said."

Let me be clear -- it doesn't bother me that you deride scholarship. Go ahead.

What bothers me is when you deride something and then later say you didn't deride it.

It is hard to have a conversation with someone who is so quick to criticize

Now you know how I feel when asked to have a conversation with someone who has repeatedly told me I'm going to hell for eternity. I mean, if that's not being critical, what is?

you can choose to continue down your path- but understand you are doing so at your own peril.

That, sir, is a threat. Why should I have a "private" conversation with someone who threatens me? At least if we have this dialog in a public forum, I have witnesses.

631johnthefireman
Apr 6, 2012, 1:04am Top

>629 jntjesussaves:"clear" truth

The point I continually try to make is that it clearly isn't "clear" truth. If it were so clear, then there wouldn't be so many Christians who, after prayer, study and discernment under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, come to so many different conclusions about what it means. What is clear to you obviously isn't clear to many other people, therefore by any objective definition it isn't "clear".

632lawecon
Apr 6, 2012, 5:30am Top

~625

"608: lawecon, no offense,"

Why did you think I was offended?

" but I was actually speaking these words based on New Testament Scripture (of which as I understood, you didn't desire to interpret), therefore I was just wondering why you felt the need to comment about my interpretation of New Testament teachings?"

jnt, this is a rather silly evasion. You have told us numerous times before that you really have no opinions of your own. All you say is "based on New Testament scripture" as interpreted to you personally by the Holy Spirit. I understand. I'm sure you understand that everyone else understands that this is just another way you have of rendering everything you say as "directly from G-d" in your role as a prophet, and thus as something that is impervious to criticism.

It won't work, jnt. You are not a prophet. You may be, in your mind, speaking only from New Testament scripture, but we have previously determined that you have so little regard for that scripture that you don't even attempt to read what the experts in New Testament scripture say about it. No one other than you believes that your claim to be in daily conversation with G-d shields your uniformed opinions from the criticism of other human beings.

Now why don't you, for once, give up the arrogant act and actually join in a discussion with other human beings? No claims to being a prophet and speaking for G-d, no vacuous "Amen!!," just listening and thinking about what the other guy is saying and responding from your own knowledge and reasoning.

633lawecon
Apr 6, 2012, 5:36am Top

~626

"609: Very clever, lawecon."

It is not meant to be "clever," jnt. It is a serious concern of mine. You are repeatedly telling us that your cult is based on direct conversations with the Deity (an obviously higher power). You are repeatedly telling us that you all think alike and say the same things. Etc.

What other groups of human beings have made the same sorts of claims? Well, the Roman Legions commanded by the Divine Emperor, the subjects of Mao Tse Tung and of all previous Divine Emperors of China , the subjects of Adolph Hitler (who spoke daily with G-d).

I really don't see the difference, jnt. What you say is directly from G-d. You all say the same things (as you have emphasized). The only proper response you have to one another is "Amen!!". Critical discussion is disturbing and unChristian. Sounds really very similar to me.

634thomashwalker2
Apr 6, 2012, 9:06am Top

620: "Well, Thomas, I can understand why you would prefer a Christian site where disingenuous Christians pretend to be Jews. It is undoubtedly much less disturbing to your mistaken conceptions regarding what Judaism is like than is a Jewish site. Reinforced dogmatism again, and all that........"

So Rabbi Jonathan Bernis is not a Jew and his site (Jewish Voice) is actually a Christian site camoflaged as being Jewish?

Please provide me with a Jewish site you deem is true.

635lawecon
Edited: Apr 6, 2012, 9:38am Top

~634

Here we go again, Thomas. You apparently think in terms of The Truth and Falsehood Derived From Satan. The world doesn't work like that. Specifically, Judaism doesn't work like that. There are many websites that are authentically within the circle of Judaism that I personally disagree with (just as there are many website that are authentically Christian - whether you are willing to acknowledge them as such or not - that you don't agree with).

A Christians For Muhammad website is not, however, authentically Christian, and a Jews for Jesus site is not authentically Jewish. That is true whether or not the head of that site calls himself a "rabbi." Reading such a site to find out about Judaism is much like reading The Daily Worker to find out about America.

But to answer your request for information. Here are some Judaism sites that I tend to like and find generally compatible with my views:

http://www.hartmaninstitute.com/

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/index.html

http://forward.com/

636eclecticdodo
Apr 7, 2012, 3:20pm Top

I've just got back from a few days away, so catch up time...

>593 lawecon: "Pray tell, what are the reasons other than one "evangelical" work?"

There are plenty more sources. Not that I have them to hand right now. I would try to find some however I suspect you would readily dismiss them as "evangelical" as well. By your view if anyone holds my opinion they must be "evangelical" and therefore are not to be trusted.
___________

>594 lawecon: "Yes, understood. An infinitely intelligent being could not be expected to write a sentence that was "perfectly clear." Just beyond Him, no doubt.........."

His word is perfect and says everything he intends it to say. But it would have to be infinitely long and complex for it to say everything about everything. And even then, our weak minds and sinful souls would fail to comprehend it.
___________

>609 lawecon: "They remind me of all those other groups that have thought just alike"

And so we invoke Godwin's law on this thread as well. You realise that means you acknowledge you've lost the argument? ;-)
___________

>617 jburlinson: "Christians are not called to wall themselves off into little sealed conclaves of only the righteous. They are called to engage with the unrighteous."

But we are also called to draw strength and fellowship from other Christians, which is what I believe Fuzzi was trying to do in this thread. Closing herself to one thread does not mean she is necessarily walling herself off in all areas of her life.

637lawecon
Edited: Apr 7, 2012, 10:42pm Top

~636

"">593 lawecon: "Pray tell, what are the reasons other than one "evangelical" work?"

There are plenty more sources. Not that I have them to hand right now. I would try to find some however I suspect you would readily dismiss them as "evangelical" as well. By your view if anyone holds my opinion they must be "evangelical" and therefore are not to be trusted.""

This is not a new topic, and my answer is the same as it has always been:

It is fine to go to an apologetic source to find out the ideology of a certain group. If you want to find out what Marxists believe, you should read Marx and Engels and Lenin and Stalin and Mao. If you want to find out what Hitler believed, you should read Mein Kampf and his speeches. If you want to find out what plain meaning Christians believe, you should read Systematic Theology, or, as you point out, dozens of other books.

However, the topic we have been discussing is not what you and fuzzi and Thomas and jnt BELIEVE. It is what scholarly conclusions and reasoning are about the New Testament and the history of Christianity. For the claims you were making (e.g. authorship of the Gospels) you have to go to scholars who are recognized experts about the history of Christianity and Christian texts. Those aren't the people who teach at the Moody's Bible Institute or hand out ministerial credential. They aren't the people who KNOW what they know based on conversations with the Holy Spirit. They are the people who teach and do research at the leading academic institutions in the world, people who publish in established scholarly journals devoted to these fields, journals that are refereed by other scholars who teach and do research in these fields. They are people who may or may not be Christians themselves, but who spend their professional lives examining Christian texts and Christian history rather than evangelizing for a particular faith.

See if you can read some of those texts. If you don't have a clue what they may be, I'll be happy to give you a list of a dozen or so titles, starting, for instance, with The Text of the New Testament.
------------------------

"">594 lawecon: "Yes, understood. An infinitely intelligent being could not be expected to write a sentence that was "perfectly clear." Just beyond Him, no doubt.........."

His word is perfect and says everything he intends it to say. But it would have to be infinitely long and complex for it to say everything about everything. And even then, our weak minds and sinful souls would fail to comprehend it.""

So, trying to understand what you're now saying: you have moved from the position that G-d cannot write a text that is clear and unambiguous to a reader to the claim that the text, in order to be clear, must say "everything about everything." And this is your position about a text that is "perfect" and which you believe to be Absolute Truth ?? This is the text you use to guide your life?

Well, then, that is much better.
-;

----------------------------

"">609 lawecon: "They remind me of all those other groups that have thought just alike"

And so we invoke Godwin's law on this thread as well. You realise that means you acknowledge you've lost the argument? ;-)""

Ah yes, Godwin's Law. The principal that there was no Hitler and there were no Nazis and there was no Nazi ideology, so any comparison with the same must be an admission of defeat (among those who are totally ignorant about Nazi ideology). Yes, a truly brilliant Principle, see, e.g.,
Nazi Ideology
Nazi Ideology Before 1933 or, with particular reference to the discussion we were having, Hitler Youth
-----------------------

">617 jburlinson: "Christians are not called to wall themselves off into little sealed conclaves of only the righteous. They are called to engage with the unrighteous."

But we are also called to draw strength and fellowship from other Christians, which is what I believe Fuzzi was trying to do in this thread. Closing herself to one thread does not mean she is necessarily walling herself off in all areas of her life.""

My goodness, and I thought that Christians had places called Churches where they could assemble and "draw strength and fellowship from other Christians."

But you certainly are right that fuzzi doesn't limit herself to this thread or this forum. She preaches the same ideology in many other places in Librarything, and, one suspects, other nonChristian venues. In fact, I had abandoned this thread, hundreds of posts ago, so you guys could have your own enclave, only to have fuzzi pop up in another discussion I was having elsewhere preaching the same line she preaches here.

So the real lesson is that you and she and Thomas and jnt shouldn't experience "interference" with your "faith exchange," but the rest of us, well, it is your duty to "save" us from ourselves. So one standard for thee and another standard for me. Sounds right.

638jntjesussaves
Apr 7, 2012, 10:37pm Top

630: jburlinson, you certainly need to read more carefully.

Again, you tell me what the Webster's definition of what "deride" means. I do not question the definition of what "deride" means.

You state I have consistently derided scholars, I haven't. I "have" derided scholars who contradict Scripture with their ideas.

You must be specific in your accusations, because when you are not you could really cause doubt to be cast on someone who did not say (or do) what you claim. An example would be, "If I say- I don't like Barack Obama," then you turn around and say, "John, doesn't like black people." While Barack Obama is black, the fact that I don't like him has nothing to do with fact that he is black. Therefore, as your reasoning goes- One is deriding black people, because they have derided a black person. I am not criticizing "all scholars," only those who criticize God's Word.

And secondly, I do question your accusation that I have "derided" anyone. The fact that fuzzi qouted Billy Sunday (who stated the mentioned quote- not myself), I only agreed with his statement in jest. I can guarantee you that Billy Sunday would not desire for anyone to go to Hell (even scholars who question and contradict Scripture), nor would I. He made his statement in jest, not as a pronostication on anyone.

630> you can choose to continue down your path- but understand you are doing so at your own peril.

That, sir, is a threat. Why should I have a "private" conversation with someone who threatens me? At least if we have this dialog in a public forum, I have witnesses.

jburlinson, that is not a threat. It is one fellow human being speaking to another human being trying to get you to see the ramifications for misinterpreting Scripture.

I can see our conversation is taking us down a path that I never intended to travel; if you believe you are ready to meet God, then all I can say is that I hope and pray that you are. Take care, jburlinson.

639jntjesussaves
Apr 7, 2012, 10:48pm Top

631: John, as I was writing those words that you quote I wondered if I should put in parenthesis that "I know some disagree that God's Word is clear," but I didn't because I thought by now that we all understand that I do believe it (and I was stating what I believe- not what you believe, jburlinson, or lawecon, believes).

I state what I said at the beginning of this thread, this is the reason why there should be threads for different groups of people. You will never agree with me that the Bible is clear, I will never agree with you that the Bible is unclear (in most things); you will never agree, nor will jburlinson, that one must be born-again to go to Heaven, I will never agree that one who hasn't been born-again will go to Heaven. We just disagree on too major of issues to really even discuss things.

You might make a statement that such and such verse isn't clear- I would counter that it is clear; then, at that point, where do we go? There is no where to go. I don't say this to be critical of you, jburlinson, or anyone else- it just seems obvious to me that we cannot discuss these types of issues without problems. My goal has never been to criticize anyone else for what they believe (nor claim that anyone "is not a Christian"), yet this is what it has become because we differ so very much on most things.

Since, I believe everyone on this thread knows where I stand on salvation, the Bible, and other things mentioned; I will no longer speak about these things to those I disagree with. I do wish you the best, John.

640jntjesussaves
Apr 7, 2012, 10:58pm Top

633: So, by what I have written on this thread- you compare me to Mao and Adolph Hitler? I am sorry that you are not able to communicate with God as I am able. I don't say this out of arrogance or out of pride, because the reason why I am able to speak to God is only because of Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:1
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Romans 5:2
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
(KJV)

And...

Ephesians 2:11
Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

Ephesians 2:12
That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

Ephesians 2:13
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Ephesians 2:14
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

Ephesians 2:15
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

Ephesians 2:16
And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: {thereby: or, in himself}

Ephesians 2:17
And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

Ephesians 2:18
For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
(KJV)

Lawecon, while I understand (according to your beliefs) you do not have access to God, but according to my beliefs I do have access to my God (through Jesus Christ). I know that we will never agree on this, therefore, there is no use for us to continue this conversation.

I have tried and tried to have a respectful and effective conversation with you, but you do not desire to have this type of a conversation. I wish you the best, lawecon.

641jntjesussaves
Edited: Apr 7, 2012, 11:13pm Top

636: "There are plenty more sources. Not that I have them to hand right now. I would try to find some however I suspect you would readily dismiss them as "evangelical" as well. By your view if anyone holds my opinion they must be "evangelical" and therefore are not to be trusted."

I, for one, agree with your assertion.

"His word is perfect and says everything he intends it to say. But it would have to be infinitely long and complex for it to say everything about everything. And even then, our weak minds and sinful souls would fail to comprehend it."

Amen, eclecticdodo; you are right on!

642jntjesussaves
Apr 7, 2012, 11:08pm Top

637: "They are the people who teach and do research at the leading academic institutions in the world, people who publish in established scholarly journals devoted to these fields, journals that are refereed by other scholars who teach and do research in these fields. They are people who may or may not be Christians themselves, but who spend their professional lives examining Christian texts and Christian history rather than evangelizing for a particular faith."

The Bible is explicit that the unsaved, (hence, "the natural man") cannot understand spiritual things (i.e. the Scriptures):

1 Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

1 Corinthians 2:10
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

1 Corinthians 2:11
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

1 Corinthians 2:12
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

1 Corinthians 2:13
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

1 Corinthians 2:14
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Corinthians 2:15
But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. {judgeth: or, discerneth} {judged: or, discerned}

1 Corinthians 2:16
For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. {may: Gr. shall}
(KJV)

643jburlinson
Edited: Apr 8, 2012, 1:18am Top

> 638. First you say, "I "have" derided scholars who contradict Scripture with their ideas."

And then, one short paragraph later, you say, "I do question your accusation that I have "derided" anyone. "

What??????

644johnthefireman
Apr 8, 2012, 1:47am Top

>639 jntjesussaves: Thanks, jnt. Yes, you're right, there are apparently irreconcilable differences between mainstream Christians and "born again" "saved" Christians, and we certainly aren't going to agree.

I had hoped that we would be able to understand better the why and how of our disagreements through dialogue, but it doesn't seem to work. We both claim a scriptural foundation for our beliefs, and we both come to different beliefs based on that scriptural foundation; that much is clear. But when we try to explore further, you say, "The bible says so", which doesn't really help much because I say, "Well, actually the bible says something different". That leads me to realise that we really need to get down to some serious study and interpretation of this bible; you simply say, "No, what it says is clear". That's the bit I really wanted to explore: our whole attitude to understanding the bible, rather than individual verses, but I don't think it's going to work.

I just want to add that in >637 lawecon:, lawecon says, They are people who may or may not be Christians themselves, but who spend their professional lives examining Christian texts and Christian history rather than evangelizing for a particular faith, which is of course true. But I don't think you can just dismiss it by saying the unsaved, (hence, "the natural man") cannot understand spiritual things (>642 jntjesussaves:), because actually a huge number of scriptural scholars are practising Christians, so according to your definition they can understand spiritual things.

645lawecon
Edited: Apr 8, 2012, 9:24am Top

~640

"633: So, by what I have written on this thread- you compare me to Mao and Adolph Hitler? I am sorry that you are not able to communicate with God as I am able. I don't say this out of arrogance or out of pride, because the reason why I am able to speak to God is only because of Jesus Christ.

............

"Lawecon, while I understand (according to your beliefs) you do not have access to God, but according to my beliefs I do have access to my God (through Jesus Christ). I know that we will never agree on this, therefore, there is no use for us to continue this conversation. "

(1) I never compared you to Mao or Hitler. I compared you to the followers of Mao and Hitler. It is a very justified comparison, given everything you say about yourself.

(2) Yes, I know, you've told us repeatedly. You speak to G-d and everything you do and say comes from G-d. You are personally responsible for nothing. It is all G-d telling you what to do and say, what to believe and not believe. You are responsible for nothing. You are just taking orders. (Sounds familiar, doesn't it?)

(3) As has been noted in this thread above, you and Thomas and fuzzi have this tendency to put your hands over your ears and yell "naw, naw, naw, naw" to block out things you don't want to hear. (It would, of course, be way too much to expect you to hear and think. G-d wouldn't approve.) So if you want to quit responding to what I say, I will not be a bit surprised. However, your decision does not, in any way, create an obligation for me to cease pointing out the poison you are trying to inject into this world, and I will not be doing so.

646jburlinson
Apr 8, 2012, 12:32pm Top

> 638. I can see our conversation is taking us down a path that I never intended to travel;

In other words, we've had a frank exchange of opinions that did not follow some script in your mind which would conclude with the scales falling from my eyes, my dropping to my knees, praising God and thanking you from the bottom of my heart for bringing me to redemption.

In other words, you have not had a chance to do a "good work." But don't worry, you can always console yourself with the knowledge that you did, indeed, do a "good work" anyway. You were just doing a "good work" with a "bad person." This is the fate that the "saved" must expect -- you have to contend with the ungodly, who "persecute" you by disagreeing with you.

Why you keep coming back time after time to say the same things and quote the same verses, I'm not quite sure. You obviously think you need to do this "good work", although you will protest loudly that you don't need to perform "good works." It seems to indicate some kind of insecurity on your part that perhaps you really aren't as confident in salvation after all, and need to keep trying. It's OK -- you really are saved and don't need to worry about it so much.

My parting advice to you, for what it's worth, is to try to think a little better of other people. We are really not as bad as you seem to think we are. We're actually kind of lovable, in our own different ways.

647eclecticdodo
Apr 8, 2012, 12:37pm Top

>645 lawecon: "I never compared you to Mao or Hitler."

No, you compared God to Mao and Hitler. So much better.

648johnthefireman
Apr 8, 2012, 12:47pm Top

>647 eclecticdodo: you compared God to Mao and Hitler

That's not how I understand lawecon's post >633 lawecon:, eclecticdodo. It seems to me he's comparing people who claim to speak to God directly, and one can't deny that quite a few people whom we would call evil have made that claim.

649lawecon
Edited: Apr 8, 2012, 2:02pm Top

~647

">645 lawecon: "I never compared you to Mao or Hitler."

No, you compared God to Mao and Hitler. So much better."

Only if one believes that you and jnt and Thomas and fuzzi are really talking with G-d. Some of us contend that you are really doing whatever you want and believing whatever you want and blaming it on G-d. So much better.

==================

~648

">647 eclecticdodo: you compared God to Mao and Hitler

That's not how I understand lawecon's post >633 lawecon:, eclecticdodo. It seems to me he's comparing people who claim to speak to God directly, and one can't deny that quite a few people whom we would call evil have made that claim."

Actually, John, a case could be made that the followers of Mao and Hitler were less blameworthy than these guys. It is true that few if any of followers of Mao and Hitler ever got instructions from the "Big Boss" on the details of everything they did, so in that respect they were making it up as they went along, and weren't REALLY "just carrying out orders." But for them, at least, there was an identifiable Big Boss who could have given them orders to do what they did had he gotten around to it.

In the case of these guys, however, there is no Big Boss other than their own egos, which they daily consult to justify what they want to do. They aren't prophets, they aren't talking with G-d, there will be no Book of jnt or Book of fuzzi or Book of Thomas in a future edition of the Bible.

But by pretending that they are engaged in a daily conversation with G-d, they shift responsiblity for their actions and inactions from themselves to G-d. G-d "told them to do it, and they were just carrying out the will of G-d." We Jews have a term for this sort of hypocritical blaming of G-d for one's wrongful actions or inactions, rather than taking personal responsibility for what one does, it is called "a libel on Hashem (aka G-d)".

650streamsong
Apr 8, 2012, 2:24pm Top

Every Christian I know believes he or she is in communion with God.

Whenever I read one of your posts denying this, lawecon, I spend the rest of the day humming the hundred year old hymn "In the Garden". Your posts bring this so firmly to my mind that I also usually end up saying a prayer of thanks that it is so.

Yup, I have doctrinal differences with several of the posters on this thread, but Jesus bringing us into communion with God isn't one of them.

Mahalia Jackson's version (among dozens and dozens of versions):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2eSfKqMRbA

Lyrics:

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.
Refrain

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.

Refrain

I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.

Refrain

651eclecticdodo
Apr 8, 2012, 2:42pm Top

That's a beautiful hymn. I've never heard it before.

It is the joy of being a Christian that God wants a personal relationship with us. He speaks, we only have to listen.

652jntjesussaves
Apr 8, 2012, 10:03pm Top

643: I apologize, I was referring to your accusations in order and after answering your first accusation that I have derided "scholars" in general, I later clarified that I truly do not believe I have derided anyone (based on the Webster's Dictionary definition).

I know what I meant, jburlinson; if you didn't completely understand what I meant, which from the way I worded things- I understand.

I question that my agreeing with the gest of Billy Sunday's quote is being derisive; if you feel better about yourself in accusing me of derision, feel free. I will say that it is interesting that I send you a very lengthy post, and you respond to one word or sentence out of the entire piece and you never seem to respond to the true theme of what I say.

653jntjesussaves
Apr 8, 2012, 10:43pm Top

644: "I had hoped that we would be able to understand better the why and how of our disagreements through dialogue, but it doesn't seem to work. We both claim a scriptural foundation for our beliefs, and we both come to different beliefs based on that scriptural foundation; that much is clear. But when we try to explore further, you say, "The bible says so", which doesn't really help much because I say, "Well, actually the bible says something different". That leads me to realise that we really need to get down to some serious study and interpretation of this bible; you simply say, "No, what it says is clear". That's the bit I really wanted to explore: our whole attitude to understanding the bible, rather than individual verses, but I don't think it's going to work."

I agree, that is the sole reason why I have continued to post (as you have, I am sure) to those who disagree is to try and get a better understanding of where somebody is coming from. This is also the reason why I asked you, jburlinson, and lawecon to share with me each of your own intepretations so I could understand better where you are coming from. Lawecon refuses to do so, because he says he doesn't feel qualified to interpret NT Scripture (of which I respect), yet he does go on to criticize every interpretation I make about NT Scripture. I have asked jburlinson to share the same, but he refuses and claims that he will not do so because I have threatened him (which is still unclear to me how I did)- and if what I did seemed like a threat to him, it was made after he had previously declined two offers that I had made. You have refused to do so, because you say you do not have the study materials to justly share your interpretations. My point is that I have made attempt after attempt to try and get a better understanding from you three, without success.

I don't want to make the Bible as elementary as mathematics, but in this way I believe it to be. An example: In order for someone to truly learn Geometry, he must understand the basics of Algebra; for someone to understand Algebra, he must understand division; for someone to understand division, he must understand multiplication; for someone to understand multiplication, he must understand subtraction; for someone to understand subtraction, he must understand (and agree with), addition. I "lliken" this process as I do with an undertanding of the Bible- if we cannot even agree on basics we cannot move to the next step. To me a basic is to take God's Word at its word; most of His Word (to me), is clear. You say that it is not clear. I ask, please interpret what you believe a certain Scripture is saying- you say, you would need to have the correct study materials to do so. I, in no way, criticize your desire to interpret God's Word correctly, we should all consider that to be of great importance. I believe most of the time, when God says something, the meaning we would get by just reading it (would undoubtedly) line up with the correct interpretation (which I refer to as being such, after much study). However, unfortunately my explanation would probably not line up with your explanation. I do sincerely appreciate your tactfulness in sharing your thoughts with me, John.

"I just want to add that in >637 lawecon:, lawecon says, They are people who may or may not be Christians themselves, but who spend their professional lives examining Christian texts and Christian history rather than evangelizing for a particular faith, which is of course true. But I don't think you can just dismiss it by saying the unsaved, (hence, "the natural man") cannot understand spiritual things (>642 jntjesussaves:), because actually a huge number of scriptural scholars are practising Christians, so according to your definition they can understand spiritual things."

Again, John, my reasoning on this will undoubtedly conflict with yours. I would first say that I have a very firm belief (which I am sure you have derived from my posts), that I believe someone must be "born-again" in order to be a Christian. I believe (I must say I can't remember or not), I have given a detailed rundown of why I believe God's Word tells us that we must be "born-again." If I haven't, let me know and I will do so. Therefore, when you say a huge number of scholars in the past were "practising Christians," I am not sure what you mean by this. If you mean that they are "Christians" who say they became a Christian by another method other than "being born-again," I would question their authority (and understanding in interpreting Scripture). Granted, there are many who would profess to be "born-again" and who differ in their interpretations. However, I cannot accept both intepretations as being equal, because many times they are completely different interpretations. While certain disagreements on interpretation are vitally important, I cannot accept interpretations that contradict the fundamental doctrines of the faith. For instance, if someone says that Jesus Christ is not God (and they give me their interpretation based on such and such verse), I would question the validity of their interpretation (because Jesus Christ claims Deity) and if someone disclaims His Deity, I would say that the said person is not a Christian (because He contradicts a fundamenal doctrine of the Christian faith). Now, if there is disagreement on other doctrines (that are important), but are not vital to the Christian faith (I could accept disagreement without believing that the said person "is not a Christian.")

Therefore, I would say that if someone contradicts the fundamentals (to name a few would be: the Deity of Christ, the inspiration of Scripture, Jesus Christ's Second Coming, salvation by grace, etc.), then I automatically would question whether they are a Child of God. Does this mean they are not? To me it would (unless they just haven't been shown from God's Word these truths). But if you show them these truths and they still reject them, then I would question their salvation. However, as I have said before- someone questioning of another's salvation would not bother me- what would bother me is whether what I believe lines up with the Word of God.

If someone who believes in all the fundamentals of the faith, shares a different interpretation of certain Scripture, I may disagree with their interpretation but I wouldn't question their salvation. Certain of the topics we have discussed on this thread are fundamental to the Christian faith, and that is the reason I have taken the stance I have. I accept that others disagree, but from my years of reading and study of God's Word is what leads me to this conclusion. I hope this explains my position a little more.

654jntjesussaves
Apr 8, 2012, 11:08pm Top

645: Well, I guess if you are saying that I am following Jesus Christ (as Hitler and Mao's followers) followed them, based on their faith in their "Leader," than I guess I accept your accusation. Thank you for the compliment.

Lawecon, your method of making your point is stating a few facts (with many fallacies). You say, "You speak to God..." (this part is true), then you say, "everything you do and say comes from God" (which is not true)- I have never stated this (please cite where I did). You say, "You are personally responsble for nothing" (again, this is not true)- I ask you to cite where I stated anything like this. You say, "It is all God telling you what to do and say, what to believe and not believe" (again, I have claimed that God speaks to me through His Holy Spirit and leads me to do certain things- however, I have also stated that if what I claim to be led to do contradicts Scripture- I am wrong). I believe what I believe because I believe God's Word is clear in what He teaches- if God has already stated that I should do something in His Word, I do not need the Holy Spirit to lead me to obey it- I only need to obey it). You say, "You are just taking orders" (while there is some truth in this, you can make anything sound bad). When you were young and one of your parents told you to do something- if you obeyed you were doing right (according to the Old Testament, and the NT by the way), therefore, I could say that you are "just taking orders." Would that be a bad thing, lawecon? I don't consider "taking orders" from Jehovah God as "just taking orders," I take pride in following God's teachings. I respect His teachings, therefore, your point that I am "just taking orders" is not a negative from my perspective (even while it apparently is to you). Do you not "take orders" from your God? If so, do you consider it a negative or a positive?

"As has been noted in this thread above, you and Thomas and fuzzi have this tendency to put your hands over your ears and yell "naw, naw, naw, naw" to block out things you don't want to hear. (It would, of course, be way too much to expect you to hear and think. G-d wouldn't approve.) So if you want to quit responding to what I say, I will not be a bit surprised. However, your decision does not, in any way, create an obligation for me to cease pointing out the poison you are trying to inject into this world, and I will not be doing so."

This is where you are wrong. How have I (I will only take responsiblity for myself, of which earlier in this post you claimed that I didn't do) not answered your questions or accusations? The fact that I am still answering you on post 645 is a perfect example of how your accusation does not hold water. To you, when someone disagrees with you, you claim that they aren't listening- the truth is, I have heard you loud and clear, and I disagree with you on most things that we have been discussing. You notice how I haven't made a blanket statement that you haven't listened; I believe for the most part, you have listened (and you disagree with what I have been saying). That is fine, you have a right to believe as you desire. As do I. I have been clear in what I believe, and if you don't agree with it- fine! More power to you, lawecon.

I have also numerous times shared with you why I do not desire to hear what you have to say; you apparently "cannot" communicate with others without criticizing and truly "deriding" others. I have told you before, if you refuse to be tactful and respectful in your responses, I for one refuse to converse with you.

655jntjesussaves
Apr 8, 2012, 11:17pm Top

646: I know you wonder why I keep coming back time after time quoting the same verses and saying the same things, it is because you still haven't answered my questions and you haven't shown me where the verses I have shared contradict what I have stated. You may not like to be confronted with the truth of God's Word, but I will try once again...

Romans 3:10
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Romans 3:11
There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

Romans 3:12
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Romans 3:13
Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

Romans 3:14
Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

Romans 3:15
Their feet are swift to shed blood:

Romans 3:16
Destruction and misery are in their ways:

Romans 3:17
And the way of peace have they not known:

Romans 3:18
There is no fear of God before their eyes.
(KJV)

I don't look at you or anyone else on this thread as "bad people" from my perspective (I don't even know you, I am sure you are a decent person), but what God has said about you, myself, and others is what you should be concerned about, but if you are not that is your responsibility.

656jntjesussaves
Apr 8, 2012, 11:17pm Top

647: Well said.

657jntjesussaves
Apr 8, 2012, 11:19pm Top

650: Well said.

658lawecon
Apr 8, 2012, 11:40pm Top

~650

So, you also believe that you can pick up whatever translation of the Bible you want, read a passage and G-d will tell you what it "really means?" The words on the page in front of you can be quite different, but the explanation you receive will be the same, is that right?

Presumably, streamsong, you don't believe that to be true. You may feel a certain "connection" to the Master of the Universe, but you don't really believe that he gives you specific daily instructions, do you?

If not, you should be a bit more careful who you align yourself with because of a shared label.

659lawecon
Edited: Apr 9, 2012, 8:58am Top

~653

I am beginning to suspect, jnt, that you are not completely honest. After we have had this same discussion several times, you still inaccurately state that:
"Lawecon refuses to do so, because he says he doesn't feel qualified to interpret NT Scripture (of which I respect), yet he does go on to criticize every interpretation I make about NT Scripture."

Once again, I have never criticized any interpretation you make of a New Testament scriptural passage. As I said, I don't have the qualifications to do so.

What I have repeatedly criticized is what you say you do, about which I presume you are being honest? You say that you don't learn the Greek in which the New Testament was written. You say that you don't examine the ancient manuscripts for variances in the text. You say that you don't even examine and compare and contrast different English translations of the New Testament. In short, you don't do anything that someone interested in the "real meaning" of "G-d's word" would do.

Instead, you just pick up any old translation of the Bible and pray for "inspiration." Then you tell us what "G-d has told you."

As I've pointed out to you repeatedly that methodology is not credible. In fact, it rests upon a claim that can only be sustained if you are a Prophet. It is therefore a very sinful claim.

660johnthefireman
Apr 9, 2012, 12:49am Top

>653 jntjesussaves: jnt, I think we're getting closer to the sticking point. It seems to me (and correct me if I'm misinterpreting), that what you are saying is that only you can define who is a Christian and who isn't; that I and my Church and all the other "Christians" who define themselves as such without your particular interpretation of being "born again" and "saved" are not really Christians. Now you would probably argue that it's not you who is defining this but the definition is in God's Word. However you are also saying that the only people who can really understand God's Word correctly are Christians according to your definition of Christian. Isn't that a vicious circle?

661lawecon
Edited: Apr 9, 2012, 9:10am Top

~660

" Isn't that a vicious circle?"

No, of course it isn't a vicious circle. You see, Thomas and jnt and fuzzi daily speak with G-d. G-d tells them with specificity what he wants from them and what he means in "His Word." They aren't limited as you are, as I am, as every other nonProphetic human being has been for however long these texts have existed. They KNOW, they KNOW with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY because they have been instructed by G-d in THE TRUTH.

For instance, in his last post above, jnt states:

"You say, "It is all God telling you what to do and say, what to believe and not believe" (again, I have claimed that God speaks to me through His Holy Spirit and leads me to do certain things- however, I have also stated that if what I claim to be led to do contradicts Scripture- I am wrong). I believe what I believe because I believe God's Word is clear in what He teaches- if God has already stated that I should do something in His Word, I do not need the Holy Spirit to lead me to obey it- I only need to obey it). You say, "You are just taking orders" (while there is some truth in this, you can make anything sound bad). When you were young and one of your parents told you to do something- if you obeyed you were doing right (according to the Old Testament, and the NT by the way), therefore, I could say that you are "just taking orders." Would that be a bad thing, lawecon? I don't consider "taking orders" from Jehovah God as "just taking orders," I take pride in following God's teachings. I respect His teachings, therefore, your point that I am "just taking orders" is not a negative from my perspective (even while it apparently is to you). Do you not "take orders" from your God? If so, do you consider it a negative or a positive?"

You can't get clearer than that. jnt KNOWS what G-d wants of him. When he acts rightly he is "just taking orders." He is proud of that fact. When G-d tells Joshua to go cleanse the land of Canaan, some might wonder whether that was a particular instruction to Joshua in that particular time and circumstance or a more general instruction to Righteous Men. Some might even refer to general standards of morality. But jnt doesn't have such worries. He KNOWS. The Word of G-d is clear in its instruction to him. He can't be wrong. He MUST OBEY WHAT HE KNOWS G-d to have commanded.

662thomashwalker2
Apr 9, 2012, 1:33pm Top

LAWECON: I have spent several days on the sites you posted in 635. Fascinating to learn about the Passover Seder and "The Jewish Sages say that Passover occurs on the 15th of Nissan just as the moon grows for 15 days. The conclusion is that our growth must be in 15 gradual steps just like the Passover puzzle is constituted by 15 pieces that, when assembled, will give us freedom."

You had mentioned in one of your posts that it was impossible to become a Jew if one was not born a Jew and then I came across "A.B. Yehoshua, one of Israel’s most praised (and praiseworthy) authors, asserted that: “They American Jews and us are not the same thing. They should come here more often. All the love they have for Israel, yet they were here for barely a five-day visit; barely 20 percent of them were ever in Israel.” And, “They are partial Jews while I am a complete Jew,” Yehoshua said, referring to American Jewry. “In no way are we the same thing — we are total and they are partial; we are Israeli and also Jewish.”

There is a lot of focus on the ritual and outward appearance of things. Meticulous execution of the ceremony so as not to error. These rituals and ceremonies have been around for thousands of years and are under the old covenant spoken of in the Old Testament. Jesus ushered in the New covenant in which He shed light on the real meaning behind the rituals instead of focusing on the ritual itself - that of the letter. The lamb offered in the Temple was sacrificed once a year for the sins of Israel was symbolic of the Lamb of God that would take away the sins of the world. I might be mistaken, but isn't that how God has always taught?

To focus on the ritual instead of the deeper meaning behind it would be like:

Lawecon, I assume you are married, but regardless, during the wedding ceremony rings are exchanged. Is the ring only symbolic so that if you take it off your finger you are still married? Or, if you focus on the ritual, the image, the outward appearance you would believe that you were no longer married if you remove your ring.

663jntjesussaves
Apr 9, 2012, 8:30pm Top

660: John, I would say that you pretty much understand where I am coming from; I am glad that you added the part towards the end where you said, "Now you would probably argue that it's not you who is defining this but the definition is in God's Word." I would have worded it a little differently, but you are correct- I would say that God's Word explicitly says, "Ye must be born again," therefore, I would take it as such- That one must be born again to go to Heaven.

This is the reason, John, why I have tried to make my points about different groups (threads). While I believe strongly what the Bible says and do not mind discussing (or sharing) what I believe, I don't tend to just say things in order to make others mad or upset (or try and offend people). However, I also understand when you take God's Word at its word, it offends, and therefore I should not be surprised when what I say (which I believe to be clearly visible in God's Word) causes people to be offended. It is certainly not my intention (and I believe I tried to steer away from this from the beginning of this thread), but it seems to be inevitable.

I have tried (and I believe I have succeeded) to speak God's truth (yes, what I believe to be God's truth, from what I believe to be His "clear" Word) in love, sincerity and truth. I hope you have received what I have said that way- that is certainly the way I intended it (even while at times I know I fall short). I will say the reason why I believe I have succeeded is that I "know" the Holy Spirit would have convicted me greatly if I had not spoken these things in the way I mentioned. When He did convict (and He has several times), I have tried to make amends when I believe I may have said something that was incorrect (or wrong) in His eyes.

Just as I have my interpretation of what I believe God's Word teaches about salvation, so do you, jburlinson, and lawecon. We have different interpretations, and I accept that- I have disagreed with the three of you in your intepretations (as you have done me) and tried to show you why I believe that way, but I accept that your interpretations are different. If one of three of you showed me from God's Word why you believe the way you do, then I would be much more open to maybe understanding where you are coming from. jburlinson shared with me one verse from God's Word that he believed gave credence to His belief, but that was all he desired to share. You haven't really given me any Scripture that backs up (or gives evidence to your beliefs). Scripture makes more of an impression on me than anything else (of which you have probably gathered). If you believe my intepretations are incorrect, please hit me where it will hurt- that is with God's Word, because I truly do not want to misinterpret His Word. My greatest method (and I believe it to be the greatest method of Bible study), is letting Scripture interpret itself (with other Scripture). This is what I "attempt" to do, while I am sure I don't always succeed. However, it is hard to fail when other Scripture is interpreting Scripture for you. This is the way I see and understand to be God's method of reading and studying His Word. And again, this does not mean that I never use commentaries, Bible study helps, concardances, etc. in coming to a better understanding of God's Word (because I do), but I believe allowing God's Word to interpret itself is the best method.

664jntjesussaves
Apr 9, 2012, 8:32pm Top

662: Great points, Thomas.

665lawecon
Edited: Apr 9, 2012, 8:58pm Top

~662

"You had mentioned in one of your posts that it was impossible to become a Jew if one was not born a Jew ..."

This is an excellent example of the difference between what I have written (in an attempt to speak to you guys) and what you hear. Why would I ever say such a thing, since I was born a Methodist, not a Jew? You just haven't been paying attention at all, have you?

As for your trite and contrived attempt to play on the old antisemitic line that Jews observe only empty rituals while Christians believe in the essence of Love. Sorry, it doesn't work. The distinction that does work is that Jews focus on actual acts of human beings. You have to be a good person who does good acts to be "saved." (If you do those things you are "saved," whether or not you are a Jew.) Whereas some sorts of Christians focus on empty professions of "faith" in a "savior" who has done all the hard work for them.

Jews focus on actually making amends for their sins, whereas some sorts of Christians are "forgiven" without any personal sacrifice.

Jews focus on what G-d actually commands in what you and fuzzi and jnt keep proclaiming as His word for word Word. Some Christians focus on a dream by Peter and the interpretation thereof by a Church in which they don't believe.

Talk about hollow and empty (and oh so convenient) .

666jntjesussaves
Apr 9, 2012, 10:51pm Top

665: "Jews focus on actually making amends for their sins, whereas some sorts of Christians are "forgiven" without any personal sacrifice."

What have you personally "sacrificed" for your sins, lawecon? How have you made "amends" for your sins?

"Jews focus on what G-d actually commands"

What does God command a Jew in relation to his behavior of others? mercy? forgiveness? kindness? goodwill? judgmentalism?

667streamsong
Apr 10, 2012, 8:32am Top

eclecticdodo--that's one of the old timey gospel hymns. I think it's interesting that you hadn't heard it. I guess it hasn't crossed the pond.

668thomashwalker2
Apr 10, 2012, 8:55am Top

665: "As for your trite and contrived attempt to play on the old antisemitic line...."

Antisemitic? Are you kidding? I worship a Jew. The Jewish people are revered by true Christians as God's chosen. The Jewish Voice ministry is the only ministry at this time I support financially. I know you didn't say I was antisemitic, but I had to add my sentiments to make sure.

It is not antisemitic to express an opinion that may shed light on evidence that Jesus was more than just a man and the long awaited Messiah. Some claim that the New Testament is antisemitic and the movie "The Passion of Christ" is antisemitic, but the truth of the matter is that anything that reveals Jesus as anything other than a man, false prophet, enemy of Israel, perverter of the Gospel is antisemitic. This is a deflection perpetrated by the true hater of Jewish people, the one that has attempted to wipe out the Jewish bloodline (to prevent the Messiah's birth and the coming 144,000 Jewish evangelists) and keep them blind.

669streamsong
Edited: Apr 10, 2012, 8:59am Top

650 lawecon wrote:

So, you also believe that you can pick up whatever translation of the Bible you want, read a passage and G-d will tell you what it "really means?" The words on the page in front of you can be quite different, but the explanation you receive will be the same, is that right?

Presumably, streamsong, you don't believe that to be true.


Well, lawecon you know what they say about the word assume.

You like to see in black and white. I see in infinite shades of grey. I believe that the Holy Spirit informs and teaches while we read scripture and can do so to help us with our individual lives. I don't think the extreme restatement that everyone will read it exactly the same is correct, but I do believe there is great commonality in what comes through.

You may feel a certain "connection" to the Master of the Universe, but you don't really believe that he gives you specific daily instructions, do you?

You seem to see only two possible types of Christians: strictly fundamentalists and nominal Christians with a warm but vague connection to God. Again, think spectrum instead of the two ends of the spectrum.

Are there only two types of Jews? Another thread links to a Jewish scholar who says millions of Jews believe the Bible literally. Are the others only nominal Jews with a warm feeling in their tummy? Where are you?

I believe Paul when he says 'Pray without ceasing.' I ask for guidance many times a day. I would not do this if I didn't believe that I am not heard and do not receive the guidance I'm seeking. I do not believe it is a rare thing for Chrisitians to talk to God and to ask for guidance.

What do Jews pray for? Are you saying they are not seeking guidance? Do they believe God listens?

If not, you should be a bit more careful who you align yourself with because of a shared label.

Label away. When you start putting people into neat little boxes with labels and putting people into catagories of "us-ness" and "them-ness" you dehumanize. I'm not sure you see several of the posters in this thread as individuals. It definitely makes all my 'them-ness' traits come to the forefront in defense of the thems. If it makes you more comfortable to call me a them, then them away at me.

--whooops--had to edit for leaving i tags open; my html ain't what it used to be.

670lawecon
Apr 10, 2012, 9:04am Top

~666

The Torah is very explicit about the real material sacrifices one must make in order to make amends for any of the classical sins, jnt. As someone who reads his Bible daily, I would have thought that you would have run across those passages, but apparently not. Or perhaps you have read them in the same way that Thomas has read what I have said to him.

And, yes, jnt, G-d commands Jews to be merciful, forgiving, kind, and act with good will toward those with good will. It also commands that Jews are to oppose idolatry and those who set up false prophets. Again, you should read......

671lawecon
Edited: Apr 10, 2012, 9:17am Top

~668

Yes, Thomas, you are antisemitic if you believe that Jews are the People of empty formalism and Christians are the People of Love. That is a libelous falsehood about Jews, as you would know if you would really read anything other than your "messianic" websites. Even jnt realizes that Jews are People who live a life of mercy, forgiveness, kindness, and goodwill.

Incidentally, Thomas, a book that might interest you about your "Messianic Jews" (one that you would have found yourself had you read the links I recommended to you): http://forward.com/articles/154180/the-very-first-jew-for-jesus/?utm_source=Sail...

And I do appreciate your financial support of such people. Perhaps you could recommend a Christians for Muhammad site, where the Truth is revealed that Muhammad was really the Second Coming and that the Qur'an is the successor to and replacement for the New Testament? I think I would be interested in financially supporting such insightful people.

672lawecon
Apr 10, 2012, 9:13am Top

~669

I see, streamstrong, that you don't actually make any specific statements about your own beliefs. There is "a spectrum," there are "labels," but, apparently, you don't have any place in that spectrum and there is no label to describe your views? How peculiar.

But, of course, I am over reacting and presuming that most Evangelical Christians are like Thomas or jnt or fuzzi, who DO tell us what they are like. It is all in my mind..... http://www.npr.org/2012/03/26/149394987/when-god-talks-back-to-the-evangelical-c...

673streamsong
Apr 10, 2012, 9:44am Top


672: I see, streamstrong, that you don't actually make any specific statements about your own beliefs. There is "a spectrum," there are "labels," but, apparently, you don't have any place in that spectrum and there is no label to describe your views? How peculiar.

Hmmmm.....either you did not read my last two posts or are not understanding. Here is what I said--the statments I made with that start out with I believe --hard to be more clear than that:

my post 669:

4th paragraph: I believe that the Holy Spirit informs and teaches while we read scripture and can do so to help us with our individual lives. I don't think the extreme restatement that everyone will read it exactly the same is correct, but I do believe there is great commonality in what comes through.

8th paragraph I believe Paul when he says 'Pray without ceasing.' I ask for guidance many times a day. I would not do this if I didn't believe that I am not heard and do not receive the guidance I'm seeking. I do not believe it is a rare thing for Chrisitians to talk to God and to ask for guidance.

post 650: Your posts bring this so firmly to my mind that I also usually end up saying a prayer of thanks that it is so.

Yup, I have doctrinal differences with several of the posters on this thread, but Jesus bringing us into communion with God isn't one of them.



674streamsong
Apr 10, 2012, 9:57am Top

Drat lawecon I wish you wouldn't edit your posts without commenting on the editing. Good thing I copy your posts when I reply to ehm.

675thomashwalker2
Edited: Apr 10, 2012, 10:40am Top

671: "Yes, Thomas, you are antisemitic if you believe that Jews are the People of empty formalism and Christians are the People of Love."

Lawecon, you are guilty of what you have accused jnt and myself of doing; reading into something that was not written. The rituals and ceremonies are not empty but a doorway to the truth. You insult God and His lesson plan to open people's eyes. However, if you don't step through the doorway to see what is on the otherside, don't insult those that have.

"Jews for Jesus succeeds, nonetheless, because Rosen didn’t really sell Jesus to Jews; he sold Jewishness to Christians. American Christians love Jews; evangelicals support a cottage industry in biblical Hebrew and visit Israel in droves. The largest pro-Israel organization in the United States isn’t the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, but John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel. These philo-Semites are the natural audience for 'Called to Controversy.'" - Forward

Interesting article but I have a question. What does philo-Semites mean?

676eclecticdodo
Apr 10, 2012, 12:07pm Top

>669 streamsong:

Well said Streamsong. My thoughts entirely.

677thomashwalker2
Apr 10, 2012, 1:19pm Top

669: "You like to see in black and white. I see in infinite shades of grey. I believe that the Holy Spirit informs and teaches while we read scripture and can do so to help us with our individual lives.

You seem to see only two possible types of Christians: strictly fundamentalists and nominal Christians with a warm but vague connection to God. Again, think spectrum instead of the two ends of the spectrum."

Streamsong, very well said. Almost poetic.

678lawecon
Apr 10, 2012, 6:26pm Top

~673 & 674

I am afraid that what you say is still pretty fuzzy (pun intended). You believe that the Holy Spirit provides you with "guidance" to "help you with your individual life" etc. But that isn't, of course, what any of the discussion in this thread has been about. What the discussion has been about is how to determine what "the word of G-d" actually says. What it SPECIFICALLY says, not whether or not you have some "sense of the whole." Now the principal posters in this thread have been quite clear about their views about that question. You, apparently, don't want to be clear. That is your right. It is also your right to pick your associates. Good luck with the choice you have made.

And, incidentally, I reserve the right to edit my posts at any time to make them clearer. Clarity is an important value for me, whether or not it is for you. In this particular instance I see no difference between what my post in question said and what you quoted it as saying, but, then, I don't have the Holy Spirit to "guide me."

679lawecon
Apr 10, 2012, 6:28pm Top

~675

It means those who sympathize with their image of Semites. Not, of course, with what Semites are actually like........

680jntjesussaves
Apr 10, 2012, 6:41pm Top

670: "As someone who reads his Bible daily, I would have thought that you would have run across those passages, but apparently not."

I do read the Bible most every day, but as you have so many times illustrated- I, in no way, truly understand anything because I do not study the Bible as you prescribe. Therefore, while I do read Old Testament Scripture- I desired to get your interpretation of what the Old Testament teaches on those subjects mentioned. I appreciate your comments.

"And, yes, jnt, G-d commands Jews to be merciful, forgiving, kind, and act with good will toward those with good will. It also commands that Jews are to oppose idolatry and those who set up false prophets."

So, if someone is idolatrous- does that mean that a Jew (according to your sect), should not be merciful, forgiving, and act in good will toward them? Or does your religion teach that you should only show these qualities to those you agree with? Thanks for you thoughts.

681jntjesussaves
Apr 10, 2012, 6:44pm Top

671: "Even jnt realizes that Jews are People who live a life of mercy, forgiveness, kindness, and goodwill."

While I do believe there are people of all faiths, beliefs and ideas that show these characteristics- I will say that it is interesting how you presume something by someone asking a question. Again, I never stated this until this current post. <