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Dirty Politics And The Doctrine Of The Trinity

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God is not mocked - He is not fooled by humans. God does forgive, and calls His people to a life of love, mercy, forgiveness, good deeds, etc - and eschewing sin (note the words of Jesus to the woman caught in adultery "Go, and sin no more"). Christians who do not pursue the Christian lifestyle are to be warned that they are most likely not Christians (because they show no evidence of a new heart), or should be disciplined by the church as a means of shepherding them about the serious issue of their sin (discipline seeks for reconcilaition).

 

Your view of God as a sort of magnified human is not shared by me. The notion that God could ever be fooled shows how incredibly small and human the Biblical conception is. Church discipline sounds like something out of the inquisition. I concede that there are some extreme independent fundamentalist churches that may do this, but how effective their "discipline" could be in this modern age I must question. How can you make someone live a specific lifestyle?

 

I was a member of independent Baptist churches, and though I did not hold to their 'easy believism' - I never understood them to teach that just mouthing words was the path to salvation.

 

Of course the sinner's prayer was not just a series of words. The person saying them was supposed to believe what they were saying. You acknowledge that not all Christianity is the same.

 

Actually, no. I don't believe in the concept of justice. It has no reality as far as I am concerned. I don't need to propose an alternative, it is just a fact.

 

Are you really serious? What had caused this level of cynicism or despair? It is a great comfort for all believers to know that God will one day right all wrongs and meet out all justice. And therefore, in today's world, we persevere through the evils of this world, seeking to change what we can (thereby seeing a glimpse of what God will eventually do) >> but all the while knowing that God will accompish all His holy will.

 

I am dead serious. There is no such thing as "justice," and I totally reject your anthropomorphic God of justice. Please don't presume that you know my mental state. You don't know me.

 

No being can act in opposition to its nature. As people, we all have limits. Though I would have loved to play in the NBA, yet I am limited by physical stature and innate abilities from that ever happening. SO I sought other areas of competition - ones which placed me in weight classes where I could compete, I could also wish I was a millionaire - but I have no business acumen.

So we're all limited by our nature as to what we can do. But not in a fatalistic way - because we should all strive to improve ourselves and accomplish things beyond what we perceive as natural limits on our abilities - we just have to be realistic about what we can accomplish with our best efforts.

 

Agreed - insofar as we are speaking of humans.

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rayskidude' date='30 July 2009 - 11:49 PM' timestamp='1249012178' post='471880']

God is not mocked - He is not fooled by humans. God does forgive, and calls His people to a life of love, mercy, forgiveness, good deeds, etc - and eschewing sin (note the words of Jesus to the woman caught in adultery "Go, and sin no more"). Christians who do not pursue the Christian lifestyle are to be warned that they are most likely not Christians (because they show no evidence of a new heart), or should be disciplined by the church as a means of shepherding them about the serious issue of their sin (discipline seeks for reconcilaition).

 

Your view of God as a sort of magnified human is not shared by me. The notion that God could ever be fooled shows how incredibly small and human the Biblical conception is.

 

Forgive me if I was not clear - God CANNOT be mocked, or fooled. Never.

 

Church discipline sounds like something out of the inquisition. I concede that there are some extreme independent fundamentalist churches that may do this, but how effective their "discipline" could be in this modern age I must question. How can you make someone live a specific lifestyle?

 

Many churches - mine included - practice church discipline in accordance with the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 18. But it is not at all like an inquisition - it is driven by a desire to reconcile people who have strayed to God and His church. And no one can make another person live a certain lifestyle - agreed. But what Jesus calls us to do is to disallow within the church fellowship those who obviously, by their lifestyle, proclaim that they are pursuing the Christian life.

 

Please don't presume that you know my mental state. You don't know me.

 

You are correct - I'm just trying to figure out how a person can draw such a conclusion. Do others you know share this conviction?

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Forgive me if I was not clear - God CANNOT be mocked, or fooled. Never.

 

That you would make such a statement shows that someone called that capability into question. Actually I can sit here and mock Bible God if I want to. :P However, since I don't believe such an entity exists, it would be foolish of me to do so.

 

Many churches - mine included - practice church discipline in accordance with the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 18. But it is not at all like an inquisition - it is driven by a desire to reconcile people who have strayed to God and His church. And no one can make another person live a certain lifestyle - agreed. But what Jesus calls us to do is to disallow within the church fellowship those who obviously, by their lifestyle, proclaim that they are pursuing the Christian life.

 

I have no personal experience of these "church discipline" practices. I am guessing from what i have read here on this site that it involves a home invasion by deacons and verbally beating people up with the Bible. Or it might involve shunning and throwing them out of the membership, am I close? In any case it cannot and does not change anyone's lifestyle, on the contrary, I imagine in most cases the result would most likely be a new member to this site.

 

You are correct - I'm just trying to figure out how a person can draw such a conclusion. Do others you know share this conviction?

 

Not personally. Anyway, my convictions are not based on an opinion poll.

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So we must examine the fruit (the lives) of whoever is teaching and the application of their doctrine - and if their lives show bad fruit (Jim Baker, Jimmy Swaggert, Benny Hinn, Health & Wealth preachers, the 'Name it Claim it' crowd, etc) then they are false teachers - their lifestyles will ultimately bear this out.

I can understand that and agree somewhat, but then you go on in your post to Deva to say this:

 

Many churches - mine included - practice church discipline in accordance with the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 18. But it is not at all like an inquisition - it is driven by a desire to reconcile people who have strayed to God and His church. And no one can make another person live a certain lifestyle - agreed. But what Jesus calls us to do is to disallow within the church fellowship those who obviously, by their lifestyle, proclaim that they are pursuing the Christian life.

I would be a little more careful. Jesus wasn't too fond of the judging religous barring the way of others.

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Rayskidude >> But what Jesus calls us to do is to disallow within the church fellowship those who obviously, by their lifestyle, proclaim that they are NOT pursuing the Christian life.

I would be a little more careful. Jesus wasn't too fond of the judging religous barring the way of others.

 

I fully agree - which is why we follow the process laid out by Jesus in Matthew 18, and we give and offer Biblical counseling to help, lead, guide, etc - and only in the face of a continued lifestyle of sin, then - and only with a unanimous vote on the elder board - would we proceed thru the entire process of church discipline.

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I don't agree that this necessarily follows from the above.

Then you can't agree on the validity on the previous syllogism. If premise 1 is accurate in first set, then premise 1 is accepted on equal grounds in second set. And premise 2 is just based on the conclusion on set 1. You must take an illogical jump to refuse the conclusion of the second set.

 

There is no doubt that many Christians (myself included) understand that God is the great Uncaused Cause (as stated by Aquinas). The universe had a beginning - this is what many scientists have concluded; and we legitimately ask; "what caused this universe to come into existence?" We can posit an all-wise, all-powerful Being designed and created this universe for His (actually 'Its' since God is a genderless Spirit) purposes. And certainly, this is plausible. Or we can posit the infinitesimally dense ball of mindless matter which exists somehow on its own AND which somehow experienced a perturbation of its equilibrium in accordance with some kind of Weisenberg Uncertainty principle - which initiated a sequence of events which landed us where we are today - a planet full of sentient beings, living in an vast incredible complex world of diverse life forms and intricate oxygen, nitrogen, water, waether, etc cycles >> with various life forms developing symbiotic relationships - we could go on and on. But this development happened by chance, driven by random processes, with no guidance or direction other than purely mechanistic properties of the individual quarks, atomic nuclei & electrons, electron clouds, molecules, etc.

The first cause argument is not the same as the complexity argument. Don't mix them up. The syllogism didn't say something like: something which is complex needs a cause, but rather that something which is complex need a cause which are more complex.

 

What doesn't follow logically is the thought that we arrived where we are today from purely mechanistic processes. And there is no proof that simplicity leads to complexity - you have presupposed that this statement is true, and then you have considered the physical data in a way to fit the stated theory.

There are innumerable proofs of how simplicity leads to complexity. DNA to a being, like animals, plants. The seed is simple, the tree is complex. Everything starts at simplicity.

 

How would DNA naturally come together - how do you get that phosphate with its high negative density to approach and bond to carbohydate sugars loaded with oxygen molecules with partial negative charges? And how do you twist it tightly, and then somehow get just the right base pairs to form those exact attractions to keep the strands together in the exact sequence to form the proteins needed to build the complex enzyme systems which then replicates the DNA, transcribes the RNA, and translates the sequence to amino acid sequences in the proteins - which themselves fold into 3-D configurations to bring into proximity the amino acids which will catalyze the rxns to build unlikely molecules that couldn't come together naturally (like DNA)?

Still, the body of an animal or plant is constructed of regenerated DNA, not the other way around. The animal doesn't come first, and then the DNA becomes real. We all started as a single cell.

 

How would ATP ever evolve? With those 3 highly negatively-charged phosphate groups all in close proximity >> such that when a bond is broken, sufficient energy is released to build other biomolecules?

That's not what my example is about. You're talking about how it has evolved, I'm talking about the simple fact that you don't pop into existence as a complex being, and then suddenly the DNA pops into existence afterward. You, as a complex being, is built piece by piece, from a single cell, growing into this.

 

Only design and creation can adequatley explain these incredible complex and efficient systems - so I fully agree that a house is built from wood and nails - by an intelligent being as the builder.

That's yet another angle, which is guided evolution. Can you deny God the power to have used evolution to create life? And even if that is true, then God used simplicity into complexity, not the other way around. So even if God used Evolution to create life, Evolution is then also evidence of simplicity makes complexity.

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I agree that there are some definite cultural differences within some diverse people groups. I have read that in some cultures trickery, bribery, traitorism, betrayal, secret murders or vengeance, etc are prized. But allow me to ask you: do you believe murder is ever right? That adultery or rape are ever right, that kidnapping is ever right, that it is ever right to betray a friend? I believe you would say 'NO' - and we would agree. That some cultures have so degenerated should not allow us to realize the existence of the conscience - because every culture recognizes that certain activities are forbidden. The Lord of the Flies, I believe, paints an accurate picture of human nature. That the amoral and strong dominated and killed others does not justify any actions.

I agree. Those acts are wrong, because they harm human beings. You see, I can explain why it is wrong based on a rational standpoint without using God as part of the definition. My definition isn't: it is wrong because God says so. But rather: it is wrong because it harms humans and humanity, and as being part of humanity, it indirectly harms me. And society at large would not be able to survive if certain acts were allowed, and we have evolved to "feel" these things to be wrong, because as human species we survived through "knowing" these things. Societies where people would think "killing anyone they see" as a moral act, would die out as culture within few days. So it's very natural that this would evolve as morals.

 

Good point - allow me to say this. There is justice and non-justice. And within non-justice there is injustice and mercy. We all decry injustice and would condemn and work against such. But mercy is different >> is we know that a judge wnet light on a criminal because he detected real remorse in that criminal - we would applaud the judge for his wisdom. The principle for forgiveness is similar. There are those who have committed griewvous sins (King David with his adultery with Bathsheba and conspiracy to murder Uriah). Yet, we know from various Scriptures (esp Psalm 51), that when he was confronted, David admitted the evil he had done, he was truly repentant, and he recognized that God was gracious and merciful, and cried out to God to cleanse him from sin. Confession of sin and Humility of heart are key.

So you go to Heaven for feeling true remorse for your acts? Or is it because you believe in Jesus? Step carefully here, because what you're saying here is that the judge (God) will forgive because someone truly regret what they did, not because they believe in the judge's sacrificed son.

 

Re: the other case, I agree that there are minor sins - yet in God's eyes all sin is sin; and so James writes;

Jas 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.

AND Paul writes that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." in Rom 3:23

 

In the Book of Hebrews, unbelief - that failure to acknowledge God for Who He is - is painted as a severe sin. Untimately, the failure to believe in God, to believe God, to trust in and follow Him, is exactly what Satan was guilty of. Though Satan & his demons 'believe" in one God - and shudder (James 2:19) - yet they do not humble themselves before God and entrust themselves to God - all as a result of pride.

Okay. In another place (thread) I brought up the problem of defining "sin", and here we have yet another angle to it: sin is to not believe in God. So it's an act of the person, but not rebellion, but rather just not believing. And it's about believing in God, which would include many other religions. We know, both of us, that you really mean that it's a sin not to believe in Jesus specifically. It's not just "not believing in God" since it would include Muslims, Jews, and Zoroastrians.

 

 

SO Jesus says the main sin is to not believe in Him as Lord & Savior - that He is righteous and that Satan has been judged. SO we either choose Jesus or Satan - those are the alternatives. We choose either humility before God, or our pride causes us to live apart from God.

And there you confirmed it. It's belief in Jesus (the judge's son) which saves you, not sin against God, or lack of regret.

 

God is merciful to those who cry out for His abundant mercy and grace, and He acts with justice to those who fail to treat Him as He so rightfully deserves - being the Source of all life and the great Shepherd of our souls.

Muslims do this 5 times a day, don't they? But they don't go to the Christian Heaven anyway.

 

Yea, we definitely disagree here - I site statements I made above re: Creation. I do agree that Observations and studies show functionality in societies - and I believe that God has most assuredly created Man as a social being - and so Man naturally forms societies. And I believe that God has designed our human brain to process information about morality - I do not believe that such 'high' thouhgts would evolve by random processes like genetic mutations.

Looking back at history, it surely does seems like it. We have a different moral view today than people had just 50, or 100 years ago. If it was absolute, it wouldn't change, but it does change. "And yet it revolves around the sun."

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Guest Davka

I agree with your point - we must be circumspect about what we believe. And I would say that these words of Jesus are a good source of wisdom for determining the authenticity of doctrine and teachings;

Mat 7:14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Mat 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

Mat 7:16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

Mat 7:17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.

Mat 7:18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.

Mat 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Mat 7:20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

Mat 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Mat 7:22 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?'

Mat 7:23 And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'

 

Let's see here: The will of God according to Jesus is that Christians love God, and love one another, and love their enemies. Yet we have over 2,000 denominations in the USA alone, with bitter infighting within many of those denominations and more splits in the offing. Christians are no more likely on average to abstain from adultery, covetousness, or lying than non-Christians. Teen pregnancy among Christians is the same as among non-Christians. The history of Christianity contains every bit as much blood, persecution, torture and general mayhem as that of any other people group.

 

Christians are, from my experience, back-biting gossiping selfish hypocritical scum, just like most of humanity. Except that they clothe their selfishness in a pious exterior and go to church on Sunday. So it would seem that, according to Matt 7:14-23, pretty much 99% of all the people who claim to be Christians are, in fact, false prophets destined for the flames.

 

Funny how you never hear that preached from the pulpit.

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Rayskidude >> But what Jesus calls us to do is to disallow within the church fellowship those who obviously, by their lifestyle, proclaim that they are NOT pursuing the Christian life.

I would be a little more careful. Jesus wasn't too fond of the judging religous barring the way of others.

 

I fully agree - which is why we follow the process laid out by Jesus in Matthew 18, and we give and offer Biblical counseling to help, lead, guide, etc - and only in the face of a continued lifestyle of sin, then - and only with a unanimous vote on the elder board - would we proceed thru the entire process of church discipline.

Ray,

 

Is it possible that I am living a "Christian" life, but disagree with many aspects of Christianity, that I would be allowed into your group? If not, then you are not just judging on lifestyle alone. How do you define a Christian life should be my first question. How do you define sin within your group?

 

Ok, I see that you have addressed it and Hans responded:

 

SO Jesus says the main sin is to not believe in Him as Lord & Savior - that He is righteous and that Satan has been judged. SO we either choose Jesus or Satan - those are the alternatives. We choose either humility before God, or our pride causes us to live apart from God.

 

And there you confirmed it. It's belief in Jesus (the judge's son) which saves you, not sin against God, or lack of regret.

Ok, this has nothing to do with lifestyle but more to do with law. So it doesn't matter if one tries to live life in a so-called Christian manner, as long as they don't accept Jesus, they are choosing Satan? This is nothing but emoting over a group feeling superior. It has nothing to do with religious feelings and feelings of oneness with God. How narrow-minded...

 

If I remember right, Jesus said something about leaving a certain group alone because they lead a good lifestyle.

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Is it possible that I am living a "Christian" life, but disagree with many aspects of Christianity, that I would be allowed into your group? If not, then you are not just judging on lifestyle alone. How do you define a Christian life should be my first question. How do you define sin within your group?

That post brings up some memories from the past. For instance, many churches look down on poor or under-dressed people. If you don't come to church on Sunday looking sharp, pretty, recent haircut, and well mannered, then you're judged as a not being a complete Christian. Only well dressed people go to Heaven. Of course it's not like that everywhere, but there are plenty of churches where this culture is dominant. I'd say it's a sin to have that attitude.

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Is it possible that I am living a "Christian" life, but disagree with many aspects of Christianity, that I would be allowed into your group? If not, then you are not just judging on lifestyle alone. How do you define a Christian life should be my first question. How do you define sin within your group?

That post brings up some memories from the past. For instance, many churches look down on poor or under-dressed people. If you don't come to church on Sunday looking sharp, pretty, recent haircut, and well mannered, then you're judged as a not being a complete Christian. Only well dressed people go to Heaven. Of course it's not like that everywhere, but there are plenty of churches where this culture is dominant. I'd say it's a sin to have that attitude.

HA! I've been to a couple of those myself. It wasn't outright said to you, but the looks you received said it all. But, with a group of people with the mindset of "chosen" it's to be expected.

 

(I did edit my post because I saw where my questions were answered in one of your posts.)

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The first cause argument is not the same as the complexity argument. Don't mix them up. The syllogism didn't say something like: something which is complex needs a cause, but rather that something which is complex need a cause which are more complex.

 

I understand that - but what I am saying is that - and this should be obviuos - the Uncaused Cause (God) is more complex than all the complexities of universe combined. The Uncaused Cause presents more than just causation.

 

There are innumerable proofs of how simplicity leads to complexity. DNA to a being, like animals, plants. The seed is simple, the tree is complex. Everything starts at simplicity.

 

No no no no no. DNA by itself does absolutely nothing - it just sits there! Without a myriad of acidic nuclear proteins for regulation, without enzymes for replication, transcription, translation, without ribosomes [made of RNA and proteins] to manufacture proteins, without essential amino acids and essential fatty acids, without lots of nutrients, & sunlight, & transporation systems for nutrients and waste, etc. etc etc >>>> the DNA does NOTHING. And the seed alos does nothing unless there are many other factors involved.

 

Your example is completely bogus - their are multiple systems in place which must function in a nearly flawless fashion to generate ANY BEING - even the simnplest one-celled Paramicium. This is not a simple process. Have you studied biochemistry or cell biology at all?

 

Still, the body of an animal or plant is constructed of regenerated DNA, not the other way around.

 

Huh? What is regenerated DNA? Regenerated from what?

 

The animal doesn't come first, and then the DNA becomes real. We all started as a single cell.

 

Yes - I fully agree - but to think that we start with just DNA - and then MAGIC, a complex being is generated is bogus. There are all kinds of nutritional, biochemical, regulatory, repair, etc etc etc mechanisms at work to accomplish this. Usable energy must be constantly available, transported inside, metabolized, absorbed, stored, directed, etc towards the development and maintenance of the being. To say that we started with just DNA, or just a simple, single-cell and then it developed into a complex being is to vastly misunderstand what is required.

 

Can somebody else jump in here and bring Han up to speed on biochemistry, cell biology, metabolism & physiology, and developmental biology - so we can avoid such bogus posts?

 

I'm talking about the simple fact that you don't pop into existence as a complex being, and then suddenly the DNA pops into existence afterward. You, as a complex being, is built piece by piece, from a single cell, growing into this.

 

Whoever said that we pop into existence, and then DNA appears? When Adam & Eve were created - they were created as complete human beings - with everything in place and functioning very well. ANd now, we all start from a zygote - bathed in nutrients, with teh complex DNA molecule containing our blueprint, the with efficient biochemical metabolism & manufacturing, and in an environment conducive to growth & nurturing. A vastly complex system created by an infinitely complex God.

 

That's yet another angle, which is guided evolution. Can you deny God the power to have used evolution to create life? And even if that is true, then God used simplicity into complexity, not the other way around. So even if God used Evolution to create life, Evolution is then also evidence of simplicity makes complexity.

 

God can use any process He desires - but then all your other statements are nonsense - because you have an all-pwerful & all-wise God taking simple systems and building them into complex systems - not a process that's driven simply by mechanistic processes.

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God can use any process He desires - but then all your other statements are nonsense - because you have an all-pwerful & all-wise God taking simple systems and building them into complex systems - not a process that's driven simply by mechanistic processes.

So you're saying that when a person grows up, and the brain connects braincells etc, it's all guided by God? When the seed grows to a tree, it's God manipulating it? I think you don't understand my comparison.

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I agree. Those acts are wrong, because they harm human beings. You see, I can explain why it is wrong based on a rational standpoint without using God as part of the definition. My definition isn't: it is wrong because God says so. But rather: it is wrong because it harms humans and humanity, and as being part of humanity, it indirectly harms me. And society at large would not be able to survive if certain acts were allowed, and we have evolved to "feel" these things to be wrong, because as human species we survived through "knowing" these things. Societies where people would think "killing anyone they see" as a moral act, would die out as culture within few days. So it's very natural that this would evolve as morals.

 

Yes, but Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Genghis Khan and amny other human leaders would say its OK to harm and kill millions of people specifically to preserve the nation, the system, whatever. What do you have to either condemn or even disagree with them? They would also desire that society at large would survive - how would you deal with those men? CAn you condemn them? BAsed on what?

 

So you go to Heaven for feeling true remorse for your acts? Or is it because you believe in Jesus? Step carefully here, because what you're saying here is that the judge (God) will forgive because someone truly regret what they did, not because they believe in the judge's sacrificed son.

 

I was answering a specific question. And to answer yours >> conversion = repentance and faith. Repentance = confesion, remorse and turning from sin, and faith is trusting in the Person & work of Jesus Christ to procure our salvation.

 

Okay. In another place (thread) I brought up the problem of defining "sin", and here we have yet another angle to it: sin is to not believe in God. So it's an act of the person, but not rebellion, but rather just not believing. And it's about believing in God, which would include many other religions. We know, both of us, that you really mean that it's a sin not to believe in Jesus specifically. It's not just "not believing in God" since it would include Muslims, Jews, and Zoroastrians.

 

Sin is rebellion against God, sin is lawlessness as stated in I John, sin is the failure to place your trust in Jesus Christ as LORD & Savior. Biblical belief is not mental assent to God's existence [the demons believe God exists] Sin is the refusal to trust & obey God as God.

 

God is merciful to those who cry out for His abundant mercy and grace, and He acts with justice to those who fail to treat Him as He so rightfully deserves - being the Source of all life and the great Shepherd of our souls.

 

Muslims do this 5 times a day, don't they? But they don't go to the Christian Heaven anyway.

 

Muslims pray to a false god.

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'rayskidude' date='30 July 2009 - 10:59 PM' timestamp='1249012776' post='471884']

I agree with your point - we must be circumspect about what we believe. And I would say that these words of Jesus are a good source of wisdom for determining the authenticity of doctrine and teachings;

Mat 7:14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Mat 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

Mat 7:16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

Mat 7:17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.

Mat 7:18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.

Mat 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Mat 7:20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

Mat 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Mat 7:22 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?'

Mat 7:23 And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'

 

Christians are, from my experience, back-biting gossiping selfish hypocritical scum, just like most of humanity. Except that they clothe their selfishness in a pious exterior and go to church on Sunday. So it would seem that, according to Matt 7:14-23, pretty much 99% of all the people who claim to be Christians are, in fact, false prophets destined for the flames.

 

Funny how you never hear that preached from the pulpit.

 

I acknowledge that Christians do not live up to Christian standards - but no one can. ANd I agree that Christians should be 'better people' and sadly, too often, we are not. But I have been in many worship services where the pastor/preacher most definitely challenged the people to consider whether or not they were truly Christian. Self-assessment is part of the Lord's Supper.

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Ray, Is it possible that I am living a "Christian" life, but disagree with many aspects of Christianity, that I would be allowed into your group? If not, then you are not just judging on lifestyle alone. How do you define a Christian life should be my first question. How do you define sin within your group?

 

If you don't agree with many apects of Christianity, why would you say you're a Christian? But you would be allowed to attend worship and many other applicable church activities. But you may not be allowed to become a member - depending on what you disagreed with. Or if you're living in obvious & willful sin - living in opposition to the commands contained in the NT, and many places in the OT.

 

SO Jesus says the main sin is to not believe in Him as Lord & Savior - that He is righteous and that Satan has been judged. SO we either choose Jesus or Satan - those are the alternatives. We choose either humility before God, or our pride causes us to live apart from God.

 

And there you confirmed it. It's belief in Jesus (the judge's son) which saves you, not sin against God, or lack of regret. Ok, this has nothing to do with lifestyle but more to do with law. So it doesn't matter if one tries to live life in a so-called Christian manner, as long as they don't accept Jesus, they are choosing Satan? This is nothing but emoting over a group feeling superior. It has nothing to do with religious feelings and feelings of oneness with God. How narrow-minded...

 

You speak as if you can separate doctrine from practice - Christians cannot. What we believe drives what we do [most of the time]. I have addressed already what Christian conversion is - but to become a new creation in Christ [iI Cor 5:17] - means that all things become new, we walk in newness of life - as stated in Rom 6:4.

 

And where would you come up with the idea that feelings should determine spiritual status? Are you aware of how often your feelings change? What if you don;t feel oneness with God one day - and that's the day you die? Then what happens?

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Yes, but Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Genghis Khan and amny other human leaders would say its OK to harm and kill millions of people specifically to preserve the nation, the system, whatever. What do you have to either condemn or even disagree with them? They would also desire that society at large would survive - how would you deal with those men? CAn you condemn them? BAsed on what?

So does USA. And even some Christians in USA agree that war, torture, and execution are appropriate methods to subdue conflict and opposition.

 

What you are touching is exactly what Sociology is explaining. We have learned, through socialization, what is right and wrong, but also there are a sense of rational reasons to why certain things are correct. And the values we use to establish these senses can vary between cultures. I think, because that's how I grew up and it makes sense to me, that humans have equal rights, because I am a human and I want fairness.

 

To turn my view on morality and place it on other cultures which I don't agree with, doesn't explain my view or what makes sense in general.

 

I put in another post the concept of abusing children. The Bible does not condemn it, and it even recommend it, and I know churches teaches it, but it's considered abuse, and I think it is immoral to abuse your kids. So who is right? Me or God?

 

So you go to Heaven for feeling true remorse for your acts? Or is it because you believe in Jesus? Step carefully here, because what you're saying here is that the judge (God) will forgive because someone truly regret what they did, not because they believe in the judge's sacrificed son.

 

I was answering a specific question. And to answer yours >> conversion = repentance and faith. Repentance = confesion, remorse and turning from sin, and faith is trusting in the Person & work of Jesus Christ to procure our salvation.

Ok. So it's a combination of things. Not only to confess, feeling remorse, believe, but also to turn around and do better. Am I correct?

 

Sin is rebellion against God, sin is lawlessness as stated in I John, sin is the failure to place your trust in Jesus Christ as LORD & Savior. Biblical belief is not mental assent to God's existence [the demons believe God exists] Sin is the refusal to trust & obey God as God.

Okay, so sin is not only rebellion against God, but also to not believe in Jesus. So it's far more than just believing in God. The problem is, if you don't believe Jesus was God's son, you're doomed.

 

Muslims pray to a false god.

How do you know? They would say that you pray to a false God, and that you are blind for not seeing that they have the true belief.

 

I have debated only a few Muslims, but one thing that strikes me is the resemblance of arguments when they try to convince me about their religion. It is so incredible similar to the Christian's apologetics. It's amazingly similar. So as a third party, standing outside and looking in, the attitude is not different. Muslims are certain they are right, and they argue with pseudo-logic and "facts" all day long, and the Christians are certain they are right and argue using pseudo-logic and "facts." Seriously, there's no difference for an outsider. You both are wearing silly hats, but there's just different colors on them.

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Muslims pray to a false god.

Come on ray. That sounds like a positive claim and one that can't be proven.

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I acknowledge that Christians do not live up to Christian standards - but no one can. ANd I agree that Christians should be 'better people' and sadly, too often, we are not. But I have been in many worship services where the pastor/preacher most definitely challenged the people to consider whether or not they were truly Christian. Self-assessment is part of the Lord's Supper.

How can they even begin to live up to Christian standards when you are told to "be like Christ"? Were any of you born of a virgin, performed any miracles lately, know you are children of God (not by adoption either), know that you are going to be killed and then raise from the dead? You don't know that at all regardless if Jesus actually told you that or not. You don't really believe that so guilt was born into every heart of every Christian. So guilt is a virtue of the Christian belief system. The more guilty you feel the better you are.

 

Nonsense and utter manipulation of people's hearts.

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You speak as if you can separate doctrine from practice - Christians cannot. What we believe drives what we do [most of the time]. I have addressed already what Christian conversion is - but to become a new creation in Christ [iI Cor 5:17] - means that all things become new, we walk in newness of life - as stated in Rom 6:4.

 

And where would you come up with the idea that feelings should determine spiritual status? Are you aware of how often your feelings change? What if you don;t feel oneness with God one day - and that's the day you die? Then what happens?

It's all about feelings ray. How can you possibly be spiritual without feeling a spiritual experience? You are speaking as if being spiritual is something that is set forth as a 12 step program or something and once you graduate, you will be spiritual. You can be in a religion your entire life and never have any sort of spiritual experience. It's more than sitting around and singing "Onward Christian Soldiers."

 

Many relgions say the same thing. You don't have to be a Christian in order to feel like a new creation in Christ. It doesn't matter if I die and don't consciously feel oneness with God on any particular day because I feel this oneness to be so regardless if I'm thinking about it or not. Isn't that what it means by being a "new creation"?

 

Confucious says, "Having heard the True Way in the morning what matters it if one should come to die at night?"

 

This is not much different in intent than this:

 

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."

 

Or this:

 

Romans 6:4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

 

The understanding goes beyond words or scriptures. One's life is changed or renewed. You no longer need any belief system.

 

"You search the scriptures daily for in them you think you have found life." Jesus

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rayskidude' date='06 August 2009 - 05:14 PM' timestamp='1249607652' post='473857']

Yes, but Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Genghis Khan and amny other human leaders would say its OK to harm and kill millions of people specifically to preserve the nation, the system, whatever. What do you have to either condemn or even disagree with them? They would also desire that society at large would survive - how would you deal with those men? CAn you condemn them? BAsed on what?

 

You still haven't answered my question - how would you deal with these men?

 

What you are touching is exactly what Sociology is explaining. We have learned, through socialization, what is right and wrong, but also there are a sense of rational reasons to why certain things are correct. And the values we use to establish these senses can vary between cultures. I think, because that's how I grew up and it makes sense to me, that humans have equal rights, because I am a human and I want fairness.

 

Again, I repeat, that many dictators have killed multiplied millions of people - all to preserve 'the common good' - so by what basis could you disagree with or condemn these men? After all, they thought that what they were doing was right.

 

I put in another post the concept of abusing children. The Bible does not condemn it, and it even recommend it, and I know churches teaches it, but it's considered abuse, and I think it is immoral to abuse your kids. So who is right? Me or God?

 

What child abuse are you referring to?

 

So you go to Heaven for feeling true remorse for your acts? Or is it because you believe in Jesus? Step carefully here, because what you're saying here is that the judge (God) will forgive because someone truly regret what they did, not because they believe in the judge's sacrificed son. Ok. So it's a combination of things. Not only to confess, feeling remorse, believe, but also to turn around and do better. Am I correct?

 

We obtain salvation by (1) ackowledging that we have sinned against a holy God AND we repent of that sin (guilt, remorse, regret, & turning from sin); (2) placing our faith (trust) in Jesus the Messiah, God Incarnate, who died in my place on the cross to pay the debt of my sin - acknowledging that I bring nothing to the table, but I only cry out to God for mercy; (3) God is faithful to His promise, and He grants salvation to any & all who humbly seek pardon from Him; (4) God gives us a new heart, make us a new creation in Christ - this changes our goals, motives, disposition, it makes basic changes in our worldview; (5) God's Holy spirit takes up residence within us to begin the work of conforming us the Christlikeness. This involves changing our character into likeness with His - so that we are characterized by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, forgiveness, mercy, grace, generosity, good works, etc. This is a process of spiritual growth - but there is a definite direction toward becoming more like Christ in His trust of the Father and treatment of mankind.

 

Okay, so sin is not only rebellion against God, but also to not believe in Jesus. So it's far more than just believing in God. The problem is, if you don't believe Jesus was God's son, you're doomed.

 

The issue is that God Himself, in the second Person of the Trinity, became Man. Lived a sinless life and suffered & died in our place for our sin - and we receive forgiveness by acknowledging what God has done for us to save us from the consequences of our willful sin. To not believe in Jesus the Messiah as being LORD & Savior - as was declared by God as His plan to redeeem sinners - is a HUGE SLAP IN THE FACE OF GOD. It is to shake our fist in God's face and declare that there can be some other way in which we can achieve salavtion. But there is no other way, no other name by which we can receive God's gracious salvation.

 

Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Mat 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Mat 28:20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

 

Luk 24:44 Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled."

Luk 24:45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,

Luk 24:46 and said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead,

Luk 24:47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

 

Joh 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

 

Joh 20:27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe."

Joh 20:28 Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!"

Joh 20:29 Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

Joh 20:30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;

Joh 20:31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

 

Act 4:10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead--by him this man is standing before you well.

Act 4:11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.

Act 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

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How can they even begin to live up to Christian standards when you are told to "be like Christ"? Were any of you born of a virgin, performed any miracles lately, know you are children of God (not by adoption either), know that you are going to be killed and then raise from the dead? You don't know that at all regardless if Jesus actually told you that or not. You don't really believe that so guilt was born into every heart of every Christian. So guilt is a virtue of the Christian belief system. The more guilty you feel the better you are.

 

God's work in us to confrom us to the image of Jesus Christ involves Christian character. Nowhere in Scripture are we commanded to do any of the things you've stated. we're commanded to love, forgive, have mercy, act with grace, exhibit the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience. kindness, goodness, gentleness, etc), trust in God to protect us and provide for us - after all He is our Heavenly Father. And there's no "points" for feeling guilty, in fact guilt simply reveals that we have sinned - which is contrary to God's will. No, there is only encouragement to repent and turn from sin - and seek to be like Christ in all that we do,think, and say.

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It's all about feelings ray. How can you possibly be spiritual without feeling a spiritual experience? You are speaking as if being spiritual is something that is set forth as a 12 step program or something and once you graduate, you will be spiritual. You can be in a religion your entire life and never have any sort of spiritual experience. It's more than sitting around and singing "Onward Christian Soldiers."

 

It is not about feelings - spirituality is living, acting, thinking, speaking in love, in truth, in forgiveness, in lovingkindness, in patience, etc - and doing all of this whether we feel like it or not. Spirituality is pursuing a good and godly life wherein we love God supremely and our neighbor as ourself. If we have good feelings about this (and we generally do) hey, prasie God. But if we don't feel like it - we do it anyway - because the Christian lifestyle is pleasing to our Heavenly Father.

 

Many relgions say the same thing. You don't have to be a Christian in order to feel like a new creation in Christ. It doesn't matter if I die and don't consciously feel oneness with God on any particular day because I feel this oneness to be so regardless if I'm thinking about it or not. Isn't that what it means by being a "new creation"?

 

How does thos oneness with God feel? How do you know you're one with God?

 

And a new creation means what it says the old ways have passed away - and all our life has become new

 

Confucious says, "Having heard the True Way in the morning what matters it if one should come to die at night?"

The understanding goes beyond words or scriptures. One's life is changed or renewed. You no longer need any belief system.

 

So what brought you to this newness of life? Feelings for truth? What exactly changed you, and how would others say have you changed?

 

Because as far as I can tell, the only thing that changes peoples' hearts is coming to believe and live by the Truth.

Joh 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

 

Joh 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

Joh 17:4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.

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It's all about feelings ray. How can you possibly be spiritual without feeling a spiritual experience? You are speaking as if being spiritual is something that is set forth as a 12 step program or something and once you graduate, you will be spiritual. You can be in a religion your entire life and never have any sort of spiritual experience. It's more than sitting around and singing "Onward Christian Soldiers."

 

It is not about feelings - spirituality is living, acting, thinking, speaking in love, in truth, in forgiveness, in lovingkindness, in patience, etc - and doing all of this whether we feel like it or not. Spirituality is pursuing a good and godly life wherein we love God supremely and our neighbor as ourself. If we have good feelings about this (and we generally do) hey, prasie God. But if we don't feel like it - we do it anyway - because the Christian lifestyle is pleasing to our Heavenly Father.

 

You see, to me, what you are describing is the performance of ritual, rules and traditions. Not that these are wrong things, but they are done out of a feeling that you must do it. It is hard to perform on command. I feel it is much easier to do these things if a feeling of connectedness is with you.

 

Here is a little snipet from Wiki:

 

"Spirituality is matters of the spirit, a concept often (but not necessarily) tied to a spirit world, a multidimensional reality and one or more deities. Spiritual matters regard humankind's ultimate nature and purpose, not as material biological organisms, but as spirits or energy with an eternal relationship beyond the bodily senses, time and the material world.

 

The spiritual is contrasted with the physical and the temporary. A sense of connection is central of spirituality — connection to a reality beyond than the physical world and oneself, which may include an emotional experience of awe and reverence. Spirituality may also include the development of the individual's inner life through practices such as meditation and prayer, including the search for God, the supernatural, a divine influence, or information about the afterlife. Spirituality is the personal, subjective aspect of religion, mysticism, magic and occult."

 

This can even apply to atheists. I would probably be viewed as an atheist to most theists.

 

Many relgions say the same thing. You don't have to be a Christian in order to feel like a new creation in Christ. It doesn't matter if I die and don't consciously feel oneness with God on any particular day because I feel this oneness to be so regardless if I'm thinking about it or not. Isn't that what it means by being a "new creation"?

 

How does thos oneness with God feel? How do you know you're one with God?

 

And a new creation means what it says the old ways have passed away - and all our life has become new

How can I explain a feeling other than what Wiki says about a "sense" of connection and an emotional experience of awe amd reverence.

 

Confucious says, "Having heard the True Way in the morning what matters it if one should come to die at night?"

The understanding goes beyond words or scriptures. One's life is changed or renewed. You no longer need any belief system.

 

So what brought you to this newness of life? Feelings for truth? What exactly changed you, and how would others say have you changed?

 

Because as far as I can tell, the only thing that changes peoples' hearts is coming to believe and live by the Truth.

Joh 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

 

Joh 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

Joh 17:4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.

You really think that hearts are only changed within the context of Christianity?

 

What brought me was realizing that I am not something separate from my neighbor. I can love them as myself, because they are myself. We all are one viewing the universe with different eyes. Same source, different eyes. Others notice I have changed because I'm more outgoing, loving and joyful to be around. I'm not some poor little I that exists alone in a bad world and I'm not a victim of someone else's sin. My sins harm others and it is these others that I need to make ammends with. It's nice to be free of guilt that was never mine to begin with.

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You see, to me, what you are describing is the performance of ritual, rules and traditions. Not that these are wrong things, but they are done out of a feeling that you must do it. It is hard to perform on command. I feel it is much easier to do these things if a feeling of connectedness is with you.

 

How are love, joy, forgiveness, kindness, etc ritual? Or rules? Or traditions? These things characterize the life of the Christian because God has given us a new heart that desires to live this way and seeks for opportunities to demonstrate this 'fruit of the Spirit.' We're not forced to live this way - we desire to because we see the love & wisdomof this Spirit-led lifestyle.

 

1Jn 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.

1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.

1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.

1Jn 5:4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith.

1Jn 5:5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

 

snipet from Wiki:

"Spirituality is matters of the spirit, a concept often (but not necessarily) tied to a spirit world, a multidimensional reality and one or more deities. Spiritual matters regard humankind's ultimate nature and purpose, not as material biological organisms, but as spirits or energy with an eternal relationship beyond the bodily senses, time and the material world.

 

This is completely different definition of 'spiritual' than what would be the Biblical concept. Christian spirituality is living a life of confident trust and rest in God; characterized by loving relationships with God & mankind which is evidenced by selflessness. Feelings are not a requiremnt for Biblical spirituality - though we generally have a sense of affection (rather than mere feeling) for those we interact with - but even in the absence of that affection, we are to treat all with love at all times. I would maintain that true spirituality is proven to exist in the absence of 'feelings' >> since anyone can do anything when they 'feel like it' But the challenge is to love and act rightly in the face of lack of feeling, and even in spite of opposition.

 

The spiritual is contrasted with the physical and the temporary. A sense of connection is central of spirituality — connection to a reality beyond than the physical world and oneself, which may include an emotional experience of awe and reverence. Spirituality may also include the development of the individual's inner life through practices such as meditation and prayer, including the search for God, the supernatural, a divine influence, or information about the afterlife. Spirituality is the personal, subjective aspect of religion, mysticism, magic and occult."

 

What is the connection beyyond the physical world that you sense? What is beyond the physical world? Do you practice prayer & meditation? Are you receiving divine influences? If so, how so? Can you check the validity of such connections & influences? DO you claim to have any connection thru mysticism, magic, or the occult?

 

How can I explain a feeling other than what Wiki says about a "sense" of connection and an emotional experience of awe amd reverence.

 

If you cannot explain feelings any more than this "sense of connection" which could include an emotional experience of awe & reverence - well, how can you vouch for its reality? Could it be the result of completely subjective "feelings' on your part? And what generates the awe & reverence - awe & reverence for what? For your feelings?

 

This is all so nebulous - but not to say that its not real, but I wonder how you're sure that what you feel is actually real, or based on reality - and not just some fuzzy feelings that are generated by causes that are unknown even to you. What causes you to feel that sense of connection?

 

You really think that hearts are only changed within the context of Christianity?

 

If we're speaking of lasting, life-long change for the good - YES.

 

I am not something separate from my neighbor. I can love them as myself, because they are myself. We all are one viewing the universe with different eyes. Same source, different eyes. Others notice I have changed because I'm more outgoing, loving and joyful to be around. I'm not some poor little I that exists alone in a bad world and I'm not a victim of someone else's sin. My sins harm others and it is these others that I need to make ammends with. It's nice to be free of guilt that was never mine to begin with.

 

How are you 'one' with your neighbor, what do you mean by that statement? And who is your neighbor? Does your neighbor agree that he is 'one' with you? What if he doesn't agree with you?

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