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Masihi

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Does anyone here want to have a discussion on Christian theology with me? Just keep in mind I’m not experienced in dealing with atheism or agnosticism, with me I mostly focus on Islam. Just some information I’m not evangelical or fundamentalist or even Protestant in my beliefs.

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Theology is a broad subject.  It might be helpful if you pick a topic and start a thread.  I'd recommend doing so in The Lion's Den, if you plan to proselytize. 

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I’m down for a conversation... what do you believe? 

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4 hours ago, Masihi said:

Does anyone here want to have a discussion on Christian theology with me? Just keep in mind I’m not experienced in dealing with atheism or agnosticism, with me I mostly focus on Islam. Just some information I’m not evangelical or fundamentalist or even Protestant in my beliefs.

 

Go ahead. Put something out there for us. 

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58 minutes ago, Christopherhays said:

I’m down for a conversation... what do you believe? 

I follow Eastern Christian theology, or Orthodox theology. I’m planning on converting to the Orthodox Church once I leave the country I’m in.

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1 hour ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Why?

Ditto.

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10 hours ago, Masihi said:

I follow Eastern Christian theology, or Orthodox theology. I’m planning on converting to the Orthodox Church once I leave the country I’m in.

 

I have family in both the Greek and Russian orthodox churches. I personally think their traditions and practices are rooted in even less reason than the baptist church I ran away from... still, I try very hard to remain open minded. I’d love to discuss this theology with you. Idk if I’m allowed to post an email or something with notifications on here or not. This conversation will take forever if there’s 10 hours between every response but I’ll try to check back regularly and I’m happy to share an email or something too :)

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3 hours ago, Christopherhays said:

 

I have family in both the Greek and Russian orthodox churches. I personally think their traditions and practices are rooted in even less reason than the baptist church I ran away from... still, I try very hard to remain open minded. I’d love to discuss this theology with you. Idk if I’m allowed to post an email or something with notifications on here or not. This conversation will take forever if there’s 10 hours between every response but I’ll try to check back regularly and I’m happy to share an email or something too :)

There way closer to the early Church then Baptists or evangelicals are. My family are secular Muslims, so I grew up around a legalistic religion, which is why you can imagine evangelical Christianity never appealed to me. My thoughts were always on Catholicism and Orthodoxy.

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 Why would you want to be like the early church? Shouldn’t the main focus be Jesus rather than Polycarp, Ignatius, Justin etc. most of the New Testament is actually Paul correcting all the crazy stuff the early church was doing... when I was a Christian, all the saints, traditions, and rituals were only as valuable as they were biblical. Where in the Bible does it say to chant repetitive nonsense? Where does it say the pope has authority? Where does it say to wear funny robes and sprinkle holy water? Where does it say to make cross signs on your chest? Where does it say to face east when praying? Where does it say to revere paintings of ancient dead people? I could go on... Jesus would’ve rebuked many of these modern denominations in the same way he rebuked the Pharisees in Matthew 15.

 

(6)...you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. (7) You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:

(8) “‘These people honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
(9)They worship me in vain;
    their teachings are merely human rules.”

 

So my question would be why follow all these extra biblical rules? Perhaps the orthodoxy you’re associated with is different than what I’ve experienced, but I’m yet to see an Orthodox Church that’s actually biblical. Last time I was in one I was asked to leave for certain rituals because I was an infidel (Baptist at the time). Do you think Jesus would’ve asked me to leave? 

 

I don’t even believe in the Bible anymore and I’d love to explain why, but first I’d like to know why you think the Orthodox Church is the right one.

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1 hour ago, Masihi said:

There way closer to the early Church then Baptists or evangelicals are. My family are secular Muslims, so I grew up around a legalistic religion, which is why you can imagine evangelical Christianity never appealed to me. My thoughts were always on Catholicism and Orthodoxy.

 

I have a ton of respect for you for not just blindly following in your parents foot steps. I grew up in a very legalistic family as well and It’s allot harder to leave a situation like that than allot of people think 👍👍

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4 hours ago, Christopherhays said:

 Why would you want to be like the early church? Shouldn’t the main focus be Jesus rather than Polycarp, Ignatius, Justin etc. most of the New Testament is actually Paul correcting all the crazy stuff the early church was doing... when I was a Christian, all the saints, traditions, and rituals were only as valuable as they were biblical. Where in the Bible does it say to chant repetitive nonsense? Where does it say the pope has authority? Where does it say to wear funny robes and sprinkle holy water? Where does it say to make cross signs on your chest? Where does it say to face east when praying? Where does it say to revere paintings of ancient dead people? I could go on... Jesus would’ve rebuked many of these modern denominations in the same way he rebuked the Pharisees in Matthew 15.

 

(6)...you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. (7) You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:

(8) “‘These people honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
(9)They worship me in vain;
    their teachings are merely human rules.”

 

So my question would be why follow all these extra biblical rules? Perhaps the orthodoxy you’re associated with is different than what I’ve experienced, but I’m yet to see an Orthodox Church that’s actually biblical. Last time I was in one I was asked to leave for certain rituals because I was an infidel (Baptist at the time). Do you think Jesus would’ve asked me to leave? 

 

I don’t even believe in the Bible anymore and I’d love to explain why, but first I’d like to know why you think the Orthodox Church is the right one.

You know the entire New Testament is the product of early Church tradition, the faith came before the books and those books were written to complement that faith, not the other way around. How can we know who Jesus was if Jesus himself never wrote anything in his lifetime, we can only really rely on those that knew him or those that came directly after them or those who were appointed by the original apostles of Christ. Technically speaking Paul himself only authored 23% of the New Testament possibly even less were written by he himself directly. As for robes, in second temple Judaism the priests of the temple wore robes so that’s something Christianity just took on from the environment it grew out of. Christ was regarded as the walking temple of God on earth, so just as God spoke out of the temple, he now spoke out of human flesh as the doctrine of the incarnation states, so the Apostles were in a way the first priests of Christ. The sign of the cross was pretty well established by the 2nd and 3rd century as Saint Basil the Great mentions it being taught to the Church of his day by the Apostles themselves so it was an early practice of the Church, the same thing really goes for sprinkling Holy Water in Church. I won’t really argue for the Popes authority as presently seen since I’ve pretty much moved away from Catholicism. Matthew 15 refers to human tradition, not the Apostolic tradition that it inspired by Christ himself and continued down from him. The Orthodoxy I’ve encountered is the same one you encountered, we just see it differently. Since I’m from the Middle East mot Christians you encounter here are either are Catholics or Orthodox, I’ve never actually encountered evangelicals or Protestants face to face except from expariates even then I only encountered one fundamentalist who I know really well, but the way some extreme evangelicals seem to take it seems based more around emotion and a relationship with Christ and a disregard for anything else.

 

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3 hours ago, Christopherhays said:

 

I have a ton of respect for you for not just blindly following in your parents foot steps. I grew up in a very legalistic family as well and It’s allot harder to leave a situation like that than allot of people think 👍👍

I could name many reasons for leaving Islam, unfortunately leaving it isn’t so easy not to mention, Islam still has apostasy laws.

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The church I grew up in was “bible-only” and their goal was to restore the “original” apostolic church by sticking strictly to the bible (which they manifestly did not do).  But Paul told the churches to maintain the traditions he had taught them:
 

Quote

 

Is Scripture the sole rule of faith for Christians? Not according to the Bible.

“I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you” (1 Cor. 11:2),

“So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter” (2 Thess. 2:15)

“Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is living in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us” (2 Thess. 3:6)

 

https://www.catholic.com/tract/apostolic-tradition

https://www.catholic.com/tract/scripture-and-tradition

 

The position of the catholic church is that the bishops are the successors of the apostles, and the church is therefore an authority today the way the bible was back then.  So which is it?  This issue is probably the main cause of division in the church.  I do not remember ever having had a discussion of this topic back in the church days; we just went with our assumptions as usual.

 

For what it’s worth . . . .

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2 hours ago, Masihi said:

You know the entire New Testament is the product of early Church tradition, the faith came before the books and those books were written to complement that faith, not the other way around. How can we know who Jesus was if Jesus himself never wrote anything in his lifetime, we can only really rely on those that knew him or those that came directly after them or those who were appointed by the original apostles of Christ. Technically speaking Paul himself only authored 23% of the New Testament possibly even less were written by he himself directly

These all sound like good reasons to doubt, not to believe.

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Why do you not like Islam?

Why do you like Christianity?

 

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3 hours ago, Masihi said:

You know the entire New Testament is the product of early Church tradition, the faith came before the books and those books were written to complement that faith, not the other way around. How can we know who Jesus was if Jesus himself never wrote anything in his lifetime, we can only really rely on those that knew him or those that came directly after them or those who were appointed by the original apostles of Christ. Technically speaking Paul himself only authored 23% of the New Testament possibly even less were written by he himself directly...

 

 

I totally agree with you! Jesus never wrote a thing! It’s extremely doubtful that anyone who knew him wrote anything either. The gospels are not eye witness accounts. Paul lived at the same time and same place as Jesus and somehow never met him? Who actually knew Jesus? Jude is a forgery and not helpful anyway. James is probably a forgery but it’s about morality not history anyway. Luke calls peter and John ignorant and illiterate yet they allegedly wrote books in complex foreign languages?  If the source to a gospel is Peter or Mary than why not say so? People in Ancient Greece did name sources when writing history, they didn’t when writing fiction. None of this is even relevant though, because even if eye whitenesses did write something we don’t have it. The earliest writing of the gospels that survives is a tiny scrap of John dated to 150ad. Over three lifetimes after Jesus lived! 

 

My church believed over half the books of the New Testament were written by Paul. If you recognize that most of these are forgeries than you’re on the right track! The early Christian church that brought us the Bible was forging books all the time! There’s dozens of gospels assigned to different eye whitenesses and they’re all fake. The apostolic tradition that says to rub oil on babies eyelids and all the other nonsense is a human tradition! What’s the difference between the Pharisees washing their hands before a meal and some bishop putting ash on his face? They’re both human traditions. If Jesus put a stop to the beneficial tradition of washing hands he would stop the other nonsense. 

 

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1 hour ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

These all sound like good reasons to doubt, not to believe.

What’s there to doubt. The New Testament is a product of church tradition, John 20:31 says these things were written so that you may believe, meaning as I previously said the faith came before the books not the other way around. the New Testament was a product part is to doubt, Paul only wrote 23% of the New Testament when compared with all other authors and what might have been complied in his name, but might have been written by one of his disciples such as Timothy or Luke.

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I'm having trouble understanding why one would find reason to doubt and reject the ramblings of Muhammad yet accept without evidence the ramblings of some anonymous New Testament writers.

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14 minutes ago, Christopherhays said:

 

I totally agree with you! Jesus never wrote a thing! It’s extremely doubtful that anyone who knew him wrote anything either. The gospels are not eye witness accounts. Paul lived at the same time and same place as Jesus and somehow never met him? Who actually knew Jesus? Jude is a forgery and not helpful anyway. James is probably a forgery but it’s about morality not history anyway. Luke calls peter and John ignorant and illiterate yet they allegedly wrote books in complex foreign languages?  If the source to a gospel is Peter or Mary than why not say so? People in Ancient Greece did name sources when writing history, they didn’t when writing fiction. None of this is even relevant though, because even if eye whitenesses did write something we don’t have it. The earliest writing of the gospels that survives is a tiny scrap of John dated to 150ad. Over three lifetimes after Jesus lived! 

 

My church believed over half the books of the New Testament were written by Paul. If you recognize that most of these are forgeries than you’re on the right track! The early Christian church that brought us the Bible was forging books all the time! There’s dozens of gospels assigned to different eye whitenesses and they’re all fake. The apostolic tradition that says to rub oil on babies eyelids and all the other nonsense is a human tradition! What’s the difference between the Pharisees washing their hands before a meal and some bishop putting ash on his face? They’re both human traditions. If Jesus put a stop to the beneficial tradition of washing hands he would stop the other nonsense. 

 

Why shouldn’t I believe that the Gospels are eyewitness accounts if there authorship was unanimous in the eyes of the early Church? Irenaeus as early as 180 which is what he learned from Papias and Papias’s quotations and testimony of the authorship of the Gospels can still be found in the writings of later Church Fathers. It’s not logically possible for the Gospels to circulate anonymously for 60 years or more anonymously then suddenly have unanimous authorship at the end of the first century and beginning of the second century. Paul wasn’t in Jerusalem or Judea even when Jesus started his ministry and after his crucifixion. Peter knew Jesus, John the Apostle did, Matthew did, James did, Paul did even know Jesus from what he learned from his time with the Apostles. Tacitus for example in the annals doesn’t include his name on any part of his work except on what may be considered as the title. You know in the world of textual criticism having a scrap of the Gospel of John dated to 150 AD means the New Testament is more reliable then the majority of other famous classical works that authors can still trace back to their authors such as:

 

The Time Gap And The Number Of MSS:

AuthorDate WrittenEarliest CopyTime SpanCopies (extent)

Secular Manuscripts:

Herodotus (History)480 - 425 BC 900 AD 1,300 years8

Thucydides (History)460 - 400 BC900 AD 1,300 years?

Aristotle (Philosopher)384 - 322 BC1,100 AD 1,400 years 5

Caesar (History) 100 - 44 BC900 AD1,000 years 10

Pliny (History) 61 - 113 AD850 AD750 years 7

Suetonius (Roman History)70 - 140 AD950 AD800 years ?

Tacitus (Greek History)100 AD1,100 AD1,000 years 20


In comparison, we have copies of the NT which date approximately 15-20 years after the authors of scripture originally penned the autographs.


Biblical Manuscripts: (note: these are individual manuscripts):

Magdalene Ms (Matthew 26) 1st century50-60 ADcoexistent(?)

John Rylands (John)90 AD130 AD40 years

Bodmer Papyrus II (John) 90 AD150-200 AD60-110 years

Chester Beatty Papyri (NT)1st cen.200 AD150 years

Diatessaron by Tatian (Gospels) 1st cen.200 AD150 years

Codex Vaticanus (Bible)1st cen.325-350 AD275-300 years

Codex Sinaiticus (Bible) 1st cen.350 AD300 years

Codex Alexandrinus (Bible) 1st cen.400 AD350 years

Total New Testament manuscripts = 5,300 Greek MSS, 10,000 Latin Vulgates, 9,300 others = 24,000 copies. Total MSS compiled prior to 600 AD = 230. Some of the most important MSS include:

 

Anointing babies with olive oil is a tradition that has its origin in the early apostolic Church it wasn’t something just made up one day. And Jesus objecting to the washing of his hands was not because of the practice itself, but because of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees in how they would practice their faith this is shocked in Jesus’s saying “do what they tell you, but do not do what they do.”

 

Luke 11:39-40 

 

“Now then,” said the Lord, “you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not the One who made the outside make the inside as well? But give as alms the things that are within you, and you will see that everything is clean for you.

 

Heres a scholarly take on James:

 

https://bible.org/seriespage/20-james-introduction-outline-and-argument

 

and here’s one Jude:

 

https://bible.org/seriespage/jude-introduction-argument-and-outline

 

By the way the difference between the canonical Gospels and Gnostic one’s were, the tendency of a forged Gospel to be attributed to a high ranking person who met Jesus face to face like Peter, James, or Thomas, not people like Mark or Luke or Matthew, John is the only one that is a high ranking author in this case. Secondly the early Church only knew of  the four we presently have, the Church Fathers neither mention the existence of other Gospels nor quote from them. Also I believe your refering to Acts 4:13 which first of all doesn’t mean Peter and John couldn’t write it simply that they did not have a formal education under the Pharisaic Rabbis or scholarly education, secondly Greek wasn’t exactly foreign in 1st century Palestine, after their native Aramaic it was the language of trade, Peter being a fisherman obviously did probably know how to communicate in Greek, John was a lay theologian so he obviously had some knowledge of Greek, his knowledge of wisdom theology in relation to Christ also indicates some theological background so he obviously spoke some Greek, thirdly let’s assume they couldn’t write or speak Greek themselves for the sake of argument, obviously they could easily find scribes to write for them from among educated Jewish converts or even Greek or Roman converts.

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24 minutes ago, florduh said:

I'm having trouble understanding why one would find reason to doubt and reject the ramblings of Muhammad yet accept without evidence the ramblings of some anonymous New Testament writers.

You can’t really compare the reliability of the New Testament to the Quran or Hadiths. 

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1 hour ago, midniterider said:

Why do you not like Islam?

Why do you like Christianity?

 

Part of it is the disturbing moral values or the disturbing life of Mohammed itself, Islam has a theology which doesn’t make sense and pretty much shoots itself in the foot. Part of the reason is pretty much what Maimonides summed up:

 

Yet, he (Mohammed) and his blind followers accuse us of manipulating the text of the Torah. They ignorantly claim that we purposely removed every trace of the name of Mohammed from it. However it was they that would not accept the main precepts of the Torah, out of defiance to the Revelation at Sinai. So in great desperation they created a book that horrendously warps and taints our scriptures and undermines Moses as the greatest Prophet. After all this they attempted to legitimize the Koran as a book of truth.

 

Its doubtable if Mohammed himself ever believed in the distortion of the Bible, I personally think later Muslims coined the doctrine of tahrif or corruption once they started having access to Jewish and Christian scriptures and finding that they contradict Islam badly despite the Qurans endorsement of the Biblical Scriptures, there’s a few reasons why I don’t believe in Islam although there are many more.

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54 minutes ago, Masihi said:

You can’t really compare the reliability of the New Testament to the Quran or Hadiths. 

I can compare them easily. You must CHOOSE to believe one fairy tale over another with all (lack of) evidence being equal. Perhaps you have fallen for a false dichotomy that you must believe either Christianity or Islam. There is no evidence that compels one to believe either.

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2 hours ago, Masihi said:

Paul only wrote 23% of the New Testament when compared with all other authors and what might have been complied in his name, but might have been written by one of his disciples such as Timothy or Luke.

This alone suggests that much of the new testament was compiled under false pretenses, which should further stimulate doubt.

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Okay I don’t trust the early apostles at all... you have faith that god told them to put oil on babies and pray to paintings, I don’t have faith in that. I’d need better evidence than “3rd century John Doe did it” before I started swinging around incense and chanting nonsense. I agree that the Bible is well preserved compared to some things... but it’s also horribly preserved compared to others. The code of Hammurabi for example is older than Moses and multiple accounts of it still survive from Hammurabi’s own lifetime! Meanwhile Moses’ Ten Commandments are preserved out of order on a first century goatskin. No one claims the Odyssey is the word of God. If God inspired something why wouldn’t he preserve it? 

 

You left Islam because it was morally questionable? Please apply that same critical thinking to the Bible. God commands the killing and enslavement of woman and children multiple times in the Bible. He gives one city the option of being slaves or murdered. Another city he says to kill everyone except the virgins who you can take home and rape. Still another city he says to kill every man, woman, child and animal. Your god will cause me to be tortured forever because I don’t have faith in blood magic. What amount of finite crimes deserves infinite torture? If my worst enemy were lit on fire I’d feel morally responsible to try and help them. God on the other hand is tossing good people into lakes of fire to be burned forever. can you say that it’s immoral to rape, enslave, and murder people? If you have to skirt around those issues but you firmly know that homosexuality and doubt are evil, than what good is your morality.

 

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