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Bazz99

Is it actually impossible to reason with a devout christian?

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4 hours ago, WalterP said:

 

  The congregation were encouraged to look at the scriptures... 'through the eyes of faith'.  They did this readily, but at the cost of using their ability to reason. 

 

 

Through the eyes of faith means "Protect Jesus at all costs" . It's a waste of time to read the bible if you are pre-armed with the mental gymnastics of apologetics.

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4 hours ago, WalterP said:

The congregation were encouraged to look at the scriptures... 'through the eyes of faith'. 

Never made sense of that expression.  Faith is believing without seeing.  How can I use "eyes" that aren't supposed to see?

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4 hours ago, WalterP said:

Please let me know if you'd like to read the transcript.

Might be worth a laugh.

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On 10/4/2019 at 10:12 PM, Bazz99 said:

I mean has anyone here ever successfully reasoned with a evangelical christian? Is it simply an impossible task im wasting my time with? Or can it be done?

I believe it can be done. But that you'll only get somewhere with a Christian who has critical thinking skills and is ready to accept that there could be another reality outside of theirs. If they aren't, it's pointless. 

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35 minutes ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

I believe it can be done. But that you'll only get somewhere with a Christian who has critical thinking skills and is ready to accept that there could be another reality outside of theirs. If they aren't, it's pointless. 

 

My experiences as well.

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39 minutes ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

a Christian who has critical thinking skills and is ready to accept that there could be another reality outside of theirs.

That person would not be a real christian anyway.  😆

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5 minutes ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

That person would not be a real christian anyway.  😆

Good point. I actually considered myself a lapsed believer by the time I got around to reading books that were "off limits" because I knew that was heading down the wrong road according to my church. 

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32 minutes ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

Good point. I actually considered myself a lapsed believer by the time I got around to reading books that were "off limits" because I knew that was heading down the wrong road according to my church. 

I had my doubts before I had my doubts, as it were.

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10 hours ago, WalterP said:

Once I asked this question.  Jesus instructed his followers to... "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'  ...so, if we look at scripture with only faith, then how are we using all of our minds in the service of God?  I didn't get a satisfactory answer.

 

Anyway, in the study we were looking at 1 Corinthians 11. Sadly, we couldn't make it past the first verse.  "You are to imitate me as I imitate Christ."  

 

Please let me know if you'd like to read the transcript.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

Yes, that seems like a good contribution to the thread. 

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5 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Might be worth a laugh.

 

Ok then. Joshpantera and the RedneckProfessor want to see the transcript.  Here it is.  

 

The Bible study begins with a prayer of dedication, lead by Rob, one of the church elders.  He asked if there were anyone we knew who was in need of prayer.  Then, after a few notices and announcements we checked to see if we could all make it to the next Bible study.  Rob then handed over to me. 

 

I began with another prayer, asking the Holy spirit to guide me in Jesus’ name.  Then I asked everyone to open their Bibles to 1 Corinthians 10, so that we could do a quick recap of the last meeting.  We looked at verses 23 to 33 for about ten minutes and I asked if anyone had any questions.  There weren’t any.  I then asked everyone to read the whole of chapter 11, verse by verse, each person following the next.  I lead off with verse 1.  When we reached the end of 11, I asked if anyone had received a blessing or word from the Holy Spirit while God’s Word was being read out.  If that had been the case, I would have yielded to Rob, because he had authority over me in spiritual matters like this.  Nobody had, so I proceeded to lead the study, focusing on verse 1.  After a few minutes a lady called Barbara spoke up, querying what I was saying about the verse. I’ll begin the transcript from this point.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

B.  I believe that 1 Cor 11: 1 is telling us to imitate Christ.

 

Me.  Yes, that’s right.  I agree.  All Christians should imitate Christ.  That’s the message for us, here, today.  And it was also the message for all Christians, down through the ages.  But that’s not what Paul was saying to the Corinthians.

 

B.  Yes, it is.  If all Christians should imitate Christ, then the Corinthians should do the same and imitate him.

 

Me. Yes.  The Corinthians should do that.  But that’s not what Paul says in his letter, is it?

 

B.  Yes, it does.  Paul is telling the Corinthians to imitate Christ.  ‘Imitate me as I imitate Christ.’

 

Me. Who is Paul telling them to imitate, Barbara?

 

B. Jesus Christ.

 

Me. Please read the verse again.  It says, ‘Imitate me as I imitate Christ.’ Paul’s asking them to imitate him, as he imitated Christ.  Isn’t that what it says?

 

B. But that’s not what Paul’s telling them to do.  He’s telling them to imitate Christ.  That’s his message. 

 

Me.  Barbara, please. Just look at what the text says before drawing a conclusion about the message.  Who is Paul telling the Corinthians to imitate, himself or Christ?

 

B.  Christ, of course.

 

Me. No. I’m sorry, that’s not what it says.  Could you please read it out to us? 

 

B.  ‘Imitate me as I imitate Christ.’ 

 

Me.  So, who is Paul telling the Corinthians to imitate?  Himself or Christ?

 

B. Christ. That’s what Paul means.  He wouldn’t have meant for them to imitate him, because he wanted them to imitate Christ, not him.

 

Me. Barbara, please think about this for a minute.  Had any of the Corinthians ever met Christ in person? 

 

B.  Why yes, of course.  They were born-again Christians, just like us.  Saved by the blood of the lamb.  We’ve all met Christ and know him personally.  He’s our saviour and lord.  The Corinthians were just the same.  They knew and met Christ.

 

Me. Ah. I can see why you’re confused and it’s my fault.

 

B.  I’m not confused!  You’re the one who’s not really understanding the meaning of this verse.

 

Me. Barbara, please let me explain.  When I asked you if the Corinthians had met Christ, I should have added, ‘met him in the flesh’. That is, ‘met him when he lived in the Holy land.’  It’s my fault for not asking the question properly.  Of course, none of the Corinthians had been in Israel to actually meet Jesus when he was alive.  When he was preaching or when he ministered to the sick and the needy.  The Corinthians came to know about Jesus Christ through the missionary work of Paul.  They had never met Christ in person.  So, when he writes to them, telling them to imitate him as he imitates Christ, he’s telling them to copy him as he copies Jesus.

 

He met Jesus on the road to Damascus.  That was his meeting with Christ, in the flesh.  Ok, with the resurrected Christ.  So, Christ was in his new body, his resurrected flesh – but Paul counts that as meeting Jesus in the flesh.  Which is something none of the Corinthians ever did.  They only knew Jesus spiritually, through the workings of the Holy Spirit.  Which is a quite different thing.  Do you see what the verse means, now?

 

B.  Yes, Walter.  It means that the Corinthians should imitate Christ.  Which is what I said before.

 

Me. Umm… sorry. I meant can you see what the verse means, now that I’ve explained what Paul wrote about the Corinthians imitating him - who they had seen in the flesh - so that they could imitate Christ - who they hadn’t seen in the flesh? 

 

B.  Yes. I can see what you mean, all right. The Corinthians should imitate Christ.  That’s what Paul wanted them to do.

 

Me.  But who had they seen in the flesh, Barbara?  Jesus or Paul?

 

B.  Paul.

 

Me. So who is Paul asking them to imitate?

 

B.  Jesus Christ, the son of God.

 

Me.  That’s his aim, yes.  To get them to imitate Christ.  But how is he asking them to do that?  Not by copying or imitating Christ, because none of them had ever met Christ in the flesh.  But to imitate him, right?  To imitate Paul.  Because they had seen him in the flesh. Do you see that?

 

B.  But Paul wouldn’t have wanted to them to imitate him!  He wanted them to imitate Christ!  That’s who he saying they should imitate!  It’s there.  In the text.

 

Me.  That’s the meaning of the text.  No doubt about it.  But that’s not what the text actually says, is it?  ‘Imitate ME as I imitate Christ.’  ME.  PAUL.  Not Jesus.  Can’t you see that, Barbara?

 

B.  What it says is not what it means, though!  Paul doesn’t mean that they should imitate him!  They should imitate Christ!  Paul was just a man.  He wasn’t God.  What you’re suggesting is that Paul wanted the Corinthians to see him as God.  As Christ.  That’s not what he wanted at all!  You shouldn’t read things into the text that aren’t there, Walter! 

 

Me.  Barbara.  That’s not what I’m doing.  Please. Just think for a minute.  You’ve known me for fifteen years in this church and when have I ever suggested anything like this.  I’ve always been very careful about how I divide God’s Word. If I was ever in doubt, I’d seek out Rob or Jeff or one of the other elders.  Or Mike himself.  (The pastor)

 

B.  But that’s what you’re doing now!  You’re implying that Paul wanted the Corinthians to treat him like God!

 

Me. No.  I’m not. 

 

B.  Yes!  Yes, you are! 

 

(Rob intervenes, using his authority as an elder to stop the quarrel.  He calls for a time of prayer and peace and then asks Barbara and I to put the dispute behind us.  To forgive each other and be reconciled in our love for Jesus Christ.  The meeting breaks up shortly afterwards.)

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

So, if it's impossible for two devout Christians to reason with each other over the meaning of just one verse in the Bible, what hope is there that skeptics and non-believers could do any better?  None, I'd say.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

 

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Christians rely on faith given the particular standard, the Bible.  How are you going to argue with someone's interpretation when they have a different standard than the one you use.  The two must correlate I gather to find some common ground.

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Edgarcito,

 

What is Paul telling the Corinthians to do in 1 Corinthians 11:1?

 

Walter.

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4 hours ago, WalterP said:

Edgarcito,

 

What is Paul telling the Corinthians to do in 1 Corinthians 11:1?

 

Walter.

 

Unchecked Copy Box1Co 11:1 - Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
 
Edit: I read your transcript.  I'm gathering Paul considered himself one with Christ as Jesus was one with the Father?? 

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12 hours ago, Edgarcito said:

Christians rely on faith given the particular standard, the Bible.  How are you going to argue with someone's interpretation when they have a different standard than the one you use.  The two must correlate I gather to find some common ground.

This is, unfortunately, true.  So long as both parties cannot agree on what constitutes legitimate evidence, meaningful discourse will be somewhat limited.

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37 minutes ago, Edgarcito said:

 

Unchecked Copy Box1Co 11:1 - Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
 
Edit: I read your transcript.  I'm gathering Paul considered himself one with Christ as Jesus was one with the Father?? 

 

I'm sorry, but you've misread the transcript.

 

There are three named people mentioned in it.  Myself, Barbara and the elder, Robert, who took no part in the dialogue.  Neither Barbara nor myself said that Paul considered himself one with Christ as Jesus was one with the Father.  

 

Please reread the transcript.

 

Walter.

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10 hours ago, Edgarcito said:

Christians rely on faith given the particular standard, the Bible.  How are you going to argue with someone's interpretation when they have a different standard than the one you use.  The two must correlate I gather to find some common ground.

 

Edgarcito,

 

I don't quite follow you.  

 

Which two must find common ground?  The two people between themselves?  Or both people with the Bible?

 

Please clarify what you meant.

 

Thanks.

 

Walter.

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On 10/4/2019 at 9:45 PM, TEG said:

Has a Buckeye fan ever successfully reasoned with a Wolverine fan?

"Devout" christians are not seeking the truth; they are defending orthodoxy against heresy.  I do not see any point in arguing with someone like that.  When a good discussion here turns into endless point-counterpoint with one of the sword-wielding christian apologists, I tune it out.

My ex was a Buckeye fan AND a devout xtian :D 

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You never know when something that you have said may percolate around in their minds a bit, perhaps for years, only to explode in their brains at the right time, causing grievous doubt. The cracking of the eggshell of belief, or sumthin like that!

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1 hour ago, WalterP said:

 

I'm sorry, but you've misread the transcript.

 

There are three named people mentioned in it.  Myself, Barbara and the elder, Robert, who took no part in the dialogue.  Neither Barbara nor myself said that Paul considered himself one with Christ as Jesus was one with the Father.  

 

Please reread the transcript.

 

Walter.

The assumption in my mind is that Paul, asking the Corinthians to imitate him, posed a near-flawless representation of Christ.  I personally don't agree with that because Paul also mentions doing things he doesn't wish to do on occasion.  It's above my pay grade to discern whether there was a more special knowing or connection that Paul had through his means, knowing Jesus the man, or the Spirit.  I would think that most Christians see this as equivalent.  Also has gone though my mind....post resurrection, which state was Paul "seeing"... 

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1 hour ago, WalterP said:

 

Edgarcito,

 

I don't quite follow you.  

 

Which two must find common ground?  The two people between themselves?  Or both people with the Bible?

 

Please clarify what you meant.

 

Thanks.

 

Walter.

An analogy that may or may not succeed here:  If two people.....doesn't matter if religion is involved, don't accept some standard as mutual, then they have to rely on personal experience.  Suppose the color blue is accepted as some objective and legal standard to one.  And also suppose blue is simply accepted as "the color of the sky" to another, the parties must endeavor to understand each other enough such that they find some commonality in "blue".....perhaps that they visit enough and listen, that they garner/discover/understand a potential correlation between the objective/legal standard and the "color of the sky" standard.  It's more probable in my mind that those that share the same standard will more readily find agreement.  BUT, within that group sharing the same standard, there are unique components to each observer making it sometimes difficult....like Barbara.

 

 

 

 

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B.  What it says is not what it means, though! 

 

...

 

Why doesn't it just say what it means then? 

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8 minutes ago, midniterider said:

B.  What it says is not what it means, though! 

 

...

 

Why doesn't it just say what it means then? 

Which poses a good question.....why is everything dynamic and unique.

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It sounds like some people are more into metaphor than others . . . .

“Imitate me as I go get a hot dog” means to go get a hot dog, not treat me like a deity.

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Is it actually impossible to reason with a devout christian?

 

As we all know everyone is different to a certain extent. The answer to the above question might be answered by the realization that maybe up to half the members of this X-Christ forum were once evangelicals or devout Christians of some kind.  Of course most devout Christians will not argue religion at all, but many passively listen to arguments whether they want to or not.

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It seems pretty straightforward that Paul was telling them his understanding of Jesus' teaching and to follow that teaching ... not that Paul thought he was Jesus. 

 

But of course you can exegete and hermeneute whatever suits your fancy from the bible, right? 

 

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