Member Rara Avis
People may have different perceptions of Him, but whatever their perceptions, He remains who He is.
Denise, I couldn't agree more. My point is that NO perception of Him can ever be complete and whole, certainly not in this existence, and probably not in any. The infinite is beyond our grasp. It's like the old cliché about the three blind men and the elephant. If you're feeling an ear and I'm feeling the leg, we're going to have very different perceptions of that elephant. But, it would still be pure folly for me to try to tell you that elephants don't have ears. God remains who He is - even if all I can ever feel is a leg.
Now one of us would have to be wrong, right?
See above, Opeth. I'm unclear why right and wrong is so important. I can mathematically show both that X=2 and X=3. So, if you think X=2, then you're right. If someone else thinks X=3, they're right, too. And no one has yet seen ALL the possible answers. Are we so foolish as to imagine God has shown us all that He is? Are we so arrogant as to believe we could understand all that He is?
And it makes me wonder how many other ways in which the bible has been altered through translations to change meanings into what MEN think and want it to mean.
Should we believe God is powerless to make His message known because of the handiwork of mere men? I think it's clear, if you examine ALL the holy books attributed to the same God, that something somewhere is less than kosher (pun fully intended). But I also believe the important message remains untouched and certain. That belief is based on nothing more than trust.
Out of the 10 commandments, … which one would you believe to be the easist to break without ever knowing it?
ALL OF THEM! Which was the whole purpose of the Law. There isn't a single one of them you can avoid breaking.
Many people confuse the "jewish laws" with the laws of God, which never were abolished, otherwise there would be no sin.
Maybe, maybe not. Doesn't matter. Because even if the Law still exists, the punishment for breaking it has been abolished. Or, more accurately, it's already been paid. Those who try to live in obedience do so out of love, not fear. (One also should be careful to not confuse sin with Sin. There was technically no sin in the world until Moses, because there was no Law. But Sin has existed since Adam and Eve.)
Even before the laws of Moses, the Sabbath was a holy day unto the lord.
God worships a day of the week? Gee, and I didn't even realize He was bound by the trivial movements of our tiny little solar system. Let alone a man-made calendar. Okay, setting aside cute for a minute (but, it's hard to refrain), this is one of those thousand-and-one instances where too much attention to minutiae risks overlooking the greater truth of WHY the Sabbath was deemed holy. Love God. Every day. Heed the why, and everything else is just detail.
...which Christian church is the TRUE church? It does make a difference.
Only if you're in the wrong one. (See, I told you it was hard to refrain.) Okay, more seriously, I don't think right and wrong, true and false, have anything at all to do with doctrine. Doctrine is all about obedience. What does God want us to do? That sort of thing. And that's important. But if your dad tells you do something, you misunderstand what he meant and do something different, he's not going to get mad if he knows your intent. Frustrated perhaps, but not mad. And God DOES know intent.
Usually, when you get doctrine wrong the results are about the same as when you misunderstand your dad. He told you to take out the garbage, so you buy it dinner and a movie, and your social life plummets accordingly. You suffer, but only because you didn't do what was good for you. Doctrine is invariably God's way of telling you what is good for you. Get it right and life is good. Get it wrong and you suffer. But not because you're being rewarded or punished.
In my opinion, the false church has nothing do with churches or organized religions. The false church is ANYTHING you value more than God. It replaces God not in the sense that it's a different or wrong God, but rather in the sense that you no longer have room in your life for any God. I'm certainly not a prophet, but I'd be willing to bet the false church will have a lot more to do with money than with doctrine.
There was only one gospel, Christ said it himself, The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand. All other issues of being saved, etc is of course part of the teaching, but was not the thrust of his teaching.
You sound Jewish? Because that's exactly what the Jews believed, and is THE REASON they crucified Jesus. They wanted a Messiah who would lead them out of Roman servitude, establishing the Kingdom that was their birthright. They couldn't understand that God's concept of "… at Hand" was on a little grander scale than their own simple temporal existence. Fortunately, God realized early on that the Kingdom of Heaven was going to be a little sparse without divine intervention, 'cause the number of humans who had earned entry two thousand years ago could be counted on one hand. Salvation isn't incidental to the message. It IS the message.
Here is what I have found to be true, to be truly taught by the Holy Spirit...and don't worry, it is not for all today to understand, but only a select few…
Please don't crap a brick, Opeth, but I essentially agree with all five of your points. I do not agree the understanding is only for a select few, nor do I believe this is the whole story. It's just the very small part we've been told, probably the only part we can hope to understand. I have this sneaky suspicion there's about a thousand years of glossed over prophesy that is far more important than we realize.
… but I really like Denise's example of religion as a kind of example, an example that gives us a way to live our lives in the everyday world.
I agree completely, Brad. I think many people miss the fact that Jesus was a teacher, centering instead only on His sacrifice. If salvation were His only purpose, it could have been done a lot more quickly. The death and resurrection deal with our eternity, but the life of Jesus deals with our here and now. He was the ultimate example of how to live our lives, not to earn brownie points with God, but because it simply makes for better and richer lives. God let's us make our own choices, but He has given us plenty of really good advice on what works and what doesn't.
What would Jesus do in this situation? No matter a person's faith, they could hardly go wrong by asking that question a little more often.