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Denise
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225 posted 11-27-2002 11:51 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Opeth,

I'd be interested in hearing you opinion and critique of the world's other religions.
Opeth
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226 posted 11-27-2002 11:57 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Denise,

I have never completed an in-depth study of other religions. Why would you be interested?
jbouder
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227 posted 11-27-2002 12:41 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Opeth:

Perhaps I need to illustrate your apparent method of biblical interpretation another way.

I'm about to prove that the Bible advocates suicide:

John 13:27

"What you are about to do, do quickly."

Matthew 27:5b

"[Judas] went and hanged himself."

Luke 10:13b

"Go and do likewise."

Clearly, from these assembled Scriptures, the Bible advocates prompt suicide.

This is an example, albeit an extreme example, of a proof-texting hermeneutic, but in essense, is not all that different from what you are doing.

I go about interpreting the Bible in much the same way as I go about interpreting the law in my vocation.  When interpreting an Act, it is important to consider the legislative intent, and often, with major legislation, the legislative intent can be derived from somewhere in the body of the Act (usually at the beginning).  A good judge (being, him or herself an interpreter of the law) will consider the legislative intent of an Act when deciding a dispute of law.  Reading the legal opinions of skillful judges will reveal how the judge interpreted the law and applied that interpretation to the facts of the case.

When interpreting the biblical texts, it is extremely important to consider the author's intent, purpose and plan, the historical context, the grammatical construction, and language use.  It is far more involved than following a chain of references in your study bible.  All Scripture is not didactic.  All Scripture is not prophesy.  All Scripture is not law.  All Scripture is not Gospel.  Some Scripture is almost exclusively culturally relevent.  Some Scripture is universally relevent.  But you cannot know without taking the necessary time and effort involved in interpretation because you usually cannot arive at an accurate understanding of a passage of Scripture without exhausting a considerable amount of time in research and reflection.

The majority of what you have deemed "fallacies" are little more than blatant misinterpretations you've committed in your somewhat simplistic hermeneutic or a lack of understanding of the historical events that drove what was written.

I agree with you that there are some today who depart from orthodox Christian teachings that are of primary importance.  But to suggest that the majority of, if not all, Christians have a fundamental misunderstanding of the core of 1st century Christianity would be grossly unfounded.

Some of the doctrines you mentioned (e.g., the doctrine of the Trinity) were articulated in order to counter teachings that were inconsistent with Apostalic teachings such as the kenosis (full deity and full humanity of Christ) and unity of the Godhead.  Several key figures in church history such as Augustine, Calvin and Luther strove diligently to preserve the Gospel as revealed in Jesus Christ and as articulated by Paul and the other Apostles.

I am nearly certain that I cannot convince you to abandon your positions, as flawed as they appear to be.  Interpretation is a honed skill requiring time and discipline, and if you are unwilling to look at your interpretive approach from time to time and make adjustments as you become more knowledgeable, then chances are high that your interpretive skills will be driven by your biases and presuppositions, rather than your discoveries driving how you go about the business of interpreting.

Jim
Opeth
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228 posted 11-27-2002 04:53 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Jim,

Your example is lacking of logic, indeed. In your example you took everything out of context, including the corelation of passages. Suicide and the other passages do not corelate at all.

However, what I posted does corelate. It does not surprise, Jim. I was at the point you are at one time, refusing (or unable) to see the clarity of and simplicity of my discoveries.

Let's keep it in perspective...

1. Satan does deceive the whole world.
2. The NT does teach that false Christianity was already infiltrating the various churches.
3. Christ and the scriptures warn of false Christianity.
4. Christ calls His true followers a "little flock" ~ This certainly cannot mean mainstream Christianity today, because, logically, if it does, then that means mainstream Christianity is the little flock, but where then is flock of the false christians, which would then be certainly much much larger. There is no way around this, Jim.

But see, Jim...what you fail to understand, as most Christians do, that there are answers for all of these inconsistencies.

The day of ressurection
The Trinity
The Immortal Soul
Hell
Heaven
The reward of the saved.

etc...


And these answers are rather simple, IF and only if, God is calling you at this time. If not, then you are not being called and will not be able to understand.

But doe that mean you will not be saved?

Absolutely not.

The majority of all whom have ever lived will be saved.

God is much stronger and gets what He wants over Satan. He is a logical God, indeed.

He is not in a contest of souls with Satan. This is laughable, but would put traditional Christianity out of business, and yes...it is a business. Jesus forsaw this in His Temple during His days.

The majority will be saved. This is not the only day of salvation. There will be a time when all will learn.
Stephanos
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229 posted 11-28-2002 01:03 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Let's hear the Gospel according to Opeth.


A man on the street comes up and asks you "What must I do to be saved"?

What is your answer.  If cardinal Christian truth is not the answer, I would like to hear yours.
Remember, that I agree with your view of the "little flock" being a remnant.  I just don't think that doctrine is what separates the larger from the smaller.  Remember how Jesus said "Do as they tell you, but not as they do."?  So your going to have to be pretty convincing to show me that I should reject the cardinal doctrines of Christianity, since I don't believe that doctrinal error is implicit to wide spread apostasy... not that it doesn't happen.  It's just that I can show you examples where the doctrine was kosher and yet God was not pleased.  So let's hear your alternative to the creeds of Christianity.  You've yet to tell us what to believe, only what you say is false.  Maybe if you present something that is cogently true, from a scriptural standpoint, and let me test it, I will better be able to see the falsity of what I believe.  Up till now, your arguments of how false the cardinal Christian teachings are,  are not convincing.  You might say that those like Jim and me, are not saved, or called, and so can't understand.  But even Paul wrote, "How shall they believe without a preacher"?  


Stephen.


[This message has been edited by Stephanos (11-28-2002 01:04 AM).]

hush
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230 posted 11-28-2002 09:50 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

'A man on the street comes up and asks you "What must I do to be saved"?'

Another qualm I've had with Christianity is the idea of 'being saved.' Maybe it's that human pride thing, but I'm usually not flattered when I'm told that I'm inherently sinful and bad the way I am, and I must believe in so-and-so to be forgiven for how I am. Hey, thanks but no thanks, I think I'm okay as is.

As a kid, when I was first introduced to the idea that humans are basically nothing without God, I was apalled. I never lost that distaste. I think that original sin is simply a way for people to reconcile with themselves things (unconscious drives, to be Freudian for a moment) that don't quite jibe with their consciences. I think that while humans have certain drives that aren't conducive to participation in civilized society, we need to come to terms with them a natural. I just can't buy the story that at one time, humanity was perfect- and also, that the reason we were treated so well was because we hadn't yet learned right from wrong. Once again, thanks, but know thanks- I'll take my ability to judge moral integrity over a brainless paradise any day.

I'm going to avoid going on a rant here, but I guess I'd answer your question with another question:

"What if I don't believe that I need to be saved?"
Denise
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231 posted 11-28-2002 11:22 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Opeth,

I ask because I am trying to ascertain what you actually believe, as Stephen said. If you have discovered that Christianity is illogical and bogus following your in-depth study, and have stated that you are an atheist because of it, what of the other religions? Wouldn't logic, or at least an honest attempt at ascertaining truth, dictate that you investigate at least a couple more of them before deciding that atheism is the only logical alternative to Christianity? Or is it that, perhaps subconsciously, you see no alternative, that maybe in your mind, if there is a valid religion, it would have to be Christianity?

I don't really believe for a second, though, that you are an atheist, by the way, due to the fact that in my thread from last March, "What exactly is Christianity", you stated more than once that you were one of the ones that God had spoken to and reavealed His hidden truths, and that is why you don't go along with the tenents of the Christian faith. Unless, of course, you have come to believe in the meantime that it wasn't really God who revealed anything to you and have now come to believe since you made that previous assertion that there really isn't a God afterall? Enlighten me, please.
Stephanos
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232 posted 11-28-2002 02:27 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Hush,

     Your reaction would be fitting if it were true that you didn't need salvation.  Someone telling you that you need salvation should only be offensive if you are sure the proposition isn't true.  If it is true, gratitude would be more fitting.  The assertion that a person needs salvation and has a problem with sin was never meant to flatter.  In that much you are right.  The good advice for sailors to throw their cargo overboard in the throes of a sea storm is not a pleasant or flattering thing either, it was meant to preserve life.  


Of course there was a time in my life as well when I denied that I was lost without God.  I denied that my life was "that bad".  It took the conviction of the Holy Spirit speaking to me to convince me of the truth of my condition.  Here is something for you to consider.  Is there a possibility of denial?  Is there the possibility that you could be in a desperate spiritual state and be ignorant of it?  There are people walking around with terminal cancer, unknowing and in complete denial of the fact.  But that doesnt change the fact.  


After all is said and done, Jesus did say that the only the sick need a physician.  He did not come to save those who positively don't need it.  If you are well and ready to face God without the legal defense that Christ offers through his sacrifice, then okay.  

I know however how shocked I was when my eyes were opened to my true spiritual condition ... (this was not a doctrine I had to blindly believe, it was shown to me vividly) ... Our rebellion and enmity with God is very deep and incriminating.  I got a glimpse of Hell that I will never forget.


Pride in me was the result of a lack of knowledge of the reality of things.  And like you it made the offer of salvation seem insulting.  However now, I feel in a similar way, how 9-11 survivors feel indebted to the firefighters that saved them from that wreckage.  No room for pride there.  Your reaction is perfectly sensible if and only if your estimate of your spiritual condition is right.


Stephen  
Ron
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233 posted 11-29-2002 09:18 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Maybe it's that human pride thing, but I'm usually not flattered when I'm told that I'm inherently sinful and bad the way I am, and I must believe in so-and-so to be forgiven for how I am. Hey, thanks but no thanks, I think I'm okay as is.

It always fascinates me. Suggest to any stranger, friend, or family member that they need to do this-and-that or such-and-such if they want to improve their life, and it's amazing how many will get mad at you. Ask the same person whether they think they're perfect, or if they're completely happy with their life as it stands, and I've yet to hear anyone answer in the affirmative. We are truly strange creatures.  
Opeth
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234 posted 11-29-2002 10:59 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"Let's hear the Gospel according to Opeth."

~ It is not the Gospel according to Opeth. Everything that I have quoted comes directly from the words of the Bible. It is your belief in mainstream Christianity, which could allow me to say, "Let's hear the Gospel according to the carnal mind of man, and not from God."

And about the Gospel, just what was the Gospel that the true Christ preached? Salvation? No. But that the Kingdom of God is at Hand. Of course there was other good news too, but somehow in traditional christianity, this message was lost...long ago. That Christ will rule here on earth as King is the Gospel.

"A man on the street comes up and asks you "What must I do to be saved"?"

~ Setting me up, Stephan?   I know of this biblical passage. Believe on the Lord Jesus, I think was Christ answer. But takes things into context, Stephan. Even the devil believes in Jesus, but that does not make the Devil saved, now does it?  To believe, means to obey, to do what Christ commands. And unless the Spirit of God (yes, the Spirit of God, not a separate entity called the Holy Spirit), calls one, they will not understand what Christ wants them to do.

"Remember, that I agree with your view of the "little flock" being a remnant.  I just don't think that doctrine is what separates the larger from the smaller."

~ So false christians are being taught in the same churches as true Christians? This would mean that Satan's ministers are working side-by-side with God's ministers? Mixing of evil and truth...I think not.

"So let's hear your alternative to the creeds of Christianity."

~ I could, but I don't think that you want to hear it for the right reasons. If you are being called, you would really want to hear it, not for just the sake for counter-arguing, but to really want to distinguish truth from lie. Besides, I have already asked you for specifics in a previous reply, you never gave any.

"But even Paul wrote, "How shall they believe without a preacher"?

~ In context, and in this case, could I be that preacher?  

[This message has been edited by Opeth (11-29-2002 11:06 AM).]

Opeth
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235 posted 11-29-2002 11:16 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"...If you have discovered that Christianity is illogical and bogus following your in-depth study,..."

~ Mainstream Christianity, for sure is bogus.

"...and have stated that you are an atheist because of it,..."

~ Why do people keep saying that!? I never said I was an atheist.

"...Wouldn't logic, or at least an honest attempt at ascertaining truth, dictate that you investigate at least a couple more of them before deciding that atheism is the only logical alternative to Christianity?"

~ I read about other religions, I don't believe any of them claim what Christianity does, that God became man and died for our sins in order to save us.

"Or is it that, perhaps subconsciously, you see no alternative, that maybe in your mind, if there is a valid religion, it would have to be Christianity?"

~ Yes, from what I remember, that was the first step in my process.

"...you stated more than once that you were one of the ones that God had spoken to and reavealed His hidden truths, and that is why you don't go along with the tenents of the Christian faith."

~ Yes, I have stated this fact on this thread, I do so believe.

"Unless, of course, you have come to believe in the meantime that it wasn't really God who revealed anything to you and have now come to believe since you made that previous assertion that there really isn't a God afterall?"

~ I stated previously, I came to the conclusion in my mind that either God has revealed to me (for sure I am not the only one), the truth or Christianity and all other religons are man-made, which led to my present day refraining from all organized religions.
hush
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236 posted 11-29-2002 11:53 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Stephan-

'Your reaction would be fitting if it were true that you didn't need salvation.'

I guess this all boils down to relativism. I'm not ready to accept that tenet as true. I don't know if I think the your truth vs. my truth idea is too lenient or not.

'Someone telling you that you need salvation should only be offensive if you are sure the proposition isn't true.  If it is true, gratitude would be more fitting.  The assertion that a person needs salvation and has a problem with sin was never meant to flatter.'

No, I'm not sure that the proposition isn't true, but I'm going on gut instincts when I say it feels wrong. I guess I just think people are fundmentally good rather than bad, and hearing someone say that hey, people actually are bad and here's the only way out of that, is kind of a smack in the face of my observations throughout my life.

'Of course there was a time in my life as well when I denied that I was lost without God.  I denied that my life was "that bad".  It took the conviction of the Holy Spirit speaking to me to convince me of the truth of my condition.'

Do you think the Holy Spirit speaks to everyone, Stephan? I'm just curious, because I am honestly not driven toward God, or rather, do not feel so. I am trying to take the time to educte myself on different religions, chiefly Christianity because it's hte predominant one here, but what am I to do if no religion calls to me? Or, to take it a step further, if Christ never calls to me? Is it a fault that when I read the bible, I'm not moved? Is it something I should be able to help? I think it's kind of interesting, but I don't really see it as a guidebook to my life. Yeah, there are ideals I can definitely relate to in it- and similarly, in other religions. But agreeing with certain codes and believing in the god(s) of any particular faith are two different things... can I be held accountable for simply not feeling something?

'Here is something for you to consider.  Is there a possibility of denial?  Is there the possibility that you could be in a desperate spiritual state and be ignorant of it?'

That's a harder question. Yes, it's possible, but I think the same can be said for anyone. Couldn't you be ignorant, Stephan, that another faith is the one 'true' religion? Everyone can't claim exclusivity to God. Either there's inherent value in all spiritual conditions and convictions, or there is one way to salvation.

In any case, I don't think anybody can say with certainty, no matter how certain they believe they are, what happens after death. So, in that aspect, we're all ignorant to some degree.

You speak of pride that acted as a barrier between you and truth, and at this time, yeah, maybe that is my problem. I guess I have enough pride to question a philosophy that strips me of it, and yeah, I guess that could be a mote in my eye. But I just don't see how somebody can tell me something, and it's supposed to make sense to me even though it flies in the face of things that I have seen during my own life. I know a lot of people who either aren't Christians, or by religious standards, are very lackadasical Christians, who are very good people. I really don't see the logic in original sin, because I haven't accepted my deliverance from it, but I still extend efforts to do good things, to help others, and to live a truthful life. I don't necessarily see religion as necessary to facilitate those things, and even if religion acts as a helping hand, I don't see the merit in claiming that only one religion can fully do so.

Ron-

I'm not mad... I'm simply saying that I don't accept a certain assertion, at least not at this point in time. I don't see it as necessary to improve my own life, and for that matter, in Stephan's scenario, I'm  not asking anybody for advice either. It's one thing if I say to Stephan "hey, I feel kind of empty, what do you think I should do?" and then call his advice stupid. But in this case, somebody's coming up to me and asking me a question, with a very strong assumption that I feel as though I need to be saved. I mean, that's kind of like if I had my kid, walking down the street, and somebody walked up to me and said "you want to know how to be a better mother?" How do they know that I'm not a good mother to begin with?

Besides, I don't think that something not making sense to me and getting "mad" are the same thing at all. It's like when you're a kid and you see a bully picking on a smaller kid. It just doesn't sit well, and that's exactly how I felt as a child- as if God, personified in this priest who was telling us how worthless we are without God, was a bully picking on humanity. I can't shake that feeling.

Even if it is true that we wouldn't be here without God, I think it's kind of a high-handed request of him that we accept our own worthlessness in light of his superiority- him having created us and all. I can't remember the last time my parents told me I'd be nothing without them- however true that is. Loving parents generally don't seek to make their children feel worthless and eternally dependent on them- why would a loving God do so?


I'll say now that this is all based on experience, and I don't know whether or not all of this is Biblically supported, or how other churches approach the subject. I don't claim to be an authority, or to know whether Christianity is or isn't a spiritual reality, or, if it isn't, what is- but it's human nature to learn by experience, and the things I've learned in my religious experiences aren't things that get me chomping at the bit to go join a church. I really don't mean to be disrespectful, or to sound angry, but there is a certain feeling of defiance against ideas I feel are unfair. Maybe that's because I'm still young, or too proud, or whatever, but I can't just contradict what I feel, and accepting that Christianity, as with all faiths, has many virtues, doesn't negate the things that I don't agree with.

[This message has been edited by hush (11-29-2002 11:54 AM).]

Opeth
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237 posted 11-29-2002 12:01 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"Do you think the Holy Spirit speaks to everyone, Stephan? I'm just curious, because I am honestly not driven toward God, or rather, do not feel so."

~ Exactly, Hush. Mainstream christianity believes that everyone should seek Christ and then they will be saved, that the Holy Spirit is to speak to everyone. But, like yourself, you are not being called, the Holy Spirit is not calling you. Yet, christians will tell you that because you do not seek God your fate is the Lake of Fire.

The Bible does not teach this, man does.

Essorant
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238 posted 11-29-2002 02:21 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Opeth,

"Yet, christians will tell you that because you do not seek God your fate is the Lake of Fire."


I agree with you, but speak for that sort of Christians, I am not a Christian of it.  We are not all the same you know!


[This message has been edited by Essorant (11-29-2002 02:27 PM).]

Opeth
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239 posted 11-29-2002 02:26 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Traditional Christian doctrine teaches that if a man is not saved during his lifetime, his fate is the lake of fire.

Which traditional/mainstream christian church does not support that belief?

Essorant
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240 posted 11-29-2002 02:58 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Some notions a particular group gets very fond and fixed on start losing the name and mood of symbol, question or suggestion, and therewith too soon act like knowledge or truth. Thoughts decieve their masters.  And it will soon be written like truth or knowledge and thus often read like it too.  In this case as far as I'm concerned, "Lake of Fire" is a superstition.  But every religion seems to have something alike.  I guess it is human nature.

[This message has been edited by Essorant (11-30-2002 01:45 AM).]

Opeth
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241 posted 11-29-2002 04:00 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

The Bible does tell of the Lake of Fire, Christ compared it to gehenna, however it is not for the masses, not one person is suffering in it as we speak, it cannot burn that which is not physical, and no one will be suffering in there, forever.

It is an eternal punishment, not punishing, in that whoever is cast into it can never be born again in the Kingdom of God. They are forever dead = non-existence.

This is what the Bible teaches.
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242 posted 11-29-2002 08:34 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Sorry Opeth, my mistake, you stated that you were an agnostic. But I really don't see how you can be that either when you've made statements that God has revealed truth to you. If that's the case, then you must believe in His existence, musn't you? As an agnostic you could say "if" there is a God, He has revealed such and such to me, but you couldn't dogmatically state that He has, and that because of this revealed knowledge that you know for certain that Christianity is not God's truth, when you are not even certain of His existence. As an agnostic you could only offer qualified statements. So upon what do your dogmatic statements rest? If you are not even certain of God's existence, how do you dogmatically declare that He has given you a message or enabled you to see truth?


quote:
"A man on the street comes up and asks you "What must I do to be saved"?"

~ Setting me up, Stephan?    I know of this biblical passage. Believe on the Lord Jesus, I think was Christ answer. But takes things into context, Stephan. Even the devil believes in Jesus, but that does not make the Devil saved, now does it?  To believe, means to obey, to do what Christ commands. And unless the Spirit of God (yes, the Spirit of God, not a separate entity called the Holy Spirit), calls one, they will not understand what Christ wants them to do.


Stephen is trying to ascertain what you believe, Opeth. If you claim that what Christianity states is false, then what is the truth? You can't expect people to take your claims seriously if you, on the one hand, trash their beliefs, and on the other hand don't give them what you see as the alternative, while intimating that you are in possession of such knowledge but won't share it because you judge someone as not having proper motives.  

As for Satan believing in Christ as Savior, that's not a valid argument. Yes, Satan knows that Christ exists and that He is who He claims to be, but he can't believe in Him in a saving way, i.e., personally trusting in His death and resurrection to secure his salvation, because Christ's sacrifice was not made for him, and he is aware of that also, so he can't believe that Christ died for him.

As to the meaning of belief, it means to believe, to trust, in Christ's all-sufficient sacrifice, personally, for one's salvation. Believe does not mean "to obey, to do what Christ commands", unless of course you are referring to obeying Christ's command to believe. Again, I'm not saying that Christian's shouldn't obey, but obeying the Law does not secure or maintain salvation, it is purely a gift received through faith. By grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone sums it up.


Stephanos
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243 posted 11-29-2002 08:42 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Opeth,

I think everyone here can read the Bible for themselves.  If anyone is curious as to what Jesus taught, or what the Bible really says then it is available to them.  I have studied the bible much.  And I honestly disagree with what you are saying.  But everyone has the freedom to look for themselves.


Hush,

I appreciate your honesty.  The only reason I responded the way I did, was that you asked the point blank question "What if I don't believe I need to be saved"?  And so I gave you a point blank answer.  This is the biblical answer to pride.


God's word seems harsh toward pride.  But to the humble, he is not in some malicious habit of making people feel worthless.  In fact no where in the bible is it taught that humanity is utterly worthless.  Christ counted us worthy of his own life.  The Bible rather teaches that we are our truest selves in God, and can have it no other way.  You know what it really teaches, is that a satisfactory autonomy is an illusion.  We were never intended to be whole while operating on our own.  You can look at it in two ways.... You can get angry at the alleged audacity of God to suggest that you actually might need him (the source of all).  Or you can see that he loves you so eternally and unswervingly that he lets you know, in no uncertain terms, where your true home is, the only place you will be truly you.  I know I am blunt (too blunt at times), in stating these things... But  there are cogent answers to your questions and objections.  And God can handle your honest questions.  You may yet come to see God in a different light.  


I know it's hard for you to see, but it is a misrepresentation in your mind that he is a cosmic sadist.  I think this alone is enough to interfere with anything you might percieve as a "calling".  And by the way, Opeth says he believes in the Bible.  But as regards to a calling, I wouldn't just believe what he says without reading for yourself.  You seem to be searching for what is true, which is evidence of a calling to me.  The Bible says "Many are called".
    

You want to know what God really says about you?  You are totally unique in all the myriads of humans he has created.  You are the only one who expresses his glory like you can.  So unique and so special that he had you planned from "before the foundations of the world".  That's pretty exciting to think about.  You actually have purpose, meaning, and eternal value that won't be dismantled when the Sun is snuffed out.  You are much more than molecules in motion.      

  
Stephen.    




[This message has been edited by Stephanos (11-29-2002 08:49 PM).]

Essorant
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244 posted 11-30-2002 02:26 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

The bible was written by people given to much superstitions that had a wild hand over the ages.  People probably did earnestly believe in a "Lake of Fire" and wisely use it to counsel people into doing the right thing, while others oppressingly as device to incite fear and change in a believer of different things.  Who in the world would want to end up in a "Lake of fire"?  
I do not believe that such a fire exists thus. If  God is, he forgives and punishes only to discipline.  Such a notion is ugly and cruel and could never make beings better.

[This message has been edited by Essorant (11-30-2002 02:28 AM).]

Opeth
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The Ravines


245 posted 11-30-2002 09:34 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"Stephen is trying to ascertain what you believe, Opeth. If you claim that what Christianity states is false, then what is the truth?"

~ Check my replies. I have asked for specifics on numerous occasions, but he nor has anyone else responded.

"You can't expect people to take your claims seriously if you, on the one hand, trash their beliefs, and on the other hand don't give them what you see as the alternative, while intimating that you are in possession of such knowledge but won't share it because you judge someone as not having proper motives."  

~ If he is called, or anyone else reading all of this for that matter, they will really want to read and understand what I share. However, I don't feel comfortable putting out this information if it is only to be ridiculed and chastised by biased and unwilling to change carnal minds.

Remember, I was where both you and Stephan are now.  
Opeth
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246 posted 11-30-2002 09:46 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"As for Satan believing in Christ as Savior, that's not a valid argument. Yes, Satan knows that Christ exists and that He is who He claims to be, but he can't believe in Him in a saving way,"

~ The Bible would contradict itself, yet again, if a person only had to believe in Christ. Because scripture can be found throughout the Bible, that one has to, yes, has to, first repent for their sins, become baptised and before anyone is ever saved, they must receive the Holy Spirit, so Denise, there is much more than just "believing on Jesus."

As a matter of fact, there are verses in the Bible where the Devil took over a person and proclaimed that Christ was God and Saviour. The devil does believe, yes. Jesus even said that believing is not enough when he tells the masses one day, you call my name lord, lord, but I don't even know you. Why? Because they believe in doctrines and commandments of men, not God.

[This message has been edited by Opeth (11-30-2002 12:21 PM).]

Denise
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247 posted 11-30-2002 08:29 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

quote:
~ The Bible would contradict itself, yet again, if a person only had to believe in Christ. Because scripture can be found throughout the Bible, that one has to, yes, has to, first repent for their sins, become baptised and before anyone is ever saved, they must receive the Holy Spirit, so Denise, there is much more than just "believing on Jesus."

As a matter of fact, there are verses in the Bible where the Devil took over a person and proclaimed that Christ was God and Saviour. The devil does believe, yes. Jesus even said that believing is not enough when he tells the masses one day, you call my name lord, lord, but I don't even know you. Why? Because they believe in doctrines and commandments of men, not God.


You are so sadly mistaken, Opeth, about so many things. And that won't be rectified until you are open to the consideration of learning to read the Bible in context.
quote:
~ Check my replies. I have asked for specifics on numerous occasions, but he nor has anyone else responded.


Many people here have given you in-depth replies to your questions/assertions. Go back and read them again. You just don't accept their answers. That is quite different than them not having answered you, for indeed they have.
quote:
~ If he is called, or anyone else reading all of this for that matter, they will really want to read and understand what I share. However, I don't feel comfortable putting out this information if it is only to be ridiculed and chastised by biased and unwilling to change carnal minds.

Remember, I was where both you and Stephan are now.


Ridicule? You are afraid others here will ridicule your beliefs if you stated them?  There is no one here who would ridicule your beliefs, Opeth. Disagree with, perhaps, but not ridicule. If you aren't willing to share your specific beliefs here, then I think you should cease bad-mouthing others' beliefs unless you are willing to somehow substantiate your claims to some higher knowledge or truth. Otherwise your claims ring hollow.

And you still haven't told me how you can dogmatically proclaim to have special truth/ knowledge from God when you have stated that you are an agnostic (one who claims they don't know and/or can't know if God actually exists). That seems like a contradictory statement to me.




[This message has been edited by Denise (11-30-2002 08:33 PM).]

Opeth
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248 posted 12-02-2002 10:14 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"You are so sadly mistaken, Opeth, about so many things. And that won't be rectified until you are open to the consideration of learning to read the Bible in context."

~ So says you.

"Many people here have given you in-depth replies to your questions/assertions. Go back and read them again."

~ I don't have to. I have heard the same answers for years.

"You just don't accept their answers. That is quite different than them not having answered you, for indeed they have."

~ No. When told that all I have done was shoot down mainstream doctrine without providing an alternative, I asked for a specific alternative (at least on 2-3 occasions), and have not received a reply. I have also asked certain other questions, which never were answered.

"Ridicule? You are afraid others here will ridicule your beliefs if you stated them?"

~ (Sigh) No. I am not afraid to be ridiculed. Seriously, if you came to that conclusion, can you see how easy it is to misinterpret what is written? That the interpretaton itself would be ridiculed, not me. This has nothing to do with me. Not at any time do I feel like I am either right or wrong. I am only a messenger.

"And you still haven't told me how you can dogmatically proclaim to have special truth/ knowledge from God when you have stated that you are an agnostic..."

~ Yes, I have told you.
Denise
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249 posted 12-02-2002 03:20 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

quote:
"You just don't accept their answers. That is quite different than them not having answered you, for indeed they have."

~ No. When told that all I have done was shoot down mainstream doctrine without providing an alternative, I asked for a specific alternative (at least on 2-3 occasions), and have not received a reply. I have also asked certain other questions, which never were answered.


Opeth, the point is that you are claiming that Christianity is false, and yet you are not giving an alternative. If you claim something to be false, you have to posit something in its place, if you are to have a valid argument. All you keep saying is that the Bible is contradictory, using your own interpretation of various verses, taken out of context and yet you have still not stated what this all means to you. What is your bottom line, Opeth? What do you believe? That should be a fairly simple question to answer.
quote:
"Ridicule? You are afraid others here will ridicule your beliefs if you stated them?"

~ (Sigh) No. I am not afraid to be ridiculed. Seriously, if you came to that conclusion, can you see how easy it is to misinterpret what is written? That the interpretaton itself would be ridiculed, not me. This has nothing to do with me. Not at any time do I feel like I am either right or wrong. I am only a messenger.


I was referring to your beliefs/interpretations, not you yourself. I specifically stated that, Opeth. I have not misinterpreted anything.
quote:
"And you still haven't told me how you can dogmatically proclaim to have special truth/knowledge from God when you have stated that you are an agnostic..."

~ Yes, I have told you.


Then I must have missed it. Can you please direct me to your answer?
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