PDA

View Full Version : I need to understand something.



farfromfearless
01-23-2007, 07:29 AM
MODERATOR'S NOTE:

The following thread has been moved from the Atheism and Non-Theistic Spiritual Writing forum. The Moderators believe it is better suited to the Christian Forum. The reason it was moved here is because the original poster asked a question about Christians and their habits. On the whole it is a good discussion that I think should continue.

The Atheism and Non-Theistic Spiritual Writing forum plays much the same role as the Christian Board. It is a place where people who do not believe in God can gather with like-minded people. So please understand that the first 53 posts were written in that context.

The Ground Rules for continuing the discussion is that everyone is free to join as long as it is done respectfully. Let's not look at this in an adversarial light, but as a genuine opportunity to build understanding.

--------Start Thread -----------------

I've been following a couple threads lately on this forum and on other forum where I see the non-secular and the secular world collide in terms of opinions regarding literature and such. One of the things that I have noticed alot of is authors of the non-secular breed who tend to couch their opinions and thoughts in religious rehetoric under secular threads. What the heck is up with every christian spouting scripture in their responses? Does it make them feel superior to quote phrases (largely out of context) to the layman who might not have evre picked up a bible? Everytime I see a posting like that I want to scream, "What bubble are you living in?!"

It's complete ignorance to me - not only that, it's condescending and rude in my opinion.

I was a missionary for the better part of my life and one of the things that's a big no-no in ministries is taking the offensive with scripture. That is: to preach from the pulpit. It IS possible to integrate and live in the secular world and communicate peaceably without the need to armor one's self with scripture. The might as well throw up a big picket fence around themselves with neon-light saying "christians only!"

The worst part is that these authors react with surprise when they're met with hostility.

So I really want to know, after all the candle-waving, hymn-singing, and scripture-quoting is done, do ministries forget to teach this one aspect of humilty or whatever it is? I'm at a loss because I certainly never had the urge to beat someone over the head with my bible, let alone walk into a croweded room and act with such ignorance.

farfromfearless
01-23-2007, 07:47 AM
Good point, I forgot about that particular forum as I don't haunt it often - how do I move this thread to there?

Sean D. Schaffer
01-23-2007, 09:24 AM
Speaking as one of those who used to act that way, I can say that for me, it was fear that drove me to quote Scripture all the time. I thought if I did not have my Biblical knowledge handy, G-d would somehow be displeased with me.

Also I think there is some ignorance involved. At least in my own case, I always thought of the Bible as authoritative to the point no one would ever dare question it. This misconception could be part of the reason so many people do use Scripture when trying to push a point or when trying to convince someone their particular belief system is the correct one.

But most of all I think fear is a major thing. That is also one of the reasons so many Christians try to over-evangelize so much that people get overtly tired of hearing it. Some have been told--as I was, when I was a Christian--that G-d would be displeased with them and even convict them of murder if they don't give people Scripture all the time. It is, IMO, one of the horrible downfalls of much of the Christian religion and how it treats its people.

farfromfearless
01-23-2007, 09:41 AM
I come from a pretty stringent Christian upbringing, and though I've since parted ways with that part of my life, I still find value in the things that I've learned. So every time I come across someone in life who's completely over the top evangelizing without regard to whom, where and how, it drives me nuts. In fact it doesn't matter if they're Christian or whatever, I've found so many folks who have half a dozen bits of religious literature ready to quote for any given situation. It's like a swiss army knife for the non-seculars. You can't argue with faith, that is the fundamental flaw with all faith-based discussions and arguments.

Angelinity
01-23-2007, 09:47 AM
yeah, preaching does turn me off -- however, i do not usually blame the preacher for using those tools available to him/her at the time...

i feel that we each are on a personal quest -- understanding our selves and how we fit in the scheme of things... using 'mantras' (for lack of a better term) that might strenghten our own belief that we know who/where/why we are... 'positioning' our selves within the landscape of creation -- as we see it.

it's a learning process that takes us through the journey of life, and we use whatever 'crutches' within reach that can help steady our progress.

whether we are aware or not, i think we all use some kind of 'mantra', whether it be scripture, an 'image' permanently etched on the front of mind, something we heard somewhere that rang 'true' at the time...or whatever...

farfromfearless
01-23-2007, 09:51 AM
Spiritual journey or not, I don't think its necessary to strengthen one's faith by constantly talking in scripture. A personal mantra I can understand, but to sit down and have a meaningful conversation with someone who doesn't seem to have an original though and supplements it with random quotes is quite aggravating. I just wonder where they get this whole idea from.

nancy02664
01-23-2007, 12:26 PM
I tend to get annoyed when people quote scripture, for many of the reasons already mentioned. I'm just not interested in what religious texts have to say, and I resent it when religious people assume that I am or that I should be.

Meerkat
01-23-2007, 06:07 PM
Heck, I'm a Buddhist, and I think the greatest thing ever written was Luke 17:21...."The kingdom of God lies within you."

He just missed the "in six words" contest by one, though.

JIMBOS
01-23-2007, 07:26 PM
Uh Oh...this is a dangerous thread. Think I'll move on!

Sweetlebee
01-23-2007, 08:05 PM
Actually, I'm finding the discussion quite civil. If it continues to be, everyone can learn. This is the first I've seen fear of God as an explanation of what motivates people to preach. It's an interesting concept to explore.

farfromfearless
01-23-2007, 08:25 PM
Well here's a good example to illustrate the difference: When you talk to your pastor, minister, or spiritual leader, you expect them to throw in the occasional nugget of wisdom - you might expect it from a friend who may be deeply religious but it does get tedious when it's the ONLY way they tend to talk. Kind of makes for a one-sided conversation if all you have to contribute is "yeah, nice quote - where's it from?"

farfromfearless
01-23-2007, 09:07 PM
I always wondered what publishers would categorize the bible were it written today - "Literary Fiction", "Historical Fiction". etc. ?

Sean D. Schaffer
01-23-2007, 10:30 PM
I always wondered what publishers would categorize the bible were it written today - "Literary Fiction", "Historical Fiction". etc. ?


Perhaps New Age/Self-Help.

Sean D. Schaffer
01-23-2007, 10:46 PM
I think another thing that many Christians, (specifically, because I was raised as one--I'm using an example I personally know) have a problem with this issue is relevancy to the conversation at hand. In my own case, I thought the Bible was relevant to every portion of life and therefore every conversation. I am only now, within the last few months, learning the idea of relevance where the Bible is concerned.

Like others have pointed out, why should I quote the Bible to tell an atheist what I believe is true? If they don't believe the Bible is an authoritative source, then it has no relevance to the conversation.

WildScribe
01-23-2007, 10:55 PM
I wish that my mother in law would figure this out. She likes to quote random passages from the bible at me. I once tried saying "that's a nice opinion.", but she nearly imploded. I've since decided to smile and change the sugject if possible. Your scripture quotes have no relevance in my life, although the ideas behind them might. I live what most would consider to be a good, Christian life. I am kind, charitable, I try to turn the other cheek and love my fellow man. The only part I'm missing seems to be the Christ part. Oh, well.

Sean D. Schaffer
01-23-2007, 11:02 PM
I wish that my mother in law would figure this out. She likes to quote random passages from the bible at me. I once tried saying "that's a nice opinion.", but she nearly imploded. I've since decided to smile and change the sugject if possible. Your scripture quotes have no relevance in my life, although the ideas behind them might. I live what most would consider to be a good, Christian life. I am kind, charitable, I try to turn the other cheek and love my fellow man. The only part I'm missing seems to be the Christ part. Oh, well.


Any more, parts of the Bible aren't relevant to my life, either. Since I converted from Christianity to an Old Testament faith (Noahide) I find much of the New Testament to be quite irrelevant.

Yet what I am seeing from the other side of the fence, as it were, is people using the NT to tell me why I should believe the NT. It's irritating to try to get people to understand I don't consider that portion of the Bible to be an authoritative source. So I am beginning to see and experience much of the frustration you all feel first-hand. It is not fun.

WildScribe
01-23-2007, 11:04 PM
Wow, so soft and fluffy stuff for you, huh? Just the hardcore damnation stories? (Please feel free to correct me if my ignorance is showing... it gets out once in a while.)

Sean D. Schaffer
01-23-2007, 11:07 PM
Wow, so soft and fluffy stuff for you, huh? Just the hardcore damnation stories? (Please feel free to correct me if my ignorance is showing... it gets out once in a while.)


:) It's quite all right. I'm seeing much of what you're complaining about coming from some of my former colleagues in the Christian faith for the first time, so I'm a bit more understanding of how you feel than I would have been say, three months ago.

WildScribe
01-23-2007, 11:09 PM
I just did a little reading... no meat?? I would die. Just die. You're one brave dude! :D

jennifer75
01-23-2007, 11:11 PM
So I really want to know, after all the candle-waving, hymn-singing, and scripture-quoting is done, do ministries forget to teach this one aspect of humilty or whatever it is? I'm at a loss because I certainly never had the urge to beat someone over the head with my bible, let alone walk into a croweded room and act with such ignorance.


In my personal experiences, I've noticed that Born Again's tend to "throw it in your face" much more than your basic God loving Christians.

In fact, this followed an amail from a close friend. A very short email at that:

Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment and wait on thy God continually. (Hosea 12:6)

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (Colossians 2:8)

I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. (Psalm 119:15)

...I choose to stop reading the email before the quotes begin. Again, I CHOOSE TO STOP. You don't have to read the quotes. :)

Sean D. Schaffer
01-23-2007, 11:16 PM
I just did a little reading... no meat?? I would die. Just die. You're one brave dude! :D


Naw, we're allowed to eat meat, so far as I've read. It's just we're encouraged to eat only certain kinds of meat. I could go into detail but something tells me this thread isn't the proper place.

However, I've heard of similar ideas to what you've mentioned. It could be I'm a different (I hate using the following term) denomination of Noahide than the people are who wrote the stuff you mentioned. Plus there are, to some Noahides, only seven basic laws to keep, whereas to others there could be as many as, I think, 60-some?

It's like any religion, really. Lots of differences, lots of varying ways of practicing it.

jennifer75
01-23-2007, 11:18 PM
Is there really more "hardcore damnation" in the OT than in the NT?
Sure, the Big Guy floods the planet and blows up things...does some smiting even in the aftermath of His sleepover with Dagon the Fishgod...but He also, you know, builds the Garden of Eden, works on the planet, brings His People out of Egypt and so on. The OT is more cosmic. The NT is living in the ruins of Judea after the Romans have done far worse than any amount of "Hardcore Damnation" could. Hell, there's hardly anybody left to damn or quibble over ritual purity once the Romans are done with Judea.
The inward gaze of the NT in a ruined world is perhaps more terrifying than any amount of divine smitting and "enmity between your seed" (ouch).

This is your brain in the NT.

All of the abbreviating that goes on in AW reminds me of the scene in Sleepless in Seattle when the parents are trying to figure out where the little girl flew the little boy in search of his new mother, "NY", "no way?". No, "NY". "H&G".

Sorry, very off topic, I know.

jennifer75
01-23-2007, 11:29 PM
On topic, I think, where NT might mean "New Testiment" or "non-theistic".....currently I'm very fond of CINO (Christian in Name Only)...I like the fact that it is a Tetragrammon with 2 vowels and if you write it very carefully and invoke the LORD while doing it, you can feel the Divine Presence or Absence in the "in Name Only" part. In Nomine Pater(genative, please)....

Wow, none of that made any sense to me. Sorry.

WildScribe
01-23-2007, 11:32 PM
Me neither, and now my head hurts.

I was referring to Jesus forgiving everyone in the NT. All you have to do to go to heaven in the NT is believe in Jesus. In the OT, as I recall, it's a lot harder and you're probably damned anyway.

Sean D. Schaffer
01-23-2007, 11:41 PM
Me neither, and now my head hurts.

I was referring to Jesus forgiving everyone in the NT. All you have to do to go to heaven in the NT is believe in Jesus. In the OT, as I recall, it's a lot harder and you're probably damned anyway.


Yeah, that always bothered me to an extent. If the two Testaments are supposed to be part of the same Bible, why are they so different? That was always a huge question in my own life.


To continue with the OP's question, I think yet another reason people quote Scripture a lot is the fact that the Scripture is the only thing they really know. Many Christians are challenged to memorize as much of the Bible as they can, so they can give an answer to everyone who asks. But then, in my own experience, so few people asked, I began volunteering information. That was a big mistake on my own part.

Another interesting thing about this whole scenario is the need to win everyone to their faith. Of course, they have plenty of reasons, but the main one I find, at least in the church I was raised in, was to keep myself from not being a good friend to my neighbors. There is a theology in some churches where not telling someone about Jesus is tantamount to hating other people. I think without realizing it, many Christians are trying to gain their own way to Heaven by telling others about how to get there.

It boils down to the point I made in my first post. Fear is a major factor in some forms of the Christian religion. It is sad to me, because I was always told to serve G-d because I love Him, not because I'm afraid of what He'll do to me.

jennifer75
01-23-2007, 11:54 PM
Another interesting thing about this whole scenario is the need to win everyone to their faith. Of course, they have plenty of reasons, but the main one I find, at least in the church I was raised in, was to keep myself from not being a good friend to my neighbors. There is a theology in some churches where not telling someone about Jesus is tantamount to hating other people. I think without realizing it, many Christians are trying to gain their own way to Heaven by telling others about how to get there.

It boils down to the point I made in my first post. Fear is a major factor in some forms of the Christian religion. It is sad to me, because I was always told to serve G-d because I love Him, not because I'm afraid of what He'll do to me.

That was an incredible way of putting it. Thank you.

Sean D. Schaffer
01-24-2007, 12:21 AM
The OT was assembled by the Judeans in the aftermath of their return from Babylon, from which captivity they had been freed by the Persians under the command of Cyrus the Great. A complex cosmos with many signposts to and from God and his Angels.

The NT was assembled by some of the survivors of the destruction of the Judean world by the Romans. A simple world of survivors with nothing left but a simple childlike faith and no hope left in this world.

Thus the OT is the result of being saved by an opportunistic and innovative bunch of Persians and the NT is the result of being processed down to next to nothing by the Roman Army.


That's an interesting way of thinking about it. I never quite realized it before. But I think you're right. I understand a lot of the NT was not kept when Constantine called the council that made the NT canon.

Of course, parts of the OT were also left out or barely saved by a verse or two. It's interesting to see the world-view of the two Testaments, and the explanation you give above, of the two different world-views, really makes a lot of sense to me.

But the point I was making in my post was, I have always had a major problem with the two different methods of salvation, among other things, found in the Testaments. That's one of the reasons I eventually left the NT alone and chose the OT as my particular authority when it comes to my own religion and faith.

One of the things I have found in the OT that really helped me out when it came to quoting Scriptures all the time, was, ironically, a Scripture. Without quoting it, it basically said if I, as an OT believer, kept the laws therein, people would look to my G-d as wise and good, etc., and He would get the glory that way. In other words, there's no preaching, quoting of Scriptures, or going to a hall to learn about G-d. Rather, learning about G-d is done by looking at the examples all around me.

But as much as I enjoy this portion of the conversation, I do believe we might be getting OT in a different sense from the OP's original question.

Still, this is a very stimulating conversation, and though I am a non-secular individual, I am finding this particular forum to be quite enlightening.

farfromfearless
01-24-2007, 02:04 AM
Amazing how a disparate collection of books (rolled into one big volume) is the source of so much tension. Humans are downright silly sometimes.

Meerkat
01-24-2007, 02:08 AM
Are you talking about J.K. Rowling, or John, Paul and the other two lads?

Sean D. Schaffer
01-24-2007, 02:19 AM
What OT text have you settled on, by the way?


I've decided to get the JPS Tanakh. It comes in a paperback version which will probably do well with my pocketbook when I get it next month.

I would have gotten it much sooner than this, except I'm having some financial straits right now. I'll probably get it at the beginning of next month, when I get paid again.

Do you know if Barnes & Noble sells it? In their big stores? There's a big two-story store over near here. I would not mind going over there and getting one, instead of going clear across town.

Deadbeat 007
02-09-2007, 12:33 AM
People take what they will from the Bible. Taking this discussion from a Christian point of view, I have met [I]very[I] few individuals who have taken to preaching where preaching isn't appreciated. I have found the thought that all men are created equal to be the most prominent in the Bible. Those who alter the text for their own convenience are, as you said, sadly ignorant.

Sean D. Schaffer
02-09-2007, 01:10 AM
People take what they will from the Bible. Taking this discussion from a Christian point of view, I have met [i]very[i] few individuals who have taken to preaching where preaching isn't appreciated. I have found the thought that all men are created equal to be the most prominent in the Bible. Those who alter the text for their own convenience are, as you said, sadly ignorant.


And taking this discussion from a formerly Christian point of view, I have met a tremendous amount of people who do not wish to hear preaching and do not appreciate it at all.

I take it you think everyone wants to know what the Bible says? This is simply not the case. Whether you have met very few or not, does not negate the FACT that a large number of people DO NOT want to be preached to.

Deadbeat 007
02-11-2007, 09:28 AM
And taking this discussion from a formerly Christian point of view, I have met a tremendous amount of people who do not wish to hear preaching and do not appreciate it at all.

I take it you think everyone wants to know what the Bible says? This is simply not the case. Whether you have met very few or not, does not negate the FACT that a large number of people DO NOT want to be preached to.

Someone sounds a little jumpy.

I would appreciate it if you clarified exactly where I stated that "everyone wants to know what the Bible says." I never even said that I was Christian, for that matter, though you are right in deeming that I am -- and I'm proud of it. I like being Christian. Assuming that I would want to push my beliefs onto others was incredibly ignorant of you -- just as ignorant as assuming people want to hear the details of your beliefs.

Now, from what I gather, you are years my senior, and by the tone of your post, you have dealt with some pushy individuals. However, just because I say I'm a Christian doesn't mean that I give a damn about preaching about it. And just because certain individuals do try to push others into their beliefs doesn't mean they're what I consider 'Christian.' I could invent myself a new name if it would help you differentiate between the two.

Does this make any sense? I'm probably not the one to point this out. I'm lousy at explaining things.

G'night.

Deadbeat 007
02-11-2007, 10:12 AM
Someone sounds a little self-righteous. But before you start preaching to me about what you didn't say, I'll post below what you did say, word-for-word, and let other posters decide for themselves what you said.

I'll even bold the portions I responded to specifically, so no one here has any doubts as to what you actually said.

Hello again. :)

I'll reinstate what I said: During the course of my life time, I have met very few people who have preached to me (or others) about their religion, with or without incitement. As I said before, you, apparently, have. I went on in my next post to explain that not all Christians find it amusing to push their beliefs onto others, and that I was perplexed that you would assume that I would.

And if I sounded self-righteous, I apologize. I have nothing to sound self-righteous about.

Sean D. Schaffer
02-11-2007, 10:18 AM
Hello again. :)

I'll reinstate what I said: During the course of my life time, I have met very few people who have preached to me (or others) about their religion, with or without incitement. As I said before, you, apparently, have. I went on in my next post to explain that not all Christians find it amusing to push their beliefs onto others, and that I was perplexed that you would assume that I would.

And if I sounded self-righteous, I apologize. I have nothing to sound self-righteous about.


Yeah, that's just the way I am sometimes. Maybe you and I were raised in different forms of the same faith. I'll go ahead and delete my previous post because it was quite inflammatory on my own part.

When I saw your post the first time, I admit I thought you might be coming here to start an argument. A lot of people do that on big boards like AW. And I'm a bit paranoid, so that kind of throws a wrench into my sanity sometimes.

I'll calm down, Deadbeat 007, and I'll try not to be so confrontational... especially since I looked at your Public Profile and realized that you probably meant absolutely no harm by it.

BTW, apology accepted. I hope you'll also accept mine. I admit to acting like a jerk tonight.

Deadbeat 007
02-11-2007, 10:23 AM
Yeah, that's just the way I am sometimes. Maybe you and I were raised in different forms of the same faith. I'll go ahead and delete my previous post because it was quite inflammatory on my own part.

When I saw your post the first time, I admit I thought you might be coming here to start an argument. A lot of people do that on big boards like AW. And I'm a bit paranoid, so that kind of throws a wrench into my sanity sometimes.

I'll calm down, Deadbeat 007, and I'll try not to be so confrontational... especially since I looked at your Public Profile and realized that you probably meant absolutely no harm by it.

BTW, apology accepted. I hope you'll also accept mine. I admit to acting like a jerk tonight.

Haha, don't even worry about it! I actually found the discussion quite exciting; feel free to debate anytime. ;)

Moon Daughter
02-17-2007, 07:09 PM
The only time I'm not interested in people talking scripture is when they feel the need to also include how they feel I'm "evil" and that I'm going to hell. But that's just me. :)

Come Back Kid
02-19-2007, 11:55 PM
The mistake I find most Christians make is how they use scripture. From my understanding, The Word is the Sword of the Spirit. That sword is not to be used on people(Christian or otherwise) The Word is used to fight Satan or demonic beings or feelings that come our way.
I truly HATED it when people tried to push Jesus on me. Once I told someone, as I pointed at a bible, "you don't really believe that book, do you?" No words, no voice, but a strong thought came to my mind. "You have never read it, yet you ridicule people for believing it?
So I did start studying the subject. I have been wrong about 95% of the time in my life. I deduced, since I have kids, and a soul( I supposed) this is worth checking out. I knew something was in me that made me feel like I would never die. Funeral homes did a booming business. Famous people, presidents and kings die. Could I believe, I was the one exception?.
I really investigated. Never finished reading the bible and still haven't.
However; alone one day, I said, "Jesus, if you are real, I want You to come in my heart." I'll bet I said that many times, then I shortened it because if He's not real, He doesn't hear me anyway--so I left that part out.
Several days later, no lighting, no thunder, not even a strong breeze, I looked up at the night sky. If you have ever been on the phone and wondered if your party was still there? Then you KNEW they were. That's exactly how I felt.
Let's face facts---It's like a cosmic fairy tale, a starwars classic. It's been years. Do I still have doubts? You bet!! That's when to quote scripture to yourself. It takes much more effort to believe than not believe.
Could I be wrong? Probably a one percent chance but what if I'm wrong?
Nothingness--Nobody to say, "I told you so!"
I don't fault anyone for not believing. Most churches don't even know the real story and are more concerned with doctrine than real truth. Some Christians appear self rightous because they think a front is necessary. I face as many temptations as before. Sometimes I fail, just like everyone.
My life has been more difficult than before I found the truth. Even so, I would never change my mind. Satan was not my enemy before. I was no
threat to him. No friend or family member can make you believe, even though their intentions are good. I tried hard until I realized that.
I am NO better than non believers, probably worse, because I have someone to answer to and many times fail but God knows I'm trying.
Is an eternal hell fair? I don't know. He didn't consult me. It's His ballgame, so He makes the rules. Who am I to question a Being that can make a universe? Should He ask my opinion, I'll probably say that eternity is a long sentence for someone who didn't investigate.
Love,
Jim

Sean D. Schaffer
02-20-2007, 08:38 AM
The thing I have trouble understanding--and I was raised Christian, specifically Baptist--is why Christians come to a thread dedicated to Atheism and try to talk about their faith. I know what I was taught concerning Soul-winning when I was a Christian, but I am beginning to have trouble understanding why Christians like to go to places that are against the idea of 'god' altogether and talk about their god to people who, so far as I can tell, don't want to hear it. It would seem to me that common sense and common courtesy would allow Atheist individuals to converse without bringing up a sore subject with those people.

Just so anyone who might be wondering, knows, I say this as a former Christian. No, I'm not an Atheist, but I find this discussion quite intriguing.

But the point I am making is, I remember my reasons when I was a Christian, for quoting Scriptures as well as the New Testament; yet I'm seeing this also from the non-Christian viewpoint. To a non-Christian such as myself, hearing over and over again about Jesus supposedly being G-d, gets old very quickly. I know when I was a Christian, there was an attitude of 'if I don't tell someone and they go to Hell, G-d will require that person's blood at my hands'.

Yet from the viewpoint of having heard it numerous times, sometimes all within the same day, it does get old and it does get very hard to handle. It's especially hard to handle when I did not invite someone to tell me about their god. I feel as though my own right to decide for myself has somehow been taken away because people are afraid of G-d finding them guilty of murder if I go to Hell.

I guess the one thing I find hardest to understand is, if Christianity is all about love, why was I taught to love my neighbor out of fear of Divine punishment? To me, that makes no sense at all.

Quoting Scripture, I think, is a good thing, if someone asks you to do so. But until such an invitation is given, I don't think it's right to act as though G-d condones telling someone something they don't want to hear. If 'love your neighbor' means showing them respect, then when they say "I don't want to hear it", I would imagine people should love their neighbor enough to let them go their own way.

Come Back Kid
02-20-2007, 09:20 PM
Sean:
I'm not a regular on the athiest site but I did notice a question about when to use scripture. Sorry if you feel I butted in. I did think my answer about Christians not using it at the right time made sense. You infer that I was not courteous by posting on this board, yet just below that statement, you admit you are not an atheist but a former Christian. I hope I'm not prying but how did you get out. Did you convert to something else? I thought once you were in His family, you were in.
I have NEVER heard, "you have someone's blood on your hand," if you don't share. I guarentee you the devil slipped thst lie in to add more guilt, his best weapon. Please give me the verse for that one! Yes, I think we should share, at the proper time. The bible says that. If you re-read my post, you'll see that I hated being browbeaten. I don't do that. I still hate it. I'll answers questions when I can, otherwise I shut up.
One day I really wondered what was the last thing Jesus said before He left. It was to share the Truth. As I mentioned, I fall short in a few areas
but I do try to explain what I found. Not because of any guilt if I don't share. I do not do it to make points. I do not like to think of anyone suffering.
Where in the world do you get the idea we will suffer divine punishment, if we do not love our neighbor? Sean, sorry man, but you got some wrong teaching. That sounds like a LAW to me. God's not there to Bop you on the head if you break a commandment. We are not under the law. Please know I am not putting you down for not understanding Grace, as simple as it is, it's hard to accept and understand. If you are a parent, it is easier to understand. My kids(grown now) were raised under my love and grace. Sure, I gave them some rules to make their life better but I forgave them when they messed up.
There seems to be tons of guilt in your life that you just got tired of fighting. Guilt is very painful. I fight it too but I know it comes from Satan. I wish I had the time and place to tell you what 95% of Christians do not know--how God got the world back and the real reason Jesus(a man of pure blood) had to die.
FYI God has spoken to me twice in the last twenty years. Once, using another's voice and once in thought, so right on and so strong--it had to be.
Him.
Please remember--God did not want to give ANY commandments but He did.
People could not keep them, just like today. The sacrifice made by God has given us GRACE, the easiest way and ONLY way to heaven.
Folks, forgive me if I posted where I should not. I'm no different than you
I just thought it made sense to investigate such a serious matter. Should anyone ever want to ask a question, I'll answer the best I can. Just look at the world we live in. Don't you know something has to happen?
Love,
Jim

Sean D. Schaffer
02-20-2007, 11:56 PM
Sean:
I'm not a regular on the athiest site but I did notice a question about when to use scripture. Sorry if you feel I butted in.

No, I don't feel you butted in, Jim. I was simply pointing out how many Christians do use Scripture on Atheist boards and/or boards belonging to other religions.


I did think my answer about Christians not using it at the right time made sense.

Indeed, it did make sense, Jim, but I think you're misinterpreting what I said. I was merely making a general statement, which apparently you've taken issue with.


You infer that I was not courteous by posting on this board,

Not at all, Jim. I infered that Christians who come to an atheist board with the intent of winning atheists to Jesus are not courteous in doing so.


yet just below that statement, you admit you are not an atheist but a former Christian. I hope I'm not prying but how did you get out. Did you convert to something else? I thought once you were in His family, you were in.

I converted to the Noahide faith. And so far as 'once you're in his family, you're in,' I suggest you study your New Testament some more. There are repeated quotes therein that say a person can fall away after accepting Jesus as the Christ and still end up in Hell. A good start, if I remember correctly, would be the Book of James. Also, the epistles of John have some mention of the same subject.


I have NEVER heard, "you have someone's blood on your hand," if you don't share. I guarentee you the devil slipped thst lie in to add more guilt, his best weapon.

Read Ezekiel 3:18. That's where the preacher who fed me the so-called 'lie' got his lie from.


Please give me the verse for that one! Yes, I think we should share, at the proper time. The bible says that.

Where?


If you re-read my post, you'll see that I hated being browbeaten. I don't do that. I still hate it. I'll answers questions when I can, otherwise I shut up.

Methinks you have a bit of a chip on your shoulder, Jim. Let me reiterate I was not referring in my post to any particular individual on this board. I was simply making a general statement.


One day I really wondered what was the last thing Jesus said before He left. It was to share the Truth. As I mentioned, I fall short in a few areas
but I do try to explain what I found. Not because of any guilt if I don't share. I do not do it to make points. I do not like to think of anyone suffering.

One day I wondered if what the Bible says repeatedly about G-d not being a man, nor the son of man, was true. So I investigated that. Such investigation led me to reject Jesus as G-d, and turn to the G-d of the Old Testament and the laws he wrote concerning me as a Gentile.


Where in the world do you get the idea we will suffer divine punishment, if we do not love our neighbor?

From the New Testament, in I John 3:15:

"Whoso hateth his brother is a murderer, and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." -- KJV


Sean, sorry man, but you got some wrong teaching.

Well, if you as a Christian don't believe your own Bible, that's your problem, not mine. Every thing I have said up to this point about the Christian faith can be backed up with New and Old Testament quotes.


That sounds like a LAW to me. God's not there to Bop you on the head if you break a commandment. We are not under the law.

Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments". That sounds like a LAW to me, Jim. A Law given by the founder of your faith.


Please know I am not putting you down for not understanding Grace, as simple as it is, it's hard to accept and understand.

Oh, I know fully well what Grace is according to the New Testament. 35 years of being raised in a Baptist background has a tendency to ingrain that information in a person.


If you are a parent, it is easier to understand. My kids(grown now) were raised under my love and grace. Sure, I gave them some rules to make their life better but I forgave them when they messed up.

You know, that's the problem you have. You think that a parent in the Bible is the same as a parent today. When Jesus walked this Earth, he quoted the Old Testament regularly. He loved the Old Testament. He preached the Old Testament. He was a proud follower of the Old Testament. In Old Testament society, a parent could have their child stoned to death for cursing them or striking them. Of course, this is not the way today's parents work, but that's what Jesus himself would have suffered had he done such wickedness to his parents.


There seems to be tons of guilt in your life that you just got tired of fighting.

Not guilt, Jim. I got tired of trying to figure out how two contradicting holy books (the Old Testament and the New Testament, respectively) could represent the same G-d. The Old Testament specifically states, two times that I know of, that G-d is not a man. The New Testament, OTOH, says that G-d is a man named Jesus. If you want to know where to find that, read the entire Gospel of John.


Guilt is very painful. I fight it too but I know it comes from Satan. I wish I had the time and place to tell you what 95% of Christians do not know--how God got the world back and the real reason Jesus(a man of pure blood) had to die.

That's another thing the OT says. One man shall not die for another man's sins. Period. Jesus was a man, and as a man according to Torah law, he had no right to die for any man's sins except his own.


FYI God has spoken to me twice in the last twenty years. Once, using another's voice and once in thought, so right on and so strong--it had to be.
Him.

He may very well have talked to you. I'm not saying He didn't. I am saying that your information is based on someone else's sermon, methinks, and not on either the Old or New Testament.


Please remember--God did not want to give ANY commandments but He did.

Where in the Bible do you find that information?


People could not keep them, just like today. The sacrifice made by God has given us GRACE, the easiest way and ONLY way to heaven.

Deuteronomy 30:11-14. Read it, especially the last verse, in which Moses himself says "No, the thing is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to observe it."

G-d said through Moses--for the sake of the argument in our posts, Jim--that Israel could keep the 613 commandments given them throughout the Torah. If you believe G-d is not a liar, then when G-d says this is possible, it must mean it is possible to keep His righteous Laws.


Folks, forgive me if I posted where I should not. I'm no different than you

Of course you're no different than anyone here. I never said you shouldn't post here; I said you shouldn't preach here... as have others.


I just thought it made sense to investigate such a serious matter.

And you apparently thought that preaching Jesus where it's not appreciated, is important to please your god too.


Should anyone ever want to ask a question, I'll answer the best I can.

I would suggest giving studied answers. You know, the kind where you actually look up what you're trying to say the Bible says to do. Otherwise, you'll be easily refuted.


Just look at the world we live in. Don't you know something has to happen?

Whether the people here know something's going to happen or not, Jim, and whether I do or not, is irrelevant to this subject. The OP wanted to understand why so many Christians want to automatically quote Scriptures when in an argument. The only reason I've quoted Scriptures here, Jim, is to point out the flaws in your thinking... including the idea that I apparently don't know my Bible, which I've read all the way through and have studied for 25 of my 35 years. If you truly respect your neighbor, and hold to the belief that you should follow your god's footsteps, start by studying what he did and what he said. Don't just go and assume because a preacher told you something, it's automatically true.

Like Jesus himself said, "Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life..." --John 5:39 KJV.


Love,
Jim


If you really love your neighbor, Jim, you will respect their desire not to hear you preach to them. That's a lesson I had to learn the hard way.

Anonymous Traveler
02-21-2007, 01:53 AM
A question who is G-d?

I think the vast majority of Christians don't really care about about passing on their faith to anyone. That may be unfortunate and that is countered by those few who believe that we all must convert to their exact beliefs. I sometimes resort to my Jewish persona to cool their jets. If an atheist chooses not to believe in a Deity that is their decision. I have the highest respect for the wisdom displayed by the Dali Lama. He is not Christian but he commands my attention. How you treat yourself and your fellow man is the ultimate test. If you came to me I would minister to you but personally I would not seek out a stranger. Your doorway is safe.

And see not one word of scripture and no links.

Sean D. Schaffer
02-21-2007, 06:03 AM
A question who is G-d?



:)

I write the word out as 'G-d' because it's a way to respect the Name. Writing it out as 'G-d' is not an obligation imo, but I have noticed a couple people--especially on the Jewish forum--use that spelling and I thought it would be a wonderful way for me to show my respect for the One I worship.

Nothing more, nothing less. There is no Scriptural basis for it, that I have ever found. It's basically, to me, a way of showing my personal respect for the Name.

And as for what you suggested about Christians not, for the most part, being worried about making others believe what they believe, I would have to agree with you on that, frankly. In most denominations, I would wager there is not such a huge push to get everyone else to convert. My specific background was with the Pentecostals, before I became a Noahide. And before that, I was raised in the Fundamental Baptist church. So when I say a lot of people are worried about such things as converts and proselytizing, I'm speaking only from the denominations I've had the most experience with.

Also, I would wholeheartedly agree--now, that I have a different attitude about G-d and how to serve Him--that non-Christians would command a lot of my own respect and that I can learn a great many things from them. I don't like quoting Scripture half as much as I used to, simply because of questions such as was raised by this thread's OP. Some people do not believe the Bible is really G-d's Word. Therefore, to tell someone 'The Bible Says this' when they don't believe the Bible, is absurd.

The only reason I quoted Scripture above, BTW, was that the individual to whom I was responding demanded I show him Scriptures to back up what I was saying. I showed him what he demanded to see, and I hope I don't have to do so again on this thread, if only out of respect for the people on this subforum who do not wish to talk about the Bible or its G-d.

Like I said before, I think it uncourteous to come onto a thread devoted to Non-Theistic thought and preach a Theistic idea. IMO, it is the height of rudeness and arrogance on any human being's part. If I offended by my Scripture quoting above, I humbly apologize. Like I mentioned, I only did it for the sake of one poster who made demands that I back up what I said with such quotes.

Anonymous Traveler
02-21-2007, 06:02 PM
My specific background was with the Pentecostals, before I became a Noahide.

I looked at the JAHG-USA (http://www.noahide.com/)site. The expression Hasidic Gentiles got my attention. I would be uncomfortable there. I have a number of Jewish friends now and when I was a child. The great gulf is the recognition of, or lack of, the role of Jesus. It boils down to the Jews are right and Christians are wrong or the other way around and to what degree we profess that belief. In our lives we may never know for sure until our time comes to stand before our maker. We have only our faith until that day.

However if we don't take the time to examine other beliefs, including those we could not embrace, we will be trapped within the confines of our beliefs and therefore resentful of other faiths.

Pat~
02-21-2007, 10:30 PM
I think the simplest answer to the OP's question might be that what is on the lips of people tends to reflect what is in their hearts. While there may be some Christians who are quoting scripture with an agenda to convert, I think there may be many more who weave scripture into their speech because that's what's in their heart. If a Christian is infatuated with God, he is at the same time in love with the Word (scripture), because the Word IS God (see John). A Christian who is indwelt with the spirit of God often "overflows" in this way, which may or may not offend those around him, depending on some other variables--the spirit in which the words are said, the sensitivity of others to the subject matter, and the respect accorded both parties in the conversation for differences of experience and opinion.

Roger J Carlson
02-22-2007, 09:48 PM
MODERATOR'S NOTE:

The previous thread has been moved from the Atheism and Non-Theistic Spiritual Writing forum. The Moderators believe it is better suited to the Christian Forum. The reason it was moved here is because the original poster asked a question about Christians and their habits. On the whole it is a good discussion that I think should continue.

The Atheism and Non-Theistic Spiritual Writing forum plays much the same role as the Christian Board. It is a place where people who do not believe in God can gather with like-minded people. So please understand that the first 53 posts were written in that context.

The Ground Rules for continuing the discussion is that everyone is free to join as long as it is done respectfully. Let's not look at this in an adversarial light, but as a genuine opportunity to build understanding.

Sean D. Schaffer
02-22-2007, 11:13 PM
I looked at the JAHG-USA (http://www.noahide.com/)site. The expression Hasidic Gentiles got my attention. I would be uncomfortable there. I have a number of Jewish friends now and when I was a child. The great gulf is the recognition of, or lack of, the role of Jesus. It boils down to the Jews are right and Christians are wrong or the other way around and to what degree we profess that belief. In our lives we may never know for sure until our time comes to stand before our maker. We have only our faith until that day.

However if we don't take the time to examine other beliefs, including those we could not embrace, we will be trapped within the confines of our beliefs and therefore resentful of other faiths.


Believe it or not, I just finished reading a book called The Rainbow Covenant, in which the Hasidic Gentile movement is actually somewhat downplayed. The book explains that what matters in the Noahide tradition is what the Tanakh (Old Testament) says and what Israel as a whole, considers to be the proper interpretation thereof. When I posted the JAHG-USA site on the 'Other' subforum, I had not as of yet read the book and at the same time did worry somewhat about their attitudes toward people of certain versions of the Noahide or Jewish faiths.

As I'm still a young convert to the Noahide religion, it's only natural that I would still be in the process of finding out a lot of how things within my new faith work.

With me, from my earliest days as a Christian, the real authority has always been the Word of G-d. So now I understand a little more about the Hasidic movement, and though they have a good following and all that, I find it's not right for me to consider myself a Hasidic Gentile.

So although I'm going to leave the post up in the 'other' subforum concerning the JAHG-USA site, I hope you'll understand I do not necessarily endorse it. It has some interesting reading, to be sure, but I find that the site is somewhat more overzealous than I feel I should be.

When I originally became a Noahide, I was not directed to the JAHG-USA site at all. I was directed to a couple different sites. I think I got the JAHG-USA site by Googling.


ETA:

I wanted to quickly take the time to thank the moderators (Roger and CathyC) for deleting certain inflammatory posts on this thread, including two by me in particular. This thread has been very enlightening for me, and I realize now that what I wrote was not right and very much off-topic for this thread. I regret having acted improperly, even in the face of some very fierce comments directed at me. I understand, now, that it is not my job to 'win' other people to my own faith so much as it is for me to act in a righteous fashion. Pointing out errors is one thing; attacking another person's religion is quite another. It's a lesson I've learned only after the fact, but I nevertheless did wrong.

Thanks again for deleting the said inflammatory posts.

:)

Dancre
03-07-2007, 05:32 AM
Hello, all!! Thought I'd jump into this pool, if you all don't mind? I'm one of those who does use scripture to back myself up and not due to fear or to make myself look good, or whatever. I use scriptures to back myself up b/c I know, that I know, that I know, that I know Jesus is real, God is real, Jesus died for me to make a way into God's presence. I tell others about Jesus b/c I feel God's pain in knowing folks won't make it without Jesus. I really don't care who I offend, I'd rather offend, then keep my mouth shut and see someone suffer in hell. It's sort of like being on the Titanic and it has just hit the ice burg. People are drowning in the water and I'm safe in the lifeboat. Jesus is the lifeboat and if I row the boat to them, they can climb in and be safe. I'd rather row my boat to them and have them angry at me, then to see them drown.

I also know if I use scripture, it becomes a seed in someone's heart and the Holy Spirit will make it grow. kinda trickey, huh? LOL!!

AS for the athiest thread, I really don't go there, unless the Lord lays it upon my heart to do so. Most of them come here anyway and ask questions. LOL!!

But I think the most important thing to remember is to show God's love to those who don't know God. I've learned my actions speak louder than words and never to condemn anyone, but to let them know God is crazy for them.

So I guess I'm not politically correct in that I really don't care who I offend. Oh, well!! Well, I have go write my novel. It's waiting for me. sigh . . .

kim

Sean D. Schaffer
03-08-2007, 07:34 AM
Hello, all!! Thought I'd jump into this pool, if you all don't mind?

Cool! Some more discussion. I look forward to reading more of it.


I'm one of those who does use scripture to back myself up and not due to fear or to make myself look good, or whatever. I use scriptures to back myself up b/c I know, that I know, that I know, that I know Jesus is real, God is real, Jesus died for me to make a way into God's presence.

I know what you're saying, and I agree to an extent. However, what I find by reading the OP is that the individual does not believe in any god, the Bible's G-d or any other. The question was brought up, why should someone quote Scriptures to someone who does not believe they're really the Word of G-d? I think the problem a lot of people have is they think because their viewpoints on the Bible are that it's infallible, therefore everyone will believe the same thing.

This is by no means a put-down. I believe the Bible (specifically the Old Testament) is the Word of G-d, and that it is infallible. However, a lot of people do not hold to such an idea.

What would be your response to someone who says "I don't want to know what the Bible says" or "I don't believe the Bible is really the Word of G-d"? This is one of the keys to the OP's question, IMO.


I tell others about Jesus b/c I feel God's pain in knowing folks won't make it without Jesus.

That's another thing, and again I mean no ill-intent by this. But a lot of people do not believe that Jesus is really G-d in the flesh or that he can save another human being's soul. Some people just point to their own thoughts, while others will point out Old Testament reasons Jesus could not die for others' sins. But whatever the case may be, a large number of people do not believe that Jesus is either G-d or the Savior, or that they necessarily need to accept him to come to G-d.


I really don't care who I offend, I'd rather offend, then keep my mouth shut and see someone suffer in hell.

An admirable attitude, to be sure. I do wish more people would see from your viewpoint why you are so insistent. It might lead to a greater understanding of Christianity in general, if not necessarily to one's acceptance of Jesus.


It's sort of like being on the Titanic and it has just hit the ice burg. People are drowning in the water and I'm safe in the lifeboat. Jesus is the lifeboat and if I row the boat to them, they can climb in and be safe. I'd rather row my boat to them and have them angry at me, then to see them drown.

I think that is a decent analogy, with one exception. Most people do not know whether there even is a Heaven or a Hell in the New Testament sense. OTOH, the passengers aboard the Titanic would have most certainly been clamoring to get to the lifeboats if they were actually in the water either drowning or freezing to death. Because there is no evidence that people can see before them of a burning Hell or a glorious Heaven, the analogy, though well-put, might not convince a lot of people of their need to accept Jesus and stay out of the said place of torment.


I also know if I use scripture, it becomes a seed in someone's heart and the Holy Spirit will make it grow. kinda trickey, huh? LOL!!

An interesting factoid to chew on. I was raised Christian, and I converted away from Jesus because of Scripture. This is not to say you automatically will be; it's rather to point out that Scripture does not always give people good reason to get saved.


AS for the athiest thread, I really don't go there, unless the Lord lays it upon my heart to do so. Most of them come here anyway and ask questions. LOL!!

This is true. However, I have also seen several posts, over the years on this forum, that are not so complimentary to the Christian faith, made by people from other faiths or people of non-theistic beliefs. Again, this is not a slam against Christianity; rather it is simply an observation. When I was a Christian even a few months ago, I noticed people making snide comments about Christianity on the Christian forum. Some of the said comments were so bad that they were moved to Take-It-Outside, along with the original threads that spawned those comments.

So it's basically 6 one way, half a dozen the other, when it comes to people coming here or going to any other religious or atheistic forum. People are interested in lively conversation. And possibly information, but I find the majority are just in it for the stimulating discussions anymore.


But I think the most important thing to remember is to show God's love to those who don't know God. I've learned my actions speak louder than words and never to condemn anyone, but to let them know God is crazy for them.

Again, there is the issue here of individual beliefs. Some people might very well know G-d, but not the way you or I know Him. I understand, having been raised Christian, where you're coming from; however, a lot of people simply find the constant need to save people, if I may use that term, to be highly irritating and even in some cases, to be bordering on harassment. I think there should come a time when someone yearning to win an individual to their god, will simply accept that a person does not want to hear it. This does not mean they will always not want to hear it, in this lifetime, but it is to say rather that continuing to bombard people with 'Are you saved?' can actually push more people away from one's god or cause them to act like they're accepting when they're really not, to get the first person to leave them alone. This is not a matter of breaking the laws of Jesus; rather, it is a matter of letting him do what he said he would in a person's life.

I mean, if Jesus really is G-d, then he must have the power to get his message out through some other means that the person will accept.


So I guess I'm not politically correct in that I really don't care who I offend.

I understand the feeling. Something I used to say to a friend, says, "No matter what you say or do, you will offend someone". It's a guarantee. This very post will definitely offend some readers, whether such was my intent or no.


Oh, well!! Well, I have go write my novel. It's waiting for me. sigh . . .

kim


I wish you the very best with your WIP. Have fun. :)

Robin Bayne
03-08-2007, 06:39 PM
Speaking as one of those who used to act that way, I can say that for me, it was fear that drove me to quote Scripture all the time. I thought if I did not have my Biblical knowledge handy, G-d would somehow be displeased with me.
.


That's a good point and I notice a lot of folks get involved with legalism when they become new Christians. I recall one of the online groups I joined a few years ago-- realizing much later that they were so legalistic in their views that it was stifling. They quoted Scripture all the time to make their points.

For example, refusing to celebrate holidays like Christmas, even though it was hurting their loved ones. Insisting on going to a church with Saturday services only. That kind of stuff.

Dancre
03-17-2007, 06:25 AM
know what you're saying, and I agree to an extent. However, what I find by reading the OP is that the individual does not believe in any god, the Bible's G-d or any other. The question was brought up, why should someone quote Scriptures to someone who does not believe they're really the Word of G-d? I think the problem a lot of people have is they think because their viewpoints on the Bible are that it's infallible, therefore everyone will believe the same thing.

This is by no means a put-down. I believe the Bible (specifically the Old Testament) is the Word of G-d, and that it is infallible. However, a lot of people do not hold to such an idea.

What would be your response to someone who says "I don't want to know what the Bible says" or "I don't believe the Bible is really the Word of G-d"? This is one of the keys to the OP's question, IMO.

HI Sean. Sorry I went away. I work for an accountant and I'm drowning in taxes!! Anyway, regarding your question: I worked with kids in my church for around 10 years and I've learned that when I deal with unsaved folks I always bring things down to a child's level. Instead of throwing out Christian jargan, I talk to them as I do my kids. Folks understand when you talk about God and you use simple words, like Jesus died for you b/c He loves you. Not God sent Jesus as a suplication for our sins, blah, blah, blah. I always tell unsaved folks about God's love for them. Folks know they're away from God and they need to know His heart, his love for them. I don't worry about homosexuality or sexual sins, I just concentrate on God's love. Folks know they're separated from God, but do they know He loves them? I don't think so. Anyway, that's what I do.


An interesting factoid to chew on. I was raised Christian, and I converted away from Jesus because of Scripture. This is not to say you automatically will be; it's rather to point out that Scripture does not always give people good reason to get saved.

Well, that's true, but the Holy Spirit works in their lives. He nudges them, works on them, sends people across their path to tell them about God's love. It's their choice as to what to do.


Again, there is the issue here of individual beliefs. Some people might very well know G-d, but not the way you or I know Him. I understand, having been raised Christian, where you're coming from; however, a lot of people simply find the constant need to save people, if I may use that term, to be highly irritating and even in some cases, to be bordering on harassment. I think there should come a time when someone yearning to win an individual to their god, will simply accept that a person does not want to hear it. This does not mean they will always not want to hear it, in this lifetime, but it is to say rather that continuing to bombard people with 'Are you saved?' can actually push more people away from one's god or cause them to act like they're accepting when they're really not, to get the first person to leave them alone. This is not a matter of breaking the laws of Jesus; rather, it is a matter of letting him do what he said he would in a person's life.


You're right. If someone says, no to Jesus, let them go. God will work in their lives. If they never accept Him, oh well.

I
mean, if Jesus really is G-d, then he must have the power to get his message out through some other means that the person will accept.

Oh, but He does have the power to get His message out to folks. He uses everything. But He loves to use His disciples first. Jesus ordered His believers to spread the gospel. That's the seed. It's Jesus who makes it grow. He knows who has fertile ground and who doesn't.

kim

Pat~
03-18-2007, 06:15 AM
But the point I was making in my post was, I have always had a major problem with the two different methods of salvation, among other things, found in the Testaments. That's one of the reasons I eventually left the NT alone and chose the OT as my particular authority when it comes to my own religion and faith.


Well, it was interesting to see this thread get bumped up again. I found in looking back over the posts that I missed this the first time around, Sean. I wonder that no one in the Christian faith ever pointed out to you that the method of 'salvation' is the same in the NT as in the OT. It's all grace, by faith. (Ephesians 2:8, 9) The book of Hebrews talks extensively about the OT patriarchs who were counted as righteous, not because of their adherence to the laws, but because of their faith. (See Ch. 11.) Our adherence to the commandments of God does bring Him glory, but I don't know of any Bible passage that says that that will save a person.

In one of your posts you mentioned that 1 John 3:11 meant that one who murders could not go to heaven. I'd have to respectfully disagree with that interpretation. If you read the chapter in context, actually starting with 2:28, it repeatedly is talking about those who continue to 'practice' (or 'keep on ') sinning. Basically the passage is talking about being able to recognize those who are truly born again, because the Spirit of God would not allow that person to continue a hardened course of sin. His conscience would be 'reborn' so that he would look differently on habitual sin. It's a passage about how you can know someone by their fruits; it's not a promise that no murderer could ever get into heaven. Personally, I believe that any sin confessed will be forgiven, because God is infinitely bigger than that sin, and promises to forgive all who repent.

In a later post I just read, someone quoted you as saying that fear used to drive you to read the Bible--in order to be sure you were pleasing God. I'm just curious--what draws you to read scripture (OT) today?

Ralyks
03-18-2007, 05:45 PM
I'm not sure why Christians would refer to the scripture as authoratative while engaged in a deabte with non-Christians, but I certainly understand that use when debating with other Christians, because the assumption is that the Bible is our common ground from which we discuss these issues. Since non-Christians simply do not accept the Bible as authoratative, that doesn't seem like a productive line of argument, unless the non-Christian is specifically debating the Bible in some way.

As for fear vs. love, I both love God and fear Him. I don't see how it is possible not to have just a little bit of fear of the Almighty creator of the universe. He's not just some teddy bear in a manger to me. He is essentialy alien, Other, beyond, above. He's not my buddy, my pal, my cheerleader. And that is something I do not understand about Christians who reject the concept of fear in religion altogether and say that only love should motivate a believer. I suppose there's a fine line between fear and respect and awe, and sometimes it's hard to tell which is which. But I am an infant when it comes to God. And though I love Him I will not always do what is best for me out of love for Him, anymore than my child will stop running into the street for love of me. But she'll stop for fear of me.

Pat~
03-19-2007, 12:06 AM
But as she grows, perhaps she'll do what's best out of love for you. ;)

oscuridad
03-19-2007, 12:30 AM
This is very interesting. I have enjoyed reading it all. Thanks.

Sean D. Schaffer
03-19-2007, 09:19 AM
Snipped...

In a later post I just read, someone quoted you as saying that fear used to drive you to read the Bible--in order to be sure you were pleasing God. I'm just curious--what draws you to read scripture (OT) today?


Hi Pat,

I'm sorry I've not been around lately, but for a while I had removed my subscription to this thread, thinking it had died. That apparently was a mistaken assumption.

I'm only going to answer the above quoted portion right now, because I was just making a quick check on this forum to see what was going on.

In answer to your question 'what draws [me] to read Scripture (OT) today?' my main reason is to learn what G-d really wants of me, and to know His Commandments. Ecclesiastes 12:13 says "Let us hear the conclusion of the matter: Fear G-d, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." (KJV)

So basically I read the OT to find out what G-d really wants of me. He gave His commandments, yet I was originally told to read the NT more than the OT. The idea was that as a Christian, I didn't have to know what the OT said. I still read it, but the NT was actually more highly recommended to me when I was a Christian.

My other reason: I love G-d, and His Word is above even His Name according to Psalm 138:2. What matters to me now is that I love and serve G-d through my life.

Come Back Kid
03-19-2007, 10:22 PM
Sean:
We have had some unpleasant discussions in the past for which I apologized. Please give me a yes or no answer to this question: Do you think keeping God's commandments will get you to heaven? Also, you stated you want to serve God. You told me that Jesus was an idol and had no devine nature. If this is your idea of serving God, I do not think any Christians will agree with you. The devil hits me with enough doubts. For someone as intelligent, as you seem to be, Would most certainly not help my faith.
From all the things you have told me and others, it would seem you were raised in a very legalistic church. Many, many churches do it wrong. No, I do not have all the answers, yet after 30 plus years of study and prayer. I do believe that the world was in a fallen state and needed a Saviour. I believe the Saviour was Jesus Christ, The Son Of God, who gave His life for us. He died and was resurrected. Eleven desciples denounced His divinity before His resurection. Then they gave the strongest testimony known to man---a deathbed confession, " Jesus is Lord."
My only hope of salvation is Grace, as is with all men. I believe in the "Full Gospel." As in: Baptism in The Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, healing today, since God is the same today, yesterday and forever. And yes!! I most certainly believe Jesus is the ONLY way to God.
I think the legalism in your home church has frustrated you so much, you have opted out. You and I had some harsh exchanges a few weeks ago but that is fine with me now. My carnality went haywire when you told me that Jesus is an idol and is not devine.
Sean, my anger turned to compassion and I've been praying for you. Deep down I think you know Jesus is Lord, but like so many other people, you suffered due to the wrong teachings of your church.
Just as I should not have answered a question on the non-Christian board,
I don't feel you should post here, if you still can say that Jesus is anything other than The Son Of God. I take that back! If a person has ever accepted Jesus, I don't think He will ever lose you. Maybe you'll be helped.
. Please do not take my words in any way other than love.
Jim

Sean D. Schaffer
03-19-2007, 10:49 PM
Snipped for Content...

Just as I should not have answered a question on the non-Christian board,
I don't feel you should post here, if you still can say that Jesus is anything other than The Son Of God. I take that back! If a person has ever accepted Jesus, I don't think He will ever lose you. Maybe you'll be helped.
. Please do not take my words in any way other than love.
Jim

Bolding Mine.

Jim, you claim I told you not to post on a Non-Christian board. Yet below, I have for your convenience as well as everyone else's here, what I did say:


The thing I have trouble understanding--and I was raised Christian, specifically Baptist--is why Christians come to a thread dedicated to Atheism and try to talk about their faith.


Bolding and Underline Mine.

Notice the underlined portion. That was what I had trouble with originally. Christians coming to a non-Christian board AND telling regulars there about their faith was my problem, NOT Christians coming to their board and talking.

Now, we can argue until the cows come home about what I said and what I didn't say, but to my knowledge I did not edit my original post and you can look it up for yourself. Methinks you have skimmed over it, become highly offended, and then responded without really reading what I said.

As to whether or not I should post here, that is not your decision, and I will not abide by your requests unless the moderators here state I should.

As far as taking your words in love, I cannot. You have deliberately harassed me in the past via PM despite repeated warnings that you should stop it. Also, your request that I not post here at all is not based on love; it's based on hate. I shall not abide your hatred for me or what I believe. If you have a problem with that, take it up with Roger or with Mac or with whomever you must, but your talk reminds me so much of that youth pastor who treated me like garbage all my life, that I cannot hardly stomach your words. They are filled with contradictions (i.e. Don't come here and talk to us but understand that I love you) and make no sense whatsoever.

If the moderators want me to leave, I'll leave. But this is their decision, not yours, and I will not make their decision that I be allowed to come here and post null and void by obeying you.

Good day.

Pat~
03-19-2007, 11:11 PM
Hi Pat,

I'm sorry I've not been around lately, but for a while I had removed my subscription to this thread, thinking it had died. That apparently was a mistaken assumption.

I'm only going to answer the above quoted portion right now, because I was just making a quick check on this forum to see what was going on.

In answer to your question 'what draws [me] to read Scripture (OT) today?' my main reason is to learn what G-d really wants of me, and to know His Commandments. Ecclesiastes 12:13 says "Let us hear the conclusion of the matter: Fear G-d, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." (KJV)

So basically I read the OT to find out what G-d really wants of me. He gave His commandments, yet I was originally told to read the NT more than the OT. The idea was that as a Christian, I didn't have to know what the OT said. I still read it, but the NT was actually more highly recommended to me when I was a Christian.

My other reason: I love G-d, and His Word is above even His Name according to Psalm 138:2. What matters to me now is that I love and serve G-d through my life.

Beautiful, Sean. I think that last is the gist of it. If we love God, we want to obey Him--He and His will are one to us, and we obey out of love, not out of fear of condemnation. 'Perfect love casts out fear.'

Thanks for responding.

BTW, I think the OT is every bit as important as the NT in giving us the true picture of God. I'm sorry you were once told to disregard it.

Sean D. Schaffer
03-20-2007, 02:49 AM
Beautiful, Sean. I think that last is the gist of it. If we love God, we want to obey Him--He and His will are one to us, and we obey out of love, not out of fear of condemnation. 'Perfect love casts out fear.'

Thanks for responding.

BTW, I think the OT is every bit as important as the NT in giving us the true picture of God. I'm sorry you were once told to disregard it.


Thanks Pat!

I think the fact I was discouraged from reading the OT was part of the reason it became so much more attractive to me as the years went by.

On an interesting note that some of you might find encouraging, I quite recently did accept Jesus again. This happened about a week ago. The difference is I do not accept Him as G-d Himself, but rather as, like the Gospel according to John explains, the Word of G-d made flesh. I presently hold to the idea that Jesus came as the spoken, living Word of G-d, to be an example not only through His words but also through His actions, the kind of person the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) expect a human being to be.

A good Christian friend of mine, who has also been studying the Word very closely, has shown me, like you mentioned above, that it's not just about one extreme or the other when it comes to Faith or Works. Rather, it's kind of a combination of the two. It's like what James Chapter 2 talks about, where he says, "Yea, a man may say, show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works".

I guess my point is, I don't believe Jesus came to this Earth to be worshipped, because according to the Apostle Peter, he was "A servant approved of G-d" -- Acts 2:22. I believe He came to be a servant of the Most High, to point us to the Most High, but not to Himself be worshipped.

So where does this leave me? Well, I am still a Noahide, but I also am a Christian. I follow what laws pertain to me as a Gentile, while at the same time try to follow Jesus' example of what a godly person should be.

I did not feel the need to talk about this until now, because I still was not certain -- and really, I still have my doubts -- that I wanted to follow this path. If the Word of G-d is found in the NT, then the apparent contradictions must be based entirely upon, like Pat pointed out, mis-reading the text. Like John Bevere points out in his book Driven By Eternity, we have a tendency to read what we believe, instead of believing what we read. It could very well be that the majority of the conflicts I am finding within Scripture come from my having read what I believed or what my church believed, rather than believing what I read in the Bible.

But for the moment, I am not sure where I am going insofar as my walk with G-d is concerned. I only know that I have a lot of searching still to do, and that I have a lot of reading of my Bible, and understanding it as it is written, instead of as I have always thought it should be written.

So I'm going to just end this post with the fact I've accepted Jesus, as the Word of G-d like the Gospels point out. Whether He is G-d Himself or not, is up for debate. But I don't think He ever proclaimed Himself to be G-d or ever wanted to be worshipped like the Most High. To a lot of people, I think Christianity as it is today, needs a major overhaul. Too much of the faith I was raised to believe in, has either been watered down or evaporated (in other words, added to or taken away from) and really, I do not think most people know what it really is about. 2,000 years can do that to anything ... including Christianity.


Have a good day everyone, and I hope to talk to you all again soon.

:)

Pat~
03-20-2007, 06:46 AM
Interesting post, Sean--thanks for sharing your thoughts! It's been neat to follow your journey. I've PM'd you--but I did want to comment on one thing you mentioned in your post; that of the idea that Jesus didn't want to be worshipped. It's true, absolutely, that He came as a suffering servant, and He modeled this, particularly in the gospel of Mark. Mark 10 is one of my favorite chapters (one where I see God's sense of humor, too). In it, the disciples are bickering about who's to be the greatest in the coming kingdom of God. Jesus talks to them (v. 43-45) saying that whoever wants to be "great" must become the servant of all, because 'even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give His life as a ransom for many." Now the neat part is, that Jesus doesn't only tell them that, but twice models it in that chapter. Verses 36 and 51 are virtually identical, where Jesus asks, "What do you want me to do for you?" So his goal on earth was not to be worshipped, though he was God--but to give of Himself for the creation He loved. In Philippians 2:5-11, it describes how it wasn't until after His resurrection that He was to be worshipped and exalted at the right hand of God.

Despite coming as a Servant-King, Jesus did claim to be not only the Messiah (Mark 14:61-63), but one with God--God Himself. It was this that so enraged the Pharisees, right before they tried to stone Him--"I and the Father are one." (John 8:19, 58; 10:30-33). When they dragged Him before Pilate, their chief accusation was that of blasphemy--His claiming to be God.

Prosperity7
03-20-2007, 07:25 AM
MODERATOR'S NOTE:

The following thread has been moved from the Atheism and Non-Theistic Spiritual Writing forum. The Moderators believe it is better suited to the Christian Forum. The reason it was moved here is because the original poster asked a question about Christians and their habits. On the whole it is a good discussion that I think should continue.

The Atheism and Non-Theistic Spiritual Writing forum plays much the same role as the Christian Board. It is a place where people who do not believe in God can gather with like-minded people. So please understand that the first 53 posts were written in that context.

The Ground Rules for continuing the discussion is that everyone is free to join as long as it is done respectfully. Let's not look at this in an adversarial light, but as a genuine opportunity to build understanding.

--------Start Thread -----------------

I've been following a couple threads lately on this forum and on other forum where I see the non-secular and the secular world collide in terms of opinions regarding literature and such. One of the things that I have noticed alot of is authors of the non-secular breed who tend to couch their opinions and thoughts in religious rehetoric under secular threads. What the heck is up with every christian spouting scripture in their responses? Does it make them feel superior to quote phrases (largely out of context) to the layman who might not have evre picked up a bible? Everytime I see a posting like that I want to scream, "What bubble are you living in?!"

It's complete ignorance to me - not only that, it's condescending and rude in my opinion.

I was a missionary for the better part of my life and one of the things that's a big no-no in ministries is taking the offensive with scripture. That is: to preach from the pulpit. It IS possible to integrate and live in the secular world and communicate peaceably without the need to armor one's self with scripture. The might as well throw up a big picket fence around themselves with neon-light saying "christians only!"

The worst part is that these authors react with surprise when they're met with hostility.

So I really want to know, after all the candle-waving, hymn-singing, and scripture-quoting is done, do ministries forget to teach this one aspect of humilty or whatever it is? I'm at a loss because I certainly never had the urge to beat someone over the head with my bible, let alone walk into a croweded room and act with such ignorance.

Why do you let it bother you?:)

Sean D. Schaffer
03-20-2007, 04:50 PM
Snipped...

Despite coming as a Servant-King, Jesus did claim to be not only the Messiah (Mark 14:61-63), but one with God--God Himself. It was this that so enraged the Pharisees, right before they tried to stone Him--"I and the Father are one." (John 8:19, 58; 10:30-33). When they dragged Him before Pilate, their chief accusation was that of blasphemy--His claiming to be God.


Hi again Pat. :)

Here's where you and I will differ on this. I've been talking about this with that friend of mine I told you about, and though he is by no means a theologian, I do find his ideas on what John could have meant by his statements to be quite intriguing. It basically goes like this:

He -- and I -- believes that the Word was G-d because G-d breathed the Word into existence. It came out of G-d, and therefore could be considered equal with G-d ... while still not being G-d Himself. I think this whole 'Father, Son, Holy Spirit' thing has been heavily misunderstood throughout the Church because, like several have said throughout the years, we've somehow superimposed our society -- and therefore our meanings -- onto the Word of G-d, which was not originally written in our language, in this case English. My contention is not the authenticity of John 1:1, so much as what it truly meant, that might have been lost in the translation.

You, being a highly educated individual, probably know that one word in Greek can mean several in English. In fact, just last night at a Bible study I attended, my friend explained the meaning of the Hebrew word 'Torah', which could not be translated into English using one word, because the definition was so specific English does not have a single word meaning for it. What he found was something to the effect of: 'G-d's teaching that enables you to hit the mark'. (Torah was, as he put it, an archery term, speaking of hitting the mark, as well as the term 'teaching' or 'law'.) It was a real interesting and eye-opening way of seeing that one word in the Bible.

But I digress. The idea I'm more willing to believe is that G-d Himself -- the Father -- is separate from Jesus, because Jesus Himself does make such a separation, and because some of the Gospel writers said 'he sat at the right hand of G-d the Father in Heaven'. The way it was put to me was, how can Jesus sit at G-d's right hand, if he were G-d at the same time?

So the point is, as far as being the Word of G-d and G-d at the same time, I think it's more a matter of translating the words -- again, I am by no means knowledgeable in the original language and I don't claim to be -- in a proper sense. I know many of the King James wordings can mean things English does not mean today, that the average person would not get because of the way the language has changed in almost 400 years. But I hold to the idea that Jesus is G-d's only begotten Son, not because He was virgin-born, but because He was G-d's Word breathed into the womb of a woman. The Word literally became flesh, and dwelt among us.

The belief holds more water, probably, with a more eloquent person than I speaking it, and it's a theory that we've only recently come up with on our own -- although we do believe the original Church may have believed much the same thing -- so it is still hard even for me to understand or put into proper words. But it does seem to explain how John could say 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with G-d, and the Word was G-d', and still mean that Jesus was separate from G-d, which to many people, including G-d's own Chosen People, the Jews, would possibly make more sense and would not be considered so blasphemous. To me, it would be just like G-d to make something so complicated and yet so simple that a child could understand it but an eloquent writer couldn't put the idea into less than a thousand words. :) It's that my heart understands the idea perfectly, but my mind is still trying to catch up. You probably know the feeling quite well.

Anyway, that's what I have come up with through what limited studies I've done. Bouncing the idea off my friend seems to have helped in making sense of it. But still, putting it into words is not an easy task for me.


I hope this post finds you well, and I wish you the best in all your endeavors. Peace and Shalom to you.

:)

Sean

Pat~
03-20-2007, 08:53 PM
Good morning, Sean! Intriguing post...see below...


Hi again Pat. :)

Here's where you and I will differ on this. I've been talking about this with that friend of mine I told you about, and though he is by no means a theologian, I do find his ideas on what John could have meant by his statements to be quite intriguing. It basically goes like this:

He -- and I -- believes that the Word was G-d because G-d breathed the Word into existence. It came out of G-d, and therefore could be considered equal with G-d ... while still not being G-d Himself. I think this whole 'Father, Son, Holy Spirit' thing has been heavily misunderstood throughout the Church because, like several have said throughout the years, we've somehow superimposed our society -- and therefore our meanings -- onto the Word of G-d, which was not originally written in our language, in this case English. My contention is not the authenticity of John 1:1, so much as what it truly meant, that might have been lost in the translation. I think that's an interesting thought, but there are still a few things to note. One, is that it says 'in the beginning was the Word,' so that you can't really say that the Father existed prior to the Son. Secondly, you run into some semantical problems trying to say that the Word was 'equal' to God but yet not God, too. The essence of a divine being is that He's supreme. And then, there's a third issue, one that I think is significant. When Jesus was arguing with the Pharisees, He not only said "I and the Father are one," (John 10, John 14) but He said, "Before Abraham was, I AM"(John 8:58) That statement enraged the Pharisees, because it was evident to them that He was claiming not only equal standing with God, but to BE God, in that timeless, eternal sense. "I AM" in scripture always refers to the Divine, One God. The Trinity is a very complex thing to wrap our heads around, and we will never understand it fully until heaven, I think. But I think it's very important to recognize the Divinity of Christ--because the whole import of the sacrificial death on the cross hinges upon this. Remember, the lambs offered for sin sacrifice in the OT had to be absolutely spotless and perfect. The Passover illustrates this beautifully; the children of God were released from their bondage (similar to our bondage to sin) after the blood of a spotless lamb was applied to the doorposts. All the firstborn of Egpyt were killed, but the Israelites were spared. The blood was a symbol of their faith that was a 'type' (foreshadowing) of the redemptive work of Christ. If Christ had been merely human, he would not have been able to be a redemptive (spotless, perfect) sacrifice for mankind--His blood would not have atoned for our sin. As you have noted, one 'man' cannot atone for another's sin. Therefore He would not have been able to claim to be the only way to the Father, as we discussed in an earlier post. So the Divinity of Christ, despite being mystery, is essential for the concept of redemption/salvation from sin. The Trinity of the Godhead is equally complex; the ancients often tried to express it in words, without great success. I try to think about it as One in essence; separate in function. All three (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) were present at creation when the Word brought life into existence (Gen. 1, 2; John 1); all three manifest 'God' to us in interrelated ways throughout time. The Father commanded the Son, the Son was empowered by the Father and obeyed the Father, the Father exalts the Son, the Spirit gives us access through the Son, the Spirit draws us to the Father, etc.

You, being a highly educated individual, probably know that one word in Greek can mean several in English. In fact, just last night at a Bible study I attended, my friend explained the meaning of the Hebrew word 'Torah', which could not be translated into English using one word, because the definition was so specific English does not have a single word meaning for it. What he found was something to the effect of: 'G-d's teaching that enables you to hit the mark'. (Torah was, as he put it, an archery term, speaking of hitting the mark, as well as the term 'teaching' or 'law'.) It was a real interesting and eye-opening way of seeing that one word in the Bible. Interesting! I can see the connection--the word "sin" in the Bible is actually an archery term, meaning 'to miss the mark.' Men would call out 'sin' when an arrow missed the target. So to 'sin' is to miss the 'mark' of the law, the Torah.

But I digress. The idea I'm more willing to believe is that G-d Himself -- the Father -- is separate from Jesus, because Jesus Himself does make such a separation, and because some of the Gospel writers said 'he sat at the right hand of G-d the Father in Heaven'. Yes, this is a symbol of His separateness in 'function'. A sign that He has now been exalted by the Father (because of His obedience) from servant to supreme ruler, with the earth as His 'footstool.' The way it was put to me was, how can Jesus sit at G-d's right hand, if he were G-d at the same time? I've heard the Trinity explained this way--and this analogy probably fails as all language eventually would, in trying to describe this mystery--but I've heard it likened to an egg, where all three parts of the egg are 'egg'--but separate as well. Don't know if that one helps at all...

So the point is, as far as being the Word of G-d and G-d at the same time, I think it's more a matter of translating the words -- again, I am by no means knowledgeable in the original language and I don't claim to be -- in a proper sense. I know many of the King James wordings can mean things English does not mean today, that the average person would not get because of the way the language has changed in almost 400 years. But I hold to the idea that Jesus is G-d's only begotten Son, not because He was virgin-born, but because He was G-d's Word breathed into the womb of a woman. The Word literally became flesh, and dwelt among us. Yes, but remember, He claims to have existed prior to the womb..."before Abraham was, I AM."

The belief holds more water, probably, with a more eloquent person than I speaking it, and it's a theory that we've only recently come up with on our own -- although we do believe the original Church may have believed much the same thing -- so it is still hard even for me to understand or put into proper words. But it does seem to explain how John could say 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with G-d, and the Word was G-d', and still mean that Jesus was separate from G-d, which to many people, including G-d's own Chosen People, the Jews, would possibly make more sense and would not be considered so blasphemous. To me, it would be just like G-d to make something so complicated and yet so simple that a child could understand it but an eloquent writer couldn't put the idea into less than a thousand words. :) Yes. I think it's complicated simply because it's divine, and we're not. It certainly keeps us humble trying to describe it! It's that my heart understands the idea perfectly, but my mind is still trying to catch up. You probably know the feeling quite well. Yes...I call that faith, and I doubt my mind will ever 'catch up' in this life.

Anyway, that's what I have come up with through what limited studies I've done. Bouncing the idea off my friend seems to have helped in making sense of it. But still, putting it into words is not an easy task for me.


I hope this post finds you well, and I wish you the best in all your endeavors. Peace and Shalom to you. And you, Sean. Thanks for a stimulating exchange!

:)

Sean

Sean D. Schaffer
03-21-2007, 12:37 AM
I'll have to think about what you said, Pat. I know a lot of those verses, but I'm going to have to read them again and see what I can find for myself. Not to put what you're saying down, but to search the Scriptures, like Jesus said (John 5:39) and one of the NT writers (Luke, I think it was, in the Acts of the Apostles) praised a certain group of believers for doing.

The thing I think is hard for people to understand, is like you point out in your previous post, it is difficult to understand because it is divine in nature. The Bible teaches -- I'll have to look up the verse; I think it's in Philippians -- that "These three agree in one; the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit". But I'm just plain curious if there's something we modern-day people are missing here. The way the idea of Jesus being the Word of G-d was basically explained to me as, "He was in G-d, and G-d breathed Him, and therefore John 1:1 spoke of Him being a separate person but at the same time part of the same individual." (Paraphrase of what my friend said.)

I think what really matters here, is that the Bible is the ultimate authority, not me, not a preacher, not any human being. I believe if Jesus was really the Word of G-d, He would never be able to contradict the Torah, which was the Bible of His time. In that, I think, He knew fully well that a man could never claim to be G-d. I believe it was Jesus the Word speaking this, not Jesus the Man.

Okay, before I dig my foot too deep into my mouth from here on out, I'm going to let this particular issue rest until I can get some Scripture to back up either your viewpoint or mine. But like Psalm 138:2 says, "[G-d] has magnified [His] Word above all [His] Name". So if His Word is higher than His Name, then most certainly His Word will bring those who seek the truth, to the truth, and the truth will indeed set them free.


This has been an outstanding conversation Pat. I hope you have a good afternoon, and I wish you the very best of everything G-d has for you.


Sean

:)

Pat~
03-21-2007, 01:04 AM
I'll have to think about what you said, Pat. I know a lot of those verses, but I'm going to have to read them again and see what I can find for myself. Not to put what you're saying down, but to search the Scriptures, like Jesus said (John 5:39) and one of the NT writers (Luke, I think it was, in the Acts of the Apostles) praised a certain group of believers for doing. You may be thinking of Paul, when he praised the Bereans for searching the scriptures--yeah, I'm pretty sure that was in Acts. And it's excellent advice; they are the ultimate authority, not any one person's interpretation. (Though scholarship can certainly contribute to how we interpret scripture.)

The thing I think is hard for people to understand, is like you point out in your previous post, it is difficult to understand because it is divine in nature. The Bible teaches -- I'll have to look up the verse; I think it's in Philippians -- that "These three agree in one; the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit". But I'm just plain curious if there's something we modern-day people are missing here. The way the idea of Jesus being the Word of G-d was basically explained to me as, "He was in G-d, and G-d breathed Him, and therefore John 1:1 spoke of Him being a separate person but at the same time part of the same individual." (Paraphrase of what my friend said.) Separate but the same I would agree with. 'Created by the Father' I wouldn't, though.

I think what really matters here, is that the Bible is the ultimate authority, not me, not a preacher, not any human being. I believe if Jesus was really the Word of G-d, He would never be able to contradict the Torah, which was the Bible of His time. In that, I think, He knew fully well that a man could never claim to be G-d. I believe it was Jesus the Word speaking this, not Jesus the Man. Yes, I'd agree that it was His divine nature speaking here. Maybe it'd help to think of it as one Person, 2 natures? (Then again, maybe not, LOL!)

Okay, before I dig my foot too deep into my mouth from here on out, I'm going to let this particular issue rest until I can get some Scripture to back up either your viewpoint or mine. But like Psalm 138:2 says, "[G-d] has magnified [His] Word above all [His] Name". So if His Word is higher than His Name, then most certainly His Word will bring those who seek the truth, to the truth, and the truth will indeed set them free.


This has been an outstanding conversation Pat. I hope you have a good afternoon, and I wish you the very best of everything G-d has for you. I've enjoyed it, Sean. All the best with your study. You might want to check this site for your study--it's the best I've found on the 'Net, with contributors who are much more qualified than I am to talk about word study, etc.

http://www.bible.org/illus.php?topic_id=231

For example, for John 10:30, it says this:

73tn The phrase ἕν ἐσμεν ({en esmen) is a significant assertion with trinitarian implications. ἕν is neuter, not masculine, so the assertion is not that Jesus and the Father are one person, but one “thing.” Identity of the two persons is not what is asserted, but essential unity (unity of essence).

ETA: Here's one more link exploring the meaning of John 1:1...

http://www.bible.org/assets/netbible/1sted_joh1.pdf