Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by ObiWan506, Jul 18, 2006.
Professing yourself a Christian does not make you one, Jesus himself even demonstrated as much.
(Matthew 7:21-23) 21 ?Not everyone saying to me, ?Lord, Lord,? will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. 22 Many will say to me in that day, ?Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?? 23 And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew YOU! Get away from me, YOU workers of lawlessness.
What if said mass murderer reflects on the course of his life, feels genuine remorse for his misdeeds, repents of his sins, accepts Christ as his personal savior, and then gets the electric chair
Who are we to say who is saved, and who is not? Who are we to say who does and does not receive God's grace? Judge not, lest ye be judged.
You guys are great. We got some great discussion here and I want to respond to every point made. I don't have the time to do that but I will respond to some.
Yeah, I agree. Who's right and who's wrong? Certainly we don't make that decision. And by judging those who are not of the same 'faith' as you only adds to the problem we have with competing religions. I say 'competing' because it almost feels like that doesn't it? Jehovah Witnesses try to solicit you at home, Christians try to preach about the gospel of Christ a lot. It just seems that it's become more of a sales propaganda hasn't it?
Hmmm. I know we all interpret scripture differently, but what are we supposed to take from this? It's not enough to do the Lord's work preached in the Gospels?
Very true. The key to being accepted by God is right there, that you trust Him enough to keep His law. Faith and works.
Also, while our focus in this life is to "[link=http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ecclesiastes%2012:13-14;&version=50;]fear God and keep His commandments[/link]", that does not mean that we cannot enjoy this life. Truly, one who keeps God's law will enjoy a very blessed life.
Doing God's will is paramount.
And I would agree. So is that scripture more or less saying to follow not just Jesus, nor follow just God; but both?
Would we be referring to The Trinity in this manner?
As I said before Jesus left us a model to follow closely in doing God will.
You run into some very big problems by saying that being a Christain means simply doing God's will. I will point out a few.
How do you know what God's will is? How do you know you are right? We beleive we are doing what God wants, most of the time. And a lot of the time we are wrong and miss the mark completly.
If your answer to the first question is something along the lines of "God will tell me what his will his..." Than I say this. God tells us all the time what his will is, yet we usually interpert it wrong and screw it up. Also, what if "God tells you his will" and then you interpret it, and them somebody else gets told God's will, and it is completly contradictory. Yes, that will happen.
You can't simply follow God's will. It can't be done. The first and foremost thing we should be concerned with is making God a part of us, finding our identity in him (or it), and living our lives accordingly. If you concern yourself with that, the rest will follow.
Gods will is in plain view!
He tells us what he wants us to do in the scriptures.
I am not arguing that some misinterpret what that is hence Jesus words of not knowing some.
I cannot tell you whether or not ones status as a Christian is genuine or not. I can recognize when one claims to be a Christian then goes completely agaist its teachings.
How can you honestly trust the scripture. During the Council of Nicea do you realize how much they changed? Hell, they threw out 30 something gospels and said "Well that doesn't fit so it isn't true."
Maybe it's not a matter of guessing right on what God's will is, but just a matter of confidence in your love for him and what you believe he wants you to do.
So are you saying God is incapable of preserving the integrity of his word through out history?
But accurate knowledge is just as vital. Col 1:9-10;2:2, Pil 1:9, 1Tim 2:4, 2Tim 2:25 There are several more scriptures to cite to back this up.
This may be a little off topic, but it needs to be answered.
First, how can you be a self professing catholic, and not trust the scriptures?
Also, the scriptures weren't changed that much at the council of Nicea, that is a myth. And it wasn't just people saying "that doesn't fit, so it isn't true."
Do you realize that the Bible is one of the most accurate ancient books in human history? One funny tred I often see is people saying, oh the Bible is wrong, or isn't historically accurate. When in acutality, the Bible has been more carefully scrutenized and tested and proved true than Homers Oddesy, and any of the other ancient texts that people don't even hesitate to beleive.
Concerning the Gospels, and the Gnostic Gospels. The four Gospels in the canon Bible are there for very, very good reasons. The biggest being, they are the only ones that had eye witness accounts for what they claimed. When the early chruch was deciding what would and would not be in the Bible, (back when people were still alive who lived near and saw Jesus himself), they went around and asked people who were there, and saw what Jesus did, what was accurate and what was not. The things that didn't have the back up of people saying they saw it weren't included, and those that had eyewitness accounts for their claims were included.
On the council of Nicea. The council of Nicea was not just a bunch of rulers and kings getting around a table and deciding what books were convieniant to have in the Bible, and what were not. It was a COUNCIL, like many, many others that had been held throughout history, where the men looked at the evidence, history and valididty of the scriptures, and took out the ones that didn't have evidence or any proof or any reason to beleive.
If anything, the current canon Bible should be more beleivable than the early ones. One would think that, the more a book is scrutinized and looked at and tested (which is what happened at the council of Nicea, and all of the other ones like it. Contary to popular beleif, the council was not a one time thing. Councils like it had been happening since the forming of the church.), the more accurate it would be.
God is love, God's will is to love and accept everyone, so that is what everyone must try to do, and a Christian is one who takes up that challenge. To try and unconditionally love everyone, just for living (whether it's in the past, present, or future). Only Christ did it perfectly, being the Son of God, but we all must try to be as Christ-like as possible.
As for faith/good works, I believe all you NEED is that "faith" (it's hard to define exactly what that "faith" is, though). But someone who has genuine faith does good works, if they have the time/health. It's about doing as much you can with what has been given to you. Jesus gave us help on how to tell, he said we can tell the good from the bad by the "fruit they bear". Many people claim to have the faith, but if they have the ability to do good works and don't, then they obviously don't have it because true faith inspires good works.
Christianity is a religion of loving ACTION.
How should you spread Christianity? Just by being a Christian, loving everyone and showing that love and faith through their good works (if they can). People would be inspired by our actions to become Christian, then they would seek and we would answer.
As for what some would call "non-Christians" like Gandhi, or people isolated from the message of Christ by time/space, and others: if they love like a true Christian loves, then they ARE Christian, and are SAVED. If they have an unconditional love and acceptance for everyone, then they logically love and accept Jesus Christ, and are saved by him just by unknowingly following his way which transcends all time and space.
Those are just some of my thoughts, anyways.
While Jesus did do this was this all he ever did? No,he actively preached to people about Gods kingdom.
To those who would listen. I'm just saying action would speak louder than words, and being an example would be more helpful than just mostly preaching. If they are inspired by our actions they would seek us for answers on who we are, what we believe, and we would teach them.
So do you basically agree with everything else in that post? Any other point you want to discuss?
Actually I agree completely with what you just said even though it was a tad snide.
Not sure because I agreed and added to your comments, did I deserve that smart arse response.
I'm confused. Is this thread supposed to be discussing the title questions from an insider or and outsider perspective? So far all I've seen is a bunch of chaos (which I find a bit revealing in a thread called 'What is Christianity?').
It seems to me that there are an almost infinite number of concepts of what Christianity IS. I mean, religion is a sujective thing, because it defies any sort of scientific analysis. So from an outsider's (or any sort of objective) position, the only real criteria for whether or not someone is Christian is whether or not they call themselves so. Things only get more confusing when you start to look at each denomination's criteria, since some denominations suggest that a person who does not call themselves a Christian but lives a Christian lifestyle (whatever the denomination decides a 'Christian lifestyle' is) is in fact a Christian.
This thread is silly, because Christianity doesn't even have relative objectivity unless you're discussing it within the context of a specific denomination's beliefs. Trying to discuss these topics as pertaining to Christianity as a whole is just going to lead to a lot of "you're not really Christian because you don't believe X" or "my denomination is more Christian than yours because we believe Y".
I believe that is the purpose of this discussion; to define what Christianity is.
Somehow not sure how you with such an objective position missed that.
This may be a teensy bit off topic but I felt like sharing anyway
Occasionally I've been told(by friends, family, church, ect.) that we shouldn't question our religion. That if we question our faith in God that we aren't true Christians.
I'm not saying that I don't understand that because it does make sense. If you believe in something you should follow it wholly, without question.
But I think that in some ways, this absolute faith can be a bad thing. If I'm going to believe in something with everything I have and everything I am, I want to know why I'm beliving in it. Believing because the Bible or someone in my church says so seems like I'm being led blindly into something that I don't fully understand. I don't think anyone wants that.
So I think it's really important to question beliefs. I want to belive in something because I have said "What if this isn't true?" and discovered for myself through research and what not that this might actually be true.
Like, I read the Da Vinci Code a couple months ago. I, personally, don't belive that Jesus got married and had kids. But what I really enjoyed about the book is that it made me think. Some of the things in that book came straight from the mind of the author and others were backed up with various historical facts. It's a book that is often written off as bad and full of lies, somethimes by people who haven't even read it. But the point is that it makes you entertain a different idea that challanges what many people have come to belive is true. (quick note- I brought Da Vinci Code up at Teen Read at the local library and we got into this huge argument. I'm seriously not trying to offend people here, just giving an example to kinda make my point.)
Someone a couple posts up said, So are you saying God is incapable of preserving the integrity of his word through out history?
I don't think it's that He's incapable. I think it's more like a situation where God knows a heck of a lot more then we do. Maybe someone tampered with the content of the Bible. Maybe this is God's way of saying "Even though My Word has been changed over time, can you still believe in the message?" There really isn't any way to know for sure. Perhaps one day we'll find something that says that this, this, and that were changed. But people can lie. *shrugs* Who knows?
I hope that's all intelligible. I'm only 13 so I've got a ways to go in life. Age brings wisdom and all that
Also, note that I used the words 'I think' quite a bit. This is full of opinions. Interpret as you will.
I didn't mean to sound that way. I just meant is there anything else you wanted to discuss from my post that you don't agree with, for the discussion, or if you have the same basic beliefs as me. I said "I just typed" because I already made a few other posts here. Sorry, didn't mean to be rude, I'll edit.
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ?If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.?
17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
What Christianity needs more of is people willing to drop all agendas, prejudices, and allegiances to sit down and diligently study and fervertly pray together so that we can come to the unity of the spirit and the bond of peace in the truth that God would have us to understand.
There has to be a concrete definition for being a Christian, or else the word Christian has no meaning at all. Unitatis Redintegratio says, "All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians." Baptism makes a fitting criteria because it actually provides the sactifying grace that unites all Christians to Christ. A broader definition would in fact be uncharitable toward the people they include as it would imply a unity that doesn't exist and a justification that has not occurred.
And somehow you missed my point that objective definition is impossible unless you focus within the constraints of one particular denomination's beliefs. There are many different people who call themselves Christians and their religion Christianity, and yet these people often have entirely contradictory beliefs. The only thing that will be accomplished in attempting to come up with a general 'definition' of Christianity (something I still insist is impossible, since a definition is by its nature objective and all the forms of Christianity are subjective) is that a good number of denominations will be labeled "not really Christian".
If you want to have a thread called "What is Catholic Christianity?" or "What is Lutheran Christianity" that's one thing. But trying to come up with a global definition of Christianity is a ridiculous notion, since on the global level 'Christians' can't even agree on so fundamental a question as "Is Jesus God?"