What is Christianity? How can we understand it better? What don't we understand?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by ObiWan506, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    There is another interpretation. The canon of scripture that we have is simply not complete.

    For example, there are numerous books listed and quoted in the Bible (both Old and New Testaments) that are not included in the Bible today. We have manuscripts for some (or at least manuscripts that appear to be the same book mentioned), and nothing but the name of the others. Among them, there are:
    1. book of the Wars of the Lord (Num. 21: 14)

    2. book of Jasher (Josh. 10: 13; 2 Sam. 1: 18)

    3. book of the acts of Solomon (1 Kgs. 11: 41)

    4. book of Samuel the seer (1 Chr. 29: 29)

    5. book of Gad the seer (1 Chr. 29: 29)

    6. book of Nathan the prophet (1 Chr. 29: 29; 2 Chr. 9: 29)

    7. prophecy of Ahijah (2 Chr. 9: 29)

    8. visions of Iddo the seer (2 Chr. 9: 29; 2 Chr. 12: 15; 2 Chr. 13: 22)

    9. book of Shemaiah (2 Chr. 12: 15)

    10. book of Jehu (2 Chr. 20: 34)

    11. sayings of the seers (2 Chr. 33: 19)

    12. an epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, earlier than our present 1 Corinthians (1 Cor. 5: 9)

    13. possibly an earlier epistle to the Ephesians (Eph. 3: 3)

    14. an epistle to the Church at Laodicea (Col. 4: 16)

    15. and some prophecies of Enoch, known to Jude (Jude 1: 14)
    In addition to these, there is also the Apocrypha, which has traditionally been included in some lists of canon (and is still used by some churches today).

    It's simply not logical to assume that all scripture* ever written has survived to our day and i
  2. saber_death Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2005
    star 4
  3. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    In My Opinion....

    Christianity today is a far different creature than what its founders intended. What we see today is a version of a cult religion that did all it could to crush, silence and ridicule other POV from the same leader/teacher. We cannot be sure that what is preached today in the name of a 1st century Jew is anything like what he and his inner circle had planned or would agree with.

    What surprises me the most is how little many Cristians know about the origins and stories of their faith.

    First off many of the key beliefs stem from older religions (especially Egyptian cults).

    The term "Christ" has taken on a singular divine meaning when in the 1st century there were in fact many "christs". The title meaning simply "Anointed One". Jesus was not the one and only "Christ" in his day. The term "Messiah" was really a political title rather than the divine aspirations that it has now. It is a leadership title along the lines of "Christ" in terms of being annointed. If we are to use the orginal meaning as applied to Jesus in the 1st century then we could claim that Queen Elizabeth II, being the annointed (by a priest) leader of the British is "Christ" to her people.

    Another misconception about Jesus is that he was from the town of Nazareth. The earliest known records of that particular town comes from the 3rd century.

    The nativity story is mostly myth belonging with the nativity myths of other dying-and-rising gods of the time. Even the date we celebrate it was used because it coincided with other Pagan religious festivals such as Yule.

    The idea that he was a poor carpenter is questionable too. Jesus was referred to as "naggar" which can mean "carpenter" but can also mean "scholar".

    The role of John the Baptist in early Christianity has been muddied and reduced in significance as has the role of women.

    The idea of a dying and rising God is borrowed directly from earlier Egyptian feminine mystery school cults. To make Christianity stand out from the crowd and acceptable for exportation to foreign (ie Roman/Greek) audiences Jesus had to be made divine - that is God. Also borrowed from Egypt is the idea of the dying and rising god dying on a Friday and rising 3 days later.

    The halo is directly borrowed from hellenistic sun god worship.

    Even the Surmon on the Mount and the Lord's Prayer aren't genuinely orginal texts of Christian thought.

    The scared/symbolic meal of bread and wine was common practice of all the dying God cults including Dionysus, Tammuz and Osiris.

    Both the term "Resurrection" and "Raising the dead" are symbolic in meaning and isn't meant to be taken literaly.

    There are many more examples of Christianity's lack of orginality that makes me question the present day church especially its hierachical structure, male dominance and utter belief in the divinity of it supposed founder. Today's church is more a reflection of Peter and Paul than the man they looked up to. Having said that, I also believe that Christianity has a lot to offer people and am not against its basic teachings. I happen to think that it can still be a "good" belief system even if you dismiss the idea of Jesus' divinity as I do.
  4. The_Fireman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2001
    star 4
    Agreed.

    A trifle, to be sure, but you're right. The thing of it is that is Hebrew prophecy, there is a supreme ruler/Messiah who is said to have come from eternity, bring peace to the world, and reign in Jerusalem for a thousand years. He is said to be God's Son. So while the title is a common one, its meaning is not when referring to someone in Israel, and there is a specific one in prophecy. And this is where the unique and special interest is given when referring to Yeshua as Messiah.

    I'm gonna ask for proof on that one. Natzaret existed, I believe, before the earliest "known" secular records. I put known in quotations because I believe the Gospel accounts suffice as an earlier set of records.

    Coincidence on the first one. There was no room in the upper chambers of the building, so they went below where the animals were kept. No biggy. As for the second one, you're right. Dec. 25th is completely pagan.

    Eh... Not so sure about this one. My sources say He was called "tekton" in Greek, which refers to a skilled craftsman of any kind. It can mean woodwork and stonework, but you are also correct in that it can refer to a poet, a songwriter, or even an author. Most often, however, it does refer to a carpenter.

    True. This of course has no bearing on salvation. It was not John nor the women who gave their lives to atone for mankind's sin.

    True enough. However, the Scriptures teach that Yeshua is sent from God, is the Son of God, and the Word of God, NOT that He and the Father (God) are equal and the same. Furthermore, they teach that He died on Wednesday and rose on Saturday. Passover occured on Wednesday; He d
  5. ScaPaCamem Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2003
    star 4
    That is not true the early church debated this for quite a while and finally agreed that Christ and God are the same. That is what the Holy Trinity is. The FATHER, the SON, and the HOLY SPIRIT are one in the same.
  6. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    The _Fireman, thanks for responding to my points. I will answer some of your queries and post evidence that support some of my statements within a couple of days (its dinner time where I am and I'm rather peckish).

  7. The_Fireman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2001
    star 4
    Except there is no "Holy Trinity" in Scripture.

    There is only one God. He is the Father of all. It is said that Yeshua/"Jesus" is His Son. They share the Spirit, which is the very thing that makes alive all things living. It is the breath of God, and it is life. The Spirit is the Father's way of reaching down to earth, a direct link from Him to those who obtain the Spirit in a great amount.

    But Yeshua is a created being, and through Him all other things came to exist. The Father existed before anything, including the Son. The Son cannot know anything that the Father does not reveal to Him, and He is only able to use power as the Father allows Him, and only by the Spirit.

    While there is a definite connection between the three, they are not one and the same, and they are not equal. They were not always together, side by side like a trio of super beings.
  8. ScaPaCamem Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2003
    star 4
    WHAT??? What denomination are you??
    John 1:1

    1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.
    3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

    John 1:14

    14 So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father

    Matthew 28:19

    "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"

    2 Corinthians 13:14

    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all"

    The Word is Christ.


    And I don't appreciate you putting words in my mouth. I never said they were 3 super-beings. I clearly stated they were one in the same not 3 super beings, so please don't feel as though you can put words in my mouth. It is a Christian belief that Christ is God. It is stated in scripture and has been accepted for almost 1700 years. THEY ARE 1 in the same.
  9. The_Fireman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2001
    star 4
    First, I will demonstrate how the Greek language differs from our own by inserting the Greek word used in this verse translated as God, and give the literal meaning. Then I shall counter the usage of the verse by posting another one, showing the limitations placed upon the Messiah by Scripture itself (the Word).

    John 1
    1 In the beginning was the logos, and the Word was with theos, and the logos was theos.
    2He was in the beginning with theos.

    3All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.


    Now, the word "theos", that the English translated as "God", refers not only to the one true God (the Father), but also to false gods, and to anything that can represent God, such as a human leader or teacher.

    I thought I'd also substitute the word "Word" with the one that was written down originally in Greek, "logos". The definition of that word is startlingly broad, ranging from spoken or written words, to teachings or doctrines, to civil mandates and decrees. It was first used around 600 BC by a Greek philosopher named Heraclitus to describe the divine plan which dictates the course of the universe.

    With the usage of these two words together, all that can be truly understood by this passage for sure is that in the beginning of our universe, the Word (who became the man named Yeshua) was with God, and was LIKE God, and was used by God to determine the fate of the universe by creating it according to God's desire and plan. Now, couple this passage with some others, and the idea that Yeshua is indeed equal to God or the same as God becomes blatantly false. For instance:

    Romans 1
    1Paul, a bond-servant of Messiah Yeshua, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
    2which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures,

    3concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh,

    4who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Yeshua the Messiah our Lord,

    5through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name's sake,

    6among whom you also are the called of Yeshua the Messiah;

    7to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.

    8First, I thank my God through Yeshua the Messiah for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.

    9For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you,

    10always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you.


    Why go to so much effort to make a distinction between Paul's God, and His Son Yeshua? Why does he have to thank God THROUGH Yeshua his Lord, when Yeshua is supposedly God Himself?

    Again:

    1 Corinthians
    3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.

    4I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Messiah Yeshua,

    5that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge,

    6even as the testimony concerning Messiah was confirmed in you,

    7so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah,

    8who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah.

    9God is faithful, through whom you were
  10. saber_death Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2005
    star 4
    Fireman, i'm very interested to hear why you think Christianity has made up this doctrine (which is one of it's most central doctrines and arguably our biggest issue with our Jewish and Muslim neighbors, in that we elevate Christ to Diety while they at best allow Him only the status of prophet). i've seen plenty of Scriptural evidence for a Trinity... alot of which is summed up here and here. to me Christ being God is what makes Christianity it's own faith... our God came down and died for us Himself, instead of just sending another angel, prophet (Islam), or human spiritual mentor (Buddhism) for us.

    why do you think the early Church made this doctrine up, and where do you think it came from?? Why hasn't God in some way corrected the Church in this matter, specifically during the Reformation/Counter-Reformation when many of the basic tenants of the faith were brought back up and disputed... yet i've never heard of any notable attempt to remove the Trinity at that time.

    and arguably most important of all, are those who worship Christ as God so wrong as to not be saved?? if God is not Triune and Christ isn't Devine, one could make an argument that Trinune supporters are no more correct, or even less correct, about God and His nature than Islam, since we make a bigger mistake IMO by messing with God than by adding another major prophet and a few different rules.
  11. The_Fireman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2001
    star 4
    But here's the thing: don't you think that if this were exactly the case as you present it, Scripture would have made that abundantly clear? Why is it that Scripture teaches that God sent His SON to die for us, rather than coming out and saying He came Himself?

    This is a key part of the equation: God is far too holy to be upon the earth Himself, among humans. So He has created a mediator, Yeshua, to act on His behalf. The Son is the one who walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden, He was the angel who led Israel in smoke by day and fire by night, He was even the glory that filled the Holy of Holies in the Temple. In order for God and us to be together, the Mediator had to atone for our sins, remove them from our lives, and make us morally pure as God is. Only then can we be with God.

    I think this is the real beauty of the story. All of this is actually for Yeshua. God wanted a Son, someone He could mold into something not unlike Himself. The rest of this, the universe and everything in it, is like a science project. All of it was created for the benefit of the Son, to teach Him to be more like God. It was created by the Son, for the Son, and He's going along for the ride. But here's the kicker: God has allowed us to obtain a similar place as the Messiah! We who are mere mortals, dust in God's eyes, have been given the opportunity to become joint heirs with the Messiah, and be called children of the Most High God. All because Yeshua loved us enough to redeem us by giving Himself up in our stead. And this not of Himself, but of God's desire to teach Him true love, and to redeem us out of sin and death. In a sense, God DID come and die for us, because sending His own Son was more heartwrenching for Him than coming down Himself.

    I'm going to say something here, and it is going to offend a lot of people. You asked, though, so I shall give my opinion.

    I believe, on the whole, Christianity is false. I believe it is a false religion, with its origins in Roman paganism. As the Jewish believers of the early Church became the minority, and the Greeks began to gain a foothold, the teachings of the apostles began to die away, save for those which support their views. The Christians became philosophers rather than servants of God, a cult which sought a place in the world. But this was not the final stage of the fall of Christianity.

    Constantine rose to power, and in his struggle to conquer the known world, realized he could best do so by converting to Christianity, and tu
  12. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    ...."But there's another transformation underway. Thanks to the work and sacrifice of these reformers, the modern Christian is able to read and discern the Bible for himself. This has led to a revival in the interest in our roots, a desire to return to the early days of the Church and live and walk as Yeshua and the apostles walked. And through this, the vail has begun to lift even more. An interest in Sola Scriptura is greater than ever now, with a desire to not only uncover the true meaning of the earliest known texs in their original languages, but also a desire to uncover even earlier manuscripts. The farther back we go, the closer we get to Yeshua, and the closer to Him, the closer to God.

    All that said, I should state that despite my views on Christianity, I believe a large portion are doing the best they can with what they have, and thus will be judged by God according to their faith. Some are willfully ignorant, and thus condemned. Others and false teachers, and doubly condemned. But there are many who simply CANNOT see the truth, and are serving the only way they know how to. This is how it has been throughout all time, and so there has always been a remnant, in every age. And the important thing is that Rome has preserved the Word. Not only that, but because of Rome, the Gospel and Faith have been spread to virtually every corner of the world now. The time will be soon upon us when the Messiah will return to earth and restore the Truth completely by rebuilding the Temple, raising up the Levites, smashing all our idols, overthrowing the rulers of this world, and restoring the ancient boundaries of Israel. No longer will we need the text of the Bible, but man will be taught directly from God, to Yeshua, to His risen holy ones, to the natural man of this world. Peace, justice, mercy, hope, and love will reign all over the earth, while the wicked will be punished and removed from society."


    A couple of questions if I may?

    So, esentially you want to revert to a belief system that is merely an off shoot of Judaism?

    You actually believe that people will be damned (condemned) and that a "Messiah" will return? Will this Messiah lead the Jews to salvation or all the "Christians"? Or will he/she lead all people from all religious faiths? After all the Messiah is a very Judaic idea - it would seem harsh would it not if the messiah came and did not consider the Jews his/her rightful people?

    Please define the term "Wickedness" as this word has been used throughout the ages to label many who we may consider are not actually all that wicked at all.

    I haven't forgotten about my promise to post evidence backing up my statements. I just need to flick through a couple more papers. :)

    Blind faith is a rather convenient way to entice believers not to question the leadership and doctrine of the church is it not?
  13. The_Fireman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2001
    star 4
    Of course. :)

    Yes. That's what it was originally meant to be. Afterall, there was nothing wrong with Judaism. That's the system God Himself designed for His people. It was working fine, save for the problem of the lack of the Spirit. The Law was keeping them in the grace of God, but at the same time, it wasn't allowing them to progress and become fully empowered as they were meant to be. They were in a temporary fix. So when the fulfillment came (Yeshua), He was meant to "fill them up" to their fullest, not taking away, but adding more. The promised Messiah, the Branch of David. But again, this does not necessitate a change in belief. In fact, were it not for some of the views around in Judaism during that time, He would not have been accepted by anyone. Judaism prepared them for Yeshua.

    Yes.

    The Bible is clear on this subject. When He returns, He is going to resurrect all of His saints; that is, everyone who has effectively been "born again", from Adam all the way down to the last person to put their faith in Him. Many will be Christian; many will be Jewish. As for the majority of the people left alive on the earth at this time, it will be mostly Jews who turn to Him. All of Israel will accept Him (the one whom they peirced) as the Messiah, and they will be transformed into eternal beings. Then He and all of His "brethren" will descend onto the earth, make war with the armies which have come against Israel, and wipe them out. He will then demand that all governments relinquish their sovereignty, and bow their knees to Him as King of Israel, and King over the earth (which at this point will have been under the dominion of the glo
  14. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    But now, there is another truth which most people don't understand, and that is that the people who are known as Jews today are not all of Israel. The term "Jew" comes from Judah, which was the southern kingdom that split away from Israel after Solomon's reign. Most of the people from it are only of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi. The other 10 tribes were scattered by the Assyrians long ago, and have been lost to the nations. It is my belief that many Gentiles from all over the earth actually have Hebrew (not Jewish) blood flowing in their veins. This is why they are joint heirs. I believe that many if not most of the Gentile converts are actually Israelites being called back to God and restored as His people. Prophecy states when the Messiah returns, He will lead another exodus, bringing back all of Ephraim (Israel) and Judah (the Jews), and rejoining them into one Kingdom of Israel.

    But His own people (the Jews) will have the greater reward.


    So I gather?

    Indeed, although to be fair, I don't see much of that going on these days. It was a problem during the dark ages, but it's gotten much better. Although it does still occur...

    I see it every day. People not asking pertinent questions about their faith because they take only one source as the ?gospel? truth i.e. The Bible. Anything that disagrees with that one source is to them, quite obviously wrong even if it is archaeological evidence that furthers our understanding of 1st century Middle East culture.

    Before I post evidence that, for me, backs my previous statements another couple of questions?.

    Are you implying that those of a non Judaic/Christian belief system are wicked? I am thinking of Shintoism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Jainism and even Wicca (a far older religion that even Judaism) and related faiths. What makes Judaism and its off shoots THE right way (without quoting scripture).

    What of those nations and peoples who have peaceful and earth respecting belief systems that in no way had the opportunity to follow the Torah? The Aborigines of Australasia and North America for example. Is one wicked if one hasn?t been given the opportunity? Is not the path to the Divine a personal journey that has many routes?

    With all due respect you are beginning to sound fundamentalist in your opinions.
  15. The_Fireman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2001
    star 4
    Ah, but here's the thing. Most people who believe in the Bible do not do so out of "blind faith". Rather, they see the evidence, and coupled with faith in the God OF the Bible, they believe. From there on out it is a journey of discoveries.

    Ultimately, we're all just going on evidence. Arachaeologically, historically, scientifically, astronomically, etc. Some simply put their faith in certain accounts, while others put their faith in other accounts. It's all just evidence. Occasionally something can be proved wrong or incomplete, but that hasn't happened with the Bible (in its original language). Until it does, the Bible stands as good historical evidence for what has taken place in that region of the earth throughout time.

    This of course doesn't really prove God, but it remains as evidence of His hand in the events surrounding the Bible. Then you have fulfilled prophecy. Etc. This is no place to prove the Bible's legitimacy, so I'll leave it at that. The point is others, and myself, have very good reason for believing the Bible, and very soon, perhaps even this year, you will see why.

    Well without Scripture there's nothing. It's a Catch-22. Scripture is why I believe the ideals of Judeo-Christian belief are good. I know my God through the written Word. That's not to say I don't have a daily relationship with Him in which He communicates to my inner person, because I do. But the way I know WHO He is (not just how He wants me to treat other people) is through the Bible.

    I think Judaism has become corrupted in much the same way Christianity has. But at its source, at both their sources, lies the truth. God chose Abraham and his descendants to reveal the truth to, so they might reveal it to everyone else. Already those Scriptures have been dispersed throughout the world, in almost every single language known to man.

    Regarding the wickedness of other people, it's not necessarily a depraved, psychotic wickedness I refer to. Rather, at the heart of all of us lies a beast. Without society to guide us along, we would be very animalistic in nature. But due to the influence of society, we are more than that (which I believe ultimately comes from the Law of God being given to mankind in the beginning, and only slightly misunderstood and manipulated throughout time in different cultures). I recognize there is some good in other religions, just like there is some good in most people. But the only glimmer of this goodness comes from God's Law, and what I believe to be the origins of all mankind. Some have more of it than others, depending on the culture they were raised in.

    But that aside, there is a simpler idea behind it. Good is love according to God's standards. Evil is the selfish, animalistic nature in all of us that I mentioned before. It is the selfish nature, the messages your genes send to your brain to take in everything you possibly can at other people's epxense, if you must: Don't go hungry, so eat what you can. Don't let the genes die off, so have sex as much as possible. Don't get killed prematurely, so build as many socia
  16. redxavier Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2003
    star 4
    What exactly is the evidence here, the Bible? This sounds suspiciously like your usual circular arguments.


    There's enough doubt cast on the accuracy of the Bible as a historical record to question its divine origin. It's either not divine, or god isn't perfect. Either one throws a wrench in its credibility.

    The upcoming rapture perhaps?



  17. The_Fireman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2001
    star 4
    The evidence is historical, archaeological, and scientific. The way the world around us relates to the Scriptures. This is all we can do with anything. Make observations, and compare them with the claims of people who say they have all the answers. If our observations line up with it, then we have good reason to believe them. If not, well, you get the idea.

    There's a lot that goes into it all; you can't just use some magic formula and bam, you're a believer. Or at least, it wasn't that way with me.


    Just because some people doubt it doesn't mean it's not reliable. The Bible, as it was written (i.e., in Hebrew), is completely historically sound.

    It is one account of a certain period of history among many. Most of the time it agrees with other accounts. Occasionally there is some disagreement between it and another account, but that doesn't mean the Bible is the one that is incorrect.

    I don't believe in the rapture. I can't say for sure, but I really think Darth_Asabrush has something coming. Not necessarily good or bad, but something. As for the rest of us, it may be the same. Perhaps the world scene will more obviously line up with biblical prophecy. Maybe not. But something is about to happen that will validate belief in the Bible for those who truly wish to know whether it is true or false.
  18. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    There is no evidence that the kingdoms of David and Solomon were nearly as powerful as the Bible indicates; they may not have existed at all.

    There is no evidence for Noah's Flood nor Noah's Ark.

    Some parts true, some not but the Bible is not historically sound.

  19. saber_death Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2005
    star 4
    no historical evidence for doesn't mean evidence against (much less the issue of what is evidence, how evidence is interpretted, etc...). those who say the Bible isn't historically accurate are assuming their view of history is right and/or complete, which is doubtful at best, since we learn new things about history every day... things that were once legend and myth are now known to be at least based on fact (Troy, for a rather notable non-Biblical instance).

    basically, as Fireman says, the evidence for Christian faith/faith in general is many faceted. in any one area my faith may be short of evidence, but it's the whole thing together that makes sense. enough prayers answered, enough history matching the Bible, enough evidence for creation, enough evidence for humanity's (and more importantly my own) sinfullness, etc... all put together leads to the conclusion that God is very real, and very important to my life... but what evidences are needed, and how much of each is enough, vary between different people (and vary over the course of one's life: what is ample proof at age 12 is often merely a small piece of the evidence by age 24). where one area (say, history) lacks, another area (answered prayers for instance) makes up for it.
  20. The_Fireman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2001
    star 4
    Exactly. I mean really, if one gives it enough thought, one cannot help but realize that this is true for everything we experiance. SO much goes into belief, acceptance, ideas, etc.

    There's no simple answer, one way or the other. Not yet, anyway.
  21. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    A long one I?m afraid ? mainly for the digestion of The_Fireman


    Ah, but here's the thing. Most people who believe in the Bible do not do so out of "blind faith". Rather, they see the evidence, and coupled with faith in the God OF the Bible, they believe. From there on out it is a journey of discoveries.

    Ultimately, we're all just going on evidence. Arachaeologically, historically, scientifically, astronomically, etc. Some simply put their faith in certain accounts, while others put their faith in other accounts. It's all just evidence. Occasionally something can be proved wrong or incomplete, but that hasn't happened with the Bible (in its original language). Until it does, the Bible stands as good historical evidence for what has taken place in that region of the earth throughout time.

    This of course doesn't really prove God, but it remains as evidence of His hand in the events surrounding the Bible. Then you have fulfilled prophecy. Etc. This is no place to prove the Bible's legitimacy, so I'll leave it at that. The point is others, and myself, have very good reason for believing the Bible, and very soon, perhaps even this year, you will see why.


    I think you should only speak for yourself rather than ?most? people. I understand your argument, even though I see it as flawed. However, we must all be careful to claim the majority see things either one way or another. I have witnessed many occasions when the only evidence people use to debate issues surrounding their faith is the Bible ? this is not independent evidence imo. What I try to do is draw from as many sources as possible then make my conclusions. In terms of the Bible being a good historical record that hasn?t been proved wrong are you arguing that the apparent ages of man in some Christian/Jewish stories are accurate for example?

    The proof of God?s hand in the events surrounding the Bible is not evident. What is evident is Man?s assumption of God being evident. These are quite different things altogether imo.

    Well without Scripture there's nothing. It's a Catch-22. Scripture is why I believe the ideals of Judeo-Christian belief are good. I know my God through the written Word. That's not to say I don't have a daily relationship with Him in which He communicates to my inner person, because I do. But the way I know WHO He is (not just how He wants me to treat other people) is through the Bible.

    And those who came before the Bible are disregarded by God?

    I think Judaism has become corrupted in much the same way Christianity has. But at its source, at both their sources, lies the truth. God chose Abraham and his descendants to reveal the truth to, so they might reveal it to everyone else. Already those Scriptures have been dispersed throughout the world, in almost every single language known to man.

    The Aborigines of Oceania have over 1,500 forms of language amongst themselves. Again, I?d be careful in assuming that the Judeo-Christian Bible has been ?translated in almost every single language known to man?. This doesn?t equate to God?s ignorance of those who came before the Bible reached their shores. How did God?s message and law reach them and what happens to those ?wicked? people who did not get reached in time?

    Regarding the wickedness of other people, it's not necessarily a depraved, psychotic wickedness I refer to. Rather, at the heart of all of us lies a beast. Without society to guide us along, we would be very animalistic in nature. But due to the influence of society, we are more than that (which I believe ultimately comes from the Law of God being given to mankind in the beginning, and only slightly misunderstood and manipulated throughout time in different cultures). I recognize there is some good in other religions, just like there is some good in most people. But the only glimmer of this goodness comes from God's Law, and what I believe to be the origins of all mankind. Some have more of it than others, depending on the culture they were raised in.

    So, b
  22. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I'm going to jump in on one point, because of a common misconception.
    There is a difference between the general term "scripture" and the specific term "the Bible".

    The Bible is a collection of 66 books of scripture. That does not mean that it is the sum total of all scripture ever received by mankind. As I posted earlier, there are quite a few books referenced by name in the Bible that we don't have today. Many of them are referenced as scripture. Some Christains accept the Apocrypha as scripture (giving their Bible 73 books, instead of 66). Others (including me) use a far more open canon (in my case, the Book of Mormon and writings of modern prophets).

    Logically, just because all of the Bible is scripture does not mean that all scripture is in the Bible.

    The Bible starts with the writings of Moses, but that doesn't mean that there was no scripture before that. After all, according to the Bible, Adam, Enoch, Noah, and Abraham (all of whom predate Moses) talked with God and received direct answers. We don't know if they wrote it down, but we do know that they taught those teachings to their children. Would that not be scripture?

    As for other people outside of the biblical account, they could also have scriptures that we don't know about, from the same source. Assume for a moment that the Biblical account is correct (and, since this is a thread on Christianity, that's a reasonable assumption). All mankind, therefore, is descended from Noah, who we know talked with God directly and taught his children. Of his three sons (Ham, Shem, and Japheth), the Bible mostly follows the descendants of Shem (strictly speaking, the term Hebrew comes from the name Eber, who was Shem's great-grandson).

    Well, Ham and Japheth also were taught the same things that Shem was, and they likely passed them on to their children. Over time, those teachings may have been corrupted (and therefore being the reason for many of the similarities between religions around the world), but they still could have had the occasional inspired writings (scripture) to guide them.

    In fact, there is nothing in the Bible that precludes the existence of other scriptures, either from before, concurrent to, or after the Bible. The reference that many people misinterpret as saying that there can't be any more scripture (Revelation 22:18-19) was never intended to be the final writing of all the Bible, but only of that one book. (Moses said something very similar in Deuteronomy 4:2, and that did not preclude quite a bit of scripture after that.)

    Kimball Kinnison
  23. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    There is a difference between the general term "scripture" and the specific term "the Bible".

    The Bible is a collection of 66 books of scripture. That does not mean that it is the sum total of all scripture ever received by mankind. As I posted earlier, there are quite a few books referenced by name in the Bible that we don't have today. Many of them are referenced as scripture. Some Christains accept the Apocrypha as scripture (giving their Bible 73 books, instead of 66). Others (including me) use a far more open canon (in my case, the Book of Mormon and writings of modern prophets).

    Logically, just because all of the Bible is scripture does not mean that all scripture is in the Bible.

    The Bible starts with the writings of Moses, but that doesn't mean that there was no scripture before that. After all, according to the Bible, Adam, Enoch, Noah, and Abraham (all of whom predate Moses) talked with God and received direct answers. We don't know if they wrote it down, but we do know that they taught those teachings to their children. Would that not be scripture?

    As for other people outside of the biblical account, they could also have scriptures that we don't know about, from the same source. Assume for a moment that the Biblical account is correct (and, since this is a thread on Christianity, that's a reasonable assumption). All mankind, therefore, is descended from Noah, who we know talked with God directly and taught his children. Of his three sons (Ham, Shem, and Japheth), the Bible mostly follows the descendants of Shem (strictly speaking, the term Hebrew comes from the name Eber, who was Shem's great-grandson).

    Well, Ham and Japheth also were taught the same things that Shem was, and they likely passed them on to their children. Over time, those teachings may have been corrupted (and therefore being the reason for many of the similarities between religions around the world), but they still could have had the occasional inspired writings (scripture) to guide them.

    In fact, there is nothing in the Bible that precludes the existence of other scriptures, either from before, concurrent to, or after the Bible. The reference that many people misinterpret as saying that there can't be any more scripture (Revelation 22:18-19) was never intended to be the final writing of all the Bible, but only of that one book. (Moses said something very similar in Deuteronomy 4:2, and that did not preclude quite a bit of scripture after that.)


    ? By scripture, I mean writings made by a prophet and that were inspired by God. See 2 Timothy 3:16 for a more complete definition.?

    I am aware of that thank you but I agree that my previous post may not have made it so.

    You described ?scripture? as all writings made by a prophet I believe? That doesn?t answer my question in regards to those faith systems that rely on non-written narratives for the basis of their beliefs. We cannot presume, and indeed it would be arrogant to do so, that all faiths that do not or did not comply with the Judeo-Christian forms of law had some written code of religion that shared a common source.

    Culture and society is capable of and has developed independently from each other. If is more logical to suggestion or hypothesis that many different cultures developed their own belief systems separate from one another that dealt with their own needs, fears and aspirations. It is also reasonable to suggest that other cultures and societies shared and borrowed from one another ? this is extremely evident with Christianity through the ages (see my first post in this thread).

    Because this thread is about Christianity does not mean we have to assume that the Bible is correct. This thread asks the question ?What is Christianity?? therefore questioning the very essence of Christian belief is acceptable in this thread. We should not assume anything. We therefore cannot say that all of humanity is descended from ?Noah?. This in turn negates your argument. I refuse to use the Bible in whatever form as my sole source of
  24. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Allow me to clarify. It need not be written, however, that is the only reliable means that we have of getting the teachings of ancient prophets today.

    I actually believe in a prophet living today who receives revelations from God and directs His church, and I accept his teachings as scripture. My emphasis on written records was more of an attempt to avoid sidetracking the thread on that topic (that's what the Mormonism thread is there for), since that is not a belief held among the vast majority of the rest of Christiandom.

    If you prefer, "A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation. -- H.H. Munro, 'Saki'"

    Except that this thread is about understanding Christianity better, not debating whether or not it is true or valid.

    If you want to understand someone's beliefs, you do go into the discussion with the assumption that they are all false. That only leads to fighting and contention. You assume for the sake of argument that it is true, and discuss the beliefs on that basis.

    For example, if you want to understand Mormonism, you don't start by rejecting the Book of Mormon (described as the "keystone of our religion" by Joseph Smith). You assume that it is true (for the purposes of the discussion, not saying you have to actually believe it is true), and discuss the teachings as intepreted by Mormons. Other belief systems would only enter into it for purposes of comparison.

    Quite simply, it's trash. It is nothing more than a series of distortions and intentional misinterpretations.

    For example, the first question asks which is the last of the Ten Commandments. If you answer according to what is taught by the name "the Ten Commandments", they tell you it's wrong. (The Jews never actually called them "the Ten Commendments", but grouped all of them (there are more than ten) together as simply "the Commandments".)

    It seems to jump between paraphrasing (and in the process distorting) statements in the Bible, not to mention I noticed that they were using at least two different translations (depending on the specific verse).

    In short, it's nothing more than propaganda, and a pretty bad job of it at that.

    Kimball Kinnison
  25. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    Allow me to clarify. It need not be written, however, that is the only reliable means that we have of getting the teachings of ancient prophets today.

    I actually believe in a prophet living today who receives revelations from God and directs His church, and I accept his teachings as scripture. My emphasis on written records was more of an attempt to avoid sidetracking the thread on that topic (that's what the Mormonism thread is there for), since that is not a belief held among the vast majority of the rest of Christiandom.

    If you prefer, "A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation. -- H.H. Munro, 'Saki'"


    I'll accept that clarification (or change of opinion) of your previous post. I don't however, agree with you.

    I still believe that many separate cultures developed their own belief systems independently which are no less valid than the Judeo-Christian system. One is not wicked if one doesn't follow the Judeo-Christian path which is what I took The_Fireman's post to imply.


    Except that this thread is about understanding Christianity better, not debating whether or not it is true or valid.

    To truly understand something you must get to its roots. To truly understand Christianity you must go back to its origins and ask questions about the intentions of its founders. Debating whether something is valid or true is the very basis of understanding.

    If you want to understand someone's beliefs, you do go into the discussion with the assumption that they are all false. That only leads to fighting and contention. You assume for the sake of argument that it is true, and discuss the beliefs on that basis.

    You go into the discussion with an open mind armed with questions. You DO NOT assume anything is true until your questions have been answered.

    For example, if you want to understand Mormonism, you don't start by rejecting the Book of Mormon (described as the "keystone of our religion" by Joseph Smith). You assume that it is true (for the purposes of the discussion, not saying you have to actually believe it is true), and discuss the teachings as intepreted by Mormons. Other belief systems would only enter into it for purposes of comparison.

    If I want to understand Mormonism I start with an open mind and continue to ask questions. Assuming it is true means I cannot enter the discussion with an open mind. Again, until my questions have been answered to my satisfaction I cannot assume it is true. That is one of Humanity's greatest strengths - to seek and continue to seek knowledge by questioning the accepted norms.

    Quite simply, it's trash. It is nothing more than a series of distortions and intentional misinterpretations.

    For example, the first question asks which is the last of the Ten Commandments. If you answer according to what is taught by the name "the Ten Commandments", they tell you it's wrong. (The Jews never actually called them "the Ten Commendments", but grouped all of them (there are more than ten) together as simply "the Commandments".)

    It seems to jump between paraphrasing (and in the process distorting) statements in the Bible, not to mention I noticed that they were using at least two different translations (depending on the specific verse).

    In short, it's nothing more than propaganda, and a pretty bad job of it at that.

    Kimball Kinnison


    Thanks for your opinion. As a non Christian I was interested in others' opinion.