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Old 03-30-2004, 05:37 PM   #61
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Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy
Yeah, what Stamer476 said was my initial reaction. Most of the things you claimed to be as true are only assumptions.

Cheers
And your beliefs aren't assumptions? Show mme with documentation what YOU believe is truth.

The truth is that no one has the answers and no one ever will. It's the interpretations of the stories that matter, not whether or not they are 100% scientific fact.
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Old 03-30-2004, 05:52 PM   #62
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Allright, Lies. I said I'd look into the David & Goliath situation for you, and here's what I got. I talked to a friend of mine who received his doctorate in Hebrew and teaches Biblical Hebrew at a Christian University. Let the technical babble commence . . .

The word translated in English to "forehead" in 1 Samuel 17 is the Hebrew "METSACH," the masculine-singular form of the noun. Its use here in 1 Samuel 17 is the common form of the word, generally meaing "brow" or "the forehead." It's the same word used in 2 Chronicles 26:19-20; Ezekial 9:4; and Exodus 28:38 among others. In all of these other references, the noun is unquestionably referring to the forehead, not the groin area. Although, in some of those verses, it would be very humorous if it was referring to the groin.

HOWEVER, there is a feminine-plural form of the word that has a rare occurance of being used to describe the leg area, although modern Hebrew translation has limited it to the leg area below the kneecap. This fact seemed very intriguing to my friend, and at this very moment he's deep into various textbooks exploring that possibility. More information to come soon . . .

So basically, the word here with David and Goliath is understood to mean the brow or forehead, and an interpretation that translates it as the groin area is unlikely at best. That being said, however, languages are a funny thing, and it's no secret that the male genitals have a number of strange slang nicknames. Back in the time of ancient Israel, I'm sure they had their fair share. I'll get back to you when I get the final conclusion.
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Old 03-30-2004, 06:00 PM   #63
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It's the interpretations of the stories that matter, not whether or not they are 100% scientific fact.
I'm very open to freedom in Christ, but this is where things get a little bit dangerous for me. In my mind, it all comes down to credibility. If the biblical writers were not accurately recording history, then it doesn't matter much what the modern interpretation is, because what they wrote was just plain wrong. Their culture preserved history through oral tradition, and the accuracy of that history was incredibly important to them.

My point is, if the biblical writers were not accurate in recording the flood, the story of David & Goliath, etc., who's to say that they were accurate in recording the life of Christ? What if Jesus didn't really claim to be God? What if he never really came back from the dead? The historical truth of these claims is what makes Christianity possible. Without it, it's nothing more than a philosophical system, and our faith is in vain.

So that's my beef with discrediting Biblical accounts and simply saying that it's the interpretation that matters. The Christian faith is founded on the fact that Biblical accounts are true and accurate. Once we give that up, everything else will soon come with it.
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Old 03-30-2004, 07:43 PM   #64
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Originally posted by stammer476

who's to say that they were accurate in recording the life of Christ?
I understand your point of view completely. My personal answer to this question is that there is a non-religious source that proves the existence of Christ.

Based on what I said earlier, are you more inclined to the inerrancy view of the Bible?

I believe in the infallibility of Scripture; it doesn't need to be 100% fact for me to be a Christian and trust God and accept Jesus. Based on what I've learned about the historical/cultural contexts of certain Biblical passages, I believe that the intentions of the authors were not to produce a science book or history book. I'm definitely open to debate though.

There are a lot of things in the Bible that I'm skeptical about, but them being truth or not would never change my beliefs as a Christian. For example:

some of those REALLY old people
Jonah being in the belly of a whale
The Flood covering the entire earth

This is what I like about being a Calvinist - I don't have to waste my time proving whether or not these stories are true because the fact that they are/are not truth is far less important than the lessen of the story.
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Old 03-30-2004, 08:28 PM   #65
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are you more inclined to the inerrancy view of the Bible?
I go back and forth on this one. The churches I'm associated with definately lean in the innerancy direction, but I'm a natural skeptic, and have trouble falling into the innerant pack simply because "God said so."

Right now, I'd state my belief as this: New Testament innerant, Old Testament . . . maybe. I admit that there are some narratives in there that are a little out-there, and there's a skeptical side of me that wants to question them. If you put a gun to my head, I'd say that the Bible is innerant. But if I get to heaven and find out I was wrong, I'd be totally okay with that.
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Old 03-30-2004, 08:36 PM   #66
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I don't have to waste my time proving whether or not these stories are true
Man, oh man, do I feel you on this one. There are few things I loath more than having to hash out a long and technical debate on the historical accuracy of a Biblical passage, authorship, language, etc. But my experience has been that too many people riding on the fence between faith and doubt on Christianity are too easily swayed by liberal criticism. And if a good debate about the historical accuracy of Scripture can help them find Christ, then I'll gladly join in.

Personally, I'm weary of debating athiests and agnostics. It's not because their arguments are too difficult, but rather because we're both so firm in our beliefs that no amount of evidence will move either side. More often than not, it comes down to agreeing to disagree, and only after more than a little blood has been spilt.

That being said, I'm always up for answering any honest questions that anyone has about faith. I love exploring new ideas and having people sharpen my viewpoint.
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Old 03-30-2004, 09:16 PM   #67
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what denomination are you?
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Old 03-30-2004, 09:57 PM   #68
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I'm non-denominational
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Old 03-30-2004, 10:07 PM   #69
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I'm non-denominational
I've always wondered this: Is "non-denominational" sort of a denomination by default? Because there are lots of non-denominational churches, so it's almost like another denomination.....Now I can ask all the questions I've had about "non-denominational" b/c I've never met one before! Are you non-denominational because you subscribe to a random smattering of doctrines and theologies from many denominations, or are you non-denom because you don't like the idea of belonging to a denomination?

Maybe you can help me get over a bad experience I had with a non-denom church. Well, it wasn't really a "bad" experience, but it gave me really odd impressions of what they're about. I mean, I went to this non-denom church and they worshipped Robert Frost. The church had NO Bibles, NO crosses, they sang Frost poetry, read Frost poetry, their stained glass windows depict Frost, Lincoln, Washington, etc.....it was just such a weird place. (U2 played there once!).

Wait, is non-denom Christian? B/c now that I'm thinking about it, this non-denom church I was at wasn't really Christian at all.....

I'm not trying to criticize, I'm pretty ignorant about this....
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Old 03-30-2004, 10:35 PM   #70
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Now I can ask all the questions I've had about "non-denominational" b/c I've never met one before!
LOL!! Happy to help.

Quote:
Maybe you can help me get over a bad experience I had with a non-denom church. Well, it wasn't really a "bad" experience, but it gave me really odd impressions of what they're about. I mean, I went to this non-denom church and they worshipped Robert Frost. The church had NO Bibles, NO crosses, they sang Frost poetry, read Frost poetry, their stained glass windows depict Frost, Lincoln, Washington, etc.....it was just such a weird place.
Holy freeeeeakin' crap. I've been in the church a long time, and that is possibly the most freeky deeky dutch thing I have ever heard.

Quote:
I've always wondered this: Is "non-denominational" sort of a denomination by default? Because there are lots of non-denominational churches, so it's almost like another denomination
Interestingly, that's a common critique among people who are in our "brotherhood," and they only say that because they've never actually been in a real denomination, and have no idea what they're talking about. EDIT: Ooh, now that I read, it sounds rude. I wasn't saying that about your question. I am just peeved at some people in our own churches. It was not directed at you at all.

Anyway, to answer your question. . . I'm in a non-denominational "brotherhood" of churches. And, yes, we're non-denominational because we don't believe in denominations. We started back in the mid 1800's with a guy named Alexander Campbell. He was a part of the Presbyterian movement, and came to the conclusion that too many of his church's policies were directed on tradition and not on the Bible. As he read the book of Acts, he saw that the early church was governed not by a hierchal system with traditions and by-laws, but independent churches who worked together as separate self-governed bodies. He believed that organized religion was getting in the way between the individual and their personal relationship with God. In a desire to move back to that model in Acts, he founded his own church. To make a long story short, many other people caught onto the idea, started their own churches, and we now have the Independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ.

Ways in which we're not a demoniation: We have no written doctrine. We have no governing bodies. Each church is governed independently by it's own elders and pastors.

Ways in which we are similar to a denomiation: We do have several Bible Colleges, Seminaries, and Universities. We do have an annual convention. We do work together whenever needed.

Basically, our main goal is to be as similar to biblical churches as possible. We don't see the need to be "this or that Christian" or "this or that Church," but our desire is simply to be "Christian" going to (insert city name here) Christian Church. It's a loose system, basically. It has it's faults, but I sure enjoy it.
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Old 03-30-2004, 10:45 PM   #71
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OK, thanks, that clerifies things. I was just reading the website of the non-denom church I attended and it didn't really seem (or seem to want to be) Christian at all. Here's their "beliefs":

1 Freedom of religious expression. All individuals should be encouraged to develop their own personal theology, and to present openly their religious opinions without fear of censure or reprisal.

2 Toleration of religious ideas. All religions, in every age and culture, possess not only an intrinsic merit, but also a potential value for those who have learned the art of listening.

3 Authority of reason and conscience. The ultimate arbiter in religion is not a church, or a document, or an official, but the personal choice and decision of the individual.

4 Never-ending search for Truth. If the mind and heart are truly free and open, the revelations which appear to the human spirit are infinitely numerous, externally fruitful, and wondrously exciting.

5 Unity of experience. There is no fundamental conflict between faith and knowledge, religion and the world, the sacred and the secular, since they all have their source in the same reality.

6 The worth and dignity of each human being. All people on earth have an equal claim to life, liberty, and justice and no idea, ideal, or philosophy is superior to a single human life.

7 Ethical application of religion. Good works are the natural product of a good faith, the evidence of an inner grace that finds completion in social and community involvement.

8 The motive force of love. The governing principle in human relationships is the principle of love, which always seeks the welfare of others and never seeks to hurt or destroy.

9 The necessity of the democratic process. Records are open to scrutiny, elections are open to members, and ideas are open to criticism—so that people might govern themselves.

10 The importance of a religious community. The validation of experience requires the confirmation of peers, who provide a critical platform along with a network of mutual support.

Are any of these complimentary or contradictory to your own?
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Old 03-30-2004, 10:46 PM   #72
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(interestingly enough, I'm right now writting a paper for theology class on Jonathan Edwards and what is genuine religion...)
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Old 03-30-2004, 11:05 PM   #73
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On the surface, a lot of those sound good, but have too much of a relativistic/postmodern feel to get my endorsement. Our churches are very open, but not THAT open.

These are the statement of beliefs from the church that I grew up in:

Wyandotte Christian Church Statement of Faith

We Believe in God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit and that they are distinct personalities with distinct roles, but one God. And that One God is the Creator of the universe.

We Believe Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Savior, the Son of God who was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on a cross, and was raised from the grave. He will return as our victorious Lord.

We Believe our salvation comes only through Jesus Christ and cannot be earned. It is a gift of God.

We Believe faith in Jesus requires repentance, confession of that faith before witnesses, and obedience to His Word. Baptism by immersion demonstrates our faith and obedience while it depicts our union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.

We Believe everyone who accepts Christ has the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit who acts as a Comforter, Guide, and Advocate.

We Believe the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God in its entirety and that it does not contradict itself. It is our guide.

We Believe the church, as the body of Christ, is the extension of Jesus Christ's character, attitude, behavior, and mission in our world today.

We Believe God gives gifts to both men and women through the Holy Spirit for the benefit of the church's ministry.

We Believe that humility in prayer is the foundation for all we do and that celebrating communion together weekly is beneficial for all Christians.
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Old 03-30-2004, 11:13 PM   #74
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Hm....this is all my church has online, it's kind of "duh!" but anyway:

CALVIN CHRISTIAN REFORMED CHURCH

CALVIN:

This part of our name identifies one particular congregation in the denomination called the Christian Reformed Church. The name goes back to the man John Calvin, who lived from 1509 to 1564. As one of the Reformers, he zealously defended the scriptural teaching of the sovereignty of God and structured a system of theology in which the glory of God is the supreme motivation for all of life.

CHRISTIAN:

When we use the adjective Christian in our name, we identify ourselves as followers of Jesus Christ, whom we confess to be God's Son sent into our world to redeem human beings and their world from sin and its destructive powers. In his life and teaching, Jesus proclaimed the coming of the Kingdom of God; in his death and resurrection and in his sending of the Holy Spirit, we experience the power to live a life for God; and in the promise of his coming again, we have the hope of victory over sin and evil.

REFORMED:

Our history goes back to the Reformation of the sixteenth century, a movement in which the Protestant churches reaffirmed the centrality of the Bible as the authority for doctrine and life. As we continue to call ourselves Reformed, we commit ourselves to be a church always reforming and being reformed by God's Spirit to reflect faithfulness to God and his Word in our world.

CHURCH:

As a church, we confess that we are called and set apart by God. As citizens of his kingdom in a broken and sinful world, we attempt to be faithful to God in thought, word, and deed, separating ourselves from evil actions and demonstrating God's power to heal and redeem broken and sinful people through our Lord Jesus Christ. We pledge to be servants of God until the day of Christ's return in power and glorious victory.
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Old 03-30-2004, 11:14 PM   #75
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here's the beliefs of the denomination:

http://www.crcna.org/crbe/index.htm
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