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Old 11-19-2006, 01:51 PM   #241
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Originally posted by AEON
Well, the quote from Jesus Christ and written in the Gospel of John – written by John. I know of no conservative or liberal resource that asserts Paul was the writer of the Gospel of John.
And I never asserted that Paul wrote the Gospel of John either. He wrote none of them. However, that doesn't mean that his Gentile Christian followers didn't know how to pick up a pen and write.

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I do not see how James is contradicting anything Paul or Jesus claimed about faith being the source of salvation. What James is arguing is that those who don’t have works obviously do not have faith (their faith is ‘dead’).
Again, that's a revisionist conclusion that doesn't make sense in light of knowledge of Jewish Christian theology and the fact that that passage most forcefully ridicules the Gentile Christian idea that salvation is from faith alone. It's pretty bad when the book resorts to name calling ("ignoramus").

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Law = God’s eternal law (10 commandments).

The 10 commandments can be summarized by loving God (first four commandments) and loving others (last six commandments).
Again, that's a revisionist interpretation that tends to be an amalgam of Jewish Christian beliefs with Gentile Christian theology, since apparently, we love our shellfish and poly-cotton blends too much.

Your above interpretation of the Ten Commandments is thanks to St. Augustine of Hippo, who successfully transformed Christianity to resemble nothing of early Jewish or Gentile Christianity. I was merely explaining what early Christians would have believed, which, we can agree, has very little in common with existing Christianity. However, one cannot understand the New Testament properly without understanding the beliefs of those who wrote it!

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Yes, there were many that fought to have different books put into the canon – and to leave others out. What is you point other than there was (and still is) disagreement? This shouldn’t surprise anyone.

For the longest time I wanted to leave the OT out of the Bible. It was only through the power of the Holy Spirit did I begin to see the “Good News” in the OT.
The Gentile Christian attitudes towards the OT was completely based upon using it for historical context, rather than morality. In other words, they'd be displeased if people started quoting from it for purposes of telling people how they should live, because it was their belief and intent that the New Testament that they were canonizing was superseding the OT. Jesus' arrival meant that the entire purpose of the OT had been fulfilled, and, consequently, was no longer necessary beyond historical context.

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I find it a bit ironic that you seem to enjoy attempting to discredit the Bible while at the same time conveniently use it to support a view that “fits” into your personalized theology.
Isn't that what the entirety of conservative Christianity is? Talking about faith here, condemning people for their works there, saying that the Bible is inerrant on one end, then saying that passages were taken out of context on another. The only consistency in conservative Christianity is that it upholds traditional interpretations and idiosyncrasies to the letter.

I've made no secret that I generally dislike post-Constantinian Christianity. What's your excuse?
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Old 11-19-2006, 01:52 PM   #242
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Originally posted by coemgen


Hey BVS, here's some other verses of women teaching men in the Bible for you.
I appreciate your post. I know all of these passages, and as I said before I don't believe God doesn't want women teaching. My whole point is the contradiction of quoting Paul as God's law.
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Old 11-19-2006, 01:57 PM   #243
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generalizations about anything, and i do mean ANYTHING never work.

and when you generalize about something as big and complex as religion, AND talk brashly about it, you deserve nothing but egg on your face.

there's plenty of people who don't subscribe to any school of religion who are anti-gay as well.

i can't believe in this day and age, people still don't realize how pathetic and childish it is to generalize and lump massive groups of people together and brand them with a single sticker.
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Old 11-19-2006, 02:01 PM   #244
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


What do you mean by self-defining?

Do any of the defintions of marriage in the Bible say anything about consent, age, or race? No but I'm sure God has his standards on those. Why is it so hard to imagine that man and woman was used because that was the concept they would understand at that time? If your only reason for defining marriage by man and woman because that's the way it was stated, then you believe a man can only divorce a woman, for that's the only way IT was stated.

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Old 11-19-2006, 02:02 PM   #245
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They are not treated any better or worse than any other Christians.
Of course they are. You don't want them to marry, that's treating them worse. Why is that so hard for you to understand?
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Old 11-19-2006, 02:09 PM   #246
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Originally posted by Ormus


Again, that's a revisionist conclusion that doesn't make sense in light of knowledge of Jewish Christian theology and the fact that that passage most forcefully ridicules the Gentile Christian idea that salvation is from faith alone. It's pretty bad when the book resorts to name calling ("ignoramus").

The sort of "faith" that James mocks is merely an intellectual belief in the existence of God. In verses 14, 17, 19 - James talks about a faith that even the demons can have.

You are right, James was the leader of the church in Jerusalem - and as such so he would use the same terminology as the “non-Christian” Jews in Jerusalem. The spiritual leaders in Jerusalem taught that monotheism and the intellectual acceptance of Biblical teaching were indeed "faith."

James is arguing that this kind of “faith” doesn’t save anyone.

Paul would have agreed.
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Old 11-19-2006, 02:14 PM   #247
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For what it is worth, I'm generally supportive of the idea of faith, not good works, for salvation, because, if heaven is only occupied by perfect people (as has been taught in Christian tradition), then there will be no one in heaven.

What bothers me, however, is how this Pauline concept has been oft perverted by modern Christians to incorporate Jewish Christian ideology. That is, if someone's works aren't to your approval, well, then you just state that they don't have real faith.

So get off the fence. Either state that faith is the only thing necessary for salvation or state that it's faith and works, because the current status quo in conservative Christianity is the latter masquerading as the former.
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Old 11-19-2006, 02:33 PM   #248
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Originally posted by Ormus
For what it is worth, I'm generally supportive of the idea of faith, not good works, for salvation, because, if heaven is only occupied by perfect people (as has been taught in Christian tradition), then there will be no one in heaven.
True. That is why I left the Catholic Church. (But I still sneak into Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve - the Protestants still can't seem to pull off Christmas Eve like the Catholics can).

There a none perfect other than Christ – that why we rely on His righteousness to become our righteousness. Only through the perfect Christ, can a non-perfect being like me have access to heaven.

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Originally posted by Ormus

What bothers me, however, is how this Pauline concept has been oft perverted by modern Christians to incorporate Jewish Christian ideology. That is, if someone's works aren't to your approval, well, then you just state that they don't have real faith.
Yes – I admit there are many conservative Christians with this attitude. But my former pastor and mentor certainly did not teach this – and the Bible does not support this sort of attitude.

There is a principle that I’ve learned called “Position” and “Condition.” Our “position” in Christ is secured the moment we believe, the moment we place faith in Christ as our Savior. In other words – this is our “justification” before the eyes of God. However, our “condition” in Christ does change – as the Spirit continues to mold us into the image of Christ (sanctification). This occurs over the course of our lifetime. The final pert of the “condition” is the end state – Glorification – when we are “completed” into Christ-likeness. This occurs after our physical death.

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Originally posted by Ormus

So get off the fence. Either state that faith is the only thing necessary for salvation or state that it's faith and works, because the current status quo in conservative Christianity is the latter masquerading as the former.
I’m not on the fence – I’m on the side of faith.
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Old 11-19-2006, 05:00 PM   #249
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Quote:
Originally posted by AEON
They are not treated any better or worse than any other Christians.
Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
Of course they are. You don't want them to marry, that's treating them worse. Why is that so hard for you to understand?
Quite. Well put, BVS.

What's funny to me about reading this whole thread, is that the overall impression it presents is that the people who want to uphold the tradition Christian definition of marriage are the ones most lacking in compassion. They can't quite seem to put themselves into other people's shoes, and understand how not being allowed to marry (or date, or, for that matter, kiss) the love of their life might make someone feel like a second class citizen. They can't quite seem to grasp how truly fucking horrible it would be to spend life alone, or with someone for whom you felt nothing, and how resentful against the church and even God Himself one would become when denied - for no apparent logical reason - the ability to be happy. Weirdest of all, they can't even wrap their heads around the fact that gay people are born that way, just like straight people are born straight - that just as they have innate, unchangeable desires, so do other people! The complete lack of any basic empathy is something slow to emerge, but it's rather astonishing when it finally does.

In fact, the whole idea that faith gives you a right to control how other people live their lives borders on being downright pathologically uncompassionate. You can believe what you want, and you can tell people what you believe, but when you start actually controlling other people's lives (gay marriage bans, don't ask don't tell) that crosses the line into messing with MY shit, and that I simply cannot tolerate.

Is it too late to return to the single cast-off sentence earlier in the thread, which stated basically, "What about MY religious freedom?" For all the squawking Christians do about religious tolerance, they exhibit precisely none on this issue.
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Old 11-19-2006, 05:29 PM   #250
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


I appreciate your post. I know all of these passages, and as I said before I don't believe God doesn't want women teaching. My whole point is the contradiction of quoting Paul as God's law.
Exactly. It irks me when people, or churches for that matter say women can't teach because they take a verse out of context.
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Old 11-19-2006, 05:41 PM   #251
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Originally posted by Irvine511


to be a little more clear (and this is a response to AEON as well) it's not that Buddhism says that when you die that's it, it's that notions of birth and death are irrelevant, or that they only matter in this specific human context.

what does bother me about many understandings and practices of christianity is the obsession with Heaven and making sure that you're Jesus's best buddy when you die -- it's all very Protestant Work Ethic, suffer now and reap later, Arbeit Macht Frei, that sort of thing.

not that i don't live my life in such a manner, because being a good New Englander, i certainly do consciously take a bit of sadistic pleasure in suffering (usually it's related to work, that i'm paying my dues, etc.) with the implicit understanding that it will all pay off later so, patience young Luke.
I think I see what you're getting at with death.
As far as Christianity, a lot of people do see it that way: an obsession with heaven. I guess that's part of it; we'll all be accountable one day. However, there's much more to that I think.
Being a Christian isn't just to get to heaven, it's about the relationship. Some people don't realize it, but Eternity is now, really. Once you become a Christian, the relationship begins. It's terribly exciting. Honestly. And I don't personally see it as a work ethic or suffering at all. There are trials in all of our lives. That's part of being human. The Christian perspective of dealing with that stuff is different though. We're enrouaged to find the joy in it (i know, that seems backwards) because it gives us hope and builds our character. It also is a point to deepen our relationship with God because it's then less about us and more about him.
I just did a story on a guy Friday actually who has MS and he thanks God for it every day because it actually led to him starting a counseling service and he's helped countless couples in their marriage. People often ask "Why do bad things happen to good people?" It's a valid question, but often what's "bad" isn't, at least in the grand scheme of things.
OK, I'm rambling now.

Work can be a tough situation. I recently went through some very tough times with the paper I'm at. I almost lost my job for budget reasons. I understand the "paying your dues" aspect of it, too. The thing is just trying to stay focused and not get dried up with it. Each day's a gift, even if it seems that the gift is one you've had before. I'm sure you've grown a lot as a person through your job. What do you think?
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Old 11-19-2006, 06:33 PM   #252
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Originally posted by Ormus

Ah yes. I was prepared for this exact response, which is why I never like to share any religious experiences here. The "it's not really God, because then it would require me to question my monolithic beliefs" argument. I come from a Catholic background, which...

1) Has openly and resoundingly rejected Biblical fundamentalism.
Well, what good is that?

Quote:

2) Believes that faith and good works are necessary for salvation.
What about the criminal crucified with Christ, whom Jesus told "You will be with me in paradise." Did he do some "good work" while hanging there on the cross?

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"What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,' but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Indeed someone might say, 'You have faith and I have works.' Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works. You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble. Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works. Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, 'Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,' and he was called 'the friend of God.' See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route? For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead." - James 2:14-26
Exactly. I fully agree with what James is saying. Faith without works is a dead faith. However, he's not saying the works save you, he's saying the type of faith that is lived out through works saves you.

Plus, if James is saying works are part of salvation, why would he contradict Paul, who is very clear about grace being the only source of salvation. That's why Christ died -- because we can't do anything to gain righteousness. We'll never be good enough. It's only through Christ's sacrifice that we're saved. God had to come down and die like we do to (and live a sinless life along the way) in order to meet the demands of God's perfect holiness. He's the spotless lamb.

Ephesians 2:8 "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God."

1 Corinthians 28:31 "It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."

Then there's 2Timothy 1:9: "who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time."


Quote:

3) Considers the entire notion of born-again Christianity to be silly cult-like behavior.
John 3:3 "In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

John 3:7 "You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You[a] must be born again.'"

1 Peter 1:23 "For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God."
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Old 11-19-2006, 06:58 PM   #253
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Originally posted by coemgen
Well, what good is that?
It's an acknowledgment that the Bible was written by people just as apt to greed, power, pride, ignorance and sin as any of its readers.

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Exactly. I fully agree with what James is saying. Faith without works is a dead faith. However, he's not saying the works save you, he's saying the type of faith that is lived out through works saves you.

Plus, if James is saying works are part of salvation, why would he contradict Paul, who is very clear about grace being the only source of salvation. That's why Christ died -- because we can't do anything to gain righteousness. We'll never be good enough. It's only through Christ's sacrifice that we're saved. God had to come down and die like we do to (and live a sinless life along the way) in order to meet the demands of God's perfect holiness. He's the spotless lamb.
I've already explained in detail the differences between Jewish and Gentile Christianity, with their sect-defining differences on this subject. The fact that all of your Bible quotes are from Gentile Christian sources is precisely to be expected.

Quote:
John 3:3 "In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

John 3:7 "You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You[a] must be born again.'"

1 Peter 1:23 "For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God."
So I guess that means that everyone prior to the 20th, maybe 19th century, is rotting in hell, because they weren't self-proclaimed "born-again Christians"? It's a metaphor, and American evangelical Protestantism is approximately 175 years old--a drop in the bucket of Christian history.
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Old 11-19-2006, 07:45 PM   #254
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So I guess that means that everyone prior to the 20th, maybe 19th century, is rotting in hell, because they weren't self-proclaimed "born-again Christians"? It's a metaphor, and American evangelical Protestantism is approximately 175 years old--a drop in the bucket of Christian history.
Actually the title "born again" comes from the source Himself - Jesus Christ.

Anyone that has accepted Christ is "born again." So, if you have accepted Christ, Melon, you are born again.
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Old 11-19-2006, 07:49 PM   #255
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It's an acknowledgment that the Bible was written by people just as apt to greed, power, pride, ignorance and sin as any of its readers.


Ahhh. Now we are getting to the heart of the matter. Now your arguments make much more sense in this light.
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