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Old 03-05-2004, 01:09 AM   #91
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Old 03-05-2004, 02:42 AM   #92
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Wow, this thread really got going tonight.

I'm agreeing with martha, BVS, and Dread.

I just hate the idea of heaven being some elite little club where only certain people can be allowed in-that's what some Christians I've come across in this country have made it seem like, and I don't like that. That doesn't sound like something an all-loving God would do.

Just out of curiosity, to the Christians out there, what would happen if another religion's god was the one we all should've been worshipping this time? What would you do then?

God himself has not come down and shown us he truly exists, so is it any wonder then why some don't believe in him? I don't think he'd reject non-Christians because they didn't know for sure, just as I don't think Allah would reject non-Muslims because they didn't know for sure.

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Old 03-05-2004, 02:53 AM   #93
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Someone who believes in God but doesn't attend church, or read the bible is not going? You have to join the club to get a seat?

Someone who spends quite a portion of their life looking for God, always believing but not quite feeling the relationship is there, is not going?

What is the definition (anyone's) on Thou Shalt Not Judge. Thinking to yourself "that Mormon/Buddhist/Muslim/JW isn't going to heaven as they haven't found the path. The path declared by Jesus himself". Is this not thinking for God? I've understood no mere man can or should assume to know His intentions. I see judgement, or what I refer to it, when this kind of thing happens. The speaker orates based on their views and thus looks to be saying 'this is how it is going to be chaps'. No one knows what His plan is. A few hundred pages of a book don't explain what I think is one of the most vast and complex plans. Saying this or anything along these lines is based on someone's very own personal view and relationship with God as they see it, and making a judgement on someone else's on God's behalf. No one knows what God has planned for me. To say they'd know, I find highly presumptuous. We really never know God's will, right?

Calling on sin. Let God judge me. Same principle as above I supose.


/random thoughts
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Old 03-05-2004, 03:42 AM   #94
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Originally posted by Angela Harlem
Someone who believes in God but doesn't attend church, or read the bible is not going? You have to join the club to get a seat?

Someone who spends quite a portion of their life looking for God, always believing but not quite feeling the relationship is there, is not going?

What is the definition (anyone's) on Thou Shalt Not Judge. Thinking to yourself "that Mormon/Buddhist/Muslim/JW isn't going to heaven as they haven't found the path. The path declared by Jesus himself". Is this not thinking for God? I've understood no mere man can or should assume to know His intentions. I see judgement, or what I refer to it, when this kind of thing happens. The speaker orates based on their views and thus looks to be saying 'this is how it is going to be chaps'. No one knows what His plan is. A few hundred pages of a book don't explain what I think is one of the most vast and complex plans. Saying this or anything along these lines is based on someone's very own personal view and relationship with God as they see it, and making a judgement on someone else's on God's behalf. No one knows what God has planned for me. To say they'd know, I find highly presumptuous. We really never know God's will, right?

Calling on sin. Let God judge me. Same principle as above I supose.


/random thoughts
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. Nicely said.

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Old 03-05-2004, 07:04 AM   #95
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No one is saying He can't or won't. The issue is, "what is your source of Truth?"
The Bible....

Of course if you believe that man is the important deciding factor in this, there is nothing I can do to change your mind.

It is very much like Baptism. One Theologian that I became friends with in college said it was a SIN for a Catholic to be rebaptized as an adult, a practice that has come abouit because some denominations do not believe in infant Baptism. The theologian basically asked us the question "Who is responsible for the power of the baptism, the person or God? If you believe someone has to be realized you are basically saying GOD is powerless in this Sacrament. However, if you believe that Baptism is more dependant on God than man, it does not matter when you are Baptized, but to do it again is a SIN."

I believe this applies here. The source of my truth is in the global picture. Jesus was with everyone that needed forgiveness, Jew and Gentile. I do not believe that we, just like Baptism, can limit the power of God by taking A VERSE out of a global book in the Bible and declare it an aqbsolute truth that there is ONLY ONE WAY, or that GOD extends his forgiveness to one group of people.

This is no different than the belief in the TRINITY. You can make a circumstantial case that the TRINITY exists. However, like the trinity my belief is based completely on FAITH.
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Old 03-05-2004, 07:16 AM   #96
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I could go on.....
You could...and I could begin with each one of these, and we can disuss the intent of the whole entire passage, the people who were writing it, and the reason the letter or Gospel was written. Rather than lines taken out of it.

I am pretty sure that the followers of Jesus were not running around saying that Buddah is the way. No different than you or I may hope to see a Democracy in Iraq as opposed to another Dictator. We are preaching Democracy. It is pretty much logical that Jesus is the way.

Nothing I have said indicates that he ultimately is not the way. My contention is again, that the Salvation that Jesus extends is not dependant on mankind. The Salvation that Jesus offers is available to all and Jesus, being the doorman does get to decide.

The Holy Spirit does not just in Christians alone. If you believe that you can see so much of God in children, then how does that happen. The children I see show much of Gods love towards each other in many ways. There are so many who are NOT Christian. It is impossible for me to say they are not part of God's plan nor that they are welcome in the kingdom because they are Christian or NOT.

There is only one Judge. He is Merciful. He is Forgiving. He is Understanding.
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Old 03-05-2004, 09:59 AM   #97
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So.


Some Christians believe that only those who profess a faith in Jesus as their Saviour will go to Heaven. Some Christians believe that professing faith and good behavior will get you there. Some Christians believe that decent behavior will get you there, even without faith in Jesus.


Did I get that right?
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Old 03-05-2004, 10:20 AM   #98
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Originally posted by martha
So.


Some Christians believe that only those who profess a faith in Jesus as their Saviour will go to Heaven. Some Christians believe that professing faith and good behavior will get you there. Some Christians believe that decent behavior will get you there, even without faith in Jesus.


Did I get that right?
yes, but replace "professing faith" with accepting Jesus and His grace (Profession of Faith is more of a ceremonial thing churches do, it doesn't = salvation).
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Old 03-05-2004, 10:39 AM   #99
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Originally posted by Moonlit_Angel
I just hate the idea of heaven being some elite little club where only certain people can be allowed in-that's what some Christians I've come across in this country have made it seem like, and I don't like that. That doesn't sound like something an all-loving God would do.
Why in the world do you portray this as a elite little club. We are discussing a grace that is open to EVERYONE! Not one believer or nonbeliever can prevent you from accepting God's gift of grace. I'm not sure what you are hating here.

Quote:
Originally posted by Moonlit_Angel
Just out of curiosity, to the Christians out there, what would happen if another religion's god was the one we all should've been worshipping this time? What would you do then?
We can get different speculative answers for each speculative scenario we can think up. The discussion is based on what has been revealed to us.

Quote:
Originally posted by Moonlit_Angel
God himself has not come down and shown us he truly exists, so is it any wonder then why some don't believe in him?
Well, I am sure things will change when Jesus does return. Until then, we are left with this:

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." Romans 1:20


Quote:
Originally posted by Moonlit_Angel
I don't think he'd reject non-Christians because they didn't know for sure,
Is it fair to say that we will be judged based on what has been revealed to us?


Quote:
Originally posted by Moonlit_Angel
just as I don't think Allah would reject non-Muslims because they didn't know for sure.
Is this based on your knowledge of Islam or your general conceptions of God?
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Old 03-05-2004, 10:48 AM   #100
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You could...and I could begin with each one of these, and we can disuss the intent of the whole entire passage, the people who were writing it, and the reason the letter or Gospel was written. Rather than lines taken out of it.
Dread, this is not a matter of potentially taking a single verse out of context. Is it fair to say that if the same idea or concept is repeated numerous times in Scripture, it can be taken as Truth?

I am just as suspicious as you if someone is making claims based on a single verse, especially if the verse is taken out of context or conflicts with other verses in the Bible. But if the idea is repeated over and over, I think it is pretty safe to follow.

Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
Nothing I have said indicates that he ultimately is not the way. My contention is again, that the Salvation that Jesus extends is not dependant on mankind. The Salvation that Jesus offers is available to all and Jesus, being the doorman does get to decide.
I think we are both saying the same thing.

Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
The Holy Spirit does not just in Christians alone.
Curious, but is there anything in Scripture which supports this idea?

Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
If you believe that you can see so much of God in children, then how does that happen. The children I see show much of Gods love towards each other in many ways. There are so many who are NOT Christian. It is impossible for me to say they are not part of God's plan nor that they are welcome in the kingdom because they are Christian or NOT.
This is why we, as adults, are told to approach God through the eyes of a child.

Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
There is only one Judge. He is Merciful. He is Forgiving. He is Understanding.
Again, we agree.
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Old 03-05-2004, 10:54 AM   #101
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Originally posted by Angela Harlem
Someone who believes in God but doesn't attend church, or read the bible is not going? You have to join the club to get a seat?
Absolutely not. Church attendance or "joining a club" is not a requirement.


Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
What is the definition (anyone's) on Thou Shalt Not Judge. Thinking to yourself "that Mormon/Buddhist/Muslim/JW isn't going to heaven as they haven't found the path. The path declared by Jesus himself". Is this not thinking for God?
No. God alone is the judge. But God has given us His Word and we are all free to compare this to any other beliefs. I think it is reasonable for me to compare the Bible with Mormon/Buddhist/Muslim/JW texts and say they don't match.
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Old 03-05-2004, 10:59 AM   #102
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Isn't it enough to say that none of us deserves Heaven, since we are all sinners, and that Jesus made possible Heaven for all of us? Heaven, after all, according (I think) to most contemporary theologians, is not a "place" or a "final destination"; it is eternal, joyful union with the God we love and Who loves us. For nonbelievers, following that line of logic, it may not even be an issue; why would a nonbeliever want an eternal, joyful union with the God they don't believe in?

This is NOT saying that non-Christians, agnostics, or atheists go to hell. It's not even saying they *won't* have some kind of positive afterlife experience. But I do tend to believe that heaven is not, in fact, a place; it is an experience which is logically limited to persons who believe in God. Do I believe I could be wrong on this? Oh, yes; I've changed my views on the afterlife a lot. Is it inconceivable that an all-loving God would invite nonbelievers to that kind of afterlife even after death? No, not at all. God can do anything. That's why She's God.

What I don't understand, though, is why a non-believer would even be interested in Heaven. Heaven is about hanging out with God for eternity. I don't even know if I believe in hell and I certainly can't predict who might go there--though I tend to believe that nothing bad will happen to people who were good in this life, regardless of their faith tradition or lack thereof. Maybe there's a different spiritual reality similar to Heaven for persons who belong to other faiths.

Anyway, after all this rambling, bottom line for me is this: Anyone can get to Heaven, not because any of us have done enough good things (because I don't think we have), but because Jesus loved us all as we are and died for our sins so we could then be "good enough" for Heaven. (This is not to say that an unrepentant axe murderer, say, who calls himself or herself a Christian would necessarily get into heaven--but then again, who knows?) Non-believers may or may not get to heaven; I have no idea how this works but tend to believe there has to be another option (i.e. besides hell).

Wow, I really need to work on sorting out some of these things in my head...
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Old 03-05-2004, 11:03 AM   #103
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Isn't it enough to say that none of us deserves Heaven, since we are all sinners,
This is where the views diverge. There are many who reject the idea that they are sinners or are in need of Salvation.
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Old 03-05-2004, 12:48 PM   #104
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Funny, but God didn't say having more people on your side will get you to heaven.
Where did I say this? Thanks for imagining things.

I was pointing out that there are people on this thread like martha who were wondering about where "Christians" stand wrt this issue. Others on this thread were issuing blanket statements about "Christians" without mentioning a little something about their views actually being minority Christian views. That's what is important, I think. Because what I see happening is that Christianity is getting hijacked by the more evangelical denominations, when in reality, they are not at all representative of the majority Christian view. The views among the different denominations are becoming so different and so extreme in some cases that I don't believe it is possible whatsoever to have a united Christianity.
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Old 03-05-2004, 01:00 PM   #105
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I was pointing out that there are people on this thread like martha who were wondering about where "Christians" stand wrt this issue. Others on this thread were issuing blanket statements about "Christians" without mentioning a little something about their views actually being minority Christian views. That's what is important, I think. Because what I see happening is that Christianity is getting hijacked by the more evangelical denominations, when in reality, they are not at all representative of the majority Christian view. The views among the different denominations are becoming so different and so extreme in some cases that I don't believe it is possible whatsoever to have a united Christianity.
Hijacked? A group of Christians are explaining the basis of their faith using Scripture.

I guess my question is: How do you define a "Christian"?
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