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Old 12-06-2004, 09:41 AM   #196
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Originally posted by Irvine511


#1: sounds suspiciously like my "heart and mind" argument.

#2: ditto #1 -- you're doing a great job of proving my point that the heart knows more than Scripture when it comes to interpreting the messiness of everyday life

#3: lovely! time for lunch.

#4: because it seems to absolve you from so much, and is extended only to Christians. Buddhists can't be saved, neither can Hindus, neither can Jews or Muslims. i hate that idea. it seems like Christianity proving it's exclusivity to itself.
#1: heart and mind are important. God gave them to you for a reason. the heart is a useful tool to help you know when you have sinned (as we have been discussing). the mind allows you to read and understand scripture.

#2: the heart does not know more than scripture. these feelings do not occur independent from God. they are feelings caused by the Holy Spirit to tell you that they need repentance. these things are found in scripture. i know you say scripture doesn't mean much to you, but you brought it up.

#3: still a couple hours yet for me. maybe i will go get some qdoba's, i could really go for a chicken burrito with guac right now.

#4: you got it. "no one comes to the Father except by me." i don't recall the Christ ever saying that if it feels good to you, it must be right.
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Old 12-06-2004, 10:14 AM   #197
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Everyone on earth is welcome to accept the Christian faith. It doesn't matter what you've done in the past. There is no sin that can't be forgiven, unless you refuse to ask for forgiveness. Do some people misuse God? Yes, for very stupid reasons. God has given us far greater freedom than we rightfully deserve. The world is a cold hearted place, but we can decide on our own terms whether we will believe or doubt.
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Old 12-06-2004, 10:43 AM   #198
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andendum to #4 above:as macfistowannabe points out above, it absolves you from everything. sorry if you find that to be offensive or off putting, but i find it to be terribly beautiful. it it didn't absolve me from all of my sins, i'd still be going to hell.

also, i still don't see where the narcissism is involved. this is not about a love of self. it is a love of God, and that love being reciprocated back to the believer by God. this is as far away from narcissism as i can imagine. however, this "hearts and minds" argument that you make on the other hand, seems like you are placing yourself above everything else. it seems to celebrate the if i it feels good it must be right mentality. seems to be rather close to self-love to me...
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Old 12-06-2004, 10:54 AM   #199
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#1: heart and mind are important. God gave them to you for a reason. the heart is a useful tool to help you know when you have sinned (as we have been discussing). the mind allows you to read and understand scripture.

#2: the heart does not know more than scripture. these feelings do not occur independent from God. they are feelings caused by the Holy Spirit to tell you that they need repentance. these things are found in scripture. i know you say scripture doesn't mean much to you, but you brought it up.

#3: still a couple hours yet for me. maybe i will go get some qdoba's, i could really go for a chicken burrito with guac right now.

#4: you got it. "no one comes to the Father except by me." i don't recall the Christ ever saying that if it feels good to you, it must be right.

#1: and what do i do when the heart and mind god has given men cause me to question Scripture, the Church, and the way people use Scripture to justify their own prejudices? you're right, Scripture doesn't mean much to me. it might be interesting, but the amount of stock some people of faith put into it i find entirely misguided -- it's a text, and should be treated as such.

#2: the heart is alive in 2004, Scripture isn't, unless we bring it to life through our own set of lenses and prisms. all reading is prejudiced and, by definition, interpretation. the way in which you're using Scripture is maddeningly closed. got a question about Scripture? Scripture has an answer about your question about it. if, as you say, "these feelings do not occur independent from God," then that's great -- i'm using these God-given critical faculties to understand the message, and when it directly contradicts my real world experience, or i hear people using Jesus's description of man and women being made for each other as a basis for anti-gay discrimination, then thank God warning bells go off! i guess he did have a plan, after all ...

#3: had a turkey and pesto sandwich from Whole Foods. yum. and the point was that your pointing to scripture as proof means little. what do you say to people who cannot, intellectually or morally, accept literal interpretations of Scripture as they would a dictionary?

#4: the "feels good" part of that is neither here nor there -- what on earth are you talking about. i also cannot accept, rationally or morally, that a Hindu child born on the streets of Calcutta who has never heard of Jesus Christ cannot be saved by the terms you have set forth. this is one of those letter of the law vs. spirit of the law. it makes perfect sense to me that good works can add up to a life compatible with what, you say, one who accepts Christ as savior is rumored to have, by definition, lived. i'm still not comfortable with that -- that you'll sin, but fully understand your sin and be forgiven, if you really accept Christ. that sounds like another closed, North Korean-like system to me, kind of a "he leads because he is great and he is great because he leads" argument.

if the basis of your faith is unquestioned acceptance of Scripture as Truth, then there's little to be argued about here. you either accept it or you don't, and if you do and this is your Ground Zero for understanding the world, then there's not much to discuss. there are rational and moral arguments to be made for Christianity that appeal to the head and the heart, but i don't see you making those. i see you asserting the infallability of a certain set of facts, and that's it.

which you're perfectly free to do, and i respect your right to do so, but i think this is where you're finding resistance from some of us who don't hold said facts to be quite as incontrovertable as you do.
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Old 12-06-2004, 11:00 AM   #200
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
#4: the "feels good" part of that is neither here nor there -- what on earth are you talking about. i also cannot accept, rationally or morally, that a Hindu child born on the streets of Calcutta who has never heard of Jesus Christ cannot be saved by the terms you have set forth. this is one of those letter of the law vs. spirit of the law. it makes perfect sense to me that good works can add up to a life compatible with what, you say, one who accepts Christ as savior is rumored to have, by definition, lived. i'm still not comfortable with that -- that you'll sin, but fully understand your sin and be forgiven, if you really accept Christ. that sounds like another closed, North Korean-like system to me, kind of a "he leads because he is great and he is great because he leads" argument.
Personally, I feel that those who have never heard of Jesus Christ will be judged similarly to those who lived before Christ's time. Yes, this might seem like a blanket statement, but it's a thought I like to consider.
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Old 12-06-2004, 11:26 AM   #201
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Originally posted by Irvine511



#1: and what do i do when the heart and mind god has given men cause me to question Scripture, the Church, and the way people use Scripture to justify their own prejudices? you're right, Scripture doesn't mean much to me. it might be interesting, but the amount of stock some people of faith put into it i find entirely misguided -- it's a text, and should be treated as such.

#2: the heart is alive in 2004, Scripture isn't, unless we bring it to life through our own set of lenses and prisms. all reading is prejudiced and, by definition, interpretation. the way in which you're using Scripture is maddeningly closed. got a question about Scripture? Scripture has an answer about your question about it. if, as you say, "these feelings do not occur independent from God," then that's great -- i'm using these God-given critical faculties to understand the message, and when it directly contradicts my real world experience, or i hear people using Jesus's description of man and women being made for each other as a basis for anti-gay discrimination, then thank God warning bells go off! i guess he did have a plan, after all ...

#3: had a turkey and pesto sandwich from Whole Foods. yum. and the point was that your pointing to scripture as proof means little. what do you say to people who cannot, intellectually or morally, accept literal interpretations of Scripture as they would a dictionary?

#4: the "feels good" part of that is neither here nor there -- what on earth are you talking about. i also cannot accept, rationally or morally, that a Hindu child born on the streets of Calcutta who has never heard of Jesus Christ cannot be saved by the terms you have set forth. this is one of those letter of the law vs. spirit of the law. it makes perfect sense to me that good works can add up to a life compatible with what, you say, one who accepts Christ as savior is rumored to have, by definition, lived. i'm still not comfortable with that -- that you'll sin, but fully understand your sin and be forgiven, if you really accept Christ. that sounds like another closed, North Korean-like system to me, kind of a "he leads because he is great and he is great because he leads" argument.

if the basis of your faith is unquestioned acceptance of Scripture as Truth, then there's little to be argued about here. you either accept it or you don't, and if you do and this is your Ground Zero for understanding the world, then there's not much to discuss. there are rational and moral arguments to be made for Christianity that appeal to the head and the heart, but i don't see you making those. i see you asserting the infallability of a certain set of facts, and that's it.

which you're perfectly free to do, and i respect your right to do so, but i think this is where you're finding resistance from some of us who don't hold said facts to be quite as incontrovertable as you do.
#1: you gave me free reign to assert the scriptures as fact, so i'm going to do that. i'm also willing to face that resistance the will inevitably be caused by thus action on my part, but here goes..."Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1 obviously not everyone who claims to be from God is, that is when you use your mind to decide who is and who is not. (also, read on a couple more verses to verse 3, and you'll find an assertion more "offensive" than any i have made here...)

#2: huh, it seems to me that all human belief systems operates in this fashion. got a question about science (like how can evolution and the big bang be asserted in the face of the laws of thermodynamics) science has an answer. also see #1.

#3: sounds like a good sanwich, though i fail to see how a sandwich, or the fact that it's lunchtime made your point lol. i would ask how you can take the dicitonary literally? it is a collection of words written down by men. yet, we take them to be an authority on the english language.

#4: excuse me if i am making an untrue statement here, but the crux of many of my opponents arguments is that if someone finds a belief system that is generally good and kind-hearted, and then adheres to it, then they should get into heaven as a result. that was my "feels good" point.

the child in calcutta...first off, i would say that this is the purpose of evangelizing, that is to make sure that everyone has the chance to hear the gospel. secondly, i also am saddened by the fact that there may be some who don't get this chance for whatever reason. i would hope from the depths of my heart that God, in his infinite wisdom and grace, would have mercy on these individuals. however, that is not something which God has revealed about himself, so i cannot with any certainty what becomes of these people. (however the Bible is EXTREMELY clear on those who have the gospel presented to them and still reject it)

as to the infallibility of scripture, i'm sorry, but if one does not hold the Bible to be the inspired word of God, it seems like the basis for faith is then gone. if it is just a collections of moralistic stories, fables, and essays on how to lead a good life, then i fail to see how the promises of salvation and eternal life in heaven can still hold any sway. once you do away with the inerrancy of scripture, atheism makes a whole lot more sense...
that being said, i do confess the Bible to be the inspired word of God.
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Old 12-06-2004, 12:28 PM   #202
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Given the example of Christ reaching out beyond God's chosen people, I would say I have plenty of reason to believe God's Grace extends beyond my ability to comprehend without seeing it in writing explicitly.
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Old 12-06-2004, 12:32 PM   #203
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I think you can believe the Bible to not be the *literal* word of God (as in, word-for-word, still literally word-for-word true here in 2004) and still be Christian and still believe in God and Jesus. To say otherwise is, I think, to leave such a huge portion of Christians out of the umbrella, so to speak--Roman Catholics and (I believe) members of the Orthodox churches believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, true, but they also believe in some interpretation, plus certain dogmas that are extra-Scriptural (e.g. the Immaculate Conception).
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Old 12-06-2004, 12:39 PM   #204
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Originally posted by paxetaurora
I think you can believe the Bible to not be the *literal* word of God (as in, word-for-word, still literally word-for-word true here in 2004) and still be Christian and still believe in God and Jesus.
I believe this as well, quite a few doctorines support what you're saying.
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Old 12-06-2004, 12:39 PM   #205
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Originally posted by paxetaurora
I think you can believe the Bible to not be the *literal* word of God (as in, word-for-word, still literally word-for-word true here in 2004) and still be Christian and still believe in God and Jesus. To say otherwise is, I think, to leave such a huge portion of Christians out of the umbrella, so to speak--Roman Catholics and (I believe) members of the Orthodox churches believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, true, but they also believe in some interpretation, plus certain dogmas that are extra-Scriptural (e.g. the Immaculate Conception).
okay, maybe that is the word i've been looking for inerrant. i've spoken with my pastor on this subject. here's what he told me:

"Of course it;s not so simple as an all or nothing acceptance for many people. There are many felicitious inconsistencies. Certainly there is still much to discuss. To say there isn't makes one suspicious of fundamantalismfundamentalism is a hugh problem for the "radical right" it is characterized by a literalness that doesn't hold true with the context of the scriptures. Hermenuetics is THE key. There is no objective approach to teh Scriptures. It still remains true that everything will break down without the infallibility of the Scriptures."
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Old 12-06-2004, 12:44 PM   #206
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I think you can believe the Bible to not be the *literal* word of God (as in, word-for-word, still literally word-for-word true here in 2004) and still be Christian and still believe in God and Jesus. To say otherwise is, I think, to leave such a huge portion of Christians out of the umbrella, so to speak--Roman Catholics and (I believe) members of the Orthodox churches believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, true, but they also believe in some interpretation, plus certain dogmas that are extra-Scriptural (e.g. the Immaculate Conception).


bravo. exactly. what i've basically come to the conclusion of is that it is pointless to argue when someone believes that their interpretation of the bible -- in English -- is the irrefutable word of god, and thus all faith flows from that. it shuts down discussion when you get to an "is vs isn't" kind of debate.

i know certainty feels good, but it leads you to all sorts of bad places.
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Old 12-06-2004, 12:46 PM   #207
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Originally posted by Dreadsox
Given the example of Christ reaching out beyond God's chosen people, I would say I have plenty of reason to believe God's Grace extends beyond my ability to comprehend without seeing it in writing explicitly.
your last sentence is what i was trying to convey. that it may be entirely possible, but it is nowhere explicitly stated that it is, so i can't believe anything about God other than what he has chosen to reveal of himself. also, when Christ reached out He was the gospel incarnate. the example that he set was that we should "go and make disciples of all nations" by bringing them them the gospel, that they may know Christ. at this stage in history, we no longer have the gospel incarnate in our presence, we have the Word, so that is how we follow Christs example. by making sure all have the oppurtunity to know Christ.
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Old 12-06-2004, 12:52 PM   #208
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your last sentence is what i was trying to convey. that it may be entirely possible, but it is nowhere explicitly stated that it is, so i can't believe anything about God other than what he has chosen to reveal of himself. also, when Christ reached out He was the gospel incarnate. the example that he set was that we should "go and make disciples of all nations" by bringing them them the gospel, that they may know Christ. at this stage in history, we no longer have the gospel incarnate in our presence, we have the Word, so that is how we follow Christs example. by making sure all have the oppurtunity to know Christ.
My point is, that it is revealed to me. I have faith that this is one of the important examples provided by Christ.

You may need it explicitly. My faith and belief leads me to a different place than you.

I also think one of the messages of Christ is the dangers of man taking things to such a literal extreme that we are no longer doing God's will. There are plenty of examples of Christ standing up to the powers that be and their interpretations of the LAW.

The literalness does not equal righteousness.
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Old 12-06-2004, 12:56 PM   #209
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#1: you gave me free reign to assert the scriptures as fact, so i'm going to do that. i'm also willing to face that resistance the will inevitably be caused by thus action on my part, but here goes..."Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1 obviously not everyone who claims to be from God is, that is when you use your mind to decide who is and who is not. (also, read on a couple more verses to verse 3, and you'll find an assertion more "offensive" than any i have made here...)

#2: huh, it seems to me that all human belief systems operates in this fashion. got a question about science (like how can evolution and the big bang be asserted in the face of the laws of thermodynamics) science has an answer. also see #1.

#3: sounds like a good sanwich, though i fail to see how a sandwich, or the fact that it's lunchtime made your point lol. i would ask how you can take the dicitonary literally? it is a collection of words written down by men. yet, we take them to be an authority on the english language.

#4: excuse me if i am making an untrue statement here, but the crux of many of my opponents arguments is that if someone finds a belief system that is generally good and kind-hearted, and then adheres to it, then they should get into heaven as a result. that was my "feels good" point.

the child in calcutta...first off, i would say that this is the purpose of evangelizing, that is to make sure that everyone has the chance to hear the gospel. secondly, i also am saddened by the fact that there may be some who don't get this chance for whatever reason. i would hope from the depths of my heart that God, in his infinite wisdom and grace, would have mercy on these individuals. however, that is not something which God has revealed about himself, so i cannot with any certainty what becomes of these people. (however the Bible is EXTREMELY clear on those who have the gospel presented to them and still reject it)

as to the infallibility of scripture, i'm sorry, but if one does not hold the Bible to be the inspired word of God, it seems like the basis for faith is then gone. if it is just a collections of moralistic stories, fables, and essays on how to lead a good life, then i fail to see how the promises of salvation and eternal life in heaven can still hold any sway. once you do away with the inerrancy of scripture, atheism makes a whole lot more sense...
that being said, i do confess the Bible to be the inspired word of God.

i think a good literature or creative writing class would be very beneficial. not that i think Scripture is either, but i do think it would benefit everyone greatly to understand the bias inherent to any and all language and just how we go about creating our own meanings in our own image. essentially, there are no "correct" readings of anything -- all we can hope for are valid, defensible readings that are necessarily in dialogue with one another.

i feel as if much of the justification of your faith, and that "faith alone" clause, flows from this, and for someone like me this becomes a bit of an impossible situation.

#2: science is, like reading, a cultural product, and any scientist worth his/her salt would never assert the infallability of a scientific finding in the same manner with which you are asserting the scripture. also, since the basis of religion is *faith* -- you choose to believe, rather than wait to be shown -- i'd think that humility would come much more easily to you. faith is predicated upon doubt, for if you had no doubt it wouldn't be faith, then, would it?

#3: you missed the point again. people treating the bible as if it were a dictionary. however, on the subjects of dictionaries, ever noticed how meanings of words shift and change over time? how new words are added as society changes and things are invented? it's malleable, and subject to reinterpretation and revision, and any good post-modernist knows that words only reference other words, so therefore it's a self-referential, closed system that serves as an authority, but we know it's subjective and not Truth. it's what we use as truth -- for spelling, for word meaning -- but it is not Truth.

#4: sounds more appealing to me than the "i'm saved and you're not" attitude. though, according to your rules, the vast majority of people on earth are not saved because most people do not accept Jesus as their personal savior. maybe if you loosened up your reading and focused on the message rather than the words you could find a way to save that child in Calcutta?

your last paragraph is how many people see the bible. and you seem to repeat, over and over, "salvation" and "eternal life" as if they were gifts to be won. just an observation.
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Old 12-06-2004, 12:58 PM   #210
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The literalness does not equal righteousness.

killer line.
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