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Old 07-21-2006, 01:32 AM   #31
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Originally posted by maycocksean


Well, see that's just it. When you're used to one VERY CLEAR understanding of the Bible it's hard to comprehend how anyone else could possibly have a different interpretation. There are many people in my denom who are confident that they can take on just about any other Christian in a head-to-head on what Scripture says and come out the "winner." And they wouldn't say it's a matter of "personal interpretation" they'd say it's a matter of correctly understanding God's word. Personally, I don't care much for that approach, but I'm just saying my denomination is about as conservative as they come when it comes to taking the Bible as the word of God.

I'll explain why I don't believe in an eternal hell later, either in a seperate thread or in this one.

In the meantime let me ask you two questions.

1. Do you not consider Catholics Christians?
2. Why is not believing in an eternal hell a "dangerous" belief?
You're right, it is hard for me to comprehend. I try, but it's hard. I don't think it's hard because I'm "close-minded", though. I think it's hard for me to undestand because it doesn't line up with the Bible in a logical way. If Jesus says He is The way, the truth and the light, doesn't that mean it's so? I don't see how anyone can take it any other way, and I've listened to many arguments as to why they believe there are more ways to Heaven.

I don't believe completely contradictory interpretations of the Bible can be correct. That's just illogical. Like I said, there are things in the Bible that aren't black and white. Should I tithe? Should I honor the sabbath? I don't do these things as I feel they're not clearly encouraged in the NT. I do have friends that follow such traditions, and we're completely cool with eachother despite our disagreements. Neither of us believe that those are of paramount importance to the Christian faith.


Now, in comes what I believe are the undeniable truths of the Bible, the most important of which is the core idea of Christianity, that Jesus is the ONLY way to Heaven (as well as the only mediator between us and God. I'll get to that later). Of course there's the ten commandments and various teachings of the gospels as well. There are many beliefs I hold that I consider fundamental truths of the Bible that I canstantly get flack for. i.e. that God is against homosexuality (there goes what was left of my reputation on this site), drunkenness, have a mouth that's constantly spouting obscenities... the list goes on. I believe that these commandments are clearly stated in the Bible. Many people have seemed to convinced themselves and others that alot of these things are acceptable as a child of God, which I think is completely against God's will.


Now back to the idea of differences of interpretation. Like I've said, I do not believe that there are multiple truths to issues in the Bible. I don't believe God's will is for all of us to read His word and walk away with differing views. Yes, it will happen sometimes and it is ok, but I believe it is only ok when it pertains to the grey areas of the Bible (the areas that vary from person to person and situaion to situation) or possibly the areas of less than paramount importance (I'm not gonna assume someone someone isn't a Christian because they have a small problem with a foul mouth).


If some of these "big" laws of the Bible are disobeyed can the person still be a Christian? Of course. That's why Jesus died on the cross for us. Through His grace we are able to break free of the law and rely solely on His grace (thank goodness). The issue of when you can judge also comes in. This seems to be a hot button issue among almost everyone these days. No one wants to be judged, simple as that. It needs to be understood that the Bible is actually 100% OK with Christians making judgments about others as long as it's done RIGHTEOUSLY. If my friend Mike decides to fornicate on a regular basis and doesn't seem to feel guilty about it I can righteously judge him. The truth is that you can judge those who lead consistently sinful lifestyles, and the Bible supports this. Now, if there was no black and white law in the Bible, and if it was a matter of interperetation, why would God tell us to judge anyone, ever?

A true Christian will not want to lead a sinful lifestyle. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit.

I'll hold out on typing more until later... wow!

And to answer your questions...

I believe some Catholics are Christians and others aren't. First thing is, just like any religion there are A TON of poeple who just tag along claiming that they're such and such religion but lead lifestyles that are completely out of line with the teachings of their religion (Jesus didn't die so we could shamelessly throw our sins at the cross). Second, there are alot of beliefs that the majority of Catholics hold that I think are in complete contradiction to some of the fundamental teachings of Christ. I'll address the biggest one. :

I see alot of idoletry in the Catholic Church. Jesus teaches in the gospels that He is THE ONLY mediator between us and God, yet many catholics require that you pray to human beings, some dead, some alive. Now, I can fully acknowledge that Mary must have been a truly amazing woman, but she was still just that, a woman! The Pope is just a man (hides head). I truly believe that this is a huge case against Christ's precence among the religion.

And onto the Hell isue. First of all I believe the notion that there is no Hell cheapens Christ's death. He cmales it clear in many verses that His sacrifice was meant to save us from Hell and to give us a chance to spend eternity with Him. The Bible does not teach that if our name isn't found in the Book of Life that we will be cast into an eternal sleep, it says that we'll be cast into the Lake of Fire, where there will be eternal weeping and gnashing of teeth. Scary? Heck yeah!

We need to come into a personal relationship with Christ not only to try to gain peace and balance in our life on Earth, but to save ourselves from Hell. This statement doesn't bode too well among many people,they say that following a religion just to save yourself from Hell is horrible, but I disagree. I have a really hard time with sin. Heck, everyone does(Hopefully less so than me me ). Now, if I thougt my sins would go unpunished I truly would have a much, MUCH harder time doing what I know is right. The thought that there is no punishment for our sins is NOT an incentive not to sin, but an incentive to go against our fleshly desires when it is more convenient. Unfurtunately, Hell is a very big part of God's teachings.
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Old 07-21-2006, 01:56 AM   #32
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shart1780, your thoughts are your beliefs, and that's fine...

But honestly, your thoughts have betrayed "love thy neighbor", you have foresaken the original sin...

You've traded judgement for love, take a good look would Jesus really take your stance?
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Old 07-21-2006, 02:56 AM   #33
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Can you explain to me how I've traded judgment for love? I don't really understand.
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Old 07-21-2006, 03:49 AM   #34
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The Bible isn't literally authorative.It takes an interpretation, a well read interpretation to make sense of most if it, does it not?

I think it's fair to say a literal, fundamentalist approach to that, in light of everything else is appropriate to question and makes every sense that you'd have tangents of all kinds branching off the word of 'God' when really, it's just inspired word of God.

We all have epiphanies of our own, anyone of them could become a different branch off of this tree. Makes sense to me.

If you had a singular, absolute authoritive version, you'd never have divisions, if the divisions are neccessary to teach multiple groups, then how could you ever take a fundamentalist approach?
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Old 07-21-2006, 05:23 AM   #35
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I don't believe the Bible itself is a loose interpretation of God's word, but a literal one. It's very hard for me to believe that God chose men to write down His word, hoping they wouldn't fudge it up. I can't imagine God looking at the writings of the men He chose and saying "Aw man, I thought I made a good decision with these guys but they fudged it all up!". I believe that some humans have taken God's word and twisted it in such a way that justifies a lifestyle that is truly unsatisfactory to God.
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Old 07-21-2006, 05:28 AM   #36
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If we take is as given that it is the literal word of God then what was created first: animals or humans?
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Old 07-21-2006, 08:15 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean


I'm especially interested in the answer to this question, because living in a predominantly Catholic country, I get the impression, that Catholics understand that the Church still calls the shots (though it seems a lot of Catholics just kind of ignore those shots, and just do what they want anyway). I mean you still don't have Catholics going off and starting their own versions of Catholicism? Or do you? I don't know. . .
Yeah, I'm wondering too because I really know very little about the theological platforms of the Catholic church in the past several hundred years. To me it seems like most of the Catholics I know believe and practice the same stuff as me, even quite specific theological interpretations, yet the only "Catholic" thing is that they attend a Catholic church and practice the seven sacraments (rather than just our two).
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Old 07-21-2006, 08:20 AM   #38
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


You've traded judgement for love
Yeah, no kidding. Especially the part where he said tithing (essentially, giving back for the self-less benefit of others) is not of importance, but speaking out against homosexualit (essentially, descriminating), IS important?

Shart, I gotta say, I admire your persistance, but your theology makes NO sense!
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Old 07-21-2006, 08:22 AM   #39
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Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
Shart, I gotta say, I admire your persistance, but your theology makes NO sense!
Not if you realize that such theology is based solely on maintaining the status quo and not anything else.

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Old 07-21-2006, 08:38 AM   #40
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Not if you realize that such theology is based solely on maintaining the status quo and not anything else.

Melon
True, but isn't that flawed too (I mean, logically, besides the theology being flawed)? Because if he believes in a literal interpretation of the Bible, and his "literal" interpretations have an underlying motive to preserve the status quo of THIS time, you can you even HAVE a literal interpretation since it would merely describe the status quo at the time(s) the Bible was written?
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Old 07-21-2006, 08:49 AM   #41
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Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic


Yeah, I'm wondering too because I really know very little about the theological platforms of the Catholic church in the past several hundred years. To me it seems like most of the Catholics I know believe and practice the same stuff as me, even quite specific theological interpretations, yet the only "Catholic" thing is that they attend a Catholic church and practice the seven sacraments (rather than just our two).
When I was 10 I asked my Mom what the difference between the Catholic church and the Protestant church was. She said, "We have the Pope."
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Old 07-21-2006, 08:53 AM   #42
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Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
True, but isn't that flawed too (I mean, logically, besides the theology being flawed)? Because if he believes in a literal interpretation of the Bible, and his "literal" interpretations have an underlying motive to preserve the status quo of THIS time, you can you even HAVE a literal interpretation since it would merely describe the status quo at the time(s) the Bible was written?
The concept of a "literal interpretation of the Bible" is also a smokescreen for maintaining the status quo of tradition and romantic fantasies of what that tradition is. Why else would there be genuine hostility towards those who have critically analyzed the Bible and used the source text to explain that a traditional interpretation is incorrect? I would say that the source text is, theoretically, a more reliable indicator for what "the word of God" is, rather than tradition.

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Old 07-21-2006, 09:09 AM   #43
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Does the Roman Catholic Church use more literal interpretations of the Bible? I was going to add "compared to Protestants", but a lot of Ps are fundamentalists, so that doesn't work! Do Catholics believe in the inerrancy of the Bible?

I'm trying to understand the differences, but there don't appear to be any.......?
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Old 07-21-2006, 09:18 AM   #44
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Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
Does the Roman Catholic Church use more literal interpretations of the Bible? I was going to add "compared to Protestants", but a lot of Ps are fundamentalists, so that doesn't work! Do Catholics believe in the inerrancy of the Bible?
They don't. They believe it is divinely inspired, but human written. It is, as such, subject to human biases and errors like any other human writing.

To fill that gap, the Vatican likes to rely on church tradition that has been fostered over the last 2000 years. However, I find that so many of them are so preposterous as to be silly. After all, even tradition is subject to human biases and errors.

In practice, both Protestants and Catholics are as tradition-stubborn as the Pharisees that they condemned 2,000 years ago.

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Old 07-21-2006, 11:34 AM   #45
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By loosely condemning practices of both Protestant and Catholic churches, what is left unsaid is the open door to modify the application of Scripture to meet our current needs. Is this not a different approach to doing what is right in our own eyes?
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