Saturday, August 07, 2010

Beginnings

Once again, this blog assumes a Christian perspective.

When a person makes a conscious decision to follow Christianity, he/she benefits from reading the Gospels first.
The first Gospel I read was John. To understand anything about God, we must begin with creation.

John 1:1-5 sums up the beginning of God's creation in very simple, succinct terms:


1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2The same was in the beginning with God.

3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

4In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Let's look at it this a little closer.

1In the beginning was the Word,


The beginning of what? The beginning of all creation. Before anything was ever made there was nothing but God, who we understand to be a living entity and can live unto himself with no other source of power. He is is life, He is energy. He is fair, He is just, He is sovereign.

He is God.


Humans best understand this period as a great void. It also sets the stage for Him to become the figure we worship most of all. For without a creation to owe it's existence to, there can be no God...only a lifeforce that is without meaning.

Because of this, He began His creation with a Word. He spoke to a word to create the Word, which we understand to mean Christ. This tells me that Christ was pre-existent to the rest of creation.
and the Word was with God,


How many years, centuries, or even millenniums did they exist together in fellowship, before anything else was created? We have no idea, but I would not be surprised to learn it was many. Laying out blueprints for such an elaborate plan as we believe existed in God's mind, was not a task that He would hurry. There would be no mistakes.

and the Word was God.

This is where I differ with most all of the Christian theologians. This is where many say this proves that Christ was really God.

Oneness Pentecostals use it, trinitarians use it too. But I see this as meaning that before anything else was ever made, Christ (the first and only direct creation ever made by God Himself) was at one time just a thought in His Father's Mind.

He was a thought, the word was spoken, and he became a being that got his energy source directly from the power of God, His Father.

2The same was in the beginning with God.


The Word, Christ, was in the beginning with God. Dwelt and inhabited the same space.

3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.


This means, all things that came after the creation of Christ. The inhabitants in Heaven were made by Him, the inhabitants of the earth were made by Him. God was the lifeforce and the architect, Christ was the builder. The angels, the heavens, the earth, mankind, and the beasts were all made by Him under the authority of God and according to God's specifications.

4In him was life; and the life was the light of men.


Life flowed from God into Christ, and it shined. The light was created for the specific purpose of becoming a searcher of souls, and a leader to mankind. This life, this light that flowed so freely from God into Christ was the Holy Spirit.

5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.


The absence of light is what causes darkness.

The absence of darkness does not cause light.

If you think about it, darkness owes it's very existence to a light being shut off. Light is removed to create it, darkness cannot be removed except that light chases it away. Light always wins over darkness.

Have you ever noticed that cockroaches do not like the light? If light is removed, they are free to move about and do it because they are most comfortable in a setting where they cannot be seen. The moment the light comes on, they scatter because they cannot stand the light.

When the forces of God shine brightly, those who are evil are not comfortable. They shun the life and light, which is the Holy Spirit that emanates from God and His Son.


92 comments:

Mustang said...

This is the best demonstration I can think of for staying away from the Old Testament. It won’t cure you from sinning, but it will surely cure you of reading. For years, I felt passages like this one simply demonstrated what morons people were back 1,000 years B.C., for I felt that if God wanted us to understand, he could have found a better writer. I know, I know … I’m in trouble for saying that. But just for grins and giggles, let’s compare and contrast your passage with that of the world’s oldest written records.

First, the pre-Abrahamic Gilgamesh: “He who has seen everything, I will make known to the lands. I will teach about him who experienced all things, ... alike, Anu granted him the totality of knowledge of all. He saw the Secret, discovered the Hidden, he brought information of (the time) before the Flood. He went on a distant journey, pushing himself to exhaustion, but then was brought to peace.”

My next example, the Iliad opens with: “Anger be now your song, immortal one, Achilles' anger, doomed and ruinous, that caused the Achaeans loss on bitter loss and crowded brave souls into the undergloom, leaving so many dead men—carrion for dogs and birds; and the will of Zeus was done."

Gilgamesh was written long before the Old Testament, and Homer's works were written at about the same time as the Old Testament; in the latter examples, you come away with a well written description of events. My point is that if God cannot find a writer with a full set of writing skills, there is not much hope that He can save a wretch like me.

Final point: the writer could have asserted, "The Light is God; darkness is the absence of God." Who can't understand that?

LASunsett said...

//This is the best demonstration I can think of for staying away from the Old Testament.//

This is the New Testament. But I would disagree with your overall assessment of the OT, mainly because of the words Paul wrote to Timothy:

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

//Final point: the writer could have asserted, "The Light is God; darkness is the absence of God." Who can't understand that?//

Translating from the original Greek into King James English probably proved to be quite a chore. Some things can be (and probably were)lost in translation, when the languages differ in root origins.

Mustang said...

Shoot ...

I thought you were talking about Joshua, the Mushroom Eater ...

Z said...

Boy, AM I LOST by your conversation.

The post interested me...LA, there is the TRINITY...God/Christ/Holy Spirit.

Faith said...

Apparently LA doesn't believe Jesus Christ is God, so he doesn't believe in the Trinity.

LASunsett said...

I am unable to comprehend the notion of a three-headed God. I cannot see a son being his own father, and I am unable to reconcile that the Holy Spirit is an entity that is separate.

What I do see is God creating his Son, first...... and through Him the rest of creation was created. I also see the Holy Spirit as the force that gives God His life and personality, and not a person as trinitarians believe. The Holy Spirit is a component of God, the Father of Christ.

Faith said...

You have every right to your opinion but the idea that Jesus was created and not himself God in essence is heretical according to ALL traditional Christian confessions, and has more in common with the cults such as Mormonism and Jehovah's Witnesses, as does your misrepresentation of trinitarianism ("three-headed God"). Again, you have every right to believe whatever you find convincing, but traditional Christians cannot consider you a Christian with the belief you have.

Faith said...
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Anonymous said...

If you want people to return to Christianity, stop confusing them. How can I be my own son? Sheesh. If you study how Christianity evolved, if you resolve not to look at it through rose-colored glasses, if you are willing to concede there was good and bad, then honesty demands that you acknowledge that some of these scripture writers were over-dosing on mushroom soup. We understand why, but lets not perpetuate the myths in His name. I don't think God wants us to do that ...

Sam

LASunsett said...

Okay Faith and Sam,

Please enlighten this heretic as to what the trinity really means.

LASunsett said...

//Again, you have every right to believe whatever you find convincing, but traditional Christians cannot consider you a Christian with the belief you have.//

I do not care what "traditional" Christians think of me. I only answer to God on the matters of God. At one time in history, "traditional" Christians murdered people like me, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

And just for the record, I am not a Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, SDA, or any other such thing.

Faith said...
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Faith said...
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Faith said...

Sorry, I'm getting duplicates for some reason.

Faith said...

One God, Three Persons. Not a monster with three heads but three individual personalities, each with all the attributes of God. It's derived from various scripture verses that define the attributes of each, showing that each has individuality and personality and independence from the others plus the attributes of God. You aren't expected to understand it, simply understand that it is in scripture although it describes something beyond our human ability to comprehend.

When you say you can't see a son being his own father, as if that's what the Trinity says, you are wrong about what the Trinity says, and you are committing the heresy of confusing the Persons of the Trinity, a common mistake of those who insist on their own human understanding. The Son ISN'T the Father. The Persons are completely independent of each other and yet one God.

I know you said you aren't a JW or a Mormon, but what you believe about the Trinity is similar to what they believe.

~Leslie said...

Faith, give me one scripture from the Bible that mentions the word "trinity", please, the exact reference to the word.

As to belief systems... I have noticed that those who claim 'traditional' Christianity tend to be the most judgemental of the brood and are closed minded to the mere thought of intellectual questions toward God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. God does not expect we humans to leave the use of our intellect when it comes to the topic of his word, his creation, his love, salvation etc. He created us as thinking individuals and we do a great injustice to those who do not believe in him when we avoid any and all intellectual discussion over such matters. A person is allowed to question long held beliefs and still not be bound for Hell.

With my understanding of the Bible, God, and Christianity (and I do have some knowledge on the topic) what people must be careful of is claiming who is bound for heaven and who is bound for hell i.e. judging a person's soul destination glibly by claiming they are not Christians on the mere basis of one comment they have stated.

God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit are individual personalities each with a determined action/role/responsibility held within existence and interaction with the human being.

Faith said...

I'm not going to keep up an argument with people who insist on interpretations of their own. You have the right to them and it's not something worth arguing past a certain point. But I will try to sketch out the traditional answers to objections to the Trinty at least.

There's no abandonment of intellect involved in learning what scripture says and reading the great thinkers and spiritual men of the historical church on theological questions. We are to submit to God's word after all, and not lean to our own understanding instead. It takes clear thinking to do that. Scripture says that God equips the church with pastors and teachers and others with special gifts for the benefit of all, and I believe He has done so down the centuries and that all who have the Holy Spirit will recognize them.

As for the Trinity, no, the word is not in scripture. As I said already, the concept is derived from a variety of references in scripture that clearly identify Father, Son and Holy Spirit as ALL having ALL the attributes of God -- omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence for starters -- and as each having individual characteristics and behaving independently of one another. Once you see this in scripture, you can only conclude, as the great theologians of the historic church did, that God is One God in Three Persons.

If you prefer your own reading of scripture to that of the church fathers, or you prefer other writers to the church fathers, that is your prerogative, but it puts you outside orthodoxy.

As for who is saved and not saved, I haven't commented on that, but I will say that scripture is very clear what are the criteria. Major criterion is to recognize that Jesus Christ is God incarnate. If you don't understand that God Himself came to die in our place, and put all your trust in that act, you are fooling yourself that you are saved, and this is meant as a kindly warning.

~Leslie said...
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~Leslie said...

Orthodoxy is a man made concept of religion and opinion it is not directly from God. Sin separated man from God; God sent Christ to die for the sins of man, thus bridging that gap between God and man. WE as humans are to find our salvation and direction from God, not man. This would be evidenced in the acceptance of salvation through Jesus Christ and what he has done for us to bring us back into fellowship with God.

Why must anyone place their full belief system on what man tells them rather than what they learn from God and the reading of his scripture? This is placing our salvation and faith and trust in man and what former men of the church say and teach about God rather than placing our trust, faith, and salvation in God. Formerly, men --founders of the Christian church-- believed that women were to remain silent within services of the church; some believed women were not allowed to cut their hair, had to wear dresses to their ankles and keep their arms covered to their wrists... I could go on and on about the founders of the Christian church and former beliefs. Are we continue in those practices as well? This would be an example of how orthodoxy is man made and that not all salvation issues nor theology issues are to be trusted coming solely from man.

As I said before, God made us all thinking individuals and he does not expect us to rely solely on what man has set up within the confines of religion.

Faith said...

I'm certainly not trusting in a man-made religion. I'm trusting scripture, and making use of greater minds and spirits than my own as an aid to understanding it, recognizing that God has equipped men to interpret it and guide us in it.

The Trinity is not the invention of men, it is derived from scripture. I've said that again and again and with work it can be proved from scripture.

It is still up to us to recognize the truth in all extra-scriptural writings and reject what is false, but this should be done with humility and fear and trembling. I wasn't called to be a theologian myself so I look to God-anointed men to teach me and show me where I'm right or wrong in my reading of scripture. I have never COMPLETELY agreed with anyone I've read. That doesn't prove I'm right, it just means if I can't see it I can't accept it and have to leave it aside. The same thing happens in reading scripture. There is much in the Bible that is hard to grasp and it is usually best not to form a judgment of it at all when you don't understand it.

You sound like you trust only your own intellect over anything anyone else says.

The scriptures on women have no doubt been wrongly interpreted at many times in the history of the church, especially in the direction of too much strictness, but if you know scripture you must know that women ARE appointed a different role than men. Sorting all that out takes a lot of sensitivity in the leading of the Spirit. I have no settled opinion on most of those scriptures muyself but I do regard scripture as God's word so I take it all quite seriously and don't put my own feelings and preferences above it.

However, it ought to be taken seriously that historically Christian women dressed far more modestly in all times and places than since the early part of the 20th century. Were 1900 years of practice BASED ON SCRIPTURE wrong? Or perhaps it's we who are wrong?

Faith said...

Orthodoxy is a man made concept of religion and opinion it is not directly from God. .

No, this is wrong. Orthodoxy is based on scripture, it is a condensation of what scripture says. God gave His word through men, as well as giving men of the church through the centuries to interpret it. The scripture is God-inspired as the interpretations are not, but they are still mediated though men, so there is no way to get anything direct from God -- unless you think you are a prophet and don't need anything written at all.

Sin separated man from God;

Yes, but what do you mean by that? Do you believe Genesis is accurate historical truth?

God sent Christ to die for the sins of man, thus bridging that gap between God and man.

Again, this is rather a general statement and I wonder what you mean by it. Is Christ God in human flesh or something else? How did His death "bridge the gap" exactly?

WE as humans are to find our salvation and direction from God, not man.

All who believe are directly led by the Holy Spirit. We could not come to faith at all if God Himself through His Spirit did not guide us. But He guides us TO a recognition of Christ's perfect life for us, and His death on the cross for us, and He teaches us that Christ is God incarnate. He guides our reading of scripture. He gives us pastors and teachers and evangelists to guide us as well. You make it sound like we're all on our own, just us and God. It doesn't work that way, and generally people who claim it does work that way go very far off course following false spirits and their own wrong opinions.

This would be evidenced in the acceptance of salvation through Jesus Christ and what he has done for us to bring us back into fellowship with God.

Very general and abstract again, though true enough if you mean the right thing by it, and I can't tell.

Mustang said...

Okay, now I’m confused again. Orthodoxy means reading the scripture to understand what God wants us to know, but even though God gave us brains with the expectation we’d actually use them, intolerant zealots condemn anyone as heretic for doing that. They attempt to explain bible-babble by claiming, “You aren't expected to understand it, simply understand that it is in scripture although it describes something beyond our human ability to comprehend.” Why in the world would God not want us to understand?

I’ll tell you why … because the scripture was written by individuals in a male dominated society who sought to keep everyone in line by scaring the crap out of them. Now as it happens, I am an historian. In my field, it is not sufficient to say “such and such happened.” Whatever happened must be a verifiable fact and we must cite our resources demonstrating this truth. We call this attribution. Attribution is important because without credible written records, there is no history; only conjecture. In the field of archeology, for example, artifacts help scientists to piece together events from the past —but these artifacts only provide scientific theory. Theory isn’t history.

I understand Christians do not regard the bible as a history; I even understand why. But it is hard for anyone to deny that the bible is a compilation of morality plays---each of which are intended to help us to achieve a happier life and of course, salvation.

But as an historian I would like someone to tell me the names and bona fides of these so-called ‘great thinkers and spiritual men’. I would like to know the name of the person who wrote the book of Genesis, Daniel, Luke, and Romans. I would like for someone who asserts any scripture as valid and unquestionable fact to tell me who wrote that scripture, and when. The problem is, no one can do that because the scripture was an oral tradition for many hundreds of years until the Hebrews developed a written language—and then it became the duty of scribes to write down these stories. So there is no attribution. They are fairy tales with ratings of R, and X in some cases.

I would like to know the bona fides of John of Patmos. I would like to know why anyone with brains should believe his book of Revelation, and at the same time disbelieve that other nut-job, Mohammed of Mecca.

One final point, never contradict yourself in a debate. If you first tell us, “If you prefer your own reading of scripture to that of the church fathers, or you prefer other writers to the church fathers, that is your prerogative, but it puts you outside orthodoxy,” then you can’t later argue, “As for the Trinity, —, the word is not in scripture. As I said already, the concept is derived from a variety of references.” You have committed the same error you are accusing us of doing —thinking for ourselves. Yes —we can all believe what we wish to believe (unless you happen to be a Muslim or a Zealot Christian or Jew), but I think there should be a clear reason for why we believe it; otherwise, Santa Claus and Samson are equally valid.

Faith said...

Mustang: I DO regard the Bible as history, have no idea where you get the idea Christians don't.

As for identifying the writers of scripture I trust the traditional designations. Moses is the writer of Genesis, and the entire Torah, and even if scribes did some of the actual writing he is still the designated author, and testimony throughout those books and others show us who Moses is. I don't need to know more. Moses certainly knew how to write, it's only a modernist conceit that supposes otherwise. The writers for the most part are amply identified in scripture itself.

John who wrote Revelation also wrote a gospel and three letters, and is identified in the other gospels as well. Of course if you distrust tradition there is nothing I can say. You trust modernists over traditionalists and that is that.

I haven't contradicted myself about anything but since you are of a mind to think so I'm not going to go to the laborious lengths necessary to defend myself only to be disbelieved again anyway.

The men of the church, the church fathers etc., that I have in mind as able interpreters of scripture, though I may not agree with everything they say, include the likes of Athanasius, Augustine, and many others of the early church, as well as Luther, Calvin, and many many lesser writers I happen to love. They all agree on the basics. That's one way to tell who's orthodox and who isn't.

Mustang, one last word because I don't want to get into a prolonged argument with you. You must have the Holy Spirit to understand scripture. Jesus sent Him to the first believers, and His arrival is recorded in the second chapter of Acts, for the purpose of leading believers into all truth. Intellect without His guidance is worthless and simply cannot understand scripture, intellect must be submitted to Him. If you do not believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate you cannot receive the Holy Spirit.

Have a good day.

~Leslie said...

//I'm certainly not trusting in a man-made religion. I'm trusting scripture, and making use of greater minds and spirits than my own as an aid to understanding it, recognizing that God has equipped men to interpret it and guide us in it.//

God has equipped us all, as his children to interpret his word --this would be part of the job of the Holy Spirit: James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
Ask and the Holy Spirit will open up the understanding to God’s word. This is a promise to every child of God.

//You sound like you trust only your own intellect over anything anyone else says.//

I trust the intellect God gave me and do not blindly rely on what I am told from others.

John “5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” 2Timothy 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” God wants his children to study the word and give thought to it, understanding it and learning the truth of it so that we can rightly divide it, interpret it etc. Why would he give us this direction and then expect us to never question anything, but to blindly accept all we are told by everyone else?

As for the roles of men and women in the church: much abuse and misinterpretation has been wrought over zealot beliefs. I have many opinions formed on that topic.

~Leslie said...

//No, this is wrong. Orthodoxy is based on scripture, it is a condensation of what scripture says. God gave His word through men, as well as giving men of the church through the centuries to interpret it. The scripture is God-inspired as the interpretations are not, but they are still mediated though men, so there is no way to get anything direct from God -- unless you think you are a prophet and don't need anything written at all.//

Now as for Orthodoxy:

Orthodoxy is a man-made concept. Used as an adjective it describes adhering to the accepted or traditional and established elements of a faith --as in religion. In the Christian faith it is adhering to the Christian faith as exampled in the early Christian ecumenical creeds (which means the general beliefs held within the church.) This means adhering to what is commonly accepted within the view of the faith in which a person is practicing.

Now, who sets up those beliefs? Yes, we have the common belief system within the Christian belief (this would be what is called Dogma: unmovable, undeniable truths such as Jesus Christ is the Savior of man and only through him can one be saved) and other ones I have expressed above, which you explained are general and vague --yet they are held within the Dogma of Christianity, so I do not understand you lack of understanding of them.

There is a big difference between orthodoxy and dogma. As for the reading of scripture and the interpreting of scripture, if one decides to rely on others’ interpretation of scripture, that person is very free to do so. But if a person decides to read and interpret the scriptures on their own without the use of commentaries or the opinions of forefathers of the church, that person is also free to do so. God can teach a person who is open to his instruction. And yes, we can get understanding, inspiration, and instruction direct from God, who is our Father and is involved in our lives as a Father should be.

Within reading the scripture, a person can receive clarity of the word from God, just as the forefathers of the church, whom you say you are well versed in did.

Now, as a noun, a person can be described as an orthodox, or one who holds the traditional or common beliefs within a certain faith.

In the Greek, ortho = straight; doxa =opinion (or delving into deeper roots of the word: from dokein =to think)

It can also be used as an adverb: orthodoxly which is to be thinking in an orthodox manner.

//You make it sound like we're all on our own, just us and God. It doesn't work that way, and generally people who claim it does work that way go very far off course following false spirits and their own wrong opinions.//

Philippians 2:12-13 “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

This was Paul explaining to the church not to rely on him for salvation, but to stand on the basic foundation of salvation through Christ. Also it points to the fact that people should not murmur and argue over things that do not determine salvation for those things are individually worked out between the person and God.

~Leslie said...
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~Leslie said...
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LASunsett said...

//The Trinity is not the invention of men, it is derived from scripture.//

And yet you present not one scripture to support your claim.

What you do not understand is that the doctrine of the trinity is rooted in Babylonian paganism. Try reading The Two Babylons by Hislop. It requires some thought and reflection, and you will need an open mind to do it.

LASunsett said...

//One God, Three Persons.//

Doesn't do a lot to convince me that your are a monotheist.

Also, a spirit is not synonymous with a person. if it was a person, how can it be in many places at the same time?

Faith said...

I love the Two Babylons by Hislop. It's about the paganism of the Catholic Church and I frequently refer to it concerning that subject.

The Trinity is certainly not pagan, though your determined misrepresentation of it is. The scriptures that support the Trinity are many and various -- verses describing Jesus as having the attributes of God (Thomas calling Him "My Lord and my God; also Isaiah calling the Messiah to come "Almighty God" and Jeremiah calling Him "The LORD our righteousness"), verses describing the Holy Spirit as an independent Person (Jesus saying He will "send another Comforter, and He will lead you into all truth") and so on. It would take a lot of work to assemble them all and it wouldn't convince anyone already as convinced as you are against any evidence I could come up with anyway. Same happens when I present the evidence to Jehovah's Witnesses. They can rationalize away the most obvious evidence, just as you did with "And the Word was God."

I've done all I can here I think.

~Leslie said...

If you can't take the time to support and defend your beliefs with someone you are in a discussion with, then why enter the discussion at all? You should also take a moment to analyze what you believe, to make sure your argument can withstand any challenge.

LASunsett said...

//I love the Two Babylons by Hislop. It's about the paganism of the Catholic Church and I frequently refer to it concerning that subject. //

Evidently you didn't read or you blew off entirely the first part of the second chapter.

//I've done all I can here I think.//

If you consider calling everyone who disagrees with you a heretic, then I would say you have done quite well.

LASunsett said...

//If you can't take the time to support and defend your beliefs with someone you are in a discussion with, then why enter the discussion at all?//

This is something we normally ask Ducky.

But being the ardent philosophers we are, we must ask ourselves if there was no support in an opposing viewpoint, was there ever an argument to begin with?

Faith said...
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Faith said...

I DID give evidence -- in all my posts, and more in the latter than the former. If this were any more than you batting away what evidence I did give I might be motivated to follow up with more, but clearly batting it all away is all you want to do. As I've discovered in many similar discussions, it would make no difference if I produced every verse in the Bible that supports the Trinity (and rightly understood, the Deity of Christ is indicated in one way or another on nearly every page). I gave enough to show that it has good scriptural support and you ignore it.

As for the second chapter of the Two Babylons, I just reread it and have to wonder what on earth you are seeing there. As with his entire book, Hislop's whole point is that the true nature of the true God that was originally known to all peoples from Noah on was corrupted over time into idolatrous systems, the Babylonian being the fountainhead as it were, and the papal system being its contemporary heir.

So the pagan trinities are idolatrous corruptions of the once-known true Triune nature of God.

You want a quote? Here's one:

Page 18 a few lines down:

While overlaid with idolatry, the recognition of a Trinity was universal in all the ancient nations of the world, proving how deep-rooted in the human race was the primeval doctrine on this subject, which comes out so distinctly in Genesis.

The Trinity is distinct in Genesis.

And also take a look at the footnote to this statement on that same page.

LASunsett said...

//The Trinity is distinct in Genesis.//

Chapter and verse please.

Faith you do this very often. You do not support your claims, on theological issues.

Hislop's objective was to show the pagan rituals and doctrines that had been integrated into the Catholic Church. He starts with the trinity. In the passage you cite, you have wrested it out of context with the rest of the section of this chapter. If you had not done this you would not be ignoring:

//In the unity of that one Only God of the Babylonians, there were three persons, and to symbolise that doctrine of the Trinity, they employed, as the discoveries of Layard prove, the equilateral triangle, just as it is well known the Romish Church does at this day. *

* LAYARD's Babylon and Nineveh. The Egyptians also used the triangle as a symbol of their "triform divinity."

In both cases such a comparison is most degrading to the King Eternal, and is fitted utterly to pervert the minds of those who contemplate it, as if there was or could be any similitude between such a figure and Him who hath said, "To whom will ye liken God, and what likeness will ye compare unto Him?"
//

As for the footnote of the passage you cited:

//* The threefold invocation of the sacred name in the blessing of Jacob bestowed on the sons of Joseph is very striking: "And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, the Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads" (Gen 48:15,16). If the angel here referred to had not been God, Jacob could never have invoked him as on an equality with God. In Hosea 12:3-5, "The Angel who redeemed" Jacob is expressly called God: "He (Jacob) had power with God: yea, he had power over the Angel, and prevailed; he wept and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us; even the Lord God of Hosts; The Lord is his memorial." //

LASunsett said...

Continued:

I disagree with Hislop's assessment here in the specific matter of the identity of the angel. I do believe the angel was Christ in angelic form. And I do want to be clear about something here in the process: I do believe that Christ is co-equal with God. He was assigned this status by God when he was created and was validated when he led a perfect life in both Heaven and the earth, culminated by offering himself a sacrifice for the sins of the world. But where I think you are not understanding me is:

1. The fact that I believe that God created Christ.

2. I do not believe that the Holy Spirit is a person. It is a spirit.

Where I find your argument flawed:

1. You still have not addressed anywhere in the Bible where the Holy Spirit is a person.Or how a person could be in more than one place at the same time.

2. Where it specifically says that Christ has always existed and was never created by God.

The pre-existence of Christ is not what I am arguing here. He did exist before the creation of the Heavens and the earth, but He did have an origin and that origin was God. He was the seed of God, spoken into existence by God as the original text I cited in my post clearly says.

There are two eternities. Eternity past and eternity future. He has not existed throughout all of eternity past, unless you consider that we was the seed of God, who is the Eternal One.

Think about it, Faith. He endured the test in Heaven when Lucifer led his uprising and he passed the test on this earth as a human being. Because of this, He has been given co-equal status with God.

If he was God, He would have needed no testing at all, for God Himself cannot be tempted, can He? Every person who receives the gift of eternal life must be tested, Christ was no exception.

So, unless you find me something that contradicts this, I am not going to acknowledge what was originally a Babylonian theology, as fact. Remember, when the Babylonians were at the height of their empire and status, Christ had not yet been born on the earth. Man had no real knowledge of such a being, except for the Prophets. I doubt very seriously that the pagans of that day cared very much about the prophecies of the coming of Christ, so they had to derive their triune deities from other sources.

Faith said...

I assume Hislop was referring to the line in Genesis 1:26, Let US make man in OUR image, as that is the most famous reference there concerning the Trinity, and I wouldn't have expected to have to quote it.

Your quotes from Hislop concern ways the Trinity was corrupted by paganism. There is nothing out of context in my quote which describes the true uncorrupted Trinity untouched by paganism.

The footnote shows Jacob regarding the angel as Christ, which he couldn't have done in context unless the angel had the attributes of God. That is why I suggested you take note of it. Again I see no contradiction with my statements.

I already gave you quotes that show the Deity of Christ which you did not acknowledge. When someone is as determined as you are to deny His Deity even in the teeth of clear scripture evidence, I don't see any reason to continue the discussion. Jesus is God. In the Beginning was the Word and the Word was God. You deny the clear meaning of this just as the JWs do so we will simply disagree to the end of time.

I did give you a quote that shows that the Holy Spirit is a Person, too, when I referred to Jesus' saying He would send another Comforter and refers to Him as "He," clearly designating Him a separate individual. You have the typical Jehovah's Witness and perhaps even Mormon notion that a Person must be confined in space, but that is not how the Trinity describes Him. As a separate Person of the Trinity the Holy Spirit is an individual with a separate personality and an independent role as well as all the attributes of God including omnipresence.

As far as I can tell, LA, you don't agree with Hislop about much either if you don't see from my quote that he acknowledges the original Triune nature of God which includes the Holy Spirit as a Person and Jesus Christ as God.

I don't see any reason to continue this discussion.

LASunsett said...

//Let US make man in OUR image,//

This does not prove anything you are trying to prove and it does not disprove what I am saying. All it proves is that Christ existed before man was made. I have no issue with that I believe that to be inherently true.

I am not reading Hislop wrong. You are.

I will say it once more, in case you missed it. His entire objective was to prove the integration of pagan rites, and doctrines into the Roman Church. Why else would he include the trinity in his writing of such a thing?

And once again, the Holy Spirit is NOT a person. It's a spirit. Otherwise it could not be in many places at the same time.

You cannot selectively pick and choose the scriptures (and the writings of other authors) that support what you want them to say, while ignoring the things that do not support your way of thinking.

As for ending the discussion, that is entirely up to you. You are the one that contradicted what I said in the post, without concrete support for your arguments. I feel like I defended my arguments well. You have disproved nothing of what I have said and no one forced you to make those arguments. You chose to on your own free will.

I feel sorry for you because you appear to be unwilling use the mind that God gave you to reason things out. I feel sad for you because you aren't able to rationally discuss this topic, without the subtle (and not so subtle) implications that I am a heretic because I arrived at different conclusions than you have.

The big difference between you and me Faith, is I have never said you are any less of a Christian because you do not agree with me. Not once. But you have.

I don't ask anyone that comes here to believe what I believe, I only ask that they consider what I say and give it some thought. if they cannot see it, so be it. But I would never assume a high and mighty pious position that they are heretics for what they cannot/will not comprehend.

You are welcome here anytime.

Faith said...

In the Beginning was the Word --

This means that the Word was not created, but already existed at the very beginning, which already implies that the Word was God since nothing but God existed before He created anything.

And the Word was with God --

This shows that the Word was a separate being -- a Person, as described by the Trinity.

And the Word was God --

This says clearly that the Word WAS God, there is no doubt about this. In substance, in essence, from the Beginning, He is God.

God from the Beginning,
God but separate individual, the second Person of the Trinity, God the Son.
God in all attributes, the Ancient of Days, the Alpha and Omega of Revelation.

As the gospel of John progresses the identify of the Word as Jesus Christ becomes plain. There is no justifiable doubt what this passage means.

Jesus did not merely have a "co-equal" status, He IS God and this fact is absolutely necessary to the role He came to play on earth. A created being simply could not die in the place of humanity to save us. He had to be God Himself AND perfect man as well, to fulfill that role. Humanity was made "in the image of God." Nothing short of God Himself can save us. By denying Jesus' Deity you garble the message of salvation and make it of no effect. A created being's death is useless to us.

But from experience I know that as obvious as this is to me and all trinitarians, it is wasted on those determined to deny it.

Faith said...

OK, LA, you are right, I should end this futile discussion, and now I will.

Faith said...

One last thing, LA. I define a Christian by traditional theology, not by my own personal opinion. That is how a Christian always has been defined.

Thanks for saying I'm welcome here, but I've had SO much experience arguing these things to no purpose I'm just worn out with it all.

Faith said...
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Anonymous said...

Is every word in the Bible the exact and undisputable truth?

Sam

Faith said...

Is every word in the Bible the exact and undisputable truth?

Translations can be flawed but the original words are the exact and undisputable truth, yes, and a good translation conveys the truth in essence as well. It is God's word. God's word is truth. You cannot treat the Bible as just another human production and expect to receive the amazing supernatural truths it conveys. Simply believe that it is God's own communication and amazing new realities will open up for you.

LASunsett said...

//I define a Christian by traditional theology, not by my own personal opinion. That is how a Christian always has been defined.//

In the middle ages, the "traditional" Christian theology was defined by indulgences, corruption, and rituals that had root in pagan theology. That same traditional theology was generally accepted by the overwhelming majority of people in Christendom and was passed on for centuries on end. Those believers of that day would have put us all on trial and executed us for thinking differently.

Had it not been for a man named Martin Luther who had the moral courage to think outside the box and troubleshoot the inconsistencies, you would no doubt be saying today:

"Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen"

The Jewish nation was also steeped in traditions when Christ came to them. They killed Him and His Apostles who labored afterward, because their doctrine was not in line with their traditions.

Maybe you should take a minute and think about this and reflect on what you are saying..

LASunsett said...

//It is God's word. God's word is truth.//

I seem to remember lines in the Bible spoken by Satan. Would you say those words are truth?

Faith said...
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Faith said...

Man, the Bible quotes all kinds of characters we are obviously not supposed to believe or follow. We are to learn from them by God's light what we are NOT to do. You MUST be smarter than to make such a stupid statement as you did about Satan, LA.

What do you have against the truth, LA? I do think it comes down to this in the end. You are fighting God.

Faith said...

Martin Luther based most of his theology on Augustine, going back to pre-Roman theology of the early church fathers. The Reformation in general picked up from pre-Romanist theology, resuming the true continuity from the apostles that the Roman church had interrupted and taken off course. There were also many true Christians outside the Roman church for all those centuries, such as the Waldensians, who stuck to the basic truths of the gospel and weren't corrupted by the Roman Church, in fact were persecuted by it.

YOU should stop and think for a change before you answer me.

LASunsett said...

//Stop treating me like an idiot, //

I can do nothing of the sort, not without your consent anyway. Stop playing the martyr here and stop being so sensitive. You are beginning to look foolish without any help from me and are doing your best to turn this into a playground moment.

//I've shown that your thinking is heretical and I've not attacked you personally as you are doing to me either.//

You say, "I have shown your thinking is heretical" and then in the next space you say you have not attacked me. Most people take a paragraph or two to show inconsistency. But you got it down in one sentence. Brilliant job.

//I can hardly believe you would stoop to such a plain stupidity. Do I really have to explain this?//

No... I do not need you to explain anything to me. But your response was thoroughly predictable. People who have no intellectual answer, often dsiplay this kind of behavior.

//Can't God talk ABOUT Satan and refer to what Satan said without being accused of agreeing with him?//

Yes, but that wasn't my point.

I am not sure you are able to grasp much of what I am saying. It's not surprising because your mind is not only closed, it's sealed.

Besides, I thought you were done 10 comments ago?

Take a break, Faith. The fact that I have exposed your your traditional dogma as weak and faulty, must be getting under your skin and I wouldn't want you to have a cerebral hemorrhage over this. I don't see this is as important as you do.

Go pray for me or better yet, pray for Mustang. He's more of a heretic than I am.

LASunsett said...

//YOU should stop and think for a change before you answer me.//

Such a haughty spirit. Tsk, tsk. Pride goeth before a fall.

Faith said...

Mustang is an unbeliever, you are the heretic.

LASunsett said...

//Mustang is an unbeliever, you are the heretic.//

And you are the godly woman that judges us both. Don't forget that part.

~Leslie said...

Faith, you give new definition to "Christian", I must say. So because LA is willing to ask, think about, and theorize about difficult questions he is suddenly a heretic? Because his opinion differs from yours... *and by the way, he never argued about the actual deity of Christ, he stated that God created Christ and is equal to God --which would give Christ deity status. But I digress...

And you are able to judge Mustang as an unbeliever because of...? Because he dares asks questions about the Bible and discusses other ancient texts with an historical viewpoint?

I am pretty sure I won't have to place the actual scriptural reference (but perhaps I will, since you are not following it) that speaks about judging not lest thou be judged and with what measure you judge so shall the same be meted out to you... (Matthew 7:1-2)

You say you are not judging and not claiming who is save and not saved, but when you call people heretics and unbelievers without even knowing them in any way --only judging them on small windows of comments, you are determining peoples' salvation: a job that is ONLY God's.

Rather than getting overtly emotional and judgemental in a discussion about theology --just because some opinions go against your own-- and insulting people, try a little temperance, as Jesus had, and discuss your topic and opinion without the hatred. And before you give a long speech about how you have not shown judgement or hatred, I will remind you of a Biblical principal: there are more than two witnesses here to your actions, which is what was demanded of anyone bringing an issue against another believer in the early church.

Zealots only drive people further away from God --not closer.

Faith said...

We are supposed to judge heresy, folks, that's absolutely required. If we can't recognize truth from lies there is no Christian life whatever. It's sad how confused people are on this point. It's SIN we're not to judge, since we're all sinners, but heresy/false doctrine we ARE to judge so that people will not be misled into the clutches of cults and false religions.

Much of the New Testament is devoted to warning against false teachers, people.

I'm MORE than happy to drive anybody away from the false Gods of heretics, LA and Leslie. just in case it might possibly drive them to the true God.

Leslie, what does heresy have to do with knowing someone? Heresy is determined by stated beliefs. LA does not believe Jesus Christ is God. That's basic to Christian faith, absolutely basic. If you deny that, you are a heretic. Doesn't matter that you may also be a very nice person.

I'm not "determining" anyone's salvation. They determine that for themselves by refusing to embrace the truth. You guys are very confused and I'm very sorry about that, but you're also rebellious against the truth and there's no cure for that unless you are willing to consider you might be wrong.

Faith, you give new definition to "Christian", I must say. So because LA is willing to ask, think about, and theorize about difficult questions he is suddenly a heretic? Because his opinion differs from yours... *and by the way, he never argued about the actual deity of Christ, he stated that God created Christ and is equal to God --which would give Christ deity status. But I digress...

Funny, I'm about as standard theologically as they come. No, it isn't because he differs from me that he's a heretic, it's because he differs from the entire history of the traditional church. As I said at the beginning, it's his prerogative to do so, but by the lights of the traditional gospel he's a heretic. Simple objective fact. nothing emotional about it whatever.

If God "created Christ" then Christ is not God, period. Simply being "given that status" means nothing. There's no equality with God except by being God Himself. Basic theology.

Seems to me you should give some thought to how the truth upsets you.

LASunsett said...

//LA does not believe Jesus Christ is God. That's basic to Christian faith, absolutely basic. If you deny that, you are a heretic. Doesn't matter that you may also be a very nice person. //

then

//I'm not "determining" anyone's salvation.//

Contradiction of the nth degree, Faith. You say that I am trying to make you look like an idiot? All I had to do was highlight your own words.

But you are right about one thing, you are not determining my salvation. God is. And I am at peace with Him, I have been for many years now.

//I'm about as standard theologically as they come.//

Did God tell you this? Jimmy Swaggart? Pat Robertson? Your standards are not backed up by scripture, they are just the meanings that have been assigned to them by the false prophets you blindly follow.

//If God "created Christ" then Christ is not God, period.//

Christ is whatever God says He is. Not what a modern day, stuck in the mud traditionalist and Pharisee says He is.

Faith said...

Dear LA,
Consistently you have accused me of contradicting myself when it's only that you haven't been able to tell the difference between my own personal powers and what's implied in my report of the theology of the church.

It's the theology of the church that defines what salvation is. I certainly have no ability to "determine" anyone's salvation. Somehow you seem to think that if I merely tell you what the traditional church preaches I'm doing something to affect your salvation. Nothing I say can affect your salvation in that way.

All I can do is report what the traditional gospel says. Even that can't affect it, and you are free to ignore it. If what I'm saying is false, which you apparently believe, what's the problem? However, of course if what I'm saying is true then you aren't saved. But nobody is doing that to you, you are doing it to yourself.

I follow the line of thinkers from the early church fathers through the Reformation through Edwards, Whitefield, Spurgeon, Pink, Lloyd-Jones to today's Reformed preachers (Sproul, Begg, McArthur, etc etc), I don't follow Robertson or Swaggart. Apparently they are the only contemporary preachers you've ever heard of. Sad.

Anonymous said...

This is what I have have gained from this deep discussion.

* The Bible doesn't mention the word "trinity".

* The Bible does warn us not to allow other people's interpretations, that we are to "study to show ourselves approved". (there is no mention in the Bible of reading anything but the Bible or that you should confer with the writings of "Great Minds". This tells me that your belief system should be developed in a process that is between YOU and GOD.

* That some people find it easy to disobey the "judge not lest ye be judged" command.

Seems to me that a lot of what Faith is saying here is personal opinion influenced by other "people" and dogma. I like to think that the chasm between man and God is lessened when a man determines on his own what God expects from him... you know, the "one on one relationship"?

Catherine

Faith said...

Um, but how do you know if it's really God you're talking to if you are leaning to your own understanding and ignoring the teachers God has gifted for our aid?

How do you know your own peculiar interpretation is right if the majority are against you? Isn't that a tad arrogant, but mostly isn't that a pretty shaky foundation to trust your eternal soul to? Just about the entire human race have worshipped demons and called them gods since the Fall, but you think you are exempt from making that mistake?

It's folly to ignore the counselors given by God to the church and trust only in your own fallible head. I can't think of anything more risky.

Proverbs 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.
Proverbs 21:31 For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Better be sure it's the LORD you are trusting in and not your own deceitful heart.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

And wasn't Thomas chided by Jesus for failing to believe what the others had told him but having to "see for himself?" Risky stuff you are following.

Faith said...

"Study" means work hard, it doesn't mean depend on your own intellect.

The Bible does NOT warn us against other people's interpretations, it specifically says that the Bible is not "of any private interpretation"

2Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

but you are all advocating private interpretations over submitting to ordained authority. You seem to think that because some authorities are wrong you are to ignore all authority and live in your own little self-enclosed solipsistic universe.

Heed the warning of the Book of Judges --

Jg 17:6 In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

No, you are to discern with prayer what comes from God and what doesn't.

What utter foolishness I'm reading here from you supposed Christians. It really makes me sad.

LASunsett said...

//how do you know if it's really God you're talking to if you are leaning to your own understanding and ignoring the teachers God has gifted for our aid? //

Faith, I don't say this to be mean. But you are by far the most arrogant, and haughty spirited woman I have ever had a conversation with in this kind of topic.

How do you know the teachers you claim are sent by God are actually sent by God or are the false prophets Christ warned about in the last days?

For the Bible clearly says in Mt 24,

23Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

24For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

25Behold, I have told you before.


You are telling these people whose only crime is they are not satisfied with accepting the doctrines that alienate people from the Gospel and search things out for themselves. You are telling us that Christ is with those men who teach such things as you believe, and that Christ is with them.....not us. You are saying that if we do not lay down what we honestly believe to be true in our hearts, we are heretics and worthy of condemnation from God.

I actually feel more sad for you.

I feel confident in my faith. I have felt God's presence in my life many times. I know for a fact that God has been at my side through some very difficult days. I know from whence cometh my help and the source of my salvation. And it isn't in what you have learned from these false prophets who you blindly follow.... and will continue to follow into further darkness.

I have been working out my own salvation with fear and trembling for many years now, and I do not need you or anyone else to help me.

You know nothing about Mustang, Leslie, Catherine, or me. Yet you are practicing the worst form of hypocrisy known to both God and man, by assuming that you do.

I do believe completely in the deepest recesses of my heart that Jesus spoke of people like you and people who share your narrow focus:

Mt 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

Faith said...

OK, LA, have it your way. I tried.

Mustang said...

Um, but how do you know if it's really God you're talking to if you are leaning to your own understanding and ignoring the teachers God has gifted for our aid?

Exactly, Faith; so how do YOU know? Do you have a college degree in theology? Do you have advanced degrees? Are you one of these gifted teachers? If we disagree, what arrogance convinces you that you have a better understanding of God’s word than I do? Now I seem to recall that you made some rather audacious statements to a commenter at another blog; as I recall, you were saying you agreed with Pat Robertson, that the Haitian earthquake was God’s punishment for voodoo—and to justify your barbarism, you then gave a few incredible statistics not shared by the Central Intelligence Agency about how many people in Haiti actually practice satanic voodoo.

I don’t think God will much appreciate your using Him to beat others over the head. That’s between you and God. As for myself, I don’t appreciate your assumption I am a nonbeliever simply because I think you are a poor excuse for a Christian, and an idiot.

LASunsett said...

//OK, LA, have it your way. I tried.//

Tried what?

Faith said...

How do I know? Proverb previously posted:

In many counsellors there is safety.

Trusting in your own opinion when the entire history of the traditional church is against you is folly in the extreme. When a number of preachers in the best tradition agree against you, you would be foolish not to consider they might be right and you wrong.

I believed in God's sovereignty over ALL things (including earthquakes, hurricanes, 9/11 and similar events, the works) before Pat Robertson remarked on Haiti. When so many jumped on him for that perfectly true and scriptural remark I defended him. But otherwise I don't follow Pat Robertson.

You actually consider yourself a believer, Mustang? Perhaps you are, but what I've seen you write on the Bible so far doesn't support that you believe as a Christian must believe. Even LA properly corrected your rejection of the OT, and showed that you didn't even recognize a passage from the NT. Not much Christian belief going on there.

Funny how huffily offended everyone gets when you point out the simple truth.

Faith said...
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Faith said...

Statistics on Haiti:

OK, the usual statistic is that FIFTY percent PRACTICE voodoo, but that EIGHTY percent are Catholic. The Catholic Church has given permission to the practice of voodoo, and that is apparently where I got the 80% voodooists [and since most Catholics already practice idolatry (Mary worship) and superstitions (appeals to saints) and trust in "the church" instead of in Christ, it's all really voodoo anyway].

50% however is quite enough over more than 200 years, especially after a pact made with the devil to gain Haitian freedom from the French, to qualify for God's judgment.

Read the Bible, Mustang, I'm not making any of this up. It's all there.

~Leslie said...

Oh, I get it then, so in order to be a Christian one must:

1) Know every single passage of the Bible and exactly where it comes from

2) Believe that God kills people in earthquakes

3) Rely on certain men in church history to tell one what the Bible says and how to believe and what to believe about God, Christ etc.

4) And assume that everyone who disagrees with anything the early men of the church said are all going to hell; since hell would be the destination of unbelievers

5) Not ever use the intellect God gave them to consciously study his word, the world, or anything else in existence

Got it. Thanks for clearing that up.


//"Study" means work hard, it doesn't mean depend on your own intellect.//

Wrong.

The word "Study" means --the acquiring of knowledge; careful examination of a subject, event etc.
the act or process of studying; the pursuit of knowledge --through reading, observing or researching.

As a verb: To apply one’s mind (that would be intellect) purposefully to the acquisition of knowledge and/or understanding of a subject, event, etc. To examine closely, to scrutinize, to give careful thought to, to contemplate…

It comes from Middle English “studie”, Old French “estudie”, Latin “studium” all translating to the word we understand today as: Study.

Now, would you care to outline exactly what does a Christian look like? What does it mean to be a Christian? How is one determined to be a Christian? Who determines one to be a Christian and one that is not a Christian? Because I am pretty sure that I have never read in the Bible that anyone is required to memorize the entire Bible before they can be a Christian, nor does it say that no one is allowed to think about the universe, God, Christ, scriptures and study their meaning, concepts, etc.

~Leslie said...

//OK, the usual statistic is that FIFTY percent PRACTICE voodoo, but that EIGHTY percent are Catholic. The Catholic Church has given permission to the practice of voodoo, and that is apparently where I got the 80% voodooists [and since most Catholics already practice idolatry (Mary worship) and superstitions (appeals to saints) and trust in "the church" instead of in Christ, it's all really voodoo anyway].//

You see “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” --John Adams

…and when a person is so willing to glibly ignore them, muddle them or consider the act of getting them right unimportant, it wrecks one’s argument.

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Faith said...

Leslie: You brought up the concept of "study" in the context of defending the idea of trusting in one's own intellect alone to understand the things of God, against my argument that one must submit one's intellect to the wisdom of many counsellors in order to have some security that you are rightly understanding the truth. There is nothing defensible about your position and the definition of the term "study" doesn't improve it.

"Study" is generally used these days simply to refer to the activity itself. But the word was used originally in the early English translations where the emphasis is more on the thoroughness and diligence applied to the activity.

http://1828.mshaffer.com/d/word/study

Beyond that I would add that true study of God's word requires you to know what other minds have to offer about God's word, rather than depending on your own intellect. This means at least finding a pastor whose preaching you feel you can trust if nothing else. Why do you think God gave the church pastors and teachers anyway? So we can ignore them and trust in our own opinions? Did Paul carefully train Timothy to exhort and reprove his congregation so they could ignore him? Sure sounds like that's what some here think.

"Know every single passage?" "Rely on certain men?" "Assume all are going to hell who don't agree with the early church men?" "Not ever use your intellect?"

I've neither said nor implied any such thing. Perhaps if you were at all honest in your representation of what I have said I might try to address your questions, but your dishonesty is appalling and disheartening. Not to mention your nasty tone.

Faith said...

Let me add:

People have been saved simply by absorbing the truth of a few verses of the Bible, that's how powerful God's word is. Lengthy study isn't needed in such cases, knowledge of anything else isn't needed, even preachers aren't needed. The Holy Spirit alone can guide a person into the truth without any other aid.

But in such cases what was learned does agree with what the traditional writers on the gospel have said.

That is not true of the opinion expressed here that Jesus Christ was a created being and not God. This false opinion is held by someone who also has contempt for the pastors and teachers of the historic church down the centuries. Such disdain for the wisdom of others leads to heresy.

LASunsett said...

//Beyond that I would add that true study of God's word requires you to know what other minds have to offer about God's word, rather than depending on your own intellect. This means at least finding a pastor whose preaching you feel you can trust if nothing else. //

Translation:

Beyond that I would add that you should accept my belief system over all others because I am right and you are wrong. I am a godly woman and you all are full of the devil, for even thinking about questioning the people I consider to be godly pastors and teachers. We are going to heaven and all of you are going to burn in hell for the ceasless ages of eternity.

There, I think that pretty much sums it up.

Faith said...

Funny, I'd have thought that from the beginning I have done my best to argue that Christ is God, and otherwise trying to show that your insistence on trusting in your own personal ability to understand the things of God is risky and not supported by scripture.

It's also been you condemning me in some pretty nasty terms from the beginning, from snarky snide remarks to outright condemnation, whereas all I've done is discuss objective information. Rather strange to find myself accused of condemning someone to hell who has in fact condemned me to hell more than once, even back on the other blog, when I've done nothing of the sort.

Yes, it is true that if I'm right about the Deity of Christ that you are not saved, LA, that is quite true, and since it depends on certain facts I would think you might want to take those facts under advisement for the sake of your immortal soul. But again, since you believe I'm wrong, what's the problem? Why are you so upset you have to keep slamming me?

I'm not the one who has been prancing around shooting off accusations, you guys have been doing that, and twisting my words to mean something I don't believe.

You're all supposed conservatives here, right? Funny your tactics are so leftist on this topic.

Faith said...

Apparently it's a lost cause but I will try to answer your latest smear campaign:

Beyond that I would add that you should accept my belief system over all others because I am right and you are wrong.

I've given scripture references and reasoned arguments for what I believe so that you can judge it for yourself, and never suggested anyone should just "accept" anything without thinking it through.

I am a godly woman and you all are full of the devil, for even thinking about questioning the people I consider to be godly pastors and teachers.

LA, you've never even HEARD of those I've referred to and I referred to them to support my contention that there IS a historic line of traditional theology that is consistent back to the beginning as part of my argument against your rejection of the Deity of Christ, and certainly against your idea that any single Christian is supposed to trust only in his own reasoning powers for his understanding of the things of God. Seems to me you ought to recognize that maybe you don't know enough after all and give some thought to what is really quite a weight of theology. I don't agree with everything said by those I've referred to and I've been clear about that it seems to me, but on the Deity of Christ and other basics they do all agree and I would think a Christian should take notice. Instead you twist this into quite a nasty accusation of me.

We are going to heaven and all of you are going to burn in hell for the ceasless ages of eternity.

I have no such attitude and have said nothing to deserve your attributing it to me.

Mustang said...

I really do not know anything about you, Faith. What I do know is that I react negatively to people who talk down to others. You do that a lot. I’m sure you don’t agree, but that’s because you are not listening. A discussion requires more than talking down to people; it requires an appreciation for what others have to say. It is demonstrating the decency to listen to others —and perhaps refraining from condemning them. Now … this isn’t just me. It isn’t just the people commenting here. You’ve managed to alienate several people at another blog. You even hurt the feelings of one man, who happened to be from Haiti. This was not very Christ-like, if you ask me, so don’t act as if this is our fault … that you are the victim here. You are simply and inexplicitly horribly rude.

Faith said...

Then the truth is rude, Mustang. You want the truth compromised for the sake of politeness. That would violate the whole tenor of scripture and specific commands by the Lord. Truly, the offense here is on the part of the offended, not on my part, and that was true at the other blog as well as here.

Oh I can disappear since you want me to and probably will soon enough. I keep being amazed at this phenomenon, though, which is no doubt partly why I keep coming back for more abuse, trying to get the point across as clearly as possible. I'd think eventually somebody would recognize what's really going on but nobody does.

Very much like arguing with leftists. Quite remarkable. Had a bunch of leftists on my case recently because I said that socialism is the government stealing from its citizens. My, what vituperative language they heaped upon me for my insensitivity and unconcern about people's feelings.

I thought it was only leftists who put offended feelings above questions of truth and were willing to destroy facts rather than consider they might be wrong. Funny.

========

Collected a few references on voodoo this morning and feel like posting them whether anybody cares or not:

From a US Dept of State Freedom of Religion Report:

Voodoo, a traditional religion derived in part from West African beliefs, is practiced alongside Christianity by a large segment of the population.

And here's another reference

Voodoo is fundamentally a home-based cult where each family has their own collection of household gods, many of them Catholic saints. In many households, it sits comfortably alongside a family’s Catholic observance.
The Catholic church officially backs the right of families to practise voodoo. Protestant missionaries have been less sympathetic, classifying family spirits as demons.

More than eight in ten Haitians are officially Catholic, with about one in ten Protestants. But an unknown number also practise some voodoo rituals as well.
The dictator Fran├žois “Papa Doc” Duvalier exploited voodoo as a method of social control, using sorcery and superstition as covers for his corrupt destruction of the nation.


The official recognition of voodoo plus its practice by an unknown number --which is sometimes said to be 50% and sometimes more -- puts Haiti under God's wrath whether that sits well with anyone's feelings or not.

Amos 3:6 ... shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

Faith said...

Just for the record, can you explain to me how I might say exactly what I'm saying here without compromising it, in a way that doesn't "talk down" as you see it?

~Leslie said...

//It's also been you condemning me in some pretty nasty terms from the beginning, from snarky snide remarks to outright condemnation, whereas all I've done is discuss objective information.//

Really?

//Again, you have every right to believe whatever you find convincing, but traditional Christians cannot consider you a Christian with the belief you have.//

//I can hardly believe you would stoop to such a plain stupidity. Do I really have to explain this?//

//What do you have against the truth, LA? I do think it comes down to this in the end. You are fighting God//

//You MUST be smarter than to make such a stupid statement as you did about Satan, LA.//

//YOU should stop and think for a change before you answer me.//

//Mustang is an unbeliever, you are the heretic.//

//As I said at the beginning, it's his prerogative to do so, but by the lights of the traditional gospel he's a heretic.//

//If what I'm saying is false, which you apparently believe, what's the problem? However, of course if what I'm saying is true then you aren't saved.//

//Better be sure it's the LORD you are trusting in and not your own deceitful heart.//

//What utter foolishness I'm reading here from you supposed Christians.//

//You actually consider yourself a believer, Mustang? Perhaps you are, but what I've seen you write on the Bible so far doesn't support that you believe as a Christian must believe. Even LA properly corrected your rejection of the OT, and showed that you didn't even recognize a passage from the NT. Not much Christian belief going on there.//

//This false opinion is held by someone who also has contempt for the pastors and teachers of the historic church down the centuries. Such disdain for the wisdom of others leads to heresy.//

//Yes, it is true that if I'm right about the Deity of Christ that you are not saved, LA, that is quite true, and since it depends on certain facts I would think you might want to take those facts under advisement for the sake of your immortal soul.//

//You're all supposed conservatives here, right? Funny your tactics are so leftist on this topic.//

By the way, you completely contradict yourself and this is one proof in point when you finally agreed with me when saying:

//Beyond that I would add that true study of God's word requires you to know what other minds have to offer about God's word, rather than depending on your own intellect. This means at least finding a pastor whose preaching you feel you can trust if nothing else. Why do you think God gave the church pastors and teachers anyway?//

THEN LATER:

//People have been saved simply by absorbing the truth of a few verses of the Bible, that's how powerful God's word is. Lengthy study isn't needed in such cases, knowledge of anything else isn't needed, even preachers aren't needed. The Holy Spirit alone can guide a person into the truth without any other aid.//

Interesting. I could show many other places you have completely contradicted yourself, but alas, you bore me with your closed minded, holier than thou, I sit on the right hand of God attitude toward everyone who disagrees with you. So I am done* pointing out the rotten fruit you are baring. Your own words prove that point as well. Learn some temperance and embrace the most important attribute God taught us in his word: LOVE one another. You need to realize that your attitude is the type that drives people further from God. Examine yourself (that is a biblical ideal as well.)

*And when I say I am done, I really am.

Faith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Faith said...

//It's also been you condemning me in some pretty nasty terms from the beginning, from snarky snide remarks to outright condemnation, whereas all I've done is discuss objective information.//

Really?

//Again, you have every right to believe whatever you find convincing, but traditional Christians cannot consider you a Christian with the belief you have.//


Absolutely objective information, about what traditional Christianity teaches. That you would think otherwise is rather puzzling.

//I can hardly believe you would stoop to such a plain stupidity. Do I really have to explain this?//

Neither snarky or snide, but certainly exasperated by that point.

//What do you have against the truth, LA? I do think it comes down to this in the end. You are fighting God//

Certainly seems to me to be the case, a perfectly objective conclusion to be drawn from the evidence at hand.

//You MUST be smarter than to make such a stupid statement as you did about Satan, LA.//

It WAS a stupid statement, and I was trying to be generous.

//YOU should stop and think for a change before you answer me.//

Of course the fact that I was merely echoing what he had said to me goes unnoticed. He was the one who needed to stop and think.

//Mustang is an unbeliever, you are the heretic.//

Plainly a matter of fact based on observable evidence, which, if wrong, should be easily correctable with contrary evidence, but no evidence has ever been offered, and you make reasonable conclusion from fact into some kind of crime.

//As I said at the beginning, it's his prerogative to do so, but by the lights of the traditional gospel he's a heretic.//

Yes, objectively speaking, based on the evidence, much evidence I gave, by the traditional gospel he is a heretic. Perfectly unemotional matter-of-fact objective statement.

//If what I'm saying is false, which you apparently believe, what's the problem? However, of course if what I'm saying is true then you aren't saved.//

More objective fact. It's quite true -- if what I'm saying is true, then he isn't saved. Do you understand the nature of a logical proposition or is everything to you only a matter of wild accusation and huffy self-righteous feelings such as you sling at me?

//Better be sure it's the LORD you are trusting in and not your own deceitful heart.//

Standard Christian advice to a person who thinks he doesn't need to learn from anyone other than his own self.

//What utter foolishness I'm reading here from you supposed Christians.//

Perfectly fair conclusion from the preceding evidence. Utter foolishness indeed.

//You actually consider yourself a believer, Mustang? Perhaps you are, but what I've seen you write on the Bible so far doesn't support that you believe as a Christian must believe. Even LA properly corrected your rejection of the OT, and showed that you didn't even recognize a passage from the NT. Not much Christian belief going on there.//

Over and over I make statements like this one based on objective evidence that COULD be answered by correcting the facts, but instead of getting the point you treat such statements as some sort of offense in themselves. This is so bizarre I really don't know how to explain it.

It's as if truth and fact have been utterly lost and discussion is now all about being nice or something like that? I'm guessing, I have no idea how to explain this nonsense.

Faith said...

continued.
//This false opinion is held by someone who also has contempt for the pastors and teachers of the historic church down the centuries. Such disdain for the wisdom of others leads to heresy.//

I believe this has been amply proved in the course of the discussion, and I don't see why anyone would deny it. Over and over I've been weirdly slammed for referencing such pastors and teachers which certainly shows disdain for them, yet you quote this simple statement as if by stating it I'm committing some kind of crime?

//Yes, it is true that if I'm right about the Deity of Christ that you are not saved, LA, that is quite true, and since it depends on certain facts I would think you might want to take those facts under advisement for the sake of your immortal soul.//

Another statement of fact amply demonstrated by the evidence. How is it you don't understand this?

//You're all supposed conservatives here, right? Funny your tactics are so leftist on this topic.//

Well, they certainly are, as I've described. This kind of huffiness at some sort of invented "offense" is usually typical of the left.

By the way, you completely contradict yourself and this is one proof in point when you finally agreed with me when saying:

//Beyond that I would add that true study of God's word requires you to know what other minds have to offer about God's word, rather than depending on your own intellect. This means at least finding a pastor whose preaching you feel you can trust if nothing else. Why do you think God gave the church pastors and teachers anyway?//


This is agreeing with YOU? This is what I've been saying from the beginning, and if you said any such thing it went over my head. Perhaps you can show me where you said it? All I recall you doing is slamming me for insisting that we can't rely only on ourselves which is what LA seems to be doing.

Perhaps I don't always express myself clearly but you are quite wrong to accuse me of contradicting myself. Nothing I've said is a contradiction with anything else I've said.

THEN LATER:

//People have been saved simply by absorbing the truth of a few verses of the Bible, that's how powerful God's word is. Lengthy study isn't needed in such cases, knowledge of anything else isn't needed, even preachers aren't needed. The Holy Spirit alone can guide a person into the truth without any other aid.//

Interesting. I could show many other places you have completely contradicted yourself,


Since you haven't yet shown even one contradiction I'm sure it would only be the usual attempt to make a contradiction out of a simple statement of fact.

I added that paragraph to demonstrate that you are wrong to accuse me of thinking great knowledge is needed to understand the things of God, which I never said and you made up out of thin air, and now you can't even understand THAT much.

but alas, you bore me with your closed minded, holier than thou, I sit on the right hand of God attitude toward everyone who disagrees with you.

This is pretty condemnatory just as I said you have been. Some day you will know how it is you with the mean spirit here, and not me.

Faith said...

I am done* pointing out the rotten fruit you are baring. Your own words prove that point as well. Learn some temperance and embrace the most important attribute God taught us in his word: LOVE one another. You need to realize that your attitude is the type that drives people further from God. Examine yourself (that is a biblical ideal as well.)

Love does not overlook heresy and false ideas of God. And do you think YOU exemplify love in this exchange with your surly attitude and complete condemnation of everything I say without giving the slightest benefit of the doubt? It shouldn't take more than a little kindness to stop and see how what you at first think is a contradiction might not be.

when I say I am done, I really am.

OK, goodbye

LASunsett said...

Faith, you have said nothing out of love. I know love and I know arrogance, nothing about your discourse has been rooted in love.

We have shown you time and time again where your comments have have been nasty and your beliefs are just plain wrong. Your underlying themes in your replies are that you are bound to advance what YOU believe to be the truth and promote as such.

We have shown you that your form of evangelism is not conducive to winning anyone to the love of Christ. If I didn't already believe as I do now, you would have made me run for the taverns to get drunk.... to drown the disillusionment.

WE cannot help it if you refuse to search your own soul and see if these things we say be true. We cannot open your mind to the real truth being communicated here. We have piped to you, but you have refused to dance.

It is not my job to teach you anything. If you do not wish to consider anything new here or anywhere else, there is nothing we can say or do to change that. You have made the conscious choice to resist, and you have made the choice to exhibit a foul temperament in the process.

I am confident that what I am saying about you is true, or I would not be so blunt as to put this in such certain terms. Christ described you and your type of theology well, when he spoke of the Pharisees.

He said that on the outside you were clean white sepulchers for the eyes of men to behold in beauty, but the insides of those things contained dead rotting corpses.

Your spirit is dead, you are not guided by the Holy Spirit (which is life), your behavior in this discussion has been anything but Holy and God inspired. I do not completely blame you for it, the men and women who taught you this false doctrine has the greater sin, and they will be held more accountable than you. But now that you have had the opportunity to re-examine your heart and have refused to do so, there is a certain level of accountability that YOU will bear.

I suggest you spend some serious time in prayer and ask God to open up your mind more than it already is. I am not saying that you should agree with any of us on any certain issue along the way. But it may just be that God doesn't trust you with more knowledge than you already think you have. And who could blame Him, given that you have not been a good steward of the truth that you have been entrusted with?

But more than anything, it is apparent to me as a medical professional that you have some narcissistic personality issues that are in desperate need of healing. The lack of proper counsel has allowed these things to grow to the point that you are not a productive member of the coming Kingdom of Christ.

Faith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Faith said...

Wow, I prove that your beliefs are heretical and you rip me to shreds personally in return. Kill the messenger.

LASunsett said...

//Wow, I prove that your beliefs are heretical and you rip me to shreds personally in return. Kill the messenger.//

You just won't let it drop, will you?

You just have to have the last word, don't you?

"Nanny nanny nanny goat" days are over. "I know you are but what does that make me?" is for Pee Wee Herman.

If you have all of the truth and need no use for what any of us here believe, then why do you keep coming back to harangue us? We are not going to agree with you. I know I am not.

Don't you have anything better to do?

At some point, I will post another post that I am quite sure will set you off to no end. At least give me some time to change the topic, so you can condemn us all for something different.