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Bluesky
12-10-2012, 08:11 AM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ben-stevens/the-gospel-according-to-christopher_b_2231094.html


Sewell: "Mr. Hitchens, the religion you cite in your book is generally the fundamentalist faith of various kinds. I'm a liberal Christian, and I don't take the stories from the scripture literally. I don't believe in the doctrine of atonement -- that Jesus died for our sins, for example. Do you make a distinction between fundamentalist faith and liberal religion?"
Hitchens: "Well, I would say that if you don't believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and Messiah, and that he rose again from the dead and by his sacrifice our sins are forgiven, you're really not in any meaningful sense a Christian."


Hitchens at least did us the honor of trying to understand our position on its own terms.

I wish certain Soonetters would do the same.

Barry Morris
12-10-2012, 08:25 AM
Wouldn't it be nice.

The Left Sock
12-10-2012, 11:30 AM
Sorry, but the idea that someone died 2,000 years ago to 'forgive our sins', only so a serial killer could convert to Christianity today before riding the lightning, and spend an eternity in heaven playing harp with the angels is just too absurd to contemplate, at least for me.

Set aside the Messiah thing, or the rising from the dead. 'Paying forward' all actions of all human beings, no matter how insane of cruel, with a promise of paradise for eternity if you 'just get right with God' ranks right up there with getting 72 virgins in paradise, for strapping on a bomb vest. It goes against everything I understand about reality.

Bluesky
12-10-2012, 11:42 AM
You have just proved Hitchens point. You do not understand our position on its own terms. You have altered what the gospel is in order to color it as absurd. Whether you do this purposely or out of ignorance, I cannot determine.

Hans
12-10-2012, 07:16 PM
And the position with regards to forgiving sins is what?

Bluesky
12-10-2012, 07:41 PM
To forgive means to for - give. When you forgive someone of their offense against you, it is you, the offended party who voluntarily (freely) decides to carry the cost of that offense without charge to the offending party. That`s all for now. Maybe more later.

Hans
12-10-2012, 09:04 PM
You mean you are supposed to carry more later, or you are going to expand on your explanation maybe later?

Barry Morris
12-10-2012, 10:06 PM
Hans, get serious please.

Bluesky
12-10-2012, 10:44 PM
You mean you are supposed to carry more later, or you are going to expand on your explanation maybe later?

Sorry, Hans, had to join a meeting, I can continue now.
So let us say that I am the offended party. You run into me and put a dent into my car.

You ask me for forgiveness. For me to grant you forgiveness means in this case that I will bear the cost of the offense. I will pay for the damage done to my car. I pay in your place. You are now a recipient of grace. You did not deserve the grace. It was a free gift on my part.

Do you follow?

The Left Sock
12-10-2012, 11:07 PM
"You have just proved Hitchens point. You do not understand our position on its own terms. You have altered what the gospel is in order to color it as absurd. Whether you do this purposely or out of ignorance, I cannot determine."

I haven't altered a single thing. Can a serial killer who converts to Christianity be forgiven, and get into Heaven? It's a simple proposition, and it is clear that Christians think so. So, you enjoy contemplating eternity in such company - I want no part in it.

Hans
12-11-2012, 06:12 AM
Sorry, Hans, had to join a meeting, I can continue now.
So let us say that I am the offended party. You run into me and put a dent into my car.

You ask me for forgiveness. For me to grant you forgiveness means in this case that I will bear the cost of the offense. I will pay for the damage done to my car. I pay in your place. You are now a recipient of grace. You did not deserve the grace. It was a free gift on my part.

Do you follow?

Could the same be said for sins that have not happened yet? Can you forgive in advance?

Barry Morris
12-11-2012, 08:19 AM
"You have just proved Hitchens point. You do not understand our position on its own terms. You have altered what the gospel is in order to color it as absurd. Whether you do this purposely or out of ignorance, I cannot determine."

I haven't altered a single thing. Can a serial killer who converts to Christianity be forgiven, and get into Heaven? It's a simple proposition, and it is clear that Christians think so. So, you enjoy contemplating eternity in such company - I want no part in it.

it would be interesting to see what sins you think cannot be forgiven.

Hans
12-11-2012, 06:37 PM
Suicide. Can not be forgiven until after the event.

Barry Morris
12-11-2012, 06:41 PM
Suicide. Can not be forgiven until after the event.

Well isn't that nice.

Don't know what it proves.

Bluesky
12-11-2012, 07:05 PM
Hans asks, Can sins be forgiven in advance?

In a sense, yes. In the same way that I can lay a credit card down with a storekeeper and say to him, "whatever debt the next customer incurs, I will pay the price if he wants it."

Jesus Christ paid for my sins 2000 years ago when he died on the cross. I appropriated the redemption He provided for me in the 20th century. So the provision for my forgiveness was like laying the credit card (with no limit) down. I did not take advantage of that credit until I believed.

The Left Sock
12-11-2012, 08:47 PM
"it would be interesting to see what sins you think cannot be forgiven."

That's an easy one. I do not think in terms of 'sin', because the whole system of what Christians believe to be 'sin' is convoluted and antiquated. So, trying to slap a concept like 'forgiveness' onto such a system is just a futile endeavor. You can't even clearly define what people should be forgiven for, even if you did come up with a clear definition for what forgiveness actually means.

In my beliefs, there are no sins, and there is no forgiveness. There is only the concept of 'harm', and if you harm others, you own it, plain and simple. You can attempt to make up for the harm you have caused, if that is even possible, but it does not take away the fact that you did harm - it cannot be 'undone'.

The best explanation of what harm means, comes from a philosopher named John Stuart Mill. He developed an exceptional framework for how humanity should operate, based on this principle - what we should have the right to do, and what society should have the power to prevent. It's the closest thing I have found so far, to put Buddhist beliefs into rational modern social structures. It's a logical approach to right and wrong, and as far as I'm concerned, it is a far superior system of thought, when compared to Christian morality.

Hans
12-11-2012, 08:48 PM
Must have deep pockets in order to have no limit.

Hans
12-11-2012, 08:48 PM
Well isn't that nice.

Don't know what it proves.

To quote you : it would be interesting to see what sins you think cannot be forgiven.

Barry Morris
12-11-2012, 10:45 PM
"it would be interesting to see what sins you think cannot be forgiven."

That's an easy one. I do not think in terms of 'sin', because the whole system of what Christians believe to be 'sin' is convoluted and antiquated. So, trying to slap a concept like 'forgiveness' onto such a system is just a futile endeavor. You can't even clearly define what people should be forgiven for, even if you did come up with a clear definition for what forgiveness actually means.

In my beliefs, there are no sins, and there is no forgiveness. There is only the concept of 'harm', and if you harm others, you own it, plain and simple. You can attempt to make up for the harm you have caused, if that is even possible, but it does not take away the fact that you did harm - it cannot be 'undone'.

The best explanation of what harm means, comes from a philosopher named John Stuart Mill. He developed an exceptional framework for how humanity should operate, based on this principle - what we should have the right to do, and what society should have the power to prevent. It's the closest thing I have found so far, to put Buddhist beliefs into rational modern social structures. It's a logical approach to right and wrong, and as far as I'm concerned, it is a far superior system of thought, when compared to Christian morality.

No sins?? Then no harm.

Blown away.

Barry Morris
12-11-2012, 10:46 PM
To quote you : it would be interesting to see what sins you think cannot be forgiven.

Only one: rejecting God.

The Left Sock
12-11-2012, 11:17 PM
"No sins?? Then no harm.

Blown away."

The only thing 'blown away' by such a statement is your credibility. This might come as a big shock, but most of the world is capable of defining right and wrong, without having to filter it through Christian rhetoric. 'Sin' is a theological term, and there is a whole world of ethics, morality, and philosophy that have developed elaborate theories on what 'harm' means, without having to decipher ancient Hebrew customs, in order to come up with a working definition.

Harm does indeed exist, without having to filter it through theological terms like 'sin'. To suggest otherwise is absurd.

Hans
12-12-2012, 06:09 AM
Only one: rejecting God.

How do you forgive suicide? You can't forgive it until it happens, at which time it is to late since the person is already deceased.

NewCasa
12-12-2012, 07:50 AM
I would appreciate if certain people kept their egos out of this discussion. It is not a competition - it is a learning opportunity. I find some of the discussion quite interesting, but some is quite distracting. I will not name names in the hopes that you'll know who you are.

This is an excellent topic Bluesky. I almost missed it, thinking it was a slam against Hitchens only.

Reading your original post, I would say he has nailed the actual issue down in it's simplest and most basic terms: Either believe that Jesus died for our sins or don't. This defines the core of Christian doctrine. Everything else is add-ons.

Barry Morris
12-12-2012, 08:07 AM
"No sins?? Then no harm.

Blown away."

The only thing 'blown away' by such a statement is your credibility. This might come as a big shock, but most of the world is capable of defining right and wrong, without having to filter it through Christian rhetoric. 'Sin' is a theological term, and there is a whole world of ethics, morality, and philosophy that have developed elaborate theories on what 'harm' means, without having to decipher ancient Hebrew customs, in order to come up with a working definition.

Harm does indeed exist, without having to filter it through theological terms like 'sin'. To suggest otherwise is absurd.

A rose by any other name.

And remember the Golden Rule.

And referring to Hebrew customs is a sure fire indicator of what Blue said in the OP.

The Left Sock
12-12-2012, 08:09 AM
"Either believe that Jesus died for our sins or don't. This defines the core of Christian doctrine. Everything else is add-ons."

Well, not exactly. You also have to believe that Jesus was the one true God, and that He rose from the dead.

I can believe that Jesus was sincere, and actually thought He was dying for our sins, but that won't make me a Christian.

Barry Morris
12-12-2012, 08:10 AM
How do you forgive suicide? You can't forgive it until it happens, at which time it is to late since the person is already deceased.

How do I forgive?? Has nothing to do with me.

When I'm confused, I let God worry about it.

My bottom line is the relationship with God. God's children are forgiven.

Others are not.

Barry Morris
12-12-2012, 08:11 AM
"Either believe that Jesus died for our sins or don't. This defines the core of Christian doctrine. Everything else is add-ons."

Well, not exactly. You also have to believe that Jesus was the one true God, and that He rose from the dead.

I can believe that Jesus was sincere, and actually thought He was dying for our sins, but that won't make me a Christian.

Heck, the devil believes!!

You'd also have to believe Jesus was a lunatic or a liar.

The Left Sock
12-12-2012, 08:15 AM
"And referring to Hebrew customs is a sure fire indicator of what Blue said in the OP."

The entire Bible is riddled with all kinds of Hebrew customs that are described as 'sins', and since you have to own the entire thing as the factual, inerrant word of God, you are left with the responsibility of having to make sense of what 'sin' actually means, before you can even start to get down to the business of figuring out what forgiveness looks like.

It seems to me that quite a few Bible characters committed murder, and stayed on good terms with God, so it even raises the question of whether or not the biggest of the Ten Commandments is actually applicable. But hey, maybe I've just watched too many bad Charlie Heston movies.

Bluesky
12-12-2012, 08:36 AM
"No sins?? Then no harm.

Blown away."

The only thing 'blown away' by such a statement is your credibility. This might come as a big shock, but most of the world is capable of defining right and wrong, without having to filter it through Christian rhetoric. 'Sin' is a theological term, and there is a whole world of ethics, morality, and philosophy that have developed elaborate theories on what 'harm' means, without having to decipher ancient Hebrew customs, in order to come up with a working definition.

Harm does indeed exist, without having to filter it through theological terms like 'sin'. To suggest otherwise is absurd.

By replacing the word Sin with harm, you are simply relocating the term, not redefining it, because sin IS harm and harm is sin. Therefore the argument is not does sin (read harm) exist, but rather what constitutes sin (harm). Due to the fact that you will not accept the truthfulness of a dusty old Hebrew set of books, you have a different frame of reference (filter, if you will).

Bluesky
12-12-2012, 08:38 AM
But hey, maybe I've just watched too many bad Charlie Heston movies.

Yeah, what I've suspected as your source of Bible knowledge all along! ;)

The Left Sock
12-12-2012, 08:43 AM
"By replacing the word Sin with harm, you are simply relocating, because sin IS harm and harm is sin."

Not really. Working on the Sabbath is a sin, but it does no measurable harm to anyone - you're just offending God by not resting that day. Sin is riddled with theology, whereas harm is simply the predictable, observable, measurable damage done to one human being by another. Harm is a much easier concept to work with.

Barry Morris
12-12-2012, 10:24 AM
"And referring to Hebrew customs is a sure fire indicator of what Blue said in the OP."

The entire Bible is riddled with all kinds of Hebrew customs that are described as 'sins', and since you have to own the entire thing as the factual, inerrant word of God, you are left with the responsibility of having to make sense of what 'sin' actually means, before you can even start to get down to the business of figuring out what forgiveness looks like.

It seems to me that quite a few Bible characters committed murder, and stayed on good terms with God, so it even raises the question of whether or not the biggest of the Ten Commandments is actually applicable. But hey, maybe I've just watched too many bad Charlie Heston movies.

And it really appears your only source of bible knowledge is those movies.

Barry Morris
12-12-2012, 10:25 AM
Ah, I see Blue noticed it too.

Barry Morris
12-12-2012, 10:26 AM
"By replacing the word Sin with harm, you are simply relocating, because sin IS harm and harm is sin."

Not really. Working on the Sabbath is a sin, but it does no measurable harm to anyone - you're just offending God by not resting that day. Sin is riddled with theology, whereas harm is simply the predictable, observable, measurable damage done to one human being by another. Harm is a much easier concept to work with.

Nonsense. What did Jesus say about working on the Sabbath??

Bluesky
12-12-2012, 01:39 PM
"By replacing the word Sin with harm, you are simply relocating, because sin IS harm and harm is sin."

Not really. Working on the Sabbath is a sin, but it does no measurable harm to anyone - you're just offending God by not resting that day. Sin is riddled with theology, whereas harm is simply the predictable, observable, measurable damage done to one human being by another. Harm is a much easier concept to work with.

Not really. Now you are defining harm with your view of a world without a God who made this law, whereas I would define harm as anything that goes against our Designers intentions for us. And His intention in the Sabbath law is to give us much needed rest from the weariness and fatigue of work during the other six days. Shoot, even without a God you can see that a person will harm himself in the long run by working without a day of rest.

Bluesky
12-12-2012, 01:39 PM
Ah, I see Blue noticed it too.

Only I added a smilie...

The Voice
12-12-2012, 05:44 PM
Not really. Now you are defining harm with your view of a world without a God who made this law, whereas I would define harm as anything that goes against our Designers intentions for us. And His intention in the Sabbath law is to give us much needed rest from the weariness and fatigue of work during the other six days. Shoot, even without a God you can see that a person will harm himself in the long run by working without a day of rest.

You know what the Old Testament says about working on the Sabbath, but just like most Christians you choose to ignore it.

NewCasa
12-12-2012, 05:57 PM
"Either believe that Jesus died for our sins or don't. This defines the core of Christian doctrine. Everything else is add-ons."

Well, not exactly. You also have to believe that Jesus was the one true God, and that He rose from the dead.

I can believe that Jesus was sincere, and actually thought He was dying for our sins, but that won't make me a Christian.

Excellent point. You're right.

NewCasa
12-12-2012, 06:01 PM
Heck, the devil believes!!

You'd also have to believe Jesus was a lunatic or a liar.

I wouldn't necessarily say that the 'devil' as the personification of evil would be essential to being Christian, would it?

Now you're starting to say that it's not as simple as just believing, yet all the people who talk about it say that's really all one needs - faith.

NewCasa
12-12-2012, 06:05 PM
You know what the Old Testament says about working on the Sabbath, but just like most Christians you choose to ignore it.

I believe the old testament says quite a bit about the treatment of women, but thankfully most Christians ignore that too.

The Voice
12-12-2012, 06:08 PM
A rose by any other name.

And remember the Golden Rule.

And referring to Hebrew customs is a sure fire indicator of what Blue said in the OP.

I know what sets my Moral compass what sets yours?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IC-9uJrotC4&feature=g-high-u

Hans
12-12-2012, 06:50 PM
How do I forgive?? Has nothing to do with me.

When I'm confused, I let God worry about it.

My bottom line is the relationship with God. God's children are forgiven.

Others are not.

What would be the point of sin, if it is forgiven as long as you "believe"?
And to claim others are not would mean those subscribing to a different religious view would automatically be excluded.

Barry Morris
12-12-2012, 07:12 PM
What would be the point of sin, if it is forgiven as long as you "believe"?
And to claim others are not would mean those subscribing to a different religious view would automatically be excluded.

Your lack of understanding continues.

Think about this. The devil believes.

So what is different??

Barry Morris
12-12-2012, 07:13 PM
I know what sets my Moral compass what sets yours?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IC-9uJrotC4&feature=g-high-u

"... chances are the bible is your moral guide.."

Stopped right there.

Then I went back.

Ya know, this guy's understanding is a limited as yours.

The Voice
12-12-2012, 07:19 PM
"... chances are the bible is your moral guide.."

Stopped right there.

Then I went back.

Ya know, this guy's understanding is a limited as yours.

This guy was raised in the fold of the church just like I was.

Barry Morris
12-12-2012, 07:36 PM
This guy was raised in the fold of the church just like I was.

Uh huh, too bad it wasn't in the arms of God.

He picks and chooses just like he accuses (falsely) Christians.

NewCasa
12-12-2012, 07:49 PM
Your lack of understanding continues.

Think about this. The devil believes.

So what is different??

So once again, belief in the devil is essential to Christian beliefs?

The Voice
12-12-2012, 08:03 PM
So once again, belief in the devil is essential to Christian beliefs?

It's in the bible why wouldn't it be?

Barry Morris
12-12-2012, 08:05 PM
Oh brother, off the wall again.

The Voice
12-12-2012, 08:06 PM
Uh huh, too bad it wasn't in the arms of God.

He picks and chooses just like he accuses (falsely) Christians.

My guess is God had preordained that He and I would become Atheists.

Thus shrinks your demographic.

The Left Sock
12-12-2012, 09:23 PM
"Oh brother, off the wall again."

Christians tend to shy away from talking about the 'Devil', so this dismissal of a valid question is not a big surprise.

The Devil was actually an Angel of God, who pissed him off, and was cast out. But since then, God and the Devil have been partners. Anyone God rejects becomes a plaything for the Devil, doomed to suffer eternity under whatever delightful torture the Devil cares to implement.

God could have just smoked the Devil outright, since He is all-powerful, but instead, millions and millions of souls suffer eternal torture at the hands of this fallen Angel, because that's how God wants it. And for Christians, this is a-okay; perfectly acceptable.

Could this explain why so many conservatives defended waterboarding and other forms of torture? It simply cuts out the middle-man. Might as well torture evil-doers now, and try to get some information, because once they are killed and end up with the Devil, they are going to be begging throughout all eternity to have another drink of water. We're really just doing them a favour, when you think about it the right way.

NewCasa
12-12-2012, 11:02 PM
It's in the bible why wouldn't it be?

Ok so it's not enough to believe that Jesus is God and that Jesus died for everyone's sins and that Jesus was resurrected, in order to be a Christian one must believe the entire contents of the bible?

Barry Morris
12-12-2012, 11:07 PM
You guys just keep on putting up your opinions about what the bible says.

Nothing more than that.

The Left Sock
12-12-2012, 11:13 PM
"Ok so it's not enough to believe that Jesus is God and that Jesus died for everyone's sins and that Jesus was resurrected, in order to be a Christian one must believe the entire contents of the bible?"

Well, if you want to be a member of the evangelical club, you will have to sign on to the notion that the Bible is the inerrant, actual word of God. To be an ordinary Christian, the other three things will suffice.

Barry Morris
12-12-2012, 11:22 PM
Again.

The Left Sock
12-13-2012, 03:05 AM
"You guys just keep on putting up your opinions about what the bible says.

Nothing more than that."

Can anyone, including you, do anything else? That's what you're here for, that's what we're here for. The only irony lies in the fact that you think you are somehow different.

Are you different? Do you have special powers, insights? Has God spoken to you, and given you secret enlightenment?

When you assume a posture of superiority, at some point, you will have to deliver the goods, or confess the fraud.

Hans
12-13-2012, 06:20 AM
You guys just keep on putting up your opinions about what the bible says.

Nothing more than that.

You do the same thing.

Hans
12-13-2012, 06:22 AM
Your lack of understanding continues.

Think about this. The devil believes.

So what is different??


Why don't you tell us what is different?
You said yourself that all you have to do is be a child of God and you are forgiven. And since according to your theories God created everything, everyone is a child of God.

NewCasa
12-13-2012, 07:07 AM
"Ok so it's not enough to believe that Jesus is God and that Jesus died for everyone's sins and that Jesus was resurrected, in order to be a Christian one must believe the entire contents of the bible?"

Well, if you want to be a member of the evangelical club, you will have to sign on to the notion that the Bible is the inerrant, actual word of God. To be an ordinary Christian, the other three things will suffice.

Thank you. I think anyone's argument would be with 'The Voice'. I didn't express any opinions - I was just asking questions and reiterating the answers. Seems to me that there's some significant disagreement between Christians as to what is the core of their believe system. You says it's this, however the Voice says one has to believe the entire Bible word for word, while Soundbear won't really say what his belief system contains, though he has no problem attacking the beliefs of others. On this basis I would say there really is no true Christian belief system - just a bunch of sects.

Barry Morris
12-13-2012, 08:20 AM
OK, boys, I'll be back.

Bluesky
12-13-2012, 11:17 AM
I would appreciate if certain people kept their egos out of this discussion. It is not a competition - it is a learning opportunity. I find some of the discussion quite interesting, but some is quite distracting. I will not name names in the hopes that you'll know who you are.

This is an excellent topic Bluesky. I almost missed it, thinking it was a slam against Hitchens only.

Reading your original post, I would say he has nailed the actual issue down in it's simplest and most basic terms: Either believe that Jesus died for our sins or don't. This defines the core of Christian doctrine. Everything else is add-ons.

Thanks for the nod, NC. Actually, my issue with public discussions of Christianity is that very often, the tenets of our faith get reframed in the forums, to suit the objective of the interlocutor. Thus Christianity is not seen by its own terms, but by the convenient terms of the objector. SO you have the wild and careless comparison made of Christianity with the radical Muslim who achieves a vestigial Paradise by blowing himself to smithereens. And of course, a lot of white noise ensues. For those of us who cannot sit on the keyboard all day long and maybe only look in on a thread once a day, it is disheartening to see where the thread has gone in the meantime, and it discourages me from continuing. But I always come back.

Yeah, the essence of the Christian gospel is that Jesus Christ as the Son of God offered to pay for our sins by allowing himself to be crucified. His death was much much more than to just be an example for us. His death actually accomplished my redemption. I would not say all else is unimportant, but Christ's death and resurrection are core, and are basic to Christianity. Without that, there is no Christianity.

Bluesky
12-13-2012, 11:22 AM
You know what the Old Testament says about working on the Sabbath, but just like most Christians you choose to ignore it.

No, we don't ignore it. We integrate it with what the complete Bible teaches. And when Jesus Christ came, He taught on it as well. Do you know what He said, Voice?
Any idea what the book of Hebrews teaches about the Sabbath? Why did the Christians in the first century (who had nothing but the Old Testament begin worshipping on the Sunday, Voice? Do you think that Non-Jewish people (Roman slaves, for instance) were able to keep the Sabbath law? Do you think the entire world was Jewish?

Bluesky
12-13-2012, 11:28 AM
I wouldn't necessarily say that the 'devil' as the personification of evil would be essential to being Christian, would it?

Now you're starting to say that it's not as simple as just believing, yet all the people who talk about it say that's really all one needs - faith.

Let me clarify. There is belief, and there is trust.
ANd the context will determine which word or concept applies.

SO when the Bible says that the devils believe, it simply means that they acknowledge his existence, i.e. who He is, etc. But they will not trust Him nor obey Him.

There were people who saw miracles happen in front of their eyes, yet refused to place their trust in Jesus. Because it means giving up personal autonomy. The belief in Jesus that is necessary for essential Christianity is a call to discipleship i.e a lifestyle of following Him.

He said, If any one wants to follow me, let him pick up his cross and follow. His call is a call to a lifestyle of putting His desires for us first. For me, it is a life that has been filled with joyous purpose and meaning.

Bluesky
12-13-2012, 11:36 AM
I believe the old testament says quite a bit about the treatment of women, but thankfully most Christians ignore that too.

Much of what one reads in the Bible is not prescriptive, but rather descriptive. If you were to draw a graph to plot how women were treated in the complete Bible, you would find that they were increasingly elevated. Critics seldom see, much less remember the stories of Miriam, Queen Esther, Deborah, Ruth, Naomi and others who are given prominence in the Biblical text. I don't ignore the Old Testament. In fact, I am studying it as we speak.

But unfortunately many Christians do ignore the Old Testament.

Bluesky
12-13-2012, 11:45 AM
Ok so it's not enough to believe that Jesus is God and that Jesus died for everyone's sins and that Jesus was resurrected, in order to be a Christian one must believe the entire contents of the bible?

NC, may I try to cut through the thickening smoke here?

Christians believe that the Bible is the Word of God. i.e. inspired by God, and truthful in all that it asserts.

We distinguish between those truths that are essential (the line between what is absolutely essential to Christianity and that which is not).

So some of the truths that are essential can be found in most Statements of faith (go to the website of any church and look for their statement of faith.)

You will find included in their statements :
Belief in God as Creator
Belief in the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit)
Belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus
Belief in the atoning value of the death of Christ
Belief in the necessity of being "born again" as humans
Belief in the return of Christ and in the judgment to come

There are many other things taught in the Bible that are not essential to the definition of Christianity.
Belief in the devil as a mere concept (personification of evil) rather than a personal entity who existed as an angel and fell from God's graces will not disqualify a person from being a Christian.

Hope that helps.

NewCasa
12-13-2012, 11:46 AM
Let me clarify. There is belief, and there is trust.
ANd the context will determine which word or concept applies.

SO when the Bible says that the devils believe, it simply means that they acknowledge his existence, i.e. who He is, etc. But they will not trust Him nor obey Him.

There were people who saw miracles happen in front of their eyes, yet refused to place their trust in Jesus. Because it means giving up personal autonomy. The belief in Jesus that is necessary for essential Christianity is a call to discipleship i.e a lifestyle of following Him.

He said, If any one wants to follow me, let him pick up his cross and follow. His call is a call to a lifestyle of putting His desires for us first. For me, it is a life that has been filled with joyous purpose and meaning.

So it's not enough to believe that Jesus is God, died for our sins and was resurrected?

It is also necessary to completely give up personal autonomy and obey all His teachings?

Seems to me that could get quite complicated.

Oh and btw - I don't think Christians have a monopoly on the whole 'joyous purpose and meaning' thing. :)

NewCasa
12-13-2012, 11:51 AM
NC, may I try to cut through the thickening smoke here?

Christians believe that the Bible is the Word of God. i.e. inspired by God, and truthful in all that it asserts.

We distinguish between those truths that are essential (the line between what is absolutely essential to Christianity and that which is not).

So some of the truths that are essential can be found in most Statements of faith (go to the website of any church and look for their statement of faith.)

You will find included in their statements :
Belief in God as Creator
Belief in the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit)
Belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus
Belief in the atoning value of the death of Christ
Belief in the necessity of being "born again" as humans
Belief in the return of Christ and in the judgment to come

There are many other things taught in the Bible that are not essential to the definition of Christianity.
Belief in the devil as a mere concept (personification of evil) rather than a personal entity who existed as an angel and fell from God's graces will not disqualify a person from being a Christian.

Hope that helps.

Thank you for this. I hadn't read it prior to my last post. In your statements I don't see the part about giving up personal will and as far as being born again, I'm not sure all Christian sects would agree on it, but then again they might and just manifest that belief in different ways. Come to think of it, that may be part of what defines many Christian sects - not what they believe, but what they do about what they believe.

Bluesky
12-13-2012, 11:56 AM
"Ok so it's not enough to believe that Jesus is God and that Jesus died for everyone's sins and that Jesus was resurrected, in order to be a Christian one must believe the entire contents of the bible?"

Well, if you want to be a member of the evangelical club, you will have to sign on to the notion that the Bible is the inerrant, actual word of God. To be an ordinary Christian, the other three things will suffice.

There are many evangelicals who will differ with Sock on this question.

Bluesky
12-13-2012, 02:21 PM
So it's not enough to believe that Jesus is God, died for our sins and was resurrected?

It is also necessary to completely give up personal autonomy and obey all His teachings?

Seems to me that could get quite complicated.

Oh and btw - I don't think Christians have a monopoly on the whole 'joyous purpose and meaning' thing. :)

And I never claimed that monopoly. :)

Some more on that autonomy thing.
There is a song running through my head at the moment (a Christian song :)
one of its lines goes, "For it's only in your will that I am free."

Jesus also said, If the Son shall set you free, you will be free indeed.

So it is a bit of a paradox that I say that conversion entails the giving up of one's autonomy.

It is similar to being subject to a benevolent King. His subjects are in love with the King and there is nothing they would not do for Him, and indeed, they stand ready to carry out his every wish. But this King does not lay heavy burdens on his subjects. He allows them great freedom within the parameters of the laws that rule in that kingdom.

Jesus said, "Take my yoke upon you and learn of me. My yoke is easy, my burden is light." Yep, that has been my experience.

The more one appreciates the core elements of what Jesus Christ has done, the greater the degree of devotion and surrender to Him. So there is no way of defining, "You are not a Christian until you have dedicated this much of your will to me".

But typically, we regard the ritual of baptism (believer's baptism, not to be confused with what mainline churches do to their infants) as the moment when the believer says (symbolically- in the very act of being baptized) "I lay my rebellion down, I die to my old life and am raised to my new life with Jesus Christ."

The Voice
12-13-2012, 06:36 PM
Do you think the entire world was Jewish?

I'll try to address your points one at a time.

You obviously haven't read very many of my posts if that's what you think.

Try reading this thread.

http://www.soonet.ca/showthread.php?49370-This-may-generate-some-interesting-discussion

The Voice
12-13-2012, 06:47 PM
No, we don't ignore it. We integrate it with what the complete Bible teaches.

That's what I said. You are your own Moral Compass. You pick and Choose the parts of the bible that you want to believe are relevant.

The Left Sock
12-13-2012, 06:52 PM
"SO you have the wild and careless comparison made of Christianity with the radical Muslim who achieves a vestigial Paradise by blowing himself to smithereens. And of course, a lot of white noise ensues..."

Wild and careless? Really... let's take a closer look.

My original statement: (three days ago, on page one of this thread - so I guess the other three pages are the 'white noise')

"Sorry, but the idea that someone died 2,000 years ago to 'forgive our sins', only so a serial killer could convert to Christianity today before riding the lightning, and spend an eternity in heaven playing harp with the angels is just too absurd to contemplate, at least for me.

Set aside the Messiah thing, or the rising from the dead. 'Paying forward' all actions of all human beings, no matter how insane of cruel, with a promise of paradise for eternity if you 'just get right with God' ranks right up there with getting 72 virgins in paradise, for strapping on a bomb vest. It goes against everything I understand about reality."

A serial killer can convert to Christianity, and get to spend an eternity in Heaven, because Christ paid for his sins, 2,000 years ago. This is something I am supposed to believe as rational, reasonable, and acceptable, if I am to buy into your belief system. This is something you believe, and something I'm supposed to respect as not 'careless' or 'radical'.

A Muslim who sacrifices himself in the name of 'Jihad', and takes a bunch of other people with him, is promised an eternity in Paradise, and 72 virgins as his reward for martyring himself in a 'Holy War'. This is something I am supposed to believe is irrational, unreasonable, and totally unacceptable, if I am to buy into your belief system. This is something you believe, and something I'm supposed to agree is careless and reckless.

So, let's take a look at that, for a moment.

A serial killer who spends years stalking, capturing, torturing, then killing innocent people, will be forgiven, and spend eternity in Heaven, if he 'finds Jesus', and converts to Christianity. In fact, he will end up in the same place as his innocent victims, if they were Christians before they were killed. He bypasses judgment for the things he has done, and will not pay any price in the afterlife, because Jesus 'paid' for it, 2,000 years ago. I'm supposed to buy into all of that, and consider it the workings of a rational mind?

But at the same time, I'm also supposed to hold the position that a Muslim, who believes it is a Holy thing to sacrifice themselves in defence of their faith, who prays to God before his martyrdom, who washes his body and clothes in religious preparation before blowing himself up, is a reckless, murderous monster, evil to the core, and destined to spend an eternity in Hell, rather than get his 72 virgins in Paradise? Is that how things are supposed to work, in your world?

The point I was making, and the point I still contend, is that by looking at both scenarios, and the contrast you hold for each, based on the fact that you are Christian and they are Muslim, serves to illuminate the absurdity of both positions, and further illuminates the hypocrisy of holding the view that one of these positions is righteous, while the other is evil. You are both using insane logic to validate your beliefs, but somehow you think you are right, and they are wrong.

Do you have any idea how nuts you look, from an outsider's point of view?

The Voice
12-13-2012, 06:56 PM
Why did the Christians in the first century (who had nothing but the Old Testament

What? I mean really What?

Maybe you didn't realize but Jesus and his Disciples were Hebrews.

KDawg
12-13-2012, 06:59 PM
No, we don't ignore it. We integrate it with what the complete Bible teaches. And when Jesus Christ came, He taught on it as well. Do you know what He said, Voice?
Any idea what the book of Hebrews teaches about the Sabbath? Why did the Christians in the first century (who had nothing but the Old Testament begin worshipping on the Sunday, Voice? Do you think that Non-Jewish people (Roman slaves, for instance) were able to keep the Sabbath law? Do you think the entire world was Jewish?

That's what I said. You are your own Moral Compass. You pick and Choose the parts of the bible that you want to believe are relevant.
I agree with you Voice. The issue of the Sabbath is not merely another verse or statement in the bible, nor was it ever changed from the old testament to the new testament. It is, and always has been one of the TEN COMMANDMENTS.

The Voice
12-13-2012, 07:06 PM
Do you know what He said, Voice?
Any idea what the book of Hebrews teaches about the Sabbath?

I don't know maybe you missed the part about being raised in the fold of the church. I went to church, sometimes twice a week, from the time I was old enough to attend until my first year of college. I am all to aware of what it says in the Bible as well as what is taught in church.

The Left Sock
12-13-2012, 07:11 PM
Gee, I hope SoundBear doesn't take too long getting back to us on all of this - looks like he's running out of time!

http://news.yahoo.com/nearly-four-10-u-residents-blame-weather-end-200603898.html

Well, at least he left Bluesky with us, to babysit.

The Voice
12-13-2012, 07:12 PM
The point I was making, and the point I still contend, is that by looking at both scenarios, and the contrast you hold for each, based on the fact that you are Christian and they are Muslim, serves to illuminate the absurdity of both positions, and further illuminates the hypocrisy of holding the view that one of these positions is righteous, while the other is evil. You are both using insane logic to validate your beliefs, but somehow you think you are right, and they are wrong.

Do you have any idea how nuts you look, from an outsider's point of view?

For me the best part is they both worship the same god. Too funny.

Bluesky
12-13-2012, 08:01 PM
I'll try to address your points one at a time.

You obviously haven't read very many of my posts if that's what you think.

Try reading this thread.

http://www.soonet.ca/showthread.php?49370-This-may-generate-some-interesting-discussion

And I will try to answer them as well. And I appreciate the respectful tone.
Mine was a rhetorical question, because the book of Hebrews deals with the Sabbath, explains that as believers in Christ, we have "entered into our rest", the rest which the Sabbath was a symbol of.

The problem that critics who treat the Bible rather one-dimensionally is that they don't understand that the Bible is a progressive revelation,and the Old testament is written in such a way that it anticipates a Messiah. Also, in the Old Testament (which really means Old Covenant - and Covenant means contract) there are terms in that contract that spell out that the terms of the contract will change with the coming of the New Covenant (Contract).. the New Covenant (Contract). So there is no contradiction.

Bluesky
12-13-2012, 08:07 PM
That's what I said. You are your own Moral Compass. You pick and Choose the parts of the bible that you want to believe are relevant.

No, I don't think so. I read pretty widely and I am pretty much in the mainstream of what the Church Fathers taught on these topics. Calvin, Luther, Augustine would all say the same as what I said. No cherry picking here.

Bluesky
12-13-2012, 08:09 PM
What? I mean really What?

Maybe you didn't realize but Jesus and his Disciples were Hebrews.

Exactly. You make my point. And the disciples gathered to worship on the first day of the week, not the Sabbath. Although they did continue to visit the synagogue when they were able. You made it sound like not resting on the sabbath was a 21st century cherry-picken' kind of innovation.

Bluesky
12-13-2012, 08:11 PM
I agree with you Voice. The issue of the Sabbath is not merely another verse or statement in the bible, nor was it ever changed from the old testament to the new testament. It is, and always has been one of the TEN COMMANDMENTS.

Seventh Day Adventists will disagree on this point with most of the evangelical world.But this is not one of those essential doctrines that will make or break Christianity.

Bluesky
12-13-2012, 08:14 PM
"SO you have the wild and careless comparison made of Christianity with the radical Muslim who achieves a vestigial Paradise by blowing himself to smithereens. And of course, a lot of white noise ensues..."

Wild and careless? Really... let's take a closer look.

My original statement: (three days ago, on page one of this thread - so I guess the other three pages are the 'white noise')

Do you have any idea how nuts you look, from an outsider's point of view?

My only response to you Sock is - They called Him nuts too.

Bluesky
12-13-2012, 08:17 PM
I don't know maybe you missed the part about being raised in the fold of the church. I went to church, sometimes twice a week, from the time I was old enough to attend until my first year of college. I am all to aware of what it says in the Bible as well as what is taught in church.

No I didn't miss it. But you have not answered my question. Is this an argument by virtue f having gone to church?? Tons of people have been raised in the church and know zip-all about Christianity.

The Left Sock
12-13-2012, 11:20 PM
"My only response to you Sock is - They called Him nuts too."

That's not an answer to anything.

Barry Morris
12-14-2012, 07:57 AM
"My only response to you Sock is - They called Him nuts too."

That's not an answer to anything.

Not to you.

The Left Sock
12-14-2012, 08:45 AM
People called Jesus nuts because He claimed to be God.

I'm calling you nuts because you think serial killers can get into Heaven because they become Christian, while at the same time you think Muslims who blow themselves up over their belief in God, are evil-doers who will burn in Hell.

See the difference?

Barry Morris
12-14-2012, 09:01 AM
People called Jesus nuts because He claimed to be God.

I'm calling you nuts because you think serial killers can get into Heaven because they become Christian, while at the same time you think Muslims who blow themselves up over their belief in God, are evil-doers who will burn in Hell.

See the difference?

Nope, because you really don't know what I believe on the matter.

As I said, I'll be back.

The Left Sock
12-14-2012, 09:14 AM
Well, when all you do is provide flippant one-liners and then disappear, how will we ever get to know the real you?

Having Bluesky fire a barrage of five posts to cover your hasty retreat doesn't help illuminate your position, either.

Bluesky
12-14-2012, 10:02 AM
People called Jesus nuts because He claimed to be God.

I'm calling you nuts because you think serial killers can get into Heaven because they become Christian, while at the same time you think Muslims who blow themselves up over their belief in God, are evil-doers who will burn in Hell.

See the difference?

The reason I do not respond is embedded in the OP. You are not allowing Christianity its own terms. You keep redefining it to suit your purposes of belittling the faith of Christians on this forum. You use extreme examples to illustrate what you want us to believe are central issues with our faith.

Bluesky
12-14-2012, 10:36 AM
Well, when all you do is provide flippant one-liners and then disappear, how will we ever get to know the real you?

Having Bluesky fire a barrage of five posts to cover your hasty retreat doesn't help illuminate your position, either.

I know nothing about SB's activities. There is no collusion between SB and myself. I have no interest in "covering" him, nor am or was I aware of any retreat on his part.

The Left Sock
12-14-2012, 11:25 AM
"You keep redefining it to suit your purposes of belittling the faith of Christians on this forum."

That's BS. I use your own theology to deconstruct the notion that your faith is the only correct one, and that all others beliefs are wrong.

If being reduced to equal status among other faiths, by compelling you to admit that you are guessing, making leaps of faith, and lacking any tangible way to establish your beliefs as superior is 'belittling' to you, then I would suggest you re-examine the portions of your beliefs that talk about humility.

If a Christian comes on this board, and claims that they are just sharing their beliefs, they will never hear a contrary word from me. If someone comes on this board, claiming that their beliefs are the 'correct ones', they better be prepared to defend that claim, and respond to the counterclaims that will ensue.

Don't try to accuse me of religion bashing, just because I won't surrender the moral high ground to you. You don't own it.

Barry Morris
12-14-2012, 04:05 PM
"...your own theology.. "

Very rarely correct. You use your own version of our theology, which bears little resemblance to the reality.

Bluesky
12-14-2012, 04:37 PM
If I were to start using Sock's vocabulary to critique Buddhism or whatever his beliefs are today, he would no doubt start pitching fits and telling us that we should all be shot at high noon. Like he did once before. Little has changed with him. And he compares Christianity with radical suicide bombers.

The Left Sock
12-14-2012, 07:04 PM
If I were to start using Sock's vocabulary to critique Buddhism or whatever his beliefs are today, he would no doubt start pitching fits and telling us that we should all be shot at high noon. Like he did once before. Little has changed with him. And he compares Christianity with radical suicide bombers.

Congratulations on resorting to nothing more than personal attacks. It shows your desperation.

Barry Morris
12-14-2012, 07:24 PM
Congratulations on resorting to nothing more than personal attacks. It shows your desperation.

Today's chuckle!!! :) :) :)

KDawg
12-14-2012, 07:39 PM
People called Jesus nuts because He claimed to be God.

I'm calling you nuts because you think serial killers can get into Heaven because they become Christian, while at the same time you think Muslims who blow themselves up over their belief in God, are evil-doers who will burn in Hell.

See the difference?
You're just plain wrong on that one. Serial killers won't get into heaven because they became Christian. They will get into heaven because they confessed to God their horrible actions and asked for forgiveness, with a remorseful, sincere heart.

God knows the hearts of others -- you and I don't.

NewCasa
12-14-2012, 08:49 PM
If a Christian comes on this board, and claims that they are just sharing their beliefs, they will never hear a contrary word from me. If someone comes on this board, claiming that their beliefs are the 'correct ones', they better be prepared to defend that claim, and respond to the counterclaims that will ensue.

Don't try to accuse me of religion bashing, just because I won't surrender the moral high ground to you. You don't own it.

It is the nature of religion to declaim all others as wrong. That doesn't mean that they don't hold any moral high ground - it just means that they believe their way is the only correct one. I think you will find Muslims, Jews and all others feel the same way.

The Left Sock
12-14-2012, 09:55 PM
Buddhism does not claim to be the only valid belief system. We are encouraged to study and observe any faith that assists us on our path to Enlightenment. In fact, Christ is considered a Buddha, in my belief system. His example to the world, His message of peace and compassion, are shining opportunities for Enlightenment.

Claiming that you are in sole possession of the truth, because you adhere to one particular sect of one particular faith, is a recipe for bloodshed and suffering that far outweighs the action of any one dictator, or empire throughout history. In that respect, fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Muslims are equally wrong, and they really get irate when you point out the parallels in their flawed thinking.

No one faith has all the answers, and it becomes glaringly apparent that they don't, when you start poking around at the gaping flaws in their logic.

The Left Sock
12-14-2012, 10:19 PM
"They will get into heaven because they confessed to God their horrible actions and asked for forgiveness, with a remorseful, sincere heart."

That's not enough to get into Heaven, according to those who claim to know such things around here. The 'being Christian' part, with all the specific trappings that go with that, are prerequisites.

I could be a serial killer, confess to God, and be really, really sorry about the whole thing, but it won't get me a ticket to Paradise.

Bluesky
12-15-2012, 08:06 AM
First of all, this extreme example that is continually being raised to make Christ's claims on truth to be incredulous is a good example of how to use outrage as an argument, and we all know that argument by outrage is a fallacy. (eg. How could a serial killer possibly be saved!!)

Let me ask you a question. What is the difference between a serial killer who converts to Christianity in his early 30's, lives another 40 years, and demonstrates with his life that he has sincerely become converted, and lives a life of service and sacrifice to others, and a serial murder who on the day of his execution, repents and asks the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive his sins? (We will assume for the sake of the argument that both individuals are genuine and very sincere in their conversion).

Can/will God forgive the first? Why or why not, according to your understanding..
Can/will God forgive the second? Why or why not?

The Left Sock
12-15-2012, 10:04 AM
If something is true, how can it be outrageous?

If serial killers get to go to Heaven in your belief system, it falls upon those who hold such beliefs to defend such a thing. It has nothing to do with 'fallacy' if it's a fact.

If I was conversing with a Muslim on this board, I would be asking the same kinds of things about young men and bomb vests getting into Heaven.

As to your two questions, here is a third for you: What does God say to the victims of a serial killer who are in Heaven with Him, when their killer shows up and is admitted in?

Barry Morris
12-15-2012, 11:54 AM
If something is true, how can it be outrageous?

If serial killers get to go to Heaven in your belief system, it falls upon those who hold such beliefs to defend such a thing. It has nothing to do with 'fallacy' if it's a fact.

If I was conversing with a Muslim on this board, I would be asking the same kinds of things about young men and bomb vests getting into Heaven.

As to your two questions, here is a third for you: What does God say to the victims of a serial killer who are in Heaven with Him, when their killer shows up and is admitted in?

What makes you think someone who is unforgiving (the victims) would be in heaven??

Sorry, your "facts" are one mans opinions about something he doesn't really understand.

The Left Sock
12-15-2012, 12:15 PM
"What makes you think someone who is unforgiving (the victims) would be in heaven??

Sorry, your "facts" are one mans opinions about something he doesn't really understand."

Oh, so now you are going to attack innocent victims of a serial killer, and question whether or not they belong in Heaven in the first place? Wow, didn't see that angle coming.

Let's just assume that since it was a serial killer, there were multiple victims. Let's assume that at least one of them was a good person, and they were admitted into Heaven. Let's even assume that they had forgiven the killer, after of course they were already dead, since they didn't have the chance to do that while they were being butchered. Still with me?

Okay, so the killer gets into Heaven. The victim (who we have already established is there, and has forgiven him post-mortem), sees that the killer got into Heaven. What does your God say about that?

"It's okay, I got this covered".

"He's okay now, he's one of us".

"He's a lot nicer now, than when you met him".

"I'm in charge, don't question my judgment".

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. How does a rational, loving, all-knowing God justify these actions, to someone who has proven their worth to spend an eternity with Him?

What, are you going to suggest that no one can question God, even after the big mystery is solved, and you have passed judgment? Does God remain mysterious and unknowable, for all eternity, even after your dead?

Enquiry minds would like to know.

And you can drop the 'you don't understand' bit - it's really getting lame. I've been dancing circles around you, using your own theology, and all you have done is respond with amateurish one-liners that don't explain anything. Based on that, I would be in a position to suggest that you don't even understand what you believe, but that would be insulting.

Bluesky
12-15-2012, 12:39 PM
Your answer to the yet unanswered questions I posed will inform my response: I repeat -

Let me ask you a question. What is the difference between a serial killer who converts to Christianity in his early 30's, lives another 40 years, and demonstrates with his life that he has sincerely become converted, and lives a life of service and sacrifice to others, and a serial murder who on the day of his execution, repents and asks the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive his sins? (We will assume for the sake of the argument that both individuals are genuine and very sincere in their conversion).

Can/will God forgive the first? Why or why not, according to your understanding..
Can/will God forgive the second? Why or why not?

The Left Sock
12-15-2012, 12:48 PM
Okay, that's an easy one.

It doesn't matter how much time has passed, you must account for your actions. In our reality, a killer who stands before a judge can be remorseful, spend 40 years living as a good person before he is caught, and no one in their right minds would suggest that he should be pardoned for his crimes.

So, a religious belief that runs contrary to this basic understanding of truth that we all live with, operate within, is unimaginable to contemplate, absurd to entertain, runs contrary to everything we know about right and wrong.

Bluesky
12-15-2012, 01:10 PM
Once again, you have really not answered the questions.
By "giving account" I am assuming that you are saying that justice MUST prevail, no matter what. No matter when. No mercy. The murderer must pay for his crime.
Do I understand your response correctly?

Is there any place at all for forgiveness for a murderer?
And if so, on what basis would forgiveness be granted.

The Left Sock
12-15-2012, 01:17 PM
"It doesn't matter how much time has passed, you must account for your actions."

What part of that was difficult to understand? That was an answer to the question. If there is a judge, there is judgment. If there is judgment, actions must be taken into account. If actions are taken into account, there must be a rendering. There must be an accounting for the taking of life, there must be a punishment of some kind, or your belief system fails to make any sense at all.

Murder is the biggest crime across all of humanity. It is the biggest of the mortal sins. The fact that you have built a loophole in your theology, where murder can be bypassed, and murderers given the keys to Heaven, is your problem, not mine.

Barry Morris
12-15-2012, 01:27 PM
"It doesn't matter how much time has passed, you must account for your actions."

What part of that was difficult to understand? That was an answer to the question. If there is a judge, there is judgment. If there is judgment, actions must be taken into account. If actions are taken into account, there must be a rendering. There must be an accounting for the taking of life, there must be a punishment of some kind, or your belief system fails to make any sense at all.

Murder is the biggest crime across all of humanity. It is the biggest of the mortal sins. The fact that you have built a loophole in your theology, where murder can be bypassed, and murderers given the keys to Heaven, is your problem, not mine.

Silly, and once again not knowing the bible brings you to post simplistic answers.

You said, "...runs contrary to everything we know about right and wrong." Everything YOU know, maybe, or will admit to. But I think I would trust the infinite wisdom of God way more.

Don't forget that Moses, David and Paul were all murderers. God knows hearts. That's His job.

The Left Sock
12-15-2012, 01:29 PM
"Silly, and once again not knowing the bible brings you to post simplistic answers."

Insulting and condescending. No response from me.

Barry Morris
12-15-2012, 01:31 PM
"Silly, and once again not knowing the bible brings you to post simplistic answers."

Insulting and condescending. No response from me.

Easy out.

Do it with Blue too, and save us a lot of time, and showing a continuing display of ignorance.

The Left Sock
12-15-2012, 01:32 PM
"Do it with Blue too, and save us a lot of time, and showing a continuing display of ignorance."

Insult. No response from me.

Barry Morris
12-15-2012, 01:47 PM
"Do it with Blue too, and save us a lot of time, and showing a continuing display of ignorance."

Insult. No response from me.

Not at all, and none intended. I know you are intelligent, but it is obvious that an intelligent person CAN be ignorant of certain things. The unfortunate part is the continuance.

The Left Sock
12-15-2012, 01:52 PM
Repeating an insult does not negate it. No response from me.

The Left Sock
12-15-2012, 03:11 PM
Well, this whole discussion has come to a grinding halt. Still got some good ideas, so I will press on.

Here's a solution to the whole 'murderer bypassing judgment, getting into Heaven' thing. Kick it around, see what you think.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- A reformed murderer, now a confirmed Christian, approaches the Pearly Gates. Peter, or Paul, or whoever is on watch, looks up the guy's name, and says, "hold on for a minute, the Boss wants a word."

God approaches, and looks at the guy's record. "Well, I see here that you murdered someone, before coming into my Grace. Yeah, that's going to be a bit of a problem, because that person you killed is up here with us. So, I'll tell you what I'm going to do: You're going to spend some time hanging out with my old buddy Satan, let's say for maybe the next hundred years. When he's done 'doing his thing', I will come and collect you, and you will join us here in Heaven. You see, it just wouldn't be right to the person you killed, if you didn't pay some kind of penalty for what you did. How's that sound?"

The man answers, "But I confessed, I led a good life after, I believed in you. Why do I have to suffer?"

And God says, "I know, I know, it's harsh. But hey, look on the bright side. If you didn't find me, and get right with me, you would be spending an eternity down there. A 100 years isn't that bad, compared to eternity. And, I will come back for you, and you will reap all the benefits of Heaven, when it is over."

So, the man goes and serves his time.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There, I've just repaired the loophole in Christian theology, came up with a solution that everyone can live with. Heck, I might even be inclined to join up, with such a fair organization.

So, feel free to get the movement started, pass the word around. This could be something really big, that really puts up an alternative to that whole Muslim craze that's going around.

If you're worried that guilty parties may not want to participate, you can always offer them the alternative to not signing up. It's still a pretty sweet deal, all things considered.

I don't want my own book in the Bible or anything. Not that interested in royalties, although the dough could come in handy. Oh well, if I join up, the Boss will provide, so I have no worries.

So, who's with me, in the Responsible Christian Movement?

Bluesky
12-15-2012, 03:14 PM
"It doesn't matter how much time has passed, you must account for your actions."

What part of that was difficult to understand? That was an answer to the question. If there is a judge, there is judgment. If there is judgment, actions must be taken into account. If actions are taken into account, there must be a rendering. There must be an accounting for the taking of life, there must be a punishment of some kind, or your belief system fails to make any sense at all.

Murder is the biggest crime across all of humanity. It is the biggest of the mortal sins. The fact that you have built a loophole in your theology, where murder can be bypassed, and murderers given the keys to Heaven, is your problem, not mine.

So if there MUST be an accounting, a price MUST be paid. It is all about justice.

So, now maybe, just maybe I can explain the core of Christian doctrine on its own terms. As absurd as it may sound to you, forgiveness, from a christian, biblical perspective is predicated on the fact that this accounting is transferred over to Jesus Christ. He died, (accounted) for my sin and yours. You choose to reject it, because you do not believe that Jesus was Emmanuel (i.e. God with us). And you regard this truth as absurd. Fine. The Bible predicted that many will indeed be offended by this central part of the gospel. I am not trying to convince you of anything. I am simply trying to represent what Christianity has always stood for.

I am forever humbled by this truth, that I am a recipient of His forgiveness. But forgiveness did not come cheap, although I have received it without cost to me.

So it is with a murderer who seeks forgiveness from God. He may be paying the price that society places on a life that is snuffed out by his selfish and violent actions by spending the rest of his life in jail or even by swinging on the end of a noose. But if he truly repents of his deed and asks for forgiveness (and his subsequent attitudes and actions MUST demonstrate his sincerity, of course, whether his life is cut short or not), he will not be refused a pardon from God, and yet justice HAS taken place; an accounting has happened in the person of Christ.

SO, the good news (apparently not good news to you) is that yes, murderers and rapists and abusers and other brutal sorts can be forgiven. Of course the immediate reaction to this (and I see it all the time) is that they don't deserve it. TO which I say Bingo! None of us do. Forgiveness is not based on merit. Only on faith, truth, confession and grace.

The only caveat to this is that it is highly unlikely that a serial murderer would ever turn to God, because the Bible also teaches us that there is a point where a depraved human becomes a reprobate, beyond salvation, because the heart and consciences is so hardened that there will be life left in the conscience left that is capable of feeling any guilt or remorse. Which is where I would put your extreme scenarios that you paint.

And finally, ultimately, God judges the heart, not the things that we see and base our judgments on. For which I am glad.

Bluesky
12-15-2012, 03:18 PM
Well, this whole discussion has come to a grinding halt. Still got some good ideas, so I will press on.

Here's a solution to the whole 'murderer bypassing judgment, getting into Heaven' thing. Kick it around, see what you think.
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- A reformed murderer, now a confirmed Christian, approaches the Pearly Gates. Peter, or Paul, or whoever is on watch, looks up the guy's name, and says, "hold on for a minute, the Boss wants a word."

God approaches, and looks at the guy's record. "Well, I see here that you murdered someone, before coming into my Grace. Yeah, that's going to be a bit of a problem, because that person you killed is up here with us. So, I'll tell you what I'm going to do: You're going to spend some time hanging out with my old buddy Satan, let's say for maybe the next hundred years. When he's done 'doing his thing', I will come and collect you, and you will join us here in Heaven. You see, it just wouldn't be right to the person you killed, if you didn't pay some kind of penalty for what you did. How's that sound?"

The man answers, "But I confessed, I led a good life after, I believed in you. Why do I have to suffer?"

And God says, "I know, I know, it's harsh. But hey, look on the bright side. If you didn't find me, and get right with me, you would be spending an eternity down there. A 100 years isn't that bad, compared to eternity. And, I will come back for you, and you will reap all the benefits of Heaven, when it is over."

So, the man goes and serves his time.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There, I've just repaired the loophole in Christian theology, came up with a solution that everyone can live with. Heck, I might even be inclined to join up, with such a fair organization.

So, feel free to get the movement started, pass the word around. This could be something really big, that really puts up an alternative to that whole Muslim craze that's going around.

If you're worried that guilty parties may not want to participate, you can always offer them the alternative to not signing up. It's still a pretty sweet deal, all things considered.

I don't want my own book in the Bible or anything. Not that interested in royalties, although the dough could come in handy. Oh well, if I join up, the Boss will provide, so I have no worries.

So, who's with me, in the Responsible Christian Movement?

So now you have simply become Roman Catholic. Purgatory, here I come. Why should 100 years make it any easier for the murderer and the victim in the same place? Time is irrelevant.

Bluesky
12-15-2012, 03:28 PM
I will come and collect you, and you will join us here in Heaven. You see, it just wouldn't be right to the person you killed, if you didn't pay some kind of penalty

If the murderer knows his Bible he will interrupt at this point and say, "But, but your word says, "He was bruised for our iniquities and by HIs srtipes we are healed" Your word says, "As far as the east is from the west, so far have I removed your sin from you". Your word says, "He was made to be sin FOR US.." Your word teaches me that a penalty was paid.

Soc, here is the thing.
That murderer would have to say, I do not have what it takes to pay the penalty. If I suffer in hell for 1000 years, never min 100, it will not be enough to pay the penalty for what I have done.

Then Jesus Christ steps up and says, "Excuse me Father, remember, I paid the price for this man's sin. Paid in full."

And the victim who is in heaven steps up and says, "Wow! Am I ever glad you are saved from an eternity in hell. When I saw you coming after me with that gun, I was overcome with compassion for you and I even shot a prayer up for you before you took my life. And ever since I arrived here, I have been praying for you, that somehow God would be merciful to you in spited of what you did to me. Come on in, there is so much here that I want to show you.
And God the Father smiles.

See? We can all write stories.

My issue is to present Christianity as it is presented in the Bible, regardless of the problems it poses to you. We don't have a designer religion, custom fitting it to our sensibilities.

KDawg
12-15-2012, 05:41 PM
SO, the good news (apparently not good news to you) is that yes, murderers and rapists and abusers and other brutal sorts can be forgiven. Of course the immediate reaction to this (and I see it all the time) is that they don't deserve it. TO which I say Bingo! None of us do. Forgiveness is not based on merit. Only on faith, truth, confession and grace.
How true. Otherwise, how could ANYONE enter heaven?

The Left Sock
12-16-2012, 08:56 AM
Here's the stickler, that still hasn't been resolved. Let's forget about bad people for a minute, and turn the tables around. Perhaps I can make a clearer point by doing it that way.

Let's say you have a really superb human being. Faithful, kind, generous, selfless, a devout Christian who spent their entire lives in the service of others. You can use a Mother Teresa type here, it will do the trick.

So, despite this stellar life, this shining example of faith and grace, when all is said and done, they get into Heaven.... and get the exact same heavenly reward as everybody else who joined up.

What is judgment for, exactly? What gets 'judged'? By the conversation here, it sounds like the Pearly Gates is just worked by an angel who acts like a bouncer at a club: you show your ID, and if it has Christian stamped on it, you're in. That's it?

Forgiveness is not based on merit. Entry into Heaven is not based on merit. Being a wonderful human being carries no more merit in the afterlife than a reformed serial killer. I see a problem with all of this. If you are not judged by your actions, you are not really judged at all - how you live your life, what you achieve, means really nothing, because none of this is based on merit.

So, forget about the 100 years being Beelzebub's play-toy thing. I like Catholic stage productions, the showmanship at an every day Mass is really top notch, but I'm not interested in signing up. Instead of punishing people for their actions in their lifetime (because there is no punishment that can fully pay for a life - that whole argument), what about a VIP club in Heaven?

You know, special perks for members who didn't butcher small children, or cheat on his taxes every year? If your God isn't able to assign an adequate punishment for screw-ups, and instead opts to give every Christian the same treatment, is your God capable of rewarding good behaviour?

How do angels get their gigs, anyway?

See what I'm driving at? So, give me the goods on why it is good, to be, uh..... good! What's the point, if you're getting into the same place as everybody else, anyway?

Barry Morris
12-16-2012, 01:41 PM
There is no good thing you have or can do that is of eternal value to offer God except your whole life.

If you do, you're saved. If you don't you're lost.

It's that simple.

NewCasa
12-16-2012, 02:33 PM
See what I'm driving at? So, give me the goods on why it is good, to be, uh..... good! What's the point, if you're getting into the same place as everybody else, anyway?

Hmm...I'm gonna take a shot at this one:

- If feels better.
- Do unto others - karma, etc.
- Why not?
- It's often against the law to do bad.
- Personal integrity.

Barry Morris
12-16-2012, 02:45 PM
Personal integrity is good.

Also how about pleasing the Father, just as you would your own father.

We've had this discussion before. It's a pretty self-centred person who thinks, "Hey, I'm saved, now I can do anything I want" Who can put one over on God??

Rom 6:1-2
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
(KJV)

Rom 6:1-2
1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?
2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
(NIV)

Rom 6:1-2
1 Well then, shall we keep on sinning so that God can keep on showing us more and more kindness and forgiveness?
2 Of course not! Should we keep on sinning when we don't have to? For sin's power over us was broken when we became Christians and were baptized to become a part of Jesus Christ; through his death the power of your sinful nature was shattered.
(TLB)

The Left Sock
12-16-2012, 09:24 PM
So when you die, and you're a Christian, what 'judgment' do you face?

It seems to me that the only judgment that takes place in the minds of some is whether or not you were a Christian, and nothing else matters. Either you get into Heaven, or you don't. And once you're there, everything is the same for everyone.

So, what is all the talk about judgment in the Bible? Just rhetoric?

What does judgment look like?

Barry Morris
12-17-2012, 08:38 AM
So when you die, and you're a Christian, what 'judgment' do you face?

It seems to me that the only judgment that takes place in the minds of some is whether or not you were a Christian, and nothing else matters. Either you get into Heaven, or you don't. And once you're there, everything is the same for everyone.

So, what is all the talk about judgment in the Bible? Just rhetoric?

What does judgment look like?

You are the worst for telling what the bible supposedly teaches.

Look for yourself. And I'm sure there's many resources on the net to help you.

I'll give you a hint. Start with the blood of Christ and what it does for the believer.

The Left Sock
12-17-2012, 09:03 AM
Well, for one thing, I never said a single thing about 'what the Bible teaches' in that last post, I asked a question about judgment.

And for another thing, if you don't have any answers, you shouldn't feel a need to answer.

Barry Morris
12-17-2012, 09:20 AM
Well, for one thing, I never said a single thing about 'what the Bible teaches' in that last post, I asked a question about judgment.

And for another thing, if you don't have any answers, you shouldn't feel a need to answer.

Oh, well, excuse me, when you use the words, Christian, bible and heaven, whatever is one to expect??

And I have answers, but you've shown quite clearly you have no ears to hear.

The Left Sock
12-17-2012, 09:43 AM
Back to insults. Oh well, gave it a try. No response from me.

Barry Morris
12-17-2012, 10:02 AM
Back to insults. Oh well, gave it a try. No response from me.

Maybe you should respond the same way you "try".

Bluesky
12-17-2012, 10:08 AM
Man oh man. SB and LS just do not mix. For every one intelligent and rational interchange there is a barrage of 5 or 6 meaningless personal shots. STOP IT!! It is a pain paging through the posts to find the substantive ones I want to respond to!
OK, rant off.

Sock said:

So, despite this stellar life, this shining example of faith and grace, when all is said and done, they get into Heaven.... and get the exact same heavenly reward as everybody else who joined up.

This seems to be the logjam in the discussion. Maybe I can carry it forward a bit.

They do NOT get the same reward.

Let me illustrate it this way. Let us say that we all apply for a job at the steel plant. The only qualification is that you must be born a human. So everyone with a pulse gets in. We are all gainfully employed.

But not everyone gets the same wage. Not everyone gets the same honour or position.

The New testament is full of teaching about this. Everyone who is born AGAIN is a recipient of forgivensss and eternal life. But not everyone recevies the same reward once there. Not everyone received the same QUALITY of eternal life.

Our belief about heaven is based on what the New Testament actually teaches, not on folklore or tabloid theology. eg. You have used the caricature of playing a harp on a cloud for the rest of time, but that is, you will admit, a silly caricature.

If you would like me to direct you to those passages in the Bible that talk about rewards or LACK of rewards for those who have not had the time to live a life of service, or for those Christians who brought our Lord into disrepute by their behaviour, I can easily do that.

But I simply wanted to dispel the notion that everyone gets the same reward.

The Left Sock
12-17-2012, 10:41 AM
"For every one intelligent and rational interchange there is a barrage of 5 or 6 meaningless personal shots."

You will notice that I have adopted the practice of 'shutting down' once the personal shots start. Don't know what else to do, considering I'm not the moderator in the equation.

Bluesky
12-17-2012, 10:50 AM
Thanks for that Sock. I have noticed. And in SB's favour, I know how difficult it is to be a moderator. He now needs to do what you are doing, and we should be alright.