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Christians: What's your opinion of individualized ad hoc theology?

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posted on Feb, 4 2016 @ 11:06 PM

Acts 16:31

New International Version
They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household."

That verse was pretty much the end of my ever trying to debate with a Christian about anything in the Bible. I was debating with a person who has several children. All of their children have rejected Christianity. The topic we were debating was whether or not the children would be saved.

I was stunned when Acts 16:31 was given as the reason the person I was debating with believed that their children would be saved. The reason I felt that is simply the fact that their interpretation of Acts 16:31 contradicts the entire rest of the New Testament concerning what's required to be saved.

The reason that particularly bothered me is the person who I was debating with usually relies on a preponderance of the evidence to interpret the Bible. Here's an example:

Luke 14:26

New International Version
"If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, even their own life--such a person cannot be my disciple.

The person with whom I was debating used a preponderance of the evidence to attempt to prove that the word translated "hate" in the verse above did not mean hate. Alright, if you're going to use the preponderance of the evidence to make your theology, fine. However, when you're relying on the preponderance of the evidence sometimes and you're completely ignoring the preponderance of the evidence other times (Acts 16:31), that's what I would call "individualized ad hoc theology."

I think "individualized ad hoc theology" is just creating your own religion with no rhyme or reason whatsoever. Christians of ATS, what is your opinion on that?

edit on 4-2-2016 by Profusion because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 4 2016 @ 11:14 PM
Had an issue with a fundamentalist about the bible being literal
Asked him why he hadnt cut off his arm or gouged his eyes out

Yes there are many issues

We are called not only to read the bible, we are called to study it

Look at all the lemmings following Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar and Joyce Meyer
They have no concept of Christianity.

I have seen atheists and supposed Christians on this site who have said the most unbelievable things imaginable

I have said similar in my time and will probably again

posted on Feb, 4 2016 @ 11:17 PM
a reply to: Profusion

Hate means hate theres really no way around it...

Although in this case Jesus wasn't actually telling them they need to hate their families...

This is an allegorical statement basically meaning "the spirit is more important then the flesh"... which is a concept found though out the gospels... and the rest of the NT for that matter

edit on 4-2-2016 by Akragon because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 4 2016 @ 11:29 PM

edit on 4-2-2016 by BELIEVERpriest because: good night

posted on Feb, 4 2016 @ 11:38 PM
a reply to: Profusion

This is an issue for me as well. It seems every christian i meet has a dif interpretation of some piece of scripture or another. I know of a small group who like to open the bible and randomly pick a paragraph, read it, and try to shape and fit that bit to whatever problem they are having at the moment. Like the bible as a form of Tarot. I still get dumb struck and i have to bite my tongue when i see them doing this.

The ability for each individual to read a paragraph and find a unique way of relating it to themselves is fascinating to me. But there are some who go out of their way just to have a unique point of view, and that trend is gaining a lot of traction. It shows me that people really don't agree with what the bible actually says. But they are caught up in a world that will ostricize and alienate you if you dare to not identify as a bible loving christian. So they just make whatever they do believe, into the standard of "being a good christian". Then they can judge everybody around them by their standard. That way everybody else falls short and they can keep on pretending they are better/more righteous than them. Just claiming to be a christian worthy of going to heaven and "being" with "god" is an ego trip and nothing more.

If they ever get their story straight and agree on anything, they would be a force to reckon with.
edit on 4-2-2016 by Woodcarver because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 5 2016 @ 12:19 AM
a reply to: Profusion

Luke 14:26

"If anyone comes to me, and (doesn't love less, doesn't disregard, is not ready to abandon) his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he can't be my disciple.

Luke 14:27
“And whoever does not take his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”

Same as Matthew 10:37 -

Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

And Matthew 10:38 -

And everyone who does not take his cross and come after me is not worthy of me.

Explanation Complete.

As for Acts 16:31

What the head of the family did could be followed by the members, if they also believe. The same salvation is equally adapted to, and offered to your family / household. Salvation is available to all

Example just a few verses later in Acts 16:34

The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God--he and his whole household.

edit on 5-2-2016 by infolurker because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 5 2016 @ 07:08 AM
You don't understand faith much then.

We all find it and hold on to it in different ways. We all walk our own paths to it.

We are called to read the Word and rightly discern. Some do better than others, but all are going to go through that process in different ways, even those who sit in a Congregation and receive the teachings of an ordained priest every week.

I can tell you over and over how I found my way there and continue to find my way. I can explain how I think my way through each section of scripture I read. There is poster who has dedicated a thread every Friday to just such an undertaking, and I always look forward to his work. But you may not understand my thought process, or you might intentionally misunderstand or you might simply not be in the same place in your walk to faith.

For example, there are plenty of people who want to confine truth to single snatches of verse. Sometimes you can do that. Sometimes, they contain their own truths. But often, people want to point out contradictions or draw conclusions based on verses that are part of a wider point that doesn't not exactly support their conclusions at all. Atheists are guilty of this, but so are Christians. Politicians are also guilty of this.

posted on Feb, 5 2016 @ 02:45 PM
a reply to: ketsuko

'Sometimes they contain their own truths.'

John 2:15-17

15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

This is my #1 objection to the Christian bible. My belief system revolves around the one known, proven object of value in the universe. Planet earth, Gaia, the source of all delicate and evolving life in the known universe. So I am an environmentalist, placing intrinsic value on nature, the process of developing biodiversity, consciousness, and then intelligence.

If a book prevents people from becoming and environmentalist and loving their home, family, pets, and neighbors (as much as God and Heaven), we begin to see why the Republican party is so destructive.

The question I ask people is:

Where do your loyalties lie, to this world... Or the next? Only one of them is agreed to exist.

posted on Feb, 5 2016 @ 07:41 PM
ultimately, we all determine our own theology. most of us join churches with people whose theology is similar to our own.
not sure of exact quote but we 'work out your (own) salvation with fear and trembling'. we all stand before God and give our own account of our own actions.

in re 'hate your parents', my understanding is you must love Jesus so much that your feelings towards anyone else is almost like hate. exaggeration to make the point. we are told to love others, especially our parents/families. cutting off your own hand or popping out your own eye are examples of same; scripture doesn't ADVOCATE this, just that we must de-emphasize these things.

the thought that 'God will save your family' is one I struggle with, but so far no one in my family has died in a lost condition, though some waited till late in life! He promises the desires of our heart(s), and what more could one desire than salvation for family?

posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 11:55 AM
a reply to: Profusion

2 Peter 1:20

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

The Bible stands alone. Read it carefully and objectively and the Bible interprets itself. If an idea cannot be seen somewhere else in Scripture then I would say its probably not correct.

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