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Ten years of Bible threads and other stuff

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posted on Mar, 11 2020 @ 06:17 AM
a reply to: Wildmanimal
Thank you. If there's anything in heredity, I will have another ten years. I only hope ATS will last the pace.

posted on Mar, 13 2020 @ 06:06 PM
Here, for anyone who is interested, is what I drafted yesterday as the beginning of a book introduction.


The relationship between Faith and God’s law has been long been one of the major disputable questions of the New Testament.

I am inclining to the opinion that there may be less reason for disputed opinions here than people sometimes think. Once we get past their differences in language and emphasis, we should be able to see the overall consistency in the standpoint of the New Testament writers themselves.

There is an underlying consensus that Faith is essential.
There is an underlying consensus that obedience to God’s law is expected from us.
There is an underlying consensus that obedience to God’s law need not include obedience to the laws of Moses, which are not the same thing
And there is an underlying consensus that Faith comes first in order of time, like an animal’s head preceding its tail.
For the essence of Faith is throwing ourselves in trust upon God’s will, and that is also the essence of obedience.

On this occasion, my purpose is to trace these premises through a detailed survey of the epistle of James.

P.S. Immdiately on posting this, I spot two details which could be improved.
"Disputed opinions" to become "dispute".
In the next sentence, "the overall" to become "an overall".

edit on 13-3-2020 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 13 2020 @ 06:28 PM
For anyone who may be curious, this is how my threads came to settle on Friday nights.
Originally, it wasn't easy to find any day which might be better than another for getting responses.
Sunday worked well enough on the Revelation threads, but not so much when I shifted over to the theology forum. This was partly because I could never quite work out the most appropriate time. Across the timezones and culture patterns, I was trying to identify the timeslot when American Christians would not be at church, and I'm not sure that I ever got it right. Other nights were sometimes good, but only sometimes.

Then the theology forum was suspended for a few weeks, because the atmosphere on other threads was getting overheated. We knew that it would be reprieved on a particular day at an unknown time. I was determined to be first across the door when the door re-opened, and I managed it- with the first thread of the series on James. This was on a Friday. My practice of sticking to a weekly routine has kept it on Fridays ever since.

edit on 13-3-2020 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 18 2020 @ 08:40 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Have Faith.
This Too
Shall Pass.

posted on Mar, 19 2020 @ 02:58 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Ten years of great knowledge in regards to ancient scripture.
For me your threads shatter any secular notion that seeks to deny
the Biblical truth. And that it's teachings are timeless not archaic.

Congratulations fellow member you rock.

If I may I'd like to ask you. Can you identify the single biggest reason
why you were an atheist at one time? And describe with reason the
moment you knew how wrong you were?

I would of never guessed and was a bit shocked to read that.
But it is intriguing.


posted on Mar, 19 2020 @ 03:16 AM
a reply to: carsforkids
The short answer on the first point is "I was seventeen".
I've already done a thread on your main question, and I'll link it now. (One of the side-benefits of doing an Index thread is that I can find my own threads more easily)
How an atheist became a Christian

edit on 19-3-2020 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 19 2020 @ 04:19 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

How an atheist became a Christian

I'm an idiot!

posted on Mar, 19 2020 @ 04:32 AM
a reply to: carsforkids
Not really. I found that thread because I knew it was there. Someone skimmin g the Index thread is much less likely to notice it.
(Nor is it immediately obvious from the title that the thread was about me, not somebody else)

edit on 19-3-2020 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 21 2020 @ 01:21 PM

originally posted by: DISRAELI

I was born with a wide-ranging sense of curiosity, which soon focussed on history.
... I've done a lot of reading on church history in my time...

What does history teach us regarding religion and Christendom in particular? Are the world's religions, and in particular those in Christendom, giving the right lead?

“Religion has been one of the most powerful forces in history,”⁠(1) stated The World Book Encyclopedia. But have the world’s religions been a genuine force for peace and security? Have they taught their followers that brotherly love should surmount national boundaries and racial differences? Also, have the churches of Christendom, Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox, proved true to their claim to follow Jesus Christ as the “Prince of Peace”? Or have they actually contributed to the hatreds that imperil man’s future? A look at the record will give the surprising answer.

What do various sources tell us about the historical record?

In this regard, Parade Magazine said: “History teaches lessons to those who are willing to learn. One of the most primary lessons is that conflicts based on religious and sectarian differences are almost always the most vicious, most enduring and most difficult to solve.”⁠(2) And as the Chicago Tribune stated: “Every major religion preaches peace and brotherhood and mercy, yet some of the cruellest and most intolerant repressions in history have been committed in the name of God.”⁠(3) With such historical facts in mind, newspaper editor C. L. Sulzberger appropriately asks: “Disagreeable as the subject may be, should it not be realized that in addition to other causes​—imperialism, racism, militarism—​religion has developed into a persistently greater threat to human life?”⁠(4)

Yes, history is stained with the blood of religiously backed strife. Just in the 20th century alone, during the two world wars and after, we have witnessed the shameful practice of fellow religionists slaughtering each other​—Catholic killing Catholic, Protestant killing Protestant, Muslim killing Muslim, and others. And the clergy on opposing sides, though of the same religion, blessed the troops that would soon be killing their religious brothers.

Among the most reprehensible in this matter are the churches of Christendom. Why? Because they claim to represent the God of the Bible and his Son Jesus Christ, who said: “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves.” (John 13:35) Yet the worst slaughters of all have occurred right in the heart of Christendom. As an editorial in the Waterloo Courier of Iowa declared: “Nor have Christians ever been squeamish about waging wars on other Christians. If they had been, most of the liveliest wars in Europe would never have occurred. . . . World Wars I and II, which set the all-​time records for Christians killing Christians, could never have occurred.”(5)

On this matter, the Bible is clear: Those who truly serve God are told to “seek peace and pursue it,” to “beat their swords into plowshares,” and not to “learn war anymore.” (1 Peter 3:11; Isaiah 2:2-4) “We should have love for one another; not like Cain, who originated with the wicked one [Satan the Devil] and slaughtered his brother.” (1 John 3:10-12) But followers of this world’s religions continue to slaughter their brothers, as did Cain, and their clergy have supported those pursuing that course. Thus, if you belong to a religion, ask yourself: ‘If everybody on earth belonged to my religion, would wars have stopped and would this earth now be a place of genuine peace?’

Song 141 Searching for Friends of Peace (with lyrics)

The book Holocaust Politics, published in 2001, says: “If more people practiced versions of what the Jehovah’s Witnesses preach and practice, the Holocaust could have been prevented and genocide would scourge the world no more.”

The divided and warring state of the world’s religions prove that God is not their backer. This may come as a surprise to those who think that all religion must be good since it claims to represent God. Yet the Bible clearly shows that “God is a God, not of disorder, but of peace.” (1 Corinthians 14:33) It also shows that there is both true religion and false religion. And it states that only worship founded on truth, free from hypocrisy, has God’s backing.​—Matthew 15:7-9; John 4:23, 24; Titus 1:16.

Why does religion seem to be at the root of so many problems?

The fault lies, not with all religion, but with false religion. A widely respected religious figure, Jesus Christ, indicated that false religion produces bad works, just as a “rotten tree produces worthless fruit.” (Matthew 7:15-17) What fruit does false religion yield?

False Religion . . .

▪ MEDDLES IN WAR AND POLITICS: “Across Asia and beyond,” says the journal Asiaweek, “power-hungry leaders are cynically manipulating people’s religious sentiments for their own needs.” As a result, the journal warns: “The world threatens to sink into madness.” A prominent religious leader in the United States declared: “You’ve got to kill the terrorists before the killing stops.” His solution? “Blow them all away in the name of the Lord.” By contrast, the Bible says: “If anyone makes the statement: ‘I love God,’ and yet is hating his brother, he is a liar.” (1 John 4:20) Jesus even said: “Continue to love your enemies.” (Matthew 5:44) How many religions can you think of whose members engage in war?

Because the world’s religions have, in effect, prostituted themselves for political, commercial, and social gain, the Bible pictures them as being like a harlot. Describing this “harlot,” it says: “In her was found the blood of . . . all those who have been slaughtered on the earth.” (Revelation 17:1-6; 18:24) Yes, this world’s religions bear a heavy bloodguilt in relation to all the slaughter of world history! For this they will be called to account.

Clearly, any religion whose practices are contrary to the Bible could never succeed in leading mankind to true peace and security. That is why Jesus said of the false religious leaders in his day: “Blind guides is what they are. If, then, a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14) Similarly, the world’s religions today are “blind guides” in the matter of war and in other vital aspects of life as well.

2 Corinthians 10:3

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not wage warfare* according to [what we are in the] flesh. [*: “We do not wage warfare.” Lit., “we are not doing military service.” Gr., ou . . . stra·teu·oʹme·tha; Lat., non . . . mi·li·taʹmus.]

The example of early Christians: The Encyclopedia of Religion and War states: “The earliest followers of Jesus rejected war and military service,” recognizing those practices as “incompatible with the love ethic of Jesus and the injunction to love one’s enemies.” Likewise, German theologian Peter Meinhold said of those early disciples of Jesus: “Being a Christian and a soldier was considered irreconcilable.”

[continued in the next comment, including the references earlier numbered]

posted on Mar, 21 2020 @ 01:32 PM
a reply to: whereislogic
The history of the church, like everything else in the relationship between God and man, is a joint enterprise in whci the faults originate from the human contribution.

Be wary of the mind-set of "every group except our own is evil and on the side of the enemy". That makes it only too easy for the enemy to enlist your services in attacking the other groups. It is a potentially deadly trap.

edit on 21-3-2020 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 21 2020 @ 01:39 PM
While the earliest Christians endeavored to be good citizens, their faith prevented them from taking the life of another or from sacrificing their own lives for the State. The Encyclopedia of Religion states: “The early church fathers, including Tertullian and Origen, affirmed that Christians were constrained from taking human life, a principle that prevented them from participating in the Roman army.” In his book The Early Church and the World, Professor C. J. Cadoux writes: “Up to the reign of Marcus Aurelius at least [161-180 C.E.], no Christian would become a soldier after his baptism.”

Why do most in Christendom not view military service as the early Christians did? Because of a radical change that took place in the fourth century. The Catholic work A History of the Christian Councils explains: “Many Christians, . . . under the pagan emperors, had religious scruples with regard to military service, and positively refused to take arms, or else deserted. The Synod [of Arles, held in 314 C.E.], in considering the changes introduced by Constantine, set forth the obligation that Christians have to serve in war, . . . because the Church is at peace (in pace) under a prince friendly to Christians.” As a result of this abandonment of Jesus’ teachings, from that time until now, the clergy of Christendom have encouraged their flocks to serve in the armies of the nations, although some individuals have taken a stand as conscientious objectors.

Instead of remaining neutral, church leaders developed what Irish writer Hubert Butler describes as “militant and political ecclesiasticism.” “Political Christianity,” he writes, “is almost always also militarist Christianity and when statesmen and ecclesiastics come to terms it always happens that, in return for certain privileges, the Church gives its blessing to the military forces of the state.”

References earlier:

1. The World Book Encyclopedia, 1970, Vol. 16, p. 207.

2. Parade Magazine, November 27, 1983, p. 8.

3. Chicago Tribune, September 27, 1981, Section 2, p. 4.

4. International Herald Tribune (Paris), December 11, 1981, p. 6.

5. Waterloo Courier (Iowa), June 5, 1984, p. A10.

Army (Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 1)

Those Known as Early Christians. Early Christians refused to serve in the Roman army, in both the legions and auxilia, considering such service as wholly incompatible with the teachings of Christianity. Says Justin Martyr, of the second century C.E., in his “Dialogue With Trypho, a Jew” (CX): “We who were filled with war, and mutual slaughter, and every wickedness, have each through the whole earth changed our warlike weapons,​—our swords into ploughshares, and our spears into implements of tillage.” (The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. I, p. 254) In his treatise “The Chaplet, or De Corona” (XI), when discussing “whether warfare is proper at all for Christians,” Tertullian (c. 200 C.E.) argued from Scripture the unlawfulness even of a military life itself, concluding, “I banish from us the military life.”​—The Ante-Nicene Fathers, 1957, Vol. III, pp. 99, 100.

“A careful review of all the information available goes to show that, until the time of Marcus Aurelius [121-180 C.E.], no Christian became a soldier; and no soldier, after becoming a Christian, remained in military service.” (The Rise of Christianity, by E. W. Barnes, 1947, p. 333) “It will be seen presently that the evidence for the existence of a single Christian soldier between 60 and about 165 A.D. is exceedingly slight; . . . up to the reign of Marcus Aurelius at least, no Christian would become a soldier after his baptism.” (The Early Church and the World, by C. J. Cadoux, 1955, pp. 275, 276) “In the second century, Christianity . . . had affirmed the incompatibility of military service with Christianity.” (A Short History of Rome, by G. Ferrero and C. Barbagallo, 1919, p. 382) “The behavior of the Christians was very different from that of the Romans. . . . Since Christ had preached peace, they refused to become soldiers.” (Our World Through the Ages, by N. Platt and M. J. Drummond, 1961, p. 125) “The first Christians thought it was wrong to fight, and would not serve in the army even when the Empire needed soldiers.” (The New World’s Foundations in the Old, by R. and W. M. West, 1929, p. 131) “The Christians . . . shrank from public office and military service.” (Editorial introduction to “Persecution of the Christians in Gaul, A.D. 177,” in The Great Events by Famous Historians, edited by R. Johnson, 1905, Vol. III, p. 246) “While they [the Christians] inculcated the maxims of passive obedience, they refused to take any active part in the civil administration or the military defence of the empire. . . . It was impossible that the Christians, without renouncing a more sacred duty, could assume the character of soldiers, of magistrates, or of princes.”​—The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon, Vol. I, p. 416.

edit on 21-3-2020 by whereislogic because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 21 2020 @ 01:48 PM
a reply to: whereislogic
Be wary of the mind-set of "every group except our own is evil and on the side of the enemy". That makes it only too easy for the enemy to enlist your services in attacking the other groups. It is a potentially deadly trap.

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