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Agnostic Christianity?

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posted on May, 27 2006 @ 08:13 PM
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mistaken post

[edit on 27-5-2006 by dbrandt]




posted on May, 27 2006 @ 08:23 PM
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Originally posted by Rock Lobster
In fact, I would be interested to hear your opinion on some passages of scripture that have raised issues for me.
1) Romans 3:28: "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law." Contrast this with what James says in James 2:20-24 (actually 14-25 if you want to read the whole passage):

So, what's the deal? It seems that there are two different doctrines being preached. 2) This one has to do with the Bible being the infallible Word of God.

Matthew 27:41-44 says, In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him."

Compare this to what is written in Luke 23:39-43: "One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: 'Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!' But the other criminal rebuked him. 'Don't you fear God,' he said, 'since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.' Then he said, 'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.' Jesus answered him, 'I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.'"


[edit on 27-5-2006 by Rock Lobster]



For the first one people are saved by faith. The works a person does after salvation are a result of their salvation. If there faith is true and genuine and salvation has come to them truly, then there works will back that up.

For example, if someone sleeps around and then receives Christ and stops sleeping around because they realize it is against God's laws, they are living their faith it is alive and active. If they don't stop then they truly haven't been saved. There are also carnal christians whose faith is dead, meaning it doesn't confirm that they have been saved. Works are a confirmation of salvation not a means of salvation.

For the 2nd one there is absolutely no contradiction. When Jesus and the 2 thieves were placed on their respective crosses, both thieves were insulting Christ. Over the course of time the one thief had a change of heart.

Where Matthew stopped Luke picks up the story. Jesus had insults from the crowd hurled at Him, but He did not hurl back insults to the crowd. Jesus asked God to forgive the crowd. Both thieves heard and saw this happen. The thieves were probably getting insulted by the crowd also and they were responding in like manner to the crowd. You see they were in somewhat the same position as Christ. They also had been nailed to wooden crosses and were in pain also. When you are insulted the natural reaction is to insult back, so they did. Then when they saw Jesus insulted yet He responded differently this made an impact on the one thief. The one thief, at that moment, realized something was different about Jesus and he placed his faith in Christ.

There is no contradiction just a halt in details in Matthew's account, then in Luke's account we are reintroduced to the story and a contiuation of what happened is told.



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 05:11 PM
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Thanks for the reply, dbrandt. I suppose I hadn't really thought about the story of the robbers that much and your explanation for that one makes sense.

I also think you made a good argument for the faith vs. works issue of salvation, but I think the way James talks about it is at the least a little confusing. I mean he does say, "You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone." This seems misleading to me because he's advocating faith and works as necessary prerequisites for justification (salvation?). The way you've described it, faith is the requirement and good works are simply a byproduct. Anyway, I'll read over that passage again and see if I can make more sense out of it this time.

Also, what is the deal with these "carnal Christians"? Are they saved in your opinion?



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 11:00 AM
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Originally posted by Rock Lobster
The way you've described it, faith is the requirement and good works are simply a byproduct.


I really liked dbrandts reply and think it's spot-on. James was addressing believers who thought sitting upon the seat of righteousness was good enough to "love your neighbor as yourself", but in actuality what he says God wants is for our faith to "have legs". You're saved, great, but what's that doing for everyone else? Also, Caring extends to all ends, not just spiritual. If there is one who is suffering from lack of food, do you let them starve while telling them that God cares for His children? Rather feed them and show them that through you God can work as well as the bread of the spirit.


Originally posted by Rock Lobster
Anyway, I'll read over that passage again and see if I can make more sense out of it this time.


It's easier when realizing the people he was speaking to were believers (the church) already.


Originally posted by Rock Lobster
Also, what is the deal with these "carnal Christians"? Are they saved in your opinion?


What is a "carnal christian"?



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 01:49 PM
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saint4God,
The term "carnal Christian" was brought up by dbrandt in his/her response to my post. You can check it out to see the definition given. My question was whether or not these people are actually saved.



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 02:03 PM
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Originally posted by Rock Lobster
saint4God,
The term "carnal Christian" was brought up by dbrandt in his/her response to my post. You can check it out to see the definition given. My question was whether or not these people are actually saved.


I'm going to post a site that will answer and then answer myself when I have more time.

www.gotquestions.org...



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 02:41 PM
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I must admit, I'm not a fan of this "carnal christian" term. According to Christ, you either believe and have eternal life, or you do not. So to say there's a difference between Christians and those who call themselves "christian" is also addressed but the term - carnal christian seems to create a flavor that doesn't exist in Biblical context.

The criteria for eternal life is as follows - "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" - John 3:16

There isn't anyone on the planet that can change this, sour grapes or not.

As far as our human "approval" of others, it is irrelavant. We cannot read anyone else's heart:

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." - Matthew 7:1-5

In conclusion, the question becomes: Are you John 3:16 or are you not? That determines who is and who is not saved. Also bearing in mind, that God does just hears the word, but knows the heart.

[edit on 31-5-2006 by saint4God]



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 02:56 PM
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Originally posted by saint4God
So to say there's a difference between Christians and those who call themselves "christian" is also addressed but the term - carnal christian seems to create a flavor that doesn't exist in Biblical context.




1Cor.3
[1] And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
[2] I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
[3] For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
[4] For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?


As the word carnal is used in the Bible we should discuss this further so we can correctly know what we are talking about.



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 03:39 PM
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Originally posted by dbrandt
1Cor.3
[1] And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
[2] I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
[3] For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
[4] For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?


As the word carnal is used in the Bible we should discuss this further so we can correctly know what we are talking about.


Aha, thanks for this. Translation thing as mine doesn't use the word carnal:

"Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not mere men?"

Mine says worldy, and men. But, Paul is addressing Brothers who are infants in Christ, therefore those who are saved. Yes?

Other pseudonyms we could cook up then are "Worldly Christians" or "Menly Christians" whereas the division is experience and knowledge.



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 05:30 PM
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What do you make of this parable?

Matt.25
[1] Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
[2] And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
[3] They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
[4] But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
[5] While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
[6] And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
[7] Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
[8] And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
[9] But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
[10] And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
[11] Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
[12] But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
[13] Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

All 10 were virgins(meaning they had an affiliation with Jesus) but only 5, 50%, went into the marriage.



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 06:10 PM
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Herman, I applaud you're search for truth. It can be very painful, especially when family members stop accepting those who have "fallen away", not to mention possible regrets as we realize what opportunities we may have thrown away in our past due to our beliefs at the time.

I'm not sure what you'll end up believing, but hopefully whatever it is, it will be fulfilling and not restrain your freedom to grow in knowledge or keep you from being what you want to be.

As for myself, I believe in few things, but consider many possibilities. I'll believe that which is proven. Hurray for science! But for those things which we cannot yet find concrete answers to, I'll lean towards the most probable possibility, without giving in completely to a belief (see my sig).

The judaic/christian idea of god is quite primative, and we humans are growing up. Some still hold on to the old ideas, but only because they WANT to believe. There's one so-called virtue I do not like, and that's "Faith". If you're required to have faith in any religion then it can't be trusted.

And to all you Christians, I feel sorry for you. I was once one of you, giving my money to the church so they could tell me how to live, how to think. "Blessed are those who believe without having seen" is just a form of control. Start being the doubting Thomas, and you'll convert yourself away as I have, and with no regrets too!

Faith = Ignorance.



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 08:05 PM
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Kruel,

I am glad you are open-minded, but is rejecting Christian beliefs outright really an open-minded action? Believe me, I'm not trying to promote any organized religion or any belief for that matter, but it's something to think about. Have you considered the possibility that Christ was preaching a truthful and practical message that was distorted by the church to gain control over people? Overall, what I'm trying to say is keep an open mind to all possibilities.

By the way, is your signature a FFVII quote?

[edit on 31-5-2006 by Rock Lobster]



posted on Jun, 1 2006 @ 12:54 AM
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Indeed, Christ may very well have been preaching words of truth and love... but 2000 years is a long time for a church to distort those teachings into something of control. I wouldn't trust the bible, and certainly wouldn't trust a man's interpretation of the ancient book. We don't know how much of what Jesus supposedly says in the bible are things he really said. Heck, we aren't sure he even existed.

I don't close my mind to christian beliefs unless they're completely unscientific and/or illogical, but that goes for everything else too. I do think some truth can be found in "the good book", but truth can also be found in other religions, in books, in movies, in tv shows. Answers to important questions can be found everywhere. By opening your mind to one religion and closing your mind to everything else, you're denying yourself the right to grow... and more importantly, the right to be free.

As per my sig, it's taken from the movie Dogma. Some good points in that movie, and of course considered very heretical. It's nice that the church doesn't burn heretics anymore, otherwise I'd be dead already. Humanity really is growing up, if just a little bit.



posted on Jun, 1 2006 @ 09:45 AM
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Originally posted by dbrandt
What do you make of this parable?

All 10 were virgins(meaning they had an affiliation with Jesus) but only 5, 50%, went into the marriage.


Aha! Very nicely done there dbrandt. I really like how you think. Let me then explore this further with you because I think I have a lot I could learn from you. Does this parable then negate John 3:16?

(by the way, I'm not yet convinced the virgins in the parable are saved people who are denied entrance into heaven...else they're not really saved, are they?
)



posted on Jun, 1 2006 @ 09:50 AM
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Originally posted by Kruel
And to all you Christians, I feel sorry for you.


No need, I'm set but thanks for your concern.


Originally posted by Kruel
I was once one of you, giving my money to the church so they could tell me how to live, how to think.


You gave money for this reason? This is not the reason why the church tells you to give so you weren't following what they were telling you after all.


Originally posted by Kruel
"Blessed are those who believe without having seen" is just a form of control.


You'll not find many blessed people here, this is a forum of skeptics. You're singing to the choir, I'd not be surprised if others would sway to the tune. I had to see before I believed and also realized I would have been more blessed hadn't I needed to.


Originally posted by Kruel
Start being the doubting Thomas, and you'll convert yourself away as I have, and with no regrets too!


Paul also said, "Test Everything." This is in reference to all things spiritual and prophetic. So on that you both agree...it's just that you're showing up 2,000 years late.


Originally posted by Kruel
Faith = Ignorance.


No it doesn't. Prove it to yourself using m-w.com... and keep the pseudo-math out of it.


[edit on 1-6-2006 by saint4God]



posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 11:05 PM
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I had to see before I believed and also realized I would have been more blessed hadn't I needed to.

saint4God,
Could you elaborate on this statement? If it's something personal that you'd rather not discuss, I understand, but if not I am interested to know what you mean.



posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 11:58 PM
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Originally posted by Kruel
It's nice that the church doesn't burn heretics anymore, otherwise I'd be dead already.


You and me both, hon.

And I can't believe how far off topic this thread has gotten!

Herman, I just want you to know that I'm still thinking about you. Remember how I said other people will try to tell you what to believe???
Well here ya go. There's never a shortage of that!



posted on Jun, 3 2006 @ 04:11 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

Herman, I just want you to know that I'm still thinking about you. Remember how I said other people will try to tell you what to believe???
Well here ya go. There's never a shortage of that!


Thanks, BH
. I've also been reading this thread even though I haven't replied in a bit. I've read up on that unitarian stuff, too. It's interesting, but I don't know if you can exactly call it a religion. Most religions believe in a truth, but if it's just a gathering place for all sorts of religions, what truth do they teach? Or perhaps, they truley believe everybody is right at the same time?

Anyway, I'm glad you're still thinking about me
. Saint4God is also helping me to understand a bit better, although I honestly don't think there's any way I'll ever be able to believe in Hell. Unless I see it for myself, of course, which would be very bad! I just really wouldn't want to live knowing that nice, peaceful, loving people are down there being tortured because they "chose" wrong. I'd actually rather have nothing be true than to have Hell be true! But I guess religion isn't about what you want to believe, but what is really true...

Thanks again!

-Herman



posted on Jun, 3 2006 @ 11:20 AM
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Originally posted by Herman
It's interesting, but I don't know if you can exactly call it a religion. Most religions believe in a truth, but if it's just a gathering place for all sorts of religions, what truth do they teach?


I honestly think Unitarianism is for the people in a society who feel the need for a weekly assembly with those of similar spiritual belief, but not necessarily a 'religious' (meaning a strictly adhered-to doctrine) worship service.

I hate to say it's a catch-all, but that's kind of what it seems like to me. People forming their own spiritual beliefs OR anyone of the existing religions who perhaps don't feel comfortable with the other churches in the area.

Unitarians unite people under a common goal of spirituality. At least that's what I understand from what I've read about them. I've never actually attended a service, but I have been to other non-traditional churches.



Or perhaps, they truley believe everybody is right at the same time?


I don't know about them, but that's what I believe. I think every individual will find their own path and nobody is wrong and we can't all fit under one umbrella. Which is contrary to most organized religions.



I just really wouldn't want to live knowing that nice, peaceful, loving people are down there being tortured because they "chose" wrong.


I hear that! That would be terrible!
I could not follow a religion or a God who would let that happen. Period. I believe people are basically good and I can't and won't accept a spiritual path that would allow eternal damnation for all the good people out there. And I couldn't just ignore that aspect of a religion and follow the rest, knowing that they support and teach a fear-based doctrine. It's just not right. For me.

You'll come to your truth, I have no doubt.



posted on Jun, 3 2006 @ 04:18 PM
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On the subject of Unitarianism, I don't really see the point in people of different faiths worshipping together. I can see it as a philosophy i.e. the belief that all religions are different paths leading to some ultimate truth, but I'm kind of confused as to how a Unitarian service would work. For example, what would you use as a religious text? The Bible? Koran? Bhagavad Gita? Or would you just use all of them? It would seem to me that Unitarianism then is not really a grouping of people from different religions, but a group of people who believe that there is truth in all religions and study them all to try and learn from all of them.

I don't really know that much about Unitarianism, so this post is just a response to what has been discussed on this thread. If anyone wants to clarify what Unitarianism is further that would be cool. Also, I agree that this thread has gotten off topic and I am partially to blame . . . sorry.
I go off on tangents rather easily.



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