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"Deemphasizing scripture" : The ugly Christian fault line nobody wants to talk about.

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posted on May, 31 2011 @ 05:15 PM
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Oh, pleanty of people enjoy frothing about it, to be sure, or otherwise emoting....
but not much in the way of calm discussion.

The current flavor of pentecostal/evalgelical Christianity is VERY bible-based. Some charasmatic churches are less strctly "bible-based and more involved with direct experience with the holy spirit, etc. The Catholics...well, they seem to have whole galaxies of non-biblical teachings now don't they.

The bible is an indispensible part of all real Christianity as the Word of God and I would never argue against that. But I feel that ministry that is so relentlessly scripture-oriented that it is not effective for a certain large number of people. Perhaps a few advanced "bible nerds" will always enjoy slining scripture but I think there are other ways to bring people to God rather than shoving the Word in their faces and scaring/guilting them half to death.

Concrete example: I believe a number of people will resonnate more strongly and immediately with PRAYER than they wiill with an onslaught of ideological or polemical hermeneutics.Teach them to pray lovingly to god before even showing them a bible! I believe so, anyway.

It would be nice if we as Chrisitans could all come to an understanding of this issue but many see "ecumenicalism" as a dirty word. Would Christ have shut out an earnestly seeking sinner even if his view was wrong? So way should we be building walls where we should be tearing them down?

Whatever your feelings on this topic, I wish you the best in your walk with Christ.


edit on 31-5-2011 by Partygirl because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 31 2011 @ 05:23 PM
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Pffft Just get over with religion it's full of bull anyway.
The real truth is out there and you don't need to read books written by men
from the barbaric ages. Christianity was spread by woman who gossiped
on and on about it till men just gave into it.
No offence to women but back then they had nothing better to do besides
cleaning the house.



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 05:39 PM
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You hit on an issue that has always made me pause, and that is people who respond to questions, criticism, or even just general discussion of Christian issues with a maze of Bible quotes, one after the other, always properly cited. I guess the idea is for me to read them to gain insight, but the fact is this is a complete turn-off. I certainly think there ARE insights to be gleaned from the Bible, but just a list of quotes is not bringing anyone closer to Christianity, but rather the opposite. In other words, it only works for the completely initiated, not someone looking into it.



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 05:40 PM
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I get in the faces of my own fellow believers all the time, about a lot of things. But the most important issue is the very definition of the faith itself. And because of all the controversy and the history of such, we do need people to wrestle with the minutiae.

We are "the Body of Christ", and a body with various "parts" as opposed to a single-celled organism. That is, we aren't supposed to all be the same. Some are good teachers, some are guardians, some are nurturers, some are healers, etc. But we cannot fall into the trap of mistaking conformity for unity. Our unity must be around the essentials, and these essentials cannot be compromised in any way, or we have abandoned the faith.

IMHO, the essentials are these: that Jesus is God in the flesh who died for our sins and rose again, that we are saved if we trust only Jesus to reconcile us to God, and that we must then live in a manner consistent with this new relationship. We walk a razor's edge between justice and mercy, and must hold tightly to both to avoid the error of either one in isolation.

Once people are united by those essentials, we need to remember that no secondary belief or practice can contradict them; that is, whatever we hold to be negotiable or secondary, it cannot violate the principles of the essential. For example, we cannot believe there are other gods, or karma, or practice Hindu-type meditation, nor accept as fellow believers any who do. We cannot accept into our fellowships anyone living in open sin, refusing to allow God to define sin, or denying they are sinning. We also must rid our fellowships of any who demand to be followed, or to be paid a supporting salary, or who believe that the genetic or societal group to which they belong holds authority over other groups, because Jesus said "Not so among you".

Beyond that is the disputable. How, when, and where people worship God is a matter of personal preference (Rom. 14), as also is diet, fashion (as long as it's not provocative or flaunting wealth), musical taste, political views, or a thousand other things. There are no prescribed Christian holidays or rituals either.

Just some thoughts.
edit on 31-5-2011 by SaberTruth because: clarification



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 05:40 PM
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Your reply made me laugh out loud...



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 05:43 PM
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reply to post by Partygirl
 


*phew* i thought this was gonna be a rage & rant against Christianity thread(there are a lot of those around here)... good to see you are of Christ.

I agree--some people including myself a few years ago are turned off by reading. especially the old testament. I just cant get past 1 page without going A.D.D. Some churches act like if you don't read the bible or regularly attend church you are not a true christian...which is not true. Jesus said you would know His people by their fruit. Being a christian (aka truly believing Jesus died for your sins) you are given a new christ like nature. It comes *naturally* to you to want to help people. And serve others, as Jesus died throughout his life on Earth.

I have noticed for myself that after college I started becoming more interested in reading the bible. Maybe this was because I went through a very tough time in college and once I dropped out I prayed that God would help me because I had no one else to turn to. I remember one day my father gave me a CD set of the bible...never before had I even entertained the thought of learning about the bible. But it seems soon after I prayed I became obsessed with reading the bible and praying like I have never experienced before. I strongly believe that HE put this desire in me. In high school I never picked up a book unless it was required of me. But now I read Christian books daily. I soak up Gods word like a sponge. And not because I have to (or out of guilt)- but because I genuinely want to.

And if a Christian doesn't want to read the bible-that's fine. As long as they truly believe in Jesus they WILL have some connection with God in some other way. Weather it be listening to Christian music, praying, fasting, or fellowship with other Christians. The holy spirit inside of us desires fellowship with our Lord, and this desire cannot be suppressed for long. It will find an outlet. It's our identity.

I agree, some churches focus WAY too much on bible theology and scripture. However I think their intentions are well. They know that by reading scripture God can speak to people in a direct and unique way. This may not be the same with simple prayer. However I think it is a good thing to have many different ways to reach people at church. My opinion, go with a full scale attack. Do funny comedy skits, plays, music, prayer groups, random social events....bring your boss to church day haha. A lot of seeker churches are beginning to do this, and it seems to be working.

Also the next few paragraphs are a bit off topic but I want to make this point. What we need in the church is for Christians to stop judging other Christians- and making them feel lowly about their dedications to God. Just because a christian doesn't read the bible or do devotionals doesn't mean they aren't a true christian. Becoming a christian was a gift that we received when we believed that Jesus died on the cross for us. We did not become Christians through service...


One thing I want to say that if you feel like another christian isn't acting the way they should instead of condemning that person you could pray for them and let God (the creator of the universe who is all powerful) step in and do something instead of trying to change the person on your own strength. God can do a lot more than we can to change people. (Look at Paul who wrote like half of the new testament).

So many churches lose would-be Christians because of condemning. Because they feel it's their job to condemn people. No it is the Holy Spirit job to convict people of unbelief.. It's sickening...so many people have the wrong impression of God because they encounter judgmental Christians and assume God is the same way. Then they reject God because of this.

Also there comes a spiritual pride with Christian service, people who attend more church conferences, and volunteer more. Especially when these things are done out of guilt or a sense of duty. These people see themselves higher up on some spiritual ladder that they made up in their heads because in their minds they've worked for Gods blessing. God loves us from the moment we accept Christ, and forever. It isn't conditional.

This is where the christian begins to judge others...We should be doing these things because we genuinely love God and we want to give ourselves to Christ. Not out of guilt or sense of duty. Thanks for reading.



There is nothing that we can give God that He doesn't already deserve.

edit on 31-5-2011 by freedish because: (no reason given)

edit on 31-5-2011 by freedish because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 06:18 PM
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reply to post by SaberTruth
 


The only thing you've succeeded in is to strengthen the impression of the christianities as a bunch of intolerant bigots, who fight amongst themselves also.

In spite of your seemingly 'reasonable' general definition of what a christian really is, you come across as just another of the self-proclaimed 'true' christians, with requests of elitism and exclusivity. In other words the almost two thousand year old tradition of heresy-alerts left and right.

It's not my business to interfere with or comment on the way your congregation, denomination or whatever decides who can be members of your club. But you are going far beyond that by suggesting this ideological fascism of yours to include everyone, who in some way is associated with the bible/christianity or a Jesus movement.

You do not have this mandate, and your attitudes are invasive and authoritarian.



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 06:23 PM
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Originally posted by bogomil
reply to post by SaberTruth
 

blah blah blah... personal attack... blah blah blah...

You, of course, are the epitome of humility and peacemaking, of kindness and civility, never judging or flaming. And I've got some prime beachfront property on the moon to sell.

But since this is all you ever spew, you're another of those people I have to ignore from now on. Thanks for making it so easy. :-P



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 06:42 PM
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reply to post by SaberTruth
 


You wrote:

["You, of course, are the epitome of humility and peacemaking, of kindness and civility, never judging or flaming. And I've got some prime beachfront property on the moon to sell."]

No, I am by character grumpy and querulous, but I don't suggest, that society or bigger groups in it should be run on lines based on my personal inclinations, dispositions, ideosynchracies or ideology. D-g save us from a society like that.

Quote: ["But since this is all you ever spew, you're another of those people I have to ignore from now on. Thanks for making it so easy"]

You said that a few hours ago also and if my memory serves me a week or two ago.

You've never considered the option of letting people make their own decisions, instead of you trying to do it for them. I know many excellent christians, who wouldn't fit with your authoritarian requests. Who are you to dictate the conditions for their christianity or not.




edit on 31-5-2011 by bogomil because: missing words



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 06:53 PM
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Originally posted by bogomil

You said that a few hours ago also and if my memory serves me a week or two ago.

Apparently you don't take the hint. But I do try to give people second or third chances. You used all yours up.



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 07:06 PM
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Originally posted by freedish
... good to see you are of Christ...


"Of Christ".

Explain. "Of Christ" as in, a fellow christian, or a fellow baptist or what? What if someone believes in the man Yeshua and a creator (let's call it God), but not the bible or (insert your religion here)?

Is that man "of Christ" or just a misguided person headed for eternal damnation?



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 09:40 PM
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I always thought that if the Christian God is the "one true God," and if the Bible is supposed to be the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help it God, then shouldn't we be able to naturally arrive at many of the same conclusions the Bible reaches.... without having to read the Bible?

At least if it's compatible with logic and reasoning as we know it, you'd think people would be constantly re-discovering Biblical truths, and the book would be of secondary importance to the experience of reality itself.



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 10:28 PM
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reply to post by bsbray11
 


You would also expect a God who created everything we see in on this planet and in the Universe to have inspired a better book. He can create everything; he just can't seem to grasp writing a book.
edit on 31-5-2011 by novastrike81 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 03:10 AM
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Originally posted by SaberTruth

Originally posted by bogomil

You said that a few hours ago also and if my memory serves me a week or two ago.

Apparently you don't take the hint. But I do try to give people second or third chances. You used all yours up.


Sorry,


I'm basically relating to the topic of christian diversity and inner-christian tolerance on this thread. And I expressed a strong disagreement with you on these subjects.

Do you intend to present posts, which exclusively are about your hurt feelings and threats of sullen disappearence acts, or can you, even in the face of opposition, produce some support of your opinions and direct your interest towards the topic.

This thread, the subforum or ATS isn't mainly about whether you like or dislike me, it's about some topics, which are expected to be at least part of posting.

So I repeat: On what ground or with what authority can you put up conditions for other people calling themselves christians.



posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 04:51 AM
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Trying to be a Christian without the Bible is like being a baker without a definitive recipe...no matter how hard you try, it won't turn out right.

That being said, you are right...not everyone enjoys reading the Bible...or understands it, but they desire to follow the Christian walk. They are babes in Christ and are fed on the "milkfat" of the Bible...the highlights and a few sound doctrines and scriptures..ie John 3:16. Ok ...good so far.

However, as they grow...they desire answers or ask questions to things they don't understand. We see a lot of questions here at ATS...concerning dinosaurs, evolution, age of the Earth and geology, timelines of history, prophecy. Too often, people pull the Bible like a young child pulls his daddy's pistol out of the night stand...they use it without knowing how to use it.

The Christian matures in spiritual growth and seks these answers in the Bible and in accompanying texts that only confirm what the Bible says...ie Book of Enoch...or Histories of Josephus. The mature Christian then is fed upon the "meat" of God's word.... they are able to digest it, understand it's deeper meanings.

Some people want the "milkfat" all of their life...others seek something of more substance.



posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 05:36 AM
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reply to post by AlreadyGone
 


You wrote:

["Trying to be a Christian without the Bible is like being a baker without a definitive recipe...no matter how hard you try, it won't turn out right."]

Why? Staying with your allegory, let's say, that the only concept you have to start from is that of bread per se. Then go experiment on a trial-and-error basis (that's how I learned to bake, though the initial results were very.......exotic). Why not approach the concept 'god'/Jesus etc the same way.

With an open, critical mind and helped by e.g. all that material, which is excluded from the bible (as you also suggest), and by contemporary knowledge and methods, it's possible to find functional answers.

There's also the direct way of socalled 'mysticism'.

Quote: ["The Christian matures in spiritual growth and seks these answers in the Bible and in accompanying texts that only confirm what the Bible says...ie Book of Enoch"]

While some christians claim, that the bible is 'god'-inspired (a position with agnostic implications), I have big problems with ascribing such to its editing. What's classified as authoritative, apocryphia or heretical seem to be church-political considerations.

It all boils down to the common postulate: The bible is true, because it declares itself to be true.

The last time I talked with the flying spaghetti monster, he told me the same about himself.....that he's not a figment of my imagination.

Not that I really believe what he says, but he CAN be rather convincing.



posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 10:41 AM
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You realize that the bible calls christians to judge within the church according to Gods righteousness (the Word). So basically if someone is going to call themselves a christian - baby or not, they are to be disciplined in love by those who are more mature in their beliefs. There is no call to judge non-believers, though. They are to simply be accepted into God's loving arms and cared for. When they truly believe they will WANT the correction that comes with following the Word because they will WANT to do God's will.

If you want to be a christian with benefits then you deserve to be called out by the church as long as their standpoint is biblical. One could always try and find a denomination that is more accepting of what they do - but if the problem is obviously against scripture, (eg homosexuality) and you're trying to force your lifestyle to fit in with the bible...then why even be a christian? You can believe in God without following Christ.

It's the christians that are babied because the church is scared to offend people that give christianity a bad name. We're all hypocrites because pastors dont have the balls to keep the church representative of Christ. Wouldn't want to take a cut in tithes I guess...



posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 01:02 PM
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reply to post by Partygirl
 





Originally posted by Partygirl
I think there are other ways to bring people to God rather than shoving the Word in their faces and scaring/guilting them half to death.




I pretty much agree with this point.

I mean what’s the point of throwing bible verses at people, who don’t even believe in a God to begin with. It’s like teaching someone how to score in ice hockey, when they haven’t even learned how to skate yet lol


- JC



posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 01:20 PM
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Originally posted by TILTed

Originally posted by freedish
... good to see you are of Christ...


"Of Christ".

Explain. "Of Christ" as in, a fellow christian, or a fellow baptist or what? What if someone believes in the man Yeshua and a creator (let's call it God), but not the bible or (insert your religion here)?

Is that man "of Christ" or just a misguided person headed for eternal damnation?


A person that believes Jesus is the son of God and died for their sins...A person with Gods Holy Spirit inside them.

a person that believes in Jesus but does not believe in the bible I would say is misguided...but are the damned to hell? i don't think so...



posted on Jun, 3 2011 @ 06:22 AM
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Originally posted by Partygirl




Some charasmatic churches are less strctly "bible-based and more involved with direct experience with the holy spirit, etc. The Catholics...well, they seem to have whole galaxies of non-biblical teachings now don't they.


You are right, the Catholic church does have a lot of non biblical teachings. A simple way to test their authenticity is this: Ask yourself, do these beliefs lead me closer to Jesus and the Father, or do they lead me away from him? Just because something is not in the bible, it does not mean that it is not true. Otherwise we have to accept that God stopped talking to us about 2000 years ago when Jesus popped off to heaven.



The bible is an indispensible part of all real Christianity as the Word of God and I would never argue against that.


Once again, non biblical revelation must never contradict the bible, but it can help explain the written word and help cover things that are not in there. It should always be tested based upon the simple method mentioned above.



Concrete example: I believe a number of people will resonnate more strongly and immediately with PRAYER than they wiill with an onslaught of ideological or polemical hermeneutics.Teach them to pray lovingly to god before even showing them a bible! I believe so, anyway.


So true, the bible is the part of the Christianity that so many people have problems with. It is a large, complex and often appearing to be contradictory piece of literature. It can only be really properly understood through loving the God it is about first.



It would be nice if we as Chrisitans could all come to an understanding of this issue but many see "ecumenicalism" as a dirty word. Would Christ have shut out an earnestly seeking sinner even if his view was wrong? So way should we be building walls where we should be tearing them down?


We are all of the Catholic church - in the sense that the word means universal. There is only one Jesus, one Father and one Holy Spirit. Arguing over semantics is just plain silly and goes against what Jesus really wants for us all.



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