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Featured Can a religion be said to be 'true' if only 1 out of a million can do it?

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by LAGoff, Apr 1, 2018.

  1. LAGoff

    LAGoff Member

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    I'm talking about the NT. It seems to me that being saved is almost impossible.
    First, there's the 'hard' statements by Jesus that counsel plucking out eyes and cutting off things if one even looks or thinks wrong. Then there's the eye of the needle-type statements. Then there's the kind of statements outside the Gospels such as, “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,” (Hebrews 10:26).
    You may say the holy spirit will change your heart. Fine. I've heard this answer. Tell it to your Christian neighbors and see if they don't crucify you because I highly doubt that one out of a million have been changed enough to the point where they cease doing things mentioned by Jesus as things they shouldn't be doing ('sinning').
    If you can somehow 'save' this religion from being just for the very very very few, I would like to know how you can do it.
     
  2. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    1 John 5:3b.

    A big part of pleasing the Christian God (who is also the Hebrew God, i.e., Jehovah), is being kind and loving to others. People of all nations.

    The only things making that difficult is our own selfishness, and the pressures of this divided world.
     
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  3. Trackdayguy

    Trackdayguy Speed doesn't kill, it's hitting the wall

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    Saved from what ?
     
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  4. LAGoff

    LAGoff Member

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    I'm Jewish, so I'm no expert. But I would say 'saved' from the fires of hell, which if I'm not mistaken is the penalty for for even "any who looks at a woman and wants to possess her ... if your right eye causes you to sin, take it out and if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off... better that than to have your whole body go off to hell." Mathew 5:27-30
     
  5. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Can a religion be said to be 'true' if only 1 out of a million can do it?

    People can say all sorts of things.
     
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  6. YmirGF

    YmirGF Bodhisattva

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    Agreed. People can say whatever they like as their sentiments do not necessarily make something true.
     
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  7. Trackdayguy

    Trackdayguy Speed doesn't kill, it's hitting the wall

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    This is a great video that exposes the false teaching on hell.
    Does Hell Exist? If So, Who Ends Up There, And Why? - Hellbound the Movie
     
  8. Frater Sisyphus

    Frater Sisyphus Contradiction, irrationality and disorder

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    Well, I believe that all (or most) religions are pieces of a larger, jumbled up puzzle of the nature of God (The All, Brahman etc) and existence - so in that statement, no - no single religion is true but they all contain truths.
     
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  9. tayla

    tayla My dog's name is Tayla

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    There is some amount of "truth" in many religions and spiritual paths (but how to discern it, that is the challenge). Some claim to be the only way and, yes, those that do are probably mistaken in significant aspects.
     
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  10. tayla

    tayla My dog's name is Tayla

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    Religions that say we need to be "saved" set up a fear that, to me, seems unnatural and certainly not of God. Living a Godly life honoring God and respectful of our fellow creatures doesn't require we live in terror of the afterlife, nor does it require we think of ourselves as "totally depraved", sinning 10 times a second.
     
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  11. Trackdayguy

    Trackdayguy Speed doesn't kill, it's hitting the wall

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    Yes. I think that once we get into "WE GOT THE TRUTH" by definition we become bigots. In the end truth must have a relationship to time, space and culture. 100 years ago it was true that there was no cure for diabetes, but its not true today.
     
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  12. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Its not God who makes life difficult...its us.

    What does being "saved" mean exactly, and was Jesus teaching that unless we are "perfect" (without sin) we can't be saved?

    If you answer those two questions, then the rest is understandable according to those answers.

    So what are we being "saved" from and why do we need to be "saved " in the first place?

    Humankind were given a wonderful start to their existence. They were created without defect and placed in ideal surroundings with their every need met abundantly.....so what went wrong? If you are familiar with the Genesis account, you will see that there was only one prohibition and one command to "be fruitful...and fill the earth"....with everything supplied for the task, it wasn't exactly a tough job, was it?

    What spoiled this assignment? Being "made in God's image" wasn't about a physical resemblance...it was talking about being endowed with God's qualities....the ability to make decisions consciously and to contemplate the outcome of those decisions. We call it free will. It was a gift to give us individual choices about many things, but it also carried the possibility that this freedom to choose could lead them in the wrong direction. But having no knowledge of evil meant that it was entirely doable in the first instance.

    Why did God prohibit "the knowledge of good and evil"? It wasn't that good and evil did not exist because everything in creation is balanced in opposites. This tree represented God exclusive right to determine what was good and what was evil.....but another free willed being saw an opportunity to make himself into a god. You know the story. He could only be a god to these humans if he could separate them from their Creator.

    He approached the newbie and deceived her by lying about the penalty and slandering their Creator by inferring bad motives in his one prohibition.

    Adam had been educated for some time before Eve's creation, and he was to educate her, so the knowledge given him by God would likely have made Adam reject the devil's temptations and lies.....so he chose to approach the uneducated woman while she was alone, (1 Timothy 2:14) to get to his prime target. By doing this, he forced Adam to divide his loyalties...and it worked. His free will was compromised by his feelings for his wife. He chose to obey her instead of his God. "Sin" was the result and death was the penalty. Somehow, (genetically) that propensity to do wrong was passed down to all their children...it was somehow programmed their cells to die. (Romans 5:12) Plus there was another tree in the garden that would enable humans to live forever in their mortal flesh. (Genesis 3:22-24) Access to that tree was now prohibited, and after their eviction from their paradise home, humans had to eke out an existence on cursed ground.

    So why are the sins of our first parents the reason why we have to bear the burden of their error and face certain death?

    This where knowledge of the big picture is important. We were plunged into this mess through no fault on our part, so God stepped in immediately with a rescue mission. The problem with being human and governed by earth time is that the Creator does not operate in earth time...he dwells in universal time and he gave the first rebel time to prove his claims that death would not occur, and that God lied to his human children. That rebel was a spirit who dwells in the same realm as the Creator. To us earth-bound humans it seems to be taking forever to teach the devil his lesson......but he was also allowed to test each one of us using the same tactics. Do we serve our God only when the going is good? (remember Job)

    So since we have sin in our very being and a propensity to do wrong as a natural leaning, what are we to do? How can any of us pass this impossible test? Enter the redeemer! This one was sent to bear our sins for us.....to take the bullet if you will, for the sins we may commit as a result of being born this way. Its called forgiveness. Something not to be abused or taken for granted, however. We cannot use it as an excuse to sin, believing that forgiveness is a given...it isn't. Unless there is genuine repentance, there can be no forgiveness.

    We have to understand that we are the masters of our own destiny....we drive this body with our mind and heart. Minds and hearts can be influenced by our personality as well as our environment and associates....but at the end of the day, NO ONE can force us to do anything against our will. So how do we get our will to comply with God's will? The answer is education. What we feed our minds and hearts is reflected in our thinking and actions. Sin is still there, but we now have a way to control it.

    And for those times we fail, we pick ourselves up, leave the sin behind and sincerely ask for God's forgiveness on the basis of Jesus' sacrifice in our behalf.

    In the meantime, God is watching us with the eye of a loving parent. He wants us to learn, not only by what he teaches us in the Bible, but also from our own mistakes. Experience is a better teacher than words because it is often more painful and we remember the outcome. God will not cause our problems but he will not prevent them either. As adults, we know about consequences and can plot our own course to reach our desired destination. For Christians, that is everlasting life. Are we willing to sacrifice ungodly thinking and practices in order to qualify for it? We can choose.

    When we have the leading of God's spirit, no matter what temptation is put in our path, we will have the power to resist it. I can vouch for the truth of that statement, because I have implemented God's recommendation in my life for the past 45 years. Spiritually I am stronger than I have ever been, but I don't fall into the trap of relying on myself....I always rely on God, every day to direct my thinking and activities. It saves us from a lot of bad decisions and the heartbreak that goes with them. I am far from perfect, but when I do the wrong thing, I follow God's direction and seek his forgiveness. That is all he asks...nothing more than we can give.

    Jesus said that "few" will be saved as opposed to those who will want to carry out their own will. (Matthew 7:13-14; Matthew 7:21-23) Most are not willing to sacrifice their own selfish desires to please God. God is well pleased with these correctly motivated 'sacrifices'.

    Hope that helps to answer your questions.
     
    #12 Deeje, Apr 1, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
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  13. Frater Sisyphus

    Frater Sisyphus Contradiction, irrationality and disorder

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    Bigotry: One of the biggest pitfalls of religion, the enlightened individual does not go around bragging to everyone that he is enlightened. The position of 'belonging' in religion, I think forces people to take such a hostile position (possibly from the fear of the amount of religions out there, the need to control or lack of confidence in ones spiritual choices) - and while I understand how and why someone would value it (belonging) so highly, I think it's more of a detractor to ones personal and spiritual development/journey.
     
    #13 Frater Sisyphus, Apr 1, 2018
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  14. Trackdayguy

    Trackdayguy Speed doesn't kill, it's hitting the wall

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    When eternal life was talked about in the Bible it didn't mean heaven. Surely the real issue is "Being Saved" if hell doesn't exist then what were people wanting to be saved from.
     
  15. Scott C.

    Scott C. Just one guy

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    I believe that God wants us to never stop trying to be perfect in following all that he asks us to do, but God knows very well that as hard as we try, we are fallible, and will continue to fall far short. We need to understand that we always fall short also. The grace of Christ covers the gap between what we are and what we need to be. It's simply impossible for a human being to live such a stellar life that he can make it back to God without a Savior.

    Using your one in a million idea, I would say that zero in one million can keep all of God's commandments and never sin. But, one million in one million can do what is necessary to receive the saving grace of God.
     
  16. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
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    You have hit it on the head. It IS impossible and that is why Jesus is the new and living way where 1 in 100 billion can do it.
     
  17. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg One Planet One People Please
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    There is only One God in His Many Names. All Messengers have called us to practice the high standard of Virtues in our life. When live the virtues, this is nearness to God and Heaven. The more we neglect to do this is remoteness from God and Hell.

    Regards Tony
     
  18. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    Wow! (You're implying living on the Earth, right?) Interesting that you say this! Psalms 115:16, Isaiah 45:18, Matthew 5:5, etc., agree with you.
     
  19. LAGoff

    LAGoff Member

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    Since you didn't mention the 'Holy Spirit' [coming to the rescue and helping us to fulfill Matthew 5 (the Sermon on the Mount)], are you saying that I can be as sinful (and sorry for my sin, of course) as I am and JUST believe - as you say -- that "The grace of Christ covers the gap between what we are and what we need to be. It's simply impossible for a human being to live such a stellar life that he can make it back to God without a Savior."?
    Sounds good. It's kinda like what I do now in my Judaism ("I'm sorry, I'll try harder", etc.). Since I am the typical selfish, lustful, petty human ("the one million in one million"?), am I to spend my life asking God for forgiveness? (of course, I would just add The Savior to the end of my plea for forgiveness after sinning). Because I am NOT going to stop being selfish and lustful (and sorry for being so)
     
  20. Scott C.

    Scott C. Just one guy

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    As a Mormon, I believe baptism and other ordinances (sacraments are necessary) for salvation. I believe the grace of God enables us to do better. We can and should improve the way we live our lives through desire, effort, and reliance on the grace of God. Repentance is an on going process throughout our lives. Lust will diminish. Selfishness will diminish. We gain greater strength to do good. We can become more loving. We get better at turning the cheek. we get better at forgivng others with time. But in the end, no matter how much we do or what we become, we will not get where we need to be without Christ. I know you're Jewish, but this is my view on how it works.
     
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