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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. Mindmaster

    Mindmaster Well-Known Member
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    This is not really true in only that you can discover something and still be tolerant of understandings outside of yours. Since my 'apparent beliefs' are experience based I realize simply that others will not buy into my notions without similar experiences. They aren't lesser humans than I, but simply just possibly taking the longer winding road. Whether that road involves many lifetimes for them to unravel the information or simply by hearing it through others and being able to perceive themselves they will end up in the same place eventually.

    The immediacy of realization is only important to those whom think they have but one life to live, and since I am aware of something beyond that whether or not others are I feel no need to pressure them toward my understandings. They will get it now or later, basically. :D

    As for the manner of truth - it can have no relation to the time, space, culture. The real essence of the universe must preexist these limitations or adjuncts or their very limits would prohibit their formation. Time and space only exist as conveniences, ultimately. Only the now and here actually exist at any one moment. Similarly, the value of culture only displays any merit if it suits the environment of supporting such discoveries rather than being self-important in relation to itself. Essentially, culture most embody the spiritual quest in a limitless fashion or it dies via its old and outmoded ideas. Lesser persons will see fault with the religious culture and proclaim atheism and the wiser will draw parallels fundamental to all belief systems and test those waters.
     
  2. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
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    This kind of reasoning of yours is uncontradictible...and the answer to your question is : yes, mainstream interpretation of Christianity is founded upon hypocrisy.

    The only way the Christendom can "redeem itself" and avoid further blunders is to drop the dogmas (which cause only separation and divisions) and to inaugurate the religion of pragmatism and rationalism.
     
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  3. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    Yes, a religion can be true even if there's only one person who could do it.
     
  4. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    In my religion we don’t have a concept of salvation or infidels but that people are born good, pure and free from sin and education determines their character. So there’s no one to ‘save’.

    Our focus is on a better world through virtuous education and deeds.

    For instance there’s this quote from Baha’u’llah:

    The betterment of the world can be accomplished through pure and goodly deeds, through commendable and seemly conduct.

    Do not be content with showing friendship in words alone, let your heart burn with loving kindness for all who may cross your path.”

    I don’t know how this idea of rejecting people developed within some religions.

    I think Christians should be focusing on welcoming and loving all not on ‘saving’.
     
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  5. Robert Vincelette

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    Heaven would be no better than Hell if I dwelt there in a badly enough mutilated body such as missing eyes to see the beatific vision or missing sex organs or having to live with a beer belly. Can't one remark that a pulchritudinous looking woman LOOKS sexually desirable while accepting that for a good reason such as you already accepted your betrothed or married choice or she is something horrible like a tobacco executive or a gold digger she may be someone you would not want to be intimate with?
     
  6. Marvin L. Zinn

    Marvin L. Zinn no title

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    Good definition! If there is no "eternity" then what happens if everything ends; where does it go? I cannot believe anyone would consider our minds (or souls) can disappear as though they never existed. The universe had to start with power, and the power will never diminish.
     
  7. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    All any human can share with us is their understanding of what is true as it's been derived from what they have found 'works for them' in their lives, as being true. If they try to go further, and insist that we accept their truth as our truth, they are acting at the behest of their own egos, I think, rather than their wisdom, and we should understand this and take what they say with this in mind.

    This ego-centrism is a trait we all share, and fall into, routinely, so I think we should be quick to recognize it in ourselves, and forgive it in others, when it occurs.
     
  8. A Maatian De'ani

    A Maatian De'ani New Member

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    La Goff, interesting question! I have often thought about this in relation to my own life. While I have not been a Christian for quite some years, I have always had a strong sense of sin - perhaps I am only neurotic - which is no doubt is true - but I believe that a first rule of religion is to eliminate those actions in ones life which separates one from God ( God for me is more of a Goddess). I more often than not fail miserably at this. As a result I tend to see judgment as my fate and not some immediately happy ending. However sometimes I get the idea that perhaps the whole thing is crazy and that naturalistic belief that accepts life in all of its oppression and brutality as inescapable and all is better. However ultimately I can not live is such a godless universe.

    OK as far as Jesus' words go, well one has to remember Christianity is perhaps more controlled by Paul's thoughts than by Jesus.' And then the Church gradually domesticated it and made being a Christian easier for most. In most forms of Christianity all one must do is believe in Jesus without too many doubts and live a fairly average moral life and one makes it. However for those few in history who did want to do their best and live like they believe Jesus lived there were the medieval monasteries and convents. And then after the Reformation there were the various very strict and very communitarian Anabaptist cults and then latter groups like the Quakers and Shakers who really put there hearts and souls into their attempts to live the saintly life. Modern Christianity as a whole I simply think is a status quo religion which just goes along for the ride. Please I am sorry for the judgmental tone, I really do not want to belittle the lives of individuals who are really trying to do their best. But when I see the whole thing collectively that is how I evaluate it

    Glenn
     
  9. Axe Elf

    Axe Elf Prophet

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    Of course one can. Simply finding a woman sexually attractive is not lust. Lust implies an intent--that you would actually sleep with her if you could. If you just think she's hawt, but you'd never follow up even if she made advances toward you, then it's not lust. Kinda like how you can admire your neighbor's car without coveting it.
     
  10. Axe Elf

    Axe Elf Prophet

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    Regarding the OP, the poster seems to be laboring under the false impression that salvation is something that WE do (or are unable to do), when the Bible clearly states (in many places and in many ways) that salvation is NOT a matter of anything that can be done, but a matter of God's grace alone.
     
  11. LAGoff

    LAGoff Member

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    You may be right. I just remembered the thief on the cross. Does this mean the NT is contradictory?
     
  12. jac

    jac New Member

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    The thief on the cross was forgiven by Christ. He clearly had the power to do so from other places in the NT. Christ is also a member of the trinity so saving someone is not a issue for him. Theirs nothing contradictory there. None of us are or can be perfect, a christian is someone who believes in Christ and does their best to keep his commands, they are repentant sinners dependent on God's grace.
     
  13. sealchan

    sealchan Well-Known Member

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    It can't be read literally...Jesus exaggerates to make a point. He uses paradox, he uses shock techniques to make you think outside the rules.

    In many ways, Christianity is for the few...few there are that study the Word and find inspiration to do something against their own convenience. Churches are the greatest culprits in easing the conscience of those who read scripture and don't like what it means...
     
  14. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    I believe this.

    The universe is chock full of "potential" power, and objects that are expressing that power outright (like stars), and as we can clearly witness, it is only ever borrowed for a time and then applied elsewhere. For example, we have to eat to remain active, otherwise we shut down and die. The food gives us the ability to generate heat, provide essential compounds that our body breaks-down in usage and therefore needs refreshment of, allows for the absorption of material that can be used to generate new cells and synthesize vital hormones.

    The scenario you are proposing - that some "part" of us is somehow sustained for ETERNITY without any energies being input or consumed to keep going... well... it's just not something for which there is any evidence at all in our realm... and indeed there is only example after example after example after example of processes that require this refreshment of energies to exist relatively "status quo." To my mind, your ideas are far less believable.
     
  15. Axe Elf

    Axe Elf Prophet

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    Well, not just that, there are a LOT of contradictions in the NT (and the Bible as a whole). In this case, I think it's just a matter of speaking to both the people who are smart enough to grasp the concept of predestination as well as those who need to feel like they are making the choice. That's why you get verses like "choose this day whom you will serve" (Joshua 24:15) alongside verses like "Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love. For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]" (Ephesians 1:4-5).

    It's just a matter of what you can comprehend.
     
  16. LAGoff

    LAGoff Member

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    Very provocative. I know about that chapter in Ephesians. I don't think there's anything like that in the Tora. I think there's only one verse in the rest of the OT, and that's in Jeremiah about being known before he was born. So that one verse in Jeremiah is dwarfed by many many more that explicitly talk about choice/free will.
    (Jews hold that the Tora is much more important than the rest of the OT)
    Anyway, the Ephesians predestination stuff seems to me to fit well with the 'hard' sayings I cited in my opening post. Both seem to me to be outrageous (Paul's 'foolishness'?), but I have to respect the boldness of them. It feels like going all in with only an Ace high.
    You say you are 'smart' because you understand this. I'd like to hear more of your 'smartness' on this predestination subject. I'd like to be smart too (or is it, I'd like to be foolish?)
    I know the basic 'God is omniscient' argument. Is that what you mean?
    If that's what you mean, I try not to think about it, although I can't refute it.
    I guess one big problem for me (one big reason I can never be a Christian) is that the NT says that it's all predestined AND it talks about hell a lot-- two things the OT is almost silent on. I 'can't' worship a God who predestines one to hell and heaven (if that's what Ephesians is doing). But I'm willing to hear anything you can say in defense of it- although how can you defend 'foolishness' as Paul says it is, although you imply that it's for "people who are smart enough"
     
  17. Watchmen

    Watchmen Well-Known Member
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    You think he was suggesting to literally pluck out an eye? Do you know what the eye of the needle refers to?
     
  18. Axe Elf

    Axe Elf Prophet

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    You're thinking of Jeremiah 1:5.

    "Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

    I wouldn't even say that is the strongest evidence of predestination in the Book of Jeremiah, let alone the Old Testament--at least of predestination on a universal scale (it could just apply to Jeremiah as a special case). But you're right, there is very little in the Torah that could be construed as definitive evidence of universal predestination either, at least no stronger evidence than that verse in Jeremiah.

    There are a LOT of passages in Exodus (4:21, 7:3, 7:13, 9:12, 9:35, 10:1, 10:20, 10:27, 11:10, 14:4, 14:8) regarding God hardening Pharaoh's heart in one way or another, and basically playing him like a puppeteer plays a puppet, but again, these could be special cases of God intervening, rather than indications of general predestination. There are also a few indications in Exodus (3:21, 11:3, 12:36) that God made the Egyptians "favor" His people, but again, it could just be a special intervention. Then there's another isolated incident in Deuteronomy (2:30) of God hardening a king's heart for one reason or another--but still, not really evidence of general predestination.

    But here are a few passages from the Old Testament that ARE more indicative of a God Who is in control of everything (the "wisdom of Solomon" is bursting with them):

    Since a man's days are already determined, and the number of his months is wholly in Your control, and he cannot pass the bounds of his allotted time --Job 14:5

    The Lord looks from heaven, He beholds all the sons of men; from His dwelling place He looks [intently] upon all the inhabitants of the earth--He Who fashions the hearts of them all, Who considers all their doings. --Psalm 33:13-15

    Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man whom You choose and cause to come near, that he may dwell in Your courts! --Psalm 65:4a

    Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them. --Psalm 139:16

    The Lord has made everything [to accommodate itself and contribute] to its own end and His own purpose--even the wicked [are fitted for their role] for the day of calamity and evil. --Proverbs 16:4

    A man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure. --Proverbs 16:9

    The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is wholly of the Lord [even the events that seem accidental are really ordered by Him]. --Proverbs 16:33

    Many plans are in a man's mind, but it is the Lord's purpose for him that will stand. --Proverbs 19:21

    Man's steps are ordered by the Lord. How then can a man understand his way? --Proverbs 20:24

    The King’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as are the watercourses; He turns it whichever way He wills. --Proverbs 21:1

    And better evidence of general predestination from the book of Jeremiah:

    O Lord [pleads Jeremiah in the name of the people], I know that [the determination of] the way of a man is not in himself; it is not in man [even in a strong man or in a man at his best] to direct his [own] steps. --Jeremiah 10:23

    Well, there are a LOT of verses from the New Testament that speak of general predestination, from the words of Jesus to the Revelation of John, so it's not just "Paui's foolishness"; it's corroborated in dozens of passages. I can cite those for you if you like, although later on you seem to acknowledge that the New Testament talks a lot about predestination, so I'll leave it up to you if you'd like to request the specific verses or not. I do warn you, though, there are a few pages of them.

    No, you have it backwards. I don't say I am smart because I understand this, I say that I understand this because I am smart--or, at least because understanding the divine will and purpose (prophecy) is my spiritual gift. In any case, the idea that the Bible speaks to different levels of comprehension is not my own; it's stated explicitly in 1 Corinthians 2:6a.

    "Yet when we are among the full-grown (spiritually mature Christians who are ripe in understanding), we do impart a [higher] wisdom (the knowledge of the divine plan previously hidden)"

    The same concept of basic concepts versus advanced knowledge is reiterated a chapter later, in 1 Corinthians 3:1-2.

    "However, brethren, I could not talk to you as to spiritual [men], but as to nonspiritual [men of the flesh, in whom the carnal nature predominates], as to mere infants [in the new life] in Christ [unable to talk yet!] I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not yet strong enough [to be ready for it]; but even yet you are not strong enough [to be ready for it]"

    So if all you can do is try to be good by following rules, then here's the Law, go follow the rules (good luck with that). If you can understand the abstract principles behind the rules, then love God and love others and you will fulfill the Law automatically. If you can understand that it's not about what you choose to do so much as what God has created you to do, then you can understand that anybody who was created to seek God by trying to follow the rules or who was created to seek God by trying to love God and others has probably been created for salvation.

    LOL Well, at least that's honest. The argument from omniscience is legitimate, but it's dependent upon God being omniscient. Since we can't really demonstrate God's omniscience, then one can retain their free will by denying God's omniscience. For me, a better argument from reason lies in the fact that Einstein, among others, have shown us--that space and time are not two separate things, but merely two aspects of the same thing--spacetime. So if we accept that God created the universe--all of space--then we are forced to accept that God created all of time with it; every moment structured just as deliberately as every millimeter.

    Well first of all, the "hell" that is talked about in the New Testament isn't the one that pop culture would have you believe is waiting for you. Revelation 20:10-15 makes it pretty clear that the only ones who will be tortured day and night for ever and ever are the devil, the beast, and the false prophet. Everyone else who was not predestined for salvation by having their name recorded in the Book of Life from the dawn of time is thrown into the lake of fire to suffer "the second death."

    "Then the devil who had led them astray [deceiving and seducing them] was hurled into the fiery lake of burning brimstone, where the beast and false prophet were; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever (through the ages of the ages). Then I saw a great white throne and the One Who was seated upon it, from Whose presence and from the sight of Whose face earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. I [also] saw the dead, great and small; they stood before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is [the Book] of Life. And the dead were judged (sentenced) by what they had done [their whole way of feeling and acting, their aims and endeavors] in accordance with what was recorded in the books. And the sea delivered up the dead who were in it, death and Hades (the state of death or disembodied existence) surrendered the dead in them, and all were tried and their cases determined by what they had done [according to their motives, aims, and works]. Then death and Hades (the state of death or disembodied existence) were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s [name] was not found recorded in the Book of Life, he was hurled into the lake of fire."

    The first death destroys the body, the second death destroys the soul (that which makes you "you"--your identity), and the spirit (the life force that makes inanimate matter alive) returns to its source--God. So everyone who wasn't created for salvation merely ceases to exist (which is basically what most of the people who weren't created for salvation believe is what happens when they die anyway, so everybody gets what they expect). Maybe that will make it seem less like God is just being sadistic by creating some people for destruction. In any case, there is a lengthy passage from Romans that explains it pretty clearly.

    "And not only that, but this too: Rebecca conceived [two sons under exactly the same circumstances] by our forefather Isaac, and the children were yet unborn and had so far done nothing either good or evil. Even so, in order further to carry out God's purpose of selection (election, choice), which depends not on works or what men can do, but on Him Who calls [them], it was said to her that the elder [son] should serve the younger [son]. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated (held in relative disregard in comparison with My feeling for Jacob). What shall we conclude then? Is there injustice upon God's part? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy and I will have compassion (pity) on whom I will have compassion. So then [God's gift] is not a question of human will and human effort, but of God's mercy. [It depends not on one's own willingness nor on his strenuous exertion as in running a race, but on God's having mercy on him.] For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, I have raised you up for this very purpose of displaying My power in [dealing with] you, so that My name may be proclaimed the whole world over. So then He has mercy on whomever He wills (chooses) and He hardens (makes stubborn and unyielding the heart of) whomever He wills. You will say to me, Why then does He still find fault and blame us [for sinning]? For who can resist and withstand His will? But who are you, a mere man, to criticize and contradict and answer back to God? Will what is formed say to him that formed it, Why have you made me thus? Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same mass (lump) one vessel for beauty and distinction and honorable use, and another for menial or ignoble and dishonorable use?"
    --Romans 9:10-21

    (All citations are from the Amplified Bible.)
     
  19. Faithofchristian

    Faithofchristian Well-Known Member

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    The most questions being ask, If people are to be ( Saved ) what are they to be ( Saved) from?

    Ok, So what are people to be saved from, first is to find out what it is that people are to be saved from.

    The answer to this riddle, that has many people asking "What are we to be saved from ?
    There's only one book in all the Bible that has the answer to this, that it can be found in.

    In the book of Revelation 3:10--"Because you has kept the word of my patience,
    I also will keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth"

    Seeing that Christ Jesus will keep people from the hour of temptation, This means Christ Jesus will save people from the hour of temptation.

    What is this hour of temptation that is to come upon the whole world ?

    This is when Satan and his angels are cast out of heaven. And Satan comes masquerading by deception to deceive the whole world into believing that he is Christ Jesus.

    This is that Christ Jesus spoke about in Mark 13:14--"But When you shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the Prophet, standing where he ought not"

    This is when Satan comes to stand in the Holy place in Jerusalem, claiming to be Christ Jesus. This being Satan's hour of temptation, spoken about in the book of Revelation 3:10. To deceive the whole world into believing he is Christ Jesus that has come to save the whole world.

    And those who have not kept the words of Christ Jesus will fall victim to Satan and his angels.
    Revelation 3:10--"Because you have kept the word of my patience I also will keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth"
     
  20. LAGoff

    LAGoff Member

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    Wheww! That's the best answer I've ever heard! I'm gonna be chewing on that.

    I suppose this kind of answer is the one Jesus told his disciples in private? (not sure where, but you seem to be able to tell us what [was said]?- perhaps something along the lines of Ephesians/Corinthians?)


    "So everyone who wasn't created for salvation merely ceases to exist (which is basically what most of the people who weren't created for salvation believe is what happens when they die anyway, so everybody gets what they expect)."

    I like this 'Ephesians-talk'. It's strangely exciting to me, maybe because it IS the 'private' message mentioned in the Gospels that we didn't get to hear?

    I wonder now about my own religion. You suggested that there is a thread of this in the OT. More fun to bring up with the rabbi!

    Thanks for living up to your 'prophet' moniker.
    Hope I can ask you more questions.
     
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