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Featured Let’s talk about the Bible

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Vee, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    I appreciate your civility!

    You might find this article interesting, I know I did:
    https://www.atheistalliance.org/act.../131-atheist-heads-un-religion-committee.html

    As you and I can see from this forum site, there are many atheists here, with quite a few hating religion. And in reading the above article, it seems some have influence at the UN. Now, just what that says about future events, we'll have to wait and see.

    I can present more info later.

    I know you and I certainly have our differences especially regarding the Bible, but that doesn't transfer to how I view you as a person. Just want you to know that. To me, you are my cousin, and I wish you the best.

    Take care.
     
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  2. Oeste

    Oeste Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Hockeycowboy, I'll take a look. :)

    As you say, we don't always agree, but I do recall having fought "shoulder to shoulder" with Witnesses to defend the bible's veracity against skeptics and atheists.

    Take care,

    Oeste
     
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  3. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    Thanks. We certainly have that in common, we both appreciate the Bible!

    Just curious, Oeste....were you ever on IMDb's religious forum? It's closed now, the IMDb.com administrators took it down. But it was lively!

    You take care, also.

    I tell you what: Anytime you'd like to discuss something, I'm more than willing. Privately would be fine, too. We both are adults, who profess our love for God in our own ways.
     
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  4. Oeste

    Oeste Well-Known Member

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    No, I wasn't on there. This is the first I heard about it but it looks like an interesting site. A shame they took down the religious forum.

    I've posted on Beliefnet.com and also on Topix. Topix was like the wild west though...no moderator...so I stopped posting there.

    Thank you, and ditto back at you! :)
     
  5. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    I agree that the most important part of this whole discussion is what God teaches. Not what we think or believe He teaches, but what He actually does teach. So you, the born again Christians, the JWs, and the Baha'is all revere the words in the Bible. We all see reflected in the Teachings of the Jesus, the prophets, and the apostles, God's unerring spirit. The problem is we each read or interpret what is being said in accordance with our very human capacity. We are human after all. How could it be any other way?

    Ah ha! I knew you were bursting at the seems to quote John 14:6. What more conclusive proof could exist to establish you are right and I am wrong?

    But let's consider what Jesus meant when He spoke those famous words to his disciples nearly 2000 years ago in the one week leading up to His crucifixion. Did He really mean that the Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims are wrong, and only the Christians? The problem is, all His disciples were Jewish, some not so well educated, and although Hinduism and Buddhism were around in far off lands, they were hardly known to the Jews. There are no references in the gospels to Hindus and Buddhists so why on earth would He be speaking about them? Because He wasn't. He certainly wasn't speaking of Muslims and it wouldn't be for nearly 600 years that Muhammad would have an encouter with an angel named Gabriel.

    Another much more plausible explanation for me is that Jesus was comforting His disciples after having informed them He would soon be put to death. He was reminding them He was the Christ (Christos = Messiah). He was the promised One who the Jews were expecting and largely failed to recognise. Isn't that one of the major themes in the gospels? Messianic fifilment instead of making a statement that people two thousand years would read something into it, that was never intended.

    This does get interesting because Hitler rose to power in Germany, a country that was 95% Christian at the time Hitler was democratically elected. 90% of Germans voted for him, and churches both Catholic and Protestant endorsed him. They believed he had would be good for Germany. The fact that Hitler hated Jews was probably a bonus for many as there was widespread anti-semistism throughout America and Europe, promoted in no small measure by the Christians. Wasn't it the Jews who were responsible for the death of Jesus afterall? Hitler even promoted a theological movement called positive Christianity.

    Positive Christianity - Wikipedia

    Hitler of course wasn't really Christian but he sincerely hated the Jews along with many other Germans and once the final solution was devised for the Jews the Germans executed his plan with ruthless efficiency.

    Final Solution - Wikipedia

    So many people chose what in hindsight was clearly a fase doctrine, but believed in it at the time.

    The final solution for the JWs may be an apocalyptic event that eliminates everyone except them, but the final solution for the born again Christians is God's judgement that sends all the Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists to hell in the next world. Your understanding of God is that He spares only the right Christians and some Jews. Everyone else goes to hell.

    If I had a choice of worldviews, the born again Christians or JWs, I'd rather have the JWs one. At least I don't spend an eternity in hell. However neither of these doctrines are sound IHMO and neither are they even remotely inspired by the gospels, however you frame them.
     
    #425 adrian009, Nov 16, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
  6. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    So by that logic Jesus was wrong to add to scripture? And the Returned Christ is not permitted by your belief to add to scripture? But if the Son of man has all authority to speak, how much more does His Father?

    Matthew 28:18, John 3:35

    The Jews felt they did not require Jesus. They questioned the signs of His coming and failed to behold the Glory of God. Yet they were blind.

    Matthew 15:14

    Jesus required His disciples to follow Him and no other. Those words you quote were ominous as the Jews did not heed His warning to leave Jerusalem and the abomination that caused desolation befell them with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 AD. (Matthew 24)

    The Jews then followed one who meet their more worldly aspirations. A messiah like King David who they believed would free them from the oppresion of the Romans.

    Bar Kokhba revolt - Wikipedia

    The words you quote were spoken as Jesus was the messiah. It does not mean reject Him when He returns.

    The JWs have got something right that many other Christians haven't. That's why I mentioned it.

    We are agreed that we all have blind spots of varying orders of magnitude that only God knows. We all have the capacity to seek the truth and embrace it.
    John 8:32
     
  7. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Are you sure about this? ;) IOW, interpretation.
     
  8. 1robin

    1robin Christian/Baptist

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    Or it could be a case of even a blind squirrel finding a nut every now and then. :tonguewink:
     
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  9. 1robin

    1robin Christian/Baptist

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    Good to see you still around, let's try to keep this discussion manageable by being efficient. Making concise conclusions based on a few simple premise'

    Wallid is interesting in many ways. His backstory and his experience gives him unique incite into biblical and Islamic eschatology. However it was because his interpretation of Revelations is no comprehensive, logical, and consistent that I recommended him.

    It wasn't just the Muslims that were massacred during the first crusade. The "Christian" army was basically the scum of Europe who hoped to forcibly acquire territory and booty from the Holy land. The pope and church basically gave them a holy license to take whatever they wanted. They even killed the Christians and Jews living in Jerusalem at the time.

    Despite this being a huge black eye on Christianity as a whole I agree that Islam is associated with the beast in revelations.

    Well I do not agree that the Baha'i faith is based on divine revelation but I think Islam has strayed much farther of the path than the Baha'i. When I catch a break today I will read what you gave a link to.
     
  10. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    BTW, in more distant times, the "pay" for soldiers was typically "booty", unfortunately taken both ways. Mind you, I'm not trying to justify it in any way, but it was much more common than not.

    So much for "the good old days".
     
  11. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    It is how we understand both history and scripture. The Christians here will not be shy about correcting what I have to say. However I believe we are agreed about this:

    Jesus came at a time of intense Messianic expectation. The Jews whose lands had become part of the Roman empire were not happy and looked to the days of Kind David, whose reign represented the pinnacle of the Jewish empire. Soon after Solomon's temple was built.

    Although Jesus a Jew, taught almost exclusively to other Jews, the Jewish people as a whole rejected His Messianic claims. One reason, amongst many, was an expectation of a warrior king who would liberate them from the Romans and re-establish David's throne. Eventually they embraced Simon bar Kokhba as their Messiah who lead them to defeat in battle against the Romans.

    Simon bar Kokhba - Wikipedia
     
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  12. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    My point is that the concept of Jesus actually being the Messiah is really quite conjectural. Even
    Aquinas said that one could not use a literalistic interpretation and actually believe that Jesus was he.

    Personally, it makes no difference to me one way or the other, and I do tend to play devil's advocate once in a while. :rolleyes:
     
  13. kjw47

    kjw47 Well-Known Member

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    I may share bible judgements, but I don't personally judge.
     
  14. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    I agree that literalistic interpretations cause of multitude of problems for Christianity and ultimately the acceptance of Jesus as Messiah is a matter of Faith.
     
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  15. Oeste

    Oeste Well-Known Member

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    Exactly! I will always refer to scripture as authoritative, so it's not just John 14:6 but any bible verse.

    By the way, feel free to do the same for me. :)


    I am not aware of any mainstream traditional Christian church that claims John 14:6 was directed at Buddhists and Muslims (who wouldn't arrive until hundreds of years into the future).

    This sounds more like a colloquial rather than scripturally based theology.

    Jesus died as ransom for all mankind. He was referring to all of us. Doesn't matter whether you're a Jew, Buddhist, Christian, agnostic or atheist. Nor would it matter if your religion hadn't appeared or if you hadn't been born yet. He is still savior and there is no other savior in the New Testament.

    I don't have a problem with this interpretation. The problem is that's not only what Jesus said. As a Christian I cannot take a passage here and there and then discard what I don't like.

    But many religions take the easy way out. They get an idea, proof text it with a sprinkling of bible verses and then claim the rest is "corrupted" or full of errors.

    Sure, hating Jews was certainly a bonus for many in Germany much like a lynching party was a bonus for Americans here. However, I don't see this as something "promoted" by Christians. It was promoted by hate groups like the Nazis and Ku Klux Klan. The problem in Germany was that the antisemitic voice was ignored by too many people because Nazi hatred/rage wasn't focused on Christians. Niemöller quotation was correct:

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.


    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    Honestly Adrian, where do you get this stuff from? :rolleyes:

    That is your understanding of my understanding. My understanding of my understanding is different.

    Again I'm not aware of any traditional, mainstream Christian church that teaches all Muslim, Hindus and Buddhists go to hell in the next world. Why? Because as I pointed out to you in my last post it's not scriptural.

    It is Jesus who decides, not born again Christians. Are there some born again Christians who believe this way? Sure, but they don't speak for all born again Christians, and they certainly don't speak for Christ.

    That's interesting because there was a group of Americans (husband, wife, and two kids, born in captivity) recently released after being captured by the Taliban.

    The couple had family here in the States, and while all of them hoped they would be freed, not one family member prayed their son or daughter would be murdered by the Taliban rather than held captive. Even after learning that the wife had been raped, no one commented that it would have been better for her to die than go through the ordeal.

    Certainly those imprisoned would rather be on the outside than in...freedom in the world at at large is much better than imprisonment in prison, just like our freedom in Christ will be so much greater than those imprisoned in hell. Even so, the vast majority of prisoners adapt and do not beseech their guards to kill them.

    I think Jehovah Witnesses running our penal institutions just might be a frightening prospect for inmates.What do you do when your captor is holding bible studies, knocking on cell doors, and telling everyone it would be more merciful for you to be dead than cooped up?

    I think some countries have decided to empty their penal institutions this way, but its generally more of a cold, calculated financial move than one of compassionate extermination.
     
  16. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    LOL yes. Its very time consuming writing epistles to each other as we have done.:)

    He is interesting with that background. Then again the insights of Abdu'l-Baha who grew up with Islam and was very much oppressed by it are also unique, especially as he was the leader of arguably the most recent Abrahamic Faith. Sharing insights on apocalyptic scripture including Revelation, Daniel, Isaiah, and the Olivet discourse could be the most constructive approach for both of us. Lets just ignore that you reject the Divine claims of Baha'u'llah and I reject some of your take on the bible.

    Who would have thought with all the wild interpretations on Revelation that you a born again Christian and I a Baha'i would find a point of agreement about the seven headed, ten horned beast!

    The words corrupted theology are key to understanding both the actions of the Catholic Church at that time and the Islamic Caliphate.

    But how far has Christianity strayed? Lets put that aside and consider how the apocalypse relates to Islam.
     
  17. Oeste

    Oeste Well-Known Member

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    Who can add to scripture? The only person that can add scripture is He who breathes it.

    Adrian!! Are you making a backhanded argument for the Trinity? :eek:;)

    Agreed. They felt they didn't require Jesus much like many Christians don't feel they require Jesus today. It certainly gives credence to the saying "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

    Even so, they were living during a time of immense miracles and spiritual healing, the like of which the world had never seen before. I think there's a bible verse where each generation accuse the other, saying "If I had lived in that time I wouldn't have been like that". It's late and I can't recall the actual verse offhand, but it's like that (I'm drifting, lol. Time for bed soon).

    Not sure what you mean by this. Jesus is still the Messiah. When Jesus returns it will be to gather his church which will end the church age. The time of tribulation will then begin.

    About the Trinity? Nah, but I think they have fun trying.

    I think one thing they teach that is correct is that their teachings have been incorrect and will shortly change.

    But who knows? Given enough time perhaps the Governing Board will come around. After all, Witnesses would have declared the Governing Board of today heretical a generation ago.

    Agreed! I think this forum helps sharpen our eyesight. I enjoy the conversations here, and yes, that includes your perspective as well.

    Besides, you were once a Christian, and there's always that story of the prodigal son coming home.
     
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  18. Oeste

    Oeste Well-Known Member

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    You can't possibly believe your teachers are correct now if you believed they were actually correct before they made the change. You would insist on them sticking to their original story.

    When a person gives a witness and that witness keeps changing his story, the witness is considered unreliable, not more reliable.

    So if you're a lawyer, and your witness testifies of himself saying "I was out of town at the time of murder" on Monday, claims "I was playing billiards down the street" on Tuesday, and then claims "I was home with the wife" on Wednesday, explaining to the jury that your witness is "100% correct" is only going to earn you a look of incredibility by the jury.

    But this goes beyond anything we would ever see at trial. Your teachers claims to be the Almighty's witness here on earth, and as such it should be correct and true the first time, every time. It should be infinitely more reliable than our imaginary friend in at court. I see these constant changing stories as little more than an attempt to bring reproach upon the Divine Name.

    As a matter of fact, when the Governing Board changes their story again I believe you will accept it as correct, which just tells everyone you didn't really believe what they had told you before.

    In any event, if I'm ever facing scrutiny by our justice system, and I've had to change my story I'm going to ask if they could please stack the jury with Jehovah Witnesses. They'll believe me when I change my story one last time before I hit the witness stand:

    "Members of the jury, the light gets brighter..."I was asleep at the time of murder"!
     
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  19. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Interesting discussion really. Three theologies, the born again Christians, the JWs, the Baha'is, all completely biblically based, all of us convinced that we have the better worldview.

    I think its important to reiterate that I too see scripture as authoritative and believe in the bible in its entirety, not just a few verses that suit my theology.

    You have to admit that there are a lot of Christians who hold such an interpretation of John 14:6, just as there were many Christians that used the bible to support anti-semetic views. I hope you don't do either.

    I think the language used by the apostles is helpful to explain at that time the unique, special, and exalted rank of Jesus.
    Philippians 2:9-11

    Moses saved His people from the captivity of the Egyptians. He saved them from themselves and brought them closer to God through His laws. Those laws invluded the most importand law, to love God with our whole being.

    Deuteronomy 6:5

    Matthew 22:37-40

    So what other verses would you like to quote at me to scripturally prove you are right and I am wrong?

    I agree.

    So why is your theology better than the JWs and the Baha'is?
     
  20. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    The first commandment

    Exodus 20:1-2

    There is only one God. You have added two to make three.

    Wake up! We need to read the signs of the times we are living in.
    Matthew 16:1-4

    I'm talking about the Return of Christ and the signs that herald the end of one age and the beginning of another. Can you discern those signs?

    Matthew 24:3-31

    Deuteronomy 18:18-20

    I was attending a Baptsit church before a changed to the Baha'i Faith. That was nearly 30 years ago. Unlike he prodigal son, I didn't go gambling, drinking and womanising. I got on and lived my live, married, had children, worked, and served my faith community. I'm going just fine thank you. But as you say, its good to be on this forum the sharpen our insight and I enjoy talking with you too.
     
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