1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured Reason to Believe

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Mock Turtle, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle Silent Generation - so don't expect much
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2018
    Messages:
    9,345
    Ratings:
    +4,971
    Religion:
    Fellowship of the Mutable (agnostic atheist)
    I believe we differ in views.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle Silent Generation - so don't expect much
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2018
    Messages:
    9,345
    Ratings:
    +4,971
    Religion:
    Fellowship of the Mutable (agnostic atheist)
    But there is one set of rules despite there being many different religious beliefs?
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  3. InChrist

    InChrist Free4ever

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Messages:
    8,482
    Ratings:
    +2,071
    To us, yes, it does seem like a long time, but probably from God's eternal perspective it's not long. After all, the scriptures says...But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2 Peter 3:8
    I agree people impose their own interpretations on the scriptures. All I'm saying is that I believe there is a one, true interpretation which God intends and I believe He will reveal such to those who seek His interpretation and meaning and wait for Him to show it (2 Peter 1;20-21) . The problem is that too often people are not willing to seek or submit their minds to God. But also, I think there is simply the fact that everyone in the church who reads the scriptures is at a different place in their spiritual understanding and while that may often look confusing from our perspective, God sees the bigger picture and He is okay with that because He also sees the growth and progress among believers that we don't always see.

    Well, I do agree that one of the main issues was the nature of God/Jesus because of the Arian controversy.

    I used to deny the Trinity and I never fully understood that Jesus is God, but when I was born again it was as if my eyes were given sight to see these realities in the scriptures. Of course, just because I see this doesn't mean it's true, but I believe God will reveal Himself to anyone who seeks. I also believe that Jesus has to be God to be the Savior and the scriptures do show this. You have listed a lot of verses. I have thoughts concerning each one and think the Bible gives clarification, but one or two at a time would be easier to address.:)
     
  4. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Messages:
    30,629
    Ratings:
    +8,890
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    That is an arrogant belief. Christianity is the main reason people are atheists. I cannot say as I blame them one bit. Why should anyone believe such blarney? This is the age of reason.

    Many will go to eternal life who are not Christians. Christianity is not the only true religion.
     
  5. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Messages:
    30,629
    Ratings:
    +8,890
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    I think there might be one true interpretation of some verses but there some verses can have multiple meanings. I do not think that God reveals anything to anyone except the Prophets/Messengers of God. I believe in free will and that we have to seek and find for ourselves. I do not believe in an indwelt Holy Spirit, but rather that the Holy Spirit is released by the coming of a Prophet/Messengers of God, and it affects everything in the world. For example, this passage explains the “effects” of the Holy Spirit being released into the world by Jesus:

    “Know thou that when the Son of Man yielded up His breath to God, the whole creation wept with a great weeping. By sacrificing Himself, however, a fresh capacity was infused into all created things. Its evidences, as witnessed in all the peoples of the earth, are now manifest before thee. The deepest wisdom which the sages have uttered, the profoundest learning which any mind hath unfolded, the arts which the ablest hands have produced, the influence exerted by the most potent of rulers, are but manifestations of the quickening power released by His transcendent, His all-pervasive, and resplendent Spirit.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 85-86

    I was just listing all those verses to make some points, not that we could discuss all of them. :)

    I do not believe that God reveals His Essence to anyone, but God reveals His Attributes and His Will to His chosen Prophets/Messengers such as Jesus.

    I also believe that God guides the true seekers. This is an excerpt from a long Tablet called Tablet of the True Seeker:

    “These are among the attributes of the exalted, and constitute the hall-mark of the spiritually-minded. They have already been mentioned in connection with the requirements of the wayfarers that tread the path of Positive Knowledge. When the detached wayfarer and sincere seeker hath fulfilled these essential conditions, then and only then can he be called a true seeker. Whensoever he hath fulfilled the conditions implied in the verse: “Whoso maketh efforts for Us,” he shall enjoy the blessings conferred by the words: “In Our Ways shall We assuredly guide him.”” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 266-267

    I do not believe that Jesus was God incarnate but rather I believe that Jesus was a Manifestation of God. The difference is that Christians believe that God became Jesus but I believe that God manifested His Attributes in Jesus, so I believe that Jesus was a perfect reflection of God, a mirror image of God, and that is congruent with this verse:

    Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.

    I do not believe that the Essence of God can descend from exaltation of its holiness and become a man.

    “So the Reality of Christ was a clear and polished mirror of the greatest purity and fineness. The Sun of Reality, the Essence of Divinity, reflected itself in this mirror and manifested its light and heat in it; but from the exaltation of its holiness, and the heaven of its sanctity, the Sun did not descend to dwell and abide in the mirror. No, it continues to subsist in its exaltation and sublimity, while appearing and becoming manifest in the mirror in beauty and perfection.” Some Answered Questions, p. 114

    I see no reason why Jesus would have to be God in order to be the Savior. There is no reason why God cannot send Jesus on a “mission” to be the Savior and I believe that is what God did. I believe that Jesus was sinless.
     
  6. InChrist

    InChrist Free4ever

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Messages:
    8,482
    Ratings:
    +2,071
    Thank you for expressing your thoughts. I read your entire post, but have only responded to some of your points.

    Oh, okay. I did get your points, but do think it is important to read those verses in there context and in light of the entire Bible, also taking into consideration that Jesus was speaking from the lowered position of His humanity at the time.
    So are you saying that anyone, like you or I, cannot know God or His will? The scriptures appear to use language that is inclusive and inviting anyone and everyone to find and know God and Jesus taught His disciples to pray God's will be done.

    But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deut. 4:29

    You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jer. 29:13

    Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matt. 7:7



    Because Jesus was sinless is one of the main reasons I believe He had to be God who came to dwell in the flesh, since God alone is capable of being sinless. Besides, I think that God alone has the ability to save and to have borne the weight of all the sins of the world with the power to then rise again to new life. I cannot imagine any created being or human on a mission ever able to accomplish this and I believe the scriptures validate that God alone is the Savior.

    I, even I, am the Lord, And besides Me there is no savior. Isaiah 43:11

    Tell and bring forth your case; Yes, let them take counsel together. Who has declared this from ancient time? Who has told it from that time? Have not I, the Lord? And there is no other God besides Me, A just God and a Savior; There is none besides Me. Isaiah 45:21

    “Yet I am the Lord your God Ever since the land of Egypt, And you shall know no God but Me; For there is no savior besides Me. Hosea 13:4

    For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11
    “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23
     
  7. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Messages:
    30,629
    Ratings:
    +8,890
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    First, I believe that there has been more than one Prophet/Messenger sent by God, which Baha’is normally refer to as Manifestations of God. They all have the same nature, and they all had a mission entrusted to them by God, but some such as Jesus had a more vital mission and they had qualities that made the other prophets dependent upon them.

    I do not like to use the word “prophet” because people think in terms of the other prophets of the Bible that are not of the same station as the Higher Prophets like Jesus. This short chapter explains the difference: 43: THE TWO CLASSES OF PROPHETS

    So back to what you said about Jesus; I believe that in His first station Jesus speaks as a self-effaced man, wherein He humbles Himself before God, and in His second station Jesus speaks as God, wherein He acts as the Mouthpiece of God, the Representative of God among men. In this second station, Jesus is speaking as God, but I do not believe that Jesus was actually God in the flesh, because the Essence of God cannot become flesh. However, Jesus perfectly manifested the Attributes of God and the Will of to humanity. The difference between an incarnation of God and a Manifestation of God is explained in this excerpt from a longer article:

    “The Christian equivalent to the Bahá'í concept of Manifestation is the concept of incarnation. The word to incarnate means 'to embody in flesh or 'to assume, or exist in, a bodily (esp. a human) form (Oxford English Dictionary). From a Bahá'í point of view, the important question regarding the subject of incarnation is, what does Jesus incarnate? Bahá'ís can certainly say that Jesus incarnated Gods attributes, in the sense that in Jesus, Gods attributes were perfectly reflected and expressed.[4] The Bahá'í scriptures, however, reject the belief that the ineffable essence of the Divinity was ever perfectly and completely contained in a single human body, because the Bahá'í scriptures emphasize the omnipresence and transcendence of the essence of Go."

    From: Jesus Christ in the Bahá'í Writings
    No, I am not saying that at all. God reveals His Will to His Manifestations such as Jesus and we know God’s Will and God’s Attributes through them. That is what I believe Jesus meant when He said:

    John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    That means that we cannot know God directly, only through Jesus...
    Yes, but we find God through Jesus, and I believe that before Jesus came into the world, the Jews found God through Moses.
    You are right that God alone has the ability to save, but God sent Jesus as our Savior that thereby we could be saved, since that was the “mission” of Jesus. Jesus saved by His sacrifice and by giving is His teachings (the profusion of His bounties) which enabled us to turn away from sin and towards God:

    “…those who turned toward the Word of God and received the profusion of His bounties—were saved from this attachment and sin, obtained everlasting life, were delivered from the chains of bondage, and attained to the world of liberty. They were freed from the vices of the human world, and were blessed by the virtues of the Kingdom. This is the meaning of the words of Christ, “I gave My blood for the life of the world” 6 —that is to say, I have chosen all these troubles, these sufferings, calamities, and even the greatest martyrdom, to attain this object, the remission of sins” Some Answered Questions, p. 125
    The Bible says “for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) but that description does not apply to the various Manifestations of God such as Jesus because these Holy Souls are all pure and sinless, not by virtue of the physical conditions surrounding their advents, but because the spiritual nature of the Manifestation of God is different from that of the ordinary human. Whilst they share with us the human condition (they are born, live out their lives on earth, suffer weaknesses such as hunger and illness, enjoy human emotions such as love, and eventually they suffer physical death) nevertheless they have a different spiritual nature than the rest of humanity. Unlike us, they are pre-existent and free from sin. The following passage explains why they confessed their sins.

    “How often the Prophets of God and His supreme Manifestations in Their prayers confess Their sins and faults! This is only to teach other men, to encourage and incite them to humility and meekness, and to induce them to confess their sins and faults. For these Holy Souls are pure from every sin and sanctified from faults. In the Gospel it is said that a man came to Christ and called Him “Good Master.” Christ answered, “Why callest thou Me good? there is none good but One, that is, God.” 3 This did not mean—God forbid!—that Christ was a sinner; but the intention was to teach submission, humility, meekness and modesty to the man to whom He spoke. These Holy Beings are lights, and light does not unite itself with darkness. They are life, and life and death are not confounded. They are for guidance, and guidance and error cannot be together. They are the essence of obedience, and obedience cannot exist with rebellion.” Some Answered Questions, p. 170
    The verses you cited above demonstrate why Jews get so angry at Christians who say the Jesus was God. Of course, Jews do not even believe that Jesus was a Prophet, but they were wrong about that. Jesus referred to Himself as a prophet (as in those verses I cited in a previous post).
    I do not disagree with those verses. Christ can be referred to as Lord because in a sense He was God, just not an incarnation of God. Jesus is also God with us because Jesus is a perfect Manifestation of God. Christ makes you a new creation because He has the power of God, to transform you and make you new. :)
     
  8. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    62,228
    Ratings:
    +20,026
    Religion:
    None (atheist)
    So then how is "spiritual knowledge" knowledge at all? How is what you describe any different from a gut feeling?
     
Loading...