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 Post Post subject: A Friendly Discussion of Catholicism
Posted: Sat May 03, 2014 9:51 am 
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Pound Foolish wrote:
Such enjoyable writing, Christian. Though your slamming of GRC is wholly unwarranted. Paul McCusker is Catholic. Why would he say that "in those specific words" that people are saved when they accept Christ, when Catholics don't even believe such things? We know that there are many ways to Heaven. Not to lead into a debate, this is not the place. But, surely you would not expect a believer to go against the truth of Catholicism.


I know your intention is not to start a debate, but if responding means starting a debate, so be it. Agree with me or disagree with me, I must stress that there is only one way to Heaven, and it is through Jesus Christ. Specifically as seen in John 14:6. "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." As something that Christianity hinges on, I think that it needs to be stressed. Only through understanding that Christ died for us and forgave us for the sins we have committed might we be saved. (Personally, I think Odyssey needs more episodes that deal with the need of forgiveness. More specifically, the idea that man is not somehow basically good inside and that he can somehow achieve eternal life simply through right living. "Promises Promises" is absolutely one of my favorites for this very reason.)

Now, I do agree with you Pound Foolish that coming to Christ is not some sort of magical formula. The 'sinners prayer' as protestants call it is not a magical spell that if the words are uttered with the right tone automatically makes any person saved. So yes, there are many ways of getting to heaven through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, understanding that we are utterly depraved and in need of a savior who forgives us our sins.

P.S. Also. I agree. The Green Ring Conspiracy is pretty great. Yeah, a little superficial, but at many times, so were Novacom, or even some Blaackgard eps. I appreciate that Odyssey gives a good balance. And you're right Christian. These last few albums have done a good job of bringing in a more serious focus again.

Topic split from "Thoughts on the Current State of Odyssey" -- Christian A.

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 Post Post subject: Re: Thoughts on the Current State of Odyssey
Posted: Sat May 03, 2014 9:57 am 
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Dallas R. wrote:
Now, I do agree with you Pound Foolish that coming to Christ is not some sort of magical formula. The 'sinners prayer' as protestants call it is not a magical spell that if the words are uttered with the right tone automatically makes any person saved.


I remember sitting through many 'altar calls' where the pastor would say 'maybe you weren't sincere enough the first time, so lets do it again'. It's one of the things that compelled me to leave evangelicalism for a different Christian tradition.

This whole 'debate' reminds me of a quote that I believe came from Luther: "Salvation can exist outside the church, but not outside Christ."


Last edited by Jonathan on Sat May 03, 2014 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post Post subject: Re: Thoughts on the Current State of Odyssey
Posted: Sat May 03, 2014 12:17 pm 
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Understood, thanks, Christian. I appreciate your understanding. In any case, I enjoyed reading your thoughts immensely.

PS I also enjoy that song. :)

To Dallas R and Jonathan:

Excellent thoughts and I appreciate both your time.

Dalls, definitely, the only ways is through Him. I was addressing Christian, who knows my ideals fairly well. Though I understand why you would think I was implyiing one can come to the Father through another way than by Christ. Christ created the world, thus, there are many ways to walk in and through Christ within the world. You don't have to actually be Christian. Perhaps you disagree, but again, here is not the place. I say that only for the sake of clarification.

Jonathan, thank you for your post and I agree completely. That is a Luther quote I have never seen before and find it quite eloquent. He was a truly brilliant man.

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 Post Post subject: Re: Thoughts on the Current State of Odyssey
Posted: Fri May 09, 2014 8:10 am 
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"There are many ways to walk in and through Christ within the world. You don´t actually have to be Christian."

I feel I need to respond to that, but carefully. In the sense that Christ is part of the Trinity and the Trinity has always existed, then Christ was present when God created the world. But could you explain the above statement a bit further? I am not quite sure what you are getting at. Certainly one can try to be Christ-like in their character without actually taking the step of believing that Christ died for their sins. But why have the burden (trying to live an impossibly sinful life) without the reward (heaven)? Perhaps I have misunderstood.

One a slightly different note: I had a Catholic boyfriend in college who explained it perfectly from his perspective. He said that if something came upon him "suddenly" as in responding to an altar call on impulse, then he would have mistrusted it. But faith that comes on oneself slowly and becomes a part of one is more reliable and stable..........I am not sure all Catholics see it that way, but he was a pretty amazing person with a pretty amazing family. Had things worked out, I could have become Catholic in that atmosphere.

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 Post Post subject: Re: Thoughts on the Current State of Odyssey
Posted: Sat May 10, 2014 10:19 am 
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I'd be glad to elaborate. I'm not the clearest person in the world. However, if this turns into an all out debate, then I'd be glad to make a place for this topic in the religious forum. :)

Just a quick remark on your thoughts on Catholics, we do emphasize having a personal relationship with Our Father. There are many Catholics that don't, just as there are those in any religion who do not truly practice, and they often end up leaving, sadly, rather than finding the fulfillment that would come if they would only treat God as someone who's right here and wants to talk to us. But, we are a large church, made up largely of people who do try to know Him.

Now to your questions.
Do you agree that God is in all good things? Do you agree that in fact, there is no goodness but fro Him, because all good is just reflecting His ultimate good? Just as the moon reflects the sun's ultimate light?

Alrighty. Then so long as we do and search for good, to whatever extent we have available to us, then aren't we following Jesus? Even if we do good in the name of Hinduism, Islam, or whatever your please, aren't we ultimately serving God by doing good?

Or, to put it another way, all evil is ultimately as offense to God, correct? Well then, all good must ultimately be a pleasure to God, that is, following Him.

We can only go to Heaven through Christ. However, Christ does not exist only in Christianity. Christ comes even to those who don't Him personally.

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 Post Post subject: Re: Thoughts on the Current State of Odyssey
Posted: Sat May 10, 2014 11:05 am 
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It would probably help if I said, in light of my quote up there, that there can exist a distinction between Christ and the Church. That said,

Pound Foolish wrote:
We can only go to Heaven through Christ. However, Christ does not exist only in Christianity. Christ comes even to those who don't Him personally.


How is that possible? The Bible makes clear that whoever calls on Christ will be saved, that no one comes to the Father but through him. How can one come to the Father through Christ and not know Christ?


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 Post Post subject: Re: Thoughts on the Current State of Odyssey
Posted: Sat May 10, 2014 2:59 pm 
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That's what I explained in my previous post. If you disagree and wish me to reply to you, please read it carefully and tell me if it doesn't make sense. :)

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 Post Post subject: Re: A Friendly Discussion of Catholicism
Posted: Sat May 10, 2014 5:15 pm 
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Pound Foolish wrote:
"Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted. Dost thou understand, Child?"~The Last Battle


Lewis simply being a renowned theologian does not make his philosophies entirely infallible. This is often regarded as one of the stickier aspects of CoN and should not be quoted as a matter of legitimate doctrine unless you can corroborate this with a straightforward and undeniable passage of Scripture.

The implication of your post, PF, is that people who do not follow Christ and Christ alone will still be rewarded if they do good in the name of the Hindu gods, Allah, Buddha, or the Dao. Why is this the case? Can you point to anything in the Bible to back this idea? An interpretation of Scripture by a later theologian or council or church official is not enough.

Pound Foolish wrote:
Or, to put it another way, all evil is ultimately as offense to God, correct? Well then, all good must ultimately be a pleasure to God, that is, following Him.


Converses of statements are not always necessarily true. The problem with this ideology is found in Isaiah 64, verse 5:

Isaiah wrote:
We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.


It doesn't matter what your good deeds are—they are simply not good enough. We, on our own, cannot do enough good things to be rewarded without the grace of Christ, which comes only through Christ, as per John 14:6. I must ask how Christ can come to someone without them either accepting His gift of eternal life and following Him or outright rejecting Him.

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 Post Post subject: Re: A Friendly Discussion of Catholicism
Posted: Sat May 10, 2014 7:08 pm 
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Welcome, Miss Carnivore. I'm seeing you everywhere, and I must admit, I enjoy talking to you.
TigerintheShadows wrote:
Lewis simply being a renowned theologian does not make his philosophies entirely infallible.

Being Protestant, it's quite natural to assume I meant that. But I was only quoting Lewis as one would quote Renoir when talking about art. Not because his opinion is infallible, but because he is respected and an expert in the field.

I also quoted him because a story can say something more emotionally effectively than just saying it.

Also, C.S. Lewis have withstood the test of time. Those who oppose it, such as MacArthur, haven't.

Quote:
The implication of your post, PF, is that people who do not follow Christ and Christ alone will still be rewarded if they do good in the name of the Hindu gods, Allah, Buddha, or the Dao. Why is this the case? Can you point to anything in the Bible to back this idea? An interpretation of Scripture by a later theologian or council or church official is not enough.

I can certainly provide you with a verse or two.

(Matthew 5:45):
"that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."

2 John 1:9-11
TigerintheShadows wrote:
Converses of statements are not always necessarily true.


Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
(Note it says 'abides" not "believes." And to say they have "both the Father and the Son" is to strongly imply they are not on the road to Hell.)
TigerintheShadows wrote:
Converses of statements are not always necessarily true.

Perhaps, but where are the logical fallacies in this one?

TigerintheShadows wrote:
Isaiah wrote:
We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.

That was applied to specific people who had become incredibly corrupted, rather than to the world in general. An address rather than a general theological statement. "We have all become unclean" yes, they were unclean and their deeds were filth. What to you implies this was meant to apply to everyone in all times and places?

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 Post Post subject: Re: A Friendly Discussion of Catholicism
Posted: Sat May 10, 2014 7:45 pm 
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Pound Foolish wrote:
TigerintheShadows wrote:
The implication of your post, PF, is that people who do not follow Christ and Christ alone will still be rewarded if they do good in the name of the Hindu gods, Allah, Buddha, or the Dao. Why is this the case? Can you point to anything in the Bible to back this idea? An interpretation of Scripture by a later theologian or council or church official is not enough.

I can certainly provide you with a verse or two.

(Matthew 5:45):
"that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."


That verse isn't saying "God rewards you for good things even if you're not a follower of Him"; it's saying "God lets good things happen to both good and bad people", especially considering that it is immediately preceded by the verse about loving our enemies and praying for those who persecute us.

And considering that we are made righteous by belief and trust in God, I'm not sure how this adds to the point about God rewarding the people who do good that is not in His name solely because they do good. This is a verse that tells you that God does not necessarily reward you for good things or punish you for bad things.

Pound Foolish wrote:
2 John 1:9-11

Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
(Note it says 'abides" not "believes." And to say they have "both the Father and the Son" is to strongly imply they are not on the road to Hell.)


What, may I ask, is the difference between abiding in the word of God and trusting in it to guide you? How can you abide in something without believing it, appreciating it, and loving it for what it does for you? As a matter of fact, the passage in James that talks about belief in God seems to indicate that abiding is what separates a true Christian from a non-Christian—you can't just believe, you have to trust—i.e., abide. Jesus also references abiding in Him in the fifteenth chapter of the Gospel of John, meaning that those who abide bear fruit and are therefore followers of Christ—how can you bear fruit for Christ if you follow Vishnu?

Pound Foolish wrote:
TigerintheShadows wrote:
Converses of statements are not always necessarily true.

Perhaps, but where are the logical fallacies in this one?


The automatic assumption that "If A equals B, then C must equal D". C does not have to equal D in order for A to be equivalent to B. And speaking in this particular context, a good deed done directly in the service and for the worship of a false god would be idolatry, and therefore be among the evil deeds that God hates. (This renders my argument to be something of a moot point, but I digress.)

Pound Foolish wrote:
TigerintheShadows wrote:
Isaiah wrote:
We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.


That was applied to specific people who had become incredibly corrupted, rather than to the world in general. An address rather than a general theological statement. "We have all become unclean" yes, they were unclean and their deeds were filth. What to you implies this was meant to apply to everyone in all times and places?


Paul also spoke to the Corinthians and told them that divisions in the church based on ultimately petty reasoning are wrong. Are we to say that this writing only applies to the Corinthians and that we in the Church today are allowed to fight with one another solely based on whether or not we believe the teachings of one believer or another are correct? Does Paul's writing in Corinthians not apply equally to Calvinism vs. Armenianism as it did to Paul vs. Apollos?

Jesus condemned the hypocrisy of the Pharisees to his disciples because of how corrupt the Pharisees were. Are we to assume that since He was speaking in a specific time and place about a specific group of lawmakers who no longer exist that we are to disregard this and behave with as much religious snobbery and hypocrisy as possible?

More to the point of the book of which we're speaking, Isaiah also prophesied of a Messiah who would be crushed for "our" iniquities, and that the chastisement upon Him brought "us" peace. Since he was writing for a specific time and place, doesn't that mean that the sin Christ bore was that of the Israelites of that time period alone? You can't have it both ways. Either it's meant specifically for the rebellious Israelites alone and it's relevant only for them (in which case, one questions why it's there in the first place) or it's a work that, while not written in a vacuum, still applies today for all people.

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Last edited by TigerintheShadows on Sun May 11, 2014 5:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post Post subject: Re: A Friendly Discussion of Catholicism
Posted: Sat May 10, 2014 8:04 pm 
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Pound Foolish wrote:
That was applied to specific people who had become incredibly corrupted, rather than to the world in general. An address rather than a general theological statement. "We have all become unclean" yes, they were unclean and their deeds were filth. What to you implies this was meant to apply to everyone in all times and places?


Romans 3:10 "As it is written: 'There is none righteous, no not one;'"

Righteous: acting in accord with divine or moral law: free from guilt or sin (Merriam-Webster dictionary)

---

Do you believe good works aides you in becoming saved?

And I agree with everything my fellow tiger has said.

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 Post Post subject: Re: Thoughts on the Current State of Odyssey
Posted: Sat May 10, 2014 11:32 pm 
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Pound Foolish wrote:
That's what I explained in my previous post. If you disagree and wish me to reply to you, please read it carefully and tell me if it doesn't make sense. :)


Ok, I guess what I need explained is the part where you said

Quote:
We can only go to Heaven through Christ. However, Christ does not exist only in Christianity. Christ comes even to those who don't Him personally.


You put those three sentences together and it sounds like you don't need to be a Christian to necessarily be saved.


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 Post Post subject: Re: A Friendly Discussion of Catholicism
Posted: Sun May 11, 2014 4:35 pm 
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PF I find this view very antithetical to the Roman Catholic view of the Church.
Quote:
Alrighty. Then so long as we do and search for good, to whatever extent we have available to us, then aren't we following Jesus? Even if we do good in the name of Hinduism, Islam, or whatever your please, aren't we ultimately serving God by doing good?
No, we aren't. How can we search for good if we don't know what we're looking for? If I'm looking for the hundreds of gods of Hinduism how can I possibly find the Christ of the Bible?

Now I admit there can be seeds of truth in other religions but Christ came to bring everyone to the truth and to His Church, this is pretty standard Roman Catholic doctrine. I'm confused as to where you're getting this other view.


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 Post Post subject: Re: A Friendly Discussion of Catholicism
Posted: Mon May 12, 2014 1:31 am 
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"We can only go to Heaven through Christ. However, Christ does not exist only in Christianity. Christ comes even to those who don't Him personally."

Yes, that is the part that bothers me as well. One can certainly live a better life in terms of helping their fellow man and doing more good than evil by following the example of Christ, but that does not mean they are going to heaven. That is reserved for those who have a personal relationship with Christ and truly seek to KNOW Him through His Word,prayer, Worship, and possibly communion. I purposefully did not say "have asked Him into their hearts" because I see how that can sound trite to some. The sinners prayer is not a magic formula that gives you "fire insurance" but it is a beginning of a life-long relationship and allows the Holy Spirit to work in and through one. And I agree a devote Hindu, Buddhist, or possibly even Muslim may do many good things that are "Christ-like" but if they do not have this relationship, then they are only imitators.

I am also probably one of the few people on the planet who has a major problem with C.S. Lewis. I loved The Chronicles of Narnia as a child but hated them as an adult when I found out they were an allegory. Even as a child I wondered about the end, it sounded too much like reincarnation to me even then (I read them in 1975-76 at age 10 or 11).

To bring this back to the world of Odyssey, as a former Baptist, Evangelical, and now Church of Sweden (sort of Lutheran/Catholic minus the Pope) with liturgical leanings, I have not noticed anything wrong with Paul McCusker´s writing and did not even realize he was Catholic until this thread.

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 Post Post subject: Re: A Friendly Discussion of Catholicism
Posted: Mon May 12, 2014 2:43 pm 
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This discussion hinges on what is good. But what is good? Humans have call drugs 'good', and even one Christian I know says that is the world's good, but what is good to God. That I think is what this debate is mainly about.
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 Post Post subject: Re: A Friendly Discussion of Catholicism
Posted: Mon May 12, 2014 7:50 pm 
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jennifertwt wrote:
The sinners prayer is not a magic formula that gives you "fire insurance" but it is a beginning of a life-long relationship and allows the Holy Spirit to work in and through one.

You say that the sinner's prayer isn't "fire insurance," but are you not implying that it's an absolute necessity in order to start on that journey to get to heaven? Who invented the "sinner's prayer?" Who invented "heaven?" Those are a few important questions to carefully weigh and consider before using something like the "sinner's prayer" as a litmus test for who's in and who's out. We need to be careful when using anything as a litmus test. I think we can agree that the Christ-essence is spiritual in nature. We should also be able to agree that language has severe limitations. "Jesus" isn't a magical word. It's an English interpretation of a Latin name derived from a Greek name, derived from an Aramaic name derived from the Hebrew language. It has a rich linguistic history which is actually quite fascinating and demands a more reflective and intellectual appreciation of what it actually means to do something "in Jesus' name." What do we mean when we say that "Jesus is the only way," for example? Are we referring to the historical figure? The religious icon? The spiritual essence? If we're referring to the historical figure, how can we apply such an abstract statement to such a physical reality? Are we asking people to time travel two thousand years into the past? Are we inferring that Jesus is an extra-terrestrial being, somewhere out in space? Or do we admit that we're actually talking about either A) Jesus as a religious icon, or B) Jesus as a spiritual essence, in which case a distinction is required. If we're talking about A), then we need to sift through centuries of language development, Church history, theology, writings, art, etc. in order to clarify what, exactly, this religious icon looks like to us, today. If we're talking about B), then the floodgates have opened up, and we begin to enter territory that conservative Christians might dub as "relativism" or "universalism" or something else that sounds like a scary threat to Christianity as an institution. But "Christianity isn't a magical word, either. I think that's what Pound Foolish has been trying to address.

So while it may seem easy to fire back at a statement like "Christ comes even to those who don't Him personally," with something like, "No, this Bible verse says Jesus is the only way," we need to actually know what we're talking about. I appreciate that this discussion is happening! But I would love to see some more definitions and elaborations being thrown into the mix.

jennifertwt wrote:
And I agree a devote Hindu, Buddhist, or possibly even Muslim may do many good things that are "Christ-like" but if they do not have this relationship, then they are only imitators.

For the record, what scares me more than a devout Buddhist who is Christ-like, is a Christian who is not Christ-like. Jesus warned of imitators, all right. But he said that they would be come in his name.

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 Post Post subject: Re: A Friendly Discussion of Catholicism
Posted: Tue May 13, 2014 8:46 am 
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Jelly, let me ask a clarifying question really quick. Are you saying that the historical/physical person of Jesus Christ is not the same as the Spiritual essence of Christ?


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 Post Post subject: Re: A Friendly Discussion of Catholicism
Posted: Tue May 13, 2014 9:54 am 
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I would question as to whether a Christian who is consistently not Christ-like is actually saved, not just Calling themselves a Christian. I am not talking about the momentary flashes of anger, Words spoken carelessly, or even temporarily succumbing to sinful behavoir, but one whose Life consistently reflects the opposite of what taught and did.

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 Post Post subject: Re: A Friendly Discussion of Catholicism
Posted: Tue May 13, 2014 1:47 pm 
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TigerintheShadows wrote:
That verse isn't saying "God rewards you for good things even if you're not a follower of Him"; it's saying "God lets good things happen to both good and bad people", especially considering that it is immediately preceded by the verse about loving our enemies and praying for those who persecute us.

Actually, it's saying both. Good and bad can happen to the good and bad. He says nothing that limits that claim only to earth. What leads you to that assumption in this context? Does it say to pray for our enemies only so they can turn to Christ, or might there be other reasons as well?

TigerintheShadows wrote:
considering that we are made righteous by belief and trust in God

Precisely the premise we are investigating.

TigerintheShadows wrote:
What, may I ask, is the difference between abiding in the word of God and trusting in it to guide you? How can you abide in something without believing it, appreciating it, and loving it for what it does for you?

If you abide by traffic laws, do you love those who make them? Do I know why all the laws exist? Do you always believe them to be necessary and true? Yet, if you obey them, can they still keep you safe?

Whatever your personal interpretation, the fact remains, even if he is talking obviously in the context of Christians who consciously and deliberately follow Christ's laws because they are Christ's laws, he makes no differentiation between them and those who know Christ Himself and those who simply obey. he says those. Who. Obey. And does God call all to obey, or just Christians?

TigerintheShadows wrote:
And speaking in this particular context, a good deed done directly in the service and for the worship of a false god would be idolatry, and therefore be among the evil deeds that God hates. (This renders my argument to be something of a moot point, but I digress.)

Again, precisely the premise we are investigating, rather than a proof against my own refutations.

TigerintheShadows wrote:
Paul also spoke to the Corinthians and told them that divisions in the church based on ultimately petty reasoning are wrong. Are we to say that this writing only applies to the Corinthians and that we in the Church today are allowed to fight with one another solely based on whether or not we believe the teachings of one believer or another are correct? Does Paul's writing in Corinthians not apply equally to Calvinism vs. Armenianism as it did to Paul vs. Apollos?

Jesus condemned the hypocrisy of the Pharisees to his disciples because of how corrupt the Pharisees were. Are we to assume that since He was speaking in a specific time and place about a specific group of lawmakers who no longer exist that we are to disregard this and behave with as much religious snobbery and hypocrisy as possible?


God says in the Bible, "Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.'"
Shall we go kill ourselves some women and children?

As for the rest of you, I'll get back to you. I must be going.

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 Post Post subject: Re: A Friendly Discussion of Catholicism
Posted: Tue May 13, 2014 3:42 pm 
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Pound Foolish wrote:
If you abide by traffic laws, do you love those who make them?


Abiding by is not what is at issue here. What is at issue here is abiding in something, an issue that your response fails to address. Abiding by a teaching simply means that you follow it; abiding in a teaching means that you trust it and are completely immersed in it.

Pound Foolish wrote:
Actually, it's saying both. Good and bad can happen to the good and bad. He says nothing that limits that claim only to earth. What leads you to that assumption in this context?


What leads me to that assumption? Perhaps the fact that the verses speak of earthly prosperity alone rather than heavenly prosperity. What leads you to think that it is an unlimited claim?

Pound Foolish wrote:
Again, precisely the premise we are investigating, rather than a proof against my own refutations.


Your point was that God loves all "good" that is done, whether in His name or not. My point was that "good" done for the explicit purpose of service to a false god is idolatry, which is specifically described in multiple places in Scripture as a sin. (And I must ask how we are defining good, because good according to our standards and good according to God's standards are not intrinsically identical definitions.)

Pound Foolish wrote:
Shall we go kill ourselves some women and children?


First Samuel is not a book of doctrine. It is a history, and histories, while valuable for interpretation of some moral truths, exist to record facts, not dogma (at least, the ones that are doing their jobs correctly do). Isaiah, on the other hand, is not a history, it is a prophecy. Prophecies by their very nature cannot always apply to the specific time and place in which they were written--obviously not, considering that Isaiah's prophecy concerning Jesus was written over seven hundred years before His coming occured. The specifics of God's wrath apply to Israel, but why He was angry related to sins that we all commit daily. Why would Israel's sins be the sole recipients of God's overall wrath solely because that is the group He was addressing at the time while we who commit those same sins would somehow be viewed as innocent without the protection of Christ?

I bring up, again, a point that you did not address: even if the verse equating righteousness to filthy rags applies only to the Israelites, wouldn't the use of the words "we" and "our" in regards to the sins that placed Christ on the cross combined with the ongoing need for a savior indicate, in effect, the same idea about our sin nature?

The same goes for the Gospels and the Epistles. The teachings of Jesus and the God-inspired doctrines Paul expressed to the churches are precisely that--teachings and doctrines. They have a historical context, certainly, but that is not their primary purpose (at least of the Epistles; I would say more accurately that the Gospels have the dual purpose of recording the history of Jesus's life and communicating the doctrines that He taught).

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