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Switch to Forum Live View Understanding Christian principles?
4 years ago  ::  Jun 02, 2011 - 4:18PM #1
Cfcarmody
Posts: 2
I was Baptized as an infant, grew up in the Presbyterian church and have considered myself a 'Christian' all of my life. Until recently, I never considered who Jesus really was, what he did for us and what he left behind. The Trinity still confuses me because it does hint of polytheism and I only worship one God. I never understood the meaning of the Holy Spirit, until I experienced it for myself.
So, I am starting this new thread to find out other peoples experiences with  God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit or all three.

To whom do you pray? Where are they? Do you believe that Jesus was raised from the dead? Do you believe in heaven?

I am interested in hearing about these beliefs you have that must be made on faith (cannot be proven). Although I was brought up in the church, I consider myself a new christian because I am only seeing these things now for the first time in my life.  I would love to hear from long time christians as well as people new to the faith. Of course, non christian views are most welcome too. Thanks!
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4 years ago  ::  Jun 09, 2011 - 11:21PM #2
Discerner
Posts: 1,722

Jun 2, 2011 -- 4:18PM, Cfcarmody wrote:

I was Baptized as an infant, grew up in the Presbyterian church and have considered myself a 'Christian' all of my life. Until recently, I never considered who Jesus really was, what he did for us and what he left behind. The Trinity still confuses me because it does hint of polytheism and I only worship one God. I never understood the meaning of the Holy Spirit, until I experienced it for myself.
So, I am starting this new thread to find out other peoples experiences with  God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit or all three.


Your renewed interest in a life as a Christian is interesting. There are numerous doctrinal beliefs about everything in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Maybe I can explain some of the issues you have brought up. Jesus is the Son of God, and is God. The word 'God' is a status, or title, rather than a name. That is why in the Bible it refers to God as being God, the Father, and Jesus, as God, the Son. They have numerous other names or titles, especially Jesus. He is known as the Saviour, the Lamb of God, the Son of man, Counsellor, Wonderful, the Bread of Life, the Water of Life, Messiah, Lord, the sacrificial Lamb, etc. When sin entered the world, a plan of salvation was initiated. It involved the sacrifice of Christ on the cross in order to overcome the sin of death, and provide the means of our escape from eternal death as well. Jesus is our Mediator, He is the One who died for our sins, thus we are justified by faith in Him and given unmerited grace by the Father. The Holy Spirit is a Person as well, for there are numerous references in scripture that addresses the Holy Spirit as a 'he', not an 'it'. It is the third party of the Triune, or Godhead, which consists of God, the Father, God, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They are one in purpose, unity and agreement. Their composition and actions are not well understood, and some scholars equate them as being one of the mysteries of the Godhead. The Holy Spirit is the still, small voice that 'whispers' in our ear when we are getting ready to do something wrong, or sinful. It is the voice that guides us in the right way. It is able to be everywhere at the same time, and this is an unexplainable mystery.

 To whom do you pray? Where are they? Do you believe that Jesus was raised from the dead? Do you believe in heaven?


You pray to God, through Jesus, for He is our Mediator, and that is why you finish a prayer with "In Jesus Name, Amen". Their physical location is somewhere in the universe, and any attempt to positively identify a specific place in the universe is pure speculation. Yes, I believe that Jesus was raised from the dead, and here's the reason why. First, I believe in the Godhead. I believe in the Word of God, and as such, I believe what the Word of God says, and it says that Christ was raised from the grave on the third day, spent 40 days on this earth and then ascended to His Father, and that He will come again for His own...the redeemed, and take us to heaven as promised in John 14:1-3. 

I am interested in hearing about these beliefs you have that must be made on faith (cannot be proven). Although I was brought up in the church, I consider myself a new christian because I am only seeing these things now for the first time in my life.  I would love to hear from long time christians as well as people new to the faith. Of course, non christian views are most welcome too. Thanks!


It is to our credit in this day and age that we accept Christ based on faith. The Israelites turned away from God, and did so even when they witnessed many of the miracles that God performed in their exodus from Egypt. So if they turned away from God in the face of all of the miracles performed by God, would it make any difference if we were able to witness miracles of that magnitude today? The fact that we accept Christ by faith is the forerunner of unmerited grace being given to us by the Father. I hope this briefly explains the basis for a belief in Christ through faith. If you would like further information, or would like supporting scriptures, provide a response on this thread and I will attempt to answer each question you may have.





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3 years ago  ::  Sep 13, 2011 - 4:23PM #3
Patricklongworth
Posts: 213

I can partly sympathize with what you wrote, given that I was baptized as an infant (in England in a high Anglican church) and attended Sunday School at a high Anglican church in Richmond.


I never received confirmation, to my knowledge, and my parents and I left that church and never returned, except for baptisms etc.


So, why and how am I here now?  By the grace and mercy of God, someone from a different culture invited me to their church (Evangelical) and I was largely accepted by everyone there though I was not of their culture.  I was given the opportunity to accept Jesus into my life and be forgiven of my sins.  That and a growing education in the things of God is why I am here now.


Though I don't hold it against them, my former church apparently did little or nothing to prepare me for my future life aside from perhaps some bible reading, singing etc.


Is this why the churches of today are declining, because they are not using the word of God properly and in a timely way?  Don't talk to me about "hellfire and damnation" sermons at least without explaining the other sides of God, to make God one dimensional is a mistake, even if we fail to properly understand Him in all His fullness.  God is love, amen, otherwise how could we even love?  He is more than love though, just, wise, even if our experience of the world seems to suggest to us that we cannot believe that of Him.


Faith is not an easy thing, definitely, peace to you and all who read this.
Patrick

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2 months ago  ::  Oct 25, 2014 - 3:44PM #4
Shibolet
Posts: 2,656

Understanding Christian principles? That's too hard for a Jew, considering that the Christian NT uses a Jew to teach against his Faith which was Judaism. I have indeed read the NT even more than once and I was disappointed to find out that the foundation is based on Replacement Theology, a Pauline policy to claim that Christianity has replaced Jewish Theology. (Heb. 7:12,22)

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2 months ago  ::  Oct 27, 2014 - 9:53AM #5
Thetanager
Posts: 1,589

Oct 25, 2014 -- 3:44PM, Shibolet wrote:

Understanding Christian principles? That's too hard for a Jew, considering that the Christian NT uses a Jew to teach against his Faith which was Judaism. I have indeed read the NT even more than once and I was disappointed to find out that the foundation is based on Replacement Theology, a Pauline policy to claim that Christianity has replaced Jewish Theology. (Heb. 7:12,22)



First, an aside that I've wondered at times. I've seen some Jews write the Lord's name in English discussions as G-d. I like the idea behind it, but I also often wonder if there would be any offense of a Christian doing likewise. Perhaps you even think it silly for Jews to do, I'm not sure. Just curious there.


But to the post...are you speaking of the NT using Jesus as a Jew to teach against Judaism this new religion? Or Paul is used to teach against Judaism?


As to Hebrews 7, it seems to me, that the writer is looking back at Jeremiah 31 and seeing Jesus as the fulfillment from the Lord to giving people these new hearts for this "new" covenant which seems to me to be a fulfilment of the Lord's promises throughout the Tanakh to bless even the Gentiles through Abraham.


It involves a view like that of Romans 11 where Paul is talking about one people of God and Gentiles being grafted into the vine rather than a complete replacement. I'm interested in your thoughts, because of possible blind spots in my own thinking and insights you could offer in what you see Judaism teaching through its Scriptures.

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2 months ago  ::  Oct 27, 2014 - 1:26PM #6
Shibolet
Posts: 2,656

Oct 27, 2014 -- 9:53AM, Thetanager wrote:


First, an aside that I've wondered at times. I've seen some Jews write the Lord's name in English discussions as G-d. I like the idea behind it, but I also often wonder if there would be any offense of a Christian doing likewise. Perhaps you even think it silly for Jews to do, I'm not sure. Just curious there.



HaShem has many names according to the Tanach and, "God" is not one of them. God is simply a title, not a name. So, I see no need to hyphenate the word as in "G-d". This is a Jewish thing; Christians belong in a different religion. Therefore, no offense involved.


But to the post...are you speaking of the NT using Jesus as a Jew to teach against Judaism this new religion? Or Paul is used to teach against Judaism?



Absolutely not. Jesus was a Jewish person whose Faith was Judaism and, he would never teach against his own Faith. It would make no sense. Paul, yes, he founded Christianity on the basis of teaching against Judaism. (Acts 21:21)


As to Hebrews 7, it seems to me, that the writer is looking back at Jeremiah 31 and seeing Jesus as the fulfillment from the Lord to giving people these new hearts for this "new" covenant which seems to me to be a fulfilment of the Lord's promises throughout the Tanakh to bless even the Gentiles through Abraham.



The New Covenant in Jeremiah 31:31 was established with the House of Israel and the House of Judah; no Gentiles. Only those who join HaShem's Covenant with His People according to Halacha aka Jewish law. (Isa. 56:1-8) Therefore, the New Covenant is not the NT.


It involves a view like that of Romans 11 where Paul is talking about one people of God and Gentiles being grafted into the vine rather than a complete replacement. I'm interested in your thoughts, because of possible blind spots in my own thinking and insights you could offer in what you see Judaism teaching through its Scriptures.



Replacement Theoloty here is implied in the grafting of Gentiles without conversion to Judaism according to Isaiah 56:1-8 which was one of the Pauline ways to break up with Judaism.

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2 months ago  ::  Oct 27, 2014 - 3:58PM #7
Thetanager
Posts: 1,589

Oct 27, 2014 -- 1:26PM, Shibolet wrote:

Absolutely not. Jesus was a Jewish person whose Faith was Judaism and, he would never teach against his own Faith. It would make no sense.



And you base this on the Gospel portrayal of Jesus or do you see the Gospels as inaccurate concerning what Jesus would have believed and taught?


Oct 27, 2014 -- 1:26PM, Shibolet wrote:

The New Covenant in Jeremiah 31:31 was established with the House of Israel and the House of Judah; no Gentiles. Only those who join HaShem's Covenant with His People according to Halacha aka Jewish law. (Isa. 56:1-8) Therefore, the New Covenant is not the NT.



Yes, but isn't it the writer of Hebrew's point that Jesus fulfills the law and that both Jew and Gentile can join HaShem's covenant with His people because Jesus maintained justice perfectly when humans could not do so? That Jesus was the sacrifice God accepted on our behalf and that the other sacrifices pointed toward this? I know you don't think Jesus accomplished this, but the writer in Hebrews is saying that Jesus is God's salvation, God's righteousness revealed.

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2 months ago  ::  Oct 29, 2014 - 3:40PM #8
Shibolet
Posts: 2,656

Oct 27, 2014 -- 3:58PM, Thetanager wrote:


Oct 27, 2014 -- 1:26PM, Shibolet wrote:

Absolutely not. Jesus was a Jewish person whose Faith was Judaism and, he would never teach against his own Faith. It would make no sense.



And you base this on the Gospel portrayal of Jesus or do you see the Gospels as inaccurate concerning what Jesus would have believed and taught?


Oct 27, 2014 -- 1:26PM, Shibolet wrote:

The New Covenant in Jeremiah 31:31 was established with the House of Israel and the House of Judah; no Gentiles. Only those who join HaShem's Covenant with His People according to Halacha aka Jewish law. (Isa. 56:1-8) Therefore, the New Covenant is not the NT.



Yes, but isn't it the writer of Hebrew's point that Jesus fulfills the law and that both Jew and Gentile can join HaShem's covenant with His people because Jesus maintained justice perfectly when humans could not do so? That Jesus was the sacrifice God accepted on our behalf and that the other sacrifices pointed toward this? I know you don't think Jesus accomplished this, but the writer in Hebrews is saying that Jesus is God's salvation, God's righteousness revealed.




Jesus did fulfill the Law but in terms of confirming it so that we all did the same, according to Mat. 5:17-19. Gentiles have had always the right to join HaShem's Covenant with His People but according to Halacha aka Jewish law.  (Isaiah 56:1-8 ) Any other way of grafting to the Vine of Israel would be akin to the Pauline concept of Replacement Theology.


So, you do believe that Jesus maintained justice perfectly when humans could never do? Do you believe the gospel of Matthew? It is said in 23:13-33 that Jesus charged the Jewish authorities with being hypocrites and brood of vipers. Do you think Jesus whould have like to be addressed as a hypocrite and brood of vipers? I don't think so. In that case he broke the Golden Rule which states that we should not do unto others what we would not like they did unto ourselves. The Golden Rule covers the whole second part of the Decalogue. If we are to believe Matthew, Jesus was no paragon of justice.


Jesus was no sacrifice and he could never be in complete contradiction of the Prophets who say that no one can be sacrificed for the sins of another. (Jer. 31:30; Ezek. 18:20) Jesus declared loud and clear that he came to fulfill aka confirm the Law and the Prophets down to the letter. (Mat. 5:17-19) Therefore, all those who claim that he was crucified for our sins are either lying or Jesus did not mean what he said in Mat. 5:17-19.


How could Jesus have been our salvation? What did he save us from, our sins? I don't think so. The world was in a bad condition before Jesus was born and worse after he died. Rather the veredict for his crucifixion nailed on the top of his cross was a political charge: INRI.

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2 months ago  ::  Oct 30, 2014 - 7:02AM #9
Thetanager
Posts: 1,589

Oct 29, 2014 -- 3:40PM, Shibolet wrote:

So, you do believe that Jesus maintained justice perfectly when humans could never do? Do you believe the gospel of Matthew? It is said in 23:13-33 that Jesus charged the Jewish authorities with being hypocrites and brood of vipers. Do you think Jesus whould have like to be addressed as a hypocrite and brood of vipers? I don't think so. In that case he broke the Golden Rule which states that we should not do unto others what we would not like they did unto ourselves. The Golden Rule covers the whole second part of the Decalogue. If we are to believe Matthew, Jesus was no paragon of justice.



How is Jesus being unjust here in honestly calling out their hypocritical ways? How did he break the Golden Rule? Where do you see him being hypocrtical, being called out by others and then condemning them for honestly calling him out?


Oct 29, 2014 -- 3:40PM, Shibolet wrote:

Jesus was no sacrifice and he could never be in complete contradiction of the Prophets who say that no one can be sacrificed for the sins of another. (Jer. 31:30; Ezek. 18:20)



Those verses are talking about children dying for the sins of their parents. Jesus' death for us is a different thing.


Oct 29, 2014 -- 3:40PM, Shibolet wrote:

Jesus declared loud and clear that he came to fulfill aka confirm the Law and the Prophets down to the letter. (Mat. 5:17-19) Therefore, all those who claim that he was crucified for our sins are either lying or Jesus did not mean what he said in Mat. 5:17-19.



So what do you make of verses like Matt. 26:28, where Jesus says "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins"? You seem to accept what the Gospels portray Jesus saying.


Oct 29, 2014 -- 3:40PM, Shibolet wrote:

How could Jesus have been our salvation? What did he save us from, our sins? I don't think so. The world was in a bad condition before Jesus was born and worse after he died. Rather the veredict for his crucifixion nailed on the top of his cross was a political charge: INRI.



Why the Romans crucified him and the result of his death or why he willingly laid down his life could very well be different.


And dying for our sins does not mean making everybody robotically good in Christianity. It is about clearing the way, so to speak, so that a Holy God can have a personal relationship with us, taking up residence within us and giving us a new nature, which is a gradual transformation into beings who freely choose what is good.

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2 months ago  ::  Nov 01, 2014 - 3:49PM #10
Shibolet
Posts: 2,656

Oct 30, 2014 -- 7:02AM, Thetanager wrote:


How is Jesus being unjust here in honestly calling out their hypocritical ways? How did he break the Golden Rule? Where do you see him being hypocrtical, being called out by others and then condemning them for honestly calling him out?



Was Jesus a carismatic man or not? Yes, he was, how did he have to insult his liseners to make a point? Why would he need to cause financial damage to the money changers before the Temple to get them out? A stern look at them would make them clear the area. If they did not like what Jesus did, Jesus broke the Golden Rule. You did not understand the post as the charge of being hypocrites is concerned. Jesus called them so, not they Jesus.


Those verses are talking about children dying for the sins of their parents. Jesus' death for us is a different thing.



You read the wrong verses. Read again Jer. 31:30. Every one shall die for his own sins. The soul that sins, it shall die. (Ezek. 18:20)


So what do you make of verses like Matt. 26:28, where Jesus says "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins"? You seem to accept what the Gospels portray Jesus saying.



That's about the "Christ" of Paul, not the Jesus of Nazareth. Otherwise, you have a contradiction in your hands.


Why the Romans crucified him and the result of his death or why he willingly laid down his life could very well be different.



Regarding your first question, the Romans crucified Jesus because his own disciples were acclaiming him king of the Jews at the entrance of Jerusalem which was a Roman province at the time. (Luke 19:37-40) Hence the crucifixion was political according to the verdict nailed on the top of his cross: INRI. As for the second question, Jesus did not lay down his life willingly. You forget that he prayed 3 times in the Gethsemane not to walk the via dolorosa. When he perceived he was wasting his time, he said, "Be thy will done, not mine." What was Jesus' will, to die on the cross? Hardly! Obviously, he went to it against his own will as there was no other option.


And dying for our sins does not mean making everybody robotically good in Christianity. It is about clearing the way, so to speak, so that a Holy God can have a personal relationship with us, taking up residence within us and giving us a new nature, which is a gradual transformation into beings who freely choose what is good.



Jesus never died for Christianity not only because it would be against the word of the prophets but also because he had never even dreamed that Christianity would ever rise. For God to take up residence within us it does not depend on the sacrifice of another man but on us only to set things right with Him. (Isa. 1:18,19) 

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