Figuring Out Religion

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jacksonM
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by jacksonM » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:57 am

Mountaineer wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:21 am
There are two basic themes in Holy Scripture. One is called the Law and one is called the Gospel. Both are from God and both are holy, both are necessary, and both are needed. The Law always focuses on the action or inaction of a person. It makes demands in the form of commands regarding what to do and prohibitions regarding what not to do. The Law reveals the problem of sin. The Gospel always focuses on the action of God to save us through His Son, Jesus Christ. It makes no demands upon us whatsoever, but showers blessings upon us. It is a happy proclamation of what God freely gives us through Jesus. Jesus does all the work; we do none of it. Instead of giving commandments and prohibitions, the Gospel gives promises and assurances.

The problem is that many Christians are not aware of the distinction, and as a result, they painfully confuse God’s Word. If the difference between Law and Gospel is unknown, then the Scriptures appear to be full of contradictions. If the difference, however, is known, then the relationship becomes elegant, exciting, and powerful. If people don’t think they have a problem, then they will never be interested in a solution. God’s Law is designed to be used by the Holy Spirit to convince people they have a problem. However, no one can convince others they need to confess their sin to God and seek God’s help for their problem of sin. This is something God Himself must do. He uses means to do that: proclamation of the Word via hearing and reading Scripture, baptism (water plus Word) gives the Holy Spirit, the Lord’s Supper (bread and wine plus Word) gives us Christ Himself, and Confession and Absolution assures us our sins are forgiven. Christians must wait on the Holy Spirit to work when and where He pleases to work in the hearts of people as only He can. This does not contradict that God desires all people to be saved; it reminds us that the timing for when faith comes is always in the hands of God.
It's only painfully confusing if you believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God and have to reconcile it in your own mind. Then it does get very painful, based on my own experience.

For example, an unbeliever might try reading the gospel of Matthew and then turn over to the epistles of Paul and wonder why he never read the book, since the teachings of Jesus about keeping the law seem to directly refute him on the subject.

It's actually pretty simple to reconcile if you look at it from a human perspective. Paul, indeed, did not read the gospel of Matthew or any of the others since they were all written well after his ministry. If he was aware of anything that Jesus was actually supposed to have said, he doesn't mention it in any of his writings. And as for seeming to directly refute a lot of Pauline Christianity, Matthew appears to be a rewrite of Mark to make Jesus more thoroughly Jewish and that is probably exactly what the author intended. Some of the passages in the Sermon on the Mount seem to be specifically referring to the Pauline Christians with whom the early Jewish sects were in conflict. That conflict was quite real in the early church based on what little we know of the competing sects and it's also pretty obvious in the N.T. although glossed over in places ( I also believe "Balaam" in the book of Revelations is most likely referring to Paul, telling you what a lot of early Christians really felt about him).

It could be that God intended for the guiding hand of the church to come along and sort out the mess and give us what would eventually become orthodox Christianity. The argument against that is the fact that Christians still can't agree on the subject.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Mountaineer » Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:24 am

What do we do when Jesus refuses to do the miracles we want - when He won't speak - when we are face to face with a silent God? We can do what Herod did - reject, mock, and send Jesus away. Or, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can humble ourselves and trust in Him, knowing that He will do what is best. After all, that's what Jesus did after Herod's interview. He went on to suffer, to die, and to rise again - so that He could bring all of us who trust Him to eternal life.

Prayer: Dear Father, help us to trust in You even when You are silent and we are afraid or grieving. Amen.
Romans 1:16-32
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by jacksonM » Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:21 pm

Mountaineer wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:24 am
What do we do when Jesus refuses to do the miracles we want - when He won't speak - when we are face to face with a silent God?
I never had either of these problems when I was a Christian. You learn early on that Jesus doesn't do miracles today like he did back then.

As for God being silent I never had that problem either. All you need is an active imagination.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Ad Orientem » Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:15 pm

EUCHARIST, BISHOP, CHURCH: THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH IN THE DIVINE EUCHARIST AND THE BISHOP DURING THE FIRST THREE CENTURIES

Read it here...
http://www.oodegr.com/english/biblia/ep ... perieh.htm

This is neither short nor light reading.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Mountaineer » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:17 am

Romans 1:16-32
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by jacksonM » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:45 pm

Mountaineer wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:17 am
Those Things Are Gone Now https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/defa ... e=20190709
Yeah, I was getting ready to boil a kid in its mother's milk just the other day until I remembered it was forbidden in the ten commandments (I mean the second set actually referred to as the ten commandments after Moses broke the originals. (Exodus 34).

Also, I was beating my slave just the other day until I remembered to make sure he didn't die for a day or two afterwards (Exodus 21).

"Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light unto my path".
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Ad Orientem » Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:45 pm

For those interested, I found this quite moving. It is by the late Rev E.V. Hill when he was called to preach his wife's funeral. The sermon starts at 1:26 if you want to skip the intro.

https://youtu.be/c_CDtEERSiE?t=86
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Mountaineer » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:34 am

Do you try to justify yourself?

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/defa ... e=20190711

Did you ever ask a question so messed up it not only wasn't right, it wasn't even wrong? That's what I see happening with the lawyer who decided to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asks, "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Listen to that again: "What shall I do?" Or maybe this is the emphasis: "What shall I do?" Either way, this guy's all about good deeds, all about what he can achieve. He's not looking at what God gives—grace—he's interested in what he brings to the table. He's so messed up he's not even wrong.

See link for the full page.
Romans 1:16-32
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by jacksonM » Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:38 pm

Mountaineer wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:34 am
Do you try to justify yourself?

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/defa ... e=20190711

Did you ever ask a question so messed up it not only wasn't right, it wasn't even wrong? That's what I see happening with the lawyer who decided to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asks, "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Listen to that again: "What shall I do?" Or maybe this is the emphasis: "What shall I do?" Either way, this guy's all about good deeds, all about what he can achieve. He's not looking at what God gives—grace—he's interested in what he brings to the table. He's so messed up he's not even wrong.

See link for the full page.
So what was actually the point of God giving the law and saying in the Torah (Exodus 34) "But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it". Why would God say that if it wasn't true, let alone hold the people accountable for not doing it with harsh punishments even though he knew they really could not obey because of their sinful natures?

Paul said the law was a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ but he sounds like the cruelest schoolmaster you could possibly imagine to me.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Mountaineer » Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:45 am

John 6:28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
Romans 1:16-32
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Mountaineer » Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:27 pm

Two Types of People

Points to ponder:
A. Is one Type better than the other?
B. Are both Types necessary?
C. Does evil have to exist in order to understand good, or vice versa?
D. Do people go back and forth between these two types, or just slide somewhere along the scale in only one direction?
E. What is today's reality like for each of the two Types?
F. Which Type has the potential for greater internal peace?
G. Do you know anyone who is purely a Type 1 or purely a Type 2, or are most people a blend of the two Types?
H. Which Type would you choose for your neighbor?
I. What is eternity like for each of the two Types? J. How do you know?

Type 1. Sees a painting and admires the way the images and colors make a beautiful whole.
Type 2. Sees a painting and individually examines each brush stroke and paint blob.

Type 1. Sees a forest and how it is different from the fields of wildflowers.
Type 2. Sees a collection of individual trees and after a long walk to the field sees individual petals, pistils, and stamen that some call flowers.

Type 1. Listens to a symphony and marvels at the composite sound that springs forth from the stage.
Type 2. Listens to a symphony and ponders why each individual note is buried in a collection of other notes.

Type 1. Listens to the news and detects a pattern emanating for the week or month.
Type 2. Listens to the news and is whipsawed hourly by the apparently differing stories.

Type 2. Reads the Bible literally, examines each verse on its own.
Type 1. Reads the Bible and understands how each of the 66 Books of differing genres contributes to understanding God (note: every time God is used in this post it refers to the Triune God - God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit) and that which He chooses to reveal.

Type 1. Reads the Bible interpreting the Old Testament through the lens of the New Testament.
Type 2. Reads the Bible interpreting the New Testament through the lens of the Old Testament.

Type 1. Reads the Bible with the primary hermeneutic of Scripture interprets Scripture and Scripture is about God (e.g. what does this tell me about God and how do the clear passages help interpret the less clear?).
Type 2. Reads the Bible with the primary hermeneutic of reading ones self into Scripture, it's about me (e.g. who/what is the Goliath in my life?)

Type 1. Reads the Bible and if a passage does not make sense, thinks "I am a fallen sinful creature and it is my lack of understanding the Creator that is the problem."
Type 2. Reads the Bible and if a passage does not make sense, thinks "how can you believe a God that is so mean, so cruel, that He would not make me like Him and able to understand why He says and does that?"

Type 1. Believes there is cognitive knowledge, knowledge gained by experience, and knowledge that must be revealed to sufficiently understand reality. There is absolute truth and it resides outside the individual.
Type 2. Believes there is cognitive knowledge, knowledge gained by experience, and only that which can be observed is real. There is no absolute truth, truth is relative and lies within the individual.

Type 1. Accepts that God is the Creator, thinks I am the creature and I do not want a God that is small enough to completely understand.
Type 2. Thinks that man, or the creation, is the glory of the universe and desires to create a god that is in man's image.

Type 1. Has faith in the promises of God and His Word.
Type 2. Has faith in self and the words and hypotheses of man.

Type 1. Believes everything is a gift from God.
Type 2. Believes everything results only as a consequence of personal effort.

Type 1. Examines the situation and says, "It is enough".
Type 2. Examines the situation and says, "I deserve more".

Type 1. Believes that entropy governs our world and those that inhabit it.
Type 2. Believes that man progressively gets better and better.

Type 1. Believes a culture of life, but life corrupted by sin on this side of our final day, is the the best explanation for the way things are.
Type 2. Believes a culture of death, built on the concept of survival of the fittest (Darwinism), is the best explanation for the way things are.
Romans 1:16-32
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by jacksonM » Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:04 pm

Mountaineer wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:27 pm
Two Types of People

Points to ponder:
A. Is one Type better than the other?
B. Are both Types necessary?
C. Does evil have to exist in order to understand good, or vice versa?
D. Do people go back and forth between these two types, or just slide somewhere along the scale in only one direction?
E. What is today's reality like for each of the two Types?
F. Which Type has the potential for greater internal peace?
G. Do you know anyone who is purely a Type 1 or purely a Type 2, or are most people a blend of the two Types?
H. Which Type would you choose for your neighbor?
I. What is eternity like for each of the two Types? J. How do you know?

Type 1. Sees a painting and admires the way the images and colors make a beautiful whole.
Type 2. Sees a painting and individually examines each brush stroke and paint blob.

Type 1. Sees a forest and how it is different from the fields of wildflowers.
Type 2. Sees a collection of individual trees and after a long walk to the field sees individual petals, pistils, and stamen that some call flowers.

Type 1. Listens to a symphony and marvels at the composite sound that springs forth from the stage.
Type 2. Listens to a symphony and ponders why each individual note is buried in a collection of other notes.

Type 1. Listens to the news and detects a pattern emanating for the week or month.
Type 2. Listens to the news and is whipsawed hourly by the apparently differing stories.

Type 2. Reads the Bible literally, examines each verse on its own.
Type 1. Reads the Bible and understands how each of the 66 Books of differing genres contributes to understanding God (note: every time God is used in this post it refers to the Triune God - God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit) and that which He chooses to reveal.

Type 1. Reads the Bible interpreting the Old Testament through the lens of the New Testament.
Type 2. Reads the Bible interpreting the New Testament through the lens of the Old Testament.

Type 1. Reads the Bible with the primary hermeneutic of Scripture interprets Scripture and Scripture is about God (e.g. what does this tell me about God and how do the clear passages help interpret the less clear?).
Type 2. Reads the Bible with the primary hermeneutic of reading ones self into Scripture, it's about me (e.g. who/what is the Goliath in my life?)

Type 1. Reads the Bible and if a passage does not make sense, thinks "I am a fallen sinful creature and it is my lack of understanding the Creator that is the problem."
Type 2. Reads the Bible and if a passage does not make sense, thinks "how can you believe a God that is so mean, so cruel, that He would not make me like Him and able to understand why He says and does that?"

Type 1. Believes there is cognitive knowledge, knowledge gained by experience, and knowledge that must be revealed to sufficiently understand reality. There is absolute truth and it resides outside the individual.
Type 2. Believes there is cognitive knowledge, knowledge gained by experience, and only that which can be observed is real. There is no absolute truth, truth is relative and lies within the individual.

Type 1. Accepts that God is the Creator, thinks I am the creature and I do not want a God that is small enough to completely understand.
Type 2. Thinks that man, or the creation, is the glory of the universe and desires to create a god that is in man's image.

Type 1. Has faith in the promises of God and His Word.
Type 2. Has faith in self and the words and hypotheses of man.

Type 1. Believes everything is a gift from God.
Type 2. Believes everything results only as a consequence of personal effort.

Type 1. Examines the situation and says, "It is enough".
Type 2. Examines the situation and says, "I deserve more".

Type 1. Believes that entropy governs our world and those that inhabit it.
Type 2. Believes that man progressively gets better and better.

Type 1. Believes a culture of life, but life corrupted by sin on this side of our final day, is the the best explanation for the way things are.
Type 2. Believes a culture of death, built on the concept of survival of the fittest (Darwinism), is the best explanation for the way things are.
I'm thinking I am "J" but I don't understand these binary choices at all.Does that make me one or other or could there possibly be a type 3, 4, 5, or even more?
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