When is a Goat a Goat and thus cast out of the family?
Jar, that was a beautiful profession, and I like the way that you tell it by weaving real life things in it like Orange Soda! :)
I was always taught that not everyone is saved, but that once saved, nobody can lose their salvation. I always break it down into three levels.
1) Knowing about God. (everyone is at this level)
2) Meeting God. (that is the first day of awareness that God is real and not just a charicter or myth.)
3) Day to day relationship with God. (Doing our best to live as we should and trusting His Spirit to convict, correct, and guide us)
One question for your belief paradigm: The bit about losing ones salvation.
If a King should save all of the people, should he then behead the ones who do not do their best?
If a Father had five kids and three went on to school and volunteers in the community and loved the least of the neighbors, while one of them sat around the house eating chips and watching Jerry Springer while the other one went and joined the Most High Church of the Uppity Noses and lived off of other peoples generousity, would not the Father, dissappointed though he was, still call all five his children?
I do not see the crucifixion itself as some great payment for our sins. Afterall, there were at least two other people crucified the very same day and very same place as Jesus. In addition it would be an act of GOD paying Himself with Himself for something He was capable of doing even without payment.
The crucifixion is part of the story of Jesus' life, but I believe that He really was human during His time here with us before His death, and so He was going to die.
Do you believe that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day and is alive now? That He is as much aware of you (in fact, more so) than I am? IMHO, the emphasis on Jesus being alive today is important. Of course, you can simply say that you are talking to God, rather than Jesus, but to have been human makes the character that we are talking to that much more real and not mythical.
Re: Scriptures on the crucifixion as sacrifice for sin
Just so Im clear on your beliefs, Ringo-----Do You believe that Jesus is alive today?
Also, lets consider a couple of scriptures, (perhaps not in context, but oh well....)
1) Matt 26:39-- Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." There is something about the argument concerning behavior that I have not yet settled. Whose will does and/or should operate in our lives? Our will or Gods will?
2) Phil 2:12-13-- Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed-not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence-continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
I suppose that my point is this: IF
1) We become the decisions that we make....and are responsible for our own decisions, is it possible to allow Gods Spirit....His will...to reside within us and through the communion of our relationship with Him, allow Him to work in us to will and to act? (according to His good purpose) In other words, it is no longer I who live but Christ living through me....
Now, we know that humans are human and that such a scenario is and has been fraught with uncertainty...(hence the idea of a spiritual war of sorts throughout history).
I also know that some of you common sense minded folk consider it ludicrous that Gods Spirit is living and active.
Im not sure what you think, Ringo...but as for me, I believe that most, if not all of my better actions were His Spirit in me working and acting according to His good pleasure. My behavior was top notch only because I had let go of my ego, will, and intellect enough to allow God to get the job done.
Re: Scriptures on the crucifixion as sacrifice for sin
The idea that GOD needs some kind of payment from us is IMHO ludicrous. What can we possibly give GOD beyond just trying to live a good life?
Perhaps we can give ourselves to Him and let Him and His Spirit be the impetus behind our good behavior! Do you honestly think that He expects us to be apt little pupils who listen atentively and then attempt to behave under the accordance of our own will?
If Christ could and did surrender His will to the Father, perhaps that is the message of His teaching that we also need do.
God's spirit is in all of us, from our "creation". The knowledge of good and evil is in all of us. Our better actions are the result of those two features of our "design" - not of a hands-on day-to-day "driver".
John 17:20-23--I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23 I in them and you in me.
From my interpretation of this scripture from Jesus, it appears that He prays that we be in Christ yet it also appears that He has imparted Himself into us. Its interesting when it says
I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message...
What do you make of that?
John 3:16-- "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
But someone who does love others as he loves himself, who does try to do right and not wrong, IS loving GOD even if that person is unaware that GOD exists or even is convinced GOD does not exist.
:) I think that this sums up your beliefs quite well, jar! One thing is certain: Your beliefs are among the most controversial that we have at EvC! Ringo and you think quite similar, and I will say this to some of our more fundamental Christians:
The reason that I accept you as honest bearers of truth is because of your attitudes. I am unimpressed with someone who can quote scripture like Jack Van Impee and yet who constantly argues and bickers with everyone whom they come in contact with. Jar, you and Ringo have steadfastly explained your beliefs with nary an argument.
As for my friend from across the pond, Mr. Brian..... :)
Im gonna give you a mulligan because I believe that either you are often a bit tipsy when arguing on EvC or you simply like to stir up relevant issues in order to cause people to think.
However....what I would like to see is a column from Brian on his beliefs and why he has developed them. :)
When I was a Christian I felt that it was because I loved Jesus that good deeds flowed automatically, doing good was not something I had to think about, it was just the way things were.
What I am wondering is if Jar has got things the wrong way round. Instead of loving others first and this some way shows that you love God, doesn't it make more sense that by loving God with all your heart, soul and mind, (which Jesus says is the most important commandment)would result in the joy of knowing God which would automatically fill you with love for your fellow humans and thus you would do what you could for them?
I think that knowing God fills us with an impartation to naturally willingly perform good works.
Where does this leave people like you, Brian? If God is dismissed as an outmoded human construct, what is it that motivates you to be nice and helpful to all of the people that you encounter?
I think that what is being said is that IF God exists, He is basically saying to you, "Very well, Brian...Im not going to go out of my way to prove myself to you, and you very well may never believe in me, but there will be a day of accountability and you will be judged on the second part of the greatest commandment seeing as how you see no logic in the first..."
And looking at it from a teachers point of view, its always better to have a class who expects a final exam even if none will be given! :)
“There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "All right, then, have it your way”--C.S.Lewis