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Author Topic:   Salvation vs. Helping Others
iano
Member (Idle past 738 days)
Posts: 6164
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 16 of 30 (547255)
02-17-2010 5:06 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Stile
02-16-2010 2:15 PM


Re: Fish or Fishermen: that is the question
Stile writes:

Is your definition of "lost" something equivalent to "saved" or "knows Jesus Christ as personal saviour" or something like that?

If so, then your "lost" is equivalent to the "knowledge of Jesus Christ" I'm attempting to describe. If not, you'll have to describe what you mean by "lost" so that I can understand what you're talking about.

Lost is equivilent to "not saved". It is equivilent to "not knowing Jesus Christ as personal Saviour". It is equivilent to "not loving the truth and so being saved". In all cases above, it assumed we are dealing with God's definition of what saved/knowing Christ/loving truth is. As opposed to alternatives such as "knowing Jesus Christ as personal Saviour" in a culturally-adopted-Christianity way.

Someone can say "I'm Irish - my passport says so". But if their passport isn't issued by the Irish authorities then their profession - though genuinely held - doesn't reflect the fact of the matter. Similiarly, that someone "recognises Jesus as personal Lord and Saviour" need not mean they actually recognise Jesus as Lord and Saviour in the manner proscribed by the divine Authority. They might have simply been raised to believe what they believe without the kind of divine intervention that enables true (we are supposing) belief in Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

And so our professing tower block friend may or may not be a Christian. His profession doesn't tell us enough.

-

If finally lost, then all the "honour" of trying your best to do good turned out to only aid and abet your damnation - in which no honour will be found, only shame.

Perhaps. But without anything to show us definitively, we can't really say, can we? And again, we're left trying our best to do our best.

What's shown definitively, is that you cannot do the good you think (in your better moments) should be done. Indeed, you'll find yourself railing at people doing more or less precisely as you yourself do (except that your doing so in these times might be justified away in a way disallowed others). You've a dilemma: you've an urge to do your best.. and you find you cannot do your best.

Now, you can either keep on beating your head against that same brick wall called "Trying to do your best". Or you can ponder a little on the conclusion definitively (or should by be) arrived at: The Urge and the failure to meet the demands of The Urge.

By all means await some other definitive. Me? I think you've enough of a definitive to be getting on with. Suppression is, I've suggested, a sinfuls mans flexible friend. And here's an example: a definitive dilemma to which your response seems to a head-in-the-sand

quote:
we're left trying to do our best

By all means carry on. You might appreciate why God could take a dim view on such ..er.. evasion.

-

Oh? Are you able to show why?

I thought I did. You're supposing Jesus some kind of moral teacher whilst failing to take account of two invariables:

- he (unlike you) never suggests that you should try your best. It's "do this, do that"

- he warns that if you don't do this or that then there's an "or else"

If you really want me to post passages where Jesus says "or else" then I will. Perhaps you could post something where he suggests that "trying your best" is his intent when it comes to doing good?

-

But I don't see this as the overall message in the Bible anywhere. Sure, there's bits and pieces that can be mashed together as support for such. But overall? If we look at what Jesus focused on, overall, he didn't focus on salvation or promoting himself as any single path for anything. He touched on those things... but didn't focus on them. He focused (spent most of his time with most of his listeners) on describing how to live a good life.

We'd probably have to do a separate study on such a notion. I'd be pretty doubtful you could sustain this particular view. You'd need to slice out Paul for a start since he's the one clarifying salvation by anything but works. Which is a pretty big "bits n' pieces" at about 1/3 of the NT. Allied to the above problems regarding the standard He demanded..

-

Not quite.

I don't claim to know what is right at all.

I claim to be able show the reasoning behind what I think is right. Namely, that helping people is good and hurting people is bad. But I certainly don't claim to know what's right and wrong, that's impossible because right and wrong are not fundamentally objective ideas.

As you wish regarding your denial of knowledge.

The point is you can't do what you find yourself urged to do. You act against your own reasoning - despite supposing it your ultimate guide. And the result is hurt people. And you know this and won't (I hope) deny this.

This is sufficient knowledge for you to be judged against: doing what you yourself consider wrong.

Now you can continue along the "I'd better try even better, hadn't I ?" route. There's no escape from that route however. Or you could begin to start concluding that there's something askew with you. That is the suggested purpose of God. To have you begin to start concluding there's something askew with you.

"The law is a schoolteacher (not to "exhort you to try harder") to lead you to Christ"

The bit in brackets is your view. The rest is scriptures view of The Urge.

-

And how, precisely, do you deal with your doing what you know to be wrong?

By accepting that I made a mistake, learning from it,and trying to do better in the future. It's not an entirely new or difficult idea

Given the question: how can you knowingly make a mistake? That would be a very new idea!

-

Now, you could do as I frequently did (although not even I could do it all the time) and suppress the knowledge that you've done wrong.

No, I don't do that. I would suggest that such a thing is foolish at best and personally destructive at worse.

Suppressing knowledge is always foolish. How can any mature adult expect to learn if they suppress knowledge?

And, if you suppress such things on a regular basis, you could develop a habit and accidentally begin suppressing some things you'd rather not suppress... which gets into the personally destructive aspect.

Supposing sticking a knife into someones chest a "mistake" involves a certain suppression of knowledge, don't you think?

-

We seem to have drifted. How to get on track? At present, I can't see a way to prioritise the building occupants - their views not necessarily producing salvation for them - with salvation being the ultimate priority.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Stile, posted 02-16-2010 2:15 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by Stile, posted 02-18-2010 10:56 AM iano has not yet responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3006
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 17 of 30 (547341)
02-18-2010 10:56 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by iano
02-17-2010 5:06 PM


What would Jesus do?
And so our professing tower block friend may or may not be a Christian. His profession doesn't tell us enough.

Perhaps, yes. But his profession is all we will ever have to go on. Like you said, being lost or saved or whatever is all dependend upon God's definition. Not what Stile thinks God's definition is, and not what iano thinks God's definition is. In your analogy, we can check with the Irish passport authorities. With God, we cannot check what Stile thinks is God's definition vs. what iano thinks is God's definition.

And, again, we're left trying our best to do our best.

By all means carry on. You might appreciate why God could take a dim view on such ..er.. evasion.

Perhaps. Maybe you're right and God doesn't want us to try our best. I don't think so. But, again, we don't have a God to go and ask, do we? We have a Bible, history, and a vast array of religions. Taking all these into account we end up with Stile thinking God would appreciate us trying our best and iano thinking God wants something else.

So, sure, you could be right. But I think you're very wrong.

Again, we're left trying our best to do our best.

You are unable to show that what you say is definitvely true.

I thought I did. You're supposing Jesus some kind of moral teacher whilst failing to take account of two invariables:

1. - he (unlike you) never suggests that you should try your best. It's "do this, do that"

What does this have to do with Jesus being a moral teacher? Isn't it possible to be a moral teacher because the focus of one's teaching is on morals?

- he warns that if you don't do this or that then there's an "or else"

Yes, he does. But does he focus on it? How many moral lessons does Jesus preach about whenever he is surrounded by a significant number of listeners? How many times does Jesus warn about an "or else" whenever he is surrounded by a significant number of listeners?

You're missing the point. It's not about Jesus is a moral-teacher and never talks about "or else" type things. It's about Jesus focusing on his moral teachings and not focusing on his "or else" type things. Can you refute the actual arguement? Or are you only able to say that Jesus did indeed talk about "or else" type things? I already agreed to that a long time ago.

I'd be pretty doubtful you could sustain this particular view. You'd need to slice out Paul for a start since he's the one clarifying salvation by anything but works. Which is a pretty big "bits n' pieces" at about 1/3 of the NT.

Like I said, I'm no Bible scholar. Let's ask a few questions for clarification:

Did Jesus talk to large groups of listeners as reported by Paul?
Does Paul largely report Jesus talking to large groups about moral lessons (parables)?
Or does Paul largely report that Jesus preached about "or else" type things to significant numbers of listeners most of the time?

We're not discussing what Paul thinks. We're discussing what Jesus did.

Out of all the the things Jesus is reported on doing in the Bible while he has a significantly large audience of listeners:

Is Jesus largely reported as teaching moral lessons (parables)?
Or is Jesus largely reported as teaching "or else" types of things?

What does the Bible say Jesus focused on?

The question is not "can you find 'or else' types of things in the Bible."
The answer to that is clearly yes, but it doesn't answer what Jesus focused on when he had his largest audiences available to him.

Don't you think that if you had a priority message, that you'd bring it up whenever you were surrounded by your largest audiences?

The point is you can't do what you find yourself urged to do. You act against your own reasoning - despite supposing it your ultimate guide. And the result is hurt people. And you know this and won't (I hope) deny this.

I'm not sure what you're talking about here.

How do you not find your reasoning to be your ultimate guide?
Even if you're accepting what you think is God's plan as your ultimate guide... you're still using your reasoning to make that acceptance.

How can someone make any sort of decision (action or guide) without using their reasoning?

I think you're talking nonsense.

iano writes:

Stile writes:

Suppressing knowledge is always foolish. How can any mature adult expect to learn if they suppress knowledge?

And, if you suppress such things on a regular basis, you could develop a habit and accidentally begin suppressing some things you'd rather not suppress... which gets into the personally destructive aspect.

Supposing sticking a knife into someones chest a "mistake" involves a certain suppression of knowledge, don't you think?

Yes, I agree. What does this have to do with anything? Wouldn't you say that suppressing knowledge to allow one to think of sticking a knife into someone's chest as a "mistake" is at best foolish and at worst personally destructive?

I don't get what you're attempting to show here, unless you're agreeing with what I said.

We seem to have drifted. How to get on track? At present, I can't see a way to prioritise the building occupants - their views not necessarily producing salvation for them - with salvation being the ultimate priority.

I don't think this has drifted. You think that salvation is the ultimate priority. However, if we look at the life of Jesus, he doesn't focus his time and energy on explaining salvation.

When Jesus has a significantly large group of listeners around him, he doesn't talk about salvation, he talks about moral teachings... he talks in parables.

You are free to think that salvation is your highest priority. But I don't think such a thing is supported by Jesus Christ of the Bible. I'm not saying that Jesus never talks about salvation, or even looks down upon it in anyway. I think Jesus thinks very highly about salvation and that it is extremely important. However, it doesn't seem to be Jesus' ultimate priority.

Wouldn't you discuss your ultimate priority when any significantly large group of listeners comes to hear you speak?

Why doesn't Jesus explain salvation whenever such such a crowd gathers around him?

Why does Jesus spend the majority of his crowd-time on moral teachings?

Perhaps it is because Jesus prioritizes being a good and nice person above salvation.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by iano, posted 02-17-2010 5:06 PM iano has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by Apothecus, posted 02-18-2010 1:03 PM Stile has responded
 Message 25 by Phat, posted 06-18-2014 1:18 AM Stile has responded

    
Apothecus
Member
Posts: 275
From: CA USA
Joined: 01-05-2010


Message 18 of 30 (547345)
02-18-2010 1:03 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Stile
02-18-2010 10:56 AM


Re: What would Jesus do?
Hey Stile.

Even before I became a closet agnostic I shared the same views as you have, albeit with the added caveat of the "or else" scenario hanging over me that Iano talks about. I believed I was "saved", but still held that my "worldly works" were very important, yet curiously independent of my religious beliefs. Looking back, this may have been one of the first signs that I considered doing "good deeds" and "helping people" (as a function of being as good and moral a person as I could be) as considerably more important than any aspect of my faith in Jesus had ever taught me.

So the fundamentalist church I attend these days (closet agnostic, remember) contends that receiving the Lord Jesus as your personal savior is the only, and I mean only, criteria needed to enter heaven. Lately, there have been entire sermons devoted to what is expected of you in society, if you already know you're saved.

For example, there are certain things which I would consider would be "bad" to do, and which others in my church would consider "sinful". The difference is that, if you're saved, all you need do is ask for forgiveness and *poof!*, on to the next sin. Now, of course, we're all human and thus, we all will commit those acts which, to some people, constitute "sin". And to be fair, the pastor of my church still condones "good worldly works" in conjuction with salvation.

But see, there are no real definitive guidelines when you consider what type of sin is forgivable vs. unforgivable. The words describing the "guidelines", I feel, are parsed just enough so as to offer the equivalent of a "Get out of jail free card" in most cases of "sin". To be honest, as far as I can glean from the fundamentalist teachings, no sin is unforgivable if you are saved. How many death row inmates do you think still believe that since they're saved, or better yet, born again, that they'll be taking the quick trip from the execution chamber to the pearly gates? How many Christians could contend that these criminals definitely aren't going to heaven? I'll give you a hint: no one knows who goes to heaven and who doesn't.

Sorry if that was too off topic.

Don't you believe that God wrote how-to-be-good on our hearts? So, if i follow what's written on my heart, honestly, isn't this then doing what God wants? How could it possibly be anything else?

In my experience with fundamental Christians, everything we see is attributed either to God, or "The Adversary." If it's a beneficial path they're following, God led them there. If they're facing hardship, "The Adversary" is at work. And here I've been attributing things to either good fortune or a rotten case of random chance... But I guess their ideas make for better theater, yes?

Anyway, sorry, my point was that your above comment (and I'm surprised Iano or Peg or ICANT haven't brought it up yet) would be construed by some I know as evidence that "The Adversary" is at work creating false impressions for how you think you should lead your life.

Just thought you'd like to know.

Thanks for the topic, Stile.

Have a good one.


"My own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose. J.B.S Haldane 1892-1964
This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Stile, posted 02-18-2010 10:56 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by Stile, posted 02-18-2010 2:11 PM Apothecus has not yet responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3006
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 19 of 30 (547351)
02-18-2010 2:11 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by Apothecus
02-18-2010 1:03 PM


Theatre of the Mind
Apothecus writes:

The words describing the "guidelines", I feel, are parsed just enough so as to offer the equivalent of a "Get out of jail free card" in most cases of "sin".

Yes, phrased just so everything that a church/religion-member does is forgiveable, yet everything someone not-of-the-church/religion does is unforgiveable.

But, really, it doesn't matter if Jesus is as I think he is, or if Jesus is as iano thinks he is, or whatever Jesus is really like, or if Jesus even existed at all. My personal feelings are that this entire thread is irrelevant as to why we should do good things, I'm just genuinely curious if any of the avid Bible readers can actually defend that Jesus was more focused on defining Salvation or defining moral teachings. It doesn't really matter one way or the other since the entire Bible doesn't matter one way or the other as far as my personal morality is concerned.

Everyone knows that Jesus talks about moral teachings in the Bible.
Everyone knows that Jesus talks about Salvation-by-grace in the Bible.

This thread isn't about which one makes more sense.
This thread is simply a genuine question that I don't know the answer to:

Which one did Jesus focus on?

What did Jesus talk about most when it mattered most?
What did Jesus take the time to tell other people when he had his most advantageous opportunities to reach those other people?

I really don't know. I'm defending the parable (moral teachings) side of things in more of a devil's advocate way than a personal-belief way. I really don't care what the answer actually is, but a lot of the answers given just don't make any sense to the questions I'm trying to ask.

I'll give you a hint: no one knows who goes to heaven and who doesn't.

Not only that, but no one knows if heaven even exists either

It's very difficult to base any logical argument upon something that cannot even be shown to exist in the first place. It's all based upon very quiet "what if's."

But I guess their ideas make for better theater, yes?

No one ever created a movie on "The Passion of Whatever-You-Think-is-Best"


This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Apothecus, posted 02-18-2010 1:03 PM Apothecus has not yet responded

    
Phat
Member
Posts: 9881
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 20 of 30 (729597)
06-15-2014 7:56 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by Stile
02-17-2010 12:39 PM


Re: So, North or South?
Stile,responding to Peg writes:

It's not about who you'd rather visit. The question is about who do you think requires more help. That is, do you think it's more important to help someone to become a nice person, or do you think it's more important to help someone gain knowledge of Jesus Christ.

From your answer I would guess that you would visit the guy who knows lots about Jesus, but isn't a very nice person. That way, you could inform him of how to be a better person.

But your answer also said that the two were equivalent. In which case, it's sort of a non-answer. I understand that "knowing Jesus Christ" can be similar to "being a good person". What I'm trying to show is that drawing this similarity too far can bring about confusing issues.

The point of the question is to show the slight-difference in priorities.

If you first go to see the nice-guy-who-doesn't-know-Jesus-Christ, then you'd put a slight-priority on "knowing Jesus Christ" as opposed to being a good person.

If you first go to see the guy-who-knows-Jesus-Christ-but-never-helps-others-anyway, then you'd put a slight-priority on being a good person rather than "knowing Jesus Christ."

In light of our more recent conversations, I think that I would always put the priority on sharing Jesus Christ. The point that we are making is that the guy who claims to know Jesus does not, in actuality know Him.

The good news, Mr.Stile, is that people such as you who would rather just do what is "written on their heart" may be closer to knowing Jesus than many religious folk. Even though you don't slang Him, you slang love...which is the same thing, in an agape sort of way.


“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—nothing more nor less.”

This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by Stile, posted 02-17-2010 12:39 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by Stile, posted 06-15-2014 12:59 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3006
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 21 of 30 (729603)
06-15-2014 12:59 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Phat
06-15-2014 7:56 AM


Re: So, North or South?
Topic Proposal:

quote:
You are in the centre of a street. You learn of two people, one in a building on the North side, the other in a building on the South side.

Person in North building - Is very adept at helping others yet does not know of any person named Jesus Christ, or anything about salvation (doesn't even know it's something he may be interested in or even exists).
-Think of the nice neighbour who just doesn't go to church or deal with religion in any way.

Person in South building - Has in-depth knowledge of Jesus Christ. Fully believes that Jesus Christ is his personal saviour and the only method for his salvation. However, he doesn't help other people.
-Think of the devout religious guy who still cuts people off in traffic and such.

Who do you go and talk to first?


Phat writes:

In light of our more recent conversations, I think that I would always put the priority on sharing Jesus Christ. The point that we are making is that the guy who claims to know Jesus does not, in actuality know Him.

I'm not sure I understand.

Did you answer the question? Or was this a way not to answer the question? It doesn't really matter, I'm not trying to force you to answer. I'm just letting you know that if you were trying to address the point of this thread, it's not clear to me.

The good news, Mr.Stile, is that people such as you who would rather just do what is "written on their heart" may be closer to knowing Jesus than many religious folk. Even though you don't slang Him, you slang love...which is the same thing, in an agape sort of way.

Perhaps. Or maybe I'm going to Hell
Either way... what happens to me by way of someone else's judgment is not my concern. I'm concerned with living this life I find myself in as best I can figure with what I can discover while I'm here. As long as I do that... I'll be content. Anything else will be... dissatisfying.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by Phat, posted 06-15-2014 7:56 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by NoNukes, posted 06-15-2014 2:31 PM Stile has responded
 Message 23 by ringo, posted 06-15-2014 3:10 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

    
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9991
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 2.4


(1)
Message 22 of 30 (729606)
06-15-2014 2:31 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by Stile
06-15-2014 12:59 PM


Re: So, North or South?
Who do you go and talk to first?

What's the dilemma here? Are the buildings on fire? Am I leaving town at the end of the day? I'd go talk to the second guy with the idea of having him come help me with the first guy. If I pull that off, then I've got both problems solved.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Stile, posted 06-15-2014 12:59 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
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ringo
Member
Posts: 13715
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 23 of 30 (729611)
06-15-2014 3:10 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by Stile
06-15-2014 12:59 PM


Re: So, North or South?
Who do you go and talk to first?

I'd talk to the helper. I know a lot of armchair Christians already.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Stile, posted 06-15-2014 12:59 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3006
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 24 of 30 (729636)
06-16-2014 9:36 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by NoNukes
06-15-2014 2:31 PM


Re: So, North or South?
NoNukes writes:

What's the dilemma here?

It's been a while since this topic (April, 2010).
Unfortunately, I've forgotten my exact, specific frame of reference for creating this thread. There is a link to the thread that gave me the idea for it, though. Feel free to peruse if you're up for an investigation.

Best I can figure, I wasn't going for any sort of specific issue.
I was more just trying to frame a scenario and analyze the responses for discussion's sake.

That is, I was hoping to receive answers to the question and reasons for the answers. Nothing "right" or "wrong" about it.

A nice person may want to go hang out with the guy in the North building (good person, but doesn't know Jesus Christ) because they think they'll have more in common.
Or, maybe a nice person wants to go visit the South building (believes in Jesus but doesn't 'walk-the-walk') so as to talk with them and help them get back onto the narrow road.

I could have been curious to see if anyone actually found the South building person to be "a better person" than the North building guy... as some discussions on this forum seem to indicate. But this topic simply is what it is now.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by NoNukes, posted 06-15-2014 2:31 PM NoNukes has not yet responded

    
Phat
Member
Posts: 9881
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 25 of 30 (729734)
06-18-2014 1:18 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by Stile
02-18-2010 10:56 AM


Faith and Reason
Stile writes:

How do you not find your reasoning to be your ultimate guide?
Even if you're accepting what you think is God's plan as your ultimate guide... you're still using your reasoning to make that acceptance.

No. You are using your faith. Abraham never would have sacrificed his son Isaac based on what reasoning told him.

How can someone make any sort of decision (action or guide) without using their reasoning?
Faith and Reason

quote:
Reason generally is understood as the principles for a methodological inquiry, whether intellectual, moral, aesthetic, or religious. Thus is it not simply the rules of logical inference or the embodied wisdom of a tradition or authority. Some kind of algorithmic demonstrability is ordinarily presupposed. Once demonstrated, a proposition or claim is ordinarily understood to be justified as true or authoritative. Faith, on the other hand, involves a stance toward some claim that is not, at least presently, demonstrable by reason.
Some folks have no faith. They need evidence and rational proof. Others thrive on faith and uncertainty.

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—nothing more nor less.”

This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Stile, posted 02-18-2010 10:56 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by Stile, posted 06-18-2014 8:35 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply
 Message 29 by Faith, posted 06-19-2014 5:31 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3006
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.2


(1)
Message 26 of 30 (729748)
06-18-2014 8:35 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by Phat
06-18-2014 1:18 AM


Re: Faith and Reason
Phat writes:

No. You are using your faith. Abraham never would have sacrificed his son Isaac based on what reasoning told him.

You are misunderstanding my use of the word "reasoning."
I do not mean "good, rational, evidence-based thinking."
I simply mean "personal thinking of any kind."

That is:

Abraham certainly was following his reasoning when he sacrificed his son Isaac. Abraham's reasoning informed him that "God knows best." If Abraham didn't think "God knows best"... then Abraham would not follow what God wanted him to do.

...it all comes down to what Abraham thinks... what his reasoning tells him.

That reasoning may or may not be based on evidence or rational-critical-thought... but it's still Abraham's reasoning based on Abraham's thoughts, feelings and personal experiences.

You seem to simply call that "faith."
If that's what the word means to you... that's fine.

But it's obvious that the choice was Abraham's based on Abraham's personal reasoning of the situation. Anything else would have God controlling Abraham... which is silly.

I see where the confusion is, though. You are using a strict definition of the word "reason" to mean some sort of structured based thinking. I was simply using it to mean "personal thinking (in any sense)." I have no problem changing the term "reasoning" to "thinking"... it makes no difference to the point I am attempting to make.

Stile now says:

quote:
How do you not find your thinking to be your ultimate guide?
Even if you're accepting what you think is God's plan as your ultimate guide... you're still using your thinking to make that acceptance.

You can even re-label "thinking" to "faith" if it makes you feel better.
The point is that you, personally, are making the decisions... We all make our own decisions. We don't all make our decisions based on the same criteria or process... but we do all make our own decisions.

If you're not making you're own decisions... then you're a lifeless automaton robot.

Therefore "God is my ultimate Guide" simply means "I have personally decided to accept God's guide as my own personal guide."
As opposed to someone else who might say "I have personally decided to accept xxx and yyy as my own personal guide."

There's no difference... everyone is using their own thoughts/ideas/experience/reasoning/thinking/faith to decide what to use as their own personal guide.

It doesn't matter what you call it... the point is that it's always individually and personally derived.

Therefore... this retort of "you're relying on you're own ideas... I'm relying on God's!!!" is just a bunch of bullshit.
We are all relying on our own ideas.

Some of us rely on our own ideas to accept what God says is valid.
Others rely on our own ideas to reject what God says as invalid.

Regardless of following God or not... we're all relying on our own ideas. You simply cannot get away from that unless you're going to accept that you are nothing more than a lifeless robotic shell with no free will.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Phat, posted 06-18-2014 1:18 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

    
mike the wiz
Member (Idle past 8 days)
Posts: 4600
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 27 of 30 (729810)
06-19-2014 9:42 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Stile
02-04-2010 8:06 AM


Hello, Stile. Good post.

The only thing I would say is that human reason seems to be the evaluation-tool, in this matter. That is understandable given that that's all you have to go on as an honest person.

In the bible, Jesus says that the Pharisees only tithe in order to appear to be righteous. But He gives an example of a person that is sinful, with a contrite heart, as being heard by God, rather than the person that does good things. You ask who would Jesus go to, he said, "I come to call sinners to repentance, not to call the righteous" (paraphrase).

I agree with you that good and nice people exist, yet I can still notice, on a spiritual level, by perception, that they are devoid of the love of God.

They are born in the image of God remember, so it is not necessarily the case that they must be immoral, wild animals.

A lot of folk at sites like this will be moral atheists, and you can tell they are straight by perception of the things they say and their good behaviour.

I think "nice people", that has to be thought through a bit more. I think even nice people are ultimately just living their lives as though they are a finite being, between two infinite spaces. There is a kind of selfishness to this that you can sometimes hear in their subjective morality, such as this type of saying;

"well, it's fine as long as there is no harm done, as long as my morals are tolerated".

As thought that is all that counts, the right to live life your own way then die like an insect. That's okay but it's not to live for God, which is a selfless act. "Forget self, and follow me." - Christ.

I think this is what it's all about these days - "let me live in peace, let me get out of life what I want in my own way, let me live then die, I'm not bothering you any!".

Ultimately these are self-motives. Even the nicest people aren't living for God's will, but their own. God's will is selfless because of sacrifice.

I think it's all to do with defining, "good". Sure, by PEOPLE'S standards there are good people, but are they good by God's standards? Jesus said, "there is only one Who is good, that being God".

Everyone "has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God".

Since we live by these sayings, we can't jettison them for convenience. There is a very real theme in the bible that makes it clear that to be reconciled to God, this must be through the righteousness that Christ has won on the cross. So then Christ came to eradicate your sin-debt, however large or small.

Ultimately good people will make nice citizens in the temporary societies we have, but to not build up eternal meaning in your life means that ultimately your life will be vacuous to God. What will you say you done when all is said and done, what did it mean?

"I partied, I got a good job, raised a family, Lord."

Will not the Lord say;, "I could have chimps do that!"

It's hard to explain. When you have the love of God, the self-life is gone. It's temporary. "The world and it's desires are passing away, but He who does the will of God will abide forever."

God isn't interested in temporary activities, He is building a Kingdom, so when your body is dead meat, what will you have to show for your life? Are we living to entertain ourselves? Have we accepted an animal-standard?

Ultimately you have the freewill to just live, be a nice person and die, if that is the general theme of your life I don't think you have much to be afraid of, but the problem is that the, "heart is desperately wicked above all things." We are told in scripture that sin is deceitful, which means that EVEN NICE PEOPLE's morals are governed by their heart's desire, not a selfless one.

The Kingdom of God is about a spiritual joy that is achieved through selfless acts, but if you are not born again, a selfless act can be irksome, bothersome, energy-consuming, boring. I remember all of these attitudes I had before I was born again, because even though I was nice, ultimately I was just an animal, because my spirit was switched off.

You can only know through experience, what these things mean, which means you must be born again. If I speak nonsense, then nothing will happen to you. But the problem is that God "sees the heart", therefore if He sees you are not genuine, you won't be born again, in all likelihood. You must mean business. It's not a game.

Those folk who think they have converted you because you said a prayer, are foolish. No - God wants the real deal, the real choice. If you say the prayer but don't mean it, nothing will change.

A large part of the problem can be the Christian's ignorance, because although they are well-meaning, they don't seem to be aware of how they are coming across to people. They have this desire to "win people" to God, and they can get carried away with that.

I myself don't try all that much to win people, I just try and show that the life of God is something that is the epitome of morality. In this way I hope that they will make the Christian connection because generally I don't tell them I'm Christian. They must wonder how it can motivate me to do activities that don't give any material reward to me, I think sometimes I can perceive their confusion or surprise because you can literally, "see" they don't have God in their life.

Sorry I really rambled on here Stile, I hope I haven't bored you, but I feel a bit inadequate, it is like trying to explain something without using English. You can only really know what I'm going on about if you also know God.

My conclusion is that God's standard is met in Jesus Christ. That ultimately anyone who goes to God must go through Him.

"I am the way, the truth and the life, no-one comes to the Father except through me." - Christ.

Are there nice people that go to heaven then, without knowing Him? I think if they are very nice, very good, and very ignorant, it will be hard for God to not have His eye on them in some way. I myself HOPE they go there, I would "reason" they do, but ultimately, I am not God my friend, so it does not matter what I think, only He knows the fullness of someone's life.

(Sorry I rambled, I'm not debating, I'm just trying to provide the biblical theology and verses that you might have been looking for)

All the best.
mike


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Stile, posted 02-04-2010 8:06 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by Stile, posted 06-19-2014 3:55 PM mike the wiz has not yet responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3006
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 28 of 30 (729826)
06-19-2014 3:55 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by mike the wiz
06-19-2014 9:42 AM


Hi Mike, good to see you around again.

mike the wiz writes:

I think this is what it's all about these days - "let me live in peace, let me get out of life what I want in my own way, let me live then die, I'm not bothering you any!".

Ultimately these are self-motives. Even the nicest people aren't living for God's will, but their own. God's will is selfless because of sacrifice.

I completely agree with what you've written here.
I do disagree with the assumptions that seem to come from your context, though.

This sentiment you espouse here... it is alive and well in some atheists as much as it is alive and well in some Christians. Everyone must watch for it.

Some Christians are able to find a selfless life through God's will (and end up making sacrifices, as you say).
Some atheists are able to find a selfless life through living for other people instead of themselves (and also end up making sacrifices).

The issue is valid and does exist.
But it's not something limited to atheists or even "has a greater chance" with atheists.
It's just as common in Christians.

"I partied, I got a good job, raised a family, Lord."

Will not the Lord say;, "I could have chimps do that!"

Maybe He will.
Maybe He won't.
Maybe He'd say "I could have chimps pray in my name!" to Christians.

I don't know the mind of God.
You don't know the mind of God.

God will say whatever He says. Or nothing at all if He doesn't exist.

It's hard to explain. When you have the love of God, the self-life is gone. It's temporary.

You don't need to explain it. I've seen it. Many Christians live a very self-less life.
Of course... God isn't required for it either.
I've also seen the very same (and sometimes better) self-less life lived by atheists without "having the love of God."

You don't even need to believe in an afterlife in order to get rid of "the self-life."

God isn't interested in temporary activities, He is building a Kingdom, so when your body is dead meat, what will you have to show for your life? Are we living to entertain ourselves? Have we accepted an animal-standard?

I don't have a desire to "show something" for my life. I find the notion to be very selfish... "Look! Look!! Look what I did with my life!!! Accept my existence!!!" Such notions... even towards an all-powerful God... are very selfish and you should strive to stay away from them.

I think we are living in order to better ourselves and those around us.

I don't know what you mean by "animal-standard" so I cannot comment.

We are told in scripture that sin is deceitful, which means that EVEN NICE PEOPLE's morals are governed by their heart's desire, not a selfless one.

I agree that it's something we all (atheists and Christians and everyone) need to constantly watch out for.

The Kingdom of God is about a spiritual joy that is achieved through selfless acts, but if you are not born again, a selfless act can be irksome, bothersome, energy-consuming, boring. I remember all of these attitudes I had before I was born again, because even though I was nice, ultimately I was just an animal, because my spirit was switched off.

Some people do require "to be born again" in order to have motivation for selfless acts.
Other people do not.
Some people, when "born again" actually move towards even more selfish acts.

The point is to watch yourself being selfless vs. being selfish... not being born again or not... that obviously has no impact on the population in general.

I am not born again.
I do not have those attitudes.
I don't know if I'm "just an animal" or not (and I don't really care).
My spirit is definitely not switched off, it's quite healthy.

What does this mean?
Does this mean you are wrong... that being "born again" just isn't required?
Or maybe God smiles upon me without me knowing or being able to identify it in any way? Maybe "being filled with the Holy Spirit" isn't as electrifying as people say it is... maybe it's happened to me and I simply do not notice because it's just as normal as any other day?

I just try and show that the life of God is something that is the epitome of morality.

Sounds like a fantastic plan to me (your description of a God-filled, self-less life), I hope you succeed.

Sorry I really rambled on here Stile, I hope I haven't bored you, but I feel a bit inadequate, it is like trying to explain something without using English. You can only really know what I'm going on about if you also know God.

No worries. If you're going to ramble, this is as good a place as any to do so.
Maybe I have no idea what you're talking about.
Or maybe I know exactly what you're talking about and I also know that you're mistaken.

Everyone can play the game of "you have no idea what I feel or know!"
And it is equally useless for everyone (myself included) if you are attempting to show something about reality to another person.

My conclusion is that God's standard is met in Jesus Christ. That ultimately anyone who goes to God must go through Him.

"I am the way, the truth and the life, no-one comes to the Father except through me." - Christ.

Everything in this quote is absolutely true... if Christianity is true.
That's the big question, though... isn't it?

(Sorry I rambled, I'm not debating, I'm just trying to provide the biblical theology and verses that you might have been looking for)

Thanks for your time and input, it's always nice to have someone to talk to.
Don't feel like you have to respond if you don't have time or whatever, I just ramble myself as well.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by mike the wiz, posted 06-19-2014 9:42 AM mike the wiz has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by Phat, posted 10-09-2017 11:21 AM Stile has acknowledged this reply

    
Faith
Inactive Member


Message 29 of 30 (729830)
06-19-2014 5:31 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Phat
06-18-2014 1:18 AM


Re: Faith and Reason
This dichotomy between faith and reason is way too extreme in my opinion because I think there is a firm reasonable foundation for faith in the Biblical accounts or I never would have come to be a believer myself. It's VERY reasonable to believe the Bible, very reasonable to assess its witnesses as credible etc. And that is evidence. ABE: And the more one trusts the Bible the more it confirms itself to us too. If you start out denying this or that in it you just make it impossible to experience its self-validating power. /ABE

Yes Abraham acted on the call to sacrifice his son through faith but it wasn't an unreasoning unevidenced faith. Abraham had plenty of reason to trust God because of his many communications with Him. He knew Who he was dealing with, he knew God's character, he even surmised that God would bring Isaac back from the dead, anticipating the resurrection of Christ, that's how well he knew God, and that's a faith that is not the empty foundationless sort of faith people too often think we are talking about.

Unfortunately "Christians" who deny the plain meaning of the Bible contribute to this craziness.

ABE: As for the topic of the thread, it's the usual theme of salvation and works, the Protestant formulation being salvation by faith alone, and good works being the expected fruit of salvation. There are many unsaved people who do kind and helpful things for others just because that's the way their character was formed, and sure, some of them do it better than many Christians who are after all only a bunch of saved sinners, some of us originally pretty selfish crude characters that take a lot of time to change into something presentably Christian. How well it's done isn't the important thing but the source of its doing. It has to be done IN Christ to have real value.

Edited by Faith, : changing capital "H's" for lower case h to refer to Abraham.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Phat, posted 06-18-2014 1:18 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 9881
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 30 of 30 (821554)
10-09-2017 11:21 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by Stile
06-19-2014 3:55 PM


Salvation vs Helping Others Remix
Stile writes:

The point is to watch yourself being selfless vs. being selfish... not being born again or not... that obviously has no impact on the population in general.

I am not born again.
I do not have those attitudes.
I don't know if I'm "just an animal" or not (and I don't really care).
My spirit is definitely not switched off, it's quite healthy.

What does this mean?
Does this mean you are wrong... that being "born again" just isn't required?
Or maybe God smiles upon me without me knowing or being able to identify it in any way? Maybe "being filled with the Holy Spirit" isn't as electrifying as people say it is... maybe it's happened to me and I simply do not notice because it's just as normal as any other day?

Sometimes when reading the archives I come across a gem of a statement. Stile, your replied to MTW well. Ya done good. Thanks for giving me another perspective, as usual.

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Paul was probably SO soaked in prayer nobody else has ever equaled him.~Faith :)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Stile, posted 06-19-2014 3:55 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

  
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