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Author Topic:   Is Calvinism a form of Gnostic Christianity?
Phat
Member
Posts: 10437
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 391 of 405 (825108)
12-08-2017 8:52 AM
Reply to: Message 385 by jar
12-07-2017 8:58 PM


Re: Is God represented fairly in scripture?
jar writes:

Remember that God is represented inconsistently, contradictory, evolutionary and variably in scripture. There is no "God of Scripture™" in the Bible. There are many different representations of God in the Bible; some nice, many vile, each the god the writer created as a part of a singular story.

At least Calvin presented a complete idea of God. From what you say, there is no consensus nor agreement on who or what God is.

Traditionally, Christians reconcile this inconsistency through the person of Jesus Christ. One side basically says that God Himself has clearly told us who He is through scripture. The other side challenges scripture and shows an inconsistency. Will there ever be consensus among anyone?


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 :)

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 Message 385 by jar, posted 12-07-2017 8:58 PM jar has not yet responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 5331
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 392 of 405 (825109)
12-08-2017 8:54 AM
Reply to: Message 390 by Phat
12-08-2017 8:46 AM


Re: The Whims Of God
Phat writes:

I'm still not sure what I believe among these competing options.

It doesn't matter, both are inventions with no rational way of choosing between them.

And from my point of view, both silly made up nonsense.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 390 by Phat, posted 12-08-2017 8:46 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 393 by Phat, posted 12-08-2017 9:01 AM Tangle has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 10437
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 393 of 405 (825111)
12-08-2017 9:01 AM
Reply to: Message 392 by Tangle
12-08-2017 8:54 AM


Re: The Whims Of God
Yes, but your point of view has rejected all forms of unevidenced belief.

You have no fear betting on science, but science can only work with concepts that have presentable evidence. Science itself cant provide any comfort of itself being an answer. And what it all boils down to is faith in humanity. I'm not convinced humanity will ever save itself.


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 392 by Tangle, posted 12-08-2017 8:54 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 397 by Tangle, posted 12-08-2017 9:30 AM Phat has not yet responded
 Message 399 by ringo, posted 12-08-2017 11:04 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
jar
Member
Posts: 29918
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 394 of 405 (825112)
12-08-2017 9:02 AM
Reply to: Message 390 by Phat
12-08-2017 8:46 AM


Re: The Whims Of God
Phat writes:

This is how I was taught in the Christianity I embraced in my early thirties. here at EvC, we discussed an alternative...that nobody was damned, all were chosen, and that we would be weighed according to what we did versus what we could have done. (works)

That's kinda close nearby in the general neighborhood.

Try this position and see if you can see the difference.

You will be judged on the full body of your life as well as the motives for your actions.
If you do something to please God ... tough. God does not need you to please her.

If you do stuff to earn a reward, whether the reward is popularity among peers or salvation or money or prestige ... tough. God says you had your reward and you get nothing more.

If you praise God, worship Jesus, get Born Again ... tough. None of those have any value to God.

If you become a Christian ... tough. Jesus was never a Christian yet he pleased God.

If you do something because it needs to be done, it makes the world just a little better, it helps someone else, if you do it just because it was the right thing to do ... Hallelujah. You got it. You know what Jesus message really was.

Remember, the Goats were all followers of Jesus; proto-Christians.

Edited by jar, : appalin spallin and do left out


My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

This message is a reply to:
 Message 390 by Phat, posted 12-08-2017 8:46 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 395 by Phat, posted 12-08-2017 9:05 AM jar has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 10437
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 395 of 405 (825113)
12-08-2017 9:05 AM
Reply to: Message 394 by jar
12-08-2017 9:02 AM


Re: The Whims Of God
If you do something because it needs to be done, it makes the world just a little better, it helps someone else, if you do it just because it was the right thing to do ... Hallelujah. You got it. You know what Jesus message really was.
But according to you, we already learned that message when we discovered the knowledge of right and wrong. Any old teacher could have shown us that.

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 394 by jar, posted 12-08-2017 9:02 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 396 by jar, posted 12-08-2017 9:08 AM Phat has not yet responded
 Message 398 by jar, posted 12-08-2017 9:42 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
jar
Member
Posts: 29918
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 396 of 405 (825115)
12-08-2017 9:08 AM
Reply to: Message 395 by Phat
12-08-2017 9:05 AM


Re: The Whims Of God
Phat writes:

But according to you, we already learned that message when we discovered the knowledge of right and wrong. Any old teacher could have shown us that.

Think.

Is knowing what is the right thing to do the same as doing the right thing?

AbE: Is doing the same thing as being judged?

Edited by jar, : see AbE:


My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

This message is a reply to:
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Tangle
Member
Posts: 5331
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 397 of 405 (825118)
12-08-2017 9:30 AM
Reply to: Message 393 by Phat
12-08-2017 9:01 AM


Re: The Whims Of God
Phat writes:

Yes, but your point of view has rejected all forms of unevidenced belief.

Well no, not exactly. I'm not a machine I have all human emotions within their required tolerances. So in almost all respects I'm as irrational as you, subject to the same biases and feelings. I'm just more aware of them that's all.

You have no fear betting on science, but science can only work with concepts that have presentable evidence. Science itself cant provide any comfort of itself being an answer.

I'm not betting anything on science, I'm just living a life. I don't need comforts and don't even know what that means. Science is not a substitute belief in something, it's just a useful tool.

And what it all boils down to is faith in humanity. I'm not convinced humanity will ever save itself.

Save itself from what? We are what we are, we have this life to live, what the generations ahead of us do is of no consequence to us - though of course we wish them well. I don't understand your whole mindset, you appear to have fabricated a concern, then invented a belief system to give comfort to it. Just rid yourself of the concern.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 393 by Phat, posted 12-08-2017 9:01 AM Phat has not yet responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 29918
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 398 of 405 (825119)
12-08-2017 9:42 AM
Reply to: Message 395 by Phat
12-08-2017 9:05 AM


On learning a lesson
Phat writes:

But according to you, we already learned that message when we discovered the knowledge of right and wrong. Any old teacher could have shown us that.

This seemed way too important to not take the time to expand on it.

Humans are born with certain capabilities. For example, most kids are born with the capability of learning to see, to hear, to make sounds. Little kids seem to be born with an innate compassion and empathy and from a very early age will try to sooth or comfort others, feel sorrow when others are sorrowful, joyous when others are joyous.

But humans need to learn how to use their capabilities.

Phat's "Any old teacher could have shown us that." comment seems to reflect the same feelings that Naaman expressed when told to go wash in the crick over there.

Yet reality is filled with examples of human inability to learn.

Sure the message from Jesus is simple. But the Bible repeats it over and over and over and still most Christians and Jews don't get it.

But wait, there's more.

Hundreds of years before Jesus repeats the message the Buddha repeats the same message.

The message is in Genesis; it is the great GIFT of learning how to tell right from wrong. But Christians instead turned the story in "The Fall". They just don't get it.

The message is repeated in the Great Commandment.

The message is repeated in Kings 5.

The message is repeated in Matthew 25.

The message is repeated bu Buddha.

The message is repeated by Confucius.

The message is repeated by Mencius.

Many old teachers tried to show us that. But did we get it?

A story with lots of woo-woo and great rewards and fields of milk and honey and "Let Mikey Try It!" simply is a far easier sale than "Go and do!"


My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

This message is a reply to:
 Message 395 by Phat, posted 12-08-2017 9:05 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 14117
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


(1)
Message 399 of 405 (825122)
12-08-2017 11:04 AM
Reply to: Message 393 by Phat
12-08-2017 9:01 AM


Re: The Whims Of God
Phat writes:

And what it all boils down to is faith in humanity. I'm not convinced humanity will ever save itself.


It's about the journey, not the destination. We have to try to do what's right every step along the way, not just focus on "being saved" some day.

Your attitude reminds me of those movies where a bunch of people race headlong for some prize, leaving a trail of destruction behind them. The movie of your life should not be a special-effects extravaganza. It should be a travelogue, where you enjoy the scenery as you go along - and maybe even help that guy lying in the ditch who fell among thieves.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 393 by Phat, posted 12-08-2017 9:01 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
LamarkNewAge
Member
Posts: 1085
Joined: 12-22-2015
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 400 of 405 (825552)
12-16-2017 12:46 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by JavaMan
04-11-2006 8:14 AM


The Cathars are a more precise modern example of Manicherans and Gnostics.
The Cathars were called Manicheans by the Catholics.

Manichean page on Wikipedia.

quote:

Later movements accused of "Neo-Manichaeism"[edit]

During the Middle Ages, several movements emerged that were collectively described as "Manichaean" by the Catholic Church, and persecuted as Christian heresies through the establishment, in 1184, of the Inquisition.[57] They included the Cathar churches of Western Europe. Other groups sometimes referred to as "neo-Manichaean" were the Paulician movement, which arose in Armenia,[58] and the Bogomils in Bulgaria.[34] An example of this usage can be found in the published edition of the Latin Cathar text, the Liber de duobus principiis (Book of the Two Principles), which was described as "Neo-Manichaean" by its publishers.[59] As there is no presence of Manichaean mythology or church terminology in the writings of these groups, there has been some dispute among historians as to whether these groups were descendants of Manichaeism.[60]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manichaeism


Part of the Cathar page.

quote:

Catharism (/ˈkæθərɪzəm/; from the Greek: καθαροί, katharoi, "the pure [ones]")[2][3] was a Christian dualist or Gnostic revival[4] movement that thrived in some areas of Southern Europe, particularly northern Italy and what is now southern France, between the 12th and 14th centuries. The followers were known as Cathars and are now mainly remembered for a prolonged period of persecution by the Catholic Church which did not recognise their belief as truly Christian. Catharism appeared in Europe in the Languedoc region of France in the 11th century and this is when the name first appears. The adherents were also sometimes known as Albigensians after the city Albi in southern France where the movement first took hold. The beliefs are believed to have been brought from Persia or the Byzantine Empire.
....
The idea of two Gods or principles, one being good and the other evil, was central to Cathar beliefs. The good God was the God of the New Testament and the creator of the spiritual realm, contrasted with the evil Old Testament God—the creator of the physical world whom many Cathars, and particularly their persecutors, identified as Satan.[citation needed] All visible matter, including the human body, was created by this evil god; matter was therefore tainted with sin. This was the antithetical to the monotheistic Catholic Church, whose fundamental principle was that there was only one God, who created all things visible and invisible.[9] Cathars thought human spirits were the genderless spirits of angels trapped within the physical creation of the evil god, destined to be reincarnated until they achieved salvation through the consolamentum.[10]

From the beginning of his reign, Pope Innocent III attempted to end Catharism by sending missionaries and by persuading the local authorities to act against them. In 1208 Innocent's papal legate Pierre de Castelnau was murdered while returning to Rome after excommunicating Count Raymond VI of Toulouse, who, in his view, was too lenient with the Cathars.[11] Pope Innocent III then abandoned the option of sending Catholic missionaries and jurists, declared Pierre de Castelnau a martyr and launched the Albigensian Crusade which all but ended Catharism.[11][12]
....

....
Theology[edit]

Some[who?] believe that the Catharist conception of Jesus resembled nontrinitarian modalistic monarchianism (Sabellianism) in the West and adoptionism in the East.[29][30]

Bernard of Clairvaux's biographer and other sources accuse some Cathars of Arianism,[31][32] and some scholars see Cathar Christology as having traces of earlier Arian roots.[33][34] According to some of their contemporary enemies[who?] Cathars did not accept the normative Trinitarian understanding of Jesus, but considered him the human form of an angel similar to Docetic Christology.[35] Zoé Oldenbourg (2000) compared the Cathars to "Western Buddhists" because she considered that their view of the doctrine of "resurrection" taught by Jesus was, in fact, similar to the Buddhist doctrine of reincarnation.[36] The Cathars taught that to regain angelic status one had to renounce the material self completely. Until one was prepared to do so, he/she would be stuck in a cycle of reincarnation, condemned to live on the corrupt Earth.[37]

The alleged sacred texts of the Cathars besides the New Testament, include The Gospel of the Secret Supper, or John's Interrogation and The Book of the Two Principles.[38]

Social relationships[edit]

Killing was abhorrent to the Cathars. Consequently, abstention from all animal food (sometimes exempting fish) was enjoined of the Perfecti. The Perfecti avoided eating anything considered to be a by-product of sexual reproduction.[25] War and capital punishment were also condemned—an abnormality in Medieval Europe. In a world where few could read, their rejection of oath-taking marked them as social outcasts.

Cathars also rejected marriage. This practice was based principally on the belief that the physical world, including the flesh, was irredeemably evil—as it stemmed from the evil principle or "demiurge".[39] Therefore, reproduction was viewed by them as a moral evil to be avoided—as it continued the chain of reincarnation and suffering in the material world. It was claimed by their opponents that, given this loathing for procreation, they generally resorted to sodomy. Such was the situation that a charge of heresy leveled against a suspected Cathar was usually dismissed if the accused could show he was legally married.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catharism


Here is a Brill book which quotes an orthodox document attacking the Cathars.

quote:

Feast, Fast or Famine: Food and Drink in Byzantium
Wendy Mayer, Silke Trzcionka
(BRILL, 2005)

There is no doubt that the rejection of meat-eating became a criterion for assessing heresy in Byzantium and the western Middle Ages. Writing against the Cathars in the twelfth century Eckbert of Schönau details ten charges against them and the second he says is the avoidance of meat:

those who have become full members of this sect avoid all meat. This is not for the same reason as monks and other followers of the spiritual life abstain from it: they say meat must be avoided because all flesh is born of coition and therefore they think it unclean.


The authors of the book then said.

quote:

The rejection of meat on the ground that it was a product of sexual relations and therefore unclean harks back to earlier statements attributed to Gnostic groups and the Manicheans.


Now, the thread author's text.

quote:

For those who don't know, Manicheanism is the belief that the material world is evil (having been created by an evil spirit such as Satan), but that human beings contain a spark of spirit that connects them to God.

In the early Christian era this was a common belief (so common that the Church fathers are constantly railing against it). Coupled with the belief that salvation could only be achieved by receiving some secret knowledge about Christ's teaching, this formed the basis of what we term 'Gnostic Christianity'.


On the "knowledge" or gnosis issue.

If one looks at the origins of the use then, I think it is instructive.

The whole issue of secret knowledge seems to be traced to what was presented as Jesus' REAL teachings and (IMO) is a form OR type of authentic "apostolic" tradition.

Call it "faith" in the actual teachings.

It seems to have been something of a way of combating perceived corruption and perversion of Jesus' actual teachings.

The Gospel of Thomas has Jesus telling people to go to James the Just for understanding of the proper or real teachings.

It has to do with authentic religion.

The Jewish Christianity teachings of Jesus and James.

Manichean's came later and did seem to reject Jewish scriptures (it isn't clear if that was much the case with the Jewish-Christians who followed James and who had many anti-Old Testament views that would later be a major part of Gnosticism) as perversions and instead liked Paul.

This whole Gnosis thing seems to have been simply a way of "knowing Jesus" and is more like "faith".

Just an issue of what is the true teachings of the religion (in a world of deception).


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Phat
Member
Posts: 10437
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 401 of 405 (825809)
12-18-2017 9:37 AM
Reply to: Message 400 by LamarkNewAge
12-16-2017 12:46 AM


Re: The Cathars are a more precise modern example of Manicherans and Gnostics.
LNA writes:

The Gospel of Thomas has Jesus telling people to go to James the Just for understanding of the proper or real teachings.

It has to do with authentic religion.

Who gets to define what is and is not authentic?

It is not a matter of going back in History. What is and is not authentic are being debated to this very day. In conclusion, there is no one teaching that can be labeled as authentic except in a personal sense of acceptance.


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 400 by LamarkNewAge, posted 12-16-2017 12:46 AM LamarkNewAge has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 402 by jar, posted 12-18-2017 9:45 AM Phat has not yet responded
 Message 403 by LamarkNewAge, posted 12-22-2017 12:58 AM Phat has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 29918
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 402 of 405 (825816)
12-18-2017 9:45 AM
Reply to: Message 401 by Phat
12-18-2017 9:37 AM


Re: The Cathars are a more precise modern example of Manicherans and Gnostics.
Phat writes:

In conclusion, there is no one teaching that can be labeled as authentic except in a personal sense of acceptance.

Change authentic to authoritative and you would be closer. Every version of every religion is authentic.


My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

This message is a reply to:
 Message 401 by Phat, posted 12-18-2017 9:37 AM Phat has not yet responded

  
LamarkNewAge
Member
Posts: 1085
Joined: 12-22-2015
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 403 of 405 (826091)
12-22-2017 12:58 AM
Reply to: Message 401 by Phat
12-18-2017 9:37 AM


Re: The Cathars are a more precise modern example of Manicherans and Gnostics.
quote:

Who gets to define what is and is not authentic?
It is not a matter of going back in History. What is and is not authentic are being debated to this very day. In conclusion, there is no one teaching that can be labeled as authentic except in a personal sense of acceptance.

I think that the Jewish Christians don't have a voice today (or the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, known as the "Gospel according to the Hebrews") so there is no debate.

They were doing just (and the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew) fine until the time of the "Christian" Roman Empire, but now aren't around.

There is no debate among "fundamentalists".

We saw what happened to the Cathars.

It seems that this group existed for perhaps 1000 years plus (though full-blown Manicheans were actually still around in the world back in the mid-13th century, or later, so they might have been a "recent" (in their time) chip off from Manichean teachings).

Then they were slaughtered.

I don't see today's Christianity as anything but the offshoot of the Roman Empire (and all of its offshoot governments and religions), and its only claim to being authentic TODAY amounts to little more than what is essentially winning - hands down - modern day popularity contests.

For 1700 years, today's "Christianity" won the bloodsports (the loosers didn't want to fight in the battle frankly), now the issue seems to be a popularity contest.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 401 by Phat, posted 12-18-2017 9:37 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 404 by Phat, posted 12-22-2017 3:20 AM LamarkNewAge has responded

    
Phat
Member
Posts: 10437
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 404 of 405 (826092)
12-22-2017 3:20 AM
Reply to: Message 403 by LamarkNewAge
12-22-2017 12:58 AM


Re: The Cathars are a more precise modern example of Manicherans and Gnostics.
Granted you are likely right. my question is why you are fascinated with the type of study (and googling) that you do. If modern Christianity is a watered down version of the original and if the original is likely extinct, what do you hope to learn and/or share with others regarding it all?

Do you consider yourself a Christian and...if so...which type?


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 403 by LamarkNewAge, posted 12-22-2017 12:58 AM LamarkNewAge has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 405 by LamarkNewAge, posted 12-23-2017 12:57 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
LamarkNewAge
Member
Posts: 1085
Joined: 12-22-2015
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 405 of 405 (826141)
12-23-2017 12:57 AM
Reply to: Message 404 by Phat
12-22-2017 3:20 AM


Re: The Cathars are a more precise modern example of Manicherans and Gnostics.
I see it as a "conflict of interests" to take a stand on any modern religion.

The interest is find out whatever truth there is to be found out.

I would give up if all we ever had, in terms of recovered documents, and knowledge, was what we presently have.

There is still hope that we can find out more about the founders of what became Christianity. (and other religions too)

There were a lot of peaceful versions of "Christianity", that had lots of good peaceful people, that were wiped out after the Roman Empire became "Christian".

Let us hope we can find all the destroyed documents still. (including the Hebrew version of Matthew, which seemed to disturb the Roman Empire "Christians")

(I find it amazing that any person can claim Christianity when the very documents and Gospels, that the religion was largely based on, were destroyed. Fundamentalists and all Christians should be very humble when so much of scripture is now - and has been for a very long time - totally missing. I know that MY OBSERVATIONS AND INTERPRETATION wasn't the reason for the "Christian" authorities destroying the documents in the first place, so my interpretation of the book burning and its implications for Christianity will be seen as misinterpreting and defeating the very purpose of the erasure in the first place. I think the absence of the important documents should render those wishing to style themselves "Christian" as jumping the gun. There just isn't enough information, despite what the preachers want people to think.)


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