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Author Topic:   Salvation vs. Helping Others
Stile
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Posts: 3044
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


(1)
Message 1 of 30 (545551)
02-04-2010 8:06 AM


This is a discussion that stems from a Coffee House discussion Message 26.

I am interested in learning what people's priorities are.
Perhaps even what you think the Bible's priorities are.

I originally stated the dilemma as "Recruitment vs. Being Good and Nice". The previous discussion with iano has helped formulate the following clarifications:

"Recruitment" - What I'm thinking of is making sure others specifically believe that they are reliant on Jesus Christ as the single necessary tool for personal salvation. Identification of "Jesus Christ" is mandatory.

"Being Good and Nice" - What I'm thinking of is helping other people. Just gernarally trying and wanting to be a good and nice person.

My preceeding discussion with iano has led to the following possibility that these two seemingly-different aspects are actually one-and-the-same, or maybe "one priority consisting of two parts" as iano puts it.
If, somehow, they are the same thing, then why isn't "being good and nice" treated in the same way as being reliant on Jesus Christ for salvation? That is, why would there exist any need to recruit anyone to Jesus Christ who is already good and nice? Unless, of course... the two are not the same priority...

The only reason recruitment is necessary for people who are already good and nice would be if being good and nice is not an equivalent priority as believing you are reliant on Jesus Christ for personal salvation.

This lead me to create a simple scenario in order to actually visualize which of the two parts is actually a bit more important:

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?

I am also interested in who you may think the Biblical Jesus Christ may go and talk to first.

I only have a superficial knowledge of the Bible, I certainly haven't studied it for years or anything like that.
Questions about the bible that I think may be of help for this discussion:

1. How many different parables did Jesus tell to other people when he was attempting to teach them lessons?
2. In those parables, how many parable-characters made sure that other people were recruited into specifically believing that they are reliant on Jesus Christ as the single necessary tool for salvation.
3. How many different times did Jesus identify himself to other people as the single necessary tool for salvation?
4. When attempting to teach others, would Jesus generally do both of these things? (Provide a parable and also identify himself as the single necessary tool for salvation?) If so, which did he do first?

Personally, I think that being good and nice is far and above any belief in Jesus Christ (or any other person or charcater) as personal saviour for any necessary salvation-purposes. I also think that Jesus Christ himself thinks this (but I admit my biblical knowledge is weak).

I am only looking for information, and for discussion.
I am not looking to be personally convinced about my personal salvation... my personal convictions do not rest on any of the answers to these questions. Even if believing in Jesus Christ really is the only way for personal salvation, I still put being good and nice as a higher priority than my own salvation. Such a thing can be judged as stupid or honourable, but again, my convictions do not rest on how others judge such things.

For "Bible Study", I think. Maybe "Faith and Belief".

Edited by Stile, : Hopefully adding clarity


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by ICANT, posted 02-05-2010 1:38 PM Stile has responded
 Message 4 by Peg, posted 02-05-2010 8:08 PM Stile has responded
 Message 5 by iano, posted 02-06-2010 11:55 AM Stile has responded
 Message 27 by mike the wiz, posted 06-19-2014 9:42 AM Stile has responded

    
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Message 2 of 30 (545756)
02-05-2010 7:38 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Salvation vs. Helping Others thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
ICANT
Member
Posts: 5627
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007


(1)
Message 3 of 30 (545806)
02-05-2010 1:38 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Stile
02-04-2010 8:06 AM


Re:What's Inportant
Hi Stile,

If you are sincere I will discuss this topic with you. You probably won't like the answers I give you and neither with most so call christians.

Stile writes:

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?

I would visit the person in the South building first, because my visit there would be very short.

His/her condition is probably hopeless. He/she has religion and believes many facts about Jesus but he/she has never met Jesus.

How do I know his/her condition? He/she doesn't have love for the brethren.

John writes:

1Jo 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not [his] brother abideth in death.

If a man/woman does not love his/her brother as much as he/she loves themself they are not born again, I don't care how religious he/she is.

So my mission would be to inform the person they was not born again and if he/she did not get it fixed he/she would spend eternity with the devil in the lake of fire.

Then I would visit the person in the North building and try to share with him/her God's plan of salvation as their good works would not secure it for them.

John writes:

Jhn 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Jhn 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Jhn 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

Stile writes:

I am also interested in who you may think the Biblical Jesus Christ may go and talk to first.

It makes no difference what I think Jesus is not here and unless he/she was of the lost house of Israel would not talk to him/her.

Matthew writes:

Mat 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Jesus came to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and all but 120 rejected Him. That 120 constituted the Church of Jesus Christ. He called them out and then taught them for over three years and then sent His Church into all the world to make believers, baptize them and then teach them all things He had taught them.

Stile writes:

1. How many different parables did Jesus tell to other people when he was attempting to teach them lessons?

There are some 57 parables recorded and many that were not recorded.

Stile writes:

2. In those parables, how many parable-characters made sure that other people were recruited into specifically believing that they are reliant on Jesus Christ as the single necessary tool for salvation.

Parables were lessons not evaganlistic messages so none that I know of.

Stile writes:

3. How many different times did Jesus identify himself to other people as the single necessary tool for salvation?

John writes:

Jhn 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

This was said to born again believers that were following Him every day, His disciples. They were the ones sent into the world to convince people to be believers.

Stile writes:

4. When attempting to teach others, would Jesus generally do both of these things? (Provide a parable and also identify himself as the single necessary tool for salvation?) If so, which did he do first?

You have a weird idea of what Jesus came to do. He did not come to evangalize the world.

He came to the lost sheep of the house of Israel to fulfill a promise to Abraham.

He came to prepare His Church to be able to evangalize the world.

He came to restore mankind to a right relationship with God. The only way to do that was to offer Himself a sacrifice on the cross of Calvary.

Hebrews Writer writes:

Hbr 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Stile writes:

Personally, I think that being good and nice is far and above any belief in Jesus Christ (or any other person or charcater) as personal saviour for any necessary salvation-purposes. I also think that Jesus Christ himself thinks this (but I admit my biblical knowledge is weak).

The first three words, "Personally, I think" are the key.

What difference does it make what you think?

Old Testament writes:

Lam 3:26 [It is] good that [a man] should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.

New Testament writes:

Jon 2:9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay [that] that I have vowed. Salvation [is] of the LORD.

Salvation belongs to God and He can give it to whoever He chooses.

He chose to give it to all those who would accept the offer of His free full pardon paid for on the cross of Calvary by Jesus. No one will receive it that does not accept it.

Salvation is not yours to decide how you get it, makes no difference what you think. You can either accept God's salvation or reject it. That is your only choice.

Stile writes:

Even if believing in Jesus Christ really is the only way for personal salvation, I still put being good and nice as a higher priority than my own salvation. Such a thing can be judged as stupid or honourable, but again, my convictions do not rest on how others judge such things.

You must accept God's offer of a free full pardon to receive God's salvation and there is no way to do that if you do not believe in Jesus Christ, as you have to accept what He did in His death, burial and resurrection.

Concerning your being good and nice Jesus said:

Matthew writes:

7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

The will of God is:

Peter writes:

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

In other words quit doing it your way and do it God's way.

Since you are depending on what you can do and not what God can and will do for you I conclude.

According to God's Word when you stand face to face with Him He will say, "I never knew you depart from me, ye that work iniquity".

We have had many conversations where you put being good and doing good things as your God.

Would you tell me what you base this belief on?

God Bless,


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
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 6 by Stile, posted 02-09-2010 3:58 PM ICANT has not yet responded
 Message 7 by Stile, posted 02-15-2010 12:04 PM ICANT has not yet responded

    
Peg
Member (Idle past 2544 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 4 of 30 (545866)
02-05-2010 8:08 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Stile
02-04-2010 8:06 AM


Hi Stile,

Stile writes:

My preceeding discussion with iano has led to the following possibility that these two seemingly-different aspects are actually one-and-the-same, or maybe "one priority consisting of two parts" as iano puts it.

I would have to agree with iano on that point. Being a follower of Christ puts upon a christian an obligation to love his neighbour. Infact, this obligation is so binding that the scriptures tell us that

"If anyone makes the statement: ‘I love God,’ and yet is hating his brother, he is a liar. For he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot be loving God, whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him, that the one who loves God should be loving his brother also.” 1 John 4:20, 21.

Stile writes:

I am also interested in who you may think the Biblical Jesus Christ may go and talk to first.

Jesus spoke to both. He went to the self righteous religious people and to the poor lowly and downtrodden sinners. Jesus hope was that all people would acknowlege their sinfulness and turn to God in repentence.

On the other hand, Jesus did not always openly impart understanding to those whom he did not feel were deserving. He could openly see who's heart was right toward God and who's heart was dark which is why he spoke in parables and illustrations. This is why said "Do not give what is holy to dogs, neither throw your pearls before swine.” Matt. 7:6

So Jesus can see a good person from a bad person and like you, he knows how to make that distinction. But that judgement is not for us to make. As christians, we are obligated to impart biblical truth to all people. But it is up to Jesus to judge them based on what they do with that knowledge.

Stile writes:

3. How many different times did Jesus identify himself to other people as the single necessary tool for salvation?

He did this very few times. The reason is that he wanted people to draw their own conclusion as to his identity. He didnt want to tell them that he was the Messiah, thus obligating them to believe, he wanted them to accept him based on their faith. They saw his miracles for themselves and these were enough for a good hearted person to put faith in him.

But not all people did not put faith in him even though they saw his miracles because their hearts were not inclined toward goodness.

Stile writes:

4. When attempting to teach others, would Jesus generally do both of these things? (Provide a parable and also identify himself as the single necessary tool for salvation?) If so, which did he do first?

the parable always came first. The reason why he spoke illustrations was as he told his diciples at Matthew 13:10“This is why I speak to them by the use of illustrations, because, looking, they look in vain, and hearing, they hear in vain, neither do they get the sense of it; and toward them the prophecy of Isaiah is having fulfillment, which says, ‘By hearing, you will hear but by no means get the sense of it; and, looking, you will look but by no means see. For the heart of this people has grown unreceptive.’

Notice he said that their 'hearts had grown unreceptive' ?

So only good hearted people would get the sense of Jesus teaching and they would be drawn to him by faith whereas a person with an unceptive heart would not be moved by Jesus teaching, nor would they demonstrate any faith in who he was.

Of course this doesnt mean that everyone who claims to believe in Jesus is going to be a good person either. We know that there are many people who claim to be christians who obviously are not. But the point is that Jesus knows who these ones are and in time he will deal with them.


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 8 by Stile, posted 02-15-2010 12:14 PM Peg has responded

    
iano
Member (Idle past 798 days)
Posts: 6164
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 5 of 30 (545928)
02-06-2010 11:55 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Stile
02-04-2010 8:06 AM


Fish or Fishermen: that is the question
Stile writes:

I am interested in learning what people's priorities are.
Perhaps even what you think the Bible's priorities are.

As stated in the originating thread, there are two possible ways to interpret your query. The first way would focus on the priorities of the evangelist in his fishing for men. Should such a fisherman;

a) ..seek that the 'fish' understand Jesus Christ to be his (the fishes) savior unto salvation?

b) ..seek to do good work for the fish in the hope that this (the fishers) light shining on the fish will affect and influence the fish unto salvation?

To this I responded that both elements have their place in the armoury of the fisherman. Both are proscribed by Jesus as tools to be used in the task of fishing for men. The focus wasn't on the activity/belief of the fish. This confusion:

If, somehow, they are the same thing, then why isn't "being good and nice" treated in the same way as being reliant on Jesus Christ for salvation? That is, why would there exist any need to recruit anyone to Jesus Christ who is already good and nice? Unless, of course... the two are not the same priority...

...should now be cleared up. Your focus appears to be on the fish here, whereas I was suggesting a [i]fisherman[i/] could be expected to combine both evangelising Christ & doing good work in his fishing activity.

-

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?

A couple of questions by way of clarification:

1) At 'You are in the centre of a street' I take the 'You' to mean a fisher of men?

2) Are we to assume that the guy in the North building is currently lost? I don't believe a person necessarily has to have heard of Jesus Christ in order to be saved (I point to the characters in the Old Testament for precedence). Given that, and that a persons good works are not held as relevant to the issue of their salvation, we can't tell what this persons current status is.

3) The same question goes for the guy in the South building. If he is saved then his belief in Christ-as-saviour arises out of his being saved (it's not just the product of eg: cultural Christianity). His lack of works not being relevant to the issue of his salvation (if he is saved), we don't need to prioritise him from a fishing sense. We might, as I said previously, inquire as to why it is he is not fulfilling the tasks his master has set him - but that would be secondary to a fishing expedition.

You can see my dilemma - there simply isn't enough information to answer your question. To recap:

- good works don't result in salvation, no good works don't prevent salvation and no good works don't preclude one remaining saved once saved.

- "knowing Jesus Christ as your saviour" isn't a requirement for salvation. "Knowing Jesus Christ as your saviour", if the produce of eg: cultural Christianity, is salvifically useless .

Given the lack of specific information, both people can be considered 'potentially lost' for want of further info. Both occupy equal priority in the sight of a fisherman.

-

1. How many different parables did Jesus tell to other people when he was attempting to teach them lessons?
2. In those parables, how many parable-characters made sure that other people were recruited into specifically believing that they are reliant on Jesus Christ as the single necessary tool for salvation.
3. How many different times did Jesus identify himself to other people as the single necessary tool for salvation?
4. When attempting to teach others, would Jesus generally do both of these things? (Provide a parable and also identify himself as the single necessary tool for salvation?) If so, which did he do first?

I'm no great Bible student either so I'll leave these (large) questions to others.

-

Personally, I think that being good and nice is far and above any belief in Jesus Christ (or any other person or charcater) as personal saviour for any necessary salvation-purposes. I also think that Jesus Christ himself thinks this (but I admit my biblical knowledge is weak).

I'd agree he can be read this way.

One of my favorite passages for his indicating salvation not only not by good work - but impossible by good work - is his dealing with the Rich Ruler at Luke 18. Yet this passage can be easily read from the perspective of Jesus pointing to salvation by works.

The problem for the "workist" however, is that he has difficulty reconciling that interpretation of Jesus at Luke 18 with Paul's clear statements regarding salvation by grace without works.

-

Even if believing in Jesus Christ really is the only way for personal salvation, I still put being good and nice as a higher priority than my own salvation. Such a thing can be judged as stupid or honourable, but again, my convictions do not rest on how others judge such things.

It would more likely be judged as prideful - by God - if God is the one who has provided for your salvation in Jesus.

When the God of Creation says that your righteous acts are as "filthy rags" and you disagree and call them stupid or honourable then you are placing your opinion regarding your good work above his. I mean, what else but pride would tell God that you place your perogative for you above his for you?

Edited by iano, : No reason given.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


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 9 by Stile, posted 02-15-2010 12:39 PM iano has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3044
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 6 of 30 (546264)
02-09-2010 3:58 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by ICANT
02-05-2010 1:38 PM


Whoops... be back soon
Sorry guys (to all 3 of you), I did not intend to start a thread and not participate for so long. Such is life

Thanks for all of your input, but I am forced to apologize and hope that I can reply soon in the next few days.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by ICANT, posted 02-05-2010 1:38 PM ICANT has not yet responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3044
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


(1)
Message 7 of 30 (546968)
02-15-2010 12:04 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by ICANT
02-05-2010 1:38 PM


What's Inportant
Hi ICANT, just a few notes:

ICANT writes:

You probably won't like the answers I give you...

Don't worry about it, I'm good

On Person in South building:
(Knowledge of Jesus Christ, but doesn't help other people)

He/she has religion and believes many facts about Jesus but he/she has never met Jesus.

How do I know his/her condition? He/she doesn't have love for the brethren.

(Bolding is by Stile)

Here you seem to equate "meeting Jesus" with "having love for the brethren". I think that's a great similarity to attract attention.

On what and how Jesus preached to other people:

Parables were lessons not evaganlistic messages so none that I know of.

I agree very much that parables were lessons and not recruitment techniques. Interesting how Jesus spent so much time on those lessons as opposed to the recruitment techniques.

This was said to born again believers that were following Him every day, His disciples. They were the ones sent into the world to convince people to be believers.

Jesus spoke Jhn 14:6 to his desciples every day, you say? Is there any biblical record noting that Jesus said such a thing every single day? If recruitment was so important, why wouldn't Jesus teach about recruitment whenever large groups gathered around him? Why would he talk in parables about lessons instead? Perhaps the priority from Jesus is more about lessons and having love for the brethren.

If, as you seemed to equate above, "meeting Jesus" is similar to "having love for the brethren"... then isn't it possible that when Jesus tells his disciples that "no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" he may actually be talking about that similarity? Is it possible that Jesus meant that no one comes to God except for by having love for the brethren? Isn't that what most of the parable lessons were about? Isn't that what Jesus himself decided to focus on whenever he had a large group of people around that wanted to listen to him speak?

You have a weird idea of what Jesus came to do. He did not come to evangalize the world.

He came to the lost sheep of the house of Israel to fulfill a promise to Abraham.

He came to prepare His Church to be able to evangalize the world.

He came to restore mankind to a right relationship with God. The only way to do that was to offer Himself a sacrifice on the cross of Calvary.

I think Jesus came to teach people how to love their brethren. Does that sound so weird?

I think that all that other stuff was simply to shock others into taking time to look at what Jesus has done and said. Just attention-grabbers, really. Why else would an all powerful God require any sort of sacrifice? It makes a lot of sense if that sacrifice was a fireworks show in order to get people's attention towards the lessons that Jesus focused on.

The attention seems to have worked. But maybe what Jesus focused on is still getting a bit lost.

The first three words, "Personally, I think" are the key.

What difference does it make what you think?

None at all. It is interesting, though. Hopefully thought-provoking, for someone.

Salvation is not yours to decide how you get it, makes no difference what you think. You can either accept God's salvation or reject it. That is your only choice.

Exactly. The choice for each and every one of us.
Do you think that placing importance on the same things that Jesus seemed to place importance on is an act of rejecting God's salvation?

You must accept God's offer of a free full pardon to receive God's salvation and there is no way to do that if you do not believe in Jesus Christ, as you have to accept what He did in His death, burial and resurrection.

I don't think this is true.
I think you have mis-interpreted the Bible and the lessons held within. But don't mind what I think, we have already discovered that it doesn't matter. Each and every one of us needs to rely on what we all personally think is true. Not on what other people tell us. Afterall, Jesus wrote such things on our hearts, didn't he?

In other words quit doing it your way and do it God's way.

I'm not doing it my way. God wrote His way upon my heart, don't you believe that? So, if I'm doing what my heart is telling me is honest and right... isn't that doing it God's way? I don't think that following what you say is following what's written on my heart.

We have had many conversations where you put being good and doing good things as your God.

Would you tell me what you base this belief on?

It is all based upon what's written on my heart as the right thing to do.

I honestly believe that it is good to help other people and bad to hurt other people. I have not heard of anything more important, even from the Bible. I have not heard of any higher-worthy priority to follow, even from ICANT or anyone else who's attempted to have me believe something that doesn't seem true.

It is my belief that trying to be good and trying to avoid hurting others is much more important than any knowledge of Jesus Christ or any other possible event or historic knowledge. Such things just seem to take away from helping those who require help.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by ICANT, posted 02-05-2010 1:38 PM ICANT has not yet responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3044
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 8 of 30 (546971)
02-15-2010 12:14 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Peg
02-05-2010 8:08 PM


So, North or South?
Peg writes:

Stile writes:

My preceeding discussion with iano has led to the following possibility that these two seemingly-different aspects are actually one-and-the-same, or maybe "one priority consisting of two parts" as iano puts it.

I would have to agree with iano on that point.

Okay. So, who would you visit first? The man in the North building or the man in the South building? Or, are you telling me that you would not visit either of them?

Peg writes:

Stile writes:

3. How many different times did Jesus identify himself to other people as the single necessary tool for salvation?

He did this very few times.

I thought so.

Peg writes:

Stile writes:

4. When attempting to teach others, would Jesus generally do both of these things? (Provide a parable and also identify himself as the single necessary tool for salvation?) If so, which did he do first?

the parable always came first.

Right.

I think he did things this way because this is what Jesus thought was more important. I think Jesus focused more on being a good person and loving your neighbour than he did on having faith in him or believing he was God.

Like you said, Jesus rarely identified himself as he'd rather let his message do the talking and have others make up their own minds about him. Shouldn't we do the same? Shouldn't we rarely identify Jesus Christ or any other background reasoning/information and focus on the message of being good and nice?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Peg, posted 02-05-2010 8:08 PM Peg has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Peg, posted 02-15-2010 6:48 PM Stile has responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3044
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 9 of 30 (546973)
02-15-2010 12:39 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by iano
02-06-2010 11:55 AM


Re: Fish or Fishermen: that is the question
I'm not trying to divide between fish (non-evangelists) or fishermen (evangelist). I am trying to divide the importance of general knowledge of being a good person vs. specific knowledge about Jesus Christ.

iano writes:

1) At 'You are in the centre of a street' I take the 'You' to mean a fisher of men?

I mean "You" to be "anyone who would like to answer the question."

2) Are we to assume that the guy in the North building is currently lost? I don't believe a person necessarily has to have heard of Jesus Christ in order to be saved (I point to the characters in the Old Testament for precedence). Given that, and that a persons good works are not held as relevant to the issue of their salvation, we can't tell what this persons current status is.

No, you are not to assume anything. You are to accept the situation and make a decision. The situation is attempting to resemble real-life decisions. In real-life, we generally do not know what any stranger's "current status" is. Why should this question be any easier?

You can see my dilemma - there simply isn't enough information to answer your question.

Hopefully, you can see why it is this way... because you generally do not have such information in real-life anyway. What good is knowing what to do when you have all the information if you generally do not have any of the information when you need to make the decision in real-life anyway?

- good works don't result in salvation, no good works don't prevent salvation and no good works don't preclude one remaining saved once saved.

- "knowing Jesus Christ as your saviour" isn't a requirement for salvation. "Knowing Jesus Christ as your saviour", if the produce of eg: cultural Christianity, is salvifically useless .

Given the lack of specific information, both people can be considered 'potentially lost' for want of further info. Both occupy equal priority in the sight of a fisherman.

I agree. Jesus Christ and God can do whatever they like with their gifts of salvation. What does this have to do with whether or not we should try to be good people? It is not honourable to try and be a good person just because it's a part of salvation. In fact, one should really try to be a good person regardless of personal salvation. Doesn't that seem selfless? Isn't being selfless a good thing?

One of my favorite passages for his indicating salvation not only not by good work - but impossible by good work - is his dealing with the Rich Ruler at Luke 18. Yet this passage can be easily read from the perspective of Jesus pointing to salvation by works.

I'm really not trying to talk about salvation. I couldn't care less about what some God may or may not judge my life as. I care about being a good person. I think Jesus Christ cared about being a person. I think that Jesus Christ focused his morals and speeches on how to be a good person. I think that the Bible's talk of Jesus Christ as God and his death and resurrection is an attention-grabbing fireworks show in order to bring people over so that they can see Jesus' life and lessons on how to be a good person.

I do agree, though, that no one should try to be a good person in order to gain salvation. Such a thing is fake and obviously "not good". How can someone "be good" (selfless) if they are trying to attain salvation (be selfish)? It doesn't make any sense.

iano writes:

Stile writes:

Even if believing in Jesus Christ really is the only way for personal salvation, I still put being good and nice as a higher priority than my own salvation. Such a thing can be judged as stupid or honourable, but again, my convictions do not rest on how others judge such things.

It would more likely be judged as prideful - by God - if God is the one who has provided for your salvation in Jesus.

Perhaps. I don't think so, but I don't really care either.

When the God of Creation says that your righteous acts are as "filthy rags" and you disagree and call them stupid or honourable then you are placing your opinion regarding your good work above his.

I would never call God stupid. What I said is that God could call me stupid... and I just don't care.

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?

We all do what we think is right. You may phrase it as "I'm doing what I think God wants me to do..." but it's still what you think is right. I can't just ignore what my heart is honestly saying is right and just take the advice of iano's heart... that doesn't move forward at all. That's simply lazy.

I am forced to do whatever it is I think is right until such a time that God enlightens me. It is possible that God may attempt to enlighten me through iano... but it is also possible that iano may attempt to lead me astray. So, again, I am left with doing what I honestly feel is right, until such a time that God illuminates His desires to me.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by iano, posted 02-06-2010 11:55 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by iano, posted 02-16-2010 12:27 PM Stile has responded

    
Peg
Member (Idle past 2544 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


(1)
Message 10 of 30 (547011)
02-15-2010 6:48 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Stile
02-15-2010 12:14 PM


Re: So, North or South?
stile writes:

So, who would you visit first? The man in the North building or the man in the South building? Or, are you telling me that you would not visit either of them?

I would not differentiate between them, thats not a christians job. I would visit both but probably be able to spend more time with the nice person because a nice person would welcome the visit whereas the other guy would likely send me on my way.

the point is, we are not judges.

Stile writes:

Like you said, Jesus rarely identified himself as he'd rather let his message do the talking and have others make up their own minds about him. Shouldn't we do the same? Shouldn't we rarely identify Jesus Christ or any other background reasoning/information and focus on the message of being good and nice?

i agree that our conduct is more important then out knowledge. If i have lots of knowlege about God but still behave indecently, of what good is the knowledge to me or anyone else? Its worthless.

But knowledge is important if we are to use our powers of reason. To worship God and live the life of a christian, we must have a reason to do so. Without accurate knowledge, our reasons may not be good enough to keep us focused on such a life. Or, the wrong knowledge may actually move us to do things that are in opposition to God, such as blowing up planes and buildings for instance.

So Jesus was very big on his followers taking in accurate knowlege...he even said so at John 17:3
“This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.”


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Stile, posted 02-15-2010 12:14 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by Stile, posted 02-16-2010 7:24 AM Peg has responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3044
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 11 of 30 (547093)
02-16-2010 7:24 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Peg
02-15-2010 6:48 PM


Re: So, North or South?
Peg writes:

Stile writes:

So, who would you visit first? The man in the North building or the man in the South building? Or, are you telling me that you would not visit either of them?

I would not differentiate between them, thats not a christians job. I would visit both but probably be able to spend more time with the nice person because a nice person would welcome the visit whereas the other guy would likely send me on my way.

the point is, we are not judges.

If you do not want to answer the question, that is acceptable. I understand that you would visit both, most people would. The question isn't whether or not you care to talk to both of them... the question is who do you go to see first?

If you are not a judge, how do you possibly post on this site or do anything at all? Obviously you're judging that posting on this site (or any of the other things you do) are acceptable behaviour, or (at least) something that you cannot avoid doing. If you would like to answer the question, please treat this situation in the same way as you treat all other aspects of your life.

It is acceptable if you don't want to answer, though.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Peg, posted 02-15-2010 6:48 PM Peg has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Peg, posted 02-17-2010 3:06 AM Stile has responded

    
iano
Member (Idle past 798 days)
Posts: 6164
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 12 of 30 (547111)
02-16-2010 12:27 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Stile
02-15-2010 12:39 PM


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

No, you are not to assume anything. You are to accept the situation and make a decision. The situation is attempting to resemble real-life decisions. In real-life, we generally do not know what any stranger's "current status" is. Why should this question be any easier?

Fair enough. As pointed out, the information supplied doesn't allow me (a fisher of men) to conclude the lost/found status of either person. Either could be lost, either could be found.

The safest thing to do is conclude them both lost - which doesn't help me prioritise which one to approach first.

-

I agree. Jesus Christ and God can do whatever they like with their gifts of salvation. What does this have to do with whether or not we should try to be good people? It is not honourable to try and be a good person just because it's a part of salvation. In fact, one should really try to be a good person regardless of personal salvation. Doesn't that seem selfless? Isn't being selfless a good thing?

You said..

quote:
I mean "You" to be "anyone who would like to answer the question."

This 'You' is looking at the situation from the point of view of a fisher of men. I can't think of any equi-significant reason to be interested in what the folk in either tower are believing/doing outside of the part those things play in their eternal destination. So what if they "do good", so what if they "know lots" about Jesus Christ?

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. IF the God-given urging to do good is aimed only at illustrating for/to you that you can't actually live up to that urge. THEN twisting his intent so as to harmonise that urge with some or other contra-God philosophy isn't selfless or good. It's self-centred ("my philosophy should rule OK") and evil.

A found person does good as a consequence of having been found. Not as a means of gaining salvation in the first place. I've already made that clear - or thought I did - so am not quite sure why you're supposing my suggesting doing good be 'a part' of salvation*.

-

I'm really not trying to talk about salvation. I couldn't care less about what some God may or may not judge my life as. I care about being a good person. I think Jesus Christ cared about being a [insert: good] person. I think that Jesus Christ focused his morals and speeches on how to be a good person. I think that the Bible's talk of Jesus Christ as God and his death and resurrection is an attention-grabbing fireworks show in order to bring people over so that they can see Jesus' life and lessons on how to be a good person.

You're entitled to edit out whatever bits you like so as to arrive at whatever conclusion you like. Dealing with the whole however, shouldn't cause you to arrive at this "Jesus was a moral teacher" terminus. Jesus' message did indeed exhort man to live a good live.

Or else

Which is where salvation raises it's head. You can't live the life he demanded. Which leaves you facing the 'or else'.

Or else

I do agree, though, that no one should try to be a good person in order to gain salvation. Such a thing is fake and obviously "not good". How can someone "be good" (selfless) if they are trying to attain salvation (be selfish)? It doesn't make any sense.

* Fair enough

Although I don't think trying to save yourself is a selfish thing to do. So long as you don't step on others heads in order to get there I mean.

-

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?

I believe that everyman has available to him a knowledge of good and evil. Written on his heart if you like. If you followed what God thought good then you would be fine: saved come that day. But you don't. You won't. For alongside the knowledge of good and evil made available to you is a desire to sin.

We all do what we think is right. You may phrase it as "I'm doing what I think God wants me to do..." but it's still what you think is right. I can't just ignore what my heart is honestly saying is right and just take the advice of iano's heart... that doesn't move forward at all. That's simply lazy.

You know what's right and why it's right. But you find you can't actually do it. Not all the time. I'm in the same boat as you. Everyone is.

I am forced to do whatever it is I think is right until such a time that God enlightens me. It is possible that God may attempt to enlighten me through iano... but it is also possible that iano may attempt to lead me astray. So, again, I am left with doing what I honestly feel is right, until such a time that God illuminates His desires to me.

And how, precisely, do you deal with your doing what you know to be wrong? You don't have to listen to me - you only have to listen to you.

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. About the most ludicrous one in my memory is the time when I was handling a stolen motorbike - converting it to legit, in other words. I remember laughing at the magnetic Holy Medal of Mary stuck under the seat right beside the wiring that had been cut to disable the alarm. "That didn't do you much good" I thought to myself. A few days later, someone had it away with my own motorcycle. My pride and joy. And I was livid: "the filthy, thieving b'tards - if I could only get my frikkin hands on them I'd wring their necks.."

Honestly, I carried this off without even a hint of internal conflict.

Suppression: a sinners flexible friend.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Stile, posted 02-15-2010 12:39 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by Stile, posted 02-16-2010 2:15 PM iano has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3044
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 13 of 30 (547132)
02-16-2010 2:15 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by iano
02-16-2010 12:27 PM


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

Either could be lost, either could be found.

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.

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.

IF the God-given urging to do good is aimed only at illustrating for/to you that you can't actually live up to that urge. THEN twisting his intent so as to harmonise that urge with some or other contra-God philosophy isn't selfless or good. It's self-centred ("my philosophy should rule OK") and evil.

Agreed. But, so what? It's a huge "IF", don't you think?

IF the urge to do good is from an evil over-lord, then it's bad to do good things, right?

We can come up with "what if's" all day long. 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.

Dealing with the whole however, shouldn't cause you to arrive at this "Jesus was a moral teacher" terminus.

Oh? Are you able to show why?

Jesus' message did indeed exhort man to live a good live.

Or else

Which is where salvation raises it's head. You can't live the life he demanded. Which leaves you facing the 'or else'.

Or else

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.

But, it doesn't really matter. There's entire religions based around something similar to your interpretation of the Bible, and entire religions based around something similar to my interpretation of the Bible. Obviously it's rather open to interpretation. Therefore... 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.

You know what's right and why it's right. But you find you can't actually do it. Not all the time. I'm in the same boat as you. Everyone is.

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.

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.

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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by iano, posted 02-16-2010 12:27 PM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by iano, posted 02-17-2010 5:06 PM Stile has responded

    
Peg
Member (Idle past 2544 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 14 of 30 (547189)
02-17-2010 3:06 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Stile
02-16-2010 7:24 AM


Re: So, North or South?
im sorry, i thought i did answer the question.

Perhaps the question is more complicated then it looks. Exactly what are you asking?

Would i visit a person i knew was nice over a person i knew was not?

i can tell you now that I have been in the situation where I have knocked on a persons door whom i knew was not a nice person. The point is, we go to them anyway because we are not there to judge them as good or bad.

Christians should leave the judging to someone who is above reproach... and there is no christian who is above reproach except Jesus.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Stile, posted 02-16-2010 7:24 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Stile, posted 02-17-2010 12:39 PM Peg has not yet responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3044
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 15 of 30 (547230)
02-17-2010 12:39 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Peg
02-17-2010 3:06 AM


Re: So, North or South?
Peg writes:

Exactly what are you asking?

Would i visit a person i knew was nice over a person i knew was not?

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 simlar 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."


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Peg, posted 02-17-2010 3:06 AM Peg has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by Phat, posted 06-15-2014 7:56 AM Stile has responded

    
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