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Author Topic:   Living According to Christ: Is it Reasonable?
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 31 of 122 (603318)
02-03-2011 6:18 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by jaywill
02-03-2011 6:00 PM


Relevant?
I'm not sure I can see how any of this is relevant to the topic at hand. Perhaps you could help me understand how it is related by trying to tie in some of your interpretations with the issues of modern-day living and the teachings Jesus gave on how his followers should live.
Jon

Check out No webpage found at provided URL: Apollo's Temple!
Ignorance is temporary; you should be able to overcome it. - nwr

This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by jaywill, posted 02-03-2011 6:00 PM jaywill has not replied

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 32 of 122 (603319)
02-03-2011 6:24 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by jaywill
02-03-2011 6:17 PM


Re: The Messenger vs. the Message
quote:
Would it then be unreasonable to expect anyone other than Jesus to live according to these instructions?
I would not expect anyone to approach this kind of experience early in their Christian life. It depends upon how deep their surrender and consecration are.
I would expect that after time and considerable maturing one would approach these kinds of expressions.
So then is it reasonable or not?
It is a matter of abiding in a living Jesus who more and more fills the soul.
Is there anything within the text that you believe justifies this interpretation of the teachings I've quoted?
Let's take my own experience. I am not where I would like to be. Nor am I where I should be. But I thank God that I know I am not where I use to be.
I could look back and see how Christ has wrought His personality into mine. There certainly are chambers of my heart which I still need to surrender to Him. And I certainly know others who are further along in this growth of life.
History has many testimonies recent and old of men and women, boys and girls who reacted with the life of Jesus in wonderful ways.
You see to some extent evangelical mainstream Christianity has given a wrong impression. Some preachers have made the impression that to become a Christian is "having arrived." One has his "ticket". But what we see in the New Testament is God desire that those forgiven become overcomers - "more than conquerers"
This maturing is a matter of growth. There is no instantaneous spiritual maturity. Though we may receive the redemption and the gift of eternal life in a second, sanctification, transformation, conformation take a life time.
This still doesn't address to what degree it is reasonable to live according to the teachings. Have you anything to say on that matter?
Jon

Check out No webpage found at provided URL: Apollo's Temple!
Ignorance is temporary; you should be able to overcome it. - nwr

This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by jaywill, posted 02-03-2011 6:17 PM jaywill has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by jaywill, posted 02-04-2011 1:54 AM Jon has replied

jaywill
Member (Idle past 1992 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 33 of 122 (603320)
02-03-2011 6:35 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by Jon
02-03-2011 4:31 PM


Re: The Messenger vs. the Message
quote:
Now concerning virgins, I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy. I think that, in view of the impending crisis, it is well for you to remain as you are. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you marry, you do not sin, and if a virgin marries, she does not sin. Yet those who marry will experience distress in this life, and I would spare you that. I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.
This is the Apostle Paul carefully discriminating between his personal opinion and a command of the Lord.
He is careful to inform us of when he is giving his opinion as opposed to the command of Christ. He is not being legal about remaining unmarried.
To make a legality of celibacy has led to problems in church history. Recent scandels of child molestation by clerics have borne that out. Paul prophesied that such teachings legally forbidding marriage were "doctrines of demons".
We are glad that such damage cannot be blamed on the New Testament.
Paul wished more were as he was. But it was not a legality that they remain unmarried. He says some have the gift and some do not. Or latter he says some have one kind of gift and some another.
And perhaps he meant some have a gift to remain single and some have a gift to be a spouse. I am not sure.
This fellowship of Paul is real practical.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by Jon, posted 02-03-2011 4:31 PM Jon has not replied

jaywill
Member (Idle past 1992 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 34 of 122 (603369)
02-04-2011 1:54 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by Jon
02-03-2011 6:24 PM


Re: The Messenger vs. the Message
The New Testament is relevant to today. A few difficult sayings of Jesus do not render the Christian faith no longer relevant.
Opposers of the Gospel and those rejecting Christ as Lord tend to view the whole Gospel as not reasonable.
Those who cried out "Crucify, crucify Him" 2,000 years ago and those who oppose Him in 2011 AD for the most part both regard Jesus with the same amount of "unreasonableness" and "irrelevance".
The difficult sayings of Jesus the modern day disciples get assistance in wisdom how they should be understood by the example of the very mature apostles who went before us pioneering the way to live Christ.
And Paul tells the Christians "All Scripture is God breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof [conviction], for correction for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God man be complete, fully equiped for every good work."
Disbelief in the Son of God is damaging personally and socially in the modern age. Some skeptics cherry pick through some difficult sayings of Jesus as a rational to prove Jesus is no longer relevant. This analysis is more often frought with anti Christian bias and what I would call "the rush to misunderstand".
Ie. "The Mistakes of Jesus" a skeptical book of the early 70s.
The teaching of Jesus also include His promise that the Holy Spirit would lead the disciples into all of the truth. Without the guidance of the Holy Spirit some words of Jesus can be twisted, misapplied, warped, and wrenched from reasonable context. The larger and whole tenor of Scripture is needed.
Some words of Jesus can be made to appear cultic, heterodox, or fuel for skeptical arguments reasoning that Jesus Christ should not be trusted.
"By their fruits you shall know them" . The exemplary interpreters of the Gospel are not necessarily known by how accurately they can quote Bible verses.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by Jon, posted 02-03-2011 6:24 PM Jon has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by Jon, posted 02-04-2011 10:59 AM jaywill has replied

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 35 of 122 (603384)
02-04-2011 10:59 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by jaywill
02-04-2011 1:54 AM


Re: The Messenger vs. the Message
You're still not addressing the issue. There are teachings which clearly instruct folk to give up all they have; not to worry about what they will eat; to hate their family as a true sign of fellowship in Jesus' group:
quote:
Mark 10:21—28 (NRSV):
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, 'You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.' When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, 'How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!' And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, 'Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.' They were greatly astounded and said to one another, 'Then who can be saved?' Jesus looked at them and said, 'For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.'
Peter began to say to him, 'Look, we have left everything and followed you.' Jesus said, 'Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this agehouses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutionsand in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.'
quote:
Matt. 6:19—21, 25—34 (NRSV):
'Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
...
'Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe youyou of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, "What will we eat?" or "What will we drink?" or "What will we wear?" For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
'So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today.
quote:
Luke 14:26 (NRSV):
Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.
How do you reconcile these instructions with the demands of modern life? How do you observe these teachings in a way that does not detract from them?
Jon

Check out No webpage found at provided URL: Apollo's Temple!
Ignorance is temporary; you should be able to overcome it. - nwr

This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by jaywill, posted 02-04-2011 1:54 AM jaywill has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by jaywill, posted 02-04-2011 1:43 PM Jon has replied

jaywill
Member (Idle past 1992 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 36 of 122 (603454)
02-04-2011 1:43 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by Jon
02-04-2011 10:59 AM


Re: The Messenger vs. the Message
quote:
You're still not addressing the issue. There are teachings which clearly instruct folk to give up all they have; not to worry about what they will eat; to hate their family as a true sign of fellowship in Jesus' group:
Fewer examples helps. But I do not agree that the question is not addressed. Perhaps you don't like the responses. I'll write a little more touching the modern day experience of some of us lovers of Jesus
Jesus looked at them so as to indicate that His redemptive death and life imparting resurrection was yet to be accomplished.
All is impossible with man in following Jesus. Jesus must redeem man and be dispensed into man. Then it is possible for man to enter into the kingdom of God.
The parting with precious treasures also requires grace upon grace. However, it is important to notice that Jesus' teaching there is not that no disciple of His should be with personal possessions. On the contrary, the more one gives up, it is likely that God will entrust him with even more:
" Peter began to say to Him, Behold, we have left all and followed You.
Jesus said, Truly I say to you, There is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for My sake and for the gospel's sake,
But that he shall receive a hundred times as much now at this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and fields, with persecutions, and in the coming age, eternal life." (vs. 28,29)
If the disciples give up, they should not expect necessarily to be without. The teaching says the giving up results in MORE and multiplied possessions. And it is a promise for "this time", not to speak of the rewards of " the coming age".
The teaching therefore is not about owning as much as being ATTACHED to. It is not about being a penniless monk practicing Medieval self deprivation. It is a teaching of putting nothing on this earth above Christ as an idol usurping His preeminence.
If your belongings are consecrated to the gospel you may receive more belongings rather then less. You may receive 100 fold times more "at this time" (with persecutions).
On the cross Jesus told His mother to adopt John as her son and for John to consider Mary as his mother. The Bible says "Then He said to the disciple, Behold, your mother. And from that hour the disciple took her into his own [home]." (John 19:27) . Apparently the disciple John had not been dismissed by Jesus for owning a home.
I think the rich young ruler should have stayed with Jesus rather than go away sadly. John who owned a home at the time Jesus was crucified did.
The relevance today is receive Jesus into the heart. And stay with Jesus. Do not be so attached to anything that it usurp the place of God in your life. That is an idol. Do not be afraid to part with anything for God our Father knows what we need. If we are good stewards of what He has given us and consecrate all we have unto Him and for the gospel, even if we part with it, God may entrust us with even more things.
And above all realize that left to our own power this faithfulness is not possible. But with God all things are possible. So we must sink our spiritual roots down deeper and deeper into Jesus Christ. Don't turn away in sadness.
The Lord will not allow His disciples to be tempted above what they are able through His grace.
quote:
Matt. 6:19—21, 25—34 (NRSV):
'Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Today the disciples of Jesus should invest in His gospel and purpose. This is like putting your treasure to heaven. In a sense you cannot send you treasure to heaven. You can only carry it there. When you invest in heaven you heart goes out with your treasure.
This is of course a large subject: a Christian dealing with his finances. But the general relevance of it is a realization that only what is done in Christ and unto the kingdom of God is of lasting value.
The world will pass away. He who does the will of God will abide forever. It is a teaching of recognizing what is truly valuable in this brief life we have. Where is the true preciousness? Where is the best investment? It is in following Jesus.
Here is where the thief cannot steal. Here in Christ is where the robber cannot rob and the swindler cannot swindle. Here is a treasure that the world cannot give and the world cannot take away.
This is also not a teaching on monkish medieval self deprivation. The Apostle Paul said that the disciple who did not care for his own household has denied the faith and is worse then an unbeliever. Don't join "the rush to misunderstand".
...
quote:
'Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe youyou of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, "What will we eat?" or "What will we drink?" or "What will we wear?" For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Christ within seeks to overcome human anxiety. Human anxiety is the drive shaft of the world. If we seek first the kingdom of God all necessary things will be added to us. The heavenly Father knows the needs of His children.
I have often killed off the anxious worry in my own being by recounting before God "Lord Jesus, You know my need. It is a small thing for You to provide what I need here. This is a very small matter for you to provide. I acknowledge that I seek You first. I seek You and Your kingdom first. You are my Father. You have to provide for the needs of Your children."
I have prayed many such anxiety slaying prayers. I don't think I will graduate from having occasionally to remind my heart before God that His kingdom and His righteousness is my top priority no matter what else. He is of course very faithful.
quote:
'So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today.
We disciples of Jesus only have today. Yesterday is under the blood of Jesus. Tomorrow is in the sovereign hands of God. To walk with God is to take step by step with God.
Lest some fall into "the rush to misunderstand" Jesus also told parables about counting the cost and investing in His kingdom for the future. And the apostles also sometimes spoke of preparing to be able to give a defense by studying the word.
So this is not a teaching that the follower of Jesus has no sense of tomorrow. It is a teaching cutting at the root of human anxiety by the enjoyment of Christ today in trust. It is very effecfive.
I have been amazed how problems have worked out as I simply obeyed to enjoy the available grace today in Christ. In this kind of practice the soul is transformed and Christ is wrought into the personality. The peace becomes a supply to others. It helps others to get through when they witness your own serenity in Jesus in the face of adversity.
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Luke 14:26 (NRSV):
Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.
Our love for the Lord Jesus makes all other loves pale in comparison.
In the rush to misunderstand some may regard this as hostility towards familty members. Once again, on the cross of agonizing torment, Jesus took to time to make provisions for His old mother:
"And there were standing by the cross of Jesus His mother and His mother's sister and Mary ....etc. Then Jesus seeing His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing by said to His mother, Woman, behold, your son.
Then He said to the disciple, Behold, your mother. And from that hour the discile took her into his own [home]. (John 19:25-27)
We don't see the Son of God shouting how much He hated mom from the cross. If we don't have an eagerness to rush to a misunderstanding, we can see that Christ was teaching that nothing and no one should be above Himself in our loves.
Cultic hostility an hatred does not seem to be the aim. Hyperbole is used apparently. We "hate" anything or anyone who is taking the place of Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul writes:
"But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of [his] household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." (1 Timothy 5:8)
Paul, whose dedication to Jesus can hardly be questioned, did not say that the ultra hippie types, who ditched their family, exalted the faith. Rather they denied it and were worse then unbelievers.
In my personal experience I have found that the purest love I can render to my immediate family is to surrender my life to Jesus. Living Jesus is the best thing I could do for my loved ones.
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
How do you reconcile these instructions with the demands of modern life? How do you observe these teachings in a way that does not detract from them?
I believe I have above though not so exhaustively as to write a book here. Its just a forum post.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by Jon, posted 02-04-2011 10:59 AM Jon has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by Jon, posted 02-04-2011 3:17 PM jaywill has replied

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 37 of 122 (603482)
02-04-2011 3:17 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by jaywill
02-04-2011 1:43 PM


Re: The Messenger vs. the Message
All is impossible with man in following Jesus.
So you do not believe it is possible to live up to the instructions given? If so, why do you suppose they were given in the first place, and to what extent can one follow them?
The teaching therefore is not about owning as much as being ATTACHED to. It is not about being a penniless monk practicing Medieval self deprivation. It is a teaching of putting nothing on this earth above Christ as an idol usurping His preeminence.
What in the text do you believe supports this interpretation? How so?
I think the rich young ruler should have stayed with Jesus rather than go away sadly.
Perhaps, but would you have followed Jesus' instructions to give away all you had? Have you?
quote:
Luke 14:26 (NRSV):
Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.
Our love for the Lord Jesus makes all other loves pale in comparison.
So you do not hate your father and mother, or your wife and children, or your brothers and sisters, or, yes, even your life itself?
Jon writes:
How do you reconcile these instructions with the demands of modern life? How do you observe these teachings in a way that does not detract from them?
I believe I have above though not so exhaustively as to write a book here.
Not really; you're still floating around the issue and aren't providing the necessary textual evidence to support your interpretations of the teachings.
I'm still left entirely confused as to how you see it possible to live according to some of these teachings of Jesus, and why you may or may not consider them unreasonable in today's world.
Jon
Edited by Jon, : clarity
Edited by Jon, : clarity... again

Check out No webpage found at provided URL: Apollo's Temple!
Ignorance is temporary; you should be able to overcome it. - nwr

This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by jaywill, posted 02-04-2011 1:43 PM jaywill has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by jaywill, posted 02-04-2011 10:01 PM Jon has replied

jaywill
Member (Idle past 1992 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 38 of 122 (603537)
02-04-2011 10:01 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by Jon
02-04-2011 3:17 PM


Re: The Messenger vs. the Message
quote:
So you do not believe it is possible to live up to the instructions given? If so, why do you suppose they were given in the first place, and to what extent can one follow them?
He wasn't expecting anyone to attempt to live as He did without His indwelling grace.
This is why when the exasperated disciples exclaimed who then could be saved, He looked upon them as if He knew something that they did not yet know.
"And looking upon them, Jesus said to them, With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. (Matt. 19:26)
quote:
me:
The teaching therefore is not about owning as much as being ATTACHED to. It is not about being a penniless monk practicing Medieval self deprivation. It is a teaching of putting nothing on this earth above Christ as an idol usurping His preeminence.
ron:
What in the text do you believe supports this interpretation? How so?
I already provided you with examples helping you to understand the passage.
quote:
me:
I think the rich young ruler should have stayed with Jesus rather than go away sadly.
ron:
Perhaps, but would you have followed Jesus' instructions to give away all you had? Have you?
If you would like to regard me as a poor disciple because I am presently communicating with you on my owned PC, you may.
I already gave you passages meant to help you in understanding this matter.
quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Luke 14:26 (NRSV):
Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.
Our love for the Lord Jesus makes all other loves pale in comparison.
So you do not hate your father and mother, or your wife and children, or your brothers and sisters, or, yes, even your life itself?
I already gave you passages to assist you in evaluating those passages.
quote:
Jon writes:
How do you reconcile these instructions with the demands of modern life? How do you observe these teachings in a way that does not detract from them?
I believe I have above though not so exhaustively as to write a book here.
Not really; you're still floating around the issue and aren't providing the necessary textual evidence to support your interpretations of the teachings.
You're welcomed to say that is not good enough.
I would like to see if and what some other participants have to say.
quote:
I'm still left entirely confused as to how you see it possible to live according to some of these teachings of Jesus, and why you may or may not consider them unreasonable in today's world.
Do you want a Christian to help you in becoming a follower of Jesus?
Or are you looking for a Christian to help you convince yourself that you don't want to be a believer in Jesus ?
Maybe you're just discussing ? Okay. Let me see what some others would like to comment.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Jon, posted 02-04-2011 3:17 PM Jon has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by Jon, posted 02-05-2011 12:51 PM jaywill has replied

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 39 of 122 (603576)
02-05-2011 12:51 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by jaywill
02-04-2011 10:01 PM


Re: The Messenger vs. the Message
quote:
[jaywill]:
The teaching therefore is not about owning as much as being ATTACHED to. It is not about being a penniless monk practicing Medieval self deprivation. It is a teaching of putting nothing on this earth above Christ as an idol usurping His preeminence.
[Jon]:
What in the text do you believe supports this interpretation? How so?
I already provided you with examples helping you to understand the passage.
quote:
[jaywill]:
I think the rich young ruler should have stayed with Jesus rather than go away sadly.
[Jon]:
Perhaps, but would you have followed Jesus' instructions to give away all you had? Have you?
I already gave you passages meant to help you in understanding this matter.
As far as I can tell, nothing in the passages you listed offers any textual backing to your interpretations of the instructions in question. Granted, this may be due to my own misunderstanding; if you would be so kind as to explain how and why these passages are relevant and supportive of your interpretation, it may help clear up this misunderstanding.
Do you want a Christian to help you in becoming a follower of Jesus?
Or are you looking for a Christian to help you convince yourself that you don't want to be a believer in Jesus ?
I am interested in neither; I am trying to understand whether or not certain teachings of Jesus are relevant/reasonable to today's believers, and why they may or may not be sowhether their interpretation on the relevancy/reasonableness is supported within the text.
I would like to see if and what some other participants have to say.
...
Let me see what some others would like to comment.
I'm not sure how the opinions of others would assist me in understanding your position on this matter. If you're no longer interested in participating, that is fine; I've no intention of forcing you, and I appreciate your willingness to give your opinions on the matter and help me in my understanding.
Jon

Check out No webpage found at provided URL: Apollo's Temple!
Ignorance is temporary; you should be able to overcome it. - nwr

This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by jaywill, posted 02-04-2011 10:01 PM jaywill has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by jaywill, posted 02-05-2011 1:56 PM Jon has seen this message but not replied
 Message 41 by jaywill, posted 02-05-2011 2:53 PM Jon has seen this message but not replied

jaywill
Member (Idle past 1992 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 40 of 122 (603580)
02-05-2011 1:56 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Jon
02-05-2011 12:51 PM


Re: The Messenger vs. the Message
quote:
am interested in neither; I am trying to understand whether or not certain teachings of Jesus are relevant/reasonable to today's believers, and why they may or may not be sowhether their interpretation on the relevancy/reasonableness is supported within the text.
I have tried to consider them with you in the light of the experience of the disciples and additional teachings of the apostles and of Jesus too.
Are you saying that this is not a legitimate approach? Are you saying that the problem text should be considered in total isolation with not consideration for anything else in the New Testament ?
Jesus said also "Take heed therefore how you hear ..." (Luke 8:18)
The opposer of Christ often did not take heed how they HEARD certain things He said. They charged Him with accusations based on thier failure to hear Him with wise spiritual ears.
Perhaps you could take your most problematic example or two and give me your assumed protest. WHY do you hold that thus and such passage is no longer relevant to me as a lover of Christ?
I can also isolate the words "Unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood, you do not have life within yourselves. " (John 6:53)
That was a difficult saying and some of the disciples withdrew and no longer followed Jesus after this saying ( John 6:60) I am sure they thought that this teaching was not relevant to their modern times. And it also appeared not reasonable.
It is a hard saying. Do you think we should explore context, further explanation, the experience of the apostles, the teaching of the apostles to ascertain what it is to eat the flesh of Jesus and drink His blood ?
Or do you think we should just perpetually object that we are not satisfied yet with these helps ?
Most prophetic teachings included some hyperbolic sayings. That would include some of the sayings of Jesus too? I showed you helpful evidence to suggest how some of these specimens can be understood.
I think you just don't like the help I tried to render you. Maybe I am not "helping" you to arrive at the desired destination you want to arrive at.
quote:
I'm not sure how the opinions of others would assist me in understanding your position on this matter. If you're no longer interested in participating, that is fine; I've no intention of forcing you, and I appreciate your willingness to give your opinions on the matter and help me in my understanding.
I didn't say I am not participating anymore. I said I wanted to hear some thoughts of others.
Peter had a wife, John took Mary into His own home, Paul said the disciples should care for those of their own household, Jesus said giving up one's possessions will cause God to give him more.
You don't like any of these contributing evidences to help you understand the difficult passages in question.
Perhaps you have an a priori prejudicial conclusion that you only seek confirmation of.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Jon, posted 02-05-2011 12:51 PM Jon has seen this message but not replied

jaywill
Member (Idle past 1992 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 41 of 122 (603591)
02-05-2011 2:53 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Jon
02-05-2011 12:51 PM


Re: The Messenger vs. the Message
quote:
As far as I can tell, nothing in the passages you listed offers any textual backing to your interpretations of the instructions in question. Granted, this may be due to my own misunderstanding; if you would be so kind as to explain how and why these passages are relevant and supportive of your interpretation, it may help clear up this misunderstanding.
Why did Jesus own a tunic (John 19:23) then if He was teaching His followers to give up everything and be certain that they owned no private possessions ?
Was He simply hypocritical and not practicing what He preached ?
When Jesus requested that John adopt His mother Mary as his [John's] mother, why did He not charge John to let her fin for herself ? Weren't all the disciples commanded that they must leave their family ?
When the disciples remarked that they had two swords why didn't Jesus correct the error of them owning something (Luke 22:18) . Why didn't He rebuke them for not yet having given it away ?
When Peter pulled out a sword he apparently owned (Jon 18:10) why hadn't Peter been dismissed previously for owning the sword ?
Levi was Matthew. And Matthew had a feast for Jesus in his home . Since all the disciples were called to give up their houses, why didn't Jesus refuse to have the reception there ?
You don't think Bible students should consider these other passages to help understand Christ's teachings ? You talk about what the text says. We can see what the text says. Do you think the text should be considered in total isolation ?
In modern times I have exprienced fellow believers giving up things, sharing things, lending things, providing things, and sacrificing things for the sake of Jesus.
So I don't think His words are obsolete. I have also seen and experienced parents entrusting their children to God's care and visa versa. So I don't think His words on these matters are obsolete.
I reason with God. In difficult sayings like leaving mom and dad and children or hating parents for the sake of loving Christ, I see God invloved and not absent.
I include the power, personality, and faithfulness of God in my reasoning process. I do not reason without consideration to God's existing like an atheist.
The unbeliever often reasons without God in evaluating passages in the Bible. He starts with the assumption of no God. He continues with the process assuming no God. And he reaches his conclusion with the assumption of no God.
In every stage of the reasoning process he is excludes God's presence, power, faithfulness, understanding, and arrangement. He only considers the words of Scripture like the code of a lifeless computer program - Go To _____. Then Go TO ______ . DO WHILE _____. DO UNTIL _____. The skeptic often reasons that one is left on his own to "obey" the commands of Jesus Christ. This is mechanical and legal.
This is taking the ten commandments and simply adding on to the end more commandments that he gleans from the Gospels.
If the Holy Spirit should touch me to trust in God this week and give my last dollar to someone more needy, I include God's faithfulness in my reasoning. In this way His relevance is proved.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Jon, posted 02-05-2011 12:51 PM Jon has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by Aurora, posted 02-11-2011 2:02 PM jaywill has replied

Aurora
Junior Member (Idle past 4747 days)
Posts: 13
From: India
Joined: 12-09-2010


Message 42 of 122 (604363)
02-11-2011 2:02 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by jaywill
02-05-2011 2:53 PM


Re: The Messenger vs. the Message
jaywill writes:
Why did Jesus own a tunic (John 19:23) then if He was teaching His followers to give up everything and be certain that they owned no private possessions ?
Was He simply hypocritical and not practicing what He preached ?
When Jesus requested that John adopt His mother Mary as his [John's] mother, why did He not charge John to let her fin for herself ? Weren't all the disciples commanded that they must leave their family ?
When the disciples remarked that they had two swords why didn't Jesus correct the error of them owning something (Luke 22:18) . Why didn't He rebuke them for not yet having given it away ?
When Peter pulled out a sword he apparently owned (Jon 18:10) why hadn't Peter been dismissed previously for owning the sword ?
Levi was Matthew. And Matthew had a feast for Jesus in his home. Since all the disciples were called to give up their houses, why didn't Jesus refuse to have the reception there ?
Hi jaywill,
I think you are stretching things a bit too far. We all know that when Jesus was preaching to his disciples about giving up their wealth and lead a life solely dedicated to Him and God, he would not have in mind a tunic, a sword, two swords, etc.
Let me summarised my understanding of the teachings of the New Testament.
1. Jesus is the son of God, sent to the world to deliver mankind from the original sin committed by Adam and Eve.
2. Only those who believe in Jesus will be saved from eternal torment in hell and go to heaven.
3. Those who believe in him should be born again in the spirit, accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
John 3:3 NIV :
3 Jesus replied, Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.
A born again christian who is filled with the Holy Spirit, would have to deny himself and take up his cross daily, otherwise he is not worthy of Him.
Luke 9:23 NIV :
Then he said to them all: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
Matthew 10:38 NIV :
"And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me."
4. Early Christians expected Jesus to return within a generation of his death.
Mark 9:1 NIV :
1 And he said to them, Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.
Mark 13: 28-30 NIV :
28 Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
1 John 2:18 NIV :
18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.
James 5:7-9 NIV :
7 Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. 8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. 9 Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
5. Those who believe in Him were commissioned to spread the Gospel.
Mathew 28: 19,20 NIV :
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Mark 16:15-18 NIV :
15 He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.
Mathew 12:30 NIV :
30 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
So, in my opinion a true believer of early christianity would have to be one who is born again,who expects Jesus to return very soon and used all his resources and energy to spread the Gospel. He would not live a worldly life, and disregard earthly wealth because love of the things of the world is enmity with God. If he has absolute faith in God, his needs will be provided.
With the imminent return of Jesus and the great commission to spread the Gospel, the teachings gave no room for true believers to pursue other human activities like sports, arts, literature, science, technological innovations, etc. The apostle Paul even prefer true believers to not marry and start a family because that will distract their main Mission. In Matthew 6:19-21 Jesus preach against saving for the future and in Luke 6:34 He preach against lending money with the expectation of repayment.
Even by these few standards I believe true believers will be rare in this market oriented globalised world economy. What we find is different types of Christians interpreting and adjusting the Bible teachings conveniently to fit their way of life.
But, a half way measure for accepting Christ is not acceptable.
Revelation 3:15 & 16 NIV :
15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarmneither hot nor coldI am about to spit you out of my mouth.
So, following the Opening thread, given the difference between the mindset with which the New Testament teachings were issued and the mindset with which we read them today, I believe such instructions are not reasonable and/or relevant in our present age.
Edited by Aurora, : No reason given.
Edited by Aurora, : corrected quotation
Edited by Aurora, : corrected space

This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by jaywill, posted 02-05-2011 2:53 PM jaywill has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by jaywill, posted 02-13-2011 8:48 AM Aurora has replied
 Message 44 by jaywill, posted 02-13-2011 10:08 AM Aurora has not replied

jaywill
Member (Idle past 1992 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 43 of 122 (604582)
02-13-2011 8:48 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by Aurora
02-11-2011 2:02 PM


Re: The Messenger vs. the Message
You do realize that I was speaking in parody I hope.
I believe that Christ's message and that of the New Testament is most up to date. Now I do not mean particulars that Jesus mentioned which were tied to ritual Judaism of the day are relevant.
For example "Leave your gift at the altar".
But the prinicple should be clear.
The Christian brothers should quickly take time to be reconciled to one another if there are offenses before coming to God for worship.
The principle is entirely relevant. And I would have to laugh at any skeptic clinging to a notion of Jesus' words not being relevant for today.
Without opening my Bible this morning I can think of some references like that probably in the synoptics which are candidates for modern Christians saying "That part is not relevant in 2011."
But that Christ is still Lord, Savrior, God incarnate, the Son of God, the Redeemer, and the indwelling Spirit of life for the Christians' following, discipleship, love, obedience, conformity, and expectation to come, these are all entirely relevant to 2011 AD.
Paul was a tent maker. That was relevant to have a profession then. Why not for a disciple to have a profession now?
Luke was a phsycian. That was then relevant. Why not now?
Dorcas was some kind of seamstress who made clothing for the sisters in Jerusalem. That was relevant then. Why not now?
Pheobe was a deaconess of the whole church. This may indicate that she had a large home in which to show hospitality. If that was relevant then why not today?
Zenas was a lawyer. If he was a Christian brother as well I expect he was (Titus 3:13) why would not a Christian lawyer be relevant today?
Lawyers, seamstresses, doctors, tent-makers could be eagerly awaiting the Lord's return then. Why not now ?
God would want witnesses in many professions of life. So in any field of work, as long as gross sin was not the profession for the harm of others, I see no reason why Christ would not have witnesses for Him in those areas in this century as well as the first century.
How will the gospel be spread among artists is there are no artists who can confess that they too have believed in Jesus ?
How will He manifest His light to politicians it there are no politicians who can confess that they too have believed in Jesus?
I see no reason to believe that Peter never touched a fishing boat again. Maybe he never did again. But I would not doubt that he taught some young Christians something about fishing so that they could take care of their families.
Paul said if a Christian cannot take care of those of his household he was worse then an unbeliever and has denied the faith. Shepherding young believers also sometimes involves assisting them in practical issues of this life. You cannot just teach them the Bible. You may have to pray with them and help them learn to balance a check book.
I think you skeptics are desperately grasping at skepitcal straws. Some of you reason without God at every stage of your reasoning process. And some of you have no experience as Christ lovers.
So the Jesus is no more relevant idea doesn't convince me.
Now let's talk a bit about the imminent hope that Jesus may come at any moment. If you will examine Christ's words He said that two would be in the field, One would be taken and one would be left. They are working there.
He said two women would be grinding at a mill. One would be taken and one would be left. They are also laboring there. It is hard work in fact.
The point here is that while one was working she was inwardly in the presence of the Lord. In her heart she was before the Lord in a prayerful spirit and communion. And that even though her daily duty of hard grinding was being done.
The Christian brother in the field is not there reading Scripture but performing a necessary daily employment. And if you examine the Thessalonian letters you will see Paul exhorting this young church not to drop their day jobs. They are to eagerly expect the Lord and comfort one another without becoming hippies or homeless job dropping societal drop outs.
Jesus told His disciples "Abide in Me and I in you". He is alive. He is available. We can get into His presence. We can linger there and remain there. We are to abide in Him as a sphere. In doing so He will abide in us.
We abide in this living Christ and He in turn gets into our spontaneous reactions. Then we can say with Paul "It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me."
This is relevant today in 2011 as it was in the first century. And it seemed God's will to have this life tested through changing enironments, preasures, obstacles, and ages. The changing of the ages from century to century have not made the New Testament not relevant.
Heaven and earth will pass away. But His words will not pass away.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Aurora, posted 02-11-2011 2:02 PM Aurora has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 55 by Aurora, posted 02-18-2011 4:19 AM jaywill has replied

jaywill
Member (Idle past 1992 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 44 of 122 (604587)
02-13-2011 10:08 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by Aurora
02-11-2011 2:02 PM


Re: The Messenger vs. the Message
quote:
So, in my opinion a true believer of early christianity would have to be one who is born again,who expects Jesus to return very soon and used all his resources and energy to spread the Gospel.
Here my opinion would be you are talking not about a true Christian and a false one. You may be describing a true normal Christian and an abnormal Christian.
Both, if born again, are Christians. I see no requirement other then believing the Christ is Lord and has been raised from the dead.
Now, it is normal that one should love the Lord and eagerly await to see Him. It is normal to desire what he desires, the the gospel be preached in all the world.
But I do not see the latter two matters as requirements to be a Christian. One believes in his heart that God raised Christ from the dead and confess Him as Lord - she is a true Christian.
As a result of the Spirit of Christ living within, other things follow which I would say are normal outgrowths of the indwelling Holy Spirit and reading of the word of God.
Maybe one cannot have faith without some love. But many were not very clear about the second coming of Jesus the day they received Him.
And of course we Christians should want to be normal rather then indifferent to the perishing of unbelievers and cold about His second coming.
But for you to say in your opinion a "true Christian" is one on fire for the Lord's return and zealous for the gospel is the real thing, there is no real harm. However, not all zeal is zeal out from the Holy Spirit. And Jesus also taught that to His disciples.
It is not just what you do. It is out from what source your doing is. What you are is more important then what you do. And what you are issues in proper doing which Christ will approve.
quote:
He would not live a worldly life, and disregard earthly wealth because love of the things of the world is enmity with God. If he has absolute faith in God, his needs will be provided.
This is a normal Christian life. And spiritual life as well as natural life is a matter of growth and maturity. Even levels of maturity are expected.
Otherwise the Lord would not have said in His parable that some seeds produced fruit 100 fold, 60 fold, and 30 fold (Matthew 13:8,23). So Christ expected different levels of spiritual productivity based on some factors related to maturation. Am I right ?
The parables of the pounds and the talents also indicate the servants come to Him with the results at different levels.
If you wish to say that there are a lot of abnormal Christians I would agree. That doesn't stop you and I from wanting to be normal Christians.
And if I show up before Jesus so crystal clear about how others should have behaved He is likely to say "Since you knew so much about what it was to be a true Christian you will receive a stricter examination. You knew all about it for everyone else. So how then did you live ? Let's see."
The wise Father has many ways to deal with His own children besides the binary choice of damned or saved.
quote:
With the imminent return of Jesus and the great commission to spread the Gospel, the teachings gave no room for true believers to pursue other human activities like sports, arts, literature, science, technological innovations, etc.
One can handle these professions without making them idols. One can handle some of these professions without being drowned in them.
I know Christians in all of these fields. One of the elders in one of the churches I met with was a leading physcist in the Brookhaven Nuclear facility. I do not mean he was an engineer's aid. I have worshipped with physicists, music teachers, artists.
You missed Paul words about remaining in the state the you were called in. I would say instead of legalities one needs the wisdom, leading, and timing of the Holy Spirit.
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God" (Romans 8:14)
You can see that Paul speaks of children and then sons and then heirs of God. This indicates growth and maturity. And it also indicates that in addition to the words of Scripture the believers need the living leading of the Holy Spirit.
In keeping with so many unbelieving skeptics, some of these criticisms reason without accounting for the livingness of Christ. It is assumed that one take the letter of 300 New Tetament commandments, role up one's sleeves and get busy keeping them.
But Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would also lead the disciples in the future into all truth. And Paul speaks of sons of God learning to grow from children of God by being led by the Spirit of God.
If an Olympics athelete gets saved and comes to me for advice, I would not be legal with him. I would urge him to seek Christ's leading. He has to receive personal guidance directly from God. As a member of the mystical Body of Christ, his directions should come from the living Head of the Body. I am only a fellow member of the Body of Christ. Each member is directly attached to the Head.
So handing down legalities through the letter as if the New Testament has just become an extension of the 10 commandments, is not the way. We are taught "Abide in Me and I in you." (John 15:4)
And Paul, who pioneered for us in this fellowship with Christ, taught that life and peace within was an indication of God's approval of our actions. The inward uneasiness is an indicator that the Lord within is uneasy. And the life and peace within is an indication that we are in harmony with His will.
quote:
The apostle Paul even prefer true believers to not marry and start a family because that will distract their main Mission. In Matthew 6:19-21 Jesus preach against saving for the future and in Luke 6:34 He preach against lending money with the expectation of repayment.
And Paul specified what was HIS PERSONAL OPINION as opposed to the COMMAND he had from God. Right?
Now Paul's opinion should not be discarded. But it was his opinion. And today God may desire you to be married FOR that very purpose of building up the church and propogating the Gospel.
Don't join "the rush to misunderstand". Peter had a wife. And he preached quite effectively. Aquilla and Priscilla were faithful co-workers with Paul in the Gospel. They were a married couple.
Maybe I'll revisit your other verses in another post.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Aurora, posted 02-11-2011 2:02 PM Aurora has not replied

jaywill
Member (Idle past 1992 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 45 of 122 (604591)
02-13-2011 10:38 AM


quote:
In Matthew 6:19-21 Jesus preach against saving for the future and in Luke 6:34 He preach against lending money with the expectation of repayment.
Concerning Matthew 6:19-21 notice that Jesus said "Where your treasure is there will your heart be also."
This is not a command not to have a treasure. It is an exhortation to have your heart in the things of God, the things of heaven. Where your treasure is there is where your heart is.
So if I am a disciple of Jesus and also a wealthy businessman, My heart should be for the things of God. The money of the company may not be mine to use. But my private wealth can be used for His interests. Supporting the Lord's full time workers, the assistance of needy ones, and even the purchase gospel tracts and spiritual books are easier for such a one because of his wealth.
His heart is with the things of Heaven. Who then is the accountant keeping watch over which pennies he hordes and which he uses for God's purpose ? Christ is the arbitrator. And Christ elswhere said some hearts yielded 100 fold produce, some 60 fold produce, and some 30 fold produce (Matt.13:8,23).
Do you expect then that Jesus expected different levels of return from His followers according to some factors ? The last earth in the parable is the good earth. So from the good heart, the heart dealt with and cultivated for the kingdom seed, different levels of return would be approved by Christ.
Rather then legality I see a process of growth of spiritual life.
In Luke 6:34 Jesus is not necessarily saying do not lend with interest. You are misunderstanding the passage. Are you reading the passage or are you parroting what was gleaned from some skeptic about it? Read it.
He said "And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what thanks is it to you ? Even sinners lend to sinners that they may get back an equal amount."
He said if you lend to receive back, don't think you are doing something extraordinary.
You are inserting into that passage "Thou shalt not lend with interest." The passage says IF you do, do not think you are doing anything special.
See the difference ?
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Replies to this message:
 Message 46 by Jon, posted 02-13-2011 2:42 PM jaywill has replied

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