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Author Topic:   I'm trying: a stairway to heaven?
iano
Member (Idle past 18 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 1 of 303 (255030)
10-27-2005 7:12 AM


As far as I can make out the only form of words Jesus used regarding laws (in relation to our adhering to them) was or can only be implied to be, command form. Some examples:

"Judge not lest you be judged"
"Love your enemy"
"Love God with all your heart soul and mind"
"Love your neighbour as yourself"

If Jesus said "do a,b,c in order to be saved" and not "try your best to do a,b,c, in order to be saved", what is the biblical basis for the idea that salvation/damnation is a function of our trying / not trying enough to do a,b,c.

I stress 'biblical basis' because what I have heard thus far seems to be result of peoples own ideas as to what Jesus must have meant, ie: people apply their own subjective logic to fill the biblical gaps in making their case for salvation/damnation by works.

This message has been edited by iano, 27-Oct-2005 03:36 PM


Replies to this message:
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 Message 5 by Phat, posted 10-28-2005 9:23 AM iano has responded
 Message 6 by Legend, posted 10-28-2005 10:19 AM iano has responded
 Message 7 by purpledawn, posted 10-28-2005 11:15 AM iano has not yet responded
 Message 8 by purpledawn, posted 10-28-2005 11:26 AM iano has responded

AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 2 of 303 (255074)
10-27-2005 10:27 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by iano
10-27-2005 7:12 AM


Where to put?
I'm not up on the Biblical threads.

Where should this go?

I think you could make your point a bit more clearly too.

Are you trying to say:

"Jesus did not say "try" to do one thing or another. He said "do" it. If that is the case what does trying and failing say about our salvation? "

Is that it? You could edit that into your OP if so.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by iano, posted 10-27-2005 7:12 AM iano has responded

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iano
Member (Idle past 18 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 3 of 303 (255086)
10-27-2005 10:39 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by AdminNosy
10-27-2005 10:27 AM


Re: Where to put?
Hi AdminNosy,

Tidied a little to clarify but anybody with a view is going to know what it's about, I reckon.

A suitable location would be Faith & Belief (for want of a Heresy forum :) )

Ian

This message has been edited by iano, 27-Oct-2005 03:39 PM


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AdminPhat
Administrator
Posts: 1907
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-03-2004


Message 4 of 303 (255301)
10-28-2005 9:09 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
Phat
Member
Posts: 12167
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 5 of 303 (255309)
10-28-2005 9:23 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by iano
10-27-2005 7:12 AM


So Heaven is not about trying?
Iano, I was wanting you to clarify your point a bit.
Iano writes:

...the only form of words Jesus used regarding laws (in relation to our adhering to them) was or can only be implied to be, command form.

So we are commanded to love our neighbor, for example. Does this mean that I should not try and do so? What if I am unable to love with all my heart? What if I don't even like my neighbor?
Iano writes:

...what is the biblical basis for the idea that salvation/damnation is a function of our trying / not trying enough to do a,b,c?

I dunno...you tell me.
Iano writes:

...what I have heard thus far seems to be result of peoples own ideas as to what Jesus must have meant, ie: people apply their own subjective logic to fill the biblical gaps in making their case for salvation/damnation by works.

This topic is always going to be discussed by using peoples own ideas about what the Bible means. Only a fool would not even question the book that they believe determines their eternal destiny!

This message has been edited by Phat, 10-28-2005 07:26 AM


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Legend
Member (Idle past 3083 days)
Posts: 1226
From: Wales, UK
Joined: 05-07-2004


Message 6 of 303 (255316)
10-28-2005 10:19 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by iano
10-27-2005 7:12 AM


Hi ian,

I think it's the trying that matters, for two reasons:

--------------------------------------------------------------------

(1) All the things that Jesus said, that you mention above, are non-quantifiable. Therefore, the only plausible interpretation is that Jesus expects us to do them to the best of our ability . The qualifier 'with all your heart' implies exactly that.

I say to you "Run as fast as you can and I'll buy you a beer".

Does that imply that you can't do what I ask you ? Of course not - you certainly can run as fast as *you* can. You might run at 2 mph or you might run at 20 mph, fact remains you can run with *all your might*, whatever that may be.

I love my wife with all my heart and soul; we may quarrel occasionally and I sometimes let her down but I still love her with all my heart. It's not impossible.

That's what Jesus tells us: love God and your neighbour as much as you can, You may sometimes falter but it's the trying that matters.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

(2) And probably the most important reason :

On most of the occasions you state above, Jesus says these actions lead to salvation when addressing an audience and when directly asked how to get saved.

If what he said couldn't be achieved, then Jesus would have lied or intentionally mislead the audience and the man who asked him the question.

If someone stops me on the street and asks me how to get to London, I'll say 'take the first left, get on the M4 and drive east for 100 miles'.

If I *know* that the M4 is closed due to road works and I still give the same directions when asked, then the person who asked me will never get to London. I would have lied to them, and mislead them.

If you think that the directions Jesus gave to the man on how to get saved weren't going to lead him there then Jesus lied to the man. It's as simple as that!

The rich man wanted to be saved; Jesus told him 'love God, love your neighbour and you'll be saved'.

It's as simple as that.

To interpret it any other way is to impose pre-conceptions and theology that doesn't exist within the synoptics.


"In life, you have to face that some days you'll be the pigeon and some days you'll be the statue."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by iano, posted 10-27-2005 7:12 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by iano, posted 10-28-2005 10:01 PM Legend has responded

purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1534 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 7 of 303 (255326)
10-28-2005 11:15 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by iano
10-27-2005 7:12 AM


Try Not, Do or Do Not
All the examples you shared are very emotion oriented. Being kind to difficult people is very...well...difficult.

The Mosaic Laws, as do our laws, prohibit people from harming one another.

IMO, Jesus was teaching a deeper lesson to his audience at the Sermon on the Mount. He was teaching them to mind their thoughts and words, which can lead to wrong action. Plus we know today that harboring ill feelings, can make us ill.

Trying is nothing more than attempting to do. If you manage 75% of the time during your life to be kind to your "enemies", have you failed because it isn't 100%?

If 85% of the time you treat others the way you want to be treated, have you failed because it isn't 100%?

IMO, if God or Jesus expected us to be successful 100% of the time or else, they wouldn't have spoken of forgiveness.

Mark
11:25
"Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.
11:26
("But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.")


"I refuse to think of them as chin hairs. I think of them as stray eyebrows." -Janette Barber-
This message is a reply to:
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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1534 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 8 of 303 (255330)
10-28-2005 11:26 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by iano
10-27-2005 7:12 AM


Damnation
Out of curiosity, what do you consider damnation to be?


"I refuse to think of them as chin hairs. I think of them as stray eyebrows." -Janette Barber-
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by iano, posted 10-27-2005 7:12 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
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iano
Member (Idle past 18 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 9 of 303 (255357)
10-28-2005 1:27 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Phat
10-28-2005 9:23 AM


Re: So Heaven is not about trying?
Phat writes:

So we are commanded to love our neighbor, for example. Does this mean that I should not try and do so? What if I am unable to love with all my heart? What if I don't even like my neighbor?

My point was that Jesus used command words in relation to our following the law. Period. That you try and will often fail does not change the fact that a command was issued. If he commanded and you, try as you might, fail to obey the command then you have sinned. Some will try very hard and have x amount of sin. Others will try not at all and have a lot of sin. But amount of sin is not what matters "He who follows the law but stumbles on even the tiniest piece is guilty of breaking it all"

First World War trench. The command is issued "Over the top lads!". Folk start trying. Some crouch in fear and tremble in the corner - the hand reaches for the rifle but quickly retracts back. Other start climbing the steps up but hear the bullets whizzing overhead and cling to the ladder

Both get shot at dawn for dereliction of duty. The command was "over the top" not try your best to get over the top.

The point is that trying is never proscribed as sufficient to fulfill the demands of the law. Only obeying.

But nobody can obey the law in full. "All have sinned and fallen short.." "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone". Not even the people who were steeped in trying to follow the law - the Pharisees - got close: "white washed tombs" Jesus called them

Fail on one point and your as damned as the person who fails alot of it. "Who then can be saved" cried the disciples. One is saved by the person who fulfill the law on their behalf - the law they themselves could not keep.

Sure you should try to love your neighbour. But you won't be saved by doing so - you'll just have crouched in the trench of loving your neighbour not gone over the top in doing so. And its when a person is saved and has grasped just what that means (both in terms of what they, without own merit receive and what they have merited but now avoid) that it becomes possible to love others in a way previously impossible - because of the realisation of how much they have been loved. Only then is it possible to forgive others in a way previously impossible - because of the realisation of how much they have been forgiven. Only then will one avoid judging others in a way previously impossible - because of the realisation that they weren't judged

(biblical basis for trying a stairway to heaven)I dunno...you tell me.

I dunno either. I claim it's impossible to demonstrate. I can do much Phat but not the impossible :)

This topic is always going to be discussed by using peoples own ideas about what the Bible means.

No problem there but I did want it to be argued from the bible - not for example what RC tradition says about it.


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 Message 13 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 10-29-2005 7:33 AM iano has responded

ringo
Member
Posts: 16231
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 10 of 303 (255359)
10-28-2005 1:51 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by iano
10-28-2005 1:27 PM


Re: So Heaven is not about trying?
iano writes:

First World War trench....

Bad analogy. The soldiers who cowered in the corner were not "doing their best".

The ones who did go over the top and got killed half-way across no-man's-land did do their best, even if they didn't succeed.


People who think they have all the answers usually don't understand the questions.
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iano
Member (Idle past 18 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 11 of 303 (255429)
10-28-2005 10:01 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Legend
10-28-2005 10:19 AM


legend writes:

I love my wife with all my heart and soul; we may quarrel occasionally and I sometimes let her down but I still love her with all my heart.

Having some exposure to you I would say you make a fine husband. And I would say that your wife is aware of that fact - taking all things into consideration: the friends of hers whose husbands beat them, or don't pay maintenance or who fail to communicate with them in any meaningful way...you'd be a diamond (male to male tip - use that fact :) )

But that is not the point here. "All your heart". Which of us can say - honestly and at all times - "all of my heart? Surely when (us British Isle blokes only - the world is a strange place: it doesn't have pubs), when we are chatting up the bird in the local, and the wife is at home and we have a few to many pints on, and we are thinking to ourselves: "I wouldn't mind a piece of that" know that:

we are not loving our wives with all our heart/soul/minds.

It's not like it is the first time we have done this. Surely if we loved with h/s/m + based on past performance, we would avoid the pub, avoid the situation that makes it possible to love our wives with anything less than h/s/m. If it was with h/s/m then we should be quite happy, when telling our wives about the night down the pub.... about the 25 yr old blond with the firm breasts. But we don't. Because we recognise that h/s/m....er..... wasn't exactly it.

Was it Legend....?

And if it was "the best we could do at the time" then.....whats excluded? Who on earth would warrant a place in Hell? Sure couldn't we all stand up on the Day of Judgement and legitimaly claim that we done wot wus best...."under the circumstances - m'lud"

"Case dismissed!" I think not...

legend writes:

If what he said couldn't be achieved, then Jesus would have lied or intentionally mislead the audience and the man who asked him the question.

Non sequitur. Q: "How do I jump over the moon?" A: "Jump over the moon"

legend writes:

If you think that the directions Jesus gave to the man on how to get saved weren't going to lead him there then Jesus lied to the man. It's as simple as that!

Just to clarify the above point: if the directions are (and can only be): London? M4 to junction 23 then M3 to junction 2 then M25 (patience is a virtue) to junction 17 the left then second right, is all useless...... if the person cannot read.

Jesus was asked directions...he gave them. That we cannot follow them is not his problem*. You would think a person who could not read, in the course of being given such directions might hold up their hand and say: " I can't do this"

Which is kind of the gospel in a nutshell...

*But he decided to make it his problem anyway: "step in I'll bring you there if you like." If you like indeed...

This message has been edited by iano, 29-Oct-2005 03:04 AM

This message has been edited by iano, 29-Oct-2005 12:22 PM


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 Message 14 by Legend, posted 10-29-2005 8:41 AM iano has responded

purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1534 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 12 of 303 (255463)
10-29-2005 6:37 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by iano
10-28-2005 10:01 PM


Gospel Nutshell
quote:
Which is kind of the gospel in a nutshell...
Nutshell being the operative word here.

Matthew 5:19
Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Least not out.


"I refuse to think of them as chin hairs. I think of them as stray eyebrows." -Janette Barber-
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Mr. Ex Nihilo
Member (Idle past 4626 days)
Posts: 708
Joined: 04-12-2005


Message 13 of 303 (255464)
10-29-2005 7:33 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by iano
10-28-2005 1:27 PM


Re: So Heaven is not about trying?
iano writes:

No problem there but I did want it to be argued from the Scriptures - not for example what traditional evangelical prostestant tradition says about it.

Fixed your typos. ;)

As i mentioned in another thread, you seem to be contradicting yourself here. In one quote, paraphrasing what you say here, you say that "Works subsequent to receiving the Holy Spirit don't have damnatory value." However, paraphrasing another quote, you say that, "Whilst the wages of sin is death being something earned -- wages in the form of damnation."

Looking at the damnation by failing side of the debate, if indeed works subsequent to receiving the Holy Spirit don't have damnatory value, then how can the wages of sin be something earned?

I'll maintain what I've been saying all along: We can do nothing to 'earn' our salvation. In fact, we have to do nothing -- nothing more than be docile to the motion of the Holy Spirit. God will do the work for us if we are simply open to his Spirit.

When we fail it's our own fault -- because we've resisted God's Spirit. When we succeed we give glory to God -- because we have been moved by God's Spirit to do so. I don't think I can make this any simpler -- and I think it's plainly evident all throughout the Scripture.

This message has been edited by Mr. Ex Nihilo, 10-29-2005 07:33 AM

This message has been edited by Mr. Ex Nihilo, 10-29-2005 07:50 AM


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Legend
Member (Idle past 3083 days)
Posts: 1226
From: Wales, UK
Joined: 05-07-2004


Message 14 of 303 (255466)
10-29-2005 8:41 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by iano
10-28-2005 10:01 PM


Love with all your heart
iano writes:

we are not loving our wives with all our heart/soul/minds

That's but wild extrapolation. Says who? you? It doesn't matter what you think, it's what Jesus thinks - after all he's the judge, right ?

and that is my point: How do you measure love ? behaviour? You can't! It's not a quantifiable attribute. Which is why Jesus says 'with all *your* heart. You love as much as *you* can. Jesus doesn't say he'll measure you against his standard of love or any other's standard of love. He doesn't say that it's impossible to love God and your neighbour.

iano writes:

Surely if we loved with h/s/m + based on past performance, we would avoid the pub, avoid the situation that makes it possible to love our wives with anything less than h/s/m.

Maybe. I suppose that would be the perfect husband. Perfectly good, all the time.

But you know what? Jesus says that only God is perfectly good (Matt 19:17).

And guess what ? Jesus, in the same verse, goes on to say that you don't have to be perfectly good to gain eternal life (Matt 19:17).

Just follow the commandments to the best of your ability. It's simple.

iano writes:

And if it was "the best we could do at the time" then.....whats excluded? Who on earth would warrant a place in Hell?

People who don't even bother trying, I'd imagine. I know a few of those.

iano writes:

Sure couldn't we all stand up on the Day of Judgement and legitimaly claim that we done wot wus best...."under the circumstances - m'lud"

Sure we could. But don't you think Jesus would have a way of knowing who tried his best and who didn't even bother ?


"In life, you have to face that some days you'll be the pigeon and some days you'll be the statue."
This message is a reply to:
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jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 15 of 303 (255468)
10-29-2005 9:05 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Legend
10-29-2005 8:41 AM


Re: Love with all your heart
Legend writes:

iano writes:

And if it was "the best we could do at the time" then.....whats excluded? Who on earth would warrant a place in Hell?

People who don't even bother trying, I'd imagine.

Great answer and one I'd like to expand on. I would think that it would include those who do intentional evil, particularly those who do evil in God's name. Some examples would be those that are supporting the "In Defense of Marriage Act" and other similar legislation. The actual voters might well be forgiven since they are simply ignorant of the harm being done but the ministers of God that are promoting such behavior will surely be judged harshly.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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