I would like to propose a new topic for evangelical Christians (who believe that the Bible is mostly literal and that Jesus is alive, was raised from the Dead...is alive today...etc etc.)
In this topic I want to address evangelicals on the board. I am not sure who you all are, but I know some of you. In this topic, I want to be able to speak the way that people speak to each other at church...encouraging, using scripture, and generally going with the theological beliefs of the Pentecostal/Baptist/Assemblies Of God, Non-Denominational sub-culture. (If you know what I mean)
I want this topic to be directed at these particular Christians and would ask that there be noresponses from other forum members. You all are invited to watch our discussion, however.
This is a support group/round table discussion on any and all basic issues concerning beliefs, creation/evolution, and the thought process of literalist believers versus the logical people.
Edited by Phat, : made my criteria stronger for discussion.
I don't mean to hijack your thread, but this is as close of a discussion as I can find and I am not allowed to start new topics. I am also looking for a discussion among the evangelical community regarding Genesis. I have recently been convinced of the reality of evolution. Up until this point I was an old earth guy who otherwise pretty much took everything in Genesis as literal. I am sort of in limbo so to speak and I would like to discuss with other real believers how they handle Genesis. It is not easy for me just to write off the whole thing as (I shutter to use the word) a myth. Where did it start being literal? Was Noah a real person? If there was only a local flood, did it not kill off all of humanity (like all those in the New World). Was Abraham a real person (I am being a bit extreme here but I just want to press my point)?
If this is not the appropriate place then please direct me elsewhere, either to another thread or forum altogether. Basically, I am looking for people who believe in Jesus, his deity, incarnation, death, resurrection, and our resting in him for salvation; who otherwise believe the evidence for evolution is overwhelming. To be totally transparent, I am getting a little nervous and would like to talk through some of these issues with other Christians.
at EvC, we have a strictish limit on new topics, in that we control (well, the admins) what can get promoted to an actual topic. Helps to keep this place more sane. We also like to keep topics on, well, on-topic.
You'll find a lot of people on this board who are "true believers" that also accept the ToE and the rest of modern science.
No Problem Pete. The issues you raise have been addressed within Christianity for a long, long time. The idea of a literal reading of Genesis, of Biblical Creationism is actually pretty new and somewhat of an aberration.
You will find that the vast majority of Christianity have no problems with Evolution or the Theory of Evolution, of an old Earth and even older Universe. The Phenomena of YEC or Biblical Creationism is mostly a US led cult and frankly, a pretty new one, mostly driven by a few people such as Henry Morris.
You can find a pretty good history of the Creationist movement Here.
Another source you should look at is the Catechism of Creation and for a good view of much of the Christian Clergy in the US, read the Clergy Project Letter which is an open appeal to school boards to teach the Theory of Evolution and has currently been signed by over 10,000 US Christian Clergy.
Biblical Creationism is a great moneymaker and you cannot expect folk like the Televangelists, AIG, ICR, Discovery Institute and others who have profited from it to abandon that cash cow willingly.
Basically, I am looking for people who believe in Jesus, his deity, incarnation, death, resurrection, and our resting in him for salvation; who otherwise believe the evidence for evolution is overwhelming. To be totally transparent, I am getting a little nervous and would like to talk through some of these issues with other Christians.
Welcome to EvC, Pete. ;) There are many different topics that address creation, Biblical creation, evolution, and all of that.
My topic here, however, is not a science topic. This topic is for evangelicals. This is a Faith topic and not a science topic.
Adminnemooseus subtitle - Phats opinion is that Jar does not belong in this topic
Jar---unless you are an evangelical, I suggest that you hightail it back to the chatroom.
Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Changed subtitle from "Re: Looking for a discussion" to "Adminnemooseus subtitle - Phats opinion is that Jar does not belong in this topic". You know Phat, a good subtitle might be a useful thing.
Re: Adminnemooseus subtitle - Phats opinion is that Jar does not belong in this topic
Thanks, Moose. I was a bit miffed that everyone except evangelicals took my topic over while I was at work. I'm gonna keep a tight rein on this one...It is meant to be a round table discussion with other evangelicals.
I DO appreciate you fixing my subtitle, though.
I may close the topic briefly until I get a few of the evangelicals aware of it, and then we shall start our little praise fest! :)
I don't want the topic to be hijacked and led on an empirical discussion of what it means to be a Christian or any of that claptrap.
Evangelicals know who they are.
Edited by Phat, : spelling
Edited by Phat, : fixed quote
Edited by Phat, : fixing a quote
Edited by Phat, : fixed a quote
Edited by Phat, : finally trying to fix this blessed quote!
Basic Loosely Defined Belief Statement for this Group
We are not here to be critical thinkers, nor are we here to attempt to define God. We know who we are, and we don't need our beliefs critiqued or defined for us.
I will direct this support group.
Calvary Chapel in Aurora, Colorado near my home has this belief statement on their website. While many Christians disagree over doctrines and beliefs, most of the evangelical(conservative Protestant) believers would agree in general with the following belief statement.
While I am not saying that my personal belief statement is just like this one, I am going to use this statement as a foundational guideline for this support group. In other words, if you wonder whether you should be in this group, ask yourself if the following belief statement is in line with what you choose to accept. If so, you are probably ready to join our roundtable discussion. If not, I would suggest other topics. ;)
Calvary Chapel has been formed as a fellowship of believers in the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Our supreme desire is know Christ and be conformed to His image by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are not a denominational church, nor are we opposed to denominations as such; only to their over-emphasis of the doctrinal differences that have lead to the division of the Body of Christ. We believe that the only true basis of Christian fellowship is Christ's (Agape) love, which is greater than differences we possess, and without which we have no right to claim ourselves Christians.
1. We believe in what is termed "The Apostles' Creed" as embodying all the fundamental doctrines of orthodox evangelical Christianity.
2. We believe there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in power and glory; that this triune God created all, upholds all, and governs all.
3. We believe in God, the Father, an infinite, personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love; that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men; that He hears and answers prayer; and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
4. We believe in Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, and teachings; His substitutionary atoning death; bodily resurrection; ascension into heaven; perpetual intercession for His people; and personal, visible return to earth. We believe that He is one and the same as God. He was fully human and fully God.
5. We believe the Holy Spirit was sent to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment and to regenerate, sanctify, and empower in ministry all who believe in Christ. We believe the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Jesus Christ and that He is an abiding Helper, Teacher, and Guide. We believe that Jesus Christ baptizes the seeking believer with the Holy Spirit and power for service, either at the time of or subsequent to regeneration, which is a separate work from the indwelling Spirit for salvation. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit and in the exercise of all biblical gifts of the Spirit as reflected through the fruit of that same Spirit. in the Holy Spirit, who came forth from the Father and Son.
6. We believe that all the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, and that they are the infallible rule of faith and practice.
7. We believe all people are by nature separated from God and responsible for their own sin, but that salvation, redemption, and forgiveness are freely offered to all by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. When a person repents of sin and accepts Jesus Christ as his/her personal Lord and Savior, trusting Him to save, that person is immediately born again and sealed by the Holy Spirit, all of his/her sins are forgiven, and that person becomes a child of God, destined to spend eternity with the Lord.
8. We await the pre-tribulation rapture of the church, and we believe in the literal Second Coming of Christ with His saints to rule the earth, which will be personal and visible. This motivates us to holy living, heartfelt worship, committed service, diligent study of God's Word, regular fellowship, participation in adult baptism by immersion and Holy Communion.
9. We are neither Five-Point Calvinists, nor are we Arminians. We adhere firmly to the biblical teaching of God's sovereignty and man's responsibility. We avoid any theological systems of belief that go beyond the written Word and thereby divide the body of Christ.
10. We do not believe in "positive confession" (the faith movement belief that God can be commanded to heal or work miracles according to man's will); human prophecy that supersedes the Scriptures; the incorporation of humanistic and secular psychology into biblical teaching; the overemphasis of spiritual gifts and experiential signs and wonders to the exclusion of biblical teaching; or that true Christians can be demon-possessed.
11. We believe in the universal Church, in the living spiritual body, of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members.
12. We believe the Lord Jesus Christ committed two ordinances to the Church: 1) baptism, and 2) the Lord's Supper. We believe in baptism by immersion and communion, both of which are open to all believers in Jesus Christ.
13. We believe in the laying on of hands for the sending out of pastors and missionaries, and in conjunction with the anointing of oil by the elders for the healing of the sick.
14. We believe the only true basis of Christian fellowship is Christ's (agape) love, which is greater than differences we possess, and without which we have no right to claim ourselves Christians.
15. We believe worship of God should be spiritual; therefore, we remain flexible and yielded to the leading of the Holy Spirit to direct our worship.
16. We believe worship of God should be inspirational; therefore, we give great place to music in our worship.
17. We believe worship of God should be intelligent; therefore, our services are designed with great emphasis upon the teaching of the Word of God that He might instruct us on how He should be worshiped. We seek to teach the Word of God in such a way that its message can be applied to the individual's life, leading that person to a greater maturity in Christ. We teach both expositionally and topically.
18. We believe worship of God should be fruitful; therefore, we look for His love in our lives as the supreme manifestation that we have been truly worshiping Him.
19. We believe that the church government should be simplistic rather than a complex bureaucracy, and we depend on the Holy Spirit to lead, rather than on fleshly promotion.
20. We believe that the Bible clearly delineates that spiritual gifts are for the edification of the body and that they are to be exercised in love. We believe that love is more important than the most spectacular gifts, and without love, all exercise of spiritual gifts is worthless. In our services, we focus on a personal relationship with God through worship, prayer, and the teaching of the Word of God. We do not practice speaking in tongues during worship or while a Bible study is in progress because we do not believe that the Holy Spirit would interrupt Himself. God is not the author of confusion. These gifts are encouraged in more intimate settings, e.g. personal prayer times, and afterglow services where their benefit can accomplish the purpose for which they have been given - the edification of the body of Christ
I will have this topic open at times and closed other times so that it does not get derailed. When I see some of you online, I will email you and invite you to participate. This topic will ideally provide a glimpse into our subculture.
After this topic runs for awhile (100-150 posts)I will open it up to anyone who cares to comment.
Edited by Phat, : clarification
Edited by Phat, : edit out inappropriate conclusions
There are many things that come to my mind that are important but the most important thing I see dividing Christianity today is the requirements for entrance to Heaven.
Many believe you can go to heaven by being good and doing good things.
Many believe you can only go to heaven by receiving the free gift of God's only begotten Son dying on the cross to pay man's sin debt.
What must I do to be saved? Is the most important question that a person needs the answer to. Because it determines where you will spend eternity.
This question was asked of Paul in Acts 16:30. In Acts 16:31 Paul answered "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved".
I personally am not as much of an evangelist...or "witness" for Christ as I used to be. In many ways I believe that God uses me more effectively than I was used in the past. Many people will be watching this topic as it develops and most of them will scoff at us for several reasons:
The perceived air of exclusivity. I know that I am no better than anyone else, however, and I respect many of the fine scientists and educated people at EvC. The only reason that I made such a thread as this is that they never understood my relationship with like minded believers or with God.
The belief that is not backed by any facts. Again, I can't argue this point. To me, God exists and is personal. How can I begin to describe such a relationship? Do you have any suggestions?