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Author Topic:   Living According to Christ: Is it Reasonable?
Aurora
Junior Member (Idle past 4758 days)
Posts: 13
From: India
Joined: 12-09-2010


Message 21 of 122 (597249)
12-20-2010 3:05 PM


Early teachings not compatible with modern Christian lifestyle
Reading the Bible in my language and in English my understanding is that, as Jesus speaks about it, the apostles and early Christians expect the second coming of Christ to happen soon. Many of the teachings also seems to be guided by this expectation. Like their predecessors through the ages many Christians even today still belief the second coming to take place soon. I felt that strictly following early teachings of Christianity is not compatible with today's world. Instead of following these teachings many Christians try to interpret the Bible to fit their modern Christian lifestyle. But again, they said this flexibility shows the glory of Christianity.

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by frako, posted 12-20-2010 3:28 PM Aurora has not replied

Aurora
Junior Member (Idle past 4758 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

Aurora
Junior Member (Idle past 4758 days)
Posts: 13
From: India
Joined: 12-09-2010


Message 55 of 122 (605263)
02-18-2011 4:19 AM
Reply to: Message 43 by jaywill
02-13-2011 8:48 AM


Re: The Messenger vs. the Message
Hi jaywill,
jaywill writes:
Paul was a tent maker. That was relevant to have a profession then. Why not for a disciple to have a profession now?
Paul was a tentmaker before his conversion. After his conversion you know how preoccupied he was in spreading the gospel.
jaywill writes:
Luke was a phsycian. That was then relevant. Why not now?
Luke was a physician before he became a disciple of the apostle Paul and followed Paul until Paul's martyrdom.
jaywill writes:
Dorcas was some kind of seamstress who made clothing for the sisters in Jerusalem. That was relevant then. Why not now?
Dorcas's charities was the clothing of the poor with garments she herself made. Charities are good but not relevant to the point here.
jaywill writes:
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?
Phoebe was described by Paul as "our sister, who is a servant of the church that is at Cenchrea".
jaywill writes:
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?
Paul calls Zenas "the lawyer." The meaning of this is, that, previous to his becoming a Christian, he had been a Jewish lawyer (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)
This is not cherry picking verses or collecting difficult passages from the New Testament. A true believer of early Christianity would have to believe the imminent return of Jesus and also be zealous in saving souls by spreading the gospel. Being born again, he would not live a worldly life and not worry about earthly wealth, because all his needs will be provided by the Lord. Guided by the Holy Spirit he would have to deny himself and carry the cross daily.
Given their faith, I believe its simply not possible for Paul or the disciples to be fully engaged in other economic activities because that will distract their main Mission. Imagine Paul after his conversion going back to tent making and earning his livelihood, he would be preoccupied with collecting raw materials, producing tents and marketing his products; if he married and raise a family his burden will be all the more. His business and his family would become more important than Jesus so that he cannot qualify as a true believer. You may try to reconcile them but that shows only how your interpretations evolve with the changing world. A half-way Christian or feel good only kind of Christian is not acceptable by the teachings of the New Testament.
Jesus said in Mathew 10:37 "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."
jaywill writes:
Lawyers, seamstresses, doctors, tent-makers could be eagerly awaiting the Lord's return then. Why not now ?
Yes, they all awaited the Lord's return eagerly, as it was promised by Jesus and preached by the disciples/apostles. With nothing happening for thousands of years the Church had sidelined the issue but still even today some Christians expects the return to be very near. I have read somewhere that Jesus will return on 11 May, 2011.
Edited by Aurora, : corrected space
Edited by Aurora, : corrected quotes

This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by jaywill, posted 02-13-2011 8:48 AM jaywill has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 56 by jaywill, posted 02-18-2011 9:26 AM Aurora has replied

Aurora
Junior Member (Idle past 4758 days)
Posts: 13
From: India
Joined: 12-09-2010


Message 68 of 122 (605400)
02-19-2011 2:51 AM
Reply to: Message 56 by jaywill
02-18-2011 9:26 AM


Re: The Messenger vs. the Message
jaywill writes:
While Paul was a full time apostle he often performed a job to support himself and his co-workers.
Paul was a full time apostle after his conversion not a full time tent maker. There is no problem if he helped someone or supports himself during his trips. It will be contrary to Jesus' teachings if he went back to a full time tent making job.
jaywill writes:
I think it is naive to assume that he never practiced his trade while he accompanied Paul. And I just showed you how Paul and his coworkers would labor night and day toiling for their own needs if support was scarce or inconvenient.
I said that Luke was a physician before he became a disciple of the apostle Paul and followed Paul until Paul's martyrdom. This implies that Luke did not went back practicing his profession for his livelihood. For if he went back it will be against Jesus' teachings. There is no problem if he practiced his trade while he accompanied Paul, in fact his medical knowledge may be quite helpful.
jaywill writes:
It is relevant to the point because if I recall, you said that a normal Christian should not have any time to devote to a artful skill. Dorcas proves you wrong in that.
The fact that they held up her handiwork with tears to Peter surely indicates that they were probably very nice creations.
Dorcas clothing of the poor with garments she made is not relevant to the point here because there is no indication that making garment is her job. Many women made garments themselves and gave it to their friends. Saying the cloths are "probably very nice creations" is mere speculation.
jaywill writes:
SO WHAT ? The Christian "sister" was a spiritual "sister" like any other female disciple. And what she provided in the way of assistance to the whole congregation was a service like any other serving Christians.
I have no idea what you are attempting to prove with this above observation. Maybe it would help to read your New Testament for yourself. Jesus taught that the greatest among them is the one who is as a servant. And He Himself came not to be served but to serve.
How is Pheobe serving and helping the congregation relevant to the point? The point I made was - with the imminent return of Jesus and the great responsibility to spread the Gospel, the teachings gave no room for true believers to be engaged in other full time activities/professions. That within the present market oriented economy of the world the teachings against saving for the future and lending with expectations of repayment are not relevant.
jaywill writes:
You have no ground to assume that. And experience with the church life suggests the absurdity of your assumption.
Some congregations I have met with had people of various skills. And sometimes they were employed for the sake of the congregation. Christian brothers, who were also lawyers, may be called upon to assist the church.
I am not assuming, I am showing you that according to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Zenas was a Jewish lawyer previous to his becoming a Christian. I see no reason for you to assume without any substantiation that after becoming a Christian Zenas continue to practice his trade . You having a Christian brother now who is a lawyer cannot be related to Zenas case thousands of years back.
jaywill writes:
That could because like many skeptics and atheists, you reason without God.
I used to reason with God, but on the way I gradually become skeptical because when I reason with God I need to believe and live with many inconsistencies and weird things which my rational human reasoning could not accept. I can't help questioning the claims of fellow Christians like - the earthquake in Gujarat/Haiti is God's punishment, we won the football match with God's help, this man is rich because God blessed him and that man is poor because his forefather despise God, God takes revenge on the Hindus for persecuting Christians and elephants destroys their houses in Orissa, etc,etc,. In conservative Christian community you will always hear claims like that and if you read the Old Testament you will find many similarities.
Then, I have gradually become skeptical about the creation story, original sin, Noah's flood, why God need the Jews to save mankind in spite of him being Omniscience, omnipotent and benevolent. I started enquiring and study how the Old Testament and the New Testament came about. I read about the Church history, the inquisition, indulgence, exorcism, persecution of Galileo, witch hunting, etc. all done in the name of God. So, now I simply could not reasoned with the Judeo-Christian God, sorry.
jaywill writes:
Maybe your thoughts are always being filled up with accusations from Satan against the Christians. It seems that you are laboring to invalidate them.
With respect to the thread here I am stating my point of view, I am sorry if any of my statement hurts your feeling. Your Satan has nothing to do here, its my plain and simple human reasoning.
jaywill writes:
Let me change my tone with you for a moment. If Jesus should come back at 12:00 PM tonight where will you be at 12:01 ?
Jesus will not come back at 12:00 PM tonight or at any time in the future. I don't know if you are trying to scare me. I hope you will not mention the"cries from hell in Siberia mine" which some evangelists around here used to instill fear of hell to their listeners.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by jaywill, posted 02-18-2011 9:26 AM jaywill has not replied

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