"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our Lord stands forever. Isaiah 40:8

17 August 2006

The Gospel According to Me, Part 2

I am always fascinated to hear non-believer’s description of “their God”. Often times these people have grown up in some sort of a church system, but have never met the one true God. Instead they have a God of their own creation who not so surprisingly, is a pretty easy-going guy. What I love to ask these people is “Where is your proof of that”?

Common sense should tell you that we can not all have our own made-up version of God. Certainly the various versions of “my God’ are going to conflict and how do you know who is right. There has to be some common source of the truth about God.

As I said previously, the version of the home-brew God that I see the most is a God who is all loving and lets all the good people into heaven. Sounds good, right? My questions is, where do you draw the line between good and bad? Hitler would be bad and Mother Theresa good, correct? Okay, that one was easy.

What about the person who cheats on their taxes? A career criminal who has stolen his whole life? How about the young man who got drunk at his 21st birthday party, drove himself home, and killed a family of four in a car accident along the way? How about the woman who after being beaten for 10 years by her husband, shot him so he would not beat her anymore? And what about her husband?

This is my issue. Deciding where the boundaries of good and bad are is not so easy. And the line would be drawn in different places depending on the person and the evidence presented (welcome to our judicial system). Now, maybe it is easy for God to decide knowing all the facts of a person’s life, but where does that leave us? How do we know when we have crossed the line then? Now we are playing by unknown rule-book – how is that fair?

I for one am happy that the decision between good and evil, between heaven or hell is not played out this way. What we have is a holy, righteous, just God who has a plan for the salvation of man (being saved from punishment) and has revealed that plan of salvation through the Bible (Jesus). We do not need to be confused as to what will happen to us when we die, we can KNOW how to have eternal life (be in heaven with God).

I will talk more about this plan in the next post.


I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13

Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3

38 comments:

eph2810 said...

Thank you for the wisdom you are sharing.
There is still a lot of people who think that they will be going to heaven because of their actions and not that the only action comes from God.
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God..." Eph 2:8

aquamarine said...

Carrie, here's the thing - you not only don't have to balance all the factors of other people's lives, you're not supposed to. That's God's job.

God is who God is and he decides what he decides without your approval or consent. If God wants to let Hitler into heaven, he can, and it's not up to you to decide. You don't ever know what's between a single other human being and God.

Your job is to love God and to love your fellow man. In loving others, you spread Christ's message. Your job is to encounter others as Christ would have encountered them.

And that's where your participation in the process begins and ends.

Besides, why do you need to know? Is heaven somehow less desirable if people you personally don't approve of end up there?

You're also being more than a little contradictory here - you're on the one hand claiming it's all about faith, and on the other that it's all about right action. Which is it?

Does the man who steals and cheats but who claims Christ as his saviour go to heaven while the man who loves his neighbor and who leads an honorable life but who was raised Hindu or Jewish goes to hell?

Does just claiming Christ as your saviour mean you have no responsibility to live up to that claim?

And are you denying that God is present in the life of non-Christians?

aquamarine said...

Also, as my mother always told us, fair is for games.

Life isn't fair, and God never promised that it would be.

e-Mom said...

Hallelujah! How great a salvation.
Good words, Carrie!

The unique thing about the Christian Gospel, versus all other religions, is the gift of the Spirit, which was promised in OT. As Paul says, the Law was given to reveal our sinfulness (as a schoolmaster or tutor) but it can never save us. Salvation is only through confessing faith in the risen Jesus Christ. The Spirit (seed) indwells all believers and gives us the power to live a Godly life. As I yield (ovum) to his loving will, I become more like Christ (fruit). I'm so glad I don't have to do it on my own!

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5

Moonshadow said...

You might not care for the simple approach of C. S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity but an applicable excerpt appears here and echoes e-mom's comment.

aquamarine might find her concerns addressed in the chapter on virtues, especially the concluding points:

"If we thought only of the particular actions we might encourage three wrong ideas.
(1) We might think that, provided you did the right thing, it did not matter how or why you did it.
(2) We might think that God wanted simply obedience to a set of rules: whereas He really wants people of a particular sort.
(3) We might think that the 'virtues' were necessary only for this present life."


χαρις και ειρηνη

Carrie said...

Aquamarine,

Carrie, here's the thing - you not only don't have to balance all the factors of other people's lives, you're not supposed to. That's God's job

Of course it is God’s job. My point is that the people who have their “own God” who lets everyone in heaven is that they are playing by an unknown set of rules. Most of those people that I talk to would say that Hitler is not in heaven. Besides, the big point is that there is no proof of this kind of idea whatsoever and although it all sounds good and easy, it is not so clear cut.

Besides, why do you need to know? Is heaven somehow less desirable if people you personally don't approve of end up there?

No, I don’t need to know who is there. But I do need to know if I will be there. That is the point. How can I be sure that I will make it to heaven. For some reason Christianity has come off as some sort of elitist camp. It is not. God made clear rules for who will be saved from punishment. All we Christians are doing is trying to spread his message.

You're also being more than a little contradictory here - you're on the one hand claiming it's all about faith, and on the other that it's all about right action. Which is it?

No contradiction. I am comparing what some people believe (good people go to heaven = actions) to what God has said (faith in Jesus = grace). Salvation is by faith alone, grace alone, in Christ alone.

Does the man who steals and cheats but who claims Christ as his saviour go to heaven while the man who loves his neighbor and who leads an honorable life but who was raised Hindu or Jewish goes to hell?

Salvation is through Christ alone. The Bible is clear about that. But is not based on lip service, it has to be a genuine faith.

Does just claiming Christ as your saviour mean you have no responsibility to live up to that claim?

Of course not. And e-mom has already given you a sneak peak in what I will talk about later. “Claiming Christ as your savior is not good enough. There is a genuine faith (a saving faith) that results when you truly accept Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit you follow, and obey Christi and become more like Him through the sanctification process. More on that later.

And are you denying that God is present in the life of non-Christians?

I’m not sure how to answer this. If someone were a non-believer their whole life, then yes, there is no place for God in their life.

Carrie said...

e-mom: Thanks, that is an important distinction.

Moonshadow: Thanks, Mere Christianity is a great book that deals with these ideas better than I can.

aquamarine said...

So, because of your interpretation of the Bible, God is not allowed to be present in the lives of non-Christians...?

Who's creating God in their own image now? And who is now claiming that salvation is through human action alone? How do you defend that statement to God - that there's no room for him in other people's lives because you personally don't believe that God bothers with non-Christians?

Isn't denying the Holy Spirit the unforgivable sin? Isn't that what you're doing - denying the work of the Holy Spirit because the notion of God being present in a non-Christian's life is unpalatable to you?

Faith in God does not come down to who has a Jesus fish on the back of their car and who doesn't.

What kind of God, what kind of all-knowing God, would deliberately create people, claim to love them, and then send them to eternal damnation because they didn't become Christians? And what responsibility do you think you have as a Christian in representing Christ? If the only Christians one comes across are spectacularly lousy Christians and who behave in a way no good person would find at all appealing, then how is it their fault they didn't become Christians?

God created us all to desire him. One can go one's whole life without hearing about Christianity, or without knowing the truth of Christ's message , yet have faith in God, desire to be with God, and desire to live in a way that pleases God.

In a way, their faith is the most pure, the most innocent. They're not claiming faith because they think it will earn them something, nor are they ticking off a list of good deeds because they think it will earn them something. They're responding to God's call in their lives in the purest, truest way possible.

Ellen said...

God created us all to desire him.

None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one."

aquamarine said...

You know, the underlying philosophy I'm seeing here is that faith is impossible for the non-Catholics unless there's proof, unless there are guarantees...

But that's not what faith is.

Faith is trust. Faith is believing in spite of all evidence to the contrary...

I know God, I trust God, and I have faith in God.

*shrugs*

Whatever.

I just can't get to this place y'all are at. It's going backwards for me. It's so...dry and dead and cold and so completely lacking in any mystery or greatness.

It all makes God come across as so small and petty and mean and cheap.

Not into little plastic dashboard Gods, nope, not me.

It's the real deal or nuthin', nad this ain't the real deal at all. It's just people-stuff posturing as faith.

Do you place your trust in God or do you place your trust in the words of men? That's what it comes down to.

Me, I'm stickin' with God...

Ellen said...

You know, the underlying philosophy I'm seeing here is that faith is impossible for the non-Catholics unless there's proof, unless there are guarantees...

I just can't get to this place y'all are at.


Nuff said.

aquamarine said...

It certainly is.

At some point one transcends the need to control God.

I can't go backwards. I don't want to control God. Why would I have any faith in a God who had to answer to me?

That's putting myself before God. I'm don't want to do that.

Ellen said...

Faith is trust. Faith is believing in spite of all evidence to the contrary...

Do you have "faith" that your car is going to start this morning?

Faith is not believing in spite of evidence. Here's the definition of what the Greek word meant:

1) conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it
a) relating to God

1) the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ
b) relating to Christ

1) a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God
c) the religious beliefs of Christians
d) belief with the predominate idea of trust (or confidence) whether in God or in Christ, springing from faith in the same

2) fidelity, faithfulness
a) the character of one who can be relied on

Here is a rather large page: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/faith

There is exactly ONE definition of "faith" that involves having no evidence.

Ellen said...

That's putting myself before God. I'm don't want to do that.

I'm not exactly sure how taking God at His Word is putting myself before God.

I do think that making my own definition of God outside of His Word IS putting myself ahead of God.

God's Word is central - in the beginning was the Word.

phd4jesus said...

Romans 1:18-23 18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

aquamarine said...

*shrugs*

Like I said, whatever...

You're into the legalism and the rules, and you want your proofs and your guarantees...

Me, I'm into the mystery and the dance and the immeasurableness of it all...

To each her own.

Ellen said...

Me, I'm into the mystery and the dance and the immeasurableness of it all...

That's what you don't understand - God, as He has chosen to reveal Himself IS mystery and dance and immeasurable. We don't have to define Him for ourselves!

I'm reading in Psalms - our Creator is too large to be defined by my own little mind!

Carrie said...

Aquamarine,

So, because of your interpretation of the Bible, God is not allowed to be present in the lives of non-Christians...?

So what is your interpretation of these words of Jesus?:

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

Isn't denying the Holy Spirit the unforgivable sin? Isn't that what you're doing - denying the work of the Holy Spirit because the notion of God being present in a non-Christian's life is unpalatable to you?

The Holy Spirit is given to people after they make a genuine profession of faith. The Holy Spirit can not be present in a non-Christian (ie someone who denys Christ).

Faith in God does not come down to who has a Jesus fish on the back of their car and who doesn't.

No one has said that.

What kind of God, what kind of all-knowing God, would deliberately create people, claim to love them, and then send them to eternal damnation because they didn't become Christians?

All of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We all deserve eternal damnation. The loving part comes in that God sent his only son to saves us from that just punishment if we will believe in him (that means following and obeying).

Do you place your trust in God or do you place your trust in the words of men? That's what it comes down to.

Aquamarine, where is all your information from God coming from? How was all of this revealed to you? Have you read the Bible? What is your opinion of the Bible?

You're into the legalism and the rules, and you want your proofs and your guarantees...

No legalism here. I have my proof through his Word. Again, what is your source of revelation about God?

aquamarine said...

God is my source...

And if God is so immeasurable and mysterious, why the insistance that God cannot be present in the lives of those who are not Christians? Frankly, how dare you? What do you say to God when he asks you to explain that one on judgment day? Seriously. What do you say when he asks how you personally knew how, when, where and with whom he was working? Do you throw the words of men back in his face and start spouting scripture at him? Good luck. Given that I'm very likely going to die within the next five years, I'll probably be there. I'll bring the popcorn.

Of course I've read the Bible. I'm not, however, a Biblical literalist. I also think taking bits and pieces out of context and using them to either defend or refute a personal opinion is ridiculous, and is insulting and trivializing to God. It doesn't work that way. A text that is describing those who are willfully denying God is not proof that God did not create ALL of his children to desire him, to be drawn to him. It ain't even close.

If you don't believe that God created all of his children to desire him, his goodness, his love, his mercy, then you're a moral relativist at heart. Then all bets are off and Christianity is meaningless. Then people who have never heard of Christianity are not morally responsible for their actions. If absolute truth doesn't exist, then both life in this world and the next is a free for all, and no one can be certain of anything. You're arguing yourself in circles here.

Christ showed us the way to the Father through his actions. Through desiring to do God's will. Through living in a way that is pleasing to God, not because of what's in it for you, but because you love God and you love your fellowman. Evoking Christ's name is not an automatic free pass for anything. Living, breathing, walking, faith is the way, no matter what name you give to it. Responding to God's will is the way.

But you know what? You belive what you believe what you believe, and there is nothing I can do about that. That's up to you.

The more I read you, the more I'm horrified and appalled by this version of Christianity. It's a version that leaves no room for the mystery and majesty of God and that has reduced him to a pawn controlled by people.

It seems to me that you've traded the glorious table God has laid before us all for a feast of bread and water.

Carrie said...

Aquamarine,

I don't think you are understanding most of what I say to you. So there really is no pointing in debating these points. I will be expanding more on what I believe in the next few posts, hopefully you will follow along so you can understand what I am saying better.

You say God is your source of your beliefs and I have to wonder how. Did he talk to you in some way? Send an angel? How did he reveal himself to you?

My beliefs come from God's inspired, infallible words that are found in the Bible. When you belittle what I have said, you are arguing against God's word, not me. I didn't make all this up myself.

Again, how do you deal with Jesus' words in John 14:6?

Do you think everyone will go to heaven?

Ellen said...

Carrie said, "I’m not sure how to answer this. If someone were a non-believer their whole life, then yes, there is no place for God in their life."

In Reformed theology, there is a grace known as "common grace". The short definition is, "The grace of God given to the creation as a whole. God still allows the sun to shine upon the unsaved. He feeds them, allows them to work, and have joy. It is common grace that "restrains" the wrath of God until a later time. It is in special grace that salvation is given to the Christians."

With common grace, God is present in all of creation.

That does not mean that every human partakes of "redemptive grace". The Bible is clear that not everyone will be saved.

This is the beauty of Reformed theology - we can let God be God - if He wants to bring a person to saving grace, He will.

Carrie said...

Thanks for clarifying that Ellen. I was not certain of how to answer that.

My thinking is that if a person is a non-believer their entire life (and dies a non-believer) then they have turned away from God and cannot expect anything from Him. He couldn't be working in their life the way he would a believer.

How that all shakes out, I am not sure. But clearly a non-believer is not under redemptive grace. There is no Holy Spirit for the non-believer.

Ellen said...

;-)

Another way of thinking about it (not reformed) is that we all have a choice to make - accept God or reject Him.

In this mindset, it is not so much whether God can work (or is working) in a non-believer's life - the question is whether or not the non-believer makes room for God in his or her life.

Either way, there is a grace that is common to all of creation...

Carrie said...

Either way, there is a grace that is common to all of creation...

But is there a relationship with God for those who do not believe?

What I have been talking about is people who have their own version of God which is not the same as the one, true God revealed in the Bible. Those people often believe that they have some sort of relationship with God (especially a new age type). The only way I can see that to be possible is if they were to come to a saving faith later in life. That God, not being bound by time, has a relationship with his children, before they have made the time-bound saving faith that we see.

I would say that someone who will die an unbeliever, would not have any relationship with God. What do you think?

aquamarine said...

Yes, God spoke to me "in some way". He speaks to everyone. You might actually hear him if you stopped shouting over him for five minutes and telling him you know everything anyway.

My hope is that everyone will go to heaven, and my belief is that this is indeed possible.

There is absolutely no way I can know who will and will not ultimately go to heaven. Only God knows that.

Any human who claims to know specifically who will and will not go to heaven is dead wrong. You can't know this. You are not God. Only God has the final judgment. Not you. Not based on your extremely limited, oh-so-human, personal interpretation of a book that has cultural, geographical, and historical overtones interwoven with the inspired word of God, and which is not the complete picture of God. God is emphatically clear about the fact that people don't know jack when it comes to the eternal outcome of other people's lives.

If you want to belittle my understanding of God as new-agey and as worshipping a floating teddy-bear, go ahead. As I've said, this is yours to answer for to God, not mine.

You're right. I don't understand how you think. I don't understand this incredibly small, limited, dumbed-down, petty-minded version of God at all.

I will never understand people who say God can't work in a non-Christian's life. I think it is truly hateful to think this way. I think it goes against everything Christ taught. It kills hope, it kills compassion, it kills the spirit.

"Non-Christian" and "non-believer" are not the same thing at all. If you can't understand that, that's your limitation, and, again, you're creating a god based on your limited understanding. You're insisting that God has to fit the mold you've created for him.

Every single post and explanation of yours speaks to God being limited by man's actions, yet you claim to believe that this is all based on faith and grace.

You say there is no relationship between God and his creation (which IS a relationship in itself...duh...if you create something, you are in relationship with it...) unless they claim the Christianity label. How can this be - how can the Creator NOT be in relationship with his creation?

You deny God's work in the lives of others, unless they DO something to deserve it (slap on the "Christian" label). Again, people's actions dictating God's grace.

I already explained my take on Christ being the way - his name alone isn't a free pass for anything. His message is, and that message is to respond to God's call in your life and to do God's will. You don't have to be a slap-happy Jesus freak or a Bible-thumping fundamentalist to do this. You can live Christ's message without even having heard of Christ. You can answer God's call in your life and do his will without ever having laid eyes on a Bible.

And there are plenty of so-called Christians who evoke the name of Christ every time they turn around who are selfish and crooked and greedy and hateful and dishonest.

The label "Christian" doesn't buy you doink.

Who you are, what you stand for, and why, do.

You believe because, in your mind, it guarantees you a free pass to heaven. Yet you think someone like Ghandi, who came as close to living like Christ as anyone on this planet in the history of the world, is doomed to hell.

That's just sad.

I don't think I'll be following along. The day I start thinking like that is the day I eat a bullet.

Carrie said...

Aquamarine,

It seems you have had some run-ins with what you consider “bible-thumping” Christians that have rubbed you the wrong way. Please don’t judge by words based on those biases, it’s not fair to me. Once again I will say that what you are saying back to me about what I believe is not correct, so you are not judging my beliefs but what you think my beliefs are to some extent.

Also, what I am conveying here is the truth about God based on what he has revealed about himself in the Bible. I didn’t make this all up because it sounds good to me and I want to exclude others who don’t fit in my mould.

There is absolutely no way I can know who will and will not ultimately go to heaven. Only God knows that.

I agree. But based on the truths that God has revealed in the Bible about his plan for salvation, we can know what will or won’t result in salvation in general. What we cannot determine is who is or isn’t going to be saved b/c we cannot know people’s heart.

Not based on your extremely limited, oh-so-human, personal interpretation of a book that has cultural, geographical, and historical overtones interwoven with the inspired word of God, and which is not the complete picture of God.

I disagree with you here.

If you want to belittle my understanding of God as new-agey and as worshipping a floating teddy-bear, go ahead.

I was not talking about you in these posts. I am talking about people I have known in my offline life. I am sorry if you thought I was talking about you directly. I am not.

I will never understand people who say God can't work in a non-Christian's life.

I am only talking about salvation here. How God may or may not work in a non-believer’s life I do not know. But his plan for salvation is clear from the Bible. Whatever else I have said is speculation, I haven’t thought much about how God may or may not work in a non-believer’s life.

Every single post and explanation of yours speaks to God being limited by man's actions, yet you claim to believe that this is all based on faith and grace.

Everything I have talked about is based on what God’s Word says. God gave us some clear revelations about his plan of salvation. Believing what he has said is not limiting him in any way.

You say there is no relationship between God and his creation

I didn’t say that.

I already explained my take on Christ being the way - his name alone isn't a free pass for anything. His message is, and that message is to respond to God's call in your life and to do God's will.

So then YOU are limiting access to heaven. God’s will must be done. If that is all that is required, then why did Jesus have to die?

You can live Christ's message without even having heard of Christ. You can answer God's call in your life and do his will without ever having laid eyes on a Bible.

Again, what do you do with John 14:6?

And there are plenty of so-called Christians who evoke the name of Christ every time they turn around who are selfish and crooked and greedy and hateful and dishonest.

And if that were true I would guess that they do not have genuine faith. Or, they are very early in their sanctification process and what you see is their blatant struggle with sin and lack of maturity in Christ. I keep saying that salvation comes from genuine faith which requires a repentance of sins and following Christ. I don’t understand why you don’t see that distinction.

You believe because, in your mind, it guarantees you a free pass to heaven. Yet you think someone like Ghandi, who came as close to living like Christ as anyone on this planet in the history of the world, is doomed to hell.

No, I believe because God tells me how to be saved in the Bible. I believe b/c I realized I was a worthless sinner in God’s eyes and I wanted to be “made right” through Christ. I believe b/c the Bible is the infallible Word of God and the Bible is clear that genuine faith in Jesus is required for salvation. Works are useless. If Ghandi died not knowing Christ as his Savior then I can be pretty sure that he will perish. If Ghandi could make it into heaven based on how he lived his life, then Christ’s work on the cross was a sham. If you believe that a good life will get you into heaven then you deny Christ.

I don't think I'll be following along. The day I start thinking like that is the day I eat a bullet.

Salvation is through Christ alone. It’s not my job to convince you, but it is my job to share God’s truth which is what I do on this blog.

aquamarine said...

If Ghandi is in hell, then I will freely and willingly choose hell right along with him.

I will not worship a petty, cruel, tyrant of a God.

Carrie said...

A petty, cruel, tyrant of a God would have never sent his son to die so that you could have eternal life if you believed in him.

aquamarine said...

He didn't force his son to die. The choice was always Christ's. Which is the crux of the ENTIRE sacrifice.

And when you phrase it like that, it sounds beyond ridiculous.

Carrie said...

AM,

Perhaps you interpret the Bible differently, but there is no reason to get upset.

The Father sent the Son, and the Son obeyed:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

"that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him." John 5:23

"I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me." John 5:36

"And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me." John 5:37

"For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it." John 12:49

What I said is not ridiculous.

aquamarine said...

No. THE WAY YOU PHRASED IT IS.

Can you not read?

Oh, wait....

And Christ ALWAYS had the option to disobey. That's the ONLY part that makes it work.

But I get it now - God creates people whom he loathes and thinks are only worthy of eternal damnation, but, in some weird, sick, sadistic little twist, he decided he'd brutally murder his son, a son conceived of a virgin by the Holy Spirit, although he's still fully human (following so far...?), and then resurrect him on the third day as a sort of cheap party trick in order to get people to believe he really is God and really will damn them for eternally if they don't worship his ass...

Got it.

That's what Christianity is.

Son of God born of a virgin (not even an original story line), is sacrificed (again, a religious them much older than Christianity), rises from the dead (standard religious fare for thousands of years before Christ came on the scene), and we must all believe or we're all going to hell.

This is a story as old as the hills themselves, dear, and the only factors that make it even remotely believable - free will, compassion, love, mercy - have been completely removed from it by your idiotic, mindless, self-serving version.

But I get your message loud and clear, and that's just fine with me. I'm going to hell, you're not, whatever.

You know, I'm really sorry I defended you before. Your brand of hate and superiority isn't worth defending.

Whatever. You have all the answers, I know nothing, I'm damned, blahblahblahblahblah...

*yawn*

Frankly, you sound exactly like Fred Phelps or Jack Chick and their ilk.

And I just have to love the references to "pigmies" and "Tarzan raised by apes". Nice. Real nice. You come off like a white supremacist with that kind of language. Everyone who hasn't heard the truth of Christ's message is a pigmy or an ape-boy.

Lovely.

Bye.

Anonymous said...

I feel that it is important that we as Christians also share our testimony of what God has done in our lives.

Aquamarine, you are someone who is seeking and it is no mistake that you are on these Christian blogs. God loves you and he is using these blogs as a way of answering your questions. It is okay to have questions, and that only helps you understand and strengthen what you believe.

I was raised in a home where we went to church every Sunday. As I grew up I went to church because I thought it was just what you were supposed to do. I fell in love with a wonderful man who grew up in a very similar home. We went to church and treated it as the "country club". We were in the wrong place and were there because it was the place to go on Sunday. Once we started our family, the way I viewed everything changed. God placed people in my path that challenged me to truly think about what I believed. I saw something different about these wonderful people. There was a peace about them that I wanted. I was uptight and battled anger issues over everything. I began to pray more and read my Bible more. I started listening to Christian music and thought through what I was watching on tv. I found that true peace is giving your life over to Christ.

I now have 3 incredible boys and they love the Lord. I am a completely changed person and it is all because of Jesus. I often wonder how I would get through my day without the Lord and it burdens me when I see people who are hurting and feel they have nowhere to turn. Jesus is always there and he loves you.

We can all debate theology and various interpretations of the bible all day long, yet no one can debate your testimony. Each one is personal and powerful.

Tony said...

Carrie said:
My beliefs come from God's inspired, infallible words that are found in the Bible. When you belittle what I have said, you are arguing against God's word, not me. I didn't make all this up myself.

How about these inspired, infallible words found in the Bible?

6 Jn 51-59

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"

Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever." He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

Ellen said...

Tony, what is "mass"?

Carrie said...

Tony, I am not interested in debating with you again because you don't play by any sort of rules.

In the next comment section you want to revise out portions of the Bible you don't like. You won't believe any interpretation of Scripture except Rome's. You say that the Bible is God's inerrant Word, but then you need to add in your Tradition to support your arguements. You imply that God's Word is null if it hadn't been approved by your "inspired men".

You have said that Mormons are Christians and yet they follow a different Jesus. You maintain that salvation comes through keeping the sacraments of your church but then claim on Elena's blog that you can somehow pray me into heaven (ie you can merit grace for others - CCC 2027) which says that you not only believe I am destined for hell but that you can somehow through your own prayers can gain me access to heaven which you yourself can only gain by keeping up good works. It makes no sense!

We are on totally different playing fields. You follow your church, I follow God's Word. We will never get anywhere, I am sorry.

Tony said...

Tony, I am not interested in debating with you again because you don't play by any sort of rules.

You don't have to debate me at all. I'm just posting this to give you something to think about.

You said, and I quote:
My beliefs come from God's inspired, infallible words that are found in the Bible.

Well, it appears that your your Bible is the inspired, infallible Word of God except when it's not.

I suspect your beliefs are based on something else, and you pick and choose Bible verses to support your preconceived beliefs. You interpret some verses as literal (with regards to justification) but others as allegory (with regards to Jesus' command to eat his Body and Blood).

I curious as to what your beliefs are actually based on.

In the next comment section you want to revise out portions of the Bible you don't like.

No, not revise out those parts I don't like, but look deep into the document, using Biblical exegesis. This means looking at the meaning behind the words themselves. Sometimes this requires more than your trusty King James. It requires looking at the documents in the original Greek, before they were translated into Latin then into English.

3 Jn 31-36 are called into question not only in my Bible "sanctioned by Rome", but I'd guess it might be in your Bible too. So are you going to tell me the scholars are wrong?

BTW, what translation are you using?

You have said that Mormons are Christians and yet they follow a different Jesus.

I suggest you give me the quote were I said that because I was very careful about how I worded it. I said that Mormons call themselves Christian, and I would never be so rude as to try and correct one. I said they are not trinitarian.

You maintain that salvation comes through keeping the sacraments of your church but then claim on Elena's blog that you can somehow pray me into heaven (ie you can merit grace for others - CCC 2027)

Sacraments are sources of grace from which we can freely drink. If you choose to reject heaven, all the prayers and intercession of the saints will not help. And on the contrary, I believe you're on the way to heaven. You have been baptized in water and the Holy Spirit, you believe in Jesus, and I think you seriously try and keep his commandments ("He who loves me keeps my commandments as I keep the Father's commandments") works, if you will.

We are on totally different playing fields. You follow your church, I follow God's Word. We will never get anywhere, I am sorry.

Yes, you do believe you are following God's word, don't you.

Carrie said...

Yes, you do believe you are following God's word, don't you

Yep!

Tony said...

Tony, what is "mass"?

Ellen, mass is a quantity or aggregate of matter usually of considerable size.

Christian Women Blogging

Articles for Christian Women